Introducing, James J Cudney.

I have recently read, Watching Glass Shatter, written by James J Cudney. I was so impressed with this debut novel, that I felt compelled to share with my followers, the Goodreads review that I recently posted. However, first I would like to introduce you to James.

He grew up on Long Island and currently lives in New York, The United States of America.He has travelled extensively across the United States and other parts of the world, giving him a breadth of experience to enhance his writing. James previously worked in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Despite enjoying his work, he left in 2016 to focus on his passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. James writes contemporary, Fiction and Mystery.

He can be contacted on the following:   Website  https://jamesjcudney.com

Twitter  jamescudney4

An introduction to Watching Glass Shatter.

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way.While preparing for the reading of his will, Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

My Goodreads Review.

Congratulations James on writing a wonderful debut novel. First let me say, that the title is brilliant and very well thought out.
I simply could not put this book down. This is my kind of book. A gripping family drama with a wealth of well developed, interesting characters.
Reading about the Glass family, was very emotional. I felt the pain of each character.
The story is very well structured, full of twists and turns. There is never a dull moment. I was intrigued to know the outcome of the second letter that Ben left to Olivia. The suspense began to build, to the point that I was sad, yet relieved to hear, which of Olivia’s sons, was the subject of Ben’s secret.
This is a book that I definitely recommend.
Watching Glass Shatter is available at the following:

Amazon UK.

Book Depository

Abe Books

Kobo

Alibris

Indigo.ca

Audible.

 

 

 

 

Words Matter.

 

 

 

Words matter.

I have long since recognised the importance of the spoken word and yet, find myself increasingly communicating through the media of the written word. It is an interesting fact; that since the introduction of electronic mail, messenger service and all related means of transferring spoken words into a written communication. The written word is growing in popularity.

Either way. Words matter. In fact, they matter so much, that we use them to commit ourselves first and foremost, to some of the most important events in our lives. A good example of this is the wedding vows. Yes, we also sign the register, but the spoken vows are the words that each Bride and Groom want to hear. The spoken word is committed to the air.

Unlike the editing that can take place with the written word. Once spoken, your words are out there. You cannot snatch them back, so it is important to think clearly, exactly what it is that you want to say. The responsibility is with the speaker. According to  Sun Tzu in his book, The Art of War, he says; If I tell them and they do not understand. I check myself twice, then I realise it is them.

My recent book, Love, Secrets and Absolution, explores the subject of Asperger’s.

Words matter a great deal to all of us. However, many Autistic People use words in a unique way. They sometimes speak through Echolalia. As one would expect, with the prefix of Echo. This behaviour involves repeat words and phrases.

Imitation is a pretty normal part of human development; we teach our babies and toddlers our own language, by repeated use of a word. However, those with autism may use it well past their toddler years and continue it into childhood, teenagehood and even as adults.

The recent television drama, ‘The A word’ demonstrated Echolalia in a sensitive and touching way.

I am hoping that this brilliant production, will help the general public to become more aware of Asperger’s and associated Echolalia.

 

 

Happy New Year.

        Wishing everyone, a very Happy New Year.

Wishing you 12 months of success, 52 weeks of laughter, 365 days of fun, 8760 hours of joy, 525600 minutes of good luck and 31536000 seconds of happiness.

A time to reflect.

As the year draws to a close, myself like many other people, take the time to reflect on the passing year. I sincerely hope that you all have some fond memories of 2017. Our memories are personal and precious, good memories can be retrieved and the feelings of happiness can once again bring joy.

Memory is the ability of the mind, to encode, store and retrieve information.  Recall is the ability to bring the memory back into our awareness. As humans, we have been gifted with this ability, so as the year ends, let’s reflect on the good things in life.

I see myself as an upbeat kind of person, one could say that I am a glass half full, positive woman, who can sometimes fall into the realms of being a people pleaser. We are all different and it is important to respect other people’s differences. Now, more than ever, in our ever-changing world, this is important to remember.

This year for me has been the year that I ticked another wish off my Bucket List.

The very beginning of the year, my dream of becoming a published author, was realised, when my debut novel, Alice, was released. My dream was further reinforced when my second book, Love, Secrets and Absolution, was published by The Globeflower Agency, in November; bringing my year to a close.

Our third grandchild was safely delivered in May, a nephew for our Grandson and Granddaughter. Our family is expanding, making for many wonderful family occasions. This Christmas, once again our home was filled with family, enjoying good food and festivities.

I think the time has arrived when we need to consider buying a much larger dining table. Our current six-foot refectory table no longer accommodates the many diners and children’s highchairs. I guess the old table will have to be replaced, despite thirty plus years of family gatherings around it.

However, here is my dilemma. Do any of you have a favourite piece of furniture? I do. For me, it is the old dresser that matches our refectory table. Each Christmas, we decorate it, fill it with all kinds of goodies and place some of our greeting cards on the shelves. When the dresser is full, we are ready for the celebrations. I don’t think that I can part with it. This piece of furniture, along with our rocking chair, has become a permanent fixture. Therefore, in the new- year, we will be on the lookout, for an extendable table to compliment the dresser.

