Monday, March 28, 2011

#37 - Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury

(336 pgs) Whew, the characters I loved so much from the Redemption series and the Firstborn series are still here! I'm so glad they are included in this series also! This is the first in the Sunrise series, and again, I loved the book. The characters are really life like, could be my neighbors. I wish I could go to Bloomington and meet them! Here is what Karen's site says about this one:

Sunrise is the first book in this new series continuing on with the lives of the Baxters from The Redemption Series as well as Dayne and Katy from the Firstborn Series.

In preparation for their wedding day, Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart are determined to keep the ceremony a secret from the paparazzi.

John Baxter is thrilled that his oldest son will settle down a few miles away, but he isn’t sure how any of his kids will handle a situation he can no longer run from—the feelings he’s having for his friend Elaine.

Meanwhile, the Flanigan family is struggling with their young border, Cody Coleman, the star receiver on Jim Flanigan’s football team.
Sunrise is a story about God’s unending faithfulness and the promise of new beginnings.

Can't wait to read Summer!

#36 - Forever by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) # 5 in the Firstborn series and while I loved the book, I'm sad the series is over. I feel like I really know these characters and their families. I will miss them but am glad they will appear in other books too! Again, from Karen's website, here is what she says about the book:


Katie Hart is thrilled about her future with Hollywood's Dayne Matthews. But as she plans a wedding and looks for a house on the shores of Lake Monroe, she receives tragic news.

Now she and the members of the Baxter family must travel to Los Angeles and sort through their options. While paparazzi open fire on the Baxter family, Luke Baxter must wrestle with feelings that have troubled him for nearly a year.

Ultimately, the Baxter family must pull together one last time in an act of service and love to help Katie and Dayne find what they've always been looking for - a chance at forever."

A great ending to a great series, and a believable ending. Now on to the Sunrise series! If I can see through my tears to read some more!

#35 - Family by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) # 4 in the Firstborn series....and of course I loved it. Here is the summary from Karen's website since she says it so much better than I could without giving anything away:
A Sensational Trial

Katy Hart travels to Los Angeles to testify against the knife-wielding fan who tried to kill her. She is hunted by paparazzi who figure out that she is the mystery woman photographed with Hollywood movie star Dayne Matthews. Tension and pressure build to a dangerous level as Katy and Dayne seek private moments amidst the frenzy. In the end, Dayne’s celebrity life makes Katy certain that a future with him is all but impossible.

A Life-Changing Decision

As the trial comes to a close, Dayne searches for answers he cannot seem to find. Not until he talks to his childhood friend does he realize his desperate need for wisdom and direction. Ultimately his journey leads him to an isolated beach where God makes Dayne’s future as clear as the waters of Cancun. But can he live with the decision God places before him?

A Stunning Discovery

Landon and Ashley Baxter Blake are celebrating the happiest days of their lives, enjoying Cole and their newborn son. But Ashley cannot find peace until she finds her older brother—the firstborn Baxter sibling. Her constant questions to her father, John Baxter, have netted nothing. Now she receives news that rocks her world and threatens to end her search in heartbreaking finality.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

#34- Found by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) This is #3 in the Firstborn series that I have really been enjoying. Since I've taken to posting reviews from the authors own website since mine all sound the same or give away plot details, here is what her site says about Found :

A Desperate Search
Driven by his wife’s dying wish—to find their firstborn son—John Baxter sets about the search of a lifetime. His prayer? That Elizabeth’s wish would be fulfilled before the upcoming Baxter family reunion. One strange turn follows another, but John confides in a new friend and continues to look for his son. When the answers finally come, they shake John to his core. Will he agree to walk away and keep the secret of a lifetime, or will he decide it’s time to let the truth come to light—no matter the cost?
A Tragic Loss
Dayne Matthews is questioning his adoptive parents’ faith when he receives crushing news. He was ready to take on the responsibility of having a family, but now the future is drastically altered and Dayne is desperate for answers. Wisdom and comfort come from visits with a long-lost friend and then with Katy Hart, the girl Dayne can’t seem to forget. But will Dayne find the strength he needs to face a future laced with loss, and will that strength lead him to the greatest love of all?
A Terrible Storm
As the Baxters come together, the reunion is overshadowed by a miracle in their midst. But just as quickly, tragedy comes to Bloomington. Ashley is eight months pregnant and in the early stages of labor when a tornado rips through the community, leaving one family missing and destroying homes throughout the area. What will Dayne Matthews do when he hears about the storm? Will he finally find peace in a God he has been running from all his life?

A story of God’s divine leading and the truth that God rewards those who seek Him with all their heart."

I was up until 12:15 last night to finish this one...and would have started #4 if I didn't have to work today! But I've started it now.....stay tuned!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

#33-Forgiven by Karen Kingsbury

(384 pages) As Karen's website says: "Dayne Matthews is at the top of the Hollywood list, working on what may be his best movie yet. Still, he is empty and unfocused, aching for real love and the family he'll never know. Then a friend tells him about a teaching center and a way to become like God."

I love that Karen's books contain joys and sorrows of real people and how they realistically deal with them. Though most story lines end up with a "happily ever after feel" the characters do endure tragedy and she portrays those struggles realistically in my opinion. LIfe is not a bowl of cherries for the Baxters or their extended families, and I appreciate that. I don't have Found yet, # 3 in the Firstborn series, but I'm going to get it ASAP!

#32-Fame by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) Love that this novel picks up right where the Redemption Series leaves off. The same Baxter family characters as life moves on for them. Here is the review from Karen's website: "Fame is the first book in the soul-stirring new Firstborn Series from Karen Kingsbury. As Dayne Matthews returns to Hollywood after his shocking discovery in Karen's best-selling novel Reunion, he faces the dangerous world of fame and paparazzi. Meanwhile, Katy Hart receives the offer of a lifetime--starring opposite Dayne in a Hollywood film. Dayne and Katy's choices will change their hearts and lives forever."

She just says it all so much better than I could! Love these books and this author...can you tell? Trying to get my hands on all her books!

#31-Reunion by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley

(400 pgs) The final book in the Baxter Family Redemption Series. It was just as great as the others in the series, but I wasn't ready to say goodbye to all the characters! I was so glad the Firstborn Series picks up where this one left off. I grabbed Fame right away and started reading! This one does bring some storylines to a close and we continue to keep up with the many members of the Baxter family and what God is doing in their lives. I love the faith elements in these books...God is always good, even when our circumstances are not. The characters in these novels live that out! The review from "A Deadly Diagnosis: In the fifth and final book in the Redemption Series, plans are being made for a family reunion. Nearly all the adult Baxter children have a reason to celebrate, except one. As the preparations get under way, a deadly diagnosis sends shock waves through the Baxter family and threatens to tear them apart.

A Heartbreaking Secret: The reality of what might lie ahead brings each of the Baxters to a place of faith and honesty. In the process, Elizabeth and John come to grips with a secret they haven't shared with anyone, a secret they rarely admit even to themselves. At the same time, a young man is making his rise in Hollywood and wondering about his place in life.

A Glorious Celebration: Amidst the threat of sorrow, the Baxters share in their most wonderful celebration of all, a moment to remember that love always wins out, no matter how long the struggle, a reminder that God reigns even in the darkest night."

That should make you want to read it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

#30-Rejoice by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

(355 pgs) #4 in the Redemption Series and features Peter and Brooke and their family and struggles as their daughter Hayley faces serious health issues. Can their marriage survive them? Kari and Ryan are still included in story lines as are Ashley and Landon and Luke and Reagan. I love how she continues to write about imperfect people and the struggles they face, but with their faith, they are brought through the fires, not kept from them. One of my favorite parts is where all the women in the Baxter family share a morning of prayer and their favorite scripture verses with Reagan and her mother the morning of her wedding to Luke. What a great idea and sentimental time for all involved. On to #5 - I think I will miss these characters when I finish this series!

Monday, March 14, 2011

#29-Return by Karen Kingsbury

(346 pgs) This is number 3 in the Redemption series, and again, a GREAT book. I feel like I know personally the characters in the Baxter family. How I would love to meet them if they were real! This novel focuses on Luke and his struggles with his faith in the wake of September 11. Ashley also has a large part as she realizes some of her dreams, yet also deals with life changing news. And Kari and Ryan finally get married in this one! I'm so glad I have number 4 so I can get started right away.

#28-Remember by Karen Kingsbury

(391 pgs) Number 2 in the Redemption Series with Gary Smalley and another fabulous book. I love how real the characters are..the Baxters are a great family who turn to the Lord in the good and the bad. The kids aren't perfect and they make bad decisions, but through the prayers of their faithful parents and siblings, they find God again. I love how God is so faithful to never leave them, even when they try to leave him. This one is mostly about Ashley, Cole and Landon but also the other Baxters...Kari and Ryan and Jessie; Luke and his new girlfriend Reagan, and also covers September 11 and the attacks on our nation. A great book, of course. I'm really glad mom suggested I try some of Karen Kingsbury's novels!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

#27 - Redemption by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

(384 pgs) This is the first in the next Karen Kingsbury series I am working my way through. (Baxter Family Drama-Redemption Series) It is about Kari Baxter Jacobs and her husband Tim. Tim is a professor and Indiana University and Kari discovers through an anonymous phone call that her husband is having an affair with one of his students. Naturally she is heartbroken and can't believe he would ever do this to her and to their marriage. The rest of the book is about how Kari tries to handle the situation she has found herself in, NOT wanting to give Tim the divorce he asks for. To complicate matters a little, Ryan Taylor, Kari's first love, is back in town and still in love with Kari. Will Ryan admit his feelings to her? Will it matter? Can Kari save her marriage to Tim...does she want to? It was a great story and well written, as all her books are. I've already started #2 in the series!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#26 - Who is My Shelter? by Neta Jackson

(400 pgs) This is the fourth and final book in the Yada Yada House of Hope Series. For me, it was a very satisfying conclusion to the story lines....though she could easily have continued them. I could tell right away how Will was going to fit into thier lives, and was glad when my prediciton turned out to be accurate. I felt like things with Gabby and Phillip were realistically handled as well. I still didn't like Lee's involvement with Gabby...but I guess some people work that way. I loved this series as much as the other Yada Yada books and can't wait for another series by Neta Jackson!