Tuesday, February 26, 2013

RESCUING A KITTEN, Zoie Is Growing Up!

Since we rescued Zoie Joy on June 19, 2012, she has been eating and growing, becoming long and sleek and muscled and beautiful.  But, of course, I'm prejudiced.  Her golden eyes are the most intense and definitely part of her personality.  At the beginning of March, Zoie will be about ten months old.  She is still growing into herself. Like a teenager not quite at home in her body, she wants to run and play like a kitten but doesn't fit into some of those small spaces where she used to hide!  She runs up and down her cat tree with more force than she realizes and when she jumps down onto the recliner, she's surprised when the back thumps down and the chair makes a loud noise. (But she loves the jump.)

Zoie and London are playing like equals now.  They chase each other, stand on their back paws and bat at each other, yet take naps about three feet apart if I'm close by, too.  If we put them in the same room--like when repair men come--they each find their corner and get along.  Ebbie and Zoie are in the same vicinity most of the day.  Ebbie has her little "apartment" under a window with steps and a pillow stacked on a box to give her extra space.  To the top of the pillow, I added a thermal heat pad for Ebbie's arthritic joints.  On the other side of the steps is a stool where she can sit to catch a different view.  As long as Ebbie is in this area, Zoie doesn't bother her except to jump up there now and then to rub against Ebbie or to nip her ear to say hello.  However, if Ebbie climbs down from her apartment, Zoie will chase her back up.  (Since Zoie sleeps in my office at night, Ebbie has the run of the house then.)

Zoie's food choices are changing.  Although kitten food should be the nourishment the first year, Zoie is beginning to walk away from the kitty cans with squishy food.  She's preferring chunks, more adult cuts.  So I tempt her with the chunks to hide the squishy food underneath.  She prefers dry food, which we limit.  She will gobble up Ebbie's raw food as well as chicken and gravy from our supper.  She's partial to the odds and ends of roasted chicken wings.

Zoie is thriving.  We clip her nails once a month and she's tolerating that without much fuss when she's sleepy.  She still likes to hide under a cover for a nightly nap while we watch TV, sleep on my furry throws or high up on the cat tree.  She's beginning to sit on my desk and watch while I'm on the computer.  The birds outside the window provide her with entertainment value, though at times she still likes to jump on the chest and watch TV.

But most of all, she likes to be wherever we are.  She stretches up for a head rub often.  She cuddles close when sleeping.  Zoie Joy is still bringing us layers and layers of joy that I'm thankful for every day.

©2013 Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Another Sneak Peek from HER SISTER, Clare and Shara clash

I'm taking part in another Sneak Peek.  This week peek in on Clare and her daughter Shara  from HER SISTER, Book 7 in my Search For Love series as an emotional explosion rocks their house! (Brad is 18 and Shara is 16.  Both have skipped classes when Clare comes home early to booming music and...)

Clare knew that for the rest of her life, as she pushed Shara's door open, the scene in front of her would be indelibly printed on her brain.  Shara and Brad were naked.  Her daughter's brown hair lay tousled across her pillow, while she looked up at a boy that Clare believed she didn't really know, her hands gripping his shoulders.

Rage propelled Clare forward first.  She wanted to throw the kid off her daughter, knee him where it would hurt most, and shake him until he understood that Shara was too young to know what she was doing.

Reason told Clare that confrontation in anger never turned out well.  But how could she be reasonable when her daughter was having sex in front of her eyes?

Shaking, holding onto her temper with both hands, biting back words before they could spill out, she finally shouted, "Get off of her.  Now!"  Her voice seemed to get lost in the thumping song lyrics in the background so she yelled louder.  "Get off of her before I call the police."

The two kids on the bed froze.  Their heads swung toward her. Then in fast forward Brad scrambled to the side of the bed.

Shara squeaked, "Mom!  What are you doing home?" and pulled up the covers while Clare went to the IPod dock and switched it off.


