October 10, 2013
Deep-thinking local author Karen Lenfestey writes about ordinary people who deal with extraordinary circumstances. She’s currently based out of Fort Wayne, but over the years Lenfestey has made her home all over the state, including Valparaiso, Goshen, West Lafayette and Bloomington. She says she started writing as a child for therapeutic purposes. “When my parents would send me to my room (probably for something my brother did), I would write to entertain myself.”
Lenfestey’s first book, A Sister’s Promise, has sold remarkably well. It’s sequel, What Happiness Looks Like, garnered great reviews and was listed as a “Strong Pick” by Midwest Book Review. When a childhood punishment results in a career as a successful author, that’s poetic justice.
A Sister’s Promise deals with the sensitive issues women face when deciding whether having children should be their path in life.
“I wondered what event would be dramatic enough to make a woman reconsider her stance on motherhood,” Lenfestey explained. “I created Kate, a 35-year-old woman who had a million reasons why she didn’t have kids – genetics, a demanding career and ultimately the fear that she wasn’t cut out to be June Cleaver, Carol Brady or Claire Huxtable. TV moms have always made it look so easy, but Kate knew better. When her only sister faced death, Kate was willing to say anything, even promising to have a baby. The idea that not all women want to be mothers must have struck a chord, because A Sister’s Promise topped the drama category on Amazon and has sold over 40,000 copies.”
The premise, along with the endearing characters, hooked readers, and they anxiously awaited the sequel What Happiness Looks Like.
“People who read A Sister’s Promise kept asking me what happened to Kate and Joely,’’ Lenfestey said. “Since I loved those characters so much, I decided to write about their lives five years later. It’s about how people reach a certain age (30s or 40s) and realize their lives didn’t turn out as they had planned.
“Joely Shupe had a vision of what her 30s would look like; she’d be the mother of two, finger-painting with her kids during the day and cooking dinner for her loving husband at night. Instead, she’s a single mother unable to provide for her only daughter. To make matters worse, her ex-fiancé, Jake, shows up. Unemployed and reeling from a personal tragedy, he claims he’s ready to parent the daughter he abandoned five years ago. Joely is more interested in Dalton, a devoted father to his own son who offers to take care of her the way no man ever has. Should Joely risk her daughter bonding with someone new or with the man who broke her heart? Kate and Joely must re-adjust their vision of what happiness looks like in order to move on.”
On the Verge, Lenfestey’s third book, is another story with a horrendously perplexing dilemma. Early into their marriage, the main character’s husband falls down a flight of stairs and severely injures his head which results in a personality change. He becomes essentially a totally different person. One would never see that coming, but that’s the genius of Lenfestey’s craft.
Another genre Lenfestey has dabbled in is romance. Her Novella Made for Two is a touching depiction about a woman returning to her hometown due to unfortunate circumstances. She rekindles the romance with a past love and joyfully realizes her life is made for two, just like her tandem bicycle, a sweet metaphor for the story.
Aside from writing great fiction, Lenfestey considers herself a foodie and enjoys everything from barbeque to eclectic to fine dining. She also writes a heartfelt blog titled Treats for Mom that deals with everything from parenting to celebrities, cooking, literature and other issues and events every mother encounters.
You can find information on all things Karen Lenfestey – her books, new releases, Treats for Mom blog and special offers – at www.karensnovels.com.