Dancing in the Fountain: Enjoy Living Abroad Book Giveaway

I’m five minutes early, and there’s just one table left. It’s in the sun and cramped between two groups of German travelers. Karen strides in with just a moment to spare, wearing her signature animal prints. While there’s a gap in age between us, Karen is the type of friend you can have who personifies “Age is just a number.”

I’m eager to catch up with Karen over coffee and talk about her new book, Dancing in the Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad. I devoured the book on a trip this summer though the Eastern seaboard, often subjected to gut-busting laughter and the wise head nods. The book was, in short, delightful.

As someone who loves travel books, Karen’s story of how she and her husband, Rich, moved to Seville is what Maria Foley calls a “love letter to the Andalusian capital.” Indeed, Karen captures the essence of Seville – its people, its food, its quirks that drive every single one of us crazy, all while deepening our love for this enchanting place. The perfect book for dreaming about getting away, of starting over in a new country and making it all work. 

As we are getting ready to part ways, I reach into my bag to find my wallet is empty. In an oh-so-Spanish move, Karen shoes my hand away and offers up a five euro note. “This will more than take care of it,” she says with a slight smile.

After getting back home later that day, I write my friend to apologize again about the coffee. Her reply is quick and telling: It’s happened to all of us.

Photo by the man in the hat himself, Rich McCann, at Karen’s book party

Just like your friend from toda la vida might say on any other sunny day in Seville.

The Contest

Karen has graciously agreed to donating a paperback copy of Dancing in the Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad to one of my readers, and I’m willing to ship it anywhere.

In order to win, I’d like you to tell us, in 25 words or less, why you’d like to live abroad, or why you chose to if you’re already here. You can earn more chances to win by following Karen and I on twitter or liking our Facebook pages, but we’re both interested in hearing what you have to say about packing up and moving to unknown lands.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest begins today and will run two weeks. I’ll send the winner, who will be generated randomly, the signed book to any corner of this great big Earth. But wait! I’m also going to give away a $15 Amazon gift card to the reader with the best answer, judged by and agreed on by both Karen and me.

For more information about Karen and her book, visit her webpage or follow her on twitter at @enjoylvngabroad. If you’ve read this book and enjoyed it, let her know! You can also find the book in both Paperback and Kindle version here: Dancing In The Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad.

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. Feria de Sevilla, 2009—I spotted a charismatic Sevillano in a caseta and asked him to dance. Happily married and still dancing sevillanas!

  2. The opportunity to teach and learn as well as to pursue a future in cheese making. :) So far, life is pretty tasty.

  3. Sounds like a great book I will have to check out! I love reading expat stories, especially if they take place in Spain! I’m not going to participate in the contest, but I’ll eventually get the book. :)

    Another fantastic expat story I read a few years ago is Almost French by Sarah Turnbull. The story is about an Australian journalist who is on assignment in Bucharest and she randomly meets a Frenchman from Paris named Frederic. They get along pretty well for the few days they are in Bucharest and Frederic then invites her to stay in Paris with him for awhile. Throwing caution to the wind, Sarah follows him to Paris, not really planning on how long she’ll stay and without speaking a lick of French. Her stay then becomes permanent, as she tries to figure out French people and culture, learn the French language, and maneuver her way around Paris.

    My mom first read this book and we often heard her have hysterical laughing fits. My mother also married a Frenchman (my dad!) and a lot of the observations Sarah makes about French culture resonated with my mom who would turn to my dad and ask him, “Seriously, WHY do French people do this? I’ve been wondering the same thing for years!!!” I thought the book was hysterical too. I didn’t realize so many people had the same observations about the French!

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      I have actually read Almost French, believe it or not! I had a class about Parisian Culture as part of my International Studies degree. That, along with the Green Guide, was our textbook. One of those stories that ignited my love for travel memoirs.

      You’ll love Karen’s book. It’s also available on Kindle. AND I have a postcard for you, so send me an email with your address to sunshineandsiestas @ gmail [dot] come when you get the chance. Thanks, A!

