Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Three Great New Books by Brand New Authors

What do a Memoir, a Homemade Soup Cookbook, and a Devotional have in common? Each are written by individuals who are writing from the heart, who really live the things they share, and therefore speak with authority things that will help you in your own life. How do I know this? Because they were all written by friends of mine! Yes, I have some incredibly talented friends. “I Love to Tell the Story,” “Kick the Can,” and “Running With The Grasshoppers” are excellent books by talented new authors and I am pleased to share them with you.

“I Love to Tell the Story” is Susan Barnett Braun’s touching, funny personal story of “growing up  blessed and Baptist in small town Indiana.” But her accounts of growing up in the church in the 1970s was so familiar that at times I felt she was writing my own memories! From the trials of singing in church programs, mean girls in Sunday School and overcoming glasses, braces and chubbiness to the joys of prizes for learning Bible verses, VBS crafts and learning to bloom in Rosebuds, Susan shows how an ordinary girl can grow to become more like Christ through a Biblical upbringing in church and family. Woven through are hymns that anchor the stories as well as Susan’s life. This book is absolutely delightful, whether you grew up in the church and wax nostalgic, or whether you didn’t and are curious about what such an upbringing entails.

“I Love to Tell the Story” can be purchased through Amazon. Paperback is $9.35, or you can purchase the book on Kindle for $2.99. Susan has another book out for Kindle as well. “Sophie, Pay Attention (Rhoda, You Too),” is available at Amazon for $2.99.

I love soup but most of the canned stuff has waaaayyy too much sodium. The lower sodium doesn’t taste all that good, though. But in Christy Ellington’s new book, “Kick the Can!” there are 16 recipes for homemade soups that are low-sodium and mouth-watering at the same time! There are even two breakfast soups. Most are also low-fat, some are suitable for vegans or vegetarians, and all use fairly common, easily acquired ingredients. Christy really knows her stuff, too. Christy, who suffers from Meniere’s Disease, has been laboring on a low-sodium blog, The Daily Dish, for years, just to share what she’s learned about low-sodium, delicious cooking. Recently she won a grant, and has put the money to good use by publishing this beautifully photographed, carefully researched, and kid-tested cookbook.

“Kick the Can!” can be purchased at Blurb, by following the link, for $15.95. This small, soup-only cookbook packs a healthy, flavorful punch.

“Running With The Grasshoppers” is a 298-page Devotional suited for Christians, men or women, who desire to grow bolder, and to stand firm, in their walk with Christ. Written by R. Mark Webb, a man who lives a Christian life as well as writes about it, “Running With The Grasshoppers” is divided in to chapters that share a Bible story, expound upon it, and then list thought-provoking questions. The questions can be used for personal reflection, or in a class setting to spark discussion. Through Bible stories of ordinary people, “Running With Grasshoppers” inspires us to realize we have an extraordinary God.

“Running With The Grasshoppers” can be purchased in ebook form for Kindle from Amazon for $8.49, or in paperback or hardcover at Xulon Press for $16.99 and $26.99 respectively.

If you want to be inspired and challenged to grow more like Christ, eat healthier, more delicious and wholesome foods, and stand firm in your walk with God, “I Love to Tell the Story,” “Kick the Can!” and “Running With The Grasshoppers” are just the books to help, while entertaining at the same time. To check them out further or purchase them, follow the built-in links.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

There and Back Again

Yesterday was spent at the beach on Sanibel Island. What a gorgeous day! Hit 80 degrees, sunny with a gentle breeze, puffy white clouds, and the company of my favorite person - my husband. Everyone was taking advantage of the beautiful day. At one point I counted 19 boats: Speedboats and fishing boats, boats of every size and description, and one ethereal sailboat. There were parasailers, too, and kayakers. The smell of the salt spray, the warmth of the sun and coolness of the breeze, the beauty, were all so peaceful and relaxing.

Tomorrow I'm flying up to Indiana. Gonna be cold, might snow. I'll have grandbabies to play with and a whole new type of beauty to absorb in the landscape around me. Life is good!

The title There and Back Again seems descriptive of what I'm doing. But it also reminds me of how much I am looking forward to the film coming out at the end of the year, around Christmastime 2012 - The Hobbit!!! I enjoyed The Lord of the Rings films, and I read the trilogy, but The Hobbit has always been my favorite. My uncle introduced me to Bilbo Baggins when I was 13 years old; he sent me the book, wrapped in a soft, rainbow-hued paper and accompanied by a lovely little drawing he did of the circular door of the hobbit house. I was transported in to another world! I can't wait to see what the film is like and fervently hope I will not be disappointed.

What are you looking forward to this year?
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