Let’s Chat! Author Karen Malena

Welcome, Readers!

This week we’re visiting with Karen Malena, author of inspirational, dystopian, and fantasy fiction. Not exactly sure what dystopian or fantasy entails? Keep reading, my friends … and be inspired.

P.S. Karen’s offering “a few” of her ebooks to the winner(s) of a drawing among those who comment below. Let’s keep the conversation going!

**Congratulations to drawing winner, Phyllis Scott!

Karen Malena Before Authoring

feel that my true writing journey actually began when I was a very young girl. My mother had a form of mental illness and was hospitalized many times. It was frightening for me, but it began my love of reading and making up stories to escape all of the seriousness surrounding me. (Click to Tweet!) 

Family Life

My close-knit family’s strong faith got us through this difficult time, and God restored my mother to us by a miracle. I like to believe that going through this experience as a young child, helped ready me for the journey of Alzheimer’s and dementia that we faced with Mom for the last several years.

Once again, I was able to channel the seriousness, write about it, and inspire others with my blog and writings. (Click to Tweet!) 

How Authorship Began for Karen Malena

Janet SimcicSo many times throughout my life, I would begin a fictional story, but put it aside. It took me until about eight years ago, when I met a man in our small group Bible study at church who had some published pieces, to finally join a writers group and pick up my desire to write once again.

Karen Malena’s Debut 

First, I wrote a book which is out of print now, Shadow of My Father’s Secret. I went with a very small publishing company. There was never a more exciting moment than actually seeing my name on the Amazon site for the first time.

More Novels for Karen

Then I released two books about golden year romance which came from that time: Love Woven in Time and Love Finds a Way.

Another of my books, Reflections From my Mother’s Kitchen, is a fictionalized memoir-type journey of some of the situations our Italian family had gone through. Conversations with a faith-filled mother guide Kate, my main character. (Click to Tweet!) 

A Dystopian Tale

I also went out of my comfort zone with a story inspired by the impersonal way I see our young people communicating today—only by texting and electronic devices—so my dystopian story, Sound of Silence, was born. It is a futuristic tale in an era where speaking is not permitted any longer, creepy and cautionary. (Click to Tweet!) 

A Bit of Fantasy

And lastly, due to the popularity of my son Matt3756 YouTube channel, I wrote Piggy, a fun, fantasy story about his cat. It’s a great book about friendship, food and fun.

Life at Present for Karen Malena

Ligonier, Pennsylvania

My husband and I enjoy traveling to the quaint town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, located in the Laurel Highlands. It was at one of our stays at a bed and breakfast that I began formulating a story while thinking of my parent’s love in their senior years, Mom’s growing dementia, and my love of that beautiful town.

Sharing Through Articles

I belong to a group, AlzAuthors, and am most comfortable blogging about my caregiving journey with Mom’s dementia and aging parents. I also have an article coming out in Guidepost magazine’s sister publication, “Mysterious Ways,” this spring entitled “The Earrings” about my mother’s near death experience. It is my hope to be a blessing to those who face the heartbreak of dementia, losing their parents, or anyone who may identify with one of the characters in my books.

Reaching Out to Others

Now I love to encourage others to begin their own writing journey, or speak at events at senior centers and libraries. (Click to Tweet!) 

How to Contact Karen




Where to Find Karen Malena’s Books


Love Woven in Time by Karen Malena
Harry and Rose meet in their golden years in quaint Ligonier, Pennsylvania. A warm friendship is forged and their lives become intertwined in ways even they won’t believe.

But will Rose’s secret from her teenage years tear their new found friendship apart? Will the sins of Harry’s past revisit him and shatter all hope for happiness?

Love Finds a Way
Harry and Rose McMillen from Love Woven in Time return in this story. Their love in their senior years is an inspiration to all who know them. But as Rose senses that her beloved is losing precious memories more rapidly, she begins to wonder how long they really have together before the ravages of time and age erase precious moments forever.


Reflections from My Mother’s Kitchen
In the quaint, old steel town of Ambridge, Pennsylvania, Kate has known adversity. While she and her mom share the stories that molded their lives, Kate begins a journey of self-awareness and hope.

But when tragedy knocks on a seemingly innocent morning, will the warmth of a mother’s love be enough to carry her through?

Sound of Silence
A dark, all-encompassing law blankets the country. Driven by one terrible secret, a powerful politician brutally suppresses speech for the sake of order and holds the country in the palm of his hand.

In Sound of Silence an ominous new society is introduced leaving us with the question: What if?

What do a cat and mouse have in common? One little kitten is about to find out.

This is a true story, one of an unlikely friendship, great bravery, heroes and villains.”

