PicMonkey Collage-DEC 7-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 Kathryn, our new leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.


A great week of a little more reading (four books!), less rain, and lots of blog posts.  Halfway through the week, I enjoyed my lunch at The Cheesecake Factory...bliss!  I had a Hibiscus Martini and a Greek salad.


2-4 martini, etc.

2-4 salad






Now for a look at my week…


Morning Chaos: An Excerpt from “Interior Designs”

It’s a Wrap for January 2016

Monday Potpourri: Musings

Chasing Away the Blues with “She’s Not There”

Let’s Spark Some Suspense: “Ink and Bone”

TBR Thursday: Deconstructing the TBR Stacks…

Thursday Potpourri: My Netflix Obsession, Etc.

Friday Potpourri: Fairytales, Magic, & Guilty Pleasures

Bookish Friday: “Brooklyn”

Family & Home: Birthdays

Reaching Out – An Excerpt from “Embrace the Whirlwind”

Review:  The Daylight Marriage (e-book), by Heidi Pitlor

Review:  The Crossing Places (e-book), by Elly Griffiths

Review:  She’s Not There (e-book), by Joy Fielding (NetGalley – 2/23)

Review:  Just Say Yes (e-book), by Alyssa Goodnight


INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Nothing in my mailbox….but I received an e-ARC from NetGalley, and downloaded a purchased e-book.

Where I Lost Her (e-book), by T. Greenwood (NetGalley – 2/23)






The Ex (e-book), by Alafair Burke






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

From the titles below, I hope to find engaging reads….

After She’s Gone, by Lisa Jackson (Amazon Vine)






Lucky Us (e-book), by Amy Bloom





Gray Mountain (e-book), by John Grisham






That was my week…what did yours look like?  Let’s toast another great one…


mimosa time



  1. Wow that is quite the week! Good for you. 🙂 I’ve never seen Breaking Bad or House of cards, but I’ve been curious. It’s kinda scary when I scroll through Netflix and realize just how many shows I’ve been watching LOL- no wonder I’ve been reading less. 🙂 It is comforting to binge though, I must say!

    I love a Greek salad. Yum. 🙂


    1. I didn’t mention in this post how I watched Better Call Saul’s entire Season 1 in two nights…I did talk about it on one of my blog posts, though. I can’t wait until they bring out another season. That’s the trouble with the bingeing…we then have to wait for more…lol.

      Thanks for stopping by, Greg, and while I read less when I’m on Netflix, I like to think of it as “balance.”

      The Greek salad was delicious!


    1. Thanks, Kimberly, and I am also looking forward to reading more…but also getting out, now that the rain seems to be gone for a bit. Knock wood. I think After She is Gone will be fabulous….enjoy your week!


  2. Oh Laurel, I really want to read The Ex. I know it’s out here in Australia but not sure any of the publishers I work with have it. (And I have a moratorium on buying books!)

    I used to love Joy Fielding so am going to check out your review of She’s Not There.



    1. I am trying not to buy as many books, either, but when I can’t get them on Vine or NetGalley, I succumb to the “buy it” button…sigh. I hope you enjoy She’s Not There, Deborah, and have a great week.


    1. I usually get the Pomegranate Martini, but The Cheesecake Factory doesn’t make them anymore…or they weren’t that day, lol. When they presented options, I went for it. And loved it! Thanks for stopping by, Katherine, and as delicious as the Greek Salad was…I couldn’t eat it all!

      Thanks for stopping by…and I love the look of my new books, too.


  3. It sounds like you had a fantastic week, Laurel-Rain! And I really would love to taste your hibiscus martini, I love hibiscus tea, so having that in a drink sounds heavenly 🙂
    Your new books look really good, I hope you’ll enjoy them both.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.


    1. Thanks, Lexxie, and I do hope to enjoy the new books…and all the ones on my shelves…LOL.

      The Hibiscus Martini was an option they presented, since my usual Pomegranate Martini was not available. And I think I loved it more than the Pomegranate…

      Enjoy your week, and thanks for stopping by.


  4. Red Iza

    I went to check the recipe for the Hibiscus martini online, it looks tasty – and that salad ? Yummy ! The ex and After she’s gone look really good, and Amy Bloom has been giving me the eye for some time now… Hope you enjoy and have a great week 🙂 Cheers !


    1. This book is my first by Amy Bloom, so depending on how it turns out, I will be checking out her others.. Thanks for stopping by, Iza, and I hope to enjoy this week’s books. Have a good one, and I’ll see you around on Goodreads!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A hibiscus martini?? That sounds delicious… I love The Cheesecake Factory! The Ex looks good and I’ve been wanting to give Lucky Us a try for a while, too. Hope it’s another good week for you 🙂


    1. Thanks, JoAnn, I hope so too….and that hibiscus martini was an option they presented, since they didn’t have my usual (Pomegranate), but I think I loved it more!

