Lori Turley returned to her long-time home of Coronado to share her late sister’s award winning debut novel, Reasons for Waking, November 2nd. Turley spoke to a crowd of friends and interested community members in the Coronado Library Winn Room where she shared how she, along with her siblings, worked to publish her late sister, Karen Foster’s, first novel. As 24-year residents of Coronado, Lori and Craig Turley were entrenched in the community, involved in the schools and Islander Sports Foundation and raised their children here. Both Lori and Craig retired as Navy Captains and continued to work in the local area until they fully retired and moved back to Pennsylvania.
Turley opened by saying “My sister Karen Foster wrote the book before she passed away of metastatic breast cancer; I am going to give you some background about her and the incredible life that she led, and then talk about my family’s journey to publication.
“Karen was the oldest of six children in our military family. Moving was always especially hard for Karen, she was born blind and after six surgeries she still only had 3% of her vision restored. She never complained, she just managed. Her handicap never stopped her from pursuing her interests, she was an avid reader which seems crazy but she found a way.”
The respect and admiration Lori had for her sister shone through as she shared her story. Lori talked of how Karen always dreamed of writing a novel and swore she would do it before she passed away. An English major with a master’s degree in creative writing, Karen had the background fit to write a novel, but her career was in technical writing for the Centers for Disease Control. It wasn’t until Karen retired from the CDC that she started working with other writers and a writing coach to create her novel.
When speaking with Lori, I asked if having her sister’s book to share with the world helped her feel connected with her sister after the loss and she said, “This journey to publication and beyond has helped my family through the grieving process. My siblings and I had many collaborative calls as we worked through the process and it brought us closer.”
Lori said that after Karen passed her siblings made it their mission to fulfill their sister’s dream. They had no idea if the book was any good, none of them had read it, but after working with the editors and publicist they thought it was wonderful. They have been pleasantly surprised by the awards it has won including the Reader’s Favorite Silver Medal in the Fiction-General genre for 2023. After Lori provided a short reading from the book, she signed copies of the book and answered questions.
According to ReasonsForWaking.com, Karen’s book is, “A family mystery that shows how frayed our connections can become when we try to skirt the truth, and how facing the truth can heal us. When reclusive Philip teams up with a determined young woman to unravel the tragedy that shattered both their lives, he’s forced to confront his estranged family. The lies – and devastating truths – he discovers expose his family secrets and compel him to face his flawed assumptions. Reasons for Waking is a tale of how secrets and silence can hide the truth that can heal us.” Taylor Baldwin Kiland, co-author of Unwavering: The Wives Who Fought to Ensure No Man is Left Behind, praised the book saying, “Reasons for Waking is a page-turner! With so many unsuspecting plot twists, this novel has all the elements of a masterful mystery: political power and intrigue, multiple suspicious characters, gumshoe detective work, and suspense. It is ‘un-put-downable’!”
Reasons For Waking is available on ReasonsForWaking.com, on Amazon as a soft cover book, or through Kindle, and will be coming out as an audiobook in a few months.