PicMonkey Collage-smaller resized


Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Sheila in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Journey.


Wow, what a week!  I think I have my reading mojo back, with four books read and reviewed…the mailbox had goodies…and I saw a fun movie today:  The Intern, with Robert DeNiro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, etc.

And the Berliners are safely home…ready to pick up their normal lives again.  They are missed!






Reclaiming My Interiors: A Bittersweet Day

The Party Is Over: Finish Line Post (Bloggiesta)

Rainy Day Reading & Bookish Thoughts

Serendipitous Tuesdays: “Pretending to Dance”

Hump Day Potpourri: “A Place We Knew Well”

And Then There Were Six….

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts: Soup & TLC

Inside My Interiors: An Ordinary Thursday

Bookish Friday: Excerpting “The House of Memories”

Moving from My Interiors to the World Outside….

Saturday Sparks: A Summer of Travel

Review: Scared Scriptless (e-book), by Alison Sweeney

Review: Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter (Amazon Vine) (Release Date – 9/29/15)

Review: Pretending to Dance (e-book), by Diane Chamberlain (NetGalley – Release Date – 10/6/15)

Review: House of Glass (e-book), by Sophie Littlefield



INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

In my mailbox were THREE review books and ONE book I purchased; I downloaded two e-books.

The Good Goodbye, by Carla Buckley (Amazon Vine)






A Place We Knew Well, by Susan Carol McCarthy (Amazon Vine)






Snow Deer & Cocoa Cheer, by Joanne DeMaio (Publicist Request)






The Nesting Place, by Myquillyn Smith (Purchased)







Forever (e-book), by Judy Blume (For Banned Books Week)






The Dance Begins (e-book, Prequel to Pretending to Dance), by Diane Chamberlain






WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  The Good Neighbor (e-book), by Amy Sue Nathan (Net-Galley – Released on 10/13/15)






Forever (e-book), by Judy Blume






Rainy Day Sisters (e-book), by Kate Hewitt






The Good Goodbye, by Carla Buckley (Vine)






And that’s it for this week!  What did yours look like?  Let’s have some coffee and move along….






Welcome!  It is Thursday, and even though I have been absent from this event for a while, I am delighted to return with some Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts.  Check out the host, Christine.

For Saturday’s Snapshot post, check in with Melinda, at West Metro Mommy Reads.

For most of July, I have been hosting my eldest son and his wife, newly arrived from Berlin.  They stayed all month, and now are up north visiting other family members.  They will return in early September and stay most of the month….and when they fly out, this time they will be headed to Prague, where they met several years ago.

Before they arrived in my Central Valley city, they spent July 4th weekend in LA, and here are some of their photos.  My second son lives in an apartment in Hollywood, called The Broadway.  Great for rooftop shots, like this one of Gabi on the roof:


Gabi - from the rooftop- July


Here is my son Craig on the rooftop…the building sign is reversed.  They spent a lot of time in this rooftop pool.



Craig on The Broadway roof

Here is the sign, lit up:



The Broadway - 1



When they arrived here, in our less than celestial city, we visited the mountains, enjoyed a lake, and ate lots of good food at my daughter’s house.   We had one lunch here, below, in an Old Town hotel.


a little Shaver Lake pub


Craig & Gabi -Old Town Hotel

On our last night together, Craig made spinach enchiladas, and we watched back-to-back movies.

While they were here, my office, temporarily, was this one in the dining room:



temporary office 2

At least I was close to the coffee pot!

Now I am back in my normal office, left, minus the bulky bookcase that once jutted out into the room(right)…it is now in the garage.








Here is the abandoned bookcase, full of books to donate:

bookcase with donated books


July was a relatively non-bookish month.  I only read and reviewed TEN books…a very low number for me.  But I had a lot of fun.

Now I am moving back and forth between books on my Kindle:  first I chose Some Luck, by Jane Smiley, but stalled after just 26 pages!

So now I am reading Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen, a book that has been on my Kindle for quite a while.






So that was my month.  What did your month/week look like?




Good morning!  It has been a while since I participated in My Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts.  For those who want to give this a whirl, head on over to Bookishly Boisterous.

The past three weeks have been mostly “not so bookish,” in that my reading has been minimal….but I’m enjoying a long-term visit from my eldest son and his wife of two years, whom I’ve been calling “The Berliners,” since that was where they were last living.  It had been eight years since he last visited, and at that time, he had been living in Prague.  This time, they will stay here for a while, head up the coast to visit other relatives, and then return here before going back to Europe in late September.  They will then return to Prague.  He is a photographer/writer.

