Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Review: Mail Order Brides and a Giveaway!

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for the Timeless Romance Anthology Mail Order Bride Collection. It has several of my favorite authors and a few new ones and none of them disappointed!

The first one, Written In Her Heart by Stacy Henrie was a sedate romance of a woman who decides to put out a notice to be a mail order bride, but the man she works with and has loved for years finally seems to be coming to grips with his true feelings for her. Or is he? A charming story.

The second one, Wanted: Midwife Bride was probably my favorite. I haven't read anything else by Kristin Holt, but I will need to start! Dr. Naomi Thornton has been doing her best to survive in a man's world of medicine, but when she is betrayed she flees west to answer an advertisment for a mail order bride. Dr. Chandler just needs a helpmate, but when Naomi walks into his office while he's digging a bullet out of someone and doesn't even flinch, he knows he's found much more. Their love story was riveting for me and I was turning pages when I should have been making dinner just to see how her secret would come out! I really enjoyed this one.

The third one, The Sound of Home by Annette Lyon had a similar storyline to the previous novella where the woman is nearly forced through circumstances to flee to the West, but that's where the similarities ended. Marilyn is expecting something very different when she gets off the train. The man who sent for her isn't actually capable of marrying since he had an accident years ago and his mental capacity is quite diminished. His brother that takes care of him tries to take care of the Marilyn situation, but their feelings for each other surprise them both.  A nice story of healing and family and what it means to truly love and serve others.

The fourth one, For Better or Worse, by Sarah Eden has her trademark humor in it.  Gerald sends away for a mail order bride only to get a woman that he is already very familiar with---and doesn't like. How could he ever make a marriage work with Mary, the teenager he dubbed The Plague because she was such a ginormous pest? But all is not as it seems, and the more Gerald puts his prejudice aside and really tries to get to know her, the more she is able to trust him with her secrets. Poignant and sweet, this one will stay with you for a while.

The fifth one, The Inconvenient Bride, by Heather Moore starts out when Carmela finds her brother about to marry a woman that she knows she could never live with. Desperate to find her own way, she answers an ad to be a mail order bride and heads to Colorado.  Unfortunately, her intended groom dies before she can get there and the next train doesn't arrive for a while. Her intended's brother steps up to help her and is such a sigh-worthy hero. Their feelings begin to grow into something more, but can they make a true connection before the train comes to take Carmela away?

The sixth one, The Price of Silver, by Sian Ann Bessey, has Katie heading to Idaho to be Jake's mail-order bride, but the fortune seeking Jake is already gone when she gets there. Caleb, Jake's brother, invites her to stay at the cabin with him and his mother until Jake's return, but the more Caleb realizes how easily Katie fits into his life and with his family, the more he envies his brother. Fighting their feelings, they anxiously await word as to what Jake's plans are. Is there a future for them after all?

Each story had a satisfying ending, so even though they are novellas, I loved that they all had fleshed out characters and a solid storyline that left me with a smile. They are the perfect size for a snack of romance and still feel like you've eaten an entire course!

You can buy your copy here for $4.99

Be sure to scroll all the way down and enter the giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

**Amazon #1 Bestselling series in Clean Romance**

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection. Six historical romance novellas set in the Old West.

WRITTEN IN HER HEART, a charming novella by Stacy Henrie, Georgeanna is getting desperate. She can’t fund her favorite orphanage unless she marries and secures the rest of her inheritance left by her father. But her father’s financial planner, Clay, can't understand why she's not content with her current situation. Georgie determines to send out a notice as a mail order bride to attract suitors who won’t know her financial situation. Little does she know, Clay takes up the pen and sends her letters of his own under an assumed name. After years of working for Georgie’s father, Clay realizes he isn’t ready to watch her marry another, not when his heart is already claimed by her.

In Kristin Holt’s delightful novella WANTED: MIDWIFE BRIDE Dr. Naomi Thornton thinks she has it all: a beautiful house, a loving husband, and a fulfilling career. But when everything she holds dear is ripped away, Naomi has no choice but to start over. What will she find in the wild and untamed Wyoming Territory? Dr. Joe Chandler has waited years for a wife with the knowledge, skills, and tender heart he yearns for in a medical colleague and lifetime companion. When a midwife arrives with more expertise and secrets than he counted on, Joe quickly discovers there’s more to love and marriage than a simple mail order contract.

In THE SOUND OF HOME, a captivating novella by Annette Lyon, Marilyn is given the choice of either marrying the despicable Victor or being charged with a murder she didn’t commit. Refusing to believe that either is her fate, she finds a third option: she answers a mail order bride advertisement and boards a train to Wyoming to wed a man named Harry. Moments after her arrival, she learns that Harry isn’t who he seemed to be, and the advertisement turns out to be a giant mistake. Harry’s brother Thomas agrees to let her stay until she can figure out what to do next—after all, she simply cannot return to New York—but Marilyn quickly finds herself developing feelings for Thomas.

In Sarah M. Eden’s endearing novella FOR BETTER OR WORSE Gerald Smith, on the advice of his well-meaning neighbors, has decided it’s time to change his lonely existence. Mary Hill, on the advice of her empty pocketbook and non-existent roof over her head, has decided it’s time to secure herself a future. A mail-order marriage, they both realize, is no guarantee of happiness, but it is a risk they are willing to take. However, coming face to face on the train platform, the hapless couple discovers an unexpected truth: marriage to a perfect stranger is sometimes far preferable to the prospect of a lifetime with someone you used to know.

Heather B. Moore’s sweet novella THE INCONVENIENT BRIDE sees Carmela traveling from Boston to Colorado, eager to meet the man she’s been corresponding with and will soon marry. Her brother’s new marriage leaves little room for Carmela in her old life. Upon arrival in Leadville, she faces a rude awakening, and the only one who can understand her predicament is her fiance’s brother, Samuel. But Samuel can’t possibly help her out of an awkward situation, can he? It would be better for all if she returns immediately to Boston and pretends she never traveled to Colorado in the first place.

THE PRICE OF SILVER, an engaging novella by Siân Ann Bessey, Katie leaves New York for Idaho to marry Jake, a man she’s written to a couple of times. But when she steps off the train, his brother Caleb is there to greet her. Jake has gone to take a mining job he couldn’t pass up. Caleb takes Katie back to the family ranch to wait for Jake’s return. The more Caleb gets to know Katie, the more he envies his brother, but he can’t let his heart overrule his head unless Jake changes his mind about his intended bride.

Here's the schedule for the rest of the blog tour. Check them out!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is an historical romance by Marie Higgins called My Heart's Treasure.  Who wants to curl up with a sweet and sweeping historical this weekend?

Here's the back copy:

Ladies' man Anton Romero is smitten with Vivian Wentworth from the very beginning. He wants nothing more than to get to know the stiff Miss Wentworth—and perhaps make her relax so she’s not so uptight—until he learns she's investigating him for a crime he didn't commit.

Innocent and naïve, Vivian is convinced that Anton is the outlaw her superiors have painted him. But her over-zealous determination puts both of them in danger and he is forced to play the honorable rogue.

Sweeping her away to Padre Island off the coast of Spain seemed like a clever idea at the time. But how can he protect them both from his uncle's murderous games when Anton's heart falls victim to a woman as full of independence as she is desire.

You can download your free Kindle copy here 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Review 101 Pocket Writing Tips & Techniques

Today's review is of a writing craft book by Ronda Hinrichsen called 101 Pocket Writing Tips and Techniques: To Inspire Your Fiction and Strengthen Your Craft.

This is a quick read with sections that deal with Setting, Characterization, and Marketing to name a few. Each page has a quick or basic tip to help an aspiring or new author.  Some were very basic, common-sense things, but others relied on the author's experience and were quite helpful.  It's a nice little reference guide for those who are just getting started in the business and need guidance.

Here's the back copy:

After decades of studying and applying the writing craft, award-winning author, Ronda Hinrichsen, shares “how-to-write” tips and answers many frequently-asked-questions to guide writers in their personal writing journeys.

You can buy your copy here for $3.99

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I just started Betsy Brannon Green's new novel Puzzle Pieces. I love Betsy's writing! She has a whole slew of books set in Haggerty, Georgia that I absolutely love. The southern ways are funny and sweet and the characters are people I'd like to be friends with. And so far, Puzzle Pieces does not disappoint. The murder mystery is driving me crazy trying to figure it out with all the twists and turns! But I do love peeking in on Miss Eugenia and see how things are going for her. If you haven't read Hearts in Hiding, you should. It's where we first meet her and it's a good romantic suspense.

Here's the back copy of Puzzle Pieces:

Presley DeGraff is a young woman on the run. With nothing but the clothes on her back, her escape from the ruthless manipulations of her former fiancé leaves her with little time to hide. There is only one person to whom she can turn, only one place she may be safe . . .

Haggerty, Georgia, is known for its Southern hospitality and quirky inhabitants. For Presley, her Aunt Violet's home in the tiny town is a lifesaving haven. Her aunt, along with a cast of delightful friends and neighbors, warmly welcomes her. For the first time in so long, she feels hope a hope that hinges on hiding her past. But the dreams of solitude that she had envisioned quickly fade when a disturbing discovery is made in her aunt,s backyard: a human skeleton. At the first hint of crime, Haggerty's own amateur sleuth, Miss Eugenia, is on the case. Along with handsome Haggerty resident Mac and sprightly ninety-nine-year-old Loralee, Presley is quickly drawn into a mystery spanning generations of Haggerty's history. But when news coverage of the investigation digs up Presley's own secrets, it s up to her new friends to come to her aid, by whatever means necessary.
You can get your own Kindle copy here

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Castle Recap and Review--A Room With No View

This week's Castle takes us back to what it does best---Caskett working out a twisty turny mystery that has the audience glued to its seat.

We start out with a woman in her apartment. She goes into the closet and when she comes back out, someone has drawn a weird symbol on her mirror and she's shot and killed.

Cut to Castle interrupting Martha and Alexis at lunch. He spills that Stephen King has reached out and wants to collaborate with him on a book. They're surprised since Castle has a "feud" with Mr. King over their love of differing baseball teams. But Castle is too excited to think anything but that it's all water under the bridge now and he goes to the address he's given. It's a rat-infested run down building. Even going in, the lights start to go out and he thinks it's just Mr. King trying to scare him, but yeah, it's not and he's abducted.

The team is investigating the murder and they don't have much to go on. The co-workers tell them that there was a guy at work who was passed over for a promotion because the murder victim lied about him. And he owns a white van that was seen at the victim's apartment. But he does give them the clue that the victim was digitizing some VHS tapes.

When Castle comes to, he's in an elementary school classroom with three other men. He tries to find out if they have any connection and they don't. They were all lured there and have no idea why. They know they're being taped, though. One guy panics and breaks the glass to get the hatchet out in case of fire. That lets out a bee who stings the one guy allergic to bees. Castle finds a puzzle with the supposed epi-pen inside, but it's really poison and he has to solve more clues to get the antidote. Honestly without Castle there, the guys just would have watched the poor allergic man die. I guess Castle must be used to being kidnapped by this point, I mean, Alexis says later in the episode that her dad is kidnapped twice a year, but it feels like more than that. Anyway, Castle is able to keep his head under kidnapping pressure.

Castle finds another clue behind the clock that leads to a key in the door. When they insert it, the insert in the door opens to reveal a gun with three bullets and a message that the last one standing will be freed. One guy is all, give me the gun and Castle just gives him that are you kidding me look? He talks them out of it, but I would definitely be freaked out if I were stuck in a room with a gun and someone who doesn't mind killing me.

Back at the precinct, the guys have been looking at the video and it's just two kids doing puzzles, wearing necklaces with the symbol that was on the murder victim's mirror. They figure out that the kids in the videos were twins from the Northcliff family and when they bring in someone who worked for the family, she tells them the female twin recently committed suicide and her parents did psychological experiments on the twins relating to separation anxiety. As soon as she said that, I knew who the murderer was, too.

Where is Beckett you might ask? She was also lured to the building and is in a room with the wife and girlfriend of two of the men Castle is stuck with. Every now and then each room gets shown what the other room is doing and it's messing with their psyche. Both Beckett and Castle are working to get them out, but not getting a lot of help from their fellow prisoners. When the ladies open the door to get the gun, one woman takes it and decides she has no problem with it. Of course the men are shown this on the TV feed and her husband is all, welp if my wife is going to murder someone, I will too! When he shoots, though, it backfires and kills him. Meanwhile, Beckett has taken the bullets out of the gun for the women and so her crazy person can't kill anyone. She ties crazy woman's hands behind her back.

By this time Alexis has realized her father is missing and the team is looking for him. They go to the Northcliff's house where they are tied up. The are sitting in front of the feed showing both rooms with Castle and Beckett and their fellow prisoners. But they won't be prisoners for long! Beckett goes all MacGyver and blasts her way out of the room. Castle uses a crowbar to pry it open. Before they can get outside, though, they are trapped in a room once again where the door will only open if three people push down levers. The ones who have been branded with the weird symbol from the mirror are supposed to stay, but Castle and Beckett break the rules and they both stay. The maniac behind it all is exposed as one of the crazies in the room with them. (I called it!) Brandon the other twin is mad his parents were allowed to do the experiments so he gathered people that should have helped him---Beckett from the twelfth (policeman), teachers, some school psychiatrist, you get the picture. He wants them to choose which loved one will die, but Castle refuses. (This whole scene points out how dumb the LokSat storyline is. Some crazed guy can figure out that Castle and Beckett love each other and would do anything for each other, but hey, maybe LokSat is dumber than a box of rocks and will think they're not together. Yeah. Ridiculous.) Anyways, Brandon has lost it, but now he's stuck with Caskett and he has a rifle. Castle and Beckett get him monologuing about his sad life while Castle surreptitiously unscrews a pipe from the lever and goes after the guy with it. Beckett disarms him, just as the team bursts in.

It ends with Hailey coming to take a brooding Alexis out for fun and Caskett getting drinks and being cozy at home.  Awww.

So, a fun psychological episode with a lot of tense moments! If you put LokSat out of your mind, this is how the season should have been from the beginning with Castle and Beckett figuring out a mystery and ending the episode with a smile.

Did you watch?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: Before The Clock Strikes Thirty

Today's book review is a romantic comedy by Aubrey Mace called Before the Clock Strikes Thirty. This was a fun and flirty romance. Whenever I need a fluffy book that I know will entertain me and make me laugh, I go for an Aubrey Mace book. She just has this uncanny ability to make the craziest situations seem real and hilarious. I was laughing out loud so many times during this book, but there are sweet moments, too. It's a laugh out loud, sigh-worthy romance and isn't that the best kind?

We meet Shannon whose had a lot of bad luck when it comes to romance. She has this pesky childhood friend Nathan who when it comes right down to it, doesn't seem to be quite as pesky as she remembers. But she has her dreams and standards for her Mr. Right and Nathan doesn't meet those. Or does he? The predicaments these two get in will have you turning pages to see how it all ends up and smiling that satisfied, I-loved-this-book smile at the end. Aubrey Mace always goes on my keeper shelf and never disappoints!

Here's the back copy:

With wedding festivities swirling around her, the bride’s fortune-telling aunt transfixes young Shannon Fielding. The gypsy woman foresees love in the girl’s future: before her thirtieth year, Shannon will meet the man of her dreams. The promise of romance is absolutely thrilling—it’s almost enough to compensate for the groom’s annoying younger brother . . .Shannon has remembered, and loathed, Nathan since their childhood meeting at the wedding reception that set her on a never-ending quest to find her Mr. Right. When Nathan steps back into Shannon’s life, she is forced to reconcile her memory of the obnoxious boy he once was with the endearing man he’s become. Nathan quickly becomes the best friend a girl could ask for—but when their friendship threatens to develop into something more, can Shannon give up the idea of the mysterious soul mate she’s sought for so long?

You can get your Kindle copy here for $10.49

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a romance from Jennifer Peel called Jessie Bell. I've really enjoyed Jennifer's books in the past and am excited to read this one!

Here's the back copy:

Nestled in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, lies the quaint town of Merryton, Colorado. You will never find finer people or better friends. But try keeping a secret in Merryton and you will soon find that the good townspeople are better than any private investigator or undercover journalist. The men and women of Merryton are like living barometers, and when a storm is brewing in the life of one of their own, they are sure to get to the bottom of it--and forecast it on the Merryton grapevine.

Jessica and Blake Summers know a thing or two about what it’s like to be the latest and greatest news on the vine. Their thirteen year marriage has had more than its fair share of heartache and loss. Then the past comes knocking, in the form of a teenage girl, a daughter Blake never knew existed. The news sets the Merryton grapevine on fire.

In the wake of this revelation and firestorm, Blake and Jessica are forced to reevaluate their own relationship and priorities, all while learning that raising a teenage girl is not for the faint of heart. But in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, they discover that Madeline may just be what the doctor ordered to heal their broken hearts and mend their own tattered relationship.

Will they have the courage to look forward and find a greater love than they could ever imagine? Or will past hurts and the town grapevine tear them apart?

You can download your free Kindle copy here 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Book Review And A $25 Giveaway!


I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Sheralyn Pratt's new novel, Pimpernel. I really enjoyed her book The Kiss That Launched A Thousand Gifs and was looking forward to this one.

This book is a high energy, nail-biting high-stakes romance that will keep you glued to the pages. It did take me a little while to get into it and the opening chapters are a bit confusing with the overload of information, but once you get past that, the roller coaster ride begins. Who can you trust? Who is real and who isn't? There are so many sides to the Pimpernel.

Claire Ramsey is a genius who is currently trapped in her OCD tendencies so she can commit fraud on her beloved professor's behalf and keep him from being killed. Unbeknownst to her, however, the Pimpernel is watching her and wants to help---if she'll return all the money she's taken from investors in a phony scam.  Of course he promises her his full protection if she'll do it. But can she pull it off? Or is she already in too deep? Claire is caught up in the intrigue and the danger, but the closer she gets to the Pimpernel, the more she realizes that she's also in danger of losing her heart.

I loved Claire and how she kept getting up after life deals her some pretty harsh blows. Her OCD tendencies were realistic and made the reader feel a lot of sympathy for the predicament she was in. And when all is finally revealed, you just want Claire to have her happy ending.  Jack is a sigh-worthy hero who isn't a cliche. He's not much to look at, but he can still make your knees weak. I love how he was able to peel his own layers away just as he was in the process of trying to peel away Claire's. It was a romance that was sweet and fun to read.  I wish we would have had a bit more backstory into who and what happened to the supporting team members, but we got a good enough foundation to make them solid additions to the cast of characters.  I hope we get more books about them!

This is definitely a book you'll want at the top of your to-read pile, but make sure nothing else is on your agenda for the day because you won't want to put it down!

Be sure to scroll down and enter the $25 giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

They seek him here; they seek him there. For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title. At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but "trying" is the operative word. It's been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV. If ever there as an unlikely head of a investment scheme, Claire's it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop. So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?  
add to goodreads

amazon get it


 Author Sheralyn Pratt

Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who's been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn't far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There's a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another's shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.

Some random things to know about Sheralyn:
* She's a wanderer (geographically)
* She can write a novel, but doesn't have the attention span for one page in a journal
* She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King's stance that authors should not watch TV
* She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight


 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/28/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

The past few days I've been reading Sarah Eden's Timeless Romance Anthology British Isles Collection. It has two new novellas in it that are so good! The other four are novellas that have appeared in other collections, but they're like coming home to an old friend and definitely worth a re-read.

The first story is A Friend Indeed. Caroline is being forced to marry to help out her family and their depleted finances. Instead of a stranger, however, her brother's friend George has offered for her. George has known her since she was a child and now must prove to her that they can have a loving marriage if she can get past a few misconceptions. So very sweet.

The second new story is about Sophia, who is a governess to some spoiled children with a mother who is mean-spirited and a husband with a roving eye. None of the servants will associate with her and she is so very lonely. She tries to reach out to the stable-master, Dermot Buchanan, to see if he will be her friend, but he turns her down flat. Dermot is hiding some secrets and knows it wouldn't end well even if he did become friends with the governess because he's Scottish and she's English. But when she needs him the most, he's there and their romance blossoms. This is one of my most favorite Sarah Eden stories. Loved it!

The other four stories that were included were The Road to Cavan (who couldn't love Isaac and Alice?), The Christmas Promise (I love Sean and Maeve!), A Dream of A Glorious Season (*le sigh* I wish this one was a full length novel!) and A Lesson in Love (I would have loved to see Reed and Lucy's full courtship.)  They are all wonderful little bites of historical romance that will leave you with a smile on your face.

You can get your copy for $4.99 here

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Double Eps of Castle--Oh Yeah!

We had back to back episodes of Castle this week and that makes me really happy. And I was even more happy to see Caskett working together.

Sunday's episode starts out with Castle at a party and he needs to use the restroom, only the one on the main floor is occupied. He goes upstairs and sees a woman in a wait staff uniform with a fireplace poker stabbing another woman. He shouts and she immediately runs away.

Fast forward five months and Castle is about to testify in the woman's trial (her name is Nina). It should be a slam dunk case until the new defense attorney comes in--Caleb Brown who, as you might recall, Beckett and Vikram are looking into because of Caleb's connection to Loksat. Caleb absolutely destroys Castle's testimony on the stand, telling the jury about Castle's memory loss, falsely accusing someone, and of course being framed by 3XK for something he didn't do. Castle crumbles under the pressure and says maybe Nina didn't kill Sadie after all.  (My thoughts when I was watching this was, why didn't the prosecutor object to anything? Badgering the witness, leading the witness, and he didn't even redirect after Castle was humiliated. It was a glaring mistake and made Marcus the prosecutor look incompetent.)

Castle and Beckett and the boys start looking more closely into the murder to find more evidence on Nina. They find footage outside a bar of the night before the murder and Nina was there with the murder victim---kissing. They also looked like they were arguing which gave Nina a great motive to kill. But then, when Castle and Ryan are at the murder scene, they notice the basketball standard was moved (Nina used it to escape from the second story window the night of the murder.) That went to premeditation, but Castle isn't so sure. My question, why didn't they try to get some fingerprints off that basketball standard?

Castle decides he needs to question Nina, but the defense won't let him anywhere near her, so he goes to the judge's chambers and insults her alma mater. The judge is tolerant for a while, but after a phone call that her home has been broken into and Castle's claim he can find out who did it if she'll just give him a list of anyone who went to the same university as the judge in the area, and the judge throws him in holding for contempt. (It was pretty funny. Castle always delivers on the comedy side.)

Nina is also in holding and tells Castle her side of the story. She found Sadie like that, she loved her, she would never hurt her. Sadie had asked Nina to get the champagne glass of Mr. Masters, the host. So, once the boys bail him out, he goes to talk to Mr. Masters. If Sadie wanted DNA maybe she'd had an affair and needed to check paternity on her daughter? But Mr. Masters is infertile, so, no go on that. But he does have a secret safe that you need a fingerprint to open and his wife forces him to open it after Castle offers to name a villain in his book after her. (I named a villain after my neighbor once. She also thought it was cool!)

Apparently, Sadie and Mr. Masters had come across five million dollars in CIA money when they were reporting in Iraq. Sadie took it and Mr. Masters was blackmailing her for more money to be thrown his way. He had a tape as evidence and she wanted it. But he didn't kill her.

Castle remembers that the person in the occupied bathroom downstairs was Sadie's husband and it all comes unraveled from there. Sadie had been known for her affairs. Her husband saw her go upstairs and used the basketball standard to peek in and see what she was doing. One thing led to another and he killed her. Nina is free and mouths a grateful "thank you" to Castle. Awww.

I loved that the team was back together. It didn't even seem as if last week happened with their ridiculous claims of seeing other people and not working together and slaps etc. This episode showcased what made me love Castle. *le sigh*

Then we got another episode last night! This one also hit all the right notes. It starts out with a guy in an abandoned building at night, looking for something. The door slams shut and when he opens it again, he gets his throat cut. Ewww!

Cut to Castle coming into the office with a lot of shopping bags, needing Martha and Alexis's opinion on the perfect baby gift. He had baby Kevlar! Oh man. Baby light sabers, scary lullabies. So funny. But Alexis already has the perfect gift and he takes that. Martha does notice he doesn't seem too upset about Beckett these days.

At the crime scene Espo tries using howdy instead of yo, but it doesn't go over well. Beckett notices some ink on the victim and Lainey estimates his time of death. Apparently some homeless guy heard a car peel out of there so they're going to talk to him some more. Meanwhile, the victim's father is a Russian diplomat so Beckett goes to question him. The dad tells Beckett his son was distraught over his mother's death and hung out with diplobrats who do outrageous things because they have diplomatic immunity. Of course the Russians would like Beckett to work with one of their security men, Vasily, and she agrees.

Vasily is a character. He loves Castle's books and he also loves hugs. He can't believe Castle and Beckett aren't together and makes a call to the higher-ups who ask them to work together on the case. Now that part didn't make any sense since Beckett is trying to "protect" Castle, and is sneaking around to be with him, but he's at the precinct all the time anyway and apparently they can be ordered to work together. But I won't let this ridiculousness ruin it for me.

The guys figure out the peeling out car belonged to one of the diplobrats. They bring him in for questioning, but he mocks them, knowing they can't touch him because of his diplomatic immunity. Beckett is doing all she can to keep Vasily away from the case and Castle takes the guy out to lunch to hear his story ideas. The diplobrat also happens to be there and Vasily and Castle go over to question him. Vasily threatens to cut his feet off and the diplobrat admits he dropped the victim off and left. It was actually a really funny scene. Vasily plays a hitman/funny man so well!

With the ink on the victim's body turning out to be his mother's accident case file number, the team knows he was looking into that. They retrace his steps, find out the mom was actually having an affair with a sleeper agent and was a Russian sleeper agent herself! Vasily actually finds and kidnaps the sleeper agent and is going to torture him but Castle says no way, let me show you that you don't have to do that. Vasily gives him one minute and Castle does figure out that there's going to be an assassination attempt. The team goes to the Russian consulate and Beckett saves one guy's life, but the murder victim's father is shot. It's a through and through, though, and he'll live.

Castle also meets his stepmother when Kate calls her in to consult. She does admit that she's been working with his stepmother and Castle gets upset. I wish he'd get mad and lay it on the table. Kate's dumb Locksat secret has cost them a lot of trust in their marriage (not to mention character development, but I digress). Castle does get a nice convo with his stepmother, though, about his dad, and she tells Castle his dad is proud of him, which Castle needed to hear, so that was good.

Anyway, they look at the sniper weapon being so old, figure out it's from an old Russian cache and get footage of the woman who hauled it off. It was the murder victim's mother! She's not dead. They bring her in and she tells them her husband has been passing Russian secrets and is the leak in the consulate. He killed her son (he wasn't the guy's real dad) but she couldn't do anything against him because he's too powerful. Beckett and Castle go to see him at the consulate and he is heading back to Russia. They are disappointed justice won't be served until Vasily tells them the guy is going to the coldest outpost in Russia. Russian justice is complicated.

Caskett share a sweet moment together in the Russian consulate and it ends on a happy note. All is right as I bask in the Castle loveliness. I hope the rest of the season is just like this!

Did you watch the double feature? What did you think?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Book Review and $25 Giveaway!

I'm really excited to be part of the blog tour for A.L. Sowards new book, The Spider and the Sparrow!

This is a spy novel set during World War I and told from the perspective of three regular people. Julian Olivier is a Frenchman who loves his country, but is war-weary. He's survived horrific conditions in the trenches and just as he's being sent back to the front after a serious injury, he gets recruited to be a spy. He takes the chance because he doesn't know if he can bear the trenches again, and, while being a spy is a different kind of dangerous service, it's still being loyal to the war effort. I loved Julian. He was everything you want in a hero.

The second main character was Evette who escapes a violent home situation and heads to Paris where she finds a job. But there's something sneaky about her foreman and she gets caught up in some intrigue that gets her mixed up with British Intelligence. I loved how Evette is just a normal woman drawn into events beyond her control, but rises to the occasion. And when her story intertwines with Julian's, well, it will keep you turning pages.

The third main character is Warren, an awesome Canadian fighter pilot. He's confident and a war hero who is trying to sort out his feelings for Claire, the daughter of an American munitions manufacturer. But all is not as it seems and Warren is put in a position where he might have to sacrifice everything he loves. His story was so emotional!

There were a lot of things to love about this book. First of all, one of the main characters was Canadian, so that's a major thing to love right there.  Second, the author expertly weaves the historical events into it so it reads like you're really there and not like a dusty history book. But, even though there were a lot of horrible things these characters went through during the war, the descriptions never cross the line into gory or too violent. I could experience it as a reader and not have nightmares if you know what I mean. I loved all the emotion, the depth of the characters, and the realistic setting. One for my historical keeper shelf!

Be sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

You can buy your Kindle copy here for $16.14

Here's the back copy:

May 1915. After tragedy strikes during the Second Battle of Artois, Frenchman Julian Olivier will do anything to get out of the trenches. So when British Intelligence recruits him to spy behind enemy lines, he jumps at the opportunity. Just before he begins, however, he has a chance encounter with a young French woman who leaves his heart marked for the remainder of the war—even if he doesn’t know her name.

Warren Flynn is a Canadian airborne hero, and dogfights with the Germans are all in a day’s work. Second only to his love of flying is his fascination with Claire Donovan, the daughter of an American munitions manufacturer living in Paris. Warren flies Julian into Germany and soon receives orders to post the Allies’ newest operative—an attractive peasant woman named Evette—in Claire’s home.

As a dangerous ring of spies and saboteurs threatens to turn the war against the Allies, Julian discovers goodness in his enemies’ hearts. But even if he survives, will he ever be reunited with the woman whose memory he can’t erase? Will Warren survive the war, and will Evette unearth the infiltrator in her own territory before it’s too late?

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 12, 2016

Through Love's Trials Is On Sale This Weekend!

If you have a book lover on your Valentine's Day gift list, my romantic suspense novel, Through Love's Trials, is on sale for only .99 cents this weekend!

Here's the back copy:

Attorney Kenneth King can't wait to get away on vacation and leave the courtroom behind. He only has one last errand to do for his boss―drop off a flash drive to fellow attorney Emma James. But as soon as the drive is in his hands, his boss is murdered and Kenneth becomes the next target. With nowhere left to turn, he reaches out to Emma for help―but that only puts them both in danger.

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

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

Download your Kindle copy here

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Star Struck Book Review and Giveaway!

I am so glad to be part of the blog tour for Star Struck by Kathi Oram Peterson.

Movie star Mercedes Grant is getting ready to take on the role of a lifetime when a death threat forces her to lie low while it's investigated. She retreats to a cabin in Idaho, and, when she is horribly ill with a cold, goes to visit the local small town doctor. Dr. Luke Parker is a down to earth guy, trying to raise a teenage daughter on his own. His wife died of cancer ten years before and he hasn't opened his heart since her death. Until he meets Mercedes.  But when he has to give Mercedes devastating health news, he doesn't know if he could handle losing someone close to him again. The problem is, the disease may not have the chance to take her life when the stalker gets closer and closer to his prey.

This book was an edge of your seat suspense with a side of women's fiction. Mercedes has so much on her plate with her health, the stalker, and Luke. I like that she was sometimes overwhelmed and the author allowed to to react in realistic ways to what life was throwing at her. I loved Luke as a hero and how his past had shaped him, but that he did put his heart and his life on the line when it counted. The stalker's identity was a surprise and just when I thought I knew who it was, there was another twist! When you finally figure it out, you'll shake your head.

A creepy afternoon read!

Here's the back copy:

Mercedes Grant is known to the world as Stormy Ryan, action hero. Her movie-star status has led to some unpleasant interactions in the past, and even a few stalkers, but none has ever come close enough to her to seem dangerous—until now. When she receives a death threat on her personal cell phone, she is understandably shaken. Seizing the opportunity to take some time away from the limelight while the police investigate the phone call, Mercedes escapes to her remote cabin near Idaho’s Snake River. She knows it is the perfect place to lie low, but she doesn’t realize how low she’ll actually feel once she arrives. After days of suffering from a cold she just can’t shake, Mercedes visits the town physician, Luke Parker. The handsome doctor, a fan of the stunning celebrity, performs the necessary tests and is devastated at the unexpected diagnosis he must give her. Mercedes is sick—really sick. He knows she can handle crazy fans, but the news he has to give is another story. As Mercedes struggles to come to terms with her new future, she relies on Luke’s support. But neither imagines the disease is not the only danger Mercedes is facing—because just out of view, someone is watching her and is determined to make good on their threat.
You can buy your Kindle copy here

And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Am I Reading Wednesday & A $100 Giveaway!

His Personal Relationship Manager

I just started reading this one and it is so good! I love Jennifer Peel's style and her romances keep me turning pages. This one is funny, too, which is a nice perk!

Be sure to scroll all the way down and enter the giveaway for $100!

Here's the back copy:

Kenadie Marshall suffered the most public of humiliations, being left at the altar. Instead of wallowing in her misery, she makes it her mission to help others find true and lasting love, all while swearing off relationships for good. Between the software application she developed and a team of relationship managers, her brainchild, Binary Search, has an uncanny knack for choosing the perfect match almost every time. Attractive and loveable Jason Hadley is taken with Kenadie Marshall from their first meeting. Determined to win her over, he does anything and everything he can think of, even if it means using her firm’s service and dating other women to stay close to her. Will Kenadie realize she’s met her match before it’s too late? Or will Jason’s ploy go too far? Find out in His Personal Relationship Manager, a romantic comedy with an epic battle of wills.

amazon get it

Praise for the Book "One of the best romantic comedies I've read in a long time!" - Becky Monson, Bestselling Author of the Spinster Series "There's nothing more satisfying than a story with a great plot, strong characters, and a romance that makes me swoon. This story has it all and more! I loved every minute of it!" - Katie from Katie's Clean Book Collection

add to goodreads

Jennifer Peel

Jennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-one years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, the mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.


  Book Blast Giveaway – $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash Ends 2/25/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Castle Is Back!

After what seemed like an eternity, Castle is finally back! Yay!

The episode opens with Martha rehearsing, singing on a stage with three ladies to back her up. The stage hand is supposed to have fake snow flutter down on them, but when he tugs on the rope, a lot of blood comes down mixed with the snow. Ick.

Martha calls Castle who is reconnecting with Beckett on the sly. He rushes down to the crime scene where the team has assembled. Poor Martha is shaken up and Alexis offers to take her home. The team uncovers that the victim's name is Robin and she's an ex-con. Her boss said he heard her arguing with someone she called Mama, but he didn't stick around. The boys track down Mama who is a drug-runner, and she tells them that Robin had hooked up with a new family. The team also interviews two lawyers who helped Robin and other ex-cons with their foundation, but they seem to have no idea about anything.  Castle gets a lead on that with a set of emojis off the victim's phone and Alexis decodes it to mean Shepherd Torres Mall in Spanish Harlem.

Castle and Alexis head to the abandoned mall and it's tense when they go in alone. I hate when he does that! It looks like a dark and dirty empty warehouse, but they're being watched. Castle sends out a 911 to Espo and Ryan, but then find out it's only an underground a capella get together. Castle and Alexis find some girls that have the same bracelet as Robin and then the police break up the party. Once they question Robin's friends, however, they find a whole new angle to Robin's life. She was going to be competing in a national a capella show with her ex-con friends. They'd recently kicked Agnes out of their group, however, and she was very upset about it.

