Tuesday, April 21, 2015

An Excerpt from my new YA Romantic Comedy, MY BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER


Dad was at the kitchen table, sipping his coffee and flipping through his beloved Writer’s Digest.

“Good morning,” he said, without looking at me. 

“Morning, Dad.” I fell into my seat and practically inhaled the golden brown omelet, plump with melted cheddar and overflowing with mushrooms. “I’m going to the mall today,” I announced, silently hoping he’d let me. Sometimes Dad’s just in a stay-at-home kind of mood, but today he seemed passive. I think I’ve earned it, spending all of Saturday doing homework.

He chewed his food, his eyes glued to the magazine. “Sure, sweetie,” he mumbled.

I smiled and finished my breakfast.

“Don’t you have homework, Adonia?” Sullivan mocked in Dad’s direction.

I rolled my eyes. 

Sullivan has brown hair that hangs halfway down his neck, which he parts down the middle and tucks behind his ears. His eyes are hazel and his mouth is too big for his face—no surprise! He teases me about everything, and even became friends with Jake after the break up. The little pest invited him over to play video games and kept me cornered in my room. 

I shot him a look. Luckily, Dad hadn’t even looked up.

“Jake’s coming by today,” Sullivan informed me, looking for a reaction.

“So? I’ll be at the mall all day.” I took a sip of orange juice. “You know, I can hear your music all the way over here,” I said loudly, hoping Dad would lecture him again. But Dad still didn’t look up, and Sullivan pointed at me and laughed noiselessly. 

“What do you two want for dinner?” Dad asked lamely, still reading.

Sullivan slammed his fists on the table. “Lasagna!”

Dad looked bewildered. “Lasagna? For the third time this week?”

I shook my head and rinsed off my plate.

“Be back by nine,” Dad said. I turned and looked at him. “It’s a school night!” he briefed. Then he buried his head back in his magazine.

I sighed, walked to the front door and put on my sneakers.

“And keep that cell phone on!” he insisted from the kitchen.

I stepped into the chilly Alaskan air, headed for Mom’s silver Jeep Grand Cherokee. She lets me drive it while she’s away. She’s in Australia until late November, doing research on the Aborigines.

I cranked the engine and sat waiting in my seat. The car reeked of vanilla. I adjusted the automatic leather seat and carefully backed out of the long driveway. It was overcast out, like it’s going to snow. I’m not a fan of driving in snow, but it’s better than not driving at all. I haven’t crashed a car yet, and I’ve been driving since sixteen.

For a Sunday, the mall was pretty dead. It’s not a huge mall by any means. It has a pet store, a book store, a food court, a couple clothing stores, a Halloween shop, a music store, a movie theater, and an arcade. If you have lots of interests, you can spend a good day there. I’m particularly fond of the book and pet stores, though I couldn’t buy any pets there anyway, because pets are big no-no’s with my parents, especially Dad. When I get my own place, I’m buying a puppy before I even fill the fridge.

Upon entering the bookstore, I was greeted by a tall, nerdy clerk. He knows me. I’m one of the regulars.

I usually spend a while in there, browsing the young adult novels.

Classical music played over the loudspeaker, and the place smelled incredible—there’s nothing like the smell of ink and paper! At least, not for bookworms like me there isn’t!

I seated myself at the base of a bookshelf in the back of the store and looked through some books. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I’m one of those people that do—I like to see what the guys portrayed inside look like, and read through the book briefly. I’m not into naughty books, but I’ll have to admit, I am seventeen, and I am curious.

I spent a good hour reading, ignoring all the passersby and the loud giggly girls—as I call them—who walked in and headed straight for the adult romance novels. You know, the books with the half-naked men and extremely content women on the cover? Those novels. 

The girls gathered around in a circle, whispered loudly, read and pointed and giggled, and this would—on some days—go on for about thirty minutes straight. This time, though, they went on for nearly an hour, about twenty or so feet from me, laughing wildly. It annoyed the hell out of me.

I skimmed through a book titled Love at the End of the Day, which seemed like another I’m-going-away-to-college-and-I’ll-miss-you kind of book. The kind that depressed me in more ways than one, because I too was facing the uncertainty of college. And—what’s worse—I had no one to say goodbye to, because I was single.

