Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sweet Life - Interview and Giveaway


Don't you love when you stumble upon a book that you can't put down? I just finished such a book - Sweet Life by Mia King. With rich characters, an intriguing plot and an unforgettable message, this book is going down on my favorites list.

The book's tag line sums it up best: "What if you got away from it all—and then it all got away from you?"

The main character, Marissa, is someone you come to love quickly. All of her quirks and vulnerabilities are exposed along with her strengths and good qualities. King does an impressive job of creating a well-rounded heroine.

As she follows her husband Paul from New York to his new job in Hawaii, (with daughter Pansy in tow), life begins to unravel. Instead of finding paradise, she loses her marriage...and herself.

King, however, takes us on an entertaining ride as we watch Marissa find herself once again, as well as what defines her and makes her truly happy.

One aspect I loved the most is that King, like me, is a homeschooling mom and weaves her experience seamlessly into the plot. Stereotypes are quietly exposed and explained away, much to my delight.

I also loved the setting...the beautiful state of Hawaii. I learned a lot about Hawaiian traditions, foods and more. As a bonus, recipes to many of the dishes talked about in the story can be found in the back of the book.

Check out this enticing promotional video and see if you can't wait to read it as much as I wanted to:



Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Mia King and I think her answers will give you good insight into the making of Sweet Life:

********************************************************************************
1. Did the story of Marissa and Paul come to you through experience, or did you do research into the issue of a strained marriage? If the latter, how did you go about that?

The story of Marissa and Paul came to me as a result of moving to the Big Island. I noticed in the eight years that I've lived here that the island has a way of pushing you to look at your issues, ready or not. Many marriages and relationships get tested here.

For some reason living on the mainland seems to buy you extra time -- you can maintain status quo for a while. But if you move to the Big Island, look out -- if there is anything simmering under the surface of your marriage, well, it's going to come out.

Living here has definitely strengthened my own marriage, and for that I am forever grateful, but Pele and the island definitely make you work for it! ;-)

2. How does being a homeschooling mother influence your plot, if at all?

As a homeschooling parent, I struggled with finding my own definition of homeschooling and then defending it to friends and family who couldn't understand why I was homeschooling. By including it in my novels, I like to think that I'm mainstreaming the concept for more people, along with the truth that ANYBODY can homeschool. I would never had dreamed I would be homeschooling, but here I am, and I love it.

3. How do you find the time to craft such a brilliant novel while homeschooling?!

The ultimate compliment! My daughter is 7 1/2 and very smart, which helps, and my other two are still pre-K (well, one's less than 3 months so he's pre-pre-K!). I just write when I can, and work homeschool around my schedule as a family.

We're unconventional in that we have our own business as well and work weekends, so homeschooling gives us the freedom to spend time together and fit other things in. But some days I feel like I can't get anything done - homeschooling or writing, much less laundry or cleaning the bathroom - and I just try to give myself a break on those days.

4. Did you use to live in New York like your character Marissa? If so, what caused you to move to Hawaii?

I've been to New York a lot but never lived there. I did a lot of schooling on the East Coast, though, and wanted a character that would really experience a culture shock in moving to Hawaii. I've been fortunate enough to live in a lot of places so the move to Hawaii wasn't a big deal for me.

My husband and I were living in California before and came out on vacation when I was 5 months pregnant. We felt "the call" to come here, so we sold everything and did, two months later. We gave up our corporate jobs and my husband started a golf school, The Spirit of Golf Academy (www.spiritofgolfhawaii.com) and we both started writing. We've never had island fever and love being here, though we do miss family.

5. I love the painfully honest journey we get to take through Marissa's character, especially when she admits to faults such as looking down on the barista and the "hippy mom." What goes into defining your characters and their traits? Do you draw from experience, watch others, or something else?

The secondary characters and relationships are just as important to me as the primary ones. I love relationships and friendships that are borne from the unlikeliest of circumstances, and among the unlikeliest of people. People that Marissa never thought she'd become friends with, and yet they're the ones that help her deepen with herself and become a more authentic person.

I've had that happen in my own life, too: a woman who really bugged me moved next door to me and for three years I tried to move away, but couldn't! In the end, she became one of my dearest friends, and remains that way today.

6. What lessons/insights do you want your readers to come away with most after reading "Sweet Life?"

That life sometimes has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first, and that it's never too late to change or uplevel your life.
*********************************************************************************

You can probably see why I'm also adding Mia King to my favorite authors list!

