Tag Archives: Karen Kingsbury

New Book by Author Nancy Aguiar is a MUST-READ! (“Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family and Fun)

Friends!  I’ve got wonderful news for you about an equally wonderful new book.

Nancy Aguiar has recently released her debut book, Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family and Fun. It’s available here in Louisville at the Living Word Bookstore in Southeast Christian Church (www.livingword.org ), or Carmichael’s (www.carmichaelsbookstore.com ) will order it for you, or you can get it from Amazon.

I’m blessed to call Nancy a dear friend and mentor.  Yes, I can be objective and honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed reading her book. I could hear her telling the many beautiful stories she shares. This book would work perfectly read as a devotional, but my prediction is you’ll keep reading as one story makes you curious about the next one!

So what’s the meaning of the title?  Five Drops…?  Nancy shares it was her maternal grandmother, “Mammy”, who was born in Sweden, yet chased Nancy’s Grandfather, “Papa”, to the United States, marrying him and learning English.

As often as she could, Mammy would invite her Swedish friends over and serve them coffee and pastries.  Nancy says, “They would chat for hours and find renewal and healing in friendship and laughter.”

Like many of us friends today meeting up at Starbucks, Nancy reveals, “Coffee was the key ingredient in each of those afternoons.” Mammy filled and refilled her friends’ cups until they would finally say, Fem droppar” which translates:  “five drops”…as in just a little more coffee in their cups while their afternoon was winding down.

Nancy said her family, now two and three generations from Mammy’s, still uses this phrase about whatever it is they’re having:  coffee, water, juice, second helpings of dessert, etc.  Can one say, “Fem droppar” when consuming chocolate??? (Maybe hot chocolate?)

Nancy reminds us Jesus is the Master storyteller.  Since Jesus told stories so often, surely such a skill is important.  Nancy’s Grandmother was not the only storyteller in her family.  Both of her parents were and for that, she’s forever grateful.

Nancy warns us, “The fast-paced society of today is missing that special gift of time and the art of story. We must reclaim it. What my parents didn’t share with me orally is now gone…Telling and retelling stories to the next generations must be of greater importance…That’s why I wrote this book.”

We lucky readers get to read fifty-five stories by Nancy covering every topic you can imagine.  She takes you right along with her, many times telling on herself while including an important lesson. She’s serious one minute and laugh-your-head-off-funny the next. She blissfully includes pertinent Scripture regarding many lessons for us all.

In “Ms. Polly”, she tells us, “Every day lived to the glory of God is a day well-lived.”  In “Appalachia”, she says, “My takeaway that day was to be thankful for all we do have—all that has been given to us in the course of one day—and to value each person God places in our lives, even if they’re there for a few hours.”

In “Time for Prayer”, she concludes, “Until freedom is taken from us, we should be willing to pray whenever and wherever we can. Such a privilege I will never take for granted.”  

A few chapters have Nancy taking us along on mission trips. On one of them, she “gets” to pull a person’s tooth and I am not pulling your leg! (Way to go, Nan. Had I accompanied you, you’d have been scraping me up off of the floor…)

In “Sumo and Sal”, we learn she was a witness in a real-live murder case.  Imagine being scared to death, literally, in the paradise of all paradises, Hawaii? Good news is she has more praiseworthy stories from there where we all can rejoice. (Don’t miss “Jade Bracelets”.) Here’s a recent picture of Nancy and Ron in Hawaii:

Nancy also tells about some of the elderly women she cared for.  That was one of her many careers where her giftedness shone like the light of Jesus.  She took care of my own Mother, and wait for it:  Preached Mother’s funeral!

It was the second book in The Redemption Series, Remember,   by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley that caused Nancy to consider caring for the elderly while they were in “Heaven’s Waiting Room”, as Karen called it.  When our Book Club got to Skype with Karen, we had Nancy approach the camera to tell Karen how her book caused this new career to happen.

Suddenly, tears began falling down Karen’s cheeks, as did the rest of the attendees’ faces that night. Confirmation Nancy was right in the middle of the Lord’s will.

Besides being an author, Nancy’s also been a teacher at a local college, a Bible study teacher of numerous classes, a preacher (Seriously—she’s preached more than one funeral.), and is a linguist (She speaks several languages, having lived in Germany while in high school.) She’s currently working in the healthcare industry.

She and her husband, Ron, are about to celebrate their fortieth anniversary this year.  They are blessed with two children, a son-in-law, and one grandson who’s the light of their life.

After proofreading this post, my dear husband just informed me I made the grave error of omitting the most fun fact about Nancy:  She gives the best hugs any recipient could dream of.  Those of you who’ve been on the receiving end are nodding. (He also just brought me “fem droppar” of some of his infamous coffee as I’ve consumed way more than one should have at 6:00 in the morning.)

More good news:  Nancy’s the Speaker for a Ladies Breakfast, held at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on May 20th, from 9:00-11:00 a.m.  Please see below for more information if you’d like to hear her:

Go grab a copy of Nancy’s book for yourself and one for a friend (this makes a fabulous gift), Five Drops—Stories of Faith, Family, and Fun.  Drinking a cup of coffee or tea while reading it will make it that much better.

