"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

--- Isaiah 40:31

LaTan Murphy CD Review and Giveaway

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in Books & CDs | 16 comments

A friend suggested that I listen to ASSURANCE, a CD by Christian vocalist LaTan Roland Murphy.  Having never heard Ms. Murphy’s voice, I didn’t know what to expect.

After pouring a cup of oolong tea, I settled into a cozy chair, anxious to hear what treasures awaited me.  Several measures into the first song, my ears perked when I realized that Ms. Murphy isn’t your run-of-the-mill vocalist.  What clearly came out of the speakers was a trained contralto voice, rich in sound, clear in enunciation, and wide in range.

One of my favorite pieces is “Blessed Assurance” in which LaTan and her daughter DaNae Murphy sing a duet.  The voices of mother and daughter beautifully compliment each other, and they are accompanied by a violin and cello that, along with a slow tempo, give the song a Celtic sound.  It’s unlike any rendition I’ve ever heard.

This is the type of CD that you pop into a player when you want music to help soothe the jagged edges of a rough day or to help pass myriad miles on a long car trip.  Want to begin your day with a peace that stays with you?  ASSURANCE couldn’t be a better choice.

Ms. Murphy’s brother Dennis passed when he was 48 years old from cancer, and after his homecoming, Ms. Murphy felt a tug on her heart to make a CD for her family as a way to help them find healing.  Ms. Murphy titled the CD after Dennis’ favorite hymn.

Looking for beautiful Christian vocal music?  Look no further.

To purchase a copy of ASSURANCE, go to LaTan Roland Murphy’s website:  http://latanmurphy.com

SOAR WITH EAGLES is giving away one free copy of ASSURANCE.  To enter a chance to win, all you have to do is:

1.  Be a subscriber to SOAR WITH EAGLES.  (Subscription is free.  Subscribers receive an email letting them know each time a new article is posted).

2.  Leave a comment.

The CD giveaway will end on Wednesday, October 10th at 10:00 a.m.  The winner will be identified shortly after that time on SOAR WITH EAGLES, and will need to provide their mailing address.

Disclaimer:  The copy of the CD ASSURANCE was provided free of charge in return for this writer’s honest review.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY

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Laura Frantz Book Giveaway Winner

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Books & CDs | 2 comments

Thanks to everyone who entered the Soar With Eagles book giveaway contest!

The winner of Laura Frantz’s newest novel, Love’s Reckoning: A Novel, is Pam S.  Congratulations, Pam!  Please send me an email with your address so I can mail a copy of the book to you.

Laura Frantz and I are wishing you many pleasureable hours of reading!  Remember to visit Laura’s beautiful website:  http://laurafrantz.net

Cynthia

TO GOD BE THE GLORY

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Laura Frantz Book Giveaway Ends Wednesday

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Books & CDs | Comments Off

Last two days to enter the Laura Frantz book giveaway contest!

For those readers who have been following Soar With Eagles for a while, you know that periodically, I write a review of a book I’ve read and then have a contest for readers to enter a chance to win that book.

Author Laura Frantz has recently published another page-turner, Love’s Reckoning: A Novel.  Allowing dishes to pile up in my sink and dust bunnies to multiply throughout the house, this book took me on a journey to York County, Pennsylvania in 1784 where I stayed in a beautiful stone house, the unknown guest of the Lee family, and watched a fascinating story unfold.

Unpredictable sparks fly when blacksmith Liege Lee hires an apprentice with the plan of marrying the unsuspecting man to one of his daughters.  Mr. Lee, a man with a formidable personality, never foresaw the strength of character in Silas Ballantyne, a Scottish immigrant whose will is as strong as the iron he molds in Mr. Lee’s shop.  Rounding out the drama and mystery are Lee daughters Eden and Elspeth, both too beautiful for words and as different as dark and light.

Laura Frantz has perfected the craft of drawing a reader into her stories and grabbing their emotions so firmly that they risk the ire of their own family when supper and laundry must wait until the chapter, nay, the entire book is finished!

Be sure to stop by Laura’s gorgeous website at:  http://laurafrantz.net

For your chance to win a copy of Love’s Reckoning: A Novel by Laura Frantz, all you have to do is:

1)  Be a subscriber to SOAR WITH EAGLES.

2)  Leave a comment.

One winner will be chosen randomly when the book giveaway contest ends on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.  The winner will be announced on SOAR WITH EAGLES shortly after the contest ends on October 3rd.  At that time, the winner will need to provide their address so I can mail their copy of Love’s Reckoning: A Novel to them.

Cynthia

Disclaimer: The review copy of Love’s Reckoning: A Novel was provided free of charge by the author in exchange for my honest review.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY

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The Summer of 30 Toes

Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Encouragement | 18 comments

I knew the minute the father checked his Rolex watch that his son wouldn’t be back to our house for a second visit.  Acutally, I knew his son was a “one-timer” when the dad glanced into our formal living room and “the look” crossed his face – as in ”there’s-no-furniture-in-their-formal-living-room-look” followed by the “they-aren’t-good-enough-for-us-look.”

It was true:  we didn’t have oodles of money.  But can a person’s worth really be measured by their possessions or lack thereof?

That summer, my husband’s job caused him to travel frequently, leaving me to fill our two young children’s summer days on a shoestring budget.

After breakfast, my son, daughter and I snuggled together on our sofa, a blanket protecting us from the morning chill.  30 toes peeked out from the cover’s edge while I read a short story aloud.

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There were chores to do after dressing for the day.  Justin helped Megan with the ones that were hard for her while Lappy Appy, our sturdy Lhasa Apso, supervised.  Laughter and giggles filled the air while little ones learned early lessons in responsibility and teamwork.

After lunch, we laced up 30 toes inside sneakers and drove to a nearby park with Lappy Appy where we ran and walked four miles around the shimmering lake, breathing in pine-scented air.  When Megan wore out, I carried her in my arms.  When Lappy Appy wore out, Justin did his best to lug her in his little arms.  When Justin’s arms gave out, Megan climbed onto my back so I could tote Lappy Appy in well-exercised arms.

Collapsing in the hot car, we opened the windows, the wind cooling our sweaty skin and tossing our sun-bleached hair on the drive home.

With 30 tired toes stretched out in the family room, it was entertainment time.  Not from TV or video games, but from stories.  Oral histories, some people call them.

My children heard accounts of family members’ lives who came before them.  They learned about relatives who helped start our country and the high price they paid for freedom.  Justin and Megan understood that they were able to have a good life because of their ancestors’ sacrifices.

They learned Old and New Testament stories, and understood that God gives everyone gifts that He expects them to use for His glory, not their own.

While little fingers helped prepare supper, Lappy Appy took care of spills, and after dishes were cleaned and put away, baths refreshed.  Then 30 bare toes hurried to the deck.  Sitting together on the glider, we watched the moon rise through the trees, a prelude to the Great Horned Owls’ nightly songfest accompanied by a chorus of crickets and katydids.

Cool night air persuaded us to leave the concert and climb the staircase for the final time that evening.  Justin and Megan retrieved pillows from their bedrooms and plumped them against the headboard of my large fluffy bed.  While Justin and Megan snuggled on either side of me, Lappy Appy stretched across the foot of the bed, head lying on her paws.

Night after night, we accompanied Laura Ingalls and her family on their long journey from the big woods to the prairie.  Little hands squeezed my arms when wolves howled and smiles sparkled when Pa played his fiddle.  Stopping to turn the page, I saw what could never be purchased: 30 toes evenly lined across my bed.  And on nights when Daddy was home, 40 toes fanned across the comforter.

What was it like at Mr. Rolex’s house?  My boy was never invited, so I can only guess.  Did they make homemade cookies or crank their own ice cream?  Did their dad play baseball in their yard with them?  Did they sit outside until the wee hours of the morning watching meteor showers and identifying constellations?  Did their mom direct singalongs in the car while she drove?  Did they listen to raindrop symphonies or ooh and aah at Frankenstein lightning?  Did their parents tell them that if they could dream it, they could do it?

Today, Justin and Megan came home for a visit.  They are adults now, living and working in distant cities.  And between the four of us, we have no fancy watches.

We may not have had an abundance of possessions or money when our children were growing up, but as the four of us sit around our old kitchen table, talking and giggling and enjoying each other’s company, I count 40 priceless toes.

What are some of your favorite family memories?  What are you most glad you did when your children were growing up?  Leave a comment and tell me!

