Monday, September 30, 2019

Hawaii Five-0---Season Premiere Monster Truck Edition

I've been really excited for the start of Hawaii Five-0's tenth season and we are finally back! Woohoo!

We left on a pretty big cliffhanger, with a gunshot ringing out after Hassan's wife came to Steve's office. The Hassan storyline was such a great Steve-centric one, I really thought there might be some fallout to that for Steve! But there wasn't. In the first few seconds of the premiere we see Steve with Jerry who was the one shot, telling him to hang in there. Hassan's wife is on the floor in the background, but we don't hear about her again the entire episode. Sigh. Oh well. Moving right along . . .

We flash forward two weeks and Jerry is in the hospital playing Battleship with Junior and winning. Jerry waxes philosophical that when he was shot, he didn't have a life-flash-before-his-eyes moment and only thought about his D&D buddies, so he thinks he hasn't lived enough. Tani shows up then, dressed for the opera. Apparently, Junior got the tickets for his parents, but his dad didn't want to go, so Junior took them back and invited Tani, who also hates opera, but thought it would be a good time to nap. (Poor Junior. Everyone he knows hates opera.)

Steve (oddly with super dark, but thankfully longer, hair) is on a date with a woman named Brooke. It seems first-date awkward as they're looking at the menu. She asks him what he's thinking and he says he's thinking about a friend of his that got shot. He's going to be okay, but it's crazy the things that happen at work. (Haha! Yeah, HIS work. It's always crazy.) She's giving him a strange look and says she was really asking about what he was going to order. Danny calls and Steve takes it. Danny wants to see how the date it going and freaks when Steve says they're not off to the best start. Danny is asking if he has any game, has called him twice and is annoyed Steve won't answer his texts while he's ON HIS DATE. Sigh. Thankfully Steve just hangs up on him and goes back to Brooke. They agree to start over.

At the opera, there's a sniper setting up while the singing is going on. He shoots a guy sitting in his seat. Oddly, both of the victim's security guards just kind of look at the guy slumped over and bleeding and go into the hall. No one calls for an ambulance or doctor or anything. Tunior notice a problem in one of the boxes and go to investigate. Once in the hall, shots ring out and Tunior runs for cover while the shooter runs for the stairwell. Dun, dun, dun.

*cue music*

Steve is on scene with Danny who is still bugging him about the date, telling him he was blowing it, but, in fact, Steve got a second date. Steve cuts off any more questions and they get the lowdown on the situation. Billy Sato, head of the Traids, was the victim and conveniently, the shooter is probably still in stairwell. Steve heads up the stairs and finds the sniper. There is a really awesome chase scene and Steve is right behind him. Our sniper makes an incredible leap between buildings, which Steve also makes! Unfortunately, Steve is barely hanging on to the metal pipe and can't seem to quickly get his footing so the sniper gets away. (There is a nice shot of Steve's sneakers, though, and I'm a fan.) Danny comes up to the roof to watch and get off a few shots before he tells Steve the guy got away. (Yeah. He knows. Haha!)

Back at the office, Danny is telling Steve that this is a young man's game and Steve's 40 year old self was barely hanging on to that pipe by his fingertips when ten years ago he would have made the jump. Steve cuts that off with, "How about next time you get in the game? Less chatting, more chasing." (Ha! It's about time he shuts down some of that ridiculous criticism. Honestly, I hope Danny gets more positive energy to work with this season.) Adam is at the Chatting Table showing them the composite of the shooter and saying that he was driving a stolen car. They recovered the shooter's rifle and a shell casing and since the rifle configuration is rare, the sniper might be military trained and this was a paid hit.

Lou is interviewing the stolen car owner, Wes Cullen. The guy is no help, but I'm calling it right now. He's the criminal mastermind. Lou also says he's in the market for an apartment since they're thinking of downsizing, so maybe Cullen has something in his real estate portfolio? Cullen is going to take care of him. (Uh huh. Sure he will.)

Adam comes in to tell Steve about a veteran's bar and how a woman came in two days before the murder looking for a veteran. She had a picture and it looks just like their shooter! She left a number, but it's a burner. Apparently they can trace that, though, so Steve and Danny chase her SUV down. She stops and gets out, gun drawn. Steve and Danny draw theirs. Everyone wants ID. (Totally reminiscent of first ep with Steve and Danny meeting) The woman is Quinn Liu, and she's so snarky to Steve. I really liked that. Steve finally shows her his credentials, but he didn't throw them far enough for her. Ha! Danny does the countdown to put the guns away, but nobody moves. Quinn finally stands down and Steve asks her why she's looking for the shooter. They guy's a veteran named Tom Kendall. She booked him for assault a few months ago and he hasn't checked in. Steve informs her he's a suspect in a murder investigation and Quinn is worried since he's the second vet to go MIA recently. What if it's a pattern? Tani calls and it looks like the suspect kidnapped a doctor in the parking lot of a hospital. Luckily, the car had vehicle recovery system and HPD is en route. Steve leaves so he can be part of that, too. Cut to the doctor patching up the shooter when they hear the police. Everyone outside is ready to breach, when they hear gunshots. They rush in with Steve on point. The shooter killed himself, but the doctor is okay. (And probably sad that all his hard work was for nothing!)

