Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jacqui Murray, James J. Cudney, Teagan Riordain Geneviene and D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates for August…with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with recent reviews is Jacqui Murray for Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of the Crossroads Trilogy), a book that I too can recommend.

About the book

Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home. Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, Survival of the Fittest is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion.

Chased by a ruthless enemy, Xhosa leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands following a path laid out decades before by her father, to be followed only as a last resort. She is joined by other fleeing tribes from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant, all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, tragedy, secrets, and Nature itself, Xhosa is forced to face the reality that her enemy doesn’t want to ruin her People. It wants to ruin her.

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia, where ‘survival of the fittest’ was not a slogan. It was a destiny. Xhosa’s People were from a violent species, one fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened their lives except for one: future man, a smarter version of themselves, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Terri A Webster Schrandt 5.0 out of 5 stars A Fearless Female Leader July 20, 2019

Xhosa is a heroine of her times as she leads her people and attempts to understand the world around her. Through meticulous research, author Jacqui Murray illuminates the gritty details of the lives and world of Homo Erectus as the People trek through Africa and beyond to search for more hospitable surroundings. With wisdom, courage and the ability to learn new ideas, Xhosa is a fierce and memorable character capable of leading the People to their new home. I am eagerly awaiting the second book of this three-book series!

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NKM58GB

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Fittest-Crossroads-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B07NKM58GB

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

Connect to Jacqui via her websiteWorddreams

The next author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for Father Figure.

About the book

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.

Abused by her mother, Amalia Graeme 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 for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden New York City teenager, 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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Father Figure is an intriguing story of two women’s journeys, at two different points in time, towards self acceptance and redemption.

Amalia grew up in the small town of Brant, Mississippi, the abused daughter of a jealous and spiteful mother, who suffers from diabetes, and a weak and insipid father, who turns a blind eye to his wife’s physical and verbal abuse of his daughter. Despite her father’s faults, Amalia is devoted to her father. Her love for her father does not prevent her from seeking to create a better life for herself away from Brant and she accepts a sports scholarship to Woodlands College. Amalia’s sheltered and dysfunctional home life does not equip her for life at a university full of young men and women. She becomes romantically involved with Carter, her brother’s rather childish and selfish best friend, and simultaneously meet a middle aged, but attractive, professor who she develops a huge crush on. Amalia’s naivety set her up to make poor romantic choices and other decisions that change the course of her life.

Brianna is the lonely and slightly indulged teenage daughter of a single fairly successful career woman living in New York City. She has grown up without a father figure and has an obsession with finding out more about the mystery man who fathered her. Her mother refuses to engage with her on the subject, saying it is part of her painful past. Brianna knows virtually nothing about her mother’s family and this increases her frustration at her mother’s refusal to tell her about her roots. Brianna is also confused about her sexuality and is locked in an internal struggle to discover whether she is attracted to men or whether her attraction for her best friend, Shanelle, is the real thing. In order to give herself some space, away from her over-protective mother, Brianne decides to apply to Woodlands College, which is out of state and the same college Shanelle has decided to attend.

Brianna’s decision to attend Woodland’s sets in motion a sequence of events that unravel the mysteries of the past and cause the separate timelines of Amalia and her to cross with unforeseen consequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this family drama.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BW77CWQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Father-Figure-James-J-Cudney-ebook/dp/B07BW77CWQ

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

A new release receiving reviews is Brother Love (A Crossroad) by Teagan Riordain Geneviene.

About Brother Love

“Brother Love – a Crossroad” is a mysterious “Twilight Zone-ish” short novella. It was inspired by the combination of Neil Diamond’s song and the blues legends of Robert Johnson and the Devil at the Crossroads. As in the real world, things in this tale are not what they seem. The setting is rural Mississippi in the 1950s. A group of outcasts are in a small southern town. They don’t realize they are looking for something. Will they find it?

A recent review for Brother Love

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with Magic July 21, 2019

Geneviene started this novelette as a serial on her blog and for several reasons I was unable to follow along. I was pleased to see the story published so I could finish it to the end. It was well worth staying up past my bedtime.

The story takes place in rural Mississippi and reflects the sensibilities of the US South. It’s a place full of superstition and religion, talking magpies, charlatans and outcasts. The traveling revival-show is particularly well done. Characters are intriguing, and the main character Birdie is fully realized and believable. The reader figures out what’s going on only as Birdie does, and there is lots of magic and mystery wrapping up the end.

The author states at the beginning that the story includes word-prompts contributed by her blog audience, and it was fun to see how she wove them seamlessly into the story. Recommend for fantasy readers who love magic.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V25SXFR

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V25SXFR

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13707141.Teagan_Geneviene

Connect to Teagan Geneviene via her website: https://teagansbooks.com/

And last but certainly not least…it is D.G. Kaye with her memoir for Conflicted Hearts: A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt

About Conflicted Hearts

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

J. R. Lunsford 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend July 25, 2019

Author D. G. Kaye takes her readers on a journey down the memory lane of her fractured past riddled with painful recollections of her narcissistic mother and timid father.
Forced to grow up as a child substituting for her mother (including cooking, housework, and the care of her 3 younger siblings), the author learned to cope with the selfishness of her self-absorbed mother by tuning out her own needs, especially her need for a mother’s love and affection.

I was glad her Aunt Sherry was there for her, though she was really the only adult who seemed to care. All the other adults in her life were emotionally absent.
The author moves into the difficulties of adulthood confused and guilt-ridden but learns, even in the midst of illness and heartbreak how to love herself and to “climb life’s peaks and prevail”.

I highly recommend this book; especially for anyone struggling with the wounds of a fractured past.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Conflicted-Hearts-Daughters-Solace-Emotional-ebook/dp/B00HDTPPUQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Conflicted-Hearts-Daughters-Solace-Emotional-ebook/dp/B00HDTPPUQ

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby on her blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a few books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2) by James J. Cudney..


This is my review for Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2) by James J. Cudney.. and the second in the series that I have read.

I read and reviewed Academic Curveball the first book in the series earlier in the year which I enjoyed and I was looking forward to catching up with Kellan Ayrwick and his family and friends.

About Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies.

When one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate the death. With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

My review for Broken Heart Attack.

One of the good things about reading the second book in a series is that you are already up to speed with the main characters. This helps you slip into the story where the last one left off, with a bit of a cliffhanger for the lead character, Kellan Ayrwick, which continues to intrigue throughout this story. We get to know new players in the drama, including the leading family in the town, who have a finger in most pies, including the university and particularly the drama department. Nana D, Kellan’s grandmother has ambitions of her own, but when it comes to friendship, she will leave no stone unturned to find out the cause of her friend’s problems.

Rather she will get Kellan to leave no stone unturned, and in this case it is the suspicious death of the matriach of the Paddington family, who expires in an untimely fashion in the middle of a Shakespeare play. And what things he finds when he does lift some rocks and secrets and lies are abundant.

Add in a fiesty sheriff who likes to play hardball, his former mother-in-law making impossible demands, and a boss who would be delighted to see the back of him, and you have a fast paced mystery with plenty to keep the reader busy.

There were red herrings which is always a good thing in a mystery, nothing worse than identifying the killer in the first chapter… I had my suspicions about a few characters but only discovered my misconceptions in the last chapter of the book. Whilst the case is satisfactorily closed for most people concerned, the author has left some threads for us to follow up in the next book, Flower Power Trip, which I am looking forward to.

I do recommend that you begin with Academic Curveball so that you are up to speed with the cast members and you will then enjoy this next mystery to the full.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Attack-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07KGGJX1T

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

About James J. Cudney

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 spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do 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 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then 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 dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains 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. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Connect to James J. Cudney

Website and Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4/

I hope you have enjoyed my review for Broken Heart Attack and will consider buying and reviewing the book yourselves.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – James J. Cudney, Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Jane Risdon, Lynda McKinney Lambert.


Welcome to the Friday Edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for his family drama Watching Glass Shatter.

About the book

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, or bring them closer together?

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book was an interesting read from Cudney. I’d classify it as a family saga genre as the story evolves around the widow Olivia and her five grown children.

Although the blurb comes right out with the fact that Ben switched the baby, making it sound rather cruel and deceitful, I didn’t find that was the case, as the baby switch was done with consent from the birth mother – still a big no no for Ben not letting his wife know until after he died, but nothing shady.

The plot focuses on what happens after Ben’s death with the will, the baby secret, and then we are taken into the lives of each of their children. Each son has a cross to bear in their lives. We learn this through Olivia’s decision after Ben’s death to visit each of her children to spend quality time with them before the reading of the will. Through each visit, we learn about each of her son’s redeeming and not so redeeming features – their lives, their misgivings, and some very surprising secrets.

Throughout reading the story we learn what propelled each character to become ensconced into each of their dilemmas. Olivia learns a lot about her children she never knew previously. And not until almost the very end do we learn about the story of the baby switch, which somehow didn’t feel like the highlight of the story anymore as we got caught up in the drama of each of the character’s lives.

The story was well written with interesting characters – some of them drew in my sympathy, some left me questioning why they acted as they did. But with a nice and satisfactory ending, I enjoyed this book. #Recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0769LB2N3

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Glass-Shatter-James-Cudney-ebook/dp/B0769LB2N3

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

The next author with a recent review is Teagan Riordain Geneviene for her first book Atonement Tennessee...

