HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: MY READING WEEK….

Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING:

I am still reading bits and pieces of America’s Queen, by Sarah Bradford, which is perched on my nightstand:

 

And I just started The Identicals, by Elin Hilderbrand

 

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BOOKS FINISHED SINCE LAST WEEK: (Click Titles/Covers for My Reviews)

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

 

The Secrets She Keeps, by Michael Robotham

 

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

I have a long list of books I am eager to get my hands on…but today I’m featuring one that I have ordered and which is headed to my mailbox:

Did You See Melody?, by Sophie Hannah

 

Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

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My reading is plodding along this week, but I’m enjoying each and every one so far.  What does your week look like?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: OGLING NEW RELEASE BOOKS….

It is time for new releases…again!  Don’t you love Tuesday Release Day?

One new release that I had pre-ordered came to Pippa, my Kindle, late last night, even though today is technically the release date.  But I am not complaining.

A Stranger in the House, by Shari Lapena, is one I’ve been ogling for a while.  I loved the author’s previous book, The Couple Next Door, so it was a no-brainer to add this one to my list.

 

In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A domestic thriller packed full of secrets, and a twisty story that never stops—from the bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

He looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say,
Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.

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And then I downloaded Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown, another new release.

 

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers nonstop suspense and supercharged sexual tension in a thriller about tainted heroism and vengeance without mercy.

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That’s all I have so far, but by this afternoon, there might be more.  I subscribe to a service that e-mails new release titles in my favorite genres.  I always feel as if I’m opening a Christmas package when I get the notice.

I am trying to cut down just a bit on my purchased books…in the last two months, my numbers are lower than they were in the earlier months of the year.

In the months from January through June, the numbers were in the double digits…yikes!  But in July, I purchased seven books…and so far in August, nine.

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Do you eagerly await new releases? Do you buy more books, or borrow them?  Do you add more review books than purchased ones?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: GENERAL QUIRKINESS…& FAVORITE THINGS

Good morning!  Today’s tidbits include my quirky take of the photo (above); PicMonkey has a daguerreotype frame that turns an ordinary photo into this smoky rendition.

I also did this to the same photo:  an off-center heart-shaped version.

 

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So…yesterday I had lunch with an old friend.  We were colleagues for three years when we both worked in a private foster family agency (after my retirement from the county career).  She lives in Northern California and works for State Rehab. now.

All of us were very close working together in an agency with a very authoritarian/mercurial CEO…it was us against her.  That kind of setting brings people together. We all had regular get-togethers while we were working there, and then after we each left…but now we are all scattered throughout the state.

So it was good to catch up.

Afterwards I saw The Glass Castle, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  The film flashed back and forth in time, bringing us moments in childhood interspersed with the adult scenes.  It was a riveting “true story” brought to film.  I also loved the book version, which I read before I started blogging.

 

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Last night, I watched more of Season III of The Ranch, on Netflix, which I didn’t enjoy very much at first…but now I’m riveted.  I’m not sure why.  Probably because I finally allowed the scenes with Debra Winger and Sam Elliott (both of whom I enjoy) to overshadow the silliness of Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson.

I’ve been watching the TV season of the new show Doubt, with Katherine Heigl…and I see that nothing is scheduled for next week, so I am guessing it is going on hiatus.  I hate when that happens, especially with a cliff-hanger ending.

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How is your weekend shaping up?  Plans?  Adventures?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: VISITING PRAGUE VIA PHOTOS, ETC.

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Another change-up of the blog header.  I love this woman setting aside time from chores to read a stack of books.

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Today I’m also sharing a visit to the Prague area, where my DIL Gabi has captured these images, making me want to go there. 

Let’s start with one of the photos snapped in Praha-Prosek:

 

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I love this close-up, spotlighting those gorgeous leaves:

 

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A path that makes me think of railroad ties…there is a history here, I’m sure.

 

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Intriguing sign:

 

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Gabi enjoying a drink after a day of photographing her surroundings:

 

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Check out Craig’s idea of savoring a meal/drink afterwards:

 

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And…back in the states, here is my celebratory lunch on Thursday, after being dismissed from Jury Duty; I had waited around all morning.

 

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Enjoy your weekend.  What are you sharing?

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A WEEK IN READING…

Today I’m participating in Sam’s WWW Wednesdays Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

***

CURRENTLY READING:

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate.  For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

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BOOKS FINISHED SINCE LAST WEEK: (Click Titles/Covers for Reviews)

The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan

The Other Girl, by Erica Spindler (NetGalley – 8/22)

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, by Chris Bohjalian

Swimming Lessons, by Claire Fuller

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

Anatomy of a Scandal, by Sarah Vaughan (Release Date – December 5)

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

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And that is my week…come on by and share yours.

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: PAST & PRESENT MOMENTS….

Seashells and roses…my favorite things in a bathroom.  Candles, too.  This little grouping is so familiar that sometimes I don’t even see it.  But when I was dusting the other day, I took another look.  And remembered how many years I’ve had that “shoe with the roses” piece…and I had to really stop and think.  I know that I first wanted something like that after seeing one in a bathroom back in 1977.  Yes, I do mimic what I see in other people’s bathrooms.  LOL.

I’ve had it for years!  I know I had it in my townhouse…and then in the foothill house where I lived afterwards for thirteen years.

I’ve been here ten years.  But I have moved things around, added the seashells, and the little “roses” china saucer with soap came straight out of my country cupboard in the dining area.  I like to re-purpose and use things in new ways.

So…I guess that Old Shoe and Roses thing is almost an antique.  LOL. 

I’m always surprised when so many things survive the various moves.  Even though I haven’t moved as much as I once did—this is only my fourth home since 1988.  In the 1970s alone, however, I moved fourteen times!  For a while, I remembered all the addresses.

I didn’t have as much stuff back then.  I didn’t have a camera for a while, either, so I couldn’t memorialize my various places like I do now.

So…pardon that walk down memory lane.  Funny how one or two trinkets can whisk us right into the past.

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As for the present, today is Tuesday Release Day, and I finally got my hands on The Good Daughter, by Karin Slaughter, a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

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Today I’m having lunch with my daughter and youngest grandson (her son), who is almost fifteen!  How is that possible?  We’re celebrating her birthday (next Sunday is the actual day).  On that day, we’re having a champagne brunch with a group, but today it will be just us.

I had to pick a day that she wasn’t working and which I knew for sure wasn’t Jury Duty day.  I’m still calling in each night.  I hope I can slide the whole week!

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What does your Tuesday look like?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Good morning!  It is Sunday, and time to reflect on some of life’s little tidbits…or obsessions.

One of the new books I downloaded this week was The Identicals, by Elin Hilderbrand.  I had no business buying her newest book when I haven’t yet read last season’s Here’s to Us.  And I will get to that one…but something about this year’s offering got to me.  Guess what it was that grabbed me?  The names of the main characters.

 

Identical twin sisters who couldn’t look more alike…or live more differently.

Harper Frost is laid-back, easygoing. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She likes a beer and a shot and wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything fashionable. She’s inherited her father’s rundown house on Martha’s Vineyard, but she can’t hold down a job, and her latest romantic disaster has the entire island talking.

Two beautiful islands only eleven miles apart.

Tabitha Frost is dignified, refined. She prefers a fine wine and has inherited the impeccable taste of her mother, the iconic fashion designer Eleanor Roxie-Frost. She’s also inherited her mother’s questionable parenting skills–Tabitha’s teenage daughter, Ainsley, is in full rebellion mode–and a flailing fashion boutique on Nantucket in desperate need of a cash infusion.

One unforgettable summer that will change their lives forever.

After more than a decade apart, Harper and Tabitha switch islands–and lives–to save what’s left of their splintered family. But the twins quickly discover that the secrets, lies, and gossip they thought they’d outrun can travel between islands just as easily as they can. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to bury the hatchet and end their sibling rivalry once and for all? Before the last beach picnic of the season, there will be enough old resentments, new loves, and cases of mistaken identity to make this the most talked-about summer that Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have experienced in ages.

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The name “Frost” resonates with me.  Before my name was “Snow,” it was Frost.  Yes, seriously. 

Lorraine (Rain) Frost became Laurel-Rain Snow, just for the heck of it.  And as a pen name. Sometimes I feel more like my literary/blogging version than the previous one, but I still like the sound of the name Frost.  LOL.

I am also a sucker for books set on Nantucket.  I’ve never been there IRL, although I did drive down the Cape a few years ago while doing business in Boston.  Sometimes I feel as though the East Coast is my true home.

But then I am also a true California girl.  Can we have more than one true soul?

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What are you reflecting on this weekend?  Plans?  Adventures?  Obsessions?

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