GUEST POST & SPOTLIGHT: Author Emerald Barnes

by | Jul 25, 2018 | guest post, spotlight

Hello, readers! I have a treat for you today. Instead of me blogging, I have an author for you to revisit. Author Emerald Barnes is back on my blog today with a fabulous guest post for us. And we will spotlight her book series, The Knight’s Academy. I can’t wait for you to dive in, so I’ll quit babbling and let you have at it!

Guest Post

by Emerald Barnes

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 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 almost two years ago, and He’s even using my non-Christian books in ways that I couldn’t have expected.

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 tell you everything at once. 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.

The Knight’s Academy Series

The Marked

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.

The Hunted


Myka Williams has been forced out of Knight’s Academy and is on the run, constantly moving to keep the vampires off her trail until Preston’s venom is no longer coursing through her veins. But she isn’t alone.

Brent Jacobson is her protector, training her and teaching her how to be the werewolf she’s destined to be. He’s annoying, stubborn—and hot. But there’s something he isn’t telling her.

Myka has to come face-to-face with the truth of who she really is. Will she find safety, or will she always be hunted?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Olivia and her family brought in storage containers, decorations, and more, while Myka sat uncomfortably. When they finished unpacking, Myka wanted to give them some privacy, so she grabbed her messenger bag filled with her sketchbook, markers, pencils, and other art supplies and slipped out of the room. She wandered through the hallways, looking for a quiet place.

She passed a couple of girls chatting, mumbled hello, and when they didn’t respond, she continued to the stairs. She hurried out into the foyer where a few girls sat around talking to one another or were on their cell phones. A hushed silence fell over them as they stared at her. Myka tucked a curl behind her ear, ducked her head, and walked outside.

Now that Myka was without Barry and Jilly, the campus seemed far more formidable. For as long as she could remember, she wanted to get away from home and the questions of who she was and why her parents had given her away. She stared at the campus and knew she wouldn’t find any answers here either. What had she been thinking?

The campus was abuzz with students, teachers, and parents. Myka continued her search for a quiet place to sit and think, much like she used to do when she was at home and needed a moment to clear her mind. She maneuvered around students and parents carrying suitcases, bathroom caddies, and bedding in search of a sanctuary.

She walked between the cafeteria and academic building, ending up on a plush lawn dotted with Bradford pear trees that would be beautiful come fall when their leaves changed to vibrant oranges and reds or in the spring when they blossomed white. Stone benches and tables offered places to sit, study, or relax. The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, covered in pines and oaks, rose in the distance. The concrete wall surrounding the school marked the end of the lawn, and behind the wall was a thickly wooded area.

Myka took a seat on the grass and began to draw. She stared at her surroundings, taking them all in, when she noticed something strange above the trees. It was almost like a tower, but she couldn’t be too sure. Maybe it was a silo. She knew it wasn’t a tree because it glistened in the sunlight. The tower wasn’t too far from the campus, but far enough she couldn’t tell if belonged to Knight’s Academy or not.

Taking a deep breath, she removed her sketchpad and pencils from her bag. As she drew, she saw nothing but the scene ahead of her: all of the colors, how the wind made the leaves shimmer, and the way the sun outlined the mountains. She was only vaguely aware of the sounds around her. The wind tossed her hair about, but she moved it aside mechanically.

It was afternoon when Myka finished the drawing and looked at her phone to see if she’d missed a call or text. She set both aside and rolled her neck and shoulders, stretching her tense muscles. She stood, then continued to stretch. Finally, Myka looked at her drawing, wishing it would’ve been in color. It could use some more work, but at least she had the basic image.

She packed her bag and walked back toward the dorm, hoping Olivia was alone now. A shadow moved along the wall, surprising her. She turned to see Milo, who she hadn’t seen since April. He moved his dirty blond hair out of his eyes and stared back at her. He put his finger to his lips, jumped, and pulled himself up on top of the wall with his well-defined arms. With one last glance toward her, he disappeared from her sight.

Part of her wanted to follow him, to see what was on the other side, but she stopped herself. She didn’t want to get in trouble her first day of being at Knight’s Academy, but something inside of her told her to follow him. With one long, fleeting look at the woods behind the wall, Myka walked back toward her dorm room.

Buy Links

The Marked: Knight’s Academy Book 1 –

The Hunted: Knight’s Academy Book 2 –

Book three is coming soon!

More About the Author

Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, 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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