Monday, January 22, 2018

Spotlight On A New Romance & A $50 Giveaway!

I'm excited to spotlight a brand new romance by Cami Checketts that was just released today! I don't think I've read anything by her before, but this one looks good and it's on sale today for only .99 cents! (Oh, and be sure to scroll all the way down and enter to win $50!)

You can download your sale copy here

Here's the back copy:

Hailey Knight has two choices: fall prey to a predator who is out to own her and destroy her football team, or marry a man she’s just met. True, her fake husband can make her quiver with a touch, gets her jokes, and is patience personified, but she knows better than anyone how quickly charm can turn ugly. Brady Giles has dealt with a sweetheart stalker for two years and has no hope of shaking the annoyance. He steps in to rescue the beautiful and feisty Hailey Knight from a leering idiot and somehow ends up engaged to her. The marriage is supposed to help them both out of sticky situations, but instead turns into a media hailstorm with lies and attacks coming from all sides. When Hailey falls in love with her fake husband and danger lurks around every corner, she knows it’s time to run, but Brady has never given up on an impossible battle.


 Hailey’s brain scrambled for an out, any out. She put on a fake smile and said, “You don’t know how much I wish I could have dinner with you tonight, but you must not have heard … I’m recently engaged.” She kept a straight face when she wanted to gasp in shock. Where had that come from, and who was she going to claim she was engaged to?

William released her hair and actually took a step back, the scowl on his face ruining all his supposed good looks. “You are?” His eyes strayed to her left hand. She clasped it with her right to hide her naked finger. “To whom?”

 A dark-haired man appeared at her table. Hailey dealt with burly football players every day of her life, but this guy’s shape still gave her pause. He was probably around six three and two hundred and fifty pounds. Every inch was muscle, not bodybuilder muscle but lean and functional and covered by smooth, tanned skin. He definitely had some Italian heritage in him as dark and good-looking as he was. Hailey had a strict policy of not checking out her own team’s football players, but she knew every single one of them. This guy wasn’t on her roster.

“Excuse me.” The man’s deep voice washed over her as his dark eyes looked at her with concern then flashed to William with annoyance. “Do you need some help?”

Yes, yes she did. Hailey grasped his arm and cuddled into his side, wrapping her other arm around his waist. “Thank you for coming to check on me, sweetheart.”

His body tightened at the way she was trying to manhandle him, impossible to really do as she was almost a foot shorter and less than half his bodyweight, but she needed help, and she needed it now. The solution was so clear. William would back off if she were engaged. He would have to. Then there would be no repercussions on her football team and no coercion to date, and especially not to stay the night with, the slime ball VP.

“Um, sure … anything for you, honey.” The man wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and Hailey had never felt so safe as he gently pulled her close.

Safety and reassurance were amazing and unexpected feelings to have at the moment, especially after the fear of William clogging her throat mere seconds ago and the fact that she naturally shied away from well-built men. The emotion of it all made her weak, and she found herself leaning against his muscular chest. The dark-haired guy glanced down at her and winked. Ooh, he was quick too. She ticked off his positive qualities in her mind—not one of her football brothers, handsome with strong facial features, brown eyes framed with dark lashes, and smart. She might even give this guy a date to prove they were engaged.

“This is my fiancé,” she said to William, inclining her chin with pride. The man kind of started, but he stayed close to her side as he released her from his hold and stuck his hand out to William.

“Brady Giles. Pleasure to meet you …” Brady Giles? Oh, crap, he was one of her players! He’d recently transferred from New England. He was one of the top cornerbacks in the nation, and they were extremely blessed to get him, but the Brady Giles she’d seen from the sidelines had long, dark wavy hair and a full beard. This guy with the cropped hair and clean shaven model-gorgeous face was a Brady Giles she’d never expected—sharp and way too appealing. What had she done?


  $50 Release Day Giveaway Ends 1/29/18 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Recap & Review--The Grover Episode

Well, sometimes we get an episode that makes the HPD look like they can't do their jobs very well and this was one of them! But we also get some good scenes with Lou and I enjoyed it overall.

We start out with Tani and McG paddling along on their boards, talking about the time when Chin got locked out of his room and had to chase Abby with only a towel on. (A classic scene.) Tani wants to meet Chin and McG thinks it will happen, that the island always draws you back home. (I hope so, but I highly doubt we'll see Chin or Kono anytime soon, sadly.) Steve also tells Tani that he has a rep for being hyper-competitive, but he isn't. He just likes to win. (Um, isn't that the definition of competitive?) Tani hears this and decides to test the theory by paddling faster. Steve catches on quickly and tries to keep up. (You know that isn't going to sit well even with Steve's "non-competitive" nature.)

Cut to Will who is having girl troubles and Grover is trying to help him out. Just listen! All women need is a fixed stare and open ears! (Not bad advice, really.) Will gets an emergency alert on his phone and reads it to his dad, but his dad says it's his day off. The guy must have bad karma or something because they come up on the car the HPD is looking for. It crashed into a street sign and is smoking in the road. Grover tells Will to call Steve and to stay in the car, then he approaches. He's yelling at the driver to get out of the car, but the guy says he can't. And when Lou gets closer, he see that the guy is pointing a gun to his own head. That can't be good.

Steve and Tani make it back to shore and she was four yards ahead. Steve wants to call it a draw and she's all, whatever, so he finally admits that she won. Steve takes the call from Will and says they'll be right over. (They do take time to get dressed and in tac gear before they arrive, though. I wonder how long that took.) Long enough that HPD is setting up barricades around the car. Duke and Junior give Danny, Steve, and Tani all the pertinent info---the suicidal guy was going to surrender for murdering his wife, but he didn't turn up. His wife fell fifteen stories, but the husband claims she jumped. Cops don't believe him. Nobody does. (Yeah, that guy is definitely having a bad day.)

The suicidal guy's name is Brad and he's telling Grover he didn't kill his wife. Grover is trying to calm him down, has him roll down the car window so he can hear him and tells Brad that everyone needs to hear his side of things and he should trust Lou. Steve gives Lou a call and Lou takes it, walking a few feet away to chat about Brad. Does Lou believe Brad didn't kill his wife? (Well, Lou's only been talking to the guy for five minutes!) Also, Brad can probably hear everything Lou says.  Lou answers Steve's question with a maybe he did, maybe he didn't. (Or in other words, how would I know?) Lou asks Steve to look into evidence on the case, just in case there's something HPD missed. Steve assigns Tani and Junior to look at everything HPD has on the case. Danny Downer says this is a dangerous precedence they're setting by helping this guy. (Well, what do you think we should do Danny? Tackle him and hope the gun doesn't go off? Call in the snipers?) On top of that little comment, a crisis management guy comes on scene ready to take over. Steve says Lou has it under control, so thanks but no thanks. The guy is put out and snottily says, well, if the man kills himself, you'll deny justice to wife and family. (Poor Steve, having to put up with all the Negative Nellies.)

After that we get a gruesome scene where we get to see where the wife hits the car and a close-up of her dead body. (So not needed and really gross.) Tani is standing on balcony looking over where the wife fell before she turns around to take in the trashed apartment. But back at the HPD perimeter, Brad is still holding a gun to his head. Lou is pleading with him, saying he doesn't want to leave the people who love you like this. They'll have to live with that. Why don't you tell me about your wife? Lou really seems to connect with the guy and is able to keep him talking.

Tani brings Steve everything they got and tells him there was definitely a struggle, and Noelani is looking over physical evidence. So far, emails, texts, and bank records are solid. (So, no motive?) Brad claims that he left straight after argument, but sadly no one can corroborate. Oh, and Brad deleted her texts and didn't return her calls. (It all seems really circumstantial to me, but hey, what do I know?)

Brad is talking about how they'd been married ten years, but actually, he doesn't want to talk, he just wants it over with. Lou reminds him that death is final. He will have thrown away his whole life in one split second mistake. To show he trusts Brad, that he believes in his innocence, Lou puts away his gun. Steve is watching and the Crisis Management creeps up behind him to give his opinion that Lou putting his gun away is a mistake. Lou's practically signing his death warrant! (And he's not overdramatic or anything. Not at all.) Steve backs Lou's play, but he's also got snipers in position. He mentions that when Lou was running SWAT in Chicago he had similar situation with a gunman holding a two year old inside and he wishes he'd handled it differently. The guy killed himself while still on phone with Grover and when they went inside, he'd killed the boy, too. Sad!

Lou is still talking and says Brad does't look like a guilty man. Brad thinks Grover is playing him so he'll put the gun down, but Lou reassures him that he thinks he's innocent and if he takes his life, he'll take the truth with him. Lou starts to move to the passenger seat just as Noelani confirms that Traci had defensive wounds and Brad's DNA under her fingernails. They've got enough evidence to lock guy up for life! (Really? Do they?) Steve calls Lou, but he won't pick up, since he's getting in the car. Steve is visibly worried. (I love how much he cares.)

We get a flashback of the funeral of little boy that Grover couldn't save in Chicago seven years ago. He's standing apart, it's raining, and the mother gives him an accusing look. Nobody wanted Brad at his wife's funeral, but he had to go to say goodbye. Grover assures him that people are looking for answers and it's easier to point the finger at Brad. Brad gets animated and says they should look at him as the guy who tried to save her and keep her safe from herself! Apparently, Tracy had severe depression and didn't tell anyone else, only Brad knew. Steve is trying to listen in, but creepy Crisis Management guy pops up again to say that talking is good, but Captain Grover gave up all his power when got in car. Brad has leverage over us now! (*whine whine* What an annoying guy. And that's who they have trying to talk people down!)

Junior and Tani are back at the scene of the crime, lamenting that the apartment manger thinks he saw Brad leave, but can't remember what time. Neighbors saw nothing. But then Junior sees an ATM machine across street! They hurry over to look at it and hope it caught something. (How did HPD miss that? Rookie investigators?) Steve is still listening in to the car convo, but a random guy not only gets by the barricade, but also where Duke is set up, and he pulls a gun! Steve takes him down, and it's Tracy's dad. He's disheveled and nearly crazed saying Brad should die for what he did. He had a concealed permit for the gun, but Steve tells him, not anymore! Haha. Steve and Danny urge him to let them do our jobs. Trust us! CrazyDad doesn't look too convinced and refuses to leave. Steve gives Duke babysitter duty and says CrazyDad can stay. (Big mistake there.)

Meanwhile, Brad is telling Grover how he needed to get out of there with all the mood swings happening every day. Grover asks what we're all thinking, why not get her professional help? Brad tried, but got tired of asking. He says he should have insisted. He's getting more agitated and Lou is calmly saying he'll have his day in court, there's more life ahead for you. Then they call for pizza. Brad wonders why Lou is doing all this and he says he's been where Brad is and he needs someone in his corner.

Another flashback from seven years ago when Grover was drinking in a bar. He's not looking good. He says that when you're hurting, it affects people who love you and we see Grover's wife trying to get into a locked room. Grover is inside, drunk and crying, trying to get into his safe and he won't open the door for Renee. He asks Brad what really happened that night and Brad says he messed up. The pizza arrives and Steve's going to walk it over. CrazyDad is incensed they're feeding him since Brad is not the victim! Steve tries to talk him down, Danny throws in that he has a daughter, too, but nothing works. If there was something wrong with Tracy, CrazyDad would have known!

At the same time, Brad is saying how Tracy left him four messages and he knew what was going on, since she'd done it before. He raced home to find her hysterical and screaming with his sleeping pills, saying she'd take them all. There's a struggle as he tries to take them away and the apartment gets trashed. Tani and Junior, or "the kids" as Steve calls them, have evidence from the ATM that Brad left the apartment building before she jumped, the time stamp proves it. Steve approaches the car with the pizza, but CrazyDad freaks, grabs Duke's gun, and fires a shot at Brad and Lou. John is then shot by police. Steve trains his gun on Brad, worried for Lou. (So many guns, such a tense scene!)

Brad is actually hit and needs paramedics, and Steve is saying they know he didn't do it and they have proof. Lou is relieved, now everyone knows Brad's innocent. But Brad won't accept that. He says it's his fault, he didn't know how to help her and he was done. He told her to go ahead and do it, felt like he didn't have the strength to stop her. So, he feels like he killed her and puts the gun to his head again. Lou is visibly upset and says he wants to tell him one more thing. Flashback to seven years ago. Lou kisses wife goodbye, the kids are off to school, so he goes upstairs and gets his gun. He's holding it to his chest, cocks the gun, when he hears a noise downstairs and goes to investigate. It's his son who has cut school, with a broken dish on the floor. Lou remembers the hurt, and there didn't seem to be a way to make it stop and find peace. Guilt can consume you, but Lou made it through that day and the next one and the one after that. He found help and eventually found peace. He tells Brad if he puts the gun down, he'll help him because he knows what it's like. Brad gives up the gun. Lou is crying, it's an incredibly well-acted scene. Steve starts shouting for EMS right now! Come on! As they slowly saunter over and ignore the urgency. (Thank goodness that snotty Crisis Management guy wasn't around to tell Steve how they did everything wrong again.)

Grover goes home and talks to Will. It was a long day, but he thanks him for all he did. Will says he didn't do anything, but Grover assures him he did more than he knows. Flashback to a counseling group in Chicago that Lou's been attending, but this is going to be his last one. He tells the leader of the group that he feels like he can't move on as long as he's in Chicago, with all the bad memories. She asks where he's going to go? He doesn't know, but somewhere warmer. (I guess that's when he decided on Hawaii.) Lou walks away, a light snow falling, but was that a palm tree I saw in the background? (Hmm...)

So, an emotional episode, light on the action, more Chicago backstory, and making HPD look inept for their investigations and keeping people out of an established perimeter. But we did get some great acting from Chi McBride, so there's that.

Did you watch? What did you think?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Game Night With The Family

Our family got to go to the BYU vs. LMU men's basketball game tonight and we had a blast! We were lucky enough to get a Cougar Tail (a super yummy, giant donut sort of shaped like a cougar tail) and we danced and cheered until the very end. Our team won 82-67!

I think the most fun part for me was watching my little kids get into it. My seven-year-old was hoping to have the dance cam on him so he was dancing his heart out! It was a nice break and we definitely had some awesome family time.

Back to the drawing board tomorrow, though. I am going to have a fun announcement for you all soon, and I can hardly hold the secret in! Not much longer . . .

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

#Starstruck Book Review And A Giveaway!

I have been a big fan of Sariah Wilson's writing for a long time, but I think this story might be her best work. It's a fun, sassy romance, with laugh out loud moments, swoon-worthy kisses and characters that pulled me in and didn't let me go.

Zoe Miller is a shy introvert whose had a crush on celebrity Chase Covington since she was a teenager---one that hasn't gone away now she's at college. But when she makes a snarky tweet to him and he singles her out, well, it turns her life upside down.  It seems like a dream come true at first when she gets to meet him. She can actually talk to him and not be uncomfortable. He is sweet and kind and seems to really like her. But self-doubt creeps in. How could someone like him want to hang out with someone like her? And can they learn to trust each other when their relationship gets complicated and the world weighs in?

I loved this story. I loved everything about it. Zoe is so hilariously introverted and unpretentious she comes across as someone we can all relate to. And frankly, if I'd met my celebrity crush, I'd probably have reacted the same as she did! But this is more than just a fluffy romance (although there are plenty of swoony moments.) Both Zoe and Chase have dealt with difficult childhoods and the consequences that followed them into adulthood. I like that the author addressed the issues with just enough focus, but didn't get too heavy-handed. Chase is the consummate romantic hero, with just enough vulnerability that will make your heart go pitter-pat while wanting to give him a big hug. I like that the obstacles they faced seemed realistic and kept me turning pages to see how it would all turn out. It's definitely moving to the front of my rainy day shelf, because I know I'll be reading it again and again.

Caution: You will definitely want to block out an afternoon to read this one. I nearly read it all in one sitting because there really is no good stopping place! It's that good.

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

You can get your copy here

 Here's the back copy:

“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

Connect with Sariah Wilson

Sariah’s Goodreads

#Starstruck Goodreads

Sariah's Twitter

Sariah's website

Sariah's Facebook 

Sariah's Amazon

See what everyone else is saying on the blog tour:

January 15 - Bookworm Nation / KJ’s Book Nook

January 16 - Literary Time Out / Getting Your Read On / Katie’s Clean Book Collection /

January 17 - My Book a Day / Wishful Endings / LDS Writer Mom

January 18 - Empower Moms / Why Not? Because I Said So

January 19 - Bookworm Lisa / Min Reads and Reviews

Book Review & Giveaway!

In the Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

From the cover to the words inside, this book is absolutely beautiful. I can tell the author has put a lot of time into what he is writing about, and he is truly passionate about helping others put God first in their lives.

Morgan chose to focus on the life of Nephi and what we can learn from following his example. There are seven principles that help us endure our trials, and the author draws off personal experience and other scriptural examples to explain what he has come to know throughout his life. Besides talking about trials, he also covers topics such as joy, self-steem, and vulnerability. This gives the reader a chance to look for different meanings and highlights and leaving the application and lessons completely up to them. And who hasn't struggled with these things? Everyone can benefit from the message that Morgan has to share. The changes I want to make in my life because of this book maybe aren't what the author intended, but the insights he provided caused me to do some deep thinking of my own.

My favorite chapter in the book was the chapter on love. The author talks about how God can fill us with His love, and how we are to share this love with others. Sometimes this can be difficult if we aren't used to sharing these feelings or if we are afraid of getting hurt. The author said something profound when he gave a personal example of caring for something more when we work for it. He compared this to developing Christlike attributes and characteristics. If the Lord blessed us with every talent and characteristic we would need in this life and we never had to work for it, what would we learn? We have to develop them, and as we do they will become more precious to us. So as we become more patient, or forgiving, or better at spreading love, we will be proud of our accomplishments and ready to share them more.

Overall, this is a great read that I would recommend to people of all ages. The author has put in his research and it contains some principles that we are familiar with, but seen in a new light we can all benefit from.

Get your copy here

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

Here's the back copy:

Nephi, that great hero of the Book of Mormon, is often viewed as a pinnacle of devotion: steadfastly faithful, profoundly spiritual, and unwaveringly obedient. But the beautiful passage of scripture often referred to as Nephi’s Psalm reveals that, like all of us, Nephi faced his own inner struggles in this mortal existence. His heartfelt introspection demonstrates that amid the trials of life, discouragement can burden us all—but it can also be overcome.

In My God Hath Been My Support: Seven Keys to Understanding and Enduring Personal Trials, author David T. Morgan looks to the words of Nephi’s Psalm to offer an inspiring message of hope and a loving call to action. Featuring tools and ideas on how to overcome adversity, increase feelings of self-worth, and endure the ups and downs of mortality, this scripture-based roadmap to a more fulfilling life is a joyous invitation to learn from Nephi how to transform sorrow into joy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Western Romance Freebie!

Carolyn Twede Frank is offering her western romance, Bridge to My Heart, for free today! Sounds like it might be a cute read.

Here's the back copy:

Jo Kersley hates change. Especially when it comes to her family’s traditions—or coincidences as most people view them. Like her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother before her, Jo is the oldest of three daughters and one day will inherit the Triple Bar Ranch. She is determined to marry a “local boy” the summer she turns twenty-five to keep another tradition going. But when mysterious inconsistencies arise concerning her fiance's actions, Jo turns to her new friend for comfort, a local National Park ranger who hails from back east. Will she be able to let go of her fettish for tradition before it’s too late, open her eyes, and recognize the man who can actually help run her struggling ranch—and who truly loves her?

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Monday, January 15, 2018

Book Review: Letters to a Young Mormon

In the Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

When I first got this book and started thumbing through it, I kind of got a CS Lewis feel to it. With the old school cover, the letter writing set up, and seeing the deep thoughts spread throughout, I was excited to start and see what I would find.

CS Lewis should be proud of that comparison, because this is an absolutely incredible book. Every chapter covers a different topic that many people have questions about, and the author uses examples and stories that really get you thinking about how you can do and be better. I teach gospel doctrine, and I couldn't stop marking and note taking, reading and rereading, thinking about how I could use the truths I was learning for future lessons. I have already started spreading the word to my YSA friends to get their hands on this book. 

My favorite section was the one on scripture reading. Sometimes for me, scripture reading gets so mundane and I have to find ways to keep learning and keep wanting to read. I love what Miller had to say about it.
"But that [translation], open ended all along, is unfinished. Now, the task is ours. When you read the scriptures, don't just lay your eyes like stone on the pages. Roll up your sleeves and translate them again. Every morning and every night, we are commanded to sit down at our kitchen tables, spread out our books and notes and papers and pens, and with a prayer in hand, finish what Joseph started. You and I must translate these book again. Word by word, line by line, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, God wants the whole thing translated once more, and this time he wants it translated into your native tongue, inflected by your native concerns, and written in your native flesh." 
I read this and my mind was absolutely blown! We all know the scriptures are written specifically for us, but I had never thought about the lifelong work translating it to mean something to me will be. It made me want to grab the nearest Book of Mormon and start translating immediately. 

This book is full of gems, and I am glad I stumbled upon Adam Miller and the knowledge he is willing to share. Sign me up for all his books, because I am definitely sold.

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

This book is composed as a series of letters. The letters are meant for a young Mormon who is familiar with Mormon life but green in his or her faith. The author, philosophy professor Adam S. Miller, imagined himself writing these letters to his own children. In doing so, he struggled to say his own piece about what it means to be—as a Mormon—free, ambitious, repentant, faithful, informed, prayerful, selfless, hungry, chaste, and sealed.

The letters do little to benchmark a Mormon orthodoxy. That work belongs to those called to it. Here, Miller’s work is personal. He means only to address the real beauty and real costs of trying to live a Mormon life and hopes to show something of what it means to live in a way that refuses to abandon either life or Mormonism.

This second edition of Letters to a Young Mormon includes all the content of the original, well-loved book, with added chapters on the Sabbath and stewardship, as well as a new preface by the author, which provides additional framing and context for his writing.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Recap & Review--The One With A New Task Force In Town

Hey, guess what? Special FBI Agent Fisher is holding a press conference to announce that the governor has created ANOTHER special task for with sweeping authority to root out crime in Hawaii. (Either this is the most crime-riddled state in the union, or the governor thinks Five-O is falling down on the job.) Fisher promises to restore peace and tranquility to the island. (Uh huh. He jinxed himself there.) Cut to his wife unpacking boxes in their new house, looking for their daughter's stuffed bunny. The doorbell rings and Fisher answers it. A suspicious looking guy is walking away from a package and Fisher realizes too late it's a bomb. A big one.

Twenty-four hours earlier--Tani is on her Vespa and Fisher approaches her with an offer. McG is too close to see that the escalation of violence can be tracked back to Michelle Shioma's murder and they want to investigate Adam. All Tani has to do is report her observations to the FBI and if she does that, there could be opportunities at the bureau for her. He hands her his card, all official.

A tense-looking McG pays Fisher a visit at his new FBI task force HQ. He's going to save them time. Adam is a good man! He married a member of Five-O with McG's blessing and proved his loyalty. He trusts him with his life. Fisher doesn't seem impressed, so McG just gets to the point. Approach a member of my team again, we're going to have a different convo and it won't be as polite. (Here's my thought: If you were the head of a new task force, you would think you'd want to play nice with the head of the other, more established, task force. *shrugs* I don't know. Just a thought. Professional courtesy and all that.)

Sadly, it doesn't matter. Steve is standing in the morgue, looking at covered bodies of Fisher and his family. The emotion is even more intense when they show the little girl's burned bunny. So awful. Steve and Lou head to the office to talk about the lack of evidence in the case. They can't trace the bomb, officers are going door to door, there's a perimeter around the crime scene. But so far, nothing. (Junior is at the Chatting Table today and his badge is prominently displayed on his belt. Awww.) With Fisher's job and press conference declaring war on gangs, there is no shortage of suspects. Steve says they'll be bringing them all in to press all of them until someone rolls. That's a big suspect pool, maybe even in the hundreds. They're going to need some help and then we see the military trucks rolling through. (Do you think he has something to prove now that the head of the other task force was murdered?)

The next scene is of the task force rounding people up all over the island with no warrants or any legal ground that I can see. (Immunity and means, I guess.) They get eighty-seven suspects in custody and take them to a temporary lockdown. Steve calls a huddle and tells them to speed it up because they lost the element of surprise now. Cancel all officer leave! We've got fifty-four more people to grab! (I'm sure that makes him popular down at the station.) Five-O is going after the high value targets. Well, everyone except Junior. He gets to be backup to HPD. Poor Junior. Babysteps for him. Tani gets permission to go take down a gang leader named Damien all by herself! Makes absolutely no sense, but there it is. Kamekona gives them a lead on two safehouses and Lou and McG head over to one. Eddie is giving Lou the stink eye though, since he's sitting in his seat. Poor Eddie. Has to sit in the back. They get to the safehouse and can't find the guy, even though his heat signature shows he's there.

Random scene cut to Adam getting pulled over by the FBI and taken in for questioning.

Back to the safehouse. Eddie sniffs out a hidden door that has stairs leading down to a tunnel. McG lets Eddie go through the tunnel, while they're waiting for Garcia on the other side. Eddie bites the guy's arm to subdue him, but it's easy to see the misshapen padding under his shirtsleeve. Good Eddie scene, though.

Damien lets Tani in and she's talking about their history. She doesn't care that he's dating other women now and her brother is good now that Damien isn't in his life. He heard she got booted from cop school and asks what she's doing now. TSA? Mall cop? No, she tells him. I'm with Five-O, here on official business. He says he isn't going anywhere with her and his heavily armed crew rolls up to prove it. Once again, Tani is in over her head.

Junior is pulling up to the Alvarez home with two HPD officers. They let him know that they'll bring the suspect out, but before they get too far, gunfire breaks out and both cops are shot. Junior starts shooting back and requests back up. Then he goes in to get the perp himself. There's an awesome shootout in the house before Junior throws a flashbang, then pops through a paper-looking wall. The suspect is taken down and when Junior is washing the blood off, we see he was winged during the encounter. He's calm, though, and asking about the cops. Professional, compassionate. Loved it.

Damien's crew has come up the elevator and is now at the door. Tani puts up a little barricade to buy time, and has Damien at gunpoint. When Damien tells his men he has Five-O inside, they start shooting the door and she puts her gun away. Randomly both her and Damien jump over the balcony to the pool below. (Why would Damien go along with that? He's a gang leader. Used to guns. Tani is half his size and has her gun holstered. It was just a big stretch that he gave up so easily and just lets her take him in. Oy.)

Back at the lockdown facility, Tani is proud she got Damien there. They start questioning all the suspects, but get nowhere. Everyone is blaming each other and the men are in survival mode for the turf wars going on. Jerry notices that the Yakuza have avoided casualties in all the violence. Maybe they're behind it all to decimate the competition! They figure out that Brandon Kento is heading up Yakuza and want to talk to Adam about finding him, but Adam isn't answering. They ping his phone and the FBI still have him. They're all suspicious of Adam, saying that no one retires from Yakuza. Steve busts in and says it's over, charge him or we're leaving. The FBI guy shows him a pic of Adam meeting with Michelle Shioma twenty-four hours before she's killed. Do you still think Adam's innocent? Yep, because Adam can explain that! When he's alone with Steve he says that Michelle reached out through an intermediary. He was curious. But all she wanted was for him to reach out to her kids for her. Offers him money. Says she knows something about him. He walks away and doesn't take the bait. *shrugs* No biggie. Steve gets back to business and says they need to find Kenzo.

