Friday, October 11, 2019

Freebie Friday for Thriller Fans!

If you are looking for a thriller to read this weekend, The Killing Curse, is free today! I have really enjoyed all the Omar Zagouri thrillers, (I hope there will be more in the series!) so I thought I'd pass this one along! (If you are a sensitive reader, just be aware that The Killing Curse is based on the illegal tradition of honor killings.)

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Betrayed by her father. Kidnapped by her brother. Only one chance to survive.

Omar Zagouri should have known that the hunt for an ordinary art thief in London would end up being far from ordinary. Abducted and carted across several countries until he’s locked up in the middle of Jordan’s desert, Omar becomes the target of an underground crime organization that dates back to the Crusaders era. As Omar works to uncover the deadly secrets that connect centuries of deceit, he finds himself trying to prevent a scheduled honor killing from turning into another tragedy, while exposing the ancient crime organization for generations of lethal corruption.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

I Have A Question For You

Okay, I have a question for you. 

Say you have a friend who loves an author, buys every book, loves every story. You have also read that author and didn't enjoy their writing style and probably wouldn't read anything else by them. Do you tell your friend you didn't like it? Or keep quiet?

For me, I just assumed that if someone didn't like a book or author, they would feel comfortable in telling me, just like I would feel comfortable in telling them. But a friend mentioned to me today that it probably isn't a good idea to do that, so I wondered what everyone else thought!

So, tell me, would you say something or keep your opinions to yourself?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Book Review of Secrets and Suitors AND a Giveaway!

I've enjoyed Joanna Barker's books before and I was excited to see that she had a friends-to-something-more romance coming out. I was not disappointed with Secrets and Suitors! It was the perfect, swoony, historical romance read.

Nora is entering her third season and her parents are pressuring her to marry. She has some prospects, but none of them measure up to the man she's always loved---her childhood friend, James. But James is in Jamaica and doesn't return her feelings anyway. Nora is trying to move on with her season and bow to her parents wishes, when James suddenly appears. All her old feelings come rushing back and maybe, just maybe, he might return them. But secrets come to the surface and Nora is forced to make a choice that could ruin any chance she would have with James. Do you see why it's an un-put-down-able book? Who wouldn't be turning pages as fast as possible to see what happens?

I loved the characters in this book. Nora is so adorably introverted, but trying valiantly to participate in the season. She loves her sister and brother and James truly understands the person she is inside. But outside forces seem to be combined against them, and Ms. Barker draws out all the feelings on this twisty-turny journey to love. I loved the setting, the secondary cast of characters, and even the villain was well-drawn. But my favorite character was James. He's such a sigh-worthy hero and readers will definitely be rooting for James and Nora to get their happily-ever-after! Definitely one for the keeper shelf.

Don't forget to scroll down and read the author interview with Joanna Barker AND enter the giveaway!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora's father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded.

Until James returns unexpectedly and Nora's feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen's affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart.

But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long-kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life and decide what true love is worth.

Interview with Joanna Barker:

1. Will you use any of the characters in Secrets & Suitors for another book?

I would love to one day! I feel like Harriett and Ralph need their own happy endings, and I would love to revisit Nora and James.

2. What do you hope readers will gain from this novel?

I hope readers will be able to relate to Nora’s struggles. Of all my heroines, she is probably the one I relate to the most, and I loved being able to create a story where she learned and grew from her experiences. A lot of Regency romances feature fiery, sharp, independent heroines (which I LOVE), but I wanted to write a character that spoke to readers in a different way. She has a quiet strength, and I hope you will love her.

3. If you could live in the regency time period, would you? Why or why not?

This is a tricky question, haha! I would LOVE to visit the Regency, but I don’t think I could quite bring myself to give up modern conveniences. If I had to choose, I think I’d rather relive the period by reading books and watching movies, and keep my hot showers and AC.

4. Since you write historical fiction, what is the most unusual thing you've come across in your research of the time period?

While researching a certain scene for the ending of Secrets and Suitors, I came across the most hilarious event. Two Frenchmen in the 1830’s were said to have fought a duel using billiard balls! I can’t even imagine, but I sure laughed a lot when I read that.

5. Do you have any future books in the works? I would love a story about Ralph!

I’m currently working on a sequel to my debut novel, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne. This new book features Rebecca Rowley, the sister to the hero of that story, and I am having so much fun with it! But one day I would so love to write a story for Ralph! He deserves his own happy ending, doesn’t he??

6. Was there something that inspired you to write Secrets and Suitors?
I wanted so badly to write a best friends love story, and I went through about eight different versions of this story before deciding on the plot. What finally helped me nail down the idea was hearing Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” on the radio and realizing it described so perfectly the story I wanted to write. This song brought to life James Allen’s character, and if you listen to it after reading Secrets and Suitors, you might see how the chorus inspired the garden party scene J

7. When is your favorite time of day to write?
When at all possible, I love to write in the afternoon! I am neither an early worm or a night owl, and so my brain functions better in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, that seems to be the time when my kids are determined to distract me the most, so I rarely get to write then. But early evening would be a close second, once the house gets quiet after bedtime.

8. Is there another genre of books that you would like to write about?
I adore YA fantasy, and I have an idea that’s been itching at me for a while! It’s pretty far down the line, but I hope I get to it one day!

9. What is your favorite genre of book to read when you have the time?

This would probably have to be fairy tale retellings! It doesn’t matter the specific genre, but if an author can twist a familiar tale into something new and unique, I’m all in! My favorites are The Lunar Chronicles, The Goose Girl, and Ella Enchanted. In fact, I love retellings so much, I wrote a Regency retelling of Beauty and the Beast, titled (appropriately, haha), Beauty and the Baron. It was so much fun I might have to do it again one day!

10. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I thought a lot about this question, so thank you for asking it! When I was in fifth grade, I wrote my first—terrible—book. I had a teacher I really loved, and so I showed the first few chapters to her. After reading it, she asked if she could read the first chapter out loud to the entire class! I said yes for some reason I really can’t remember, and was so embarrassed when she actually did read it. But then she came up to me after and told me she couldn’t wait until I finished because she was dying to read the ending. It was the first glimpse that I had of the power of storytelling, even though I’d been a reader all my life. The idea that my words could create an emotional response in someone else? It was incredible, and I’ve never forgotten that experience.

Author Bio & website :

​Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating Brigham Young University with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everything from romance to science fiction. She lives in Utah and is just a little crazy about her husband and two wild-but-loveable boys. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Announcing Our Guest Author For October!

I am so excited to announce that Karen Tuft is our guest author for October! Karen is an award-winning romance writer, and I really love her regencies (The Earl's Betrothal is one of my favorites). 

Karen will be appearing on Facebook Live Oct. 24th at 6:15 p.m. MST so you can ask her all your questions and enter to win some prizes! So save the date and think of some great questions to ask her!

You can see all of Karen's books here

Monday, October 7, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 Recap & Review: The One With a Lot of Dead Feds

We start out with previouslies of meeting Quinn and arresting Cullen and that Quinn and the task force are going to work together to make Cullen's case. Oh, and someone putting the bomb inside the Champ box.

Steve comes home to Eddie barking at the back door. Steve lets him out and the dog immediately goes barking in front of the garage door. Steve's SuperSEALSpideySenses are tingling apparently because somehow he knows there's a bomb in there! And he calls the bomb squad. (Maybe that's why Steve doesn't bother with a security system. His SuperSEALSpideySenses come through for him!) Cut to some random couple arguing in a car when they enter a freeway tunnel that suddenly collapses on them.

Cue music.

Tunior is in a car and Junior is sulking because Tani is a better surfer than him. They come up on the collapsed tunnel. Lou is at Steve's house with the bomb squad and they think Cullen is responsible, especially since it was set to explode in the middle of night when he'd be home. (Steve doesn't mention his SuperSEALSpideySenses and gives Eddie all the credit.) Steve gets a call from Tani that they want to go in the collapsed tunnel and help. Steve is all, hmmm...maybe you should wait, but Tani drops the, "you'd do the same," so he agrees and says be safe and keep him posted. They head in and there's a whole bunch of dazed people wandering around in the smoky tunnel like TunnelZombies. They look super confused so Tunior go car-to-car telling them to leave. But then, they find two prison transport guards shot and the prison van empty. (Dun, dun, dun.) Since the blood is still pooling under their bodies, it must have just happened, so they take the guards' guns and split up to go look. Tani gets a call from Steve, but it's not a great connection. He tells her to try and find a better signal, so she climbs a bunch of rocks. While she's telling him about the prison van, Junior finds the escapee. There's a shootout and Junior wings one of the baddies, but they escape through a service entrance. At the same moment, Junior sees the second explosive only seven seconds from detonation, so he yells for everyone to take cover, but he's pretty much right in front of it when it goes off and flies through the air, hitting a car. (Uh oh. That can't be good.)

Tani is searching for Junior, her hair dusted in white like a bad Halloween wig. The TunnelZombies are back wandering around, but she manages to find Junior by the car. I expected him to have some cuts, blood, broken bones, something, but nope. He's good! SuperSEAL powers are working overtime on this ep! He tells her they got out through the service entrance and then detonated the C4. After his whole explanation, Tani is all, so, hey, none of this was an accident then? (Haha, ya think?) And then Junior follows it up with, I think we're trapped in here. (Maybe the explosion affected Tunior more than I thought because they are both vying for the Captain Obvious title.)

Steve gets to the tunnel collapse scene in his very, very nice red truck. Adam gives him the rundown about the second explosion and that thermal imaging shows that there are nine people trapped alive. But good news! Even though the tunnel is extremely unstable, the ventilation system is still operational so they have air for now. (But hey, don't tunnel/cave rescues always look at the ventilation system as a possible rescue passage first thing? But I disgress.) Steve's first priority is to get the people out, and then they're going to figure out who did this. He assigns Adam to find out what prisoners were being moved today.

Back inside the tunnel, Tunior are helping a lady trapped in her car, and while everyone has a nice white dusting on their heads, Tunior definitely got the worst of the white. Junior rallies the TunnelZombies to help him move the rocks off the car and the poor woman has two broken legs. (She's holding up pretty well, wincing a bit is all, so maybe they're just hairline fractures?) Regardless, they strap her to a surfboard just in case and Tani tells Junior he IS good with a surfboard after all. (Yeah, not the same, but Junior smiles, so whatevs I guess.) Junior tells the TunnelZombies to walk around and see if they can get a cell signal, but an AngryTunnelZombie is all hey, there's no cell service and what's the plan for getting out?! Junior shows them all the rocks in front of the service entrance and tells them it's going to be fine! We'll just move the rocks! Tani even saw a work truck with shovels. But AngryTunnelZombie isn't having it. "Dude, that's going to take hours!" he whines. "There's a jackhammer, let's just drill out of here." Junior tells him that's a bad idea because vibrations could bring the whole place down. So AngryGuy practically rolls his eyes with a sulky teenagery "Oh, fine, where's the shovels then?" (Which is funny because they were all just talking about the work truck with shovels and jackhammers. Haha)

Steve's still standing outside the tunnel looking at building plans. He's deduced that the service entrance is the best way in and they need all the able-bodied people in there to help clear rubble out. (Did you hear that rescue people!) Lou has Chatting Table duty now that Jerry is gone and he calls to report on the CCTV footage. He found a black van driving in that doesn't come out and the license plate is registered to the DoD. The helpful people at DoD sent over the transportation log with the prisoner's name blacked out. But that's okay, Steve knows who to talk to.

Cut to Quinn who has a man pulled over for speeding. She's lecturing the guy when she gets a call from Steve and drops everything to take it. (Ha! I would, too.) Steve needs a favor. (Awww, just like he used to call Catherine for. I miss her). Quinn immediately lets the guy go without issuing him a ticket and Steve tells her about the prisoner van with dead guards and a missing prisoner. Can she look up the plate of the van? She does, but has denied access as well. But Quinn can still tell him where the van has been since it has tracking on it. It was at an address in Kaneohe. Steve tells her he owes her one. (yep, just like he used to say to Cath.)  Adam and Danny head over to the address, but since the door's open, they go in guns drawn. Three dead FBI agents are inside, shot in the head. (Are these rookie agents? Like the prison van ones? Because dang. Five agents down and only two goons and a prisoner doing the killing?) Quinn shows up in civilian clothes because she couldn't resist leaving her post and doing something more fun. She notices a camera set up for questioning and plays it. After listening to the prisoner answer some questions, she looks him up on the internet (Facebook facial recognition? Asking her Twitter peeps? What would she search for exactly?) and quickly comes up with the prisoner's name. Danny tells her that was fast and she says she has the internet with all the world knowledge on it. (How have they managed without her for all these years!) The guy they're looking for is Jackson Wilcox a dangerous meth distributor. Oh, and he was supposedly killed two years ago so the guy in the DoD van is a ghost!

They call Steve to update him that the Feds wanted everyone to think Jackson was dead so they could use him to build a federal case and no one would know he was ratting them out. Since the tunnel is only a mile away from the black site, it would have been easy for Jackson to go back there, but why would he? Guess they better reach out to the Feds in the field office. Duke found a blood trail outside the service entrance where the prisoner escaped, but the canine unit lost the scent a quarter mile into the jungle. Steve tells him to run a trace on the blood, then goes down in the tunnel to get a shovel himself. Gotta move this thing along! The hour is almost up!

Junior's TunnelZombie crew is working, too, but some aren't happy about it. AngryGuy is yapping for the lady who was arguing in the car with her husband earlier to move faster, but the husband sticks up for her and tells AngryGuy to keep his head down and mouth shut. Yeah! His wife looks happy he stuck up for her. Everyone gets back to work until they find the service guy that the escaped prisoner killed before the explosion. While Tunior move the body, AngryGuy goes and gets the jackhammer. Before Tunior can stop him, he's drilling and electrocutes himself and shorts the power. He barely has a pulse and the rescuers on the outside are freaking out, too, because if the backup power goes, they won't have more than twenty minutes of breathable air. They have to establish communications, somehow, so they send in Eddie to save the day! He goes in with a walkie strapped to his back and a you-got-this-kiss from Steve.

The HeadFed is looking around at the DeadFed bodies just shocked! Her agent told her everything was fine, but yeah, he probably had a gun to his head when he said that. Apparently, JacksontheMethHead has to have routine radiation treatments for throat cancer, so whoever sprung him must have figured out the treatment schedule somehow. But wait, not all the agents are dead! One is missing. Well, they better warn "them." JacksontheMethHead's wife is in protective custody and he's taking out anyone standing in his way of finding her. Well, the warning didn't come fast enough and the NewbieFBIGuys are all dead over there. (This is a huge FBI body count this episode.) Shayla comes out and she leaves with her husband. Danny, Adam, and Quinn make it to the scene and stand around spitballing about how Shayla could have put this all together, but it's not really making sense. Adam finds a burner phone in the toilet with a bunch of racy Shayla pics on them. Hmmm...Lou calls to say that the blood trail from earlier belonged to JacksontheMethHead's little brother, Mikey, who coincidentally booked two plane tickets off the island for that evening. One for him and one for Shayla. Things aren't looking good for big bro. Since one of Jackson's strike team is still alive, they ask him about what's going on, tell him Jackson's little brother is planning to kill him, and even show him the racy pictures of Shayla. Will he tell them where they're headed?

Eddie brings Tunior the walkie talkie and Steve is relieved to hear from Tani. She gives him the injury report and Steve has an EPIPHANY while they're on the phone. They can use the ventilation system to get them out! (I knew those SuperSEALSpideySenses would kick in eventually!)

Out in the jungle, Jackson is talking about the future with Shayla, and living in the Maldives, when gunmen overtake them. Mikey kills Jackson's other goon and takes Shayla's hand. Jackson realizes he's been betrayed and is shocked not by his brother's betrayal, but he's loved Shayla since he was sixteen, how could she? If that wasn't bad enough, his brother sold him to Moreno, so Moreno could kill Jackson himself. Brother and wife take the duffel full of money and leave while Jackson is zip-tied.

Steve is supervising while they bring the people up through the vent shaft. The fighting couple goes up together and it's an awww moment. The lady strapped to a surfboard with the two broken legs won't fit, so Tani goes up and undoes the bolts to take half of the fan off. They get the surfboard through, but the rope is rubbing against the metal of the fan now and fraying. It breaks just as Junior is about up and while he manages to grab onto the half of the fan left, he can't hang on and falls almost the whole way down again.  (Uh oh.) Everyone is very worried. Apparently Steve is too heavy to get back up with Junior in tow, so Tani goes down. Don't worry, though. Junior only has a concussion and a hurt wrist! SuperSEAL powers to the rescue again!

Jackson is waiting for Moreno who gets out of his car, monologuing about how bummed he was to hear Jackson was killed because he was the one who wanted to kill him. And now he has his chance! He orders his men to get Jackson in the Jeep, but the Five-0 team arrives and a shootout ensues. Jackson shoots Moreno and runs away while Quinn saves Danny from being hit. They pick off all of Moreno's men pretty easily and go after Jackson. They are sure Jackson couldn't have gotten that much of a head start---unless he has incredible foot speed for a guy with cancer. They find Shayla and Mikey dead and their bodies are cold so it's been about twenty minutes since they were killed. Jackson could be long gone. They all kind of look around like he might pop out of the jungle, but he doesn't.

Team party in Steve's back yard! (Who cares if there was a bomb there earlier, am I right! Steve is grilling!) He tells them what a great job they did and hopefully some of the bad guys they caught will roll on other bad guys. There's a text from Duke saying they found a capsized boat near where Jackson was last seen, so hopefully he drowned! But it's too much work talk for Lou. Let's talk about the food! McG is grilling dogs and burgers and one sirloin for Eddie. (Aww, he deserves it!) Steve did find out that the device that was left in his house had no fingerprints or DNA. They still think it's Cullen and that he'll try again. Quinn tells him they can't sit around waiting for that to happen and Steve assures her he's not going to do that. And we end on a very serious-face Steve.

What did you think? Did you watch?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Free Billionaire Romance!

If you're looking for a billionaire romance this weekend, Kimberley Montpetit's Book The Fiance's Secret, is free this weekend! (I haven't read this one, but it sounds like a cute afternoon read).

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

He's a successful entrepreneur who almost has it all. She's the long-ago crush—the girl who got away. When they meet again, fireworks explode once more, but will a buried secret steal their chance for a happy ending?

Troy Thurlow let the girl of his dreams get away fourteen years ago, back when he was a high school football star. Now he’s a highly successful executive with a life most people only dream of. He's never stopped thinking about Jasmine and wondering what would have happened if he'd ever had the courage to ask her on a date. When he meets her by chance on a New York business trip, he's determined to take this second opportunity and run with it. That is if his past doesn't catch up with him first . . .

Jasmine Cervantes does “happily ever after” for a living, arranging dream-destination honeymoons for the fabulously rich and famous. But, so far, her own fairy-tale ending has eluded her--until the boy she couldn’t stop dreaming about in high school barges unexpectedly into her office one day.

When the two begin a whirlwind romance on the romantic coast of Italy, Jasmine begins to believe their love is real, but Troy is hiding something that could change everything . . . will that buried secret steal their second chance at a happy ending?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Freebie Friday for Romantic Comedy Fans!

Oh my goodness, you guys, if you love romantic comedy you HAVE to grab Thirty-Two Going on Spinster. It's FREE TODAY! Definitely a laugh-out-loud romance that you will love and the first in a series. This one is on my keeper shelf!

Here's the back copy:

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

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

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

Grab your free copy here