Last July I typed out a dedication for Clarion Hope in the Notes app on my phone. This one is nearly verbatim.
As I wrote, gathered, and selected the poems for this collection, one of my goals was “to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable.” (That’s been attributed to a few different people, so I won’t even try.XD)
I want Clarion Hope to be a refuge of truth and encouragement for the ones who have been broken…the ones who have wondered if they are beyond healing and redemption. I want it to speak truth and life into hurting hearts, serving as a reminder that there is no wound Christ cannot heal, no sin He cannot blot out.
For the ones who have become comfortable with the walls they’ve erected around their comfort zones, I want it to be a challenge and a call to action. An encouragement to see the courage and calling that is ours in Christ. A reminder that eternity yawns beyond the grave, and that the blip of life we’re given on earth is screaming to be spent in a worthy way.
If that sounds like a reminder you need, feel free to snag your own copy of Clarion Hope here!
Do you have any favorite books that come to mind with these descriptions?
And so begins the countdown to Clarion Hope’s release day!
I’m going to be sharing a post a day until release day, so either buckle up or shut down your computer, depending on how you feel about Clarion Hope spam. XD
I wanted to kick it off by sharing a poem that comes from the first section of Clarion Hope.
The first section is titled fading scars, and it captures the emotions that fluctuate as we find ourselves to be broken people in need of healing…falling at the feet of the Healer. Regret, despair, gratitude, relinquishment…this section has it all.
Here’s one of my favorite poems from that first section.✨
etch the tale in silver: how
we’ll break the chains of the past asunder,
and kindle a fire of
that once proudly bore our faces…
(for that’s you and me no longer.)
If you resonated with the themes of fading scars or enjoyed ghosts, you may want to get your hands on a copy of Clarion Hope. If you order today, it just may arrive in time for you to read it on release day!
Friends, meet one of my favorite books and the first one I’ve had the privilege of endorsing!
First off, let me introduce you to the book via the blurb…
Marcus is tired of losing those he loves. The last shred of his childhood has been uprooted, and he feels alone… again. When the ruler’s new policies take effect, the anger of the Rusalkan mountain king is unleashed upon the borderlands. With refugees streaming into Elira by the hundreds, the stories from the wall are horrific.
Marcus joins a convoy to lend his medical skills to those in need at the Eliran border. What he finds there requires him to face his own deformities. Will he be able to overcome them? Or will his life forever be marked by suffering and sacrifice?Dilara’s life as a slave in Rusalka was anything but idealistic. Consumed by a system designed to use, abuse, and discard the likes of her, she has been taken through the very depths. Carrying a traumatic secret and wounded in her frenzied escape, she finds herself with an unlikely protector and an even more confusing relationship. Can she traverse the waters of this new life of hers and make it her own?
What I loved about This Life of Mine
Even the side characters in this book had so much personality! Everyone was so endearing and just came alive so effortlessly in my mind. (I’ve got to admit that Keitha was probably my favorite side character.:) )
I loved how you got to see the main character’s flaws, too. The characters weren’t unrealistically perfect…they were believable and relatable.
Marcus’ prayers/conversations with God.
Every now and then, there comes a fictional character who challenges you to live your life differently, and Marcus’ effortless open dialogue with the Lord did just that for me.
The recurring imagery and parallels.
Man, oh man. This was so much fun. It was the ashes one that got me.
I can’t say much about this because of spoilers, but WOW. This was one plot twist I never saw coming, and the absolute beauty…
Intrigued? Purchase a copy from Amazon here or a signed copyhere!
This Life of Mine is the second book in Victoria Lynn’s series, The Chronicles of Elira, but this book can also be read as a standalone! If you’re interested in hearing more about the first book in the series, check out my review of Once I Knewhere.
Meet the author
Victoria Lynn has an insatiable desire for truth, light and beauty.
Traveling to destinations of beauty created by our Heavenly Father, reveling in creative pursuits that fill her with joy, or pouring her heart into words of life are some of her favorite things to do.
She seeks to bring the life giving words of the Savior to a dark and broken world that desperately needs to know of His sacrifice.
A writing and publishing coach, author, journalist, seamstress and creator, she loves spending time with any of her 8 siblings, exploring her native state of Michigan, and sewing gowns fit for a princess.
Man, oh man, was this an exciting read! I was very pleasantly surprised to find that, not only was it void of junk, it also had some cool forgiveness elements, as well. A great balance of action, banter, character depth, and plot twists.
Becoming Elisabeth Elliot – Ellen Vaughn
“He is my Rock. it is on Him I count, not on the purity of my own heart…His promises depend on His character, NOT MINE. This is the only foundation for faith.”
