Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Guest: Karen Rose Smith

Please welcome Karen Rose Smith to the convertible today, to chat about writing and other passions!

Hi, everyone. I'm so glad to be here blogging with you.
            Whenever I write a blog, I like to give a few details about myself. I live in Pennsylvania but the Southwest is my favorite place on the planet. The scenery fills me up creatively and spiritually the way nothing else can. Cooking is my favorite hobby and I once won second place in a national Bisquick contest! I find recipes can be as interesting to put together as plots. Early on—in my teens—I wrote poetry and began a book manuscript. Music fed my creative bent then and still does today. Favorite singers? Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert and Josh Groban. What can I say? My tastes are eclectic.
            Are any of you watching American Idol this season? Aaron's one of my faves. His songs really touch me.
            So what's going on in my life now?  Weekends spent with friends and family, along with lots of writing the rest of the time.  I just finished one series and will be starting a new one.  But my passion right now—with the snow melted and the sun finally shining—is planning summer gardens, planting herbs, and creating recipes that will be tasty with what we grow. This year, I even bought a hanging strawberry plant.  Then there are the twenty tomato plants I grew from seed that are sunning here, there and everywhere.  I'm really into "preservative free," so I like to freeze them for winter.  But this Memorial Day I'll probably give away plants to friends and family because I can't possibly grow and use that many.
            By the way, has anyone tried the TASTE OF COMFORT FOOD "Diet" cookbooks?  They're terrific. Everything from cranberry-orange pork loin in the crock pot to turkey sausage lentil soup with tortellini.  I grew up in Italian households.  My grandmother and mother were wonderful cooks and food meant comfort and love.  The challenge now is to incorporate their recipes—I have boxes of them in their handwriting which makes me feel close to them—into a healthier way of eating.  It's a challenge, but I'm enjoying it. 
            Do any of you find comfort and remembrance in using family recipes?
Speaking of enjoying spring weather...  My kitties Ebbie and London love sitting at the window listening and watching birds, squirrels and rabbits.  When they aren't doing that, they are my constant companions overseeing my transplanting or purring as my hero and heroine fall in love.  They keep me company and make me smile.  If any of you have pets who enrich your lives, I'd love to hear about them.
            On to writing.  My latest series, The Baby Experts, is still keeping me busy.  In the last three books of this series, I tackle issues more serious than the others. My March book, THE TEXAS BILLIONAIRE'S BABY, is the fourth in the series and deals with a heroine who has date-rape in her past. The fifth book, THE TEXAN'S HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER (May) spotlights a heroine who is a 9-11 widow. The sixth book in the series, TWINS UNDER HIS TREE, will be released in December and focuses on an Afghanistan veteran's widow. The hero is an Iraq war veteran. I located the books in Sagebrush outside of Lubbock, a medical center for West Texas.  Most of my heroines in this six-book series have practices in a health center there.  An old Victorian house seemed to be the right place for all of them to live.  This house appears to have started a rumor—any woman who lives there will find true love!  The series is about women forming sister-like bonds and supporting each other through the milestones in their lives. It's also about healing...emotional as well as physical.
            Today  I'm hoping to start a new chapter and do some editing. Then tonight... Maybe we'll have some healthy comfort food! I hope all of you have a terrific day.
Karen Rose Smith

Award-winning and best-selling author Karen Rose Smith will see her 70th romance published this year.  She grew up in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Valley and still lives a stone's throw away with her husband--who was her college sweetheart--and their two cats.  She especially enjoys researching and visiting the West and Southwest where her latest series of books, The Baby Experts, is set.  Readers can visit her at for info about her latest releases and excerpts or at her fan page on Facebook.


            Raina Gibson never expected to be attracted to one of her little patients' dads. But Shep McGraw isn't a dad to ignore. The Texas rancher is adopting three boys and he cares about them with all of his heart. But Raina's husband had been a hero, a firefighter killed on September 11. She never intends to fall in love again.  Yet a day with Shep on his ranch in a secluded glen when passion takes over leaves her pregnant.  Shep's proposal of marriage is both a solution and a challenge...because Shep guards his heart all too well. She doesn't realize he's keeping a secret about his youth that he feels prevents him from becoming hero-material. 
            Will Shep's secret destroy their new marriage?

Find out in THE TEXAN'S HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER, a May Silhouette Special Edition available at the end of April.  


Betina said...

Welcome, Karen!

I'm all for the comfort food-- and if somebody,anybody could find a way to make it healthier and less fattening, I'd be forever grateful. I'll have to look for that book.

