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Pizza Hut's BOOK IT! Program turns 30. Dang, I'm old.

10/03/2014 10:03

 

 

If you're middle-aged, you remember when BOOK IT! started.  Free pizza for reading books?  

Genius.

 
 
It's surprising that someone hadn't thought of it sooner--bribe kids to read.  Now, I wasn't one of those kids who had to bribed to read a book.  Between Trixie Belden, Sweet Valley Twins, and The Baby-Sitters Club, there wasn't enough time in the day to satisfy my thirst for reading.  However, dangling my favorite (then and now) food in front of my face didn't hurt, either.  I would devour as many books as I could, get my teachers to sign off on them, and then beg my parents to make the 30-minute drive to the nearest Pizza Hut to claim my free personal pan pizza, which I would devour on the way home in the car.  And of course, while they were there, my parents would buy a pizza for themselves for dinner.  Best.  Marketing.  Idea.  EVER.
 
Evidently, for BOOK IT!'s 30th birthday, Pizza Hut decided to get the old marketing gang back together, and they've come up with another winner.  BOOK IT! "Alumni" (former BOOK IT participants old people who are feeling nostalgia for the simpler times of our youth) can go to this website and divulge their age, current city, and occupation, and be listed alongside other middle-aged nerds on an interactive map.  Oh, and give them your email address, and you'll receive a coupon for a free personal pan pizza, JUST LIKE WHEN WE WERE KIDS!  Here's where the genius comes in:  you can't go to Pizza Hut for a personal pizza and not bring back anything for your family.  So, just like our parents, you'll have to buy a pie at full price to take home.  Did you see what they did there?  Besides taking our money, they not only reminded us how old we are, but the also turned us into our parents.  Thanks, Pizza Hut.
 
 
 

Release Day for LET'S MOVE ON

09/29/2014 20:04

Congratulations to my dear friend, Deborah Nam-Krane, on the release of her fantastic novel, LET'S MOVE ON!

 

 

BOOK FOUR

Let's Move On

By Deborah Nam-Krane

Zainab has spent years keeping Emily from going over the edge, giving Miranda a shoulder to cry on and nursing Jessie back to health. They'll be the first to agree that she deserves whatever makes her happy, especially after the drama Richard put her through. But did she have to choose the guy who threw everyone's lives into the shredder?

Richard knows he screwed up and he'd do anything to get Zainab back, but first he needs to make sure his company—and his loyal employees—don't go under. (Who knew kicking your primary investor to the curb would have consequences?) Good thing his family has such deep pockets; too bad he doesn't want to take a cent from them. Why should Zainab take him back if he can't get out of his own way?

Maybe Zainab can eat her cake and have it too—that is, until she's given an ultimatum. The choice isn't Lover A or B; it's protecting her friends or letting them fend for themselves. With that hanging over her head, what's it going to take to make sure she and everyone else can finally move on?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | ITUNES | BARNES AND NOBLE | SMASHWORDS

EXCERPT

Zainab was laughing a few hours later as she stretched out in bed. "You continue to be full of surprises."

Robert rested his head on the pillow and took some deep breaths. "Come on, that wasn’t really a surprise, was it?"

"I don’t usually get that dressed up just to go to bed." She flipped over and smiled. "Or is that sort of a Catch-22? Would we not have ended up in bed if I hadn’t been so dressed up?"

Robert sighed. "I think you’re just trying to get me to admit that I had this planned."

"I know you’re intrusive, I don’t think you’re manipulative."

"What about your friends?"

"No, they’re not manipulative either, although at least one of them is intrusive at any given point—"

"I meant, what do they think of me?"

"You know exactly what they think of you, and I’d say it shouldn’t be something that should concern you."

"It doesn’t, except that I don’t like the idea of you leaving and then going to a house full of people who can’t stop telling you how wrong I am for you."

"First of all," she said, playing with his chin, "you’re getting really sloppy. Jessie isn’t living with me—"

"But she’s around enough—and no, I have not been driving by your house."

"Second of all, they have no idea."

"Really?" Robert said, smiling as he looked her over. "Because Emily is pretty sharp. Annoying, but sharp. Miranda could maybe use a little more time at school—"

"Miranda isn’t stupid."

"She just has lousy taste."

"Don’t we all?"

"If you think that, then why are you here?"

