11 June 2014 - 'PA JOE'S PLACE' - RELEASED!!!



Award-winning author Clancy Tucker


G'day folks,

Finally, my next novel has been published - 'Pa Joe's Place'. So, what is it about? This is a powerful story about a seven-year-old Thai girl, Boo. I met Boo many years ago and she changed my life for the better. Yes, this is based on a true story. It is also based in Thailand, and forty years passed before I was capable of writing it. This is the story of two of my real-life heroes - Boo and Pa Joe. Pa Joe was a Jesuit priest who gave fifty years to the great unwashed kids of Thailand.  


Want to win a free copy of 'Pa Joe's Place'? Of course you do, so I will offer five signed paperback books free. All come with a matching bookmark. Check the bottom of this post where I have a question for you. Don't be shy!

Here are some comments and reviews provided by those who have already read it:

“I am delighted to inform you that I have just finished reading PJP, and I am really moved. Boo seems like an extraordinary girl. It is a moving and inspiring story which can be an inspiration for so many people, young and old, regardless of their race or religion. I can't put it any other way but to say "Love your work, Khun Clancy."
Charkrieno​rrathip Sevikul
Counsellor & Consul, Royal Thai Embassy, Tehran.

“This is a powerful story of an ordinary girl. This is truly a loving, and moving story that touches  the heart of readers."
Anchansiri Sriyananda , Former Senior Diplomat, Bangkok, Thailand.

 “Love the logo, the cover’s great; the contents even better. Well done my friend! I have never read anything like it. A movie is an absolute must. You have a gift my friend. I know & understand why you love Thailand.”
 Kim Stedman, Author, Western Australia.

“I am glad that I have read a wonderful story that deeply touched me, and I am glad to know that there are foreigners who love Thailand. I would like to call your story a masterpiece, because it has inspired me very much. Rarely has any story touched me this much, and rarely has any story made me want to keep reading on and on.”
Veerabhatr (Jug) Sriyananda, Student, Bangkok, Thailand.
“It’s a great book … A very moving story … Highly passionate. It has a real presence, and the humanitarian component. It’s great, She’s great, You’re great.” 
Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford, Author, GP, Queensland, Australia.

 Hoei, Boo! With ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, Clancy Tucker has created an extraordinary piece of writing. From the first page, I fell in love with little Boo’s unpretentious yet endearing character, as will every reader, whether young or young at heart. Wherever Boo goes, she touches people in a special way. The novel has superb writing with excellent narrative and dialogue; a jewel. This book can be read more than once, revealing flashes of pleasure that may have been missed before.

 ‘Pa Joe’s Place’ also plunges the reader into aspects of Thai culture and the harsh life of its people struggling to survive in an environment tourists perceive as idyllic. Given this glimpse, the reader will be tempted to visit Songkhla for himself and see that land through Boo’s eyes. The ending is sure to leave the reader tearful. This is a story no one will forget soon. I enjoyed reading this book immensely; a pleasure to come across such a work, having reviewed some very ordinary efforts. 
Stefan Vucak, editor & award-winning Australian author.

Based on real-life characters, Pa Joe’s Place is a novel about an unpretentious yet extraordinary Thai girl, Boo Nawigamune, who survives remarkable events and influences many lives. Aged seven, Boo leaves her family home when her father is diagnosed with a terminal illness and travels alone over 1,000 km to an orphanage in Songkhla where she is to live. She carries little with her – food, clothes and an unopened letter of introduction. On the way, however, the train journey is interrupted by a crash, following which Boo assists stricken passengers. And, too, the girl meets strangers – influential men who aid her at the time and later when she has reached her destination.

There is much that happens to Boo which defies the odds – she is bitten by a snake, survives a tsunami, meets rich and influential people, and manages to establish a jam-making business which pours money into the orphanage’s coffers. All of her adventures point to what a remarkable, enterprising and inspirational child she is.

Pa Joe’s Place deserves a wide readership if only to showcase two remarkable people, Boo Nawigamune and her surrogate father, Pa Joe Carey.
 Di Bates, Award-winning author, Australia.


Boo is a seven-year-old Thai girl whose father is dying.
She must leave home and travel 1700 kilometres to live
in an orphanage, ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, run by a foreigner
(farang). With a bag of clothes, some food and a
mysterious envelope addressed to ‘Pa Joe’, she
endures an adventurous train trip to Songkhla.
On the way, she meets influential people who
know Pa Joe and a wise monk who gives
her a lucky amulet.

Boo settles into ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, makes friends and
inspires Pa; an American Jesuit priest who
has cared for Thai orphans for 50 years. She and
her friends establish a successful jam-making business
to make money for Pa and Boo meets Jack Ryan,
an Australian farmer she admires. Shattered by the
death of her father, she runs from Pa Joe’s Place
but is soon found by Pa and the Chief of Police.

Boo has survived four life-threatening situations since
she left home: a train derailment, snakebite, tsunami
and a fire. Suddenly she takes ill and is rushed to hospital.

