Pull Up A Chair with Eva Charles!
Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series chronicling the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you'll enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.
After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.
When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.
Why Do They Stay?
The author acknowledges that not all victims of domestic violence are women, and not all perpetrators are men, but for the sake of clarity, in this post, survivors are referred to with feminine pronouns, and perpetrators with masculine. The words abuser and perpetrator, as well as survivor and victim, are used interchangeably.
Before I began writing novels last year, I spent decades as an advocate, counselor and attorney, working on behalf of women and children, some of it in the field of domestic violence. Given the prevalence of domestic violence in our society, it’s shocking that so few have any understanding of the scourge. When someone learns what I do for work, the first question they ask is, “Why do they stay?” Sometimes it’s asked in a light and breezy manner, as though there is a simple answer, and other times, it’s heavily laden with innuendo and victim-blaming. What’s interesting is that no one ever asks, “Why do they abuse?”
There are many reasons women stay in abusive relationships, children, family pressure, isolation, money and shame are some of the most common reasons survivors give for staying. But after working in the field for many years, I believe survivors stay because they have been battered, literally and figuratively beaten, until they can see no viable alternative, no other option.
To even begin to understand why a survivor stays, one must first understand what domestic violence is: the systematic pattern of taking power and control over another human being. A survivor’s right to make her own decisions, and her self-esteem, along with her family, friends, and every support system she has in place, are stripped away by the abuser.
Often it happens slowly, one small jab at a time. It’s uncommon for a perpetrator to start with physical abuse; usually, he lays the groundwork over time, before he ever raises his fists. He’s more likely to begin with some small, seemingly innocuous comment, “Those red pants make you look fat, wear your black ones instead,” or, “Don’t cut your hair, I like it long.” Maybe he monitors her cell phone and computer use. Before long, the jabs come fast and furious and they sting, “You can’t ever do anything right! You’re a terrible cook, housekeeper, mother, wife, human being”—you get the drift.
Some abusers save their entire wrath for private moments, while others humiliate their victims in public. Sometimes they strike-out in front of her children, which shames her, and terrifies them. Slowly, the kids begin to believe their mother is weak and powerless, and if she can’t keep herself safe, how will she ever keep them safe? This makes her feel particularly awful.
The abuser isolates her from everyone who cares about her, from anyone who boosts her self-worth, anyone who can offer her protection and solace. “Your family never liked me, now they’re trying to break-up our marriage. I don’t want them around here.” Or, “Your friends are sluts, I better never catch you with them.”
Soon, she’s not sure what to wear until he tells her, she has no money because he doles it out in small increments, as needed, and demands receipts. She no longer has friends, and if she has any contact with her family at all, it’s for short, sporadic, closely-supervised visits. Her children have no faith in her, and she begins to believe she’s a worthless human being, nothing without him, because he drums it into her every single day.
He sexually assaults her any time he’s in the mood. He forces her to have sex with him, or others, when she doesn’t want to, and makes her do things that are painful, or that leave her feeling ashamed. When she resists, he accuses her of sleeping around, when she gives-in to his demands, he calls her a whore. It’s crazy-making, and like everything else, it’s degrading and keeps her off-balance, terrified, until she’s walking on eggshells all the time.
He regularly threatens her and everyone she cares about, her children, family, friends and pets. Sometimes he promises to buy a gun, and if he already owns one, he takes to cleaning it in front of her, waving it at her while he accuses and berates. On occasion, he holds it to her head, or shoves it into her mouth.
Often it’s the victims who are in the most danger, who are the least concerned with their safety. It’s as though some part of the brain moves into survival mode, shuts-down, because otherwise, it would be impossible to function under that kind of constant duress. Many victims suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The most dangerous time for a survivor is right after she leaves, when the abuser sees his power and control over her slipping away. Years ago, as a wide-eyed twenty-three-year-old advocate, I accompanied a survivor to court for a restraining order and then to her apartment to pack a bag. The abuser was served with the order sooner than expected, and he showed up at the apartment when we were leaving with her things. He grabbed me, and held me against the wall in a small stairwell, threatening to show me “who’s boss.” When he took his hand off my throat to unbutton his pants, I flung myself down the stairs and crawled out of the building before he could really hurt me. My client wasn’t so lucky.
It is with good reason trained police officers, armed with guns, hate responding to domestic violence complaints. They never know what they are going to find behind the locked front door, making these dangerous, sometimes deadly, situations. Some perpetrators have no respect for, or fear of, authority. This is why restraining orders, while a necessary and important tool, can make the situation worse for some survivors.
Perpetrators and victims come from every walk of life, from every neighborhood. Wives, girlfriends, and partners of politicians, police officers, businessmen, lawyers, athletes, doctors, clergy, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, fishermen, and so many others, have sat in my office and shared their heart-wrenching stories. Some which sent such icy chills through me, that I wondered if I would ever get warm again.
Experience has taught me that the most dangerous perpetrators are those with everything to lose, and those with nothing to lose. These men will go to great lengths to protect themselves and their power over the victim, and some have resources and connections to assist them.
Born with more grit than brains, I’m a highly privileged woman, who doesn’t scare easily. But on several occasions, after meeting with a client, I hurried to my car in the well-lit parking lot, heart pounding, cell phone in hand ready to send a 911 call. I locked the car door, and glanced in my review-mirror all the way home, never letting my guard down until I arrived and the garage door closed behind me. Imagine now, how it feels to be a woman with no resources, no money, no family, no friends, one who believes she’s worthless, and who is certain that no one, no matter how well intentioned, can ever keep her, or her children, safe.
That’s why they stay.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
I am pleased to feature author Maretha Botha as my Rave Reviews Book Club "Pay It Forward" club member for Friday!
Pull Up a Chair and get to know Maretha Botha Librarian, Children's author/illustrator and self-confessed bookworm, chocolate and black coffee addict, animal and bird lover, occasional gardener and hiker on the moors.
Maretha is a South African Italian, born in a small town called Montagu. She grew up in nearby Worcester in the Western Cape – a town reminiscent of living in Switzerland among the snow-capped mountains. Worcester had a small library. Young Maretha’s visits were limited to three times a week, because the librarian told her, “You spend too much time with your nose in a book and neglect your school work.” Nothing much has changed, because she's still a confirmed bookworm who constantly strives to raise more bookworms who enjoy reading, not just as a pleasant past-time, but as an excellent tool to be used when grown-up. Before immigrating to the UK to settle in Lancashire, Maretha worked as an assistant librarian in a private school in Botswana, where one of her tasks was to encourage children to enjoy reading. That was a labour of love for this bookworm, providing valuable help in carving her own career as a children's author/illustrator. It brought her face to face with the literary industry’s toughest critics – children and preteens. She saw that many students also enjoyed reading about birds and animals, their care, habitats and general well-being, especially when a few added catchy rhymes here and there made reading sessions interesting and alive. In 2012 her job was localised and as things often happen, this unforeseen occurrence led to a new chapter in her life. To remain motivated, she wrote down everything she could remember about her family's pets – their little habits and characteristics. For example, the character of the working-dog hero in Fauna Park Tales is based on the different traits of every single dog her family ever owned. Researching habits, habitats and interesting titbits about martial eagles and eagle owls, as well as many smaller birds such as crimson-breasted shrikes and hoopoes, made it easier to illustrate them and tell a believable story. Her illustrations appear throughout Fauna Park Tales. Maretha Botha admits to being a chocoholic and unreformed coffee addict, a keen gardener and bird watcher, who likes to walk on the moors where the stiff breeze coming in from the sea, quickly clears her head, making way for more inspiration.
She may be contacted and followed via the following websites and social media sites:
The first three books of "Fauna Park Tales: An African Adventure" are available as eBooks and black/white illustrated paperbacks.
A 210 page, Gold Band DELUXE COLOUR ILLUSTRATED EDITION - "Tales from Fauna Park, An African Adventure: Flame and Hope" is available and will also be enjoyed by better readers (9-12) who still like seeing illustrations.
"Flame and Hope: An African Adventure" is the first book of the series called "Fauna Park Tales" based on "African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends", a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins. The following is an excerpt from the HarperCollins Children's Editor Review:
"A vivid and engaging world of animal characters . . . the use of cleverly animalised verbs is very creative – Dolly Cat's 'whispurr'. The exploration of interrelationships between animals is a very successful topic in the children's literature genre, and you have created some great personalities – the stubborn goat 'Plump-Grump' and the conceited 'His Handsomeness, King Rat' being some of my favourites . . . "
Life takes strange turns for Flame, a puppy born in the African desert. Adopted by a free-range cattle farmer, the pup faces the challenge of proving himself to more than one of his new family. As Flame grows into a strong and brave dog, he finds friendship with many loyal furry and feathered friends who teach him to keep The Promise – protecting the helpless ones in Fauna Park, a secret sanctuary within the boundaries of the farm. One of his feathered friends is Hope, an elusive bird with strange pink eyelids who tells stories about a tall leader and his gang of villainous poachers, ups and downs of life in the bush and Flame's ingenious plans to banish foes to the Llokodi Hills.
These stories are perfect to be read before bedtime to younger children. Preteens will enjoy escaping into an imaginary world where many bush creatures always have hope that everything ends well when the sun goes down.
"Friends: An African Adventure" is the second book of the series called "Fauna Park Tales" based on "African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends", a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins.
Life takes strange turns for Flame, a puppy born in the African desert. Adopted by a free-range cattle farmer, the pup faces the challenge of proving himself to more than one of his new family.
As Flame grows into a strong and brave dog, he finds friendship with many loyal furry and feathered friends who teach him to keep The Promise – protecting the helpless ones in Fauna Park, a secret sanctuary within the boundaries of the farm. This ordinary desert dog becomes a hero when, to keep his promise, he saves a zebra foal from a fire.
These stories are perfect to be read before bedtime to younger children. Preteens will enjoy escaping into an imaginary world where many bush creatures always have hope that everything ends well when the sun goes down.
"The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure is the third book of the series called "Fauna Park Tales" based on the original African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends, a GOLD MEDAL WINNER on Authonomy, supported by HarperCollins.
"Bad humans are disturbing the peace in Molodi valley, and two small orphans are in danger. One of them, Larita, speaks the bush creatures' language – Faunalang – a rare and wonderful talent that they want to use. Alone in the desert, who will help them? Young and old will enjoy reading about the furry and feathered friends' latest thrilling adventures, when Molodi's bush creatures meet friends and foes in their quest to stick to The Promise to protect helpless ones in Fauna Park. Plump-Grump, the stubborn goat, and his harem do their bit, but what will happen at the farm while Flame and his friends are on a dangerous mission? His Handsomeness, King Rat returns, but is he a friend or foe?"
Fauna Park Tales (3 Book Series)
What a joy to support such a wonderful author as Maretha Botha.
I am pleased to feature author Suzanne Burke as my Rave Reviews Book Club "Pay It Forward" club member for Wednesday!
It's a writers world, a world that seeks to explore and entertain
These are the words that greeted me when I first reached Suzanne Burke's website. I learned early on that "Soooz" is her preferred salutation! Let's see what Soooz's world consists of!
About Author S.Burke aka Stacey Danson.
Well let’s see now. Soooz (My preferred name) is a Sixty something female lucky enough to reside in beautiful Sydney Australia.
I have a passion for writing that always existed, but I didn’t begin to write seriously until my mid fifties. Simply because I didn’t have the confidence in myself to allow that anyone would be interested in what I have to say.
I’m delighted that I was proven wrong.
My non-fiction works, “Empty Chairs” Book 1 in (Standing Tall and Fighting Back) series went on to sell extremely well, and remained on the Amazon top 100 for Biography and Memoir for over a year.
Book 2 “Faint Echoes of Laughter” did equally well.
Sadly my publisher closed their doors less than 18 months after my books release, and it has taken me almost 4 years to have the courage to self publish my work…BUT…here I am.
I have added to my books.
I discovered a delight in writing dark Thrillers with heavy Psychological overtones. Not for the faint of heart. They are fast paced and quite brutal. I’m so pleased they have started to resonate with readers and the reviews thus far are all five star. Color me content.
Here is the link to all my works on Amazon. I look forward to hearing from you.
Additionally, Soooz supports other authors and friends on her website.
Her Previous Posts:
- Welcome to Karen Ingalls; my featured author in the Rave Reviews Book Club ‘Pay it Forward’ for Wednesday. September 21, 2016
- Welcome and say, Hi, to Children’s book author; Maretha M Botha. A marvelous collection to add to your Christmas or any other list for the younger folks. September 19, 2016
- Acts Beyond Redemption, on Lisa Burton Radio September 19, 2016
- Book Review: “Shadow of The Drill.” by Rhani D’Chae. September 7, 2016
- BOOK REVIEW: “Invasion”by Authors Poppet and Mary E. Palmerin. September 4, 2016
What a joy to support such a wonderfully diverse author as S.Burke aka Stacey Danson, Suzanne Burke aka Soooz!
Pull Up a Chair with Julie Watson
Julie grew up in a small rural town in New Zealand.
She started work in the local maternity annexe on leaving school at the age of sixteen. She met Barry and was happily married until the unexpected death of her second baby at birth. This tragic event in her life led to depression, loneliness, and despair.
Life was full of challenges and it was during this time that Julie became a Christian. In her late thirties she did her training to become a nurse and a midwife fulfilling a life long dream. 'Born for life' tells her story and she hopes it will encourage others to follow their dreams even with life's difficulties.
Julie has travelled extensively and has worked in several countries around the world, caring for women of different cultures and nationalities. Midwifery continues to be her passion and love.
