Author Webpage


Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time

In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hidden Gardens of Paris


If you're like me you're first reaction to "Hidden Gardens of Paris" might be to scratch your head and wonder how could anything be hidden in Paris?  I mean, come on . . . 

But because I'm curious about all things Parisian, I picked up Susan Cahill's book.

"Hidden Gardens of Paris - A Guide to the Parks, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light" is a delight.

And while I'm sure you've all heard of Luxembourg Gardens 

Photo by Don Barley


and Tuileries Garden 

photo by Don Barley

have you heard of Square Georges Cain or Square Santiago du Chili?  They're both located in Central Paris.

Susan Cahill shares 40 of these quiet green havens with us, all broken down by areas and highlighted with a map.  A small sampling seeing as how there are, I believe, over 400 of these green spaces.   

"Hidden Gardens of Paris," all on its own, makes a unique travel guide for planning your days of walking through Paris, knowing there are spots to stop, rest, breathe and think about the fact that you're actually in Paris.  And instead of hearing the Paris traffic, you're hearing birds sing and you're smelling - really smelling - the flowers.

Marion Ranoux's photographs coupled with Ms. Cahill's stories and brief bits of history about the gardens makes this a perfect little jewel of a book to sit down with if you're planning a trip to Paris, or simply dreaming of one.

Bertrand Delanoë, former Mayor of Paris (2001-2014) added over 100 new acres to its existing 400 green spaces.  

"Present mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, was elected in 2014 with the intention to improve the city's green spaces as a part of her platform. CNN reports that Hidalgo has made good on her initiatives, and both private and public enterprises have risen to the challenge of making Paris rich in biodiversity as well as cultural capital. In 2016, her administration launched Parisculteurs, a campaign that is working to cover 247 acres of rooftops and walls in Paris with greenery by 2020."

From "Hidden Gardens of Paris" - "The best way to get to know Paris is to walk.  . . . You come to understand what those who do not move beyond the posh city center cannot: Paris is ordinary, scruffy, individualistic, bizarre, broken, endlessly inventive, secretive, tender, haunted with history, generous with pretty squares away from the boulevards. . . .  Coming to feel at home in the outdoors of this living, breathing city - getting to know the hidden gardens of Paris - you'll find there are many ways to smell the roses, the sweetness of the world you've walked your way into, beautiful in the vastness of memory."






Sunday, February 17, 2019

A BRAVE AND STARTLING TRUTH


We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

   - - Maya Angelou



Saturday, February 16, 2019

Let me give you a gun by Leslé Honoré


Leslé Honoré

Let me give you a gun
Because you have the right
To bear arms
Go ahead
Murder babies
In Sandy Hook
And teenagers
In Parkland
And music lovers
In Vegas
And employees
In Aurora
And children on the streets of Chicago
Let me give you guns
You don’t have to do much
Just give me some money
I don’t care if you are
Sane
Just bring me green
And I’ll give you ammo
And pay my lobbyist
To cover your government
In blood drenched bills
And arrange for the NRA
To meet your president
In a hotel
And make his video of urination on a
Russian prostitute
Look like a Disney short
Here
Let me give you guns
Because it’s your American birth right
Like baseball and apple pie
And racism and genocide
Like hate and capitalism
Here
Let me give you guns
And when you weep over
Your 1st graders
Dead
Bullet holes bigger than golf balls
And your high school students
Swimming in the blood of their peers
And co workers hiding behind desks
Like they are in battleground trenches
I’ll give you
Thoughts and prayers
This is a war zone
But the idiot that hate elected
Calls a national emergency
For a border crisis that doesn’t exist
And ignores the chalk outline drawn
Around this entire country
Here
Let me give you a gun

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Books I Read in 2018

Books Read in 2018


I'm not much of a one for choosing my Top Ten.

I used to, but I could never keep it just to ten

And when my ten started growing to twenty and up, I just gave up.



If a book is on this list, it means I read it and I read it because I liked it. 


