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Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Book Review and Giveaway

The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy
The Rhythm of Secrets revolves around the story of Sheila Franklin, wife of the prominent and conservative pastor, Edward Franklin. Unbeknownst to everyone around her, Shelia has secrets; secrets that she has kept even from her husband for many years. However, it takes only one little phone call for the carefully woven fabric of her past life to begin to unravel. At the risk of losing all she has attained and becoming an outcast and a pariah, Sheila makes the decision to reveal her secret past to her husband and, at the same time, embrace a family member from her past. Not only is Sheila's status in the life she has created at risk, the life of a young girl in the country of Thailand is also at stake.

Sheila hasn't always been the refined, well-dressed, dignified, lady-of-the-manor that we meet in the early pages of this book. In fact, the truth is that she hasn't always been "Sheila." At different stages of her life, Sheila's name changes periodically throughout the book. While her life has been one of turmoil and upheaval, the constant throughout is her love of music. It is her music and love of it that sustains her in times of hardship.

When we first meet Sheila, the year is 1969. The place is Chicago, Illinois. From there, we take a leap back in time to the year 1942 and find ourselves in New Orleans, Louisiana. At this time, Sheila, who is actually named Sheba, is thirteen years old, already skilled at the piano and has a burning desire to learn to play the clarinet. Horrible and tragic events jerk Sheba from the comfort of her happy home and force her to live with a grandmother who neither loves nor understands her. Thus the stage is set for the events that mold Sheba into the woman that we met in the opening pages.

The book jumps back and forth in time, each time revealing a little bit more of Sheila's past. The more we learn, the more we are able to understand the decisions that Sheila makes and the reasons for her willingness to sacrifice the safety and security of her life as the minister's wife.

Along with the music which is always the center of Sheila's life, another constant throughout is God's grace, His love and mercy, His forgiveness and His compassionate intercession.

As a rule, I generally don't care for books that jump back and forth from present to past. However, in The Rhythm of Secrets, this is a very effective means of telling the story and I immensely enjoyed the way that the back and forth helped the reader to slowly come to understand Sheila's choices and how she has evolved into the person who is willing to risk all in order to save a young girl that she has never met.

When I first heard of this book I knew that I had to read it. I am a musician and can appreciate how Sheila's love of music became the one constant in her life when she was surrounded on all sides by turmoil, heartache, and confusion.

In the book of Psalms, chapter 150, verses 3 and 4, we are told to "praise Him with the sound of the trumpet...praise Him with the psaltery and harp...praise Him with stringed instruments and organs..." Indeed, it is through playing music that I worship God and commune with Him on a spiritual plane.  So too, does Sheila use her musical talents to commune with God, relieve her anger or loneliness, and express her emotions.

In the pages of the Bible, we read much about King Saul. When an evil spirit was upon him, he called for David to play upon the harp and Saul was refreshed. There is much truth in the statement that music has the power to soothe the savage beast. The power of music cannot be denied and Patti Lacy skillfully demonstrates this truth in her book.

Is it a prerequisite that you must be a musician to enjoy The Rhythm of Secrets? Not at all! This is a strong story of faith, hope, and trust. All who read it will be captivated by the story and eagerly continue to turn the pages until they reach the satisfying conclusion. As I read this book, I was reminded on several occasions of the scripture in Romans 8:28 which says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." 

I have an autographed copy of this book that is going to be awarded to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment which includes your email address in spam-proof format (yourname[at]provider[dot]com). For a bit of extra fun and an extra chance to win, have you ever played a musical instrument? If so, what instrument did you play? If you don't play an instrument, tell about a time that music played an important role in your life.  As always, this contest is limited to United States mailing addresses. The drawing will be held on April 3, 2011.

You can purchase The Rhythm of Secrets from the publisher, Kregel Publications, at Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, or other online book stores.

I received this book from the author. I was not obligated to give a positive review and received no compensation for this review. All opinions stated are my own honest and truthful thoughts.

41 comments:

  1. I had to learn to play the recorder, xylophone, piano and a couple other instruments in a college course. Oh, I was horrible. But then I never had music lessons before then, either.
    I would love to win Rhythm of Secrets. Life is full of secrets. This book sounds so intriguing. Thanks for the opportunity.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  2. Jan, thanks so much for featuring my third baby, Rhythm of Secrets!!!

    Linda, wow! You are musical!!!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. When I was little I played the flute but I was no music star, I do love music though, makes everything better, and my kids love it, my 10-yr-old step-son loves playing the guitar.
    carito_rmz (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  4. Linda, I know what you are talking about with those college courses, even more so if you are a music major. You are required to take lessons on at least one instrument in each category; that is, strings, percussion, woodwinds, brass. You wind up knowing just enough to sound as if you really know how to play.

    Patti,

    Thanks for stopping by! It is always a pleasure to review a book when it is as good as The Rhythm of Secrets is.

    Cdhabolt, thanks for visiting! I play wind instruments (bassoon, oboe, and clarinet) but I never did learn the flute.

    I have you and Linda both entered in the contest. Good luck!

