|Little black sheep | Posted September 26, 2013
Three-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter Ashley Cleveland receives significant endorsements from Amy Grant, J.I. Packer, Jim Wallis, Dan B. Allender, PH.D, Michael Card and others for her first and self-penned book, Little Black Sheep, A Memoir. Releasing in September from David C Cook, the memoir will be available everywhere great books are sold. In the book, Cleveland shares herpersonal story of pain, music and beauty that shines through brokenness. Cleveland also lends her voice to the companion Little Black Sheep audio book releasing simultaneously from Oasis Audio.
Prior to the release of the book and audio book, Cleveland shares her “Little Black Sheep Video Trailer” at www.AshleyCleveland.com. The trailer includes clips of Cleveland performing her song “Little Black Sheep,” as well as personal insight into the book. “[Little Black Sheep] is a story of sadness, trouble, a little bit of tragedy, redemption and a little bit of hope, which, for me, is a lot of hope,” says Cleveland in the trailer. “Even though it’s a memoir, it’s a biography, ultimately it’s not really about ‘Ashley,’ it’s about the one who rescued her.”
With upcoming covers or features in Publishers Weekly, Homecoming Magazine, Christian Musician, The Tennessean and many more, here is what Cleveland’s peers are saying about Little Black Sheep:
“I had barely started the first chapter of Little Black Sheep and I already knew that the lump in my throat and the teary laughter that oddly accompanied it would be with me for the entire read. They were. I laughed and cried the whole way through, so grateful for Ashley’s honesty and for God’s hold on her.” – Amy Grant, singer/songwriter
“Little Black Sheep is not really about my friend Ashley in the end. It is not about her life as much as The One who gave her life and redeemed its brokenness. That she could tell such a complete and compelling story in so few pages is a testimony to a gifted writer.” – Michael Card, Bible teacher, songwriter and author of A Sacred Sorrow and The Biblical Imagination Series
“This book … delivers me face-to-face with a God who just might be good news. To say that I enjoyed the book is far from the truth. I devoured it. Wept. Raged. Swore. And said Yes again to Jesus.” – Dan B. Allender, Ph.D., professor of Counseling Psychology and founding president of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
“Ashley Cleveland, singer of sensitive honest songs, has a way with words and the plain story of sin and mercy she tells here is hauntingly powerful. Some readers will undoubtedly find her to be broken bread for their starving souls.” – J.I. Packer, author of Knowing God
“Ashley Cleveland is one of my favorite singer/songwriters, whose life and music are deeply rooted in her faith and nurtured by the love of God. In Little Black Sheep, she honestly shares her own human vulnerabilities, and joyfully offers her amazing gifts…Don’t miss this.” – Jim Wallis, president, Sojourners
“Little Black Sheep roars with a powerful message of redemption that will grip your heart and keep you captivated from cover to cover.” – Matt Bronleewe, award-winning songwriter, producer and author
“Funny, smart, tender, honest—Ashley’s memoir Little Black Sheep is a wonderful story of redemption. It will fill your heart with hope.” – Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of the bestselling and Christian Book Award winning Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing
“Little Black Sheep is one of the bravest, most brutally honest and soul inspiring books I have ever read.” – Cindy Morgan, singer/songwriter
“Little Black Sheep was hard to put down…This fast-paced and vulnerable tale of a wide-open life pulls no punches. It was worth every minute I spent reading it!” – Bruce Carroll, Grammy and Dove award-winning singer, songwriter and worship leader
“Ashley Cleveland is one of the most authentic humans we have had the privilege of getting to know in over two decades of touring and recording. Her soulfulness shines through on every page of this wonderful memoir.” – Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of Over the Rhine
“Ashley Cleveland confronts us with her honesty and pain so deeply that we cannot help but face ourselves. But she does this in such a soft and tender way in her memoir that it will leave all of us nudged toward change.” – Terry D. Hargrave, Ph.D., professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Forgiving the Devil: Coming to Terms with Damaged Relationships
Sharing her deeply engaging story with an original, authentic voice that is equal parts humor and pathos, Cleveland was born into a Knoxville, TN family fraught with conflict, yet poised to keep up its seamless appearances despite alcoholism, homosexuality, divorce, displacement and a slavish devotion to performance. She took the rough road of rebellion into her own addiction and self-destruction. If there was trouble, near or far, she found it. In the midst of the chaos she discovered music, something she had a natural gift for and the one thing that engendered a positive response from others. She continued on, precariously attempting to balance a desire for a career as a recording artist with a growing and consuming addiction, increasingly catastrophic behavior and an absence of any foundation or understanding of a merciful, loving God.
Interrupted by an unplanned, unmarried and unwanted pregnancy that ultimately becomes the starting point of faith and a life of substance and value, Cleveland encounters the transforming power of the Living God who is abundantly forgiving, tenderhearted and relentlessly faithful to her. Little by little, her life is ultimately rebuilt, taking all the devastation in her wake and using it as a platform of experience to bring hope and courage to others. Along the way she finds sobriety, a long, devoted marriage and family, as well as success in her musical career.
“I have emerged from my own isolation to find that I love belonging to the body of Christ, to the program of AA, to the human community,” writes Cleveland in her book. “I have been invited in from the margins, not as a guest artist, but as a family member.”
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