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Here in the Central Valley of California and adjoining foothills, we’ve been roasting for the past week or so.

Then, to add to the stress, Mother Nature sent us a flurry of earthquakes. Or, as some wit on Facebook put it, “Shake and Bake.” 😉

While Paul and I were holding down the fort and keeping our animals and trees alive during the heat wave, our son, JP and his fiancé, Sarah, celebrated their recent engagement with a family trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park. They kindly shared some wonderful pics of this unique landscape sculpted by volcanoes.

I visited Lassen in late November a dozen or so years ago and we didn’t do a lot of hiking or exploring, but the “big” kids (JP, Sarah, and friend Mike) made it all the way to the top of Mt. Lassen. Below is a pano shot Sarah took of the two guys scrambling over boulders on the summit.

For a better perspective, though, here are two shots with the mountain in the background, and one of JP goofing around in a cave on the Spattercone Interpretive Trail, which “offered a smorgasbord of volcanic features,” as Sarah explained.

Lassen has been added to my RV destination list. Heck, I’d go for the sunsets alone.

It looks like a happy place, doesn’t it? (Rya and Sarah’s joy makes me smile.)

Last week's Q&A was: Watching the televised July 4th celebrations made me cringe a little. So. Many. People. I have yet to attend anything large-scale with crowds of that size. How ‘bout you? Have you “mingled with the masses” yet? Y or N.

That’s a firm NO from me—and from most of you who responded, too. I’ve never been a fan of big crowds anyway, so no great loss for me. I much prefer small, family gatherings like the birthday party we attended in San Jose with family members I haven’t seen since before the Covid started. Here Paul and our youngest granddaughter are enjoying my niece’s pool.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Lori R.

Debra Guyette

(Lori and Debra congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&A: Does it get over 100-degrees (37.8 C) where you live?

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways:
email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.


I was recently invited to join some writer friends in creating a new page on Facebook called: Sweet2Heat Romance Reads. The name reflects the range of novels we like to write and read, but our goal is to create a community where we can talk about things that are important to us: friends, family, food, flowers, books, reading, travels. Since we’re also women in the business of writing, we’ll happily share new releases and bargain titles with the group, too. If you’re as tired of the new “normal” on FB as I am, I hope you’ll give Sweet2Heat a try.


Here’s a preview of my first post next week:

People always ask where I get my inspiration. My answer: imagination…it’s like looking at a cloud and seeing a dragon. My mind takes that image and runs... “What if my hero and heroine were hanging out in a hammock and she points to a dragon cloud that he pretends not so see because admitting he sees it, too, makes him feel a much deeper connection to her than he intended.” Do you like to hunt and search for images in clouds? If yes, what’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?

Stay well, my friends, and happy reading,


Upcoming: Beach reads…even if you’re not at the beach. Truly…I’ve been reading some very fun books….



Copyright © 2021 Debra Salonen