Book Review: The Mark Of The King By Jocelyn Green

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Blurb:

Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined


After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace–and love–can overcome the stigma of the king’s mark upon her shoulder.

 General Thoughts:

 I must say when I first opened this book, I thought it would be similar to a lot of historical fiction books I’ve read as of late. I thought it would be somewhat bland and predictable in the general sense, pretty much about a woman trying to find redemption a new land with obstacles every where she turns.

But I was wrong and unexpectedly surprised.

I didn’t think this story would tug on my heartstrings as it did. I didn’t think this story would bring about frightening suspense and mystery.

It didn’t take long for me to feel for the main character Julianne. Though seen as a sort of villain in the world she lives in, in my mind she was the nothing of the sort. In fact, she is like a hero for those who read this book, in that, her struggles to overcome the shame for what she did in her past affected her throughout the story. Many times, she was faced with opportunities to forgive those who offended her, and though she was tempted to not offer them forgiveness, she was reminded of her own shame and how if she could receive redemption, surely those who offended her could too.

What I loved most about this story was it was too interesting and suspenseful to put down. The author did a good job in weaving a sort of eerie mystery that made me frightened for the main characters in the story. What I liked especially was how the author ended many of the chapters on a cliff hanger, making me, the reader, tempted to continue reading from chapter to chapter.

Another thing that the author did well was paint a sincere realistic story. Not knowing much about the formation of Louisiana in the 1700s, it was nice to gain a clearer understanding about the life and social issues that took place during that time. Reading about the unfolding of Julianne’s life made me feel like I was a part of her life. Julianne’s losses were my losses and Julianne’s shame was my shame. Julianne’s ultimate struggle to find and accept redemption for herself in a world that was reluctant to give it, was what made this story’s message powerful. I’m sure many of us who struggle to let go our past shame and failures will find comfort in this.

Recommendation:

 I would recommend this story to anyone who’s struggling to find redemption for themselves or even struggling to forgive others. I especially recommend this story to those who like historical fiction, mystery, and suspense.

Rating:

5 stars out of 5. I tried to think of a negative to this book, but I couldn’t find one. It was an easy, entertaining, and moving read.

 ***This book was given to me by Bethany House for an honest review.***

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Shadow Of The Storm: An Excerpt

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Hi friends,

I’ve come to the end of this book and I have to say that it is really one that has been the most meaningful to me out of all the books I’ve read recently, if not ever. For those of you who are looking for your next book to read, specifically one that offers encouragement as well as intrigue, I want to share a link to where you can read a substantial except of this book. I will also be posting a book review on Monday, so stay tune 🙂

Shadow Of The Storm Excerpt

Love Rushes Over

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Love Rushes Over

I can’t take this anymore
Wasted time
I let my dreams fly out the door
All I’m left with is doubt
And things
I would rather live without
It’s all my fault
It’s my call
I let it sail away
Oh then…

Love rushes over
And saves the day
Love rushes over
Over my way
I don’t need anything anymore
Suddenly all my faith’s restored
When love rushes over

I’m at the bottom of life
Depression
Has consumed all of my mind
I tried to put the past to end
But it’s become
My one and only friend
I feel like I
Been left behind
Invisible is what I’m like
Oh then…

Love rushes over
And saves the day
Love rushes over
Over my way
I don’t need anything anymore
Suddenly all my faith’s restored
When love rushes over

I realized, I have adopted this fate
Sometimes I feel like there’s no escape
From my pain
Oh then
I look to God and
Love saves the day

Love rushes over
And saves the day
Love rushes over
Over my way
I don’t need anything anymore
Suddenly all my faith’s restored
When love rushes over

© 2015 C.A. Barnes

***From The Beginning… Lyrical Poetry Collection, for sale on Writer’s Bounty (click here for more information and to purchase)

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You’re Free

I said
It’s time to go
I said
It’s the end
Of the show
No more yes to them
It’s no
I said
The tides have turn
Be bold

He said
Strange are you
You see
He said
It’s cool to be different
It’s strength, not weak
He said
What are you waiting for
Can’t you see that
Open door
Don’t hesitate
Go through
Don’t wait…

She said
See it wasn’t so bad
She said
You did it, aren’t you glad
She said
You came back
I knew this would be
She said
One can’t live long
In mediocrity
She said
Don’t feel guilty to smile
She said
You haven’t known joy
For a while

They said
Do what you please
They said
Cause now
You’re free

© 2016 C.A. Barnes

***Check out my latest book, The Beginning… Lyrical Poetry Collection, for sale on Writer’s Bounty (click here for more information and to purchase)

Sleep Angel Sleep

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Sleep Angel Sleep

Just rest, close your eyes
Get lost in the world of paradise
Cause today was tough
Kind of rough
Escape, get away from all this stuff

Sleep angel sleep
Let the beauty of slumber
Be all that you keep
Sleep angel escape
Sometimes from this world
We need to get away

Just float, on a bed of clouds
Feel security in what’s safe and sound
Cause life has no guarantees
We struggle
For freedom, for a chance to be

Sleep angel sleep
Let the beauty of slumber
Be all that you keep
Sleep angel escape
Sometimes from this world
We need to get away

We need to get away
From what only wants to prey
Angel fly away
So high, so nothing can bring you
Down to the ground

Sleep angel sleep
Let the beauty of slumber
Be all that you keep
Sleep angel escape
Sometimes from this world
We need to get away

© 2015 C.A. Barnes

***From The Beginning… Lyrical Poetry Collection, for sale on Writer’s Bounty (click here for more information and to purchase)

Don’t Rush Time

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Don’t Rush Time

I used to strive to race the speed of light
I used to dare it every single night
When I was a child
Oh, when I was a child
I used to drive myself insane
Over the very little crazy things
I used to want this and that
Be there now in no time flat
But I always came up short
Always feeling like a failure
Feeling poor, now I know
Oh, you can’t rush time
Sometimes it’s better to walk
The structured and cultivated road
To live life

I used to compare myself
To others’ delights
Always wondering what I did wrong
And what they did right
Oh, what they did right
I used to drive myself insane
Over the very little crazy things
I used to want this and that
Be there now in no time flat
But I always came up short
Always feeling like a failure
Feeling poor, now I know
Oh, you can’t rush time
Sometimes it’s better to walk
The structured and cultivated road
To live life

Oh, oh, oh
To live life
To see all it has to offer
To learn to fall down
Knowing each time will only
Make me stronger
Don’t rush time
Stop to see the sunshine
Don’t rush life

I used to drive myself insane
Over the very little crazy things
I used to want this and that
Be there now in no time flat
But I always came up short
Always feeling like a failure
Feeling poor, now I know
Oh, you can’t rush time
Sometimes it’s better to walk
The structured and cultivated road
To live life

© 2015 C.A. Barnes

***From The Beginning… Lyrical Poetry Collection, for sale on Writer’s Bounty (click here for more information and to purchase)

New Year Update

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I want to wish everyone a happy new year (a month late, I know :)). I hope everything is going well and everyone’s new year goals are still running strong.

I want to post yet another update on how things have been for myself. As many may know, on my last update I mentioned how my posting would be sporadic as I focus on immediate things, such as finding employment. Luckily I now have employment for the winter, which I started in December. I may not have talked about this before, but most of my employment for the past 2.5 years have been seasonal. Since leaving school, I found little to no success securing permanent employment, at least permanent employment that can provide a living wage. But nevertheless, seasonal jobs have worked out for me and I will most likely stick with them.

With this said, this has also prompted me to consider self employment. Although my first joy is writing, I know in terms of making income with it, now is not the right time. So my focus has also been on my other creative pursuits. Slowly I am working on that and even though that is unrelated to writing, I will share with you what that is when it gets off the road.

Lastly, what does this mean for Writer’s Bounty and how it will be in 2016?

Sporadic, yet again. Between work and trying to establish self employment, I won’t be able to devote as much time writing. But as a writer knows, writing happens anytime when inspiration hits, so when that happens, I will be sure to share my newest work. However, I will continue to post more from my poetry book monthly and book reviews as they come to be. I will definitely not be completely away from the WordPress community and will be reading blog posts weekly.

Thank you always for being a reader and supporter of Writer’s Bounty. You give value to my words.

New Poetry Ebook!

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For those of you who are interested in purchasing my poetry book but prefer it as a ebook, I’m excited to say that I now have an ebook version available at Amazon.com!

More good news is the ebook is $2.99—much cheaper than the other versions.

The ebook features:

40 lyrical poems
Commentary on each poem at the beginning of each section
8 black and white photos
Interactive table of contents

Below is the link to view and purchase the book. For more information and to see the other versions available, check out the Books tab on this blog.

The Beginning… (Ebook Version)

I’m Not Afraid

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I’m Not Afraid

Force me into the night
Into the dark with all its terrors
It’s fright
I don’t mind
I’ve done this all before
Way back when I didn’t know nothing
When I was so unsure
I’m not afraid

Throw me into the heat
Into the fire that burns
Uncontrollably
I don’t mind
I’ve been here before
Way back when I thought I was brave
When I would open any door
I’m not afraid

Cast me in the sea
Into the roaring waves
Waiting to engulf me
I don’t mind
I’ve seen this before
And I’m sure, I’ll survive
I’m not afraid

No, I’m not afraid
And I will never ever be
Afraid again
Cause I’ve been spared
My love has been there
When I thought there was
No soul, no one anywhere
He was there
To save me
From the night
From the heat
From me.

© 2015 C.A.Barnes