Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hold the Mustard!

I'm a ketchup loving girl. I put ketchup and only ketchup on everything. Fries. Burgers. Hashbrowns. Tater tots. Liver sausage sandwiches. Even hot dogs. This Chicagoland girl does not put mustard on her hot dog, only ketchup!

I'm like Spencer in my  newest book, HOLD THE MUSTARD!  Ketchup on his dogs. But my story actually is not about Spencer. It's about Maddie the Mustard. She's sad because the kids always choose Cam and Bam over her in the fridge. (Cam and Bam would be the ketchup and strawberry jam, don'tcha know.) Will Spencer ever choose Maddie over Cam the Ketchup? Will someone ever throw out the expired milk? Will someone please pick up some orange juice at the store? You will find out about Spencer's choice (very unlike Sophie's choice) if you read my book!

Where can you find out about my book you ask? (And thank you for asking!)

HOLD THE MUSTARD! is my latest digital picture book from Meegenius! Remember, BIG SISTER, BABY BROTHER? I have another book from the same company, and it is released today! Hurray!

How can you buy this story about talking condiments? You can preview or purchase it HERE! Hot diggety dog!

You can buy Meegenius books individually or subscribe to their new subscription service. Picture books on the go on your computer, iPhone, iPad, and other electronic devices. The app is FREE!
Here's more about Meegenius books which are beautifully illustrated e-books with enhanced features such as professional narration and word highlighting that promote reading comprehension skills. The "Read it Myself" option also allows children to read "Big Sister, Baby Brother" and "Hold the Mustard!" as traditional books. MeeGenius books add a whole new dimension to story time and are perfect for children from birth to 8 years old. MeeGenius books are also a great help for people of any age learning English as a second language.

So...what do you put on your hot dog???

Monday, October 21, 2013

Writers Help Writers and a Rockabet Giveaway!

Hello, friends. It's an exciting week in blogland. This week is the Writers Helping Writers Amazing Race and a ROCKABET giveaway!

Those amazing ladies Angela Ackerman &  Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse) have added two more books to their Descriptive Thesaurus Collection: The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws. To celebrate, they are hosting a race, and not just any old race, either. It's the...

Writing is hard, isn't it? Create the perfect hook. Make your first page compelling. Craft an amazing 25 word pitch. Knock out a query that will blow an agent's mind. On and on it goes. And sometimes, well, you just wish someone would help.


From October 21st until October 27th, Writers Helping Writers is posting an OPEN CALL for writers. You can fill out a form, requesting help with critiques, book visibility, social media sharing, blog diagnostics, advice and more.

An army of Amazing Racers are standing by (ME INCLUDED!) waiting to help with your submissions. How many people can we help in a week? Let's find out! Did I mention there are Celebrity Racers too--amazing authors and editors who know their way around a first page. Maybe one of them will pick your submission to help with!

Each day this week, there's an AMAZING giveaway, too. So stop in at Angela & Becca’s new Writers Helping Writers website and find out how to take advantage of this awesome, unique, pay-it-forward event for writers.  See you there, baby!


To celebrate writers helping other writers, I want to give away a signed paperback copy of my ABC's of rock picture book, ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION to a lucky commenter! If you want to win, write READING ROCKS! in the comments! :) That's it! I will choose a winner this weekend!
And the winner is JEMI! Congrats, Jemi!!!! :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rockabet Book Launch Party!


Last Monday I had my book launch for my new ABC picture book of rock, ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION! My local library was kind enough to host me and allowed me to use their party room for the festivities. I had refreshments, crafts, bookmarks, temporary tattoos, a reading, and a book signing that awesome evening. Over 100 people attended which made me so overwhelmed with gratitude. So wonderful for others to take time out in their busy schedule to celebrate with me! Even some of my former students stopped by! Here are a few photos (mostly taken by my dad) of the evening!

Thank you all for your wonderful support and nice words about my book!

I read Rockabet to the crowd!

Some of the wonderful people who attended.

Bookmarks, business cards, temporary tattoos!

Signing books next to my accountant.

I wanted everyone's autograph!

It was a fabulous night!
ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION is available at amazon, barnesandnoble.com,
and in select bookstores.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rockabet Band Manager

Today I'm playing band manager to celebrate the release of my ABC's of rock 'n' roll picture book, ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION. You know I love my rock bands. If I could choose any band members from any bands to form the best band ever, these would be my rockin' picks:

Band Name: Indecision  (also the name of a band in my upcoming middle grade novel!)

First Gig: Red Rocks (I have never been there!! I'd love to see a concert there!)

So, like I said, I LOVE rock. I figured these musicians are pretty busy and probably should swap out gig by gig so they can still play in their other awesome band. So I have multiple choices, yo. (And yes, these are all my photos taken at concerts (except for Grohl) :) .)


Lead vocalist #1:  Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach - one of the most energetic frontmen I have ever seen! This man can ROCK!

Lead vocalist #2: Gerard Way formerly of My Chemical Romance - Love, love, love his voice.

Lead vocalist #3: Josh Todd of Buckcherry - He dances with his shirt off while he sings. Nuff said.

Okay, one more lead vocalist: Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars - Energetic, blue eyes, smooth vocals.


Lead guitarist #1: Mark Tremonti of Creed/Alter Bridge/Tremonti - Awesome variety of guitar riffs. He's in three bands plus mine! He is a wanted man!

Lead guitarist #2: Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold - My favorite intro guitar riff of all time is "Unholy Confessions" by A7X. This man can shred. And he's kinda cute.

Lead guitarist #3: Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins - He's a Chicago guy who is mega-talented.


Bass guitarist #1- Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue/Sixx: A.M - Love his lyrics, his looks, and he's in two of my fave bands!

Bass guitarist #2 - Matt Brady of New Medicine - Beautiful brown eyes with a beautiful heart (he spent the last year in Ghana!).

Bass guitarist #3 - John Taylor of Duran Duran - Play the #*&!-ing bass, John! More pop than rock, but Duran Duran was the first band I ever loved.


Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters - it's Dave freaking Grohl, people!

Who would you choose for your supergroup and why?
Here's a band name generator to create your killer band name!

Some very kind people are helping me celebrate the release by sharing who they would choose to be in their ultimate band in a ROCKABET BAND MANAGER post! Go check 'em out! Thank you!
Theresa Milstein , Lydia Kang , Shelli Johannes , Candyland , Bish Denham , Samantha Verant , and Leigh T. Moore

ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION can currently be purchased online at Amazon or at select bookstores. Hardcover books will be available at various online retailers and stores in October.

Kelly Polark is also the author of BIG SISTER, BABY BROTHER and the upcoming HOLD THE MUSTARD! from Meegenius. Come visit her on Facebook and Twitter! Check out her website and celebrity book recommendation site, Book Recs of the Rock and Famous.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Book Birthday, Rockabet!

Woo hoo! The day is here! My picture book ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION  is available! 

The first draft of ROCKABET was written about five years ago. I had a mixture of classic and current artists featured in the book. At a local SCBWI meeting and on a WriteOnCon messageboard, some suggested I stick with either current or classic musicians. This was fabulous advice, and that is what I did! My first edition of the book is classic, and I hope to publish a current edition of ROCKABET one day! My fabulous illustrator, Kelli Ann Little, helped make this book come to life. I adore her illustrations of the musicians.

ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION celebrates my favorite genre of music, good ole rock 'n' roll. It combines my passion for music and reading. The book promotes the arts and classic rock bands, reading, and learning the ABC's.

Some very kind people are helping me celebrate the release by sharing who they would choose to be in their ultimate band in a ROCKABET BAND MANAGER post! Go check 'em out! Thank you!

Monday: Theresa Milstein and Sharon Mayhew
Tuesday: Lydia Kang
Wednesday: Shelli Johannes and Candyland
Thursday: Bish Denham
Friday: Samantha Verant

Leigh T. Moore has a post for you this week, too. I will share my Band Manager picks on Thursday!

Here is my book! You can purchase the paperback HERE!
Hardcover will be available next month!

Thank you to all of you fabulous friends, family, and critique pals who have been my cheerleader and support system! YOU ROCK!

Friday, September 20, 2013

I have talented blog buddies.

Yes. Yes, I do.

I have seen so many great tweets and posts about my friends in blogland that I wanted to share their new (or upcoming) books with you!

Check these out!

Laura Pauling can write one exciting thriller. This YA time travel novel came out last month! You can purchase it here!
Jimmy's other books feature vampires, but his newest is a paranormal with ghosts. Cool cover!
I read Suzanne's YA Fingerprints on vacation in August. True to life characters.
Oh my heck! It's Elana's conclusion to the amazing Possession trilogy!
Have you read Myra's awesome Hourglass series? Infinityglass , the third novel in the series, released last month!
I'm currently reading Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle. Proceeds go to charity! Check it out! Lots of my writing friends are featured.

