Christmas

Children’s Readathon – Maxine Sylvester

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In today’s final week, we’re focusing on author who blog. One of the authors I’m highlighting on my children’s book readathon extravaganza is Maxine Sylvester. Check out this wonderful author on Twitter and all the book reviews I’ve completed:

Author Page on My Blog

The Flying Academy

The Phantom Carrot Snatcher

Rudy’s Birthday Extravaganza

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If you’ve never read these books, they are a must check out for children around the holidays. I can’t even begin to say how adorable they are…. just a short post today to give you a quick heads up so you can check them out in time for the upcoming holiday season!

 

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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TAG O’RAMA: Past Due Gratitude – Part 2 of 5

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Life has just gotten away from me in the last few months… between the 365 Daily Challenge, publishing two novels, reading ~100 books, and earning a living, I haven’t been able to keep up with all the wonderful tags and awards that I’ve been blessed with. I’m so grateful to the blogging community for the love and support you’ve shown me and feel awful that I’ve gotten behind on about ~40 nominations or ping-backs. I’ve been trying to catch up, but it’s not working! So… I’ve decided for the next week, I am going to highlight several bloggers each day who have been generous enough to tag me…

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These bloggers deserve the kudos and a celebrated mention so that more people can find out about them and/or connect with amazing people around the world. Below please find 7 blogs you should be checking out and following. I’ve included the original post they tagged me on as well as a response to a few questions or items from their tag. If I stay on schedule, I’ll be caught up and current on my tags within a week, and then I promise to try to stay on top of them going forward. Thank you to everyone for understanding. Much gratitude for sharing your blogs with me and in turn with the rest of the blogosphere!

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Playlist Shuffle

  • BrizzleLass Books
  • Nick Jonas ‘Chains‘ — If you don’t already know this about me, I might be obsessed with him

End of the Year Books

  • Read, Rant, Rock & Roll
  • Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?
    • Hazel Gaynor’s ‘The Cottingley Secret’ — reading in June

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Halloween Creatures Books

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Christmas

Falltime Cozy Time Fall Book

  • Naty’s Bookshelf
  • Crunching leaves: the world is full of color – choose a book that has reds/oranges/yellows on the cover
    • Ken Follett’s ‘A Column of Fire’

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Winter is Coming

  • Bookmark Your Thoughts
  • SLEDDING: WE ALL LOVED IT WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER. CHOOSE A BOOK THAT YOU LOVED WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD
    • Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

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Christmas Cuisine

  • Escaping in Paper
  • Pavlova: The book you’re most looking forward to reading next.
    •  

      Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Dragonfly’ in Amber — starting it tomorrow (May ’18 Book Bucket List pick on my blog’s poll)

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 Nominations

 

Book Review: Read and Gone by Allison Brook

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Even though I promised myself I wouldn’t go on NetGalley, I did… then I requested a few books… then I was awarded said books… and now my ‘ready to read on the shelf’ TBR is back around 25! So… I started with NetGalley reads this weekend, choosing a new author and a book series I’d not read before: The Haunted Library Mysteries by Allison Brook. I even read the second book, Read and Gone, before the debut of the series since I don’t have that one in my possession. I can safely say that I will go back to read the first book and continue reading the whole series.

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In this cozy caper, Carrie Singleton is celebrating Christmas with her family and new boyfriend, Dylan. After everyone leaves, Carrie’s thief father shows up asking for help. Before she knows it, a frustrated and angry Carrie agrees to help him in between her duties running one of the departments in the local library. As the story unfolds, her father Jim’s former partner is found murdered, and Carrie is stuck trying to prove her father isn’t a killer. Add in a few more bodies, and a second mystery at the local senior care facility, and Carrie is quite busy. It’s all connected, but she’s not sure how. In the end, she solves the crime and figures out how to move forward.

At first, the story felt a little too stiff and formulaic, but by 10% it settled in with a really positive and engaging flow. The ghost of a friend’s dead aunt watches over the place, but really doesn’t provide many clues thus far — it’s just an other-worldly presence for some humor. Carrie also struggles in her relationship with Dylan, whose job forces him to play on opposite sides for part of the story. There are lots of suspects, several side-stories, and a welcome amount of refreshing honesty about private citizens acting as detectives. Carrie pushes the limit, but she’s also clearly showing us why she has to. It’s believable.

All in all, I’m glad I downloaded this one, and it only took 3 hours to get thru… a strong start for me in the series pushing me to go back and read more.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at 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.

