≡ Menu

Day 30 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: 3 Adams Media Authors

Today we are featuring three authors from Adams Media courtesy of senior publicist, Adri Cowan. Comment for a chance to win one of these books.

Fixing Freddie: A True story about a Boy, a Single Mom, and the Very Bad Beagle Who Saved Them By Paula Munier

Paula Munier has been a dog person her whole life. Raised by a father with a penchant for Weimaraners, Vizslas, and Great Danes, she got her first dog of her own on her tenth birthday—a black miniature poodle named Rogue. Since then she has shared her life with numerous dogs, cats, fish, and a bearded lizard, all of which together caused far less trouble than just one small beagle named Freddie.

There are bad dogs—and then there are bad beagles.

In this hilarious and heartwarming memoir, single mother Paula Munier takes on the world’s worst beagle—and loses every time. She tries everything to fix Freddie—but nothing really works. As her youngest son grows up and prepares to leave her soon-to-be empty nest, Paula’s worst fear is that after more than thirty years of raising kids, she’ll be left all alone—with Freddie.

1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

Writing any memoir—even one that is supposed to be about a dog—forces you to examine your life with a critical eye. In taking such a hard look at myself and my choices, I realized that I’d made even more mistakes than I thought I had—as a mom, as a wife, and as a person. But I also learned that I have been blessed with forgiving friends and family, which allowed me to forgive myself.  Everyone—including my ex-husband—has been very supportive of the book. So in the end writing the book has given me a kind of self-confidence I never had before, one colored by my experience  but not defined by it. I feel a greater sense of possibility now, having made peace with the past.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

Play, work, resignation—in that order!

3. What good has your book created in the world?

Just  like Freddie, the book brought my family closer together—and helped us close a painful chapter in our lives with grace and gratitude. This has resonated with readers, who write to me from all over the country to tell me about their own struggles with raising teenagers and training dogs. What comes through loud and clear is how much comfort our pets bring us—even when they eat our shoes!

• • •

Mary O’Donohue developed a unique month-by-month program that she and her husband use to successfully educate their children about the twelve values her family holds most dear. The family of four lives and learns together in suburban Chicago.

Everyone wants their children to be happy, responsible, and well adjusted, but there’s no rulebook to teach parents how to do so—until now.

In this book, you’ll learn how Mary O’Donohue, a proud mother of two, developed a practical program that allows parents to instill timeless values in their children over the course of one year. Focusing on one key value a month, the whole family can learn together through twelve fun and family-friendly activities, including:

  • Keeping a Gratitude Board
  • Creating Respect Tiles
  • Making a Compassion in Action Calendar
  • Hosting an Earning for Learning Gameshow
  • Starting a Life Map

By inspiring common values such as lifelong learning, a sense of joy, and respect for others, this unique guide offers purposeful advice for raising joyful, thoughtful children—who will make their world a better one to live in.

1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or
both) impacted your self-confidence?

Though I started out as a pretty self assured person, writing my book has widened the scope of my confidence. Because the funny thing is, I never set out to write a book. And I was positive I couldn’t do it. As a busy working mom with a husband and two children, my schedule was already jam-packed, and I was not in fact, a writer. I’ve worked freelance in TV production for years, and though that world can be competitive and demanding, at least it was a world I knew. But write a book? Me? That was a whole other story. But doors kept opening for me, and in order to walk through them I needed a significant amount of faith in myself. That’s when I realized that the confidence I’d felt for years was at least in part based on the fact that I stayed right smack in the middle of my comfort zone. So I had to push myself out into unfamiliar territory, and fast. I has a deadline.

Something else helped me walk through those open doors. It was a promise I had made to my dear friend George that the next time something came along in my life that I knew with certainty I could not do, I would do it anyway for him. I made that promise, out loud in my car, driving home from George’s funeral. He was exactly my age and he died suddenly. So when the opportunity came along to write my book, I knew I had to keep my promise. I had to believe in myself enough to be willing to fall on my face. And that was the extraordinary lesson for me. I had stayed in my proverbial comfort zone protecting myself from failure, when in fact I was also preventing any other kind of success from finding me. And essentially all I had to do was say “yes” to the unexpected opportunities that came into my life. So the experience of writing this book has had a huge impact on my confidence. I now say “yes” to all sorts of experiences, even ones (especially ones) that I  don’t think I’ll be good at, and it’s changed the way I live my life.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

1. Inspired
2. Disciplined
3. Receptive

3. What good has your book created in the world?

My goal is to change the world one family at a time. I’m helping parents go beyond surface messages like “Say thank you,” “Tell your sister you’re sorry” and “Say excuse me,”  because as a mom myself, I’ve learned these messages might get kids to “act” like they’re thankful, sorry, or respectful, but what’s the point if it’s not genuine? I believe parents want their kids to actually be truly grateful people, who apologize because they really feel remorse, and who say things like “excuse me” out of sincere respect.  It turns out my book has inspired many families and I’ve been blown away by the positive feedback I’ve received from parents. They tell me that my book has made it easier for them to instill gratitude, compassion, integrity, self respect, and other values in their children, and that the kids enjoy doing the exercises I created. My book is bringing families closer as they share the experiences of focusing on one value a month together. It’s gratifying to know that something that has been so significant to my own family has also impacted others in such a positive way.

