An Unexpected Path

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Karen Lopp talking about the rich and colorful experiences that led her down an unexpected path.

Here’s Karen!


First Act

I was raised in a small farming community, where almost half of the town were relatives. No kidding. Talk about not getting away with anything as a teenager! If you didn’t know about cows, pigs, and how to drive a tractor you were just not “with it”. The big event for the town was the Friday night football game. Even though we usually lost, it was the social gathering place.

After high school, I started a career in computer programing, loving the challenges and problem solving. I’d have reams of paper strung out on the floor, pouring over lines of code, just to find the one mistyped character that threw the whole sequence off. Fun times. But after years of the 8-5 grind I made my first big change. We started a family and I became a stay-at-home mom.

Shortly after, my husband changed jobs and off we went on a brand new adventure. We moved around several times, eight to be exact, and during those years we homeschooled our children. That is a story for another time, but, suffice to say, I loved every minute of it.

Second Act

The transition to an empty nest was a new challenge for me. I had invested so many hours to being a teacher, mentor, and all around life coach, that after the last kid went off to college I knew it was time to get serious about a new path. I had already been dabbling in writing fiction and had a couple of stories stuffed in a notebook, but me an author? Well why not? So I pulled out that dusty notebook, took some online classes on writing, and attended a few classes at the community college.

Becoming a writer had not been a long time dream of mine. I had visions of traveling, starting a bakery, or several other small business ideas. But time and finances tended to get in the way. But once bitten with the writing bug, I could never go back. The road to publication has been frustrating at times and exciting. I have a wonderful base of supporters and cheerleaders. It must be in the blood, because my grandmothers wrote little stories about their lives and always reminisced about it. And my mother taught me how to be a voracious reader.

Writing about history came naturally, so my first two books are set in the Southwest in the late 1800’s. I love cowboys, the pioneer life, and wide open spaces. Being an action junkie, I also write romantic suspense and my first novel in that line will be out in May.

My advice to anyone is don’t be afraid to try something new. You may have never thought you’d like it, but until you try you will never know. Achieving lifetime dreams is wonderful and fulfilling, but when you stumble upon a venue you never considered before, doors to many different paths are opened and the adventures renew or awaken a jest to start a second act.

Good luck with whatever path you choose and remember to enjoy every step along the way.

Karen’s Books

ShotgunBride_850 (1) - CopyEffiesOutlaw2_850 - Copysplinteredlies1


A surprise inheritance brings Kathleen Barnes a host of dangers, an unwanted husband, and a chance to start over.

Saddled with a bride he didn’t choose, who has a knack for landing in the middle of trouble, Mike Baca is forced into a private war.

Is this a forced marriage doomed to fail, or will this be an opportunity for both to have a shot at a new life together?


Boston heiress Effie Sheridan takes matters into her own hands when her fortune is being stolen. The last thing she expects is to be kidnapped by a gang of train robbers. Forced to pretend to be an outlaw’s lover to stay alive, she questions her sanity when she is drawn to the gruff, yet charming bandit who risks everything to save her.

U.S. Deputy Alex Marshall is mad enough to spit nails when the beautiful, city-bred girl lands in his arms. Unable to abandon her to the cruelties of the gang, he searches for a way out of the responsibility. But her courage and sweet kisses begin to chip away at the bitterness inside his heart and he must choose between revenge on the gang that slaughtered everyone he loved or redemption for saving a woman he can never have.

SPLINTERED LIES (Coming May 2014)

Detective Rissa Marten sacrificed her only chance for a normal life to put a drug lord behind bars. Now, her life in the shadows has to be brought to life to save the man she has secretly loved for years. With a price on her head can she risk letting him know?

Detective Jerah Qassem has built his career as an undercover agent in the dangerous world of drug cartels. But when a ghost from his past is resurrected can he overcome his bitterness in time to save her life?

Where to find Karen…

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Joanne here!

Thank you for sharing your experiences, Karen. Effie’s Outlaw is on my e-reader, at the top of my TBR list. I will be adding your other books–they sound delicious!


7 responses to “An Unexpected Path

  1. Pingback: Second Act Wisdom–Part III |

  2. Love the covers of your books. It was great to read about your second act. I agree about pushing yourself to go that extra mile. You never know what dreams you will achieve.

  3. Karen, loved learning a little more about you. Your book, Effie’s Outlaw is one I (Donald) called “a great western romance with outlaws, gunfights, chases, intrigue, and kidnapping but the best came later. Best of sales when the new book comes out.

  4. I love to read American West historicals. Thanks for some good reading!

    How familiar your first act sounds. I, too, am a country kid born and reared in west Texas where football is Friday night KING.I was an English teacher for many years–the bane of many coaches and players–pass to play was a stumbling block.

    The writing bug is hard to shake once one gets it–LOL–I can’t seem to escape the need to “write a story.” Happy writing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s