A nurse aide position in the local maternity annexe at the age of sixteen gave Julie a love for being with women during labour and birth and caring for mothers and their babies.
Life could not have been happier until the tragic death of her own baby in the first hour of life, led to depression, loneliness and despair.
This true story tells of Julie’s struggle to triumph over adversity and follows her journey to fulfill her dream and become the midwife she was born to be.
Available on AMAZON
Hello, and welcome to Room With Books!
Come and join the party … RRBC Back to School Book & Blog Block Party all through August! That’s right, we’re partying for a whole month.
Links for the other party places are on the RRBC website
On today’s stop, you’ve landed in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Prizes I’m Giving Away Today!!!
TWO Amazon Gift Cards of $5.00 each
ONE Barnes & Noble Gift Cards of $5.00 each
Huge thank you to everyone for stopping by!
Number of winners for this stop: 3!
To be in it to win it, be sure to leave a comment!
JULY / AUGUST ISSUE IS NOW LIVE!
June 10 2016
It is my pleasure to welcome author Karen Welch to Room With Books. Karen has graciously, and painstakingly, answered a plethora of questions to give our readers an opportunity to get to know her better!
Karen, please tell us about yourself.
I’m a Virginia native. I was born in Richmond and spent most of my childhood in rural Amelia County, where my family originally settled in the early 1700’s. Needless to say the roots there are deep! While I will always consider that part of the world my home, most of my adult life has been spent in North Florida and in Southeast Kansas, which is where I am now. I have two children, now with families of their own. My husband and I live in a 120-year-old house in a small town, enjoying the relative quiet of retirement—the perfect environment for an introverted writer to ply her trade!
Please tell us your latest news?
I’ve just finished a serial novella, All That Glitters, and I’m still working on the second book in the Welcome to Walnut Lodge Series. There are plenty of other ideas in the pipeline, but I do best working on one thing at a time.
When and why did you begin writing?
I must have started “writing” at about age 10, but I finally got serious at the end of my 50’s, when it occurred to me that I only had a couple decades left to get the job done. I was always going to be a “writer” because the ideas floating around in my head intrigued me enough that I wanted to see them on paper. I never gave any thought to who else might see what I’d written. I just wanted to write the stories so I could see how they ended. Now, sharing them provides me with a bonus thrill I never anticipated back when I was just scribbling my stories in notebooks for my own amusement.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until I began to hear response from readers of my first book. I was reluctant to put myself in that exalted position until I realized my work had moved someone else enough for them to reach out to me. I still find it a little bit surreal when I see a review or open an email from a reader. They consider me a writer without question, so I guess that means I must be doing my job right.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Do you have a specific writing style?
I always start with “What if?” Then I try to let the story tell itself through the eyes of the characters. I’m a “pantser,” so many times I’m surprised by the way things unfold, but I try to resist manipulating a story for the sake of genre or style. I suppose I’m a storyteller, much like my grandmothers, who both loved to tell long, detailed stories about people they’d known and places they’d seen. That tradition is sadly dying in our faster paced present, so for those of us who write in that tradition there is a responsibility to keep it alive.
How did you come up with the title?
That varies. Sometimes I know the title first—such as with Shannon’s Daughter—but more typically the title comes from something significant that emerges as I write. For instance, I used quotes from hymns and scriptures for the titles of the Valley Rise series because they appeared somewhere in the stories.
Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
Again, that varies depending on the story. The Valley Rise books are clearly about the transforming power of love. The Walnut Lodge books seem to have a “second chance” message. I don’t start out with the idea of conveying a message, but it often turns out there is one theme that stands out by the time I’m done.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There is definitely something of my life experience in what I write. I’ve lived long enough and known enough people to have gathered quite a few ideas and impressions. I often use places I’ve visited as inspiration for locations, and music I love plays a role in many of my stories. Most of my characters are purely fictional, but they often have some small part of a real person at their core. For example, the character of Bernard Silverman, the famous conductor who appears in the Valley Rise books and Shannon’s Daughter, is based rather obviously on Leonard Bernstein, who had a great influence on my love of music. The only time I’ve come close to writing about a personal experience is in Katie Lost and Found. I did travel to Europe and meet a very nice young Dutchman, who is the obvious inspiration for Peter, but the story is otherwise a work of fiction.
What books have influenced your life most?
It would be impossible to name a few specific titles. I’d rather say that reading everything I could get my hands on as a girl, from Alcott to Hemingway to PG Wodehouse, as well as lots and lots of historical fiction, influenced my love of a well-told story. I still read constantly and believe firmly that a writer must not only put words on paper, but fill her mind with as many words and images as possible to keep the imagination fueled.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’d probably say Jan Karon. When I read the Mitford series, I was impressed with her personal story as well as her work. It’s never too late to change course and follow your dream.
What book are you reading now?
I’ve just finished reading An Echo in the Bone, the seventh book Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
I’ve enjoyed sampling the work of Indie authors. There’s a lot of good writing out there.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on the second novel in the Walnut Lodge series, which focuses on a couple who were close friends in high school but lost touch for many years. When they meet up again in their hometown, the old attraction is still there, but their current responsibilities and life experiences make rekindling the relationship a bit tricky. Never fear, there’s always a happy ending at Walnut Lodge!
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Early on I shared my work with a couple of friends who convinced me that I should keep going. I knew they would be honest with me, brutally if necessary, so I took them at their word.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I don’t think so. It doesn’t pay to rehash once you’ve published. Better to move on to the next project and hope to improve with each work.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My father was an aspiring writer. He died when I was very young and I expect I wished that I’d inherited something of his gift.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! This is from Where We Left Off—Welcome to Walnut Lodge Book Two
“So, how did things go with my sister?”
Jeff avoided Cami’s expectant gaze, wondering how best to answer. Even he was smart enough to recognize, from the moment Cami casually mentioned Connie for the job, that Mitchell sister number two was up to her old tricks. They might be co-workers now at the Lodge but Cami would always seem more like a little sister to him. They’d shared a lot in the past, much of it too hard and deep for a couple of teenagers to share without bonding them beyond friendship.
“Well, if the goal was to find a sitter for Mother, it went great. Connie starts next week. If you’re asking whether we did more than talk about the job, not really.”
“Come on, Jeff. Be patient with her. She’s been through hell and back since the two of you were close. Connie’s leery of opening up to anybody, even her family. Give her a chance to get to know you again.”
“I hear you, Cami. But there’s not much gain in ‘getting to know me’ now. You’d have better luck putting your matchmaking skills to work on old Cyril here.” He nodded toward the Lodge’s resident mascot, a white muzzled Pomeranian who shared his shift most nights. Currently Cyril was performing what he considered his primary duty. Curled in his bed, he was snoring softly into the elegant golden plume of his tail, the occasional twitch of an ear the only sign he was following the conversation.
“I’m not match making, I’m just trying to help two people I care about. But I think it’s exciting. I mean I’m sorry your mother’s condition is the reason, but putting the two of you in the same place day after day, that’s a good thing. You’ll see. Connie needs a friend who remembers what she used to be like, who doesn’t walk on eggshells around her.”
“Is that what you girls do, walk on eggshells? That doesn’t sound like the Mitchell sisters I remember. You guys were brutal.”
“We tend to take it easy on Connie now. She never mentions her marriage. It’s like if she doesn’t talk about it, it never happened.”
“What about Lily? Doesn’t she talk about her father?”
“No. Never. I guess they talk about him with Lily’s therapist, but never in front of us.”
He thought for a moment, sorting what he knew from what he was willing to reveal. “That’s rough. I’m sorry it’s taking so long for them to move on.”
“That’s why I say Connie needs to be around people who really knew her before. And you knew her better than anybody. Maybe better than we did.” Cami shot him a challenging look, one he couldn’t ignore. “Think back, Jeff. You and Connie were always together, from the time you moved here. You remember what she was like, so optimistic, so determined. Now it’s more like she’s pushing a big rock up a steep hill, just waiting for it to roll back on her. And the worst part is, she seems to think when it does, she deserves to be crushed.”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding time to write, pushing aside all the other responsibilities in my day to just sit down at the computer, seems to be my biggest challenge. I’ve recently become the fulltime caregiver for my husband, so changing the focus from that level of activity to the internal work of writing is difficult. I’m slowly finding the discipline to do that, but it’s definitely a change from the way I worked when I first started writing.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’d have to say Hemingway because of the clarity of his writing. He doesn’t merely paint a picture with words. He takes a photograph.
Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
It isn’t necessary, but I would love to get out to more writers’ conferences and do more signings. Unfortunately, my current situation doesn’t allow for that, but perhaps in the future I’ll be able to meet more readers and other writers face to face.
What is the hardest part of writing a book?
Knowing when to stop revising. There will always be a better word or phrase, so you just have to say “good enough” once the story’s told, and stop agonizing.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learned a lot of things. I suppose the most important is to trust my instincts. I set out in the beginning to write a book I wanted to read. If I’ve done that, I now know there are others who will feel the same about it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do it! Whether you set out to find a publisher or to self-publish, write, rewrite, let someone you trust read your work and then get it out there. We live in a very exciting time when the industry is going through so many positive changes. Take advantage of them!
Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I remember the first book I couldn’t put down was Little Women. I read it over and over until my mother finally made me find something else to read because I was constantly crying over certain parts of the story. I guess you could say it really grabbed me!
What makes you laugh or cry?
The same things can do both—children, dogs, my husband, a good book, a good movie, music. It changes as I get older, but I’d much rather laugh than cry.
Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
There are many! I guess I’ll have to go with the first to come to mind. I’d love to meet George Harrison. I was crazy for him as a teenager and then so inspired by him later in life.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love to garden. I enjoy cooking. I take great pleasure in restoring old houses and furniture. Like writing, they can all feel like work at times, but unlike the writing, they are done simply for my personal satisfaction.
What TV shows or films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch much TV, mainly a few programs on PBS, but I’m currently obsessed with the Outlander series on STARZ. I enjoy historical films, mysteries, and occasionally a good tearjerker love story.
What is your favorite food, color and music?
Anything baked—bread, cake, muffins. Yellow. Classical.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Do you have a blog or website? If so what is it?
The address for Lost in the Plains is http://valleyrise.blogspot.com/. My blog about writing, life, and anything else that comes to mind.
You can find out all about my books and other things at my Amazon Author Page.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to our readers?
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR SHARING THIS JOURNEY WITH ME!!!
Thank you, Karen, for spending so much time helping me by pulling up a chair with us on Room With Books! I hope you’ll come back in the future with more answers to questions and books to read!
Karen Welch was born in Richmond, Virginia and grew up in nearby Amelia County, where her family had originally settled in the 1720’s. After a twenty-year sojourn in North Florida, she now resides in Southeast Kansas with husband John, a cocker spaniel named Raleigh and an eccentric calico cat who on occasion answers to Patches. Her long delayed writing career began in 2012 with the publication of her first novel, Hearts Unfold. This inspirational romance quickly grew into the Miracle at Valley Rise series with the release of Entreat Me Not, Heart of My Own Heart and Offered for Love in the following year. Karen is also the author of the holiday novella, Christmas at Valley Rise, and Shannon’s Daughter, a romance set in the mid-twentieth century revolving around one of the characters in the series. In August 2014 her new series Welcome to Walnut Lodge premiered with the release of Katie Lost and Found.
Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org, find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Welch/, follow her blog Lost in the Plains at http://valleyrise.blogspot.com/ and follow her on Twitter @welchkaren1.
Karen has compiled a 40-week serial novella, published on her blog Lost in the Plains, into her latest offering as ALL THAT GLITTERS. It is a novella of approximately 60,000 words.
Max Evans is at the top. Labeled the Blonde Adonis, he’s idolized by millions around the world for his golden voice and his blonde good looks. He might be every woman’s dream, but for rising TV journalist Lucinda Cramer, he’s a troublesome glitch in her already complicated schedule. Filming a documentary about a pop idol on tour is hardly the kind of hard hitting assignment Lucy longs for, and the timing of the job couldn’t be worse. With her private life full of responsibilities and the shadow of a past tragedy looming over her family, the last thing she has time for is trailing after a pampered celebrity. Two weeks on a tour bus is plenty of time for Lucy and Max to discover that first impressions can’t always be trusted and second chances are never too late.
By Anna Kyle
Book One of the Wolf King series
*285 pages / 85,000 words
Cass Nolan has been forced to avoid the burn of human touch for her whole life, drawing comfort instead from her dreams of a silver wolf—her protector, her friend. When her stalking nightmares return, her imaginary dead sister’s ghost tells her to run, Cass knows she should listen, but the sinfully hot stranger she just hired to work on her ranch has her mind buzzing with possibilities. Not only does her skin accept Nathan’s touch, it demands it. Cass must make a decision—run again and hope she saves the people who have become her family, or stand and fight. Question is, will it be with Nathan or against him?
Nathan Rivers’ life is consumed by his quest to find the Omega wolf responsible for killing his brother, but when the trail leads him to Cass and her merry band of shapeshifters, his wolf wants only to claim her for himself. When evidence begins piling up that Cass is the Omega he’s been seeking, things become complicated—especially since someone else wants her dead. Saving her life might mean sacrificing his own, but it may be worth it to save the woman he can’t keep from reaching for.
Omega Rising is available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Kobo, World Weaver Press, iBookstore, IndieBound and OmniLit, and for wholesale through Ingram.
