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Series Spotlight: Inscribed Bible Studies

30 Jan

Thomas Nelson has just released a new Bible study series targeted for women. The Inscribed  series is written by women for women. Here are a few of the titles available:

680237Inseparable by Ashley Linne. What word would you use to describe yourself? Now think of a word God would use to describe you. Us it the same word? Based on the book of Romans, Inseparable gives an overview of our identity in Christ. Throughout the book, guided Bible study sections will lead you to discover truths in Scripture for yourself and challenge you to apply those truths to your everyday thought processes and choices. You’ll be encouraged to look to Christ for approval, identity, and significance rather than yourself or the world around you. Each chapter concludes with a “Come Together” section with questions to discuss with a small group, friend, or online group.

680152Just Rise Up! by Sarah Francis Martin. It is common to look at our faith as something that just “is”. It’s not strong, nor is it weak; it’s simply a part of us. But faith is something we desire to strengthen. It is a vital relationship with our Lord that should be nurtured, celebrated, and shouted from the rooftops as the most incredible gift we will ever receive.

Just Rise Up! is a call to do just that. This invigorating study motivates women to do life differently by making Jesus famous in all aspects of life. Many have the itch to make a difference with their lives but don’t know how. By living a life of praise, with a humble posture and a Kingdom perspective, women will step into their life purpose. With Just Rise Up! readers will evaluate their present stance before the Lord and become excited to Rise Up! and take their place in the Kingdom to make the name of Jesus renowned.

679750Barren Among The Fruitful by Amanda Hope Haley. Using Amanda’s personal stories, and the stories of other women who have struggled to have children, Barren Among the Fruitful surrounds those women struggling with infertility or miscarriage with a sense of community while providing honest facts. It leads women from confusion to understanding. Each chapter is titled with a well-meaning, but sometimes thoughtless comment Amanda was offered during her seven-year struggle with infertility. At the end of each chapter are questions for reflection.




Great for use in a small group setting, these studies will meet women right where they are in their faith journey. Whether your group wants to focus on a book of the Bible or a specific issue, all 12 books in the series will be a great resource.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for review copies. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Book Spotlight: For Love Or Loyalty and For Love Or Country

4 Jul

Looking for a patriotic read this July 4th? Then check out Jennifer Hudson Taylor‘s books, For Love Or Loyalty and For Love Or Country, book 1 & 2 in the MacGregor Legacy series.

ForLoveorLoyalty_3DCoverFor Love or Loyalty, Book 1, The MacGregor Legacy

One conquest could destroy her, but avenge his family.
Scotland to Carolina, 1760

To atone for her father’s evil, Lauren Campbell agrees to help Malcolm MacGregor. By the time she realizes she’s the bargaining price to free his other from indentured servitude, it’s too late. Malcolm only wants to free his family and exact revenge against Duncan Campbell. As the pride and joy of Duncan’s life, his daughter Lauren is the perfect answer, but during the voyage to America, her faith continues to witness to Malcolm. He becomes enraptured with her, and upon their arrival, discovers he’s sold her into a fate worse than death. Now Malcolm has the dilemma: Free his family? Or rescue Lauren? Time is short and with little means, he needs a miracle.


1c0c22c0-7091-466b-bcaa-2d7f15a15fe8For Love or Country, Book 2, The MacGregor Legacy

One spy. One commission. One Love.
He must risk it all to save everything.
Wilmington, NC, 1781
(During Revolutionary War)

At the height of the Revolutionary war, Tyra MacGregor is successful at thwarting the British Army of her colonial spy efforts. But her sleuthing ways come to a screeching halt when Captain Donahue “Hugh” Morgan puts her under house arrest.

Hugh is intrigued by this courageous spy the natives call “War Woman”. She’s more daring than most men and is intelligent in defending her conventions. Even more impressive to Hugh is the strength of Tyra’s unshakeable faith in God.

When Tyra his life during an attack, Hugh vows to return the favor. Before he can intervene, however, she is caught by his superior officer and imprisoned. Soon Hugh’s honor, faith, country, and love are on the line. Can he risk it all to save everything?


672ebb8d-4611-4b66-b0d1-85e970881727Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author of historical Christian fiction whose works has appeared in numerous national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader. When she isn’t writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, researching her own family history, and reading. She resides with her husband and daughter in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.



To purchase these books, click on the images below.



Series Spotlight: Women’s Bible Studies by Rita Platt

14 Mar

The women’s Bible study I lead on Wednesday evenings is currently using Rita Platt’s 8 week study, An Undivided Heart:  Experiencing The Intimacy of Jesus’ Touch.   I have also taught from the other two books in the series:  I Am His (God the Father) and Step into The Waters (the Holy Spirit).  Each study is 8 weeks and includes scripture study, creative exercises and discussion questions to journal and is perfect for small groups.  If you are looking for a Bible study with a fresh look into the nature of God, I highly recommend you try one or all of these books.


I Am His:  Experiencing The Comfort of Abba’s Love.  Women, discover what it means to the be the daughter of a loving Abba Father! Inviting you to open up your heart, Platt’s 8-week study will encourage you to experience the comfort of dwelling in God’s tender, wise, and powerful embrace.




An Undivided Heart:  Experiencing The Intimacy of Jesus’ Touch.  Did you know that Jesus wants to know you intimately? With solid biblical insight, Platt explores how Jesus freely sacrificed his life to invite you into his embrace; and helps you become more fully and passionately wed to him. 




Step into The Waters:  Experiencing The Abundance of The Spirit.  Experience the abundant flow of Living Water! Offering opportunities for transforming and thirst-quenching encounters with the Holy Spirit, Platt invites you to immerse yourself in life-giving intimacy and deeper connection to God. 

Series Spotlight: Tides Of Truth

22 May

Robert Whitlow became a favorite author with my book club when we read his book The Trial.   We have read all but one of his books for discussion and the one we didn’t read (The List), we watched the movie!  Whitlow’s novels always inspire great discussions and his novels are referred to again and again.  The Tides Of Truth series was a big hit with us, even our husbands read and enjoyed the books.  If you like suspense, legal intrigue and a faith based message, I encourage you to check out this series.

The first book in the series is Deeper Water.

In the murky waters of Savannah’s shoreline, a young law student is under fire as she tries her first case at a prominent and established law firm. A complex mix of betrayal and deception quickly weaves its way through the case and her life, as she uncovers dark and confusing secrets about the man she’s defending–and the senior partners of the firm.

How deep will the conspiracy run? Will she have to abandon her true self to fulfill a higher calling? And how far will she have to go to discover the truth behind a tragic cold case?

Higher Hope, Book 2

Competition is tough at the Savannah law firm where Tami Taylor serves as a law clerk. But Tami’s work sets her apart–and the firm’s partners see something special in her. So they assign her to a libel case against an abrasive, outspoken preacher who is either a prophet or a lunatic.

On the surface it appears to be an open and shut case; the preacher seems fully outside the bounds of law. And Tami’s strict religious upbringing could be the firm’s ace-in-the-hole. But as the investigation continues, Tami is troubled by the preacher’s uncanny prophetic abilities. And their client seems to be hiding something.

Tami returns to her hometown, struggling with several critical choices–as two very different men from the firm vie for her heart. Just when the challenges seem insurmountable, hope for Tami arrives from a surprising place. And it’s a higher hope than she’s ever imagined.

Greater Love, Book 3

As the storm clouds gather, Tami does her best to weather the growing turbulence in every area of her life.

She’s just accepted a job with a law firm but now wonders if she made the right decision. She has two strong men vying for her heart–and is about to lose them both if she can’t determine which one is right for her.

And Tami’s new case is anything but simple. When she first meets her prospective client, she immediately knows the rough young teen is lying, guilty…and utterly terrified of something beyond the charges she’s facing. What she doesn’t realize is just how far reaching the effects of the case will go. Or how close to home the deadly results will hit. For by the time the storm breaks, someone close to Tami will have paid the ultimate price.

Through it all, Tami will experience greater sacrifice, greater friendship, and greater love than she’s ever known.

Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina.

This summer, Whitlow has a new book in a new series coming out.  Can’t wait to read it.

Series Spotlight: Mysteries From The Mississippi Delta

10 May

As a young woman, I spent  a little over 7 years in Mississippi — 4 years of undergraduate studies at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, 2 years of graduate school at Mississippi State University in Starkville, and 1 1/2 years in Jackson working in state government.  I came to love the state and married a boy who is Mississippi bred and wants to return there ASAP.  He has been trying for 26 years now!  Oh well.  To help keep the Mississippi vibe going, I read books set there.  Carolyn Haines’ Sarah Booth Delaney series does the trick.  Set in and around the fictional Zinnia, Sarah Booth Delaney, Delta girl extraordinare, maintains the homestead by solving mysteries.  She gets help from sidekick Tinkie Richmond and Cee Dee (formerly Cecil) Falcon, while fending off the advances of men of all types.  Oh, and there is a ghost that shows up throughout the series, if not to help, at least to let her thoughts be known.   This is a fun, cozy series that brings me back to my days in Mississippi and my friendship with my Delta girl roomie.

The first book in the 11 book series is Them Bones

If only I hadn’t kidnapped the dog…but the ransom paid the mortgage….Now I seem to be a private eye….I shouldn’t have listened to that ghost….

Meet Sarah Booth Delaney…an unconventional Southern belle whose knack for uncovering the truth is about to make her the hottest detective in Zinnia, Mississippi…if it doesn’t make her the deadest.

No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth’s situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she’s flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state–or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend’s prize pooch to raise some cash.

But soon Sarah Booth’s walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she’s hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself…and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave.

Them Bones is followed by:

Buried Bones — Private investigation isn’t on the list of a southern belle’s most desirable accomplishments- but it’s saved Sarah Booth Delaney’s southern homestead. Now all she has to cope with is its bossy antebellum ghost who is determined to save Sarah- from spinsterhood. Then comes the perfect social occasion: Lawrence Ambrose’s dinner party…

Splintered Bones — She may be a Mississippi belle, but Sarah Booth Delaney is no pampered daddy’s girl. Unwed and over thirty, Sarah has her own set of problems- like coping with regular hauntings by her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, a busybody of a ghost who’s set on marrying her off to the first suitor who comes calling. But when an old friend is in trouble, Sarah Booth doesn’t hesitate to get involved.

Crossed Bones –For a woman feeling a little heat of her own- navigating between a rich, available businessman, a married lawman with a waffling heart, and the sexy bluesman who is angling to become much more than her client, this case is taking dangerous twists.

Hallowed Bones –The leaves of the calendar may be shedding faster than the sycamores on her family’s decaying Mississippi plantation, but thirty-something Sarah Booth Delaney isn’t ready to sing the blues. Not when she’s got a thriving detective agency and the outspoken, outrageously attired ghost of her great-great grandmother’s nanny to keep her on her toes. But the matchmaking phantom may have the last word on motherhood when Sarah Booth takes on the controversial case of an accused baby killer.

Bones to Pick –Dahlia House is haunted. No big revelation for those who know me and my family, but on this cold November morning as I sit and watch the sun gild the harvested cotton fields with a false show of silver I am acutely aware of the specters of the past.

Ham Bones –Zinnia is abuzz: displaced from its New Orleans venue, a red-hot touring production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is opening right in the heart of town, featuring hunky star Graf Milieu! While most folks are excited, Sarah Booth, who had her own brief stint on the Great White Way- and on the arm of Milieu himself- is less than thrilled. Graf is now linked with his costar, Renata Trovaioli, a dyed-in-the-wool diva who plans to ride Graf’s coattails all the way to Hollywood.  But Renata’s trip to the top comes to a screeching halt on the play’s second night, when someone laces her lipstick with cyanide.

Wishbones –It’s time for Sarah Booth to pack up her hound dog and her P.I. business and take a shot at stardom! Soon she aces the screen test for a racy remake of the movie Body Heat alongside leading man Graf Milieu. The chemistry between them is undeniable—and why not? Graf has already starred in one of Sarah’s previous affairs…and is well on his way to landing a big part in the sequel.

Greedy Bones –Sarah is no stranger to drama. So when this talented actress and a P.I. hears that her best friend’s husband is suddenly on his deathbed back home, she snaps into “action!” and gets right on the case…

Bone Appetit –n the midst of a cook-off at a posh spa, southern PI Sarah Booth Delaney gets embroiled in a juicy murder.  The pampering and food go a long way toward making her feel like her old self, but there’s another welcome distraction—there’s a beauty contest/cook-off going on to find the spa’s next spokesperson, and watching the drama really takes her mind off of her woes. Sarah finds the backbiting to be great fun—until the heated competition boils over, the top …

Bones of A Feather (to be released in June)–When PI Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner and best friend, Tinkie, take on Monica and Eleanor Levert as clients, they don’t have much hope of solving the case. The wealthy heiresses of Briarcliff in Natchez, Mississippi, claim that a family necklace worth four million dollars has been stolen, and they think that they can hurry the insurance payout if a reputable PI investigates. Sarah Booth has her doubts, and not just about the payout….

Carolyn Haines is the author of eighteen novels, including the acclaimed Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2009 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. Haines was also given the 2010 Harper Lee Award. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats, and horses than she can possibly keep track of!

(Please note:  For those who read only Christian fiction, this series is not part of that genre. Although mild by many standards, there is some mild profanity, a transgender character, and some sexual situations.)

Series Spotlight: Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries

7 May

When Caroline Bingley marries a rich, charismatic American, her future should be secure. But strange incidents soon follow: nocturnal wanderings, spooked horses, carriage accidents, an apparent suicide attempt. Soon the whole Bingley family seems the target of a sinister plot, with only their friends the Darcys recognizing the danger. A jilted lover, an estranged business partner, a financially desperate in-law, an eccentric supernaturalist—who is behind these events? Perhaps it is Caroline herself, who appears to be slowly sinking into madness. . . .

Pride and Prescience is the first novel in a series of romantic mysteries featuring Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as reluctant sleuths who become embroiled in intrigues surrounding their friends and family. The newlywed Darcys’ courtship hasn’t ended, and their adventures have just begun.


This was a fun read.  A regency cozy mystery featuring my favorite couple — Darcy and Elizabeth. Pride and Prescience is the first book in a 6 book series featuring Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Bennett Darcy. The books include characters from Pride and Prejudice and other favorites by Jane Austen

From the author’s website:  If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, historical fiction, traditional (“cozy”) mysteries, or romance, you won’t want to miss the Darcys’ further adventures. The series offers plenty of lively dialogue, suspense, and romantic interplay, with eerie twists reminiscent of the gothic novels so popular in Austen’s day.

Award-winning author Carrie Bebris is best known for her Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series. Set in Regency England, the novels entangle some of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters in intrigue, with sharp dialogue, romantic interplay, and a dash of gothic atmosphere.

Carrie began her career in publishing after previous roles as a newspaper reporter and college English teacher. As an editor for fantasy publisher TSR, Inc., she developed supplements for the Dungeons & Dragons® roleplaying game before striking out on her own as a freelance writer and editor. She wrote two fantasy novels, Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (2001) and Shadowborn (1998, with William W. Connors), before making her mystery debut in 2004 with Pride and Prescience. The novel made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list and was named one of the five best mysteries of 2004 by Library Journal. Successive Darcy mysteries have earned starred reviews from Publisher’s WeeklyNorth by Northanger won the 2007 Daphne du Maurier Award, which honors excellence in romantic suspense, and a Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviewsmagazine for Best Historical Mystery of the year. The sixth book of the series, The Deception at Lyme (Or, The Peril of Persuasion), will release in October 2011.

In addition to fiction, Carrie pens articles for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine and writes other nonfiction. She has also edited such books as Tea with Jane Austen (by Kim Wilson) and Walking with William Shakespeare (by Anne-Marie Edwards). She is on the faculty of the Antioch Writers’ Workshopand speaks frequently about writing and publishing.

Carrie holds a master’s degree in English literature with an emphasis on 19th- century authors and studied Austen on the graduate level with one of today’s most respected Austen scholars. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and travels to England to enhance her understanding of Austen’s life and work.

Originally from Wisconsin, Carrie now lives in Ohio. When not writing, she likes to travel, watch costume dramas that send her husband fleeing the house, and indulge in her love of all things British. She is currently working on her next novel.

Other books in the series:

Suspense and Sensibility or, First Impressions Revisited  —  Persuaded by Mrs. Bennet to sponsor a London social season for Elizabeth’s sister Kitty, the Darcys reluctantly return to the glittering ballrooms and parlors of the fashionable world. There Kitty meets Harry Dashwood, the handsome young owner of Norland, and they quickly fall in love. But for the Bennet sisters, it seems the course of true love simply cannot run smooth. No sooner do Harry and Kitty announce their engagement than Harry begins to change. His disreputable behavior, unexplained absences, mysterious gatherings, questionable new companions, and sinister activities lead all to wonder: Who is the true Mr. Dashwood—the respectable gentleman Kitty thought she knew, or the dishonorable rogue now reflected in the mirror? A clue from Harry’s family tree sends the Darcys once more on a quest to discover the truth before history can repeat itself. For if Harry and Kitty are to have a future, the past must first be put to rest.

North By Northanger, or The Shades of Pemberley —   After the excitement of recent adventures, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy retire to the peace and quiet of Pemberley as they await the birth of their first child.

Such tranquility, however, cannot last.

First, a mysterious letter from the late Lady Anne Darcy is discovered—propelling Elizabeth on a quest to learn more about Darcy’s deceased mother and an unsettled matter she left behind. Then a summons to Northanger Abbey involves the young couple in an intrigue that threatens not just the Darcy family name, but Darcy’s freedom as well. And just when it seems their situation could not grow worse, Darcy’s overbearing aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, takes up residence at Pemberley.

Add to all this rumors of treasure and hints of deceptions old and new, and it becomes apparent that Pemberley is filled not with peace, but with secrets and spirits of the past—and that their exposure could profoundly affect the generation of Darcys to come.

The Matters at Mansfield: Or, The Crawford Affair  —  Mr. Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is eager to arrange a lucrative and socially advantageous match for her daughter, Anne. Of course, her ladyship has not taken into account such frivolous matters as love or romance, let alone the wishes of her daughter.

Needless to say, there is much turmoil when the bride-to-be elopes.

Their pursuit of the headstrong couple leads the Darcys to the village of Mansfield, where the usually intricate game of marriage machinations becomes still more convoluted by lies and deception. There, the Darcys discover that love and marriage can be a complex and dangerous business — one that can even lead to murder.

The Intrigue at Highbury: Or, Emma’s Match  —  Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are looking forward to a relaxing stay with dear friends when their carriage is hailed by a damsel-in-distress outside of the village of Highbury. Little do the Darcys realize that gypsies roam these woods, or that both their possessions and the woman are about to vanish into the night.

