A JOURNEY THROUGH MY SHELVES…

Good morning!  Grab some coffee, and let’s talk about books…again.

While visiting blogs, I see others talking about their TBR…and their physical bookshelves.  So while I mostly read e-books, stashed away out of sight on Pippa, I do have some physical books in stacks.

Some are in my office, like these.  One is a review book, but the others are ones I have purchased:

 

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In the living room, I have a stack of purchased and review books:

 

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Once they are read, they go on one of these shelves:

 

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There is also space on my office bookshelf, at the top of this post. 

I used to have a lot more shelves…thankfully, the great purges of 2015 and 2016 left them more manageable.

It would be lovely if they were all in one vast library, though, don’t you think?

What do your shelves look like?  How do you keep the unread books separate?

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: WHAT ARE YOU READING? — AUGUST 12

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

Today I’m linking up at Monday Reading, hosted by Book Journey.

To check out my Sunday Updates/Mailbox Monday, click the link.  I had a great week, enjoying my reading and a little blogging.

 

THIS WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Intros/Teasers:  The Interestings

Hump Day Sparks:  Waiting on Thankless in Death

Book Beginnings & The Friday 56:  Ladies’ Night

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Life Throws a Curve

Sunday Potpourri:  Reading, Purging, & Mimosas

(Review) Amy Falls Down, by Jincy Willett

(Review) Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain

(Review) The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

(Review)  Ladies’ Night, by Mary Kay Andrews

 

WHAT’S UP NEXT? (CLICK TITLES/COVERS FOR MORE INFO):

We Are Water, by Wally Lamb (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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MaddAdam, by Margaret Atwood (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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The Obituary Writer (e-book), by Ann Hood

 

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What does your upcoming (and past) week look like?  Come on by and let’s chat.

 

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TEN BEACH ROAD IS NOT JUST FOR THE BEACH — WENDY WAX TELLS US WHY — OCT. 19

 

 

Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time at TEN BEACH ROAD in October

TEN BEACH ROAD is hitting the shelves anew this month as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Group’s READ PINK® program.

The READ PINK® program was created by my publisher, Penguin Group (USA) to promote public awareness of breast cancer and breast cancer research and to support and recognize the contributions of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®(BCRF) by connecting the cause to books written by, for and about women.

For the past two years, Penguin’s Read Pink donation has sponsored 500 hours of research time and I’m incredibly proud and honored to have my book on the shelves with the Read Pink Seal on the cover and information about BCRF in the back of the book.

But… it’s October!  My books usually hit the stores when temperatures are rising, school is out and we’re either headed to the beach or at least daydreaming about sand, surf and sun.  So this got me thinking about what makes a book a beach book, and why we should throw caution to the wind and read them all year long.   After all, if some fashionista somewhere can decree that white pants are acceptable all year long, then why can’t we do the same with beach books?

Not convinced?  Well, let me share my “Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time at TEN BEACH ROAD in October” list with you and see if we can get on the same page.  (Pun fully intended!)

1.    Since school is back in session, it’s important to set a good example for your kids by reading.  If you pick up TEN BEACH ROAD, you’ll be enjoying a sweat-soaked summer with Maddie, Nicole, and Avery as they rehab a dilapidated beachfront mansion in Pass-a-Grille, Florida.  Your kids will just think you are very smart and studious.

2.    If you need something to warm you up, the men of TEN BEACH ROAD are hot.

3.    Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why books that really take you away are necessary in the summer.  What better time for a good mental escape to the beach than a cold, rainy day in October?

4.    When you’re looking ahead to long cold months with the sun setting earlier and earlier each day, you can at least feel good that you have not lost everything in a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme like the women of TEN BEACH ROAD.

5.    If your neighborhood is getting too cold and windy for DIY projects, you can read about Maddie, Nicole and Avery’s work on Bella Flora and just tell your hubby that you’re in the “planning stages” for next spring and summer.

6.    Did I mention that there are some hot guys in TEN BEACH ROAD?

7.    Reading beach books in the summer can make you feel bad about not being quite bikini ready… but in October, you can pull out a big cozy sweater and some chocolate cake and know you have months before you have to worry about that again!

8.    If beach vacations are not just for summer, then beach books shouldn’t be either.  October is actually a good time to head to the beaches in Florida.  The crowds have thinned and the temperatures are still warm.  You could leave the kids with Dad, grab your girlfriends, a few copies of TEN BEACH ROAD and call it a book club weekend!

9.    Friendships are timeless, and so are troubles.  TEN BEACH ROAD is the story of three women who are thrown together when they lose everything.  It could be set in Aspen in March, Boston in December or Dubuque in May.  The story is about the women, their lives, and their bond.  So reading it in October wherever you live will work.  I promise.

10.    I think I have mentioned that there are some hot guys in the book, but it bears repeating!  If you’re looking for a way to warm up, there’s nothing better than picturing Joe Giraldi running shirtless on the beach.  (Not sure who Joe is?  Pick up the READ PINK® edition of TEN BEACH ROAD to find out)!

So, show the world the kind of woman you really are: brave, fearless, and bold.  Wear white pants after Labor Day, drink a Piña Colada in December and proudly show off your copy of TEN BEACH ROAD in October.  You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood, and you can be proud knowing you’re supporting a great cause!


Visit Wendy at her Amazon Author Page.

 

 

THURSDAY THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR: CREATIVE OBSESSIONS — AUGUST 30

Yesterday I was playing around on this blog, tweaking the header and changing the tagline…and realized that I haven’t posted “thoughts from the interior” in awhile.

I enjoy doing the Monday memes here, and book reviews show up quite often.  But when you have twelve blogs, as I do (yes, I know, a bit obsessive!), sometimes one or more of the blogs are “neglected.”

Since I discovered the tab for collage options on PicMonkey, I’ve had a lot of fun creating blog headers.  I have a stockpile now, and yesterday I tweaked this one by adding a bookish title on the coffee cup in the middle.

In developing our brand at our blog(s), we sometimes have to dig deep to find out what we’re trying to convey.

So now that you have the background for why I’m pondering my interior thoughts today, I’d like to segue into a WIP I’ve been working on for awhile.  And yes, it is just about ready to come out and play.

I started Interior Designs as a short story a few years ago.  Martha, the MC, was the antagonist to Amber Cushing (the protagonist) in Embrace the Whirlwind, which was published in 2007.  Afterwards, I thought about Martha and how she got a bad rap in that story.  I asked myself:  what if?  What if Martha had her own story, an interior world we could explore.  Incidentally, she is an interior designer, so when I crafted the story of Martha’s interior journey, I thought it would be a fun play on her career, as well as on her exploration.

When NaNoWriMo came in November of 2010, I decided to craft the first 50,000 words of a novel.  I ended up with 52,000+ words…and a good feeling about where I wanted to take this story.

Now the novel has 93,000+ words…and I’ve been doing final tweaks.  I have sent it to three Beta readers, each with different perspectives.

Here is a brief excerpt from the opening chapters:

 

Later that evening, after I’d tucked Meadow into bed, and once I’d made sure everything was in order downstairs, I curled up in my bed with a book.  I glanced around surreptitiously, as if to reassure myself that my world was intact—as much as it could be, anyway.  Over there was my favorite spot, the window seat, reminiscent of the one I used to adore as a child in my parents’ home.  Mine now was more luxurious, with its bevy of needlepoint pillows tucked decoratively along the pale rose-colored cushioned seat.  The windows looked out onto the backyard, another one of my favorite places.

 
My bed, with its pink and white floral Laura Ashley spread, shams, and assorted coordinating pillows felt like a queen’s throne.

 
So why did it seem as though the fairytale had ended?  Just because the prince had dashed off on his white charger to rescue another damsel didn’t mean that I was the wicked queen in this piece.  And maybe Hal wasn’t really a prince after all.

 
Which made me think of Zach again…I hadn’t called him back, but I’d tucked the pink message slip into my datebook.

 
My thoughts veered backwards in time to the moments, in the seemingly distant past, when I’d first realized that Hal was betraying me.  A mysterious e-mail message from that horrible girl Miranda Templeton had triggered the downward spiral for me.  My behavior had been less than stellar back then, and months later, when I’d realized how I had created that whole nefarious dark side, it was too late.  I couldn’t turn back the clock, but I could certainly change how I reacted nowadays.  I had to set a better example for my daughter.

 
Sighing, I tossed the book aside.  Traipsing down memory lane seemed to be the order of tonight’s business.  I could feel the pain all over again, even though I’d vowed to put it all behind me.  Actually, when I compared my marriage to Hal to the newer relationship with Zach—even though that hadn’t actually been a real relationship, but more of a liaison—I realized once again that Hal and I had lost our connection a long time ago.
What had happened between him and Amber had almost been inevitable.

 
So why did I still feel the sting of betrayal?  I wasn’t exactly suffering here.  In the months before our divorce had actually happened, I had been busily squirreling away funds in separate accounts, just in case.  And when we’d actually sat down to divide up the assets, Hal, in his eagerness to sever our ties so he could move on, had been very generous.

 
I would not be suffering like other abandoned wives, trying to make ends meet.  I had retained the beautiful family home, a vacation home at Shaver Lake, some stocks, and a substantial trust for Meadow.  So my feelings were really more about my wounded ego.

 
I likened the feeling to the one I’d grabbed onto earlier—that image of my parents in their own little world, cocooned, while I sat somewhere on the outside.  Left out, excluded.

 
Was that a normal feeling?  Or was I behaving badly again?

 
Frustrated, I picked up the book and tried to read.

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A JOURNEY THROUGH MY STACKS: A PROGRESS REPORT — JULY 15

The Huge Original Stacks

Three years ago, I started a journey through my TBR stacks, and the photo above displays a portion of the original stacks.  To help me focus on that journey, I started my Curl up and Read blog.

There have been a couple of challenges along the way that helped me with this task.

However, there is the steady influx of new and review books to distract me from the goal.  Despite this influx and these distractions, I am happy to report that the Old TBRs, as I now call them, have been reduced in numbers and now rest on my office coffee table.

The stack in the front row (center) contains the current reads, while the others are from the Original TBRs.

Today’s count:  16 books!

You may recall that I wrote about my journey HERE.  The total at that time was around 166 books.

Of course, there is an ongoing stack of New TBRs to deal with, but let’s not worry about that right now…lol

Here’s a glimpse:

Not too bad…right?  Or am I creating another monster?  What do you think?

I am grateful for Sparky, my Kindle…many new books now rest there.

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — APRIL 9

Welcome to another Monday from the Interior, in which we share about the books we received in the mail (or bought), and talk about our bookish week, past and future.

For April, Mailbox Monday is hosted by Cindy’s Love of Books.

Sheila, at Book Journey, brings us What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

My mailbox brought one review book; I also purchased one download and one from the bookstore.

1.  Come Home, by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s Press)

Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter’s lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her—though it is stressful—and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.

Come Home reads with the breakneck pacing of a thriller while also exploring the definition of motherhood, asking the questions: Do you ever stop being a mother? Can you ever have an ex-child? What are the limits to love of family? 

2.  The Beginner’s Goodbye, by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances—in their house, on the roadway, in the market.
 
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.
 
Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
 
A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.

3.  More Than You Know (e-book), by Penny Vincenzi

It all comes down to love or money in a harrowing custody battle over a little girl, set against the glossy backdrop of the magazine and advertising worlds in 1960s London.
 
A privileged girl from a privileged class, Eliza has a dazzling career in the magazine world of the 1960s. But when she falls deeply in love with Matt, an edgy working-class boy, she gives up her ritzy, fast-paced lifestyle to get married.
    
By the end of the decade, however, their marriage has suffered a harrowing breakdown, culminating in divorce and a dramatic courtroom custody battle over their little girl. Also at risk is Eliza’s gorgeous family home, a pawn in the game, which she can’t bear to give up.
    
True to form, Penny Vincenzi introduces a devious cast of characters seemingly plucked from the pages of sixties- and seventies-era magazines, as she deftly maneuvers between the glamorous, moneyed worlds of fashion and advertising, and a heart-wrenching custody battle going on in the courtroom where the social mores of the time are on full display.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Welcome to another Monday morning where we share our thoughts about bookish topics.  This past week was spring break, and I spent some time with the grandkids; I even did some furniture rearranging.

The rest of the week I spent reading…and also did a bit of blogging.

Midweek found me writing Hump Day Potpourri:  Mugs, Memories, & Bookish Thoughts; and on that same day, I posted my review of Whole Latte Life, by Joanne DeMaio.  I read it in February, but it is on blog tour this month.

Read/Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

The Secret Garden (e-book), by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin

Arranged, by Catherine McKenzie

American Pastoralby Philip Roth

What’s Up Next? Click titles/covers for more info:

1.  The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty (Amazon Vine)

2.  A Silence of Mockingbirds, by Karen Spears Zacharias (Review book)

3.  An Appetite for Murder (e-book), by Lucy Burdette

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That’s my week, past and present.  What are you planning?  What was your last week like?  Come on by and share.

MONDAY MEMES: MAILBOX & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — JULY 18

MY READING WEEK

Welcome to another edition of our Monday Memes, including Mailbox Monday, hosted this month by A Sea of Books; and What Are You Reading?, hosted by Book Journey.

MAILBOX MONDAY:

 

 

This week, I bought three books on sale at Barnes & Noble; I ordered one from Amazon; and received one from a contest win at Book Journey.

1.  Island of Lost Girls, by Jennifer McMahon (Book Journey)

McMahon offers a moving if bittersweet portrait of childhood. When a person dressed up in a rabbit costume abducts a little girl out of her car, the lone witness, Rhonda, is too stunned to act. As the small rural town mobilizes a search for the missing child, Rhonda, reeling with guilt, is reminded of another girl who went missing—her closest friend from childhood, Lizzy. Joyful memories of their youth spent putting on plays and exploring the woods alternate with darker moments: losing the love of her life, Lizzy’s brother, Peter, and the year an increasingly disheveled and moody Lizzy stopped talking to her or anyone else. Past and present merge as Rhonda closes in on the costumed abductor and also on the dark family secrets that tore their perfect childhood apart. McMahon spends a good deal of time setting the stage; however, once the pieces of the intricate plot are in place, readers will be hooked on both the mystery element and the coming-of-age aspects of this atmospheric novel….

2.  Distant Shores, by Kristin Hannah

From Summer Island to On Mystic Lake to Distant Shores, best-selling author Hannah seems to walk on water. Here, as Elizabeth packs up the beach house after her father’s death, she comes to realize that her own marriage is all washed up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

3.  Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan

It isn’t quite love at first sight when Celia, Sally, Bree and April meet as first-year hall mates at Smith College in the late 1990s. Sally, whose mother has just died, is too steeped in grief to think about making new friends, and April’s radical politics rub against Celia and Bree’s more conventional leanings. But as the girls try out their first days of independence together, the group forms an intense bond that grows stronger throughout their college years and is put to the test after graduation. Even as the young women try to support each other through the trials of their early twenties, various milestones—Sally’s engagement, Bree’s anomalous girlfriend, April’s activist career—only seem to breed disagreement….

4.  Smash Cut, by Sandra Brown

“This superlative romantic thriller from bestseller Brown (Smoke Screen) features a particularly memorable villain, sociopath Creighton Wheeler, who’s obsessed with re-enacting scenes from films like Strangers on a Train and Frenzy…. Multiple smash cuts (abrupt scene shifts) lead to a wonderfully frenzied finish.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brown delivers more than a few thrills and surprises in this taut, satisfying page-turner.” — Booklist

5.  Then Came You, by Jennifer Weiner

An unexpected love story…

 Jules Strauss is a Princeton senior with a full scholarship, acquaintances instead of friends, and a family she’s ashamed to invite to Parents’ Weekend. With the income she’ll receive from donating her “pedigree” eggs, she believes she can save her father from addiction.

Annie Barrow married her high school sweetheart and became the mother to two boys. After years of staying at home and struggling to support four people on her husband’s salary, she thinks she’s found a way to recover a sense of purpose and bring in some extra cash.

India Bishop, thirty-eight (really forty-three), has changed everything about herself: her name, her face, her past. In New York City, she falls for a wealthy older man, Marcus Croft, and decides a baby will ensure a happy ending. When her attempts at pregnancy fail, she turns to technology, and Annie and Jules, to help make her dreams come true.

But each of their plans is thrown into disarray when Marcus’ daughter Bettina, intent on protecting her father, becomes convinced that his new wife is not what she seems…

With startling tenderness and laugh-out-loud humor, Jennifer Weiner once again takes readers into the heart of women’s lives in an unforgettable, timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, the rights of a parent and the measure of motherhood.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Blogging:

SHINING A SPOTLIGHT ON AN HISTORIC TIME

What a great week it has been.  After a slow start, I managed to read and review the following books:

1.   The Uncoupling, by Meg Wolitzer

2.   She Makes It Look Easy, by Marybeth Whalen

3.  Afternoon Delight, by Carolyn Hinsey

4.  Best Staged Plans, by Claire Cook

What’s Up Next?

1.  Never Knowing, by Chevy Stevens

2.  Escape, by Barbara Delinsky

3.  Heat Wave (e-book), by Nancy Thayer

4.  Goodie One Shoes, by Roz Siegel

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That’s it for this week…hope you all enjoy your reading, and stop on by and share what’s going on…..