Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dystopian Fans Won't Want To Miss This!

Creative and captivating, Solstice, a YA dystopian by USA Today Bestselling author Jane Redd, is on sale for only .99 cents! The second book in the series, Lake Town, is up for preorder and will be released in March 2017, so this is the perfect opportunity to read the first one and be ready for the second. 

Here's the back copy:

There are four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker, 2. Join a religious cult, 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature, 4. Fall in love.
Jezebel James does all four.

Jez is on the fast-track to becoming a brilliant scientist, with one goal--save her city from total extinction. But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning, the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.

You can download your Kindle copy here

And if you are anxious to see what happens to Jezebel, you can preorder Lake Town here

Here's is Lake Town's back copy: (I can't wait!)

Jezebel James is on the run after her true abilities are discovered by the Legislature, and the only one who can protect her is Sol. In order to survive, Sol sends her into an underground hideout where she quickly discovers all that she thought was true in her dying world is false. Jez reunites with Rueben and his band of insurgents, and together they escape to Lake Town, only to find that the entire island is preparing to invade the City.

But Sol has been left behind and forced to join the ranks of the Faction, who are working against the Legislature from within. As Jez works with the insurgents and their plan to destroy the City, she learns that attacking the City might save thousands of lives, but it will destroy Sol, the man she knows she can’t live without.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review: A Season In London

I was really excited to see A Season in London, another Timeless Romance Anthology of Regency-era novels that are a little longer than the normal anthologies. Each one was about 100 pages and each author really packed a story into every paragraph!

The first one. Poor Relations, is by Elizabeth Johns. This was a new author to me and I really enjoyed the fact that the author combined romance with a bit of a mystery as the main characters are trying to find out what really happened to a young man named Christopher Standrich. I love a twisty/turny mystery and this one fit the short bill for me. I thought that Emma was a sweet and naive girl who didn't expect much out of life, but when she meets Colonel Shelton, her life is changed for the better. I thought Colonel Shelton was well-drawn and believable and I wanted him to get his happy ending. Definitely a page-turner to see how it all turned out!

The second one was Edward and Emily by Heather Moore. I love this author's writing style and have been a fan of hers for a very long time. This story was expertly drawn as we meet Edward Blackwood who has suddenly become the heir and he needs to marry. There's a sweet girl next door named Emily whom he's known his whole life, but overlooked her. I loved that this romance was based on a solid friendship and truly showed how the characters grew and changed and were able to overcome a lot of setbacks. Just a sweet, sigh-worthy romance.

The third story was A Sporting Season, by Rebecca Connolly, another new author for me. It was a romantic comedy since Daphne Hutchins has decided that she'll just be so silly no eligible man will want her. In her mind, that will protect her from heartache. She gets into quite a few funny situations, but meets James Woodbridge who is drawn to her despite her antics. This one was a breath of fresh air and brought a smile to my face.

This anthology was another hard-to-put-down afternoon read, the perfect length for anyone with limited reading time, or someone who just needs a good book to curl up with by the fire.

You can get your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Three brand new Regency Romance novellas by Elizabeth Johns, Heather B. Moore, and Rebecca Connolly:

POOR RELATIONS by Elizabeth Johns
As a ‘poor relation,’ Emma Standrich has already pre-empted her dismal Season by applying for a governess post. Her aunt and cousin are kind enough to sponsor her, but in truth, Emma is just waiting for it to all be over. Emma’s grief over the death of her brother while in military service casts a pallor on everything else in her life. When Colonel Shelton, the man who was her brother’s superior, asks her to dance at her first ball, Emma is more surprised than anyone. But she has questions for him, and soon she’s caught up in an intrigue she wasn’t expecting—both of the heart and the mind.

EDWARD & EMILY by Heather B. Moore
As a second son, Edward Blackwood never anticipated becoming heir to his family estate, or the need to find a wife and secure that inheritance. But with the death of his older brother, Edward is thrust into a life he never wanted. When his mother encourages him to be kind to his long-time neighbor Emily Foster, a girl he’d hardly paid attention to while growing up, Edward realizes that returning home might not be such a set-back after all.

A SPORTING SEASON by Rebecca Connolly
Daphne Hutchins is no simpering female who aims for a husband with a fortune. In fact, she’d be more than happy to live her life free of the heartache that men seem to bring. So when she sets out to play the fool in front of the ton during her first Season in order to send all eligible men running, she’s quite unprepared for James Woodbridge. Bored, but with a sense of family duty, James arrives for the Season, anticipating going through the expected motions befitting any gentleman. What he isn’t prepared for is Daphne Hutchins and the way she completely upends his heart.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Decked Out For Dragonwatch Contest and Trailer!

Are you ready for Brandon Mull's new novel, Dragonwatch? We are so excited at our house! A new trailer came out today (which I posted below) and there's a Dragonwatch contest!

All you have to do is pay tribute to your favorite dragons and send a photo on social media. Brandon Mull may pick YOU as the fan most “Decked Out for Dragonwatch”!

Here's more information:

If you love dragons, gather together your best dragon gear and unleash your imagination by creating a space in your home, classroom, library, or local bookstore that pays tribute to all your favorite dragons from Fablehaven and anywhere else in the universe.

Take a picture of your “Decked Out for Dragonwatch” space and send it to us via social media. Brandon Mull will choose the best, most creative spaces from submitted entries, and we’ll send those lucky fans and autographed copy of Dragonwatch plus a copy of The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven and Fablehaven Book of Imagination.

See the website for the five ways to enter and the official rules: http://brandonmull.com/decked/


And here's the new Dragonwatch trailer. Doesn't it look great? I can't wait!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Regency Romance Boxed Set on Sale!

I noticed that GG Vandagriff is offering her Grenville Chronicles trilogy, THREE full-length regency romance novels, for only .99 cents and I was so excited to pass the deal on to you! I haven't read all of them and I'm excited to curl up by the fire this weekend and enjoy them.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Lord Grenville’s Choice

Alexander Lambeth, 5th Earl of Grenville, only had eyes for the fair Lady Elizabeth during his first London Season. Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s father brokered her marriage to another. Fancying himself broken-hearted, Alex consented to a loveless union with Lady Felicity, daughter of wealthy Lord Morecombe.

Five years into his marriage, his first love is widowed, and Alex’s wife seems to believe he will waste no time making Lady Elizabeth his mistress. As Felicity chooses to live apart from him, a surprisingly difficult choice is thrust upon Alex. Whom does he truly desire—the ethereal Elizabeth or the maddening Felicity? 

Lord John’s Dilemma

When Lord John returns from the Battle of Waterloo nursing a serious wound and a case of melancholia, he is hopeful of beginning a happier phase in his life. Living with a wife and family,in his native Lincolnshire would soothe his soul. His sights are set on the lovely Miss Lindsay, his country neighbor’s daughter. But to his mystification, he keeps getting distracted by her family’s governess—a little dab of a thing who is not at all what she seems. What is her secret?
His determination to solve the mystery of Miss Haverley begins to seriously undermine his interest in Miss Lindsay, who is confident he is about to offer for her. In the face of this, how can he pursue his interest in the family governess? Not only must he solve this dilemma, but he must discover what the petite woman is hiding.

