Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A friendly drink with Kim Gruenenfelder...plus a book giveaway

Kim Gruenenfelder is back at CLC once again during wintertime, to share a new holiday treat with us. (And no, it's not the drink she's carrying.) You may remember her when she shared There's Cake in My Future (reviewed here) back in 2010. We've had to wait THREE years for her to present the sequel, Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink (reviewed by Book Mama).

Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have TWO copies of Keep Calm... for some lucky US readers. And that's not all. We also have some swag for a lucky US reader. And it gets even better...Book Mama has two more copies of Keep Calm... for some lucky US readers, as well!

You can find Kim at her website, Facebook and Twitter.

How did you decide to write chick lit in the first place?
By accident. I have got to be the only accidental novelist I’ve ever heard of. I wrote my first book, A Total Waste of Makeup, for my great-granddaughter to read. I was hoping she would think it was funny. Then it sold, and suddenly I had a new career.

What is the best feedback you've received on any of your novels?
I got a fan email once that still makes me happy. A woman wrote to me a few months after a hideous breakup. She wrote that at the time of the breakup, she wasn’t suicidal exactly, but had wanted to be dead. So she went to the bookstore for something self help, and wound up finding my book instead. There was a particular scene I wrote that helped her, because it reminded her that we’ve all gone through the Hell of breakups, and we all eventually come out of it, and I guess it inspired her to go to therapy and start healing. I never thought something I wrote could have touched someone that much. I kept the email.
I also love getting mail from other parts of the world. I have wonderful fans from Turkey. I must have an amazing translator for the books there, as I speak not a word of Turkish.

Are any of your characters based on yourself?
Charlie, the main character from A Total Waste of Makeup and Misery Loves Cabernet, was pretty much me at 29. You know how James Frey lied and made up a whole memoir, claiming it was true? I did the opposite: I wrote about my life, and called it fiction.
There’s Cake in my Future and Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink don’t really have a character based on me, although there are elements to Seema, Nic and Mel that I relate to.

If There's Cake... and Keep Calm... were made into a movie or TV series, who would you cast as Nic, Mel and Seema?
Movies and TV are totally different casting choices, so let’s go with with movies. For Seema, I used to see saw Freida Pinto as the ideal. But then I got into The Mindy Project and developed a girlcrush on Mindy Kaling. Mila Kunis would be so fun for Mel. And Kristen Bell for Nic. Of course, this is completely off the top of my head – you could put Kaley Cuoco in there, and she would give that role a totally different flavor.

What is your "big drink" of choice?
As tempted as I am to say champagne, since I start my day with coffee (and frequently finish my day with coffee), I would have to say that. I’m one of the first customers in line the day Starbucks Christmas Blend comes out. A Blue Bottle Espresso Roast (from the Bay area) makes my heart go pitter pat.
I remember being worried about how hard it would be to quit drinking alcohol when I was pregnant. That wasn’t a problem at all – most people don’t start their day with a glass of wine. But man, quitting caffeine was tough! I couldn’t walk past a coffeehouse without wanting to press my nose against the glass.

What TV show were you too young to appreciate in the past but would totally watch if it were around now?
The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was too young when it first aired, but I loved it in my 20s!

What is the best party you ever hosted or attended?
My wedding. We got married in Malibu in a five minute ceremony by the beach, with the ocean waves breaking right behind us. Then we followed that up with a reception in the same restaurant, so no one had to drive. The theme was “Don’t stress.” And for the most part, we did not. The bar was open before we did our vows. The minister was a mutual friend. The dance floor was filled from song one. The food was amazing. It was perfect.

What is your favorite way to escape?
I have two answers for this, depending on the season. In Fall and Winter, I love to go to the beach and walk. We’re so spoiled in Los Angeles: if the temperature falls below 70, the beaches are pretty much abandoned. If it’s raining ever so slightly, all the better, then it’s just me. A cocoa makes it perfect.
In Spring and Summer, I love sitting in my living room, watching sitcom reruns. My favorites are Will & Grace, Frasier, Mad About You and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Thanks to Kim for chatting with us and to St. Martin's Press for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US only. Giveaway ends December 22nd at midnight EST.


Janine said...

wine is my favorite drink

rhonda said...

Diet coke my drink.

jodi marinich said...

favorite drink is a cup of dunkin donuts coffee.....

susieqlaw said...

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Unknown said...

I love Diet Sundrop!

Unknown said...

I drink Coke every day, but if it is a special occasion, I get a rum and coke, margarita, or Asti Tosti Spumante.

Kritters Ramblings said...

I made this fantastic apple spice sangria for thanksgiving!

Bonnie K. said...

I know I'm boring, but my favorite big drink is a nice tall glass of cold water. Then on special occasions or when I feel like it, a mug of mocha. During dinner I like red wine. A special treat when out or when my husband wants to make it, I like the Irish coffee.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

EFC Chrissy said...

Water or red wine

AiringMyLaundry said...

I love her books! I've read them all.

My favorite drink of choice is a lemon drop. So tasty!

Sheena said...

Diet Coke all the way!!

Carl Scott said...

I'm all about the mineral water. A local product bottled in Mexico - Topo Chico.

Jen's Reading Obsession said...

Lemon drop for alcoholic beverages & Coke for non-alcoholic.

Unknown said...

Hard cider. Either Woodchuck Winter or Elderflower Angry Orchard.

S.Sabia said...

For a daily drink it's coffee, for alcoholic it's a cosmopolitan.

Suzanne said...

Red wine here!!!

Unknown said...

Red wine is my favorite.

Hailey Fish said...

I love my tea with milk and two Splenda. When I'm in the mood, margarita on the rocks without salt is divine! Or Mike's Hard/Smirnoff Ice or Seagram's Escapes. :)


Linda Kish said...


Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

My big girl drink of choice is probably coffee... I only drink it in the mornings though. If not, I will be up waaaay too late!

bn100 said...


Lisamarie said...

Red Wine is my favorite drink

Nova said...

love a sweet wine! sweet tea otherwise!