Posts Tagged: karen barnett

Book Review: ‘When Stone Wings Fly,’ by Karen Barnett

When Stone Wings Fly: A Smoky Mountains Novel 

Kieran Lucas’s grandmother is slipping into dementia, and when her memory is gone, Kieran’s last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, flashbacks of her mother’s death torment Granny Mac and there’s precious little Kieran can do to help.

In 1931, the creation of the new Great Smoky Mountains National Park threatens Rosie McCauley’s home. Rosie vows the only way the commission will get her land is if they haul her off in a pine box.

When a compromise offers her and her disabled sister the opportunity to stay for Rosie’s lifetime, her acceptance sets her apart from the other mountain folk. And the bond she’s forming with ornithologist and outsider Benton Fuller only broadens the rift.

Eighty-five years later, Kieran heads back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find answers to her great-grandmother’s mysterious death and bring peace to Granny Mac before it’s too late. Park Historian Zach Jensen may be the key to locating both the answers.

But what Kieran needs clashes with the government regulations Zach is sworn to uphold. Can she trust God for a solution to heal this generations-old wound?

My Thoughts

As a former park ranger, author Karen Barnett has found her writing niche. Using national parks as her novel settings comes naturally.

Having moved a short drive from the Smoky Mountains, the setting of her latest novel, Barnett’s carefully crafted words make me feel like I am hiking through the forest with her characters.

From the beginning, the main character’s conflict drew me into the story. She has a disabled sister whom she loves but can cause unwanted troubles adding to financial issues, making for real-life struggles, all wrapped up in a beautiful setting.

The mystery of the past, intertwined with the troubles of the future and a little romance added into the storyline, makes this a recipe for a book that once you start reading, you don’t want to put down until you have reached the last page.

Aiden loves Karen’s mascot, Ranger Bear. Check out Aiden’s blog post, “Ranger Bear Gets a Ride.”

About the Author

Karen Barnett, the award-winning author of eight novels, writes historical romance that sweeps readers into the beauty and adventure of our national parks. A former park ranger and naturalist, she worked at Mount Rainier National Park, Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park, and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two kids, and three mischievous dachshunds. When not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, public speaking, and decorating crazy birthday cakes.

In 2016, she was named Writer of the Year by the prestigious Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) honored her with the Writer of Promise Award in 2013 and a 2014 Cascade Award for her debut novel, Mistaken.

Learn more about Karen at

Ranger Bear Gets a Ride

As a service dog, I am always at Christy’s side, so I go everywhere with her. She took me to a place called Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to the place where they make and sell Moon Pies.

There were all sorts of good things to smell and my nose was on overload.

But Christy had a purpose and I soon found out what it was.

To surprise Karen Barnett, her author friend. Karen was a national park ranger and now writes novels that are set in national parks. I couldn’t resist giving her a slurp or two or three.

I got to meet Ranger Bear.

He’s Karen’s mascot and chief representative of her Vintage National Parks novels. Mom follows his adventures whenever Karen writes about them. I got to give him a ride in my pocket.

Ranger Bear even has his own Instagram account @rangerbear_adventures. How cool is that?!

I’ve been to a few national parks myself.

The Grand Canyon:

Crater Lake:

But this one is Christy’s favorite, as it is where she and Kevin spent their honeymoon, whatever that is.