The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 1 Reviews
Reviews for books by Amy Jean:
Carol Z, Amazon Reviewer
“I could not put this book down. I am not a member of organized religion, nor a Christian, so the biblical scripture was foreign to me. With that being said, you do not have to believer in Christ to love this book. The courage and vulnerability this author reveals through her memoir is incredible. Her relationship with Jesus is beautiful and inspiring. I could visualize her words and feel her fear, pain, and love for her children. I can’t wait for the next volume to see where this goes.”
Christine Strzepek, Amazon Reviewer
“First , let me say that I consider myself a fairly religious person . As a person of Faith I found this book insightful , inspiring and witty at points . I like the Author’s different styles . It was an enjoyable read and I would highly recommend it.”
The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2 Reviews
Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
Reviews for books by Amy Jean:
“The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2: Passion’s Fire: Snippets from a Wild Ride – A Prayer, A Poem, A Prophecy by Amy Jean is a memoir that beautifully documents the protagonist’s journey of faith and her intoxicating love for God. In this memoir, the author demonstrates that God is present even in the simplest of experiences. What is most striking about this book is the perspective the author brings to her human experience; whether it be an experience of joy or of pain, she reads it in the light of the scriptures that she seems to master so well. In her memoir, the author sheds light on the prophecies in the books of Isaiah and Revelation.
The book is filled with illustrations and they are very symbolic, and then there is the exciting and rich poetry that fills some of the pages, poetry that measures the pulse of the author’s life and the seasons of her soul. The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2: Passion’s Fire illustrates the fact that we can embrace our destiny as creatures destined for heaven while on Earth. This book is a powerful testimony that God’s kingdom is already here and that we can live it in our hearts. Amy Jean’s thoughts are intimate and they show the strong link between her life’s purpose and the workings of God’s grace in her life. The writing is a mix of prose and poetry and it is sprinkled with biblical allusions, an invitation to readers to see God in their own lives, and to embrace a path that leads to the true freedom of sons and daughters of God. I loved how well the poems are illustrated and the depth of the writing.”
Jose Cornelio, Readers’ Reviews
“The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2: Passion’s Fire: Snippets from a Wild Ride – A Prayer, A Poem, A Prophecy by Amy Jean is a spiritual memoir that beautifully documents the author’s journey of faith. It is a powerful story of the author’s life narrated through the light of faith. Amy Jean shares her struggles, capturing moments like a period of illness lived as an experience of Christ’s passion. There are simple gestures like being asked to be treated to ice cream in Waxhaw by Charles and such moments transport the protagonist into a spiritual experience where she imagines herself being treated by Saint Joseph in Heaven, taking her out for a treat. The memoir is filled with personal stories of joy and pain and how they are revelatory of the ultimate calling of union with God.
The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2 is written in both prose and poetry and at times it is the author’s use of imagery that captures the pulse of her heart and her worldview. Here are lines from one of the poems that describe the movement of her soul: “Halfway between Heaven and earth is where I’m in my perfect light; / Just you and me soaring one level out of sight; /Floating just above the surface is where I want to be.” The writing is filled with biblical allusions and references and the reader quickly understands how deeply the author’s life is steeped in God. Amy Jean writes and sees the world with different eyes, like one born on Earth but not of the Earth. This is a story of faith, of love, and of a person’s understanding of God’s grace in her life, shaping and guiding it towards fulfillment in God. It will inspire many Christian readers to lift their gaze from the mundane things of this world to focus on the light of Heaven.”
Lesley Jones, Readers’ Reviews
“In The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2: Passion’s Fire, Amy Jean once again shares her personal stories, poetry and recollections, and the remarkable visions which were the catalyst for life-changing decisions. In this volume, the focus is on human relationships and the importance of concentrating on love, not material possessions. The author looks back on her first relationship and revisits the feelings and emotions she felt. She shares her heartfelt road of discovery as she questions many important aspects of her life and the decisions she has made. When did she allow her needs, beliefs, and confidence to disappear into the background? Has she made the correct decisions in her relationships or are those choices going against God’s will? Using passages from the Bible that connect with her personal experiences, follow her journey as she attempts to reconcile her past and ensure her future life’s direction is in accordance with God.