©2013 Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website

Check out more Sneak Peeks from these authors: Sneak Peek Sunday excerpts

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sneak Peek

                                                                   NEW RELEASE!!!

Some friends from my local writers' chapter are posting sneak peeks to their work this week.  I agreed to join in by posting an excerpt from my new contemporary woman's fiction release HER SISTER. I think you'll be able to tell what it's all about from this!

"What are you trying to tell me, Mom?"  Clare's hands became sweaty as she thought about all the possibilities.  Lynnie's face at three and a half was still so vivid in her mind--the face they'd used on posters...the face she'd envisioned floating in a river...the face on the body in nightmares that had been buried in a ditch.  The not knowing had always been worse than knowing.  The not knowing is what had torn them all apart.  Clare really believed that if the police had found Lynnie's body somewhere, maybe they could have gone on as a family.


"He wants to meet with us tomorrow morning.  You, me and your dad.  He thinks he has a lead."

Clare's throat went desert dry.  Even though she'd only been five, she remembered the hope that had filled her parents' faces whenever a new lead had been phoned in, whenever there was a chance that Lynnie might have been spotted.  She also remembered the expression on their faces when all those hopes had been dashed and one day had turned into the next without teaching them anything new.

Except that they were losing each other, hour by hour, day by day, week by week.

"What kind of lead?" Clare asked, trying to control the shakiness in her voice. 

©2013 Karen Rose Smith

Sneak Peek Sunday excerpts

HER SISTER on Amazon   

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day and this Romance Writer

Valentine's Day has always been special to me.  When I was a little girl, my dad didn't say much or express emotion easily.  But on Valentine's Day he sent me and my mom flowers and put a flowery card with each one.  Every year I felt special on that day.  My husband has also always made the day special--from dinner out to something pretty in a little box.  But even more special is the week before Valentine's Day.  After our son was born, I had the "baby blues."  What helped most were the little notes and surprises my husband left for me to find each day.  He has kept up the tradition for forty-one years.

My history with Valentine's Day laid the groundwork for how I feel about romance, and relationships, and happily-ever-after.  Hope in the ideal, hope for the best, hope that love can heal and conquer all really does make my world go round.

Of course, I'm realistic.  Anyone who knows me recognizes my pragnatism.  I don't see the world through rose-colored glasses.  But I do recognize the precious moments when my son comes home from across the country, when my BFF's daughter gives me a hug, when my husband and I celebrate our anniversary, when we find a kitten in our bakcyard on my parents' anniversary.  I look for the beautiful, the honest, the balms and the balance.

And I write romance to keep the ideal alive, to bring escape, and to give hope that truly loving relationships can heal.

Karen's Romance website

Sunday, February 10, 2013

AUDIOBOOK LISTENERS, What type of audiobook listener are you?

What type of audiobook listener are you?

Many types of listeners enjoy audiobooks.  There are the car drivers who want to help their commute pass by more quickly.  They put an audiobook in and let it play while they drive.  Their car becomes a haven with something enjoyable to listen to and help pass the time.  Another type of audiobook customer likes to listen while he or she works, either clearning house or doing something methodical that doesn't recquire concentration.  One of my listeners is a biologist who reads slides at a home microscope.  She listens while she works.  I fall into the next category at times--the cook who likes to have a background story playing while she's in the kitchen.  I enjoy cooking and I enjoy reading.  Combining the two works well for me.

With the advent of smart phones, I have friends who like to hop in and out of one book or two depending on where they have waiting time.  These are casual listeners usually who just want to pass time in an entertaining way while life goes on around them.  I've found my most serious listeners are readers who have eye problems.  I fall into this category also.  Fibromyalgia affecfts my eye muscles.  I've always been greateful for audiobooks because they allow me to rest my eyes while also letting me become involved in captivating adventures, romances and mysteries.  I can totally immerse myselef in a book in this almost play performance art way.  A devoted reader might also listen in this all-encompassing manner in absolute silence with quality earphones.

