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  • Emerald Barnes

The Marked

I'm so excited to welcome Emerald Barnes back to my blog.

Thanks, Tab, for having me on the blog again! I always love being here. I love what you do with your books and blog, because of how much you love helping others.

So, that brings me to this. When Tabitha asked me if I could tie in my new novel, The Marked, with her #LiveChosen movement, I told her I could come up with something. Honestly, that was more difficult than I anticipated. My new novel is about vampires and werewolves, how could I tie in a non-Christian YA book with something that was so easy to do with my Entertaining Angels series? It wasn’t easy, but being the author I am—I realized that my novel goes a little deeper than I originally anticipated.

Myka, my main character, struggles with her identity throughout The Marked. She’s adopted, and when she found out that she was, she completely lost who she was. She never felt like she belonged anywhere, so that’s why she chose to leave her family and what was familiar behind and move to a new place. There, she thought she could discover who she really was. It was a way of starting over for her. If you’ve read (or will read) the book, you’ll know that wasn’t easy for her, until the end, until she knew her back story and what lay ahead for her.

We’ve all felt a lot like her. I personally have. For years, I struggled with who I was, what I was supposed to do with my life, and what my purpose on this planet was. Why had God given me the gift of writing if no one bought my books? Why had God given me a passion to teach teens about Him and His love for them if I wasn’t being used as a youth leader?

Like Myka, I was searching for my identity and my purpose. And I searched for years. Until I quit searching. I didn’t give up, but I said, “Okay, God. You know what has been prophesied over me. You know what gifts You have given me. Whatever You want me to do. Whatever You need me to do, just let me know.” And I let it go. I stopped searching and waited.

Waiting isn’t easy, but it paid off. God gave me a youth leader position at the end of last year, and He’s even using my non-Christian books in ways that I couldn’t have expected. Like this post for instance. I had no clue that my novel was so deep, but it can be seen that way.

When you feel like you don’t have an identity, just let life happen. Wait on God to show you what you need to do, and God won’t identify everything at once to you. You’d get so overwhelmed! (I think Andrew Wommack is the one who said that.) He’s going to reveal it to you as you go along. Life is about living one day at a time. Whether you’re facing a horde of vampires or if you’re just facing a torrent of thoughts that like to bring you down, you’re going to be okay. You’re identity doesn’t come from you. It comes from God. It comes from knowing who you are in God.

That’s why I like to focus on that in my books. If you’ve read Entertaining Angels, you’ll know that in my series, that’s what I focus on. I focus on teaching young women that their identities don’t come from the mirror or the scars on their wrists. Your identity comes when you truly learn who you are to God and who you are in God.

You’re loved. You’ve always been loved. You’re created in the image of God, and He is the One who saw fit that the world needed you. Don’t let the world bring you down. Don’t let the enemy make you feel like you’re worthless and don’t belong. You’re where you are for a reason. There’s even a reason for your waiting period. Just give it to God and remember that you have been chosen for such a time as this. It’s time to #LiveChosen because you have been chosen.

Myka Williams has never fit in with her peers, and although her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, she feels most at home alone in the woods. When she's offered a full scholarship to Knight's Academy in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, she takes the opportunity for a fresh start. She soon learns that Knight’s Academy is more than just a school. Within the stone walls of the institution, humans and vampires are mixing, and their offspring are going unnoticed. As Myka falls prey to the evil plan of the school, she makes a chilling discovery about her own heritage and realizes that she’s at the Academy for more than just an education. Myka must yield to her birthright at the risk of losing everyone she loves or succumb to the fate that Knight’s Academy has in store for her—a fate worse than death.

Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor. She’s addicted to tv and binge-watching shows, and she has a thing for superheroes.

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