Friday, April 20, 2018

Interview with Stephanie Black!

Stephanie Black was the guest author at book club last night and we had so much fun! She's hilarious and kept us all laughing. She writes mysteries, though, the kind that are spine-tingling with just enough thrills and chills that I never read her books when I'm by myself!

She was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us like, where do you get your ideas? Here's her answer:


And have you ever scared yourself while writing?



And then we asked her if she'd ever been involved in a real-life mystery and she revealed that she once tried to trap a burglar!

See what happened here:



If you haven't read any Stephanie Black books, (her newest release is Mind Games and you can get your copy here) but you really need to pick one up. They are as amazing as she is!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Romantic Suspense Sale & A $25 Giveaway!


A deadly vendetta, a country music singer on the rise, and the hot-tempered Navy SEAL who could either wreck or save everything …

Corbin Spencer’s made his share of mistakes and would give anything to have a do-over. When he gets the opportunity to join an elite security task force of ex-Navy SEALs, he jumps at the chance. Too bad the woman he’s supposed to protect just gave him the brush-off, then sicked her knuckle-headed security detail on him.

Delaney Mitchell is on the verge of hitting it big in the country music industry. At the very time when she should be flying high and enjoying life, she finds herself fleeing from a ruthless man who’s out for revenge. Just when she thinks things can’t get worse, she realizes that the jerk she met at the party—the one with the chiseled body, intense green eyes, and rebel-without-a-cause attitude is her new bodyguard. In order to protect Delaney, Corbin finds himself taking her back to his hometown, teaching her how to ski, and, unexpectedly, dancing with her in his arms. Sparks fly as their mutual attraction kindles to something deeper and they question if they can put aside the heartaches of the past and learn to trust each other. What will Corbin and Delaney find around the next bend? Retribution or redemption?
   



Jennifer grew up in rural Alabama and loved living in a town where “everybody knows everybody.” Her love for writing began as a young teenager when she wrote stories for her high school English teacher to critique. While Jennifer enjoys writing in many genres, she has settled comfortably into the world of clean contemporary romance and is loving every minute of it! Jennifer has B.A. in English and Social Sciences from Brigham Young University where she served as Miss BYU Hawaii in 1989. Before becoming an author, she worked as the owner and editor of a monthly newspaper named The Senior Times. In addition to her love for writing, Jennifer enjoys working in the home design industry. She and her husband owned an interior design gallery where she specialized in custom window treatments and floral arrangements. As far as Jennifer is concerned, there are few of the world's problems that can't be solved with a warm brownie and vanilla bean ice cream. She loves romantic movies, roller blading, clogging, and jogging. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family and spends her time writing and doing all of the wonderful things that make up the life of a busy wife and mother.

 
  Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 5/2/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway!



I was so excited to see that Jennifer Moore had a new book coming out. I love her stories! This one was a little different than her others, but every bit as good.

Abigail Tidwell is working the family farm herself while her father and brother are away fighting the war. Her father is a doctor and has passed along his knowledge to Abigail, but she doesn't get many chances to use her skills---until a wounded American soldier ends up in her barn. Abigail works hard to heal him, but is soon drawn into a web of intrigue that causes her to question everything she thought she knew about the war and the men fighting it. Loyalties are tested and Abigail must make a choice that could cost her everything.

I loved this book and could hardly put it down. Abigail is such a relatable character, with her unique skills as a doctor drawing her into a set of circumstances that tests her resolve and her heart. I love the way she connected with Emmett, the American captain who is so swoon-worthy! Emmett is so well-rounded, with family issues, worry over his men, and what to do about the compassionate woman doctor who occupies all his thoughts. He was so easy to love. When circumstances between them become dangerous because of Emmett being an "enemy" I loved how the author kept the tension tight. The secondary cast added a lot of depth and the setting was phenomenal (it was Canada, and since I'm Canadian, I loved that even more!) I could hardly wait to see how it all ends. My only complaint was that it was over too soon. The story was just that good. It will definitely go on my keeper shelf!

