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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Blog Tour Author Interview & Giveaway - Lamb To the Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins




Lamb To The Slaughter
by Karen Ann Hopkins

Synopsis:
Some Amish communities aren't so cozy.

Lamb to the Slaughter is a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest.

Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the country town of Blood Rock and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate.  At first glance, the case seems obvious.  The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl’s parents react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious.  As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting.

Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman, who left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up.  Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.

*Lamb to the Slaughter is book one of Serenity’s Plain Secrets.

Book Links



Author Interview

1. For those who don't know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in northern Kentucky with my five children on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. My main job is home schooling the kids, but I find time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write books. I was inspired to write my first book, TEMPTATION, from the Amish community that I live in. The experiential knowledge I gained through interactions with my neighbors drove me to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah, which continued in Belonging and came to a thrilling conclusion in Forever.

Lamb to the Slaughter is an Amish murder mystery that I began writing over a year ago after my agent asked me if I could create such a thing on demand.  I became intrigued with the idea, especially since I had personally witnessed some strange and almost creepy goings-on in the community.  I really wanted to delve deeper into the darker side of being Amish, especially in relation to my personal passion, the lives of the teenagers and some of the harsh realities they’re faced with. 

2. What has been the scariest moment in your life?

A pretty memorable incident that I’d have to put at the top of my scariest moments list is a fall I took off a horse on the edge of a cliff. I was in my early twenties at the time of the incident and working at a riding stable in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I guided horse-back riding tours on the mountain trails and loved the job immensely. At the end of the season, all the guides who worked at the stable would get together for a ‘guide ride’ up to Rainbow Falls. The trip generally took a few hours and would have been a pleasurable excursion if it hadn’t been for the fact that another guide took the horse that I usually rode and I was stuck with a very temperamental Appaloosa mare for the trip.  When we’d almost reached our destination, a few other riders who had left earlier, passed by me heading back down the trail. They were galloping along on a flat stretch and when they passed by me, my lovely horse, Tonya, spooked and whirled around to race after them. I had absolutely no control whatsoever and in a flash we were well past the other riders. The trail quickly narrowed and I found myself with a shear drop off of hundreds of feet on my left and a steep embankment to the right. The usual trick of turning the mare into a stop was not an option.

Tonya was hard mouthed and insane to boot. I endured a couple of agonized moments of racing down the mountain trail, dodging tree branches and thinking about my two baby boys who were at home being babysat by my mother. I honestly feared that they were going to grow up without a mother.  The scariest part was that it seemed to take forever to for the ride-from-hell to end.  We finally reached a place where a large Hemlock tree encroached too far onto the trail to easily pass.  At that moment I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed that the horse somehow managed to get by the tree without crashing into it or swerving off the side of the cliff.  Luckily for me and Tonya, she kept her footing and curled around that massive tree trunk.  She barely slowed for the object in her path and my right side hit the tree, knocking me from the crazy horse.  I laid there in the churned up dirt of the trial for a minute, thanking God and the universe that I was still alive.  All in all, I ended up with a torn ear and a long swath of nasty looking bruises down my arm and leg, but I was unharmed other than that.  Tonya made it down the mountain without injury and I rode her several times after that, but never on a guide ride again.

3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up in upstate New York, I was bitten by the horse bug at the tender age of five.  After diligently taking riding lessons for several years I was rewarded by my parents with my first horse at the age of eleven. The feisty horse’s name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became my steadfast companion. Through the years the constant force in my life were horses, from pleasure riding and showing, to eventually finding a place as a riding instructor myself.  So I guess you can say I’ve always wanted to be a great equestrian and hoped to make a livelihood in the equine industry.

4. Who should play you in a film?

That’s an interesting question.  I think about actors for my characters all the time, but never for me personally.  If I had my pick, I’d be thrilled if Cate Blanchett played me.  She has the right balance of earthiness and leadership qualities that I can relate to. 

5. What would we find under your bed?

A lot of cat hair!  I have five house cats and have joked on many occasions how their hair seems to gather under the bed as if it’s trying to become a brand new cat.

6. Tell us about your family.

I’m blessed with five beautiful children.  My oldest is nineteen and is currently working with the Amish learning the trade of becoming a master house builder.  My seventeen year old son is into everything soccer and my fourteen year old daughter is a mini-me, riding on an equestrian team and spending all her free time on the back of a horse.  My eleven year old son is a little Harry Potter wannabe and my youngest daughter, who is eight, is a mixture between ultra girly and Tom boy, making her an extremely confusing and saucy child. 

7. Do you have a love interest?

I’ve finally made it through a stretch of some very rough years.  After moving to northern Kentucky from Tennessee for my ex-husband’s work in 2008, he left the family and returned the south by himself shortly thereafter.  He was remarried to another woman within a few months of our divorce, and I’ve been a struggling single mother of five since then.  For a long time I didn’t even want to think about love, which was ironic since I was in the middle of writing the romantic Temptation series. Betrayal is a very difficult thing to overcome, but when I was least expecting it, a really wonderful guy came along and my children and I couldn’t help falling in love with him.  I’m happy once again and almost completely healed from the past.

This or That:

Vampires or Werewolves?  Werewolves

Hotmail or Gmail? Gmail

Chocolate or Vanilla Ice Cream? Chocolate

Summer or Winter? Summer

Introvert or Extrovert?  Extrovert

TV or Movies?  Movies

It’s been great to stop by Chosen By You Book Club today!   I love to hear from readers and answer any of their questions (especially the Amish related ones)!  Please contact me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or visit me on my website at, www.karenannhopkins.com.

I also have a special giveaway going on right now that I’d like to share with you.  If you purchase Lamb to the Slaughter on either Kindle or Nook for the promo price of only $2.99, you can be entered in a giveaway for a three book autographed set of the Temptation series. It includes copies of Temptation, Belonging and Forever! All you have to do is personally contact me on FB, Twitter, Goodreads or my website and let me know that you’ve purchased Lamb and I’ll get you entered. The drawing will be held on May 30th in conjunction with blog tour ending. This is a separate giveaway from the tour Rafflecopter.  Happy reading!

Karen Ann Hopkins


Limited-Time Offer!


For a limited time, Lamb to the Slaughter is available for $2.99 from Amazon and Barnes & Noble so get your copy now!

About the Author
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.
Author Links:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads










***Giveaway***

We have a really exciting prize package for this tour, so make sure to follow along for more chances to win every day! What’s up for grabs:

• A $100 Amazon Gift Card
• An autographed set of Karen’s YA Temptation series
• A traditional Amish style hand stitched wall hanging/lap quilt with the lone star pattern in country colors

Open internationally.

9 comments:

  1. Scary incident with the horse Tonya! Happy your okay!

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  2. Poor Karen! But it's awesome she didn't let it scare her! I love the job she had, I too would LOVE to work on a farm and with horses.

    This is an awesome interview and an awesome blog tour!! LOVE her writing. And I feel I know her a little better too :)

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  3. Thank you for the amazing giveaway!!

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  4. Love the interview. Living in an Amish community like that has got to be interesting.

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  5. Interesting experiment in writing on demand! I hope it is well-received and that you do many more!

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  6. thank you looks great and i look forward to reading it the excerpt it is good, thanks again

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  7. It's awesome Karen Ann Hopkins found love again and healing and that she's loving writing and teaching her kids!!

    It's so cool that her oldest son is learning how to be a master builder from the Amish!!

    Lovely interview :)

    Thank you :)

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