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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Book Review

Title: As a Shield (a Davis Morgan Mystery)
Authors: Danny and Wanda Pelfrey
Publisher: CrossLink, 2016
Genre: Christian mystery

First Lines:

There were still a few minutes of daylight left when the former preacher turned bookseller parked his new Jeep in the Adairsville Police Department lot. Davis Morgan had been chaplain for only a couple of weeks. One neat perk for Davis was that Chief Hanson allowed him, under normal circumstances, to accompany the officers when they patrolled the little North Georgia town.
My Review:

I didn't realize until today that this is the second book in the series (the first is Out of the Depths). No doubt it would have been very helpful to read the first before reading this one. I needed more back story about Davis's relationships with his daughter's roommate Deirdre and his friend Charley. Perhaps Charley's reaction to Davis's news at the end of As a Shield would not have come totally out of left field had I known earlier facts.

At any rate, while this is a completely clean mystery written by Christian authors, it could have benefited from better substantive editing. While the writers acknowledge editing assistance in their concluding thanks, this reviewer wonders how much attention their book received. Dialogue is stilted and unnatural, certain words are overly repeated ("rapidly," for example), the bad guys are cartoonish cliches (with the possible exception of the mastermind), and so much detail is given to street names and directions that at times the reader wonders if this is a guidebook.

Characterization is also an issue as characters seem too good or too bad to be true. While there is some growth in Davis in terms of his readiness for courtship after being a widower, he comes across as considerably older than he is. This makes his romance with Deirdre - a woman young enough to be his daughter - almost creepy (to me anyway). When Barbara and her son Ted come on the scene, the reader expects the younger man to be a legitimate contender for Deirdre's affections and for Barbara to catch Davis's eye. But no.

The story itself had potential, springing as it did from the real-life discovery of bones in a cave used during the Civil War. It just needed several more rewrites and tweaks before being shared with the world.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Authors' website:

Goodreads Description:

Note: I received this book free through the Bookcrash review program in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, 11 August 2017


Want to increase positivity, joy and happiness in your own life? Make a list of things you are thankful for to develop an attitude of gratitude! Here's what I'm thankful for this week:

1. Safe travel. I was recently away with my mom and aunt, checking off an item on my bucket list with a trip to Gros Morne National Park and L'Anse aux Meadows (Viking settlement), Newfoundland. We even crossed over to Labrador and spent about 20 hours there. Now I am safely back home again!

2. Relatively swift recovery from illness. Toward the end of my time away I picked up a cold my aunt acquired from another traveler. I did have to call in sick Tuesday and spent most of the day sleeping, but I am feeling much better now.

3. God's creation as evidenced all around me in this magnificent country. We traveled via train, bus and ferry and there was much beauty to drink in. In Newfoundland we saw whales (Humpback, Fin, Minke, Orca), dolphins, caribou and moose, and there were still icebergs off of Red Bay, Labrador.

Unfortunately, not my photo. The only decent shot I got was of an Orca fin. 

4. Getting back on the healthy eating wagon. I did gain a bit of weight during my holiday, but I am already making better choices and eating less. I'm sure it won't be long before I'm on track.

5. Lots of extra hours at work this week. I only work part-time, so I don't get paid if I'm not there. My husband got his regular paycheque this week, but I got nothing. The additional hours will help make up for lost income. With two young people resuming higher education next month and our bathroom reno still to complete (still have to order those shower doors!), the finances are much needed.
#FridayFive was started by Lauren at Milly's Guide. What are you thankful for? Leave your reply in the comments or in your own blog post.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Right Now

Drinking: I've had my first cup of coffee for the day and anticipate drinking water and herbal tea for the rest. Maybe one more cup of coffee if needed, as I am working longer hours at my place of employment this week.

Eating: I've had hot cereal with hemp seeds, cinnamon and maple syrup, and will shortly eat a piece of sourdough rye toast to complete my breakfast. Lunch is black-eyed peas with sweet potatoes, cauliflower and rice, plus mixed berries and a Peek Frean cookie for dessert. Dinner to be determined. I gained 4-5 pounds on my recent holiday and am trying to get back into the swing of healthy eating.

Reading: I completed four books in the last couple of weeks: As a Shield, A Penny for Your Thoughts, Life Without Limits, and Don't Give Up, Don't Give In. Currently reading Miracles from Heaven. See "What's On My Nook" for authors.

Watching: Nothing. I'm too busy working this week.

Listening: My local Christian radio station as I drive to and from work.

Creating: I'm supposed to be meeting with a critique partner Monday, so I have to get cracking on my submission.

Buying: After being away, I need to replenish the groceries. Son especially complains that "there's nothing to eat."

Anticipating: Losing the weight I gained on my journey! (And then some!)

What have y'all been up to in the last couple of weeks?

Saturday, 5 August 2017

#FridayFive, Back to Basics, Part 2

Want to increase positivity and happiness in your life? Make a list of things you are thankful for to develop an attitude of gratitude! Here are some more basics I'm thankful for, picking up from two weeks ago and last week:

1. Love.  God's, parental, spousal, family's, friends'. Both from them and for them.

2. Family. Sometimes living in community is a challenge, but it's also a necessity. We need one another!

3. Friends. Friendship and fellowship are essential. We do life best when we do it with others.

4. Furry friends. The unconditional love of a pet is a gift and benefits emotional health. If you have a dog, you also get exercise when playing with or walking it, and lots of laughter.

5. The five senses. Sight, sound, smell, touch and taste contribute so much to our lives. We don't know how much until we lose one of them. I'm thankful that I've only lost one of these on occasion, and just temporarily - when I've had a cold and couldn't smell or taste anything good, for example.
#FridayFive was started by Lauren at Milly's Guide. What are you thankful for? Leave your reply in the comments or in your own blog post.