~ ~ ~

Lord, You are our eternal Sustainer. We praise You alone for preserving life and faith and trust. Karen Malena has walked a path few have known. Only You could have brought her into her place of security, joy, and service through writing. We honor You as we honor Karen. Please bless each word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~























15 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Karen Malena

  1. Wonderful interview Karen!.. I enjoyed reading your inspirational life story!!

    1. Thank you so much, Tammy for the comment! Much appreciated.

    2. Hi, Tammy. So good to see you here. You’re another inspirational author with an inspirational life story! I’m grateful to know you.

  2. Katie Perez

    Amazing that writing was to therapeutic for Karen! I write on my free time, (what free time? I have 3 kids 6 and under) but I want to ask; as a writer, is there a specific tone you go for writing wise? As in, one that will appeal to all types of walks of life? Or do you just write from the heart, and the audience will create itself? Thankful Karen for sharing your story. ♡

    1. Hi, Katie. So good to see you in our group today. Karen and I are both authors. Her books and mine are in different genres. I write historical fiction. Like Karen, I weave my family’s trials and the overcoming of hardships through faith and grit into my stories. My ancestors’ tales deserve to be preserved and shared, so that’s what I try to do. I love how Karen reaches out to others from her own experience with a family member’s mental illness, Alzheimer’s, and other brands of dementia. Please join our chat again. A new author each Wednesday. God bless.

    2. Hello Katie. Excellent question! Thank you for reaching out. I know what you mean about spare time. When I was part-time caregiver for my parents, working a full time job, and of course having a full time husband, I wondered how I found time to write. But I took small pockets of peace wherever I could find them and even if it was only ten minutes here or there, I would write what I loved. In my fiction, I usually am inspired to write a little of the truth of situations, but of course we need dramatic elements as well. I’ve been told to “keep ’em guessing, so once again, in fiction, we need to think of something to move the story forward so your reader will want to turn that page. But when I write blogs and such, I look within my heart. I, too, believe that gritty soul-searching writing is what people need. They have something that touches them in a more personal way. Thank you again for your wonderful comment!

  3. Great interview! Karen’s got a wide range of books to choose from.

    1. Hi, David. Thanks for pulling up a chair and joining our circle 🙂 Yes, Karen has quite a range, and I’m now one of her fans. Please come again. A new author each Wednesday.

    2. David, thank you so much for stopping by and for all the sharing and comments that you always do for me. It is very much appreciated, my friend. Wishing you success in your journey as well.

  4. Phyllis Scott

    I’m not sure what I am replying about. But, I do want to encourage Linda in her writing especially about mental illness and dementia. I appreciate how some are able to articulate experiences with either of these. My father suffered many years with manic depression and the dementia in his latter years and my mother suffered right along with him. God has blessed her by giving her over 12 years, after his passing to heal and build a rich life. I think the worst thing for families is they get isolated because people have a hard time loving and supporting because they don’t take time to try and understand.

    1. What a wonderful contribution you’ve made to our conversation, Phyllis. Thank you. But it’s Karen Malena who has had the life experience with family mental illness and Alzheimer’s. She’s the one who speaks and writes and ministers to seniors and others affected by mental illness and dementia. My grandmother’s mother was in and out of their home due to mental illness for several years until she was finally committed for good and lived out the remainder of her life—48 years—in the asylum, so my grandmother at 11 years of age became the woman of the house and substitute mother to her three siblings. Others in my family know what it’s like to be in Karen’s position as a child. I so admire Karen’s devotion to others through her knowledge and experience with this most devastating disease. I hope you’ll visit this blog again. Sign up on my home page, and it’ll arrive in your Inbox every Wednesday with another author to get to know. God bless.

    2. Hello Phyllis. I want to thank you for your comment and sharing your own story as well. The stigma of mental illness is one of the most difficult things a family will go through. I am always grateful when I share my story and someone reaches out and says they, too, know what it is like. My mother’s battle with depression as a young woman was devastating to our family, but we had a miracle. She returned from one of her hospital visits completely healed. I can only classify that as a true miracle because she was not only suicidal, but at times didn’t know who she was. She went on to own several small businesses in life and was my best friend. It was when Alzheimer’s robbed us yet again of her in her last few years, that all those feelings returned from my childhood. I’m so glad your mother was able to enjoy her life after all the difficulties. Thank you again for reaching out.

  5. Dianna Kennedy

    I became a lover of Karen’s writings when she first started. We became quick friends. I associated with certain things she wrote about.

    She is a very talented woman with a deep faith. God has blessed her with the talent to tell her stories which touch the lives of so many people.

    God bless her and may she continue with her path. I am so proud to say I am a fan and a friend.

