Kariss Lynch writes contemporary fiction about characters with big dreams, hearts for adventure, and enduring hope. Shaken, her first book in the Heart of a Warrior series, released in 2014. Her second book, Shadowed, releases March 3, 2015. A former freelance writer, she now works as the writer for a communications ministry in Dallas.
I write romance.
And I’m single.
I feel like those two identities often compete with one another. See, I had this dream growing up: One day I would find prince charming, get married, have kids, and write books from home while taking care of my family. The dream ALWAYS involved a guy.
Then God called me on a different journey.
At twenty-one, a mentor challenged me to begin writing. “What are you waiting for? Start now and see what God does.” So I started with a blog. Then I started with a story idea. Then it became three chapters. As I typed the end on the last page of my first novel, Shaken, I realized I had just completed a romance. That romance became a series of three.
I immediately felt the struggle. I haven’t dated in forever, and yet I am painting a picture of what romance looks like. How is that a good idea?
I fought this calling for a while, and the Lord and I had a lot of heart-to-hearts. God, why did you call me to write romance right now? Why did you ask me to write about men I would love to date like Nick or Micah in the Heart of a Warrior series, but not actually experience that romance in real life?
Then it hit me. I’m searching for Prince Charming in all the wrong places, and I already have Him. And I get the unique privilege of pointing others to Him.
Romance is as old as time. Our loving God desired relationship, so He created man in His own image. It wasn’t good for man to live alone, so God created woman. Mankind broke relationship with the Lord, but God pursued in a reckless and crazy fashion. He pursed with intentionality and purpose. He pursued because He desired that no man live apart from Him.
I get to paint that in my stories.
This past month, I’ve been polishing off the final touches to my last book in the Heart of a Warrior series. I remember distinctly the
moment a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about Kaylan Richards and her boyfriend, Navy SEAL Nick Carmichael. Kaylan realizes that she loves a warrior called to something greater than himself, and he is asking her to join him on that journey. She wrestles with fear that he won’t come home, fear of being alone, lack of trust in his ability and training, and lack of trust in the men around him as he leaves her to fight for his country.
But then she pauses for a moment and begins to think of all the times when Nick pursued her when she was unlovable, when she was struggling, when she was trapped in fear. She realizes that even when she can’t trust circumstances, she can trust him because he has faithfully loved her in spite of herself.
It hit me like a sledgehammer. That’s the gospel – a God who pursues us and loves us no matter how much we push him away or wrestle with fear.
There are days when singleness weighs heavy and days when sharing a life with a strong, godly guy seems like a fantasy, but in the past few months, I have realized that I don’t have to be married to understand romance. My Prince Charming romances me every day, holds me close, and pursues my heart. How? He knows me intimately. He created every part of me. He, too, calls me to something greater than myself, and he asks me to join Him on that journey.
I know exactly what love looks like, and I know exactly how to write a military romance. It looks like sacrifice. It looks like unconditional love that transcends circumstances. It looks like the cross.
Nick Carmichael faces the demons of his past on a Navy SEAL mission to catch arms dealer Janus. Meanwhile his girlfriend, Kaylan Richards, must come to terms with loving a man who is often gone and in harm's way. She is adjusting to life in a new city with new friends, new neighbors, and an internship. But she still wonders if she will ever find her place and wrestles to develop the strength for the future she wants to have with Nick.
As Nick and the SEAL team chase Janus, she turns the tables, attacking their families, which places Kaylan in harm's way. When Kaylan begins receiving threatening notes and items begin to disappear from her home, Nick must learn to trust God with her life as he and his team fight for justice and answers to his past. Will light shine in the darkness, or will Kaylan and Nick's love forever be stalked by shadows?