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An Epic Tale of Royalty
and Rural Family

Destinies is a compelling, multi-layered story
of power, love, deceit and betrayal, and the extraordinary strength and determination
of the human spirit in common people thrown into uncommon situations.

Historical epic of royalty and rural family, a coming-of-age  tale, a can’t-put-it-down drama. Catherine II seizes the imperial crown of Russia and a thousand miles away a Rhineland boy’s life changes forever.

Uprooted from his home near the Rhine River and taken to a hostile land on the Russian steppes, Christian comes up against adversity and setbacks as he attempts to make a new life for himself. His efforts at enlisting a blacksmith and Gypsies to help a Russian girl sold into servitude put all their lives in deadly peril.

Meanwhile, Catherine, in her new role as empress, is surrounded by court intrigue and secret plots to overthrow her; rumors of her lover’s infidelity; an army of wild Cossacks and escaped serfs thundering down on Saratov intent on burning the city, sacking Moscow and locking the empress in a convent.

Can Catherine stay safe from those who would overthrow – or kill her? Can Christian protect the Russian girl – and find a way to help his family face a winter without food?


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The Kindle Book Review

 This historical novel is written with such grace, compassion and attention to detail that it is like no other I have read before. . . .Each character has a personal story of their own which is portrayed with clarity, compassion and resolve. . This story is very fast paced and surprises you at every turn of the page. . . . .tremendous writing in this book. . . I highly recommend this book to all readers. It is not merely a book of historical fiction but a book of families, hardships, love and determination. It portrays the best and worst of human nature and their struggle for survival. . .Destinies by Karleene Morrow is truly a MUST READ. —Marilou George, The Kindle Book Review, Goodreads Review

New Release

This book has one purpose: to guide the new writer toward producing a first-class novel. Experienced authors have found this little gem so valuable that they keep it next to their computers. Its size is perfect for tucking into a laptop carrying case. It is a no-nonsense, easy-to-read book packed with the nitty-gritty of creative writing; a cut-to-the-chase work that will become your fiction writing bible.

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From the beginning, middle,
and end of a novel: A Review

Authors of fiction will use every suggestion in Author Karleene Morrow’s ‘FICTION WRITING; How to Write Your First Novel.’ This book was a gift that I value more than any other book gift I’ve received. Either as an e-book or the handy little print book to place by your computer as you create your novel, it is the great tool for a writer who is struggling to produce her or his novel. Each chapter brings simple but valuable suggestions. Ms Morrow is a novelist, who herself writes 5 star historical fiction. This is a ‘must read’ again and again for writers.

I have no choice but to give it a five star rating. —Margaret C. Arvanitis, author


Excerpt from Fiction Writing

Certain writers come to mind immediately when considering style. Ernest Hemingway is one of the standard bearers. A passage read out of context is recognizable as his work. So is the case with two of my favorites, James A Michener and James Lee Burke. When reading those authors it is not uncommon for a writer to suck in his breath and think, Why couldn’t I have said that? Writing teachers frequently refer to Tom Wolfe and his shout-out style. Others with distinctive styles are Raymond Chandler and the watershed detective writer, Mickey Spillane and his hard-boiled crime protagonist, Mike Hammer. In 1947, newly married Spillane is said to have needed money to buy a house. He wrote I, The Jury in nineteen days and sent it to E. P. Dalton. It became an international best seller with six and a half million copies selling in the U.S. alone. Spillane set the stage for that genre forever after, his style being the prototype for future detective crime writers.

Previously we talked about adjectives and adverbs. When a writer packs his work with them they become clutter. Hemingway’s style is distinctive because of how tightly he writes. He pares sentences down to the core. Eliminate every single adjective and adverb in the novel you are working on and you still will not be Hemingway. But if you avoid flamboyancy and tighten your writing, your own style will begin to surface. . . .What if our character says, “I know a woman who beats her dog with a board until he howls.” In the first sentence we heard what the character said. We may have conjured a vague mental picture of some sort of mean woman. In the second we again heard the character but we also saw the woman beating her dog, we heard the animal’s howls of pain and our emotions were immediately engaged. While more words were utilized in the second example they were words that deliver. They had an impact on us as well as providing information.


photo of Karleene MorrowAuthor KARLEENE MORROW grew up in an ethnic family and is a descendant of the German colonists whose history was the inspiration for this historical fiction novel, Destinies.

She holds a B.S. Honors, Sociology and M.S. Educational Psychology. With the first as the study of cultures, group social behavior and the latter addressing the mind and personal behavior, Morrow finds these disciplines beneficial in the writing and understanding of other people in other times.

Karleene lives at the beach in the Pacific Northwest with her Pomeranian dogs, some of them champions, all of them beloved family companions. She looks forward to receiving messages from her readers while she is at work on her next novel set in 18th century Virginia.

Reviews of Destinies

This extraordinary novel Destinies strikes a perfect balance between historical facts
and easy to read fiction. An enjoyable journey!

. . . Ulrike Bremer, Nye Beach Book House.

. . . in Destinies, whether she’s writing about the Empress of a great nation or a simple Rhineland lad,
Karleene Morrow puts the two together brilliantly.

. . . Mariah Matthews, author

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