ARC

My Second Novel: Title Reveal & Sample Pages

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On June 9th, 2017, I opened a poll to ask everyone to choose what I should write as my second novel — you can read this post here. Almost one year later, the novel is ready to be published. When I first shared an overview of the story, I had a title in mind but was never certain about my decision. Over the last few months, I began discussing it with the twelve people who’ve either helped beta read, market, or keep me sane while writing this book. The overwhelming answer was to keep the title as Father Figure. I came up with a list of 8 other options and took them to the publisher and editor. In the end, they all agreed it is best called Father Figure. And so, knowing this was my first choice, and everyone loves it, we’ve opted to keep the title as Father Figure. My runner-up was ‘Peace by Piece’ as it’s a theme highly integrated into many chapters. Finding peace by discovering each piece of the puzzle… the play on words felt incredibly strong to me.

In many ways, when it comes to revealing a new title, this feels like a tiny pop as opposed to something more grand. At the same time, that’s me… a bit quiet and more comfortable in the background. But as a small token of my appreciation, you can read a couple pages from the book in this newly added menu item on my blog. It’s only a couple of pages, and it’s just bits and pieces of a scene meant to leave the reader guessing when it occurs. I will share another full chapter in the coming weeks… consider this a teaser to give you a sense of what it will be like when you finally get the words in your hands!

Read Sample Pages

Over the next few weeks, I will be revealing fun facts and key news about its upcoming release. Stay tuned to learn things like:

  • Book Cover Big Reveal
  • Availability of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies)
  • Details on How You Can Participate in the Initial Release
  • Blog Tour Plans
  • Publication / Release Date in May 2018

AdvancedReader Copies(ARC)

If you are interested in being part of the release, please feel free to email me at jamesjcudney4@gmail.com. I look forward to revealing all the details and sharing this book with everyone.

***

Book Description

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town, and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Struggling to survive in a claustrophobic, unforgiving world, they embark on a journey to overcome all the pain, disappointment, and horror of their experiences.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown, connect with others, and fall in love. Contemplating an impending loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia suffers devastating, life-altering tragedies. No matter where she turns, someone or something always steals her hope of finding happiness, protection, and love.

Brianna Porter, a sassy yet angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to determine her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. All the confusion stems from desperately needing to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, but an unexpected discovery of a journal leads Brianna to a shocking revelation about her missing parent. Unfortunately, by casting the net to find him, she’s unleashed a tragic history that was meant to stay buried and might now completely change everyone’s futures.

Through alternating chapters set two decades apart, each girl’s plight unfolds revealing the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen. In an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense, fate intervenes forcing someone to make a dreadful decision that will leave permanent scars.

 

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I write a daily blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog where the 365 Daily Challenge reveals something about my personality every day. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

 

List of Books & Blog

Watching Glass Shatter (2017)

Father Figure (2018)

 

Websites & Blog

Author Website

My Blog

 

Social Media Links

Amazon

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Goodreads

Creativia Publisher

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Father Figure: Cover Reveal & Release Date Coming Soon!

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My second novel, tentatively named Father Figure, has made tremendous progress in the last ten days. Over the next few weeks, I will be revealing a few fun facts and key news about its upcoming release. Stay tuned to learn things like:

  • Final Title
  • Book Cover Big Reveal
  • Availability of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies)
  • Details on How You Can Participate in the Initial Release
  • Blog Tour Plans
  • Publication / Release Date in May 2018

AdvancedReader Copies(ARC)

For now, I’m excited to deliver the book’s overview and summary description which will go on Amazon and Goodreads in the coming weeks. If you are interested in being part of the release, please feel free to email me at jamesjcudney4@gmail.com. I look forward to revealing all the details and sharing this book with everyone.

***

Book Description

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town, and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Struggling to survive in a claustrophobic, unforgiving world, they embark on a journey to overcome all the pain, disappointment, and horror of their experiences.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown, connect with others, and fall in love. Contemplating an impending loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia suffers devastating, life-altering tragedies. No matter where she turns, someone or something always steals her hope of finding happiness, protection, and love.

Brianna Porter, a sassy yet angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to determine her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. All the confusion stems from desperately needing to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, but an unexpected discovery of a journal leads Brianna to a shocking revelation about her missing parent. Unfortunately, by casting the net to find him, she’s unleashed a tragic history that was meant to stay buried and might now completely change everyone’s futures.

Through alternating chapters set two decades apart, each girl’s plight unfolds revealing the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen. In an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense, fate intervenes forcing someone to make a dreadful decision that will leave permanent scars.

 

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I write a daily blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog where the 365 Daily Challenge reveals something about my personality every day. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

 

List of Books & Blog

Watching Glass Shatter (2017)

Father Figure (2018)

 

Websites & Blog

Author Website

My Blog

 

Social Media Links

Amazon

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Goodreads

Creativia Publisher

365 Challenge: Day 332 – Rumours

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Rumours: title of a book written by a good friend currently in need of a few beta readers

Get in on the ground with a fantastic writer.jpg

As an author, I totally know how important it is to find a solid group of beta readers who can provide feedback on your work. I’ve been lucky enough to connect with a few in the last year, and one of them is Claire, blogger extraordinaire… but Claire is also a writer and published author. She completed a novel last year that I beta read a few times (she packs a lot of emotion, lust and power into her work), and it’s now with an editor and being shopped through various literary agencies and publishers. She’s completed a draft of a second novel that is a sorta spin-off of the first in the use of a few common characters. I haven’t read it yet because I’ve been focused on my own work, but I plan to read it sometime in the next 2 to 5 weeks. Claire mentioned that she was looking to add a few more folks to the early-read team. I thought it might be fun to beta read it at the same time as someone else I chat with on the blog… so that’s the point of today’s post. Rumour has it she’s got another winner… and I like spelling this the British way! I feel like sharing (with her permission of course) this next beta read… who’s interested?  Details below… feel free to private message me if you wanna know more about how this process works. Or you can message Claire directly through the site link below. We can line up our schedules and partner on providing feedback and input. Who’s with us?

