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My Very Own “Book Bucket List” – December 2017 (VOTE NOW)

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I’ve knocked the 7th entry off my Book Bucket List:  Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak. You can see the review here. In its place, I’ve added The Whole of the Moon by Kevin McManus to round out the 12 options for the next vote (post with poll to VOTE is below).

 

The poll for the January 2018 read is open. Click below to vote by 12/20!

 

Below is the link to the on-going Book Bucket List and a background on what it’s all about. My Very Own “Book Bucket List”  —  Click the link to access everything since the beginning of this post series as well as see the 12 books currently on the list.

 

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.  I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to publish it in early 2018. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

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.

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365 Challenge: Day 271 – Cat (Author Alert: Lilian Jackson Braun)

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Cat: (a) one of the main characters in a fantastic author’s book series or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Lilian Jackson Braun

If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work. 

Unfortunately, the planned author selected for this week had to re-schedule, so I am not doing a traditional alert for someone I’ve actually had a chance to meet or chat with. Today’s author is someone whose work introduced me to the cozy mystery, which I adore. I’ve read all 30+ of her novels and when I needed to come up with a post at the last minute, I chose her. I am sorry I’m not introducing you to someone new and fantastic to chat with on the blog, but I am very happy to share an old favorite with you. Today’s word is also ‘cat’ because of the two cats, Koko and Yum Yum, who accompany the main character on all his investigations… and all the books in this author’s series are entitled “The Cat Who…” Happy Reading!

———-

Lilian Jackson Braun (1913 – 2011) wrote the “Cat Who” cozy mystery series set in Moose County, Minnesota with Jim Qwilleran, semi-retired journalist, as the main character, along with his two Siamese cats, KoKo and YumYum. The first 3 books in the series were published in the 1960s, but she then took a 20 year hiatus before publishing the next one in the 1980s. With almost 30 books in the series, she’s a highly prolific writer who’s created a wonderful world full of charming, eccentric and relatable characters.

If you’re a fan of the traditional American cozy, Braun created some of the very early standards when she built the town of Pickax, 400 miles north of everywhere! Between the Goodwinter family, the amazing cats, the journalism stories, Qwill’s mustache, and the converted barn, I always found something to love in these books. While the last few took a turn south in terms of quality, they were still fun to read if you liked the characters and the setting.

Below are my reviews for every book she’s written. In addition to the series, she published several other books about and around the Cat Who series.

  1. The Cat Who… Cookbook: Delicious Meals and Menus Inspired By Lilian Jackson Braun (2000)
  2. Short and Tall Tales by Jim Qwilleran (2002)
  3. The Cat Who Had 14 Tales (1988)
  4. The Private Life of Cat Who (2003)

Book Series – Cat Who

  1. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (1966) — Favorite in the series
  2. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (1967)
  3. The Cat Who Turned on and Off (1968)
  4. The Cat Who Saw Red (1986)
  5. The Cat Who Played Brahms (1987)
  6. The Cat Who Played Post Office (1987)
  7. The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (1988)
  8. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (1988)
  9. The Cat Who Went Underground (1989)
  10. The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (1990)
  11. The Cat Who Lived High (1990)
  12. The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal (1991)
  13. The Cat Who Moved a Mountain (1992)
  14. The Cat Who Wasn’t There (1992)
  15. The Cat Who Went into the Closet (1993)
  16. The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (1994)
  17. The Cat Who Blew The Whistle (1994)
  18. The Cat Who Said Cheese (1995)
  19. The Cat Who Tailed a Thief (1997)
  20. The Cat Who Sang for the Bird (1998)
  21. The Cat Who Saw Stars (1998)
  22. The Cat Who Robbed a Bank (1999)
  23. The Cat Who Smelled a Rat (2001)
  24. The Cat Who Went Up the Creek (2002)
  25. The Cat Who Brought Down the House (2003)
  26. The Cat Who Talked Turkey (2004)
  27. The Cat Who Went Bananas (2004) — Least favorite in the series
  28. The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (2006)
  29. The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (2007)

cat

To see more about Lilian Jackson Braun on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them. Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

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.