I closed the book and sighed uneasily. My focus turned suddenly to a guy dressed in loose black jeans and a white muscle shirt. He wore a silver chain around his neck, held a black leather jacket, and strolled through the aisles in search of something. His hair was golden blonde, split down the middle like Sullivan’s, but far shorter, leveling off at the top of his ears. He stopped in an aisle in the center section of the store, between me and the giggly girls. I thought he stopped in the travel section, but I wasn’t sure. Not until he picked up an atlas of Alaska.

I watched him curiously for some time. I hoped he wouldn’t look my way, because I stared like he’s a Greek god or something.

This guy is seriously hot! Too hot to even live here!

He eagerly skimmed the atlas. After some time, he bent over, put it back on the shelf and picked up another. He stood back up and looked through it, and when he tilted his head my way I got a glimpse of his eyes. His eyes are a light crystal blue, unlike any I’ve ever seen before! They’re incredible! Too hot for words!

I jumped and practically juggled my cell phone when it rang. Looking around sheepishly, I hit the green talk button.

“Hi!” It was Lilly.

“Hi,” I breathed softly. And I nearly choked on my spit when I saw him eyeing me! His head was slightly turned my way.

“We need to get together. I’m leaving in the morning,” Lilly said, preoccupied in the background.  “Do you want to meet at the ice rink? It’s been a week and I won’t have any practice for another three.” Chatterbox Lilly has a tendency to go off on tangents. This time I couldn’t catch it all because a Greek god distracted me.

His eyes alternated between me and his book, though each time our eyes met, he looked away. “Lilly,” I hissed so he couldn’t hear me, “there’s a seriously hot guy in here.”

She stopped talking to her mother in the background. “What? I didn’t hear you.”

I turned my head toward the bookshelf so he couldn’t read my lips. “There’s this guy in here, and he’s really, really HOT.” I turned my head in time to see him stick his nose back in the atlas. “Did you hear me?” I asked in my normal voice.

“Yeah,” she uttered, “something about a hot guy. So go talk to him!”

“I don’t know...” I was always the shy type.

“No, you should. Where are you?’

“At the mall,” I replied. Then I remembered. “Hey, how’s your brother?” Please mention his name!

“Oh, he’s good,” she breathed. “He met Burke this morning, because Burke was on a business trip much of the weekend,” she said, going off on another tangent.

The giggly girls grew noisy, so I pressed the phone hard against my ear to try to make out what she was saying. I couldn’t catch most of it.

“Are you there?” is the next thing I heard.

“Yeah,” I breathed. “Can you come by the mall?”

“I’d like to, but I’m packing. Can you come by here? When I finish, maybe we can go skate?”

I was about to say yes when a smile formed on his lips. He was still looking at the atlas, but it felt like it was directed at me. I bit my lip, trying to decide—best friend or drop-dead gorgeous hot guy? Ugh, decisions! But what kind of a friend would I be if I refused to see her before she left on vacation? “I’ll be right—”

She cut me off. “Someone’s on the other line, how about I call you in a few hours, okay? I think it may be my brother, probably lost already. He’s been out all weekend in some cheesy rental! I just hope it’s not that dumb jock again!”

“Um, okay.” I was going to ask if she wanted me to drop by, but she hung up.

I put my phone away and looked at the giggly girls. They’re all pretty short—not that I’m tall or anything—two brunettes and three blondes. All between fourteen and sixteen. One of them pointed to him, the others checked him out and whispered back and forth like sixth-graders.

Annoyed, I stuck my nose back in the book. When my eyes wandered a few seconds later, he was looking at me, plain as day!

He gestured to the giggly girls with his head, made a bit of a face and smiled.

My shoulders sunk toward my feet and my mouth formed a grin. He’s looking at me! Naturally, I tried to contain myself—I’ve imagined things like this before. Yes, I’ve imagined gorgeous, literate guys checking me out, when they’re merely zit-faced losers with braces, dirty hair and the inability to formulate a sentence.

Need I remind you, the guys at school are not much to look at?

His attention shifted away from me. He put the atlas back on the shelf and pulled out another. Yup, I’d imagined it! But I found pleasure in watching him anyway, so I did.

There’s a term for that—it’s called stalking, right?

Before I could stalk much longer, he put the atlas down and very coolly strolled my way.

I pretended not to notice. I didn’t want to look dumb when he’d pass by me. That’s happened before, too, and not with a guy this hot. 

My eyes fixed to page sixteen. I waited in suspense.

No one passed by. My breath stopped when I looked up: There he was.

