Author Archives: Karen Duvall

Talk to the Paw: Weapons of Destruction

by Karen Duvall

Having pets has its advantages and disadvantages. Young pets are like babies. They explore, get into mischief, teethe… Yeah. Well, sometimes they don’t grow out of their childhood habits.

I have a full grown cat and a full grown dog who still act like a kitten and a puppy respectively. Days go by without a mishap, and then BOOM, it’s massive destruction. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, erupting volcanoes… okay, so I’m exaggerating. I’m a writer and I can’t help it. But these two are like furry natural disasters waiting to happen.

The Criminal

The Weapon

The Victim

Sammy (my cat): You are in soooo much trouble.

Kinsey (my dog): Hangs head in shame

Sammy: I can’t believe how mad Dad got. He was speechless. That’s never happened before.

Kinsey: I wagged my tail to show him I was sorry.

Sammy: You and your stupid ball. You just had to knock over one of Dad’s most beloved cactuses, didn’t you? You know how much he treasures those plants.

Kinsey: I didn’t mean it. It was an accident.

Sammy: Shakes head and looks disappointed.

Kinsey: Hey, don’t act all innocent. You’ve knocked over your fair share of plants yourself.

Sammy: But I’m much, much, much smaller than you. I don’t do half the damage.

Kinsey: Oh yeah? Not only do you constantly knock plants over, I’ve seen you use the pots as a litterbox.

Sammy: Looks left and right. Shhh. No one was supposed to see that.

Kinsey: Well, I saw. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Sammy: Lifts her nose in the air. Not my fault. It was instinct.

Kinsey: Mom is still trying to vaccum all the dirt out of the carpet.

Sammy: I didn’t mean to cause trouble. You know I hate sharing a litterbox with my brothers. I simply won’t do it.

Kinsey: Yet you have the nerve to shame me for making a mistake?

Sammy: Mutters. Sorry.

Kinsey: What was that? I couldn’t hear you. I think I have dirt in my ear.

Sammy: Hisses. I said I’m sorry!

Kinsey: Whips ears back and forth. Okay, okay. I believe you.

Awkward silence.

Kinsey: Well, I’m sorry too.

Sammy: What can we do to make it up to Mom and Dad?

Kinsey: Looks thoughtful. Look cute?

Sammy: Nods. Works for me.

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Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her K

night’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw: Toys!

By Karen Duvall

If you walked into my house today you’d think I had kids still living at home. There are toys everywhere. Stuffed toys, plastic toys, balls… and lots of indescribable detritus that I wouldn’t label as toys but my pets would. On second thought I guess I do have kids, they’re just covered in fur and run around on four legs.

Like children, my furkids play with each others’ toys and don’t always play nice. One in particular can be rather… destructive.

Kinsey   Sammy

Sammy (my cat): I can’t believe you ate my spider.

Kinsey (my dog): How do you know it was me?

Sammy: Gives her a baleful look. There were still pieces of it left and you’re the only one with teeth that big. I found its legs under the couch.

Kinsey: Not my fault. You shouldn’t leave your toys laying around.

Sammy: Whines. I loved that spider! It glowed in the dark and everything.

Kinsey: Well, if it makes you feel any better, the plastic tasted awful.

Sammy: Good. Serves you right.

Kinsey: And like I said. Don’t leave your toys laying around and I won’t eat them.

Sammy: How can I play with them if they’re not laying around? Besides, my spider was inside my petting box on the kitchen counter.

Kinsey: Then it must have been Cody who knocked it onto the floor.

Sammy: Probably. He does that to anything on the counter. He scoots it off with his paw.

Kinsey: You do that, too.

Sammy: It’s fun to watch it fall. Especially if it’s something that goes splat.

Kinsey: Especially if it’s something I can eat.

Sammy: Hisses. You’re worse than a goat. You eat everything.

Kinsey: Not everything. And I always leave leftovers.

Sammy: It’s not cool what you did to Cody’s weasel and his skunk toy.

Kinsey: I can’t resist the squeakers. They need to come out.

