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MEET THE AUTHOR: Karen Ingalls (Ovarian Cancer Survivor/Memoir & Novelist)


Our guest today is Karen Ingalls, author of Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. I can’t wait to find out more about the author and her memoir and get a sneak peek into her (historical fiction) novels too. Time to MEET THE AUTHOR! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

It’s a pleasure having you with us today, Karen. First, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a senior season writer, who had been writing for most of my life. I did not seek publication until 2012. I am a retired nurse with a master’s degree in human development and psychology. I live on a beautiful lake in central Florida where I enjoy golfing, gardening, and fishing year-round.

I am a nine-year ovarian cancer survivor from which most people do not survive more than five years. Since my diagnosis, I have dedicated my life to bringing the message about this lesser known cancer to women around the world. I give presentations, set up support groups, write articles, wrote an award-winning book, and two weekly blogs:

How about your family?

I’m a native Californian, who was raised in a dysfunctional family from which I escaped when I went to college in Boulder, Colorado. I have since lived in Waconia and St. Paul, Minnesota and more recently here in Tavares, Florida.

I have three grown sons, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson. My husband is my rock, caregiver, and lover. We have been married thirty-years after each of us went through a divorce.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you generally do?  

I have been writing since I was a preteen, but kept my poetry and short stories a secret. Due to the dysfunctional family situation, I did not trust to share my writings with anyone. My first published book was in 2012. It is a non-fiction, memoir. My two novels are written about family and social issues.

I have always journaled and after I was diagnosed with the cancer, a close friend encouraged me to get the journal published. In 2012, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir was published and won two awards. I dedicate all proceeds to gynecologic cancer research.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your memoir? 

Though it is a book specifically about my journey with ovarian cancer, it is a book to which anyone with any type of cancer or terminal disease could relate. Our emotions, tests, drug effects, bodily changes, and support/caregiver system are similar.

What prompted you to write “Outshine”?

When I was diagnosed, there were very few books available about this particular cancer. The internet had many sites, but many were either too medically technical or written by a lay person whose statements were often inaccurate, unfounded, or prejudicial.

I was hoping that my book would give women important information about ovarian cancer, share my experiences so they might be better prepared, and to offer hope and inspiration. I believe that no matter what challenge we might face, we are to learn and become better people from it.

Do you have a favorite line from OUTSHINE? 

“I have learned that any rain that falls in my life is just droplets, and it’s up to me whether I will let those droplets flood away my spirit. Sometimes we need to build up levees through more prayer, erect dams for permanent changes so the soul can grow, do a dance to pray for more sun to heal any wounds, or just take an umbrella to give temporary protection as we build up our strength and will.”

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Writing the book was “easy,” it was the editing that was the hardest part. My editor was wonderful to work with and I cannot thank her enough for all she did to make my book a well-edited one.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

I do many speaking engagements locally and now more recently, nationally. I never charge for my presentations because I do not want to be denied the opportunity to spread the word because of a fee. My talks are in front of large and small groups; service organizations, churches, women’s groups, and neighborhood gatherings. My audience has included men and women, nurses, pharmacists, and community leaders.

For absolute fun and to get away from the seriousness of cancer, I play golf 1-2 times a week, belong to a card club, women’s group, and love to escape with a good book. Meditation and laughter are two very important things I do as often as possible.

Tell us about your novels.

My first novel, Novy’s Son, the Selfish Genius is based on a true story of one man’s life-long attempt to receive unconditional love from his father. In the 1980’s Robert Bly wrote “The Iron John” which prompted me to write about how one father put too many demands and expectations on one son, who did not know how to pass on the Iron John teachings to his son. This is a common social problem.

Davida: Mistress & Model of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is based on the true story of America’s premier sculptor in the late nineteenth century and his love affair with his model. They never married but their love lasted for twenty-five years from which they had one son. Saint-Gaudens is most famous for the $20 gold piece. He is my great-grandfather and Davida is my great-grandmother. My grandfather lived in shame his entire life as a “bastard” and my intention is to remove the stigma from him.

Where can readers find your books?

                My books are all available on amazon. Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.com/Outshine-An-Ovarian-Cancer-Memoir/dp/1592984622

http://www.amazon.com/Novys-Son-The-Selfish-Genius/dp/B01B02VQY

http://www.amazon.com/Davida-Model-Mistress-Augustus-Saint-Gaudens/dp/1530397871

What’s next for Karen Ingalls?

I am working on a third novel which will complete the trilogy. I plan to continue to blog twice a week.  I welcome guest posts anytime. I plan to contribute more to Rave Reviews Book Club and RWISA (Rave Writers International Society of Authors). My dedication to spreading the word about ovarian cancer, be available to those in need of support, and to do whatever I can is my top priority.

Thank you, Bette for having me on your blog. I appreciate your support.

Thanks so much for coming to share your story with us, Karen.

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for joining us today. I invite you to chat with Karen in the comment section below. Don’t forget to grab one of her books on Amazon and get ready to enjoy a great read. I’m currently reading Karen Ingalls’s novel Novy’s Son, the Selfish Genius—a fascinating and beautifully written story.

Happy Reading!

Bette A. Stevens

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

“Style & Profile” Blog Tour – Welcome @KimCoxAuthor – #RRBC


I’m honored to welcome guest author Kim Cox who is here today to tell us about her new book.  She’ll also give us insight into writing a series. Read on to find out all about it and discover how to enter Kim’s giveaway to win a gift card or eBook, too! ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Writing the Series: Style & Profile

Books so far: ALL THIS TIME and BEFORE WE WED, and coming in 2018, FOR THE DEFENSE

ALL THIS TIME, book one, was supposed to be a stand-alone, simple marriage of convenience, best friends, short contemporary romance. I’m not sure why but I can’t write a book in just one genre thus the romantic suspense and paranormal mystery books I’ve written. Short stories, yes, I can make it happen, but it just doesn’t happen in my novels. At least, not so far. I have a couple of other romance books in mind, so we’ll see what the future holds on that score.

The first book has four strong female characters and somewhere near the end of writing book one, I decided to make it a series, giving two of the other females their own books. Since Sarah started dating Jon near the end of book one, she was chosen for the next book. However, I came up with the storyline for book three before book two’s story came to me.

Before I could write book two, BEFORE WE WED, I had to figure out the storyline for these two characters. Normally, for me, the story comes to me first and then I find my characters. The reason it came to me the other way this time was because I was using characters from the first book.

So, the what ifs started. Jon Clayton owned a body shop so what if he’s arrested for some type of crime. What type of crime could he be involved in? He owned an auto shop, so what about letting him get arrested for stealing stolen goods and running a chop shop (slang for stealing cars or car parts and selling them off).

Okay, I do watch a lot of cop shows but this came from someone I knew once who was arrested for this. I didn’t know him personally or well, but he was the dad of a girl I went to school with. I remember how devastated she and her family was over his arrest. They’d had no idea.

Then I had to come up with where to start the book. Then I thought how awful it would be if they were getting married when he was arrested. After that was decided, the title of BEFORE WE WED just came to me.

Book 3, FOR THE DEFENSE is Lynsi Patterson’s and Jaxon Montgomery’s story. They first meet in book 2 when Lynsi finds a lawyer to represent Jon. The storyline for this story came from a news article I read about a woman who’d been wrongly incarcerated for something like twenty years, but was being released because a witness, one that’s testimony convicted her, was found to have lied about everything. It came out after the witness died that she’d lied.

So, I thought, what if there was more of a reason than someone lying but there was someone who’d paid her to lie and who didn’t want the truth coming out. This someone is willing to do what it takes to keep the secret, even murder again.

Now I’m thinking about writing two more books in this series, sort of spin offs from book two. One of the two books would be about Kate and Liam Roberts’ witness protection. The other would be Kara Martin Lewis (Sarah’s twin) finding love again and her small Georgia inn. I haven’t made up my mind yet, so stay tuned.

I have so many books I want to write that I’m not sure I’ll have time to write the others already planned and write those two new ideas that came to me recently while writing BEFORE WE WED.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon-Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?

Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their motives?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An author of Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, and Romance, Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chainsaw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers, (Scooter and Harley) and an adopted Yorkie/Maltese mix (Candi). She’s also a mother and grandmother.

Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. Her published works consist of Romantic Suspense Novels, a Paranormal Mystery series, and short stories.

Besides writing, cover design, and publishing, Kim presently works a full-time position outside the home as MIS Specialist for a Workforce Development company.

She is a graduate of Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing, and has associate degrees in the fields of Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies.

Go to Kim’s Readers List and visit her at the following sites:

Social Media locations:

Follow the tour:

https://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/style-profile-blog-tour-kimcoxauthor-rrbc/

“Kim is hosting a giveaway, where FIVE lucky winners will receive one of the following prizes: (1) ebook copy of “ALL THIS TIME” and a $10 Amazon Gift Card or (4) ebook copy of ALL THIS TIME.”

“To enter Kim’s giveaway, simply leave a comment anywhere along the tour!”

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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