Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Freebie



Today's Friday Freebie is A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis, the first book in her DiCarlo Brides series. I've started it, and so far am really enjoying the story.  You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Cami DiCarlo doesn’t agree with her father that her life has been stuck in a rut, so she is not happy when he forces her hand into heading up guest services at his newest five-star hotel. The fact that he unveils the existence of four half-sisters at the same time, and insists that they live together while they launch the new resort, only makes things worse.

When she meets Vince Talmadge, the sweet, sexy landscaper her father would never have approved of, Cami can’t say no. If only she could be sure she is on the right track—and that they will be able to stop the person who is trying to destroy everything she and her sisters are working to build.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday on Thursday!

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 

So, as mentioned yesterday, today we'll be talking about the goals we accomplished in the past week. It's been a super busy week for me and I'm excited to share.

First of all, let's see how I did on my goals for last week.

I got the audition script ready for Through Love's Trials audio book and put that out there. I'm going through auditions now and there are some good ones!

I started the revision and update of On the Edge. So far, it's been a lot easier than I thought. 

I updated the metadata tags on two of my books.  I'm still working on the other nine.

But now for the awesome news!

*drum roll*

I updated my website! Go see it here! I'll wait.

Okay, what did you think? I love the drop down menus for all my books and the header image.  I can't stop looking at it! So awesome.

And the second happy dance item goes to the fact that I am nearly finished with my revisions for Falling Slowly and will be giving those to my critique group and beta readers for a final read-through tomorrow! Woohoo! I've worked so hard on this one and can't wait to share more of Claire and Rafe's story with you.

I also have some exciting news to share with you on Monday. I'll be doing a COVER REVEAL for Falling Slowly.  It is so amazing . . . but that's all I can say until Monday.  I'll also be doing a giveaway to celebrate, so don't miss Monday's post!

So, this next week, my goals are:
  • Review the final copy of Falling Slowly
  • Have a fun cover reveal party for Falling Slowly
  • Get the ARCs ready for Falling Slowly 
  • Keep working on metadata tags for all my books.
  • Keep working on the update for On The Edge.

It's definitely getting to the fun part of having a new book to release! Showing off the baby, so to speak.  But sometimes when you have a new book, the marketing process can be overwhelming which brings me to the other thing I wanted to tell you about.  



There's a new marketing book that just came out by Heather Moore and Tracy Daley.  It's called Ebook Marketing 101: Promotion Sites for Ebooks. 

Heather Moore hit the USA Today Bestsellers list and this book tells of all the things she did to do that and how she marketed her books before and after with different promotion sites. I thought it was really helpful and provided a lot of links to each promotion site, but is separated out into categories for people who are on a marketing budget (Free, $10 or less) and then goes up from there. I like how it also included the requirements for each site submission (price, reviews, etc.) and whether it resulted in sales or not. Of course it will be different for each genre and book, but it's a great starting point for authors. I plan to try some of the sites in there for sure!
If you're interested you can download your Kindle copy herefor $3.99

Here's the back copy:

Congratulations on writing and publishing your book! Now the nitty-gritty marketing starts. With a lot of excellent marketing tools and books available, why did we write this one? To share a journey of how it’s possible to indie publish a book and hit a bestsellers list. In 2014, Heather Moore hit the USA Today list with a self-published box set. A few months later, she put together the Triple Treat Romance Box Set series, and brought in Tracy Daley to market the series. 12 box sets and 36 authors later, and hitting multiple Top 5 & Top 10 lists consistently, we are ready to pass on our research and recommendations. The promotion sites included in this book are organized in an easy to find manner to target your specific marketing needs.

How did you do on your goals this week?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bonus Review AND $25 Giveaway: The Wife Maker

Wife Maker (1)


I know today is usually Writer Goal Wednesday, and I have SO MUCH to tell you about the goals I worked on this week, but I am so excited to be part of this blog tour for The Wife Maker, that I have moved my Writer Goal Wednesday post to tomorrow.  I know you'll want to have the chance to win $25 in the giveaway right? And talk goals tomorrow?  Okay, then.

The Wife Maker is the final book in the Husband Maker series (you can read my review of the first one The Husband Maker here and the second one, The Match Maker here) and I've really been looking forward to it.  Each previous book has left on fairly big cliffhangers so I was interested to see how the author would tie everything up. Last we read, Charlotte had realized she had feelings for Angus, but is she too late?

It opens with Angus getting ready to leave to take a position for his residency halfway across the country. Charlotte does not want him to go, but everything has changed between them. What once was easy and comfortable is now really uncomfortable.  But Charlotte isn't going to let him go so easily.

I have loved Charlotte's character through all of the books, and this one was no different. She's going through some painful growth and she's making a lot of mistakes, but at least her heart is in the right place. She puts a lot of her own wants and feelings aside to make Angus see that they can be good together if he'll only give her another chance.  She humbles herself so much, though, I was starting to feel like she was losing what made her unique and relatable. And the love I had for Angus was dwindling because of how much of a jerk he was, but there are still flashes of the old, fun Charlotte and the heroic sigh-worthy Angus, that kept me turning pages to see if they would get their happily ever after. Some of the scenes were laugh out loud (with her new "job" in the restaurant) and others were scary with her new apartment. (seriously it was a yikes! moment).  The author really draws you into the relationship from both sides to see the healing that is taking place. One of the surprise heroes in this book, though, was Charlotte's twin brother. I really loved him and how he dealt with being caught between his sister and his best friend.

The ending was definitely worth the angst and I thought the author tied up the series really well.  An entertaining read that will leave you with a smile when you've turned the last page.

You can download your Kindle copy for $3.99 by clicking here

And don't forget to scroll all the way down to enter the giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

Charlotte has spent years as the husband maker, sending every guy she dates off to enjoy marital bliss with the next girl he dates. But things have now changed, and she's determined to use her husband-maker abilities one last time--on herself. And she finally knows exactly who she wants.

 Angus has loved Charlotte since they were teenagers, but he's tired of waiting for her to realize how good they could be. She's broken his heart one too many times, and it's time to move on with his life. Maybe a position halfway across the country will be just what he needs to get over her. But when Charlotte won't let him go without a fight, Angus has to decide if he's willing to let her in again or if she's too late.


Wife Maker

add to goodreads

Karey White


Author Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.



25_Amazon_Paypal
 

  $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/22/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Castle Goes To Mars

Last night's Castle was cute and fun. I love those ones.

We start out with a guy in a spacesuit trying to fix something that looks charred.  All of the sudden, his contact inside the "spaceship" can't hear him, his radio signal is breaking up and then he screams.

