Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When You Can't Say Something Nice . . . .

My mom raised me with the saying, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Well, how long has it been since I've written a heartfelt post? Ages, it feels, but the reason is that exact phrase. Despite all the interesting things happening with signings and being published and all, life has been very, very difficult and I've felt like if I couldn't talk about the good stuff going on, then I should just go into hermit mode and write nothing for a while.

The problem is, when I go into hermit mode, it makes things worse, not better. I'm going to go out on a limb here and share some of the challenges I've been having for two reasons--one, in the hope it will help somebody out there know they are not alone, and two, because if I don't share all this garbage with somebody I am going to explode--quite literally, it feels. I'm going to end up with one of those lovely white shirts with the extra long sleeves and spend my days in a padded room.

When my mom died three years ago, I lost my best friend and greatest confidante. She was my cheerleader, my writing buddy, and my greatest support, and in a matter of three days, she went from being strong and healthy to being gone. Forever. You can't tell me that kind of pain goes away with time. The intensity might ease, but the deep, empty, aching spot inside of me is like a black hole that gets bigger with time until it consumes all that I am.

A little over a year ago I had a total breakdown. I was outside, bawling my head off, arguing with my husband over something stupid, and I just snapped and started banging my head on the wooden stairs, and would have done it on the concrete if he hadn't stopped me. The next day I alternately laughed hysterically and cried as I had some energy work done. I couldn't help myself. For a week after that I wore earplugs because any sound was like nails on a chalk board.

You might wonder why I'm telling you all of this. Well, after my breakdown, I started doing some research about what might have caused it aside from the grief, and after going to see a psychologist and getting some testing done, it was discovered that I was bi-polar and losing my mom just set things off in a big kind of way. Now, unbeknownst to me, there are many kinds of bi-polar. I'm the manic type, but I still get depressed. More likely though I will stay up all night working on a project and have a hard time making myself sleep. I talk a lot when I'm excited. I am not suicidal, nor am I the type to stay in bed for weeks on end.

But once the sun goes down for the winter and fall, I get depressed in a big sort of way. I lose hope in everything. I wonder why I bother to write when nobody will like it or it will never see the light of day. I want to spend my days playing World of Warcraft and reading books or watching movies to escape the pain of just being alive. I feel like nobody likes me. I get paranoid about whether my friends still want me around. Life just gets HARD. I know it's not logical, but depression has nothing to do with logic.

For some reason this year in particular has been really hard. I think it's because my mom, who always KNEW I would get published, wasn't here to see it all happen. It was a shared dream for us, and now it's here and she doesn't get to see it, not in her earthly form. And I miss her so much I have no words.

So, there you have it, guys. The innards of Karen E. Hoover splattered all over her blog. It's a big bloody mess, isn't it? Thanks for reading anyway. Hopefully I can find some different help soon and find a way to be happy again, but in the meantime, I'll just keep climbing out of bed every day and make the best of the time I have. I'm trying to make a difference in what ways I can. School visits. I'd like to do some writing workshops. When I talk about writing is the only time I really feel alive, so if any of you out there would like me to come talk to your classes, writing groups, youth groups, church groups, anything, please give me the opportunity. I desperately need to feel alive.

Oh, and I can sing and play the flute too. :) Thanks for listening, all my bloggy friends. Hugs to you all.


Quote of the Day: "Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head."
~ From the movie Finding Forrester

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Costco signing cancelled

Tonight's signing (Tuesday, October 26th) is cancelled, due to my stupidity. I locked my keys in my bedroom and it's a keyed knob, then realized I had left my spare in my car . . . which is also locked. Oh, and my phone is in the car too. Yeah, not one of my brightest moments. *sigh*

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Holy crap, I'm on Youtube . . . TWICE!!!

Doesn't Ali just rock? I loved when she did this Vlog for me for my blog tour, but love her even more for putting it on Youtube. Love you, Ali!!!

This was at LDSBA (LDS Booksellers Association) and was my first time in front of a camera. It was nerve wracking and totally fun! And now that I actually got to see it, am rather pleased with how it turned out. I don't sound as stupid as I thought! :D Always a good thing.

Anyway, just had to share. So totally cool.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I'm not usually one to toot my own horn or beg for nominations, so I won't--but I would like to ask that any of you who have read The Sapphire Flute and enjoyed it and feel it worthy of a nomation for the 2010 Whitney Awards that you go to and submit a nomination for me? This particular contest is very meaningful to me, as I feel I am a product of the LDStorymakers conference. It is the place where I learned to write and write well, and it is the place I won my first contests, and met both my editor and publisher, so to be nominated for a Whitney, a contest for LDS writers and their books that was started just a few years ago, would be the greatest compliment I could receive.

So please, if you liked the book, take a few minutes and send in a nomination. It would mean so much to me, whether I ever win or not, just to know that people find this book worthy of a nod in that direction.

Thank you!

Quote of the Day: "There is creative reading as well as creative writing"
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I finished The Armor of Light!!! 112,553 words, some of which will go, and more of which will come as I edit, but the book is done! Hooray, hooray! I have not finished a book in about 5 years, so this was a bit scary for me. Now I know I can still do it, even with my mom gone and being busier than I've been in my entire life.

I can write. It feels amazingly good!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Signing Schedule for October

I know several of you have asked when I'll be signing in your area, so I thought I'd post my upcoming schedule. It changes every month, so if I don't get to a Costco near you this month, just wait until November or December. I'm pretty sure I'll hit them all by them, even St. George, if I can get it arranged. Sorry I'm still so absent from blogging. Juggling a family, book signings, and finishing The Armor of Light has proven to be slightly overwhelming. Hopefully I'll be back soon and will tell you all about the wonderful trip I took to Denver for the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Convention. In the meantime, here's my schedule! (And just in case you don't know, you can always check my schedule in the sidebar.)

