Can you believe the Holidays are almost here?! Halloween has passed, so next up we’ve got Thanksgiving and then, before you know it, Christmas and Hanukkah will be here!! One of my favorite things about Fall is cozying up with a fun book and what better way to get in the Holiday mood than to read a Christmas themed novel? Today I’m excited to share an interview with author Kathryn Biel, who recently released her novel, Completions and Connections. As a special treat, I’ve got an excerpt for you to take a taste of the novel AND when you’re done, enter the giveaway too!
Completions and Connections by Kathryn Biel
Book Details: Christine’s list of resolutions contains many clichés. Try something new. Buy a pair of heels. Get a promotion. Fall in love.
Seems simple, especially when Christine meets Patrick, the man who could be Mr. Right. He’s got the right credentials: a job, a sense of humor, a love of all things Indiana Jones, and best of all, he’s actually taller than Christine. But busy schedules take over and get in the way of Patrick and Christine’s budding romance.
Life interferes, as it has a way of doing, and Christine wants to throw in the towel. Is the magic of the Christmas season enough to renew Christine’s faith in love?
Author Interview – Kathryn Biel
Author Bio: Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn R. Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic 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 clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014),I’m Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), and Killing Me Softly (2015).
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
My name is Kathryn and I’m a Sagittarius. Which means I have a birthday coming up. And yes, it is a big one this year. I’m a physical therapist, and work mostly in pediatrics. I’m the mother to two very bright, very entertaining kids, and wife to a very tolerant husband. I love to dance and scrapbook and hate to clean. I eat chocolate every day. That about sums it up.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
Completions and Connections is a holiday novella inspired by the song, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. The song puts me in a good mood every time I hear it, and it made me want to write.
3. How long did it take you to write Completions and Connections? What is your writing process like?
Since this is a novella, it only took me about six weeks to write (taking about 2 weeks off in the middle for vacation and illness). I write by the seat of my pants, so I often don’t know where the story is going. This one was a little different, since I sort of had a template.
4. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’m working on a dramatic piece about two broken people, one in spirit, one in body. Since I don’t plot it out, I’m interested to see where it goes. I think it may be draining though, so I’m planning a romantic-comedy next. Look for characters for Completions and Connections to make a comeback.
5. What’s your favorite quality about your heroine?
I like women that are flawed. They may not be likeable. They won’t be perfect. It gives them room to grow. And in a hero, a great smile (and firm abs) don’t hurt.
6. If you were given an offer to turn Completions and Connections into a movie, who would you want to see playing the roles of Christine and Patrick?
Emma Stone for Christine and Theo James for Patrick.
7. Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I’m actually a physical therapist. This whole writing thing came out of the blue. I was always an avid reader, and always had these ideas floating around my head. One day, I started writing them down. I never pictured being able to say I am an author. I’m still a little uncomfortable with it.
8. What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
Since I still have a full time non-writing job, I spend more time fantasizing what I would be doing if I was a full time writer!
9. If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?
10. Being a writer is a great job but what’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I’m sort of lucky in the fact that I’ve had some interesting (or not terrible) jobs. My very first job was a morning paper route. We were out by 6 am every day. My brother had one section and I had the other. We used to beg my dad to drive us when it was raining. It would be pouring and he would say, “It’s only mildly moist.”
11. What kind of environment do you write in?
Until my husband re-finishes the basement and I get an office, I write on my laptop sitting on my bed. It’s causing some neck and shoulder problems. I need to sell a lot more books to be able to hire someone to renovate our basement. No pressure, people.
12. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
We renovated our house nine years ago and I designed my kitchen. I love everything about it. I don’t think I can ever move because I’ll never find another kitchen like mine. But my most used item is my Keurig, without a doubt.
13. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
Unbelievable amounts of crap. It weighs tons, and I don’t even know what’s in it. Right now I have a cobalt blue purse that I get tons of complements on, but it’s starting to fall apart. I have my wallet, lip gloss (x 5), emery boards, lip balm, a pad of note paper, pens, a Sharpie, a roll of scotch tape (don’t ask), and lots of paper. Oh, and my bookmarks and business cards, of course.
14. What’s your happiest childhood memory?
It’s hard to narrow down. Probably just the overwhelming amount of love and support I’ve received from my parents.
