Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Memorable Firsts



Our lives are full of firsts. First words. First steps. First day of school. First crush. First date. And who could ever forget their first kiss?  New experiences can be thrilling, joyous, and sometimes downright intimidating! That's how I'd describe this rollercoaster ride of a first sale and now a debut book on the shelves. This year has truly been a learning experience for me-from choosing character photos for the book cover to writing that first Dear Reader letter. It's been my dream for many years to write for Love Inspired, and now God has given me the desire of my heart.  I feel so blessed!
            Here's a little background about my September release, The Reluctant Outlaw. This is the first book in my series surrounding the O'Malley family, Smoky Mountain Matches, set in 1880's East Tennessee.

A Kidnapper—and a Gentleman?
The ruthless criminal who took Juliana O’Malley hostage was a thief and an outlaw—or so she thinks. But on a perilous journey through the Smoky Mountains, he becomes her unlikely protector. And when he pledges to return her home safely, she somehow finds herself believing him.
Evan Harrison has risked everything to find the men who killed his brother. Saving spirited, strong-willed Juliana could blow his cover with a deadly gang. Yet her courage and unwavering faith make him dream of the home and family he thought he could never have. And suddenly, that future is incomplete—without Juliana in it.

Smoky Mountain Matches: Dreams of home and family come true in the Smoky Mountains


Copyright [2011] by [Karen Kirst]
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.

            So what about you? What's your most memorable first?

52 comments:

  1. Karen,
    We're so glad you've joined us. There's nothing quite like the first book!

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  2. Kristen, I just LOVE the cover of your book! Also, I'm looking forward to reading it because mmmmm, your hero sounds wonderful. ;-)

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  3. Thanks ladies :) I did a happy dance when I first saw that cover! And I'm thrilled to be a part of your group.

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  4. Very nice cover. Those Harlequin folks are GREAT at producing super covers!

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  5. Karen, how exciting to realize your dream! What a wonderful first for you! I remember my first plane ride! That was a great first for me! Can't wait to read your book and the ones after it in the series. I do love the LIH line :) The cover is great too!
    Valri

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  6. Another cover lover here...a girl can't pass up a cover with a cowboy! ;) Congrats Karen!

    I remember my first kiss...I was in 3rd grade and the lucky boy was Greg Smith. We kissed under my front porch. The relationship didn't last long though, as he "broke up" with me to win the affection of my older sister. =)

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  7. Valri,
    So you weren't scared on your first plane ride? I've had quite a few scary ones. Can't take the turbulence, although it's apparently quite normal.

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  8. Jenny,
    Love that story! lol I think mine was in kindergarten. Can't remember the boy's name but I do remember he wore glasses. ;)

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  9. Karen, congrats on your FIRST book! Wa-hoo!

    I'll be back in a few minutes to give away a copy of my new book--or whichever book you choose.

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  10. By a randomly generated number, Jessica Nelson won a copy of my new Love Inspired, THE CHRISTMAS CHILD. (Or any other book I have on hand.)

    Jessica, if you'll send me your address, I'll send you a new book!

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  11. Karen, No I wasn't scared on my first plane ride and I was so naive as I look back on it because my younger brother & I flew to Hawaii to visit my dad who was there for work - crazy! I can't believe my mom let us - she was a nervous wreck!!!

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  12. Valri, you were the bravest kid ever! My husband has never flown and says he never will. And I think we have Craftie Lady with that same mindset. If she can't get there on the ground, she stays home. :-)

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  13. I'm excited about my first book, which releases next April. But I think the best first would be . . . the first time you kiss your husband/boyfriend. And the first time you hold one of your babies. :-)

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  14. Welcome, Karen. It's a great cover. The best is walking into Walmart and seeing your baby on the shelf. Oh the thrill.

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  15. I think my mom is with your husband, Linda regarding the plane ride! She WISHES she would never have to fly! That is why she let my brother and I fly to Hawaii to see my dad without her! She wouldn't go with us! But as it turned out, our family moved to Saudi Arabia in the 70's and we ended up flying all over the world on so many airplanes SO many times that she had to do it. She still hates it though and avoids it now at all costs! I love it, however!

    Congrats to you, Naomi! How exciting about your first book! We'll be watching for it!

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  16. Karen,
    Congrats on your debut! Isn't it all so, so exciting!

    Getting THE CALL was one of my all time high points. After working for so long and so hard, the editor's voice seemed surreal! "Debby, we'd like to buy your book!" Whoo-hoo! I was in shock for days.

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  17. Karen,
    Congratulations on your book. Very nice cover. I'm also here to give away a book. I'll pick the winner sometime in the next hour. I'll log back in and announce the winner.

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  18. Valri,
    Like your mom, I avoid it if I can. However, my husband is Czech so my in-laws live there. If we wanna see the extended family, we have to travel there. The best flight was on a military plane (my husband's a Marine). The pilot explained the lack of turbulence was due to the flat belly of the plane. It was a fairly stree-free flight. :)

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  19. I agree with you, Naomi! I've never forgotten that first kiss from my husband or the first time I laid eyes on my first born. Congrats again on your sale!

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  20. Leann,
    Believe me, I've been stalking the Walmart shelves for days hoping to glimpse my book. lol They tend to get shelved earlier here, so I'm checking every day!

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  21. I would love to win this!!!!

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  22. Love your first book timing during the first week of school for many of folks.

    Have you bought already and ready to read! Can't wait to get started.

    I remember when my first article was published. Wow. But you know, the first grandbaby boy (and the second because she was a girl) was a really special feeling.

    Peace and blessings,

    Julie

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  23. What a great topic!...I LOVE your books Merrillee! And would LOVE a chance to WIN!

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  24. So happy for Kara's latest first...Love Inspired books are some of my faves to carry with me wherever I go. This story is one I imagine will keep me turning pages regardless of where I might be.

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  26. Linda,
    Are you talking about me and planes. I took the train from AZ to New York. Four days! And, I will stoicly blame work on not going to ACFW this year, but truthfully, the 30 hour trip both ways is the real reason.
    I really, really, want to trust in God, but I get physically sick the day I'm to fly out. My husband has even said to stop trying.

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  27. Jen's Journey is the winner of my book, LOVE WALKED IN. It is one of my older books, but I'm giving it away because the heroine of my upcoming January 2012 book, MONTANA MATCH, is first introduced in LOVE WALKED IN. She was a teenager in that book. I thought it would be fun to write about this character after she has become an adult.

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  28. love the cover and the storyline seems awesome cant wait

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  29. I have to say I love the cover. Ok for an aussie where exactly are the smokey mountains?
    Oh I loved my first flight it was so exciting. Loved my first flight overseas it was to Hawaii, long but exciting as I got a window seat and a seat to myself.
    I have to say I really love the look of this book its one I want to read.

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  30. Julie,
    Since I have three boys, I tell everyone I'm hoping for grand daughters to spoil. :) I can't imagine that first grandchild.

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  31. Ausjenny,
    The Smoky Mountains are in both North Carolina and Tennessee (my home state) and where the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is located. I haven't visited Hawaii. How did you like it?

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  32. Karen I loved Hawaii I want to go back was there 3 days the first time and 13 in Jan. Its wonderful and was a nice break. like Jan better than Sept as the humidity isn't as bad.
    It would be one of my memorable firsts going overseas for the first time. The other is my first ever first class cricket game.

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  33. Hey, Ausjenny, I've been waiting for you all day! Hello!!! We both went on our first flight to Hawaii! How cool is that!? I was 17 and my brother was 13! To this day my mom still can't believe she let us do it...but it was simpler times back then and the world wasn't very scary like it is now! Then there was the time I flew from Rome, Italy all the way to Minnesota by myself! I was 18!!! I would NEVER have let my kids do that when they were that age but my parents just waved goodbye, have a good trip!!!

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  34. My memorable first...When I God's message of salvation, repentance and forgiveness sank in. I was seven-years-old and it was just a regular Wednesday night in children's church. I silently prayed for God to save me. I treasured the transformation in my heart until class was over.
    Karen, Yes, the hero on your book cover looks ready to step off the pages!

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  35. My memorable first...When I God's message of salvation, repentance and forgiveness sank in. I was seven-years-old and it was just a regular Wednesday night in children's church. I silently prayed for God to save me. I treasured the transformation in my heart until class was over.
    Karen, Yes, the hero on your book cover looks ready to step off the pages!

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  36. Wow, Heather, what a cherished memory that must be for you. And at such a young age. I remember well the moment I became a Christ-follower. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  37. Oh, Valri, Rome? Tell us about it! I could seriously eat Italian food every day of my life. Cheese is my friend. :)
    And Ausjenny, my parents brought home some delicious coconut pancake syrup from Hawaii. It was great on chocolate chip waffles. Never could find any locally. I'm glad your trip was a success!

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  38. Pamela...I'm so with you! I get physically ill with just bridges and elevators, I can't imagine myself ever getting on a plane. Your husband sounds so much more merciful about it, though...my husband likes to torment me about it. =(

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  39. BOOK WINNER!
    Appleblossom, you are the winner in the 9pm drawing tonight. You can choose from Murder at Granite Falls, or Second Place Dad.....or something from my backlist, if you'd like. You can check out the list on Amazon or my website (though my website is being revamped right now and things are a bit scrambled!)

    Note: at the bottom of the winner's list on this website, you can click on Pamela's name to provide your address and book request.

    Congratulations!
    Roxanne Rustand

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  40. Oh Valri sorry my first flight was a small plane to Tasmania. it was bumpy and exciting but rough. coming back it was a bigger plane and much nicer.

    My first overseas trip was to Hawaii on the way to Canada. exciting but scary too as I was going alone and it was more the customs, security etc.

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  41. Karen, Rome? My family lived in Saudi Arabia in 1976-1978. I lived in Calif. for a year of that though because it was my senior year of high school and I didn't want to miss it! When my family went on vacation (required in SA because of visa issues back then), I would meet them in some foreign country - so glamorous to a small town girl like me back then!!! This time we were traveling through Europe and we got stuck in Rome. We'd been traveling for 5 weeks already and I had to get back to the USA for the start of school. My flight to NYC-then Minnesota-then Calif. was taking off from Rome but my parents were stuck in Rome for a week because all flights leaving for SA were grounded! My parents had to put me on a plane by myself with FIVE huge suitcases (I was taking a bunch of their stuff home to Calif. too to store for them) and only had time to wave goodbye! My mom was crying so hard - she thought she'd never see me again! Guess who my "seatmate" was? The Disney actor, Dean Jones!!! He was so nice to me - talked to me the whole way! Customs in USA with FIVE HUGE suitcases was a nightmare for a tiny 18 year old though!!!!

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  42. Jenny,
    Hah, I should tell you, I had a six o'clock flight and started throwing up at midnight. At four, he told me not to go. At noon, he put me on a bus, yup, from Phoenix to Dallas.
    And, I so want to fly. That's the problem. I want to go to Rome, the Austrailia (I'd look you up other Jenny!). I want to go to Scotland.
    Sigh

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  43. Wow, love the cover. Welcome Karen. I've been MIA for the past three weeks. Traveling and now sick with a looming deadline.

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  44. Pamela heres my take on it. I get car sick, bus sick ok lets face it I get travel sick. I can feel sick quite quick buses are better but still sometimes I feel really bad. my theory is If I go to say Melbourne from Adelaide its about 8 or more hours in a bus where as a flight less than an hour i figure 1 hour feeling sick as opposed to 8 is much better. Now Adelaide to Perth is 36 hours of pure torture on a bus (believe me done the return trip twice) 3 hours is a breeze.
    Oh and the bigger the plane the better the ride. a small one I dont like but the one from Sydney to Hawaii and the one I took from Sydney to Vancouver was so smooth I didn't feel sick at all. the first fight is 10 hours the second 17! but I had no ear trouble or feeling sick. just didn't like the food.
    but I understand it can be an issue for some people.
    Jenny I dont like lifts! they affect my balance and make me dizzy if I use them alot.

    Terri sorry you have been sick its the pits. I am feeling under the weather today too. why does it always come on in the middle or early hours of the morning! I have feel a little of for a couple of days but early this morning felt really bad. I also have a deadline for my last official study assignment. its a report have about 3 sections to complete and a summary and then I guess its
    no more pencils no more books, no more teachers dirty looks.
    (i just need a job now)

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  45. Karen, love the cover of your book! Sounds like a good one, and I plan to look for it today.

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  46. Thanks, Jackie! I hope you enjoy it. :) And Terri, hope you get a lot of writing done! AusJenny, good luck with job hunting!

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  47. I had two books offered on Thursday, but had to be away from my office and apologize for the delay in announcing that Mary and JackieS are the winners.


    Please contact Lisa or Pamela (there's a link on the main page of this site, lower right hand column below the list of other winners) to provide mailing information and also to specify the title requested....Murder at Granite Falls, or Second Chance Dad.

    If you have read both, you can list some of my previous titles and I will hunt through my book closet and do my best!

    Roxanne

    Congratulations!

    Roxanne

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