Sunday Book Review – Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

My Sunday Book Review for James Cudney’s – Watching Glass Shatter. An interesting family saga with lots of hidden secrets revealed.







After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

While an attorney searches for answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father.

Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?



My 5 Star Review:

This book was an interesting read from Cudney. I’d classify it as a family saga genre as the story evolves around the widow Olivia and her five grown children.

Although the blurb comes right out with the fact that Ben switched the baby, making it sound rather cruel and deceitful, I didn’t find that was the case, as the baby switch was done with consent from the birth mother – still a big no no for Ben not letting his wife know until after he died, but nothing shady.

The plot focuses on what happens after Ben’s death with the will, the baby secret, and then we are taken into the lives of each of their children. Each son has a cross to bear in their lives. We learn this through Olivia’s decision after Ben’s death to visit each of her children to spend quality time with them before the reading of the will. Through each visit, we learn about each of her son’s redeeming and not so redeeming features – their lives, their misgivings, and some very surprising secrets.

Throughout reading the story we learn what propelled each character to become ensconced into each of their dilemmas. Olivia learns a lot about her children she never knew previously. And not until almost the very end do we learn about the story of the baby switch, which somehow didn’t feel like the highlight of the story anymore as we got caught up in the drama of each of the character’s lives.

The story was well written with interesting characters – some of them drew in my sympathy, some left me questioning why they acted as they did. But with a nice and satisfactory ending, I enjoyed this book. #Recommended.




Writer’s Tips – All about Making our Books Stand Out

This week’s edition of Writer’s Tips, I’m sharing some great articles I came across for authors and their books. Learn about eye-catching blurbs, the role of beta readers, how to use Amazon author central to spruce up our blurbs, and what makes a book great.



All about making our blurbs for our books be the best from Sacha Black

Book hooks and blurbs – Can you catch a reader? #Mondayblogs







The importance of using beta readers for our books



Great help article on how to add to your book’s product description (blurb) by using author central on Amazon, not your KDP dashboard.

Source: Making Your Book’s Description POP on Amazon | Celebrating Independent Authors





Excellent article on Joanna Penn’s (Creative Penn) blog on how to write our books with ‘greatness’







Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – Synonyms Only – Beginning and Consume

Welcome back Colleen Chesebro, to the land of writing. We missed your poetry challenges while you were busy uprooting your life and moving to a new state.

This week’s Poetry Challenge invites us to choose a form of poetry to write in and use synonyms only for the words ‘Beginning’ and ‘Consume’. I’ve chosen to write a double, backwards, Etheree.








The Truth Will Set You Free


It has been said – the truth will set us free

It hides in plain sight in silent voice

Our eyes divulge the unspoken

Peeking out behind our tears

Burning deep in our souls

Distorted by lies

Disguised in hate

Etched in hearts

Speak now


Not lost

Light not dark

Guides us to truth

The awakening

Beckons ears to listen

No longer time for silence

Time to evolve and comprehend

Silence and hatred won’t save the world

Take heed, lest we’re devoured by untruth



If you’d like to take part in Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge, visit her post for details.




The Life of a Good Book


Life of a Good Book


Books sweep us away into our imaginations and transport us to an instant mini vacation, lifting our imaginations to places we never dreamed of ever going to, or sometimes, never knowing these places even existed.


We walk in the shoes of authors old and new, profound or entertaining. Stories lifting our spirits or breaking our hearts, stories to enlighten or to persuade, stories of darkness and others of hope. Whether we crave a good mystery, thriller, comedy or memoir, the story sets the tone for how it will leave the reader feeling. We as readers when engrossed in a good book, are made to feel anything from happy, sad, shocked, wondering or scared to death and everything in between when a story takes over all our emotions. We’re absorbed in the feelings of the characters – immersing ourselves as though we walk in their shoes.

When empathy or sympathy is felt by the reader, the author has succeeded in storyline and richly developed characters. When we’re brought to laughing in hysterics, crying our hearts out, or simply taking a pause to linger a moment over a lyrical phrase or perhaps dashing for the light switch from instilled fear by a well written horror story, the writer has done their job well. When the reader engages with the feelings of the characters in a book, the author has hit their target.

A good book never leaves us. Whether it be a powerful character, an engrossing plot line or a poignant message woven in the words, the author has accomplished their mission to engross, engage, enlighten, inform or entertain. This is the author’s greatest satisfaction when they know they’ve left an imprint in the reader’s imagination or heart and that they’ve left the reader satisfied by a good book.

Streets Ahead Street Team Promotion: Words We Carry, by D.G Kaye | Stevie Turner

Thanks to Stevie Turner, who leads our Streets Ahead Authors Promoting Authors group, for sharing my book this week – Words We Carry.



Streets Ahead Street Team Promotion: Words We Carry, by D.G Kaye



As part of this week’s Streets Ahead Street Team promotion, I’m sharing D.G Kaye’s book ‘Words We Carry:  Essays of Obsession and Self Esteem’:


Words We Carry, D.G. Kaye

Available at all the Amazons


Words from the author:

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.


You can read Reviews Here.


Note: Authors are welcome to join us at our Streets Ahead Team on Mewe, where every week an author’s book of choice is featured and promoted on social media by all other authors in the group.


Original Source: Streets Ahead Street Team Promotion: Words We Carry, by D.G Kaye | Stevie Turner

Sunday Book Review – In The Midst of Winter – Isabel Allende

My Sunday Book Review on Isabel Allende’s In The Midst of Winter is a little differently rated than most of the books I share on my reviews because I could only give it 3 1/2 stars. At over 350 pages, I kept waiting for something exciting to happen but I found the plot fell flat and was scattered and disappointing – too much character backstory and not enough plot.





New York Times and worldwide bestselling author Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil. 

An instant New York Times bestseller, In the Midst of Winter is about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that offers “a timely message about immigration and the meaning of home” (People).

During the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes a more serious turn when Evelyn comes to his house, seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant, Lucia Maraz, a fellow academic from Chile, for her advice.

As these three lives intertwine, each will discover truths about how they have been shaped by the tragedies they witnessed, and Richard and Lucia will find unexpected, long overdue love. Allende returns here to themes that have propelled some of her finest work: political injustice, the art of survival, and the essential nature of—and our need for—love.


My 3 1/2 Star Review:

As a fan of Allende’s writing, I found this book a bit disappointing. I also found the blurb to be a bit misleading. Yes, the story goes into the past of each of the three main characters to demonstrate what they experienced in their lives, helping to shape their characters, but I found their backstories could have been stories for a book in themselves and didn’t quite mesh with the actual story going on involving these characters. It’s by far not a ‘sweeping novel’. Where the blurb speaks of political injustice, that pertains more to Evelyn’s and Lucia’s lives in the past before coming to America, but those facts aren’t what the story is about, just about what shapes their characters. I think the story juts off course throughout the book.

The story begins with Lucia an academic colleague of Richard’s who is originally from Chile and rents a basement apartment from Richard while he lives upstairs. Richard comes off as a lonely, grumpy guy who at first isn’t very friendly toward Lucia until he gets into a car accident on a blizzardy day, banging into Evelyn, an undocumented young woman from Guatamala who worked as a nanny for a mobster, his wife Cheryl and their handicapped child. Evelyn felt compelled to run to the store despite the storm to get diapers for the young boy, while Cheryl slept and the husband was out of town, so she took the mobster’s car for the short run then Richard banged into her. And this is where the intended story plot was to grow from when they discovered a dead body in the trunk.

