Murder In Disguise A Preston Barclay Myster by Donn Taylor~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ November 16th, 2017

Murder-in-Disguise-600

 

About The Book:

Official verdict: Suicide.

But why would that vigorous department chairman kill himself? To avoid disgrace? Those rumored ventures on the dark side? Some other secret life? Visiting professor Preston Barclay wonders. But his questions bring no answers, only anonymous threats. He has enough problems already, proving himself on a strange campus while radical faculty do all they can to undermine him. Worse yet, that sexy siren assigned as his assistant complicates his courtship of the beautiful Mara Thorn.

While Press keeps asking questions, Mara’s research reveals a cancer of criminal activity that permeates the community and even the campus itself. The more Press questions, the more dangerous the threats against him become, and the more determined he grows to clear his friend’s name.

But can Press and Mara’s stumbling efforts prevail against the entrenched forces of the police, the campus radicals, and an unseen but powerful criminal organization that increasingly puts their lives in danger…?

 

About the Author:

DTaylor-384

With a PhD in English literature (Renaissance), Donn Taylor taught literature for 18 years at two liberal arts colleges. Now retired, he has published suspense novels, mysteries, and poetry. His historical novel “Lightning on a Quiet Night” was a finalist for the 2015 Selah Awards. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. In a prior incarnation, he led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. He now lives in the woods near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

To learn more about the author visit his site. 

** His bio is fascinating by the way!

My thoughts:

This is a new author to me and I was glad to discover that the books stand alone even though they’re in a series.

I always enjoy finding a new author and this was no exception.

I appreciated the music references and trying to figure out “who dun it”.

The story is well written and a great read especially if you’re looking for a something different.

To see what other reviewers thought, check out this Litfuse Page. 

 

 

Disclaimer~I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own. 

Lizzie

DIY Ranch Dressing Mix

by adustyframe ~ November 10th, 2017

I like ranch dressing quite a bit. I’m working on having healthier options around here–a never ending quest!

I laughed the other day when I saw an ad for ranch kegs–huge barrels of ranch. Ok, I don’t love it THAT much.

My sister has a recipe for the mix that I follow loosely but I can’t find it right now. Since I follow it loosely, I’ll just give you the basic info and tell you what I do.

 

2 Tablespoons parsley

2 Tablespoons dill

2 Tablespoons minced dried onion

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp. black pepper

 

Stir this all together and add a tablespoon at a time  to a mixture of 1 c. mayonnaise and 1 c. sour cream. I use it as a dip just like this.

If you want to thin it for dressing, try milk or cream or buttermilk until it’s the consistency you  like.

 

When I want ranch, I don’t premake this mix. I just dump these ingredients into the sour cream and mayo and taste. I add more salt or garlic, etc until it tastes exactly like I want it to taste.

Either pre-mixing the mix or dumping these herbs and spices into the base ingredients works! They’re both a quick and easy way to make ranch without undesirable ingredients.

 

How much do you love ranch?

If you’re interested in learning where ranch dressing originated, check this out. 

Lizzie

Trials

by adustyframe ~ November 8th, 2017

In our weekly Bible study at church, we’ve been studying Elijah.

He had quite the trials to deal with because of the sin of Ahab and Jezebel. One week, we learned about the miracle on Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18. God worked in miraculous ways showing Himself mighty.

Elijah’s beliefs were validated and proven correct in a huge way.

And then right after that in 1 Kings 19, Jezebel put out a hit on him! He was as good as a dead man.

What struck me is that even though God had worked mightily in Elijah’s life and worked a miracle, the trials in Elijah’s life weren’t over.

Elijah was faithful. Elijah obeyed. Elijah saw God move. Elijah was still hunted.

I’m not even quite sure what I’m trying to share here (ha!) other than trials do not mean that God is not at work.

Enduring trials doesn’t mean God doesn’t see.

Enduring trials doesn’t  mean that you are disobedient.

Enduring trials don’t always get wrapped up neatly and tied with a pretty bow.

 

Lizzie

He Restores My Soul

by adustyframe ~ November 1st, 2017

I heard this for the first time today at Bible study. Beautiful.

YouTube Preview Image Lizzie

It’s Just Like A Jail Shirt

by adustyframe ~ October 27th, 2017

For some reason our little guy loves playing jail and talking about jail.
I have no idea where it came from. Maybe a cartoon? Or kids at church play “Put the bad guy in jail”.

Every time I try to redirect and say”We don’t play jail.” He wants reasons. Spelled out, well explained reasons.

I’ve been pulling the “Because I said so” card for now. Ha!

James and I think it’s so ironic that a kid in OUR house is obsessed with jail. We certainly would like to never hear or think of that again.
Today, Nathan and I were sorting out the winter clothes and I had him try on a striped shirt. He yelled excitedly, “This is just like a JAIL shirt.”

Really, child?

Lizzie

What A Difference

by adustyframe ~ October 23rd, 2017

Several times over the past year, I’ve thought about how different our lives are now than what they used to be.

I don’t know if I can even list all the ways it’s different but one I notice often is when we take a road trip.

My siblings live at a distance from us–a short drive but longer than hopping in the car and going to the next town.

Many times over the years Lee was gone, that trip was daunting to me.

Often, we didn’t have a car that was reliable and had to borrow a car. If you think I love asking people to borrow their vehicle, you don’t know me. UGGGG. I hated needing to ask for so many things and a car is a big ask!

I also had zero energy. I described it once as feeling constantly as if I was coming down with the flu. That drug out exhausted “can’t keep my eyes open” everything hurts type of feeling.

Usually, I couldn’t drive the entire trip without stopping to close my eyes. It’s laughable really but at the time it was all I could do.

I remember once stopping at a wayside area and James bounced around the car waiting for me to get myself together enough to drive the rest of the way home.

I haven’t had to stop to rest my eyes for ages. Last night, I was on the way home from dropping James off to do some work with my brother in law. I was tired and it was dark and rainy. In the past, I don’t think I could have made it home under those condition.

Last night, Nathan fell asleep in the back and I turned on Christian radio and drove home. Just like a normal person! (lol!)

I’m thankful that things are different and that I can make a normal little road trip without being exhausted and overwhelmed.
Thank you, God!

Lizzie

Things You Can DIY

by adustyframe ~ October 17th, 2017

DIY is not a new idea of course!

I was thinking of some things my sister and I make at home that are quick and easy and thought I’d share them once in awhile.

Sometimes, I think some DIY things aren’t really worth my time….tortillas. It was fun to make them and say I made them but it’s not something I would keep doing.

Once in awhile, a DIY thing is time consuming but I enjoy doing it anyway and so I don’t mind…..knitting.

Today’s DIY is dryer balls. Dryer balls are used to fluff up clothing in the dryer. They bounce around between items to separate them and help them to dry quicker. They can also soften the clothes. This is a bonus since we do not use fabric softener.

I have purchased wool dryer balls and have seen tutorials but never took the time to make them. I found some 100% wool yarn  at the outlet thrift store. I purchase yarn at the thrift store, but the outlet thrift store is a bit dirtier so I didn’t want to use it for knitting.

In the past, I didn’t want to waste good wool making dryer balls so this was a win-win!

This DIY is super easy. All you have to do is roll the yarn into a ball like you would do if you wanted to use it for a project.

Place each ball into a leg of an old pair of pantyhose and tie knots between each ball.

I threw them into the washer and dryer for every load I washed for a week to felt them. Felting is what happens to wool when it’s washed in hot water and friction is applied. (Think your favorite sweater that shrunk).

After washing and drying them for a week, I felt they were sufficiently felted. I cut them out of the old nylons and tossed them in the dryer.

I chose to felt them a little at a time over the week by tossing in our laundry loads because I didn’t want to waste that much water to felt them. If I were giving them as a gift, I would have washed them alone.

I got two balls out of each skein of yarn. This will vary of course depending on how much yarn is in the skein and how large you make the balls. They did shrink but it didn’t seem to be a huge amount.

I store them in the dryer. That’s it–easy peasy.

 

Lizzie

Faithful

by adustyframe ~ October 6th, 2017

The other day, Lee called me and said, “You know I’ve been thinking that God’s taken care of us. He gave me a good job. He gave us a nice house. A good car. Good kids.”

 

I thought about this song immediately–YouTube Preview Image

 

I watched it before I sent it to Lee and it made me cry. It’s so true. I think this is the line that gets me

Looking Back His Love And Mercy I See. In the middle, oh man! It didn’t feel like the end would ever arrive. It didn’t look like things were working out for good. It was just sad and overwhelming and ugly. But looking back? Wow! What a faithful God.

 

 

In my moments of Fear
Though Every Pain Every Tear
There’s A God Who’s Been Faithful To Me
When My Strength Was All Gone
When My Heart Had No Song
Still In Love He’s Proved Faithful To Me
Every Word He’s Promised Is True
What I Thought Was Impossible
I’ve Seen My God Do
He’s Been Faithful
Faithful To Me

He’s been faithful, faithful to me
Looking Back His Love And Mercy I See
Though In My Heart I Have Questioned
And Failed To Believe
He’s Been Faithful, Faithful To Me

When My Heart Looked Away
The Many Times I Could Not Pray
Still My God Was Faithful To Me
The Days Are Spent So Selfishly
Reaching Out For What Pleased Me
Even Then God Was Faithful To Me
Every Time I Come Back To Him
He Is Waiting with Open Arms
And I See Once Again

He’s Been Faithful
Faithful To Me
Looking Back His Love And Mercy I See
Though In My Heart I Have Questioned
Even Failed To Believe
Yet He’s Been Faithful, Faithful

oh
In my heart I have questioned,
even failed to believe
yet he’s been faithful, faithful
In my heart I have questioned, Ive even failed to believe

Yet you’ve been faithful, faithful to me.

Lizzie

Liar’s Winter~By Cindy K Sproles~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ September 29th, 2017

liars

 

About the book:

Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark–and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it “the mark of the devil,” and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.
Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there’s anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?
Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar’s Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice.

About the Author:

cindy

Cindy Sproles is an author and speaker. She has cofounded ChristianDevotions.us and serves as managing editor for SonRise Books and Straight Street Books, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy teaches at Christian Writers Conferences and ladies retreats and ladies conferences across the country. Her devotions are heartfelt and honest. Edgy and inviting. Cindy serves as the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us, a writing mentor, and life-coach. Author of four non-fiction books, Cindy’s Fiction debut novel, Mercy’s Rain(Kregel Publishing), released January 2015. She is a contributing author to CBN.com and InspireaFire.com and serves as the director of Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp Conference. Visit her at www.cindysproles.com.

 

My Thoughts:

My dad’s mom grew up in a very tiny Appalachian community so I was interested in this book as soon as I saw it on the review list.

I really enjoyed reading it. I hadn’t read anything by this author before and I’m always a little unsure how I will like a new author but it was fine!

Cindy does a great job describing the Appalachians and some of their beliefs and superstitions. The characters were well thought out and definitely felt real. I found myself with my heart beating during some of the plot twists. I was completely sucked into the story and enjoyed it a lot.

If you’d like to learn a little about the Appalachians or try out a new author, check out Liar’s Winter. You can read an excerpt here. 

 


Disclaimer~I received a copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own. 

Lizzie

Psalm 91:1

by adustyframe ~ September 25th, 2017

He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I woke up thinking about this verse this morning. What a wonderful place to be!

Lizzie