If you are in blogland and don't know Alex, you need to check out his blog! He's the blog ninja, people! Cassastorm is his third installment of his Cassastar series. You can buy it in paperback or ebook form here and other online stores!
Christina's debut NA novel released this week, too! I hear it is hot AND sweet! Looking forward to reading it!
You all know that I adore LTM's books. This latest in the Dragonfly series releases October 3!
Is this cover bluetiful or what? Our favorite doctor/author Lydia's debut YA novel arrives December 26!
Those super helpful ladies, Angela and Becca have done it again! Look forward to other helpful books, The Positive and Negative Trait Thesaurus next month!
Fellow Illinois author Susan Kaye Quinn is blogging her upcoming book Indie Author Survival Guide. Check out her amazing, instructive posts!
And have you seen the super cute cover reveal from Bish?
Lastly, a super shout out to Samantha Verant who sold her memoir, Seven Letters From Paris. It is amazing. Sam is so funny, genuine, and this is such a wonderful story about second chances.
These are a peek at some amazing people and their books. There are more out there, and I hope I didn't miss any wonderful friends who have books recently out. If I did, I'd be happy to add them to this post!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meet Lily


I'm in puppy love! Our family adopted a puppy from a rescue a few weeks ago. We are not sure what kind she is as her mom was pregnant when they found her. The mom is maybe a beagle/terrier/shepherd-y mix; dad is unknown (maybe a black lab?). We have no idea if she will be 25 pounds or 60 pounds. It will be a surprise!

When we were on vacation over the summer, we visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. Best Friends houses hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, and other animals on their beautiful sanctuary in Angel Canyon. We toured the sanctuary, and got to meet some of the adorable animals. It's so important to adopt from a shelter or rescue instead of buying a pet at a pet store! We were so ready to adopt when we returned from our trip.

Our beloved 16 year old miniature pinscher, Goofy, died in June, and my other rescue dog, Daisy, just adored her. We wanted to get Daisy another friend, and luckily Daisy loves Lily! They snuggle and play. Lily is a little lovergirl, and she is really a wonderful addition to our family. You can't help but smile when you have a puppy in the house!

What has you smiling this week?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Cover Rocks!

This is it! This is the cover of my upcoming picture book titled, ROCKABET, that comes out in September. Does it rock or what?!

Rockabet: Classic Edition is an ABC picture book of rock 'n' roll. The book introduces classic rock bands in catchy couplets. The illustrations depict the bands as chibis, which are childlike versions of characters. The book is illustrated by Kelli Little. More of her amazing artwork can be seen at her Facebook page, Catching Dreams Illustration. I just love it!

Speaking of Facebook pages, I just created an author page for myself and I'd love if you would hop on over and "Like" it! Here is the link: Author Kelly Polark. As you know, I love rock music and this book brings together two of my passions: promoting literacy and promoting good ole rock 'n' roll! I have another Meegenius book coming out this fall, and I will post a sneak peek of an illustration on my Facebook page next week. Thanks for stopping by the blog and liking my author page. Your support means so much!!

Now back to ROCKABET. Can you guess which band I chose for the letter A?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Random Thoughts While Watching Man of Steel

I rarely post movie reviews. Heck, I rarely watch movies! But the hubby and I took the kids to see Man of Steel on Father's Day. The theater was packed!

Here are my random thoughts on this blockbuster movie (no spoilers!).

1. Hello, Alaskan King Abs! (you'll get this when you see it)

2. This movie may be the loudest I've heard in a long time (maybe because we were in third row?).


3. Am I the only person who kept thinking that General Zod looked an awful lot like the lead singer of 3 Doors Down? I half expected him to burst into song and sing "Kryptonite" to Superman. (Remember that song? "If I go crazy, will you still call me Superman?") Here are two photos for you to compare.

4. Speaking of 3 Doors Down's "Kryptonite," I'd like to see a resurgence of that song and "Superman's Dead" by Our Lady Peace on the radio stations. Get on that radio stations! Man of Steel is huge right now! Good tunes.

5. Clark has Russell Crowe as Superman's real dad and Kevin Costner as his adopted dad. Dang!

6. I love how Diane Lane looks so real in this movie. And still pretty.

7. Also absolutely loved Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Attention males: intelligence, confidence, and loyalty are sexy to Superman. The Man of Steel.

8. I have a taste for pancakes. (again, you will have to see this to understand this one :)

9. I teared up in one scene in the movie. I'm not saying which one as not to spoil...

10. What? The "S" isn't for Superman?!

11. Henry Cavill as Superman reminded me a little bit of USA volleyball player Matt Anderson. Though without the chin dimple and 9 inches shorter (and Cavill is 6'1"!).

12. After a character remarks to her colleague about Superman, "I think he's hot," a woman behind me said loudly, "Really hot." I may have silently agreed with her.

13. Wow. Clark puts on a pair of eyeglasses and no one recognizes him? C'mon! Hannah Montana had a better disguise than that!

14. My 8 year old son asked me what me favorite scene in the movie was. So I told him the truth. "The scene where his shirt is off."

Those are my random thoughts. Do I recommend the movie? Yes. Very entertaining. The only two flaws were the Zod/Superman fight scene was a little long and not enough shirtless scenes.

Did you see the movie? Will you see it?