A View From Siena

Posted on

I am so happy to hear that my little Bro is feeling much better!  If he chooses to not return from Italy, I won’t blame him!  The photos are just breathtaking! I had trouble narrowing down which pictures to share, so I thought a few photo montages were in order…



It sounds like Jay not only had a bit of wine, during his tour of the vineyards, but cleared all of the cherries off every cherry tree he could locate!



I apologize for not having more details about the photos.  Jay did not have a great connection.  His text messages were coming through mumbled and out of order…or maybe he just had a bit too much wine???  Now that I think about it, that makes a whole lot of sense!  I will let our amazing author man share the truth, when he returns…

While Jay is off wine tasting, I will be opening up the hives to observe the honey bees!  Feel free to check out today’s post, and see what I discovered!

What’s the Buzz?!





Jay Catches a Bug in Florence!

Posted on

If you are like me and love insects, today’s title might excite you.  But, don’t get too excited!  Jay did not catch a really cool spider or a beautify butterfly…Jay is sick!  While exploring the wonders of Florence, Jay caught a big, bad “Bug”.  This morning, I was happy to hear that he is feeling much better and enjoying Siena.  It sounds like there are some exciting wine tours coming up, in his near future, too.  Let’s send healthy and positive thoughts to our dear author friend, today!

Let’s take a look at what he was up to, while in Florence…





“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.”  ~ Author Unknown


An Update From Ravello

Posted on

I thought it was time for an update on Jay!   Where in the world is our amazing author man now!?  I have been informed that he has arrived safely to Ravello, in the village of Marmorata.  The photos are incredible…the perfect setting for a mystery novel, I do believe!

That magical mist!
A secret door…
Seaside villages
That View!!!
An Italian Stud Muffin!

As you can see, Jay appears to be having a miserable time!  I think we should all hop on a plane and cheer him up, with wine and gelato!





An Update From Rome!

Posted on

Happy Tuesday!  From what I gather, our amazing and talented friend Jay had a fabulous time in Rome.   By the looks of it, he is going to return to NYC in the form of Nutella and espresso gelato!  It sounds like it has been his main meal, washed down with lots of extra strong grape juice!  My secret agents sent me some stunning shots that I have to share with everyone…

Gelato…Jay’s new best friend!
Look at that view!


We know he is having fun, when we see a little grin!
OMG…I have no words! (And that never happens!)

I was told that Jay spent the rest of his time in Rome, at the Vatican.  He even had  brunch with the Pope.  Of course, that is why my secret agents could not take any photos!  Stay tuned for more of our Author Man’s exciting travel updates, from Italy!


Growing Self






Horsing Around…

Posted on Updated on

If you missed yesterday’s post, you are probably wondering why someone by the name of “Roda” has invaded Jay’s blog.  Here is the link, if you need to catch up! When the Cat’s Away

Most of you have figured out by now that my little Bro Jay is a city mouse.  I, on the other hand, am a country mouse.  Although I do enjoy visiting the city, I am most content being one with Mother Nature.  Four years ago, I left my career in education to pursue my dream of starting a hobby farm.  I have never looked back!  I spend my days hanging out with 130+ animals and growing organic fruits and veggies.  I also enjoy painting and nature photography.  Let’s just say, these are my favorite ways to “horse around”.


Well, knowing my Little Bro might get himself in a pickle, while in London, I thought I would call on a few “secret agents” to keep an extra special eye on him.  We all know how much Jay enjoys “horsing around”.   He sent me this photo of two horses. He found it funny that they seemed to be following him throughout the streets of London. Ha!  If he only knew…


It is a good thing that I have a few friends watching over him.  He shared that his hotel room card had not been working, when he tried to enter his room.  Sounds like Little Bro might need to back off the extra strong grape juice and actually try entering the room that was assigned to him!  (Insert eye roll)

He also is whining about the heat…in London!  Seriously?  Next, my secret agents are going to be reporting that he is streaking down by Buckingham Palace!  Let’s hope he behaves himself tomorrow.    The good news is that he has not checked his blog!  I am safe…for now.  Sleep well…more updates tomorrow!

♥ Roda

 Growing Self


When the Cat’s Away…

Posted on Updated on

I love the statement, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play!”.  In this case, while Jay’s away, Roda will play!   Bwahahaha….  Let me introduce myself. My name is Roda from Growing Self, also known as Jay’s Big Sis.


As many of you know, Jay is off on a little vacation for a few weeks.  (By the way, he forgot to invite me.  How rude! (insert eye roll – Jay is the master of eye rolling!)


How could I just watch my Little Bro’s blog sit desolate, while he frolics around Europe, drinking amazing wine and mouth-watering pastries?!  I could not!  Being the more mature and responsible one,  I decided to do a little blog takeover.  It’s not like he will be checking his blog, right?!  I am just helping out a bit, right?!  It is for greater good, right!?


So, for the next few weeks, I will be posting right here on my amazing Little Bro’s blog!  You will want to check in!  I have stories to tell about our talented, author man, Jay.  For example, I can say that he has arrived safely, to his first destination.  He did appear a bit spent after clutching his teddy bear, ever so tightly, on the long flight to London.  But, that’s what little brothers do, right!?  I packed his favorite binkie and Mr. Blue Blankie, just incase!  I am sure he appreciated me helping out!

That’s what Sisters do best!


Have a magical day!


Intro to Author & Blogger: Marco Etheridge

Posted on Updated on

As a continuation of the Author Alert series, I’m beginning to gear up again to start sharing more information on authors I’ve been reading the last few months. Today, I bring you an author that I WILL be read in a few months. Marco and I connected via our blogs late last year, but between his novel and my novel, we couldn’t find time to read each other’s works or even share news on all his travels. I wanted to share his book page which you can read on Goodreads as a heads up that I’ll be reading his book once I return from my trip to Italy in May.


Marcos’ book, The Best Dark Rain: A Post-Apocalyptic Struggle for Life and Love, crosses into a few areas of interest: Seattle, last couple standing, intensity of a very different world… Although this isn’t a genre that I normally read, I like to be diverse and try new things… take a look and if anyone’s interested in joining me with a buddy read this summer, let me know. He’s currently working on this third novel, so there will be plenty more to dive in once you decide you enjoy his style and voice. You can read more about Marco below and reach out to him via his blog. I’m also sure he’ll respond to this post and you can further connect with him. Happy Reading!


Marco Etheridge is an eccentric world traveler and writer living in Vienna, Austria. He is the author of the exciting new novel “The Best Dark Rain: A Post Apocalyptic Struggle for Life and Love.” Marco’s second novel, “Blood Rust Chains,” is scheduled for release in April of this year. Marco Etheridge lives in Vienna, Austria, where he is currently hard at work on his third novel, a political satire thriller.

Marco’s novels lead the reader on intricate literary journeys through different genres. With attention to detail and thoughtful prose, Marco builds immersive worlds crafted to house distinct and diverse characters. Always character and dialogue driven, Marco’s novels captivate the readers with dark charm and unforeseen plot hooks.

Though born in the USA, Marco considers himself a citizen of the world. Love carried him across the Atlantic Ocean to Vienna, Austria; and love holds him there. The long and winding pathway that has led to writing novels is one of varied experience. Marco has been a soldier, a commercial fisherman, a wanderer, and a jack-of-all-trades. His feet have happily trod the soil of over thirty countries spread over four continents and the odd sub-continent. The world is his playground and his fellow citizens are his playmates.

Marco’s antidote for everything is to throw some gear in his faithful Deuter backpack and disappear. An avid traveler and a complete street-food junkie, there is nothing he won’t try. Munching wok-roasted spiders in Cambodia? Absolutely. How about a four-course meal in Bangkok’s Chinatown, with each course from a different street stall? He is there! If you are interested in tall tales of travel, please check out Marco’s travel blog.

Version 3


About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.