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Book Tour & Giveaway: Author Fun Facts & Favorite Recipe with Carol McKibben - Luke's Tale

Luke's Tale
by Carol McKibben

Author Fun Facts

  1. Favorite Author
John Irving

  1. Favorite Book
To Kill a Mockingbird

  1. Favorite Movie
Forrest Gump (but I have so many favorites!)

  1. Preferred Drink
Jack Daniels

  1. Favorite Activity
Riding Classical Dressage

  1. One thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
Besides fostering rescue dogs (which probably is no surprise), I train and compete in Classical Dressage (that’s the Olympic Sport where the rider “dances” with her horse to music).

  1. Actor/actress you see playing your main character in your book.
Hmm… who would play Sara? Jennifer Lawrence with dark hair.
  1. Night owl or early bird.
Early bird.

  1. Favorite dinner.
Steak and salad.

  1. Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book.
C – compassionate story
A - about a couple’s search for happiness
R - romantic
O – obviously narrated by a dog
L – loving unconditionally

Author Favorite Recipe

Macroni and Cheese

I’m from the south, so it’s comfort food all the way. This is my mother’s recipe for Macroni and Cheese. My family always requests that I make it during the holidays.

1/2 stick of butter
2 tablespoons sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
Garlic salt to taste
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces (2 cups) elbow macroni

In saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and blend in flour, salt, garlic and pepper. Slowly add milk while blending. Heat stirring constantly until sauce thickens a little and is smooth. Add 1-1/2 cups cheese and heat until melted, stirring continuously. Meanwhile, cook macroni as directed and drain. Combine with sauce in a 2-quart casserole and top with remaining cheese and Paprika.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until nicely browned and bubbly. Makes 4 to 6 servings. For my family, I double everything because they like to have leftovers the next day (but there’s rarely any of it left!)

Meet the Author: Carol McKibben currently writes from the heart of a dog’s eyes. Often telling her stories to Labradoodles, Basset Hounds and any stray that happens by, it wasn’t long before people stopped to have a listen as well. Now Carol writes for people and speaks to large audiences, dogs included. Carol was a magazine publisher for more than 20 years. She began a new career in freelance writing and editing in 2007, as well as working with other authors to realize their dreams. She also has published a Memoir, Riding Through It. Visit her at

One lucky winner will receive a print or e-book copy of Luke’s Tale: A Story of Unconditional Love FREE! All you have to do is reply to this post and write something about Unconditional Love and what it means to you. Please be sure to include an email address where we can reach you for an address and we will pick one lucky winner at random!

About the Author:

Carol writes from the heart of a dog's eyes. Often telling her stories to LaberDoodles, Basset Hounds and any stray that happens by, it wasn't long before people stopped to have a listen as well. Now Carol writes for people and speaks to large audiences, dogs included.

Genre: Family Drama
Publisher: Troll River Publications
Release Date: January 1, 2013

Book Description:

Luke, an intelligent, 89-pound yellow Labrador retriever, has an odd ability to understand human conversations and actions. When his owner’s girlfriend, Sara Colson, discovers she has breast cancer Luke is the sole secret keeper of her disease. Not knowing if she’ll survive, Sara leaves her boyfriend, Ashlundt Jaynes, to shield him from the pain. Luke, knowing how to give unconditional love, is the catalyst bringing the two lovers back together and helps them stay together while Sara and Ashlundt overcome a series of life-changing events. 

At the heart of Luke’s Tale is the story of two lovers and their struggle with unforeseen disillusionment to build a lasting relationship -- and the loving, furry creature who is devoted to them beyond all reason.



September 15, 2015

The world is darker today. Not because I’m blind. My world is always black. But this day my heart is broken.
I sit for a very long time next to the door. I long for her smell of fresh cut flowers, her touch and her gentle voice. I visualize her face. I see the fullness of her lips and the deep compassion in her dark eyes. She is the most caring human I’ve ever known. I long for her comforting arms around me.
People come up and pet me. One nurse offers me a bowl of water. I remain aloof, not wanting to be distracted in case… in case there’s some word. She couldn’t possibly be capable of being with me now.
Bay leaf and ocean scent assault my nostrils as I feel Ashlundt pass by into the ER. I stretch my nose toward him, searching for some sort of hope. I feel his desperation as he hurries past me with two words, “Stay, Luke.”
My stomach growls. I suppress the hunger. It doesn’t matter now. In trying to push away the anguish, my mind wanders back to when Sara left us. I was younger and not blind. She wanted to protect Ashlundt from the pain of her cancer. She must have known that he wouldn’t be able to cope with her being sick.
I’m not sure what makes him tick. It has to have something to do with his brother’s surfing accident. He blames himself to this day. Maybe that’s why he can’t cope with illness or imperfection in those he’s supposed to love. I once was his golden boy. We went everywhere together. Now, my blindness has pushed him further away from me.
I still feel Ashlundt’s athletic strength every once and a while. He’ll brush his large hands over me, and I can visualize his big frame and angular face bathed in his long, sun-lightened hair. I wish he knew how to cope with my blindness. It’s hard not to take it personally.
I wish I could cope better with my loss of sight. I’d always been a watcher. It must be part of my Lab nature. What scares me the most is that I can’t observe my humans, or help them now. Sara has always depended upon our unspoken bond. Ashlundt is another story. I’ve been through tough times with each of them, and I’ve had to be more like that human detective, Sherlock Holmes, than a dog for them. I am the product of a broken relationship.
It’s long past my evening meal when I feel Sara’s presence. I hear nothing but the despair in her voice. “Come, Luke.” She takes me by the collar and leads me to the car.
I sit in the backseat and slowly lay down. I know what has happened but can’t bare thinking of it. She is silent, but her pain is unbearable and palpable in the air. I think back to how Ashlundt pushed her away, even when he finally discovered she was sick. I fought so hard to help him try and win her back…
I’m jarred back to reality as the car stops. I hear the door open, then the backseat door. Sara whispers, “Let’s go inside, Luke.”
Slowly, I follow Sara into the house.
She says nothing as she fixes my kibble and leftover chicken, then leaves the room. My greatest fear has been realized.
After sating my hunger, I go to find Sara in her bedroom. She is lying across her bed in silence, tortured and bereft. Even though I’m not usually allowed on the bed, she says nothing as I crawl up next to her and place my head on her hip. I give out a whimpered cry of sorrow.
We lie together in silence for a long, long time. I have to go outside so badly that my bladder hurts, but I don’t dare leave Sara. She is so cold. I move closer to her, wanting her to feel my warmth, the warmth that Ashlundt should have offered. Time passes. My stomach begins to growl and adds to my discomfort, but it doesn’t matter. I will not leave her.
Sometime later the phone starts to ring. It must be morning. All those distraught voices leaving messages of sorrow on the answering machine. I crawl up to her face, pressing my nose on her cheek to see if she is asleep. Her hand softly touches the top of my head. “It’s okay, Lukey. Thank you for staying with me.” A ragged sigh escapes from her and is joined by my own.
Still we remain motionless. I think back to the chain of events until I started going blind. But, I’ve gotten way ahead of myself. I need to go back to the beginning so that you understand how we arrived at our darkest moment in time.

11 Responses to "Book Tour & Giveaway: Author Fun Facts & Favorite Recipe with Carol McKibben - Luke's Tale"

Bk Walker said...

Welcome Carol! Can't wait to try this recipe! Yummo! You and my husband fit right in with the JD haha

louise said...

Sounds like a lovely book. I've added it to my TBR list. Good luck with the tour.

Pit crew.

Carol McKibben said...

Louise, thank you! I appreciate the support. Thank you to Writing Innovations for hosting me! All the Best,Carol McKibben

Carol McKibben said...

Thanks, BK Walker! The recipe is from my mother, and it's one my kids demand I make every holiday. Hope you enjoy it! Carol McKibben

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan said...

Love the acronym activity, and the macaroni and cheese looks awesome! I wish you well on your tour:) Pit Crew

Rebecca Graf said...

Now you made me hungry. Oh, it's lunch time. Great! Thanks.

Carol McKibben said...

Eat up, Rebecca!

Carol McKibben said...

Thanks, Michelle. Definitely try the recipe!

Carol McKibben said...

Thanks to Writing Innovations for hosting me!

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