Thursday, March 13, 2014

His Hometown Girl Book Tour & Giveaway with Author Karen Rock

On tour with Prism Book Tours...

Welcome to my Book Tour stop for
His Hometown Girl

His Hometown GirlHis Hometown Girl

by Karen Rock
Mass Market Paperback, Large Print, 331 pages
March 1st 2014 by Harlequin

He'd always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

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Our Author Interview

What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book? 

Jodi is a great mom. She’s determined to help her autistic son speak again and works hard to get him the high-priced, specialized care she thinks he needs to be ‘normal’. She sees it as the only way to help him. What she doesn’t see right away, is that her son doesn’t need to be ‘perfect’ or ‘normal’. She just needs to accept him for who he is and not feel guilty that she’s not doing enough. Since my niece is autistic and such a beautiful little girl whom we all adore, I think, with my experience, I wouldn’t give myself such a hard time about my child not being like everyone else. I would be proud of myself for being the best parent I could be. That’s something that Jodi learns to accept and believe about herself and her son in the book through the help of her love interest, Daniel.
What was your inspiration behind this book? 

A couple of things inspired HIS HOMETOWN GIRL. The first is my sister, Cathy. She’s my autistic niece, Abbie’s, mother and an incredible parent. Raising a child with special needs can be challenging and requires a lot of love and patience. Sometimes, when we are out together as a family, other people give us strange looks when Abbie has trouble controlling herself and I know it hurts Cathy. This book is my way of expressing the idea of accepting each other and not making quick judgments. No one is perfect and we shouldn’t expect others or ourselves to be. To me, true love is not about finding the perfect person, but about finding the person who accepts you and is perfect for you.  

The second inspiration is my childhood days spent on my Uncle Bob’s dairy farm. I loved spending time outdoors and with the animals. Farmers are independent and make up their own minds about things. I couldn’t imagine a better place for an autistic child and his single mother to find the acceptance and love they deserve.

Why did you become a writer? 

I reviewer wrote to me recently to thank me for writing about a mother of a special needs child. She said, like my main character, Jodi, she always wants to do more for her son and feels judged by others for times her son acts out. Getting her note touched me so much. I became a writer because I want to tell stories that people can connect to- like that reviewer.  It means so much when I know that I’ve helped readers feel less alone, that they’ve gone through similar things, and have learned what my characters learn on their paths to lasting love.

Do you have a favorite author or authors? 

I love Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, and John Green to name a few.

Do you like to write your books in a continuing series? 

Series are great and I actually have a Young Adult Contemporary Romance series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, now with my co-author, fellow Harlequin writer and sister-in-law, Joanne Rock. Book 2 in the series, CAMP PAYBACK, is out in April. It’s been a great experience to create the world of summer camp for teens and to create love stories in that setting. I haven’t done a series yet with my adult contemporary romances, but I have a few ideas in mind 

If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?

I don’t know if I could ‘date’ him since it wasn’t allowed back then, but I would take walks and dance with Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice… *sigh. He’s such a great hero because he’s a loving older brother and a strong man who works selflessly behind the scenes to solve other people’s problems. He also appreciates an independent, spirited woman like Elizabeth Bennett and ultimately chooses love over society’s expectations. 

What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time? 

Besides romance, I read all genres including suspense thrillers, historical fiction, memoirs, literary works, paranormal, dystopian, science fiction, horror, and contemporary young adult. I recently finished Sue Monk Kidd’s THE INVENTION OF WINGS which was a great historical that dealt with issues of race and gender equality.

As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books. Do you agree with that?

I absolutely agree with that! There is a saying that we read to know we’re not alone. The same is true for writers. We send our stories out into the world like rolled up messages in bottles and hope someone gets them, reads them, and understands what we are trying to say. It means so much when I hear from fans and they share their stories and how my book connected to their lives. My previous Heartwarming, WISH ME TOMORROW, has a hero who is a single father in remission from cancer. His love interest is a grief counselor who has guilt over how she handled a family member’s cancer. The idea of loving someone, when tomorrow isn’t a guarantee, inspired that book. Getting letters from cancer warriors, or people who’d lost loved ones to cancer, touched me deeply. When they told me that I gave them hope, uplifted them, I understood that writing a book isn’t about sales numbers or fame. It’s about connecting with people in real ways. That’s how I measure success as an author.

Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. 

For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website, Facebook page, or follow her on twitter. She’d love to hear from you!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: Hand-stitched, authentic Amish quilt (uses their overlapping heart-stitching- pattern), with matching dust ruffle for a king-sized bed, signed copies of Wish Me Tomorrow & Camp Boyfriend, and some surprise swag (US Only)
1 - Paperback/ebook copies of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (format is winner's choice, paperback for US Only) and $20 Amazon gift card
2 - ebooks of Wish Me Tomorrow and Camp Boyfriend (INT)
March 3 - 23

3/16 - Tour Grand Finale

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