Back in the parking lot, Steve shows Danny the shooter's burner. There was a text on it that said, "911 need extraction." He definitely had an accomplice. In the interest of time, Steve texts from the burner phone, but Danny is right at his side, once again telling him it's a terrible idea. (Sigh. Someone should do a drinking game of Danny saying that to Steve.) They get a text back that the schedule stays the same and to proceed with remaining targets. Uh oh. Steve remembers Quinn saying there were two vets, so Danny says he'll call her. She ignores his call, because she's headed into a very nice house at the moment. With a bullet-proof vest on.

Adam's girlfriend's dad, Masudo, sets up a Yakuza meeting, but before Adam can go in, Dad asks what his intentions are toward his daughter. Adam says he's just close friends with Tamiko. (Uh huh. Sure.)  They go into the meeting, but all the Yakuza people are like, Nope, we didn't kill anyone and the Triads don't think it was an internal hit to their organization either! So who did it? Well, the doorbell rings and the WorstBodyguardsOnThePlanet just let Quinn breeze by them. She pulls a gun out to say head Yakuza guy Masudo is coming with her! Everyone pulls a gun after that, though, and Adam quickly calms the situation down by showing his credentials. She tells them all that she's been tracking the shooters and went to the second guy's apartment and he had a bunch of reconnaissance photos of Masudo. Adam gets a call and Five-0 is tracking the shooter and he's at Kahala Beach. Which is right in front of Masudo's house.

Gunfire breaks out and the sniper moves in pretty easily. Adam and Quinn are hiding with Masudo in the kitchen. Apparently these are all newbie bodyguards and they're falling like flies. Quinn tells them that SanderstheSniper is Special Forces and he's getting in here. Masudo seems to have confidence in his inept bodyguards and sticks up for them, but SanderstheSniper is just killing them all. Adam and Quinn finally move down the hall, but the sniper sees them and wings Quinn. She takes Masuda out a window (maybe, we actually never seen Masudo again after she opens the window) while Adam holds off SanderstheSniper. The cops get there and so SanderstheSniper takes a monster truck that is just randomly in the driveway. With keys in it. Quinn stands in front of it shooting, not at the tires mind you, but the windshield. All the cops do. Not surprisingly, they don't hit anything and the monster truck just drives away. Everybody starts chasing him, but when a long line of cars is stopped in a construction zone the monster truck just drives over the top of them. The cops and Five-0 are out of luck. (And we now know that the bodyguards, as well as Quinn and HPD all need some long practice sessions at the shooting range.)

Back at HQ, Quinn is patching herself up in front of the ammo stash. Everyone's telling her she needs a doctor and to be checked out, but she calls them wimps and says it's just a graze. She doesn't need a doctor, she needs answers! Well, the autopsy results are already back and there were psychedelic drugs in the sniper's bloodstream. Hey, that's the same chemical they're using in a clinical trial for vets who have PTSD at the VA hospital! That can't be a coincidence. Someone is recruiting snipers. But who has access? Steve comes in and sees her wound and asks her if she's shot, but she says it's fine. He looks at the wound and disagrees, but she tells him it looks better than her last one. Haha! Steve goes to the Chatting Table and tells everyone that the whole time they thought it was about organized crime, but it was personal! Back in the day, Sato and Masuda worked for a local loan shark as enforcers with Michael Lee. They collected debts by any means necessary and this is a revenge case. But wait, the timing doesn't make sense. Well, Michael Lee had been in prison for 15 years and recently got out, but as soon as he did he was tortured and murdered. Someone who borrowed money years ago wants revenge. Lee was the face of operation so they only knew him, but once he was out, they tortured him to find out the names of his accomplices. So, that means the loan shark guy is the next target.