Yesterday we had lunch in a neighboring village that is known for its Old Town vibe.  Below, Craig and Gabi are in the Old Town Hotel, where we enjoyed the ambience.


Craig & Gabi -Old Town Hotel


Here is another glimpse of the surroundings….



Dining room - Old Town Hotel - July 22


And then we headed to another part of the Old Town center, where we enjoyed The Old Town Saloon, with its western feel.



Old Town Saloon - 722


Yes, a little tacky, perhaps, but it’s fun to step outside one’s comfort zone.

A couple of weeks ago, we visited the mountains an hour from here…Shaver Lake is a favorite place to enjoy the cooler weather.



Shaver Lake - 1 - July 10


I have been doing a little reading, and right now, I am as immersed as I can be, when reading sporadically, in The Murderer’s Daughter, by Jonathan Kellerman:  from NetGalley.





I am loving this stand-alone novel that is not part of the Alex Delaware series, although his name does appear a few times, as he is connected to the MC, Dr. Grace Blades.  A clinical psychologist, she treats clients with PTSD, and she certainly relates, as she has her own issues.

When her past collides with her present, she will be running for her life.


What have you been up to lately?  What does your bookish/not so bookish world look like?




Welcome to My Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts!  Check out Christine’s blog to see what others are doing this week.

It has been a couple of weeks since I participated in this event….last week was a total wash, with all the distractions, etc.

Coming this weekend is a Mini-Bloggiesta event, which I always enjoy.  I really loved the main event a couple of months ago, but this one is like a chance to do some minor tweaks.

I will be primarily working on Serendipity, but I will also do a few things on my other sites.  Like on this one, I’ve already changed the header.


Both of my granddaughters (like twins, they were born the same month and year) graduated high school.  Aubrey graduated in May, and promptly went to Hawaii as her senior grad trip.  Here she is with her dad (my son) and two of her brothers.



My Robinson Four


Fiona graduated Tuesday night, and afterwards, we all got together at the Spaghetti Factory for a dinner…and closed down the restaurant.  (Below:  Fiona is on the right; her cousin Dani, left, also graduated).



Graduates -Fiona & cousin Dani


They are eager to go off to college, but first, summer fun!


I am now happily enjoying Netflix on my Blu-Ray player—not that my whole hooking-up-to-the-laptop via HDMI cables wasn’t a great way to go—but this is easier.  I finally finished watching the five seasons of Breaking Bad…and started House of Cards.





This week’s reading has kept me glued to my books (Kindle, actually); and now I am reading a print book from Vine:  Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave.  It is fun so far.






I think I am finally getting into my rhythm at NetGalley.  I have received some great reads, and my rules for myself are working so far: only request books from authors recommended to me or have read, and only books that I would otherwise have purchased.

I am trying to avoid the deep dark hole I was in with Amazon Vine when I requested books without a lot of thought…and then found myself slogging through them.  Not fun!


What books are you enjoying?  What’s ahead in the upcoming weeks?  Summer fun?  Trips?




Welcome!  It is Thursday, and that means we should check in over at Bookishly Boisterous, and then share a few tidbits about our Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts.

Last night, while I was propped up in bed with all the pillows and cushions available, I was reading.  But I kept getting distracted as I studied the room.  Yes, my bookish and cozy room that has been under fire lately.

There once were five bookshelves stuffed with books…and I started whittling away at them, removing shelves until there were four left. 

Suddenly I found myself out of that cozy bed and tossing books into a basket to carry them to the garage donation shelf (one of the empty shelves that now lives there!).





And now there is another empty shelf…on the other side of the garage.  And here are some views of what my room looks like now. (Below).  There was another full shelf where you now see the exercise bike and the stack of boxes under Minnie Mouse.  Before, the exercise bike was right next to my bed and I stumbled over it regularly…LOL.




Here is a close-up of the bike and the remaining shelf.




And a view of the other shelves. (Below):  Number Two Shelf Remaining.




Below:  Shelf Number Three:  And I had that fan blowing the whole time, as I was SWEATING like crazy.





Of course, I could not go to sleep!  And I had to take two pills for my sore muscles…LOL.

I watched Hot in Cleveland, with the story of how the show came to pass, and some of the actors’ favorite moments while filming.  I am going to miss that show!  Series finale is next week.


Then I continued reading Daughters-in-Law, by Joanna Trollope, another fun family story that peeks behind the facades….






I have loved reading two other books this week, too; The Liar, by Nora Roberts, and The Hypnotist’s Love Story, by Liane Moriarty. (Click for my reviews).


