Coffee with Karen Barney

It’s that time of day when we take a little break and sit down with the authors we love and get to know them a little better.

Today, I chatted with Karen Barney about her new book, The Air I Breathe, what inspired the story as well as any advice she might have for aspiring writers.

 So grab a cup of your favorite drink and maybe a little snack and enjoy the conversation.

Thank you for joining me, Karen. It is so nice to chat with you.

Share with us what is the key theme and/or message for The Air I Breathe.

Regardless of our mistakes and sins, God forgives us—even when we repeat the same ones over and over again. His love is steadfast, and His Spirit gives us life and strength to face any challenge in life, even the ones of our own making.

Amen, and thank the Lord for that unfailing love or we would be in a bigger mess than we already are. 

Karen, you are a new author to me, and possibly many of my readers, so I’m curious, how many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

The Air I Breathe is my 19th book and I have a cowboy romance series kicking off in November which will be book 20.

It’s so hard to pick a favorite book, as I tend to have favorite characters. Matt Dixon, in The Air I Breathe, is one of my favorite characters of all time. I love that he has a messy past but really embraced God’s love. When he makes a huge mistake and tailspins, he still allows God to draw him back to Himself. And he desperately wants to do the right thing.

I love it. I know what you mean, picking a favorite book you’ve written is like picking your favorite child. It isn’t possible. Matt, however, sounds like a character worth adding to your favorites list. 

Apparently, you have been writing for some time to have so many books published. What advice would you give a new writer or someone just starting out?

There’s a lot of advice out there about all aspects of writing, marketing, and publishing. It’s tempting to listen to the hottest new voice or to panic and try a bunch of things that might not be right for you.

Know yourself. Know your brand. What types of books do you want to write and is there a common theme that makes them uniquely you? (Mine is Christian fiction set in Arizona with flawed characters in need of redemption). This will help you focus your time on books that fit with your brand.

Also, pray for wisdom. In James, we are told if we lack wisdom, to ask God for it. He’ll help you discover what to spend your time on, what to write, and how to market.

Great advice and I agree completely.

Before you go, are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with the readers?

The first book in my cowboy romance series, Falling for a Real Cowboy, is released on November 21st. I’m currently writing the sequel to it (Falling for a Shy Cowboy) and the sequel to The Air I Breathe (The Shadow I Hide). We’ll see which gets released first. 😉

So the race is on! I love it.

Thank you again, Karen, for joining me today. I hope this tour blesses you, and I look forward to seeing more from you. 


      Readers, please be sure to keep reading and enter the giveaway. 

      About the Book

      Book: The Air I Breathe

      Author: Karen Baney

      Genre: Contemporary Romance

      Release Date: August 15, 2023

      Single mom, starting over Christian Contemporary Romance.

      One moment of weakness changed everything.

      When life throws Kelly Sutton a curve ball, she packs up everything she owns to move to Arizona to be closer to her daughter’s dad. Starting over in a new town stresses Kelly and triggers panic attacks—something she thought she was over. When a panic attack comes on and the only person she knows in town can’t help her, his roommate comes to her rescue. Will Kelly find her footing again in this new town?

      Matt Dixon has too much on his plate. He works as a financial analyst during the day while he goes to seminary at night. He also juggles an internship with his church to fulfill his dream of becoming a youth pastor. When he comes to the aid of his roommate’s ex, he never expects his life to go off the rails. Will he choose love for a woman over his dream?


      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

      Inspiration Behind the Novel

      The female main character in The Air I Breathe, Kelly Sutton, suffers from panic attacks. The inspiration behind this came from a real-life encounter. Around twelve years ago, my coworker and I took a break to walk around the office building we worked in. We saw a young woman leave the building. To our shock, we watched as she kneeled on the concrete sidewalk and bent over.

      Concerned about her well-being, we rushed over to her and asked if she was alright. She said she was having a panic attack. I’ll never forget the sound of her wheezing.

      I asked what we could do to help her and if we should call 911. She begged us not to call, so I knelt beside her, rubbed her back, and silently prayed over her. After ten minutes or so, she recovered enough to go back inside the office building. She told us that when people call 911, it embarrassed her. She knew how to cope with the panic attacks, but others didn’t understand and overreacted, making things worse for her. She thanked us for stopping and for listening to her.

      Though we never crossed paths again, that encounter stuck with me. When I sat down to write Kelly’s story about starting over in a new city, I knew two things:

      1. I wanted to represent this experience through her character.
      2. I wanted to tie her experience with the idea that God is the air we breathe (like the popular worship song’s lyrics).

      Many times, real-life provides inspiration for my characters or their trials and that was certainly true for many of the topics, besides the panic attacks, included in this novel.

      Blog Stops

      lakesidelivingsite, October 2

      Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 3 (Author Interview)

      Life on Chickadee Lane, October 3

      Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 4

      Locks, Hooks and Books, October 5

      Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 6

      Texas Book-aholic, October 7

      For the Love of Literature, October 8 (Author Interview)

      Pause for Tales, October 8

      Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 9

      Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 10

      Back Porch Reads, October 11 (Author Interview)

      Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 12

      For Him and My Family, October 13

      A Reader’s Brain, October 14 (Author Interview)

      Splashes of Joy, October 15


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

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


      1. Brenda stroub

        Thank you for the interview. You have peaked my interest with the panic attack and your intriguing title. I am looking forward to reading The Air I Breathe.

      2. sidlaw0425

        This looks like a refreshing read. Thanks for hosting this giveaway today.

      3. karenbaney296

        Thanks so much for hosting The Air I Breathe today and sharing the fun interview with your readers.

      4. dvdgal75

        Sounds good

      5. Cindi Knowles

        Thank you fit the great interview!

      6. bn100

        nice interview

      7. Roxanne C.

        The key message in The Air I Breathe is a good reminder for all of us.