Posted by Juliet Madison
To celebrate my new releases THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, the first two books in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’m running a special interview segment called ‘At Home With…’
Today, we’re paying a visit to Karen E. Martin…
Hi, Juliet. 🙂 I’ve lived in Ohio for the last ten years or so, and grew up here as well. I spent nearly ten years living in other places, though, including Morocco, Jordan, Romania, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. I was working in the ESL field then (English as a Second Language), so I traveled around for different jobs.
2. What do you love about the place you call home?
My home is very cozy. Bright and airy, with all my favorite things displayed around the rooms (objects collected from my travels, books, mementos from childhood, and so on). The furniture is also COMFORTABLE…my sofa has been called The Couch That Sucks You In. I’ve also started developing a fairy garden in my back yard, which is really charming. Windchimes, miniature plants, sparkly suncatchers, and other little objects have been finding their way there for more than a year now. Most of them have been gifts, though some pieces I found in thrift stores or during travel.
[Juliet ~ That couch sounds great! And I want a fairy garden!]
3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!
I love going for Sunday brunch at La Chatelaine, an atmospheric French bistro here in town. Super delish quiches and pastries, a nice frothy cappuccino, and a seat at a wrought-iron table on the vines-and-flowers patio. It’s just so…civilized.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
No pets, though we had a succession of cats and dogs when I was a kid (we lived in the country then, so plenty of space for animals to roam). I’d love to have a cat, but I travel too much to properly care for a pet.
I have a meditation room which doubles as a guest room, so it has great vibes. It’s a room full of happy memories and relaxation. I have a modest collection of inspiration pieces, pretty stones, and small pieces of artwork that I draw from to set up seasonal displays, and plenty of pillows for sitting and lounging. I try to keep it uncluttered in there so I always have a peaceful place to go and think when the rest of my life gets chaotic.
[Juliet ~ I want one of those too. 😉 ]
6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?
My computer/external hard drive (almost all of my photos are saved there), the family jewelry I’ve inherited, and a box of hand-written journals I’ve kept from over the years (including the current one I’ve been working on for the last year and a half).
7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?
Easy – I’d add a public transportation system that is clean, efficient, affordable, and comprehensive (goes everywhere you want it to go). I’ve spent a good bit of time in Europe, and I really miss having taxis, buses, and trains that take you everywhere. I would never own a car if I didn’t have to. (FWIW, San Francisco and D.C. were pretty darned good for public transport; having a car was a nuisance more than anything in both places.)
Romantic Comedy, Action/Adventure, or very possibly Disney/Pixar. I like anything light and uplifting. The last TV gathering I had was for the Olympics – we probably get together to watch sports more than movies. College football (regular games) and basketball (tournaments) are something my friends and family often enjoy as a group.
9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?
Probably some traditional dishes from Morocco that I’ve never been able to replicate. Heck with the trained chef, just send me a little ol’ Berber grandmother with her couscousiere, a mud oven, and some palm fronds for kindling.
10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:
Well, the Divergent series looks good. Mostly, I read nonfiction. I’m currently making my way through “Medicine Grove” (a book about healing herbs) and about to start “Post-Tribal Shamanism,” which was written by an acquaintance of mine.
11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:
Soudaniyah, a sweet/hot paprika from Morocco. I brought it back from there, and use it in a lot of my dishes. Can’t find it here in the States, though it may exist by some name I don’t know here.
12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?
Tough choice. Right now, I think I’d enjoy a year on a backwater, tropical island somewhere, with just enough infrastructure and connection to the outside world to get by. I’d walk on the beach barefoot everyday and eat the fresh-catch for dinner every night at a thatch-roof cafe on the strand. I’d sit around and drink beer with the locals and just chat, since there wouldn’t be much “entertainment” to speak of (including television). Traffic would be nonexistent (no cars), and most people would hike, bike, or boat to their next destination. I’d make my own bagels and tortillas from scratch, since they wouldn’t be available for sale anywhere on the island. And yeah…I’d love it. A place that’s simple and relaxing sounds very appealing after the last few hectic years I’ve had. [This choice may have something to do with the fact that I just visited Ilha Grande off the coast of Brazil two weeks ago, and absolutely fell in love with it.]
[Juliet ~ Simple and relaxing sounds perfect!]
13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?
a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.
b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).
c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.
d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.
d) Freak out. …Yeah, that really does kind of sum it up.
[Juliet ~ You and me both 😉 ]
> Even though Karen would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?
Kate Adams has a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing. Everything is going great—until the night she crosses the line with her best friend Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. Add to the mix a spunky little pug, and things start to get crazy!
“I was hooked from the moment I began reading!” ~ “Fast paced, well written, and laugh out loud funny!”
>> WIN! An ebook copy of Modogamous is up for grabs! To enter, leave a comment below (Open Worldwide). Winner notified 4th April.