Guest Post & Giveaway ~ A Whisper To A Scream by Karen Berner

Contemporary Fiction: Our True History Books

By Karen Wojcik Berner
Thank you so much, Lori, for inviting me to guest blog today. I am very excited to be here.
Want to read the best history book ever? Try a piece of contemporary fiction.
Think about it. Can you fathom anything that better portrays the Jazz Age than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby?
Contemporary fiction serves as a window to the time period within which it is written, chronicling society and events as they occur. From this, we learn manners and customs. Family stories illustrate people’s everyday lives.
For example, how do the characters speak? Language patterns and slang terminology provide major clues to an era. What do they wear? What kind of music do they listen to? What art or architectural style is popular? What do they eat?
All of these things help piece together an historical record of life in that time period.
I took a class in college, “Historical Reality in American Fiction,” which opened my eyes to the natural pairing of history and literature. We analyzed several early-20th-century novels to see if they provided an accurate portrayal of life in the various decades. It turned out, of course, they did. It was fascinating.
Historical fiction is not quite the same. Although I love it and mean the genre no disrespect, historical fiction works to recreate a time period. That is very different from being genuinely of an era.
It is easy to forget how many of the classics were pieces of contemporary fiction, since now we have a tendency to view them as “period pieces.” For example, when I entered Jane Austen’s home, (also known as a pilgrimage to my holy land, but I digress), it felt like I had walked right onto the set of the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. Somehow before, my mind never made the connection that dear Miss Austen would have written contemporary fiction, if that genre would have existed more than two hundred years ago.
Similar to Austen’s Regency, England, the dust bowl days of the Great Depression come alive in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, while Tom Wolfe illustrates early 21st-century collegiate life in I Am Charlotte Simmons.
I think that is why I enjoy writing contemporary fiction so much. With A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One), I wanted to compare and contrast two sides of womanhood — those who have children and those who desperately want them — through Annie Jacobs, who is dealing with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, and the overwhelmed, stay-at-home mother, Sarah Anderson. I’m sure all of us know people just like Annie, Sarah or probably both. They are most definitely products of our time.
What are some of your favorite pieces of literature that reflect the time period in which they were written?
About the author ~
Karen Wojcik Berner grew up on the outskirts of Chicago. After graduating from Dominican University with degrees in English with a writing concentration and communications, she worked as a magazine editor, public relations coordinator and freelance writer. A two-time Folio Magazine Ozzie Award for Excellence in Magazine Editorial and Design winner, her work has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family.
Visit Karen's website
Like A Whisper To A Scream on Facebook
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Contact Karen
The book ~ 

Ovulation detectors. Hormone surges. Anxiety-ridden dreams. This is the world in which Annie Jacobs is thrust when she and her husband John receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. A 37-year old PR executive, Annie has wanted to be a mother since she first cuddled her Baby Tenderlove at age five. She is dreading another Christmas of relatives asking when they will be hearing the pitter patter of little feet, and Uncle Joe slapping John on the back, telling him to relax and take a cruise. Lots of people get pregnant on vacation, you know.

Across town, stay-at-home mom of two, Sarah Anderson, attempts grocery shopping with a toddler intent on hurling items from the cart at passersby. She notices a box of rice heading straight for a gray-haired head. Leaping across the aisle, Sarah grabs it, saving the woman from certain doom, or at least a minor head injury. Little Alex screams at being thwarted. The unknowing octogenarian shakes her head and admonishes Sarah for not knowing how to keep her child quiet in public.

"A Whisper to a Scream" is the story of two women on opposite ends of the child-bearing spectrum who come to realize the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. A vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage and its problems, the novel speaks to a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.

Thanks to the publicist I have one (1) copy of A Whisper To A Scream to give away. 

The contest is open to everyone (US & Canada residents will get a paperback copy or e-copy.  International residents will receive an e-copy)

Contest ends January 3rd


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Dianna Thomas says:

    Oh it is always better to have the paperback–so I can share and talk it over with a friend

  2. I would like paperback

  3. I would like a paperback (Canada) please.

  4. I`d like paperback

  5. Nina Janke says:

    I would like paperback please.

  6. Laura McLendon says:

    At first glance, looks like a book that would not interest me that much, but those are usually the ones I enjoy most or learn the most from so here’s my entry ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Laura McLendon says:

    Oops, forgot to mention that I would love the paperback!! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Richard Breidenbach says:

    Paperback please :3

  9. Christina Gould says:

    I would prefer a paperback copy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Brandy Lewis says:

    Paperback would be my preference.