*** Message from Claire @ BrizzleLass Books, Author ***

I have finished draft one and am just tidying a few bits and pieces up so that the book is ready to be read. It will be sent out by Friday 16 February at the latest and I would like responses by 30 March giving 6 weeks to complete the readthrough and feedback.

As this is the first draft I’m not looking for detailed analysis of grammatical issues. This is about the story and characters. I need to know:

  • Does the story flow?
  • Are there areas where it feels clunky? That something is missing? That something within the story doesn’t make sense? Etc
  • Are the characters believable?
  • What emotions do the characters pull from you? You don’t have to like them but they should affect you
  • Does the dialogue work? Is there too much, not enough, is it in the right places? And does it work with the narrative?

Hopefully this gives you an idea what I am looking for. So a bit about Rumours.

It is an Adult Contemporary Romance…there are some hot steamy sex scenes, so please don’t take this gig if this is something that may offend you!

This Bio is a rough draft and hasn’t been finalised in any way but I wanted to give you a taste of what the book is about…

Mark is a professional cellist, he’s also a semi-professional player. He has never settled with any girl for any length of time, but since his best friend found the love of his life, he’s realised there is something missing in his life. Wedding Photographer, Blair had her heart ripped from her chest just weeks before her wedding when she found out her fiancé hadn’t just cheated on her but had a family with the other woman. She has avoided relationships for the years since, terrified of losing her heart and feeling that betrayal again. When the two are introduced by a mutual friend sparks fly, but can two people with such broken pasts build any kind of future together?

 

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.

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Review: The Idea of You

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The Idea of You
The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars to Amanda Prowse‘s book The Idea of You, a fictional story about a women craving motherhood but facing many barriers to success. I was offered this book through NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for a fair an honest review. I am glad I read it and had a positive reaction. On to the review…


Story

Lucy has wanted to be a mother for a very long time, but she’s about to turn 40 and was recently dumped by her boyfriend who went on to marry Lucy’s own cousin. At a christening, she meets Jonah and he proposes within a few months. He has a 16-year-old daughter, Camille, who lives with her mother and stepfather, but plans to come visit for a summer before her final year at boarding school. Lucy and Jonah have several miscarriages before Camille arrives, and it’s starting to put a small strain on their marriage. Lucy struggles at work and with her family, unwilling to tell anyone about the pain she’s going through, secretly hoping the next time she gets pregnant, she won’t miscarry. Along her journey, she writes notes to each of her lost children, pining away for a little girl of her own. She and Camille do not get along well for the most part, but do find a few things that help bond them little by little. When the past comes back to haunt everyone, and new obstacles are thrown in front of the whole family, Lucy is forced to decide between what is best for everyone and what is best for her. And as the story comes to end, Lucy finds a way to make peace with her decision, understanding the impact it has on everyone involved.


Strengths

Lucy’s story, an all-too-common one, is a strong and beautiful journey not only for the woman who has miscarried several babies, but for the family around them who don’t always know what’s truly happening. The pressure from friends and siblings to get pregnant before it’s too late… the comments from people at work about having difficulty dividing time between family and your career…. the doctors who try to comfort you but really can only do and know so much. Lucy’s a very likable character. She has flaws and makes mistakes. She’s a bit immature in such situations but she’s handling all the emotions with great strength and fervor. I felt a strong urge to want to hug her.

There aren’t always fairy-tale endings in life, and I really enjoy when books face those consequences. I’m not giving away any spoilers as to whether she eventually has a baby or not, but regardless, her situation is not one anyone would envy. I felt privileged to watch the struggle, especially being so far removed from it, by being neither a mother nor a father. The author, who has mentioned her own struggles at conceiving and keeping pregnancies, puts a lot of emotional connection into the words and the scenes.

While it’s a sad story, there was a fine balance in pushing readers to tears. Perhaps because I’ve never been in any type of a similar situation, I held back some of my emotion; however, there were just enough points where you felt the pain and felt the emotions come full force. But not so much that you had to put the book down and take a break. Good balance.


Suggestions

While I understood it was important to get to the point where she has a husband and and her time is running out to have her own baby, starting the book when she’s 39 and then rushing thru the first year may have caused a few moments of less than helpful separation. I care about her as the story unfolds, but when you know little about her first 39 years, other than she wants to be a mother, you have a few questions that linger. Most are answered eventually, and possibly this is a “point in time / life” story, but… it could have used a little tidying up in this respect.

I wanted to see more about Lucy’s life with her sister and mother. I understand with some of the reveals that come later in the story why it wouldn’t exactly be easy, but it would have helped give her more depth.


Final Thoughts

I’ve read a few stories with this theme, and this is definitely one of the stronger ones. I like the author’s style and would want to read some of her other books. It’s not a major stand-out where I feel compelled to buy her next one immediately, but it’s got all the qualities of a good book you will enjoy. I pushed it to a 4 because it’s much higher than an average / OK book with a few good parts at a 3.

If you like strong female characters, this one’s for you. Lucy’s remarkable in her strength and only had 2 or 3 moments where I thought she was being a little too immature. Enjoy.

View all my reviews