In Search of the Painted Bunting

Almost every day, I sit at this computer writing and if I’m working on a book, the finished product is such a faraway dream—sometimes years in the making. Finally, when the day arrives and the dream becomes reality, it is such a blessing. Today is that day.  In Search of the Painted Bunting is now available. My books are like my children in that I don’t want to pick one over another, but this is a story I love as much as anything I’ve ever had the privilege of writing, and I hope it will be an encouragement to others. Though it is written for middle grade readers, I think it is a story that will resonate with anyone.

 I have been honored to have several wonderful endorsements including this one from Doug Peterson who I came to know at a media arts conference we both attended and whose books I have enjoyed. Though he lists the VeggieTales books in his signature, he is an academic writer and has also written many other books of note including several historicals.

 In Search of the Painted Bunting is a poignant and perceptive portrait of a young girl struggling with timeless challenges. Cornelia Taylor is on a quest to find an exotic bird, the Painted Bunting. But, like all quests, her path does not go on a straight line. It branches out in unexpected ways as Cornelia navigates the turbulent 1960s, as well as the turbulence in her family and at school. The discoveries Cornelia makes and the lessons she learns along the way are just as relevant today. This story raises important questions for every reader. What is your Painted Bunting? What is your quest? And how does God speak to you and lead you along the twists and turns of your path? I highly recommend In Search of the Painted Bunting, as it explores the joys and heartbreaks of adolescence. It will inspire you to search for your own elusive Painted Bunting.” - Doug Peterson,  Author of over 40 VeggieTales books

 And this one from Jackie Minniti, a lifelong middle school teacher, curriculum writer, and historical fiction author, means so much. We were both authors with another publisher.

 “A compelling coming-of-age tale, Beverly Varnado's historical novel deftly deals with two hot-button issues of the 60s - the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement - in a way that will engage and enlighten young readers. Fourteen-year-old Cornelia Taylor, the spunky  main character, tells the story in a voice that is spot-on for a young girl of that era. The engrossing plot will keep middle-graders turning pages, and the epilogue-style final chapter ties up the story in a satisfying way they'll appreciate. I was particularly impressed by the way the author pulled important life lessons from the main character's  experiences without being preachy or heavy-handed. As a former middle-school reading teacher, I can guarantee In Search of the Painted Bunting will be added to many young readers' "Favs" lists!”  -  Jackie Minniti, award-winning author of Jacqueline and One Small Spark

Last year at a National Day of Prayer, I was walking in with a woman who wore heels. I was concerned her heels would catch in the pavers as mine had in the past and warned her about the problem. We wound up getting to know each other and I found she was a lifelong educator with a doctorate. I asked her at the time if she would write an endorsement if I were able to get a contract for my new book. She said yes. And a few months later I did get that contract. That chance meeting turned out to be a divine appointment because not only is she an educator, but she also went through integration in two different school systems, which is one of the topics with which the book deals. Here is what she wrote: 

“In Search of the Painted Bunting takes the reader on an exciting and mysterious journey of real-life situations that ultimately reveal the God given “Superpower” to build bridges that will have a positive impact on future generations. The author incorporates heartwarming humor that captures the readers’ interest and provides motivation to read every page. This is truly a remarkable book!”

 - Dr. Bonnie Campbell Jackson, Ed. D., Independent Education Consultant, (Ret. Teacher / Ret. School Administrator) 

I am grateful to these and so many more who have been part of this journey.  At this writing, In Search of the Painted Bunting is the number one new release in its category and number three in bestsellers over on that big book selling site. Thank you for considering adding In Search of the Painted Bunting to your library or buying it as a gift.

Many thanks,


"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23).




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