Book: Slim to None and Winging It
I met Jenny Gardiner online in a chick-lit yahoo chat group that was awesome when it was going strong. So many terrific writers bonded through that group who were not published authors but persevered and stayed true to their talents, and Jenny was one of them. Today she’s offering up
Winging It was a last minute surprise even to me! I thought we only had Slim to None for you guys, but Jenny just emailed me and said to go ahead and throw in Winging It too, which is a Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me (Think Marley and Me with a deadly beak!)
Slim to None:
What woman doesn’t have a love-hate relationship with food? I see you all shaking your head in agreement! In Slim to None, for Abbie Jennings, food is her life. She’s a food critic, and a fairly large one at that. When she’s outed on Page Six of the New York Post, her editor suggests she lose some weight or lose her job – you can’t be a food critic and be recognized around town. It’s time for Abbie to “peel back the layers of her past and confront the fears that have led to her current life.”
Read the First Chapter: Slim to None
Like many new bird owners, Jenny and Scott Gardiner hoped for a smart, talkative, friendly companion. Instead, as they took on the unexpected task of raising a curmudgeonly wild African gray parrot and a newborn, they learned an important lesson: parrothood is way harder than parenthood.
A gift from Scott's brother who was living in Zaire, Graycie arrived scrawny, pissed-off, and missing a lot of her feathers -- definitely not the Polly-wants-a-cracker type the Gardiners anticipated. Every day became a constant game of chicken with a bird that would do anything to ruffle their feathers. The old adage about not biting the hand that feeds you -- literally -- never applied to Graycie.
But Jenny and Scott learned to adapt as the family grew to three children, a menagerie of dogs and cats, and, of course, Graycie. In this laugh-out-loud funny and touching memoir, Jenny vividly shares the many hazards of parrot ownership, from the endless avian latrine duty and the joyful day the bird learned to mimic the sound of the smoke detector, to the multiple ways a beak can pierce human flesh. Graycie is a court jester, a karaoke partner, an unusual audio record of their family history, and, at times, a nemesis. But most of all, she has taught the family volumes about tolerance, going with the flow, and realizing that you can no sooner make your child fit into a mold than you can turn a wild parrot into a docile house pet. Winging It is an utterly engrossing reminder of the importance of patience, loyalty, and humor when it comes to dealing with even the most unpleasant members of the family.
Jenny Gardiner is also the author of the award-winning novel SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER (what happens after the Happily Ever After when a woman who married Mr. Right wakes up to realize he’s become Mr. Always right – coming to e-books soon), Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me, OVER THE FALLS and a contributor to the upcoming humorous dog-lovers anthology, I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship*. Which, if you are a dog lover, YOU WILL WANT TO MAKE SURE TO GET THIS ONE WHEN IT COMES OUT!
Her work has been found in Ladies Home Journal, the Washington Post and on NPR’s Day to Day. She likes to say she honed her fiction writing skills while working as a publicist for a US Senator. She lives in Virginia with her husband, three kids, two dogs, one cat, one rabbit, and a gregarious parrot.
*I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP is an anthology of funny dog stories put together by the hilarious memoirist Wade Rouse. The book, published by NAL/Penguin and to be released in September, features some 11 New York Times bestselling authors, two Emmy award-winners and a Tony award-winner. Some proceeds will go to Humane Society of the US as well as designated animal charities chosen by contributing authors. Authors featured (besides Wade and Jenny Gardiner include): Chelsea Handler; Carol Leifer; Merrill Markoe (who created Stupid Pet Tricks and co-created Late Night with David Letterman); Jeff Marx (Tony-winning creator of Avenue Q); comic/actor Alec Mapa, Jane Green, Beth Harbison, Rita Mae Brown, Jill Conner Browne, Jen Lancaster, Bruce Cameron, Stephanie Klein, Annabelle Gurwitch, Caprice Crane, Bruce Cameron and Laurie Notaro.
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