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Finding Karen Black: Roots Become Wings by Diane Bay is a Snuggle Up Event pick #memoir #giveaway


Finding Karen Black: Roots Become Wings


Diane Bay



Book Blurb:

An adoptee and her Hollywood-famous birth mother have a warm reunion and face the mother’s ongoing battle with cancer together.


Her tearful eyes fixed on mine as time slowed. I moved toward her.

Karen was more beautiful and fragile than I had imagined. Her face shone with amazement, mirroring mine, I was sure. One more step and she was in my arms, small and delicate and floral scented. Right away I became protective. We held each other a long while.

I spoke first, in a whisper. “I can’t believe I’m finally holding you! All I want to do is hug you!”

“It’s a dream come true for me, darling,” she breathed. She pulled away slightly, holding my shoulders to look up at me, her tearful eyes fixed on mine.

I was as happy for her as for myself. Relief buoyed me as love engulfed us like a flood.

“Last time I saw you, you were this big,” she said, pulling back and holding her hands apart just-so. “And you were not happy. You were scratching your little face with your fingernails.”

She fastened my gaze again. “Love those brown eyes. Beny’s right, you do look like both of us!”

What a healing statement for me. What a healing moment. To hold my birth mother and hear her voice fulfilled my lifelong dream. From the moment she came into my life with her message of acceptance, our kinship completed me. And yet, grief tinged my joy, because our time might be brief.

Karen led me to a deep-seated yellow couch under a window. We sank into it and faced each other. I memorized her face, her stunning blue eyes. She wore a lavender polo shirt and pale slacks; her brown hair was all frizzy curls. I took in the ambient homey comfort: soft seating, vintage furnishings, warm stucco walls. A high sloping ceiling created an airy space above us. Skylights lit the room.

“Thank you so much for making this possible,” she said, with more tears in her eyes.

“I’ve always wanted to find you, and Stephen said you searched, as well,” I prompted.

“We did! My brother Peter’s so good at discovering everybody. He would go to state records, but no matter where we tried... I mean, who would we search for? Nina, that’s the only name we had, and the date you were born.

“So, my friend Lee would say, ‘Oh it’s March 4th, she’s thinking of you.’ Lee’s coming over Friday night. She’s Celine’s godmother.” Karen nodded toward her daughter sitting on a green chaise near us. “And she’s Hunter’s godmother, but Hunter and I were apart for eleven years. It broke me to pieces.”

“I didn’t know that happened,” I said, surprised. I looked down and saw that we still held hands, so I squeezed hers.

She gave me a slow once-over. “You’re awfully pretty. I love your face. So here you are, your whole figure… I like your hands, they’re Beny’s hands. Isn’t that funny, you come, and I look at your body!”

We laughed as her soft gaze held me. “Well, sure, curiosity is normal! I wondered about you, too. And it’s weird, but I always wondered what I looked like. Growing up without my own people made it impossible to see myself, somehow. Knowing who you are would’ve helped me.”

“Celine didn’t have that problem, did you?” Karen turned to her.

“No, but I totally understand that.” Celine answered. Her adoption had been an open one while mine was closed.

“You do look like a blend of these two,” I said, pointing to our mom and Stephen.

Karen said, “Yes, especially as a youngster. She’s part Irish and so is Stephen. Let me show you something.” She got up and walked into the dining room.

“I have a similar heritage, so it works,” said Celine.

Would I have understood myself better if Italian or Czech parents had raised me? Could I have been more self-possessed? Recognizing my own Bohemian features had helped me, so it was possible.

Karen came back with a photo of little Celine and Daddy Stephen and scooched in next to me again. “See how much alike they are?” The resemblance was striking.

She paused, regarding me again. “I can’t believe you’re here! You’re a wonderful weight, couldn’t be better.”

“I’m at a hundred forty-two right now.” I agreed.

“I’m a hundred fifteen,” she confessed, looking worried, “I lost forty pounds.”

“That’s perfect for your height,” I said, encouraging her. Celine nodded, but her eyes hinted that illness had caused the weight loss.

We changed subjects while Celine disappeared into the kitchen. I curled up toward Karen. She reached for my hands and our eyes linked.

“Anticipation kept hitting me day by day. Earlier I was terrified,” I admitted.

“Yes, entrance is nerve-racking. But it’s interesting that it’s always been cozy between us, never at all strained.”

“I sensed that connection right away.” I agreed.

She gazed out the window, her eyes glazed as if seeing memories. “You know I had you in a county hospital?”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Available as an e-book, paperback, hard cover, and audiobook.

November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?

I’m thankful that my book is now also an audiobook, and that our narrator is the award-winning Christina Delaine.

Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?

I take the reader on an inspirational journey through our cozy, memorable reunion full of surprise and serendipity. Delight and sorrow intertwine in a year of discovery, loss, and renewal.

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

Open internationally.

Runs November 1 – 30

Drawing will be held on December 1.

Author Biography:

Diane Bay is an artist and author. She studied graphic arts and creative writing at the College of DuPage. Like her birth mother Karen, Diane loves life and lives in the present moment. Her passion is oil painting. She currently lives in Western Kentucky and is an active member of the Paducah Area Painters Alliance and other creative groups. She and her husband, Rich, have three adult sons and four grandchildren.

Social Media Links:

2 commenti

12 nov 2023

I’m thankful for my family, my cats, and authors!

Mi piace

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
10 nov 2023

Thank you, Diane, for sharing your book/audiobook in our Snuggle Up With These Books Readathon!

Mi piace
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