Friday, October 12, 2012

The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt

A big welcome to the fabulous, Jen Tucker. She'll have your busting a gut in no time with her wonderful novels - The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and her newest novel The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt.

Let's dive into the fun! 

1.      What ridiculous shenanigans do we get to embark on next? Lord knows if panties are on the table first there are darker secrets hiding in your laundry basket.

I sense that I am among friends and it’s safe to tell you, right?  I seem to have these ridiculous days when my husband, Mike, leaves on long business trips.  The shenanigans find me!  I pinkie promise I do not go looking for them.  I had a dentist try to tell my three kids had a total of seven cavities, ants invaded my kitchen, and my dogs decided it would be a great day feast on ant traps.  I also shared my “party trick” in the new book and recalled meeting Grammy award winning rocker, Seal, in Las Vegas.  That weekend was one you will want to live vicariously through me.  

2.      With Halloween around the corner, what's the most ridiculous costume you'd wear if you knew you could get away with it?


Oh wow!  Honestly, I think I’d like to be a giant piece of pizza, or a Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Cream Pie.  One year I dressed up like Cruella DeVille and scared the pants off the neighborhood kids.   *Jen snickers*      

3.      Are you one who enjoys the holidays because you enjoy your family time or because you expect a ton of good stories to be told and you'll have your nancy drew hat on investigating what to write about next?

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  You scare me how well you know me!  Mike and I just took our buddy, Ben, a Purdue University student, to dinner.  I adore him!  He’s like the son I never had while I was 21 years old.  We wanted to spend time with him, but yes I had ulterior motives.  Ben has THE BEST stories about things that have happened to him in his 20 little years on the planet.  SIDEBAR: I cannot tell you details now, but you will see Ben on a wildly popular reality show this fall.  I’ll be sure to give you a heads up about it when I can.  Anywho…after Mike and I parted ways with him, I got in the car, buckled up, and said, “I’m totally using that crazy birdbath story in my new book!”  No one is safe from Jen Tucker…  No one! 

So back to my Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson issues, right?  I love the holidays!  It’s about cheesy sweaters, double dipping in the ranch dressing with your veggies, and too much eggnog.  If something interesting happens, in my presence, between the pumpkin pie and mistletoe months, it’s fair game fodder.

4.      If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
Let’s go take a photo!  I’ll show you the inside and outside.  It’s like a two-fer!

On the outside, we have some crazy photo booth wedding pics starring me, hubs, Gracie, and my BFF, Nancy.  You will also find a painting by Gracie titled Pancake Daddy, and a drawing she made in kindergarten featuring her and her boyfriend, Matt Lau-wee (Lauer) just to name a few little goodies.  On the inside, you will find some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray, left over mac & cheese, and Gracie’s Hello Kitty cup with this morning’s milk inside.  My fridge leads an exciting life.

5.      Do you wear pants while you work?

Much to my husband’s chagrin, I do wear pants.  Poor fella.  They are usually of the yoga or denim variety.

Quick Five

1. Princess or Wicked Witch – Princess with wicked tendencies J

2. Pumpkin Spice Latte or Hot Carmel Apple Cider – I gotta go Hot Carmel Apple Cider.

3. Rain boots or Snow boots – Ugh, the pressure!  If I could have Gracie’s Hello Kitty boots in my size, I’d go rain boots for some serious puddle jumping.  I love my Uggs though, and cannot betray them.

4. Chocolate cake or Cheesecake – That’s kind of like asking me to choose between my children, JJ!

5. Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard – I love going to the apple orchard where we hop on a hayride to the pumpkin patch.  See, you can have it all!  Thank you, JJ, for letting me pop over, Red Rover.  I had a blast XOXO 

Jen Tucker has never met a gluten free cupcake that she didn’t like.  A former teacher and educator, she has worked with children in school, hospital, and enrichment settings. In her years at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, it was Jen’s job to bring the “hands on fun” into the visiting exhibitions in the galleries.  Jen broke away from writing children’s books and thematic units in 2011 with her memoir, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out which was a semifinalist in the humor category in the 2011 Goodreads Book Awards. She is a monthly guest blogger at the website, Survival for Blondes where she marries humor with preparedness. Jen lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband, Mike, and their three children. 
You can purchase (AND SHOULD) Jen’s latest book, The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt, here.  You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, her blog or on her website at Princess with a Pen. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

One Boy, No Water

Another guest post by another amazing author at Jolly Fish Press. I love featuring writers who have a passion for writing as much as we do! I'll let her take it away!!

One Boy, No Water Finds One Home, No Shibai

Some of life’s most momentous events turn on the smallest of things, like already wearing mascara or where you sit in a room.

I’d just scrapped 80,000 words of an unfinished adult novel, set in Hawaii with a lot of Pidgin dialogue, in favor of creating a self-published YA/MG series based on the same characters, when I heard that Jolly Fish Press was speaking that night at our local writers’ group. Chagrined that I hadn’t attended in years, but hoping to pick up a tip or two and figuring I was already dressed, I headed out the door.

