Although I cursed it in my youth, dyslexia turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Not being able to read or write until the age of ten forced me to express myself through acting. At the Stephens College playhouse in Missouri I fell in love with an actor, a married actor. That experience led to the publication of my first book, Love and Madness: My Private Years with George C. Scott.
When I found myself pregnant. George wanted me to abort the baby. I refused. My friend Tammy Grimes, who later became a two-time Tony Award winner (The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Private Lives) helped me find the Florence Crittenden Home for Unwed Mothers outside of Boston, where I gave birth to our daughter. My play, Bad Girl, was based on that experience.
Years later George returned to my life, which inspired me to write Hello Again, (a 2015 San Diego Book Awards finalist in romance novels).
The hardships of war and the Great Depression that mark my family's history led me to write Saturday Night Dance Club.
After living in Terre Haute, Indiana, and earlier in North Conway New Hampshire, near the home of Peyton Place author, Grace Metalious, I was inspired to write Freedom's Sins, a story of scandals in a small town.
Getting lost for several hours during a brief stay near the abandoned military base scared me into writing The Ghosts of Fort Ord.
My nonfiction novel, Helga: Growing Up in Hitler's Germany, (2015 San Diego Book Awards winner in nonfiction) is based on my interview of a former member of the Jugend, Hitler's child army.
My many overnight weekend getaways on the famous Queen Mary had me busily writing The Ghosts of the Queen Mary, scheduled for release on November 1, 2014.
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Press Release for Ghosts of the Queen Mary, 10/21/2014
Ghosts of the Queen Mary is Carlsbad resident Karen Truesdell Riehl's eighth eBook, scheduled for release November 1 on Kindle, Nook, iBook and other digital devices. It's the tale of a whimsical older couple's extended encounter with ghosts. Toots, a writer of sexy romance novels, and Max, both in their sixties, enjoy a weekend “cruise” on the Queen Mary, a ship docked for forty years in Long Beach, California and thought to be haunted. At dinner in Sir Winston's Restaurant, the couple experience a ghost sighting of their own. It's the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who offer them a guided tour of the ship.
The following day, as Toots and Max drive home to San Diego they're unaware the Duke and Duchess are riding along in the back seat. Back home, Toots and Max turn their attention to immediate problems, how to make the many needed repairs to their seventy-year-old mansion when they’re broke, their nine-year-old grandson arriving with his parrot for an extended stay, their pregnant daughter moving back home after being jilted by the baby's father, and Toots getting an email message from a past lover who wants to come back into her life.
"If you want a hilarious read, this book is definitely for you!" Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
A free sample of Ghosts of the Queen Mary is now available for download to PC or MAC from Smashwords.com