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Top 5 Military-themed Shows to Binge-watch

It’s the weekend – yeah! With inclement weather continuing throughout the country, it might be a good weekend to binge-watch something on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime or any of the other on-demand streaming services.

The proliferation of military-themed shows has made it easy for me to binge-watch my favorite type of hero: The Warrior. It’s the complex mix of characteristics that make these heroes so compelling: disciplined yet daring, stoic yet passionate, strong yet vulnerable.

Here is my list of top 5 military-themed shows to binge-watch — all in the name of research for my contemporary romantic suspense books, of course!

SEAL Team – The lives of the elite Navy S.E.A.L.s as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions our country can ask.

 

 

The Brave – The complex world of our bravest military heroes who make personal sacrifices while executing the most challenging and dangerous missions behind enemy lines.

 

 

 

Valor – The boundaries between military discipline and human desire are tested on a U.S. Army base that houses an elite unit of helicopter pilots trained to perform clandestine international and domestic missions. The drama unfolds in the present as well as in flashbacks to a failed mission involving one of the first female pilots in the unit, ultimately uncovering layers of personal and government/military secrets and leading to a season-long plan to rescue a group of MIA soldiers.

 

 

The Last Ship – After a global viral pandemic wipes out over 80% of the world’s population, the crew (consisting of 218 people) of a lone unaffected U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the fictional USS Nathan James (DDG-151), must try to find a cure, stop the virus, and save humanity. 

 

 

Six – Navy SEAL Team Six attempt to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan when they discover an American citizen working with the enemy. 

 

 

What’s your favorite military-themed show to binge watch?

Easter and Springtime Safety Tips for Pet Owners

After a long and dreary winter, springtime is finally here! One of the first celebrations of the season is Easter–which means chocolate and lilies and other health risks for pets.

Make pet safety part of your planning process when you organize gatherings, decorate for holidays and have special treats in the house. Here are a few of the most dangerous hazards for dogs and cats.

Flowers and Plants

Lilies and daffodils are two of the most popular springtime flowers. Both are toxic if ingested by cats.

Easter Grass

Lining baskets with brightly colored Easter grass is as much a tradition as colored eggs, but the strands can cause major medical problems if they get into an animal’s digestive track. Avoid problems by lining baskets with tissue paper instead. (Hint: Ditto for Christmas tinsel!)

Chocolate

Be careful if hiding treats is part of your Easter fun. Dogs have keen sniffers and may find hidden chocolate treats. It is the theobromine and caffeine in chocolate that’s dangerous to pets. The severity of an animal’s reaction to consuming chocolate depends on how much and what type. Play it safe by keeping chocolate put up where dogs and cats can’t get into it.

Xylitol

This artificial sweetener, used in candy and baked goods, can have adverse effects on humans when eaten in excess amounts. It only takes a small quantity to harm dogs.

Warning Signs That Your Pet May Need Veterinary Care

Lethargy
Vomiting
Trembling
Diarrhea
Straining to defecate
Painful/distended abdomen
Dehydration
Loss of appetite

Remember that holidays and celebrations are fun for you, but they may be disruptive for your pet. If you are traveling or having company, plan ahead so your pet remains safe, comfortable and well behaved.

Happy Springtime!

Traveling with your pet

Undercover Danger ~ Excerpt from 'Women Under Fire'

Angie stood motionless in the shadow of a misshapen cypress tree. The setting summer sun of Seattle didn’t relieve the cold frisson of danger or the press of her revolver’s cold metal against her skin. Although it had been months since her last reconnaissance mission, her body recognized the drill and tightened into high alert.

Splatters of fading sunlight danced across the sagging house. Official yellow tape was wrapped around the turn of the century beauty like a Christmas bow on a crushed, forgotten present. A “condemned” sign was nailed to the warped door. The crumbling front steps looked like their weight bearing days were a distant memory.

Not sure how to proceed, she waited and watched the abandoned house in the residential Ravenna neighborhood until it got dark. Should she take the squatters unaware? Surprise Maddy before she could run?

She moved from her hiding place to investigate the back of the house. The yard was littered with broken glass, smashed Styrofoam carryout containers, and plastic bags mired in mud from the wet Northwest summer. She stepped over the yellow tape that was haphazardly hung around the back steps, turned the handle, and then pulled open the back door. It was unlocked. The rusting hinges screeched.

“Maddy, it’s Angie from your VA group.” She reverted to her forceful military command voice. “I’m coming in.”

When the door was thrown wide open, small dark bodies—rats—scurried away. Dread raced down her spine into the tips of her toes. God, she hated rats. This rat hole was worse than anything she had seen during her tours of duty in Afghanistan.

She stepped gingerly over the bags of garbage strewn on the uneven linoleum floor. The smell of the years of neglect and black mold hit her sensitive nose. She tried not to breathe. All of her senses heightened in the darkness, an internal radar honed from door-to-door urban combat. She took another two steps, listening for sounds other than the resident rodents.

“It’s Angie from your VA group.” She wasn’t too worried about handling a high Maddy, but handling her companions might get tricky. After eight years as a Marine, she was used to tricky. And after everything Maddy had gone through in Afghanistan, Angie wasn’t about to let her friend descend into another hell.

She reached in the pocket of her jeans for her tiny penlight as she walked into the dark dining room. The light of her flashlight reflected back at her from a cracked mirror hanging over the fireplace, then a sudden, shiny motion. Before she could react, a bright burst of pain exploded in her head. She fought against overpowering blackness.

Women Under Fire

An Unexpected Pleasure ~ Excerpt from 'A Code of Love'

Cord stepped into the hallway. “Lady Henrietta, what a pleasure to welcome you to Rathbourne House.”

She stood abruptly. By the astonished expression on her face, she hadn’t expected to see him. “My lord…” she mumbled, looking down at the floor. She fingered a necklace hidden under her pelisse, an anxious gesture, he was coming to recognize. “I’ve come to see your aunt.” Her chin went up in defiance.

He knew nothing of her friendship with his aunt. He glanced behind her to see if her maid accompanied her. She was alone.

She didn’t offer any further explanation but bit on her lower lip.

A very sensual lower lip, now that she had called attention to it. He found himself riveted to the pink plump lower lip. “My aunt is out on her social calls with Gwyneth. May I assist you?”

It didn’t matter what brought her here today. He wasn’t going to let her leave until he had time to probe the mystery of her unaccompanied appearance.

She stood motionless.

The air filled with expectation.

“Is your need to see my aunt concerning your uncle? I know they’re close acquaintances.”

It was hard to imagine that her large green eyes could get any larger, but they seemed to grow.

“What do you know of my uncle?” Her strident voice and stiffened stance challenged him. She was absolutely compelling with her fiercely determined eyes.

“I don’t believe I’ve yet had the honor of meeting the gentleman.”

She studied him, weighing his answer.

“I’m trying to understand what would cause you to arrive at Rathbourne House, seeking word with my aunt.”

“My visit is of a private nature.”

His impulse was to take her into his arms and console her about whatever problems she faced, to kiss away the anxiety furrowing her forehead. “May I offer you tea while we wait for my aunt?” He gestured with his hand to the marble staircase, which wound grandly up to the second floor.

A Code of Love

Not What He Expected ~ Excerpt from 'Men Under Fire'

Talley’s nails clicked on the wood floors as they approached the door. Nick’s heart beat erratically, his palms were sweaty, and his mouth was dry.

Hollie looked up from her desk as he walked through the door. Surprise registered on her face as she stood and came around her desk. Her hair was piled on top of her head in a high ponytail, and she wore a soft white dress that clung to all her curves. Her sweet and innocent look was a fist to his chest. He was having trouble moving air in and out of his lungs.

“Talley, Sgt. Welby, is something wrong? You don’t have an appointment today.”

She looked young and virginal, nothing like the dominatrix that his male mind had created in the late nights. The swimming regime recommended by Dr. Walters to help Talley was taking the edge off the long days, but the nights were still bad. And when he woke from the same nightmare, he lay in bed and fantasized about Hollie, her incredible bod in the tight black skirt, fishnet stockings, and black boots, and her gentle touch of his dog.

She looked closely at Talley. “Is Talley ill?”

He couldn’t speak but stared at the enticing woman as his heart thudded against his chest like a marching band drum. He shook his head. “No, we’re good. Really good.” God, he sounded like a simpleton. He could feel his ears burning in embarrassment. “We were in Seattle and thought we’d stop by. That’s not a problem, is it?” Of all the lame shit to say.

“Oh, I’m glad nothing’s wrong.” Hollie bent and patted Talley. “It’s good to see you, Talley,” she crooned in a soft, alluring voice.

Talley’s ears perked up, and her body relaxed at Hollie’s voice.

As she was bent over Talley, he tracked the creamy angle of her neck and a coiled black curl. He could feel her heat, and he caught a whiff of her flowery fragrance.

She didn’t look like the badass woman of just three days ago. She was soft, womanly, and enthralling.

Men Under Fire