“Good book?” he asked with a half-smile.

“Uh-huh,” I uttered, unable to find my voice.

He cocked his head and looked at the cover. “Love at the End of the Day,” he read, straightening his head and nodding as if that answered his question. “Going to buy that?”

I glanced toward the front of the store, where the clerk sat in a rotating chair, blowing a bubble and lost in a book. My eyes met the Greek god’s. “I don’t know. Should I?”

He shrugged. The giggly girls laughed loudly, but he blocked my view of them. “You could buy it and have lunch with me. Or you can leave it and have lunch with me…” The corners of his mouth rose into a seductive smile. “Or, you can bash me over the head with it for asking.” He grinned.

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Excerpt from "My Best Friend's Brother".


Copyright © 2015 by Chrissy Fanslau. All rights reserved.

MY BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER, Book One
or

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"We Should Be Free" THE SEACATS Orca Whale Picture Book

The Seacats: We Should Be Free 

I wrote a new SEACATS book about killer whales, and since it is for such an important cause for me, maybe I should explain why.

What's one of the saddest things I see on social media every now and then? A picture of someone's kid posing with a poor, imprisoned "smiling" dolphin or orca in a tank in the background. They're kids and they don't know any better — what is taking them to marine parks to watch orcas do tricks for food really teaching them?

Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent animals — they are self-aware, and their brains are more complex than our own. Unlike us humans, they have a part of the brain dedicated solely to emotions. Is it fair to keep them essentially as slaves so kids can see one up-close? Why not take the kids whale-watching instead? In Maine or Hawaii or Prince William Sound? Or anyplace other than a place where you're paying for tickets to see an animal that's medicated, has chipped teeth and is so fed up it's probably contemplating killing its trainer? We all know that's happened before — watch Blackfish.

If you can't afford a whale-watching trip, The Whale (an amazing movie) is far cheaper than tickets to a marine park; it's more entertaining and more educational by far!

As a parent I can tell you there is nothing educational about these marine parks. The only thing you're really teaching your kid about the animal, is that it's okay to keep it in a swimming pool.

Some say they're already in the tanks and would die in the wild. Some say Keiko (the Free Willy whale) died after being released, and use that as an argument to keep more whales in captivity. But that's nonsense — Keiko was freed because the vet at the marine park he lived at gave him six months to live. He would have died in Mexico. But they freed him, and he lived free for five years. He fed himself just fine.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I know kids should not be raised thinking this practice is okay. These intelligent animals should not be slaves to entertainment. They have a social structure, dialects and culture, and they are being denied these things in a tank. We, as parents and as humans, need to change that ... because what kind of people will we raise if we teach kids that taking advantage of others is okay? These whales and dolphins are essentially slaves. And nowadays — knowing what we do about these animals — that's really, really sad.

By the way, you can read We Will Be Free for ... well, free ... on Kindle Unlimited!

or

Friday, March 27, 2015

Life with Jesse Daniels Has Hit the Amazon Kindle Bestseller List!



I did a promotion for my debut Young Adult novel, Life with Jesse Daniels, and the response has been overwhelming! Nearly one thousand copies were downloaded in the first 24 hours!

As I write this, my book is still at the top of the Teen and Young Adult Fiction list, and I am so extremely thrilled!

I will be sending the final draft of my new novel, My Best Friend's Brother, to my editor next week, so this could not have happened at a better time for me!

Thanks for dropping by today! Enjoy your weekend and happy reading!


Life with Jesse Daniels

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Story of Max, My Giant Mal

Giant Malamute


Someone who read my book, Life with Jesse Daniels, emailed me and asked if I put my giant malamute Max in my book under the name "Manny." My book, of course, is pure fiction; but if you've read it, you may be wondering this as well, so I'm going to attempt to explain. The short answer is: No.

But it's complicated.

I wrote Life with Jesse Daniels in 2006, during my last semester in college. My Max is only 3 years old today. When I got him, I was not actively looking for a giant malamute just because I wrote about one in my book. I stumbled across an ad for him. His first owner had a stroke and could no longer handle him due to his large size, and the fact that he was expected to get bigger. My husband always wanted a large dog, and — being taller than your average Great Dane — this one was perfect. So we brought him home.

He was ten months old and had zero training. He was hyper and could not even sit on command. He could not fit in the largest kennel at Petco, so we had to order a jumbo for $200+.

He was taller than our couch.