And Mia is offering a SWEET giveaway to readers here! Check out this glorious gift basket which one lucky winner will receive:



The basket is filled with goodies:
  • ~one small gold box of Chocolate Dipped Original Shortbread Cookies
  • ~one gold box of Kohala Brownie Assortment
  • ~one petite box of Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Rocky Road
  • ~one petite box of Combination (Dark and Milk) Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts
  • ~three Dark Chocolate Dipped Original Shortbread cookies
  • ~one Original Biscotti with Milk Chocolate waves
  • ~one Original Biscotti with Dark Chocolate Waves
  • ~one signed copy of GOOD THINGS
  • ~one signed copy of SWEET LIFE
  • ~an assortment of temporary hibiscus tattoos, tropical key chains, monogrammed GOOD THINGS and SWEET LIFE pens, and bookmarks

And since Mia and I have homeschooling in common, she offered to throw in extra homeschool-related goodies. In addition to the basket, the winner will receive a Hawaiian studies workbook and stickers!

To enter, simply leave a comment here letting me know which part of the interview interested you most and why (for example, "I love that Mia homeschools"). For a bonus entry, blog about this contest on your site with a link to this post, as well as to Mia's site. Then leave a separate comment here with your link so I can put you down for another entry.

Deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Saturday, September 20. U.S. residents only, please. Further disclaimers as follows:
  1. 1. Must be 18 or older to participate.
  2. 2. Any prize or prize notification returned to Mia or Big Island Candies as undeliverable will result in the awarding of that prize to an alternate winner.
  3. 3. No purchase is necessary to win.
  4. 4. The gift baskets, books and promotional items are given in-kind and have no cash value.
  5. 5. Basket contents and style may vary slightly depending on availability.
  6. 6. This give-away contest is offered in good faith and in the spirit of fun and aloha. Mia King, miaking.com, Big Island Candies and Penguin Group USA, Inc. and So a Blonde Walks Into a Review assume no liability for damages associated with the gift basket or contents contained herein.

Good luck and happy reading!
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204 comments

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wyndsong said...

My favorite thing about the interview is that she's a homeschooler! Even better, she's a successful writer, home schooler, business owner and mom! That's what I wanna be when I grow up! Mia King is now my hero! Thank you for introducing me to her. I'd like to win this gift basket, but I"ll be buying the books as soon as I have money in my bank! Will put up another comment when I've got my post up!

wyndsong said...

OK here's my post with several links to your blog and Mia King's site.

http://www.besthomeschoolplace.com/?p=149

and you can contact me at christine at besthomeschoolplace dot com

whall said...

My favorite part is Q#1: you *must* face your issues or they will head you off, eat you up and spit you out. Pressures and stress from marriage, parenting, job... everything... All must be explored and addressed.

A lifestyle that obfuscates or hides the core issues will just make it worse.

Seems the "Big Island" part helped expose and identify those issues.

Heather said...

I found it interesting that she never lived in NY but she based her book there.

cdziuba said...

I think Mia has a lot of guts and bravery to pack up and move to Hawaii. I have a lot of respect for her following her dream. cdziuba@aol.com

janetfaye said...

I found this interesting:

I love relationships and friendships that are borne from the unlikeliest of circumstances, and among the unlikeliest of people.


Thank you!

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

janetfaye said...

I blogged this giveaway.

http://luckygiveaways.blogspot.com/2008/09/sweet-life-interview-and-giveaway.html


Thank you!

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

KLM39 said...

I thought it was funny how she detested her neighbor and then once she got to know her they became best friends.

masonsgranny59 said...

my!Marissa sounds like one busy lady!ty 4 the great contest!:)

holly said...

I found question five most interesting because those are faults that almost everyone can relate to.
hollyollyberry @ yahoo.com

rrshep said...

Hi Ginny!

This Target card would be great for back to school shopping that's coming up soon!

mar said...

My favorite part of the interview was how homeschooling had to be defended to her friends. thank you for the contest

randio said...

I like the fact that she points out that when bad things happen, it's to make us ready for someting good or even better to occur in the future.

mverno said...

i like the home schooler part i 've always been interested in this

Aisling said...

I think it's interesting that Mia has incorporated home schooling into her books. It's a subject lots of people are curious about and somehow it seems easier to understand in a story rather than trying to get info from a textbook on the subject.

Emily said...