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.  Psalm 127:3.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY

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Laura Frantz Book Review and Giveaway

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in Books & CDs | 10 comments

For those readers who have been following Soar With Eagles for a while, you know that periodically, I write a review of a book I’ve read and then have a contest for readers to enter a chance to win that book.

Author Laura Frantz has recently published another page-turner, Love’s Reckoning: A Novel.  Allowing dishes to pile up in my sink and dust bunnies to multiply throughout the house, this book took me on a journey to York County, Pennsylvania in 1784 where I stayed in a beautiful stone house, the unknown guest of the Lee family, and watched a fascinating story unfold.

Unpredictable sparks fly when blacksmith Liege Lee hires an apprentice with the plan of marrying the unsuspecting man to one of his daughters.  Mr. Lee, a man with a formidable personality, never foresaw the strength of character in Silas Ballantyne, a Scottish immigrant whose will is as strong as the iron he molds in Mr. Lee’s shop.  Rounding out the drama and mystery are Lee daughters Eden and Elspeth, both too beautiful for words and as different as dark and light.

Laura Frantz has perfected the craft of drawing a reader into her stories and grabbing their emotions so firmly that they risk the ire of their own family when supper and laundry must wait until the chapter, nay, the entire book is finished!

I invite you to read my interview with Laura Frantz below.  Details of the Book Giveaway Contest follow it.

Cynthia:  How did you come up with the story line for Love’s Reckoning?

LAURA:  I stumbled on a bit of research about colonial gunsmiths being expected to marry into the master gunsmith’s family.  I thought this would make a great story premise, especially if there were two eligible daughters and both fell in love with the hero.  Historical fireworks!

Cynthia:  What is your favorite scene in the Love’s Reckoning?

LAURA:  The moment Silas and Eden meet up again in that crowded ballroom after years apart.  They’d both given up on ever having any happiness with each other – but the Lord had other plans.  I love the tension of that moment and the high emotion.  While writing, I could see it play out so clearly in my mind.   I hope readers will, too.

Cynthia:  What do you hope Love’s Reckoning readers will take away from the story?

LAURA:  That God’s delays are never God’s denials.  Our view of life and eternity is so limited.  We operate so much in the here and now and often grow weary or fainthearted because we’re so shortsighted.  I also hope readers will understand that God is truly our shepherd and will lead us through the valleys and redeem anything we face.  No situation or circumstance is beyond His power.

Cynthia:  Is Love’s Reckoning to be part of a series?

LAURA:  Love’s Reckoning is the first book in a 4-book series involving 4 generations in the Ballantyne family spanning from the 18th-century to the Civil War.

Cynthia:  When can we expect Book 2 to be available?

LAURA:  Book 2, Love’s Awakening, will release August 2013.

Cynthia:  Having set your previous three books in Kentucky, why did you choose Pennsylvania for Love’s Reckoning?

LAURA:  Pennsylvania is so rich in history and is also very beautiful.  It’s not unlike Kentucky in many respects.  And it doesn’t hurt that my hero, Daniel Boone, hails from Pennsylvania and had Quaker roots.

Cynthia:  I know you went to both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to research Love’s Reckoning, but did you also go to York County?

LAURA:  Yes, I did spend time in York and York County.  The Golden Plough Tavern and the history there is of great interest to me.  Few people realize the role York played in the Revolutionary WAr.  It was a beehive of activity!  The surrounding countryside is incredibly picturesque.  Somehow they’ve been able to retain their history and the feel of the past.  I think it would be a wonderful place to live and it was a privilege to set my story there.  I also fell in love with Philadelphia, the old city especially, and also Pittsburgh.  Both very different but again, such rich history!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview with Laura Frantz.  Be sure to stop by Laura’s gorgeous website at:  http://laurafrantz.net

For your chance to win a copy of Love’s Reckoning: A Novel by Laura Frantz, all you have to do is:

1)  Be a subscriber to SOAR WITH EAGLES.

2)  Leave a comment.

One winner will be chosen randomly when the book giveaway contest ends on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.  The winner will be announced on SOAR WITH EAGLES shortly after the contest ends on October 3rd.  At that time, the winner will need to provide their address so I can mail their copy of Love’s Reckoning: A Novel to them.

Cynthia

Disclaimer:  The review copy of Love’s Reckoning: A Novel was provided free of charge by the author in exchange for my honest review.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY 

 

 

 

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