When I look back with an objective eye (as objective as possible, anyway) at my 5 fictional female leads ~ Louisa, Hope, Katherine, Johanna, Dinah ~ the one constant I find in them is a strong element of belief in herself. Belief that she can make a difference in her own future, in her community, & in her world. In some respects they’re as different as night & day – Hope with one change of clothing to her name; Johanna with a fortune in the bank – but they have a sort of universal optimism that reflects the times in which they live. Since I didn’t consciously give these women that streak of bright & hopeful confidence, it probably means it’s a trait I admire.
Which is why I view setting Etta Capstone loose on the world with some trepidation. In her own way, Etta has a similar streak of hopefulness, though it’s much harder to find anything bright or optimistic in her. She’s had a terrible past, my Etta, & her thinking’s skewed because of it. When you meet her, you’ll need to give her time to grow on you (& ignore her language, please.) Etta is a patchwork of memory and emotion & it takes her longer to see things clearly. So it may take you longer to see Etta clearly, as well. Give her time. And I hope when you turn the last page & close the book you’ll be able to say, “O, Etta” ~ say it with affection for a woman who endured the unendurable and in her own way triumphed and with satisfaction for a story well told. Etta Capstone. Coming soon.
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“Cuyahoga Falls author Karen J. Hasley's body of work, the four books in the Laramie Series, are expertly interwoven, with minor characters in one story becoming major figures in another, crossing each other's lives like ribbons. … Johanna Swan, orphaned daughter of missionaries, is trained as both a social worker and a nurse, and returns from England on a swanky ocean liner. It's 1912, and the liner is Titanic. … As usual, Hasley's historical research is flawless, and the other characters … add to the rich tapestry …one wonders if the people Johanna meets in passing will turn up in Hasley's next captivating book.” Akron Beacon Journal, 1/10/10
“Karen J. Hasley…continues to impress with a sparkling new book. Where Home Is brings along the heart from Lily's Sister and Waiting for Hope to the story of Katherine Davis, a young doctor who has just graduated from Kansas Medical School. … [Where Home Is] could be a conventional love story, but not in Hasley's capable hands. … The conclusion is tear-inducing, but feels heartfelt, not manipulated, and the historical references are spot-on.” — Akron Beacon Journal, 1/4/09