Thursday, July 16, 2015

Jenna McCarthy tells us something good...plus a book giveaway

Jenna McCarthy is delightful to work with. She comes to us with such positive energy and a great sense of humor. When she found out that my copy of her brand new novel, Pretty Much Screwed, hadn't arrived yet, she immediately checked in with her publisher to find out what was going on. That stood out to me as something awesome. 

On my local country music station, there's a segment every morning called "Tell Me Something Good" during which the DJs talk about good things happening in the news. That segment inspired this month's theme. One of the options we gave authors was a Q&A talking about good things. Jenna chose that option and is here to tell us something good today. 

Jenna McCarthy is a speaker and the author of several funny books for kids and adults, including the "Maggie Malone" series and I've Still Got It....I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It. Visit her at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Thanks to Penguin Random House, we have FIVE copies of Pretty Much Screwed for some lucky US readers!

Something good that happened to me recently:
I finished my second novel! After penning a half dozen nonfiction books, a middle grade fiction series and two separate children’s book series, I finally wrote the novel I’d been threatening to write forever (Pretty Much Screwed). Once it was completed, I had that feeling Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her brilliant TED talk: Could I do it again? Would it be as good? After Pretty Much Screwed, my editor even said, “You set the bar really high with this one; the next one better kick ass.” I was daunted to say the least, but I decided to approach the follow-up book the same way I’ve approached all of my books: One page at a time. And as soon as I committed to that, it happened almost effortlessly. And I love it so much—maybe even more than the first one. I’m no longer daunted by number three; I just need to sit down and let the words come.

Something good that happened to someone I know:
A very dear friend recently suffered a life-threatening brain aneurism. (It gets better, I promise.) Paul was in a coma and his family and friends were told he had a less than four percent chance of ever waking, and that if he did, he would likely have little or no brain function. His mother flew in from France to say goodbye. While she was sitting vigil, he woke up. At first this was a bittersweet victory, as Paul is a sailor and an adventurer and one of the most active, vibrant people I‘ve ever met. He’d surely rather pass away peacefully than live out his days in what’s considered a “permanent vegetative state”. But Paul was and is determined. He endured hours of daily grueling physical therapy and soon was beginning to walk and talk again. He still has a long road ahead, but his commitment humbles and inspires me, and reminds me every day how precious and fragile life is.

Something good I witnessed:
A very shy, sweet girl (I’ll call her Zoe) in my 12 year old daughter’s class was being bullied mercilessly by the school’s notoriously evil “Queen Bee.” Without prompting or encouragement, my daughter stepped in and stood up to the bully, and then she took Zoe under her wing. When I asked her if she was worried that Queen Bee would aim her venom at her, my daughter said, “Oh, she knows better than to mess with ME.” (She also remarked of this girl’s undeniable attractiveness, “She might be beautiful on the outside, but she’s not beautiful on the inside, where it counts.”) To know that I am raising a brave, confident, emotionally intelligent daughter in this crazy world is hands down my greatest accomplishment in life.

Something good I heard on the news:
Recently I read a news story about a homeless man who found a stranger’s wallet with $350 in it on a park bench. He tracked down and returned it to the owner, who turned out to be a single mom battling brain cancer. When asked if he’d considered keeping the money, he replied, “Somebody might not have known, but I would have.” If that doesn’t restore your faith in humanity, I don’t know what will.

Something good someone did for me:
My husband built me my very own “she shed.” He worked on it day and night for weeks, and it is 140 square feet of pure heaven. I got to design and decorate it, and it’s all mine and it has a door that locks and everything. It’s been finished for less than a week, and the only downside I’ve found is that I’m routinely waking up long before the neighborhood chickens because I’m so excited to get out there and get to work!

