When Lions Roar
by Karen Leigh Gruber
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
Two women from different lands, each struggling to survive; a child’s mysterious disappearance will alter both their lives forever…
Maggie has become unrecognizable to herself, succumbing to the predictability of being a mother and wife. Every day she reminds her daughter to brush her teeth, has the same conversation with her husband about what’s for dinner. Maggie struggles to cope with the disenchantment of the monotonous tedium that has become her life. Despite her boredom, when her husband David is called on assignment to South Africa, Maggie resents having to rearrange her life just because David has decided they all need to traipse halfway across the globe.
While on safari, Maggie awakens one morning to a mother’s worst nightmare; their daughter Hannah has gone missing. Just when things can’t get any worse, Maggie is confronted with the harsh truth of her emotionally abusive marriage and what she has allowed her life to become.
When Lions Roar is set against the backdrop of the exotic and intriguing landscape of South Africa, when the country is reeling from the aftershocks of apartheid. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to abandon the fragile ties of her marriage and confront her self-destruction in time to save the life of her daughter?
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
I would have to say divination, which is the ability to gain insight into a situation. Mainly because I am fascinated with the thoughts of others and people’s motivation. Knowing or having knowledge which helps me understand a situation much greater and could positively affect how I choose to respond in that situation.
What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I think one of the biggest dichotomies of my personality is I am an extremely loving, compassionate, heartfelt, caring person, yet I love to watch live boxing matches. There’s something about the primal, warrior fight that is so very exciting to me. These men are willingly stepping into the ring, I just absolutely love it.
When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?
I don’t have a set method for creating a character. Usually I have a gender in mind, and then as the story writes, the characteristics start to come forward. The name is usually the last to be chosen. For example, if I’m describing an outfit that they’re wearing, then I think about how they would look in that outfit and their features, their traits – how would they move in that outfit? How would they feel about themselves in that outfit? Throughout When Lions Roar I developed the characters this way. It helped me get to know and understand them. I ask several questions and fill in from there as I go through the story.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Oh, I am a plotter. I love to be prepared. I love to be organized. I love to know what is on deck. Writing When Lions Roar was an immense stretch for my plotting mind, for the entire process required me to let go. The most important thing I have learned over the years, is most definitely how to leave space for changes, flexibility, and adaptability. I have it down to a nice blend of plotter with a little pantser thrown in for good measure.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?
I learned a lot from writing When Lions Roar. I learned how to trust in the writing process itself. I learned a whole lot of details about the self-publishing process of a book and the marketing of a book, which are all offshoots. The writing is awesome and my favorite part.
But when you create something that you want people to take notice of and to have in their lives, so your intent of wanting to improve people’s lives can come to fruition; you have to get published and you have to get it out there. Those pieces are huge and still are big learning curves for me.
What I learned and what I have witnessed about the writing process is we all have this creativity inside of us. We are all creative beings and you just must trust, open yourself to receive and you will be shocked at what comes forth.
After several days, while David had left on assignment, Akilah came to see me. Although there was alarm in her eyes when she first saw me, that shifted to compassion as she found me lying across the bed. Unwashed for weeks now, my mouth was crusted over and my hair a tangled mess. I reeked of alcohol, filth, and despair. Quickly, she ran to the bathroom and started the tub. Gingerly, she lifted my arms and began to guide me toward the tub. I resisted her.
“David is coming back. He will find you here. You must leave,” I pleaded.
“Not until you are washed.” She helped me into the bath and proceeded to wash me as one would wash a little baby. It was with such tenderness and loving hands, I thought I might simply dissolve under her touch. She started at my neck, face, and mouth and wiped away the crust that had been lingering there for far too long. She lifted each arm with the warmheartedness of a mother. As she washed up and down the length of my arm, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast of her dark skin, which seemed so strong compared to my delicate white skin that could peel away at any moment. She pitched the top half of my limp body forward in order to scrub my back. I could feel the suds from the sponge trickle down my spine into the water below.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Karen Gruber is an international #1 best-selling contributing author, inspirational speaker, and a Leadership Development Coach for women and moms. She specializes in inspiring moms to realize their potential as mothers, women, and leaders. Karen has had extensive specialized training in parenting, feminine spirituality, and leadership. Over the past 15 years she has provided innovative leadership coaching for moms and has dramatically transformed her own life.
Sharing her life with her husband Jim and daughter Jaymie, presenting her message to other women, and traveling the world bring her the greatest joy.
She is the founder of The Inspired Mama, a company located in gorgeous Denver, Colorado that focuses on the inspiration, leadership, and wellbeing of women and moms.
When Lions Roar is Karen’s debut fictional work. She is freakish about Christmas lights and loves to play Baccarat.
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