Review: The Catch Is Must See TV

Are you watching The Catch? If not, you're missing one of the best, most fun series I've seen in a long time.

The show was created by Jennifer Schuur, Kate Atkinson, and Helen Gregory. Allan Heinberg developed it, and it is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Heinberg, and Robinson.

The sexy series is fresh and tackles something that, so far, is working out quite well.

That something is a continuing romance with characters who not only desire each other but also want to be exclusively with each other. Married even! How nice to see a TV couple who aren't sleeping around!

Moonlighting tried this scenario unsuccessfully. So did Remington Steele. If you remember those, then you'll fall for The Catch.

Amazing Cast

The amazing Mirelle Enos who you may remember from the Netflix Original Series The Killing portrays Alice Vaughan, a strong woman and a successful private investigator. When Episode 1 of Season 1 debuted, Alice was engaged to be married to Christopher Hall.

I don't want to give away any of the delicious surprises so all I'll say is that Mr. Hall vanishes, and Alice sets out to find him--and her entire life savings that vanished with him.

Peter Krause plays the missing fiance Christopher Hall with the panache Cary Grant possessed.

The supporting cast of regulars is equally stellar with Jay Hayden as Danny Yoon, Rose Rollins as Valerie Anderson, Sonya Walger as Margot Bishop, Elvy Yost as Sophie Novak, John Simm as Rhys, and Jacky Ido as Agent Jules Dao.

The Catch debuted on March 24, 2016, on ABC. I came in at the end of the first season. I was so enchanted by the series that I immediately ordered a DVD from Amazon.

The second season started a few weeks ago. The show is on Episode 7. There are only 3 episodes left in this season.

FanGirl Note

I have to say something about the characters' wardrobes. I totally love the clothes, shoes, hairstyles, jewelry, and makeup of the women on The Catch. I seriously want that wardrobe! *sigh*

Takeaway Truth

The Catch is funny, sexy, suspenseful, action-packed, sexy, and romantic. Each episode is full of surprises. The stories are original, and the acting is superb.

You can get Season 1 DVD from Amazon and watch some of the current season's episodes on ABC Go. Or just wait until Season 2 hits DVD. I'd buy it today if it were on pre-order.

Kiss Me, Thrill Me: Free for Kindle Unlimited

Today is World Book Day! That makes it a great day to celebrate Kiss Me, Thrill Me, a collection of romance novels designed to thrill the hopeful romantic, now in Kindle Unlimited.

If you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you know this means you can read "for free" every delicious romance in the collection.

If you're not a subscriber, never fear. For a short time, the collection of 7 full-length romance novels, is priced at only 99 cents. Be sure and get it today before the price increases.

Kiss Me, Thrill Me: As Only You Can

Kiss me. Thrill me. These words sighed softly in a lover’s embrace were the inspiration for this collection of 7 contemporary romance novels by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

Whether you’re looking for the humor of romantic comedy, the sassiness of chick lit, the adventure of fantasy romance, the thrilling locales of international romance, the poignance of a second chance at love, or the ever-popular forced marriage romance and medical romance, Kiss Me, Thrill Me has it.

Some of these novels are heartwarming, and some are heart-throbbing. Some are set in exotic locales like France and the Greek Isles, and some are homegrown in the United States. Some will make you laugh, and some will make you blink back tears.

All of these emotion-drenched love stories will touch the hopeful romantic in you and make you believe in the magic of love.

The Authors and Their Books

Joan Reeves,NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Cinderella Blue.
In this funny, sexy cop romance, Andrea–call me Andie–and Benton are two commitment-phobic cops with nothing in common—except the desire sizzling between them.

Mimi Barbour, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, The Surrogate’s Secret.
An international love story to delight the romantic. Miguel forces his dead brother’s surrogate to marry him so he can take her and her twin babies to Chile to save his beloved, sickly mother whose only cure is to see her grandchildren.

Dani Haviland, USA Today Bestselling Author, Aye, I Am a Fairy.
This time-travel romance is an adventure with assaults, arson, a 230-year old video on a solar-powered smartphone, and two very different women awaiting the sharp British lord with a great secret. What will lovely Leah, the sassy heroine, do when she learns the truth?

Alicia Street, USA Today Bestselling Author, Touch Me and Tango.
A lost love returns for one more dance–and a second chance at love. They fell for each other long ago, but reality intruded and broke them apart. When they meet again, the same passion flares between them. Can love prevail this time?

Patrice Wilton, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, For the Love of Candy.
Fun, flirty, a little sexy, and a lot of humor–that’s chick lit romantic comedy at its best. Harrison Wolfe doesn't want his twenty-year-old daughter to marry Candy's son. Candy hasn't met her yet, but knows they are too young. How can the parents keep them apart without their own attraction getting in the way?

Mona Risk, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Right Name, Wrong Man.
What's a girl to do when she whispers another man's name while in her fiancé's arms? In this international medical romance, forbidden dreams about the sexy French surgeon, Dr. Yves Malroux, assail Mary-Beth at every turn. Torn between two lovers and not ready to pledge love and commitment to her fiancé, she flies to France to confront her past and the lover she left behind.

BONUS: Her Greek Tycoon by Mona Risk, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author.
For another international romance, attraction sizzles between American attorney Ashley and Greek tycoon Stefano when they meet incognito on Mykonos Island.

Later, when they meet in court, they’re ready to tear each other apart to protect their grandparents’ opposite interests. Will the heavens align for the grandchildren of thwarted lovers?

Takeaway Truth

Many romance novels are written, but these are some you'll remember. Add Kiss Me, Thrill Me to your Romance Library today, and have a Happy World Book Day!

Saturday Share: Dorito Drumsticks

I have a food confession. I love Nacho Cheese Doritos®. I seldom buy them because they're way too high in calories for this diet-conscious writer.

When I was a kid, there was a Frito-Lay commercial about Lay's Potato Chips®. The tagline was, "Bet you can't eat just one."

Well, that's anything by the Frito-Lay Corporation. I can't eat just one of their potato chips or of Doritos®.

However, I can justify buying a bag of Doritos® if I'm going to use them as the crumb coating for baked chicken. If I happen to munch a few of the trips while I'm putting the dish together, well, that's allowed. Chefs do that. Right.

So if you like the spicy taste of Doritos®, try this baked chicken. You'll love it!

Doritos® Drumsticks
  • 1 6-ounce bag of Doritos® (6 ounce bag is used, but if you get a larger size,you'll have some left. *g*)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 drumsticks (just the legs, not legs with thigh attached)
Instructions
  • Prepare a 9" x 13" baking pan by lightly greasing or spraying with Pam or a similar product.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Crush the chips finely and place in a plastic bag.
  • Mix the egg and milk in a shallow bowl.
  • Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  • Dip the chicken into the egg mixture.
  • Next place the egg-dipped chicken into the plastic bag and shake to coat with chips.
  • Place in a layer in the baking pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove to a serving platter.
If you want to prepare this for baking later in the day, just cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time to bake. Add an extra 5-10 minutes baking time if going from fridge to oven.

Takeaway Truth

The spicy Doritos® perfectly seasons the chicken. I think you'll like this as much as I do.

Happy Birthday, SlingWords + Giveaway

On April 12, 2005, I published the first post in SlingWords. Since then, I've published 2,782 posts.

I've hosted hundreds of authors over the years and have chronicled my path from traditional publishing to indie publishing to producing audio books and learning how to make video book trailers.

I've shared just about everything I've learned over the years with the hope that it helped make your journey easier.

I didn't use much art the first two years. As I blogged more and learned how to legally obtain graphic images, my posts grew more illustrated.

I became quite adept at blogging and have had a book on blogging as a work in progress for a couple of years. I hope to finally publish Blog Ops, designed to make blogging easier and fun for you, in a couple of weeks.

Unlike many who feel blogging is a burden, I enjoy it. I want to show others how to enjoy it too.

First Post

The first post on SlingWords was a Japanese Proverb that I've followed most of my life. I guess it's my declaration that I may fall, but ultimately I will keep going. I will win. Here's that post in its entirety.

Fall down 7 times; stand up 8. ~ Japanese Proverb

Short But Profound

There you have it, my first succinct post about how to succeed. I still believe the wisdom in those 7 words. Winners are those who try one more time. If you quit, you lose. If you keep going, you win.

Yes, sometimes the number of times you fall seems to be multiplied by thousands. I've fallen frequently in life, but I've always managed to pick myself up and stand--and try--again.

The will to prevail--to stand again when you've fallen--is the will to succeed.

About Takeaway Truth

In 2007, I used the phrase "Takeaway Truth" for the first time. I didn't start doing it with every post until July 2008.

I had started adding a summary sentence or two at the end of each post because I'd learned how Internet readers actually read content.

Internet readers read vertically, looking for sub-headings, bullet points, etc. that help them grasp the content immediately. I thought adding a summary sentence of the post made sense. I still do that, and blog readers look for it.

Blog Themes and Pages

I changed blog themes a few years ago, and I may change again. I think blogs need a facelift every now and then so they don't get stale.

I've also added extra pages to the blog because I used it more as a website than my actual website. (My life seems to be busier and more complicated than ever so time has become a scarce commodity for me. I can't seem to find time to update my website which is something I plan to change this year.)

Giveaway to Celebrate the 12th Birthday

Even though I missed posting this on the blog's actual birthday which was April 12, I don't want to wait another day before celebrating the 12th Birthday of my beloved little blog.

I'm giving away 12 copies of my first indie published title, Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones. (The embedded link is for Amazon in case you don't score a freebie.)

A billionaire, a secret crush, a betrayal. Just your typical high school reunion is the background for this sexy romantic comedy!

To claim your free copy, click here to visit the Smashwords page for Jane (I'm Still single) Jones.

Takeaway Truth

Thank you for reading and supporting my little blog. I love receiving your emails and your blog comments. I deeply appreciate those of you who subscribe to SlingWords through the Kindle store (only 99cents a month).

Post Script

I'm always open to "guest stars" who have something valuable to say to those who read SlingWords, and I'm open to readers as well as authors who want to be on the blog.

Use the Contact Page to email me if you'd like to appear on SlingWords.

Review: A Baby for Easter

I think I've read all of the romance novels by Susan R. Hughes. I love the deep emotion with which she imbues her characters.

I would describe her books more as Women's Fiction with strong romance elements.

About A Baby for Easter

Helen Ellis rarely talks about how she met her late husband, Blake. When her granddaughter Julie begs her to tell the story, Helen finally delves into bittersweet memories from the summer of 1978, when a young bartender’s dreamy good looks caught her eye and his kind soul captured her heart.

Having run from her strict religious home at eighteen, and then broken away from her cheating boyfriend, Helen wasn’t ready to give up her newfound freedom. With Blake set to leave for relief work overseas, a temporary romance seemed inevitable—until an unplanned pregnancy turned their plans upside down.

My Review

Like I said above, I love the books Susan R. Hughes writes, but I was a little concerned about this one after reading the book description. I'm happy to say my concern was unwarranted.

In the talented hands of this author, the romance that Helen Ellis relates to her granddaughter about Blake, the love of Helen's life, becomes something timeless rather than nostalgic.

The emotion and love Helen has for her late husband is palpable. This story is the stuff of great romance--books and movies. Like all of the authors' heroines, Helen is someone who has learned life's lessons the hard way. Somehow, she has endured and grown wiser and stronger from those hard lessons.

 
It's a Keeper!

This is one you'll probably add to your Keeper Shelf.

Takeaway Truth

This is a wonderful story! Hurry, and get A Baby for Easter.


You can find it for only 99 cents at Amazon Kindle. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can get it for free.

Saturday Recipe Share: BBQ Polish Sausage and Beans

This April day is gorgeous. I'm headed outside to garden.

I have 2 giant terracotta pots to plant with zinnias, trailing ivy, and asparagus fern.

I know I'll be too tired to cook dinner so I just put the slow cooker on. The type I have is Crock Pot.

I'm making a dinner that's delicious comfort food. If you don't have these ingredients, pick them up from the supermarket today for an easy, savory and deliciious dinner tomorrow.

This recipe will be included in my upcoming recipe book: 99 Problems But Dinner Ain't One. (It took me a long while to accept the Ain't in the title. *LOL*) I hope to have this book published by the end of April. Enjoy this sneak peek recipe this weekend.

Slow-Cooker Barbecued Polish Sausage and Beans

Ingredients

2 (15.5 ounce) cans of Navy beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped onion (can be coarse chopped or fine chopped--your choice)
1 cup barbecue sauce (I use Austin's, but I don't know if this is available outside of Texas)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of ground mustard
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 to 1 1/4 pounds fully cooked smoked Polish sausage cut in 3 inch slices (I include this recipe in the Beef section of my cookbook, but you can certainly use Pork or a mixture of Beef/Pork. Turkey sausage can be used, but it doesn't hold up as well during the long, slow cooker process.)

Directions
  • Spray a 3 to 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray or use one of those liners.
  • Mix all ingredients together in the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours. If you're short of time, cook on High for 2 to 3 hours. (With most slow cookers, you can raise the temp to High and cut the time in half.
  • Serve with garlic bread to rave reviews.
Takeaway Truth

Weekends are easier to enjoy when you know dinner isn't a problem.

Canva: Free Online Digital Illustration

I had a really nice email from Adelbert Bola,
Community Outreach Specialist at Canva.

He had read my post about FotoJet and wanted to remind me of the usefulness of Canva, a digital illustration app that many authors--including me--use.

Since I like Canva and agree with Adelbert that it's very useful, I asked for a guest post.

I'm happy to present the information and great graphics I received.

About Canva

Canva is a simple drag and drop, design software, which is fully online and free. Canva has been around for just over 27 months and already has 17 million users.

The designer tools in Canva make it easy to create stunning layouts. They have more than 1 million shared photos, fonts, and elements.

Add the contents of the top stock photographers and graphic artists to that and you get endless design possibilities.

Need a brochure? Canva allows you to easily create the perfect marketing materials that people want to read.

Present your information clearly and beautifully using their professionally designed templates.

Just (1)drag and drop your favorite images, (2) customize the fonts and colors, and (3) edit text.

How Canva Works

As I said, it's a simple type of drag-and-drop software. If you can click and move the computer mouse, you can create some great projects.

Popular Types of Designs
At the right, you can see a graphic that shows the many popular design types you can create. There's just about everything you need for online promotion. 

Design Feature Choices

There are a large number of design features from which to choose:
• Text
• Background
• Grids
• Framework
• shape
• lines
• Illustration Free stock photos

Create A Design
On the left you can see the Create Design page that gets you started.

Remember, Canva is free, but you do need to register an account to get the most benefit.

Takeaway Truth

If you don't use Canva yet, give it a try. I think you'll like it.

Review: My New Kindle Voyage

My Kindle Voyage arrived on a day when Houston had 4 tornadoes touchdown. Unlike the Dallas area, this is not common occurrence here. Tons of rain, wind, and, of course, a power outage that lasted from before noon Wednesday to the wee hours of Thursday morning. As my daughter says, "Good times."

I picked it up from the package locker and forgot about it since I left home early Thursday morning. Finally home again, I plugged it in and charged it.

My Thoughts

I'm so used to the Kindle 3G keyboard that I've had since early 2010, that it took a while to get used to it. With my old Kindle, I could open the Kindle Store at any time, anywhere, and download books.

