Day: October 2, 2018

Character Interview: Baxter the Shiba Inu Interviews Kellan Ayrwick from Academic Curveball

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If you’ve been following my blog for the last two years, you probably know I like to try new things and have a little fun with my posts. As an author, I also want to find new avenues to share my books and writing. Although I love regular Q&A interviews where I can share who I am and what my books are about, I thought it was time to combine together a few disparate things. I’m not exactly sure how this is going to work, but me being a creative guy, and you being fun guinea pigs providing a safe place to make a fool of myself, here goes something quite different. How about if my 6-month old shiba inu puppy interviews the main character from my new Braxton Campus Mysteries series. The first book, Academic Curveball, is currently available in ARC (advanced reader copy) format and officially launches on October 15th, 2018. You can buy or download it here. For now, let’s get on to the interview…

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Interviewer – Baxter

  • 6-month-old puppy who fancies himself a very smart canine
  • 22 lbs, black and tan, no job, rambunctious, acts like a frat boy
  • Likes
    • Biting, hiding under the couch, pouncing on you while you sleep, dominating other dogs, eating things he shouldn’t, running out the front door to escape, digging in flower beds
  • Dislikes
    • Vacuum cleaners, his harness and leash, bedtime, the cone after he was neutered, being neutered, the word ‘no’

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Interviewee – Kellan Ayrwick

  • 32-year-old single father who fancies himself an amateur sleuth
  • 5-9, fit, wavy dirty-blond hair, wears glasses, baby blue eyes, professor, TV show director, former frat boy
  • Likes
    • Desserts, daughter Emma, black and white films, the beach, sarcasm, Nana D, compliments, Top 40’s music, sleeping, puzzles, cozy college campus, solving cases before the sheriff
  • Dislikes
    • Fake people, Dr. Myriam Castle, Sheriff April Montague, bad weather, wearing ties, the supernatural or ghosts, shaving, weird Shakespearean quotes

***

  • Question 1: Who are you and why are you forcing me to interview you? (Baxter)
    • I’m Kellan, the main character in your owner’s latest mystery series. I had to leave LA for a quick trip to visit my small, secluded hometown in Pennsylvania for my father’s retirement from Braxton College. He was the president, and my parents forced me to come home. I left almost a decade ago because they can be very intrusive. Love ’em to pieces, but wow… talk about family drama!
    • Baxter’s Response:
      • Please do not refer to Jay as my OWNER. Jay is lucky I chose to come live with him. There are days when his helicopter parenting can be so bad, I want to lick him to death to get him to stop holding me back. And you don’t know family drama. My siblings were awful! They made me bite them all the time just to shut them up. I’m the quiet one. Grr…
  • Question 2: What can tell me about living in this Wharton County, Pennsylvania? I’m looking for more space as this box in the biggest urban center in the world is a little confining. (Baxter)
    • Wharton County is in north central PA near the NY border. It’s about 90 miles south of Buffalo and trapped between the Saddlebrooke National Forest and the Wharton Mountain range. It’s not a real place, but it is based on a bunch of different places Jay’s visited or lived in Pennsylvania. There are 4 major towns, and the one my family hails from is called Braxton. There’s a great college there, too, where many of my family members work, and it seems perhaps possibly me, too, in the near future. The best part of the campus is built across two different sections of the town and is connected by a really cool cable car system. Jay told me it’s based on where he went to college… do you know where that is?
    • Baxter’s Response:
      • Listen, Kellan… I didn’t want to do this interview, but since it’s been forced on me, remember I ASK the questions. You ANSWER them. Got that? From what I hear, everyone tells you what to do anyway, Kellan… between your boss Myriam, your grandmother Nana D, and that weirdo sheriff, you can barely breathe without someone torturing you. Stand up for yourself, man. Have a little bark and a little bite! WOOF!
  • Question 3: What happens in this first book? Should I plan to tell my friends about it? They do read in case you were wondering. We’re a smart breed. (Baxter)
    • I can honestly tell you this is the best book I’ve EVER been in. And I’m probably the funniest guy you’ll ever meet. It all starts off when I come home for what should’ve been a long weekend, but then there’s a murder. And my boss in LA makes me stay to cover it for our TV show. Then my family and a good friend are major suspects, so I’m forced to try to find the real killer. Nana D of course tries to set me up, but my wife has only been gone for two years, so I’m not quite ready. I had an awesome time at the baseball games learning all about the sport but when I thought someone on the team was changing their grades in order to play in the season opener, I knew I was on to something big. Little did I realize how much more complex it really was. Wanna know who the killer is?
    • Baxter’s Response:
      • One, this is the only book you’ve been in so far, Kellan. I know Jay wrote the second one, but he’s still editing it. It’s not real until he gives it to someone to read. I’ve had a look, and I can definitely tell you it’s AWESOME, but I might be biased. Although I was super annoyed with Jay for making me wear that cone of shame for two weeks after my surgery, having such a fantastic story with engaging characters helped pass the time quickly. GO BRAXTON CAMPUS MYSTERIES!!! RAH RAH! And two, no, don’t spoil it for me, you doofus. I think people should find out for themselves who killed someone. Duh!
  • Question 4: Do you know where Jay keeps the treats in this joint? (Baxter)
    • I’m not real, dog. How would I know that? I can’t see or hear anything outside of Braxton. You came here to visit me. You’re as bad as Nana D with these questions. Go take a nap, dog.
    • Baxter’s Response:
      • If you weren’t paying me to do this interview, I’d bite your face off. But I’m glad to see we’re both frat boys. Jay was one, too. I guess we have some things in common. Wait… now that I think about it, you’re awfully similar to Jay… what kinda sick twist of fate is this?
  • Question 5: Anything else you want to share before I go for a walk to get away from you and this tedious discussion? I’ve got some flowers to eat. (Baxter)
    • I’ve got tons of stories to share in the next few years. Jay’s helped me write lots of books and together, we’re planning at least 10 in the series. What I love the most is how he let me write them in 1st person, so the entire book is always from my perspective. I’ve got a really fun voice and way of talking about myself and others, so you’ll likely laugh a lot. I’m also a bit clumsy, like to complain, and am a really sweet but sexy guy. Sometimes I get a bit arrogant. Other times I behave a bit like a fool. But as I get older, things start to look pretty awesome from my position. I just can’t figure out what’s gonna happen in my love life, but you know there’s gotta be more than one woman after me based on what’s happened in that first book, right?
    • Baxter’s Response:
      • Kellan, your modesty knows no bounds. I’m sure any readers are already swooning rolling their eyes over it. Thanks for chatting today. I’ll leave you with a little surprise before I bounce.

***

Stay tuned for the next interview when Baxter takes on… NANA D. Here’s a quick snapshot of Nana D’s latest conversation with her grandson, Kellan, in book two set to be published in December 2018:

SCENE from BROKEN HEART ATTACK (Book 2 in Braxton Campus Mysteries)

As people filed out of the lobby and into the venue, the noise level grew more tolerable and I could freely move around without feeling every nook and cranny of every weirdo in the joint. First up was texting Nana D to find out who had my ticket and where I’d be sitting. If she put me next to some new Tinder date she blindly setup for me…

Me: Where are you? It’s like a blue-haired Neil Diamond concert in here today.

Nana D: More like a wannabe Lady Gaga gig. Don’t you know any current pop references?

Me: Given the number of septuagenarians, I assumed they wouldn’t know who she was.

Nana D: You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME, don’t you, Kellan?

Me: That was weak even for you. Epic FAIL! Where’s my ticket?

Nana D: Bite me. I left it at the Box Office. Wasn’t sure you’d show. Go get it. Now.

Me: Yes, Chief. On my way. You’re feisty today. Too much bran? Not enough veges?

Nana D: Pop a cork in it and get to your seat. You ain’t seen nothing yet, brilliant one. Just wait til I introduce you to…

***

Note from Baxter: In case you’re curious about the last introduction, Nana D has a habit of setting Kellan up with the weirdest women I’ve ever met. In the last book, we learned there was a two-time bigamist who Nana D thought might be Kellan’s future girlfriend. I’m kinda hoping to meet that crazy old woman one day. I hear she’s a real ball buster… hey wait… is she the one who took mine away when they neutered me three weeks ago!!! PAYBACK WILL BE MINE!

Academic-Curve-Ball-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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: Fixing to Die by Miranda James

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What’s not to love about two elderly spinster sisters who are more spry than many fifty-year-olds I know? Between the amazing southern charm, the ghost-hunting, the family drama over an inheritance, and a potentially new line of relatives, the fourth saga in the Southern Ladies Mystery series by Miranda James, Fixing to Die, has it all. Kudos to this fantastic series and author… 4.5 stars for this latest edition published in 2017. I’m sad to say I’m all caught up on this series, and the author has put it on hold per the publisher for a few years (2020?) to focus on another series about a Cat in the Stacks… I’ve finished 2 of 8 in that series but will pick up the rest this fall and winter. I’m very excited for both.

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So… ‘Fixing to’ anything is quite an expression. My family in Louisiana uses it all the time. I try to, but I fail given I can’t really claim southern roots just because I was born in Florida. Miranda James does not have to worry or extrapolate – it’s right on! These characters are fixing to do a lot of things that likely lead to murder. In this mystery, the Ducote sisters travel to Natchez to help the granddaughter of a friend who’s having some trouble in her bed and breakfast with objects moving around and mysterious temperature changes. Is there a ghost or a human causing all this drama? When her relatives show up trying to claim ownership over the house due to a long-lost will, it gets quite complicated. But then… a psychic randomly appears claiming the house is haunted. What do they all have to do with one another?

Miranda James excels at ambiance and captivating settings. The characters are also quite good, but in this one, it’s the ghost aspects that really pop. I really knew it was a human, as the series isn’t about ghosts, but there were quite a few characters who looked guilty. A major clue / red herring was thrown out about 50% thru and I thought for a moment, hmm… what’s going on here, why was this so easy. Well, I won’t give away any spoilers but there’s more going on across a few levels. It gets quite interesting and the pay-off in the end makes it worth it.

The addition of Benjy has been a fantastic story line. And the pets have such personality. It’s carefully woven into the story without any over-the-top aspects. A fine balance where it’s the story and the characters who keep drawing you back for more fun in this easy-to-picture world. I’m impressed by the variety in James’ world and look forward to reading more soon.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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.

Book Review: Digging Up the Dirt by Miranda James

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After clearing a major hurdle in my TBR with reading books I had promised reviews on, I’m now able to split my time with several existing authors and book series that I absolutely love to read and catch up on. One of those is the Southern Ladies cozy mystery series by Miranda James. This week, I read Digging Up the Dirt, published in 2016, where Dickce and An’gel are back in action sleuthing around… who wouldn’t love two ~80ish year old sisters in Mississippi with a penchant for discovering murderous drama and a flair for keeping things in order?

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When Hadley Partridge returns after a ~40 year absence, something is bound to happen in this small Mississippi town. Which of the grand bevy of older woman will win his affections? Or which of the women potentially killed his brother or sister-in-law years ago? In this truly cozy and enthralling caper, there’s a cast of wonderful and unique characters, gorgeous southern estates, and several liars! But which one is lying about more than a few ordinary things… Miranda James strikes gold in this series for me in this book by delivering a clever and hilarious plot that twists several times before you finally learn what really happened forty years ago.

James is a gifted writer who can transport you to a setting quite adeptly. I enjoy the difference yet similarities in the two sisters, but it’s the combination of their wit that makes these books sing. Often we have a single main character leading the investigation, but here, he’s got to handle two clever women who each approach the mystery from different angles. Throw in a dog, a cat, and a ward… you’ve got plenty of action going on besides the main mystery. I’m excited to catch up on this series and will be reading the 4th one next week.

If you need a fun new series with the perfect balance of mystery and town shenanigans, this is it!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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.

September Reads & October TBR

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In the hopes I can control my all-too-frequent impulse purchases and agreements to read new books, I started a new monthly segment on my blog where I list all the books I will read in the upcoming month. I hope that having something written, where I can be held accountable, helps me keep from increasing the TBR until I clear off many books I already want to read. I am going to plan 8 books each month, which is in-line with my 2018 Goodreads challenge to read in total 104 books (two per week). I’ve left some room to add anything in case I win an ARC or have a due date for an unplanned read. That said, let’s dive into next month’s planned reads…

April TBR (2)

September 2018 – 21 Books Read

A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died
it was amazing
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to download the fourth book in the Mersey Murder Mysteries by Brian L. Porter. I enjoyed the book a great deal, and so, I’ve decided to go back to the beginning of the series and read them in orde…
tagged:
1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, 8-authors-i-know, 7-creativia-autho…
The Fault in Our Stars
it was amazing
4.5 stars to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I found this book on the shelf in my building’s resident library and brought it home. I’d wanted to sample a Green novel but wasn’t sure which one. ‘Let It Snow’ was also there, so I too…
tagged:
1-fiction, 2-fic-young-adult, and 9-read-2018-09-september
Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I
really liked it
History has tons of lecherous and caustic villains. Author Charles F. French re-introduced me to one in the debut novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, in his series ‘The Investigative Paranormal Society.’ Long a…
tagged:
1-fiction, 2-fic-fantasy-and-scifi, 8-authors-i-know, and 9-read-20…
The Weight of Shadows
really liked it
To start with, isn’t the title fantastic? The cover also caught my eye, but once I read the description, I found myself more than intrigued. To end with, yep, it lived up to its hype. Kudos to the author for delivering a well-rounded, co…
tagged:
1-fiction and 9-read-2018-09-september
River Bones
it was amazing
Author Mary Deal is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. River Bones is the third book I’ve read of hers, and it proves why she’s such a reachable and readable writer. As the first book in her Sara Mason series, River Bones is a fantasti…
tagged:
1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, 8-authors-i-know, 7-creativia-autho…
Suspects: A Northwest Murder Mystery
really liked it
I won Suspects: A Northwest Murder Mystery written in 2017 by Ted Haynes through a Goodreads Giveaway contest. It’s a mystery / suspense thriller written in a very methodical manner and focusing on different characters in alternating cha…
tagged:
1-fiction, 7-arc-giveaway-won, and 9-read-2018-09-september
Double Fudge Brownie Murder
really liked it
The 18th cozy mystery in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke is called Double Fudge Brownie Murder and was published in 2015. In this caper, Hannah travels to Las Vegas with her sisters for their mother’s surprise wedding. Hannah i…
tagged:
2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…
The Anchor is the Key
really liked it
I belong to a cozy mystery group which offered me the opportunity to read a copy of this book. Since I review all books I read, today’s latest review is for The Anchor is the Key by Linda Anthony Hill. The author is new to me, but she’s …
tagged:
1-fiction, 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 7-arc-giveaway-won, and 9-read-2018-…
Death in the Stacks
it was amazing
Who wouldn’t love a book with an autumn theme set in a library? I truly enjoyed Death in the Stacks, the eighth book in the Library Lover’s mystery series written in 2017 by Jenn McKinlay. I’m a big fan of her other series too, but this …
tagged:
2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…
Halloween Hijinks
really liked it
I’ve seen author Kathi Daley showing up in my feed on various social media platforms, but I hadn’t downloaded any of her books in the last few years. I decided to give one a try, and since I was in a fall and Halloween mood, I went with …
tagged:
1-fiction, 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…
Tuesdays with Morrie
really liked it
Given the popularity of Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, I’m surprised I only just read it this week. It’s been in my queue for years, but I never had a copy and for some reason, I just didn’t buy it. Earlier this year, I found a cop…
tagged:
1-non-fiction, 2-nfic-biography, and 9-read-2018-09-september
Wedding Cake Murder
really liked it
I’ve been waiting for the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke to bounce back from a few lackluster books, and Wedding Cake Murder made it happen. I’d give this fun caper somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars.After 18 books debating betw…

