2014 Dec 16 Critique of NCIS episode, “House Rules”

Tonight’s episode was a holiday spoof that gave us a journey through nostalgia and previous shows. For those of us looking for a typical NCIS ‘who done it,’ it may have been disappointing. But as the episode continued, we got to see clips of shows throughout the years, even some of Ziva, who will probably never make another live appearance. Once we realized this was not a serious episode, it was enjoyable to watch Gibbs’ brood of single agents trying to crack the case of who disabled government computer networks. The unknown hacker(s) stole sensitive government emails that could imperil national security.

Special Agent Tim McGee is the conduit used by the writers. He types a letter to his estranged father. In it, McGee reminisces about his own relationship with his dad, referring to his dad’s “house rules.” In so doing, he draws a comparison to the rules of Gibbs’ work family unit, and the various rules (by number) that Gibbs uses. It was interesting to recall the rules by number. You may have a favorite from over the years. Via flashback to past scenes, we are reminded of the important codes by which Gibbs teaches his agents, his “kids” to navigate life. McGee tries out these same rules on three convicted hackers whom he is trying to convince to cooperate.

Some of the lines are hilarious and lighthearted. Because of the upbeat nature of this episode, we were unprepared for the sad ending. Many of you DVR the show, so we’ll not include any spoilers tonight. Suffice it to say, McGee grows into a man in this episode, and you will want to watch his transformation.

On a final note, we want to wish you all a very Blessed and wonderful Christmas. Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

Don’t Forget To Ask For Your Gift Novel From Us

Kritina, Debbie, and Sandra have each received their free digital version of our thriller of their choice. They and others are encouraged to request up to two iBook versions of our digital suspense thrillers. You can use them yourself or give the coupon number away as gifts. Just comment to this or yesterday’s post and ask for the title(s) of your choice. Feel free to share this opportunity with your family and friends. All they have to do is visit our blog, find this offer in the archives, and request the coupon in the comment section. The coupons can be redeemed for up to four weeks, and the offer is valid until December 31, 2014, or as long as the coupon supply lasts.

Blessings, Diane and David Munson

Our Free Book To You … It’s Christmas

Tonight NCIS will air a rerun of “Kill Chain.” Since we have already written a critique of this episode when it first ran on January 7, 2014, we are providing the following link for those who view the show again tonight.

http://www.dianeanddavidmunson.com/blog/?s=Kill+Chain&submit=Search

Most of you realize that because of our careers in the U.S. Justice system, we write family friendly suspense thrillers, in which we wrap a novel around some of the exciting and dangerous event and cases and real events. This week our ninth novel, “Embers of Courage” is being released in stores and at Internet sites. iTunes has available the iBook version of our nine novels, including “Embers of Courage.” In hopes of creating interest in our writing, we have been given free coupons for distribution and are offering our blog friends and readers a coupon for “Embers of Courage” or another of our thrillers for as long as the iTunes coupons last. So, you are invited to visit our website at the following link (or paste the link in your browser) and decide which of our nine titles you’d like to read in the iTunes version.

http://dianeanddavidmunson.com/books.shtml

Then return to this blog, and using the comment section, list which of our nine titles you would like to receive the coupon for. Your comment will not appear on the blog, but we will respond to you with a coupon number that you can use to download a title, or you can gift that number to another. The coupon expires after four weeks, so if you intend to give a coupon as a gift, tell us that in your comment to us and we will delay issuing the coupon until the middle of December. Our warmest wishes for a blessed Christmas,

Diane and David Munson

ps: For those wanting a print version of our books, they are all available at our website (autographed) and the offer for a free ‘Night Flight’ with the purchase of Embers of Courage is valid until Christmas. For those who might want to see us at a signing event, the upcoming locations are listed below:

DEC 06           11-3PM          FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 5203 CORTEZ RD W, BRADENTON, FL

DEC 16           NOON-4         FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 562 N US HWY 441, LADY LAKE, FL

DEC 19           NOON-4         FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 2613 GULF TO BAY BLVD, CLEARWATER, FL

DEC 20           11-3PM          FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 2454 W BRANDON BLVD, BRANDON, FL

2014 Nov 25 Ooops for Thanksgiving

Now begins the festive seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. As usual during the hectic run up to the holidays, some things are lost or overlooked. For the Munsons’ this week it was the NCIS show and our usual critique. The Thanksgiving service at our church was moved to Tuesday night, followed by the lighting of a beautiful Christmas tree. Not to worry, we set the DVR to record the NCIS episode of “Grounded”. When we arrived home, half way through the episode we discovered our DVR left us grounded, as it hadn’t recorded.

So we’ll tell you that we saw a bit of Bishop’s husband watching with pride how professional his wife was in her new role. We would like to have seen Tony’s dad, as he always brings some fun and confusion, but his flight didn’t arrive. Those of you who saw the entire episode will have to share your informed opinion. We did observe Tony being back at the top of his game. He stopped the would-be assassin in the end. Abby offered the team a chance to make snow angels in the snow. How many of you recall doing so as youngsters? FYI, the next new episode for NCIS is 12/16/14.

In honor of Thanksgiving, we’d like to share a few lines from President George Washington when he signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation: “(M)ay we unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions … to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed … and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.”

Thank God from whom ALL blessings flow. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

2014 Nov 18 NCIS Critique of “Semper Fortis”

First things first. Are we the only ones who suspect Special Agent Timothy McGee phoned Park Police Officer Burt and warned him that he should bring Abby some black roses before the two months was up?

Compared to some of the recent episodes of NCIS, Semper Fortis (meaning ‘aways brave’) was more low keyed. How did it compare to other episodes? Did the writer’s do a better job, an average job, or did they drop the ball in this episode? Do you wonder where we are going with these questions? We discovered tonight’s script wasn’t written by the usual writers. It was written by two assistant writers, and this was their debut episode.

These two writers discovered an anomaly in the law that results in members of the Navy Medical Corp being uncertified outside of the Navy, while Corp men and women from Army and Air Force are certified. They got permission to write this episode featuring this problem. We think they did a pretty good job. We like to see heroes at work. Anna Dillon, the Medic, is saved from prosecution through Gibbs’ insistence, with the help of a somewhat mysterious lawyer, obviously from Gibbs’ past. This was another chance for Mark Harmon, who plays Leroy Jethro Gibbs to demonstrate his quiet but firm compassionate side.

The legal analysis was a bit thin from our viewpoint, and the sergeant for the Fairfax County Sheriff’s office seemed overeager to nail the hospital corpsman. Having lived in Fairfax County when we worked in D.C., we know the professionalism displayed by these officers. Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo seemed at the top of his game tonight and we do hope this Tony is back to stay. Bishop is growing on us as the actress tries so hard to be a credible addition to this stellar team. We are looking forward to seeing how her character develops when her husband appears in next week’s show.

We caught the NCIS New Orleans show too. We may have to start critiquing that show, as it is well written and strong. Lucas Black shines in the role Special Agent Christopher LaSalle, and tonight he showed amazing courage in saving a friend from a terrorist attack by drug cartels.

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

2014 Nov 11 NCIS Critique of “The Searchers”

What did we hear tonight? In our years of watching NCIS, we never heard Gibbs admit to a mistake. But tonight he admitted that he has been too easy on Special Agent Eleanor Bishop. Were you as surprised as we were?

We’ve written three novels where we’ve taken a historical incident, then wrap a contemporary novel around it. Tonight the writers took the story of the murder of a Viet Nam veteran who was trying to write about his commander from Viet Nam and also to locate his body. Wrapped around this story was the NCIS writer’s effort to respond to the many complaints of those of us who’ve been turned off by the way they introduced Bishop as Ziva’s replacement. It was clever how they made Bishop uncomfortable with her performance evaluation score and her realization that Gibbs has been easier on her than her senior agent partners.

Again we had to watch Bishop sitting on the floor working on her laptop. From comments we’ve received on this blog, we are sure we’re not the only viewers who were turned off by such unorthodox work habits. Then, Bishop gets in Gibbs’ face and accuses him of treating her differently then most rookies. In response, Gibbs admits he eased off on Bishop because of the desk she occupies. He apparently blames himself for the two previous occupants of that desk (Kate and Ziva) leaving NCIS, inferring it was because he was too hard on them. After Bishop tells Gibbs that she doesn’t want to be pampered, but that she aspires to be like, Tony, Tim, and even Gibbs, he tells her to get up off the floor and sit at a desk. So, now we can expect Bishop to suddenly become more like Ziva or Kate. Sad though how Gibbs has to admit to being a poor manager and failing to properly train Bishop, to cover up the writer’s and producer’s decision to introduce Bishop, the antithesis of Ziva. Wrong!

Mark Harmon carried off the blame as strongly as he brought a sense of honor and pride to all veterans on Veterans Day. We liked how the team used the backdrop of the Vietnam War to restore those who fought in that war as heroes. Master Sergeant Hawkins and his buddy Sergeant Charles Kent showed grit and integrity in a difficult situation. Many of us know soldiers who have died or have been wounded fighting for the freedoms we enjoy in this great United States of America. Thank you NCIS for reminding us of the preciousness of this freedom.

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

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Between now and Christmas, we will be at several events where we will have the opportunity to see many friends who read our books and who watch and comment on the NCIS shows with us. Beginning with the book signings in Florida on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) we will be signing our newest thriller, “Embers of Courage.”

Here is the list of our upcoming appearances this Fall:

NOV 08 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTAIN STORE, 4220 W JEFFERSON BLVD
FT WAYNE, IN

NOV 20 11 AM 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH SENIORS MYSTERY LUNCHEON,
432 HWY 446, LADY LAKE, FL, RESERVATIONS 352-753-2018

NOV 28 8-NOON FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 3700 US HIGHWAY 98 N, LAKELAND, FL

NOV 28 1:30-5PM, FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 2613 GULF TO BAY BLVD, CLEARWATER, FL

NOV 29 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 562 N US HWY 441, LADY LAKE, FL

DEC 06 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 5203 CORTEZ RD W, BRADENTON, FL

DEC 20 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 2454 W BRANDON BLVD, BRANDON, FL

NCIS Agent Appears in Munsons’ Latest Novel

It’s possible some of the readers of this Blog don’t know that besides writing critiques and comments about the NCIS, we also write suspense thrillers. David likes to say that because he was an NCIS agent and a DEA agent and Diane was a Federal prosecutor, “We don’t know much about gardening, so we don’t write gardening books. But we have lived suspense.”

In our previous eight thrillers, we’ve woven Eva Montanna (ICE), Griff Topping (FBI) and Bo Rider (CIA) into the plots, often using their participation on Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), which exist throughout the nation. A JTTF had been investigating the Boston Marathon bombers prior to their despicable act. On December 2, 2014 our newest novel “Embers of Courage” will be released in stores and through Internet sources in both printed and eBook versions (Kindle on Amazon, ePub at BN, CBD, & iTunes). For the first time, we introduce Raj Pentu, an Egyptian born NCIS agent who is assigned to the JTTF. Raj has an integral role in this latest thriller when he is taken hostage by the Egyptian Brotherhood, while working undercover for the CIA in Egypt. On a dangerous rescue mission, Eva and Bo visit Egypt without ever seeing the Sphinx or the Pyramids.

We are happy to announce that all of our novels are available (autographed) for purchase at our website. Our prices are competitive with other Internet sources, even when shipping is included. Between now and Christmas, we are offering autographed copies of Embers of Courage and a free copy of Night Flight both for $12.99 including postage. If you pre-order now, you will probably receive it prior to the December 2nd release date. Paste in this link to order Embers of Courage: http://www.dianeanddavidmunson.com/books/embers-of-courage.shtml

You can follow us and like us at FaceBook at this link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diane-and-David-Munson/143446772367345

Listed below are the locations where we will be appearing between now and the New Year. We hope to see some on you, if we are in your neighborhood:

NOV 01 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 3819 RIVERTOWN PKWY SW
GRANDVILLE, MI
NOV 08 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTAIN STORE, 4220 W JEFFERSON BLVD
FT WAYNE, IN
NOV 20 11 AM 1ST BAPTIST CHURCH, SENIORS MYSTERY LUNCHEON
432 HWY 446, LADY LAKE, FL, RESERVATIONS 352-753-2018

NOV 28 8-NOON FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 3700 US HIGHWAY 98 N
LAKELAND, FL
NOV 28 1:30-5PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 2613 GULF TO BAY BLVD
CLEARWATER, FL
NOV 29 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 562 N US HWY 441,
LADY LAKE, FL
DEC 06 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 5203 CORTEZ RD W
BRADENTON, FL
DEC 20 11-3PM FAMILY CHRISTIAN STORE, 2454 W BRANDON BLVD
BRANDON, FL

