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.




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.

Sunday Book Review – Songs of Heartstrings #Poetry

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


My Sunday book review is for Miriam Hurdle’s new poetic memoirs – Songs of Heartstrings. A beautiful sharing of thoughts and memories from the heart.






Human being has the will power to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

Hurdle in her poetry collection includes themes of personal experiences in nature, difficult relationship, cancer treatment, marriage, parenthood, remembrance, reflection and inspiration. She reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She loves music, photography and watercolor painting and includes photos and paintings to complement the poems.


My 4 Star Review:


This is a beautiful book filled with heartfelt prose and poetry of thought as observed and remembered by the author. Hurdle gives us snippets of her life experiences through her short and telling poems. This is a unique format displaying poetry and some lovely illustrations accompany some of the the poems. The author brings us in to her vignettes of time with her tender shares of reflection, shared words of wisdom, and poetic verses of some of her trials and tribulations through life. A beautiful little book you can enjoy in one sitting or refer back to when you could use some inspiration.

Sunday Book Review – New Reviews are in for Words We Carry #Memoir

Words We Carry by D.G. Kaye

Available on Amazon – Click HERE



5 Stars

on July 5, 2018


I purchased this book months ago, and for whatever reason, let it languish in the dusty corners of my Kindle. What a mistake! My eyes have been opened…

D. G. Kaye bares her soul by sharing some of the experiences she endured as a child and onward into her adult years, at the hands of a narcissistic mother. It’s all there, in excruciating detail, the shaming and the harmful words used to inflict pain resulting in the author’s low self-esteem.

She says:

“Many factors contribute to the complexities we experience throughout our lives, all of which aid in shaping our self-perception. We tend to carry baggage from our wounded egos—from the slights, injustices, and teasing of our pasts—which, when harbored internally, can fester into a damaged soul.”

Needless to say, I can relate to her experiences from my own upbringing. I immediately felt an empathetic connection to the author as a person, and that is where this author excels in her writing. By sharing her experiences, she appears to have found the formula for how to deal with her own issues head on!

Words We Carry is jam-packed full of sound “girlfriend” advice for those of us who are ready to change our perceptions. In fact, D. G. Kaye suggests that we learn to “become uplifted and inspired by positive people instead of clinging to negative people who will suck us dry of energy and, in the process, take us down with them.”

Real change is brought about when we learn to deal with ridicule and rejection. The author stresses an attitude of “self-love,” something we all need a healthy dose of at least once a day.

I didn’t feel like this was a “self-help” book, instead, I found this book to be more inspirational in nature. It gave me hope that I can learn to let go of the hurt from my own past.

This is the third book I’ve read by D. G. Kaye. The author touches a chord in me every time. ❤


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 STARS
Words We Carry: Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie

September 13, 2017

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Some of you will find this book comforting, and a few of you will find it just what the doctor ordered. But it is not for everyone.

You probably won’t be able to relate if you are one of the lucky few whose parents supported your every endeavor, who were never bullied or at the receiving end of a few catty comments that echo still, who began living the life of your dreams and tripped over the perfect relationship the moment you left your parent’s house, or who always found yourself in the center of “the IN crowd.”

FOR EVERYONE ELSE, this is an uplifting, positively focused quick read that is more like a conversation with a supportive big sister. The “girlfriend” conversational tone is one of the book’s charms. Using “open-faced sandwich” examples from her own life in a series of shorter essays organized in sections, the author shares her own insecurities and how she overcame them, disclosing many of her own challenges with the process of developing self-esteem herself. Many with her history might not have been able to do so, struggling still.

‘Words’ would be helpful to anyone of any age with a similar background (and most females still struggling to make peace with their real or imagined “flaws”), but I especially want to encourage younger women to give it a read. It is likely to save you a few years of “relationship mistakes” and second-guessing as you work through the many issues common to most of us. Perhaps it will help you avoid some of the heartache that accompanies those years when we SO much want to be “popular” and think we would be if we were taller/shorter/thinner/blonder – whatever-er!!

Follow the author’s journey as she takes us through what it took for her to work through her own “flaws” and negative emotions and come out the other side, whole, happily married to a wonderful man for many years now, and extremely productive.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
“It takes a village to transform a world!”

5 Stars
on September 16, 2018

Once in a while you come across a book that really speaks to you. Reading ‘Words We Carry’ by D. G. Kaye was like having friends over for coffee and revealing our innermost secrets or speaking to your mentor about life and how to make it better. The author, who has natural psychology opened my eyes and made me ponder why I react the way I do to certain things or certain people. I enjoyed author, D.G. Kaye’s writing style––so friendly and warm. This book is well written and is easily one that can change someone’s life.

I recommend this book to anyone who ever felt insecure, self-conscious or inadequate. An easy 5 star read.

Sunday Book Review – While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Eaton

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m sharing my review of Robbie Cheadle’s latest release – While the Bombs Fell. While Robbie is better known for her children’s books she co-authors with her son, Michael Cheadle, Robbie has written this book in collaboration with her mother, Elsie Eaton, to share her accounting of her childhood during World War II in Suffolk, England.






What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.


My 4 Star Review:


This book is a collaboration between author Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Eaton, as Cheadle expresses her mother’s wartime memories written through the eyes of a young Elsie.