tagged:
2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…
The Skeleton Paints a Picture
it was amazing
When there are thousands of cozy mystery series available, it’s often difficult to figure out which one to choose. A little over two years ago, I stumbled across a a brilliant series called the Family Skeleton Mysteries written by Leigh …
tagged:
2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, 8-authors-i-kno…
Look for Me Under the Rainbow
it was amazing
I’ve been following the author of this book, Bernard Jan, for about a year, but I hadn’t read any of his written works previously. When my shiba inu passed away earlier this year, someone reminded me to get a copy of Look for Me Under th…
tagged:
1-fiction, 2-fic-young-adult, 9-read-2018-09-september, and 8-autho…
Britt-Marie Was Here
really liked it
Author Fredrik Backman is in my TOP 5 writers of all time. I’ve read 4 of his books now, and they always have a profound impact on me. I’m hoping to finish reading them all this year which is why Britt-Marie Was Here made it to my Septem…
tagged:
1-fiction and 9-read-2018-09-september
Christmas Caramel Murder
really liked it
If you’ve been following my reviews closely for the last few months, you’re probably thinking… how many baking murder books does this guy read? Or how many did that Joanne Fluke author woman write? Well… the Hannah Swensen series is …
tagged:
2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
liked it
I am usually good at knowing my ability to read a book in a genre other than ones I normally read. I’m not much of a fantasy or science-fiction guy. I loved Harry Potter, The Time Machine, Lord of the Rings, and Thursday Next, but when t…
tagged:
1-fiction and 9-read-2018-09-september
Banana Cream Pie Murder
really liked it
I’m starting to get a little sad… this book, Banana Cream Pie Murder, is the 21st of 24 cozy mystery novels written in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke. I’ve only got three more left! I was awarded the next two via NetGalley, …
tagged:
2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…
Academic Curveball
it was amazing
I am very excited to share the debut book in my new series with everyone. I’ll be using this review to provide a few upcoming giveaways, blog tour details, and book marketing. If you’re interested in reading an early version, contact me….
tagged:
1-fiction, 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…
The Secret Keeper
it was amazing
Ever since I read my first book by Kate Morton, I’ve been keen to read all her others. This month I went with The Secret Keeper since I tend to love books where there’s a secret buried somewhere that must come out despite every intent to…
tagged:
1-fiction, 4-historical-fiction, and 9-read-2018-09-september
Digging Up the Dirt
it was amazing
Review to come on October 3rd, 2018.
tagged:
2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-multi-book-series, and 9-read-2018…


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Share book reviews and ratings with James, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

 

October 2018 – 9 Books Planned To Be Read (TBR)

 

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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.

Cozy Mystery Series Readathon (Nov 2018) — Let’s choose the author / series

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Based on last week’s poll, you voted to combine two of the options into a single approach for our November 2018 Readathon. The winner is: “Cozy Mystery Series.” Many thanks to all the voters and promoters for the readathon. I’m very excited to choose a series with 4 or 5 books that we can read all throughout November and post our reviews. Some of the suggestions may have more than 5, but we will only read the first 5. I’ve chosen authors I’ve never read before but have on my TBR.

I’ve listed a few suggestions below, but I’d love input and feedback on authors and series to include in the poll. I plan to post the poll on 10/5 and run it thru 10/11 for everyone to vote. We’ll have 3 weeks to buy or borrow the books and set the reading and review schedule. Given it’s a series, we might be more informal with the dates and just note that all should be done by 11/30.  Thoughts? Suggestions? I’d like to have 10 or 12 in the poll. Here goes:

 

November 2018 - Choose 4 Books to Read & Review (1)

*** (Previous Posts Below) ***

Hi. I’m very excited for our November 2018 Readathon. If you’re new to my readathons, read the original post below or check out the main pages on my blog to read all about the past ones: Children’s Books and Agatha Christie. For the November 2018 readathon, we’ll read 4 or 5 books throughout the month based on the votes in this week’s poll. I suggested four categories. You added six new ones rounding out the total to ten options.

I’ve created the poll below. You have until 9/28 to respond. Please pick your two favorites, and based on the responses, we can decide in early October what the focus will be… e.g. cozy mysteries with numbers in the title, supernatural holidays, or fairy tale re-tellings about food. Ha! If you want to add a new categories, let me know and I’ll update the poll. I can’t wait to see what everyone picks.

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***

With two successful readathons under our belt this year, I’m ready to plan the next one. In April, we held the fantastic Agatha Christie Readathon where we read 4 of her amazing books and shared brilliant reviews. In August, we held the fun Children’s Books Readathon where we read 10 books from a range of authors and shared awesome reviews. What’s next?

I’m targeting November for the readathon so we’re not too busy at the end of the year and right around some of the bigger holidays. I’ve got a few ideas, but I’d love to hear suggestions from everyone before I send out a poll with the topics and books. To kick it off, here’s a few thoughts:

  1. Book Series
    • Choose a book series with 4 books and read them all
  2. Cozy Mysteries
    • Pick a few themes from cooking to ghosts to pets to quilting
  3. Books with Numbers as the Title
    • It could be only a number or just be the main part of the title
  4. Historical Fiction By Year
    1. Pick books taking place in the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s and 1900s

November 2018 - Choose 4 Books to Read & Review

Let’s start thinking through our options… reply here thru 9/15 and then I’ll setup a poll to pick which one. Thanks!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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.

Book Review: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Posted on Updated on

Ever since I read my first book by Kate Morton, I’ve been keen to read all her others. This month I went with The Secret Keeper since I tend to love books where there’s a secret buried somewhere that must come out despite every intent to bury it years ago. I was thrilled with the novel and can’t wait to take on the next one.

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The book takes place over a period of ~60 years focusing for the most part on Dorothy (Dolly) and daughter Laurel. We see snapshots of their lives while Laurel tries to unravel the mystery of a childhood incident where she’s certain she saw her mother stab a stranger. We see the perspective of a few other characters who interacted with Dolly when she was younger, as well as Laurel’s three sisters and one brother. It all comes together in a surprising conclusion where readers are forced to decide how we feel about an event that can be seen from many different angles.

Morton is the best at weaving together a story full of so many different side stories, you can never tell which will be the significant one to change the entire ending or plot arc to capture your shock. As this one moved along, I enjoyed the lyrical prose, tense dialog, well-drawn characters, and thrilling descriptions. About 75% through, when I thought I’d figured most of it out, I was feeling a bit disappointed. It was good, but that shock factor didn’t emerge as powerfully as I’d hoped. A few chapters later, in the most unusual place, I thought I saw an error. I re-read the passage twice, then realized — Oh, here’s that crazy twist! And what a fantastic one it was. 🙂

At that point, my opinion on the book shot up from a 4 to a 4.5. I would love to give it 5 stars, and it’s close, but there were a few moments of repetition and slowness that held me back. By no means did it make me want to put it down and wait days before reading again. It just didn’t force me to stay up super late… but that’s okay, sleep is needed, too. Overall, the story is very enthralling on many levels. You’ve got a backdrop of war, then modern social media times. You’ve got a mother who might or might not be lying or be a killer. As you read the historical portions, you can’t decide which of two girls is the one to believe. It keeps you going to the point you almost think they’re both lying, but which is the most pertinent among all the confusion?

Above all the plot and story, the settings are among the most gorgeous and captivating as any I’ve ever read before. Morton can describe the simplest things in the most complex terms, but it still makes me yearn for more. I never think “ugh, she’s completely overdone it,” but there are times when I would be okay with a few less words if it’s not ultimately important to the detail of the story. It’s a fine line, and in 98% of the cases, she’s spot on.

If you’ve never read her work, this is a good one, but I’d start with The Forgotten Garden then come to this one. I’ve two more left to read of hers, then I’ll probably have to wait a year for the next to be published. Oh well… sometimes patience is a good thing.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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.