Karen Cantwell


Contest Winner and Other Announcements

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Contest Winner and Other Announcements

The Be a Character in a Barbara Marr Novel Contest is my favorite of the contests I hold. This time, I was very excited to have the highest number of entrants to date!! Of course, that’s good and that’s bad – it means more people are finding the Barbara Marr novels and becoming fans, but it also means so many more people won’t win. I wish I could make everyone a character!! I guess I’ll just have to write that many more novels, eh?

Okay, without further ado, here’s the announcement (drum roll please)….. the newest character who will appear in Dead Man Stalking is….

Vikki Cleveland!!!

Congratulations, Vikki!!! And thank you to everyone who entered.

Just for fun, I’m holding onto the names of all entrants for this contest, and will be drawing from that pool on Friday, Dec. 28th for ANOTHER CONTEST: Four lucky winners will receive a Barbara Marr t-shirt and a signed paperback copy of Take the Monkeys and Run.

If that wasn’t fun enough – everyone gets to vote on the book cover that will appear on this t-shirt! See the side bar to the right for that poll =========>

Are you new to the Barbara Marr books and/or didn’t enter the character name contest? You can still enter! leave a comment here, on my FB page, or email me at [email protected] and type T-SHIRT CONTEST in the subject line.

In other new news, I’m having the website redesigned as I type out this post, so very soon, you will be landing on a fun new page that will also hopefully be more user-friendly as well as appealing to look at.

ALSO, I want to thank everyone who has purchased and/or reviewed Saturday Night Cleaver – it’s climbing up the Amazon eBook bestseller charts!!! And that’s all because of you, the readers.

Finally, I know the current events in Connecticut still weigh heavily on our minds and in our hearts, and we probably all wish there was something we can do to help. I’m no expert in the area of help – I work from my gut, and my gut tells me that even if I can’t help those families directly, that I can bring more love to our world by some very simple actions: I can smile at strangers I pass throughout my day, I can laugh rather than rant, I can open the door for someone at Starbucks or a mall shopper burdened by packages. I can let three people in a backed-up line of traffic, I can say “Thank-you” to a person who does the same for me. Tell everyone who is important to you how much you love them. I just can’t believe that Evil can endure in a world overwhelmed with love, so let’s start overwhelming.

My very best wishes to everyone this Holiday Season!



Contest Winner

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Contest Winner

It feels very difficult to celebrate a contest right now, while so many parents are mourning the loss of their children today. As a mother, as a human, as a person with a soul, my heart goes out to them as well as to the families of the adults killed in today’s horrific, horrific tragedy.

I decided to write humor because I felt there was already so much sadness in the world, that I wanted people to have an escape from that – a way to lighten their spirits. It’s just impossible to be funny today, however.

Prior to seeing this afternoon’s newscast, I had pulled a winner, and I will contact her personally, then make the public announcement on a day when we’ve all had some time to heal. Please, please, please, say a prayer for those families, those children who had to live through this horror, and for humanity.

A Short Interview With Barbara Marr

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Friend and author, Maria E. Schneider, invited Barb and me over to her blog where I posed a question to Barb: “If you could invite any three people to dinner – famous, not famous, dead or alive – who would they be and what would you like to discuss with them?” Stop by Maria’s blog, Bear Mountain Books, and see what Barb had to say. I think you’ll be surprised by her answers. I know I was!

Saturday Night Cleaver! Get Your Copy Now!

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

It’s true! A day earlier than expected!

Saturday Night Cleaver, the fourth Barbara Marr Murder Mystery, is now Available in e-Book form for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

Poor Barb. She just can’t stay out of trouble, no matter how hard she tries. But this time she has a good reason: family friend Colt Baron has gone missing. When soccer mom, Barbara Marr, and her ex-FBI husband, Howard, begin following clues in a search for their treasured pal, they find themselves crashing a rather racy sort of party – a soiree for swinging couples. Awkward. What they learn there is…interesting. But the question is, does the information lead them to Colt?

But that’s not the best news!

For the first week of release, the price has been lowered on all four Barbara Marr novels – only $1.00 each! That’s right – for a week, you can purchase the full series for only $4.00.  That’s big, because even when the boxed set is released in March of 2013, it will be priced at $9.96. So, tell your friends that now is the time. The price on the first three books will go back up to $3.99 next Friday, December 14th.

Mostly, I just hope that the amazingly loyal Barbara Marr fans (the best in the world), continue to be entertained by Barb’s adventures!

Thank you and happy reading,


Click below on the link for the e-Book platform of your choice:

B&N for Nook


Barb’s Holiday Movie Guide?

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Barb’s Holiday Movie Guide?

Have you ever wondered what Holiday movies Barbara Marr would recommend?  Stop over at Books and Baubles: Holiday Tales for Your E-Reader. Her recommendations aren’t the typical movies you’d see on other Holiday movie lists. Oh! And don’t forget to enter our contest while there – you could win a $20.00 Amazon gift card!

Deals and Contests and New Books!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in Uncategorized | 15 comments

Well, the fourth Barbara Marr novel, Saturday Night Cleaver, will soon be arriving to Kindles, Nooks, and Kobos near you, so to celebrate the week-away release I have lowered the price of Take the Monkeys and Run (the first in the series) to just $1.00! If you haven’t read that one yet, snatch it up now. If you have, please tell a friend!

And for further celebration – I am running yet another BE A CHARACTER IN A BARBARA MARR NOVEL CONTEST!

I ran this same contest prior to releasing Silenced by the Yams and the winner was the lovely Barbara Haynes. That’s right – Barbara won the fun of having a character named after her in a Barbara Marr novel! So now you REALLY have to read Saturday Night Cleaver, and see how I handled that one!

So, do you want to be a character in the next novel, Dead Man Stalking? If so, you can do this one of two ways:

1) leave a comment here saying you want to be entered (leaving your email address as well, will help me contact you later)


2) email me at [email protected] – type CHARACTER NAME CONTEST in the subject line.

I will choose a winner at random on December 14th.

So remember: Saturday Night Cleaver will be available ON or BEFORE December 7th – when released, it will be available for only $1.00 – I like to give loyal fans a deal! But shortly after, it will go up to $3.99, so grab it up quick!

The Next Big Thing

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

I was recently tagged in a game for authors called The Next Big Thing, by someone whose writing I greatly admire, Barb Goffman. I agreed to this game, excited to have a chance to promote Barb’s work as well as my own. The only problem is, I am a terrible game player. Or rather, I’m terrible at understanding the rules! As I sat down to write this post and tag back to Barb’s own post about her short story, “Murder a la Mode,” I realized I had missed the key component of this game — inviting other authors to tag. I’m so silly. So it appears I’ve dropped the ball in this game, but I’ll plow forward… I hope you will stop by and read Barb’s post on her short story which appears in The Killer Wore Cranbery: A Second Helping. I know you won’t be disappointed!

As part of The Next Big Thing game, I am now going to tell you about my own book:

What is the working title of your book?
A Spirited Season, Holiday Tales with a Paranormal Flair

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was having lunch with two good friends who are also writers–Misha Crews and Laura Lucas. Misha brought up the idea of the three of us putting out a short story collection for the holidays. We decided to add the paranormal aspect for fun. I love writing short stories, so I jumped right on that idea!

What genre does your book fall under?
Well, I guess it falls under Holiday Anthologies? Genres are sticky things and not always as definable as you’d think. There’s a good deal of humor and romance in the six stories as well.

Which actors would you choose to play characters in the movie rendition?
Hmm. Since it’s a short story anthology, I’ll go ahead and choose one of my two stories that appear in the collection – “Squawkin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – and talk about that. There are only three characters in the story, Norbert, a turtle of a man who uses witchcraft to raise the spirit of his dead wife, Irmagard, hoping she can help him save his new marriage to a dramatic and busty woman named Naomi. So…I think Norbert shall be played by Steve Carell. Cast in the role of the overbearing Irmagard will be Jane Lynch. And finally, Kim Kardashian would be absolutely perfect for the role of Naomi.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
What’s the holidays without a little spirit?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Definitely self-published. All three of us enjoy the flexibility and control offered by doing it ourselves.

How long did it take the write the first draft of your manuscript?
Since there are six stories by three authors, that’s not an easy question. I will go ahead and say somewhere around three months.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The idea of working with friends as well as dipping my toes into some paranormal writing. I love the idea of ghosts, and thought it would be fun to write a short story about one.

What else about your book might pique readers’ interest?
Besides the fact that they are fun and lighthearted stories intended to put a reader into the holiday spirit (pun intended), we are also giving 100% of the profits to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Because, as we say, everyone deserves a miracle.

Books and Baubles: Holiday Tales for Your eReader

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Forget Black Friday! Why subject yourself to the pain and torture of shopping in the wee hours of the morning along with 10,000 other grumpy deal seekers, when you can relax in the comfort of your warm home, purchase some really reasonably priced ebooks, AND get yourself into the Holiday Spirit all at the same time? Oh! AND enter to win a contest that includes a $20.00 Amazon gift card! What a deal, right?

Well, head on over to Books and Baubles: Holiday Tales for Your eReader – I’ve joined women’s fiction author Karen Wojcik Berner, author of the touching Bibliophiles Series, to bring you a showcase of Holiday ebooks (short stories and full length novels) by various authors. A virtual one-stop shop for reads that will put you in the magical mood of the season!

There are some other fun pages, like A Barbara Marr Holiday Movie Guide, Gift Ideas from “The Karens,” and Classic Christmas Lit for Bibliophiles. So we hope you’ll stop by, Books and Baubles: Holiday Tales for Your eReader, have a pleasant time, and get some good ideas. Don’t forget to enter our contest to win a collection of the books promoted, as well as a $20.00 Amazon gift card, and please do tell your friends to stop by as well!

And most of all, Have a Wonderfully Happy Thanksgiving! Best wishes, Karen

Looking for Some Holiday Spirit?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Looking for Some Holiday Spirit?

It’s available on Kindle now! : A Spirited Season, Holiday Tales with a Paranormal Flair

What’s a holiday without a little spirit? Join authors Karen Cantwell, Misha Crews, and Laura Lucas for half a dozen comical, fun, and warm-hearted Christmas tales. Soccer mom, Barbara Marr, is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Scary in “A Christmas Peril.” Delaney Pearce isn’t looking for a magic genie, but she finds one in “Make My Wish Come True.” An antique ornament brings two lonely souls together in “Two Turtledoves.” A jealous husband gets an unexpected surprise when attempting witchcraft to solve his marital problems in “Squawkin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Something just isn’t right when the lights go out during Kendall Rhodes’ Christmas Eve party in “Jingle Spells.” A rough-around-the-edges cell tower repairman discovers love in the least likely place in “O Christmas Tree.”

All profits from the sales of A Spirited Season go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, because everyone deserves a miracle.

Stay tuned for the announcement of a Nook version, available very soon!

The Season of Giving

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Season of Giving

As we sit on the precipice of the Holiday Season – a time of giving thanks as well as giving to others – I wanted to re-post about two projects that are very near and dear to my heart.

“It’s a Dunder-Bull Wife” is my Barbara Marr short story published in December of 2011. Every month, royalties from the sale of this fun and touching take on the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, are sent to one of my favorite charities, Make-a-Wish Foundation. My favorite day of each month is the day I write that check and put it in the mail. So, if you’re looking to give this year, remember, 100% of the royalties from the sale of that story go directly to charity.

The second project, A Spirited Season will be released in early November. This is a collection of 6 paranormal holiday short stories, and again, all profits from the sales of these funny and inspirational tales will be directed to another wonderful charity, The Children’s Miracle Network. I will post more about this collection, the authors, and the stories, the day this collection becomes available to readers.

In the meantime, have a wonderful day full of love, laughter, and fun!

Best wishes,