Tag Archives: Karen Baney

Spotlight on Historical Romance — The Restless Wrangler

4 Nov

About The Book

Book: The Restless Wrangler

Author: Karen Baney

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Christian Western

Release Date: March 8, 2023

A Prodigal Son, Surprise Baby Christian Historical Cowboy Romance. Compelling love story full of heartache and redemption set in Ash Fork, Arizona Territory in 1893-1894.

Preston Colter felt like he was the forgotten son. Years of drinking and drifting finally catch up to him. When a near-death experience recharts the course of his life, he finds himself face-to-face with an old flame. Will he prove he is a new and different man, or will he fall back into his old destructive ways

Years ago, Hetty Clark made one bad choice to follow her attraction to a man she loved which led to the birth of her son out of wedlock. After she inherits her father’s ranch, an older man offers her security for her son’s future if she marries him. When the man from her past shows up on her doorstep, she is faced with a difficult decision. Will she choose a loveless proposal to secure her son’s future? Or will she risk her heart on a man she doesn’t believe has really changed?Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

Karen Baney is passionate about writing stories full of flawed characters. She enjoys weaving together stories of second chances, redemption, and overcoming personal trials. As a transplant to Arizona in the late 1990s, she loves researching the state’s history and finding ways to seamlessly incorporate real history and real settings into her novels. In addition to writing and speaking, Karen works as a Software Development Manager for a Christian ministry.

Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing. Karen and her husband, Jim, make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs, Bella and Daisy. Both Jim and Karen are active at Rock Point Church in Queen Creek, Arizona.

More from Karen

What was the inspiration behind Preston Colter’s character?

I love a good prodigal story—partly because I was one. I also figured in a family with five boys and one daughter, at least one of them had to have a rebellious streak. Very early in developing the series, I felt like this role would be perfect for a fifth son.

Why did you write the series in the first person?

A few years ago, I read a historical series by Tess Thompson where she wrote the hero and heroine in the first person. I had enjoyed how the point of view felt deeper when written in the first person, so with the Colter Sons Series, I decided to give it a try. Since then, I’ve loved hearing from many readers how much they’ve enjoyed it.

If you’re a little nervous about reading something in the first person, please take advantage of the sample download feature available on most ereaders, including Kindle. The point of view characters are clearly marked at the beginning of the chapter and whenever the point of view changes.

Hetty Clark is a rancher?! What inspired you to choose that profession for her, especially since the book is set in 1893?

One of my favorite research sites for Arizona territorial history is the Sharlot Hall Museum’s online archives and “Days Past” articles. I read several articles about the early days of Prescott, Arizona’s Independence Day Celebrations. These were HUGE events for the town and surrounding communities, which eventually expanded into Cowboy Tournaments (aka Rodeo).

After reading an article about the women winners in the Cowboy Tournament in 1888, I dug deeper into what competitions the women participated in. I was surprised to learn that many of the women worked on ranches right alongside their husbands or brothers.

I enjoy writing strong female characters in unconventional roles, so making Hetty Clark a bronc rider and a ranch manager fit perfectly with the type of woman I pictured for Preston.

Q & A With Karen Baney

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I always had a vivid imagination. I made up stories in my head or even with my brother or sister as we played. In Junior High, my creative outlet quickly became drawing and painting. The very first “book” I wrote was in the eighth grade as part of an English class assignment. I was so excited to use both my drawing skills and creative
writing skills. My teacher gave me 100% grade on the final version which built my confidence, even though it was several decades later before I started pursuing a writing career.

Why did you choose Christian Historical Romance genre?

I grew up reading Janette Oke books which I loved. Her characters inspired. So as an eighth-grader (clearly a pivotal age for me), I wrote her a sweet letter about how much her books bolstered my faith. You know the crazy thing? She wrote me back! I still have that letter. When I decided to write, I wanted readers to experience what I experienced through Janette’s books. I also love history and I knew very little about Arizona history. The process of researching the history of my current home state inspired my first novel and has continued to influence everything since.

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

For my historical novels, I love reading books and visiting museums to research the background, events, and culture of the time period. I also like visiting the location, when possible, and finding photos of the location during that time. One of my favorite finds was a limited-edition book on the Santa Fe, Prescott, & Phoenix Railway. This book led to me choosing Ash Fork as the setting for The Restless Wrangler. It was also one of my primary sources for most of the books in the Colter Sons Series. I would have never thought to pick surveying as a career for one of the Colter Sons (Boone in Book 2) without this source.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I’m a dual career woman, so my writing time varies dramatically. Sometimes it’s squeezing in a chapter or two after a long workday. Other times, it’s planning a weekend of 5,000 to 10,000 words (which is a lot for a weekend with other activities). I also like to re-read my story if I haven’t touched it for a few weeks, so I try to plan that for weeknights so my weekends are as productive as possible. Outlines and story ideas can happen anytime. I carry an electronic notebook with me so I can jot down or work on planning whenever and wherever.

How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

I outline when the ideas come even if I might not start writing the book for years. The harder part is choosing what becomes a novel and when. Over the past two years, I usually write a first draft in six to eight weeks if I have a few dedicated weekends in there. Editing takes as long as it needs to. Sometimes it’s several weeks. Sometimes I let a story “percolate” for a month before I come back to editing so I see it with fresh eyes. Most of my novels run about 3-5 months total. I also have several novels in progress at one time, so when I get writer’s block, I move on to another novel and come back to the original when I’m ready.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

The Restless Wrangler was one of my favorite books to write. I love a good Prodigal Son story and mashing that with a second-chance trope? Fun, fun, fun!

The setting and year was inspired by my research. But the meat of the story came from a desire to remind us that God’s grace is sufficient for every one of us, no matter how much we mess up our lives.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Regardless of what topics I write about or how the romance unfolds, I hope readers will see some aspect of who God is and his deep abiding love for us in every novel I write. There is no person too far gone. God loves and forgives us all. Now if we could just get that forgiving ourselves thing down, imagine what we could do!

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

For the next year or so, I’m working on several contemporary romance stories. The Air I Breathe just released in August and it kicks off a new urban contemporary romance series called Steadfast Love. It follows a single mom starting over in Arizona. She makes some mistakes with her boyfriend and they both must navigate it and accept God’s steadfast love and forgiveness. In November, I’m kicking off a contemporary cowboy romance series. Falling for a Real Cowboy is the first book in the Vargas Ranch series set in Wickenburg, Arizona. She’s trying to resurrect her writing career. He’s given up on love. Will this city-vs-country duo discover love along the way?

Blog Stops

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 2 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 3

By The Book, November 4 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 6 (Author Interview)

lakesidelivingsite, November 7

Sylvan Musings, November 8 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 9

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 10 (Author Interview)

Bizwings Book Blog, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Artistic Nobody, November 12 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 12

Simple Harvest Reads, November 13 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Guild Master, November 14 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 15


To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 gift card with signed paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.