Thursday, January 31, 2019

Freebie for Mystery Fans!

If you want to snuggle up with a mystery this weekend, Christy Barritt's Hazardous Duty is free today! This is the first book in a really fun series that mystery lovers will enjoy.

Download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Buying a gun to kill your wife: $3,000
Hiring Trauma Care to clean afterward: $1,500
Having that same cleaner uncover evidence that frames you: Priceless

On her way to completing a degree in forensic science, Gabby St. Claire drops out of school and starts her own crime scene cleaning business. When a routine cleaning job uncovers a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong person is in jail. But the owner of the weapon is a powerful foe . . . and willing to do anything to keep Gabby quiet.

With the help of her new neighbor, Riley Thomas, a man whose life and faith fascinate her, Gabby plays the detective to make sure the right person is put behind bars. Can Riley help her before another murder occurs?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway!


I'd been in the mood for a suspense, so when Brett Cain's book Whiteout released with such an intriguing back copy, I was excited to read it.

Frank Sawyer, who goes by Sawyer, gets in an accident on a snowy Montana freeway. He tries to help the injured driver in the other car, but also finds a dead FBI agent as well. Before he can report it, the driver hits him hard enough to render Sawyer unconscious. When he comes to, he's arrested and finds out that he'll be stuck in the small Montana town until the snow lets up. Since the killer is obviously also stuck in this town, the stage is set for a standoff. Can Sawyer figure out the mystery of who killed the FBI agent, before the killer makes sure Sawyer never talks?

I thought the author did a wonderful job of providing suspects and plenty of red herrings. The mystery itself had just enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. There were times where I wish there had been a little bit more, but this is a shorter story, (it's only 177 pages), the last twenty-two pages are a preview of another novel, which is too bad because the author has talent and could have explored a bit more of the emotional depths for the characters directly involved in the mystery and the whys of it all. The reader does get a lot of internal dialogue and thoughts from Sawyer, however, as well as odd memories that surface at strange times, but it lets us feel like we know him. He definitely comes across as that odd guy that everyone is nice to but no one really gets, if that makes sense. In this story, he's a bumbler at times, not thinking through the consequences of his actions, but then comes across as competent at other times and overthinks the consequences. It's compelling since the reader never knows exactly what Sawyer will do or how his actions will move the story forward as he tries to figure out who the villain is. There were tense moments for sure and some memorable characters in town that you hope find a happy ending of their own. The ending isn't what I expected, but there was closure and it is set up for a sequel. So, if you are looking for a short murder mystery with some good fight scenes, then Whiteout is definitely one you should pick up.

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

Here's the back copy:

 Long hours of driving on the frigid interstate have taken their toll. In a split second, Frank Sawyer’s car drifts and clips a passing van on the otherwise empty Montana highway. In the aftermath of the wreck, Sawyer encounters a gruesome scene: the van’s passenger did not survive. But it isn’t the crash that took his life—he’s been shot. Before Sawyer can assess what’s happened, he’s struck from behind. When he regains consciousness, he discovers that his attacker is gone, his car is missing—and the police have named him their prime suspect in the dead man’s murder.

The harsh winter weather bears down as the chaos unfolds, and Sawyer finds himself trapped in the small town of Cluff. And law enforcement is keeping him firmly in their sights, so there’s no possibility of escape. As he struggles to clear his name, Sawyer looks to the past for answers, becoming embroiled in a decades-old mystery that may hold the key to proving his innocence.

Blog Tour Schedule:

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*Feb. 1st:, ,,

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Book Review: #Moonstruck

I was really excited to read #Moonstruck by Sariah Wilson because I loved the first book in the series, #Awestruck so much. I even got to go to lunch with the author and we chatted a bit about the series and what a great reception its had. She's such a fun person!

Maisy Harrison doesn't date musicians, and even if she did, her three brothers would have something to say about that. But through a chance meeting with pop star Ryan De Luna, her life is changed forever. He wants to take Maisy's band on tour as his opening act---and maybe explore the attraction between them. Maisy is caught between wanting to achieve her goals as an artist and how to react when the connection between her and Ryan grows stronger. Will she be forced to choose between a career and the love of a lifetime?

I really enjoyed Maisy's character. She's got sass and it was easy to like her. She doesn't take a lot of guff from anyone, including her brothers. Part of that is because of a difficult upbringing and scars from her childhood. This has also shaped her thoughts and feelings on dating musicians. I liked that the author used this as her growth arc throughout the story and truly dug deep into some emotions and how our childhood fears eventually have to be dealt with whether we want to or not. Our hero, Ryan, is also a great character. There's definitely more to him than meets the eye and his reactions to Maisy were spot on. The secondary cast was likable as well, with enough quirks and depth to round out the story. Readers also get a glimpse into the life of a musician on tour and it was obvious the author had done her homework. The setting and characters all intertwine into a sweet romance with some sigh-worthy moments. I can't wait to read the next one in the series!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Over one million “likes”—but only one of them matters.
After pop star Ryan De Luna praises Maisy Harrison’s YouTube cover of his classic hit, he offers Maisy and her fledgling band the opportunity of a lifetime: to be his opening act.

Music may be Maisy’s life, but she has one ground rule: never date a musician. That goes double for a heartbreaker like Ryan. If only she didn’t feel so vulnerable to his larger-than-life charm. And maybe now more than ever, when he asks for her help to shake off his playboy image. How can she resist playing the part of his fake girlfriend for the duration of the tour?

Ryan’s never met anyone like Maisy. She sees past all the star-studded fame and treats him like any other guy. And the more time they spend together, the more he finds himself falling for her. Now he’d like to make their imaginary fling an IRL thing. But can he convince her to take a chance and trust him with her heart?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Board Book Review: Little Heroes: Inventors That Changed the World

I came across a cute children's book called Inventors Who Changed the World by Heidi Poelman, and thought I would share!

This little board book includes motivational quotes while sharing a simple story of inventors from around the world, including Cai Lun, Grace Murray Hopper, Marie Curie, Johannes Gutenburg, Thomas Edison and several more. I thought the illustrations were dynamic and colorful and would appeal to young children. The way the information was presented was perfect with just enough background on the individual and what they invented to keep the interest of children with short attention spans---and maybe even motivate them to want to know more. I do think it would appeal to all ages, really, because the author shares how many of these inventions impacted our world with some details that I didn't even know. Very well done. I really enjoyed it!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

From the ranging curiosity of Leonardo da Vinci to the dedication and sacrifice of Marie Curie, Little Heroes: Inventors Who Changed the World is a young child's first introduction to the brilliant people who taught us the meaning of perseverance and innovation. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of nine renowned inventors from around the world: Cai Lun, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Grace Hopper, Johannes Gutenberg, and Louis Pasteur. Inspire your own little inventor with the words of these inventive heroes who changed the world.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Freebie Friday for Billionaire Romance Fans!


Donna Weaver's billionaire romance, Hiding With the Billionaire, is free today! I don't think I've read this author before, but it looks cute!

Download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Ahri Meisner's estranged husband leaves her with nothing but an obscure warning that both of them are in grave danger. Now she is on the run.

Not knowing who else to trust, Ahri flees across the country to stay with her brother. All thoughts of safety are shattered when her husband is murdered. Ahri knows she could be next. Desperate to avoid her husband's fate she assumes a new identity to stay hidden. but working for her brother's too-handsome business partner might present a different kind of danger.

