Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell: Blog Tour & Giveaway

Monday, September 11, 2023


Just in time for the holiday season, author Raven Howell joins us again for another fun blog tour. Her book Santa's Slip Up is perfect for a young reader interested in a bit of spookiness, mystery, and humor. Continue reading to find out more about the author and her book. Plus, you'll have a chance to win a copy for yourself.

First, here's a bit more about the book:

It’s the night of Halloween. Spooks, spiders, and skeletons abound, the full moon glows – so who is cheering, “Ho, ho, ho!”? Apparently, Santa Claus has come to town, though it’s the wrong time of year! But what could be a bad situation, is wittingly handled with humor, and there’s a new winner at this year’s Halloween parade.

For fans of Room on the Broom and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.

Publisher: Pen It Publishing
ISBN-10: 1639844635
ISBN-12: 978-1639844630
Print Length: 38 pages

Purchase your copy of Santa's Slip Up on Amazon,, or Barnes and Noble. You can also add it to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, Raven Howell

Raven Howell writes stories and poetry for children. Having published several award-winning picture books, she enjoys sharing her love of literature by visiting classrooms and libraries. Raven is Creative & Publishing Advisor for Red Clover Reader, Poetry Director for Monster Magnificent, and writes The Book Bug column for Story Monsters Ink magazine. Her poems are found in children’s magazines such as Ladybug, Spider, Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty, and Hello Magazine. She’s a Collaborating Author for Reading is Fundamental SoCal and writes storybooks for Reading Gate.

You can find her online at:

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: Thank you for joining us again for another blog tour! Congratulations on your book, Santa's Slip Up. What inspired you to write it?

Raven: Thank you! Originally, one of my publishers was requesting I write a Christmas-oriented story. I started considering not only Christmas, but other holidays. One morning, on an early dawn mountain hike, I thought, what if one symbolic figure from a holiday got mixed up in another holiday?! That kind of story could be really fun to write and read! 

WOW: It's such a brilliant idea! Why do you think children will enjoy this book?

Raven: Growing up, and still to this day, I find there’s something about mystery and spookiness that’s enticing! There’s an adrenaline rush—getting creeped out, but not too much. Ultimately, kids love to be scared!

In Santa’s Slip Up, children can navigate the Halloween plot using their problem-solving capabilities. The reader meets bump in the night creatures and knows something is not right. As Halloween creepies are encountered, it appears they can be eliminated as the cause of some yet unknown mischief...but can we be sure? 

When the reader learns that anyone can make a mistake—and that it’s perfectly fine to do so—it’s great for a child to discover that seeming desperate situations can almost always be turned around with humor and light-heartedness. 

WOW: I love the combination of play with an important lesson. You have such a way of choosing words that capture the sight and sound of the pictures. Can you share insights in your writing process to achieve such beautiful imagery in your words?

Raven: I’m glad that the words in the story are captured in the pictures—that’s a credit to Savannah Horton, the book’s illustrator. She had the text I wrote to create from. 

In the book, there are many Halloween characters the reader encounters. I wanted to explore as many curious ones I could come up with, and kept jotting them down in my notepad as they popped into my imagination. 

First, you have to include the black cat, right? It’s such a wonderful Halloween icon, like a witch. I added ghosts, and ghouls, and I know it freaks some people out, but the scary clown just had to make it into the storyline. Ha! 

As the narrative grew, my goal was to also capture that time of year where the leaves are brown and crunchy and tumbling about in a cool breeze. The moon shines brighter among bare treetops and you start hearing strange autumn sounds in the evenings. Skeletons are creaky, their bones clanking. Owls have that haunting hoot they echo, and let’s face it—zombies “ramble and twitch.” That helped determine the imagery.

WOW: I love the insights into your process. You are an incredibly prolific children's author. For those who desire to write picture books but don't know where to begin, what advice do you have?

Raven: Make sure when ideas come to you, write them down immediately. That’s so important to do as a starting point. Are you riding the subway and suddenly think of a great story about a child moving to the big city? Maybe you’re relaxing at the beach on vacation, and you’re inspired by the seagulls, and come up with a funny plot about two gulls fighting over a sandwich. Then write it down somewhere, somehow, even if that’s on your phone’s Note app (what I do a lot!) or with a pen on the back of a napkin you have in your handbag.

When you’ve written down your idea, start flushing it out. You need an exciting or enticing intro, characters need development, environment needs explaining and if it’s non-fiction, get your facts straight and do lots of research. Figure out your angle. Is it going somewhere? If the writing of it becomes too tedious, put it aside and try working on it later, or choose another idea.

As you’re moving forward, figuring things out, don’t hesitate to ask others lots of questions—from librarians to other published authors. And keep writing, even if it’s irrelevant to your picture book. Just writing, in and of itself, instigates more writing and is helpful in so many ways you may not be aware of.

WOW: Excellent tips! How do you know when you've written a picture book that will resonate with children?

