Category: Fiction

The Making of a Book Cover 2.0

Honestly, I don’t remember why or when I decided that Ben Porter needed to be an underwear model a la Marky Mark in the 80’s Calvin Klein ads. Maybe it was just so I could do the research. Very arduous research, as you can imagine. But, to the cover. This time around I knew my genre–Romantic Comedy– and I didn’t have to find a designer because Lana at Bookcoverology did such an amazing job with the cover for WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. And I had a slightly better idea of how the process should go. For instance, I now know how useful a Pinterest board can be. For book one, I emailed her folders of images. This time I could just collect them on boards. (I know people have been doing this for years but I’m not a particularly visual person so I never got the Pinterest thing. Now, I get it.) In addition to the actor/model Ben Porter, FORGET ABOUT ME is about Lucy Minola: an Italian-American vet tech with a gorgeous full figure. She wears scrubs at work, of course but her curves come out of hiding when a co-worker helps her find a vintage red dress to wear to an opening night party. Then there’s the dog that brings them together. If you’re not an animal person, you’ll probably hate this book. Between the dog training and the veterinary hospital scenes, animals are all over it. Puck–the stray that shows up on page one–is especially important, so of course he needed his own board. Benji from the movies series of the characters’ childhoods was an inspiration, then I just went nuts pinning expressive terrier mix faces. Another important element is the mixtape. When Lucy was a carefree teen, she was obsessed with mixtapes and making them for Ben was a key feature in her seduction of him back when he was just her big brother’s best friend. (You can get that story in the FREE ebook SIGNED, SEALED & DELIVERED by subscribing to my news or joining my FB group Wicked Smaht Retro Romcom Readers). Finally, for some reason the image of the Coppertone ad where a dog is pulling on a girl’s bathing suit would not leave my mind, so that went in an inspiration board, too. Then I sent that all to Lana and came up with this first sketch. I loved a lot about this. Probably top of the list was how Lana incorporated the Coppertone image idea by having Puck tug on Lucy’s sexy dress. There were a few small adjustments like making Lucy’s hair curly and switching locations of the tag line and sub-title. My PR advisor suggested a more intense yellow . . .

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RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR by Karen Grey What reviewers are saying: “This is my first book by Karen Grey and I’m hooked.” —Rellim Reads “This story was bodacious! Totally Tubular!” —Live, Laugh, Love and Books “I felt like I was in a time warp and I loved it.” —Betty Loves Love “Ah, the 80’s…pagers, answering machines and waiting days for a call, oh my!” —Kathryn, Goodreads  “Will and Kate are a wonderful pair. Ms. Grey shares allows both their fears and affection to shine across the pages, giving What I’m Looking For a strong story and satisfying conclusion.” —Jen, That’s What I’m Talking About “Set in the 1980s, this funny yet warmhearted character-driven tale checks all the boxes for classy contemporary romance while providing the longed-for “something different” readers seek out. It’s smart. It’s sexy. It’s sophisticated romance at its best.” —Lea Hensley, Audiogals WHERE TO FIND IT AUDIO Libro.fm (use the code KARENWHITE for a 3 for 1 book deal), Downpour or Audible PRINT The Ripped Bodice (click below) or any indie bookstore via Indiebound or Bookshop.org (or just ask your local bookstore to order it) and Amazon. EBOOK Kobo, Apple, , Barnes & Noble, Google RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED, BUT STAY TUNED AND/OR FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO HEAR ABOUT OTHER GIVEAWAYS OR OTHER NEWS! Cathy, Karen and Bloom are the winners and I’ve contacted them via email.

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What I’m Looking For Double Giveaway!

I received the first hard copies of my very first novel in the mail this week. To celebrate, I’m giving away one paperback and one audiobook (CDs). I can sign them if you’d like, too. THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Aimee and Shonte are the winners but there will be more giveaways to come! To enter, just comment below telling us where you were in 1988. Deadline Monday, 6/15 at 5 p.m. EST. For extra chances, you can follow Karen Grey on Facebook @KarenGreywriter, Goodreads or Bookbub. (Just tell me in your comment if you’ve done it, I’ll believe you.) I’ll pick the winners at random. Entrants must be 18 and in the continental U.S. only. (Psst. There’s also a giveaway of the Kindle version on the book’s Goodreads page, so you have lots of chances to win! And this one is open to readers anywhere in the world.) But if you want to just go ahead and buy a copy, you can see all the current options on my website (which includes the option to buy directly from me). Alternatively, you can order from your local bookstore!

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Newsletter Snafus…

I tried to get this to work yesterday but it was a failure. So trying again today. Here we go: So, I have a confession to make. I thought that all my new blog posts were being automatically emailed to subscribers, but for some reason that has not been happening for awhile. It’s taken me some time and (for me) a whole load of mental gymnastics to navigate the maze of RSS feeds and other gobbledygook to figure all this out, so forgive me if you received an email yesterday with no content. And please have mercy on me for blundering through all this in the midst of multiple national crises. This will probably end up in your spam folder. But if it doesn’t, if you’re still with me, before you actively unsubscribe, I do have some big news. My first novel releases June 23. You can find it in this nifty list of new releases linked here (and I appreciating you clicking through as that gives me credit on this promotion): https://books.bookfunnel.com/junenewreleases/qq10knllle Also, I’ll be reading from my book at the virtual event NOIR AT THE BAR on Thursday, June 11 at 7pm EST. (My book is not a mystery but the organizer, Edwin Hill is an author I record for who has kindly invited me to read anyway. I’ll also be reading a bit from one of his Hester Thursby books. It’s free and doesn’t require an app but you do need to sign up to attend here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/virtual-noir-at-the-bar-4 Plus, Please save the date for another virtual event coming Thursday, June 25 at 8pm EST. More on that coming soon…but, (hint, hint) it includes EIGHT audiobooks narrators! Finally, Between now and June 23, if you want to help me get word out on my novel, I have a whole “secret” page set up where you can find links to follow me on my new author social media sites, download images and copy and paste posts. ANY help from this page is very much appreciated. Thanks for your support and feel free to unsubscribe if you no longer want to receive emails about Karen White audiobooks, Karen Grey books, articles on Creativity, recipes and/or cute pet photos. Actually the latter are mostly on Instagram and Pinterest. Like this one:

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on Creativity with Susan Gloss

Susan Gloss‘ second novel came out early this year, and I’m happy to report that it was as fun to narrate as her first, Vintage. Both novels are set in her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. Publisher Harper Collins calls it “a charming mid-western story of artists, inspiration, and how to reinvent your life with purpose and flair”, and I have to agree. Since this book is largely about the tension between pursuing a career in the arts and the real life demands of creating a family, I’m so happy that Susan agreed to talk about her process and work with me. KW: Do you have practices/rituals/habits that support your creative work? SG: The one thing that is consistent whenever I’m in the drafting phase of a novel is that I have to leave the house to write. I have two little boys, so it’s impossible to get work done at home. Even when they are in school, I get distracted by all of the mundane household tasks that need to get done, like tackling Mount Laundry. I usually write in coffee shops and libraries. KW: How do you fill your well? SG: I crave alone time in which I’m not working. I also love to be outdoors, so my favorite ways to get alone time are taking long bike rides in the summer, and skiing in the winter. I did my first century bike ride (100 miles in one day) late last summer. It was glorious to be able to work my body, fill my soul, and clear my head all at the same time. KW: If you have a day job, do you enjoy using your mind/body in that different way or is it an obligation that weighs on your creative work? SG: I work part-time as an attorney. I definitely see my two jobs—lawyer and novelist—as different sides of the same coin.  They compliment each other. Both jobs revolve around research and writing.  My day job allows me to exercise the analytical part of my brain, while writing fiction allows me to be creative. KW: Is the space in which you work important to you? SG: Not especially. I can block out external noise pretty easily, even without headphones or anything. Side benefit of being a mom, I guess. KW: Do you have multiple creative outlets in your life? SG: In addition to writing, I also love cooking as a creative outlet. In the summer and fall, I belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm, and we get a box of vegetables every week based on whatever is in season and currently being harvested. Having to figure out what do with, say, an abundance of eggplant and . . .

