Shannon here: Kristen Hogrefe Parnell shares how she met her husband, plus a chance to win a Kindle copy of her award-winning young adult novel, The Revisionary, a Christian dystopian story where characters must rediscover their heritage to redeem their warped world. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: June 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kristen:
I love God’s creativity in pairing two people together. As much as I enjoy the creative challenge of writing fiction, I would never have thought to begin my romance story the way He did.
In my early thirties, I found myself still single, though wanting to find a life partner or even better, for him to find me. However, no one seemed to be looking in my corner of Spring Hill, Florida, so I connected with a singles’ group at a larger church south of me and started making friends.
One Sunday after class, our group’s pastor announced a need for volunteers at an outreach opportunity for single moms. Our class would be washing their cars, while another class prepared school supplies for their kids and served them a meal.
I almost didn’t go, because I had a commitment right afterward. But I risked overbooking myself and arrived for car-washing duty.
The leader asked for volunteers to take on different responsibilities in an assembly-like manner. One group washed the exterior. The next focused on hubcaps, and then a driver would take the car to a final detailing station.
When he called for hub-cap duty, few people seemed interested, and only two people volunteered. Though I didn’t know either one, I offered to join the two guys. Yes, I was that kid in school who couldn’t help but raise her hand when the teacher asked a question no one wanted to answer.
Brief introductions revealed I’d be cleaning hubcaps with James and Mike. I pegged James as the handsome, popular guy who never noticed girls like me, and Mike seemed more introverted than myself.
If you’re pairing me with the fellow introvert, hold the phone. God has a way of throwing our expectations out the window and reshaping our first impressions.
As I set to work scrubbing with a sponge, I expected both guys to ignore me. But then James started teaching Mike how to use the pressure-washer to rinse the tires—and total shocker—he next offered to teach me.
The hot guy even remembered my name.
Pick your jaw up off the floor right now.
Thanks to James, I learned how to use a pressure-washer that day, and we even had a chance to chat a few times while cleaning. But then I had to rush off to my next commitment.
No, I didn’t leave a sneaker behind for him to run a Cinderella-shoe-search competition later. I didn’t leave my number either.
But James found me through the group’s Facebook page and later invited me to attend a Ken Ham lecture on Creationism. I went with my brother and sister-in-law, aka bodyguards, and had a great time. Then I gave James my number. He officially asked me out, and the attraction snowballed—or maybe in our case, the sudsy soap bubble didn’t burst.
Just over a year later, he planned a surprise engagement trip to Beech Mountain, North Carolina under the guise of a “fall hiking trip” with friends. During a hike to Wiseman’s View which provides stunning vistas overlooking a mountain range and canyon, he proposed while my best friend recorded the moment. I happily said yes, and the rest is history, folks. We celebrated our third anniversary in March and are excited to welcome our first baby this August.
I fell so in love with that setting, Beech Mountain, and of course, with him, that it inspired a romantic suspense series. The first book, Take My Hand, releases this December.
About Kristen Hogrefe Parnell: Kristen Hogrefe Parnell writes suspenseful fiction from a faith perspective for teens and adults. She dislikes surprises unless God provides them—the way He did her husband in her thirties. Her young adult novels, The Revisionary and The Reactionary, won the Selah for speculative fiction, and her first romantic suspense novel releases in December. An educator at heart, she also teaches English online and enjoys being a podcast guest. Kristen and her husband live in Florida and are excited to welcome their first baby in August. Learn more & connect:
About the book – The Revisionary:
A Revisionary rewrites the rules. A Rogue breaks them. Which one is she?
Nineteen-year-old Portia Abernathy accepts her Revisionary draft to the Crystal Globe with one goal: earn a Dome seat so she can amend the satellite rules and rescue her exiled brother. Her plan derails when Head Gage Eliab brands her as a suspect in a campus Rogue attack, and in her quest to clear her name, she questions if the vigilante Brotherhood responsible might not be the real villain.
Her shifting loyalties pit her against Luther Danforth, her Count Citizen ally who believes in reform, not revolution. Joining the Brotherhood makes a future with him impossible—and Portia must decide if it’s better to rewrite the rules or to break them.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Kristen’s other titles?
Get your copy/copies now! Kristen’s books
Question for Readers: What unexpected meeting has God orchestrated in your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Come back May 27th for Pat Nichols!