My Blog

Blog: WordPress Site Feedback (Easy Tools!) – What can you do?

Posted on

Now that I’ve been blogging for about 9 months, I’ve realized it’s time to get creative. Although content and graphics are important, so is reader feedback.

I stumbled upon the free tools WordPress offers to help readers provide feedback to bloggers on how they’re doing. And they are very simple and useful.

I’ve incorporated all 3 tools:

(1) Comments & Likes

  • Allow your readers to “Like” each of your posts
  • Provide the ability for them to reply with comments
  • Shows your WP user name / blog

(2) Ratings

  • Create a rating system for readers to provide a numerical reference (e.g. scale of 1 to 5) on how great or poor the post was
  • Private / Blind – no one knows it was you who provided the rating

(3) Polls

  • Add polls to allow readers to provide specific feedback on things like book reviews, film reviews or general blog posts
  • Private / Blind – no one knows it was you who provided the rating

I’ve incorporated all three of these items into every post, allowing the reader to choose what they feel comfortable providing or not providing. I check the results each week to see what everyone is saying. Two key take-a-ways:

(A) You can provide feedback to me on what you like or don’t like, and in turn, I can improve my blog and site. Have fun participating!

(B) You can use these tools on your own site. If you need help building them into your posts, private message me or comment on this post. I’m glad to help anyone out.

Thanks for listening and providing feedback. It’s very helpful and I love connecting with everyone.

About Me

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Each week, 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.

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!

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

Trips: USA – Sedona, Arizona

Posted on Updated on

Where did I go?

When did I go?

  • 5 days, 4 nights in mid-March 2017
  • Weather was great
    • 70 degrees in the daytime, 50 degrees in the evening
    • 1 day of rain (very unusual), so we did a lot of site-seeing in the car

Who did I go with?

  • Significant Other

Why did I go?

  • We both turned 40 in March and wanted a little celebratory get away

  • I hate hot weather so it had to be somewhere cool to comfy
  • Relaxation
  • I’d only been briefly once, about ten years ago during a cross-country drive trip. He’d never been before and wanted to see the area.

What did I do?

  • Wednesday
    • Arrived at the hotel around 9:15pm
    • Had dinner and went to sleep
  • Thursday
    • Since it rained, we drove around and checked out various views and sites.
      • Cathedral Rock
      • Oak Creek Canyon
      • Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village
    • Spa Time! Facial and Massages. We went to the spa at the hotel. The services were good, and the facility was clean. But it wasn’t as relaxing as it should have been. With so much nature and sweeping views, they should have had it outdoors or at least somewhere that made you feel like you were out in the open.

  •  Friday
    • Historic Tour of Jerome, Arizona via http://www.toursofjerome.com/
      • Van with AC picked us up and drove around for 5 hours to Jerome, Clarkdale and Cottonwood towns. It was an old mining area that was very profitable until the 1950s when people just started abandoning it due to poor quality, conditions and lack of money.
      • Jerome was a famous ghost town where you can take a tour of all the ghost sightings. It also was a city of brothels! We visited one. Relax – it was no longer in operation. I’m not confessing to anything here. 😛
      • Clarkdale was founded by Senator William Andrews Clark, a transplant from Montana who helped build out the mining facilities and railroads. The family was also very prominent in Nevada (Clark County) where Las Vegas stands.
      • Cottonwood was a beautiful town full of great tourism and a lot of history.
      • Wine Tasting… had a few good wines. We tried to buy some but they won’t ship again until November when it’s cooler. What a shame!

  • Saturday
    • Chapel of the Holy Cross – a beautiful church built into the landscape

  • Saturday
    • Verde Canyon Train
      • 5 hour train trip with breath-taking views
      • On-board appetizers and drinks
      • Was an amazing experience as you have an outdoor car, tour guides, a few stop… felt like a little tour of history as the area is rich with famous explorers, founders and the birth of the West.

  •  Sunday
    • Head Home! 😦

What didn’t I do that I should have?

  • Jeep Tours of the area – drivers take you everywhere!
  • Helicopter Tours of the area – what a view!
  • Las Vegas: Two hours away, but would be an all-day trip
  • Flagstaff: An hour away, but couldn’t squeeze it in

Interesting Info

  • Sedona is a Dark Sky Community, meaning they have very little if any traffic lights so that the beauty of the night sky shines through without interruption. You see so many stars and across long distances.

  • It’s the land of the traffic circle! Every day, the trip from the hotel to the parts of Sedona we visited had at least 20 traffic circles. After the first day, we became experts at the proper merging positions.
  • Always make reservations! The first two nights, anywhere we went, the wait time was for 90 minutes for a table. I can get a table at a fancy NYC restaurant quicker than that without a reservation. Shocking!

Restaurants

  • Wednesday
    • At the hotel bar as it was so late
  • Thursday
    • Lunch – Nick’s in West Sedona. Basic American diner, but had a solid brunch!
    • Dinner – At the hotel restaurant as everything else was closed… but was still good food and we could have a lot of drinks without having to drive anywhere. Had tried to get into the Mexican restaurant but the wait was too long! Prickly Pear Margarita!!!!
  • Friday
    • Lunch – At Grapes in Jerome. Part of it was included in the bus tour. Was a really great restaurant.
    • Dinner – Mariposa, a Latin / Spanish restaurant on the top of a hill with valet car service only, where Chef Lisa Dahl dreams up savory cuisines. Beautiful building with so many glass windows and tall ceilings. And she followed me on Instagram after I posted about her restaurant!
  • Saturday
    • Lunch – On the Verde Canyon Train, we grabbed some appetizers. Nothing big or fancy. We knew we had a dinner we were looking forward to.
    • Dinner – Cress on Oak Creek at L’Auberge. It’s now one of my favorite restaurants. We ate outside along the banks of stream at 9pm with a few spotlights and candles, a heat lamp and rushing water about us. Excellent food. Expensive 3 or 4 course meal, but well worth it.

Hotel

  • Hilton Bell Rock just outside of Sedona. I didn’t realize it was about 15 minutes away from Sedona, which meant a little extra driving every day. But it was a great hotel.
  • Spa, Pool, Fire Place in room, Restaurant and Bar on property
  • Very friendly and informative staff
    • Not enough coffee in the room… and always decaf! 😦
  • Parking was a little tight, as we didn’t get back until after 10 each night and many of the spots were taken. So we parked in the furthest lot. Oh well! Walking is good for you.
  • http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/arizona/hilton-sedona-resort-at-bell-rock-SDXSEHH/index.html

Transportation

  • Trip to Sedona
    • I took an American Airlines (AA) flight out of NYC’s JFK Airport and arrived in Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport at 6:30 pm. It was a direct flight, about 4 1/2 hours to fly.
    • Once you arrive at the airport, you take a shuttle bus to the car rental facility, which is at least 15 minutes away. That was a surprise!
    • Rented a mid-size car at Alamo for about $60 per day. They were super-friendly and sent us on our drive to Sedona.
    • In hindsight, it would have been better to arrive during the daytime in order to enjoy the view on the 2 hour drive, as it was dark and we were unable to see the beautiful red rock mountains. We did on the drive back tho!
  • Trip Home
    • Drove from Sedona early in the morning back to Phoenix. No traffic, about 2 hours. Dropped the car off at the car rental facility.
    • Shuttle Bus back to Sky Harbor Airport.
    • Delay….. about an hour, not too bad. Got on an AA flight by 3pm and arrived back in NY about 8:15. Home by 10 to check on Ryder… (our shiba inu dog… he missed us a lot!)

Favorite Part

  • Verde Canyon Train

Lease Favorite Part

  • Wasted time looking for places to eat the first two nights

 

About Me

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Each week, 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.

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!

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

Why do I review books? (Seriously!)

Posted on Updated on

To read article, click here on the original source: Why do I review books? (Seriously!)

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.

 

March 2017: Monthly Wrap Up

Posted on Updated on

March has been quite a busy month for this blogger who’s been posting on the Interwebs for about 7 months so far. While a bit nervous to put so much of myself out there for all to see, it’s been refreshing and powerful in many ways.