Sammy: Cody still plays with his weasel and the skunk, though. And only when he thinks no one is watching.

Kinsey: I’ve seen him carry one in his mouth around the house while he yowls.

Sammy: So have I. It’s kind of creepy. Why do you think he does that?

Kinsey: No idea.

Sammy: Searches the floor.

Kinsey: What are you looking for?

Sammy: One of your toys.

Kinsey: Why? You’re too little to eat my toys.

Sammy: But I’m not too little to hide them.

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Karen Duvall

Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

 

Talk to the Paw: Eating Habits

Like people, pets can have peculiar eating habits. My animals are no exception. Each one of them has their own special way of handling meal time. Or snack time. With four animals, it all becomes a blur.

I’m very particular about what my pets eat and probably spend far more money than I need to on their nutritional needs (and fussy tastes), but I think it cuts down on vet bills. Kinsey is the only one who regularly goes to the vet, but being the active dog that she is, she tends to be accident prone. My cats have always been healthy, but the oldest has had colitis a couple of times and had to have some teeth pulled. Then there’s the incident of Ted eating the dental floss… but I digress.

So what do my pets think about each others eating habits? Let’s find out…

Kinsey   Sammy

Kinsey: You eat funny.

Sammy: Chewing. What? I don’t eat funny, I eat kibble. I probably wouldn’t like a funny if I tasted it.

Kinsey: No, stupid. I’m talking about the way you eat. It’s not normal.

Sammy: Selecting another bite of kibble. What’s wrong with the way I eat?

Kinsey: You don’t stick your face in your food bowl

Sammy: That’s because I’m not a savage. And you KNOW I have to share the bowl with my brothers. They slobber.

Kinsey: It takes you forever to eat two bites. Look at what you’re doing. You stick your paw in the bowl and pick out a piece of kibble, then pull it out of the bowl and onto the table. Then you eat it. What a waste of time.

Sammy: Carefully selecting a piece of kibble with her paw. It tastes better this way. Bite me.

Kinsey: Is that an invitation?

Sammy: Squints at Kinsey. Try it and see what a claw in your face feels like.

Kinsey: Clears her throat. You drink funny, too.

Sammy: Do not.

Kinsey: Do too.

Sammy: I drink water the same way all cats do.

Kinsey: Barks a laugh. I doubt it. You eat with your paws AND you drink with your paws. That’s weird.

Sammy: What’s so weird about it?

Kinsey: You stick your paw in the water bowl then lick the water off your wet paw. If that isn’t weird then I don’t know what weird is.

Sammy: Shrugs. Then you don’t know what weird is. Weird is a dog drinking water out of a glass.

Kinsey: It tastes better that way.

Sammy: Hm, why does that sound so familiar?

Kinsey: Rolls her eyes.

Sammy: I eat and drink slowly. YOU inhale your food.

Kinsey: It’s my survivor instinct.

Sammy: Do you even taste it first?

Kinsey: Pauses to think. Does it matter?

Sammy: Eyes wide with shock. Of course it matters! How can you eat something that doesn’t taste good?

Kinsey: But everything tastes good. Doesn’t it?

Sammy: Mumbles something about creaton dogs. Have you ever eaten something you don’t like?

Kinsey: Looking puzzled. No. What about you?

Sammy: Of course not, dummy. I’m picky about what I eat. If it doesn’t taste good I won’t eat it.

Kinsey: But how do you know it doesn’t taste good if you don’t try it?

Sammy: Stops to think for a second. I just know.

Kinsey: You’d starve instead of eat something you think you won’t like?

Sammy: Long pause. Maybe.

Kinsey: Well, there’s never any shortage of bugs to eat and I know you like those.

Sammy: If not for chewy bugs we’d probably all starve to death.

Kinsey: Word.

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/

https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall

http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw: Happy Halloween!

We did have two brave souls who offered fun photos of their pets in Halloween attire. So cute!

First up, We have Julie Kazimer’s adorable pooches dressed as… Frogs! LOL!

