Friday, March 31, 2017

A Sarah Eden Book On Sale!

It isn't very often that a Sarah Eden book goes on sale, but Drops of Gold is being offered right now for only $1.99. I love how emotional and yet witty her characters are, and the romance is just so sigh-worthy. You will love it! (You can read my review of it here)

You can download your bargain Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

When her father dies and leaves her completely destitute, Marion can think of only one thing to do--make a new life for herself. Commencing a life of duplicity, Marion transforms herself into Mary Wood--governess. In possession of a forged letter of recommendation and cloaked in the anonymity of her new identity, she enters a life of self-imposed servitude as teacher and caretaker of young Miss Caroline Jonquil of Farland Meadows. Her idyllic daydream vision of life at the Meadows is dashed when she finds a child desperately in need of hope and a cold and sorrowful home haunted by the past. With her characteristic sunny disposition, Marion casts her spell upon the household and slowly brings to life the long-forgotten joy of those within.

Layton Jonquil is a man tormented by the lies surrounding the death of his late wife, but he cannot deny his growing attraction for the beautiful governess whose goodness and optimism have touched his dormant heart. Their connection grows ever stronger, and despite the impropriety of harboring feelings for a servant, Layton's heart whispers that this is the woman he's destined to love. But when Layton's fears about the past become too much to bear and the falsehoods in which they are entangled threaten to shatter his and Marion's blossoming attachment, will true love conquer all?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Great Sale On Lady of the Lakes! (Historical Fiction Fans Don't Miss This One!)

I noticed today that Josi Kilpack's amazing historical romance, Lady of the Lakes, based on Sir Walter Scott's life, is on sale for only $1.99! Her publisher usually charges over $10, so this is a deal and I didn't want you to miss it. I really enjoyed this one and, if you want, you can see my review here

You can download your sale Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway! Sweet Is The Work

I'm really excited to have Lauren B., who is currently serving a Church Service mission, review the new book by Breanna Olaveson, Sweet is the Work: Lessons From the First Sister Missionaries.

There is also a giveaway for this book, so don't forget to scroll all the way down and enter!

"Sweet is the Work by Breanna Olaveson is absolutely wonderful for any female members of the LDS church. It’s a quick read, but packs a lot of power that women will enjoy. Don’t skip the introduction of this one! She talked about the age change for missionaries, and how many young sisters, moms, grandmas, and ward members did not serve missions. This wave of sister missionaries may not think they have an example of missionary service in their life to look to. I had never thought of this before, but it really struck me. Men have many examples of missionaries to look to in their own lives, in church history stories and in the scriptures. Sister missionaries are a little harder to find, but they are there, and Olaveson neatly compiled some beautiful stories in an easy to read book.

I was extremely happy to see that my main girls Eliza R. Snow and Lucy Mack Smith got a shout out in the book. I love how smart Eliza was and that she was such a good leader to women. And learning that she went to Jerusalem when she was 69 years old with a bunch of men made me love her even more. (We also have the same birthday. that’s the actual reason I love her.)

Lucy Mack Smith was a small, spunky woman who most people don’t know much about, but I love the story in the book that showed her love of sharing the gospel. Even after losing three sons in the space of a few weeks, she was always willing to stand up for the gospel and never denied it.

Some of the other stories teach of women who traveled to islands and learned the language, had babies on wagons or in other continents, lost family members while overseas, among many other trials they had to face in which they had to be brave. The most interesting story to me was one of the first sister missionaries who had to come home for medical reasons. This has happened to many of my friends, and I love that the author pointed out it isn’t how long you serve but how you serve. These sisters did so much to pave the way for women to serve missions today. I loved this book and that it taught many valuable lessons for women, full-time missionary or not."

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here is the back copy:

Young women serving as missionaries today are carrying on a noble legacy of faith and dedication that extends back to the early days of the Church. But who were the brave women who paved the way for modern-day sister missionaries? In Sweet Is the Work, author Breanna Olaveson delves into a previously unexplored history that demonstrates the unique ability of women to carry out the errand of angels. Discover the powerful experiences of twelve of the earliest sister missionaries, from the first single proselytizing women in 1898 to some of the well-known sisters in Church history who were themselves pioneering missionaries. The women highlighted in this volume demonstrate the valiant and noble history of sister missionaries in an account that is sure to inspire readers to boldly go forth to share the truths of the gospel.

Blog Tour Schedule:

*March 30th:,,,

*March 31st:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cute Book Alert! And It's On Sale!

Last Christmas I was given a book by Shanna Swendson called Enchanted, Inc. I'd never heard of it before, but several of my book club members had and they loved it! I noticed today that it's on sale for only .99 cents so I wanted to pass on the sale price to you! Don't miss this one!

