Monday, July 29, 2013

*Mistaken* by Karen Barnett.


Somedays, Laurie Burke's life seems to be as shattered as the mirror 
and the whiskey bottle that she found broken on the floor. 
And whether it is the glass shards or her life, she seems to be the only one picking up the pieces. 

The Burke family has not been well since Laurie's Mother died, and that was years ago. 
Now Dad and Johnny both work at the mill, and only Dad comes home.
Johnny has moved out, stopped telling Laurie his secrets, and all but disappeared from the life of his almost-fiancee and Laurie's best friend Amelia. 

When her father is home, he is drinking and then raging and then mourning all over again, 
leaving Laurie powerless to help him.  
When he surfaces into sobriety ever so briefly, he makes promises to quit...and then he forgets and locks her out to spend the night on the front porch in the cool Washington State air. 

There is one thing responsible for all this havoc wreaked in Laurie's life: the liquor. 
Johnny is a criminal rum-runner, 
rowing the booze across from Canada to bypass America's temperance laws. 
Her father is an alcoholic. That 100 proof "medicine" he buys from the drug store isn't for his shoulder pain anymore, if it ever was. 

The druggist who sells it, Mr. Larson, and his grandson Daniel who came back from Seattle to work with him, are both culpable for feeding her father's addiction. 
No matter how kind Daniel seems to be, he is probably just like all those other scoundrels 
and miscreants that she has attracted over the years. 

This time it will be different. 
She knows she needs to keep her distance from Daniel Shepherd, 
and he knows that there are good reasons why she is right. 
Laurie Burke is an upright woman and she will not be brought down by the deadly fluid that rules her family's life. There is one way to stop her brother and her father 
and yet protect them at the same time: befriend the prohibition agent who is here in town. 
Surely a truthful, honorable man with the power to stop the flow of alcohol is a man she can trust, isn't he? 

But what if she is Mistaken? 

I would not have known that this was Karen Barnett's debut novel if you hadn't told me. 
Mistaken grabs you and pulls you right into the lives of the characters, and each character has more than one side to his story. I wanted to throw Laurie's father out of the house when he was yelling at her to fetch the hidden bottle, then I wanted to cry with her when she said she felt like she didn't love him enough just the way he was. 
I cheered when Laurie began to wonder if she had found someone who loved her, and then was grieved by her fear that this would be like all the other times some man had paid her attention.

Each time I thought I had these characters pegged, they turned around and let me see a different corner of their heart. 
I also need to say that I really appreciated the fact that these characters had pasts... they were real people, fallen and redeemed. Like us. 

Combine that sort of character with dark nights and whisky smuggling, 
set in 1926, and you have a book that I really, really enjoyed reading. 
I can't wait for more from Karen Barnett, and I hear she has another special project going on with Abingdon Press for a new series!, so after you place your order for Mistaken go check out her website or Facebook! 

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever--and yet our human story changes daily. As a writer of historical romance, I love to explore my characters' faith and how their experiences impact the way they view God.

There's nothing I enjoy more than a beautiful love story and God's devotion to His people is the best one of all. It even ends with the hero riding in on a white horse! (Revelation 19:11). 
My first novel, MISTAKEN, releases in July 2013 with Abingdon Press. I am published in several nation magazines, including "Birthday Wish" which appeared inGuideposts Magazine in February 2010. I am represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency
I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband, two children, three furry felines and the newest addition--a dachshund puppy. 

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