Thursday, September 10, 2020

Handling Negative Criticism - #SelfExpression #Criticism #Giveaway

When Lions Roar cover

By Karen Gruber (Guest Blogger)

One of my deepest fears is that someone will not like my writing. I have found writing to be a vulnerable, healing, heart opening process; that when shared with others can be a painful, tumultuous experience. Along with huge amounts of praise, I have received criticisms for the book When Lions Roar. Why would any sane person put themselves in a position to receive criticism, I often wonder?

In the past, I have shut myself away, hidden my talents to not be scrutinized—but that only left me miserable. We all have a need to express ourselves. To express ourselves honestly, to express what is in our hearts and our minds. We do not live in a bubble and we will be criticized no matter what we do. To have the freedom to create and handle negative criticism, I have come to the following conclusion.

I believe that we cannot eliminate our fears, but we can learn to manage them and recognize them for what they are. When I think about fear of negative criticism, I tend to look at it from multiple perspectives. I write for me, I write to heal, I write to fuel my soul and feed my creativity in that sacred space. There is no room for negative criticism when God is present, there is no room for negative criticism, only love. 


My creativity is an expression of love. My biggest desire in my life is to be an expression of love, this desire is driven from the depth of my soul. I am not happy or fulfilled unless I reflect and am a source of that love.

I've had friends and professionals criticize my work and my voice, and it does hurt deeply. When that happens, I reflect on what may need healing in them and myself as well. Criticism is merely a reflection of what is happening within the other person offering their opinion, solicited or not.

If someone reacts negatively, that is a good thing. It means that I sparked something in them that is of great importance, that they care about. And through that process, I have just helped that person gain more clarity in their life, more certainty around something in their life that matters. A close friend of mine responded that she could not finish When Lions Roar because it was too disturbing. At first, I felt ashamed and wrong, that I had done something bad; yet, within a few hours I was able to recognize this was about her healing journey, not that I was bad or at fault.

When Lions Roar is not for everyone, but whoever’s hands it ends up in, there is a message for them. There is something they can relate to in a powerful way that will help them heal, that will help them grow. This is all I really desire from this book; an opportunity for others to gain a nugget that will make their life easier, that will change their life for the better. If negative criticism is part of the process for us all to heal, then I welcome it.


Two women from different lands, each struggling to survive; a child’s mysterious disappearance will alter both their lives forever…

Maggie has become unrecognizable to herself, succumbing to the predictability of being a mother and wife. Every day she reminds her daughter to brush her teeth, has the same conversation with her husband about what’s for dinner. Maggie struggles to cope with the disenchantment of the monotonous tedium that has become her life. Despite her boredom, when her husband David is called on assignment to South Africa, Maggie resents having to rearrange her life just because David has decided they all need to traipse halfway across the globe.

While on safari, Maggie awakens one morning to a mother’s worst nightmare; their daughter Hannah has gone missing. Just when things can’t get any worse, Maggie is confronted with the harsh truth of her emotionally abusive marriage and what she has allowed her life to become.

When Lions Roar is set against the backdrop of the exotic and intriguing landscape of South Africa, when the country is reeling from the aftershocks of apartheid. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to abandon the fragile ties of her marriage and confront her self-destruction in time to save the life of her daughter?


After several days, while David had left on assignment, Akilah came to see me. Although there was alarm in her eyes when she first saw me, that shifted to compassion as she found me lying across the bed. Unwashed for weeks now, my mouth was crusted over and my hair a tangled mess. I reeked of alcohol, filth, and despair. Quickly, she ran to the bathroom and started the tub. Gingerly, she lifted my arms and began to guide me toward the tub. I resisted her.

David is coming back. He will find you here. You must leave,” I pleaded.

Not until you are washed.” She helped me into the bath and proceeded to wash me as one would wash a little baby. It was with such tenderness and loving hands, I thought I might simply dissolve under her touch. She started at my neck, face, and mouth and wiped away the crust that had been lingering there for far too long. She lifted each arm with the warmheartedness of a mother. As she washed up and down the length of my arm, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast of her dark skin, which seemed so strong compared to my delicate white skin that could peel away at any moment. She pitched the top half of my limp body forward in order to scrub my back. I could feel the suds from the sponge trickle down my spine into the water below.

About the Author

Karen Gruber is an international #1 best-selling contributing author, inspirational speaker, and a Leadership Development Coach for women and moms. She specializes in inspiring moms to realize their potential as mothers, women, and leaders. Karen has had extensive specialized training in parenting, feminine spirituality, and leadership. Over the past 15 years she has provided innovative leadership coaching for moms and has dramatically transformed her own life.

Sharing her life with her husband Jim and daughter Jaymie, presenting her message to other women, and traveling the world bring her the greatest joy.

She is the founder of The Inspired Mama, a company located in gorgeous Denver, Colorado that focuses on the inspiration, leadership, and wellbeing of women and moms.

When Lions Roar is Karen’s debut fictional work. She is freakish about Christmas lights and loves to play Baccarat.




Book Pre-sale:


Karen is giving away a $50 bookstore gift certificate to one lucky reader during her tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting.

Jeanna Massman said...

I love the cover. The colors and graphics are great.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Karen,

Welcome to Beyond Romance! I enjoyed your very heartfelt introduction. I see that you've been writing non-fiction for a while, but somehow fiction seems closer to one's heart, doesn't it. Like a special child!

The book sounds intense.

Unknown said...

Hi Lisabet,
Thank you so very much for hosting When Lions Roar today. I appreciate your warm welcome! Yes, WLR is certainly extremely special to me-the process was much like incubating and birthing a child ;) You have a fabulous platform!!!
xo -Karen

Victoria Alexander said...

Happy Friday, thanks for sharing!

Fiona McGier said...

As a kid, I used to wonder if someone who has lots of kids really did love each one. Now that all 4 of mine are young adults, I can truly say that YES, I love each of them--maybe not the same, but in direct correlation to my relationship with each of them. The idea of losing any of them is horrifying. No wonder some readers have difficulty with this book. Sounds like a heavy read--meaning ultimately worthwhile, but not to be undertaken lightly.

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about handling negative criticism, as an aspiring author myself, I found your words helpful.

Unknown said...

Good morning Bea, I'm thrilled you received a valuable take-away from this post. Keep writing!!!! The world needs you. xo-Karen

amanda whitley said...

i love the setting of Africa! sounds great

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