Day: May 16, 2017

TAG: Celebrating the Little Things & 300 Followers (Combination)

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I found the “Celebrating the Little Things” tag through my online friend Misty on her site at mistysbookspace.  She had great answers and is a cool blogger, so please check out her site. I thought it was a fun idea, but then I also realized I had 300 WordPress followers earlier today… so I’m combining them together and sharing my answers to the questions.

celbrate300.jpg

1.) Who was your first follower? Tag them and give them a shout out.

My first follower was Cristian. His blog has content on almost every topic and has thousands of followers. A definite good guy to know who interacts with everyone on his blog. Go check out the link to his site.

2.) What was the last milestone you reached?

I noticed this morning that I had 300 followers over night. I also had my highest day yesterday in terms of views and likes. It’s a surprising and big celebration this week!

3.) What was the very first post you posted on your blog? Share it with us, if you can find it out!

My first blog was neither a book review nor a random blog post; it was an introduction to the book I am currently in review on with an agent. You can read the post and the overview of the book here: Watching a Glass Shatter

4.) Who was your most recent follower? Tag them and give them a shout out.

My most recent follower was earlier today. His name is Erik and has a great site called PastDueBookReview. I found 3 reviews within the first few minutes that I immediately read.

5.) What was the last post you posted and who was the first person who took their time to click the like button? Give them a shout out.

I wrote a short book review on Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Claire at BrizzleLassBooks was the first person to like the post. We met about a month ago and have had several great online comments and exchanges about books and blogging. I highly recommend checking out her site.

6.) How many months have you been blogging?

I created the blog last summer and had my first post in August of 2016, which puts me just shy of the 9 month mark. I didn’t do too much those first two months, but started actively blogging in October of 2016.

7.) Do you have any bloggers you’re friends with? Give them a shout out!

I have not yet met anyone in person; however, I’d totally be up for a NYC meet-n-greet if anyone lives nearby. I’ve met a few folks who I regularly chat with in each other’s posts and who are very friendly and give sound advice. I’ve listed the 5 with the most comments on my site!

Books, Vertigo and Tea

Rae Longest

IdahoBlueBird50

SUSANDYER1962

Nel at ReactionaryTales

8.) Who originally created the last meme or tag you participated in? Give them a shout out!

I can’t tell! The person who had the original tag isn’t named, and I’ve gone back 5 people to try to track it, but no one knows. If you see this post and it is you, please let us know!

9.) Do you have any social media accounts related to your blog?

Come find me everywhere else!

Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Google+     Tumblr     Pinterest     Instagram     LinkedIn        Watching-A-Glass-Shatter        Personal Website

10.) Last but not least… Just give thanks to all of your followers!

Getting 300 WordPress blog followers (excluding people viewing elsewhere, e.g. BlogLovin’, Twitter, etc.) feels great. It’s not as many as some of you have, but it’s growing and I’m loving every minute of it. Thank you for all the likes, shares, follows, votes and ratings. I appreciate it very much. And I’m always open to positive and negative feedback, as well as thoughts on new things to include.

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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Review: Mockingjay

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Mockingjay Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Mockingjay, the third book in the “Hunger Games” young adult trilogy published in 2010 and written by Suzanne Collins. Although I loved this book, it’s my least favorite of the three in the series, as it’s less about the actual challenge to survive against the other districts, which is what made the books so fun for me. It’s all about revolution against the government and who is really fighting for the cause. Full of commentary on the world and society in general, the book is a struggle to obtain freedom and fix the errors of the past. All the favorite characters (who are still alive) are fighting. Several perish. Katniss makes her choice among Peeta and Gale. Families are put to test. Loyalties are shaken. It paints a bleak picture, but one worth fighting for. It’s a fitting end for the series, but it also makes you want to go back to re-read all 3 books over again. Good memories. 🙂

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: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Book Review
4 out of 5 stars for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the 5th book in the original 7 book “Harry Potter” young adult fantasy series published in 2003 by J.K. Rowling. I cannot believe this is over 15 years old, as I think about what I want to put in my review. Given it’s HP, and everyone does review on it, I’m keeping it short. A few things I loved about this book:

1. Dolores Umbridge is awesome. Awesome as a villain, that is. She brings out the worst in so many people, and other then the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort, Harry needs a foil on a day-to-day basis.

