Sisters… by Judith Barrow #Family Life Fiction #Review @judithbarrow77

A moving study of the deep feelings – jealousy, love, anger, and revenge – that can break a family apart. … Sisters is another absorbing, emotional and thought-provoking creation from the wonderful Judith Barrow.Janet Laugharne

Two sisters torn apart by a terrible lie. In shock after an unbearable accident. Angie lets her sister Mandy take the blame, thinking she’s too young to get into trouble. But she’s wrong. Mandy is hounded, bullied and finally sent to live with their aunt, where she changes her name to Lisa and builds a new life, never wanting to see her sister again. Angie’s guilt sends her spiralling into danger.

Thirteen years later, they meet again at their mother’s funeral. Lisa starts to suspect something is wrong. Angie seems terrified of her husband, and their father is hiding something too.What does Lisa owe to the family that betrayed her?

Meet the Author

Judith Barrow

Judith Barrow,originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages on the edge of the Pennines, has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for over forty years.

She has an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University. She is a Creative Writing tutor and holds workshops on all genres.

She says:-

My next book, Sisters is due to be published by Honno ( in January 2023. Two sisters hold a secret that changes both their lives forever.

My last book, The Heart Stone,was published by Honno in February 2021. Set in Lancashire, the story begins as the First World War is declared. The protagonist, Jessie, has realised that her feelings for her friend, Arthur are far more than friendship. Arthur lies about his age to join his local Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened, she agrees to marry Amos Morgan, not knowing what a violent and spiteful man he is. When he turns on Jessie, Arthur’s mother is the only person to help her and the two women are drawn together. But Jessie faces a desperate future and must choose between love and safety

My previous book, The Memory, was published by Honno in March 2020 and is a stand alone book about a woman, Irene Hargreaves, who is the career for her mother. One a dark evening in 2001 Irene stands by the side of her mother’s bed and knows it is time. For more than fifty years she has carried a secret around with her; a haunting memory she hasn’t even confided to her husband, Sam, a man she has loved and trusted all her life. But now she must act before he arrives home…

Irene and her mother, Lil, are bound to each other by the ghost of Irene’s sister, Rose. A little girl with dark hair, a snub nose and an extra chromosome. A genetic hiccup that shaped all their lives. Irene and Sam care for Lil now that dementia has claimed all but her failing body. Irene is at the end of her tether, but if she consigns her mother to a residential home, she and Sam will lose theirs. Irene blames her mother for Rose’s death, and will never forgive her,

The Howarth Family Saga Series

The prequel to the Haworth trilogy, A Hundred Tiny Threads, was published by Honno in 2017and is the story of Mary Howarth’s mother,Winifred, and father,Bill. Set between 1910 & 1924 it is a the time of the Suffragettes, WW1 and of the Black and Tans sent to Ireland to cover the rebellion and fight for freedom from the UK. And of the influenza pandemic. It is inevitable that what forms the lives, personalities and characters of Winifred and Bill eventually affects the lives of their children, Tom,Mary, Patrick and Ellen. .

The Haworth trilogy begins.

Pattern of Shadows was published by Honno in May 2010. Set in Lancashire during the Second World War, the protagonist, Mary Haworth, works as a nurse at Lancashire prison camp for German POWs and is the main breadwinner for her fractious family. Fraternisation is not allowed, but Mary becomes friendly with Peter Schormann, a POW and a doctor who is seconded to the hospital. But there is ever-present danger in the figure of Frank Shuttleworth, a guard at the camp and persistent admirer of Mary.

The sequel to Pattern of Shadows, Changing Patterns, published by Honno, is set in 1950/51.The war is over, but for Mary the danger isn’t. Mary is living in mid Wales with Peter and working as a nurse, though she knows her job is in danger if the hospital finds out about him. When her brother Tom is killed, Mary is devastated, especially as nobody will believe that it wasn’t an accident. Her best friend Jean is doing her best to get Mary to leave Peter and come back to Lancashire. Mary is sure this will never happen, but she has no idea of the secret Peter is keeping from her.

The last of the trilogy, Living in the Shadows, published by Honno in 2015, is set in 1969 and is the story of the next generation of the Howarth and Schormann families. It is a time of Mods and Rockers, the Beatles, flower-power and free love. But for Linda Howarth, Ellen and Ted’s daughter, and Richard Schormann, Mary and Peter’s son, the shadows from the past return to haunt them.

Our Review

As a sister myself, I know how easy it is for a family argument to turn into a major war. In this heartbreaking and very personal story, we see first-hand just how devastating family tragedies can be, especially when someone dies.

How one stupid mistake can destroy everyone and everything.

The sisters are forced to survive alone and live very different lives, losing hope along the way. Luckily, this isn’t the end of the story, as fate hadn’t finished with either of them yet. When they meet again at their mother’s funeral, another journey begins, in some ways worse than before.

I first had trouble relating to both sisters, as my heart went out to the innocent sister. But both girls were on a journey that would change their lives completely, and I gradually warmed to them both as they rebuilt their lives.

Harrowing at times, as the family falls apart, but so rewarding as we watch their forgiveness begin to grow…

The Destination… Book 4 of The Harbour Pointe Series #Historical Fiction Short Stories #Review @dlfinnauthor

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

It’s 1967, and best friends Lacey and Sandy are enjoying a beach vacation, completely unaware of the danger that is lying in wait outside their door. Their room is quaint, with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and an old lighthouse, but a killer is stalking their next victim. Powerless, Annie the ghost watches, knowing there’s nothing she can do to help—not even her parents, the innkeepers. Who will survive their stay at the Harbor Pointe Inn, where the edge of evil lurks within the shadows?

About the Author

D.L. Finn

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

Our Review

Annie, the ghost from the second book opens this story, concerned that evil had found its way to Harbour Pointe, and threatened the peace and happiness of her parents. The presence of evil in this story was so cleverly woven in.

As I read this story, I felt at home, as if Harbour Pointe were my home too. This was my third visit and my kind of place, with the sea crashing against the cliffs and the forest nearby. I would be more than happy to share it with Annie, the local ghost.

Two girls arrive at the Harbour Pointe Inn for a holiday, two very different girls. Lacey, the lively, carefree one who drives too fast enjoying life to the full, breezing through life, whereas Sandy, a marine biologist and worrier needs to sort her life out, do what’s best for her, not her parents. Best friends, they were like sisters, but they could never be roommates.

I loved the way this story linked back to the characters in the second book, and look forward to reading The Seas of Time, Book 4 of this series.

The Destination is a well-crafted ghost story that had me guessing right up to the end…

The Gift: Harbor Pointe Series Book 2 #Review #SmallTownRomance @gwenmplano

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.
In an innocent 1958 American suburb, Shelly doesn’t know the power of a kiss. Or how it will change her entire life.
At sixteen years old, she falls in love with a young man. One night—just one night—they go too far. Months later, pregnant and shamed, Shelly’s parents banish her.
Alone and heavily pregnant, circumstances force Shelly to cross the country in an old pickup.
A mistaken turn leaves her lost in a forest amidst a severe snow storm and in labor.
In the dark of night. Shelly must get help for her new-born baby before they both perish. A light in the distance gives her the slimmest glimmer of hope.
After Shelly wraps the infant in her father’s old jacket, she trudges through the snow to a lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Snow half buries the squat stone building.
Will Shelly find shelter, or is it the beginning of the end?

Gwen M. Plano

Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the high desert of Arizona, where she writes, gardens, and travels with her husband.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.

When Gwen is not writing, she’s often in the beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona, where she finds inspiration.

Excerpt from The Gift

Lighthouse Cottage in Harbor Pointe

Jesse rocks the newborn and slips in and out of sleep. Nuzzled on his chest, the baby snorts softly while he snoozes. The warmth from the fireplace has lured them both into dreams. But only for a short time.

“Jesse.” Alarmed, Mary shakes his arm. “We need to get help.”

“What’s wrong?”

“The young girl needs a doctor. She’s not responding well, and she’s in and out of awareness. If she can’t feed the baby, what will we do?”

“You don’t have milk? Is that what you’re saying?”

 “Correct. I planned to buy more today, but we couldn’t get through the roadblocks. This is serious, Jes. We need to get help.”

Jesse looks down at the baby resting on his chest and back to his wife. “I’m not sure what we can do in this blizzard, but we must find a way. We must.”

“What about the lighthouse? Can you send a signal?”

 “I could try. Maybe a local will spot the SOS and send assistance.”

 “How? Who could drive through this storm? And at this time of the night?” “Someone with a front loader or tractor.” Mary nods and stares at the baby. “What about the storage room at the inn? Maybe they have a box of baby items. Perhaps some milk?”

 “Good thought. They might have basics like diapers, but there’s also a lost-and-found. I’ll check it out after I go to the lighthouse.”

“You have the keys?”

“Yeah. I’ll get my gear on.” Jes kisses the sleeping infant and hands him to Mary. A few minutes later, he reappears, donned in his snow gear. The windowpane rattles, and the two turn and face each other with worried looks. “You’ll be careful, Jes? I can’t lose you.”

Jesse grabs his flashlight. “I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry.” Mary keeps her eyes focused on the baby and shudders when the door slams shut. The tiny one doesn’t seem to hear the howling winds or the throbbing of her heartbeat. Instead, he sleeps undisturbed in her arms.

Mary stares at the little angel, brushes away a tear, and swallows her apprehension. More composed now, she walks with the baby to the back room to check on Shelly. At the end of the cot, Mary realizes nothing has changed since she left the room several minutes prior. Shelly hasn’t moved. Other than the slight rising and lowering of the blanket over her chest, she discerns no other no signs of life.

Mary sits in a chair near the young woman and lays the little one beside his mother. Never opening his eyes, he snuggles into the space. Unaware of his presence, Shelly doesn’t move at all. Afraid of what lies ahead, Mary bows her head and prays—for Shelly, the baby, all of them.

Our Review

The Gift is a story of loss, loneliness, and longing, and how even the most rejected and abandoned can find hope in the remotest of places…

Alone and lost in the forest in the middle of a snow storm, a pregnant sixteen year old girl’s baby decides to be born.

A tragedy waiting to happen…

A light in the darkness keeps her moving, trying desperately to save her baby all she can think of. Will Shelly and her baby find safety before they both freeze to death?

There are many stories in Harbour Pointe, and I have the feeling I will enjoy them all!

Our Review for the First Story in the Harbour Pointe Series #GhostSuspense @MaeClair1

I have just finished The Price of Atonement, the first book in this exciting new series, and have already picked up The Gift, by Gwen Plano!

The Harbor Pointe Inn has loomed on California’s cliffs for generations of Hawthornes. For some, it’s been a blessing. For others, a curse. Travel through two centuries of stories to discover the old inn’s secrets.

Some hauntings come from within.

Leviticus Sinclair has been a broken man since the murders of his wife and brother. Burdened by personal failures the night they were killed, he occupies himself by crossing the country, searching out departed spirits unwilling to move from this world to the next. His dead brother’s Bible and a pocket watch—forever frozen at the precise moment of his wife’s death—serve as grim reminders of a past he cannot exorcise.

Accompanied by Wyatt Resnick, a paid employee who fills the role of researcher and hired muscle, Leviticus arrives at the Harbor Pointe Inn amid rumors of a vengeful ghost. A phantom who may be the single spirit he has long sought, one capable of freeing him from his torment.

Set in the remote Pacific Northwest of 1887, The Price of Atonement is a story of jealousy, guilt, and one man’s relentless quest for absolution.

About the Author

Mae Clair

A member of the International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections.

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at

Our Review

The Price of Atonement is the first story in the Harbour Point Series. A brilliant new collection of incredible stories that I already know that I will enjoy reading.

This story begins as all good ghost stories should. A towering lighthouse, perched on the cliffs, seems to stand guard over the Harbour Pointe Inn. The crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, blending with the crawling mists and the dense woods, set the tone for this spine-tingling story.

Leviticus Sinclair is a seeker of departed spirits unwilling to leave this world. He is on his way to the Harbour Pointe Inn, the location of his latest calling. After failing to prevent the death of his wife and brother, he seeks his own salvation, too. The ghost who will finally free him from a life of torment.

