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 leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.


Cooler days make for cozy nights curled up under favorite throws.  But outside, and lurking not that far away, are the wildfires.  And the smoky air that is part of our lives these days keeps us on alert.  Even though the wildfires are in other parts of the state (for now), we are hypervigilant..constantly aware of what could come.  Every part of our country has had disasters of one kind or another this year, and it is hard to fend off the sense of foreboding.

Reading, binge-watching shows and movies, and trying to connect with family and friends…these activities are signs of our hope and optimism.  I had an excellent reading week:  three books read and reviewed, and each one was a page turner.  I finished watching House of Cards Season 6 ( which I found disappointing, sigh), and yesterday, I started watching The Kominsky Method, starring Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin, and Nancy Travis…among others.  I enjoyed it so much that I’ve watched all episodes but one.  I saved that one for today.

Today is my eldest son’s birthday!  I won’t tell you how old he is, since that would age me as well.  LOL.  He is across the world in Prague…and I miss him and his wife Gabi.  Here they were three years ago when they visited.  So long ago!

I want to see Widows at the neighborhood theater…today, perhaps.  A great cast that includes Viola Davis and Liam Neeson, among others, “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities.

I need to distract myself…and inside the theater, I’ll feel connected to something other than the frightening events in our lives.

Now…let’s grab another cup of coffee…and take a peek at the details of my week.


Sunday Potpourri:  Treats, Reading, & Shoes…

Rainy Day Excerpts:  “The Family at No. 13”

WWW Wednesdays:  A Great Week So Far…

Coffee Chat:  Anticipating Pumpkin Day!

Bookish Friday:  “The Three Beths”

Review:  Her Pretty Face (e-book), by Robyn HardingReview:  Three Days Missing (e-book), by Kimberly BelleReview:  Winter in Paradise (e-book), by Elin Hilderbrand


INCOMING BOOKS-(Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon):

One book that I purchased came in my physical mailbox!  Then I received a NetGalley ARC.  I bought two downloaded books to round out my week.

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

NetGalley ARC: Release Date – 2/5/19

The Winter Sister (e-book), by Megan Collins

Downloaded Books (Purchased):

Night of Miracles (e-book), by Elizabeth Berg

The Family at No. 13 (e-book), by S.D. Monaghan



I flipped through my ever-present notebook today, hoping to find just the right “up-next books”…and it was hard to select them!  I have quite a few that I want to read, and soon.  But here’s a start:

Under My Skin (e-book), by Lisa Unger

From New York Times bestselling author and master of suspense Lisa Unger comes an addictive psychological thriller about a woman on the hunt for her husband’s killer.

Then…how about this one?

The Three Beths (e-book), by Jeff Abbott

A psychologically intense and emotionally gripping new suspense novel about a daughter’s desperate search for her missing mother-one that may lead her closer to home than she ever anticipated.


So…that’s my week:  intense, cozy, and anxious…let’s focus on the cozy.  What did yours look like?  I usually share lunch or dinner foods, but today I’m feeling like breakfast.  I enjoyed French Toast one morning while I was running errands.




    1. Thanks, Katie, I am trying to stay indoors as much as possible, although I tried to go to the movies today. Not a good plan! I had trouble walking to the theater…breathing issues. Sigh.

      Home now…feeling better.


  1. Yvonne

    I’m sorry for everything everyone is going through with the wildfires. How awful! I’m glad you are okay and hope that it stays that way. Happy Birthday to your son!

    The Michelle Obama book looks good. I’ll put it on my list at the library.

    Hope you have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday to your son! I think I remembered when they visited, you posted about it, I think? Has it been three years? Wow… time flying and all that.

    The wildfires are just awful. I hope they don’t come anywhere near your area. And my heart goes out to all those who have lost… just unreal.

    Mmm French toast… yum. that sounds good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Greg, and for the birthday wishes for my son. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been three years since their visit! Too long!

      I am sick about the wildfires, just as I have been about all the hurricanes and other disasters throughout the world.

      I do love French Toast, books, and movies, too. We try to soothe ourselves with our favorite things.


  3. Rachel @Waves of Fiction

    The fires here in California have been awful, and unfortunately seem to be the new normal here. They’re north and south of me, but 2 years ago they were a block away! Glad to here you’re out of range, too.

    I got a copy of The Winter Sister today and I’m half way through it! It’s really good. Hope you like it, too! Happy reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Rachel, and I hate that we all have to concede to a “new normal.” That seems unacceptable.

      I am glad you enjoyed The Winter Sister, as I got the offer for the book, but hadn’t heard anything about it. I took a leap of faith.

      Enjoy your week.


  4. Those fires are really scary and I can’t even imagine the horror and loss and pain. Hope they do stay well away from you. You have got me stuck into the TV series of Brothers and Sisters, I missed it when it was first on so now it is a delight, and I am totally sucked in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kathryn, and I’m glad not to be in the middle of the fire, but the smoky air is a constant reminder.