When Miss Haverley begs him to resist satisfying his curiosity because such a course could bring her harm, his dilemma doubles. His enchantment turns to worry. He is more determined than ever to rescue her from whatever demons she is trying to escape, for Miss Haverley alone seems to have the power to stir him to passion and hope for a new life.

Lord Basingstoke’s Downfall

When Lord Basingstoke reluctantly attends the engagement ball of his former commanding officer, he is definitely not looking for romance. His childhood sweetheart broke his heart for good when she married another while he was serving on the Peninsula, and now that he is home he must see to putting a dilapidated estate in order.

The animated Lady Leticia Lindsay has just had her heart bruised by a careless suitor and is looking forward to leaving London for her idyllic home in Lincolnshire. When Basingstoke and Lady Leticia meet, they have an odd conversation that leads to a surprising correspondence. Is it possible for two jaded people to fall in love through letters? And will such a tenuous relationship prevail when their previous loves reenter their lives?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I've been reading Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley this week, and enjoying her portrayal of a scriptural family.

Hannah, daughter of Ishmael, is a young girl when we first meet her. She has several sisters and loving parents. As we come to know her and see her grow to a young woman, we see her feelings toward God mature and develop. However, she will face a difficult test when she finds out she will be required to marry one of Lehi's sons, a man who is easily led away from truth. Hannah's trials intensify when having a wavering husband magnifies her troubles and brings indecision to Hannah about what she should do as a believer, while still doing what's best for those she loves.

I thought the author did a great job at setting the stage and immersing the reader in the time period. The characters were engaging, and since it is based off of a well-known Book of Mormon story, I thought the author easily filled in the unknown with believable experiences and people. Hannah was relatable as a woman and easy to sympathize with. Daughter of Ishmael is a tale of love and greed, forgiveness and fury, with a backdrop of an ancient culture that will definitely keep the reader turning pages.

Here's the back copy:

Hannah tingled from head to foot, then shivered suddenly as she remembered that, if they indeed married Father Lehi’s sons, they would not be travelling the few miles to Father Lehi’s house and lands. Instead, the boys had proposed taking them into the wilderness. To an unknown place. An unknown fate.

When Hannah learns she will be given in marriage to a son of Lehi, she dreams of raising children in the paths of righteousness with a worthy priesthood holder. Instead, she is met with unimaginable hardship: an arduous journey, a cowardly husband, and possible infertility. Hannah had promised herself long ago that she would follow the Lord and His prophet, but when she thinks her journey is over, she is faced with an impossible choice between faith and family.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Book Club With Liz Isaacson

We had book club tonight and Liz Isaacson was our guest. I was having such a great time listening to her, I forgot to take pictures! But she was so amazing and let us in on all her behind the scenes secrets.

It was fun to hear how she sees the world and uses her experiences to write her books. Not to mention how personable she is and how fun it was to laugh with her. I hadn't realized the sort of research a western romance author has to do, and how surprising the world of rodeo and barrel racing truly is! We were all charmed by her stories. Liz is such a fun lady and it was a fantastic book club meeting with her! If you haven't read any of her western romances, you should pick one up.

Her first one in the Three Rivers Romance series, Second Chance Ranch, is on sale for only .99 cents. You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Do Squire and Kelly have enough patience and faith to make their second chance possible?

After his deployment, injured and discharged Major Squire Ackerman returns to Three Rivers Ranch, anxious to prove himself capable of running the cattle operation so his parents can retire. Things would be easier if the ranch wasn’t missing 1.6 million dollars, which forces Squire to hire Kelly, the girl who rejected his high school prom invitation, as his accountant.

She’s back in town with her four-year-old son, living in her parent’s basement until she can get her life back together. With fresh ink on her divorce papers and open gashes on her heart, she’s not ready for much beyond her new job on the ranch.

Squire wants to forgive Kelly for ignoring him a decade ago. He’d like to provide the stable life she needs, but with old wounds opening and a ranch on the brink of financial collapse, it will take patience and faith to make their second chance possible.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway for Petticoat Spy

I love historical fiction and Carol Warburton's new novel, Petticoat Spy, is amazing. It's set right before the Revolutionary War and is so realistic, you'll feel like you're experiencing the events right along with the characters. (Be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway!)

We meet Abigail Stowell, a headstrong girl who's experienced loss and uncertainty in her young life. Living twenty miles outside of Boston has not shielded them from the injustice of the taxes Britain has imposed and the unrest it causes. Abigail's father is right in the thick of it, and when a stranger named Gideon comes to town, he makes her question all she knew. Soon, Abigail is caught up in events that could change the tide as war looms on the horizon, but more importantly, the risks she takes, change her as a person.

I was thoroughly enthralled with this novel. The historical events were presented in the context of a normal family's life, and made it seem like the reader was right there. I never felt like I was reading a history book and couldn't wait to see what would happen next for Abigail. The author draws you in and keeps you captive with her intricately woven tale of how an ordinary woman found the strength and courage to do the extraordinary thing. I also loved Gideon as the hero of the story and really wanted to see if anything would, or could, happen between them since there was so much danger! I won't give away any spoilers, but I thought the author handled their story particularly well, both believable and adventurous.

This is one historical fiction that will have you on the edge of your seat. Don't miss it!

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Colonial Massachusetts, 1775

Abigail Stowell is a rarity for her time. The comely young woman is educated, outspoken, and attuned to the charged political climate around her. She is a staunch Patriot. In short, she is a rebel. So when Gideon Whitlock, an avowed Tory, rides into her village, Abby is not only put off by his politics and arrogance but is also annoyed by her undeniable attraction to him.

When she observes a clandestine meeting between her Patriot father and Gideon, Abby soon realizes that in a world divided by loyalties, not everything is as it seems. Soon she is drawn deeper into political intrigue than she ever dreamed possible. And just as feelings begin to heat up between Abby and Gideon, the shot heard round the world ignites the beginning of war between the colonists and the British redcoats. There is no time for hesitation, and Abby finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, treachery, and terror. Lives hang in the balance, and Abby will stop at nothing to support the Patriot movement—but will her allegiance to the cause mean losing the man she loves?

This book is on blog tour! Scroll down to see the blog roll and what others thought of the book and to enter the giveaway!


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hawaii Five-O Review: Where the Marshals Horn In

Well, last week we said goodbye to Max. This week, we're talking about invading another nation right there in Hawaii!

We start out with a guy running in the dark with two policemen chasing him. He's pretty fast and even has time to dig a hole and escape under a chain link fence before they catch up. The two policemen are determined, though, but before they can get near him, there's a standoff! Hey, did you know there's a separate, recognized nation of Hawai'i compound that the police can't breach? Yeah, it didn't look like the policemen did either. *cue music*

Cut to Steve taking a driving test to renew his license. (Wardrobe loves me since Steve and Danny are both in blue again this week!) Apparently Steve's been driving on an expired license for seven years. That stretches the edge of believability, but okay. Danny is chattering on about how reckless Steve is in the car, but considering all the situations they've been in and Danny has walked away, I'd say Steve is an excellent driver. We do get annoyed McG face (A LOT) But the testing lady gets in and starts taking notes on Steve's driving. He remarks that he's used to being judged from the passenger seat. (Ha! Truer words have never been spoken.) Duke calls and Steve has to take the testing lady back quickly. Danny is blabbing to some kid on a bench about Grace (he likes to talk. To anyone!) and Steve screeches into the parking lot. The testing lady gets out all dizzy and stunned. (Maybe Steve turned on the charm for her. All the man has to do is smile, am I right?) But, in reality, we're supposed to think it was his driving skills that had her acting like that. Danny gets in and they drive away.

