Friday, May 17, 2013

Karen Arnpriester: Helping Others Through Storytelling

Everyone's Story welcomes author Karen Arnpriester. When Karen inquired about appearing on this blog I readily said yes to this new author who isn't afraid of writing fiction showing the rough side of life. A mom, foster-mom, and grandmother, Karen is now reaching through her novels to others who are struggling, hoping to provide some encouragement. Please enjoy Karen's excerpt from her first novel, ANESSIA'S QUEST and her generous book giveaways. She's looking forward to hearing from you!

Book Giveaway:
Karen wants to make 6 readers very happy: she is offering 1 paperback book of ANESSIA QUEST to 1 randomly chosen commenter and 1 paperback book of RAIDER'S VENDETTA to another commenter. Plus, an e-book of ANESSIA'S QUEST to 2 more commenters and an e-book of RAIDER'S VENDETTA to yet another 2 commenters. The winners will be announced here on Friday, May 24th between 4-6 EST. For convenience, please leave your email address within the body of your comment and which format of the novel you'd like to have. Thanks!

An Excerpt from ANESSIA'S QUEST:

Anessia’s Quest by Karen Arnpriester

Chapter 1

Leah thought she could bear it no longer. Why didn’t this baby come out?  She had been pushing and writhing for hours, hurting so bad that she wanted to die. Finally, the nurse came in and said she was ready to have the baby. Leah knew that she would have feelings for this kid eventually, but right now, she almost hated it. They wheeled her into the delivery room and after thirty more minutes, the miracle of birth happened. A little, white skinned, red-haired girl with blue eyes arrived. She looked at her and felt numb. She may have connected better if the baby had looked like her; if she had gotten her golden skin, dark, curly hair and hazel eyes. This baby looked like a stray, not her kid.

Leah had endured a difficult life and tried to bury it with alcohol, drugs, and sex. During her drunken months of pregnancy, she thought it would be funny to name her baby girl Champagne, after her favorite beverage. Champagne Marie Crenshaw. Champagne would carry her mother’s last name since Leah didn’t know which John was the proud papa. Leah had considered having another abortion, but this time was different. This baby would change her life. She just knew it. Leah wanted to be loved and wanted someone to love. She’d convinced herself she could be a mom. When Leah was in her seventh month, she had stopped hooking and left Los Angeles. She moved north for a fresh start. Champagne would find out quickly that her mom would fail miserably at being a mother. She would also find out there was someone watching over her, protecting her.

When the hospital determined that Leah was ready for release, she was indignant and annoyed. Three days was not nearly long enough if you asked her. She figured she deserved and could use at least another week of leisure and strong pain meds while the nurses cared for Champagne. Upon leaving the hospital, Leah brought the baby back to the disgusting motel room that she had rented with her assistance checks. She figured they would do okay, since the amount written on those checks would increase with the birth of Champagne. She might have been able to afford a nicer place, but the majority of her money went for her alcohol and drugs. How was she going to take care of a baby all by herself? Looking around the room, Leah realized that she should have prepared a little more for the baby. She pulled out a drawer, dumped it out, and laid Champagne in it. The strong pain meds were wearing off and they had only prescribed glorified aspirin as far as Leah was concerned. Luckily, she had stopped on the way home to pick up a big bottle of cheap wine.

“Well brat, I guess the closest I’ll come to champagne for awhile is changing your dirty diapers.” She laughed to herself, “That was a good one Leah. You haven’t lost your dazzling wit yet.”


Several years crawled by, and somehow, Champagne survived her mother’s indifference. One summer evening, Leah could not take it any longer. The pounding on the door was killing her head. What a hangover she had. When she jerked the door open, she looked into the chest of a police officer. Behind him stood her neighbor, Miss Nosey. She could tell it wasn’t good by the smirk on Miss Nosey’s face.

“We got a call that you have a toddler playing unattended on the landing,” said the officer.

“Well, I don’t see no kid out here, do you?” shot back Leah.

“Not at the moment, but your neighbor called quite concerned. She said that it is not unusual to see your front door wide open and your small daughter playing out here by the stairs. Do you understand how dangerous that is?” 

“Well yes, Officer, I do. I’m not an idiot. I am always just inside the door, watching her every move. The kid has gotta have some fresh air and sunshine right?”

