About Me

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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Friday, October 30, 2015

Miracle Drug by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.- Medical Thriller!

My Thoughts:

Miracle Drug is a fast paced medical thriller involving a mysteriously evolving infection, a former U.S. president and a doctor compelled to place his faith in God when pushed to the limit of his own abilities.  It's a wildly entertaining rush of adrenalin! I really enjoy how Richard Mabry uses his medical expertise (the author is a retired physician) to educate and entertain his readers. His characters are well developed and a pleasure to read about. I particularly relished the powerfully capable Karen Marks- no one gets in her way! I also loved the vulnerability shown by Dr. Josh Pearson- a knowledgeable doctor that wears his heart on his sleeve. Miracle Drug is just what the doctor ordered for a chilly night by the fire. 

About the book: 
Miracle Drug
 (Abingdon, September 2015)

Overcoming these odds will take more than a miracle drug---it will take a miracle.

The infection wasn't supposed to happen, but it did. The treatment was supposed to take care of it, but it didn't. Then Dr. Josh Pearson discovers why---his patients, including the former President of the United States, have been dosed with a different strain of the original virus, one that is universally fatal. The only chance for survival is treatment with an experimental drug, but the manufacturer might already have discarded its supply.

As if treating the President of the United States isn't stressful enough, the situation goes from bad to worse when Rachel Moore, a nurse Josh is falling in love with, falls ill. With the nation's eyes on him, Josh must pull off a miracle to save a man who holds a good deal of power and the woman who holds his heart.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1L8pNgx
About the author:
Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician who writes "medical suspense with heart." His novels have won multiple awards: a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers' debut novel; finalists for the Carol Award, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and Romantic Times' Reader's Choice Award; and both finalist and winner of the Selah Award. "Miracle Drug" is his ninth published novel. He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas.

Find Richard online: 

Richard Mabry’s new fast-paced medical drama, Miracle Drug, will keep you turning pages until you find out if the experimental drug can cure the fatal disease the former President of the United States has contracted. The situation goes from bad to worse when Rachel Moore, a nurse Dr. Josh Pearson is falling in love with, falls ill. With the nation’s eyes on him, Josh must pull off a miracle to save a man who holds a good deal of power and the woman who holds his heart.
Enter to win a copy of Miracle Drug—five winners will be chosen! Click the image above to enter to win. The winners will be announced November 2 on Richard’s blog!
*I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.*

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Splendor of Ordinary Days by Jeff High- You'll want to live among the pages of this book...

My Thoughts:

The Splendor of Ordinary Days, written by Jeff High, unfolds around you like a warm blanket on a chilly night. It just makes you feel. good.  Cedar Cove, Gilmore Girls and Mitford fans will want to get their hands on this book as well as the rest of the series! I'll admit that I was originally charmed by the cover of the book but I was further enchanted by the vividly captured residents of small town Watervalley, Tennessee as well as the clever, heartfelt and entertaining dialogue. I'd love to step into the pages of this book and take up residence...

I have to confess something, though. (I'm only half-way though this book.) I don't want to rush through the story! I'm thoroughly enjoying every page and also deciding who I'll cast for each character. Yes, indeed. The Splendor of Ordinary Days should be, needs to be, created into a movie. Get your hands on this book and you'll see why. The book has mysteries to be solved, wounds that need to heal, love stories that must be told, and lives that long to be lived. The delightfully quirky characters: elderly Beatrice McClanahan who rides around on a mower, irritable Luther Whitmore who can't speak a kind word to save his life, Vietnam veteran Gene Alley who converses in song titles as well as multiple endearing town members will take hold and steal your heart. Take a peek at how I see a few of the characters in my mind. :)

Luke Bradford- main character, local doctor, very attractive, good hearted, righter of wrongs

Christine Chambers- Luke's girlfriend, teacher, classically gorgeous, intelligent, independent

Leyland Carter- The reason I first fell in love with this book. Older gentleman, lives alone, wise, good listener "It's always by a thousand cuts. A half truth, an unspoken word, an overlooked injustice; they float by us like falling leaves. We ignore them, become blind to them. But we don't forget them, and as the years pass, we lose sight of the splendor of ordinary days."

Luther Whitmore-"Villain", publisher of the town newspaper, fabulously developed antagonist (you'll love to hate him), enigmatic, long suffering? (this remains to be seen)

Rebecca and Levi- Young Mennonite couple inadvertently involved in "ghosts" from the past.

 Karen Davidson- The new town vet, tomboyish, petite, shy, ex-military, animal lover, begins book by saving a man's life

I need to catch up on my reading, sweet friends! I hope you get a chance to read The Splendor of Ordinary Days as it's perfectly delightful! Taking a peek at Christine's diary entries from when she was a little girl will take you back to the days when you used to have a lock and key of your own and the banter of sisters Connie and Estelle will have you laughing out loud! Off I go! The second half of the story is calling my name and I must seize the moment. :)

(Thank you for writing this wonderful story, Jeff High, and for signing my copy!)

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • Signed copies of all three Watervalley books
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 27th. The winner will be announced October 28th on Jeff’s blog.

About the book: 
The Splendor of Ordinary Days
 (NAL, October 2015)

The pastoral charm of small-town Watervalley, Tennessee, can be deceptive, as young Dr. Luke Bradford discovers when he's caught in the fallout of a decades-old conflict.

After a rocky start as Watervalley's only doctor, Luke Bradford has decided to stay in town, honoring the three-year commitment he made to pay off his medical school debts. But even as his friendships with the quirky townsfolk deepen, and he pursues a romance with lovely schoolteacher Christine Chambers, several military veterans' emotional wounds trigger anger and unrest in Watervalley.

At the center of the clash is the curmudgeonly publisher of the local newspaper, Luther Whitmore. Luther grew up in Watervalley, but he returned from combat in Vietnam a changed man. He fenced in beautiful Moon Lake, posting "Keep Out" notices at the beloved spot, and provokes the townspeople with his incendiary newspaper.

As Luke struggles to understand Luther's past, and restore harmony in Watervalley, an unforeseen crisis shatters a relationship he values dearly. Suddenly Luke must answer life's toughest questions about service, courage, love, and sacrifice.

Purchase a copy: 
About the author:
After growing up on a farm in rural Tennessee, Jeff High attained degrees in literature and nursing. He is the three-time winner, in fiction and poetry, of an annual writing contest held by Vanderbilt Medical Center. He lived in Nashville for many years, and throughout the country as a travel nurse, before returning to his original hometown, near where he now works as an operating room RN in open-heart surgery. He is the author of the Watervalley novels, including More Things in Heaven and Earth and Each Shining Hour.

Connect with Jeff: websiteTwitterFacebook

*I was given a copy of this wonderful book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Just Show Up by Kara Tippets and Jill Lynn Buteyn- The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together

My Thoughts:

Just Show Up is a refreshing, inspiring, and extremely helpful read for dealing with life's most difficult moments. It was written by two dear friends who walked this road together- with God's help. Most of us don't know what to say or do when illness, divorce, death and disappointment strikes friends/family. Averting the eyes, avoidance, quoting cliches are automatic responses, not intentionally hurtful but certainly not helpful. Yes, we want desperately to be a friend- to be a beacon of light. It's not easy but it is SO necessary. 

Just Show Up is a celebration of friendship. A sincere effort to guide those of us who are stumbling along not sure what to do when tragedy strikes us or our loved ones. I felt encouraged while reading the honest words of Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn. Their "dance of walking through suffering together" is captured with honesty, love and hope. Each person is different so there's not one secret formula for walking the road of suffering. The main idea is the JUST SHOW UP and be present. I certainly needed help in this area of my life. What a blessing this book is! Here are a few thoughtful ideas:

1) Go grocery shopping. Ask for a list and then place items in a cooler on the front porch.
2) Pack extra lunches for children. If your friend is ill she may not feel up to this task.
3) Attend doctor appointments with your loved one. Take notes.
4) Bring friend's child/children shopping with your child to get school supplies/clothes, etc. It will be fun for both child.
5) Sort mail. 
6) Sit with friend while the rest of the family does something outside the house.

The key is to be SPECIFIC in in your offers of help. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Let me know if you need anything." and have been told the same thing. The sentiment is sweet but we often don't know what truly need in the midst of suffering. Offer one of the ideas above and you'll more than likely be heading down the right path.:)

What does friendship look like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry—and even cancer? Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn teamed up to write Just Show Up, a story of their close friendship and walk through Kara's battle with terminal cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.

Celebrate the gift of friendship with a Tried & True Friendship giveaway—a prize for you and for a friend!

just show up-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Just Show Up

  • Two Ombre Layer Necklaces—one for you and one for a friend

  • Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 23rd. The winner will be announced October 26th on Jill's blog.

    Is one of your friends going through a tough time—maybe you need some encouragement? Stop by Kara and Jill's author page, click on the reviews bar, and read through some bloggers' stories of how their friends got them through suffering.

    just show up-banner

    About the book: 
    Just Show Up
     (David C Cook, October 2015)

    Kara Tippetts's story was not a story of disease, although she lost her battle with terminal cancer.

    It was not a story of saying goodbye, although she was intentional in her time with her husband and four children. Kara's story was one of seeing God in the hard and in the good. It was one of finding grace in the everyday. And it was one of knowing "God with us" through fierce and beautiful friendship.

    In Just Show Up, Kara and her close friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn, write about what friendship looks like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry, and even cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.

    Purchase a copy: 
    About the authors:
    The late Kara Tippetts was the author of "The Hardest Peace" and blogged faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com. Cancer was only a part of Kara's story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    Read Kara's blog.

    Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of "Falling for Texas," an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.
    Connect with Jill: website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

    *I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No there compensation was given. *

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    For the Love by Jen Hatmaker- THE book to give your best friends and sisters for Christmas!

    My Thoughts:

    Jen Hatmaker- just seeing the name makes me smile.:) For the Love is a treasure- a book that will make you laugh out loud (in Starbucks with your 17 year old daughter), ponder your faith as well as your life (in an encouraging and constructive way) and will also touch your heart as the author has been where you are (as a woman/mom/Christian) and gets you. I loved this book almost as much as chips & salsa (super high praise- just ask my family). 

    Using hilariously honest stories (she's the real deal and makes no apologies. ie. She rocks) from her life, Jen Hatmaker frees us to stop the comparisons, to love fully and be ourselves. Talk about refreshing! Fashion (leggings, anyone?), cooking (book club!), parenting, the church, marriage, school, and more are covered in a humorous way with a wonderful message. Did I mention I love this book? I need to buy copies for all my besties so they can laugh, love and be blessed as much as I was while reading this. Thanks, Jen Hatmaker. I wonder if Simon Le Bon would've followed me on twitter, too- back in the day. ;)

    Book Description 

    The popular writer, blogger, and television personality reveals with humor and style how Jesus' extravagant grace is the key to dealing with life's biggest challenge: people.

    The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning first with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, live for, go to church with, don't like, don't understand, fear, struggle with, compare ourselves to, and judge. People are the best and worst thing about the human life.
    Jen Hatmaker knows this all too well, and so she reveals how to practice kindness, grace, truthfulness, vision, and love to ourselves and those around us. By doing this, For the Love leads our generation to reimagine Jesus' grace as a way of life, and it does it in a funny yet profound manner that Christian readers will love. Along the way, Hatmaker shows readers how to reclaim their prophetic voices and become Good News again to a hurting, polarized world.
    * I was given a copy of this AWESOME book by Booklook bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015

    Pass It On by Jim Burns & Jeremy Lee- What Will Your Family Legacy Be?

    My Thoughts:
    Pass It On is an amazing book filled with creative Rite of Passage ideas designed to help pass down your faith to your children. I wish I had read this when my children were younger! Broken down by grade they are as follows:

    -Kindergarten: An Invitation to Generosity
    -First Grade: An invitation to Responsibility
    -Second Grade: An Invitation to the Bible
    -Third Grade: An Invitation to Rhythm
    -Fourth grade: An Invitation to Friendship
    -Fifth Grade: An Invitation to Identity
    -Sixth Grade: Preparing for Adolescence
    -Seventh Grade: The Blessing
    -Eighth Grade: Purity Code Weekend
    -Ninth Grade: Driving Contracts
    -Tenth Grade: Money Matters
    -Eleventh Grade: Family Tree
    -Twelfth Grade: Manhood/Womanhood Ceremony

    I was incredibly impressed with the planning and thought that went into designing these milestone experiences! All the details are in the pages of Pass It On, you only need take the time to read and follow through. 
    Each chapter includes 1) The Rite of Passage for that year 2) What You Need to Know about that particular age (Physically, Emotionally and Relationally) 3) Personal Stories and Examples

    I was particularly interested in the Ninth Grade chapter on Driving Contracts. It was detailed and thorough and included a sample Driving Contract. It covered what and how to talk to your teen about responsibility and consequences. Excellent! I'll absolutely be using this book in the near future!

    Parenting can often be daunting and even intimidating but Pass It On gives you a plan for sharing God with your children. It's a wonderful tool for guiding the direction of your family's legacy. Highly recommend! 

    About the book:Pass It On (David C. Cook, September 2015)

    Parents often experience a "freak out" moment when they realize their children's view of God will primarily come from what they learn at home.
    Most parents spend more time helping their kids succeed at academics or athletics than infusing shared spiritual experiences into the rhythm of everyday family life.

    While the idea of strategically passing down our faith can seem intimidating, the annual Rites of Passage Experiences contained in Pass It On make it easy for your family to celebrate milestones from kindergarten through high school graduation. Forever change the direction of your family's spiritual legacy . . . starting now!

    Purchase a copy: 
    About the authors:
    Jim Burns is president of HomeWord and executive director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. He has more than 1.5 million resources in print and a radio broadcast heard on 800 stations a day. Jim resides in Southern California with his wife Cathy and their three daughters.

    Connect with Jim onlinewebsiteTwitterFacebook

    Jeremy Lee is the founder of ParentMinistry.Net, a subscription-based service for children and youth ministry workers. He was on the writing team for the Simple Truth Bible from Group Publishing and the Ignite Study Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Jeremy lives in Nashville with his wife and children.

    Connect with Jeremy online: 
    *I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*