book review

My Novel: Watching Glass Shatter – ON SALE

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I am very excited to announce that Watching Glass Shatter is officially available for purchase on Amazon at: http://mybook.to/WGS. It will be available as an electronic read for the next few weeks, followed by physical copies in November. I also have an author page at Amazon that you can follow, and I would love your feedback on the content. I will be sending a small Amazon/Kindle version content update by end of week with a few extra pages / fixes if already purchased it this week.

Please look at both the author page and the book page — every click and purchase counts to help get this book to the top of its categories so other people can view, purchase and read it. If you purchase the book, I’d love a review on both Amazon and Goodreads, as well as your blog and any other platform you are interested in. Thank you so much in advance for being a part of this team.

If you reached out to me in the last few weeks about participating in a blog tour or any other marketing activities, I will message you separately to discuss how to share a copy of the book for you to begin reading this week.

Watching-Glass-Shatter-Main-File

 

The book is listed on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36140949-watching-glass-shatter

Please take a look and mark it ‘To Be Read’ in the coming days. Share with your friends and followers. I will have a few Giveaways on Goodreads as well as some posts to share more information with my fellow readers.  It’s very exciting and will become reality very soon. Below please find ways for you to get involved in the launch. If you’ve already messaged me, I’ll be in touch over the next week to discuss next steps. Thank you.


As part of the launch of my new novel, Watching Glass Shatter, I am beginning to plan key marketing activities for November and December. If you are interested in participating, please private message me through email at jamescudney4@yahoo.com or via any of my social media accounts. You can find the links at the bottom of this site. I am considering the following items plus anything else you might want to suggest:

  • Book Review
    • If you’re interested in reading the novel when it’s released, or possibly beforehand as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), sign up with your email address on my blog. I will have a few giveaways and freebies for a select number of folks who can help promote the novel.
    • Looking to promote and publish reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, your personal blog and anywhere else you can think of.

book review

  • Blog Tour
    • If you’d like to be part of a blog tour for the first month after it’s released to help promote and advertise the book, let me know.
    • I’m looking to do a 30-day launch party where someone posts on a specific day with advertising and promotion for the book after they’ve read it. I’m open to whatever content you’d like to include to drum up interest.

blog tour.jpg

  • Author Interview
    • Perhaps you’d like to do an interview feature by asking me a set of questions I can respond to on your blog.
    • Let’s talk about options on how you’d like to share more about me and the book with your followers.

author

 

I look forward to everyone’s interest and ideas. Thanks in advance for wanting to be part of the street team to help launch Watching Glass Shatter. Very exciting!

 

Book Summary

A contemporary fiction novel focusing on a New England family’s drama set in current times. The wealthy Glass family has lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. But it is Olivia who receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia needs to figure out which boy Ben is referring to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney is searching for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. But when Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her.

Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life altering, but she will not rest until she is able to bring her family back together after Ben’s untimely death. Will she be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re a mix of quirky fun!

 

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My Novel: Watching Glass Shatter – BOOK COVER REVEAL

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I am very excited to reveal the cover of my first book — ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ — in today’s post. I thought about sending out a few teaser messages, but I’ve talked about it for a few months now… it’s time to debut! Without further ado, below is the book cover:

Watching-Glass-Shatter-Main-File

 

In the coming days, I will provide the launch date, places to purchase and the initial marketing plans. I will also share more about the selection of the cover art, explaining how and why it connects to the book. To see more, the book is listed on Goodreads at:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36140949-watching-glass-shatter

Please take a look and mark it ‘To Be Read’ in the coming days. Share with your friends and followers. I will have a few Giveaways on Goodreads as well as some posts to share more information with my fellow readers.  It’s very exciting and will become reality very soon!

Below please find ways for you to get involved in the launch. If you’ve already messaged me, I’ll be in touch over the next week to discuss next steps. Thank you.


As part of the launch of my new novel, Watching Glass Shatter, I am beginning to plan key marketing activities for November and December. If you are interested in participating, please private message me through email at jamescudney4@yahoo.com or via any of my social media accounts. You can find the links at the bottom of this site. I am considering the following items plus anything else you might want to suggest:

  • Book Review
    • If you’re interested in reading the novel when it’s released, or possibly beforehand as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), sign up with your email address on my blog. I will have a few giveaways and freebies for a select number of folks who can help promote the novel.
    • Looking to promote and publish reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, your personal blog and anywhere else you can think of.

book review

  • Blog Tour
    • If you’d like to be part of a blog tour for the first month after it’s released to help promote and advertise the book, let me know.
    • I’m looking to do a 30-day launch party where someone posts on a specific day with advertising and promotion for the book after they’ve read it. I’m open to whatever content you’d like to include to drum up interest.

blog tour.jpg

  • Author Interview
    • Perhaps you’d like to do an interview feature by asking me a set of questions I can respond to on your blog.
    • Let’s talk about options on how you’d like to share more about me and the book with your followers.

author

 

I look forward to everyone’s interest and ideas. Thanks in advance for wanting to be part of the street team to help launch Watching Glass Shatter. Very exciting!

 

Book Summary

A contemporary fiction novel focusing on a New England family’s drama set in current times. The wealthy Glass family has lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. But it is Olivia who receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia needs to figure out which boy Ben is referring to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney is searching for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. But when Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her.

Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life altering, but she will not rest until she is able to bring her family back together after Ben’s untimely death. Will she be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re a mix of quirky fun!

 

Book Review: The Agatha Christie Book Club by C.A. Larmer

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3+ out of 5 stars to The Agatha Christie Book Club, the first in a mystery series published in 2017 and written by C.A. Larmer. In this series debut novel, you’ll find some of the charm in the traditional English cozy mystery novel mixed with modern day tools and techniques; a fine balance of the two with the potential to grow into a stronger series.

chrisite

Why This Book 
That’s an easy question: I love cozy mysteries. I adore Agatha Christie. I won it on a Goodreads Giveaway. As I packed for vacation last month, this book arrived in the mail the day before the flight. I took it as a sign to read it on the trip, but devoured it before the plane even landed.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Alicia, bored with her book club, assembles an interesting cast of characters to fit the theme of a new book club in her small Australian hometown. She follows familiar Christie methods to locate the members and holds a traditional English tea party to kick it off. By the second meeting, one of the members fails to show. Alicia decides to investigate more about the missing member, quickly learning nothing is at it appears to be. Add in her attractive and single chef sister and six other quirky book club members, you’ve got various caricatures of Christie characters, all who seem to have a few hidden secrets. The missing woman’s family doesn’t seem concerned at her disappearance, but there are many conflicting stories about whether the woman truly was a kind housewife or a mean-spirited diva. One by one, Alicia eliminates her suspects until she determines who was behind it all from the very beginning, of course, in traditional Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple manner…

Approach & Style 
I read the paperback version, a 270 page edition, in 3 hours at an airport and on a plane trip from NYC to North Carolina. There are about 30 chapters with each one relatively short at around 8 to 9 pages. It is written in third person point of view in modern times, focused almost entirely on the perspective of the main character, Alicia Finlay. There are a few small sections from the culprit’s perspective, but only to help stir up some drama and remind us of a Christie story.

Strengths 
The cast of characters is diverse, clear and consistent. I kept changing which one I thought was behind the disappearance, ultimately settling on the proper solution. The author has built in lots of Christie authenticity and connections, which helps you become immersed in the story. I like the setting, and it seems like a good starting point for a book series. Writing was simple and easy to follow — no issues with voice, dialogue, description or narratives.

Concerns 
The plot was a tad too simple for my tastes, but I know it was meant to incorporate a lot of Christie’s characters and books as themes and reminders. It could have used a bit more substance and/or individuality to help it stand apart from other cozy mystery books and Christie-formula novels. I also felt it lacked enough typical setting descriptions to help readers feel as if we were there in Australia.

Author & Final Thoughts 
This is the first book I’ve read from this author, but she has at least one another series about Ghostwriting mysteries. I will take a look at the descriptions to see if it is of interest. I’d read more from her as it was a good book to curl up with by a fire or on a plane for a few hours. Not a thriller or suspense mystery. More a cozy read covering interesting facts and plots about characters, authors and books that readers love to digest in quick sessions.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Watching Glass Shatter – How Can You Get Involved in the Launch?

