Monday, April 22, 2013

Rescuing Hope: A Story of Sex Trafficking in America

As I sit here quiet and alone in my hotel room on yet another work trip, I am reminded of what is happening all across America (and the world, for that matter) in hotel rooms of people on business trips, sporting event trips, or just pleasure trips.

I was forced to face the reality of what is happening literally under our noses here in our very own homeland of America to our sweet, innocent, young girls when I read Rescuing Hope by Susan Norris.

Though this is a fiction story, it is woven from true details of America's sex trafficking underworld. Norris did not set out to write a novel. She merely began to discover unexpectedly how prevalent the modern-day slave industry of sex trafficking has become in our very own hometowns.Upon the shocking, sickening realization that girls as young as nine years old are being tricked into this prison of life, Norris felt the earnest need to learn and share as much as she could about this secretive world that thrives all around us. In doing this, she ultimately wove a compelling fiction novel from multiple threads of truth including survivors of human sex trafficking, detectives who have worked countless cases in order to rescue and bring justice, as well as even the input of a former pimp.

Thankfully this horrific hell on earth is more and more in the spotlight these days than it once was, however, so much still remains to be done in this battle. This industry MUST be shut down! If you don't understand why I feel so strongly about this, read Rescuing Hope and then you will.

I would like to close my review of this excellent work with a portion of Norris's Acknowledgement / Introduction section in her own words:
To my readers, thank you for taking the time to read about a difficult subject, when it would be easy to turn away. I pray Rescuing Hope stirs something inside you to propel you into action. Find your place in the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of children. There's room for everyone in this battle. We need your voice, your gifts, your talents. What part will you play in becoming a voice for hope?
You may choose to look the other way,
but you can never say again that you did not know.
~ William Wilberforce ~
(as quoted in Rescuing Hope by Susan Norris

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Glass Road PR. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts ~ Stories to Celebrate & Wisdom to Bless Moms

Have you been thinking ahead to Mother's Day?

What can you...what SHOULD you give the special mother(s) in your life?

I have a wonderful suggestion!

A dear author friend of mine, Cathy Messecar, along with four other precious author ladies got together and wrote a "scrapbook" collection of special highlights about mothers.

In their book A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts, these special ladies share everything from their own memories of raising children to delicious, family-friendly recipes.

Not only does this book have many special, inspirational motherhood vignettes, but it also has some very practical, easy-to-follow advice. Additionally, it is a beautiful book to look at and thumb through, making it an excellent gift item for any time of year, but especially for Mother's Day.

Here are some examples of some of my favorite pieces of this literary patchwork quilt:

  • You might be a mommy if...weary is written on your face, but happy is written on your heart.
  • I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all of my life. ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • As children trained in prayer grow up, the world encroaches, and their knowledge of good and evil develops. As concerns deepen, we witness them pray for victims of tragedies. Adults have told me that they've come full circle in their prayer lives because of hearing children's prayers. Our eyes, open to the rips and tears in the world's character, get back in tune with God who also cares about salt, pepper, rice, and dinner plates. (referring to the sweet, simple prayers of children) ~ Cathy Messecar
  • Many recipes such as: Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Bananas (for camping or on the grill), Baked Potato Haystacks, Breakfast Tacos, Baked French Toast, and Cookie Cutter Cookies.
Please consider this beautiful, precious book as a gift for the special mother(s) in your life (or even a special gift to know who you are!).

What are some special memories you have of your mother, grandmother, or of raising your own children?

Please share!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Leafwood Publishers. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Where have I been?
(Have you been wondering that about me?)

Do I still read?

Do I still write?

Do I still have things I want to share with you?

The answer is yes to all of the above.

However, lately, I have found myself reading more of the Word of God and less of the books that I have in line to catch up on reading and reviewing for you and me and the publishers.

Honestly, my life schedule got completely rearranged several times over the past few months and I am just now starting to see a little stabilization of my schedule in the near future. Along with that, I am also intentionally planning and scheduling time for me to read (God's Word as well as the messages He shares through those He has gifted with the talent of writing). Additionally I am more intentionally planning ahead a schedule for myself that includes more writing. (I have also started a second blog, by the way, that I write weekly. It's kind of a cooking may want to check it out. It's called Sundays with Nanny.)

Most importantly though, as I mentioned, I have been reading and writing, but it has been primarily the Word of God. No, I am not writing NEW scripture! But...since I learn better by writing, I have been writing the scripture almost verbatim in a notebook as I read it.

As I have been doing this, I have noticed a large, unexpected interest from many of my friends and connections. I have shared pictures of these "writings" along the way and have received an amazing response of people asking me about it and how to do it.

So, I have decided that I need to start sharing here my key points of how (and even why) to do this.

It is very easy, actually, and more enlightening than you can imagine.

This post is my promise to you to follow it up with several more posts along the way of more about what I and some other friends of mine have dubbed #writetheword (You can search that on Twitter & Instagram & Tumblr, by the way!).

I hope you'll join me for this amazing adventure!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Radical Well-Being: A biblical guide to overcoming pain, illness, and addictions

Being a healthcare professional, I was drawn to this book, Radical Well-Being, when I saw Dr. Rita Hancock's mentions of its upcoming release.

Not only is it a book written about overcoming pain, illness and addictions (which we all suffer at times from one if not all three of those), but it is also written by a Christian Pain Management Specialist from a biblical perspective.

Needless to say, I quickly requested a review copy.

And now, on the date of its official release, I am sharing my thoughts on it with you.

First, I would like to share her synopsis of it with you as well as her brief bio.

Book Synopsis

Research increasingly shows a strong connection between our spiritual life, our emotions, and our physical well being. Yet too often our physical conditions are treated without taking our whole lives into account. In Radical Well-being, Dr. Rita Hancock shows you how your mind, body, and spirit are connected and addresses the factors that can contribute, and even cause, illness, addictions, and chronic pain.

If you suffer from medical conditions like fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, neck or back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, jaw pain, food and drug allergies, depression, anxiety, or unwanted behaviors such as overeating, an eating disorder, overspending, drug abuse or alcoholism, Radical Well-being will show you a biblical, whole-body approach to overcoming your condition. With nearly twenty years of experience counseling patients from a balanced, mind/body/Holy Spirit perspective, Dr. Rita gives you practical nuts-and-bolts advice, including how to:

· Identify the lies that are manipulating you from a subconscious level
· Deal with emotional factors that can make your pain seem worse
· Address addictive behaviors that you want to get rid of
· Fully accept God's love and forgiveness on a deep, healing level

True freedom and improved health come when deeply-rooted lies are illuminated and replaced with knowledge from the merciful heart of God. Radical Well-being will help you feel better in all three domains—in your mind, body, and in your spirit. You will end up feeling the way one of Dr. Rita's patients put it: "Like the weight of a skyscraper has been lifted off my shoulders."

Author Bio

Dr. Rita Hancock is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Pain Management and is passionate about helping her patients achieve optimal health and wellness in three dimensions: mind, body, and spirit.

Dr. Rita's books include The Eden Diet (Zondervan) and The Eden Diet Workbook, which are about learning to eat in response to physical rather than emotional hunger. Her second book, Radical Well-being: A Biblical Guide to Overcoming Pain, Illness, and Addictions, offers a road map for finding relief if you suffer with nearly any type of symptom or behavior that can be magnified by stress. Examples of such stress-related symptoms or conditions include fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, back or neck pain, migraine headaches, and others.

Dr. Rita writes from the Christian perspective and lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and children. To find out more about her, visit and

My Thoughts

In Radical Well-Being, Dr. Rita shares practical examples from stories based on real patient experiences in her practice (in a way that maintains their confidentiality). Additionally she shares practical steps to breaking free from some physical and emotional strongholds that may seem permanent and are even, as we call it in the medical field, chronic (have been around for an extended period of time). She does not make light of ailments and addictions and specifically points out that there are plenty of instances in which they cannot be traced back to underlying stress, yet she enlightens us with example after example of how often stress truly is the key factor in ailments and addictions.

A couple of interesting examples she shares are: 

  • A patient with multiple and frequent complaints of pain for which no origin could be located. During one bout with a pain attack, Dr. Rita was able to help her immediately "put a name to the emotion she felt at that moment in time," which turned out to be named "afraid." Within less than a minute of identifying that related emotion, the patient had a realization that led her to recognize what situation and emotion from her past as well as from her current experience caused her to experience the subsequent pain attack. And, upon realization, the patient's current leg pain was decreased by almost half in thirty seconds. Pretty amazing what our emotions can do to our bodies!
  • Another patient who was unknowingly holding onto anxiety even after several visits to Dr. Rita as well as pain medication injections during those visits. She finally was able to recognize, confront and release some of the anxiety which resulted in the injections and other pain treatments finally working. Dr. Rita states that, "In an unexpected way, 'Betty' has even become grateful to God for her physical pain. It's her way of recognizing that she's bottling up her emotions. It's like her emotional litmus test for stress."
  • Dr. Rita also shares her own story of living for many young years as an overweight child and even more overweight teenager until she finally was able to work to get the weight off by the time she started college. I suggest you read this book to find out more about how she did that and even turned it into inspiration to write this book. (HINT: Don't skip the Introduction!)

And a couple of sections of quote-worthy material:

All-in-all, I would say you should give Dr. Rita's book Radical Well-Being a chance to impact your life, health, and emotions in ways that you may not even realize you need.

And come back here and share your experiences if you do!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Dr. Rita Hancock. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.