What Women Want: Karen Kingsbury and her Christmas novella The Bridge (review and giveaway)

Renee Ann Smith —  October 29, 2012 — 47 Comments

UPDATE: A winner has been emailed! Congrats, Michelle!

What Women Want is a hot topic today. Women’s issues drive advertising pitches, TV programming, the stock on store shelves, and even presidential campaign platforms.

But the messages we’re receiving from popular culture ring false. New furniture, trendy clothes, over-activitied kids, the perfect house, and shallow (or inappropriate!) “romance” books fail to satisfy.

In contrast to these empty messages, the rich romantic fiction of Karen Kingsbury shines. I love that her books explore how What Women Want can only be found in What God Provides. Her inspirational stories illuminate the  theme that . . .

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When I see a Karen Kingsbury book in the hands of my teenage students, I smile inside. I know they’ll be reading about characters just like themselves—young women with real-life problems and pressures. They’ll see God speak to and work in the hearts and lives of those folks. And whether the person in the story accepts or rejects God’s way, my girls will be soaking in the truth that God seeks to shape and satisfy our hearts’ desires.

Karen’s Christmas novella is no exception. The Bridge celebrates the many kinds of love that make our lives complete. The story focuses on Molly Allen and Ryan Kelly, former college sweethearts who seemingly missed their chance at a happily-ever-after, and Charlie and Donna Barton, a long-married couple now facing a crisis of faith. The four lives intersect in a way that highlights the everyday miracles and gracious second chances God so liberally shares with all who call Him Father. And the whole thing plays out as they try to save a bookstore. Yay!

Here’s a snippet from the book to pique your interest . . .

Father, what am I supposed to do? There has to be an answer. My dad said this would happen, and I never believed it, so You can’t let me fail. Please, God . . .

[Charlie Barton] turned and faced the wall, spread his hands against the cool bricks. The Union soldiers had felt warm and safe and dry here, as if things might turn out okay after all. He squeezed his eyes shut, his hands, his arms trembling from the great sorrow crushing in and around him.

That’s all I want, Lord . . . I’m begging You. Let me rebuild The Bridge so the flood doesn’t win. Give me the second chance Edna talked about. Please, Lord, show me how.

A Scripture passage whispered in his mind, one he’d shared with customers on occasion. It was from Deuteronomy 20:1: ‘When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you.’

God had brought him out of Egypt, for sure, he and Donna both. Their own personal Egypt. A tragedy no one in Franklin knew anything about.

That horrific time had led them to move here, to open The Bridge and find solace in books . . . Painful memories tried to work their way to the forefront of his heart, but he refused them . . .

God had rescued them from that, Charlie had been completely convinced.

Now, he wasn’t so sure.”

You want to keep reading, right? And it only gets better from there! You can follow this link right now to purchase your copy and a few extra to give as gifts. I recommend Karen Kingsbury books for teens on up! ***Thanks to Howard Books for providing a copy for me to review.

GIVEAWAY: I so enjoyed The Bridge that I decided I must share by giving away a copy.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post to be entered in the drawing. (USA only) I’ll let the contest run until Monday, November 5th. Feel free to complete any of the bonus entries.

As I write this–Monday, Oct. 29th–I’m in upstate New York bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. So I may not be able to monitor this post or approve comments. However, after Sandy’s done with us, I’ll be back to respond!

Bonus Entries:

***Here’s a quick link to Facebook in case you want to share this article, the giveaway, or the graphic.

***I’ll post the winner’s name next Wednesday. Then once you see your name, please email me with your mailing address.

Karen Kingsbury is also giving away copies of The Bridge. Follow her on Facebook here and scroll down her timeline to read about The Bridge release party and giveaway and her Random Acts of Kindness giveaway. You can also follow Karen’s New Testament Challenge or connect with her at her website karenkingsbury.com.

This week I’m linking up with Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, The Better Mom, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Beautiful Thursday, Thankful Thursdays, Hearts for Home Thursdays, Faith-filled Friday.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

47 responses to What Women Want: Karen Kingsbury and her Christmas novella The Bridge (review and giveaway)

  1. This one’s on my list!

    I follow your FB page, you on Twitter, and your newsletter.

