Tag Archives: Karen Kingsbury

Top 10 Tuesday — Cozy Winter Reads aka Christmas Novellas!

4 Dec

Nothing says cozy to me more than a wonderful Christmas novella. And since ’tis the season ¬†. . . here is a list to warm your heart as you snuggle with a hot beverage next to the fireplace. Even if it is 90 degrees where you live, these Christmas novellas will give you a warm feeling that won’t make you sweat ūüėČ . Funny, poignant, or just plain full of the Christmas spirit, these books run the genre gamut. Grab one (or two, or more) and get ready for some great reading!

For more great cozy winter reads, check out the bloggers who have shared their lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Cozy Christmas Reads

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

The Ornament Keeper by Eva Marie Everson

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias

 

What’s your favorite cozy Christmas book?

Advertisements

Book Review: In This Moment

29 Jan

Hamilton High Principal Wendell Quinn is tired of the violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancies, and low expectations at his Indianapolis school. A single father of four, Quinn is a Christian and a family man. He wants to see change in his community, so he starts a voluntary after-school Bible Study and prayer program. He knows he is risking his job by leading the program, but the high turnout at every meeting encourages him.

A year later, violence and gang activity are down, test scores are up, and drug use and teen pregnancy have plummeted. The program is clearly working ‚ÄĒ until one parent calls the press. Now Quinn faces a lawsuit that could ruin everything.

With a storm of national attention and criticism, Quinn is at a crossroads ‚ÄĒ he must choose whether to cave in and shut down the program or stand up for himself and his students. The battle comes with a high cost, and Quinn wants just one attorney on his side for this fight: Luke Baxter. In This Moment is an inspiring, relevant story about the nuances of religious freedom and how a group of determined people just might restore the meaning of faith in today‚Äôs culture.

Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development with Hallmark Films and as major motion pictures. Her Baxter Family books are being developed into a TV series slated for major network viewing sometime in the next year. Karen is also an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. In 2001 she and her husband, Don, adopted three boys from Haiti, doubling their family in a matter of months. Today the couple has joined the ranks of empty-nesters, living in Tennessee near five of their adult children.

My Impressions:

Relevant is the one overwhelming word to describe In This Moment, the latest Baxter Family book from Karen Kingsbury. With the increase in drug overdoses, gang violence, and broken families, many believers are calling for a return to the values that once set our nation apart. Main character Wendell Quinn, a high school principal with a heart for his students, takes extraordinary measures to bring his students back from the brink — a voluntary Bible study and prayer club. Kingsbury’s novel explores the results and consequences of one man brave enough to buck the system and cultural prejudices to help his students.

Fans of Kingsbury’s Baxter Family series of books will enjoy the interaction of the family with the main story thread of the school Bible study club. Luke Baxter is involved with the ensuing court case that embroils the principal. But for me the characters of Wendell, his family and friends, and the students that are reached with this revolutionary program were the best part of the story. Real, relatable, with real doubts and fears, these characters were ones I would love to know in real life. The themes of the novel, religious liberty and the presence of God, are thoughtfully woven throughout the book. This one is definitely Christian fiction — the characters pray, scripture is read and relied upon, and God’s voice speaks to many of the characters. While the book ends well, it is not before loss and heartache touch all of the characters.

One of the things I found unusual was the belief among many of the characters that reading the Bible and prayer in public places would get you in trouble or sent to jail. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that the attack on religious liberty, especially when it comes to Christians, is alive and well in America. But my small town deep in the Bible Belt has not experienced much of that ¬†. . . yet. I think that is the most important take-away from In This Moment. The events depicted in the book may seem the norm or the exception to you, but be assured at some point in the future you will be confronted by those who would seek to shut down religious freedom. We need to be ready. Here is one great quote to remember — In addition to the lawsuits, people didn’t need to be forced into silence. They were silencing themselves out of fear and a lack of knowledge of their rights.¬†(p. 75)

A great read to get you thinking, In This Moment would be an excellent choice for a book club discussion for adults or teens. It gets a recommended rating from me.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Howard Books for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Winter TBR

28 Nov

Although winter is officially a few weeks away, it is never too early to make a list for those long evenings when only a cup of something warm, a cozy chair and afghan, and a good book will do. Here’s my Top 10 Winter TBR¬†— including review books and book club selections. Looks like I have a lot of good reading ahead! For more reading lists for the long winter months, check out The Broke And The Bookish.

 

Top 10 Winter TBR

The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert

The Heart Between Us by Lindsey Harrel

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

In This Moment by Karen Kingsbury

Life on The Porcelain Edge by C. E. Hilbert

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner

Stars in The Grass by Ann Marie Stewart

Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris

 

What’s on your winter TBR list?

 

 

Book Review: The Bridge

3 Dec

647013_w185Five years ago, Molly Allen left her heart in Tennessee when she walked away from the man she can’t forget. Ryan Kelly spends much of his time in Franklin’s bookstore, remembering the hours he and Molly once spent there. But when tragedy and trouble threaten to close the shop for good, what miracles will unfold?

**********************

1296139911_KarenPortraitbyDanDavisKaren Kingsbury is America’s #1 inspirational novelist and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has written more than thirty books, with over ten million copies in print. In the past year alone, she has sold more than two million copies.

After graduating with a degree in journalism in 1986, Karen worked for the Los Angeles Times and LA Daily News as a sports writer, eventually becoming a front-page writer for the Daily News. Her first book spawned from a murder story she covered as a journalist and she became an inspirational novelist in 1998. Many of her books have won the yearly Gold Medallion and Retailer Choice awards. Her award-winning books include Ever After, Found, Oceans Apart, and the Redemption Series. Many of her novels have and will be developed into full-length motion pictures such as, Deadly Pretender, Like Dandelion Dust, A Thousand Tomorrows, Ever After, and Gideon’s Gift.

Karen and her husband life in the Pacific Northwest with five of their six children.

My Impressions:

My book club, By The Book, chose Karen Kingsbury’s Christmas novella, The Bridge, as our December discussion selection. Many of our members count Kingsbury as one of their favorite authors. I, however, do not. I have only read 2 of her previous books, books that her fans readily agree are not her finest offerings. So, being the good sport that I am, I began reading The Bridge with without preconceived notions. And what I found was a touching Christmas romance with endearing characters. Although the story was predictable, I found myself still anticipating the resolution of the story.

The Bridge, a bookstore in downtown Franklin, Tennessee, has been the hub of the community for decades. But a devastating flood has destroyed the historic icon, and its owners, Charlie and Donna, see no way short of a miracle to reopen. Molly and Ryan spent every afternoon of 2 years at The Bridge when students at nearby Belmont College. Their friendship deepened and their love grew amid the classics in the bookstore. But misunderstandings and circumstances separated them 7 years ago. Maybe The Bridge can once again bring them together.

I found the story to be a combination of It’s A Wonderful Life and You’ve Got Mail. Charlie and his bookstore have touched so many people over the years, yet he keeps hearing his father’s saying voice that he will end up a failure. His story is the one that kept me reading. I also loved the way books were important to so many people in the community with their ability to inform and transform. This was indeed a book lover’s book.

All in all I have to say I liked this book. So if you like romance, Christmas stories, or Karen Kingsbury, try The Bridge. If you have read The Bridge. I would love to share your thoughts with my group (we meet Thursday night). Please leave me a comment.

Recommended.

(I purchased The Bridge for my Kindle.)