Will her lucky amulet help her to survive?



     ‘Yes, Pa?’

     ‘I’m really worried. I can’t seem to find a way to lift your spirits. I’ve failed you,’ he said with the saddest face. I leant against his door and thought about what he’d just said. It was so typical of him. He had 156 kids to worry about, but he always cared for us as individuals.

‘Don’t worry. You lift my spirits every day, Pa. That’s why I love you.'

    ‘I took Pa’s hand and squeezed it. He looked down and smiled.

     ‘Boo, Boo, Boo. You’re such a resilient kid.’

     ‘Resilient? What’s that mean, Pa?’ 
He frowned and sighed. ‘It means courageous, brave and strong. You’re an amazing survivor, Boo. You’re also inspirational.’

     ‘Inspirational? Is that good, Pa?’ I asked. He replied with one of my favourite expressions.

     ‘It’s not good. It’s excellent.’

‘I felt an awful burning feeling in my arm and I wanted to vomit. 
‘Come on, Boo. Let’s get you to hospital.’ Pa picked me up in his arms and ran towards the car where he gently placed me on the back seat, closed the door and slammed the boot lid. The last thing I remembered was the noise of the tyres spinning in the dirt.’


‘For a few seconds my body shook. I felt shattered, lost and lonely; a feeling I’d never experienced before. Pa held me and gently stroked my hair. He did his best to make me feel secure but I needed to be alone. Still crying, I jumped up and ran from his office, needing to escape from the place I’d been sent while my father died.

     ‘It’s not fair, Pa!’ I screamed.

     ‘Boo!’ he shouted, but I ignored his pleas, ran down the front steps and left Pa Joe’s Place.’

* 316 pages
* All are signed.
* All come with a matching bookmark

‘Boo, how could I have a happy birthday when one of my kid’s is missing? I’ve worked hard for the past 50 years for kids like you ... And I’m damned if I’ll have a happy birthday when one of them is feeling lost and upset. No way.’

  I felt tears running down my face, but Pa was very calm. He reached up, removed his silver cross and placed it around my neck.

     ‘But, Pa,’ I sniffled. ‘I can’t take this. It was given to you by your momma.’ 
Pa raised his eyebrows. ‘Yes, you can take it. It’s mine. I’ll give it to whoever needs it,’ he said, stood up and stretched. ‘I’ll be outside, waiting for you. You take your time. There’s no hurry, Boo. Please be gentle on yourself. You’ve been so strong since you left home. We’re proud of you. God, you’ve done amazing things. Your poppa would be so very proud of you. I certainly am.’

 ‘The old monk laid his mat beside me and softly offered me a personal message before he closed his eyes.
     ‘Boo. Thank you for your courage today. I didn’t mention you earlier. I wanted to tell you privately.’
     ‘Me? Courage?’ I spluttered.
     ‘Yes, and extraordinary love. I heard what the other kids said when they saw you race that rubber tube to Khun Jack.’
 I rolled onto my side and looked at him in the half-light.   ‘What did they say, sir?’ 
He clasped his hands on his chest and took a deep breath. ‘Your closest friends were so proud of you. They got everyone to hold hands and pray for you. The Muslim Imam, Mr Al Farran, and his entire family, knelt down and prayed to Allah. Then, when you safely returned, everyone cheered.’

Mates are mates!

‘My friends gasped when they heard my name mentioned. I didn’t. I was too busy listening to Khun Bluey. I was also silently crying.

     ‘Jack reckoned she was a gorgeous kid. He said she was the smartest kid he’d ever met, and they became close mates. Sadly, she’s doing it tough right now ... If it hadn’t been for her bravery, seven Thai kids would have died that day. Apparently, she risked her life and raced across the beach to give a rubber truck tube to Jack, with a massive tsunami wave bearing down on her. Man, you’ve got to admire that sort of courage,’ said Khun Bluey, looking away for a few seconds to wipe tears from his eyes.’

Boo's journey - 1700 kilometres.

‘That night I slept with Khun Jack’s photograph under my sausage pillow. Before I closed my eyes I whispered a special message to two of my heroes.

     ‘Goodnight, Poppa. Goodnight, Khun Jack. Thank you for loving me.’


Pa, you are just like my poppa. I love you very much. You have given me so much opportunity ...’

Clancy's comment: Although I am normally a young adult fiction writer, this story is more suited to big kids - adults. Kids will find it entertaining, but it will make adults want to hug their kids and grandkids. I promise you that! Pa Joe's Place will give you goosebumps, but goosebumps you will tell your friends about. Boo will steal your heart, but you'll be glad she did. If she doesn't, you don't have a heart worth stealing. I know. I met her.

Clancy Tucker


Based on what you have read today, send me an email (clancy_tucker@hotmail.com) and tell me in no more than 30 words why you'd like to read this book. I will post the winning replies. You have a week!


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