What Lies Within by Karen Ball – CFBA Feature

Originally Posted at Bibliophile’s Retreat by Melissa Meeks

This week the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance introduces:
What Lies Within by Karen Ball

Multnomah Fiction (November 20, 2007)

Karen Ball , bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today’s bestselling Christian novels. Her love for words was passed down through her father and grandfather – both pastors who shared God’s truth through sermons and storytelling. Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen’s writing style is a powerful force for revealing God’s truth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Don, and their “kids,” Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix who should have been named “Destructo.”

Nothing’s going to stop Kyla… until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.
Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.

Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars and the nightmares to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.

Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything

What a relief it was to pick up a book and not want to put it down again. I dislike reading things out of order but did so this time because of lack of time. I was relieved to find that this book doesn’t require the first two in order to follow the story but now I want to go back and read Annot and Avidan’s stories in the previous two books.

I turned the last page of this book and wished there were another 350 pages or more still to go. Karen’s characters jump off the page and her setting is so realistic I am still tempted to try and find these places and see them for real. Of course writing about her home state probably helps with the setting details and the fact that it’s my home state as well helps with the familiarity.

Kyla’s struggles come so close to some of my own that it is almost scary to read but I also love that I could identify with characters who were experiencing very different things than I have ever encountered as well as seeing Kyla go through some familiar situations.

Karen does a great job keeping her readers on the edge of their seat throughout the story and wondering if certain characters will ever admit what is obvious not only to the reader but to most of the other characters.

Kyla wants to do something meaningful but doesn’t quite know how to find that something. She has also spent so much time burying emotions because she’d rather not face the past and all its emotional baggage that she is unable to recognize that her lukewarm attitude toward the man in her life is a major red flag especially coupled with her response to the Barista at a local independent coffee house.

Will she finally realize the blessing God is dangling smack dab in her face or will she settle for safe and lukewarm with the current man in her life? Read this book to find out how Kyla fares and what faith lessons she learns along the way. This is a riveting and inspirational plot with just the right amount of suspense and adventure mixed in to keep things moving and interesting. However since you’ll likely want to spend as much time with Kyla and her siblings as possible I recommend starting at the beginning with Shattered Justice (Book One) and Kaleidoscope Eyes (Book Two). If you’re like me and can’t leave a good read alone then look for other books by Karen Ball too. I look forward to reading the other novels she has out once I finish this series.

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