Friday, October 1st
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Salt Lake City Costco
1818 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, Utah

Cancelled (Sorry! Can't be helped!)
Saturday, October 2nd
12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
West Valley City Costco
3747 South 2700 West
West Valley City, Utah

Monday, October 4th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Lehi Costco
198 North 1200 East
Lehi, Utah

Tuesday, October 5th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Bountiful Costco
573 West 100 North
Bountiful, Utah

Thursday, October 7th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Orem Costco
648 East 800 South
Orem, Utah

Friday, October 8th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Murray Costco
5201 South Intermountain Drive
Murray, Utah

Monday, October 11th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sandy Costco
11100 South Auto Mall Drive
Sandy, Utah

Tuesday, October 12th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Ogden Costco
3656 Wall Avenue
Ogden, Utah

Thursday, October 14th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Salt Lake City Costco
1818 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, Utah

Saturday, October 16th
12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Murray Costco
5201 South Intermountain Drive
Murray, Utah

Monday, October 18th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Orem Costco
648 East 800 South
Orem, Utah

Tuesday, October 19th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sandy Costco
11100 South Auto Mall Drive
Sandy, Utah

Thursday, October 21st
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Ogden Costco
3656 Wall Avenue
Ogden, Utah

Monday, October 25th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Orem Costco
648 East 800 South
Orem, Utah

Tuesday, October 26th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Salt Lake City Costco
1818 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, Utah

Friday, October 29th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sandy Costco
11100 South Auto Mall Drive
Sandy, Utah

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Talk About Busy!

*Hanging head sheepishly* Hi guys. So much for writing all those memories about my mom, eh? It turns out life has gotten slightly insane. One of the wonderful ladies who is part of my distribution team got a bunch of signings set up for me throughout September. I imagine they will continue in more locations throughout the rest of the year, but in the meantime, I'm doing three signings a week, for four hours each time. Plus yesterday I got to go to Swiss Days in Midway and meet people, sell books, and hand out cards. It was awesome fun, even if it was a little hot for me.

I can't say how thrilled I am to have my books at Costco and even more thrilled to meet all these wonderful people and share my story with them. It's been awesome fun! I keep saying that, but it is! lol Anyway, With yesterdays signings going through the end of the month it means I'll have had 13 signings, a tv interview (coming up on the 18th for The Candace Salima Show), a 5 day trip to Denver for a Booksellers Convention, OH-and I need to finish The Armor of Light and turn it in. All within 27 days!!! Can we say slightly overwhelmed? lol I'm afraid everything else has gone on the back burner until I can get the book done. Even my family is feeling the effect. My poor kids. *shaking head* I am sure glad they support me, because I hate having to neglect them.

To those of you I owe book reviews, I am so very sorry I fell down on the job. I promise to do them as soon as possible. To the rest of you who read my blog and have seen the same things up week after week, I'm sorry. I hope The Armor of Light will be worth having to wait for my blogs. ;) And if any of you out there would be willing to offer up a few prayers for a poor, frazzled author, I would certainly be grateful! I'll return to blogging just as soon as I can.

Quote of the Day: Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
~William Wordsworth

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Songs About Mom

I've been missing Mom a lot the last few weeks, but today for some reason I keep listening to a very short playlist of songs that remind me of her, so I thought I'd share them with you guys. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Special Offer Extended Indefinitely

I've still got books left after my special sale, so I am going to extend it until all 28 books are gone. I'll put a widget on my sidebar so you know if they are still available and will update their status on Facebook as well.

To sweeten the pot a little more, I'm removing the drawing. Instead, if you purchase one of these numbered copies, your name will automatically become a character in one of the books of The Wolfchild Saga. If that's something you've always wanted--to be named in a book--now is your chance, but there are only 26 copies left. 26 chances to be in a book. If you want further details or want to know how to purchase a copy, click HERE and scroll down to the BUY NOW button. It will take you where you need to be.

Thanks for the support, everyone. It comes at a much needed time.

Quote of the Day: (One I haven't used for a while) "God has plans for your writing. And believe me, they're better than any plans you have for yourself. Let HIM be in charge and let HIM delight you with what HE has in store."
~Virginia Smith

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Little Help, Please?

Hello my dear blogosphere friends. I'm taking a brief moment to announce a 12 hour special I've got going for The Sapphire Flute. If you haven't purchased your copy yet, or want a special gift, now is the time to do it. I've got it set up so you can make your payment directly through paypal and the price includes shipping, so no worries there.

For 12 hours you have the opportunity to purchase not only The Sapphire Flute, but I will number them. ONLY 28 BOOKS WILL BE NUMBERED. EVER! So, your book will be personalized however you want it, it will be numbered, and I will also include a signed picture of the author (moi), and even let you choose your picture from those below.

What else? You might ask.

Well, let me tell you. I will also call the first person to purchase a copy and speak to them personally for at least five minutes. For a child in particular, that can be a rather empowering conversation. Man, I would have done anything to get thirty seconds with a favorite author as a child. Even as an adult I long to visit with such influential authors as Anne McCaffrey. She was always my hero. Not that I'm comparing myself to one of the greatest science fiction authors of all time, just that . . . well, you know . . . *ahem* Okay, well, back to what you get for ordering your book now. I'm stealing a page from Brandon Sanderson's books (Why not? He's one of my heroes too) and if you purchase a book now, I will enter your name into a drawing.

A drawing for what?

I will draw three names from the pool, and those three people will be forever immortalized in one of my books. Yes, that is right--I will name a character after you. But only if you purchase one of these extremely limited, numbered copies of The Sapphire Flute. Note: The drawing has been eliminated. If you buy a book, you automatically get your name (or the name of someone you choose) in one of the books of The Wolfchild Saga.

Okay, to sum it all up, here's what you need to do:
ORDER THE SAPPHIRE FLUTE BETWEEN 8:30 PM TODAY AND 8:30 AM TOMORROW MORNING. NOTE: Offer has been extended indefinitely. It will be done with the books are gone. 14 left!

And what will you receive:

So what say you? Is it worth it?

That is entirely up to you to decide. ;)

If you've come this far and chosen to order, e-mail me at karen AT karen-e-hoover DOT com and let me know which picture you want. You can also tell me how you want your book and picture signed, and your address so I know where to send it.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Trying Something New

Well, I said I was going to blog more and it's been over a month once again.

This time of year is difficult for me. Two years ago today I took my mom to the hospital for the last time and I keep playing out in my mind those things she did in the final days leading to her last trip to the hospital. This friday, August 6th, will be her second Angel Day Anniversary. Two years since she passed into the next life. And to make things harder, her birthday is September 6th.

