Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Monday, August 1, 2022

Cozy Mystery Review: Murder Goes Solo by Malissa Chapin Book Description:

What's the Story?
Piper Haydn is on the case when murder comes to peaceful Cranberry Harbor, Wisconsin. With her piano recital hours away, Piper's last need is a piano problem—or a murder problem! When her new piano arrives with the body of her ex-fiancĂ© inside, suspicion rests on Piper. To avoid a murder charge, she must shift her attention from music to murder. With a killer at large, Piper calls off the recital and closes the academy. Believing that she and her friends can solve the murder, Piper tries to clear her name and tries to discover what happened to her secretary Lisa. As the investigation crescendos, Piper leans on the support and creativity of her best friend Roosevelt and fellow music teacher Trefor to help solve the crime. Can Piper and friends solve the mystery before the killer solos in on another victim?

My Thoughts:
Murder Goes Solo is a well-written and fun mystery. Poor Piper is faced with a terrible situation. The new and very expensive piano she ordered arrives with a dead body. Not just any bodyher lifeless ex-boyfriend. Piper and her best friend Rosie work to figure out who killed him. In the meantime, they have to avoid the press and work with the “Hunky” police officer. Piper’s family tries to protect her, but she’s determined to bring the killer to justice. Chapin does a beautiful job weaving in Piper’s love of music and sets up a great cozy story. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, you’ll love Murder Goes Solo. I hope there are more books about Piper, her bestie, and maybe even the “Hunky officer.” I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Romance Fiction Review: Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher

Book Description:
One broken woman. One lost man. And the long-buried secrets tying them together.

After escaping an abusive relationship, Chelsea Spencer flees to Chickadee Creek—the town where her great aunt Rosemary owns a quaint little antique shop. There, Chelsea plans to help with the shop as her aunt heals from an accident—and perhaps find some healing of her own.

Liam Chandler was one film away from a leading role when his brother Jacob was stricken with cancer. After spending the last months of Jacob’s life with him in Boise, Liam heads to the vacation home he built outside of Chickadee Creek to get his life and his faith back on track.

While working to clean out a storage room in the antique shop, Chelsea finds an old violin. Aunt Rosemary says she may have the instrument, but they soon learn it is very valuable and once belonged to Cora Chandler, Liam’s great-great-grandmother.

Drawn together by the old violin and stories from the past, Chelsea and Liam begin to find answers for their present and the future God has in store for them.

My Thoughts:
Robin Lee Hatcher, a talented story teller, has written a beautiful story of hope. Chelsea left behind an abusive boyfriend. Liam is healing from family wounds. Both characters prefer to hide instead of opening themselves up to more hurt. A violin connects them to the past and a woman named Cora, who longed for a new beginning. I loved reading Cora’s story as she set out on her own in the 1800s. Hatcher sprinkles Chelsea and Liam’s heart wrenching stories with encouragement and weaves in Bible verses filled with wisdom. I hope this story is read by anyone who feels lost or overwhelmed by a difficult situation, because the reader can gain confidence and know God offers peace and joy. If you enjoy stories set in small towns, with good characters or stories that point to a better way, read Make You Feel My Love. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Rejoice! Sing Loud!

I love Christmas music. 

From Hark the Herald Angels Sing to The Christmas Song (chestnuts roasting) 
the sounds of the season adds cheer to my day.

Can you imagine the song the angels sang to the shepherds, 
when Jesus was born?

What an incredible night. 
I would think the angels voices blended in perfect harmony.
But from us humans, God only asks for a joyful noise.

What's your favorite Christmas song?



 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Thanks for Music!

Psalm 95:1-2

Come, let us sing joy to the Lord;
            let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and
            extol him with music and song.

Raise a hallelujah!

In the fall of 1975, I joined several other 18 and 19 year-olds on the campus of Kentucky Christian College. Fresh out of high school, we prepared to join the ranks of freshmen in higher education. I knew a few of my fellow classmates and met a slew of new friends. We gathered at least twice a week for campus worship, where we heard preaching and raised our voices together in praise. One song touched our class more than any other, It is Well With my Soul. To this day it's my all-time favorite hymn.