I am not one to finish a book I don't care for, or am even feeling lukewarm about.




 I know there are people out there who feel like they can't put a book down once they've invested some time in it, and that's fine. That's just not me. 







That said, for those of you who sometimes ask me to recommend a book, or feel as though we share tastes in authors, I'm posting my entire list which you may consider recommendations. I hope, if you give any of these a try, you'll let me know what you think.





Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

The Lost Girls of Paris:A Novel by Pam Jenoff (ARC)



Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl (ARC)

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister (ARC)




NEVER TELL by Lisa Gardner (ARC) 

THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST by Anna Jean Mayhew


THE EVIL INSIDE by Heather Graham

SACRED EVIL by Heather Graham

HEART OF EVIL by Heather Graham


PHANTOM  EVIL by Heather Graham 





ONCE UPON A RIVER by Diane Setterfield

THE BOOK ARTIST by Mark Pryor (ARC)


  • A RISKY UNDERTAKING FOR LORETTA SINGLETARY by Terry Shames (ARC)

THE LIBRARY OF LOST AND FOUND by Phaedra Patrick (ARC)





BELLWEATHER RHAPSODY by Kate Racculia


The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy


The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch


  • Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Expat Dog by Jackie Clark Mancuso























  • BLACK SWAN RISING by Lisa Brackmann











  • BIBLIOPHILE: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount











  • I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel











  • A Reckoning in the Back Country by Terry Shames





    • An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock by Terry Shames
    • The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake by Terry Shames
    • A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge by Terry Shames
    • Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek by Terry Shames
    • The Last Death of Jack Harbin by Terry Shames
    • A KILLING AT COTTON HILL by Terry Shames




    • THE WHISPERED WORD by Ellery Adams (ARC)
    • COMING HOME by Rosamunde Pilcher
    • BECOMING by Michelle Obama




    • FIERCE KINGDOMS by Gin Phillips
    • WINTER SOLSTICE by Rosamunde Pilcher
    • SEPTEMBER by Rosamunde Pilcher





    • The PRINTED LETTER BOOKSHOP by Katherine Reay (ARC)
    • THE COLLECTOR'S APPRENTICE by B. A. Shapiro
    • OUR PRINCE OF SCRIBES, WRITERS REMEMBER PAT CONROY Edited by Seitz and Haupt




    THE WITCH ELM by Tana French

    • DAUGHTERS OF THE LAKE by Wendy Webb
    • A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME by Marianne Holmes (ARC)
    • THE LABYRINTH OF THE SPIRITS by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • CLARIS by Megan Hess



    • THE HOTEL ON PLACE VENDOME by Tilar J. Mazzeo
    • THE FRENCH ESCAPE by Suzi Tullett (ARC)
    • THE AGE OF LIGHT by Whitney Scharer (ARC)
    • MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM by Anne Youngson



    • LEVERAGE IN DEATH by J. D. Robb
    • THE LIBRARY OF LIGHT AND SHADOW by M. J. Rose
    • THE LOST CAROUSEL OF PROVENCE by Juliet Blackwell (ARC)



    • THE DOUBLE GAME by Dan Fesperman
    • SAFE HOUSES by Dan Fesperman
    • WINTER IN PARADISE by Elin Hilderbrand (ARC)
    • DESOLATION MOUNTAIN by William Kent Krueger




    • THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zaffon
    • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson
    • ARETHA FRANKLIN, THE QUEEN OF SOUL by Mark Bego


    • TRANSCRIPTION by Kate Atkinson (ARC)
    • DREAMS OF FALLING by Karen White
    • GEORGIA BOTTOMS by Mark Childress



    • OPEN YOUR EYES by Paula Daly (ARC)
    • NIGHT OF MIRACLES by Elizabeth Berg (ARC)
    • GOODBYE, PARIS by Anstey Harris (ARC)
    • CLOCK DANCE by Anne Tyler



    • THE CONFECTIONER'S TALE by Laura Madeleine
    • THE AU PAIR by Emma Rous (ARC)
    • KINGDOM OF THE BLIND by Louise Penny (ARC)



    • LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng
    • DEAD MAN RUNNING by Steve Hamilton (ARC)
    • PAST TENSE by Lee Child (ARC)



    • WINTER COTTAGE by Mary Ellen Taylor (ARC)
    • A WELL-BEHAVED WOMAN: A NOVEL OF THE VANDERBILTS by Therese Anne Fowler (ARC)
    • The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) by Terri-Lynne DeFino (ARC)



    • UNDER MY SKIN by Lisa Unger (ARC)
    • NOVEMBER ROAD by Lou Berney (ARC)
    • SUMMER ON THE RIVER by Marcia Willett (ARC)



    • BRING ME BACK by B. A. Paris
    • DIARY OF A BOOKSELLER by Shaun Bythell
    • GOOD SAM by Dete Meserve




    • THE SPACE BETWEEN by Dete Meserve (ARC)
    • THE REALIST: A Novel of Berenice Abbott by Sarah Coleman
    • IMPOSTOR'S LURE by Carla Neggers (ARC)



    • PARIS ECHO by Sebastian Faulks (ARC)
    • REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PARIS: SIXTY YEARS OF WRITING FROM GOURMET edited by Ruth Reichl
    • VISIBLE EMPIRE by Hannah Pittard
    • THE ART OF INHERITING SECRETS by Barbara O'Neal ( ARC)



    • THE PARIS APARTMENT by Juliet Gauvin
    • THE LONDON FLAT by Juliet Gauvin
    • THE IRISH COTTAGE by Juliet Gauvin
    • THE THINGS WE DON'T SAY by Ella Carey (ARC)



    • THE VERY PICTURE OF YOU by Isabel Wolff
    • BY INVITATION ONLY by Dorothea Benton Frank
    • NO GOOD ASKING by Fran Kimmel (ARC)




    • THE SUMMER NANNY by Holly Chamberlin (ARC)
    • A COLLAR FOR CERBERUS by Matt Stanley (ARC)
    • THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER by Kate Morton (ARC)




    SLEEPING IN THE GROUND by Peter Robinson

    • TRUST ME by Hank Phillippi Ryan (ARC)
    • THE FRENCH FOR CHRISTMAS by Fiona Valpy
    • THE FRENCH FOR LOVE by Fiona Valpy
    • THE FRENCH FOR ALWAYS by Fiona Valpy
    • THE BEEKEEPER'S PROMISE by Fiona Valpy (ARC)


    • WHITE HOUSES by Amy Bloom (ARC)
    • THE SCRAPBOOK OF FRANKIE PRATT by Caroline Preston
    • THE RED NOTEBOOK by Antoine Laurain
    • THE GUILTY DEAD by P. J. Tracy (ARC)


    • THE MURALIST by B. A. Shapiro
    • THE ART FORGER by B. A. Shapiro
    • THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah
    • PARIS MENDS BROKEN HEARTS by Kaya Quinsey
    • THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah



    • APRIL IN PARIS, 1921 by Tessa Lunney (ARC)
    • THE ITALIAN PARTY by Christina Lynch (ARC)
    • THE SILVER SHOES by Jill G. Hall (ARC)
    • THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY by Ruth Ware (ARC)


    • THE MASTERPIECE by Fiona Davis (ARC)
    • THE RAIN WATCHER by Tatiana de Rosnay (ARC)
    • LESS: A NOVEL by Andrew Sean Greer


    • THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP by Stephanie Butland (ARC)
    • LULLABY ROAD by James Anderson
    • OUR PARIS: SKETCHES FROM MEMORY by Edmund White


    • IN THE SHADOW OF 10,000 HILLS by Jennifer Haupt (ARC)
    • SHORECLIFF by Ursula DeYoung
    • HALF A MIND by Wendy Hornsby
    • NO HARM by Wendy Hornsby