So . . . I decided to try something different. I've done similar things for Mothers Day or Valentines Day, but I want to celebrate my mom for a month and hope that you will bear with me as I share my memories of her each day. It can be anything. Some happy, some sad. I just want to share with you the woman that she was and some few of the things she taught me over the years. It's the only way I can think to celebrate her and find joy in the memories rather than ache with her loss.

I probably won't wait until Friday, because these days are so full of memories of her last days in the hospital, I'll probably share some of those memories too. If this is the kind of thing that bores you, you might want to avoid my blog until September 6th. If you want writing related blogs, I'm posting at Valor Publishing Group's website every Tuesday, including today. You can find that HERE. Or for those who can't get the link it's Hopefully with both available to you, you'll be able to find something that is of interest. And for the most morose of you, or those who want to see the most deeply into my heart, there is also my letters to mom blog at So, there you go. A selection of different layers of me and my heart set on display.

I promise, there will be more tomorrow.

Quote of the Day: "We must not lose hope. Hope is an anchor to the souls of man. Satan would have us cast away that anchor. In this way he can bring discouragement and surrender. But we must not lose hope. The Lord is pleased with every effort, even the tiny, daily ones in which we strive to be more like Him. Though we may see that we have far to go on the road to perfection, we must never give up hope."
~Ezra Taft Benson

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sharing With the World

It used to be I could post anything I wanted on my blog here and nobody cared. I didn't care, because I was a nobody. Just an aspiring author who was sharing a glimpse into my life with a few readers around the world. For some reason since I've been published I found it difficult to share those glimpses into my life anymore. It's weird. I haven't changed. I'm still not anybody important. I'm still the same imperfect me I've always been, but now I'm suddenly afraid to let people see inside.

How weird is that?

I'm pretty sure that's why I've been avoiding blogging much since March, but I've found I really miss it. I miss sharing myself with the world, or whoever out there wants to read the ramblings of this odd writer.

Well, no more! Blogging has and probably always will be therapeutic for me, so I apologize now if I ever say things that seem strange or make you wonder why in the world you'd ever want to be a writer. I've told people a lot over the last few years that I have learned to embrace my weirdness. I think it's finally time to do it out in the open. That accomplishes two things. 1-If you have the chance to meet me in person you won't be surprised that I wasn't what you were expecting. 2-It is very freeing for me to be able to be myself anywhere, including online.

My biggest problem is usually knowing what to write about, so I'm asking you, my wonderful reader, what types of things would you like to see on this blog? In the past I've shared snippets of stories, my ramblings on random topics, poetry I've written, experiences with my family and friends, memories throughout my life and especially about my mother, music I love, and updates on writing and signings. Do any of these particularly appeal? Are there things you'd like to see more of? Please respond in the comments section and save a brain-dead writer!

On another note, yesterday was my 16th anniversary. We went to the drive-in with the kids. We'll do something alone tonight. Probably dinner and a show, which is nice, but I've spent the past two days remembering last year's anniversary in Sunset Beach California and my first experience with the ocean. I can't help but wish I was back there again for a week this year and could get some writing done and feel the wonderful ocean breeze. There's nothing like it in this world.

Anyway, it's good to be back! And thanks for sticking with me through my long lapses. That is changing today.

You have my word.

Quote of the Day: "Writing is an act of self-cherishing. We often write most deeply and happily on those areas closest to our hearts. Valuing our experience is not narcissism. It is not endless self-involvement. It is, rather, the act of paying active witness to ourselves and to our world. Such witness is an act of dignity, an act that recognizes that life is essentially a sacred transaction of which we know only the shadow, not the shape."
~ Julia Cameron, The Right to Write

Picture: Deep Peace by Shastadaisy~ on

Monday, June 7, 2010


I apologize profusely for not being more consistent with my blogging. I WILL change that . . . just not right now. (Can you tell I'm really good at procrastination?) I've been running like a madwoman. Or I should say "crutching" or "wheeling" as I'm still on crutches and sometimes they are literally a pain so I ride around in the borrowed wheelchair.

But that is beside the point. Tonight I go to the in-laws for dinner and family time. Which is where I should be going right now, but I had to let everyone know I really DO have updates coming soon. I promise!

Until then, have fun!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Well, I'm going in for surgery in the morning. They're finally going to fix my ankle. We delayed my book tour in order to get this taken care of and I couldn't be happier. I must admit, I'm a little nervous about the surgery, but am looking forward to being able to walk again. I miss walking. I'll post an update as soon as I'm no longer delirious.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Review: I'll Know You By Heart by Kimberly Job

First, let me apologize to Kimberly and Valor for being late in my review. I was at the LDStorymakers Writing Conference this past weekend and have been dealing with some physical challenges that have somehow made my brain turn to mush. But, better late than never, as they say, so here it is! My review of "I'll Know You by Heart" by Kimberly Job.

By way of disclaimer, I have known Kimberly for about 3 years and admired her writing from the very beginning, but that in no way influences my review of her book.


I'm not usually a reader of romance. It's not my genre. I write fantasy, for goodness sake, but I'll Know You By Heart was more than just a romance. It was the story of a woman's battle with abuse and lose all confidence in herself. It was about her coming to terms with her fear and standing up for what was important in the end.

It was about life.

And might I say, Kimberly has done a fantastic job of making it real. I was right there with our main character as she battled with her husband to protect her son. I was there when she first had to face the fact that not all men are like her ex. I was there as she fought the feelings she had for the new man in her life. Kimberly made me walk in this woman's shoes in a way most books rarely do, and though it ripped my heart out and shredded it at times, it also made me glow with happiness and pride when she made progress.

I'll be honest here. This book was so fantastically good that when I got toward the end, in particular, I could not put it down. I slowed down as I drove to hit every light red, then asked my kids to tell me when the light turned green and prayed it would stay red forever. Yes, it was just that good.

It is an LDS novel, but it's not one that hits you over the head with it, so it makes it a read that anyone can enjoy, and it's CLEAN.

I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Seriously. And I don't do that often. So, congratulations, Kimberly, for a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to the many yet to come.

Quote of the Day: "The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can't help it."
Leo Rosten

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not Again!

I hate doing this when I've just started the write-a-thon thing, but I made appointments before I set up the write-a-thon, so I won't be able to write from 10-2 tomorrow. I apologize most profusely! If you want to write with me during the day, let's make it Tuesday instead. It's the only other free day I've got this week, as Wednesday I co-teach a class, and Thursday I'm heading to Provo for the LDStorymakers annual writing conference. So, if you want to write with me during the day, remember, Tuesday, April 20th, from 10 am to 2 pm. See you then!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Write-a-thon TONIGHT!!!

Just a reminder, I'll be online for my first evening write-a-thon tonight. If any of you want to join me, post your starting time at the end of this blog, along with your starting word count. Then, no later than 12:15 tonight, post your finishing time and word count, then your total words written in those four hours. If you want to open up a chat window with me and any of our fellow writers, I'll be on MSN Live (Windows live messenger?) during that time (user name is writingpal AT Or, if you're on Yahoo, I'll open that one too (luv2writefantasy user name). Just remember, the chat window is for support purposes, not to talk the whole time. lol

Hope to see you tonight!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My First Podcast!

My interview with the ladies of LDS Women's Book Review posted today. It was a TON of fun being interviewed with my publisher and friend, Candace Salima. Go check it out!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Changes, Changes, Everywhere

Before I say anything else, let me apologize. I said I would be available for a write-a-thon tomorrow evening, but I was mistaken. I will not be home until well after the write-a-thon will have started, so for this week only, I am switching it to Friday night. For those of you who already made plans, I apologize I won't be able to join you, but go ahead and do it and feel free to comment on the end of this post what time you start and how much you write or even ask for someone else to write with. You can use me. I don't mind. :)

So, do you guys remember when I fell and killed my ankle just before Christmas? Did I blog about that? I can't remember. Anyway, I got a mega sprained ankle and fractured my fifth metatarsal (yes, I DO know what that is. Do you? lol) I've been in and out of a variety of ankle supports since. First an ankle brace made out of plastic and air pillows, then a compression bandage and splint, a Frankenstein sized boot, a store bought brace, and finally a big, black, velcro and metal boot that actually fits my foot.

Two weeks ago I went back to the podiatrist and told him my foot still hurt. I did this little tumble act three days before Christmas, so I should have been pain free by then, but no, I was still in pain. The doc told me to get an MRI so they could see what tissue damage may have been done since the x-ray showed the bone was all healed. So last Wednesday I went and had my very first MRI. It was interesting, to say the least. I thought they would put me all the way down the tube, but evidently they didn't need to, so I laid on the table for about forty minutes with this big machine vibrating and screaming at different frequencies, and I read Kimberly Job's book I'll Know You by Heart.

Well, today I went in to the podiatrist again and got the results of my MRI. Evidently I have a couple of bone bruises, a possible chipped bone, and two torn ligaments. Yeah, no wonder I've been hurting! The good news is, I finally know what's wrong. The bad news is, I'm going to have to have surgery, and depending on what the scoping tells them about the possible bone chip, I may be on crutches for six weeks. I'll definitely be in a cast for six weeks.

Thank goodness I'm waiting to have it done until after I come back from my book tour! Can you imagine being in and out of the airport every other day, doing school visits, book signings, firesides, and media interviews on CRUTCHES??? No, I don't think so. Well, I'm sure you can imagine it, but I'm not doing it!

So, if you happen to see me somewhere in June or July at a book signing, be sure and take a moment to sign my cast! It is certainly one way to make the experience memorable.

Quote of the Day: "If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it."
~Anais Nin

Monday, April 12, 2010

Regular Write-A-Thons

I participated in a write-a-thon sponsored by Precision Editing Group last Thursday and after a fitful start was able to finish with almost 5,500 words in 4 hours. It made me realize how valuable that writing time is, sharing it with other people and knowing you're not a lone. I did two things they didn't suggest, but I found helped a heck of a lot in the process. First, I found am MP3 of a person typing. I put it on repeat and let it play while I worked so every time I would stop I'd hear that keyboard typing away and it would remind me I wasn't alone and I needed to keep going. Second, I wrote with a friend. We opened up a chat window between us and updated each other on our progress. Simple things like, "Just hit 2,000 words" or "Just finished chapter 3." Occasionally we would stop and take a few minutes and say "I'm really struggling" or "This is really fun!" Whatever we did, we just kept on writing, and it made me excited to do it again.

Rather than wait for someone else to sponsor a write-a-thon, I'm going to sponsor my own. Unfortunately at this time I don't have any prizes to motivate people to participate, but perhaps eventually, or maybe quarterly, we can do something like that. In the meantime, you'll have the pleasure of knowing you're not only working on your books, but you are not alone.

So here's what I'm going to do. On Mondays from 10 am - 2 pm, and Thursdays from 8pm - 12 am I will be on Windows live messenger. My user name is writingpal AT (insert @ symbol) and I am available for any serious writer. If you just want to chat with a writer, save that for another time and keep it clean. But if you want to write and have a pal to write with, open a chat window with me and let me know you are there and we'll write together for a few hours.

The second thing I'm going to do is post the typing MP3 in a player in my sidebar separate from my usual writing music player. That way, if you need the audible reminder that you really aren't alone, you can play that like I do. It makes it feel like someone is in the room writing with you. It really helps, trust me!

I'll keep doing this weekly, even if I'm doing it alone, but I do hope that some of you will join me now and then. I can hardly wait to meet you and write with you. If, for some reason, I am unable to be there on those particular dates, say because I'm on book tour or something, I'll let you know ahead of time, so you won't log on looking for me.

Hope y'all will join me!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Finishing the Blog Tour Snippets

I'm a little behind in getting the rest of these up, but life has been a bit challenging as of late and family had to take precedence for a bit. Tonight I can finally grab a few moments and share with you my favorite bits of the last few reviews of The Sapphire Flute. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Tristi Pinkston: "Best of all, this book is clean. It demonstrates the importance of integrity and courage, and it shows how family relationships can mean the world to those who appreciate them and allow them to grow. The closing scenes of the book are particularly touching in this regard and left me feeling utterly at peace and covered in chills at the same time."

Karlene Browning:
"I wish I could have gotten my hands on back when Rosehaven was in its heyday. I love YA fantasy and I especially love it when there is a unique and believable world and strong female characters. This story had both."

Alison Palmer
: "I’ve read far too many books lately, some good reads, some not so much, that show the female characters as interesting and strong until the boy comes along, then suddenly she can’t be anything other than a swooning female moth dancing around the boy’s flame. Yes, there are a few elements of romance in The Sapphire Flute, but once again, it is reasonable and within the girl’s control. She has a definite say in the relationship. For me, Ember and Kayla are The Sapphire Flute’s strongest assets, as well they should be. It was a refreshing change and one I wish more authors would take note of."

Theresa Sneed: "Ember has the power of a mage deep within her, and Kayla is the guardian of the sacred Sapphire Flute. At first, neither fully understands the great power they wield, or the impending destiny that they must fulfill, as they set out on different paths on a journey of discovery towards the same magical location. Karen has superbly woven their stories together in this enchanting new book that you will enjoy from the opening scene to the end. I recommend her book for all ages. I had the occasion to meet Karen at an ANWA Writer's Conference in Mesa, AZ, a few weeks ago. She is as delightful as her book"

Abel Keogh: "Ember, Kayla, and C’Tan are what keep the novel moving. Hoover does a good job making Ember and Kayla feel real and people you want to root for even though, like all great characters, they’re flawed and make mistakes. That alone made it me wanting to keep reading the book. Like all good, evil characters, C’Tan is fascinating and I wanted to see more of her. But since The Sapphire Flute is the first of seven books, I’m sure we’ll see more of her before too long.:

Michele Ashman Bell: " (It's hard to resist a book that grabs you up front, keeps you up late, and leaves you wanting more.) The Sapphire Flute literally did all of this for me. Author, Karen Hoover, has proven herself to be a first-rate storyteller. Her imagination is off the charts and I found myself thinking of the story at times when I wasn't reading it."

Margaret Turley:
"I am an avid reader in many genres – including children’s books – I read all the books I give to my nieces, nephews and now my granddaughters before I give then to them so I know what the quality is and that I’m not unknowingly passing them junk or worse. The Sapphire Flute – book one in the Wolfchild Saga by Karen E. Hoover is one I can heartily recommend. This novel engaged me from the first sentence all the way through the end and I’m drooling for the next one in the series. Karen – Please hurry! I don’t think my heart can stand the suspense."

Michelle Jeffries: "The story is rich in detail and plot. The characters are wonderfully deep and well rounded. The most amazing thing, is that almost every chapter is written as a story in itself. With a beginning middle and end all in a few pages. This reader found herself pleasantly surprised at the end of every chapter as she either turned the page or closed the book."

Rachel Nunes: "Two of my children snatched this book before I got to it, my sixteen-year-old daughter and my thirteen-year-old son. Both had it read with in a day so take what you may from that. As for myself, I admire the world Hoover has created and the unique magic of the characters."

Haley Hatch Freeman:
I've never been a huge fantasy fan but wow I was in love with The Sapphire Flute's characters and pulled into their adventure immediately. I enjoyed getting lost in Karen's words of cleaver imagination and recommend The Sapphire Flute to young and old."

Julie Wright: "Ember, Kayla, and C’Tan are all strong female leads who carry a very character driven story. The magic system is brilliant and something I never would have thought up, so now I have magic system envy. And the action is strong enough to pull along the reluctant reader.
When I first read this book, Mr.Wright asked what I was reading. I told him and then he asked, “Is it any good?”
“Of course, it’s good, or I wouldn’t be reading it.”
“You’re just saying that because she’s your friend and you love her,” he said.
“No. I’m saying it because it’s true.” At this point I’m ready to throw a boot at Mr. Wright’s head.
“Prove it. Read me the first page and if, when you get to the end, I want you to turn the page and read more, then we can safely say it’s a good book.”
So I read the first page and stopped.
“Hey!” He became indignant. “Why are you stopping?”
“The first page is over.”
Then a little sheepishly, because he was so caught up in the story that he’d already forgotten our deal, he said, “Fine. Turn the page.”
Turn the page indeed. Great job, Karen! Great book!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Review: Secret Sisters by Tristi Pinkston

Disclaimer: Tristi Pinkston and I are both published by Valor Publishing Group and Trist and I have known each other for several years. She is also my editor. Believe it or not, this in no way affects my review of her book and I am giving my honest opinion of her work, editor or not.

Now on to the review!

Ida Mae Babbitt, president of the Omni 2nd ward Relief Society, didn't mean to become a spy. But when visiting teaching stats are low and she learns that one family under her care is in financial trouble, she'll do whatever it takes to make sure they have what they need. If that includes planting surveillance cameras in their home and watching them from a parked car in the woods, well, isn't that what any caring Relief Society president would do?

With the help of her counselors Arlette and Tansy, Ida Mae soon learns that there's more to the situation than meets the eye. It's all in a day's work for the Relief Society.

Tristi Pinkston has been compared to a meshing of Mary Higgins Clark and Erma Bombeck, and I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. I've always been a huge fantasy reader, but my first love of books, and what continues to be my close second favorite, are mysteries, first in the Nancy Drew books, and now in writers like J.A. Jance.

Tristi not only writes one heck of a mystery, but her characters are laugh out loud in PUBLIC hilarious. I have more than once had strange looks directed my way as I was laughing so hard my face was planted in the book and I was doubled over laughing. I think my favorite line from Secret sisters was when Ren called the sisters "blue haired ladies" and Arlette took offense and said, "Would you like me to call you a muppet?" I don't know why, but that struck me as absolutely hilarious. And the final big scene in the book involved a cast iron frying pan and knitting needles being brandished as weapons . . . well, let's just say I had to find a restroom and fast, which is hard to do when you are nearly crawling because you're laughing so hard.

I've always known Tristi was a brilliant editor, but she has proven once more how good she is at the craft of writing. I won't spoil the book for you, but if you're looking for a good clean read, a great mystery, and a dose of laughter, pick up Secret Sisters. You won't regret it.

If you'd like to purchase Secret Sisters now while you're thinking about it, go HERE.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Results are In!!!

Well, the results are in, folks. Using I pulled a number for the grand prize, and that number had a name attached to it. I ended up with 93 entries in all, which is pretty darn good, I think. Before I announce the winner, I wanted to take a second to say thank you to everyone who participated, who read and reviewed my book, who commented on Goodreads and Amazon, who is spreading the word and spreading their love around. You guys totally rock. Thank you so much!

Now, on to the winner of the grand prize, but first off, let me recap what your winnings will be.

1) A personalized, limited edition copy of The Sapphire Flute

2) A lovely mug with the book cover of The Sapphire Flute emblazoned on one side

3 ) A box of miscellaneous writerly goodies

4) Dinner for two with me at the location of your choice

Are you ready for the announcement? I mean really, really ready???? Because I wish I could draw all of your names, but unfortunately it can't be so.

And so at last . . . the winner is . . . (Can I get a drumroll please?)



Bonnie, will you please contact me at karen AT with your address? I'll get your package out this week, and will let you know when I'll be in your home town next month for my book tour and we'll do the dinner thing. :)

Congratulations, Bonnie!


Today's the day, People. Your last chance to enter the drawing. If you want to know how, see the previous post. I'll be drawing the winner's name this evening, so get your entries in A.S.A.P!!!

Quote of the Day: "Have you ever stopped to think if you stop dreaming, you stop growing? Remember your dreams, make a plan and then implement that plan. That is how books are written, movies are made, degrees are obtained, homes are created, businesses are born, whatever your dream may be ... pick it up, dust it off and become reacquainted.... Let no one steal your dreams."
~Candace E. Salima

Monday, April 5, 2010

Upcoming Drawing!

Just a reminder, but you've only got TWO DAYS before I draw for the grand prize. If you haven't entered yet, and want to know how, look HERE and HERE for instructions on how to play and get as many entries as you can. The more times you enter, the better your chances!

On another note, I will catch up on the final blog reviews either tonight or tomorrow, so watch for those if you want to see my favorite bits from the reviews. It's been a fun, rather fulfilling journey. :)

Quote of the Day: "My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living. "
~Anais Nin

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Book Review: The Thorn by Daron Fraley

First off, let me apologize to Daron for being a day and a half late on posting this review. I have good reasons, but at the moment they sound like nothing but excuses, so I'll just say "I'm sorry" and leave it at that.

Second, the disclaimer: Daron and I are both published by Valor Publishing Group and I know and like the man, and though I received a free copy of his book for review purposes, that in no way affects my opinion of his book.

Now on to the review!

Three tribes are at war on the planet Gan, unaware that the sign of Christ’s birth on an unknown world – Earth – is about to appear in the heavens.

During a bloody skirmish with Gideonite troops, Jonathan of Daniel spares Pekah, a young enemy soldier, gaining his trust forever. These two distant brothers from estranged tribes covenant with each other to end the war being waged by a self-proclaimed emperor, and soon discover the intentions of a far more dangerous foe named Rezon – a sinister general bent on ruling those he can bring into subjection and destroying all others.

In the end, Pekah’s selfless bravery is the means by which all the tribes are united. But there are dissenters, and Rezon escapes a well-deserved fate. When the promised heavenly signs appear, will there be peace at last, or will the malefactors once again threaten the safety of them all?

The Thorn has been an interesting read for me. I am a HUGE fantasy fan, but of a very specific type of fantasy. I hate to admit it, but I have never been able to finish J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, or Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and these are two of the most well known and loved fantasy series of all time. So, if I'm such a fantasy lover, why can't I finish these books? Well, the answer lies not in the skill of the writer, or the beauty of their world, but in the depth of their details. You see, I'm a character writer. I would rather read a series of books that follows the same characters all the way through, so I know those people as well as I know myself, than read a stand alone book. I'd rather sit and watch a TV series, several episodes at a time, than watch a movie. I like the people.

Orson Scott Card wrote a book called Characters and Viewpoint, and in it he talked about the different types of books people can write. I believe he listed four, but at the moment I only remember two. One of them was a character driven story, like I write and enjoy reading. The other I remember is a world driven story, where the people are important to the plot, but the story is really about creating this magical place and reveling in the details. That, I believe, is part of what makes The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time so loved. Their worlds are rich in detail, much as Daron Fraley's The Thorn.

Daron creates an interesting mix of the two types of story telling. I love his characters. They have depth and motives I understand and care about. But--he is also very good at all the worldbuilding skills exhibited by the prior mentioned authors. Details like the kind of wood and metal pins used in creating a portable home for an emperor. The color of the many suns and moons throughout the day and night and how they affect the light. It is a world made alive with his gift for detail.

There is one aspect of The Thorn that I had not expected to like, and I went into the reading of it with a bit of trepidation, in that he takes something mentioned briefly in the scriptures and bases a whole world and religion on it. I had thought it would bother me, but instead I have been delighted with the depth it brings to the characters and the world. When the characters prophecy, I feel it, clear to my bones. It brings something REAL to the table in this fantasy world and reminds me much of Orson Scott Card's Homecoming Saga, which was based on stories from The Book of Mormon. It has been an odd juncture for me, but one that has made me think, "what if," and that is always my favorite question to play with.

Order the book HERE.

Price: $16.95
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (March 16, 2010)
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 300
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-935546-11-5
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Contest Extension

I haven't had any entries for the last two weeks for my contest, so I didn't do any drawings the last two weeks. I thought I'd change it up for this last BIG drawing and make you do a little work. :) I'm mean like that.

First, I told you I'd announce the prize a while back and I never did, so here is the big announcement now. The winner of this final drawing to take place one week from today on April 7th, will receive the following prizes:

1) A personalized and signed copy of (the limited edition print run) of The Sapphire Flute
2) A lovely mug with the cover of The Sapphire Flute printed on one side
3) Dinner for two with ME (if you are local or at one of the places I'll be stopping on my tour, or will be in Utah in the near future) or a gift certificate for a restaurant near you if there is no way to connect.
4) Miscellaneous other objects I tend to throw in boxes, one of which is usually chocolate. :)

Now, what do you need to do to get in the running for this lovely prize, you might ask? Well, if you entered earlier, you're already in the drawing, or if you are just starting out, go HERE for the initial instructions. If you want ADDITIONAL entries, you have to peruse the blog tour reviewers listed to the right. Yeah, see it? That long list over there that says "BLOG TOUR"? Some of them have some information about me. I'm going to ask 7 questions (since the drawing will be April 7th), and you get an additional entry for EACH one you answer correctly. Now, for these, you don't want to leave the answers in the comment thread or EVERYONE WILL KNOW THE ANSWERS! No, for this one you want to e-mail me your answers directly at karen(AT)karen-e-hoover(DOT)com.

Question #1: What was my first vision of The Sapphire Flute?
Question #2: At the end of one review, I gave three pieces of advice to aspiring authors. What were they?

Question #3: What do I collect and according to the reviewer "have taken to a new level."
Question #4: What two women have most influenced my life?

Question #5: How many books will there be in The Wolfchild Saga?

Question #6: Which author has most influenced my writing?

Question #7: What special thing did I reveal about the cover that the artist did not know?

Okay, there you go then! Go off and read and have fun! There were some really great reviews in there, two of which gave me five stars. There were some others that were middlin', and a couple not so great, but you know, that's the nature of the business and the way of life. We're all different and have different things that resonate within each of us. That's a good thing.

I WAS going to list the last of the blog tour things, but I'll save that post for tomorrow and leave this one with just the contest information. Good luck to all of you! Now . . . ready . . . set . . . READ!

UPDATED NOTE: One of the reviews is a video blog or VLOG. You might find an answer in there. (hint, hint)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review: Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell

Before I say anything about Michele or this book, I need to toss my disclaimer in here. Michele and I are both being published by Valor Publishing Group and I received a copy of her book to do this review. That in no way affects my opinion of this book. I've been in enough critique groups over the years, that I know how to be honest, even when it's for people I know.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you something else. I love Michele. She is one of the kindest, most friendly and encouraging authors I know, and in fact, was the FIRST author I ever met, so I've loved her AND her stories for a very long time.

The first time we met was at a Covenant Murder Mystery Dinner about seven or eight years ago and I had yet to finish a book. She pulled me out of my shell, and by the end of the evening I was giving free massages to the authors (I was a licensed massage therapist). No, I didn't have my massage table with me! Sheesh, what are you thinking, people?! It was just a shoulder rub . . . until I got to a certain author *cough*robisonwells*cough* at which point his wife asked me what I was doing and the back rubs stopped. It was innocent, really, but suddenly I realized how it looked, and I was about as embarrassed as I've ever been.

At that same meeting, sweet, kind, Michele, without having ever seen any of my writing, told me I could finish and be a great writer. I needed to hear that. I'd had some experiences that had shot all my confidence and I needed somebody to believe in me and the person who built me up again was this lovely woman.

Now, again, just because I admire the heck out of Michele, does not mean I am going to be partial in my comments on her book. Nor is the fact that she witnessed one of my most embarrassing moments going to force me into saying things I don't mean just to prevent her from telling the world about the Robison Wells non-event. Though, since I just shared it with all of you, I guess it's out there for the world now, isn't it. lol

So, in all fairness, here is what I thought of the book.

First: I love the cover. It has absolutely nothing to do with her writing, but there's just something about it that resonates with me, so way to go Cash Case, artist extraordinaire!

Second: I didn't expect to like this book. I'm not a big romance or teen angst kind of fan, and this book struck me as both. I prejudged it. Shame on me.

Third: This book freakin' ROCKED!!! I loved Kenzie's character and plight. I love the situations she gets herself into. And I love the genuine heartache she feels at her loss of everything that was important to her. Most of all, I LOVED the ending. It resolved beautifully and completely for me.

I've had other favorites of Michele's. Modest Proposal. Without a Flaw. But, Summer in Paris has become my favorite of all her books. Way to go, Michele!

Book Blurb:
Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her that he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parents' solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris . . . Idaho!

Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie arrives in Idaho feeling like a square peg, with name brand clothes, in a round, horribly podunk, hole.

Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, whose been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town.

Not only is Adam the best-looking guy she's ever seen, but he's also the most fascinating guy she's ever met and Kenzie is determined to get to know him and find out his secret. But, the longer she stays in Paris, the more she realizes, Adam isn't the only one keeping secrets.

Purchasing Info:

Price: $14.95 $13.46
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (March 16, 2010)
Genre: YA Coming of Age/Romance
Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 210
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-935546-17-7
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Watermark Duet

My friend Paulette Kindly agreed to play her harp with me for my two book launches and she did a BEAUTIFUL job. She's a very talented harpist and it was a joy to play with her, even if I was a nervous wreck. lol I can't get my recordings to load onto my computer at the moment, so I'm going to direct you to her website if you want to hear the two of us playing Enya's Watermark together. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Blog Tour Continued Without Me!

It just dawned on me that I am 15 reviews behind on my comments, so I thought I'd take a few minutes today and give you my favorite lines from each review to give you a taste, and if you want to read (or watch) the whole thing, you can follow the link provided. :)

Alexis Covington: "I loved the descriptions in the book. I remember a certain description that caused my mouth to start salivating. Kayla was at a dinner feast and they were eating spicy steak. My mouth started to water. Karen's ability to have her readers experience what the characters are feeling is incredible."

Ariella Stewart: "I could easily imagine the characters and the places that they went. Between the love-struck Kayla and the slightly crazy C’Tan, the emotions were strong and you could almost feel them as you read. Karen Hoover has started a great series and I can’t wait for the rest of them to come out. The first book has landed itself on my favorite’s list and I’m sure the other six books will too."

Nancy C. Allen: "[I liked] The quick nature of the plot, once the story and characters are established, especially in the last third of the book. I was nearing the end of the story and picking my kids up from school. I waited for my daughter to come out of the building, and when she got in the car, I told her she had to keep reading to me while I drove to the next school. That's the mark of a good story, to me. If I don't want to put it down, that means I like it. :-) "

Jenn Wilks:
"There was so much fun magic throughout this entire book. Between the mages and the spells and the shapeshifting and the werewolves and the dragons, there was always something exciting happening."

Kimberly Job:
"Karen has created characters that youth will identify with. Kayla and Ember are each on an individual journey of self-discovery that is full of action and unexpected twists and turns. Although the main characters are girls, Hoover includes enough action that boys will enjoy her book as well."

