September 22, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway: Author Karen Rose Smith



Today we have a special guest and we couldn’t be happier about it! Bestselling author Karen Rose Smith is here to celebrate her newest release, Once Upon a Groom, and to share with us where she gets her inspiration from. 

I find this a very interesting topic, mostly because I always wonder how authors manage to come up with so many great ideas, and how do they channel all that and make it into a book. So who better person to tell us more about that than an author right? 

Help us give her a warm welcome! 



What Inspires Me by Karen Rose Smith 

Writing and living are interchangeable for me. They are so glued together that I realized while writing this blog that whatever inspires me for one inspires me for the other. Peaks and valleys in one affect the other. So when I think about inspiration for either writing or living, I can lift my heart in these ways. 

Ever since I was a young girl, music has made a difference in my life. (That is probably why one of the romances in my new series revolves around music.) Until I was five, my parents and I lived with my grandfather and my aunt. After that they lived next door. I come from an Italian heritage, and my grandfather was an immigrant. He played the mandolin beautifully. On weekends friends would stop by with guitars and an accordion, and he and his friends made music. That music brought into the house fellowship, fun and a sense of well-being. Also in my grandfather's house was a player piano. We inserted what was called a "roll" and a melody magically played while my mother and I would sing along. She played the piano herself, and I would accompany her, too. It was natural for me to learn to play the piano myself. Through the years I learned to express emotion through the playing. I found joy and inspiration in the music. With this history, I never just listen to a song. I feel it. Today I listen for artists and music which can stir that deep creative part of me, whether it does that by bringing back memories, lifting me to a mountaintop, soothing pain and stress away, or urging me to write a particularly emotional scene. Music lifts me over the writing bumps or life's bumps. 

Traveling to a place with power also renews me. I believe everyone can find places that fill them with peace and an overwhelming sense of well-being. When I was a child, I had access to a relative's farm. There was something about the fields of grass, the scent of orange blossoms and honeysuckle, the playfulness of kittens around the barn and the beauty of horses in the corral that always washed over me in a particularly healing way. I loved just being there and soaking it in. As an adult I feel drawn to places where I can feel a power greater than myself--the ocean, the cliff dwellings in the southwest, the Appalachian mountains, the big blue sky over Santa Fe, Sedona and the Grand Canyon, a memorial garden my husband and I created in memory of my parents in our own backyard. All of these places, as well as the memories from being in them, fill me up when I am empty and help me to keep going. 

Since emotion and my creative energy are also integrally linked, the people I love and who love me also inspire me. My husband reminds me that I always say each book is different and eventually my characters show me the way. Talking to my son long-distance reminds me the bonds between a mother and child are never-ending. When my BFF's daughter runs to me for a hug, I am inspired to look at the world through her eyes--in a more innocent, unspoiled way. My writing friends listen and help me get unstuck when a scene or character is being stubborn. Also my two cats, Ebbie and London are constant companions who remind me to be playful. Ebbie joins me when I work or listen to music. London curls on my lap or beside me for an afternoon break. Their presence fills me with a sense of contentment. 

Inspiration surrounds me in many forms. I just have to know how to listen, where to go and whom to turn to in order to find it. Somehow I always do and life and writing flow on. 

You can find Karen on her website and blog, and you can also follow her on Twitter.


Note: we were scheduled to post a review of Once Upon a Time yesterday but we had some problems getting the book and so we haven't read it yet. As soon as we get the book we'll do a review. We apologize to everyone who was waiting to read it.

GIVEAWAY 

Since Once Upon a Groom is book two in the Reunion Brides series, we figured that the winner might be curious about the first book as well, so we decided to do this little contest. The winner gets both books in the series: His Daughter… Their Child and Once Upon a Groom. To enter the giveaway just leave a comment telling us about something in Romance Novels that inspires you (personally, I find strong and independent heroines inspiring). Please leave an email address so we can contact the winner and if you have read the first book let me know in the comment so in case you win I can choose another winner for that book. 