      Lucky Us didn’t grab me at first, but now I’m starting to sink into the pages…enjoy your week!


    1. Thanks, Punkie Vee….I thought I had read some other Lisa Jackson books, but after studying the titles, I realized that I haven’t. Looking forward to this one, though. And I, too, love The Cheesecake Factory, although I don’t go often…it’s in another part of the city, requiring freeways, etc. lol.

      Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your week.


    1. Thanks, Molly, and I sort of went nuts with the blog posts at the end of the week…lol. Sometimes I get a “bee in my bonnet,” as my grandmother would have said, and I’m writing still another post.

      Glad you could visit, and enjoy your week!


  6. Literary Feline

    Ooo! I love the Cheesecake Factory. Pre-child, my husband and I often ate there. Not very often since though. Sounds like you had a great reading week, Laurel-Rain! The Ex looks like it will be very good. My week was not too unusual. We’ve had such nice weather this weekend. I think it may be time for a walk soon. Have a great week!


    1. Thanks, Wendy, and I have loved the nicer weather this past week and this weekend. I haven’t gone to The Cheesecake Factory more than a couple of times in the past year, so when I do, it’s a real treat. Enjoy your reading, too.


    1. Thanks, Laura, and seriously, I started thinking of retirement fairly early in my career, as I knew it was the kind of job that would kick my butt so hard and make me long for it to stop…lol.

      Not that it was all bad, but I realized how very hard it was, in terms of stress, when I retired. The absence of the stress made me giddy….

      Hopefully you will enjoy retirement when the time comes without having to stress too much beforehand.


    1. Thanks, Fi, and I can’t wait to read them. I haven’t read anything Burke has written on her own, but I loved what she co-wrote with Mary Higgins Clark. Enjoy your week….sorry to make you hungry! lol


  7. Never been to Cheesecake Factory, but now I’m getting the urge 🙂
    I commented on your Brooklyn post this week, good choice. I am curious about The Ex. I’ve seen Ms. Burke’s books in the store and hemmed and hawed about whether I would enjoy them.

    I’ve read 2 T. Greenwood books and enjoyed them. Read them slow and savored them; there isn’t much action in them– they are more like character studies and so engaging!


    1. I do love books that are character studies, although they are definitely slower going, aren’t they?

      I don’t go to The Cheesecake Factory very often….sugar overload? Thanks for stopping by, and I do hope to read Brooklyn soon…still haven’t seen the movie.

      Thanks for stopping by, Rita, and have a great week!


  8. All your titles look interesting. I have only been to The Cheesecake Factory once while visiting our son and DIL in Phoenix. I hope to finish one of my books this week, but we will see. I have to report for jury duty on Wednesday….that really cuts into the middle of my week! 🙂 I know it is my civic duty!


    1. Oh, Jury Duty definitely cuts into the week…I haven’t had to actually serve since the 1980s, but have had many “invitations,” the kind where you wait all week, calling, and not knowing if you have to go.

      I first visited The Cheesecake Factory in LA with my son and family…we didn’t even have one here at the time, so I was excited when it came to our city.

      Enjoy your week, Judy, and thanks for stopping by.


  9. Brandie

    Cheesecake Factory!!! One of my favorite places, and I haven’t gotten to eat there in ages. My sister in law and I made plans to go later this month. It’s a good hour away, but SO worth the drive!

    I’m going to try reading The Ex – I hope it’s good! Enjoy your week!


  10. Oh Gosh. I used to love eating at the Cheesecake Factory when I lived in PHX. We have one here in Portland but it was way across town, so I don’t get there very often. The food portions are so huge and the food is so delicious and dont’ get me started on the Cheesecake. Enjoy your sun while it lasts.


    1. Yes, mine is a ways away, too, although it is in the same city. They do have those “appetizer salads” that have better portions…but the cheesecake itself is outrageously huge. LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Heidi, and I’m enjoying the sun…until the rain comes again.


  11. I love visiting the Cheesecake Factory when we visit family in the states, though I put on 20lbs with every visit! Some great looking books on your list this week. Looking forward to the reviews. Have a good week.


  12. I’ve never had a hibiscus martini before. Never knew they could squeeze out hisbiscus syrup. I love Cheesecake Factory. Last August a mum and I met for lunch and had the crab cakes which so crispy the way I like it on the outside and softly flavorful and moist on the inside.


  13. First I would love to try one of those Martini’s -glad you enjoyed it. I want to read The Ex and that John Grisham looks great!! I would also read Lisa Jackson. Hope you have a great week and Happy Valentine’s Day!!


  14. A hibiscus martini? I’ve never had one but now I want one!
    I’ve never read Alafair Burke but I spotted The Ex on audible and was really intrigued. I might get my hands (ears?) on it soon.
    Happy reading!


Please leave your thoughts. Comments, not awards, feed my soul. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.