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Authors: Karen Ball

Kaleidoscope Eyes

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PRAISE FOR KAREN BALL’S NOVELS

KALEIDOSCOPE EYES

“Karen Ball offers an intriguing story that kept me turning the pages and guessing the truth right up to the end. Recommended reading for anyone who enjoys suspense and romance.”

—T
RACIE
P
ETERSON
, bestselling author of
What She Left for Me

“This is my kind of book! Intrigue, suspense, search and rescue … and romance! Karen Ball delivers with a story that is perfect for a snowy weekend in front of a cozy fire. Well done!”

—S
USAN
M
AY
W
ARREN
, author of
Expect the Sunrise
,
a Team Hope search and rescue romance

SHATTERED JUSTICE

“Karen Ball speaks to the heart. Readers will fall in love with her realistic characters and gripping story line in
Shattered Justice
. A surefire hit!”

—K
AREN
K
INGSBURY
, bestselling author of
One Tuesday Morning and Beyond Tuesday Morning


Shattered Justice
is for anyone who has ever known grief or asked God, ‘Why me?’ Karen Ball paints a beautiful picture of redemption and regeneration and shows that even our suffering sometimes has a greater purpose. Keep a box of tissues handy, because you’re going to need it!”

—T
ERRI
B
LACKSTOCK
, bestselling author of
River’s Edge

A TEST OF FAITH

“Anyone who has ever struggled in a mother-daughter relationship will identify with A
Test of Faith
. The story is as real as the evening newspaper. It was as if I was, reading about my own mother, my own daughter, and perhaps more profoundly, reading about myself.”

—D
EBBIE
M
ACOMBER
,
New York Times
bestselling author

THE BREAKING POINT


The Breaking Point
is compelling and strikingly honest. This story touches the heart and gives hope for struggling marriages. Karen Ball writes with clarity, depth, and power. It’s a pleasure to recommend this engaging and memorable book.”

—R
ANDY
A
LCORN
, bestselling author of
Safely Home

“Gut-wrenching in its honesty and passion,
The Breaking Point
packs a powerful message of obedience and God’s healing.”

—B
RANDILYN
C
OLLINS
, bestselling author of
Brink of Death

N
OVELS BY
K
AREN
B
ALL
F
AMILY
H
ONOR
S
ERIES:
Kaleidoscope Eyes
Shattered Justice

A Test of Faith
The Breaking Point
“Bride on the Run” in the
3 Weddings and a Giggle
anthology

For Jackie Darby and Rogue
.

Some of my earliest memories of search and rescue
include you, Jackie. Your boundless energy, your humble
confidence, your heart for finding the lost … You epitomize
the heart and soul of K-9 search and rescue. Courage.
Determination. Compassion. Skill. Wisdom.
And, ever and always, a great sense of humor.
Thank you for giving of yourself, for sharing your
amazing ability and your remarkable dog with so many
You and Rogue were a wonder, finding those that others couldn’t.
And though you can’t be out there now, doing what you love
so much, you’re still a wonder. The battle before you is huge,
but know that you have countless people pulling for you.
Because we know that even this won’t keep you down.
We believe in you, Jackie.
And we love you.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

T
his was an especially fun book to write because of my love for both dogs and search and rescue. Annie’s Kodi is real. Well, sort of. She’s based on my dad’s black German shepherd, Kodi. And while Dad’s Kodi isn’t a skilled K-9 rescue dog, her personality is exactly what you see in this book: a big, too-smart-for-her-own-good, lovable moose who thinks ninety-five pounds is the perfect weight for a lapdog. So thanks, Dad, for loaning me Kodi for the story

A multitude of thanks to the Rogue Valley K-9 SAR (search and rescue) members Frank, Jo, Mike, Gary, and Karen. They let me follow them and their dogs during a training session. Not only did I learn a lot; I got a great workout. Tell you what, those dogs are some kind of athletes. My respect for them, and for their handlers, is boundless. So thanks to Karen Mihaljevich in particular, who read this story to make sure I got the SAR details right. And pats on the head and an extra treat to Rio, Raven, Holly, and Abby, search dogs extraordinaire. If I’m ever lost, I hope you’re there to bring me home!

A big hug and thanks to Michelle Yarborough, a talented stained glass artist. I saw Michelle’s work last fall at a home show and knew she was the kind of artist I wanted Annie to be. Michelle’s work is stunning. Creative and unique. She may not have synesthesia, but I think she sees things others don’t. Beautiful things. I went into this book knowing nothing about the art of stained glass, and Michelle welcomed me into her studio, walked me through the procedure, and read the manuscript to ensure accuracy (and forgave me for the liberties I took with Annie’s window). She was an invaluable resource and a delight.