Rules: 

  • Winner gets a copy of His Daughter… Their Child by Karen Rose Smith and one copy of Once Upon a Groom by Karen Rose Smith. 
  • Contest open internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships to your country). 
  • Giveaway ends on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5pm EST.  Closed, winner is Marina M.
  • Winner will be chosen using random.org. 
  • Winner will be announced here and contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond. 



Zack and Jenny fell in love in high school. But Zack intended to escape the Rocky D while Jenny craved the roots she'd found on his parents' ranch. With resentment and bitterness toward his father, blaming him for his mother's death, Zack found a life as a movie director with wealth, fame and privilege. Now when he returns to Miners Bluff, his father isn't the man he once was. And Jenny has a secret she has never divulged. Old fires reignite as Zack and Jenny fall in love all over again. Will their differences push them apart once more? Or can love truly conquer all? 

Once Upon a Groom by Karen Rose Smith 
Silhouette Special Edition. September 2011. 

Sisters in love with the same boy in high school. How deeply can a twin really know a twin? Growing up seemed to have changed Celeste's and Zoie's bond. Can they find their way back to each other if Celeste finds love with Zoie's ex-husband? As a surrogate for Zoie and Clay, Celeste expected to give her twin and her husband and child and then walk away But when Zoie abandons her husband and daughter, abdicating all responsibility, Celeste's heart insists she step in. She yearns to be a mother and Abby needs one. But will Clay trust a woman enough again, to love and need a wife? 

His Daughter… Their Child by Karen Rose Smith 
Silhouette Special Edition. February 2011.

13 comments:

  1. Good morning,everyone! I just wanted to stop by and say how glad I am to be blogging with you. Ask or comment whatever you'd like.

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  2. I have read "His Daughter- Their Child" and loved it! For some reason I had book two on my calendar for coming out later in the year...lol...thanks for the reminder!

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  3. Hi Kate!

    I do have a question! When you wrote the first book in the series did you already knew that you were writing the sequel or were you inspired by one of the characters to write their story? I’m always curious about sequels and series and how authors decide to write more books set in the same universe or just write one standalone story.

    I hope you have a pleasant visit, and please feel free to stop by the blog any time you want!

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  4. Hi Maria!

    Well, now you know and maybe you’ll win the book here! Good luck.

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  5. Great post!

    I’m inspired by happy endings, reading romance novels makes me feel like living happily ever after it’s possible. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mm222(AT)hotmail(DOT)es

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  6. Great answer Marina, I also love happy endings, that's one of the main reasons why we read romance novels, right?
    Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

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  7. Maria--I'm glad you found this post! Books 3 and 4 are scheduled for 2012. But I don't have dates or titles on those yet.

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  8. Brie--With the Reunion Brides series, I knew I would be writing at least 3 books. When I attended my own high school reunion, I got inspired when two classmates got married a year later! And since I love the Flagstaff area, I wanted to stay there a while at least in my writing.

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  9. Marina--Those happily-ever-after endings are the reason I write romance. I like to give hope.

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  10. Romance novels are my fave, and I love many of the things the author says inspires her. Ocean, country, horses. I'm inspired by the many stories these people have. But despite circumstances, varying personalities, they always manage to find the good in each other and take a chance on loving someone.

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  11. I loved this post, I felt like I was there, listening to the music play.

    Karen, Do you have one artist in particular that really gets the creative juices flowing?

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  12. Jade--Finding that good and accepting the other person as they are are my main themes. I take inspiration so seriously because I need it to put emotion into my characters.

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  13. Jenn--My artist list changes but anyone who can make emotion rise in me works. I was watching X Factor last night and one of the judges says he knows he's seeing talent when the singer makes the hairs on his arms rise. (Something like that.) So I listen to singers who make me feel--Charice, Josh Groban, Brad Paisley, David Cook, Daughtry, Adam Lambert, the Beatles, 60's music, and some of those 40's songs my mom loved by crooners like Perry Como. I often make CD's with a mix of music to listen to. I'm a big fan of ITunes!:)

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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.