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.


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.

{ 1 comment }

Rio 2: Movie Review


FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andSheryl Wall

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Annie’s Story: A Rat Tale


FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andDiana Hockley,
andRodent Ramblings

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.


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.


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.


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.


Cleaning Green-Windows


FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andGoing Green,
andTess Mize

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!


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.


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.

{ 1 comment }

by Alicia Lieu

Living in New York City has advantages and disadvantages. But people who move to New York and choose to stay, even after the reality of the high cost of living sets in, can reap the benefits of living in a global city. Living in the city may mean that you can’t save enough money to travel the world, but it doesn’t hurt so badly once you realize that the world is only one subway ride away.


by & Sandra Murphy
Cynthia Chow

Spring is here and it seemed a perfect time for some more fun food related mysteries from Penguin! This week we have Death on Eat Street: A Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mystery by J.J. Cook, Sugar and Iced: A Cupcake Bakery Mystery By Jenn McKinlay, and Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs. Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of all three!


  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales