Day: August 20, 2018

Book 3: Academic Curve Ball: A Braxton Campus Mystery Series Debut – Beta Readers

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Academic Curve Ball is off to beta readers this week for a final read before I submit to the editor. I’m very excited to share this news. If you’re interested in beta reading from 8/22 thru 8/28, let me know. I have a few spots open before I close up and email the latest draft. I will have one more edit with hopefully nothing too major, then turn it over to the publishers to launch in October. More news to come with the cover reveal and pre-order opportunities coming up soon!

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In last week’s post, Top Secret Hints About My Next Book, I revealed a few fun facts about my upcoming third book. Today, I am going to reveal the book’s tentative title and description. It was emailed last weekend to a few friendly readers who have expressed interest in taking an early look at my foray into a new genre. I’m hopeful to release the official publication timeline in the next two weeks, but for now, it’s time to share a few things…

Academic Curve Ball*

(Debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series)

 

Overview*

Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, moved to LA to escape his complicated but lovable family. When Kellan requests time off to attend a party for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, his boss assigns him to meet with Abby Monroe, a source for their upcoming tv series who happens to live nearby. Unfortunately, while Kellan’s socializing at the campus event, he stumbles upon Abby’s dead body in a stairwell at Diamond Hall.

Although Kellan’s family and friends are on the suspect list, he’s compelled to investigate once he learns about a mysterious donation to the college, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and fluctuating grades to allow the star baseball pitcher to play in the season opener. As Kellan settles back into his hometown and finds a second body on campus, his eccentric and trouble-making nana helps him weed through the clues. Is it the shady director of the athletic teams? A victim’s soon-to-be ex-husband? A player desperate to be noticed by an MLB scout? Kellan’s intent on solving the case just a smidge before the county sheriff, but that dangerous win might place him in even hotter water.

In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, charming, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the memorable Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. Is he ready to move back home, take a job as a professor at the college, and re-unite with a former girlfriend? Or will he return to LA to raise his young daughter away from all the chaos?

*Both are subject to change, but for now… this is where it stands!

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Stay tuned for updates via my author website at https://jamesjcudney.com or join the quarterly mailing list to get exclusive content about future books and releases. Next newsletter to be sent next week!

Book 3

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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As part of a Children’s Book Readathon on my blog, we voted and are reading some classic young adult novels this week. Come join us! Today’s review is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe/The Chronicles of Narnia 6 Vols, the 2nd book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, by C.S. Lewis. I read this book as a child several times, then again as an adult before the movies came out. This was probably my fifth time, but it’s one of my top ten all-time favorites.
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Set in England during the war, 4 children are sent off to a peculiar, older man’s country home for safety from German bombs. Shortly after they arrive, the youngest finds herself embroiled in a small game of hide-and-seek leading her to take refuge in a wardrobe. Eventually her siblings follow suit and they enter a magical world where mythical creatures and animals are all stuck in winter. They try to find a way out, learn they’re meant to co-rule the land, and find themselves captured and in a different kind of war. I’m being vague as everyone knows the story or if they don’t, I shall not ruin it for you!

C.S. Lewis as a brilliant imagination. I fall for these characters every time. I could read it repeatedly without ever bring bored. I’ve read the whole series once before, but I’m considering doing it again. I always forget that this is actually the second book in the series, too. Aslan is one of my favorite all-time heroes. The witch is also one of my favorite enemies. Between the bonds of siblings, trusting strangers, the similarities between the war inside the wardrobe and the one in reality, this book tells so much more than the journey on the surface.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Children’s Readathon – Robbie Cheadle’s Biscuit Art Sailing Boats

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I’m hosting a children’s book readathon in the month of August 2018. We’re reading 2 or 3 books each week ranging from children’s pictures to young adult novels, including a few award winners and authors who blog. We’re currently in our third week reading 2 young adult books: Charlotte’s Web and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. To learn more, check out the main page at the Children’s Book Readathon.

Throughout the month, we’ve highlighted books from Robbie Cheadle, a wonderful and talented author who has at least a dozen extraordinary books she co-writes and co-designs with her children. Check out previous posts on her author spotlight and latest short story. Today, we’re in for a special treat as Robbie shares with us some baking tips… and knowing how amazing all the dessert photos look from her blog and books, this is one we’re all gonna want to read and learn. BISCUIT ART! SAIL BOATS! HOW FUN!

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(a preview of the book cover we’re reading in two weeks!)

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(Biscuit Art from Robbie!)

I discovered during my days as a Sunday School teacher, that small children love biscuit art. It is easier to co-ordinate in a classroom than a baking activity as no baking is required. I started making up all sorts of different designs for fun objects that children could make with their parents at home or at school under the guidance of a teacher.

One of Michael and my favourite designs is this sailing boat which is made from finger and wafer biscuits.

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I find that royal icing works best for making biscuit art as it dries up hard quite quickly. You can find my recipe video to make royal icing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYuknMJYNCI&feature=youtu.be. I spoon a few scoops of royal icing into a sealable plastic sandwich bag. When I am ready to use the icing, I nip a small bit off one of the corners of the plastic bag and it works very well as an icing bag. A few children can share one bag of icing.

To make this fun sailing ship you need the following: 1 finger biscuit, 1 wafer biscuit, 1 square Licorice Allsorts broken apart, 4 Smarties and a small quantity of royal icing.

To make the boat, cut the wafer biscuit in half from one corner to the opposite corner. Trim one of the halves to make it shorter as per the picture. These will be the sails. Squirt a thin line of royal icing along the long edge of the larger sail. Attach the smaller sail to the larger one (straight sides together). Cut one of the coloured square pieces of the Licorice Allsort in half and then attach it to the larger sail just above where the smaller sail ends. Let this harden for a few minutes.

Squirt a thin line of royal icing along the bottom of the joined sails and attach them to the finger biscuit boat. Hold it in place for 10 to 20 seconds until it is firmly stuck. Attach the Smarties as decorations.

Michael made a wonderful sailing boat [better than mine]. He had a great idea of using a jelly baby for a sailor. This is his creation:

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Michael also added a rudder [How will you steer it otherwise, Mom? – how indeed [grin!]

 

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So who’s gonna be the first to make one and share it with everyone on the blog???

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read 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, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access 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.

Book Review: Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco

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I read this book as part of a Cozy Mystery group that I belong to where we get opportunities to win ARCs. I have found so many good books and new authors, it’s really fun. This week’s novel, Tail of the Dragon, the third in the Zodiac Mystery series, was published in 2018 by Connie di Marco. And she signed my copy, how lucky am I! I would definitely recommend this book to others and have given it somewhere between 4 and 5 stars.

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At first, I wasn’t sure I’d love the book. There were a lot of characters dropped in the first few chapters when the murder happened. I normally love tons of characters, but everyone was so quick, I had to just pretend I’d figure it out later. And then I did. It takes place in the corporate office with tons of attorneys in San Francisco. When a colleague is murdered (and then some more) and death threats come in the postal mail… you know it’s gonna get crazy! From about 20% in, the book took off, and it was completely smooth sailing. I find myself thinking about this story and the main sleuth a lot lately.

Weaving in astrology and a search for the hit-and-run driver of her late fiance, the story captures your heart. It’s a bit darker than a traditional cozy, but I think it made the book quite a splash. I will definitely go back to read the first two in the series. I felt like I was back in San Francisco and had all the good feels and connections.

If you’re looking for a twisty cozy book, this is it. I thought I figured out the killer about 2/3 thru, then switched when a new story line came up. I figured it out, except… BOOM! There was a second major twist which I did not expect. Kudos to the author for making that fantastic ending.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. 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 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.