Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Whisper to a Scream Blog Tour by WOW! Women On Writing and by the author Karen Berner

Welcome to my stop at the A Whisper to a Scream Blog Tour! The tour is organized by WOW! Women On Writing and by the author Karen Berner. My stop includes a review of the book, interview with Karen Berner and some other useful information. The tour runs December 12, 2011 – January 12, 2011.

Author: Karen Berner
Title: A Whisper To a Scream
Series: The Bibliophiles #1
Release date: 14th of June 2011
Published by: CreateSpace
Reading level: FICTION – Adult: Women’s Fiction
Pages: 278 pages in eBook copy
Source: Book provided by the author for reviewing for blog tour


Annie Jacobs has dreamed of the day she would become a mother since the first time she held her Baby Tenderlove doll. Unfortunately, biology has not cooperated with her plan, and she finds herself dealing with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility instead of picking out baby names.

Across town, stay-at-home mom Sarah Anderson is just trying to make it through the grocery store without her toddler hurling a box of rice at a fellow shopper. She is exhausted from managing the house, a first grader and a toddler, all without any help from her work-obsessed, absentee husband.

A Whisper to a Scream is the story of two women on opposite ends of the child-bearing spectrum who come to realize the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. A vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage and its problems, the novel speaks to a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.

My review:

Karen Wojcik Berner’s book A Whisper to a Scream was a very good book. The author has created a story which many women can relate to and the book covers many issues which can be quite painful for women: infertility, choosing carrier versus having a family, being a stay-at-home-mom, marriage problems. In enjoyed the writing style which was easy to read, the narrative and the characters.

Regarding the plot:

A Whisper to a Scream introduces the reader to two main characters who seem to come from totally different world: Sarah, who is staying at home with two small kids and Annie who has so far chosen the carrier and would finally love to have kids, but needs to deal with infertility issues.

The lives and portrays of these two women are drawn as the stories goes, the reader gets to know the details of both Annie’s and Sarah’s lives, problems, challenges. Before they meet with each other reader already knows what problems they are facing.

What I loved about the plot was the way Annie and Sarah meet and how they seem so different in the beginning: Sarah has everything what Annie needs, but cannot get and Annie has the freedom which Sarah has forgotten about. Through the story they realize it’s all about choices and accepting the things that you cannot change and change the things you can.

I found the story was in one way heartbreaking and the other way heartwarming. I enjoyed their developing and the book was written in a way that made me feel for both women. I have never experienced personally what it means not to be able to get children, or what it means to stay at home with kids, but there were aspects from both women’s life that I knew and that made it extra enjoyable. It was believable and taken out of the real life and that is the reason what made it a very good read for me.

Regarding the characters:

I loved the main characters, even though I have to admit there were times I wanted to shake them and bring them back to earth! I loved them and I was annoyed by them, but the things is and it is also what makes this book easy to relate to – the situations were taken out of real life! Many people have experienced problems and challenges with their marriage, many people know what it means to have in-laws who are different from you, and many people know how difficult it can be to find the balance in your life.

Annie is a woman who has always wanted to have children and when she is ready for family, she can’t have what she wants. Infertility issues influence her life so much that she gets possessed about it. She forgets about the life around her and concentrates only about getting a baby. As mentioned above, I got so annoyed by her at times and couldn’t wait until she realized that the only thing to is to accept the cruel facts. Even though I was annoyed by her, I loved her character. She was one heck of a determined woman.

Sarah is at first look very different from Annie – she has two kids already. Sarah is a woman who is so tired of being alone with kids. Yes, she loved her kids, but she is suffocated by the fact that her husband is never there to help her and that she does not have time for herself – it’s all about kids and family.

The author did a fabulous job with the main characters and also with their families. I really enjoyed the lives of Annie and Sarah!


Be very careful what you wish for, you might get it… and not like it at all. Or you realize through the process, that the wish itself wasn’t important, but the process itself and where the process leads you to.

I loved it and highly recommend A Whisper to a Scream to everybody who like contemporary literature!
5 Flowers!
5 stars.

Thanks to WOW! Women On Writing and Karen Berner to providing me with the book for reviewing!

About the Author:

Karen Wojcik Berner lives a provincial life tucked away with her family in the Chicago suburbs. If it was good enough for Jane Austen, right? However, dear Miss Austen had the good fortune of being born amid the glorious English countryside, something Karen unabashedly covets, so much so that she majored in English and communications at Dominican University. Like the magnificent Miss Austen, Karen could not help but write about the Society that surrounds her.

A booklover since she could hold one in her chubby little toddler hands, Karen wanted to announce to the world just how much she loves the written word. She considered getting a bibliophile tattoo but instead decided to write about the lives of the members of a suburban Classics Book Club. The series is called, of course, The Bibliophiles.") When she isn't reading, writing, or spending her time wishing she was Jane Austen, Karen spends her time can be found sipping tea or wine, whichever is more appropriate that day, and watching Tim Burton
movies or "Chopped," her favorite foodie TV show.

Just Thought You Should Know:

A Whisper to a Scream is Book One of a series called The Bibliophiles. The second book in the series will be released in February 2012. Stay tuned!

Author's Websites:

Karen Berner’s website:

Ladies and gentlemen, Karen was so nice and agreed to give Me and Reading an interview!

The interview is divided into several sections. First section is about the author, second section is about her books, writing them, about characters etc, third part is about her favorites.

Part I

MR: Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?