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on Creativity with Sharon Sala

Today, I’m happy to hear from writer Sharon Sala about her creative process. Sharon has authored 100+ books in multiple genres, winning all kinds of awards, including the RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. I’ve just recorded her book, A Field of Poppies and have two copies to give away from Tantor Audio. But first, let’s hear from Sharon about her process and creative life. KW: Do you have any habits that support your creative work? SS: I have a habit of doing the crossword puzzle in my daily paper every morning before I settle down to work. It gets me in a good frame of mind for words in general. KW: You’ve written so many books! How do you fill your well? SS: There are several things I do, each depending on whether my need is emotional or physical. I get massages at least twice a month, sometimes more, because of the stress and strain of spending so many hours at a keyboard. Sitting down to work pain-free is conducive to a productive day. Emotionally, writing IS what fills me…what takes me away from the ills of the world in which we live, and which distracts me from things that are beyond my control.  I also do daily affirmations that remind me of what’s most important in life. KW: What contributes to flow in your work? SS: Silence is important to me. And being happy. Being settled emotionally. The biggest distraction for me is having members of my family in some kind of crisis, or illness. When all is not right in my world, it’s hard for me to write. KW: Is the space in which you work important to you? SS: Yes. I like to write with my feet up, so I sit in a recliner with my laptop and work. I also have a PC, but I make sure to keep copies of my WIP on both systems, as well as on a Flash Drive. No lost work for me. Learned that the hard way. KW: Writing is solitary work. How do you counter that? SS: I am, by nature, a quiet person. I like solitude, and I write without music, or television, or any other distractions, because as I am writing, I am also “seeing” the story visually on the screen. I don’t concentrate on the words I’m typing. They just come when I put my fingers on the keys, but in the silence, I see and hear the story as I type. KW: Which is evident in your evocative and emotional writing! “Two families. One secret. Separated by a river and twenty years of lies.” THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Gloria and Karen . . .

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On Creativity with Wiley Cash

“I think art is going to save us because I think it’s the only thing that can make us check in with how we feel and what we believe. We read histories to find out what happened. We turn to art to discover what it felt like.”

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On Creativity with Erin Nicholas

Author Interview and Giveaway Books 1 & 2 of the Just Everyday Heroes, Day Shift series by Erin Nicholas from Tantor Audio ON CREATIVITY with Erin Nicholas A big thank you to Erin for her willingness to kick off my new series on the creative process. As someone who spends a great deal of time living in imaginary worlds (of my own and others’), I’m intensely curious about how creative minds behave, evolve and thrive. For these interviews, the victim, er, subject, had a long list of thirty questions to choose from regarding his or her process. I hope you find the answers as inspiring as I do. Me: What drives you to tell stories? Erin: I’ve been a story teller as long as I can remember. My parents tell stories of me making up elaborate pretend games for my friends and sister and I was writing stories long hand in notebooks from the time I could write. My dad tells about me being on family vacation road trips and missing all of the scenery because my head was bent over a notebook. I can’t imagine not telling stories. It’s a part of who I am and when I feel the most me. Me: What’s the part of your process that you savor? Erin:  I love when I find myself thinking about my characters and their story as if they are real and I’m waiting to hear the latest from their love story. Many of my heroines end up feeling like “friends” that I want to call and ask “How’s it going with that guy?” 🙂  That’s when I know I’m on the right track with the story! Me: What’s your favorite way to consume stories? (books – audio or print? podcasts? movies? TV?) Is that different from how you end up consuming most of the time? Erin: All of the above! 🙂 I read a lot and love audiobooks. I’m also a TV and movie junkie. I use podcasts mostly for “real life”… business and news…but I tell people that I love to hear/ read other people’s stories after spending my days telling my own. Me: Do you read books in the genre in which you write? if so, is there a part of your process when you avoid doing so? Erin: I absolutely do! And I never have to avoid it. I’m very good at switching between being a writer and a reader. I read to be entertained and have no trouble not over-thinking or analyzing or editing! 🙂 Me: What’s your earliest or favorite reading memory? Was it someone reading to you or you reading by yourself? Erin: My dad reading to me. Every night we read a chapter . . .

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MURDER BY THE BOOK

by Lauren Elliott Available now from Tantor Audio. “Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn’t expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . . Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father’s fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she’s moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store. But there’s trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie’s friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they’ve got the story in hand, but Addie’s not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight . . .” “Narration for this story is provided by Karen White, and with all of her work, she presents the story clearly – giving each character a distinct and unique presence, using pauses, volume and subtle changes in tone to add emotional context to the story, without overwhelming listeners hoping to find from audible clues alone, who is the culprit. And while the mystery itself was fairly simple to work out and decide on the culprit, the narration added to the questions about characters, providing that sense of agenda and purpose that we all have, without raising big red flags to “listen up here” because this is important. As always, White’s work is solid and shows a familiarity with the text, and an understanding of moments that need highlight or downplay without guiding the listener to a solution, but allowing it to unfold as the relationships develop.” From the review at I Am, Indeed a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Vintage Love Stories, by me and seven other fabulous people

Available now from Blunderwoman Productions in audio, ebook and paperback formats.  From the Publisher: A collection of sweet, tender, poetic, beautiful, heart-wrenching, sensual, love stories. These stories share a common theme of love, set in a time period before cell phones and social media. “Second Best” by Brenna Aldrich 1944. The South. Can a heartbroken young woman learn to love again? “Didn’t It Rain” by Kathryn Burns 1964. Manchester. A teenager realizes her love for music…and for a girl. “The Painted World” by Cassandra Campbell It’s 1959, New York and Tennessee. Will a young woman choose the life she’s meant to live or the life she longs for? “Adele” by Tony Healey A couple who’s been married for decades. A secret shared. And a love that shows the beauty in supporting a partner when they share their authentic self. “Purple Roses” by Christina Thompson A quiet farmhouse. A lifetime love, lost. A message sent from beyond that restores faith, hope, and blessings for a new love. “She Screams” by Jacob Strunk 1940s. A smoky bar. Jazz. Where love and lust seduces like a song. “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” by K.E. White (aka Karen White) It’s the 1980s. First love. Young love. But is it a forever love? “To Love Is To Burn” by Amanda R. Woomer 1871, Peshtigo, Wisconsin. A deadly wildfire and the love that rises from the ashes. These stories make us swoon, make us laugh, cause tears and sighs. The world needs more love, and we are excited to share it. From the review at AudioFile Magazine: “In this audio story collection, the characters’ relationships range from developing love to instant attraction. All but one of the stories is narrated by a single voice, while “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” is performed by Mark Turetsky and Tara Sands, who alternate chapters. The mix of long and short stories is set in a time before email, the Internet, and cell phones. Each exudes a charm of its own, tugging at your attention and passions. The final, unforgettable, story, “She Screams,” is performed by J. Rodney Turner, whose deep voice croons like that of an enthralled lover reciting poetry. These love stories, with themes as old as time, are worth listening to again and again.” My WRITING experience: I’ve been working on a romance series for the past year and half or so. I’d been doing a lot of backstory writing for the second book in the series and I wasn’t sure if it really fit in the novel. When I saw the Blunderwoman call for submissions for this collection, I decided that I needed to turn those scenes into a short story. Even though I’d never written . . .

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