Karen Stivali on Characters, Emotional Ties and Moment of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali ( GUEST POST )



Moment of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Available for Purchase at


and Apple


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Karen Stivali here today to talk about her latest release in her Moments in Time series, Moment of Fate. Welcome, Karen.


STRW: Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Karen Stivali: It’s funny you should ask this question for this blog tour, because MOMENT OF FATE is the first book I’ve ever had this problem with, and I had it in spades.

I write fast. Always have. I finish most books in 2 months or less. Before I start any project I need to see the whole story in my mind and once I do, that’s it, it pours right out.

Except with this book.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t seen the whole story play out in my mind. I had. I knew the characters inside and out and knew exactly what happened—how they met, how and why they bonded, the path that took them from friends to lovers, the secrets that tore them apart, and how they found their way back to one another. It wasn’t a question of not knowing the plot or struggling with any other aspect of the writing. The problem was that I over-related to one of the characters.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Bryan. Not in any way, shape or form. He’s a young, sexy, charismatic front man in a band and an out and proud gay man. I’m none of those things. Can’t sing a note. Never seek the spotlight. Don’t consider myself particularly charming. And yet, Bryan shares one characteristic with me that threw me for such a loop this was a book that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to finish writing, even though I really, really wanted to.

So, what was the issue? Bryan’s main challenge in the book is that although he’s one of those people who has always gone after what he’s wanted and gotten it, although he’s a ridiculously hard worker who’s driven to succeed, although he’s stubborn and self-reliant, he’s had a challenge that he didn’t know how to deal with. A challenge he didn’t want to accept and, worse, didn’t want anyone to know about. He has a chronic illness: Lyme disease. While not a fatal illness, like any chronic ailment it presents challenges. Challenges that are ever-changing and, due to the chronic nature, will never completely go away.

From the host of mysterious symptoms that come and go, to the aches and pains, to the unpredictable flare-ups, to the anxiety and panic attacks, he’s had to learn to cope with an array of problems that conflict with his Type A personality and his unwillingness to let anything stand in his way.

How do I know how much of a challenge all of that is? Because I’m a very driven, stubborn, self-reliant person who has had to deal with Chronic Lyme disease for many years.

So, yeah. I over-related a little. Okay, a lot. Every time Bryan had an anxiety attack, I found myself having one. Which meant every time I went back to reread or edit one of those scenes I had another one. I pride myself on never missing deadlines but with this book I blew the deadline by over six months because it got to the point where I couldn’t even open the file. I set it aside, came back to it, had to put it aside again.

The good thing? Part of Bryan’s character arc is that he has to learn that although he doesn’t need to let his illness define him, he does need to learn to work around it. And part of that includes allowing some other people to know what he’s going through. Why he can’t always do everything he used to or the way he wants to. What his limitations are and how much he doesn’t want those limitations to have an impact on his decisions or his goals or how he lives his life. For the majority of the book he’s told no one in his life what he’s struggling with. Just like almost no one in my life knows that I have Lyme. I don’t want to be defined by it either, and I won’t be. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t need to relearn right along with Bryan that sometimes you have to let other people know what’s going on with you, and that sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

That’s not an easy lesson for me. And it wasn’t an easy lesson for him. But it was one he needed to learn and that I needed a reminder of, in a big way.



A Moments In Time Novel

Bryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track until he meets Oliver Newcastle.

For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.

From the moment they meet, the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sow his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they’re hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate may have other plans.

This is a standalone novel set in the Moments In Time world. You do not need to have read any of the previous titles to enjoy this book.

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Words 80,385

Pages 244

ISBN-13 978-1-63476-546-6


About the Author


 Karen Stivali

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Full length bio:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.

When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenStivaliAuthor/

Website: http://karenstivali.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenstivali/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KarenStivali/

E-mail: karenstivali@gmail.com/

Other books in the Moments In Time series:

  • MOMENT OF TRUTH (Book 2)
  • MOMENTS IN TIME (a compilation of Books 1-3)
  • MOMENT OF DOUBT (Book 3.5)
  • MOMENT OF FATE (Book 5)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.