Anna Kyle is the author of the Wolf King series at World Weaver Press – Omega Rising and Skye Falling - and author of Coming Up Roses, a short story appearing in Rough Edges, a cowboy romance anthology at Pen & King Publishing. She wrote her first story at age 12 on an old manual typewriter, and though the technology has changed, she hasn’t stopped since. She lives in the Midwest surrounded by family and friends and dogs and horses. They’ve forgiven her (mostly) when they appear in her stories. She reads everything she can get her hands on, but romances, especially paranormals, are her favorite. Vampires, humans, Fae, shapeshifters, or demons, it doesn’t matter—Anna’s heart goes pitter-pat for the Happily Ever After. Hot heroes + strong, funny heroines = awesome.
Twitter: Anna Kyle @SandsOfTime5050
Top Ten Reasons Authors Need Dogs
- You are #1 on the NYT and USA Bestsellers lists, the top banana, the cat’s meow (maybe not that one) with your dog. Always. Except on the 4th of July. Even your #1 status cannot compare to the safety behind the toilet. But still, other than that, it’s nice to be #1.
- Dogs are a built-in procrastination life hack. Walk the dog. Wash the dog. Nap with dog. Feed the dog. All good reasons to avoid writing.
- Dog walks and dog parks force introverted authors into the sunshine, all pale and blinking at the brightness, to soak up some much needed vitamin D. Although they long for the dimness of their office lit only by the computer’s glow, their need to talk about their dog with anyone who will listen trumps the need to be left alone.
- Yes, you are #1 but authors still pick up doggie poop, mop the floor when dogs barf, scrub rugs that have been peed on, or worse, loose-stooled upon. So dogs keep authors humble. Here’s a typical author-dog conversation. Dog: “Hey, can’t you see I’m walking way around this spot, clearly and carefully avoiding looking at said spot. Clean up that mess I made, will you? It’s gross.” Author: “Bad dog. JK. Who’s a good dog? You are, yes you are.”
- As must be clear from #4, authors with dogs stay fit from the nonstop cleaning and repair of household destruction.
- Let’s face it. Dogs are funny goofballs. Authors need funny goofballs around when that rejection comes in. They also happy-dance with you around the living room when the request for a full hits your inbox.
- In addition to writing books, authors must also constantly be “expanding their brand” or “growing their platform.” Two words: Dog pictures. Dogs are tailor-made for bumping up an author’s analytics. Get a shot of your dog on its back, paws folded adorably, dozing with a copy of your book, or even better, my new book OMEGA RISING OUT NOW YES RIGHT NOW, open on his chest. Maybe even wearing reading glasses. Yes. Bam. Your phone will shake itself off the coffee table with at least ten notifications. But don’t do it until I do it first. DIBS. If you ignore my dibs call, at least @ me so I can see it.
- Your dog loves your latest manuscript even if you’re pretty sure that this latest draft is a steaming pile of garbage. All that crisp paper so neatly arranged flaps so enticingly as he rips it to shreds. Your manuscript is an irresistible temptation to his taste buds. Garbage is pretty tasty too, thinks your dog.
- Authors spend a lot of time sitting and staring, usually in front of a computer. Dogs think you’re just figuring out when to go outside and play. Here’s a game authors play with their dogs. Scoot your chair back suddenly, half rise out of your chair. Watch your dogs blast out of the room to the back door. Sit back down. Repeat as needed, because they fall for it at least ten times in a row. Exercise and laughter. Priceless.
- Dogs are love.
He gestured toward the desk again, his eyebrows lifting at her obvious reluctance. Well it could only take a few seconds or so to place a bandage and he smelled so damn good. She settled herself on the desk and held out her hand. He was so close she imagined she could feel the heat of his body warming her skin. His thumb smoothed the edges of the criss-cross bandage while his other hand held hers loosely. Cass tensed, ready to yank her hand away. Nathan looked at her, questioning, she guessed, how she got the scrape.
“Misjudged the wall.” Her voice was unsteady as she tried to ignore the shooting tingly little sparks fanning out from his touch. His large tanned hand enveloped hers loosely, turning it over to trace her palm. Cass’s apprehension grew and she braced for the inevitable burn, her brain automatically rifling through the best maneuvers to pull herself free. The clunky phone on her desk could be a weapon and the letter opener was lying within easy distance. A bonk on the head or stab in the throat, if her gut had massively misjudged his character, would gain her freedom.
His hold didn’t tighten. Five seconds, ten, still nothing. Fifteen, twenty. She wanted him to let go yet clung to the warmth and texture of his skin. Her breath came faster but it wasn’t nerves alone. His finger traced a small cut on the pad of her ring finger and he looked up again.
