Friday, May 6, 2016

Karen Fenech - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Karen Fenech. She is Critically-acclaimed author of romantic suspense. Karen is the author of the The Protectors Series.

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

Website: Karen Fenech
Author's Blog: Karen Fenech Blog
Twitter: @karenfenech
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR KAREN FENECH writes romantic suspense novels, short works of suspense, and erotic romance. She is the author of the romantic suspense series, The Protectors and the author of the erotic romance, Surrender series. Karen's novels and short suspense fiction have received critical acclaim. Her novels have been translated into several languages and have been released in audio by her publisher. When Karen's not writing or spending time with her family, she loves to shop, watch movies, and just kick back in a comfortable chair and read.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Breath of Malice. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

You are so right, James. "Breath Of Malice" is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and will be released on June 14th. The story centers around an inexperienced FBI agent who catches the eye of a serial killer and becomes his next target. It's a game of cat and mouse . . . and she's losing.

You have a good following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How did you build your following in your niche? How much has it changed your book launch process?

It's so nice to be able to connect through social media. I've met very nice people through Twitter and Facebook. I don't post a lot about my books there unless I have a new release or a special promotion going that I think my followers and friends would enjoy knowing about. I usually post about what interests me, humor, animals, writing, recipes, general then-and-now pics, fashion -- things like that.

About building a following, I wish I had some good information to share. There are some writers with huge numbers of followers which is wonderful. I'm not one of them. I've never really learned how to use social media as a sales tool. I think of it more as having a conversation with people.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, getting the book to your readers and the relationship with your readers and fans?

E-books and independent publishing enable writers to write more broadly and to release on their own schedule. It's not necessary anymore for a book to be a good fit for traditional publishing in order to be published, and publishing time slots are a thing of the past. I'm enjoying these benefits. Because of these options, I think readers are also enjoying a great diversity in reading material. It's win-win for everyone.

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I haven't made any personal appearances recently. It's so nice to meet readers in person but social media and the Internet have made it possible to keep in close touch without being in the same location. Now all geographic boundaries have been removed. I connect with readers daily via email or on Facebook and Twitter. If anyone reading this would like to say "hi", I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or get in touch with me at my website, facebook or twitter. (See links in my profile.)

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

I am hands-on when it comes to my covers. I try to choose themes that reflect the tone of the books. I don't always get it right, but with ebooks, we have the opportunity to make changes. My readers' reactions let me know if it's time for a cover change.

Several of your novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience for you?

I think with people becoming increasingly more pressed for time, audio books are a terrific alternative to print reading. It seems we're always needing to multi-task and it's so nice to be able to combine the pleasure of reading with what may be considered mundane chores, like housework. : )

Regarding impact on regular sales, I think the audio market continues to grow and it's one that I would like to remain involved with. About gaining a new audience, yes, that's a lovely benefit.

You have written several short stories and novellas. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

Yes, I do also enjoy writing short stories and do consider them to be one style of my writing. I haven't found that short stories have the appeal that novels do. I think readers still prefer novel or novella length. If anyone reading this has had a different experience, please do comment below. I'd love to know what you've discovered.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I have been involved in free book giveaways and I've found those to be a good way to introduce new readers to my books. I'm very happy to be able to offer a book for free as a "thank you" to my readers. At the moment I'm offering "Caught", a novella from my Protectors Series, free. An email address is needed to send the novella, of course. If anyone would like an eCopy, please visit my website for details at:

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed and marketing your books. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

Sadly, my blog is not kept up to date. I love to read blogs, but am not good at blogging myself. I've kept the blog live in the hope that maybe one day I'll become better at blogging.

Regarding keeping readers informed about my books, I have a notification-only newsletter that I send out to announce a new release or, occasionally, to mention something that I feel my readers would enjoy knowing about. As I mentioned earlier, I don't post a lot about my books to Facebook or Twitter but I do post about a new release or special promotion. I also like to purchase advertising when I can.

Re finding time, boy, that's a question for all of us, isn't it? Twenty-four hours just aren't enough some days. : ) I wish I had some great wisdom to share. Like most, I just keep "to do" lists according to priority. Responding to reader email and checking in with friends at Facebook and Twitter are things that I enjoy and don't want to miss out on. I make sure to fit in time to keep in touch.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

Many of my reviews have come from the general reading audience over an extended period of time, but I've also found reviewer/bloggers to be very kind in providing reviews, their time permitting. If anyone is thinking of where to obtain reviews, I would suggest reaching out to reviewer/bloggers specific to your genre. I would love to reach out for more reviews but have never been quite certain of how or where to go about doing that.

James, thank you so much for hosting me today. It's been my great pleasure.

Many thanks to all of you who have taken time to read my responses. If you'd like to get in touch with me, I'd love to hear from you. I wish you all much happy reading and much happy writing!

Author's Book List
Breath of Malice
A gripping novel of romantic suspense from USA Today bestselling author Karen Fenech.

FBI Special Agent Paige Carson hoped she'd be able to start a new life in small-town South Carolina. But when a senator's sister is murdered and a blank postcard is left next to the body, Paige realizes that a killer from her past has found her--and is sending her a very personal message.

From the moment he hired her, FBI Special Agent in Charge Sam McKade knew Paige was hiding something. Prompted by this recent threat, she finally opens up: one year ago, she caught the eye of suspected serial killer Todd Thames. Now he's come back to pull her into his game, whether she wants to play or not.

As the danger increases, Paige and Sam give in to their growing attraction, and he vows to protect her no matter the cost. But the murderer will stop at nothing to get to his intended prey, and the strong arm of the law--and the shelter of her new love--may not be enough to save her.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

FBI Special Agent Clare Marshall was separated from her sister Beth in childhood when their mother tried to kill them. Now Clare learns that Beth lives in the small town of Farley, South Carolina, but when she goes there to reunite with Beth, Clare discovers her sister is missing and that someone in the town is responsible for her disappearance.

Clare receives an offer to help with the search from fellow FBI Special Agent Jake Sutton. The offer is too good to refuse, though that is exactly what Clare wants to do. Jake is Clare's former lover, a man she cannot forget, and who has an agenda of his own.

Now while Clare tracks her sister, someone is tracking Clare, and finding her sister may cost Clare her life.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

HIDE - The Protectors Series -- Book Four
Allison Sandoval is on the run after discovering the secret her new husband, Rafael, the leader of a South American country, has kept hidden from the world. She must tell what she knows and stop Rafael but she is on her own, physically weakened by his abuse, and she is running out of time.

Former Navy SEAL Zach Corrigan, owner of a Special Ops organization, accepts the job to find Allison, a woman he is told is mentally ill and who suffers from hallucinations and paranoia. But when Zach finds her, something isn't right and after he returns her to her husband, Zach can't get her out of his mind or the belief that he's made a mistake in taking her back.

Zach is determined to right that wrong. What began as a job is turning into something more. With Zach, Allison finds a refuge and something she'd given up on, hope. But Rafael isn't the only one hunting Allison. The CIA wants her too. Zach will do everything in his power to make Allison safe, beginning with finding a place for her to hide. But with enemies all around them, there is no place to hide . . .

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

PURSUED - The Protectors Series - Book Three - Romantic Suspense
Chief Of Police Mitch Turner is finally close to getting the evidence he needs to prosecute crime boss, Christopher Rossington. When Mitch's fiancée, Shelby, is attacked, he must consider the attack wasn't random, but Rossington's attempt to strike out at Mitch. Shelby insists she wasn't targeted but Mitch has questions -- about the attack and now about her . . .

Dr. Shelby Grant appears to be living a fairy tale life. She is doing meaningful work at her psychology practice and she's engaged to marry Mitch, the man of her dreams. But all is not as it appears. Nothing Mitch knows about her is the truth. She's been lying to him since the day they met and keeping a secret from him. She lives in fear he will find out what she is hiding. Her secret, if revealed, will destroy his love for her and will kill them both.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

SNOWBOUND - The Protectors Series - Book Two
THE PROTECTORS: Though they work independently and at times are oceans apart, their ties to each other remain strong. They're related by blood or bond -- this group of men in law enforcement, government intelligence, and the military who do what others cannot to serve, defend, and protect.

When her cover is blown in a criminal operation to apprehend a human trafficker, FBI Special Agent Mallory Burke is put in a car destined for a mountain cabin to be tortured and killed. But a snow storm results in an accident that leaves all but Mallory dead and she finds herself in the midst of the raging storm and in the care of Police Captain Gage Broderick. Mallory's relief that Gage is a cop is short lived. He has secrets of his own.

Gage is haunted by an incident in his recent past. The last thing he wants is to become embroiled in Mallory's investigation -- or to feel this powerful attraction to her.

But the lives of twelve women depend on Mallory and Gage working together to stop this man - the women's lives and now Mallory's life. He knows about her. He knows where she is. And he wants her dead.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

IMPOSTER - The Protectors Series - Book One
THE PROTECTORS: Though they work independently and at times are oceans apart, their ties to each other remain strong. They’re related by blood or bond – this group of men and women in law enforcement, government intelligence, and the military who do what others cannot to serve, defend, and protect.

IMPOSTER: The Protectors Series - Book One

Chemist Dr. Eve Collins, wrongly accused by the CIA of developing and marketing a chemical weapon, learns she has been set up as a scapegoat by someone seeking to hide his own guilt. That “someone” wants her dead. Her life depends on making no mistakes – like trusting the Central Intelligence agent assigned to her case, a man she’s falling in love with.

CIA Operative John Burke doesn't believe her claim of innocence. When an attempt is made on her life, he believes her accomplice has turned on her. But something doesn't add up about Eve and her role in this crime she's accused of. Burke has too many questions, including - has his judgment been compromised by his fierce attraction to her?

It’s a question Burke asks himself again and again but when he learns Eve’s would-be assassin is close, he goes on the run with her. It's a temporary solution - running will not keep her safe. Burke must find the assassin - or die trying.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Liz Janssen's marriage was over long before she filed for divorce. There was no way her soon-to-be ex-husband committed suicide because of her. Yet that is what her teenage son, Will, believes. Others in the small West Virginia town share this thinking. Others who are disciples of a homicidal Satanic cult her husband was part of. The disciples want vengeance for the death of one of their own and will use Liz's troubled, grief-stricken son as an instrument for their revenge. To save herself and Will, Liz must stop them - and she must do so without Doug finding out. Doug McBride is the new town sheriff, the man Liz has fallen in love with, and the man she cannot trust.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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