Grow

Sketch Sky

Grow

Go on and take a chance, who cares if you fail, who cares if you lose, at least you danced…

Realize you have all that you need, so much more than what your eyes can see, so what are you waiting for, I can see so many open doors…

Over these mountains, tall as can be dreamed, way under the crisp and clear dark blue seas

Across vast valleys, vibrant and healthy in jeweled green, up above the ethereal skies, holding dreams true and wild…

Wait no more, you’ve come so far, and it does show. I think it’s about time that you GROW~~~that you grow~~~go ahead, GROW.

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Book Review: Blue By Danielle Steel

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Blurb:

Ginny Carter was once a rising star in TV news, married to a top anchorman, with a three-year-old son and a full and happy life in Beverly Hills—until her whole world dissolved in a single instant on the freeway two days before Christmas. In the aftermath, she pieces her life back together and tries to find meaning in her existence as a human rights worker in the worst areas around the globe.

Then, on the anniversary of the fateful accident—and wrestling with the lure of death herself—she meets a boy who will cause her life to change forever yet again. Thirteen-year-old Blue Williams has been living on the streets, abandoned by his family, rarely attending school, and utterly alone. Following her instincts, Ginny reaches out to him. Leery of everyone, he runs from her again and again. But he always returns, and each time, their friendship grows.

Blue glows with outsized spirit and an irresistible mix of innocence and wisdom beyond his years. Ginny offers him respect as they form an unusual bond and become the family they each lost. But just as Blue is truly beginning to trust her, she learns of a shocking betrayal that he has been hiding. Is it a wound too deep to heal, or will she be able to fight the battle that will make them both whole again?

General Thoughts:

I had great expectations from an author who is well known and a bestseller, so when I picked up this story I was looking forward to a great read. And I’m glad to say that is what I got.

Ginny’s, the main character, motivations and life are what instantly drew me to this story. In a funny way, I saw a part of myself in Ginny, someone searching for meaning, significance, purpose—all those important things, in a world that definitely possessed those, even if not so obvious. The author did an excellent job in navigating through Ginny’s thoughts, specifically the war that she constantly battled with inside. Ginny struggled to move beyond her tragic loss and that shaped how she felt about her life and future, and fueled her activities, which everyone around her couldn’t understand. Nothing mattered but what was external and beyond herself.

One might think that the beginning of the story and the introduction of Ginny is somber and depressing, but as the story progressed, it evolved into an inspiring and powerful example of how tragedy and regret can lead to something simply remarkable.

The story takes off when Ginny meets Blue. I loved seeing Ginny slowly transform from a person who didn’t care about her life and even if she lived, to one who looked forward to everyday. It was nice discovering bits and pieces of Blue and what led him to fall into the life Ginny found him in. With Blue having his own tragedy as well, the author was effective in piecing together the steps Ginny took to find justice and redemption for Blue. And that’s how I would sum up the book: a story starting from broken pieces—in this case people, Ginny and Blue, to slowly putting those broken pieces—people, together to make them whole.

I don’t have any true negatives about the story, the only thing I would say is the author’s writing style is very commercial. Coming from a person who has been reading a lot of literature based stories, sometimes sentence structure, placements, etc. threw me off, but I don’t know—I’m probably nit picking on this 🙂

Recommendation:

Yes, I would definitely recommend this story because I think it needs to be read. I believe a lot of people will see a little bit of themselves in the characters of Ginny and Blue, even if not directly. The important take away I had was although Ginny and Blue went through their own tragedy and loss, they didn’t give up on life. Sure in the beginning they may have felt like they should have, but by slowly understanding their tragedy and finding ways to restore their broken lives, they eventually were made whole and better.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars. Great story and one that will soon not be forgotten. No true negatives, other than if you’re used to reading literature style writing, the commercial style of this story may distract you a little.

Where I’m Supposed To Be

bird sketch

Where I’m Supposed To Be

I am supposed to be
I was meant to be
No I do believe
That everything is here

I have to hold on
I have to stand tall
Even if I can’t move
I have to stay
I have to prove

That I am supposed to be
I was meant to be
Yes I do believe
That everything is here

I know one day I’ll see
My efforts reward me
When others flew on by
I held on with all my might

Before I wandered high
Before I wandered low
When others called it quits
I told myself oh no

Before I thought I should go
But I couldn’t move, so
I had to just hold on
To prove that I was strong

Soon others said I failed
But I didn’t listen
I would prevail
Soon others said just move
Stop stagnating
Stop being use…
Less
Less

Less.

Oh but no I am not
I am surely blessed
Soon I will move
When my Lord so does choose
To
Move
Me

I am where I’m supposed to be…

©2017 C.A. Barnes

Book Review: Wings Of The Wind By Connilyn Cossette

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Blurb:

Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.

Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.

Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage–for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s come to love?

 General Thoughts:

This is the 3rd book from the author’s Out From Egypt series. If you are familiar with the new testament of the bible, specifically when God delivered the Hebrews from enslavement in Egypt, then you’ll understand the context in which this story takes place—right after the 40 year desert wandering before the Hebrews were to enter Canaan, the promise land.

With this in mind, though this story is completely fictional, I believe it brought more understanding and clarity to why the Hebrews spent 40 years wandering and why the Canaanites lost their land and pretty much perished. The strength of this story was in the main character, Alanah, who was the enemy to the Hebrews, although certainly not the villain and in fact became the ultimate hero by the end of the story. The author did an amazing job in showing Alanah’s transformation, from one of not understanding and reacting impulsively to the unjustified (as she thought) loss of her family, even to the point of inviting death to herself, to one of understanding and discovering the hidden love and blessings that God had for not only her, but even the rebellious Canaanites who refused to understand who God truly is.

The big take away I took from the story was about rejection and how there is no rejection in God’s heart for anyone, it is the individual who rejects and refuses to understand, thus facing the consequences. In the beginning of the story, Alanah struggled to understand the Hebrews and why they, especially Tobiah, would want rescue and protect her. She held stubbornly to the idea of rejecting the Hebrews because of what she thought they took away from her—her family’s lives, but later realized it was her family who gave up their own lives through rejecting and ignoring the warnings.

I’ve read and reviewed the second book from Connilyn Cossette and I have to say that she is a powerful writer with a vivid voice. Not only can she write an entertaining story that has hints of suspense and action, as this story did, but she’s effective in bringing clarity and understanding to real events in history. I definitely will be looking out for her next book.

Recommendation:

Yes, I would recommend this book to those who have an interest in history, especially biblical history and who are looking for stories that have a little bit of everything: suspense, action, vivid voices, and a strong message to take away.

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars. There were no obvious negatives. The story was easy to follow in that there was always something to anticipate from chapter to chapter. The author’s vivid voice made the characters, from primary to secondary, stand out. This was one of the few stories I read where I was sad to see it reach its end—I still was curious to see how Alanah’s and Tobiah’s life progressed in Canaan.

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

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I Will Not Run Away

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I Will Not Run Away

I’ve watched the sky in all its sorrow

Dressed in their darkest grey

With no signs of tomorrow
I’ve felt their cool drops land on me
They weren’t enough to give me
Any bit of relief

I know I’ve let you down
You’ve watched me drift away
And sink to the ground
I know I’ve lied to you
Said I wouldn’t give up
Yet I did not stay true

It’s like I lost all hope, it’s like I ran away

Years passed like the moon and sun
Eventually I found the courage
To face the world
Knowing there was something to be won
Although doubt sometimes sneaked up on me
I knew soon I would claim victory

I know I’ve let you down
You’ve watched me drift away
And sink to the ground
I know I’ve lied to you
Said I wouldn’t give up
Yet I did not stay true

It’s like I lost all hope, it’s like I ran away

Time will bring us together again
This time around triumph will be the end
I won’t give up
I won’t look the other way
I’m saying this now, today
I will not run away…

I know I’ve let you down
You watched me drift away
And sink to the ground
I know I’ve lied to you
Said I wouldn’t give up
Yet I did not stay true

