Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Thankful Author 2019- Karen Hulene Bartell

As an author, I’m grateful for many blessings. To begin with, I appreciate a creative imagination that remains childlike and receptive—despite the mounting decades.
I’m thankful for my talented editor, who renders my books more engaging. Whether she corrects inaccuracies, checks facts, questions assumptions, corrects POV slipups, or fixes the inevitable spelling and syntax errors, my editor is the meticulous engine behind my books.
But if I consider the entire publishing process, I’m grateful for the literary industry’s many facets—my author colleagues, who not only write books that inspire and delight, but who support each other; the bookworms, bibliophiles, and book club members, who read our labors of love; the community librarians, who share their time and knowledge; and let’s not forget the publishers, who provide the framework to convert our thoughts into bound pages.
All these diverse aspects are integral to the literary process. So, with the Thanksgiving table nearly set, I’m honored to sing the praises of the often overlooked talents and heroes behind the book bindings.


Hours after arriving in the Florida Keys to help her cousin Keya create a turtle preserve, Ruth discovers a washed-up body and not one, but two apparitions—Maita, the angry victim's spirit, and Bart, a swashbuckling ghost. Ruth's curious ability to connect with the ghosts may help them move on, but how?
Keya is in a probate battle over her turtle-nesting beach. Land-hungry relatives want it bulldozed and developed. Like Ruth, she has a special gift—she can talk to animals. Between Ruth's help and Keya's unique ability, they work to save the property, but is it too late?
Can Keya save her beloved turtles? Can Ruth find Maita's murderer or help Bart solve his 400-year-old mystery? There's more than meets the eye to Keya's land. Add in a dashing sailor who believes in her, and Keya may have more than she bargained for…


“These nesting grounds are the reason I’ve fought to keep this property intact. If this beach is developed, the impact will destroy it, but fighting the lawsuit is expensive. I’d hate to sell this place to pay court costs.”

“But you said keeping the nesting grounds intact is only part of the reason you stay.” Ruth gave her a sympathetic smile. “What’s the rest of it?”

“Call it my legacy.” Keya stood up straight. “When I’m gone, I’d like this beach to remain as nature intended it…for the turtles. Since I’ve never had children—”

Earnestine meowed.

Keya grinned. “That is, except for my furry, four-legged kids, I’ve never had children. I have no one to leave it to other than who or what will make the best use of it. Conveying this land to the turtles would be my way of leaving the world a better place.” She turned toward Ruth. “Does that make sense?”

She nodded. Her cousin’s intentions were clear. “But legally, how can you will the property to the turtles?”

“Easy. I leave it to the Turtle Refuge.” Keya chuckled as they meandered along the beach. “And this is where you come in. When you’re writing the brochure, add a few paragraphs about planned giving and charitable bequests…” Keya stared as if in a trance.

“What’s wrong?”

Her hand shaking, she pointed to a shady patch of beach half hidden by sand dunes. A lifeless hand lay tangled in seaweed, its fingernails broken and bloodied.

Racing behind the sandbanks to help, Ruth skidded to a halt, her heels digging into the sand. A woman’s bloated body lay staring at the sun, her eyes opaque and unseeing. “Do you recognize her?”

“No.” Keya shook her head as the cat gingerly approached, sniffing and meowing. “But Earnestine said she smells familiar.”

“Knock, knock,” called a man’s voice.

Ruth flinched at the sound. “Who’s there?”

About the Author:

Author of the Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life. She writes multicultural, offbeat love stories steeped in the supernatural that lift the spirit. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Wanderlust inherent, Karen enjoyed traveling, although loathed changing schools. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Hill Country with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.

Buy Links:

Amazon eBook: https://amzn.to/2XV2wO1  
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2yfSB7b   
Barnes & Noble NOOK Book: https://bit.ly/2YFHWgQ  
Barnes & Noble Paperback: https://bit.ly/2yuBEWO
The Wild Rose Press: https://bit.ly/2ZsH1lm

Connect with Karen:


  1. Karen, you're so right! I don't know where I'd be without my editor. Probably in a corner, sobbing. And I too am so grateful for the support of my fellow authors. Enjoyed the post!

    1. Thank you, Laura! Yes - have to agree - I'd probably be in a corner, sobbing. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. And what an honor to be part of your process!

    1. Bless your heart, Dianne, you have no idea how glad I am that you're a *major* part of the process. We're a team!

  3. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Angela! It's a pleasure to be here!

  4. Beautiful post, Karen! And I've named my editor, "A Guardian Angel with a ruler." :) All the best!

    1. Mary, I like your editor's nickname, "A Guardian Angel with a ruler." Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by!

  5. Love your list of thankful fors! Right on targt :)

  6. Thank you, Barbara - authors and readers have a symbiotic relationship, but all of us in the publishing business are so interconnected and dependent on each other. Thanks for your kind words!

  7. Too true! We are all so lucky to have the people in this industry who support us in this very challenging process. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, CB, and I sure appreciate your kind words. Just read about "creating a syndicate," where a group of authors support each other to make each of them a success. That's the way to succeeding in the challenging business.

  8. Yep. I agree, editors and authors that support us is fantastic making this tough industry a bit easier to muddle our way through. Good luck with your book and all your endeavors!