Today’s special author is Karen Leigh Gruber to chat with me about her new women’s fiction, When Lions Roar.
During her virtual book tour, Karen will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To enter for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Karen Gruber is an international #1 best-selling contributing author, inspirational speaker, and a Leadership Development Coach for women and moms. She specializes in inspiring moms to realize their potential as mothers, women, and leaders. Karen has had extensive specialized training in parenting, feminine spirituality, and leadership. Over the past 15 years she has provided innovative leadership coaching for moms and has dramatically transformed her own life.
Sharing her life with her husband Jim and daughter Jaymie, presenting her message to other women, and traveling the world bring her the greatest joy.
She is the founder of The Inspired Mama, a company located in gorgeous Denver, Colorado that focuses on the inspiration, leadership, and wellbeing of women and moms.
When Lions Roar is Karen’s debut fictional work. She is freakish about Christmas lights and loves to play Baccarat.
Welcome, Karen. Please tell us a little bit about your debut release.
Two women from different lands, each struggling to survive; a child’s mysterious disappearance will alter both their lives forever…
Maggie has become unrecognizable to herself, succumbing to the predictability of being a mother and wife. Every day she reminds her daughter to brush her teeth, has the same conversation with her husband about what’s for dinner. Maggie struggles to cope with the disenchantment of the monotonous tedium that has become her life. Despite her boredom, when her husband David is called on assignment to South Africa, Maggie resents having to rearrange her life just because David has decided they all need to traipse halfway across the globe.
While on safari, Maggie awakens one morning to a mother’s worst nightmare; their daughter Hannah has gone missing. Just when things can’t get any worse, Maggie is confronted with the harsh truth of her emotionally abusive marriage and what she has allowed her life to become.
When Lions Roar is set against the backdrop of the exotic and intriguing landscape of South Africa, when the country is reeling from the aftershocks of apartheid. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to abandon the fragile ties of her marriage and confront her self-destruction in time to save the life of her daughter?
Excerpt from When Lions Roar:
After several days, while David had left on assignment, Akilah came to see me. Although there was alarm in her eyes when she first saw me, that shifted to compassion as she found me lying across the bed. Unwashed for weeks now, my mouth was crusted over and my hair a tangled mess. I reeked of alcohol, filth, and despair. Quickly, she ran to the bathroom and started the tub. Gingerly, she lifted my arms and began to guide me toward the tub. I resisted her.
“David is coming back. He will find you here. You must leave,” I pleaded.
“Not until you are washed.” She helped me into the bath and proceeded to wash me as one would wash a little baby. It was with such tenderness and loving hands, I thought I might simply dissolve under her touch. She started at my neck, face, and mouth and wiped away the crust that had been lingering there for far too long. She lifted each arm with the warmheartedness of a mother. As she washed up and down the length of my arm, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast of her dark skin, which seemed so strong compared to my delicate white skin that could peel away at any moment. She pitched the top half of my limp body forward in order to scrub my back. I could feel the suds from the sponge trickle down my spine into the water below.
What are four things you can’t live without?
I’m going to take this very literally, because of course there are people that I could not live without, but things: rich dark coffee, lip balm, books, and flowers.
What is your favorite television show?
I recently got turned onto Shitt$ Creek and I am loving it. The characters are so over the top and the acting is phenomenal. The dialog is clever, and I laugh simply watching the facial expressions and body language.
If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
I would choose to be Scarlett O’Hara because this character got to experience so many facets of life from grandeur of great wealth and beauty to despair and poverty through war. The character of Scarlett O’Hara experienced so much of life that many of us will never see.
What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
My next book that I’m working on is nonfiction, titled Sacred Sex Ed for Girls. This is a coming of age book, dealing with issues that young girls and women in general deal with throughout their entire lives. It is my belief that if we teach sex education in a different way our girls will be safer, happier, more confident and self-loving.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
My favorite book of all time is Gone with the Wind. I love how Margaret Mitchell takes you from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows without missing anything in between. Her prose makes you feel like you’re on the plantation or you’re at the barbecue or in the hospital ward, it is an incredible journey to be taken on.
I admire authors who do something different with their writing like Wide Sargasso Sea, where Jean Rhys took a classic Jane Eyre and the reference to the crazy woman in the attic and turned it into a turn to a new story, into a prequel. She created a story of the woman in the attic and how she came to be there. Writing like that is fascinating. This kind of creativity and out of the box thinking is not a formula, it is influential and inspiring. I hope readers feel the same about When Lions Roar.