After reading Volume 1, I felt compelled to read more from Amy Jean. Her deepest thoughts and feelings are exposed once again in such a refreshing and powerful manner. I definitely found her reflections on feeling conflicted between what you experience in the world around you and the path of love and goodness that God wants you to lead. Her visions were extraordinary and extremely powerful and I found her strength of character admirable in the face of such judgment from others. The inner conflict she faced was written with such emotion that any reader would relate to her pain. I loved the amazing encounters with Jesus as she enters the upper room of her mind; the visions and life lessons she gained were incredible. The spiritual revelations are insightful and inspiring and clear away any indecision and confusion regarding your life’s goal. If you are new to tapping into your inner spiritual voice or understanding how to use intuition to benefit your path in life, then The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2: Passion’s Fire by Amy Jean is a wonderful memoir to read.”
Gobi Jane, Readers’ Reviews
“The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2: Passion’s Fire: Snippets from a Wild Ride – A Prayer, A Poem, A Prophecy by Amy Jean is an inspirational memoir that explores the author’s spirituality and the theme of the presence of God’s Kingdom on Earth. In this memoir, the author shares her encounter with God through good and challenging times, demonstrating to readers that God’s Kingdom isn’t something that is yet to happen, but an experience we are living and we just need to shift perspective to perceive it in its fullness. Readers will get snippets from her life, including family, work, prayer, and friendships. And the astonishing thing about a life that looks so ordinary, a life that many can relate to, is the fact that it is filled with the face of God.
I felt initially that this book is confusingly written, but as I moved from page to page, I understood that it has a logic of its own. It is sprinkled with spiritual poetry that is beautifully illustrated and evokes strong spiritual images that can also guide readers on their personal growth and experience of God. The Kingdom Has Arrived Volume 2 is very evocative of the prophecies of the books of Isaiah and Revelation and I loved how the author read real-life experiences as signs of the time and how she allows the experience of Christ to speak to her unique life experiences. Amy Jean’s work is creative and I enjoyed the insights and the poetry, but what I found most inspiring is the ability to allow God to speak through different situations.”
Vincent Dublado, Readers’ Reviews
“Passion’s Fire is the second volume in Amy Jean’s The Kingdom Has Arrived series, after building the foundations of her faith-based memoir in the first installment, where she works on the structural components to reinforce the solidity of her life experiences. As she dedicates this book to those who are driven by love in making life decisions, the gist of this memoir stems from living a life that embraces God’s grace and the felicity of divine messages she observed from other people’s experience. She has no trouble seeing heaven with her mind’s eye. She communicates with a Higher Power and gets answers through affirmations in the things that she does. She puts emphasis on the power of belief as a healing mechanism and as a locus for transcending physical, mental, and emotional pain with God as her Healer.
Deliberate simplicity is employed in Amy Jean’s poems, yet part of their appeal is that they can sound incantational. Whether she is describing the dome of a church or relinquishing control to allow Christ to take the helm, they will prompt you to reflect upon your own notions concerning faith in a society that is becoming more secular and modern. In the same vein, her personal essays are explorations of the self-consciousness of spiritual operations. Whatever is your personal attitude toward religion, Passion’s Fire can be considered a social phenomenon that merits scrutiny. It is a provocative work that proposes a return to spiritual renewal, as it presents belief correlating with attitudes on personal and social issues. This memoir is a challenge to recognize the importance of faith in modern life and to prod others into seeing religion as an important component in our lives.”
Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Reviews
“At first glance, the hard copy of Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites appears to be printed upside down. The front cover leads to the upside down back of the story, and the reader opens from the back to begin. The back cover presents a poem that starts “Going in reverse caused me to curse/laboring to diffuse anger/from the course I’d traversed.” This leads one to think that this is a purposeful move rather than a printer’s error. And so the fun begins.
Each poem receives a color drawing by illustrator Eric Savage, who provides visual embellishment for the lyrical works within. More so than most poets who choose to add color embellishments, these pictures of people, animals, places, and situations are suitable artistic enhancements that both support written words and stand on their own as lovely drawings supporting the epic poetry production.
Readers move through life experiences with reflections that blend history, philosophical, and psychological inspection. Some question the nature of perception and reality, as in ‘Facts’: “A story is a story;/What exactly are the facts?/—Your perspective/My perspective—who can argue with that?”
Some are whimsical; others quite serious. The free-flowing style moves between verse and free verse with equal skill as Jean weaves a powerful story with action calls that link history and personal choice and perspective.
Powerful reflections link daily life’s challenges to broader experience as in ‘Back from the Front’, which connects military endeavors with fifty years of “calculation, terrorism and isolation” and describes them with a series of vivid images: “Mine’s a ride down a slide/a fall in an elevator,/a spin in a tornado &/a climb up a ladder/Again, and again, and again…”
The result is poetic social inspection at its best: a journey of compelling, engaging historical examination that links personal experience and evolution to activism in a compelling, unique, artistic manner where everything in life is potentially revolutionary.”
Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 Reviews
Reviews for books by Amy Jean:
Review By Asher Syed for Readers’ Favorite
“Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2: Some Things are Black and White by Amy Jean, with illustrations by Eric Savage, is a non-fiction poetic memoir that follows Jean’s first book and its shared title. Many of Jean’s work correlates to her own life and experiences, with periodic extensions into more diverse pieces that grab on to the recessive nature of humanity and an almost predatory societal system. Scattered throughout the book and between Jean’s poems are a collection of the author’s own quotes and a series of sketched illustrations by Savage. While Jean’s poetry is written in free verse, they do have a metered rhyme scheme of shared vowel and/or consonant sounds that vary by poem and subject matter. In all, twenty-three poems and an introductory piece make up the whole of the book’s compilation. They are intended to be read in chronological order.
There is no question that Amy Jean is an extraordinarily talented poet. Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 is intelligently written with creative, powerful messages. Jean’s punchy delivery is applied throughout, and for me, it was the political work with wordplay that was the standout. For example, Social Distancing, a timely poem on being together while apart for the good of all—“A way to depart, from civil distress, and rework the country, using common sense…” As for the illustrations, while well-executed, they frequently distracted me from the poignancy of Jean’s work. That said, many are quite beautiful and even included a reworking of the 15th century tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn. Poetry is as subjective an art form as any, but Jean is able to weave themes that most would find to be universally affecting and I can see the work being embraced by many.”
“In Western society, we often believe that we have the freedom to choose our own unique beliefs. But are we really free? In this powerful, thought-provoking collection of poems, Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 by Amy Jean, we are invited to explore how restricted we truly are. Discover how the media, political persuasion, our environment, and others play an integral part in adopting views that can be destructive and negative to our well-being. Uncover the truth behind how we are being manipulated to chase materialism and wealth to boast our ‘synthetic existence’. Each poem deals with current issues that affect humanity on a daily basis, social distancing, political persuasion, inequality, discrimination, corruption, and exploitation. Each one placing a stranglehold on humanity and holding us back from becoming our authentic selves.
I absolutely loved this collection. The subject matter, although controversial, is extremely poignant and inspirational. Amy’s use of the English language is beautiful and her poems spoke to me on such a deep level. Her work will truly help people step off the treadmill of life and become more aware of their surroundings and the invisible forces holding them back from living an authentic and happy life.
The illustrations by Eric Savage complemented her work perfectly, the colors were rich, vibrant, and extremely detailed. The poems that resounded with me the most were The Grind; ‘I don’t know why I fall in line, It’s not a life; it’s a daily grind,’ and the compelling Done, ‘Our ship sailed; we are done.’ My absolute favorite, however, was Extinction; ‘Our attention focused on false attractions, leaving us lacking affection for the salient things that bring authentic satisfaction.’ Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites Part 2 by Amy Jean would make a brilliant introduction into a debate on social, emotional, and political issues. A superb, faultless piece of writing.”
Cyrus Webb, Amazon top 500 Reviewer
Amy Jean’s new book is all about reflection, life lessons and who we can be
“I had not read Amy Jean’s first book in the Side Steps series, but with Part 2 (Terrorizing Sound Bites) she shows the reader not only what has impacted her thoughts, where we seem to have gone wrong— and what we might can do to turn things around.
There’s a lot of confidence in this book. Mainly what is clear is how comfortable she is with expressing what she thinks and challenges what is going on around us. Her faith definitely guides her, and that comes through in almost every page.
If you are looking for a book that challenges you, tackles the issues of the day and gives you some hope, this one is sure to deliver.”
