Monday, December 5, 2011

Review and Questions--House of Diamonds By Karen Jones Gowen

Please give a warm welcome to Karen Jones Gowen. *insert claps and cheers* She is stopping by today on her blog tour of her current release House of Diamonds.

Before I ask Karen some questions, here is some info about her.

Karen was born and raised in central Illinois, the daughter of a Methodist minister from Indiana and a school teacher from Nebraska, Karen has down-to-earth Midwestern roots.

She attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, then transferred to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. After converting to Mormonism at the age of 20, she transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, where she met her future husband. She obtained her degree at BYU in English and American Literature.

Karen and Bruce have lived in Utah, Illinois, California and Washington, currently residing near Salt Lake City. They are the parents of ten children. Not surprisingly, family relationships are a recurring theme in Karen's writing.

Karen this was such a great story and I was wondering if we will see any more stories about the McGill's (crosses fingers)? I have another one roughed in, called "Promise Diamond", about the McGill's moving to San Jose, CA and living there when the big earthquake hits. I also want to feature more of Marcie's sister Linda and the struggles she has in her marriage. So if I do it, the novel would have these two basic stories.

At some points in the story I had to take out my box of tissues. How did writing those intense scenes effect you?  I knew I had captured some of those scenes right when I went back in to revise and got a bit teary myself, because normally I stay objective when I write. The story of baby Jordan follows closely what really happened. (My sister who Cindy is based on recently posted her review of the novel on Goodreads.) Marcie's story is more fictionalized than is Cindy's and Jordan's.

Before you go I have one more little question. If you want to follow Karen at her blog, CLICK HERE. For those of you who already follow her and see the pictures of the cookies she bakes that we all drool over, well this question is for you. *winks*

Will you give us your cookie recipe? You have to marry into the family to get it *smile*

Darn it! I tried!

Here is a summary of House of Diamonds.

In this sequel to Gowen’s debut novel, Uncut Diamonds, she follows sisters Cindy and Marcie as they reach a crossroads in their lives. House of Diamonds tells the story of two women, one facing opportunity the other tragedy. Can their bond endure?
Marcie pursues her dream of becoming a published writer while Cindy faces a terrible tragedy. In this gripping story of faith, loss and the transcending nature of sacrifice, Gowen gives voice to a beloved baby who has none. She shows the incredible power that comes to families when they pull together to overcome challenges. It is at these times that a house of pain can become a house of diamonds.


If you've been a follower of my blog for a while, you know I adore love, drool over, and make evil plans to get my hands on YA books about creepy dark characters and weird plot lines. Don't faint on me, but yes, I often read outside of that genre. So, when Karen was looking for readers for House of Diamonds, I was happy to answer the call. It was refreshing to read a story with no mythical creatures--just a story about the real world and real people. What I loved most was the authenticity of her characters. Don't call me creepy, but I wanted to hug them all at the end of the story. But enough with the mushy and on with my review and be sure to check out a neat deal from the publisher about House of Diamonds below.

House of Diamonds is a sincere story that will pull at your heartstrings and remind you just how precious life is. It follows sisters Marci McGill, as she raises seven children while trying to attain success in her writing, and Cindy, who is confronting an illness that leaves her young son fighting for his life.

This family goes through inconceivable heartbreak, yet, perseveres through their faith in God and the strength they find within each other. I laughed when the McGill’s were happy and I cried when they were sad. It was easy to connect to the characters and ache with them, as this could be anybody’s family. Karen Gowen has a book with an excellent voice and writing. 

Some of my favorite passages:
“Elder Maxwell spoke of God‘s need to let us go through difficult experiences here on earth, experiences to stretch us like violin strings that must be kept taut to play in tune. That we must accept the difficulties which come our way like an obedient child bowing to the will of a loving father, knowing these things are for our good.”

“Until she reminded herself that this man was only a doctor, a pediatrician, he was not God. Only God would have the final verdict on the outcome of baby Jordan‘s life experience.”

“Wanting did not guarantee results. It only meant that you have an ache and a hunger for something, not that you will get what you desire.”

To Buy House of Diamonds:

Order a print book House of Diamonds from the publishers website and get Uncut Diamonds for free!   <-----Yay! Thanks Karen!

House of Diamonds for the Kindle or for the Nook.

House of Diamonds is now available on the new online bookstore,, in all formats.

If you are interested in more books by Karen CLICK HERE to visit her website.

Thanks Karen and happy reading everyone.


KarenG said...

Kerri, Thank you for hosting me today! I'm so glad my story and characters resonated with you, a writer and reader of paranormal. It reassures me that I did something right. And let me say that I really like the new look of your blog. It's clean, crisp and professional.

Old Kitty said...

Hi Kerri and hello lovely KarenG! I think the more eclectic the reading the more happier we can all be! Yay for this amazing review - loved that it was a real tear-jerker too!! Take care

E.R. King said...

Great review and interview! I agree that Karen writes authentic characters. She's a very talented writer.

Talli Roland said...

Hi Kerri and Karen! Great review! I loved House of Diamonds, too -- a fantastic read.

Lydia Kang said...

Lovely interview! Karen's book sounds awesome.

The Golden Eagle said...

I enjoyed reading the interview!

Thanks for the review as well. Interesting excerpts!

Arlee Bird said...

It takes real writing talent to write scenes that evoke strong emotions to the point that it brings tears. I wish Karen much success with her books and all of her endeavors.

Coping with adoption
Wrote By Rote

Carol Kilgore said...

Thought I was finally gonna see what goes in those cookies. Darn.

Great review!

Claire Hennessy said...

Thanks for this review and always good to know of another author and book.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Well, I need to purchase my copy - I will do that right now before I forget!

Kathryn Magendie said...

There! Done! I now have ordered my own copy to go to my kindle. See, these wonderful reviews and interviews work! *smiling*

Donna Hole said...

I liked the line "wanting does not guarantee results". Quite sobering.

This was an awesome showcase of Karen and her book. Thanks for the posting :)


~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Great review and interview! I look forward to picking up my copies of Karen's books. Thanks!

Manzanita said...

To make the reader produce a box of tissues, has to be written from the heart. A very meaningful and well-rounded review.

Deana said...

I haven't read a good LDS book in a long time. I'll have to check this one out for sure:)

KarenG said...

Wow, I am just overwhelmed by the comments and response to your review, Kerri. I like to reread them and treasure them on the bad days when I feel like a no-talent loser. What, no one else has those kinds of days? Ha! Don't believe it! Anyway, thank you everyone for stopping by Kerri's blog today. And thanks again for hosting me, Kerri. I loved how you laid everything out and gave such a thorough treatment of House of Diamonds.

Anonymous said...

Great interview and it sounds like a powerful read. Uncut Diamonds is on my wish list, and I'd also like to read this sequel.