I found it to be inspiring that both Mia and her husband realized the value in following your spirit and risking normalcy to follow your passion. So often we walk the line of "good enough" and envy those who have chosen not to. It's refreshing to see that risk can lead to reward, fiction or non-fiction.

Erica C. said...

I like that Mia discusses how she found her way to describe homeschooling to friends and family so that they would understand her choice.

Patty said...

I am intrigued about the idea that the Big Island breaks or makes a marriage. Considering so many make Hawaii their beginnings with their honeymoon.

smithpatty at comcast dot net

Sandy said...

I was glad to hear she was a homeschooler but also she sounded human- normal- she has struggles

goldylox said...

I love the bit on homeschooling. I have always wanted my daughter to be home schooled. Its rather interesting to see others who do it. anglesmr@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

plague

Anonymous said...

I loved the question where you lived in NY and moved to Hawaii. That's been my dream.

contact susan wiener, swiener1[at]tampabay.rr.com

Mya said...

Moving to Hawaii like that was really gutsy!

iluv2pray@gmail.com

guysrose said...

I find it amazing that she is able to find time to write while home schooling, and doing everything else we mom's must do!
guysrose at aol dot com

AmandaK said...

I truly like the insights she gave at the end. Those are very inspiring. It really has me thinking about my own life!

Kathy Mullins said...

Sometimes we can't see the "big picture" of what is destined for us because we are so worried about trivial daily matters. Her remark about our destinies is a good one and worth considering when we get bogged down in the details of daily life.

Rosie and Derek said...

My favorite part about the interview is that you are a homeschooler and still able to be a successful author, mother, and business woman. Wow!
Just in case borsky_dre (at) yahoo (dot) com

Shannon said...

That she homeschools as i do also.

peg42 said...

Thank you so much for this giveaway. This book sounds wonderful. It's very interesting that in what I would think to be paradise, living on the big island can test marriages at times and makes you look at your issues. It's also amazing that a mom of three young children found the time to write this book. Talk about super woman. lol
Thanks so much for this giveaway.

susan1215 said...

Intestesting book, I like the fact that she home schools her kids too.

Anonymous said...

I so deserve this as a persoanl treat for a personal time out. I have been caregiving now for almost a year...I need this wonder basket as a treat ;-)

Hil'Lesha said...

I like part 6 of the interview, because this is very true. Sometimes, when we're really in a bad point of our life, we often don't think about what God has in store for us. We often dwell on our problem(s). I've been there. We just have to be patient and trust in him.

This book sounds very interesting. Thanks for the chance!

Hil'Lesha said...

I blogged about the giveaway here.

Tom said...

good prize

Maja said...

Homeschooling part. VEry interesting.

angelina115@hotmail.com

idahomom said...

I like that she home schools. My boys want me to, but I am afraid that they are already smarter than I am.

Beverley said...

Homeschooling and writing - this sounds like one very organized lady!

samsakara said...

I loved that they moved to Hawaii! I would love to move to a place like Hawaii or Ireland. But I'm not sure if I could get myself away from my family.

samsakara@twcny.rr.com

Anonymous said...

Christina - xristya@rock.com - I liked it that Mia noted in the interview that she wanted her character to experience culture shock (as most readers would, if they moved to Hawaii) so she gave her a NYC background. The book seems to be about geographical change inspiring other changes in the protagonist's life after daily complacencies in one part of the world are turned upside-down!

Mia J. said...

I really like the fact that she and her husband had the courage to follow their hearts and move to Hawaii.

Stephanie said...

When she talks about secondary characters and "looking down on the hippy mom". Go hippy moms!!
tvollowitz at aol dot com

Amy said...

So hard to choose, I love the fact that this homeschooling mom who found the time to write (I'd love to to find the time to do the same) also had the courage to follow her bliss with her husband to move to a place that strengthened her marraige.

Jessica said...

I think its pretty cool how her neighbor got on her nerves and she embraced it and they eventually became friends. I have had a similar situation in my life before.

fidofido said...

We are facing a move ourselves due to a job layoff and it immediately got me thinking about the issues we have here and if they will be replaced by new issues when we get there. Do different locations make a huge difference or not. Hmmm

Melanie said...

I would have to agree with many and say the part about her homeschooling. I was homeschooled, and it definately grounded me, and prepared me more for life in the real world.

Casey H said...

I love that she used NY as a setting in her book since Im a NY'er here!
num1twinkie at yahoo.com

MageMorgana said...