  2. Great blog!

  3. Sounds like a good read. Where are you located in upstate NY? We’re in Capital District area…

  4. This looks like a great book and a must read!

  5. I almost picked this up at B&N last week! Looks great. thanks for review and giveaway!

  6. Sounds like a great book. I follow you on Facebook and the newsletter.

  7. Karen writes exceptional fiction! I would love to be entered for this giveaway. I follow on FB & receive your newsletter.

    I’ll be praying for your safety and those in the path of this monster storm!

  8. I have been waiting for this book!

  9. This looks like a wonderful holiday read… 🙂

  10. I already follow you on fb and twitter and subscribe 🙂

  11. I am a teenager and I love Karen Kingsbury’s books! They are soooooo good. I will very very very very very gladly enter the giveaway!!!

  12. Sounds like a good book.

  13. I’m looking forward to reading The Bridge. I love Karen’s books!

  14. I follow you on Facebook and have signed up for your newsletter.
    Karen’s books are always emotional to read. I know a couple of people who won’t read them for this reason, but I enjoy her writing. The Bridge sounds like another good one.
    I pray you will be safe in the storm.

  15. Ooh, this one looks good! I follow you on fb too

  16. Hyacinth Palmer October 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I have read many of KK’s books. As a matter of fact, I just finished reading Coming Home not too long ago so I look forward to this Christmas treat!

  17. I’d like to enter. I am following you on Twitter and facebook

  18. Looks great!! =) I want this book!

  19. Great post and I am really looking forward to reading Karen’s new ones! Thanks for sharing!


  20. Thanks for your thoughts and for the giveaway! My book club is reading this for December.

  21. I love this – so wonderful. I am going to have to get my hands on this book now – I’d love for you share this with my Book Hop if want – A new link up is starting tomorrow (thursday) I’d love for you to stop by and join it.


  22. This really sounds great!
    Follow by:

  23. nice giveaway. I’ve read a few of Karen’s books. my teen daughter has too would love to win thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  24. twitter follower

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  25. newsletter subscriber

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  26. thanks for the chance to read ‘the bridge.’ i subscribe to your newslette, too.

  27. Ah I love Karen Kingsbury and just in time for some Christmas reading too:) Enter me in! I follow you on FB and Twitter now too. I found you via the Titus 2 Tuesday hop and would love for you to visit me back at http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/

  28. I would love to win, Enter me!!
    I follow you on twitter.
    Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!
    Sarah Richmond

  29. I love bookstores and stories that include them. I’d love to be entered for The Bridge.
    I’m a follower via e-mail.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  30. I have only read 2 of Karen’s books (Even Now and Ever After). I really enjoyed them. I feel the same way you do when I read her novels. As a mother, I hope my girls will also enjoy her writing when they are old enough. Mrs. Kingsberry tackles the issues and struggles that we as Christian women go through. Her stories are a breath of fresh air! Our ultimate goal as Christian women is to be “hidden in Christ”. Even if I do not win, I have all intention of purchasing this novel. I need an uplifting Christmas story in which Christ is still the center of Christmas. Many Blessings!!!! 😀

  31. Karen Kingsbury is one of my favorite authors. I haven’t been disappointed yet.

  32. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.


  33. I follow you on FB: Wendy Newcomb


  34. I follow you on twitter: @WendyNewcomb


  35. I subscribe to your newsletter.


  36. I absolutely love Karen Kingsbury…will read anything she writes! 🙂

  37. I am going to get this one for sure!

  38. I have read several books by Karen Kingsbury, and would love to win this one to read.

  39. I have liked you on Facebook.

  40. This book looks awesome! I used to work at a Christian bookstore before it closed and this sounds like a topic close to my heart. I followed you on twitter, liked you on facebook, and signed up for your newsletter.

  41. Thanks for the giveaway! Follow you on Twitter and subscribe to your newsletter.

  42. I have only read one Kingsbury book that I know of. That was “Gideon’s Gift”. I loved it, and I would love a chance to read some more of her books!

  43. Karen Kingsbury is my favorite author. I was so excited because this week she was going to be in a town near me for a book signing. Her son had to have surgery, though, and she can’t make it. I was really looking forward to meeting her!

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