Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 30, 2020

Book Giveaway: THE GHOST FROM THE STAINED GLASS WINDOW by Karen Belli

Karen Leiby Bell has written and published a new book titled THE GHOST FROM THE STAINED GLASS WINDOW, illustrated by Anneliese Van Dommelen.

Karen has agreed to share a copy, to one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Karen, especially at this stressful time when authors and illustrators need to promote their books completely online.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Twelve year old, Dani Roberson’s life is as happy as it gets. Then a series of events lead her into a run-down mansion which once housed the stained glass she acquired. Whispers in the night, startle her awake. Visions of a dead boy summon her. She is haunted by two spirits. One apparition needs her help while the other is a demon wanting to exchange his soul for hers.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Writing has always been fun for me. I love to imagine and create. I love the challenge of coming up with new words, new scenarios and answering the “what ifs”. My family will attest to the fact that I like to embellish personal stories. Loving to read is important to that writing element. As a child I had access to a small library some people had put together in the basement of a church rectory. I don’t know the exact number of books there, but I know there was a complete collection of Nancy Drew mysteries and I waited with anticipation for the “checkout” day each week. I really enjoyed reading spooky ghosts and mysteries.

When my children were old enough I introduced them to ghost stories. They loved them. It was hard to find age appropriate paranormal. My interest in writing paranormal for a young audience started there.

When my husband, who loves auctions, and is a lover and collector of art, brought home a stained glass memorial that had once been in a church, now demolished, my creative juices started. I wondered what could have happened to the boy memorialized on the glass. Born in 1890 it stated. Why did he die in 1896? I wondered. My mind began conjuring a story. As an outcome, the character Nathan was born. At first, he was a good spirit, but alas, as writing goes his character became darker and his new personality emerged. Our art collection contains some art painted by Bucks County Impressionists. Hence, Nathan’s character became a “would be” Bucks County Impressionist.

Dani Roberson, the twelve year old main character in present day, is beset by problems immediately. Her parents are enthusiastic auction goers and, being an only child, she has always gone with them developing her own fondness for it. This particular weekend, at a preview, she is drawn to the stained glass by what appeared to be a glimmer of light. After attaining the glass, and taking it home, it sat in the basement for a year.

Dani has to overcome many problems and conflicts that plague today’s youngsters so I think my audience of middle grade will be able to relate to my book. Additionally, they will be delightfully scared by Dani’s adventures with demons. She is lured from the present into Nathan’s paranormal world and exposed to details that need to be “unlocked”. This leads to Dani’s questioning her judgement and discovering her inner strength.

My journey led me to NJSCBWI, after I met Anita Nolan, at a conference for writers of adult fiction. She suggested SCBWI was a better fit for my writing for middle grade. I learned a great deal from the workshop retreats that Kathy Temean held, workshops at the conferences and connections that I made at those. Anita’s classes in plot, character development and the revision process helped to hone my writing skills and I am so happy to know her professionally and now as a good friend.  I was invited to attend the Avalon Retreat, which Kathy sets up each September. She schedules a group of writers, who critique each other’s manuscripts and share. My group consisted of professional women who were bright, endearing, and kind, when offering revisions. We clicked immediately which made the entire experience worthwhile and memorable. Kathy knew each of us and did a great job pairing us up.  Leslie Zampetti, who has moved on to becoming an agent, was particularly inspiring. Agents are also invited and assigned to each person. They arrive with a critique of the writers’ previously read work. The two agents were generous and compassionate with their suggestions for improvement and I came away from that experience more confident. I thank Kathy Temean for connecting me to excellent workshops, agents and authors. She is an awesome woman and I value her professional and personal friendship.

Throughout my journey to publishing, I sent out many query letters and pitched my book idea many, many, times but found myself with about a hundred some rejection letters. But I wasn’t discouraged. Okay, maybe a little, maybe a lot. At least my rejections were getting better. They went from, “Are you kidding me?” to “No, thanks” to finally, “Your writing is okay but not what we’re looking for right now.” I decided I couldn’t wait, I’m not a youngster anymore. I decided, with my husband, Larry’s support, to self-publish. I’m not the sharpest techie either, so I needed more than a little support to self-publish. I researched companies and chose iUniverse because they published Still Alice, which my book club read. It was a great book then became a movie. I also looked at and read other books they published. They had a positive review so I contacted them. My journey with them was a very positive one. Their editors were great and easy to approach. I am in the middle of my second book in the series of ghost stories and I plan to keep, Dani, the now thirteen year old, main character.

Karen Leiby Belli taught students in elementary, elementary library, and special education in public and private schools. She taught and evaluated students as a reading specialist at The Devereux Foundation in Malvern, PA. She earned a certificate in special education from Penn State University and a Master’s Degree from Kutztown University as a reading specialist and has enjoyed her career teaching middle school students and encouraging them to enjoy the art of reading. She is a grandmother and lives in Bucks County, PA., with her husband, Larry, and their puppy, Mickey.

KAREN’S BIO:

Karen Leiby Belli taught students in elementary, elementary library, and special education in public and private schools. She taught and evaluated students as a reading specialist at The Devereux Foundation in Malvern, PA. She earned a certificate in special education from Penn State University and a Master’s Degree from Kutztown University as a reading specialist and has enjoyed her career teaching middle school students and encouraging them to enjoy the art of reading. She is a grandmother and lives in Bucks County, PA., with her husband, Larry, and their puppy, Mickey.

Karen, thank you for sharing your book and Journey with us. I enjolyed reading this book when you came to the Avalon Writers Retreat with your manuscript a few years ago. Now with your revisions and the illustrations Anneliese created, I am sure the ghost loving readers out there will enjoy reading this book and it will do well in the market. Congratulations and good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This looks good!

    Like

  2. This book sounds intriguing! Can’t wait to read! Congratulations!

    Like

  3. I forgot to add that I receive this blog to my email! Very thankful.

    Like

  4. Congratulations Karen! I can’t wait to read The Ghost from the Stained Glass Window.

    Like

    • Thank you, Susan

      Like

  5. I love ghost stories. I teach upper elementary, and I know my students would love to get their hands on a copy of this book. 🙂

    Like

  6. Just stopping by to say congratulations to Karen! You’re a lesson in persistence. (I don’t need to be entered in the giveaway, Kathy, as I’ve already purchased my copy.)

    Like

    • Thank you, Anita. I have you to thank for a lot of the journey. Great teacher!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats, Karen and Anneliese! (I’m subscribed to email updates as well.)

    Like

  8. Stunning illustrations. This sounds like quite a story, but I just can’t read ghost stories. I will pass on the giveaway. Thanks for the post.

    Like

  9. Huge congratulations, Karen!! Cher xo

    Like


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