Bodie Frog

Bodie Frog

Killer Frog

Killer Frog

Thea Hutchinson’s Tom the Office Cat has been a previous guest on the blog and we’re happy to see him return in all his holiday glory. A bit early for Christmas, but who cares! He looks so cute!

Tom the Office Cat Reindeer

Tom the Office Cat Reindeer

Tom the Office Cat

Tom the Xmas Gift

I hope you all had a very Happy Halloween!

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KarenKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

Talk to the Paw: Halloween Choices!

by Karen Duvall

Halloween is creeping up on me. I haven’t done a very good job preparing for it this year, mostly because I’m staring down the barrel of a deadline. What do you know, I have to have this book turned in by October 31. What a coincidence that it’s the same day as Halloween! Scary. It’s also my son’s birthday.

Last week my dog tried on a shirt she thought about wearing for Halloween, but she wasn’t sure she liked being a dinosaur. I thought a Princess might work.

Princess Kinsey

Too girly?

She wouldn’t let me paint her toenails or do her hair.

Next we tried something that better fits her personality.

Devil Dog

Ah, much better.

Thankfully, I had at least one person respond to my begging plea for a Halloween costume photo of her pet. Thank you, Pat Stoltey! Katie Cat is adorable even if she did feel insulted and turned her back to the camera. A valiant effort from you both!

Katie Cat

Kitty Couture… Katie makes a fashion statement.

It’s not too late to send me your pet costume photos. Halloween is exactly one week away, so I will post what you send me if you get it to me by Halloween day. Your pics will appear on the blog Friday, November 1. Please send your pet photos to jkduvall@bendbroadband.com

My cat Ted thinks all this Halloween stuff is pretty funny. He went through his humiliation last year so this year is pure entertainment for him.

Laughing Ted

You guys crack me up!

Have a screamy Halloweeny!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Karen Duvall

Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/

http://www.karenduvall.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall

http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw – Preparing for Halloween

by Karen Duvall

Halloween Ted

Teddy already knows what he wants to be for Halloween, but Kinsey can’t decide. She tried out this Dinosaur shirt, but she’s not quite feeling it yet. We’re going to have to explore a few more options.

Kinsey the Dinosaur

I suggested a princess. I told her I’d even paint her toenails pink, but she’s not going for it. She’s a bit of a Tomboy, so it looks like we’ll be looking more in that direction. We still have time to find a costume she’s happy with.

How about your pets? Send me photos of your pets dressed up for Halloween and I’ll post them on Talk to the Paw. Just email them to me here.

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

Talk to the Paw: Make No Bones About It

Kinsey as a Puppy

Kinsey at 4 weeks old

by Karen Duvall

We gave Kinsey a bad habit when she was a puppy. Bones. Not just a bone every now and then, but a bone every single night. When she was a wee puppy (almost 5 years ago), her energy level was through the roof. She needed constant attention and was so curious about everything that she was always getting into trouble. Solution? A nice juicy bone to occupy her time.

Her first pacifiers were chewy things for teething. She got rawhide this and that, those big yucky pig’s ears, bull tendons, baked knuckle bones… Having that kind of stuff in the house is difficult for a vegetarian, but I figured it was for a good cause: my sanity. I had to keep my puppy satisfied or I’d never get any writing done.

Kinsey

Kinsey

Sammy

Sammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kinsey is all grown up now and her need for a pacifier is long over. However, she’s a spoiled brat and she has my husband wrapped around her paw. “She likes her bones,” he says. Our living room looks like a cattle graveyard.

The cats are disgusted with her bone habit, and quite frankly, so am I. Especially since Kinsey is obsessively protective of her collection.

Kinsey: Mine, mine, mine! Get away or I’ll bite you.

Sammy: Rolls her eyes. Yeah, right. I have no interest in your slimy old bone anyway.

Kinsey: That’s because you have no taste. They’re delicious.

Sammy: They’re disgusting.

Kinsey: Oh, yeah? I’ve seen Dad watch cooking shows on TV and the humans boil beef bones to make soup.

Sammy: Yawns. Chicken I may pay attention to, but cows? Narrows her eyes. You know, you kind of look like a cow. A Guernsey cow.

