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365 Challenge: Day 224 – Help (LIST: Artist Support)

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Help: the various ways to support someone who is trying to launch a new product or service (like a book)

Help an Author

Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. Do you know someone who recently launched a new product or service (artist, author/book, greeting cards, editing services… it goes on forever!) but you’re not exactly sure how to best help them? Perhaps you’re not a reader or you don’t have a lot of money to purchase their new book or product. That’s OK! You can still be a critical part of his or her team by supporting them in tons of other ways. Below is a quick LIST of possible ways you can help promote or market, whether it’s a writer, painter, artist, creator, editor, musician… adapt the option to fit the service.

  • Tell your friends, family and colleagues all about the person and their product.
  • Write a review (even a simple one):
    • I’ve learned some interesting things about Amazon from reasonably reliable sources. Amazon doesn’t do anything to highlight your book (or product) until you have at least 20 reviews (good or bad). For instance, they might not start suggesting “if you liked product X, you might like product Y” until you have those reviews, assuming if no one writers a review, why would their marketing automation ever pick it up.
    • They may not showcase your product in certain areas on their page if it’s not getting reviews or purchases. They want to promote products that are already selling, so they start first with those who have a lot of reviews.
  • Ask the author or creator HOW you can help them other than buy the book or product. They might already have ideas but no one to test them out.
  • Join their mailing list and then share those emails with your friends.
  • Re-Blog content. It could be some of the author’s posts, or even book reviews by other readers. Keep the momentum going.
  • Social Media
    • Tweet about the artist or author, the book or share what others in your circles have said about it.
    • Post something on Facebook to interest other people. Perhaps fun quotes or pics that might garner new fans.
    • BookTube your thoughts on the genre or author and let others get familiar with the names.
    • Share the cover or painting on Instagram with different hashtags.
    • Like their posts and pages wherever you can.
  • Check at your local bookstores or galleries to see if they have opportunities to highlight authors and artists.
  • Suggest the book for any book clubs you know.
  • Ask for a copy of the book if you can hold a giveaway with a lot of potential people who might then buy it.
  • Ask the author for a 1-page marketing sheet with all the key details so you can tell others about it and find your own method.
  • If you see a great website or app highlighting or promoting other books and products, tell the author as (s)he may not know about alternative places to market.

 

Share any other ideas you might have! Let this be interactive as it always is on the 365 Daily Challenge. I’ve got the best followers, friends and fans… can’t say enough positive things about all of you who are sharing the love. I just want to spread the news to everyone so they know how to help each other. Thank you to everyone for their advice, support and words. It is much appreciated on all levels.

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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

 

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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365 Challenge: Day 139 – Stalkery

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Stalkery: characterized by or displaying an obsessive and inappropriate or unwelcome interest in someone

stalk

I finished reading the book Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes last night before bed. Review will be posted later today or tomorrow. It’s about a serial stalker who will scare the <<insert your choice of expletives>> out of you, but if you’re like me, you’ll fall in love with him and dream about… well, let’s just stop there. As I thought about the 365 Daily Challenge word, for the pure fun of it, I searched the word ‘stalkery’ expecting nothing to return. But it’s a real word in the Oxford English dictionary. Yet, it’s got the wavy red line underneath it in Word and WordPress, telling me to fix my stupid spelling error. But apparently I do not need to fix it when Oxford says it’s legal — the spelling of the word, not the act of stalking… don’t get those two things confused! Then I searched for an image… and it’s really a true statement, people will put pictures up of EVERYTHING they do on the Internet. It seems destined for the 365 Word to be stalkery today, so let’s just go with it, shall we?

Stalkers are bad things. You really don’t want one. If you’re interpreting the excess attention as a wonderful, loving and caring gesture from a person whom you don’t know very well, you might need to spend time talking through those feelings with someone else (other than said stalker), as it’s probably not healthy. I myself in reality do not want a stalker, but in my head, it might be kind of fun to stalk the stalker in return. Unless I’d get a little confused as to who was stalking who, what the purpose of it all was, and how to safely exit the game… not unlike how it happened on the TV show Pretty Little Liars — all too frequently. If you’ve never watched it, multiple stalkers torture a group of girls over a six year period to the point where you almost want to lose your own mind. And at the source of it all is social media!

Which is what’s on my mind this morning… stalking by way of social media, in respect to how much information you actually post about yourself on each of the different websites or apps. I’ve previously mentioned all the platforms I use, so no need to duplicate efforts; however, when you put yourself out there on 1 or 2 of them, you suddenly receive all the links and suggestions indicating “you’re friends with X on site Y, here they are on our site.” And sometimes I think to myself… there’s an alien behind all these computers laughing at us while it collects every bit of information to eventually use against us! Despite coming from a technology background and finding all of these tools quite valuable, it certainly makes me wonder when enough is enough.

People can legitimately stalk you on social media! On one hand, I find it a bit alarming. All that information they know about me… On another hand, so what? If I’m posting a message on one site, who cares if someone finds it on another site and starts following me. Isn’t that the point? If you’re on all the apps, you want to chat with other people. And if you don’t want to talk to anyone but instead simply just read what’s happening to others, then create a fake name and don’t have any connection to your real identity. Become the stalker instead of the stalked. {Aside: I am not advocating stalking other people. This is not healthy and please do not tell the police it was my recommendation. Thank you.}

ceelry

Too funny not to post – blood in celery? I don’t get it…

Then you’ve got the people who find you on one site and purposely search for you on every other site. Sometimes they connect all at once. Sometimes they patiently wait it out over a few weeks, hoping you don’t realize it. Other times, they send invites asking you to join the site they’re already on. Stalkery. Seems like a good word to describe it. Rather than hunt ’em down the old-fashioned way (follow down a dark path), hide behind the Internet walls. It’s still a form of remaining hidden, and it can be quite useful, especially to people trying to sell things… that’s the stalkery type that bother me most often. Someone sees you looked at their site and suddenly they message or follow you. Yikes! What do they want? Run. But I don’t. I tend to accept those types of requests if it’s someone who seems to have a good product or service. Everyone needs to try to market their stuff, so I get it. I can choose to follow them or decline them. It’s just part of the process.

No, don’t drown me in that Bloody Mary! Oh, that’s where the blood is…

What I mostly worry about is how revealing to be in my 365 Daily Challenge posts. Once you start listing places you’ve lived, hobbies, or family member names, stalkers do have a goldmine of information to recreate your identity. I check my credit report and other sites every month or two; I am cautious in looking out for those types of things. I think I’ve got that covered. And I really don’t expect someone to become obsessed me with based on seeing the words I write in my posts… I’m good, sure… {Aside: Where’s that post on humility versus being a jackass right now… it’s like I’m patting my own back here… honestly, the nerve I have…} but not that good. And if you’re my hidden stalker reading this right now, ‘Please be kind. I’ve done nothing to hurt you. We can go for dinner and talk about it. On your dime.’

So when it comes to being stalkery, I’d suggest knowing that line before your cross it. Yes, send a friendly message. No, don’t try to search for someone new on every site the second you meet them — unless they advertise on their website how and where to find them. Then it’s OK. If you’re trying to find me, have at it any which way you please! I chose to put the content online. I won’t put anything I’d fear you finding out. And I love the connections, hence being happy to chat across all platforms. But I understand not everyone is like that. Even though parts of the book last night certainly freaked me out a bit, in a way, I admired the main character for having the guts to be himself and just go for it. {Aside: If the cops are reading this in the future, this is not an acknowledgement on my part that I condone stalking or am in the process of currently stalking anyone.}

That celery is stalking the poor Golden puppy… help him please!

For a minor bit of humor, the word stalkery reminds me of the word celery. And the picture I included above hints at celery. It kinda sounds the same. So maybe since the word doesn’t really exist outside Oxford, we’ll start saying celery instead of stalkery. And this my online friends… is why I write the 365 posts after I’ve had coffee and not before I’ve had coffee. You end up with some really bad humor and silly memes otherwise.

sdsjgdjsdhs

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Dee @ Rad Reads and Reviews. To be clear, the 365 Word has absolutely nothing to do with the Blogger of the day — I’ve pre-planned the bloggers for the next few weeks. It’s just the luck of the draw when I pick the 365 Word.
    • Dee and I connected on Goodreads at least six months ago, frequently checking out each others reviews, sharing recommendations and talking about new releases. We realized at some point that both of us had WordPress blogs and began following each other on here, too. Now we’re constantly trying to remember if we read the other person’s review on Goodreads or on WordPress, as you never know which ones pops up first in your notifications or activity log. But that’s OK because she reads fantastic books in tons of genres. I’m constantly finding new releases that I missed during my own searches, choosing new and old books from her read and to-be-read list. We also have a lot of the same online friends in our inner circle on Goodreads, as far as who we’re always chatting with, constantly surprised (or maybe not) when we meet other people who already know the other person. If you ever need a book recommendation, or just want to chat about the silly end of a book you both loved and hated at the same time, Dee’s the one to chat with! If you don’t believe me, check out the below blurb from her About Me section and then go visit the site yourself:
    • “I am an avid reader in my early 40’s.   I joined Goodreads a few years ago to keep track of books I had read, and books I wanted to read. It wasn’t long before I started writing reviews for the books I had read. Next I joined NetGalley and found even more books to read and review!  I love to give my thoughts and opinions on what I have read and eventually decided to create this blog in order to keep all of my reviews in one place.”

 

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 104 – Relevant

Posted on

Relevant: appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest; closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered

relevant

People have differing importance on the value of relevance. If something is relevant, you are probably interested and willing to focus on the subject. If something is not relevant, you will often simply pass by it without a second glance. We make these decisions all day long without even realizing it.

  • Sometimes the design, color or shape of objects capture our attention while at others they do not. You miss certain signs on the road but quickly notice others.
  • Images or subject lines capture your attention in newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites while others go by unread.
  • Conversations are overheard and call to you to listen in or participate while others remain as static background noise.

Our interest, or the subject’s relevance, is at the center of each of these situations. And depending on what’s going on in your life at any given moment, it spikes up and down, matching your inner desires and curiosity. This felt like a good topic for today’s 365 Daily Challenge, as I had a few things mulling around in my mind this morning when I awoke. Though I went to sleep around 11 PM after reading a few chapters about Lizzie Borden, I found myself wide awake — unsure why — from 3:15 until 6:15 AM. I wisely used the time to map out yet another outline for a novel that will sit on the side until I find the energy or time to begin writing it. But as I felt a bit more sleepy, I began wondering about my own relevance to the rest of society, asking myself a few questions:

  • Why are you qualified to write this story?
  • What makes you someone to complete a 365 Daily Challenge?
  • What topics are people interested in now and likely going to be interested in one year from now when you are ready to publish?
  • Who is your true audience?
  • What is it that you offer distinct [enough] from anyone else?
  • How does your voice correspond with that of your readers?

I have tons of other questions to consider, but you get the gist. As a writer of either fiction or a blog, we all need to know the perspective we bring and the purpose we have. We need to have a reasonable understanding of what makes us the right person to tell the story or deliver a message. But lining that up with what is relevant with the people around you is not often something that comes naturally or is easily understood. And at times, people make a guess as to what others might be looking for. A key question on my mind: should writers and readers explore things outside their comfort zones to make them more relevant?

One thing I’ve always tried to be or do is not get stuck in a box. I read every genre. I like all kinds of music. I enjoy different types of food. I connect with people from all over the world. I watch very diverse TV shows. I like to sample a little bit of everything. Sometimes I’m way behind on the trends. I’ve not sampled much in the way of anime or fantasy, but it feels like that’s going to be a strong component of the next few years. Same with AI (artificial intelligence) or VR (virtual reality). Neither particularly interest me, mostly because I already have enough on my plate or in my head to worry about adding such huge things to it, but as a reader and writer, I think those will be quite relevant. Others I’ve spoken with recently feel the same way. I wonder if we owe it to ourselves to explore this a bit more…

This opens up the true question on my mind today… and while it took a little while to get there, I felt some background was important before throwing out my thoughts and asking for feedback, as I’ve come to do in these posts… So here it goes:

  1. Do you think writers and bloggers need to make their content relevant to what’s going on around them today, or should they just write what they want to and let their fans and readers decide what to subscribe to or read?
  2. Do you feel the different forms of content need to be managed, e.g. video, photo, words to attract all types of viewers or is it whatever the creator feels comfortable in?
  3. What’s relevant to you right now that you feel isn’t being highlighted enough in any of these industries?

BTW, feel free to answer any question from this post, of even ask a new one. It’s all about the relevance of topics which hopefully bring out our dialogue. So… where this fits in for me… apart from just learning more about those people I interact with, is understanding different points of view other than my own.

Part of me is still a traditional reader. I enjoy books. I prefer physical but have adapted to e-readers. But I am more interested in the story and certain genres, less interested in exploring many of the new relevant things like anime, VR and AI. Will this ultimately hurt me? Am I a transitional generation? Is it based on where you live? Will it change as I age? Do I lose my ability to connect with the generation moving from high school and into college or the work force because of the things I choose or feel are relevant to me?

So many questions… more than a single post… but enough to get us started. Who wants to take a shot at it?

 

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 99 – Social

Posted on

Social: (a) relating to society or its organization, as in being friendly and engaging with others, or (b) using technology to stay connected with others

social.jpg

As I awoke this morning, I reached for my phone and looked to see if I’d missed anything overnight. Apart from the normal news, nothing too big happened, except I had over 200 notifications waiting for my review. I thought to myself… so many red dots in the corner of each app on my phone… how will I ever keep up when I am working more frequently and have more people I connect with. Yikes!

Stepping up to the podium, my eyes look down… my expression a bit sullen. “My name is Jay, and I have an issue with the little red dots in the upper right corner on my phone. It calls to me. It mocks me. It makes me think I am slow and unable to keep up. I think I’m growing obsessed with staying on top of social media and I need help.”

Anyone else get a tad bit of anxiety when they have notifications or messages to read or follow up on?

The solution is probably to condense the number of apps I use. To set specific times when I let myself read, review and comment. To relax if it takes a day to respond to someone. So… my post today is going to list all the social media accounts I use and see what others are doing. I’m curious how you all handle it:

  • Which social media apps do you use?
  • Do you interface from one to another or post separately?
  • Do you read every post from every follower or just randomly go thru when you have time?
  • Do you comment on everything?
  • Do you respond when someone writes to you?
  • Do you have “no social media time” rules in place?

 

OK… where is Jay… and why?

 

  • Goodreads: My favorite site… where I list all the books I’ve read, want to read and am currently reading. I’ve created ~500 reviews for books I’ve previously read (99% caught up finally!) and write new ones the day I finish the book. I look for new books, groups and great people to connect with. I am always on here.

 

  • Facebook: It was the first site I joined nearly 8 years ago, but I was one of the last of my friends to finally give it a chance. I’ve added all my former high school and college friends, then removed anyone I didn’t speak with regularly, then added some people back. I can’t decide what I want to do with this site. It’s now a way to see what’s going on in friend’s and family’s lives when we don’t get to connect that often. But sometimes I post book reviews in groups I’ve joined. I’ve created a basic author page, but I rarely post because I haven’t yet published my first book.

 

  • Instagram: I post 1 or 2 pictures a week, generally of food I’ve cooked or baked, the apartment, the terrace or Ryder. I’m not a good photographer and don’t have any editing software, so I’m fairly basic here. I’d like to try to do more with it, but it doesn’t occur to me to take a photo of a book and post it. I’m not creative in that way.

 

  • Pinterest: I’m all over the place on here… I snapshot all my book reviews and setup a collection to highlight them all. I also have clothing, foods, desserts, houses, places, people, books… so many collections of things I love. But my usage is random. I’ll go weeks without looking for anything new, then spend days on it. But if you look through all my collections, you will clearly see who I am and the things I love.

 

  • Twitter: I rarely use Twitter other than to share my book reviews, which I do from the WordPress site. I only go on to check when someone has messaged me. It’s not that easy of a tool to use, plus so many people follow for follows, I don’t have a clean list of people’s accounts I’d actually want to read and follow!

 

  • Google+: I interface book reviews and the 365 Daily Challenge. But I never just go on to search it. Anyone else use it? Find anything new or good?

 

  • Tumblr:  I interface book reviews and the 365 Daily Challenge. But I never just go on to search it. Anyone else use it? Find anything new or good?

 

  • LinkedIn: I created a huge account on here a few years ago for my professional life as a technology executive. I have nearly 3K connections and go on almost every day to see people’s job changes, anniversaries or birthdays. I send a message anytime something changes to keep up our connections. But I don’t look for articles that often anymore since I haven’t been working this year. I need to get back to it, but there’s nothing on here about my writing or reading life.

 

  • Professional Site: I have 2 other websites besides ThisIsMyTruthNow. This is my professional one as a technology executive. I need to keep it up more updated once I get back to work.

 

  • Book Site: I have 2 other websites besides ThisIsMyTruthNow. This one is dedicated to my book, “Watching a Glass Shatter,” as I search for a literary agent or decide to self-publish. I’d love to get feedback on here from everyone.

 

Above and beyond, I have an account on WhatsApp, SnapChat, FourSquare, Ancestry, LINE, OpenTable, Seamless, NetGalley… and it goes on and on! My intention by creating all of these accounts was to be able to connect with and be available across all platforms as: (1) book reviewer, (2) writer and (3) thinker / musings / 365 Challenge dialogue… perhaps find a voice that leads me into my future role and career. Have I over-extended or is everything in the right place…  lots to think about! OK… hit me with it… what do you think is wrong or right, good or bad, useful or silly?

 

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.

Review: You

Posted on Updated on

You4 out of 5 stars to You, the first of a two-book thriller and suspense series, written in 2014 by Caroline Kepnes. All I can start out with is wow – I loved it! I’ve tried to pull out all spoilers, but I do give a little bit of the high-level plot and antics away, as I think it will make you want to read it more.

 



Why This Book


My friend Medhat asked if I’d be interested in a buddy read with him and proposed 5 different books. I’d read 1 already, didn’t have an interest in 1 of them, and 2 were a re-read for him, which left this one as something new for both of us. So we went with it… I knew nothing about the author or the novel prior to him bringing it up, and I’m grateful he did. I had been in a slight reading slump and this book was extremely refreshing and strong, directly in my sweet spot as far as genres and styles go. Please go check out Medhat’s profile and look at his review of this book.



Plot, Characters & Setting


Joe runs a bookstore on the Lower East Side of NYC, sort of inheriting it from the man who basically adopted him as a boy from parents who weren’t doing a very good job at raising him. Joe’s witty, sarcastic and on the edge of being a little psychotic for his 25-30ish years. Guinivere Beck, known simply as Beck, stops in his store to make a purchase, and Joe immediately falls in love…. No that’s not the right word… obsession, yeah… falls into an obsession…that’s the right word… with her. He stalks her social media profiles, learns everything he can about her, then engineers the downfall of her on again / off again jerk of a boyfriend. He tries to isolate Beck from her friends and create situations where they keep running into another until she finally decides to pursue him. They begin dating for a few weeks and have a very peculiar relationship where they take steps to get closer, then she pulls away and looks for her ex-boyfriend. After a few weeks of the back-and-forth, some major event take place that show Joe’s true colors… and eventually we learn just how broken Beck also is. When one of them attempts to break off the relationship, the other goes berserk and takes the situation to an entirely new level of crazy. As the book comes to an end, a dramatic conclusion forces a major plot change and probably begins the focus for the second book in the series, which as a nice little teaser for you… is called Hidden Bodies. {Phew… this is a hard one to describe without giving any spoilers}

Beyond Joe and Beck, you’ve got an ex-girlfriend of Joe’s and an ex-boyfriend of Beck’s. Beck’s psychiatrist enters the picture for a good chunk of the book, as well as her friend, Peach. Peach is an annoying and pompous witch (I have another word in mind but I’ll be nice today) who is almost more psychotic than Joe. Joe’s got a few workers at the book store who interact from time to time, as well as a cop intervening for a few chapters.

The action mostly takes place in NYC, but there are a few short trips to Rhode Island and other parts of the immediate vicinity. It all takes place in current times, where social media and technology are very important to the plot and character actions.



Approach & Style


The book is told from Joe’s point of view, as he is the narrator which means it’s told in a first-person perspective. However, the big difference in this book is that Joe is telling the story as if the reader is Beck, constantly referring to her as “You” throughout the book. As a reader, you start feeling like everything he’s doing, he’s doing to you. And when your character, Beck, makes decisions or reacts in an unexpected way, it’s a roller-coaster of fun trying to balance your amusement and your frustration with your anger and your confusion. All in a good approach. I haven’t really read much else using this perspective, and it was done in a very strong way.
The book is about 400 pages and broken into about 50 chapters, so each one is relatively short but consistent in its narration, style and language. The language is a bit convoluted at times, as they are both avid readers and writers, work in a book store and get quite philosophical. It’s definitely a 17+ book in the sense that there are many 4-letter word bombs and extensive sexual content. Some will find it on the vulgar side, and while it certainly had a few moments where it was on the edge, I thought the author only included such content when it felt appropriate.



Strengths


Due to the style, you are immediately drawn into Joe’s psychotic attraction and dangerous personality. However… there is something so wonderful and charming about him, you want to look past the stalker he becomes, as he has a heart of hold. And when Beck begins to show signs of being venomous, you almost don’t mind some of the things he does to or against her, in spite of their growing attraction and relationship. It’s truly like watching a train wreck, knowing you can’t really stop it, but kinda wanting to see every little gory detail as it unfolds.

Joe is so crystal clear, you would think he’s standing right next you. Beck is almost as real as he is, but given Joe narrates the story, you tend to feel closer to him. For an author to make you almost root for the bad guy, it’s a good book. The interaction, the imagination, the internal thoughts, the passive-aggressive behavior… it’s all so spot-on, I can’t even begin to explain how real this situation seems to play out, with the exception of he’s a stalker and basically invaded her life. If they had just met and gotten into a relationship, everything from that point on felt 100% real – from their fights to their make-up sessions, as well as from the games they played and the way in which their friends took sides. Amazing slice of life to watch play out.



Concerns


The last few chapters felt a bit rushed. It was quite suspenseful and you could see the whole sequence of events unfolding in real-time before your eyes; however, because it’s all from Joe’s point of view, I’m unsure exactly how much Beck knows in those last few chapters. She clearly articulates that she was aware of what he had done before she told him she knew about it. But you don’t know how much of a preview she had into his psychotic mind, or if she was happy or scared with it. {Again, sorry, don’t want to give away any spoilers} For me, I would have loved to read a journal entry she’d written saying exactly what she knew and when she knew it. Otherwise, we’re left guessing a little bit, and having that information may help us decide whether or not she’s a good person or a bad person.

Joe gets away with a lot. He’s sneaky. He’s smart. He’s vengeful. He’s manipulative. But it seems no one picks up on it until too late. I can pretty much buy off on it; however, in the scenes where he is caught, I can’t tell if it’s remorse or anger. I would love to know if he wanted to be caught, if he accepts the consequences or if he is just growing more volatile. It’s a pretty clear ending to the book, so you know when it’s done what is going on in his head, but it would have been fantastic to watch him spiral a bit more out of control in the last 20% of the novel.



Author & Other Similar Books


As far as the way the story is told, I can’t think of anything. As far as the type of story, perhaps Fatal Attraction? Joe also feels like a diabolical version of a narcissistic Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye. Loveable and annoying, but be careful as you never know what he’s truly capable of until after it’s already happened.



Questions & Final Thoughts


I need to read the second book ASAP. This is such a different kind of story… one where you may side with the criminal in this story. You see both perspectives. You want him to get everything he deserves – both the good and the bad. And in some strange way, I think I was even attracted to parts of his personality (and that’s scary, given how the book ends up). If you need something to pull you out of a slump, this is the book. It’s still sitting on my brain, as vivid as though I were reading the words on the page. It’s that kind of book… one where you will want to keep thinking about it and talking about it for a long time after you are done.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. 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.

View all my reviews

AWARD: Sunshine Blogger

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Thank you to Stephanie’s Novel Fiction for the nomination for the Sunshine Blogger. We just connected a few weeks ago, but I love popping over to her site… and we’ve got a couple of great conversations going in a short time.  Go check out her site, as well as the answers to her questions at the end of this post – a way to get to know her too!

The Rules:

1. Thank the person/persons that nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.

3. Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.

4. List the rules and display the award

sunshineblogger

 

QUESTIONS SHE ASKED TO ME

  • What is your favorite book from childhood/young adulthood?

 

  • If you were given $50 right now to spend on books, what books would you buy?
    • Origin by Dan Brown
    • A Column of Fire by Ken Follett
    • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

 

  •  What’s your favorite thing to do in the summertime?
    • Vacation to the mountains or hide from the sun!

 

  • Name one book that you really disliked reading or an author whose work you can’t stand?
    • The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy… don’t make me remember it, please! Go see my review if you need to know more.

 

  •  If you could meet any literary character, who would it be and why?
    • Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter. She embodies all the things I love!

 

  • What are you currently watching on tv (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc (that you would recommend?
    • Grace and Frankie, Younger, Young & Hungry, How To Get Away With Murder, Kimmy Schmidt, Great British Baking Show, Falcon Crest, Scandal, Modern Family, The Real O’Neals, SNL, Schitt’s Creek, Downward Dog, Mom, Life in Pieces, Who Do You Think You Are?

 

  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
    • Time Travel

 

  •  When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    • Teacher, Architect or Writer

 

 

  • What’s the weirdest or most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
    • I tend not to eat things unless I know what they are, but I have tried frog’s legs. They were OK, nothing to write home about! 😛

 

  • Which character in a book do you think is most like you?
    • In about 25 years, Qwill from the “Cat Who” book series! LOL

MY NOMINEES

Bel @ RoadsBelTraveled

PatriciaFairweatherRomero

KatiesCottageBooks

OrangutanLibrarian

Patty @ MoonshineCorner

BeaFreitas

Sarahylockwood

Valerie’s Musings

BookStalkerBlog

PanicAtTheBookStore

Fictionophile

 

QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES TO ANSWER

  1. Where were you when you realized what career you wanted to pursue? Explain.
  2. What age do you want to live to, and why?
  3. What book character most annoys you? Explain it.
  4. What are your least and your most favorite of the 50 states? Explain.
  5. Where do you go when you need to feel comfortable, and why?
  6. What book do you most want to see made into a movie? Explain.
  7. What is your favorite type of weather? Explain.
  8. What past life do you wish you had, and why?
  9. Which president would you want to meet? Explain.
  10. How did you find out about WordPress? Details please… 🙂
  11. Where are you when you draft your blog posts? Explain!

 

Thank you very much for this award nomination. And I look forward to seeing everyone’s answers and feedback… have a great day full of sunshine!

-Jay

 

QUESTIONS STEPHANIE ANSWERED

(leaving these in for you to get to know her)

  1. Read or Write? Definitely, read!
  2. Favorite Book Series? Oh, this is a tough one since there are so many excellent ones. But, I guess I would have to say, Harry Potter since I reread them whenever I get a chance. There’s just something so wondrously magical about the world and characters J.K. Rowling created that I never tire of rereading the series.
  3. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Oh, I would read! I already stay awake every night until 2 am or later reading now that school is out and only sleep 4 to 5 hrs a night just so I can read as much as I can over the summer !!
  4. What is the most annoying habit that other people have? Interrupting someone when they’re talking.
  5. Are you usually early or late? I’m notoriously late, which is pretty bad since I’ve been known to show up right as I need to be unlocking my classroom doors for my lectures. Apparently, I have a reputation for it, so my students, new and old, all seem used to it and like to tease me about it whenever they can.
  6. What book universe would you most like to in? Definitely Harry Potter’s world and be a Professor at Hogwarts. I eagerly await my letter from Hogwarts every day!
  7. What age do you wish you could permanently be? Umm…tough one! My favorite age had to be 26 for some reason but I don’t want to say that age because I didn’t have my gorgeous daughter until I was 32…so I guess 32 it is!! Not too old or young 😊
  8. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been? I traveled all over Europe after high school, so I’ve visited lots of interesting places, but I think that the Lavender fields in Provence, France is simply one of the most gorgeos places that I have ever seen.
  9. What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it? Scuba diving!!
  10. What one thing do you really want but can’t afford? Oh, this is easy. I grew up with horses and would love to have a stable full of them! I miss riding every day, and my daughter adores horses and is just learning to ride. But, I  can’t afford to upkeep several horses or even one!
  11. What city would you most like to live in? Hmmm, I’ve completely fallen in love with Charleston, S.C. and plan to move there once I finish my Ph.D. next semester. I love the thought of living in a city full of such rich history and being right by the beach. Plus, the food is amazing!

Blog: WordPress (WP) – How do YOU use the site? Feedback & Questions

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When I first began using WordPress, I thought it was a fairly easy-to-use interface which had a tremendous amount of configuration. Now that I’m publishing between 6 and 8 posts per day between the 365 Challenge, book reviews, blogging and other content, I’m re-organizing some of the content and structure to keep the administration at a minimum. As the site is growing, and I’m getting more followers and following a lot more people, I’m running into a bunch of limitations with minimal search and filter options… So I thought I’d ask the experts, the intermediates and the newbies a few questions:

use it

Devices Used

What devices do you utilize for viewing or publishing content on your WordPress blog?

  • Desktop or Laptop
  • Smart Phone
  • Tablet
  • Other

Jay’s Answer

For writing or publishing content, I use my laptop. I need the larger keyboard and touch-screen with big enough buttons to work more quickly.

For viewing other people’s posts, I use all three devices. Pros/Cons

Laptop: I can easily open multiple screens, not lose my place and flip back and forth while something is loading.

Tablet/Phone: I can more quickly read thru posts and like items that are short, but then it’s hard to note which ones I want to go back and read later when I have more time because they are longer. So I end up with a mix of “did I read that yet?” and “Shoot, I think I missed a few posts.”

For comments, I use all three devices.

overload

Viewing Your Follower’s Posts

How do you find and view your follower’s posts?

  • You receive an email when they post
    • Very helpful as I can delete the ones I don’t find of interest or when I’m done reading them
    • A lot of administration to keep up in my email’s Inbox
  • You receive a daily email
    • Duplicate efforts because I try to look throughout the day in the “Reader” when I have a few spare moments.
    • Easy to catch all at once, but then I am spending a lot of time all at once
  • You receive a weekly email
    • Too infrequent, I miss posts and don’t get to interact enough with my online friends
  • You don’t receive email, but check “Reader” to find new content
    • Easiest, but then I run into issues knowing which I did or did not read yet
  • Other

Jay’s Answer

I’m struggling a bit here. When I followed a small amount of people, I received an email every time the person posted.

As I started following more people, I switched to a daily email, but I’d also periodically check during the day.

When I began following over 200 people, I switched to no email for anyone, but I would scroll through the posts in “Reader” all throughout the day.

Now I’ve got a lot more people I’m following, with maybe 50 or so frequent online friends whom I interact with almost daily. I am trying out a mix of immediate email for some people and checking “Reader” when I have free time.

I don’t want to miss anything! Help! Ideas?

 

mind

Note: Please ask any other questions… I’d love for this to be interactive where all of my friends and their friends throw out ideas!!!

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! And each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

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