The presentations were good, but I was listening with self-publishing ears. Trapped in a corner, I couldn’t sneak out without disturbing everyone. I was wondering about a back door when Christopher Loke, JFP Executive Editor, announced he wanted to hear about our books.

I quit fiddling with my keys and focused on what everyone said, adjusting what I planned to say based on Chris’s responses. I took a deep breath and pitched the series. I felt like I fumbled and stumbled since I was still in the process of creating the story and identifying the audience. My jaw hit the floor when he thoughtfully said, “I can sell that. I can definitely sell that. I’d like to see it.”

I tried to shrug it off since he’d only heard, not read, but it niggled enough that I sent off a submission package expecting it to be rejected. (Pidgin? Really?) Some feedback and a nice note was all I hoped for.

Two weeks later, when Jolly Fish Press asked for exclusivity and whole manuscript, I didn’t believe it. I actually called Chris to ask him why. He laughed, then described his vision for the books, the audience he wanted to reach, and how he would put the books in their hands. I finally began to understand that he believed in me and these books far more than I did myself—he saw greater things for this series than I ever imagined. A week later I signed a five-book deal with Jolly Fish Press for the Niuhi Shark Saga. It hasn’t slowed since!

Lehua Parker is the author of the highly anticipated ONE BOY, NO WATER, book one in the Nuhui Shark Saga. It tells the story of a boy who was found on a reef near the shores of Hawaii. Plagued by a strange allergy to, ironically, water, Zader must learn to not only come to terms with who he is, but what he is. ONE BOY, NO WATER is available as an eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover through all major online retailers and local bookstores near you. Visit to take the first step into a world of Hawaiian legend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happiness comes in small packages

Happy Wednesday everyone. It's been awhile since I've shared any updates of my own. With my current illness issues, a back log of ALL the requests from Guest Bloggers (you have not been forgotten), and writing I'm maxed out. However I'm not here to talk to anyone about that today.

Today is all about adoption.

For those of you who are not aware, November is National Adoption Month. I plan on making a few shirts through Vista Prints so that in a few weeks should you decide to sport a shirt your state you can! It's been a very long experience but it's important to stay positive and so far it's paid off.

Last week we were offered an opportunity from a potential birth mother. She's happy, healthy, and was adopted herself. She is exactly what Trevor and I look for to add to our family.

This is the hard part. We don't know if she feels the same way... yet.

Our opportunity book was sent over and this week it is up to her to decide what families she thinks would make a good home for her child. We hope that it is ours, however we need to keep our head up high.

Our adoption agency lives by two mantras...

1. If they thought how we thought, they wouldn't be in this situation.
2. If this family does not accept you that means it is not your baby.

Now in real time these are not as easily acceptable but as time continues to pass you begin to understand just what they mean. My hubby and I are coping how we know but for now we are EXCITED to share that we are at least in the running for this birth mother. We hope she chooses us and I hope in the next coming weeks I get to tell you that we're expecting. But for now, we are hopefully in love with the thought of having a baby next February.

Monday, October 1, 2012

From Pigtails to Chin Hairs; A Memoir & More

The fabulous Becky Povich decided to stop by and share her love of writing! Here she is!
Although I proclaimed for years that I wanted to be a writer, I never did anything about it. It was much easier to say I wanted to write, but I just didn't have the time. That way, I couldn't possibly be a failure. It was just a dream and didn't seem like a practical one. (Practical dreams? Isn't that an oxymoron?!)

Looking back, I realize I actually wrote a great deal all through my life. I just didn't look at it that way. As a young girl, I had several pen pals and I loved composing my letters to them. As I grew up and moved from home, I wrote to family and friends. One year I surrendered and decided it wasn't tacky to write the Generic Christmas Letter. That very first one got rave reviews. Hmm, maybe I'd stumbled onto something here!

A few years later, I was the drapery coordinator at a large company. I took it upon myself to type newsletters to the sales and customer service departments. I loved the challenge of making the letters informative, interesting, and humorous. At times, I received compliments, yet it never occurred to me that
this was writing, this was something I was good at, this was something exciting and rewarding.

Then in May of 2001, my estranged father became very ill and was near death. The emotions that came over me were so powerful and unexpected I felt the need to write about them. I sat down at my desk and the words just flowed out of me and onto the keyboard. A writer was born.

That story was accepted by a local newspaper for their guest opinion column, and eventually by Chicken Soup for the Soul. I fall asleep every night and wake up every morning, thinking about nothing else: Writing! I can't even remember what I used to do or think about all the time…..oh, I guess it was probably housework… please don't ever stop by unannounced!
Becky is currently finishing her memoir, "From Pigtails to Chin Hairs; A Memoir & More." It's both poignant and humorous anecdotes about her life, some from the recent past, therefore the "& More" part of the title. Becky can be found at and her e-mail is