Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

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.

Bailey is 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.
 
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Leaving Book Trailer



 
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The Bailey Flanigan Series Leaving


I have followed the story of Bailey Flannigan through so many of Karen's books. It is wonderful to see her with a series of her own. I can't wait to see how it all plays out. I was so excited to be picked to be one of the first to review Leaving. I told everyone. I have almost all of her books in my home library. I stayed up until two in the morning because I just had to know what happened next. One of the things that I love most about Karen's books is the fact that scripture is intertwined throughout the book. It helps the reader to see how God can speak to us in similar situations.
 
In Leaving there were many things that stood out to me. The biggest was the fact that life is precious. It passes too quickly and we should live each day to the fullest. We should never spend our days worrying about what is coming up but take that day to laugh and live. It also points out something we don't often think about, the lasts. We focus on our child's firsts, the first time they walk, the first time they play a ball game, etc. But what about the last time they crawl, the last day of elementary school, the last day of high school, the last ... you fill in the blank. There can be so many lasts. And sometimes we don't know they are the last one. So don't worry about your days, enjoy them to the fullest.
 
Cody shows respect to an authority figure even though that person isn't deserving of that respect. He prays for God to change things instead of him trying to change things himself. That spoke volumes to me. In this world where everyone is out to get what they deserve and wants justice no matter what, this was refreshing. He always keeps his example to the youth he works with pure.
 
It focused a lot on growing up and moving away from home. It changes for everyone not just the child that has grown up and is now ready to spread their wings in the world. The parents and children still at home have to readjust life as they know it. There is a change in the dynamics. We all have to grow up and move forward in life. The lesson I learned from this book (and the others that had this family in them) was to have no regrets because you spent the years building up to that, supplying them with what they needed to make it. To make sure they are grounded in their faith in God. To make sure your relationship with each other is strong. Then place them in God's hands and love them all the more.

The characters have had my heart from the beginning. I already knew them from previous books. I have walked with them through their ups and downs. Karen has a way of making her characters so real that you just have to know what they are doing. Even she can't stop writing about the Flanigan's and the Baxter's. I cried many times throughout this book. In some of her books I have had heart wrenching cries and others it is just a quiet time where the tears just roll down my face. God uses Karen to speak to my heart through so many situations. What a blessing that this lady is willing to allow God to speak through her writing.
 
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Want More?
 
Her website: http://karenkingsbury.com/
 
Her Facebook: Meet Karen Here
 
Bailey Flannigan's Facebook: Meet Bailey Here
 
Book 2: Learning June 2011

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