I am honored to have on my blog today
and her book The Gypsy Curse
About the Author
Susan Day is passionate about children’s literature and wants to inspire children to follow their dreams. She created the Astro’s Adventures series and is currently illustrating the seventh book, Neptune’s Trident. Each book Susan creates encourages and promotes the wonderful art of story-telling with organic illustrations and characters that portray similar character traits that the readers’ pets share. Susan shares her home with four dogs, in particular, Rocky, Stella, Alfie and Digger, from the Astro’s Adventures series, three rescue guinea pigs, two bossy cats and a very patient husband.
Social Media Links:http://www.susandayauthor.com/ (free children’s activities)Author Page:
About the Book
A Christmas Calamity: Illustrated & With Spylinks!
by Susan Day
Published December 9th 2013 by Smashwords Edition
Who wouldn’t want a robot that looked exactly like they did? How much fun would it be to go on adventures saving dogs with your robot double? Can we really blame Astro for ruining Christmas then?
Well, yes, actually. Astro thinks that his robot double can be reprogrammed to be good. He is sadly mistaken. After his robot double injures Santa and the reindeer it is up to our brave heroes to save Christmas. Let’s face it, driving a sleigh and giving out presents can’t be that hard surely? But what happens when the sleigh is stolen right from under their very noses? Who is swapping presents and burning Christmas angels? Who would dare to write rude things about Santa using Christmas lights?
And who will eventually save us all from this terrible Christmas Calamity?
In this fun children’s story from the Astro’s Adventures series you’ll meet a young enthusiastic Border collie named Laddie, three very cheeky ducklings and you’ll learn about some of Santa’s secret powers. Joining the fun is our team of heroes, Commander Rocky, Stella D’oro, Alfie, Digger, Indy, Hans, Dingo and of course, Astro – our kind hearted reluctant hero. Not to mention, a guest appearance from Santa Claus himself!
Check out the entire series Astro’s Adventures!
Type of Post: 25 Random Facts
- Susan Day is a trained canine behaviourist
- All the characters in Astro’s Adventures are based on real dogs and cats.
- Susan conducts workshops for children to teach them how to turn their pets into superheros.
- Commander Rocky is a Reading to Dogs program dog and visits schools and libraries with Susan
- The real Speed Bump Charlie was born on Christmas Day
- Susan Day doesn’t own Astro the real dog
- Astro and Alfie are the same size in real life; Rocky is smaller
- The emails that begin the series in The Great Escape were based on real ones exchanged between the author and Astro’s owner.
- The Golden Treasure was written to introduce Susan’s blind dog, Stella D’oro who was only six weeks old when it was started.
- Stop It from Rampaging Rats and Laddie who starred in Christmas Calamity are owned by the author’s daughter and live in the same house.
- It takes double the time to do the illustrations of any book as it does to write and edit it.
- Blinky the Dingo is a real dingo who used to come to Susan’s dog training classes. (He was better behaved then a lot of the dogs!)
- The covers of each book are chosen firstly to reflect the subject and then secondly to complement one another on the bookshelf.
- Stella D’oro was born blind as a result of inbreeding. She was going to be put down by the breeder but Susan rescued her.
- Speed Bump Charlie has his own book called Speed Bump Charlie’s ABC – it’s not for the faint hearted!
- Scrappy in the Gypsy Curse is based on Susan’s husband’s dog. Her real name is Lily but that had to be changed because there is another character called Lily in The Great Escape.
- The Twins from the Great Escape are based on Susan’s other cats, Cookie and Amelia – two tabby sisters.
- The illustrations for the second book, The Golden Treasure, were completed before the ones for the first book, The Great Escape.
- Astro actually did eat the first manuscript of The Great Escape!
- Commander Rocky has written his own book explaining why dogs do the zany things they do.
- Susan wrote her first book when she was 5 years old. She still has it.
- There are plans to write another four books in the Astro’s Adventures series. This will bring the total to 12. However, there’s nothing to say Susan will keep writing; until she runs out of ideas anyway.
- The real Digger, a white and brown terrier, never never gets dirty!
- Susan used to have a blind editor. It was amazing to find out what she ‘heard’ didn’t work as opposed to sighted editors who ‘see’ mistakes.
- Some of Susan’s favourite made up characters are the celebrity dogs in Major Dakota’s Ghost.
A Christmas Calamity!
It was late in the evening and everyone was relaxing. Astro took the robot to the laboratory for the technicians to fix in the morning. It was the same as him. It had the same shaggy grey coat and the same empty expression on its face.
However, it had been a very bad robot and Astro was hoping that it could be reprogrammed to be good. He was hoping that it could join The Organisation and together they could rescue dogs from neglect. The Organisation was secret but it operated all over the world. When a call went out that a dog was being chained or locked in a backyard with no food and no one to look after it The Organisation would rescue it and give the poor creature a nice home.
