Monday, August 19, 2013

Q&A time with Karen Malena with a giveaway of her print book "My Mother's Kitchen"

Karen Malena is a daughter, wife and mother living in Western, Pennsylvania. Her compassion toward others is evident in her writings and blogs. Her interests include reading, weekend trips with her husband, music and nature. Karen is active in her town encouraging others to write through local library programs and author events. She’s a member of Pittsburgh East Scribes and Ligonier Valley Writers. 
Hello everyone. I hope to convey to you, the ups and downs of true life situations with my writing.
For many years, it was my desire to breathe life into stories, some difficult, others, humorous which happened throughout my lifetime. Coming from a close-knit Italian family has given me compassion. My walk with God has given me the inspiration for the desire to bless others with heartfelt tales which I hope encourage you. You'll find me giving talks and teaching writing courses at my local library. I'm presently a member of Pittsburgh East Scribes and Ligonier Valley Writers.

The Finch's Nest: Inspirational Stories

My review for this book : 
"My Mother Kitchen-The Complete Series" by Karen Malena is definetly  a 5 star book.

This book is six chapters in the life of Kate. At the end of each story there is a recipe for  the food item that was talked about in the story. These stories really drew me in and the only thing I disliked about the book was the stories ended. In each story I really felt the emotions of Kate and her mother Ellen.

Pietro's Song: A story about Kate's great grandfather and his arrival to this country. It is also the story of Kate's journey to become a writer.

Terry's Gift: This story is about how rumors are not always true. In this volume Kate is rescued by an unexpected hero on Halloween.

Christmas Angel: This story is told by Ellen and how One Christmas she was visited by an Angel, just liked the Bible says "Be Careful to entertain strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it." This angel answers a prayer also.

Matthew's Courage: Kate's brother Matt is at the twin towers on 9,11,2011.  It is also the story of how Matt's birth was a miracle.

The Potter's Clay: Kate gets the call her story is going to be published. It is also the story about Kate's issues with self doubt and her issues with a childhood issue of scoliosis. There is also a story about  an abusive husband.

Ever After: Kate finds a lump on her breast. I won't tell you want she finds out! You have to read this book to found out yourself.

I am hoping there is going to be a book 2 of My Mother Kitchen. I really want to read more about Kate and Steve and Mark and Ellen and Ray!

I was given an ebook copy from the author for my honest review.

Here is what you have a chance to win and yes it will be the print book!

This contest will be from Today August the 19th to Thursday the 22th at 3pm central time.
This is the link for the book if you want to buy a copy now. Karen will be gifting one to the winner from this link  so BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL SO WE CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU IF YOU ARE THE WINNER; which will be chosen by

It's time for the contest to begin!


Debbie Curto said...

I will start the questioning, Are you planing on a "My Mother's Kitchen 2" I really hope so!

Judy said...

Karen, what was the inspiration behind writing My Mother's Kitchen? Will this be a series of books?

Thank you for your giveaway. I would love to win a copy of this book.

Judy B

Karen L. Malena said...

I'd love to at some point. This book took a while to compile though. Many of the stories that Kate and her mom share are true from my own life. So, as easy as it was in some ways, it was also very difficult re-visiting times in my life which weren't so easy and perhaps a little upsetting.

Karen L. Malena said...

The inspiration started with the photograph of my great-grandfather Pietro, a very captivating, haunting photo of him when he first arrived in this country. I pictured my own mother and I talking about him in the warmth of her kitchen, and one thought led to another. I wrote from experience, some good, others not so good. But I wanted a forty something woman facing menopause, looking back over her life, then learning facts from her mother's past she never knew about. Although Kate in the book does go through some very trying times at the point the book is written, it's the tales from her past and her mom's past which mold her more strongly into the woman she is today.

It was a series of ebooks at first. Each of the six volumes was a 99cent e book at first. Now they are compiled into about two years of Kate's life, from the year 2,000 right before 9-11. You'll see why if you read it.

Thanks for the comments!

Debbie Curto said...

I can understand that is is hard but you shared the emotions so well I felt your pain!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win. Angela from KY.

Karen L. Malena said...

Hi Angela! Good luck to you!!

Karen L. Malena said...

It's funny but in some ways it was a very healing book to write. Going back to scoliosis surgery and how difficult it was when Kate thinks back to how the kids treated her in school because of it. Also, the part about her mom finding out about having a baby later in was a difficult time for my own mom, but as Ellen in the book said, "I'm going to have this baby or die trying."

Also, much of this book is fiction as well. Some of the things written in it weren't things that happened in my life. I guess it's for the readers to see what they think could be true.

Unknown said...

I'd love to win hehe
It's ok if i dont though!!!! I just love entering things its fun haha(:

Judy said...

Karen, thanks for responding to my comment. I am looking forward to reading this book!

Judy B

Karen L. Malena said...

Hello Matt3756Fanz! Thanks for entering the contest!

Fenway324 said...

Karen, your book sounds so interesting, so full of emotion- right up my alley. Can't wait to read it! I'd love to win a copy!
Karen Rayno

Karen L. Malena said...

Thanks for entering Karen! Hope you're a winner! Yes, from what I know about you, this book is packed with the type of emotion you would really enjoy! I tried to convey from my heart about some serious subject matter, each "chapter" contains a very strong message, some heart-rendering issues, yet at the center of it all is a simple family whose love builds one another. Good luck! said...


I'm not leaving a comment so I can win a book, but to affirm Karen L. Malena, who I known to be a gifted author, caring mom, and a devoted Christian. All who know her are blessed, and it is that blessing multiplied many times over through the gifting of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) that readers will experience in her book.

Those who read her wonderful story will feel God's love and in so doing will rejoice with the angels that God has anointed another standard bearer to call people to Him, and encourage believers.

Debbie Curto said...

yes I felt that when I read the book!

Karen L. Malena said...

Paula Rose, you are one of the dearest people I am blessed to know. Thank you from my heart for the words said in such a lovely way. I do pray that this story blesses lives, touches many who may have gone through something one of the characters has gone through, and express a faith-filled family as they experience some of the toughest times of their lives.

Many, many thanks Paula dear!

Rhonda's Doings said...

when did you begin writing? was it difficult to get published?
Thanks! Rhonda

Unknown said...

Hi Karen..At what age did you start writng and what started you to write?
Kathy Milburn

Anonymous said...

Thank You!!!

Jackie Tessnair said...

Hi Karen,I would love to win this book.It sounds wonderful.Are the recipes yours or are they by others?And do you have a favorite author and book?Thanks for sharing with

Karen L. Malena said...

Hello Rhonda! Thanks for the comments and good luck on winning the book! I tried, and I do mean tried writing when I was 15. I wrote what I thought then was the most wonderful, serious, story in the world. Handed it to my mother who proceeded to burst into laughter. Well, I tore the offensive story to shreds, and didn't seriously write again until about five years ago. Got published two years ago. It took prayer and really seeking what the Lord wanted me to say. When I gave my writing to Him, He took over! Thanks so much for responding! Karen

Karen L. Malena said...

Hello Kathy! Nice hearing from you and good luck! As I said in the above comments, I began writing at 15, though it turned out badly. I tried again a bit in my twenties, but never took myself serious. When I finally asked the Lord to direct my steps and my fingers, of course, He answered in the most wonderful way. I have so many stories I'd like to pen at this time. But with a full time job, finding time to write is a bit tricky. Thanks so much for writing in!

Karen L. Malena said...

Hello Jackie dear! Nice to hear from you! The recipes I had included in the e book version were my mom's. I tried to write this story from almost a memoir type point of view, things Mom and I talked about, things we'd both gone through. So I thought it only right to include her recipes. The paperback does not include the recipes unfortunately, but I can certainly send you some if you'd like.

My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. And although I'd like to say she's my favorite author, she only wrote the one book. I have other authors I enjoy such as Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, Mitch Albom and Pat Conroy.

Thanks again so much for writing in!

Good luck winning!

Debbie Curto said...

I am glad I got the version with the recipes!

Bonnie Traher said...

Liked and shared. Would love to win. Bonnie Traher

Karen L. Malena said...

Thank you, Bonnie for entering and liking and sharing!! Good luck to you dear!

Debbie Curto said...

Angela you are the winner Congrats

Karen L. Malena said...

Angela, you are the winner! Would you like the paperback book or the e book? I'll contact you through email. Thanks so much and really hope you enjoy the book and are inspired by it!

Karen L. Malena said...

Congrats to Angela! She's chosen the paperback copy. Will be sending to her in a day or so. Thank you so much everyone for your comments and entering the contest!!