The boys track down Agnes at her ex-boyfriend's apartment, but before they go in, they accuse Castle of cheating on Beckett since she randomly slapped Castle across the face at the precinct earlier. Surprisingly, he goes along with it and says his new girlfriend's name is Svetlana. It was so out of character and I know the writers were going for laughs, but Espo and Ryan have been front and center for the Caskett love story and this seems so ridiculous that they would believe something like that. Sigh. They're mean to him for the rest of the show over it.

Anyway, they go into the apartment and Castle is once again our NYPD bumbling helper. It was a fairly funny scene however. They take her in and Agnes says Robin asked her to come to the theater to be a bodyguard, but didn't say why.

The team turns to the a capella competition itself and question some of the contestants. Corbin Bleu is guest-starring and he has a singing showdown with Espo. Who knew Espo was so awesome at singing? That was great until Castle ruins the moment by trying to beat box and spitting on everyone. Corbin runs, however, when they question his whereabouts. Beckett takes him down and he admits that he was trying to bribe the head guy over the contest to make sure Robin's team didn't win. The head guy says he didn't kill Robin because as soon as she saw her pre-performance video package she took off.  The team tracks her movements the day of her murder to the rich guy's house who claims to have saved Robin's life the day she stole a car and got arrested. He admits to Beckett that he didn't really save her, that she was already safe with a scarf wrapped around her injury.

After some awesome detective work, the team figures out the scarf is missing from evidence, and they track down the detective who handled the case and he admits that he was paid $50,000 to make it disappear. Alexis cracks the picture account of the girl who had the party and the scarf's owner is finally revealed--it was the woman lawyer who was running a foundation to help girls like Robin. She admits it was really her that stole and crashed the car and she let Robin take the fall and go to prison. She didn't kill her, though, she was out of town. Yep, it was the husband. He's arrested for Robin's murder.

Cut to Martha inspiring the rest of the girls on Robin's a capella team and Beckett and Castle keeping up the lie that they are seeing other people while meeting each other secretly.

I thought the mystery was really great this week with lots of funny moments and twists and turns. The Caskett thing is still unrealistic and out of character, but at least they're back together I guess. All in all, I'm glad the show is back on and we get two episodes next week, one on Sunday and one on Monday! Yay!

Did you watch? What did you think?  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Book Review and $50 Giveaway!

Not Always (1)

Not Always Happenstance

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour and tell you about Not Always Happenstance. If you know me, you know that I've wanted to go to Hawaii for, well, forever. I love books about Hawaii and I watch Hawaii Five-O, and I know I will love it when I finally get to go there. Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson is mostly set in Hawaii and I have to say, her descriptions were outstanding. I could totally imagine Hana in my mind and I loved it! I can't wait to go there!

The romance in the book was totally sigh-worthy. Easton is the kind of guy every girl wants to meet. He's laid back and charming, loves his family, and loves his job. He definitely steals Lani's breath away, but Lani isn't going to let her heart get involved. Oh, Lani, Lani. How can you resist the power of love? Like the aloha spirit in Hawaii, sometimes you just can't help but feel it.  Easton is hiding some secrets, however, that may change Lani's mind.

Reading their journey to each other was a sweet experience. The secondary characters of Ahe and Puna rounded out this well-written romance. And, of course, since this is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series, we see Pearl again who is fast becoming a familiar touchstone. Loved it! Definitely one for my keeper shelf!

Be sure to scroll down to enter the $50 giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

 Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment. But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar. As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her. ***This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series that features one recurring character—the matchmaker—but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***

amazon get it

add to goodreads

Author Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Blog Tour $50 Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/29/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a mystery called Scraps of Paper by Kathryn Meyer Griffith. It sounds like one I'll want to read with the light on!

Here's the back copy:

Abigail Sutton's beloved husband walks out one night, doesn't return, and two years later is found dead, a victim of an earlier crime. It's made her sympathetic to the missing and their families.
Starting her new life, Abigail moves to a small town and buys a fixer-upper house left empty when old Edna Summers died. Once it was also home to Edna's younger sister, Emily, and her two children, Jenny and Christopher, who, people believe, drove away one night, thirty years ago, and just never came back.

But in renovating the house Abigail finds scraps of paper hidden behind baseboards and tucked beneath the porch that hint the three could have been victims of foul play. Then she finds their graves hidden in the woods behind the house and with the help of the eccentric townspeople and ex-homicide detective, Frank Lester, she discovers the three were murdered. Then she and Frank try to uncover who killed them and why...but in the process awaken the ire of the murderer.

Download your free Kindle copy here 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Not Always Happenstance $50 Giveaway!

Not Always (1)

I am super excited about Not Always Happenstance and wanted to tell you about it! I'll be doing a full review on Monday, but seriously, it is really good so far. It's part of the Power of The Matchmaker series and I know you're going to love it. And don't forget to scroll all the way down and enter the $50 giveaway!

Not Always Happenstance
Here's the back copy:

Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment. But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar. As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her. ***This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series that features one recurring character—the match maker—but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***   Author Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

amazon get it
add to goodreads

Blog Tour $50 Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/29/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.