{review & giveaway} The Afters: Live On Forever

I love music reviews! And I love sharing great, new music with my readers so let’s get to it —

About the Album

aftersIt’s easy to assume stories of trial and triumph are just for the Bible or the history books. But miracles still happen, even when adversity hits hardest. Just ask Josh Havens, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Afters. He relates how the band’s latest effort, Live on Forever, began during a season of tragedy.

Just as the band regrouped to record, Havens witnessed the wife of a close friend contract cancer. Drummer Jordan Mohilowski (who produced the new album) had a brief health scare, and a close companion in his church—part of the worship team—was hit and killed by an impaired driver. She was a young woman, Havens says, who had unlimited potential.

But Live on Forever–the band’s fifth with the Fair Trade label-still took shape as a celebration of faithfulness, protection and promise—one that shimmers with strong rhythms, undeniable energy and compelling pop hooks. The album finds Havens in strong, soaring voice as he invites listeners to find shelter and strength in God.

“We worked on this record for almost two years and over those two years, it was a real season of loss,” Havens recalls. “But in the end, Live on Forever is about moving us to trust God, to stand up against fear. It’s an ‘ante up’ record, an anthem for people’s lives: ‘God you are with me in all this. I’m not alone.’”

Our Thoughts

I haven’t kept up with The Afters music in recent years, but we have listened to it int he past and I’m so glad that I was able to review this album. Live On Forever has become our soundtrack while driving, with it’s perfect balance of good lyrics that I like and the driving, well-produced sound that my daughters like. The songs are catchy and worth repeating, unlike most pop music out there today. I really like The Afters sound, even though it’s not my usual favorite. It really is something that our whole family enjoys, which pretty much never happens!

The first single off this album is Live On Forever. You can see their official music video hereThe Afters also recorded some info videos, giving us a glimpse into their heart behind the song. But just read some of the lyrics first. They’re so good.

Dark days are gonna go away
They won’t have the final say
These bones were always gonna fade
Cause we were made for another place
The moment of our final breath
When all our fears are put to rest
Every tear will disappear
Heaven is real

So now for the fun part! You can win a copy of The Afters Live On Forever CD! To enter, the usual drill, three ways to earn entries –

  1. 1) Leave a comment. Tell me if you’ve heard The Afters other music and what your favorite song is!
  2. 2) Share on Facebook and leave an additional comment, letting me know.
  3. 3) Retweet or Regram my posts about this giveaway on Twitter and Instagram. No need to comment again for this one.

Giveaway will end on September 14 at 8pm. Winner will be notified by email so please leave a valid address. Now go enter! 

This giveaway has ended. Winner is comment #1 – Katie!

win-a-copy-of-the-afters-newest-cd-live-on-forever-go-to-www-oneredeemedmom-com-for-details

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

{review & giveaway} A Beauty Refined

Tracie Peterson is my favorite author so when this review opportunity came up, I jumped at it! Her books are the perfect blend of interesting characters, detailed story lines, and a hint of mystery and romance. In A Beauty Refined, I love that Phoebe has a clear and defining moment where she realizes she needs to follow Jesus. I also really loved that Ian encourages other characters (I don’t want to give away anything!) to seek pastoral counsel before they make a rash decision. As a warning to anyone that is sensitive to it, there is some violence in this book. Phoebe’s father is an abuser, and that comes up as a part of the story. I thought it was well-written and not overly dramatized. I also thought that the way the people around Phoebe handled her abuse was typical of the time period. The redemption at the end of this book is just beautiful. I also enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the beautiful clothes Phoebe wore as well as the scenes in town – you can just picture her walking down the sidewalk of this little town, sticking out in her formal attire.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes historical fiction. Tracie Peterson does not disappoint! Want to read more opinions about this book? Head to the Litfuse page!

More about the book and the giveaway:

Little does Phoebe know that her father’s plans—for the sapphires and his daughter—are not what they seem. If you love historical fiction, romance, and adventure, don’t miss Tracie Peterson’s A Beauty Refined. When Phoebe meets Ian, everything changes. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Join Tracie in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

{review & giveaway} All Things Bright and Beautiful

 

All Things Bright and Beautiful

thumbnail_9780824956769 About the book:

First published by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848, this favorite hymn has become a mainstay of churches and Sunday school classes everywhere. Here artist Katy Hudson brings new joy to the words with her fresh and bright watercolor style. Readers can join in the fun as they follow two little girls and their brother on a day filled with the discovery of “all things bright and beautiful.”

About the artist:

Katy Hudson was raised in Middlesbrough, England, and started her career as a small child drawing on freshly painted walls. Her parents quickly encouraged drawing with pencil and paper instead. The idea stuck, and after earning a degree in illustration, Katy is now a freelance illustrator. Katy works at a desk in a studio within Old London Library and likes to tap dance in her spare time.

Our thoughts:

What a gorgeous book! I was unfamiliar with this hymn and this book is a lovely introduction. With sweet illustrations that play beautifully with the verse on each page, my five year old and I enjoy reading this book very much. Big and small? Let’s look for the biggest and smallest thing! Flowers, birds, rives, mountains, sunny breezes. Which part of the picture are we reading about? Which animal is wise? The beautiful illustrations reinforce the words of this classic hymn. A hymn that is just as true today as it was in 1848 – God created everything! All of these beautiful things around us are not an accident or an evolution. They are purposeful creations of our almighty God, just as each little hand that holds this book. What an important message for our children!

I’m happy to be able to share one copy of All Things Bright and Beautiful with a reader! To enter, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite flower. If you share this giveaway on social media, leave an additional comment telling me which site you shared it on. Giveaway ends on July 26, 2016 at 8pm. Winner will be notified by email so please leave a current email address. 

 

This giveaway has ended. Winner is comment #4 – Carol!thumbnail_9780824956769

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

{review & giveaway} Wonders of Creation

wonders

Moms. Let’s chat for a minute. Summer is coming. We need some time to relax and recharge, just as much as our kids do. Maybe even a bit more than they do! There are lots of ways to do this. Naps. Reading. Lazy days in the garden or at the beach. And my most recent addition to my relaxation list – coloring. I was thrilled to see this beautiful new coloring book available from Zondervan for review and I’m super thrilled to have a copy to give away! The details about the book first:

Slow down, relax, and contemplate God’s amazing world in this coloring book featuring detailed black-and-white illustrations of the animals, landscapes, and other wonders of creation. Appeals to all ages looking for a unique coloring experience. Wonders of Creation explores the wonders of our created world though detailed black-and-white illustrations—each one ready to be filled with the hues of your imagination. From amazing Eden-esque gardens to the creatures God made that still ramble through our world, this ninety-six-page book offers hours of coloring inspiration and relaxation for any age.

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Because who wouldn’t want to color in this cute raccoon face?!

The cover of Wonders of Creation is heavy and embossed with beautiful colors. The pages are equally as thick, to allow for several different coloring options.

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Some pages are very detailed, while some have more open space. I appreciate this because sometimes my eyes just cannot handle the very small details of the drawings! And I love that there are drawings of pretty much every type of animal, so everyone has their favorite represented.

Want to win  your own copy of this beautiful coloring book? To enter, comment below and tell me what you think about these ‘adult’ coloring books. My daughters all love them, so they’re not just for adults in our house! If you share on social media, add that to your comment for an extra entry!

Giveaway will begin on May 10 at 12:30pm and end on May 13 at 8pm. Winner must live in the continental United States. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and no guarantees were made. Giveaway is sponsored by Zondervan.