Month: October 2017

365 Challenge: Day 233 – Goodreads (2017 Book Awards)

Posted on Updated on

Goodreads: website for readers to discuss books and select 2017 winners

dreads

Today is an amazing day. Not only is it autumn and Halloween, two of my favorite times of the year, but it’s also the first day of the Goodreads Choice Awards for 2017. Each year, Goodreads holds awards for books published that year across twenty (20) different categories. They hold three (3) rounds for voting, starting with this week, and they also allow you to write in an eligible nominee if your favorite book wasn’t initially selected. Here’s how it works:

Week #1: 10/31 to 11/5 Voting

  • 15 Nominees selected by Goodreads
  • Any other eligible book can be nominated via a write-in by us

Week #2: 11/7 to 11/12 Voting

  • 15 Nominees selected by Goodreads remain
  • Top 5 write-in votes are added to the list, rounding it out to 20 Nominees

Week #3: 11/14 to 11/27 Voting

  • Top 10 from prior round in each category are the new Nominees

 

**Votes are tallied and the winners are announced later this year! **

 

Why This is Awesome

  1. If you love to read, it’s an award based on your votes — not some society or panel
  2. You find new books you want to read
  3. You can write-in your own Nominees (Us Writers Love This)
  4. It creates great discussion among readers
  5. You remember all the favorites from the prior year

 

For me, it’s also a bit special as there’s an opportunity for me or any of my fellow writers to be nominated via a write-in vote in any of the 20 categories, including ‘Goodreads Debut Author’ of 2017. While I am not suggesting my book is the best book (that’s for others to choose), being nominated helps promote the book to other Goodreads members who may not know about it. It’s all about marketing and advertising to help share the chance.

This is one of those times when being nominated truly can have a tremendous impact for new writers. It’s not always about winning, but instead about finding ways to share your book and voice with other people. I’m searching my list of fellow writers to see if there’s anyone I’d like to nominate as it may just help them out. So should you!!!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where 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.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Advertisements

365 Challenge: Day 232 – RainDog (RYDER RANT)

Posted on

RainDog: Ryder when it pours the opposite of ‘cats’

Good Morning! I know you’re used to me ranting away about the Dads on Mondays, but I can only say good things about them today. I’ll have to rant about some other stuff that they don’t have control over…

rain

I had just gotten a bath on Saturday afternoon and was all clean and fresh. As usual, I tore off out of the tub, shook everywhere, rubbed my entire body on the carpet and dried off without towels. I hate towels. I like to air dry. I think the Dads may have collected another dog from all the fur that flew off me while I raced around the apartment. But then the most horrible thing began… where did all this rain come from? I didn’t get outside for almost 24 hours because of it. I don’t mind a little drizzle here and there, but when it pours buckets without stopping for this long, I am not pleased. I didn’t want to go outside because I knew I’d get stinky. So I held it for a very long time. I finally got out this morning but now I’m just exhausted and already taking a nap on the couch while Dad works. It was fierce out there! I saw some of my trees start bending over. A few flower pots fell on the side and spilled dirt on the patio. Dads got some mess to clean up today.

Another reason I’m happy with Dad is he promised me I don’t have to wear a Halloween costume tomorrow when the trick-o-treaters knock on the door for candy from 5 to 7. Since we live in an apartment building with security, people can’t just come and go as they please. Instead, all the residents can sign up and go door-to-door (if the tenants put themselves on the list) within the building. It’s much safer and friendlier. But we also have specific times, so I won’t get too tired out. I try to sleep at least every other hour, you know. I’ll have to stretch it to 2 hours this time. Then the Dads leave for dinner with some good friends who have been on a diet for a month. I like those friends; they bring me treats all the time. I am glad Dads are going to dinner with them — Mexican, their favorite — but that diet they follow is wacky!

The real reason I can’t be upset with the Dads is they cooked a scrumptious meal for them me given all the rain kept us indoors. While they were sleeping last night, I took the phone and uploaded some pictures below for you to see. The first one is the table setting for dinner last night. Mine is on the floor, you can’t see it. They give me a special plate so I leave them alone while they eat. I guess it’s only fair. The mashed potatoes with whole grain mustard seeds was fantastic. The meat cooked all day long… tempted me too much! I didn’t partake in the wine, as you know, I’m a Prohibitionist, even though they are quite the lushes.

Dad finally baked that pie he mentioned last week. Although he never follows recipes, he did stumble upon a good one in Southern Living magazine. Georgia Peanut and Bourbon pie. It was delicious. I saved a photo from before it went in the oven, then one from afterwards. Dad also made a bourbon and vanilla whipped cream to top each slice at the end. There’s a picture of that one, too. Too bad y’all didn’t come over for dinner. I love the company. And they only ate 1/4 of the pie… so much left!

That’s all folks. See you next week with tales of my Halloween Extravaganza!

P.S. Today’s post pic and word ‘RainDog’ is a building product supply company. Dad didn’t take that photo, so he wanted you to know not to credit him. Only credit him for the food photos.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where 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.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 231 – Historical (LIST: Fiction Genres )

Posted on

Historical: novel that takes place in the past (and I’m gonna leave it at that, you’ll see why later)

fiction

Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For the next 5 Sundays, I will pick a favorite book genre and discuss all the reasons why I love it. We will kick off the week with ‘historical’ because I am most looking forward to reading one of those types of novels on my TBR shelf,  but I can’t seem to find time to get to it. I’m hoping this will push me over the edge, but we’ll get to which book that is in a little bit.

Historical fiction generally has a broad range of definitions, but there are also many people who are fierce loyalists as to the specific rules. Although we all agree the story must take place in the past, there are a few points potentially up for debate:

  • Is there an acceptable # of years that must have passed before the author can write about the time period?
    • Some think it is after an entire generation (about 20 to 25 years) has gone by.
    • Some believe if the novel takes place at least 50 years ago, it qualifies.
    • Some feel an entire lifetime (about 80 years) must have passed.
    • MY VIEW: I’m in the ’50’ year bucket as when I think of WWII stories, I consider those historical because they occurred before I was born. In order to be a lifetime, it would have to be before 1937 based on today’s date, which seems like it’s excluding a lot. A generation is too little; that’s just a slight adjustment in time periods.

history222

  • Does it need to be about a real person?
    • Some think it absolutely must include a real person who lived and breathed during that period in history, but contain some fictional events and characters.
    • Others think as long as the setting is historical, the character can be fully made up and not be connected to any other reality.
    • MY VIEW: I do not think the main character needs to be a real person; however, I do prefer the novel include some real-life characters to help the setting feel more realistic. It could be as little as discussions about current leaders or famous people within the book; potentially meeting or interacting with made-up characters, but when it’s strictly fully fictional, I’m not as impressed or excited.
  • Can it cross genres?
    • Many people believe it must not broaden into other genres, e.g. mystery, fantasy or science-fiction. To be true historical, it has to be strictly general fiction.
    • Others are open-minded and refer to it as a historical “sci-fi” or “mystery” novel. Yikes, what do we call a young adult mystery with fantasy elements set in a historical period?
    • MY VIEW: I think we have to leave rooms for other genres, but as sub-genre categories. It all starts with the initial high-level category, then breaks down. I don’t think we all agree with the main categories either, which makes it harder. For instance, are Adult, Contemporary or General part of the first level of categorization, and are they ultimately the same thing?
      • So… I’d say, first I’d categorize a fiction book by it’s time period, either historical, contemporary or future.
      • Then I’d add in the age, either children’s, young adult or adult.
      • Then I’d get into things like fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, romance, etc.

history1111.jpg

Now that we know all the options [and if I’ve missed any key points, please feel free to share]… let’s chat about why I love historical fiction:

  • I’m a history buff, so I enjoy being transported back to a time period where I have some knowledge or information.
  • I live in the current century, which means sometimes I need something different to distract me from what’s going on around me. I’m not a huge futuristic type guy, and I get tired of ‘technology’ solving all our problems and issues (meaning things being done the old-fashioned way are often more interesting to me).
  • I love making up stories about people that might have been true and might have had some connection to reality. The research aspects of what’s real and not-real amaze and interest me.
  • Reading or seeing the settings from the words the author chooses help ignite my literary passions. When it’s a world I wasn’t part of, it’s even more fantastic.

 

What are my favorite reads?

What’s next on my list in this genre?

 

How about you? Any favorites or recommendations? Do you not like this genre? Time to share!

