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‘Nugget the Nomad’: La Jolla Realtor publishes her first book to help children cope with struggles

Janet Lawless Christ has published her first book, "Nugget the Nomad," to help children cope with difficult situations.
Janet Lawless Christ has published her first book, “Nugget the Nomad,” to try to help children cope with difficult situations.
(Courtesy)

La Jolla Realtor Janet Lawless Christ has authored her first book, “Nugget the Nomad: Adventures of a Yoga Dog,” which aims to help children cope with difficult situations.

She’s also started her own publishing company with similar books in the works.

“Nugget the Nomad,” published Oct. 16, tells the tale of Nugget, a dog who “loves to go to yoga class with his human mama,” Lawless Christ said. In a scuffle involving Nugget and two other dogs, “Mama got really hurt and had to go to a hospital for a very long time. To stay safe, Nugget had to go to different homes. That was nerve-racking at first,” but eventually Nugget learned to find happiness.

Lawless Christ, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe and works out of the Coldwell Banker office on Prospect Street in La Jolla, said the book is “an organically grown, good news story” inspired by a 2017 incident in which she “was trying to break up a kerfuffle” between two of her rescue dogs.

“They were fine; I flipped over backward and broke my back in two places,” she said.

The injury immobilized Lawless Christ, who was told she may not walk again. She underwent rehabilitation with “lots of complications” and has since healed to normal activity levels.

"Nugget the Nomad" is based on a true story of author Janet Lawless Christ and her dog Diego, nicknamed "Nugget."
“Nugget the Nomad,” released Oct. 16, is based on a true story of author Janet Lawless Christ and her dog Diego, nicknamed “Nugget.”
(Courtesy)

While she recovered, it became necessary for one of her rescue dogs, Diego — whose nickname is “Nugget” — to be temporarily cared for at various homes, which concerned Lawless Christ. “I’m a human mama,” she said, and was upset that her dog had to move around so much.

“A friend … told me ‘Nugget’s a nomad, he’ll be fine,’” she said. “And I thought, ‘That’s a book right there.’” That afternoon in 2018, she said, she wrote “the skeleton of the book,” drawing on her writing experience in marketing and public relations.

Lawless Christ said she “wrote this book just for the family,” indicating her husband, three adult children and two adult stepdaughters, “to put closure to the fact that this very scary thing had happened.”

At the urging of others who read the book, she had it illustrated by Ryan Hernandez, who she said “brought life to the whole story.”

She also decided to start her own publishing company and “lifestyle brand” in 2018, called JoyWorks Networks.

“It’s such a simple concept,” Lawless Christ said of the name. “Anger doesn’t work, fighting doesn’t work, war doesn’t work. Joy works; you just have to find it, you just have to hold onto it, even when it’s really rough.”

JoyWorks Networks also runs e-commerce sites and social outreach “with the same concept of ‘joy works,’” she said. A portion of the proceeds from the company’s endeavors goes to a variety of charities, Lawless Christ said.

Part of the money from sales of “Nugget the Nomad” will go to Thrive Animal Rescue, a local organization that strives to find homes for animals of all ages and situations.

Lawless Christ also hired an educator to craft companion lessons for “Nugget the Nomad” aimed at teachers or parents currently homeschooling children in kindergarten through third grade.

A preschool version of the book is in the works “with a simpler message,” Lawless Christ said, and the book has been translated into Spanish, with four other translations underway.

Lawless Christ is working on other books, with each tale “seen through the eyes of a critter watching a human dilemma,” she said. The second book is “Bizzie the Bee,” set to publish in mid-November, about a bee who tries to listen to music but inadvertently bothers those around her.

A few other stories are in various stages of production, Lawless Christ said.

“Nugget the Nomad” is available for $12.95 at joyworksnetworks.com.