Something good I did for someone else:
I paid for a stranger’s groceries. She was in front of me in the checkout line and was struggling to wrangle three small children while she unloaded her cart. When the cashier rang her up, she realized she’d left her wallet in a different bag. She was about to leave empty handed, but I couldn’t let her. I offered to pay her bill and told her she could mail me a check. She actually replied, “But how do you know I’ll do it?” I admitted that I didn’t, but I told her that I believed that she would, and that if she flaked on me it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I got a check for the full amount in the mail two days later, along with a $25 gift card. I think that if you routinely believe that people are good, more often than not they’ll prove you right.

Thanks to Jenna for the rays of sunshine and Penguin Random House for sharing her book with our readers.

~Introduction by Melissa Amster


How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

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US only. Giveaway ends July 21st at midnight EST.

23 comments:

Rhonda Gothier said...

Service dogs for service people returning from war.

Bonnie Franks said...

I love when I read about kids helping other kids. I don't remember all the particulars, but I read about a 9 or 10 year old boy who had aspergers and was made fun of all day in school. A group of 4 or 5 boys took him under their wing and helped him out every day. That's just awesome.

Janine said...

My mom met a new guy. Although she says they are just friends, she seems happier. So, that's something good.

Books and Java said...

I was very moved by the speech made by Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPYs. It made me happy that out of something so seemingly personal and painful for one person, she will be able to change the lives of many.

Jennifer C said...

A local police officer helped a dog that was locked in a hot car. I love good news!

Laurice McClung said...

There was a story about a missing boy that was found safely.

Holly said...

Advances in cancer treatment and detection.

Jessica Meddick said...

The cast of Southern Charm is holding a benefit dinner for the victims of the Charleston shooting.

cpr040304 said...

Paying it forward stories are the best :)

Linda Kish said...

Dancers from a local studio that specializes in classes for individuals with Down syndrome will be showcasing their talents at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The Free 2 Be Me dancers. That is so cool.

traveler said...

I haven't heard any good news at all this week unfortunately. Hope that it changes. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Bonnie K. said...

A young girl whose grandparents died in a plane crash was able to survive due to the help of strangers that happened upon her. She was so lucky.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

susieqlaw said...

I saw a story about a boy who decided to lose weight, so he can play with his friends. He has started a you tube channel with positive and encouraging messages. It made my day to see a child do so well despite being bullied. Hope. Hope is what I saw!

jpetroroy said...

Good Samaritan stories.

Terri. said...

The Make A Wish foundation tricked out a 17 year old cancer patient's car. And then surprised him with it...

Hailey Fish said...

Does it matter it was a couple of weeks ago? It was when same-sex marriage was finally announced as legal in ALL 50 states! My best friend will be able to get married (well if she decides to) without any issues!

Melissa Seng said...

Caitlyn Jenner's ESPY speech. Fabulous!! The courage this journey took!!

bn100 said...

a baby born to a family

Melanie Backus said...

We had a fire at our business today and one of our young community members quickly brought his tractor and went to working helping to clean up. His thoughtfulness and hard work were greatly appreciated.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

pascale said...

I wish I have recently heard something good on the news- but the news is grim these days. However, in light of the specifics of the question, I found the South Carolina governor's efforts to take down the confederate flag quite moving. I don't think it solves anything, but it is symbolic and strong and well timed in light of all of the horrible things going on in the world and the US.

Sort of like a teddy bear that survives a fire- the fire is tragic but the teddy bear allows a bit of hope

Sorry to be negative, but the world isnt looking pretty these days.

rubynreba said...

My 12 year old granddaughter went to a City Council meeting to request improvements on the outdoor basketball court and got results!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Katherine Ivan said...

A woman whose husband had just died in a motorcycle crash told a friend, an avid biker, that the husband's wedding ring had gone missing during the accident. The story circulated among the biking community and before too long, a bunch of bikers were hunting through the waist-high grass at the scene ... and one found the ring and returned it to the widow!

Nova said...

"Indulging in a diet cheat day could actually help boost your metabolism and lose weight.Periodically altering calorie consumption prevents the metabolism from slowing down too much while dieting. the body becomes “surprised” by the temporary short term boost in total calories for the day and prevents the metabolism from downshifting."