————————————————————-

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Past weeks included:

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where 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.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

100 Followers GIVEAWAY! (Congrats Fellow Blogger)

Posted on Updated on

If you’re looking for a fantastic new blogger to follow, take a look here… Special giveaway today… Get to know Jessica! She’s part of my blog tour in 2 weeks, so it’s a perfect opportunity to get acquainted now and follow her.

Jessica Belmont

Hey everyone!!

I just hit my first goal of 100 followers yesterday! As a thank you, I am holding a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

*GIVEAWAY QUALIFICATION*

Step One:
Follow my blog via WordPress or email (If you’re already a follower, thank you! Skip to the Step 2.)

Step Two:
Comment on this post letting me know what you’re reading currently (if you’re reading anything).

Step Three:
Fill out this Google Doc

*NOTE* You will not be eligible to win unless you complete all three steps.

The contest will run from today, Sunday, October 29th through Friday, November 3rd.
The contest will close at 6PM (EST) on the 3rd.

Winner will be randomly selected. I will reply to your comment letting you know you’ve won, and I will email you. You will have until 12PM (EST) Saturday, November 4th to respond to the email…

View original post 59 more words

365 Challenge: Day 230 – Tea

Posted on Updated on

Tea: a [hot] drink made by infusing the dried, crushed leaves of the tea plant in boiling water

tea.jpg

Several weeks ago, I posted all about my love for coffee; I also noted that I’d have a future one about tea. Hence today’s 365 Daily Challenge word… but I need some help. A few people have suggested types of tea in the past, but I haven’t yet made that leap. I don’t plan to give up coffee, but I’m thinking about trying to cleansing-like teas for the winter. I’d love some recommendations and input from all of you!

To give some background, I’m a novice. I have had iced tea before. I have had green tea. I’ve had all the prepackaged kinds from the grocery store. They’re all fine and I am good with having a cup every once in a while; however, if I am going to seriously give tea a chance, shouldn’t it be something where I buy the leaves and brew it myself? I live in NYC, so I should be able to find a good tea store. I know I’ve seen one in the market at Grand Central Station. I tend to like flavors along the lines of vanilla, cinnamon, hazelnut and almond. I’m not much of a ‘berry-flavored’ beverage-guy but willing to give it a try.

Educate me on teas from all over the world. When’s the best time to drink it? Are there different teas for different moods or purposes? How do you feel about tea? Tell me all! I like trying new things. I look forward to hearing from everyone.


 

UPDATE: I promised to compile the responses together, which I’ve done below. I will try a few over the next couple of weeks and let you know what I thought. Thank you to everyone for such great responses. You are all awesome!

 

Types of Tea Suggested to Me

  • Brands: Yogi, Celestial Seasons, Lipton, Traditional Medicinals, Tazo, Harney & Sons, Grace Tea, Rishi, The Tea Spot, Teapigs, Piccadilly Circus, Jackson’s of Piccadilly

 

  • Orange Pekoe
  • White
  • Winter Spice
  • Super Fruit
  • Tensions Tamer
  • Vanilla Almond Rooibos
  • Cranberry
  • Licorice Spice
  • Hot Cinnamon Spice
  • Gypsy Cold Care
  • Breakfast
  • Turkish
  • Russian Caravan
  • Darjeeling
  • Turmeric
  • Cardamom (Elaichi)
  • Kashmiri
  • Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin
  • Karak Chai
  • Chai
  • Organic Ginger
  • Chamomile and Lavender
  • Throat Coat
  • Breathe Easy
  • Black
  • Green
  • Bubble-Milk
  • Lady Grey
  • Pumpkin
  • Candy Cane
  • Mango
  • Blueberry
  • Detox
  • Vanilla Spice
  • Peppermint
  • Jasmine Green
  • Earl Grey

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where 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.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Book Review: Cleaving Souls by Chauncey Rogers

Posted on

Be prepared to shiver a little before bed at night with Cleaving Souls, a psychological suspense and thriller published in 2017 by Chauncey Rogers.

cleaving.jpg
Why This Book 
I’m a big fan of psychological mysteries and thrillers. When the opportunity popped up to read this one, I jumped on getting a copy last month. I’ve been reading a few lighthearted children’s books and cozy mysteries, which meant I needed something to scare the pants off me (doesn’t happen often)! The other reason I needed to read it – and yes, this is embarrassing but I am nothing if not honest and focused on learning – is that I wasn’t certain I knew what the word ‘cleaving’ meant. Though I’d heard it before, I wanted a clear definition, and so I started reading the book. Wouldn’t you know… the first page provides a few definitions to choose from. And when I got to the end, it was QUITE CLEAR!

