Karen Monahan Fernandes

Author of the Strega Series

Happy October! Get your spook on!!!

Happy October! Get your spook on!!!

Posted on Oct 2, 2014

Happy October, friends!

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. Nature’s amazing spectacle warms us with beautiful blasts of color before winter settles in. Pumpkins are carved into scary faces, hayrides deliver us deep into apple orchards, magical candlelight stirs our imagination as we share scary stories, and warm ovens tease us with irresistible treats. What’s not to love?

Samhain, or Halloween, marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark half of the year. From sunset on October 31st to sunset on November 1st (which is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice), the traditional belief is that the veil between worlds becomes thin. During this liminal time, spirits and beings from the other side can more easily cross over to our world. Bonfires are lit for their cleansing and protective powers, offerings of food and drink (trick or treat, anyone?) are left for visiting spirits to placate them, feasts are held to welcome the spirits of loved ones that have returned to us, and masks are worn to disguise oneself from harmful spirits and evade their wrath (better dig out the face paint!).

Though I love reading (and writing) paranormal thrillers, I’m a huge scaredy-cat! While writing Strega, there were many nights when my laptop almost left the land of the living as I tossed it aside and ran for shelter from the boogeyman outside my window. But alas, I just can’t get enough. And this time of year, my cup (and my DVR) runneth over. Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Grimm, Sleepy Hollow… they are all back on. Sleepless nights, here I come!

If you love sleepless nights and espresso shot mornings, head over to Goodreads and enter to win a free, signed copy of Strega. This Goodreads Giveaway runs until midnight on October 31st, so make sure to enter before the post-trick-or-treat candy coma sets in!!! If you’ve already read Strega and you’re waiting for Book II, rest assured. It’s coming in 2015 (before Halloween, of course!).

Have a spooktacular October!!!



Photo courtesy of Great Beyond/Flickr.

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New moon, new beginnings!

New moon, new beginnings!

Posted on Aug 29, 2014

I love this time of year! Although it’s tough to let go of summer, the tiny chill in the air signals the beginning of nature’s grand finale before winter. Soon enough, gorgeous leaves will line our path everywhere we go! It never loses its magic for me. Apple picking, pumpkin spice coffee, ghost stories…autumn is one of my favorite seasons! This transitional time (along with the new waxing moon this week) ushers in all sorts of new beginnings. One of my favorite new beginnings is the back to school rush (moment of silence as all my teacher friends curse me). The summer haze burns off and people get smarter! Students are busy making new friends (and stirring up new dramas), and day by day they become way more fabulous/interesting people in the world mix with all their newly acquired knowledge. Oh I miss school…running across campus to make it to my classes (always at least 5 minutes late)…daydreaming about past and future mischief…staying up all night reading and writing papers. I guess not much has changed, just now it’s racing to work (always at least 5 minutes late), daydreaming about how I can prevent my offspring from one day making mischief, and staying up all night to research and write books. Anyway, I digress. Autumn is the time to get to work and make stuff happen! Though the shorter days make me ever so sad, the early darkness ends the summer temptation to be outside every second, and that means more time behind the screen writing Book II. Next summer when I hit the beach, I want to be two books deep in the Strega Series adventure, and marinating in a stew of ideas for Book III.

If you haven’t grabbed a copy of Strega Book I yet, a new Goodreads Giveaway is on now! Head on over and enter to win a free, signed copy. To my latest Goodreads Giveaway winners (contest ended August 11th), you should be receiving your books this week if you haven’t already!

I cannot wait to share Book II with you all. Big shout out to The White Stripes. Seven Nation Army is the fire to my gasoline this week (and most weeks, actually). If you’re gonna write about kicking some serious A$$, you have to get fired up with the right tunes.

Hang onto these last few sunny days of August, enjoy your long weekend, and then take September by the horns and do something awesome!!!!


Today’s updates brought to you by Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Latte.



Photo courtesy of PentaxFanatiK/Flickr.

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Hi all!

It’s summertime, and that means there’s an island escape with my two favorite boys in my future! Before my toes hit the water and my ass hits the sand (ZBB and Buffett are about to get some serious air time), I must give a much needed, overdue update to all my friends out there.

My research for Book II (and the entire Strega Series) continues. I can’t get enough ancient history, classical mythology, and literature. It provides amazing inspiration for my writing. In the past few months, I’ve digested just a few giants including Myth in Human History (Voth) and Classical Mythology (Vandiver). I’m finishing up Ovid’s Metamorphoses before I go, and I have Homer’s Iliad and Hesoid’s Works and Days all queued up!

As I mentioned in my last post, San Francisco Book Review gave Strega four stars!!! The review is finally up at: https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/strega/. Go check it out! Also, my current Goodreads Giveaway is running now through August 11th, so go sign up to win a free, signed copy. My most recent Goodreads Giveaway winners (July 6th) will be receiving their copies of Strega next week.

Sunshine, lack of responsibility, and time with loved ones is a coveted recipe that we only seem to get right once or twice a year. When I get it right, I soak in every drop of goodness. In spending precious time away, my husband and I inevitably step back from our lives as if we are outsiders for a short time. We reflect on all we’ve done right, on all we still want to accomplish, we treat our wounds, gear up again, and return to our destinies with fresh energy, passion, and inspiration. Vacation brings us back to life, rejuvenates us, inspires us, and helps us to harness our own magic again. I cannot wait to see where it takes us this year!

Go find some sunshine, crank up your soundtrack, and reconnect with your own magic!

Adios, and vaya con Dios!!!


Photo courtesy of Mr.Thomas/Flickr.

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Hello all!

I have great news! The San Francisco Book Review has given Strega a 4-star review! Here’s a snippet:

“The writing and storytelling in Strega are gorgeous…Fluid and descriptive phrasing gives the whole story a lyrical, ethereal feel and makes its imaginative spin on ancient Etruscan mythology and witchcraft come alive…Strega is an outstanding start to a clever fantasy trilogy.”

The San Francisco Book Review

The entire review will be up on their website within the week, and I will post a link when it is available.

In other news, the five winners of my last Goodreads giveaway (which ended on April 26th) should be receiving their signed copies of Strega any day now (if they haven’t already). My current Goodreads giveaway ends at midnight tonight, so head on over and enter to win a free, signed copy of Strega. If you miss this one, I will be running another shortly and I will post details.

Have a wonderful weekend, and happy reading!!!


Photo courtesy of jinterwas/Flickr.

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Spring is here, and what better time to start a new book giveaway! Head on over to Goodreads on May 1st for another chance to win a free, signed copy of Strega!

Congratulations to the winners of the most recent Goodreads Giveaway contests! To the winners of the April 26th giveaway, your signed copies of Strega will be shipping soon! To the winners of the March 21st giveaway, hopefully you’ve already received your copies and you’re enjoying the ride! If you end up sleeping with the lights on for the next few weeks, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone! I’ve gotten curse-filled texts from friends (especially my desperate, sleep-deprived moms) and feedback from fans that say they can’t live without their nightlights now! I may have experienced a few sleepless nights myself. 🙂 My cure… the Supernatural series on the CW (especially the first few seasons when things were ridiculously scary). Enough episodes and your tolerance for the terrifying increases dramatically!

OK, back to work on Book II! I need to keep everybody’s blood pressure up!

Happy reading, and happy spring!!!


Photo courtesy of Jenny Downing/Flickr.



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