Chin is at a standoff with the people who live on a compound that's recognized as a separate nation, and HPD. The leader of the compound, Bumpy, doesn't trust the police and tells Steve that. The runner guy, Kanuha, says he's innocent and if Bumpy has his way, he'll get sanctuary there. Steve agrees and says they'll prove he's the murderer, then Bumpy can turn him over. Steve and Danny go back to the office (the governor wants this sorted out quickly) and look at the murder victim, Akimoto. We get some table talk as the team chats about Akimoto being murdered somewhere else and his body dumped. He was Kanuha's partner in robbery, but when they were caught, Akimoto got off on a technicality and Kanuha did seven years. He got out six weeks ago. (And didn't have time to get a good haircut, either. His hair drove me crazy!) They quickly find the car Akimoto was murdered in, all bloody, and Steve takes a look at the GPS. It has Kanuha's address in it. Oops. Kanuha didn't mention that part.

Chin goes to Bumpy with the new evidence and begs to question Kanuha. He takes off his badge and gun and gets in. Kanuha knew they would try to pin the murder on him, so he ran. He has no alibi. It's not looking good for Kanuha.

They don't find any blood in Kanuha's car and his car tracks don't match the ones by the murder victim's car. But Devil's Advocate Danny says that doesn't prove anything! John Barris, Kanuha's parole officer shows up to chat. He got Kanuha a job with his brother! He believes in the guy.

Well, ballistics matches the murder weapon to a guy named Dylan Turner. They go break into his house and find an open safe with an empty gun case. The guy's been in Tahiti for a week, though. (I wish I was in Tahiti) and he'll probably be surprised to find his door broken down when he comes home.

Chin is talking to Steve on the phone, still standing in front of the compound. (Did the guy get a bathroom break? He's been standing there for a long time.) A whole bunch of U.S. Marshal trucks come roaring in and Lou Diamond Philips gets out and relieves Chin of his duties. They're taking over now! Those dang Feds always ruining a good case.

The "comic relief" is Jerry interviewing roommates with questions like do you believe there really was a moon landing. Grover comes in to break up the interview and wants him to look into the Turner robbery. In turn, Jerry wants him to do background checks on the roommate applicants. Grover doesn't want to, but Jerry threatens to sleep in Steve's office if he doesn't, so Grover caves. (Who knew that Jerry just had to threaten people with his presence and they would do anything to get out of it?)

Steve comes to the compound and Bumpy is ticked that Steve didn't keep his word. Steve says he'll work it out, but Marshals aren't having any of it. The DOJ caught wind of this! And they were super bored and hadn't had any action in FOREVER so they sent Lou Diamond Philips down as The Marshal, to blow some stuff up! McG tries to reason with him. After all, he likes to blow stuff up, too, but he has his "peaceful negotiations" hat on today and tells The Marshal that there shouldn't be any action without provocation. (Or, you know, that pesky thing of innocent until proven guilty that the DOJ should know pretty well, but whatevs). The Marshal gives them until sundown. (Our boys do well on a deadline so I'm not worried.)

Steve is on the phone to the governor and he has his annoyed McG face on again. Danny is analyzing his flared nostrils, his pacing, and the fact that the phone is in his left hand so he wants to punch something. Danny knows his boy (or he just likes to talk about McG with anyone who will listen this ep). The phone call gets them nowhere since it's out of the governor's hands, supposedly. She didn't even try! Five-O is on their own. Again. Always.

Back to our comic relief. Jerry demonstrates how a strong magnet can open a safe. Apparently he thought Five-O would reimburse him for that purchase. Because employees always buy super expensive things and expect their employers to reimburse them without clearing the purchase first. Yep. Moving on.

The Marshal cuts off communication and Chin gets all worked up. So, in order to calm Chin down, The Marshal says they are cutting off water and electricity next! Take that women and children in a peaceful compound! Marshals are lean, mean, we-do-what-we-want machines! A guy is trying to get out of the compound so he can go to work, but The Marshal won't let him out. Chin says The Marshal is trying to provoke a fight. Yeah, he called it. But The Marshal says he wants a peaceful resolution. (Maybe a Marshal peaceful resolution definition is different than everyone else's. I dunno, but I guess we'll see.)

Danny and Steve are in the car talking about reading each other's minds. Danny is grateful Steve can't read his, and he's grateful for his seat belt. He says he can read Steve's mind, though, and that Steve is hungry, wondering if Danny has his wallet, and about his new Gun and Ammo magazine. Silly Steven and his shallow empty-headedness. Luckily, Danny is also thinking about the case and they should have just gone in this morning and picked up Kanuha. Steve stops thinking about food and his magazines long enough to disagree.

Thankfully, Dylan is home from Tahiti and gives a list of the stolen items. One of the items has mobile broadband and is pinging to a storage shed that Kanuha rented! Uh oh. The team goes to check it out and finds a bunch of stolen merchandise, including a back massager, which Danny promptly uses. Grover cautions him that a sweaty hairy-backed man could have owned that. Danny assures Grover that he also is a hairy-backed man. Ew. TMI. There's also the murder weapon stashed in there.

Chin confront Kanuha again and he's really upset this time. Why do you keep lying, Kanuha! He thought they'd turn him in, give him up, think he was guilty. But Bumpy still believes in him, even though he just got out of prison and they've proven he was robbing houses. Bumpy will only give him up, though, if they can prove he's a murderer. Robbers? Meh. We can protect them!

The Marshal is not happy they are harboring a robber and says Five-O has one hour then he's going in! And just to prove he's serious, he's putting units all around the compound! And spying on them with drones! They only have themselves to blame, he intones grimly. Luckily Kono saves the day when she digs deeper and finds someone accessed the storage facility an hour ago! It was Devin Barris the hardware store owner. Dun, dun, dun. And now he's at the compound wanting to talk to Kanuha with a gun. Chin and Bumpy let him through and don't even pat him down for weapons, even though they don't know him from Adam and are at a tense standoff. I mean, Chin's a seasoned detective, but Barris looked like a good guy, I guess, so there's no way he's a gun-toting murderer, right? Poor Chin. It's always the innocent-looking ones. Maybe standing there with The Marshal breathing down his neck rattled him.

Danny is trying to reach Chin and when Chin tells them Barris is at the compound, they quickly turn around and head there. Barris is already talking to Kanuha and telling him what to say and how he'll only go to prison for a little bit when he takes the rap for the murder. Kanuha realizes that Akimoto wanted him out of the game and was trying to help him when Barris shot him. He attacks Barris and they struggle until Barris pulls the gun on him. Chin bursts in and talks him down and then we get a slo-mo victory frog march with Chin bringing Barris out of the compound. The Marshals have to go home without any action. Maybe next time they can horn in somewhere else and get to blow something up! But until then, remember, keep everything on the downlow because if the DOJ gets wind of anything, and you don't have Chin available to stand there all day and mediate, you're screwed.

There are thank yous all around and the team gets invited to a nice luau with the compound people. Bumpy thanks Chin for the respect and we all look at beautiful Hawaiian scenery. (I'm going there someday. Sigh).

No previews because next week is a rerun. What did you think of the episode. Did you watch?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sale on Romantic Suspense!

My romantic suspense novel, Through Love's Trials, is only .99 cents for a limited time! If you haven't read this one, now's the time to pick it up.

Here's the back copy:

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.

Download your Kindle copy here

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Exciting Announcement!

For all of you that have asked and written and wondered, I am super excited to announce that my novella, Falling Slowly, is out in paperback! I have been anxiously watching Amazon, and, it's finally available! You can see it here! Woohoo!

Here is the back copy for this novella, that takes place directly following All Fall Down. It is a little P.S. on what happened to Claire and Rafe when they came home from Afghanistan.

Rafe Kelly never thought he'd fall in love with Claire Michaels, the hostage negotiator sent to get him out of a life or death situation. Though it was easy to see from the beginning that Claire was good at her profession, Rafe quickly realized she was even better for him personally―and that they might have a future together.
When they get back from their mission in Afghanistan, however, Claire goes back to the Hostage Negotiation Team and Rafe is left to deal with the huge hole in his life after leaving the SEALs. Trying to balance an uncertain future with a new relationship is made even more complicated when a family crisis strikes. Will Rafe and Claire be able to turn to each other for strength or are they over before they've really begun?

I can't wait! Thanks to all of you for your support and for loving my stories. I appreciate you! 

*happy dance*

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I mostly read fiction, but this week I've been reading a non-fiction book called, The Decision That Changed My Life, by Ganel-Lyn Condie. It is riveting.

It starts out with an inspiring author's note of her journey in putting together this book and how decisions changed her direction. There was also a foreward by Gene Cook of how a decision to change his career affected his entire life. I knew as soon as I read those, that if it were as good as those two stories, I would love this book.

And I did.

There were so many stories that I loved, from people I've long admired and looked up to like Janice Kapp Perry, T.C Christensen, and Kathryn Gordon. Janice Kapp Perry talked about her sports "career" and how she ended up writing some of the most touching gospel music I've sung. There was a story by Whitney Laycock and her father Brad Wilcox that touched my heart, as well as one about T.C. Christensen that is unforgettable. I loved all of the stories that were included, though, and thought about them long after I finished the book.

The unique thing about this book, however, is not only do they include the stories of decisions that changed lives, but they also include a "ripple effect" story written by family and friends who were affected by the decisions made. Sometimes we don't think about how we can influence the lives of those around us and this was a good reminder as I read their perspective on each person's choice and how it changed them. I loved all the behind the scenes peeks of how each decision was a struggle and sometimes the individual just wasn't sure they'd made the right choice, but looking back, they can see the blessings that came from the adversity. This is definitely a book for my keeper shelf.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Whether making life-changing choices or considering seemingly small day-to-day decisions, to choose oftentimes means to take a step into the unknown.

In The Decision That Changed My Life, author Ganel-Lyn Condie explores some of the life-altering choices made by sixteen notable and everyday Latter-day Saints and the chain of events that followed those decisions that affected other people's lives. From the broad impact of Janice Kapp Perry's course-changing decision to pursue music to the significance of Chris Carter's converting to the gospel as a young boy, each story demonstrates the potential ripple effects of our decisions. While following the promptings of the Spirit without a full understanding of the outcome requires great faith, sometimes making that one decision has the power to change our lives—and the world.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Calling All Historical Romance Fans!

One of the historical romances I really enjoyed last year is on sale for only .79 cents today! (You can see my review of it here) I really love these types of stories with a marriage of convenience, combined with characters that have a complicated past. This one was quite well-written I thought.

Here's the back copy:

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: The Lady of the Lakes

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for Josi Kilpack's new historical fiction novel, The Lady of the Lakes. It's based on the life of Walter Scott and it was mesmerizing.

As an English teacher, I was already acquainted with much of Walter Scott's work, however, I didn't know a lot about his personal life beyond facts and dates included on a timeline. This book breathes life into the man behind the literature. Ms. Kilpack does make it clear that her book is fictionalized history, that while some things are known facts, other things she embellished to make the story. She does include chapter notes and they add more little gems as to what facts are known and what she imagined to make the story work. I enjoyed seeing a little peek into her research!

We start out with Walter meeting Mina, a woman he knows from the very first is going to be important to him in his life. Their love story from the very beginning had me hooked with all its ups and downs. I love the way Ms. Kilpack used language to draw the reader in and immerse them in the time period so seamlessly. There was never a point where I felt like I was being given a history lesson, yet I walked away knowing a lot more about Scottish history and customs. I loved seeing Walter as he could have been as a young man in love, struggling to deal with proprieties and social customs, when he just wanted to follow his heart. And, while the story didn't go in the direction I thought it would, it was compelling and gave all the reasons why Mr. Scott's poetry resonates with so many people.

The characterization was fantastic and romance readers will love this addition to the Proper Romance line. I think it's one of Ms. Kilpack's best books and it will have a special place on my rainy day go-to shelf.

Here is the back copy:

Walter Scott has three passions: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though she is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he has courted her through love letters. She is the sunshine of his soul.

Though Mina shares Walter’s love of literature and passionate temperament, it’s hard for her to know if she truly loves him or if she has only been dazzled by his flattery. When she meets the handsome and charming William Forbes, her heart is challenged. Who will she choose?

But as every poet knows, “The course of true love never did run smooth,” and on a windy morning in the lake country, Walter meets Charlotte.

At twenty-six, Charlotte Carpenter believes she will never find love. After all, she is a Catholic-born Frenchwoman living in London with a family history shadowed by scandal. Though quiet, practical, and determined to live a life of independence, her heart longs for someone to love her and a place to call home.

Passion and promises collide as Walter, Mina, and Charlotte must each decide the course for their futures. What are they each willing to risk to find love and be loved in return?

You can download your Kindle copy here

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hawaii Five-O Review: Some Random Filler & A Quick Murder Case Before We Say Goodbye To Max

We are saying goodbye to Max this week, but since we couldn't do an entire Max-centric episode, the show gave us random filler scenes and a quickly wrapped up murder case for our entertainment, before we were all crying our eyes out over Max's departure.

Last week, the team found out Chin's location and rescued him from a bunch of rookie cartel members before the opening music. This week, we have Grover lecturing McG about how to dunk malasadas in his coffee. It was long and rambly and sort of weird. (Yeah, definitely random filler scene #1 before we say goodbye to Max.) McG politely listens and they head into the police station. Duke is telling everyone to be prepared for the police expo with extra patrols and calling on H50 resources if necessary. The expo is like spring break for cops and last year they painted a goat and ran down the street nude. I bet McG is really hoping Duke doesn't have to call him or his team in. Could you imagine Danny or Steve chasing down the streakers? Book that, Danno!

Later that night, (it's dark now) Danny is playing Pie Face with Charlie and he keeps losing. Whip cream in the face! But Charlie is so cute (and sort of looks like his TV dad!) and my heart melted a little. There's an explosion rattling the walls and Danny goes to look out the door. There's a fireball in the middle of town! I hope it's not Jared the Terrorist's uranium.

Max is down in his office moving his piano when Jerry comes in to help. According to Max's calculations, the rest of his belongings will fit in the last seven boxes. *sniff* I'm going to miss his personality. Jerry is noisy, popping bubble wrap and asking questions. He finds a box of Max's journals and Max gives him permission to read them if he'll be quiet.

The next day (it's light now) Danny and Steve are down at the blown up building in some very fine blue shirts. Chin is giving them an update on scene about how dogs looking for survivors found a body. (He also reassures them it's not Jared the Terrorist's uranium.) The dead body is down in a hole, so Danny and Steve climb down to look. The guy was stabbed with a knife and he's a cop from Milwaukee. Steve is half-listening and looking around with his flashlight as he sees tracks leading to a safe. (Thankfully, Danny's claustrophobia is okay while they're underneath a half-collapsed building in a dark hole with a dead guy.)

The boys come up from the dusty, dirty hole in the ground and their blue shirts are still nearly spotless! All the better to accentuate their eyes and McDanno matchiness. Chin is giving them another update (they usually make Kono do that from the office table, so this is a nice change. Chin can update me anytime!) and they found drilling equipment that hit a gas main causing the explosion. Our boys spec that after they hit the gas main, the heist people came back the next day to grab whatever was in the safe. Smart cookies, our boys. The lawyer whose firm owns the safe says he has no idea what might have been taken.

And now, time for another random filler scene before we say goodbye to Max: Grover sees Frank Bama bring a surfboard to the office. McG offered him his couch so he could escape a wannabe warlord. He also overheard McG talking about missing uranium, but Grover tells him that's a secret. Chin was blabbing about it at the wrecked building, too, so our team needs to work on keeping their voices down when they have a secret, I guess.

Jerry is reading in Max's journals when McG was a fugitive from prison and had come to Max after he got shanked. I love the little flashbacks. Max says he saw Steve as a colleague, but Steve saw him as a friend and trusted him. *sniffle* They also see the Milwaukee cop's body being brought in and Max says this will be his last post-mortem. *sad face*

And all too soon, it's time for another random filler scene.  Hirsch the Crime Scene Cleaner is at the expo hawking franchises of Crime Clean. Steve and Kono come in and Hirsch tries to claim them as colleagues, but Kono shuts him down right away. They ask him about his buddy named G. Stealth who has footage of the crime scene they need. He says he took the guy home once and can take them to his house, but they wander around until Steve says there'll be a crime scene cleanup in the truck if they don't find the house soon. Hirsch takes that threat seriously and finds the house immediately afterward. G. Stealth has some trespassing warrants out, but nothing serious. Yet, Steve and Kono just bust down the guy's door (the one-footed breach pose from McG, though!) and go in guns drawn. Hey we need your video so we're coming in! Immunity and means, sucka!

Stealthy isn't very smart (I guess his name should have been my first clue) and tries to run by going out the window. (Running from Five-O generally never works out well, and criminals should all be aware of that, I think. Like, put it in the criminal/people with warrants handbook or something. Rule #5 Don't run from Five-O. It's pointless.) Hirsch sees him and honks the horn, presumably to alert Steve, but Stealthy comes over and gets in the car with a gun trained on him! Okay, Stealthy is as dumb as I thought, especially for a stringer. He has a job helping his newspaper report on events, and now he's waving a gun around and running from Five-O? Kiss that job goodbye. Unless he has a very understanding boss I guess. Gun-happy Stealthy tells Hirsch to drive away and Steve and Kono watch as he drives into a parked car and sets off the airbags. But, never fear, after all that silliness, the team gets the footage. And guess what? The footage shows a car leaving the wrecked building and they get the plate and head over to that guy's house. Jimmy Roark is his name and he's been pinched for Grand Theft and B&E. (It sounds so British and formal. Pinched. Jimmy Roark was pinched again! Jimmy the Pinched.) Well at Jimmy's house there's a van with a dead guy in the garage. Chin draws the short straw and has to search the dead guy for ID. No dice.

Jerry is now to the part in the journal where Max got Sabrina's number. I loved that ep. So cute! And they make a cute couple. He remembers that Kono told him to go for it and Jerry says he owes Kono big time.

Time for another Chin update! There were TWO overalls in the garbage! So Jimmy the Pinched has two accomplices! Luckily the dead guy in the van had prints that are in the system since he used to clerk for a federal judge and works for Hadley, the law firm that owned the safe! Dead guy's name was Leo and his phone records show he talked to Hadley quite a bit that day. Uh oh. Danny and Steve go talk to him, but Hadley ain't talking. Attorney/client privilege, you know. Steve says he's obstructing justice then, and utters the words, "book 'em Danno." Haven't heard that for a while!

Jerry is still mesmerized by the journals and asks Max why he sold his fossil collection and DS9 action figures. It was to get his yellow Camaro. He looked up to Danny as he sacrificed to be near his daughter and gave part of his liver to Steve, and so since Danny had a Camaro, Max got one, too. It was a sweet ride, for sure.

The team finds out the blackmail guy is named Gabler because he withdrew two million dollars today. Gabler had been tried for stabbing his girlfriend to death but got off due to a mistrial. Steve specs that the knife that was used in the murder was in the safe, the Milwaukee cop saw them with it, so they stabbed him, and now they're blackmailing Gabler. Kono says that's far-fetched, (silly Steve!) but of course Steve is dead on. They go talk to the lawyer in the Blue Room of Doom and Steve says that even though Hadley tried to stymie their investigation, they figured it out. (I love when our boys use words that stretch vocabulary norms. I haven't heard the word stymie in ages! Like pinched! Is there an English teacher on the writing staff perhaps?) But, so much for attorney/client privilege. Hadley caves and confirms everything. Gabler has gone to pay the two mil in his lawyer's car, but luckily that has GPS!

But guess what? Leo (the dead guy from the van) also emailed the brother of the murdered girlfriend (Alan) and he's on the island. Uh oh. They all head to the meet. Jimmy the Pinched is there getting the duffel bag of money from Gabler and he throws the knife down in front of him. (Are you all still with me? It's getting confusing, I know.) Alan shows up and he has a gun AND the knife now. Jimmy the Pinched drives away and the brother approaches Gabler. He looks pretty upset and tells Gabler to kneel down. Gabler is fairly calm, overall. Just wide-eyed. (I wonder what he was thinking? Wet sand is seeping through my pant leg? I wish I'd had a better lawyer?) Anyway, Steve is on his way to stop Alan and tells Chin to take on Jimmy the Pinched. Chin heads him off and Jimmy is a terrible driver and crashes. Chin approaches with his gun and asks to see his hands, but dumb Jimmy the Pinched reaches for a gun and Chin shoots him. And now poor Jimmy the Pinched will never pinch again.

Steve and Danny spend a few minutes talking down Alan from killing Gabler and they take them into custody. Sort of anti-climactic to say the least.

But now we are to Max's goodbye party. Flippa is playing some awesome music, but Steve tells Danny he doesn't have to dance with him. (Just not in the mood to see Danny dance, I guess, since he dances with Max later on.) Hirsch gives a drunk toast, (who invited him?) but finally sits down so we can get to the good stuff. Max's speech was so sweet. He thanks Kamekona for hosting and tells the team they can still call him for consults. But then he talks to his "adopted family." He reminds them he was an only child, but thought of Steve as an older brother. Danno was his role model. Chin knows ohana better than anyone and will be a great father for Sara. Kono has such a loving relationship with Adam, Max and Sabrina want to emulate that. (And where is Sabrina? Home packing? Or Adam for that matter. Confined to the house? It's not like he has anything better to do.) Max will miss Grover's smile and gets Grover all choked up when Max says Hawaii has claimed Grover as one of her sons. He also thanks Jerry for being his friend. He ends by telling them he loves them. *wipes tears* Then they cut to the montage of all the great Max scenes of Halloween costumes and fun times they've had with him combined with their goodbye hugs while there's a soulful 'all good things come to an end' sung in the background. Yeah, I cried. I'm going to miss Max and all his quirkiness!

Next week has Lou Diamond Phillips guest-starring and going toe-to-toe with McG. Looks good to me!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Freebie Friday

Today's Freebie Friday is a romance by Jennifer Peel, called Christopher and Jaime. It's part of her Pianos and Promises series and it sounds good!

Here's the back copy:

Jaime Seger has two goals in life: marry her best friend, the man that owns her heart and soul, and buy her very own grand piano. But Christopher McKay, who has no idea Jaime's been in love with him since she was eleven years old, never gets the memo and marries someone else.

When Christopher's wife dies, Jamie finds herself helping him raise his young daughter. A year later, she is on the other end of a very unlikely proposal, promising everything she thought she ever wanted.

But will Christopher help Jaime finally realize both of her dreams, or will she only be left with broken promises?

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Surprising Thing That Happened At The Dentist Today

photo credit: ruei_ke Polish via photopin (license)

I had to go to the dentist today to get a filling. I generally dislike going to the dentist because I'm not a big fan of pain and I knew I would have to get needles to numb my tooth before the filling. So, I'm sitting in the chair and the nurse puts that little bib on me, and I'm a little nervous. She asks me if I'd like to lay back until the dentist comes so I can watch the TV in the ceiling, or stay sitting. I opted to stay sitting.

She left and when she came back I was surprised that she put a pillow under my head. I didn't think you could make a dentist chair comfortable at all, but it seriously was one of the best pillows I've had, (and I've never had one offered at the dentist office!) She also said there was a blanket I could use if I was cold. (And aren't dentist offices always cold? I think so.) But, honestly, that was one of the softest blankets I've ever touched. I don't know what it was made of, but I wanted to cuddle with it and take it home, I'll tell you that. (They actually gave me one. I might want to take it with me everywhere I go.)

So, now that I'm all nice and comfy IN A DENTIST CHAIR, they numb my tooth and I get my filling. It went pretty fast, really, and I was thinking we were all done, but the nurse came back with a hot washcloth infused with essential oils to put on my face. It was heavenly, like I was at a spa or something. Then, she finished out by giving me a new tube of Chapstick.

I walked away feeling amazing. (Well, as amazing as you can feel with a numb face, you know?) I've just never been pampered like that at a dentist office before and I think I like it! (Not that I would start visiting my dentist any more than I have to, but it made today a lot better.)

Does your dentist do anything like that?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week, I've been reading a cute small town romance called, Harvest Blessings by Christina Lorenzen. So far, our heroine Tacy and our hero Brody are wary of each other (since Brody tricked Tacy into coming home from New York) and they both have a lot of emotional baggage going on, but there's a sweet old aunt and an adorable little girl to help get these crazy kids on the road to love.

Here's the back copy:

Professional musician Tacy Clark hasn’t been back home to Hill Top Orchards since the death of her beloved Uncle Jerry. When she gets an email from her aunt, the guilt she’s been feeling since her uncle’s death forces her to make the trip back home.. When her car breaks down, a ride from her aunt’s neighbor, Brody Porter, is the beginning of a roller coaster of emotions, as Tacy is forced to deal with guilt and the pain of never having known her mother. Intending to stay only as long as it takes to harvest the apples for the annual festival and be free from guilt, Tacy is determined not to get involved with Brody Porter and his little girl Cami.

Brody Porter was burned by his estranged wife, Carrie Ann, a struggling actress, who came into his life during a lull in her career and then left him alone to raise their daughter, four year old Cami. He’s vowed never to play the knight in shining armor again. His only interest in Tacy Clark is making sure she gets those apples harvested for the town's annual festival. Without that harvest, the festival might not raise enough funds for the church preschool. Without a place for Cami to go every day he won't be able to put the time he needs into his livelihood, his coffee shop, Brews & Bites.

Tacy Clark and Brody Porter are both determined to get what they want and go their own ways. Will the sweet scent of apples and a harvest moon soften the hearts of two people who need each other more than they know?

If it sounds good to you, download your Kindle copy here

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Calling All Romantic Comedy Lovers!

One of my favorite romantic comedy series, The Spinster Series, by Becky Monson has the first two books available for only .99 cents each and the last one is being offered for free today. Of course I had to share all this reading goodness with you!

The first book, Thirty-Two Going On Spinster, made me laugh out loud with some of the situations Julia found herself in. And our hero, Jared is swoon-worthy.

Here's the back copy:

Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her career, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

You can download your Kindle copy here for only .99 cents!

The second book in the series, Thirty-Three Going On Girlfriend, continues with Julia's story as she moves into the uncharted world of being a girlfriend.

Here's the back copy:

Julia Dorning thought she would die a lonely spinster. That was until nine months ago, when her world was turned upside down. Now she’s got a dream career as a bakery owner, and a relationship with handsome Jared Moody—a life she never thought possible.

Just as she’s starting to feel comfortable in her new life, Julia is invited to battle it out on national television making cupcakes. An amazing opportunity, if she can muster up the confidence to do it, that is. Then, out of the blue, Jared goes and throws a rather large wrench in their relationship causing Julia to have to make some big decisions. With her two trusted confidants off in wedding la la land, Julia is on her own to figure everything out.

Left to her own devices, will Julia be able to work things out for herself? Or will she make a disaster of it all? Find out in Becky Monson’s sequel to Thirty-Two Going on Spinster!

You can download your Kindle copy here for only .99 cents!

The last book in the series, Thirty-Four Going On Bride, is FREE TODAY! And I bet you can guess what it's about!

Here's the back copy:

Julia Dorning is about to lose it. Between her over-the-top wedding that her sister, Anna, took upon herself to create, and the under-staffed popular bakery that she runs, she can barely find time to breathe.

All Julia ever wanted was a quaint wedding on the beach with family and friends. But now Julia has to contend with not only her sister's plans, but those of her future mother-in-law, as well. Not wanting to step on anyone's toes, especially her mother-in-law's, Julia just goes along with it.

