Friday, May 30, 2014

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book! This week's prize is available to residents inside the continental US only.

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzles in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Dianna T. Benson and her newest release, Final Trimester.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Today we have the privilege of visiting with distinguished author Dianna Torscher Benson. She is a 2014 Selah Award winner, a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. She’s the author of The Hidden Son, her debut novel. Final Trimester is her second release.

After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need.

Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children.

Hi, Dianna. Thank you for visiting with us at The Borrowed Book. Can you tell us how long you were writing before your first publication? How many manuscripts had you written by that time? Have you published any of your early works since? Do you plan to?

I started writing my first book in 1993. After completing five mainstream suspense novels, I signed with my first agent in 2007. Six agents offered me representation that spring; it was a difficult choice between them since all six are top-notch. In the fall of 2007, a film agent requested a screenplay of The Hidden Son after reading the book. In early 2009, just before I completed the script, the film agent suddenly retired due to health issues; I never pursued anything further with the script.

Later in 2009, I received a four-book mainstream contract offer, but turned it down to focus on my family since my husband was just diagnosed with head and neck cancer. During his surgeries and radiation treatments, I took care of our young family of five and read Christian fiction for comfort and support. While reading, I recognized various elements within my own writing that would be an ideal fit for the inspirational suspense genre. So, I continued to read a ton of Christian fiction. Then I wrote my first inspirational suspense.

In 2011, I won the Genesis in the mystery/suspense/thriller category.  In 2012, I signed with a new agent; within days, I had a contract offer from B&H, a large traditional Christian publisher. That contract was pending for thirteen weeks due to the publishing house facing difficulties (less than a year later they discontinued their fiction department). During those thirteen weeks, my new agent let go of all the other interest in my writing. At that point, I decided to put my writing career on hold. Since EMS is a part time career for me (too intense for full time), I decided to earn my Masters in psychology to become a social worker in the field (not clinical) – Think: 911 EMS without the medical aspects.

But…due to my Genesis win, Ellechor Publishing House, a small traditional Christian publishing house, contacted me, requesting me to submit to them. Within days, they offered me a nine-book contract.

For details on what led me to start writing that first book in 1993, read my WRITING page on my website:

What’s your favorite setting for writing -- at home, in a coffee shop, on the front porch, sitting cross-legged on the living room couch, etc? Do you have a picture you’d like to share?

My favorite way to write is with paper and a pencil in a natural setting, like a forest, lake, the mountains or the beach. If a setting of nature isn’t feasible, I write in our bonus room (the room over our garage). This large space is my office. After I write scenes out on paper, I input it all into my laptop.    

When working on a manuscript, what do you do when you get stuck?

When a scene just isn’t flowing, I hop on my bicycle, I go for a run or I go hiking. After that invigorating time in nature, typically my muse is eager to play and I find my flow again. If not, I don’t push it and I let it go for the day.

How did you come up with the idea for your latest release?

As an EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative for a decade, I naturally integrate my firsthand medical and rescue experience and knowledge into my stories. The medical and EMS aspects I write are a combination of fiction and various elements I’ve handled working 911 scenes throughout the years. The idea for the killer’s character in Final Trimester brewed in my head the first month I worked in EMS based on an individual I encountered. 
What do you wish you could do that you’ve never learned?

In addition to English, I wish I knew at least two other languages fluently. I know a little Spanish, enough to communicate at the basic level in a Spanish-speaking environment.  But, I’d love to speak and read both Spanish and French fluently and add other languages, like German and Chinese.

Can you tell us a little bit about your new release? What's it about?     

Paramedic Jodi Duncan recognizes the work of a serial killer before the Myrtle Beach PD even suspects a connection between the deaths of two pregnant women. Despite the vast differences in the two cases, Jodi urges Detective Nate Quigley to think outside the box. After digging deep into the separate investigations, Nate finds no evidence to support a serial killer theory, and he warns Jodi to back off police business, which only fuels her passion for the cases.

When a third pregnant woman is murdered, Nate is named lead detective on the case and works to link the deaths in order to unmask and stop the serial murderer, a disturbed man who believes God and the devil battle inside his head to bend him according to their wills. As he fights both voices, his interest fixates on Jodi when he discovers her obsession with ending his rampage.

Where can we go to buy your books?

They're available wherever books are sold. Here are the links to Final Trimester at the three largest booksellers: 

Thank you for stopping by to chat with us, Dianna! 

Readers, you can learn more about Dianna on her website.