“Pa-paper cut.” He grabbed an antiseptic square, tore it open with his teeth to keep his hold on her hand. Soon that cut was cleaned and covered. Her insides shivered as his hand glided over her forearm, pushing up the sleeve of her hoodie. Her skin soaked in the roughness of his palm and reached for the heat in his touch. Ninety seconds. She stared at his large, tanned hand stroking her pale forearm, the pure pleasure of it making her light-headed.
“You’re trembling,” he murmured as he continued his exploration, finding a larger angry red line with bruising around it. He traced it gently.
“Mr. Clean,” Cass said, her voice husky. “He’s an asshole.”
Nathan chuckled, the sound raspy as if he hadn’t found much amusing for a long time. Cass stared, transfixed. He was already the best looking man she’d ever seen, but with the smile softening his features for a moment he was devastating, the crinkles at the corner of his eyes positively kissable. Her heart flipped in her chest.
He pressed his lips against her palm, taking a deep, ragged breath. His nose and lips were hot and she waited, quivering in anticipation.
June 1, 2016
As of today, June 1st, Room With Books is changing formats from being primarily a blog to being a book review site. I am still posting blog tours for some organizers with books that interest me, but you will be seeing fewer tours. I plan to review one or two books weekly and will continue to build the feature page "Pull Up A Chair".
I love blogging and participating in tours with all of my wonderful organizers and supporting indie authors! I am a one-woman site and the workload was becoming more than one person could reasonably handle. I figured that making this change after my Florida vacation was the best time to make the transition!
Thank you for your incredible support in building my dream and I hope you'll continue to follow Room With Books. If you know of a book that I should be reading for review, please be sure you drop me a note and I'll take a look at it!
Who is “SPOTLIGHT”
Author Lizzie Chantree?
An inventive author!
Lizzie is a wife and mum, who is also an accomplished inventor, businesswoman and artist. She founded her first company at the age of 17 and has been creating products ever since!
She went to a design and advertising college, called The School of Communication Arts, which was based in London. They took only a handful of students each year from all over the world, so she made the most of the opportunity by learning everything she could about how to create products, advertise and package them.
After college she started her own business opening her first retail venture. She designed and sold her own brand of products to customers all over the world. This business grew to two shops and a wholesale business, including a retail gift catalogue, which Lizzie ran for over 20 years.
During this time she also invented a product called Runaway Spray, which is a lipstick size spray, perfect for a ladies handbag, that prevents further ‘ladders’ or ‘runs’ in stockings or tights. She became one of Fair Play London's Female Inventors of the Year. She also won business awards and the ‘Livewire’ competition, run by Shell UK in association with The Prince’s Trust. She was asked to return the following year as a ‘Livewire’ competition judge.
Lizzie’s daughter had been unwell for two years and to keep herself awake at night, she wrote her first novel, Babe Driven. Five years later, when her daughter’s health improved, she had it professionally edited and happened to read a magazine article about a well known author who was self-publishing his novels. She discovered a brilliant book club called RRBC, (you should join!) and this helped her along her way as an author.
Currently Lizzie has written three books;
A sizzling beach read-Babe Driven:
A medical romance story-Love’s Child:
Her latest book, which has just been released on Amazon:
A mystical romance-Finding Gina:
All of Lizzie’s books have strong central characters and a sprinkling of humour.
Reader quote: ‘This is a really compulsive read and not easy to put down; but quite light hearted.
The characters are really fun, engaging and believable.
I am really looking forward to the authors next Novel... Give it a go!!!!’
Excerpt of chapter two from Finding Gina:
‘There’s something strange about that girl,’ hissed Rachel to Tom, her aunt’s resident baker, who was hands deep in flour as he stretched a batch of dough for the next day’s quota of cakes.
‘What do you mean?’ he asked quizzically, shaking flour dust from his nose and almost making himself sneeze. He looked at Gina through the glass door to the tearoom and thought she looked kind of cute!
‘I mean that she is always smiling and I’ve never seen her here with the same person, other than my aunt a few times. It’s a bit like she picks up waifs and strays, but she’s also a stray herself. Do you know what I mean?’
Tom raised his eyebrows at Rachel’s views on their customer. She was always offering an opinion on everyone that girl; from the delivery boy, to that unfortunate young mother with the face full of spots!
Rachel waited for Tom to reply, then raised her hands into the air in surrender and grabbed the next order that was sitting ready to be delivered to table three, slapping the plates together and almost covering a pretty cupcake in coffee as it sloshed onto the saucer.
Follow Lizzie Chantree on Social Media:
Twitter handle: @Lizzie_Chantree
Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/lizziechantree/
Website address: https://www.writewithsydney.co.uk/
Any additional means of contact: Blog: https://www.lizziechantree.com/