Over lunch at Panera last week, I kept thinking I really ought to be asking novelist Karen Lenfestey for more tips on e-publishing. After all, she’s got five titles listed on Amazon.com — including a three-novel series — and one of them, A Sister’s Promise, has sold more than 25,000 copies.
But what I really want to know is this: How does she manage to snack on chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks without losing control and eating the whole darn bag?
This is one of her favorite “Sweet Treats That Won’t Blow Your Diet” from her new book, A Mom’s Life: Warm Fuzzies, Food & Fun. It’s a collection of essays, recipes and crafts that would make a great Mother’s Day gift for a mom with younger kids — and at $8 on Amazon.com (or $2.99 for the Kindle version), it doesn’t cost much more than a greeting card.
“I use a really small bowl, and I only melt enough chocolate chips to cover the bottom of the bowl — just enough to dip,” Karen says. “That way it’s mostly pretzel, and just a little bit of sweet.”
She doesn’t count out a certain number of pretzels, just dips until the chocolate’s gone. Every once in a while she’ll make a second batch, but not very often. Though Karen doesn’t like to count calories, she’s fairly disciplined about her eating — enough so that she used a photo of herself and her daughter in swimsuits on the cover of her book. (Though she says she was about 15 pounds lighter in the photo, taken a few years ago, she still maintains a fairly trim figure thanks to occasional Y workouts and zumba classes.)
Though she’s starting a new part-time job at IPFW, as a guidance counselor to first-generation college students, Karen has a draft of her latest novel written — and this time, she’s working with an agent.
This one is about a woman who must track down the baby she gave up for adoption years ago. Unlike the three novels in her “sisters” series, this one has all new characters.
“It’s more work,” Karen said, laughing. “I already knew the other people.”
To find out more about what Karen’s up to, visit her web site, karensnovels.com.