You can get your copy here

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

 

Here's the back copy:

Struggling alone on the family farm, Abigail Tidwell knows exactly who to blame for her hardships: the Americans. If it weren’t for their part in the war, her father and brothers would be home rather than fighting abroad. But no amount of antipathy could have prepared her for the shocking sight of a wounded American soldier on her property, a man in dire need of her help. Grudgingly, Abigail tends to the soldier’s injuries and anticipates the satisfaction of turning him over to the authorities once he is healed. But fate has other plans. Captain Emmett Prescott remembers little of the ambush on his men by a group of Shawnee Indians and even less about how he arrived in the unfamiliar barn.

After being nursed back to health by beautiful, if reluctant, Abigail, Emmett would do anything to save the men he left behind—including forcibly enlisting Abigail’s help. Soon, Abigail finds herself caught between two countries at war. And as her attraction for Emmett grows, her conflicted heart engages in its own silent battle. But when she is accused of treason for her actions, her survival rests in the hands of the very man she once considered her enemy.




Blog Tour Schedule:

*April 16th: http://minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/, https://joyinthemoments.wordpress.com/, http://mybookaday.com/, http://www.blogginboutbooks.com/

*April 17th: http://heidi-reads.blogspot.com/, https://www.rockinbookreviews.com/, http://www.wishfulendings.com/

*April 18th: http://www.kindleandme.com/, http://bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/

*April 19th: https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/, https://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/, http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/

*April 20th: https://brightlystreet.com/, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://www.iamareader.com/, http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/, http://sweetlymadejustforyou.com/blog/

First Chapter of The Marquess Meets His Match!


I am so excited to share the first chapter with you for my new novella, The Marquess Meets His Match! It's a companion novella to A Highlander's Hidden Heart (that comes out next week. Woohoo! You can preorder that one here)

The Marquess Meets His Match will be released on June 1st and I can hardly wait. Let me know what you think of this one!

The Marquess Meets His Match
By Julie Coulter Bellon

Copyrighted Material


Chapter One


Lady Alice Huntingdon’s new slippers were starting to pinch her feet and the ball wasn’t even half over. That would never do. As a duke’s daughter, she was expected to dance every set and hope that the Prince Regent would ask for a dance when he arrived. She sighed and scanned the room for a secluded spot with a chair. If only she could sit down for a moment. The ball was a crush, however, and there wasn’t an empty chair to be seen. Her mother had been planning this event for weeks and would be elated at how well attended it was, but all Alice could think about was when it would be over.
She finished the dance with the newly minted Lord Huntley and gave him the same stilted smile she’d had pasted on her face all evening. Taking his arm, they began to wend their way through the throng of people as he escorted her back to her mother. It was easy to spot the duchess in her turquoise gown and turban. The ensemble made her stand out in any crowd. Once they’d reached her side, Lord Huntley bowed over her hand.
“A pleasure,” he said, his voice cracking. He was young and a bit on the shy side. Having just come into his title, he’d decided to look for a wife. Alice knew they wouldn’t suit, however. She looked at him in almost a brotherly way, wanting to offer him guidance as he found his feet among the ton. She was only in her second Season and not much older than Lord Huntley, but he had a lost puppy dog air about him that practically begged for someone to reach out and help. All she could do tonight, though, was pat his arm and give him a smile as he headed off to find his next partner.
She watched him for a moment before turning to her mother. Her throbbing feet were begging her to sit down. “Mother, I—”
But her mother cut her off, tilting her head toward the impeccably dressed man beside her.  The feathers on her mother’s turban were shaking almost as much as she was. It was hard for her to hide excitement over tiny things, like finding a bolt of material she loved or hearing a bird sing outside her window. The thrill of introducing her daughter to this gentleman was obviously beyond her mother’s ability to even attempt to conceal.
 She nearly clapped her hands with delight, but managed to clasp them in front of her instead. “Lord Balfour, I’d like to introduce you to my daughter, Lady Alice.”
Alice almost started with surprise, but held her reaction in. No wonder her mother was excited. This would be the coup of the season. Lord Balfour never attended society events. Some said the marquess had come home from the war so hideously scarred he never went out. Others said he traveled the world to escape his overbearing father and had vowed never to return to England. But obviously neither of those things were true. He was standing in front of her and definitely wasn’t scarred.
Alice dipped into a curtsy. “My lord.”
When Lord Balfour didn’t respond, she rose with surprise. He was looking behind her, obviously distracted by someone. A flush crept up her neck, as her mother cleared her throat.
The sound snapped Lord Balfour’s gaze back to them. He hastily took Alice’s gloved hand and kissed the back of it. “My lady,” he murmured. When he straightened, he stole another quick glance around the room. Was he looking for someone in particular? Another lady perhaps? 
“Am I keeping you, Lord Balfour?” Alice asked sweetly, barely able to hide her annoyance. She didn’t want to stand with an arrogant marquess when she could be resting her feet.
Lord Balfour’s deep blue eyes fixed on hers and for a moment she forgot why she was out of sorts with him. “Please excuse me, Lady Alice. I’ve behaved intolerably. Would you grant me this dance and allow me to make amends?”
His velvety voice stirred something deep within her and she couldn’t speak. It was all she could do to break the spell his gaze had woven around her. His eyes searched hers, as if he knew she was caught in his web and he smiled slightly. Alice’s pulse started to pound.
Her mother’s sharp elbow in her side brought her back to the present, reminding her of his invitation to dance. “Yes,” she said, and felt her mother bounce beside her. Wincing, she smiled, hoping Lord Balfour would forgive her mother’s exuberance.
She grasped his arm and looked up at him, but he wasn’t paying her or her mother the least bit of attention. His eyes were searching the crowd again. Her heart sank a little. Who could he be looking for and why did it matter so much?
They were nearing the dance floor when Balfour’s hand tightened over hers. “Lady Alice,” he said, turning to look down at her. “Would you mind terribly if we took a turn about the terrace instead?”
There was an odd tone to his voice, an anxious edge to it. Perhaps the person he was looking for was outside. If that were so, she would happily leave him to his search, while she sat and rested her feet. “Very well.”
He practically pulled her through the terrace doors, as if he was in a great hurry. Alice was walking as fast as she could without tripping over her skirts. What was going on? Lord Balfour was acting very strangely. “My lord,” she said, breathlessly. “There is a bench just over there. May I sit for a moment?”
He looked in the direction she’d indicated then let out what sounded like a sigh of relief. “Yes, that’s a wonderful idea.” He led her to the bench. “Why don’t I go back and get you a glass of punch, my lady? I’ll just be a moment.”
Her eyes narrowed. Would he come back or go on searching for whomever had captured his attention? “Thank you, my lord.”
He bowed and turned back the way they’d come. Alice closed her eyes and wished she dared to take her slippers off. At least she could sit for a while and let the cool evening air flow over her. The sounds of the ball faded away, and she turned her face upward. It was a full moon tonight, with a beautiful array of stars on all sides. She took a deep breath and flexed her aching toes. If only she could stay out here for the rest of the ball. But her mother would be frantic if Alice was gone for too long. This was merely a momentary respite.
After a few more minutes, Alice was starting to feel chilled and there was no sign of Balfour. He’d obviously deserted her. Deciding that she’d been gone long enough, Alice stood to make her way back inside.
She’d just passed the hedges when a man’s arm shot out and grabbed her from behind. She opened her mouth to scream, but his hand stifled her cry. The pain in her feet forgotten, she stomped as hard as she could on the boots of the man who held her captive, but her satin slippers had no effect. Fear slithered down her spine. No one knew she was out here or that Lord Balfour had abandoned her. She could be ruined by a stranger on her own terrace.
A whimper escaped. “Hold still,” the man behind her whispered. “Someone’s coming, and if you don’t want to be caught in a compromising position, you will be quiet.”
Alice froze. She recognized that voice. Lord Balfour! He loosened his grip and she took a breath to tell him exactly what she thought of him, when she heard the sound of booted footsteps approaching. They stopped, and Alice peeked through the hedge. A man was searching the terrace. She’d never seen him before and was quite sure he wasn’t on the guest list for this evening. He was shorter, about her height, his cravat slightly askew, and his brown hair was mussed. He turned her way, and she could plainly see the gun in his hand. Alice fought the urge to run.
Stay still like a statue.
Alice leaned back slightly, and Balfour’s arm tightened around her stomach. She should have drawn away and not allowed him such a liberty, but he was a haven of safety at the moment. They stood there for several more minutes before the smaller man finally moved on and they both breathed a sigh of relief.
“Who was that man?” Alice whispered. Balfour released her and she turned to face him.
“Someone who shouldn’t have been here,” he said brusquely. “We need to get you back inside.”
“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on,” she said, stepping back to put some distance between them. “I’m owed an explanation after being scared out of my wits.”
“I don’t have time to mollycoddle a debutante. If you won’t go inside, I will.” He started toward the house, his boots a staccato on the stone, but he’d taken only a handful of steps before he turned on his heel, blowing out a frustrated breath. “I can’t leave you here alone. He may come back. If I asked nicely, would you return to the party with me?”
Alice’s eyes narrowed. “I’m not a debutante or just out of the schoolroom.” She shook her head. Why was she defending herself to this man? “I need to inform my father of what’s happened.”
Before she could stalk away, Balfour took her arm. “No. You cannot inform your father of anything that happened on this terrace tonight.”
She pulled away from him, ignoring the frisson of heat racing up her arm at his touch. “Tell me why.”
His lips thinned, and he pinched the bridge of his nose. “Very well, but not here. I’ll call on you tomorrow for a ride in Hyde Park.”
Alice took a moment to ponder on that. Her mother would be overjoyed if she agreed, but all Alice wanted was an explanation for what was really going on.
“I’ll agree to ride out with you, but don’t even think about changing your mind,” she warned. “Or my father will hear every last detail.”
He moved closer. What was he about now? Alice stood her ground.
“Every detail?” He leaned in until his breath fanned the tendrils of her hair that strategically framed her face. “We’ve been out here for quite some time, sweet. What would he say if he knew that?”
Her heart skipped a beat. “He’d think you’d compromised me, my lord.” She flushed as she said the words. His gaze pulled her in once more, flicking down to her mouth. She instinctively inched closer. He smelled of bergamot and mint and it was intoxicating. 
With a deep sigh, Balfour stepped back and cleared his throat. “We’d better not take that chance.”
He extended his arm and Alice took it, a tingle of disappointment running over her. Lord Balfour was a man of contradiction. He pulled her in, only to push her away. He was annoying and yet, appealing. But a little thrill layered and settled over her. In spite of all that, the marquess was involved in some intrigue. 
And she was going to find out what it was. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hawaii Five-O Recap and Review---The McRoll Episode!

