Monday, May 11, 2009


"The Eric Hoffer award for short prose and books was established at the start of the 21st century as a means of opening a door to writing of significant merit. It honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. The winning stories and essays are published in Best New Writing, and the book awards are covered in the US Review of Books."

Here is their review of the winning BUTT!

by Lynn Montgomery, illustrated by Terrie Redding
ZuZu Petals Books
reviewed by Wendy Thomas

"You see, I wasn't always a handsome dog. No siree. When I was born, everyone screamed..."

Move over Marley, Butt Ugly is the dog to cheer about!

Butt Ugly is the heart-tugging story of a pup born the runt in a litter of outstanding "Princesses" and "Fangs." One by one, his brothers and sisters get adopted, and Butt Ugly is left to achingly wonder why he is so unwanted by everyone, except his mother who thinks it is a "grand tooting" idea that he stays with her. Ultimately he discovers that his true self, and not the perception of others, is what's really important in life.

A story that is appealing to both children and adults, Butt Ugly humorously and compassionately teaches us that labels often do more harm than good. If we start looking at the individual and not the label, we may just find something unexpected. Sometimes, like in Butt Ugly, we find the proverbial diamond-in-the-rough. With this little green dog, once we remove the label, the pup is able to discover his true capabilities and worth. And it all culminates in a terrific ending for the pup formerly known as "Butt Ugly."

Butt Ugly has the added ecological advantage of being printed on 100% recycled, non-bleached paper, using vegetable based inks and renewable energy. A wonderful life-affirming message in an earth-friendly package—what parent or child could want for more? This title recently won the Eric Hoffer Book Award in the Children's Book category.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Welcome to ZuZu Petals

"Hug a Tree, Hug a Child,
Read a Green Book"

You embrace the world, you embrace your family and you embrace the future when you buy Green Books. ZuZu Petals publishes only Green Books. What is a Green Book?
1. Printed in the US.
2. On recycled, non-bleached, post consumer-waste paper.
3. Using vegetable based inks.
4. By a printer that runs on wind power!  And ZuZu Petals Books are not just good for the environment - they're good for the brain, the heart and the funny bone. Our first release is available now - BUTT UGLY, the scrawny, greenish, mutt of the litter who can't find a home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

BUTT UGLY - Pre-orders accepted now!

Decades in the making... ZUZU PETALS PUBLISHING is proud to announce the pre-release of our first children's book, BUTT UGLY, a 32 page, full color, hardcover masterpiece. What is a pre-release, you ask? Well, it just means the book is not ready yet, but we are so excited about it that we wanted to give you an opportunity to part with your hard earned cash ($19.95) and secure a first-in-line-place to get your copy the moment it is released - August, 2008.

BUTT UGLY is printed in the US on 100% recycled, post consumer waste paper, using only vegetable based inks and a printer that runs on wind power! And that qualifies BUTT UGLY for the coveted CHILD SAFE/EARTH FRIENDLY seal of approval. (It is our own award, but we have extremely high standards.) Our mission at ZUZU PETALS is to make every book we publish so green you could eat it. And then you'd have to buy another copy to read to your children at night, thus increasing our sales.

We know you'll love BUTT UGLY, the greenish mutt hoping for a home... So click that little blue button at the bottom. You know you want it... Go on, BUTT UGLY needs a home, your home.

What is Google Checkout?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Nine Lives and Misadventures of Marcy, The Marvelous Cat

Chapter One
(Where I introduce myself and my perfect life
before everything goes haywire)

"Don’t call me lazy, spoiled, or prissy. It is Marcy, s’il vous plait. And yes, these are real rhinestones on my collar. I am svelte of figure with a gorgeous tail, or so I’ve been told. Part Persian, with a touch of French. You’ll notice my delicate, creamy complexion and green eyes. Exotic, I know..."

This is the story of Marcy, a persnickety, pampered pet who embarks on a transcontinental journey, trapped in a drawer in the back of a moving van for seven days. Her only companion is A RAT! It is based on a true story that made headlines around the world. THE NINE LIVES AND MISADVENTURES OF MARCY, THE MARVELOUS CAT will be the second book from ZuZu Petals Publishing. All of our books are published on 100% recylced paper. No trees or cats were harmed in the making of our books.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I scrunch my face to the greenhouse window and eyeball the throng of orchidmaniacs, all agog to get inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens to admire Platanthera yosemitensis, a rare and foul-smelling fug of a flower. Stuff a gym sock with gazpacho, bake it in horse manure, then spritz it with skunk juice, you won’t begin to rival the aroma of this dainty bog orchid. Unless, of course, you consider the cadaver-scented corpse flower, Amorphophallus titanum. But I never had the privilege of waxing in the waft of its rotting flesh aroma. So, until then, Platanthera yosemitensis remains, for moi, the grand opus of stink. And today it has reached pitch perfect putrification.

I should know. I work the sanitation crew at the Conservatory. Night shifts, mostly. My job is to tidy up. People leave cookie crumbs and bits of tuna sandwiches and hot dogs lying about. In my opinion, humans are way bigger slobs than their simian cousins. One night I found an entire wiener stuffed into an Oncidium sphacelatum. I had to call in crews from all over The Gardens. It took us hours to sweep the joint.

The next morning I was in a foul mood. Indigestion probably. Usually, I’m pretty good with the tourists, mellow, stay out of their way while they smoosh their fat proboscis into the fragile blooms. But that morning, some old fart leaned way over, and stuck his jowly face into a gorgeous Cattleya aurantiaca. And just when his bulbous beak was smacking up the scent, I peaked from behind the petal and spit in his eye. HA! Sent him screaming out the door, covered head to toe in horripilation.

Me and the crew had a good laugh about that. But to tell you the truth, I’m ready for a change. My family has been working the sanitation crew at The Gardens since they opened 250 years ago. I’ve always been an orchid guy. Kind of sensitive, fond of beauty. But I hear there’s an opening in the cafeteria. And that does appeal to the gourmand in me.

I have a cousin, thrice removed, who worked in the caf when she was a kid. She loved it. In fact, she’s full of stories about her salad days. She said she could get me in if I was serious.

It would take some doing. The cafeteria is a long ways away and there’s a lot of foot traffic between here and there. We’d abscond after dark, of course. Keeping careful watch for the unsavory characters who creep through the night. Like rats. Ugh. Sends a shiver down my leg spines - just the thought of those squalid vermin infesting The Gardens. But my cuz says not to worry. Our fifth column is well established in the caf, ready to lend tactical support for forced entry, or God forbid, rat patrol.

But I don’t know. I can’t decide. Like now, just when I think I’m ready for a change, I settle into a downy petal and stretch out my knees - all eighteen of them. I breathe through my cheeks and sniff with my feelers. I get a stiff whiff of Platanthera yosemitensis, the odiferous bog orchid. And the symphony of smell sends my cerci aquiver. I whisper to my Blattodea brethren, “Wooo mama, there’s no place like home…”

The end

This story was written for the creative writing challenge. String these ten words together: agog; fug; horripilation; Kew Gardens; abscond; gazpacho; simian; fifth column; opus; salad days. The story practically wrote itself. I stand agog at the final opus. I hope you enjoyed "Filth at The Gardens."

BUTT UGLY - the book, available soon...

"Hey kids, come over here. I’m gonna tell you a story. It’s the hair-raising, bone-chilling adventure of moi. Yours truly. You see, I wasn’t always such a handsome dog. No siree…

When I was born, everyone screamed, “AAAAUUUEE!! That pup is messed up!! All snaggle-toothed and wrinkly, with three little hairs sticking up from his butt. That pup is butt ugly!”

And that’s what they called me – Butt Ugly. Hard enough being a small, greenish pup in a litter of thirteen walloping tail-waggers. Way worse when you’re saddled with a name like Butt Ugly. You start believing it. At least I did. That’s the power of words and name-calling. Made me feel puny – inside and out..."