Yes, I’m still reading it…yes, I’m still loving it. (It does get a bit descriptive with some of the injury scenes, so if that’s something that disturbs you, be forewarned.)
The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
The Bear lobbed the whole sticky mass over the top of the enclosure and unfortunately it hit Uncle Andrew slap in the face (not all the bees were dead). The Bear, who would not at all have minded being hit in the face by a honeycomb himself, could not understand why Uncle Andrew staggered back, slipped, and sat down. And it was sheer bad luck that he sat down on the pile of thistles.
I just finished this one! It was so fun to read it again.
(I also got to beta-read a dual-timeline novel that hasn’t been published yet.)
From the journal
…thank You, Lord, that the love does not come from my meager resources, but from the incredible depths of Your love.
Purify my heart, Lord…let self-will die a quiet death in me.
Help me to live in pursuit of Your heart, Father. And yet it is not a pursuit…for You ask me to knock, and tell me it will be opened to me, and all I must do is keep in step with Your Spirit.
What memories/lessons are you taking away from February?
Honest-to-goodness true love... The stuff that remains when all the beauty and romance of life is gone. When there are no happy emotions. When sin has left deep, open wounds on the heart and there seems to be nothing left but hurt. When everything that’s in you screams to leave it all and run…
Love is what picks up the pieces and painfully carries on when the road is so broken, life seems to have no direction or meaning anymore.
Love suffers long, and it’s kind.
I love it when my old writings come back and encourage me. XD You can read the full post here, if you’d like!
making dragon eggs (they “smelled something sinful” and I won’t be doing it again)
getting yummy breakfasts delivered to the skid loader
not losing my eyesight
discovering that stinging nettle tea is actually delicious
What I’ve been reading…
Romanov – Nadine Brandes
“Revenge would have shattered us both. But you’ve given us the opportunity to be strong. To mend our hearts instead of break them further.”
I’ve been fascinated by the tragic story of the Romanovs for years, and I really enjoyed this fantastical take on it. While it was a bit more gruesome than I would have liked, I loved the characters and the epic plot twists so much.
The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
“In fact, Digory, you are now talking to the last man (possibly) who really had a fairy godmother…”
“I bet she was a bad fairy,” thought Digory…
I’m rereading this book with several of my friends from Bible study, and it’s been so much fun!
The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The same deep, intense love was still there, on both sides, but each now seemed to have a secret orchard, into which the other dared not penetrate.
I’m really enjoying this story that takes place during the French Revolution!
Becoming Elisabeth Elliot – Ellen Vaughn
Her presupposition – that we are to die to self, and it is only in dying that we actually find real life – informed her views about life choices, time management, risk avoidance, public opinion…everything. This is why she was radical. This is why her life continues to be relevant today.
I’m really enjoying this deep look into the early years of one of my spiritual heroes!
From the journal…
Oh, God, help me to hold it all with open hands. Time and time again, you’ve set just the right people in my life at just the right times.
I find it so interesting that God asked the Israelites to go up to battle against Benjamin two times to suffer great loss. They came weeping to the Lord both times to ask His will, and still He told them to go up against them. Oh, strengthen me, Father, to fight boldly when You command and yet it ends in defeat.
“The Lord sat enthroned at the flood…” (Psalm 29:10) In the middle of mass destruction and the greatest catastrophe the world has ever known, the Lord retained His rule.
May I not let go merely because I hope to see You give back again. May I watch dreams burn to ashes, never to return, while still trusting the faithfulness of my God.
What were some things that you enjoyed this January?
In going through some old papers, I found this little piece I wrote almost exactly four years ago and thought it would be fun to share here.
The sun was warm on my hair, yet the wind blew its frosty breath in my face as I walked through the browned grasses. The solid feeling of the frozen earth beneath my feet was so ordinary…yet so wonderful.
Wisps of cloud scudded across an ocean of powder-blue sky, hovering over the golden stubble of a cornfield lately reaped. A solitary cornstalk or two stood defiantly at the horizon, piercing the sky.
I filled my lungs with the frigid air and released it again. The vapor dispersed in the wind. I could hear the wind rushing through the grasses, swelling and fading by turns in its song. I had never been to the sea, but I liked to think that it sounded like the wind in dry grasses.
Maybe someday I’ll know.
But today holds so much. So much to love, so much to feel. So many things for which to praise God.
More things than the sand by the sea.
❤ Laurel Luehmann, January 24th, 2019
I find it pretty neat that exactly two years after that was written, I was staying by the ocean for the first time. God’s timing is incredible.✨
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.