Book Life Review
In this eclectic poetry collection, the follow-up to Side Steps Terrorizing Sound Bites, Jean touches on religion, feminism, love, conformity, and history, calling out injustices and close-mindedness wherever they appear. “Social Distancing” is a timely piece that references politics and “start[ing] anew.” “Extinction” is about the social consequences of fake news, materialism, and inequality. “A-men” lays out an idealized vision of manhood and laments the speaker’s less-than-ideal experiences of men. “The devil’s Laughter” is a moving piece about mass deaths throughout human history, touching on the Jonestown massacre, the Opium Wars, the Shaanxi earthquake, the Challenger Explosion, and other tragedies. It ends, “I need a bridge to connect the gaps and/ rewrite everything that made the devil laugh.”
Some poems are playful (“So many revisions/ of you and me/…What if I don’t like/ the next you I view?”); others are more like screams of anguish (“A life of isolation,/ praying for death in desperation/ An existence that should never be—that’s me”). Many of the entries are written in traditional verse, incorporating rhymes that will tickle a word lover’s brain (“differential” with “inconsequential,” “silhouette” with “mindset”).
Each poem is accompanied by several colorful, polished drawings by Eric Savage, depicting scenes and objects closely or distantly related to its subjects; coffee pods, red blood cells, the Golden Gate Bridge, a voodoo doll, and a diagram about osmosis all make an appearance. Jean’s language is clear and accessible, so even readers new to poetry will be able to follow along. There’s something in this varied collection for everybody.
Takeaway: Poetry readers at all levels of familiarity will find something that resonates in this illustrated collection.
Great for fans of: Amanda Lovelace, Alison Malee.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B
A Step Back Reviews
Reviews for books by Amy Jean:
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
“A Step Back by Amy Jean is an engaging and insightful compilation of poetry and prose that is profound and thought-provoking and will encourage readers to reflect on the vagaries, nuances, complexities, and fragilities that life throws at them. The poet/author recollects the places she has been, the things she has done, where she excelled and where she failed, the joy she felt, and the joy she gave to others as she tries to discover life. Every poem, every prose piece, deals with diverse emotions, enhanced by photos and illustrations that make the connection palpable and relatable to readers. I immensely enjoyed Amy Jean’s way of tackling her emotions. The fine combination of poetry, prose, and images in this memoir will leave readers thinking about their emotions and life in general. The poems that are written for her sons, ‘A Sacred Love’ and ‘Love Celebrations,’ express the idea of love and the connection of two souls in an achingly beautiful way. The sections Love, Weight, Face, Truth, Time, Lessons, Fantacity, Dreams, and Fabric have excellent thoughts and input from the author that will make readers look at the profundities of those emotions and analyze them without being too harsh and judgmental. There are many other poems that fall under different sections to reveal the author’s mind and thoughts, and the emotional cage she lived in. Her observations on true love are relatable, and readers also learn about her love for pets. I found A Step Back refreshingly different and the author’s honesty and perception of various emotions are worth mentioning.”
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers’ Favorite
“A Step Back by Amy Jean is a unique memoir that moves and inspires. Part poetry, part prose, the author takes you on her journey through words, images, and definitions, hoping that you will find yourself reflected in them. Some of the passages convey emotional pain and heavy themes such as wanting to die, while other sections are lighter, therefore running the spectrum of emotions. Anyone going through the stress, anxiety, and helplessness/hopelessness of physical or emotional pain will be able to relate to the themes presented here. I admire the author’s bravery in wanting to be so honest, and also her willingness to find glimmers of light in her suffering. Her descriptions of dreams and visions are vivid and possibly symbolic of her life, and it will perhaps cause you to recall some of your own dreams. She wonders why the visions haven’t come true in her life, and this is only the beginning of the questions she asks herself. I really enjoy poetry, and Amy Jean has a way of getting to the heart of experiences and putting them into words in such a lovely way. Her definitions of the different types of love will resonate with her readers, and so will the unique words she has invented and defines. Images accompany the text and serve to enhance without intruding. I like the part where she talks of her love for her sons and the fact that she has loved men deeply but has never felt the same level in return. Her descriptions of a wedding are sweet and heartfelt, and she isn’t afraid to say that love hurts sometimes. If you like slice-of-life poetry and prose that will cause you to think and feel, and that is universal yet personal, A Step Back by Amy Jean is waiting for you.”