Wish me luck everyone.

 

 

Merry Christmas everyone.

                                                    The Mercia Marina Ukulele club.

I can confidently report that we have now completed all of our Christmas preparations. Aside from the fresh produce, which is such a pain. Having avoided all of the last minute shoppers, we still need to venture out for the fresh meat and vegetables, along with everyone else. Yes, I have considered ordering on line and having it delivered.

I don’t know about other obsessives like me, but I just feel the need, to check out the freshness of the sprouts and the crispness of the red cabbage. I won’t even begin to explain the rigorous tests I go through, to check out the meats and fish. So I’m afraid, an on-line shop is not an option for me, just yet. That’s not to say that things won’t change.

I do have a little help with choosing my Christmas fare. I am a subscriber to The Good Housekeeping Magazine. Their team of experts, do all of the work for me, having rigorously tested many of the products.

Enough about my shopping habits. As I said, most of the work is done. With this in mind, my husband and I decided to go to our ‘cottage in the country’. Most of you will know from previous posts that I refer to our canal boat. As expected, due to the temperature in our region being below zero; the canal was frozen. Can you imagine how cold our boat was? Correct. It was chilly to say the least. I quickly lit the wood burner stove and waited. Five hours later, after many logs had burned through; the boat was warm enough to bank up the fire with coal. Satisfied that we could leave the boat and return to a warmer environment than earlier in the day. We walked into the village of Willington. The frost was already settling and a cold mist falling. Wrapped up warmly in our best thermals, we set off on the fifteen minute walk, to The Dragon Pub/restaurant in Willington. To say that it was fresh, is an understatement. However, it was all worth it, as once again we enjoyed good food and hospitality.

The following morning, we visited the Christmas Market on our marina, Mercia Marina. Although cold and raining; along with other die hard’s we checked out the market stalls. As usual, the makers market was full of interesting homemade crafts. Feeling festive, I purchased an individual rabbit pie, my husband chose a venison and wild boar pie. No traditional Sunday dinner on the boat later, just pie, peas and jacket potatoes. The Mercia boater’s ukulele club gave a brilliant performance of traditional and popular Christmas songs. Well done. I’m proud of you all.

In the afternoon, despite the rain, we used our National trust membership and visited Calke Abbey. This is located near Ticknall in Derbyshire. Unlike many country houses. Calke Abbey has not been restored. In some corners there is grandeur; in others peeling paintwork. Apparently, The Harpur Crewe family, reclusive and private, kept the Abbey and its park, hidden away until handed to The National Trust in 1985. It was well worth a visit, made all the more special, when hungry and cold, we sat outside in the stable yard (I felt as though I was on the set of a Charles Dickens production) and enjoyed the most delicious Venison Burger. Apparently, from the local deer that roam the Park.

We returned to a warm boat, grateful indeed that we were born in the twentieth century, despite the fact that every Christmas we are surrounded by Victorian images.

    Happy New Year everyone. x

 

                                                                   Christmas at Calke Abbey.

Post Codes.

  Cyprus - reading books

                                              Post Codes.

                                         Written by. K.L.Loveley

 

 

Out comes the address book.

All the old names.

A book full of memories.

I turn each crumbling page.

The corners curled, the ink stain faded.

Just like me, the old book is jaded.

 

From A to Z the book is filled,

With by-gone friends.

Most of them dead.

Each page, I turn, sadly reminisce.

My eyes fill with tears, they spill on the page.

My book of memories, from a by-gone age.

 

At this time of year.

When young families rejoice.

When carols are sung.

At the top of their voice.

When love and laughter, fill my home.

I can’t but help remember, my long-gone friends.

 

My mother, my father.

I held most dear.

Grandma and Grandad.

Uncles and Aunts.

I can remember them clearly.

Each and every one.

 

They all touched my life.

Bound in my DNA.

Their blood is my blood.

In my head, their memories will stay.

I turn each page, with sadness so deep.

Remembering the times, when I was unable to sleep.

 

The excitement of Christmas.

The parties, the fun.

With nephews and nieces.

Uncles and Aunts.

My brother and sisters, oh! How we would dance.

Singing, dancing, laughter and tears.

No care in the world, not aware of the fears.

 

My fears are now real.

When I cross out in red.

The names of family and friends.

Who are long gone and dead.

 

 

 

My Reading Nook.

 

 

My practical and perfect Reading Nook.

Just thinking about writing this post, makes my toes curl up in anticipation of the wonderful images about to play through my mind.

The pure joy, of creating the perfect reading space is happiness in its simplest form for me. Reading is an amazing way to unwind and relax. To lose oneself in another world, of fiction, or fantasy can help to dissolve away the stresses and strains that everyday life can bring.

To reinforce this experience, the perfect reading nook needs to be a personalised space that encompasses the reader’s own tastes.

For me, the perfect location is my conservatory. Picture this. A large Edwardian style conservatory, with a glass roof; providing the perfect natural light. The view overlooking the garden, a constant change of scenery throughout the four seasons of the year. The brick built- base, on two sides, houses low slung bookcases, filled to capacity. Along the third wall, a large, comfy, sofa covered in the softest of fabric. Large brightly coloured scatter cushions slung lazily on the sofa, and a huge faux fur blanket strewed over the back of the sofa. Perfect for those cooler days.

Lighting when needed on the darker evenings provided by an adjustable reading light close to the sofa.

The conservatory filled with a variety of green foliage plants, scented candles and brightly coloured rugs. To complete my perfect dream reading nook, I would require a large glass coffee table, where I can place my drinks, nibbles and spectacles.

As I enter a world that the fictional characters of the story transport me to, my Reading Nook, will provide a huge comfort blanket of happiness, wrapping around me, making me feel complete.

 

 

 

The benefits of reading my novel Love, Secrets, and Absolution.

The benefits of reading my novel Love, Secrets, and Absolution.

What are the benefits of reading  Love, Secrets, and Absolution? This is a very interesting question that was recently posed to me about my latest book and it has given me the opportunity to express my reasoning behind my inspiration to write this story.

As with my debut novel, Alice, when I raised the issue about the changing alcohol, drinking habits of women. I have written my second novel, with a view to raising awareness of Asperger’s. Although I began writing this story well before March 2017. I was very pleased to discover that from March 2017 until April 2018, people in the United Kingdom, will be taking part in a number of activities to raise money, for further research and support for the Asperger’s groups. In addition, I was also encouraged by the Autism Awareness week that took place week commencing November 14th.

There are many statistics relating to Autism, but did you know that Eugen Bleular, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first person to use the term in 1911. Fascinating historical information. However, it is only in recent years that the public is beginning to take notice of this, lifelong developmental disorder. A disorder that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

When I think back, I can honestly say, the first time that I was made aware of this condition, was in 1988, when the movie, The Rain Man, was released. I clearly remember Dustin Hoffman in this role along with Tom Cruise. I was astounded at the high level of intelligence displayed by his brother Raymond, who was on the Autistic Spectrum.

More recently, the TV drama, The A Word, is hopefully educating the viewers about how a family member with Asperger’s, can bring families together as well as tear them apart.

Looking at the timeline, in relation to the public awareness of Asperger’s. I decided to set my fictionalised account of a young boy, with a condition that was not yet fully recognised, towards the end of the seventies. In order, for the reader to learn about living with this condition, I needed to follow the life of young Alfie, the protagonist. To achieve this, I wrote the story from the perspective of a coming of age story.

Although, risky on my part. I introduced Alfie just before his birth. My reasoning for this, to allow the reader to understand, early in the story that Alfie was not like other children.

Some may ask. Why choose a male protagonist? The facts prove, there are more males than females affected. Statistics show that in the seventies and eighties. One in every 2000, males were affected. Scientists are researching genetic and environmental data, to discover the cause, for the rise in Autism.

Although, the story follows Alfie, I wanted the readers to understand, how other family members, are affected, in relation to the struggles involved. In order to get inside the heart and the mind of Alfie’s mother, Grace; I decided to allow her to express her feelings through her own words, by writing a diary. The character of Grace, reinforces the importance of unconditional love and how this love can provide an all-important safety net.

Grace, like a number of fictional mothers, is portrayed as giving this unconditional love to her vulnerable son. It begs the question when a mother is faced with challenges related to the nurturing and protection of a son who is at risk of significant harm or exploitation, where does she get her inner strength from. Does nature provide such a woman with the coping mechanisms required to guide and protect him?

Sadly, as in real life. Grace, his mother, has health issues of her own. Hopefully, this provides a holistic perspective on the story. This allows the reader to view Alfie from a different dimension. Hence the use of the word, ‘Absolution’ in the title. Other minor characters in the story, also feel the need to be resolved of their mistakes, which nicely portrays the human spirit.

I sincerely hope, that in some small part. Love, Secrets, and Absolution, enables the reader, to learn how Asperger’s, can have an impact on the lives of the person dealing with this condition, and the lives of the people who love and support them.

Special Offer for readers in the UK

The Globeflower Agency are offering British readers a 15% discount off of Love, Secrets, and Absolution paperback edition via their website if you order before 15 December 2017. So hurry, order today!

‘I am so proud of Nottingham’

                 ‘ I am so proud of Nottingham.’

 

 

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, visited Nottingham today, on their first official joint engagement as a couple, I couldn’t have been more proud of my home city.

They visited, The Nottingham Contemporary Exhibition Centre, to mark The Terrance Higgins TrustWorld Aids Day’. A cause, close to the heart of Prince Harry.

In addition they also visited The Nottingham Academy who is doing tremendous work to help to combat youth crime.

This was the eighth visit by Prince Harry, over a period of five years. I sincerely hope that Prince Harry and Meghan will continue to visit our city of culture.

What a year for Nottingham.

We were awarded the, UNESCO City of Literature award 2017.

In addition, our young poet Laureate, Georgina Wilding was given the privilege of writing a poem, to be presented to the Royal couple today. ‘A note to love’ was presented on a bespoke scroll, tied with Nottingham lace.

The talent in Nottingham is now being recognised on a number of levels. We are going from strength to strength.

Thank you, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for bringing the attention of the world, to my amazing City.