I'm thrilled to host multi-published author Karina Bartow today. Her latest release is Wrong Line, Right Connection. Isn't the title great? But before we get to the book, let's get to know Karina a little better. Welcome, Karina!
1) What sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series?
I loved—what I consider—the childhood classics: The Bernstein Bears, Raggedy Ann & Andy, and of course, Mystery Inc.
The Berenstein Bears was a favorite in our house when our sons were little. Those books still make me smile.
2) What sort of books do you enjoy reading nowadays?
I enjoy mainly love stories with a smattering of mysteries.
3) Around what age did you realize that you liked to write? And when did you know that you wanted to write books?
I always excelled in English class and had fun using my imagination. When my mom and sister took me to meet an author at the local library when I was nine, her passion for writing rubbed off on me, and that became my goal from then on.
4) What’s the first thing you wrote that you remember being proud of?
When I was twelve, I composed a children’s book about my dad’s childhood antics, titled What Planet is Dad From? Back then, I thought it was going to be a best-seller!
Awww! You made a cover and everything! It's so great that you still have it!
5) Tell us about the creative force within you. What inspires you to write, to create?
From day one, I wanted to write about subjects about which I’m passionate. Naturally, that’s evolved over time, but at the core, my books have explored characters being stopped in their tracks and forced to reevaluate their path in life or the path others have laid out for them. I’m really intrigued by the way people adapt to changed circumstances and how they can defy odds.
6) What’s your writing space like?
It’s a spare room in my family’s home, and it’s Paris-themed. For a long time, it featured a mural of the Eiffel Tower hand-painted by my mom, but with heavy hearts, we painted over it two years ago.
Wow! You put in some work! I can understand that you might miss Eiffel Tower, but it's a great writing space. Congratulations!
7) Do you have a favorite time of day to write? Any habits or little rituals that put you in a writing mindset?
I prefer to write in the afternoon and early evening as opposed to morning. As for rituals, I used to play a game of Sudoku or Hearts on my computer to rev up my brain, but I don’t do that often anymore.
8) Time to talk about Wrong Line, Right Connection (rubbing hands together). But first, how did you come up with the idea for the series? Are there any interesting tidbits you’d care to share with us?
While Wrong Line, Right Connection isn’t in a true series, it’s sort of a prequel/spin-off of my 2018 novel, Forgetting My Way Back to You. Mabel, a secondary character in that, was a plain-spoken, feisty older woman many readers loved. My writing coach especially adored her and rallied for years for a standalone story about her. Once I warmed up to the idea, it flowed very naturally, given Mabel was based on a cherished friend. I didn’t make it a true biography, but I implemented real facts about her life here and there, centering it around her real-life occupation of a switchboard operator.
This is wonderful. I love that you based the story on a dear friend (above photo, right).
9) Now let’s hear about Wrong Line, Right Connection.
The love story follows Mabel Jennings, who works as a telephone operator in June 1964. When she receives a call from a deep-voiced gentleman, her attraction to him befuddles her, making her connect him with the wrong business—not once, but twice! The haphazard introduction sets an unexpected romance into motion. Though she falls quickly for him, Mabel’s bittersweet past refrains her from giving Roy her full devotion. Can she overcome her memories of love lost to embrace the new one calling out to her?
It sounds fun and very romantic (happy sigh).
10) I comprehend that you’ve just recently published a book. Still, I can’t help but ask – do you have anything waiting in the wings?
Yes, I just signed my fifth book deal for a mystery novel with The Wild Rose Press! With the working title Accidental Allies, it's the third installment of the Unde(a)feated Detective Series, which follows deaf detective Minka Avery. After leaving the police force for six years to be a stay-at-home mom, she returns to Orlando PD…and let's just say she’s welcomed back with a bang! It should be released later this year.
The whole series sounds great!
11) Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Check out my book trailers on my Youtube channel, @KarinaBartow!
Will do! :)
Karina, thank you for sharing your time and talent with us! Congratulations on Wrong Line, Right Connection. I wish you all the best!
Now for the book!
Could a switch gone wrong turn into a love gone right?
Could a mortifying day on the job end up netting you true love?
When switchboard operator Mabel Jennings reports to work on a Monday in the summer of 1964, she doesn’t have any interest in finding love again. Out-of-towner Roy Stentz rings up her station, however, and makes her reconsider. Mabel’s intrigued by his deep yet kind voice, but she endeavors to remain professional. Her attraction frazzles her mind, causing her to transfer Roy to the wrong line. When he calls back to give her another try, she repeats the mistake, humiliating herself.
The haphazard introduction sets an unexpected romance into motion. Though she falls quickly for him, Mabel's bittersweet past refrains her from giving Roy her full devotion. Can she overcome her memories of love lost to embrace the new one calling out to her?
When the motel lit up a third time, she dropped the preamble. “I’m sorry, Mr. Stentz. I’ll get it right this time.”
“No problem, but now that I think about it, you can give me the number, anyhow. That way, I won’t have to trouble you if I need to make another call during my stay.”
She did her best to conceal her humiliation while she recited it. She didn’t cry often, but to her alarm, a tear traced down her cheek. With him living out of the state, they probably would never cross paths, but discouragement washed over her. She blew her chance, if she had one to blow in the first place.
“Thank you, miss.” His chivalry didn’t crack, a sign of what a nice fellow he must be, given what she put him through. “Since I have you again, I wanted to ask if you’d like to go to dinner with me tonight? I was hoping someone could show me the sights before I head north. Plus, I’d like to find out if you’re a better date than you are an operator.”
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About the Author
Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio. Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her. Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want. Her works include Husband in Hiding, Brother of Interest, Forgetting My Way Back to You, and Wrong Line, Right Connection. She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!
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It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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