Welcome, Karen. Tell us how much of yourself you
write into your characters. I write bits of myself into many of my main characters.
They may have opinions I share and habits that I have. I write my favorite
meals into my books as well as habits I had as a child.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done? The quirkiest thing
I’ve done is having our house painted vivid blue when my husband was
out of town. He was surprised by how “blue” it turned out. I love blue!
When did you first discover that you were a
I became a writer before I could write. I made up stories and told them to
my older sister so that she could write them down. Then,
I wrote my own stories in elementary school.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you
enjoy reading. I
enjoy a variety of literature. I like clean contemporary and historical
romance, Christian romance, and psychological suspense.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run
I don’t. There are some days I hardly have time to get a drink. I
still make time to write or to record audio books each day. That is
one of the things that keep me sane. The other things are my faith in God and
the company of my family.
How do you choose your characters’ names? My characters’ names
must fit the role and personality they will have in the story. I
try different names and imagine them with the name. If
it doesn’t fit, I try again. I know when it matches how I
What is the accomplishment that you are most
proud of? I
am most proud of raising four God-loving children. If all of my
other dreams had come true and yet my children were not people I respected, I
would not feel proud of anything.
If you were an animal, which one would you be,
I believe I would be a cat. Cats lie around and do exactly what they
please. Our cat hops up to get petted when she feels like it. She gets service
as soon as she lets me know she is hungry, and she tells me when she
wishes to play with her favorite toy. What a life!
What is your favorite food? My favorite food is
baked potatoes. I have loved them ever since I was a young child. My
mother made them with crusty skins, and she put butter, salt, and
pepper inside. They always tasted amazing.
I love baked potatoes, too. I put grated cheese
in mine for the protein. What is the problem with writing that was your
greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? My greatest roadblock
has always been finding time to write. I’ve found that if I can
snatch a moment here and there, and sometimes, a larger block of time, I can
make progress on finishing my novels.
Tell us about the featured book. This novel is a
contemporary Christian romance. In the story, a young woman is transferred to a
small city to further her career. Her grandmother lives in the city and Lissa
stays with her. She never expects anything to stand in the way of her driving
desire to be successful in her career and make a salary that will make her
feel secure. She does not expect to meet a man who can make her question
her consuming devotion to her work.
Please give us the first page of the book. Here it is:
Davis descended the puddle-jumper’s narrow stairs to arrive on the tarmac, then
stopped and took in a deep breath, before exhaling. It had been a bumpy ride
from Albuquerque to Farmington, New Mexico.
She took a moment to regain her composure before heading for the glass doors
into the airport arrival section. She walked past the narrow gate area and
straight into the lobby, scanning faces for the young man Grandma Mandy
described when she called to say she was too ill to meet the plane herself.
her head, startled by both his warm voice and strong, good looks. “Yes.”
friendly smile disarmed her while his crystal blue eyes captured her gaze. She
and Jason stepped out of the way and she extended her hand. “You must
be Grandma Mandy’s friend. I hope it isn’t a bother to give me a ride.”
all. Let me help you with your bag”.
her head. “This one isn’t bad. I could use a hand with the luggage.
She indicated the baggage claim station. How’s Grandma Mandy
masculine scent of his sandalwood aftershave drifted to her as Jason followed
to collect her bags.
waited for the carousel to deliver the bags, he said, “She’s over the worst of
the stomach bug. She’s disappointed she’s still too weak to pick you up today.”
glanced over her shoulder. “I appreciate you helping us out.”
pleasure.” He gave her a killer smile that piqued her curiosity as to
whether his inner core was as attractive as his outer.
Mandy had mentioned he was single when she told Lissa that Jason would be
giving her a ride to the house. Perhaps she had plans to set them up.
If so, she’d be disappointed. Since Lissa would be returning to Houston after a short
work term, it would be foolish to form a relationship.
If she’d learned anything from her mother’s experience, it was that
it was important to succeed in her profession and stand on her own feet.
brushed a hand through his short, blond hair. She wondered what he was thinking
when his gaze locked with hers. Though some men were deterred by her breezy
manner, it didn’t seem to give him a moment’s pause. Since she knew
no one in this small city except Grandma Mandy, having him for a friend might
pointed out two canvas, navy suitcases for Jason to snag. He got each on the
first try and swung them beside him. He pointed to the plate-glass doors. “I’m
parked out front. “It’s this way.”
the fall sunlight and the crisp, dry air greeted her. Squinting, she rustled
through her purse and found her sunglasses. Farmington was bright, with a clear blue sky.