You can get the Kindle deal here

Here's the back copy:


Katie Chandler had always heard that New York is a weird and wonderful place, but this small-town Texas gal had no idea how weird until she moved there. Everywhere she goes, she sees something worth gawking at and Katie is afraid she’s a little too normal to make a splash in the big city. Working for an ogre of a boss doesn’t help.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, Katie gets a job offer from Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., a company that tricks of the trade to the magic community. For MSI, Katie’s ordinariness is an asset. Lacking any bit of magic, she can easily spot a fake spell, catch hidden clauses in competitor’s contracts, and detect magically disguised intruders. Suddenly, average Katie is very special indeed.

She quickly learns that office politics are even more complicated when your new boss is a real ogre, and you have a crush on the sexy, shy, ultra powerful head of the R&D department, who is so busy fighting an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic on the street that he seems barely to notice Katie. Now it’s up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and–hopefully–live happily ever after.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Review: Courting Carrie in Wonderland

Carla Kelly's new book, Courting Carrie in Wonderland, is a sweet love story set against the backdrop of Yellowstone National Park in the early 1900s.

We first meet Sergeant Major Ramsay Stiles who is a Spanish American War Veteran and now stationed in Yellowstone. He is trying to deal with how the war affected him, and the park with all its beauty helps him do that. The book also has a wildlife conservation theme throughout which will also endear readers who love animals.  Ramsay is looking for a wife, but hasn't had any luck so far, when he meets Carrie McKay outside of a privy, She's been stuck with a bear preventing her from leaving and that in itself is such a funny meet-cute. Carrie is so relatable. She's suffered in her childhood and wants a better life than the one she grew up with. In order to do that, she's working in Yellowstone to save money for college tuition. Both her and Ramsay are learning to deal with their past and working toward finding peace.

I thought this story was a beautiful love letter to Yellowstone National Park. Ms. Kelly knows this park intimately and from her descriptions, it's easy to imagine yourself right there. There were so many incredible details, the setting became nearly as important as the characters. Our hero, Ramsay, is so likable, a man who easily blushes, who wants to find a wife, but more than anything just wants to have peace in his life. His choices have consequences, though, and I wanted things to work out for him so badly. He deserved it! Carrie is a strong woman, yet she also has a tender and vulnerable side which is surprising when you consider the circumstances she's already overcome. Her romance with Ramsay has a unique twist to it and readers will be captivated by their gentle love for one another. This book is like a deep stream that sweeps you along and takes you on a beautiful journey. Historical fans will really enjoy this one!

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Struggling through college and balancing her summer job in Yellowstone Park with the Wylie Camping Company, Carrie McKay simply doesn't have time to consider romance. Spanish American War Veteran Sergeant Major Ramsay Stiles also isn't looking for love, busy with his own complicated affairs. But as the magic of Yellowstone starts making its way into their hearts, both begin to see love move up their priority list.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Freebie Friday

Today's Freebie Friday is a contemporary romance called The Perfect Kiss by Susan Hatler. I haven't read anything by this author before, but it looks cute.

Here's the back copy:

Olivia Lane wants to become the premiere event planner for Blue Moon Bay’s rich and famous. But first she has to impress Greta von Strand—millionaire and bestselling author of Men: Who Needs Them?—by pulling off a two-week luxury getaway for women. The retreat’s all about getting women to embrace their independence by nurturing themselves and each other, and Olivia, who’s never been lucky-in-love herself, is looking forward to it.

The retreat and Olivia’s goals hit a roadblock, however, when sweet-talking firefighter, Brody Mitchell, and his smoking hot friends take up residence at the mansion next door. Now, she must successfully keep Greta and the other women away from their male neighbors, fight her attraction to Brody, and pull off the retreat of a lifetime in one fell swoop.

It’s a battle of the sexes she’s determined to win, otherwise she could lose everything—including her heart.

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Free Brandon Sanderson Book!

I haven't read any of Brandon Sanderson's books, but I know a lot of my friends are big fans of his, so when I saw this deal today, I had to pass it along!

For 48 hours only, you can download Brandon Sanderson's book, The Way of Kings, for free. (You do have to sign up for the Tor newsletter, but that seems a small price to pay.)

Go here to download your free copy! Deal ends at midnight on Mar. 24th, so don't wait!

Here's the back copy:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I just started reading Heather Moore's new book, Condemn Me Not. It's based on her actual 10th great-grandmother that was accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch trials and it is mesmerizing!

The first chapter introduces us to Susannah, while she's in the Salem jail, and then we go back in time to when she first met her husband. I loved seeing how sassy and strong she was, even though she's in a Puritan community. The little quotes from her trial at the beginning of the chapters really added to the mysterious atmosphere and I just can't put this one down. So far, it's really good!