• • •

The Whole Family Cookbook by Michelle Stern

Michelle Stern founded the children’s cooking school, What’s Cooking?, and teaches families about healthy, practical food. She received the 2010 Scholastic’s Parent & Child Green Parent Blogger Award for the What’s Cooking blog. Stern attended the White House’s Chefs Move to Schools conference, is the Director of Community Outreach for the children’s show DooF, and co-chairs the International Association of Culinary Professional’s Kids in the Kitchen committee.

There’s no better way to teach your children to eat fresh, healthy, organic food than with recipes you can cook and eat together! Written by the founder of San Francisco’s premier children’s cooking school and award-winning, green-parenting blogger Michelle Stern, this cookbook gives your family the resources you need to cook delicious, local food in any season, including:

  • Practical advice like how to pick the best of local and natural food without spending too much time or money.
  • Color-coded instructions that guide kids of all ages through age-appropriate steps in every recipe.
  • More than 75 organic, family-friendly recipes and beautiful 4-color photos that will get everyone excited about what’s for dinner!

Whether you’re cooking Summertime Kabobs on a balmy June evening or Sweet and Savory Turnovers for a toasty winter breakfast, your family will learn to love the wholesome food—and priceless memories—you can make together.

1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

After a receiving a plethora of (sometimes comical) rejection letters about my book proposal from a variety of publishers, it was a relief to have a publishing house interested in me and my work.  Upon hearing that I was writing a book, the most common reaction I got from people was, “you  must be so proud—do you know how many people try to write a book and never get anywhere?”  It made me feel proud that my work is something worth paying attention to.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?


3. What good has your book created in the world?

My book encourages families to spend quality time together in the kitchen, building better eating habits (for our bodies and our planet!) and encouraging people to help the less fortunate with food. Not too shabby 🙂

• • •

The giveaway is almost over, so let’s as a big question. Look at these three books that we are giving away today to three winners. Notice that each features a passion from each author’s perspective. What’s a passion from your life that might be big enough to grow into a book some day? Even if you usually write fiction, try to come up with a nonfiction idea…just for kicks.

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! We’ve only got one day left. Come back for the finalé!

Like this post? Subscribe to my Feed!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jen Henderson May 30, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I’m hoping that my passion for severe weather and storm safety will someday lead to a salable book idea, especially since I can’t seem to let go of this subject. (I’m on year 10 officially). Each year during storm season, this passion rises up again,  captivating me, motivating me, and teaching me more about myself and the world.

  • Pattie May 30, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I have had a few passions in my life that perhaps
    might be book-length: connecting with Anne Frank’s diary when I was in my early
    teens; being an adult when my parents divorced after 35 years of marriage and
    talking to others whose parents divorced after a lifetime together; encouraging
    everyone to write  their personal
    narratives, their stories; being a later-in-life military wife and encouraging
    other military wives; being a voracious reader. I’ve seen a few books published
    in recent years that touch on most of these, but maybe there is still a book in
    my heart for me to write.

  • NancysWriting May 30, 2011, 3:14 pm

    My passion is Drum Corps. Born a “band geek” I was excited to discover that there was another, even greater, level of marching to aspire to. I learned about drum corps in 1982 and became first a fan, then a participant. Four years of my teen life were spent in that sun-baked/sleep deprived/months on the road competitive world… and I wouldn’t change a single exhausting minute of it! I have long since hoped to turn my experience and memories into a YA novel, but I also want to help promote the activity, bring this somewhat hidden world to the forefront. Most people outside the marching world don’t know about drum corps.
    Touted as “art that moves”, drum corps combines the very best in athleticism and artistry to bring you a unique experience in music and dance. But without the support of the community and a far-reaching awareness, this activity may die. It has weakened over the years as financial difficulties and rising costs pick off the smaller corps, relegating them to the history books. That is why now, more than ever, I want to make sure the call of the bugle, the beat of the drum, is never silenced.

  • Malia Jacobson May 30, 2011, 3:27 pm

    I’ve written numerous articles about my passion for healthy sleep, and I hope I can translate that passion into a book-length concept one day. When your family sleeps well, life opens up. You enjoy your kids more and get more out of life. I want to share that amazing feeling with other moms like me. One day, when I have a little more time on my hands. 🙂

  • Julie Jeske May 30, 2011, 3:49 pm

    My passion is passion!  Ha!  Sexuality and Relationships and Intimacy.  I love to write about and talk about the things that make other people uncomfortable.  My hope is that if we talk about or write about them enough they will then become easy and if they are easy then can have the sex lives and relationships we dream about!

  • Kristeen Elizabeth Moore May 30, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Coincidentally, I just started the early stages of a memoir that focuses on a passion of mine. Many people have encouraged me to write a book, but I have been stuck on the fiction theme, and not knowing what to write. I write short fiction stories, but have realized that I am a better non-fiction writer; so I am attempting to put my skills to use. Honestly, reading about the authors Christina has featured this month has really inspired me to finally go for it. There is an early interest in my manuscript, and I have been asked not to reveal it yet. But hopefully it will be published and will inspire others, just as other memoirs have inspired me.

  • Anonymous May 30, 2011, 5:19 pm

    Throughout my life, I’ve never been able to focus on one passion. I love playing the guitar, writing my own music, scrapbooking, running…etc. The balancing act became difficult after I had a child. If I could write a non-fiction book or memoir, it would reveal how to balance our creative passions with what’s thrown at us (especially as parents) in our everyday lives!

  • Carol J. Alexander May 30, 2011, 6:32 pm

    I thought it incredibly interesting
    that each woman’s passion involved her family. I believe that women are made
    that way, to nurture and love those closest to them. On the same token, I would
    choose homeschooling as my passion. I have enjoyed 17 years of learning alongside
    my children and look forward to many more as my youngest is only 7 years old. I
    particularly feel empathy for moms just starting on this journey as they get
    overwhelmed with the plethora of resources—none of which existed when I
    started. My message is to relax, listen to your children, and have fun.

  • Carol J. Alexander May 30, 2011, 6:35 pm

    What a needed topic, Malia. Seriously ill with varied symptoms, I was diagnosed with sleep deprivation several years ago. I was greatly offended by the doctor who told me to turn off the alarm clock instead of ordering more tests. But he was right, and in just a few days I felt a remarkable difference. I now preach better sleep hygiene to all my friends–no matter how strangely they look at me.

  • Angela Stevens May 30, 2011, 6:58 pm

    I’m preparing to write a novel about a mother who’s husband and young daughter have been killed. She gets sucked into an alternate universe (in a Fantasy setting) where she meets a little girl but ultimately has to let her go. I’m debating on whether or not to throw a man/love affair in there as well. Right now I’m just in the outlining stage. 🙂 Writing has been a life-long passion but as a mother, children are also my passion. And there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love for her child.

  • Janine Boldrin May 30, 2011, 7:24 pm

    Hmmm…nonfiction? Well, then it would have to be: A Pocket Guide to Military Life. There are lots of great books out there about military life but they are SO big! Military families are always on the go and time is precious. A small book with valuable (condensed) tips would be great! And it would have to be easily updatable because things are always changing.

    There could be “A Pocket Guide to Military Life (for Newbies).” “A Pocket Guide to Military Life (for Experience Spouses)” – hey things change “later” in military life. “A Pocket Guide to Military Life (for Military Brats)” – GOSH – a whole series 😉

  • Tania Dakka May 30, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Passion from my life? 
    There are so many to name.  As
    mothers, I am sure that we all can conjure up endless material regarding our familial
    journeys.  However, since that road is so
    well travelled, I might probably opt for an ethnical or religious path since it
    is something that tends to burst from my heart, especially when it comes to our


  • Mar Junge May 30, 2011, 9:21 pm

    Gardening is my passion and I would love to write a book about how it has helped me raise my three kids. It started with my grandfather. He loved roses and always carried a pocket knife so he could collect cuttings everywhere he went. My mother enjoyed growing vegetables and we spent many hours strolling through the nursery after church on Sunday. She said heaven for her would be a rocking chair in the garden. I remember walking endless circles in my garden in the middle of the night trying to quiet my colicky first born. Then crying as I planted daffodils bulbs in the fall because I knew when they bloomed in the spring she would be 2,000 miles away at college. Combing tips and tricks for growing healthy, beautiful children and flowers would be wonderful memoir.

  • JudyB May 30, 2011, 9:33 pm

    I started writing mystery short stories at the age of 12,
    about the time I began cooking things more complicated than hot dogs. Mysteries
    became science fiction then mysteries again. I spent two years as a newspaper
    stringer during that time. I never stopped cooking. Fifty years later, taking
    stock of my life, I realized that loving to write and loving to cook make me
    destined to be a cookbook writer. I’m working on two cookbooks now and have ideas for
    about 18 others. I’m getting old. I’d better write fast and live long.

  • Pam Maynard May 31, 2011, 1:09 am

    My passion in life that could grow into a book some day is my love of my family.  How can anyone describe the feelings that have rushed through the years since my 8 year old son was born?  I want to write a book for moms that helps prepare you for the first day of preschool, the first time they don’t need mom to hold their hand in the grocery store, the first time they smile at a girl, etc.  I also want to include a section on how to keep your marriage alive and fun, through all the ups and downs of parenting.

  • Amy May 31, 2011, 1:56 am

    What great book choices! I’m especially eager to read about Freddie the Beagle

  • Judy May 31, 2011, 2:01 am

    A wonderful selection of books! My passion is my kids, so parenting is a passion. And because I’ve adopted, adoption is a passion. I do write, speak and teach about adoptive parenting and a whole spectrum of adoption related topics. My target audience is adoptive and waiting adoptive parents. As for the book…it’s a work in progress.

  • Beth Vogt May 31, 2011, 2:02 am

    I love how all of these women turned passions into book idea–and then landed contracts.
    Having spent the majority of my writing life on the non-fiction side of the writing road, I’ve already turned one of my passions into a book: late-in-life motherhood.
    Other passions that might grow into a book someday?  Here’s two:
    1. The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Successful Mother-in-Law
    2. Happily Ever After: The Rest of the Story

  • Kate Briles May 31, 2011, 3:00 am

    I want to help people develop good paradigms, or models, so
    they can evaluate information more effectively. 
    I was first introduced to the idea in a college Biology course.  The professor spent the first few weeks
    helping us understand the paradigm that Biology operates in.  Once we had a grasp of that, all the detailed
    facts easily inserted themselves.  I took
    this way of learning and applied it everywhere else.  You know what?  Learning became fun and quick.  When everyone is done reciting their facts, I
    was the one left who could actually explain why a thing was the way it was.  I’m helping my daughter adopt an economic
    model of thinking right now.  We aren’t
    even dealing with the facts and terms yet, but she already is able to listen to
    the news and say, “Mom, this doesn’t fit. 
    Does this person even know what they are saying?”  She’s becoming a woman who doesn’t have to
    blindly rely on persuasive statistics and arguments because she has a paradigm
    that enables her to sift through what is helpful and what is harmful.

  • Diane J. May 31, 2011, 3:09 am

    I think I made a reference to a nonfiction book idea in an earlier giveaway comment. If so, sorry for the repeat.

    Parenting Twins without a Celebrities’ Posse or Budget:
    I’ve actually started laying out some groundwork on this one. This idea has been brewing since I read Jane Seymour’s book about twins. It was supposed to contain information for all parents of twins. Uh huh. Right, because I can so relate to “Can you believe we forgot to add a bathroom to the nursery, we called the contractors right away.” Not to mention we all have set designers making clothes for us and personal trainers whipping us into shape while a nanny watches the babes.

  • Writeontarget2 May 31, 2011, 3:15 am

    I have a passion for home education and would love to write a book someday to encourage others in their homeschooling journey. Sometimes I still feel like a “newbie” myself, even though I’ve been homeschooling my three kids for the last six years. Maybe when I’m more of a “veteran” I’ll feel qualified!

  • Laura Ackerman May 31, 2011, 4:52 am

    I am passionate about a lot of things and hope to write about many of those passions someday.  What I am most pasionate about, however, is my belief in God and sharing that belief with others.  Not is an attempt to force others to believe like me, although when one does share your beliefs, it tends to give extra validation, but more in hopes to share the peace in knowing I am accepted as I am.  I study religions.  I have a degree in religious studies and I have found so many religions that try to force an adherance to rules and laws rather than helping people to find peace and acceptance in a God who loves them.  My brother spent 30 years on the streets and should be dead, yet a loving God helped to reconcile him to a dying father and redeemed his life so he could find peace and happiness after years of self inflicted pain.  That is the story of a great God and that is what I am passionate about sharing.

  • Sarah Lindsey May 31, 2011, 5:11 am

    Three of my greatest passions in life are my children, writing, and food. These passions are always compelling me to write articles about food and cooking for families. My hope is to eventually have the opportunity to write a book on these topics so that I can help busy moms work healthy meals into their regular routine. 

  • Cara Holman May 31, 2011, 7:38 pm

    I believe strongly in the tradition of “honor by
    listening”. There are so many people out there who do not necessarily
    consider themselves writers, but who have compelling life stories,
    nonetheless. My passion would be to put together anthologies that give
    these people a chance to express their voice. I strongly believe what
    the Amherst Writers and Artists’ Method espouses: namely, that “a writer
    is someone who writes”. And this can be anyone!