Editorial Reviews, Press Releases, and Interviews
K. L. Estrada Receives Editorial Review
By Literary Titans
Wallflower Pen Pals by K.L. Estrada is a tale of true romance, a love that lasts through anything and becomes everything. The story begins with the lover's daughter being gifted with the promise to be allowed to read all of the letters her parents had sent to one another while her father was away. It continues on into flashes of her parents, Carolyn and Joe’s beautiful life together which we get to read through their own perspectives via their treasured love letters. The entire love story begins in 1955 and continues on for the rest of their life.
This is a sentimental love story that speaks to the true passion two people, who are at first strangers, can have for one another. Readers get to see that love grow throughout this emotional book. I loved seeing how their love developed over time, starting off as innocent and growing into something much deeper. This is something that you will not find in todays contemporary romance stories. This is a timeless love story that will speak to readers looking for a wistful and sensitive story.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt that some things could have been cut just to keep things concise, but still I feel the extra content really rounds out the story and ensures readers get a full appreciation for the writers. This is still a beautifully told story that also gives you a glimpse into the past, and will really appeal to anyone looking for a historical romance story.
Overall Wallflower Pen Pals is a stunning and romantic tale that is sure to put a smile on your face. If you love romance and you are looking for a fantastic beach read, then you will definitely have plenty to enjoy here. This is a story that shows you the power of letters and how writing can connect two people over great distances and time.
Interview of Book's Characters
The Protagonist Speaks
Dear readers, tonight we are hosting an interview of the famous American couple known as the Wallflower Pen Pals. This couple wrote letters to each other before they fell in love. We are bringing the book’s characters back to life during the time they were first writing to each other.
In tonight’s double interview, we are going to interview them separately, asking similar questions. Please note they cannot see or hear each other’s responses.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
Joe: Well, I grew up in a small town in New Mexico. I loved it there as I enjoyed the many festivities where everyone knows everybody.
Carolyn: I was born and raised in Belen, New Mexico. Most of my relatives are from there. The people there were all so very friendly. We moved to California because my father landed a job there. If it weren’t for that, I would still be living in my hometown.
What are your happiest childhood memories?
Joe: I had a cat named Buddy that I raised myself. He would ride with me on my bike and go everywhere with me. I also enjoyed old classic cars since I was 16 years old. My brothers and I would cruise around town to show them off to the girls.
Carolyn: My cherished memory as a child was riding my horse, Baby. I really babied him, ha-ha! Anyway, I had to share him with my brother, but I cared for him as I was the oldest. I didn’t mind it because I loved riding him. He took care of me, and I took care of him!
What do you do now, Joe?
Joe: Well, I am currently stationed in the army in New Jersey. I drive a two-and-half-ton truck as I transport missiles and weaponry from one base to another. I also transport troops and perform other military duties, which I cannot disclose for obvious reasons.
Carolyn, we heard you are still in high school. Why are you still there at your age?
Carolyn: Yeah, I’m embarrassed that I am still in high school. But that’s because my father’s job has moved us from place to place and I was absent a lot from school because my mother was so ill all the time. I have many responsibilities as I am the oldest and my mother’s “right-hand” (so to speak). I wish I were working by now to help my father with the bills, but they insist I finish my education as that’s important to my heritage.
Joe, what did you first think when Carolyn wrote the first letter to you?
Joe: Well, it was amazing how she had the courage to send me a letter to someone she didn’t even know. Luckily a friend of hers knew about me and mentioned that I was lonesome for a pen pal. As it turns out, we have a lot in common, so we are still writing to each other. Even though she has a steady boyfriend, I think she is falling for me. I hope so because I am smitten with her.
What was the worst thing that has ever happened in your life?
Joe: Well, the worst thing was when my father never came home. I did not know what happened to my dad until I was older. Then, I learned that he was hit and killed by a train.
Carolyn: The worst thing that happened to me was when I got pneumonia as a child. I thought I was going to die. Somehow, I was cured, but I can’t remember too much, as kids usually block terrible things from the past.
What is the best thing that ever happened in your life?
Joe: Oh, that’s an easy question to answer as the best thing was receiving a letter from a sweet girl I didn’t even know.
Carolyn: The best thing that has ever happened in my life is happening now! I think I am falling for my current pen pal. He seems to know me better than any man I have ever dated! Although we haven’t seen each other in person yet, I know so many details about him through the letters. I have never had anyone write to me for this long. I think he’s falling for me, too, based on some of the things he writes.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Joe: I have friends from all over the place because I am in the army. But most of my friends are from my hometown of New Mexico. Now I have a lovely friend from California whom I can’t wait to meet.
Carolyn: Well, I have three best friends from high school who are all females. Although, I have a new best male friend that I am writing to right now, and I can’t wait to meet him someday.
What are your favorite kinds of food to eat?
Joe: I love eggs and sausage for breakfast. And for supper, I love hot chili beans and tortillas.
Carolyn: Well, I mostly love fruit. I know that sounds boring, but I’ve always been a fruit lover since I was really little.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Joe: My favorite hobbies are carpentry and photography. But I have a new hobby which is writing to a pen pal.
Carolyn: I love to sew, cook, read, and write.
Joe, what does the future hold for you?
Joe: As soon as I am discharged from the army, I plan to move to California and find work there.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Joe: Well, I guess my secret is about to be exposed. But I have fallen in love with my pen pal, Carolyn. She made me promise from the letters not to mention the “L” word until we meet in person. So I secretly write “I love you” under the stamps before mailing my letters to Carolyn.
Carolyn: As far as my secrets go, they stay with me and my diary.
Press Release by the Publisher
K. L. Estrada’s new book “Wallflower Pen Pals” speaks of a beautiful love story born from an exchange of letters. K. L. Estrada, an accountant, has completed her new book, “Wallflower Pen Pals”: an enchanting tale of a love that grew from written letters and stories told. This novel follows the romance between a man and a woman whose hearts found each other in the most unexpected situations.
Estrada writes, “This book is a real-life chronicle of two people who met through letters in the summer of 1955. In the beginning, the exchange was friendly but very revealing of their vulnerabilities and innocence.
These pen pals soon discovered the commonalities between them. As this story unfolds, there is so much anticipation to learn about each other. Both are willing to help one another deal with everyday experiences.
Finding a purpose for writing to each other helped them become more honest in sharing their innermost thoughts. Growing up in the same hometown, these youngsters not only found it comfortable to write to each other but found someone they could trust.
After sharing each other’s past and challenges, they became more intrigued. Soon emotions deepened, and desires overcame them. After much exchange and a deeper friendship ensued, there became a yearning to meet face-to-face.
This affair of writing was more than attraction and much greater than passion. What these pen pals learned about each other propelled them to an exciting new future and outlook in life. It was beyond what they ever imagined.
Was it fate? Would they have ever met without these letters of truth and honesty? Or was it that these two were looking to escape from their mundane lives and found something more profound in the process?”
Published by Covenant Books of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, K. L. Estrada’s new book is an enthralling narrative inspired by the real story of her parents. It speaks of love as two different individuals find common grounds and from there, a love grows to last.
Readers can purchase “Wallflower Pen Pals” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Visit the book webpage for more information and purchasing details.
K. L. Estrada Receives Editorial Review
By Online Book Club
This book has many positive aspects. The letters between Carolyn and Joe show their faith in God. I particularly like this one quote from Carolyn, “...we take the easier path, which is usually the wrong one. The harder road is often the right path to God.” Life is not always easy. There are lessons that we can learn from Carolyn and Joe. For example, everyone deserves a chance and should be forgiven for their past. I enjoyed reading about myths like if you do not put a return address on your mail, you do not want the recipient to write back, and a cracked stamp means the sender no longer loves you.
Since this book is a compilation of letters, no chapters are separating them. I found myself getting bored with the book because there is a lot of repetition with Carolyn or Joe asking questions of the other one in one letter, and then another letter goes over that same topic with their response. The beginning and end of each letter are basically the same, which got quite tedious. Since the book is a compilation of letters, this should be expected but does not make it any easier to read.
Overall, this is a lovely and romantic story that has been exceptionally well edited by a professional editor. There are some errors in the letters, but they are what was written in the original letters, and at times Joe and Carolyn apologized for the errors they made writing their letter. Therefore, they are not what I would consider typographical or grammatical errors in the book. The errors attest to the authenticity of the letters. I gladly give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I will not give it fewer stars even though I found parts of the book boring and hard to read because readers who enjoy slow-paced books will enjoy it.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy romantic novels based on the lifestyle in the mid-1950s. This was an era where everything was low keyed compared to today’s lifestyle. There are a couple of mild borderline profanity instances, and Joe and Carolyn are both Catholics who speak of their faith. If either of these offends you, you probably do not want to read this book.
Wallflower Pen Pals
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Bertha R. Jackson
Book Reviewer at OnlineBookClub.org
1-On-1 With K. L. Estrada
Interview with Literary Titan
Sweet, Innocent, And Inspiring
Posted by Literary Titan
K L Estrada Author Interview
Wallflower Pen Pals tells the true story of two people who fall in love after an exchange of letters and their emotional journey towards meeting one another.
Why was this an important book for you to write?
This story was an important book to write for me as I was looking for a good story. In 2010, I wrote a self-help book that I self-published. It was such a thrill to have accomplished something I’ve always aspired to do—write a book. I did not know much beyond that about marketing that particular book as it languished on the online bookshelf for many years. Following that, I grabbled with changing my genre and aspired to write a novel someday. When I found these letters after my parents passed away, I only intended to read them from curiosity over the years as they were treasured and preserved. However, after reading one of the letters from my father, his words spoke to me. And I quote, “You know, I wish the world knew about our beautiful friendship.” I was inspired at that moment to put it into a book. Since there were 100 letters between them in a six-month period, I thought it was a sufficient amount of words for a novel. This story is sweet, innocent, and inspiring to share with the world.
What was the most surprising thing you uncovered while reading these letters?
The most surprising thing I uncovered from these letters was that this couple (my parents) did not know each other before they became pen pals.
Did you include all the letters in this book or was there any that didn’t make it in?
Honestly, I missed one letter from my mother. It was inadvertently placed at the end of the letter stack. I decided it wasn’t necessary to add it anyway as it didn’t add or subtract to the story. This letter was about how she mistakenly wrote her name/address upside down on the envelope and how this funny mistake lightened up her depressed friend.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book will be titled Wallflower Lovers. I thought this would be a good story about their courtship based on my mother’s diary. This, of course, will be fiction. More like a young adult romance/clean and wholesome kind of story. I am already writing the book. I do not have a timeline as of yet.