I have been looking forward to this episode for weeks and it didn't disappoint. Cath is back! Yay!

We start with SadAdam and Steve at the M.E.'s sitting with Jessie's body. Adam is beating himself up over Jessie's death, but Steve reminds him that she made a choice to steal the money. Adam asks for an update on Noriko and Steve says law enforcement is looking for her and they're going to find her. Adam says they'll have to do it without him. His TaskForceofOne is OVAH!

We see a Jeep at a CIA black site in Kenya, and out steps Catherine Rollins. (She looks good!) She goes to question a guy named Masari that was captured that morning, but he's already dead. Cath is mad because he was captured in good health and was her lead to a terrorist named Assad. She pins his interrogator to the wall and chokes him until she gets called off. Marching out of the room, she says she wants to see all the dead guy's stuff. As she goes through it, she finds he had a weird pouch with an Hawaiian artifact on it. Reaching out to a museum lady, Cath is told that the artifact was supposedly buried with King Kamehameha. She decides to head to Hawaii to follow the lead because it could lead her to Assad. And of course, she knows someone there who will help her. *happy dance*

Cut to Steve's house. Junior opens the door to Tani who brought coffee and dog treats. She asks why he's not going to his dad's birthday lunch and he said it's best if he doesn't and he heads off to take Eddie for a run. His mom calls while he's running, but he ignores it. She also texts to ask him to please come to his dad's birthday. It's not looking like that will happen. We are surrounded by beautiful scenery, which Junior pauses to enjoy. Eddie didn't care about it, though, and runs off. While looking for him, Junior falls down a ravine. He's got a cut on his head and a hurt leg. He shouts for help, but only Eddie appears. Junior throws rocks so the dog won't try to come down and Eddie leaves.

We don't see Cath contact Steve, she's just there at the Chatting Table with Steve (in his blue shirt! Thank you wardrobe people) and Lou telling them about Assad and Masari. Lou is mouthing behind her back to Steve why is she here, did she call and I think Steve mouths back, she needs help, but it doesn't go further because Cath calls them out on it, says they're acting weird. They focus and she tells them Masari was after depleted uranium and since there are military bases on Hawaii, he might have gotten it here. Steve asks why she came to Five-O when she has CIA assets at her disposal and she says this is his island and if terrorists are operating on it, she thought he'd want in on the op. Oh, and, she thought it would be nice to catch up. (Yep. That's what I want to see!)

Adam comes out of the ME's office and Tani says she heard he's quitting the task force and going to the mainland. She tries to convince him to stay and work the case. Doesn't he want to see Noriko put behind bars? Adam says Noriko deserves worse than prison, so he's probably not the best person to go after her and he ditches Tani with a catch up with ya later.

Cath and Steve meet with a military rep who says all depleted munitions are accounted for. Cath is surprised and asks if they're certain. Steve looks at the folder and notices the report is all on active bases, but what about ones that are shut down? Kaho olawe was an island the Navy used, but abandoned thirty years ago and some depleted munitions could have been left behind. The rep has no record of that, so Steve calls Tani for maps of the island. She finds an underground storage bunker so Steve and Cath head to Kamekona's to borrow the helicopter. While they're loading up, Kame is working up a rental agreement and noting the condition of the helo. Jerry shows up and says that he wants to come along because he's always dreamed of finding King Kamehameha's final resting place and thought it was on that particular island. Steve and Cath try to let him down gently saying they love his enthusiasm, but it's not an archaeological thing, they're looking for evidence to lead them to a terrorist. Jerry says he knows the island like the back of his hand and since neither Steve nor Cath have been there, they decide to take him along as a guide. They get to the island and Cath is bushwhacking through the jungle until and they come to a Keep Away sign. Jerry is shocked there's unexploded ordnance on the island and admits he lied and he's never been there before. Steve and Cath both have a look of are you serious? on their face, but shrug it off and say to keep moving and watch your step.

Back to Junior who has made a splint for his leg and is trying to climb up to a ledge and get his phone. He grabs it, but falls back down to the bottom and finds out he doesn't have any service anyway. (Why didn't he keep trying to go up? Seemed like he gave up pretty easy for a Navy SEAL.)

Back to Steve and Cath. She's hacking the jungle foliage and turns to Steve and says, "All right, sailor your turn." (Aww, I love that little nickname between them). She smiles and tells him to stay away from yellow greenish stuff and he grins back and says "Not my first jungle young lady." (So cute!) While he hacks the foliage, they catch up. She asks about Tani, says she seems great and on top of things. Steve agrees. Cath says, it's just a matter of time before she picks up all your bad habits and Steve says oh, she's already there. (Haha.) Then he goes on to one of the cutest bits of dialogue and says that Tani reminds him of Cath. "She's an army brat, you're a navy brat, you're both good at your job and you both got good hearts." (Awww. I love that he sees her good heart and acknowledges that she's good at her job. Especially now.) Cath looks surprised and thanks him. They keep walking and she asks how it's going with Lynn. Steve says it's good, he's keeping it casual for now. And then he asks what about you? Seeing anybody? Cath smiles and says "besides assets and enemy combatants?  Hard to keep a relationship going when you do what I do." Steve responds with an "I bet." But then Cath says she is dating a little bit. Steve tells her "that's great news." (There is such an easy rapport between them and they recognize it as well.) Cath remarks that it's great they can talk to each other about this stuff now. and Steve agrees. "Look how mature we are right now," he says. They high five to maturity. (Because saying "up high" and high fiving is what I think of when I think of maturity, haha. It was such an adorable scene though.) Cath says it's not that surprising if you think about it because they were really good friends before they got involved. Steve agrees. (I love that they have that foundation of friendship and such a long history.) Cath says sometimes she thinks that getting involved ruined us and Steve chimes in with they probably shouldn't have slept together. Cath says it was a huge mistake for the friendship---not that it wasn't awesome or anything, but probably not the best decision for the friendship. Steve is smiling through this whole last bit and that made me smile, but all the smiles are gone when Catherine suddenly falls into a spike pit and Steve is at the side, calling out her name, asking if she's okay. She is, but her arm is bleeding. He assures her that he'll get her out of there, but two hunters (what are they hunting on a deserted island with depleted munitions on it?) come out of the bushes and point guns at him and says he won't. He holds up his hands.