Posted on Updated on

 

As part of the launch of my new novel, Watching Glass Shatter, I am beginning to plan key marketing activities for November and December. If you are interested in participating, please private message me through email at jamescudney4@yahoo.com or via any of my social media accounts. You can find the links at the bottom of this site. I am considering the following items plus anything else you might want to suggest:

  • Book Review
    • If you’re interested in reading the novel when it’s released, or possibly beforehand as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), sign up with your email address on my blog. I will have a few giveaways and freebies for a select number of folks who can help promote the novel.
    • Looking to promote and publish reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, your personal blog and anywhere else you can think of.

book review

  • Blog Tour
    • If you’d like to be part of a blog tour for the first month after it’s released to help promote and advertise the book, let me know.
    • I’m looking to do a 30-day launch party where someone posts on a specific day with advertising and promotion for the book after they’ve read it. I’m open to whatever content you’d like to include to drum up interest.

blog tour.jpg

  • Author Interview
    • Perhaps you’d like to do an interview feature by asking me a set of questions I can respond to on your blog.
    • Let’s talk about options on how you’d like to share more about me and the book with your followers.

author

 

I look forward to everyone’s interest and ideas. Thanks in advance for wanting to be part of the street team to help launch Watching Glass Shatter. Very exciting!

 

Book Summary

A contemporary and mystery fiction novel focusing on a New England family’s drama set in current times. The wealthy Glass family has lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. But it is Olivia who receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia needs to figure out which boy Ben is referring to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney is searching for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. But when Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her.

Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life altering, but she will not rest until she is able to bring her family back together after Ben’s untimely death. Will she be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re a mix of quirky fun!

via My Novel: Watching Glass Shatter – How Can You Get Involved in the Launch? — James J. Cudney IV: Author of Family Drama & Mystery Fiction

Book Review: The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

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4 out of 5 stars to The Art of Hiding, a family drama novel published in July 2017 and written by Amanda Prowse. I adored this book and am so glad I read it; let’s get right into the review.

hiding

Why This Book
A few months ago, I’d finished reading ‘The Idea of You,’ by this author. I really enjoyed the book, and when ‘The Art of Hiding’ showed up on my NetGalley feed, I had to request it. I forgot that they approved my request until last week, when I went to select whatever was next to be published as my next book to start reading. I’d been so busy writing my own novel, I missed the publish date for this one. So I quickly read it in 2+ days to get caught up.

Plot, Characters & Setting
Nina McCarrick, a mid-30s mother of two boys, 10 and 14, lives a wonderful life on a beautiful Southampton, England estate. That is, until her husband unexpectedly dies and she learns all was not what he’d been telling her. Suddenly losing her life high up on the hill, she’s forced to turn to all her friends and family for assistance. One person takes her in, helping re-build a life for both Nina and the boys. Nina begins to learn the difference between losing your own identity and being part of a married couple. Sometimes, it isn’t a good idea to give up control of all aspects of your life, as when it comes crashing down, you’ll have no idea what to expect.

Approach & Style
I read this novel through Kindle Reader on my iPad over the course of two and a half days. It is about 300 pages long, divided into 15 chapters, all told from Nina’s perpsective in third person point of view. The language is simple but meaningful; it reads itself as you feel immersed in the world Prowse has created for her readers. You could probably read this all in one day over 4 to 5 hours if you kept focused, and it would definitely be an enjoyable read.

Strengths
Prowse tells intricate family stories full of complexity and drama; not so much with everyone around the main characters, but within their small family unit. I felt the same way about one of her other books, and I’ve now come to realize this is her style; this is who the author is and what she excels at.

Nina is easy to relate with, given she is a new widow and has young boys to care for. She has no job, her skills are mostly outdated according to anyone she runs into. You immediately feel a strong connection with the woman, wanting to see her succeed. She’s a wonderful mother. She doesn’t sugarcoat the truth either. She dances around it a bit, hoping not to devastate her children, but she also knows hiding their situation will do more harm than good.

It’s not a suspense story, yet I only put it down because it was midnight and had to wake up early the next morning. You feel as though the events unfold right in your own living room as you are reading, and simply do not want to miss a moment of the beauty and pain inside this family.

Concerns
Very little with this book. It wasn’t a huge and amazing story that captures a tremendous amount of ground. It’s simple and thought-provoking. I felt it could have used a little more clarity around the death of the father and the days leading up to it. At the same time, it all came as a shock to Nina, so why shouldn’t it come as a shock to readers, too. But in the end, I would have connected a bit more strongly if I had some current history. Just a smidge.

On occasion, the relationship Nina had with others felt a bit fake. I thought it was necessary to the plot in some places, but it was a little too much in other places. Sometimes the balance between her being a lonely and hidden wife versus a lonely and hidden widow losing everything wasn’t as clear as I’d have liked it to be. A few extra paragraphs explaining how she interacted with her ‘friends’ before she became a widow might have helped give it more substance and a range between the two people she needed to be during the course of the book. I also think her ‘lows’ weren’t low enough, meaning she needed to struggle more in finding a job, not being able to pay bills. There was some of this impact, but a few things were a little too hunky dory for my taste.

