Review of Watching Glass Shatter, by James J. Cudney

I hope everyone had a great weekend and happy belated, ‘Independence Day,’ to my friends south of the border.

Today I’m reviewing, Watching Glass Shatter, by James J. Cudney.

Let’s see what Amazon has to say:

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?

My Turn:

Though a bit slower paced than my usual reads, I found this story to be captivating. There was always, ‘one more secret,’ waiting for poor Olivia.

I must admit that I did not care for Olivia during the first half of the book, as I found her domineering and hypercritical. As the story matures, however, so does Olivia. I witnessed a transformation in her as she dealt with some devastating blows.

I think this is a story that plays out in so many lives; secrets kept, expectations unmet, and a lack of sympathy caused by misunderstanding.

James does a great job of weaving the lives of so many characters and their personal crisis together, without the story getting bogged down or confusing.

I’m giving this one, FIVE STARS!

Meet James and get your copy:

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 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, 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 am currently co-authoring a book with a surprise writer and finalizing the next Braxton Campus Mystery, both set to be released in early to mid 2021.

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, 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?

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Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman's childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non. Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this country boy to life in the big cities. After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.

76 thoughts on “Review of Watching Glass Shatter, by James J. Cudney”

  1. Secrets in a family are unfortunately not rare and often surface when we least expect it. Like you say, Mark, this story plays out in many people’s lives. James Cudney is a fascinating man. Thank you for sharing a great review, Mark. I hope you are not fading in the Summer heat.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review, Mark. Jay’s book sounds fascinating, so I’ll add it to my list. Your book, “Vanished” is now resting on my coffee table, eager to be read. I’m currently reading 2 books at a time, and then I’ll start yours. 🙂

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  3. Mark,

    This is a wonderful review, and I’m truly grateful. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and write about the book. I’ve hardly been on blogs the last few months because of my daytime job commitments, so this was a fantastic surprise. I really appreciate it, and I’ll be sharing it all week.


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      1. I’m good. I work a lot now in my full time job which has mean little writing or blogging time. Family is good. Nyc is coming back and things are much better here. Thanks! How are your grandchildren? Your newest must be a year now?

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  4. I’ve read ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ Mark, and agree with you that James does a great job of weaving the lives of so many characters and their personal crisis together. In fact his books brilliantly handle relationships. Thanks for sharing a fabulous review.

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