Day: May 15, 2017

Author Alert: Janet Evanovich

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With over 300 book reviews transferred from Goodreads to ThisIsMyTruthNow, my personal website and blog, it’s time to add another feature. I’ve been building a new menu structure in the background over the last few weeks, each time I post a new or updated review. Beginning this week, and going forward each week, I’ll add a new post called “Author Alert,” where I will provide a brief overview of an author, the books I’ve read and some thought on the whole subject.

For this first week, I’ve selected one of my favorite authors who has multiple book series, writes in different genres, and where I’ve got some reviews completed, some still to write up and even some books I haven’t read.

Don’t be shy, tell me what you think and what else you want to add / change. First up…

______________________________________________________________________________

Janet Evanovich currently writes romance and mystery fiction. For more information on her, you can check Goodreads or Fantastic Fiction, two of my favorite sites. She is one of the most prolific and famous writers in these genres during current times, as you can see by just the list of books I’ve read below, as well as the other series mentioned. To dive deeper into the page I’ve created for her, you can click on Janet Evanovich. See below for a sample of the content on her dedicated page. Additional content includes favorite characters, scenes and books.

Book Series – Stephanie Plum Mysteries

I enjoy these books because she is a funny writer, full of bizarre and relate-able characters; some of which I’d love to meet, but some I would like to stay very far away from. Among my favorites, besides the main characters, Stephanie Plum, are Lula and Ranger. I’ve always been a Ranger / Stephanie fan, and although Joe Morelli can be a sweet guy sometimes, I like the dark and dangerous relationship just a bit more.

… just listing some books here, the rest are on the page noted above or here

  • Sizzling Sixteen (2009)
  • Smokin’ Seventeen (2011)
  • Turbo Twenty-Three (2016) — not yet read
  • Hardcore Twenty-Four (2017) — not yet read

Beyond the Stephanie Plum series, the author’s also written several books in the following series:

  • Fox and O’Hare (with Lee Goldberg) – currently 5 full-length books and several short in-between stories – mystery fiction genre
  • Lizzy & Diesel – currently 3 full-length books, but Diesel is mentioned in the Stephanie Plum short novellas, too – mystery / romance / paranormal genre
  • Full (with Charlotte Hughes) – currently 6 full-length books – romantic suspense genre

Link to Janet Evanovich Page

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Blog: WordPress (WP) – How do YOU use the site? Feedback & Questions

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When I first began using WordPress, I thought it was a fairly easy-to-use interface which had a tremendous amount of configuration. Now that I’m publishing between 6 and 8 posts per day between the 365 Challenge, book reviews, blogging and other content, I’m re-organizing some of the content and structure to keep the administration at a minimum. As the site is growing, and I’m getting more followers and following a lot more people, I’m running into a bunch of limitations with minimal search and filter options… So I thought I’d ask the experts, the intermediates and the newbies a few questions:

use it

Devices Used

What devices do you utilize for viewing or publishing content on your WordPress blog?

  • Desktop or Laptop
  • Smart Phone
  • Tablet
  • Other

Jay’s Answer

For writing or publishing content, I use my laptop. I need the larger keyboard and touch-screen with big enough buttons to work more quickly.

For viewing other people’s posts, I use all three devices. Pros/Cons

Laptop: I can easily open multiple screens, not lose my place and flip back and forth while something is loading.

Tablet/Phone: I can more quickly read thru posts and like items that are short, but then it’s hard to note which ones I want to go back and read later when I have more time because they are longer. So I end up with a mix of “did I read that yet?” and “Shoot, I think I missed a few posts.”

For comments, I use all three devices.

overload

Viewing Your Follower’s Posts

How do you find and view your follower’s posts?

  • You receive an email when they post
    • Very helpful as I can delete the ones I don’t find of interest or when I’m done reading them
    • A lot of administration to keep up in my email’s Inbox
  • You receive a daily email
    • Duplicate efforts because I try to look throughout the day in the “Reader” when I have a few spare moments.
    • Easy to catch all at once, but then I am spending a lot of time all at once
  • You receive a weekly email
    • Too infrequent, I miss posts and don’t get to interact enough with my online friends
  • You don’t receive email, but check “Reader” to find new content
    • Easiest, but then I run into issues knowing which I did or did not read yet
  • Other

Jay’s Answer

I’m struggling a bit here. When I followed a small amount of people, I received an email every time the person posted.

As I started following more people, I switched to a daily email, but I’d also periodically check during the day.

When I began following over 200 people, I switched to no email for anyone, but I would scroll through the posts in “Reader” all throughout the day.

Now I’ve got a lot more people I’m following, with maybe 50 or so frequent online friends whom I interact with almost daily. I am trying out a mix of immediate email for some people and checking “Reader” when I have free time.

I don’t want to miss anything! Help! Ideas?

 

mind

Note: Please ask any other questions… I’d love for this to be interactive where all of my friends and their friends throw out ideas!!!

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! And each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Award: Blogger Recognition #1

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Des’ Random Thoughts tagged me in her Blogger Recognition Award post, and now it’s my turn to give this tag a little workout among my friends.  First, I appreciate her kind and thoughtful mention, and everyone should stop over at Des’ site to look at everything she’s pulled together in the last year.  She has a variety of book reviews, general posts, updates & summaries, tags and awards. It’s always a fun treat when stopping by each day. And to keep the momentum going backward, Des was tagged by 

blogger-recognition-award

 

rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give at least two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

How My Blog Started

Last year, I left my full-time corporate technology position and found myself with a few months of free time, at least before I would head back to work again. Part of my professional position included managing WordPress website development, and I had done some XML and HTML coding over a decade ago. I thought I should get a bit more hands-on with WP, which led to me creating three (3) websites: (a) professional, (b) this personal blog and (c) my book. I also began reading and posting my reviews on Goodreads each day. After a few weeks, I found myself meeting new people, adding more content and having a grand ole time. I had things to say and people seemed to have fun reading and commenting. It’s taken off over the last 6 months and I now have about 2500 followers between all three sites and my connected social media accounts. Thank you to everyone; I truly appreciate all the kindness and interest. It’s become part of my full-time job, in addition to writing, bringing lots of fun and depth to my life each day. And now I’m looking to build and grow in many directions, looking for guidance, advice and requests from each of you! So bring it on…

My Advice

With only 6 active months under my belt, I’m not sure I’m qualified to provide blogging advice; however, I will certainly share my knowledge and you can choose to love it, hate it, take it or ignore it!

  • Create the blog for yourself — not for anyone else, in the beginning. Give some thought to the things you want to say and how often you plan to share. Create content that makes you happy, as it will have more quality when you’re first starting out as a new blogger.
  • Reach out and connect to other bloggers who share similar interests. I’ve had about a 50% connection rate, meaning half the time I never hear back from the person, but  half the time I do. And in that process, I see great styles and topics on other people’s blogs, find wonderful people to share a few minutes of fun with each day and I learn different techniques for being open, flexible and friendly. Comment all the time. Be nice. Be friendly. Open new dialogue.
  • Build check-in points. I don’t mean put in a target to have “x” followers by a certain time period. I mean… check your statistics every week or couple of weeks to learn how people are using your site. Do you have 100 views and only 2 likes? What does that mean? Do you have 100 views and 100 unique people, meaning no one is looking at multiple pages? Learn what you’re doing that people like and what they don’t like, so you can determine if you need or want to make any changes down the line. Message me if you have questions on these features.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Over time, you’ll see growth if you’re doing all the right things. Some people hit it perfectly the first time; others take a few months. But remember, you need to start out doing this for yourself to get comfortable before you can leap frog all over the place.

 

Nominees

As I scrolled thru the list, there were about 100 names I wanted to add… but that would be too many! Many of these aren’t new to blogging, as they have big sites already. So… I went with the last 10 I interacted with thru either a like on their site or my site.  Please check them all out, and if you are tagged, I hope you’ll participate. No pressure tho!  And if you are not tagged, feel free to do your own post and let me know by linking back, so I can come check out what you had to say.

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! And each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: A Modest Proposal

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A Modest Proposal Book Review
A Modest Proposal is a satirical work of fiction by Jonathan Swift, written nearly 300 years ago. It is an Irish piece, originally published anonymously, but served as a way to shove stupidity in the face of the English government and wealthy. Essentially, in order to solve the problem of poverty, people should eat their children. But it was written in a very serious manner, as though it were meant to be real suggestions. Ahead of its time, it propelled Swift to the forefront of both English literature and the 18th century collection of masterpieces. My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although not very long (under 50 pages), the language is a bit outdated and requires a few translations to understand what he meant back during that period of time. The humor is undeniable. The time he took to create a solution for every aspect of the problem, as well as provide counter points, is incredibly delicious — pun intended! Though a bit too absurd, even for me, it’s still one of those parts of our English courses we all enjoy reading. It’s hilarious to a 15-year old, who may not know all the different parts of history or the way in which governmental red-tape can work. Find a few pages online after perusing this review… just sample some of the words and phrases he used. It may push you into reading the whole thing!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Glass Menagerie

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The Glass Menagerie Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Glass Menagerie, written in 1945 by Tennessee Williams. The play is told from the perspective of Tom, the son of Amanda and brother of Laura, three members of the Wingfield family living in Missouri in the 1930s. Amanda’s husband, the and kids father, left years ago and has not been heard from. Both Laura and Tom are in their early twenties. Amanda wants to marry off her daughter, convincing Tom to bring home a friend from work to create a set-up. It fails, as he’s already involved with another girl, and the story ends basically where it begins. It’s a powerful tale about the relationships between parents and children and siblings. It’s about women’s rights and their place in a 1930s world. It’s about fighting versus talking. It’s about dating versus falling in love. It’s about poverty and money. The story has a lot of mini-arcs, all about the different parts of their lives… who did what, where, when, how and why. It’s a good read, especially as a play and has been produced in probably every high school across the country. What I liked about it was the harsh and raw reality of life for some people, especially young girls who needed to be married off… it’s a “classic” and should be read by all… especially if you know a little bit about Tennessee Williams – and his own thoughts and actions in the world!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Death of a Salesman

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Death of a SalesmanBook Review
Arthur Miller is a fantastic writer. 4 of 5 stars to one his most known works, Death of a Salesman, written in 1949. Most Americans read this in middle school as a required book for their English courses. I am not positive when I read this, but I re-read it as part of my English degree in college. I enjoyed it more the second-time around, but it is still a very rough book to read. Not in terms of bad writing, but in terms of topics and emotions.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It focuses on the Loman family. The patriarch has been a salesman for over 30 years, most of his adult life. But eventually, it ends, and he’s forced to face the reality of a 60+ year old man in the mid 20th century between the two world wars, where everything was not so cozy in America. The play touches on themes of mental illness, depression, parenting, suicide, life’s purpose, the role of a father and husband, etc. I’m not fond of the main character, nor will most readers be. He’s quite tragic and unable to really do the right thing for everyone else. But it’s not entirely his fault; this was a bit of an issue in society at the time.

Miller’s talent is top notch. He clearly can capture the mental state of his characters, who each struggle with things we all struggle with. They take it to a newer and higher level, but it’s still something we can all relate to in our lives, whether it’s a teacher, father, uncle, grandfather, or another person in our lives, we have seen this happen. And it’s not pretty. The various passages and speeches by each of the characters are quite strong, pushing you as a reader to think about what society has done to us. But then again… we all have choices and should know better. The book makes you think… a lot… and for that, it does an excellent job at being one we should all read, or at least watch the play acted out.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Trace

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TraceBook Review
3.5 of 5 stars to Trace, the 13th book in the Kay Scarpetta thriller series, written in 2004 by Patricia Cornwell. Trace is midway in the series which has about 25 books as of 2017 when I’m finally writing this review! I’m trying to catch up on all my favorite series, finish writing reviews and then read the latest books which are still in my TBR pile.

Trace is a solid story, as we come to expect from Cornwell, but it has a few issues, too. It’s a very emotional book, not only because it’s focus starts with a 14 year old girl’s death, but also because Scarpetta has just come back from Florida, where she basically ran off to for a “break.” When she’s back in Virginia, she’s suddenly faced with being pulled back into her old routine, having to help the new ME figure out what happened in this crime. Scarpetta is also working again with her former right-hand-man, but something is different about him. She even suspects he may be the killer this time; and he’s got some interesting attitude issues towards his former boss. Plus, Scarpetta is on her own, sans Lucy and Benton who are busy elsewhere.

In some respects, we’re back to basics with this book, as she tries to solve the crime on her own, fighting with her colleagues the whole way. But she’s also a different person, and her instincts aren’t as fine-tuned as usual. It’s a game-changing book, which ultimately sets the directional change in the series enough to re-boot it a bit. But the mystery itself is still quite diabolical. I wouldn’t start with this book if you are new to the series, but if you’re a big fan, it’s worth the read to see all the changes going on in her world.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews