Short Story: Halloween Feast

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The child walks along holding her trick or treat basket. She is dressed as a witch. Her basket is currently empty. She hears a shout in the distance.

‘Scram! Get out of here!’

She looks across to see an old lady chasing a group of cats and dogs way from her door. The old lady’s house is decorated with lots of Halloween decorations and the young girl decides that the old lady will probably be kinder to children. So when the old lady goes back inside, she goes to knock on the door. Soon the old lady answers.

‘Trick or treat.’, the young girl says.

The old lady smiles warmly and then looks sad as she looks in the child’s empty basket. Before the little girl knows it her basket is filled up with a huge variety of candies and chocolates. She thanks the old lady and continues to several more houses where her basket becomes heavy with overflowing candy, chocolates and toffee apples. With her basket now too heavy to carry she decides to call a halt to her trick or treating experience.

She steps behind a wall and places her basket down. She changes back into her true self: a black cat called Fluffy. She meows to alert the other cats and the dogs of the neighbourhood and soon they have gathered around. Thanks to Fluffy’s magical powers, the stray cats and dogs of the neighbourhood had a wonderful Halloween feast.


5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

Yes, it is that time of the week again. Here is my five video suggestions for this week:


Get into the Halloween spirit with Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me. The music video is really cool and the song is so catchy. Perfect for the season that is in it.

Continue with the spirit of Halloween with this amazing music video set in a haunted house by Backstreet Boys to their song Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).

Continue the Halloween dancing spirit with the classic that is Michael Jackson’s Thriller. This music video has everything, great song, great storyline, great dancing, great styling, great make-up and just brilliant all around. The previous video was inspired by this video trivia fans.


This is a fantastic video with lots of facts about The Rocky Horror Picture Show such as its previous title and casting info from Minty Comedic Arts. Really interesting.

In this video by World of Micah, we see some of the filming locations from Salem and Marblehead where Hocus Pocus took place. I seen this film so many times when I was younger that it was really cool to see where some of it was filmed.

Happy Halloween to you and yours! 🙂

A Letter To My Teenage Self (Part 1)

The idea for the following blog post I found on an incredible blog called Chateau Cherie

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Dear Teenage Lisa,

Yeah, hi honey I see you. Probably with your nose in a book. Well let me tell you some things are not new there darling!

I am not really sure where to start but just to let you know that everything will be ok. I know you worry it won’t be but it will. It won’t be perfect my dear and I know right now you are so worried it won’t be but you will grow to realise that life isn’t perfect but you will still be happy. And you are a lot stronger with a bigger capacity to survive than you think.

I know you are worried about that passionate heart you have and I know you are worried about questioning everything. But let me tell you one day you will realise that those things are two of your most beautiful qualities. You are not a bad person, you are compassionate and kind but you are also strong and you stand up for what you believe in, your rights and the rights of others. And babe, no matter what some people tell you and how much they put you down, you remember that because you are going to need to. People are going to/are saying these negative about you and though you may not think it, it is when you start to not take those things in that you will blossom.

Right now you are being bullied in school and I know not too much of it gets to you but it will all hit you later down the line. While you will have scars from the cruel experiences of being bullied, you will become even stronger from it and you will get through. That is going to be a common feature of life: hard times will be hard but you will survive them and you will come out of them stronger.

You are trying to figure out your sexuality and your romantic orientation. You are spending too much time trying to figure it all out. You will in time. In fact you will think you know at 18 but you won’t till quite a bit after that so why worry? Let it just come. You will question more too like your religious beliefs and your gender and you will sort all that too. You will question if you are capable of success, whether you are a good person and what type of clothes you like but babe, you’ll get through it all. My message really to you is stop worrying so much about figuring things out. You will and then you will wonder why you wasted so much time trying to sort things that you always eventually get the answers to. Live in the moment and trust yourself that you are capable of finding out who you are.

