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AWARD: MYSTERY BLOGGER

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I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Roda via her blog at GrowingSelf. We connected a few weeks ago and I’m still exploring all the amazing content on her site. She has fantastic photographs and a really cool approach to documenting everything going on in her life. Please find a few minutes to stop by her blog and say hello.

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What is the Mystery Blogger Award?
“The “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion” ~ Okoto Enigma.

How Does It Work:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 10 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

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3 Facts about Jay:

  • My initial major in college was English Education, as I wanted to be a middle school English teacher. Then I decided, if I want my own kids, I couldn’t teach other students all day long and then come home to my own, so… I switched to English and added in several minors: Communication, Spanish, Business and Writing. I’m very diverse. Then what do I do… get a job in technology for 17+ years. And I don’t have any kids.  What????
  • I keep my food separated on my plate. If two things touch, I usually can’t eat it, unless it’s a dish cooked together, e.g. shrimp and grits or chicken and waffles. Those are totally fine combinations!!!
  • I am not a fan of vegetables. I can eat most of them raw, but if you cook them… I so won’t eat them. Except eggplant and mushrooms. Those were put on the planet to kill me.

Rona’s Questions:

1) Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

  • I live in NYC, but if I had to pick a place to settle, it would be the country.

2) What is your Superpower?

  • I can read quickly. I can add numbers pretty fast. I tend to guess people’s secrets.

3) Who is your role model?

  • I don’t have one. 😦  I find things I like and want to add to my own personality from many different people, but I’ve yet to find a single person that I’d want to emulate 100%.

4) What Star Wars character would you be?

  • I’d want to be Han Solo.

5) What is one word that describes YOU?

  • Introspective

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My Nominations:

I am not going to select any specific names other than the last 5 people who commented on my blog… after doing several challenges, I’ve decided to offer it up to anyone who wants to participate… as it’s meant to be fun and social. So, the last 5 are:

E. Michael Helms, writer

Lashaan (Bookidote)

susandyer1962

lifeofangela

therobinsnest2017

Jay’s Questions:
1) What other country would you choose to live in?
2) Would you clone yourself if you could?
3) Where can you usually be found on a Saturday at 10pm?
4) What was your scariest dream?
5) Who surprises you more often than you’d expect?

Jay’s Favorite Post
I think it’s the 365 Daily Challenge intro… got the whole thing going!

 

I appreciate everyone who reads my blog, and especially those who comment and provide interactive conversation. I’d tag you all, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.  Thank you.

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Blog: A Book Bucket List

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As I was looking through a few new sites this morning, I came across a brilliant idea. We all have our “To Be Read” list on Goodreads. We all have our favorite authors and genres. But how many of us have our very own “Book Bucket List?” I cannot claim to be the creator of this very cool idea, as I found it on a new online friend’s page: Laura @ thebookcorps.  She’s got a fun site, full of book reviews, blog postings and great ideas. Go take a look to see more. I’m thankful to her for posting her own “bucket list” and being OK with me borrowing her idea!

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I’m not exactly sure how this works, so I’m going to make up my own rules. Today, I’ve started it with the top 12 books I want to read: 1 for every month in the next year, including a link to the book on Goodreads. I’ve also included the two books from 2017 that would have been on the list if I hadn’t already read them. I will keep adding to this page as I find new books that I absolutely must read. And when I cross one off the list, I’ll literally cross it off this list (see below) and provide a link to my book review. Without any further ado, below is my official “Book Bucket List” for everyone to see and monitor progress with this initial post, but the permanent page where I will track each update is located here:  Book Bucket List

  1. Arden, Katherine — The Bear and the Nightingale
  2. Bardugo, Leigh — Six of Crows
  3. Brown, Dan — Origin
  4. Follett, Ken — A Column of Fire
  5. Forman, Gayle — If I Stay
  6. Gabaldon, Diana — Dragonfly in Amber
  7. Hawkins, Paula — Into the Water
  8. Maas, Sarah — A Court of Thorns and Roses
  9. Macintosh, Claire — I Let You Go
  10. McKinlay, Jenn — A Likely Story
  11. Morton, Kate — The Distant Hours
  12. Morton, Kate — The Lake House
  13. Mosse, Kate — Citadel
  14. Reichert, Amy E. — The Simplicity of Cider

 

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! 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.

TAG: Celebrating the Little Things & 300 Followers (Combination)

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I found the “Celebrating the Little Things” tag through my online friend Misty on her site at mistysbookspace.  She had great answers and is a cool blogger, so please check out her site. I thought it was a fun idea, but then I also realized I had 300 WordPress followers earlier today… so I’m combining them together and sharing my answers to the questions.

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1.) Who was your first follower? Tag them and give them a shout out.

My first follower was Cristian. His blog has content on almost every topic and has thousands of followers. A definite good guy to know who interacts with everyone on his blog. Go check out the link to his site.

2.) What was the last milestone you reached?

I noticed this morning that I had 300 followers over night. I also had my highest day yesterday in terms of views and likes. It’s a surprising and big celebration this week!

3.) What was the very first post you posted on your blog? Share it with us, if you can find it out!

My first blog was neither a book review nor a random blog post; it was an introduction to the book I am currently in review on with an agent. You can read the post and the overview of the book here: Watching a Glass Shatter

4.) Who was your most recent follower? Tag them and give them a shout out.

My most recent follower was earlier today. His name is Erik and has a great site called PastDueBookReview. I found 3 reviews within the first few minutes that I immediately read.

5.) What was the last post you posted and who was the first person who took their time to click the like button? Give them a shout out.

I wrote a short book review on Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Claire at BrizzleLassBooks was the first person to like the post. We met about a month ago and have had several great online comments and exchanges about books and blogging. I highly recommend checking out her site.

6.) How many months have you been blogging?

I created the blog last summer and had my first post in August of 2016, which puts me just shy of the 9 month mark. I didn’t do too much those first two months, but started actively blogging in October of 2016.

7.) Do you have any bloggers you’re friends with? Give them a shout out!

I have not yet met anyone in person; however, I’d totally be up for a NYC meet-n-greet if anyone lives nearby. I’ve met a few folks who I regularly chat with in each other’s posts and who are very friendly and give sound advice. I’ve listed the 5 with the most comments on my site!

Books, Vertigo and Tea

Rae Longest

IdahoBlueBird50

SUSANDYER1962

Nel at ReactionaryTales

8.) Who originally created the last meme or tag you participated in? Give them a shout out!

I can’t tell! The person who had the original tag isn’t named, and I’ve gone back 5 people to try to track it, but no one knows. If you see this post and it is you, please let us know!

9.) Do you have any social media accounts related to your blog?

Come find me everywhere else!

Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Google+     Tumblr     Pinterest     Instagram     LinkedIn        Watching-A-Glass-Shatter        Personal Website

10.) Last but not least… Just give thanks to all of your followers!

Getting 300 WordPress blog followers (excluding people viewing elsewhere, e.g. BlogLovin’, Twitter, etc.) feels great. It’s not as many as some of you have, but it’s growing and I’m loving every minute of it. Thank you for all the likes, shares, follows, votes and ratings. I appreciate it very much. And I’m always open to positive and negative feedback, as well as thoughts on new things to include.

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! 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.

Award: Blogger Recognition #1

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Des’ Random Thoughts tagged me in her Blogger Recognition Award post, and now it’s my turn to give this tag a little workout among my friends.  First, I appreciate her kind and thoughtful mention, and everyone should stop over at Des’ site to look at everything she’s pulled together in the last year.  She has a variety of book reviews, general posts, updates & summaries, tags and awards. It’s always a fun treat when stopping by each day. And to keep the momentum going backward, Des was tagged by 

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rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give at least two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

How My Blog Started

Last year, I left my full-time corporate technology position and found myself with a few months of free time, at least before I would head back to work again. Part of my professional position included managing WordPress website development, and I had done some XML and HTML coding over a decade ago. I thought I should get a bit more hands-on with WP, which led to me creating three (3) websites: (a) professional, (b) this personal blog and (c) my book. I also began reading and posting my reviews on Goodreads each day. After a few weeks, I found myself meeting new people, adding more content and having a grand ole time. I had things to say and people seemed to have fun reading and commenting. It’s taken off over the last 6 months and I now have about 2500 followers between all three sites and my connected social media accounts. Thank you to everyone; I truly appreciate all the kindness and interest. It’s become part of my full-time job, in addition to writing, bringing lots of fun and depth to my life each day. And now I’m looking to build and grow in many directions, looking for guidance, advice and requests from each of you! So bring it on…

My Advice

With only 6 active months under my belt, I’m not sure I’m qualified to provide blogging advice; however, I will certainly share my knowledge and you can choose to love it, hate it, take it or ignore it!

