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Thursday, December 2, 2010


Our Book Club Friday guest today is author Jenny Gardiner. Jenny doesn’t write mysteries, but she does write very funny books, including the award-winning SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER. The book she’s going to tell you about today is quite timely, given the gluttony of last week. I also invited Jenny to be a guest at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers because we have something in common: At Casa Pollack, we have Ralph, the Shakespeare quoting parrot, while Jenny lives with Graycie, the killer parrot. Jenny has chronicled her life with Graycie in the recently released WINGING IT: A MEMOIR OF CARING FOR A VENGEFUL PARROT WHO'S DETERMINED TO KILL ME and is offering a copy to one of our readers who posts a comment to the blog this week. Read more about Jenny and excerpts from her books at her website. -- AP 

Thank you for allowing me to visit today, Anastasia. I really appreciate it! I am so excited to talk about my novel, SLIM TO NONE, which I released digitally and is now also available on Amazon through print on demand.

SLIM TO NONE is a story near and dear to my heart. Like probably every female out there with a heartbeat and a stomach pooch, I have been on the dieting treadmill since I was oh, born. Well, wait, I guess after I started walking. It was then that I knew I needed to stop cramming down the Froot Loops my mother kept insisting was the only thing I would eat, and instead turn to steel-cut oats direct from Ireland for the best proper nutrition.

Alas, Froot Loops won the day, over and over again. In my omnipresent dietary smack-down between Brussels sprouts and Fluffernutter sandwiches, the latter prevails every time. And with that has been the roller coaster of dieting and hating to diet and then never having pants that fit and a closet full of awesome clothes collecting dust that I really ought to just purge and give to someone thinner and more deserving, but instead I hold out mournful hope that I again will jam my fat ass into a size 6 pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (yes, friends, it has been that long).

With that albatross secured snugly around my neck, I decided to tackle the ups and downs of this way of life in a novel—and decided upon a foodie for whom food had to become the enemy. I loved the idea of taking someone who has to eat for a living, then not be able to eat, in order to continue to be able to eat for a living. Such a quandary! And then of course I wanted to pile her up with all sorts of issues that she has to overcome.

Here's a blurb about the book:

In SLIM TO NONE, Abbie Jennings is Manhattan's top food critic until her expanding waistline makes staying incognito at restaurants impossible. Her cover blown on Page Six of the New York Post, her editor has no choice but to bench her—and suggest she use the time off to bench-press her way back to anonymity. Abbie’s life has been built around her career, and therefore around celebrating food. Forced to drop the pounds if she wants her primo gig back, Abbie must peel back the layers of her past and confront the fears that have led to her current life.

I also released another book digitally just a few weeks ago: OVER THE FALLS. Here’s the blurb about it:

Mary Kate Dupree has been spinning her wheels for too long. Trapped in an abusive marriage to an overbearing good ol’ boy, she finally decides break the cycle when she heads out to pick up her husband's dry cleaning and instead picks up a handsome hitchhiker. They impulsively set off on a road trip of self-discovery, peeling away layers of their dark pasts en route to Niagara Falls, but once there will they take the leap?

 Both SLIM TO NONE and OVER THE FALLS sound like fun books, Jenny! And I know from having read WINGING IT that it’s a hoot! Readers, if you’d like a chance to win a copy of WINGING IT, don’t forget to post a comment. Check back Sunday to see if you’re the lucky winner. -- AP


Jenny Gardiner said...

thanks for having me visit Lois! Love the blog!

Caridad Pineiro said...

Thanks for sharing about your recent releases. What made you decide to go with digital releases first for SLIM TO NONE and OVER THE FALLS?

Jill McCullough said...

Hi Jenny -- Based on your wonderful website (and the great blurb), I just bought SLIM TO NONE for my Kindle. I have a pastry chef/foodie friend who would probably also like it, but she has a Nook. Any idea when it will be available on the Nook?

WINGING IT looks great too. Is it appropriate for all ages? It sounds like something my kids might enjoy. (Is that a picture of Graycie in your header? Beautiful bird!)

Have a great weekend! I enjoyed the post and reading more about you and your books. (My DH and I are Penn Staters too. Go Nittany Lions!)

Mollie Bryan said...

As soon as I get my Kindle, I'm getting Slim to None AND over the Falls. Great to see you featured here, Jenny! What an interesting blog!

Donna / The Book Breeze said...

Enjoyed the update on your books. I'm reaching for my Kindle now.

Jenny Gardiner said...

thanks you guys for stopping by and for your support! Jill--thanks for trying Slim to None and good news is it is available on Nook too--I failed to mention that (it started out with exclusive on Amazon) and the good news guys is it's also available in book form on amazon so anyone can get old of it now ;-).
Caridad, I just figured it was nearing the right time for digital back in the early spring, was a little worried it was a bit premature, and then wham, so many people started putting things up digitally. I really think (*if* anyone has money to buy gifts this year) this year will be a big year for e-readers for holiday gifts--prices have come down so much and there is so much competition between Kindle, Nook and iPad that it's just going to be that much better for the consumer.
I am a huge convert to digital reading. I reallllly hate that it marginalizes small local bookstores, but I love that it cuts back dramatically on paper waste at least. The convenience is amazing--I mean I am a packrat but the number of times I have been lugging a purse wondering why it was so heavy only to find 3 books in it and now I carry hundreds of books in one little package.

Jenny Gardiner said...

ps Go Nittany Lions ;-)

jeff7salter said...

Both books have terrific concepts.
Just a word about dieting: I've been blessed with a constitution which kept me 'skinny' up until my 30s ... and has allowed me to keep (more-or-less) proportioned as I approach 60.
Not bragging ... just setting the stage for my real comment.
My wife and daughter have faced that roller-coaster weight gain-&-loss situation. So, when they're on their diets, I eat whatever they eat and don't whine. [In fact, my wife makes a cabbage soup that I really enjoyed ... but the ingredients cost about $25!]
I snack discreetly and keep all my goodies in my study ... our of their sights and minds.
So, even though I haven't had precisely the struggle you describe, I want you to know that I have been very supportive of their efforts and praise their 'numbers' as the pounds come off.

Unknown said...

Slim to None sounds like something I can relate to, and as for Winging It, I've always wanted a parrot. Maybe I should read the book before making the commitment.

Maria Geraci said...

Jenny, the new book sounds terrific! I've been meaning to get Winging It for my mother-in-law for Christmas. She has an evil (yes, she's evil) parrot named Miss Marple, who only my mother-in-law loves;)

Elk Grove blogger said...

I would like to engross myself in reading "WINGING IT".

Jenny Gardiner said...

maria Miss Marple is a hilarious name for a parrot. You DEFINITELY need to get that for her--anyone w/ an evil parrot will love it! And anyone thinking about getting one, Shirley, must read it! Seriously--it is a cautionary tale ;-)

Anonymous said...

Slim to None sounds like a great read but it is Winging It that has really caught my fancy. At my November senior center meeting we discussed books about animals. Now I have a new title for them at the December meeting.

Helen Kiker

Jenny Gardiner said...

It would be a great read for your senior center--great for all ages!

Anonymous said...

These sound hilarious! And I love parrots! One of my parakeets did try to kill me once.



I want to thank Jenny Gardiner for joining us today at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers and for offering a copy of WINGING IT to one of our readers who posts a comment this week. Be sure to check back on Sunday to see who the winner is.