Friday, April 28, 2017

Freebie Friday

Today's Friday Freebie is a a contemporary romance by Rachel Branton called House Without Lies. I've read another book in this series, but I think I missed this first one. It looks good!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

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.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Online Book Club: Guest Author Becky Monson

I just have to tell you what a wonderful time we had last night at our online Book Club! Becky Monson was our featured guest and she was delightful. We got to talk about her book, Thirty-Two Going On Spinster being made into a movie, what motivated her to be a writer, what food she absolutely hates, and where she would like to travel in the world. Oh, and she's met a ton of famous people, too, which was fun to hear about!

And of course there were lots of great prizes!

I'm really enjoying this book club, the new people I'm meeting, and how amazing it always is to talk books with my fellow readers. I hope you'll come next month!

Keep watching the blog for all the announcements of our monthly author guests!

If you're interested, you can download Becky's book, Thirty-Two Going On Spinster, here It's a fun romantic comedy that will make you laugh!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review & $25 Giveaway!

I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Traci Hunter Abramson's new romance, Chance for Home. It's a sweet romance and includes her characters Ben and Maya from her last book, Chances Are.

At first glance, this looks like another sports romance of a baseball star coming off a bad relationship, and using a "fake" girlfriend to distance himself from the stalkerish ex. But, while that is a fun part of the book, it delves so much deeper than that when the hero's mom suffers a medical emergency and everyone's true selves are revealed as they try to come to grips with how life changes for all of them after that.

I really liked Kari Evans, our heroine of the book. She's always up for pranks and quirky dates, but gone through a lot trying to find love and yet is still true to herself. She doesn't put on airs, does her best to help those around her, and makes a lot of mistakes. I thought she was relatable and felt so bad for her when things looked to be at their darkest. The road to love is always complicated and Kari's journey is full of twists and turns that she navigates while still trying to pursue her own dreams.

Ryan Strobel, third base for the Washington Nationals baseball team, has been looking for that one person who would love him for him and not for his job in the public eye and he thinks he might have found that with Kari. I like how he's taken aback by her innate goodness after his previous girlfriends and how he tries so hard to truly be in the relationship with Kari. Their obstacles to overcome are huge, however, and readers will be turning pages long into the night to see if they get their happily-ever-after!

You can download your copy here

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

Here's the back copy:

Beautiful pre-med student Kari Evans believes she’s found the man of her dreams—right up until the moment she discovers he’s a two-timing cheat. Desperately gathering the pieces of her broken heart, she realizes that what she needs most is space to reconsider her future. A summer in Washington, DC, with her professional baseball player brother, Ben, sounds like just the change of scene she’s after. But if complicated romantic entanglements are what she’s trying to escape, she’s out of luck. Ryan Strobel has had it with spotlight-seeking women.

As third baseman for the Washington Nationals, he’s dealt with more than his fair share of opportunistic admirers—but his ex-fiancĂ©e, Brandi, may be the worst. When the woman refuses to take no for an answer, Ryan’s teammate Ben offers a crazy solution: Ben’s sister will pose as Ryan’s new girlfriend. Though an unlikely pair, Ryan and Kari find themselves getting surprisingly comfortable with the charade. Soon, the line between fact and fiction is blurred, and the very real feelings that develop between the couple are undeniable. But when faced with the interference of conniving exes, family objections, and the reality of their very different lives, are Ryan and Kari destined to strike out in the game of love?

Blog Tour Schedule:

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*April 27th:,,, ,,

*April 28th:,,,

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Romance Freebie Today!

I have had the busiest day! After running around and getting a million things checked off my to do list, I am going to sit down and read a romance.

And since I noticed that Taylor Hart's book, Last Play, is free today, I thought I'd pass the deal along to you!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Roman Young, quarterback for the Dallas Destroyers, doesn't expect to get a gun shoved in his face by the beautiful red head, Katie Winters, when he arrives to sell the Inn he inherited from his uncle in Wolfe Creek, Utah. But, he's not surprised, either. It's the way his life has been lately. Just ask the tabloids that have happily reported his shattered knee, his wife's affair, and the car accident.

Unfortunately, Katie is wearing a wedding ring. Not that he noticed. He doesn't know why he doesn't tell her about the fact he's selling the Inn, even after she shoves a list of supply demands into his chest and rambles on and on about all the projects they have to do.

When he discovers her husband passed away a year ago, and her seven-year-old son asks him to come to dinner and movie night, things start to change. Or did they start to change when Katie took him sledding? Or when all he could think about was kissing her? Now he has to make a choice--keep ignoring the truth--or try one Last Play.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: An Unseen Angel

I'm excited to announce that Lauren B. will now be reviewing all the non-fiction on the blog. She's guest-blogged quite a bit in the past, and now she will be a regular feature! Today she is reviewing, An Unseen Angel by Alissa Parker.

In the Non-Fiction Corner

When I first opened the book An Unseen Angel by Alissa Parker, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard of the Sandy Hook tragedy, but I was still young when it happened and didn’t realize all the details. This book brings the tragedy to life and what families went through as they faced many parents' greatest fear. However, Ms. Parker focuses on the beauty of her daughter's life and how friends, family, and the entire nation came together to show love in the darkest time of her life.

Even after reading the book, I still feel as though I don’t know much about the actual events at Sandy Hook. The author did not focus on what the shooter did or the terror her daughter faced that day---she put that part of the story into one chapter. The rest of the book talks about the author’s healing and how her daughter’s life helped others. Everything from some of the letters the family has received about how their daughter has inspired others, to them starting their own non-profit to make schools safer, this book focuses on hope, love and forgiveness. However, the author is also very real about how she felt about the shooter at the beginning of the book and her path that led to forgiveness.

My favorite part of the book was when the author mentioned at the beginning that the day her daughter died, she was trying to tell her mother about how the flowers on her wall were connected. “See, mom?” she said “they are all connected. Everything is connected.” Because of this simple statement, the mother was able to find hope. She is able to see that everything happens for a reason and that Heavenly Father will never leave us comfortless. There is a plan for everyone, and even though we may not see it at first, we have to trust. I love that this book causes so much self-reflection on your life now and how you will be when your own personal tragedies come, because surely they will. This book is a beautiful tribute to a little girl who did so much in six years, but also to a beautiful family who has stayed strong through so much and are willing to share their story.

Here's the back copy:

When Alissa Parker lost her daughter Emilie in the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, she started a life-changing journey to answer soul-searching questions about faith, hope, and healing. As she sought for the peace and comfort that could help mend her broken heart, she learned, step by step, how to open her heart to God’s grace and will.

One step brought her face to face with the shooter’s father, where in a pivotal and poignant meeting, she was given an opportunity to forgive. Another step brought her into the sheltering compassion of her community as family, friends, and even strangers reached out to buoy her up with their shared faith. And several miraculous manifestations of Emilie’s continued presence and influence lifted her heart and will validate the faith of every Christian.

