Sunday, October 25, 2015

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Come Away with Me by Karma Brown + Giveaway! (US/Can only)

Come Away with Me
Karma Brown

A heartbreaking and emotional story of love and loss, Come Away with Me is one woman’s discovery that life is still worth living, even if it’s not the life you planned.

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 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.

Things You May Not Know About Come Away with Me

  1. It isn’t my first book. I have written two others, which are buried in a drawer (actually, on my laptop in a file labeled BOOKS THAT ALMOST MADE IT). While those books will likely stay dormant forever, Come Away with Me wouldn’t be the book it is without them.
  2. It took 3.5 months to write... the first draft. It’s taken a couple of years (and books, see point #1) to sort this out, but I need to write the first draft as quickly as possible. It’s my least favorite part of the process, and so much like my daughter eats her carrots before her cookie I need to get it out of the way. Also, I’ve found I write fast(er) if I do a detailed outline of the story before I commit one word of the novel and then set my alarm for 5am every morning when drafting. Yes, EVERY MORNING. What all that equals is a quick first draft, and plenty of material to use during my favorite part of the process: revision!
  3. I wrote the majority of the book between the hours of 5 and 7am. See point #2. When I’m drafting a novel I get up early. Like, before-the-sunrise-early. My daughter is also an early riser, so you’ll often find us in our semi-dark living room—me with a large mug of coffee and my laptop, and her with a mug of warm milk and cinnamon, and Netflix. I’ve learned to love the quiet the early morning provides, and find I am most creative (and most prolific) at this time of day.
  4. Tegan is pronounced "Tay-gan," at least in my mind. When I was younger I had a good friend named Tegan pronounced that way and when I came up with the character name for Come Away with Me, it never occurred to me to pronounce her name any other way. But nearly everyone I talk to about the book calls her “Tea-gan”—which is just fine. Tomato, Tomah-to.
  5. From Thai coffee to Hawaiian banana bread to Italian pastries, I have eaten all the food mentioned through the travel sections... except the fried grasshoppers. There’s a lot of food mentioned through the book, and I’m happy to say I’ve had the joy of tasting most (except the fried bugs because, well, fried bugs) of the dishes first hand through my own travels. I’ve also discovered how much I love writing food scenes (perhaps there’s a foodie book in me one day), and now have a goal of including food in every novel I write.
  6. The first chapter is only one sentence long. And here it is: The smell of peppermint still makes me cry. When I was revising Come Away with Me I kept coming back to my first line, which is so telling of the story that is to come, and I wanted to find a way to let it stand alone. To let the impact of those eight words settle with the reader before another word is taken in. And so we decided to give that sentence its own chapter, which feels exactly right for the story.
  7. I have a life (bucket) list, currently sitting at 120 items. When I was 17 years old I started a life list of all the things I wanted to do, and all the places I wanted to travel, and I’ve been adding to it and crossing things off ever since. My list inspired the bucket list Tegan and Gabe create in Come Away with Me, and writing their story reminded me to pull it out and give it an update!
  8. Gabe, the protagonist’s husband, is the fan fiction version of my husband. After my husband read the draft he looked at me and said, “This is me, isn’t it? Without all the bad stuff?” (For the record, there’s really no bad stuff... except that sometimes he uses my toothbrush, which is on my list of NEVER DO THIS, and he doesn’t think we need matching coffee mugs.) So yes, my husband, and our relationship inspired Gabe. We went through a very tough experience after only three weeks of dating (I was diagnosed with cancer) and he has not left my side since—12 years and counting.
  9. I listened to three songs, on repeat, while I wrote the book. I find music quiets the nagging part of my mind when I write, the part that shouts about laundry, and grocery shopping, and my daughter’s play date schedule, and my own work schedule, and anything else that could distract me from getting words on a page. So to silence that part of my mind I listen to a select few songs, on repeat, and at times for hours, while I write. Here’s the playlist for Come Away with Me: "A Thousand Years" (Christina Perri), "All of Me" (John Legend), and "I Won’t Give Up" (Jason Mraz). Now when I hear those songs I’m transported back to a particular scene or moment in the book, which is awesome.
  10. I still think about Gabe and Tegan occasionally, and wish I could write them another chapter or two. This novel is a standalone book. There is no sequel, or prequel, and Tegan and Gabe’s story ends on that last page. However, I got to know them so well through the two years where this book was front and center in my mind—during drafting, and revision, and the rest of the publishing process—that at times I miss them, like good friends I see infrequently. I guess we’ll always have Come Away with Me... :)

About the Author

Karma has always loved the written word. As a kid she could usually be found with her face buried in a book, or writing stories about ice-skating elephants. Now that she’s (mostly) grown up, she’s an award-winning writer published in a variety of places, including Canadian Family, Best Health, Canadian Living, and Chatelaine. She also writes commercial fiction, and is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists. Her debut novel, Come Away with Me, hit shelves this past August.

A former Torontonian (who sought escape from the concrete jungle), Karma now lives nearby in the ‘burbs with her husband, daughter, and labradoodle. When not crafting copy or mulling plot lines, she is typically running, hanging out with her family, making a mess in the kitchen, and checking items off her bucket list.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Come Away with Me—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Karma's question in the comments below:
If you could take a class to learn absolutely anything, what would it be?
I want to learn how to surf! How do I live in California and not know how to surf?!

Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Karma and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours and Harlequin Mira!
Giveaway ends November 8th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!