Day: December 18, 2017

Book Review: Twelve Tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend

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Book Review: Twelve Tales of Christmas by Cathleen Townsend

Twelve Tales of Christmas cover copy copy

Why This Book 
The author and I connected via our WordPress blogs, which led to us developing an e-friendship. As it progressed, I realized how prolific she’s been, which made me curious to read a few pieces of her work. Given she writes in the fantasy realm, it was an opportunity for me to read more in this genre, as I normally don’t, as well as enjoy something by an author I’ve chatted with many times. I was also very interested as the holiday season is arriving and there are 12 short stories, so I could read it in small amounts without worrying about getting too overwhelmed by a new genre (but that didn’t work out, as it was so good, I read it ALL in one sitting)!

Approach & Style 
I read this collection on my iPad through Kindle Reader. It has 126 pages spread across 12 individual and separate short stories, some of which are a few pages, while others are about 25 pages long. It took me about 90 minutes to read the entire collection, stopping only once to make a cup of hot cocoa. It’s that kind of book!

Key Thoughts 
As a collection, this is fantastic and charming in its individuality and its entirety. The focus runs the gamut of angels, dragons, Santa, magic, romance, spirits, family traditions, elves, and much more. The imagination and inspiration within each of the stories are plentiful, especially in the way Cathleen Townsend weaves traditional with modern values. In the first story called The Gift, you are treated to a beautiful gesture based on something that happened in real-life (and she’ll reveal that connection in an upcoming post!). In another story, a father working as a mall Santa, is hoping to find enough money and time to buy presents for his children, as no one else is around to help. In a third, a treetop angel is dying and needs someone to help her maintain her tree — the family who she lives with is no picnic at first! The beauty in the basic elements of the story, the language and words crafted along the path, and the message readers take away is breathtaking on multiple levels.

Generally when you read 12 different stories, there will be a few you love, a few you think are okay and a few you don’t particularly care for. That’s not the case here; you will love or like them all. For the most part, I really enjoyed the shorter ones, as they had a bit less fantasy and a stronger message that connected with my own emotions or views on life. These are the types of stories you could read on a bus/train ride to work, at the coffee shop, waiting in a doctor’s office or standing in a line at a cash register — all the while improving your mood and giving you something fun and enjoyable to do. Or you could read them allowed as a family, maybe at a hospital to children around the holidays… so many options and types of content that will appeal to a variety of masses.

My two favorites: The Gift and Department Store Santa

Cathleen is a remarkable author and blogger. I’m very glad to meet her and would recommend her collection of short stories to most any reader. You’ll walk away inspired and energized about humanity, and some of the characters aren’t all that nice! Please stop by my blog on Fri 12/22/17 for an author spotlight I’m doing specifically on her. You’ll be able to read one of her stories for free, as well as find out how buy/download her books in time for the holiday for free as well right now!

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. 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, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also 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. 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.
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365 Challenge: Day 281 – Rantless (RYDER RANT)

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Rantless: when I’ve got nothing to complain about


Hello, Friends! I had a wonderful week with hardly anything to ramble on about… I suppose that makes me RANTLESS. I got to play in the snow for a few minutes. I got Christmas presents from Grandma and Zora (my dad’s friends dog). Grandma got me carrot-flavored treats and a stuffed toy that looks just like me. Zora got me a Santa squeaky toy. I took naps on both of them this weekend. Dad’s played board games and card games with their friends. There was lots of drinking, swearing and insanity over memes! Since I have very little to rant about, I’ll reveal some exciting news today; the winners for the 2017 TRUTH award have been selected. If you are new to this blog, or didn’t read the post from about ten days ago, Dad picked the top 12 followers on his blog — based on count of comments in 2017. He believes those 12 people embody the values on his ‘This Is My Truth Now’ blog: inspiration, friendship, honesty, truth, gratitude, discovery, sharing, communicating, open-mindedness, love, commitment, equality, trust, and partnership.

Me waiting for the guests to arrive, then a shot Neel took at the tree after gifts

As a reminder, the nominees (blogs you should check out) included:

Roda @ Growing Self

Shalini @ Book Reviews by Shalini

Alex @ Coffee Loving Bookoholic

Rae @ Rae Longest & Powerful Women Readers

LA @ Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Nel @ Reactionary Tales

Claire @ BrizzleLass Books

Noriko @ Diary of a Bookfiend

Misty @ Misty’s Book Space

Kristin @ A Simply Enchanted Life

Patty @ Moohnshine’s Corner

Mischenko @ Read Rant Rock and Roll


*** DRUM ROLL ***



Check out the link for Dad’s book on Amazon: It’s starting to go through the next round of marketing to help new readers find it more quickly. Every click helps push it up on the rankings for Amazon, so take a quick peek today, thanks! He’s also signing a copy and mailing it to each of the three winners. Dad’s working with Mischenko, Noriko and Nel to confirm what charity they want. We’ll post together in the next few days to let everyone know. Congratulations to all the winners! The votes were very close, and everyone had a couple, which was great!

Next week… I’ll be talking to you from Long Island while Dad’s in Louisiana. I’m going to Ella’s for 5 days, heading out on Christmas Eve and returning on Thursday 12/28. I can’t wait to see my friends, but I’ll write a post on Christmas Day while I’m away just to wish everyone a happy holiday!


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 @ 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.

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