#CoverReveal- Hiding Cracked Glass by @JamesCudney4 #Suspense @Shalini_G26


HIDING CRACKED GLASS BY JAMES J. CUDNEY

Series Name: Perceptions of Glass

Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter

Book #2 Name: Hiding Cracked Glass (cover reveal for this one)

Publication for Book #2:

Next Chapter, October 8th, 2020

PreSale / Amazon Link:

Pending from Publisher

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54399989-hiding-cracked-glass

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. 

 

About The Author

Background

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, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” 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 that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

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

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

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

·       Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

·       Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

·       Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

·       Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

·       Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

·       Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

#NewRelease Last Chance Beach- Summer’s End #Romance #SummerReading @KathleenLawles6 @JoanReeves


LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End will make you want to book a vacation to the island of legend and love, the place where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

Hot August Night by Joan Reeves, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

When they met, it was hate at first sight. Now they’re stuck in the same overbooked beach cottage and horrified to discover they have the hots for each other!

Something New by Liz Flaherty, USA Today Bestselling Author

Their lives are planned out…until they’re not! Are they in love or just stuck in a habit?

I Do…Again by Nancy Fraser, Top 100 Bestselling Author

At a high school reunion; old flames meet again. Can they re-ignite what they once had and take a last chance on love?

The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons, Top 100 Bestselling Author

She faces a hard decision; he encourages her to choose with her heart. Will the solution drive them apart or into one another’s arms?

That One Summer by Maddie James, Top 100 Bestselling Author

It’s the typical annual week on the beach with the girls—until her summer fling from 20 years back shows up. He’s the one who got away. She’s the one who couldn’t commit.

Romancing the Spouse by Jan Scarbrough, National Bestselling Author

The kids are grown; her husband has an important career, and she wonders if she still loves him, and if he loves her. Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?

Blue Sky Summer by Kathleen Lawless, National Bestselling Author

Of all the beaches on the coast, who shows up on her beach? Him! A former competitive surfer runs into her former love, and revisits all the reasons things didn’t work out for them before.

Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards, National Bestselling Author

She wants divorce—he doesn’t. What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!

One Last Shot by Marcia King-Gamble, National Bestselling Author

She’s hiding from the paparazzi. He’s the guy next door, an amateur photographer. Will he accept tabloid money for pictures of her? Or will he choose love over jumpstarting his career?

Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills, Award Winning Author

Kat must convince her Gran to move to the mainland, but Gran—and hunky neighbor Ben—want Kat to take over the B&B and antique shop. What will it take for Kat to stay? Some of Gran’s special island magic?

Paradise Perfume by Connie Vines, Award Winning Author

She returns to Last Chance Beach to begin a new life. He’s a single dad on vacation with his pre-teen daughter. He’s worried  his daughter may become too attached to her, but maybe he’s the one whose heart is at risk.

Dreams of the Past by Laura Hunsaker, Award Winning Author

Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past? She’s looking for a fresh start, but he’s rented the same beach cottage. One bed, two people? Whatever will they do?

Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes by Nora LeDuc

He’s handsome and in town for only 2 weeks. She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.

Can’t Buy Me Love by Hannah Rowan

She won the big lottery, but doesn’t want anyone to know. He’s a fixer-upper specialist who’s also keeping a secret.

                                                   ***

Grab your limited-time-offer collection here for only 99cents. https://amzn.to/3hJseeT

I LOVE Kathleen’s cover, don’t you?

Welcome to the blog, Kathleen Lawless. Can you tell us the inspiration behind your story in the Last Chance Beach- Summer’s End box set?

Like so many authors, I tend to pull real life experiences into my books.  I was only four or five when I watched my mother rescue a young boy who was drowning at the beach where we spent our summers.  That memory has never left me and finally it worked its way into BLUE SKY SUMMER, my contribution to a box set with 13 other bestselling authors.  LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End is a binge-worthy beach read collection for only 99 cents. 

***

Of all the beaches on the entire coast to see him again. . .

What are the chances?  Former competitive surfer, Alisha, heads for Last Chance Beach, where no one knows who she is. 

No one except Mark.  Talk about a blast from the past, and the worst kind of luck she chose this island for her vacation. 

When Mark sees Alisha on the beach, memories come flooding back, along with the pain he felt when she dumped him.   Her actions might have been well intended, but the results were a disaster.   

They’re older now.  Are they also wiser? 

Here is a snippet from my second-chance romance, BLUE SKY SUMMER.

         Alisha spread out her beach towel and lowered herself onto it, straightening a floppy sun hat to shade her face.  It was the first time this week she’d ventured to this particular cove, home to the island’s surfers.  The break was small this morning, and the few surfers in the water looked like beginners.

         She leaned back, resting her weight on her hands, and tried to remember what it had felt like the first time she’d caught a wave.  One initial rush of freedom, and she had been hooked.   

         She’d barely settled in to watch the action and live vicariously through others, when she saw a newcomer walk to the shoreline with a board under his arm.  Something about his long-legged, self-assured gait took her back fifteen years, and the first time she’d seen Mark.

         She gave her head a shake.  She hadn’t thought about him in years.  Much.  Just because this surfer was the same height and coloring . . .

         As he positioned himself on his board and headed for the break, she pulled out her binoculars, more to reassure herself it wasn’t him. 

         She zoomed in, and the bottom fell out of her stomach.  

         It was Mark! 

Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her alpha male heroes. 

 Her hero, Steele, in UNDERCOVER, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was wooed by a man called Steel— while he’s not a cowboy, he is an Alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

Not that she can ever stick to just one genre.  So many stories to tell—never enough time.

With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.        

Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Group to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1

#NewRelease The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley #WomensFic


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“Lucinda Riley once again has written a masterful saga.”– People Magazine

The Butterfly Room, an all-new unforgettable, second-chance-at-love romance from #1 International bestselling author Lucinda Riley, is available now!

The Butterfly Room_300dpi (1)

Full of her trademark mix of unforgettable characters and heart-breaking secrets, The Butterfly Room is a spellbinding, second-chance-at-love story from #1 International bestseller Lucinda Riley.

Posy Montague is approaching her seventieth birthday. Still living in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, set in the glorious Suffolk countryside where she spent her own idyllic childhood catching butterflies with her beloved father, and raised her own children, Posy knows she must make an agonizing decision. Despite the memories the house holds, and the exquisite garden she has spent twenty-five years creating, the house is crumbling around her, and Posy knows the time has come to sell it.

Then a face appears from the past – Freddie, her first love, who abandoned her and left her heartbroken fifty years ago. Already struggling to cope with her son Sam’s inept business dealings, and the sudden reappearance of her younger son Nick after ten years in Australia, Posy is reluctant to trust in Freddie’s renewed affection. And unbeknown to Posy, Freddie – and Admiral House – have a devastating secret to reveal…

TBR out now

Download your copy today!

Amazon: http://mybook.to/thebutterflyroom Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Ai5lPe Amazon Worldwide: https://amzn.to/2X6xMs8 Nook: https://bit.ly/2M3dI3s Kobo: https://bit.ly/2XAdVk9

Add THE BUTTERFLY ROOM to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3er9LC1

Meet Lucinda

Kirjailija Lucinda Riley ||| Author Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold twenty million copies worldwide. She is a No.1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Lucinda is currently writing The Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation. It has become a global phenomenon, with each book in the series being a No.1 bestseller across the world. The series is currently in development with a major Hollywood production company.

Connect with Lucinda Facebook: https://bit.ly/3hcFFU5 Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2WxLIdX Instagram: https://bit.ly/3jeMQwR Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eGtEET Bookbub: https://bit.ly/3eIpUTa Website: https://bit.ly/2Ba6mcH

Connect with Blue Box Press https://theblueboxpress.com/

Pawn by @TM_Frazier #NewRelease #MCRomance


Pawn - RB banner

Born into hell. Baptism by betrayal. 


His life revolves around violence.

Pawn, the stunning conclusion to The Pawn Duet from USA Today bestselling author T.M. Frazier, is available now!

pawn ebook

My life is on the line.

I’m trapped both physically and emotionally. A pawn in a game I didn’t know I was playing.

Until I met him.

Pike acts without emotion, but I know he feels something for me.

I see it in his eyes when he looks at me. I feel it when he’s close.

I know it’s real because I feel it too.

Lust. Desire.

It complicates everything.

I know that I’m part of Pike’s plan for revenge.

He doesn’t know he’s part of mine.

Pawn is book two of The Pawn Duet. Pike is book one.

Duet- AN

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ano48Q

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PawnTM

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Wwehtj

Nook: https://bit.ly/2vDiDnc

Kobo: https://bit.ly/33AKfGi

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WGVAmu

Start the duet with Pike!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2U0Bsdz

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2UlWdiV

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PikeTM

Nook: http://bit.ly/2IZIBVg

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2IUH1DN

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WrlXNkTmFrazier

About T.M. Frazier

T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier never dreamed that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book. Now, she is a five-time USA Today bestselling author and her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world. T.M. enjoys writing what she calls ‘sexy wrong side of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt anti-heroes and ballsy heroines. Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay. She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.

Connect with T.M. Frazier

Facebook: http://bit.ly/TMFRAZIERBOOKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JWHAv8

GoodReads: https://amzn.to/2OjmESr

Join Frazierland:http://bit.ly/frazierland

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2U8gmtH

BookBub: https://bit.ly/2xtlQ4u

Twitter: @TM_Frazier

Stay up to date with T.M. by signing up for her mailing list: http://bit.ly/TMFrazier Website: http://www.tmfrazierbooks.com

The Girl in The Love Song by Emma Scott #NewRelease #Romance @EmmaS_Writes


At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

The Girl in the Love Song, book one in the Lost Boys, an interconnected coming-of-age series of standalones, from USA Today bestselling author Emma Scott, is live!

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice. 

Until Violet. 

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back. 

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications. 

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

The Girl in the Love Song features two original songs written by Emma herself.

Download today or read for free in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UdV79C

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TheGirlintheLoveSongES

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2MLnYhU

About Emma:



Emma Scott is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and heroes with a heart of gold, you will enjoy her novels.

Connect with Emma:
Amazon author link: https://amzn.to/2yUnFKJ

Webpage: emmascottwrites.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottFB

Reader group: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottEntourage

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottBB

Instagram: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottIG

Twitter: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottTW

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2nTGLf6

Father Figure by James. J. Cudney #Suspense #Sale @jamescudney4


Father Figure is a .99 Kindle download from 5/23 thru 5/27 – help yourselves!

Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it! You should pick it up before the virtual book club coming up soon… check it out

This was my introduction into James J. Cudney’s work, and can I just say, wow! Here’s a link to my review- https://jacqbiggar.com/2019/07/11/father-figure-by-jamescudney4-suspense-bookreview/

Father Figure’s plotline is nothing short of brilliant, with a surprise ending you won’t guess is coming!

Download @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure for only .99 this week

Overview of Father Figure

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.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.

Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.    

Father Figure was officially launched for sale on Amazon on April 2, 2018 as both an e-book and a physical book. Reviews have been extremely positive between Goodreads and Amazon since the 5-day free download and 5-day book blitz.

  • Book Blitz: For 5 days, (4/30 thru 5/4) we posted promotions, hints, and feedback
  • Blog Tour: For 5 days (6/4 thru 6/8) we posted reviews, interviews and a giveaway

Reviews

★★★★★ – “The book deals with abuse, identity, acceptance, overcoming obstacles, crime, sexuality, family secrets, and knowing who you are. Another great story to read, especially if you love emotive, suspenseful family dramas.”

★★★★★ – “Gripping and emotional… Mr. Cudney has written a book full of twists and turns that kept my eyes glued to its pages.”

★★★★★ – “Amalia and Brianna are fully developed characters with all the fears, naivety, anxiety and angst of teen, young adults; full of questions and doubts… Can’t wait for James Cudney’s next work.”

***

Book Excerpt

Chapter One – Amalia, August 1984

“I didn’t raise no harlot, Amalia. When you’re done with softball practice today, you will go directly to the hardware store and help your father manage that cash register.” The stagnant air, sealed tightly like an old glass jar of long-forgotten jelly, refused to dissipate in the Graeme family home—even it was afraid of Janet’s wrath.

“But Momma, I’ll be home to cook dinner before sunset.” The strains in Amalia’s voice weakened with each of her mother’s refusals to let her live the normal life of a teenager.

“Didn’t you hear me the first time, child? Only little whores go to the lake.” Janet’s stern voice emptied through thin lips stained from devouring a blueberry cobbler before they’d started cooking breakfast. “Are you a little whore, Amalia?”

Retribution for daring to break any of her mother’s rules was always swift and fierce. Amalia had obeyed every word since her mother locked her in the storm cellar for ten hours when she was a toddler —punishment for spilling juice on an antique lace tablecloth. “No, I’m sorry. I thought you might let me celebrate just this once…”

The plea had barely escaped Amalia’s hesitant lips before the clammy grip of Janet’s bony hands shoved her down the hallway. “Stop your sass talk, girl. We can take another trip downstairs if you don’t care to mind me.”

Amalia’s left arm grazed the wall when stumbling from the kitchen into the dark mudroom. Dingy white paint chips rained to the floor and clung to her favorite new red blouse while passing through the dilapidated archway. She cradled her elbow, flicked off the last few flakes of her mother’s venom, and firmly held her ground. “It’s not fair. You let Greg hang out with his friends all the time.”

“Leave your brother out of this conversation. Your responsibility belongs first to this family and then to the hardware store. Who said anything about friends? Now get yourself off to practice.” Janet’s one good eye stubbornly left behind after diabetes stole the vision in her other glared while Amalia reluctantly marched toward the back door. “You’re a spiteful little child.”

“I’m taking out the trash, Momma.” Her voice carried the defeat of a soul unable to find the words or summon the strength to defend herself anymore. As she leaned over, the scoop neck on Amalia’s blouse revealed the slightest hint of cleavage between her ample breasts.

“Stop right now. What are you wearing?” Janet’s tone lingered thick over such insubordination. A special brand of disdain had been developed by watching her daddy preach to his Southern Baptist congregation for nearly forty years before he anxiously married her off to Amalia’s father.

“It’s just a pretty shirt I found at a yard sale. I’m not showing too much skin.” Amalia dropped the trash bag on the mudroom’s gray linoleum and recalled the similar, previous lectures. She refused to turn around to face the woman. “I’m not a child anymore, Momma.”

Janet stampeded through the kitchen and kicked the garbage into the far corner. Though the vinyl flooring had peeled away from the walls as the house settled, it was still not one of the more noticeable improvements desperately needed in their home. “It’s lesson time, girl.”

Amalia yelped and dashed to safety after a cast iron frying pan full of hot grease collided with bare skin on the back of her arm. “No, Momma, please…” She dropped to her knees, scooted across the mudroom floor, and cowered behind the pantry door to protect herself from any further blows. An acrid burnt plastic odor from a fiery singe on the linoleum beneath her wafted through the air as she shuddered in pain. The nerves in her forearm and elbow convulsed when the wound began to blister from the impact of her mother’s lesson.

“Someday you’ll learn how to behave yourself.” Janet grudgingly placed the frying pan on the washing machine and lifted Amalia by the curls of her hair. She tightly squeezed her daughter’s breasts while trying to raise the blouse over Amalia’s head. “I don’t know where you got these girls from. You’re hoping to entice all the boys to put their dirty little hands where they don’t belong.”

Amalia pushed away her mother’s sticky fingers willing to risk more punishment if she kept them off her trembling body. The putrid smell of Janet’s three-day-old sweat and decaying teeth littered the air between their lips. “Leave it. I’ve got a bra on underneath to keep them strapped down. I know the rules.”

Amalia’s breasts had begun to develop when she turned eleven years old. By thirteen, a custom-size bra was bought to contain them. Dresses were never allowed given the attention they’d drawn to her body’s hourglass shape. Though Janet’s words were enough of a rebuke, reduction surgery was still threatened should Amalia’s breasts grow any larger.

“I pray every night for them to stop getting bigger and for God to teach you some morals. It’s like you’re rubbing my great Aunt Tilly’s rose garden’s Miracle Grow on those dirty pillows. Tramps like you get themselves into some mighty trouble when they don’t protect their bodies.” Janet stomped back to the kitchen with the now-emptied frying pan and quickly snapped her fingers. “Cover yourself up or forget about going away to college this summer.”

“Yes, Momma.” Amalia heaved herself from the floor with the help of the door handle and collected the remains of her veiled dignity.

“And put out the trash already. It smells like a sewer in here,” snickered Janet.

Fighting back the tears brimming on the surface of her weary eyes, Amalia sighed with relief upon noticing the frying oil hadn’t ruined her blouse. In a rush to tend to her wounds while running through the living room and up the flight of stairs, Amalia crashed into her father, Peter. At sixty, he’d begun to settle into a grandfatherly presence contented by a quiet and ordinary life. He’d aged quickly in the Graeme household. Everyone did.

“Daddy, I’m so sorry. I was…” Amalia hugged her father, rested her head against his narrow chest, and listened to his enfeebled lungs wheeze with exertion.

Peter fell toward the wall and knocked over the family portrait they’d photographed during Greg’s high school graduation. “Oh, my pet, what’s wrong?” He pulled Amalia closer with one hand and adjusted the brass picture frame with the other. A thin layer of ashen skin on his face failed to cover years of misery being married to Janet. He’d long-accepted divorce would never be permitted by the daughter of a Baptist preacher and that his life would be fraught with reproach. “Did you have another squabble with your mother?”

Amalia sniffled and concealed her burns, desperate to splash cold water on the pain. “She hates me, Daddy. Momma never loved me the way she loves Greg.”

“That’s not true, honey. She’s tougher because you’re leaving later this month.” Peter brushed away a few loose curls from Amalia’s face and smiled with a fatherly love that hadn’t receded over the years. “What happened this time?”

A cherubic expression brightened her pale face with the hope he would understand but disappeared once she remembered begging had never helped before. “I asked if I could go to the lake today with the rest of the softball team for Brant’s town fair, but Momma says I have to work at the store like I do every other day.”

The population of their hometown, Brant, Mississippi, founded in 1784, hovered around five hundred inhabitants, the majority born and raised in the surrounding isolation. The Graeme family, still considered outsiders, had arrived in the mid-1800s settling about a half mile from Lake Newton—the livelihood once used to transport goods to the neighboring settlements. Over the years, as the county paved new roads to share crops more efficiently among all the nearby villages, the lake became a gathering place for the local families and visitors to enjoy each summer. Store owners had organized a bicentennial celebration for the upcoming weekend where all the citizens would barbecue ribs, hold square dancing lessons, and play various outdoor games. Amalia looked forward to it every year believing she always had the chance to find a new friend who might make the rough days pass by a little easier.

“Your momma knows best, honey. We need to be available for our customers.” Every penny was important to Janet Graeme, especially with two kids attending college—they could never close the store early. Janet often reminded them how pitching in around the house or store was impossible on account of her many illnesses. Peter nudged Amalia away and kissed her cheek. “You can leave work early to meet your teammates at tomorrow’s picnic. Will that make you happy?”

“It helps, but I’ll be the only one not going tonight.” Amalia buried her flushed cheeks into the crook of his left arm. He always smelled of Old Spice. She’d bought him the same cologne for Father’s Day every year since shopping on her own.

If Peter noticed the stinging red color or the slight favor of her left arm, he either ignored it or thought she’d injured herself in a recent softball game. He adhered to an insulated belief that his wife’s normal way of parenting didn’t include hurting or abusing their daughter. It wasn’t the first time he’d misjudged a situation. Peter once took Amalia to a movie theatre as an early birthday present telling Janet they’d stayed behind at the store to count inventory and order stock, but she found a few popcorn kernels on the floor of the family Dodge the next morning while driving to church. Janet waited until Amalia arrived home from school later that week to teach her daughter a lesson about lying. Though Amalia had only been trying to catch a schoolboy’s attention by lightening the color of her hair with lemon juice, it was a vengeful wrath she’d unexpectedly invited as Janet took a pair of shearing scissors to her daughter’s golden mane. The emotional scars from an abusive homelife were profound, but Amalia never regretted sneaking off to watch the movie. She was proud of being a daddy’s girl. He was her hero, the father she’d always treasure, the man who made it easier being the daughter of the wicked Janet Graeme.

Peter patted Amalia’s back offering any chance to ease her disillusion. “I know, but tomorrow when you go to the lake, everything will be back on track. Bring some clothes to change into so that you don’t have to come back home in between. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“I can’t wait. I love you, Daddy.” She hugged him again and raced up the stairs to change her shirt before her mother had another outburst. Amalia applied cream to her wounds, then chose a long-sleeve button-down sweater she fastened two inches above the dip in her neck. After checking the mirror and wishing a bit of foundation could hide the uneven colors, she splashed water on her face to erase the evidence of her pain. One of Janet’s more ridiculous judgments echoed among Amalia’s numbed thoughts. ‘Only the vile women in this town wear makeup!’

Amalia flew back down the stairs and searched for the trash bag she’d left behind, realizing it would mean another lashing if her mother had stumbled upon it first. As she rushed into the living room, her father handed her a banana and elbowed her out the front door. “I already put it in the outside bin. Get to softball practice, my pet.” His voice barely audible, his expression as loud as a parade.

Amalia smiled and released an uncontrollable giggle as her countenance relaxed for the first time that morning. Although the tense nerves in her neck retreated into partial hiding, her body remained hypervigilant and always waited for the next blistery strike from her mother. She left the house flickering with excitement for the town’s festivities over the weekend but frightened at what her teammates would say about her missing the lake party. No one ever declined their much sought-after invitations without hazardous repercussions.

Although she’d graduated high school two months earlier, Amalia continued playing in the county’s summer tournaments to keep her pitching skills primed for college games. Risking a loss of the unexpectedly received scholarship—as it was the only reason she could afford to go away to school—was not an option. After practice, where she conveniently forgot to tell her teammates about missing the upcoming lake party, Amalia worked side-by-side with her father for a few hours and avoided any further trouble with her mother at home. Once Amalia climbed into bed that evening exhausted from an emotionally and physically grueling afternoon, she drifted asleep clutching her pillow and wished things would somehow improve the next day.

****

The following morning, Janet took the family’s only car to the First Baptist’s services leaving Amalia and Peter to trudge the two-mile distance to the center of town. Graeme Hardware Store was part of the town’s original train depot when first built in the mid-nineteenth century. Shortly before World War I, the train line was re-routed to a larger city a few miles away. This prompted Brant’s town council to vote in favor of converting the train depot into a lunch café and expanding the footprints of local shops hoping it would draw more income from surrounding villages. The loss of the train station left Graeme Hardware Store with far fewer customers managing barely enough to keep afloat during a good year.

Peter unlocked the store and began his morning routine to review the previous day’s sales and prepare the inventory. While he dragged a rolling stand filled with buckets of nails and screws to the exterior porch of the store, Amalia brewed a fresh pot of strong coffee. She retrieved a starter till from the safe under the desk and counted a hundred dollars in small bills and coins, then placed it in the cash register atop the laminate countertop. She grabbed a few dollars to buy breakfast from the local café and strolled to the front of the store. The sharp clank of the bell loosely hung by a nylon cord on the door bounced off all the metal tools and reverberated throughout the building. Amalia held the outer screen door to prevent it from slamming shut and made a mental note to convince her father to repair the hinge that afternoon. Customers didn’t appreciate buying tools from a hardware store with a broken front door.

“I’ll be right back, Daddy.” Amalia bounded down three short steps and traveled the building’s main wooden pathway. Frustrated by the inability to meet the girls from the softball team the prior night, Amalia recoiled at how much of an encumbrance Brant had become to her over the years. She often daydreamed of leaving it all behind but remembered no one had ever escaped. She scoffed at her emotions, slid her fingers across the pathway’s splintered handrails, and ignored the desire to run deep into the woods.

Father Figure Purchase Links

Kindle: http://mybook.to/FatherFigure

Paperback: http://mybook.to/fatherfigurepb

Large Print: http://mybook.to/fatherfigurelp

About The Author

Background

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, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” 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 that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

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

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

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Watching Glass Shatter by James j. Cudney #amreading #Drama @jamescudney4


If you haven’t tried a James J. Cudney book, now is the perfect time!

His writing is filled with family dynamics, something that appeals to me. I’ve read, and enjoyed, many of Jay’s books (you can check out my review for Haunted House Ghost here, Academic Curveball here, and Father Figure here. Needless to say, I’m a fan!

May is a big month. All of James J. Cudney’s books will be discounted for a few days at some point. This week, it’s Watching Glass Shatter, his debut 2017 novel about a family drama imploding from a bounty of secrets. Download the Kindle format here as it’s only .99 from 5/17 thru 5/21. Rumor has it that the sequel will be coming out this fall… maybe it’s time to get on board the Glass family train!

Book Overview

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 beyond repair?

Blog Tour

  • The book went on a 17-day blog tour at the end of 2017. You can read all posts via this one location by clicking here.

Radio Interview

  • The author was a guest on the Artist First radio segment on Tuesday, November 14th from 6 to 7pm. To listen to the recorded 1-hour broadcast for news on the book and author, click here.

Book Reviews & Interviews

  • In addition to Goodreads and Amazon, you can find a central link to some very fun and in-depth book reviews and author interviews here.

Get to Know the Glass Family

Cassandra M. Baker

Book Excerpt

Present, Memorial Day Weekend

Sitting in the backseat of his steel-gray Mercedes-Benz sedan, Ben switched the mobile phone to his other ear and removed the seatbelt out of his way, loath to strap himself in for any length of time. When its band rested tightly across his chest, he struggled to breathe, preferring instead to trust in his long-time chauffeur’s driving abilities more than a piece of nylon fabric hinged to a pulley. “I’m in the car heading toward you. I should arrive in twenty minutes.”

“Still happily married to the woman of your dreams?” Olivia’s lyrical voice echoed on the phone.

“Ah, my beautiful Olivia. The last forty years have been amazing. There’s so much ahead of us and still to come.”

“I love you more than yesterday.”

“But not as much as tomorrow.” He played along enjoying their frivolous banter.

“Please get to the party soon. It’s not any fun when I’m dancing a rumba by myself. Remember when we crashed into the instructor while taking those silly dance lessons, and she yelled at us for being fools? Oh, I never laughed so hard.”

“Ha, yes! We are quite the pair. No wife of mine should ever dance alone. At least not while I can prevent it.” Ben glanced through the car window, surprised by the speed of the muddy water cascading down the mountains as his chauffeur took the exit to their country club in Brandywine, Connecticut. “I believe tonight is the first time the whole family has been together since last Christmas. Am I right?”

“Yes, they’re all here now reminding me so much of the you I remember from our early days.” Olivia sighed and waited for Ben to respond.

Ben’s thoughts drifted while lightning crackled in the sky, and rain pounded the black-tarred roads around him. “Time flies by too quickly, Olivia.”

“You’ve got a few months left, then you’ll retire and have nothing but time to be a grandfather and a father doling out advice. Even if they don’t want to listen to us. They never do, do they? Wishing you could turn back the clock. At least we can finally take our trip to Europe…” She paused. “Are you still there, Ben?”

Ben snapped from the storm’s hypnotic trance upon hearing Olivia’s rising voice. “I’m sorry. Recalling their antics over the years distracted me. I don’t know how we survived five boys.”

Ben heard her beautiful snicker–about to tell Olivia he loved her–when the car swerved as it neared the final exit on the slick asphalt curve, unaware traffic had come to a full stop ahead. He dropped the phone from the unplanned change in direction, grabbed it from under the front passenger seat, and raised his head.

Ben’s heartbeat and breath paused significantly longer than usual, enough to recognize the encroaching overpass column directly in his purview and to accept the impending fate laid before him.

Whoever said life flashes before one’s eyes in your final moments never lived to truly describe it. In Ben’s case, although they only lasted ten explosive seconds, those moments managed to include all sixty-nine years of his existence, each image punctuated by a blinding flash of pure white light and deafened by the harsh snapping sound of an old-time camera shutter.

CRUNCH. Grinding squeal. Bright light glimmers in a dark vacuum.

The enchanting depth of Olivia’s cerulean blue eyes the night they first met at the opera. Their wedding day when he truly understood what it meant to find one’s soulmate.

SNAP. Utter blackness, followed by a perforated vibrant glow.

The Thanksgiving feast spent at the hospital when his sister-in-law, Diane, broke her foot trying to avoid dropping the turkey on Bailey, their ten-year-old Shiba dog. Seeing his granddaughters nestled in tiny pink blankets when his sons brought them home the first day.

POP. Sharp, dark void. High pitch release of pressure, then a translucent shining flash.

The white-water rafting adventure on the Snake River in Yellowstone National Park where his boys rescued him from falling into the cold water only to stumble upon an angry moose searching for dinner. The final family portrait taken the prior year when everyone wore shades of black and white for a retro-style Christmas card setting.

BOOM. Screeching whistle. Bright light fades to total darkness.

The parchment letters which held the secret he kept from Olivia, pawned off on his attorney to handle once anxiety and fear defeated any chance of Ben telling his wife the truth in person.

The car hydroplaned atop a few inches of the warm, pooling rain and crashed into the steel overpass. The collision immediately torpedoed him through the front windshield, shattering what was the well-lived but haunted life of Benjamin Glass.

A final burst of the bulb’s filament into jagged shards.

* * *

Despite Olivia’s tendencies to lead and control, she’d little ability to plan Ben’s funeral services on her own. Diane recognized her sister’s fragile grip on reality teetered on the edge, volunteering to go with Olivia to the funeral home to manage most of the phone calls, selections, catering, and organizing.

Choosing Ben’s burial clothing served as the only funeral activity Olivia handled without any help. After pocketing an hour’s worth of sleep and waking up alone the morning after the accident, she accepted his death was anything but a dream. The restless night highlighted a comfort she didn’t know how much she had relied until stolen by fate. Olivia thrust her tired body out of their bed, walked to the closet, and pushed a slew of hangers across the sleek metal rod reminiscing while passing each suit as though every year of their lives disappeared before her weary eyes. She searched for the one he’d worn to the Met’s opening opera the prior year. After weeks of shopping that summer, she’d finally convinced him to expand his horizons with a new designer, selecting a modern-cut, three-button black wool suit adorning him better than any other had fit in the past. Even Ben had admitted she chose correctly. And he’d rarely admit so, given she’d laud it over him teasing Ben for days. They enjoyed their game of one-upmanship over the years, but now days later, she knew it was lost forever.

The final burial service ended thirty minutes earlier, and although everyone else had left, she stayed behind for her own last goodbye. Olivia’s memory focused on the somber tones that had serenaded the lowering of Ben’s casket six feet into the ground. Once the skirl of the bagpipes blasted its sorrowful resonance, Olivia, standing a few feet from Ben’s freshly open grave, could no longer thwart the wrecking ball that planned to decimate any remaining strength. The slow, melodic sound sliced away at the newly loosened threads once tasked with keeping her heart intact and sheltered from acknowledging a widow’s pain. Her battered eyes betrayed any remaining fortitude she’d stored deep within her body, and as the chords of “Amazing Grace” resounded from the chanter pipe, the cords of her soul, once intricately woven into Ben, ripped from Olivia’s chest. The flood of tears from her stinging red eyes trailed her cheeks as she walked to the car leaving behind a single set of prints that marked an unknown future.

As she stepped off the cemetery’s grassy path, she pulled a black cashmere sweater closer toward her shivering skin to halt the biting frost growing deep within her bones. Ben always said her true beauty glimmered when she wore black and gray, complimenting her on the elegant silhouette against her ivory skin and dark sable hair. She kept her shiny locks shoulder length, usually tied back with a clip, and although gray had appeared the last year, the varying shades were regal and striking on her patrician face.

Olivia pressed her palm to her chest and lowered her head until she’d emptied a few layers of grief. She opened the car door and slid across the back seat next to Diane.

All that remained before her impending post-Ben world began was to tell her driver he could leave the cemetery, but uttering those words felt impossible. As if Diane sensed the struggle within her sister, she leaned forward and motioned to the driver to start the car, allowing Olivia a few moments to accept the beginning of her new life. While the car served as a false protection from the reality waiting outside the doors to its passengers, it also evoked a budding nostalgia.

“I’m so sorry, Mrs. G. He was a good man.” Victor had been her driver for twenty-five years taking her to each child’s pediatric appointments, all her charitable foundation work, and every dinner with friends and family. “I’ll take care of you today, Mrs. G.” He checked the rearview mirror and nodded when he saw Olivia’s eyes, a quiet acknowledgment she’d heard his words. They sat in silence as Victor released the brake and inched the car away from Olivia’s latest prison.

Olivia and Diane had come from a poor upstate New York family where they shared a bed until they were nine years old, later pushed out of the door to work as housekeepers by age thirteen. Their parents told them only enough money existed for one to go to college, even if they could secure a scholarship to pay for most of it, and Olivia earned the lucky windfall. Diane believed school held no importance to her appearing content to remain in the small comforts of her home. Supporting her sister seemed easier for Diane than choosing her own path in life, focusing on anything but what she ought to do for herself.

“It was a beautiful ceremony.” Diane relaxed into the car seat. “The cherry tree you planted alongside the grave was touching, Liv. You’ve created a lifetime of memories for your family.”

“Is everyone else at the house?” Olivia pressed her fingers to her temple, pacified by the warm blood swimming through each one under her clammy skin.

“Yes, they’re setting up lunch. Only your boys will be there. We’ve spent enough time with friends and neighbors. I even asked George to stay away, so I could help you without worrying about him.”

George, Diane’s soon-to-be ex-husband, had attended Ben’s funeral service and conveyed his sterile condolences to Olivia. Though he’d been married to Diane for thirty years, George barely knew his wife’s family, not ever having an interest in other people’s children nor any of his own. Diane had finally grown tired of his cavalier attitude and vigilant penchant for ignoring their marriage, requesting a divorce earlier that spring.

“That was a good idea. You really should have dumped that unfortunate man years ago.” Olivia placed her hand on Diane’s noticing the age spots more prominently displayed on her sister’s than her own. Her voice stammered, but she held firm until finishing her thoughts. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me these last few days.”

Despite being a few years younger, most people assumed Diane was at least a decade older than Olivia. She’d grown out her hair the last few years and tightly braided it to her lower back, wearing the same dress as she had to her nephews’ weddings and other recent funerals. She hated to spend any time fussing with her appearance. “It’s a shame Ben’s brother couldn’t make the funeral.”

Ben was the youngest of several siblings. When Olivia called her brother-in-law, he could barely even speak on the phone from the impacts of grief and his aging mind. His children stopped in for the wake but chose not to stay for the graveside burial.

“No, his family has withered. Ben only had us left. It’s unbearable for our children to go through this agony. You first focus on your own pain but watching them suffer steals all remaining breaths.”

Diane fumbled with the clasp on her purse and handed Olivia a tissue. “And without any warning. It’s awful, but you’ll know how to help them through it.”

“I can see the pain in Ethan’s eyes, but he’s strong and will grieve privately. He’ll miss Ben the most. Ethan’s always been so focused on spending time with all of us, his grandparents… oh, I can’t…” Olivia dabbed her eyes with the tissue.

“It’s such a shame to lose his father when he’s so close to becoming a doctor. Ben would have been so proud when Ethan fulfills his dreams.”

Olivia nodded. “Matthew had to tell his daughters their grandfather died. They’re too young to understand, but it was dreadful for him to show them Ben’s casket. He keeps talking about all the father-son weekends fishing and camping at Lake Wokagee. They’d planned another one this summer.”

“They loved those trips. Well, maybe not all of them.”

“That’s true. Theodore has alienated himself from us even more than usual the last few months.”

Theodore was Ben and Olivia’s eldest son, and though she would always call him by his proper name, everyone else chose Teddy. Ben had groomed him to take over the law practice at the end of the year, coaching his son on how to act as a stronger, more respected leader and to become a less antagonistic man. Teddy’s actions were always packaged with a rough edge, and the tone of his words and speech pattern sounded robotic. Although Teddy had shown up to football Sundays and movie nights, interacting with his family always resembled more of an obligation rather than an enjoyment.

The car turned passing the corner where Ben had always dropped off the boys for the school bus in the morning on his way to work. A few heavy drops fell from Olivia’s eyes. She let them roll across her cheeks, reluctant to grant them total control. She imagined Ben lining each son side by side, inspecting his loyal soldiers, and patting their heads as he christened each one ready to begin his day.

“At least Caleb is back for a few more days.” Diane rubbed her sister’s shoulder. “You’ll get to spend more time with him.”

Caleb had only agreed to attend the anniversary party the prior weekend after much pressure, but he stayed in Connecticut for the funeral to grieve for his father’s passing. Olivia once thought Caleb would stay home with her and Ben when they grew older, but abandoned hope when he disappeared to Maine ten years earlier.

“Caleb’s hurting. I know my son. I wish he weren’t all alone. He needs someone to lean on… a girlfriend, a wife. The guilt over living so far away must be consuming him.”

“Caleb is strong like you in so many ways holding back to protect himself from the intensity of it all. I’m sure he’s got friends to look out for him. What about Zach? Are you still worried he’s using…”

Olivia interrupted. “He drove back to Brooklyn last night for work. I heard him arrive early this morning. Zachary’s actions are always unclear.”

Olivia thought Zach often spiraled out of control when he left his five-year-old daughter in her and Ben’s care unsure of what trouble he’d engaged in. She and Zach hadn’t been close the last few years, and despite a few attempts at a reconciliation, it always proved futile.

“Five boys without a father. We should have had more time.” Olivia leaned forward and reached a hand to the front seat to sturdy herself. Her head sloped toward the floor of the car when her voice cracked.

Diane rested her head on her sister’s back. “I know, Liv, but you’ll support them. You’ll remind them of Ben, and they’ll find a way to get through their grief. It takes time. Pain is different for everyone. You need to replace it with memories of something positive.”


Watching Glass Shatter Available Formats & Languages

Kindle: http://mybook.to/WGS

Paperback: http://mybook.to/watchingglasspb

Large Print: http://mybook.to/watchingglasslp

Italian Translation: http://mybook.to/frantumi

Spanish Translation: http://mybook.to/elcristalpb

US Audiobook: https://www.audible.com/pd/B07X5MMVK9/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-162878&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_162878_rh_us

UK Audiobook: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B07X7H619V/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-162878&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_162878_rh_uk

About The Author

Background

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, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” 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 that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

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

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

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

The Girl in The Love Song by Emma Scott #CoverReveal #Romance @EmmaS_Writes


At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

The Girl in the Love Song, book one in the Lost Boys, an interconnected coming-of-age series of standalones, from USA Today Bestselling author Emma Scott releases on June 7, 2020!

Cover Designer: Lori Jackson

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice.

Until Violet. 

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back. 

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications. 

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2MLnYhU
Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card: https://bit.ly/TGITLSCoverGive

About Emma:

Emma Scott is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters, and heroes with a heart of gold, you will enjoy her novels.

Connect with Emma:

Amazon author link: https://amzn.to/2yUnFKJ

Webpage: emmascottwrites.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottFB

Reader group: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottEntourage

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottBB

Instagram: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottIG

Twitter: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottTW

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2nTGLf6


Want Me Always by @Lea_Nolan #NewRelease #Romance


Today we have the release day blitz for Lea Nolan’s Want Me Always! Check it out and be sure to order today!

Title: Want Me Always

Author: Lea Nolan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Want Me Always:

Her mind says no…

Wren Donovan’s done with love. Betrayed and humiliated by her ex-fiancé, she retreats to her family’s beach house on Heron Harbor Island to lick her wounds and gorge herself on ice cream, spray cheese, and a box of glazed donuts. Wren vows to devote herself to her law career and swears off men forever, but she isn’t prepared for what being reunited with her oldest friend makes her feel…

His heart says yes, please…

Smith Connors can’t believe his eyes when Wren walks into his restaurant. He’s loved her since they were kids, when summertime found them inseparable best friends. As a boy, he’d never felt good enough for Wren. But now he’s a rising-star chef with a thriving business who knows what he wants—which means he’s not letting beautiful, brilliant Wren get away again.

Smith determines to show Wren how good they could be together, and soon neither of them can resist the heat growing between them. He’d do anything to earn her faith—and her heart, if only she could learn to trust again.

Grab Your Copy:

Kindle | Barnes and Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Advance praise for Want Me Always:

“A heartfelt story that will make you laugh and swoon! The perfect feel-good read!” –Laura Kaye, NYT Bestselling Author “A seaside reunion story that will have you believing that love heals heartbreak and truly transcends time.” ~ Christi Barth, USA Today bestselling author

Exclusive Excerpt:

He was trying to tease her. And dammit, it was working.

It wasn’t fair. Wren had admitted her attraction and Smith was using it against her. It was time to turn the tables.

They put the finishing touches on the last wall, then turned to face each other.

“You’ve got a little paint.” Smith pointed to a small white dot on her T-shirt that she already knew was there.

“Well, you’ve got a lot of paint.” Wren swiped her still wet brush across his broad chest.

His eyelids stretched wide. “Did you really just do that?”

She nodded. “Uh huh. And guess what? I’m going to do it again.” Wren swung the brush in the opposite direction, drawing a giant white X across his black T-shirt.

Smith’s jaw dropped as he stared at his chest. “This is one of my favorite shirts.”

Oops. That might have been a mistake. Nervous laughter bubbled up her throat. “Sorry?”

He lifted his head to meet her gaze. “Oh, it’s on now.” With a devilish glint in his eyes, he bent and scooped a handful of paint from the tray, then hurled it at her. It splattered her T-shirt and leggings.

“Aaah!” Wren squealed, then ran across the tarp and ducked behind the covered furniture in the center of the room.

“You think you can hide from me?” Smith laughed as he stalked toward her.

“Um…maybe?” she giggled, crouched behind the dresser.

He loomed over her, his hand filled with another pool of white paint. “Uh uh. You started this war, you’ve got to fight in it.”

Wren stood, wearing her best sweet-and-innocent smile, the one she used when facing a particularly harsh judge in court.

“Truce?” she asked, her right hand tucked behind her back.

His lids narrowed. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t dump this on your head?”

“Because it would be really hard to wash out.”

Smith exhaled. “That’s fair.” He slapped the paint on the tarp, then wiped his hand on the only dry spot left on his T-shirt.

Shaking her head, Wren clucked her tongue. “It isn’t smart to disarm yourself before your opponent does.” Rising on tiptoes, she pulled out the paintbrush she’d kept hidden behind her back and wiped it across his forehead.

Surprise flashed in his eyes. “You fight dirty.”

She shrugged. “I am a lawyer.”

“I’ll show you dirty.” In one smooth movement, Smith hoisted her up in his arms, and deposited her on the dresser top. Spreading her knees wide, he wedged himself between her legs and leaned in so far, she was nearly lying flat, propped on her elbows. A mischievous smile played on his lips. “That wasn’t very nice.”

“But it was funny.”

Smith’s eyes sparkled. “True, but you still deserve to be punished. What should your punishment be?” His hard length pressed against her. It was hot and hard and made her insides coil with need.

Wren swallowed. “It’s never a good idea to ask the accused to set their own punishment. They always go too light. I’ll leave it to you to decide.”

Kiss me. Hard and rough. Then rip off my clothes and do whatever you want.

“Hmm, what do you deserve?” His gaze bore into her.

Her breath raged as electric energy sparked between them.

Smith’s own fierce desire was written on his face. So what was he waiting for? All he had to do was dip his mouth to hers, then do all the things he’d promised last night.

Finally, his lips curled at the ends. “I’ve got it. But you’re not going to like it.”

Wren smirked. “Try me.”

About the Author:

Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author who writes smart, witty contemporary stories filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. She also pens books for young adults featuring bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. Born and raised on Long Island, New York she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three brilliant children, she resides in Maryland where she cracks crabs and bakes ugly birthday cakes.

Connect with Lea Nolan:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Newsletter

Enter Lea’s Giveaway:

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#GuestPOst- Welcome to AlinTa Bay by Iris Blobel #Romance @_iris_B


Welcome to ALINTA BAY
I’m happy to share with you the second book in Iris Blobel’s series,
which is set at the Great Ocean Road in Australia.
If you love small town romance, be sure to get your copy today!

About Book Two

TELL IT TO MY HEART

Confronted with the choice to care for his friend’s family on the other side of the world or to return to Alinta Bay to be with his own newfound family, how will Noah choose?

Following the death of his grandmother, Noah Fielding returns to Alinta Bay and the first thing — or person — he finds is the next-door neighbour in his nan’s bathroom — naked no less. Still jetlagged, he doesn’t hit it off with Molly at first. Yet, over the next few weeks, as his past uncovers itself bit by bit, she becomes is anchor, his friend, and his lover.

Molly Reid had the world at her feet, happily married with a young son … until a tragic car accident took everything away from her. With her heart broken, she moves to Alinta Bay to escape the memories of the past. Her peaceful existence, however, is interrupted after a heavy storm floods her house and she temporarily moves into her recently deceased neighbour’s house next door.

When Noah’s friend and partner goes missing during a routine flight, Noah returns to Alaska to help, but will he come back for Molly?

Add TELL IT TO MY HEART to your Goodreads TBR !

Get your copy of TELL IT TO MY HEART today!
Amazon

Book One in the Series

DEFYING RULES

Sometimes one has to break rules in order to find happiness…

Widower Logan Hendrix is puzzled by the recent series of small crimes against his son’s new teacher. It’s a mystery to him, and he offers her his help. There’s an instant attraction, and Logan wants to take their parent/teacher relationship to a more personal level.

It doesn’t take Addison Ryker long to fall in love with Alinta Bay, the small town she’s moved to for her new teaching position at the local primary school. Her newfound haven is threatened, however, when her house is broken into and she is relying on the unbelievably stubborn but very sexy Logan for help. Although captivated by him, Addison worries her career could be compromised, because there are rules about dating a parent.

Add DEFYING RULES to your Goodreads TBR !

Get your copy of DEFYING RULES today!
Amazon

Where to find Iris:
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bQ68rL
Website http://www.irisblobel.com/
Blog http://www.irisblobel.com/blog
Twitter https://twitter.com/_iris_b
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Iris-Blobel/e/B00FNFP3LI/

Guest Post- Sharon Marchisello #AuthorInterview #AuthorsCommunity @SLMarchisello


Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Guest Post- Sharon Marchisello

I’m happy to introduce you to mystery writer Sharon Marchisello!

Bio:

Born in upstate New York, I moved to Tyler, Texas, when I was five years old. People called me “Yankee” until I was in high school, when I finally perfected my Southern accent. (The American Civil War, over for a century, had not been forgotten.) I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English and then worked for the Texas Department of Human Resources. In my mid-twenties, I received a Rotary scholarship to study for a year in Tours, France, where I lost my Texas accent. About a year after my return, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, which I hoped would lead to a career as a bestselling author. When I graduated and fame and fortune didn’t happen, I got a job at Western Airlines which later merged with Delta Air Lines. I met my husband on the employee bus. In my 27-year airline career, I worked various customer service positions and even did some technical writing in the corporate office. Retired, I now live in Peachtree City, Georgia, writing what I want and doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. I’m a member of Sisters in Crime and the Atlanta Writers Club.

And if that interesting bio wasn’t enough, here’s an interview where we can get some insights into Sharon’s likes and dislikes…

What do you write?

I write novels and short stories. But I also blog about personal finance (http://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/) and I self-published Live Well, Grow Wealth, a primer on personal finance 101.

What genre do you favor?

Mystery / suspense, women’s fiction.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

I have always been a writer. I was telling stories to myself and others before I learned my alphabet. When I was in school, I received lots of encouragement and validation from my teachers with good grades on essays and creative writing assignments.

Nevertheless, it took me a long time to get published. I was in my twenties when I sold my first travel article. I had completed four novels—and abandoned countless others before completion—before my “first” novel, Going Home, found a publisher. Going Home, actually the second mystery I completed, is a whodunnit inspired by my mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Her situation prompted me to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who could not rely on her memory.

Are you published?

Yes. Besides articles and short stories, I have two mysteries traditionally published by Sunbury Press—Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019) And my nonfiction book about personal finance, Live Well, Grow Wealth, was self-published in 2018.

Where can you be found on social media?

Website or blog: https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/

http://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/Live-Well-Grow-Wealth-494073360780648/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLMarchisello

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

Pinterest: N/A

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonmarchisello/

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

I think the big publishers have the most reach for obtaining advertising, reviews, shelf space in bookstores, and consideration for prestigious awards. If you’re good at marketing and don’t mind doing a lot of non-writing legwork to get your books out, self-publishing is the way to go.

As an introvert who prefers writing to self-promotion, I plan to stick with the traditional route, which unfortunately can be a long, slow process. (And, I’ve found, even authors who are traditionally published have to do most of their own marketing.)

I chose to self-publish Live Well, Grow Wealth because the material was somewhat time-sensitive, and I don’t have a background in finance, which would have helped my credibility with a publisher. The book is based on my own experience of becoming financially independent by living frugally, saving, investing, and developing a healthy attitude toward money. I’m not trying to sell classes or generate business for a financial-planning service, like most authors in the personal finance genre; I just wrote the book and post the blog to share the tips that worked for me.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I like reading for pleasure in the mystery/suspense/women’s fiction genres—the same genres I write. I also like to check out bestsellers to see what makes them so special. Research!

How do you approach starting a new book?

I start with an event, an inciting incident. With a mystery, that’s usually a murder. Then I put characters into the situation, giving each motive and opportunity, and watch how they react. I’m what you call a “pantser” as opposed to a “plotter.”

However, with my only nonfiction book, Live Well, Grow Wealth, I approached it like the training manuals I created for Delta, making a very detailed outline before I began writing. I wish I could outline my fiction as well, but so far it doesn’t work for me.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

One of the best writing craft books I’ve read was Don’t Murder Your Mystery by Chris Roerden. She offers lots of wonderful tips to apply in the editing phase.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

Besides reading, I love to travel and have visited more than 100 countries; working for an airline was a perfect career for me. My husband and I have taken over 65 cruises together. We’re also Master Gardeners for the Fayette County University of Georgia Extension Office, and we enjoy helping with their many community projects. I like being outdoors, working in the yard or taking walks along Peachtree City’s extensive network of golf cart paths.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

Evelyn Marchisello, my mother-in-law, comes to mind. Unfortunately, we lost her in 2012 at age 97. She was a classy lady, always dressed to the nines, always poised and polite. She graciously allowed me to live with her for two and a half years while I commuted between my Delta job in Los Angeles and my new home in Seattle. I developed a closer relationship with her than with my own mother. (Probably because she met me as an adult and didn’t have to endure my teen years!)

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

One of my more memorable jobs—not really in a good way—was in Cabin Service at Delta. My husband and I bought a house in Seattle and the only opening for me there required me to take a large pay cut and join the aircraft cleaning crew. One of my tasks was driving the “lavosine” and dumping the aircraft lavatories. I had just come off a career highpoint, setting up a new station in Amsterdam and training airport customer service agents, so the voluntary demotion just to move to Seattle was quite a blow to my ego.

What was your best date ever?

My week-long cruise around the Galapagos islands with my husband is certainly high on my list. The wildlife is spectacular. The setting inspired my second published mystery, Secrets of the Galapagos.

Tell us something you are really proud of.

I’m proud of the volunteer work I do for the Fayette Humane Society. I’ve been serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors for nine years. I’ve fostered dozens of cats, and while I get somewhat attached to each one, I’m always happy to find them forever homes. I use my verbal skills as the organization’s grant writer, and it’s rewarding when we receive a grant that I’ve applied for. I use my travel privileges to fly kittens from Georgia to rescue groups up north where they have a better chance of getting adopted, and to transport cats with special needs to facilities in other cities for medical care.

For the past four years, I have participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk, in honor of my mother and mother-in-law who both suffered from this awful disease. Because the mother character in Going Home was modeled after my own mother, I sell copies of Going Home at team fundraisers for the Walk and give all the proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Association. I’ve discovered I sell a lot more books when I’m giving all the money to charity than when I’m keeping it for myself!

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

I wish I were better at public speaking. I’ve come a long way, but I only consider myself competent, not dynamic. I used to be terrified to speak in front of a group, which makes it hard to get ahead in the corporate world. Not to mention, being an author trying to promote her work. So, I joined Toastmasters, attended meetings religiously, and worked my way through the program—all the way to DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), the highest award. But still, I’d never enter a speech contest or consider a career in public speaking.

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

Short excerpt: (Secrets of the Galapagos – 2019)

Chapter One:

Laurel tugged at my flipper and pointed. I pivoted through the stream of bubbles in time to see a six-foot hammerhead shark, its flat head barely rippling the water it displaced. I could have touched its coarse, gray skin had I dared. My heart pounded. In our dark wetsuits, did we look like seals? The guides said these Galapagos sharks were not dangerous unless provoked, but who knew when one might decide to add a little tourist delicacy to its diet of fish and crustaceans?

Her dark hair floating around her face, my new friend Laurel gave a thumbs-up. I returned the gesture. I sensed her radiant grin through her mask.

The shark glided away almost as quickly as it had appeared, replaced by a school of surgeonfish, their yellow tails and silvery bodies shimmering in the sunlight. I lost sight of Laurel as I floated among them like a mermaid.

I kicked my way to the surface and lifted my head to drain my snorkel tube. As I pushed a strand of wet hair out of my face, I glimpsed the band of white skin where my engagement ring had been—until last month. Don’t think about that jerk, I scolded myself. Focus on enjoying this incredible cruise. And the mission: justice. Our group had been snorkeling in the chilly waters of Gardner Bay for about an hour, and all I wanted to do now was get back on board the ship, dry off, and tell everyone over a tasty lunch of fresh seafood about our close encounter with the shark. Laurel surely had shot some great pictures.

I pulled off my fogged-up plastic mask and rinsed it in the ocean. The sea had grown rougher since we’d started snorkeling, and dark clouds gathered. A wave slapped my face, sending salty water into my nostrils. I held up my right hand, the symbol for, “I’m ready to come in.”

Where was everybody?

“Laurel?” She’d been swimming beside me moments ago, snapping photos of the vast display of marine life.

I scanned the water for my fellow snorkelers and the guides hovering in the inflatable black boats called Zodiacs. Laurel and I had not strayed that far from the group … had we?

I put my mask back on and ducked underwater to see if anyone was still swimming beneath the surface. Nothing but fish. I didn’t care about the fish anymore.

The sudden sensation of being alone in the cold ocean sucked my energy. I took off my mask again, struggling to hold my head upright and tread water while I regained my bearings.

The steep volcanic outcropping where we’d congregated was on my left. It had been on my right before. I must have drifted to the other side. Seabirds squawked at me as if I had plans to disturb their nests wedged into the jagged, guano-coated crevices.

“Laurel?” She must be wondering what had happened to me.

I dog-paddled around the volcanic rock and then sighted one of the Zodiacs—at least thirty yards away and headed back to the ship. A black speck in the distance was probably the other boat.

“What the—?” I propelled myself in their direction, but the current pushed me back. Instead of aiding my progress, my cumbersome flippers, life vest, and wetsuit—the gear that had kept me so buoyant underwater—now weighted me down. I stopped and waved my whole arm rapidly, the sign for, “Come get me now!”

No heads turned in my direction. The boats were moving farther away.

Damn that Fernando! That self-centered excuse-for-a-guide was too busy flirting and boasting about his exploits to notice two missing passengers.

Something bumped my leg. I couldn’t look.

“Hey!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. I kicked hard and sprang upward, spy-hopping like I’d seen whales do. “Hey!” I had visions of myself drowned in the Galapagos or devoured by a shark—a tragic end to this vacation of a lifetime, this attempt to escape the mess I’d made of my life back in Georgia. So much for ever doing any good in the world.

This sounds great! The Galapagos is on my bucket list. Can you imagine- Sharon and her husband have traveled to over 100 countries! How far have you gone?

Special Agent Murphy by Mimi Barbour #RomSuspense #mgtab @mimisgang1


Special Agent Murphy
Undercover FBI Book 8
by Mimi Barbour
Genre: Romantic Suspense
It’s Christmas in Washington, but not for one heartsick family.
Agent Shane Murphy has a hard time believing his life could get so crazy. Because of a choice – one he’d make again – he loses his superiority in the FBI. Now he’s forced to work surveillance with a rookie female yapper. And… gets caught up in the kidnapping of a sixteen-year-old that pulls at the heartstrings he keeps hidden.
Fighting the budding attraction for his new partner, he stresses his way through an escalating nightmare. How can he be so infatuated with a trouble-magnet female who drives like a granny and isn’t able to hide her sensitive reactions when on the job?
Agent Kathleen Edwards does a lot of things her new partner dislikes, but what’s a girl to do when a man ties her in knots and turns her into a chatterbox. Working to uncover the mystery of who kidnapped the Senator’s daughter, and where they’re holding her, continuous conflicts arise.
Struggling alongside an attractive realist whose high morals make him someone to live up to, Kayti’s heart doesn’t stand a chance.
Author’s dedication:
My late husband’s persona is the heart and soul for Special Agent Murphy. While bringing out some of his most endearing and stubborn characteristics, his favorite cuss words and his way of looking at the world, I found myself falling in love with the wonderful man all over again.
Together Forever, my love.
**Get it FREE April 1st – 5th, then only .99 cents!!**
Mimi is an incredibly busy NYT and USA Today award-winning, best-selling author who has seven series to her credit. The Vicarage Bench Series – Spirit/Time -Travel tales that have a surprising twist / The Angels with Attitude Series – Angels Love Romance / The Elvis Series – Make an Elvis song a book / Vegas Series – 6 books full of romantic suspense, humor and gritty conflicts / and… the fast-paced, edgy, humorous, romantic suspense, Undercover FBI Series /The Holiday Heatwarmer Series – puppies become cupids. And the latest, explosive Mob Tracker Series – six books full of conflicts and characters you’ll hate to leave.
Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
**1st place prize of the 2015 – Chanticleer Reviews – Clue Awards. Special Agent Francesca
**A TOUCH OF PASSION, has just become the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.
$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Choosing a Genre- #HenLit #Reading @JoanneGuidoccio


All About Fantasy Hen Lit

Guest Post by Joanne Guidoccio

I never intended to write fantasy. I avoided books that featured werewolves, vampires, witches, and other dark creatures. I’m probably one of the few people on this planet who couldn’t read past Chapter 1 of the first Harry Potter novel. But after participating in a series of science fiction workshops, I decided to try my hand at light, breezy fantasy with inspirational elements.

So, I sat at my computer and came up with a contemporary version of my favorite fairy tale: The Little Mermaid. While the original version by Hans Christian Anderson always fascinated me, I struggled with the ending. I wanted a happily-ever-after ending for the little mermaid and the prince and couldn’t wrap my mind around this depressing prediction:

You, poor little mermaid, have tried with your heart to do as we are doing; you have suffered and endured and raised yourself to the spirit-world by your good deeds, and now, by striving for three hundred years in the same way, you may obtain an immortal soul.(Hans Christian Anderson,1836 )

When the Disney version was released, I still wasn’t satisfied. I realize now that I wanted to read about a different kind of mermaid, one who could enjoy a happy and successful life, with or without the prince. And maybe one who wasn’t quite so young or so beautiful.

Keeping this vision of an older and wiser mermaid firmly in mind, I wrote Between Land and Sea, the first book in the Mediterranean trilogy. Later, I added Book 2, The Coming of Arabella.

In early query letters, I described Between Land and Sea as urban fantasy. That did not sit well with one agent who commented that my novel was too light to be considered urban fantasy. Her suggestion: Use “contemporary women’s fiction with fantasy elements” in future queries. I used that mouthful several times and was relieved when senior editor Debby Gibson of Soul Mate Publishing classified Between Land and Sea as a paranormal romance.

Confusion followed when the book was released on Amazon. One friend confided: “When I heard it was a paranormal romance, I assumed you were writing about witches or werewolves. I’m so glad to hear you’re writing about mermaids.”

Still wondering about the “right” descriptor, I started reading articles about literary genres and sub-genres and came across an interview with literary agent Jenny Bent. Asked about the future of chick-lit, Ms. Bent replied, “I think if there’s any future for chick lit, it will be in paranormal chick lit or multicultural chick lit or in mom lit or hen lit.”

I zeroed in on hen lit.

I discovered that these books focus on older female characters (aged 40 to 65) as protagonists and address such themes as giving birth after age forty, dealing with three generations living in the same house, dating after divorce or widowhood, and launching second (third or fourth) careers. To address the mermaid element, I added fantasy.

My new sub-genre: Fantasy Hen Lit.

Now, if I could only persuade editors, publishers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble…

Blurb – Between Land and Sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

On sale for 99 cents – March 29 to April 4

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

Blurb – The Coming of Arabella

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

On sale for 99 cents – March 29 to April 4

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Arabella-Mediterrean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Arabella-Mediterranean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU/

Bio

A member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime, Joanne Guidoccio writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Website – https://joanneguidoccio.com

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Guidoccio/e/B00FAWJGCG/

Pike by @TM_Frazier #MCRomance #Suspense


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“T.M. Frazier sucks me in every time with her incredible storytelling.”- Meghan March, New York Times bestselling author

Pike, the first dark and fast-paced story in The Pawn Duet from USA Today bestselling author T.M. Frazier, is available now!

PIKE FRONT COVER

I was raised by the violent laws of the streets, spilling blood without the hindrance of useless emotions or connections.


Unfeeling. Unloved. Alone.

My life was perfect.

Until her.

While on a manhunt for a mysterious enemy, one hellbent on taking both my business and my life, I find Mickey. She’s covered in mud, rambling nonsense, and clearly out of her mind.

She’s also a distraction I don’t need.

That is until I discover a connection between the girl and my enemy.


Mickey isn’t a distraction anymore.

She’s the perfect weapon.

One I’ll use to exact my revenge.


The plan is an easy one, but there’s something about Mickey that’s making it more and more difficult. 


A familiarity I can’t place. A need I can’t explain.


A want I have to deny.


After all, she’s not mine to keep. She’s a tool. My pawn.

My sacrifice.

Pike -AN

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2U0Bsdz

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2UlWdiV

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PikeTM

Nook: http://bit.ly/2IZIBVg

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2IUH1DN

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WrlXNk

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2vvrOWL

Pre-order Pawn, the stunning conclusion, today!

Releasing April 28th

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ano48Q

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PawnTM

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Wwehtj

Nook: https://bit.ly/2vDiDnc

Kobo: https://bit.ly/33AKfGi

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WGVAmu

Excerpt

I raise the gun in both hands, aiming it at his chest. “I have to go. You can’t stop me,” I say, with all the resolve I have left. “You’re going to trade me and ambush them, but don’t you think they have the same plans for you? I have to go, and that way, fewer people will die. YOU won’t die. So, just let me leave. I have a plan. It will work. I’ll take them down for both of us.”

“No.” Pike looks from me to the gun. “And as I’ve told you before, you’re not going anywhere.” His words are dark and menacing. An amused smile turns up the corners of his lips.

It’s infuriating. He’s infuriating.

I straighten my shoulders. “What’s so funny?” I ask, swallowing down the rising fear in my throat. I remind myself of one important fact to keep from choking on that fear.

I’m the one holding the gun.

Instead of freezing or retreating as one would do in this situation, Pike takes a bold step forward, catching me off guard. I stagger backward, but I’m not fast enough. He reaches out, and at first, I think he’s going for the weapon, but he doesn’t. He confuses me as he wraps his hands around mine, tightening my grip around the gun. He lifts my hands and bends slightly at the waist, forcefully pressing the barrel against his forehead. “You wanna shoot me, Mic? Then, fucking shoot me,” he dares, with wild blood shoot eyes.

My mouth drops open, but words don’t come out. I expected Pike to defend himself. To come at me. To step aside and let me leave, even though it was the least possible of all the outcomes. I didn’t plan for this.

I can do this. I have to do this.

“Not what you were expecting?” His tone is both mocking and rage-filled. “I know what that pretty brain of yours is thinking. You want me to attack you and make pulling the trigger easier on that conscious of yours.” He bites out a laugh. “Not gonna happen. If you want to do this, I’m not going to stand in your way, but you’re not fucking leaving either. So, come on. Shoot me. Go ahead. Do what you planned to do.” His eyes narrow with determination. My hands shake in his. “Pull the fucking trigger!”

The air around us is thick and charged. My skin breaks out in a sheen of sweat. My adrenaline spikes and I feel all too alert. Too aware of what’s taking place between us.

I grip the gun tighter and gaze into his dark eyes, his pupils are large and covering every hint of color within them. Behind the anger and determination, there’s something else that I didn’t expect. Something that I’m all too familiar with. Hurt. Pain that mirrors my own. Desperation that calls out to me like a piece of my soul trapped within Pike.

“Shoot me!” he cries, his face red with anger, teeth bared like a wild animal. “Fucking shoot me!”

With those words, my fiery resolve dissolves into ash.

I step back, needing to put some distance between us, but Pike doesn’t have the same thought. He follows me backward, keeping his grip tight on my hands and the gun between them.

“I…I can’t do this,” I whisper, releasing my grip on the gun.

Pike releases his hold on me, catching the gun before it can fall to the floor.

Shit.

I look to the window, but it’s too high, and Pike is directly in front of the only door. There’s no escape. So much for being brave. Instead, I’ve signed my own death warrant. My heart races erratically with the realization that this is it. It’s over.

I’m over.

“This was a really stupid fucking move for someone who claims to be so smart, ” Pike sneers. He raises the gun.

I pinch my eyes shut, waiting for the feel the bullet of his wrath to pierce my skin. I hear a thud, and my eyes fly open and land on the carpet where Pike’s tossed the gun to the floor.

My eyes meet his in silent question. Why?

He answers by charging, a one-man stampede I can’t avoid as he barrels toward me. His chest crashes against mine, and my head connects with the wall with a thud that rattles my bones. I’m dizzy as fear lands in my gut like a ball of fire. My pulse races as his closeness consumes me. The smell of cologne and cigarettes lingers between us—a trace of whiskey on his breath.

“You’re going to regret not pulling that trigger,” he sneers. The darkness in Pike’s eyes tells me that, gun or no gun, I’m not getting out of this unpunished.

Or possibly even alive.

I swallow hard.

He cages me in with his hands against the wall beside me, engulfing me in the heat and rage radiating from his hard body. I feel his heart beating fast beneath his chest now pressed against mine. “What to do with you now?” Pike muses, his breath ragged. His voice full of promise and warning. He brushes his lips over my temple. I tremble at the contact. “You’re going to pay for that little stunt, Mic.”

