Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway: Karen Rock - Wish Me Tomorrow

Visiting the blog today is Karen Rock, author of Wish Me Tomorrow and co-author of the Camp Boyfriend series. This summer I read Camp Boyfriend which Karen wrote with her sister-in-law, Joanne Rock. It was fun and entertaining and the perfect summer read. When I learned that Karen wrote a contemporary adult novel, I knew that I would want to read it.

Since Karen has written books for teens and adults, I've asked her to share the books that made her fall in love with reading as a child and as an adult. 
Welcome Karen!!

Thank you so much for inviting me on Actin’ Up with Books Blog. It’s such a treat to get to interact with fellow book lovers like me! I’m thrilled to answer your exciting question: “What books made me fall in love with reading from childhood to adulthood?” Because who doesn’t love dishing about their favorite books?

My earliest memories involve books. One of my favorite books was a book on tape, Cinderella that was done using the voices from the Disney movie including my favorite mouse, Gus! Unable to actually read, I lay on my sunlit front porch/playroom and turned the pages when the tiny ‘ding’ sounded, over and over again. One day, my father offered to read the book to me and I surprised him by saying I would read it to him. As I’d heard it so often, I’d memorized the words that went with each, beautifully illustrated page. When I’d finished, my father was speechless and called my mother in to witness the miracle that their four-year-old daughter could read. Needless to say, they learned the truth once Pinocchio was handed over and I was asked for a demonstration. *sigh* almost a genius. Lol. But it did fill me with the magic of reading, and its power, at a very young age.

Since my family was quite poor, we had only a handful of picture books that I quickly outgrew. Thankfully, I discovered a place that is still holier to me than a church: a library. I marveled in school when my teacher took us to a room filled with books and I was allowed to take any of them out. The only problem was that school wasn’t open in the summer. What would I do? Of course you are laughing because the answer is obvious. But to my young mind, I’d never been brought to a public library and didn’t know that these miracles existed. Luckily a friend and I bicycled to one and worked up the courage to approach an intimidating woman with hair that resembled a beehive and a personality more poisonous than a wasp. Nevertheless, she granted us a library cards with several warnings… warnings I should have heeded. My favorite books quickly became Nancy Drew when I discovered an entire shelf devoted to them. I loved them so much that rather than return them, I would hoard them. Week after week, the librarian admonished me to bring back the novels, but how could I part with something as precious as books? I’d never owned any and it was heady stuff until the police rolled into my driveway, lights flashing. To my mother’s shock, they announced our librarian had sent them to retrieve the books where they discovered over thirty hidden under my bed. (As well as some dust bunnies, chewed gum wads, and dirty socks. Let’s here for our men in blue!)

The loss of these books proved to me, more than anything, the power stories have on readers. I wanted to create novels that would move people to the point of being arrested- okay- maybe not that far. But still. I wanted to touch and effect other’s lives as books had mine. I knew I wanted to write, yet I lacked the courage to show my stories to anyone besides my closest friends. In high school, I discovered the classics and loved the tragedies of William Shakespeare, the witty love stories of Jane Austin, the adventures of Mark Twain, the thought-provoking works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice Walker, and Ray Bradbury. At the same time, I found out that the movies Carrie and The Shining were based on books written by Stephen King and I snapped them up and became a horror fiction fan as well.

Yet, during a sleepover, I was crushed when a friend told me that her plans for us were to read and she pointed to her shelf of Harlequin Romance novels. I’d never seen heard of this publisher before and was, in fact, disappointed that the night of games and movies I’d envisioned would revolve around reading these books. Yet before I left for home the next day, I’d stayed up all night and devoured two novels and begged to borrow a few more. Clearly my friend Lynette didn’t know of my brush with the law because she loaned me the books and I fell head over heels for Harlequin romance.

High school molded me into the eclectic reader I am today. I am as likely to pick up a science fiction novel as I am to read a historical, a classic, a suspense thriller, horror fiction, a memoir (David Sedaris- you are a god!), a young adult, fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, or romance novel. It’s kind of like pizza. I don’t care about the toppings as long as it’s cooked well. A strong story-teller will captivate me from start to finish, regardless of topic or genre. Recently I read a true story about a man who’d rescued people trapped during Hurricane Katrina called Zeitoune. I thought I’d find it mildly interesting to get such insider information, but the author, David Eggers, swept me up in a harrowing tale that kept me awake as I breathlessly turned page after page until dawn.

Thank you so much for having me on Actin’ Up with Books! As you can see from my checkered history in reading, I’ve been actin’ up with books for a long time ;)- Karen Rock

Wish Me Tomorrow
by: Karen Rock
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
 Can they build a future on hope alone? 

For years nurse and grief counselor Christie Bates has been teaching her patients to confront their fears, express themselves and trust in hope. But as her feelings for cancer survivor Eli Roberts and his two children grow, can she overcome her own fear and love a man who lives every day with the possibility of recurring illness?

Tackling cancer and single parenthood simultaneously has turned Eli into a devout realist. Which is why he finds Christie's perpetually upbeat attitude so aggravating. Still, despite himself, she's making a place in his heart. If only he could offer Christie more than an uncertain future.

Since Karen Rock’s grandmother passed her shopping bagfuls of Harlequin Presents as a teen, it’s been her dream to add her voice to the Romance genre. Now an author of Harlequin’s latest contemporary line, Heartwarming, Karen is thrilled to pen wholesome, tender, deeply romantic stories that all can relate to. Her first novel, WISH ME TOMORROW, is out in September 2013 and her next, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, is out in spring 2014. Additionally, Karen is a young adult contemporary romance co-author with fellow Harlequin author, Joanne Rock for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series that debuted July 2013 with Spencer Hill Press.
When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys watching anything starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, cooking her Nona’s family Italian recipes, and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter and two King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch,” though they’ve managed to teach her the trick! Hmmmm… wonder how that happened?! She loves to connect with other romance fans!
Please check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, her Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites, and follow her on twitter http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 or Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/karenrock

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog! I had so much fun writing this post :)


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