The College and Career
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Compared to a number of Christian Fiction authors such as Beverly Lewis and Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury is a relatively-new Christian Fiction writer. However, Karen Kingsbury has quickly become one of the top writers of Christian Fiction. She is a prolific writer and has a large following of devoted fans.
Karen started her writing career as a reporter. She wanted to write fiction, so after writing four true-crime books, she knew it was time to do something different. According to one interview, Karen believes that “God opened the door to publishing through my work at the newspaper.”
A common concept that many people have about Christian Fiction is that it is way too tame and to some degree unrealistic. However, Karen Kingsbury is one of a growing number of Christian Fiction authors who incorporate real-life issues within the story, through the use of well-developed characters. In one interview Karen says “So I think there’s a level of realism in my books. You need to get down among the people who are the dirtiest and dustiest, and the depravity, and you need to see Christ’s light shining there.”
Karen masterfully writes about forgiveness, family, and situations that readers can identify with. She has a loyal following that continues to grow because of the inspiration that her storytelling brings to many people.
The members of the Baxter family have become very popular characters. They appear in five different series. Karen says that “Each of these series can be read alone, however, by reading them in the following order, you can watch this family grow up and make impacts on so many people around them. Sometimes, they will appear as the major characters in these series and other times, they will be background characters.” Information from Karen Kingbury’s website suggests that you read the books about the Baxters in this order:
PLEASE NOTE that sometimes, the Baxters appear as the major characters in these series and other times, they will be background characters.”
Many of the following books can be found in your local library. If they do not have the books, then please feel free to ask the library staff if they have a free interlibrary loan service. Some of the following books are out-of-print and have been so for a long time. If you would like to see a review or purchase any of these books then please visit Amazon.com and its used-bookstore associates. Some of the older books can be obtained for a pretty fair price at some of Amazon.com's used-bookstore affiliations.
Fifteen Minutes: A Novel due August 2013
"Zack Dylan has a dream. He wants to sing on the biggest stages, for the biggest crowds, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make it come true. But Zack also made a promise to his college sweetheart when he left Kentucky to compete on the popular TV show Fifteen Minutes: If he made it, nothing would change him or his faith in God.
Overnight, Zack becomes the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer comparable to a young Tim McGraw. As his star rises, Zack is often asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs. Just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster. Meanwhile, a former Fifteen Minutes winner is searching for meaning amidst her own private losses. Can she warn Zack about the real price of fame? Or will Zack lose everything he loves for his fifteen minutes of glory?"
The Family of Jesus. Due January 2014
"America’s favorite inspirational novelist offers a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus, all anchored by Scriptural truth, creating a life-changing and unprecedented emotional connection to the Bible.
For the first time ever, readers will develop an emotional connection to the family members of Jesus, learning about their lives and falling in love with Scripture along the way. Bible studies and devotionals abound, and in churches everywhere people gather to seek a deeper understanding of God’s word and its application to their lives. But too often these studies engage only the analytic approach to Bible learning."
Above the Line Series
The “Take” series involves filmmakers Chase Ryan and Keith Ellison who want to change the world. “Could they change the world---before the world changes them? Filmmakers Chase Ryan and Keith Ellison left the mission field of Indonesia for the mission field of Hollywood with a dream bigger than both of them. Now they have done the impossible: raised enough money to produce a feature film with a message that could change the world. But as Chase and Keith begin shooting, their well-laid plans begin to unravel. With millions of dollars on the line, they make a desperate attempt to keep the film from falling apart---even as a temperamental actress, a botched production schedule, and their own insecurities leave little room for the creative and spiritual passion that once motivated them. Was God really behind this movie after all? A chance meeting and friendship with John Baxter could bring the encouragement they need to stay on mission and produce a movie that will actually change people's lives. In the midst of the questions and the cameras, is it possible to keep things above the line and make a movie unlike anything done before---or is the risk too great for everyone?”
Take One. Book 1. 2009
Take Two. Book 2. 2009
Take Three. Book 3. 2010
Take Four. Book 4. 2010
Bailey Flanigan Series
“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.
Love, loneliness, big opportunities, and even bigger decisions highlight the first book in the new Bailey Flanigan series that features members of the popular Baxter family and finally completes the Bailey Flanigan/Cody Coleman story.”
Leaving. Book 1. 2011
Learning. Book 2. 2011
Longing. Book 3. 2011
Loving. Book 4. 2012 (Due March 2012)
Cody Gunner Series
This series follows the lives of young rodeo stars Cody Gunner and Ali Daniels. Both have obstacles to overcome such as Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
A Thousand Tomorrows. Book 1. 2005
Just Beyond the Clouds. Book 2. 2007
Firstborn Series (BAXTER FAMILY) (SECOND INSTALLMENT)
The firstborn series is the second group of books about the Baxter family. This is a continuation of the earlier Redemption Series.
