In addition to her music, Karen has also written several novels and short-stories. This has come about not as fulfillment of a long-deferred childhood dream, nor through an overwhelming adult ambition, but simply because story ideas have come and should not go to waste. She has long-enjoyed the historical-romances of Alexandre Dumas, Rafael Sabatini, and Justin Huntly McCarthy (to name her favorites), and had written the occasional short story. Then, one day as she prepared to leave for work, the telephone rang just once, and only a half-ring at that. Karen grew intrigued by what that half-ring could mean. The wheels began to turn, and soon she had the idea for a story that, after a number of years, and much effort, and lots of revision and rewriting, became the novel The Eye of Phoebus.

The Eye of Phoebus

The Eye of Phoebus is an historical-romance (with some science-fiction elements) set in the 1890s. In the novel, Sir Thomas Malory (descendant of the eponymous knight of Newbold Revel who wrote Le Morte d'Arthur) and Miss Alice Ellsworth (a seamstress and composer) are thrown together by fate or clumsy dialing of that new technology, the telephone. They strive against Malory's old nemesis the Baron von Bernbaden to capture The Eye of Phoebus, an ancient and long-lost source of enormous power. The story ranges from Baltimore, to Rome, to Malta, and combines swashbuckling action with romance, humor, intrigue, and a quest.

The Eye of Phoebus includes more than 70 illustrations by the author, and a CD of incidental music. The CD may be sampled at the CDs page.

We invite you to listen to a 6-minute excerpt from Ch.22 of the book, as read by Stephen Amrhein, by clicking:

Listen to an excerpt

You may read the Prologue yourself by clicking:

Read an excerpt (PDF)

A Season in Prickleblossom Wood

A Season in Prickleblossom Wood recounts the adventures of Hedgehog and Quilly-pig, and their friends Sleepy-bear, Raccoon, Badger, and Doctor Fox, over the course of four seasons. This animal novella for adults of all ages is somewhat in the vein of The Wind in the Willows.

A Season in Prickleblossom Wood includes numerous illustrations by the author, and a CD with incidental music and a reading of "Summer" by Stephen Amrhein.

We invite you to listen to the first chapter from the book, as read by Stephen, by clicking:

Listen to Chapter One

The Tower of Kirklees

The Tower of Kirklees tells what actually happened after the Prioress of Kirklees brought Robin Hood into her tower. The ancient tale that asserts that she bled him to death is now dispelled by this true account of Robin and Marian and their companions as they are lured to the tower and begin their strangest adventure of all.

You may read the first chapter yourself by clicking:

Read Chapter 1 (PDF)

The Tower of Kirklees also has incidental music.

The suite may be listened to at the
Chamber Music page.

"What a joyous romp through space and time. I must admit that I am an impatient reader, and I did my best with the arcane language that I have no doubt that you carefully and painstakingly crafted. Nevertheless, I found the 12th century language enchanting. It really felt like I was stepping back in time to Sherwood Forest. Overall, the book was beautifully crafted. The story seemed to unfold and flow effortlessly. It was tightly knit with nothing out of place. All of the characters were well developed and real-to-life. (As real to life as any fictitious characters could be.) The ending could not have been better. You wrapped things up quickly, but not too quickly. Your hint of things to come when Robin listened to the chemist describe how Einstein's theories predicted the possibility of worm hole passages through space and time was just enough to let the reader know there would be a way out for Robin, Marian and their friends. The device of the arrows disappearing into the worm hole was simply ingenious. In short, I loved your book." - Joe Heiderman

Princess Paliné Film

The thirty-minute animated film was inspired-by and created-from Karen's short story and the incidental music she wrote to accompany it. This 9-minute montage-excerpt offers a teaser as to how the Princess Paliné learned the seven words that stay a dragon's hunger and cool its fires, thus saving her land from the great fire-serpent Malinon, when all the knights and paladins proved luckless.

Copyright © Karen Amrhein. All Rights Reserved.