Fade to someone playing laser tag. At first I thought it was Castle and Beckett, but it is Alexis and her new boyfriend? named David.  Castle is all, hey, is David wearing my laser tag equipment and before Alexis can explain, Martha comes downstairs with Ben who is creepily wearing Castle's pajamas and they aren't buttoned all the way. *brain bleach*

Beckett gets a call for a murder and while on the way there, Castle seems quite perturbed about Ben wearing his pajamas because those were his softest ones and now he's got to burn them. (Definitely). The loft is getting crowded.  Poor Castle and Beckett.

Ryan meets them at the scene and says Castle is going to love this.  They go in and are looking at pictures of Mars, but then they are told by the random guy in charge of the place (named Ed. And after that all I could think of was Lion King's "It's not funny, Ed." Haha. But anyways.) They are looking at a live feed of a Mars simulator set up by billionaire Vigo Jensen. Castle actually signed up for the program for a chance to go to Mars, but was rejected. Beckett is all, where was I? And he says they were fighting. Ha.

They have to wear spacesuits to get near the body because the atmosphere is noxious.  Castle is jumping like there's no gravity and generally having a really great time with it.  The dead guy was stabbed in the throat and it looks gory. They head inside the "habitat" to talk to the other four astronauts. They are all accounted for during the murder because of the trackers they had embedded in their arms. Ew. I didn't like Kim, the head lady, though. She seemed shifty, so I called her to be the murderer.

Esposito finds some video diaries from the victim who thought they weren't alone in the experiment, even though there were strict security measures so no one could enter or leave without going through them.  Ed and Vigo run a security check and see that they've been hacked and trace the IP address to a disgruntled guy who didn't make the Mars team.  They bring him in for questioning but he has an alibi.

Next, the team finds security footage of the disgruntled guy's apartment and see someone that shouldn't be there during the time frame the hack happened.  It's the husband of one of the astronauts. He tells them that his wife was breaking up with him and he thought if he could just get the program shut down, she'd come back to him.  But he didn't kill anyone and he has an alibi.  He does tell them that there may be a way in, though, with a tunnel underneath the simulation.

Castle and Beckett go to check it out.  They're chatting about how she applied to get into a rival company's mission to Mars and Castle is all, when? Where was I? And she gives it back to him with the "we were fighting." Ha!  She gets a boost into one of the tunnels and while Castle is holding her up, she finds the murder weapon.  He sees something moving in the corner, though, and sort of drops her.  They give chase to the "alien" but he gets away.  They do find his gas mask and breathing hose, though, that has DNA on it! That leads them back to the disgruntled guy. Uh oh.

Disgruntled guy (I think his name was Clint) can't be found, but the team finds out the gas mask was purchased by a rival company, Newton Endeavors.  Castle and Beckett head over there and question the owner, (who is building an identical simulation). The owner claims he doesn't know where Granger is, but gives him up when pressed.

Granger admits to stealing plans that the astronaut Mikhail was providing for him on the inside. The tunnel was their drop point.  Espo goes in to question Mikhail and the guy tries to run. In a spacesuit. Haha. Espo takes him down (now that's something you don't see every day--a takedown in spacesuits) and Mikhail freely admits he did it for the money. He is adamant that he didn't kill anyone, though, and has pictures to prove it.  The team look at his pictures and see some details in a window reflection. The rover is holding the murder weapon.  So who was controlling the rover?

They go into the simulator habitat to talk to the computer named Mira. She is adaptable and doesn't want to say what happened, only that the victim was a threat to the mission so he was taken care of. When they try to reboot her to force the information, gas is leaked into the chamber. Castle, Beckett, and Vigo are all choking on the fumes, but Beckett remembers they're not really on Mars and calls for outside help on her cell phone.

They question the other astronauts again and tell them their theory that it was a coordinated effort by the three of them to have the victim (Tom) killed and cover it up  Kim says there's no proof and Castle says all of Mira's memories were sent to a satellite. With that information they confess.  It wasn't true of course, but justice was done and the killers found. So, my guess about Kim was sort of right. She was one of the killers at least.

Back at home Castle is calling a family meeting, but only Martha comes. She tells Beckett and Castle that there might be little Castles running around soon (wouldn't that be awesome!) and she is moving out on her own. Surprise! And FINALLY!

Once Martha is gone, however, Beckett says it's so quiet and Castle agrees. They go out to a loud restaurant to counter the sudden peace.

And now we don't get another Castle for three weeks. Sniff.

Did you watch last night? What did you think?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: Fire and Steel



Fire and Steel, A Generation Rising is the first book in Gerald Lund's new series that follows two families through the years just before the first World War. (I heard it's going to go through WWII as well.)  This book is setting everything up for the series and introduces us to the German family living in Bavaria right before the events leading up to World War I.

We meet the Eckhardt family who have a few daughters and are anxious to have a son to carry on the name and the dairy farm that has been in their family for generations. They finally have the long-awaited son and while the Dad wants to name him Otto von Bismarck (yikes) the mom convinces him that their new son should be named after his father. So they settle on Hans Otto.

Hans is a coddled heir who is given every advantage his family can afford. He is sent to the best school in another town, he owns the first personal bicycle in town, and he's also a genius at pretty much anything he puts his mind to. He takes things apart, like the cuckoo clock and his bike, to see how things work.  His parents see his brilliance and know that he's destined to be more than a dairy farmer. He ends up leaving their village and gets swept away in the events that lead to Word War I and his family is also dealing with what's happening to the life they've always known.

There is so much historical detail (sometimes a teeny bit long-winded, but so interesting!) but there are chapter notes that make things clear in separating the fact from the fiction.  I really enjoyed learning more about this time in history without it feeling like a history book. The ending had a twist and was a bit of a cliffhanger, (can't wait for the next one to see how this turns out!) but since this is the start of a series that is to be expected, I suppose.  I thought the last half was a faster pace than the first half, but it was quick reading overall.  I loved the setting and could really envision the Bavarian town and the Eckhardt family.  I also loved learning more about German culture and how it would have been before the Great War.  I'm excited to see where this series goes!

You can download your copy here for $10.49

Here's the back copy:

The strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames. From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund comes a new blockbuster series chronicling the lives of two families who will face some of the most turbulent times in history as they are tried to their very cores. Will they be tempered and strengthened by the hammering blows, will they bend to the point of breaking, or will they completely shatter?

