Early book reviews, just in time for Halloween

Happy almost Halloween. Arborview is almost one month old, and I have to say it’s been a fun and productive month. I had a terrific Zoom launch reading hosted by my local library, and I have a few more events scheduled in coming months.

Numerous blogs and promoters have already featured Arborview, and we’ve received some really nice reviews, for which I am truly grateful.

Here are some of my favorite mentions:

A fun author interview with N.N. Lights Book Reviews.

 

“10 Things”, courtesy of Joanne Guidoccio, a fellow Wild Rose Press author.

One  sparkling book review ... and another one from two wild women

And this book spotlight with a nifty little video

Please add your voice to the review chorus. Check out Arborview and tell me what you think? Reviews are welcome on AmazonGoodreads, and BookBub.

Hope all your Halloween dreams come true—the good ones, that is!

–Karen 

Promoting time versus writing time…

Hi Friends!

Well, Arborview has officially been in the world for one week, and the reception has been heartwarming. Thanks to everyone who reached out with congratulations and who is already reading Arborview. Please share your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Eighteen people attended my launch reading via Zoom, which was hosted by my local library, and since then the book has been making the rounds on several Book Launch Blog Tours. 

Here are a couple. One is a little video of Arborview’s sales blurb copy, which tickled me pink. And the other is a fun “Ten Things I Never Expected to Like so Much.”

How am I feeling? Relieved, gratified, kinda tired. Arborview is being marketed much more heavily that my debut novel was seven years ago. All this blogging, and chatting, tweeting and instagramming takes time. Precious time.

Not that I’m complaining! I’m just eager to pour more of myself into my new writing project…which I am VERY excited about. My job as an author now is to divide my time between promoting Arborview and forging ahead on my new project. (Oh, and hold down my full-time paying job and raise my kid!)

Tips, anyone? How do you balance the marketing aspects with the creative aspects of being an author in this digital age? I welcome all advice.

And for anyone on NetGalley, Arborview is listed all this month. Apply to review, if you’d like. You get a free digital copy.

Cheers,

Karen

Launch Day for ARBORVIEW


It’s finally here! Arborview is in the world and officially for sale at a whole lotta outlets. Some lovely flowers arrived from my two best guys–husband and son–to mark the occasion.

Early spotlights are already rolling in from NN Lights Book Heaven and from Sparkling Book Reviews.

Wish me luck at my launch Zoom reading tonight. There’s still time to register, event will begin at 6 p.m. EST.

I’m eager for feedback! Please order a copy of Arborview and share your thoughts with me, or on Goodreads or Amazon.

Thank you, friends, for coming on this journey with me. It means so much

–Karen

One week until launch! Join us via Zoom

Hello All,

ARBORVIEW releases in just seven days! Look what arrived in the mail, my author’s copies. How I love my cover artist.

       

To commemorate the release, my local library is hosting a Zoom launch event on September 29 at 6 p.m. I’m hoping some of you can attend. Just register on the library’s site, and they’ll send you the Zoom link. 

We’ll have a short reading and then a Q&A session. It promises to be a lot of fun. Come, armed with questions for me.

More events are planned, and ARBORVIEW will be popping up on multiple blogs and book sites. Here’s an early guest spot  with some good excerpts. Feel free to Google the book’s title and my name to catch more.  My website will share larger events, as well as the ARBORVIEW buy links.

Can’t believe we’re almost there. It isn’t often you get to see a dream materialize before your very eyes. I’m walking on clouds, feeling blessed. See you on launch day!

–Karen

Pastry, divorce, and some good advice

Hi Friends,

As Arborview’s September 29 publication date draws near, I’m sharing another snippet from the novel. Here, Ellen ponders the state of her life and what—if any—advice she should give to her student Rosa.

Because both Ellen and Rosa are pastry chefs, dessert plays a big role in Arborview. Visit me on Instagram,where I’m sharing snapshots of some of the dishes featured. Please follow, like, and share!

The Kindle version of Arborview is already available as a pre-order on Amazon and elsewhere.

Cheers,
Karen

Here’s today’s excerpt:

This was how she had come to think of herself: a divorced person. She disliked “divorcée,” which Alice liked to throw about suggestively. The word had the faint stink of misogyny, of finger-pointing, the whisper of failure—more so a woman’s than a man’s. Why was that? American men were simply “divorced,” a neutral proclamation. No cutesy French name had been borrowed to designate their failed-marriage status.

And in truth, if Ellen had failed anyone, she had failed herself. This stinging little insight had come to her in Arborview, lying in dappled sunlight, where she was free to look at things and creep near the truth. The truth was she had fallen like a stone to the earth after all these years, and the voice she had learned to ignore had only grown louder. She had abandoned, or at least shelved, herself long before Zach worked up the courage to do it.

She really should tell Rosa: “Don’t worry about what your mother thinks, or your brother, or anyone else. Choose, or the world will do it for you.” This was what the girl needed to hear. 

Publication date announced!

Hi Friends,

At long last I have a publication date for Arborview: Sept. 29.

It’s coming up quickly, and we have a ton of work to do to get ready. Please check here or at www.karenguzman.com for updates, availability, reviews, and other perks.

For fun, I’m going to post some of my favorite passages from the book during the days leading up to publication, hopefully to whet everyone’s appetite for the whole thing.

I’m so grateful to have you all on this journey with me.
–Karen

Baking, and food in general, play a big role in Arborview. The heroine is a pastry chef. Here’s the first excerpt:

Talking pastry and new novels on Jean Grant’s blog

Hey All,

Please check out my guest appearance on Jean M. Grant’s terrific blog today. Hear more about my forthcoming novel, “Arborview,” and why I LOVE pastry so much; and learn that my desk looks like a mess!

—Karen

Goodbye workshop, hello galley proof

The galley proof for my new novel, Arborview, arrived just as I returned from my Collegeville Institute writing fellowship this week. My editor sent the galley with explicit instructions to proof carefully. This is the final step before publication. It’s the last chance to catch typos, misspellings, and all the little dings that make you cringe when you see them in print.

But before I dive in, I want to share some of the key takeaways from my workshop, which was led by writing coach Michael McGregor. It was such a rich, vibrant experience, exploring writing and faith and the many ways they can intersect. Our group of 12 included poets, essayists, nonfiction writers, fiction writers, and clergy members. So many perspectives, so much talent—I have pages of notes to mull over. And I miss everyone already.

I definitely miss my workshop writing spot:

Here are some insights and inspirations from the week that really hit home. I hope they help you, too:

  • Writing needs to be human, above all.
  • Whatever is withheld, is lost.
  • Hardness of heart is, in fact, weakness. Open yourself up to what’s really inside.
  • Spiritual lives are ever renewed and ever fresh.
  • When working with language, strive for what is true, necessary, and possible.
  • As writers, we are trying to capture, in words, a fleeting reality that is constantly rushing past us.
  •  A good story doesn’t resolve, but it finds a place to rest.
  • Be wise on the page. We tend to denigrate our own wisdom. We don’t put it out on the page. We hide it. You have to dare to be wise, to make a statement that is wise on the page. Those are the gems that stick with people. – Michael N. McGregor
  • Feeling stuck, discouraged? To infuse your writing with a sense of joy, try this little exercise: write about something you truly love. Whether it’s your child, or chocolate chip cookies, capture on paper all the beauty and connection and meaning it brings.

Write well, friends.

–Karen

A little slice of heaven
Hope to return next year!

Writing Fellowship Starts Tomorrow!

Friends,

I am so, so excited to begin my weeklong writing fellowship at the amazing Collegeville Institute tomorrow! One week to do nothing but write, make new writer friends, and work with author Michael McGregor in individual coaching sessions!

Yes, I’m still pinching myself. Yes, I’m feeling pretty blessed to have been selected!

More when I return!

Write well,

Karen