"In the first book of this continuation (Fame), Hollywood A-lister Dayne Matthews returns to LA after his shocking discovery in Karen’s bestselling novel Reunion. Though his life is filled with fame, fortune, and paparazzi, his heart is pulling him toward a woman and a family who have no idea how their lives are tied to his. Meanwhile, Katy Hart has finally found contentment as the director of Christian Kids Theater in Bloomington, Indiana. But that changes in an instant when she meets Dayne Matthews and he promises a future she left in her past."
Fame. Book 1. 2005
Forgiven. Book 2. 2005
Found. Book 3. 2006
Family. Book 4. 2006
Forever. Book 5. 2007
Forever Faithful Series
“As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her—a husband other women admire, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a car pulls into Hannah’s driveway, bringing two police officers...and devastating news that shatters her life forever.
In the days that follow, Hannah struggles with unspeakable feelings of sorrow and rage—feelings that fuse into one chilling purpose for living: revenge against Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who has caused all her pain. In her fury, Hannah shuts the Lord out of her life. She’s determined not to forgive Wesley or the God who allowed this tragedy to happen. Can two caring people help Hannah rediscover her faith...before bitterness destroys her?”
Waiting for Morning. Book 1. 1999
A Moment of Weakness. Book 2. 2000
Halfway to Forever. Book 3. 2002
Lost Love Series
“Sometimes hope for the future is found in the ashes of yesterday. Shane Galanter---a man ready to put down roots after years of searching. But is he making the right choice? Or is there a woman somewhere who even now remembers---as does he---those longago days . . . and a love that hasn't faded with time? Lauren Gibbs---a successful international war correspondent who gave up on happily-ever-after years ago---when it was ripped away from her. Since then, she's never looked back. So how come she can't put to rest the one question that haunts her: Why is life so empty? Emily Anderson---a college freshman raised by her grandparents who's about to take her first internship as a journalist. But before she can move ahead, she discovers a love story whose tragic ending came with her birth. As a result, she is drawn to look back and search out the mother she's never met. A young woman seeking answers to her heart's deep questions. A man and woman separated by lies and long years, who have never forgotten each other.”
Even Now. Book 1. 2005
Ever After. Book 2. 2007
“I'm a firefighter, God, so I know I've been in some tough places before. But this . . . this not knowing the people I love . . . this is the hardest thing I can imagine. The last thing Jake Bryan knew was the roar of the World Trade Center collapsing on top of him and his fellow firefighters. The man in the hospital bed remembers nothing. Not rushing with his teammates up the stairway of the south tower to help trapped victims. Not being blasted from the building. And not the woman sitting by his bedside who says she is his wife. Jamie Bryan will do anything to help her beloved husband regain his memory, and with it their storybook family life with their small daughter, Sierra. But that means helping Jake rediscover the one thing Jamie has never shared with him: his deep faith in God. Jake's fondest prayer for his wife is about to have an impact beyond anything he could possibly have conceived. One Tuesday Morning is a love story like none you have ever read: tender, poignant, commemorating the tragedy and heroism of September 11 and portraying the far-reaching power of God's faithfulness and a good man's love.”
One Tuesday Morning. Book 1. 2003
Beyond Tuesday Morning. Book 2. 2004
Remember Tuesday Morning. (originally Every Now and Then) 2006
Red Gloves Series
The characters are different for each of these books, but the stories are similar. These are inspirational Christmas stories and red gloves make an appearance in each of these books.
Gideon’s Gift: A Novel. 2002
Maggie’s Miracle. 2003
Sarah’s Song. 2004
Hannah’s Hope. 2005
Redemption Series (BAXTERS First Installment) (co-author Gary Smalley)
“When Kari Baxter Jacobs finds out that her husband is involved in an adulterous relationship and wants a divorce, she decides she will love him and remain faithful to her marriage at all costs. This book shows how God can redeem seemingly hopeless relationships, and it illustrates one of Gary Smalley’s key messages: Love is a decision.”
Redemption. Book 1. 2002
Remember. Book 2. 2003
Return. Book 3. 2003
Rejoice. Book 4. 2004
Reunion. Book 5. 2004
Sunrise Series (BAXTERS and others)
“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.”
Sunrise. Book 1. 2007
Summer. Book 2. 2007
Someday. Book 3. 2008
Sunset. Book 4. 2008
Timeless Love Series
“They're the perfect couple--envied by their friends, cherished by their children, admired by their peers. But John and Abby Reynolds know they're just pretending to be happy. In fact, they're waiting for the right time to tell the kids they're going to divorce. But at the family meeting where they plan to tell their children, Nicole shares a surprise of her own: she's getting married. How can they spoil her joy with their announcement? They can pretend a little longer--until after the wedding. But questions begin to haunt them as the date draws nearer. What happened to the love and commitment that held them together for so long? Is it still there somewhere under all the pain and misunderstanding? And is it still possible, alone in the moonlight on an old wooden pier, to once more find...a time to dance?”
A Time to Dance. Book 1. 2001
A Time to Embrace. Book 2. 2002
The Chance: March 2013 "In their separate lives, as Ellie and Nolan move toward the possibility of a reunion at the oak tree, Kingsbury weaves a tale of heart-wrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only love can heal."