His original owners kept him outside so he wouldn't destroy their house. They told us he'd terrorized his neighbor's ducks. To us, he had to be an indoor dog.

He could not fit in the tub. The first bath was a disaster because, well, he's stronger than me, and he could barely even fit in the bathroom.

And ever since, he grew taller. He is actually the tallest malamute our vet has ever seen. Even taking him to the vet is a task, because it's nearly impossible to get him in the Jeep. His head comes up past our extra-tall baby gate, making him about 42" tall.

But oddly enough, he acts just like Manny in my book. He is mischievous. He loves his treats. He loves his ball (he's destroyed several). He sticks his nose in everyone's business, and — Max, at least — thinks he's a lapdog.

He also gets excited about, plays with, and chases nothing — every once in a while.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that I stumbled upon him, but he's just like I imagined him. Well, aside from the obvious coat and color difference. lol (For the record, Max was born all-white; now he's cinnamon and white.)
Giant Malamute

So now you know — Max and I were just meant to be.



Giant Malamute



Thursday, February 19, 2015

YA Fiction on Kindle: Life with Jesse Daniels

Racy Young Adult Fiction

Well, it's official! I'm once again chained to my desk, a slave to a novel, this one titled My Best Friend's Brother. Wanna guess what it's about?

I've revised, edited, revised, and am now editing it again. I don't feel completely nuts yet, which is quite odd, because my word processor is crashing every 3-5 minutes; I'm literally to the point where I'm saving work every 15 seconds. I would wish this on my worst enemy, but not on anybody else.

In the meantime, my debut novel—Life with Jesse Daniels—is now on Amazon Kindle! Check it out here!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Funny Remove Your Shoes WELCOME SIGNS for Dog Owners!

Siberian Husky Remove Your Shoes WELCOME Signs 
As many of you know, I have a Giant Malamute named Max — who stopped chewing shoes, until I said he did. lol

So you shouldn't be shocked at my new Remove Your Shoes WELCOME signs. They're funny, They're furry. They're quick and to the point!
Weimaraner Remove Your Shoes WELCOME Sign 

Old English Sheepdog Remove Your Shoes WELCOME Sign 

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As a reminder, you can always view our sales and DAILY DEAL and reach our site through these other websites as well:

WashYourHandsSigns.comPremieSigns.comCHDSigns.com and CarSeatSigns.com!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Baby Car Seat Signs, Bookmarks & Home Signs now on AMAZON!

Remove Your Shoes Sign


Don't Touch the Baby Sign

Really excited to announce that select Don't Touch the Baby, Wash Your Hands, CHD, Home Signs and bookmarks are now available on Amazon!

Click here to see our Amazon.com storefront!

Pretty cool, right? The largest selection is still on our website, but this helps more parents find us! =)

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As a reminder, you can always view our sales and DAILY DEAL and reach our site through these other websites as well:

WashYourHandsSigns.comPremieSigns.comCHDSigns.com and CarSeatSigns.com!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I'll See You in my Dreams - A Magical Bedtime Story


Here's the cover for a book I will be illustrating this spring, I'll See You In My Dreams. As you can plainly see, it's a cute & cuddly bedtime story!

More to come!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

WEIMARANER VIKING HANDMADE BOOKMARK

WEIMARANER VIKING BOOKMARK

 Wishing our friends, family, customers, fans & Weimaraner dog lovers
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Black Friday Sale Coupons


Sharing Black Friday Sale Coupons for DontTouchBaby.com and our Etsy shop! These codes are good through Sunday, November 30th, on most of our books, bookmarks, baby signs and other baby shower gifts!

Note that the DontTouchBaby.com Bonus Coupon can be used in addition to our Thanksgiving coupon, now through 11/30 only.


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TOP SELLERS this week:

Life with Jesse Daniels

Brown Boot Don't Touch the Baby Sign
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As a reminder, you can always view our sales and DAILY DEAL and reach our site through these other websites as well:

WashYourHandsSigns.comPremieSigns.comCHDSigns.com and CarSeatSigns.com!

Monday, November 17, 2014

THE MAGIC TREE is available for preorder!



Just a quick post to let you know that a book I illustrated this past summer, The Magic Tree, is now available for pre-order on Amazon! If you are looking for a cute book to help boost your child's self-esteem, this would be it!

This children's book is also written by Dr. Michal Noah, best-selling author of "A-Z The Universe in Me"!