KB: I have been writing for about 25 years, starting with freelancing for the local newspaper during my sophomore year in college. I double-majored in English and communications. Since money is required for moving out of the parents’ home, I became a trade magazine editor, which I did for about ten years, instead of pursuing fiction right out of college. After my second son was born, I decided to revisit fiction.

MR: What inspired you to want to become writer?

KB: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Louisa May Alcott and all of the greats who wrote stories about women and the societies around them.

MR: Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?

KR: When I was young, I wanted to be a singer. I had it all planned out. I would sing backup for Barry Manilow (I know, what was I thinking?), then launch my solo career.

MR: What brought you to writing? When did the idea of writing your first book formed?

KB: It was a combination of things. First, I had always loved to write. I penned my first book in second grade. It was called “The Car.” Although brilliantly illustrated with crayon, it only sold one copy. Then, I was bitten again by the writing bug after starting with my high school newspaper. I put music aside and dove head-first into writing.

MR: What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?

KB: I love to read, of course, but I must confess to being a foodie. I love cooking and the food channels on TV, especially Food Network’s “Chopped.” I also enjoy theater, wine, board games, and American football.

MR: What is the most difficult aspect of being a writer for you?

KB: The most difficult aspect of writing for me is the marketing. I am not very comfortable promoting my work, unfortunately, but not because I think it stinks. No, quite the contrary. I am just not naturally aggressive in that respect. On the upside, I get to visit with lovely people like yourself and the other bloggers, which is very nice.

MR: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you be and do?

KB: I think I still would have to be around books in some way, so I would probably open a little bookstore with a cafe.

MR: Who or what is your Muse?

KB: I’m not sure I have a Muse in the classic sense. I do have various gods on my desk to inspire me, such as a little Shakespeare statue, Thoth (the Egyptian god of the moon who was said to have invented writing and was the eternal scribe of the gods), and a Jane Austen action figure, which comes complete with quill in hand and writing desk.

MR: Did you ever experience writer’s block when the writing process just wasn’t moving ahead?

KB: Absolutely. Sometimes the ideas just are not flowing. Those become my editing days.

Part II

Let’s talk about books!

MR: What went through your mind when the first book you wrote was published?

KB: Besides my kids being born and our wedding day, it was the greatest feeling ever. This probably sounds lame, considering what I do for a living, but there really are no words to describe it.

MR: How do you write? Do you sketch a plot first, create characters first and then starting to write?

KB: No, I create the characters first. For me, they are the most important part of the story. I flush out who they are, then figure out what will happen to them.

MR: What do you think is the most important thing while writing?

KB: I think the most important thing is to stay true to yourself. Write the story you want to tell, not what the market dictates or what is the latest fad.

MR: Where did you get the idea for your book, “ A Whisper to a Scream” from? How was the book born?

KB: The plot line of Annie and John, the couple with fertility issues, actually was a very vivid dream I had one night. Sarah, the stay-at-home mom, came to me in the shower, which was the only place I had ten minutes of quiet to think when my kids were small. I started wondering what would happen if Sarah and Annie met and began writing the book.

MR: Which character do you love most in your book? Which character can you mostly relate to?

KB: I love both Sarah and Annie. To me, they represent everywomen of sorts, two sides of the female spectrum. I guess I relate a little more to Sarah because I have been in her shoes when my children were younger. But I drink chai tea lattes like Annie does.

MR: I’m aware that your book is pure fiction, but I’d still like to ask: are any of the characters inspired by real persons? Do you base your fiction on some experiences you have had and people you have met?

KB: There is always a certain amount of fiction inspired by things authors experience or witness, but, no, none of the characters are based on real people.

MR: How many books have you planned in The Bibliophiles series?

KB: There will be six novels in The Bibliophiles series. I have notes and some scenes written for all of them. The novels all have a different feel, yet each of the main characters eventually ends up in Naperville joining the classics book club.

MR: Will we hear more about what happened to Sarah and Annie in the coming books?

KB: Absolutely. Although each of the novels will star one or two of the Bibliophiles, all of the characters will make appearances in future books.

MR: I must ask you about the new book in the series. What will it be about? Anything you can tell us already?

KB: The second novel features Catherine Elbert. You might remember her for her role as Audrey, the country wench, in “As You Like It,” the Bibliophiles’ field trip at the end of “A Whisper to a Scream.”

Catherine has never been good at making decisions, whether it was choosing ice cream as a small child or figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. The only thing Catherine was certain of was leaving her family’s farm in Burkesville, Wisconsin, as soon as possible after high school graduation. This is Catherine’s story as she bounces from coast to coast in search of her true self.

It will be released in spring 2012.

Part III – Favorites

Who is your favorite author? Jane Austen.
What is your favorite book or series? The Harry Potter novels.
What is your favorite book blog you follow? I follow many great blogs by amazing writers. It is hard to pick just one.
What is your favorite song? “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.
What is your favorite season? Autumn.
What is your favorite food? All of it. Foodie, here, what can I say? If I had to pick one type, I guess it is Italian.
What is your favorite car? Rolls Royce (I wish, right?)
What is your favorite color? Green.
What is your favorite movie? “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
What is your favorite time of the day? Twilight, when everyone comes home and gathers for dinner. I love the colors and shadows of that in-between period of day and night.
What is your favorite weather? Anywhere between 50°F and 75°F. I’m all about cooler temperatures.

Thank you, Karen, for answering all my many questions! I highly appreciate it!

Next stop in the blog tour is on the 6th of January @ Sugar Peach.

Happy reading!


  1. The book sounds relevant and poignant and I enjoyed the author interview.

    Thanks for the review and interview share.

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