And congratulations on your series. I LOVE stories that emphasize how women love and support each other through crises. That's been part of my reality and I wish it was true for every woman.

Carol L. said...

Hi Karen,
I love the blurb from A Texan's Happily Ever After.
I love all of Taste of Home's cookbooks. :)
I too grew up in an Italian household with my Mom and Grandmother. And every time I make one of their recipes it's a feel good kind of meal because making it brings me loving and fond memories when they were still with me.:)
Carol Luciano

Karen Rose Smith said...

Hi, Betina--Thanks for stopping by. Sometimes I use recipes from the cookbook as a take-off point and then do my own thing. As far as the series...I always wanted a sister. This is my way of bringing that wish to life.

Carol--My mom's recipes are so important to me. And there are certain ones that I just can't get to come out like hers! Sugar cookies and lemon fluff are two of them.


kmt1976 said...

I have my grandmother's recipes and can't get them to come out like hers. One time when I was trying to lean (at her side) she would add ingredients and I would write the recipe. When I asked her how much of a certain ingredient she was adding she replied, "Till it looks right!". I guess I never get it to look right :>)

Helen Brenna said...

Hi Karen, welcome and congrats on the new release!

The recipe book sounds like a keeper. Will have to check it out.

I LOVE the concept you came up with where characters live in a particular house to find true love. How fun!

And can you send a couple tomato plants my way? lol

Karen Rose Smith said...

kmt-Yep. Many recipes they kept in their heads and never recorded. My grandmother made home-made cannoli--shells and all. I finally found a company who makes shells I like. So I had to come up with my grandmother's cream filling. A few years later, I think I have! So now there a definite part of the holidays again.

Helen--Thanks for the congrats. I have two of the Taste of Home comfort cookbooks--the Comfort Food Diet and Guilt Free cooking. The soups are especially good. We had cold weather last night and had to cover a few outside flowers we'd planted. I'm hoping in another month those tomato plants will really shoot up!

lois greiman said...

Thanks for joining us Karen and best of luck with your wonderful series.

Now I must eat cuz you've made me hungry. :)

Cindy Gerard said...

70 books? Wow! Congratulations on such a huge milestone!
And thanks for joining us today. Love the kitty photo. And I think I'm going to have to check out the comfort food diet cook book.
AFTER I get back from RT, that is. Heading for the airport now.
Later guys...

Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Karen--


You'll have to come back and go into great detail about your herb garden. Hubby's been wanting to do something like that.

We are home to twenty tomato plants, too. We have 3 tomatoes as of yesterday. Whoo hoo! (g) It's been pretty chilly here this spring, so I'm surprised any have poked their heads out.

Karen Rose Smith said...

Lois--Have a terrific lunch!

Cindy--Have fun at RT!

Debra--I tried to grow some herbs from seed but that didn't work well this year. We have a great home and garden place and that's where I bought a few--chives, garlic chives, basil, cilantro and a few kinds of lettuce. I ordered others from a catalog I like--marjoram, sage, oregano and thyme. I'm also waiting for a lemon trio--lemon grass, lemon thyme, and lemon balm. The great thing is that for Mother's Day my hubby got me the wooden bin on legs and wheels. It's terrific. I think readers will probably start to see more herbs in my books!

Kathleen O said...

Karen.. I have a lot of friends in PA..they live just over the NY state border near Erie...have been many times and PA is a lovely state..
I love Your Baby Expperts series and I have Gina's story on my bookshelf... and I cannot wait to read the next books in this series... I have also started series "The Foleys and the McCords".. Thanks for giving me so many great reading hours...

Also I am going to search out this cookbook.. Sounds great..

Anonymous said...

Kathleen--This series has been a real challenge and a joy to write...especially these last three books. Gina's book was particularly emotional for me. The sixth book--Lily's book--took me places I'd never gone. I had a contact in the Army National Guard who was a monumental resource. Veterans have a special place in my heart and Lily's book tugged at me the whole way through. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

My book in the Foleys and McCords saga was so much fun to write. I'd worked in a jewelry store years ago and have always have had a love and interest in all kind of jewelry, semi-precious and precious stones. So using some of that in The Texas Bodyguard's Proposal was easy and fun.

I planted planters for the patio this morning. But this afternoon I have to write. I'll check in later.

Karen Rose Smith said...

I didn't mean to be anonymous! Have a great afternoon, everyone.

KylieBrant said...

Hi Karen, welcome to the convertible! And congrats on the new book. Love the cover!

Karen Rose Smith said...

Kylie--I always hold my breath until I see the cover. Thanks for having me here.