HUMP DAY RAMBLINGS: PAST & PRESENT….

june-9-coffee-blogging-etc

Good morning, and welcome to another Hump Day…the first one in March!

In honor of the new month, I peeked into the archives to see what I was doing a year ago.  Here’s that post:

 

cropped-picmonkey-collage-serendipitous-butterflies.jpg

Good morning, and welcome to my Hump Day Serendipitous Ramblings.

Except…it’s not Hump Day…not yet!

I did a makeover here, late last night while waiting to enter my link over at Bibliophile by the Sea, where I participate in Tuesday Intros.

My header (above), and the background that surrounds us, remind me of Spring.

Today is the first day since the weekend that hasn’t brought rain.  The sidewalks and my patio are dry, although the mess of leaves on the patio should draw me out there…to rake, sweep, or whatever.

But no, I’ll save that task for later.  This morning I’ve been visiting blogs, and thinking about the book I’m reading (No One Knows). And planning about the one to read next.

 

 

51+6vC8a5zL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

***

Should I read the older book that has been on Pippa for ages?  Or what about this one that I featured today in my Tuesday IntrosUnder the Influence, by Joyce Maynard.  I have wanted to get my hands on this one since I first heard about it.  I pre-ordered it in November!

 

 

51Qed8M8dTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

***

Since it’s not raining, maybe I should go to the mall and check into some of the things I need, all that I’ve been postponing because the rain made me want to curl up here:

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tomorrow (the REAL Hump Day) I have an appointment for my annual physical, something I always dread, as I never know what the doctor will scold me about…or, I do, but I don’t want to hear it!

My granddaughter Fiona texted me about getting together tomorrow, so maybe with that to look forward to….

She has been posting on Facebook about her classes for her Medical Assistant’s certification…about blood draws, etc.  She looks a little scary here with her stethoscope and the scrubs…LOL.

 

IMG_0711

***

So…it’s that kind of day.  Stuff to do, procrastination, and things to contemplate.  What does your Not Quite Hump Day look like?

***

As I ponder the actual day ahead of me, I take a page from last year’s book and ponder what to read next.  As I did back then, I look outside to see what is going on there.  No rain today!

Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble and did not find a book…I mostly shop on Amazon.  But I did buy a Vintage decorating magazine.  I love looking at the photos.

A difference from a year ago is here in my living room, (below).  Remember, I changed out the lamps.  The one on the left, in the foreground, once lived on my rolltop desk.  The one in the background used to be in the foreground.

 

march-1-living-room

***

Also, Fiona, always trying new things (and faces) is now in a different vocational program….she hasn’t settled on what career path to take.  But she just turned twenty…so let’s give her time!

Enjoy your March…and your Hump Day.  What are your plans, thoughts, reminiscences?

***

REVIEW: NEVER LET YOU GO, BY CHEVY STEVENS

 

 

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed.

Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

With Never Let You Go, Chevy Stevens delivers a chilling, twisting thriller that crackles with suspense as it explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.

My Thoughts: From the very beginning of Never Let You Go, I was glued to the pages, watching as Lindsey and Sophie struggled to move beyond the past and truly start over.

But every time they thought they could finally trust again, another unexpected glitch would knock them down.

Narrated by Lindsey and Sophie, the story arc goes back and forth in time, starting with the beginning of Andrew and Lindsey…and then showing us what life looks like for them after Andrew is released from prison. Set primarily on Vancouver Island and parts of British Columbia, the story and characters of this novel felt so real…as if I was walking along with them, stalked just as they were.

As much as Andrew seemed to be the same old lying, abusive man, there were too many things that didn’t quite add up. So, as a reader, I started suspecting this one and then that one. Who could be manipulating the situation, heading toward some kind of revenge?

Just when I thought “ah, it could be him,” or even “it might be her,” I would realize that the scenario didn’t work. I couldn’t trust anyone, and I felt a semblance of what Lindsey must have felt for her whole adult life. Never trusting, never feeling safe.