“Can you imagine you and me, double trouble, rescuing all the neglected dogs?” Astro said to the robot. “Won’t that be fun? People will say, ‘Hey, there goes that handsome dog, Astro, and his robot double!’ And you and I will be the best dog rescuers in the world! We’ll probably get a medal – maybe two!”
stro smiled at his double. “Now, tomorrow morning the lab techs will come in and have a fiddle with your wiring. It won’t hurt, I promise. But in the meantime, I want you to look nice.”
He had borrowed Operative Digger’s brush and was gently combing the long hair over its eyes. Then he began to tidy up its nails using Digger’s diamond encrusted nail file. Lastly, he got a handkerchief out of his pocket and licked it. Then he rubbed the robot’s nose until it shone brightly.
“There you go, handsome!” Astro smiled. “You look so lovely and clean. You’re like the real thing; ME!” he laughed and patted the robot on the shoulder.
“Thank you,” it said.
“You’re welc…” Astro jumped in fright. “You’re not supposed to be able to talk!” he cried. Astro looked around the room frantically for the remote control. “Where is it?” he whimpered. “Did someone leave it down here by mistake? I thought Commander Rocky had locked it safely away in his office!”
Astro turned to the robot. “I’m sure this is just a slight hiccup. Perhaps you’ve got too much battery power left. You can’t really operate and think on your own, can you? I mean, you’re just a robot; albeit a very handsome one!”
Astro smiled nervously and looked at the robot for reassurance.
The robot slowly turned its head and smiled at Astro. “That’s what you think!” it said and it threw its head back and laughed. “Me been waiting for a chance to away from stupid gypsy cat. No more getting bossed around. I am free!!”
Astro fell backwards in shock. “But, you’re just a robot. You’re not supposed to be able to think on your own!”
“Well, surprise! Surprise!” the robot glared at Astro. “You got that wrong, fluffy! I’m out of here. Get out of my way.”
The robot pushed Astro backwards into some shelves and then it crashed through the walls as if they were made of paper. It stepped over the rubble and out into the street.
Astro cried out for help but then he stopped because he heard the familiar sound of Christmas bells ringing.
“Santa?” He followed the robot through the hole in the wall and looked up.
The robot stopped and looked up. It laughed and jumped up into the sky. It grabbed Santa’s sleigh and the whole thing came crashing to the ground including Santa and the reindeer.
“Oh, no!” shouted Astro, “Someone help! HELP!!! Santa Claus is in trouble!”
Hearing his cries the security dogs came running into the room. Behind them Commander Rocky and Hans soon followed. The Operatives came too.
“We saw everything on the security cameras, Astro,” Hans said. “We came as fast as we could.”
The robot turned and laughed. “Merry Christmas!” it cried wickedly stepping over the reindeer and the broken sleigh. Then it started to jog down the road. Within a few seconds it had disappeared entirely.
Astro screamed, “What are we going to do? What are we going to do?”
The dogs helped Santa to his feet. He was groggy and couldn’t stand up on his own. “I don’t think I can go on,” he mumbled. “My head hurts and my reindeer have been injured. How will the children get their presents? What am I going to do?” Santa Claus held his hands to his head and cried.
Alfie began to sob uncontrollably and Digger sniffed back a tear. They clutched each other for comfort.
Astro was still staring straight ahead. He couldn’t believe his robot had caused all this trouble.
Indy and Stella D’oro were quickly checking the reindeer to see how serious their injuries were. They had cuts and bruises and poor Rudolf was limping badly. The vet rushed in and examined his leg. “Looks like a bad bruise, Santa,” she said. “Rudolf will need lots of rest before he’s ready to fly again.”
Rudolf tried to stand up. Two dogs came to help him. He staggered and his head slumped to the ground. His red nose dimmed and flickered.
Everyone stopped and looked at Commander Rocky. He took a deep breath and let out a long sigh. Then he turned to Hans but before he could say anything Hans spoke.
“I know – Assemble the team!” the small dog sighed.
Commander Rocky looked at the dogs that made up his team. “It looks like we are going to have to save Christmas!”
Hans puffed out his chest and drew in a deep breath. “You heard your Commander,” he ordered in a loud voice. “Let’s go to the Conference Room and figure out how to save Christmas!”
The Operatives stood staring at the carnage before them. They were confused and afraid. How were they ever going to save Christmas! What a calamity!!
Astro, our hero, is a grey shaggy dog whose character is based on the life of a real grey shaggy dog named Astro. He was purchased from a pet store and is now six years old. Astro likes to go for long runs at the park with his friends and he especially likes to roll in anything that smells putrid including poop. Thus, he gets lots of baths. He got really fat but his owner put him on a special diet and now he looks very fit. The real Astro and Alfie are best mates and Astro loves playing tug-o-war with the real Stella D’oro. He loves being the star of Astro’s Adventures because he gets to go on some pretty cool adventures.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today to check out this amazing author and her book!
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