    1. Thank you for joining in, Dianna. I don’t know Karen personally, but I’m definitely a fan after this interview. Please visit the blog again. A new author every Wednesday. God bless.

    2. Dear Dianna, I have been blessed in my life to get to know you through my writing. You are a dear friend and your words of encouragement always spur me on to continue. Thank you for seeing in my writing what I want to convey: that faith is the answer and goodness is not gone in the world. I appreciate your comment here and your friendship.


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Let’s Chat! Author Janice Cole Hopkins

Welcome, Readers! 

I‘m tickled to introduce you to author Janice Cole Hopkins, who has penned seven historical novels and four contemporaries with just the right amount of romance. 

Janice is giving away a digital copy of her latest release, It All Started at the Masquerade, so be sure to join our conversation below!

*Congratulations to Jane Theriot, winner of this week’s drawing!

Janice Cole Hopkins’s Pre-Author Life

grew in Appalachian culture, and 5 of my novels are set there. With a B. S. in history and an M.A. in the teaching of reading, I taught public school (mainly history and English) and wrote for magazines. I’ve traveled extensively, going to all 50 states and 40 other countries. Married to a pastor, I have a grown son and daughter and 4 grandsons. I’m interested in so many things I have a hard time listing them – arts and crafts, photography, travel, history, folk studies, drama, etc. But the driving force in my life is my Christian faith. I can use any or all of this in my writing.

A Debut for Janice Cole Hopkins

Cleared for Planting was my first published book. It is the first in the four-book Appalachian Roots series set in the North Carolina mountains in the 1800’s.

I always wanted to write a historical novel, but with all my other interests, I didn’t sit down to do so until I became my mother’s caregiver. This as an example of how God can use even bad situations for good. Writing my first novel 5 years ago and publishing my first, Cleared for Planting, 3 years ago, I haven’t stopped writing yet. I found my publisher by attending a Christian writing conference that had interviews with publishers.

Janice Cole Hopkins, a Prolific Author

After publishing the first four books with the traditional publishers and talking with other authors I enjoy (like MaryLu Tyndall and Tamara Leigh) I decided to also try indie publishing. The authors had moved from well-known publishers to totally indie publishing, mainly because it gave them much more control over the process and allowed them to earn more.

I published the next seven books with some formatting help. However, I do have another book coming out with my traditional publisher. I can actually write them faster than we publish them, so having two ways of publishing works for me. (Click to Tweet!)

Appalachian Roots Series

Living in the Appalachian Mountains in 1804 takes a strong person, and the unexpected can be lurking just around the corner. Emma has high hopes when her family moves to the North Carolina mountains. Her father appears to have finally quit drinking, and he plans to settle their family once and for all near the Linville River. Here Emma meets Edgar Moretz, an intelligent, passionate, and godly young man. Things are looking up for her, but when she is captured by a Cherokee raiding party, Emma’s problems have just begun.

Years later, Clifton has finally finished his medical training and plans to spend some time at his family’s mountain farm until he can decide his next step. He also hopes God will send him a special woman to become his wife. But when she arrives unexpectedly, he finds that the road to happiness is not always smooth. (Click to Tweet!)

The Appalachian Mountains are a beautiful place for life and love—but they can prove harsh and treacherous to the unexperienced. After the death of their father, Ivy and Leah Morgan are suddenly thrust into unpleasant, arranged marriages by their mother. Ivy, however, has other plans. Having fallen in love with Luke Moretz, Ivy is insistent upon running away to Luke’s farm in the Appalachian Mountains—far from her home and her mother’s disapproval.

Convincing her sister to come along, the Morgan girls leave town with Luke. Along the way, feelings between Ivy and Luke become strained as Ivy’s true personality and distaste for the mountains begin to show. Luke must face following his growing attraction to Leah or keeping his promise to Ivy. Meanwhile, Leah can’t help falling for all the things about Luke that her sister seems to dislike. Mixed emotions and the testing of relationships lead to dangerous and unfortunate circumstances that put any chance of future happiness at risk. Will this journey bring the sisters closer than ever, or drive them further apart than they could have ever imagined? (Click to Tweet!)

When brother must fight against brother, tragedy and terror become all-too-familiar visitors. The fate of a nation, and a family, hangs in the balance.
It’s 1862, and the Civil War has arrived at last in Appalachia. Fearing that he will be drafted by the Confederacy, Luke Moretz leaves his farm and his wife, Leah, behind to join the Union. Although he loves the South, Luke can’t abide slavery. However, Luke’s brother-in-law and best friend, Lawrence, disagrees and will fight for the Confederacy. How can Luke keep his faith when faced with insurmountable obstacles and horrendous conditions amidst the turmoil of war?

