Featured Author: Karen Kirst

Featured Author: Karen Kirst

Karen Kirst
Karen Kirst

Karen Kirst writes Love Inspired Historicals – stories of love, laughter, and adventure. Her favorite pasttimes are reading, visiting tearooms, and watching romantic comedies.

Karen was born and raised in East Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. She attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she received a B.A. in Speech Communication. A lifelong lover of books, it wasn’t until after college that she had the grand idea to write one herself. The pursuit of her dream would take longer than she first anticipated…years, in fact.

In the fall of 2010, she got the happy news that Harlequin Love Inspired Historicals wanted to publish her manuscript-a true blessing from God. Now she divides her time between being a wife, homeschooling mom, and romance writer. She and her husband, along with their three boys, recently said goodbye to military life and are thrilled to be back home in Tennessee.

The following is a November 2015 interview with Karen.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END 
OF THE INTERVIEW

~~

Be in to win a copy of
The Bachelor’s Homecoming

by Karen Kirst

~~

(THREE print copies to be won – Worldwide)

Contest runs from November 13 – December 4, 2015 EST

~~

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KarenKirstTell us a little about yourself.

I live in Tennessee, USA near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. When I’m not homeschooling my three boys, I’m writing or thinking about writing. My favorite places to go are the mountains, the library and local tea rooms. Spending time with family and friends is very important to me.

What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I’ve loved to read since I was a small child. Some of my fondest memories are of spending hours at the library as a teenager while my mom ran errands in town. I didn’t have the idea to write a book until I was at university. I wrote three contemporary romance manuscripts and submitted the first two to Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. Both were rejected. Discouraged, I got busy with life and kids and stopped writing for several years, but the desire to publish never left me. When I decided to try again, I made sure to educate myself about the craft before typing the first word. This time, I wrote a historical romance, and it’s the one that sold.

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

I think it’s significant in that it addresses the characters’ spiritual journeys. Sometimes the spiritual aspect is a minor part of the story, others it plays a larger role. Also, because the focus isn’t on the physical relationship between the hero and heroine, Christian authors are forced to develop the emotional and mental aspects. We also have to find a way to inject chemistry without crossing publishing guidelines.

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

First of all, I hope they stay up late reading because they can’t put them down! My goal is to write emotional, riveting romance. But I also want readers to enjoy themselves and be encouraged by the characters’ stories.

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

I’m touched when I get emails from readers in other countries, especially those places where Christianity is not prevalent. It amazes me that something I’ve written might’ve meant enough to someone that they took time to write to me. I also enjoy getting letters from younger readers. I keep all the mail I receive.

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

This journey has been filled with uncertainties, victories, joy and doubt. I am always aware that it is God who gave me the desire to write and He alone who enables me to do it. Throughout this process, I’ve learned to rely on Him. He blessed me with this career, and I have to trust Him to guide me.

Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life?

I always say that if I had time, I’d love to own a tea room. I’m not sure that’s a realistic goal or even something I’d want to truly pursue, but I like the idea of it. My main goals are to be the best wife and mom that I can be and enjoy each day to the fullest.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My favorite thing to do is to have lunch or coffee with friends. Most are fellow moms who I can learn from and just share my frustrations with. I watch a variety of television shows, from reality cooking shows to science fiction to crime dramas. Romance is my favorite type of book to read, but I also really enjoy young adult paranormal.

What can you tell us about your latest novels?

Most of my books are part of my series, Smoky Mountain Matches, which revolves around eight cousins, each with their own romance. The books are set in the Smoky Mountains, specifically Gatlinburg, Tennessee, during the 1880s. I’m currently working on a story about one of the recurring characters, Sheriff Shane Timmons, which is due out Christmas 2016.

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

My most recent book is The Bachelor’s Homecoming, releasing November 2015. The seventh installment in my series, it tells the story of Jane O’Malley and the man she has secretly loved for years. But Tom Leighton only had eyes for her older sister and left town after being rejected. Now he’s returned and needs Jane’s help. Along with romance, there’s suspense and adventure in the story.

What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

For those of you who have read my books, I say thank you! I’m honored that you chose to give my stories a chance. I hope you enjoyed them.

Do you have any parting words?

Many thanks to Ellie Whyte for having me. If your dream is to be a published writer, pursue it. Study the craft, find a genre you’re passionate about, connect with other writers. Most importantly, make time to write.

The Horseman’s Frontier Family

The Horseman's Frontier Family
The Horseman’s Frontier Family

(Bridegroom Brothers #2)

by Karen Kirst

  • Love Inspired Historical
  • Historical
  • May 2014
  • ISBN: 9780373282630

Purchase:
[Kindle | Mills & Boon | Amazon | The Book Depository]

The Cowboy Meets His Match.

Everything Gideon Thornton has worked for is in jeopardy, all because of one stubborn woman. Evelyn Montgomery insists that Gideon’s new claim from the Oklahoma Land Rush legally belongs to her. Both refuse to budge—even when the law says that until their dispute is settled, they must share the land.

Their family feud has taught Evelyn that Thortons can’t be trusted. Yet day by day Gideon’s thoughtfulness to Evelyn, and especially to her young son, shows the real truth. A truth that may mean the end of her claim…and the start of a future big enough to encompass both their dreams.

Bridegroom Brothers: True love awaits three siblings in the Oklahoma Land Rush

 

Married By Christmas

Married By Christmas
Married By Christmas

(Smoky Mountain Matches #5)

by Karen Kirst

  • Love Inspired Historical
  • Historical
  • October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780373282838

Purchase:
[Kindle | Mills & Boon | Amazon | The Book Depository]

An inconvenient wedding…

Wherever Caleb O’Malley goes, trouble follows, and trouble is the last thing Rebecca Thurston needs. But when Caleb appears—gravely wounded—at Rebecca’s Smoky Mountain cabin, she can’t turn him away. His life depends on her kindness, but she never anticipated it would lead to an unwanted proposal.

Caleb never forgave himself for the accident that ended Rebecca’s engagement and destroyed her life. He doesn’t want to hurt her again. But after a week recuperating at her cabin, there is only one way for Caleb to protect both their reputations from scandal.

Neither of them wants to tie the knot, but as Rebecca and Caleb spend time together, will they find there’s more to their marriage than convenience?

Smoky Mountain Matches: Dreams of home and family come true in the Smoky Mountains

From Boss to Bridegroom

From Boss to Bridegroom
From Boss to Bridegroom

(Smoky Mountain Matches #6)

by Karen Kirst

  • Love Inspired Historical
  • Historical
  • April 2015
  • ISBN: 9780373283088

Purchase:
[Kindle | Mills & Boon | Amazon | The Book Depository]

Being tied up and delivered to the sheriff was not how Nicole O’Malley expected to meet her new boss. Quinn Darling had the audacity to mistake her for a burglar. Now she’s counting the days until she can leave small-town life behind to open her own boutique. But as long as she’s helping two runaways escape their vindictive step-dad, she can’t leave town.

Quinn’s determined to triumph in his first business venture without the support of his wealthy family. He can’t succeed without assistant Nicole, a beauty as prickly as she is captivating. As Quinn adjusts to the tight-knit community, he’s soon set on another goal: breaking through Nicole’s reserve to capture the love hidden in her heart.

Smoky Mountain Matches: Dreams of home and family come true in the Smoky Mountains

 

The Bachelor’s Homecoming

The Bachelor's Homecoming
The Bachelor’s Homecoming

(Smoky Mountain Matches #7)

by Karen Kirst

  • Love Inspired Historical
  • Historical
  • November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780373283361

Purchase:
[Kindle | Mills & Boon | Amazon | The Book Depository]

Suddenly Reunited

Jane O’Malley’s young heart broke in pieces when the man of her dreams left town after being rejected by her sister.  Years later, Tom Leighton returns home and Jane’s old feelings for him rush back as forceful as the Tennessee mountain springs.

Tom left Gatlinburg behind without a word to allow his hurt heart to heal. Now he’s a man with a young niece to raise and amends to make in the town and to the people he abandoned—especially to Jane. The girl from his past has become a gorgeous, kind woman. Can he prove to her that she’s the only woman he wants?

Smoky Mountain Matches: Dreams of home and family come true in the Smoky Mountains

 Connect with Karen Kirst

WebsiteFacebook ~ TwitterGoodreads

Author Portfolio at Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site

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Connect with Soul Inspirationz

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

~~

Be in to win a copy of
The Bachelor’s Homecoming

by Karen Kirst

~~

(THREE print copies to be won – Worldwide)

Contest runs from November 13 – December 4, 2015 EST

~~

b_w_scrolldiv

How to Enter:

Please comment on the interview and/or leave a message for Karen Kirst in the blog comments below, then fill out the contest form with your details.

  • To comment, log in at the top right of the blog (or below the comments)
  • Scroll to the bottom to leave your comment
  • Complete the CONTEST FORM* then return to this blog

Only entries made completing the above criteria will be eligible for drawing. 

*The Contest Form operates through Google Forms. You do not need a Google account to use it. None of the information supplied is used outside of Soul Inspirationz administration of the Giveaway.

 

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