"Why shouldn’t I be, Robert?"

He smiled. "Because of Jessie. Because of everyone else. Because of Richard. Because to the untrained eye it might look like I broke you up on purpose—"

"I know that’s not what happened."

"So am I forgiven?"

"It’s not an issue."

"Why don’t you care?"

"What do you want? You want me to be really mad so you can have an excuse to feel bad? Do you think you should feel bad?"

"Let’s just say I don’t usually conduct my investigations that way."

Zainab raised her eyebrow. "I know you were here with Jessie."

"And that doesn’t bother you?"

"How bothered would you like me to be?"

"I don’t want you to be bothered, but I want you to care."

"Why? Do you care about Richard?"

"No, but I do think he can’t be nearly as smart as he thinks he is to let you go."

"He didn’t let me do anything—I left on my own. I was with him by choice."

He kissed her. "And now you’re with me. By choice."

"Now you’re getting the hang of it."

"So why did you choose me?"

"Because I like you, Robert. But why do we need to look at it so closely?"

He rolled on top of her. "True, when there are so many better things we could do with our time."

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Nam-Krane is a writer living in Boston proper who has been storytelling since she was a little girl and writing those stories down since she was eight. Any given day will find her reading, writing, reviewing, editing and, just for fun, homeschooling her children.

Let's Move On is the fourth installment of the New Pioneers series, the sequel to The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013), The Family You Choose (September 2013), An Engagement: A New Pioneers Short Story (March 2014) and The China Doll (March 2014). Deborah is currently editing Book Five, The Golden Boy Returns. That book will be set in the world of Boston and Massachusetts politics, and her job will be to tone down the true stories she’s heard so they seem believable. And because she just can't stay away from her characters, she's already started working on the To Be Titled Book Six, a Romantic Suspense.

WRITTEN BY DEB (BLOG) | NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | TWITTER

 

GIVEAWAY

 

$10 Amazon gift card

5 copies of both The Smartest Girl in the Room and The Family You Choose

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

BOOK ONE

The Smartest Girl in the Room

 

Nineteen year old Emily wants her college diploma fast, and she's going to get it. But when the perfect night with perfect Mitch leads her to a broken heart, Emily is blind to her vulnerability. When the person she cares about the most is hurt as a result, Emily's ambition gives way to more than a little ruthlessness. She's going to use her smarts to take care of herself and protect the people she loves, and everyone else had better stay out of her way. But shouldn't the smartest girl everyone knows realize that the ones she'd cross the line for would do the same for her?

 

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | SMASHWORDS | KOBO

 

BOOK TWO

The Family You Choose

 

Miranda Harel has been in love with her guardian Alex Sheldon since she was five years old, and Michael Abbot has despised them both for just as long. When Miranda finds out why she wants both men out of her life for good and questions everything she believed about where and who she came from. Finding out the truth will break her heart. Without family or true love, will her friends be enough to bring her back?

 

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | SMASHWORDS | KOBO | ITUNES

 

BOOK TWO AND A HALF

An Engagement: A New Pioneers Short Story

 

Annabelle Hendrickson always knew Alex Sheldon couldn't be trusted, but even she couldn't have guessed how far he was willing to go to get what he wanted.

 

No one was as decent as her brother Jim, but Stephen Abbot had a kind soul behind his mischief. She could accept his reprobate father- he'd be dead soon anyway- but she would never accept his longtime friendship with Alex, her father Gerald's ambitious employee. Annabelle knew it was just a matter of time before he stepped on someone she cared about.

 

What a pity she didn't realize who that person would be—and who was going to give him the opportunity.

 

What happened to Michael Abbot and Richard Hendrickson's parents in 1980 is going to affect everyone three decades later.

 

ONLY 99 CENTS!

 

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | SMASHWORDS | ITUNES

 

BOOK THREE

The China Doll

 

Hypocrisy, half truths and lies...

 

Sick of being treated like she's going to break, Jessie Bartolome is back to her old ways and calling everyone on their hypocrisy. Sheesh! One little breakdown and even easygoing Martin Shepard thinks she's too fragile to handle their age difference. Good thing her older and equally yummy teaching assistant Robert Lester thinks otherwise…right?

