Pages Navigation Menu

Book Reviews, Author Features, Recipes & More... Now from Indiana

Sin, Beauty & Chocolate with Shaunda Wenger – Make Mine an Orangeberry

Meet Shaunda Wenger one of the “MAKE MINE AN ORANGEBERRY” Nine Women of Indie

Welcome to my 8th victim guest and also part of Orangeberry’s Trick or Treat 2012. She really took a chance with me, but she is a great sport, and I adore this interview. November has really shaped up to having some extremely high quality interviews, and they are still coming.  I have three great reviews coming this week too.

Shaunda Wenger


MAKE MINE AN ORANGEBERRY sprang up when I asked if anyone wanted to be interviewed on the planning board for Orangeberry Tours, the participants of this community have been a plethora of festiveness! It is the last week, I am sad, and I will be doing a lot of reviewing too this week so I hope you can read it all and enjoy it!

Introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. (As in tell us something NOT in your bio, give us a dirty little secret not having or having to do with your writing)

I’ve come to the realization that addictions to chocolate and nail polish can be a glorious thing, because they keep you running to the store whenever you need to restock (which is often), which keeps you from doing things on your to-do list, like laundry and changing the cat litter (for that cat you never wanted in the first place).

(plus did you know that Eating chocolate could be a tasty new way to lower blood pressure? It is true, and for a writer with kids, who is high on fumes from their fingernail polish, this is an important fact to know!)

Dog's can't eat chocolate but WE CAN!

Umm cute dog, chocolate, what is not to like! Good way to convince anyone to go shopping for chocolate! Remember dogs cannot eat chocolate, though!

But the beauty in to-do lists that get left undone is that they can be rewritten (adeptly and quickly by crafty fiction writers) for less crafty persons scurrying about like children, A.K.A. beggars and servants that do not get rewarded if their to-do lists are left undone. 🙂


It all adds up to the fact that if I continue to feed my addiction, I give my children a means to provide for their own happiness…. They get rewarded for completing their to-do lists with things like play-money and rides, while I get to continue being the wonderful mother-writer that I am by driving them to their various destinations, and along the way, make pit-stops for more chocolate and nail polish. (I dare you to click on that hyperlink.. Shaunda dare you, I promise it only has five articles with pictures of nail polish)

Now combine the words and nail polish and you're set!

Now combine the words and nail polish and you’re set (instructions)

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?  Romance, mystery, humour, textbooks on quantum physics?

Give us a max flash fiction with the prompt of “darkness” (yes this could work with romance, mystery, humour, textbooks on quantum physics… own it and GO!)

Hmmm. I can see the headlines now…. Middle grade realistic fantasy writer takes a spin in the world of steampunk with her new spin-off series, Tink, Fairy-the-Well.

Tinkerbell stepped from the doorway of the railcar and into the cool evening rush of travellers. Ignoring their bustle and drive to move off the dock and out of the spitting rain, she paused to pull at the bulk of the heavy skirts tying themselves in knots around her ankles. How she missed the warmth of the island tropics! How she missed her small pixie size and smaller pixie skirts! Damn it all to hell to Peter, and that way-faring witch, and the deal she had made in attempt to make good of this unyielding snag Peter had left in her heart. That snag had led her to follow him all the way to London with its rough-plank walkways, cold iron gates, and thick stone walls pressing around her in fifty shades of gray and all its darkness….

Oops! There I go! Slipping off into a different genre! I think I’ll stop now. It seems I’m a bit off-track….

(It is OK Shaunda, we forgive you Stinkerbelle!)

When it comes to the genre you do write in, what are a few of the books or writers that have influenced you and your own writing? (yes I can actually ask a serious question)

Those writers would have to be my favorites, both new and old: Roald Dahl, Kate DiCamillo, Kathi Appelt, Matthew J. Kirby, Richard Peck, Alyson Noel, and Lauren Oliver, to name a few.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters? (some have a huge cast, so say no more than five, I am thinking many would be able to do at least one, you do have one character right?) Is there a line from the book you would have them say? 

AnnaSophia Robb, as MacKenzie because she is an amazing and versatile young actress.

Uma Thurman, as Mackenzie’s mother, because she can be bad-A, funny, sexy, and dangerous all at the same time. I really can’t think of anyone else who could say, “You mean, burn her?… We’ve never done that before. Do you think it’s safe?”

(Now that’s a visual! Plus sells me on getting to reading this ASAP — flogging my TBR pile.. faster faster!!)

Antonio Banderas as MacKenzie’s father because he is who he is, and that is Antonio—no more, and in no way capable of being less.

All you silly authors making my heart go pitter-patter and my toes go wiggle wiggle wiggle…

SHOOT wrong wiggle video!! to apologize I indulge you in dance and fingernail polish.. now JAM ON IT, BABY! PUT  A HORN ON IT, BABY  and call it  your own personal  bad ass unicorn, right? am I right!


What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

I would frantically (and blindly) chase my eyeballs across the floor to put them back in (before the five-second-rule takes effect, of course), because I know my eyeballs on an up-close and personal basis. And I know they would pop right out of my head upon seeing such news delivered in the morning paper.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing (as in what candy / snack food / drink / 80’s hair band you break out in song too when you just cannot figure out the next line to write and that bitch of a muse is off doing anything but attending to you)?

