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