Fast forward 40 yearsseveral from our class gathered for a reunion. What a joy to meet with these longtime friends. We ate and chatted, then had a time of worship. And guess which song we all wanted to sing. It is Well, because even after all these years, we know whatever life brings, our souls rest in the Lord.

The words of the hymn may seem old fashioned, but they translate into peace, hope, and joy for our troubled souls today. With all the grief, frustration, discontent, doubt, and temptation, God is still watching out for us. Jesus still offers grace and salvation. The Holy Spirit still lives and breathes in the souls of Jesus' followers.

When I feel down, I plug into music that praises the Lord, and then I sing like nobody's listening. I'm thankful for the music written to praise the Lord, whether a psalm, a hymn, or a contemporary piece. Thank you, Lord for musicians.

Come before him with thanksgiving and song!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Nonfiction Book Review: Losing My Voice to Find It: How a Rockstar Discovered His Greatest Purpose by Mark Stuart, Tim Tebow (Foreword), Roger W. Thompson (Contributor)


Book Description:
The incredible story of a lead singer's rise to fame and his crushing fall when he lost his singing voice, his career, and his marriage--and then found a new calling more in tune with God than he ever thought possible. 


Mark Stuart was the front man of popular Christian rock band, Audio Adrenaline, at a time when the Christian music scene exploded. Advancing from garage band to global success, the group sold out stadiums all over the world, won Grammy Awards, and even celebrated an album going certified Gold. But after almost twenty years, Mark's voice began to give out. When doctors diagnosed him with a debilitating disease, the career with the band he'd founded and dedicated his life to building was gone. Then to his shock, his wife ended their marriage, and Mark believed he'd lost everything.

Unsure of his future, Mark traveled to Haiti to help with the band's ministry, the Hands and Feet Project. When the devastating 2010 earthquake hit, media learned he was present and sought him out for interviews. Ironically, Mark became the scratchy voice for the struggling Haitians, drawing the world's attention to their dire circumstances. In the process, Mark found a greater purpose than he'd ever known before. In this gripping, compelling new book, Mark Stuart overlays his story with passages from the gospel of John, urging his readers to listen for God's voice and to embrace his big love that calls us into a big life.

My Review:
Mark Stuart's story is heart-wrenching and beautiful. If you listened to Audio Adrenaline or not, this book is worth the read. Mark is honest and open about the heartaches of his life and the way God worked. I love stories that show the truth and grace of God, and Mark's does. I enjoyed reading about the influence the band's music had on so many. As Mark ends the book and talks about his ministry in Haiti, I am once again reminded that God has purpose for us. This is an excellent book, written from the heart. I chose to review Mark's book because my daughters and I listened to their music, Kentucky Christian College/University is my alma mater and I grew up with band member, Bob Herdman. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

God's Ditch Garden

Music sings~

God's ditch garden stages shows
blue-orange-white.

Chicory's sax runs up and down.
Jazzed scales fill the air
with melodies.

Orange tiger lily trumpets
sharps and flats.

Queen Anne
takes center stage
to bang out~
the piano's notes.

Nodding her head
tapping toes.

An audience?

Orange and black
flutter between green leaves.

Butterfly wings and stems sway.

Tiny finch
golden like day~
black as night
twitters in tune.

Remembering yesterday's
concert in the ditch.

Looking forward to
tomorrow's.

Penny Frost McGinnis~2006

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Fiction Book Review: Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti


Book Description:
Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

My Review:
I've read several of Cynthia Ruchti's books and enjoyed them so much. Song of Silence has a good story line, but it just didn't resonate with me. I had a hard time feeling sorry for Lucy because she whines so much. Charlie, bless his heart, tries to help but just seems to get in the way. He's a bit distracted, although he's a very kind and loving man. Their children are a little too perfect, although it was good to see children who care for their parents. The kids seemed to save the day more than once. I liked what Cynthia was trying to do with the story, but felt there were too many coincidences. However I was happy to see the characters rely on God throughout the story. If you love music, or you're a musician, you'll probably relate to Lucy better than I. Although I enjoy listening to music I don't have the heart of a musician. Cynthia does paint pictures with her writing which, for me, made the book more palatable. 
I received this book in exchange for a fair review.


Click to enter a $150 prize package Music-Themed Giveaway with Cynthia Ruchti