Friday, November 9, 2018

Freebie Friday for Romance Fans!


If you love a cute second chance romance, Kimberley Montpetit's The Secret of a Kiss is free today! I haven't read it, but it looks like one I could snuggle up with this weekend!

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

A lonely stretch of highway, a handsome stranger, and a long-kept secret that could wreck everything.

Linden Adair is a talented makeup artist on the New York Broadway show, Phantom of the Opera, creating the hideous scar for the actor who plays the phantom every night. But nobody knows the deep scars Linden carries after the divorce from her husband, Mark Denly—who is the famous director of Phantom.

Desperate to get away, Linden takes a cross-country trip to visit her best friend in Seattle. While driving on a deserted stretch of highway late at night, she hits a deer and crashes the rental car into a gully outside of Snow Valley, Montana.

A devastatingly handsome stranger with a tow truck rescues Linden and her smashed vehicle, but when she catches sight of him in the light, she’s shocked. Anton Baldwin possess a terrible scar on his face—just like the phantom she created every night at the theater.

But Anton is hiding more than the truth behind his scar, and during a whirlwind week while being recruited for a television show being filmed in Snow Valley, the secrets of this enigmatic man turn her world upside down. Does he hold the magic she needs to heal the scars on her broken heart?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway for The Gem Thief


I was so excited to hear that Sian Ann Bessey had a new book coming out! I really enjoy her writing style and it seems like forever since I've read something from her. Plus, this new book was partially set in Greece, one of my favorite places on earth, so I was doubly excited.

The Gem Thief starts out with poor Gracie Miller getting hot chocolate spilled on her clothing, and then muddy water sprayed over any part that the hot chocolate missed. She has an important meeting at the upscale jeweler that she works for and can't go home to change so she tries to make the best of it. But during that important meeting with a billionaire client named Mrs. Katsoros, she meets Quinn, who takes one look at her and doesn't want to shake her hand. It's a quirky start to the romance and so fun to see the first impressions and how wrong they can be sometimes. But Quinn and Gracie are quickly pulled into the mystery of who is stealing Mrs. Katsoros' jewelry. In order to draw in the thief, they have to take a cruise to Greece and Quinn and Gracie must pretend to be engaged, which brought some laugh out loud situations and some sweet and sigh-worthy moments as feelings and impressions changed.

I loved the slow burn of the romance as Gracie and Quinn got to know each other and I enjoyed how the mystery unfolded with so many suspects that it was hard to guess who the culprit truly was. (And there was a really nice twist that I didn't see coming, too!) The setting was spectacular and the author captures the essence of how it feels to be in Greece. (I would love to go back someday, but until then, I'll just have to re-read books like this one.) The romance seamlessly merges with the suspense and Ms. Bessey truly outdoes herself in creating a reader experience that will take you through the beauties of Greece and the fun of a cruise all the while wondering who the villain truly is and if Quinn and Gracie will make it out of this alive! I really enjoyed this one and I hope we see more from this cast of characters. (I wouldn't mind seeing Steve get a story of his own!) Well-researched and well-done, The Gem Thief is definitely going on my keeper shelf.

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!


You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Gracie Miller is a small-town girl who has landed her dream job in New York City. As jewelry designer for one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, she completed a particularly stunning piece, a custom setting for a large diamond. But when her billionaire client Mrs. Katsaros comes to have a minor issue with the setting repaired, Gracie is horrified to realize it is not the ring she created. Someone has forged her design, and the priceless diamond is gone.

Mrs. Katsaros has no desire to bring media attention to the jewelry heist, so she recruits her nephew, Quinn, and his FBI agent friend, Steve, to do some sleuthing off the record. When they discover that the missing ring is just one of many forgeries in the widow’s collection, they look to Gracie for help. They need her to act the part of Quinn’s fiancée. From the lights of New York to the shimmering islands of the Mediterranean, Gracie is swept into a thrilling hunt. But amid the search for the elusive thief, she and Quinn find themselves increasingly distracted by their growing feelings for each other. What neither realizes is how close the danger lies and how serious the vendetta is—because, apparently, it is worth killing for.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New Becky Monson Book and a Giveaway!

   
I'm so excited for this one!

Just a Name by Becky Monson   

Holly has a plan for everything. But she never could have planned for this. If there’s one thing Holly Murphy loves, it’s a solid plan. She has her entire life figured out—or so she thinks. But when life pulls the rug out from under her, she’s left to deal with a canceled wedding—hers, to be precise. And the promotion she’s worked toward for years is now in jeopardy because the team she supervises doesn’t like her management style. Thinking that Holly is too tightly wound and needs a break from everything, her boss demands she take a vacation. But how can she take a vacation when her promotion is on the line? Trying to help out, her best friend, Quinn, suggests she still go on her honeymoon and conduct a nationwide search to find a man with the same name as her ex-fiancé to use his plane ticket. Leaving Holly to wonder if she’s the only sane person left on the planet. Yet when her boss gets wind of the idea and loves it, Holly finds herself in a corner she can’t get out of. And when handsome Nate Jones from Newport Beach gets picked to go with her, she wonders if this whole thing won’t be so bad after all. Can Holly learn to let go? Or will this crazy adventure send her running right back to her safety net?

Get your copy on Amazon

Praise for Just A Name “Just a Name is a delicious escape! I devoured every character, every moment, and every quirk and couldn’t get enough. This book is Becky Monson at her finest!” -Author Whitney Dineen “Becky Monson has outdone herself with Just a Name. It’s FANTASTIC! I’m still swooning.” -Author Jennifer Peel

“Fans of romantic comedies should grab a copy of Just a Name; it has the perfect balance between sweet and sassy.”-Readers’ Favorite

    

  Excerpt #1   I hate today. Which doesn’t bode well, since it’s only eight thirty in the morning. This is par for the course with my life right now, since the past three weeks haven’t particularly been my favorite either. Before that—which feels like ages ago—I was feeling like I was on the right path. Like everything I had planned for myself was happening. And I actually remember thinking, “Life can’t get any better.” Clearly, I jinxed myself. Because my life is not on track. Not even close. Lately, every morning I wake up with hopes that this will be the day when things will look up for me. The day my life will take a turn for the better and I’ll get myself back on track. Apparently, today is not that day. Right now, I’m sitting in an air-conditioned office, holding a piece of paper in my hands, staring at the words in front of me and trying to make sense of it all. The top of the paper, in bold lettering, says, “CT Anderson Bank,” and underneath it, “Holly Murphy—Supervisor Assessment.” Under that are a whole bunch of words I can’t believe I’m reading. Words like “too controlling” and “micromanaging” and “not a team player.” It’s all there, in Times New Roman, eleven-point type. Coincidentally, these are some of the words Nathan—my ex-fiancé—used when he called off our wedding nearly three weeks ago. He even used the words “not a team player”—whatever that’s supposed to mean. And this was all only a little over two months before we were to marry. Way to kick me when I’m down, Life.  


Author Becky Monson By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. An award-winning author, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.  

Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in Paypal Cash Ends 11/27/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Recap and Review---The One With Another Dead Friend For Poor Steve

This one had a lot of action and I really enjoyed it overall!

We start out with the flight deck of the USS Nimitz. A small aircraft is approaching with a mayday signal and even though the tower tells him not to approach or they'll be considered a threat and they sound the alarm and get out the big guns, they're all talk. They just let the plane land. Good thing there wasn't a terrorist on board, you know? There was, however, a crying baby on board and a dead-from-a-gunshot-wound pilot. How did he land the plane? Died as soon as it touched down? Impressive.