    • THE BOOKSHOP OF YESTERDAYS by Amy Meyerson (ARC)
    • The Portrait of Molly Dean by Katherine Kovacic (ARC)
    • The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl


    • TEXT ME WHEN YOU GET HOME by Kayleen Schaefer
    • TIN MAN by Sarah Winman (ARC)
    • THE PARAMOUR'S DAUGHTER by Wendy Hornsby


    • IN THE GUISE OF MERCY by Wendy Hornsby
    • 77th Street Requiem by Wendy Hornsby
    • BAD INTENT by Wendy Hornsby
    • MIDNIGHT BABY by Wendy Hornsby


    • MY EXAGGERATED LIFE - PAT CONROY by Katherine Clark
    • BEACH HOUSE REUNION by Mary Alice Monroe (ARC)
    • TELLING LIES by Wendy Hornsby
    • THE HANGING by Wendy Hornsby


    • THE COLOR OF LIGHT by Wendy Hornsby
    • NUMBER 7, RUE JACOB by Wendy Hornsby (ARC)
    • TANGERINE by Christine Mangan (ARC)


    • THE CAST by Amy Blumenfeld (ARC)
    • SAILING LESSONS by Hannah McKinnon (ARC)
    • THE BISHOP'S PAWN by Steve Berry (ARC)


    • COLD GRAVE by Craig Robertson
    • SNAPSHOT by Craig Robertson
    • RANDOM by Craig Robertson
    • THE PHOTOGRAPHER by Craig Robertson


    • PARIS EVER AFTER by KSR Burns (ARC)
    • THE HOUSE ON HARBOR HILL by Shelly Stratton (ARC)
    • SUNBURN by Laura Lippman
    • MIDNIGHT RIOT by Ben Aaronovitch
    • WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT by Sandra Block (ARC )


    • NOT THAT I COULD TELL by Jessica Strawser (ARC)
    • THE HIGH TIDE CLUB by Mary Kay Andrews (ARC)
    • THE WESTERN STAR by Craig Johnson


    • MY PARIS DREAM by Kate Betts
    • PARIS FOR ONE by Jojo Moyes
    • THE POSSIBLE WORLD by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz (ARC)


    • SULFUR SPRINGS by William Kent Krueger
    • THURSDAY'S CHILD by Joseph Wurtenbaugh
    • THE MEMORY OF LEMON by Judith Fertig


    • GIVE ME YOUR HAND by Megan Abbott (ARC)
    • A NANTUCKET WEDDING by Nancy Thayer (ARC)
    • DARK IN DEATH by J.D. Robb


    • AFTER NIGHTFALL by A. J. Banner (ARC)
    • THE HIGH SEASON by Judy Blundell (ARC)
    • YEAR ONE by Nora Roberts
    • LOVE AND RUIN by Paula McLain (ARC)


    • GO ASK FANNIE by Elisabeth Hyde (ARC)
    • THE SOMETIMES SISTERS by Carolyn Brown (ARC)
    • HOW IT HAPPENED by Michael Koryta (ARC)
    • THE PIANO SHOP ON THE LEFT BANK by Thad Carhart


    • HALF MOON BAY by Alice LaPlante (ARC)
    • THE REUNION by Samantha Hayes (ARC)
    • PARIS STILL LIFE by Rosalind Brackenbury (ARC)


    • THE POT THIEF WHO STUDIED EDWARD ABBEY by J. Michael Orenduff (ARC)
    • CAME BACK TO SHOW YOU I COULD FLY by Robin Klein
    • RARE OBJECTS by Kathleen Tessaro


    • SOUVENIR (object lessons) by Rolf Potts (ARC)
    • DEAD HOUSE by Billy O'Callaghan (ARC)
    • "A" is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
    • BELLMAN & BLACK: A NOVEL by Diane Setterfield