Karen Spears Zacharias

presenting 10:40am - 11:30pm
Signing 11:30pm - 12:00pm

Christian Bend isn’t the kind of place where one expects to find the sorts of secrets the widow Burdy Luttrell has been harboring. Tucked in the hills of East Tennessee, Christian Bend is a place of piercing beauty, where the rivers and love run constant. A community of people who care for each other, the land, the music, and the stories that bind them. Even so, Burdy never could bring herself to tell Rain Hurd the truth about his father. Shed always meant to, but put it off until that day she was nearly killed in the shooting at Bean Station. That’s when Burdy told him about the letters. Rain didn’t believe her at first but once he found the letters, Rain was faced with a trauma of his own: What had prompted his father to abandon his family? And would Rain ever be able to forgive him the death of his mother? Or would the community, which had long proudly regarded Zebulon Hurd as their own war hero, now abandon the aging veteran to the grief that overwhelmed him?

Karen Spears Zacharias grew up in a military family. Her father was killed in action in 1966. That early experience led Karen into a career as a journalist. She studied at Berry College, Oregon State University, and Eastern Oregon University.

Karen has worked at newspapers around the country. Her commentary has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, National Public Radio and The Huffington Post.

She has served on the advisory boards for the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Fund and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Education Center. She is a member of Sons & Daughters in Touch and Daughters of the American Revolution.

A lecturer at Central Washington University, Karen enjoys conducting workshops. She has spoken at the Library of Congress, at the National Mall in DC, and at various universities and colleges. Karen has appeared on Good Morning America and twice on The Diane Rehm Show.