Friday, July 28, 2017

In October of 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I look back now to before the diagnosis and can see signs that should have told me something was not right but I never gave much thought. Like stumbling or my speech would slur. I began having dizzy spells quite often and they began occurring daily. I mentioned it to my family doctor and he didn’t sweep it under the rug or ignore it. He ordered an MRI, the results didn’t return with good news. So he referred me to a neurologist in another town, after a day of testing I was exhausted. A few days later, the nurse calls and wants to set up a visit to discuss my results. I was insistent that I just be told over the phone. The doctor came on the line and said “I’m sorry to tell you but you have Multiple Sclerosis.” Not the best news but it could have been worse and compared to 15 years ago, there are now medications to help slow down the progress.

What is MS? MS is a misunderstood disease. It affects what is called myelin, myelin is what covers your nerves in your head. MS can also be found in the spine. The myelin is worn away kinda of like a cord that gets frayed and the electricity doesn’t do its job properly. It’s been said that the attack on the myelin is your own body thinking there is a foreigner in your body and attacking to rid the foreigner. (ex. Having a virus and your good cells are attacking the bad cells.)  My brain may tell my body to lift my leg, but because of the damage of the myelin, my leg may not get that message and I’ll stumble (foot drop) or fall.

Each person affected by MS will confront very different issues. The symptoms are many and may never go away or be there one day and gone the next. The symptoms can happen quickly or start slowly. Some are visible while most are invisible.

The invisibility is a frustration to most MS patients. I can see the look in people’s eyes when they find out I have MS. On the outside I look normal (okay as normal as I can be for me.) I hear “Well, you look good” and I know people are being polite. What isn’t seen is the extreme fatigue I fight everyday. The numbness, pain, eye problems, speech clarity, tremors, legs jerking, forgetfulness, intolerance to heat/cold are just a few of what I and others with MS deal with.

So, I just want to encourage you to be aware that just because a person “looks normal” on the outside doesn’t reveal the battle that is going on in the inside of people with diseases that can’t be seen.

With God’s help, I will fight to live my life as normal as possible and with His strength, I will push through the symptoms with the knowledge that I can’t do everything I used to could do and that’s okay. God is my strength and He alone is in control.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

JULY 27, 2017

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Crazy about Alaska
Author: Shannon L. Brown
Release date: June 30, 2017
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Can she trust love?
Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.
Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.
Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.
Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

My Thoughts:
This is a sweet read. Is it hard to date and find someone who will want their kids to be a part of their lives? Holly doesn’t think so, the guys she’s dated have all left when they find out about her twin girls. As she struggles to take care of her girls, her sisters Jemma and Bree help her deal what life continues to throw her way. I enjoyed how the first question is answered and how cute and charming the girls are. I also liked how Holly deals with stress in her life. How fun!

Karen                                                                                     Rating: 5*

I received a copy of this as a gift and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

Writing books that are fun and touch your heart
Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.
Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.
Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.
Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors
When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.
Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.
Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.
By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.
Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

Blog Stops

July 22: Artistic Nobody
July 22: Just Commonly
July 23: Live.Love.Read.
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 24: autism mom
July 25: Baker Kella
July 26: A Rup Life
July 27: Karen Sue Hadley
July 27: Quiet Quilter
July 28: Pause for Tales
July 29: Remembrancy
July 29: Cafinated Reads


To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

   JULY 26TH          

       It's been a busy two weeks. I finally can catch my breath. Ever have days like that?

 I know you have and its exhausting. I feel like I just want to hibernate for a while while

I recuperate. But one thought keeps me pushing forward. God is my strength! I'm a weak 

person both physically and spiritually. But God strengthens me to do what I need to do each 

day. That may include just taking a nap or relaxing watching a Hallmark movie. Most of

all His strength comes from spending time in God's Word. My help and strength comes from

the Lord!

    When I am weak, He makes me strong!

         When I am discouraged, He encourages me!

When I feel alone, He reminds me of His Presence!

When I am sad, He fills me with happiness!

When I don't know how I feel, its okay God does!

There is nothing that we experience in life that God doesn't know about and is waiting for us to climb up into His lap and let Him be who He is - GOD!!

Whatever you're facing today whether it is good or bad,                                                                        know that with God you don't face it alone!!!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

   July 18, 2017

 Beach Brides! Fun in the summer sun!
Twelve heartwarming, sweet novellas linked by a unifying theme.

You’ll want to read each one!


Twelve friends from the online group, Romantic Hearts Book Club, decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are die hard romantics, and 2) they’ve been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her “dream hero” and cast it out to sea!
A bottle found...

ROSE by Shanna Hatfield
When his mother discovers a message in a bottle washed up on a Florida beach, Tanner Thomas scoffs at her insistence he contact the person who penned the note. With a vague promise to think about it, Tanner promptly tucks the bottle away and goes on with his life. Two years later, he finds the bottle in the back of a closet and can't get the woman off his mind. Tormented by thoughts of the author of the sweet, romantic letter, Tanner finally reaches out to the old-fashioned girl, unprepared to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

My Thoughts:
                   Whenever I see that Shanna Hatfield has a new book, I can't wait to read it. This is a beautiful story of just the right time romance. Tanner opens the bottle just at the time in his life that he was willing to pursue and find the author of the message in the bottle. The description of the setting of this book makes you feel like your right there walking along the beach or in Rose's shop. I could vision Rose's wardrobe that covered all eras. I love how they connected through email and then a surprise meeting. I'm not going to tell you how. You'll just have to read the book. You won't be disappointed. I love the story behind how these books came about, How fun!! Shanna's books are always a great read!!!

Karen Hadley
Rating: 5*
I received this book as a gift and all opinions are my own.

Find all of the Beach Brides at Amazon!

MEG (Julie Jarnagin)
TARA (Ginny Baird)
NINA (Stacey Joy Netzel)
CLAIR (Grace Greene)
JENNY (Melissa McClone)
LISA (Denise Devine)
HOPE (Aileen Fish)
KIM (Magdalena Scott)
ROSE (Shanna Hatfield)
LILY (Ciara Knight)
FAITH (Helen Scott Taylor)
AMY (Raine English)

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. 

Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

To learn more about Shanna or the books she writes, visit her blog or follow her on Facebook.