 

After spending so long cleaning up after everyone else, Jessie's cousin Richard has never had the time to start a life of his own. However had he managed to find his girlfriend Zainab? So what is Richard going to do now that everyone else has grown up? Marry Zainab and start a family? Things have never been that easy for a Hendrickson…just ask his cousin Michael.

 

Richard's mother, Lucy, is one of the most powerful women in Boston... so when is she going to put a stop to the blackmail ruthless Alex Sheldon has been holding over her for years? And if Richard knows more than he's letting on, why hasn't he gone after Alex himself? The question is, how much does he- or anyone else- really know?

 

Welcome to the Bartolome/Hendrickson family.

 

GOODREADS | AMAZON | ITUNES | BARNES AND NOBLE | SMASHWORDS

 

 

 

Character Blog Hop--Interview with Lizzie Hart

09/23/2014 08:45

 

Thanks to Jami Deise for tagging me for the Character Blog Hop.  Today I'm sitting down with my Lizzie Hart Mysteries heroine, Lizzie Hart, for a short interview.  She's quite spirited today!

 

 

CF:  Thanks for sitting down with me for an interview today, Lizzie.

 

Lizzie:  Yeah, well, my boss told me I had to.  He said it would be “great exposure” for the Liberty Chronicle to do a blog interview.

 

And what do you do at the Liberty Chronicle?

 

I’m the copy editor.

 

Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

 

In Liberty.

 

Are you married?

 

No.

 

Any children?

 

Hell no.

 

Okay, moving on.  I’ve heard you have had some excitement in Liberty over the past week.

 

Only if you count the fact that I found a co-worker’s dead body.

 

Yes, about that.  How did you happen upon the scene?

 

I was at the county fair, working at the Chronicle’s propaganda booth with two of my co-workers, Blake and Hannah.  It was raining, and Hannah had gone to look at an exhibit.  She was electrocuted after falling into a large puddle…along with a plugged-in radio.  I don’t think it was an accident.

 

How horrible!  What did you do?

 

I alerted the police.

 

Can you describe the scene for me?

 

Not without having a panic attack.

 

Can you at least describe what were you thinking when you found your co-worker, Hannah?

 

*Sighs*  I wanted to try to help her, but Blake insisted there was nothing I could do.  He held me back to make sure I didn’t touch her or the water so I wouldn’t be electrocuted, too.  He…saved my life, I guess.

 

Wow.  Blake saved you.  I bet you’re grateful to him.

 

Yes, I am.  He’s really a fantastic guy, and a wonderful reporter.

 

You’re blushing a bit.  Is there more to this story?

 

NO!  I—um…he doesn’t know—  I mean, uh…can you cut out this part?

 

Is there a little office romance brewing?

 

That’s a little personal, don’t you think?

 

Fair enough.  Why don’t we go with some less serious questions to let everyone get to know you better?

 

Fan-freaking-tastic.

 

What do you like to do for fun?

 

I like to go out with my friends, especially my best friend, Julia.

 

Tell me about your best friend.  How did you meet?

 

We met in grade school, and we’ve been best friends since high school.  We went to college together as well.  And now we both work at the Chronicle.

 

It must be fun to work with your best friend.  Do you get along well with all of your co-workers?

 

No.

 

If you could live anywhere, would you move away from your hometown of Liberty?

 

No.

 

Maybe I need to stay away from asking yes/no questions with you.  What is your idea of perfect happiness?

 

I’m pretty happy right now.  I like my job, I have a beautiful home that my grannie left me, and I have great friends.

 

What about your love life?  Would going out with Blake add to your happiness?

 

Lady, you’re treading on thin ice…

 

Alright, without naming names, describe your perfect man.

 

Of course he’d have to be handsome and sexy, but the most important thing to me is “the spark”.  I’m looking for romance, but the conversation has to be good too, you know?  I want someone who’s interesting and fun—and he also has to make my heart flutter every time I see him.

 

If you were to be stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring?

 

A boat.

 

Come on, play along.

 

Fine.  A boat, a pizza, and some beer.

 

You’re pretty straightforward, aren’t you?

 

So I’ve been told.

 

Name something people do that annoys you the most.

 

Prying into my business.

 

Name something you do that annoys people.

 

I’ve been told I’m not good at giving details when explaining something or telling a story.

 

You don’t say.

 

I also cuss a lot.

 

Back to our fun questions.  What is in your refrigerator right now?

 

What the hell kind of question is that?

