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


I
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

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Where to Find Karen Malena’s Books

Amazon

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?

Piggy
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 ~

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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 Carol Moncado

Welcome, Readers! 

This week I have the pleasure of introducing you to author Carol Moncado, who writes contemporary Christian romances (often with royals :-), otherwise known as Romantic Dramedy in the Ozarks—and beyond.

Carol Moncado’s a hoot, so this should be fun! Don’t forget to comment below for a chance to win one of Carol’s books in digital format via Amazon’s gift option.

Congratulations to Paula Shreckhise, winner of this week’s drawing!

Life as Carol Moncado

Hey all! I’m so happy Linda asked me to be here today! YAY! I love Linda and her sense of humor!

I write romantic dramedy and originally set it all in the Ozarks because that’s where I live. I’ve been here almost 25 years and plan to die here (a very long time from now :).

I moved from Phoenix when I was 17 to attend college in Springfield, MO. One of the first people I met was this cute supervisor at the local Chick-fil-A where I’d be working. One thing led to another and we’ve been married over 20 years now!

Carol Moncado’s Family Circus

We claim four kids and two dogs who weigh less than many hardback books (okay – not quite, but they weigh a combined 12 lbs.).

Our sixteen-year-old daughter works for our old boss at one of the local Chick-fil-As. She plays tenor saxophone quite well and took her solo to state last year. She also plays clarinet and alto saxophone and wants to learn to play keyboard. Bandmomming is my life in the fall!

Our fourteen-year-old daughter plays flute and does color guard.

Our almost-thirteen-year-old kiddo plays trumpet and does color guard. She wants to play French horn but not yet – and got a keyboard for Christmas!

Our youngest is our only boy. He’s ten and still in elementary so we’re not sure what he’s going to play just yet :).

I’ll be a band mom until 2025. Or longer. The oldest plans to direct her high school band when she grows up and her director retires. Then I get to be band godmother!! With hubby’s acquisition of a triangle at Christmas (he’s planning to rock the triangle solo), we have 22 instruments in the house (23 if we can find his tambourine from his childhood).

Me? I play the radio. On a really good day, I can get Pandora to cooperate… 🙂

CANDID Publications Carol Moncado
We also have a Shorkie
(shih tzu/yorkie mix) named Mr. Benny who weighs 5 lbs and a Yorkie named Jett who clocks in at a whopping 7 lbs.

A Job in Another Time

I spent fifteen years teaching at a local community college, the best of both worlds. I got paid to talk to grownups but my kids were rarely in daycare more than 15 hours a week and often less than that. God also managed to orchestrate it so that when I needed the option of staying home, I was making enough from my writing that I could afford to.

Carol Moncado’s Debut Experience


The first book I ever wrote
(for real anyway) has a working title of Unbreak Her Heart. I adore the story and the characters, but it needs a major overhaul before I release it.

A whole bunch of books later …

I realized it was time to “fish or cut bait” as it were, and I made the decision to “go indie” and publish books myself. I created my own publishing company, CANDID Publications, bought stock photos, edited the best I could, and went for it.

Book 1 for Carol Moncado

CANDID Publications Carol MoncadoMy first release was Finding Mr. Write, Book 1 in the CANDID Romance series. Two authors who travel together to a writer’s conference (much like ACFW’s) find themselves accidentally married. It was so much fun to write and incorporate nods to some of my friends and favorite authors as I did.

I’d pitched it and several others over the years. I signed with ACFW’s 2017 Agent of the Year Tamela Hancock Murray with Grace to Save. We pitched it around, but no takers.

The indie thing hasn’t been easy, but it’s been totally worth it. Tamela has been incredibly supportive over the years and is still my agent even though she doesn’t really have anything to do on my behalf while I’m an indie. Perhaps if I sign a traditional contract some day and become “hybrid”…

Many of those other books have since been published. But four still languish (along with a whole bunch of half-written ones).

Book 2 for Carol Moncado

My second book released a week after the first and was set mostly in Serenity Landing with an honest-to-goodness Crown Princess as the heroine. Good Enough for a Princess took off so I’ve been writing mostly royalty books ever since. I  revamped the covers a bit because the Montevaro Monarchy series and the Brides of Belles Montagnes series kind of went together. They became the 6 novel + 1 novella series The Monarchies of Belles Montagnes.

The Serenity Landing Second Chances series of three books tells the stories of the last of the royal siblings from the three countries that make up the Commonwealth of Belles Montagnes).

Carol Moncado’s Books, Books, Books

Starting with Finding Mr. Write, I’ve published a total of 23 books, with the 24th up for preorder. In that number are two more novels in the CANDID Romance series.

My summer series, Serenity Landing Lifeguards, has two novellas.

The Christmas series, Serenity Landing Teachers, includes three novellas (though one is currently only available in a boxed set). They’re all set in Serenity Landing, MO, a fictional town near Springfield.

My one single novella is set in a bakery in Minnesota.

But one thing I love about my books is that they’re all set in the same “universe.” Characters cross over or pop up in unexpected places. I didn’t set out to write royal romance, but that’s what’s happened!

What’s Up With Carol Moncado Now?

I’m currently writing in a new series – Crowns & Courtships – involving the royal families of two fictional countries in the Atlantic Ocean/ Sargasso Sea, with two other countries on tap.

A prequel novella (Dare You) and Book 1 (Heart of a Prince) start eighteen months before the end of Book 3 in Serenity Landing Second Chances. Then there’s a sort of inbetweenie novella out as part of the super fun Out of the Blue Bouquet set. 

Book 3 (The Inadvertent Princess, the second full novel in the series), is due to release January 31.

Book 5 (mostly written) picks up immediately following Book 3 of the Serenity Landing Second Chances series, merging the two different timelines.