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

2014 Oct 28 NCIS Critique of “Parental Guidance Suggested”

Knowing tonight’s show was airing during Halloween week, we expected something gory and it turned out better than we expected. Really, if the producers wanted something demonic and evil for Halloween, what better venue than New Orleans? Based on the “ghoulish” preview, we’re skipping that one. In this episode of NCIA, the banter about costumes and Abby’s moving hand were funny. A new ATF agent surfaces in a sting operation gone bad. NCIS and ATF both stung each other, something which David has encountered many times (even one is too many). It is dangerous when this happens, as evidenced by Tim’s bruised ribs. In David’s opinion, they were all lucky no one was shot.

The plot over the murder of a SEAL’s wife proved penetrating and compelling. Tonight, the writer, Jennifer Corbett, really kept us guessing until the last few minutes as to who shot Val Barnes, who was also a mother of Rachel a ten-year-old girl, and a therapist. The key question was if one of her prior clients shot the Commander’s wife at point blank range. Gibbs and Tony’s interview of the sociopath was realistic. He turned out to be one scary dude. David surmised early on the husband did the terrible deed (Diane didn’t), but when the husband confessed with ten minutes left to the show, we both figured David had it wrong.

We were so impressed with the writing and acting, as Gibbs protected and assured the child who’d lost her mother and was separated from her father. The drama was heavy as Gibbs remembered his mother’s death at his young age and the loss of his own daughter to an act of terror. His idea to build the child a fortress was so impressive. The drama couldn’t get much greater, but then to see the disappointment in his face and eyes. Enough said, without spoiling the show for those who might watch it later. Mark Harmon says it all with a look and a few words. It is no wonder NCIS is the most watched TV show in the world.

“I love Ziva, but she left us,” Abby tells Tony in her lab, with the doors sealed shut. She exhorts him to move forward from his past. “I miss my friend,” Tony said, with glittering eyes. Abby smiles and says, “Never forget we are your friends too.” Based on some other lines from Abby, Ziva most likely will not return, even in a cameo role. It was touching to watch Tony confronting his memories of Ziva, and meeting another beauty, now ATF Special Agent Zoe Keates, from his past. Do you think she will return and find a place in Tony’s heart? We love his funny-bone, and yet are ready for him to act more grown-up.

Great writing! Great acting! Great surprises!

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson

2014 Oct 21 NCIS Critique of “The San Dominick”

Another good one. We were delighted to see CGIS Special Agent Abigail Borin return. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a big enough role, but she had a great closing line for Tony. Tonight’s show was refreshingly clean compared to last week’s. It was great to see McGee try on the role of boss and to see Bishop and Abby analyzing his leadership. We loved the line from Abby when she called Tim “McGibbs.” His glare competes with Gibbs’ intense look. To Diane, this was the best subplot of the show. She found it difficult to follow the dialogue on the San Dominick.

The episode was full of tension, which we like. The captain of the San Dominick had a sneaky idea for ripping off drug cartels and separating them from their shipping container full of drug money. Something just didn’t seem right when Tony interviewed him as they were about to medevac him on the USCG chopper. Dave instantly knew the numbers at the scene belonged to a shipping container. Must be his years with U.S. Customs and DEA are coming in handy.

Sometimes the crook’s schemes get too complicated as they attempt to cheat their accomplices. That’s what happened tonight. In those cases, even an inept investigator figures it out. As it’s said….sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut. Dave worked many of these kinds of cases through the years and he found the twists and turns reminding him of his undercover cases involving drug cartels.

In the end, Gibbs comes through in stunning fashion. He disarms the bomb and fakes out the pirates that were working with the Captain, who planned to cheat them all. Way to go Gibbs!! Wasn’t it clever having USCG Agent Borin deflated Tony’s ego by telling him he couldn’t be second in command. But, he could be “a solid number three.”

NCIS NOLA rocks again, with Senior FBI Agent Fornell traveling to the Big Easy to solve a kidnapping case. We really like how this team pulls together. NCIS Director Leon Vance has a cameo appearance as he pledges whatever help they need to solve the case. We spotted the bandage on the neighbor’s arm and determined she was involved somehow. The brother and sister are reconciled in the end, but it comes after a sad death of a hero.

What do y’all think?

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson