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Friday, March 28, 2014

The Calling -- but why?

The beautiful cover alone (thanks Livia!) gives the reader a sense of what is to come in the pages that follow. A shadowed cowboy. A white church in Texas hill country. A brewing storm. And that lightning ... but why write this particular story? Well, let me tell you.

I have loved the music of Marty Robbins my entire life. Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs was a mainstay in any CD case I owned. But there was something about The Master's Call ... it gave me chills so I would skip over that particular song more than I would listen to it.

While my family and I lived in Oklahoma, one morning I woke and opened the window while my beautiful children got ready for school. Something on the breeze was so calming and soothing with just a touch of a springtime thunderstorm on the horizon and in the air. I turned on The Master's Call and all of my children (I have four!!) sort of appeared in silence at the kitchen table. There was a definite MOMENT happening.

After they made it to school, I sat down and began to write. Why did the cowboy in the song do what he did? What was in his heart? Can God REALLY love us when we turn our backs on him repeatedly, choosing darkness over light? In His infinite wisdom, will He be there when we need Him the most? Being a romance author, of course I had to add a love interest -- Ella Allen-- to the tortured hero -- Esau Fitzpatrick. Most of the novel was completed that day at my kitchen table ... however it wasn't finished until years later.

In the pages, journey with Esau as he falls away from God and denounces his faith after a horrific 19th century accident. Ride with him through the hold-ups, robberies, and cat houses as Esau tries over and over again to prove himself to the notorious Covington-Jones Gang, all the while trying to push beautiful Ella Allen from his mind.

But when his life hangs in the balance, is Esau strong enough to finally make the right choice?
Or is God's strength, coupled with our faith (even just the size of a mustard seed) enough to move mountains?

Check out the song that inspired this thrilling literary ride here. 

I love this review of The Calling from Amazon! 

Sara Barnard is already a bestselling Historical and Amish Romance author. Now she is adding Christian Western fiction to her list. If you love flawed characters who need saving, you will love Esau. The humor in the story is an added plus. It's not a long story, but it's one you will want to read again and again. I predict another bestseller for Sara Barnard!


  1. Sounds like a great way to try to answer that question. The way it came to you and the result are just wonderful. Wishing you the very best with this story, it deserves it. Doris

  2. Sara, what a great review! You must be on Cloud 9, and I know I am FOR you! I am a dyed-in-the-wool Marty Robbins fan (as you know!) and I thought of that song the entire time I was reading this book of yours. Congratulations on this fine story, and the first of what is to come in many wonderful reviews for it!

  3. Great post. The imagery of the Oklahoma open-window moment really gives The Calling a backbone. Keep up the wonderful work!

  4. Sara,
    The story sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading it. The story came to you when it needed to come, and you were the one to tell it. It's hard to turn away when that whisper is in your ear. Congrats!!