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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Old Amarillo: Amish Journeys #1

Disillusioned and feeling there is more to life than can be found on her family's Indiana farm, atypical Amish girl Katie Knepp bucks tradition and leaves everything behind, bound for a supposed Mennonite settlement rumored to be somewhere around Old Amarillo, Texas. But the trail to Texas is a hard one, laced with disease, would-be-could-be bandits, and a drought so severe that turning back isn't an option. During her epic overland struggle, Katie discovers friendship, even in the ever-present outlaw element, a strength in herself she'd never dreamed she possessed, and those in her past who refuse to become unwilling memories. Katie's story isn't Amish, nor is it western . . . it is uniquely Texan. 

Purchase you copy here: Amazon:

Sara Barnard and her family of six make their home deep in the recesses of Native America with a trio of rescue dogs, a trifecta of rescue cats, a flock of Easter Egger chickens, and a "tiny" herd of Dwarf Nigerian pygmy goats. 
Some of Sara's works include The Calling (Prairie Rose Publications), The Saga of Indian Em'ly series (Painted Pony Books), Shootout in Old Amarillo (Prairie Rose Publications), The Everlasting Heart series, Rebekah's Quilt, and Desperado (all from 5 Prince Publishing). Sara is a certified elementary teacher and a bona fide coffee aficionado. Follow Sara at or @TheSaraBarnard on Twitter.

1.When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer? 

Hi Elaine! Thanks for hosting me :-) I discovered that I wanted to be a writer way back in the 3rd grade. The assignment was to write about a pet and I wrote an essay about my recently-deceased tomcat J. Thomas O'Malley. He was my one of my best animal friends, a stray who had wandered up, and the only cat that my dog Charlie befriended. He was special. He would come in and watch TV with me, curled up on my handmade quilt in the living room until I fell asleep, before he wandered down the hall only to pee all over my bedroom (in true tomcat fashion). Once, he even peed on my mom when she sat down on the porch, and she had just stepped out of the shower! His was my first brush with death and it crushed me, so I channeled my hurt into words and something worked -- my essay won first place in the entire school and was read aloud at the PTA meeting. Too embarrassed to listen, I hid in the hallway, but the spark was lit.

2.Can you tell us about your journey towards publication?

I hadn't dreamed I could achieve publication. I mean, it had always been a dream, but one that seemed so far out of reach that I didn't even want to dream it. Plus, my dreams were further dashed by my university creative writing professor. I made a B and he had nothing nice to say about any of my work. Looking back, it is clear that he favored a certain genre -- not mine. When I taught 6th grade last year, I was very supportive of ALL my emerging writers. Anywho, when my husband was on his last deployment to Afghanistan, I was home with three kids, a mess of emotions, and a ton of inspiration. Plus I had a friend (Rochelle) who took me off the couch to see Eclipse in the theatre and she made mention of Ms. Meyer being a mother of many (like me) who wrote the Twilight series. Heck, if she could, why couldn't I? So my debut novel, A Heart on Hold, was born and promptly grew into a four-book series published by 5 Prince Publishing.


3.What is your favorite genre to read?

It really depends. I like nonfiction mostly, strange as it may seem :-) 

4.Tell us about a unique quirk of yours.

I am very quirky, but my quirks are normal to me. Some stuff that might surprise other people: I am a vegetarian though I do not write vegetarian characters; I like Bob Marley coffee; I love Naked and Afraid; I used to work for the Park Service catching and relocating snakes and tracking mountain lions; I began working toward my private pilot certification when I lived and worked in Alaska; my Amish novels are all based in fact, some of which are my own family facts, my third son was almost born in Italy, and all four of my children were born in different states!  

5.If you could travel anywhere in the world to do research for your next book, where would you go?

England, so I could finish a creative nonfiction book on Medieval London I started last year :-) 

Sara Barnard
Historical Romance and Children's author
A Heart on Hold (An Everlasting Heart, #1)
A Heart Broken (An Everlasting Heart, #2) 
A Heart at Home (An Everlasting Heart, #3)
A Heart Forever Wild (An Everlasting Heart, #4)


The Calling (Prairie Rose Publications)
The Saga of Indian Em'ly: The Apache and the Pale Face Soldiers (Painted Pony Books)
The Saga of Indian Em'ly: On the Colorado Trail
The Saga of Indian Em'ly: The Orphanage

Rebekah's Quilt (Amish Historical Romance)

Little Spoon (Children's Historical Fiction) 
Chunky Sugars (Children's Fiction)

The ABC's of Texas Plants
The ABC's of Oklahoma Plants
The Big Bad Wolf Really Isn't so Big and Bad 

Lassoing a Bride (anthology)
My Dog Can do Magic (anthology)

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