 

I think we’re done here.

 

Not a moment too soon.

 

 

Cover Reveal--HOLDING ON TO GEORGIA by Courtney Giardina

09/18/2014 09:36

It's Cover Reveal Day for Courtney Giardina's new book

HOLDING ON TO GEORGIA

Congrats, Courtney!

 

About Holding on to Georgia
Rylan Bradley is perfectly content with her single, thirty-something life. Love is the last thing on her mind—until she crosses paths with Wesley Kade. He is handsome, charming, and always there when she needs someone the most. But there’s a story behind those brown eyes that he’s not ready to tell. As Rylan and Kade struggle to untangle their feelings for each other, the reality of their pasts will once again resurface and threaten to take it all away.
 
Courtney Giardina Bio:
Courtney Giardina is a women’s fiction author with Take Two Publishing. She was born and raised in Western, NY. After more than two decades, she decided to trade in the cold winters for hot and humid Charlotte, NC summers .Since then she’s been focusing on finally do all the things she said she would do someday. Even though she’s been spending countless hours preparing for the launch of her second novel, Holding on to Georgia, she still finds time to do other things she’s passionate about. Courtney is a regular blog contributor over at I Am That Girl and a middle school cheerleading coach. Along with writing, country music has also stolen her heart. She runs a weekly country artist spotlight on her own blog, Girl Behind the Covers. She’s sincerely appreciative of all of those who support her writing and is getting ready to hit the keyboard again to begin novel #3!
 
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @sweetangeleyz
Fabceook Cover Reveal Party: September 18th all day until 7pm: HERE!  Will be sharing photo teasers and giving away fun prizes! Join in anytime!
 
 

 

 

Guest Blogger, Kristen Jurgenson Housen

09/12/2014 11:44

 

The older we get (translation "the nearer to 40"), the more I realize that my college buddies, who were absolutely hilarious as young adults, have honed their respective comedic talents into comedic genius.  Gone are the fart jokes (for the most part), which have been replaced by wry, witty observations on life and a charming way of stringing words together.  I think these people (ahem, Kristen) should try their hand at writing professionally.  I'm also looking at you, Kerrie Olzak.  So, please enjoy the musings of Kristen Jurgenson Housen.

 

 

There's something wrong with me...

 

So, here I am, settled into a new home with my new husband, and I'm loving it. But one thing that never really occurred to me is that living without a dishwasher is time-consuming. I spend a significant portion of any given day cooking, washing dishes, and tripping on the pets who are constantly at my feet. I have never felt more domesticated in my life. This domesticity lends itself well to one thing - random thought generation. Though most of you probably do not care what I think on a daily basis, I thought I would share my free flow list of random thoughts that occurred last night as I did the dishes....

 

■      I had no idea it took this much work to do the dishes.

■      Stupid dishwashers.

■      This is like the 1970s.

■      At least I'm not wearing any fringe.

■      Is this how the Amish feel?

■      Do the Amish even have indoor plumbing?

■      Do they have to carry the water in from the well?

■      No wonder the Amish start the day before sunrise.

■      Do they use only wooden plates?

■      Wooden plates wouldn't be very hygienic.

■      If I step on this dog I will not feel sorry.

■      "Tucker, get out of the kitchen."

■      Ok, that was a lie, I do feel sorry.

■      "Sorry I stepped on you Tuck."

■      I told him to get out of the kitchen.

■      Stupid dog.

■      Is this the wash sponge or the scrub sponge?

■      We eat too much cheese.

■      How many spoons do we have in this house?

■      Oh cruel fate, oh tomato sauce, how I love and hate you simultaneously.

■      Staining. Of course. How trashy.

■      I'll put that in the 'no guests will ever see this' cupboard.

■      Have people thinking I don't wash the dishes.

■      Ugh, my back hurts already? I just started.

■      Can we not just rinse and re-use the same glass, must we pull clean ones out at every opportunity?

■      Frickin' rice.

■      Rice gets everywhere.

■      I wish we grew our own rice.

■      No, that's too much standing water. Mosquitoes.

■      Ugh, I hate mosquitoes.

■      Is that a bug?

■      No, just rice.

■      Wait, when did we have Spanish rice?

■      Oh, leftovers, not a bug.

■      Frickin' cheese.

■      Can we soak the plates before the rice and cheese get dried on?

■      I'm gonna have to let that soak now.

■      Ugh, my back hurts.

■      Frickin' dog, get outta the kitchen.

■      Smoke break!

■      Better dig into that pan.

■      Frickin' pan.

■      I hate scrubbing.

■      This is gonna ruin my nails.

■      This better be the best freakin pan on the face of the planet.

■      Once this pan is clean, I swear, I'm gonna put out a billboard on the greatness of this pan, that's how much work this pan takes.

■      Huh, I bet that's how God feels, He must cherish us after putting so much work in to clean us up.

■      Ugh, I need another SOS pad.

■      Oh pan, you better be worth it.

■      Yep, nails are ruined, I'm sure of it.

■      I'm so domestic.

■      Great, now all I need to be is barefoot and I'm every redneck's dream.

■      Don't ever say that to Kevin.

■      HAHAHAHAHAHA

■      Oh gosh, I'm funny.

■      Freakin' pan.

■      Finally. Freaking dishes.

 

 

 

Cover Reveal for Deborah Nam-Krane's LET'S MOVE ON!

08/29/2014 08:26

 

It's a big day--it's Deborah Nam-Krane's

Cover Reveal Day for LET'S MOVE ON,

and it also happens to be her birthday!

 

I was one of her lucky beta-readers, so I've read LET'S MOVE ON,

It's fantastic, like the rest of the series.  Be sure to get it when it comes out!

 

 

Blurb

Zainab has spent years keeping Emily from going over the edge, giving Miranda a shoulder to cry on and nursing Jessie back to health. They'll be the first to agree that she she deserves whatever makes her happy, especially after the drama Richard put her through. But did she have to choose the guy who threw everyone's lives into the shredder?

Richard knows he screwed up and he'd do anything to get Zainab back- but first he needs to make sure his company -and his loyal employees- don't go under. (Who knew kicking your primary investor to the curb would have consequences?) Good thing his family has such deep pockets; too bad he doesn't want to take a cent from them. Why should Zainab take him back if he can't get out of his own way?

Maybe Zainab can eat her cake and have it too- that is, until she's given an ultimatum. The choice isn't Lover A or B; it's protecting her friends or letting them fend for themselves. With that hanging over her head, what's it going to take to make sure she and everyone else can finally move on?

Let's Move On is Book Four in The New Pioneers series

 

Release date: September 29th, 2014

 

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22896360-let-s-move-on?ac=1

Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/465697

B&N link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lets-move-on-deborah-nam-krane/1120171705?ean=2940046094848

 

The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013)

The Family You Choose (September 2013)

The China Doll (March 2014).

 

Author info

Deborah Nam-Krane is a writer living in Boston proper who has been storytelling since she was a little girl and writing those stories down since she was eight. Any given day will find her reading, writing, reviewing, editing and, just for fun, homeschooling her three school-aged children (she’s very grateful the fourth is now college-aged).

The best way to keep in touch is to follow her blog Written By Deb and subscribe to her newsletter (only publishing announcements, never spam).
Follow on Twitter
Read my writing blog
Join my mailing list

 

 

I'm kicking off Deborah Nam-Krane's TV Done Right Blog Hop!

08/19/2014 08:46

 

I'm excited to be the first stop on 

Deborah Nam-Krane's TV Done Right Blog Hop!

 

My pick for "doing it right" is ABC's Revenge.

It's this generation's Dynasty!

 
 

For TV Done Right, I always have to look no further than Revenge.  It’s the one show I watch IMMEDIATELY, without fail, once it’s DVR’d.  (I hate commercials.)  I think the show works especially well because the main character—well, heck, ALL of the characters are fatally flawed in some way.  NO ONE is a goody-two-shoes, and everyone has their price.  The general plot of Revenge is based on the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, which is cool because most successful book-to-screen stories these days seem to center around vampires or angsty teens.

 

But back to the main character, Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke.  Can we say “Daddy issues”?  Emily has made it her mission in life to exact “Revenge” on every single person who had even the slightest hand in setting her dear old dad up to take the fall for the bombing of Flight 197.  

Emily is so tragic, and at the same time, so incredibly likeable, that you just have to root for her, even when she’s ruining people’s lives, relationships, businesses, financial statuses, and reputations left and right.  Emily VanCamp’s a great actress (I was so excited to see her in the newest Captain America movie!), and I love watching the episodes where she unravels, only to pull herself up and vow to work even harder to complete her dastardly plans.