Cut to LoanSharkGuy. He's watching the news. Someone shoots his incompetent guard and is headed inside. Well, Quinn is in the car with Steve asking if he can go any faster. Steve is so surprised and mentions he hasn't heard that complaint before. Ha! Well,  LoanSharkGuy is armed, but Sandersthe Sniper is walking through the house killing everyone. Steve and Quinn join the fray and Steve finds SanderstheSniper first. There's some awesome hand-to-hand, Steve and Sanders go over the balcony and land on a table, but Sanders gets the gun first. Quinn appears and tells him to drop it, but he doesn't and she shoots him. While they're wheeling the body away in a bodybag, Quinn is pensive and Steve tells her it doesn't make it easier, but he didn't give you much choice. She still looks sad and says he's right, it doesn't make it any easier. She was supposed to be watching out for these guys and now they're both dead. Hey, Quinn, why are they dead? Steve reminds her that those guys agreed to take part in a murder-for-hire plot. It's not her fault. Jerry calls and says that the PTSD study came up with a name of a guy who is financing it and it's someone they've already talked to. We cut to Wes Cullen, the real estate guy, having dinner with a judge. (I called it!) Steve and Quinn are there and they tell Cullen they looked into him and guess what? In early 90s he was starting his business and needed money so he borrowed from Lee. When he didn't pay, LoanSharkGuy had his car blown up with his wife and daughter inside. He's been planning his revenge for fifteen years. Wes denies everything and says it's just a theory. They arrest him.

Back at the shrimp truck, Kame is trying to get the bill for Jerry's Welcome Back party settled so it's not awkward when the party is going on. In the parking lot, Quinn shows up on her motorcycle and meets with McG to tell him thank you. He called her former supervisor and put in a good word for her. Steve was curious how a staff sergeant got knocked down to military police and it was because she broke into barracks, disregarded direct orders, and forged a sergeant major's signature. But she closed the case. Big smiles all around On a more serious note, the prosecutor doesn't have enough evidence to charge Cullen so they're going to keep working on it to make the case. That is, if she's interested in still being included, which she is. He invites her to stick around and they all go over to the table. Danny is telling Steve that Brooke won't text him back and Steve says they're breaking up with him and he's on radio silence from now on. No texts, calls, or pestering. And it was Brooke's idea. (Haha. Good for them.) Jerry, Adam, and Tunior, show up all grateful to have Jerry back. Jerry tells them that this job was the best thing that happened to him because Five-0 gave him an ohana, but he's stepping away to focus on writing a book about the connection between the Federal Reserve and the sinking of the Titanic. He'll still be around to hang and consult, though. Then they all come in for a group hug and include Quinn. Awww

It's not over yet, though. Back at McG's house someone is in his garage. They take out the Champ toolbox and put a bomb inside. Noooo! Not the Champ box! (And seriously, Steve needs a security system. Stat.)

I really enjoyed this premiere and I'm cautiously optimistic about Quinn. It had action, snark, and was very entertaining. What did you think? Did you watch?

Friday, September 27, 2019

Friday Freebie for Romance Fans!

Lindzee Armstrong's romance, Miss Match, is free today! I haven't read this one, but it looks like the perfect weekend read.

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Brooke is a professional matchmaker with strict rules for her love life. Luke is her billionaire best friend determined to break them all...

Welcome to Toujour Matchmaking Inc., where your happily ever after is guaranteed!

Luke has loved Brooke for eight long years. Now that she’s engaged to someone else, he’s given up hope that she’ll ever see him as anything but a best friend. When Brooke begs him for a favor, Luke is leery to accept—until he finds out that if he doesn’t, she’s moving to Italy with her fiancĂ©. And Luke isn’t about to lose his best friend and soul mate in one swoop.

Brooke has finally achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a professional matchmaker, and now the company is crumbling around her. But she knows who can help—her billionaire best friend, Luke Ryder. If she can convince him to sign up as her next client, he'll find love and she'll keep her job. It’s a match made in heaven.

Everything is going as planned until Brooke realizes that finding Luke love means losing him forever. Suddenly, her rules to keep them in the friend zone seem ridiculous. Maybe she’s picked the wrong man for her happily ever after. Now the only match she’s worried about is the one she can’t have.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 Season Premiere Tomorrow Night!

I am so excited for the premiere of Hawaii Five-0 tomorrow night! As you know we left off on a gunshot cliffhanger and I hope they resolve that in the first five minutes. I've read a few spoilers and I think it will be an interesting season for sure. Although, the time is changing and it's going to show a lot earlier now. I need to figure out exactly what time for my time zone! (I think it's 7 p.m.)

Will you be watching? Can you believe all the season premieres are finally here! Yay!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

In the Non-Fiction Corner: Bill Marriott: Success Is Never Final

In the Non-Fiction 

Corner With Lauren

We are all familiar with the Marriott family, but I had no idea all of the things Bill (with help from his family) has been able to accomplish in his life!

The biography reads like a General Authority biography, starting with a recount of the Marriott family line. Bill’s ancestors were stalwart and hardworking, and throughout the book we see that they passed these traits on. The book goes on to tell about J.W., Bill’s father, and he started a food business that would eventually help to start a global hotel chain. What impressed me most was not the vast number of hotels or even the high-profile people the Marriott’s have come across over the years, but how many businesses and companies Bill and his father were involved with! From Disney and Nickelodeon, food chains, airports, airlines, and everything in between, the Marriott’s have been involved in almost every aspect of technology and culture. Because of this, they have come in contact with Presidents, Prophets and celebrities, and somehow managed to be humble, caring towards their employees and remember their family mantra “there are no hot shots in this family.”

