Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lamb to the Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins Blog Tour + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop in LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER  Blog Tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring. Today we have a guest post by & a awesome Tour-Wide Giveaway!

Lamb To The Slaughter

Lamb to the Slaughter
Lamb to the Slaughter
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.

The path to becoming an author!

Persistence. This one word is the main reason I got published. Most of the time a good product just isn’t enough and neither is experience for that matter. When I finally did get the magical phone call from Christina Hogrebe, my amazing agent from the Jane Rotrosen Literary Agency, telling me that she would be thrilled to represent me for my Amish themed YA novel, I didn’t have any experience or knowledge of the publishing industry. I was about as green as writer could get. Truth be told, I wasn’t a writer at all. I was a horse-back riding instructor and 4H coach. My only writing experience was the monthly articles that I’d submit to the local newspaper about the farm’s events and activities. My entire life had been dedicated to learning about horses, not writing. I’d attended just about every equestrian discipline and husbandry clinic available in a tri-state region, but I’d never taken a single creative writing class. But once upon a time, before the five children came along and the homeschooling began and the horse farm grew, I’d been an avid reader myself and that's what helped me to get started.

At this point, you might be wondering how I ended up writing Temptation, a three hundred and eighty page novel that would eventually become the first of a published trilogy with Harlequin Teen. Persistence and strange circumstance are the answers. There’s that P word again, but I’ll get to that later.

My strange circumstance was moving from the mountains of Tennessee to the middle of an Amish community in northern Kentucky in 2008. It was one of those reluctant moving experiences. My husband had found a better job offering in Kentucky and we made the move, leaving behind a successful horse-back riding stable, dozens of much loved students and close family to start over fresh in another state.

My general advice to anyone who is considering a major life changing choice, think very carefully before you do it and take your parents thoughts into account before you make your final decision. Of course, I didn’t do those things and a few years later I was a divorced woman caring for five children and a slew of horses and other pets on my own in unfamiliar territory. My ex returned to Tennessee and immediately remarried another woman. I learned the hard way about not listening to my momma.

Getting back to the beginning of my writing career and moving away from unpleasant thoughts, I found myself living in the middle of a community of people who lived their lives as if they were trapped in an episode of Little House on the Prairie. As crazy as it all was, it was still completely fascinating! And immersing myself into learning about my new community was a good way to keep me distracted from the troubles I was enduring on a personal level.

I was in a unique position. Early on there was a group of about fifteen Amish teens visiting my farm on a weekly basis to watch my non-Amish (called English by the Amish) students take their lessons in the arena. Soon enough, the Amish youth were riding with the English ones and some of the older Amish girls even assisted me with my lesson program. Through those experiences, a seed of a thought grew in my mind.

What if an English teen and an Amish one fell in love? I soon realized that it wasn’t farfetched at all as I witnessed the daily interactions between the two groups of young people. Friendships were forged and there was definitely some serious flirting going on.

“How could this ever work out?” I asked myself. That question plagued me day and night and Temptation’s story took on a life of its own. I spent almost two years of experiential research, observations and having discussions with the Amish before I felt confident enough to tell Rose and Noah’s story properly. I was lucky. I interacted with the Amish on a daily basis. The youth spent time at my farm, the boys hung out with my teenage sons and the girls babysat my small children. I drove Amish families to town to shop and I even took an Amish family along on a Gatlinburg vacation. I had a lot of opportunities to observe and ask questions, and that’s just what I did.

I had to write Temptation for two reasons. First, I knew that it was a unique and interesting story, especially for young adults. Second, I was a single mom with five kids and a farm, and I needed the extra income.

That’s where the persistence part came in. I knew I had a great idea, but I had to learn to write, which I did through trial and error and many rejections. I took professional advice when given and continued over the course of a year to revise and improve the work until it was finally at the level where an agent embraced it. That’s when the real work began. My agent helped me with some more edits before she began submitting to publishing houses. I was lucky, having both Harlequin Teen and another large publishing company make offers on Temptation. Ultimately, I chose Harlequin Teen and began a writing career in earnest.

Through the process of working with editors like Adam Wilson and TS Ferguson, my writing continued to improve and what was once an unattainable dream became a career. If I’d given up early, when the rejections were coming in, Rose and Noah’s story would never have been told and so many fans who loved the Temptation series would never have had the opportunity to read it.

Temptation’s fan base continues to grow and I’m reminded almost every day how much my books have affected readers. I was even contacted by an Amish girl who was shunned by her family for leaving her community to marry her ‘outsider’ boyfriend. She tearfully told me how therapeutic my books were for her and how they'd helped her get through her own ordeal.

Writing Lamb to the Slaughter was an even more enlightening experience. It’s 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 Amish community where I lived. 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. I pushed myself once again, and amazingly, through much persistence, I wrote another popular book in a whole new genre.

The Temptation series and Lamb to the Slaughter has opened up a mysterious culture to mainstream young people and adults and I’m ever-so-glad that I was persistent enough to succeed with my writing endeavors. It’s really the best advice that I can give to aspiring writers out there. Stick to your guns and don’t give up!

Thanks for visiting Addicted Readers 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, 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, 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 Rafflecopter above.

Happy reading!

Karen Ann Hopkins


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

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Monday April 21 - Caffeinated Book Reviewer - Review
Tuesday April 22 - Lose Time in Reading - Review
Wednesday April 23 - Love Life Read - Review
Thursday April 24 - A Book Addicts Bookshelf - Author Interview
Friday April 25 - Curling Up with a Good Book - Guest Post

Monday April 28 - Page Turners - Character Interview
Tuesday April 29 - Andi’s Book Reviews - Review
Wednesday April 30 – Unabridged Bookshelf - Review
Thursday May 1 - Evie Bookish - Guest Post
Friday May 2 - Bookish Brunette - Excerpt

Monday May 5 - Bewitched Bookworms - Review
Tuesday May 6 - Blissful Book Reviews - Guest Post
Wednesday May 7 - Bittersweet Enchantment - Interview
Thursday May 8 - Chosen by You Book Club - Interview
Friday May 9 - Christy Howell Books - Review

Monday May 12 - Book Swarm - Review
Tuesday May 13 - Literary Me - Interview
Wednesday May 14 - Addicted Readers - Guest Post
Thursday May 15 - Tien’s Blurb - Review
Friday May 16 - Jeanz Book Read N’ Reviews - Review

Monday May 19 - Bajgajka Loves Books and Giveaways - Guest Post
Tuesday May 20 - Actin’ Up with Books - Review
Wednesday May 21 - Kimberly Faye Reads - Review
Thursday May 22 - Reading Lark - Review
Friday May 23 - Janiera Eldridge - Review

Monday May 26 - I Read Indie - Review
Tuesday May 27 - Glorious Books - Guest Post
Wednesday May 28 - Little Miss Drama Queen - Review
Thursday May 29 - Once Upon Twilight - Review
Friday May 30 - It’s a Book Thing - Review

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  1. Thanks for sharing and for the awesome giveaway!!

    1. Hi, Victoria! You can see the amazing wall/lap quilt on my FB page and Website!! It's hand stitched and truly unique. Thanks for the comment :)

    2. Sorry, I didn't see this until just now - thanks I will check it out :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your mini-bio with us! It is both fascinating and inspiring! All the best in your future writings!

    1. Thanks, Collenga! I really appreciate your kind words :)

  3. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    It is awesome that out of all this hardship on a personal level and in terms of a new environment, this awesome series came about and she's branching out in the mystery genre!

    Thank you for the wonderful advice!!

    Lovely post :)

  4. Thanks for the great guest post! I enjoyed reading it and found it quite interesting. :)


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