Sunday, April 21, 2013

[Blog Tour] Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins - Interview + Giveaway!

Today I have the extreme honor of having Karen Ann Hopkins back on my blog to discuss the second book in her contemporary romance series as the kickoff to her Blog Tour! I interviewed her shortly after Temptation released (read it here!), and I am so, SO excited to have her back for the release of Belonging, book 2! 
About Belonging, Book 2 in the series.
I left everything I knew behind. 

But it was worth it. He was worth it. 

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself. 

If I can find a way to make it work, we'll be NOAH & ROSE

together forever. 

But not everybody believes this is where I belong.

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What were the challenges you faced writing a sequel/continuing story? 
Overall, writing Belonging was easier than Temptation for me. The characters and setting were already well developed and I was able to jump right into the Meadowview world. The only part that gave me some difficulty was the ending. It was as if Rose and Noah were going in a certain direction, regardless of my feelings on it.

Do you feel your writing changed between books?
Yes, it definitely became grittier. Everyone thinks that the Amish world is cozy and ideal, but as with all societies, there is a darker side, which I explored in Belonging more than I did in Temptation.

What did you learn from Book 1 that influenced how you wrote/approached Book 2? 
Because Temptation was my first published work, I learned much from my editors while going through the process. I was able to take that knowledge and streamline Belonging from the beginning. I had a better feel for what the publisher wanted from the novel straight off.

Book 2 is much more about Rose living amongst the Amish and their lifestyle – how were you able to research?
I’ve been completely immersed in the Amish community I live in for the past five years. Amish teens ride at my riding stable and babysit my children. Local teens come to my home on a regular basis to hang-out with my kids or do chores around the farm. I drive Amish families to town and have spent vacations with them. I’ve attended five Amish weddings and numerous benefit dinners, auctions, school activities and get-togethers. I’m writing the Temptation series strictly from my own experiential knowledge.

If Rose could choose a song as her favourite for Book 2, what would it be? 

If Noah could choose a song as his favourite for Book 2, what would it be?
Mumford and Sons~ I Will Wait.

I really love Rose’s brothers and the part they play in her life. Are they based off anyone you know?
Being a horse-back riding instructor, 4H coach and mother of five, I’ve observed interactions between siblings for many years. I drew from those observations to create the family dynamics within the story.

I know it’s a futile question, but I have to ask: any details you can give us on Book 3 yet? I’m dying to know how it will end!
I just recently finished book three, which will be titled, FOREVER. (Ashley's note: !!!!!!)  I can tell you that there will be some dramatic surprises and more tears shed before the end…but Rose and Noah will definitely have closure.

Flash answer section!
Music or quiet? Although I love music any other time, I prefer writing in silence.
Series or Stand-alones? I enjoy writing and reading a series. It gives more time for development of the story and characters. Plus, when you love a book, you don’t want it to end!
Pen or pencil? Pen.
Washing dishes or doing laundry? I hate both. Can cleaning a horse’s stall be added to the list?
Lunch or dinner? Lunch.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl.

And as I always end my interviews now…
Last 3 items purchased? A new skillet, a pair of work boots and 50 bales of hay.
Last 3 websites visited? Chicken hatcheries in northern Kentucky, greater Cincinnati weather and movie show-times for the local cinema.
Last 3 books read? I’m still working on George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons, field notes about the Lions of Tsavo, and Emily McKay’s, The Farm. 

How awesome is Karen? She's one of my favourite people to have here. 
And now you can win a signed copy of Belonging!
US/CAN only, ends 5/13
Thanks to the generosity of Karen and Harlequin :)
Please read my giveaway policy here before entering.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About Temptation, Book 1 of the series.
Your heart misleads you.
That's what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah.
And he loves me.

We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms.

It should be
forever, easy.

But it won't be.

Because he's Amish.
And I'm not.

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About the Author
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.
Blog | Facebook | Goodreads
There's some great stuff coming up on the tour, so make sure to follow it!
Monday, April 22th - Ashley Loves Books
Tuesday, April 23th -  A Little Shelf of Heaven
Wednesday, April 24th - One Day YA
Thursday, April 25th - Fic Talk
Friday, April 26th - Bittersweet Enchantment 

Monday, April 29th - Reader Girls
Tuesday, April 30th - Bumbles and Fairy Tales
Wednesday, May 1st - The YA Bookworm
Thursday, May 2nd - The Book Heist 
Friday, May 3rd -  Page Turners

Monday, May 6th -  Books Complete Me 
Tuesday, May 7th -  Bookish Escape
Wednesday, May 8th - Book Sp(l)ot Reviews
Thursday, May 9th - Irish Banana
Friday, May 10th - The Cozy Reader


  1. fakestephApril 22, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Even though I haven't read Temptation, I really enjoyed reading about Belonging and this interview. I still love the premise and I know how excited you must be, Ashley, to host the author on your blog!

  2. Carl ScottApril 22, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    You know, I probably would. Life is about the present and the future, more than it is about the past. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. UnknownApril 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I would

  4. Jolene and FamilyApril 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    I definitely would!!!

    Jolene A

  5. bn100April 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    maybe no

  6. Sheila (Bookjourney)April 22, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Could I give it all up for love? I think I could. Fun contest!

  7. UnknownApril 23, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    I'd like to think I would but would have to be in this position! Thanks for the chance to win! Looks like a beautiful series and I love the covers!

  8. Grace YoungApril 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    It depends how in love I am...

  9. KaiApril 26, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    I would give up my history and culture only if he truly loves me.


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