  4. I’d love to live in a place where something centuries old is still considered new. I want the romance of history, culture and new adventures

  5. 25 words or fewer, here goes:

    2009 Salamanca. Basketball win. Hemos quedado. Spilled the wine. Climbed the cathedral. Fell in love. 3 years later: I said yes!
    Kaley [Y Mucho Más] recently posted..¿Cómo está usted?My Profile

  6. I think people who live abroad are more open-minded .
    Living abroad lets you to share the languange, culture and food.
    Good meal+good company+good conversation = Perfect Combination.

  7. Nancy Maistrovich says:

    I would live abroad so I’d be closer my BFF, Cat Gaa. We could see each other more easily than once every 5 years. We could also visit the man less island if necessary.

  8. Since grade school geometry class, I’ve always been interested in, and curious about different people and cultures. When I was growing up, if I wasn’t at my best girlfriend’s house doing some kind of art project or listening to the Beatles, I could usually be found at the Wong’s house. They were the only truly ethnic family I remember in a very middle class neighborhood. “If it’s different, you’ll like it,” a friend once said about me. I guess that sums it up pretty well. I want to live abroad to fulfill those childhood dreams of seeing as much of the world as possible and experiencing and understanding our differences.
    Penny Sadler recently posted..I Dream of ItalyMy Profile

  9. I chose to move to Spain because:

    It´s a land of beauty, wine and dance – with always a hint of a little romance 😉
    Marianne recently posted..Menú del Día: Great food at a budget priceMy Profile

  10. Sometimes more than one place feels like home. Mi segundo hogar? Andalucía desde 2009. Tardó 3 años para regresarme, pero nunca he sido más feliz.

  11. I love reading expat stories and travel memoirs too.

    I moved abroad to improve my Spanish and follow my dream of living in Spain. In exchange, it’s taught me what I’m capable of, about the world, another culture, better understanding of my Chilean father and heritage, to appreciate my homeland and all the opportunities I have.

    I might just have to write a blog post. hahaha.
    Lauren @ roamingtheworld recently posted..Road tripping to ToulouseMy Profile

  12. We chose to live abroad because we wanted to reach out and grab a bit of life that wouldn’t have dropped into our laps otherwise!
    robin recently posted..El BarrioMy Profile

  13. Sorry for the delay in posting this… I will respond to your e-mail soon! Again, nice to “meet” you! :)

    I met my Spanish husband on a bus traveling from Madrid to Cáceres.
    One seat away then could have meant a world of difference now.

  14. I never planned on living in Spain, it somehow just happened and I let it happen. For now and after almost a total of 16 years it’s starting to feel like home.

  15. Well, I am now living in Spain as well 😉 never thought but it just happened as it suppose to be 😉
    LeX @ LeX Paradise recently posted..Fly to South Korea this coming winter with AirAsia X !My Profile

  16. Living our European dream, healthier lifestyle, surrounded by history, learning about exciting cultures, easy travel to amazing and different places. No regrets!
    Would love to read that book!!
    Gayla recently posted..It’s Sinterklaas, Not Santa Claus…My Profile

  17. After reading this blog post and the other one about the book, I decided to download and start reading it. I do not live abroad (yet) but I am making plans to do so sometime next September. Spain, is the only place on my list and the only place I have traveled to abroad (once). I love reading this blog as well as the others of expats who live in Spain. You all inspiring to step outside my box and outside of the USA. Thanks.

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      I’ve overwhelmed with such kind words, Larissa! When it comes down to it, that’s one of the reasons I find time to blog, so hearing that it hasn’t gone unnoticed warms my heart. Let me know when you finish the book and how you liked it – and know that you’re still eligible for the book and gift card!


  1. […] enough to give me a signed copy of the wonderfully breezy and fun book for my readers. Visit the original post for easy entrance, and be sure to follow her […]

  2. […] in the Fall, I was thrilled to give away a copy of a laugh-out-loud tale of expat life by my friend and fellow Seville inhabitant, Karen McCann. […]

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