Rafe Davis has gone from being a poor scholarship boy to billionaire CEO of REKD Gaming. The only child of a loving mother and an emotionally abusive father, things haven't come easy for him. Rafe's business is his life. That all changes when he agrees to help the attractive Ahri hide under a new identity. Her presence, and his growing need to keep her safe, threaten to throw off his carefully unbalanced life.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Interview with Author Julie Daines!

I really loved Julie Daines' new book, From Ash and Stone, and was so happy she was our guest author at book club this month!

She graciously answered some interview questions so you can all get to know her better, too!

The first video answers when her next book is coming out! I can't wait!

The second one is her answer to whether she would want to live in the time period of From Ash and Stone!

In this one, Julie talks about what historical figure she would have loved to meet (and I would have to agree, this person would be amazing to know!).

The last one answers what the best thing about being a writer is.

Isn't she great? I had a lot of fun. If you haven't read From Ash and Stone, you can get your copy here. It has a strong heroine trying to avenge her family, a handsome Scot, and a curse that might keep them apart. So good!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In the Non-Fiction Corner: Blessed---And a Giveaway!

In the Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

Because of Martin Luther King Day this week, we were learning at school about famous speeches. Ones that changed the way people thought and changed the world. I love that Lloyd Newell and Mary Jane Woodger have come out with a book that discusses the greatest and most life-changing speech of all time, The Sermon on the Mount. In this book, they talk about each one of the Beatitudes individually, each with its own chapter. In the introduction, they mention that the first four Beatitudes deal with your personal righteousness, and the last four deal with how you treat others, which I loved. Then, they explain the virtue using personal stories, other scriptural examples, as well as quotes from Latter-day apostles and prophets. At the end of every chapter, they have a list of scriptures that are related to the Beatitude and real-life things that you can do today to more fully live what the Savior was trying to teach. I absolutely loved looking closer at each one of the Beatitudes and learning from many different sources what the Savior's words mean to them. It’s not very often when I read a book that I text 10 friends the things that I am learning, but this book makes you think deeper about ideas that you have heard your entire life. 

My favorite chapter was one about “hungering and thirsting after righteousness.” They compare wanting this righteousness to being so hungry and thirsty that you don’t want anything else in the world. The hunger is so consuming that it is all you can think about. Then the author poses the question, “What do you want more than anything, in this life and the next?” Of course, for most of us, the answer is to be happy and to be with our Heavenly Father. Newell explains that this is exactly what it means to hunger and thirst after righteousness, that we are hungry and thirsty for the Lord. Just like its usually poverty that leads to hunger, it is spiritual poverty that leads to the absolute need for nourishment that only the Savior can give. The chapter continues with quotes from Russell M. Nelson and Jeffrey R Holland, with even more incredible insights, and ends with a charge to not give up and be humble in your search for the Savior.

I cannot say enough good about this book. The authors have done so much research, and it is the perfect study guide to the words of the Savior as we study the New Testament this year. We can never know the Sermon on the Mount well enough, but this book is a really great start.

You can get your copy here

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

Here is the back copy:

As Jesus Christ prepared His faithful followers to teach the doctrine of the gospel, He presented perhaps His best-known discourse: the Sermon on the Mount. This profound address is directed to all those who seek to be His disciples, with powerful instruction as to the personal conduct necessary for living a Christ-centered life. And at the heart of this sermon are the Beatitudes, guidelines of the character traits and holy attributes that can serve as a guide for developing disciples. But how can these attributes be interpreted and attained in today’s modern world? In Blessed: The Beatitudes and the Christlike Life, best-selling authors Lloyd D. Newell and Mary Jane Woodger delve into each characteristic the Savior spoke of, providing powerful, real-life examples, scriptures, and prophetic insights detailing ways in which modern-day disciples of Christ can cultivate these eternal attributes. Those seeking the path of discipleship will find in this volume a thoughtful and inspiring guide to internalizing the timeless truths of the Beatitudes in our day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 Recap & Review: Those Meddling Kids!

Well, if you don't look at the details too hard, this was an enjoyable episode!

We start out with a really cute scene of Steve coming over to visit Grace. Danny's made her pancakes, which he is very anxious for her to eat. He's hovering and when he goes to get Grace's sweatshirt, Grace begs Steve to take Danny away for a few hours because he's "all up in her business." Steve explains how helpless Danny felt while she was in the hospital so now he wants to take care of her, but he helps Grace out by taking Danny with him when he gets a homicide call. Grace mouths "thank you."

Steve and Danny end up walking across the beach to the crime scene, and Steve brings up that Danny is spending a lot of time with Rachel. Danny tries to blow it off, saying they're taking care of their daughter, but Steve presses him by asking, "How much does this playing house thing have to do with Rachel and Grace?" Danny sort of dodges and says that they don't want to kill each other for the first time in a long time, but he doesn't have a plan. He's just relationship freestyling right now. (Hmm... Interesting that Danny thought Steve was playing house with Cath in Montana and now Steve thinks Danny is playing house with Rachel. Very interesting phrase from both of them.) Noelani shows them a swollen body with the throat slashed. Danny's weak stomach is glad he didn't eat pancakes. We get the whole rundown on how the victim died from sudden and massive decompression or exploding from the inside out. (Ew.)

Cut to Junior trying to fix a deck, helping out his dad, but his dad comes along and rudely tells him he isn't doing it right. Junior leaves.

Back at the Chatting Table Adam tells everyone that the body is Prof. Jason Kamaka. Three months ago, he took a leave of absence to work on a deep sea research lab called Neptune One studying the effects of lava flow. The expedition included four other scientists and was put together by Claude Nostromo. (Doesn't that sound like a Scooby Doo villain name? Will we get a "if it weren't for those meddling kids" at the end of the ep?) Anyway, if the deep sea lab is that isolated, then Dr. Kamaka had to be killed by one of the other four scientists. Steve throws in that when you're in serious close quarters for a long period of time you could get high pressure nervous syndrome which includes paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions.

Steve and Danny head over to Nostromo's and he's surprised about the murder and says he lost contact with Neptune One twelve hours ago. (That doesn't sound good, but Nostromo doesn't seem too bothered by it.) Steve points out that communication channels could have been cut by the murderer. Nostromo is not helpful, but does say that he didn't think any of the other scientists had a beef with Kamaka. When Steve asks for the personnel files, though, Nostromo dismisses them because he's busy getting on top of crisis management and his PR response. Steve gets annoyed and announces that the lab is a crime scene and everybody is a suspect! (So there!)

Back at the Chatting Table the other four "dream team" scientists/oceanographers are introduced. Jim Walker, Linda Brady, Marcus Nash, and Nina Kane. And one of them is a murderer! Steve says they'll be heading down there to assess the situation, collect evidence, and interview suspects, but the sub only fits three so Junior is going to take lead and Adam and Tani are going with him. Junior rambles a bit about the sub and descending slowly to acclimate their bodies to the pressure because if they don't they'll feel nauseated. Also, since Neptune's communication is still down they don't know what they're walking into and it's too dangerous to have firearms in a highly pressurized environment, so they get stun guns. With that, Steve tells Junior not to do anything he wouldn't do. Ha! (You know, we haven't seen or heard from Jerry in a while. I hope he's okay!)

Steve and Danny interview Kamaka's wife and they see a cute video of Jason Kamaka counting down the minutes until he's with his family again. He only took the job because they need money for his son's illness and experimental treatments. Kamaka didn't talk much about work since he signed a large NDA and all communications with the surface were monitored, however, he did say that the job wasn't what he signed up for. The wife is visibly upset, says she had faced the possibility she could lose her son, but didn't think about losing Jason. Steve says they won't give up.

TeamJunior, the fearless trio, arrives at the underwater lab, but there's no welcome committee. With five tanks and suits visible in the bay, the other scientists are still there somewhere, though. Junior checks the oxygen levels and all is well, so they take off their oxygen tanks. Tani sees someone looking at them from the porthole, so they go after him. There's a blood trail that's fresh and they finally corner Dr. Walker, who has a shoulder injury. Apparently Dr. Nash attacked him and he doesn't know where anyone else is. He does seem a little paranoid as he relates the story that he woke up that morning, the power was out and Kamaka and Nash were missing. Then Nash went out of his mind and attacked him with a knife, but he fended him off and got away. The guy just snapped! TeamJunior thinks that Nash is Kamaka's killer. They decide to go look for the rest of the crew and they do find Dr. Brady and Nina, but Nina is having a panic attack. The only oxygen in in the bay and with CrazyNash out there, it isn't safe. So NewGuyAdam gets the laundry list of assignments to stitch up Walker, get a tank for Nina, and then request an evac vessel. Tani and Junior are going to go find Nash. They wander around for a while until Tani realizes there's a short hallway, and they find a secret door! Nash is inside and he immediately attacks them so Tani uses the stun gun on him and Junior zip ties him. They find samples inside the secret room that don't look like lava rocks.

Those samples are actually a rare earth element called yttrium. It's worth more than gold, and is a key component for micro chips, processors, etc. China currently has the market cornered, but if Nostromo finds his own reserve, well, we're talking about billions in profits. Except that it's illegal to mine the waters in Hawaii. But it's all coming together now! The secret room only had two regulars going into it---CrazyNash and Dr. Brady. TeamJunior questions Brady who denies it at first, but then caves. Nostromo gave them a mission to collect samples to help Nostromo know where to mine. She says she didn't kill Kamaka, though, and Nash didn't either since they worked all night putting in data and their entries are time stamps. When she tries to pull the data up, though, it's all been wiped. Nash thinks Nostromo wiped it to cover his tracks because he's the murderer! Nobody really believes CrazyNash, though. TeamJunior does decide that if Nostromo thought his billion dollar investment was in trouble, he would do anything to protect it.

Steve goes back to question Nostromo with Lou. (Maybe Danny is checking on Grace?) Nostromo denies everything, but when they confront him about the yttrium and mention that the data was wiped, Nostromo gets upset. There's no backup of that data and they made the computer air-gapped to prevent hacking. Someone down there had to wipe the data because they're going to sell it on the open market and he knows who it is! It's his inside man!

Adam and Junior are talking about how they don't feel good so they check the oxygen level. It's nearly at hypoxic levels! No wonder they don't feel good! Except for Nina, since with her "panic attack" she has an oxygen tank. Tani comes in with McG's info about his "inside man" and Nina knows she's caught. She grabs Dr. Brady and puts the knife to her throat. She locks them all in and barricades the door with an ax, but it must be a moldy old ax because Junior and Adam easily bust through the door AND the ax barricade! Nina took the sub and Junior dives in after it (to wave goodbye? What did he think he was going to do? Hitch a ride?) But all their communications are now gone with the sub and they're all stranded! But the worst news is, there's no oxygen supply and they only have about forty minutes of breathable air. Topside, Lou sees GPS movement on the sub, but no one is answering anything, so they figure out TeamJunior's been jacked. Steve heads to the dive site.

TeamJunior is watching Junior rummage through the lab stuff until he finds a transmission buoy. He puts an emergency message on it, sends it to surface so it will send to all emergency frequencies, but it gets snagged on a ledge. He swims up to fix it and then gets disoriented, but Tani saves him and they collapse on the bay floor. (How strange that a SEAL would be disoriented underwater and have to be rescued by Tani!) They use up more air talking about Junior buying her expensive sushi and how much seeing his dad sucked.

Steve is speeding to the dive site with Danny telling him to slow down. He doesn't want Steve to go down to the lab because they could be dead for all they know. (I was honestly shocked to hear him casually say that!) Steve tells him not to do that, to stay positive and keep his mind on the rescue. Lou calls to say the SOS buoy from Junior was found and TeamJunior only has six minutes of air left. (The Coast Guard must be super slow or something and by the time they finally mosey over, it will be too late.) Steve does the calculations for how much air they'll need until the evac vessel can finally get there and Danny is still half-mocking him with comments like "what are you doing, beautiful mind?" Steve figures out they'll need two tanks and he's going to free dive it down to them while Danny's job is to tell the evac vessel to be there in eighteen minutes. Danny is not on board with this plan. He says there's no way Steve will make the 130 meter dive. (Well, what is Steve supposed to do? Just stand around and let his team and the other scientists die? Oy!) Steve is going to exhale all through the ascent so he doesn't get the bends, but if he looks like a potato when he comes back, then Danny needs to get him to a hyperbaric chamber. Steve puts his Converse into flippers and gets in water, taking in big breaths. Danny hands him the tanks and Steve won't let him give any pep talks, because Danny sucks at them. (Yes, yes he does!) Steve makes it down and finds the lab, then gets some air to an unconscious Junior and Tani. After he tells them the rescue team will be there in fifteen minutes so make the oxygen last, he takes a hit of oxygen himself and goes back to the surface Danny throws him a rescue preserver and pulls him in. He's gasping for air while Danny questions him and all Steve can do is give a thumbs up that he's okay and they're okay. Then Danny says now he knows Steve can hold his breath for that long, he can't complain about takeout in the car anymore. LOL (I at first was a bit skeptical as to how realistic it was for Steve to free-dive it and come back without getting the bends, but it turns out that scenario is possible. And if anyone could do it, Steve the SuperSEAL could!)

Back at the office, it's a happy ending for everyone! Lou reports that Nina is in ICU. In her haste to surface, she gave herself the bends. Nostromo is going to take care of the medical bills for Kamaka's little boy and assist the feds in their investigation of illegal mining. (No one's going to say it, so I will---If it weren't for those meddling kids!) Tani comes in after spending sixteen hours in a hyper-"barbaric" chamber with Adam and Junior who were arguing about which is better cartoons or anime. She also says Junior will be in later, he had something else to do and we see him at his dad's house. Dad hands him a hammer while we hear the happy music and they're working together on the deck.

An entertaining episode for sure, if not a little reminder of Scooby and pals. Did you watch? What did you think?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King Day

I hope you had a wonderful day today. I loved this quote by Martin Luther King and definitely want it to be part of my everyday life.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Something Funny To Start The Long Weekend

I saw this and had to laugh. It is SO TRUE in my life! What are your plans for the long weekend? I plan to do a lot of reading and definitely use whatever is handy for a bookmark!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

First Reviews of Second Look!

I am so excited that the first reviews of my new romantic suspense have been so positive! It's always a little scary putting your new book baby out there to share with the world. So, when I get reviews like these, it's definitely a relief!

My favorite part of what Min Reads and Reviews said was, "Second Look is another nail-biting suspense novel from Julie Bellon. I always thoroughly enjoy her books. They are always full of page turning suspense. This book had a great balance of suspense and romance."

