Friday, November 20, 2015

Carol Brown and Sassy Pants


Carol, tell us about your new book. 

Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures finds her worrying about reactions as she tries to make amends and encounters critters that are different from herself or any other resident of Farmer White’s farm. She is not sure how to react! She seeks the advice of someone older and wiser. She learns there is a “strange” that is just different from me – these are friends you have not yet met. And then there is “strange” that is dangerous and that requires a very different reaction! She discovers an entirely different picture of her father.

What message do you want readers to grasp? 

Fear and worry exaggerate our problems. The good news is that we can overcome fear and worry.  And secondly, if we can not be offended by differences (like looks or smell) we may find a good friend. On the other hand, some strangers are truly dangerous. We need to learn the difference and know who to call for help.

What inspired this book?  My husband urged me to write a sequel to the first book in the Sassy Pants series. He argued that she was so naughty in the first book that I should give her the opportunity to redeem herself. But I didn’t have another story in me. I even asked God’s help in convincing him there were no more stories, and that was when God downloaded the rest of the series. So...here we are!

Visit Carol's Amazon page to learn more about the first books in the series and her other books. 

Buy Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures on Amazon
Paperback, $11.99
Or order from your favorite book store: ISBN-13: 978-0996495356


Visit Carol's website
 Carol says, “I began telling stories when I had enough brothers to make an audience. As a retired educator, I dedicate myself to knitting sweaters and spinning yarns!” (She has four brothers and one sister.) She and her husband reside in Grand Rapids, MI with Carol’s elderly mother. They have two daughters on the west coast and five grandchildren. Carol was raised in a farming community in Iowa. She enjoys reading, nature and music, playing the piano, knitting, crocheting, painting and telling stories

Read an excerpt
SASSY PANTS LEARNS About Strange Creatures
The strange creature stared at her a few moments, then made a smart sharp turn, and continued on, like he was measuring off the boundaries of the whole farm. He wheezed and grunted as he walked, and every few steps he accompanied himself with an awful smelling toot. Sassy Pants blinked two times, just in case she needed to wake herself up.
        But the strange creature was still moving along the fence. For a few moments she just stood there. Was that thing the dangerous kind of strange, or just a different kind? How could she tell?
        He had a nose that looked all pushed in, and long flappy lips that hung down on both sides of his mouth. His face was all wrinkly, and his lower jaw stuck out. But the strangest thing of all was he only had three and a half legs! The last half was wooden! Sassy Pants had never seen anything like it.
        Oh, dear! That was too much in one day for one little pig. So, as soon as the strange creature was far enough ahead not to care what was behind, Sassy Pants slipped back into her pigpen, squished herself into her comfy spot near the water hole, and closed her eyes.
In fact, she spent the rest of the day in the pigpen. Just sleeping, and doing pig things. Her pigpen didn't feel like such a bad place to be, anymore. Not really. Especially if you were a pig. Tomorrow would be soon enough to think about strange creatures... apologizing to the big Boss Hog... and the coming of the Great Separation.
She didn't give those things another thought. At least, not until after breakfast the next day. All the way up until the time she saw Old Clyde moving slowly along the other side of the fence, trimming some of he long sweet grass around a post where the pigpen and the pasture joined together. He had known about the critter-spitter, so, maybe he would know about the creature with a wooden leg, too.
"Old Clyde!” She called out to him before she even got close enough to say hello. “You will never guess—there's another strange creature on this farm!”
        The barnyard counselor looked through the fence at her. “Did it have three and a half legs, and a scrunched up nose? And did it grunt when it walked, and toot every other step?”
“How’d you know?”

“I have eyes and ears, Sassy Pants.”
“Oh, yeah. And a nose, too. Peee-oooo!”
“Now, why would you care what he smells like? You being a pig.”
“I know I smell like a pig, Old Clyde, but this is different. Pigs don't smell that bad!”
33
Carol A. Brown
“Don't they?”

“Pig smell is part of our barnyard. Look how many of us there are. I'm glad there's only one of THAT strange creature. He's so ugly, he's scary! Could be he eats little pigs for supper.”
“Sassy Pants, where are your manners?”

“I dropped them somewhere, I guess.”

“Remember how I told you some animals that come to Farmer White's barnyard need a second chance at something? Now, wasn't that good news to you when you needed a second chance?”
Sassy Pants did remember what good news that was. Especially on the day she had “learned the hard way” and thought she broke every friendship she would ever have. If she hadn't had a second chance she might have been lonely for the rest of her life! Oh, yes. That's when she learned about fixing friendships, and how to make amends.
She was quiet for a while, just remembering all that, when she suddenly got a brilliant idea! “Old Clyde?”
The horse stopped trimming the grass and looked through the fence, again.
“Maybe that strange creature broke some of his friendships, too.”

“Maybe. He is all by himself. He walks the whole fence line of the barnyard, every day at the same time, and he's always alone. So, even if he has friends somewhere else, he doesn't seem to have any here.”

“Old Clyde, you think telling someone how to fix their friendships would be a valuable thing to do?”

“Only if they cared about fixing them. Nobody really likes to be told what to do.”

“I have to find something valuable to do! It might help me stay here in the barnyard instead of going on the Great Separation, whenever that happens.”
“Then maybe it would be a good idea to talk to that strange creature. Maybe you'll learn something. Like when you talked to the llama, yesterday. This one might turn out not be such a strange creature, either. Just someone else who needs a second chance.” The horse went back to trimming the sweet grass around the fence posts.
“You mean actually talk to that... that stinky-poo? I’m not sure I want to talk to somebody who smells like that.”
“Just make sure the wind is blowing the other direction.” Then Old Clyde laughed. “That's what I do whenever I want to eat this nice sweet grass that grows so close to the pigpen.”
That's how Sassy Pants made up her mind to give it a try. But it seemed the stinky creature had disappeared. Then, just before naptime, when she was headed over to her comfortable muddy place near the water hole, again, she heard the strange creature's wheezy grunting and tooting. He was coming!

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