The CrazyHunters make them toss their weapons over. Steve tells them he's Commander Steve McGarret of the Five-O task force and shows his badge. They tell him his phony badge isn't fooling anyone. Haha. Steve says they're in a lot of trouble since the island is off-limits to the public. They don't like that and ram the butt of their rifle into Steve's gut. They steal all of Steve and Cath's gear, but they do let him keep his watch! CrazyHunterOne makes Steve climb down into the pit because his girl is looking a little lonely. (Cath holds his arm when he gets down there. To assure herself he's okay? Steady him? Just make sure they're both okay?) CrazyHunters grab the gear and leave. As soon as they're gone, Steve says they've got to get out of here, so Cath suggests that he boost her up and she'll see if she can catch the lip. Steve is worried about her pulling herself out with her injured arm, but she's all, are you trying to say I'm soft now? and he says maybe a little bit. (It's such a cute scene!) She assures him she's good and says she's got this. She puts her hands on his shoulders and they start to count. Super slowly. With long looks at each other in between. (The tension was so crazy good!)

He boosts her up, challenges her and encourages her, until she pulls herself out, then reaches back to help him. When he's halfway out, Cath asks him if he was really going to propose or did he just buy that ring in the event that he decided he was going to propose. Steve looks so surprised and asks, what do you think? She just wants him to answer the question so he says, "Yes, yes, yes I was going to propose, Catherine, Yes." (Aww. I like that she laid it out there, sort of gave him her perspective, and she knows he was really serious.) They lay there for a minute, close together, looking exhausted. (They actually stay pretty close to each other through the entire episode, which is interesting to me.) Jerry comes along and says it's a good thing they didn't fall into the spike pit, it looks nasty, but he sees Cath's bloody arm and asks what happened. Steve tells him about the hunters and the robbery, but says he remembers the map well enough to get them to that bunker. He's concerned, looking at Cath's arm and asks for Jerry's butt bag. Jerry corrects him and says it's a fanny pack. Haha. Steve takes off the strap and wraps Cath injured arm. Jerry suggests they "pull the rip cord" since Cath's hurt and they have no map or weapons, but Cath says no, we keep going and Steve agrees. "We don't leave until we find that bunker. He grabs Cath's hand and pulls her up. (I love them.)

Adam goes back to his Yakuza bank guy who is not happy to see him at all. But Adam needs his help since his associate is dead (Jessie was downgraded to an associate?) and someone else has that twenty million dollars. The bank guy isn't sympathetic and suggests that Adam get it back or his friend isn't only one going into the ground. Adam gets to the point and says that's why he's there. He actually needs an alibi. (Uh oh, Adam. What did you do?)

Junior is still in the ravine wasting his phone battery taking selfies and playing games. (Hey, why not try to get out? Use some vines, make a rope? I don't know. Do some SEAL moves, maybe?) He looks at pics on his phone, and has a sad face when he gets to his sister's pic. Wanting to feel even more down, he listens to the messages from his sister at a theater waiting for him and then his mom saying that something's happened.  More Junior sad face.

Steve, Cath, and Jerry are walking through jungle, when Cath stops and looks up at a palm tree and decides to climb it. Steve and Jerry look on in awe. (The look on their faces was funny!) Jerry thinks she's going to scope the perimeter, but Steve is sure she's just thirsty. They're sitting around drinking coconut water and Jerry rambles on about whoever finds the king's burial site absorbs his mana or spiritual energy. They hear gunshots and Steve and Cath head in that direction. They find the CrazyHunters dead and Steve tracks the shooters sightline. He gets eyes on the bunker and tells Cath and Jerry to hang back while he creeps up and opens the bunker door, only to get shot at. He retreats just in time as two shooters come out guns blazing. Steve circles around behind them while Cath covers him. He jumps one guy and ends up in hand to hand combat, getting choked until Cath comes up and shoots the guy. The other shooter gets away with a backpack from the bunker. Steve, Cath, and Jerry go in with a torch, find their stolen stuff, empty barrels that had depleted uranium in it and old shells. It's obvious the shooters were building dirty bombs and one guy ran off with one.

