Friday, 24 October 2014

Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World


When the lights go out – play harder. 
Travis Freeman plunged into a world of darkness at 12 years old. A rare occurrence of a routine illness stole his sight, leaving the small–town Kentucky boy's dreams of football and fun languish–ing on the sidelines. 
Having given his heart to Jesus merely a year before the illness, Travis knew one thing: God was still the light for his life. 
That life story is now the inspiration for a major motion picture, "23 BLAST" that hits theatres in October 2014. Starring Dylan Baker (SPIDERMAN, THE GOOD WIFE) and Mark Hapka (DAYS OF OUR LIVES, CRIMINAL MINDS), the film focuses on Travis's football career playing Center for the Corbin Red–hounds – a team that went on to win the state championship. 
Yet there is even more wisdom and hope for us to find in a full telling of Travis Freeman's story. So much more to hear that couldn't be included in The Today Show and Dateline coverage of his football exploits. 
This graduate of the University of Kentucky and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary now joins with seasoned writer Rebeca Seitz to share his story in his own words. His is a story that is destined to turn the lights on for millions of readers.


You know those stories that while you're reading it, you just can't believe it, and then when you've turned that final page you STILL can't believe it!!?? Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World is one of those books! Travis Freeman has got to be one of THE MOST amazing men and his story is one that will touch/inspire/encourage each and every person who is able to hear it.

Travis lives in a small town, a very close knit community.  Travis explains it this way...

 “Life in the small town of Corbin revolves around family, church, neighborhood, and football – usually in that order. Every little boy – at least every little boy I knew – grew up with one dream: to become a Corbin Redhound, a member of the high-school football team.”  As a 4th grader he was able to be the water boy, which in his mind, was one step closer to being on the team!

When Travis turns 12 he begins having painful headaches! The doctors didn't take him seriously but when his Dad takes him to the hospital in pain, and running a very high temp, tests reveal Travis had Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis. Surgery was the only option and with it came the news that Travis would lose his sight.  

As I read his story I kept thinking about the Scripture, "What the enemy meant for harm, God will use it for good" Gen 50:20. You see, upon Travis learning that while the surgery had saved his life, the infection had taken his sight, and his reply was this... "I believe I will see again. But if I don't, I can't wait to see what God's going to do with my life!" And from that day to today, God is STILL doing amazing things through Travis' life!!

Travis went on to play football, yes PLAY football! He played all through high school, and then he was the equipment manager at the University of Kentucky during his college years. He has continued to do so many amazing things and with each accomplishment he hopes that people will see that disability does not equal inability! 

Lights Out: Living in a Sightless World is a book that everyone should read! What a great thing for Families to read aloud together each evening, and then discuss between them and see how each person is touched or encouraged. Honestly anyone and everyone would be blessed to read Travis' story!

There is also a movie out titled "23 Blast" that tells his story. I'm not sure if it will come to my area but I sooooo hope it does! It is one to see for sure!!!

Hands down, I give this book as many ♥ as I possibly can!!! This is a MUST READ book!!
5 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s INDEED!!

Thank you so much LeAnn Hamby and Glassroad Media a division of BelieversPress for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Mason Jar


What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she's ever read? "But," she said, "it's about you." The author is your college ex. 
In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather's desk; letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark, debutante from Colorado, named Savannah. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.
Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.
A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her and a reunion they never imagined.
Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again, and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It and Legends of the Fall.


When I read the blurb about "The Mason Jar" I knew right away that I wanted to review this book! Why? Well, it is a inspirational romance and one that states is similar to a Nicholas Sparks book. 

I loved the idea of the book! Everyone remembers their first love, but how many people do you know that had someone write a book about the relationship the two of you had? Well, that is just what happens in The Mason Jar. Finn and Eden fall in love while attending Pepperdine University and quickly become inseparable! Finn falls hard for Eden but when she suddenly disappears from campus, he is left with countless questions! The note Eden leaves only states she does not want him to pursue her. Attempting to overcome his broken heart Finn decides to go to Africa on a missions trip, and begins a Micro-lending program.

He also begins writing his grandfather in hopes of resolving his feelings for Eden. This is the best part of the book for me! I LOVED Finn's grandfather and how their relationship, while already a good one, only becomes much closer! Finn learns so much from this time of sharing notes back and forth! But, it isn't until his grandfather passes and he is going through his stuff, that he finds the final letter. Finn hopes this last letter will bring some much needed finality!

While I enjoyed The Mason Jar, I have to say I definitely don't feel it was up to the "Nicholas Sparks" level. The depth of this love story wasn't even close to those in Sparks' books. The ending was different than most romance novels, so, if you are looking for a storybook happy ending this is probably not for you!

I give The Mason Jar a 4 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥'s rating! Thank you LitFuse for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!