Karen Malley’s debut novel Following the Sparrows releases on October 9th. Karen has loved writing and reading ever since she learned how, but in the last few years finally carved out the time to bring the characters in her head to life. Following the Sparrows is the first of three books in the Pine Springs Series.
Karen lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. She works full time as a scientist, but enjoys writing in her spare time. When not writing (with her left hand), she enjoys camping, hiking, playing board games, and especially reading! She loves reading faith-based stories, because we can all use a happy ending.
Following the Sparrows blurb:
Kathryn Baker is trying to escape her past
After the tragic death of her husband, Kathryn throws herself into her scientific career. She hopes to right the wrongs of her past before they catch up to her. But when she runs into a handsome stranger, she discovers that he just might hold the key to her future.
Adam Harrison is tired of running from his past
After losing everything he worked for in life, Adam is finally ready to follow the path that God has for him. When a series of chance meetings brings him to Kathryn, he considers the possibility of loving again. But Kathryn is still on the run from God and from her past.
Can Adam convince Kathryn to stop running and trust him with her secrets, or will her fear make it impossible for them to have a future together?
Here’s an excerpt from the book: S
Sunday morning, Kathryn woke early for a change. Robert would’ve been delighted and dragged her along to church. She didn’t make it to church very often with her husband, and she wasn’t about to make a habit of going without him. Mark was an excellent preacher, but a little too direct for her tastes.
She threw on yoga pants and an old T-shirt and set out for a walk. The humidity had broken, and the sky was cloudless. The rain washed the world clean. The birds chattered away in the trees lining the sidewalk. The sun was already strong, but a slight nip in the air showed the summer days were coming to a close.
She turned toward town and stopped at the corner coffee shop for breakfast. After paying for her coffee and blueberry muffin, she sat at one of the little wrought iron tables. Breathing in the aroma of coffee and pastries, she gazed out the side window. A minute later a voice startled her.
“Mind if I join you, Kathryn Baker?” The man who helped her with her tire. Adam… Adam something. Uggh. Why did he seem to show up everywhere?
“No, I don’t think so. I’m not staying long.”
He glanced at her untouched muffin, eyebrows raised. “Not even to eat the muffin you bought?” He pulled up a chair and plopped down with his own cup of coffee. “Don’t worry, I only have a few minutes.”
Kathryn opened her mouth to object again but closed it. What would a few minutes hurt? He’d changed her tire, after all. She could at least be polite.
Her gaze traveled over him. In their first couple of meetings, she hadn’t given him more than a glance, and she was so frustrated while he was changing her tire, she hardly looked at him at all. His crisp white shirt enhanced the tan of his skin. His deep brown eyes held a twinkle. His hair curled over his ears, and she resisted an impulse to push it back, away from his face. Where did that thought come from?
She mentally assessed herself. She hadn’t yet showered, and she was wearing a faded college shirt. How was it this man always met her at her worst? She absentmindedly pushed back a strand of hair that escaped from her ponytail.
“Did you get your tire fixed?” Adam asked.
“Yes. They couldn’t patch the old one, so I’ve got a new matching set.” she said. “Thanks again for your help. Why do I keep seeing you everywhere? Are you following me around or something?”
Adam chuckled. “I moved here in the spring. It’s not that big of a town. Either that, or I have incredible luck in finding you.” He sipped his coffee. “Have you lived here long?”
“We moved here three years ago, when I got my job at M. K. Pharmaceuticals. Before that I was in college and grad school out of state, but I grew up near here.”
“We? Are you married?” Adam asked.
Kathryn caught him glance at her hand. She lowered her eyes. “No, I’m not married.” Her ring sat in a jewelry box at home. Robert hated she never wore it, but with wearing gloves all the time at work, it wasn’t practical. Thankfully, Adam changed the subject.
“So, you work at M. K.? What do you do there?” Adam asked.
“I’m a chemist. I’m working on such an important project. We’re designing new drugs that work for pain without causing addiction or a high.” Kathryn’s eyes lit up. “Can you imagine? People can get the help they need with their pain, but there wouldn’t be any risk of getting addicted. Even more importantly, there wouldn’t be any reason for people to take them illegally, because they can’t get high from them.”
“Wow. It sounds like it’s not just a job to you. More like a mission.”
Kathryn stilled. Had she said too much? There was nothing but sincerity in his eyes. “It’s important to me.”
“No, I get it. That’s cool. Everyone should be able to do something that is important to them. Speaking of which…” He glanced at his watch. Jumping from his seat, he offered an apology.
“I’m sorry, Kathryn. I need to leave. I’m late for church. I’d love to chat with you some more. Maybe we could meet for coffee again?” he asked.
Kathryn’s good mood evaporated. “I’m sure I’ll run into you again.” She grabbed her cup and walked past him out the door, shaking her head. Was she the only one not going to church these days?
You can purchase Following the Sparrows here: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Malley/e/B08HRDQ4QW/
You can also follow her on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20700661.Karen_Malley
or Twitter https://twitter.com/KarenLMalley
Karen loves to connect with readers!