  • Create the blog for yourself — not for anyone else, in the beginning. Give some thought to the things you want to say and how often you plan to share. Create content that makes you happy, as it will have more quality when you’re first starting out as a new blogger.
  • Reach out and connect to other bloggers who share similar interests. I’ve had about a 50% connection rate, meaning half the time I never hear back from the person, but  half the time I do. And in that process, I see great styles and topics on other people’s blogs, find wonderful people to share a few minutes of fun with each day and I learn different techniques for being open, flexible and friendly. Comment all the time. Be nice. Be friendly. Open new dialogue.
  • Build check-in points. I don’t mean put in a target to have “x” followers by a certain time period. I mean… check your statistics every week or couple of weeks to learn how people are using your site. Do you have 100 views and only 2 likes? What does that mean? Do you have 100 views and 100 unique people, meaning no one is looking at multiple pages? Learn what you’re doing that people like and what they don’t like, so you can determine if you need or want to make any changes down the line. Message me if you have questions on these features.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Over time, you’ll see growth if you’re doing all the right things. Some people hit it perfectly the first time; others take a few months. But remember, you need to start out doing this for yourself to get comfortable before you can leap frog all over the place.

 

Nominees

As I scrolled thru the list, there were about 100 names I wanted to add… but that would be too many! Many of these aren’t new to blogging, as they have big sites already. So… I went with the last 10 I interacted with thru either a like on their site or my site.  Please check them all out, and if you are tagged, I hope you’ll participate. No pressure tho!  And if you are not tagged, feel free to do your own post and let me know by linking back, so I can come check out what you had to say.

 

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.

TAG: Get to Know me

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I found this tag at Bionic Book Worm who found it at Too Much of a Book Nerd. I thought it was a great way to drop some interesting facts about us bloggers and let others stumble upon them when checking out our blog and profile. So here goes…

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VITAL STATS

NAME: James

NICKNAMES: Jay, JC, J (but never Jim or Jimmy)

BIRTHDAY: March 18th

STAR SIGN: Pisces

OCCUPATION: Technology & Business Ops for ~20 years. Now split with writing.

LIVING IN: New York City (NYC)

 

APPEARANCE

HAIR COLOR: Brown

HAIR LENGTH: Short, but for a guy, probably considered long…

EYE COLOR: Hazel

BEST FEATURE:  I think it’s my shoulders/chest. Friends always say my hair these days.

BRACES: No, but I should have had them. My teeth aren’t perfectly straight. A few are slightly slanted. But I’m not going thru that ordeal now!

PIERCINGS: None now. But in the past, I had two piercings in my left ear and both nipples for a few years. I’m sorry to anyone reading this who finds it surprising or shocking. But in reality, if you saw me at the beach or the pool a few years ago, you would have seen them in person.

TATTOOS: None but I love them. Some day…

RIGHT OR LEFT: Right

PICTURE: Most recent one

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I hate the camera!

FIRSTS

REAL HOLIDAY: On my own? I don’t know that I remember… moved into my own apartment at 22, so perhaps that Thanksgiving or Christmas?

BEST FRIEND: Lynde while growing up. We lived next door to one another and spent all our time together for 15+ years. We still chat from time to time but live in different places. Now it’s probably Winston for the last 5 years.

AWARD: A bunch in grammar, middle and high school. Best creative short story in college. Versatile Blogger this week for my site. Nothing else I know of!

SPORT: Played soccer and baseball through middle school, then I was a bowler. Even worked there and taught kids how to bowl. Now just the gym.

CONCERT: I am not a concert guy, too many people. My parents too me to a few outdoor ones as a child. The first I actually remember going to… I think it was Madonna in my 20s.

 

FAVORITES

TV SHOWS: I’m only listing the ones currently on air that I watch: Modern Family, Mom, How to Get Away With Murder, The Real O’Neals, Great British Baking Show, Younger, The Crown, Grace and Frankie

COLOR: Black

SONGS: I’m usually good with turning on the radio and listening to anything rock or pop

RESTAURANT: Easier to choose cuisines… Mexican

SHOPS: I’m not a shopper but when I do… Kenneth Cole or Banana Republic

BOOKS: Too many to list… right now, anything by Kate Morton

SHOES: I hate shoes. I prefer not to wear anything, no socks or shoes. If I have to… sandals

BOOK GENRES: Mystery

 

CURRENTLY

FEELING: Old… some of these questions are hard or don’t work for me. Ornery. 😛

SINGLE OR TAKEN: Taken for about 5 1/2 years. We live together.

EATING: Had a half a turkey sandwich about 30 minutes ago for lunch.

THINKING ABOUT: Edits to my book. Waiting on feedback from an agent. Scary.

WATCHING: Last night, the latest episode of “Mom.”

WEARING: comfy cotton shorts, t-shirt and a pair of boxer-briefs

 

HAVE KIDS: Nope, not unless you count Ryder. Perhaps one day…

WANT TO TRAVEL: Yes, but I have a bit already.  Been to: China, Singapore Thailand, Cambodia, Argentina, Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, UK and France. Plus most of the USA… 35 out of 50 states so far.

DO YOU BELIEVE…

 

In Yourself: Yes, most days. 

God: I was raised Catholic.

Miracles: Eh… I believe random things can happen. I’m not sure I’m clear on what we’d call the true definition of a miracle.

Love at first sight: No, because love means so many different things. You can know you will be with someone for a long time. You can be sure you will fall in love with something about them. But I don’t think you can immediately fall in love.

Ghosts: Yes. Spirits. I think you can sense things are around you.

Aliens: There is more than Earth out there.

Soul Mates: Probably not, though I don’t mean it in a bad way. I just mean you can fall in love, and you can be meant to stay together… but we have one soul and not everyone falls in love just once.

Heaven: Yes, there is something positive beyond life.

Hell: Tough one. I believe in forgiveness, so who or what would go there after life? I was taught to believe in it because I am Catholic, but I’m unclear on its real definition.

TAG TIME

And now it’s your turn… I’m not tagging anyone specific, but I’d love to see at least 5 of my online friends post reply with their answers and post it on their site, tagging me and letting me know so I can check it out!

Award: The Versatile Blogger

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for nominating me. Please take a look at her site as it’s a treasure trove of short stories, reviews, artist links and other great blogging fun.

I would also like to thank Phil at Life Plan for a nomination for this award, too. Please stop by his site to see daily posts about everything he encounters in life and the philosophy of “never give up” — always something inspirational in his posts.

Very grateful for the consideration from both on-line friends, as this was first award I had been nominated for since blogging. Let’s get to the Versatile Blogger Award content!

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THE RULES:

  • You have to thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog! (Being kind)
  • Link the nominees and inform them about their nomination (passing the love, that was given)
  • Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice (At least)
  • Share 7 facts about yourself (being truthful)

 

MY FACTS:

  • I left a role in corporate technology management last fall and am focusing a writing career.
  • I’m very shy and awkward in person, but completely able to talk about anything when online.
  • I’m a sucker for romance but I can’t seem to enjoy any sort of romance novel.
  • If I could conjure up any talent, it would be singing or playing music. But I am basically as far from it as one could get in my current form.
  • I believe in past lives. I need to go through a regression!
  • I’m afraid I’ll never catch up on my book reviews or I’ll bore everyone to tears while on the pathway to completion. One of the two will happen.
  • If you tempt me with chocolate, I’m unable to say no to most things. Please don’t use it against me now that you know.

 

I NOMINATE:

readrantrockandroll

iamdes

iamthatgirl23

bookishendeavors

lghiggins

Books, Vertigo and Tea

alwaystrustinbooks

susandyer1962

mistysbookspace

Dee’s Rad Reads and Reviews

Patricia at Tea and Tales

sarahylockwood

PatriciaFairweatherRomero

BrizzleLass

Caron Bull

Rae Longest

Nel

Bentley ★ BookBastion.net

kathyscottage

bookprincessreviews

theorangutanlibrarian

cindy knoke

bettylouise31

*** More to come for other tags and awards!

Murder Mystery: Hunting the Hillcrest Family

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Check out the first four chapters of the new mystery “Hillcrest Hunting” by JC.

Hillcrest Hunting is a new mystery series that integrates family dynamics and murder in a cross between the traditional cozy and the newer historical fiction genres.  Brody Hillcrest disappeared years ago to escape a tragic accident only to find himself still hiding in Italy away from his entire family five years later.  When his clever cousin Evelyn finds a way to hunt him down, Brody is forced to face his family and explain his absence.  In this dynamic thriller, Brody and Evelyn learn that nearly all of their cousins have some connection to the deceased “welcome home” party guest, but neither wants to believe their own family could commit murder.

Chapter 1 – The Flight Home                                  Chapter 2 – The Family Re-Introduction

Chapter 3 – The Gwen Reveal                                 Chapter 4 – The Early  Clues

-jjciv

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