Clarion Hope Cover Reveal

Clarion Hope Cover Reveal

Behold: the shell of the soul-words that cry for beauty on the battlefields.

This cover makes me so happy, and I feel that it truly represents the poetry inside. There are some deeper meanings beneath the design that I’ll delve into someday soon, but for now, the important details!

*insert a “pay attention” sort of cough*

the official info


dare to dream that there’s more than this broken road,

and that beauty may lie on tomorrow’s edge…

A sequel of sorts to the author’s debut collection, Clarion Hope takes the spark of courage held out in This Will Not Last and fans it into a roaring flame. Over and over again, scars are healed, brokenness is bathed in tears, and fear is buried in the name of the truth and hope of the highest order.

For the boldest warriors and the faint-hearted alike, Clarion Hope is a battle cry to live in the light of the coming Kingdom.


Clarion Hope officially releases on April 4th, 2023, but you can preorder it now and have it shipped just before release day so you can hold it in your hands (and read it!) on April 4th.

Preorder it on Amazon

Preorder it on Barnes & Noble

Mark Clarion Hope as “to-read” on Goodreads

Ahh, I’m so excited.:) Who’s with me??

❤ Laurel

Want to join my street team?

Want to join my street team?

Hello friends!

The date for Clarion Hope’s cover reveal and preorders opening is less than two weeks away, and I’d like to invite you to join The Couriers of Triumph (my super fancy name for my street team) and help me spread the glad tidings!

Please and thank you.

🙂

What will this involve?

Basically as a street team member, your job is to spread the word as far as it will go and get everyone excited about the release! All of my marketing is through word of mouth, so this is super important.

If you fill out the application form, you’ll get an email next week with some graphics and sample social media posts to get you started. (Yes, this does mean you’ll get a peek at the cover before the rest of the world does!) I’ll send all of the extra details you’ll need in that email, as well.

You can share through blog posts, Facebook, or Instagram!

Sound like fun? Sign up through this form!

Also: if you’ve already joined my street team in the past, you don’t have to sign up again! To opt out, just let me know and I’ll remove you from the email list.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them!✨

❤ Laurel

December memories – 2022

December memories – 2022

The first post of 2023 and the last review of a month in 2022!

The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Proverbs 21:21

Things worth remembering

  • cohosting a 12 days of Christmas poetry challenge on Instagram with my friend Alexandria
  • family time and baby snuggles
  • visiting Chicago for the first time
  • Christmas shopping with Brother #1
  • surviving the blizzard-y weather and re-learning how to navigate ice with a tractor and mixer
  • getting my car stuck for the first time
  • seeing some gorgeous sundogs on Christmas Eve morning
  • not hitting the unsuspecting man at the bottom of the sledding hill (I knew my habit of screaming would come in handy sometime)
  • highly competitive games of floor hockey and Spoons
  • jumping on the junk journal wagon with a LITERAL junk journal

We meet no ordinary people in our lives.

c.S. Lewis

What I’ve been reading

A Thousand Gifts – Ann Voskamp

The Eucharist invites us to give thanks for dying. To participate in His death with our own daily dying and give thanks for it.

I love the raw honesty and poetic beauty of this book.

Between Two Worlds – Cheyenne van Langevelde

“Sharing thy concerns with someone is never a burden. It is only a burden upon thyself and other people when thou holdest it all in.”

It had been a while since I’d read a book set in the Roman empire, so it was fun to switch things up again!

Life is so urgent, it necessitates living slow.

Ann Voskamp

From the journal

You have asked me to stick out like a sore thumb in Your name!

Oh, Lord, give me the fortitude of mind to heed the homing call in my heart that screams for eternity.

My attitude towards dealing with my shortcomings and blatant sins has been to roll in the shame, instead of saying “in which we also once walked” and filling my mind with what God loves.

Now for the question you’re probably tired of hearing by now…what are you looking forward to in 2023?

Photo by Elisa H on Unsplash

The Posts of Christmas Past

Hello, friends!

Christmas has slipped behind us, and of course it’s only now that I remember the chubby book of Christmas stories I’d tucked onto my “old books” shelf for an opportune time. But since the radio stations are still blaring Christmas music, I’ll still shove some of my old Christmas posts under your nose.

Just in case.

God with us.

Oh, do I appreciate this reminder of the utter grace, humility, and love it took for God to become one of us.

Christmas Reflections…Am I Playing Herod?

Food for thought…

Reluctant Hero – Christmas Edition

If you’re looking for a light-hearted story about a terrified babysitter building gingerbread houses with terrifying toddlers, look no further.

What are some of your favorite Christmastime reads?

Father of lights – a poem

Another poem I wrote for the 12 days of Christmas poetry challenge my friend Alexandria and I are co-hosting on Instagram!

one breath from You

sent a shower of sparks

across a thousand years,

and a million dying souls caught fire

in the flame of Your majesty,

and they spin round the sun

as they fight off the dark

with each battle cry of love,

waiting breathlessly for the ripening dawn

when the death of dark shall come.

a poem about love, fingerprints and stage fright

a poem about love, fingerprints and stage fright

Have I mentioned that coming up with titles is not my forte?

my sweater wore sequins,

my skirt wore plaid.

eight-year-old fingers

(fingers destined for the piano,

my father had said)

trembled and left

little sweaty fingerprints

on the black construction paper

that held my sheet music steady.

a child bowed, and I left my seat

and my comfort zone, stretching

eight-year-old fingers

on ancient piano keys.

deep breath.

count down.

play the song.

somehow

habit overcame fear, and

eight-year-old fingers

pulled a tune from

ancient keys.

exhale.

stand up.

smile and curtsy.

twelve years of leaving

my seat and my comfort zone

scraped away layers of fear,

leaving a flayed, perfected love of

sharing beauty.

perfect love casts out all fear.

now twenty-year-old fingers

stretch across strings that

thrum with song,

and love overcomes fear

as I pull raw grace

from a scarred guitar.

exhale.

breathe in.

do it again.

Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash

November Memories – 2022

November Memories – 2022

Another month, another review…

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

george eliot

Things worth remembering

  • Sniffing 95% of the candles at Hobby Lobby (even the disgusting ones) with a sister
  • puddle selfies
  • the first real snow of the season
  • Bananagrams and peanut butter cups with friends
  • sharing music with my family at a local church
  • family time and preparations on Thanksgiving Eve
  • baby snuggles and rodent tales on Thanksgiving Day
  • surviving a painfully awkward and extremely predictable Hallmark-style movie

I’ll walk with you through the shadowlands till the shadows disappear…

from Andrew Peterson’s “Dancing in the Minefields”

What I’ve been reading

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

Up jumped Bilbo. “Breakfast?” he cried. “Where is breakfast?”

“Mostly inside of us,” answered the other dwarves who were moving about the hall; “But what is left is out on the veranda.”

I’m still reading this one…and it’s still just as hilarious and thought-provoking as last month.

Death by Living – N.D. Wilson

Drink your wine. Laugh from your gut. Burden your moments with thankfulness. Be as empty as you can be when the clock winds down. Spend your life. And if time is a river, may you leave a wake.

This was an enjoyable read…and while I did get lost in some of the poetic nature of it all (I’m a baby poet, and too much of it loses me) and I didn’t really agree with all of Wilson’s conclusions, this book has quite a few quotable lines and provides a lovely perspective on eternity and mortality.

This Life of Mine – Victoria Lynn

I had the privilege of beta reading the second book in my friend’s series, The Chronicles of Elira, and goodness. It’s just so good. I can’t wait to share my review with you!

“We do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive!”

Daniel 9:18

From the journal…

Help me to remember truth: that You loved me eve when I was dead in sin. that You chose me before the world began. That it is grace that leads me home, not my stellar conduct.


What made your November memorable? What’s been your favorite read of late?

❤ Laurel

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

the daily choice

There’s not much to today’s post…just a little journal entry that’s masquerading as a poem today. It’s a reminder I need on a daily basis, and I hope that it blesses you, too. ❤

I choose You, Father.

Not me.

I choose Your battles. Not mine.

I choose Your weapons. Not mine.

I choose Your heart. Not mine.

I choose Your way. Not mine.

I choose Your vision. Not mine.

I choose You, Father.

I choose You.

(Also: my next newsletter comes out this Thursday…so if you aren’t signed up and would love to have some sneak peeks of Book 2 pop up in your inbox (along with other interesting randomness), go ahead and subscribe through this link!)

Carving legacies in souls

What will I leave behind?

It’s a question that’s tugged at my attention for years. As I read the stories of eternal heroes with short lives and stared at the caskets of people I held dear, the question haunted my mind.

so small and

insignificant

one breath will

blow this life away, and

what

will be the proof that

it was here?

mangled lives

and broken hearts?

friendships

that were torn apart by

hands that now lie still and cold?

oh, no!

forbid it, Lord!

A month or so ago a friend and I were wandering through a beautiful cemetery that sprawls over several acres of hills. (You know you have loyal friends when they smilingly join you on strange expeditions.) There were so many old gravestones – some tipped and sinking deep into the soil. Several were ridiculously tall and ornate, but they were so old that wind and water and time had wiped the sentimental words right off of the marker. Their attempts to leave an echo of their greatness were in vain.

Of course I hope that I leave behind me a trail of words that can point others to Christ and to truth decades after I’m gone, but paper burns. Ink fades. Files become corrupted.

If words are all I leave, I’ve failed.

For even if my words could surpass the masterpieces of Dickens and Shakespeare,

If I sang with the voice of an angel,

If the world remembers my name until the world stops turning,

But I have not love…

I am nothing.

oh, Father, keep me

on the sidelines with a loving heart

if I can’t champion the world

with outstretched hands.

Words fade. People don’t.

Let’s live our lives accordingly.

❤ Laurel

Coming soon…

Coming soon…

Cue the call to battle…we are at it once again!

As I’m looking at the above graphic, I’m thinking about how wrong it feels that 2023 will be here in less than two months…but I’m also so excited because it means this next book will be here in less than five months!

Book #2 will be another poetry book (surprise, surprise!), but as of yet, I’m not sharing many more details. There will be a cover reveal with a blurb coming soon, but for now I’m letting you guys guess as to what this next book may hold. Here’s your clue:

Book #2’s playlist

I love the way that music communicates where the written word falls short, and so I’ve been compiling a playlist of songs that share the themes I’m writing about in book #2. If you’re into music, go ahead and check out the playlist…and let me know in the comments if you have any guesses as to what the themes of book #2 might be!

Also…if you would be willing to be praying for me as I finish compiling these poems and start the manuscript on its journey to publication, I would be so grateful! God has truly been the one carrying Book #2 (and me!) through this process, and I can’t finish it on my own. I’d so appreciate prayers that:

  • I would be diligent in writing the rest of this poetry (my deadline for that is November 30th, and I have 12-15 to write yet😅).
  • God would give me the words to say and the way to say them.
  • Technology would cooperate with me! XD

Thank you so much for showing up to read and chat with me. I appreciate your support and encouragement so much, and I can’t wait to get this next book to you!!!

❤ Laurel