It’s like I lost all hope, it’s like I ran away

© 2015, 2017 C.A. Barnes

Forget Me

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Forget Me

If you remember me
I’ll remember you
And the good old days
That we once knew

Days when love was sincere
And I could count
On you to be here

Times when joy was not a lie
And I could feel you near
By my side

But if you say, you don’t remember
That person in me
If you say I was never a friend
But a foe you avoided constantly
If you say, you don’t remember
All those days
That once were true
And the happiness and laughter
That we once knew
If this is now our reality
Then I’ll forget you
Because you chose to forget me

© 2017 C.A. Barnes

Don’t Fall

Vintage Dots

Don’t Fall

Don’t fall for them
Their follies, their lies
Don’t let their trinkets
Hypnotize
I once was victim
I once was prey
It took me years
To escape, get away
They left me beaten
Weak and scarred
For years I was lost
Broken and marred
And now I see
They’re trying again
On those who don’t know
Who can’t defend
Don’t fall, don’t fall
For their schemes
Lest you fall to uncertainty

© 2017 C.A. Barnes

Book Review: A Note Yet Unsung By Tamera Alexander

Book Review: A Note Yet Unsung By Tamera Alexander

 

Blurb:

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah’s new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse–and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head–he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city’s new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music–his father, who is dying. As Tate’s ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman’s trust when you’ve robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women’s hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history–but the hearts of men.

General Thoughts:

If you have been following my book reviews for some time then you may know that Tamera Alexander is my favorite author. She is effective in grasping the emotional strings of a reader and creating characters with so much depth that you feel like you’ve known them longer than you really have. And with this 3rd book in the series, she still does not disappoint. Immediately being introduced to the main character Rebekah, I connected with her instantly. I think that connection came from her determination to pursue her passion in music, especially during a time when the odds were stacked against her, simply by being a woman. With the author drawing on Rebekah’s upbringing and musical influences, including battling a broken relationship with her mother, I felt her pain and even fear. The interaction between her and Tate was believable and brought sincere meaning when things came full circle in the end.

This was definitely a character driven story. Though there were a series of subtle plots throughout the story, things that needed to be resolved and manifest, the focus was truly on Rebekah’s and Tate’s growth and development as individuals. For Rebekah, it was about being fearless and determined to make her musical dreams come to light. It was about learning to forgive and give people a chance, as she did with Tate and his family. For Tate, it was about letting go and putting someone else’s dream ahead of his own. It was about developing a humble spirit. Together, both Tate and Rebekah learned that anything is possible, even pursuing a dream that the times said didn’t exist for all.

There were no obvious negatives. With the author’s writing style, I was immediately immersed into Rebekah’s world and later on, Tate’s and Rebekah’s world together. Their interactions brought life to the story and the challenges and lessons they learned kept me turning the pages to the very end.

Recommendation:

I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a bit of romance. And especially to those who are looking for character driven stories that focus on growth with relatable and encouraging messages.

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars. This story was an easy read and had many powerful areas. The challenges the main characters faced and the series of subtle plots added enough suspense to keep the story moving.

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

The Light

Sketch Sky

The Light

She can speak
But I don’t listen
She can say
What satisfies her mind
But she wastes
Her time
Cause I don’t listen

She can call
But I don’t come
She can shout
But I am leaving
Without
Her

Try, my little daughter
Try, my little friend
Try with all your might
Make it to the end
Don’t stop when monsters creep
Don’t hide and hope they’ll sleep
Cause you don’t have much time
So go and search for the light

She can scare
But I don’t care
She can fight
To keep me behind
But she fools
Herself
Cause I don’t care

She can lie
But I don’t believe
She can try
To brainwash me
But I’m gone
I’m moving
On

Try, my little daughter
Try, my little friend
Try with all your might
Make it to the end
Don’t stop when monsters creep
Don’t hide and hope they’ll sleep
Cause you don’t have much time
So go and search for the light

I must try
To find my light
I must fight
Day and night
I must leave
My old life behind
Soon I’ll be saying
Goodbye…

©2017 C.A. Barnes