Final Thoughts
Amanda Prowse is quickly becoming 1 of my top 10 favorite authors. I actually marked five more of her books as ‘to-read’ today since I’ve read two and given then both 4’s. I’m going to search NetGalley after I post this review to see if I can get my greedy little hands on more. This woman can really write stories that straddle that line between heartbreak and the promise of a better day.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Book Review: If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

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3 out of 5 stars to If The Creek Don’t Rise, an historical fiction novel set to be published in August 2017, written by Leah Weiss. I enjoyed reading the book, selecting 3 stars because it had several strong parts but also some concerns that I’ll share later. Overall, I’m glad I read it.

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Why This Book 
I read the description of this book via NetGalley, where I search for all my ARCs, and thought it would be a great read prior to my upcoming trip to North Carolina, where I may be stopping in the same rural mountain area.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
This is an ensemble book about a cast of 10 characters in the mid 20th century who live in the rural area of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina. It covers a few events that occurred to some of the townspeople in Baines Creek, providing the view points from different sides of the story. It centers around Sadie Blue, a 17-year-old girl who marries the man who has just gotten her pregnant. From there, the book covers domestic abuse, murder, religion, family, love and friendships. At its core, the novel covers the various relationships built in the town, understanding who sits back doing nothing versus who takes action when they are passionate about the outcome and protection of life.

Approach & Style 
I read the electronic version on my Kindle via an iPad over the course of five nights. The book is about 300 pages, each 20 pages long across 15 chapters. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view, written in the first person perspective. Dialect is important given the book is recreating life during a historical time period in a very specific region where culture and society are quite different.

Strengths 
The characters are very clear and distinct. Each of the major players has a voice you will recognize and understand. Sometimes you will love them and sometimes you will hate them, but each one will leave an impression.

The setting is quite strong. You will feel transported to this rural town in the mountains. From the description, to the dialect and to the way the story unfolds, it matches what you’d expect from the constructs of this type of environment. You will feel like you are in the town.

It deals with very specific personal and family issues that will resonate will a lot of people. From a social perspective, it highlights things that happened in the past that were almost condoned or allowed to happen, due to people’s fears and lack of education or knowledge.

Concerns 
When I read the description, I thought it would be a great plot and story. But when I read the book, it was quite different. This is not a novel where a primary plot point drives the chapters. It’s a character-driven story that tells of the happenings in a small town. The plot isn’t as important as the way each of the characters interpret it. I found myself skimming pages to get to the crux of the story, but it never happened. It’s a preference style, and I think the book should be marketed differently and have an alternative description or cover summary. It would help find a different set of readers who enjoy this type of book. Had I known, I might have spent more time investing in the characters in the beginning rather than trying to piece together a plot that wasn’t going to become any more clear. That said, it’s still a well-written book and will appeal to a wide audience.

Author & Other Similar Books 
Although they are not of the same caliber, it reminded me of the book Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Both books cover highly controversial social issues within a small town, telling the story of how everyone reacts to a few critical events. Where Beartown brings a focus on plot, this book is more about how people interpret society’s values and actions.

It’s the author’s first book, but she shows a lot of promise. I would read another of her books, but I’d want to be careful to understand the plot and approach to telling the story to verify it matches with the way I like to read a book.

Final Thoughts 
In my world, a 3 is a good review. It means you had good elements and a few things I didn’t quite latch on to. If this had a little more action and some clarity around the plot and point of the book, I might have given it a 4. That said, it will definitely resonate with many readers given it has a strong pull to connect you to the characters and the setting. Hope you enjoy it.

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

What’s a Spoiler??

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My friend Mischenko has started an amazing conversation about spoilers in book reviews. You should definitely check it out… so many comments already from all her followers. Great perspectives in this post. Nice job! #spoilers #bookreview #awesomepost #reading

ReadRantRock&Roll

Spoiler is typically defined as a person or thing that spoils something, but it’s not that easy is it? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spoilers when it comes to book reviews. On Goodreads, there are people that will straight up lash out on others for including spoilers in their reviews, but just what exactly is considered a spoiler?

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I recently reviewed a book and compared my review to somebody else’s review on the same book and they had many labels for spoilers that I really didn’t consider spoilers at all. It made me reflect on my review writing and I’m questioning if I’m giving out too much information about the content.

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