I’m especially grateful to Clay Jacobsen, fellow novelist and
TV director, who shared his expertise on the workings of network TV with me. His credits are impressive, though too numerous to mention (but you can check them out for yourself at
www.clayjacobsen.com
).

Finally, thanks to my dear friend Lori Benton for sharing from her own life. Lori has synesthesia. I remember the first time I heard about the condition. My weekly coffee group was meeting, and Lori commented that she’d changed the date in which she’d set her most recent novel because “the colors were better.” Now, Lori just went on talking. But all of us in the coffee group are writers, so you can imagine how we put on the brakes and demanded to know what she meant. We listened amazed as she explained how she saw colors in letters and numbers, that her sister has synesthesia as well, but “her colors are different.”

Thus began my exploration of a condition I didn’t even know existed. But the more I studied it, the more I wished I had it! And I knew, without a doubt, that Annie Justice did have synesthesia. So with Lori’s permission, I incorporated her colors into the story, both through Annie’s point of view and in the color descriptions of the dates. (If you’d like to see Lori and Annie’s color chart, visit my website at
www.karenballbooks.com
.)

Many thanks to Lori for sharing what I believe is a special gift from God. To see colors where others don’t, to have that added dimension of beauty, seems a rare blessing. Which is fitting, because Lori’s friendship is that as well.

Blessings to you!

Karen

“For you are a holy people, who belong to the L
ORD
your God
Of all the people on earth, the L
ORD
your God has chosen
you to be his own special treasure. The L
ORD
did not
choose you and lavish his love on you because
you were larger or greater than other[s] …
It was simply because the L
ORD
loves you …
his own special treasure.”

D
EUTERONOMY
7:6-7

“O L
ORD
, you are my light; yes, L
ORD
,
you light up my darkness

2 S
AMUEL
22:29

PROLOGUE        

“If we have no peace, it is because we have
forgotten that we belong to each other.”

M
OTHER
T
ERESA

“Have compassion on me, L
ORD
, for I am weak.
Heal me, L
ORD
, for my body is in agony.
I am sick at heart.
How long, O L
ORD
, until you restore me?”

P
SALM
6:2-3

I
t’s over.

She sank to the ground, not caring that it was frozen. Not caring that the cold seeped into her body. Into her very bones. The ache gave her something to focus on. Something other than the terrible truth.

Everything she’d started to believe, started to trust …

Gone.

Annie pulled her knees to her chest, circled them with her arms, and buried her face.

She would not weep. She refused. But while she could hold the tears at bay, she couldn’t stop the questions that assaulted her mind and soul.

How did this happen? How did she end up here?

Because you’re a fool. Because you believed his lies. His promises.

She turned her face to the night sky. Promises? He didn’t promise anything.

Not in so many words. But you saw it in his eyes. That he cared. That he accepted you. That you belonged.

She belonged …

Annie squeezed her eyes shut against the pain and lifted her face to the sky. She forced her eyes open, searching the blanket of stars. Was He there? Was He listening? Did He care that her world was collapsing around her?

“God … please.”

The prayer floated onto the frigid night air in a puff of white, her plea frozen in space, suspended for a heartbeat between heaven and earth before disappearing.

Why,
Lord? Why couldn’t You leave me as I was? Alone, yes. But content. At peace.

But even as she flung the questions at the sky, Annie turned her face away. She couldn’t face heaven because she knew.

It was a lie.

She hadn’t been at peace. Not then. Not ever. Not in what mattered most. She’d spent most of her life searching, longing.

Is that so bad, Lord? All I wanted was to fit in. To belong somewhere. To someone.

Her fingers curled into a fist. He’d made her so sure she’d finally found that …

Fool! Stupid, trusting fool.

Annie pushed herself to her feet, the cold that had seeped through her body and heart embodied in two fierce words: “No more!”

Her words filled the night around her, shivering with the intensity of resolve. He’d played her for a fool. But that was over. She knew what she had to do, and she’d do it. As quickly and completely as possible.

And then, when her task was finished, she’d walk away. Go back to who she used to be, to where she was safe. Protected. Guarded against the pain wracking her.

She’d been a fool once. She’d never be that again.

Not for him.

Not for God.

Not for anyone.

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