A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and new articles throughout the week, including — movie reviews each Monday at 7pm and live events Wednesdays at 7pm. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — there's something for everyone… and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


LA Times Festival of Books: John Green & Jeri Westerson

FROM THE April 23 ISSUE

IN THE Every Other Book SECTION

by Lorie Lewis Ham



A week and a half ago I went to the LA Times Festival of books with my daughter Jessica, my son-in-law Roy, and my “adopted” son Antonio. We hadn’t been to one of these in years but decided to make the trek this year from the Fresno area because my daughter’s favorite author, John Green, was going to be speaking there.

[click to continue…]

Rio 2: Movie Review

FROM THE April 21 ISSUE

IN THE Movies SECTION

by Sheryl Wall


Rio 2 is a sequel that starts up their story a few years after the first movie, Rio. Blu, Jewel and their three children are thought to be the only Spix’s Macaws left in existence. However, Blu’s former owner, Linda and her husband Tulio who is an ornithologist, discover that there may be more Spix’s living in the Amazon. When Jewel hears this, she wants to go and check it out for herself. Blu isn’t excited about the idea but goes along with it. Their friends, Nico, Rafeal, and Pedro, join Blu and his family as they head for the Amazon, although they are going more to look for talent for the upcoming carnival they want to put on.

[click to continue…]

Sustainability in the Theater

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Arts & Entertainment SECTION

by Ian Garrett


Any sense of alarm about the future of the environment inspires many to rethink their impact on the planet. Theater artists have an opportunity to reconsider how we do what we do. And, this opportunity is not merely a question of reducing our carbon footprint, but also a chance to bolster theater as a contemporary and relevant art form.

[click to continue…]

Celebrate Earth Day With 5 Mystery Ebooks! Reviews/Giveaways

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cynthia Chow
& Lorie Lewis Ham


In honor of Earth Day all of our book reviews & giveaways in this issue are ebooks! In this post you will find 5 fun ones-Unholy Matrimony: a Lucille Mystery By Peg Cochran, Sketcher in the Rye: A Portrait of Crime Mystery By Sharon Pape, The Sleuth Sisters By Maggie Pill, Twisted By Laura K. Curtis and Grand Delusion by Matt Witten. Details at the end of this post on how to win ebook copies of all 5.

[click to continue…]

A Pit Bull Named Vinny: An Animal Rescue Adventure

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Animal Rescue Adventures SECTION

by Karey Wedemeyer


Have you have ever walked through the rows of kennels at a kill shelter? If so, you’ve probably seen the pleading eyes and heard the desperate barks. Are these animals similar to prisoners in a high security jail, guilty of some kind of illegal action that wronged society? I have heard people say, “Adopting from a kill shelter is just asking for trouble. Dogs in a kill shelter are a menace to society and would wreak havoc on your home and family. They are in the shelter because they are just bad dogs.”

[click to continue…]

Is a New Beginning Really Possible?

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Christopher Lewis SECTION

by Christopher Lewis



Have you ever wished for a new beginning? You started out full of ambition and hope, but nothing turned out the way you thought it would. Everything you hoped for fell apart.

[click to continue…]

Digital-First Publisher Untreed Reads Takes On the World of Ebooks

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Every Other Book SECTION

by Lorie Lewis Ham


As I was planning our Earth Day issue, and planning to focus again this year on ebooks, it seemed a perfect time to interview Jay Hartman. Jay is one of the founders of Untreed Reads, a company that focuses primarily on ebooks, and even in their print division uses print on demand because it is more Earth friendly.

[click to continue…]

Sustainability Project at Fresno State

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Education SECTION

by Nathan Fuentez


In the future, human beings may live on other planets, but for now humanity has only the Earth. Fresno State is doing its part to keep the planet habitable with its Sustainability Project.

[click to continue…]

Healthy Eating In The Valley: Three New Finds, Two New Dishes, One Recent Event

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Going Green SECTION

by Tom Sims


I am going to offer you three eating out options, two eating in plans, and one very global perspective today in our quest for healthy eating in the Valley.

[click to continue…]

Annie’s Story: A Rat Tale

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Diana Hockley SECTION

by Diana Hockley


Annie loved the dregs of frothy coffee – the homemade kind that you get in a long, skinny packet. Every morning, I would finish my coffee, wait for the froth to cool and then place the cup on its side in the cage. Having awakened Annie with a gentle scritch, I watched delightedly as she slowly cleaned up every skerrick of her treat. Those memories are very precious, because last week, Annie died.

[click to continue…]

Killer Blonde: A Dead-End Job Mystery By Elaine Viets

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cynthia Chow


As Margery Flax, owner South Florida Coronado Tropics Apartments, tells her tenant Helen Hawthorne, the murder all started with becoming blonde. It didn’t cause the murder, but it sure granted the attitude and confidence to commit it.

[click to continue…]

Dummy of a Ghost: A Ghost of Granny Apples Novella By Sue Ann Jaffarian

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cynthia Chow


It would be hard to imagine anything more terrifying than a puppet inhabited by the spirit of a ghost. Maybe face-eating zombies or clowns? For Kelly Whitecastle though, it is literally just a matter of family business as she is the daughter of Emma Whitecastle, the host of a popular paranormal television show who has the ability to communicate with ghosts.

[click to continue…]

Video Interview With Peace Advocate John Dear

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Helping Hands SECTION

by Lorie Lewis Ham


Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing peace advocate John Dear speak at the Reedley Peace Center. Afterwards, I was able to sit down with him for a few minutes and interview him about his efforts toward peace. Here is that very interesting interview–our Earth Day issue seemed somehow appropriate time to post this.

[click to continue…]

Cleaning Green-Windows

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Going Green SECTION

by Tess Mize



Hi, again! In my last post, I explained some of the reasons I like to try eco-friendly and non-toxic alternatives to conventional cleaning supplies. I also have a lot of messes to clean up, courtesy of my 18-month old lab mix named Trixie. Today’s project: windows! I know, windows are the absolute worst. I am right there with you. But they’re also one of the less subtle areas when they get dirty. Especially sliding glass doors. My grief, but do those things get dirty, dirty, dirty!

[click to continue…]

Celebrate the Rites of Spring with Three Mysteries By Susan Wittig Albert

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Mysteryrat's Maze SECTION

by Sharon Tucker


What’s not to love about herbs? Cooking channels program us to always have herbs on hand (fresh ones at that), so many of us spend a fortune at Kroger, or plant seeds to grow our own. I always cross my fingers after planting, not only hoping my seeds will sprout, but that our neighborhood squirrels don’t harvest them before I can get a share. To encourage the would-be gardener in you, the not-so-cozy world of Susan Wittig Albert’s herbalist, China Bayles, guarantees a good read for any time of year, but in the spring her world is especially attractive.

[click to continue…]

Deviled Egg Plates: Collectible and Oh, So Usable

FROM THE April 19 ISSUE

IN THE Diana Bulls SECTION

by Diana Bulls



Here we are, Easter almost upon us, with spring just around the corner–well whatever we call spring in central California. When I think of spring and Easter (the secular holiday, not the real one), it’s not long before I am thinking about eggs, specifically deviled eggs. Honestly, can you have an Easter picnic or get together and not have deviled eggs? Not in my family. In fact, Thanksgiving is the only time the family gets together when deviled eggs aren’t there too.

[click to continue…]
  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales