FREE Download 15th- 17th October #amreading #freebooks

Free download of Lover’s Retreat as we end the week on Amazon. Grab your copy here.

From enemies to lovers, learning to live, laugh and love again is so much better with a partner in crime, and soul mate …

Lover’s Retreat is book # 2 of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of stand alone steamy, suspenseful and romantic novella length stories. All set in exotic locations around the world.

For thirty seven year old recluse Yasmin O’Neil, life feels like one crisis after another. Her husband left her five years ago, she starts to suspect she’s losing her hearing, and then her mother is diagnosed with cancer. When her mother passes away her fortune changes. Yasmin is fifty thousand pounds richer from her mother’s estate. Taking her fate into her own hands after years of being a recluse, she rediscovers herself at a spiritual retreat in Sri Lanka south Asia, before she plans to spend the next six months traveling around the world. In Sri Lanka, Yasmin’s path crosses with Michael Thomas, an army soldier on his own path of self discovery. With their luke warm initial encounter the pair don’t hit it off straight away. After some push and pull the two move from enemies to lovers they are finally on the same page.

In Lover’s Retreat two very different characters originally on different paths, embrace the need for change and companionship in order to live life to its fullest again. Set in the back drop of paradise, palm trees and untouched nature of Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean these two lonely souls gain more than just self discovery they gain a soul mate.

Grab your copy here.

New Release: End of Where We Begin by Rosalind Russell @ImpressBooks1 @Ros_Russell

Veronica is a teenager when civil war erupts in South Sudan. Lonely and friendless after the death of her father, she finds solace in her first boyfriend, and together they flee across the city when the fighting breaks out. On the same night, Daniel, the son of a colonel, also makes his escape, but finds himself stranded by the River Nile, alone and vulnerable. Lilian is a young mother, who runs for her life holding the hand of her little boy Harmony – until a bomb attack wrenches them apart, forcing her to trek on alone.


After epic journeys of endurance, their lives cross in Bidi Bidi in Uganda – the world’s largest refugee camp. There they meet James, a counsellor who helps them to find light and hope in the darkest of places.


The End of Where We Begin is a gripping and intimate true life account of three young people whose promising lives are brutally interrupted by war. It documents their heart-breaking and inspiring battle to keep moving on through the extremes of attack, injury, exile and trauma. It is a story of the bonds of community and resilience in adversity – a powerful message for our troubled times.
Buy Link 
https://amzn.to/34vBxK8


Author Bio

Rosalind Russell is a journalist who worked for more than a decade as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and the Independent in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Her reporting has included the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and Burma’s Saffron Revolution. She lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Burma’s Spring is her first book.

So, They Closed His School. Is It Really A Surprise? #90DaysBlogChallenge #Covid-19

Today’s writing prompt for my #90DayChallenge: ‘what’s on your mind right now, what’s happening?’

Well, as I write this rather a lot. I sit here in the early afternoon multitasking, which is even more of the new norm for me since the pandemic. (I shared how much my day and life has changed in a blog post here.) At this moment in time I’m surrounded by school books, pens, paper, pencils, the washing, and the normal content of my kitchen, my son is having lunch and has his nose in his tablet watching a movie. Pretty normal right? But, I’m in a state of shock. On one hand I ask myself should I really be, is there really a surprise here?

The prompt is to just write about whatever’s on your mind, in all honesty I have so much, I don’t even know where to start. I’m sorry if I seem as though I’m rambling. *Sighs*

This morning I got the one call I really hoped that I would never have to answer. A parent who is also a friend, and their child attends the same lovely school as my son called me to say ‘they’ve closed the school.’ I was like, ‘what?’ In a nutshell last night an email circulated, and teachers made contact to let parents know there has been two cases of Covid-19 confirmed. One teacher and one child. Now, no doubt I never got that contact as some of you may recall, I never returned my son to school. I opted to home-school since September. This decision was made after listened to the evidence, news, science, government and still was not sure about the safety of schools reopening. I then spoke to a friend of mine who is a scientist in Brazil. He forwarded research that published that day, confirming that as we know now kids carry the virus with no symptoms etc. It does not mean in any case that they are ‘safe’ and not at risk. After all they could and do transmit it to others.

At the time, I may have been a bit overprotective, but now I so glad I made that choice. Schools have only been open technically half a term- six weeks. Already his school is at risk.

In all honesty, this virus Covid-19 is serious and it makes me so mad when there are people in power, tweeting, ranting, and showing bravado that ‘it’s not that serious’ ‘ I’m immune now I’ve had it’ etc. It’s just rubbish and gives the wrong message about how serious this thing is. It’s kinda really hit home to me today, just how much we must be careful!

After I received that phone call, right when I was in the middle of a math problem with my son LOL I felt like I could not even continue to teach, or focus on it. I had so many questions, who is the child? Who is the teacher? What class was it? Of course, the parent who called me could not give me details. They didn’t even know, the teacher who made contact would not or could not I should say disclose this information. We’re all none the wiser.

Over the course of the morning I’ve been in contact with friends who have older children, they too told me that at their child’s school there have been cases. Even the parent that called me also said, their older child who has just started the secondary school ( high school) phase just September gone, also was sent home last week– one case at their school in their actual class. To add to the fact that the school their younger child attends with my son, is also now closed.

Jessss, does it ever end?, I wondered. As of now, I am really concerned about the state of the world with this pandemic. But happy that I made the decision to home-school as I could. I pray for every parent who reads this or does not even read this, who has a child in school. I send positive energy, there’s a bubble with some kind of protection that surrounds your child as they move through school, mix with other kids, teachers, and members of society that are not part of the family.

All I can say is keep well everyone! Please take this pandemic seriously. I know it’s hard, I know lock-down was even harder and by the looks of it, parts of the UK are under this threat, as are many other parts of the world. Keep your eyes and ears open, do what you can to protect yourself and others. Never feel as though you’re being ‘too scared or over protective’ by making certain decisions, keeping distances, not meeting up etc. I have no doubt many friendships have suffered. But, if people are really any friend of yours they will understand, and care about their safety and yours. make use of the Internet and communicate with cameras etc.

So the question is for me, is there really any surprise that the school has closed? Nope, I guess not when you look at the statistics around the world. And locally where I am. I just never once expected Covid-19’s impact to get so ‘close to home’ the school is literally at the bottom of the road LOL. It’s close! I have no idea what happens after half term, which is coming up. But all I know is looks like home-school is here to stay.

Wherever you are keep well.

FREE Download 12th-16th October! #amreading #KDSuspense #Thriller @Didi_Oviatt

Free this week! Right up until the 16th. Grab a copy on Amazon on me and Didi Oviatt. Please leave us a review too! We appreciate you.

released 22nd April 2020

For Mature Readers Only:
As the second installment of suspenseful short stories by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds, Blurred Lines offers a thrill ride with nine stories in genres across the board. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With the use of writing prompts Kim and Didi have created tales that will tug at your heart strings, drop your jaws, and leave you clinging to the edge of your seat. From gory horror, romance, crime fiction, family drama, and fantasy, there is a story for everyone!

Crime Fiction, Psychological: “I’m Back Bitches, Now Panic!”
Lynn McCarmick has spent six years behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit, although she’s a far cry from an innocent woman. Her once loyal team of con artists set her up for a robbery that landed her a long term home in a Scottish prison. After an early release for good behavior, Lynn is finally able to let the bad bitch inside of her roam free.
Contemporary Romance: Heart of Gold
In this star crossed, light hearted tale, two people with the purest of hearts, each long to find a mate who is giving, honest and real. A heart-felt romance.


Psychological Thriller, Slasher Romance, Erotica: Chainsaw Ridge
Alice is one of a kind, and was raised by a nasty man with killer habits. After an accident rendered the awful man disabled, everything changed. With an ultimate twist, this gory tale takes Alice and her husband on one hell of a bloody adventure. Due to popular demand this story was extended!


Investigative Crime Fiction: Crime Scene Investigation
Detectives Flynn and McBride are on the case of a murder. Owner of the Chinese restaurant where the body was found, Mr. Wang, is devastated. The pressure is on to find the killer and to clear Mr. Wang’s establishment as a safe place for his patrons. The detectives piece together outside connections that are weaved into Mr. Wang’s ties, in a very delicate way. Is there more to the murder than what meets the eye?


Historical Fiction: A Miracle Baby Story
In a tragic tale of tough love and loss, brought about in a western setting, two young lovers are frowned upon by nearly everyone around. Adsila is a teen of Cherokee descent, who falls for a young cowboy. In a bitter-sweet tale she fights for the survival of herself and unborn child in a community filled with hate and judgement.


Paranormal Suspense: A life Gone?
Franklyn Poppy, is a husband and father who found himself in a place between life and death. He becomes a loathly witness to the woman he loves having an affair with his twin brother. He’s introduced to the infamous dark Goddess, Maman Bridgette who shares his disdain for the happenings with his wife. The outcome for Mrs. Poppy and her fateful intertwining with this powerful Goddess is powerful and resonating.


Metaphysics, Clairvoyant, Thriller: Murder by Mistake

The Wilkinson family consists of an Air Force father, a loving mother, and two daughters Anna and Julie. They are polar opposites, and Julie, the younger of the two has a special gift. She’s able to see things before they happen. When she’s mentally the witness to a murder that’s yet to be solved, she’s forced into action in an altercation with the killer.


Fantasy: Witchful Thinking
Gretchen isn’t your average witch, as she was born into a clan descending from the blood of Fate herself. Growing up in foster care was an intentional way for her to find her own path in using her magic, as she’s intended to be a tool for Fate’s use. A twisty tale set in the present and past day.
Family Drama: Real Mom
After the abandonment of their mother, twins Josephine and Jerilynn are taken in by their new stepmom, and become the big sisters to quite the large and quirky family. During a family vacation the two team up, and try to uncover the mystery of their estranged biological mom.

Grab Your Copy Here On Amazon Please Leave Us A Review!

90 Days of Writing: What Drew You to The Genre You Write? #90DaysBlogChallenge

Really cool question for day #3 of the #90DayBlogChallenge. There’s really only two authors and books to answer this question! I became a writer in the genre I cover (romantic suspense, crime,thriller,mysteries) from being a big reader. And I mean BIG reader.

This is the exact cover and copy that I have, I read it years ago! I just stumbled upon her books in a charity shop. This was the first ever romantic suspense that I read, and boy was it a good read! So good I went on to read every book she ever wrote before she passed. I always have to pay homage to Jackie Collins for her influence on why I gravitated naturally towards romantic suspense from this one book I read. While we have very different styles of writing, Jackie is naturally I feel a very talented and good story teller. From what I remember there were so many plot twists in this book! Also in her Lucky Santangelo series of books. It’s also cool that Jackie was a British author, even though she lived in the USA

When it comes to crime/thriller/mystery/suspense I must say one of the biggest influences came from reading Faceless by Martina Cole. Another British author I love. While our styles again are very different this book was a page-turner to read. Another one I picked up in a charity shop years back! This cover has changed so many times, but this is the original I have.

Generally, I am really drawn to romance as I just love the gene to read. Suspense as the sub-genre as I like a story that moves, has twists, and things to keep me interested. I like to write stories like this too for readers. Mystery, thriller,suspense, and crime again as a massive lover of it to read, I think I naturally gravitate here because I love to read it. That said, within both these genres I like to create stories with more diversity, location based in different parts of the world, and stories I would love to read!

If you’re a fiction writer what drew you to the genre you write? Let me know, blog it, join in the challenge link your blog below. Or just leave a comment.

FREE Download this weekend 10th-11th October! #amreading #free #romance

Free Amazon download all weekend! Enjoy and please leave me a review too. I’d really appreciate it.

Escape to paradise…

Would you risk a second chance, 4,000 miles away in paradise?

Chances, A Puerto Rican Love Affair is book three of the Romance Set In Paradise Series. Of romantic, steamy and suspenseful stand-alone novella length stories, all set in exotic locations around the world. Each one can be read as a stand-alone book.

Thirty-one year old Gabby from Barcelona, Spain has a love for the finer things in life including successful men. She finds herself in need of a change of scene. Opportunity knocks when the European company she works for as a successful estate agent, selling properties to elite clientele expand. Giving her the chance to take a one month work sabbatical, in the beautiful vibrant Caribbean island Puerto Rico. She snaps up the chance to leave Europe behind. Here her path crosses with thirty-five year old Puerto Rican born Mateo Sanchez. A former ‘bad boy’ turned entrepreneur. They touch each other on a physical and soul level, the two become connected. Thing is, while the passion, heat and romance builds between the two, the pair’s love affair becomes caught up in a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal from the past.

Mateo and Gabby fight hard for their blossoming relationship, and against the drama that keeps following them. But there are decisions and sacrifices to make if they are really going to make it work. There’s nothing that Mateo won’t do to show his growing admiration for Gabby, even when the police get involved and he’s in the hot seat. His hand is forced he’s pushed to make moves he promised he would never do again, due to past events and to move forward with Gabby. Gabby is faced with the decision over what sacrifices she’ll make, and where she really sees her future. Back in Spain, London or 4,000 miles away in Puerto Rico. Romance, soul mate connection, heat, lies, betrayal and brushes with the law await readers in this exciting multicultural ‘second chance’ romance.

Grab a copy here from Amazon Free 10th-11th October

Book Review: Hiding Cracked Glass, by James. J.Cudney ( Mystery) 5 Wonderful Stars! @jamesjcudney4 @shalini_G26

Thank you to Digital Reads Book Tours for my Advanced Reader’s Copy. Well, this is the first time I have actually read anything by this author. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I really, and I mean really did enjoy the vast amount of variety this author included in his mystery novel.

About the Book

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved. 

5 Really Interesting Stars

Diversity is hard enough to come by these days in books, what I found as a first time reader to this author’s work was exactly that. I loved it, and really lapped it up. There are characters of many different ages all weaved into the Glass family, different generations which made interesting reading for me. Not only that I found that what really kept me very engaged in the story, where it was going, as well as where it had already been ( to try and work out who-dun-it), was that each member of the Glass family kind of have their own little sub-plot, and thing going on. This added to the intrigue around this mystery note that shows up, and who it’s really for.

I found that each character for me was well-developed, I was easily able to understand their ‘worry’ over the blackmail note. Either due to their actions or past dealings with others. In Hiding Cracked Glass it felt very much as I read, that everyone has a motive for wanting to blackmail each member of the Glass family, it was wonderful! As I really did not know who really is the person in the hot-seat within the family, let alone who the blackmailer really is. This added to the deeply complex, but not confusing mystery around the family.

As a reader who has not read the first book, it was easy for me to jump in on book two, and pick up three months after the conclusion and drama of book one. The author did a great job and giving just enough back story to fill you in, but not bore you and slow down the current story.

Overall, I’d say Hiding Cracked Glass is a deeply complex, well written mystery, that touches on many real life situations that people in the world may find themselves in. Not only that the Glass brothers are all really like-able, even if flawed and rightly so to keep readers interested. If you like mystery stories as much as I do, but you like them with that added bit of ‘umph’ and by that I mean, not easy to guess, predictable, or even so far removed from reality you just can’t believe the story. I’d say pick this up, because you will find a very deep story about family ties, secrets, growth, and people learning from their past in order to rebuild and move forward as a family. I really enjoyed the dynamic of the Glass family, even the dramatic parts. Five stars from me as a first time reader, I’d read more.

Here is the up close and personal interview I did with Author James. J. Cudney. Get to know him, and his other works.

Author Interview: Up Close and Personal With James. J Cudney! @jamescudney4 @Shalini_G26

Happy release day to James! This is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing James. The last time was May 2018, you can read that interview here (rather amusing to this day!). So we’re off to meet New York’s finest again, and doesn’t he look dashing in his trouser braces! It’s a special week as it marks the release of his mystery/family saga novel Hiding Cracked Glass, which I did read an Advanced Reader’s Copy of and I really enjoyed. Let’s go…

Hi James, been a while since we last spoke, thanks for joining me for this interview.  Congratulations on the release of Hiding Cracked Glass.  2020 has been a crazy year, New York also faced a lot of challenges mid-year with the pandemic.  During this time many of us myself included have been forced to look inward, outward, and all around us, as well as adjust to how we live life. Tell me, 1. What  have you learned about yourself or life during 2020? 2. Do you look at life differently in anyway after all the events of 2020?

It has been a while, but I’m glad to be back. Thank you for much for the opportunity. 2020 has definitely been difficult… I’m not even sure if I’ve truly processed it yet. Today, for instance, was a weird step forward and then backward. I’ll try to explain quickly… last year around this time, I went to Maine for ten days and stayed in various coastal towns. I am considering moving there in the near future. So… when things in my apartment building got a bit wacky this summer (construction on the exterior of the building making it impossible to work there with the jackhammers during the week for the entire fall season) and I am not allowed to physically go into my office, I decided to rent a house in Maine for 6+ weeks. I arrived yesterday afternoon, went to the grocery store for the first time in 6 months (everything in NYC was basically delivery), cooked dinner, and went to sleep. Today, I went driving around town (Kennebunkport) which was one of last fall’s primary stops. Walking around brought back so many memories, and this time I brought Baxter (shiba inu dog). We kept getting in and out of the car, walking around the beach, etc. I had to put on my mask and take it off a dozen times (no need to wear in the car). It was just so weird to remember a place I loved and see it through different eyes. So… I think what I’ve learned is that I need to spend more time doing things I love and less times being locked up in a NYC apartment. It’s time to leave New York!

Kim: Good luck with the move. Yep, I do hear you on the experience with being ‘outside again’ I spent an afternoon in the park for the first time since March. It was wonderful!

How have you been keeping yourself well, sane, and full of ‘high vibrations’ and hope in 2020?

Truthfully, I’m a homebody, so it hasn’t been that rough for me. Other than not being able to go out to dinner or see friends, everything has been status quo. I miss the theatre, shopping, and wandering around the city, but I can find fun at home. The big difference was socializing, on occasion… some friends arranged Zoom calls once a week, and I was also able to spend more time writing since my full-time job was less busy (in terms of no commute, more manageable hours). That kept me sane… but I truly hadn’t ventured out of a 4-block radius (walking the dog) for the last six months… until this weekend!

When I read  Hiding Cracked Glass  (this was the first time I had ever read anything of yours), I was really pleasantly surprised at the amount of variety you created with the characters, and their own little sub-plots. Tell me, was this on purpose?  What was your thought process when you created the characters and ‘their dramas’?

Yes, definitely on purpose. Watching Glass Shatter, the first book in this series, was my debut three years ago this week. I had been reading tons of family drama and contemporary fiction books, so it felt like the best first place for me to chance a new career. I don’t like being ordinary, and I like balance more than most others… so figuring out how to bring diversity into my books has been important since the beginning for me. Siblings fascinate me, probably because I’m an only child. I have a bunch of different personalities (in terms of the way I act sometimes, not clinically!)… so there are shades of each of the five Glass brothers in my real-life personality. Unfortunately, I have to make them all work as 1 person, so writing about them is a cathartic process of living through others in a way without having to constantly switch myself on/off in different situations.

Kim: Oh wow, I see an only child. Welp, as the youngest of three you’re right sibling relationships can be challenging at times, but on the other hand lovely. That’s interesting to hear that all the Glass brothers are a layer of Jay. *Raises an eyebrow* mmmmkay. I often wonder what it’s like for only children, my son is also in the same position and really what I notice is that, he really does know how to entertain himself, his teddy bears and action men seem to be good ‘friends’ of his, I often here them all deep in conversation LOL.

What character is really close to your heart from the Glass family, and why?

I think Caleb. His story is the most like my own. While I haven’t adopted a child, I did escape for some time when I wasn’t really comfortable in my own skin. I’m still not comfortable, and neither is Caleb. There will always be apart of him that can’t just relax and be who he is without feeling someone is judging him. While I have amazing friends and family, inside me, something is broken… and I don’t think it’s fixable. Now, please do not ever feel bad for me or think I make this a big thing with others. All it means is that I often struggle with knowing exactly who I am because I share so many versions of myself that the authentic me is now a blend of different parts of my life: who I was as a child, who I am at work, who I was in college, who I was as a single guy, who I am now that I’m half of a couple… my group of friends changes every ten years as I age… sometimes due to location, others due to which part of my personality is shining more strongly. It may seem weird, and I’ve probably said way too much, but that’s just what I’ve dealt with all my life. Caleb is the same, and I like being able to watch his maturity and learn from him.

Kim: I found Caleb’s story a very touching one. I don’t feel sorry for you at all, not in the way you’re probably thinking. I often say we don’t ever really lose friends, people, situations, places in life. We outgrow them, simple. The ‘changes’ reflect that. That’s good! Otherwise we walk around stagnate as people, which no one should aim for.

Let’s talk about Caleb in Hiding Cracked Glass, he is a gay, married, father via adoption.  I  remember thinking to myself, ‘damn, this is a hot potato in the USA.’  Adoption and LGBTQ  areas have been highlighted across the water. What made you feel good, or drawn to creating a controversial character like him?  Was this intentional?

Okay, I should’ve heard all the questions before answering each one, or I would’ve changed my prior answer. Ha! But I have a good answer here. I mentioned earlier that I wanted diversity in my books. I also want authenticity. As a white middle-aged male, it is not easy for me to write primary characters who are on different ends of spectrums and scales… even with research, sometimes an author gets it wrong or is called out for stealing from another culture or gender or age, etc. In all my books, there will always be a variety of people, not because that’s what people want or what might sell better… but because it’s how my head thinks. I see the world in so many different shades and versions that differences are innate and fundamental. It’s similar in my other books… Father Figure deals with a lesbian teenager and an interracial relationship. But I’m not the proper writer to dig deep into the issues these characters face… the true experience of what it means to be of different races or ethnicities. Instead, I layer my books with characters from all these aspects, and as a writer and human, to me, it shows the norm of diversity and inclusion without trying to make it so obvious. My Braxton Campus Mysteries which now has over 120 characters includes at least 33% non-Caucasian characters because the world contains at least that many. My goal is to be accurate in terms of what I see around me and represent a society where everything that happens could be regardless of where someone comes from or what they look like. In Hiding Cracked Glass, Caleb is the ‘most normal’ character in terms of marriages; he and Jake fight and cuddle like typical married people where his brothers are the ones doing things that get them in trouble. Okay, off my soapbox!

Kim: Now that’s an insight, glad I asked the question. Given that I have only ever read Hiding Cracked Glass, I had no idea, or even would have guessed that the diversity in your work is so vast. Not because I don’t think you’re capable, I just didn’t think it would have been such an important thing for you. This is really good information for readers and myself to know. Now you put it that way, yes even though Caleb’s life is pretty full on he does seem to be the most ‘normal’ in terms of a relationship’s natural ups and downs.

Oliva  in Hiding Cracked Glass at times came across as a bit of an ice maiden , I also felt that sometimes about Matt’s wife Margret too. What this on purpose? It felt to me like Margret was Olivia’s protégée kind of .

Yes! In the debut, Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is 100% ice witch for 50% of the book… she softens, and some people still end up disliking her, some find her a bit redeemed. In Hiding Cracked Glass, three more months have passed, and she’s now somewhere in the middle. At times, she brings the ice… at others, she brings the warmth. She will never be the perfect mother, but she knows when to control her natural tendencies now. Margaret is just like her, but she’s a generation younger and has learned more from society’s differences. Matt, her husband, has always wanted to be just like his parents… so he’s tried to be his father, and he wanted a wife like his mother, and in the end, it caused his addiction to drugs and anxiety. He’s a classic case of impacts of certain types of upbringings. There are positives and negatives, and without proper attention, it’s so easy to go down the wrong path. Luckily, his brothers want to save him too.

Have you ever been to Italy? I really enjoyed that  parts of Hiding Cracked Glass are set here.

Yes! So… about two and half years ago, I was on a two-week vacation in Italy, and the hotel and town mentioned in Hiding Cracked Glass is the exact one I stayed in back then for four days on the Amalfi Coast. I took a few notes to use in a future book, and when Watching Glass Shatter ended, right while I was planning the trip, I even noted that Olivia was leaving for Italy… so I did kind of prepare for it!

Kim: Ah-hah! Nice

Did you have to do a lot of research generally, while writing both books? Which book caused the most fact-checking or research?

Nope! I’m not that kind of writer. Some writers thrive on research and finding the specific details to make something even more realistic and memorable. I rely on my writing style… I also am a bit lazy in terms of research, as often, my plots are a bit intense, so I am already asking readers to suspend some disbelief. I do research a little bit, but rarely do I pick topics that require major analysis or prep work. That said, I definitely did check into a few things. For instance, the adoption rules in Maine were important for Caleb’s situation, as were wills in Connecticut. I had to get true laws correct, but if there is room for subjectivity, I go with it.

Kim: Oh I felt that poke in the ribs. ‘some writers thrive on research’ LOL. Yes I remember when I came to you for the finer details about New York, for my own research. I use real street names and iconic places for the reality you mention. But it takes up a lot of time. But for someone like you, it must really speed up the writing process with less of this kinda detail. I better make a note! Maybe I’d write quicker.

Let’s talk about character development, there are many characters in Hiding Cracked Glass  you write the POV of women in their sixties, men in the early to late thirties, women of this age, gay characters, straight characters, drug addicts! And more.  Something must have stirred in you during this process over two books… spill the beans on character development and writing Hiding Cracked Glass?

They seem real to me. I picture them when I write. I know who they are, so it’s very easy to share their voices. That’s usually what I spend 3 months on before I write a word of my outline. People navigate the perimeter of my brain while I’m working, eating, showering, exercising, etc. And when enough details formulate to generate the real character, I start assigning relationships and scenes. That’s when I am ready to write the outline. I also live in the most diverse city in the world – New York, so it’s the norm for me to see these characters every day on the street. I might not know the 60s woman is struggling with the death of her husband, but I’ve seen a couple walk together holding hands for months, and then suddenly, I see only her anymore. Something happened. And her story becomes our story… because she inspired it, I captured it in words… and now we are connected.

Okay, let’s flip the script and talk about fun stuff. You look like a man who likes to have fun! What do you do for fun? Be honest.

I will piggyback off something I said earlier. I am a compilation of many different people. It’s even in how people refer to me. Some say ‘James.’ Others use ‘Jay.’ Many just write my initial or call me JJC4. Like my names, my personalities are kinda distinct. One is definitely fun, but he’s dangerous. He doesn’t believe in rules or laws. He is purely out for fun. He mostly stays in the box these days because I am getting older and less in need of the dangerous fun. I’ve swapped the bars for the restaurants, the clubs for the cocktails on the terrace, and the rest kinda goes the same way. I’ve also learned not to drink in parties because that calms me enough to be too fun… whereas if I keep myself in check, I can wake up without saying ‘oh no, you didn’t really do that… did you?’

Kim: *GIGGLES* I knew it. The trouser braces gave your ‘wild side’ away LOL

Okay pick one tea or coffee? Dogs or cats? Coke of Pepsi?  Fresh orange juice with or without the pulp bits?

Coffee. Dogs. Coke. With the pulp. That said, I do like tea and cats. I don’t drink soda anymore, but I also went for Coke over Pepsi. And OJ either way is truly okay!

This is my second interview with you in a few years, in the last one I never really got that nosey this time I will, I’m a romance author after all so I have to ask about your love life *Kim giggles* ummm, so like, do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend whatever applies?

Ah, yes, I am quiet about the personal stuff beyond me (I’ve basically revealed everything in my 365 Daily Challenge about myself, the good and the bad). I try to respect people’s privacy in my life, i.e. by not talking names of family or friends, etc. But I’ve definitely shared a bit on random posts about W. You can totally get nosy. W and I have been together nine years this fall. We met through Match.com; he’s an attorney from Louisiana. It’s easy to find him thru some of my social media connections. I just don’t advertise it, rather than intentionally hide it.

What’s your ideal woman or man whatever applies— if you are single?

I can only answer that if I’m single? Oh, that’s no fun. Pure and simple, I’m like you, Kim. Zach! And therein is my biggest problem. If I picked someone like Zach as my significant other, it would be pure bliss for 5 days a week… but then the other two, I’d want to kill him. And I probably would. Then I’d be writing from prison. And well… in the end, that’s probably not a good idea for someone like me who tends to try appease everyone in my life.

Kim: *throws head back giggling* welp, agreed there’s something about Zack (and I already told you this), that does make him appealing as a character and a man. What got me about Zack was when he and his ex-girl friend broke into the store for alcohol, had sex on the counter, forget about the CCTV and had to steal the tape. I was like, ‘oh my days, this is a dangerous man’. I would not have the balls to do something like that, but a younger Kim, with nothing to lose and with a few shots down her may have been ‘encouraged’ into it. *Covers face and laughs.* I really loved his character, not just for that but how he seemed to have grown, taking on the role as a single father out of choice. I respected him a lot for that.

I know that you and my co-author (who is now your co-author too) Didi Oviatt have penned a book together. Tell us about it? What can we expect?

