CFBA Tour: What Lies Within by Karen Ball

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing What Lies Within (Multnomah Fiction, November 20, 2007) by Karen Ball

Karen Ball, a bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today’s bestselling Christian novels. 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 Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix.


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…

Andrea’s Review:

“Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen’s writing style is a powerful force for revealing God’s truth.” is an awful tall order for any author to live up to, but Ball pulls it off. I honestly can’t think of better words for this, in fact. Cat lovers will especially love Serendipity (if you have a calico of any kind, she’ll look like your baby girl!) and the gang threads were chillingly real.

I have only one small bone of contention with this one. Want to know what chapter Kyla is asked to build the inner-city youth center in? Seventeen. It takes ten chapters more before she takes the job; eleven before the ground breaking ceremony almost exactly halfway through. Needless to say, the cover synopsis above sets the reader up to perceive this as a wee bit slow starting.

If you prefer plot/action driven stories, this little bone will likely drive you nuts. For everyone else, What Lies Within delivers on Ball’s most important promises.


  1. Andrea, thanks so much for your thoughts and comments. I’m delighted and honored you feel I lived up to the publisher’s promise. And bone of contention or not , I appreciate you! 🙂

    Blessings to you this Christmas season.

    Karen Ball

  2. Author

    Oh, it didn’t personally bother me too much, really. And You’re welcome!

    Merry Christmas,
    Andrea Graham

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