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Karen Barrow

Historical Fiction Writer

As an avid reader of historical fiction with a passion for research, choosing a genre was not difficult when Karen decided to put pen to paper. The brainwave to use her love of travel to inspire her settings made the process much more enriching. Using elements of mystery and suspense with a sprinkle of romance, Karen crafted three novels, a short story and a travel blog. With the publication of her debut novel, Palmyra, in 2024, a lifelong dream was realized.

Published Spring 2024

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The arrival of a handsome young stranger to a cocoa estate on the island of Trinidad is a catalyst that sets off a tragic train of events with consequences that stretch into the present day. Part coming-of-age story, part Gothic mystery, Palmyra is a historical novel that conjures a world teeming with divided loyalties, family secrets, and ambition.

Praise & Reviews
for other projects

A rare talent

Dreams of the Alhambra: This was a great pleasure to read; I loved the deja vu and dream premise

T Therien, Editor

Dreams of the Alhambra: Your mix of a present-day travel story with a historic, folkloric romance is really compelling
Aimee Ashcraft, Brower Literary and Management 

 

Praise & Reviews
for PALMYRA

You have an incredible talent. I rarely read submissions which approach this level of skill and engagement.

                  Netta Johnson, Stonehouse Publishing

 A high drama, high atmosphere 19th century novel, Palmyra can best be described as Caribbean Gothic.
Adrienne Kerr, Senior Editor, Simon & Schuster Canada

Praise & Reviews
for other projects

Evocative and transporting 

Daughter of Zanzibar: The one author who keeps springing to mind is M.M. Kaye, whose novels were really sweeping and wonderful - a bit like Michener, except with a romantic, female focus and a tighter time frame - and no one's really filled that niche since.
Leslie Wainger, formerly of Mira Imprint, Harlequin

Daughter of Zanzibar: The writing is engaging, the idea is appealing and you write with real energy and imagination.

Felicity Blunt, Agent Curtis Brown

What readers are saying about Palmyra

The tale could easily be made into a period costume drama for British TV! An inspiring novel, to be recommended for all. 

The author's pithy writing style lays a trail of clues and red herrings to keep you engaged for that element of surprise. 

I just finished Palmyra and loved it from first to last page. Thank you and I hope thousands of readers will discover Palmyra.

The richly worded prose, dramatic layers and research details within Palmyra quickly captures your curiosity and builds to a suspenseful crescendo. 

I finished reading it in one sitting! The scenery and characters come to life and it hits all the gothic marks. 

Published Short Story

Edge of Reason

A hot summer night. A raging bonfire. A carousing group of a drunken teenagers. All fuel for the rage that rips through Miguel's heart as two silhouettes merge against the shadowed rocks. How far will he go to exact his revenge?

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    Read Now

Appearances
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  Unveiling the Writer  

Growing up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, Karen's happiest hours were spent with either her head in a book or a pen in her hand. Knowing that the bohemian life of a writer would never receive parental approval, Karen journeyed to Canada to pursue other studies. It was not long before a chance encounter with a geology student ended with raising a family in what at times felt like the far reaches of the country. During several moves, which included a delightful sojourn in Brisbane, Australia before finally settling in the Greater Toronto Area, Karen honed the life of a professional student in search of what she always wanted to be ... a writer. After 16 years in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) during which time she  developed her writing skills and wrote two novels, Karen and her husband moved west in 2021 to settle in the beautiful Okanagan region of interior British Columbia. There she finished her 3rd novel, Palmyra, that was begun during the initial disquieting months of the pandemic, which undoubtedly contributed to the brooding nature of the story. With an unrecognizable accent and many a stamp in her passport, Karen considers herself a global citizen. 

News

Palmyra: gaining new heights

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