Adam is their man! He finds Kenzo and goes in to discuss his terms of surrender. Kenzo isn't sure at first, but eventually surrenders and is taken into custody. They question him, but he denies having anything to do with the turf wars or Shioma's murder. Hmm...if not Yakuza, then who? Uh oh. Jerry sees eight hostiles overpowering guards and four cops are down at the lockdown facility. (They really only had four cops guarding the place? Or only four were killed. With over a hundred gang leaders, I would hope they had a ton of people guarding that place, but sadly, it doesn't look like it.) The hostiles open the cages and take all the high value targets out and make them kneel down before the feed is cut.

Oddly Steve doesn't call for backup right away and tries to take down the eight guys with his own team. They're too late to save anyone, though, and all the high value targets are murdered. The team takes out a couple of hostiles before the rest get away. They go inside and see the carnage. Tani is kneeling by Damien's body and they're realizing every crime boss in town is dead.

Cut to Tani getting Damien's effects from Noelani so she can give them to his mom. Junior is there with the cop's body and he's been there a while. Tani goes to talk to him and he admits he feels guilty and like he should have done more. She takes him home.

Steve calls Adam into office. He's had a horrifically bad day with the lockdown fiasco and the unresolved Fisher murders with the murderer still out there. He's having trouble with it. Adam tells him that tomorrow's another day. (Sounds like a fortune cookie saying to me. Or something your grandma would have on a cross-stitched pillow).  Steve says that the dead shooters were foreign mercs out of Tokyo with no affiliations to any crews here, no arrest records or ties to syndicates. There's a new player on scene that doesn't like competition. Adam says Steve is chasing a ghost, but Steve says, no WE are. I need your help. I want you to head up special division in the Five-O task force, specializing in organized crime. (Wait, wasn't that was Fisher was doing by governor's orders? Did they run it by the governor?) Adam doesn't care. He's in! And happy to have a job!

So, to sum up, the epi had good action, great Eddie scenes, and Junior cementing his place on my favorites list. Did you watch? What did you think?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Romance Freebie!

Today's freebie is a cute romance by Jeannette Lewis called The Passionate One (A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance) I don't think I've read anything by Ms. Lewis, but the reviews are good and the back copy looks good, so I'm in!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

As the creator of the Billionaire Bride Pact, Erin Parker is determined to see it through. And now that superstar actor Brennan Avery has been cast as her costar in a play destined for Broadway, things couldn’t be better.

But Erin’s best friend, Matt Walters, isn’t ready to give up on her. He has a plan to escape the friend zone and prove to Erin that there are more important things than money and fame.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review: Potion Masters

I am so thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Frank Cole's new book, Potion Masters. This is such a wild and fun adventure ride that anyone from middle grade onward will enjoy it!

Gordy is a twelve-year-old boy who has an incredible talent for mixing potions. His mom works for a hidden potion community called BREW and is a great potion-maker herself. When she gets called away, Gordy opens a package addressed to her and that starts a roller coaster of an adventure! It's an eternity elixir and a lot of people want it---especially some very bad people. Gordy uses all of his skills and the help of his two best friends to protect it, but will his knowledge of potions be enough to keep the elixir out of the wrong hands?

I loved Gordy. He has just the right mix of twelve-year-old boy and potion master in him to make him feel realistic and something special at the same time. The storyline has a lot of action in it, though there are just enough funny moments that really show the author's talent at writing for this age group. I thought the story was original and imaginative and really enjoyed reading this with my kids. It's one of those books that is well-paced, exciting, and has just enough twists to keep the reader guessing. I'm excited to read the next one in the series!

Here's the back copy:

For hundreds of years, all of our medical findings, our technological advancements, and even our weapons are a direct result of magical potions. Few people know about the truth because few people are aware of the hidden potion community known as B.R.E.W.--the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide.

Twelve-year-old Gordy knows all about the importance of cauldrons, flasks, and Bunsen burners. He has an extensive knowledge of hundreds of ingredients including Toadflax, porcupine quills, and catfish eyes because Gordy's mother is the Director of B.R.E.W., and he is an apprentice potion master with a secret lab in his family's basement.

When the world's most powerful potion--the Eternity Elixir--disappears and then mysteriously ends up in Gordy's possession, he must use all of his skills to protect the forbidden potion before enemies of B.R.E.W. find and use it to destroy the world as we know it.

Gordy recruits his two best friends, Max and Adeline, to assist him while his mother leaves to confront the most powerful elixirist of all time-the great Mezzarix-who happens to be Gordy's grandfather.

Here's the trailer!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Highest High and the Lowest Low---In One Day!

I did a school visit today where I talked to adorable fourth graders about being an author, finding your voice, and telling the story inside of you. It was so amazing! The kids were so animated and excited. I love talking to children and feeling their energy about the possibilities all around them when they grow up. We even built our own story on the character, villain, setting, and problem-to-be-solved foundation that was super fun. There were some incredible imaginations at work! I was so happy as I drove home.

I stopped to run an errand afterward and while in the parking lot, I got in my very first fender bender. The adrenaline was racing through me as we waited for the police. No one was hurt, thank goodness, but it was definitely an event I won't soon forget. Talk about going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows!

The regularly scheduled blog won't happen today and I hope you understand. I am going to gather myself and try again tomorrow!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be part of the blog tour for Carolyn Twede Frank's new book, Heart of the West. I love a good western romance and this book hits all the right notes!

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was one of my favorite shows back in the day, and this book is reminiscent of it. Kate Donahue gets her medical degree back east, but no one wants her to practice. Her fiance wants her by his side, entertaining his friends, and smiling her pretty smile. Her parents agree. So Kate runs away to Craig, Colorado after she sees an ad saying that the town is in need of a doctor. Things aren't quite what she thought when she gets to the small town, however, and she must earn her way into the townspeople's heart. Of course, there's one man who she feels a connection to right away, but he has a tortured past. Can either of them overcome their personal obstacles to possibly reach for a chance at love between them?