2. More dementors! Those have always been one of my favorite parts. And to see Harry protect his cousin Dudley… well that’s just cool!

3. The whole Pollyjuice potion usage at the trial is awesome.

4. Snape’s history is slowly unveiled.

5. It sets them on the battle against the Dark One to end all battles in the next couple of books!

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: Sizzling Sixteen

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Sizzling Sixteen Book Review
3 of 5 stars to Sizzling Sixteen, the 16th mystery in the Stephanie Plum series, published in 2009 and written by Janet Evanovich. I’ve come to expect laughs and kooky characters in these books, and this one is full of them. But other than that, it wasn’t as good as the rest. I’d even say this is my least favorite of the bunch. The laughs are wonderful, but the substance is declining due to the rush to put them in the stores and on the market. That said, I won’t focus on all the negatives… if you love the series, stick with it… you know what to expect. But I would like things to step up more. This one revolved around getting money in order for cousin Vinny to stay in business. Vinny’s not my favorite character either. I read one more after this one and then took a hiatus from the series around 2011. I’ll go back later this year, only because they do make me laugh.

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: Fatally Flaky

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Fatally Flaky Book Review
3 of 5 stars to Fatally Flaky, the 15th of 17 books in the cozy mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson, published in 2009. You can tell the series is coming to a close soon as it seems like the stories are getting harder and harder to write, It’s rare a book series should go past 10, and if it does, it cannot be one written right after the other. The author should have a few series going on, or alternate between series and non-series fiction, just to give time for the actual mystery to pull itself together. Although nothing bad in this particular edition, it’s just a little less than I want it to be each time. There are certainly interesting escapades with BrideZilla, Spa Machinations and Doctor Suspicious, but it’s still a bit outta control. At least this time, we have Uncle Jack, Goldy’s godfather, as something else to focus on. I do love the characters, the setting and many of the books. But this was not one of the better ones.

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: Port Mortuary

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Port MortuaryBook Review
3 of 5 stars to Port Mortuary, the 18th book in the Kay Scarpetta thriller series, written by Patricia Cornwell and published in 2010. This was the last Scarpetta book I read, as I then took a hiatus I’ve yet to come back from. I thought this was a decent book in the series, but it had some low points and it had some high points. The series seems to go thru a bit of an identity crisis when it tries to change a little direction, and this one, I am hopeful it is back on track. I’m not sure yet tho. We’re back to first person narration again, so we hear Scarpetta’s thoughts and voice, which is good. But it’s gone super-detail oriented on technology to the point where it’s less about the mystery and more about the information dump. We also have less of the supporting characters, and when we do have them, their idiosyncrasies are on full blast — too high tho. I think we need a reboot here, with some new characters and a change of atmosphere. I’m going to pick up the next book in the series soon to see if it changes or not, then I’ll decide if I’ve given up or am still in it for the long haul

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: Be My Killer

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Be My Killer3 out of 5 stars to Be My Killer, a mystery and thriller novel set to release on May 26th, 2017, by Richard Parker. It appears this is Parker’s first novel, and for a debut, he shows a lot of potential. I’m curious to see what else he publishes. On to the review…

Why This Book
NetGalley has become my new go-to for selection of ARCs to read and review. But this time, I happen to see this book on my friend Bentley’s list of Goodreads’ books, and I thought it sounded really interesting. I requested it via NetGalley and was awarded it that day. It was the next book on my list due to be published, which meant I had to squeeze it in this week. Oh, deadlines… Many thanks to the author, NetGalley and the publisher, Bookouture, for the advanced copy in lieu of a fair and honest review.

