7/30/21

Meet the Characters: Moss

The previous characters introduced from the Sassafras House series are Kale, Jasmine, Iris, Sage Greene, and Treasure, the cat.

Today meet Moss.

Moss is one of the senior citizen volunteers at the Sassafras Animal Shelter. He likes to talk, and he jokes a lot. When Kale is on probation at the shelter Moss is his supervisor, and Kale is not amused when the jokes are directed at him. Also, Moss seems to know more than he says about the disappearance of the shelter cats. 🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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7/28/21

Meet the Characters: Sage Greene

The previous characters introduced from the Sassafras House series have been Kale Flores, Jasmine Palmer, Iris, and Treasure, the cat.

Today, meet Sage Greene.

Sage Greene works as a reporter for the Morning Glory Daily News, the town newspaper. Sage interviewed Kale and wrote an article about the Sassafras House legend and how he found the lost treasure. Her article set off a chain reaction that led to a reconnection between Kale and his long-absent dad. 



Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels


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7/26/21

Meet the Characters: Iris

Characters in the Sassafras House series previously introduced here are Kale Flores, Jasmine Palmer, and Treasure, the cat.

Today, meet Iris.

Iris is a new character to the series. She appears first in Book #3, The Catnapper Mystery. She is a senior citizen and works as a volunteer at the Sassafras Animal Shelter. She is fond of the younger volunteers, especially Kale. She loves to bake and often brings treats to the shelter for Kale. A bonus section of her recipes is included in the back of the book. 

Iris is known for saying, "I always say there's no problem so big that it can't be solved with a cookie."



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7/24/21

Email Subscription Update

Dear Email Subscribers,

When you receive an email from me to notify you there's a new blog post, it will now come from a different subscription service. New notifications will be sent through a service called follow.it

I believe this will be beneficial to subscribers, as you will have options about how you receive notifications. 

If you are already a subscriber, THANK YOU, there's no action required on your part. You will continue to receive notifications when there's a new blog post.

If you're not a subscriber and would like to be, it's easy. Just add your email address to the subscription box at the right. You'll only receive an email from me when there's a new blog post to see. 

Thanks to all who read the posts and are interested in anitastafford.com. 

Best regards,

Anita Stafford


P.S. Please remember to go to Barnes and Noble or Apple Books to get your FREE ebook copy of The Catnapper Mystery on Sunday, July 25, 2021, or on Monday, July 26, 2021. After that time the ebooks will be $2.99.


                                                                                       Image by Dean Norris from Pixabay


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7/23/21

FREE ebook Promotion

My newest book, The Catnapper Mystery, is available as a FREE ebook at Barnes and Noble or Apple Books for a limited time! The Catnapper Promotion runs from Sunday, July 25, 2021, through Monday, July 26, 2021. I hope you'll take advantage of this and get your FREE copy. Tell your friends!


Reviews are always appreciated.

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7/22/21

Meet the Characters: Jasmine

Previously, the characters Kale Flores and Treasure, Kale's pet cat, have been introduced from the Sassafras House series.

Today, meet Kale's best friend, Jasmine Palmer.

Jasmine Palmer is an important character in all three books of the Sassafras House series. Like Kale, she is also 12-years-old. When she moved into the house across the street from Kale, he was rude to her and almost missed out on becoming her friend. After Kale redeemed himself by helping her search for her lost dog, Barley, their friendship was kindled. Jasmine usually behaves in a calm, sensible way, but she's not afraid to jump in with both feet when it comes to helping Kale solve a mystery.


Image by klimkin from Pixabay 

The Sassafras House series includes The Legend of Sassafras House (Book 1), Treasure in Catclaw Canyon (Book 2), and The Catnapper Mystery (Book 3).

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7/21/21

Meet the Characters: Treasure

Yesterday, the boy protagonist, Kale Flores, from the Sassafras House series was introduced. 

Today, meet Treasure, the cat.

Treasure is one of the key characters in the Sassafras House series. Kale and his friend, Jasmine, found Treasure living alone in the old Sassafras House when they searched for hidden treasure. Knowing the demolition of the decrepit house was imminent, Kale rescued the homeless cat, and she became his first pet. Treasure is a beautiful all-white cat, and she is unique in several ways. First, she has heterogenous eyes, one blue and one golden. Also, Treasure is a good judge of character, and she proves herself to be valuable by helping Kale solve mysteries. Many readers have been fascinated by Treasure and her unusual abilities.


Image by Firman MPH from Pixabay 

Read more about Treasure in the middle-grade Sassafras House series, The Legend of Sassafras House (Book 1), Treasure in Catclaw Canyon (Book 2), and The Catnapper Mystery (Book 3).

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7/20/21

Meet the Characters: Kale

One reason kids like to read a series is because the story doesn't end with one book. They know and identify with the characters, and they're interested to find out what happens next. The Sassafras House series keeps a kid reading because finishing a book doesn't mean the story is over. There's more to look forward to.

Currently, there are three books in the Sassafras House series. Book 1 is The Legend of Sassafras House, Book 2 is Treasure in Catclaw Canyon, and Book 3 is The Catnapper Mystery. These books are targeted toward elementary school age children, but some adults have read them and report they enjoy the stories, too.

I'd like to acquaint readers with these books by introducing the characters. Today's character is the boy protagonist in the story, twelve-year-old Kale Flores. Kale moved to the small town of Morning Glory, Texas, from the big city. Kale is Latino and lives with his mother, Rosa, in a house they inherited from Rosa's Aunt Fern. Kale's dad left the family when Kale was five. Kale is sometimes impulsive and speaks before he thinks. One thing Kale wanted badly when he moved to Morning Glory was to find a friend. Some of the problems Kale faces in the series are: loneliness, bullying, self-control, and betrayal. He is curious and likes to read, and he has a big heart. It's impossible not to love Kale.


Image by ChΓ’u Nguyα»…n from Pixabay

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7/19/21

The Catnapper Mystery

 New book release!

The Catnapper Mystery (Book 3 in the Sassafras House series) is now available. Kale and Jasmine are ready for another mystery, this time at the Sassafras Animal Shelter.

       The cats at Sassafras Animal Shelter have been disappearing without a trace. The director accuses twelve-year-old Kale Flores of being responsible for the missing cats and no longer trusts him to work as a volunteer. Kale is devastated at being blamed for something he didn’t do. With the help of two friends, he sets on a quest to find the cats and to clear his name. They search the town with few clues to go on, consulting with some colorful senior citizens along the way.

       The answer Kale finds to the vanishing cats is more complicated than he ever imagined. Kale wants to save his reputation and return to work at the shelter, but to do that someone will have to betray an old friend. Will the cost be too high?


The Catnapper Mystery is contemporary fiction and is appropriate for kids from about 8 to 12 years. If you know a reluctant reader, all three books from the Sassafras House series could help keep their nose in a book for weeks. Find them in paperback or ebook. Reviews are always appreciated.

Book 1            The Legend of Sassafras House

Book 2            Treasure in Catclaw Canyon

Book 3            The Catnapper Mystery

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7/17/21

Attack of the Gnats

I've always been a choice target for mosquitos, but this week, instead of mosquitos, I've been attacked by gnats. Every time I sit down and open my laptop, the little critters join me. I've swatted and slapped, trying to keep them away from me, but they have persisted. When one bit me on the back of the neck, I started researching ways to annihilate them.

The experts on the subject recommended attracting them with a container of vinegar. The theory is that the scent will entice them, then when they come around to explore they are supposed to drown themselves. It sounded believable to me, but the gnats didn't fall for it. Not a single gnat took a dip in my vinegar. 

The next suggestion I read about was to put out sticky insect traps. The reasoning is the swarm of gnats will fly inside and get stuck in the glue. I put two of the traps out nearby, but the gnats avoided them. I caught nothing. None of the gnats were interested in death by glue.

Another idea put forward is to place a lighted candle in a dish of water and turn off the lights. The expected outcome is that the flame will attract the gnats to the dish, then while they're dazzled by the fire they dive in the water and drown. I'm not sure who came up with the notion, but gnats are not as interested in drowning themselves as the experts believe. Not a single gnat took a dip in the water, however, I did find that two of them met their demise while swimming in the hot candle wax, so I considered that experiment a small success. Even so, I still wanted to find a way to defeat them en masse.

Quite by accident, I discovered the best way to exterminate the little demons with no effort. When my water cup needed a refill, I removed the lid and found three of them floating in the last half-inch of water. There was no scent or flame to entice them, but there they were, belly-up in the water I'd been drinking. The nightmare realization was that there had probably been many more in the cup before I drank all the water. I think the gnats were on to me and my efforts to wipe them out. The evil little varmints sacrificed themselves to poison me.

The good news is I discovered an effective way to get rid of gnats. When all else fail, swallow them.




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7/15/21

Sassafras Series Book 3: The Catnapper Mystery

The Sassafras series will soon add book 3 to the collection. The Catnapper Mystery will be released shortly. I'm excited about this installment of the series, and I hope my middle-grade readers will be as well. This book will appeal to students who like to read mystery and adventure stories in grades 3 through 6.

Kale and Jasmine are back. The two friends love a mystery, as you already know if you've read about the search for the lost treasure in The Legend of Sassafras House or about the stolen treasure map in Treasure in Catclaw Canyon.

In this adventure they try to unravel a mystery that Kale fears will ruin his reputation. A reputation is what other people think about you, whether it is based on true facts or based on what someone says about you, which might not be true at all.

Kale and Jasmine are volunteers at the Sassafras Animal Shelter, and they have some new friends you will meet in this story. Everyone at the shelter becomes tangled up in the mystery. Kale's cat, Treasure, is also back, and, as always, she will be there to help Kale as he tries to sort out the puzzle pieces of another mystery.

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