Eddie is found outside headquarter doors and Tani is surprised to see him, saying he looks dehydrated. (Can you tell if a dog looks dehydrated if his tongue isn't even hanging out or anything? I don't know.) She gives him water and tries to find Junior, but his phone has no signal. That's not like him, but she knows where he likes to run so she'll go look for him.

Steve and Cath are chasing the shooter, he turns to shoot at them one more time and Steve returns fire. Cath tells him she wishes he wouldn't do that, since the guy has a bomb and if he dies, so do her chances of getting any intel on finding Assad. Steve says, "wait a minute, did you just question my accuracy? Because if you did, that hurts, I'm just saying." (Haha! They just play off each other so well.) Jerry is going through the bunker and finds some old crates filled with artifacts. He's excited until he feels something on his shoulder. It's a large spider. Tons of them. All over his back. He runs out, drops his torch and starts a fire, but he quickly puts it out with a sandbag.  The shooter is still running with Steve and Cath in pursuit, but he trips and falls, and blows himself up. Steve adorably tells her he didn't do it.

Junior in ravine recording a message for his dad. He's rambling about the birthday and that he doesn't know what to say. It wasn't always like this, he remembers following him around, fishing, fixing the roof, and singing songs, Maya, his sister, made everything easy. She was their bridge. He goes on about his dad's reaction to him joining the military, how he said no, he'd already lost a child, but Junior lost his best friend. Then his phone dies in the middle of it. All is not lost, though. He hears Eddie barking and Tani appears. She's been looking for him for two hours, and gets a rescue team to him. In the ambulance, he asks to borrow her phone and calls his dad. He's going to see him tomorrow. (Here's the weird thing. If Junior has all this family on the island, why was he staying at a homeless shelter when he first came on the show? Why is he still living with Steve? Weird.)

Lou, Cath, and Steve are at the Chatting Table. After the shooter blew himself up, Steve and Cath searched the bunker and recovered a cell, which helped them pinpoint a real time location on Assad. A SEAL Team is taking him down as they speak. Cath gets a call and excuses herself. Lou takes the opportunity to ask Steve if it was nice to catch up. Steve says if you take away the spike pit, gunfire, and explosions, yeah it was nice. Lou gives him a look, like yeah? And Steve says, "What?" Then grins in a way that we haven't seen in a while. (I loved it! He really seemed more animated this episode and that was awesome to see.)

Steve and Cath go to Jerry's office to tell him those artifacts were fake. They had the items carbon dated and they were from the 1950s. A ship carrying mass produced tourist trinkets sank and the Navy probably recovered them in a salvage op. So his once in a lifetime find is worthless. Steve tells him to shake it off, they're going to dinner on Cath, since she almost got them killed. It's the least she could do. Cath agrees, but says she gets to pick the place. Just like old times!

Of course they all meet up at Kamekona's and are trying to cheer up Jerry that the mystery is still out there for him to solve. He says it's not the only mystery he's working on, he's also working on the lost city of El Dorado. Steve says he'd join him on that expedition. Cath makes a toast to lost cities and found friends and Steve leans in toward her as she does it. (Awww. They all look so good at that table.) Tani also toasts to Adam's trip to the mainland being filled with love and affection. Steve gets a call from Duke. Noriko's body washed up the beach, with a GSW to the back of the head. It ends with Steve giving Adam a look. Dun, dun, dun. Is that why he needed the alibi?

What did you think of the episode? Did you watch?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Book Review: A Grand Tour



I've had A Grand Tour The Timeless Victorian Collection on my to-read list for a little while and I finally read it. I love having novellas that are just the right size for when I have a bit of reading time!

