June Is Bustin' Out All Over!

Dear Friends:

            June is certainly “bustin’ out all over”! With the loosening, or the abandoning, of most COVID restrictions, it certainly feels that way. Doesn’t it?
            Recently, I received a very personal email from Governor Cuomo celebrating New York’s victory in reaching the 70% vaccination rate so that most restrictions are lifted. That’s miraculous! Back in the short, dark days of January, who would’ve believed we’d have reached this milestone so quickly!
            So, where do we go from here? I’m psyched about the possibilities 2021 holds and I’ve made a “to do” list to share with you.
            First, I’m eager to see my friends and family, and meet the new friends I’ve made this year via Zoom. Although we’ve chatted on the phone and “zoomed,” there’s nothing like a face-to-face get together. Being less than six feet apart will seem weird at first, however, the oddity will quickly disappear; unlike the new facial wrinkles we’ve gained over the past year.
            Next on my list is shopping! For the past fourteen months, the grocery store and Home Depot have been my stomping grounds. I’m ready for a good old-fashion girl’s day at Woodbury Commons, but the pandemic has taught me what I can live without. Do I really need that new bikini or beach bag or flip-flops? (As opposed to toilet paper and paper towels.) Shopping for entertainment’s sake can be Zen-like, and we could all use a little Zen in our lives, right?
            Next, I can’t wait to attend events. Broadway, galas, the Bardavon, book signings, baseball games, writing conferences, book festivals, art classes, concerts, weddings and movie nights. Remember those? Spending an evening out will certainly signal a return to “normalcy,” but I may not be ready to ditch my mask when in a crowd. Even if I’m rocking at Springsteen on Broadway.
            And the last thing is travelling. I long to explore the world and visit places that National Geographic has been taunting me with for the last fourteen months. Machu Picchu, London, the Great Barrier Reef, the Canadian Niagara Falls. While fulfilling my international wanderlust will have to wait, luckily there are fifty incredible states to explore. In New York State there’s so much to explore, from the Howe Caverns to Shinnecock Golf Course to the Corning Museum of Glass to the Olympic Village in Lake Placid. And close to home in the Hudson Valley, there’s a new Legoland!
            You may have noticed that dining out at restaurants isn’t a priority for me. I’m no Ina Garten, but the time in lockdown boosted my culinary confidence. I can now follow her recipes to the teaspoon. (Although my family may beg to differ.) Last year, we installed a veggie garden, and I’m weeding, picking my lettuce, pruning the tomato plants and getting dirt underneath my fingernails. I even get a kick out of pickling. Summer ushers in wonderful farmer’s markets, so I’m eager to support them and fire up the grill. I’ll consider dining out when my garden goes fallow for the winter. And if I really want Lola’s takeout or Maryland crab cakes or truffles, there’s always the Internet.
            As the pandemic winds down, let’s take time to learn from the past year and appreciate the possibilities with cautious optimism. Where we go from here, and how rapidly, depends on our continuing to work together and getting vaccinated. This is our shot!
            Friends, I’ve revealed my summer plans to you. Now where will your journey take you? Please drop me a line and let me know.          
            Let’s keep up our monumental accomplishment and see you (full face) soon!        
            Happy Summer,

As we hit the roads, the beaches and the pools for some well-deserved vacation time, here are some of the hottest books of the summer:

The Embassy Wife - Katie Crouch*
The Other Black Girl - Zakiya Dalila Harris*
Dream Girl - Laura Lippman*
The Madness of the Crowds - Louise Penny*
Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley - M.C. Beaton (Audible)
Written in My Own Heart's Blood - Diana Gabaldon (Audible)

*Check out my reviews at
With the temps heating up, it's sometimes nice to cool off in front of the flat screen with the AC blasting. Here are a few new shows, and an OLD favorite, that grabbed me from their pilots (Yada-Yada-Yada):

Ted Lasso (Apple TV)
The Good Fight (Paramount Plus)
Younger (Hulu)
Whistable Pearl (Acorn)
War of the Worlds (Epix)
Seinfeld (Hulu)
To celebrate Audiobook month, I wanted to share my stash of websites for free and discounted audiobooks. Only requires a subscription, but they provide today’s bestsellers and tons of free content. I’ve been a member for years and have downloaded hundreds of books. In fact, when I'm writing my own novels, I prefer listening to audiobooks as an escape from the screen.

Feel free to share these links. They are too good to be kept a secret. (deeply discounted audiobooks with no subscription required) (the best selection of free books, original material, bestsellers and podcasts) (deeply discounted audiobooks with no subscription required) discounted audiobooks with no subscription required) (“The acoustical liberation of books in the public domain”)
Your public library offers plenty of free books -
But, I’ve saved the best for last. At NetGalley you can listen to and read the newest books for FREE before they are released to the bookstores. In exchange for joining NetGalley, you will be required to submit reviews of the books requested. That's a small price to pay to advance copies from the publishing world’s biggest authors. And it helps the authors obtain reviews and feedback, which is a plus for them, too.
                     Meet Janel Valentine, the voice of  "The Midnight Call"   

Fighting the forces of boredom all her life, Janel Valentine became a national typing champion and studied opera privately during high school.  She sings, performs for local theater, teaches music to a local youth program, and leads a choir.  Her voice was noticed by her employer, and they requested she become the voice of their automated phone system.  She always loved reading aloud to children, and, on a whim, she decided to audition for her first audio book, "Blood Creek Witch".  From that, she learned how to record produce professional audio book recordings.  She lives with her husband and two children in West Jordan UT, who try to keep up with her. 

Available wherever books, ebooks
and audiobooks are sold.

If you enjoyed my novel, please leave a review on Goodreads & Amazon

You can follow me on

Thanks for answering THE MIDNIGHT CALL!

Find Out More
Copyright © 2021 Jode Susan Millman Author, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Copyright © 2019 JSMILLMAN LLC, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.