God bless you, Nancy, for leaving such a beautiful legacy for your family and friends!

‘Til next time!



Filed under Book Reviews

TWO Upcoming Events: Book Signing 10/17 and Book Club Meeting 10/28 are WORTHY of your Calendar!!!

Greetings and Blessings to you this Fall Season!  Before we get too far into October, I wanted to be sure and let those of you who live in or near Louisville, Kentucky know about two exciting events!

There’s a brand-new, debut novel out by Angela Correll.  Angela hails from Stanford, Kentucky, has been writing for local newspapers for years, and has now ventured out into the book world!  Her book, Grounded, is quite the page-turner.

grounded cover

Angela will be doing a book signing at Carmichael’s on Frankfort Avenue, on Thursday, October 17th, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  In addition to having the opportunity of meeting her, she’s bringing some of her mouth-watering homemade pies!  Double carrot-dangler…


(For more information on the book signing, you may go to:  www.carmichaelsbookstore.com )

My friend Nancy Sleeth, who wrote Almost Amish sent me Angela’s book recently.  I was dumbfounded to discover Nancy has endorsed Angela’s book on the front of the cover, while my other writing buddy in Lexington, Jan Watson (author of her newest novel Tattler’s Branch) has endorsed it on the back!!!  Two perfect reasons to read Angela’s book above and beyond its’ intrigue!!!

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(An interesting sidebar comes this week from Nancy and Matthew Sleeth’s organization, Blessed Earth.  Checkout  their most recent newsletter written by Will Samson.  www.blessedearth.org  Much of what Will shares is akin to one of the themes of Angela’s book about creation care and community.  Well done, Will! Fascinating seminar!)

I’m happy to report we got these Lexington authors and some friends together, minus Angela (she was at another book signing in Lexington),  a couple of weeks ago for lunch.  We met at The Café in Joseph Beth Booksellers and solved many of the world’s problems over a three hour–or-so-lunch!!! (More on that in another post about my exciting road trip to Lexington soon to follow….)

Lexington Group Photo

Top row (left to right): Pam Stein, Nancy Sleeth and Laura Leavell. Bottom row (left to right): Yours truly, Jan Watson and Kelsey Ach

All  that to say, I’m beyond excited to meet Angela.  And I can’t say enough good things about her novel.  You will love it.  Her characters jump off the pages and I found myself totally tickled at the main character, Annie Taylor.

I’m afraid I relate to her a little too much.  Watching her struggle with the country life after being in New York City is quite an activity.   Coffee snob that I am (as is Annie), even the littlest details amuse.  Parts of this book remind me of a favorite quote from Joan Rivers, “My idea of camping is staying in a hotel that has a regular bathtub, vs. a Jacuzzi.”



Annie’s feverish attempts to adapt to a small town in Kentucky while trying to reconcile her relationship with her Grandmother are mesmerizing.  Will they reconcile?  Is it possible?  Ahhh, well you‘ll have to read Grounded and find out!

I’m happy to report the novel is not without romance nor suspense, either!  These little threads build into a beautiful tapestry, complete with surprises I couldn’t have predicted.

Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore to grab Grounded.  You’ll love it.  And don’t forget to come meet Angela at Carmichael’s on October 17th!

(Checkout Angela’s website and learn about her and her Kentucky Soaps and Such Store as well as her restaurant, The Bluebird Café, all in Stanford, Kentucky!!! I feel another road trip comin’ on…. www.angelacorrell.com )

Additionally, for your calendar, don’t forget our next Branches Book Club Meeting on Monday, October 28th! We’re meeting at Middletown United Methodist Church, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. (Read more about Branches here….)

Tree Outline w words


Calling all Karen Kingsbury fans!!!  Yes, indeed, we’ll be discussing Karen’s newest novel, The Chance.




I confess I’ve not read Karen’s book yet, but am planning to do so ASAP with our meeting right around the corner on the 28th!  Here’s a teaser for you from The New York Times:  “Karen Kingsbury offers a heartwarming story about childhood friends, broken lives, and a long-ago promise that just might offer the hope of love for today.”

I know some of you Kingsbury fans have already read this and have given it a thumbs’ up.  We’ll have fun with the discussion and don’t forget most everyone brings treats to eat!  (Is there a theme here with the homemade pies to entice us to the book signing and treats at Book Club???!!!)

‘Til next time!

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Filed under Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Friends

Brand-New Branches Book Club and Three New Books!

How   ‘bout some REALLY good news?  There’s a “new kid” in town….or rather a new Book Club in Louisville, KY!  Come meet some authors!  Come and discuss some great Christian books!  Bring your friends!  Enjoy treats to eat!

Branches Book Club is a brand-new community-wide Book Club which just kicked off their season October 22nd, 2012.  They will meet the fourth Monday of the month in the Connections Center at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC). For their first meeting in October, they read and discussed Karen Kingsbury’s Coming Home.

Their next meeting will be on the 26th of November, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) where they’ll discuss Almost Amish—One Woman’s Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life by Nancy Sleeth. Nancy will be coming to discuss her book, entertain questions, and sign books that evening!