Yes! I hope it’s cool we worked together. Maybe it’ll be a three-way in the future. (Shut your dirty minds, people. I’m not talking about… never mind, I won’t ruin your imagination.) Anyways, it lined up so nicely, given our major differences in writing style and genre. But at the same time, it was like we had a fantastic connection and symbiosis. As an only child and a perfectionist, I expected it would be difficult. But honestly, it was super easy. We kinda agreed on most everything and just kept flipping work back and forth. Weathering Old Souls will release in 2021. We’re talking to a few agents and publishers now, to see how to best handle a collaborative work, but we hope to have an announcement on the date and publication details before early next year. As for the story, oh, it would take pages to explain it, but essentially combine Didi’s amazing ability to write suspenseful thrillers with my complicated mystery plots. Add her brilliant scene descriptions with my shocking character relationships and historical references. Drip in some romance, family drama, natural elements, and a new genre for us both (metaphysical / past lives / the unknown world out there), and you’ve got a rollercoaster. The first part of the book shares Abigail’s childhood and teenage experiences where she’s learning to understand what all these voices and confusing memories are… all the while, news reports tell us about a serial killer torturing people nearby. By midway, Abigail has an accident that changes her forever… and when she figures out the distinct lines and connections from all her past lives, it’s a page-turner where you can’t stop because every scene leads to another stunning revelation.

Kim: I’m rollin’ with laughter, stop! I’d be up for whatever (writing mind you). Nah, it’s cool you’ve worked together it’s great. Didi is SUPER EASY!! And a pleasure to work with. I honestly may say that because our styles are very similar anyway. That’s what shocked me about Didi, the stories in our two books anyone of us could have written. At times, it did freak me out to know there’s someone on the other side of the world, who can mirror me and I can mirror her without even trying, it’s just how we both write without trying, when it comes to thrillers. Now I think it’s really cool and to ‘confuse’ people or let them guess who wrote what, with only American or British spelling as a hint.

From reading your work this week I can see how you and her differ in your writing styles. But like you said if you add both your styles together it would make great reading, but I can see how you may not always agree on everything as I’ve read you both separately and can see the difference. But I love both styles, the details you’ve shared sound like a very interesting plot. I wish you both a lot of luck, love, and good fortune for 2021.

Could you see yourself living anywhere else in the world? Outside of New York?

I’m hoping to buy or build a house in Maine within the next five years. I just need to work out the job situation or make enough money off writing to afford to live there and have healthcare!

Kim: keep manifesting! Good luck.

What are you writing now?

After Hiding Cracked Glass, the co-written book with Didi (Weathering Old Souls) will release in 2021. I am in the process of writing the 7th Braxton Campus Mystery, which will release around April 2021. After that, it’s open. I have a few ideas, but I also need a mini-break, so we’ll see after the holidays when I send the Braxton book to beta readers… that’ll tell me what to focus on. I will say I’m learning toward a paranormal mystery series about characters in the Underworld or a collection of short stories and character studies.

Kim: Sounds good, make sure you come back for your third interview. Maybe next time we could do a live Zoom interview and record it.

Do you think that the dreams of many writers to be household names, rich over night etc are things that need to be balanced in order to reach success?

Yes! It’s like someone who wants to be an actor or a politician or professional sports player. None of those are ever about how talented you are. That’s a given. But you also have to embody what the other person is looking for too… and that’s where people’s dreams get crushed. You can be qualified and have the best odds, but still fail. I always tell new writers… don’t just write. Have goals in mind. Know whether it’s about money, fame, connections, creative expression, etc. If you have something tangible in mind as the short-term goal, you can monitor the long-term goal… then if you meet somewhere in the middle, you can still be happy and proud and feel amazing about the

Thank so much for stopping by today Jay, it was amazing to catch up with you again. I really am proud of the diversity you’re bring to the world of fiction. I honestly look forward to reading more of your individual work.

Grab your Kindles it’s live now, readers! On Amazon

Hiding-Cracked-Glass-Main-File

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved. 

Amazon Link https://www.amazon.com/Hiding-Cracked-Glass-Perceptions-Book-ebook/dp/B08F3YWTYX/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=hiding+cracked+glass&qid=1602246117&sr=8-1

Giveaway https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e5ee1a9220/?

Author Bio

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I began working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment, media, retail, and hospitality industries. Although I enjoy my job, I also want to re-focus on my passions: telling stories and connecting people through literature.

In 2017, I published my debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor, and romance. The sequel, Hiding Cracked Glass, released exactly three years later in 2020. I’ve also written another family drama novel, Father Figure, and created the Braxton Campus Mysteries, a light investigation series about a humorous thirty-something guy dealing with murders and the drama of a small town. I am currently co-authoring a book with a surprise writer and finalizing the next Braxton Campus Mystery, both set to be released in early to mid 2021.

Most of my books are available in hardcover, paperback, electronic, and audiobook formats, as well as in a variety of bookstores. We’ve begun translating into Portuguese, Spanish, German, and Italian for some of the books too. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com.