The story of Alissa and Emilie reminds us that the bonds of love continue beyond this life and that despite tragedy and heartache, we can find strength in our family and our faith.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Friday, April 21, 2017

Freebie Friday!

Today I have THREE free books for you and one on sale. Woot!

The three free books are an inspirational historical fiction series called Daughters of His Kingdom by Amber Lynn Perry. I haven't read any of her books before, but some of my friends have and they've really enjoyed them. Looks like a fun weekend read!

Here's the back copy:

Boston, MA 1773: Shards of Eliza Campbell's life crash to the ground when she discovers a devastating secret: her father was a spy for the Sons of Liberty. Determined to uncover the truth, not even a marriage proposal from the dashing British Officer Samuel Martin can dissuade her. When rescued from British capture by handsome patriot Thomas Watson, Eliza discovers what her father risked his life for and yearns to know more. But will her budding attraction to this courageous patriot damage her already wounded heart?

After years of being blackmailed by Officer Martin, Thomas plans to start a new life in the small town of Sandwich. However, when his actions place Eliza and her sister in danger, he must act quickly to protect them from falling into enemy hands. If the three of them are discovered, their lives will never be the same. Now, not only must he protect Eliza, he must protect his heart from a love that is sure to wound him far greater than any British soldier ever could.

You can download your free book bundle here

If you love romantic comedy, I think you'll love Janette Rallison's How I Met Your Brother, which is on sale today for only .99 cents!

Here's the back copy:

The best day of his life, the worst day of hers.

Back in college, Marco Dawson never thought of Belle as anything more than a friend. If she had crossed his mind on his wedding day, it was probably only to wonder why she hadn’t shown up to be a bridesmaid. After all, his new wife was her old roommate. Seven years have passed since then, and Belle just found out that Marco is divorced and vacationing with his family in an elegant Cancun resort. She’s not about to let the right man get away twice. She heads to the resort where she plans to casually bump into Marco and ignite some romantic flames.

But Belle hadn’t planned on one thing: Flynn Dawson, Marco’s handsome, charming, and determined twin brother. He thinks Marco and his ex-wife can make amends and he’s not about to let Belle stand in the way.

Part Sabrina, part While You Were Sleeping, romantic comedy readers will eat this book up!

Download your sale Kindle copy here

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Fun School Visit Today!

photo credit: Global Partnership for Education - GPE Early childhood education in Nicaragua via photopin (license)

I was so happy today to be able to visit a third grade classroom! I got to talk about what it takes to be an author and interact with one of the most attentive and engaged classrooms I've ever seen. I love it when that happens!

One of the first things we talked about is how to exercise our imagination. We made up a story together, naming the hero and heroine (Mr. McChubbyFace and Felicity) who had a pet dragon named Thor, who were fighting Stinky the large troll on the other side of the forest that kills everything with his rancid breath. We were laughing really hard, but making up a fantastic story at the same time! The best part was seeing them all build on the basic plot. Thor isn't a regular dragon, he's actually an ice-breathing dragon who could freeze the stink. Or how Stink just wanted friends, but didn't know how to be a friend because of his smelly issues. Their imaginations were going a mile a minute and it was a wonder to see. I loved the excitement and energy in the class as we worked on the story together, and how it showed that one idea can build on another and if we can imagine it, we can write it!

We also talked about why we need to know spelling and grammar, what revising means, and how sometimes you have to be brave to show your stories to other people. But my second favorite part of the visit was when I passed out their little writer's toolkits I'd made for them. It was a little tote bag with a neon pencil, a mini-notebook, and a bookmark (leaving room for a book.) They were so excited and asked their teacher if they could start writing right away. It just made my heart melt a little to see how eager they were. I loved that! I wish I could bottle it up and take it out whenever I need a boost. It was definitely a sweet moment that I'm going to put in my Happiness File so I can always remember it.

I really love my job on days like today!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I just started reading an advanced copy of Nancy Campbell Allen's new book in the Proper Romance line, The Secret of the India Orchid. It is SO GOOD! I seriously have hardly been able to put it down all day and was barely able to get anything done! There's romance and intrigue and an incredible setting that you can get lost in. I'm loving this one and I can't wait to see how it all ends. Don't worry, I'll be sure to do a full review!

You can pre-order your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend's sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the facade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn't as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won't confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Win A Kindle Fire & 40 Mild Small Town Romances!

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with 40+ fantastic sweet to mild small town contemporary romances authors to give away a huge collection of novels to TWO lucky winners, PLUS a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner!

I know, I know, you never win anything, but maybe this is YOUR chance to win. It can't hurt to try and it's so easy to enter! Just click here

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Review: The Vicar's Daughter

I'm so happy to be part of the tour for Josi Kilpack's new book, The Vicar's Daughter. Her romances are quickly becoming auto-buys for me because of how well-drawn her characters are. You won't be disappointed in this one, either!

There are six sisters in the Wilton family and as such, the family rule is that only one girl can be "out" at a time. Poor Cassie is twenty-years old and anxious for her debut, but her older sister Lenora isn't yet married, so Cassie has to wait. And she's going to be waiting a long time because Lenora is painfully shy and horribly anxious in any social situation, so her chance of making a connection with any young man is slim. Yet, one night in a garden, Evan Glenside, a new member of the community, offers Lenora a handkerchief and Cassie gets an idea. She begins a correspondence with Mr. Glenside, posing as her sister and soon she begins to fall in love with him herself. But when Mr. Glenside shows genuine interest in Lenora, and it is finally revealed that Cassie wrote the letters, everyone's relationship will be tested. Who will be the one to find their happily-ever-after?

I really enjoyed the hero and heroine of this book. Cassie is portrayed as so confident in herself and what she wants out of life, a direct opposite of her sister. I liked how, as the book progressed, the reader could see the transformation in Cassie as she truly came to see what love is and how important family relationships are. I thought the hero, Evan Glenside, was so believable as a new heir, unsure of himself in social circles and trying to find his way, but especially in how he reacts to Cassie and Lenora. He is a good man, trying to do his best by his family and find someone to share his life, but that simple wish gets very complicated!

The journey of love for these people threaded just enough anxiety in me that I was turning pages long after I should have been sleeping to see how it all turned out. The setting was well-done, the plot had just enough turns to keep things intriguing, and the characters were compelling and relatable. Definitely another winner for Ms. Kilpack!

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Cassie, the youngest of six daughters in the Wilton family, is bold, bright, and ready to enter society. There's only one problem: her older sister Lenora, whose extreme shyness prevents her from attending many social events. Lenora is now entering her third season, and Cassie has no choice except to wait her turn.

Evan Glenside, a soft-spoken, East London clerk, has just been named his great-uncle's heir and, though he is eager to learn all that will be required of him, he struggles to feel accepted.

A chance meeting between Evan and Lenora promises to change everything, but when Lenora proves too shy to pursue the relationship, Cassie begins to write Mr. Glenside letters in the name of her sister but her good intentions may lead to disaster.

As secrets are revealed, the hearts of Cassie, Evan, and Lenora are tested. Will the final letter sent by the vicar's daughter be able to reunite the sisters as well as unite Evan with his true love?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hawaii Five-O Recap & Review: The One With The Bloody Death Scene

Last week, Grover was hanging out in Chicago and being shunned by all his friends while the rest of the team was lounging in a cage in the jungle waiting for Steve to get them all out safely. This week, SuperSEAL Steve comes to the rescue again, but it's a bloody mess, I'll tell you what.

We start off innocently enough with a grandpa in the car with his granddaughter, trying to help her feel better after she broke up with her boyfriend. They are suddenly T-boned, and instead of helping the grandpa and the girl, men dressed in black jump out and carjack another car to speed away in. Now that's an attention-grabbing opening!

Kono is bringing lunch to Adam, a sandwich that features potato chips in it. Ew. Apparently she's been bringing him lunches every day, but he doesn't want her to feel like she has to check up on him. And all the guys call her a "smokeshow." (What does that even mean, really?) Adam's just grateful he gets to come home to her every night even though he's sweaty and stinky. She finds that hot so it's all good.

Grover is filling in McG at the accident scene. Bank robbers fleeing the scene caused the accident and killed the grandpa. Sad! McG goes over to talk to the granddaughter Amanda, and say that he's sorry, it wasn't her fault and they're going to find the man responsible. Aww. He looks so earnest when he says it, too.

Adam is running a backhoe and while digging finds a bone. He brings it to his boss, worried they might be disturbing a burial site, but his boss tells him to keep quiet about it because they don't want to get shut down. (Poor Adam. He always ends up working for dishonest people. Or being dishonest himself.)

Back at the office, Steve is watching some footage of a documentary the grandpa did for an anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. It's heart-wrenching as he describes what happened that day and black and white footage is used to drive home the horror of it all. They didn't get a match to identify the robbers with on the blood at the scene of the car wreck, but they did get some security footage. The team all goes to the Chatting Table to analyze it, mentioning the robbers only got $12,000, were in and out in a minute. Steve goes deeper, though, and says they have M-4 carbine rifles which is infantry issue, they're stacking before they enter, a basic close quarter training. They're probably military! And the military keeps DNA records, so they're going to check out that lead.

Adam can't let the bone go, and he digs up the property records and asks Jerry to help him. Jerry isn't too sure at first, since he just got a badge and doesn't want to go behind the team's back. Adam explains he doesn't want to bring Kono in just yet because she could shut the whole place down and dozens of people would lose their jobs. Jerry agrees to help and says that Adam should get another bone fragment so they can get Noelani to tell them if it's an animal or human.

I guess the military DNA database came through because the team is suddenly surrounding Nicholas Rider's house. The windows are boarded up, thermals say he's alone inside, but somehow they think he was expecting them, so everyone needs to be careful since this guy is military trained. Steve is on point and cautions everyone to stay close, stay sharp, and stay safe. (And dang he looks good on point!) They move in and start to clear the building, when suddenly the lights go out and they're taking fire. A couple of SWAT guys go down and everyone is shooting when Nick goes upstairs. He's got a bomb up there and sets it for thirty seconds before he jumps out the window. To get to ground, he leaps on an unsuspecting SWAT guy just standing around and thumps him on the head before he runs away. (Poor dumb SWAT guy who didn't look up when the window broke. Pay attention, man!)

Steve runs upstairs after him and sees the bomb, shouting for everyone to get out. They do, and Steve jumps through the broken window, but apparently he's bigger than the first guy since he breaks more glass. He's on the roof when it explodes, debris everywhere, but it looks like everyone is safe. Whew! Steve runs into the forest to follow Nick, while the rest of the team just waits back at the bombed out house. There's a lot of junk in this forest, random stuff hanging in trees and an old shed full of odds and ends. Steve makes his stand there and gets into a gunfight with Nick and is shot! He goes down and Nick comes over like a rookie, and gets close enough that McG fakes him out and can shoot him in the head. They close-up DeadNick several times and the bloody wound. It's gross! But McG takes DeadNick's gun and when the team finally decides to join him he can say, "Clear!"

Kono wasn't just lollygagging around at the bombed out house, she's apparently been talking to Paladin Security who had DeadNick on their payroll, about some incident in Afghanistan that's classified. Steve is listening while he digs the bullet out of his Kevlar-covered belly area. (It was a magic bullet apparently, because there was no way it hit that low! Looked like a shoulder hit to me, but whatever.) Everyone is surprised when he finally gets it out and calls him Superman. (I guess everyone took Steve's words of "I'm on point," very literally.)

Adam sneaks into his construction site and digs around, looking for another bone fragment. (My question is, how did he explain his late night excursion to Kono? Did he sneak out? Lie? Going to work in the dark, honey? Hmmm.) He doesn't find anything, though. The next day at work, his boss calls him in. He had security cameras installed and saw what Adam did last night. "You're fired!" (Poor pretty, but unemployed, Adam. How far we have come from the mob boss days.)

McG is everywhere this ep and gets the Paladin files. It tells all about how Lee Campbell ran security for key civilians, but there was some incident in Afghanistan, so the DOD pulled their contract. They pull up the security team pics and hey, it's a body match to the footage of the robbers! But it's not enough to arrest them, so Steve wants HPD to watch them. (I can already tell you that's not going to go well.)

McG goes back to his office and watches more documentary footage, this time from someone who remembered what Ensign Steve McGarrett did to give the men a bit more time to get off the sinking Arizona and sacrificed his life to do it. Steve hadn't known that information, because when his grandpa got the Purple Heart, there hadn't been any details. (You know, Steve sure has a lot of people in his life that he doesn't have a lot of important details on. Just sayin') This was a touching scene, however.

Chin comes in to say that Lee Campbell is at some credit union in Pearl City. Lee's no dummy, though, and goes over to talk to the obvious "undercover" cops to tell them that he'll be at the diner down the street if McG wants to talk. How did he know they were sent by McG?

Steve shows up and gets a coffee while he talks to Lee. Honestly, all I can think about during his entire conversation with McG is when the actor playing Lee, also played Willie Jack Pickens in Where the Heart Is. Remember his big speech to Novalee? "Why does anyone lie? Cuz we're scared? Or crazy? Or just mean? There's a million reasons why a person lies... but sometimes, you tell a lie so big... that it changes your whole life." Yeah, WillieJackLee is spinning some big stories with McG when he's trying to explain that war is messy and he was protecting his men and what happens in Afghanistan, stays in Afghanistan. Grover also said this last week, that what happens in Chicago, stays in Chicago. Maybe next week we'll get, what happens in Jersey, stays in Jersey. Haha.

Jerry checked on the property owners, they don't look like the murdering type (what does the murdering type look like do you think?) he also says it's not a burial ground. Adam mentions maybe a realtor with access to the property? Kono calls and interrupts and Adam lies to her with no hesitation at all, saying he's on a supply run. (What supplies would a backhoe operator need?) Jerry finds a realtor who had a missing wife and then he wants to bring in the team. Adam says he will tomorrow, he's got an idea to prove their theory. (Uh oh. Adam usually has terrible ideas.)

Well, WillieJackLee has some reasons behind why he's been robbing banks. His team member was killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber, and WillieJackLee has been taking care of the wife. She has a lien and needs $17,000 or she'll lose the house. Sad! The bank manager wouldn't give an extension, so it's not looking good. Danny goes to visit the wife and tells her what's really going on, but she doesn't believe him and tells him to get out. He fills McG in on what's happening and they both look concerned.

Adam goes to see RealtorNesmith and says he found some boxes with mementos in it from that old house and how can he get in touch with the owner? Nesmith looks guilty and says call me at the office tomorrow. Adam watches Nesmith's house and follows him after he puts a shovel in his car and drives away.  (Again, how is he explaining these late night absences to Kono? And how much do you want to bet Adam ends up working for Five-O?)

The team is putting on tac-gear and passing out guns, getting ready to foil a bank robbery. All kinds of alarms are going off, though, and Steve is thinking something isn't right. What alarm is isolated, Jerry? A jewelry store! So the team goes there instead and catches WillieJackLee and his men before they can escape. There's an awesome gunfight and an interesting comparison between McG who runs to save a SWAT guy that's down (while his SWAT buddy just sort of stands next to him helplessly. SWAT looked like bumbling newbies in this ep!) and WillieJackLee also saves one of his men that's down. Things aren't going well for WillieJackLee though, so he bolts, and McG goes after him. WillieJackLee tackles him from behind and starts beating the crap out of McG. He even gets plastic over McG's face and tries to suffocate him. It's hard to watch! McG is bloody and fighting for his life at this point. He's being choked with a pipe, kidney punched, the whole nine yards. He rallies and gets WillieJackLee off him, breaking his arm (a hide-my-eyes moment! The crack of the bone? *shudder*) and then WillieJackLee is thrown hard and gets impaled on a steel rod. It's a bloody, gross, drawn out death scene as WillieJackLee gasps his last breath and McG falls exhausted to the floor near him. It's horrible and awesome, if that makes sense.

But, in the next scene, McG is walking with Amanda, assuring her those men won't hurt anyone else, and he's not even limping! Not a bruise in sight! Only a tiny cut on his forehead. After that kind of a beating I would have expected a few more injuries, but hey, this is SuperSEAL McG, so I should have known better. Amanda thanks him for keeping his promise. We also find out that the bank has decided to do right by the widow and make sure she doesn't lose her house, so all is well there, and WillieJackLee didn't die for nothing, sort of. Adam comes in and finally comes clean with Kono. They go look at security footage to see the dumb realtor digging up his dead wife's body and he gets arrested. Kono shuts down the site and says Adam's former boss is lucky she doesn't charge him with obstructing justice. She also asks why Adam was a lying McLiar face, and he says he didn't want to let her down. (Isn't lying letting her down?) She tells him not to lie to her anymore and they smile and all is well. Silly Adam.

Steve is pulling a trunk out from under a bed. It was his grandpa's! (It's a wonder it wasn't beside the Champ box or the hidden-in-the-floor Mommy Diaries. There are a lot of boxes and hidden things in McG's house!) He opens the trunk and there are pictures of his grandpa, the Purple Heart, and dog tags in it (reminded me of my grandpa's Korean War trunk *sniff*) and Steve is contemplating it all. The final scene is him with the voice-over of Amanda's grandpa's funeral, facing the USS Arizona and saluting in his dress whites. Awww. I liked that ending.

So, lots of action and emotion in this episode, but WillieJackLee, the explosion, and that bloody death scene was what made it stick in my memory.

No promo for next week.

What did you think? Did you watch?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Freebie Friday!

Today's Freebie Friday is Lost Without You by Annette Lyon! Looks like a perfect romantic suspense for your weekend reading!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

For months, Christopher Morris has been Brooke's idea of the perfect man—attractive, charming, and fun to be around. But lately he's begun acting strangely, becoming possessive, controlling, and moody. Brooke feels she has no choice but to break up with him, but Christopher doesn't take it well. He drives her wildly back home and gets into a car accident.

That's when Brooke first meets police officer Greg Stevens. After she keeps meeting him—at the worst possible times—they begin dating. Greg confesses he's a widower and that Brooke is the first woman he has so much as looked at in years.

But as Brooke agonizes over whether Greg will ever be able to truly love her, Christopher makes a dangerous return into her life, deciding that if he can't have her, no one can.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring and Dandelions

My little boy was so excited to have a sunny day today, he wanted to have a picnic for dinner. I'd had a long and busy afternoon, but couldn't resist his excitement, so I dragged our plates and utensils out to our front yard and we had a picnic, just like he wanted.

While I was sitting there eating my meal and listening to how his day at school went, I was hearing the birds singing, the breeze was blowing through my hair, and I just felt so content and happy. It was one of those moment you wish you could freeze in time.

After we were done eating, both of my youngest children collected dandelions for me and presented me with a little bouquet. They were so happy to be able to give me something so pretty that my heart melted a little. It's one of the perks of being a mom, for sure, is getting those tiny gifts that fill your heart.

When we finally had to come in, I was still clutching my little bouquet because I think I'm going to press it. I want to have something to remind me of this sweet moment and that I should never lose sight of what is really important---time spent with family. I know tonight's dinner is a fun memory I'm going to cherish, and all because of a sunny day and a little boy who wanted a picnic.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hawaii Five-O Recap and Review: Where the Team Gets Kidnapped Again

Remember a few weeks back when Danny and Steve were in the jungle and were walking around arguing and got kidnapped? Yeah, they won't be teaching any seminars about "Jungle Missions: How Not to Get Caught" anytime soon, since they get caught again this week.

We start off with a couple on a sinking ship calling Mayday. A cutter comes toward them and neatly pulls next to them so they can board, even though it's extremely stormy. Oddly, there is no one steering the ship or apparently anywhere on it. They start to search and find the crew all shot dead. (My question is, how did the ship steer perfectly to them and pull up at just the right angle so the couple could board? Ghost ship? Coincidence? H50 universe? You decide.)

We shift scene to Dr. Kohashi's office where Steve is waiting shirtless for the doctor while Danny pokes around in the drawers. He takes out an otoscope and says he's always wanted to do this and examines Steve's eardrums. (Was that on his retirement bucket list? So strange.) Danny makes a joke about being able to see Steve's pea brain and thankfully the doctor comes in. Steve asks Danny to wait outside, but the doctor says this will be quick so Danny stays. (Why is he there in the first place?) The doctor says that Steve's recovery has been slower than expected, but he can start doing cardio and light weights. Danny starts asking a lot of questions, and tells the doctor that Steve was exposed to uranium, but used a car battery to cover his vitals. Steve utters the word stupid and it made me laugh. Did he think the car battery thing was stupid? Was he referring to Danny telling the doctor? Was that an ad-lib? I guess we'll never truly know.

We cut to the B story of Grover and his son going to Chicago for male bonding time while he testifies against his friend Clay. His son is mocking him over using the word vacay, Grover threatens to take away his license. He also says Will can't text Grace for three days. Harsh. (Will and Grace. Anyone else think of that TV show with the same name?)

Back to the A story where everyone is at the Chatting Table talking about a trawler entering U.S. waters so the GhostShip cutter engaged. They were surprised (ya think?) and overpowered since the crew was all killed. Authorities got a slug match, though, and traced it back to a Yakuza family. Michelle Shioma! (Yay! They really need a believable baddie on this show since they got rid of Wo Fat.) The team tracks the trawler to a supposedly deserted beach and see movement on satellite images, so they head there. With Steve flying the helo! Steve is giving updates about what will happen when they land and Danny apparently doesn't know what "klicks" are, but everyone else on the team does. Teacher's pets! (Trivia: the U.S. military uses klicks (which means kilometers) so they can communicate with other allied forces, because most other first world countries use the metric system). The team lands and put their vests on as they start to creep inland from the beach. (Side note: Steve is wearing a very nice long-sleeved blue shirt that looks great with his eyes. Thank you wardrobe people!)

Back to the Chicago Hilton where Grover is congratulating them on using carry-on luggage and getting to the hotel quickly. He wants to hit a bunch of Chicago restaurants, but Will says his mom told him not to let Grover go crazy. Grover is all, "what happens in Chicago stays in Chicago." There's a knock at the door and Officer Bennett has been assigned to sit on Grover. He doesn't want a babysitter, but apparently Chicago PD is concerned for Grover's well-being. They sound so nice, don't they? Nope. Officer Bennett is angry that Grover broke the code and turned Clay in. (Do they know he tied Clay up and trashed his house?) Grover gives him a summary of what happened with how Clay allegedly killed his wife, stole drug money, and sent killers after Grover and his family. He doesn't care what Bennett thinks. Bennett gives him the death glare. The guy has a really good glare!

The team is walking through the jungle and come upon several people hung in the trees, dead, and gutted. It's gross. They all stop to stare in horror/disgust, and apparently no one is keeping a lookout or thinking about security as Steve starts to take pictures. Before you know it, a flashbang has gone off, the comms are out, and the team is captured. JungleMissionTip: Always have a lookout. Don't get distracted.

The captors cut down the gutted bodies and tie up the team using the ropes. Also, everyone gets their own dead body to drag behind them. Equal opportunity killers! Danny Downer says that they're going to kill us. (How many times has he said that to Steve and how many times has Steve come through? Seriously. Maybe just once he could say, welp, we've gotten out of worse situations. We'll be okay!)

Jerry brings Noelani in on the circle of trust and tells her about the SuperSecretJungleMission. She wants to call Duke in, but Jerry isn't sure since Shioma probably had someone on the inside of HPD. But Duke is ohana, she reminds him. Just call the man!

Steve is wearing ID on his vest that clearly identifies him as the commander of H50. Second tip for SuperSecretJungleMissions, don't wear ID. The head captor looks a little like a poor man's Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. He tells McG that Michelle Shioma is the skeleton at the end of the rope he's dragging. Ew. Thankfully, PoorMansDanielDayLewis has a large cage in the middle of the jungle that's big enough for Chin, Danny, Kono, and Steve, so he puts them in there. The bad guys are going to pack up since their SuperSecretJungleSpot is burned now. Danny is reminding Steve that no one in HPD knows they're there and hopes that Steve can pick a lock. Steve lies and says he can't, (we've seen him do it!) Maybe he has a secret love for the jungle. Or cages. Or just being together on a mission with the team. Awww. Whatever the reason, he claims to be a soldier not Houdini. Riiiight.

Grover took Will to George's, a pizza joint where he used to hang out with his cop buddies. Richie DeSanto comes in, a guy that used to coach Will in Little League. Grover goes over to talk to him, but the guy is really mean and tells Grover he shouldn't be there and just get some pizza delivery. Grover has no friends in Chicago. Sad face!

Back in our JunglePrison, the bad guys are almost done striking the camp and Steve comes up with a plan. He offers PoorMansDanielDayLewis $20 million dollars that Michelle Shioma supposedly left hidden and trade it for his team. PMDDL is considering it until Michelle Shioma shows up and awkwardly says, "You look like you've seen a ghost."  They push McG to the ground (and you know how he hates that), so he throws dirt at the four men with guns behind him and starts beating on them (he almost wins! If only he could have gotten a gun) while Michelle and her goon stand by and watch. They eventually overpower him, though, and rough him up a bit. He gets thrown back in the cage and holds up a bullet that he got. Danny isn't impressed and tells him to go back out there and get beaten again so he can get a gun. (Wow. Maybe Danny should volunteer to help get them out. Usually if you're complaining, you need a job to do.)

Grover is getting ready for court and Will asks him if he's nervous since he didn't sleep that night. Grover reassures him and goes out to talk to Officer Bennett about what his kid has already been through and how Bennett is going to stay and watch over Will because if anything happens to him, he'll rain down on Chicago PD. Then he thanks the officer and walks away. (At least he's polite about it!)

Jerry finally brings Duke in and summarizes the situation, ending with he thinks the team is in trouble. Duke says he's got guys he can trust and they better go get their friends out.

Steve rigs the gunpowder from the bullet to the lock and blows it. They're all beating people and getting guns so they can have a nice gunfight on the beach. Here's another SuperSecretJungleMissionTip though: You don't have unlimited shots. Save your ammo, or at least be accurate. The team does not know this, however, and run out of ammo. It's not looking good, but Duke and the cavalry show up in the nick of time and rescue them. McG thanks them, but they give credit to Jerry who is worried because he disobeyed orders. (Steve pretty much wastes his breath giving orders, though, and it's like standard operating procedure to disobey them. Jerry has nothing to worry about!)

McG gets Michelle Shioma in the Blue Room of Doom and tells her she's smarter than her father since she was operating under their noses for a year. He realizes she was going to cut a deal with the D.A., but he's going to do everything he can to stop that. She doesn't seem to care until he mentions that her daughters, and the family they are living with, are eager to cooperate. She just sort of sits there, stunned, and it was a bit anti-climactic. I was hoping for more from her! She had a lot of potential as a baddie. Off to prison she goes, I guess.

Jerry walks into his office where there's a Five-O badge waiting for him. The team walks in and are excited that he's getting one. He tries to put it on and sticks himself so Chin has to help him. (Isn't that a metaphor for the character of Jerry?) *shakes head*

Grover is done testifying and goes to George's to look at pictures on the wall of him and Clay and their police buddies. George comes and tells him to leave, and Grover stares at the picture a while longer then heads out. Will has extra room service for him and tells him he's proud of him. A cute/father son scene and showing who and what are really important.

Next week's promo looks good with a bank robbery and explosions.

What did you think? Did you watch?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Online Book Club For April!

I'm super excited to announce that our online book club will be reading Thirty-Two Going On Spinster by Becky Monson and she's agreed to come chat with us on April 26th at 8 p.m. MST. If you haven't read Becky's books, then you are missing out! They are sassy and funny and romantic. You should definitely pick one up!

You can get your Kindle copy of Thirty-Two Going On Spinster here for $2.99

Here's the back copy:

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

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

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

I hope you'll join us on April 26th! (We'll be meeting on my Author Facebook page here)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway!

I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Jennifer Moore's new romance, Miss Whitaker Opens Her Heart. I've really enjoyed Ms. Moore's books in the past and was looking forward to this one!

Sarah Whitaker is a sweet girl who longed to be with her father. She's to join him on his ranch in Australia, but after the five month voyage to get to him, she finds out he's been killed. Determined to manage the ranch herself, after a ten year struggle, she becomes one of the best ranch managers in the area. But that comes with a price, as she's also been betrayed by those she should have been able to trust. Because of that, she's closed off her heart to anyone---until she meets Daniel Burton.

Through a series of misconceptions, Daniel and Sarah get off on the wrong foot. He thinks she's a heartless employer and while he feels a connection to her, he pushes that down. He's not going to let himself be drawn into her spell. But what if he's wrong about her? Can there be something more than friendship between them?

I really loved the push and pull with the two main characters and how they came to like and respect each other. It definitely wasn't insta-love and I enjoyed the build up. (The sparkle between them was so great and definitely the kind that kept me up late!) The back stories of the two characters really provided a lot of depth and believability for the circumstances and will tug at your heartstrings. The changes each character goes through is what makes this story stand out, not only for the main characters, but the supporting cast as well.  I particularly enjoyed the setting of Australia in this time period, and the details made it so real! It was very well done. The author had obviously done her homework with sheep farming and penal colonies, and it really came to life in this story.

I could hardly put the book down, and this is definitely going onto my Favorites shelf for a rainy day re-read. Loved it!

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

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Australia, 1814

As a young child bound for a strange country, Sarah Whitaker dreamed of life with her father on his sprawling Australian ranch. But her hopes were shattered when she learned of his death and of her new role as heiress of the largest sheep farm in New Wales. Orphaned in a land greatly populated by petty criminals exiled from England, the future seemed grim. But now, ten years later, Sarah has defied the odds and become a successful businesswoman—much to the chagrin of her male counterparts. Hardened to the dishonesty of both her fellow ranchers and the felons in her employ, Sarah has learned one important truth: no one is to be trusted.

Daniel Burton is a lucky man. Sentenced to death for his role in a horse race scandal, Daniel was granted reprieve thanks to the influence of his wealthy relatives. Now, rather than death, Daniel faces exile in Australia—an opportunity to put past mistakes behind him. But when he purchases land with the intention of farming it, he unwittingly arouses the wrath of his new neighbor, Sarah. What begins as a battle of wits, however, soon becomes a warm friendship—and perhaps something more. But when Daniel’s secret past is revealed, will Sarah be able forgive yet another deception?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Freebie Friday. I Loved This Book And It's Free Today!

One of my favorite romances, The Kiss That Launched 1000 Gifs, by Sheralyn Pratt, is free today! You will not want to miss this one if you love romance.

Download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Each weekday from 2:00-4:00 p.m., Grace and Ashton cohost Battle of the Sexes, a radio program arguing the he-said/she-said issues of the day. Their fiery debates often have listeners wondering if there’s more to their relationship than just talk, even though Grace has been dating Phillip, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Perfect, since long before she ever met Ashton Miller.

Yet when news comes that Battle of the Sexes is on the bubble for cancellation, Grace and Ashton need to step up their efforts to engage their audience to keep the show alive. When a charity organization approaches them and proposes that the two of them kiss for a fund raiser, Grace and Ash agree to kiss for a good cause. A kiss is just a kiss, right?

Or can one kiss really change everything?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Capture Is So Close!

I'm so excited that my new novel, The Capture, is so close to being released! If everything goes as planned, it will debut on May 1st. I can't wait.

Here is the cover and back copy:

Julian Bennet, head of Griffin Force, finally finds love with Zaya Altes, but the day he buys her an engagement ring, international terrorist Nazer al-Raimi abducts her. Getting her back consumes him, yet it takes nearly six months to find her. The daring mission to extract her from a hidden prison in Afghanistan is successful, but Zaya has suffered during captivity. Though she’s grateful to Julian for breaking her out, she wants nothing to do with him. Before he can show her how much he still loves her, Nazer finds them and vows revenge. Can Julian keep Zaya safe and still stop Nazer once and for all?

Zaya Altes nearly gave up hope of ever being rescued, but when Griffin Force finally finds her, returning to life is harder than she imagined. While her feelings for Julian are as strong as ever, she feels too broken to recapture what they once had. Instead, Zaya jumps at a chance to trap Nazer, wanting vengeance for what she’s endured. As the final showdown draws near, however, Zaya will have to make an unimaginable choice to let Nazer close to her again. But when a shocking web of betrayal is uncovered in their own ranks, their one chance to capture him is compromised. Julian and Zaya will put everything on the line, but can they survive this ultimate test and finally reach for their chance at happiness?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Medieval Romance On Sale!

Joyce DiPastena's medieval romance, Courting Cassandry, is on sale for only .99 cents! If you love a well-researched historical with sigh-worthy romance, you'll want to pick this one up.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Is it too late for second chances when the girl you loved in your youth comes back into your life?

Gerolt de Warenne became guardian to a child-heiress named Cassandry when he was only nineteen-years old. As he watched her grow into a lovely young woman, he found himself falling in love with her, but Cassandry viewed him as an older brother. So, burying his feelings, he gave permission for her to marry another.

Twenty-four years later Gerolt and Cassandry meet again. With the loss of their respective spouses, Gerolt hopes to finally court Cassandry, but she desires to remain a widow. Instead, they agree to a betrothal of their children.

Matters become complicated as their friendship begins to evolve into the romance Gerolt has always wanted. But by the law of the medieval Church, Cassandry and Gerolt can’t marry if their children do. Can they find a way to be together? Or must they sacrifice their future for the love of their children?

"Courting Cassandry" is a “Hearts in Autumn” romance, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because love isn’t only for the young!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

When A Beta Reader Hates Your Manuscript

As an author, my beta readers (the people who read my book while it's still in a working stage) are invaluable. They get to see my work when it still needs a polish. I have a set group of people that I know and trust, both men and women who are honest with me in what is working in the story and what needs to be changed. Recently, however, I branched out.

My goal was to find some new beta readers to help me with my current work-in-progress and through the process hoped that maybe there would be a few who would fit into my trusted circle of readers.

A few days after receiving my manuscript, I got two critiques back. The first one came back with really helpful comments---there was some encouragement and praise sprinkled throughout with the things this reader liked about the book, but also several good suggestions for places that needed a second look. I definitely wanted to work with this person again. It was balanced and fair and helpful.

The second reader was very complimentary, and really liked my story, but didn't offer any criticisms at all. While this is sweet of the reader, and a nice stroke to my writer's self-esteem, it didn't really help my story get better. I wish I could have assured this reader that it's okay to be honest and offer me constructive criticism because it is better for the book in the long run.

The third reader took a few more days to come back and I was excited to open it when I got it. I started to read this person's comments and my heart absolutely sank. The comments were harsh and at times, personal and unkind. They felt my characterization wasn't believable, that the plot wasn't making sense, and that my central theme/overall writing was weak. I read through the entire document, and, though I've been edited by some of the hardest editors in the business, this critique by an unknown beta reader hurt me. That little inner writer's voice that tells me I'm not good enough was shouting, "See! You stink at writing!" It was hard to take.

I felt paralyzed the next day when I sat down to edit and finally ended up putting my manuscript aside and using my precious writing time to binge watch Alias. I love Sydney Bristow and Michael Vaughn and the writing in the first three seasons was really well done and entertaining. Not to mention that the chemistry between the cast was riveting. It was nice to escape into someone else's story for a bit.

But I knew that, eventually, I needed to come back to my manuscript. When I finally did, I took a deep breath and opened that harsh beta read again. Taking the emotion out of it, I looked at each comment critically. Did the reader have a point? Could I be more clear with my dialogue? Is the continuity and characterization flowing or is it uneven? Once I had a little distance, I was able to see the comments that would help me make my story stronger, and it became more clear which were the comments that I could discard as one person's opinion.

And that made all the difference.

Beta readers are important to the process, but every writer has to decide what is best for their story. Taking emotion and ego out of the equation will help quiet the insecurities and focus on creating something for others to enjoy. It's so hard sometimes! But, even with all the hard things, like when my inner critic's voice joins with those on the outside, I wouldn't trade what I do for anything else in the world. There are so many ups in this business that far outweigh the downs. And when the downs come, I can always pull out my Alias DVDs. Because who wouldn't feel better after watching that, right?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Book Review: No Holly For Christmas

I was supposed to be reviewing Story Tellers, An Evening With Colorful Characters, but I never received my review copy and the publisher didn't get back with me, so I was sad about that.

Instead, I will be reviewing No Holly For Christmas by Julie N. Ford. I've read some of Julie's writing before and really enjoyed it and this romantic suspense definitely kept me turning pages!

Holly is beautiful and a former socialite who has been reduced in circumstances since her husband's death. She's trying to provide for her daughters, but things are harder than she imagined. They get harder when Holly is mixed up in a murder case and meets Brian, from the D.A.'s office.  Brian is helping out his dad who's just had heart surgery, and he's not happy about it. But when things heat up and someone tries to kill Holly, Brian's attitude changes and he steps in to protect her and her girls. Can he keep Holly safe and not lose his heart?

Both our hero and heroine have a lot of baggage. Brian is carrying a torch for an old girlfriend, and Holly is still reeling from the secrets her husband kept from her. The emotions of their backstories will pull at your heartstrings and it really sets the tone for the romance. I was really hoping they would get their happily-ever-after since they'd been through so much! I thought the story was suspenseful and there were times when I couldn't put it down. I liked the balance between the suspense and the romance--both exciting and tender--and that the storyline was believable. There was a little more sexual innuendo than I'm used to from this author, but there wasn't anything graphic. And while the title might make you think it's a warm, fuzzy Christmas read, it isn't, yet it does tie into the Christmas season. I also didn't realize this is the second book in the series, and I liked this one enough to go back and read the first.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

A story about how fate will carry us where we need to go whether we are willing passengers or not.

After being jilted not once, but twice by the only woman he’s ever truly loved, Brian McAlister has all but given up on relationships. Then, on special assignment for the DA's office, he steps into the middle of a politically sensitive murder case where he crosses paths with a beautiful ex-socialite-turned-social-worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter.

Widowed, practically penniless, and reduced to shopping at Walmart, Holly is dreading the approaching holiday season. However, her angst isn't due to her husband's untimely death the previous December 25th, but to a secret that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid the coming Christmas. To make matters worse, she unwittingly stumbles into the throes of Brian’s case and the manhunt for a killer who now has his sights set on her.

His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hawaii Five-O Recap & Review: Those Cheating Liars!

We've had a long break, but Hawaii Five-O is back! And so is Danny's ex-wife Rachel. There is so much history between those two, this ought to be an interesting eppy.

We start out with some random dude shopping at a Rainbow Valley supermarket and buying beer, cereal, paper towels, duct tape, and candy. When he loads it all in his trunk, we see a women tied up and hooded, but he just stacks the grocery bags neatly around her. (Who knew kidnappers were so tidy?)

Next we have Danny waiting for Charlie at Leeward Academy when Rachel pulls up as well. He goes over to ask if it was really his pickup day and it is. She's flustered because she's getting a divorce from Stan. Danny asks if they had therapy and she says the therapist even told them to get divorced (ouch) and that's what Stan wants. Charlie comes out and says hello (he's so cute!) and Danny and Rachel look sad.

Grover comes into Steve's office whining that his daughter made it into Northwestern so now he can't own a sailboat and is going to be poor. McG suggests the degree and subsequent well-paying job will be good enough that Grover can guilt her into buying him whatever he wants, but Grover points out she'll probably have kids of her own by then and will worry about their college tuition. (Maybe someone could mention scholarships to them? Or perhaps Samantha could go to school and work part-time to support herself? I mean, really, this isn't the end of the world for the parents.) The whole point of the scene was to say that Grover wouldn't be retiring like Danny because he'll need to work for his kids. Oy. Thankfully, there's a phone call and a security situation downstairs. The guards have an old man facedown on the floor. It's Harry the old detective guy that knew Steve's dad!

Noelani comes up to staple Harry's head wound together. She doesn't seem thrilled about all these house calls and Steve tells her this will be the last one for a while. (Haha! I hope Max gave her a heads up about extra duties with the task force). Harry was doing recon for a jealous husband and saw the wife get kidnapped. He tried to save her and got cold-cocked from behind, so he came to Steve with the partial plate of the kidnappers. They all go visit the husband who doesn't seem thrilled to have them there but before he can throw them out, Kono has his phones tagged. (Haha. They just barged in and did what they wanted, I guess.) The kidnappers want one million dollars. (Really? That won't get you very far these days.)

Danny meets them there and Harry talks about how he couldn't handle retirement and watching old cop shows all day. Danny thinks Steve put him up to saying that. (With so much retirement talk, I'm starting to think Danny might be serious! Would he become a consultant or something?) They go over the case and Harry mentions that Celine, the kidnapped wife, had a heated conversation with another woman. Harry has a pic of her, but it's on old school film that needs to be developed. He goes to the darkroom with Jerry and they chat about how Jerry keeps track of the license plates that park outside his house and that it's better security doing it old school than with digital that can be hacked. Harry is all, if I could figure out digital I'd use it. (For someone so suspicious of technology, Jerry is always presented as a genius at using it, just sayin'.)

They ID the girl in the picture as Natasha Baron and the husband is surprised to see her in the picture with his wife because they had a falling out a long time ago. Five-O gets Natasha's address and they make sure to say she lives alone. (That never bodes well.) On the way over, Steve notices something wrong with Danny and asks him about it. He doesn't want to talk in front of Harry, but finally says that Rachel is divorcing Stan. Steve asks if they had therapy and thinks Danny should try to talk to Stan. Harry waxes poetic in the back seat that life will go on and it's hope in the pit of despair. When he said that, all I could think of was:

Back at Natasha's, she's enjoying a nice hot shower when the doorbell rings. She gets out, covers up with her towel and says just a minute. Then fifteen seconds later she's answering the door fully dressed to shoes, her hair and makeup done. It's like some sort of miracle! The person at the door (the masked kidnapper!) is tired of waiting, however, and just busts in. There's a struggle and they put a hood over her head and take her away. Five-O is late to the party, but they get there in time to hear that the neighbors heard screaming and saw a car screech away.

Kono tells the husband that Natasha was kidnapped and he mysteriously gets a text he says is work. Lies! Kono also gets the text from his phone (did he forget they tagged everything?) and it's a pic of Natasha bound and gagged in the trunk at the Rainbow Valley supermarket! Deja vu! He admits he's having an affair with Natasha. McG lays it out that he didn't pay the ransom for his wife and Harry realizes he was hired to spy on the wife when Tom was the CheatingHusband! Harry punches him. Danny is all, hey we don't do that usually. (Except they do. All. The. Time.) McG is outraged and tells CheatingHusband he better hope both women get back safely.

Natasha is brought down to the basement where Celine is in a chair. The women are tied back to back and Celine tries to calm Natasha down. She hopes CheatingHusband loves Natasha more than her or they are in trouble.

Harry is at the Chatting Table with Chin pointing out the beer brand in the ransom pic. The bag is from the supermarket, the beer is recognizable, so they need store footage to see the kidnapper. They work on that while Steve goes to talk to Danny in his office. Apparently, Danny called Stan, but Stan said he couldn't take it anymore and Rachel is still in love with Danny. Harry comes in and thinks he called it, that Rachel and Danny will get back together. Danny says no, he has a girlfriend he "likes very much." (Wow. If that's the ringing endorsement for Melissa, they are in trouble. They've been together for two years, I think, and he likes her very much?) *shakes head* Steve fills Harry in on how Rachel cheated on Stan with Danny, but justifies it with "they were on a break." Remind anyone else of this?

Anyway, he recaps the Charlie situation on how Rachel lied and said the baby was Stan's when it was really Danny's and they found out when Charlie needed bone marrow (like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives . . .) But before this history rehash can go any further, Chin comes in and says they ID'd the kidnapper and got the address where they're probably holding the women.

They go over with a massive police presence, SWAT, HPD, Five-O, and surround the building. (That doesn't seem smart to me, and is against any hostage negotiation guidelines, but whatever. It's not like Five-O cares about police procedure, right?) The kidnappers send out Celine with a bomb vest on and the police just give up (on McG's orders) so they can take Natasha and leave. (No negotiation, no nothing! The kidnappers are all, later suckas!)

Celine is freaking out so McG holds her hand and says they're going to breathe and be very still together. Very zen of him. Only they don't show any of that and the next shot is of him behind the car while Celine is with the bomb squad. They unzip the vest and just take it off like it was last year's fashion. The team takes her home and considering her husband didn't care if she was murdered, she's pretty calm. CheatingHusband does say he's sorry, though.

The kidnappers call and tell him to get in a taxi with the suitcase of money, which he does. Sneaky Five-O has Chin following on a motorcycle with Kono and Steve in a helo above. Danny is actually driving his own car with Grover! They all descend on the apartment building and CheatingHusband is on the roof. The kidnappers provide binoculars so he can look over at the next apartment building and see his girlfriend on a balcony there with a gun to her head. They tell him to send the money over on a cable between the two buildings, which he does. The police are moving in, like no one has ever had a hostage situation before. (What happened to establish contact? Keep the kidnappers calm? Make concessions through negotiation? Don't escalate the situation? Yeah, who cares about that, let's go ALL IN!)

The kidnappers don't shoot the hostage, but do shoot at the helo, so Kono sniper shoots one of them. Natasha runs to the patio and the other kidnapper runs away. Chin can't corral him, so Danny follows the guy down the laundry chute and gets cold-cocked on the back of the head that Noelani has to stitch up. That poor girl. Anyway, they get the dead kidnapper's phone and ID his partner, Collin Hansen.

Back at Celine's house, she's packing and leaving her wedding rings on the dresser. The doorbell rings and she doesn't even check who it is before she opens the door and she's kidnapped again. Poor, dumb Celine. But she's taken to the Blue Room of Doom and questioned by Harry. He wanted her to know what it felt like to be really kidnapped and asks her about why she didn't struggle when she was first taken and why she didn't have ligature marks on her wrists like Natasha. Oh, and the trigger wire on the "bomb vest" wasn't even connected! (When did they figure that out? I mean, that bomb squad should be fired if they didn't catch that right off. Seriously. Basic Bomb Squad School training fail!) But Celine was the mastermind so she could have her husband's money! McG joins in to say that Collin Hansen was picked up at the airport waiting for her and he had pics, texts, and voicemails of her and him together. She was a lying, cheating spouse, too, along with her husband! It's like a theme of the week or something!

McG praises Harry for seeing all the angles and invites him for beers and to tell him stories of his dad. Harry invites him to a poker game so he can hear stories of his dad from the poker group and Harry can take his money. Apparently Daddy McG was Mr. All In.

Danny goes over to Rachel's and offers his support to her when she tells the kids about Stan. He feels a little bit responsible and she assures him he's not. They hold hands and give each other sad smiles. Then he watches from a doorway as she tells the kids about the divorce.

Next week it looks like the entire team is kidnapped in the jungle! You know, I'm starting to think the show really, really likes kidnapping stories! *heavy sarcasm* (Five-O is easily the most kidnapped group of individuals to ever wear a badge! LOL)

Did you watch? What did you think?