Running Free
Poetry by Karen C.


I have two great passions in my life: kids and horses. It is my personal mission to help kids in
trouble and horses in trouble and get them all off to a better start in life.

I grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont where I attended a one-room schoolhouse for five years. I
began riding horses almost as soon as I could walk. I now live in Utah where I have raised my three
children. I teach children with emotional disorders and train horses. My memoir
Show and Tell is
featured below.
As a young girl on the idyllic Milky Way Farm, author
Karen Vanderlaan initially believes life is full of magic,
wonder and horses. All too quickly, however, her innocence
is lost when her mother gets involved with an abusive,
manipulative woman named Bunny. Bunny subjects Karen
and her young siblings to unspeakable cruelties—all in the
name of God. Karen’s spirit is deeply scarred by Bunny’s
inhumanity, but the adversity serves to solidify in Karen
an inner strength and calmness that carry her through
even greater challenges later in life. Karen’s story is at
once uplifting and heart-wrenching. It reveals the best and
worst of human nature in a riveting, true-life tale of the
author’s journey to change life for herself, her siblings, her
children and her beloved horses.
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Show and Tell, a memoir
by Karen C. Vanderlaan
Author:        Karen C. Vanderlaan
Paperback:                       267 pages

List Price:        $27.95

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Publish America
The Writing Forum
Show and Tell is a sad story of outright meanness and
interference by Bunny, the outsider, who dominates
Karen's mother, the children and Karen, whose love she
seeks but is denied. Her search for love eludes Karen, the
child, for years. It is a tragic story of what happens when  
adults do not have the welfare of their children at heart.

While it is a story of vindictiveness, cruelty and a nomadic
existence, it is one with a happy ending, because Karen
rises above the appalling way she is forced to grow up into
the caring and generous woman she is today. I whole-
heartedly recommend this well-written book of memoirs,
interspersed with beautifully poetry. Treat yourself. Buy
this book! *****__Jerry Pat Bolton

I found this book a bit disturbing but incredibly inspiring.
Karen's love of endangered children and horses -- and her
valiant struggle to make a difference in their lives -- is a
theme that shines brightly through the dark shroud that
she sets about removing from her most eventful life,
thread by thread, fold by fold. I highly recommend it for a
very emotional, yet soul satisfying read. *****__R. Leland

Karen Vanderlaan's Show and Tell is a long day’s journey
into darkness deeper than night seeking a bright dawn. It
is Karen Vanderlaan’s life up until now, filled with a sense
of longing and purpose and power. Yes, there is great
power here. Capturing the reader with her fine writing
skills and holding on until the end.

And miracles too. The miracles of her two sisters and
brother, her three children and grandchild Elyssa, and her
wonderful horses sprinkled throughout her life; but her
Show and Tell is indeed that longed-for miracle of
enduring love that Karen Vanderlaan sought during most
of her formative years. For, if we are all diminished by the
death of a single man, we are all raised up by the survival
of a single woman . . . courageously told. And, Bravo!
*****__ John E. Cashwell
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limited offer of the book
Show and Tell, please