You can download your own copy here

Here's the back copy:

“This woman was one of the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy life.” —Reverend Cotton Mather, 1692

USA Today Bestselling author Heather B. Moore brings the life of her 10th great-grandmother to center stage. Susannah North Martin, accused of witchcraft in 1692, joins five women in the Salem Jail, all sentenced to death for their crimes. Amidst tragedy, Susannah finds hope and compassion as she remembers a well-loved life, and readers discover that love reaches far beyond the grave as Susannah faces the magistrates in Salem.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Free Kindle Unlimited Mystery/Thrillers

My book, The Captive, is part of a thirty book Mystery/Thriller spotlight in the Kindle Unlimited program! If you love a good mystery with lots of twists and turns, or a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, you'll definitely be able to find that in one of the thirty offered ebooks. And with so many available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, you can try a new author for free!

There's also a giveaway for a Murder Mystery party game. So come see what's available and enter to win!

See all the prizes and get the details here

Monday, March 20, 2017

Book Review: Dragonwatch

I was thrilled when I found out Brandon Mull would be releasing a sequel to his Fablehaven series. Fablehaven is a huge favorite in our house and we were all excited to go back to Seth and Kendra's adventures with magical creatures in Dragonwatch.

The author sets up the Dragonwatch adventure by perfectly bridging the events from the last Fablehaven to this one. Seth returns to the Singing Sisters to give them back the storied sword Vasilis and bring them a wraith. While there, however, the Sisters tell him that a storm with the dragons is coming and he won't be bored for much longer. Still protected at Fablehaven, Kendra is out on a run and overhears a mysterious conversation with a hooded figure and her grandpa that concerns her brother. Just like that, the reader is pulled into the mystery of what's going to happen next with these two! This time, though, it's an unexpected rebellion with the dragons. The dragons are tired of being in sanctuaries and are looking for a way out---no matter what the cost. In order to keep the peace, Seth and Kendra are asked to be co-caretakers of Wyrmroost, but even with their new position, things don't go as planned and we're all sucked into the coming showdown.

I think the thing I like most about the characters in Fablehaven and Dragonwatch is how relatable and realistic they are. My children can easily imagine being friends with Seth and Kendra and the mistakes they make that further the story are realistic for the age group---and provide a lot of discussion material! Where Mull really stands out, however, is the magical creatures and their settings. It is like a web that draws the reader in until you can't put the book down! "One more chapter" was the constant plea I got every night while we were reading this book. It is definitely a story your entire family will love!

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies....

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Do You Have The Luck Of The Irish? Here's Your Chance to Win $250 Cash!

Luck of the Irish

Enter for your chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash!!

 Thanks to this awesome group of bloggers and authors who have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!!


I Am A Reader
Lori's Reading Corner
Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and MORE
Helen Smith
Stacy Claflin,
 Author Rockin' Book Reviews
Kelly Hashway
Heather Gray, Author
Jennifer Bardsley
Ali Winters
Author Laurie Treacy
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
Joshua David Bellin
Glistering: B's Blog
Ashley Lavering
Author Deb Atwood
Bella Street's Time Travel Romance
Suzi Love
Coupons and Freebies Mom
Elizabeth Isaacs
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Dorine White- author
Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance
Jo Noellle
B. Kristin McMichael
Talia Jager
Author Alecia Stone
My Life. One Story at a Time.
Julie Coulter Bellon
Author MK McClintock
Inger Iversen
Felicia Starr
Melissa Giorgio
Laurisa White Reyes, Author
Fat Free Faith 

Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 eGift Card Ends 3/31/17 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. 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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is Anyone Else Loving Designated Survivor As Much As I Am?

Designated Survivor came back last week after several months and boy, it was worth the wait! The show just ratchets up its intensity every week until I am literally sitting on the edge of my seat to watch.

Last night, the president finally got to meet with Hannah Wells, and hear the evidence she'd gathered against Vice-Pres McLeish. The outrage on Pres. Kirkman's face was so authentic, it was gratifying she was finally able to tell him everything after all she'd been through. I loved that he believed her from the beginning. (And we got to see traces of Jack Bauer wanting to strangle the VP. Sometimes he just needs a good strangling or table flip, you know? LOL Remember when Jack strangled that guy with his legs?)

Anyway, the conspiracy is so deep, Kirkman doesn't know who he can trust and there have been some shady things going on with Aaron. Is his Chief of Staff part of it? It's not looking good for poor Aaron. And didn't you feel bad for Emily being caught up in this? I like her and her stress-relieving piano playing.

Most of all I felt bad for Jason Atwood. He was in prison to save his son, sacrificing everything so his boy could come home safe, but when they finally find the child, he's been killed. All of his effort was for nothing and the devastation was hard to watch. Will he be out for revenge now?

But the biggest moment of the show was yet to come when Hannah lures the VP to the cemetery and chases him down. I did not expect that ending at all! Can they even find any trace of the conspiracy now? I cannot wait for next week.