My very favorite book isn’t officially part of a series just yet, though Book 2 should release next year. Grace to Save opens on 9/11 then skips ahead to 2017. (Click to Tweet!) It’s a story of prodigals, redemption, forgiveness, and the incredible grace found in Christ. (Plus the teenager on the cover is my oldest daughter :). If you’ve lost track, that’s 14 novels and 9 novellas, with novel #15 releasing next month.

Clear as mud? Yeah. I have a hard time keeping up with all of it, too, which is why I’m building (with the help of a couple of dedicated friends) my own wiki site. It’s found at www.hea-tv.com (that’s the fictional version of Hallmark) and has book summaries, timelines, and a glossary of characters, etc. It’s definitely a work in progress but we’ll get there – and I’m trying to keep up with new books as they release.

Final Thoughts from Carol Moncado

I have been so incredibly blessed with readers and readers who’ve become friends and friends who’ve become my readers. I quit my (admittedly quite part time) day job to write full time and wouldn’t trade it for the world. God’s managed it so that I could. A number of other commitments eased just in time for the band mom thing to really take off. It’s allowed me to commit to being there for my band kids (and, hey, they’re all my band kids :-). I get to be a part of that in a way many parents are unable to. That has been such a huge blessing.

How to Find Carol and Her Books

My main social media is Facebook. You can “follow” my profile at www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolMoncado and like my Books page at www.facebook.com/CarolMoncadoBooks. You can join my Reader’s group at bit.ly/MoncadoReaderGroup which is great fun and has teasers and cover reveals, etc.

All of my books appear on Amazon and are in Kindle Unlimited, except Finding Mr. Write and Good Enough for a Princess which are free :).

I blog occasionally at my website www.carolmoncado.com. Check out “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Carol Moncado’s Fictional Universe – and more” at www.hea-tv.com (though it’s still in progress)!

~ ~ ~

Lord, we’re so grateful You created the gift of story. Thank You for equipping writers like Carol Moncado, who thrills us with romance, delights us with comedy, holds us spellbound with drama, and inspires us with faith—in each story she writes. Be with Carol as she directs her Family Circus. Bring their dreams to reality. And bless every single word Carol writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Carol Moncado

  1. Becka

    I just love your (Carol’s) books. So far, I’ve only read the CANDID and Belle’s of Montagnes series. I have plans to aquire the rest in short order. Is there a master list of the order of books (since they intertwine)? Also, I find myself curious about Prince William. Are you going to write a book about him too? 😀

     
     
    1. Great to have you in our circle, Becka! Isn’t Carol a wonderful storyteller? You’ve encouraged both of us. God bless!

       
       
    2. Carol Moncado

      Hi Becka!!! I’m so glad to hear that!!!

      Yes!!! William’s story is RECLAIMING HEARTS, book 3 in Serenity Landing Secknd Chances (1 is Jonathan Langley-Cranston; 2 is Christopher Bayfield, Alexander’s twin brother).

      There’s a list on my website (that needs updated – note to self – but should be good through last summer or so). There’s also the HEA TV site that has lots of stuff on it (or in progress) including a sort of “master timeline” (that also needs updated but should also be good through last summer or so).

      You can find them at:
      http://www.carolmoncado.com/timeline
      http://www.hea-tv.com

      Message me on Facebook if you can’t get those to work.

       
       
      1. Carol Moncado

        (Actually, I’ve JUST discovered there’s an issue with my website. That first one should work… once I figure out what the issue is…)

         
         
    3. Carol Moncado

      AH! Not sure what happened, but think I figured out how to fix it. More time than I’ve got right now so the links on this page may not work, but this link itself should…

      http://www.carolmoncado.com/my-books/timelinebook-order

      🙂

       
       
      1. Becka

        😀 Thanks! I did try to access the info earlier on your site. The links worked great. Guess I’ll be buying the second chances books very soon. I want to read stories of all those characters!

         
         
  2. Becky Smith

    I enjoyed this interview with Carol. We have had 2 of our children go to college in Springfield, and we live not far from there – in Kansas City, Missouri. And we have a son who lives in the Ozark region. I actually bought 8 books (I just checked on Amazon) of Carol’s, but haven’t had time to read them yet. But I do look forward to reading them.

     
     
    1. Another reader who’s taken with Carol! I hope your TBR pile will soon diminish and you can get a taste of Carol’s personality. She’s such a joyful person! Loved having you in our circle this week, Becky. You’ve encouraged us. God bless.

       
       
    2. Carol Moncado

      Hi Becky! I moved here to go to college, too! Met a cute boy and stayed ;).

      Most of the stories have a connection to the Ozarks in one way or another, though not quite all do. (Okay, so one of the books in the current series is tied strictly by yarn sent from the Ozarks to Eyjania, a fictional country near Iceland.)

      I hope you enjoy them when you get a chance to read them!!! I understand a TBR pile that’s way too big!!!!

       
       
  3. Paula

    Wow! What a busy life you lead. We retired to Lebanon, Just 45 minutes upthe interstate from Springfield. We have travelled up to Hermitage for my husband to preach a few times( small church with no permanent pastor) . The scenery is very pretty down here. I have three of Carol’s books. Unfortunately I have yet to read them. My bookshelves are too full! I need to get to her books! Thanks for the glimpse into Carol’s life!

     
     
    1. Busy is right, Paula! Thanks for joining us. You’ve encouraged us! God bless.

       
       
    2. Carol Moncado

      Hey! I have some friends (writing friends even!) in Lebanon! In fact, I have a fictional town set in the area – Spring Meadow I think I called it that’s basically Lebanon :). I hope you enjoy the books when you get to them!

       
       

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