Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Karma Brown's fabulous fictional friends...plus a book giveaway

We're thrilled to have Karma Brown visiting with us today, as we've heard rave reviews (the first being from Liz and Lisa) of her debut novel, Come Away with Me, and can't wait to dig in. Thanks to Mira, THREE lucky readers from the US and/or Canada will have copies of their own soon. 

Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer, who probably spends too much time on her laptop in coffee shops. When not writing, she can be found running with her husband, coloring (outside the lines) with her daughter, or baking yet another batch of banana muffins. Karma lives just outside Toronto with her family. Visit her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter. She's here today to tell us about her literary best friends. 

Synopsis of Come Away with Me:
An unexpected journey leads one woman to discover that life after loss is possible, if only you can find the courage to let go…

One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe, and a baby on the way. The next, a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.

Tegan is consumed by grief—not to mention her anger toward Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. But just when she thinks she's hit rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences, and so begins an adventure of a lifetime.

From the bustling markets of Thailand to the flavors of Italy to the ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness. But they soon learn that grief follows you no matter how far away you run, and that acceptance comes when you least expect it. Heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly transporting, Come Away with Me is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

As a writer I spend a lot of time thinking about characters – and not just my own. It’s nearly impossible for me to read a book these days without considering what inspired a particular character, or noticing a quirky trait and wondering if it’s shared by the author, or getting lost in a blooming relationship between main players. Characters make the story for me. So to that point, here are the Top five book characters I’d be tickled to be friends with in real life:

1. Elizabeth (Lou) Luella of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert.
Lou can cook (she’s the owner of a struggling restaurant in Milwaukee, who meets a food critic who will change her life…) and is a caring soul who bravely follows her dreams – all things that would instantly endear her to me. But I think it’s her Coconut Cake (which she would, of course, make me every year for my birthday) that would likely bind us as forever friends.

2. Claire Waverley of Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.
This is one of those stories I would like to live inside for a while, and Claire is definitely part of the reason for that. From the curious backyard tree that bears fortune-telling fruit, to the complicated family past, to the mystical culinary abilities, I would just sit in awe watching Claire create her dishes (like rose geranium wine that conjure fond memories), wishing some of her skill – and magic -- would rub off on me. A best friend who makes magical food? Count me in.

3. Madeline Martha Mackenzie of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with, and with a motto to ‘never forgive and never forget’ she’s the sort of friend you want by your side when things go sideways – as they inevitably do in life. Plus, she wears 50s-style cocktail dresses, is just the right mix of sweet and snark to make life interesting, and is refreshingly honest.

4. Vivien Lowe of The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood.
Vivien is a fascinating character, so layered and complex and determined. Plus, she has an uncanny ability to write beautiful stories about people she doesn’t even know (she’s an obituary writer in 1919), always finding the perfect details and words to comfort their grieving families. And as someone who misses the art of letter writing (my Nana used to write me the most lovely notes), I can only imagine the letters Vivien would write to me if we were BFFs way back when.

5. Bernadette Fox of Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.
If books became reality, I’m certain I wouldn’t be nearly quirky enough to catch Bernadette’s interest, however it’s fun to imagine the kind of friend she’d be. As an agoraphobic and brilliant architect, she designs history-making buildings but naively gives her virtual assistant in India full access to her credit card. I suspect a day with Bernadette would be an experience to remember.

Thanks to Karma for visiting with us and to Mira 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. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends September 29th at midnight EST.


Unknown said...

When I was in my early 20's, I left my husband and 3 year old daughter at home and went on a week's vacation to Canada with my friend Eva. It was my first ever adult vacation and it was awesome. Eva and I did not do the whole tour thing. We found some castles to explore and we sat on beaches watching sailboats, and sometimes we spent hours drinking coffee and reading. We ate in varying type atmospheres, we drank some wine. It was the best time ever. We were very much alike and didn't care if the other one said let's just read today.

Shelby N. said...

I would LOVE to go to Vegas with my 2 best friends . We would have so much fun!

Janine said...

I have never taken a vacation with a friend, but for my 40th birthday, I went to visit my ex, who is a very good friend. He bought a trip for me to go visit him in Hawaii. He put me in a hotel room overlooking Waikiki Beach and would come down each morning to take me on a daily adventure.

traveler said...

When I was 17 a girlfriend and I went on a weekend trip to Lake George which was wonderful. We had a great time, swam, walked around town, met guys and enjoyed this memorable and special weekend.

TinaB said...

My friend and I spent a week in Cancun. Sun & fun!

Bonnie K. said...

I'm sad to say that I haven't taken a trip with a close friend. I've taken a trip across the country to meet a pen pal friend. Does that count? It would be cool to take a trip to the UK with someone close to me. You know, my husband is a close friend. :P That counts, doesn't it? :)

Jennifer said...

Two of my cousins are two of my dearest friends, and we went to San Francisco and Napa Valley several years ago. We had a great time!

susieqlaw said...

After college graduation my best friend and I took a memorable and fun trip to the beach!

cpr040304 said...

I drove back to my birth state to make peace with my parents after not speaking with them for a few years. That was a rough drive.

Rita Wray said...

I would love to go to Paris, France with a friend.

Carol D said...

My friend and are planning a trip to Nashville. We
are hoping to go next year. We were friends in high
school and lost touch for 20 years. Through the
wonders of facebook we have reconnected and it is
as if we were never separated.

bn100 said...

would go on a road trip

Kathy E. said...

I would love to visit Aruba with my friend and sail the clear blue waters!

rubynreba said...

A close friend have always planned to visit Vegas together and never seem to get it done!

Letty Blanchard said...

In July, I went on a girls only weekend getaway with five of my "coffee" friends, and then in late August, early September, a few of us from that same group went on a cruise to Alaska. Our husbands were allowed on this one this time! :-)

Jen said...

In my early 20s, a friend and I escaped Michigan and headed to Las Vegas. It was fabulous; we came home broke and exhausted!