 

Every angry woman needs an archnemesis.  Enter Victoria Grayson, queen of the Hamptons, matriarch of the Grayson family, villainess extraordinaire.  She is one baaaaad mama jama.  And who doesn’t love Madeline Stowe?  

Queen Vicky's throne caused quite a stir in the furniture industry.  I've seen copies of this chair in every furniture store I've been to in the last two years.

When Emily sinks her claws into Victoria’s son, Daniel, Mama Grayson is not having it.  Victoria is smart and cunning, and she’s the one person who has been able to see through Emily from the start.  However, it’s taken her until the end of Season 3 to figure out Emily is actually Amanda Clarke.  Too bad Emily had Victoria locked up in a mental institution before she could tell anyone.  Too bad Emily didn’t lock Victoria up before she had the chance to kill Emily’s boyfriend, Aiden.

 

The leads are important, but every character on the show is fascinating in his or her own way.  Jack is the resident “good guy” (and Emily’s ultimate love interest), but we’ve seen on more than one occasion that he will bend the law to help out his friends.  

Nolan is basically Bill Gates, and he’s a wicked good hacker to boot.  He’s beside Emily no matter what—a true BFF.  

The rest of the Grayson family:  Conrad, Daniel, and Charlotte, are all nuts/ruthless/tragic/loveable.  

This shot is obviously a promo joke, but it's so against character, I had to put it in here.

Heck, sometimes I find myself rooting for Conrad, even though he’s the one responsible for Flight 197!  Which brings up my next point…

 

Something else this show does well is shock and awe.  One of my writer friends and I just had a conversation this morning about how on ABC’s Castle, they keep trying to make us believe they’re going to kill Castle (like they have in the last TWO season finale/premier episodes).  Seriously?  Do they think we’re stupid?  The show’s called Castle.  They’re not going to kill Castle.  (Nor were they going to kill Beckett in Season 3.  Nor were they going to kill Ryan AND Espo in Season 6.  They’re the core four.)  

Break up this three-way bromance?  I don't think so.

 

Sorry, back to Revenge…  Anyway, on Revenge, it seems like no one is safe (except for Emily and Victoria, I suppose, because they’re the two the show cannot survive without, but I’ll bet at least one of them eats it during the series finale).  Sure, they’ve killed minor (yet important) characters left and right—Carl (Jack and Declan’s dad), Frank (the Graysons’ head of security), Padma (Nolan’s GF), Takeda (Emily and Aiden’s sensei), and Pascal (Victoria’s latest love interest), among countless others.  Those guys were cannon fodder anyway—their sole reason for being was to die so that the main characters could suffer a little more.  But then the writers decided to kill pivotal characters—some we’d never in a million years see coming.  They killed Amanda Clarke (“Fauxmanda”, who Emily traded identities with) on her honeymoon, and she died in her BFF Emily’s arms.  Heartwrenching.  

And then Declan?  He was just a kid!  Heartbreaking.  How much more can poor Jack take?  Well, the writers had one more screw to twist on him—they killed his dog.  So sad.  

And then, they really upset me.  They killed Aiden.  And not in some daring action sequence—Victoria poisoned him, rendering him paralyzed, and then she smothered the life out of him.  Holy crap.  Victoria doing her own dirty work?  Epic.  

But did they give us time to grieve over Aiden?  Nooooo!  They busted Conrad out of prison, only to be shanked and left in a puddle of his own blood in the middle of nowhere by…dun, dun, duuuuuuh…Emily’s dead father, David Clarke!  No freaking way!  

(I will say, however, that I don’t believe that Conrad is actually dead.  We didn’t *see* him die, so I’m holding out hope that he’ll be back.)

 

Whew!  With Season 4 set to premier on September 28th, I’m ready for anything.  And I don’t expect to be disappointed.

 

Tomorrow, hop over to Isabella Louise Anderson's blog

for her TV Done Right post!

 
 

Killer Nashville conference is going to be killer!

08/14/2014 09:39

 

 Next weekend, I've been invited to be part of a panel discussion of "Killer Cozies" at the 

Killer Nashville Conference!

 

The "Killer Cozies" session will be on 

Friday, August 22nd from 10:00-11:00 AM 

in the Legends Ballroom at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, TN.

 

I'll be available for book signings immediately following the session.

 

Other mystery authors participating in the panel discussion will be Jennie Bentley/Jenna Bennet, Kay Elam, Jackie King, and Nancy J Parra/Nancy J Coco.

 

If you're in Nashville next weekend, come and check it out!

 
 
 

TV Do-Over Blog Hop list of links

08/04/2014 10:11

 

The TV Do-Over Blog Hop has come to an end, and we had a great time.  

Here's a list of links so you can catch up on anything you missed!

 

Deborah Nam-Krane--Hawaii Five-0

Laura Chapman--Gilmore Girls

Monique McDonell--How I Met Your Mother

Kerrie Olzak--Scrubs

Lilian Roberts--The Originals

Caroline Fardig--Warehouse 13

Aaron Deckard--Dexter

Courtney Giardina--Hart of Dixie

Deborah Nam-Krane--X-Files, Once Upon a Time

Danielle-Claude Ngontang--Revolution

Jami Deise--Lost

Zanna Mackenzie--Smash

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson--General Hospital

Caroline Fardig--Hawaii Five-0

 

Thanks for hopping along with us!

 
 
 

Aloha, Blog Hop! I'm taking on Hawaii Five-0 for the do-over finale!

08/03/2014 08:53

 

I realize that Deborah Nam-Krane has already covered Hawaii Five-0, but the two of us talked and decided that there was enough about our show that we’d “do over” for both of us to take a crack at it.  Actually, our weekly gripe sessions with Danielle-Claude Ngontang were what gave me the idea for the TV Do-Over Blog Hop in the first place.

When I was a kid, I watched the original Hawaii Five-0.  The giant wave in the opening credits always scared me to death.

 

I love drama.  Not in my real life, mind you, but in my writing, reading, and TV/movie watching, bring it on.  Season One of Hawaii Five-0 had drama in spades.  And humor.  My love for this show was cemented when they tied Balki from Perfect Strangers to the hood of the Camaro and drove him around downtown Honolulu.  

Of course this is safe.  Don't be ridiculous.

 

Besides the episode “Mana’o”, which I think translates to “The One with Balki”, my favorite episode is the Season One finale.  You’ve got Danno and his ex-wife back together (cheating on her husband AND she’s just learned she’s pregnant with Danno’s baby—gasp!), Chin is exonerated and offered his badge back by HPD, Kelly Hu gets blown up, we find out that the Governor (Jean Smart of all people) is dirty, McGarrett is wanted for murder (falsely, of course), Kono gets taken in by IA, Danno decides to leave Hawaii with his ex, Wo Fat shoots the Governor dead and pins it on McGarrett, and Chin arrests McGarrett.

Tired yet?  Oh, AND because all of that has gone down, “There is no Five-0 anymore,” according to Chin.  They leave us “to be continued” after an anguished McGarrett watches Kono being booked while being booked himself, and after Danny lashes out at Chin for deserting Five-0.  After this, Season Two’s premier should be kick-ass, right?  Well, it is…mostly.

 

Missed Opportunity #1:  The Season Two season opener—my second favorite episode. 

The entire episode is packed with action, witty banter, and drama.  McGarrett got shanked AND broke out of prison AND did it all while wearing either a wife-beater or no shirt at all, which ALMOST made up for what I’m about to complain about.  

We find out that Danno’s ex-wife’s baby is…dun, dun, duuuuuh…not his.  Now that’s dramatic—except they didn’t play out the tearful, heartwrenching exchange between Danno and Rachel.  Like at all.  We find out about it during a sissified cargument (one of their staple “car arguments”) between Danno and McG.  

This wasn't a shot of THE cargument, but they pretty much all look like this.

 

Whaaaaat?  That could have easily provided weeks and weeks of anguish and drama in Danno’s personal life.  Take the opportunity!  Don’t shove drama under the rug!

 

Fast forward to Season Four.  The problems all started when Grace Park (Kono) had a baby IRL.  She had to go on leave from the show, because an ass-kicking, preggers Kono would never have worked with the storyline.  

Kono:  You have the right to remain silent...oh, hang on, my water just broke.

Doesn't work, does it?

