Karen Biery is a master at writing thrilling, expertly researched historical fiction.
She has spent most of her life in the creative realm. She began her career in retail management with a major corporation. Eventually, she achieved her dream of creating, designing, and opening her own retail environment, Olde English Garden Company, in Salem, Ohio. She studied watercolors under the tutelage of award-winning landscape artist Thomas McNickle. It was while attending creative writing classes at Kent State University that Karen realized that the two—painting and writing—were two halves that performed best together, creating the whole picture. Upon this realization, Karen began a career in which her writing and artist talents combine in what can only be described as an awe-inspiring creative collaboration.
Karen’s novels are set in and around her home of Salem, Ohio, a historic town in eastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania border. Her first novel, believe, set in Salem, immediately established her reputation for meticulous historical research, vivid characters, and enthralling storylines full of mystery, suspense, and passion and augmented by stunning and evocative cover and interior artwork.
In response to countless requests from her legion of fans, Karen issues signed/numbered limited hardcover editions of her novels complete with a Certificate of Authenticity as well as offering original art from the stories at $100 an illustration.
Karen is happiest when she’s in contact with her fans and looks forward to emails and message postings! To get in touch with her, go to her website at: http://www.karenbiery.com/karenbiery/index.php, or find her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/karen.biery.
speakeasy is an enthralling mystery, full of twists, turns, and surprises. A tour de force reading experience! — Dwight Jon Zimmerman, #1 New York Times bestselling author
speakeasy has the feel of an old time serial complete with bad guys masquerading as good guys, good girls playing it tough, secrets revealed and truths long hidden. A fun read. — Jim Greenwald, award-winning poet and former Lead Reviewer of Military Writers Society of America
Some old buildings have stately histories as solid and respectable as their concrete and stone foundations. But such was not the case for the large, old three-story structure at 378 East Sate Street in Salem, Ohio. During Prohibition, it was one of a handful of speakeasies selling alcohol behind locked, guarded doors to patrons who thumbed their noses at the Eighteenth Amendment that banned all alcohol sales and didn’t care that their liquor was supplied by organized crime bosses who jealously protected their territory and eliminated interlopers with swift, deadly brutality.
When Chandra Munch bought the three-story building, she inherited its notorious history of illegal booze, illicit love, organized crime, and murder. She believed that that history and its scandals were long-since buried and that she had nothing to fear from them. She was wrong.
The idea for this story came to me through Louie, an 84-year-young gentleman who came to visit me one day in the 1990s at my Olde English Garden Company in Salem, Ohio. It was a quiet, rainy afternoon as he shared his stories of the Prohibition-era speakeasy of the 1920s and 1930s that occupied the third floor of the building. As he talked, I wrote as fast as possible in my attempt to get everything down (many words of that transcript I still can’t decipher).
Louie explained how his father used to drag him up the stairs after his father came home from work. “I wasn’t the only kid there,” he told me with a wink. “We used to hide under the skirted table and watch the dancers. Sometimes they would drop money on the floor.”
He closed his eyes and relived memories of the stairs, the bar, the skirted round tables, the band, the dancers, the mouth-speak door, the bottle doors, the cloakroom, the smell, and the staff. He even remembered the series of secret knocks used to gain access. He told me everything except the password.
From that conversation, the genesis for speakeasy was born. After he left, I ran up the double set of stairs to the third floor to see for myself what might remain of what Louie had described. Although much had been removed, a stack of the bottle doors, the baseboard outlining both stages, the chandelier escutcheon, and the cloakroom remained.
Louie’s stories haunted me for nearly two decades until finally, in 2014, Speakeasy came to life! This mystery will pull you in, consume your dreams, and fill you with wonder and suspense until all is told. Come, help us celebrate! As always, I welcome your feedback. Enjoy!”