Key Metrics in March

  • 62 Posts (average of 2 per day)
    • 20 – 365 Challenge
    • 38 – Book Reviews
    • 2 – TV & Film Reviews
    • 2 – General Blog
  • 38 Book Reviews
    • 14 – Books read in March
    • 24 – Reviews written from prior years
  • Site Metrics (NEW)
    • 964 – Views
    • 313 – Visitors
    • 42 – Followers
    • 308 – Likes
    • 96 – Comments

*** March has officially been the blog’s best and most popular month!

What did I read in March 2017?  Let’s dive into the reading specifics…

 

 

 

Gone with the Twins

liked it
3+ stars to Kylie Logan’s Gone with the Twins, the fifth book in the “League of Literary Ladies” mystery series about a woman who owns a B&B on an island between Ohio and Canada and helps the local police solve crimes using her skills as…
tagged: 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-fic-multi-book-series, and 7-read-…
Sprinkle with Murder
liked it
3+ stars to Jenn McKinlay’s Sprinkle with Murder, the first book in the “Cupcake Bakery” cozy mystery series. I’m a fan of Ms. McKinlay, as I enjoy both her “Hat Shop” and “Library Lovers” mystery series, which pushed me to try this one….
tagged: 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-fic-multi-book-series, and 7-read-…
The Mother's Promise
really liked it
4+ of 5 stars to Sally Hepworth’s The Mother’s Promise, a touching story that will give you a tremendous amount to consider. I received this ARC from St. Martin’s Press as a giveaway through Goodreads, choosing it because it had a grippi…
tagged: 1-fiction and 7-read-2017-march
Victoria
really liked it
4+ stars to Daisy Goodwin’s Victoria, a historical fiction novel released with a PBS TV series bringing the book to life on Sunday evenings. I was very sad when Downton Abbey was ending, but looked forward to the release of “The Gilded A…
tagged: 4-fic-historical-fiction, 1-fiction, and 7-read-2017-march
The Idea of You
really liked it
4 stars to Amanda Prowse’s book The Idea of You, a fictional story about a women craving motherhood but facing many barriers to success. I was offered this book through NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for a fair an honest…
tagged: 1-fiction, 5-netgalley, and 7-read-2017-march
Kale to the Queen
really liked it
4 stars to Nell Hampton’s Kale to the Queen, the first book in the new “Kensington Palace Chef” mystery series. I thoroughly adored this book and am very excited to see how this new series does in the coming years. A definite read for co…
tagged: 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-fic-multi-book-series, and 7-read-…
Murder at the Courthouse
liked it
3 of 5 stars to A.H. Gabhart’s Murder at the Courthouse, the first in the “Hidden Springs” cozy mystery series. I downloaded this free e-book for Kindle and read it on my iPad. While the story was clever and interesting, it wasn’t as app…
tagged: 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-fic-multi-book-series, and 7-read-…
Murder on the Oceania
it was ok
I found a plethora of free cozy mysteries on Amazon — all first in the series — and downloaded them without really looking into any details other than a brief plot overview. Murder on a cruise ship seemed like a different angle. I down…
tagged: 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 3-fic-multi-book-series, and 7-read-…
Maids of Misfortune
really liked it
4 stars to M. Louisa Locke’s Maids of Misfortune, the first book in the “Victorian San Francisco” mystery series and a great blend of murder mystery charm and historical shenanigans. I found the book on Amazon as a free Kindle e-read and…
tagged: 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 1-fiction, 4-fic-historical-fiction, 3-fic-mult…
The Girl in the Spider's Web
liked it
3 stars to David Lagercrantz’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the fourth book in the “Millenium” thriller series, written by a new author given the original, Steig Larsson, passed away several years ago. While the book carries on with gre…
tagged: 3-fic-multi-book-series, 1-fiction, and 7-read-2017-march
Sunset in Old Savannah
liked it
3 stars to Mary Ellis’s Sunset in Old Savannah, the fourth in her “Secrets of the South” mystery series. In this book, the Price Investigation team heads to Savannah to investigate a new case and enjoy this lovely view:This was my in…
tagged: 1-fiction, 3-fic-multi-book-series, 5-netgalley, 2-fic-cozy-mystery…
Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery
really liked it
4 stars to Melinda Mullet’s Single Malt Murder: A Whisky Business Mystery, the first book in the new “Whisky Business” cozy mystery series. I stumbled across this book on NetGalley as a pre-release opportunity to read and review. I’m so …
tagged: 1-fiction, 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 3-fic-multi-book-series, 5-netgalley…
Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery
liked it
3 stars to Caroline Fardig’s Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery, the fourth book in her “Java Jive” mystery series. When I first began reading this book, it reminded me of either Sue Grafton’s “Kinsey Millhone Alphabet” series or Janet Eva…
tagged: 1-fiction, 2-fic-cozy-mystery, 3-fic-multi-book-series, 5-netgalley…
House Of Shadows
liked it
3 stars to Nicola Cornick’s House of Shadows, an ARC I received through NetGalley last week in exchange for an honest review. I realized it takes time to build up a good rating before publishers choose you to read new releases by famous …
tagged: 1-fiction, 4-fic-historical-fiction, 5-netgalley, and 7-read-2017-m…

Favorite Book

  • The Mother’s Promise

Least Favorite Book

  • Murder on the Oceania

365 Challenge – Daily Characteristics

  • Dedication (1)
  • Honesty (2)
  • Consistency (3)
  • Creativity (4)
  • Shy (5)
  • Old Soul (6)
  • Irish (7)
  • Considerate (8)
  • Envious (9)
  • Pragmatic (10)
  • Dreamer (11)
  • Reader (12)
  • Culinary (13)
  • German (14)
  • Sarcastic (15)
  • Punctual (16)
  • Quiet (17)
  • Pale (18)
  • Competitive (19)

365 Challenge Surprise

  • Considering myself an “Old Soul” was a impactful one. It made me proud of who I am.

Final Thoughts

  1. March was awesome.
  2. April will be even cooler.
  3. I’m gonna run out of characteristics
  4. I need to focus on trips and vacations
  5. Should I list expected books to read for April and do a compare?
  6. Thank you for reading and commenting!!!

The Blog is Growing!

Posted on Updated on

When I first started this blog about 6 months ago, I thought it would be an entertaining experience… but somehow in the last few months, I’ve got close to 100 followers and I’m on here posting nearly every day. It’s been really fun and challenging, but ultimately I want it to deliver valuable content, insight and laughter. I’m super excited with the results so far!

Now I need to start adding new content sections. Starting next week, a few posts each week on the following topics:

  1. Book Reviews
  2. TV & Film Reviews
  3. My Book: “Watching a Glass Shatter”
  4. Other Fiction I’ve Written
  5. Vacation Spot Experiences
  6. 365 Daily Challenge
  7. General Blog & Thoughts

What else should I add?

  • More animations?
  • Restaurant Reviews and link to Open Table and FourSquare reviews?
  • More author and book content?
  • Or keep it streamlined as it is now?

Let me know your opinions and let’s see what we can come up with next! Thanks for everyone’s support.

Thanks.

-jjc iv

 

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18262535/?claim=a2w98hgncwe”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

New Chapter Upload: Watching a Glass Shatter

Posted on Updated on

New Chapter Reveal

The will has been read… check out the release of chapter 2 in the “Watching a Glass Shatter” family drama saga. What would you do if you learned your husband kept a life-altering secret from you… and then shared it at the reading of his will? Check it out.

Overview & Audience

“Watching a Glass Shatter” is a ~98K word (365 page) novel that explores life-altering secrets kept by the Glass family. When a secret the patriarch leaves in his will threatens to destroy Olivia, she goes on a quest with each of her sons to determine what their future holds, learning along her path what it means to make a choice, accept tolerance and provide forgiveness. This novel falls into the contemporary fiction and women’s fiction genres, focusing on the drama affecting a family full of explosive secrets.  It covers Olivia’s range of emotions including love, anger, frustration, empathy, jealousy and sadness. And it covers the 5 sons: a former drug addict, a runaway, a momma’s boy, a pompous fool and the proverbial golden child.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia needs to figure out which boy Ben is referring to in the confession he left her in his will.  While the family attorney is searching for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. But when Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life altering, but she will not rest until she is able to bring her family back together after Ben’s untimely death.  Will she be able to fix them or will the whole family implode?

We all need family.  We all want to fit in. We’re a mix of quirky personalities. Find out where you fit in with this extraordinary family drama about the Glass family.

Site Re-Architecture for New Content

Posted on

I spent my morning completing a re-architecture of my websites and creating a third one. I’ve decided the new site map helps me create 3 distinct voices with each one having its own creativity and brand. So here goes….

My Novel’s Website


Creative Website

Professional Website