pets

Book Review: River Bones by Mary Deal

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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 fantastic debut offering strong characters, dastardly plots, beautiful scenery, and tangible imagery.

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Somewhere between a thriller and a classic murder mystery, it offers all the suspenseful and horrible actions of a twisted serial killer without a focus on detailed gore. There’s a fine balance in her words conjuring up just enough gruesome thoughts without actually reading about all the blood and torture. Don’t get me wrong… I love a good horror thriller, but if you’re looking for something in between, this is a great option.

Sara’s come home for the first time in about 25 years. Her family was killed in an awful car accident / drowning when she was a young girl. Raised by a distant relative or sorts, she stuck around long enough to grow up but then left the country. She’s called back for a few reasons and buys a large Victorian supposedly haunted. She meets a previous owner, connects with former classmates and begins to re-build a life. Then she starts finding the bodies. Each one is buried with a pet. What’s the significance? A serial killer’s past life seems to come spiraling back to town, but they’re all old murders. Until a new one occurs. Why? What has Sara unearthed and why is she his/her next victim?

What I like most about Deal’s work is how easy-to-read yet complex her novels are. The language and writing style is perfect, not simple but not overly flowery or excessive. She describes the scenes and characters with out to give you a good image, then moves on. Sometimes you learn about the town or the person’s past even though it’s not part of the actual mystery, but it adds to the creation of ambiance and setting without misguiding or boring you. It’s always a wonderful balance of drama and good story, dialog and narration, history and thought.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this novel was the character struck by lightning. He died for a minute but came back to life years ago. Something’s just still a little off with him. Enough to be the killer or a shining knight? I definitely recommend picking up any of the books I’ve read Deal has written, but I’ll be tackling a few more in the next couple of months, too. She’s been a great find and I look forward to hearing all about her next novel.

 

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 3 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. If I missed a tag or award, let me know. I will fix that! Much gratitude for sharing your blogs with me and in turn with the rest of the blogosphere!

***

Currently Reading Booktag

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My Pet

  • Read, Rant, Rock and Roll
  • My ten-year-old shiba inu dog, Ryder, unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. It was one of the worst times in my life, and there are still days where I’m just not ready to accept it. Right now, I don’t have a pet, but I have started discussions with a few breeders and rescue facilities to look at adopting a dog this summer after vacation.

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My Life in Books (Birthday)

  • Naty’s Bookshelf
  • Spell Your Name in Books
    • J –  ‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’ by Jodi Taylor
    • A – ‘After You’ by Jojo Moyes
    • Y – ‘You’ By Caroline Kepnes

Anything But Books

  • The Cozy Pages
  • What do you do other than read or write books that takes you hours?
    • I’m an avid genealogist. I currently have about 2500 people in my family tree on Ancestry.com, but I search several times per week, sometimes hours go by and I haven’t moved an inch from my spot on the couch. I use surnames and proper names from my ancestors in all my books, e.g. Amalia, Graeme, Villing, Glass…

Three Day Quote

  • The Purple Almond
  • Since I am only choosing one question from each tag, I am trying to find the most appropriate one. In this tag, I will laugh at myself. In high school, I was forced to pick a quote for the yearbook, but I kept trying to avoid it. I said something as a joke never expecting it to be printed. Wow, was I embarrassed for… EVER? I still see it when I look at my yearbook. Sticking with the theme of ‘3’ it was:
    • “It takes two to tango but three’s a crowd. So beat it.”

Netflix Book

Jurassic Park World Book

  • Port Jericho
  • A book that changed your perceptions on an issue/culture, etc.
    • ‘The Philosopher’s Apprentice’ by James Morrow: it’s a story about cloning to achieve perfect, but done in such a way it’s funny, relateable and intense.

What’s in My Bookshelf

*** This was a brand new tag by Naty — Definitely check this one out – she did an awesome job!!! ***

Nominations

 

365 Challenge: Day 210 – Pastimes (Top 10)

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Pastimes: top 10 hobbies that keep Jay busy, and that he loves doing 

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, 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.

  • 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

The next set of 5 Sundays covers the ‘Top 10’ of entertainment options that I spend my time thinking about or doing and this week is the “pastimes that keep me busy or that I absolutely love.” They are in no particular order, simply as I thought of them when typing. For anyone who’s read my blog before, these should be pretty obvious, but for someone new, this list will give you a sense of who I am! Then you can run the other direction if it’s not what you want to read about. Note: Writing is now a job, so I don’t consider it my pastime anymore!!!

  • Reading
    • Give me a mystery, thriller, suspense or historical book and I’m set for hours. If there’s a biography on someone I enjoy, or a non-fiction history about something, it will keep me happy all day long!
  • Genealogy
    • I’ve traced about 2000 relatives to date from all over North America and Europe. My early posts covered all my ethnicity groups and some interesting stories about my relatives. You can see one here.
  • Gardening
    • When I owned houses in the past, I spent many hours planting and weeding. It’s been hard in NYC, but with a 700 square foot terrace garden that includes 10′ trees, we’ve made it work!
  • Traveling
    • I have been all over the world, from Cambodia to Argentina, Canada to Spain. I have probably visited 35 of 50 states in America. I love exploring cultures.
  • Cooking
    • If you read last week’s post, enough said. If not, I listed the top 10 dishes which you can read here. I have less time to cook these days with my writing schedule, but weekends are usually more free.
  • TV Viewing
    • If you read the post from a few weeks ago, enough said. If not, I listed my top 10 TV shows which you can read here. I am slowing my TV viewing to only shows I really love, as my creative time needs to be focused on reading and writing, particularly when it comes to fiction.
  • Wine Tasting
    • When I lived in San Francisco, there was a monthly trip to Napa and Sonoma. I could spend all day at a few wineries. Too bad I need a designated driver to truly sample each one and enjoy myself! Champagne anyone? And while I hate to admit this aloud, my favorites were in Mendoza. The stunning architecture while drinking in a stone estate on cliffs overlooking the water…
  • Research
    • I’m an academic. I wish I could attend colleges and universities every year. I love to teach, mentor and learn. Give me a thrilling topic and I can spend an entire night researching it on the computer, never interested in going to sleep. I thrive on the challenge of learning as much as I can in as little time as possible.
  • Playing with animals
    • I’ve had so many pets over the course of my life: hamsters, ferrets, cats, dogs, fish, squirrels… went horseback riding, to the zoo… looking in an innocent animal’s eyes, knowing they love you no matter what, is unparalleled.
  • Gym
    • The gym and I were never acquainted for most of my early life. I played soccer and baseball in middle school, and I took a few required courses in college however, I was not an athlete. Sometime after college, I started working out, even buying all the equipment to create a home gym in my basement. Now I have one in my apartment building. 5 times a week. Swap off cardio and weights. Not looking to be huge, just fit and energetic. If I want to live to 120, I gotta keep everything in line! And at 120, I’ll really be only 60 cause of all the work I’ve put in. Maybe “making up stories” should have been the last pastime…

 

Which ones do you agree with? What have I missed? Make it a fun response…

 

 

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

 

365 Challenge: Day 176 – DogCare (RYDER RANT)

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DogCare: shelter and care for a pet when you are away

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It’s time for Ryder’s Rants. Just wanted to let you know that I’m away on vacation. Dads left for Louisiana to visit family and will be back for my 10th birthday. While they are away, they left me with Ella at Celebrity Pets. You can see more about her at:  https://www.celebritypetshotel.com/

Ella is amazing. For my birthday, she got me a present. And it was food. I love food. Here I am:image1 (1)

 

I would love birthday presents, but this year, I only want one thing. Please donate to all the pet rescue places for my poor lost friends in the Houston area. I told Dads not to get me anything as this would be the best present ever. I will see them when they get home tomorrow. Very excited. I am not even mad they went away without me since they told Ella it was my birthday and she got me this lovely little party dessert.

I’m also sleepy. And Dads are running around Louisiana visiting family, so Dad 1 doesn’t have a lot of time to help me with this post. He just called and told me they are building toys for a three-year old’s birthday party Grr… you know how I feel about children. But if it’s a birthday, I can’t be too upset, since it’s also mine, right?