The most interesting part to me was her response to the third question. Seeing how she juggles motherhood, household, home schooling, business, writing and time just for the family and manages to keep it all together ;)

ladyblue1112000[at]yahoo.com

Cadmar said...

I love how they sold everything, gave up their jobs and then started a golf school when they moved.
dcadmar at gmail dot com

cstironkat said...

I agree that you can change your life and it's never too late. I started college last year at 44. I quit an unfulfilling job, and I'm eating healthier and making better choices.

cpullum said...

It's really cool theat homeschooling help the plot!
Carla
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

chromiumman said...

her response to the third question, how she juggles everything

heaventrees said...

I like it when she explains about facing your issues.

courtneystoffel said...

I love how she is able to homeschool and write the novel. That couldn't have been an easy task.

hebert024 at aol dot com

Sharon said...

Although our son now chose to go to High School, he was homeschooled for several years and it was the best thing we ever did...I love the fact that she homeschools and writes so beautifully. Thanks for great contest

Whimsical Creations said...

I can really relate to the 'But some days I feel like I can't get anything done - homeschooling or writing, much less laundry or cleaning the bathroom - and I just try to give myself a break on those days.'. I just started selling my creations on etsy and I have those days, too.

=) melanie
http://melaniescrafts.blogspot.com
melanieadey at hotmail dot com

sweetsue said...

My favorite part about the interview is that she homeschools. I homeschooled my children for a few years and it was such a great experience!

denyse said...

Q#1: You *must* face your issues or they will head you off, eat you up and spit you out.
This was interesting!

Mar said...

I found the part about her and her husband leaving their corporate jobs, selling everything to follow their dreams by relocating to the islands inspirational.

clynsg said...

I especially liked the recognition of geographical culture shock in her character's story. I used to work to recruit nurses for underserved populations, and although virtually all of them expected 'culture' shock, most of those from different (usually eastern urban) geographical areas, had a very difficult time with the differences in geography. For example, they did not realize that in some areas of the US, it is a 50-100 mile drive to the nearest movie theatre--and that is just one example.

clynsgatyahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that it takes place in New York.

Anonymous said...

I love relationships and friendships that are borne from the unlikeliest of circumstances, and among the unlikeliest of people--since I moved to an apartment in a senor complex made many new friends that i would never have met otherwise.



comments@ptreskovich@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

she is a homeschooler-takes place in NYC

Colengal said...

The homeschooling aspect of the charachters live is quite intresting.

Deborah said...

I like how Mia explains how different relationships have unlikely impacts on her characters.

jodibee said...

I really found it interesting that a vacation to Hawaii sparked Mia's move and that they packed up and moved 2 months later, quitting their jobs and moving to live their own lives. Very cool!

imjasonc said...

My favorite part is about Hawaii and how Mia has incorporated home schooling into her books.

walters123 said...

My favorite part was the fact that she has time to write at all. With homeschooling, her own business and family things, that is already alot.

walters123 [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunnyvale said...

I liked the fact she found a friend in someone she considered an "enemy."

Shonna Anthony said...

I like the Home schooling and that they moved to Hawaii! Mia really incorporated everything into a good book!

santhony0085@bellsouth.net

redfuzzycow said...

i like how she moved to hawaii, after hearing "the call"

llinda29 said...

My favorite part of the interview was how homeschooling was defended

redron said...

Moving to Hawaii that was gutsy on her part

Marbles said...

My favorite part was about how she moved to Hawaii feeling the "call". I still have my corporate job and I would love to go there again.

VickeC said...

I like the fact shes able to homeschool,run a business,an write an still have time to find the beauty of the islands,amazing!

andeeram said...

I enjoyed the moving to Hawaii part. I'd LOVE to move there or even just vacation there.

jffryclough said...

life will be sweet if i'm a winner

mishmish said...

I like the life lesson in Sweet Life: "That life sometimes has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first"

jellosheriff said...

I like the reminder that sometimes we can, through our presumptions, miss out on people that we would otherwise embrace.

Sherry said...

Her final insight gives me hope, as I Irkxfj'm going through something very similar right now.

Abby said...

I loved the reminder that as hard as confrontation is it is a must on life. Confront your problems head on!

ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

lorides said...

I found the whole interview interesting. I am a new yorker so, I like that the setting is in NY.

pintolinda said...

I found it interesting that the more laid back atmosphere of Hawaii makes people confront problems more than living on the mainland. Maybe there is more time to think?

M.A. said...

I love the following quote from the interview because I'm sure that the same woman has lived next door to me for the past 25+ years---and somewhere along the way the very same thing happened to my feelings about her!

"... a woman who really bugged me moved next door to me and for three years I tried to move away, but couldn't! In the end, she became one of my dearest friends, and remains that way today."

Tammy said...

I would love to Hawaii too,You go Girl

furygirl3132 said...

I really like the very last part of the interview where Mia is asked what lessons/insights she wants us to take away from this book and her answer was "That life sometimes has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first, and that it's never too late to change or uplevel your life."
It just makes a lot of sense to me, everything and everyday is a suprise and you have to make the most of it. Thanks so much for such a great giveaway!

Eloise
furygirl3132[at]comcast[dot]net

Julie D said...

I like how she balances writing and parenting.

kamewh said...

I found it interesting that the Big Island "has a way of pushing you to look at your issues, ready or not." Great interview!

Nancy said...

I liked the way that she interwove part of her life as a homeschooler into the plot of the book. Interesting that someone could learn more about homeschooling through a novel! Of course you are supposed to "write what you know", so that does make sense! Thanks for the giveaway!

Nancy
allibrary [at] aol [dot] com

Anonymous said...

She has found the secret to sweet balance!

angelface said...

Okay so here it is - I love to read about women and our situations and where we are in life and the crap we deal with and the inspirations we find and... well, I love the differences. I've chosen one way of life but I often wonder what it would have been like if I'd taken a different path. What if I moved with family members to the Big Island - how would it have affected me, and in what ways would it have made me a different woman? What if I had decided to have a baby with my ex - would I have been happier than I am now, and/or would he still have left me? It's so interesting and cathartic and empowering to be able to get a glimpse into someone else's life. What I enjoyed most about her interview was her candor and honestly. She makes you feel comfortable, like you're talking with a friend. I'm going to read her book, regardless if I win or not. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention!!!

Jen said...

I like that she's homeschooling and handling so many things as the same time. It's not easy raising a kid. I was homeschooled as well so I can definitely relate.

bavaria said...

how true !!- you MUST face your issues or they will head you off, eat you up and spit you out.
and homeschooling is sue not an easy Job !


thanks :)

judybrittle said...

I love the idea that they lived in California and decided to pack up everything and make the move. That right there takes a lot of courage. Thank you so much!
judybrittle(at)aol(dot)com

kristilb19 said...

"defending it to friends and family who couldn't understand why I was homeschooling", I was homeschooled and I know what she means so this is my fav part and I'd love to read the book!
kristilb19@yahoo.com

Amanda said...

How great that someone that she initially didn't like ended up being one of her very good friends. Good reminder to be open minded toward potential friends.

vboackle said...

the way you just up and moved to hawaii.

soha said...

I liked her lesson to her readers.
eddiem1.1@dslextreme.com

Anonymous said...

I like the part about her finding friendships in unlikely people. I have found that in my own life also. My friends are very unique and not necessarily people that I would have thought I would like upon first meeting.

sweepmom@comcast.net

Sassy Mama Bear said...

I loved the entire review and interview, and the fact that Mia homeschools and includes that in her stories is outstanding we need that, better than things like the ridiculous SNL skit I saw this weekend. We've been homeschooling 16 years and mom could use this treat :)
sassylucylootoo(at)yahoo(dot)com

agordon10 said...

I like the fact that it is never too late to start over.

Bebemiqui said...

I like that she cares about the secondary characters relationships.
bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lindsey@AKindredSpiritsThoughts said...

I love that she homeschools (surprise!) and that her book has homeschooling in it! Now I reeeeally have to read this. Thanks so much for the interview!

Lindsey
ladyufshalott at yahoo.com

bagfashionista said...

I find her opinion " the island has a way of pushing you to look at your issues, ready or not" interesting....And it makes me wonder why that is so? is it because the lifestyle is more relaxed and there's nothing to distract a couple from the problems they have in their relationships?

Kari said...

I love that she homeschool! We're thinking of it too :)

vmkids said...

My favorite part of the interview was how homeschooling had to be defended to her friends since i have homeschoole dmy kids.

mogrill said...

The fact that she is a dedicated Homeschooler was awesome!

hminnesota said...

I have always debated to be a homeschooling parent so I liked 2. How does being a homeschooling mother influence your plot, if at all?
herry123_us@live.com

Deborah said...

I liked the portion of the interview where she indicates the lessons learned.

Linda said...

Homeschooling is so important. She is able to be organized enough to so organized that she can get everything done.

Lindad4 at cox dot net

kaylee8 said...

I enjoy how her love of Hawaii comes shining through in the interview!

Christina said...

"As a homeschooling parent, I struggled with finding my own definition of homeschooling and then defending it to friends and family who couldn't understand why I was homeschooling."
A woman who understands... ;-)

Anne L. said...

I have some negative ideas about homeschooling. I'd definitely be interested to see how it works with the plotline as a beneficial thing.

yyeres said...

i like how the author experienced a culture shock from east coast to hawaii. i can relate to this myself - moving from canada to new york and the differences. thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU

Anonymous said...

As a teacher I found the home schooling article interesting. Thanks! senekers@comcast.net

Felicia said...

I think what I like best about the interview is that she delves into all avenues of questioning, she is able to get so much out of her questions. Icetwofire[at]aol[dot]com

jnmacdonald said...

I can't believe she has 3 kids and one only a couple months old.

Stephanie Grant said...

I find the fact that she wrote the story of Marissa and Paul as a result of here moving to the Big island awesome!

stephaniegrant@live.com

miriama said...

This comment: That life sometimes has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first, and that it's never too late to change or uplevel your life.

I am moving out of my home and it is quite an upheaval but at the same time I agree with the author. I can't count the number of times that my life has changed over the years. Nothing stays the same, does it?

jceko77 said...

Her husband runs a golf academy
jceko77@yahoo.com

kygirl said...

face your issues or they will head you off, eat you up and spit you out. Pressures and stress from marriage

Linda Wilmer said...

The observation about how marriages are tested in Hawaii. Lpwilmer@aol.com

Wehaf said...

I love how she and her faily just up and moved to Hawaii! Very inspiring!

urchiken at gmail dot com

Natasha said...

I love how she mentioned that if there is something simmering underneath in your marriage, it will find a way out. I realize she mentioned that the issues come out when moving to the Big Island, but I think that can be true of any marriage.


ryan57564@yahoo.com

Hayley said...

I love her story about the woman who she disliked but eventually became a good friend. It just shows the importance of second chances!

oreo89 [at] gmail [dot] com

Jinxy and Me said...

I find it interesting that they up and sold everything and moved to California. That would be a great experience!

tiffanybeth said...

the homeschool fact s cool cause she does a lot of stuff
petteytiffay@yahoo.com

shiloh said...

Interesting input on homeschooling, divorce, and coming to grips with life after divorce.

bison61 said...

I like that in the interview she stated that its never too late to change or uplevel your life, which can be scarey at times

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

jennem said...

I like that she mentioned how a change of location can really change a marriage too.
jennem22 at yahoo dot com

monky said...

I think the best part is about them leaving their corporate jobs, selling everything to follow their dreams because something as beautiful as that you don't see much of in the land ruled by $$$.

Thank you for the great giveaway! :)

Anonymous said...

The setting and characters sound wonderful!

amy m. said...

I like how the marriages are tested in the islands...everything rises to the surface. Sounds like a really great read!

aarmatthews at yahoo dot com

tatertot374 said...

thank you for having this! I like a few things - how they sold everything to follow their dreams and how their marriage was tested. this was all fantastic and something we can all learn from. Thank you!
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

hansenpj5 said...

i love how she balanced homeschooling and writing the novel and the fact that she says anyone can homeschool I am just starting and love the encouragement

msrodeobrat said...

While I know it has been said, I love that Mia homeschools. I did not know this and to hear of wonderful people like her doing it makes me feel like I made the right choice in home schooling my child.

Jolene said...

my favorite part is where she's talking about having to face your issues

Anonymous said...

I thought that it was interesting how she originally hated her neighbor but once she got to know her they became best friends. That should show us one reason why we should never "judge a book by it's cover" ... you can never really know if you truly like someone until you get to know them.

Jodi said...

i like that she really takes the story line of the secondary characters seriously, and doesn't just throw them in for fill.

purehrt555(at)yahoo(dot)com

justicecw said...

I found it so exciting that she and her hubby quit their jobs, sold everything and moved! So adventurous! thanks, justicecw@hotmail.com

Smooshy said...

I like what she says about facing your issues.

Tammy said...

How does being a homeschooling mother influence your plot, if at all? == since I am new to homeschooling (This is our first years) - that part of the interview intrigued me most!

carissaad said...

I when she talked about her reason for moving to Hawaii. This is somewhat relevant to me since people keep telling me to mover there since I loved it and I have a friend who lives there.

Thanks!

carissaad at aol dot com

Valeen said...

I liked the part about initially not liking someone but then looking deeper and finding out you do like them, just like your neighbor! I've definately had that happen to me!

phogle said...

The part about facing your issue, Giving up everything to move to Hawaii. I have been there done that moved to Florida and again to West Virgina. I would love to read this book and know I would not put it down until I finished it. Then my sister and 2 daughters would read it. We share.

Auriette said...

Two things intrigued me -- one, the part about how living on the Big Island changes people and tests them in unique ways. The other was the story about the annoying neighbor who became her dear friend. What a tease to offer just those tiny little hints of something that sounds fascinating. Perhaps I'll gain a little more insight from the novel.

blueviolet said...

I liked how she said it's never to late to change your life!
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

Erma said...

I also like the fact that she points out that when bad things happen.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

TXsunlover said...

I love her "life lesson/insight" because it is absolutely true that it is never too late to change. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! But you must always face life and its many challenges with your eyes and, more importantly, your mind wide open. Thanks for the chance to win your great giveaway!
proudyaya04 {at} yahoo {dot} com

arvard said...

I love Target and would love to win a gift card so I could do some shopping.

pitaharmon said...

I like the discussion about homeschooling. It reminds me of when my dad was alive, he kept encouraging me to homeschool, but I don't think I could do it. Now, a few years later, I keep thinking about it again, I gotta find out more about it.

Erin said...

I was really interested to hear how and why she made the move to Hawaii. I have always had a desire to move to the "Big Island" but it seems so far away. Thanks for the great contest!

Brenda S. said...

My favorite thing about the interview is that she's a homeschooler! Even better, she's a successful writer, home schooler, business owner and mom! Thanks!!

gkstratos said...

Love the bravery and complexity
gkstratos@yahoo.com

diesel51 said...

I like to hear about where she lived in Hawaii. Never been there. She is about to do so much as a writer and home schooler and many other things.

weblynx said...

I love the fact she just moved to Hawaii and that helped her to write this book

weblynx@hotmail.com

PowerSweepstaking said...

I kind of wonder how living in Hawaii can put a strain on a relationship more then say living elsewhere. Not sure I follow that train of thought

dani said...

I like when she speaks of not having time. I think everyone can relate to that.

agsweeps said...

My favorite part of the interview was, "We felt "the call" to come here, so we sold everything and did, two months later. We gave up our corporate jobs". I would love to give in to the "the call". I have quit my corporate job and have been self employed for the past three year and I moved to a big city late last year but the culture shock was too much and I went back to my small town after a few months. I know how hard it is to move to a place you are unfamiliar with. I hope to move to New York City some day but I have to get over some personal issues first. And find a better paying job;)

ssmina said...

I find it interesting that all of her characters are important to her, not just the main ones, thank you!

fancyfeet48 said...

I so deserve this as a persoanl treat for a personal time out

Anonymous said...

Confrontation as a part of life, is an interesting thought.

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

joannaonthelake said...

I truly enjoyed your insightful interview with Mia. I was intrigued throughout the interview and the part that I like the most because I too can identify with what she said is the part where Mia talks about how she defines her characters and their traits. She states that she feels relationships and friendships that are borne from the unlikeliest of circumstances, and among the unlikeliest of people. People that Marissa never thought she'd become friends with, and yet they're the ones that help her deepen with herself and become a more authentic person. I have found this to be true in several of my own personal relationships with people that are now my friends and in my life!
joannaonthelake@gmail.com

Night_Roane said...

I loved that she said this, "I love relationships and friendships that are borne from the unlikeliest of circumstances, and among the unlikeliest of people. People that Marissa never thought she'd become friends with, and yet they're the ones that help her deepen with herself and become a more authentic person. "

I think that would make for a more interesting, and perhaps even more believable, plot twist, and the concept of "bad" turning "good" fascinates me.

Annemarie said...

I found this interesting: how they felt "the call" and followed through with it by moving to Hawaii.

annemarie562000(at)yahoo(dot)com

Julie Vineyard said...

This is all very interesting!

Michelle said...

I was laughing and nodding reading her response about unlikely relationships and the neighbor she couldn't get rid of, but ended up being good friends with! Been there - done that! :)

calgirl said...

I liked the part of the interview about finding unlikely friends in unlikely places.

rachel said...

i like her last answer- "that sometimes life has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first,and that its never too late to change or uplevel your life."

RachelMontoya@comcast.net

Kitty said...

I like when she says "The secondary characters and relationships are just as important to me as the primary ones." because this isn't true of many authors!

fae said...

i love the lesson she tells us the book will bring!
"That life sometimes has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first, and that it's never too late to change or uplevel your life."

this gives me hope! i really need this kind of thinking in my life right now, as i am going through some hard times.

Samantha P said...

i was really interested about how she learned all those things about Hawaiian culture when she moved there, how exciting!

Kathleen said...

I found it quite interesting to read that she homeschools, has two even younger children, keeps a house, runs a business, and writes! I've been a stay at home mom for 6 years and I honestly can't imagine how she does it. I think I'm just not that motivated!

Anonymous said...

Definitely- the part about moving to Hawaii- a lifelong dream of mine.

froggypartyof2@aol.com

Sylvia P said...

wow! that's so amazing that she wanted to movie to she and you did!

intime said...

she did not like her neighbor, now their friends

Ms. Sarah said...

I like how honest she is in the interview, and speaks openly about how her own marriage was tested just like Marissa's.

purango said...

My favorite part of the interview was when she was talking anout her neighbors how at first she detested them but later liked them. I have met a lot of wonderful friends who started out as neighbors who I didn't know at first and hadsome doubts about.

Gianna said...

I love that she's a homeschooler :)

bboyle said...

I love it that she and her husband just decided on a whim to move to Hawaii.

Laura said...

As a fellow homeschooler, I was interested in her comments about working homeschooling around her writing and other work. It really does provide flexibility and allows a lot more time with your kids.

Zenas said...

I like question one and question five, the ones about relationships, with her husband and then about her secondary characters.
I LOVE that this book has recipes.
verdere at g mail dot com

Fangirl Jen said...

I am really attracted to books that subtly expose stereotypes and teach us about ourselves.

klp1965 said...

i like the comment about That life sometimes has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first..this is so true and sometimes they are bad things..but we have to deal day by day and move forward and try to make it better the best we can

Martha said...

New York then she flies out to Hawaii, the best of both worlds. I'm jealous!!! Winning at least would make me feel better!

judycc said...

I loved it when she points out that when bad things happen it's to make us ready for something good or even better to occur in the future. Thats an awesome way to look at things.

Anonymous said...

I loved this:

"That life sometimes has greater things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first, and that it's never too late to change or uplevel your life."

kcutting@townisp.com

LINDALSHOT said...

I found it was interesting that she was home schooling her daughter and TRULY doing the best possible job yet she still ended up explaining it to her friends.

Becky, Mom, Mommy, Hey you, said...

I find it interesting not only does she write, she homeschools and has 3 children, two of which are under 5..wowsers...

Deb said...

I love her philosophy, that life sometimes has things in store for us that we may not be able to see at first. I've found that to be very true!!

Anonymous said...

I liked the fact that she realized you have to give more time to forming relationships and the girl she didn't like became one of her best friends- it takes time- and in this busy world - we don't take "Time" for alot of things!

booklover said...

My favorite part was the fact that Mia "is offering a SWEET giveaway to readers here". I have live on the east coast (not New York), have never been to Hawaii, and don't homeschool. The interview doesn't say Mia loves chocolate, but from her choice of a prize, I would say she knows how to pick great prizes even if she isn't a chocoholic!

Bakersdozen said...

I thought it was interesting to hear a story from a homeschool mom about a homeschool mom. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

ms-texas said...

very impressive that she is such a busy lady- home schooling, owning a business, and has time to write! wow

Anonymous said...

I understand what she is talking about when she was discussing how living on the Big Island makes you see things in a different light than on the mainland. I think it's the same way as people living in rural areas view things as opposed to city dwellers. In the city, life is so fast paced and you don't have the time to really think and work on problems. In a rural area, life is much more laid back. You're brought back to a simpler time and reflection helps you to see things more clearly and time is not such a restraint.

Anonymous said...

LuckyTJG@cs.com I just left the post by anonymous about city life versus rural life.

Elizabeth Channel said...

Of course I love that she homeschools!

Millie said...

I found it interesting that she never lived in NY but she based her book there.Also that she somehow made homeshcooling into the plot!

Helen said...

I found it interesting that she found a friend in the neighbor she disliked previously.

bndraldy said...

I like how she balances writing and parenting/homeschooling. She also admits that she has days when she just can't do any of it!
Thank you for the opportunity to win!

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