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Album Review ~ Hope’s Not Giving Up by Remedy Drive

Album Photo

Hopes Not Giving Up - Remedy Drive

Category

Christian/Inspirational

Genre

Pop/Rock

Release Date

September 2nd, 2016

Rating

3.5 Stars

Review


There’s a hymn and pop/rock quality to the opening of the album which give the impression of church worship and concert music as one element, which in my opinion, is a sweet combo for any music-loving Christian.

While the album may have opened with the delightful Better Than Life song, the first piece to strike a chord in my heart was All Along (look out for it; song #3). Resuscitate reminded me of the band Red, but of course, not without the unique flavor that Remedy Drive is known for. Crystal Sea has a soft quality to it that is both soothing and spirit-lifting, as well as entertaining in quiet sort of way.

From Better Than Life to Guide You Home, Hope’s Not Giving Up is a pleasant album great for the moments when one is searching for the tranquility that only music can offer.

Album Review ~ Follow Through by Unspoken

Album Photo

Unspoken - Follow Through

Genre

Pop/Rock

Release Date

August 26th, 2016

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


A true testament of faith and God’s goodness, a splendid sacrifice of praise and worship, and a relentless gospel-telling piece, Follow Through is an album full of positive energy, spiritual upliftment, and, it doesn’t hold back in melody power. From Higher to Roots, each song is lyrically beautiful—packed with God’s Word and truthful life experiences that will resonate with any believer, which is a lovely design to mend broken faiths, hearts and spirits!

Interesting additions to the conventional pop/rockish mixes in the album were the two final songs, Can’t Deny Your Love, a delicious Latin-pop music, and Roots, which had an African-praise flavor to it. Worthy mentions include Life In The Death Of Me and Soldier.

With wonderful and thought-provoking lyrics that will remind a Christian of where they stand with God, Follow Through is an album worthy of your attention this fall.

 

Book Review ~ The Gift of Singlehood by Nicole A. Jones

product_thumbnail.jpgAbout the Book


Marriage is not a guaranteed lifestyle. At any given moment in life and for various reasons, people become single. The realism of Christian Singlehood is often significantly underestimated, dismissively regarded, and insensitively discussed. Christian singlehood is an intentional lifestyle. It is a strategic standard of living. It is lived by a divine plan created by God’s unique outline. This book introduces singlehood as a phase of acquaintanceship with God, and concludes that if God permits people to live single, then He is confident that they can live so His way.

This book is written to singles from a single person’s perspective. It does not address married people, neither does it demote or devalue marriage.

The desire to be held, the desire to be heard, the desire to be wanted, and the desire to be touched, abruptly have many singles walking away from God yelling, LORD, I CANNOT DO THIS!!! Repeatedly, we witness sisters and brothers settle in miserable relationships they regret, with people they hate just for the sake of companionship.

Category

Christian/Non-fiction

Genre

Inspirational/Christian Living

Rating

4 Stars

Review


A short and easy read that can be finished in one sitting, The Gift of Singlehood aims to encourage and enlighten the Christian single person in a manner that is both truthful and conversational. Its poignancy has an alluring quality that allows a reader to essentially appreciate the personal experiences of the author that birthed this quintessential non-fiction—quintessential, because, the lessons are timeless and, they are purposed to inspire peace, comfort, and hope. This book insists that the single person is complete and whole in God, and can have a life that is uniquely beautiful and fulfilling. It reminds the reader that just as marriage is a gift from God, so is singlehood.

In a society where marriage and the married are constantly placed on pedestals that insist it is the only true path to individual fulfillment, a comprehensive non-fiction that shines the light on the beauty and essentiality of singlehood, is needed on shelves. The Gift of Singlehood isn’t only for the never-married, but also for the once-married, whether divorced, separated or widowed—a truthful but soft guide to enjoying singlehood in God, whatever circumstance led to it.

*Though I offer my review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My gratitude to the author, Nicole A. Jones, for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review~I AM: The Blueprint of Humanity by Dave Hernandez

51nvrafex8l._uy250_.jpgAbout the Book


This book is about a journey that starts in the heart and mind of our Trinitarian-God Creator. It’s our adventure, the odyssey of Mankind from Adam to Christ. Venture with them through the dark places of your fallen condition to the pastures of your risen state in Christ. Recover your true identity – the original blueprint of every human being. Clear your pathway so you can find that which mankind has lost – I AM!.

