Monday, July 8, 2013

Karen Barnett's Summer Tradition and a Giveaway!

I'm so excited to have Karen Barnett on the blog today! Karen and I met last year at ACFW's annual conference. I looked forward to meeting her because we'd connected online AND we share the same fabulous agent! She's just as warm, friendly, and fun in person as she is online. A Genesis finalist last year, Karen also sold her first book!

Her debut novel, Mistaken, is also set along the Washington shoreline. In 1926 Port Angeles, Laurie Burke needs help to put an end to her brother’s rumrunning schemes. Is his best friend, pharmacist Daniel Shepherd, also involved? When Laurie becomes interested in the visiting federal agent, Samuel Brown, she must decide which man--if any--is worthy of her trust.

Karen graciously agreed to share her favorite summer tradition with us today. Welcome, Karen!!



 
When I was growing up, my family didn’t take expensive vacations. But we did look forward to occasional visits to a friend’s beach house on Hartstene Island. About 1 ½ hours from our home in Tacoma, this island in the Puget Sound was the perfect retreat for beachcombing, barbecuing, bicycling, and nature walks. We swam in the little community pool and fished from the dock. We always arrived home exhausted, covered with sunburns and bug-bites, and lugging treasured collections of shells, pretty rocks, and priceless memories.

For my kids, vacations have been a little different. We pinched pennies and managed a couple big trips—cruises to Mexico and the Caribbean, and a few days at Disneyworld. They were fantastic, but I worried my children would grow up believing vacations should include gourmet meals, snorkeling, formal nights, and cruise staff waiting to serve their every need.

I longed to share my childhood retreat with them, but had they been spoiled for this sort of trip? No white-sand tropical beaches? No broadway-style shows? No costumed character breakfasts?

A couple of years ago we decided to try it. We packed the car and drove north to Washington. The island seemed frozen in time—nothing had changed. We collected sand dollars, broken shells, and smelly dead crab claws. We played on the rope swing and skipped rocks over the waves. We roasted marshmallows and feasted on hot dogs. The kids each caught their first fish. We walked the trails under the giant trees and marveled over spotted fawns nestled in the ferns.


 
A few years have passed now and we’re long overdue for another family outing. The other night, I chatted with my 11-year-old daughter about it. “So what do you think? Where would you like to travel?” She grinned big. “What about that Hartstene place Mom? Could we go there?”

And my heart smiled.

***
 
 
Mistaken ~
 
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.

***

Karen Barnett lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband, two kids, three cats, and an attention-starved dachshund (who believes lap-top computers were invented by someone who hated lapdogs).

***

Thank you SO much, Karen, for being my guest today!

Karen has graciously offered to give away a copy of Mistaken to one lucky blog commenter! Just leave your e-mail addy (ex: jill(at)jillkemerer(dot)com) in a comment below to be entered. **Must be 18 years or older and only open to residents of USA.** I'll toss all the entries in a hat and pull the winner out. Winner will be notified by e-mail. Contest open until midnight, Wednesday, July 10.
 
What family vacations or summer traditions do you remember most fondly? What childhood experiences do you wish you could share with your kids?
 
Have a terrific Monday!

26 comments:

  1. This is a great post, thanks so much for sharing!

    Our family vacations happened more than once a year when I was growing up (in the 60s and 70s). My dad was a musician as well as a black and white photographer, my mom an artist. Since dad was a professor at the local college we had several times off each year. My parents loaded my sister and I in their VW van and we often headed out for one to two weeks, three or four times a year. I remember seeing the world from the back of that van. One trip we traveled from Mexico to Canada. There was never a rigid schedule. It wasn't unusual for my mom or dad to see a sign about an interesting park or sight and off we'd go, on a side-trip that could last a few minutes or a couple of days. I learned a lot on those trips, not just about geography! I learned to take a chance, look out for detours that held wonderful experiences, and to take life as it comes.

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    1. That is awesome, Edie!! I loved reading this--in fact, I just read it out loud to my extended family. :) My parents always owned VW's and we toyed with getting a van. Thank you soooo much for sharing this!

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    2. Wonderful, Edie! Sometimes those detours are exactly what God has in mind for us. :)

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  2. Oh that's so sweet! My family did a few bigger trips, but some of the vacations that stand out most in my mind, like Karen's, are the simple camping or cabin trips...lots of swimming and fishing (and not catching anything) and bonfires. Good times. :)

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    1. Being together makes for sweet memories, right?

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  3. I loved this post, Jill and Karen. We did road trips all over the country when I was a girl. One year, my parents drove my two sisters and me from Colorado to Florida for a business meeting they had. We then drove up the East coast to Ontario, Canada to spend some time at my grandfather's cabin on the St. Lawrence River. We fished, swam in the river and explored the woods all around the cabin. Then we drove back to Colorado. I loved our time on the road, and in Canada. I hope to share the Canada part of that memory with our kids next summer.

    My hubby's parents live in Hawaii, so our kids are used to "nicer" vacations. I know, it's rough having family in HAWAII. ;)

    This summer, we're road tripping to Yellowstone for a few days. I'm looking forward to the memories we'll make. :) Thanks for sharing your memories and experiences with your children, Karen. It's so fun to read!

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    1. Ahh, to have relatives in Hawaii! We keep talking about taking a trip there, but we haven't managed it yet.

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    2. Karen, if you ever get to go, it's amazing! Each island is different. :) I hope you get over there!

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  4. Aw, love this post!! (And no need to enter me in the contest, Jill.)

    My family vacations most often included trips to Oklahoma to see family. We'd drive 15 hours to my grandma's house and I'd read the whole way. ;)

    But probably my favorite vacation memory is the last trip I ever took with my family. My mom was sick, but we made it to Catalina Island...laid on the beach, ate out, shopped in the cute little shops, went to the movie theater there, etc. And the whole time, my mom didn't feel ill once. That was a miracle. And I'll forever treasure that memory of the four of us, together.

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    1. So glad you got that trip with your Mom, Lindsay. Sounds like sweet memories, indeed!

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  5. My Internet is spotty today, so I'm unable to respond to each post :( I'll wrap it up here:

    Melissa, I love those memories. We spent a ton of weekends at my grandfather's cottage. We fished, walked, read, and ate a lot of yummy food. Fun times!!

    Jeanne, Hawaii?? I'm sure you're crying that you have to make that trip, right? ha, ha! How cool!! Your family road trips sound really adventurous and fun, too!

    Lindsay, your memory really touched my heart. I'm so glad you have a treasured last trip with your mom where she wasn't ill. I've always wanted to see Catalina island, too. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  6. I love your post! Thank you for sharing.

    When I was growing up in the '50's and '60's, we only ever took 1 real vacation and it was a fishing cabin on a lake. The scenery was wonderful. I loved the natural beauty of Northern Minnesota, but between the mosquitoes and the leeches in the lake, it was not an ideal vacation for a young teen--LOL!

    We did do much traveling and sight-seeing in connection with my dad's job, so that was life molding. I learned so much by visiting every possible historical sight, wherever we went. My whole family was really into history and nature, so I think our travels were a great way of growing up.

    I would enjoy reading Mistaken. Thank you for offering a copy.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I've heard horror stories about mosquitos in Northern Minnesota! That would take some of the fun out of things. I've also decided traveling with young teens is harder than trips with toddlers--it's really hard to keep them happy. My son is 13, and if a place doesn't have video games and tv, he's not interested. I need to find some way to get him to unplug! ;)

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  7. Your book sounds so interesting, Karen! I love that roaring 20s setting.

    My favorite vacations growing up weren't expensive or lavish, either. My family usually went to the amusement parks like Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio or Cedar Point in Sandusky. It seems like a Midwestern tradition, lol, as most people I know from that region grew up doing the same.

    Thanks for introducing us to another great author, Jill!

    I would like to enter the giveaway. brandibwrites(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Brandi, I visited Cedar Point once during my college years--very fun! Amusement parks are rare in the northwest. I'm not sure why. We did go to Disneyland once, when I was in high school. It was amazing!

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  8. We used to vacation in a huge beach house along Edisto Beach in the Carolinas. My grandparents, aunt & uncle, cousins and my siblings all squeezed in and we'd look for sharks teeth, go crabbing, ride the waves in these small inflatable tubes...such great memories! We hope to recreate them with my parents and children soon!

    Your book sounds fantastic-congrats on your debut!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! Sounds like a fun vacation!

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  9. Child hood memories that I wish I could share with my kids... well the times that we would go to the beach and actually be able to "body surf"... These were the days before the movie "Jaws"... Sorry kids,,,, not gonna happen :-)

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    1. Yeah, that movie ruined a lot of summer fun, didn't it?

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  10. Jill: I spent my young days traveling with my dad and sometimes my mom around the mid west. Dad drove race cars and then promoted the races. We were in Minnesota one time. Our uncle was riding with us. We stopped at a junk yard. He purchased an engine. I remember riding back to central Indiana in the jump seat with that engine beside me. Both my dad and my uncle have passed away. It's just a memory I have of simpler times.

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    1. my email address is cll4him(AT)sbcglobal(DOT)com

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    2. Wow, I can almost smell the oil. Fun memory!

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  11. We used to travel to Florida every year...Great memories. Thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. We went to Florida a few years ago on that Disney vacation I mentioned. I loved spending the day in Key West. What a beautiful part of the country!

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  12. Thanks for hosting her Jill, and congratulations on your book Karen!
    My favorite vacations always go back to Israel, to the mixture of cultures, food, history, music and lots of sunshine....

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  13. I want to print out all these comments--you all have such great stories about childhood vacations! Thank you SO much for sharing!!

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I love to hear from you!