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365 Challenge: Day 305 – Rafflecopter (9 BOOKS — GIVEAWAY)

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Rafflecopter: a easy and fun giveaway site you need to look into

raffle

You might remember that one of my author alerts a few weeks ago was the dynamic and fantastic Lina Langley who published another, Welcome to Crash, last year. Click the links here to see her dedicated author page and my book review. Both were popular posts in December… well, she’s taken it a step further by hosting an amazing giveaway contest you can enter via the Rafflecopter site:  Enter Giveaway.

Lina’s offering 9 books to one lucky winner — open for US entries —  through early February. See the graphics below for all included books; some even have signatures!

  • For those of you new to Rafflecopter, it’s a great place to win free books (and other items, too). Authors and Readers should stop by.
  • For those of you new to Lina, she’s a must-read in several genres: queer and spec fiction, sci-fi and romance. You want to read her book!
  • For those of you new to or interested in these genres, there are tons of great books to research below. Go get ’em!

Good Luck to Everyone!!!

 

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

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Amazon Giveaway Entry – Watching Glass Shatter (By January 17th)

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I’ve created an Amazon Giveaway for my novel, Watching Glass Shatter. You can enter at the link below to win a Kindle edition before January 17th. All you need to do is tweet about the book. Details @:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/bda57ab492b95af9?ref_=pe_1771210_134854370#ts-dei

Watching-Glass-Shatter-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

Book Description

Watching Glass Shatter was published on October 8th, 2017 and is available for purchase in both electronic and physical print form. It has 300+ reviews, averaging 4.7 on Amazon & 4.3 on Goodreads in a 5 point scale.

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches 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. 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 her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits.

You can see sample chapters and descriptions at: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Buy the Kindle version from Amazon

Buy the paperback version from Amazon

 

Blog Tour

  • The book went on a 17-day blog tour from 11/5 thru 11/21. You can read all posts via this one location by clicking here.

Radio Interview

  • Jay was a guest on the Artist First radio segment on Tuesday, November 14th from 6 to 7pm. To listen to the recorded 1-hour broadcast for news on the book and author, click here.

Book Reviews & Interviews

  • In addition to Goodreads and Amazon, you can find a central link to some very fun and in-depth book reviews and author interviews here

2018 Short Story Collection

  • Polls closed on 11/20 and you selected ETHAN as your favorite character. He will be the focus of the first published short story in the 2018 collection (March 2018)

 


Sequel

  • A 2018 sequel for Watching Glass Shatter was announced; it’s too hard to let go of the Glass family — they have many more stories to share. More information on launch timing to be available in early 2018.

 

Watching Glass Shatter: Blog Tour Day 10 – Jessica Rachow

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It’s Day 10 on the Watching Glass Shatter Book Blog Tour and we have the amazing Jessica Rachow… thank you to her for a 5-star review and for the great feedback and friendship the last few months. She’s currently writing her own novel on Nano this month — you must check her out… She’s friendly, interactive, smart and funny. Click the link below to read her post on today’s tour and then spend more time on her awesome blog.

Don’t forget today’s 6pm EST RADIO SPOT where I will discuss the book launch for 1-hour on the internet @ http://www.artistfirst.com/

via Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney – Blog Tour

Watching Glass Shatter: Blog Tour Day 6 – Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

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Check out today’s Watching Glass Shatter blog tour for Day 6 with ‘Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50’ where you will: (1) Read about our meet-up at a NYC coffee shop and (2) see the surprise news about the FREE Kindle version this weekend of the book via Amazon — 11/10 thru 11/14

via “Watching Glass Shatter” a Novel by James J. Cudney. An Author Interview by Me — Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50


20171105_074414

Six months ago, a blogger wandered onto my blog and left a comment. I commented back. He continued. Banter ensued. From those humble beginnings a friendship was born. I have had the pleasure of becoming blog buddies, and coffee friends with James J. Cudney, affectionately known as Jay. In our short, but meaningful time as […]

 

365 Challenge: Day 102 – Independent

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Independent: free from outside control; not relying on another’s authority, livelihood or sustenance

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What a word! It’s often what people struggle and strive for. It’s used as a way to chastise someone if they are exceeding in their individualistic behaviors. It’s in a popular song. It’s part of war. It’s types of booksellers and publishers. It can be lonely. It can be a treasure you hold on to. It is something very different for each one of us.

I consider myself independent. I began working at 13, delivering newspapers. At 14 and 15, I worked in a bowling alley, teaching children to bowl and running the front desk. At 16 and 17, I was a grocery store cashier and stock boy. When I went away to college, my parents and I split the costs after any scholarships I’d received. For my part, I took out student loans and I worked on campus in the Education and English Department offices. And during summers, I waited tables and worked at a day care nursery managing a classroom full of 2-year-olds. It was instilled in me at a young age to work hard for what you want and to never rely on someone else to handle something that was your responsibility.