 

They needed a little injection of estrogen.  Enter Catherine.  She was a regular anyway, but a minor character, and that worked just fine.  She used Navy satellites to get intel for McGarrett’s personal vendettas and was in his bed faster than he could say “booty call”.  But it worked.  What didn’t work was when she quit the Navy and had nothing else to do all day except lurk around at Five-0 headquarters.  Truthfully, it didn’t seem like McGarrett wanted his girlfriend hanging out with him and his bros.

McG:  Just stand there and look pretty while the men do the talking, Cath.

 

Missed Opportunity #2—ALL of Season Four!

 

Catherine decides to leave the Navy, and we’re teased at the end of Season Three that one of her exes would be coming back into her life.  I was so excited that they were going to add a little difficulty to her relationship with McG!  What better way to piss off a Neanderthal than to have someone try to steal his woman?  Well, guess what?  They missed their opportunity for drama again!  Cath’s ex, Billy, offers her a job (long days and nights doing “surveillance and security”—yeah, right), which she accepts.  She and Billy both ask McG if it’s okay with him for her to take the job, and he takes the high road and says yes.  

Less talkie.  More fightie!

 

Danny tells McG he’s nuts not to stop her from spending all that time with ‘the one who got away’, but McG gets all noble about it.  Whatever!  I would have had Cath and McG fight it out and Cath run to Billy for comfort.  Now we have a plot!

 

But, what actually happened was, Cath took the job in Episode 2, nothing happened between Billy and her, and they killed Billy off in the first few minutes of Episode 5.  That’s right.  They killed off the only sexual tension that show had seen since Season One.  Seriously?  That love triangle could have been played out all season, ending with a kick-ass fist fight between two Navy SEALS.  But no, Catherine moons over Billy for about an episode and a half, and then she happily comes to work for Five-0, and her boyfriend is now her boss.  Is that ever a good idea?

 

Well, it turns out that something happened IRL between Michelle Borth (Catherine) and the Five-0 powers-that-be, and her contract was not renewed for Season Five.  So, what to do with a now main character and GF of the lead who won’t be returning to the show?  KILL HER.  Give McGarrett some angst.  He is best when he loses his crap and starts kicking ass and taking names.  These two aren’t Ross and Rachel from Friends—an amiable break-up is not going to work in this case.  Well, tough crap, because that’s what we got.

 

Missed Opportunity #3—Next to last episode of Season Four (“Makani 'Olu a Holo Malie”, loosely translated “The One Where They Should Have Killed Off Catherine”)

 

Catherine gets a message from an Afghan family she befriended while on one of her tours.  She rushes over there to save their son from the Taliban.  Blah, blah, blah, she doesn’t find him (even with McGarrett’s help), and she decides to stay in the Middle East and find the…zzzzzzzz….  Oh, sorry.  Fell asleep there.  If she’s going to ride off into the sunset, never to be heard from again, at least let her ride over a land mine or something

There's got to be a land mine somewhere on that road.  Wait for it...

 

That was probably the lamest ending they could possibly have chosen for her character.  She could have had an epic fight with McGarrett over something stupid and dumped him, quit her job, and left the island in a huff.  Wo Fat could have killed her, and we could have watched McG spontaneously combust.  Hell, let that Jonas kid kidnap her instead of Grover’s daughter in the season finale!  Then make McG not meet his demands, and the Jonas could kill her…and we could watch McG rip a Jonas apart with his bare hands.  Throw us a freaking bone here!  Oh, well, there’s always next season.

McG:  You call that a six-pack, Jonas?

 

THIS is a six-pack.

 

Sorry, not done ranting yet…  And another thing, this probably had less to do with writing and more to do with product placement, but in what universe could someone on a cop’s salary (who complained a couple of seasons ago about not having enough cash to get a decent apartment) afford a brand-spanking new 2014 2SS Camaro with the 1LE package, spoilers galore, and Recaro seats?

I mean, I know his original Camaro got blown up, and he would have some insurance money, but the car was *supposed* to be a 2010 2LT (which they sneakily upgraded every season, BTW), which wouldn’t have given Danny much in the way of reimbursement to buy a car that cost nearly twice what his old one did!  (This girl knows her Camaros.)

 

And that's all she wrote for the TV Do-Over Blog Hop!  

Thanks so much to ALL of the contributing writers for making this hop a huge success and a whole lot of fun!

 
 

 

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