MUMC’s Women’s Ministry has had the Branches Women’s Ministry for several years, and they are now excited to offer the Branches Book Club!  Two more-than-capable leaders are getting this ball rolling:  Maggie Alcorn and Amy Davenport.  Nancy Tinnell, Associate Pastor, from MUMC is also helping and mentoring these fine women.  She’ll be speaking occasionally as well, and after having sat under her teaching this summer, we are all in for a treat!


Middletown United Methodist Church
11902 Old Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40243

The name ‘branches” comes straight out of Scripture from John 15:5, where Jesus tells us:  “I am the vine, you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;  apart from me you can do nothing.”

Tree Outline w words

After recently stepping down from facilitating a book club for seven years, I was thrilled to learn about the new Branches Book Club, and to be able to participate! Plus, learning of some of the upcoming selections AND authors coming is so exciting!  What a slice of heaven! (In Heaven, I can picture us sitting around discussing books parked next to a chocolate fountain!  Well, one can dream…)

Author Nancy Sleeth and her family live in Lexington, Kentucky.  She was just featured on the cover of October’s Christianity Today magazine as “50 Women to Watch”.  How  exciting will that be to have the opportunity of meeting her???!!!  Wow!


A favorite quote from Almost Amish  is about Nancy’s epiphany:  “Few of us can become Amish, but all of us can become almost Amish.”  Nancy takes you through some of the Amish principles and you’ll love taking the eye-opening journey with her.

I was grateful to discover Nancy’s honesty and relieved she didn’t serve up any guilt.  Chew on this quote with me for a minute:  “The Amish have a saying:  ‘A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.’ And, of course, happy marriages tend to make for happy families.  May all your gatherings with family be part of a long conversation, full of joy, harmony, and faith in an all-powerful Father who loves every one of his children.”  Love that!

Another favorite quote which really encouraged me to be more effortful than effortless towards the Amish way of life was in Nancy’s closing remarks:  “Yet each time we seek out an Almost Amish path, we move one step nearer to the kingdom of God.  Every time we choose the Almost Amish way we come one breath closer to a slower, simpler, more sustainable life.”  Ahhhhh.


Grab your calendars and ink in Monday, November 26th, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church. (Yes, I’m repeating myself in case you missed it the first time!) Please either call Kelly McDonald to let her know you’re coming at 245-8839 or you may email her at:  Kmcdonald@middletownumc.org  You may bring a treat to eat and share if time allows.  While Thanksgiving will have just happened, I believe Nancy Sleeth will better prepare our hearts and minds for a blessed Christmas season.
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Another  fun fact?  Nancy’s husband, Matthew Sleeth MD, also has a brand-new book out called 24/6—a Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life. (Quite  the “dynamic duo”, this couple, huh?)

Matthew grabs you from the beginning to  the end.  I found myself totally immersed, and convicted simultaneously.  I soooooooo long to be a 24/6  instead of a 24/7-and-then-some girl.  Great stuff, Matthew.

24/6 reads like a prescription for us crazy-busy-souls. (No wonder he was a doctor first!)  Three phrases from a poem by John David Walt, from Asbury Theological Seminary, found in the beginning of the book, immediately drew me in:  “holy Leisure, guiltless Feasting, Heaven Hugging”.  Sold!

NOT that Matthew’s trying to sell us on this keeping-the-Sabbath idea.  He’s just presenting the Biblical facts.  Oh, and he’s built a great case.  (You’ll love hearing some of his episodes in the Emergency Room while doctoring.  Thankfully none are too knee-buckling for any of you faint-at-the-sight-of-blood types. Uh, that would be me.)

Please pray for the Sleeth family while they’re “birthing” these two new books and juggling other things called “life”!  Checkout their very cool faith-based environmental nonprofit organization they started:  www.Blessedearth.org

Back to Branches Book Club:  If you’ve got your 2013 calendar handy, I’ve got a date in January to give you which has a two-fold fun purpose.  One is you can read and savor over the Christmas holidays, prior to the January date, Liz Curtis Higgs’ new novella, Wreath of Snow.  Enjoy the Christmas season and Branches Book Club will resume on Monday, January 28th, same time, same place, AND…. Liz will be joining us in person!  What a treat!  (More  on her book in another blog entry!)

While I really endeavored to merely tell you about a brand-new book club, I can’t simply “list” books without chatting about them just a tad.  I pray we’ll have fun on occasion doing exactly that in this blog!

Whether the selection is fiction or non-fiction, you’ll learn Biblical pearls of wisdom which you can wear home.  This is putting your feet to your faith at its’ finest.  Embrace Hebrews 10:25 which says, “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

‘Til next time!

(This blog entry is dedicated to FOUR lovely, smart, talented and courageous gals who stepped up to start this brand-new Branches Book Club.  Having been there, quakin’, shakin’ and then some, years ago, all I can say is:  “Lean on God and He’ll hold you up!” May God Bless and guide and hold Maggie Alcorn, Amy Davenport, Nancy Tinnell,  and their behind-the-scenes computer expert, Kelly McDonald.  You go, girls!!!)


Filed under Book Clubs, Book Reviews