With the Voyage, since I opted for the WiFi version only, I have to remember to have books downloaded to the device before I leave home. (I try to avoid pubic WiFi since there are so many ways hackers can mess up your devices. Don't know if they can infect a Kindle--probably not at this point--but I try to practice safe WiFi and just avoid the public ones.)

The reading screen on the Voyage is almost the same size as my old Kindle. What's missing is the keyboard and the slightly larger frame surrounding the screen. Personally, I like the larger frame because I can easily hold the older Kindles.

With the Voyage, you have about a half inch spaced around the screen with which to hold it. That actually ends up making my hand tired because I used to read in bed and just prop the Kindle on a pillow so I didn't have to hold it.

Also with the older Kindle your library was displayed and all your books were in it either listed individually or in Collections you set up. If you deleted a book from your device, you could just go to Archived Items and quickly download it again.

With Voyage, everything is in the Cloud. If you suddenly want to check something in another book or just switch books, you have to take time to download the new one from the Cloud. How fast it downloads depends on the WiFi speed.

Another thing about the Voyage is that the display is "busy." I actually just like a list of my books. I don't want to see covers of other books that they're pushing. Again, I wasn't thinking. I believe I ended up with the Voyage with special offers so be careful what you order. I also don't like being prompted continuously to post a review, go to Goodreads, tell my friends about, Like it on FB, etc. I do all that anyway, but I don't want the Kindle proclaiming it at every opportunity. You can turn most of that off in Settings but not all of it. I just find it intrusive and annoying.

 The battery life is supposedly much longer than on the Kindle, but the caveat is that you must turn the WiFi off or the battery drains as fast as any device connected to WiFi. I finally remembered to put it in Airplane Mode.

Oh, and I decided to get the Voyage because it has PagePress, buttons to navigate through the book. I read fast and get tired of swiping. Plus, I hate touchscreens. I think I'm just not touchscreen coordinated. I didn't realize that everything else about the Voyage is accessed via touchscreen. I guess I thought there would be a navigation button to scroll up and down lists of books. There isn't so beware of possibly buying something you didn't intend if your finger strays.

In Summation: Pros

1. Smaller so will fit easily into all purses, maybe the back pocket of jeans, etc.
2. Built-in light.
3. Longer battery charge if you turn the WiFi off.
4. PagePress buttons to navigate through a book.

I wish I could think of some other pros toward this purchase, but at this time, I simply can't.

In Summation: Cons

1. Harder to hold without getting your fingers on the screen.
2. Display is busy with too many things on the screen.
3. No navigation button for selecting books. Touchscreen only for all other functions.
4. Intrusive announcements and exhortations from Amazon.
5. Must remember to download when you have secure WiFi.
6. Much more expensive.

Takeaway Truth

I guess the bottom line is I wish I'd bought a Kindle Paperwhite with 3G which has the built in light. I think I would have liked it better and could have saved myself a lot of money.

What Was Missing From John Wick 2

I intended to post something about John Wick Chapter 2, which Darling Hubby and I saw on its opening day, but time got away from me.

Plot

Unlike the first movie, this one did not have a deeply emotional hook. John Wick 2 opened with the nonstop action of Wick retaking his car that was stolen in the first movie. The plot was based on dealing with the fallout of Wick's actions in the first movie. Based on the character, this was a believable premise.

What Was Missing

Although this movie had all of the elements of the previous one--except the strong emotional hook--the one thing that would have lifted it above the genre would have been a soundtrack like the one in the first movie.

There was some techno music during some of the scenes, but they should have gone back to Marilyn Manson for another signature piece like Killing Strangers at the very least. (I've named that genre Ballistic Music.)

Even if you don't like the language of the lyrics, you find yourself humming along. The first John Wick soundtrack enhanced each scene and lifted the movie above the genre.

Takeaway Truth

Despite not having an emotional hook and the Ballistic Music, John Wick 2 is worth seeing if you're into action flicks or Keanu Reeves--ladies, he just gets better with age.