The haunting of Leviticus Sinclair digs deep into your emotions, a spine-tingling account of a tortured man on a mission to free the world of lingering spirits while desperately struggling to cope with his own.

The author completely captures the melodrama of 1887. The atmospheric creeping mists instil a chill in your bones that isn’t easily dismissed.

I loved this story and would love to read more about Leviticus Sinclair!

The Botanist: (Washington Poe Book 5) #Review #Hard Boiled Mystery #Fiction

This is going to be the longest week of Washington Poe’s life…

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he’d still have his thumb left. There’s the guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. Insanely brilliant, she’s a bit of a social hand grenade. He’s known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn for years as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter, Victoria.

And then there’s Estelle Doyle. Dark and dangerous and sexy as hell. It’s true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street, but has she gone too far this time? Shot twice in the head, her father’s murder appears to be an open and shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints. Since her arrest she’s only said three words: ‘Tell Washington Poe.’

Meanwhile, a poisoner called the Botanist is sending the nation’s most reviled people poems and pressed flowers. Twisted and ingenious, he seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice given to his victims, and regardless of the security measures taken, he is able to kill with impunity.

Poe hates locked room mysteries and now he has two to solve. To unravel them he’s going to have to draw on every resource he has: Tilly Bradshaw, an organised crime boss, even an alcoholic ex-journalist. Because if he doesn’t, the bodies are going to keep piling up . . .

Mike Craven


M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

Our Review

I love reading detective mysteries, and The Botanist is one of the best I have read this year. There are two brilliant mysteries in this story.

In my opinion, a good mystery needs unusual, fascinating people who work well together. Most of the time, anyway…

The Botanist has this covered. I was introduced to the leading characters, Detective Sergeant Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw, a civilian analyst. Two very different people who work brilliantly together to solve crimes. I was instantly fuelled by the overwhelming desire to stay with them and watch them work.

The supporting cast member, Detective Inspector Stefanie Flynn, has her work cut out, keeping up with Poe and Tilly. Despite having joined the ranks of motherhood, I loved her colourful vocabulary and determination to win every case.

The Botanist himself deserves a mention. Clever and ruthless, he devises ways of killing that defy all natural laws and seems impossible to catch.

The Botanist is excellently plotted and well-managed, and you won’t be able to put it down. I loved meeting Washington Poe and missing him already…

I shall be looking for him in another of M.W. Craven’s books…

Black Thorn ~ # Psychological Thrillers (Books) ~ #Fiction #Review

Sarah Hilary, Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year winner and author of Fragile, returns with Black Thorn, another compulsive psychological thriller that questions how much you know about the people who live next to you . . .

‘An astonishingly gifted writer’ Marian Keyes

Blackthorn Ashes was meant to be their forever home. For the first six families moving into the exclusive new housing development, it was a chance to live a peaceful life on the cliffs overlooking the Cornish sea, safe in the knowledge that it had been created just for them.

But six weeks later, paradise is lost. Six people are dead. And Blackthorn Ashes is left abandoned and unfinished, its dark shadows hiding all manner of secrets.

One of its surviving residents, Agnes Gale, is determined to find out the truth about what happened. Even if that truth is deadlier than she could have ever believed possible . . .

About the Author

Sarah Hilary

Sarah Hilary’s new novel BLACK THORN will be published in summer 2023 by Pan Macmillan. Her first standalone FRAGILE came out in 2021. Mick Herron called it ‘a dark river of a book’ while Erin Kelly said, ‘Timeless, tense and tender, Fragile will worm its way deep into your heart.’

Sarah’s debut SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was a World Book Night selection and Richard & Judy Book Club pick. The latest in her D.I. Marnie Rome series NEVER BE BROKEN was published by Headline in 2019.

Visit for news, updates and reviews.

Our Review

An intense and interesting way to tell a story, alternate chapters from before and after the disaster. It seemed to be a natural disaster, but why didn’t it feel like that?

You get to learn about the people involved. How they were before, and how they are trying to survive such a terrible tragedy, along with all of their own personal demons, and there were more than enough of those.

Black Thorn is billed as a crime story, but at first, I thought this must be wrong. Little by little, the sinister truth crept into the story, creating chills that ran up and down my spine as I read.