The story continues on with Richard asking Lucia for help to take in Evelyn because she was too scared to go back home. This book didn’t turn into a murder mystery investigation as it suggested it should, rather a mission to get rid of the body and help Evelyn in doing so, and in doing so we’re taken into the history of each character, back and forth into the present. The romance that finally happened near the end of the book between Lucia and Richard felt awkward, and the ending left no impact. This wasn’t Allende’s finest work by far, IMHO.

Writer’s Tips – Great Resources for #Bloggers and #Authors

For this edition of Writer’s Tips, I came across some informative reads for more free images, an interesting concept – newsletter swap, tips and tools for bloggers, themes for your blog that actually work with Gutenberg, getting paid for writing, and some great additional links for writers. I hope you find them useful.



More sites with free images shared by The BookDesigner

Source: 72 Free Image Sources for Authors – The Book Designer



Nicholas Rossis shares about newsletter swaps are very trendy right now, especially among authors of similar genres. This is because they have three big advantages over traditional promos:




42 FREE themes that play nice with the new Gutenberg editor by Hugh Roberts




Doris Heilmann has an extensive list of links where you can get paid for your writing



Staci Troilo has a wonderful post this week out on writer’s inspiration and some fabulous links for writers





Everything from web hosting, to plugins and themes, Natalie Ducey Smith has a smorgasbord of goodies in this post for bloggers.




Happy birthday to me




Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Are We Lost in #Social Oblivion? by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

We sometimes forget what nuggets of wisdom we’ve posted in the past as the years go by we continue to write and post and don’t always think about some of the past gems we’ve written. Well, Sally Cronin decided to run a series where she welcomed bloggers to give her the go ahead to dig through our posts and cherry-pick some of our gems collecting dust and giving them new light at her Potluck series at the Smorgasbord. Today I’m sharing one of my older posts on Social Media, which Sally has chosen to share on her blog.


Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Are We Lost in #Social Oblivion? by D.G. Kaye



Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.


If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:


Here is the fourth of the posts I have selected from the archives of D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies who is a regular contributor to the blog with her travel column and also as a guest comedian…Debby has some terrific posts on blogging and social media… and here is one that I think we can all relate to.


Are We Lost in #Social Oblivion? by D.G. Kaye


Today I’m going to share my thoughts here on the madness of social media, and book promoting, and our constant battle to keep up with everything social media to stay afloat with our presence.

I’m speaking for myself, but I know my thoughts are shared by many a writer. As writers, we all develop our routines, and although every one of us has our own methods of tackling our ‘to do’ lists, if we’re writing books, much of what we do will involve ways to market our books using social media.

With the explosion of new authors and books in the past few years, there are waves of cries to ‘buy my book’ in order to be heard through a sea of social media blasts. I sometimes feel as though I’m drowning in that sea. But I don’t wish to become one of the ‘hard sell’ authors, and I don’t even spend nearly enough time or dollars doing the amount of marketing I’m urged to do through all the social outlets I follow and with all the subscriptions I read from newsletters telling me about another method to push my books.

Sure I read many articles to stay abreast. I’ll bookmark pertinent information and save it to Evernote for the time I’m ready to tackle it. But with all I read, I still can’t bring myself to become an aggressive marketer. I have my daily routine planned the night before with my list of things to accomplish, and that keeps my plate full as it is. As much as I want to try a million new ideas out, there are only so many hours in a day. So I prioritize with my book writing days and my blog post days. I’ve learned what social media sites I gravitate to most. I’ve built friendships and followers who I can chat with, share with, or just have a simple ‘thank you’ for sharing rapport with for dedicated sharers. I read many blogs, and like and comment where I feel like contributing, and if I enjoyed a post, I’ll share it to my social sites.

This routine I have was never a strategy to gain followers, but somehow it had led me to gathering readers and making some wonderful friends along the way. This is who I am, and I don’t wish to conform to being one of those hounds shouting hashtags to ‘buy my book’.

And what may have prompted me to write this you may be thinking? Continue reading at Sally’s blog . . .



Source: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Are We Lost in #Social Oblivion? by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine




Birthday week