I’m also very excited for Dad. He received back the first edits from his publisher, but he refuses to look at it until he returns to NY. I hope he’s happy. I don’t want to have to teach him a lesson about behaving himself. He can’t always get his way.

He also asked me to tell you he’s sorry for not responding to comments or reading everyone’s posts. He’s focusing on his priorities right now, which happens to be family for a few days. But he’ll be back and energized by late tomorrow night. His post tomorrow might be late too, although he asked me to start it. I said ‘no.’ I got priorities too. Some dogs around here who need to be taught their own little lessons.

Eh, time to go. More next week about a few pet-related things. The important thing is he left me with good dogcare. If you ever need someone to pet sit when in NYC, call Ella. She’s awesome. I’ll also have another Recommended Blogger for you later this week. No time to type about it right now, but coming up soon. Here’s a picture of what Dad just noticed on the road. He thought it was funny…

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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 148 – Woof (RYDER RANT)

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Woof: the sound everyone thinks a dog is making, but in reality, people just have no clue

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So listen… Jay/James (whatever you humans call him… he’s Dude to me, sometimes Dad if he’s been nice enough) has been looking a little busy lately, and I thought maybe I should help out with this writing thing he keeps talking about. As you can see in my picture above (BTW, aren’t I adorable?), I’ve decided to takeover his 365 Daily Challenge blog on Mondays for the rest of the year. But don’t tell him. That know-it-all thinks he can do everything, but he can’t. I mean I didn’t get my dinner tonight until 8:50 because he was out late with his friends supposedly doing karaoke. And he hates karaoke. I’ve heard him go on and on and on until the cows come home about how he can’t sing. (But seriously, he can’t — if you heard the songs that come out of his throat in the shower, you’d cover your ears too. My paws barely reach, and they don’t make ear plugs in my size. I think it’s prejudice against my species to be honest.)

I guess I can believe it, as he doesn’t usually lie to me. And karaoke is a big Japanese thing. And I’m Japanese. So it’s probably true that he wasn’t out cheating on me. Though I smelled that other dirty dog on his legs. She’s the new girl around the block. Some friend of his who took me running once got a new dog. She calls herself Zora. Trying to tempt my humans to bring home another animal. I don’t think so. This is my house. And if he or the other daddy even think about bringing some mutt into my domain, I’ll just have to teach them a little lesson. Anyways… oh, gotta go. Something is in my bed and shouldn’t be there. They never listen. Another task for tonight. Always working.

<< 5 minute break >>

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Grrrr… Woof… Oops, sorry, forget about you. I get distracted. Sometimes I can’t help myself. Like earlier today, I was waiting by my food bowl, which was empty. Did I tell you they don’t feed me enough around this joint? Twice a day. That dude eats a few times a day. Why can’t I? One tiny little bowl of kibble and nothing else? Well, maybe I am exaggerating. He does give me lots of table scraps. I mean a few. Not a lot. More would be better. I’ve learned a new trick this week. Forced to. It’s really rather rude. I mean, like, he makes me lay on my belly and put my head down. Then they say things like “What do we do when we want a snack?” What am I, one of those lazy cats? I’m a regal shiba. I don’t do tricks. People do tricks to impress me. Wait… I think I got off topic again. Where was I?

That damn hedgehog! There’s a whole family of those disgusting vile creatures who live here with me. I’ve caught three already. One hangs out around the corner under the couch. I put a picture here to show you the one who tries to take my spot in the bed. I taught him. He’s currently stuffed in the toy box at the bottom underneath the rest of the creatures that I turn into toys whenever they try to attack me. Like that monkey. Dudes! Or Dudettes, as I believe some women might be reading this blog too… Did you ever have a monkey on your back? One that just wouldn’t take no for an answer. I do. Look at him:

