Tag Archives: Handy Heloers books

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night

Apparently, the mail carrier’s creed does not apply if you live on a snow-packed dirt road. After receiving more that two feet of snow in a day and a half, our mail delivery was suspended for a few days. Since I didn’t drive on that road myself, I totally understand.

I am on a contract route which means my carrier does not officially work for the post office. She does a fantastic job and often goes out of her way delivering packages that are too big for the mailbox. I have total admiration for her because I am well aware of the crummy roads she has to drive on every day.

The citizens of Bluesky have a wonderful mail carrier named George. This is his encounter with Beth Anne.

Beth Anne pulled back the drapes in the front window and looked out at the porch. It was half past three o’clock and their mailman, George, would be there at any moment. Getting the mail was Beth Anne’s job and she loved it. George let her walk with him to the next few houses. Sometimes he had a funny story to tell her about things that happened on his mail route.

“Hey, there, young lady,” George called out as Beth Anne came through the front door. “Here’s your mail today.”

Beth Anne placed the mail on the table just inside the door and joined George as he pushed his cart down the driveway to the sidewalk. Beth Anne had to quicken her steps to keep pace with George. Every now and then, she would skip along to catch up. She chattered away happily as they walked. “When school starts I’m going to be in fifth grade. I’m going to be in reg’lar class, not in special class. Maybe I’ll be with some of my friends. I do good in school. I’ll be happy when school starts.”

“That’s great, honey,” George said as he walked up to the next house on his route. Beth Anne took the opportunity to rest and catch her breath.

“What’s that?” she asked as George returned to his cart. Beth Anne was pointing at a cardboard heart with an arrow and scribbly writing on it.

“That’s a card Joey gave me to deliver to Melissa,” George said with a grin. “He told me she’s his girlfriend.”

“I know,” Beth Anne giggled. “Melissa is on our Special Olympics swim team. Joey tries to whistle at her, but he can’t really do it right. It sounds like this.” Beth Anne put her lips together and blew air through them, making a loud farting sound.

“We used to call that a Bronx cheer,” George laughed. “I bet it didn’t get the results Joey hoped for.”

“Melissa didn’t say anything. She didn’t want to hurt Joey’s feelings.”

From: The Handy Helpers, Not a Happy Camper.

The Bookstore is now open!

Much as I enjoy writing the Handy Helpers books, what I love most is having other people read them. Getting my books out there is proving more challenging than I ever thought. Readers today have so many options with ebooks and free books, and so many books available on line. My little offerings seem to be getting lost in a big pile of books.

I realized a long time ago that my books are expensive when purchased on websites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. There is nothing I can do about that because the price is set by my publisher. What I have tried to do is offer the books for sell myself. I sell them out of the trunk of my car and at local events. To get a wider audience, I am branching out into the online world. I’m still new at it, but trying to learn. First, I opened an online store through Shopify. It is at handy-helpers-books.com. Recently, I was able to add a shop button to my blog. I now have a bookstore page where you can purchase any or all of the books. I am selling them at my cost and I’m even picking up the shipping now through Christmas.

If you are looking for an entertaining, fun read with no violence, sex or bad language, you have come to the right place. Although my target audience is kids age 9 to 12, I have many adults who enjoy my books. Order them for your children or grandchildren, but take a peek yourself before you pass them on. I know you will have fun getting to know this quirky band of kids who are just trying to make their mark on the world (or at least on their town of Bluesky).

Purchase books from the bookstore on this blog or at http://handy-helpers-books.com

Meet the Cole Children

img_0163While helping built a trail in the forest, Spike encounters the Cole children living in a lean-to. Jeremiah, the oldest brother, is suspicious of Spike at first, But Spike earns his trust by keeping their secret. He aides them by bringing food and supplies. Later, when a fire breaks out and threatens their safety, Spike convinces his friends to rescue the two younger children–Daniel and Rachel.

In Book Four, the Coles become the foster children of Gus Farley. Daniel and Rachel love their new home and their new foster dad, but Jeremiah has learned to distrust strangers. He tries to keep his brother and sister from getting to attached.