Mini-Bloggiesta is coming in June (13th and 14th)…and I’ll be participating.  I love these events, as they give me the opportunity to play with one or more of my blogs.

What has your week brought for you?  I hope you’ll come on by and share….





Good morning!  It’s another Thursday, which means the weekend is almost here…and it’s time to talk about our Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts with Bookishly Boisterous.  Check out Christine’s blog to see what others are chatting about.

Do I even have any thoughts today?  I have been sticking close to home, reading and watching movies.  I saw one the other night that I watched again the next day.  I loved it that much!  It was 5 Flights Up, with Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman.





Okay, this is not a movie for everybody, but I was drawn in by the NY scenes, and the characterizations of Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton.  Alex and Ruth, who are getting older, have lived in this Brooklyn apartment for 40 years, and they are tired of climbing those five flights up to the apartment.  Plus, the neighborhood is changing—gentrifying—and the aspects that drew them in the beginning are no longer there.

It was fun (for me) to watch them hold a hilarious open house, with TV in the background showing shots of a “terrorist” scene unfolding at the bridge.  Their realtor is Ruth’s niece Lily, portrayed by an intense and rather annoying Cynthia Nixon.  She did a great job of playing THAT kind of realtor.

They also looked at some apartments in Manhattan…and that was an eye-opener for them…and for me.


My reading started out great, with Little Black Lies, by Sandra Block, followed by Bittersweet and Every Fifteen Minutes.  (Click titles for my reviews).

Now I am struggling to get through The Shore.  Yes, I was forewarned that this is not for everyone.





Yes, it sounds lovely in the blurb:  “The Shore: a group of small islands in the Chesapeake Bay, just off the coast of Virginia. The Shore is clumps of evergreens, wild ponies, oyster-shell roads, tumble-down houses, unwanted pregnancies, murder, and dark magic in the marshes. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it’s a place that generations of families both wealthy and destitute have inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. “

Some of the stories are enchanting…while others, not so much.  My biggest problem with the novel is how it flips back and forth across time, picking up with characters at various points in their lives…and I didn’t think it was done that seamlessly.

But I plan to slog along a little longer….sigh.

Did anyone read it?  Thoughts?


I also started reading an e-Arc that is much better (for me):  Black-Eyed Susans, by Julia Heaberlin.





As a sixteen-year-old, Tessa Cartwright was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “Black-Eyed Susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. Tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row.

Now, almost two decades later, Tessa is an artist and single mother. In the desolate cold of February, she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susans—a summertime bloom—just outside her bedroom window. Terrified at the implications—that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large—Tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. But the flowers alone are not proof enough, and the forensic investigation of the still-unidentified bones is progressing too slowly. An innocent life hangs in the balance. The legal team appeals to Tessa to undergo hypnosis to retrieve lost memories—and to share the drawings she produced as part of an experimental therapy shortly after her rescue.

What they don’t know is that Tessa and the scared, fragile girl she was have built a  fortress of secrets. As the clock ticks toward the execution, Tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. Is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting Tessa with a trail of clues? She has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night.

Sounds intense, right?

So that’s what my week was like so far….and I have no idea what the weekend holds, other than reading and catching up on my DVR recordings.  What about you?





Welcome to our Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts, hosted by Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous.

Today is Spa Day again, although this time, I am just getting hair and nails done.



beautician bear

I am wondering if I should change up my nail color…I have had these dark shades of navy blue forever!





I cannot imagine them in pastels, though; those colors do not feel like me.  Red?  Maybe just a variation of the dark shades.  Off to check out the possibilities before I head over.


This week has brought more purges, but nothing overwhelming.  A few stacks of magazines made it to the recycling bin…I like saving some favorites for a while, but when they start to pile up, and they threaten to topple, well….that’s it.

I rearranged some more of my figurines on the bookshelves…keeping the arrangements small, but changing them up a bit.



photo - may 13 - new arrangements


Now, for the books….I am reading the Kellerman book, Guilt, and it is pretty interesting, but it is not keeping me up at night, which is a bad sign for a mystery.  But I will plug away.





I’m taking Pippa, my Kindle, to the salon….where I have a whole library of books to choose from….





I’m thinking of starting Little Black Lies, by Sandra Block





She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own…

In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother’s death, the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out.

As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can’t remember just might kill her.

Little Black Lies is about madness and memory – and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.


After the salon, I’ll be hanging out with Noah at his house, and if he is true to form, he will be glued to his video games..so I can read.

How has your day been shaping up?  Your week?




Welcome to our Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts, hosted by Christine, at Bookishly Boisterous...and to a Thursday, with the weekend fast approaching.  I am late to the party today, having had a very strange night.

I took a late nap around 7:00 p.m, which was ridiculous, and then, after a couple of hours, read for a while.  I fell asleep after watching a show on my DVR and woke up again at 2:00 a.m.

Yes, that’s what I get for that late nap!  I got up, went to the living room and read some more.  Then I napped again for a couple of hours….and now I hope I can stay up late tonight again, without further naps.  Ridiculous!





I suspect my day was off kilter yesterday because of the errands I ran.  First I took these two bags of books to the library…they were heavy, since most of them were hardcovers.  I had cleared out another shelf in my bedroom.


PicMonkey Collage-book donations collage


My bedroom, minus that shelf:



new bedroom 2 may -


After the library, I picked up some more bins at Target, and then thought:  why not go pick up that prescription at Kaiser?  Ha!  It was one of those medications that they won’t prepare until you show up, even if you order it online…and I discovered this after waiting in a very long line.  An hour-and-a-half later, I had the meds, and I was feeling GRUMPY, to say the least.



grumpy images


My mood improved after I got home, watched a couple of shows, had a very large bowl of ice cream…and then finished reading my book.  A book that I could not put down, so I finished it later and wrote my review.  Those Girls, by Chevy Stevens, wrapped itself around me and held on tight. (Click title for my review).





So now my mood is 100% improved, and to “cleanse my palate” after my last four reads, which were suspense thrillers, I am reading The Life You’ve Imagined, by Kristina Riggle.





I am enjoying it…and maybe I’ll even sleep tonight…


What are your Thursday Thoughts?  Gripping reads or frustrating moments in your day?





Good morning!  It is that time in the week when we gather around and compare notes on our thoughts, both bookish and not so bookish.  Join Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

It has been a week of errands….those tedious things that have to be done every month.  

I really want to take a trip.  It has been too long, and I’m psyched about going some place with a beach, like the coastal community up north where my youngest son lives.  The photo (below) was taken during the winter.  Now it must be a lot different.



another pebble beach


Like this….



crescent city beach



I would love to go up on the train with my granddaughter Fiona….she hasn’t visited her dad’s new place yet.


November Fiona



As for the bookish stuff, I’ve read and reviewed three books so far this week…and I’m almost finished with Wife-in-Law, by Haywood Smith.




           From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Hat Club comes a story about two unlikely friends who would never have imagined they’d end up married to the same man

It has the author’s “inimitable southern voice,” and while there is plenty that made me laugh about the story, there were some tough times, and real tests to friendship bonds. 


No, it was not bigamy, but after her husband leaves her, the cad hooks up with her best friend.  But it has a surprising twist or two.


What are you reading this week?  What life adventures are keeping you busy?






Good morning!  It is that time in the week when we gather around and compare notes on our thoughts, both bookish and not so bookish.  Join Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

Yesterday I posted about some changes in my office, at My Interior World:  Echoes of the Past.

I took down a basket full of mementos and started sorting…and came up with some intriguing things.  Here’s the office with that basket; I marked it with a black square.





With the basket gone, I shuffled some things around and came up with this new look for my office space.  Yes, I’m sure it is still way too cluttered for most people, but this is one room in which I love to feel “surrounded” by cozy things.  Here is the desk area up close, and the wall area behind it.  I do have some family photos…and some quirky things, like that wicker thing with mementos tucked inside.  I am a fan of mementos.  LOL.  That particular “cozy” holds a back stage pass to a show hosted by Dick Clark, during the time my son was his CFO; a sign from BEA when I signed copies of my book Chasing Stardust; an “editor” pin from the time that I edited a newsletter for divorced people; and a stub from Chippendale’s, in Las Vegas.





Close-up of the wicker cozy:






Here’s a view from the door, in which you can glimpse the couch, a bookcase, the TV, and the edge of another bookcase…and lots of framed photos layered on the walls.  I still like that look for this room.






Here’s a view of the right side of the room:  a bookcase;  a table behind it with the printer, etc.; and more stuff on the walls, including a bulletin board, calendar, and some awards.






And finally, another view of my nook, which I have purged a few times.  I took more books off the filing cabinet and added some new things on the wall and atop the filing cabinet.







I have also been doing some reading this week.  I finished three review books, and now I am reading (and loving) A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler.





“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . .” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.

Brimming with all the insight, humor, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler’s work, A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It is a novel to cherish.



I am loving it!  It has wrapped itself around me with a squeeze that feels good, even as it hurts.  There is joy and pain, loss and the accumulation of wonderful moments.  Unforgettable!

What are your bookish/not so bookish thoughts today?