As volume one begins, life could not be more promising for the Eckhardts. They finally have a son, Hans, the male heir they have longed for and a child of such brilliance and promise that his success seems certain. But as youthful Hans’s ambition takes him away from his family and their small Bavarian village, the winds of unrest in Europe are about to erupt into the greatest war the world has ever known.

Kicking off a story that will cross generations—and continents—the Eckhardts must brace themselves to weather the storms and turmoil that lie ahead. Only through sheer determination and fortitude will they be able to pass through the refiner’s fire and come out stronger and more united than ever before.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Freebie



Today's Friday Freebie is Watched by Cindy Hogan. I haven't read it yet, but it looked good, so I'm passing the deal along!  If you'd like to download your free Kindle copy click here

Here's the back copy:

Change.

She longs for it.

A murder.

She will never be the same.

It takes more than a school trip to Washington, D.C. to change Christy's life. It takes murder.

A witness to the brutal slaying of a senator's aide, Christy finds herself watched not only by the killers and the FBI, but also by two hot guys.

She discovers that if she can't help the FBI, who want to protect her, it will cost her and her new friends their lives.
Here's an editorial review on the book, too!

A fantastic read, full of suspense and excitement! Cindy M. Hogan writes brilliantly and she knows just how to keep you on the edge of your seat. It's virtually impossible to just relax reading this book and when you finish you feel as if you've been right there in the midst of it all!"

-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. Don't Miss It!

Rules of Rome

I'm super excited to tell everyone about A.L. Sowards new book The Rules In Rome. Doesn't it look great? In celebration of the launch, there's a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! Be sure to scroll all the way down and enter.

Here's the back copy:

With Hitler’s forces firmly entrenched in Europe, countless heroes seek to end the madman’s reign. Bastien Ley is one of the best. Working in Italy for the Office of Strategic Services, he’s been tasked with sabotaging German convoys. When his team kills an officer headed for Rome, the man’s similarity to Bastien is undeniable, and seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of the war, Bastien makes a bold decision: he will assume the dead officer’s identity. He becomes Dietrich, an Iron Cross–wearing German officer—an ideal position from which to infiltrate the Nazi ranks in Rome.

To help with his stressful assignment, his superiors send him a reinforcement in the form of the lovely Gracie Begni, an intelligent and eager radio operator with absolutely no undercover experience. With a gulf of resentment between them, these two agents must find a way to portray a couple in love. Soon their reluctant alliance becomes much more as Bastien and Gracie find themselves getting lost in their feelings for each other. But as they engage in battle against the deadliest foe the world has ever known, the pair quickly realizes their love may be doomed. As the Rome Gestapo threatens to destroy all they’ve worked for, will Bastien and Gracie survive their charade?

And here's an excerpt:

Gracie slammed a new clip into the P 38 pistol, pinching a bit of skin in the process. She shook her fingers, trying to fling the pain away. Captain Ley reached for her hand and examined it, then turned it over and studied her fingernails.

“You know, sometimes Gestapo guards like to rip out a prisoner’s fingernails during interrogation.” Ley released her hand. “It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I hear it’s quite painful.”

“I’m sure it is.” Gracie took the pistol in her right hand and aimed for the bull’s-eye on the target strapped to a tree. They’d been at their makeshift firing range for an hour. Ley had insisted she dismantle, reassemble, load, and fire half a dozen rifles, machine pistols, and light machine guns. He scrutinized each move she made as if hoping she’d mess up. She hadn’t hit the center of the target on each shot, but she was close enough that he hadn’t yet criticized her marksmanship.

“The Lord gave you two hands and two eyes, Miss Begni. Use all of them to aim your pistol.”

Gracie gripped the pistol with both hands and fired a few shots at the target.

“Of course,” Ley continued, “the Gestapo has been known to blind its prisoners.” He brushed a finger across her cheek, under her eye. “How would you like to go through the rest of your life blind, Gracie? Or should I start calling you Concetta?”

Gracie smacked his hand away. She didn’t like her new alias, and she didn’t like the confusion his fingers and lips both seemed to stir up whenever they came in contact with her skin. “I know what you’re trying to do, Captain Ley, and it won’t work. I have a healthy fear of the Gestapo—I’d be a fool not to. But despite that fear, I’m going to Italy. If you’d rather stay behind, so be it. You aren’t the only agent in Rome who needs me.”


  Praise for The Rules in Rome

 Readers who hunger for a great espionage thriller with an extra helping of romance will devour The Rules in Rome. A.L. Sowards is at the top of her craft with this terrific WWII suspense novel. It is definitely a book not to be missed! Gregg Luke, author of Bloodborne and Deadly Undertakings

The Rules in Rome has it all. Romance, adventure, and epic themes illustrating the unconquerable human spirit. From the moment Gracie met Bastien, I knew I would love this book. He’s the perfect hero, Gracie is his match. I fell in love with these characters over and over again. Thank you, Sowards, for another fabulous read! Stephanie Fowers, author of  the Twisted Tales Trilogy and Jane and Austen.


add to goodreads
 

Sowards
 

Author A.L. Sowards A.L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she's grateful she didn't live back then. She doesn't think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged. Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from BYU and ended up staying in Utah, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and children or with her laptop. She does not own a typewriter. She does own several pairs of nylons.


50_Amazon_Paypal
 

  $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday & A Cover Reveal!

You guys! I am SO EXCITED to show you the new cover for my novel, Through Love's Trials! I can't stop looking at it, it's so gorgeous!

*drum roll*

Here it is! 


Don't you love it? It fits the story so well. My cover designer is a genius. Seriously.  *stares at it some more*
Here is the back copy for the book:
Attorney Kenneth King can't wait to get away on vacation and leave the courtroom behind.  He only has one last errand to do for his boss―drop off a flash drive to fellow attorney Emma James.  But as soon as the drive is in his hands, his boss is murdered and Kenneth becomes the next target.  With nowhere left to turn, he reaches out to Emma for help―but that only puts them both in danger. 

Emma James just wants to settle into her new job and provide a good life for her little girl.  That is all threatened when she gets a flash drive with information on it that points to an imminent terrorist attack on U.S. soil.  With her choices dwindling and her vulnerabilities made crystal clear, Emma is pushed to the limit by those who want her dead and the rest of the country to suffer.  How far will she be forced to go to save the lives of everyone around her, including those she loves? 

Kenneth and Emma have to find a way to work together to stop the terrorists, but it's the most difficult trial of their lives―and the verdict will be life or death.

and you can get it on Kindle today (with the old cover) for only $2.99, (click here to download) but the price will be going up tomorrow!



photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 


Okay, how did I do on my goals for last week?