Here’s their story:

The story of the Cole children was a sad one. Three years ago, their mother died of cancer. Their father, Charles Cole, moved the family to Harrison, a small mining town south of Bluesky. He rented a tiny house and they were getting settled in their new home. Charles enrolled the boys in school. Rachel was only four, so he found a neighbor to care for her while he worked in the copper mine. Jeremiah adjusted quickly to the new school, but Daniel struggled. Some of the children teased him, and the teachers complained because he was disruptive. Charles tried to explain that the jerky movements and noises Daniel made were due to a condition called Tourette’s syndrome. There was nothing Daniel could do to control the movements or the sounds. Putting him under stress only made them worse. The teachers seemed sympathetic, but said they had other children to consider. Daniel had to remain quiet or he would be removed from the classroom. Daniel continued to have problems, so when Charles was offered a job as a wrangler on the Morgan ranch, he took it. Mr. Morgan gave them a little cabin to live in. Like the Morgan children, Jeremiah and Daniel were enrolled in an internet school since the nearest town was too far away. When she turned five, Rachel started kindergarten, going with her brothers to the big house every day to work on the computers. School was going well for all of them. It seemed that everything was looking up and then tragedy struck again. While riding the fence line, Charles was thrown from his horse. It was a day later when he was discovered. By that time, it was too late to save him.  

            Mr. Morgan didn’t want to, but he knew he had to let the authorities know about the children. Jeremiah was sure they would be placed in foster homes, and probably separated. That would be bad enough for him and Rachel, but he knew Daniel would never survive it. They had to leave the ranch. His only hope was to hide out with Daniel and Rachel. When he turned eighteen in nine months, he could get a job and raise his brother and sister himself. The night before someone from Child Protective Services was coming to the ranch, Jeremiah packed up his brother and sister and ran away.

The Handy Helpers series is available on amazon

Bark in the Park

dog parade

Amber had spent an hour trying to dress Domino for the parade. First, she put a straw hat on his head, but he shook it off before Amber could tie the ribbon under his chin. The blanket she put on his back was only there for seconds before he used his teeth to remove it. In the end, Amber had to settle for a flag bandana tied around his neck. Her brother Kyle brought Domino to the park just as the dogs were lining up for Bark in the Park. Amber and Beth Anne would be leading the parade. Since Beth Anne didn’t have a dog, she borrowed Cher from the Andersons. Clarisse had dressed Cher for the event in a red, white, and blue tutu with a patriotic flower on top of her head. Even the leash was red-and-white–striped with blue stars.

            Fifteen dogs would be participating in the parade. There was a Chihuahua dressed like the Statue of Liberty and a mix-breed dog with a patriotic collar and a big red bow tied around its bushy tail. There was a pug who looked embarrassed to be wearing a crocheted red, white, and blue cap and booties. Jennifer was there with Tigger, who was wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt just like her owner’s. A schnauzer named Bosco was dressed like Uncle Sam, complete with a top hat and tails. His owner, Mrs. Brooks, was anxious for the parade to begin. She told Amber that she had to help her husband, the town butcher, set up the hotdog-eating contest. Bringing up the end of the parade was a basset hound named Wilber, whose belly almost rubbed the ground as he walked. He was wearing a banner that said, “Happy Fourth of July.”

            The parade began just ten minutes late, with the dogs cooperating more or less. The stroll around the park would take only about twenty minutes, even allowing for nature calls. Everything would have gone off without a hitch except for one oversight. Mr. Brooks, who was preparing for the hotdog-eating contest in the picnic area near the parade route, momentarily left a tub of hotdogs on the ground while he went to get the buns. It was Bosco who saw it first, or maybe he smelled it. Mrs. Brooks did her best to hold him back, but the desire was too strong. Tearing the leash from her hands, he made a beeline for the tub of hotdogs. Once the other dogs saw what Bosco had in his mouth, there was no stopping them. They raced to get their treat—all of them, that is, except Cher, who only ate gourmet dog food, and Wilber, who waddled over at his leisure to find the tub empty.

            “I’m so sorry,” Mrs. Brooks apologized over and over. “I’ve told Craig not to feed him hotdogs, but he does it anyway.”

            The dog owners grabbed the leashes and attempted to pull their dogs away. Dogs snapped and growled and chomped on the hotdogs until every scrap was gone.

            “It looks like Bosco is the winner of the hotdog-eating contest!” Walt said, laughing.

From The Handy Helpers: Red, White, and . . . Bloopers.