The most interesting part of the book, however, had nothing to do with hotels. It was interesting to read about the Marriott’s just as people, with a behind-the-scenes look at their everyday problems. Bill did not always get along with his father, and while trying to run a business together, this proved to be difficult. J.W. was an avid journal-keeper, and I love the story that was shared about what he wrote after a fight with his son. Even after the fight, he wrote that he thought Bill was doing a marvelous job and that their fight had made him sick. We all have our problems, and while it may be difficult to have them highlighted in a book, I appreciate the honesty and the approach that the author took to have all the aspects of the Marriott’s life mentioned, not just the good ones. I was also very impressed with the authors explanations of the Marriott’s religious background. He gave great detail and, without making it too overpowering, explains to the reader how important religion is to Bill Marriott. The Marriott’s are such an interesting family, and it was wonderful to learn about their journey and how they kept their faith along the way.

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Bill Marriott, son of J. Williard Marriott who opened a root-beer stand that grew into the Hot Shoppes Restaurant chain and evolved into the Marriott hotel company, grew up in the family business. In his more than fifty years at the company s helm, Bill Marriott was the driving force behind growing Marriott into the world s largest global hotel chain. His vision and leadership expanded the family business to more than 6,500 properties across 127 countries and territories.

Success Is Never Final gives readers an intimate portrait of the life of a billionaire and business titan and shares his definition of success. Bill shares details about his very structured childhood including the private struggles with his domineering father s chronic harsh criticism; his time in the United Sates Navy as an officer aboard the U.S.S. Randolph; how he innovated the hotel industry with resort-like facilities; his dogged courtship with Donna, who would eventually say yes to his marriage proposal over a pay phone; and the boundless passion and energy he demonstrated for his work, family, and faith. Bill also shares spiritual experiences that allowed him to recognize God s guidance in his personal life, helping him bounce back from a life-threatening explosion in a freak boating accident which caused severe burns over his body.

Readers will learn the fascinating details about the successes and failures of Bill s business ventures and relate to his challenges of balancing roles as a CEO, a husband and father, and a man of faith. From his half-billion-dollar venture and bet-the-farm move to build the New York Marriott Marquis hotel, to the heartbreaking loss of an adult son whose body slowly degenerated from Mitochondrial Disease, to the billions of dollars donated to medical research, the biography of Bill Marriott tells the remarkable story of a man who had the vision to create a multi-billion dollar business, who understood the power of giving, and lived the creed that hard work will pay off but success is never final.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Bargain Books, A Book Review, And A Giveaway! Oh My!

I really enjoyed Joanna Barker's new regency romance, Miss Adeline's Match, and I noticed that the Kindle version is on sale today for only $1.99! The regular price is $10.99 so this is a steal! You can grab your sale copy here 

And don't forget that Love, Sidelined releases this week. This was a college sports romance about Allie and Jason who have both had difficult lives and made decisions that have far-reaching consequences. They are both trying to figure out where they stand and there are some assumptions made on both parts which lead to some funny---and some sad---misunderstandings. At first, the story may seem like a fluffy bad-boy-turned-good romance, but there are also some pretty heavy themes including underage drinking and sexual assault. The author doesn't go into minute detail, but the reader can still feel the lasting effects of a devastating attack that happened years before. For me, this was a well-told redemption story from an LDS perspective that has a good balance of real issues facing so many people today, mixed with light-heartedness and spiritual themes. Very well done. You can see my full review here

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

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Jason Jennings made a tough call two years ago when he left behind his status as a hard-partying star quarterback in order to serve the Lord. Recently returned from a mission now, he's ready to get back on the football field at UCAL. But despite turning his life around, his bad-boy reputation is proving hard to shake.

Allie Hollis is everything a cheerleader should be—beautiful, outgoing, and smart—but her brilliant smile hides a devastating secret. So when Jason begins to show interest in her, there's no question: her answer is no.

Yet, in the face of Allie's chilly response, Jason's gentle persistence pays off, and a tentative friendship grows. Their chemistry is obvious, but Allie's determination to steer clear of a relationship with Jason goes deeper than he realizes. When the truth of her painful history comes to light, the couple must decide whether they will remain on the sidelines or jump back into the game of love.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Our New Pet!

My little boy came and sat by me on the couch, obviously sad. He gave me a tight hug and said, "Mom, tomorrow is Pet Day at school and I'm the only one without a pet." 

