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.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

   JULY 12, 2017

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can't let the villain she believes responsible for her father's death release his wrath in Harper's Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she's ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.


             Ahhh, it’s Wednesday and tomorrow I get to see my grandbabies. They live in another state so I don’t get to them very often. So, I'm a bit excited.
I read Karen Witemeyer’s book
                          “HEART ON THE LINE”
   If you have never read any books by Karen, you must do so! You will not regret it. As a matter of fact you’ll be looking for the next one, and the next and so on.
       “Love on the Line” is a sweet story written in a way that is distinctly Karen Witemeyer. Her books are wonderful! She threads together romance, humor, intrique, drama and great characters you can’t help but fall in love with.

Rating 5*
I received a complimentary copy of this book and all opinions are my own

For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home. 

Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, National Reader's Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit

 July 12, 2017

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heart
Author: Olivia Newport
Release date: July 1, 2017
Genre: Historical Amish
“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.”
When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience?
The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism.
Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions.
When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?
                          I liked this book. It is a bit different than other Amish books I know. But that's okay, we all need to be shaken up a bit with the unexpected as you'll find in Noah. I cheered for Susanna and her friendship with Patsy. Two totally different from the other. Adam and Susanna work on their relationship as the line is drawn at a huge difference in belief is challenged. Read the book and find out.
Karen Hadley
Rating: 4*
I received this book as a gift and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays
Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position.
What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher.
I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions.
Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question.
I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?
Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

July 4: Cafinated Reads
July 5: Book by Book
July 6: Genesis 5020
July 12: Karen Sue Hadley
July 14: cherylbbookblog
July 15: Bigreadersite
July 15: Carpe Diem
July 16: Splashes of Joy


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of:
All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series (
Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series (
$25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

JULY 11, 2017




Don't ya just love that verse. It's my go to verse. 

When I feel weak, my God is Strong!

When I feel uncertain, my God is my Rock!
When I feel discouraged and lost, He is my Savior!
When I feel threatened, He is my Shield!
He protects me. He strengthens me. He is my foundation.
He is my safe place. He is God!!

What is your favorite verse and what does it say to you?

Have a Blessed Day!