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Review: Hiding Cracked Glass

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.

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My Review:

When I heard there was going to be a sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, I was super excited and ready to see what Cudney would bring to the table next! And! He did not disappoint!

As always, the writing was astounding, and it was a page-turner from beginning to end. It was good to be in the Glass members’ heads again! I love that it is multiple POV, like the last book, so we can truly see what’s going on! I’d say it’s very character driven which is right up my alley, but there is also the perfect mystery and atmosphere as well!

I’m a big fan of secret letters too so when that came in to play, I was ready to find out what exactly was going on! And yes, there are twists, but that is expected from Cudney who seems to be a master at those! Overall, this was an excellent sequel and if you enjoyed Watching Glass Shatter, you will definitely be pleased!

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.

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What is a sequel you loved just as much as the first book?

Review: Blood & Honey

Title: Blood & Honey

Author: Shelby Mahurin

Date of Publication: September 1st, 2020

Goodreads Blurb:

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

My Review:

Serpent & Dove was my favorite book of last year so I was pretty scared to dive into this follow up, to be honest! Yes, there were parts that had me mad, buttttttt I loved it!

Reid’s chapters were my favorite. He’s my boy! I think what was harder for me to connect with the most was Lou’s darkness which seemed to come out of no where since there wasn’t much mention of that in the last book. However, I still love her and I still loved her chapters and being in her head. And when she and Reid were on the pages together, they ignited them! Love them!

The world building was beautiful and the writing glorious! I just love Shelby’s dialogue so much! And Ansel is probably my favorite side character but there are so many good ones! Yes, there is a cliffhanger, and yes, I desperately need book 3. And also, my heart is a bit broken!

Do you like witches?

Review: Kingdom of the Wicked

Titled: Kingdom of the Wicked

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Date of Publication: October 27th, 2020

Goodreads Summary:

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.


Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
 

My Review:

I’m a huge Maniscalco fan! Love her writing and the stories she spins! I was super excited to see what type of new book she would bring to the table after I finished the Stalking Jack the Ripper series! And she did not disappoint!

This was a page-turning world that had me glued to the story at page 1! I loved the twin bone between Emilia and Vittoria! And also the food and the family! Emilia was a strong character and when she met Wrath, I just knew things were going to get awesomer!

Wrath was the kind of book guy I like, where you don’t know if he’s hiding secrets or not but you love him regardless! I wanted to pinch Emilia at times and tell her to just go hug and kiss Wrath, but I understand why it would be hard to trust a prince demon of Hell! There chemistry and bickering was just excellent!

But seriously, I highly recommend to read this book! And yes, there is a dreaded cliffhanger, one that will leave you yearning for book 2, which is a great thing! 

What’s your favorite witchy book?

 

Review: I’ll Give You The Sun

Title: I’ll Give You The Sun

Author: Jandy Nelson

Date of Publication: September 16th, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”

At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them. Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways . . . but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor. The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world. This radiant, award-winning novel from the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

My review:

This is the second book I’ve read of Jandy’s. I did like The Sky is Everywhere better but this one came pretty dang close!

I loved the back and forth past and present POVs between the siblings! Noah and Jude were both selfish, loveable, complex, and amazing! What I loved best about them was that they were both human and humans make mistakes, but you can also grow from your mistakes. So I really liked seeing those changes and character growth as the story unfolded.

The romances were both adorable too! And my goodness the writing! The writing was perfection! The only thing I would have wanted was an epilogue from Noah’s POV! I still need that epilogue!!!!!!!

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Do you prefer the sun or the moon?

Review: The Sky is Everywhere

Title: The Sky is Everywhere

Author: Jandy Nelson

Date of Publication: March 9th, 2010

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Goodreads Summary:

Adrift after her sister Bailey’s sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey’s boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs… though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.

Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.

As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.

My Review:

I always say that contemporary books are the hardest for me because it’s hard for me to find a truly great one. And this one for me was one of those truly great ones! I adored every single emotional and quirky minute of it!

I could so connect with Lennie’s struggles and the stupid things she did at times, but they made sense why she did them. If I was in her position, I would have done them too! I love both Joe and Toby. They were just such great characters. Same goes for Big and Grams. They all just felt so real!

This was a story about healing, falling in love, and discovering who you are. Life isn’t perfect and we all just do the best we can. I also loved the little written notes inside the book before some of the chapters! Seriously I’m super hungover from this one!

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What’s a book you’ve read years later after its release?

Review: The Dead House

Title: The Dead House

Author: Dawn Kurtagich

Date of Publication: August 6th, 2015

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Goodreads Summary:

Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

My Review:

I seriously love Kurtagich’s writing! This is the third novel I’ve read from her and it was another addicting mystery that I was antsy to unravel!

Katilyn was an awesome lead character! She was pretty much in the gray-shaded area and those are always my favorite! I also liked the glimpses of the romance along with the weird and the strange!

My main complaint is when books are written in case-file format, it’s really hard for me to connect with the characters. Example, I liked the side characters but they didn’t feel as fully developed as they could have if the story had been written in the standard format. However, it was still a creative style! And I loved the ending but I still have questions! If you want a super fun book, check this bad boy out!

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What is your favorite horror or mystery read?

Review: The PAN

Title: The PAN

Author: Jenny Hickman

Date of Publishing: September 1st, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Since her parents were killed, Vivienne has always felt ungrounded, shuffled through the foster care system. Just when liberation finally seems possible—days before her eighteenth birthday—Vivienne is hospitalized with symptoms no one can explain.

The doctors may be puzzled, but Deacon, her mysterious new friend, claims she has an active Nevergene. His far-fetched diagnosis comes with a warning: she is about to become an involuntary test subject for Humanitarian Organization for Order and Knowledge—or H.O.O.K.

Vivienne can either escape to Neverland’s Kensington Academy and learn to fly (Did he really just say fly?) or risk sticking around to become a human lab rat.

But accepting a place among The P.A.N. means Vivienne must abandon her life and foster family to safeguard their secrets and hide in Neverland’s shadows… forever.

My Review:

I loved this retelling on Peter Pan! Vivienne! Deacon! Deacon is totally mine! Right off the bat, I was sucked into this world. The scifi aspect was really cool on this too!

Character driven stories are my favorite and this was one of those. I liked that I had a chance to be inside both Vivienne’s and Deacon’s heads! There was mystery, swoon, page-turning awesomeness, and flying! Lots and lots of flying! Now, if only I could fly!

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Who is your favorite Peter Pan character?

Review: Snow, Glass Apples

Title: Snow, Glass, Apples

Author: Neil Gaiman

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Goodreads:

A retelling of the Snow White fairy tale from the point of view of the “wicked stepmother.”

My Review:

First off, the pictures in the book I have were glorious and beautiful and I couldn’t stop looking at them! I also love Snow White retellings because I freaking love Snow White.

This was an original and unique graphic novel on the original story. I will admit, there was some really weird stuff going on that I need some answers to! It was an addicting little tale and I’m glad I found it, but again, what in the world? Anyway, I definitely recommend checking it out!

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What’s your favorite Snow White retelling?

 

 

Review: The Reckoning of Noah Shaw

Title: The Reckoning of Noah Shaw

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Date of Publication: November 13th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Noah Shaw doesn’t think he needs his father’s inheritance.
He does.

Noah believes there’s something off about the suicides in his visions.
There is.

Noah is convinced that he still knows the real Mara Dyer.
He does not.

Everyone thought the nightmare had ended with Mara Dyer’s memoirs, but it was only the beginning. As old skeletons are laid bare, alliances will be tested, hearts will be broken, and no one will be left unscarred.

My Review:

I love the Mara Dyer first trilogy so much! I had a problem with the last Noah book, which is why it took me so long to read this one, but finally we’re back in the game!

Noah will always get five stars from me because I love him so much. His head is an interesting place to be because he isn’t perfect but he’s perfect to me! The friendship he has with Goose is my favorite thing in the world! Their chemistry is just spot on.

In this whole series there is stuff I don’t quite understand, but the weirdness of it all is what keeps me turning the pages! My one con in this book is that Mara wasn’t there, and I would have liked to have been dual POV, but it was still awesome! I just missed them together! Michelle just has such addictive writing along with the best dialogue. Now, I seriously need the last book after that cliffhanger!

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Have you started this series?

Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle

Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle

Author: Neil Gaiman

Date of Publication: October 23rd, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

My Review:

Another illustrated story by Gaiman filled with beautiful artwork! I loved this book so much. It was a mesh and merging between Snow White and Sleeping Beauty and, of course, with a cool and fresh spin to it!

Three of the dwarves travel with Snow White to help her free Sleeping Beauty’s kingdom and break the curse so that everyone can wake once more. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say, go read it!

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Do you prefer Sleeping Beauty or Snow White?