Happy Monday, readers, Please help me welcome Karen Robbins to Home Thoughts. If you leave a comment on this blog for Karen, you can win a print copy of her latest book, Death Among The Deckchairs. Here’s a bit about her story:
A cruise. A bikini clad body. What next? All Casey wanted was a relaxing cruise where she could visit with her daughter, the cruise director, but suddenly she finds herself in the middle of a murder at sea. Who would have guessed the beautiful young woman dead in the deckchair next to her had an enemy who would use her love of the sun to end her life? When Max joins Casey, what she thought would be a romantic ending to her cruise becomes an intense search for evidence. Somewhere among all the dermatologists holding a conference on board ship is a killer. Is it the victim’s doctor husband? Or one of his co-workers? And how does the shark expert fit into the puzzle?
What was your inspiration for Death Among The Deckchairs? This is the second book in the Casey Stengel Mystery series that began with Murder Among The Orchids. The series has evolved over the years but began with the character of Casey who originally was a paralegal. I had taken a course of study to become a paralegal and toyed with a character who worked in a law officed that dealt with wills and probate. When Heartsong began looking for cozy mysteries for their mystery club books, I reworked my original story and character to fit their guidelines. Casey became a household manager and a sleuth with a serious addiction to Dodgers’ baseball. Unfortunately, the book club met its demise just as I was about to have a contract but eventually the story found publication and I’m excited to keep the character going. With all of our travels (I’ve earned the tag Wandering Writer), I can’t help but let those adventures influence my writing. Death Among The Deckchairs takes place entirely on a cruise ship. Over the years we have taken 53 cruises and are planning an around the world cruise for 2015. Up next in the series will be Secrets Among The Shamrocks which will take place in Ireland where, in 2011, we spent a month exploring.
What’s the toughest part of being an author? For me, it’s time to write. All total, we travel around four to five months of the year. I have to find time to squeeze in my writing while waiting in airport lounges and finding quiet corners on a cruise ship when we are away. Please note: I am not complaining. Internet is not always available or good so keeping up with my platform on social media is difficult at times as well. My biggest problem is having more ideas than I have time to write them all. A nice problem to have but it is like trying to chose which child you love the most.
I think one of the toughest parts of being an author though is putting yourself out there by submitting to agents and publishers and getting rejected. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing. It still happens and you still feel a let down. Recently I spoke to an enrichment class of 5/6 graders about being an author and dug out some of my rejection letters. (Yes, I started long ago when they still used snail mail.) The kids were amazed at them and it was one of the things they kept refering to in the thank you notes they sent me. My message was: don’t get discouraged. They were about to enter a writing contest and the teacher was grateful that I had spoken to that part of a writer’s life.
What are you working on now? Next up is my sequel to In A Pickle (Martin Sisters Publishing), the story of a 65 year old pickle entrepreneur who puts marijuana in her pickles thinking it is marjoram and gets into all sorts of trouble. The second in that series will be called Pickledilly and will find Annie Pickels and her friend Edna traveling to England for the inspiration to their next pickle recipe. When she returns, Annie will be challenged by a realtor who claims she doesn’t own the farm she lives on. Her pickle business will grow championed by the young man who got her into all the trouble in the first book.
KAREN ROBBINS is a freelance writer, author, and speaker. She and her husband are travel addicts and stop by home in the Cleveland area of Ohio on occasion to repack the suitcases. Her stories are often inspired by adventures in many different parts of the world. Along the writing adventure, Karen has published Divide The Child, Murder Among The Orchids, In A Pickle, and Death Among The Deckchairs. She has also coauthored A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts and A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts and has contributed to several Chicken Soup books. Travel articles, essays on grandparenting, and some of her short stories can be found in various magazines both online and in print. While the world is fun to explore, Karen most likes to spend time with her eight grandchildren. They offer the greatest adventures of all. Find Karen online: www.karenrobbins.com Follow Karen’s travels at Writer’s Wanderings. Connect with her at her Facebook Author Page
Readers, Karen is offering you a freebie:
Use coupon code BX36W for a free download of Murder Among The Orchids at Smashwords.com https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/82884
Use coupon code MX52W for 50% off Death Among The Deckchairs at Smashwords.com https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/323673
To purchase at Barnes & Noble:
Please leave a comment for Karen. I will give away one copy of the paperback edition of Death Among The Deckchairs next Monday. Have a great week, readers. Happy reading! Mary