Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Chatting with Karen Guzman, author of Arborview

I'm delighted to welcome fellow Rose author Karen Guzman to my blog. She has a beautiful new book out that I'm excited to tell you about. But first, please help me welcome Karen. 

Hi, Karen. what new project are you working on?

My new project is a short story collection.

What are you currently reading?

I am presently reading the novel, “Gone So Long,” by Andre Dubus III. It is phenomenal, just blowing me away.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Hmm. There are so many good choices, but I guess I’d have to go with dark chocolate and sourdough bread—or any good artisanal bread with a crusty crust and soft center. Pumpernickel is another favorite!

Oh, I haven't had fresh baked pumpernickel in a while. I'm going to have to pick some up soon. Thanks for sharing a little about yourself.

Now, let's find out more about Arborview...

Author: Karen Guzman
Genre: Mainstream Fiction / Women’s Fiction

When the recipe for a new life is bittersweet…

Ellen Cahill’s financial future rides on the success of her new pastry shop. A bruising divorce has drained her bank account, along with her spirit. A man enters her life promising love, but Ellen, haunted by the past, questions whether she can pull off this new beginning.

College student Rosa Escamilla has her own culinary dreams—and a difficult mother who’s dead set against them. Rosa won’t be deterred. She scrapes up the money to enroll at a prestigious culinary school, setting out to prove everyone wrong.

When hidden betrayals by the people they love most surface for both Ellen and Rosa, can they overcome the blows they never saw coming on the road to where they want to go?

Grab your copy today

Peek between the pages

She found the old book that night, buried at the back of the living room bookcases. The spine cracked when she opened it, and dust drifted from the pages.

With Bold Knife and Fork by M.F.K. Fisher. Ellen had discovered Fisher early in her marriage, when she was pregnant with Taber. She had left her teaching job, due to unrelenting morning sickness, and Zach was putting in long hours, launching the version of himself he wanted to show the world. They were in the loft apartment in Hartford, and Ellen spent afternoons on the couch beneath the tall windows, nibbling saltines, as the ceiling fan whirred in the summer heat.

She had savored the book’s words, dreaming of her own garden in the country, where she would grow herbs and spices and vegetables crunchy with sunshine and promise. Larger mysteries would then surely unfold. The sharp, fecund scent of the soil beneath her feet would call them forth. Zach would be amazed at the bounty she would bring into their life. Love would lead them.

That was a long time ago.

Ellen tucked the book beneath her arm and carried it to the kitchen. She left it near the coffee maker, where she’d be sure to remember it.

Upstairs, she got ready for bed. She left her clothes in a heap on the floor. She did laundry so rarely now—once, maybe twice a month. There was a time when she was doing three loads, twice a week. It seemed the machine was always sloshing and clicking in the mudroom. She had loved hanging the clothes out in the sunshine to dry when they first moved here. A sunny day proclaims the glory of God, the nuns used to say. Ellen would carry a burst of fresh air back into house, pausing to bury her head in a pile of towels or Zach’s t-shirts before tucking them away into drawers and closets.

Then Alice told her clotheslines were low-rent. “Underwear and bras flapping in the breeze for all the world to see?” How young Alice was then—still in her headband phase. She liked the plaid ones with the little ribbon on top, all colors and shades. She gave them up in her thirties, as she said any self-respecting woman should.

“Nobody can see into our backyard,” Ellen had argued. But Zach seconded Alice’s opinion, and Ellen loaded the clothes dryer.

Zach had dismantled the clothesline, but maybe she’d put up a new one now, at the edge of the yard near Arborview, and show the world just how low-rent she could be. She knew the perfect spot where the ground was flat, and breezes rippled in from the woods. Ellen closed her eyes, smiling at the notion. A clothesline rebel. Why not? This house was hers alone now, for as long as she could hold onto it.

The cool sheet draped her body. Maybe she had turned away from her own sense of what mattered most, of what was possible, long ago. But there was so much rush and noise back then, so many others, their voices and need, their love, concrete and enveloping. Who could resist such love? Why had no one warned her that people go away? That time runs out, and unthinkable things come to pass.

About the author:

Karen Guzman is a fiction writer and essayist. Her new novel, Arborview, is being published on September 29 by The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Homing Instincts, was published by Fiction Attic Press in 2014. Karen’s short fiction has appeared in a number of literary magazines, and her story collection, Pilgrims, was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award. Karen is a regular contributor to the Collegeville Institute’s Bearings Online magazine. She is the recipient of a 2021 writing fellowship at the Collegeville Institute.

You can find Karen’s books on her Amazon author page.

Connect with Karen
Website  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Amazon  |  Write Despite

Do clotheslines bring back any memories? Ever hung your clothes outside to dry?

For me, clotheslines bring back fond memories of my grandparents. They used to hang various items outside to dry. 

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to pop your thoughts in the comments. 


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Cherie! Happy Thanksgiving...almost!

  2. Sounds like a great people story! Best wishes with the release!

  3. Oh, one of my earliest memories is running between damp sheets on a hot day. Loved the post! Best with your book!