I’m especially excited to introduce today’s guest. Karen is one of my authors at The Wild Rose Press, and her books are wonderful! They are a fun mix of humor, mystery, cooking, and murder. (Yeah, I said that… :))
Please help me welcome author Karen Whalen, sharing her latest release and the…
“10 Moments That Changed My Life”
- My mother pulling me in the little red wagon to the public library each week before I started kindergarten. I checked out the maximum number of books allowed each time—ten.
- My English teacher in high school encouraging me to join the newspaper and yearbook staff. She saw something in me that I was not aware of myself. Many people have attributed great things to teachers who made a difference in their lives. Teachers have impact.
- Finding my soulmate, marriage and children. Nothing is more fulfilling in life.
- Moving from Illinois to Colorado. I should have been born in the west because I am a westerner through and through.
- Landing a paralegal job at a major law firm in Denver. This taught me analytical skills and taking care of details.
- Joining Toastmasters. This gave me confidence in public speaking and taught the value of an elevator speech (a 30 second, concise, plug for yourself or your book).
- Receiving a reply to a fan letter I wrote to Erma Bombeck. I have always been a huge Erma Bombeck fan, reading her column and all of her books. Her writing is both profound and humorous.
- Teaching CLE classes for paralegals. Once I worked my way through Toastmasters, I started teaching day-long seminars for continuing legal education credits. This was an incredible career booster and confidence builder.
- Submitting my first article to a national paralegal magazine and being asked to write a regular column. At this point I realized writing was something I wanted to do full time and started taking my efforts seriously.
- Joining a gourmet dinner club group taught me how to host a dinner party, how to set the table and present gourmet dishes, and how to plan an event. I also learned to be daring in trying out new and complex recipes for the first time while hosting 6-8 people for dinner! This became the basis of my dinner club murder mystery series.
Fun, Karen! Your passion and enjoyment for the dinner club really shows through in your writing. Love the little red wagon story. 🙂 Thank you so much for joining me today!
Jane Marsh wants to shake off the empty nest syndrome, plus the notoriety of the death of her first and second husbands, by starting over in a new place. She sells her family home to move to a far northern suburb of Denver. At the same time, Jane’s dinner club is undergoing a transformation, and a new man—a gourmet chef—enters her life. But, things turn sour when, on the day Jane moves into her new home, she discovers a dead body. She cannot feel at home in this town where she’s surrounded by cowboys, horse pastures, and suspects. Not to mention where a murder was committed practically on her doorstep. How can she focus on romance and dinner clubs when one of her new friends—or maybe even her old ones—might be a murderer?
She slipped outside into the warmth of the early September, blue-sky, Colorado day to check on her puppies sniffing around their new territory in the backyard. Leaning over the deck railing facing the lot to the east, she gazed into the bottom of an open excavation where a basement was being poured. Someone had parked a tractor down in the dirt, and near it a white cowboy hat lay on the ground. A man’s hand stretched toward the hat’s brim. Had someone fallen into the pit?
Jane bounded down the deck stairs and out the wooden gate, only stopping for a moment to secure the latch. She rounded the corner of her new house and rushed to the adjoining lot, pausing near the edge of the concrete that formed the basement’s foundation.
A man was shoved against the corner of the foundation wall. His torso and legs were partly covered with dirt. The cowboy hat concealed the top of his head. His left hand almost touched the brim, as if he were about to take off his hat and say, “Howdy do.” A large manila envelope lay a foot or so away from his other outstretched hand.
On the envelope tall, block letters spelled out: “Jane Marsh—welcome to your new home.”
Karen C. Whalen is the author of the Dinner Club Murder Mystery series. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado. Karen has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and participates in a local writing group, the Louisville Writers Workshop.