The author takes on the voices of two main characters who played the most significant roles in the History of Mankind: Adam and Jesus. He poses them as lecturers, guides, each sharing their role in the vast story of man’s Redemption, each leading you toward finding the lost bounty.


Genre/Category

Christian/Non-fiction

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


This is not a typical Christian non-fiction. I Am: The Blueprint of Humanity attempts to explain and clarify what God had in mind for humanity when He created man. In this book, is a persuasive and convincing theory of what led to the fall of man, and God’s preparation for it from the beginning (so that both plan and redemption were intact in the original blueprint). It goes further to discuss the true and complete identity of humanity that was never lost, but always remained secure in Jesus Christ—all of these narrated and explained in the voices of Adam and Jesus, albeit in a comforting and loving manner.

This book is eye-opening in the sense that, a lot of spiritual issues that have remained generally unclear to the Church were demystified—explained from a knowledge that depicts the author’s long and close relationship with God; the notes are constructed from a wealth of wisdom carved from many years of personal experiences.

While it is clear that not everyone will agree with every teaching in this book, it doesn’t change the notion that it’s an extremely interesting read to anyone willing to indulge it, and helpful to anyone seeking understanding to nurture spiritual growth, as any disagreements are trivial and not enough to prevent a satisfactory experience with this book. I, personally, recommend that it be read slowly—lecture by lecture—if possible, so that the contents are properly digested and given due portion of time for adequate meditation.

*Although I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My appreciation to the author, Dave Hernandez, for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

61xw6rr99ll._ux250_.jpgAbout the Author


Dave developed an insatiable love for Truth as a teenager, studying Scripture at intensive Bible Camps organized each summer throughout Europe by his church’s denomination. He complemented the intensives by attending Bible College in Ontario, Canada. A passionate seeker of God and Truth, Dave believes that the Holy Spirit continues to reveal more to us as we seek to know with openness of heart. A preacher and teacher for close to 30 years now, he has spoken in countries around the globe and served in various ministry roles in France, Australia and overseas as a short-term Missionary with his family. Dave met his wife Laurence in France where they got married in June 1990. Paris is, after all, the romance capital of the world! They’ve been living in Australia since 1997. Two boys were added to their lives through the IVF program: Damien in 2002 and Breandan in 2004.

Movie Review ~ A Fragile World

Movie Banner

A Fragile World Poster Lowest Res LAURELS


Fragile World, an inspirational feature film from the makers of Leaving Limbo, centers on  Rosalie, a lonely interior decorator with a history of delusions who falls for a dashing stranger who may or may not be real. 

Awarded Best Feature Film at HolyWood of New York and the Glendale International Film Festival (where it also took Best Director and Best Actress), the story ponders the depths of human loss, the fragile framework of the human mind, and the road to emotional and spiritual healing.

“Like the Bruce Willis film, The Sixth Sense, and Nicole Kidman’s The Others, only with a religious note, Fragile World is something you’ll find you have to talk about once the end credits are played.”

~ Dr. Fred Eichelman

Category

Christian/Inspirational

Genre

Drama

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Fragile World by Sandy Boikian (of Bruised Reed Productions), a story about people suffering from Dementia, was an interesting surprise. When I started watching the movie, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but fantastically, I smiled at the end. The movie had quite an impressive opening that kept me hooked, graduating into scenes that kept the story generally engaging all the way to the end. As for stringing a viewer along to believe the story portrayed from the main heroine’s point of view, I thought the plot was excellently executed that way.

The acting was more plus than minus, even though I found some bits of it wanting. Of worthy mentions are Alexa Jansson and Marco Aiella who portrayed the characters, Rosalie and Fitz, respectively. They didn’t just make their characters believable, but added tangibility to the story itself. It was easy to sympathize with these characters while wishing that they ended up on the positive side of the story. I also thought Noelle Perris was a strong supporting actress. When you find that you’re looking out for scenes with a secondary character in it, you know that the actor has good screen presence—this was the case with Noelle Perris.

Issues like faith, and how quickly God answers a prayer, were mildly but adequately handled, without the theme overshadowing the story. This is a story that softly teaches that people with the Dementia condition should not be so quickly dismissed as lost causes. They could be super talented with deep heart desires like any other human being, and all they need from the healthy community is support and faith that they can get better.

Fragile World was overall captivating, and I’m glad director and writer, Sandy Boikian, brought it into the world.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to the director and writer, Sandy Boikian, for a private link to view this movie in exchange for my honest opinion.

**Lookout for interviews of some of the cast of Fragile World in the coming weeks!

Watch the Trailer

 

Book Review ~ The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

The Lady and the LionheartAbout the Book


Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, country nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this ill Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Category

Christian/Fiction/Adult

Genre

Historical Romance

Release Date

August, 2016

Rating

5 Stars

Review


As always, Bischof proved her writing prowess with this one!

How do you know a story is great?

When it and its characters linger for days in your heart, I say!

This was the case with The Lady and the Lionheart. From the adventurous settings, to the lovable characters, an alluring plot and a poetic love story, all a girl can do after a beautiful read like this is simply sigh in content with a dreamy look on her face…for not less than five minutes, of course! As a huge fan of tales of grace, healing and redemption, I opine that The Lady and the Lionheart is the stuff of stories that not only blow your mind and knock you out of your socks, it will also bless your soul with a seed of faith that believes there is a God who loves you immensely and wants to restore and bless you! It reminds you that you, indeed, are not forgotten, and He has your name written in the palm of His hand. And, even when you’ve lost faith that anything good is possible in your life, He sets Himself on a path to terribly debunk that belief!

Halleluyah!

Joanne Bischof, this is to you, my dear: God bless your sweet, sweet soul, for pouring out your heart and energy into stories like The Lady and the Lionheart. You, indeed, are a beautiful vessel in the hand of the Lord, and, I deeply believe that in this lifetime and the next, there is a reward for you from God, Himself. God bless you, sweet, beautiful lady—now and always! XO

**Though I offer this review to the public, it’s my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to the author, Joanne Bischof, for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Joanne Bischof - Headshot 1About the Author


A Carol Award and two-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella This Quiet Sky broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. Watch for her 2016 Victorian novel, The Lady and the Lionheart coming this summer!

Cover Reveal ~ Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith

Once again, I’m happy to be part of the cover reveal party of Keely Brooke Keith’s new project, Aboard Providence, due to be released soon. Without further ado, I reveal the cover below!

Aboard Providence Cover

aboard-providence-cover.jpg.jpeg

About the Book

In November 1860, Jonah Ashton is determined to finish his studies at Penn’s Medical School before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. When he learns his father has joined a group of Virginia families planning to sail from America to form a new settlement elsewhere, he travels to his family’s estate intent on saying goodbye. However, when an accident leaves his father in need of a physician, Jonah agrees to serve as ship’s doctor, but he resolves to return to medical school as quickly as possible.

While aboard the Providence, Jonah falls in love with former classmate Marian Foster. Despite their love for each other, Marian has no desire to return to America with him.

After an arduous voyage, Providence runs aground on an uncharted land in the South Atlantic Ocean. While the rest of the settlers celebrate finding the land they wanted, Jonah takes off to explore the island and he soon discovers a startling truth that changes everything, but can it change his heart?

Release Date

October 20th, 2016

Praise for Aboard Providence

A delightful adventure reminiscent of Swiss Family Robinson, Aboard Providence is one of those novels that will stick with me because I feel I’ve lived it. A captivating, well-researched, and deftly written tale I can confidently recommend to a wide range of readers.” – Heather Day Gilbert, author of Amazon Norse bestseller God’s Daughter

With vivid settings and multi-layered characters, Keely Brooke Keith whisks her readers off on a page-turning journey, not just across the ocean, but within the heart. You won’t be able to put Aboard Providence down until the final word is read and then you will long for more.”Brenda S. Anderson, author of the Coming Home series

A blend of history and romance with a compelling inspirational message, Keith expertly weaves an intriguing tale. Fans of the Uncharted Series won’t want to miss this journey.”Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled

Keely Brooke Keith is a master storyteller, weaving adventure, love, and wonderful characters into a vivid story that will take readers on an unforgettable voyage to a new place. Full of inspirational messages and tales of God’s love, readers will find themselves longing for more. Keely’s story teaches all of us that the journey is just the beginning!”Christina Yother, author of the Hollow Hearts series

Keely Brooke KeithAbout the Author


Keely Brooke Keith is the author of the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in surprising ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.