Cut to the HPD where Duke is coming back to work and Steve is at the head of the crowd clapping and giving him a welcome back. There are salutes and smiles all around until a woman from NCIS named Emma Warren ruins the fun and approaches Steve with her bad news. Apparently Steve's friend Carson was the guy that was found dead in the plane with the baby and Steve was the last person to see him alive when they had drinks a few days ago. Emma speculates that maybe Carson was involved in a kidnapping, but Steve says no way, he was on Teams with this guy for two tours, he knows him, and he was a good man. (I feel so bad for Steve. All of his Teams friends are ending up dead.) Emma tells him that Carson took contracts from sketchy individuals, but Steve isn't concerned about that. He wants her to ID the kid and talk to the parents so they can clear this up. (Steve is in his blue shirt and nothing sets off his eyes like this particular shade. Especially when he's passionate about something.) Emma says she wants Steve to promise to back off and let her do her job and Steve says he's got it. (Yeah. Sure he does.)

We're back to Tani and the Terrible Storyline when she goes to Adam's house to put back the gun she found. She's startled when Adam stumbles out looking pretty bad---stained shirt, no showering or shaving, still drinking. It seems that Kono has left him and it's over. After Jessie's death changed him and Kono's job changed her, they were two different people trying to pretend it still worked. He's pretty broken up about it, and goes back to his room while Tani stares at the gun sticking out of her bag. (Hopefully it's not loaded because that thing looks ready to fall on the floor!)

Flashing back to a few days prior when Steve and Carson were having drinks, they're reminiscing about a terrifying tandem jump where the guy was sick all over Carson and how he taught Steve the tape trick. (Which is taping something to an out of the way place as a clue. Heavy foreshadowing here fellow viewers!) Carson confides that he makes good money now, but doesn't work for good people. Steve reminds Carson that he made him a job offer, (three SEALs on Five-0? Could be interesting) but Carson says that law enforcement isn't a good fit since there are too many rules (does he know Five-0 and their track record with rules?) and he can't take orders from Steve. They hug and talk about not waiting six years to do this again before they say goodbye. Then we're back to the present where Steve is in the morgue, standing over Carson's dead body. Sad. Weary. Paying his last respects. (When can Steve have a friend from his past who isn't evil or dead?)

Noelani lets Danny and Steve see Carson's things when she steps out to make a call and they find a hotel keycard and a receipt for baby supplies. They decide he must have come here looking for the baby and Tani is able to give them more details like the baby is around 2-3 months old by the size of diapers and has an allergy because of the formula Carson bought. Jerry gets an assignment to be creative, find the airplane Carson was piloting and get the tail number. Jerry poses as an airport worker named Chuck, but before he can get in to get the tail number, he's caught. Grover swoops in posing as an NTSB agent and he has the Chief take "Chuck" to be watched until his "NTSB car" can get there. When Chuck and the Chief are gone, Grover slips behind the curtain to get the tail number. Emma catches him, but Grover plays it off like she needs better security since there's riffraff wandering about. (I love when Grover uses words like riffraff. LOL)

Tani and the Terrible Storyline continue when she tells Junior that she put the gun back before she left Adam's house, but now she doesn't know what to do. Junior is all I told you not to get involved, but you're a cop and need to follow the law. (Um, what? Isn't she a member of Five-0 because the cops booted her from the academy? Doesn't she owe some loyalty to Steve? *shakes head*) Junior says that this could blow up her relationship with McG, (which is ridiculous. Neither of them are giving Steve any credit at all and assuming a whole lot.) But Junior has suggested calling in an anonymous tip to HPD and Tani has thought seriously about that.

McG goes to Carson's hotel room and finds a piece of paper taped to the bottom of the nightstand with a license plate on it. (The good old tape trick.) Emma catches him, but he denies finding anything and leaves. They all watch him go and Emma seems very annoyed that he's not taking her warnings to back off seriously. Steve goes to the office to have the license plate analyzed. It was a rental car connected to a burner phone. But guess what? With the tail number, they got a flight record that the plane was going to Lana'i and the burner phone is on Lana'i too! Steve wants to head to Lana'i, but Tani takes him aside to tell him Adam is back in town and Kono left him. The poor guy is not in a good place. Steve listens, but can't do anything because Emma shows up at the office with two guys. She found evidence that he took something from Carson's hotel room and points to the picture of the piece of paper still up on the Chatting Table screen as proof she's right. Steve says he shouldn't have done that and he's sorry, he won't do it again. But Emma isn't having it. She arrests him and the two guys cuff Steve.

Steve gets his one phone call as we see him cuffed to a conference room table. Danny is heading to the governor to get a letter of release, but Steve has him go to Adam's first. Danny pours water on a passed out Adam and mentions several times how much Adam stinks. Danny commiserates with him, tells him he knows how he feels, and that it gets better. Adam appreciates the pep talk, but he's okay. Sure, he is. Oh and by the way, since Adam's helped Five-O so much, they're offering him a job on the task force with the badge, gun, and everything. (What the what? Don't they remember how easily he gets kidnapped? How terrible he is when he's on the run and constantly getting caught? What are the requirements for being on the task force these days---just a sad face and a hard luck story?) But Adam's no dummy and probably remembers how hard it was for him to find a job, so he accepts the offer and hugs Danny.

Tani and Grover have made it to Lana'i and find the crime scene. Five dead bodies, lots of bullet holes, and an unused diaper, so the baby was there. But what happened? (And why hasn't anyone found five dead bodies yet? Don't any of these people have bosses? Family?)

Danny comes to the conference room where Steve is still cuffed to table and reports that Adam is miserable, but happy about the badge. Emma comes in and meets Danny, and he gives her the governor's letter that she has to release Steve. She still looks annoyed and reminds Steve that he is jeopardizing her case. (She doesn't seem to have much of a case, but okay.) Danny updates Steve on the address in Lana'i and the bloodbath and he gets that look in his eye. Steve marches to Emma's office, tells her what they've found and says they should work together. It's her call. She must have said yes, because right after that everyone is at the Chatting Table while Tani remotely shows them the crime scene. One of the dead bodies is ID'ed as Kalino, a guy who has a record. Grover shows up on the feed, so Steve introduces him to Emma, who recognizes him as the NTSB guy. (Haha. The look on Grover's face!) Grover found luggage under the bed that still has tags on. Apparently, Julia, the baby's mother, flew into Honolulu eight days ago and Jerry quickly pulls up the baggage claim footage so they all can see Julia hugging Kalino. But, Julia is married to a rich tech guy with terrible hair. The team decides to find him and talk to him.

TerribleHairTechGuy rushes to the hospital and sees his baby behind glass. He tells Emma and Steve that his wife Julia is mentally unstable and disappeared with the baby so he hired Carson to bring them home safe. TerribleHairTechGuy was supposed to hang tight until he heard from Carson, but the call never came. He doesn't look impressed when Steve mentions Kalino and just says that his wife knew Kalino from way before. Steve and Emma tell him not to leave the island, but he assures them he won't leave the hospital. Steve tells Emma he thinks TerribleHairTechGuy is lying through his teeth. Emma isn't so sure, but Steve lays it out for her. Carson would have scoped the house out, and he's not going to walk into a fight with five armed guys by himself. Emma thinks about it and decides that if TerribleHairTechGuy lied about Carson, well, he could be lying about everything. (Ya think?) They need to talk to the mother.

Adam is cleaning up his house and looking at pics of him and Kono on the wall with a sad face. He packs all the pictures away. Duke knocks at the door and they have a search warrant. HPD received an anonymous tip for an open murder investigation. (Hmmm...I wonder who did that?) Adam looks stunned.

