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Showing posts from January, 2015

Location, Location, Location...in A Groovy Kind of Love

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Happy Monday. Hope everyone had a great weekend. It was a little warmer here in Chicagoland, which was fantastic, even though I was inside for much of Sunday at my son's indoor lacrosse showcase. Still, it was better than driving in the snow like we did last week, that's for sure!

Still euphoric over the release of A Groovy Kind of Love and all of the positive reviews that keep coming in, today I thought you'd might like to see some of the sights that influenced the book's settings.


First, there's Thaddeus's boyhood home in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago. I grew up not that far away in Elmwood Park, which is what I call a city-suburb, not officially part of Chicago, but on the boarder, so it feels way more like a city than an actual suburb like, say, Naperville.




When I was growing up, Irving Park was famous for the Buffalo Ice Cream Parlor. Here's a photo of it back in the day. It's closed now, but most people who grew up when Thaddeus and I di…

MLK Day 2015

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Amen, Dr. King.

Winners, Reviews, and Book Tour: Oh My!

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The A Groovy Kind of Love release fun is still going strong. The winners of the release day party favors are...

Chrys: Starbucks card
Heather: Amazon card
Karen: Red Mango card
Ceblain: Copies of A Whisper to a Scream and Until My Soul Gets It Right
Laurie: Copies of A Whisper to a Scream and Until My Soul Gets It Right

Gift card winners, drop me a note at karen@karenberner.com to let me know to which email you'd like me to send the gift card and book winners, also please email me with the format you'd prefer: Kindle, Nook, or paperback. Congratulations and a big thanks to everyone who stopped by.


Reviews are starting to roll in, and I'd like to share a few comments from two five-star reviews from excellent sites.

Probably the most famous of all indie review sites, BigAl's Books & Pals has given A Groovy Kind of Love five stars. That completes the Bibliophiles series trifecta of five-star ratings from Al, which couldn't make me more happy.

Here's a bit of …

A Love Story for People Who Love Books

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Happy Release Day, everyone!

I’m so excited to share A Groovy Kind of Love with you. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first two Bibliophiles books. Each is written as a stand-alone, so you won’t be lost if you pick up A Groovy Kind of Love first.

Before I tell you a little about the novel, may I offer you an appetizer? Perhaps a drink?


How about a smoothie? Very apropos considering co-protagonist Spring Pearson's family owns a juice bar famous for them. Or maybe something stronger? It is a party, after all.





And before I forget, all you have to do is write a comment below for a chance to win a Starbucks, Amazon, or Red Mango gift card. Fun fact: A Red Mango frozen yogurt and smoothies store occupies the building that the Pearson's Ambrosia juice bar does in my fictional Naperville. I’m also giving away the first two books in the Bibliophiles series, A Whisper to a Scream and Until My Soul Gets It Right. Just my little thank you for stopping by on this big day.

When I started…

Meet the Pearsons from 'A Groovy Kind of Love'

Whether it's characters from a book or real-life people, understanding where they came from provides a window into their souls. Here's an excerpt from my newest novel, A Groovy Kind of Love, which will be released Monday, 1/12, that introduces the Pearsons, owners of the juice bar Ambrosia and Spring's parents.

A Groovy Kind of Love
Chapter Ten

San Francisco, California, 1980

Spring Pearson was the result of her parents’ impetuosity in the women’s restroom of the Oakland Coliseum after a Grateful Dead performance. Jefferson Starship was there, as well as another band, but Bob and Donna couldn’t ever remember which one. Unable to control themselves any longer, the two ran into a stall and, well, you know. This being a Dead show, female concertgoers were used to seeing all sorts of strange occurrences, real or otherwise, so no one paid them any mind. After all, rumors had circulated about the band pumping in hallucinogens during some of their shows.
Bob Pearson had been in the …

Meet Thaddeus from 'A Groovy Kind of Love'

Here's an excerpt from my newest novel, which will be released on Monday, 1/12. Thaddeus Mumblegarden IV is a singular sort, content with his English lit and Brit coms until his world is knocked upside down when he meets the much younger, free-spirited Spring Pearson at a book club meeting.

A Groovy Kind of Love
Part One
Chapter One

Chicago, 1970

We all have a first memory, one dug deepest in that part of the brain that commemorates the dawn of our cognizance. For some, maybe it’s their first plush toy. Others might recall bouncing on their fathers’ knees. Thaddeus had none of these. His awakening began the first day his mother brought him to the library.
“Bundle up, sweetie.” Maureen Mumblegarden pulled five-year-old Thaddeus’s coat collar up around his neck. “Can’t forget the mittens.” She snapped them onto large strings dangling from his coat sleeves, and yelled down the empty hallway, “Let’s go, Addie.”
His sister slogged to the foyer. “Why can’t I stay by myself? Granny’s right dow…

A Sense of Place in Fiction

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Authenticity is an important part of fiction, believe it or not.

Think of some of the classics, like Jane Austen’s Meryton, Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, or Louisa May Alcott’s Concord. Each location has its own story, and I was drawn to writing part of Naperville’s through the Bibliophiles series to chronicle this picturesque little city as I see it every day.

Surprisingly diverse in some neighborhoods on the North side and almost stuffed into its boundaries with a 144,000+ population, Naperville is an interesting blend of city and hometown, cosmopolitan and kitsch. Fantastic restaurants, a lively bar scene, and concerts in North Central College’s Wentz Hall feature alongside the annual Memorial Day parade, the Santa House where children wait to tell their dreams, and the largest statue of a founder (Joseph Naper) I have ever seen, smaller than the Lincoln Memorial, thank goodness, but much larger than Nathaniel Hawthorne’s in Salem, Massachusetts, or even Queen Victoria’s likeness o…