book review, fantasy, romance, Thomas Williams

Trilogy of The Seven Kingdom Chronicles

If you enjoy riveting tales of fantastical medieval adventure and love, you will love the trilogy of The Seven Kingdom Chronicles by Thomas Williams (Yes, he is my dad and I am thrilled to be plugging his newly digitalized novels.) These would make wonderful Christmas gifts for the bookworms in your family. For easy gift giving, simply go to any of these books’ Amazon Kindle website and click on “Give as a Gift” in the box on the right!

Let me share with you a summary of the books and what reviewers are saying about them:

The Bride of Stone (Volume 1 in the Seven Kingdom’s Chronicles)

Three lives are dramatically interwoven in this medieval tale of tragedy and triumph. Perivale, a war hero made king, finds the great promise of his reign threatened by the lure of power. The beautiful Princess Avalessa endures a tragedy that could bar her forever from all possibility of love. Davian, a talented but misogynic sculptor, creates a statue of perfect womanhood which is brought to life through dark necromancy.
The story moves toward a climax in which all three characters must make wrenching choices: King Perivale must choose whether to give up his cherished source of power or descend into madness. Davian must choose between his indulgent life with a beautiful, compliant artificial female or a real but marred woman who loves him dearly. Princess Avalessa must make the most wrenching choice of all—whether to heal her own tragic circumstance or restore to her beloved the very thing that could cause him to reject her.
In this surprising twist on the ancient Greek myth of Pygmalion, The Bride of Stone raises the question: If a man were granted the perfect mate of his dreams who catered to his every wish and whim, would he really find it fulfilling?
Price: $4.99
Buy at Amazon HERE!

What reviewers have said about The Bride of Stone:

The Bride of Stone has a good message about finding true beauty beyond the surface.… Another theme Williams portrays nicely is the ease by which anyone can be seduced by evil, despite good intentions…. If there’s a sequel,  I’ll read it.”  — Infuze Magazine

“…The Bride of Stone has something to say not only about the nature of art, but the nature of love. If a man could have a perfect partner, as Eve was to Adam in the beginning, what would that be like?    
— CHRISTIAN FICTION REVIEW

“Here is a spellbinding tale of pride, betrayal and ultimate redemption.”   — WRGN Network

“[Readers] will appreciate the medieval fantasy Williams creates….Christian educators and artists of all kinds will particularly appreciate chapter 20, which details a Christian world view of art as it was intended by the Creator, contrasted with art that reflects man’s fallen and sinful nature.” — Christian Library Journal

“…one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read….Reminiscent of both Arthurian legend and Lord of the Rings,  yet told with a gentle grace that far removes any comparison….I did not want the story to end.” — Rebecca Wire in Round Table Reviews



The Crown of Eden (Volume 2 in the Seven Kingdom’s Chronicles)
A beautiful young princess is betrothed by her father to an unknown prince in another land. When she meets the prince, she finds him spoiled, decadent, and filled with an inner darkness that makes him unfit as a husband and unfit to rule. 
At the same time, a young and powerful blacksmith’s son finds himself reluctantly embroiled in a great quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy he does not understand. He falls in love with a beautiful maiden who hides a tragic secret she cannot reveal. He finds that to wed her will undo the ancient prophecy and forever doom the empire of the Seven Kingdoms. 
The paths of the princess and the blacksmith cross, and both must choose whether to pursue their own hopes for happiness or bring a great evil upon the land. 
Price: $4.99
Buy at Amazon HERE!

What readers and reviewers have said about The Crown of Eden:
“Put Tom Williams up there with C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. His first book is a ‘great’ of the fantasy world.” —The Houston Chronicle
“Magnificent language, stunning imagery, and compelling symbolism . . . worthy of the most critical reader.” —Ellen Gunderson Traylor, author of Song of Abraham
“We are privileged to enjoy Tom’s skill with a story.” —Max Lucado
“Tom Williams has written a Tolkien-like fantasy in The Crown of Eden.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Williams’s tale of the ongoing struggle between light and darkness carries a strong moral and religious message that makes this high fantasy adventure a good choice for libraries in search of Christian-oriented fantasy.” —Library Journal
“Williams delivers a romantic tale examining such topics as fate, free will, and the power of good and evil. Both fantasy and romance readers will enjoy this first adventure in the Seven Kingdoms Chronicles series.” —CBA Marketplace

 “A masterfully told fantasy comparable both in style and wisdom to the works of George Macdonald, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien. The book is filled with spiritual truths and deals with a number of challenging issues on an allegorical level. It is a book to be read slowly, and to be savored.” —Christian Library Journal
“If you like fantasy, it will completely gratify your expectations. Brilliantly written!” —Emily Alger on Suite101.com
“My wife and I were overwhelmed by this book. I don’t know when I have enjoyed anything so much. Warning: once you start it you will find it hard to stop. I let several things go and read it over a couple of days. It’s a fine piece of work.” —Dr. Thomas A. Langford, Late Dean of the Graduate School, Texas Technological University
“An intriguing fantasy of love and adventure that takes place in a world of hidden identities, secret motivations, and the unfolding of a divine prophecy.” —Joseph Bentz, author of A Son Comes Home
The Devil’s Mouth (Volume 3 in the Seven Kingdom’s Chronicles)
This sequel to The Crown of Eden takes the reader back to the mythical world of the Seven Kingdoms with a compelling medieval story of freedom, justice, and forbidden love.
When political conspirators murder his father, Prince Lanson of Lochlaund flees for his life. He becomes the chivalrous protector of a beautiful tavern maid who is hiding from the moral condemnation of the powerful Lochlaund Kirk, a religious establishment ruled by a lecherous bishop which has a stranglehold on the kingdom. 
Ultimately Lanson must decide whether to give the woman over to the kirk’s legalistic justice or defy the kirk and save her life by wedding her—a choice which could lead to a holy war that would destroy either the kingdom or the kirk.
Price: $4.99
Buy at Amazon HERE!

What reviewers have said about The Devil’s Mouth
“…about a religious monarchy that punishes sinners by dropping them into the mouth of  hell….with some reviewers comparing Williams to C.S. Lewis.” — Publishers Weekly

“I was immediately caught up in Tom Williams’s The Devil’s Mouth.  As a Christian, I was struck  by the powerful message to contemporary Christians: God did not create us for legalism. He created us for loving fellowship. The Devil’s Mouth is an engaging exploration of a fantastic and relevant world.” — Angela Hunt, author of Five Miles South of Peculiar

“Tom Williams has captured the medieval era with complex detail and page-turning accuracy.  Superb characterization held me spellbound throughout the story.” — Lori Copeland, author of When Love Comes My Way

“Intrigue abounds in this well-crafted tale of heroic sacrifice, romance, and the timeless battle between good and evil.  As grace wrestles against legalism, readers will find provocative theological analogies for today’s Christian.” — CBA Marketplace

“Williams creates a world of medieval wonder—a place where honor is the greatest value and love must conquer the rigid legalism that professes to represent God.” — Homelife Magazine

I am so excited about these books! I have read all of them and have loved them. They are engaging, gripping, and speak to truths that reach my heart. If I had to choose my favorite, it would be a tough choice between The Devil’s Mouth and The Crown of Eden. I think The Devil’s Mouth speaks of the damage of legalism and the power of God’s love expressed through his people. Of course, The Crown of Eden is just a masterpiece that encompasses everything I love in a book. A great hero, a beautiful heroine, adventure, love, suspense…it has it all. 

So check them out! If you are still hesitant, you can go to the Amazon links and click on the TRY A SAMPLE button. It will send you a small sample of the book to your Kindle and you can see why I am so excited about these books! 


What about you? What types of books do you read? Romance? Adventure? Non-fiction? Mystery? Why do you read what you do?

Sherrinda

calligraphy, Christmas, craft, DIY, lettering, paint, Sherrinda

My Awesome Holiday!

I had the best week off last week! I’m sure you all had fun with family and ate lots of food like I did, but I bet you didn’t have as much fun crafting as I did.

The day after Thanksgiving I stayed at my mom’s house and she helped me make stockings. When my son got married, I felt bad that my new daughter-in-law didn’t have a matching stocking at Christmas. Three years later, I finally got them made! I saw some on Pinterest that I liked, and decided to tweak it a bit to suit my decor. I just wish I had gotten bigger letters. Here is how it turned out…

I made them out of burlap and even made a lining for them out of muslin. I painted my family’s initials in red, then mod podged some glitter on them, and then tied them on with some pretty ribbon. Pretty cute, huh?

I got my wreath made (also a Pinterest find) and think it looks fabulous!

Yes, I glitted the K initial too! Love that bright green!

And then I finally got the courage to paint a canvas like I saw here:

I decided to paint mine with a deep red background to go with my new stockings. I think it turned out quite nice.

And here is a picture of me “in process”. My husband took a picture and scared me…glad it didn’t make me mess up!

So today I go back to work on this Marvelous Monday. (sigh…I declare it to be so!) I’m thankful for the time I’ve had to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate over the last week and I hope to live the week fresh, happy, and strong. Whatever I do I pray I glorify my LORD.

Have a Marvelous Monday!

DIY, giveaway, giveaways, MyMemories, scrapbooking

MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Software Giveway!

I have stumbled across a new toy that I am so excited about! It is a new digital scrapbooking software called MyMemories. I wasn’t sure I would like it. I mean, would it be difficult to use? Would it take a long time to figure out? Would it produce great scrapbooking pages?

Well, I can answer yes to all of the above! Let me show you a couple of pages I was able to put together.

Cute, huh? These were page templates that laid out the photos for me and then I was able to embellishments, like the ribbon and flowers. I was also able to add text and the scrolling flourish. Not too bad for my first try.

Now, here’s the deal about this scrapbooking software. You can do more with it than just scrapbooking pages. For instance, I was able to use the scrapbooking paper for the background of my blog. I also put together the header for my blog as well.

And…look what I just finished creating, just in time for Christmas! (I made two 5 x 7 cards, because I couldn’t decide which one I like better. I’m thinking the green one is cute.

I’ve had so many ideas popping into my head of things to create. My next project is going to be Christmas gift tags. I could even do them as gifts! I’ll blog about them once I get them done.

Check out all the features of this digital scrapbooking software: (from the site)

Full Feature List

MyMemories Suite 3.0 scrapbooking software provides the design tools that will help you to build entire albums effortlessly using one of the many installed templates, or starting your own pages from scratch. This user-friendly software is great for beginners and design pros alike.

Design Features

  • Drag & drop your own pictures, plus page embellishments, backgrounds, imprints, shapes, and page layouts from one convenient sidebar (Resource Gallery).
  • feature_resources
  • Search through library of graphics quickly with enhanced search function
  • Pick your canvas size for your scrapbook or craft project
  • Align or space elements evenly on a page
  • Have precise control of your page design with Zoom
  • Add background paper as photo object (from backgrounds dialog)
  • Paste in background papers into shapes
  • Edit elements individually or in groups
  • Edit elements in pixels or inches
  • Change colors of imprint graphics and shapes
  • Edit elements directly on the with right-click functions
  • Right click edit
  • Rotate elements on a page
  • Layer elements on a page
  • Zoom-in and out on a page with tools or key commands
  • Create your own favorites library of colors and page elements
  • Preview drop shadows and mat effects before committing
  • Preview photo effects
  • Fill shapes with textures or images
  • Adjust colors using scrapbook palette, colors imported from images (color picker) and other color libraries
  • Build complete calendars automatically with Calendar Tool
  • Apply gradients with color palette
  • Gradient colors

Photo Features

  • Add mats to your pictures one picture or all your pictures at once
  • Apply drop shadows to one picture or all your pictures at once
  • Resize, crop, remove redeye, and apply various effects to pictures without ever leaving the page
  • Rotate photo within a photo box
  • Place photo into a shape

Text & Journaling Features

  • Type journaling directly onto your page
  • Position journaling around circular and angled shapes
  • Find and replace text
  • Memory of latest fonts used
  • Edit options for uppercase, lowercase, and sentence case
  • Word Art Designer feature provides 1-click options to bevel, emboss, add gradients, drop shadows, warp or shape, or paste images into text
  • Preview photo effects
  • Spell Check

General Features

  • Sharing wizards help you output one page (or pages) in multiple print and multimedia formats
  • Export pages as JPG, PNG or PDF files
  • Set defaults for drop shadows and text for your entire album
  • Add different shaped album pages into current album (i.e. Import landscape pages into a square album)
  • Identify any page element that are off the canvas
  • Holding the shift key while dragging an object constrains it to its horizontal or vertical axis
  • Locate Albums (File–>Locate Albums) will ask for a directory and then search for albums
  • Warn if there are missing fonts when doing a hi-res output
  • Export pages to PNG file formats and different quality JPG formats
  • Duplicate or Mirror Pages
  • Delete a single page or multiple pages at one time
  • Layer multiple background papers—perfect for mats, paper strips, frames, and more
  • Combine pages from multiple albums—even pages with different shapes
  • View your page layouts one at a time, or together as double-page spreads
  • Print your pages at home or use built in wizard to make your album into a professionally printed book
  • Simplified 1-screen export processes
  • Add multiple pictures at once to your layout using the FastFill function
  • Burn your creations onto a CD or DVD with better optical device support
  • Search functions for all page elements and Resource Gallery

Here is a short 4 minute video about MyMemories that you can view so actually see how it works.

When you are finished with your pages, you can export them as jpeg or png file. You can create movies, DVD’s, and even add video to your pages. You can make books, calendars, and more. It is very versatile.

If you want to purchase the software, you can use my coupon code STMMMS5007 and get $10 off the software. Normally is sells for $39.95. 

If you still aren’t sure, you can download a trial copy HERE and play with it to see if it is something that you could use.

Here is the awesome thing about MyMemories. They are letting me give away a free copy of of the MyMemories digital scrapbooking software! So here is what you need to do in order to enter the giveaway. I’m using a nifty Rafflecopter widget to help me out. The first question is mandatory, the others are optional for extra entries. The winner will be posted next Monday, November 19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js

*I was given a free copy of the MyMemoriesSuite for review. This review is my honest opinion. I do get a small commission on any software purchased with my code. 

Christmas, craft, DIY, Pinterst, work, zulily

Glad To Be Back

I haven’t blogged for a month! Isn’t that crazy? I tell you, it was a crazy busy month, but I feel like I can finally breath now and get back to some kind of normal…whatever that is. So what have I been doing? Well, mainly working really hard. The beginning of a school year is always busy, but this year especially so. New people, new programs, lots of purchasing and distributing…just crazy.

But I’m catching up and slowing down…and feeling much better.

So have I done anything fun during this time? You betcha, I have!

I’ve gotten a little crafty! For Boss’s Day, I made some of those cute little jars and fixed up some cute tags for them. I thought they turned out great.

I’ve also started shopping online for Christmas. I love finding good deals and stumbled upon Zulily. It is mainly for women’s and children’s clothes and accessories. They do have some home decor and kitchen stuff, but mostly clothing. Check out these adorable shoes for only $12.99! Wouldn’t they look great with a pair of jeans?

I am also working on another Christmas project that I can’t talk about, in case my daughter and daughter-in-law ever read this blog. But let’s just say that I am enjoying it, even though it is a labor of love and taking me a long time to finish. 🙂

In a couple of weeks, I hope to go to my mom’s for the day and make some new Christmas stockings. I made some when my kids were little and crosstitched names at the top, but now that my son is married, I need to make new ones (with some extra ones for future in-laws!). Here are some that I found on Pinterest that I want to make.

And speaking of Christmas, here is the wreath that I want to make.
Adorable, right? I can hardly wait! I will post pictures of the finished products when I get them done. 
I have also been reading, but I have been so tired at night, I haven’t been able to read as much as I would like…I fall asleep!!! Right now I’m reading To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer and it is GOOD! Sigh…I did stay up late the night before last reading it…I just couldn’t put it down. I’ll do a review when I get finished, but I won’t be giving up my copy for a giveaway, because this one is going on my shelf. 
So Happy Friday people….have a blessed weekend.

calling, discouragement, encouragement, God, Jesus, Sherrinda, spiritual

The EN and DIS in COURAGE

Photo by Stuart Miles
freedigitalphotos.net

A nugget from last Sunday’s sermon has stayed with me all week. It had to do with the root word COURAGE. We all need courage in our lives. Courage to stand up against the evil one. Courage to take a step of faith wherever God is leading. Courage to do something we have never done before. Courage to live in joy in the midst of a world prone to burrow in the mud of politics and other worldly views.

But COURAGE is just the root word of a couple of other words that we deal with daily.

DISCOURAGEMENT – We have all dealt with discouragement. But let me tell you, Satan puts the DIS in discouragement. He is the one who steal our courage, instilling fear and doubt. He doesn’t want us to live boldly in this world. He was to rob us of a life of freedom in Jesus. He want to enslave us to fear and discouragement so that we are ineffective for God’s mission in this world.

ENCOURAGEMENT – There is nothing sweeter than encouragement from a friend. But the Holy Spirit is a friend that gives us encouragement like no other. The Holy Spirit is the one who fills us with COURAGE, giving us hope and a reason to live bold for Jesus. When we soak in His words, His teaching, His love, we can be filled to overflowing and have something to offer the world…the knowledge of Him who is able to immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.

Friends, let’s be ENCOURAGED. Let’s let the Spirit of God fill us so that we have the COURAGE to live boldly for Jesus, becoming more like Him, spreading His love around to all we come in contact with. Let us throw off the devil and his schemes, letting DISCOURAGEMENT roll off our backs and not be entangled by fear that ensnares us in its grip.

Now go out and ENCOURAGE someone today. Someone out there needs you to be Jesus to them, sharing love and joy in the midst of discouragement.