So I was stunned, as only one can be, when I figured out who was behind it all…and why. I started to piece it together near the end, and then the explosive, riveting events came to a crashing conclusion. A truly 5 star read that I will not forget.

cropped-again-5
***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “HEARTBREAK HOTEL”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is from the Alex Delaware series:  Heartbreak Hotel, by Jonathan Kellerman.  Alex Delaware and LAPD detective Milo Sturgis investigate the death of Alex’s most mysterious patient to date in the sensational new thriller from the master of suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman.

 

Beginning:  I lead a double life.

Some of my time is spent using the doctorate I earned:  evaluating the mental health of injured, neglected, or traumatized children, making recommendations about parental custody, providing short-term treatment.  My own childhood was often nightmarish and I like to think I’m making a difference.  I keep my fees reasonable and bills get paid.

***

56%:  Walking back to the unmarked, I said, “Ex-spouses and disgruntled waiters, let’s hear it for resentment.”

Milo said, “Five percent.  He’s right, who does that?”

***

Synopsis:  At nearly one hundred years old, Thalia Mars is a far cry from the patients that child psychologist Alex Delaware normally treats. But the charming, witty woman convinces Alex to meet with her in a suite at the Aventura, a luxury hotel with a checkered history.

What Thalia wants from Alex are answers to unsettling questions—about guilt, patterns of criminal behavior, victim selection. When Alex asks the reason for her morbid fascination, Thalia promises to tell all during their next session. But when he shows up the following morning, he is met with silence: Thalia is dead in her room.

When questions arise about how Thalia perished, Alex and homicide detective Milo Sturgis must peel back the layers of a fascinating but elusive woman’s life and embark on one of the most baffling investigations either of them has ever experienced. For Thalia Mars is a victim like no other, an enigma who harbored nearly a century of secrets and whose life and death draw those around her into a vortex of violence.

***

I’m intrigued.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

REVIEW: RIGHT BEHIND YOU, BY LISA GARDNER

 

 

 

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

My Thoughts: The reader is led through Right Behind You by a series of narrators, alternating between Rainie, Quincy, Shelly, and others…and in between those comes the italicized narrative of Telly Ray Nash.

We think we know what happened…and we are just wondering why it happened after all these years. And why would Telly kill the Duvalls, his very loving foster parents? What could have led him to kill apparent strangers in a gas station? Can a young man who has protected his sister morph into a mass killer? What do these killings tell us, and, if the killer is not Telly, then who? What secrets were Frank and Sandra Duvall keeping, and how does Sandra’s past figure into what is happening?

The characters felt real, with Quincy, a former FBI profiler, front and center in the search, and his wife Rainey, who was also involved, worked to keep Sharlah balanced as emotions ran high. Sheriff Shelly Atkins showed us that “small town sheriff” did not define her: she had skills, and her ability to stay calm in the face of the intense actions made her a great part of the team.

The story kept me engaged throughout, although the numerous processes involved in tracking the killer became tedious after a while. But then I perked up as we began to realize that many things did not add up, and that now there were more questions than answers. As the clues led us to the final reveal, I was on the edge of my seat. Definitely 5 stars for me.

cropped-again-5***

SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS: BLOG HEADERS, DECOR, & NOSTALGIA…

cropped-picmonkey-image-3-feb-17.jpg

Welcome to another Friday post, in which I share some of my whimsical thoughts and images.

The new header (above) is probably my third one in as many days.  I was trying to capture something elusive…and maybe I have finally found it.   As you can see, I’ve changed the header again!  But we’ll talk about the photos that inspired the one I created at the top of this post.

The sofa shown was from my eldest son and DIL’s home in Berlin.  A little garden cottage that looks like something out of a storybook.

Here are a few of those shots, although they don’t live there anymore.  Now they are in Prague, and in the city.

A view of the outside of the cottage and gardens….

 

craiggabidum048-edited

***

Lofty interior….

 

craiggabidum-edited

***

Writing space…

 

craiggabidum008-edited***

Through the French doors to the dining room…

 

craiggabidum054-edited

***

Into the garden…

 

craiggabidum044-edited***

Another view of the sofa…and some art…

 

craiggabidum010-edited

***

I love lofts, which you may have noticed over the years I have been blogging.  For a few years, I lived in a townhouse with such a loft…

 

view-of-loft-from-below

***

A view from the loft….

 

townhouse-living-room

***

Inside the loft bedroom…

 

townhouse-loft-bedroom-1990

***

Another view…that tiny TV is Circa 80s style….and the wicker is straight out of the 70s…

 

townhouse-loft-2

***

Does your decor reflect your current life?  Do you love looking back, with nostalgia?  I do…and I also enjoy the interiors of my adult children’s spaces.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “RIGHT BEHIND YOU”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today I am delighted to share excerpts from Right Behind You, by Lisa Gardner, one of my favorite authors.  Lisa Gardner’s latest thriller following her runaway hit Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

 

 

right-behind-you

Beginning:  (Prologue)

Had a family once.

Father.  Mother.  Sister.  Lived in our very own double-wide.  Brown shag carpet.  Dirty gold countertops.  Peeling linoleum floors.  Used to race my Hot Wheels down those food-splattered countertops, double-loop through ramps of curling linoleum, then land in gritty piles of shag.  Place was definitely a shit hole.  But being a kid, I called it home.

***

56:  “Criminologists like to define,” he murmured.  “If we can define, then we can understand.  Hence the proposal of a third label—rampage killer—to cover both spree and mass murderers.”

***

Synopsis:  Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts and the blurb grab you?  Are you as eager to keep reading as I am?

***

HUMP DAY SERENDIPITY: LUXURIATING IN BOOKS….

b-n-on-july-20-logo

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:

As I gaze at the stacks of upcoming reads on my office trunk, or scroll through the titles hanging out on Pippa, my Kindle, it is sometimes challenging to pick that next read.

But today I started reading The Vanishing Year, by Kate Moretti, a “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards); it combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll.

 

 

the-vanishing-year

***

Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.

What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.

As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.

***

I think I will be glued to those pages!

***

JUST FINISHED:

My Husband’s Wife, by Jane Corry (click title for my review).

 

my-husbands-wife

***

A riveting and convoluted page turner that would finally bring a bit of clarity to this reader, while reminding us that we do not really know the people we love. 5 stars.

***

EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

I am looking forward to several upcoming reads, but today I got two review books that I am excited about, so one of them will be on my reading list soon.  Let’s take a look at the most likely candidate for “up soon.”

How Will I Know You?, by Jessica Treadway, came from Amazon Vine.

 

how-will-i-know-you

***

Fans of Reconstructing Amelia will love this pulse-pounding novel of mystery, betrayal, and a small town’s dark secrets. On a cold December day, the body of high school senior Joy Enright is discovered in the woods at the edge of a frozen pond. Her death looks like a tragic drowning accident at first, but an autopsy reveals something sinister — the teenager’s body shows unmistakable signs of strangulation. The discovery upends an otherwise uneventful small town, as police grapple with a rare homicide case and those closest to Joy wonder how she could have been taken from them — and by whom. Susanne, Joy’s mother, tries to reconcile past betrayals with their wrenching consequences. Martin, an African-American graduate student, faces ostracism when blame is cast on him. Tom, a rescue diver and son-in-law of the town’s police chief, doubts both the police’s methods and his own perceptions. And Harper, Joy’s best friend, tries to figure out why she disappeared from Harper’s life months before she actually went missing.

In a close-knit community where everyone knows someone else’s secret, it’s only a matter of time before the truth is exposed. In this gripping novel, author Jessica Treadway explore the ways in which families both thrive and falter, and how seemingly small bad choices can escalate – with fatal consequences.

***

What does your reading week look like so far?

***