About Atonement Tennessee

Esmeralda Lawton is sick of the big city. “Ralda” was betrayed until trust became a theoretical concept. So it’s a dream come true when she buys an old estate, complete with historic cemetery. Okay, she isn’t excited about the cemetery, but she’s strangely drawn to the estate. Atonement, Tennessee, a quaint town, seems like the perfect place for her. However, her new life isn’t quiet.

The house is full of antiques. Some have extraordinary properties — a brass bed causes strange dreams, and a mirror shows the truth of who you are.

A mysterious neighbor secretly watches over the graveyard. There’s more to him than meets the eye, but what? Then there’s Gwydion, owner of Fae’s Flowers. She stubbornly resists her feelings for him.

Ralda suspects that people are drawn to Atonement to, well — atone. She wonders what sins led her there. However, her ancestress made the mistakes.

Atonement is home to more than humans. Supernaturals go there too. Some have fallen far.

This urban fantasy, seasoned with Celtic mythology, comes with a side-order of mystery. Are you sad to see the “Sookie Stackhouse” stories end? Make a visit to Atonement, Tennessee!

A recent review for the book

Atonement Tennessee is an imaginative romp told through the eyes of the main protagonist, Esmeralda (Ralda), and her cat, Lilith. The author jumps back and forth between them as she takes the reader along on this magical fantasy.

The richly developed characters are fascinating and carry the story along in a creative way enabling the reader to become invested in their outcome. There is a large old house Esmeralda purchases that harbors a ghost from the past, a florist who has a magical way with flowers, a neighbor who is not just a man but also a bird with powers, and other characters who add color to this enjoyable story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the manner in which the author created the easy flowing prose as the story is told through Ralda and Lilith.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HGSVA8A

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A

Also by Teagan Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13707141.Teagan_Geneviene

Connect to Teagan Geneviene  via her blog: https://teagansbooks.com/

The next review is for Jane Risdon.. Undercover: Crime Shorts her short story collection.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection via Karen’s Book Buzz

When I found out this author had written some crime shorts, I knew they would be good as I’d previously read some of her short stories. Jane Risdon has a magic pen. She knows how to write a tale that will intrigue and lure you in.

Seven ‘long’ short that were cleverly inspired by crime and murder.

Sweet Sable: The Red Siren is the first story and set in the thirties, it immediately created an atmaosphere of a times gone by. This crime noir tale was good start to the book.

Apartment 206c, couldn’t have been more different as it brings us bang up to date. We’ve all overheard people talking through walls, and China, the main character, hears her neighbours arguing. A fast past, heart thumping story with a twist.

Murder by Christmas – this was very clever. It’s started with the reading of a will, and certain people have to do certain things before they get their money. Very clever story.

The Watchers was a sad crime I felt. Two people who didn’t quite connect up again as we find out all it not what it seems.

The Honey Trap, and we have all heard of them and this one plays out as we meet the assassin.

The Look is similar to the previous one, and another cleverly written story. Although they were both good, I liked this one better because I love a strong female character.

The seventh story is called Undercover and is an extract from the author’s forthcoming book. I didn’t read this one, so you will have to make up your own mind about it.

I enjoy Jane Risdon’s writing and read her book Only One Women, which I absolutely loved. It takes the reader back to the rock n roll sixties. You can read my review here.

Jane also wrote a short story which I featured on the Magic of Stories site called Summer of Love, and is well worth a read.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

Also by Jane Risdon
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane via her blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

The next review is for Walking by Inner Vision, a collection of Stories and Poems by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

About Walking by Inner Vision

In this second collection, Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world.

She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.

All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Also by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Discover more about Lynda’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC

Connect to Lynda via her website: http://www.lyndalambert.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and as always I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arms… thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – A Braxton Campus Mysteries Book #4.. Mistaken Identity Crisis. by James J. Cudney


Delighted to share the news that James J. Cudney has a new book on pre-order for June 30th. A Braxton Campus Mysteries Book #4.. Mistaken Identity Crisis.

About Mistaken Identity Crisis

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. Meanwhile, a string of jewelry thefts, remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old-case, is taking place in town.

When a body is discovered at the campus, Kellan is called in to investigate. And if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud.

As the summer heat begins to settle in Wharton County, what other surprises are in store?

Pre-order the book for June 30th at $2.53: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q6YSTPN

And on Amazon UK at £1.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mistaken-Identity-Crisis-Braxton-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07Q6YSTPN

Also by James J. Cudney

One of the recent reviews for  Flower Power Trip – Book #3 Braxton Campus Mysteries

Candace Peterson 5.0 out of 5 stars Flower Power Trip: Death at the Masquerade Ball (#3) May 29, 2019

Kellan Ayrwick is helping the Braxton College president, Ursula Power, find who is stalking her. Maggie Rourke, head librarian of the Memorial Library, is hosting a masquerade ball to raise funds to renovate the library. The theme is Heroes and Villains. The guest are to come dressed as their favorite hero or villain. It is during the ball that Kellan comes across a dead body with the murderer still holding the knife. The victim turns out to be a visiting professor, and the murderer is a close family friend, Helena Rourke. Believing Helena is innocent, Kellan uses his amateur sleuthing skills to track down the real killer. In the meantime, Kellan is receiving postcards from his much-alive wife, and he’s helping Nana D run for mayor.

James J. Cudney has written another masterpiece. The characters are dynamic and memorable. The dialogue is snappy and witty. The mystery is top notch. It keeps the reader guessing till the very end. The red herring kept pointing in key directions. I was sure I knew who the murderer was, then Woops! it turned out to be someone I wasn’t considering. Excellent job, Jay! And, of course, that’s not all. The cliffhanger will have us all sitting on the edge of our seats until the next book, Mistaken Identity Crisis, is published this summer. Kudos, Jay, for an excellent read

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

About James J. Cudney

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 spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do 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 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then 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 dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains 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. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Connect to James J. Cudney

Website and Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4/

Thanks for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the word about James and his books as far as possible. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries #2), by James J. Cudney ~ 5.0 Stars by Kim of By Hook or By Book


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the final post from Kim from By Hook or by Book  and whilst browsing through her archives, I spotted that she had reviewed one of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore… James J. Cudney.. so for her final post here is her review.

Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries #2), by James J. Cudney ~ 5.0 Stars

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Available from Amazon

Synopsis: When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons may not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance?

Kellan’s back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer, or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright?

Oh my goodness! I said in my review of the first book in this series, Broken Heart Attack, that Jay hit it out of the park. Well Academic Curveball is even better! My one critique of the previous book was that I thought it slowed down a bit in the middle. Well, that certainly didn’t happen here. I started reading this after supper and finished it an hour and a half later. It’s fun, amusing, full of strong and quirky personalities, and the mystery is twisty and unpredictable and will keep you guessing. It’s amazing how much Jay packs into a cozy that’s under 300 pages.

Broken Heart Attack is the fourth book I’ve read by Jay and I’ve loved all of them. It’s not often you have the privilege of seeing someone start out at the beginning of their career and watch them develop into a superstar. Jay is a brilliant author, one of the best I’ve come across in my many years of reading and I just cannot recommend his books highly enough! 

©Kim By Hook or By Book 2018

By Hook Or By Book

About Kim

Thank you for stopping by! My name is Kim and I live in Massachusetts. I used to be a children’s librarian until I had to go on disability five years ago. I miss it dreadfully, but where one door closes, another one opens right? I love blogging and most of my posts are book related. My favorite genres are: Historical Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Horror, Suspense, Romantic Suspense and YA Fiction in just about any form. Phew! In essence, I guess you could call me a Bookaholic!

I also have a weakness for superheroes, and I’m enjoying (for the most part) the resurgence of them in popular culture. Don’t ask me who my favorite is because I can never make up my mind. Right now I’m just loving: The Flash, Gotham, Marvel’s Agents of Steel, the Thor and the Avengers movies, and the Iron Man movies. I also love the Batman movies with Christian Bale.

I’m a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, and I love his current incarnation brought to life by Benedict Cumberbatch. although I also enjoy the older ones with Basil Rathbone, and the movies with Robert Downey Jr.

Finally, I’m truly terrible at all the technical things that go along with blogging. I battle with linking, and I’ve yet to figure out how to add badges. If you choose to follow me I hope you don’t mind putting up with my travails. I’m working on it!

Connect with Kim

Blog: https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/about/

My thanks to Kim for permitting me to browse her archives…and I hope you will head over to discover more.. thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews…Brigid P. Gallagher, James J. Cudney, Diana J. Febry and Ted Halstead


Welcome to the first of the Cafe updates this week

The first review is for the memoir by  Brigid P. Gallagher that shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Watching the Daisies is a memoir with a difference. It commences in the seventies then follows Brigid’s journey of discovery into alternative medicine and a philosophy of life she had developed. When reading this book, I felt the calm and soothing effect if the author’s voice and loved the wisdom she has learned throughout her life.

Before reading this book, I was unfamiliar with the range of therapies and now feel as if I have been introduced to a new wisdom of complementary medicine that enhances wellbeing. There is information about reflexology, aromatherapy, crystal healing. Colour healing radionics, spiritual healing, meditation, geopathic stress, space clearing, counselling, Feng Shui and more. I enjoyed learning how the author had used the therapies with patients and in her own life. New therapies and ancient wisdom are combined in the memoir.

The memoir examines how one can use the energy from the ebb and flow of life to move forwards and cope with life. Brigid is a natural medicine pioneer and demonstrates how we can use alternative and traditional medicine, but the key is to ask questions about one’s health and explore options for healing.

Serenity and kindness dominate the narrative voice thus making me feel as if I was in the safe hands of the author. This was a great book to soothe the soul at the end of the day. Brigid demonstrates ‘the healing journey may be slow, but there are nuggets of gold on every corner.’ The book did make me slow down and reflect and I now understand the title.

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Daisies-Life-Lessons-Importance-ebook/dp/B01N3M9VJ0

and at Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Brigid-P-Gallagher/e/B01N8UCYYD

Read more reviews and follow Brigid on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

Connect to Brigid via her blog: https://watchingthedaisies.com/

The next author with recent reviews for his latest release James J. Cudney for the third book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Flower Power Trip.

About the book

At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

One of the recent reviews for the book

ShrykespeareTop Contributor: Action Figures 5.0 out of 5 stars A mystery series worthy of your time May 8, 2019

I can’t get over just how complex and multi-layered James Cudney makes his mysteries. There’s so much going on, with multiple subplots and a myriad of colorful characters filling the pages; and yet, I never had trouble following the progression of events.

Once again, Kellen Aywrick is called upon to solve a murder when a man is murdered at a costume party. It turns out the man was not who he claimed to be, and in order to keep one of his good friends from taking the fall, Kellen must use all his sleuth skills to suss out the guilty party.

The rich tapestry of the setting, populating by such rich characters as Kellen’s six-year-old daughter Emma and his irrepressible grandmother Nana D, are what breathe life into Cudney’s stories, and Flower Power Trip is no exception.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NDK76WF

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flower-Power-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07NDK76WF

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

Time now to share the recent review for Diana J. Febry and her first book in her DCI Peter Hatherall Mysteries – The Skeletons of Birkbury

About the book

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in Birkbury, the villagers close ranks. Gossip turns to fear and suspicion as they realize the killer is one of them and is prepared to kill again.

DCI Peter Hatherall must fight his past and class divisions to find the killer.
All must decide which secrets are worth dying for.

One of the recent reviews for The Skeletons of Birkbury

Mar 23, 2019 Book Squirrel rated it Five Stars

A very good mystery read.

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to believe that the events of the past will remain there.

There are plenty of people in this book who are dealing with the ghosts and skeletons of the past, some with powerful and tragic consequences.

The Skeletons of Birkbury is a very enjoyable and well-constructed mystery story, set in a seemingly normal English village populated by believable characters, most of whom seem quite likeable and all of whom seek to keep up appearances of respectability.

Whose ghostly chickens are about to come home to roost? And which members of the community will fail to get out of the way as they do?

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

The other books in the DCI Peter Hatherall series

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J7AG9U4https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989441.Diana_J_Febry

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dianaj.febry.9

The final author today is Ted Halstead with a recent review for The Second Korean War.

About the book

Two Russian agents discover a missing nuclear weapon was hidden in an American city by North Korea. Another nuclear weapon nears Seoul in a tunnel built by North Koreans. And North Korea’s new military dictator launches an all-out invasion. Will Seoul or Pyongyang be the new capital of a united Korea?

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 14, 2019 TOM BEIRNE rated it really liked it

If you enjoy reading Tom Clancy the this book is for you.
From Russia to North and South Korea, Korea Town in Loa Angeles and our nations capitol the action never stops.
Halsted makes all the action flow for one not spot to another with unique cast of characters in a plot that keeps you going all the way to the end

Read some of the reviews and buy the book including audio: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078T3YHGW

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-Korean-War-Ted-Halstead-ebook/dp/B078T3YHGW

Also by Ted Halstead

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Halstead/e/B07BBVRLQX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ted-Halstead/e/B07BBVRLQX

Read more reviews and follow Ted on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/174507.Ted_Halstead

Connect to Ted Halstead via his blog: https://thesecondkoreanwar.wordpress.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm… thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Sue Coletta, James J. Cudney and Lucinda E. Clarke


Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Cafe and Bookstore with recent reviews for authors on the shelves. The first author with recent reviews on Goodreads is Sue Coletta, for her latest release Silent Mayhem.

About the book

Some things in life defy comprehension, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Or deadly.

When a familiar crow drops a cryptic scroll at Shawnee Daniels’ feet, she’s compelled to open it, even though everything in her power warns her not to. Mr. Mayhem—the most prolific serial killer the North Shore has ever known—claims her life is in danger. He “claims” he wants to help her, but just last year he threatened to murder everyone she loves.

While Mayhem taunts her with oddly-placed feathers, like The Creator left at his crime scenes, an interstate killing spree rocks Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A madman is decapitating men and women, dumping their headless corpses on two area beaches. But what Shawnee soon uncovers shatters all she’s ever known, her memories shredded, the whispers of the past in shambles on the ground.

Can she find the strength to move forward, or will the truth destroy her?

One of the recent reviews on Goodreads

Apr 15, 2019 Mae Clair rated it it was amazing

In the third and latest book in the Mayhem series, author Sue Coletta pushes the action to a fever pitch. Someone is leaving a bloody trail of murder behind by beheading victims and leaving cryptic clues. Former cat burglar and legit hacker, Shawnee Daniels, who works for the police department, follows the clues while being caught up in her own twisted web of problems. Notorious serial killer “Mr. Mayhem” has been leaving her messages, delivered by his ominous murder of crows, or posted a secret website.

All three books in this series are exceptional but this one is elevated to a new level of intrigue by the relationship Coletta weaves between Mayhem and Shawnee, threads that hint of joint family history. Brilliant! Mayhem is cultured, precise, and meticulous. Shawnee is a whirlwind of in-your-face action, tough as nails on the outside, with a vulnerable underbelly. The contrast makes for mesmerizing encounters with an odd give-and-take between these two dynamic personalities.

As someone who has read a great deal of books on Native American history and folklore, I found those tie-ins especially riveting. Skinwalkers, serial killers, vendettas—it’s all here. Mayhem’s relationship with his wife is tenderly portrayed. Crows, Poe, Edgar and Allan are given multiple spotlights to shine, and the ending leaves a deadly open thread for the next book in this fantastic series.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PNK7SL6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Mayhem-3-Sue-Coletta-ebook/dp/B07PNK7SL6

A selection of books by Sue Coletta

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14078869.Sue_Coletta

Connect to Sue via her website/blog: www.suecoletta.com

The next author with recent reviews for his latest release James J. Cudney for the third book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Flower Power Trip.

About the book

At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Apr 09, 2019 Dee Dee rated it five stars

Kellan Ayrwick and his quirky family are all back for this third installment in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series. Kellan, now professor Ayrwick, is assisting the Braxton College President, Ursula Power, who is receiving threatening messages. Ursula is worried that her dark family secret will be revealed, when a visiting professor is found stabbed to death during a college fundraising event. Kellan stumbles across the murder scene just as a family friend is discovered standing over the dead body. Unwilling to believe that this friend is a murderer, he now takes on the challenge of solving the crime, all the while continuing to assist Ursula to uncover her tormentor. Are the two incidents linked somehow?

Balancing his penchant for stumbling into crime scenes, along with teaching duties and single parenting his young daughter, is all the more difficult with his continuing battle with his former in-laws, the Castiglianos. How will he resolve his own marital problems, while helping his cantankerous Nana D win the mayoral election and keep her, and her friends out of trouble!

I am really enjoying this cozy mystery series as each story is entertaining, light-hearted (if you can label murder light 😉) and full of humorous personalities. I truly don’t know where the next twist will come from or how the resolution will play out. As any good series, each book could be read as a stand alone, but I strongly recommend starting from the beginning, as the characters become more vibrant, endearing and relatable as they navigate new challenges. I will be pre ordering Jay’s next book in this series, Mistaken Identity Crisis, ASAP!

Head over and read the reviews https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NDK76WF

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flower-Power-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07NDK76WF

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website/blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/

The final author today whose latest release is receiving great reviews is Lucinda E. ClarkeAmie for Savage Safari (Amie in Africa Book 5).

About the book

Amie, the world’s most reluctant spy is back.

Amie is assured that her next assignment will be easy and very safe. How could a safari camp in the African bush along with the President and international representatives from several countries possibly be dangerous?

She has no choice but to do as they say.

Simon has flown back to England for a brief meeting and then disappears. Amie has no idea where he is.

But not everyone is pleased about the rare and precious minerals discovered in the north and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to disrupt the safari and stop the auction even if it causes an international incident and people are killed.

Amie now has two lives to save and faces a bleak future on her own.

Fans of Wilbur Smith, Peter Rimmer and Tony Park will love this series by award winning author Lucinda E Clarke set in the modern day in the African bush.

One of the recent reviews of the book on Goodreads

Apr 13, 2019 Kim McDougall rated it Five Stars

Not having read the other books in this series, I went into this story blind. But the author backtracked just enough to get me up to speed without dragging the story down. I was quickly drawn into Amie’s story. She’s a strong willed and passionate character. And the exotic settings were really interesting. Most of the story is set in a small African country, and the culture was vividly drawn. Then came the drama, ramping up page after page as Amie faces obstacles that most of us could never imagine. Highly recommend this one and I’ll be looking for others in the series now!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NCDKF8P/

And more reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amie-Savage-Safari-Africa-Book-ebook/dp/B07NCDKF8P

A selection of other books by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy the books:  http://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

Read more reviews and follow Lucinda on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7996778.Lucinda_E_Clarke

Connect to Lucinda via her blog: http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a few books under your arm…. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves #Pre-Order – Braxton Campus Mysteries – Book 3 – Flower Power Trip by James J. Cudney


Delighted to share the news of the third book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries available at a pre-order price for March 30th. Flower Power Trip.. by James J. Cudney

About the book

At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

Head over and pre-order at the special price for delivery March 30th: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NDK76WF

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flower-Power-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07NDK76WF

Also by James J. Cudney

One of the recent reviews for book two in the series Broken Heart Attack

Have you already read one or both books from Braxton Campus Mysteries? If not, this is a good moment because James J. Cudney is about to release the third book from the series!

After finding a dead body on campus in Academic Curveball, the main protagonist of the series Kellan has the opportunity to solve a sudden death mystery in the second book Broken Heart Attack which happens during the King Lear play’s dress rehearsal. His grandmother’s friend succumbs to a suspicious heart attack, and Kellan and Nana D are ready to solve a possible crime.

This is a cozy mystery that will make you love it, not only because of its intrigue, strongly characterized and entertaining protagonists and another masterful cliffhanger, but also because of the genuine humour that keeps forcing the hearty laughter out of you. Nana D rocks even more than in Academic Curveball, and her relationship with her grandson Kellan is a pure fun and entertainment.

Broken Heart Attack is another book in which James J. Cudney proves himself as intelligent, skilful and humorous author ready to push boundaries. I have no doubt his third book Flower Power Trip from Braxton Campus Mysteries will be yet another success in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

About James J. Cudney

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 spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do 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 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then 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 dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains 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. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Connect to James J. Cudney

Website and Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4/

Thanks for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the word about James and his books as far as possible. Thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – James J. Cudney, Paulette Mahurin and Jean Lee


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and the first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for the second book in his Braxton Campus Mysteries – Broken Heart Attack.

About the book

Who killed Gwendolyn Paddington?

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies. But when one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D asks Kellan to investigate.

With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Although this book has elements of a cozy mystery (I.e. amateur sleuths, small town setting, quirky/eccentric characters), there is more of a contemporary mystery feel to it. In this outing of The Braxton Campus Mysteries, Kellan is recruited by Nana D. And her friend Eustacia Paddington to find out who killed Gwendolyn Paddington. I will say Kellan has more patience than I do. The Paddington family is full of spoiled, rude, greedy and secretive people who tried their best to get rid of Kellan’s interference. Throw in other snarky females (his boss Myriam, the sheriff April, and Nana D.) and it is a wonder he doesn’t hate women. Do not give up hope, his sister Eleanore and friend Maggie, are understanding and supportive and by the end of the book, even the sheriff comes around. While trying to solve the mystery, Kellan is dealing with all the changes in his personal life, things at work and running Nana D’s mayoral campaign.

This is a very character driven story with characters that are being developed more in each book. The main characters are also becoming more likeable which I am happy about. The mystery was a good one with clues being dropped throughout the book, but also several red herrings. I thought I had it all figured out, then something else was revealed to lead me in another direction. As the reveal occured, I followed along shaking my head, thinking, “of course, why didn’t I think of that.” The dialogue was crisp, snarky in many cases, and revealed so much about the characters. Emma, Kellan’s 6 year old daughter is adorable. She is sweet, mature and can also give the attitude (I think Nana D is rubbing off on her). I am looking forward to the next book in this series to find out what happens next in Kellan’s life as well as picking up on those few situations that popped up at the end of the book. If you enjoy a mystery with some cozy elements, pick up this series and delve into life at Braxton College and town.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Attack-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07KGGJX1T

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website and blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

The next book to receive a recent review is A Different Kind of Angel by Paulette Mahurin.

About A Different Kind of Angel

Inspired by real events chronicled by a journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in 1887.

Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.

This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.

At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award-winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship, and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A harrowing and riveting portrayal of Jewish refugee from the Russian pogroms of 1881. Klara Gelfman’s loses her father during her voyage to New York. Alone and with little English she is mugged and accused of being a prostitute she lands in Blackwell Island Lunatic Asylum. In the asylum for five long years she exposed to the worse and the best of the human condition.

It is a heart-wrenching to read about the horrid, inhumane and violent treatment of the patients in Blackwell. However, it is also a testimony of the strength of the human spirit to rise, survive and find strength in one another.

Paulette Mahurin did an amazing job in capturing the history Blackwell Island. The story is richly researched, well-written, emotive, inspirational, and unforgettable. I highly recommend this book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GZYXNR4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GZYXNR4

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Read all the reviews and BUY the bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read more reviews and follow Paulette on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5895757.Paulette_Mahurin

 
Connect to Paulette via her website: https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

And last but not least today is a recent review for the first book in the series Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee which is YA/Dark Fantasy

About Book 1 of the omnibus, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Peru Editor 5.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Fantasy, Emphasis on the Adult January 22, 2019

‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ fits into the category of classics like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ where a strong female lead must do battle with mysterious forces in a fantastical realm. Lee’s book is a bit darker than the typical fantasy fare, and I’d put it in the category of Young Adult (although it should be mentioned that my perspective always puts the emphasis on ‘Adult’ rather than ‘Young’). As I was reading Lee’s book, I found myself thinking, “What is it that this book reminds me of?”

I think it’s a testament to the book that I had a nagging sensation of familiarity, and it took me a long time to pin it down. The uncertain familiarity meant that Lee had captured an ambiance of a certain well-known, high quality writer, but had replicated it with enough originality to create something new. I was about a quarter of the way in when I finally figured out that the storytelling reminded me of ‘American Gods,’ and after that there was a section that reminded me specifically of ‘Coraline.’ I think fans of Neil Gaiman will see his influence on Lee, and be appreciative.

Lee isn’t quite the polished storyteller that Gaiman is, but she is certainly an author to follow. I’m kind of torn about the present tense style. On the one hand, I think it’s effective, even liberating to read. But on the other hand I know the literary world is very much a creature of habit, and they often snarl with contempt at present tense and slam the cover no matter how effectively it’s used. I like that the publisher took the time to get the book a Kirkus review, but these days Kirkus doesn’t wield nearly as much clout as it used to. I wish, instead of the Kirkus review, they’d invested in a more dynamic cover.

Jean Lee is an interesting new voice, and I think ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ will be a delight to a certain category of genre readers. The writing style is dynamic and interesting, but, unfortunately, that’s the type of thing that will make it less palatable to a wider audience. Lee creates an eerie, magical ambiance, and her characters are interesting and well-developed. A small press book, ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ represents the kind of fascinating divergence from the standard media conglomerate entertainment that so many people claim they’re looking for, but so few actually endeavor to seek out. Give it a try, and leave a response, I’m curious to hear what other’s think of this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1949428001

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1949428001

Here is a selection of the six short story collections from Tales of the River Vine

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6/

You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18139027.Jean_Lee

Connect to Jean via her website: https://jeanleesworld.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Book #Reviews – #Mystery – Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney


Delighted to review the first book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

About Academic Curveball

When Kellan Ayrwick returns home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds a dead body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell.

Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Soon after, the college’s athletic program receives mysterious donations, a nasty blog denounces his father and someone attempts to change students’ grades.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. And if that wasn’t enough already, his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In the debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Series, you’ll discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic and nosy residents.

My review for Academic Curveball

An intelligent and well written whodunnit with strong characters and enough twists and turns to keep you intrigued to the end.

It is great to read a mystery that does not telegraph its intentions. So many lead you by the hand, with obvious clues that have you identifying the culprit early on in the story. A bit like television dramas whose suspect has to be the one famous name in the cast!. James Cudney does an excellent job in keeping the suspense going until the end of the book and in creating characters that are flawed but also believable.

Kellan Ayrwick leads the cast and is ably supported by his fiesty grandmother who is a loving meddler. Being a small town everybody knows everyone else’s secrets or think they do and this adds missteps in the investigation of the initial murder. Kellan Ayrwick is a modern Miss Marple, insinuating himself annoyingly into the mysterious events as far as the sheriff is concerned, putting him at loggerheads with both her and his father who is trying to avoid any further scandal to the college.

His family and the other main characters have secrets that are wheedled out over the course of the story and add more surprises. Kellan also revisits unresolved issues from his years growing up in the town with his best friend and the girl he left behind.

The ending is not predictable and that is a mark of a very good mystery. I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HMYSQFH

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Academic-Curveball-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07HMYSQFH

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

About James J. Cudney

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 spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do 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 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then 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 dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains 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. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Connect to James J. Cudney

Website and Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4/

Thanks for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the word about James and his books as far as possible. Thanks Sally