I would say that the writing style and voice here is more geared toward a younger audience – older children as well as adults, who may want to learn what it was like in wartime for a child growing up with the uncertainty of siren warnings, sharing beds, toys and clothing with siblings, and their playtime amusements taking them through til the end of the war. We learn that the simplest of makeshift toys and something as simple as eating an orange can delight a child, keeping them oblivious to the surroundings of war.

The authors give us rich descriptions of the hardships taken on by Elsie’s father to keep the family fed, as well as the day-to-day chores Elsie’s mother performed to keep her family clean, fed, safe, and happy through the changing seasons and elements that change with the seasons. It was interesting to read and learn how the simplest of food and sparse household items were meticulously used to keep a family going through difficult times – and a good reminder about the abundance of everything we so often take for granted in our present every day living. There are bonus wartime recipes shared at the end of the book.



Sunday Book Review – In the Shadow of Light by Elaine Orr -Political Family Drama

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


My Sunday Book Review for Elaine Orr’s – In the Shadow of Light. This book is a short but powerful read. The book is a fictional story based on actual events going in the U.S. with strict family separation immigration policies and gives us a look at two families caught in the turmoil. One family are the immigrants fleeing from Honduras seeking asylum in the U.S. expecting to be admitted for previously saving the life of an American soldier, Colonel Bill, and what happened to them once arriving on American soil. The other family is American, caught up in conflicting turmoil between being patriotic to their country’s laws, where the husband works for the Department of Justice,  abiding by the separation policy, now facing a crisis when their own daughter’s life is put in jeopardy as payback to give them a taste of what’s it’s like to have your child taken away.






Corozón, her mother, and little brother Pico have left Honduras to seek asylum in the U.S. Grandfather Tito and her father Manuel saved the life of Colonel Bill, an American soldier, many years ago. It’s probably part of the reason Corozón’s father was murdered. They believe they are fleeing to safety, but don’t know about the family separation policy. While they flee northward, the daughter and friend of the DOJ employee who has become the face of the policy attend a birthday party. But they don’t make it home. Someone wants young Kyra’s father to feel the pain of the separated families. Thanks to a nighttime photo snapped by a freelancer, Corozón’s terror at having her little brother pried from her resonates with many. A Washington Post reporter joins Colonel Bill to try to find the family. But the DOJ isn’t helping nearly as much to get young Kyra released. Two families, different circumstances, scary options.


Editorial Reviews


While outside of Elaine Orr’s usual genre, it continued her practice of excellent writing. Kindle Customer, June 25, 2018

From the Author

Sometimes an author just has to put words to feelings. The story of Corozon and her family is one that many families face. You’ll feel their pain, and hope for their future.



My 5 Star Review:


A Fictional Story About a Non Fictional Heinous Policy

This book is a fictional accounting of a very real situation being practiced in the United States – Family separation policies at the borders and ripping families apart. This may be a fictional story but it’s all too real. Names have been changed but the same policies exist, the same confliction is faced by border agents where they are compelled to do their jobs as country states despite their misgivings and own heartbreak of being part of and having to enforce  the dark new laws. What struck me as odd in the story was the name substituted for the current president – President Diamond. I’d love to know what inspired the author to choose that name. Personally, I would have named him President Coal.

After Isabella’s husband was killed in Honduras, she picked up her 2 children and fled to the U.S., knowing her and kids would be next. Her husband had once saved the life of an American soldier – Colonel Bill, while risking his own life to do so, and she was counting on the Colonel’s assistance to help her into the U.S. once at the border. But Isabella wasn’t aware of the new child snatching policies at the borders, and once they arrived from their trek, Isabella’s two children were taken from her, leaving little Corozon alone with her baby brother Pico in an unfamiliar world of new fears and the responsibility to protect her baby brother while wondering if they’d ever see their mother again.

Meanwhile, on the other side of this story, a certain member of the DOJ who oversees the policies of child snatching at the borders soon discovers his own daughter has been kidnapped to give him a taste of what it’s like to have his child ripped from his life, forcing him to take a good look at his job while terrified he may never see his daughter again.

This book gives us a hard look at both sides of the coin for both the immigrant’s plight for survival by escaping their own country’s war to an inconspicuous new kind of war, while giving us a glimpse of what it’s like to be the enforcers of this heinous policy. Orr has done a wonderful job of conveying her position on the current border policies through these heart-wrenching stories.



Sunday Book Review – Heaven’s Rage – Leslie Tate

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Today I’m reviewing Heaven’s Rage by Leslie Tate. This book is classified as an imaginative autobiography and I’d have to agree that’s an accurate description. Tate invites us in to his deepest thoughts and memories, giving us a ring side seat into fragments of his life.







HEAVEN’S RAGE is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage — William Blake


My 5 Star Review:


The author invites us into an intimate look at pieces of his life with blatant honesty. While this book is not a novel and a definite swing on traditional memoir it’s well put together in prose and style and draws us in to the delicate and sometimes complicated life of this author and poet in his quest for understanding and acceptance.

The stories touch on past and present feelings from both childhood and adulthood, dealing with topics of self on bullying, cross-dressing, and values of both adversity and triumphs encountered and endured. Tate shares his insights through reflection and excerpts, boldly sharing his pain and process to understanding and coming to terms with life. If you enjoy such topics and an unusual slant on story telling you will enjoy this book and author.