Today Kathryn R. Biel is here to help us end Family Month on a high note. We're glad to have her back at CLC to feature her latest novel, Made for Me (which involves a meddling family). She even has a $5 Amazon gift card for a lucky reader! (You can get this book and still have a little left over for one more!)
Kathryn hails from Upstate New York, and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful, but exhausting kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her client's needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. She is the author of Good Intentions, Hold Her Down, I'm Still Here, and Jump, Jive, and Wail. Her musings and rants can also be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Michele's lack of focus in life hasn't bothered her, until the day she finds herself with mounting credit card debt, unable to afford her rent, and without a job. While her meddling family questions how she can end up in this predicament, at the age of 29, and single to boot, Michele doesn't want to admit the truth. All she wants to do is sew.
Faced with the prospect of moving back into her parents' house, Michele throws a Hail Mary pass and applies for a TV design contest, Made for Me. In order to win the contest, Michele will have to compete with nine other contestants to design the new wardrobe for Duchess Maryn Medrovovich, who's about to marry Prince Stephan of the United Republic of Montabago.
While in the seclusion of the show, Michele starts to realize where her focus in life should be, and what's truly important to her. However, a dashing competitor might just cause her to lose her focus once and for all. Can Michele keep her eye on the prize while being true to herself? (Courtesy of Amazon.)
Who is your favorite family from a TV series?
I don't watch tons of TV anymore, but the exception I make is HGTV. As such, I would have to say that Chip and Joanna Gaines are my favorite TV family. She looks like she would be totally annoyed by him all the time, but she's not! She really appreciates his sense of humor. They seem like genuine, good people.
What is your favorite thing about your family?
My dad's family is very large (he's one of 11 kids—10 boys and 1 girl!), so there's all this family. Which at times can be well, you know, large family. But the best part is that we're here for each other. If ever anyone needs anything, the family rallies and someone is there. Last September, my uncle passed away. Just one month later, my dad had a stroke and my aunt, who'd just lost her husband, came over to watch my kids so I could be at the hospital. My cousins, even the ones spread across the country are the same way.
What is your favorite family activity?
When my cousins on my mom's side of the family come to visit, there are some rousing games of dominos. It can go pretty late (usually way past my bedtime), but there's so much laughter.
Have you ever traced your ancestry? If so, did you find out anything interesting?
Yes and no. One of my uncles has traced it back a bit. Our Irish ancestors left Ireland and went to Australia for a gold rush. They must have done okay because they had enough money to travel back to Ireland before coming to the US. My mom's side is pretty unknown. Before I started writing, I did go on Ancestry.com for a bit. However, the most I found was about my step-grandmother, who's not really blood related (although she was in every sense my grandmother, and I feel like I'm dishonoring her by calling her my step-grandmother). By all reports, my ancestry can be traced to the following countries: Ukraine, French-Canada, Ireland, Germany, Lebanon, and Cuba. I'm basically the American melting pot.
Have you ever attended a family reunion? If so, share a favorite memory.
Not really. We just try to have big family functions and as many people as can attend. We're having a milestone birthday for my oldest cousin this year (there are 21 grandkids, and many of us have kids of our own now). The whole family is renting a house. That should be interesting!
Who is someone you are not related to that you consider part of your family?
Growing up, my parents had good friends who we called aunt and uncle. I was probably eight or nine before I realized that we weren't blood related. Aunt Gayle and Uncle Phil will always be my aunt and uncle, and their kids, Andy and Brian, will always be my cousins.
Thanks to Kathryn for visiting with us and sharing a gift card with our readers.
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Giveaway ends October 5th at midnight EST.