Friday, November 14, 2014

An Excerpt from "Life with Jesse Daniels"


Derek rang our doorbell. Behind him stood Jesse, who nudged his glasses up the bridge of his nose and held a praying mantis.

“What do you want?” Tiffany put her hands on her hips and pouted. A bouncy curl slid into her eye, and she tucked it back behind her ear.

“I need to use your bathroom,” Derek said with a crooked smile, hands behind his back.

“Why don’t you use your own bathroom? You live right across the street!”

“Because we were playing in the woods all day and I have to go really bad. Our mom locked us out.”

She sighed, moved aside, and he quickly vanished up the stairs. My sister didn’t seem to like Derek much. Maybe she wasn’t into boys yet, though she did carry around these Young Adult novels she was way too young for. I snuck a look at one once, and it had guys and girls “kissing passionately.” It seems my sister was always a pervert.

Tiffany crowded the doorway as Jesse tried to enter. “Drop the bug first!”

Jesse set the thing down. “Anna, wanna play tag?” There was dirt caked to his dirty blond hair, which I thought was really nasty. We were eleven—when would his hygiene improve? I mean, even then I showered daily!

Tiffany sneered as Dad wandered into the foyer, wearing his commonly wide smile. “Jesse, how are you? How’s your mom today?”

Jesse shrugged carelessly, looking up at him like he was miles high.

“We’re having hot dogs and French fries for dinner. Would you like to join us?”

“Can we have ketchup, too?”

“Sure we can! I’ve even got the green ketchup!” Dad can be so cheesy at times.

“Cool!” 

Derek descended the stairs wearing a huge grin. He stood beside me, eyes glimmering. Even back then his hair hung down past his eyes, parted down the middle.

They ate like pigs at the dinner table and ironically, Dad still seemed thrilled to have them there. “Doesn’t your mom feed you boys?” he joked, dragging a fry through a puddle of ketchup.

Derek answered with his mouth full. “We were in the woods all day.”

“We dissected a frog!” Jesse added.

As if eating hot dogs wasn’t gross enough!

Dad looked amused. “Did you? And what did you find?”

“We pulled its guts out!” Jesse exclaimed. “And it had a poor bug stuck in its belly!”

Tiffany snickered. “You killed a frog to save a bug?” She rolled her eyes. “Boys are so immature!”

Derek grinned. “Who said we killed it?”

Tiffany’s expression was blank.

“It’s been dead for weeks!”

I practically gagged.

The boys laughed and shoved their remaining fries in their mouths.

Tiffany sneered. “Really, for weeks? Exaggerating much? I’m taking a shower. Hopefully you’ll be gone by the time I get out!”

“Tiffany, that isn’t nice,” Dad scorned.

After she left, the room grew silent. I grimaced at the hot dog on my plate. The smell alone made me nauseous. I’ll bet Tiffany asked for hot dogs so often just to piss me off. I pushed it aside so my fries wouldn’t touch the so-called meat. Dad shot me a look, so I picked at the bun and grabbed a fry.

“So are you two going to be explorers when you grow up?” Dad asked a few minutes later, tossing his napkin on his plate.

Derek showed me his chewed-up hot dog. “My teacher said we were born in the wrong generation. There isn’t much left to explore.”

Dad laughed his deep, warm laugh. But it was drowned out by Tiffany’s bewildered screaming.

Practically tossing the table aside, Dad ran up in a panic, with the rest of us on his trail. Tiffany was in our bedroom, wrapped in a towel, dripping on the carpet, crying feverishly. She held a chunk of long hair, her face deep red. “Daddy, my hair’s falling out!” She pulled at her scalp, held another chunk, and sobbed. 

I gasped.

Derek chuckled.

“What did you put in your hair, Princess?”

“Conditioner!” Her bawling intensified.

Dad ran his hand over her head and sniffed the yellow residue. “This is Nair!” He pulled her into our bathroom, where the shower was still running. “Wash this off immediately, understand? Hurry, before all your hair falls off!”

That last sentence made her shriek like he just said she’s going to military school.

Dad was on fire. “WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS?!”


Now Derek’s face was long, his eyes were scared, and he’d wiped that grin off his face really fast. I was mad for show. What I was really thinking was, That’ll teach her to have better hair than me!


BUY AT AMAZON
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Excerpt from "Life with Jesse Daniels".

Copyright © 2014 by Chrissy Fanslau. All rights reserved.