You can read the full review here

And my favorite part of the Getting Your Read On review was this, "This story had me so invested from beginning to end. I loved the fantastic forward momentum that hardly left me any time to breathe. I had moments of full anxiety and then moments of sweet love. It was exactly what I was hoping for."

You can read the full review here

Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed Second Look so far. I appreciate you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Freebie for Romance Fans!

I just couldn't help but pass along this free deal I found today. I haven't read this one, but the back copy looks good if you want a feel good romance to read!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Ten years ago Reece broke Piper's heart. Now he stands between her and her dreams. Can they put the past behind them and work together?

It’s been ten years since Piper Daniels had her heart broken by Reece Stone, President of Stone Enterprises. She would happily let another ten years pass, if it weren’t for the community garden she’s trying to start. It is just her bad luck that the abandoned lot she wants to use for the garden belongs to his company.

Normally Reece doesn’t handle the details of donation requests personally, but when he sees her name on the introductory letter, he can’t stop himself. He royally messed things up with Piper when they dated before, but he’d never been able to forget her. Helping her navigate the unexpected roadblocks to getting her garden would help make that up to her. And if he is really lucky, maybe he can convince her to give him a second chance.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Freebie for Thriller Fans!

One of my very favorite thriller books, The Killing Curse, by H.B. Moore, is free today. If you haven't read any Omar Zagouri thrillers, now's your chance to try one out!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

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

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

Monday, January 14, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 Recap & Review: Grace's Accident

We start out with previouslies of Grace Williams growing up on the show. I love that it's the original actress that's been there from the beginning.

Then we move to a sleeping Danny. It's 3:13 a.m. and someone is knocking on his door. It's Rachel. Grace went to a party and missed curfew by two hours and isn't answering her phone. Danny is calm, he's going to put out a BOLO on the car and a trace on the phone. (If only my husband was in law enforcement and could do that when I was worried!) Danny asks for the plates, but Stan bought her a car, so it only has temp plates. Danny is surprised. (Oh, Rachel.) They drive out to the middle of nowhere and find cop cars and an ambulance. Rachel is screaming, running toward the ambulance that is driving away and Danny is asking the cop is that my daughter in there? How bad is it? (SO SAD! Awesome acting all around.) (Honestly, I'm the mom that always thinks my kid is in a ditch if they're late for curfew and the show is playing my nightmare right in front of me!)

Steve comes out of the elevator and hugs Danny and Rachel. Danny tells him Grace is in critical condition. There was another kid in car, a new girl in Grace's class named Katie, who is pretty bad off too. Katie's dad approaches, dazed, reciting his daughter's injuries and getting upset, saying Grace must have been driving like a lunatic, and wondering if cop dad taught her to drive or bailed when Grace drives home drunk from a party. Steve tells him this isn't the time or the place, but Katie's dad isn't letting this go. Steve pushes him back, away from Danny, and the cops take him away. (We are left hanging, too, because we never see or hear from him again or anything about Katie.) Duke approaches Steve to let him know that HPD is opening an investigation since Grace was going double the speed limit. They also ordered a tox screen. Steve is stunned. Something's wrong here. That isn't Grace!

Danny is pacing in the waiting room, saying that Grace is not responsible for that accident. Rachel is trying to reassure him, reminding him that Steve promised to find out exactly what happened. The doctor comes in to say that the good news is there isn't any damage to Grace's internal organs. The bad news is she has a depressed skull fracture that needs to be operated on. It could be a while so they gave Danny and Rachel a pager that will go off when there's an update. Danny is still understandably wound up. Rachel asks him if he wants to talk about Stan's gift car, since he's mad about it. Danny doesn't want to talk about it, says he's not mad, she should have told him, she didn't, he forgives her and will print it out and notarize it. (Yeah. He was not nice at all.)

Cut to Tani knocking on Koa's door and he doesn't want to open it because when he does, we can see he's been beaten. Tani gets it out of him that he was looking for an addict that he's been counseling named Alana, because she missed her check in last night. Her ex-boyfriend didn't like him asking questions and was mad that Koa didn't let him see his ex while she was in rehab, so he beat him up. He tells Tani he can handle it, but it looked like the ex knew something he wasn't telling. Tani says she'll go talk to him and Koa asks if she'll "talk" to him like she did Kenny Hong because Kenny's shoulder still bothers him. Tani says she'll keep it professional, but the next scene is of her knocking the guy out of his chair in the middle of a restaurant and then kicking him in the chest saying she needs answers to the questions her brother was asking. After she steps on his hand and shoves the guy's face into a plate, (Um what? How is that professional? So unnecessary and over the top. Oy.)  he finally says that Alana came over to make amends, but then she left. Tani leaves and calls Koa. He's going to help her go through cell phone records and see who else Alana called.

Danny is talking to Steve on the phone, telling him that there's no news, except that the tox screen came back negative. Junior walks Steve and Lou through the accident scene. Grace missed the turn going eighty miles an hour, which makes no sense since she was sober. Steve sees skid marks and swerve marks that aren't Grace's and there's fresh oil in two spots, so someone else was on the scene. The only reason they would have left is if they caused the accident, so Steve is going to get CSU up there because this is now a crime scene. (Well, with all those HPD officers standing around, what are they doing? Why does Steve have to call CSU in? Poor incompetent HPD.)

Kame and Flippa bring in food, but Rachel doesn't have much of appetite. Danny says she should eat something and I loved that he was concerned. Charlie comes in for a minute, but then goes to hang out with Noelani to eat ice cream and make a Lego fire station (because MEs have nothing better to do than to babysit.) Danny had Noelani bring a bag for Rachel with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and his favorite sweatshirt of his that she liked. (SO SWEET.) Steve calls and tells Danny to go to the visitor's lounge because Grace received a threatening text before the crash and the kid who sent it, Nathan Cowell, is there! Danny finds him and gives him five seconds to tell him why he sent that to Grace.

Next we see Lou and Steve at a girl named Camryn's house, asking her about the threatening text. She says she didn't send it and her dad is sure she's not a liar. Besides, she dropped her phone in the pool last night. But Lou fills dad in that actually, Grace found Camryn showing everyone an intimate photo of new girl Katie that only Katie's boyfriend was supposed to see. Poor Katie was crying and humiliated, had already suffered being bullied and had to change schools, but Camryn doesn't care and isn't sorry since Katie brought it on herself. (This actress is so good at playing a mean girl!) So Grace took Camryn's phone and dropped it in a glass of beer. Camryn was ticked about it and sent the threatening text to Grace using Nathan's phone. But Camryn does say that Grace and Katie left before midnight. So if the accident happened at two in the morning (how did they know that by the way?) what did they do for two hours? They're going to check out the late night food joints. Oh, and Junior calls in to say that the skid marks and oil don't match Camryn's car and the oil is high zinc for older engines.

Rachel and Danny are in the cafeteria staring at the pager, wondering if it has batteries or if no news is good news. They start to reminisce about when Grace was born and Danny didn't want to leave the hospital and that he even tracked down doctor to make sure it was safe. He finally admits that he locked the keys in the car and was stalling until AAA got there. They laugh about it and how Danny made the nurse show him how to swaddle ten times and she thought he was a total moron. (I love their history. And it's interesting that Danny confesses his own little lie to Rachel.) Then the pager goes off and they run out. There's been a complication. Grace has a hemorrhage and the team is doing everything they can, but she's still in surgery. Back to waiting.