Raven: As an author, it’s impossible to predict how your book will be perceived and resonate with readers ahead of its release to the public. I’ve been writing full time as a children’s author in various formats for three decades now. The children I wrote for in 1999 are not the children, the generation of children, I write for today. The world moves forward in social, economic, environmental, technological—in all—ways. It’s a matter of adjusting to what’s relevant today. I think THAT’S what I find resonates with children. For instance, STEM activities associated with stories and books are popular now. That wasn’t a prominent aspect back in the 90s. 

I have two older books that were out of print, and in the past couple of years I updated them—both the text and illustrations, to be befitting to today’s elementary classrooms and to what’s popular in libraries. And it worked! Both books were picked up for publication, published, and are a popular request in my story times now (the books are Spin a Circle and Seasons).

WOW: That's amazing how you learned how to update your books with the times! What are you working on next that you can tell us about?

Raven: I’ll be busy in children’s fairs, schools, and libraries, reading and sharing my books and activities with students this fall and winter. I have several new upcoming releases: Pinkies Up, The Charms of U.S. Farms, and Loved. They are all very different. One is about a whimsical tea party gone wild, another is about a class trip to local farms and the interesting things the students experience and find out about, and Loved shares the unconditional love between parent and child in prose. 

The best part of being a children’s author for me is truly connecting with the children themselves. And giving a reader a smile.

WOW: You always do, too! Thank you for joining us again! I hope you enjoy the tour.

Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell Blog Tour

--- Blog Tour Calendar

September 11th @ The Muffin
Join us at WOW as we celebrate the launch of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. Get to know more about the author in our interview with her and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

September 11th @ Word Magic
Visit Fiona's blog for a guest post by Raven Howell about black cats. Are they really evil or is it all a myth? Find out! (Fun fact: the author owns one!)

September 12th @ One Writer's Journey
Sue shares a guest post by Raven Howell about the story behind the song "Monster Mash" being too morbid for the radio at first. Don't miss this fascinating post!

September 13th @ Barbara Barth's Art & Words
Join Barbara for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. This is a fun children's book you don't want to miss!

September 15th @ One Writer's Journey
Join Sue again for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You'll love hearing about this charming children's book!

September 17th @ A Wonderful World of Books
Visit Joy's blog for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You can also enter to win a copy of the book too.

September 18th @ Rockin' Book Reviews
Join Lu Ann for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You can also win a copy of the book.

September 20th @ AJ Kormon's blog
Visit AJ Kormon's blog for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You'll want to add this book to your reading list.

September 20th @ Choices
Visit Madeline's blog for a guest post by Raven Howell about the tricks of the trade writing rhyme.

September 22nd @ Chapter Break
Come by Julie's blog for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You'll also have a chance to win a copy for yourself.

September 24th @ Seaside Book Reviews
Don't miss Jilleen's book review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell.

September 25th @ What is That Book About
Visit Michelle's blog to read an excerpt from Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell.

September 26th @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra for her spotlight of Santa's Slip Up. Don't miss this charming book!

September 28th @ Knotty Needle
Don't miss Judy's review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You'll love this charming children's book!

October 1st @ Chatty Patty's Place
Join Patty for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You'll also have the chance to win a copy for yourself, too.

October 3rd @ Writer Advice
Visit Lynn's site for a guest post by Raven Howell about the one thing romance, crime, and religion all have in common (hint: they are the most popular book genre!).

October 5th @ Pick a Good Book
Join Debbie for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. A must-read book for the spooky season!

October 8th @ Jill Sheets' blog
Visit Jill's blog for her interview with author Raven Howell, author of Santa's Slip Up.

October 10th @ Pages and Paws
Visit Kristine's blog for a yummy guest post by Raven Howell that features delicious monster cookies. They are a must-have for the upcoming spooky season!

October 12th @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell. You can also win a copy of the book!

October 15th @ Jill Sheet's blog
Visit Jill's blog for her review of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

Enter to win a copy of Santa's Slip Up by Raven Howell! Fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win. The giveaway ends September 25th at 11:59 PM CT. We will randomly choose a winner the next day and announce in the Rafflecopter form and follow up via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sara said...

Looking forward to this book. I have a great Christmas book collection that I add to every year and read to my seven grandchildren.

Heather Swanson said...

I have the tree up !

kywave said...

Love, love this concept! Kind of a Nightmare Before Christmas for kids

Shelley said...

I love reading with my grandkids and Santa's Slip-up sounds amazing! 📚

dlhaley said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.

Barbara Barth Art And Words said...

Love this book! Story is exciting and illustrations are amazing. Glad to be a part of author's blog tour.

JeannieD said...

This book looks great. It seems to be something that my grand-kids would really enjoy.

AJ said...

This is just spooktacular! Thanks for the chance and for doing this seriously wicked giveaway! Wishing everyone an incredibly wonder-fall season too! Fingers crossed! Good luck all!

Julie Donahue said...

As both a teacher (5th grade) and Mrs. Claus (my husband is a professsional Santa!) I'd love to read this book!

Nancy P said...

Cute cover

Wanda B said...

My grandchildren would just love this.

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