Sunday, June 26, 2011

Learning - Karen Kingsbury



Bailey Flanigan is growing closer to her dream to be an actress and dancer in New York while Cody coaches a small high school football team ... on and off the field. But neither feels complete without the chance to share their dreams with one other. Can distance truly make the heart grow fonder? Or will Cody learn to turn to others to share in his happiness? And when tragedy strikes? Who will be there to provide comfort in the face of loss? As Cody's past catches up with him, he must learn to reach out for help or risk withdrawing permanently inside himself. Both Bailey and Cody find themselves learning significant life lessons in this poignant love story, featuring members from Karen Kingsbury's popular Baxter family.


 I was thrilled to have a chance to catch up with Bailey's family once again. Yes, as always i have to remind myself that Bailey and all the characters she interacts with are just fiction. Karen must live, eat and breathe with these fictional people, because she brings them across as totally realistic characters in realistic situations. i cry, laugh, agonize and dream with them. i am just a little angry right now because the book is finished, and it left me with questions i know i have to wait a few months to find out the answers for! Also, there are twists and turns in this story that leave me thinking it didn't come together the way i thought it should. i think the characters have surprised Karen, too with their actions.
i love Karen's books, and recommend them to all my friends....then have to deal with it when my friends are not as enthused about Karen's books as i am.
Well written books, characters are rounded out and believable. I give Bailey's story a 12 out of possible 10!

Leaving - Karen Kingsbury

Leaving, Bailey Flanigan Series #1

Product Description

The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City. She's determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive. In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan.


How does one write an unbiased report on a book that talks about your own family? Oh, right, The Flannigan family is NOT my family. Actually, this is a fiction book, and although the family written about may closely resemble a family you personally know, this is not that family. Anyhows, once again Karen Kingsbury has brought the Flannigan, and Baxter families together with their friends into my own livingroom. The situations are so true to life, so honest, i often feel like i should be seeing them on the street, could be interacting with them.

What a better review than this? The only negative i can see about this is that Karen can't write faster. I know there are some of you who read this that might feel that the stories are too contrived, like stories can't all have such happy endings. i guess i don't find that these all do have happy endings, but since i don't always have happy endings in my own life, i love to read about those times when good happens.

i have bought Karen Kingsbury books at Costco, Parable Book Stores, Walmart, and local Christian Book stores - whereever good books are sold!

Through the Waters - Jeanne E. Brooks

Through The WatersProduct Details

Product Description

MADELINE MARIE GALLOWAY is a single, solidly Christian young woman who is excited about the future until she experiences the loss of her father and a violent attack resulting in a pregnancy. How could God let this happen to one of his faithful? How could she ever offer herself to her future husband now that she was no longer pure? And what about the baby? Abortion? Single parenthood? Adoption? JIM AND SUZANNE are a young couple looking forward to raising a family and having a loving Christian home. They experience multiple disappointments until tragedy forces them toward a choice they never expected to make. Unexpectedly, the result brings them great joy, but will their happiness last? Why do tragic things happen to good people? Watch how God carries them through their trials and tears. See how "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:27-29 Jeanne and her husband of 35 years share their home in Washington State with her mother. Jeanne is the proud grandmother of eight grandchildren scattered around the country, with number nine due in 2009. Her greatest hope is to see loved ones join for that great family reunion when Jesus returns. She works as a Physician Assistant with the US Army in support of the Global War on terror. When not working, her hobbies include reading voraciously, genealogy research, and crochet, but her real love and focus is her family.

My Review

A captivating story. The characters are well rounded-out, and through excellent use of words draws the reader into a story that not many authors are able to tell. As unpredictable as life, as rocky as a road can be, with tall mountains to climb and deep valleys to get through, the story of God's love and providence still shines through. Although i said it was captivating, i did not say it was an easy book to read but only because it caused me to look at myself and more times than i would want to admit it showed i was lacking in my christian faith. It is a book of hope, faith and love, and explores the question do bad things happen to good people.

i will be looking for the rest of the books in the Journeys of Faith series by Jeanne.  Across the Wilderness is available through Amazon and the Book Depository.
i recieved this book from Jeanne. i was not required to write a positive review. Thanks for a great book, Jeanne. i LOVED it and will be recommending it to my friends

diary...June 26,

Sorry for not keeping you in touch with my life. but here goes. will try to keep it concise, though
The crops and garden are in the ground - or perhaps i should say out of the ground. They are all growing super nicely. We have had almost triple the rain this spring so far than what we had all growing season last year, for which we are grateful beyond words! Sounds like a lot? and some of you are drowning out, but for us 3 X 1 inch is great. We do need warmth and sunshine, but am confindent God will send us this as well.
Much as i'd like to just stay home, now, it seems we've been on the road alot. We finished putting the seed in the ground, and two days later all four of us were on our way down to Linden. Peter & Karen just went there and back, but Mom and i spent almost a week there visiting friends and family. Although it was great, i was more than ready to come home and garden!
Then, last weekend, Lillian, mother of a dear friend, and someone i got to know better when i lived in Saskatchewan for those 5 years, passed away. She and her husband were involved in an accident 10 days earlier, and though her husband walked away from the head-on collision, she had did not fare as well. She was healing fairly well when she contracted pnemonia (sp?) and passed away. Mom and i went to that funeral, leaving here Sunday morning and getting back shortly after dinner on Friday.
i am finding out that Mom just can't make these trips in just a few days. So we visited friends and family there, too.
i think i am home to stay for awhile, but won't write that in stone, yet. We have a few doctor's appointments coming up, and Peter & Karen have offered to take Mom to Steinbach to visit her sister there. i might take her to Abbotsford later this summer to visit Dad's sister, sister-in-law, Mom's brother and other family there.
i have started working on our rock-garden (this one actually has flowers in it, we're not growing rocks there) but with all the traveling and rain, it looks pretty bad. Am looking forward to getting in there, as well as into the strawberry patch.
Wishing you a great summer, and thanks for stopping by for coffee this morning!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Until We Reach Home - Lynn Austin

Until We Reach Home  -     
        By: Lynn Austin

Until We Reach Home – by Lynn Austin

Until We Reach Home begins in Sweden, a new beginning – January 1897. Three sisters, Elin, Kirsten and Sofia have lived with their Uncle Sven and Aunt  Karin since they moved in with the girls after their parents death.  As  the eldest, Elin feels it her responsibility to protect her younger sisters from the advances of their Uncle, which she has experienced herself. So, before things can go further, she takes her sisters on a voyage to America.

In America, she finds that she did not leave her memories and troubles behind in Sweden, and that hinders their life. Secrets between the sisters abound, causing heartache and distresses.  Sickness greets them once on land again, and the sisters are drawn into their individual lives.

Lynn Austin writes a compelling story, drawing you into the lives of the characters and draws vivid pictures with words.
I enjoy Lynn Austin's books, and recommend this one to everyone.

Kaydie by Penny Zeller

KaydieKaydie, Montana Skies Series #2

 Kaydie, second book in Penny Zeller`s series Montana Skies takes place in Pine Haven in Montana Territory. She lives with her sister McKenzie and husband Zach Sawyer on their ranch. Kaydence moved to be with her sister after her abusive husband was killed. This story has many sub stories – abuse, prejudice, daughter/parents relationship, dysfunctional families and more.

This is a tender love story of heartache and healing, of lies they believe, of how God can work through any circumstance to have good come out of it. It can easily stand by itself, though i will want to read book one – McKenzie when i find it.

I found Penny`s character building to be a bit of Lori Wick`s style – where the man is almost unbelievably understanding of women.  The characters (other than the one flaw, in my mind) are well written and believable.  I found myself being drawn into the story very quickly. I will be looking for more of Penny`s books.

I received this book from Penny. The thoughts expressed in this book are mine alone. It is available from all Christian book stores.

A Visoion of Lucy by Margaret Brownley

A Vision of Lucy
A Vision of Lucy - Rocky Creek Romance Series #3

No matter how hard Lucy tries to help, something always goes wrong! And not just a tear in her petticoat either!  Lucy Fairbanks lives in Rocky Creek, Texas with her father and brother and a town of colourful (interesting) people.  I found myself chuckling many times at the episodes of Lucy, and how she disentangled herself and others. Her heart’s in the right place, as are the other people in town.
Lucy`s mother was died in an accident before the story starts, and her pa has a hard time relating to the two children.  They rely on each other to deal with life.
Each chapter begins with a quote from Miss Gertrude Hasslebrink’s Trials and Travails of a Woman Photographer,  1878 and this ties in well with the book.
Although i found the antics humorous, i would not call this a humorous book. There is mystery and romance here also.

This is the third and last book in the Rocky Creek series, but it is also a standalone book. I haven`t read the other two in the series, but i will be looking for them, as well as other books by Margaret Brownley, you can be assured of that!
I recieved this book from Thomas Nelson publishers through Booksneeze for the purpose of reviewing. i was not required to make a positive review.