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Book Review: Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

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

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

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

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

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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365 Challenge: Day 287 – Christmas (LIST: Holiday)

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

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

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

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

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Last Year’s Tree

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

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

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks.

 

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365 Challenge: Day 249 – Shop

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Shop: what I’m doing with my mother today in preparation for the holidays

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Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is ‘shop’ because I need a quick word as I will be busy later. I’m heading out to Long Island on a train shortly to grocery shop with my mom in preparation for Thanksgiving. My parents, cousins and friends will be coming to my place in the city for Thanksgiving next week, so we need to pickup all the trimmings in advance. Since the price for all the food we need is probably less than 50% of the cost of what I’d pay in the city, my mother insisted I go shopping in the suburbs with her. {AsideYou can imagine our ‘discussions’ over the prices of things she sees in my kitchen cabinets or refrigerator!} So… I’m commuting 3-hours back and forth to get everything we need, then bring back in just the items I need to start the turkey and the stuffing early Thanksgiving morning. If you see anyone in NYC tomorrow, on a train or subway, carrying large bags with a turkey and other food, many miles and blocks, it’s me!

I also need to start thinking about shopping for holiday presents. I no longer like doing it because everyone buys what they want when they want it. I’d rather just spend quality time together, but that’s me. I do like gifts, but they’re hard these days. Mom and I will probably go to the book store so I can pick out some books I want, which will be good gifts my parents can get for me. No complaints there! I know three things for my parents, but I need to confirm my dad isn’t also trying to buy them. I also need to start shopping for a wireless repeater for my bedroom as I have no WiFi service on that side of the apartment. I spend too much time in bed early in the morning or late at night trying to get my phone to connect to the internet, struggling against the cellular waves… ugh, silly problems…

But that’s my day today. Oh and mom finished reading my book. I’m likely to hear all about it today. Please say a prayer for that conversation!!! Otherwise, it’s all about the need to shop. Then it will be time to shop for a Christmas tree and a short holiday getaway for New Year’s. Where’s everyone going this year? Let’s share some ideas!

 

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

365 Challenge: Day 113 – Growing

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Growing: to undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically; progress to maturity; become larger or greater over a period of time; increase

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Yesterday was the official half-way mark for 2017, meaning we’ve completed 50% of the year and are in the “downward” slope towards the beginning of a new year.

“Already?” you say.

“Can’t be,” you doubt.

“Shut up!” you scream.

But it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing… it’s an opportunity to continue growing forward, not growing older. Forget about age… think about what you are learning, discovering and enjoying as part of this year’s path… in this 365 Daily Challenge, I’ve had 112 days of growth. I unfortunately didn’t start on January 1st, which would have made this all that much more easier… Nevertheless, I’m learning a little bit about myself, about you and about my future. I’m growing. And every small increment is worth documenting.

Back on May 24th, my post, Gardener, displayed several photos of the newly planted flowers on my NYC apartment terrace. I promised pictures in a few weeks to show the changes. I was set to post them after one month had transpired, but it was raining most of that week and I couldn’t get clear photos. Then I forgot last week, so here we are now at about 5 weeks.  All the pictures below marked current were captured this morning around 9:00 AM.  I’ve showed some comparisons from when they were originally planted back in late May.

 

NEW FLOWER PHOTOS

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Added petunias to several of the flower boxes

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Purchased 4 new 7-foot tall Cyprus trees for in between each of the large flower boxes

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Moved the original 7 foot tall tall trees further down to the other end to create privacy

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Added in small herb garden

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More clear picture of the golden pot with brilliant greens and yellows

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Added a new Crepe Myrtle in the corner which is just starting to bloom

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We are always comparing ourselves and our growth to others. We say things that end up causing more harm than we realize…

“It’s too much.”

“It’s too little.”

“It’s not the same.”

“You’re better.”

“I’m behind.”

 

We need less comparisons and more focus on the continued aspects of our growth and movement towards the future. I’ve got 180+ days left in this year to marvel everyone with 365 Daily Challenges. I’ve got 6 months to build a stronger me. I’ve got 26 weeks to write the next book. I’ve got only 3 more months of this awfully hot summer… oh please bring the fall weather to me!!!

 

FIVE (5) WEEK GROWTH

Double Pot (Original), Single Photos (5+ Weeks Later)

Left (Hydrangea with no blooms, Wisteria top rung only)

Right ( Hydrangea with 28 blooms, Wisteria two rungs)

Left (May), Right (July)

Roses (Not a whole lot of change, but they all bloomed twice so far)

Pic with 2 pots — right one is the purple grouping

Pic with 1 purple grouping — 6 weeks later (grown significantly)

 

So whether we’re growing or producing blooms… whether our colors are coming out or our limbs are becoming sturdier… there is growth. And that’s where our focus should be… not worrying about if it’s good enough, but enjoying the continued evolution towards the future. Acknowledge the progress each step of the way and find the positive within your growth.

And if you don’t want to take just my word for it, check out this blog all about growing… Roda is an amazing spirit with fantastic content, advice and photos that make checking out her site a truly remarkable experience each day.

 

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.