Shanna Blythe: "Just so you know . . . Karen is a good friend of mine. However, that is NOT why I am blogging about her book or posting a review about it. The reason I'm doing it, is because this book ROCKS! I first read the book around three years ago . . . as soon as I finished it I emailed Karen and said, "Loved the book, hate you. Call me." Any book that makes me hate the author (mainly because I wish I WOULD have written it) is a book well worth reading and her book has only gotten better as it has gone through revisions and then the publishing process."

Tonya Christensen: "Something I love... the mystery I'm left with at the end. I'm not sure who to trust completely - I'm not sure of the motives behind some of what's going on... it's frustrating and thrilling all at once!
Another thing I love... the display of parental love. It transcends all else. Enough said - at least "enough said that won't mess up some of the book for you"

(FIVE STAR REVIEW) Melissa Owens: "This is one of those books I can picture myself reading when I was much younger--I think it would be among my most-loved books of my pre-teen and teen years, along with A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, The Oval Amulet by Lucy Cullyford Babbitt, and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. Perhaps it may be presumptuous of me to rate The Sapphire Flute so highly (although I imagine The Oval Amulet is not so well known by many), I do so because this story resonated with me the same way those did. I can see my self re-reading this book many times down the road, as I have the titles I mentioned above."

Danyelle Ferguson: "The prologue was incredible. I immediately connected with the father, rushing to save his daughter from an evil person who wanted to destroy her. I felt his confusion and conflicted feelings that this evil threat was someone he loved and trusted - his own sister. And even cried when he died in a fire after battling his sister, giving his wife and daughter the opportunity to escape. What a powerful prologue!"

Jennifer Debenham:
"Some of Hoover's ideas were quite creative. I loved the concept of being able to see different types of magic as different colors. I also really liked the special gift Ember's father gave her by way of his friend, though we don't understand much about its significance in this book. Hoover does a great job of bringing the reader along in the thought process Ember goes through as she learns of her powers and how to use them."

Sabine Berlin: "When I first got this book in the mail I have to admit, I wasn't that taken with the cover. And as a result I didn't open it immediately. My mistake. This is a fun well written book that kept me intrigued the entire time I read it. I loved the characters, both good and bad. I found myself hoping for them, wondering what was going to happen next, and hating to have to put it down (when you're a mother of three that is sometimes inevitable). This book is sure to please young audiences, fantasy lovers or not. I am excited to pass it on to my nieces, although seeing as I am lucky enough to have a signed copy I may have to get them one of their own!"

(A FIVE SMILEY FACE REVIEW) Cheryl Malandrinos: "While the plot is excellent, this book’s strength definitely resides in its characters. The reader comes to care for Ember and Kayla. She’ll be able to understand the tense relationship between Ember and her mother. She’ll admire Kayla’s courage and determination. She’ll appreciate the people in Ember’s life who encourage her to fulfill her destiny, just as she will empathize with the difficult decisions Kayla is forced to make after taking on guardianship of the Sapphire Flute.

This book also ends on a powerful note, setting up the events that will take place in Book Two, which I hope is soon on the way. Young adult fantasy doesn’t get any better than The Sapphire Flute by Karen Hoover!"

Becky Saldivar: "This was such a good book! My 12 year old son and I both read it and enjoyed it! I can’t wait for the next book to come out and this book wasn't released yet when I read it! I received an advanced reader’s edition from Valor Publishing Group and was asked to just tell what I thought about the book on my blog. I am not getting paid to do this but I kind of feel like I should pay them for giving me this sneak peak because it was just so much fun to read this book ahead of everyone!"

(MY FIRST EVER VLOG REVIEW!!!) Ali Cross: (Take the time to watch the video, if you get the chance. Ali is hilarious and gives a rather thorough synopsis of the story. Okay, back to quotes.) "The Sapphire Flute reminded me of the wonderful fantasies I enjoyed as a child, like The Prydain Chronicles and the Dragon Singer books by Anne McCaffrey.I'm so pleased there's another wonderful book like The Sapphire Flute for my children to enjoy."

Nichole Giles: "Right away after receiving this manuscript, I felt myself pulled into the story to the point where I didn’t want to put it down—and it was on my computer. I ended up downloading a text to voice converter and loading it onto my iPhone so I could listen to it while I ran my kids around town and did yard work. Here’s the problem. This story has everything. Magic, action, suspense, mystery, plot twists that have you dying to know what happens next and…one of my favorite elements, romance. Oh, and shape-shifters. Hence the reason I had to read and/or listen straight through."

And there you have the recap! It's been fun seeing what people have to say about the story and opinions have run the gamut, though it seems to lean toward the positive. That is a very happy making thing. :D This has been an amazing journey, one I am extremely humbled by and grateful for. Today I walked into The Purple Cow, my local bookstore, and saw my book on the shelf next to BRANDON MULL'S Fablehaven #5. It was a surreal moment.

My dream has finally come true. No matter what comes from here on out, I'm not just a writer anymore.

I'm an author. A real freakin' author. It blows my mind and fills me with tears of gratitude.

Quote of the Day: "Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own."
Carol Burnett

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Valor Makes World of Difference at Barnes and Noble

Our March 16th launch party was a huge success! We had a steady stream of people, the entertainment was top notch, and the authors were thrilled to hold their books in their hands and show them off a bit, too.

Here are some of the highlights of the evening:
Musician Shaun Barrowes performed for half an hour, bringing his bluesy sound to Barnes and Noble.

Karen E. Hoover, author of The Sapphire Flute, brought her own sapphire flute and performed a duet, with Paulette Inman at the harp.

We were blessed with the support of good friends all evening long. L-R: Melanie Adams, Karen E. Hoover, Michele Ashman Bell, and Heather Justesen.

New Valor author Andrea Pearson came to cheer us on.

Daron D. Fraley, author of The Thorn, was on hand to sign copies with his cool fountain pen.

Michele Ashman Bell with her newest release, Summer in Paris.

Kimberly Job and Tristi Pinkston's table displays and stand-up posters.

Kimberly Job, author of I'll Know You by Heart.

Tristi Pinkston, author of Secret Sisters.

We're so proud of our authors, and we appreciate the support of friends, family, and the public in making our book launch such a success!