10 October, 2012

Karen Wojcik Berner On Her WOW Women on Writing Tour

I would like to welcome Karen Wojcik Berner, author of The Bibliophiles Series to Celticlady's Reviews

Maeve Binchy: A Contemporary Classic
By Karen Wojcik Berner

Thank you for having me here today. When I found out Celtic Lady was a part of my WOW! Women on Writing blog tour, I couldn’t help but think of Ireland’s most popular author since James Joyce, and one of my personal favorites, Maeve Binchy.

I first discovered her work while rummaging around a Barnes and Noble store almost twenty-three years ago. I had a feeling I’d enjoy “Circle of Friends” after checking out the back cover copy. Immediately hooked, I went on a Maeve Binchy binge, eagerly gobbling up all of her previous novels.

Over the years, I took her with me on the train to and from work every day, on business trips, even to my mother’s house, so she, too, could enjoy the stories. I have every book available in the United States, plus a few of her short story collections.

Reading a Maeve Binchy novel is like a literary hug — warm and enveloping — but not sappy. Her tales of Ireland speak of everyday life, whether it was going off to college, swapping houses on a whim, or starting a restaurant.

Hers was a gentle writing style, but, please do not confuse this with weak. By no means was her work so light you could not find a universal truth in it anywhere or so tepid there was no feeling.

No, Maeve Binchy wrote about loss, love, infidelity, relationships, occupations, and expectations. She wrote what she knew, and it was wonderful.

I had the good fortune to meet her once, during an appearance at the bookstore down the street from my house, where she signed my copy of “Evening Class.” I didn’t want to gush all over her, so I wrote a letter saying how much I loved her work. A few months later, she wrote me back thanking me for my kind words. She used to write everyone back, not her assistant, mind you, but actually her.

Maeve Binchy was gracious and captivating. As soon as she spoke that day of the book signing, everyone in the room was drawn into her stories.

Just like her books.

Have you read any Maeve Binchy books? If so, what was your favorite?

Thank you Karen for stopping by today on your tour, I have not read all of Maeve Bincheys books but I do intend to one day!!

About Karen

Karen Wojcik Berner lives a provincial life tucked away with her family in the Chicago suburbs. If it was good enough for Jane Austen, right?

However, dear Miss Austen had the good fortune of being born amid the glorious English countryside, something Karen unabashedly covets, so much so that she majored in English and Communications at Dominican University. Like the magnificent Miss Austen, Karen could not help but write about the society that surrounds her.

A book lover since she could hold one in her chubby little toddler hands, Karen wanted to announce to the world just how much she loves the written word. She considered getting a bibliophile tattoo but instead decided to write about the lives of the members of a suburban Classics Book Club. The series is called, of course, The Bibliophiles.

When she isn't reading, writing, or spending her time wishing she was Jane Austen, Karen spends her time can be found sipping tea or wine, whichever is more appropriate that day, and watching Tim Burton movies or "Chopped," her favorite foodie TV show.
Find the Author Online:
Website: http://www.karenberner.com/
Blog: http://karenwojcikberner.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Whisper-to-a-Scream-by-Karen-Berner/299878283817
Twitter: @KarenBerner

A Whisper to a Scream Book One

Ovulation detectors. Hormone surges. Anxiety-ridden dreams. This is the world in which Annie Jacobs is thrust when she and her husband John receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. A 37-year old PR executive, Annie has wanted to be a mother since she first cuddled her Baby Tenderlove at age five. She is dreading another Christmas of relatives asking when they will be hearing the pitter patter of little feet, and Uncle Joe slapping John on the back, telling him to relax and take a cruise. Lots of people get pregnant on vacation, you know.

Across town, stay-at-home mom of two, Sarah Anderson, attempts grocery shopping with a toddler intent on hurling items from the cart at passersby. She notices a box of rice heading straight for a gray-haired head. Leaping across the aisle, Sarah grabs it, saving the woman from certain doom, or at least a minor head injury. Little Alex screams at being thwarted. The unknowing octogenarian shakes her head and admonishes Sarah for not knowing how to keep her child quiet in public.

"A Whisper to a Scream" is the story of two women on opposite ends of the child-bearing spectrum who come to realize the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. A vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage and its problems, the novel speaks to a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.

My Thoughts

The first book in the Bibliophile Series is about two women on the very different women who happen to meed at a book club. Sarah is a frazzled mother who would love to spend more time with her husband and other adults in general. Annie and her husband have tried every measure that she can think of to conceive a baby and nothing is working out for them. Two very different but similar women. We often find out that the grass is not always greener. I wonderful novel written with compassion, with very believable characters and situations. I enjoyed it immensely!

You can go here and enter for a chance to win a copy of A Whisper to a Scream

About Until My Soul Gets it Right..Book Two

Until My Soul Gets It Right Book Two
You can't run away from yourself. 

Catherine Elbert has never been good at making decisions, whether it was choosing an ice cream flavor as a small child, or figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. The only thing Catherine knew for sure was there had to be more to life than being stuck on her family’s farm in Wisconsin. 

While watching a PBS travel show, Catherine becomes entranced by Portland, Maine. The ocean. The lobsters. The rugged coast. Nothing could be more different from the flat, nondescript farmlands of Burkesville. Despite her parents threatening to disown her and her brothers taking bets on how many days until she comes home, Catherine settles on Peaks Island, off the coast of Portland. 

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