In contrast, she found the brown, rocky, landscape unappealing. Where she was
from, thick, green vegetation filled every nook.
atop the airport mesa revealed more scant foliage, low brush,
and scrubby trees she didn’t recognize. In contrast, the San Juan Mountains to the south sparkled under glittering
mantles of snow. “Is it always this dry and…well, brown?” she asked.
“A lot of
people can’t see the beauty of the desert right under their noses.
The color of the rocks and the varying hues of sage are only part of
the scenery you don’t see in the rest of the country.”
an awkward moment of quiet. Then Jason changed the direction of their
conversation. “Mandy told me you’re a petroleum geologist. What does a
petroleum geologist do?”
the location and size of crude oil deposits by taking samples of surface rocks.
Then, I go back to the lab to evaluate them for hydrocarbons and other minerals
that indicate they’re oil rich. I also, use computer technology
to analyse the region and read well logs. Then I can advise the company where
she understood, they had several potential wells to consider. She would be
expected to make a recommendation about which to pursue and advise the boss.
sounds interesting. I think it’s great you transferred to be close to
your grandmother. She’s happy to have family here.”
her lip. “I love Grandma Mandy with all my heart, but I took this job because
my boss told me it would help in getting a raise and a promotion in the Houston office. I’m only
here long enough to finish this project.”
there was an uneasy silence.
“This is a
nice car. What do you do for a living?” she asked.
Lissa raised a brow. “That sounds interesting. What kind of artist?”
mostly. The southwest is my favorite subject matter. As far
as I’ve seen, it has the most beautiful scenery on earth. I’m blessed
to spend time outdoors admiring God’s creation and capturing it on canvas.”
grinned, showing even white teeth. “I get paid to do it, too.”
imagine how you compose a painting. It sounds fulfilling to pick up a brush and
make scenery come to life. It must be a natural gift. What else do
his head. “What do you mean?”
my job. I’m a full-time artist.”
blinked. “That’s impressive. You’re young and you’re making
a living in a difficult market. What if it doesn’t last? It doesn’t
have the security of working for a company.”
God called me to it. I trust Him to take care of me as long
as I’m in His will. I’ve never missed a meal.”
contemplated his apparent faith in a job that could dry up any time
the public stopped buying his work. “I admire your confidence. I prefer a
career with a steady paycheck.”
more courage than she would ever have to take a route like that.
She didn’t have that much trust in a Divine Deity or her
understanding of what God wanted for her. She’d dreamed of a singing
career when she was in high school. Her teachers had encouraged her to take
voice lessons and perhaps go to a fine arts college.
herself a mental shake. She couldn’t let her thoughts go there. There
was one fact she’d learned from her mom. Adults stayed focused and
put their time into work and saving for the future.
like art?” he asked.
I’ve never met anyone who does it full-time.”
like an average sane guy until he mentioned his job. As he took a road past the
city terminal and downhill to an area of handsome older homes, she wondered how
he could stand the insecurity of such a risky profession.
along a street where trees clustered in low areas beside the road. “We must be
close to water,” Lissa observed.
nodded. “We’re passing an area called The Glade. Rainwater washes through here
from Choke Cherry Canyon.
It’s natural irrigation.”
what we have in Houston.
We don’t have to worry about water except for an occasional drought.”
frequent rain showers. Her stint here would be a trial. Jason seemed to
believe there was something of beauty in every part of
creation. Perhaps he was right, and the area would grow on her.
bring rainwear,” she continued. “However, I was told to bring a warm coat. I
can already tell it will get plenty of use.”
turned onto a wide street and passed shopping strips with small stores, and a
large grocery store. To break the silence, Lissa said, “I’ve never seen where
Grandma Mandy lives. She and Granddad came to see us after they moved. We never
came here to visit. Dad’s great-grandfather raised his family in the house
where Grandma now lives. Before that, aunts and uncles lived in it until it
fell back to Granddad.”
waved a driver over who needed to change lanes. There was more to him than
striking blue eyes and a strong jaw. He had manners. “The old family home has a
rich history, then?”
means a lot to my dad because it’s been in the family for several
generations. Grandma Mandy lived there as a little girl.”
passed a large brick church and turned into a neighborhood with
mostly gravel landscaping. The houses were stucco, and many had flat roofs. He
pulled into the driveway of a beige house with a large plate-glass window.
Moments later, her grandmother opened the door and stepped onto the flat
concrete porch. Lissa hurried from the truck to greet her.
thinner than Lissa remembered. They clutched each other in a hug. “You’re as
pretty as ever,” Grandma Mandy said.
“Thanks. I’ve missed
you. Are you feeling better? I was worried when you told me you’d been sick.”
How can readers find you on the Internet? My books are carried on
all the major online sites. Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Cogan/e/B001JSB9XE%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
available on Apple site.
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readers and me.
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