15. Where is your favorite place in the world?
Walking on the beach at sunrise in Cape May, New Jersey
16. A few of your favorites…
Favorite scent? Cinnamon rolls
Favorite color? Green
Favorite food? Chocolate
Favorite word? Discombobulated
Favorite song? Good Intentions by Toad the Wet Sprocket
Favorite book? Gone with the Wind
Favorite/dream vacation spot? Cape May, NJ
Favorite time period in history? Civil War
Favorite article of clothing? A good fitting pair of jeans
Favorite drink of choice? Tom Collins
Favorite celebrity crush? Tom Hardy (sigh)
17. Either or…
Dogs or cats? Cats
Red wine or white? White. Sparkling. Champagne.
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the am, green tea in the pm
Summer or Winter? Summer
Sleep in or get up early? Get up early
Apple or PC? PC
Excerpt – Completions and Connections
Me and four kids under four feet tall. I feel even more like a giant than I normally do.
And sadly, most of them are better skiers than I am.
After ninety minutes, I’ve learned to pizza and french fry enough to stop and start. The most challenging thing for me is to stand up once I’ve fallen down.
Wait, check that. The most challenging thing is the damn J-hook bar contraption that drags me up the bunny hill. You can’t sit. You can’t stand. You hang in a weird crouch, praying your skis don’t hit a rut knocking your ass over tea kettle into the other tow-ees, toppling them like bowling pins. Not that this happens. Okay, yes, it totally happens.
In a heap, one ski pointing one way, one ski lost, I’m pretty sure this skiing thing is not for me. And if I can figure out how to stand up, I’m going to go in the lodge and have a hot toddy. Or ten. And hope that this day passes quickly.
It’s just I don’t have a lot of free time. I work crazy hours. Free weekends are a rarity and to waste one on something I hate seems frivolous.
Maybe I’ll read while I’m in the lodge. That’s something on my list. To read three books this year. I’ve been trying to read the same book for about two years now. I never get through more than a page or two at a time, and anytime I get a large chunk of time to read, I have to start again because I can’t remember what I’ve read.
This is what I’m thinking about, lying in a heap, snow creeping down into my snow pants.
“You need a hand?”
I look up through my goggles to see another begoggled face leaning down over me. The face emits a voice with a deep timbre, which makes my belly twist a little bit. A thick-gloved hand extends and I grasp it. With apparent ease, he hauls me up to a standing position. I still only have one ski on. Not saying a word, he retrieves my ski and guides my boot back into the binding.
“Better?” His smile shows a row of white teeth. Just one looks crooked. It’s probably a good thing, though. Otherwise, I have a feeling he’d be too perfect. The best part—he’s looking down on me. Do you know how often the guys I meet are my height or shorter? I swear there’s a shortage of tall men out there.
“No. I’m still out here, making a fool out of myself.”
“I take it this is your first time.”
“Is it that obvious I’m a virgin?”
He lifts his goggles up, eyebrows raised. The bemused expression in his light green eyes highlights my faux pas. “Oh really? I didn’t know we were getting this personal.”
“Oh my God!” My mitten-covered hand, white with snow, flies to my mouth. Which, of course, results in me getting a face full of snow. “That’s um, not, crap. I’m not a virgin-virgin. I meant a skiing virgin. I have lots of experience with the other. Well, not lots. I mean, I’m not loose or anything. Oh crap, I should just stop talking.”
“No, keep talking. It’s quite amusing.”
“I’m going to go bury myself in a snow bank right now. Thanks for the help. It’s been nice knowing you.”
FYI, it’s impossible to storm off in a dignified manner when you’re wearing skis.
Enter the Giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the other stops on Kathryn’s tour!
November 2- A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt
November 2 – Love Chick Lit – Review & Excerpt
November 3 – Hey Said Renee – Review & Excerpt
November 4 – Change the Word – Q&A
November 5 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt
November 6 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt
November 6 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
November 6 – Books and Wine – Q&A & Excerpt
November 6 – Basically Books – Excerpt
November 6 – Granny Loves to Read – Review & Excerpt
November 6 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review
November 6 – A British Bookworm – Excerpt
November 6 – CDYess Writes – Excerpt
November 6 – Caroline Fardig – Excerpt