And I firmly believe in it now. To me, other people lending a hand is an additional layer of support, an extra of sorts, beyond what you should bake into your initial plan. It’s something you may need on occasion, and you should ask for the help when you truly need it, but don’t assume that is part of the solution for whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. This could be money, emotional support, a place to live, medical care, or anything else that requires assistance. Like most things I say or believe, apply the 80/20 rule, as it’s not a one-size-fits-all for every circumstance belief and approach. But as a general guideline in life, being independent is important to me and I recommend it to anyone else, at least wherever you can make it happen.

Independence is about freedom. Freedom to choose your own path, actions and destiny. Sometimes it is easy, but not always. Money is not always available even to begin working on a path that you want to take. Illness sits in the way from being able to choose what you want. Family obligations may be more important. But when you have the opportunity, leaning towards independence helps you become stronger and motivated. Make small changes. Start in tiny ways. See how it makes you feel. It can be scary. It can be fun. It can be rewarding. You’ll never know until you give it a chance.

I’m not independent in every aspect of my life. I’ve chosen to be in a committed, long-term partnership. I want to be with another person in my life journey. But I also recognize we’re not attached at the hip nor are we a single entity. We’ve made decisions about how to manage finances together, to co-own and care for a home, to raise a dog together, but at the end of the day, we are also separate people with individualistic needs and desires. Hopefully they always align and we work on them as we gracefully age together.

I think I’m the teddy bear in that situation!

I’ve noticed my attitude has changed over the years on some of these topics. And I pay close attention to the words my friends and acquaintances choose. For instance… when you invite a friend over or ask what (s)he did for the weekend, do they say “we” or “I?” Some people immediately refer to themselves as a couple. “We had friends over for dinner.” “We built a garden.” Others remain singular or separate. “Oh, I read a book. John/Jane went to the movies.” I’m not a psychologist nor have I studied these things, but I’m curious what that says about a person’s independence.

For as much as I claim to be independent, I almost always choose the “we,” assuming the person knows I am sharing a life with someone else. If it’s a complete stranger, sure, I’d probably just refer to myself as it would sound odd saying “we.” My mindset is independent on some things but dependent on others. We’ve made an agreement to split everything 50/50 in our household / life. So making decisions is sometimes a lengthy process. If one person wants to spend more money, we have to work through that conversation together, or accept the other person chooses to pay more because it’s more important to them. Given my other half has little interest/time in reading (he reads legal briefs all day at work), we tend to “go our separate ways” around 10pm. He watches TV in the living room for an hour, while I go to bed to read for an hour. Then he comes in when his show is over.

With friends, I am also very independent. I don’t ask for anything other than friendship. Sometimes I’ll complain a little bit and we end up talking through an issue, but I rarely pick up the phone and say “Hey, I need some advice, or I’m a bit down, can we do something?” I’m not saying this is the right or wrong way to be, by the way… it’s just how I am. I keep things to myself. I have something in my head that pushes me to be independent, rather than reach out to other people for help. If it were urgent, I’m sure I would ask for the help. But it’s not a natural reaction or notion for me. I try to do everything I can for myself, and then when I can’t, I will turn to someone else. Inclusive of big things and little things. When I bought new cars in the past, I didn’t ask for help until the very last moment. I did all the research, chose what I wanted and looked around. On each final trip, I asked my father to go with me for his input and then I closed. If I’m cooking, and I’m not sure what to do with a step in a recipe, I’ll wing it. Sometimes I’ll call my mom and get advice, but usually not. If we’re cooking together, yes — definitely work together on it.

So as I think about who I am… I’m pretty independent. I know I used to be co-dependent in relationships, but that’s a different story. I was young and immature. I’m much more open-minded these days. How about you? Do you define yourselves as dependent or independent? Not so much how you are in a relationship with your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, but generally in your approach with other people. Do you keep your distance, reach out for support or somewhere in between? There’s no right or wrong answer. We’re all shown a different way and then choose our own paths. Sometimes the answer is both– as it’s important to lean different ways, given the situation at hand. But like the 80/20 rule, I’d say I’m probably 80% independent and 20% dependent across the board.

Cause it’s scary inside my head! LOL

 

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 to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 72 – American

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American: originating or coming from the United States of America (USA)

As I wandered the apartment this morning, prepping for an interview and thinking about the 365 daily post, the word American popped into my head. In the first five weeks of the challenge, I choose the primary ethnicity groups that made up who I am.  I suddenly realized I never spoke about being an American. But what exactly does that mean and how has it changed over the last ~ 250 years. Two key things to clarify before I start babbling: (1) I am not political and (2) This will not be a “rah-rah” post about the greatness of my country — not because it isn’t, but because that’s not the type of blog I would post, given I’m more the kind of person who asks questions rather than provides answers. Back to the topic at hand…

Over the last ~250 years since America was created in the late 18th century, people have defined themselves as American based on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I agree with all of those beliefs, and I am proud and grateful for all of the liberties we have; however, what does it mean to be an American in today’s society? I believe it’s changed over the years, based on how we’ve grown as people and as a country. Not so much as in “How do other countries view us?” as that would be getting political, which I won’t do on a blog. But… what do you think of when you say “I am an American.” For me, a few key “normal every day” things come to mind… and I mean this seriously, not as a joke:

  • Apple Pie

  • Hot Dogs & Hamburgers

  • Hollywood

  • Stock Market

  • Tipping

  • Convenience

convnient.jpg

There are tons of other things I could have added, some judgmental and some humble, but I am not going for a controversial post… I’m going for the casual feel of “oh, yeah, that just feels American to me.”

  1. Apple Pie
    • There is the saying “as American as apple pie,” which is a well-known quote.
    • There’s the movie “American Pie,” which provides a pretty strong commentary on what it’s like growing up in American high schools and colleges.
    • Towns fight over the best way to make apple pie: type of crust, covered or uncovered, which apples, sweet or fruity…
    • I enjoy apple pie, but it wouldn’t be my first dessert. Desserts in my world require chocolate.
    • I don’t think I represent America well, when it comes to apple pie.
  2. Hot Dogs & Hamburgers
    • Quintessential BBQ food, especially on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
    • Have been turned into a gourmet food in some places, i.e. how many different ways can you re-invent this staple of the “American diet.”
    • I won’t eat hot dogs as I’m not a fan of mystery meat, even when it’s “all beef.”
    • I’ll have a hamburger every once in a while, but I much prefer filet mignon or steak tartare. I’m obnoxious, I know.
  3. Hollywood
    • Included because it’s where everyone goes and talks about, when it comes to entertainment.
    • From Old Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s to today’s super-idolized gossip and drama, it’s been a staple defining the country for an entire century.
    • Everyone talks about TV/Film Hollywood stars; it’s the go-to conversation more than books, plays, sports… it’s a universal standard for things to talk about.
    • I enjoy films and TV shows. I talk about them. But I’m more apt to talk about books. I don’t follow or track celebrities, nor do I care if I pass one on the street. It’s a secondary thing in my life, not a driver.
  4. Stock Market
    • Driven the world’s economical impacts for many years. I’m not saying it’s the only driver, but it’s been an influential piece for nearly two centuries.
    • It’s on the news every day, especially lately!
    • It’s used as a way to judge “how the world is doing” instead of looking at how people treat one another.
    • I know a little bit about it. I invest in it. I check a few key numbers each day, but that’s more because I like watching counts go up/down and measuring numbers from day to day, regardless of if it’s the stock market or the weather.
  5. Tipping
    • The US seems to have its own tipping standards, and the rest of the world is not a fan of how it works here.
    • In all my 40 years, I still struggle with understanding exactly when to tip and when not to, i.e. maintenance in my building, deliveries, services. I probably over-tip as a result, but it’s painful even for Americans!
    • I always thought 15% to 20% was the scale. 15% if it was so-so, 20% if it was stellar. Now, I see 22.5%, 25% and 30% on receipts, taxi screens, etc. So confusing!
    • My standard now is 20% for 8 out of 10 occasions. If I had a problem with the service, I’ll drop it to 15%. If it was awesome, I’ll leave 25%.
  6. Convenience
    • In the past, it feels like the motto was either “Work hard and you’ll achieve your goals,” or “Nothing worth having is easy.” Or some paraphrasing around those messages.
    • Now, it feels like the focus is “How can we get something done quicker, faster, cheaper?” Certainly has been prevalent in history before, but now… with technology, it’s all about pushing the envelope even more.
    • Everything is being designed to accomplish more in as little time or space as possible
      • On one hand, this is great if we are saving our environment or resources.
      • It’s exhausting us and causing more illness.
    • I feel like people often think “they take it easy in America” when it comes to just doing or saying whatever we want. I would agree we are definitely all about the convenience, but at the same time, we take the worst vacations (meaning we work the entire time, and there’s little work-life balance).
    • Me personally… eh, I tend to try to do as much as possible in as little as possible time, so I probably fit this one fairly well.

So…. 6 things I think of when I hear the word “American.” All non-political and non-controversial. I’m not focusing on the land of the free… all important stuff, but I purely wanted a reflective moment, not an argumentative one.

How about you? What other attributes do you think are American? Which of these do you fit in? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve noted?

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 to their original creators.