Let’s call this a poem

When I was “adjusting” some scenes in the romantic thriller, one of the comments a beta made was for me to add a rekindling scene. While I contemplated what, and how, to add the extra scene, my muse spat this one out. Since I have no room for it in the story, I decided to share it here.

Hope you enjoy!

 

A Poem

This was tagged as “living on the edge” a shack atop a cliff. Not sure if it’s relevant to the post but it sounded nice.

Down on one knee

with nothing to offer

but a beating heart

and a broken soul

and moments in time

with no guarantees

to happiness or sadness.

Those soft hands

that took the tribute

Served as a cage

with cruel spikes

that poked and prodded

the tissues of the heart

because those fingers

found it lacking

and threw the heart away

leaving behind

a pulpy mess

jagged with scars.

And years went by

and a kind face

offered smiles

and moonlight walks

and soothed the hurt

and proffered to make

the two a one

by trying to heel

the pain and the misery

of a broken soul

who preferred this time

to play it safe

and refused to go

across the street

or near the edge

where it had once been

on one knee

with a pulpy heart

and a broken soul

once filled with love

now filled with regret

of an imagined life

that will never be

because that heart

had never been

whole to begin with.

 

Hiding Cracked Glass – James J. Cudney

I’m revealing today a new release coming soon by author James J. Cudney. Some of you have seen my reviews of his amazing books here, some of you are already a fan of his writing and his blog.

So, first, let me introduce you: Hiding Cracked Glass is the highly anticipated sequel for Watching Glass Shatter, which is James Cudney’s debut novel, a highly recommended family drama (if you haven’t read it, go ahead and check it out, it’s an amazing read!)

Here’s a little something about the book:

Hiding Cracked Glass, a contemporary fiction family drama, is the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter and part of the Perceptions of Glass series.

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. 

***

Hiding Cracked Glass will be available for pre-sale very soon. It will officially be published on October 8th, 2020, which is the three year anniversary of Watching Glass Shatter,

 

About the Author

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, media, retail, and hospitality industries. Although I enjoy my job, I also want 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. I am currently writing a sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, a co-authored book with a surprise writer, and the next Braxton Campus Mystery, all set to be released in late 2020 and early 2021.

Most of my books are available in hardcover, paperback, electronic, and audiobook formats. We’ve begun translating into Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian for some of the books too. 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?

 

*Comments here are closed, but if you’d like to know more about this amazing writer and his books, reach out to him:

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

All of James Cudney’s 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.

It’s mind control, only subtler

 

Have you ever finished a book and said, “That was good,” only to read what others thought , realize the book wasn’t that good, and instead of giving the book a 5 star, you give it a 4, or maybe a 4.5? Or have you ever finished a book, didn’t care much for it, then read some reviews that pointed out great plot points that you hadn’t considered, and instead of the 3, you gave it 4 stars?

Let me confess something: I don’t read reviews of books I intend to read soon (soon, because I have a short memory span), and I don’t read reviews before I write my own, because reviews influence the way I think. For example, if I read the review of a book on my soon tbr and the review says, that character was annoying because she did “this” or “that”, I’ll be on the lookout for “this” and “that”. What I mean is that I’ll be influenced by that review, looking for the points he/she made,, and in many cases, overshadowing the conclusions I may have drawn if I didn’t read that review.

Of course, if people are raving about a book that hadn’t made into my radar, I’m bound to read the reviews. And what happens then? I usually find myself disappointed. One such example was “Crazy Rich Asians”. When I first read a review of the book, the reviewer raved about how funny, hilarious, and how she laughed out loud all throughout the book. And then another blogger mentioned how funny the book was. And then another. So I picked up the book. And, if I were to rate it for how funny the book was, I’d have given it a 2. The book, in my opinion, was not funny. Why? Because mostly it highlighted the way rich people belittled those from other (lower) classes, and their prejudice against them. I found most of the characters shallow. But the book was good, and the author did a good job by keeping the mood light, considering the topics it covered. (If you read that book and found it hilarious, are you wondering if you overlooked all the discrimination? Or, are you feeling guilty that you laughed when there was so much prejudice?)