He’s close. Too close. I’m entirely rigid, frozen in place. This wasn’t supposed to happen. How did I let this happen? I’m the most terrified I’ve ever been, and yet there’s something else I can’t understand. Something else between us that’s charging the air, causing me to shake, and it’s not just from fear. Hatred mixed with need. The yearning I’ve denied for him is no longer lying dormant. It’s as real as the ache growing in my stomach, the wetness between my thighs. If I thought the room felt charged before, it’s damn near on fire now. The flames of desire and hate lick at the walls around us, setting everything ablaze, making the small room feel smaller, closing in around us.

My nipples harden as they brush against his chest. I suck in a gasp.

He doesn’t miss my reaction. He looks to where my nipples are straining against my shirt with heated eyes.

The only sound in the room is our mutual heavy breathing as he slowly pulls his gaze from my chest. His eyes lock on mine. For a few seconds, we just stare at each other—foreheads lined with confusion and anger.

A silent dare.

My mind, on the other hand, is anything but silent.

“Should I kill you or fuck you?” he muses. And I’m honestly not sure what scares me more. His anger or his desire. He brushes the backs of his knuckles against my jaw. “Maybe, both.”

“What do you—” I don’t have time to finish my question because his lips are on mine. He hoists me in the air, and my legs wrap around his waist on instinct.

It’s an angry joining of clacking teeth and biting lips. A war we are still fighting both with each other and ourselves. He growls at me when I pierce his lip, drawing blood. He licks the blood with his tongue then kisses me again, this time harder. A punishing kiss that has me growling at him in return. His coppery blood on my tongue tastes like victory. He licks his way between my lips, pushing his tongue into my mouth, licking and devouring with rough determined strokes. With a jerk of his hips, he presses the massive erection beneath his jeans between my legs, the pleasure that courses through me has me momentary seeing stars. I grind down on him in return.

He hisses in response, baring his teeth against my lips. “You’re going to pay for that, Mic,” he warns, taking my mouth in another kiss that has us grunting and growling at one another like starved animals fighting over the last scrap of food. But neither of us is about to give up. He pushes me back onto the bed, falling with me over my body, my legs splayed on both sides of his hips as he presses his cock again between my legs. I arch my back, needing to feel more. Needing for there to be nothing between us but desire. For each other, and to win. But, this is no longer a game we’re playing. It’s a battle. A war neither of us can win.

But, one in which we will both go down fighting.

T.M.Frazier

About T.M. FrazierT.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier never dreamed that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book. Now, she is a five-time USA Today bestselling author and her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world. T.M. enjoys writing what she calls ‘sexy wrong side of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt anti-heroes and ballsy heroines. Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay. She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.

Connect with T.M. Frazier

Facebook: http://bit.ly/TMFRAZIERBOOKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JWHAv8

GoodReads: https://amzn.to/2OjmESr

Join Frazierland:http://bit.ly/frazierland

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2U8gmtH

BookBub: https://bit.ly/2xtlQ4u

Twitter: @TM_Frazier

Stay up to date with T.M. by signing up for her mailing list: http://bit.ly/TMFrazier Website: http://www.tmfrazierbooks.com

For Text Alerts: TEXT “TMFRAZIER” TO 77948

*Standard text messaging rates apply*

Sugarcoated by @ErinNicholas #NewRelease #Romance


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“Sugarcoated is hot, funny, and so adorably swoon-worthy, it’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!” – Katana Collins, author

Sugarcoated, an all-new sweet and sexy standalone romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas is available now!

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A hot, funny brother’s best friend rom com…with sugar on top!

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s known her all his life. He’s practically part of the family. There is nothing either of them could do to surprise the other at this point.

Then she showed up in his bedroom in lingerie and asked him to take her V-card.

Now, that was a surprise.

Aiden is pretty sure Zoe was equally surprised when he told her no.

To say that he didn’t handle it well would be a massive understatement. Almost as massive as the amount of work he’s going to have to do now to convince her that he wants her. Forever.

Right after he tells her that he’s bought the company that’s her bakery’s biggest competitor.

Maybe if he tells her he’s in love with her first, that will help sugarcoat the whole we’re-rivals-in-business-now thing.

So, first “I’m in love with you”, then “take off your clothes”, then “I’m now your business adversary”.

Piece of cake.

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Download your copy today! Amazon: https://amzn.to/3bjel3L Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/sugarcoated Apple Books: https://apple.co/36BvxzB Nook: http://bit.ly/39UU6t5 Kobo: http://bit.ly/37Lz6Dk Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Wxondp Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/36Etef8

About Erin Nicholas

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.

Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin

Website: http://bit.ly/2NkB2uF Facebook: http://bit.ly/2tdTM8e Twitter: http://bit.ly/2QLd1Pr Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3a3rnm4 Instagram: http://bit.ly/36NqV9y Website: http://bit.ly/2FM3Doo Stay up to date with Erin Nicholas by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/38a5Fv5

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy #Mystery by @JamesCudney4 #NewRelease


I’m excited to share one of my blogging buddie’s new releases- Frozen Stiff Drink by James. J. Cudney!

I’ve read, and enjoyed, many of Jay’s books (you can check out my review for Haunted House Ghost here, Academic Curveball here, and Father Figure here. Needless to say, I’m a fan!

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. 

Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. After Nana D disappears, one of her patients turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears.

Between finding Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Unfortunately, neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition.

Can Kellan find Nana D – and who is the killer terrorizing the town?

What Readers are Saying

As this series moves along, we watch the characters grow and learn life’s lessons. An air of mystery shadows this story and I feel it may run into the next story, though all the stories in this series are stand-along if you wish to read them that way.

Cudney builds an exciting story around these events, with occurrences and surprises we don’t see coming. 

Amazon Reviewer

Book 6 in James J. Cudney’s Braxton Campus Mysteries is another page turner, a shell-shocker and will most certainly leave you gasping, “What?” but in a good way! 

Amazon Reviewer

Biography

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 and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I wanted to re-focus on my passions: telling stories and connecting people through words. In 2017, I published my debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor, and romance. From there, I wrote another family drama novel, Father Figure, and created the Braxton Campus Mysteries, a light investigation series about a humorous guy dealing with murders and the drama of a small town. Many of my books are available in print, electronic, and audiobook formats, and we are beginning to release foreign language translations. 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 2K 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?

A Simple Wedding by @LeighRDuncan #Romance #Reading


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Today we have the blog tour for A SIMPLE WEDDING by Leigh Duncan! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

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Title: A Simple Wedding

Author: Leigh Duncan

Genre: Sweet Romance

About A Simple Wedding:

Fall in love with Heart’s Landing,a romantic wedding destination, in the first book of a Hallmark series.

Jenny always dreamed of getting married at Heart’s Landing. But when she finally visits the charming small town, she’s there to make wedding arrangements for someone else: her cousin, who also happens to be her boss and a famous movie star. Her cousin wants a simple wedding, not a media circus. To keep the event top-secret, she’s talked her assistant Jenny into pretending she’s the one getting married.

Nick, a baker and lifelong resident of Heart’s Landing, is intrigued by this bride-to-be who starts visiting his bakery for sweet treats and conversation. It seems strange that her fiancé isn’t at least little involved with the wedding plans.

As Jenny tries to keep up with her fickle cousin’s ever-changing demands—which exasperate the florist, the caterer, and several other vendors—she tries to hide her attraction to Nick. Meanwhile, the people in town talk Nick into trying to distract Jenny with a sightseeing tour in order to keep her from changing her mind again. The more time Nick spends with Jenny, the harder it becomes to remind himself that she’s already spoken for.

Planning this wedding couldn’t be more complicated…and what will happen once the truth comes to light?

Get Your Copy Today:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Moonlight In Vermont

A Simple Wedding Leigh Duncan

“No buts. If you need to adjust the plans, just do it.” He managed to angle his body away from hers, a move that back- fired when he ended up facing her. Staring down at Jenny’s pert features, he cleared his throat. “Why waste the energy fighting it? If you know it’s something you’re going to end up doing anyway, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and heartache if you just tackle it head on.”

Jenny’s dark eyes brightened. “That’s exactly what I need- ed to hear. Thanks, Nick.”

“Now, how can I help?”

She reached out. Her fingers barely made contact with his arm, but her touch sent tingles of awareness coursing through him. He tried telling himself that his was nothing more than the usual reaction of a man in the presence of a pretty woman, but he knew there was more to it than that. He was dangerously close to crossing a line with Jenny, something he absolutely wouldn’t do. Not even if she wanted him to.

“Well.” Jenny tilted her head and issued a challenge. “I need a bigger cake.”

“No problem.” He could easily add another layer to her wedding cake, maybe even two. But something in Jenny’s expression triggered a flicker of doubt. Had he just commit-

ted to more than he could deliver? Not exactly sure he was going to like her answer, he ventured a tentative, “How much bigger?”

Her gaze cut to one side. “Enough to serve two hundred and fifty guests.”

“Whooo.” Air whistled through his teeth. That was a lot more cake.

“I’ve been having second thoughts about the flavor, too.”

“Okay,” he said bracing himself. He’d known about Jenny’s soft spot for chocolate since the day they met. But to craft a cake in her favorite flavor for that many people would require extra work. He’d need to dowels to support each layer of the dense, heavy…

“Almond,” she said firmly.

Not chocolate? He frowned, recalling how her nose had scrunched up during the tasting. She didn’t even like almond.

“And it needs more, uh.”

“More what?” he asked, growing more perplexed by the moment.

“It needs more pizzazz.”

He took a breath. Of all the brides he’d worked with over the years, he would have sworn Jenny was the least likely to want a lavishly decorated cake. But maybe he didn’t know her as well as he thought he did. “I could pipe the icing to match the pattern of your dress,” he suggested, certain she’d consider the idea too ornate. “And add a cascade of rose-gold flowers down one side.”

A happy smile teased Jenny’s lips. “Yes. That’s it. Exactly.”

Nick folded his arms across his chest. They said no good deed went unpunished. He should have known offering ad- vice to a bride-to-be would come back to haunt him. This larger, fancier cake would take the better part of a week to

create. Worse, just when he’d sworn he’d keep his distance from Jenny, he’d have to work closely with her on a whole new design. “I’ll get on it first thing in the morning,” he promised on his way to the stairs.

“I’ll stop by in the afternoon so we can go over the par- ticulars. Save me a cupcake?”

Though he automatically agreed, he shook his head as he headed for the van. His determination to keep his distance from Jenny had lasted less than two minutes before she’d melted it, just like she’d melted his heart.

About the Author:

Author Leigh Duncan. (Photo by Chris Kridler)

Leigh Duncan, an Amazon bestselling author and a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, has written over two dozen novels, novellas and short stories, including A Simple Wedding,A Country Wedding, and Journey Back to Christmas for Hallmark Publishing, the Glades County Cowboys series for Harlequin, and her own Orange Blossom series. Leigh lives on Central Florida’s East Coast where she writes complex, heartwarming, and emotional stories with a dash of Southern sass.

Connect with Leigh:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

The Unexpected Series by @StacySEaton #Romance #Reading


Unexpected Packages

The Unexpected Series, Book 1

by Stacy Eaton

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Lexi Miller restarted her life five years ago and has been living a regimented routine ever since. With a great job and a best friend who tries everything to get her to break-out of her boring life, it’s not until her birthday present arrives at her door, opened by a stranger, that things finally start to get interesting.
Alex Miller is ready for his second career after retiring from the military. He’s excited to start training contractors in safety issues and getting to know his daughter after being away for so many years.
When a package addressed to him shows up on his doorstep, he is kind enough to deliver the box to the rightful owner. When Lexi opens the door, Alex quickly realizes that he’s found the beautiful woman he has been catching peeks of as she comes and goes from the building.
From misunderstandings to new beginnings, Alex and Lexi come together, but a business trip threatens their future right before Valentine’s Day, and neither is sure they will ever be reunited.

Unexpected Arrivals

The Unexpected Series, Book 2

Trevor Vaughn loves his job, his women, and his bachelor lifestyle. Sadly, for him, all of that might change when Davina Daniels walks into his office pushing a stroller.
The problem is that Trevor doesn’t have any idea who Davina is. After she explains that he’s a father to the infant boy, Devon, in front of him, he finds himself clueless as to what to do next.
After reaching out and begging for her help, Davina and Trevor begin to form a friendship that will bring them together in time for their friend’s wedding and a single night of steamy romance.
It’s after their moments of bliss that words are misspoken, strangers show up, and Devon is raced to the hospital that their newfound romance is put to the test. Will Trevor and Davina find a way back to each other, or will the storms continued to crash down over them?
Stacy Eaton is a USA Today Bestselling author and began her writing career in October of 2010. Stacy took early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service in 2016 due to a second serious concussion. Her last three years on the job were in investigations and crime scene investigation. She now writes full-time.
Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter. Stacy also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy. She is also very involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years.
Stacy writes a variety of genre’s, but mostly romance. She enjoys writing real-life stories that people can relate too with real-life problems, emotions, and solutions.
Her favorites: Classic cars, photography, Disney, music, coffee and her favorite sweatshirt that says, “You are dangerously close to getting killed in my next novel.”
Visit Stacy’s website for more information on her and her books. stacyeaton.com
$10 Amazon – 2 winners!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Mr. Sagittarius by M J Mallon #NewRelease #Poetry


Who Is Mr. Sagittarius?

And what is his connection to twin brothers, Harold and William?

When Harold dies, he leaves a simple memorial request

Will his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the magic of the garden ensure that she does.

A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. It features a variety of my photos including: trees, a robin and a dragonfly! As well as this there are several stories, and even some Halloween poems!

I doubt I would have created Mr. Sagittarius if it wasn’t for these two amazing ladies: Colleen Chesebro (for her weekly poetry challenges and Charli Mills – Carrot Ranch (flash fiction challenges.) Both ladies have been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement.

Mr. Sagittarius is a magical celebration of the natural world, a story about the circle of life, with an emphasis on the changing seasons of the year and sibling relationships.

Huge thanks to my amazing cover designer and formatter: Rachael Ritchey who has done an amazing job creating the ebook, paperback cover and graphics.

Get your copy today

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084DQV3HW/Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DQV3HW/

Contents include:

THE GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW (story and poem plus photo of a dragonfly)

GOLDEN WILLOW TREE (poem and photo)

ROBIN: ETHEREE (poem and photo)

LIFE LESSONS FROM BUDDHA (poem)

LIFE LESSONS FROM CATS – poem – (photo image via Samantha Murdoch)

MR. FROWNING TREE (poem and photo)

RAINBOW CHILD – story – (image of Tourmaline crystal via Samantha Murdoch)

FRIENDS FOR TEA (poem)

THE CANDY CORN MONSTER (Halloween poem)

CANDYFLOSS CRITTER (Halloween poem)

MR GHOST WITH EASE (Halloween poem)

DREAMING AT HALLOWEEN (Halloween poem)

ODE TO LOVE –ETERNAL (Ghost/love poem)

LOVE TAKEN BY DEATH: DIAMANTE (poem)

GHOST: SEPTOLET (Ghost poem)

A FACE ON BARK: ETHEREE (poem)

LOLLIPOP SUNSHINE TREE (poem and photo)

FOR MR. SNOWMAN (poem)

SERENA’S CHRISTMAS BUBBLE MONSTER (humorous story and photo)

BUBBLY SNOWMAN KISSES (poem)

THAT TWINKLE IN HER EYES IS MAGIC (poem)

THE OLD MAN OF SNOW AND THE SNOW SNAKE (story)

MY HEART IS A CAVE (poem)

MR. SAGITTARIUS (story)

MR. SAGITTARIUS DIED THIS DAY IN THIS SNOW DROP GARDEN (poem/prose/photo of snow drops.)

Love (story)

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Other Books by M J Mallon:

YA Fantasy:

The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone

http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Coming in 2020

YA Fantasy:

The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer.

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilation –

Nightmareland edited by Dan Alatorre –

“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)

Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019 –

“Dexter’s Creepy Caverns” (Short Story)

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 –

“Ghostly Goodbye” (Short Story)

My author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Author Bio

I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I share book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, photography and inspirational details of my writing journey at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com/

I’m a member of two professional writing groups: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators  and Cambridge Writers

As well as this I run a supportive group with fellow Administrator D G Kaye on Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

I work as a Receptionist/Event organiser for an international sixth form and live in Cambridge, England.

Lies He Told Series by @SylvieGrayson #Romance #Reading


Rain Man

Lies He Told Book 2

by Sylvie Grayson

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Can Rain solve his last case without getting his girlfriend arrested?
Rainier is a survivor. He’s made some mistakes, and now he’s paying for them. As a condition of his probation, he must work with the police on investigations where his skills might be useful. There is one more case to solve to complete his commitments. Then he’ll be free. As he heads undercover to work this last case, Sophia arrives in town. She is a childhood crush who means a great deal to Rain, and she is obviously terrified of someone.
Sophia has made a bad choice in the past, and now she’s in hiding to avoid dealing with it. Still, it follows her, and Rainier is the only one she can trust to help her deal with it.
Rain’s problem? The clues he uncovers on his final case all seem to lead directly to Sophia. Can he solve the case without breaking his heart or pointing the police in his girlfriend’s direction?
**Only .99 cents!!**
2 rain man teaser 1

Excerpt

At least they didn’t put him in jail. Rainier Murdoch couldn’t think of anything that would embarrass his folks more. Surprisingly, it had been a relief to be caught by the police, and deal with the whole mess after months of working undercover and running. His business partner was dead, and when the dust settled Rain was charged with running a gambling operation without a licence, and failure to pay the taxes on the proceeds. Now he was on probation.

Rain pulled his pickup to the side of the rural road and parked in the empty gravelled area he’d found here before. Early spring, and the sun was shining glaringly on the fast receding water in the flats. He reached for his binoculars in the glove box and climbed out to walk to the edge of the pond. Uncle Toby had a house on the other side of the open water and there wasn’t a better place in Victoria to watch the birds. Since moving to Vancouver Island from the Canadian Prairies, he’d missed the wildlife he’d grown up with in Saskatchewan.

The flats were quiet today, the shallow water still, a dozen large grey and black geese floating calmly in a circle near the middle of the pond. Through the trees, he caught sight of the deck of Uncle Toby’s house. He scanned the view with his binoculars, pausing in surprise. He’d been on that deck a few times with his uncle, there was a shower and a hot tub positioned there. Uncle Toby would pour him a scotch, toss him a towel and lead the way out the door where they’d each have a quick shower and step into the steaming water to relax and catch up with each other.

Someone was showering on the deck. He adjusted the lenses of his binoculars and took a closer look as his breath caught in his throat. It was a woman, young from the look of her, although her face wasn’t what held his total attention. As the water flowed over her shapely body, she soaped up then lifted an arm to rinse, her breast moving enticingly with the motion. She turned to wash her other side and he focussed on her ass. Very nice.

This wasn’t any business of his. Toby could entertain whomever he wanted at his place. He was a widower, after all. Rainier glanced around in sudden worry to see who else might be watching the activity on the deck. There was no one here but himself which caused the tension in his chest to ease somewhat.

The problem was, Uncle Toby had left town last week. Having finally retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the national police force, he’d taken a long talked about trip to southeast Asia. The house should be empty. Had this person just steered down his road, walked onto the deck to shower and use his hot tub? As Rain watched, the woman leaned to shut off the showerhead and flipped the lid of the hot tub open. Then she stepped in, steam rising in a cloud around her.

What to do? Toby hadn’t specifically asked him to keep an eye on the house. Should he just ignore this? Since being charged with offences, Rainier had been released on bail. The conditions of his probation included working with the cops on various cases where they thought his skills would be of use. As time went by, he’d begun to feel like a police officer, given some kind of responsibility to enforce the law. Spending time with Uncle Toby in the last few months had simply reinforced that feeling. He couldn’t walk past this.

Lowering the binoculars, he headed determinedly for his truck. His job today was to find out what was going on at Uncle Toby’s place. Getting a closer look at the woman with the great ass and spectacular chest would just be a bonus.

When Rain pulled up in front of Uncle Toby’s door, everything looked normal. Toby’s truck was parked in its usual spot in the drive. He never used the twin garages attached to the side of the house, and on Rain’s first tour of the place, he’d noticed they were full of junk, so no room to fit his vehicle in there. Either the female visitor was driving Toby’s truck, or she’d left her car elsewhere. But she had to have access to a vehicle of some kind, out here in the boonies.

Parking right in front of the entry, he climbed out, slamming his door loudly. Didn’t want to startle anyone unnecessarily. Marching up the couple of steps to the front door, he pressed his thumb hard on the button for the doorbell. It chimed inside the house.

There was the sound of footsteps approaching, but the door didn’t open right away. He turned his face toward the side window, imagining he was being scrutinised by the occupant within. That probably meant they were nervous about having a caller show up at the door. The question was, would they open it?

Then he heard the lock snick back and saw the handle twist down. The door opened, and his heart beat a little harder. Would it be Toby or the woman he’d seen on the back deck?

He spotted a pair of bare feet, the toenails painted a dark red, and his gaze travelled up slim bare legs to the hem of a silky-looking green housecoat. There was enticing cleavage where the garment met across the woman’s chest. Her face was lovely, pale blue eyes and a plump mouth. A smile formed on that exquisite face. “Hello, Rain Man,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

 

The Lies He Told Me

Lies He told Book 1

When a police detective falls in love with his main suspect, life gets complicated.
When Chloe Bowman woke to find her husband gone, never did she imagine it would take so long to find him, or that in the midst of the search she’d discover she didn’t really know this man at all. She soon realizes she has been left alone with her young son and a time bomb on her hands. Then the earthquake throws everything into question. Lurking in the shadows is the mysterious Rainman who travels under an unknown name.
Police Detective Ross Cullen was already investigating Chloe’s husband when he disappeared. Although he’s powerfully drawn to Chloe, Ross also knows that when one member of a family disappears, the first place to look for the suspect is among those closest to him. No one is closer than Chloe.
But the deeper Ross digs the less he knows, and the more he’s attracted to the young wife as she struggles to put her life back together. Can Ross break through the Rainman’s disguises to solve the case so he can be with Chloe?

 

Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and attempted murder, in both contemporary and science fiction/fantasy. She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, Canada in spots ranging from Vancouver Island on the west coast to the North Peace River country and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She spent a one year sojourn in Tokyo Japan.
She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. Now she works part time as the owner of a small company, and writes when she finds the time.
She is a wife and mother and still loves to travel, having recently completed a trip to Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and Hong Kong. She lives on the coast of the Pacific Ocean with her husband on a small patch of land near the sea that they call home.
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