J R Hardin

Children's Books

Author Profile

J R Hardin

J.R. (Randy) Hardin was born in Rome, Georgia, attended Berry College, and has lived in either Georgia or North Carolina all his life. He currently resides in Gainesville, Georgia. A true Southern writer, J.R.'s books are flavored with the unique characters and settings of the South.

Books

The Golden Chime Mermaid and The Silver-Scaled Merman

Children's Books

Tinkle, a Golden-Chime Mermaid and the protector of the underwater city of Gold Chime, is losing her power. So the city will stay safe, she must pass on her abilities to the young Golden-Chime Mermaid, Twinkle. But Twinkle has been captured by the evil warlock, Grim. The city needs a hero to rescue the young mermaid, but for twenty years no hero has appeared. As time is running out, a young silver-scaled merman named Dart arrives to undertake the task. Dart must find the mermaid and free her from the large sea serpent that is guarding her. In order to free her, he must complete several quests. With every task Dart undertakes he faces more and more unexpected dangers, and he only has ten days to complete the quest before the old Golden-Chime Mermaid loses all her power.

Book Bubbles from The Golden Chime Mermaid and The Silver-Scaled Merman

Naming the female leprechauns.

Dart gave the leprechauns bubblegum. When leprechauns blow big bubbles they float up in the air. When the bubbles began to burst it was easier to describe who was falling into who when the leprechauns had names. A second reason for naming them was my aunt Jeanie and her three friends wanted to be in one of my books. So I made them Leprechauns. In another book That I'm doing rewrites on they're chimpanzees. I never told them that they would be humans In my books.

A merman learns to respect gravity

I had my merman fall several times after he acquired feet and began to walk on land. He had to learn to fear falling from great heights to complete his quest. Mermen don't have a fear of falling because they swim everywhere and never fall underwater. Dart has to travel a narrow trail up the side of a volcano to retrieve the magic trident. He needs the trident to fight the sea serpent guarding the gold-chime mermaid.

How do dolphins sleep

A dolphin is an air breathing mammal, which means they need to sleep. When I researched how they slept without drowning I found out that they shut down half their brain. They enter a semi-conscious state while they sleep. That way they're alert to danger and they know when to surface for air.

The Further Adventures of Koko and Moochee

Children's Books

"Koko and Moochee are once again in danger from their old nemesis Stewart. Stewart is fleeing the scene of a robbery when he spots the two dogs being walked. The thief vows to put an end to Koko and Moochee for sending him to prison for two years. The dogs are chased from their home when Stewart and his two bungling henchmen try to abduct them. Koko and Moochee are lost in the woods with no food or shelter and bad men searching for them. The dogs realize the only way they can be safe again is to send Stewart back to prison. But how are they going to capture the thieves and recover the stolen jewels? The dogs are aided by an unexpected friend in the form of a Siamese cat named Tango. Tango finds the dogs amusing and enjoys the excitement from hanging around with Koko and Moochee. The story is an action packed adventure filled with suspense and comic situations. "

Book Bubbles from The Further Adventures of Koko and Moochee

Koko's passing

Last month I felt it was time to have my little dog, Koko, put to sleep. Koko had lived eighteen years, give or take a few months, and could barely get around. His vision was gone and his back legs wouldn't support him more than a minute or two. Koko also had stomach cancer. The vet kept telling I should end my little dog's life. It was the hardest decision I I've ever made. I like to think that Koko and my wife, Bobbie, are together again in heaven.

A simple plan of action goes wrong.

In my books I have some plans work perfectly and some go wrong. I feel that if everything always goes as planned it makes for a dull story. This plan worked fine the first time but the second time the crooks were ready for them. When a plan goes wrong it complicates the story. Koko and Tango will have to forget about the jewels for now and devise a plan to rescue Moochee.

Plans often go wrong.

Koko, Moochee and Tango work out a plan to recover the stolen jewels. Everything was going as planned until Stewart and Benny did something unexpected. Moochee was captured by the crooks. I have some plans work and others go wrong in all my books. I feel if the plans always work perfectly it makes for a dull story.

comic bad guys

In this sequel to the ADVENTURES OF LITTLE DOG KOKO, the dogs are facing their old nemesis, Stewart. Stewart has a couple of bungling henchmen helping him. Three bad men were trying to hurt two small dogs. I wanted some comic relief to break the tension for my young readers.

The Kudzu Monster Trilogy

Children's Books

Kalvin the Kudzu Monster lives in the forests of North Georgia where he and his friends work together to protect the forest and woodland creatures from natural disasters, sinister gangsters, and evil creatures that want to take over the forest. It's a tough job because there is always something or someone wanting to mess with their peaceful forest and the creatures who live there. But Kalvin and his friends are up to the task, even though at times, the challenges are harrowing, and their success is uncertain.

Book Bubbles from The Kudzu Monster Trilogy

Why did I add bad monsters like the creepers.

Most of my books are for young people between the ages of eight and twelve. The kudzu monster books are a little more intense. These books are written for people between the ages of ten and fourteen. There is very little that can injure or kill a kudzu monster. I felt an invasion of evil monsters would be a real threat to the kudzu monsters. A single creeper isn't much of a danger to a grown kudzu monster unless it's the creeper queen, but the kudzu monsters are outnumbered by more than thirty to one.

An earthern dam breaks

A lot of the things I put in my books are based on past events. I modeled this dam breaking from a Georgia dam giving away in 1977. After heavy rains, the Kelly Barnes Dam developed a break that allowed around 24,000 cubic feet of water per second to rush downstream. Houses, trailers and cars were destroyed, along with two college buildings and two bridges. But the worst part was the death of thirty-nine people. The Kelly Barnes Dam and the Barnes Lake are much larger than the lake and dam in my story. But my kudzu monster was trying to prevent possible deaths and injuries.

Kudzu monsters are our friends.

In the southeastern portion of the United States millions of acres are covered in kudzu vines. Because kudzu vines grow nearly twenty meters long and as rapidly as a foot a day in the summer, trees can be covered in the vines. The vine covered trees took on weird and spooky shapes. When my son was very young I told him the vine covered trees were kudzu monsters. When we took a car trip my son, Shane, would look for the monsters. He'd shout out when he spotted a monster and I'd ask if it was coming after us. He'd peek out the windows and often report that he thought it was still watching us but it wasn't after us. The fun we had looking for kudzu monsters is why I decided to write stories about a family of friendly kudzu monsters.

A dangerous cave

This cave really exist. People were warned to stay out of the cave because of falling rocks and deep crevices. Despite the warning my older brother and I explored the cave several times. The last time we went into the cave was in 1958 when I was fourteen years old. We went back the next week and discovered the cave entrance had been sealed with several tons of cement.

The Adventures of Little Dog Koko

Children's Books

For the first three years of his life, Koko, a small breed of dog called a Shih Tzu, lived with a little old lady he called Mama. One day Mama became very sick and was taken to the hospital. She left a large sum of money to her great nephew, Stewart, to take care of Koko if something should happen to her. But when she passed away, Stewart abandoned Koko in a park. This is the story of how Koko was suddenly forced to tackle life on his own -- with no food, water, or shelter. He met lots of dangers along the way, like mean dogs, vicious coyotes, scary dogcatchers, and even life-threatening injuries. Sometimes Koko made friends, but, as time went by, it began to look like nobody would ever give him a good home...

Book Bubbles from The Adventures of Little Dog Koko

Bobbie's dog.

I selected part of the introduction. I would have liked to have added the back cover of my book because it had my wife's picture on it holding Koko and standing next to me. My wife, Bobbie, was the one who first wanted Koko, so I felt her picture should be on the book. Koko adored Bobbie and followed her around the house. Whenever Bobbie was in the bathroom, Koko was resting outside the door. The little dog didn't want to go for a walk without her. Bobbie passed away four years before my book was published. She never saw any of my books in print. It made me feel good to have her picture on the Koko books.

My first dog and my last dog

Scratchy was my first dog. I grew up with Scratchy. I got him when I was around five and he passed away when I was eighteen. Scratchy was a mix breed and was a medium sized dog. He slept outside year round and did pretty good to live thirteen years. Koko will be my last dog. I have too many problems walking to get another dog. Koko was around five years old when my wife and I adopted him in September of 2001. The little dog was very thin and had one eye missing. He was closer to my wife than to me but GOD called her home nearly seven years ago. Next September Koko will be eighteen years old. Give or take three months.

friendship

The dog Moochee is based on my son's dog Mushu. Koko and Mushu have lived together several times over the years and have been friends for nearly thirteen years. Both dogs are shelter dogs so we don't know exactly when they were born, but Mushu will be around fourteen years old in July and Koko will be around eighteen in September. Both dogs have taken up for each other when there was trouble. Mushu protected Koko from a dog that kept knocking the little dog down and Koko jumped on a large cat that was stalking Mushu. Koko got the worst of the fight.

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