Christmas/New Years Book Special

I wanted to give a small gift to you – the followers and visitors to my blog.


(Sorry – it’s not a cute puppy in a box.)

From now until the end of the year, my latest book “Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up” will be on sale as an ebook for 99 cents from Amazon and Smashwords (which includes the ibookstore for you iusers!)

AND THAT’S NOT ALL! (the announcer yelled)

You can get my first ebook – “Rosebloom” for free!  Yes, Free!

(To get the free version, you have to go to Smashwords. They have versions for both kindle and all other readers (including ibookstore users). Amazon would only let me decrease the price to 99 cents – the stinkers.)

And because I like you so much, feel free to share this sale with your friends and family!

Ho, Ho, Ho – Merry Christmas!

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Book Review from Sandra Butler of My Fiction Nook

This was taken from Sandra’s blog with her blessing – thank you Sandra!

Rosebloom by Christine Keleny

RosebloomRosebloom by Christine Keleny
My rating: 4 of 5 starsFrom the blurb:Rose, a precocious young girl in 1930’s Wisconsin, runs away from home to avoid going on to high school and what she sees as a certain path to marriage and motherhood. What she seeks is adventure. What she finds is much more.Rose takes a job on the River boat “Capital,” and is thrown in to the lives of the varied people and towns of the Mississippi, from Prairie du Chien to New Orleans.

“Rosebloom” takes place in a time in history that buffets Rose between the great depression and the coming wave of WWII. She gets herself into situations that test her reslove and teach her not only about herself but about the world of others, which she would have never known if she hadn’t left her small farm in Southwest Wisconsin.

Rosebloom tells the story of Rose Krantz, a 16 yo girl growing up in southwest Wisconsin during the Depression. Knowing that her family is overburdened, she decides to run away from home to seek adventure. Upon signing up to work on a river boat, she begins to realize that the world she knows and the ‘real’ world are two different things.

The author skillfully weaves historical facts into her book, and it’s easy to tell that a lot of research was done prior to writing this novel. I also found that Ms. Keleny took on some rather difficult subjects, such as racial tensions and prostitution, and handled them very realistically and very responsibly, yet managed to capture the voice of a young, naive girl whose optimism and genuine friendliness sets her apart from the people of her time.

Rose doesn’t see color – she just separates people into nice and bad. This allows her to form a strong friendship with Lilli Mae, a colored girl whose room she shares on the river boat and who works with her. It allows her to view Grandma B. as family, and be invited into the matriarch’s home. It could be argued that her lack of understanding in regards to segregation is a tad unbelievable, but I chose to overlook that aspect, and decided that her sheltered upbringing on her family’s farm was the cause of that.

Upon her arrival in New Orleans, Rose is separated from Lilli Mae at the docks, and makes the acquaintance of a Madam running a brothel. Madam E. takes the young girl under her wings and offers her a job keeping the books as well as sending her to school, plus room and board, in exchange for those services.

It is there that Rose meets Malcolm, a young, Cajun man who is a jack of all trades. They fall in like and begin a courtship, one that I’m told is continued in the sequel.

Rose’s voice was mostly believable. The story is told primarily from her POV though we also get glimpses at the other characters’ inner thoughts. She’s usually optimistic and cheerful, even in dire circumstances, choosing to see the glass as half full and exhibiting a canny ability to find good even in bad situations. The narration is almost always so cheerful that I found myself smiling along with the character.

The writing is rich and very detailed, and I found myself completely immersed in the vivid descriptions of the country side, the boat and the towns, so much so that it felt as if I was right there with the characters.

The primary focus of the story is not romance, but the adventures of a young girl in the mid-30s, coming into her own. Very nicely done.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review

REMEMBER – the books on sale all of January on smashwords and via my email (see post dated) 7/1/12 for details!

Special Book Prices – In time for the holiday

This is the only time this Holiday I will do any self promotion of my books. I have just discounted my books in time for the holiday season (both hard copy and ebooks!).

You can get Rosebloom – book I in the Rose series – for $14.95 and A Burnished Rosebook II in the Rose series – for $16.95 – Almost $3 off the price of the book and shipping. If you want both books, you can get them for the special price of $28.95! All these prices include shipping!

Both of my stories are historic fiction, so if you are a history buff and reading history books is a little dry, try these books.

What are the books about?

I’m glad you asked.

(Here’s the inside poop!)

Rosebloom follows an almost 16 year old girl by the name of Rose in 1936 who runs away from home and get a job on a Mississippi River boat. She goes down the river, spending time in St. Louis and New Orleans. To research this book, I traveled over 3000 miles and visited Gelena, Ill, Savanah, Ill, St. Louis, MO, and New Orleans before Katrina hit. Via  serendipity and Henry Evan – a model river boat maker – and Betty Gordon – a librarian at the Mercantile library at the University of ST. Louis  – I was introduced to a 93 year old woman by the name of Mary who was a purser on the riverboat Capital, that I use in my story – one of the few paddle boats left of the Mississippi in the late thirties. I also developed a friendship with Louise Bryce who was a teen in ST. Louis in the late 30s. Both women gave me some great insights I could never get reading books. I also spoke with Earl and Marilyn Rybarczyk of Prairie du Chien, who were teens in Prairie in the late thirties.

In A Burnished Rose, Rose completes her high school education, goes to nursing school in Baton Rouge and eventually becomes a nurse in WWII. As a nurse, Rose follows the path of the 95th Evacuation Hospital from North Africa, to Italy, Southern France and eventually into Germany. After the war the 95th even helped the ex-prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp outside of Munich. Those nurses had quite the experience, living in tents in the >100 degree heat of North Africa to the below zero temperatures of France and Germany. I was very lucky to talk with Marcy Korda of Minnesota who just turned ninety and gave me my picture for my cover. (Marcy in on the far right.) Marcy was an OR nurse in the 95th. She is a wonderful woman, and I consider her a friend. I have also been in correspondence with Lillian Scheppler of MO, also a 95th hospital nurse. Lillian and her daughter Jill have been helping me with book III in the Rose series (as yet untitled – titles always are one of the last things that come to me with a story).

For you ebook readers, you can get Rosebloom for $2.99 and A Burnished Rose for $3.99 on Smashwords (which is for Kobo, itunes, Barnes and Noble’s Nook and more) and on Amazon, of course for you Kindle owners.

So if you need that special gift, or you get some cash for xmas and you want to give yourself a gift, consider helping out an independent author and publisher.

And one last plug – it really helps us independent folks if you leave a review on your favorite website: Amazon, B & N, Goodreads.

Ok – that’s it. I’m done with the promotion thing, now everyone, please be careful over the holidays – not too much imbibing, dancing, eating… – and enjoy your family and your time off.

(p.s. – don’t you think the snow is so cool?!)