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Kate’s expecting a baby with husband Alex, but she’s starting to lose her mind a little more each day. She has absolutely no idea why she’s lost and confused, but her husband tries to be supportive. As a truck driver, he’s unfortunately out of town for several days in a row. It begins to unravel Kate, who by now is hearing her name being called in weird places, sees people outside her window and thinks she’s being followed. She tells Alex, and he tries to be a good husband, but things escalate quickly. Alex takes her to a cabin for a getaway while they wait for her appointment with a psychologist, hopeful the break will calm his wife. But it doesn’t; instead, Kate meets a woman who has visions that indicate someone might bring harm to Kate and Alex. That’s when the drama truly begins and you won’t see this one coming from a mile away. I might stop talking to myself based on what happens to others once you go down that dangerous path!

Approach & Style 
I read the 225 page novel on my iPad through Kindle Readers. Chauncey’s writing is very detailed and descriptive; he goes to great efforts to fully flesh out the specific look-n-feel, setting and thoughts of his characters. While this can be a bit much for some people, it helps amp up the suspense and bring on the fear-factor in this book. The novel is told in third person, switching back and forth between focusing on Alex and Kate for most chapters. One or two chapters are told from the local police’s perspective, helping create some confusion and mystery all throughout the book; you will try to piece together the puzzle before it bursts forth on its own. Don’t try – just let it happen naturally in this book.

Key Thoughts 
If you’re a fan of horror, thriller or suspense stories, you often want it to be as innovative and mysterious as possible; you enjoy the guesswork from start to finish, but you love when the author can surprise and shock you. Chauncey’s work leans in the direction of big surprise. I didn’t care who was causing the trouble in his book, I just wanted to know how and why it was happening. I look at that as a good thing! The build-up is strong. The potential angles are wide. When it finally becomes clear what’s going on, you realize all the possibilities of what could be baked into the finish. It’s a great psychological ride.

Chauncey excels at realistic descriptions and narrative. You will know the location and setting as much as you understand every little aspect of what’s happening in the main characters’ lives. His slow build-up of driving the main character a little batty is quite strong. It was less about “Oh, I like Kate and don’t hurt her” but instead “That poor woman, what on earth is happening to her.” Through some repetition, sound effects and purposely missing moments, you really feel the swift descent of her psyche once the story gets into its climax.

Author & Other Similar Books 
Chauncey Rogers has two other books he released earlier this year, both of which sound interesting. We connected on Goodreads and he’s a genuinely good guy. I enjoy when authors interact with their readers and fans. It’s tough as time goes by and your following grows larger, but when you have the time and choose to make yourself reachable, it’s a big win in my book. Kudos to Chauncey for demonstrating that in both his own books and his interest in reviewing other books on Goodreads.

Summary 
I recommend this book. I do not recommend reading it right before bed. I am normally quite excited by thrillers and suspense, even before getting ready to sleep under most other circumstances. But when the main character in this book is that scared in her bedroom while trying to sleep and there is a noise at the window – Chauncey’s words, imagery, details and timing created quite a stir – I was in my bedroom, getting ready for bed, listening to the rain pellet the window… unable to let myself fall asleep for at least an hour because I kept seeing someone at the window. I’ll find a way to get him back for this!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read 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.

365 Challenge: Day 229 – Lieu

Posted on

Lieu: instead

lieu.png

Several weeks ago, I mentioned two things on my blog which I’m putting into use today: (1) I need to spend time reading friend’s blogs and commenting on their voices, and (2) I really need to get myself organized with the ‘Author Alert’ Fridays for next week.

And so, in LIEU of a normal post today, I opt to focus my time and energy this afternoon on those two tasks. I might even do that with tomorrow’s post, but we’ll see what the morning brings.

For now, since I must provide some value in my content, enjoy the little dog showing love and sharing his/her emotions while you get prepared for some great authors coming up in the next few Fridays. The name is Chippy and the imagery made me laugh; so should you. That’s my message for today — sometimes just ignore everything and laugh for a minute; it will do you a world of good!

 

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where 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.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin