our story

Dad 2
On the same afternoon our first publishing contract came through, we received a phone call from my Dad: “This could be bad. I may have leukemia.”

That one call took us from an extreme high to an extreme low in the span of an hour. The hard work of the three previous years all faded away when we learned my Dad, “Cowboy Rick” (as he is affectionately known) had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of T-cell leukemia- PLL. We knew we had an uphill battle when social media couldn’t even help us find another survivor of this terrible disease.


I began writing in 2001, but did not start actively pursuing publication until just a few years ago. I believe more than anything that God’s timing was perfect, and Adele’s story in my debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was to come alive during this very difficult time in my life.

Part of this book was edited at our local cancer center, during my Dad’s chemo treatments. We all sat together in the room, listening to him play the dulcimer and guitar for the patients and staff.  The remaining portions of editing were completed shortly after he went on to be with the Lord. So, dear friends, you might think this is  a sad story. (True, it was the most difficult valley-walking we’ve ever had…) But, ah… how the Son of God changes all things! How close Jesus was to our weary, broken, fearful, uncertain, trusting, shaken, open, and wounded hearts. We spent thirteen days in ICU before we were given a peaceful goodbye, and I had enough time to dedicate my first book to my Dad.


Romans Ch. 8If you’re hurting today, I’d share Romans Chapter 8 with you. (I read it aloud at a special bedside once.)

I’d also share Psalm 139, so you’d know that you’re loved, beautifully crafted by the Master’s hands, wanted, hemmed-in, and so valuable in His eyes.

And if you’re at the start of a journey (you may be frightened like our family was) – I’d tell you to write Joshua 1:9 on a scrap of paper and keep it with you everywhere you go. I’ve read these scriptures many times since those days in the hospital.  And though we will have troubles in this life, WE ARE NOT ALONE. The hurts are cleansed. The sin redeemed. The failures covered. The hearts healed –and yes, we will be made whole again (James 1:4-5).


With JOY in the Journey,

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2 thoughts on “our story

  1. Hi Kristy!
    I just was able to check back here for your reply! My husband and I just returned from Europe on Saturday. ☺ Thank you! It was an epic wedding & honeymoon indeed! And my present novel and the ones I’ve planned after that are all dancing around in my head now, begging even more to be put down on paper. But you definitely know how that is. Lol

    I finished Butterfly while in Germany (sorry no pic though!) and wow, it was incredible and so heart-rending and uplifting! God inspired for sure! He has blessed you with a lot of talent! I can’t wait to read your next release. I’ve already pre-ordered it.

    If you have a fan or influencer team I’d love to be considered for it. I’m a definite fan now! And I am a member of ACFW. I have been for a few years and I’m one of the volunteer author interviewers. I do hope our paths cross via email or in person. I’d love to go over our books a bit too! And hear more about your writing journey too.

    Hope you have a great week!

    In Christ’s Love,
    Morgan Tarpley (Smith)

    1. Oh Morgan… I am tempted to shout: “Tell me EVERYTHING about Europe!!!” Ha ha ha! I know it’s a desire of my heart to go. Because of that, I know also that God’s going to provide the way. I can’t wait (seriously — CANNOT WAIT) until that day comes. I’ll dance. I’ll cry. Maybe even dance a jig! Europe… here I come! ; )

      I am so please that you read ‘Butterfly’ and that it found a way to touch your heart. When my reader friends take the time to stop by here and tell me that — it just provides the most powerful blessings to me. THANK YOU so much. I’d be pleased for our paths to cross – at ACFW or otherwise. Let’s connect on Facebook. I’ll find you. Hugs – Kristy

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