The Sacred Grounds Novels

The Sacred Grounds Novels follow Kat Kent, the seminary dropout now working as a barista at The Sacred Grounds Coffee Company. This faithful and feisty heroine hopes for her life to calm down a little so she can listen for the still, small voice of God. Her days don’t stay calm for very long, though. As her friendship deepens with Paul Miles, a pastor who has a complicated life of his own, he fast becomes more important to her than she’d have ever expected. What they mean to each other, though, and what the future holds for them, only time will tell.

Additional resources for individuals and groups reading the Sacred Grounds Novels are available here.

Kat’s Dreams: A Sacred Grounds Novel Book 1

Clay Patin Press (2022)
Available on Amazon*

“Barista, mountain biker, seminary dropout – Kat Kent has done it all. Except for move on. Even as she enjoys getting to know Paul Miles, the handsome new customer at the coffee shop where she works, her dreams take her back to a different time and place. When the man she hoped never to see again returns to town, Kat must decide whether she’ll keep their secret. She must also decide how much to tell her new friend Paul. He might be able to help her, but only if she’s willing to trust him. Revisiting love, loss, friendship, and betrayal, Kat makes her way through the season of Lent hoping she’ll find the strength to do what she needs to do before anyone else gets hurt. But will she figure out what to do before it’s too late?”

This short novel undertakes one woman’s long #MeToo journey with deep faith and hope. Discussion questions are included at the end for individual readers as well as study groups.

Suddenly Color:
A Sacred Grounds Novel Book 2

Forthcoming from Clay Patin Press (2023)

Even the dead have secrets. Kat Kent stumbles across one while cleaning out her mother’s closet, and it threatens to steal what she thought she knew about her family. Kat’s own secrets, though, may prove the even greater threat. As symptoms of something for which she has no name become harder and harder to ignore, Kat wonders what’s happening inside of her. She also wonders what’s happening in her deepening friendship with Paul Miles, the man who’s already helped her through so much. Rediscovering her relationships, her faith, and even her own self, Kat tries to hold onto the important things while searching for help. But will she find what she needs before losing more than she can bear?

This short novel brings a grace-filled glimpse into mental health and family silence. Discussion questions are included at the end for individual readers as well as study groups.


The Beauty of Rest: Contemplative Essays

Clay Patin Press (2023)
Available on Amazon*

How do we balance our lives? To what do we give our time? Which things do we count worthy of our attention?

In this collection of contemplative essays, Smith looks beyond mere productivity and accomplishment to a spectrum of values that nourish our lives. Loosely gathered around the themes of “rest and play,” “grief and memory,” and “hope and imagination,” these essays invite readers on a journey of slowing down, exploring their days, and listening to what God’s Spirit is doing inside and around them. Readings invite individuals both to ground themselves and to look beyond to the nourishment of their companions and communities.

Suitable for individuals as well as groups, The Beauty of Rest concludes each section with questions for individual reflection or group discussion. Additional resources are available here.

The Practice of Sabbatical as Renewal

Chapter co-authored with Robert Saler in
Sacred Habits: The Rise of the Creative Clergy
The Davies Group, Publishers (2016)
Available on Amazon*

“Like prayer, like community, like Sabbath and sabbatical, some practices spread through a person’s soul or a community’s life and, in one way or another, bless us profoundly for the long-haul.”

– Callie Smith