For me, Agnes Cale is the lead character. The black sheep of the family, she struggles to find the truth, and I was with her every step of the way, willing her to succeed to enable her family to find closure.

A difficult story to tell, complex and complicated with so many human emotions, Sarah Hilary has left no stone unturned in this story to reveal such a hard truth.

The relief for me, when I finished reading, reduced me to tears…

It was reading Sarah Hilary’s first book, Someone Else’s Skin, that encouraged me to step into my writer’s shoes and take the most important plunge of my life…

Once Upon a Time in the Swamp… #Review #Post-Apocalyptic @Virgilante

Mari and her husband opted for a simple life as farmers. It’s been decades since the world tore itself apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against each other. They were happy in this re-emerging world, until disaster struck.

Mari sets out on a solo quest to avenge the deaths of her family and loss of everything she holds dear. She’s ill equipped for the task, but seems to have time on her hands. Time alone in the wilderness to deal with her personal demons along the way.

She is helped by a few sympathetic elders and a couple of animal companions with lessons Mari can use if she pays attention. Can Mari find justice for her family?

Set in a post apocalyptic, Gulf Coast world, this is a story for fans of the old Spaghetti Westerns.

The Author

C. S. Boyack

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.


Our Review

I fell into this story from the get-go, rooting for Mariposa White, the brave woman being brutally attacked in a world no longer recognisable. Her family didn’t survive, leaving her alone but hardly defenceless.

Mari is an amazing woman. No matter what life has thrown at her, her undaunting courage and determination keep her going as she begins the search for the gang responsible for the death of her family. I was so proud of the way she tracked down and despatched her enemies.

There was no hesitation; survival came off second best to revenge.

Her journey was long and arduous, but she met some lovely people along the way and found herself a loyal friend in Worthless, the dog.

Highly descriptive and superbly written, Once Upon a Time in the Swamp has to be the book of the year and will teach you everything you need to know about survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

Tuesday Review… The Rat in the Python: Book 1 The Home # Cultural & Regional Biographies

Today is Tuesday Review Day, and we are really pleased to share our appreciation for Alex Craigie’s ( or Trish as we all know her) new book, The Rat in the Python. As I read this book, I relived so many memories, some I didn’t even know I remembered. It was good to actually see some of them again, as there are many illustrations. Memory Lane, big time!

If you haven’t heard of a liberty bodice, believe that half-a-crown is something to do with impoverished royalty and never had the experience of slapping a television to stop the grainy black and white picture from rolling, then this series might not be for you. Please give it a go, though – I suspect that most of it will still resonate no matter where you were brought up!

The Rat in the Python is about Baby Boomers who, in the stability following the Second World War, formed a statistical bulge in the population Python. It is a personal snapshot of a time that is as mystifying to my children as the Jurassic Era – and just as unrecognisable.

My intention is to nudge some long-forgotten memories to the surface, test your own recollections and provide information and statistics to put it all in context.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I’ll begin…

Alex Craigie

Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.

Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.

Trish has had three books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. The first two books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the health service at its heart. Her third book. Means to Deceive, is a psychological thriller.

Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019 it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.

Book lovers are welcome to contact her on

Our Review

Not exactly sure of the significance of the title, but reading this story really took me back to the golden years, for despite how difficult they were at the time, they still evoke such happy moments.

My first washing machine was a Hotpoint (as shown in the book) with a mangle on the top. I can’t tell you how often those rubber rollers used to grab my fingers!

I loved my whistling kettle, too, right up to the day I let it boil dry, and the bottom fell out. And as for that special kitchen drawer, the one that contained everything that didn’t belong anywhere else, I still have one of those.

Things that I still miss?

Good old-fashioned pillow ticking, these days, nothing stops those feathers from poking you in the eye. Pears soap, I loved the smell.

And my Cannon gas stove with the eye-level grill. These days I must bend double to make cheese on toast.

Those were the days?

Maybe, but I am so grateful the toilet paper improved!

#Throwback Thursday ~ Watching Glass Shatter by James J Cudney ~ Book 1 of 2: Perceptions Of Glass #Fiction

We haven’t done a Throwback Thursday post in quite a while, and looking back recently at some of the fantastic books we have read and reviewed over the last few years, I thought it would be a great way to showcase those books to new followers and share again with followers who may have missed the review the first time round.