I indulge my finer abilities in wasting time in order to avoid feeling like I might be heading into a wall mortared tight with so-called writer’s block. Top-notch time wasting activities include surveying the local online criminal records and court databases… just to see if my muse has been running with a different crowd. If so, she can damn well bet I’m not going to be bailing her sorry @*$! out until my daily horoscope at tells me the timing is good for she and I to reconnect by setting her free. Other than that, if wandering and wasting time online doesn’t work, I go beat myself up in the new Body Combat class at the gym. #NotYourMamasZumba #Whocomesupwiththistuff?

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Get outside and smile at the day! Sushi! Sail! Ski! Read! Fish! Take a hike at the mall. #huh? It’s true…. (My daughter likes to shop.)

OK now for the REAL fun and this will make it a Cabin Goddess “MAKE MINE AN ORANGEBERRY” official interview

Create, divine, cast for or you can (if you want) rename a drink (with our without booze) representing your book in the OB Trick or Treat Event… a theme drink, if you will, please and thank you!

Orangeberry’s Cut-Out-the-Slush Drink

This is a modified version of party slush drinks—the kind you find when you attend parties put on by hostesses who really love their guests and really love to entertain them and make them feel tippy-toe wonderful. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s cut down to preparation of a single serving at a time, so that you can make yourself feel tippy-toe wonderful whenever you feel like it. Just re-lid the juice cans, stick them in a plastic bag, and they’ll be ready for use whenever you need them! Promise! (The Goddess knows this to be true since ManBeasts do not drink anything good for them, I add spoonfuls of concentrated fruit juice to fizzy stuff all the time)

  • One hefty tumbler, crystal preferred
  • Ice, chunky or cubed
  • 1 frozen can of orange-pineapple juice concentrate
  • 1 frozen can of lemonade concentrate
  • 12 oz bottle of 7-Up
  • 1 orange, brightest one you can find, sliced thick
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries (optional)

Put 1 teaspoon of the lemonade concentrate and 2 teaspoons of the orange-pineapple concentrate in the crystal glass. Fill the glass 1/3 of the way with 7-Up. Stir the concentrate to dissolve. (The 7-Up will fizz up when you stir, so don’t say I didn’t warn you about the 1/3 fill-level). Add lots of ice, because it’ll look prettier that way when you’re done. Add your cherries (as much as you prefer) and your orange slice, and give a commemorative nod to your favorite reviewers, readers and writers at Orangeberry! Then top off the glass with more 7-Up, and you are ready to take your drink wherever you would like! (Anything else you might want to add to this beverage is up to you.)

The Ghost in MeThe Ghost in Me

by Shaunda Wenger

Myri Monaco has problems she doesn’t know how to deal with: a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, a mother who’s dating her science teacher, and a “punishment” for a science project that lands her in auditions for the school play (the last place she wants to be). But most girls don’t have a ghost living at home who is willing to “trade places” whenever she’s needed. Will ghostly possession be an easy solution when problems collide? Or, will Myri lose everything to a ghost wanting to fulfill her own desires?

  • FOR READERS WHO LOVE Meg Cabot, Roald Dahl, and Judy Blume
  • Genre – Middle Grade / YA (G)
  • 220 pages




 About the Author

Shaunda Kennedy Wenger is the author of eight children’s books. Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire joined The Ghost in Me and Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again on Essemkay Company Production’s growing list in June 2012. Her other five children’s books are published in the educational market and include In Black Bear Country (Richard Owens Publishers), Caterpillar Can’t Wait, Watch a Butterfly Grow, How Many Muffins, and Farm Stand Mystery (all with Benchmark Education Company). She is co-author of The Book Lover’s Cookbook, Celebrated Works of Literature and the Passages That Feature Them (Ballantine Books); and her stories, articles, and poems have appeared in numerous venues, including Babybug and Cricket magazines. In 2011 and 2012, Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again won the KART Book List Award and the Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention, respectively.

She lives in Utah, where she is perpetually entertained by her children, their friends, and the students that find themselves stuck in her science classroom. She is not sure how she feels about their latest “compliment” that the accompanying photo you see here shows a strong likeness to Steven Tyler. She welcomes comments on this long-standing debate.


Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. very cool, Kriss! You make blog-hopping and interviews so much fun! I am inspired to new heights of color by the tapping horse with high-flying toe-color style! But as for those wiggles?…. ha!

  2. Thank you so much for making me smile tonight. I am so looking forward to trying the new pastime of painting my nails while eating chocolate – never know just might have one of them out of body experiences ; ) I have The Ghost In Me in my reader and will definitely have to move it up with Uma’s visual for mom in mind and so right Antonio is just Antonio – nuff said.

    • Whoops! actually that cast was for Reality Bites, but this cast would work for The Ghost in Me as well! (what swoonish young teen wouldn’t want a teacher looking like Antonio!) (minor details) 🙂


  1. The Sunday Glitter Express - [...] signed up for like FOUR next week, just deal with it they are all really cool), book tours and…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge