Broken Promises

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
Hazel's father promised to come home. He didn't. Hazel faces a world without him, a world she doesn't want, a world disintegrating around her. Somehow she must face bullying at school, loss of friends, grief at home, loss of her home. Only babysitting 4-year-old Bobby seems to help. More

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About Karen GoatKeeper

Tongue Twisters. I've always been fascinated by them. English is special for tongue twisters, alliteration and other word plays.
Then there are my Nubian dairy goats. Goats in general do some crazy things.
The result is "For Love of Goats" just out. Read it aloud, if you dare. Or sit back and enjoy the watercolor illustrations and humor.
Writing is a passion, an addiction, and I enjoy indulging it. My topics range from nature (Exploring the Ozark Hills - a book of nature essays and photographs - and "My Ozark Home" - nature photographs and haiku) to science (The Pumpkin Project - botany investigations, puzzles, stories and more about pumpkins) to novels.
Goats are popular subjects in "Goat Games" - puzzles, stories and more - and the novels "Dora's Story" - the life of a dairy goat - and "Capri Capers" - a blend of 1930s movie serial and melodrama. Bullying is dealt with in the three Hazel Whitmore books - "Broken Promises", "Old Promises" and Mistaken Promises" - "Edwina" - with a touch of fantasy - and "Running the Roads". These are all upper middle grade to beginning young adult.
There are so many story ideas out on my hills. This next year will bring more, but in a different form. Science fiction - "The Carduan Chronicles" - will bring an alien invasion into an Ozark ravine. Hopefully released Fall, 2020.
Water is the science topic. "The City Water Project" is filled with investigations, activities (ever shoot off a water rocket?), puzzles and stories about how people get, use and dispose of their water. Hopefully this is released in March, 2020. And, yes, "The Wild Water Project" is in the planning stages.
My pen name is in honor of my Nubian dairy goats. My goats have shared my life for over 45 years now. I have a flock of chickens and 5 cats as well as a vegetable garden.
A degree in zoology and several years teaching science seems to slide into my books too. Knowing more about why nature works the way she does makes what I observe more special.
Country living may not be for everyone. It is the way for me. Visit my website to find out more about country living and my goats.

Learn more about Karen GoatKeeper

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Reviews

PJ O'Brien reviewed on March 26, 2014

In Broken Promises, the interestingly-named Hazel has been living a relatively comfortable life in New York City. She lives close enough to Central Park for daily visits, attends private school, and the family manages on her father’s income and investments. A reservist in the Marines, her father is unexpectedly called to active duty. Just before he ships out to Iraq, he rashly promises Hazel that he’ll be home in a year. It's a promise that couldn't realistically be kept, which everyone except Hazel seems to know.

When her father is killed in action, she is intensely angry. Despite their close relationship – or perhaps, because of it – her anger is directed almost solely at him and the broken promise. She refuses to talk about him or join her mother in mourning. Instead, she becomes focused on how to maintain her life as it's always been.

Hazel’s efforts to supplement her mother’s meager temporary income with babysitting can't stop the family's downward slide into financial crisis, particularly when they learn that there is little left from the investment accounts. She does what she can, learning to cook and taking on household tasks like shopping, in hopes that she won’t have to leave her school and her friends. But the reader knows long before Hazel does that nothing she can do can hold off the inevitable. All the familiar aspects of her life must change.

This is a first novel, for the writer and a series. The story is compelling, despite the occasional phrasing in the beginning. Once the author found her stride, the story flowed very smoothly. I occasionally raised my eyebrows at names and social media references that seemed a little anachronistic or unusual, but acknowledge that it’s been awhile since I’ve had interactions of any length with someone in middle school. It could be that I’m terribly out of touch with the world as experienced by adolescents of today. In any case, I am invested enough in Hazel’s story to want to follow it in the next book of the series, so I’ve added Old Promises to my reading list.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
Kim Avery reviewed on May 13, 2013

A must read!!! Can't put this book down! Already looking forward to part 2 to Broken Promises!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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