My Books

Kindle Fire

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pay Attention Book Lovers/Readers: A SPECIAL DEAL starting Monday, April 20!

THIS WEEK ONLY, from Monday, April 20 to and including Sunday, April 26, the complete Family Portrait collection (An Uncommon Family, Love of a Stonemason, Emilia) is available on all Amazon sites for $2.99. You get three novels for the price of less than one!

Link to the Book:


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

For my sister

Rosmarie Spiegel-Umiker, October 19, 1929 - April 15, 1997

In Memoriam

Back then, we tried once again                             
to cram a year’s worth of feelings
into one week,
letting our thoughts float
in the vast stillness.
Before us mountain peaks
drained away into the summer night.

Now your face is tucked in a frame
on the shrine next to the flowers
and the candle I light every night.
It looks my way with a warm
or mischievous smile, 
depending on the way the light falls. 

Your sanctuary lies in my heart
in little heaps of joy and sorrow.
I think of you often,
of the times we sat together
gazing at the lit church
on the hill above Santa Maria, 
our bodies suffused in the evening glow,
you, leaning back into the
lime-green sofa pillow, and I
leaning into you.

(From The Path of Fire by Christa Polkinhorn)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Literary and artistic surprises during a fun journey

This past week, I was in San Leandro, in the Bay area of California, visiting my friend Susan and having a good old time visiting, chatting, eating and drinking and going for walks. And during our walks and drives, we stumbled upon art and literature at unexpected places.

It started at the De Young Museum of Art in San Francisco. By chance they showed an amazing exhibition of some of my favorite painters, Botticelli, for instance.

The De Young is not only a great art museum but situated within the beautiful Golden Gate Park, it is also a place to just hang out, have lunch, or a coffee.

Susan and I at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

On the way to San Francisco and back, we passed the new Bay Bridge, which is impressive and a little scary (can't help thinking about earthquakes). But I love the skyline of San Francisco and of course the city itself.

After all the excitement, we relaxed with a cup of coffee and a sweet. Food for the spirit and the body.

One of the next outings was to Berkeley and in particular to the Botanical Garden, a real treat! It's an oasis of peace with a display of the most gorgeous plants and flowers.

But next to the Garden of Old Roses, there was a lovely surprise waiting for us. See further down.

Hidden underneath a canopy of leaves, a poem by Sylvia Plath carved into stone!

From the Botanical Garden, you have a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge!

Berkeley still has a selection of fine brick-and-motar bookstores. This one was another surprise: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf!

A great bookstore that still invites you to browse and hang out.

On my way back to Los Angeles on 101, I drove through Salinas and stopped for a quick look at another literary great--you guessed it. John Steinbeck lived here many years and there is a museum and a restaurant in his honor.

"Meeting" all these fantastic artists and writers inspired me to get back to my own writing. I'm polishing my next novel, The Italian Sister, which takes place in California and on a vineyard in Tuscany, Italy. More about this later!

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