HIDING CRACKED GLASS
BY JAMES J. CUDNEY
Series Name: Perceptions of Glass
Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter
Book #2 Name: Hiding Cracked Glass
Publication for Book #2:
Next Chapter, October 8th, 2020
About the Book
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.
… with author James J. Cudney
I’m happy to welcome author James J. Cudney aka “Jay” to Nesie’s Place today. Jay is an active blogger and book reviewer on his blog, This is My Truth Now, as well as a busy author who’s latest release, Hiding Cracked Glass, goes live in two days.
Thank you so much for this opportunity. You’ve been a wonderful friend over the last several years and I’m grateful to know you.
Right back at you, my friend. Team work makes the dream work! 🙂
Hiding Cracked Glass is a continuation of Watching Glass Shatter. What inspired the story? Did you know it would be more than one book?
Truthfully, I didn’t know it would be more than one book when I began writing it in late 2016. I first surmised it had potential to be a series when the reviews began arriving. Others felt an immediate connection with the members of the Glass family, and I knew I’d created a compelling cast of characters. During the blog tour for Watching Glass Shatter, I committed to writing short stories about each of the brothers and a future sequel. I’d targeted them from 2018 and 2019; unfortunately, I became focused on my Braxton Campus Mysteries and never published the short stories. All five brothers have an outline written, and I do plan to finish it off at some point.
Luckily, the sequel was easy to outline and write. I knew it needed to match the same style and tone as Watching Glass Shatter, e.g. switching POV by chapter for each main family member and ending with a bit of a cliffhanger or shocking moments before forcing readers to wait 5 chapters until revisiting that character again. It’s kind of the way the Glass family works. That said, I also knew the secret had to be about a letter just like the first book, only it couldn’t be about which brother it revolved around… instead, it had to be who was the blackmailer and what exactly did they know! I’m more interested in mystery and suspense these days, so I amped up the plot to be more of a thriller / suspense in terms of family drama as opposed to the emotional kind. It’s still very heartfelt and painful, but it’s also a way to show growth in several of the family members.
Do you have a favorite character in the story?
In Watching Glass Shatter, it was a toss up between Olivia and Ethan. In Hiding Cracked Glass, I think it falls to Teddy and Caleb. Teddy is such a strong personality to deal with, but at the same time, he’s been defined by a series of emotions that were more cardboard and black-and-white. He’s got a wider spectrum, and when I explored those elements, he began to grow on me. People change, and he’s the perfect candidate for a blank slate in the future. Caleb has always been an extension of me, in lots of ways. He does things I wish I had done years ago, and so I can live through him… in Watching Glass Shatter, he was an innocent boy, for the most part. Now, a cloud hovers above something he’s done in the last few months. Like Teddy, he also has many facets to explore.
What is your work schedule like when writing a book?
I have a full-time job, which pretty much keeps me busy until 5:30 pm each day. Thankfully, I finished writing the full draft of this book the day before I started this new job. Editing was the big piece from March through July. It wasn’t easy, and I have two full-time jobs because I edited this at the same time as I wrote my next book, a co-written drama with Didi Oviatt entitled Weathering Old Souls. Between marketing my existing books, editing Hiding Cracked Glass, and writing Weathering Old Souls, I spent 40 hours per week on top of 40 hours of technology project management. Add in a personal life, daily blogging, and reading… I do nothing except work! Since we were quarantined during the last 6 months, I hardly saw anyone else… we had several Zoom calls with friends, but for the most part, any non-sleeping moment was fully booked with my literary life!
When did you write your first book?
2016. I finished working my previous job that summer and began writing an outline and my blog. Watching Glass Shatter, my debut novel and the first book in the Perceptions of Glass series, took about 6 months to write, then 6 months to edit. Watching Glass Shatter was published on October 8th, 2017, and Hiding Cracked Glass will be published on October 8th, 2020, the three year anniversary of my debut novel being published.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
As of this latest one, I have nine books published: Father Figure, two books in Perceptions of Glass, and six books in the Braxton Campus Mysteries. I’ve also co-written my tenth book, Weathering Old Souls, which will release in 2021. Didi and I are networking with a few publishers and possibly an agent or two, but we do plan to launch this amazing novel soon. It’s a story about a woman’s past lives… very metaphysical, emotional, suspenseful. It has a serial killer, genealogical mystery, twisting of elements, and a bunch of heartbreaking moments. I love the story so much, and it might be my favorite of all ten so far. Of the published one, Father Figure would be my top choice. It’s my second book, and I learned so much in terms of writing style by the time I drafted it. Also, the dual timeline and the way in which one chapter finishes and connects to the next chapter is truly astonishing. I still struggle to believe what I was able to accomplish with that one, but at the same time, I see several things I would do differently to make it stronger, if I could. But I can’t! 😊
Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
I’d say it’s a hybrid. Next Chapter calls themselves a rapid release publisher, which essentially means they work with you to release quickly, and they split some responsibilities… but they function much more like a traditional publisher. They handle all the formatting, setting up and marketing on Amazon, and partnering with audio narrators, foreign language translators, and merchandisers. I handle editing and social media. They are amazing to work with, and after 3 years and 9 books, there are ~50 formats available: hard cover, book store print, large print paperback, pocket book paperback, regular paperback, audio, and German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian translations.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Cook, Garden, Read, Blog, Watch TV. I’m a homebody. Even before quarantine, I only liked going out to see friends once a week… not because I don’t adore them, but I am not a social creature by nature. I like hiding behind the Internet wall for a reason most people don’t realize. I am a major multi-tasker… so, when I can text and email to keep up with friends and family at the same time as I’m writing or editing or reading or any of these other activities, I get so much more done. But I still treasure all the in-person time with those I’m close to… quality not quantity is more of my approach. Usually visit my parents every other Sunday, friends for dinner on Fridays or Saturdays, and calls with long-distance friends and family every month or so.
Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?
Baxter is a two-and-a-half-year-old Shiba Inu dog. He’s black-and tan and was born in Kansas. He and I often discuss whether he should visit there again, mostly when he’s stealing socks, eating plants, biting his leash, or growling at me when he wants to be left alone. He’s kinda like me in that respect! He is a character in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, so I suppose he inspires me too!
As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up?
Architect. I built houses with Legos all the time. I also liked to trace my roots, so I wanted to be a genealogist but I didn’t understand enough at the time. I wish I could go back to change that career…
Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?
Personally, I could 100% live without it. As an author, I must make it a natural part of my day. I can’t stand all the venting and ranting, especially about politics, news and religion. I’ve unfollowed so many friends because of it. To me, social media is an escape from reality. I like connecting with people around the world to talk about books. I don’t need to see what Trump said yesterday, listen to Democrats and Republicans pick one stupid line out of hundreds and make it seem like that was the entire intent of a message, or hear people screaming about protests and whether COVID is a hoax. I get that it’s an outlet for some people… but for me, it just makes me shake my head and say “Find something to make you happy. Stop complaining about others and exacerbating the problem.” I know this might offend some… and I’m not against the valuable messages in some of social media’s content… but I don’t need to get into fights about it. I will always help those who are suffering injustice. I donate money and time to causes that help better people’s chances and promote goodness. Social media is not the method I choose to share about it though, which is why I don’t say a lot on my blog or social media to publicly support certain things. I include diverse characters in my book, where they shine and are amazing examples of wonderful people. They might also be one of the villains too, as it’s about balance. But in general, I stay away from the controversial stuff because I’m not one to engage in conflict 99% of the time.
Here’s a sample from Weathering Old Souls, my collaboration with author Didi Oviatt.
Together, the two girls open their boxes, revealing beautifully shining quartz stones. Each one is a perfect match to the other. The stones are slightly smaller than the ones in Abigail’s dreams, and the chains they hang from are skinnier, more elegant. As Abigail retrieves her gift from the box, she sighs and rolls it around in her fingertips. The same feeling of peace that comforted her while staring at Boris’s bowtie this morning returns, filling her all the way from her legs to her armpits.
At first, it’s just a minor change, but as Abigail holds the quartz necklace longer, an inexplicable explosion begins to ignite inside her body. The quartz burns against her skin, making Abigail feel as if a flame is about to burst from within her chest. She wants to pull the necklace away from her flesh, but within seconds a waterfall of coolness flushes over her. In its wake, her throat feels as though it fills to the point she cannot breathe. Her persistent cough flares up and steals her remaining breath. Just as she’s about to grab Margaret’s hand to beg for help, a blast of wintery air wafts through the front yard and kicks up several clouds of dirt around them. When it finishes, Margaret and Abigail fiercely cling to one another.
“Did you feel that too?” Abigail inquires, releasing her grip on Margaret’s forearm. Suddenly, everything seems calmer than it’s ever been before.
“Yes, it was certainly strange, huh?” Margaret clips the chain’s lock behind Abigail’s neck and places her own on just the same. “Must’ve been some static charge in the atmosphere. All better now!”
“Yep. Much better. Ready to go inside?”
Together, hand in hand, they skip into Margaret’s home, ready to face the future of Mr. and Mrs. Staunton’s relocation as a team, as a family. It’s all Margaret can think of doing to protect her little friend. Margaret decides not to share her concerns with Abigail that something about the necklace is going to be a powerful game-changer. She had the same feeling the day Oliver and Nadia moved in, when the darkness had begun to creep closer. “At least I hope it’s all better now.”
My thanks to Jay for stopping by the blog today. Remember to scroll up and order your copy of Hiding Crack Glass! Release day is only two days away! 🙂
G I V E A W A Y
Author James Cudney is giving away ebooks, print books and an Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win a great prize!
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.
Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.
Websites & Blog
Website | Blog | Amazon | Next Chapter
Social Media Links
Genres, Formats & Languages
I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.
All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.
GOODREADS BOOK LINKS
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Father Figure (April 2018)
Braxton Campus Mysteries
Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)