Do you watch the show? Are you loving it?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Three Free Books!

Some of my favorite authors are offering free ebooks today, so I wanted to pass the deals on to you!

First up is romantic suspense author Jordan McCollum. I love her "Spy" series and she is offering Spy By Night for free.

Here's the back copy:

After watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone. But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.

Danny moved to Canada for a great job — and a chance to start over after a bad breakup. Dating definitely isn’t in his plans . . . until beautiful and enigmatic Talia throws a perfect storm right in his flight path. When he catches a glimpse of the real woman behind her façade, he has to get to know her better.

Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together.

Download your free copy here

The second one is an epic historical romance called The Spanish Exile by Jewel Allen. The second book in this series is just about to come out and I'm excited!

Here's the back copy:

In the flames of war, men are made and broken . . .

The fires of vengeance burn hot for Raúl Calderón. Cast aside, forgotten, and abused by those above him, Raúl is forced to make his own way in life. But he has the heart of a fighter who will do whatever it takes to prove himself – including joining the Spanish army. Yet when his sworn enemy becomes his commanding officer, Raúl’s life quickly goes from bad to worse. Forced to witness the human misery of war and take part in creating that suffering, Raúl walks a fine line between doing what’s right and obeying orders. But when Conchita, the love of his childhood and now the woman of his dreams, is placed in danger, can he cross the line to save her? Or will he be forced to choose between king and country and the woman he would do anything to have as his own?

From the award-winning journalist and author Jewel Allen. Fans of swashbuckling tales like The Count of Monte Cristo will enjoy this action-packed novel, filled with romance, danger and intrigue of 1760s Spain. Based on true historical events, this is book one of the Islands of the Crown series.

Download your free copy here

The third one is House Without Lies by Rachel Branton. I haven't started this one yet, but it looks good!

Here's the back copy:

Her Dream Didn’t Include Falling in Love

Lily dreams of a big house, a place of refuge for runaway girls. She knows what it’s like to grow up feeling unloved, and she now fills every space in her tiny apartment with endangered teens. They don’t have everything they need, but together they have enough.

Or so she thinks—until she meets Jameson and glimpses the mysterious something between them that just might mean real love.

Jameson, who works as a teen counselor, believes the only way Lily can really help the girls is by certifying as a foster parent and going through the system. But becoming legitimate may mean losing some of the girls to the families who threw them away, and Lily hasn’t worked hard to save the teens only to abandon them now.

It seems Jameson will be one more entry on the very long list of things Lily has given up for the girls. What other choice is there when she is all they have?

When two of the teens’ fathers come looking for them, and another one’s mother plans to put her daughter in danger, Lily’s life spins out of control. They need a new home—and fast. A safe place. A house without lies.

You can download your free copy here

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Book Review: The Rise of Miss Notley

I really enjoyed Rachael Anderson's first book in the Tanglewood series, so I was excited to see the second book, The Rise of Miss Notley, come out!

In this one we meet Miss Coralynn Notley, whose father is a tradesman anxious to access the upper echelons of society. In order to do that, he arranges a marriage between Cora and an awful man with only a title to recommend him. Cora, desperate not to marry him, runs away. She eventually finds a position as a housekeeper, but with her genteel upbringing, she's not very good at it---and the master of the house is exasperated with her at every turn. Yet, he doesn't dismiss her, and in fact, starts to seek out her company. Cora's feelings toward him begin to change, but she can't ever be more to him than his housekeeper. Or can she?

This is a sweet romance about finding where one belongs in the world. Cora wants to be free and independent, but the price for that freedom is very dear. I thought Cora's character was well-done, with lots of layers as she tries to figure out her life within the strictures of society, while making a lot of mistakes along the way. Our hero, Jonathan Ludlow, is fighting demons of his own and where he ultimately fits in the world as well. They both have secrets that could squash their newfound romance and it's the unveiling of these secrets---and the consequences of keeping them---that will have readers turning pages long past bedtime. The romance was tender and believable, with a setting that was easy to imagine. The secondary characters were also memorable and some of the scenes will make you laugh. Clean historical romance fans will really enjoy this one!

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow.

The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hawaii Five-O Review and Recap: Where the Subject Matter is Hard to Watch

I wasn't sure I wanted to review this one. It deals with some very emotional subjects, yet it's pertinent and important to talk about in our society. But at the same time, it was hard to watch.

We start out with a girl in the hospital who has obvious injuries. NurseAnna is trying to ask her questions, but the man with her answers with the cliche "she fell." When the nurse steps out to go ask someone to call family services, the girl and the man leave.

Back at Steve's house, he's drinking coffee with Kono and telling her she did a great job with the earthquake (from the MacGyver crossover). Then he asks her about Adam being unable to find a job, which Kono confirms and adds that if they want to start a family, he wants to contribute with being employed. (Is the show starting to give reasons why the team might disband at some point with Kono pregnant and Danny retiring? Thinking out loud . . .) McG says if they ever need anything . . . and the doorbell rings. It's Sara! Dressed as an Aloha girl, with Kamekona at her side. (She's got an awful lot of badges for not being in Hawaii very long.) They are selling cookies and Kamekona tells her to show the face (she pouts) for McG who ups his order number quickly. (And does a cute pout face of his own!) Then, when it's mentioned that Danny bought twelve boxes before he left to go visit his sister, McG buys thirteen. Because they are competitive like that.

Kono gets a call from Noelani, but before she leaves McG asks if everything is all right and she says she'll fill him in later. (I like McKono together. They really have a great ohana vibe.) Noelani meets Kono at the hospital where she says that NurseAnna and her are friends and she wants her to take a look at something. After the nurse tells her what happened with the girl last night, Kono asks to look at the security footage. That gets passed along to Jerry who stares at it as McKono are coming into the office and talking about what they know of the case so far. Of course, Steve has his box of cookies with him and is obviously enjoying them. Jerry shows them how afraid the girl seems of her "uncle" but they run facial rec on him and don't get a hit. McG has a hunch and they run facial rec on the girl and she's a runaway named Moani. They show the pic of the man Moani was with to her parents, but they don't recognize him. Kono takes Moani's laptop so they can look at it again. She gives it to Eric who is trying to tone his sexist act down, (Thank goodness. It wasn't cute at all.) He says he'll look into it.

Chin and Grover are approaching a house talking about Angus MacGyver and everyone's glad it turned out okay with the rescue etc. (I haven't watched MacGyver before the crossover and from what I saw, the rebooted MacGyver is just okay, in my opinion. The original was more organic and made more sense, and OriginalRecipeMacGyver was a man, where the new "Mac" is more like a young adult with a babysitter/handler who talks a lot. It was hard to get into for me!) Anyway, back to Chin and Grover, there are three bodies inside the house, and it's a place where recovering addicts can put their lives back together. Stacy, a girlfriend of one of the victims was bringing over coffee and found the bodies. Grover's spidey senses are tingling during her questioning so he goes back inside and see four dehumidifiers in one tiny room, so he pokes around a finds a secret compartment! It's really a stash house and this was a robbery!

Chin and Grover head to a skate park to talk to the guy paying the electric bill on the stash house. SkateParkDrugDad's kid posted a pic of them on Instagram so Five-O knew right where to find them. They introduce themselves and congratulate him on his ingenuity of using ClearPath for a stash house, but tell him they really want to know who gunned down three people. Of course, he's going to help them because if he doesn't, Five-O will make sure the case goes all the way to trial and make him radioactive. (That sounded bad.)

Eric is back at the Chatting Table to tell Steve and Kono what he found out. (He leans way over in front of Steve to put the flash drive in and the look on Steve's face was funny. Too close! Too close!) Moani was chatting with a guy named Jonah and Eric triangulated the location to a foreclosed house, so McKono heads over. Steve can't understand how a bright girl like Moani, with a stable home, could get mixed up in this. Kono tells him that being a fifteen year old girl is hard, you're insecure and awkward and when someone gives you attention and compliments, you think they get you. Jonah obviously took advantage of that. :(

We get a nice McG breach pose as they go in, guns drawn and clear the house. There are a lot of empty rooms with mattresses in them, but when they go down into the basement, they break down a locked door and a girl is inside, gagged and duct taped. Kono takes care of her while Steve keeps a lookout. She hugs Kono so tight, it's heartbreaking. At the hospital, NurseAnna comes out to update them on her condition. She's been sex trafficked and badly traumatized so, in light of that, only Kono can question her. The girl (whose name is Kelsey) opens up to Kono, tells her how Jonah/Emilio told her she should be a model and they started hanging out, he said he loved her, but then threatened her little sister to get Kelsey to do what he wanted. She asked Kono not to tell her dad what happened to her. (Grace Park is amazing here, with so many emotions playing across her face as the girl talks---rage and sorrow and everything we're feeling as viewers.)

After the interview, Kono is driving and stopped at a red light. (Where did Steve go? Why didn't he drive with her?) The light turns green and she doesn't move and the guy behind her starts honking and yelling for her to move. She gets out of her car, he rolls up his window, and she punches through it, takes his keys and throws them to the other side of the street. (I honestly have no idea what the point of this scene was. She was the one blocking traffic and yeah, she was emotional, but randomly breaking that window made her look like she couldn't handle her job.) (Food for thought: If that was Danny punching out some lady's car window during an emotional case for him, would we feel different?)

Steve drives in the Palace parking lot (lunch break?) and sees Kono sitting in her car. He asks her if she's okay and she says she is, but it's obvious, she isn't. He gets in and she tells him that Kelsey ID'd one of her johns as a high school teacher. They're putting together a photo array. He holds up her bandaged hand and asks if she's sure she's okay. (I really do love protective Steve.) She says she knows it's not good to be angry and emotional, but he assures her it's fine to get angry. Does she want to sit this one out? She says no, but I disagree. (Emotional cops can make mistakes and put others in danger.)

The SkateParkDrugDad comes to Five-O to tell them that he got a ransom burner phone for the drugs that were stolen. (The thieves will call him with instructions). He wants justice for his friend Mark, but he doesn't want the info to be used against him so Grover says he has the Cone of Silence. SkateParkDrugDad has no idea what that is. (It's from some old show and while everyone got a courtesy chuckle, the explanation was a little long and rambly.)

Steve and Kono go to the high school teacher's house that Kelsey identified. Kono shows him Kelsey's picture and immediately punches him in the stomach with her injured hand. (Assault? Maybe innocent until proven guilty ringing a bell with anyone? No? Okay.) He wants them to leave, but they show him Jonah/Emilio's picture and tell him he's going to help them find him. He calls a number and leaves a message while Kono rages at him on how he could do that to a girl not much older than his students and telling him how those girls had to do it in order to survive, they had no choice. He sort of sits there looking scared until they get a call back that the girl will meet them at a hotel. McKono heads there. (Hopefully they have HPD coming to watch that guy or something. I bet he runs.)

Jerry has gotten security footage of who ordered the ransom burner phone. Surprise! It's the girlfriend Stacy that they questioned at the stash house. Chin and Grover get her in the Blue Room of Doom and tell her she was so clever until she pulled an amateur move like the burner phone. She was working with her boyfriend Calvin while her other boyfriend Todd was killed trying to get his life together. Grover callously blurts out that Calvin didn't make it through the gun battle with Five-O and goes on to say there were guns in the house they think will connect to the murders. PoorDumbTwoTimingStacy.

McG and Kono are waiting at the hotel for the girl and grab her when she gets out. They go after the driver of the SUV and McG is randomly shooting at it as it backs toward him. He jumps out of the way at the last second (Why just stand there and empty your gun? Shoot out the tires? Move to the side for a better shot? I don't know, that just seemed weird he stood there shooting and waiting to be run over.) They grab the driver and bring her into a hotel room for questioning. Her name is Tori and she kept all the girls in line. She's pretty cool under questioning, telling Kono that none of the girls will testify against her, but McG says Kelsey is tough and she will. Then Kono decides that isn't threatening enough and says that they know lots of inmates in the Women's Correctional Facility and they owe favors to Five-O or want to get on their good side. With that in mind, those women will do to Tori whatever Five-O wants and the guards will look the other way so tonight it will be Tori getting turned out before a beatdown. (I was actually horrified that Kono would advocate that level of violence, to tell you the truth. Why is she sinking to their level? We all saw how affected Kono was by what the traffickers did to their victims, why would she ever threaten another woman with the same thing? Yeah, she's the villain, but still. I hated they had our heroine say it, much less think it.)

Tori tells them an address and they head there. (McKono is doing a lot of driving to different locations in this ep!) Chin and Grover are with them this time and they find the girls in a locked room. Jonah/Emilio runs away and Kono tracks him down. She tells him to pick up his knife and she puts down her gun to fight him with her fists. Jonah/Emilio is a terrible fighter and Kono beats him up easily. She breezes by McG (where was he that whole time? It's like he keeps disappearing this ep) and tells him the guy had a knife. While everyone is being treated by paramedics, Chin tells Kono to get her hand looked at. She needs stitches and while at the hospital, Nurse Anna tells her about Pearl Haven, a place where girls who are exploited can go to heal. After she's done being stitched up, she goes to see Moani and her family and they chat, but 72 hours later Kono oddly escorts Moani to Pearl Haven. (Where were her loving parents? They'd just gotten their runaway daughter back after a horrifying experience and they aren't escorting her? But, whatever, I guess.) Moani hugs Kono and she watches her go meet the other girls.

The team does a PSA after the episode about girls who are exploited and trafficked, and, while I'm glad to see a spotlight on this horrendous crime, I'm not sure what I felt about the episode. Grace Park had some amazing emotional moments that she knocked out of the park, but she was also written as being out of control and sinking down to an appalling level using threats I never thought I'd see Five-O use on another human being. It was hard to watch all around.

So, with that said, did you watch? What did you think?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Nearly Freebie Friday

Today's Bargain Book is First Light a fantasy novel by Michele Paige Holmes and it's on sale for only .99 cents! I've enjoyed her contemporary books, and, while I don't normally read fantasy books, I think I might enjoy this one!

Here's the back copy:

Seventeen-year-old Adrielle doesn’t believe in magic; she merely possesses it. When Adrielle starts a fire that burns down the family home, she must deal with both her grief and rejection. Forced out of her village, she journeys to far away Tallinyne in search of her older, estranged sister—the only relative who might take her in. Thrust into a dangerous and unfamiliar world, Adrielle struggles to navigate a world of magic she never imagined where she is forced to make a choice no girl should ever have to—satisfying her own heart or saving the kingdom.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Proud Mom Moment With A Utah Photographer

Today I want to share with you a little bit of one of my children's talents. (Yes, I'm a proud mom!)

My son Jared is a photographer (you can see his website here)  and one of the things I like best about his pictures is how he captures the joy of the moment. He posted some of his favorites from weddings he's done recently and while the pictures of the bride and groom were gorgeous, I really loved the ones he snapped of these two older men and the kids. There is so much beauty and happiness in those faces, don't you think?

But the bride and groom pictures were amazing, too, if I do say so myself. These were my two bridal favorites:

I love seeing my kids following their dreams and doing what they love. If you need an affordable Utah photographer, he's definitely one to talk to!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway!

I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Sarah Eden's new book, A Fine Gentleman. She is one of my very favorite authors and this book is part of her Jonquil brothers series---one that I've been waiting forever for. And it was worth it!

Jason Jonquil is a very successful barrister and he works hard to observe every propriety. He wants to live up to his father's example of a gentleman. His life is predictable, but he's fine with that---or so he thinks. When Mariposa Thornton walks into his office and entirely upends him, he's not sure what to do, yet, as a gentleman, he's bound to help her.

Mariposa has one mission---to find her family. She goes to the man who seems most qualified to help her, but doesn't give him all the details. Trusting anyone with that would be dangerous. So she pretends to be someone she's not so Jason won't see how very desperate she is. But will that decision come back to haunt her if Jason ever finds out her true purpose?

Sarah Eden is one of my favorite authors because she delivers a layered plot, with realistic characters, and, as a reader, I know I'll be lost in her story and truly experience the emotions of it. I love how she connects people and that talent truly shines in A Fine Gentleman. We see the Jonquil family connections and they aren't all rosy and happy, but they're real and difficult sometimes, just like any other family. I like how each character puts on a public face to hide hurts and wounds, as we all do, and yet each character wants to let another person in, to show their inner self and truly be loved for who they are. That's why her characters are so easy for her readers to love and feel like old friends!

Jason is a sigh-worthy hero because of how much he grows during this story. He has a perfect public face, but Mariposa is just the one to bring out his inner self and show him how to truly be the gentleman he claims he is. I love how even when he's exasperated with her, he's drawn to her. Some of his early scenes with Mariposa are laugh out loud funny, and the tender scenes between them will make you awww. It was also nice to see Jason's older brother Philip and hear about Corbin's marriage and Stanley's adventures. I hope Stanley gets his own story!

Mariposa is such a strong heroine. She's been through the horrors of war and done what she had to in order to survive. During her escape from Spain, she became separated from her family so she's in England to find them and needs Jason's help. I love how she can read Jason so well, and how she's able to really see beyond his persona. Even though some heavy events surround her, Mariposa still has some wonderfully light-hearted moments and it's easy to identify with her. And I'll never look at turnips or potatoes the same again!

This is another Sarah Eden book that will have a place of honor on my rainy day shelves. Be sure to clear your schedule before you start A Fine Gentleman because you won't want to put it down! Can't wait for the next one!

You can download your Kindle copy here

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

Here's the back copy:

London barrister Jason Jonquil has spent his entire life working to establish his identity as a gentleman, a man of refinement like his father and brothers. But when fiery Spanish beauty Mariposa Thornton walks into his office, he finds himself losing his grasp on his dignified character. The woman is infuriating, pushing him to the limit of his legendary patience. However, her case seems simple enough—a small matter of inheritance. Or so he believes.

Once a well-born lady, Mariposa fought to survive the brutalities of Napoleon’s war on Spain. She braved horrific perils and undertook dangerous missions on behalf of those fighting against the invading French army. But her greatest battle still lies ahead: after being separated from her family, Mariposa sets in motion a plan to reunite with her loved ones in England. To avoid drawing the attention of the French, Mariposa dons a carefully crafted persona to conceal her true purpose. As Jason and Mariposa are drawn together by the case, they come to know the people beneath the masks they both wear. When the truth of Mariposa’s quest is revealed, the couple is pulled into a mystery that will test the limits of their courage—and expose the true desire of their hearts.

Blog Tour Schedule

March 8th:

March 9th: v

March 10th:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

$50 Amazon Giveaway!

Fellow author, GG Vandagriff, is trying to get an Amazon Kindle Scout contract and in order to do so, she needs as many nominations of her book, His Mysterious Lady, as possible. She's offering a chance for you to win $50 in an Amazon giveaway, if you'll simply take a moment and nominate her book. 

So scroll down and enter for your chance to win!

Here's a bit more about His Mysterious Lady:

England is at war with America, and Viscount Anthony Strangeways has fallen hard for an American lady, Virginia Livingstone. But his friend who works in the Foreign Office is convinced the lady is a spy! He asks Anthony to investigate her, but how can he be objective about a lady he is falling in love with? Virginia suffers a ballooning accident, leaving her with memory loss.A countryman visits her to remind her that she is an American spy. Is she? Has she betrayed the man she loves?              

Monday, March 6, 2017

Book Review: The Dating Experiment

I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour for Elodia Strain's new book, The Dating Experiment. I've been a fan of Elodia's for a long time and I have been waiting for this one!

Gabby Malone is a girl down on her luck. She's working at a psychic hotline, but can't seem to get into a groove. Her boyfriend has dumped her, she is scrounging for cash, and out of desperation, agrees to join a somewhat scientific Dating Experiment because it offers cash and maybe will help her get out of a rut. Things couldn't get much worse, right? Until the invitations to date her go out to all her social media contacts, and she reconnects with the one man she loved, but let go. Yeah, things definitely got worse and fast!

Ian McConnell has come home to get married, but things are complicated. To top it off, every time he's around Gabby Malone, his life is upended a little bit more. She's always been a constant in his life, but now that they're adults, everything is different. Watching her muddle through a Dating Experiment has showed him the heart he always knew she had underneath it all, but can he take a chance with her before it's too late?

This book has it all, love, laughter, and even some tears. Ms. Strain takes an ordinary girl that everyone can relate to and puts her in extraordinary dating situations that will make you laugh and be grateful your own dates weren't so awful!

Beyond the humor, though, there is an underlying theme of "find what matters." There's a younger character in the book who is struggling with some very difficult circumstances, but is making the best of it by promoting GLAs (Good Little Anythings) to remind everyone of what really matters. There are inspiring moments that will make you cry, they are so sweet, and made me want to start my little journal of my GLAs!

One of the other highlights of the book was the romance. Ms. Strain gives our hero and heroine an intriguing back story and combines it with complicated circumstances that kept me up reading to make sure they got their happily-ever-after. This is definitely one book you won't want to miss, especially if you love romantic comedy!

The Dating Experiment is one of my favorite books so far this year and one of Elodia Strain's best work.  Go grab your copy!

Here's the back copy:

After losing her job, her house, and her guy, the last thing Gabby wants to do is be in a dating experiment—especially with her ex. Her only chance of making it through is with help from her best friend, Ian. But as the study and all its hilariously awkward dates goes on, Gabby finds herself wondering what exactly this experiment is all about.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Friday, March 3, 2017

Free Book & Two Bargain Books!

Our book club selection this month is H.B. Moore's Omar Zagouri thriller series and several books are on sale today or free!

The free one is a short story prequel called First Heist. This one introduces the main characters through the series.

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Mia Golding, an undercover agent is about to make a handoff to co-agent, Omar Zagouri. But before she can complete her assignment, her cover is blown, and she finds herself escaping with Omar. The only problem is, her boss warned her about Omar and his sketchy history of landing himself in the middle of danger. After losing her mother in an attack planned for Mia, pulling off any heist with a man like Omar is the last thing she needs for her career . . . or her life.

The second bargain book is the full length novel, Slave Queen, on sale for only .99 cents! I loved this one. You can see my review of it here

You can download it here

Here's the back copy:

Special Agent Omar Zagouri’s latest case is his most dangerous—and his most personal yet. The discovery of secret sixteenth-century letters unveils a plot between the sultan Suleyman and his chief wife, Roxelane, to change the course of the Ottoman Empire. A descendent of Roxelane, Zagouri learns he has an enemy whose revenge has been centuries in the making.

Targeted by an antiquities collector who’s also descended from a chief rival for the ancient throne, Zagouri soon uncovers a modern-day conspiracy that threatens the lives of his family and the security of a nation.

To expose the plot, Zagouri must team up with Naim, the son of his nemesis, who heads an international black-market operation that may have ties to the killings. From ancient Constantinople to the present-day Middle East, Zagouri is on a collision course with history. Time is running out to solve a royal mystery and stop a ruthless killer—one who has Zagouri’s name on his hit list.

The third one is another Omar Zagouri short story for only .99 cents called Beneath. It's quick, but good.

You can download your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Chalice Stratford's hands won't stop shaking. Since the serial killer who tortured her is still at large, she's had to enter the witness protection program and give up the medical practice that required her steady hand. Now she is working in a museum in Bordeaux, France, and doing her best to keep a low profile.

On the first day of her new job, the last thing she expects is to be abducted in a theft gone wrong. But Omar Zagouri, the man behind the heist, is more than he appears, and Chalice soon discovers that he might be the one man who can put her demons to rest.