Book Review: The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies by Laura Levine

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The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies, a novella included in a 3-story book, written by Laura Levine is a fun holiday cozy mystery to read. It’s an in-between read that’s part of a larger series focusing on Jaine Austen. In this caper, she’s visiting her parents for the holidays and becomes stuck in the middle of her family’s often meddlesome ways… her cat has decided Jaine’s mother is perfect and Jaine is awful. Jaine’s father is getting in trouble while trying to protect Jaine. And a doctor leads 4 women on until he finally dies during a play rehearsal while acting in a lead role. It’s a short ~100 page story, but fun and easy to read. Jaine sometimes talks directly to the reader but it’s adorable in a charming way. I like her spunk. It makes me want to start reading the entire series. There are only 8 so far… maybe I can handle it!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at 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.

Book Review: Gingerbread Cookies & Gunshots by Leslie Meier

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This novella was included in a three-story book focused on gingerbread that I received as a holiday present. I read Joanne Fluke’s books, which was the reason I got this one, but I’m getting interested in Leslie Meier‘s Lucy Stone series as a result of this book, Gingerbread Cookies and Gunshots. I read the ~100 page story in a paperback before bed last night in about 45 minutes. It’s a very quick read, a teaser to get fans interested in the larger series. Lucy Stone is a fun character and this was a nice break away from a cozy about murder. Instead, it focused on a kidnapping that ended with a murder. What a twist! Apart from the mystery, the really fun aspect is the interaction between Lucy and her family. She has a few older kids, middle/high school age kids and at least one grandchild from what I can tell so far. It takes place in Maine, but they spent time in Louisiana, too, I believe. I’ve so much to learn… It hits the spot as a fun read when you just need to escape from reality.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at 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.

Book Review: Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

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The 12th book in the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series, Plum Pudding Murder, published in 2009 and written by Joanne Fluke, gets 3.5 stars. I’m skipping my normal detailed and formatted review, as you can only say so many new and different things about similar-type books. That said, I enjoyed this edition and would recommend it to existing fans and potentially new ones.

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In this escapade, Hannah continues baking up a storm while preparing for the Christmas holidays. When the owner of a local tree nursery and shop is murdered, she solves the case by enlisting her mother, sisters and friends in all sorts of hi-jinks. She outsmarts her on again / off again cop boyfriend Mike, and continues flirting with her other boy, dentist Norman. Throw in about 25 recipes, and you’ve got a cute and fun cozy book to enjoy. Not to mention the big surprise at the end when the college guy who broke her heart shows up in town!

The murder is good, the story has a strong cast of suspects and the characters provide comic relief. It should have been 15% more story and less recipe, only to give us the necessary substance. The plots also need to start sooner; the murder didn’t happen until 50% through the book! While we got to know the cast in the first half, which gave us potential red herrings and culprits, I wanted to be a bit more invested at that point.

I adore Hannah, want her as my best friend and would love to live in this town. I’d eat cookies all day, but that’s what I do… so there you have it, folks… 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at 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.

365 Challenge: Day 287 – Christmas (LIST: Holiday)

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Christmas: A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts, celebrating all that Santa Claus brings each year

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of 5 Sundays, I chose holidays and now we’re in our fourth week: I’ve gone with Christmas because that’s the holiday happening tomorrow, it’s one of my favorite ones and there’s so much to say about it. Let’s explore why I love this holiday:

  • M – Making cookies
  • E – Eggnog
  • R – Ripping open presents
  • R – Random acts of kindness
  • Y – Yuletide fun
  • C – Celebrate with friends and family
  • H – Happiness
  • R – Religious components and traditions
  • I – I can decorate the house and not look weird
  • S – Smells of evergreen and peppermint
  • T – Trimming the Tree
  • M – Many children learning to love the holiday and about blessings
  • A – A time to be thankful for all we have in our lives
  • S – Santa Claus

Those were just a few small examples of why I love the holiday, in a fun little list using the first letter in the message today: MERRY CHRISTMAS — Not everyone celebrates Christmas, so tomorrow’s post will be something about the holidays from Ryder. There are so many different ways to celebrate this time of year. How do you feel about Christmas? Do you celebrate in any special way?

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Last Year’s Tree

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Past weeks included:

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
  • Week 33 – 37: Favorite Book Genres
  • Week 38 – 42: Holidays
  • Week 43 – 47: TBD
  • Week 48 – 52: TBD

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

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

 

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