Passport Diaries: A Novelby Tamara Gregory
Kia Carson, a Los Angeles district attorney with beauty, brains, taste, and style, is about to turn thirty-five. There's just one problem with her picture-perfect life -- she's not got one eligible man in sight. Well, thank God she has her career . . . at least until she gets suspended from her job. To regain her sense of purpose, she plans a restorative girl's
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Kia Carson, a Los Angeles district attorney with beauty, brains, taste, and style, is about to turn thirty-five. There's just one problem with her picture-perfect life -- she's not got one eligible man in sight. Well, thank God she has her career . . . at least until she gets suspended from her job. To regain her sense of purpose, she plans a restorative girl's night out -- all the way to Europe.
In this fresh and funny Los Angeles Times bestseller, Kia embarks on what becomes a defining journey to London, Paris, and Greece, where she finds a little bit of trouble, a whole lot of laughs, and what she didn't even know she was looking for -- herself.
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Passport DiariesA Novel
By Tamara Gregory
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Tamara Gregory
All right reserved.
If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
-- Yogi Berra, American athlete
I'm trying to breathe like I learned in yoga class. It's not working. I only went to yoga once and I hated it. I'm a firm believer that the try again adage is bullshit. You've got a fifty-fifty shot of ending up with the same result as you do of having a different one.
"Maya, this is a high-performance automobile. Make it perform, for God's sake."
The 5-series Benz we were rolling in might as well have been a go-cart. I should've left the house earlier. You're supposed to be at the airport two hours before an international flight. I've got an hour and ten minutes before takeoff and Maya is acting like she's the poster child for the Safe Driving Council.
"I can't believe I'm going to miss my flight."
I put my head down on the dashboard and stare at my shoes. Tan Tod loafers. Ideal for traveling, completely wrong for just about anything else. I spot an orange Skittle lying on the black carpet. It's a cruel reminder that not only am I late, but I'm starving, too.
I lift my head just in time to see Maya making a crucial mistake.
"What are you doing? Don't get on the freeway. Take Airport Boulevard!" I'm yelling at her like she's a puppy that's peed on my Jimmy Choos.
She cuts her eyes at me but does as she is told.
"I'm sorry, but you can control more variables if you take surface streets."
"Kia, you need to calm down. You're not going to miss your flight ... "
She glances at her clock radio. It's 9:00 p.m. on the nose. My flight leaves at 10:05.
Maya continues, "But if you do miss it, it's not because of me. It was your vain behind that spent the last half-hour packing a toiletry bag! How many beauty products does one girl need?" If we were in a court of law, I would object. I admit to having a healthy amount of self-esteem. I mean, I do think I'm cute. Not Halle cute -- more like that black girl who was on three episodes of Friends cute.
"I'm a lot of things, Maya, but obnoxiously vain is not one of them."
Maya gives me a motherly pat on the knee. "Oh, honey ... " she says all sugary-sweet, as only a Georgia peach can. "You haven't stopped looking at yourself in the mirror since we got in the car."
The truth of this statement didn't prevent me from noticing that taking one hand off the wheel has caused her to drive even slower. I try not to freak out about it as I look once more into the visor mirror.
"I'm trying to figure out who is this girl staring back at me."
I'd just had my hair corn-rolled, à la Alicia Keys, and I wasn't sure if I liked it. I also wasn't sure if people could tell. Could they tell that just a few short hours ago my whole world had been rocked? Could they tell that yesterday I was a hotshot lawyer on top of my game and today ... well, today ... in between my mani/pedi and my hair appointment, I was summoned to my boss's office and promptly suspended. I'm too embarrassed to talk about it right now. With anyone. It's just one more reason I have to make this flight. The further away I can get from my life the better.
Maya looks me over. "It's certainly a different look for you, but I think it's hot. What did Lorna say?"
Lorna is my mother. She's the quintessential black Stepford wife -- perfect, but mouthy. Her hair is always done, dinner is always on the table, and she always has something to say about something.
"I breezed in long enough to grab her travel iron. She took one look at me and said if by some miracle I received an invitation to meet the Queen, I should decline."
Maya guffaws. "Classic."
I laugh along with her. Ouch! My head hurts. These braids are tight as a drum. Any drastic change in my facial expression causes shooting pain across the top of my scalp.
"And for the record, Maya, I was packed two days ago."
I'm one of the few Negroes who take pride in doing things ahead of schedule and openly admit to being a Maroon 5 groupie.
"I swear, Candy's triflin' ass. I sat there for forty-five minutes before she sent Coco over to wash me. If she would've started me on time ... "
There was no need to finish the thought. Every black woman has beauty-shop horror stories. It's our cross to bear. It's like going to church. We know we have to go, even when we don't feel like it. Afterwards, though, we feel like a different person, like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. But, good God, why does it have to take so long? Does the pastor really have to take up two collections? Does the hairdresser really have to double-book appointments? Inquiring-minded people with a life really want to know.
Excerpted from Passport Diaries by Tamara Gregory Copyright © 2005 by Tamara Gregory. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
Tamara T. Gregory, a writer and producer, has worked in production and development for the Walt Disney Company, Hollywood Pictures, and Magic Johnson Entertainment. She lives in Los Angeles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I couldn't put it down. I was caught up. Great story. Great romance. Its like the author wrote for every single black woman out there without male bashing. I can't wait to get my passport stamped.
This book was really hard to read. Ive had this book for about about 4 weeks and have not make it pass page 40. So, with that being said. If you need a night cap or just something to put you to sleep.......this is a must read. I promise its better than advil pm.
I absolutely loved this book for two reasons: 1- it had a plot and fun characters 2- I actually learned some things about international traveling. I felt like I was reading a letter from a girlfriend. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!
Need an escape without leaving town? Then this is the novel for you. Passport Diaries is a refreshing and witty tale that will make you want to pack your suitcase and jump on the next plane! This is an easy read that holds your attention as you follow the international antics of Kia Carson, the main character. If you're looking for a refreshing departure from the contemporary fiction norm, this is the book for you!
I am definitely a fan. A delightful and refreshing love story. Perfect combination of romance and adventure. I totally fell in love with all the characters. I especially love how Kia embraced her journey of the unknown and ¿DREW¿, I want one. I¿m telling all my girlfriends to buy the book. Best novel I¿ve read in a year. Can't wait to read her next novel.
FINALLY a writer creates a woman who I would be friends with. Too many times, the main characters of African American Chick lit novels are either filthy rich or unbearably ghetto. Here, Tamara Gregory has created a funny, interesting, flawed Black woman, Kia. Kia reluctantly takes a European vacation after having problems at work. While traveling through Paris, London and Greece, she opens herself to new life experiences and learns a great deal about her culture. I'm impressed with this writer. Looking forward to her next book.
This is a fast summer girly read. No life lessons here to learn or sappy moment BUT it is fast and it gives you a break from reality. No one dies, or has a life altering disease, no sad stories here. Plenty of laugh out loud moments. The story is about an attorny that was just suspended and about to celebrate her 35th birthday all while going through a break up from her BOOTY CALL... So she sets off to Europe for 6 sixs. All in all she meets some fascinating people and some interesting experiences that allows her not to take life so seriously! I loved the ending because sometimes the girly girl in me puts down the jaded books and I need to break from reality and have things neatly tie out and life goes on HAPPILY EVER AFTER. It was cute, it was fun, and if you guys want to kills a few hours and just break from the norm and have a little bit of romance in a book then this is a good read.