Guest Author: Karen Hulene Bartell

Marmy2-and-BOOKSHow long did it take to get published the first time and how did it happen?

Not knowing the first thing about getting published I queried for about six months until I found one publisher that (also) rejected me but suggested another publisher – which turned out to be the one.

What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?

I bought the best bottle of champagne I could find (in a small town). It was the driest brut I’ve ever tasted. My mouth puckered, and I had to add bitters, but that was my first taste of success.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Write every day. Besides instilling good habits, it keeps the storyline going in your imagination even when you’re not writing. Some of my best ideas come to me when I wake, which leads me to believe my mind has been working on the plot while I’ve slept.

How long have you been writing professionally?

Though I’ve been writing fiction since I was nine, I’ve been published since 1984.

What part of the book is the easiest and or hardest for you to write? Why?

Dialogue is the easiest part of writing for me. Apparently, I think in dialogue. Then I go back and add the action.

What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?

Traveling – I love to experience new sights, foods, and ideas. I find travel inspirational for writing.

What’s next for you?

The Wild Rose Press is releasing Wild Rose Pass in early 2020. It’s a frontier romance based on the true story of a friend’s great-grandfather, who was captured and raised by the Comanches. Of course, my imagination takes off where facts dwindle…

Tell us about your latest release/releases.

The Keys: Voice of the Turtle is all about moving on, moving past, getting on with life – or sometimes, the afterlife.

Tell us about this book.

TheKeys_w12845_750The Keys: Voice of the Turtle Blurb:

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…


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?”

Ruth nodded and gazed at Keya as if for the first time. 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 laughed inwardly 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…” Her words broke off as Keya stared as if in a trance.

Ruth looked at her. “What’s wrong?”

Her hand shaking, Keya 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. “Who’s there?”

Buy Links:

Amazon eBook:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes & Noble NOOK Book:

Barnes & Noble Paperback:

The Wild Rose Press:

About the Author:

Author of the Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynoteKarenHuleneBartell-portrait-high-res 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.

Connect with Karen:







Amazon Author Page:




11 thoughts on “Guest Author: Karen Hulene Bartell

    1. Yes, it’s those moments in life you remember 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by, Jean – and I hope you have many more champagne-and-Mexican-food celebrations!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This book sounds terrific, of course, Karen, but I’m also looking forward to Wild Rose Pass–Fascinating storyline! And the fact that it’s based on a real story is icing so to speak. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s