SATURDAY SPARKS: “GILDING THE LILY”

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

It is the time of year for senior proms…and for spring-like events.  Here are a couple of those special times:  First we have a shot of my granddaughter Fiona and her date to the prom….

 

 

 

prom photo

 

 

Now here is a photo of me, snapped on a special night, with a festive banquet,  ‘way back in the day.   I’ll give you a hint:  It was the mid-sixties, when hairstyles were still poofy….just before they turned “hippie-like” and straight, with the hair parted in the middle.

 

 

lrs in the early sixties

 

How everything changes with the passage of time!

What are you sharing today?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your comments and links.

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SATURDAY SPARKS: MOMENTS

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Welcome to our regular feature, Saturday Snapshot, our opportunity to showcase photos we or friends and family have captured.  The event is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

Since last Sunday was Mother’s Day, I would like to share some memories from that day…and a few since.

Here is one of my lovely daughter and me:

 

 

Mommy & Me-touched up again

 

Here are Heather and Noah, enjoying the day….

 

 

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Here’s a special Facebook tribute from my eldest son in Berlin.  He is poking a little fun at me and my doll collections:

 

 

Craig's Mother's Day gift

 

It wouldn’t be a celebration without something new from Fiona.  Here she is showing off Eyes in Blue:

 

 

Fiona is blue

 

And continuing with the blue theme, I had another manicure during my spa day, glittery blue:

 

 

glittery nails on may 14

 

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And a quick look at some changes around the home…Figurines Rearranged:

 

 

 

And close-ups of the bottom shelf (the left side):

 

 

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And the right side:

 

 

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Come on by and share your own moments….

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “EAT THE DOCUMENT”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today’s featured book is one I chose because of the era and the subject matter:  those were my times, and we were a-changing.  Eat the Document, by Dana Spiotta, is a bold and moving novel about a fugitive radical from the 1970s who has lived in hiding for twenty-five years. Eat the Document is a hugely compelling story of activism, sacrifice, and the cost of living a secret.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  Part One – 1972 – By Heart

It is easy for a life to become unblessed.

Mary, in particular, understood this.  Her mistakes—and they were legion—were not lost on her.  She knew all about the undoing of a life:  take away, first of all, your people.  Your family.  Your lover.  That was the hardest part of it.  Then put yourself somewhere unfamiliar, where (how did it go?) you are a complete unknown.  Where you possess nothing.  Okay, then—this was the strangest part—take away your history, every last bit of it.

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56:  As they sat on the porch sharing a hand-rolled cigarette of tobacco and hash, Sissy told Miranda the impeccable pedigree of the Black House.  How everyone knew the house, and how it was actually notorious in youth circles.

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Blurb:  In the heyday of the 1970s underground, Bobby DeSoto and Mary Whittaker — passionate, idealistic, and in love — design a series of radical protests against the Vietnam War. When one action goes wrong, the course of their lives is forever changed. The two must erase their past, forge new identities, and never see each other again.

Now it is the 1990s. Mary lives in the suburbs with her fifteen-year-old son, who spends hours immersed in the music of his mother’s generation. She has no idea where Bobby is, whether he is alive or dead.

Shifting between the protests in the 1970s and the consequences of those choices in the 1990s, Dana Spiotta deftly explores the connection between the two eras — their language, technology, music, and activism. Character-driven and brilliant, Eat the Document is an important and revelatory novel about the culture of rebellion, with particular resonance now.

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Okay, I admit that this is my favorite kind of story from my younger days.  How young radicals, steeped in the idealism of youth and the fervor of their times, put everything at risk for the cause.  I can’t wait to find out what happens to the characters in this story.  What do you think?  What are you sharing today?

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HUMP DAY SPARKS: WAITING FOR “THE RACE FOR PARIS”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

Today I am very excited about an upcoming release from a favorite author:  The Race for Paris, by Meg Waite Clayton, is coming on August 11, 2015.

 

 

 

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The New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters returns with a moving and powerfully dynamic World War II novel about two American journalists and an Englishman, who together race the Allies to Occupied Paris for the scoop of their lives.

Normandy, 1944. To cover the fighting in France, Jane, a reporter for the Nashville Banner, and Liv, an Associated Press photographer, have endured enormous danger and frustrating obstacles—including strict military regulations limiting what women correspondents can. Even so, Liv wants more.

Encouraged by her husband, the editor of a New York newspaper, she’s determined to be the first photographer to reach Paris with the Allies, and capture its freedom from the Nazis.

However, her Commanding Officer has other ideas about the role of women in the press corps. To fulfill her ambitions, Liv must go AWOL. She persuades Jane to join her, and the two women find a guardian angel in Fletcher, a British military photographer who reluctantly agrees to escort them. As they race for Paris across the perilous French countryside, Liv, Jane, and Fletcher forge an indelible emotional bond that will transform them and reverberate long after the war is over.

Based on daring, real-life female reporters on the front lines of history like Margaret Bourke-White, Lee Miller, and Martha Gellhorn—and with cameos by other famous faces of the time—The Race for Paris is an absorbing, atmospheric saga full of drama, adventure, and passion. Combining riveting storytelling with expert literary craftsmanship and thorough research, Meg Waite Clayton crafts a compelling, resonant read.

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I have been drawn to books from this WWII era for a while, now, and I also love anything with journalists as characters.  What are you excited about today?

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

Today I am featuring a book that has been on my stacks for a while:  Everyone Worth Knowing, by Lauren Weisberger.

 

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Beginning:  Though I’d caught only the briefest glimpse from the corner of my eye, I knew immediately that the brown creature darting across my warped hardwood floors was a water bug—the largest, meatiest insect I’d ever seen.  The superbug had narrowly avoided skimming across my bare feet before it disappeared under the bookcase.  Trembling, I forced myself to practice the chakra breathing I’d learned during an involuntary week at an ashram with my parents.

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56:  The phone rang a little after eleven P.M.  I held it and stared, patiently waiting for the caller ID to register my caller.  Uncle Will:  to screen or not to screen?

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Blurb:

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A GIRL ON THE FRINGE ENTERS THE REALM OF NEW YORK’S CHIC, PARTY-HOPPING ELITE?Soon after Bette Robinson quits her horrendous Manhattan banking job like the impulsive girl she’s never been, the novelty of walking her four-pound dog around her unglamorous Murray Hill neighborhood wears as thin as the “What are you going to do with your life?” phone calls from her parents. Then Bette meets Kelly, head of Manhattan’s hottest PR firm, and suddenly she has a brand-new job where the primary requirement is to see and be seen inside the VIP rooms of the city’s most exclusive nightclubs. But when Bette begins appearing in a vicious new gossip column, she realizes that the line between her personal and professional life is…invisible.

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What do you think?  Should I move this one up to the top of the stack?

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HUMP DAY SPARKS: WAITING FOR “THE WRONG MAN”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

I am always up for new suspense thrillers, so today’s feature is one of those.  From Kate White, The Wrong Man, is a compelling thriller of mistaken identity and psychological suspense about an accomplished career woman who thinks she’s met the man of her dreams—but instead he turns out to be her worst nightmare.  Release Date:  June 16, 2015.

 

 

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Bold and adventurous in her work as one of Manhattan’s hottest interior decorators, Kit Finn couldn’t be tamer in her personal life. So, while on vacation in the Florida Keys, Kit resolves to do something risky for once. Flirting with Matt Healy—the rugged stranger she literally bumps into at her hotel—is one thing. Going back to his room after their date is another.

Instead, Matt offers to cook her dinner when they’re both back in the city. But when Kit arrives at his luxury apartment ready for the date of a lifetime, who is the man who opens the door?

Kit’s usually so good at reading people. How could she have been taken in by the deceptions of a con man? And why has he targeted her? Piece by piece, Kit realizes that this treachery goes a lot deeper, and gets a lot deadlier. Now the only way out is to expose the vicious puppet master who’s turned her life upside-down.

Adrenaline-charged and filled with harrowing twists at every turn, The Wrong Man will leave readers guessing until the final page.

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What are you waiting for?  Come on by and share!

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FRIDAY SPARKS: BOOK BEGINNINGS/FRIDAY 56 – “DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY”

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Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

How can it be Friday already?  I’m happy about it, though, and eager to share excerpts from one of my recent ARCs:  Did You Ever Have a Family, by Bill Clegg.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Silas)

He wakes to the sound of sirens.  Many, loud, and very near.  Then horns:  short, angry grunts like the buzzers signaling time-out in the basketball games he watches but does not play in at school.  His cell phone says 6:11 a.m. but the house downstairs is awake and loud and in his mother’s rough morning voice, scratching above his father’s and sisters’, he hears something is wrong.

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56: I saw him there with June a few times, working out.  I think it was the first time I heard him laughing or saw him smiling since high school.

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Blurb:  The stunning debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy.

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke—her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor.

Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.

From the couple running a motel on the Pacific Ocean where June eventually settles into a quiet half-life, to the wedding’s caterer whose bill has been forgotten, to Luke’s mother, the shattered outcast of the town—everyone touched by the tragedy is changed as truths about their near and far histories finally come to light.

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I haven’t started reading this one yet, but now I’m curious.  What do you think?

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