Emma is on the phone trying to expand the search for Julia with Steve adding his thoughts that they should check out vet clinics, too. Emma is upping her annoyed face game from mildly annoyed to very annoyed, and she says she understands why Danny was happy to see Steve cuffed to the table since he interrupted her four times in a thirty second call. Steve protests that he wasn't interrupting, he was contributing, since this is a joint investigation. Jerry tells them that ballistics came back and Carson's gun shot everyone except Kalino. Kalino and Carson were shot by the people on the outside. (Hmmm..so their theory doesn't hold and the plot thickens.) Oh, and the shooters were on the payroll of Kent International which provides shady muscle on the island. But who hired them?

Steve gets the address for Kent International and the team goes in. They shoot everyone on the premises, including Kent. Oops. They do find Julia bound and gagged in the back room with a gunshot wound. She's anxious to know where her baby is and Steve tells her Brandon is okay and at King's hospital. (My question is, how did he know what the baby's name was?) Julia recognizes Steve's name and said Carson told her to find him if she made it out of there. (I wonder when he dropped that little gem. Was it during the hail of gunfire? When he was wounded and trying to get a baby out of there?) She asks about Carson and Steve tells her he didn't make it and wants to know what happened. She was hiding out with Kalino waiting for new passports to get as far away from her abusive husband as possible, when Carson showed up. Carson wanted to take them home, but after he heard about how TerribleHairTechGuy beat her for years, he decided to help her get away to safety, but that's when the shooting started. Carson and Kanlino tried to hold them off, but Kalino was killed and Julia shot. She ran to the back bedroom with BabyBrandon and Carson killed a bunch of shooters. After he was shot, he retreated to the back room and barricaded them in. She begged him to take the baby to safety and he did. Steve and Emma realize that TerribleHairTechGuy decided he couldn't count on Carson alone so he hired Kent to cover his bases. Emma says they're going to arrest him and calls the hospital and Julia is freaking out they let him near the baby. With good cause since we see he's killed a guard and is kidnapping the baby. Security chases him, but he gets away.

As Julia is headed to the ambulance, she tells them that TerribleHairTechGuy has a private plane. Jerry locates the private airfield and Steve heads there with the team. TerribleHair is about to board with the baby when they confront him. He keeps backing toward the plane door, and tells them he knows they won't shoot as long as he has the baby. But Junior magically appears in the plane doorway with the gun and takes the baby away. TerribleHair is in custody and we see Junior holding the baby, first with no gun, then in the next shot he has the gun right near the baby and then right after that, the gun is gone again. Weird.

They reunite BabyBrandon with his mom while Steve and Emma look on. They walk toward the elevator and banter a bit. Emma offers Steve a handshake to say goodbye, but Steve says that the least she could do is buy a drink for the man who solved her case. She agrees and they get in elevator. She says she should have left him cuffed to that table and Steve returns that it's not too late. Cute. (She sort of looks like Cath to me.)

But the episode doesn't end there! Junior calls to tell Tani that HPD got a search warrant on Adam but they didn't find anything. She seems surprised, then sees Adam waiting for her in her office. She goes to talk to him and says what can I do for you? He's upset and lays the gun on her desk with an I think you've done enough. He asks her why she put that in his house, but she says she found it there while he was away. He's pretty skeptical saying that it's just sheer coincidence that a gun he's never seen before shows up at his house right after Tani's been there and three hours later HPD shows up? Tani backpedals and says that her first thought was to turn him in, but after everything they've been through she couldn't. Adams asks straight out, You didn't tip the cops? She doesn't give him a straight answer, just says, "You saved my bro's life. That means more to me than anything you might have done." Adam says that if she didn't plant the gun or tip the cops, who did? Dun, dun, dun.

So, while the Tani storyline isn't my favorite, I really enjoyed meeting another one of Steve's friends. (although it's sad he's dead!) and unraveling the mystery of the baby.

What did you think? Did you watch?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Historical Fantasy Fans! Check This Sale Out!


If you like historical fantasy, you might enjoy this story by Charlie Holmberg! It's on sale this weekend only, so don't wait. I've moved it up on my to-read list, just because the back copy makes it sound really good and I need something different to read right now.

You can grab your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Desperate to save her siblings from poverty, a young woman discovers magic fueled by gold . . . and a love for the man who wields it.

A stunning historical fantasy from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg

Abandoned by their father for the gold rush, Gentry and her siblings labor to survive alone in the inhospitable west. When bizarre natural disasters begin wreaking havoc on the land, Gentry discovers a world of magic. Desperate for help, she accepts aid from a mysterious stranger.

Winn not only sees the magic, but controls its hunger by feeding it gold—the very thing Gentry’s father left to acquire. But the earth’s unrest only grows worse, and Gentry’s fear leads her to a terrible choice: marry a wealthy man she does not love, or trust in Winn’s unpredictable power to save her family.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

My Josi Kilpack Interview!

I was so excited to have Josi Kilpack as our guest author in October! I posted two parts of her interview here, but if you want to see it in its entirety, go to my Facebook author page here. She tells us so many things like where she gets her inspiration for her books, how she was able to write such a heart-wrenching story with her new novel, As Wide as the Sky, and when her next book is coming out! I can't wait for that one.

If you didn't click over to go to my Facebook author page, you can just enjoy the two parts that are posted below! (And if you haven't read Josi's books, you should!) Go here to see her book list








Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Free Spooky Stories!


Need some spooky short stories this Halloween while you're waiting for trick or treaters? These six novellas are quick reads but will give you all the thrills and chills! FREE today only!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Another addition to the popular Timeless Romance Anthology series. ALL HALLOWS' EVE is not to be missed. Romance, thrills & chills. Need we say more?

In Sarah M. Eden’s mysterious novella OF GHOSTS AND GARDENS, if Enid Pryce has one downfall, it’s that she talks to the ghost in her garden, which doesn’t make her too popular among society’s elite. In fact, she returns to her home in Wales after a Season in Bath with not one offer of marriage. Deeming herself a failure at the nearly-spinster age of nineteen, she is pleasantly surprised when an English gentleman shows up in her garden, apparently intent on finding out more about the ghost. Burke Kennard, grandson of an English marquess, quickly becomes utterly charmed by the young Welsh woman, but the ghost in the garden is more likely to push them apart than pull them together.

In Annette Lyon’s enthralling story IT’S YOU, when Charlie and Anna both see the ghost of Nanny Mae, they think they’re losing their minds. Anna tries to find out more about the ghost and uncovers a decades’ old family secret. One that separated two people in love. Now, the ghost of Nanny Mae must set her wrongs to right. As Charlie and Anna explore the past, and the truth of what happened, they discover that the mistakes of the past might lead to love of the future.

In SOPHIA’S CURSE, a suspenseful novella by Heather B. Moore, Joan grows up in an abbey in France, believing that she is an orphan. A chance encounter with the foreboding owner of a neighboring estate, alters everything she’s understood about her parents. She discovers she’s an integral part of changing a decades-old curse, and that her life, as well as the handsome and intriguing Simon Rousseau’s life, are both in danger unless she makes an enormous sacrifice that will change the course of her dreams.

In Lisa Mangum’s haunting story THE SIRENS’ SONG, we meet recently widowed Oliver, the lead physician on a luxury cruise liner traveling to Greece. He hopes that the change of scenery will help ease his grief over his deceased wife, Cate. After falling overboard, though, he is captured by a siren and taken to a mystical island. Through the sirens' song, Oliver is able to relive his memories of Cate—both the good and the bad—as long as he gives away his memories of her. But can he sacrifice his best memory in exchange for one last chance to say good-bye?

In Jordan McCollum’s thrilling novella THE MAN OF HER DREAMS, homicide detective Alexandra Steen dreams about real murders before they happen, seeing the crime through the eyes of the killers. But the dreams never contain enough clues to save the victim before it's too late. Then one dream ends before a murder occurs—in a place she knows. She finds herself racing against time to prevent the deadly act, only to discover that the intended victim is a man she thought she’d never see again. Seven years might have passed since her breakup with Nick, but the years haven’t changed her feelings for him. Now, she must convince Nick that her dreams are real and find a way to prevent his death.

In Elana Johnson’s chilling story THE GHOST OF MILLHOUSE MANSION, Naomi knows her crush on Colt Jennings is unreasonable. When he invites her to his reclusive mansion to restore an old wooden rocking horse, Naomi can’t resist accepting the job. The more time Naomi spends touring his home, the more interested she becomes in Colt. Until she sees a man in the library who vanishes into thin air. She thinks she’s losing her mind until Colt tells her about the ghosts he’s been seeing for years.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My Little Girl's Movie Debut!


My little girl got to be in the new movie, The Christmas Apron and tonight was the big premiere! She was an extra and is right in the beginning of the show for only about half a minute, but it was so fun to see her up on the big screen. Quite the moment! And the movie has a really great Christmas message, so it was definitely a win for everyone.

Here's the description:

According to tradition in Millie's family, each grandchild writes down the gift he or she wants and slips that wish into the apron's pocket. But eleven-year-old Millie overhears her parents: the family can't afford gifts for all the little ones.

So, if you want to get in the Christmas spirit, you can pre-order your copy of The Christmas Apron here.

And here's the trailer:






Monday, October 29, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Thoughts on the Episode Where Jerry Has Terrible Friends

Well, confession time: I'm super sensitive to scary/jumpscare type things and this episode had a lot of that. I watched it through my fingers, but really didn't enjoy it and I definitely don't want to watch it again, so I don't think I'll recap and review it. Instead, I'll just give you a quick synopsis and some thoughts on what happened.

So, we start out with young Jerry telling his camp friends a scary story. They don't believe that the story really happened (and are kind of jerks) and so Jerry goes into the forest to relieve himself and sees an axe murderer. Of course no one believes him about that, either. Fast forward thirty years and Jerry has thought so much about what he saw back then AND figured out it was a young girl who was the victim since she went missing around that time, that he's determined to go up to his old summer camp every year and dig around to search for her bones. His terrible friends go up with him on this yearly pilgrimage, but their function seems to be to drink, then mock and make fun of Jerry. Honestly, he needs some new friends. (Although I did enjoy seeing Mary Lynn Rajskub again. I loved her in 24 and really, really miss that show.)

This year Jerry brings Eric who tells him he should check the spot near the river and the road. Noelani comes up with ground penetrating radar and they find some dog bones. It starts to rain and everyone else goes back to the cabins except Jerry who keeps digging because sometimes killers use animal bones to throw off investigators. He finds a human femur, but when he goes to the cabin to show everyone, the axe murderer appears and tries to kill them all. They barricade themselves in, but the killer starts the cabin on fire. Jerry rushes the guy, but before the killer can slash Jerry, he's shot by Bo Bradley, the neighbor who everyone thought was the killer, but was just a nice old man who wanted his privacy. Oh and the killer was Jerry's old camp counselor, but we don't know anything about why he killed the girl or any other details, only that he forgot where he buried her so he followed Jerry and friends to let them find the bones for him.

The B story was about a little girl who drew pictures of murders that happened to women with red hair and blue eyes, but she knew details that no one but the murderer would know. Steve and Tunior find out there's actually another little girl drawing the pictures and she's been a witness to the murders since the murderer is her father. He kills women who look like his ex-wife and then leaves his ex-wife's jewelry on the bodies. Creepy. They finally get an address and catch the dad and save the little girl to reunite her with the mother who's been searching for her.

One last thing happened: Captain Keo called Tani to tell her that the ballistics on the gun she gave him matched Noriko's murder weapon. So, I guess Adam killed her then? I don't know. That Captain seems shifty. I guess we'll see. I wish that storyline was over already.

I liked seeing Steve wearing his blue shirts again. That really is his best color. And I liked the scene of him sitting on the couch with the little girl while she drew a picture. He is so good with children and I would love to see him be a father to his own child on the show. *le sigh* A girl can dream, right?

Did you watch the episode? What did you think?

Friday, October 26, 2018

Freebie Friday!


Freebie alert for mystery fans! This cute mystery, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things, by Rachelle Christensen is free TODAY ONLY so make sure you get it before it's gone! I really enjoyed this one.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she's especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri's world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri's impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success—until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. Adri must race to uncover the secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before she becomes the next victim.

With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things will keep you turning pages long into the night.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Freebie Alert for Mystery Fans!


FREEBIE ALERT! I was so happy to see Christy Barritt's mystery, Ready to Fumble, being offered for free today! If you want a fun book with a twisty mystery, you need to grab this one.

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

I'm not really a private detective. I just play one on TV.

Joey Darling, better known to the world as Raven Remington, detective extraordinaire, is trying to separate herself from her invincible alter ego. She played the spunky character for five years on the hit TV show Relentless, which catapulted her to fame and into the role of Hollywood’s sweetheart.

When her marriage falls apart, her finances dwindle to nothing, and her father disappears, Joey finds herself on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, trying to piece her life back together away from the limelight. A woman finds Raven—er, Joey—and insists on hiring her fictional counterpart to find a missing boyfriend. When someone begins staging crime scenes to match an episode of Relentless, Joey has no choice but to get involved.

Joey’s bumbling sleuthing abilities have her butting heads with Detective Jackson Sullivan and kindling sparks with thrill-seeking neighbor Zane Oakley. Can Joey channel her inner Raven and unearth whodunit before she ends up totally done in? And where is her father anyway? Can she handle fame, or is disappearing into obscurity the wiser option?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway!


I was really excited to read this new anthology, A Christmas Courting, because it includes three of my favorite things: Christmas, regency, and happily-ever-afters!

Each story is a quick and easy read which is perfect for me when the holidays are already knocking on the door. Things are already getting busy! But when I needed a break, I could sit down and truly feel the magic of Christmas on the journey to love for these four couples.

I know three of the authors in this collection, but one is new to me. (Heidi Kimball)  I thought they all offered strong stories with great characters, but if I had to choose a favorite, I think it would be Jennifer Moore's. The three younger siblings in that story stole the show! But Christopher in Chalon Linton's story was a nice surprise as a hero and definitely sigh-worthy, and I also enjoyed mischievous Gerard in Heidi Kimball's story. The competitiveness between him and Francie was really entertaining. Patrick and Alice had a lot of twists and turns on their road to love and I was starting to wonder how that would all turn out in the end! But each couple was definitely root-worthy and deserved a happy ending.

All of the stories were enjoyable and will put you in the Christmas mood or even wishing for a plum pudding and Yule log of your own! I'll definitely be looking for more from all of these authors!

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

You can get your copy here

 

Here's the back copy:

This holiday season fall in love, with heartwarming tales of Christmases past in A Christmas Courting, an enchanting collection of Regency romances.

Love and Joy Come to You by Jennifer Moore--- Lord Covington has planned a quiet holiday with his grieving mother but finds his plans rudely disrupted when lovely Cassie Weatherby and her young siblings are invited for Christmas. Despite his reservations, however, he begins to recognize in Cassie a kindred spirit.

A Christmas Courting by Chalon Linton—When obligations keep her in London, Keturah Hensley sadly anticipates missing the festivity of Christmas at her family’s country home and the company of her best friend, Christopher Shepherd. When she learns that Christopher will be joining her family in London for Christmas, she is delighted—but her elation is short-lived. Christopher is coming to Town to court the woman of his dreams, and Keturah fears she may have lost the chance to win his love.

Mistletoe Memories by Jen Geigle Johnson—From childhood, Patrick, Duke of Montrose, knew he’d found his perfect match in Lady Alice Tarrington. When he’s sent on a grand tour of the world, Patrick is confident he’ll marry his sweetheart upon his return. But when he receives word that Alice is to marry another, will he be too late to claim her heart?

Second-Chance Christmas by Heidi Kimball—Francie and Gerard have been friends since childhood, but their friendship ended when she declined his heartfelt proposal of marriage. However, when her interactions with Gerard’s holiday houseguests provoke in Francie unexpected jealousy, she realizes she must fight for Gerard’s affections or risk losing him forever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

He's Home!


I spent a lot of today watching my missionary son's flight from Madrid, Spain as it crossed the ocean and then crossed the country. Oh, and painting that awesome banner! (Didn't it turn out great? I was really proud of that.) I hadn't seen my son in two years and I could wait to go to the airport and pick him up.

I had so many emotions running through me! The last two years had gone by so fast, but when I stood at the bottom of the escalator and saw him for the first time, it hit me in that moment how long it had truly been since I'd been able to see him with my own two eyes and to hug him. You better believe I hugged him so tight and I didn't want to let go! (But TSA was right behind me telling us to get behind the barricade, so I had to. LOL) It was the best day to be with him again, though.

I really love the missionary program and I'm grateful for my son's service to the people of Spain. He was sad to leave and can't wait to go back to visit. But for now, I am overjoyed to have my entire family together again. It's the best feeling in the world!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Recap & Review--The One That Was So Touching

There were so many things going on in this episode and I don't have a lot of commentary since I enjoyed it so much. But let's get started.

Junior is in a hotel room with Jerry and while Jerry is sleeping soundly with his sleep apnea machine, Junior can't sleep. The next morning Jerry is up early, getting ready to go somewhere and Junior is exhausted. There is a  very sweet scene of Junior helping Jerry with his tie (he's wearing a suit) and I have to say, they both look very sharp. (Junior is in his Navy uniform.) They enter a hangar where a woman waits with a flag-draped coffin on Dover airbase. Apparently, Junior has come to escort airman Christopher Kaliko's body home to Oahu. The woman waiting for them is from mortuary affairs and she tells Junior all about his escort duty and hands him the Staff Sergeant's file. Junior looks it over and is impressed to see that the deceased soldier earned the Bronze Star with Valor, he graduated top of his class, and was only twenty-four years old. Junior doesn't know why Staff Sergeant Kaliko requested for Junior to bring him home and the woman from mortuary affairs doesn't know either. We all watch as the casket is loaded into the plane. (Such a moving scene!)

We cut to a police car chasing a dump truck. The dump truck driver unloads an entire load of sand into the road, effectively stopping the police car, but wait! There was a body in the sand.

Duke is being a sweet grandpa, swinging his granddaughter on the swings when Steve comes to see him. He sits down with Duke to talk about his reinstatement hearing, to make sure he's prepped and ready to go, but Duke has decided not to go. Being away has made him think that retirement might not be a bad idea. Steve wants him to fight because it's his reputation and legacy---to go ahead and clear his name. Duke says the people who know him think he was a good cop and at some point you have to ask yourself, what are you fighting for? He's at peace with the decision. Steve seems frustrated by that, but he gets a call and heads out. (So far I've liked the introduction of the deceased Staff Sergeant's legacy of bravery and Duke's legacy being threatened after a long and distinguished career.)

Steve pulls up to the sand in the road and the nearly unidentifiable body is laid out. The hands are bound and the feet are missing, but the awful part is that the face is unrecognizable. (Ew.) Steve thinks the sand is stolen and Grover laughs. Who would steal sand? (Also my question.) But there is a huge business worldwide for black market sand mining. I guess they use it to make concrete and such. (Learn something new every day!) But now they need to ID the body and the crime scene is in the Pacific ocean somewhere. Talk about finding a needle in a haystack!

We flashback to 2013 in Afghanistan. Junior is about to go on an op, but he has to put his affairs in order and decide who will escort his body home. His CO tells him it's not a burden, it's an honor. Back to present-day, Jerry and Junior are on the plane talking about who Junior chose to be his body escort. (His cousin). Jerry asks if we know how the Staff Sergeant died.  According to the incident report, a special ops team was conducting an night raid and the helo was shot down by an RPG. Staff Sergeant Kaliko and another officer held off the insurgents and they were the only two who didn't make it. Junior is honored to take him home, but wonders why he chose him. With no answers, Junior tries to catch some Zzz's, but Jerry can't sleep with the turbulence.

Noelani tells Steve that the dead man's feet were ripped off, not eaten by marine life, and since there was a surgical cavity in the victim's left shin, if they find the feet, they can find the pin and use the serial number to make an ID. Steve says that they need to find driver so they can figure out where the sand was dredged. Of course they go to Kamekona to find out who the players are in the sand game.

As they drive up to the shrimp truck, Danny throws in his opinion that Duke doesn't need to go to the reinstatement meeting. Steve, of course, still believes that Duke needs to clear his name. They table the discussion when they find Kamekona eating his lunch. He's been on his feet for seven hours and is a bit grumpy. He tells the boys not to bother a food service pro after the lunch rush. (Steve is in his blue shirt this ep, so thank you wardrobe people!) Kame says he might know a guy who used to move in the sand circle and he'll make a call. He goes back to his lunch, but Steve and Danny just sit there, until Kame finally calls Flippa. Apparently Flippa was the guy who used to be in the sand game!. He tells them about a client from Dubai who imported Hawaiian sand because their desert sand is too fine to make into concrete, but when he left the game two haoles were in charge.

And I guess they still are because next thing we know, Steve and Danny are chasing the dump truck driver to a sand pit. Steve is right behind the guy when he jumps off and falls into a machine full of sand being processed, but thankfully the blades are turned off. Danny warns Steve not to follow the guy in, but he does anyway. Danny rushes over to turn off the machine, pressing random buttons, and he starts the blades! (Who just presses random buttons!) Luckily he finds the stop button and both Steve and the dump truck driver fall out. Whew! (I liked the tense buildup to this scene and the chase was great as well!)

Jerry is reading a novel when Junior wakes up. Apparently Danny's ex-mother-in-law is a best-selling author and she's written a book about a restaurant publicist in Seattle who breaks off her engagement to travel in Europe and meets a count who invites her to his castle. He sheepishly says he bought it to keep his mind occupied, but it's not working. He confides in Junior that after 9/11 he wanted to do something that would make a difference so he decided to enlist with his friend Mika. Unfortunately, at the recruitment meeting he had a panic attack. His recruiter told him that the service wasn't for him and Jerry felt ashamed. Junior tells him that there's no shame---the service isn't for everyone and Jerry has done a lot of other brave things. Jerry says he wanted to come and help Junior to make up for not being able to enlist and also admits it was his friend Mika who was the one who was killed in combat. (Such an emotional scene and Jorge Garcia killed it.)

Danny and Steve are on a boat getting ready to find the missing feet. They have a fancy imaging device that will help and when they find something that's worth taking a closer look at, Steve dives in. While he's underwater Danny tells him more of his opinions on Duke since Steve can't talk back. He says things like you are putting yourself in his shoes, but he's not you, it's about him. Duke is a grown man and can make his own decisions, and there's something to be said about knowing when your time is up. (A little armchair psychology in action.) Thankfully, Steve finds the feet fairly quickly and brings them up. But wait! The toes are painted. These are women's feet. We have a double homicide.

The airman's body is loaded into hearse at Hickam Air base and while they are there, Junior tells Jerry that his cousin wasn't the first person he asked to escort his body. He wanted it to be his dad, but when he asked him, his dad said no. He didn't want Junior to serve. He even went so far as to say that if Junior was killed, he wouldn't go to the funeral. Jerry says his dad was probably afraid of losing him, but Junior says he probably already had at that point. Jerry gently says, well, you're both still here aren't you? It's never too late to make things right. (Awww. *sniffle*)

Steve finds the second set of feet and digs out the surgical pin from the remains of the ankle. Danny is grossed out (as am I!) They get an ID, though. The deceased person is Kaimi Allana. Steve says they need to take some dogs and get to the sand facility since the woman's body might be buried in the piles of sand. While that's happening, Grover and Tani go to Kaimi's house. There's lots of unopened mail and it looks like he lived alone, but Grover finds women's clothing, hats, lotions, etc. in the bedroom. Tani finds pics of Kaimi as a man, and then one of him as a woman. Grover thinks Kaimi is transgender, but Tani says he's Mahu. In traditional Hawaiian culture, a Mahu identifies with both male and female spirit and so their gender is fluid. It seems Kaimi presented as traditionally female. They head over to the dance studio where Kaimi taught and her partner said there wasn't anyone who wished harm on Kaimi and they never were harassed. Tani isn't buying the hate crime thing, anyway, since Mahu are very respected and revered.

Back at the sand pit, the dogs find the second body. Her name is also Kaimi Allana! Dun, dun, dun. Two bodies with the same name. It could be a case of mistaken identity where the killer killed wrong person, then found the right one and killed them, too. So now they need to figure out who was the intended victim.

Steve brings in Kaimi's husband and questions him in his office. When he reported his wife missing he was out of town. Does he know Hailey Adams? Well, she booked a trip to Bali and he was supposed to be on the trip with her. Why would your recently deceased wife's friend book a trip for the two of you? The husband says he doesn't know and asks for a lawyer. Sadly for him, the dump truck driver already rolled and they have the evidence of a wire transfer for $2000 that the husband paid to have his wife killed. (I guess he didn't give the dump truck driver any info on the wife besides her name, so he just randomly went around killing anyone named Kaimi Allana and hoped he got the right one. What a terrible hitman. And then he admitted his stupidity to cut a deal. Whatever works, I guess.)

Back at Steve's house, Eddie is barking at the door. Duke comes by to tell Steve that they caught Akela taking money out of her mom's wallet. She said that a friend at school had a backpack that was falling apart and she wanted to get him a new one. So she was doing the right thing for the wrong reason and that got Duke thinking about his legacy that will be Akela's roadmap someday. He's going to fight to get his job back and he wants Steve to come with him. Steve is in 1000 percent. (Awww!)

Junior is following the hearse to the cemetery and sees a bumper sticker on the back of the Staff Sergeant's parents' car that says they have an honor student at Kukui  high school. That jogs his memory that he did a presentation there in 2011 about his experience in the military. Christopher Kaliko was there as a student and it impacted him. That hits Junior hard and he doesn't think he can face the parents since he was the one who encouraged their son to enlist. If it wasn't for him, Chris would be alive today. (Such a great performance here. I love Beulah Koale!) Jerry calms him down and reminds him that he encouraged Christopher to serve his country and he did that with distinction and died a hero. Jerry also says that his friend Mika would be alive if Jerry hadn't convinced him to join up. He blamed himself so much that he couldn't leave his mom's basement for months or go to the funeral where he was supposed to be a pall bearer. His blame kept him from honoring his friend's memory, which is why he's here. And that's why Junior needs to face Christopher's parents.

They go in and offer their condolences. Christopher's mom has a letter from Chris to Junior. He opens it and it says that the day Junior came to talk at the school was the day Chris found his life's purpose. He was proud to put on the maroon beret. One of the proudest moment he had was when they were taking back an area from Taliban control. He didn't speak Pashto, but totally understood how grateful they were. He'll never forget the look on the villagers faces when the last insurgent was gone. Nothing mattered more than giving them back their home and Chris' team gave them that. He tells Junior to please remember to celebrate my life and all the good I did. Serving his country was the greatest privilege of his life. They are showing the cemetery and the flag-folding while Junior reads the letter with Taps playing in background. It's so emotionally heartrending and beautiful. I loved it.

So, an emotional H50 with a theme of legacy running through it. I really enjoyed this one. Did you watch? What did you think? 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Have You Entered to Win $100? Don't Miss This One!


$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Just think how many books you could buy with $100! Or maybe you need a new Kindle! Or maybe you want to try Kindle Unlimited! Or maybe you want to buy a gift for someone! Or maybe you just need an extra $100! This $100 giveaway is sponsored by an AMAZING group of authors who write clean romance. 

  Sponsor List:
Caroline Clemmons
Cindy Ray Hale
Crissy Sharp
Debra Erfert
Donna K. Weaver
Heidi Kimball
Kim Koby
Tina Dee
Lucinda Whitney
Anne Stone
Lorin Grace
Sophia Conrad
Jaclyn Hardy
Kaylee Baldwin
Kimberly Grist
Rose Pearson
Elizabeth Johns

 To enter this one you need to follow these authors on Amazon &/or BookBub. If you don't have a BookBub account it is easy to create one!     

Giveaway Details

One winner will be awarded $100 in Paypal Cash or a $100 Amazon Gift Code! Winning entry will be verified! Make sure you actually click the button to follow on Amazon & BookBub! If you already follow you can, of course, claim the entry! Ends 11/16/18   BONUS $10 Giveaways - Like, Comment & Share on FACEBOOK &/or INSTAGRAM to enter our bonus giveaways!
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 MAY BE CHOSEN. THIS GIVEAWAY IS IN NO WAY ASSOCIATED WITH FACEBOOK, TWITTER, RAFFLECOPTER, AMAZON, BookBub, PAYPAL OR ANY OTHER ENTITY UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. THE NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE ENTRIES RECEIVED DETERMINES THE ODDS OF WINNING. THE GIVEAWAY WAS ORGANIZED BY KATHY FROM I AM A READER/CLEAN WHOLESOME ROMANCE AND SPONSORED BY THE PARTICIPATING AUTHORS. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Enter the $100 Giveaway via the rafflecopter   

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Book Review: Wedding Belles

 

Some of my favorite authors have joined together on a unique project presenting four connected novellas. Each one of the books presents a different couple, but builds on the same setting and backdrop as the rest of the books. It was really fun!

I loved that the novellas were set in Charleston, SC. I have always wanted to visit there and this gave me a little glimpse into how wonderful the culture and places truly would be to see firsthand!

The first story is about Harper and Zak and it was hard to put down! They were so cute and funny with just the right amount of angst. It was the perfect opener. (My favorite part was the carnival ride. Zak was so embarrassed and his way to make it up to Harper was sweet.) I think they were my favorite couple, but it was hard to choose!

Then we go to Janie and Emmett, a sweet second chance romance. Who wouldn't want to be able to see if things really could work out with their high school crush? I loved how Janie was living her dream and knew Emmett so well already and he really saw the real Janie (and had in high school as well). (Janie's sister was a bit of a killjoy, but it was understandable with her circumstances.) Both of the main characters were really relatable as they sorted through all the feelings on their journey to love.

The third part was Lily and Deacon. This one was emotional, but had several laugh out loud moments and will definitely have you up late reading to see if they find their happily-ever-after! They just have some really great chemistry and while they did have a lot of things to work through, it was a sweet story.

The fourth one was so swoon-worthy and fun. I loved seeing how Sutton and Max connected and had to try so hard to find their way back to each other. They had some really difficult trials! But I loved seeing a bit of all the other characters at the end and have the ending that ties everything together. Loved it.

Each author really outdid themselves in providing a sweet romance that had just the right amount of details and a fleshed out story. Sometimes in novellas that is not the case, but this book balanced that perfectly. Really well done.

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Wedding Belles
A clean and wholesome romantic comedy told in four parts.

Harper is an event planner with dreams of taking over the Charleston wedding scene . . . until she meets the biggest Bridezilla of her career. She needs the job, but the only way to keep it is to hire a temperamental chef with big dreams of his own. Can Zak’s passion for brilliant food save the wedding? Or will the sparks flying between Harper and Zak burn them both?

Janie is a classical cellist booked to play a posh Charleston wedding. She’s excited to have the lucrative gig until the groom’s brother, Emmett, shows up and asks her to help him play a song he wrote for the happy couple. The only trouble? Emmett is her former high school crush and never did anything but ignore Janie. When chemistry sizzles between them, will Janie have the courage to move beyond past hurts and embrace an unpredictable future?

Lily has been Dahlia's best friend, partner-in-crime, and now her maid of honor . . . until suddenly there's no wedding, and she's left to clean up Dahlia's biggest mess of all. She's been friends with Deacon, the jilted groom, for just as long, and it's up to her rescue him after Hurricane Dahlia blows through. But as their friendships deepen, so do their feelings. Can she trust their growing chemistry, or is this another disaster waiting to happen?

Sutton is a photographer running from her past. Only the pleas from her best friend to photograph her wedding could bring Sutton back to Charleston. Her plan is to get in and get out before her ex knows she and their daughter are in town. Before she can leave Charleston behind for good, she meets Max , who turns out to be the safe place she didn’t know she was looking for. She’s finally ready to quit running, if only she can find him again…

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway!


It is impossible to communicate to you how much I loved Out of the Best Books. As a former high school English teacher, there are so many books in classic literature that I absolutely love. I've read them over and over, thought about their messages and themes, and shared those thoughts with my students, children, friends, and family. There is just something about classic literature that is timeless---their characters and journeys speak to the reader's soul. Out of the Best Books by S. Michael Wilcox shows us a different way of looking at beloved characters through the lens of gospel themes and the spiritual knowledge we can learn from these same books. I was riveted.

The author starts off with one of my very favorite book series, Anne of Green Gables. We learn so much from Anne, finding joy in whatever circumstance and the need to belong, to name two. But Mr. Wilcox takes it a step further to show us how a gospel perspective can show us even deeper meanings. He does that with books like Sense and Sensibility, Huck Finn, Les Miserables, and many more. He has such an easy style to his writing that I couldn't wait to get back to it and see what comparisons he would make next.

But this book isn't just for people who have studied English or been teachers. I love that his connections between the books and the gospel are so simple, but things I hadn't really thought of before. He provides such a thought-provoking commentary that I couldn't stop thinking about it long after I closed the book.

Out of the Best Books really made me stop and think and want to try to do better in my own life in finding the sweet messages from our Father in Heaven that are all around us. I know I'll definitely be reading this book again. One for my keeper shelf for sure!

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

You can get your copy here

 

Here's the back copy:

From Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables to Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, the characters of classic literature have stood the test of time. There are countless reasons to pick up a good book—but is it possible to find eternal truths in secular works? In Out of the Best Books, LDS scholar S. Michael Wilcox demonstrates that when it comes to learning gospel principles, truth can shine forth in all good works—and literary classics are a prime example. With underlying lessons on life, faith, and eternal characteristics, secular works can inspire as surely as religious volumes. It is through the experiences of characters like Atticus Finch, Elinor Dashwood, and Ebenezer Scrooge that their authors’ inspired words have the power to create life-changing lessons for readers. Learn to find inspiration, wisdom, and spiritual knowledge in the age-old classics. God is in every good thing—you just have to look.



Blog Tour Schedule:

*Oct. 15th: http://mybookaday.com, https://www.rockinbookreviews.com/

*Oct. 16th: http://bonnieharris.blogspot.com/

*Oct. 17th: https://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/, https://rachellechristensen.com/

*Oct. 18th: https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/, http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, https://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/

*Oct. 19th: http://lifeiswhatitscalled.blogspot.com/, http://thoroughlyhere.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Book Review: The Husband Hunt


Anna Buttimore's new novel, The Husband Hunt, is a cute story of finding yourself while you're looking for love.

Four friends reconnect at a high school reunion and since they're all single, one of them proposes a bet---the first one to find love gets her dream wedding paid for by the other three. And then the race is on! Each woman goes on a journey to try and find her happily-ever-after through crazy first dates and realizations of what love truly means. There were some solid character growth arcs throughout the books as each woman realizes things about herself and the men they interact with. There were definitely some laugh out loud moments! The four stories are told in successive chapters so the pacing was difficult to maintain at times, but each one was distinctive and easy to follow. I think I liked Amelia's story the best, but it was hard to choose. There was definitely a surprise ending and I'm really glad we got an epilogue to see what happened to all of them!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Four girlfriends reconnect at their high school reunion and discover they’re all single. They make a pact: the first one to find a man worth marrying gets her dream wedding paid for by the others. Determined to win, career lawyer Maralee hits the professional dating sites, pursues the office Casanova, and even enlists the help of her handsome secretary, Brend, as she tries to find a man worthy of her. Jen, mother of a teenage girl and reeling from a divorce, asks her neighbor Brian for advice in navigating the dating scene, but secretly wishes he was more than just a friend. Nervous Amelia has no problem attracting men and even goes on a singles cruise, yet the only man she really trusts is her ex-husband Steve. Eco-warrior Dolphin already knows who her “keeper” is—Falcon Storm, the one that got away ten years ago. Dolphin recruits Duke, a rival jewelry maker, to help her track down Falcon.

Who will win the wedding? You’ll laugh at the dating adventures of Maralee, Jen, Amelia, and Dolphin—and root for all four friends to find happiness. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Recap & Review---The One That Was Sweaty and A Teensy Bit Boring

We start off with a quote that talks about how hot weather increases irritability and violent crime. (Hmmm. Well then, shouldn't Arizona, Texas, or maybe even Florida be the most crime-riddled and cranky states in the union? LOL) But it's apparently 100 degrees in Honolulu and Tani is in traffic yelling at people who are honking their horns and watching other people disrobe in their cars. (Are there no air conditioned cars in Honolulu?) When she finally gets to the office, Junior is there watching a football game with a fan on him. She tells him that McG called and HPD is stretched thin, so they need Tunior to help out. Junior wants to meet her downstairs because he's naked from the waist down. In Tani's chair. Ew. (Pro life tip: don't get naked at work to watch a football game because you'll probably get caught. Or be on someone's security camera!)

We cut to a broken down cop car and the woman in the back says she can't breathe. The cops decide to take her out of the car and get her some water. While one partner goes to knock on the door of the house, the other one takes the woman out of the back of the car. Big mistake. She suddenly goes all ninja! She head butts the cop with her hands cuffed behind her back, and then magically, her hands are cuffed in front of her so she can take him down, get his gun and shoot him. Then she shoots his partner. (It was actually one of the more violent scenes I've seen on this show in a while.)

Steve and Danny are at the Restaurant of Ridiculousness filling up coolers of ice for their fish inventory and arguing about which items should go on ice first. (They have a commercial freezer that would probably do a better job at keeping things cool, but Steve isn't too sure.) Even though the power has only been out for half an hour, they are both sweaty---very sweaty. Like drenched shirt sweaty. (Ew. I'm sorry!) Kamekona comes in to take the ice he's been hoarding in the restaurant freezer to use for his shave ice truck. He's apparently the Oracle of Oahu and foresaw this heat wave and was prepared to be the only game in town. Steve's phone thankfully rings.

Steve and Danny drive out to where the policemen's bodies are still in the street, as well as a motorcycle driver. We get a slo-mo scene of the perp killing the motorcyclist and in this shot she doesn't have any cuffs on at all! NinjaPerp lives on! We do find out her name is Tracee Benson and she had an argument with her superintendent and got picked up for assault. McG wonders why she would murder two cops for that since she has no priors?

We then start Grover's storyline. Dog didn't make his tee time with Grover and stayed home instead with an ice bath and lemonade. Grover decides to go ahead anyway and forces his caddy to stay with him. Even though HPD is stretched thin and everyone else is working. And the fact that there is a heat wave and they're walking with no water or shade. (Don't do it!)

Steve and Danny go to the superintendent's hospital room and he's pretty beat up and sedated. The wife fills them in on what happened. She was upstairs when she heard NinjaTracee shouting about the air conditioning in her apartment and, when she came downstairs, NinjaTracee was beating her husband. She tells Steve that service people have been coming in and out all week to fix the air conditioning, but heat makes people do crazy things. Oh, and NinjaTracee was a good tenant before that. She didn't have a job, but scored some insurance money to pay rent on time. Jerry finds out that Tracee Benson actually died three years ago, so now we don't know who NinjaTracee really is since she was using a dead person's ID. Then we get to see Jerry making a smoothie but when he pours the milk in, it's gross, expired, and chunky.

Tunior are in her car, and Tani is aiming the A/C at her armpits. She is also very cranky and ends up doing Danny impressions. (So. Much. Filler. But her Danny impression is pretty good!) They finally get an alert of shots fired and a home invasion in process so they head over. (Okay, yeah, now maybe things will get interesting!) There's a guy on the roof with a gun trained on a group of kids in a pool. Junior figures out the gunman is on anxiety meds that can increase heat sensitivity or cause heat stroke and dehydration. He says the gunman needs to get out of the sun so the guy starts to come down and falls off the roof. The gun discharges and scares the kids. An ambulance appears and takes the gunman away. (That's as exciting as it gets, folks. *sad face*) Tani asks Junior how he knew all that stuff about the anxiety meds. Turns out his sister was on those for a bit and got really disoriented once in heat that wasn't nearly as bad as this. Tani tells him if he ever wants to talk about his sister, she'll listen. When they go to leave, someone is in Tani's car and drives away with it.

It's 106 degrees now and dispatch tells Tunior they have to wait an hour for another vehicle. (Weird. No one can swing by when they're out and about?) Tani says she hates Junior because he didn't take the keys out of the cupholder. His excuse is that they were responding to a call. (Oops. Cop lesson #1 don't leave your keys in the cupholder when there's criminal activity in the area.) He also wants to walk back to the station since it's only a thirty minute walk or they could jog it in fifteen. Tani asks who would exercise in this heat and we cut to Grover. His caddy, Gary, looks terrible, red eyes, sweating. Not good at all. But Grover merely offers to carry the bag since he needs Gary to witness the round of his life. (Oy. Grover knows people can die from heat stroke, right? Sigh.)

Back to Jerry. He's buying milk and the guy in front of him bought the last two bags of ice in the store. A new guy walks in and he needs ice, but the store is out. Welp, if they won't give it to him, he'll just take it! The new guy follows the man with two ice bags out of the store and steals it! Jerry follows him and decides to bash the IceThief over the head with a glass bottle of milk and then cuff him. (Did Jerry really assault that guy in the name of ice thievery?)  But, wait, IceThief has a good reason for stealing! His wife is six months pregnant and having contractions because of the heat, so the doctor said to keep her cool until the ambulance can get there in an hour. (Maybe they should take her to the hospital themselves. Isn't anyone's car working? Or taxis? Or maybe they could go to where Tunior are. The ambulance showed up there pretty fast.) FirstGuyWithTheIce says he only needed the ice for margaritas, but he can't give it to IceThief now anyway, because it already melted.

Kamekona shows up to Flippa's truck with his ice and they triple the price of a shave ice to $15. Price gouging is never cool and the people in line are not happy, but what can they do? (Oh Kame, this is not going to turn out well.)

Steve and Danny go to NinjaNotTracee's apartment and the A/C works. So why was she worked up enough about it to beat the superintendent? Steve looks in the vent and something was obviously there but has been taken out. Danny finds a fingerprint on dishes in the sink and they figure out her real name is Allison Ross and she was part of a bank robbing crew. A job went sideways a few years back and a security guard was killed, but NinjaNotTracee disappeared during a prison transfer along with half a million dollars. They all figure out that the A/C repairman found her money. Tracee obviously went crazy on the super to find out who the guy was and now McG wants to find repair guy before she does.

It's now 109 degrees. McG and Danny are trying to get through to the A/C service and get the name of the repair guy. The secretary finally answers and spills all of RepairGuy's info, including name and address. Oh and she told NinjaNotTracee, too. The boys head to the address. (Okay, you might think this is finally going to get interesting . . . but, no.)

Tunior are walking down a deserted road and he tells her that his sister was killed by a drunk driver who ran a red light. Tani doesn't know what to say. It's awkward. They hear an ice cream truck and each buy a cone. Junior gets sorbet with ice cream and Tani gets vanilla. He likes to live on the edge. She plays it safe. (Yep, ice cream flavor choices are the most exciting thing at the moment.) Someone calls to tell Tunior they found Tani's car ditched at the beach.

Grover gets a thirty foot putt, but Gary is nearly unconscious and didn't see it. Grover tells him his bragging rights and Gary's tip depend on whether Gary will lie and say he saw it. (I'll just leave that right there.)

Steve and Danny pull up to RepairGuy's apartment building and the motorcycle NinjaNotTracee stole is out front. The elevator is broken so they have to hoof it to the top floor to find RepairGuy's apartment. They bust in and he's on the floor bleeding, but still alive. He says the woman left a couple of hours ago. But the motorcycle is downstairs, so maybe she stole a car? Or maybe she's still in the building? Ooh, ooh, the elevator! Steve shimmies down the elevator cables and opens it up. (I'm thinking maybe she'll jump out! We'll get an elevator gunfight. Something!) But no, NinjaNotTracee is dead inside with the money oddly strewn about. (Was she handling it before she stroked out?) (And I was sad we didn't get any fight at all. No takedown. Just everyone looking at a dead person inside an elevator.)

Jerry and IceThief and two other guys bring the pregnant woman into a refrigerated area of the store. She looks like she's actually in labor at only six months along and they should be transporting her to the hospital and forget about putting her in a fridge, but okay. Kamekona's truck is overturned and his place trashed by the angry mob who freaked out over the price gouging. Grover appears at the scene, all happy, which annoys Danny. Grover can't wait to tell them that he shot par. Steve doesn't believe him. So he produces Gary the almost witness. Gary has shave ice in his hands from a two for one place down the way. (If Kamekona was the only game in town with ice, how did anyone else get ice?) Gary starts to confirm Grover's statements, but Grover cuts in to ask where Tunior is. Steve says they had car trouble. Grover is happy because now they can all hear the story twice. (As long as I don't!)

When Tunior approach the stolen car, the thief is still inside. (So when the police said they found it ditched at the beach, did they not check inside of it?) Of course he just borrowed it for the A/C and ran the battery down. He tells Tani it wasn't stolen just borrowed, but she isn't impressed and so he's handcuffed and put in the back of a police car. (That police car appeared pretty fast. Just sayin') Junior wants to forget the whole thing since she got her car back, but Tani says she'll make fun of him for it for the rest of his life. They go back out into the heat and since they'll have to wait for a tow, they decide to take their clothes off and run into the ocean. They're playing around and looking at each other when it starts to rain. Everyone is dancing and lifting their faces to the sky, happy to see the rain.  The End.

Not my favorite episode. After the awesomeness of the first two, this one felt a little on the boring side. I didn't think it meshed that well with the four storylines and some parts didn't make the team members look so great. That might be just me, though.

What did you think? Did you watch?