WHERE THE FIRE FALLS: A Vintage National Parks Novel

Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford fashioned her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the choice of becoming a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark helps open Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas– a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.


(Some links won’t go live until 6/5/2018)



The Road to Paradise: A Vintage National Parks Novel

WaterBrook & Multnomah, Penguin Random House, June 6, 2017.

In 1927, Margie Lane, an avid naturalist, convinces her Senator father to procure her a position at the fledgling Mount Rainier National Park. Since Ranger Ford Brayden lost his father in a climbing accident, he doubts his ability to protect the park and its many visitors. He certainly doesn’t relish the job of watching over an idealistic and privileged young woman with no practical survival skills.

When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, Margie and Ford will have to work together to preserve the beauty and simplicity of this mountain hideaway, but the developer’s plans might put more than just the park in danger.




ThroughTheShadowsCoverFinalTHROUGH THE SHADOWS

Released 5/2016 from Abingdon Press.
(ISBN-10: 1426781458, ISBN-13: 978-1426781452)

As San Francisco rises from the ashes, an age-old battle looms between corruption and the promise of new beginnings.

The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco 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 future.

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?

Available now from these and other on-line sellers. 

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Beyond The Ashes Cover


Published 6/2015 by Abingdon Press.
(ISBN-10: 1426781415. ISBN-13: 978-1426781414)

She’s had her love and lost it.
He’s still missing his heart’s desire.

Is it really better to have loved and lost 
than never to have loved at all? 

Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn’t anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he’d always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert’s widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.

Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

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RuinsAbingdonCatlogOUT OF THE RUINS

Published 5/2014 by Abingdon Press.

A shaky prayer. A shattered faith. A city in ruins. What–or who–will bring Abby back to God?

“God save her. I’ll do anything. Just make her better. And You’d better be listening, God, because if You dare take her away . . . I’ll never speak to You again.” 

Abby Fischer doesn’t know if God will answer her prayer for her dying sister. She doesn’t know if miracles really happen. And she certainly doesn’t know if the handsome Dr. Robert King, with his risky experimental treatment, is the one to remedy her doubts.

When tragedy strikes and the mighty San Francisco earthquake shatters what is left of her heart, Abby wonders if God will hear her as she flees alone through burning streets. What will it take to show her that the One she doesn’t want to love is the One whose love will save her?

Praise for Out of the Ruins

“One of my favorite cities during one of my favorite eras. Out of the Ruins is a historically rich and heart-wrenching glimpse into the San Francisco earthquake and the resilient faith, love, and spirit that rises from the ashes—both in the city itself and in the hearts and souls of a man and woman destined to fall in love.” —Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series

Out of the Ruins, set in San Francisco in 1905 and 1906, is a shining example of historical romance. I was right there with the characters, breathing in the smoke and dust, shaking and falling with the earthquake. In this her second novel, Karen Barnett is an up-and-coming author, writing quality historical fiction that is realistic and grappling with faith issues woven in intrinsically. I’m pleased to be able to endorse Out of the Ruins.” —Lauraine Snelling, best-selling author of the Red River of the North series

“An earthquake, a medical drama, inner turmoil, and a touching romance! Karen Barnett masterfully weaves these together with heartfelt emotion, believable characters, and impressive research. I couldn’t stop flipping pages. Out of the Ruins is a story to savor!” —Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of On Distant Shores.

“From the optimism of medical breakthroughs to the tragedy of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire, Out of the Ruins immerses the reader in the hopes and fears of unforgettable turn-of-the-century characters.” —Regina Jennings, author of Caught in the Middle.

“Karen Barnett’s exquisite touch with emotional interplay and romantic nuance shines in Out of the Ruins, thrilling readers with a powerful story set during San Francisco’s most enthralling and heart-wrenching moment.” —Michael K. Reynolds, author of the acclaimed Heirs of Ireland series.

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MISTAKEN MistakenCoverFinal copy

Published 7/2013 by Abingdon Press.

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.

Daniel has mixed feelings about returning to the dirty mill town of his youth, but grudgingly agrees to manage his grandfather’s drug store until a replacement can be found. The moment he meets Laurie on the windswept bluff overlooking the beach, he knows that if he can earn her love, he might have a reason to stay. But when Laurie pushes him away–for none other than Federal Agent Samuel Brown–Daniel wonders if Laurie really is the upstanding woman he thought her to be.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca, just off the beaches of Port Angeles, Washington, was treacherous water for reckless rumrunners—and the agents who tried to catch them. So when she realizes her brother is in danger, romance is the last thing on Laurie’s mind. Yet the people she believes she can trust, may not be so honorable after all.

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