Outside of writing, I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2,500 family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 1,000 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I share several fun features, including the Book Bucket List, Tips & Advice, Author Spotlights & Book Alerts, and the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. You’ll find tons of humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers… where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. Baxter, a two-year-old shiba inu, constantly tries to stop me from writing so I can play with him and keep him amused. How else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Author Links

Blog:

https://thisismytruthnow.com

Author Website:

Home Page

Social Media Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

90 Days of Writing: How Did You Start Writing? #90DaysBlogChallenge

A very good question! For day #2 of my #90DaysBlogChallenge. In all honesty you could say out of pure creative, therapeutic, time-passing, chance! I never really premeditated this career move, or making it an actual profession I take seriously at all. Here’s the thing I guess while it’s true that I’ve always been a writer. Journals, diaries etc I’ve always loved the written word, and placing my thoughts down . (I have some journals from my school days, I read back and laugh at how my eleven-sixteen year old mind worked back then), in all honesty I never sat down and said, ‘ you’re going to do this for your real job, or at least try to lol.’

Where Did it All Start?

The first ever book I penned was a 90,000 word novel A Stranger in France. It was rough as hell in terms of the manuscript. I had no conscious thought for ‘how to be a good technical writer’ back then, but it’s a good story. This is when I realised my talent, and that a good writer is a GOOD STORY TELLER not (just) a good technical writer. As you can pay people to become good with grammar etc, and do that part. Plus you learn it as you write more. Story-telling natural talent, is not something you can teach, or pay people to really give you naturally. Yes, you can attend courses, read books I’ve written a writer’s reference too on writing good romance, but all they give you and all anyone can give you is, an outline and guide. You, the writer, must bring your talent and A-game and that’s what makes a good story teller- you-your talent. You have it or you don’t I feel. You as a writer will know, regardless of who says what.

Anyway, even with my lack of regard for being a technically good writer with grammar etc (at the time in 2015/16), my focus was just to write and get my idea down on paper then edit it all later. To my surprise after sending it out to the first publisher I had ever approached, I got a response! A good one! A contract! OMG what happened??

So fast forward the first version was published in 2016, but I was very unhappy. with the publisher’s standards of working, and marketing, I learned a lot. The main difference between a good publisher willing to help you grow, has high standards with regards to quality, and ones that are really not worth the paper they offer you the contract on. Especially as you market the hell out of your book, to bring them money, but the end product is piss poor if you want me to keep it real. So that’s how I fell into writing.

I wrote that book because I had a story inside me to tell, and wanted to get it on paper. I had no idea about self-publishing or KDP at the time. I was a total virgin writer in every way! Once my cherry was popped in a way that woke me up, I learned all I could about self-publishing, how to do it well, and the role of a good publisher. I kinda didn’t really trust anyone with my work for a while. I kept writing, self publishing, and loved it I did a few books but then found my home I’m at now. A publisher who I am happy with so far! And they are happy with me.

What Was Going on in Life When You Penned That First Novel?

At the time I started to write my first ever novel, I was thirty-four years old I was running a book club in London too. Some of you may already know this. I ran it for about five years, met some wonderful girls (it was just for girls). We’d meet in London’s biggest book store Waterstones with five floors of books! It was heaven, and I was reading at least two books a month if not more back then. I just opened up a word document, and started to write what was in my heart, how I felt, and what characters came to me. I was also in a terrible relationship, nearing the end. I think that writing actually gave me the strength to say ‘times up, good bye’. So I did! I moved forward with life. Writing really was my saviour, I went on to write more books. Now I’m on about number fourteen (off the top of my head), at the time that I write this. It’s not a hobby, it’s a habit, something I have to do, something that came to me later in life, something that was ‘woken up’ within me, my talent came out from experiencing trauma and self-realisation! For that bull-shit that happened I am thankful for.

Never once did I imagine that in under five years of being a traditionally published author, I’d be an award-winning and best-selling one. Nope, never. I never had any of those common goals or wishes many writers have in mind, in order to 1. validate themselves as a writer 2. validate their talent as a writer 3. make them feel as though ‘they’ve made it’. It just happened by writing and being myself. My only goal has only been to get these characters out of my head , on paper, and into stories that I would love to read and hope others would. I guess I’m the kind of writer that writes for me first, and then hopes others will enjoy it. Sure, if I notice that readers like a particular story, style, series I create etc I will aim to keep them happy! But I guess when I sit down to write, the first thing that comes to me is ‘what do I want to create?’ rather than ‘what will sell?’ ‘ x,y,z would love this’, if that makes sense.

So my route into writing was a very random one, it flourished from experiencing joys with getting a publishing contract very easily or early, but not being happy with that experience, to learning myself how to put out my work, to then securing a publisher who is on the same page as me! My only hope is one day of course for one of the BIG, BIG BIG publishing houses to take onboard a manuscript of mine. But for the here and now I just want to keep going as I am, just write.

What Else Do You Write?

Outside of romantic suspense and crime/thriller/mysteries, magazine writing came later, I expanded on my love of non-fiction writing. I wrote for one magazine that did not stand the test of time sadly, and carried out editorial here. Then I landed my gig with Aspiring Authors Magazine LLC. Then I was blessed with an Associate Editor’s role for a romance literary magazine this year. Tallon Lake publishes quarterly.

How did you get into writing? Leave me a comment, blog it and link back to it here. Join in the writing prompt challenge use #90DaysBlogChallenge