Friday, August 20, 2010

Meet Karen McGrath

Hi Ginger,

Thank you for your kind invitation to be a guest on your blog today. It’s always a pleasure to talk with you. I have one of my memoir stories to share with you today.
When I was a child my family lived in Buzzard’s Bay on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Every so often my mother sent me for long weekends to my aunt’s house a few towns over in Wareham. For those who don’t know Wareham, it’s a short walk to several beaches and my beloved ocean. I’m a true New Englander, I can’t be away from the Atlantic for long! Next door to my aunt’s house was a small lot with pine trees, overgrown bushes and tons of sand. And… a secret blueberry patch. It was my personal playground where I spent hours building forts and and making flower soup.
One particular weekend, my mother farmed me out to Wareham and I was thrilled to have some time to play in the woods, to scour the beach for perfect mussel shells and maybe do some fishing in my uncle’s rowboat. As fate would have it, it poured the entire weekend. My Great Depression aunt didn’t believe in turning the heat on before November. Consequently, on this cold rainy day, I paced her living room to keep my teeth from chattering.

Almost worn out of her patience, my aunt ordered me to the summer room, even less heat, and propped me up with blankets and a cup of tea peppermint tea. As she stood in front of me trying to think of something to keep me entertained and out of her hair, she moved slightly to one side revealing the low bookshelf behind her. There was a long row of blue clothbound books. I asked permission to look at them and she allowed me one with the promise that when I finished, she’d let me read the next one.

The day droned on and the rain pelted the windows, my aunt went to work and returned, I got a few more cups of tea brought to me and never heard her call me for dinner barely even smelling the Shepherd’s Pie I was missing. I was too busy on the adventure of my life with Nancy Drew. I read every one of the collection that fall, and then read them again. That set my love for reading, although I never gave up my woods with the secret blueberry patch, even when my aunt warned me they might not be safe. I’d eaten too many poisonous blueberries to worry about it!

To this day I revel in a rainy New England day when the salt air slips through Boston coming in off the ocean. I fluff my comforter, hug a cup of steaming peppermint tea and choose a good book to snuggle up with. The curtains get pulled and the phone goes off the hook.

As a writer I try to provide my readers with a quality story, one that I hope will keep them turning the pages through dinner. It’s the least I can do to be true to the child who found a lifetime of adventure in bits of printed paper bound together with blue cloth, half a world away on this side of heaven.

Karen McGrath lives in Boston, MA with her husband, two teens and a potato chip thief named Kitten. She writes romance mysteries with a bit of supernatural intrigue as well as YA, and memoir. Her first novel, Primordial Sun, the Heart of the Amazon will release in April 2011 and a short story, Love in the Time of Mortals, will release in August 2011, both with MuseItUp Publishing. Her memoir story, An Invitation to Hope, will be available in September 2010 in the anthology, Patchwork Path, Christmas Stocking, from Choice Publishing Group.

Visit her website at and her writing blog at She loves to get mail so please send her a note and sign the guest book on her website!

(cover) Primordial Sun, the Heart of the Amazon…do you want the truth, or something you can live with?

Photo credit:
(unofficial cover) Love in the Time of Mortals…sometimes love slips through your fingers, only to return like waves on the sea.


MuseItUp Publishing said...

Well, the summer room doesn't sound all bad and scary. Seems it may have helped you in your career.

I wish you nothing but tons of success with your books.

Beth Reinke said...

What a lovely story about the rainy weekend at your aunt's house, Karen.

All the best with your books!

Karen McGrath said...

Thanks, Lea and Beth! I lived in that summer room well into winter, LOL! ;)

Rhobin said...

What a great story! It's always interesting to find how small events make major changes.

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

Karen, your story brought me back to my own summers in Monroe, NY where my grandparents had a summer house. I loved to go blueberry picking and once wrote a memoir about it. I also loved Nancy Drew when I was a girl. Did you know there is a Nancy Drew group with its own app on Facebook?

Good luck with your books!

Unknown said...

What a lovely post. All of my children grew up with Nancy Drew stories, and I have to admit I enjoyed them, too.
A wonderful way to spend a cold, rainy day.
Thanks for sharing.

J.Q. Rose said...

What a delightful story. Memoirs are so important. They record of our history for future generations. Kids today will wonder why you didn't play video games for entertainment!

Looking forward to reading your stories.

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