I really enjoyed Kate's character as she tried to forge her own path as a doctor while figuring out what she truly wanted and finding her inner strength. The townspeople were really well drawn and it was easy to imagine each of them. Craig, Colorado came to life under the author's hand and readers will be rooting for Kate. There is a nice arc of tension with land rights and figuring out what really happened in Lucas's past that kept me turning pages. Lucas is such an interesting hero, and more than meets the eye. The author definitely takes the reader through all the emotions as we discover more about this man. He deserved a happily-ever-after! I closed the book thinking that this is such a sweet story with all the feels you want from a romance. I'll definitely be looking for more from Ms. Frank. There were a few characters in this book that I hope may get a story of their own in the future!

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

You can get your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Independent-minded women are considered highly unsuitable in Kate Donahue’s wealthy Long Island society. Yes, Kate would lead a proper life should she marry, but her dream of practicing medicine would surely be thwarted by her domineering fiancé. To follow her dream, she must take dramatic measures. So when she reads a newspaper ad seeking a qualified small-town physician, Kate embarks on a new life in the Wild West.

Upon her arrival in the rugged settlement of Craig, Colorado, Kate is disappointed to discover that even in the West, no one wants a woman doctor. As she struggles to establish her practice, she is kept busy fending off the unwanted attentions of a local rancher, a man unnervingly reminiscent of the ex-fiancé she left behind in New York. Romantic entanglements are the last thing on Kate’s mind. That is, until she meets Lucas McCurdy, an Irish immigrant with whom she feels an undeniable connection. But when their relationship inflames a dangerous land battle, Kate and Lucas find themselves defenseless in a lawless town—a perilous position that may cost them everything.

Blog Tour Schedule

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a historical romance, Montana Rose, by Christian author Mary Connealy. I don't think I've read this author before, but the back cover copy looks intriguing and I'm going to give her a try!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Fire up your love of romance with Montana Rose, where Cassie Griffin, a seemingly spoiled pregnant woman, is widowed one day and wedded the next. Marrying handyman Red Dawson seems the only alternative to Cassie’s being hitched to a brutal rancher. But can this “china doll” bear exchanging smooth silk for coarse calico? Red was reluctant to be yoked to an unbeliever, but sometimes a man has no choice. Will Red change Cassie’s heart by changing her name? Wade Sawyer is obsessed with saving Cassie from a marriage of convenience. How far will he go make her his own?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Recap and Review: Don't Be A Grinchy Gorilla Christmas Story

This review has been a long time coming, but hey, it was the holidays! So try to think back to before Christmas.

We start out with previouslies that pretty much have nothing to do with this episode except to remind us that Danny was shot. (Not that you could tell at all, since he's all over the floor and doesn't seem any worse the wear for his brush with death.) Cut to stockings over the fireplace in the Williams home, when Danny walks in after having made Christmas cookies, Charlie is shaking presents, and Adam is checking out the chimney for Santa. (I've never heard of that, but okay.) He's apparently going to meet Kono in LA. the next day. As Danny walks Adam to the door they're talking loudly about Santa and who really eats the cookies, so I hope Charlie is hard of hearing or some of the magic of Christmas was just ruined right there. Danny goes into Charlie's room for a bedtime story and says he's going to tell Charlie a special story---a crazy story---that will make you feel good inside because it has a Christmas miracle.

Flash to a Santa ringing a bell collecting coins in a box with an armored truck guard coming by carrying heavy bags. He says to the guard that he forgot one and just pulls open his coin box and hands the guy another delivery. (Apparently it's okay to take a random pickup. Aren't their company guidelines or something?) Only when the guard takes it and stashes it in the truck, the Santa pulls out a remote detonator and the truck blows up. Another Santa rolls up in a red car, and they steal as much as they can out of the bombed out truck.

Well, Charlie has questions and Danny goes back in the story to Junior driving veterans to a shelter. He's supposed to be meeting Steve, but Steve calls to say his sister and niece are in town and he wants to be with them at the parade. (I wish we could have seen that scene. Sigh.) Steve happens to see the truck explosion and he runs toward it, even though he doesn't have a gun. He manages to take the downed truck guard's weapon and a shootout ensues. Steve shoots the retreating red car enough that it crashes, but the two Santas come out shooting and run away. By this time, since his dad has been calling him a "crazy man" and a "police man" Charlie has guessed the story is about Steve. But Steve is looking for the Santas on the run through the parade route. Are the Bad Santas going to get away? Danny assures Charlie that this story is proof that miracles are real.

The Bad Santas are running and crashing through the crowd and eventually split up. Danny gets stuffed animals and other toys so he can reenact the scene for his child. (On Christmas Eve. Right before bed. Okay. He also uses a donkey to be Steve. Oy.) Steve does catch up to one of the Bad Santas, but the guy cowardly takes a woman hostage to get away. Charlie asks why Uncle Steve's friends didn't help him? Well, Jerry is singing and decorating a tree at the office. Lou is critiquing his singing when Tani comes in to announce the armored car heist at the parade. She tried to call McG, but he didn't pick up so they ping his cell. The guy is on the move, so I guess that means he's in pursuit. The team skedaddles down there.

Steve is helping the discarded female hostage up and she points in the direction that the Bad Santa went. A shopping mall. The team shows up and Jerry starts surveillance. The Bad Santas are still in the mall so the team needs a plan. They decide to go in as civilians and catch them by surprise. (Hopefully the Bad Santas didn't get a clear look at Steve's face I guess, but realistically, I bet they did.) Junior and the vets come to mall and want to help. Steve has respect for retired service people, but doesn't want to put civilians in harm's way. They tell him they've taken fire behind enemy lines, they can handle a couple of Santas. And one of them used to work in the mall, which would definitely be helpful. For Charlie's story, the vets are the angels. (Aww.) Jerry sees the Bad Santas heading to a department store, but it's closed circuit in there so he doesn't have eyes on them. Oh, and Adam is randomly in the mall, too, so they make sure he's standing by. Oddly, Steve has the veterans go in and just randomly start telling shoppers to leave the store. (Could you imagine having people come up to you and tell you to leave? Why not tell mall security? The store manager? That was weird.) Then the team comes in guns drawn, sweeping the area. Tani sees Santa boots in dressing room and they open it up to see that the Bad Santas have ditched their costumes. Uh oh. Now suspects look like everyone else in this mall.

The milk is set out, the cookies are there and Charlie is yawning. He still wants to hear what happened to the bad guys, though. The team "borrows" tech stuff to set up a checkpoint and has everyone go through it to exit the mall while they check IDs. Tani apparently left the mall search and went back to where the truck was robbed with one of the veterans to look for clues. We do find out that Tani's dad served in the first Gulf war. He didn't like to talk about it. They find a piece of the bomb under a truck and get a print off of it. One of the bad Santas is a James Wendell and he has a terrible mug shot that the team all gets on their phones. They split up into buddies and start searching for him. Adam finds blood on floor and hears pounding. Instead of calling for Steve or backup, (since they are looking for an armed and dangerous man!) they just open the door and find two mall Santas tied up in back room, with no costumes. The Bad Santas stole the mall Santas costumes to throw Steve off. Clever. Back at the checkpoint, one the Bad Santas goes through. Oops.

Lou gets a phone call from Steve and stops the Bad Santa, but he runs. Junior does a nice takedown and money flies everywhere from the Bad Santa's costume. The other Bad Santa is still hiding in the mall. Steve calls him out over the mall intercom (just like in Mall Cop) Bad Santa heads to the stairwell that has roof access. Frank the veteran who used to work at the mall knows a shortcut, but the elevator was locked down. Reggie, another veteran, has a metal arm that he can use to unlock it. Bad Santa is waiting for Steve on the roof though. That can't be good. Charlie hides under his covers and wants his dad to finish the story there. (Why is he telling his kid a bad guy shootout story before bedtime?) He tells Charlie that Uncle Steve talked and talked until the Bad Santa got so bored he fell asleep. In reality, we're shown how Steve shot him. Wow. What a great Christmas bedtime story for your small child.

Cut to a Christmas party at Steve's house. Eddie is there, licking "Dog's" face. Steve is only wearing a Santa hat because he's seen enough Santa costumes today. Steve thanks everyone for coming out to Steve and Eddie McGarrett's Christmas Bash. So cute. The veterans are there and Steve gives a little speech about them having his deepest gratitude for all their personal sacrifices. The rest of his friends are there as well, and he tells them it's an honor to call you guys ohana. Merry Christmas. Awww. *sniff*

He has a gift for Junior who looks uncomfortable since he didn't bring a gift for Steve. But it's a Five-O badge. He's going to finish the HPD course, but he's more than ready for the badge. (I agree.) Tani gives him welcome hug and he gets congrats from Lou. So there's the happy ending to the story that Danny promised, but Charlie is already sleeping. Danny goes into living room and the cookies are missing from the plate. Steve comes out of the kitchen eating one, saying that they are shockingly good. Danny is miffed and says they were for Santa, you animal! (At least he didn't say filthy animal, I guess.) Steve used the key behind rock for emergencies to get in. Well, what's the emergency, Danny asks. I needed cookies. Ha! Steve says Danny is kind of grinchy and Danny says he's a gorilla.

And that is the Hawaii Five-O Christmas message for us all. Try not to be a grinchy gorilla and don't share Five-O cases with your small child.

Happy Belated Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

'Til We Meet Again

Years ago, before Thomas S. Monson was the prophet, my young women's group was invited to have lunch with Frances Monson at her home. We had traveled all the way from Canada to tour Salt Lake City. I had been so impressed with the beauty of the city and the spirit I felt there. It was different from anything I'd felt before. My visit to the Monson home was only a small part of the trip, but as we had lunch with Sis. Monson, I remember thinking what a loving spirit I felt there and that impression stayed with me. It was a highlight of my trip to spend that time with her.

When I heard of Pres. Monson's passing, I thought of how very loved he was as our prophet and how much he will be missed, but I am so happy that he is once again reunited with his beloved Frances. Their home radiated the love that was between them, I'm sure, and I have no doubt that their reunion was full of joy.

"The good you have done, the kind words you have spoken, the love you have shown to others, can never be fully measured." Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

In Case You Missed It, My Book is FREE!

In case you missed it, my contemporary romance, Love's Broken Road, is FREE on all platforms right now--Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! I wanted to give all my readers a gift for New Year's and I hope you like it!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

After surviving an abusive marriage, Victoria Newel needs a clean slate for herself and her son. Taking a job as a math teacher, she moves across the country to the small town of Lincoln, Utah, where no one knows her and she can start over. However, her new colleague, Drew Dalton, offers her friendship and maybe something more. But has her heart healed enough that she could trust again?

Drew Dalton lost his wife to cancer years ago and he locked his heart away, throwing himself into his teaching job. But when Victoria Newel starts working at the high school, she awakens something in him that he never thought he’d feel again. Her gentle nature and quiet strength draws him to her, but it’s obvious she’s hiding something in her past from him. Can he open his heart to a woman who harbors so many secrets of her own?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Free Books AND a $50 Giveaway! Happy New Year!

Start your new year off with a great new book!! 





Giveaway Details 

$50 in Paypal Cash or a $50 eGift Card 

Ends 1/6/18 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via 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 authors, bloggers, and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.