Overview of Story
A killer is on the loose, propelled by a new Twitter handle called “@BeMyKiller,” in which people can suggest names of who should be killed, as well as a witty response to taunt the killer into choosing them. It was only a fun game one man created, but someone took it to heart and killed 3 people in the exact manner suggested on Twitter. The families of the victims are out for blood, but the man who created the Twitter handle has been cleared of any wrongdoing. Enter Hazel, an indie film producer fresh off a prestigious award, looking for her next big break. She’s pulled together a crew to interview the family of the last victim, Meredith; however, Hazel is the only person who believes the same killer murdered all the victims, and possibly a 4th and a 5th, which the police are still investigating. As she heads to the sacred ground where Meredith was brutally murdered, Hazel interviews all the families, as well as the guy who created the Twitter handle. Things start getting out of control when people threaten to kill him, but along the path, people’s true personalities and hidden agendas begin coming to the surface. Over the course of 4 or 5 days, one by one, each member of the crew or victim’s families begin disappearing. The killer is knocking them off for some mysterious reasons. As the story comes to an end, there are only 4 or 5 people left and they begin to realize the others haven’t just disappeared (no bodies were ever found until the very end). It all comes to an explosive conclusion in the final chapters when the killer is revealed and Hazel takes a stand to save and protect those who still remain.

Approach & Style
The book is told in the past tense via an omniscient third party narrator, watching over each of the characters as they are brutally murdered. The point of view is consistent, but there is some mystery as you don’t always know which character is being tracked by the killer. Pronouns are often used in lieu of him or her, especially when the victim realizes they are about to die and knows who the killer is — the author doesn’t want to give it away, so “they” is quite frequent. It got a little confusing in the beginning, but then you realize you have to go with it, based on how the story is told. It takes place in a small New England town, though the murders happened all over the country, and possibly one in Europe.

I read this on my iPad Kindle reader. Chapters are very short, and even though the book is roughly 300 pages, there is a lot of white space on the screen due to the break in each of the scenes. As a result, it’s much shorter, and only took me about 4 hours to read over the course of 2 days.

Strengths
1. For a thriller novel, it’s full of suspense and the fear-factor. Given the way the story is told, and the writing style, it has the creep-factor. It almost feels like you are the camera person, following the people and watching the murders happen, but you can’t do anything about it. It’s also very descriptive and creative in the ways each of the characters die. I love me some horror, but this was very intricate. I felt the pain and shook / squirmed a few times, thinking about the vicious torture the attacker inflicted on “their” victims. Just to give you a flavor of the torture, one of the Twitter followers suggested her brother be killed, the brother responded “Sure, take a piece of me.” Well… the killer basically gutted him, chopped him up while he was still alive, into little pieces, and filmed the whole thing for the family to watch. What?????

2. I love when books kill characters one by one, keeping you guessing who is behind it the whole time. This book does well in that capacity. I also am fascinated by the premise of a Twitter stalker who kills people based on suggestions from various followers. It makes for a fun read and makes me a little leary to respond to people I don’t know on social media!

3. The characters are strong and real. I didn’t like many of them, mostly because they are all spineless jerks who hide behind the walls of the internet. The families of the victims also seemed to be using the death of their loved one as a way to help promote their own objectives. The film crew felt dirty and seedy, given what they were doing and how they treated each other, but it also felt a bit realistic in how this would play out — as far as the exploitation part.

Open Questions & Concerns
1. The cops seemed way too easy-going about the whole film production setting up in the murder spot. They were missing throughout most of the book, which felt too convenient just to keep the murders happening one by one.

2. I am not sure I believe the FBI couldn’t track the killer down through technology. I suppose the killer may not have had his/her own Twitter profiles, and looked at victims thru other means… but it felt like no one had a clue what was going on in that investigation.

3. I didn’t care for the ending. It was a surprise, and it made sense; however, it felt like it came a little too far from nowhere. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll stop there. Key thing to convey is… if you want a truly tidied up, complex and shocking ending, this wasn’t it. It definitely was surprising, but I wanted more in terms of the “why.” It does make up for the disappointment in the reasoning with a fantastic hide and seek scene in an amusement park.

Author & Other Similar Books
Tough one… I think it’s the author’s first book, so not much to say here. I am in no way, shape or form comparing him or the book to Agatha Christie; however, the concept of “one by one they die” was very similar to her novel, And Then There Were None.

Final Thoughts
I liked the author’s style and the topics in the book. I wasn’t a fan of the pronoun usage and think there could have been a better method to accomplishing the mystery goal. Overall, I’d definitely try another book by the author as it had a good amount of suspense, some horrific gore and kept my attention the entire time.

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