Category: Writing

There be Dragons…

There be Dragons…

A new bundle including the illustrious Kevin J. Anderson and myself and others is available at your favorite online retailer.

My novel, Ice Dragon, is a post-apocalyptic YA with zombies, romance and, yes, dragons!

Check it out!

The Care and Feeding of Birds… and Novels

The Care and Feeding of Birds… and Novels

I put up a new birdfeeder the other day. It’s not the feeder oriented toward small birds like rosy and gold finches or chickadees. This one is solid wood, with a solid tray and a wooden roof that I inherited from my parents’ house. I decided to throw it up on my back deck as a way to get rid of some bird feed that I had had left at my house.

The first day a few little birds fluttered over from my other feeder to try it out. This carried on for a few days, but they clearly preferred my tube feeder with the chopped sunflower seed. I waited anxiously to see whether anyone would like the plain bird seed, peanuts and sunflower seeds in their shells. About three days in suddenly I had a vivid blue visitor—a cocky Stellar Jay. Not long afterwards there was a second—a youngster who kept bugging his mother to feed him even though he was perfectly capable of feeding himself. These two kept the feeder busy, taking turns feeding and teasing my Bengal cats in the process.

Two weeks later the population of Stellar Jays has doubled with four of the forward little fellows coming in to feed. They also take great pleasure in teasing the cats by hopping right up to my sliding screen doors. There are also two or three flickers that come in to feed as well as the usual mix of smaller birds. It’s kitty T.V.

The process of building a population of bird neighbors got me thinking about the care and feeding of novels—mainly because this spring and summer life has kept me from being able to write as much as I would like to. It got me thinking about how the kernel of an idea for a novel is a lot like putting out a birdfeeder.

Writing a novel requires the same faith as putting up that bird feeder, but instead of waiting for the birds, as a writer I’m waiting for the visitations of ideas. When I first put fingers to keyboards to start a new novel, it’s like hanging out the birdfeeder. There are tempting ideas there, there may even be ideas about the characters you intend to include, but the reality is something else. The core of the idea is there, but finding the other ideas that make a novel a novel is another matter altogether. After all, a bird feeder without birds isn’t much of anything at all and a novel without layers of ideas is at most a short story.

In the best of cases, new ideas come as you write. They really do seem to flutter down of their own accord, attracted by your initial idea—some even strut onstage cockily much like a Stellar Jay. The best of them you never see coming, leading to a veritable Eureka moment. The ideas that surprise the writer are my favorite kind and are usually the situations or reversals of fortunes that please readers the most, too. They are the ideas I strive to find in my stories, but in truth I think the ideas find me.

This year my creative process seems to have been dampened by dealing with too many family issues. It feels like my bird feeder is empty. And yet…

I wrote a short story the other day (good or bad, who knows) and I saw a pileated woodpecker for the first time since I moved into this home 18 months ago. My plan for this challenging time is to gradually get back into writing and to blog about the process.

And I will remember my bird feeder metaphor. If I start the novel, the big ideas will come.

Wish me luck.

Back to Burma (Myanmar)

Back to Burma (Myanmar)

I traveled to Myanmar (Burma) in 1997 while I was living and working in Thailand. At the time, the country was still mostly closed to foreigners. Only select parts of the country were open. During my month ‘in-country’ (the maximum the visa allowed) I conducted research on the Burmese puppet troupes and stayed at small guesthouses for a better chance of meeting local people. Unfailingly, everyone I met was giving of their time, knowledge and their kindness.

That began my love affair with Burma. (You can read more about my travels here.)

Since then I’ve written a number of novels set in Burma, including the modern, paranormal romance Shades of Moonlight.

In April 2017 Guardbridge Books published Death By Effigy, the first in my historical Aung and Yamin Fantasy Mystery series, in which an aging puppet singer and a mischievous puppet, must solve the murder of the king of the puppets or risk the destruction of the entire troupe.

I’m pleased to announce that the second in the series, A Death In Passing, has just been released, continuing the trials and tribulations of Aung, the puppet singer, with his troublesome assistant, Yamin, as they try to solve the murder of Burma’s most powerful spirit dancer.

In all of these books I’ve attempted to be true to the country’s culture and to accurately present the wonderful nature-magic systems (with a few embellishments). Burma seems to be in my blood and I envision more novels set in this wonderful and varied country. Whether historical or modern novels, I hope to capture the country’s magic for readers.

If you’ve traveled in Burma, I’d love to hear how I did.

Covers, Cover copy and Categories

Covers, Cover copy and Categories

Hi everyone, I’ve come to the conclusion that a set of covers may not be working properly for a series of novels of mine. The series is set in a beach resort town in the summer. It involves a romance. Sounds like a contemporary romance, right? The challenge is that the story also has paranormal elements and a building suspense. The level of darkness and suspense builds throughout the series, though I’ve kept the summer feel of the place. So I’m going to show you two covers for the first book in the series as well as the two blurbs and I’d really appreciate feedback on which better conveys the idea of the story I’ve described above.

Current Cover and Blurb: 

Unlocking Her Heart_cover_final 200-300When Kylee Jensen returns from Africa, she leaves behind her fiancé and brings back a badly broken heart. To heal, she seeks out her best friend in the idyllic lakeside town of Peachland, where she meets bad boy vintner Brett Main. Meeting Kylee might just be the incentive Brett needs to change his ways, but Kylee’s barely mended heart can’t take a man like Brett. Then a mysterious death disturbs the peace that Kylee desperately needs, and only Brett can keep her from being next on the killer’s hit list. A killer on the prowl, a peculiar bracelet that won’t come off, and a man she can’t handle… Africa is starting to look a lot safer than Peachland.

Karen L. Abrahamson creates a cast of wonderful characters in this, the first book of the Bracelet contemporary romance series. The book takes readers to the sun-soaked Okanagan Valley where orchards and vineyards cover the hills and sometimes magic raises its head, like the ancient Okanagan Lake monster.

Possible New Cover and Blurb: (note that the cover is still in draft form so it still has shutter stock on the images)

Bracelet 1 cover23 200-300In this supernatural romance, Kylee Jensen had worked hard to turn a string of bad luck into a life that every woman dreams of. She’d met the love of her life, they’d both quit their jobs, and she and her fiancee were on a romantic round-the-world tour together…until things fell apart.

Returning to North America with nothing but the realization that she’s a disaster at relationships, Kylee seeks the help of her childhood best friend who co-owns a new-age jewelry store with three other women in the small beach side town of Peachland. Drawn into the shelter of the group of friends Kylee finds herself the focus of their efforts to help her heal. All seems well…until Kylee tries on a mysterious magical bracelet linked to a recent murder.

Brett Main is the typical beach-bum, bad boy—at least he used to be. With his blonde good looks, and his half ownership of Elkhart Winery, a long line of women litter his past. But then he meets Kylee. The petite blonde may be everything Brett ever wanted, even if she has vowed not to become involved with anyone.

When supernatural forces threaten Kylee, Brett realizes that he’s in danger of losing her. Kylee and Brett will have to come together with their circle of friends to defeat a ghostly, entity that can turn any man into a killer.

Fans of steamy sex scenes, suspense and the paranormal will enjoy this story of evil infiltrating a summer beach town.

Upcoming Anthology Cover Release

Upcoming Anthology Cover Release

With One shoe front coverPLAYGROUND OF LOST TOYS – Editors Colleen Anderson and Ursula Pflug

Release date December 1, 2015

A dynamic collection of stories that explore the mystery, awe and dread that we may have felt as children when encountering a special toy. But it goes further, to the edges of space, where games are for keeps and where the mind plays its own games. We enter a world where the magic may not have been lost, where a toy plays for keeps or computers and gods vie for the upper hand.  Dolls, stuffed animals, wooden games of skill, ancient artifacts misinterpreted, and items that seek a life or even revenge; these lost toys and games bring tales of companionship, loss, revenge,  hope, murder, cunning, and love, to be unearthed in the sandbox.

The Playground of Lost Toys contains, With One Shoe, by Karen L. Abrahamson.

Upcoming Release

Upcoming Release

Image3 - posterized copy2Through Dark Water

K.L. Abrahamson

I’m excited to announce the Phoebe Clay mystery series with book one set on the cold waters of Canada’s Inside Passage.

School teacher Phoebe Clay had to retire after a terrible school shooting at her high school. Always known as the person to call when a mystery troubled her academic world, now she takes her crime solving skills to a larger stage.

Through Dark Water, puts Phoebe on a kayaking trip to see the resident killer whales of Coastal British Columbia, Canada. When a whale turns up dead on the first day of the trip it only sets the stage for murder and mayhem on a more human scale.

Coming September 30, 2015.

Ebook Cover 200-300

NEW RELEASE: Book 2 in the Unlocking Series

NEW RELEASE: Book 2 in the Unlocking Series

Unlocking Her History – Karen L. Abrahamson

Book 2 of the Unlocking Series

As a runaway teen Chloe Main ended up on the seamier side of the street but escaped through the help of kindly New Age friends. Years later she has put her life together—almost. She still doesn’t trust men and still doesn’t trust herself around them, but she uses her New Age practices to center herself. When a robbery threatens the livelihood of Chloe and her friends, solving the case means she has to deal with hunky realist Detective Jas Stone who seems determined to be more to her than the investigator of the case. But the threat of more robberies might mask someone’s darker motive—one that hinges on the mysterious silver bracelet Chloe now wears. It may take more than Jas Stone to protect her from them.

Karen L. Abrahamson returns readers to the magical, sun-filled Okanagan Valley, where ley lines give power to healing stones, and friendship and love are always the heart of living well.

Available as an e-book at: 
AFTERIMAGE NOW AVAILABLE

AFTERIMAGE NOW AVAILABLE

Afterimage – Karen L. Abrahamson

With the destruction of the American Geological Survey complete and the Gifted and their power no longer a secret, all Gifted must choose to fight or flee. The mortally wounded agent Vallon Drake and her friends run for the border, desperately hoping for the help of the ancient Cartographers who, so far, have considered the Gifted far beneath their notice.

But dealing with the Cartographers reveals a personal history that Vallong never wanted to know. When those responsible for the AGS’s destruction find a way to block the Gifted’s power, Vallon must overcome her past to face a threat that will destroy not just the Gifted, but all life on earth.

Karen L. Abrahamson delivers another breakneck adventure that leaves the reader gasping in this fourth book of the American Geological Survey. With its twists and turns and memorable characters, Abrahamson delivers an ending that begs for “just one more”.

Available in print, here.

Available as an e-book here:
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