Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The 3 D's: Divorce, Dieting and Dating

Sometimes you don't realize what your book is about until someone tells you. 

When Uncut Diamonds came out, the marketing director at WiDo called it "Steel Magnolias with Mormon characters," which I'd have never pegged but it was exactly the right description. (Even though it takes place in the Midwestern United States not the South, and the main characters are young parents not older ones preparing for a daughter's wedding.)

But all that's not the point. The point is that I find it amazing when someone can tell me exactly what my book is about, and do it better than I could have myself.

That's what happened when I saw the review for Lighting Candles in the Snow by Mirka Breen, author of the historical fiction middle-grade book, The Voice of Thunder.  

Today is my novel's launch day and I can't think of any better way to celebrate it than by posting Mirka's review:


"Lighting Candles in the Snow is a modern woman’s story, starring the Three Ds: Divorce, Dieting and Dating, in that order. Fans of Karen Jones Gowen’s first two novels will miss the solid loving Mormon family that was the heart of these books. They’re still here, in the form of Suzie and Rob, sister and brother-in-law of the main character, and their seven children. But they have taken a back seat to Karoline London, (that’s Karo-line, as she likes to remind us) who is struggling with the dissolution of her childless marriage, her ex-s addictions, her own lack of spiritual grounding and above all- with dieting and obsessing about food and her weight.

"But there lies a nice surprise- this is a modern woman’s tale, a bit of a romance novel, and a cookbook. Most chapters end with recipes, and having tried a few, I can attest that they are real, and yummy.

"As the story unwinds, Karoline makes her way home in more ways than one, and we readers get the essential nourishment we need from a good story, also in more than one way. Try the Pear and Bleu Cheese Soup; you’ll be glad you did, and happy to have read Lighting Candles in the Snow. 

"And just as in Gowen's novel, House of Diamonds, the title image takes a while to unfold but when it does it’s unforgettable." (Mirka M.G. Breen, author, The Voice of Thunder)

Thanks, Mirka!  

For more information about Lighting Candles in the Snow, see the WiDo website.


35 comments:

  1. Karen, I know what you mean about the thrill of someone describing your book in a new and clever way (although in my case, my manuscript but, ever hopeful!) and the Steel Magnolias comparison definitely had my interest piqued. I have vivid memories of me and my three sisters taking our mum to see it and her spending the whole time handing out tissues in all directions! I also really like the sound of Karoline, or rather, Karo-line, and her antics in your latest novel. Are they out in softback as well as e-book?

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    1. Hi Jaxbee, Yes, all my books are available in both print and ebook. The link included in the post goes to the publisher's website with all pertinent information, along with a pre-release special for Candles in print. They are also available on Amazon, B&N, and other online stores.

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  2. Congratulations, Karen!
    Hey, I still don't know what my books are about.
    Will give you a shout-out tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks Alex. Read your reader reviews, they'll tell you what your books are about :)

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  3. Congratulations Karen! This sounds like a neat story!

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  4. WoW - that's what I call a review - this is fabulous - Congratulations Karen and wish many covers opened by many readers. I think I am going to try the Pear n Bleu Cheese Soup - sounds YUMMY :)

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  5. Congratulations, Karen. I'm looking forward to reading your book and checking out that soup, both.

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  6. Congrats Karen!!! I can't wait to check out your book!

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  7. Hey, I wrote that^ (blushing.)

    Talk about serendipity. Finding your post just as I posted about 'Quotations as Inspiration,' and I wasn't thinking about anyone quoting me.

    But more importantly- you wrote the book. Happy Launch Day, Lighting Candles in the Snow!

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  8. Dear Karen, congratulations on the publication of your third book. I look forward to finding your first two and reading them. And thanks for coming to my blog and signing on as a follower. I so hope we learn from one another and then can pay forward to others what has been given to us. Peace.

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  9. What an original book, Karen! I love the title as well. It's powerful. I still need to read "Uncut Diamonds". I'm not sure which one I will read first. Congratulations on this new book!

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  10. Yay! It's finally here! Congrats, and I can't wait to try some new recipes.

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  11. Congrats on launch Karen! And what a lovely review! I received my first review last week, and thankfully it was great. :-) I'm waiting for the first 'this stinks' review, btw. I think you're so correct in what reviewers can pick up on, and I'm just beginning to see how thrilling/scary/awesome it can be knowing that your story can mean or become something completely different than you ever imagined.

    Just kind of humbling in a very cool way.

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  12. Today is the day? Wonderful! Might be a little more un-dieting though.

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  13. Congratulations on your release! And what a wonderful review. Let the reading begin! : )

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  14. Thank you to all who stopped by to wish me well! And to those who have read and reviewed this book or previous ones, I sincerely thank you for your consideration and support.

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  15. Justgot my copy in the mail yesterday and have read half of it. Made pork deliveries to Bloomington and after unloading tons of bacon I sat in my truck and read for an HOUR!!! Knew when I got home I'd get too busy. Can't wait to see how it ends...

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    1. Donna, These words are music to my ears. And now I want bacon....

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  16. I like books that include recipes and descriptions of food, partly because I think about food a lot and wish that I could be friends with Rachel Ray and Giada. :) So this book sounds really interesting!

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  17. Best of luck with your release, Karen.

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  18. It's amazing how an outside perspective can reveal so much about your own work. :-)

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  19. Congratulations and best of luck with your release!! I LOVE the title. The review is great and definitely makes me want to add the book to my TBR list.

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  20. Karen, massive congrats on the book release! Yesterday was crazy for me otherwise I would have been here then but I'm glad to be here now.

    That review is lovely! It's so true what you say that sometimes our readers can do a better job of summing up our work than we can. We're too close to be that exact but they're standing on the outside looking in and it's all so clear to them. It means you've done your job as a writer perfectly!

    Congratulations, again!

    Jai

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    1. Thanks, Jai, and guess what I bought at Costco yesterday? Virgin, organic coconut oil. Of course, I thought of you. Can't wait to try it!

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    2. Oh fabulous! Have fun eating it. I love the way it smells while cooking. Makes me so hungry!

      Jai

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  21. congratulations! Love the cover!

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  22. Happy happy launch book day to you lovely KarenG!!!

    And what a start - a fab review!! Wonderful! Take care
    x

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  23. Hi Karen .. isn't that just great - Mirka's done a great job for you - succinct ... and I love recipes - so - you're on ... I'll be putting my order before Christmas now ...

    Congratulations on launch day ... cheers for now - and am so pleased for you ... Hilary

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  24. Congratulations on your launch and in finding a great way to describe what the book is about!

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  25. Congratulations on your release! Love that there are recipes throughout. Great review, too!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  26. Awesome cover! Congratulations Karen. I'll be finished with it soon and then will post a review as promised. So far I'm loving it!

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  27. What a wonderful review. Congrats on your book launch, Karen!

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  28. Congrats Karen! I will most certainly be reading it.

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  29. oh that is the best thing, when someone gets you---i love the idea of the recipes in your book!!!!

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