      I’m happy that you are loving Brothers & Sisters. I was so hooked that I felt a sense of loss when I was done watching. But…I could watch it again sometime.

      Enjoy your week!


  5. Those wildfires are so scary, and I don’t even know how people cope with it maybe making it towards them. Stay safe, Laurel-Rain! Sending all the positive vibes your way.
    Happy birthday to your oldest. Is it really three years since he last visited? I remember when you wrote a post about that. I bet you miss him very much.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lexxie, I hope the fires are contained soon…and stay away!

      I find it hard to believe that it’s been three years since their visit…they promise to visit again next year.

      Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting.


    1. Thanks, Evelina, and they seem to be a recurring presence, but I will never feel safe when they are happening.

      So far, we have the smoky presence in the air…and keep watching the news for progress toward containment.

      Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting.


  6. I’m so sorry to hear about the wildfires in your part of the world. We worry through every August and September now because of hurricane threat and it seems like you worry about wildfires all the time in your area.

    I am glad to see you have read three wonderful books. That is some comfort!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deb, the disasters that revisit us regularly seem to be part of our lives…but it is frustrating to have to accept them as if they are the “new normal.” Sigh. But I loved my three books this week!

      Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting.


  7. Beware Of The Reader

    OMG the wildfires! I hope you stay safe because we are following it on the TV and I worry all the time for my friends living in Cali! I wonder what you’ll think of Becoming Michelle Obama! happy Sunday 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry for all the tragedies in Calif. with the fires. Ugh. it’s been so terrifying and sad. I can’t believe the numbers lost. It’s stunning and awful. I wish your son a Happy Birthday in Prague. And I hope you like Michelle Obama’s book. I’m on the wait list for it at the library. I can only hope that this week is better for the West Coast. Here is my latest post :https://www.thecuecard.com/movies/dear-mrs-bird-and-tin-man/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Susan, I can’t believe the devastation of the ongoing wildfires, either.

      My son had a great birthday, although we only communicated by social media.

      I am eager to read Michelle Obama’s book. I saw two interviews with her: one by Robin Roberts and the other by Oprah, who is featuring Becoming as her latest Book Club pick.

      Enjoy your week.


  9. We are dealing with our losses from Hurricane Michael but we are praying for those displaced by the devastating fires in CA. So sad.
    Nice to get three 5 starred books in one week.
    I like the look of The Winter Sister and The Family at No. 13.
    Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I also got Night of Miracles and I hope we’ll both like it.
    You are so right when you say reading and watching tv are sign of hope and optimism, they mean a lot to me atm.
    I wish happy birthday to your son and I wish you a lovely reading week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kathy, I hope so, too.

      I am eager to start reading Becoming…it’s on my coffee table in the living room. I loved the two interviews I saw with her, one with Robin Roberts and the other with Oprah.

      Have a great week!


  11. Well books are often my vehicle to escape the various events in the real world. I’m not watching much tv or movies but I might do a bit this week if I get back to my knitting.
    It rained here all week and was cold until Friday so when I see your steaming cup I think SOUP. It’s nice now, more like autumn again. Another blog I followed reviewed The Three Beths and it’s on my TBR now. Have a Happy Thanksgiving with some relaxing and reading! Anne – Books of My Heart

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Susie | Novel Visits

    Lots of great reads here, but I’m curious about your son and Prague. It’s such a fabulous city. Have you been there? Being apart is difficult. My son lived in Germany for about 6 years after college. He had a great job there and they paid for him to come home once a year, plus he’d usually pay for another trip and I went over there most summers. Sometimes it feels like I saw him more when he was in Europe than I do now!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Those fires haunt me for you guys out there. I can’t imagine how terrifying that would be. They seem so sneaky and fierce and devastating. 😦 Try to keep optimistic and know that the rest of the country is watching and worrying about all of you. At least my family in Michigan is! Stay safe.

    I am glad to hear the Kominsky show is good – that is on our list!

    Happy Birthday to your son!! 🙂 We could be of similar age..but I won’t age my own self! Lol.

    The Winter Sister looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Erin, and I’m trying to be optimistic that the fires will be contained…but they are a recurring event, which doesn’t make us feel better.

      I really enjoyed the Kominsky show…and watched the whole first season the first day.

      I am looking forward to more family time this week. Enjoy yours!


  14. Susan @ The Book Bag

    Night Miracles was so good, but then I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Berg’s. I actually got to meet her and talk to her at our book festival a few years ago. What a down to earth, nice, funny women. And I so want to get my hands on Becoming. That women just inspires me! I hope you enjoy all of your books this week. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bibliomane46

    Winter in Paradise looks really good. I’ve been thinking of borrowing it from the library – and after reading your review I’m going to do just that! Keep safe in the midst of those fires. So heartbreaking.

    Sherry @ Ubiquitous Grace

    Liked by 1 person

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