So now you’re thinking, but you said you didn’t read reviews.

I’d rather not, but to each rule there are exceptions, and the same holds true for me.

Times that I do read book reviews:

1- If I’m on the fence about a book, I might read a review or two to help me decide if I want to read it.

2- If it’s a book I never heard about and it caught my curiosity, I might read a review before I add it to my tbr.

3- If the person who wrote the review is someone whose reading taste I’m familiar with.

4- If it’s a book I’ve dnfed.

5- If it’s a book I don’t plan to read – or can’t afford or find.

6- And, of course, if it’s a book I’ve already read.

Disclaimer: I have no idea what this image is, only that it was tagged as “library” and “mystic”

Before I became an author, reviews held little value to me. If I enjoyed a book, I’d rave it to the people I knew, or discuss it with others who read it. I rarely wrote my opinion down and posted it   somewhere for people to see. But I understand the value of reviews, both for authors and potential readers, and while  I’ll hold to not reading reviews – save for the exceptions above – I do write them upon occasion, and do enjoy engaging in discussions when I see the review of a particular book I enjoyed, or disliked, or dnfed, or plan to read one day.

Have you ever heard the quote: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” By Marcus Cicero?

I’ve discovered that in the publishing world, a book without reviews is a book without much value. And that’s just sad.

What about you? How much value do you put on a book based on the reviews?

I have a question

 

So, I don’t want to make this a long post or drag this out.

The Problem:

A reader told me she’d like to know the reason for a conflict up front while the plot evolves, so I went and added some details, but kept others to prolong the curiosity of the reader. And then the other day, another reader said (after she read the adjusted manuscript) that I should add the reason for the conflict early on, adding that when she finally pieced all the pieces and realized the reason (about a fourth of the way through the book), that she no longer cared or empathized.

My question:

Would you rather have books reveal the reason for a conflict bit by bit as the plot evolves, or would you rather the conflict be explained early on, then see how the plot evolves from there? For example, the protagonist is facing a problem that resulted from such conflict. Would you rather know the reason for that conflict in one scene, or find out in snippets here and there throughout the book? Why is that?

The aftermath

Sometimes, I pause in the middle of the day and check the time, only to feel like time is crawling by slowly. But if in that same day I take a look back at the years, or months, or even weeks, my thoughts  are always on how time flies by on jet wings. Is it my cynic self being contradictory, or is everyone the same? Mostly, however, I think on how the past, the farther you think back, the better life was. It makes one fear what the future hides in store.

Inner philosopher aside, I realized last night that it’s been over a month since my last post. I meant to post something a while back, several somethings actually, but keep getting distracted.

For one, after I finished with the last book in the Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy in January, I began drafting a new book. In may, the manuscript was out with beta readers. The book, titled “Of Fame and Ruin” is a romantic thriller, something new to my writing, though not to my reading. This story has been percolating in my mind for years now, and I’d even gone and drafted some scenes so I wouldn’t forget. And the moment Heir of Fury, the last book in the trilogy was out the door, I began drafting, conferring now and then with that mismatched few scenes.

 

I wasn’t sure which excerpt to use in this post, and finally settled on one, though I’m sure when the post goes live, I’d doubt my choice 😉

 

So, let me paste first the blurb – which is still subject to future change. If any of you have suggestions, good or bad, let me know in the comments below.

 

Blurb:

 

Two opposite halves.

 

He’s a rock star who lives in the limelight.

She’s a multimillion dollar heiress who longs for quiet.

 

They were perfect for each other.

 

When the inevitable happens, their pieces no longer fit.

 

Carol’s first and last impulsive act changed her life. She’d have regretted it, had it not brought her the happiest moments too.

Chad put his singing days in the past, where he wanted them, and a certain woman to stay buried. Unfortunately, his celebrity status didn’t go away, and neither did the memories of a weekend in paradise.

 

Fate had a hand in throwing them together. Their past broke them apart.

When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol had no choice but to turn to the only person who could help, even if doing so revealed her biggest secret. Chad wanted nothing to do with the woman who played him as a fool, but was he strong enough to walk away now that he knew the truth?

 

Excerpt:

Josh walked into his father’s hardware store, his eyes finding Chad at once, behind the cash register–standing for Ralph again. He sighed deeply, no longer surprised. Such a waste of talent, his brother. A bachelor’s degree and a JD, a voice that could win awards, and there he was, putting in regular hours as if he couldn’t find anything better.

He moved around to the employee’s side and came to stand beside him. A gangly teenage boy with wire-rimmed glasses shifted from foot to foot while Chad rang his purchase.

“Thanks, Mr. Parker.”

“Any time, David.”

“Mmm,” the boy fidgeted, “can I have another autograph, Mr. Parker? I forgot the last one in my pocket and my mom washed my pants, and, you know?” He pushed his glasses up with his index, and Josh smirked.

“Sure, it happens all the time,” his brother obliged, pulling out a notepad Josh suspected was there for autographs alone.

The boy took his prize with a broad smile, waved at Chad, and hurried out the door. Both Josh and Chad watched as he showed the piece of paper to a group of boys standing by the sidewalk, high fiving each other before skidding out of sight.

“You know he’s selling that on e-bay, right?”

Chad grinned. “Yeah, made more than a grand by now too.”

Josh studied his brother’s profile. He’d grown to wear some stubble after he broke his engagement with Debbie, taking to shaving only once a week. And though he’d gained some weight, most of it was muscle around his shoulders and torso, the result of the weight lifting he and Neil had started a few months back.

“So this is it? This is how you’re spending your days?” Josh asked in a low tone, aware of customer ears nearby. “Hiding in the store, filling in for lazy employees, giving away autographs for a good cause?”

Chad’s eyes flashed with annoyance. “Haven’t we closed this topic twice already?”

They had, but Josh refused to let his brother waste his life away like that. “We never got to a conclusion.”

They both fell quiet when a woman brought her purchase to be checked.

“Good morning,” she said politely, her English heavy.

“Morning, Elena. How do you do?”

“Fine,” she replied with a nice smile. “My friends and I are going to Coney Island this weekend.”

“That’s great.”

“I’m not sure yet if I should go, you know?” she shrugged, “these days I feel like I’m the extra, what with everyone and their dates and me alone. It’s kind of weird.”

Chad made a sympathetic sound. With pursed lips, Josh observed the exchange.

“Maybe I should find an extra friend to come along, just so I won’t feel left out.” She gave Chad a meaningful look that he ignored.

“Maybe you should,” he agreed.

“Maybe. I might even decide I don’t want to go to Coney Island, and me and my extra friend can stay in my place, order pizza, maybe even watch a movie.”

“That’s nice. Twenty-nine ninety-nine.” Chad gave her a polite smile, and after a second, she reached into her purse and pulled out her card.

Josh watched the woman go, admiring the rearview. She looked nice enough, dressed nice–low, formfitting Capri pants, a red tank top that enhanced the size of her boobs. Nice curves, nice smile, nice hair. Good teeth, smelled of peaches.

“Why you blew her off like that?” he asked, puzzled.

Chad shrugged. “Not interested.”

“I see. How long have you not been interested?”

***

Chad tapped his finger on the countertop, not bothering to hide his irritation. “Let’s see, Elena has been coming here since last winter. A few months, then, I’d say.”

“Is the not interested the reason you broke your engagement with Debbie?”

“No, that was another matter altogether,” Chad said, his brother’s psycho analysis grating.

“What’s the matter with you, women don’t interest you anymore?” Josh asked, his voice rising in pitch. A few feet away, Todd stopped dusting the shelves and glanced back at them.

“What’s next?” his brother went on, unrelenting.

“That’s none of your business,” Chad snapped.

“Why do you insist on throwing your life away? You’re twenty-nine, for fuck’s sake, do something besides hiding yourself in a small office, doing minimal work. When did you last go home for dinner? Talked to Nelson? Because no one’s seen him or talked to him for months. You go to the gym with Neil every day but don’t exchange more than a handful of words. Did you know Monica is expecting their third child? Or that Neil is considering filing a missing person’s report if Nelson doesn’t show up or answer his phone? Did you know Celia has a boyfriend and that they’re looking for an apartment to move in together? Noah is dead, through a fault of his own–”

“That’s enough,” Chad hissed, his brother’s words cutting deep.

Todd moved away, no doubt to give the brothers privacy, and Chad glared at Josh. “I’ll say this for the third time and no more. I don’t want, neither now nor in the future, to record a solo. Do you understand? Whether I choose to rot away in the office above or not, it’s my choice to make, not yours.” He unclenched his fists and turned away. “My singing days are over, buried in a past I don’t want to return to.”

Stiff silence followed, broken only when the front door opened and let in the sound of the outside world.

And there she was, five days, four nights, and she’d changed his life forever.

 

***

So this is it for today. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with a new post. In the meanwhile, I plan to make some rounds and visit the blogs I’ve missed since my absence.

The aftermath

https://www.amazon.com/Heir-Ashes-Roxanne-Fosch-Files-ebook/dp/B07B1JBMCW/

 

Author Interview: Jina S. Bazzar

Peeps, I’m over at Biyai from RovingBookwormNG for an interview. Come and check it out! And readers, poets, travel lovers, take a look around, Biyai has an interesting blog.

***

What one thing will you give up to become a better writer?

Jina: Now that’s a hard question. Let me see – my free time, I suppose, could be a fair exchange.

Come and read all ten questions: https://rovingbookwormng.com/2020/04/30/author-interview-jina-s-bazzar/

The end and the beginning

Today, April 29th, 2020, is the release day for the third and last installment in The Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy, Heir of Fury.

For me, it signifies the end and the beginning, because the writing is over, the story has been told, and the trilogy is complete.

 

So here it goes, the third and last book in The Roxanne Fosch Files trilogy, and some snatches of a few early reviews:

Three years has passed since Roxanne left. She’s obeyed and fulfilled Remo’s every wish.
His latest command, however, will send her back to Earth. Aware her presence Earth-side is furthering Remo’s plans, Roxanne delves into an impossible chase against time, the preternatural community, and herself.
But she might already be too late, and Roxanne experiences firsthand that when desperate people are pressed against a rock, they’re willing to commit just about anything.

“My overwhelming reaction to this book is centered around how well written it is… as a drama and exploration of family and responsibility.

If you are a fan of trilogies (with a strong prequel), you’ll find yourself enamored with this one. Each book is several hundred pages long, but they are immersive and quick reads. There’s a fine balance between reality and futuristic science-fiction / fantasy that will keep you on your toes. The author has an immense imagination, and she clearly depicts it on the pages well. We can visualize everything going on… the battle scenes alone will prove her writing chops.” Author James J. Cudney IV

*

“Every once in a while you come across an author’s writing that is so exemplary their storytelling just blows you away. Jina S. Bazzar, Heir of Fury is truly a perfect example of exemplary storytelling. Bazzar has found that perfect balance between reality and science fiction making this a relatable, but futuristic tale.” Tome Tender Books

*

“Jina S. Bazzar has outdone herself with book #3… It might just be my all time favorite out of all of her books. Storyline is unique even for a fantasy/paranormal world! Great characters that developed through the story. Super settings – makes me want to be there in person…” Victoria Ray

 

*** Since I’m having trouble keeping up with social media lately, I’m closing comments here to avoid being rude, but shares will be much appreciated!