  11. Lisa Garrett says:

    I would prefer an ebook.

  12. Lisa Garrett says:

    rafflecopter would not let me paste my twitter url:!/lag32583/status/149100283270668288

  13. I would like to read this in paperback.

  14. Paperback please.

  15. Paperback, please!

  16. Anita Yancey says:

    I would like paperback. Thanks!

  17. would love a paper back,thanks for the chance to win

  18. Kara DiDomizio says:

    I would love paperback!

  19. I’d love the paperback version.

  20. I would pick the paperback.


  21. This sounds so good!!! I’d love a paperback copy. (US)

  22. Alison Flores says:

    I would like paperback!

  23. A paperback would be lovely. many thanks.

  24. i prefer paperback .

  25. I would like a paperback copy. This book sounds compelling.

  26. Julie Witt says:

    I would love a paperback copy! Thanks for the awesome giveaway:)

  27. Ingrid Stukey says:

    would love yo have a Paperback, thanks and God Bless

  28. Michele Behlen says:

    I would like to have the paperback. My father-in-law is an avid reader and I would like to give the book to him.

  29. deanna_boocock says:

    I like Paperback much better thank you.

  30. I would love an ebook copy ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the chance to win

  31. I want paperback

  32. mary fallon says:

    I am old school and love to have a book in my hand and on my bookshelf please!

  33. I would prefer paperback, please.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  34. misskallie2000 says:

    I would love to have the paperback as it is easier to share with my daughter. Thanks..

  35. Christine W says:

    I would like to have the paperback.

  36. Hi – I’d love to have either one.

  37. I’d like the paperback version.

  38. paperback

  39. Shannon Baas says:

    paperback please.

  40. Diana Schultz says:

    Paperback would be my choice ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. I like paperback books.

  42. Helen Keeler says:

    I’d love it it paperback.

  43. melissa call says:

    paperback please

  44. Patsy Hagen says:

    I like paperback books.

  45. I would like paperback please

  46. I would like paperback (emscout9)

    Happy Holidays!

  47. Linda Peters says:

    woould love a paperback, thanks

  48. I would prefer print
    mary beth i recently posted..Duct Tape Wallet ProjectMy Profile

  49. JESSICA LEWIS says:

    I would rather have the paperback

  50. Jessica McLaughlin says:

    Well, I prefer a paperback to an e-book, although I love my Kindle. There is just something to feeling a book in your hands, turning the pages. Its a comfort.

  51. I would love an ecopy…thanks
    Pinkim (Kim Wright) recently posted..Farsighted Blog Tour! Win Prizes!!My Profile

  52. I’d like the Paperback version.

  53. Jessica Snook says:

    Paperback please ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. kelly grant says:


  55. I could do an ecopy. Thanks!

  56. Paperback for the win.

  57. I would love the paperback version.


  59. I would like paperback.


  60. Desmond Warzel says:


  61. Paperback is my choice.

  62. scottsgal says:

    paperback – US

  63. Jody Sisson says:

    I would like Paperback.

  64. I’d love to paperback please!

  65. Linda Peters says:

    paperback would be great, thanks

  66. the paperback

  67. sheryl cullum says:

    I would like in kindle format otherwise if it isnt available I will take paperback thanx

  68. Kelly Britton says:

    Would love to read the book (paperback). Thank you for the opportunity!

  69. Rhonda Struthers says:

    I would like the electronic version

  70. Debbie Kennedy says:

    I prefer paperback , but electronic is fine (pdf)- Canada

  71. Paperback

  72. Valerie Taylor Mabrey says:

    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  73. Jen Wright says:

    I would love the paperback version – I like to pass books along after I’ve read them. Thanks for the giveaway!! Happy New Year ๐Ÿ˜€

  74. crystle tellerday says:


  75. I’d like paperback.

  76. I’d like paperback

  77. I prefer Paperback.

  78. I would prefer paperback

  79. I would like paperback

  80. Daniel Thornton says:


  81. Shaunda Eppes says:

    I would love paperback
    Shaunda.Eppes at gmail dot com

  82. PaperBack

  83. Probably paperbcfk, but either would be fine!

  84. Coriander Warren says:

    If I won I would prefer paperback please

  85. Kerrie Mayans says:

    I would like paperback since I don’t have an ereader.

  86. Karen Gonyea says:

    Paperback ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. I’d love to own the paperback version

  88. James Coyne says:

    I’d prefer the paperback

  89. shirley pebbles says:

    In the US and paperback please.

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