Enter to win Karen's 2013 release,
Mistaken or her soon to be released Out of the Ruins
Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.
I'm so happy to share with you a piece of my conversation with Karen at the ACFW conference She is such a sweet and Christ-like spirit. I asked Karen to tell us how God led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:
OUR DREAMS--GOD'S HEART
My husband and I were enjoying a quiet dinner out on the town without the kids—a rare occurrence. He eyed me across the table. “So, what’s going on with that book you wanted to write? The one about the San Francisco earthquake?”
I swallowed, the food sticking in my throat. My life-long dream of writing a novel had fizzled after a few weeks of trying. “I don’t know. I started, but…” How could I tell him the very idea terrified me? If I tried and failed, the dream would be forever lost.
I’ve never liked sounding fearful, so I went for selfless, instead. “It would take too much time away from the family. The kids are so young. Also, I’d need to fly to California and do some research. Then there are those writing conferences everyone suggests. It seems selfish to spend all that time and money on me.”
He reached for the water glass. “Have you prayed about it?”
Had I? I pushed my plate back. “No. I can’t imagine God cares much about my silly dream.” I regretted the words the moment they left my mouth. Was my faith so weak?
He stared me in the eye. “Ask Him. I’ll pray, too, and we’ll see what He says.”
I nodded, embarrassed. Sure, I’d pray. Later.
The opening chapters of my story waited at home—a young woman blames God for her sister’s death and vows to never again trust Him with her prayers. Was I so different? Did I trust Him with this prayer?
I’d already decided “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” worked well in the story, and I had considered using it as a framework for the novel. As we drove home from the restaurant, I flipped on the contemporary Christian radio station. Instead of Toby Mac or the Newsboys, the age-old hymn rang out. In church the next morning, the band struck up, “Come Thou Fount”—something we’d never sung in our contemporary worship style.
I hadn’t even prayed, yet. Is this God, or is my mind playing tricks? Father, I’ve got this dream…
Over the next week, the hymn followed me like a stray puppy. The music appeared in unlikely places: the background of television commercials, in stores, and every time I turned on the radio. I probably heard it a couple dozen times. It was as if He were looking down and winking. You listening yet? Are you ready to trust me?
I hear you, Lord.
I wish I could say I got right to work, and I finished the book in a flash. It actually took five years of writing and rewriting.
I wish I could say now I always trust God with my dreams and prayers. I’m still what writers call a WIP—a work-in-progress.
What I can say is God remained faithful, walking beside me every day. My first novel, Mistaken (a 1920s-era romantic suspense), hit the shelves in July. And the earthquake book? Out of the Ruins, Book 1 of the Golden Gate Chronicles series, releases May 2014.
Does God care about our silly dreams? You bet. Are you ready to trust Him with yours?
Karen Barnett is the author of Mistaken and several articles printed by Guideposts and other national magazines. She and her husband Steve live in Oregon with their two kids, three cats, and small attention-hound (a.k.a. Mystery the dachshund). Karen loves trying her hand at anything creative, including writing, cake decorating, photography, and playing various instruments.
Since booze and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. Federal Agent Samuel Brown might be the answer to her prayers—or he could be her worst nightmare.
Out of the Ruins (May 2014)
While her sister lies on her deathbed, Abby Fischer prays for a miracle. What Abby doesn’t expect, however, is for God’s answer to come in the form of the handsome Dr. Robert King, whose experimental treatment is risky at best.
As they work together toward a cure, Abby’s feelings for Robert become hopelessly entangled. Separated by the tragedy of the mighty San Francisco earthquake, their relationship suddenly takes a back seat to survival. With fires raging throughout the city, Abby fears for her life as she flees alone through burning streets. Where is God now? Will Robert find Abby, even as the world burns around them? Or has their love fallen with the ruins of the city?
To learn more about Karen go to:
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Karen's book: "Mistaken" or Out of Ruins:
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Winner announced on my facebook page.
Thank you, Karen, for Joining us This Weekend!
From Karen: I’d love to give away a copy of Mistaken or Out of the Ruins (your choice—but you’ll have to wait until May for the second one) to one blog reader. To enter, leave a comment below and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Tell me, what’s a dream of yours? It can be big or small, serious or silly. I’d love to hear it!