AND, don't forget to stop by tomorrow, when you can enter to win a free copy of Final Trimester!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

by Elizabeth Ludwig

I stumbled across an interesting article the other day—about a place that should be familiar considering the amount of research I’ve conducted on New York City—but wasn’t. It’s a 20 acre strip of land called North Brother Island. The island, and its twin South Brother Island, is situated in New York City’s East river, between the Bronx and Rikers Island.

North Brother Island was uninhabited until 1885, when Riverside Hospital moved there. The hospital was founded in the 1850’s to treat and isolate victims of smallpox. It later expanded to other diseases requiring quarantine.

Among its most famous inhabitants? Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary—the woman believed to have been responsible for 51 original typhoid infections and three deaths.

Mary spent nearly three decades of her life on the island. In 1884, she immigrated to America from Ireland, where she worked as a cook from 1900 to 1907. At that point, she was identified as a possible carrier of the typhoid virus by a man named George Soper.

Dr. Soper was an engineer in the US Arm Sanitary Corps known
for his work with typhoid. When a family in Long Island was diagnosed with typhoid, he was called upon to investigate. After ruling out all other possibilities of transmission in the household, Dr. Soper became suspicious of the cook, Mary Mallon. His investigation uncovered a trail of typhoid epidemics, all of which occurred in the households where she was employed.

Mary Mallon aka "Typhoid Mary"
In 1907, Mary was forcibly incarcerated on North Brother Island and remained there until 1910. During that time, she fought for her freedom by claiming persecution from the authorities. She was finally set free with the condition that she quit working as a cook. Instead, she changed her name and secured a new position, a crime which led to her return to the island in 1915, where she remained until her death in 1938.

After the second World War, the hospital on North Brother Island served veterans and heroin addicts. The building eventually closed for good in 1963.

North Brother Island is currently uninhabited and has been designated as a bird sanctuary.

To learn more visit:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Everyone is different, and every writer is no exception. When I started writing my first book in 1993, I heard about writing voice and writing process, not really understanding what either meant. By the time I completed my fifth book and signed with my first agent in 2007, I not only knew exactly what writing voice is, but I’d found mine and it was well developed; plus, I’d learned various types of writing processes from countless authors through the years. While those authors explained details on their writing process, I knew it wasn’t the only way to write fiction, even though it often sounded that’s what those authors were saying. Many things about the publishing industry and writing fiction can confuse new and inexperienced writers.   

Even the plotter vs. panster techniques can be misleading, suggesting a writer is either one or the other. I’m definitely a panster (write by the seat of my pants), but that doesn’t mean I’m never a plotter, and that’s okay – I allow my muse to work the way it wants when it wants. No restricting rules; my muse is in control.

POV is one of the biggest topics I’ve found writers debate with strong conviction, suggesting there’s only one way to correctly write POV. I’ve read excellent books by successful authors who are: 1) POV purists 2) POV non-purists 3) POV head hoppers, and 4) Everything in between. Some authors’ method of writing POV can differ from book to book, making each new book of theirs unpredictable and fresh. Obviously, there’s multiple ways to write POV. What works for one writer, doesn’t work for all writers. Similarly, what doesn’t work for one writer doesn’t make it the incorrect way to write it. As a reader, I want an enthralling story with fascinating characters within a well written book that I don’t want to put down, even at two o’clock in the morning. The details on how it’s written, including POV, are up to the author’s unique imagination and individual style. I’m a POV non-purist; meaning, regardless if it’s at the end of a chapter/ scene or smack in the middle of one, if it’s best for the characterization/scene/story, etc. to change the POV, then I change the POV exactly where it’s best to do so. However, I focus on writing that change with clarity and an easy flow transition.            

So, in 2007 after years of learning varied types of writing processes, reading countless novels, and writing my first five books, I developed my own writing process – the one that works for me based on trial and error.    

My writing process: 

On a daily basis, and without any effort or cognizant thought on my part, opening scene ideas simply pop into my brain. These “situations” (always suspense in nature) play out in my head as naturally as my respiratory system inhales and exhales. However, I jot down the ideas for future use since I’m always writing my next book, working on copy edits and galleys on my upcoming release or marketing my current release. Sure, story ideas are plentiful for me, but not all of them are strong enough for a 400-page suspense novel, and some of them I forget before I even have the change to write them down (at times I’m out doing something adventurous and not able to jot it down).

When it’s time to turn one of those jotted down “situation ideas” into a book, I allow my writer brain free-rein to write that first scene then the rest of the book. I write and write, focusing mostly on action and dialogue (think: screenplay), until I have a full rough draft. After I’ve completed that full first draft, I decide the GMCs (Goal, Motivation and Conflicts of all main characters) and the plot points, then I integrate those into the manuscript via deep revisions. Also via deep revisions, I flesh out characterization, add description and research. Then I read the entire manuscript and improve on everything that needs revising. I let it sit for several weeks, allowing the story and characters to ferment in my mind for further revisions. After I revise again, I send it to all my critique partners and beta readers. Once I receive it, I read through the insightful input all my critique partners and beta readers supplied me. I heavily revise. Finally, I polish: I print out the entire manuscript, read every word on every page and revise anything necessary.  

My writing process isn’t that rigid, and I revise more than I stated above, but you get the general idea. Every writer is so different. If you’re a writer, what process works for you? If for whatever reason your process isn’t working and you’re struggling, try other methods until you find what does work for you. If you never give up trying, you eventually will find your unique and individual writing process. 

For details on what led me to write that first book in 1993, visit my WRITING page on my website:   


After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding toA medical emergencies and helping people in need. 
Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children. Final Trimester is her second release. 

Her releases are available wherever books are sold. Below are the links to Final Trimester at the three largest booksellers: 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Something fresh has arisen in the world of New Adult fiction and Christian fantasy! Resistance is the first in an epic 6-book series by Jaye L. Knight. I had the pleasure of proofreading the book prior to publication, as well as organizing the cover reveal and blog tour. It's been quite the adventure, and I'm inspired by the author's commitment and care for each aspect of the publishing process. Learn more about this awesome new release below...

About the Book

“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”

Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.

Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair lives every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.

Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.

About the Author

JAYE L. KNIGHT is a 25-year-old independent author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean NA (New Adult) fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God's love shines as a light to offer hope.

Jaye is a homeschool graduate and has been penning stories since the age of eight. She was previously published as Molly Evangeline. You can learn about her latest writing projects at

Want More?

  • You can purchase the book now on Amazon! (Kindle format is only $3.99; paperback version will be available there very soon...)
  • Resistance is currently on tour in the blogosphere! View the schedule with direct links on the blog tour page.
  • You can immerse yourself in the world of Ilyon via the special tour-wide giveaway! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below (US only):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Good morning, BB fans! Thanks to everyone who participated in our "puzzling" Friday giveaway! Keep all those facebook and Twitter notifications, coming!

This week's winner is: 

KayM (
may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com) - Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett.

Congratulations, KayM! Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book.

Sometimes despite all we know about the Lord ... or however close to Him we’ve been ... there will be a time and a place where we feel like He’s just bailed on us. If it happened to the one God called a man after His own heart, we can be sure we aren’t immune.

Some of us know already that this can happen, because we’ve walked through it.

Some of us are walking through it right now.

Psalm 13 (NKJV) – A Psalm of David
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Because that’s exactly what it feels like, even to those of us who have the benefit of the full canon of Scripture. Who know that He’s promised to never leave us or forsake us ... and come to think, that’s exactly why He gave us that promise.

Does He ever get tired of us crying out to Him, I wonder? I think ... not. Why else would He have included prayers like this one in His word?

3Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

This is flat-on-your-face desperation here, not a calm and pretty poem. One gets the feeling that with some Psalms, David spent a lot of time shaping and sculpting his words ... but others, like this one, were hurled down in all their messy, emotional glory.

And then, from the depths, a seedling of hope always rises.

5But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

I’ve heard it said at even the bleakest and most despairing of Psalms end with some sort of reminder of God’s care. This one is no exception. Even when David was sure God had abandoned him, he still trusted Him.

But how can that be? How can we continue to trust God in circumstances that crush the life out of us?

It happens when, like David, we know God’s mercy will prevail—when we understand that His salvation is all encompassing. When we look back and see that there’s never been a situation that He didn’t change—or redeem.

And if He hasn’t yet, if it seems like He’s forgotten us, we can be sure that His mercy is still in force, and redemption will come.

Friday, May 23, 2014

It's Fun Friday at The Borrowed Book! This week's prize is available to residents inside the continental US only.

To enter:

Leave the time it took you to complete the puzzles in the comments section as well as your email address for notifying you if you've won. Winners will be drawn from ALL of the times, so the person with the fastest time may not be the actual winner, but by leaving your time, you double your chances.

Want another entry? Tweet your puzzle time and mention The Borrowed Book, get another entry. RETWEET our Tweet, get two entries!

Post your puzzle time on BB's Facebook wall guessed it...get another entry!

Post it on your OWN Facebook wall and you could get as many as FIVE entries.

It's all a way to spread the word about the great giveaways on BB. So c'mon! Help us spread the word, and have a little fun at the same time. Enter all weekend long! Winners will be announced Sunday night at midnight.

This week's puzzle feature is brought to you by Karen Barnett and her newest release, Out of the Ruins.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I’d always been an animal lover, but I thought of myself as a cat person. Cats are affectionate and cute, but they’re also quiet and don’t demand as much attention or exercise.

When my husband started hinting about wanting a dog, I stalled. IF we were to get a dog, I said, I’d like one that could chase a Frisbee. I’d always thought that would be fun. Something like a lab or a retriever. No, he wanted a dachshund. A little wiener dog? Sure, they’re cute, but what good are they? I dragged my feet. The kids joined in his campaign: “Let’s get a dachshund, Mom! Please?”

I liked to do my writing away from the house, making the rounds of the local coffee shops. What would the dog do, left alone all day?

A friend mentioned needing a temporary home for a dachshund puppy. I thought about it. A foster dog? Perhaps this was the answer. It would give my family the opportunity to get this nonsense out of their system. Once they realized how much work it would be, we could give the animal back. Everybody wins.

Mystery the dachshund-mix arrived one spring afternoon, sad and trembling. She glued herself to my ankle. I looked down at her big brown eyes and melted. A little. “I didn’t ask for you. This wasn’t my idea. You should kiss up to someone else.” She didn’t budge.

I sat down at the kitchen table to write. She curled up on my foot. I got up to use the restroom—she followed, whining at the door. I walked to the living room and sat on the sofa. She jumped into my lap and shivered.

“Poor thing. You must feel lost, being shuffled from home to home like this.” I rubbed her velvety soft ears. She laid her head on my knee and fell asleep. I moved her to the cushion by my side, grabbed my laptop, and got back to work. Maybe I’d go to the coffee shop tomorrow. How could I leave this baby alone?

Days stretched to weeks. Mystery stopped trembling, but she continued tracking my every step. I started singing a Chris Tomlin song as I moved around the house: “Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow you.”

The kids fell in love with her. My husband fell in love with her. Mystery fell in love . . . with me. I didn’t care to admit it, but my heart was softening.

I pulled into the drive-through of my favorite coffee shop. The barista frowned at me. “Where have you been?”

“We got a dog.” 

Other than a few incidents and accidents, Mystery was a good pup. She was quiet company while I wrote—as long as the UPS truck didn’t rumble past the house. She reminded me of the importance of taking breaks.

I started to dread the day she’d leave. Why had I agreed to foster? What was I thinking?

Eventually we got the call—Mystery’s owner couldn’t take her back. They could find her another home, or . . .

“No. We’ll keep her.” I heard myself say. “Um . . . the kids are very fond of her. My husband, too.”

Mystery looked up at me with those chocolate-brown eyes.

“She’s staying.” I sighed, pressing the phone to my ear. “I can’t part with her, either.”

Our local dachshund rescue organization calls a situation like ours a “failed foster.” Failed in the sense that the foster family got overly attached. Frankly, I don’t see failure anywhere in this equation.

Mystery has become my buddy, my muse, and my writing assistant. She takes her job seriously, to the point of delving into social media. She has her own FB page and an Instagram account, and she inspired a dog character in an upcoming novel.

Do you call that a failure? Not in my book. 

Bio: Karen Barnett is the award-winning author of Mistaken and several articles published by Guideposts and other national magazines. Her latest release is Out of the Ruins (May 2014). She
lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and an attention-loving dachshund named Mystery. For more information, visit her website

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm sitting on my bed tonight writing this blog article on my tiny laptop. Next to my laptop is a copy of the Kanas City Daily Journal, dated Monday, April 21, 1890. Yes, it's that old, and seriously yellow and brittle. (I would probably be yellow and brittle if I were over one hundred years old, too.) Anyway, I think it's ironic to have something that old next to this modern technology.

I love old magazines and newspapers. I have framed several old papers because I like the way they look on the wall, and it keeps them safely intact. Surprisingly, there are many available for sale, and unless they are of historical significance, they are fairly inexpensive. Owning an old newspaper gives me a sense of awe. Over a hundred years ago someone bought this paper and read it. That person has been gone a long time, yet I'm holding the paper he or she read.

I don't know a lot about the Kansas City Daily Journal except that it was printed in Kansas City, obviously. But I thought I'd share a few of the articles from the front page that I found interesting. They could even be seeds for a historical novel.

An Uncle Shoots the Top of His Nephews Head Off

Chambersburg, PA., April 20. -- John Rhodes, a well-known farmer living near Green Castle, shot and instantly killed his nephew, William Rhodes, last evening during a quarrel on the farm of the former. The uncle taunted his nephew about the latter's crippled son, and the young man threatened to shoot him.

Rhodes then stepped into the house, got his gun and fired at his nephew who was standing only six feet away. The load struck the young man fair in the forehead and blew the whole top of his head off. The uncle is now in jail here.

(I love the old timey language--fair in the forehead.)

Desperadoes Killed

Cinncinnati, April 20. -- A Commercial-Gazette special from Catlettsburg, Ky., reports the killing in West Virginia, near Pigeon creek, last Friday, of Smith Baisden, John Baisden, and William Baisden, three brothers, noted desperadoes. James Brewer, deputy sheriff, and posse attempted to arrest them and were fired upon. A battle ensued and the desperadoes were killed or mortally wounded and captured.

(Desperadoes is an old timey word, too.)

Another Female Poisoner

Pittsburg PA., April 20 -- Pretty 16-year-old Mary Stewart, of McKeesport, is under arrest on a charge of poisoning. Friday the girl cooked soup for dinner. All the family but her partook and were immediately seized with violent pains. Physicians pronounce the case as arsenical poisoning. A 4-year-old boy died yesterday and three others of the family are in a serious condition. The girl evades all questions, and stoutly declares her innocence. She says she did not eat the soup because she did not care for it.

(The title of this article is interesting. ANOTHER female poisoner--implying there are more of them. As if all sorts of females are poisoning people.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

“Write a book,” God said. 

Okay, not exactly. Sounds a bit too much like, “Build an ark.” But I felt the Spirit nudge me, regardless. 

The trouble was, writing a novel sounded even more difficult than building a 450-foot long boat. How many words go into a novel? To satisfy my curiosity, I went to the internet. According to several sources, novels typically clocked in at 75-100 thousand words. That’s not going to happen. 

I scanned the rest of the list. Young adult novels: 40-65 thousand. No way. 

Middle-grade fiction: 30 thousand. Hmm. That’s it—God wants me to be a children’s writer (insert heavenly choir here). 

I sat down to write the book. It was harder than even I had expected, but I persevered. The finished manuscript, an adventure story set during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, was great. 

So I went to a writer’s conference and showed the manuscript to several professionals. They said it was good. Just one problem—it was written more like a young adult book. Heavy, deep, introspective. “Why don’t you take it home and rewrite it for young adults?”

I’d already written 30 thousand words. How hard would it be to make it 60? Suddenly the prospect didn’t sound as daunting. Maybe God wanted me to write for teens! 

I got to work and before I knew it, I hit the word count. The YA book was a masterpiece. 

A niggling thought grew in the back of my mind. Wouldn’t this story be more powerful if the characters were adults, if the story went deeper than a YA historical would allow?

That’s insane. Rewrite the book for adults? God wanted me to shape future generations—children, teens. He never said anything about adults. Oh, wait… He never said anything about children, either. That was MY decision. Had I even asked Him? 

The doubts lingered, but I took the YA version of the book back to the conference the next year. This time editors started using words I’d never considered—pub board, cover art, marketing. Teen fiction must be where God wanted me.

So why did my heart ache? Why did I have this burning desire to rewrite the book one more time? I mentioned it to a few folks at the conference. Their jaws dropped. “Don’t touch it. Why rock the boat?” 

Maybe because I’d built my own boat. Not God’s. 

I went home in confusion. What should I do? Contact the editor and say, “I’m sorry—I know you love this YA novel, but I think God wants me to rewrite it. Again.” 

I put the manuscript aside and tried writing something new—but for which age group? Did God want me writing for teens or for adults? This time I asked Him. He didn’t answer—at least not right away. 

Months went by. One day I opened my email to see a note from the editor. “Is this project still available?” (Insert my hysterical laughter here). The next sentence gave me pause. “Would you consider rewriting the manuscript for adults?”

Would I? 

You mean, would I LISTEN to God? Would I TRUST that He would equip me to accomplish whatever He called me to do? Would I step out in OBEDIENCE as He asked?

Yes, I would.

That should be the happily-ever-after moment, but a deal with that first publisher never materialized. That’s another story, but it was actually the best possible outcome and completely in God’s hands. I did rewrite the book for adults, and I eventually contracted a different novel, Mistaken—written for adults—with Abingdon Press. A few months later, they offered me a second contract for a three-book series. The first of those books is Out of the Ruins, the story I’d written for three different age groups. Now written as a historical romance, Out of the Ruins is the work of my heart. 

God called me to step out in obedience. It took me three tries, but eventually I learned to trust Him. 

Out of the Ruins, Back Cover Copy: 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?

Karen Barnett is the award-winning author of Mistaken and several articles published by Guideposts and other national magazines. Her latest release is Out of the Ruins (May 2014). She lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two children, and an attention-loving dachshund named Mystery. For more information, visit her website

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