  • I finished up my final tweaks and gave my novella to my critique group and got it back with all the notes of things I need to fix.
  • I worked on cover concepts for my new novella and it is in process!

I didn't get to the other two goals, but only because I got the cover for Through Love's Trials a week early and I've been busy showing it off!

But what else did I do this week?
  • I educated myself on metadata and what that means to authors. This week I will be updating all my metatdata tags.  (If you want to learn more about this yourself, I found this article to be very helpful)
  • I updated all the sales outlets with the new cover for Through Love's Trials.  
  • I updated the back cover copy for Through Love's Trials.
  • I got to finally meet the amazing Debra Erfert in person! Highlight of my whole week!

What are my goals for next week?

  • Get the audition script ready for Through Love's Trials audio book.
  • Start the revision and update on On the Edge
  • Update all my metadata tags
  • Continue working on updating my website
  • Work on my revisions for Falling Slowly

What about you? What are your goals for this week? How did you do last week?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Did You SEE Castle Last Night?

We actually rewound the ending of Castle last night and watched it again.  That twist at the end was AWESOME!  But let's start at the beginning.

So, to recap from last week, Jerry Tyson, the 3XK serial killer, is back but trying to make everyone think he's just Michael Boudreau, a schmuck who got plastic surgery to look like a serial killer.  Both Beckett and Castle KNOW it's 3XK but they can't prove it.  Beckett goes to see a girl who says she's scared of Boudreau/Tyson---and gets a needle jabbed in her arm and then she's kidnapped for her trouble.  Castle figures it out just a bit too late and the gang rushes to where Beckett's car is, but she's gone.  There's a message written on her car windshield, though--Help her.  oh man, the look on Castle's face! Poor guy.

Ryan and Castle go over to Boudreau's apartment and he lets them in to look, but she's not there. Castle can't keep his cool, however, and Ryan has to pull him out of there. "You're not going to help her like that."  I love level-headed Ryan.  Dr. Nieman is telling Espo the same story---they don't know where Beckett is. Besides, they were both conveniently at the precinct, so there isn't any way they could be involved.  Yeah.  Sure.

The gang is all standing around the murder board trying to think of anything at all that might give them a lead.  Gates says maybe this guy really is Boudreau and the real 3XK is out there, but Castle knows it's him. It's all about the game.  Then Castle gets a phone call from Beckett begging for him to help her. They trace the call to a payphone (they still have those?) and there's a recorder of Beckett's voice taped to it. 3XK is totally playing them. The tech girl figures out that the tape was just spliced together from interviews Beckett gave while Castle was missing (which made me wonder when they are going to address that, but I digress.)

Castle decides to take matters into his own hands and goes to Boudreau's apartment building by himself. He puts on a hideous beanie and heads inside, busting in and giving Tyson/Boudreau a nasty cut over his eye.  Boudreau pulls out a board with nails on it after Castle knocks him around a bit and Castle pulls out a gun, ordering him to tell Castle where Beckett is.  This guy is good, begging Castle to believe him that he's just Michael Boudreau, giving his parents' names and childhood home address. Castle doesn't believe him for a second, but before Castle can shoot him, the police break in and take Castle into custody.

Boudreau decides to press charges and after Castle is booked, Gates comes to see him and says that she couldn't see what Beckett saw was so great about having Castle on the team. He gives her this look like, thanks a lot. Then she says that Beckett told her that Castle can see the story.  She sees the evidence, Castle sees the story.  Gates says he has to figure out Tyson's story, then they'll find Beckett.

But then the chase is back on.  Castle gets another phone call from Tyson, and when they trace it, it says it came from Castle's loft. They rush over there, but Alexis and his mother are safe. He hustles them out of the country so he can concentrate on finding Beckett.  The team gets a lead on the van that was seen driving away with Beckett in it and it leads them to an industrial area.  They have a visual on a woman that looks like Beckett tied to a chair.  When the team rushes in, Beckett's voice yells out, no, it's a trap! And then the woman in the chair, who they believe is Beckett, is shot.  The look on Castle's face was so ripped apart.  He rushes over to cradle her face, devastated, when he realizes it isn't Beckett.  That it was all staged. Relief and horror are on everyone's face at how Tyson is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to make Castle suffer.

After all that, Castle decides that playing Tyson's game will get them nowhere. He goes to see Tyson's old cellmate and offers him revenge against Tyson if he'll just tell him where Tyson's hideaway is.  Once he has the information, he starts packing a duffel bag with a gun in it to head out there.  The whole time I am shaking my head going, have you learned NOTHING working with the police all this time? Never go and do stuff like this without backup!  Gah!

Castle pulls up and is checking out the place with binoculars and is almost immediately seen by Amy Barrett, the girl who lured Beckett out alone so they could grab her.  Castle doesn't have any problem putting her in the trunk of his car, though, and then he goes into the house by himself.  He sees an image of Beckett tied to a table on the laptop and while he's looking at it, Tyson comes in and tasers him.  My son who was watching with me was all, who lets their guard down when they're in a serial killer's house? Really? Then we were both shaking our heads.  Plot point!

Tyson gets Castle in a chair and is gloating about how easy it was to lure Castle there and how predictable humans are.  But Castle has a surprise for him.  He lured Tyson out in the open and he came with backup!  We go back over the scenes where it looks like Castle is alone, but Ryan and Espo are with him every step of the way.  *fist pump*  Such a great twist! I was totally sucked in. Then Castle gives the signal and Espo shoots Tyson, who doesn't shoot Castle immediately and just stands there for a moment until he falls over dead.  Then they go to get Beckett.

Beckett has been dealing with the slightly unhinged Dr. Nieman who is going to take Kate's face and make it her own.  Gross.  Beckett manages to free one hand, however, and when Dr. Nieman realizes something is wrong on Tyson's end and goes to kill Beckett, she is shocked when Beckett fends her off. She had a terminator-style look in her eye, too, and Dr. Nieman looked pretty scared. I would have been, too!

When Castle, Ryan, and Espo burst into the room, Beckett is standing over Dr. Nieman's dead body in shock, really.  Castle hugs her and they all go back for the slow clap through the precinct.  Beckett is just sort of there, but not really, more happy to be safe than anything I think.  Captain Gates gives the news to them both that the DA will drop the assault charges against Castle if he performs 1000 hours of community service as a consultant to Beckett.  Yay! He's back with the team!

Later, at home in their bed, Beckett tells Castle she keeps seeing Dr. Nieman's face when she closes her eyes.  He is so tender and says he has the same problem sometimes and when he does, he just looks at her. She touches his face and says "thanks for coming to find me" and he says, "Always." Awww.  *sniff*  I love them. I love this show. And that was an amazing episode.

What did you think? Did you watch?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Review: This Heart of Mine




So, I've been reading and reviewing the Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak and I was really looking forward to Phoenix's story in This Heart of Mine.  She's the woman who was sent to prison as a teenager because she was accused of murdering Riley's new girlfriend, when she herself was pregnant with Riley's child and he had recently dumped her.  Seventeen years later she's come back to town to get to know her son she had to give up the moment he was born.

From the little snatches of information we knew about Phoenix and Riley's relationship, it didn't seem like this was going to be a welcome homecoming at all.  But from the moment you meed Phoenix, all is not how it has seemed.  As a mother I really related to how she would be desperate to know her son and regretting all the time she'd missed out on.  And having Riley there, the only man she's ever loved, made it all the harder since she doesn't want him to think she's still carrying a torch for him. Phoenix has been through a lot in prison and trying to readjust to life on the outside, getting to know her son, and facing a town that believes she is a murderer is a tall order for anyone to fill, but Novak does a great job of really letting her readers experience all of it with Phoenix.

Riley is trying to find a balance with keeping his son emotionally safe and letting him get to know his mother who is an ex-con.  He also realizes that maybe some of the things he's believed about Phoenix all this time might not be true.  He's got a lot of pressure from all sides to deal with though.  His parents are sure Phoenix is guilty and not good for anyone to be around, including her son.  The family of the murdered girl wants her run out town.  But her son wants the opportunity to figure things out on his own about what he believes about Phoenix without anyone coloring his judgment. There's such a great emotional entanglement getting unraveled through the whole story, it was riveting.

The only thing that drew me out of this story, was that there more profanity (and more descriptive sexual thoughts/scenes) than I'm used to in a Novak book.  There's always been some, but not a lot, and this one seemed to have a little more than her other ones.  They are able to be skipped over, but a little heads up for my gentle readers.

I'm interested to see if the next book in the series will be the last and how Ms. Novak wraps it all up. Will we see more of all the characters from Whiskey Creek? Will the next story be Kyle's happily-ever-after? Hopefully we find out sooner rather than later.

If you'd like to buy your own Kindle copy of this title, you can get it herefor $4.99

Here's the back copy:

First love. Second chance?
As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next!

Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob's father isn't exactly welcoming.

Riley doesn't trust Phoenix, doesn't want her in Jacob's life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he's about to find both—if they can forgive the mistakes in their past…

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Freebie and Two Nearly Freebies!

Today I have three romances that are free or nearly free, perfect for your Valentine's Day weekend.



The first one is The Trouble With Flying a clean contemporary romance by Rachel Morgan. Free today!

Here's the back copy:

When nineteen-year-old introvert Sarah boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, the last thing she expects is Aiden, the guy sitting next to her who’s never flown anywhere before and refuses to shut up. Hours of random conversation later, they part ways. Sarah can’t stop thinking about Aiden, though, and wondering if she made a terrible mistake letting him go. Should she abandon her safe, predictable life and go in search of him, or would she be chasing a happily ever after that could never exist in real life?

If this one looks good to you, you can download your free Kindle copy here



The second one is Falling for Rayne by Shannon Guymon on sale for .99 cents this weekend only.

Here's the back copy:

Garrett Murphy is used to rejection. As a child, he was rejected by his mother and as a man he was rejected by Jane Kendall. Going without love has turned Garrett into a man who doesn't trust in a woman's heart. So when he meets Rayne Nyman, she's too good to be true. She's beautiful, talented and sweet. She also happens to be a world renowned pianist. He knows there's no way she'd ever want to stay in Fircest with him when she could be living the life she was born to. Rayne is determined to prove him wrong and show him that love can be forever but when she comes under fire and her life is put in danger,she might not have the chance.

If this one looks interesting to you, you can download your Kindle copy here




And the third one is Spy by Night by Jordan McCollum.  I have read this one and really enjoyed it and it's a killer deal to be able to grab it for only .99 cents!

Here's the back copy:

After watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone. But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.

Danny moved to Canada for a great job — and a chance to start over after a bad breakup. Dating definitely isn’t in his plans . . . until beautiful and enigmatic Talia throws a perfect storm right in his flight path. When he catches a glimpse of the real woman behind her fa├žade, he has to get to know her better.

Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they might have a chance at being happy together.

Don't you love it?  Get your Kindle copy here

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bonus Review: Flesh and Bone




I had the opportunity to review Lee Strauss's second book in her Minstrel Series, Flesh and Bone, and man, I can't stop thinking about it.  She has a way of writing that really pulls you into the character's lives.

Eva Baumann was in an accident five years ago that has left her crippled.  All the dreams she once had are shattered and she feels like her sister is living the life she once thought would be hers.  Her parents are overprotective, but Eva rarely ventures out as it is, so that seems okay for the moment. Then, she finally gets up the nerve to sing one of her songs at The Blue Note and her life takes another turn.

Sebastian Weiss is living the dream he thought he wanted---he's a rock star with all the fame that comes along with it.  But his life isn't how it seems on the outside.  All of his relationships are suffering and he hasn't been able to write in months.  When he wanders into The Blue Note, he's completely drawn to Eva and her song.  She can't believe he'd ever be interested in someone like her, and see beyond her disability.  He can't believe he's found someone like her.

It is such a beautiful love story that has a lot of ups and downs.  There were a couple of times, though, where I wondered if this couple would be able to overcome everything that was thrown at them. Sebastian has a pretty big secret that was tough to watch them go through once it was revealed. Ms. Strauss is an expert at drawing on human weakness and emotion and figuring that into the relationship.  It seemed very realistic and truly swept me away.  A story I didn't want to put down.

You can buy your own Kindle copy herefor only .99 cents

Here's the back copy:

ROMANCE. REGRET. MUSIC. HOT EUROPEAN ROCK STAR

what doesn't kill you makes you stronger 

Singer songwriter Eva Baumann has a celebrity crush on Sebastian Weiss. He's perfect to love because there was no way they could ever be a thing. She's a nobody. He's a heartthrob. Hiding an infatuation is easy for her because, since her accident, hiding is what she did best.

Sebastian Weiss's band climbed the charts, seemingly overnight, and he's finally living the dream. All he has to do is write enough songs to produce a second album. The bad news is he hasn't written a new song in over a year.

Sebastian stumbles into the Blue Note Pub in time to hear Eva Baumann perform a hauntingly beautiful song. Could this girl be the answer to defeating his writer's block?

Eva and Sebastian begin a complicated writing relationship that leads to more. But Sebastian has a secret that will devastate them both.


**Includes MP3 links to four original songs produced by Norm Strauss and performed by Canadian music artists Trisha Robins and Bryan Steeksma.

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance/romantic suspense novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each is a complete stand-alone story with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!

The Minstrel Series books can be read in any order, but are best enjoyed in sequence. #1 Sun & Moon (Katja and Micah), #2 Flesh & Bone (Eva and Sebastian), #3 Heart & Soul (Gabriele and Callum)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 


Whew, what a crazy busy week this has been, but I got a lot done.  Let's take a look at how I did on my writing and marketing goals this week.


Goals I accomplished this week:

  • I worked hard and the shiny new Through Love's Trials is now available both in print and in ebook.  (The new cover is coming next week and I can't wait to show it to you!)  I updated the first chapter of it on my blog and my author website, too.
  • I checked on my copyrights to make sure they were up to date.  
  • I got my author newsletter out.  (If you missed it, be sure to sign up in the side bar!)
  • The first phase of my audio book for All Fall Down was approved and it's going on to the next stage.

All right, and here is my post of specific goals that I want to reach in the next seven days.

Goals I have for next week:

  • Give my new novella to my critique group by tomorrow. (Or, in other words STOP TWEAKING it and just give it to them.  Haha. I could edit forever I think.)
  • Update my author website.
  • Start on the update for On the Edge.
  • Work on cover concepts for the new novella.

How did you do on your goals this week?  Make some great progress? Remember we're just doing babysteps, a thing or two each day to bring us closer to our ultimate goals.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Castle Was Amazing Last Night! My Recap & Thoughts

I still can't get over how fantastic last night's Castle was.  Is it next Monday yet? The two-parter thing is killing me! Poor Castle.

We start out the night with a woman running down the alley dressed in her nightgown.  Someone is waiting for her at the end of the alley, though, and it doesn't end well for her.

Cut to the loft where Martha is headed off to a wardrobe fitting and Alexis tells her dad she's joined an escort service and is meeting a client.  Castle is all, whoa, whoa, what? And she laughs and says she was testing him to see if he was listening.  She gives both Castle and Beckett a kiss on the cheek before she leaves.  "When did that start?" Castle asks.  Beckett says just then and how well he did raising her.  Castle tells her well, you weren't here for the beginning and Beckett says, well, I will be next time.

Wow.  Is she thinking about having kids? Can I say how much I love that they're a mostly normal married couple thinking about this?

Beckett is called away to a murder scene of the nightgown lady named Susan Watts.  Lainey seems weirded out by the victim, that she seems familiar somehow.  When she gets her back to the morgue, she notices some eerie similarities to a previous case.  Esposito, Ryan, and Beckett had scrounged up a little information on Susan, but not much.  She'd been in prison, cleaned up her life, got a great job, but then disappeared.  Lainey points out that the women the 3XK killed had similar MOs.  And guess what? Dr. Kelly Nieman, who helped 3XK escape before, is back in town and a major contributor to the place that helps women like Susan who have just been released from prison.  Beckett goes to see her and their toe-to-toe is creepy and full of tension.  She talks about Kate's looks and how she could make her perfect with just a touch up or two.  *shiver* I love Annie Wersching from her 24 days and she hasn't lost an ounce of her mojo.  A great villain for Kate to take on.

Beckett goes to Captain Gates and asks her to let Castle consult since 3XK is involved now.  The team gets a lead when they comb through footage of the hospital entrance and see a woman who looks exactly like Susan Watts exit with Dr. Nieman's swag bag.  Oh, and Jerry Tyson, 3XK himself, is with her.  Dun, dun, dun.

They find out her name is Amy Barrett and Castle is starting to see similarities in the looks of 3XK's "mother," Susan Watts, and Amy Barrett.  Like they're all being made to look like one another so 3XK can act out his rage in their murders.  They up the ante and track down the truck's license plate and go to the apartment where it's registered.  When they breach the door, Jerry Tyson is trying to escape out the window, but they catch him.  He goes to the precinct for questioning by Castle and Beckett, while the rest of the team processes the apartment. And now the cat and mouse game begins.

The man in custody claims his name is Mike Boudreau and he had a little work done to look like 3XK.  They can't prove he is 3XK because all the DNA evidence they had of Tyson from before was stolen.  Castle and Beckett go a few more rounds with him and I was curling my toes with each interview.  3XK is so creepy and you know it's him.  Castle has the idea to track down his mother and see if she has anything of his that might have DNA on it.  They hit the jackpot when the woman who he was left with (his biological mother died) kept a baby tooth of his.

They rush back to the precinct to run the DNA against what they have on the man calling himself Mike Boudreau.  While they're waiting, Beckett gets a phone call from Amy Barrett, who'd been in the truck with 3XK.  She's scared and wants Beckett's help.  Beckett leaves to help her.  After she does, the DNA evidence come back and it's not a match. They have to let 3XK go.

As Dr. Nieman and "Mike Boudreau" are walking to the elevator hand in hand, Castle is starting to piece it all together. He looks over at the murder board where the name of the "homeless guy" that called in the murder is Ed Turner. An anagram for "Returned."  *double shiver* He knows it's all been a set up from the beginning and that Beckett is alone.  He tries to call her, but it goes straight to voice mail. Meanwhile, Beckett answers her phone to the creepy "We'll Meet Again," song from the last time 3XK popped up.  Then she's stabbed with a syringe and taken away in a wheelchair.

Castle watches Dr. Nieman get a phone call while she's in the elevator and 3XK winks at him.  SO CREEPY.  The elevator doors close.

The previews are of Castle trying to frantically track down his wife. It looks SO GOOD. I can't wait for next week.

What did you think? Did you watch?


Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review: The Boardwalk Antiques Shop




I really loved the first book these three ladies did called The Fortune Cafe, and this new one, The Boardwalk Antiques Shop, is just as awesome and has some tie-ins to it that made me smile. (You can read my review of The Fortune Cafe here)

The way the books are written is that there are three separate novella that each tell a story revolving around something on Tangerine Street.  The first book was the cafe, obviously, and the second is an antiques shop.

In The Boardwalk Antiques Shop, the first story is about Jennifer, who has inherited the antiques shop on Tangerine Street, but she wants to sell it.  Maybe. Her real estate agent, Paul Studly, is drawn to her and her dilemma of what she should do with the property now that she's starting to question her decision to let it go.  And it would be a plus for Paul if the very attractive and intriguing Jennifer stuck around.  I really liked the interaction between these two and how Jennifer saw a different perspective not only about her own life, but her aunt's as well.  It was a light, fun read.

The second story is about Abbie and Holden, two very opposite people.  Abbie sees an antique toy soldier set in the antique store window and goes in to buy it, but Holden also sees the set and offers triple the asking price.  Their reactions to each other are surprising and witty and fun and I had to keep reading to find out how this story would end up! Can Holden win her over?  Will Abbie give him a chance when her past experience with men have been so terrible?  One of my favorite stories for sure.

The third story is about Cate who is in Europe when her beloved grandmother passes away.  The only thing she wants is an antique sewing machine that her grandmother promised her, but by the time she gets back in the States, her cousin has sold the sewing machine to an antiques dealer.  Henry bought the sewing machine for a special reason and he doesn't want to give it up, no matter what Cate says. But the more they get to know each other, the more the sparks fly, but who will end up with sewing machine?

I love that there is a central theme of the antique shop and Tangerine Street. I could imagine all the places on this street and the setting was really done well.  The characters were great, the romances clean and fun, and the stories engaging. You know it's good when you wish it had been a full-length novel to see more!

You can get your Kindle copy here for $4.99

Here's the back copy:

Boardwalk Antiques Shop
A Tangerine Street Romance
(a novel in three parts)

Welcome to Tangerine Street

Tangerine Street is a must-see tourist stop with a colorful mix of one-of-a-kind boutiques, unique restaurants, eclectic museums, quaint bookstores, and renowned bed-and-breakfasts. The Boardwalk Antiques Shop is an exclusive shop where every antique has a story, and each story possesses the gift to match true love. The customer who buys an antique also buys its story and soon discovers that its story unites the past with the present, creating an unexpected romantic future…

“Where Every Antique has a Story”

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: Jennifer is newest owner of The Boardwalk Antiques Shop, inherited from her aunt. When Jennifer arrives in Seashell Beach, her first priority is to meet with a realtor to sell the place. She laughs out loud when she discovers the realtor’s name is Mr. Studly. But the more Jennifer gets to know Paul Studly, the more she finds reasons to stay and run the antiques shop herself.

SOLVING FOR X: Abbie is only a little bit obsessed with antiques, okay, a lot. So when Holden, an out-of-town business executive, tries to purchase the tin soldiers that Abbie’s had her eye on, Abbie refuses to back down. The antiques shop owner issues a challenge: whoever comes up with the best story for wanting the soldiers, will become the new owner. Abbie isn’t about to let some fancy executive beat her out, no matter how charming he is.

A STITCH IN TIME: When Cate learns that antiques dealer Henry Lancaster has purchased the sewing machine left to her by her grandmother, Cate is determined to get it back. What she isn’t counting on is that Henry has just as much claim as Cate. And it doesn’t help that Henry is good-looking and apparently single. Getting to know Henry becomes an unexpected surprise, sending her life into a sudden detour.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Freebie




Today's Friday Freebie is an LDS romance by Roseanne Wilkins called Hidden in the Heart. I haven't read this one, but it looks like an interesting premise and something fun to read this weekend.

Here's the back copy:

Cathee is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who has suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder for several years. During a vacation with her four year old daughter to Topeka, Kansas, she meets Garrett, a widowed therapist. He hopes Cathee will let him help her work through her issues, but her past has come back to haunt her.

If this one looks interesting, you can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Something Exciting For Me



Well, I told you yesterday that I'd made a goal to have my very first book, Through Love's Trials, revised and uploaded and I made that goal!

It's such a bittersweet thing to go back and revise the very first book you ever had published.  I loved the story and it brought back so many memories of when I first got the contract, first worked with an editor, first felt like a "real" writer.

But when I read it now, I can see how very much a beginning writer I was.  I've grown and changed and know more about my craft.  I cringed so many times reading the story and was all, what was I thinking? Yikes. But it's a snapshot of where I was in my writing journey, too, and I'm proud of how hard I worked to win that publishing contract for my book.

Doing this revision has been fun, though. I've loved adding details and changing storylines. I think the revision has made it a stronger story and one that I'm proud of.  I'm excited to hear what you all think of it!  It will be getting a new cover soon, as well, so I'll be unveiling it all right here on my blog.

For now, though, the new story will be live in the next few days on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes with the old cover.  I'll be sure to let you know when I see it out there.

Have you ever gone back to something you made a long time ago and redone it? Whether it was a story, or something else?  What feelings did that evoke in you?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 



Well, let's take a peek at my goal progress for this week.


  • I have been working on the novella for Rafe and Claire.  I'm hoping to have it to my critique group next week. No, let me rephrase: MY GOAL is to have it to my critique group next week.

  • I am putting the finishing touches on my revision and update for Through Love's Trials. That should be finished and uploaded TODAY! (Or maybe tomorrow. I'm really trying hard to push through and get this one done. But my goal is today.)

  • I gave my feedback to the narrator for the audio book of All Fall Down and he's been back in the studio making the fixes.  I should get to listen to those tomorrow and I'm really excited about that!  My goal is to have that approved and on to the next stage this week.

  • I joined a promo partners group to help boost visibility of my books.  It's still in the beginning stages, but I'll let you know how that goes.  My goal is to be all in and help it work.

So, some great progress I think!  At first, I was thinking that I didn't make very much progress this week, but once I see it in black and white, I feel like patting myself on the back. I did awesome this week!  Babysteps, right?

How did you do on your goals this week?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Today You Get Both Castle & Hawaii Five-O Recap & Thoughts!

My two favorite shows were pretty awesome this week and since I haven't been all that impressed with this season of Hawaii Five-O (and haven't recapped it for months) I was excited to have an episode that I liked! Woot! So to celebrate, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.

Hawaii Five-O


Joe White is back.  Which means nothing good for Steve.  In fact, this is what I wish Steve would do every time Joe opens his mouth:



The episode starts with Joe in a plane, flying toward Hawaii. They have a sick guy in the back with a quarantine tent around him. He doesn't look good.  They unload everyone off the plane while Joe greets Steve.  It's all cordial, they catch up on Joe doing private security and how the sick guy has a new strain of bird flu.  They get in the car and it's still just, how's Mary, how's the team, when Joe finally says hey, spit out what's on your mind. Steve asks about Wo Fat and his mom and when Joe finally gives him the answer he needed months ago, Steve tells him Wo Fat already told him. Right before Steve killed him. Before they can go too much further, though, a wrecking ball starts wrecking through their entourage. It was actually pretty awesome to see the wrecking ball mowing over the cars. They would have had to time that pretty much down to the second because how lame would that be to have the wrecking ball miss every car. I can see it all now, the wrecking ball guy is all scratching his head, I don't know what happened boss. But I digress.

It hits two cars like a pinball machine hits it's mark.  Steve's vehicle is overturned and both him and Joe are pinned in when the bad guy team starts shooting. Joe is miffed the attackers take the bird flu infected guy, but Steve at least gets a few shots off and kills one of the bad guys. Chin starts tracking the van, but by the time Steve finds it, (on a motorcycle, it looked awesome by the way) they've switched vehicles and bird flu guy is gone. And the team is thinking since it was such a coordinated attack they're terrorists who will probably weaponize the virus that guy's got. Dun, dun, dun.  (Cute scene of Danny coming to the hospital all worried about Steve. Love their friendship!)

There's not very many people capable of doing such a thing on the island or have the equipment, so they start looking at recent purchases and people. We get a scene of the bad guy with the sick guy and then with a beekeeper guy. Did you guys get that? Well, none of that can be good.  Later on there's this grisly scene where the bad guy tests out the infected bees on an unsuspecting guy by locking him in the room with the bees who come through the vents and sting him while also infecting him.  He dies a horrible death. *shiver*

The team also finds a virologist who hasn't been to work in three days and bought a bunch of equipment that you would need to weaponize a virus. They go to his house for a shootout, and find his wife taped up in a closet.  Bad news: the bad guys took the virologist.  Some of the bad guy's team have been killed in the initial shootout and this one and so they each get identified one by one. That's when the common link becomes clear---a CIA handler who profited off the wars and who was on a think tank for different ways to deliver biological weapons. That's our head bad guy. The team figures out the bee angle from the charred burlap found in one of the dead bad guy team's lungs (they use that in the bee smoker I guess) and then they figure out which barn the bad guys are in and storm it. The whole time the team was creeping up on it I was all, can't they see an entire team with guns coming toward them? Our guys didn't seem to be doing a good job of hiding, but whatever.

Another shootout ensues and one bad guy escapes in a van with some of the infected bees.  Joe White grabs on and struggles for control of the van in a long 'fight for the steering wheel' scene.  Once Joe gets control, the bees are coming out of their containers so he drives the van into the water.  Steve was worried, but Joe is fine. Headed for solitary for three weeks until they see if he got infected with anything. Steve comes to visit and they talk about his mom and Joe says he'll give him answers (yeah right).  I have no idea why Steve would even ask this guy about his mother again. They've had this same convo pretty much every time Joe shows up. Haven't heard from your mother. She's probably dead or on the run. I'll let you know if I hear anything else. But then he lies to Steve again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. This time, though, Steve is spying on Joe. Let's hope it does the poor guy some good.

All in all, a good episode.  Great action, a nice twisty plot intermixed with great scenery.  The Hawaii Five-O that I love!

Castle


This week's episode was so creepy and twisty! Like Alfred Hitchcock mysteries! And yes, they say that a lot in this episode.

We start out in the woods with Castle wandering around until he gets conked in the head.  Then we revert to 12 hours later. I never understood why shows do that. Why not start with the exciting stuff and keep going? That old bait and switch move.  But I will forgive Castle because the writing has been stellar this season.

Back to the loft where Kate tells Rick that Gates is on a vacation and she can work from home with him today! Yay! But he gets a call from a client and heads to his office. It's his old classmate who wants Rick to look into whether her husband is cheating on her or not. Rick says no, but when she cries and begs him to help her, he says he will. He's such a softie!  He easily gets the evidence of the cheating and goes to give the wife the pictures when he hears a scream in the house.  Running around the back he sees her bloody body being dragged through her house. By the time he gets back to the front, her body has been loaded in a car and they're driving off. Rick follows and that's when he gets conked in the head. After five years or so with the police, you would think he would know better than to follow a killer unarmed with no backup into a wooded place. But whatevs.  He comes to and starts walking until his phone gets service again.  Next thing we know he's giving a statement to the detective with jurisdiction over the case, (not Beckett!) but she doesn't seem to really believe him.  They go to the house to confront the cheating husband, and he lets them poke around the place for a bit until he realizes they think he killed his wife, then he orders them out.

Castle is feeling horribly responsible and Kate promises him she'll look into it.  Castle however, goes to stalk the cheating husband and gets caught. That guy is creepy all on his own. He tells Castle he'll never prove anything, which sort of makes him sound guilty. But the harassment charge doesn't do anything good for the credibility of Castle, the only witness.  He has a hard time separating himself from this case and understandably so.

Kate interviews the mistress and the guys are looking into financials while Castle has been spying on the husband. It's fun to see them sort of working together again. (The PI angle has been a breath of fresh air for the team, though, I must say.) Everybody on the suspect list seems to have an alibi, but they do find out the husband had a first wife who died under mysterious circumstances. That can't be good.

There is a cute little B storyline about Ryan setting up a profile for Espo on a dating website.  Espo's reaction was hilarious.  I really want him to see that subway cop again, though.  That could be interesting since there was a spark there before and they worked well together. I guess we'll see.

Castle starts to believe that maybe Eva isn't dead, but that she put together this whole thing to make her husband look guilty and lose everything, but then they find Eva's body. Sad. Blunt force trauma. Lainey finds Cole's DNA under Eva's fingernails so the team goes to arrest him, but he's dead.  Looks like a suicide. (And they did a close-up on the face. I hate that. *shiver*)  But Castle thinks that's too easy and stays up all night to put together this elaborate timeline.  (Before he leaves, though, he asks a mostly sleeping Kate if she's still awake because something is bothering him and she's all, yeah, something's bothering me, too, with that sardonic look on her face. So funny.) Anyway, Castle proves circumstantially that Cole couldn't have killed his wife. But then who did?

They investigate a little further on the men the husband worked with and find out Cole was having an affair with the wife of one of his partners.  That guy admits to staging the murder with Eva, but that once he put her up in a company apartment, he doesn't know what happened after that. And then the evidence comes up that the corporate attorney was the first dead wife's sorority sister from years ago and was avenging her death. I didn't see that one coming! Really great ending.

Loved the creepiness and the twisty plot points to this one. I didn't think I'd like the PI angle going on very long, but it's really been done well and the team still feels together but different. Provides a great way to have Caskett working together, but in a different capacity. So far so great!


Next week the 3XK killer returns. You know that's going to be good. Did you watch?