TUESDAY POTPOURRI: IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN…

Yay!  We made it through Christmas….and now we can count down to the New Year.  But before then, today is another Tuesday Book Release Day.

 

So far, I’ve only found one to download:

Now That You Mention It, by Kristan Higgins…

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family. Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

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I’ll be waiting to see what other new releases pop up this afternoon.

Meanwhile, I am struggling when typing on my laptop!  I think I need a new keyboard.  Some of the letters and numbers are almost impossible to type:  I push down hard to get them to cooperate.  Then…the whole second row letters are no longer visible.

I don’t want to get a whole new laptop yet…does anyone have experience with this issue?

Is Louisa May (my laptop) trying to tell me that I’m doing too much blogging?

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Happy holidays, everyone!  I had a lovely brunch with my daughter and her little family…then came home to watch more Christmas movies from my DVR.

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: A QUIET CHRISTMAS EVE…

During the holidays, I often remember past moments, like this one of six of my grandchildren at a nearby restaurant.  We used to meet here for our get-togethers at Thanksgiving, and I loved that they had their tree all decorated which served as a perfect backdrop for our photos.

How cute is Noah (left), looking all bored.  Fiona, second from right, has her eye on him…I think.

This photo (and event) happened in 2006.  Now all of these kids are grown-ups…except Noah, who is turning fifteen in January.

Alec, third from left, just graduated UC Berkeley.  Aubrey,  far right, attends San Diego State University as a junior, but is enjoying a semester in Prague.  Dominic, third from right, just got married in September.  He is attending university and working.

Aaron (second from left) is attending college in Arizona, and Fiona is working.  She is still trying to find her perfect niche.

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I am enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve…sipping eggnog and thinking about what, if anything to cook…I am tempted to just nibble on snacks all day.  Or I could order a pizza.  Hmm.

Tomorrow I’ll be at my daughter’s house for Christmas Day Brunch.  She is making Quiche…a favorite dish.

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Reading:  Dead of Winter, by Wendy Corsi Staub.  I’m almost finished…couldn’t put it down, but did…because I was tired last night.

I’ll finish it this morning.

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While browsing Amazon, I decided to pre-order a book that I’ve been eager to get my hands on.  I don’t often do this…but I don’t want to forget to buy it.  As if.

The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn, will be released on January 2.

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Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare…

This blurb captured my interest.  Who doesn’t love reading about a recluse who sees something she shouldn’t?

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What does your Christmas Eve look like?  Is it busy?  Quiet?  Bookish?

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IT’S HUMP DAY! A TIME TO READ….

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:

Wonder Valley (e-book), by Ivy Pochodo,

“Destined to be a classic L.A. novel.”—Michael Connelly

When a teen runs away from his father’s mysterious commune, he sets in motion a domino effect that will connect six characters desperate for hope and love, set across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles.

 

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BOOKS FINISHED SINCE LAST WEEK: (Titles/Covers Linked to My Reviews)

A Season to Lie (e-book), by Emily Littlejohn

A Hundred Small Lessons (e-book), by Ashley Hay

Snap Judgment (e-book, Samantha Brinkman #3), by Marcia Clark

 

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

Before and Again (e-book), by Barbara Delinsky – Release Date: June 26, 2018

Synopsis:  From the New York Times bestselling author of Blueprints and Sweet Salt Air, a brand-new novel about a woman in hiding finding the courage to face the world again.

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends—and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made—though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself—or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.

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That was my week so far.  I am enjoying my current read, and I’m eagerly awaiting another story of a woman hiding out, trying to reinvent herself.

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: SAVORING WHAT YOU LOVE….

The clock is ticking, the days are sliding by…and before we know it, Christmas will be here, with New Year’s right behind it.

I am hoping for a better year in 2018…and one of the bookish things I enjoy each January 1 is the First Book of the Year event, which Sheila, Book Journey, is hosting again.

I selected my book a while ago…and even had several photos snapped to share on the actual day.  You’ll have to tune into my An Interior Journey blog to find out more.

What am I doing until then?  Well, reading, of course.  After my start of Sing, Unburied, Sing, I set it aside.  It wasn’t doing it for me.  Despite the themes I usually enjoy (poverty, drug addiction, dysfunctional families), the narrators fell flat for me. I know I am in the minority with these feelings, obviously, since the book won many awards.  But that’s okay. 

I am now reading and loving Snap Judgment, the third book in Marcia Clark’s Samantha Brinkman series.

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I am happy that, after a thorough cleaning of my misbehaving coffee pot, today’s pot was everything I have always loved about coffee on a Sunday morning…or any morning.  Yay!

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As a treat yesterday, I took one of my holiday Christmas gift cards to Cheesecake Factory for a nice Blood Orange Martini and some pasta.

 

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This morning, I did something new:  I made some bacon and eggs for my brunch!

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What are you savoring about the holiday season?  Are you discovering books you love, and maybe setting aside those you don’t enjoy?

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CURLING UP WITH GOOD BOOKS…

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’ve been reading  A Season to Lie (Detective Gemma Monroe Novel), by Emily Littlejohn.  I thought I might finish it today, but I got caught up in some errands involving deeds and other documents. 

Maybe tonight I will finish.

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

Fragments of the Lost (e-book), by Megan Miranda

Little Broken Things (e-book), by Nicole Baart

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING: 

I will be waiting quite a while for this book, but I think it will be worth the wait. (Release Date:  August 7, 2018).  Our House, by Louise Candlish, is a disturbing and addictive novel of domestic suspense where secrets kept hidden from spouses cause shocking surprises that hit home…

 

Synopsis:  There’s nothing unusual about a new family moving in at 91 Trinity Avenue. Except it’s her house. And she didn’t sell it.

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern coparenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

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I can’t wait to read this one…and I am also looking forward to the books on my list this week.  What are you anticipating?  What have you been reading?

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: BOOK RELEASE DAY, TIDBITS, & OBSESSIONS…

Good morning from my Potpourri Blog, where I enjoy changing things up…and specialize in quirky, whimsical, and obsessive topics.

 

As you may know by now, it is Tuesday Book Release Day…but I have yet to download a new book.  I know that one I have bookmarked has been released…but I think I’ll wait to see what the afternoon e-mail will bring.  I am trying to cut back, just a little.  For me, cutting back means:  Buying five books (so far) in December, compared to twelve in November.  A start, right?

But…here’s the one book I am pondering so far:

Cruel Winter (e-book, County Cork #4), by Sheila Connolly

Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan’s small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn’t sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan’s pub. But now she’s stranded in a bar full of patrons–and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder….

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Last week, I downloaded Book 3:

An Early Wake (e-book, County Cork #3), by Sheila Connolly

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Currently I am turning the pages of A Season to Lie, by Emily Littlejohn.  I was clipping along…and then I resumed my binge-watching of The Crown’s Season II...and finished the rest of the ten episodes last night.

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The Crown, Season 3, may begin production soon…there are varying rumors about major cast changes.

 

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Today will also be a day of running errands.  I’ve been procrastinating about completing some documents and getting them notarized.  I have to put one foot in front of the other…and proceed.

What is the hold-up?  I have to go to the copy store to have them copied before I complete them and get them notarized.  Go to the Notary…and then back to copy and Fed Ex the final docs.  Sigh. 

I am transferring title of my Time Share back to the company.  After ten years, I am tired of it…in fact, I haven’t used it since 2009…which did involve a lovely week in a Napa resort, with lots of wine tasting.

Since then, my second son has been using it every year.  He is tired of it, too.  So…the time has come for us to part company with Diamond Resorts.

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What lies ahead in your day?  Do you have fun things to enjoy?  Or annoying chores?

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BOOKISH LOVE ON A HUMP DAY…

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 just started reading Fragments of the Lost, by Megan Miranda:  From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger comes a suspenseful psychological mystery about one girl’s search to uncover the truth behind her ex-boyfriend’s death. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars and 13 Reasons Why.

 

BOOKS FINISHED SINCE LAST WEEK: (Titles/Covers Linked to My Reviews)

A Bella Flora Christmas (Novella – Ten Beach Road), by Wendy Wax

Without Merit, by Colleen Hoover

The Cruelest Month (CI Gamache Mystery), by Louise Penny

The Wife Between Us (e-book), by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen -(NetGalley – 1/9/18)

READING NEXT:  MAYBE…I have several review ARCs just languishing on Pippa…

Watch Me (e-book), by Jody Gehrman (NetGalley – 1/23)

Synopsis:  Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

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I love twisty suspense novels…with intense obsession and illicit attraction…

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: BOOKISH ANTICIPATION…

As I rushed to my laptop this morning, I had two thoughts on my mind:  participating in Tuesday Intros/Excerpts...and checking out the new Book Releases. 

 

I’ve done the first…and then when I went to the second item on my list…sigh.  Nothing I wanted to buy!  Unless more tempting titles show up on this afternoon’s e-mail.

But…next week, there will be at least one I want.  Book Four in the County Cork Cozy Mystery Series is coming:

Cruel Winter:  A County Cork Mystery, by Sheila Connolly

Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan’s small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn’t sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan’s pub. But now she’s stranded in a bar full of patrons–and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder.

Maura’s been in Ireland less than a year and hasn’t heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they’re not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she’d never had a chance to do in court.

Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan’s reviews the facts and theories about the case–and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case? A clever spin on the classic locked room mystery, Cruel Winter, the fifth in New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly’s series, will delight fans of the Emerald Isle.

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Of course, I probably should read Book Three first:

An Early Wake, by Sheila Connolly

Pub owner Maura Donovan may have Irish kin, but she doesn’t seem to have the luck of the Irish. Who could have foreseen that bringing live music back to Sullivan’s Pub would lead to a dead musician?

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I do love immersing myself in the Irish countryside in this series. 

Meanwhile, today I am starting to read Fragments of the Lost, by  Megan Miranda, a suspenseful psychological mystery about one girl’s search to uncover the truth behind her ex-boyfriend’s death. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars and 13 Reasons Why.

 

I have loved two other books by this author (All the Missing Girls, The Perfect Stranger), so I plan to lose myself in the book.  Psychological thriller?  Twisty, with dark secrets?  These are my kryptonite.

What is your book love?  Do you like variety, or is there a special niche you enjoy?

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SUNDAY POTPOURRI: SWEPT BACK TO A TIME AND PLACE…

Yesterday I was reminded of my younger years in Sacramento:  attending the university pictured above, and just strolling around the tree-lined streets nearby.

What carried me back?  A movie, Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan, set in Sacramento.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, starting with hair styling, and followed by lunch at Dai Bai Dang, where I had this delicious Sesame Shrimp dish.

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Sated with good food, I sank into the cozy seating and watched the wonderful story of a daughter, her conflicts with her mother, and how she went about choosing a future.  And all around her, as she went through each day, I saw the familiar surroundings that I had loved…back then.

Why did I leave?  Well, jobs, of course.  And a marriage.  My three sons were born in Sacramento, though, and my older two still visit the city, since their father lives there.

I could move there now, of course, since I’m retired…and most of my children no longer live here.  But my daughter does…and so do three of my grandchildren.  Plus…I hate moving.

But I could visit more.  That could work.

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Do you sometimes think of places you’ve lived that have left their mark on you?  Do you enjoy the memories?

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FRIDAY POTPOURRI: NOSTALGIC CHRISTMASES…

Nostalgia is a feeling I have around the holidays, and in this photo (above), I am reminded of family gatherings from the past.

Our annual get-togethers combining family from afar, as well as those who live locally, usually happened at Thanksgiving, and in this one from 2005, we met at a neighboring restaurant, where they always had their tree up in November.

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But before those Christmases, there were some in the home in the foothills.  Below is a shot of my eldest son next to the tree we decorated on our first Christmas there in 1994.

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Fast forward to the last days in the foothills:  our Christmas in 2006, the final one there.

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By the following Christmas, I was settled into my current home in the city, and in the neighboring mall, the grandkids piled into this big sleigh.

 

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Since then, there have been several years in my current home, and with each year, we bring out the same old ornaments…but arranged in different ways.  I am not sure what year this one (below) took place…sometime between 2007 and 2014.  My bad.

 

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Christmas 2014

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Another one from 2014

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Nowadays, I am more minimal in my decor:

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Do your holidays reflect changes in your life?  Do you go big…or do you go minimal?

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