Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book Promo: SHOWgrins by Betty Collier

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

XLIBRIS (February 12, 2013)

***Special thanks to Betty Collier for sending me a review copy.***


 Betty Collier is a nurse by profession, author by passion, and storyteller by the grace of God. After reading the headlines that tennis pro Venus Williams suffers from Sjogren's syndrome, Betty discovered she had many of the same symptoms. This began her quest to share the journeys of five other remarkable women battling this incurable illness. The third in her Living Inside The Testimony Book Series, Betty hopes others will discover that they too live inside testimonies meant to be shared. Betty lives in Bartlett, Tennessee, with her husband, the absolute love of her life, and their two sons. Betty's passion for increasing awareness of this silent disease takes her beyond the inspirational stories she has written about to the streets of Nashville, TN where she will run with Team Sjogren's on April 27, 2013 in the Country Music Half Marathon to help increase awareness and raise funds for Sjogren’s research.

Visit the author's website.


Award-winning author Betty Collier has intricately woven a beautiful, edifying and inspirational book that informs readers of Sjogren's syndrome - its signs and symptoms, diagnosis, medication and treatment, complications, and other related information. Readers will be captivated by the inspiring and uplifting story of five remarkable women who embarked on the same journey through Sjögren’s syndrome. This book takes Venus Williams’ fight against the same autoimmune disease many women are suffering right now as a concrete instance. Along with her story, Collier brings into the limelight the cases of Cathy Taylor, Estrella Bibbey, Judy Kang, Lynn Petruzzi, and Paula Beth Sosin, the five women who opened their hearts and shared their Sjogren’s stories with the world for everyone to understand more about this incurable disease. Through the heartwarming stories of these five women and the intimate details of their journeys, millions will be inspired, encouraged, and motivated to face the crossroads in their lives.

Product Details:

List Price: $15.99

Paperback: 102 pages

Publisher: XLIBRIS (February 12, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1479780154

ISBN-13: 978-1479780150


Fame, Fortune, and Fatigue

Who wouldn’t want to be like Venus Williams, one of the most admired professional athletes in the world? Continue reading for about three or four minutes, and I’ll answer that question. But first, let’s take a quick glance at the trophy room of this phenomenal tennis superstar. She has won an astonishing forty-three singles titles, including two U.S. Open Singles and five Wimbledon Singles. Along with her sister Serena Williams, she has also won an amazing nineteen doubles titles which include two at the U.S. Open Doubles, two at the French Open Doubles, five at the Wimbledon Doubles, and four at the Australian Open Doubles. And lastly, she has been an Olympic gold medal tennis champion for an unprecedented four times.


In addition to her tennis accolades, Williams is CEO of her interior design firm, “V Starr Interiors” and realized a dream come true by launching her fashion line “EleVen.”  She has been recognized by Forbes on numerous occasions such as Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, Forbes Most Powerful Black Women In The U.S., and Forbes the Celebrity 100. If that’s not enough, she’s also part-owner of the Miami Dolphins along with her sister Serena, making them the first African-American females with ownership in an NFL franchise.

So why am I talking about Williams in my book? After all, she wrote a New York Times Bestseller, a book entitled Come to Win: Business Leaders, Artists, Doctors, and Other Visionaries on How Sports Can Help You Top Your Profession. What does her book have to do with my book? Absolutely nothing. However, this book does have a lot to do with Williams. You see, Williams had to pull out of the U.S. Open in 2011 due to yet another undertaking, undoubtedly her toughest challenge yet, one that up to four million Americans are also battling to live with.

Williams is fighting Sjögren’s syndrome, the second most common autoimmune disease. Prior to her announcement, Sjögren’s syndrome was probably the most common, unknown disease in the world even though it was first identified in 1933 by Dr. Henrik Sjögren.

Classic symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, but Sjögren’s may also cause dysfunction of organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Williams, along with millions of others, experience extreme fatigue and joint pain, which is likely why she had to withdraw from the tournament.

I will ask the question again. Who wouldn’t want to be like Venus Williams? Up to four million Americans can answer in the affirmative, with approximately 3,600,000 of them being females. I think I am one of them. I have not been formally diagnosed yet, but I am seeing the specialist my primary care physician referred me to. Before I finish writing this book, I will know for sure if I have it, but that's another chapter toward the end of the book.

For now, let's see what happened after Williams pulled out of the U.S. Open. I read a story on the internet a couple of days after she withdrew, Venus Williams Battles Sjögren’s Syndrome. Needless to say, my curiosity got the best of me. I wondered how she could have such a dreadful disease which forced her to leave the tournament after only one match. Would she ever be able to return to this sport that she loved and once ruled?

Much to my surprise, the article only had two paragraphs about Williams. She was quoted as saying, “I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon.” The rest of the article was about the disease, not Williams. It was only one day after reading Williams had to withdraw that I began writing the first chapter of this book.

As I was trying to comprehend what had happened to me over those twenty-four hours, I had already self-diagnosed myself as being affirmed with this same condition, and I was now totally obsessed with writing a book about it to help others. I just wish Dr. Smith had identified the illness instead of Dr. Sjögren. Hence the book title, SHOWgrins, because I read that Sjögren’s is pronounced “SHOW-grins.” In my haste to start writing this book the very next day, I entitled it SHOWgrins so I wouldn’t forget how to pronounce my new diagnosis and new book title.

So how does this story fit into my book series of uplifting, real-life, inspirational testimonies? Let’s see what Venus Williams had to say about all of this.

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