The Darcys seek out the parish magistrate, who is having a difficult evening of his own. Mr. Knightley and his new wife, the former Miss Emma Woodhouse (the heroine of Jane Austen’s Emma) are hosting a party to celebrate the marriage of their friends, Mr. Frank Churchill and Miss Jane Fairfax. During dinner, Mr. Edgar Churchill, uncle and adoptive father of the groom, falls suddenly ill and dies. The cause of death: poison.

When the  Darcys and the Knightleys join forces to investigate the crimes, they discover that the robbery and Edgar Churchill’s death may be connected. Together they must work to quickly locate the source of the poison and the murderer’s motive—before the killer can strike again.

The Deception at Lyme: Or, The Peril of Persuasion  —  In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the Cobb—Lyme’s famous seawall—proved dangerous to a careless young woman. Now it proves deadly.

Following their recent intrigue at Highbury, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy visit the seaside village of Lyme on holiday. Family business also draws them there, to receive from a fellow officer the personal effects of Mr. Darcy’s late cousin, a naval lieutenant who died in action.

Their retreat, however, turns tragic when they come upon a body lying at the base of the Cobb. The victim is Mrs. Clay, a woman with a scandalous past that left her with child—a child whose existence threatened the inheritance of one of her paramours and the reputation of another. Did she lose her balance and fall from the slippery breakwater, or was she pushed?

Mrs. Clay’s death is not the only one that commands the Darcys’ attention. When Mr. Darcy discovers among his cousin’s possessions evidence that the young lieutenant’s death might have been murder, he allies with Captain Frederick Wentworth to probe details of a battle that took place across the sea . . . but was influenced by conspiracy much closer to home.

Series Spotlight: The Genesis Trilogy

30 Apr

The Heavens Before  — Marginalized by society and mistreated by her own family, Annah befriends a young man she’s never seen before. Shem is captivated by Annah’s courage, and he risks everything to help her gain her freedom. Trusting in the Most High, Annah marries Shem and joins her strange new family in their solitary faith that will ultimately separate them from an ancient world of amazing beauty and appalling violence–a world fast approaching the unimaginable catastrophe of the Great Flood. Out of this chaos, only eight people will survive. Their world is our world. Their future is our own.

Chapter 1

KACY BARNETT-GRAMCKOW is a freelance writer. She is the author of the Genesis Trilogy (The Heavens Before, He Who Lifts the Skies and A Crown in the Stars). Kacy has also written dozens of devotionals which have been published in a number of books and web sites, including the best-seller A Moment a Day and the Women’s Devotional Bible. She and her husband of over twenty years make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with their two sons.

My Impressions:

I received the Genesis Trilogy by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow from my husband several years ago  (thank you Amazon wish lists!)   What a great present it was.  I devoured these books in a matter of days and have recommended them to all my friends.  I was impressed by the images of the pre-flood world presented in the first book.  Was that how it really was?  — pink skies, abundant vegetation, huge, gray plant eaters (dinosaurs?) and of course the violent and degrading society of the days of Noah.  Barnett-Gramckow did her homework with this series.  It had me re-reading the book of Genesis, checking her fictional account against the Biblical record.  Other fascinating facts are presented as well — the Tower of Babel, the confusion of the languages, the migration of the people.  I Highly Recommend this series.

Other books in the trilogy:

He Who Lifts the Skiesimagery creates a ‘you are there’ immersion in the story of the post-Flood world. Kacy Barnett-Gramckow fans raved about her extraordinary job of moving the Flood off the Sunday School flannel graph board and into life in The Heavens Before. Now, she continues to flesh out the Bible’s brief account of the rise of Nimrod and the Babel rebellion with scintillating characters and a wealth of imaginative detail.

A Crown in the Stars — A Crown in the Stars follows the growing rebellion of mankind as the tribes of the earth continue building the great tower begun by Nimr-Rada (commonly known as Nimrod). After the Most High Himself thwarts their plans by confounding human speech, He comforts His followers by revealing to them the identity of Avram, father of the tribe that will bring forth their savior, the Promised One.