Adam is on the phone with Tani, updating her that Alana wasn't home and no one knows where she is. Koa and Tani are headed to Kelsey's house while Koa woodenly tells Alana's story of being difficult and resisting counseling, but she was his first real success story. (Sometimes the Koa actor is so good and other times he's just reciting lines, you know?) He mentions that Alana wanted to get her friend Kelsey into rehab, too, since they were both oxy addicts, but when they get to Kelsey's house, they find both women dead on the couch, with needles sticking out of their arms. Koa is really upset, but Tani assures him it's not his fault. Adam shows up and says HPD determined there were no signs of foul play, it was just a bad batch of black tar heroin. Koa doesn't believe that because Alana was afraid of needles so he destroys the crime scene by rummaging through the house looking for a stash. He finds a bunch of pill bottles in the toilet and they decide that since the same doctor prescribed them all, maybe this is a pill mill, prescriptions for cash, so when Alana was going to turn the doctor in, he took her out. (Again, the HPD looks bad declaring this was a simple overdose case. Poor incompetent HPD.)

Junior gets footage of Grace and Katie at Zippy's, and some guy trying to talk to them. They aren't interested, but the guy is creepy and follows them when they leave. And from parking lot footage they can see he's driving a classic car with an oil leak! They run his plates and Lou and Steve head to his house. The car is up for sale, so Steve asks the kid to take him for a test drive. He agrees and Steve peels out. He's driving really fast and tells the kid the car has an oil leak that he should have gotten fixed because they found a bunch of specialty oil at a crime scene last night. The kid looks guilty. Steve goes on to say they have him on camera harassing two underage girls who ended up in a ditch twenty minutes later. Now the kid looks nervous and says, "Are you a cop?" And Steve replies. "Yeah I'm a cop and worse for you I'm an uncle of one of those girls you put in ICU." (Awwww!) The kid starts spilling that they talked at Zippy's that's it, but Steve calls him out. The kid was mad the girls didn't want to talk to him, so he followed them, ran them off the road and fled the scene, leaving the girls in a ditch to die. Steve swerves and the kid hits his head on the window since he's not wearing a seat belt. The kid goes with the "you can't prove anything" spiel, which Steve agrees with, but he does mention that he can slam on his brakes and the kid's head will bust open on the dashboard or he could go through the windshield. At that, the kid gives it up. He was just trying to scare them and they sped up, so he sped up and he thought they were dead. Steve is stoic and tells the kid they weren't dead, but were bleeding in a ditch for over an hour before anyone found them. Next scene is the kid being put into a police car. Steve is watching, looking intense, and Lou reminds him there will probably be jail time. Steve tells him that it won't make a difference if Grace doesn't pull through. (So sad!)

Danny sees Rachel in the waiting room on a laptop. He joins her and apologizes for overreacting about the car and being mean. She says she should have said something and been more honest with him about a lot of things. She knew she wasn't happy with Stan back in Jersey, but didn't want to put Grace through another divorce, so they moved to Hawaii and now here they are. Danny is so tender, putting his hand on her knee to reassure her, telling her not to do that, it would be the same whether they're in Jersey or Hawaii. It's a really sweet scene between them. He asks what she was watching and it was a surprise graduation video. Danny moves to sit next to her and kisses her temple and then they watch it together. There are some really great pics of Grace from her birth through young womanhood. Several of her with Steve, too. (Awww, sniffle.) Rachel returns his kiss on the temple. (I love how emotionally intimate this scene is between them!)

Tani is undercover as Amy Holmes going to see the doctor for a prescription. Adam is outside running the op. She gets in with the money to pay, but a security guard comes in before the doctor can write the prescription and said a patient outside recognized her as a cop. She denies being a cop, but they don't believe her and aren't going to let her go. Adam rushes in, but before he gets to the room, Tani grabs the gun and holds the guard and doctor at gunpoint. They take the doc to the Blue Room of Doom and question him about Kelsey and Alana's murder. They pulled his phone records and know that Kelsey called him an hour before her death. Since her house was full of drugs, it wasn't for that. He admits that Kelsey called him in a panic because Alana was going to go to the cops to tip them off about the clinic and cut off Kelsey's drug supply. The doctor called his handlers from a drug cartel, knowing they would kill both girls. He claimed he didn't want to do it, but he's been prescribing oxy for years, so that's a lie. Adam gives him the Noshimuri Head Shake of Disapproval.

Danny is sitting on the floor of a hallway, all alone before Steve joins him. He thanks Steve for finding the guy and Steve says that these kids are taking after their old man, standing up to bullies and speaking up for the little guy. Danny says they get that more from Steve than him and that Rachel made a grad video for Grace and Steve's in more shots than Danny. Steve teases him a little bit saying he would love to see it, maybe have a grad party at his house, get a big screen and show it to all the neighbors. Haha. Rachel appears. Grace is out of surgery and she's okay. Huge sighs of relief and hugs all around. Cut to a scene in Grace's room where she's wearing the saddest attempt at a head bandage that I've ever seen while staring vacantly up at Danny and Rachel. Oddly, she also has her earrings still in after her brain surgery. At least she was all accessorized I guess!

Back at home a week later, Grace has experienced a miracle! Her bruises are all but gone and she's looking pretty normal for having had brain surgery. There's a welcome home party and everyone is there. Lou assures her Will will be by to see her tomorrow and everyone is hugging her. She thanks Steve and Lou for finding the guy and Steve tells her that even though she's grown up and independent they are still there for her. They all go eat Flippa and Kame's food and Steve tells Tani that they got two more pill mills connected to the cartel. She says she couldn't have done it without Koa and he's all pshaw, she just wants me to be included in this weird family. (Please, please, do not add Koa to the task force.)

Danny brings Rachel a ziti and sits with her outside. Steve watches them together for a moment with a knowing smile. It is so sweet! Rachel says the ziti reminds her of their first date since Danny made that for her. They're both happy and smiling and she asks Danny to share it with her. (It is adorable! I love that they've been through so much and are in such a good place. *le sigh*)

Overall a good episode with some really great emotional moments. Did you watch? What did you think?

Friday, January 11, 2019

Freebie Friday for Romance Fans!

Heather Tullis has a free romance today. It looks really cute and features a community garden, so all you gardeners out there can start dreaming of warmer temperatures!

You can get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Ten years ago Reece broke Piper's heart. Now he stands between her and her dreams. Can they put the past behind them and work together?

It’s been ten years since Piper Daniels had her heart broken by Reece Stone, President of Stone Enterprises. She would happily let another ten years pass, if it weren’t for the community garden she’s trying to start. It is just her bad luck that the abandoned lot she wants to use for the garden belongs to his company.

Normally Reece doesn’t handle the details of donation requests personally, but when he sees her name on the introductory letter, he can’t stop himself. He royally messed things up with Piper when they dated before, but he’d never been able to forget her. Helping her navigate the unexpected roadblocks to getting her garden would help make that up to her. And if he is really lucky, maybe he can convince her to give him a second chance.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Announcement Of Our Guest Author For January!

I am so excited to announce that our guest author for this month's book club is Julie Daines! Her new book, From Ash and Stone is so good and I can't wait to hear all about the behind the scenes of how she came up with a medieval story that features revenge, romance, and a curse! She's also written several other books, Eleanor and the Iron King, and Willowkeep, to name a few, and questions about her backlist are not off-limits!

Julie will be on my author Facebook page on Friday, Jan. 25th to answer all your questions, so save the date! There will be prizes and lots of fun!

(Her books are in libraries or you can download From Ash and Stone here)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway!

I was so excited to see another book by Carolyn Twede Frank that picked up the threads of her small town historical romance, Heart of the West. In that book, we meet Dr. Kate, and in Saving Susannah Jones, we see what happens out at the Circle J Ranch.

After a horrific fire, Susannah is determined to make a new life for herself, but her cruel brother seems bent on making her into little more than his servant, someone at his beck and call. Susannah must make a difficult choice and finds an unlikely ally in Joseph Iverson. Joseph is painfully shy, but seeing a young woman desperately in need of his help forces him out of his comfort zone. But can they find something more when it seems everything and everyone is against them?

I loved the characters in this story. Susannah has so much strength in her that she didn't know she possessed. She has a lot of tough choices in trying to pick up the pieces of her life, but she does what she thinks is best. A few of her decisions had me shaking my head, but I loved the character growth and seeing how her journey unfolded. I could hardly put the book down and read it nearly in one sitting! Joseph is a sweet hero. He's been through so much and has such a soft heart, but is so shy. I loved how their romance blossomed and how tender he was with Susannah. There are definitely some laugh out loud moments. And it was such a great ending. 

I really hope there are going to be more books in this series. I am enjoying this town and all of its colorful characters!
You can get your copy here

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

Here's the back copy:

In the still of a cool Colorado evening, the Circle J Ranch house burns to the ground, leaving Susannah Jones and her two brothers orphaned and homeless. Embittered by the tragedy, Susannah's older brother grows increasingly cruel, leading Susannah to make the difficult choice to leave the last of her family behind to forge a new life for herself. It is the kindness of Dr. Kate, the woman physician in town, as well as a chance meeting with a rugged homesteader that give Susannah the strength she needs to escape.

When Joseph Iverson encounters the harassed young woman on his land one day, he has no thought but to provide the assistance she so clearly needs. Overcoming his shyness, he takes Susannah under his wing and agrees to a marriage of convenience to liberate her from her brother. As the pair works side by side, their mutual admiration deepens. But their happy existence is threatened all too soon by a series of "accidents" on the farm. With danger looming ever closer, Susannah and Joseph must discover who is bent on their destruction before the life and marriage they've built together goes up in flames.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Title Reveal For My New Book!

I was writing a kissing scene today for my new book and saw this quote on Twitter (thanks Lucky!) 

"The best kiss is the one that has been exchanged a thousand times between the eyes before it finally reaches the lips." 

Isn't that great?! I think I'm going to print it out and put it up near my desk. Loved it!

But what is the new book I'm working on you ask? 

*drum roll*

The next book in my Griffin Force series, Second Chance!

Woohoo! I'm so excited about this one. It's Augie's story and I am having so much fun writing it. I can't wait to share some sneak peeks!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 Recap & Review---Catherine Returns

Photo courtesy of CBS

Cath is back in this episode and I will warn you, I loved their scenes and my recap is long with a lot of the dialogue. What a fun show! Spies, SEALs, revenge, and reaching out. This episode had it all!

We start out with the previouslies of Joe's death and Greer's involvement in it. We also see how the team back in Hawaii got the name of the lawyer from Denmark who set up the hits that took out most of the Moroccan SEAL team that Steve and Joe were on.

Then we go to the ranch in Montana where Steve is filling a bucket of water from a trough. He has a pretty good grief beard going on. He sees a car approaching and warily watches it with his gun drawn. It's Danny. Steve says he didn't need to come out, but Danny tells him that's what family does and Steve wouldn't leave him alone after his brother died so . . . Steve says he's glad to see him and they hug. Danny says that since it's been over a month, is Steve ready to come home now? But a door opens behind them and he sees Catherine and says. Aaha. (Like, oh NOW I see why you've been gone for a month. *grin*)  Danny says he didn't mean to interrupt, but Cath answers with what exactly did you think you were interrupting? (Apparently not what I wanted him to be interrupting. LOL) Danny says the grieving process, but DeadSeriousSteve walks into the barn and says, "That's not what this is." (He ain't playing right now.) They have a badly beaten man in there and Danny looks shocked and says he liked it better when he thought Cath and Steve were playing house. Who is the guy? It's Omar Hassan's lawyer Gregors Thompson. Cath and Steve catch Danny up that Greer gave up the names of the SEALs on the Moroccan mission, but Gregors executed Hassan's plan to kill them, including Joe, by hiring the hitters. Steve says Gregors was just about to tell Hassan's location, and then he pulls a gun. He says "Catherine" and she closes the door to leave those two alone in the room.

Cue music. (Whew! So many questions already! Like, did Steve call Catherine? If so, what did he say? And did she bring Gregors to him? It doesn't look like he's left the ranch so that would be a logical conclusion. Has Catherine been there the whole month? Will we ever know?)

Back on the island there's a storage locker auction that two guys win. They open it to see what they bought and it's a bunch of junk. They open a box of books and DVDs, then a duffel bag with human remains on it.  They call Noelani because they don't want to waste time calling the police (seriously!) and tell her they found the skeleton, text her a pic, and she tells them she'll be right there, don't touch anything. When she gets there, however, the guys aren't around and when she calls them, the phone rings inside the storage unit. She opens the door and both guys are there, shot dead.

Back at the ranch, Cath and Danny watch Steve wash his bloody hands in the bucket. Danny tells him the mountain air is difficult to take in with the screaming and crying. Steve got the location he wanted, though. Hassan is in Laos. Danny is all, good, just tell the CIA and let's go. But Cath and Steve are all, nope, we're going to Laos. Danny isn't too jazzed about that since it's ten thousand miles away, Hassan has a security team and there's only three of them. Oh and he doesn't have a passport. (Wow. He really doesn't want to go.) But Cath says they're not flying commercial and Steve adds that there's more than three of them, shooting a look to Cath. She nods. (I love the silent communication between them. They just get each other without any words needed, especially on ops.) And guess who's at the airport? Junior! He's loading up and hugs Steve and Cath. Wade Gutches is also joining them and even though he's retired, he's still got game. He gives Cath a big hug and Steve introduces him to Junior. Steve takes Gutches aside to ask if he's okay with this (because Steve is ALWAYS thinking about his team) and Wade tells him that going after the guy who killed Joe was the only thing that could have pulled him out of retirement. Frank Bama's daughter, Lucia, is piloting the plane and it is fueled and ready to fly.

Back on the island Grover and Tani are at the storage unit. Adam meets them, gives them the rundown with flashbacks of what we've already seen of Noelani finding the bodies. (Oy! Did they think we forgot or something?) Lou and Tani are spitballing as to motive, but thankfully Adam, (the ex-con) knows how to work a case and already ran the name on the contract. It was an alias and the contract was prepaid for a year. They're going to go through the junk for clues. (Back to Beginning Detective School for the others!)

Gutches is telling old stories on the plane about Joe. Steve is thinking about Greer, flashing back to their hookup in Morocco. Greer told him that being with him was the best bad decision she's made in a long time and he says that was stress relief. Therapy, really. She goes on with since they were using each other for selfish purposes, it might be good to have that therapy available to her again. So, maybe since someone with Steve's experience would be good in the CIA, if he joined, they could then be stationed together and she'd have access to very regular therapy. (It's all very playful for Steve, but Greer seems to have a serious undertone.) Steve says he's not CIA material, but he does put his noodles away that he's eating and kisses her again. Then we come back to present day and Lucia saying it was going to be a bumpy landing. Cath, who is sitting next to him, asks Steve where he went. He says, "I don't know, I'm just thinking that we're doing all this stuff to get Hassan for good reason but at the end of the day I get it, I understand why he did what he did. He's avenging his father's death---I would have done the same thing. But Hassan wouldn't have been able to do that without Greer. Greer's the one who sold out her country and turned on her people." Steve has this intense look on his face and Cath assures him that they'll find her. Hassan worked with Greer and he might be able to tell them what rock she's under, but if he can't, then we'll just keep looking. "We owe Joe that much and I'm in this with you until the end." We get another look between them and a Steve nod.

Back at the Chatting Table for the Storage Murders, there were no matches on fingerprints, but some high school love letters give up the name Woody. Oh, and the lipstick on the letters also had DNA and the name Carol Buckley shows up from that. She died in a car accident and grew up in Ohio. There was also a bowling trophy in the unit that connects to Canton, Ohio so they're going to look for a record.

Steve meets Harry in a bar. The cocktails are supposedly terrible so Steve orders a beer. Harry has been prepping the op and secured a conveniently located safehouse, identified Hassan's contact, Dmitri, and met a lovely lady named Oksana? (It was hard to hear her name, but that's what it sounded like.) He even pulled a few favors and traced an eight million dollar wire that Hassan made to the Mandarin Club, an exclusive members only club that features a high rollers game room. They think that's how Hassan is laundering money since Dmitri makes a large withdrawal of chips, loses a hundred grand, and doesn't hang around, but cashes out right away. He also has lots of security. Harry says he knows Dmitri will be there tonight, but it might be the last night.

Back at the safehouse, Cath is setting up a laptop and showing surveillance photos. Harry is explaining why they haven't been able to track Dmitri to this point. He's a pro. No phone. And he even managed to lose Harry when he tried to tail him. Dmitri has a tight security detail and it's next to impossible to keep eyes on him. Well, why don't they put a tracker on him? Because he changes vehicles, has security and his driver never leaves his post, so traditional tracking doesn't work. Gutches wants to know how they'll paint the target and Harry pulls out a small vial of a radioactive solution they need to get him to drink. Once it's ingested they can track him. So the plan is, Catherine and Steve are going to go to the club together and head straight to the high roller table. Cath is all in, except she hates to be that girl, but she doesn't have anything to wear. Steve motions to Harry with a half-smile. Harry took the liberty of purchasing something suitable earlier today. (Was that after he met Steve in the bar? Did he get her sizes from Steve? Did Steve help?) Oh and for the purposes of this operation Harry tells them that "you two are married" and pulls out two wedding rings. Gutches reaction is "isn't that sweet." Danny says Mazel Tov. Steve says "I do," but he's in focused mission mode, while Harry and Cath are smiling. (Like me!) But before they get all cleaned up, Harry wants to brief them on the finer points of baccarat. (Good idea!)

Steve and Catherine go to the club looking fine in a tux and fancy evening gown. (Did they need to be married to get in? Or did Harry just do that because he figured out Cath is the only one Steve ever let in? Oh well, for whatever reason, I still like that part.) Harry is running point through hacked CCTV. They are all on comms and Harry says, "Steven you look absolutely magnificent in a tux." Cath comes back with, "He's spoken for cowboy." (Yes, yes, he is. Sigh.) Dmitri has pulled his chips and is at the high roller table. Steve pulls out a chair right next to Dmitri for Catherine (always the gentleman) and they are greeted with a bon soir from the dealer so Steve says bon soir as well. *swoon* Cath takes half the chips and Steve plays his part with "Don't you want to wait for the divorce before you take half." Cath tells him, "Don't be a caveman darling." Steve orders a Vodka martini, (007 reference?) then switches to a local beer. Dmitri orders as well and Cath has same thing as him. Steve gives her a look and she returns it. Now that the drink order has gone out, can the team get the radioactive mixture in it? Gutches corners a waiter at gunpoint and they steal his uniform for Junior, but it's ill-fitting. Oh well. Junior puts the solution in the drink and he brings it out and puts it on the table. But Dmitri is ending his night and hasn't touched his drink! Better do something! Cath stands up with her hand on his arm and says leaving so soon? She wanted to play with him a little longer. She suggests a toast to knowing when to walk away, and Dmitri does, drinking the solution. Yay! He walks away and Harry tells Cath that was a nice save. Steve and Cath are right behind Dmitri in their car, and thankfully the solution is working so they can track him. (Although with all the surveillance they ultimately had, I'm really surprised Harry couldn't track him earlier, but whatever.) They track him to a high rise and Steve screeches up behind him. (Because that won't alert anyone to a tail. LOL) Dmitri is walking inside and Harry is able to see that he went to floor 28 from his CCTV feed. Wow. Unfortunately, while they've located Hassan, there are cameras, biometrics, and armed guards. The place will a hard nut to crack.

Back on the island and the Chatting table, Adam heard back from the bowling alley and they had a photo of BowlingChampWoody with his bowling team. The guy was renting an apartment in Hawaii up until 18 months ago, but moved without any notice, paid off his lease with cash. Nothing on him since then. Grover says maybe Alex is no longer alive. Then with no other explanation we jump to the Blue Room of Doom with some ex-con. They ask him about BowlingChampWoody, his former partner in a bait and tackle shop. With his partner out of picture, he closed the business and got back most of what he put in. (Why did his partner have to be out of the way? I'm confused. Doesn't sound like he made a lot of money on it, either. Not enough to kill someone.) But apparently, ExConPartner couldn't pay the storage locker rent because he was in prison, then when he found out it was being auctioned he killed the two guys and stole the duffel. But he idiotically rented a boat with a GPS and HPD divers found it with a bullet fragment in it that will match ExConPartner's illegal gun. Busted.

The team is getting ready to go to the high rise. Cath is beside Steve, asking him how it's going. He talks about how if the map they have of the high rise is accurate, there are lots of infil and exfil spots. She says, no, I mean how are you doing? (I love that she is so concerned for him, like he's always concerned for everyone else.) Steve stops for a second then says, "Joe's dead, it's my fault." Cath tells him not to do that. Steve goes on to say, "You asked, I'm telling you. He took a bullet for me. I couldn't save him." Cath points out that, "Had it been the other way around you would have taken that bullet for him. That's what we do for the people we love. It was Joe's choice, he wouldn't want you feeling responsible." But Steve is still feeling a lot of guilt. "If it wasn't for me, he wouldn't be dead. If I could have seen Greer for the threat she was, Joe wouldn't be dead. I couldn't see that because I had a blind spot for her." He stops, looks away, then says, "Catherine there's something you need to know. Before you and I started dating, Greer and I--" Cath cuts him off. "I know. I know." He isn't so sure. "What do you know?" She fills him in that years ago she was at the Pentagon doing an intel briefing. Greer came in and said that she heard Cath was dating Commander McGarrett and, though she was happy for her, she wanted Cath to temper her expectations because "as much as everyone wants him to be, Steve isn't the type to settle down." Steve seems really surprised by this information, that Cath knew all this time about him and Greer and didn't tell him. She explains that it was before they started dating and she didn't believe anything Greer said about him. (Smart woman.) Gutches tells them this thing's a go and they head out. (I did think it was interesting that Steve felt it necessary to confess to Cath about Greer now and not back then. Soooo interesting.)

Cath is in a car hacking the high rise security system. She's making a video loop so they can bypass security. Gutches creates a distraction in the front parking/lobby and Cath uploads and inserts the video feed while they're dealing with him. The rest of the team pulls up while Gutches holds the guards at gunpoint. Steve, Junior, and Harry all go upstairs to the 28th floor armed and ready. Steve says they'll be back in a jif and Danny reminds him they've got eight minutes. (What happens in eight minutes? Why only eight?) They throw a flashbang and kill all the guards. Hassan is hiding upstairs with his wife and child, but the team easily finds him and he's shot in the shoulder. Hassan dares Steve to kill him. He's prepared to die since he avenged his father's death. They put him on the floor and Steve tells him that he didn't really avenge his father's death because he had five of the six SEALs murdered that were on that raid, but he missed the one that took the shot that killed his father. Harry chimes in with that's a juicy piece of irony. Catherine's voice comes over the comms with "guys, we've got a problem." The downstairs team is being held at gunpoint. Uh oh.

Everyone can hear Hassan's goons say to tell their friends to surrender or they'll be killed. Steve tells Hassan to have his men stand down, but he doesn't want to give up his leverage. Luckily Harry has a backup plan and calls in his lady friend, who apparently leads a police force in Laos. He's going to owe her. Cath says they're all good and the hostiles are taken down, so there goes Hassan's leverage. Hassan is still defiant, though, and tells Steve not to make the same mistake as Commander White and leave him alive because he'll regret it. Steve hunches down and says is that what Hassan wants for his son? (The boy is cowering with his mother on the other side of the bed.) The mom covers the boys eyes as Steve goes on about why would Hassan want that for his boy and to have him relive the same cycle? Hassan doesn't care and dares Steve to do it, but Steve refuses. He wants something else from Hassan.

We jump to China where we see Greer going into a house. She takes off her hat and Steve walks in, surprising her. She pulls a gun, but Cath backs him up. Greer knows she's cornered, but is still snarky and says, "Finally, we're all together again." Cath tells her not for long and Greer is all, "after all that great advice I gave you." Steve wants answers, to try to understand, and asks Greer what amount of money would be worth giving up names of men and women you served with knowing full well they would die? She says maybe it wasn't just about the money, maybe there were other factors. She goes for her gun and Steve tells her not to do it, but Cath doesn't take any chances and Greer is shot in the back. (I was really surprised they killed her off so quickly, but she had to have known what would happen when she went for the gun.) (Also, did only Cath and Steve go to China together for Steve's most personal mission of bringing down Greer? Hmmm...)

It's all over and we're back at the Montana airfield. Steve thanks Gutches for everything. "That was fun. Mostly," Gutches says. He tells Steve that he should find a good woman, a boring hobby, and the first chance he gets, retire. Steve says he'll give it some thought and Gutches replies with a no you won't. He goes on to say, "Joe would have been proud of you, kid. I know I am." Awww.

Steve thanks him again and watches him leave before Cath comes over. He gives her a "Hey. What's next for you?" She says it's back to the grind, protecting the homeland, chasing bad guys. He says "thank you so much, Catherine, we couldn't have pulled this off without you." She tells him, "Joe was a great man, Steve, we both owe him a lot." (That's the second time she's mentioned that they both owe Joe. What does she owe him for?) Steve replies with, "You still don't know? Joe wasn't just my mentor, father figure, he brought you into my life, Catherine." She seems surprised. "How's that?" Then we get the flashback of that long-ago mission going bad where it's Steve and Joe against twenty others and Steve is sure they're going to be dead in a couple of minutes. Joe says they're not dying today and makes Steve promise that he'll ask Catherine out when they get back. "That woman's a keeper Steve. I don't want to hear you say no. That's how you pay me back for this." *sniffle* Steve agrees, then we see Cath answering a phone on a ship. Steve is calling her on a secured line, getting access because he told her CO he was gravely wounded in battle. Cath is immediately concerned, but Steve assures her he's okay. The reason he's calling is that he was invited to the Army Navy gala at West Point next month and presuming he can get stateside in time, he's wondering if she'd like to be his plus one? She says that depends on if he's able-bodied enough to dance with her. He tells her that he'd hit that dance floor on crutches if he had to. (Aww.) And to eliminate any confusion, he tells her that they wouldn't be going as friends, "this is me asking you out on a date." There is silence on the other line for a minute, with Steve says "Hello? Catherine? Hello?" She's still there and asks him "What took you so long?" Steve replies with "Let's just say I took some good advice from an old friend."

Back to present day, where Cath is a little weepy after hearing that story. She says, "I'm really glad you took his advice." Steve hugs her and says, "I am, too." They hug each other so close. *le sigh* She tells him to take care of himself, and he says, "you, too, kid," then watches her walk away. She turns back and says, "until next time," and they give each other the shaka before she gets in the car and drives away. (Steve watches her the whole time and I wish he would have called her back! Sigh. I love them.)

They seemed to have moved forward in their relationship. The communication is there, the feelings are there. I really was happy to see them in such a good place.

Did you watch? What did you think?

Friday, January 4, 2019

Freebie Friday for Romance Fans!

If you need to warm up this weekend, Taylor Hart is offering her sweet firefighter romance, Rescue Me, for free today! I haven't read this one, but I think I'm going to!

Download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Damon Freestone, ex firefighter for the Boston FD, didn’t want to come back to his hometown--Park City, Utah--or work for the fire department. Six months earlier, after losing a candidate under his command, all he really knows about life is that you usually don’t get what you want.
Samantha Worthington only wants one thing—to get back to her sister in Colorado. Fresh out of law school, the only job she finds that will pay the bills is in Park City. But she never anticipated her adrenaline junkie, cliff-diving ways might lead to kissing the stranger who claimed he's trying to rescue her. Good thing she kissed him, then slapped him for good measure.

After Damon takes Sam to dinner, dancing and zip lining—he’s pretty sure he’s falling off more then a cliff.

When an emergency takes Sam back to Colorado, Damon has to make a choice—follow her and try to rescue her again…or let it all go up in smoke.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

What Makes It Worth It

I got an email today from someone who had read my book, Truth or Dare. She talked about how much the story meant to her, especially showing that there is life after an amputation, because her son is facing that very thing. I got all weepy reading the email because being an author isn't an easy thing. It's long hours, with a lot of research, revision and sometimes rejection. I did a lot of research on amputees and prosthetics when I wrote Truth or Dare and I gained a lot of respect for anyone who has to go through that. But when I read that email, everything hard thing that went into bringing that story to life faded away. Just knowing that my story touched and helped another person makes it all worth it.

Thank you to my readers. You are the reason I do what I do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Free & Bargain Books PLUS a $50 Giveaway!

Start your new year off with a great new book! Please support these awesome authors who are also providing a $50 giveaway!!





Just 99 Cents!!

[Children’s Fantasy] The Warble by Victoria Simcox


[Young Adult Fantasy] Crossroads by Mary Ting

[Young Adult Contemporary] Petals by Laurisa White Reyes


  [Romantic Suspense Mystery] Fire Setters by Debra Erfert





Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/15/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.