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That’s what happens here when you don’t act fast. Animals takeover. And if you say one thing about me taking over this 365 thing, I’ll lick you until you cry from laughing so hard. And I’m good it. I lick things all day long. Like the floor. It tastes good. Except on the days he cleans. Which in my opinion is not very often. Sometimes I’m eating crumbs from the prior week. That’s pretty bad. Well, I might have sneaked them to my secret hiding place, so it’s not really his fault. But when you don’t get enough food to eat, you have to do something to survive. Did I tell you about his nasty habit? He keeps food locked away in the refrigerator. And then in the garbage pail under the sink. Does he really think I don’t know about it? And if I know about it, what’s the point of hiding it? Dude’s whacked. He needs to chill sometimes. Like tonight, when he got home. He had a second piece of cake from that refrigerator. And I only got to lick the plate. Three measly pieces of coconut shavings, a little bit of icing and like two strawberry crumb droppings not even worth sharing with that monkey. And before you ask, I did dump the monkey in the bottom of the toy bucket. Maybe Monkey and Hedgehog will learn to take me seriously some day. When I say I mean business, I mean business.

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<< 20 minute break >>

This writing stuff is hard work. And this keyboard is too big for my paws. I can’t reach from left to right. So I get up and walk back and forth. Sometimes I feel the need to scratch my butt on the carpet. Jay doesn’t like when I do that. But if he’d take me the groomers a little more often, maybe I wouldn’t have to. So until he does, the carpet is my personal butt scratcher. Oh! Bird at the window. Stupid things land on my Enchanted Garden all the time. That’s the NYC Terrace for all you readers… Jay and W use the wrong name all the time. I ate a few of those birds. They call me Ryder the Cat-Like Dog. I have my own FaceBook page. Want to see?

https://www.facebook.com/Ryder-the-Cat-Like-Dog-271938556304427/

I’m a little tired. The bunny wore me out. Sometimes he is a pain in the ass too. Hops around like he owns the joint. It’s my place, Bunny. And don’t say otherwise or I’ll tare you to pieces. I already ripped your stuffing out and you are nothing but a dirty old grey rabbit on his last legs. But I’ll still sleep with you. I’m generous. Well… it’s bed time. I hope this is the type of post you people expect. It’s my first one and I will be more organized in the future. But if not, then go find another blog to read until it’s Tuesday. Cause I own Mondays now. And if you have any special requests, let me know. As you can see, I like to entertain. Gotta go. Time to check the food dish again. After a nice long scratch. And a lick. I see something moving by the door to the terrace. It looks like it’s trying to escape. But nothing escapes from me. I’m King Ryder.

Wait… this is supposed to be about Jay and the word of the day. Which for today is woof. Hmmm… how does this relate to him? He’s already sleeping, who cares tonight?

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RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Didi Oviatt. Today’s another one of those days where there isn’t really a connection between the Word of the Day and the Blogger of the Day, except maybe that today’s post is being written by a different writer/Ryder, and my blogger to know is a writer! Didi and I connected about two months ago via our WordPress blogs, as she’s both a reader and a writer like me, as well as master of inspirational ideas and posts. She has been nominated for a few blogging awards and participated in several tags over the last few months. I always enjoy reading her posts and learning about her upcoming novels and marketing plans. She was very helpful when I had some questions about being a new author and signing with agents and/or publishers. But beyond that, she’s absolutely sweet and friendly, making it easy to connect with and share a few laughs. She’s also published several books, which you can purchase and/or read (more info on her website). We chatted about each of them and she’s recommended the one I should read, which I’ll be purchasing in my next book haul this summer. I’d suggest poking around her site a bit, learning more about the stories she writes and her life growing up in a small town. You’ll find something humorous and touching, as well as maybe find a new favorite book. If you don’t believe me, check out the below blurb from her About Me section and then go visit the site yourself:
    • “Growing up in a small town had more than several advantages and disadvantages. Saying that my childhood was sheltered is nothing short of an understatement. Unlocked doors, cleared streets, and the quiet of a trustworthy neighborhood were all welcomed features of my hometown. As a small child I baked cookies with the old lady down the road. I sat next to my kindergarten crush in sun day school, and literally rode my bike in the middle of the road without a care in the world. We didn’t have what kids have today. We actually had to use our imaginations to have a good time. There were no smart phones, tablets, or 64s to keep us occupied. We were perfectly content to play with our stick guns and a water hose for hours on end… And I loved it! Along with my scrapes and bruises I also maintained a simple, happy for the little things attitude, and of course a great tan.”

 

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.