He'd been asking for a bird for quite a while, but it didn't seem like the right time. After holding him in my arms trying to comfort his little heart that wanted so badly to love a pet, I talked it over with my husband, and we decided to surprise him at the Pet Fair today. The look on his face made it all worth it! 

This is probably going to be the most loved parakeet on the face of the planet.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Lady and the Highwayman Review

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up The Lady and the Highwayman. I'm a huge Sarah Eden fan, but this had a little different format. Both the hero and the heroine are "Penny Dreadful" authors, people who write serial stories that cost a penny, so the lower classes can have access to reading material. This book includes two penny dreadfuls in between the chapters of the main story. Once I got into the groove of the three stories, however, I really enjoyed it.

Prim and proper Elizabeth Black is a headmistress for a girls' school with a very big secret---she writes penny dreadfuls under the nom de plume, Mr. King. If her secret were discovered, it might force parents to withdraw their daughters from her school. Former street urchin Fletcher Walker is on a mission to try to save as many street urchins as he can, and it becomes imperative that he track down the elusive Mr. King. Fletcher thinks Elizabeth can help him unravel the mystery of Mr. King, but events unfold that puts them on an adventure that is full of intrigue, great villains, and the first stirrings of love. I was enthralled with the setting, the cant, and all the characters. As usual, Ms. Eden will draw you in with the emotion and truly feeling like her characters are real people. I hope this turns into a series!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls school in 1865s Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of silver-fork novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories--the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Charles King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.

Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of  authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group s undoing as King s readership continues to cut into their profits.

Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship.

For the first time Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.

Friday Freebie for Romance Fans!

If you like men in uniform romances, Stacy Claflin's Bayside Wishes is free today! I haven't read this one, but it looks like a fun rainy day read.

Download your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

She’s guarding a family secret. He’s investigating a murder. Will a second homecoming lead to true love?

Freya Hunter is living the fabulous life. The west-coast girl rakes it in as a fashion model in New York City, but everything changes after she returns home for a quick visit.

The reunion with friends and family in Enchantment Bay is sweet, especially when she hits it off with Nico Valentin, a ruggedly handsome police sergeant. As Nico investigates the death, Freya learns a family secret big enough to turn her world upside down.

Freya is torn between her new life and her hometown — the life she loves vs. the brother who needs her and the sergeant who wants her. When her decision doesn’t go nearly as well as she planned, she wonders if she can help her brother and keep her growing feelings for Nico at bay before they consume her.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Six Sisters Stuff Six Ingredient Meals Review


I am so in love with this cookbook. As a busy mom, menu planning can be hard sometimes because we are usually running from scouts, to dance, to piano, and the list goes on. I am always on the lookout for low-effort, but still nutritious, meals that don't require fancy ingredients and Six Sisters' Stuff Six Ingredient Meals is exactly what I've been looking for.

We definitely found some new family favorites in here. When we're all tired and hungry after soccer practice, I can pop in some quick Barbeque Chicken Tostadas and eight minutes later we are eating! It only takes ingredients like barbeque sauce, shredded chicken (canned works great) cheese, tomatoes, corn tortilla and red onion. So good with just the right amount of zing. My boys loved them! There's also the Ravioli Lasagna that takes thirty minutes to make, feels a little fancy, and tastes so good! Those are just a couple of the main dishes, but there are side dishes and TO-DIE-FOR desserts that would make anyone believe you spent the day slaving over the dish when it only took thirty minutes. All of the recipes we've tried so far have been awesome.

For any busy parent this is a must-have book. But it's not just for grown-ups! There are a ton of recipes that are marked Kid Approved and are easy enough for a kid to make AND one they will want to eat. Win/win for everyone!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

With only six ingredients or less per recipe, making dinner has never been easier.

Six Sisters' Stuff is one of the most popular blogs for quick and easy cooking and entertaining at home for families. In their eighth cookbook, they tackle how to master meals for any cook with any skill level with more than 100 easy recipes made with incredible flavor combinations from just six ingredients or less.

From beginning cooks learning the basics to busy parents looking to save time in the kitchen, this cookbook is loaded with entrees, side dishes, and desserts. Whether it's a one-pot wings dish or a no-bake peanut butter bar this cookbook is a fool-proof solution to meal planning and features kid-friendly chapters such as Kid Favorites and Kids Can Cook.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Book Review and a Giveaway!

I was really intrigued when I read the back copy for H.B. Moore's new Biblical historical fiction Deborah: Prophetess of God. Moore has a way of bringing historical figures to life and Deborah has always fascinated me, being a female judge in Israel and leading armies. I was excited to read it!

The obvious meticulous research into everyday lives of those who lived in Biblical times really brings Deborah to life. Ms. Moore has a way of using the setting and small details to allow the reader to truly experience the scenes with the characters and Deborah is no exception. 

Deborah is living a quiet life, taking care of her sheep. She knows her father and brothers are helping two men, Barak and Lapidoth, to train the Israelites for the day when they rise up against the Canaanites who oppress them. But when an incident requires her to use all of her skills with a bow and arrow to escape death, her quiet life is upended. 

I was captivated by the way the story unfolded, with Deborah using her faith to provide hope for those around her and how she accepted her calling. I loved that there was a love story included and that the supporting characters were fleshed out and completely believable. I admit, I went back to the Bible to see what events were recorded in scripture of this remarkable woman. The pacing is just right as we go from preparing for war to the battle and I could hardly put the book down. 

Full of action and unexpected emotional attachments, Deborah is a book you won't want to miss.

Get your copy here

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

Here's the back copy:

After years of mistreatment, the Israelites prepare to defend themselves against the oppressive Canaanites. Readying for war not only takes secret military training but also an Israelite leader who is willing to both stand against generations of oppression and follow God.

Deborah, a young Israelite woman, lives a quiet and isolated life with her father and brothers. As a shepherdess in the hills near her home, she knows well the perils of her work. But when faced with incredible danger, she witnesses a series of remarkable events that preserve her life. The hand of the Lord is apparent, and it is clear that hers will be no ordinary life.

Years later, Deborah is a faithful wife and mother when she learns that the Third Judge of Israel has died--and she has been called to take his place. It is a tumultuous time in history, and soon, Deborah--prophetess, judge, and military leader--faces a seemingly insurmountable task: alongside the commander of the Israelite army, Deborah must lead ten thousand soldiers in their final campaign against their Canaanite oppressors with only her faith in God to guide her.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Last Giveaway for Launch Month! Don't Miss This One!

The reviews for The Marquess Meets His Match are coming in and I am so happy people are liking it! Here are a few of my favorites so far:

"Bellon kept me guessing until the very end and I loved every second of The Marquess Meets His Match!" Books are Sanity ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"The adventure, danger, romance, and mystery were wrapped up in an entertaining plot that sucked me right in and I couldn't put it down. The swoon is strong with this one . . ." LilacQueen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Getting Your Read On said, "The story was entertaining, the plot moved at a great pace and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it." Yay! You can see the full review here

Tressa from Wishful Endings said, "THE MARQUESS MEETS HIS MATCH is a fun story of espionage and romance as the characters try to ferret out an English traitor. Likable characters and plenty of romantic sparks add to the suspense." You can read her full review here

So, to finish off the launch month for The Marquess Meets His Match, I will have one more GIVEAWAY! You can enter below. And thank you again to everyone who has read and reviewed it. I appreciate you!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Announcing Our Guest Author for September!

I am SO EXCITED to announce that our guest author for September is . . .

*drum roll*

 Julianne Donaldson! 

She is the author of Edenbrooke and Blackmoore (some of my very favorite regency romances!) and she'll be answering questions on my Facebook page on September 25th at 6:15 p.m. MST 

Save the date! There will be giveaways, prizes, and some fun announcements!

You can see her books here

Friday, September 13, 2019

Freebie for Romance Fans!

If you love Jennifer Peel books, her romance, Professional Boundaries, is free today! It looks like just what I need this weekend.

Here's the back copy:

In the ultimate game of tug of war, who will cross the line first?

Kelli Bryant is all set to be the new Marketing Director of Chandler Media. After all, she has the right credentials and her colleagues love her. But her plans are derailed when her promotion is given to someone else. And not just any someone else, but her old college boyfriend, Ian Greyson, her one true love, and the last person she ever wants to see again.

Ian made a terrible mistake thirteen years ago when he walked away from Kelli, so when fate intervenes and gives him the chance to reconnect with her, he takes it. But unbeknownst to him, it means stealing her promotion.

The battle lines are drawn when the two old flames butt heads about everything from office etiquette to sales goals. Their explosive relationship spills over into their personal lives as Kelli tries to keep Ian at arm's length while he desperately tries to win her back, outside of business hours, of course. Will they ever learn how to mix business with pleasure, or will they keep their professional boundaries?
Download your free copy here

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Out of Liberty Movie Premiere---Don't Miss This One!

Last night was the premiere of the movie, Out of Liberty. This is not a "church" film, but a raw look at what it was truly like for the LDS church leaders who were held there for 155 grueling days. 

Out of Liberty comes across as more of a "western" type film and the story is told from the perspective of the jailer, Sam Tillery, which was fascinating. Sam is not of the LDS faith and sees things very black and white regarding his prisoners being held for treason. He has a past of his own he's trying to overcome and the leader of the mob constantly taunts him about it. None of the characters were cardboard cutouts, however, from the mob leader to Joseph Smith's visitors, each one felt fleshed out, with reasons for their behavior on both sides of the issue of justice. The story will make you think about a lot of issues that are still facing our society today---how misunderstanding can lead to fear and too often fear slips into hate when you don't know what you're really hating. The performances were nuanced and provided a powerful medium to start conversations.

Though all the acting was strong, I was particularly impressed with three of the actors. Brandon Ray Olive played the role of Joseph Smith and said he felt the weight on his shoulders in portraying a man that so many people revere. His stature and demeanor is a departure from the stereotypical men usually cast as Joseph, but Brandon Ray Olive does the role justice showcasing long-suffering patience with strength and charm under the dire circumstances. Another standout was Jasen Wade, who played Sam Tillery. He has such an unassuming air about him, he was perfect for the stone-faced jailer who was concerned with nothing more than justice being done. The story of his journey is compelling and Wade's performance adds emphasis as a likable hero. Corbin Allred plays Porter Rockwell before the long hair and beard, when he was young and life hadn't weighed him down so much. Corbin played the role perfectly, with just the right amount of protectiveness and playfulness when it came to his friends in prison. As I mentioned, all of the actors were outstanding and particularly strong leading men. They seemed quite close and mentioned several times that they all left the shoot changed men---going from friends to brothers during the film, and it showed at the premiere.

If you like films that will show you a perspective you hadn't thought about regarding Liberty jail and its place in history, you won't want to miss this one when it comes to theaters near you.

Here's the trailer:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Book Review & A Giveaway!

I couldn't wait to open this collection of Christmas stories by some of my favorite authors in All Hearts Come Home for Christmas. It will definitely put the Christmas spirit into your heart!

The first story, Christmas at Falstone Castle, revisits some of my favorite characters from Sarah Eden's previous books, including the Duke of Kielder and his family. In this story, his mother is trying to make amends and it is so heart-wrenching and heartwarming at the same time. Sarah Eden's particular talent is how she can truly bring out the emotions in her stories and allow her readers to experience the events along with the characters. I loved the genuine love story that truly brings out the magic of the Christmas season.

Anita Stansfield's story, The Heart of Christmas, is such a gentle romance between a seamstress and a banker who also has a little girl to care for. They've all experienced loss and heartache and this is story will tug on your heartstrings as they try to heal and find love and become a true family again.

Esther Hatch's story was so charming! Lord Hawthorne is completely taken aback by Miss Davenport and her boldness that is intertwined with a proper young lady. The "driving lesson" was a particularly well-done scene and I loved the subtle humor between our hero and heroine. This one definitely brings out the magic of the season!

The last one by Joanna Barker, The Christmas Dress  is a second chance romance that is so sigh-worthy you will be turning pages long into the night to see if they get their happily-ever-after! Nell has led a difficult life, but loves her job as a seamstress--mostly. But when she's tasked to make a dress for Jacob Hammond's sister, and is able to spend time with Jacob again, old feelings come to the surface. But could they ever find happiness together?

All four stories were sweet and will be a wonderful start to the Christmas season. Not to be missed!

Get your copy here

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

Here's the back copy:

Christmas at Falstone Castle - Sarah M. Eden - The Dowager Duchess of Kielder eagerly anticipates spending Christmas with her son and his family. Though their relationship has been strained, the duchess is determined to heal the chasm. Even with the help of the widowed local vicar, her plan will take a Christmas miracle. But during this magical season, anything is possible . . . even two second chances for love.

The Heart of Christmas - Anita Stansfield - When a chance meeting brings together a gentle seamstress and a widowed banker, each lonely soul finds a first hint of hope. As their lives become entwined, it will take Christmas spirit to guide a broken family to love and healing.

’Tis the Season to Be Daring - Esther Hatch Elizabeth - Davenport has had quite enough of the London Season. Determined to evade a parade of unsuitable suitors, she seeks help from the one gentleman who has no regard for Society’s rules. All of Society knows Lord Hawthorne is not interested in marriage, yet he cannot deny Miss Davenport’s unique charm. And as the Christmas season works its magic, their charade begins to feel less like playacting and more like love.

The Christmas Dress - Joanna Barker - Seamstress Nell Addington is thrilled when her childhood friend Jacob Hammond commissions a dress for his sister. But when Nell realizes her feelings for Jacob run far deeper than friendship, an unexpected snowstorm—and some holiday cheer—may convince them both that love is worth fighting for.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Freebie for Small Town Romance Fans!

I haven't read this one, but it looks cute! If you love small town romance, grab this one while it's free today!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Trent Lockheart might be the new sheriff in town, but he can’t stop Jessie Jean from stealing his heart.

Sheriff Trent Lockheart knew he’d be in for a challenge when he moved from the big city and a large police force to the small Wyoming town of Cobble Creek. But at least he’d be able to stick to his bachelor ways without temptation. So he thought. Cobble Creek isn’t overflowing with young, single ladies, but Jessie Jean—the gorgeous woman who runs the Country Quilt
Inn—proves more tempting than any he’s known.

Jessie doesn’t care much for the new sheriff in town. After an explosive first meeting that almost ends in Jessie’s arrest, she’s even more determined to plan on dinner for one for the rest of her life. Sure, the new sheriff is seriously attractive, and after a second, much less dangerous run-in, he might not be that bad, but Jessie has no plan to marry, date, or even let a man into her life. Still, as the days pass, Trent’s surprising charm works past Jessie’s determination, and she finds promise in their budding relationship.

After opening up about the difficulties in her past, Jessie finds that Trent is guarding a dark tragedy of his own, one that might threaten their chance at a future together.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Discounted Boxed Set In Honor of Those Who Serve . . .

I love writing about men and women who wear the badge and serve us every day---running toward danger while working to keep us safe.

To honor them this week, I am offering my Hostage Negotiation boxed set that includes two full length novels and two bonus novellas for only .99 cents!

You can download your sale copy here

Here's the back copy:

Full of adventure and romance, Books 1 & 2 of the award-winning Hostage Negotiation series are now in a set with TWO bonus novellas included! The first volume introduces hostage negotiator Claire Michaels and sniper Colby Black. Don’t miss all the action as they try to save lives without anyone getting caught in the crossfire---especially those they love!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

New Release for Historical Fiction Fans!

If you love historical romance with a side of intrigue, Annette Lyon's new story, Tailor Made, is out!

I really loved the rich setting in this one (the Grand Duchy of Finland). Here's a little more about the story:

Preparing for a Finnish Count's wedding should be a happy occasion, but master knitter Sofi and head tailor Antti are plagued by mishaps---that could thwart the nuptials and plunge the Grand Duchy into war with Russia. But can a tailor and a knitter keep the country together when its fate is hanging by a thread? (Don't you love it?)

You can get your copy here

Friday, September 6, 2019

Cover Reveal For My New Romantic Suspense!


I am so excited to share the cover for the next romantic suspense novel in my Griffin Force series, Second Chance. It should be available just in time for Christmas! Woohoo!

The computer genius---He'll use all his skills to help win the war on terror. Duty and honor mean everything to him.

The information broker---She makes it her business to know the deep, dark secrets of dangerous people and has no loyalty to anyone.

Can they forge a level of trust between them long enough to stop a large-scale cyber-attack and bring down the world's most wanted terrorist?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Giveaway Fun Continues! You Can Still Enter To Win!

The Marquess Meets His Match is getting some amazing reviews! One of my favorites so far has been this one: 

"Julie Bellon has always been a fantastic author, I have loved all of her books, but this one is her best one. If you read one book this year, let it be this one!" 

Wow! Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed this story so far. I love hearing what you think and I love that you're enjoying Christian and Alice's story!

I still have a giveaway going on to celebrate the book release. You can enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card and an autographed copy of the book below. Don't miss your chance!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A New Suspense Collection & A Giveaway!

 I was so excited when I heard that some of my favorite authors were in a suspense novella collection called Entangled. Stephanie Black, Gregg Luke, Traci Abramson, and Clair Poulson all have new stories in this collection that you won't want to miss!

I have to say that they were all edge-of-your-seat stories. As you all know, I have had many creepy experiences while reading Stephanie Black stories (the late night rocking chair is the famous of all!), but this time I only had the toe-curling tension of who was going to live and who would die! I love the delicious creepiness of her stories and this one did not disappoint. Traci Abramson's story was a fast-paced thriller of a young woman whose child has been kidnapped by her criminal ex-husband and she'll work together with an FBI agent to get them back. I really enjoyed the hero in this one and his dedication to the case. Clair Poulson's story features a human trafficking element that is all too real in our current society, and Gregg Luke's story of a frantic search to find a cure for a rapidly progressing disease is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

Each story had a different angle of suspense and will satisfy any reader who loves bite-sized bits of chills and thrills. These four stories will definitely keep you on your toes and turning pages as fast as possible!

Get your copy here

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

Here's the back copy:

Mystery and desperation collide in Entangled, a compilation of novellas that twist, turn, and terrify, penned by four popular suspense authors: Traci Hunter Abramson, Clair M. Poulson, Gregg Luke, and Stephanie Black.

A woman on the run from a man who is always one step ahead

A mother who will stop at nothing to find her missing daughter

A wife determined to discover the source of the illness attacking her husband

A newlywed caught in a web of murder, unsure of whom to trust

Featuring a chilling cast of villains, these stories tell the tale of strong heroines forced to make perilous snap decisions in their quest to outwit evil. With an abundance of intrigue and danger, each masterful mystery is sure to leave you breathless.