top10reviewsite-2016   Professional Reader  Reviews Published 

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood that we lived as fully as those spent with a beloved book.” –Marcel Proust

My childhood was spent in an armchair, reading fairy tales, Volume A of the Encyclopedia Britannica (it was free at the grocery store but the rest of the series was not), Dad’s American Red Cross “First Aid” manual from his Army days (which advised butter as a treatment for burns),  the Bible, Great-Aunt Elsie’s back issues of “National Enquirer” and “Capper’s Weekly” (handed down the line until they got to me). I read anything I could get my hands on. The backs of cereal boxes at the breakfast table? Anything.

My first long word, in chalk on a little 5×7 blackboard, I wasn’t sure what I wrote, so I worked up the courage to ask Dad at the breakfast table. He raised his eyebrows, feigned surprise and pride and said, “Why, that says Carolina Tea Kettle!”

I was four. I believed him.

Mom drove to town once a week for groceries (most of what we ate, we grew on the farm). With five daughters all a year apart in age, she had us take turns going along with her for the rare chance to leave the house. My sisters hit the clothing stores; I hit the public library. At 16, I met Carl Sagan (on paper) and fell in love. Mom had no idea. Dad said “book smarts don’t mean sick ’em,” and if he shouted for an Alan wrench, I knew it was safer to let someone else fetch it rather than risk his scorn when I brought him that other kind of wrench.

I’ve never lived farther than 90 miles from the farm where I was born, though two of my sisters have lived all over the globe. This strikes me as a serious flaw for a writer, since we should “write what you know,” and I know very little — but Ben Shipley (I love you, Ben!!) informs me that I know more than I think. Not many people these days grew up so close to the dirt, chicken dust and manure. It took me 50 years to get it, but I am uniquely qualified to grasp that poem my college lit professor tortured me with–William Carlos Williams saying “so much depends on the red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chicken.” I shook my head in disbelief that this sentence (arranged with white space, just so) had made it into a textbook, while my beloved Eugene Fields poem, “Little Boy Blue,” was incriminated as an example of bad poetry in the same textbook.

Here’s my LinkedIn bio, if anyone really cares to know:  Carol Kean is an avid reader and writer, book reviewer, wife, mom, guerilla gardener and champion of underdogs and overlooked authors. Science is her first love but it was unrequited, so she earned a degree in English instead and worked as a tech writer for Chamberlain Manufacturing Corporation and Rockwell Collins (**CMC’s Patriot Warhead, Rockwell’s High-Frequency and VHF communications equipment and GPS– in its infancy!–were her favorite projects). She wrote two novels while staying home to raise three little musicians, joined a fiction writing workshop and plans to see “Ironwolf” and “Left on Stonehaven” published.

I’ve published a few short stories. A mysterious time-traveling German shows up at Liberty Island from time to time. Thanks to author Lindy Moone, who told me about the Kindle Boards forum, my vigilante bag lady makes her first appearance in Andrew Ashling’s Flash Fiction 2014 anthology (details forthcoming).

Job History, post-college:

Rockwell Collins presentations writer October 1987 – February 1993 (5 years 5 months) Cedar Rapids, Iowa

General scapegoat – accepting job assigments from engineers who needed it yesterday, or said they did in hopes of actually getting it tomorow; begging other Graphics Department members to do their jobs, e.g., artists, typesetters, proofreaders and the printshop; rushing documents to print or view cells to “Reproduction” upstairs; putting out fires with string pulling and diplomatic words.

Chamberlain Manufacturing Corporation (no longer exists, but it’s not my fault) – technical writer June 1985 – October 1987)  Waterloo, Iowa

That’s enough about me. I love my husband and our 3 kids, and lots of other stuff, but seriously, who has time to read my list of interests/passions/hobbies? I’m only here because I have to stick my feet in the water, from time to time, and sometimes even dive deep. Let me know if you see any sharks, please.

p.s. You can find me at Twitter: @tea_in_carolina novelist, reviewer, editor, book critic for , @NetGalley, AmazonVine, @goodreads and @amazon; champion of indie authors & underdogs; no AutoRetweets, no buying Followers; I do my own reading, choosing and tweeting.


21 Responses to About

  1. sachemspeaks says:

    I see sharks all the time in Florida. 🙂
    They do not like eating humans. 🙂


  2. carolkean says:

    Sachem, I love your blog on alligators, that mighty fortress of a native animal, now being hunted even in a wildlife preserve (http://sachemspeaks.wordpress.com/). What tribe are you? I keep meaning to blog about Native Americans (Indians, now?), but where to begin??


  3. Pingback: A little about author Carol Kean | The Peers of Beinan series on Word Press

  4. Nancy Trotic of Sunnycroft Books says:

    You say, “Not many people these days grew up so close to the dirt, chicken dust and manure. It took me 50 years to get it, but I am uniquely qualified to grasp that poem my college lit professor tortured me with–William Carlos Williams saying ‘so much depends on the red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chicken.'”

    Here is Ardyth Kennelly’s opinion (spoken by a character in her soon-to-be-published novel):



    • carolkean says:

      Oh, I love it, Nancy, and cannot wait to see the novel when it comes out! What a treasure to find unpublished manuscripts in the estate of a beloved author.
      Excerpt From Variation West:

      He shook his head. “It wouldn’t seem like anything!”
      “Now wait,” she said. “It seems like something, doesn’t it? when they scare poor Falstaff in the woods? When Madame Butterfly kills herself? When the stone man, the man of white marble, comes clomping into Don Giovanni’s dining room, bump bump bump? That’s what art is for, isn’t it? to take something measly—measly in comparison with the universe—and make it count for something?”
      –From Variation West


  5. Carol, send me a Guest (Book out Soon) Author article 😀

    Adapt the submissions guidelines at:


    Liked by 1 person

    • carolkean says:

      Thank you for offering! When I get to that point, I’ll take you up on it. And thanks for taking time to read so many of my blog posts. You’re a great supporter of indie authors!


  6. I mentioned this to you recently Carol., but you should read Growing Up Country, by Carol Bodensteiner. As a farm girl, I think you will like it.


  7. carolkean says:

    David, I bought the book — just haven’t unearthed it yet in my Kindle. I’ve read the opening chapters of “Tan” three times now. I figured out where it is I set the book down and fail to return. It’s when the POV shifts suddenly to some other guy, and five years have passed. We do get back to Liam again, but that break to the other guys’ POV somehow throws me. Also, I hate historical fiction because terrible things like an innocent man falsely accused of rape has happened in real life (even if Liam is pure fiction) and books that set off my sense of outrage sometimes drive me to cat videos and comedies with happy endings. The weakness is all mine, not the author’s.


  8. mgherron says:

    Hello Carol! Tried to find an email for you but no luck. You reviewed one of my books last year, The Auriga Project—a very honest 3 star review that I really appreciated as an author. Those are hard to find. I’d love to invite you to join my ARC reader list. If you’re interested you can reach out to me at matt at mgherron dot com. Cheers!


  9. Roger Carden says:

    I’d like to send you a copy of our first print anthology from our website of pulp/noir stories for review.
    Crimson Streets. Ping me if you’re interested.


    • carolkean says:

      I never make promises, and I never say no. Some books (even best sellers) are a can’t-finish for me, for any number of reasons. If you send me a file (not gift me a book), and it costs nothing to email it to me, just send it. Thanks for asking. I’ve met some great writers this way.


      • Roger Carden says:

        Unfortunately, we did not do a PDF edition. We’ve run extra copies of the book to send out for review. We do plan to make a Kindle edition or PDF available for volume 2 in January.


  10. Susan Sloate says:

    Carol–Your latest newsletter (or blog post, whatever) showed up in my Inbox today, and as I’m about to publish a new book, I jumped on it. I’m developing my own publishing imprint, and the first book going out is a re-publication of my 2013 novel, STEALING FIRE (which you very kindly reviewed when it came out). As I’ll be looking for all the media I can get, I wonder if you might consider featuring the book (and me??) on your blog one day? I don’t have a publication date yet, but it will be soon, maybe even the beginning of June. Will know more shortly, I think.

    You can email me at susan@susansloate.com. I’d love to discuss this more with you via email.

    Thanks–hope all is well in your world–



  11. I got your name from an Amazon reviewer list. My newest novel, The Neuromorphs, is an AI hard science fiction adventure. Would you be willing to let me provide you with a copy of the book in hopes that you would consider a review?

    You can read about me here: DennisMeredith.com and also look at the book here: http://dennismeredith.com/the-neuromorphs_473.html

    I would love to send you either an ebook or if you prefer a hard copy. The Neuromorphs will be free on Amazon August 31 and September 1.

    I understand you are under no obligation to review my book.

    Thank you. I look forward to your response.


    • carolkean says:

      Thank you for offering – I’m always behind, and can make no promise that I’ll review every book that comes my way. If you have a PDF or mobi file I can beam to my Kindle, please send to – thank you!


    • carolkean says:

      Joanne, thanks for asking, and I’m sorry I never saw this message until tonight. WordPress and my antique email provider don’t work together wel.. Amazon has flushed all my reviews due to unspecified “violations” of their policy. Hundreds of reviews, wiped out. I fell to the bottom 5 million of the reviewers. If I post reviews now, it’s at goodreads or NetGalley. Thanks again. Carol


  12. Zoozagt7 says:

    Hi Ms. Kean:

    I read one of your short stories and I want to ask you a question about it, however, I didn’t see an email can you please email me at Zoozagt7@yahoo.com. I would like permission to use one of your short stories for a class story.



    • carolkean says:

      Thank you – I’m honored!
      My usual email account is so overloaded, I had to try gmail. You can try me at and hope I recognize it as Not Spam.
      At Amazon, I routinely hit “follow” on every author I met online, and had to manually unsubscribe from a gazillion author updates in my inbox. Daily.
      Thanks again!


  13. Carol, I absolutely loved your review of my novel, A DANCER’S GUIDE TO AFRICA. It was insightful, entertaining, gorgeously written, and, most of all, I so appreciate that you really *saw* the story I was trying to tell. Thank you so much for being the kind of reviewer who cares about what s/he is saying and what the author was trying to say. Such an artful review — it made me get a little teary! I wish there were a button an author could click on that shows, “best review of the bunch.” And just to let you know that BALLET ORPHANS, my Jan 2021 release, is currently available via NetGalley (only until Feb 17th though) and it picks up right where AFRICA left off, with Fiona joining her friend April in San Francisco). Any chance you’d consider giving it a read/review? I can also provide a mobi/epub/pdf file for you to have and read at your convenience. Just ping me at terez.writer(at)gmail(dot)com. And once again THANK YOU for your thoughtful, artful review. It continues to feel like a gift. : )

    PS: nice job on your blog, and so impressive, that you’ve been doing it since 2012. I, too, am a blogger and I know the work involved in keeping it up. Well done! Thank you for what you’re doing for authors.)

    Liked by 1 person

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 )

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