Meanwhile, at their mountain farm, Leah is weighed down with the responsibility of now taking care of the family. Scavengers, raiders, and bushwhackers are always a threat in the Appalachians, but deserters and slave catchers pose new dangers. Hawk, the Cherokee brave who has long loved Emma, helps ease Leah’s burdens, but nothing can soothe her heartache. Plagued by fears of a husband lost to war, she knows she must lean on God now more than ever, but hope begins to run scarce in these difficult times. (Click to Tweet!)

Love is God’s greatest gift, and sometimes what you’re looking for has been yours all along. When her Aunt Ivy invites Rachel Moretz to come to the family’s Stanly County farm, she jumps at the chance. Though Rachel loves her parents’ mountain farm, she feels isolated there. There are no other teenagers at home, and at sixteen she’d like to finally have some friends her age. She barely remembers her half-cousin, Patrick, though he seems to have intriguing memories of her.

Patrick soon becomes Rachel’s best friend, helping her navigate many uncertainties while introducing her to Stanly County society. The trip down the mountain will bring unexpected friendships, suitors, and dangers. Rachel will have to rely on family for support as she faces unexpected trials and prejudices. Through her circumstances, Rachel must come to realize that the best plan for her life is God’s plan, and that forgiveness comes in many forms. In Transplanted to Red Clay, the final book in the Appalachian Roots series, the Moretz family’s story comes full circle in love. (Click to Tweet!) 

Other Books by Janice Cole Hopkins

When Winter Is Past
With Summer’s Songs

The Farmers Trilogy:


Mountain Mishap

It All Started at the Masquerade

What’s Up With Janice Cole Hopkins Currently?

I always have writing projects underway and usually in at least two stages – one that’s an unfinished first draft and one that I’m editing. Once I wrote a 101,000-word manuscript (which the editor had me cut to 89,000 words) in three weeks. That’s my record and I doubt if I will break it.

I plan to publish Deceptive Matters, which is a romantic mystery, next. It’s been through the editing process, but I’ll read through it one more time before I publish.

After that, I’m thinking about publishing On the Road to Jericho, my first Christian non-fiction. It’s already written, but I’m still working on getting it to read as smoothly as I want. Besides these, I have 7 manuscripts finished and 8 ideas for others rolling around in my head. I live with characters for a long time, getting to know them and the setting well, before I start writing.

My main goal in writing is to glorify God. In accordance with that, all my profits from the books go to a scholarship for missionary children. (Click to Tweet!)

How to Contact Janice Cole Hopkins

Web page/blog

Email: janicecolehopkins@gmail.com

Twitter: @J_C_Hopkins

Facebook:  (Please like this author’s page)

How to Purchase Books by Janice Cole Hopkins

All book stores can order them for you.

Or you may order from Amazon. 


~ ~ ~

Lord, what a privilege to write for You and to share an author such as Janice with readers. You planted Janice in Appalachian soil even before she was born, and now she’s producing fruit for Your glory in that same rich soil. We thank You for her passion for You, and we pray You’ll bless every word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake















9 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Janice Cole Hopkins

  1. Wonderful to know that our American history is being preserved with your writing as many in this country are trying to erase our history. I cannot wait to begin reading your books. Historical fiction is my favorite. Keep writing to save our history.

    1. Isn’t that the truth, Jane! I love it.

    2. Janice Hopkins

      Thank you, Jane. I enjoyed teaching history, and I enjoy writing about it. Thank you for your interest, and hope you love my books.

  2. Marilyn R

    What an amazing life journey for Janice Cole with all her travels and growing up in the Appalachian culture. I enjoy books set in the Appalachians. I love the fact, she wants to glorify God in all her books. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. Blessings, Janice, as you continue to write. Linda, thank you for introducing this reader to another new historical fiction author.

    1. Janice Cole Hopkins

      It has been an exciting journey so far, Marilyn. Thanks for your encouragement (and all prayers are appreciated).

    2. Hi, Marilyn. Yes, Janice has led a fascinating life. I, like you, applaud her for her devotion to God’s glory through her books. Great to have you in our circle today!

  3. Lucy Reynolds

    Wow, the Appalachian books sound great. I liked Janice FB page. I enjoyed reading this. Don’t put me in the drawing as I don’t read ebooks, but I enjoyed reading about a new author to me. Blessings

    1. Janice Hopkins

      Lucy, With Summer’s Songs is also on Amazon audible if you would be interested in that. Thanks for liking my fb page and reading about me in this blog.

    2. Welcome, Lucy. I agree. The Appalachian books sound wonderful. I have roots into those hills too, so they call to me.


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