“Ma’am, unless you use better judgment and find a safer place for your daughter to play, we will be back out with child services,” threatened the Officer.

“Okay. I will figure out something.”

The officer filled out his paperwork and handed Leah her copy. “This call will be documented.” He held the paper for a delayed moment, making eye contact with Leah.

“Thank you, Officer,” Leah said sarcastically as she snatched it from his hand.
As the officer moved down the stairs, Leah looked over at her neighbor as she was turning to head back to her room. Leah smiled a big smile at her, flipped her off with both hands, and then slammed the door as loudly as possible.

“Thanks, Pagne, just what I needed.”  She glared at her sweet face and grumbled, “Worthless brat.” Leah had decided when Champagne was a year old that she did not deserve the name Champagne. She hadn’t improved Leah’s life, but had complicated it. Leah called her Pagne, pronounced as “Pain.” The fact that Pagne was showing signs of freckles to go with the red hair from her nameless father didn’t help either. Leah hated freckles with a passion. She plopped down on the ratty couch that folded out to their bed and turned on the TV, filling a tumbler with wine.


Leah’s lust for drinking didn’t allow her to survive on the meager assistance she received, so she’d begun hooking again shortly after Pagne was born. Pagne’s childhood was a whirlwind of her mother’s customers, late nights, and the consequences of being the child of an alcoholic. One thing was consistent, an anchor that Pagne could rely on, her mother’s total disregard for her. As time passed, Pagne had no choice but to be self-sufficient. She kept herself clean, got herself ready for school, and made sure the trash in the room didn’t pile up too high.

When Pagne was eight years old, Adam Williams was her mother’s new flavor of the month … good looking, funny and he actually had a job, a nice change for Leah. Adam always brought a bottle of quality champagne for her and Jack Daniels for him. A few drinks, some laughs and then “Good lovin’,” as her mother would say. Leah considered him a boyfriend, so she didn’t charge him for her company. Pagne learned to keep out of the way when Adam or other men were there. The close quarters of the motel room made it difficult, but Pagne would lock the bathroom door and climb into the tub, pretending she was in a boat heading to a strange new land.
She would also read with a passion. She loved stories about fairies, faraway places, or brave characters who saved the day. She read whatever she could bring home from school. Her mom certainly wouldn’t bother to take her to the library or buy a book. When the tub was too disgusting to get into, Pagne would pile up dirty laundry on the floor and make a nest. The width of the floor space fit her and her nest perfectly. She wished the walls were more sound proof though. The loud laughing and sexual noises from the other room made it hard for her to read, pretend, or sleep. Pagne wasn’t sure what they were doing, but she felt uncomfortable hearing them. Sometimes, the men Leah brought home would hit her. Pagne knew to stay very quiet. She didn’t want them to know she was there. Some mornings, Leah’s face would be swollen and bruised. When Pagne would look at her with concern, Leah would shrug and say, “Comes with the territory.” 

Adam never hit her mom. He would always bring Pagne a toy or some candy when he came over. He was nice enough, but something made her uneasy about him. He didn’t do anything bad, but he always wanted Pagne to sit on his lap. She didn’t like it and she wasn’t sure why. Even her mom didn’t like it. Leah would jerk Pagne off of his lap and plop herself down instead, giving Pagne the evil eye. Leah didn’t realize how grateful Pagne was that she had removed her from the awkward situation.

Even at the age of eight, Pagne was independent. She could get her own breakfast and lunch, toaster pastries or cold cereal. It wasn’t so bad when the milk hadn’t soured, but usually she ate the cereal dry. She got free hot lunches at school when she started first grade. Leah wasn’t hungry until late evening, since she drank her meals during the day. She would throw something together for dinner, but in her drunken stupor, usually burned it. Pagne didn’t eat much. She didn’t talk much either and doctors thought it was because of Leah’s frequent drinking during her pregnancy. But, according to Pagne, she just didn’t have anything much to say.
One hot summer evening, Leah drank herself into another stupor and passed out on the bathroom floor, leaving Pagne alone with Adam. He grinned at her and turned on some cartoons. Their TV only had three channels. Luckily, one was cartoons... most of the time. Pagne loved cartoons. She could watch them all day and pretend she lived in the TV where she could fly like a super hero. Adam sat down in the old recliner and motioned for Pagne to come over to him. When she came close, he reached out and grabbed her by the waist, pulling her onto his lap.

“Your mommy is outta service, so maybe Adam and Pagne can have some fun? You wanna play with me, sweetheart?” Her instincts told her it wasn’t good. Adam’s breath stunk from the liquor. She felt his arms tighten around her. Pagne began to whimper and tried to pull away. Adam was whispering and sputtering spit into her ear.

“Be quiet. I’m not going to hurt you. Trust me, you’ll like it ... well, I will.”  She felt one hand on her leg and the other sliding up her belly, lifting up her t-shirt. Pagne brought her leg up and slammed it down hard, kicking him in the shin with her heel. He grabbed her even tighter, squeezing her painfully. She kicked his shin again and this time he let go. As he grabbed at his leg, Pagne was able to slip off of his lap and head to the front door. Adam jumped out of the chair and lunged at her, screaming with anger and pain. He was behind her and grabbed her arms. It hurt terribly and she began kicking and screaming. Her screams woke Leah who came stumbling into the room, yelling for Adam to shut the brat up. She was confused when she saw Adam and Pagne struggling by the door.

“What is going on?”  She bellowed.

Adam released Pagne and spun around to face Leah. “Nuthin’, kid just went nuts on me, she tried to run away.” It took a few minutes for Leah’s drunken brain to absorb the situation.

“So, my little Pagne didn’t wanna play with you huh?”  Leah showed no reaction as she tried to remain standing. She managed to focus on Pagne’s face and gave her the most hateful glare Pagne had ever seen. Pagne pulled open the front door and ran out, tears filling her eyes and clouding her vision. Through her tears, Pagne thought she saw white wings fluttering around her, then blackness.

When Pagne woke up, she hurt all over. Every part of her was bruised and sore. Her head was pounding with pain. She could hear voices, but she didn’t want to open her eyes. She could hear a sweet lady’s voice speaking to her at times. She was curious about the woman, but decided it was better to pretend that she was somewhere else. Sleep, she just wanted to sleep. It didn’t hurt so bad when she slept. In her dreams, she could fly with wonderful white wings as others flew around her,  laughing, dipping, and gliding.

Pagne woke up to her mother’s voice, speaking close to her ear. “You gotta wake up. What am I going to do with a brain-dead kid?  I can’t deal with this Pagne. Wake up now!” Pagne opened her eyes and looked at her mother. Her face was not haggard and worn from worry, but the familiar face of someone hung over. Leah’s breath reeked of wine. “Well it’s about time. What took you so long... sweetheart?” Sweetheart was thrown in for the benefit of the nurse who had just walked in. “Me and Adam have been worried sick. You scared your mama something awful.” As the nurse finished her duties and left the room, Leah moved in closer and whispered. “Pagne, they think Adam hurt you. We both know that’s a big fat lie, right?  The police are going to talk to you. Mommy can’t lose Adam, baby. You gotta fix this.”
Later that day, several officers and a very nervous, skinny woman named Miss Lament, came into Pagne’s room. The officers tried to be friendly and brought a teddy bear with them. It was very cute and Pagne found it oddly comforting to hug. Miss Lament, who didn’t smile and had very tiny, beady eyes, was trying to ask Pagne what had happened with Adam. Pagne decided she didn’t have anything to say. She knew that Adam was a bad man, but even at her tender age, Pagne intuitively understood that it was her mother’s truth. Leah needed him.

The officers and Miss Lament left frustrated. Her mother had been waiting in the hall and slipped in. “Good girl. Now we just have to convince the judge. We’re going to move in with Adam once this whole mess is cleared up. He’s going to take care of both of us. Won’t that be nice? We’ll be a family real soon!”  Pagne didn’t respond.

 “We hit the jackpot, baby,” cooed Leah.

That evening, the sweet-talking nurse was on duty. She took Pagne’s temperature and adjusted her tubing. While she worked, she talked softly to Pagne, assuring her that she would be fine. As she turned to leave, Pagne grabbed her hand, squeezing it tight. The nurse, who’s nametag said “Mrs. Greenly,” looked into Pagne’s eyes. She saw fear and worry in them. She asked, “What’s wrong, hon? You in pain?”  Pagne took a deep breath and spoke in a whisper for the first time since waking up.

“What happened?” she asked.

“Oh honey, no one has told you what’s going on?  Well, I’m not sure why, but you ran out your front door and then you fell down three flights of cement stairs. You broke your leg and your arm, cracked your head, and have lots of bumps and bruises. You are very lucky that you didn’t hurt yourself even worse. I believe you have a guardian angel, dear. Yep, an angel that cushioned your fall. We all have an angel, you know. Talk to mine sometimes, when I’m sad or scared. You should thank your angel for protecting you. They have a thankless job!”

Pagne asked when she would be going home. “You should be able to go home in a few days,” the nurse answered. Pagne began to weep softly. “Oh sweetheart, that’s not that far away.” The nurse looked into Pagne’s face and realized this was something different. “Don’t you want to go home?”  Pagne just closed her eyes and let go of the sweet nurses hand.

After she left, Pagne whispered quietly, “Thank you.” She did see wings, she was sure of it.


Pagne lay in her bed, a cast on her right arm, a cast on her left leg, bandages here and there, and a dull headache as Leah filled out all the paperwork for her release. Leah looked at the prescriptions for Pagne and was grumbling that nothing was strong enough to do her much good. “The least they could do is give us Valium,” Leah complained. Several nurses entered the room and helped Pagne into a wheelchair. Pagne’s doctor and a police officer walked into the room. “Now, Miss Crenshaw, there are some requirements you must meet to have your daughter home with you,” said the officer. “This Adam Williams is not to be within 300 yards of your daughter or your residence.”

“But he didn’t do anything,” Leah insisted.

“That might be, but until the judge makes his determination, the restraining order is in effect,” the officer responded.

“Yes, of course,” Leah snapped.

Pagne’s doctor stepped toward Leah and began speaking. “Here is the treatment plan for Champagne’s after care. Her therapy is crucial if she is to have a full recovery. I also want to stress that she will need a balanced, healthy diet and a safe, clean environment. Obviously, the stairs will present a safety issue. Have you made arrangements for assistance?”

“Yes, I have taken care of everything,” She lied.

“Mrs. Crenshaw, a child services worker will be checking in,” reminded the officer.

“Yes, I know, another person telling me what to do. Can we leave now?”

“Yes, you may. But remember, your court appearance is at three o’clock today. We will remove Champagne from your care if you fail to appear.”

“Yes, I know, I know,” replied Leah, disrespecting the officer.

The nurses put Pagne into the cab for the ride home while Leah had a cigarette. Once her nicotine fix was satisfied, she climbed into the cab next to Pagne. She shot the nurses a hard glare when their faces revealed their disapproval of her indifference. Pagne sat quietly while Leah went on and on about their new life with Adam. Leah talked about how Adam really cared about them, how happy they would all be together, and how Adam would bring money into the house. Leah finally shut up and drifted into her fantasy of a wonderful future with Adam.
Pagne considered telling her mother what Adam had done, but she was a smart girl. She knew there was no point. Her mother already knew. When they got to the hotel, Leah struggled to get Pagne upstairs, cursing with each step. Once inside the room, Pagne looked around and wasn’t surprised to see that nothing the doctor had listed was done. Pagne hopped over to the couch and sat in silence.

“Wanna toaster pastry, doll? Know how much you love them.” Pagne shook her head and turned on the TV.

A few minutes later, there was a tap on the door. Leah opened it and Adam’s head popped in.

“Hey, my two favorite girls. Just wanted to stop by and bring Pagne a get well gift.”

 It was a tin of mints from the liquor store down the street and a car air freshener in the shape of a rose.

“What did you bring mama?” asked Leah with a little girl voice and a giggle. Adam slipped a big bottle of champagne around the door.

“Can I come in for awhile?” he asked.

“No baby, not till the court says it’s okay. My neighbor next door has big ears and eyes. This should all be resolved this afternoon. You gotta be patient.” Leah laughed as Adam tried to grope her through the opening. “We’ll all be together soon,” assured Leah. Adam looked over at Pagne and winked with a disgusting lick of his lips.

“Okay, but I miss you guys. Good to have you back with us, Pagne.” Pagne turned the TV volume up and ignored him.

“She’ll warm up to ya, baby, just give her some time. I’ll call when I get out of court.” Leah closed the door, giggling. She looked over at Pagne. Pagne could feel Leah’s eyes on her, but she refused to respond.


Pagne was very nervous sitting in the courtroom, waiting to find out what the judges decision would be. Everyone was so serious, except her mother. She whispered insulting comments about everyone. Sticks up their “you know what’s” and other such childish remarks. When it was their turn to appear before the judge, Leah bounced up, flicking her hair. Once she was up at the front, she suddenly seemed to realize that Pagne was still struggling to get out of her seat. She smiled and loudly proclaimed, “It’s okay baby, Mommy is here.” She went back and very graciously helped Pagne into the aisle. Her performance impressed Pagne. Once she made it to the front, Pagne sat at the table facing the judge.

Leah began by explaining that the whole thing had been a misunderstanding. She explained that Pagne had been throwing a temper-tantrum and Adam was trying to keep her from running out of the room. When the judge asked if she was in the room at the time, she admitted that she was not. She was suffering from one of her migraines and was lying on the bathroom floor for relief. “The cool tile is soothing,” she explained.

They called forward Pagne’s doctor and he described the extensive bruising on Pagne’s thighs, chest, and arms. In the photos he presented, handprints were clearly visible. Leah did not have any explanation for the bruises. The judge looked at Pagne and asked if she had anything she wanted to say. Pagne just looked out the window at the beautiful blue sky, wishing she could fly away.

The lawyer representing Pagne’s interests made a good case that the events before her fall were clearly assault and possibly molestation. The judge agreed and ordered the restraining order to stand, pending further investigation. Adam was taken in and interrogated by the police after Pagne was admitted to the hospital. He wasn’t arrested, but he did have a court date. 

Leah went into a rage. “This is ridiculous. You are punishing a good man, my man, for something that was very innocent. This isn’t fair,” she yelled.

“Well, Miss Crenshaw, if you want to have your daughter in your home, you must honor the restraining order. If you disregard the order, Champagne will be placed in the care of the state until this case is resolved,” responded the judge with obvious distain.

“Well, I don’t think me and Adam should have to suffer because of this brat’s behavior. We have a life to start. You guys can deal with her until this mess is cleaned up,” Leah said as she looked at Pagne in disgust. Leah then turned and walked out of the courtroom.

Everyone stood there in shock. No one knew what to say or do. Pagne hobbled over to the window and allowed one tear to roll down her face, just one. Then she looked to the skies and flew far away.

Helping Others Through Writing
By Karen Arnpriester

As a mature woman, the desire to write was ignited in my spirit.  I can’t tell you why now, but I know that it has become a very real part of who I am. My life has been filled with trials and difficulties, just as everyone else’s. I made big mistakes, learned life lessons and survived. I came to realize that my life lessons could be put to pen and encourage others that are traveling the same paths.

My first book Anessia’s Quest was purely fictional. Children in the foster care system have always tugged at my heart. So much so, that I became a foster mom, adopting our two daughters and fostering more. I also struggled with the point of life, what purpose do we serve? Does it matter that I existed? Foster children and questions about life prompted the subject of my book. I only had a beginning and an end for my story. The rest of the book was an emotional journey that I traveled through as I wrote. The characters and events flowed in as the story evolved. When I was finished, I knew that I would reach the hearts of readers and encourage them to consider the ripple they generate with each response and gesture. It also healed a part of me, knowing that each of us is born with divine intent.

My faith in God had been a battle from the age of eighteen to forty. I decided many times to be an atheist but God had connected me to Him in ways I could not ignore. When I began writing Raider’s Vendetta, I did not see the connection to my own life until the story was finished. I realized that I was Raider and Charley, the mature Christian woman in the story. The pain, anger, discovery and resolution were mine. There was a sense of freedom that came with the completion of Raider’s Vendetta. I realized that God had provided me with answers that I could share for some of the difficult questions that kept me separate from Him. There are still answers I seek, but I trust that I will find peace and understanding at the chosen time.

My third book, Leadbottom, is my life. I was not equipped to write this story, not at first, but I know that this is the book I am supposed to write. Anessaia’s Quest was sticking my toes in the water, Raider’s Vendetta was floating without assistance, and Leadbottom is jumping off the high dive. I struggle with how truthful to be. Do I want my children and grandchildren to know all the dark secrets I protected for so long? Most everyone encourages me to be transparent and honest. The more honest I am, the more profound the story of healing will be, but it is my heart on those pages, my shame, and my guilt. Yes, it may inspire, encourage and even educate, but at what price? I tell myself that God knows all my stuff and He forgives me. It doesn’t matter what mortal man thinks, but as I come to events in my story, I think about how I will be seen. Will readers judge or be thankful that someone said it out loud.

So, for now, Leadbottom will be fiction, inspired by a true story. Not even the people closest to me will know exactly what is true and what it contrived. The names will be changed to protect the guilty, including myself. Writing Leadbottom is scary and I ask myself why continue, but I know that this story, my story is my divine intent. I can bring the damage of bullying out into the open so that others might identify the pain and self-loathing in themselves or their loved ones. I am praying that they will seek healing and God’s grace to know their value and cherish who they are. Who knows, when I’m done, it may be non-fiction.

I encourage those of you who have allowed the idea of writing to dance through your imagination to step out onto the floor. You may only entertain yourself, but you could bring hope to others lost in the struggle of life.

Karen's Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet Karen Arnpriester, fiction author who captures life struggles. (Tweet This)

Karen Arnpriester’s fiction will encourage others that are traveling difficult paths. (Tweet This)

Karen Arnpriester: atheist but God connected her to Him in ways she couldn’t ignore. (Tweet This)

Karen Anrpriester: foster children, life lessons, and battles with God for story subjects. (Tweet This)

Author Bio:
Karen Slimick Arnpriester is a Christian fiction author (Anessia’s Quest and Raider’s Vendetta) who writes about real life conflict and struggles. Her stories do not sugarcoat the trials that humanity must endure, whether is it abuse, abandonment, addictions or the need to discover the purpose of life. Karen wants to challenge the reader to evaluate their beliefs and where God fits into their lives. The stories are sprinkled with blessings from Heaven in the form of angels, miracles and God’s divine intent. Karen’s next release, Leadbottom, is a story of bullying inspired from a true story. Mrs. Arnpriester resides in Manteca, California and is a wife, mother, grandmother and adoptive mother of her foster daughters. While writing is her passion, she also owns a successful graphic art business, Karen's Koncepts.
You can connect with Karen at:


  1. Thanks for your honesty Karen. Love it that you are willing to be vulnerable and talk about the struggles and hard times you've gone thru. I'm sure your words will help a lot of people. Would love to read your books...thanks for entering my name in the giveaway:-)

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Lorna, good luck on the book giveaways. Do you have a preference? Anessia's is emotional and angels. Raider's is quite the thriller. They were both such a different but wonderful experience to write.

    2. Lorna, it's always a joy seeing you here on Everyone's Story ♡

  2. I am very honored to be featured this week. I look forward to interacting with readers and fellow authors.

    1. It's my pleasure to host you, Karen :)

  3. It was great getting to know you, Karen. I admire your transparency. It's not always easy to be so. When I worked with teens in the abstinence program, I think my transparency about being a teen mother spoke to them. Look forward to reading your books.
    pat at ptbradley dot com

  4. Hi Patricia. How wonderful that you worked with teens. I was involved with our teen group at church for many years. Once I started doing foster care, the energy level was greatly zapped and I had to step back. But I loved the interaction and so many of the girls I became close to still keep in touch! It is a wonderful feeling to know that you made an impact.

    1. Thanks for the visit, Pat.

      I admire you both, Pat and Karen, for devoting your hearts and time to children, indeed the future of the world. May God bless you two richly.

  5. Hi Karen & Elaine -

    Gritty stories interest me. I enjoyed reading about Karen's journey and would like to read one of her books.

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

    Susan :)

    1. Thanks for your visit today, Susan. I can just see Karen smiling when she reads your comment :)

    2. Thank you for commenting Susan. I also love gritty stories. Never was a romance girl. If you'd like a taste, the first 12 chapters are a free download on my sites. Wishing you luck on the giveaway.

  6. Thank you Karen, for your stories and allowing the tough stuff from your life filter into your stories to help others. Foster care is very near and dear to my heart. We have many children in my extended family that have arrived through our "hearts" versus "blood." As a result of my experience with my nephew and cousins, I went into foster care and worked in the system as a foster care worker first, then adoption worker before quitting so I could raise our own family. Now I still work with the foster care system to a degree through my other line of work and would love to someday become a respite foster parent. My husband and I were just talking about it this weekend again. The desire gets stronger as our children grow older.

    I would love to win any of your books; I prefer printed copies but would be happy to read them in any format.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

    In Him,

    Cheri :)

    1. Thanks for your visit and interest in Karen's story, Cheri. Interesting to learn a bit more about you--love your dedication to children's welfare. What a blessing it is for you to help others... and a blessing returned to you to see children smiling and having hope again.

      Be sure to re-visit again for Karen's reply.

    2. Cheri, it is so wonderful to know that there are others out there who are aware of the pain these kids endure. We have had our girls for three years, but the heartbreak of losing their parents sill comes up. Our eight year old cried Mother's Day evening, apologizing to me that she still wished she could see her mom on Mother's Day. They need people who are willing to love them through the tough stuff. Good luck with the drawing, and with your foster parenting. They need everyone with a heart for kids they can get.

  7. AnonymousMay 18, 2013

    Im Karens sister. I just want to say that when I read her books I was amazed at how good they were, not because I expected them to be bad but I didn't realize how talented she was as a writer. I proudly recommend her books because they are well written and interesting. You will loose yourself in the stories. Proud of you sis!

    1. Hi, Karen's sister! So glad for your visit here. Although I encourage my guests to share their blog segments with friends and family, you're the first family member that has written in support to one of my guests and it really makes me smile with warmth and happiness. I always appreciate when families stick together!

      Hope to see you again on Everyone's Story.

    2. Hey sis, thanks for the kind words, even after all the years of torment I put you through, you still love me.

  8. I recently read Anessia's Quest. I was so amazed by this authentic and interesting read. This book did not pull any punches, It described events that were horrific and frightening. The author doesn't sugar coat things, but she also doesn't go into so much detail that you are "grossed out" or otherwise turned aside by graphic information that can detract from a good story. My own history doesn't involve having been personally in foster care, but my husband and I have been involved in foster care a little bit. As such, I have been exposed to some of the sad truths that are evident in this book. You are exposed to a system that is often like a big unfeeling monster because individuals are forced to make choices which may rip apart an emotional family based on it not quite fitting within the confines of the "rules". The book goes into details of the emotional impact of such terrible choices. I couldn't put this down, I was a mess while reading it knowing that such things really do happen. I genuinely appreciated that Mrs Arnpriester didn't make events "good" all the time. The main character didn't have a smooth ride and she was never given an easy time of it, but she maintained a strong faith in God. It was a delight to see such a strong faith in God maintained throughout a great deal of very difficult situations.

    I would absolutely love to have an e-copy of Raider's Vendetta to catch up on what happens to Raider. My email is Thank you for the opportunity to have a copy of this book! The first chapter which was at the end of Anessia's Quest (also e-book) drew me in!

    1. Dawn, welcome to Everyone's Story. What a great review of Karen's novel. I love your enthusiasm of wanting to read more by this author--that always pleases me to see that about my guests.

      Hope to see you again here.


    2. Hi Dawn, thank you so much for your very kind comments. I am so thankful that Anessia's touched your heart. The struggle of children in the foster system has always been a concern for me. I am so thankful that I am married to a man with a big heart that was willing to travel the journey of foster parenting with me. We have fallen in love with our two daughters and soon we will be a family in the eyes of the court. We are already a family in our hearts. Good luck with the drawing!

  9. AnonymousMay 23, 2013

    Having read Anessia's Quest, I found it to be very engaging. Karen did a great job creating believable characters that resonated with me. Each one finds their own path like we all do. At points, I was moved to tears. I highly recommend it.

    1. Hi there-- thanks so much for your visit this evening! In my opinion, that's when an author knows she's succeeded: when she can make a reader laugh or cry, the two extremes of emotions. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure this will please Karen when she reads it.

  10. What a fun and busy week it has been here on Everyone's Story, all thanks for my very sweet guest, Karen Arnpriester. Heartfelt thanks, Karen, for guesting. You've received a lot of hits, both within the US, and a handful or two of countries from around the world. I pray that this blog segment brings you many new readers, and also, that you will touch the hearts of many and encourage them through the difficulties of life.

    Thanks too for the awesome book giveaways, and to so many viewers. And the winners are:


    Both Karen and I will be in touch with all of you via direct emails.

    God bless everyone.


Add This