Hi, everyone! Zuzu here.
Apparently you guys enjoy these little interviews I’ve been doing with authors’ dogs, so Mom is letting me continue.
Today I get to talk with everyone’s favorite mischievous terrier, Junie! (aka author Dana Mentink’s dog)
Dana Mentink (Junie’s mom) is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the author of over thirty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a nutty terrier (that’s Junie!), a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet.
Dana’s latest book, Paws for Love, released January 10th from Harvest House Publishers.
The Only Thing Sweet About Jellybean Is His Name
Jellybean the terrier is about to unleash some serious mayhem on the unsuspecting town of Albatross.
There’s no quiet on the set when over-the-hill screen star Lawrence Tucker brings his naughty terrier, Jellybean, on location to the beachside town of Albatross, California. When Jellybean develops a rapport with Tucker’s violin tutor, the painfully shy, socially awkward Misty Agnelli, her arm is twisted into minding the mischievous animal. Trailing Jellybean leads Misty into the candy store of Bill Woodson, a handsome chocolatier with a painful secret and a three-year-old niece to raise.
Misty must deal with the unstable Tucker, a temperamental Jellybean, her budding feelings for the mysterious Bill, and the high-pressure atmosphere on the set. Though she wants nothing more than to flee, how can she tell her Grandma, Lawrence Tucker’s biggest fan, that she abandoned the star and his dog?
It’s actors, animals, and antics galore when Jellybean gives his own heartwarming performance.
Hi, Junie! Welcome to my blog! Or my Mom’s blog… or whatever. We all know it’s really my blog. I just let her borrow it. Mom starts all of her guests with a fast four. I suppose I should too…
Bones or Chew toys?
Junie: Yes. I am the type of gal who believes in having your cake and chewing it too, you know?
Zuzu: Especially if it’s a peanut butter cake.
Frisbees or Tennis Balls?
Junie: Neither. I am far too important to be chasing down frisbees. I will pursue the occasional tennis ball, but only if the neighbor boys have lobbed it over the fence. Then it’s property, mine, not a toy.
Zuzu: I’ve never gotten into Frisbees either. Tennis balls are okaaay but they’re for running toward and pointing at, not “fetching”. As if.
Dogs or Cats? (I mean…. Seriously…. Why does she ask this question? I’m not even going to insult you by making you give me the OBVIOUS answer.)
Moving on… SQUIRRELS OR BIRDS?
Junie: There is a squirrel who taunts me. I have seen him mouthing profanities and making comments about my mother when no one is looking. I will find him. And I will catch him. One day…
Zuzu: <hides favorite squirrel toy>
Behind-the-ear scratches or Belly Rubs?
Junie: Again, I see no need to choose one or the other. Both please. Now would be nice.
Zuzu: Yeaaaaah…. I need to rethink that question. About as ridiculous as Mom’s “dog or cats” one.
Mom says that reading is her superpower and sleeping is mine. If YOU and YOUR MOM had superpowers, what would they be?
Junie: My mom is an elementary teacher and if you’ve ever tried to manage twenty six humans, you know this takes awesome skills. I have perfected the “cute face” which I utilize whenever I have eaten something that I ought not to have. God gave me this cute face to employ whenever the humans become irrationally upset over some small indiscretion on my part. They are far too sensitive, these humans.
Zuzu: My mom used to teach third grade … it takes a lot of superpowers. Teachers are superheroes. As far as the cute face, I have one too. It doesn’t work on Mom so much, but it melts Dad right away. Every. Single. Time.
I recently heard this Colonial American Proverb – You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats. What are your thoughts on this controversial statement?
Junie: You see any colonials around anymore? Uh huh. Me neither. That’s because they didn’t have the common sense to stay away from cats, strange or otherwise.
Your mom writes books. My mom reads books. If you were going to write a book, what would you call it & what would it be about?
Junie: The Silly Human’s Guidebook for Living. They need help, the poor lost lambs, they really do. I mean, my human gets on a treadmill and walks for miles going absolutely nowhere when there’s a perfectly good neighborhood right outside the door. Enough said?
Zuzu: Oh my goodness. Yes. Like when my dad thinks he has a spot on the big bed. I mean… really. Mom has her spot. I have the rest of the spots. Dad is on his own. Silly man still doesn’t realize this.
Speaking of writing books, your mom has a new one out, doesn’t she? Rumor has it that you were the inspiration. How does it feel to be famous?
Junie: Well, I don’t like to brag, but Jellybean the terrier is TOTALLY modeled after me and let’s face it, he’s more cunning and wise than his movie star owner, the candy maker and the violin tutor put together.
Zuzu: Yes. Clearly, he is the most important character in the whole book.
What does a typical day look like for you as an author’s dog?
Junie: I do a lot of staring at Mom while she’s poking away at the keyboard. If you stare enough, she will get up and walk you. Then there’s napping, more staring, more walking and the afternoon treat ritual. At some point the teen humans come home and I make a fuss, just to build their self esteem. It goes without saying that anytime Mom leaves the room, it is my job to chew her Post-its and rifle the pockets of her sweater. Tough jobs, but somebody has to keep things in order.
Zuzu: What would they do without us to keep them on schedule and keep things in order?
Your mom writes a lot of dog books, so we love her around here. Besides the obvious (the dog based on you), who is your favorite character that your mom has created?
Junie: Probably Panny (short for Pancake) in Sit, Stay, Love. She really shouldn’t be alive but that creature has a strong will to live. I admire that in dogs and people!
Zuzu: Panny rocks, but Sweetness is my fave. And my mom’s. This is what she said about Sweetness (sometimes I like her words so I don’t mind using them) – “That quirky, endearing, slobbery mess of a dog who eats pancakes and chews on spatulas and rescues the wounded and abandoned. Sweetness steals the show. And a few kisses. And a whole lot of laughter.”
Junie, keep being you! Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you and your mom.
Junie: Mom is busily clacking away on a four book suspense series for Love Inspired Suspense, and I will continue to hold things together Mentink Manor, right after I am done with my nap. Thanks for having me. May all your neighborhood squirrels be slow and your walks be plentiful!
Zuzu: Oh a nap sounds wonderful! Great idea!
Junie’s mom is giving away a copy of Paws for Love (in print if winner is in US, or a Kindle copy if winner is international) to one of my mom’s readers! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Void where prohibited. Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies.
Since Dana is a teacher, I want to know: Which teacher made a difference in your life?