Saturday, July 15, 2017

Threads Of Suspicion By Dee Henderson

Threads of Suspicion
by Dee Henderson
Publisher: Bethany House

If you've read my reviews before of any Dee Henderson's books, you know I'm an avid fan. Whenever I have the opportunity to do a review of her books, I definitely jump on it. This time was no exception! Thanks to Bethany House, I was able to read the next installment of her Evie Blackwell Cold Case series.


Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's Missing Persons Task Force. With so much public fanfare surrounding the launch of this elite investigative team, the political stakes are high, and the team will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. As Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood over the disappearance of a college student, David searches for a private investigator whose last case involved a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But the questions that lie just beneath the surface in Evie's personal life are also begging for answers.

My Review:

Do you ever think, "If I could have the mind of so and so, I'd be able to _______!"? That's how it was for me reading Threads of Suspicion. The reader is able to watch as Evie takes on the case of a missing college student. She's teamed up with David Marshal who's also trying to solve a missing person case in the same area. His approach to working through a case and Evie's is different, but it also helps both of them to work through the crimes. I'd say that's the part that I enjoyed the most throughout the story.

There was also the side stories of the relationships they have with their boyfriend and girlfriend. Evie is trying to work through her thoughts and emotions about potentially being married to Rob. David has been dating and engaged to a famous pop star for years, but after he became a Christian, Maggie struggled with his new found faith.

I found some interesting overlapping of cases and relationships in the story. Seems that six degrees of separation can happen even in crimes. Henderson keeps the reader on the edge of their seat as she takes them from one possible answer to another as Evie and David try solving their mysteries! I'm already looking forward to the next installment!

About the Author:

Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, including TakenUndetectedUnspoken, Full Disclosure, and the acclaimed O'Malley and Uncommon Heroes series. Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Learn more at

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Fun Giveaway Event With The Rope Co.

Last year I had the pleasure of working with The Rope Co. on a review and giveaway of their doormat. It still graces my front door. I can't wait until we have a patio and I can add one there, too. I've already seen some of the ones they're working on for Christmas, and this gal is planning ahead!

This year I've partnered with them once again! With it being the month of July, our month of Independence, and working with this Made in the USA company & The Rope Co. makes my heart happy how could I choose any other? And if you haven't checked out their Instagram feed, you're missing out on some great photos! I'll be doing a review soon on their beautiful bins.

Aren't those wonderful? The bin I'll be receiving is similar to the top one in color. The only thing I have to do is figure out where I'm going to put it because I have a LOT of ideas where I'd like to see it. I'll probably end up getting a couple more!

Now you have the chance to win The Rope Co. bin, too!

School is out, the days are long, the sun is hot, and the giveaways are a plenty! Come join us for some summer fun . Anderson's Angels, This Mamas Life, The More The Merrier and Woven by Words, are very excited to bring you the Summer Fun Giveaway Event! We've teamed up with over 15 other wonderful bloggers, to bring you another great giveaway event! Each blog has gathered a prize package worth $25 or more so be sure to visit each blog and enter!

Hosts & participating hop bloggers of the Summer Fun Event are not responsible for sponsors or self-sponsoring bloggers that do not fulfill prize obligations. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dragon Seed By Marty Machowski

Dragon Seed
by Marty Machowski
Publisher: New Growth Press

I really love when I get the chance to review books for youth! I received this one from Litfuse Publicity and shared it with my 14 yr old.


An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background.
Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family. Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book-a family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called Dragon Seed, leads Nick deep into his family's history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you'll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions!
This page-turning, young adult fiction story invites older children and teens into the real-life struggles of Nick. But it also ushers them into an imaginative exploration of the life of the young man Jesus saved as he wandered through the tombs. Best-selling author Marty Machowski uses both stories to introduce the reality of spiritual warfare and how its shadows affect and change us.
Machowski, a trusted teacher for children of all ages, presents a thoroughly biblical view of spiritual warfare that emphasizes the importance of humility and dangers of pride. Teens will be drawn to the story of Nick and his struggles and will learn, as they read, to also identify the shadows in their own life and turn from them. While the biblical teaching is evident throughout the narrative of Dragon Seed, Machowski also includes a twelve-lesson Bible study at the end of the book to help teens ground their understanding of spiritual warfare on biblical principles.
Youth pastors, leaders, and parents will also want to explore with teens the small group study at the end of the book with its unique take on spiritual warfare that emphasizes the biblical theme of humility. This is a perfect book to read with a group and discuss together the implications of Nick's struggles for their lives.

My Review:

I thought this was an interesting book. The idea of it initially reminded me of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I wasn't sure how my son would take to an allegory book, but he seemed to like it. This would be a good book for pre-teens and teens.

I think the family that's represented is very relatable. Kids from the same family react differently to life situations. Nick is mad at the world and takes it out on his family. His sister, Martha, is putting all of her effort into being a fabulous student. Mary, along with her mom, is trying to keep what's left of her family from falling apart.

A story has been passed down through the family in the form of an allegory. I love how these kinds of stories work to really help the reader understand through the hidden meaning of how important our faith is. Through Nick reading this story, teens are able to understand the spiritual world. In fact, I really appreciate authors who point out the things that happen around us that we're rarely aware of.

Now, I thought the names the author gave the demons were a bit cheesy. I thought for this age group he could've gotten a bit more creative. The names seemed more like you'd find them in an elementary story than a story like this. There were a few spots where I thought the story was trying too hard to be allegorical. Can a story sometimes be too descriptive? Then again, this book is geared to young teens so maybe that's more to their liking.

At the end of the book there's a 12 day prescription to help the reader work through uprooting what the author refers to as the dragon seed. You'll have to read the book to find out what he's referring to. It's a good way for the kids finish the story and really attempt to relate it to their own lives.

I think this would also be a good book for teen youth groups to work through as a small group.

About the Author:

Marty Machowski is the Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over 25 years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children's ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He is the author of a systematic theology for children entitled "The Ology," "Long Story Short," "Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God," "The Gospel Story Sunday School Curriculum" and the companion "Gospel Story Children's Bible." He and his wife, Lois, and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania area.
Find out more about Marty at

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Eating Before & After A Workout

I wanted to share what I've learned about my body since I started going to the gym back in February. When I started going, I wasn't sure what to eat or when to eat it. It's still a huge process for me, and a ton I still don't understand about how food works with our bodies, but here's what's worked for me.

I realized that I needed to eat at least two hours before any workout I do, which is pretty much always Zumba. What I also figured out is, I can't eat just anything 2 hours before. The best thing I've figured out to eat is a small bowl of zucchini pasta with spaghetti sauce. I was eating regular spaghetti, but I've really been digging zoodles these days.

There were days that I grabbed a banana and ate it shortly before class. Bad choice. Even though I was eating something healthy, it made me feel sick to my stomach. If I was hungry before class, but hadn't eaten anything it wasn't going to be good. After class I typically didn't feel well either. In fact, for the rest of the evening I'd feel sick to my stomach. I'm sure a fitness guru would be able to explain why.

The other piece is that I couldn't drink a lot of water while working out. I found that I needed to hydrate mostly before I started my workout and just have sips during it. Again, I'd start to feel sick to my stomach if I drank too much during the class. It's just the craziest thing. I mean, who'd expect that when you want to be hydrated, right?

If I eat something small before class, by the time I get home I'm pretty hungry, and typically have a peanut butter & jelly sandwich with a glass of milk or zoodles! I'm pretty consistent with what I eat. Of course, I have no idea if those are the things I "should" be eating, but it gets me through the time before and after, so I'm good with it.

So, for me, it's about understanding my body. Not that I really understand it all too well. At some point my goal is to learn how to utilize food as fuel before and after my workouts, but for now, just not feeling sick during and after is my goal!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere

The Captain's Daughter
by Jennifer Delamere
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0764219207

As a fan of historical Christian fiction, I was excited to receive this book from Litfuse Publicity to review.


Warm-hearted Victorian romance brings 1880s London to life.

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he's glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can't wait to leave behind.

My Review:

As a first introduction to Jennifer Delamere's writing, I have to say, it was a delightful experience! The Captain's Daughter starts off with the reader getting a quick introduction to three sisters: Cara, Rosalyn, and Julia Bernay. The sisters have had it rough, but they're looking towards the future hopeful.

Rosalyn's situation starts off with promise, but when we meet her, things have clearly gone south. Circumstances have her landing in London, and things get even worse, which doesn't seem possible. God is at work in the midst of it, and provides at just the right time. With the author's writing, you can sense the turmoil Rosalyn's going through, but you also want to help her out by steering her in a different direction. lol

We're introduced to Nate Moran at the start of the story as well. Poor guy, trying to help Rosalyn, ends up not being so helpful. Thankfully soon after they're able to meet properly and under better circumstances. Nate seems to feel a pull towards Rosalyn, but with being burned once before and planning to head back to India, he tries to keep an emotional distance from Rosalyn.

I was really pulled in by the storyline of the opera house. It was fun recognizing names of the people Ms. Delamere wrote about like Gilbert & Sullivan and George Müller. I think because the story covered such a short period of time the reader is easily pulled into the theater world of the story. There were characters I enjoyed like Jessie and Mrs. Hill as well as ones who rubbed me the wrong way like Tony Hayes. It was fun also getting to know Nate's whole family. Makes me hope the author writes more about her, although I'm hoping the next book in the series will either be about Julia or Cara.

As for the summary, I was a little confused as to the "talented musician and singer" part. Rosalyn sings a sweet lullaby to her sister in the prologue, but you don't really get that she's grown up to be that person. It seems like she mostly would sing to herself since she spends years as a companion to a widow. When she sings for the first time for fun, you wouldn't think she was a seasoned musician and singer, but that's not really how she's written in the story. As she continues to work at the theater, you can see her natural talent shine through and her joy being part of it all.

If you're looking for an easy summer read, this should definitely be on your reading list. I finished it in a day! I'm already looking forward to book two in the London Beginnings series!

Delamere pin 2

About the Author:

Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, "An Heiress at Heart," was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, "A Lady Most Lovely," received a starred review from "Publishers Weekly" and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.
Find out more about Jennifer at 

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