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  5. My Father was in a band from the time I could remember and played along side Bob Dylan ~ Before he was famous. My dad is long gone now but his love of music is with me. I taught myself how to play piano. (We were to poor for lessons) I am not a musician but my love for music is everywhere thanks to my dad. My daughter plays flute. I am seeing her love for music as well. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

    Mary_Reiss @ hotmail.com

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  6. I received my book rhythm of secrets and just started reading, I love what I have read so far , I have a 2 year old so I am reading in between naps and evening moments hoping to actually read the entire book this weekend when my husband is home and I have a quite moment . :)

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  7. I played the clarinet in junior high but quickly stopped when I found out I could have more fun just listening to music. I have over 300 albums (yes vinyl) and over 300 cds. Music is something that invigorates me when I'm down. My kids are learning to share this love.

    chamsmama[at]gmail[dot]com

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  8. CD Habolt, nice to meet you! I'm partial to the flute as that's what my daughter played! Bravo to your stepson!

    Mary, WOW! Your dad must've been SOMETHING! And your daughter is another one of those flute players I admire!!

    Mrs. Kozma, well, you just made my day! So glad you are intrigued!!! Thanks for investing in my career!

    Sheena, do you remember that song, "The clarinet, the clarinet, plays doodle-doodle-doodle-et. The vioin's stringing makes lovely singing...or am I making all of this up????

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  9. LOL - I remember THAT one, Patti! Wow - you're bringing back memories that go a long way back.

    So nice to "see" so many new faces! I extend a warm welcome to each of you and invite you to make this a regular stop in your blog hopping.

    It is really exciting to hear so many stories of how music has impacted your lives! Keep those stories coming - it is music to my ears!

    Jan Marie

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  10. I learned to play the piano at age fourty-something. Well partially. I play single-handed (right hand only). I'm working on trying to put the left hand to work. I greatly appreciate music. It definitely is a tool that expresses one's mood for me. It also lifts me up when I am down. No wonder we can easily praise our Lord by using instruments. Patti as an author is at the top of my favorite's list. Whoever wins this book will truly be blessed.
    cepjwms at wb4me dot com

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  11. Jan Marie, we have dated ourselves!!

    Pamela, you have made my Saturday!!!! You inspire me with your right-handed, forty-year-old fingers!!! Since I'm a stubborn lefty, we could play a mean duet!!! Keep at it!!!

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  12. Patti, I'm a lefty too - what does that say about us? :)

    Pamela, you remind me of my grandmother. She began taking piano lessons when she was in her 60s. It was something she had always wanted to do but never had the time or the money before. Did she become a virtuoso before she died? No, but she got a lot of pleasure just picking out the old hymns and singing along as she played.

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  13. Jan Marie, I found you! I didn't know your web address, but good old Google got me here. I very much enjoyed the book review. It sounds like a book I would enjoy reading, too! I've never played an instrument, although I did try to learn to play the guitar. My dad (several stringed instruments), brother (guitar), and sister (piano) are the musically inclined in our family. Mama and I are content to make joyful noises. My dad has played stringed instruments ever since he was a little boy. He, his brother, and their father played at the local picnics that attracted a number of southern country singers at the time. Have a good week! Sylvia

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  14. Sylvia, so glad you found me! It sounds like my husband and your dad should get together. We have both been symphonic musicians for years; both of us play the bassoon. About three years ago, my hubby decided to learn to play bluegrass and started taking fiddle lessons. Now he goes to every bluegrass jam he can find and joins in. Tonight he played in a symphony concert and tomorrow he is doing a bluegrass thing. He is far more versatile than I am. You have a blessed week too! Jan Marie

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  15. no, i regret to say that i have never played a musical instrument....thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  16. Sylvia, how wonderful! Jan Marie, thanks for sharing your hubby's talent!!!

    Karen, nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by!!!

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  17. I think this book looks very interesting.
    gardnerad@juno.com

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  18. blstef1 at mts dot net
    intrigued... thx!

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  19. I don't know if you've ever heard the old joke, "the only thing I can play is the radio!"...well that is me!

    The book sounds intriguing and I would love to win a copy. My email is in my profile.

    Oh...and Carman sent me from her blog Christian Book Giveaways.

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  20. Interesting cover...
    I played clarinet in high school (many years ago) and I loved it!
    Please enter me into the drawing.
    lgm52(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  21. This book sounds intriguing. I took piano lessons for two years during elementary school. I only remember how to play "Oh when the saints go marching in." Please enter me. Carman sent me.

    arsmelser6[at]gmail[dot]com

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  22. I love Patti! She is such a sweetheart! Thanks for the review; your comments are appreciated. Have been wanting to read this book for a while. :) Thanks so much for doing this.

    I am a new follower, and yes, I've played instruments. I had a run with the flute in junior high (never came to anything:) and I can play the piano, although I sorely need to practice!

    Blessings,
    Karen
    klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  23. I never learned to play an instrument. I do love to listen to music and it always reminds me of certain times in my past.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  24. Sounds like an awesome book!

    Carman sent me.

    crazi(dot)swans(at)gmail.com

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  25. I played the clarinet for several years and switched to tenor sax my last year.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Carman sent me!
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

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  26. I'm a Sheila too. Book sounds great. Carmen sent me.

    true_sheila at yahoo dot com

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  27. Sounds like a great book. I'm always looking for new books of the Christian novel genre. I'm an avid reader and keep running out of good books. Thanks to Carman who has given me the opportunity to enter this contest. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carrie A. Larks
    happyasalarks@yahoo.com

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  28. I've read Patti's other two books, and loved them. Would love to read this one.

    I play the piano, and started taking lessons when, I was in the second grade. I've also taught some.

    Music, has always been a big part of my life!

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  29. Lets try this again.

    I've read Patti's other books, and would love to read this one.

    I play the piano, and started taking lessons, when I was two years old. I've also taught piano.

    Music, has always been a very important part of my life.

    Becky Carden
    recarden(at)cableone(dot)net

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  30. The Rythem of Secrets sounds like a great read. I too, love music. My parents were into classical music and I cut my teeth on Beetovan's 5th Piano Concerto, still my favorite. I took piano lessons and played the saxaphone in junior high & high school. I have played the sax on and off. A little church that we used to attend had a little orchestra with cello's, violens, a viola, flute, & I played the sax. It was a lot of fun.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    Debbie Clark
    debbiemcla[at]msn[dot]com

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  31. I have heard good things about this book. It definitely has my interest. As for music, I played the flute in the fourth grade and played guitar when I was ten. :)

    joyfulhutch[at]msn[dot]com

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  32. My brother trained to be a concert pianist and he tried to teach me when I was a young girl, but I was a total failure! I never tried another instrument after that :) Music has always been a huge part of my life, though, starting with my brother, then my husband (who plays 5 stringed instruments), both my sons play guitar, and my MIL is a trained pianist. Your review of this book has made me want to read it. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

    Blessings,
    Anne
    http://duhpaynes.blogspot.com
    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  33. I hope I'm not too late to get into the drawing. I played flute from 6th grade through 12th grade. My oldest daughter plays clarinet and is now in orchestra. My youngest daughter plays the saxophone. Hopefully I made it on time. I would love to win a copy of this book.

    pleblanc_1[at]charter[dot]net

    Patty

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  34. After reading about this book it is one that I definitely want to read. It has me very intrigued. I would love to get entered in the giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  35. Hello, and a warm welcome to all of you who have just entered your names in the drawing. Yes, you are still in time and you have been entered. The drawing will close at midnight, Indiana time. That is just slightly over two hours from now so hurry and throw your name in the hat for a chance to win this wonderful book by a very talented author.

    This has been so much fun and I have enjoyed hearing about how music has played a part in each of your lives. Music is one of God's most beautiful gifts to us and I am so thrilled to be able to worship Him through music.

    Jan Marie

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  36. Faith, Hope, waving to ya!! Glad you are intrigued!!
    Tammy, love your sense of humor. No, I haven't heard that one!!!
    LGM, I won't "sing" you my clarinet song again:) Bet you toodled perfectly. The main character plays a clarinet...or wants to. Intrigued????
    Amy, well, that's a good song to play!!! Glad to meet you here!!

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  37. Karen, you old sweetie! YOU HAVEN'T read Rhythms yet???? We gotta do SOMETHING ABOUT THAT!!!

    Linda, music moves me, too!!!
    Faye, waving hello. Glad you were sent!!!

    Charlotte, just got back from San Diego, where one of the highlights was hearing a street saxophonist belt out "How Great Thou Art."

    Sheila, ANOTHER one of y'all. You've got a name so beautiful I gave it to my heroine!!

    Carrie, thank you for stopping by!!

    Becky, THANK YOU! I LOVE seeing a fan amongst the madding crowd :)

    Debbie, we are talking MUSICIAN!!! You actually might be one of the ones who listens to the songs linked to youtube with each chapter :)

    Michelle, waving at ya! Flute and guitar=DIVERSE!!! LOVE IT!

    Anne, WOW! Talk about a musical family! Move over, von Trapps!!!!

    Patty, HEY!!!! You STILL haven't gotten that name spelling right :) You've started a musical legacy yourself!

    Jo, THANK YOU!!!!

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  38. I love music too! I've played the piano,organ and keyboard for as long as I can remember. Had some music but play mostly by ear. Been playing for church for years too!.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

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  39. I'd love to win Patti's book. :)

    I don't play an instrument, but all four of my kids do--thanks to their father.

    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  40. Splashes of joy, hello! Do I HAVE THE BOOK for you :)

    Ann, hey!!! So you are married to a musician. Very cool. My daughter plays the flute, piano, keyboard. For a time, she'd spend her allowance on want ad instruments. For awhile, we had an old sax and a trumpet laying around here. I miss those days:(

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  41. Now, this is ANTICIPATION... just checking in to see if the winner has been announced yet.
    cepjwms at wb4me dot com

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