The Bridge. October 2012. "A heartwarming Christmas story about a devastating flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships." This looks like another inspiring creation about God's love and grace.
The Beginning: An eShort Prequel to the Bridge. This is a Kindle eBook. September 2012.
Coming Home: A Story of Unending Love and Eternal Promise (The Baxter Family)
July 8, 2012.
“Coming Home is a novel about tremendous victory and unprecedented loss, a story of faith and a forever kind of love, love that will stay with you long after the last page. This stand-alone novel will serve as either a grand introduction or a beautiful conclusion in the saga of the Baxter Family. The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven't had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word. In a season that changes all of them, the brilliance of family love overshadows even the valley of heartache as the Baxters draw closer to God and each other. Along the way, secrets are revealed and the truth about the Baxter Family history is finally made known. Ultimately, in this portrait of family love, the Baxters cling to each other and to God's promise of forever.”
I Can Only Imagine:The Rest of the Story (Kindle eBook) ONLY about 16 pages. Nonfiction. May 2012. "I Can Only Imagine is the first e-short in Karen Kingsbury’s The Rest of the Story series. In it, Karen shares very personal behind-the-scenes anecdotes about herself and her family that appear nowhere else in print, highlighted by her touching relationship with her late brother Dave. With heartfelt grace, she describes in-depth his ongoing struggles with addiction and his troubled journey toward redemption. Throughout this work, we’re all reminded that God is close to the brokenhearted… and also that we have just one chance to create a bestseller with our lives by loving well, laughing often, and finding true life in Jesus Christ."
This Side of Heaven. 2009
Shades of Blue. 2009
Between Sundays. 2007
Like Dandelion Dust. 2006
Oceans Apart. 2004
On Every Side. 2001
When Joy Came to Stay. 2000
Where Yesterday Lives 1998
Whatever You Grow Up To Be. Co-author Valera Docampo. February 2014.
Go Ahead and Dream. Co-authored with Alex Smith. Illustrator Greg Banning. August 2013.
Always Daddy’s Princess. Co-author Valera Docampo. March 2013.
4 to 8 year olds.
Far Flutterby. 2012.
The Brave Young Knight. 2011.
Let’s Have a Daddy Day. 2010.
The Princess and the Three Knights. 2009.
We Believe in Christmas. 2008.
Let’s go on a Mommy Date. 2008.
Let Me Hold You Longer. 2004.
There’s an Angel on your Shoulder: Angel Encounters in Everyday Life. 1994
It must have been a Miracle: Everyday Lives Touched by Miracles. 1995
Heaven hears each Whisper: Answered Prayers in Everyday Life. 1996
Heaven’s Littlest Angels: Children and Miracles in Everyday Life. 1997
True-Crime Stories written by Karen Kingsbury
Early in Karen’s career, she wrote a few true-life crime stories. There are NOT many libraries that have these books. You can ask your library to try to interlibrary loan these books. Some of Amazon.com’s used-book store affiliates have these books.
Missy’s Murder. 1992.
Final Vows: Murder, Madness, and Twisted Justice in California. 1992
Deadly Pretender: The Double Life of David Miller. 1994
Snake and the Spider: A Real-life Case of Abduction and Murder in Daytona Beach. 1995
The PRISM Weight Loss Program.
If you thought that the true-crime stories, listed above, was a departure from what you are use to seeing Kingsbury write, then wait until you read the summary of this weight-loss program that she co-wrote with Toni Vogt.
“The PRISM(tm) Weight Loss Program, founded in 1990, has helped more than 60,000 people transform their eating behaviors with a sensible, lifestyle-change approach. That approach is now available in The Prism Weight Loss Program, by bestselling author Karen Kingsbury and Prism cofounder Toni Vogt. The book shows readers how to not just tame the monster of food addiction, but destroy it through simple eating strategies and biblical principles. It includes testimonials, descriptions of the authors' personal struggles with food addiction and their ultimate success, details of the program, and a recipe section that will help readers become the people God created them to be.”
A Treasury of Christmas Miracles: True Stories of God’s Presence Today. 2001
A Treasury of Miracles for Women: True Stories of God’s Presence Today. 2002
A Treasury of Miracles for Teens: True Stories of God’s Presence Today. 2003
A Treasury of Miracles for Friends: True Stories of God's Presence Today. 2004
A Treasury of Adoption Miracles: True Stories of God’s Presence Today. 2005
Forever Young: Ten Gifts of Faith for the Graduate. 2005. Co-written with Pat Williams.
Be Safe Little Boy: Words of Love for Moms. 2006
Stay Close Little Girl: Word of Love for Dads. 2006
Miracles: A 52 Week Devotional. 2009
Many of the books, listed above, can be found in your local library. If they do not have the books, then please feel free to ask the library staff if they have a free interlibrary loan service. Some of the books are out-of-print and have been so for a long time. If you would like to see a review or purchase any of these books then please visit Amazon.com and its used-bookstore associates. Some of the older books can be obtained for a pretty fair price at some of Amazon.com's used-bookstore affiliations.
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