THE SHORT VERSION:
Born overseas on a US Army base, raised by a colonel and a shrink, escaped to a college in the Midwest to study teaching and now sneaks stolen moments at the laptop to write young adult novels.
THE DINOSAUR STORY:
Karen grew up the only girl in the middle of two brothers. She adored both in their own ways, but never really fit into their worlds. Like her characters Alik and Evan, the boys were very different.
If she wanted a playmate, Karen had to gear up to go dirt-clod fighting, be the losing team of (broken) green army guys or brave the flimsy bicycle ramp her older brother built.
Either that, or plan to help erect intricate Lego architecture while hearing the mathematical algorithms and possible big-bang theories of what happened to dinosaurs from her little brother.
Karen suffered a lot of skinned-up knees, elbows and even scraped off an eyebrow or two trying to keep up with her older brother and probably still has a Lego embedded in her thigh from sitting on the floor surrounded by the teeny-tiny pieces in her little brother’s realm.
Often by herself, recuperating from playtime with the boys, she created entire worlds of make-believe and adventure with stuffed animals and books in her bedroom. Hours of storytelling, personally made sound effects and character voices entertained her to the point of completely happy distraction. Hindsight shows she’s been a storyteller all her life.
Thanks to her brothers, Jeremy and Field, she has a lot of stories to tell.
THE TYPICAL AUTHOR BIO VERSION:
Karen is a former press release writer and radio advertising copywriter. Since 2003, she has worked as an elementary school teacher in North Texas where she lives with her witty husband, their four busy children, two rescued cats and one blind labradoodle. She is hard at work on the sixth and final book in the Winter’s Saga titled “Winter’s Legacy.”
Where to find Karen Luellen online
This member has not published any books.
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Smashwords book reviews by Karen Luellen
- Trial In Lavondel
on Dec. 06, 2011
McLaren works his magic again with Trial in Lavondel!!!
Zack is the kind of big brother we all wished we had growing up. He's responsible and devoted, but above all, he's protective--especially of his little sister, Angela. At fourteen, Zack tries to keep the peace at home. Not an easy task with an abusive, slacker of a father and a mother who's always gone trying to earn enough money at multiple jobs to provide a meager life for her children.
Franz McLaren paints his characters with such clarity. I felt a fierce sense of love and protectiveness for the children and an almost visceral hatred for those who hurt them. Truth be told, I wanted to smack the heck out of several of the characters in this book and would have to get up and pace the room to release some of the anger I felt at their vile behavior toward the innocents.
Just when you think you've got this book pigeon-holed and figured out, a huge twist throws you into another world. Franz McLaren never lets his readers sit back complacent, or spoon-feeds us typical writer's prose. Once again, this master has taken his gift of visual writing to another level when he transforms these children into perils beyond this world and forces everyone to face their innermost demons.
As is his talent, unexpected, jaw-dropping twists held me transfixed, willing my eyes to read faster to know what was going to happen to these two multidimensional children. His descriptions of the world in which they find themselves is so mesmerizing that just when I found myself lulled into a sense of--oh, okay, I understand and feel comfortable about where we are--something completely gasp-worthy happens, making my heart race with fear for the characters, once again. So vivid are his descriptions, I'm not surprised that I had nightmares based on the world in which he created! You're going to love "Trial in Lavondel." Heck, I've saved it in my personal library so I can read it again, and again.
McLaren is a master to be enjoyed and savored, no matter how fast you feel compelled to race through his books to the end! Highly Recommended!
- Darl and the Spider Cult
on July 10, 2012
Eight Hairy Arachnid Legs WAAAYY Up!
Darl doesn't fit. No matter how hard he tries, he just doesn't belong in the world in which he grew up. He doesn't even look like his parents. They're blond, light-eyed, and slight in build, just like most everyone else in his small farming community. Darl is dark eyed, dark haired and massively built. If he speaks, he's beaten. If he stays silent, he's beaten. He tries to work hard and stay out of the way, but no matter what he does or doesn't do, he's unaccepted and friendless.
Until one day when the sixteen-year-old outcast is sent on an errand, and for the first time in his life, he's allowed outside of his parents' judgemental sight. Darl stops to eat his meager lunch and slips into a nap. When he awakens he encounters flying pirates, mountainous sand dunes, starvation and thirst, a magical race of arachnids, marauders, raiders, and wizards. Will Darl survive the perils of this new world in which he was thrown? Where is he and who can he trust? Why does he seem to fit so much better in this new strange world where he must fight to survive than he ever did back at home on the farm? Who is he really?
Franz McLaren is a master at fantasy adventures that sweep the reader right up and into the eye of his make-believe storms. Buckle up, grab a sword, and avoid the grassy areas--McLaren is about to take you on one heck of a journey with his newest hero, Darl!