Each listener listens differently and on different qquipment from an IPAD to an IPOD dock, to an mp3 device to earbuds, to earphones to the desktop computer's speakers.

If you have a chance, I'd like you to leave a comment and tell me which kind of listener you are and how you usually listen to audiobooks.  Knowing my listeners will help me make choices that will enhance your reading and listening experience.  More about this next audio blog.

Hear a sample of TOYS AND BABY WISHES or buy the audiobook at:

TOYS AND BABY WISHES Audiobook on Audible 

TOYS AND BABY WISHES Audiobook on Amazon

TOYS AND BABY WISHES Audiobook on iTunes

 ©2013 Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website

Sunday, February 3, 2013



Finding the right narrator for each audiobook is an important choice for authors who are developing their books into audio independently of a publisher.  The wonderful aspect of it is choosing your own narrator.  This is a commitment that will last at least seven years and must be a good fit to bring success to both and satisfaction to readers.

This is part 2 of my interview with Johnny Peppers, the narrator of my first audiobook, TOYS AND BABY WISHES, now on sale at Audible, Amazon and iTunes.  Johnny made my first experience with the process easy.  Here is the link for Part 1 (Johnny Peppers Interview, Part 1) .

What is the toughest part of narrating?
The toughest part of narrating is being happy with what you've done, and not nit-picking every small detail.  Things I would hear, my wife or other folks that would listen for me wouldn't hear.  I would read the section first in my head, just to get an idea of how the dialogue would progress and what was happening in the story.  Then, I would record it without stopping (including drinks, smacks of the mouth, swallowing noises and the like) and then go back and edit later.  I tried to edit as I went along, but found that I lost the moment of the story and it wasn't as engaging.

Why narrate a romance?  What other genres are you narrating?

The romance choice was an easy one for me.  I am a romantic at heart, although I have never been an avid reader of romance novels.  I found that telling a story about two people loving each other was a great story to tell, and loving the story goes a long way into enjoying the process and becoming engaged with the characters.  This allows me to hopefully express the story in that way to the listener.  When I start dreaming about the characters in a book I am reading or narrating, I know it's a good one.  I am currently working on a Suspense/Thriller, and will hopefully return to another romance when this one is completed.

What do you look for in an author's history to sway you toward narrating their book?

Honestly, I look to see that there is more than one book out in the world for sale.  It doesn't matter how popular the book is, or how much it sold last month, but is the author a bona fide writer?  Do they write multiple books?  Are they all in a similar genre?  This shows consistency of passion and knowing who they are, thus they are more likely to be serious about the product and invested in the outcome of the audiobook as I am. 

What do you like to do most when you're not narrating?

When I'm not narrating, my wife and I go to the gym every day, we play trivia at a local restaurant on Tuesday nights with friends and enjoy our time at our church.  On occasion I will consult for some small businesses in town or play a round of golf with my buddies.  But mostly, I run my business, teach my classses, spend time with my family and talk into the microphone.  The business keeps us financially viable, the teaching keeps my passion for learning, the time with my wife makes me the happiest, and the microphone fills the narcissistic desire to listen to myself speak.  Could there be a better life?
What are you planning next?

I hope to have at least one narration project going at a time.  I have one book "in the can," waiting for upload to Audible, Amazon and iTunes.  I am about half-way through the Suspense/Thriller, and hope to finish it and have another book started within the month.  After that, I will continue to audition and hopefully find projects that fit my voice and acting ability, but are stories that I enjoy bringing to life for the listener.

View a Book Trailer for TOYS AND BABY WISHES

Hear a sample of TOYS AND BABY WISHES or buy at:

TOYS AND BABY WISHES Audiobook on Audible 

TOYS AND BABY WISHES Audiobook on Amazon

TOYS AND BABY WISHES Audiobook on iTunes

 ©2013 Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith's romance website 
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website