The first one is by Anthea Lawson. She's a new author to me and I enjoyed her story. I'll definitely be looking for more from her. Miss Isabelle Strathmore has been burned by love and has decided she won't risk her heart again. Being on a cruise with the Earl of Jasper complicates that vow, however, as she gets to know the man behind the title. I liked the little adventure they went on and how this couple learned to trust each other. A cute romance!

The second one is by Jennifer Moore, one of my favorite authors. Eleanor Doyle is chaperoning two young ladies on their grand tour, attempting to keep them entertained and within propriety's bounds at all times, but that is a nearly impossible feat. She meets Professor Russell Kendrick who is shepherding some young gentlemen around Rome and the two groups meet up often. The professor is drawn to Eleanor, and her knowledge and skills in academia pull him in further. Their love story has some difficult challenges, however, because of society's restrictions, and it was fun to see how it all was resolved. Loved the historical details in this one!

The third one is by Heather Moore, another favorite author of mine. Evelyn Tucker is finally going home to her aunt after completing her time at finishing school. Only her aunt has other ideas. She takes Evelyn on a grand tour, trying to spend all her husband's money before it can go to some distant relative. That distant relative is Henry Gaiman, who has been called home from his archaeological dig to settle the estate's affairs. He tracks the women down and ends up traveling with them for a short while. He is pulled into a bit of drama, however, when his benefactress gives him an ultimatum that is unacceptable---but how can he risk his archaeological dig? In a surprising turn of events, Henry finds himself in a pretend engagement with Evelyn, but by the time he realizes he's not pretending, will it be too late?

I enjoyed all three stories and thought they were well-developed in both characters and story, despite the shorter length. A wonderful read for when you need a little romance, but don't have a lot of time!

You can download your copy here

Here's the back copy:

A LORD’S CHANCE by Anthea Lawson: After her first romance ends in disaster, Miss Isabelle Strathmore vows never to fall in love again. She will travel, certainly, and see the world, but it will be a spinster’s life for her. She has learned the most painful lesson of all—that her heart simply cannot be trusted. Gavin Reed, the Earl of Jasper, is unexpectedly charmed by Isabelle. Past encounters have made him wary of taking a chance on love, but by the end of the Grand Tour, he is determined to make Miss Strathmore his wife. But fate has more in store than either of them guesses. Beneath the Mediterranean sun, can Isabelle and Lord Jasper find their happily ever after before disaster strikes?

FALLING IN ROME by Jennifer Moore: Chaperoning two young women on their grand tour is the opportunity of a lifetime for Eleanor Doyle. Although she’s an expert in many languages, her gender has made further education impossible. If the tour is successful, the young women’s parents have promised her a position at a university in London. Eleanor hopes to instill her charges with a love of Rome, but not until they meet up with a group of young gentlemen and their fascinating professor, Russell Kendrick, do the young ladies show any interest at all. Attraction blossoms between Eleanor and Ken, but Eleanor’s future depends on maintaining propriety. The headstrong charges have other ideas, and Ken and Eleanor will have to decide which is most important, accolades in the academic world, or being with the one they love.

A SECRET ARRANGEMENT by Heather B. Moore: Evelyn Tucker has finally graduated from finishing school, but dreads living with her widowed aunt. On the appointed day, Aunt Margaret comes to collect Evelyn, and Margaret informs her that they’re going on a Grand Tour to spend as much of the estate money they can before a distant cousin inherits all. When Henry Gaiman discovers he’s inherited his distant uncle’s estate, he loathes the thought of returning to England since he’d rather continue with his archaeology dig in Egypt. Return he must, and there, he meets Evelyn, a woman who will change his world in more ways than one.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Freebie Friday For Romance Fans!


Laurie Lewis is offering her romance, Love on a Limb, for free today! I haven't read this one, but I'm told it's a beautiful and emotional romance that you won't stop thinking about long after you turn the last page.

Here's the back copy:

Matthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.

Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead.

Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle and he is suffering. She recognizes that her urgent need to save Matt has caused her to betray the fundamental promise she made him--to help him die peaceably.

Matt needs a miracle, and Mikaela believes one is attainable, but she will need to leave him at the hour of his greatest need. She's about to learn that while love sometimes draws you close, it sometimes requires you to go out on a limb.

You can download your free Kindle copy here