She can only take so much, though, and when her newest employee, Kate, makes things harder at the bakery, Julia has to find a way to simplify her life.

Can she do it or will she end up a basket case? Find out how she does it in this hilarious conclusion to the Spinster series!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Monday, January 9, 2017

Book Review and $25 Giveaway!

Today, I'm happy to be part of the Book Tour for Anita Stansfield's new book, Color of Love. This book deals with society's prejudice in the 1850s and the repercussions it had on a young woman's life and family.

The book introduces us to Amala, a young Indian girl, who is sitting at a ball trying not to look bored. She is loved and accepted by her white adopted family, but society generally ignores her. A young man named Henry Beckenridge, who has just returned from nine years abroad in India, sits with her and tries to engage her in conversation several times. Amala wants to talk to him, but is worried about what people will say if they see him talking to her. She doesn't want to hurt his standing or reputation because she knows well how cruel society can be.

Henry is determined to be part of Amala's life. The more he is around her, the more sure he is that she was meant to be in his life. Amala doggedly points out all that will be against them if they did court and marry. Interracial marriages are frowned upon. The children will be ostracized. But Henry feels they can face those things together. Amala finally relents, but before their courtship can go further, society's cruelty rears its ugly head and Amala must deal with a broken heart. Using a relative's kind offer to travel, Amala goes abroad, thinking that distance might help. But when a brief letter calls her home, she's unprepared for what has happened in her absence. Can Amala live with the consequences of her actions?

I really enjoyed the author's vivid descriptions of India and Britain, with their stark opposites and yet some similarities as well. Henry's love for the country while still seeing the struggles was admirable and gave him a lot more depth as a character. I also liked the secondary character of Emmett that gave our heroine (and hero) someone to confide in. Amala was an intriguing, emotional heroine who at times seemed naive, yet at others, too wise for her years. With her young age some of her more impulsive decisions could be forgiven, but her reactions to the events that took place during her extended absence were surprising, to say the least. It was a long, emotional, and drawn out love story that takes the reader on a roller-coaster of feelings as the storyline unfolds. This is a book that will raise eyebrows, make you grab a tissue, and make you want to shake some sense into the characters. But readers will definitely come away with more of a sense of how India and its people were viewed by British society at that point in history, and grateful that fiction stories like Color of Love show a happy ending since, in reality, most people with similar issues in that time period did not get that.

(Don't forget to scroll all the way down and enter the giveaway!)

Here's the back copy:

England, 1857

The British aristocracy is an inflexible judge. And for Amala, a lovely young Indian woman, that judgment is most keenly felt. Raised from a child by the wealthy Hepworth family following the murder of her parents, Amala grew up alongside the Hepworth’s own daughter, Katarina, and was loved as both sister and daughter. The family is part of the charmed circle of the upper class, but Amala’s place in society is tenuous. As an Indian woman, her life is marked by a sense of otherness and voices of prejudice. So when she embarks upon a sweet acquaintance with Henry Breckenridge, a white Englishman, Amala is both elated and terrified. She knows first-hand the opposition that an interracial couple would face, and courtship with Henry could destroy his standing in society.

Determined to spare the reputations of both Henry and her sister Katarina, Amala flees England with the hope that an extended trip will allow her time to heal her broken heart. But she never imagined the repercussions of that decision, and the heartbreak awaiting her. For when she returns to England, she finds those she holds dear facing unparalleled devastation. And now it is her love that holds the key to healing a broken family . . .

Book Tour Stops:
*Jan. 9th: http://rockinbookreviews.com/, http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/, http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/
*Jan. 10th: https://joyinthemoments.wordpress.com/
*Jan. 11th: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/, http://thethingsilovemost.com/
*Jan. 12th: http://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/, http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/
*Jan. 13th: http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/, http://sweetlymadejustforyou.com/, http://brooklynberrydesigns.com/

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hawaii Five-O Review: Dealing With The World's Dumbest Criminals

Hawaii Five-O returned from winter break last night and paraded a lot of dumb criminals onscreen for our entertainment. Since we'd ended on a cliffhanger in December (will Chin live after he's traded himself to a cartel for his niece Sara?) this was the wrap up of an intense first half.

We start out with Kono looking worried about her cousin. Grover is trying to comfort her with, "Chin's alive and he knows we're coming to get him." He probably should have said, "Chin's been abducted so many times in the past. Our entire team has, really, and all our loved ones. Chill, sista! We know the drill." The doorbell rings and Kono and Grover pull their guns and inch toward the door. It's Adam! He's somehow found out where they are (I'm sure asking around didn't alert anyone to the fact he was leaving Hawaii. Hey, do you guys know where my wife is at? I'm not going to leave Hawaii, though. I just wanna know! *side eye*) But he figures it out and hotfoots it to Mexico to join his bride and her friends. Everyone seems happy to see him and when Steve comes out of the bedroom after questioning the cartel member they captured, he gives Adam a nice bro hug. (Remember when Adam was the head of a criminal organization and no one liked him? Well, except Kono. But you know, back then he had something to do and a purpose in life beyond being Kono's arm candy. Poor guy. Things have changed a lot.)  Anyway, the cartel member, who is breathing heavily in the background (but other than that looks generally unhurt besides a little cut on his cheek. Maybe McG just gave him the Steve Stare and he caved) and he told them where the cartel's secret compound is in the jungle. It's thirty minutes away, so the team has gotta hurry and skedaddle. (I hope Adam stays in the car or wears a mask or something. It's not going to look great to his parole officer if someone spots him at a murder scene. Because you know there's going to be a lot of shooting in a minute.)

Now we cut over to Chin being manhandled and frogmarched over to a pit of snarling dogs. (Didn't the people who kidnapped Kono and Adam a couple of months ago have snarling dogs, too? Maybe it's a criminal thing.) The cartel leader strolls out of a car (he sort of looks like a poor man's Antonio Banderas). Chin is wearing a dog collar and Poor Man Antonio grabs it and proceeds to look down at the dogs (who haven't been fed for six days) and chat with Chin. He says that they didn't start out using the dog collar, but it will protect Chin's artery so the dogs don't bite it right away and the killing is over too quickly. Chin doesn't look all that impressed (the guy's had a bomb strapped to his neck before so this is nothing!) and says you're doing all this for your brother's honor, but he didn't have any. That makes Poor Man Antonio annoyed and he just says Chin didn't know his brother. Chin is all, yeah, I did. He was going to sell you guys out! Ha! Bet you didn't know that! Poor Man Antonio is all, well, never mind about that, I liked somebody else you killed that day, too, so go say hi to him! (And wouldn't that be an awkward conversation. They get to the next world and Chin goes to have a sit-down. Hey, remember when you were a criminal and our task force killed you? Antonio says hi.) Well, after that remark, they both lean over like Chin is going in the dog pit, but then gunfire breaks out! All the cartel people are killed. (Cartels these days must have terrible jungle security. Also, why aren't they in a warehouse or something and not out in the open? No wonder this cartel doesn't have leaders live very long. They're obviously rookie cartel people.) Anyway, only Poor Man Antonio is left alive holding Chin's collar. He points a gun at Chin and says he's going to kill him, but gets killed before he can really finish speaking. Not a smart criminal. I was surprised Chin didn't just stand up and say it took you guys long enough, but he seems a bit surprised to see Steve. They don't take the dog collar off and just run off into the trees. (I hope someone comes to feed those dogs. Poor things!)

They go back to Sara's house and even though Chin is bloody (they did take the collar off, yay!) he goes up to Sara and hugs her. Because hugging bloody Uncle Chin won't traumatize the poor girl any more than she already has been, right? Well, Chin goes in the bathroom to clean up and Steve knocks on the door. Chin thanks him for helping him keep a promise to see Sara again and they hug. Steve also gives him back his Five-O badge, cause he left it in the dirt and as Jerry can attest, those are hard to come by. Chin is saying goodbye to Sara when her uncle presents Chin with guardianship papers all ready for Chin to sign! He can have Sara! (And it's not weird at all that they had guardianship papers transferring custody drawn up while the girl was missing, right?) Everyone is happy and Sara goes home to Hawaii.

The next scene is Steve in the office putting stuff away from their Mexico trip. He is surprised to see Grover coming in on a Saturday, but he's helping with a SWAT seminar. They are both surprised to see Jerry sleeping in Steve's office. On the floor. Jerry is couch-surfing and sometimes uses Steve's office. He can't get an apartment because he has no credit history, so Steve says he'll vouch for him. There is a box of donuts on Steve's desk that say, "Commander McGarrett please say yes, Dr. Kimbo." (If I wanted Commander McGarrett to say yes to something, I don't think I'd use donuts, just sayin') Of course, Jerry ate some of them but doesn't know anything about where they came from. They go down to ask Max about it because he's the only doctor they know and he might know Dr. Kimbo, I guess? Max is doing an autopsy of a random guy found in his own car trunk. Steve and Grover are bored, so they take the case. And call the team back from vacation to help with it. All except Danny, who is already gone. (Which is sad because the team has a little more sparkle when he's there.)

Dead Guy worked at a car dealership so they send Grover in undercover as Roy Watts, car salesman. They even replace the poor dead guy's picture on the dealership team wall, with "Roy's." I guess his boss didn't draw the line at that even though one of his best employees has only been dead for twenty-four hours. Poor dead guy with no friends at work or a boss that cares! Grover finds out from Sad Loser Employee Bob that there's a $50,000 bonus up for grabs and Dead Guy and Paul, his nemesis, were really the only two that had a chance of getting it. Grover reports to Steve that Paul has been holed up in his office all day with the blinds drawn and won't come out. In order to get in and check the office out to see if it's the crime scene, Grover has Kamekona come in to test drive trucks with Paul, who goes for it. But all they find are Dead Guy's lead sheets that Paul has been poaching. They have Kamekona drive Paul to an overlook where Steve is waiting. He doesn't announce who he is, (he could have been anyone!) and just tells Paul to get out of the car so they take him to the Blue Room of Doom. Does everyone just know Five-O now or did Paul follow orders because he was afraid of the Steve Stare combined with the gun on his hip?

Steve questions Paul and finds out he has an alibi. He's a jerk, but when he's told he'll be here for a while so they can check his alibi, (which means everyone else at work will get his sales), he tells them that he overheard a heated conversation with Dead Guy and someone on the phone. Seems that Dead Guy was having a car delivered and some other salesman poached it. He was very angry. And guess who the car poacher is? Grover pays Sad Loser Employee Bob a visit and he claims that Dead Guy attacked him for poaching the car. Grover sees a tall potted plant in the middle of the floor and moves it, and surprise! There's a big bloodstain under it. Bob admits he killed Dead Guy with his Employee of the Year Award. And Bob might get another award for Dumbest Criminal of the Year. He doesn't bother to at least attempt to clean up the bloodstain and just puts a potted plant over it? Makes it obvious he drove Dead Guy's car last night because he had to drive his wife's car to work this morning, and still has his own car in the parking lot? Offers a bribe to keep it quiet? *slaps forehead* No, Bob. Just no. You suck as a salesman and a murderer. Do not pass Go and head directly to jail.

Grover thinks something isn't quite right and does more digging. They figure out that Dead Guy was working with a drug syndicate and smuggling drugs onto the island inside the cars. They track down the head of the syndicate and bring him to the Blue Room of Doom. He's a Sang Min lookalike and has a lot of attitude. Maybe a relative? Anyway, he says they weren't working with Dead Guy anymore. He got a better offer. So, with that lead gone, they look to HPD to help them track down the narco-car with the oblivious new owner. The poor policeman who finds the new owner barely has time to tell the guy there's a problem before he's run over and killed. The killer also shoots the new owner and grabs whatever was hidden in the car. But, thankfully, the shot out dashboard cam still had some recoverable footage so they manage to get a pic of the shooter and it's a terrorist named Jared. I'm sorry, but that made me laugh. Jared the Terrorist is VERY SCARY. And it wasn't drugs in the car! It had radiation! Jared the Terrorist is pulling out a canister of uranium at home!

Jared the Terrorist is a a terrible terrorist, though, and missed the class about not leaving a financial trail when you're a wanted criminal. (How have Interpol and everyone else not been able to track this guy until now?) Kono easily finds the apartment he rented and his car is still outside. The team rushes over in bio suits and tac gear (haha, I know! It was a funny combination.) and they break in, but Jared the Terrorist runs away and just kills himself. Maybe no one liked Jared the Terrorist in his organization either, and his boss wouldn't mind changing his team picture. Well, with the radiation poisoning on Jared the Terrorist's face, it's not like he could ever get a new picture to look good, anyway. Poor Sad Loser Employee Jared the Terrorist. But everyone just stares at his body on the floor, like the bloodstain on Sad Loser Employee Bob's floor. Who knew they'd have so much in common? After this moment of silence, the team takes the radioactive suitcase out and all is well. For now.

Chin goes over to Kono's and has a sit-down with Adam, thanking him for coming to help and putting Kono first and promises he won't tell his parole officer Adam broke parole. Aww. What's a parole violation between brother-in-laws? Then they have a beer together.

Jerry is in Steve's office and tells him he found an apartment for rent, but it's Max's. Steve goes over to talk to Max, and he finds out that he's leaving and didn't want to tell Steve, because Steve would have been disappointed in him. Steve says he's so proud that Max wants to help people and he'll always have a job and Five-O ohana waiting for him at home. Awww *sniffle* The moment is broken when Steve gets a call from Grover that the radioactive suitcase was empty. What if Jared the Terrorist already gave the uranium to someone? Then they could kill half the population of Hawaii! Dun, dun, dun.

So, in the space of an hour, the team dealt with Poor Man's Antonio, Sad Loser Employee Bob, and Jared the Terrorist, (and have a secrecy pact on Adam's little lapse in judgment) AND had two suspects in the Blue Room of Doom. It was like a parade of dumb criminals, which really makes me miss Wo Fat.

Next week looks like a farewell to Max, so I'll have the tissue handy. Don't goooo, Max. *sigh*