Kinsey: Growls. You’re getting too close. Back away from my bone.

Sammy: Okay, okay. Sheesh. Paranoid much?

Kinsey: This bone is special. It’s the same kind humans eat in those gourmet restaurants.

Sammy: Humans don’t eat bones, they eat the meat on the bones. At least humans that eat meat do.

Kinsey: It’s a shank bone with yummy marrow inside. Humans pay a lot of money for these.

Sammy: For dog bones? You’re not serious.

Kinsey: I am serious. I heard Dad telling mom about it the other night. They scoop out the marrow with skinny spoons and spread it on bread. It’s a delicacy.

Sammy: Walks by Kinsey and trips on an old bone sticking out from under the couch. Ouch! That thing’s sharp. The least you can do is pick up after yourself.

Kinsey: Mom will do it.

Sammy: You’re spoiled.

Kinsey: Am not.

Sammy: Are too.

Kinsey: My old bones are useful, you know. Dad puts them outside under the plants to keep the deer away.

Sammy: He uses bones as deer repellent?

Kinsey: Yep. So I’m helping out the family. That’s more than I can say for you.

Sammy: Whatevs. I still think you’re spoiled. I’ve seen dad smear peanut butter inside your empty bones just to get you to leave him alone when he doesn’t want to play ball.

Kinsey: Grins. I do have my ways of getting what I want.

Sammy: Swipes a paw at Kinsey’s face and hisses.

Kinsey: Cringes. Hey, what was that for?

Sammy: That was me getting what I want.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/

http://www.karenduvall.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall

http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw: The Sound of Silence

by Karen Duvall

When I write, I like complete silence. No music playing in the background, no television noises to distract me (unless it’s football, of course. The sound of cheering keeps me motivated). My pets know my demands, and the cats are lovely about keeping quiet. The dog, on the other hand… She claims she can’t help herself. I’ll be right in the middle of a pivotal scene, concentrating on what the characters will do next, when all of a sudden… BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK! I nearly fall off my chair.

Sammy         Kinsey

Sammy: What’s wrong with you?

Kinsey: Looks confused. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Sammy: The barking. At everything.

Kinsey: I do not bark at everything.

Sammy: You see a leaf fall from a tree, you bark. The birds gather at the feeder in the yard, you bark. A neighbor walks by the house, you bark.

Kinsey: I’m a watchdog. It’s what I do.

Sammy: Watch things and then bark at them?

Kinsey: Growls.

Sammy: You’re making Mom a wreck, you know.

Kinsey: Am not.

Sammy: Are too.

Kinsey: She knows I can’t help myself.

Sammy: She calls you Lady Barksalot.

Kinsey: Well, if a burglar ever comes in the yard or tries to break into the house—

Sammy: You’ll break his ear drums with your high-decibel barks. I know.

Kinsey: Looks smug. You’re just jealous.

Sammy: Excuse me?

Kinsey: You do nothing but eat and sleep all day.

Sammy: Untrue. I keep Mom’s lap warm while she’s writing. My purring always puts her in a good mood. I’m her muse.

Kinsey: Looks thoughtful. That’s not what I heard.

Sammy: What did you hear?

Kinsey: That you’re trouble.

Sammy: Just because my sudden energy bursts sometimes knocks plants over and sends vases crashing to the floor doesn’t mean I’m trouble.

Kinsey: Just keep telling yourself that.

Sammy: Hisses and swats at Kinsey’s retreating backside.

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MeKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

 

http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/

http://www.karenduvall.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall

http://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author

Talk to the Paw: Mud Puppy

Mud Puppy

Look, Mom! I found a puddle!

As some of you may know, I was out of town last weekend and left the furkids home while I attended the Colorado Gold Conference in Denver. We had a pet sitter stay at the house with them, hoping that’s all it would take to keep them out of mischief. The cats did very well, same as they always do. They’re easy to care for: Food, water, litterbox cleaning and that’s about it. Catitude aside, all three of them are fairly self-sufficient.

My dog, on the other hand… Well, Kinsey is both bright and spirited. Her behavior can be unpredictable so we never know what to expect. As my husband and I packed for our Colorado trip, she knew something was up. We spied her having heart to heart conversations with our Sammy cat. And sure enough, she made sure we’d know her displeasure at being left behind.

Me: Really, Kinsey? Did you have to?

Kinsey: Holds chin up and blinks. Yes, yes I did.

Me: Shakes head. You know how I feel about tracking mud in the house.

Kinsey: So? You weren’t here to see it.

Me: Obviously.

Kinsey: And the sitter wasn’t always watching me very well.

Me: Don’t blame it all on her.

Kinsey: What’s important is that I had fun.

Me: Breathes in an exasperated breath. Now who do you think has to fill the hole you dug in the yard?

Kinsey: Dad can use the exercise.

Me: Smiles. How did you like your bath afterward?

Kinsey: Hangs head. No comment.

Me: Okay, the mud hole is one thing. The quilt on our bed is quite another.

Kinsey damage

After Kinsey gutted our quilt.

Kinsey: You know I can’t resist pulling the stuffing out of things.

Me: You have toys for that.

Kinsey: Shrugs. I had to show you I didn’t appreciate you leaving me.

Me: Sighs. It was only for a few days. And you weren’t left alone.

Kinsey: Promise you won’t leave me again.

Me: I can’t promise you that. But if you keep digging holes and gutting my quilts, I promise to put you in a kennel next time.

Kinsey: Wails.

Me: Stop being such a drama queen. If you can prove to me you’ll behave, we’ll get you a sitter again.

Kinsey: Pants. Okay. I’ll behave.

Me: Long pause. Now uncross your paws and say that.

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Karen DuvallKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

Talk to the Paw: The Great Chase

by Karen Duvall

It’s been very busy in our household lately and our pets sense a change is coming. My husband and I will be leaving for our much-anticipated trip to Colorado next week and of course our fur babies don’t want us to go. To top it off, my husband just had minor hernia surgery so he hasn’t been as active with Kinsey as he usually is. She’s jonesing for more ball playing time.

Sammy         Kinsey

Sammy: Would you please sit still?

Kinsey: Panting and twitching. I am still. I’m sitting down. Maybe I should stand. No, sitting is better. On second thought, if I stand next to the couch where Dad is sleeping he might throw the ball for me.

Sammy: Cool your jets, Kins. Dad’s not up for playing ball right now. Even walking is a challenge.

Kinsey: Sits down again. Oh, yeah. Right. Then I’ll go drop my ball on Mom’s keyboard.

Sammy: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

Kinsey: Why not?

Sammy: She’s kind of stressed.

Kinsey: So? What else is new.

Sammy: She’s been taking care of Dad and she has lots to do before they leave on their trip.

Kinsey: Moans. Don’t remind me.

Sammy: Have some catnip. That’ll fix you right up.

Kinsey: Grabs the ball in her mouth and drops it in front of Sammy. Here. Push the ball with your nose. Just a little. Make it roll and I’ll fetch it.

Sammy: Eewww, no way! It’s got drool all over it.

Kinsey: Starts twitching again. If I don’t get my ball time I’ll go crazy.

Sammy: Ask Teddy. He could use the exercise.

Kinsey: He’ll just sit on it and I may never see it again.

Sammy: Yawns. Not my problem.

Kinsey: Stares at Sammy.

Sammy: What are you looking at?

Kinsey: Cocks her head to one side. You’re not exactly round, but you’ll do in a pinch.

Sammy: Stands and backs up a few steps. What do mean?

Kinsey: The only time I ever chased a cat was when the neighbor’s cats got in our yard. It was kinda fun.

Sammy: Narrows her eyes. You’re not chasing me.

Kinsey: Aw, come on. Be a sport.

Sammy: Backs up some more. No.

Kinsey: I promise not to slobber on you. Not much anyway.

Sammy: Turns around and launches herself down the hall until she’s only a black blur.

Kinsey: Runs after her. Hey, no fair! I wasn’t ready!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

KarenKaren Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.