Watching Glass Shatter By James J. Cudney Review!

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Watching Glass Shatter (2017) by James J. Cudney is a very riveting book that keeps you engaged from start to finish. Part family drama, part mystery, the book is filled with memorable characters which everyone will have their own favourites from because all the characters are very rounded and have their own distinct personality traits and ways of dealing with situations.

A word that springs to mind with this book is psychological. Told in the third person through the eyes of each main character at different points, the reader gets a real inside into the complexity of human nature and how problems occur between people coming from different perspectives. That element of the book is very interesting. The book’s main character is Olivia Glass who has just lost her husband Ben in a car crash after they have been married for 40 years. However Ben has a secret which he has been holding back from Olivia for many years and leaves behind a letter containing the secret: that one of their five sons isn’t their birth son and he switched the baby Olivia had given birth to who died with another baby after their births. However he doesn’t reveal which of the sons he switched the baby for. And so begins the mystery. Olivia goes to visit each of her sons before she finds out.

Olivia is on a journey. And that seems pretty apt because I went on a journey with her. Throughout most of the book I couldn’t stand her. That isn’t to say I didn’t think she was a good character but I just didn’t particularly like her. She has many flaws ranging from prejudices to been controlling to thinking that she lives perfectly while everybody else doesn’t. I don’t want to give too much away but I did like her by the end. She was big enough to admit her mistakes and she was more human and compassionate by the end. In short, I’m saying give her a chance even if early on she’ll probably drive you mad.

Secrets are a huge part of this story and each of the five sons have their own secrets which they have been keeping from Olivia and from each other too. In the interests of giving nothing away, I’ll leave it at that. But secrets is a huge theme of this book as is the family dynamics caused by secrets.

The five sons are Zach who works in The Atlantis Lair in Brooklyn who has a daughter but is no longer with the mother of his daughter and who in the past has had drug problems but is now getting his life back on track, Teddy who is the eldest son, works for the family business and is married to Sarah and has been trying to get her pregnant unsuccessfully for a while, Matt who is under more stress than he’s letting on and is married to Margaret who he has three daughters with and who is pregnant with their fourth child, the baby of the bunch Ethan who gets engaged to Emma but hasn’t long to live and my favourite character Caleb who lives in Maine with my other favourite character his husband Jake and they are planning to adopt their first child together. Each of the brothers comes across very likable in their own ways and as a reader you are wishing them all to be a lot closer because they seem like great guys. Jake is my favourite of the other halves but the others are nice too. I think Margaret’s great too but Emma and Sarah come across well too.

This book is very well-written. It has a mix of a John Grisham feel with the mystery element without someone been killed and a Barbara Taylor Bradford feel with the whole family dynamics and family drama. A lot of work has clearly been put into this book and the writer is very talented. You definitely won’t be disappointed if you purchase this book.

To purchase Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney go to:



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Writing Links 2/19/18

Truth was included in this round-up which has lots of other reading you should check out too. Thanks again Traci for including my short story. Very much appreciated. 🙂

via Writing Links 2/19/18

February 15: Flash Fiction Challenge: 99 Word Prompt – Hit The Ice – Carrot Ranch Literary Community

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story on ice. It can be an event on ice, a game on ice or a drink on ice. Go where the prompt leads you.


Hit The Ice


When he hit the ice, Chad wanted to show a combination of elegance and fun. He felt his performance flow from his heart and go all the way through his body coming out through his fingertips and toetips. The movement, deep in emotion, brought through his past, present and hopes for the future. More than just a skate. More than just a dance. He could only hope it translated to the crowd. Turn after turn. Beat after beat. Big tricks surrounded by basics and subtle moves. Edgy and new with many traditional steps. Beauty, light among darkness. Pure joy.


If you want to participate, here’s the link:

For What Pegman Saw Writing Prompt – Hiking

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There was many people who hiking wasn’t for. And Kyle was one of them. So what on earth was he doing hiking in Ute Petroglyph Trail in Colorado? Good question, he thought. But he knew why. He was trying to impress Candice. She was the blond bombshell he had been trying to impress for years. Unsuccessfully. He hoped she’d be impressed by his adventurous spirit. So he torturously made step after step.

He finished the mountain miles behind her and watched as she kissed that apparent ‘friend’ of hers Frank. He sat down on the ground trying to regain his breath and pride. He had thought the hardest part of the day would be the trek. But the ache in his heart said differently.

He heard a crash beside him. He looked and seen a beautiful woman who introduced herself as Jenny. It was the start of their trek together.

In response to the What Pegman Saw writing prompt:

Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt – Intermingled Lives

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson



Intermingled Lives


Dayl watched the house from the other side of the road. Collar up, disguising his face. Watched as the family got out of the car with their groceries. Two giggling children, a single mother Jade. An absent father who left eight years ago now watching his family enter their old home. Too ashamed to admit he was wrong and wanted to come home. So he walked away.

Mason, his long-time friend, best man at his wedding, watched him from around the corner. Dayl gone, his mission to marry Jade, get her recent inheritance could continue. He walked towards the house.

For Friday Fictioneers Writing Prompt. Check out the website at:

#SoCS Feb 10/18 – Truth

Linda’s prompt for SoCS this week…

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “his/her(s).” Use one, use both, bonus points if you start your post with one and end with the other. 



That word they used for many, many years which drove him mad. He couldn’t blame them all because he was playing the game. Based on some ancient scientific method the medical profession used to assign babies their gender, he had been assigned incorrectly. Society seemed to go along with that ancient yolk like it couldn’t be wrong somehow. And in consequence many people would be cruel to him if he was honest. So he lied to keep safe.

But there was only so long he could lie for without going insane, without making himself so unhappy that he’d never recover happiness. So he made a decision to live in a truthful way. On the first day, he heard someone on telly say it was a ‘mental illness’. But you know what they say, those who say things are talking about themselves really. So he laughed and flicked off the TV. Nothing could get him down today. He was filled with a mix of joy, nerves and anticipation shimmering together like a cocktail.

And then he told his father in the afternoon fearing rejection from someone who was his best friend as well as his father.  And then he felt bad for ever doubting his Dad, for ever even thinking he’d mind. His Dad wasn’t a transphobe after all.

How did I ever let my mind associate my father with the prejudiced? Must have been fear. He’s a good man.

His father admitted he had an idea for many years and he wished he’d told his father sooner. But nothing could be done about that now. They went for a meal, followed by some shopping in the EuroShop. Nothing had changed and inwardly he felt like crying with a mix of happiness and relief. Love was such a wonderful thing. The only thing that mattered in the world. At moments like this, he truly knew that. And soon his father handed him a gift. A cup with His on it that he had got in the shop. He smiled and hugged his father.

Finally. His.


Three Line Tales Writing Prompt – David & Liz


David sat with his knitting kit and looked at the artificial roses his wife Liz had given him back when they were young. The notebooks, that served as his diaries, over the past fifty years lay next to the knitting kit and roses. They detailed he and his wife’s dating, marriage, having kids and becoming grandparents until her death six years ago but today he would join her forever.


For Three Line Tales Writing Prompt. The website can be found at: