After witnessing the suicide of a church sister, Minister Francine Amen is disgusted with herself for turning against the young woman aAbout the Book:
After witnessing the suicide of a church sister, Minister Francine Amen is disgusted with herself for turning against the young woman and refusing to accept her claim of sexual abuse by their pastor. Now, after a short stay in a psychiatric hospital, Francine is trying to pull her life and her ministry back together. But first she must face all of the people she has hurt so deeply--including her younger sister, Dawn. But can Dawn trust her? Francine used to date Dawn's husband, Sly--who now seems just a little too interested in Francine's recovery. As far as Dawn is concerned, Sly would be better off spending his time making amends to her for his own sins.
The Amen Sisters has a killer beginning and moves along at a pretty fast pace for a while. There is plenty of drama to move the story forward and the tension is realistic and well done. The story slowed a bit in the middle when it got heavy on the church scenes and talking a lot about forgiveness and issues from the past. Then the action picked up again.
I prefer to be in the middle of the action and experience conflict and agony along with the characters. There was potential for emotional suffering at first, but the slower parts were hard for me to get through. That's just the way I see things.
I enjoyed the conflict between Dawn, Sly, Freddy, and Walter. However, I'm a pretty forgiving person so Dawn's ongoing anger started bugging me. I was glad when she and Sly began seeking the Lord more in their relationship, which is the best way to heal from that type of rift. The point the author made about stepping out in faith to rebuild trust and choosing to love was excellently done.
Overall I enjoyed this novel. I liked how the author tied some scenes back to Genesis House, which was from an earlier book the author wrote. But it would've been better with a little less talk and more action in the middle to keep the story from sagging. Regardless, The Amen Sisters ranks high in edgy content, so I'd recommend it to people who enjoy reading about real life issues.
The Amen Sisters was published by Warner Books/Walkworthy Press and released in 2005. ...more
In preparation for their long-awaited wedding day, Dayne and Katy are determined to keep the ceremony a secret from the paparazzi.From the Publisher:
In preparation for their long-awaited wedding day, Dayne and Katy are determined to keep the ceremony a secret from the paparazzi. Their relationship grows closer and stronger as they plan together, but in the end it takes the help of the Baxter family and many of the CKT kids so that they'll even have a chance at a private wedding. John Baxter is thrilled that his oldest son will be settling 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 is having for his friend Elaine. In the meantime, the Flanigan family is struggling with their young boarder, Cody Coleman, Jim Flanigan's star receiver. After an alcohol overdose, Cody fights for his life. Only God's grace and a miracle can bring him back from the brink of death...physically and spiritually.
I enjoyed Sunrise immensely, probably because I became familiar with Dayne and Katy in Kingsbury's book Fame. While Kingsbury does a great job slipping in the back story a little bit at a time, sometimes it's just not as good as reading it for yourself. I loved Fame and I loved Sunrise. (Nothing like going straight to the wedding.) Actually, there were four books after Fame that led up to this point, so if you like soap opera drama in the sense that every book makes you crave the next "episode" then you'll love Sunrise as a prelude to the exciting things yet to come.
The wedding scene was also the most beautiful and romantic that I've ever read. You can't help but love Dayne and Katy and want great things to happen in their lives. Especially after getting a feel for all that they went through even without reading the previous books. Their love is rich and deep and based on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Kingsbury is unabashedly Christian in that respect. She always emphasizes the importance of salvation in the lives of her characters. I love that. The subplot regarding the perils of drinking and driving was well done as was the budding romance between the senior Baxter, John, and his long-time friend, Elaine.
Kingsbury is also the queen of secondary characters and subplots. Just like in the soaps, there are always several stories going at once. Of course that makes me crave the next book in the series--which I thankfully have--so I can immediately continue on. Kingsbury writes fast enough to make it possible to go from one story to the next. I've probably done myself a disservice by not reading everything in order. I plan to jump back to read Forgiven (which comes after Fame) and I still need to read Redemption, which was the book that started the last two series. But no matter which way you slice it, each series containing the Baxter family is addicting. I'm glad to be getting my next fix....more
While I own quite a few of Karen Kingsbury's novels, this is the first I've read because the storyline drew me in. It was exciting from the first pageWhile I own quite a few of Karen Kingsbury's novels, this is the first I've read because the storyline drew me in. It was exciting from the first page. While getting to know the characters I discovered that some had their own stories, which resolved in earlier books, and that intrigued me. Now I feel like I need to backtrack and read the others as well. I really enjoyed getting to know Dayne and Katy. Even though Dayne is lost, he longs for real love. He just doesn't know what it is or where to find it. I experienced his struggles with him and found them to be very true-to-life. Her portrayal of temptation and a life involving casual sex was believable as well as Katy's struggle with wanting fame, but discovering that ultimately it wasn't what she really wanted. She stayed true to her faith and I think in the long run that will be what leads Dayne to the Lord. ...more
I can't believe how true to life the issues are that the author's characters' deal with in her novels. No pain is sidestepped. No pat answers are offeI can't believe how true to life the issues are that the author's characters' deal with in her novels. No pain is sidestepped. No pat answers are offered. True healing and forgiveness are experienced. Consequences of sin are suffered. This is real life with a whole lot of hope. The resolutions made sense and weren't easy fixes. I got choked up nearly as often with this book as I did Remember. Also, I read the entire novel in two days (around working my full time job.) Wonderful read. I especially loved the contrast between liberal thinking and true faith. Highly recommended....more
Heather was a fun read with enough drama and romantic tension to tickle my fancy. Like a cozy mystery, but with an extra helping of humor and romance. Heather was a fun read with enough drama and romantic tension to tickle my fancy. Like a cozy mystery, but with an extra helping of humor and romance. I normally don't like cozy's that much, but this story had enough hilarious moments and delightful scenes between Duke and Heather that it kept me reading to the end. I literally couldn't put it down. Heather's rich girlfriends were hilarious and made for great secondary characters. This was a really fun story, like a beach read, but with a little more depth to the characterization. And I wanted Duke and Heather to make it in their budding relationship the worst way.
Heather reminded me of Cameron Diaz in the modern version of the Charlie's Angels entourage when she sleuthed around with her friends. I held my breath on more than one occasion expecting those gals to get caught in the act of snooping. And Duke was a charming and delectable hero. That scene with Heather and Duke romping on the beach was... oy! What an awesome and memorable love scene. Wonderfully done! I don't want to spoil the fun twists and turns, but I guarantee that this read will be enjoyable for mystery and romance readers alike. I was still smiling after I finished the last page.
Heather was published by Harvest House and released in September 2007....more
This story rocked! It drew me in to the drama from page one. Even though I have plenty of other books to read I kept wanting to read this one. The chaThis story rocked! It drew me in to the drama from page one. Even though I have plenty of other books to read I kept wanting to read this one. The characterization is fabulous and the emotion is deep. The marital stuff is very well done and the temptation is believable. I particularly enjoyed the spiritual element of this novel. It was very detailed and comprehensive, yet it perfectly fit the story without feeling like a sermon. Probably because the main characters were all Christians. There were some POV issues, but the realistic and emotional depth in this story made up for the small stuff. Highly recommended....more
The uniqueness of this story really pulled me in. Each woman had their own drama and were mismatched as friends, but after some seriously hard times cThe uniqueness of this story really pulled me in. Each woman had their own drama and were mismatched as friends, but after some seriously hard times came upon each of them, they learned to reach out to each other and seek God for strength. The Ex Files is like a soap opera with four stories going at the same time, yet they intersect on occasion. The cool thing about the plots in this book were that they were all equally compelling. Usually I want to take one character's plot and dive ahead to the next place where they are featured in the book. But I was never tempted to do that with The Ex Files because none of the stories were dull or unlikable.
The conflict was real, the emotion went deep into the character's lives, and the best part about these four ladies lives was that none of their ultimate choices were predictable. In fact, each ending turned out differently than I had anticipated. Also, the author did an amazing job of taking an unlikeable characteristic such as selfishness and still managed to make me care about the women in the book. Each had issues that centered around their own needs and how they dealt with their problems was so realistic and well done. The faith element was perfectly incorporated as well. I just love the ingenuity and creativity in this author's novels. I'm going to have to read everything she publishes from now on. I don't want to miss a thing! ...more
My Soul Cries Out is a powerful redemption story about Monica and Kevin that on more than one occasion moved me to tears. I loved how the author wasn'My Soul Cries Out is a powerful redemption story about Monica and Kevin that on more than one occasion moved me to tears. I loved how the author wasn't afraid to tell it like it is when it came to internal thoughts, especially the skank ho references to certain women. Hilarious! The author masterfully wrote about Monica's rage the way it might really happen and didn't soften the issues for fear of offending the reader. This is real life trauma and heartache! Monica was a very flawed character but the author did such a fantastic job of growing her in her relationship with the Lord and with others that I couldn't help but love her. I just can't say enough good things about this book.
Kevin's characterization was so well done that I can honestly say I haven't read any novel highlighting the pain that comes from childhood abuse that was better at showing it than this one. And I've read a lot of them. You can't help but have compassion on Kevin when he reveals his struggles and you see how even the church had betrayed him by not protecting him. The way Kevin and Monica's relationship developed throughout the story is proof that God can use anything--even the most horrible sin or mistake--to make us more like Him.
In addition to the main story, there were several subplots regarding redemption that were both believable and moving. The story of Alaysia's quest for peace and redemption was perfectly done and complimented the main theme of My Soul Cries Out. True-to-life, the comments made by an unbeliever can often be used to turn the struggling Christian's life around. Oh, and the ending gave me the happy shivers. I SO loved this story and can't wait to read the next book from this author, who is even more beautiful than the model on the cover....more
I read this novel in a few days. It has a different feel than most of the AA Christian fiction I've read, but I liked it. Serena is anything but serenI read this novel in a few days. It has a different feel than most of the AA Christian fiction I've read, but I liked it. Serena is anything but serene for a good portion of the book because she can't seem to get past what happened in her immediate family. In some ways I understood that and in others I didn't. But overall it made for a believable conflict for the main character. And when she finally listened to her mother the reasoning her mother gave made sense. I found it very believable.
It would be hard to sustain an entire novel on that one conflict alone, but the author did it by adding some great secondary characters to the story. The subplot of Erika and Elliot was riveting. I have a feeling there will be a follow up story which includes this couple. The conflict seemed very real and the author had the dynamics of a DV relationship nailed. Great job.
The ending was a bit sad, but I still enjoyed the story. The thing I found most interesting about this book was how the character heard God's voice throughout her emotional suffering but chose to ignore Him. So in essense God did speak to her heart, she just wasn't listening until she realized she was making wrong choices that hurt her more than anyone else. I thought it was cool that she had a Christian boyfriend, too, and the supportive role he played. I plan to read the rest of the books in this series because I enjoyed this author's "voice." ...more