Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blog tour with CLP!!! Appetites by Karen Frankola

When Sarah suddenly hears from Harry, the Brit she almost married twenty years ago, she decides now is the time to change her life. Sarah has a great job in Manhattan, but she considers herself too fat to have a boyfriend. Harry is visiting New York in four months and she wants to turn back into the girl he fell in love with. Since she can never stick to a diet, she comes up with a drastic solution. 

Sarah asks her sister Max to lock her up in her basement and feed her nothing but healthy meals. Max, a struggling waitress, agrees begrudgingly. She's skinny, but has her own set of appetites—for drink, drugs, and great-looking losers.

Sarah thinks a summer in Max’s basement will give her a new body, a chance to reconnect with Harry, and the friendship she’s long craved from her sister. But things quickly go wrong. Max's drinking leads her to neglect Sarah, who figures out how to get out of the basement. Sarah develops an obsession with Max's boyfriend and manages to fulfill a sexual fantasy by pretending to be something she's not.

Can Sarah turn back time with Harry or will she and Max kill each other first? Can either sister ever learn to say no?

Sarah was stretching in her downward dog pose when Max shouted that she was coming downstairs. Sarah was surprised to see that for the first time since she had moved in, Max was entering the basement without food or laundry in her hands.
            “So, what’s up?” Sarah asked.
“Uh, well, Adam is here—he stayed over last night.”
Max looked surprisingly uncomfortable.
“Tell me something I don’t know,” said Sarah.
Adam and Max had awakened Sarah again last night, but she was getting used to it. In fact, it made her feel a little less lonely.
“He wants to see you,” said Max. “I told him that you were probably busy, but he wants to talk to you about something important.”
“And how is that going to happen when you know I can’t leave the basement? I don’t think he wants to come down here.” Sarah looked around at the gloomy room. It was repulsive, and on top of that, it was her bedroom.
“You can come upstairs. It would be just for a few minutes.”
Sarah could think of nothing she would like more than seeing Adam again, but breaking the rules this early in the game seemed like a bad idea. She stood frozen.
“Oh, for God’s sakes, just come up,” snapped Max.
“But I’m all sweaty,” said Sarah. “At least wait until I take a shower.”
“You’re not going on a date.”
Max was right, but she didn’t need to be so mean about it.
“Okay, but give me five minutes to wash my face.”
Sarah ran to the bathroom, took off her shirt and bra, and scrubbed a washcloth quickly between her breasts and under her arms. She threw on a little foundation and mascara and then her nicest T-shirt; a pale blue one that matched her eyes and didn’t cling too much to her enormous belly.
She walked upstairs to the kitchen, where Adam was waiting. The sun coming through the window was so bright that she could barely open her eyes. Adam himself seemed to be radiating light, or at least his agreeably snug white T-shirt was. For the first time, she realized his eyes were green.
“Great to see you again,” he said, stretching out his hand.
No hug? She felt a twinge of disappointment.
“I’m going to take a shower while you guys talk,” said Max, already half-way out of the kitchen.
“Great, babe,” Adam said. “Thanks for prying Sarah out of her cave.”
Sarah felt a churning in her intestines. Did Max say something to him after all? Or is it just because I look like one of those Chilean miners finally coming to the surface?
He made small talk while Sarah provided the appropriate responses, all the while marveling at the length and curliness of his eyelashes. Even the mole on his chin was cute. And normally she didn’t go for stubble, but she could imagine it bristling against her face as they kissed.
She was in the middle of noticing how white his teeth were when she realized he had transitioned to what she was doing with her money. She sighed audibly, finally breaking free from his blinding teeth-tight T-shirt-green-eyed spell. Of course—she had forgotten he was an investment advisor. Max must have told him I make good money and here he is trying to collect a slice of it. “The usual—you know—401K, index funds, nothing crazy,” she said. “I’m happy with what I’m doing.”
“Of course, I would expect someone as bright as you to be doing all the right things,” he said.
Yep, he’s good, thought Sarah. And those looks certainly don’t hurt.
“But I’m now able to get a few clients in on an amazing opportunity,” continued Adam. “I’m sure, as a sophisticated investor, you’re aware that the average person can’t get in on a hot IPO. I usually can only work a deal for a few big clients, but I was hoping to get Max involved. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the money to invest, but she said you might be interested.”
Is this the same script Bernie Madoff used? But who cares,Sarah thought. I can string him along for a while. “Okay, tell me more,” she said.
Adam launched into a spiel about a new company that had developed a Facebook-type tool for businesses who would pay handsomely to connect their employees in a way they could control. He talked for ten minutes, stopping only when Max returned to the kitchen and announced she was ready to go to brunch.
Adam gave Sarah a sidelong glance like he was wishing he could ditch Max. A salesman’s trick, but she couldn’t help herself from smiling at him. He asked for her phone number and email to give her more information, and said he would call her later in the week. When Sarah handed him the paper, their fingers touched. She imagined him taking her into his arms and kissing her.
After he left, it was almost impossible to force herself back into the basement. It seemed so much darker and smaller. She walked over to one of the small windows; nothing but weeds.

Follow the tour HERE

Author Bio:
Karen Frankola wrote Appetites to explore the hard choices women make in love and work. Karen spent much of her career writing very short stories at news organizations like CNN and MSNBC, so creating a novel was challenging. She now does a variety of writing for corporations and nonprofit organizations. Karen is lucky enough to work mostly from home, with her dog Rascal curled up under her desk.
Karen grew up near Pittsburgh, where she spent much of her childhood reading books in the cemetery that bordered her family’s backyard.  Karen moved to nine different states and England.  Some of her favorite jobs were teaching journalism at the University of Missouri, working as a television news director, and handling video shoots for Deloitte around the world.  She also spent a summer repairing motors at a steel mill and hopes to soon publish a coming-of-age memoir about that experience.
Karen and her husband Troy now reside  in Durham, North Carolina, where they enjoy watching deer in the woods behind their house, lots of live music, beautiful biking trails, and great neighbors.
Karen is working on a sequel to Appetites and would love to hear what you think of it.

Connect with Karen!
Twitter:  @kfrankola

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