Watching Glass Shatter (Perceptions Of Glass Book 1) Kindle Edition

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia’s husband unexpectedly passes away. 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. 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. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?


Getting to know the Glass family and all their many secrets made fascinating reading. The more I discovered about their lives convinced me that the author had chosen the perfect title for this first book in the series.

The unrelenting tension begins on the first page and builds, chapter by chapter, into a complicated web of mysteries that eventually shatter, almost destroying the family.

The saddest part of this story was that this family seemed like normal happy people until the father dies in an accident. Then, like peeling an onion, each of their secret problems is revealed, setting the scene for some major showdowns.

I applaud this author for such an interesting, beautifully plotted, and well-written story, leaving me wondering if we shall hear more about the Glass family in the next of the series…

© Jaye Marie 2020

James J. Cudney

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island, lived in New York City for over a decade, and currently live in Stamford, CT, but I’ve travelled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I began working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment, media, retail, and hospitality industries. Although I enjoy my job, I also want to re-focus on my passions: telling stories and connecting people through literature.

In 2017, I published my debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor, and romance. The sequel, Hiding Cracked Glass, was released exactly three years later in 2020. I’ve also written another family drama novel, Father Figure, and created the Braxton Campus Mysteries, a light investigation series about a humorous thirty-something guy dealing with murders and the drama of a small town. I’ve also co-authored a book, Weathering Old Souls, with the wonderful Didi Oviatt.

Most of my books are available in hardcover, paperback, electronic, and audiobook formats, as well as in a variety of bookstores. We’ve begun translating into Portuguese, Spanish, German, Greek, and Italian for some of the books too. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website:

Outside of writing, I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2,500 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, I have over 1,000 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I share several fun features, including the Book Bucket List, Tips & Advice, Author Spotlights & Book Alerts, and the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. You’ll find tons of humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers… where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments 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 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. Baxter, a two-year-old shiba inu, constantly tries to stop me from writing so I can play with him and keep him amused. How else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

Silent Victim… Best Book of the Year! #Kidnapping Crime Fiction #Review

Don’t miss the next nerve-shredding instalment in the DCI Matilda Darke Thriller series…


DCI Matilda Darke and her team have been restricted under special measures after a series of calamitous scandals nearly brought down the South Yorkshire police force.


Now Matilda is on the trail of another murderer, an expert in avoiding detection with no obvious motive but one obvious method.


When his latest victim survives the attack despite her vocal cords being severed, Matilda is more convinced than ever of the guilt of her key suspect. If only she had a way to prove it…

Silent Victim is an unputdownable crime thriller with twists that will make your jaw drop – perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs and Ann Cleeves.

Michael Wood

Hello, welcome to my Amazon author page. I am Michael Wood, author of the Sheffield based crime fiction series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. As of 2022 there are ten books in the series and an eleventh will be released in 2023. I’m also the author of two standalone psychological thrillers that are available exclusively with Audible called The Seventh Victim and Vengeance Is Mine. I am constantly scribbling away and have many other projects up the sleeves of my duffel coat. When I’m not writing, I’m usually moaning about having little sleep and talking about my favourite biscuit on social media. Look me up on Facebook (MichaelWoodBooks), Twitter (@MichaelHWood) and Instagram (MichaelWoodBooks). I’m a massive fan of reading crime fiction as I like to keep an eye on the competition and wondering if I can steal any of their ideas, give the characters a Sheffield accent, and pass them off as my own original creation. Happy reading.

Our Review

I am a big fan of crime thrillers, so when I saw the many reviews for Silent Victim, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

What I didn’t know was that it would literally knock my socks off!

I haven’t read any of the other books in this series yet, but I know I will now…

Silent Victim is an unusual and gripping story that takes no prisoners but will be the best you have ever read, believe me.

Despite coming late to this series, the regular characters soon became old friends, even though they are real people with real problems. Matilda Darke is now my favourite detective!

This compelling story has it all, mystery, suspense and enough chills to give you frostbite!

The cliffhanger ending hit me like a truck, making damn sure I read the next book…