Dear Readers, I loved the first two books in Karen Barnett’s
Golden Gate Chronicles
series. And with book three, I was eager for my book to arrive. It’s every bit
as good as the others, maybe even better. With strong characters, who pulled me
into the heart of the story, they carried me past the end of the book.
Characters who stayed in my mind for quite a while after I finished reading the
story. The setting is the rebuilding of after one of the major earthquakes in the
early 20th century. Since I did a lot of research on San
Francisco for one of
my novels, I appreciated her skill with weaving the setting into the story
making it almost one of the characters. You’ll want to read this book. If you
missed the first two, try to get a hold of those and read them, too. San Francisco
Bio: Karen Barnett lives in the
Northwest with her husband, two teens, and three mischievous dachshunds.
When she’s not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking,
decorating crazy birthday cakes, and dragging her family through dusty history
museums. She was honored with the 2016 Writer of the Year award from the Mount
Hermon Christian Writers Conference and a Writer of Promise Award from Oregon
Christian Writers in 2013.
Welcome back, Karen. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m excited to see the entire Golden Gate Chronicles series complete and in the hands of readers. It’s difficult for me to say goodbye to these beloved characters, but I’m thrilled to have more books in the works.
I recently signed a contract with Waterbrook Multnomah for three novels set in the National Parks during the 1920s and 30s, the first of which releases next year. I grew up in the shadow of
Mount Rainier and
spent two summers working there as a park ranger, so setting novels in the
parks is a bit like going home.
I can hardly wait to see this new series. I’d love to feature them on my blog as well. Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Steve and I have been married for more than twenty years, and we have two teenagers—a sixteen-year-old son and a fourteen-year-old daughter. I’d heard a lot of horror stories about raising teens, but so far it’s been my favorite stage. They’re both witty and sarcastic, and it’s been a joy to see their individual personalities and interests develop.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I find I pay more attention to new releases and award-winning novels now that I’m a writer. In the past, I chose reading material based on covers and back cover copy. I didn’t pay much attention to the publisher, release date, or even the author (though I had my favorites). Now, in an attempt to keep up with what’s going on in the industry, I focus on specific publishers, authors, and genres.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently finishing the first of my National Parks book, a romantic suspense set at
Mount Rainier in 1927. We don’t have an official title
yet, but I’m in love with the plot and characters. I think it’s a story that
readers will truly enjoy.
I’m sure we will. What outside interests do you have?
I have to confess, I’m a bit of a Netflix junkie. Outside of that, I like spending time in nature—whether in the mountains or at the ocean. I also take pride in decorating bizarre birthday cakes for my kids. I’m no Cake Boss, but it’s fun to try.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
The Golden Gate Chronicles series was inspired when I saw an American Experience documentary on the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I was captivated with the stories people told of those harrowing days, and the series grew from that point.
My next book is set at
mountain has been a big part of my life ever since I was a child, and it’s been
a joy to revisit it in story form. Mount Rainier
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Recently I’ve been reading the writings of the great American naturalist, John Muir. He strikes me as a fascinating character, and I think it would have been a treat to speak to him in person.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
The further I get in my writing career, the one thing that surprises me is that I never feel like I have it “figured out.” For some reason, I use to think each novel would get easier as I learned more about the writing process. Instead—at least at this point—it feels like every book has been more difficult. Maybe my personal expectations increase with each published book.
I know that’s true of many authors, myself included. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
God has been prodding me recently with the knowledge that I’m not writing alone. I felt very close to Him when I first started the writing process, beginning each session in prayer and carefully considering what He might want me to be sharing through my stories. As the pressure of deadlines and other demands got tighter, I found myself looking at writing as a job. That put me in a dark and anxiety-ridden place as an author, for a time. In recent months I’ve been joyfully rediscovering what it means to be writing “with God” as opposed to just “about God.”
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
The first thing I do when people ask me how to move forward in their writing is encourage them to attend a professional writing conference. You’ll have the opportunity to take classes, rub elbows with professional authors, have conversations with editors and agents, and be inspired by the tight-knit community of Christian publishing. There are wonderful Christian conferences around the country, from intimate retreats all the way up to large national conferences.
Second, I’d encourage writers to set a schedule and stick to it. It doesn’t always have to be long stretches of time. Sometimes I accomplish more when I know I only have thirty minutes, as opposed to an all-day marathon.
Third, try not to base your self-worth on whether or not you publish. There are very few overnight successes in this business. Most authors spend many years, sometimes writing several full manuscripts, before they land a contract. If you’re “all about the contract,” you’re going to be miserable during the long wait. And you may even discover that getting that book on the shelf doesn’t magically make you feel like a successful author.
That is so true. Tell us about the featured book.
In Though the Shadows, the devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of
is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to
overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King's hopeful
Hoping to right her wrongs,
Elizabeth dedicates herself to
helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown
brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the
gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.
Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable, but opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when
Elizabeth meets attorney,
Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San
Francisco’s crooked politics— Elizabeth
begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her
secret jeopardize both their futures?
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Elizabeth King held her fingers against the ivory keys, refusing to stir as the final chord faded and silence descended on the parlor. Were God ever to speak to her, she imagined it would be in the precious instant after a last note died away and before an audience responded. The moment preserved a holy space, as if the breath of divinity hung in the air.
No voice arrived today, but there was no audience either.
She ran her fingertips along the cool surface, the black and white pattern softening as her eyes blurred with tears. God wouldn’t converse with the likes of her, anyway.
After three years of intense instruction, every note conjured Tobias’s memory— his touch.
Elizabeth sprang from the
stool and stalked to the window, staring out at the darkening clouds. She
couldn’t let her mind travel to those memories. Before she knew it, she’d be at
“Turn your back on me, and you’re finished. You’ll never perform again.”
She’d done the right thing. So why did the shame still cling, like a vine curling around her soul?
Her mother swept into the room, a cream-colored apron tied over her flowered dress. “
Elizabeth— you aren’t
“Have you forgotten? Mr. McKinley is joining us for supper. I’ve been trying to get the attorney to come here from
Francisco for months.”
The man’s name sent a shiver along
skin, like a discordant note in the middle of a Bach concerto. Of course, she’d
forgotten— if she’d remembered, she’d have left earlier.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love connecting with readers online!
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karenbarnett/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KarenBarnett
In addition to the book giveaway on this blog, Karen has another 5-Book Giveaway.
Here's the link to this giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/99f1
Thank you, Karen, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers are as eager to read it as I was when it arrived.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Through the Shadows - Christianbook.com
Through the Shadows: The Golden Gate Chronicles - Book 3 - Amazon
Through the Shadows: The Golden Gate Chronicles - Book 3 - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
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