Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father' Day!

Taking a break from our June Summer Reads' feature to give all the Dads out there a "Shout Out!" Enjoy your special day!





(photo c/o facebook.com/snoopy)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Another Great Bundle of Reads!

With Summer goes vacation time. Do you read on a plane, train, ship -- or on the beach? This week I'm continuing with a June theme of "Vacation/Beach Reads!"



If great mysteries are your passion, check out this bundle of ten stories!


Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries
by Various Authors





Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries is a collection of 10 full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by 10 critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in this set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries, with a combined total of over 1700 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4 stars.

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun
, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder…

Murder Among Neighbors, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs — When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths—and handsome detective Michael Stone.

Skeleton in a Dead Space, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy Alter—Real estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.

In for a Penny, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom…until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.

The Hydrogen Murder, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends' funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn't realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.

Retirement Can Be Murder, A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan Santangelo—Carol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.

Dead Air, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME's On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.

A Dead Red Cadillac, A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke—When her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.

Murder is a Family Business, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven—Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.

Murder, Honey, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie Hansen—When the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.

Buy Links:




(ocean/boat photo c/o morgueFile.com)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer Reading at the Beach!

Where do you enjoy reading a book? With Summer knocking at my window, my favorite place to read is at the beach! 



Bundles and series are awesome to have on your Kindle or Nook if you're fortunate to be vacationing for more than a week. Over the next few weeks, I'd like to introduce readers to some great reads for your Summer retreat!


Just You & Me
by Various Authors




Heat up your eReader with these 15 tantalizing reads written by today's hottest USA Today, Bestselling and Award Winning authors. These stories offer up something for everyone, from hot to scorching, this set is sure to tempt and tease you with romantic tales told with passion, emotion, and utter sexiness.

A Nanny For His Niece by Bestselling Author, Fiona Miers
A hot Spanish millionaire seduces his niece's nanny into bed, but loses his heart instead.

The Best Man For Leah by Caitlyn Lynch
A sassy wedding photographer clashes with the controlling best man until they get trapped together in an elevator and find they have better things to do than fight.

Raving Beauty by award winning author, Vicki Batman
A reluctant beauty contestant falls for the doctor treating her, only to discover the one she really loves has been right in front of her eyes the whole time.

The Sheriff Meets His Match by USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar
When a jaded sheriff is drawn to an exasperating woman in trouble, anything can happen.

Strokes by Amazon Bestselling and Award Winning authors Ashlyn Chase and Dalton Diaz
Book reviewer Darcy can’t get her work done with the racket coming from her Italian artist neighbor Paolo’s apartment. The sexy solution paints a surprising new portrait for both of their lives.

Learning to Love the Billionaire by Amazon bestselling author Cate Farren
A grieving woman meets and falls in love with a sexy billionaire at a grief counselling group.

Private Showing by Award Winning Author Brenna Zinn
Now that Gianna Romano's goal of owning her own restaurant is almost within her grasp, she can’t afford to lose focus and doesn’t have time for a man. Not even the sexy Scot with a delicious accent who wants to unleash her lust and make her a permanent fixture in his life, as well as his bed.

Always You by International Bestselling Author Tierney O'Malley
Will time, distance, and the unveiling of a secret keep James and Rienne, eternally apart or will they uphold their promises to each other… “Always you?”

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCZWL6N

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-you-and-me-nicole-morgan/1126423547

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/just-you-and-me-1

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Nicole_Morgan_Just_You_and_Me?id=MGckDwAAQBAJ

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/just-you-and-me/id1238787633?mt=11/


Happy reading!  😊   Have a great week, Everyone!


(ocean photo c/o www.facebook.com/North-Wildwood-Recreation-and-Tourism)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day and John F. Kennedy...

Although we're inclined to recall John F. Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States, I also remember John F. Kennedy as a war hero.



In August, 1943, during World War II, the patrol boat Lt. Kennedy commanded came across a Japanese destroyer. Not only did the lieutenant lead his surviving crew through hostile waters to safety, but pulled a fellow crewman to shore by the strap of a life vest.

This year our country's Memorial Day, a day the United States honors those who gave their lives while serving in our country's armed forces, is May 29th. Ironically, 2017's Memorial Day falls on Kennedy's 100th birthday.

Throughout the years, whenever anyone has debated John F. Kennedy's legacy as a president or discussed the tragic circumstances of his death, I've always reminded them that before any of that happened, he was a brave man who saved lives.

For information on the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum:

https://www.jfklibrary.org/

For the direct link to the history of PT-109:

https://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/John-F-Kennedy-and-PT109.aspx


To John F. Kennedy and all of those who served our country, thank you. And, to all of you reading this post, have a safe and peace-filled week.


(photo c/o facebook.com/JFKLibrary)









Sunday, May 21, 2017

Real Romance and True Love...

I've been reading romance stories for thirty years and writing them for half that amount of time. A detail my RWA buddies frequently stress to me is "conflict." To make a romance interesting to readers, authors must find a clash to keep the couple apart before they realize they can't live without each other.


But, real romance is actually quite simple as I realized earlier in the week while standing on a street corner waiting for a traffic light to change from red to green. A couple, age somewhere in their eighties, "toddled" pass me. The woman, looking frail and drained, walked with a walker. Her need for assistance was obvious. The man, holding on to her arm, encouraged her all the way. "Take your time, honey. Take your time. When we get there, we get there," I heard him say.

Unable to quash my curiosity, I turned to see where they were heading. "One step at a time. You're good," the man said, clutching the woman's arm as she leaned on her walker, making her way up three little steps.

Their destination...the nail salon. He was accompanying her to get her nails done. 

Now, that's real romance and true love.

Have a good week, Everyone!


(photo c/o pippalou @ morgueFile.com)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the "Moms" out there, especially mine, enjoy your special day!





(photo c/o facebook.com/winniethepooh)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Love Your Park Week!

Saturday, May 13th, begins a week long celebration in Philadelphia. We call it "Love Your Park Week."


A partnership between the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department and Fairmount Park Conservancy, volunteers join forces with community neighbors to clean, admire, and preserve our city parks. Along with the task of maintaining the greenery, educational programs and family-fun activities highlight the event.

We have dozens of great parks in Philly. While there isn't the time or space to list them all, I thought I'd share my favorites with you (along with whatever I can remember from my elementary school history classes ☺).

FMI, http://loveyourpark.org/


Stephen Girard Park


Stephen Girard (1750-1831) was a philanthropist with a dedication to causes benefiting education and children. The park is located in the neighborhood known as "Girard Estate." Back in Stephen Girard's 1800s America, this area (which is now a part of South Philadelphia) was actually "the country" where people escaped to get away from the city's noise and congestion. In the center of Girard Park is Stephen Girard's country mansion.

FMI, https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofStephenGirardPark


Rittenhouse Square Park



One of the five original square parks planned by William Penn during the city's early days. Originally called "Southwest Square," it was renamed in the early 1800s for David Rittenhouse.

FMI, https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Rittenhouse-Square-98751462091/



Mario Lanza Park


This park was renamed in honor of singer Mario Lanza (1921-1959) who was born in Philadelphia. Although small in stature, not only is it a quaint, charming park, but boasts bragging rights to the best dog run.

FMIhttps://qvna.org/aboutqvna/groups/friends-of-mario-lanza-park/


Washington Square Park



Another of William Penn's five initial squares, the park's original  name was "Southeast Square," and later renamed to honor the country's first president. This park is rich with history. During it's early life span, it was used for animals to graze and later a burial ground. In the 21st century, it's a great Spring/Summer place to hang out on a bench with a Pineapple Water Ice. 

FMI, https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/places-washingtonsquare.htm


If you have a favorite park in your area, please feel free to share! Have a great week, Everyone!!

(photos c/o facebook.com/FairmountParkConservancy; 
 facebook.com/FriendsofStephenGirardPark;
 facebook.com/youngfrs; 
 facebook.com/Mario-Lanza-Dog-Park/138112616230615;
 facebook.com/WashWestCivicAssoc)



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Favorite "chill" places...

In a recent Sunday post, I mentioned my idea of taking "me time," was sitting in a bistro with my coffee and an interesting read, be it a newspaper, magazine, or book. 


Last week in Philly we had a "sit-outside-gorgeous" day. After a March 2017 where the Philly weather felt more like Winter than what we had during the month of January, I definitely wanted to enjoy some outdoor "pamper me" time. 

With an afternoon off from the "day job," I found one of my favorite places had available outdoor seating and kicked back with coffee, a scrumptious treat, and the latest Philadelphia Magazine. While soaking in the sunshine, I got the idea to share my favorite spots with all of you!☺

If you're visiting Philly, love good coffee, delicious drinks, tasty snacks, and a place to relax, consider these gems.



East Passyunk Avenue FUEL



I can't leave FUEL without a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!







Plenty Cafe Queen Village




My "go to" place when I'm in the mood for a breakfast sandwich!





FMI, http://plentyphiladelphia.com/



Capriccio Cafe and Bar



Originally, a lovely coffee cafe, now Capriccio is a great place for "Happy Hour" with an array of choice wine offerings. The cafe also has the best, most delicious cookies.




FMI, http://www.capricciocafe.com/



Old City Coffee



When I'm strolling through the Historical District, and I pass by Old City Coffee, I think ice cream. I actually hear a Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake calling my name!




FMI, https://oldcitycoffee.com/


Beautiful Spring weather, coffee, a yummy treat, and a great read! A wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

To check out where to eat in Philly, whether you're in the mood for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack, check out  websites -- 

Visit Philly.com
http://www.visitphilly.com/articles/philadelphia/great-restaurants-in-historic-philadelphia/


and 

Zagat.com

Have a great week, Everyone!


(photo of latte and muffin c/o morgeFile.com;
 FUEL photos c/o facebook.com/fuelsouthphilly;
 Plenty photos c/o facebook.com/plentyphiladelphia;
 Capricco photos c/o facebook.com/capriccio;
 Old City Coffee photos c/o facebook.com/OldCityCoffee)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Great Books for a Baby Shower!

On Friday we held a Baby Shower for a colleague. Besides contributing to a group gift of a high chair (necessary, but boring), my individual gift for the mom-to-be was a goodie bag with books. 


Along with the closeness, joy, and peace parents get from holding their child during a book session, reading to your child develops listening skills, cultivates attention span, and enhances vocabulary,  I thought I'd share the given titles, perfect reads for enhancing the parent/child bond.



"The Wonderful Things You Will Be"


Courageous, gallant, artistic and inspired, Emily Winfield Martin voices all the tenderness and hopes that parents reflect upon as they watch their child grow.


Buy Links:


Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Wonderful-Things-You-Will-Be/dp/0385376715/

Barnes & Noble: 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wonderful-things-you-will-be-emily-martin/1122188061

Books-A-Million:

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Wonderful-Things-Will-Be/Emily-Winfield-Martin/9780385376716




"Dreams Come True, All They Need Is You!"


A magical evening reveals all your children need is you!


Buy Links:

Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Come-True-They-Need/dp/0981460275/

Barnes & Noble: 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreams-come-true-mike-dooley/1114831119

Books-A-Million: 

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Dreams-Come-True-All-They/Mike-Dooley/9780981460277


"The Wish Tree"


Along his journey to find the "Wish Tree," Charles discovers wishes come true under the most surprising circumstances.

Buy Links:


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wish-Tree-Kyo-Maclear/dp/1452150656/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wish-tree-kyo-maclear/1123754752


Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Wish-Tree/Chris-Turnham/9781452150659




Have a great week, Everyone!

(Pooh Bear and Tigger photo c/o facebook.com/winniethepooh)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Celebrating the Holiday!

I'm taking a break from blogging this week to celebrate the Easter Holiday with my family.



Everyone, have a safe and great week!



(Photo c/o facebook.com/snoopy)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Phillies Score 12 for the History Books!

Although the Phillies' didn't begin the season the way fans had hoped (one win in four games), last night's game at Citizen Bank Park against the Washington Nationals was one for baseball history. 




The offense scored TWELVE runs in the first inning! The Phillies won the game by a score of 17-3!




During baseball season, I always check the Phillies' Facebook page while drinking my first cup of coffee. When I saw all the great photos posted from last night, I knew I had to share with all of you! For game details and to see some of the highlights, visit, http://m.phillies.mlb.com/news/article/223113776/phillies-have-historic-inning-defeat-nats/





The standing ovation the fans gave the team at the conclusion of the first inning brought tears to my eyes...



We don't know what the rest of the season holds for the Phillies, but last night was truly a night to remember. 



Great job, Team!




Thanks, Guys!!!

Have a great week, Everyone!



(photos c/o facebook.com/phillies)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Let's Play Ball! The 2017 Baseball Season is Here!!!!

Yay! It's baseball time, PHILLIES baseball time! ☺ My Philadelphia Phillies open their 2017 season against the Reds tomorrow, April 3rd, in Cincinnati. The team hosts their season home opener this Friday, April 7th, at Citizen Bank Park.


Here's wishing my team a happy, healthy season with lots of home runs (for Phillies' hitters), and many scoreless innings (for Phillies' pitchers).

Go, Phillies!



(photo c/o facebook.com/Phillies)


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Fun in Philadelphia!

Spring has finally arrived! The season means warmer weather, outdoor events, and plenty of activities in Philly. 




Here's a sample of what fun things my friends and family, and me will enjoy!

Cherry Blossom Festival (April 1-9)

Lasting nine days, this event gives visitors the opportunity to view the beautiful cherry blossoms and gardens throughout Philadelphia. Activities for all ages. FMI, www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/the-cherry-blossom-festival-of-greater-philadelphia/


"Phillie Phanatic"



Phillies' 2017  Season Home Opener vs. the Washington Nationals (April 7)

Baseball at Citizens Bank Park! 
FMI, www.phillies.com



"East Passyunk Avenue Easter Egg Hunt"



Easter Egg Hunt on East Passyunk 
Avenue (April 8)

Little else is more fun than watching little ones search 

for colored eggs...and their exuberance when they find them! 
Arts and crafts and kiddie activities galore! FMI, www.visiteastpassyunk.com


Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival (April 9)

Main Street in the Manayunk section of Philly closes to vehicle traffic so that folks can enjoy fabulous live music, awesome food vendors, and spectacular boutiques. FMI, www.manayunk.com/news-and-events/events/spring-streat-food-festival.html


South Street Spring Festival (May 6)

Event runs along South Street from Front to 8th. Music, dancing, food, and lots of activities for families. FMI, www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/south-street-headhouse-spring-festival/


Italian Market Festival (May 20-21)

You may not find "Rocky" running through South Philly's 9th Street, but year after year the edible treats keep getting better and better. Bring your appetite to the nation's oldest outdoor market. FMI, www.italianmarketfestival.com


Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival (May 20)

Visitors from all over swarm Rittenhouse Square to check out the discounts shops have to offer and sample delectable treats. FMI, www.rittenhouserow.org


"Elfreth Alley, Fete Day"




Elfreth Alley's Fete Day (June 3)

Annual celebration on our nation's oldest residential street. Elfreth Alley was designated a historic landmark in 1966. Enjoy a day of crafts, music, colonial games, and food. FMI, www.elfrethsalley.org/new-index/


What events do you have lined up for Spring? Whatever you do this week, have a great one!



(Winnie & friends photo c/o facebook.com/winniethepooh;
 East Passyunk Ave photo  c/o facebook.com/EPassyunkAve;
 Phillie Phanatic photo c/o facebook.com/phillies;
 Fete Day photo c/o facebook.com/ElfrethAlley)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Blast of Winter...

Although the 2017 Winter in Philadelphia hasn't been as nasty as seasons past, Mother Nature hit us with a Nor'easter this week that left the city and surrounding areas with some messy snow and ice.


As I've frequently said, the only way I like my snow is in a photo. Many people were happy to share their "snow photos" from around the city on social media. The white stuff does look lovely (in a photo, of course!).

A "shout-out" and a thank you to all the Philly folks who posted photos and shared.



"The Academy of Natural Sciences"




"Philadelphia Museum of Art"




"Historic Christ Church and Burial Ground"





"Benjamin Franklin Parkway"




"View of Cret Park from
Capricco Cafe and Bar"




"Spruce Street"



According to the calendar, Spring begins tomorrow. Let's hope Mother Nature circled the date! 😊

Everyone, stay warm, safe, and have a great week!


(photo of  Winnie and Christopher Robin c/o facebook.com/WinniethePooh;
 photo of Academy c/o facebook.com/Academy of Natural Sciences;
 photo of Christ Church Burial Ground c/o facebook.com/historicchristchurchandbg;
 photo of Museum of Art c/o facebook.com/6abcActionNews;
 photo of Benjamin Franklin Parkway c/o facebook.com/visitphilly;
 photo of Cret Park c/o facebook.com/LoganSquareCafe:
 photo of Spruce Street c/o facebook.com/washwestcivic)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Do You Take "Me" Time?


One morning this week, during my bus ride to the "day job," I couldn't help but overhear the conversation taking place between the two women who were sitting behind me. 




From their dialogue, I concluded they were neighbors. Although each had different jobs, and different bus stops, they apparently waited on their corner and rode together every morning. As the bus approached a stop, one of the women prepared to exit. Her companion said to her, "I won't see you tomorrow. I'm taking the day off to pamper myself for my birthday." 

She went on the explain that she was spending the day at a popular spa getting a mani/pedi/massage/facial and then treating herself to lunch. She named a very high end Philly restaurant. She said her sister had asked to join her, and she replied, "No, this is my day for me. I want to enjoy it by myself." 

During what was left of my ride, I thought about how once in a while, I take an hour or two for "me." A walk through Philly's historical district, or along East Passyunk Avenue with a stop at one of its great bistros is my idea of "pamper me time." I never considered taking an entire day, or spending as much money, as this woman apparently planned on spending. 

But the concept of such lavish indulgence intrigued me. So, I ask you, Readers. Do you take time to "pamper" yourself? And, if so, how?????

Have a good week, Everyone!


(photo c/o cheriedurbin@morgueFile.com)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Catching Up on DVDs...

Rainy -- or snowy -- days are a great opportunity to catch up on my DVD watching. A recent dismal weather day in Philly had us seeing a rain/snow mix. A trail of DVDs and non-stop hot chocolate makes me forget how miserable it is outside my window.




I'm always happy to share my recent choices with you (and their Amazon links)!




"Sully"


In January, 2009, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. Only, that's just the beginning of the story.

Amazon Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Sully-DVD-Tom-Hanks/dp/B01LBWHQ70/



"Pete's Dragon"



A mysterious 10-year-old boy, Pete, turns up, claiming to live in the woods with a giant green dragon.

Amazon Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Petes-Dragon-Bryce-Dallas-Howard/dp/B01I0RFMO8/



'Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years!"




Two hours with The Beatles...reminded me how much I miss them...


Amazon Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Eight-Days-Week-Touring-Years/dp/B01NA7F5E2/



Have a great week, Everyone!



(photo c/o facebook.com/snoopy)