Your life is in writing. I know your two passions are writing and singing. You will go for a couple of auditions so you won’t have regrets about that but writing is where your life and career mainly lies. You have published 29 books. Yeah, pretty impressive, eh girl? There’s a bit of everything in them from romance, mystery, drama, horror, supernatural, self-help, poetry, a childrens’ book and in your books there is a lot about social issues! You have a blog which this letter is on. It is called Culture Vulture Express. You have written for magazines and websites too. And let me tell you honey, keep the writing up because while you are not Oscar Wilde, you are pretty damn good at it.

You are going to have mostly a very happy life but you are going to have some hard times too. You will lose your father in 2008 and you will lose your dog in 2010. They are going to be very difficult times for you, your mother and your sister and you will go through all those stages of grief people talk about but those stages will be more hellish than anyone could ever describe. The two men in your life will always be in your heart but though it might not always feel like it at those times, you will get through and survive and so will your mother and sister.

Later in your life, you will go through a very difficult night where you will feel like taking your life. You are going to face a lot of prejudice, discrimination and gaslighting and you are going to put a lot to the back of your mind and that stress is going to build up and make you feel that way. You will feel like you are going to go through with it but don’t worry, you won’t. You are a fighter though you think you aren’t. You are going to see life a lot differently after that happens but Lis, I want you to see life a lot differently now instead. I want you to know your worth without having to experience something so awful and scary.

Oh, you are 30 now. Did I mention that? How do you feel? More mature because you’ve experienced more life. You know more than back then because you had a good few years to learn it in. But honestly, you aren’t really much different! You are a lot calmer now but that’s normal. You are young and starting out in the world and it’s perfectly normal to be daunted by that but over time, you’ll get used to it. You will learn how to navigate the world like we all do.

You are in a pandemic currently. Yes, you read that right darling, a pandemic. Life is very scary right now and it feels so fragile. But you, your mother and sister are doing well at the moment and making the best of it.

I think that is enough information to load on your young shoulders for now but there will be more parts to this letter so you know Lis, stay tuned. 🙂

From 30-year-old Lisa

My Book Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories Is Now Available!

Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories by [Lisa Reynolds]

Hi everyone! 🙂

My new book Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories is now available on Amazon and Payhip.

Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories is a collection of six Halloween stories.


Elm View Mansion
Sexy Vampires
Halloween Dad
Missing Them
The Local Witch
Halloween Hook-Up

Happy Halloween to you all & if you choose to purchase thank you. I loved putting this collection together and met so many new and amazing characters. 🙂

To purchase Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories go to:

Poem: To My Father

On the 21st of this month we lost my father 12 years ago. Rest in peace Dad. Love you.

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I miss you Dad everyday,

I especially miss you in these crazy times

when you would be there to help get me through,

I wonder how you’d have coped with all this,

you would probably have moaned a bit

but did what needed to be done

because you cared about people

so much.

I miss your humour,

I miss your love,

it makes me so proud

when Mum and Shar say

I have your smile.

You were one in a million,

I hate the 21st every year,

I was so glad I slept past 11am,

the hour you died,

I wanted to,

I was scared to be awake

and remember the pain.

I prefer to think of the good times

when you were with us

and it felt like it would never be any other way,

you taught me to be kind and to be strong,

you set me up so well for life

in just over 18 years

and you are forever with me

and the girls in our hearts.

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It is that time of the week again. Here is my five video suggestions for this week:


In this video Tyler Oakley talks to Brandon Kyle Goodman about the upcoming Presidential Election in America and explains how your one vote could make all the difference. Really informative and interesting.


In this video, Bob The Drag Queen does a look using Party City supplies and RuPaul’s Teal the Show Wig. With assistance from Free The Drag Queen, Bob creates yet another fantastic look.

Musical Theatre/Film

With Halloween just around the corner, it is the perfect time to enjoy Todrick Hall’s take on Hocus Pocus called Hocus Broke-us. It’s amazing and a lot of fun. So well put together. Todrick and the entire cast are excellent.


I love both Queen and Panic! At The Disco so this is perfect. A really great version of Bohemian Rhapsody from Panic! At The Disco’s The Death Of A Bachelor Tour.

Here is a throwback for you all. A wonderful performance of Nancy Boy by Placebo on Top of the Pops in 1997.

My Poem Haunted By Lies Is In Little Infinite’s Poetry Competition!

Writing Poetry - 4 Ways to get Started |

Hi everyone! 🙂

My poem Haunted By Lies is currently one of the entrants in Little Infinite’s poetry competition. I would love if you voted for it but obviously there is so many excellent poems in the competition so no pressure whatsoever! 🙂

If you do vote for Haunted By Lies though, it would be very much appreciated and thank you so much. 🙂

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It is that time of the week again! Here is my five video suggestions for this week:


I have been a huge Scissors Sisters fan for a long time and Take Your Mama was one of their songs back in day (Jaysus, I’m old! :-)) that you would hear everywhere. Brilliant song, brilliant music video. 🙂

I think I went on a bit of a nostalgia trip this week because Mika is another artist I have been a long-time fan of. Relax, Take It Easy is very much an anthem kind of song, very festival-like and the words really we all need to do sometimes. Again great bop and an equally great video. 🙂

I feel there is a pattern emerging here because I am also a long-time fan of Ne-Yo. If you don’t know my age by now, you are probably beginning to guess it. Our music definitely tells on us! 🙂 This is Ne-Yo’s Beautiful Monster, excellent music video, brilliant song. And quite a cool song for a Halloween playlist too. 🙂


Thank god I finally came to the present day! 🙂 This is Moschino’s Spring/Summer collection 2021. The clothes are gorgeous, they always are with Moschino but what really gets me about this collection is the way the show was created with puppets. Very inventive and creative by Jeremy Scott and his team. Really fun. Very storytelling. 🙂


I am absolutely loving Bob The Drag Queen’s Addams Family Series at the moment. In this episode, she does a make-up tutorial of Morticia Addams. Absolutely stunning! 🙂

My New Book Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential Is Now Available!

Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential by [Lisa Reynolds]

Hi everyone! 🙂

My new book Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential is now available to purchase on Amazon and Payhip. 🙂

Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential is a mixed bag of affirmations which I use myself to help me feel confident and more happy in my skin and I hope these affirmations can do the same for you too. Like my two previous affirmations books there is once again 50 affirmations in this book. 🙂

If you choose to purchase the book, thank you so much in advance. 🙂

To purchase Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential go to:

Hiding Cracked Glass Blog Book Tour @jamescudney4 @Shalini_G26

Hi everyone! 🙂

Today I am taking part in the blog book tour for author James J. Cudney’s Hiding Cracked Glass. The blog book tour is been hosted by Shalini at Digital Reads Blog Tours (@Shalini_G26). Thank you very much to both James and Shalini. 🙂

Title: Hiding Cracked Glass

Series Name: Perceptions of Glass

Author: James J. Cudney

Publisher and Next Release Date: Next Chapter, October 8, 2020 (Yes y’all, that is today! :-))


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.  

My Review

Hiding Cracked Glass (2020) is an amazing read. It is the second installment in the Perception of Glass series and follows on brilliantly from the first book Watching Glass Shatter. What is really great about this series is the variety of characters and how they all interact with each other. The Glass family are definitely a family with drama and secrets which always works well in stories especially mysteries. Because there is so many different types of characters within the family alone, most readers will not identify or like the same characters and I think that makes things interesting.

The plot is really interesting and well-thought out. The family has gathered for mother Olivia’s birthday but the celebrations are somewhat dampened when a blackmail letter comes before. The name of who the letter is for is unreadable which kind of reminded of something Agatha Christie might do actually so I thought that was cool. The family all believe the letter was meant for them and believe themselves to be in danger which means they set about finding out more. Very intriguing plot idea. This novel has some great red herrings throughout to keep you guessing and is really a very gripping read. Sometimes it is hard to put down to be honest.

Great drama. Great mystery. Great read.

My rating: 5 stars

About The Author


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.


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




Next Chapter Pub:


Social Media









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)


To win your free book go to (2 Winners):

Good luck everyone! 🙂

To purchase Hiding Cracked Glass by James J. Cudney go to:

Amazon Link:

Best of luck to James with the book and to both James and Shalini with the rest of the blog book tour! 🙂