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The Kitchen Table, Mahjong, and an Audiobook Giveaway

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So 27 Comments

The comment period for the giveaway is now closed. All winners have been chosen – see my 02/10/2020 comment.

We Must Eat to Live – and Maybe to Love

Have you ever noticed how many of life’s dramatic moments – at least in romantic stories – happen over a meal? I think it’s one way love stories reflect the real world. As Poet Laureate Joy Harjo wrote,

The World Begins at a Kitchen Table
No matter what, we must eat to live.1

We laugh, mourn, celebrate, and weep at the kitchen table. Devastation and revelations are served up between the meat and the pudding. Hook ups begin at tiny bistro tables, and break ups in breakfast nooks.

So it’s no accident that a lot happens in my stories at kitchen, family, and restaurant tables. My most recent novel, Because I Said So, uses them all.

Shannon and son-by-choice Paz plan and share coordinated meals where they meet as equals. Kesa and little sister Josie squabble about everything over stir fry. Shannon’s fidgeting with a sugar packet in a coffee shop to avoid answering questions makes Kesa consider murder-by-stir-stick. Craft brew and tater tots in a nerd gamer hangout lead to unexpected moments of fearless honesty.

meme laughter is the second best medicine mahjong is the first majhong with friends always means both

Which Brings Me to Mahjong

Filipino-American Kesa Sapiro shares a Wednesday potluck with women she met in the course of drumming up clients for her tailoring business. It’s her one break from long, grueling work hours, seven days a week. Her invitation to the table with three other women began as a need for a fourth to play Mahjong.

Plates full of comfort food like lumpia and pinakbet nearby, their hands are busy with fast-moving tiles, and minds occupied with strategy. And that leaves them free to trash talk, tease, and find ways to say difficult things. In moments of crisis, they assure one another that everything will be okay – and it is.

At the kitchen table Auntie Ivy, neighbor Marisol, and teenager Cami become the supportive family that Kesa never had. For the first time she feels ready to trust herself, tackle her biggest fears, and pull down barriers that have kept her from love and happiness. As Auntie Ivy says, four women playing Mahjong can fix the world.

Because I Said So is Now in Audio

Why am I telling you all this? Can’t help myself, for one thing. The other is to give you a place to enter to win a download code from Audiobooks.com, courtesy of Tantor Media and Bella Books. It’s narrated by the fabulous Abby Craden.

Because I Said So audio version cover

All You Have to Do to Enter Is…

Tell me your favorite food! That’s it. You’ll be entered into a random drawing to win a download code. Bonus chance: Share this blog on Facebook or Twitter, tag me so I know, and your name will go in a second time.

On Twitter I’m @kallmaker. Facebook just type kallmaker and I’ll pop up – there’s only one, and that’s probably for the best.

I might also have a something else or two to give away. That’s a surprise. Drawing results will be announced by Monday morning, February 10, 2020.

1 “Perhaps the World Ends Here” from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo.

Copyrighted material.
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