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Watching Glass Shatter: Poll Results on TV Cast

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The poll results for everyone’s choices on who’d play which characters in a film version of Watching Glass Shatter are in. So much fun, check out Alex’s post via “watching glass shatter” by james j. cudney – poll results

365 Challenge: Day 264 – Simply (Author Alert: Melanie Mole)

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Simply: (a) easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty; straightforward or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Melanie Mole

If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work. Melanie and I met about 6 months ago when we somehow connected via this blog. She’d read a few chapters of my work and then introduced me to her publisher, which eventually lead to me publishing my novel. I am eternally grateful to her for helping me cross that finish line. Today, she’s out guest author and I am very happy to share more information about her and the wonderful books she’s written. I read her novel, Simply Does It, earlier this year — please check out the review. A small part of it below:

‘Every once in a while, it’s good to take a chance on a new author or a new book topic. I’m glad I did with this one and encourage others to take a look at the book for their own world. It may just give you a different perspective, one you might have heard before, but always need a reminder of. And if simplifying life is not for you, it’s still a fun tale about three experiences many of us don’t have very often in life. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to visit a convent or a monastery… now I have a good sense.’

———-

When Melanie and I chatted this week about life being an author, one of the first things that came to mind for me was how she accomplishes everything she does. I read her book and learned a lot about her life, but I wanted to know more… Is there anyone pushing her  on the sidelines, I asked, curious to compare our experiences. She had a great response:

Support for a writer is so important. Yes, you can write without it, but it is so much easier to know that someone has your back no matter what you are going through. I am so lucky to have full and continued support from Rob, my other half. As soon as we met I knew that he was one in a billion, and he hasn’t disappointed me. I feel both lucky, and privileged to have him in my life, and I wouldn’t ever want to be without him, or his support.

 Everyone should be as lucky as her!

To see more about Melanie, below are the key links

Website – melaniemolecom.wordpress.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/melaniemolebook

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/melaniemolebooks/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57372902-melanie-mole

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/melaniemolewriter/

Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Simply-Does-Simplicity-Melanie-Mole/dp/1975877519/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511459102&sr=8-1&keywords=simply+does+it

Other book on Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Man-Woman-Trouble-Melanie-Mole-ebook/dp/B0759YBZDJ/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511459178&sr=1-7&keywords=melanie+mole

melanie

To see more about Melanie Mole on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them.

Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

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

My Very Own “Book Bucket List” – November 2017 (VOTE NOW)

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I’ve knocked the 6th entry off my Book Bucket List:  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. You can see the review here. In its place, I’ve added The Party by Robyn Harding to round out the 12 options for the next vote (post with poll to VOTE is below).

 

 

The poll for the December 2017 read is open. Click below to vote by 12/3!!!!

 

Below is the link to the on-going Book Bucket List and a background on what it’s all about. My Very Own “Book Bucket List”  —  Click the link to access everything since the beginning of this post series as well as see the 12 books currently on the list.

 

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.  I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to publish it in early 2018. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

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.

My Novel: Father Figure – Status

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I’m happy to report everything is on schedule for Father Figure to be released in early 2018 (by March). Discussions with the publisher will begin after the Thanksgiving holiday to set the publication date and begin considering book covers. Below is the current status of this novel:

writer

Editing Round 2 (November 2017)

  • All editing has been completed. After the first round of beta reading at the end of September, I removed/re-structured about 20% of the content and added 20% new or enhanced story arcs. The novel is stronger and more powerful in the current version, but it is not yet finished.
  • I have added more mystery and suspense to the beginning of this work, but I think it may need a little more splash to immediately pull in readers. I’ll decide next week once I finish a read-thru.

Next Steps (December 2017)

  • Over the next week, I plan to read the book aloud to myself, making notes and correcting anything that sounds awkward or needs some minor adjustments. The target is to be complete on Friday 12/1 — one week from today.
  • I will prepare an overview for a group of 5 to 8 beta readers for a second read-thru. I will have a series of questions plus a list of a few things I am still considering changing. I want to get both sets of feedback before I finish the final version for proofreading. Beta readers will have from 12/1 thru 12/10 to read the book and provide feedback.
  • Once I have all input, I will make final revisions and send the book off to an editor and the publisher to design the cover and provide any final input. The target is to complete the final version from 12/11 through 12/31.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • I need to select the beta readers. I am ‘starting from scratch’ with the next read-thru meaning I am not automatically sending it to the group who read the September version. If you are interested, let me know and we can discuss. I want to get a broad range of feedback, but it also needs to be fairly detailed, constructive, and analytical. I received good feedback in the first round, but I’m pushing harder in this next round to truly get to the heart of the book and determine what if anything is not working.
  • It’s a good feeling to see the growth in my writing since ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ was written almost one year ago. My style has evolved in a few ways, ranging from a bit less wordy to a stronger voice with each character. Having fewer characters to work with provided an opportunity to reach deeper into each person’s emotions; I’m hoping there is a more intense connection with readers in this novel. In Watching Glass Shatter, they were all relatively good people, despite a few annoying habits and secrets. In Father Figure, there’s a fair balance of good versus evil in our new characters, and well… it’s too early to say much, but I’ll certainly reveal…

I appreciate everyone’s input and feedback. Thank you and have a great weekend!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1984 – Amalia Graeme, 17, leaves Mississippi to attend college, glad to be away from a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah, who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2004 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom she had a one-night stand, later finding herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father and stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am an author who recently published his debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, which has been well received my readers. I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a regular status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my fans voted for this book as my second novel.

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 Alerts, 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.

365 Challenge: Day 257 – Self (Author Alert: Christy Birmingham)

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Self: (a) a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action, or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Christy Birmingham

If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work. Christy and I met about 3 months ago over some inspirational posts that we had both been sharing around the same time. I followed her, she followed me… and we started seeing a bunch of similarities in our voices, plus she’d written a book and I was in the middle of publishing mine. What a great way to kick-start getting to know each other even more. I bought her book a few weeks ago and started reading a few pages each night before bed in the last week. Stay tuned for a review, but you can read a sneak peak below.

———-

Social Interactions and the Sense of Self

The sense of self can be affected by what goes on outside of the body, specifically in the social realm. Although I strive for an unwavering self-identity, I admit to being knocked about by negativity in my environment. It alters my sense of “I,” whether temporarily or permanently. It was with this in mind that I organized my poems for Versions of the Self.

versions-of-the-self-poetry-book-cover (2)

The reality is that we aren’t living in a cocoon. Although at times I would like to be in that cocoon – it’s safe, dark, and warm – it would also be lonely. And that’s not going to help me in continuing to grow in life. It would feed on the very depression that I take steps not to give in to day after day. Instead, I put myself out there and hope someone will be kind in how they receive the interaction I put forth in my personal and professional pursuits. Sometimes it is a positive social interaction, and other times it’s a swift elbow to the emotional gut.

But, really, life wouldn’t have so much color to it if there weren’t those interactions. And each color – as noted on the cover of Versions of the Self – alludes to a type of social interaction. There are many types of relationships we form, in addition to the special one we have to ourselves. There is friendship, romantic relationship, spiritual, and many more.

And while up to this point I have spoken only about how the sense of self is affected by others, it works the other way too. “I” can affect positive change in others and also encourage a more destructive path.

So, what to do with this information? I processed it in poetry, and I continue to live it daily. It is a reminder to take care with those whom we reach out to. Take care with words and actions, even if we are low on sleep, have recently received bad news, or are just plain in a bad mood.

It is also a reminder to deal with the bad that comes our way through our relationships as well as we can and to be grateful for the good interactions when they occur. Let us not let those negative moments keep us from the more positive ones. And there will be positive ones. Never give up hope in that.

Christy.jpg

Find Christy Birmingham blogging about ways to enhance your life and live fully at When Women Inspire. Also, you can find her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+

[Alert Interruption from Jay — Thanks to Christy for participating in this week’s spotlight. I finished her book and enjoyed it greatly; my review will post later this weekend. There were many poems that spoke to me, but I’ve cut/paste a few lines to give you a taste of the intensity and connections throughout the collection. I fully recommend reading this one.  I’d post more poems, but you need to go check it out to see all that beauty. Enjoy…

 

“I want to alter my recipe,

Lighter on the ridicule and

Heavier on the gratitude

If I am here to speak,

My tongue learns to pronounce properly

The language forming within me.”

 

To see more about Christy Birmingham on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them. I am currently in process of reading the book and will post a review in the next few days.

Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


 

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