Release – Wings & Fire #Horror #Anthology #theboxunderthe bed

Thrilled to announce I am a contributing author in Dan Alatorre’s anthology with my latest horror story: The Great Pottoo. The story is inspired by a creepy flat I spent an evening in at a writing conference I attended!

$4.99 regular eBook price, $9.99 regular paperback price.

From the creators of the #1 bestselling horror anthology The Box Under The Bed and its #1 bestselling sequels Dark Visions, Nightmareland, and Spellbound comes Wings & Fire, a horror anthology with 24 stories from 16 authors.

Two high school girls discover an old book with strange that causes strange things to happen. As they learn more, they realize the book has unusual powers and may be a link to a mystical world and the people who “reside” there. But merely opening the book has its own repercussions, and someone you thought was a friend may suddenly not be. In a new world you don’t understand, can you ever be safe again?
Tremble along as this brilliant collection of stories reveals witches and wizards, fools and kings, lovers and demons – and a thrill ride that any horror fan will enjoy!
Compiled by USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror once again unites the minds and talents of more than a dozen amazing authors.

Wings & Fire will send you into the foggy twilight of the eerie and macabre, with heart stopping stories from:


USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Gamma Sequence)
award-winning bestselling author Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant)
award-winning bestselling author Roberta Eaton Cheadle (Through The Nethergate)
award-winning bestselling author Betty Valentine (A Twist Of Starlight)
award-winning bestselling author Alana Turner
award-winning bestselling author Christine Valentor
award-winning bestselling author Adele Marie Park
award-winning bestselling author Frank L Parker (Called to Account)
award-winning bestselling author MD Walker
award-winning bestselling author Heather Kindt
award-winning bestselling author Dabney Farmer
award-winning bestselling author M J Mallon (The Curse of Time 1: Bloodstone)
award-winning bestselling author Geoff LePard (The Harry Spittle Sagas)
award-winning bestselling author Ellen Best
and introducing
Jessica Bakkers (Guns Of Perdition) and
Susan Lamb

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, watching TV with family, or even going on a casual boat ride.

CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

NOTE: American and British spelling inside. Of the 23 stories contained in this anthology, none are part of any larger work.

Check out the wonderful reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55550881-wings-fire

I think it is going to be…

So excited!!

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New Release – The Ender by Heather Kindt #theweaver #theweavertrilogy #theender #heatherkindt #theparliamentpress #nafantasybooks #newreleasebooks

I’m pleased to announce a new release for author Heather Kindt.

I just love the cover and graphics!

Blurb – 
Most villains meet a likely doom by the end of their book… most villains are not Enders. With the power of the codex, the Wanderer sends most of the Golden Recluse into their books and Laney must rush to save them from their own writing. With William, she crosses the page into a horror novel filled with bloodthirsty birds, a romance paperback where, to their dismay, they become the main characters, and a children’s picture book that’s not as innocent as it seems. With each second that passes, the threat of the Wanderer’s pen threatens to end the Weavers.

With everything at stake, Laney realizes that she’s part of something bigger, and it all comes down to a choice that the Wanderer has always wanted her to make: Will she save the man she loves, or the family she’s only just discovered?



Buying Link – Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ender-Weaver-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B08HDQR75X/

And Amazon.com

Heather Kindt’s Social Media


Instagram: @kindtheather

Twitter: @hmkindt

Facebook: @heatherkindtauthor

Website/Blog: heatherkindt.com

Congratulations to Heather on her new release. I think you will agree it looks fabulous.

In fact it sounds…

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Sinners & Saints Release Blitz, Jan, 12th 2021 #Release #Anthology

The much-anticipated release of Sinners & Saints Anthology is FINALLY HERE!! I’m thrilled to announce this impressive lineup of award winning, best selling, and up and coming authors as they’ve come together to compile a multi-subgenre Romantic collection. From Romantic fantasy, to Romantic Drama and everything in between, the Sinners & Saints collection offers something for everyone! There are 17 authors total bringing to the table 17 novellas that are sure to leave you feeling hot, shocked, and perhaps even craving a little sin of your own. Not only that, but there are some pretty cool pre-release purchase incentives, and an Amazon giveaway that will CONTINUE THROUGH RELEASE WEEK! (incentives available until Jan. 17th)

BLURB:
Sometimes it takes a Saint to love a Sinner. There’s something for everyone in this collection of 17 romance stories from today’s USA Today bestselling, award-winning, and rising star authors. From reluctant billionaires to displaced gods, century old vampires to young lovers just about to graduate high-school, love strikes where it will, and who’s to say a Sinner is any less deserving of happiness than a Saint?


Let us tempt you to take a walk on the wild side, unleash a little bit of the sinner inside you to find that romance you’ve always been waiting for. These original stories are packed with unforgettable characters, amazing romances, and intense emotion that will leave you on the edge of your seat waiting for more. From sweet to sultry, these stories will have you reading long into the night. Fans of Mary Higgins Clark, Stephanie Meyer, Danielle Steel and Suzanne Collins won’t wait to misbehave for Sinners & Saints.


Don’t miss your chance to get this set before it’s gone! The sins will stack up and the saints won’t stay forever, so make sure to grab your copy of these 15+ titillatingly delightful stories when you scroll up and one-click today!


With stories from: Shaunna Rodriguez (AW), MA Abraham, Hannah Earl, AnnaMarie Gardner, Deborah Garland, Madison Granger, BK Harrell, Angelina Kerner, CA King (USAT), Darlene Kuncytes (AW), Megan Kuykendall, Andi Lawrencovna, Didi Oviatt, Crystal StClair, SE Winters, Tricia Daniels and Payne Craven.


PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eu4A4I
B&N: https://bit.ly/2YwqHRm
Apple: https://apple.co/2YVJEgc

NOW FOR INCENTIVES: The Sinners want to thank all you Saints for ordering SINNERS & SAINTS on Nook and Apple, so they’re giving thank you gifts!! (available until Jan 17th) It just takes 2 easy steps!

Order the anthology from B&N, Apple, and/or Amazon

Go to https://ahupie1.wixsite.com/saintsandsinnersset & claim the #FREE #bonus

NEXT UP: Follow Sinners and Saints authors for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!!!
Winner will be chosen at random Jan 17th!
For a chance to win click here:
https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/862a50de4/?

How exciting! This looks like such a fun anthology to be part of…

Thrilled to be sharing details about Sinners & Saints anthology today.

All the best to all the authors involved, including Didi Oviatt whose fantastic novel Search for Maylee I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing recently.

Happy reading!

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Wings & Fire: A horror anthology with 23 stories from 15 authors (The Box Under The Bed Book 5)

Thank you to Robbie Cheadle for this wonderful promotion post.

Source: Wings & Fire: A horror anthology with 23 stories from 15 authors (The Box Under The Bed Book 5)

I’m thrilled to be a contributing author in Dan Alatorre’s latest Box Under The Bed anthology with the wonderful horror writing team of:

Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant,) Roberta Eaton Cheadle (Through The Nethergate,) Betty Valentine (A Twist Of Starlight,)
Alana Turner, Christine Valentor, Adele Marie Park
Frank L Parker (Called to Account,) MD Walker, Heather Kindt
Dabney Farmer, M J Mallon (The Curse of Time 1: Bloodstone)
Geoff LePard (The Harry Spittle Sagas,) Ellen Best
and introducing Jessica Bakkers (Guns Of Perdition) and
Susan Lamb
.

More about that soon…

To pre-order…. Wings & Fire releases January 15th.

Pre-order link: Amazon US

And Amazon UK:

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MJ’s Book Reviews: Sally Cronin Life Is Like A Bowl of Cherries, Sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet #bookreview #shortstories #poetry

Goodreads Synopsis:

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm. 

My Review

Well, what can I say about Sally Cronin’s latest collection of short stories and poetry?

It is a brilliant mix of bitter and sweet, a fine collection that I’m sure will appeal to everyone. In fact, I had so many favourite short stories and poems that I’d be hard put to try to pick just a few to highlight. Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries is a snapshot of life embracing all its complexities, with humour, joy and kindness.

Here were some of my personal favourites:

Short Stories: The Weekly Shopping (this will make you chuckle! A special one with dieters in mind!) The Date – (so humourous and sweet, think old lady out for a date but she sure does it in style!) The Wedding Day, The Scratch Card, (So lovely – a short excerpt of this particular story is available below in the author interview link,) Long Lost Love, The Night Shift (A lovely tale of a Care home and a cat,) Gaffer Tape (about fortitude and overcoming domestic abuse,) The Gardening Assistant (Loss of a baby – this will touch the heart of many, especially those who have experienced such sadness, or miscarriage (as I have,) but the ending with the help of a furry friend brings light and hope.)

Some of my favourite poems: The Visitor, Garden Birds, Ritual of Mehndi

I featured Sally with an interview and excerpt recently:

My recommendation. A highly readable and touching book of short stories and poetry. 5 stars.

My review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56249417-life-is-like-a-bowl-of-cherries

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

Sally’s links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08QCQ4VVV

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

Now where is my new reading seat… what will I read next…

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Author Interview and Excerpt Sally Cronin #Author #Interview #Excerpt #Shortstories #Poetry

Welcome to Kyrosmagica! It is wonderful to have you over for a chit chat, Sally.


Lovely to be here Marjorie and thank you for the invitation.


MJ: I’m delighted to be reading Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries, Sally, the title is so beguiling, particularly as I do love fruit, and cherries are a favourite!

MJ: Sally, I’d love to hear more about your nomadic life. I believe you have lived in many countries. Which of these places has a special place in your heart and why?


My father was in the Royal Navy and was posted overseas several times. On occasion we were able to travel with him as a family, including my first trip at age 18 months to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The first year was documented in photographs and I don’t really remember as I was too young, but certainly by the time I was three I was aware of my surroundings and the people in my life. We lived in a house on the edge of the jungle and we had a cook and an amah or nanny for me. My two sisters were 13 and 14 by this time and when they came back from school I was handed over to them. Anything they did I did too, and I was swimming every day in my rubber ring which I loved and still do today, but without the rubber ring!! On one memorable occasion, I followed my eldest sister up a steep ladder during a diving competition. She completed her dive and surfaced expecting applause to find a stunned silence and groans from the crowd. I had crawled to the end of the diving board, stood up and jumped off. Apparently I surfaced and told my sister ‘again’.


After Sri Lanka we returned to the UK for two years followed by two years in Malta which were amazing, and after another two years in England we moved to South Africa. My memories of our time in Cape Town are very vivid as I was ten years old by this time and well aware of the situation at that time with apartheid for example. As a family we had to attend an induction day so that we knew what we could say and what the rules were for segregation. I found it very difficult as I had friends at school in England from the West Indies and the Middle East and it felt very uncomfortable being unable to be friends with anyone because of their colour.


David and I have lived and worked in several countries over the last forty years and certainly our experiences, and the people we have met, have provided us with amazing memories. As a writer all of my travels have left me with memories that are wonderful to dip into and use for stories.


They say that ‘home is where the heart is’, and for me that is certainly the case, and wherever we might be living, as long as David and I are under the same roof it is a special place.

MJ: Oh, how lovely.

MJ: Writing short stories and poetry takes a special skill. Can you summarise the way you approach writing them – any rituals you have, or methods you use?


The stories start out life a great deal longer than they end up. I tend to write in my head first when walking or exercising, then come back and dash it out on the computer. I spend a lot of time revising and editing down to a point where I feel it reads aloud well. And I always ask myself, would I enjoy if I read the story for the first time.


I tend to stick to the Japanese poetry which is constrained by the number of syllables. I love the various formats and experiment depending on the theme. After the first draft, I usually end up changing the words within a certain syllable count to find the one that expresses the most action or emotion.

With everything I write, I use David as a sounding board and he is brilliant with suggestions that might enhance or improve the piece.

MJ: You feature so many authors on your wonderful blog Smorgasbord. This must be a labour of love as I’m sure it must take up so much of your time. As an indie author you give so much to the community in features, reviews and the like. How do you manage your time? And do you ever feel overwhelmed?


One of the key elements I learned early on in my management career was project planning and this was vital when dealing with major construction, installation or sales and marketing campaigns. I carried this over to when I was running my own business for the next twelve years and then as a blogger.


For me blogging is a full time occupation and a business despite the blog itself not being monetised. I am an indie author with 14 books to sell and nobody else is going to do that for me. With 20,000 new titles added to the shelves on Amazon each week, it is tough to get noticed, particularly in the popular genres.

Twenty years ago I was helping authors get their books noticed in a very different way with book launches, radio interviews, press releases and my own first book got some great publicity nationally. However, it is very different now, and the focus is on local physical marketing and global online promotion.


As an author of six books in 2012, I needed a platform to market my own books and that involved creating an online presence across other areas of social media. I began building Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn systematically over the years. I don’t belong to any other social media because as you say, it is time consuming to maintain, and these three are the most consistent referrers of visitors to the blog after WordPress Reader.


I had a project plan in place to achieve my vision of how I wanted the blog to develop. To market my own books, I felt that the content on the blog needed to appeal to a varied market. I set out to develop a magazine style platform with a number of topics. I began with health which I have been involved in for over fifteen years by that time, and slowly added the other areas I have been involved such as book marketing, music and humour as the followers and my confidence grew.

After three years I felt that there was a strong enough following to offer free book marketing to other authors, which is when the Café and Bookstore came into existence. There are now over 150 author promotions, two book fairs featuring all the authors in the Café, and around 50 individual author spotlights a year. My hope is that I can help in some small way to showcase an author and their work within our writing community, whilst also promoting my own.


As to finding the time to post in the way I do… I always schedule ahead by at least a week and usually two. In the case of a series I schedule all the posts at one time. This creates time for me to maintain social media, spend time on my own writing projects, and read and review books.


The project plan is not completed, and in the blog’s 9 th year I hope to continue to find new ways to get all of us noticed and sell some books.

MJ: You are an inspiration, what a wonderful goal.

MJ: The title of your latest release: Life Is Like A Bowl of Cherries. How did you choose the title and what were you trying to convey?


My life experience has been one of highs and lows as is the case for so many people. The reason I appreciate what I have right now, is because of the tough times in the past. Nobody has a perfect life and that is what makes it so fascinating. I wanted to reflect this in the stories I write, but I try to end each of them with a hopeful outcome.


As to the name of the collection…I bought a punnet of cherries last year and could not believe how they looked the same but some were bitter and some were sweet. When I was looking for a title it came to mind.

MJ: That’s so cute!

MJ: After eight years blogging what advice would you impart to new bloggers starting their blogging journey?


Everybody has a different reason for beginning their blogs and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. I do dislike the term Hobby Blogger which is used for anyone who does not commercialise their blog. Whether it is one blog a week, one a day or more, it takes time to prepare, format and market. Various skills are required and whilst it should be enjoyable, it takes work, not just to create the posts, but to get noticed.


I do suggest that anyone thinking about blogging visit a load of other blogs first to get a feel of what is out there, the format, the response in terms of followers and comments. That is usually a solid indicator that people enjoy the content.


A good place to start with your own blog is with your passions, which might be cooking, music, writing, etc. Start with one blog a week and sprinkle with some reblogs of other people’s posts that you are following and enjoy. They will appreciate the gesture and return the favour.


Follow and comment on other blogs and share on social media by clicking one of the buttons at the end of the post. Just saying ‘I enjoyed that thank you’ with your name is very welcome. One thing I do suggest is that you don’t put the URL of your blog in the comment as that should come up with your name, and most blogs block comments containing URLs.


Follow bloggers you enjoy on Twitter and Facebook and retweet their pinned tweets…and if you are an author this is particularly important. I do have a pdf of Book Marketing for authors, including set up for blog and social media and if anyone would like a copy then they just need to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

MJ: Has your writing mojo stayed the same during this unprecedented time of covid?


Like all of us we have had to adjust to several lockdowns and still having to get on with life in the most hopeful way possible. I felt it was very important for my own wellbeing to ensure that the blog continued as normal during the year. More than ever being online and staying in contact was crucial, and authors were still writing books that needed to be marketed. Music and laughter are important in my life, particularly at the moment, so there was no thought of not carrying on as usual.

MJ: You live in Ireland now, what made you settle there? And do you ever see yourself moving?


My husband is Irish and despite leaving for work when he was 18 years old we have visited family regularly and lived here for five years in the mid-1990s. We loved living just outside of Madrid and periodically on the south coast of Spain for my time on radio, but we got to our mid-60s and felt that it would be a good idea to return to Ireland. We are in good health but even if you are relatively fluent in a language you would still find it difficult coping with illness, or possibly being left on your own to cope with it.


It has been nearly five years now and I miss our friends and the sunshine, having swapped 300 days of blue skies for 300 days of rain! But the warmth of the people here certainly makes up for that. Additionally this last year, there has been a sense of feeling less exposed as we live in a rural area on the coast. Without the usual holidaymakers arriving from Dublin this summer, the incidence of the virus has been much less than it has been elsewhere in Ireland and in the UK. Obviously we are sorry for all the small businesses dependent on this annual influx but it is better to be safe than sorry.


We love our house which took four years to renovate, with some work is still needed in the garden, which is weather dependent. There is enough room to move in some help as we get older, as neither of us are care home material…so the answer is we probably are here for the duration! For the time being lol…


Thank you again Marjorie for inviting me over and I hope that I didn’t outstay
my welcome… I do love to chat… Happy 2021 everyone.

Excerpt from The Scratch Card

Elsie Thompson attended the morning service at St. Cuthbert’s and dropped in to the coffee morning in the church Hall to catch up on the gossip in the parish from the last week. She also wanted to share the good news with her friends that she had won twenty pounds on a scratch card the day before, and she had four crisp five pound notes in her purse to prove it.

Mr. Singh the owner of the corner shop where she always bought her tickets, had beamed at her as he handed over the cash and commented it would not take her far sadly. She laughed and spent one of the fivers on another card, in the hopes another win might get her somewhere with a lot more sunshine than Liverpool. To be honest, even enough for a day out in Southport would be lovely for the both of them, and her husband Frank would enjoy a stroll down Lord’s Street, and she would treat him to a posh tea at the Prince of Wales hotel.

Elsie paid for five cups of coffee and a biscuit for herself and her four friends with one of the remaining fivers, and they sat in a corner happily sharing their news and plans for the following week. It was money well spent, and an hour later, Elsie walked home to get the roast lunch prepared, looking forward to their son Tom’s monthly visit with his wife Steph and their two boys.

As she crossed the main road, she saw a young lad sitting on the pavement outside a closed charity shop, he was playing the guitar, and at the moment the only audience seemed to be his dog leaning up against his shoulder. Elsie paused in her mental preparation of the roast pork with crackling, roast potatoes, carrots, cauliflower cheese and peas, followed by apple pie and custard. The boy’s face was pinched, and he shivered in the cold breeze that had picked up in the last couple of hours. His music was actually not half bad, and he had a nice voice, which drew her closer to hear more clearly. He smiled in recognition of her attention and the dog stood up and wagged its tail.

Elsie looked into the open guitar case and saw a few coppers were strategically scattered to entice further contributions. She had appreciated her own little bit of luck, and a few shillings wouldn’t be missed. She took her purse out of her handbag, opened it and realised she only had some pennies. Shaking her head she pulled out one of the remaining two five pound notes and tucked it beneath some of the coppers to stop it flying away. She looked up into the boy’s face when he suddenly stopped singing and saw tears running down his face into his dirty scarf.

MJ: I’ve read this story and it is one of my favourites!

Author bio.

Sally Cronin is the author of fourteen non-fiction and fiction books published over the last twenty years. After a nomadic life living and working around the world, she and her husband now live on the Wexford coast in Ireland. As an indie author she began blogging seven years ago as a way to promote her own books and then created The Cafe and Bookstore to promote other authors and their work. Smorgasbord Blog Magazine is also home to health, food, music, life stories, poetry and humour.

Latest book: Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

Sally’s links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08QCQ4VVV

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

Always so lovely to feature Sally who is such a wonderful supporter of the indie community and a kind friend.

I’m looking forward to reviewing Sally’s new book soon. In the meantime, do pop over to read my 5 star review of Life’s Rich Tapestry:

https://mjmallon.com/2020/08/08/book-review-lifes-rich-tapestry-by-sally-cronin/

Much love, happy reading, and writing!

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Pre-order Legally Blind Luck by James J Cudney #pre-order #mysteries #book

I have some news from Jay – his latest Braxton Campus Mystery is now on pre-sale at Amazon!

Name: Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mystery #7)
Release Date: April 15, 2021
Pre-Sale: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R347N84/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Legally+Blind+Luck+by+James+J.+Cudney&qid=1608556088&s=digital-text&sr=1-1


Description:
Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Horrific murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.


Someone discovered Queen Tessa’s cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Too bad it changed hands during an anonymous auction and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim. It appears he might be next on the avenger’s list too.


Will Kellan protect Tessa’s true heir and prevent a killer’s nefarious plan from ending the curse? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery via legal means or purely through blind luck.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56141190-legally-blind-luck

Author Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4
Previous books in series:

·       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)

Books I’ve read, reviewed and can recommend from Jay:

All the best to Jay on his new release! He is a busy bee…

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2021! #Paperback #offers #charity #just giving #anthology #YA #fantasy #poetry

pexels-photo-5716784.jpeg
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Well what a year 2020 has been! One in which, I have experienced the whole spectrum of emotions from tearfulness, to joy and relief.

It has been a year in which I haven’t felt like writing long fiction and instead contributed short stories in anthologies and created my first anthology/compilation with some wonderful author friends and creatives: This Is Lockdown which came out in kindle in July 2020.

Media Kit: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/09/media-kit-this-is-lockdown-covid19-corononavirus-compilation-anthology-shortstories-flashfiction-poetry-isolation-writers/

Kindle Universal link: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Paperback Universal link:

mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

This is Lockdown is now available to buy in paperback and for a short time only I have reduced the price to £4.99 – a steal! I’ve reduced it to this low price in anticipation of reviews of the shorter paperback version which is slightly different from the kindle – there are no personal diary entries – these are only available on the kindle.

Thank you so much to Ritu for the first review of the paperback! And what a glowing review it is!

Ritu 5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2020 Verified Purchase

This Is Lockdown is a compilation unlike any other, documenting the thoughts and feelings of the main author, M J Mallon, and many other contributors, with regards to the Pandemic Lockdown of 2020, that affected the whole world.


Part one features some fiction pieces written by MJ Mallon, inspired by the pandemic.

Part two is a collection of thoughts and poetry from writing contributors around the world, detailing the effects of lockdown on their personal lives, how it’s affected their work, creativity, and family.

Definitely one to read and savour. A true document to remember this crazy time.

I have also reduced the paperback price of my YA Fantasy The Curse of Time, to £5.99. So do grab a bargain before the price goes up!

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

And the paperback of Mr. Sagittarius is now £6.99/$9.29.

Buying Link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Media Kit with reviews: https://mjmallon.com/category/media-kit-mr-sagittarius/

Recently, I was saddened to learn via a dear friend of mine of a brave young woman, Emily Parsons, who is raising money for a rare spinal tumour that affects youngsters. Sadly, her cancer is at the moment incurable. I have decided to support her JustGiving Page and donate. She has currently exceeded her original target –

105%£52,755raised of £50,000 target by 1778 supporters

More about that here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/12/31/charity-rare-spinal-cord-tumour-justgiving-charity-spinalcord-tumour/

Each year at this time, I will donate to a chosen charity on New Year’s Eve. Also, I will take part in the Charity Children In Read which I participated in this year donating a copy of my YA Fantasy, The Curse of Time. In the auction, I bid for a copy of Christina Gabbittas’s No More Knives which I won!

My review here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/11/30/book-review-no-more-knives-by-christina-gabbitas-childreninneed-childreninread-education-children-knife-crime-drugs/

We are all hoping that 2021 will be a better year and that the vaccine will save many lives and allow us to return to a happier more carefree life.

Sending you love and light. Wishing you happiness, health and precious time to do what you love. x

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#TANKA TUESDAY WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 209, LAST CHALLENGE OF 2020 #HappyNewYear #Nonet #Hope

2021 – A Nonet to Hope

Let’s light a candle this New Years Eve

Close our eyes and imagine love

Sparkling kisses around us

As we dream, imagine

Making kind wishes

As our hearts dance

Candles shine

Bringing

Hope

Wishing you all a happy, covid free New Year.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me by reading, reviewing and encouraging me in this creative journey. x

Take care, keep safe, much love.

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Charity: Rare Spinal Cord Tumour #JustGiving #Charity #SpinalCord #Tumour

On the eve of this New Year I am donating to Emily Parson’s Just Giving Page, please share widely and donate. This is such a sad story but one that speaks volumes of Emily’s courage and kindness.

Emily’s plight was brought to my attention by an old friend of mine and by my youngest daughter who has also heard about Emily. I’m donating to Emily Parsons just giving page. Please share this and consider donating to her JustGiving page too, the details of which are below. What a beautiful, kind-hearted person. Her family must be so proud. She is raising money to fund research into her incurable spinal cord tumour to help other young people like herself. She is only 22, bless her. Sending love and hugs to her and her family. x

Emily’s Story in her own words

Just after my 22nd birthday, I was diagnosed with a rare, highly aggressive, malignant and currently incurable, spinal cord tumour (Diffuse Midline Glioma, H3 K27M Mutation). Within just 5 weeks following diagnosis, I was given the prognosis that I have limited time to live.

There are less than 100 people diagnosed with this type of tumour in the UK each year, all of them will be between the ages of 3 to 25 years old and sadly all of them will die. The tumour grows rapidly within the Central Nervous System and has a devastating impact either on the spinal cord or the brain.


There have been no advances in treatment for this type of tumour for over 40 years. This needs to change so that other people and their loved ones face a more positive future and my real hope is that a cure can be found one day. In view of the rarity of the disease, there is limited information available which myself and my family have found difficult.

With the help of those around me, I have decided to set up this page to raise money to support a research project currently taking place within the Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. This innovative research project has been jointly funded by CRUK, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Brain Research UK. The research is specifically studying tumours in the Central Nervous System in children and young adults with this rare mutation to identify targeted treatment options for the future. This particular research project is close to my heart because of its relevance to my specific type of tumour, it’s based at Addenbrookes where I have received treatment, and also with my love of children and my future aspirations to have been a primary school teacher it feels like a perfect fit.


In addition, I would like to share with you that whilst I knew there was something wrong, it took multiple GP appointments across several months before I was finally referred to a specialist. I know that for my cancer an early diagnosis would have been highly unlikely to make a difference to my prognosis, but for other cancers it could. We all know our own bodies, so no matter what your age, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t delay seeking professional advice, and don’t give up until someone listens to you.


I would really appreciate it if you could show your support by donating to and sharing
this page.
Thank you,
Emily x

Emily’s Crowdfunding Page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/emily-parsons

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Merry Christmas!!! Reviews, News, This Year and Happy Holidays…

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here’s hoping for a brighter, covid free year. And what a year it has been for so many. Personally, I have had many worries about my elderly parents and my MIL who I haven’t seen for months…

My daughter Natasha and I had an interesting philosophical discussion this morning about whether 2020 is a wasted year? And whether we should all refuse to age this year. Her birthday is on Christmas day and she is turning 25 and would much rather remain 24. Of course, that idea does have its appeal! I’m all for staying young but in many ways, 2020 is not a wasted year as it has taught us many invaluable lessons.

A tragic lesson, sadly. One that has made us all reevaluate our lives and to consider what really matters… Family, friends, loved ones, walks in nature, the simple moments that make us smile, these are the aspects of life that we must treasure.

It has been a year in which the world has suffered.

But the human race is resilient. We do what we can to cheer our spirits up…

During this time, I have relied heavily on my writing community to keep me occupied, and distracted. So, with that in mind, I created my first anthology/compilation entitled This Is Lockdown.

It originally came out in a kindle version with my personal diaries – 20th July 2020.

I’ve just finished creating the paperback of This Is Lockdown... which is available to buy and review on Amazon. So, if you can, please do consider reading and leaving a review of the paperback which includes contributions from 28 wonderful international authors, and creatives.

PLEASE NOTE – The paperback does not include my personal COVID diaries originally published on the kindle. These are currently only available to read on the kindle version of This Is Lockdown.

Blurb:

An anthology and compilation of short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK.

“A Piece of Living History!”

This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’ There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’

This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day. Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer.

In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The list of contributors, bloggers and authors are:

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem  (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and two contributors Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val who raised £40,000 for the NHS with their mask making enterprise  which became a new charity: Sew Positive.

More about the mental health charity Sew Positive here: https://www.birketts.co.uk/insights/latest-news/birketts-supports-sewing-charity-tailored-to-boost/

Before I go, in case you might have missed these recent book reviews.

I received this lovely review for my poetry, prose and photography book Mr. Sagittarius from fellow fantasy author Diana Peach:

I didn’t know what to expect when I opened this book, and must have been in just the right mood, because it was charming and poignant and very sweet. The book offers a glimpse of three elderly siblings -William, Harold, and Annette – one already passed on at the books opening. The intermittent visits with these characters, a paragraph or two here and there, form the thread that holds the book’s narrative together. The memories and grief are touching, and it isn’t long before Annette is on her own.

Between the story’s visits with the siblings are loosely related sections of prose and syllabic poetry. Some pieces touch on the seasons. Others are fantastical tales about bubble monsters and snow snakes. Most of them are about nature and flowers which are tied to the garden bench where the siblings enjoyed their days. I especially enjoyed a chain cinquain titled That Twinkle in her Eye is Magic. This book is less than an hour’s read, and I recommend it to readers who enjoy a fanciful and touching foray into poetry and short prose selections.

Here are four of the recent reviews I’ve written for books that I’ve read under my new review moniker – MJ Reviews… for Natalie Ducey, Ruchira Khanna, Didi Oviatt and Jacquie Biggar. All of which are recommended reading and in a range of genres.

So, stay safe and well. Happy reading and writing! And…

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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M J’s Book Reviews: Jacquie Biggar’s Silver Bells #romance #novella #review


Synopsis:

He doesn’t believe in love, so why can’t he forget her?

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?

A family of her own. 

My review:

A quick and enjoyable novella to read at Christmas time. It’s my introduction to Jacquie Biggar being the first I’ve read of her collection. I’m sure I will read more. A nice warm-hearted tale with mention of a single mother’s worries about her young daughter’s diabetes giving the tale a deeper aspect to it. The romance between writer Joel and artist Christy is swift – perhaps a little quick for my taste – but this may just be the short format of a novella pushing the story to a quicker resolution. Lots of enticing descriptions and delectably kissable moments to make up for any slight shortcomings.

A lovely read which I can recommend.


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you read Silver Bells?

View all my reviews

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Book Review The Heart’s Lullaby by Natalie Ducey #poetry #collection #love #lost #family

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

My review

A lovely collection of poetry principally about love, love lost and the heartbreak of being no longer loved. There is also a wonderful poem about time, plus poems about particular topics related to the puzzles that Natalie Ducey also creates. “Still Me,” is a touching poem about Alzheimer’s. And there are poems about those who serve in the military.

It is a personal, and touching poetry collection about the ups and downs and fragility of life and love that you can easily return to again, perhaps gaining more on each visit.

My rating: 5 stars

I enjoyed all the collection but my personal favourites are:

Into the Light (about those suffering from PTSD in the military, police, paramedics, firefighters and first responders.)

Still Me

A Father’s Love

A Mother’s Love

To My Sister

Mighty Heart

and The Heart’s Lullaby.

Natalie’s blog: https://natalieducey.com

Have you read The Heart’s Lullaby? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the collection.

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally for this wonderful feature with brilliant fellow authors, and friends –  Mr. Sagittarius is smiling!

Welcome to the Christmas Book Fair where I will be featuring all the authors currently on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore. The first author today is Linda Bradley with the romantic first book…

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Book Review Bowled, but Not Out by Ruchira Khanna

Amazon Synopsis:

What’s a girl to do when she wants to hit boundaries but life throws her beamers?

Saru expected her life to turn for the better when she found love and married. Instead, she kept getting deliberate yorkers from her mother-in-law. She hit a sixer when a baby arrived, but things got worse soon after. Her appeal to the umpire fell on deaf ears. Finally, she walked out of the stadium, and let go of the first love of her life.

Then she flew off to New York for her Masters.

Will Saru get a second chance at love and marriage and get to hit a century? Will her daughter ever form a relationship with her biological father?

Bowled, but Not Out is an entertaining family drama full of heart and thoughtful life lessons and will resonate with anyone fond of cricket. 

My review:

An entertaining read pertinent to women in Indian culture and also relevant to those of us who find ourselves at the mercy of the interfering mother-in-law and frustrated by the “mummies boy.”

The strength of the story lies in the characters and familial relationships which are well detailed, with Saru, struggling at first with the overbearing nature of her mother-in-law and her hubby’s weakness and inability to take her side. Saru is all the more admirable as she turns the situation around for herself and her daughter Simrn with the help of her family.

A lovely tale which will appeal to those who like cultural, family, and romance stories.

There are many references to cricket showing Saru’s need to raise her game to overcome her difficult circumstances. I am not a cricket fan, those who are may take away more from the story if they are.

Some of the phraseology was a little unusual which took me out of the narrative a few times but other than that I enjoyed the tale, finding it to be amusing, and charming.

The ending was well played out!

Many thanks to Ruchira Khanna for sending me a copy.

My rating: 4 stars. A recommended, enjoyable read. I particularly enjoyed the cultural and family references.

Have you read Bowled But Not Out? Please do comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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Search for Maylee by Didi Oviatt: #Review #5stars #crime #suspense #thriller #fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her.

It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead, and travels across the country to find more clues about Maylee’s disappearance.

But will she be able to pry Maylee’s case back open, and what will she uncover in the process of searching for Maylee?

It’s a cold, dark world we live in, and Autumn is about to find out just how cruel it can be. But strength and determination are on her side, and she will do whatever it takes to deliver justice.

My review

This is an impressive debut novel. It’s strengths lie in great characterisation, fantastic detailing and descriptions which enhance the reader’s experience.

Search For Maylee has much to commend it: sadness, anger, grief, fear, anxiety, the list goes on and on.

I won’t lie to you, it’s pretty grim and gut wrenchingly sad in places, and parts of it made me want to cry with the sheer terror and torment suffered by the young women, as you would expect in such abductions.

Autumn sets out to find her niece and uncovers a group of predatory and evil men. She puts herself in dangerous situations and doesn’t give up. She is one strong-willed, determined lady and I loved her for that. I particularly loved the part where she went undercover. That alone sent chills down my spine.

No spoilers, but kudos to the author for adding a touch of lightness with the developing love story between Autumn and Chance to soften the edge off some of the trauma.

The ending was bitter sweet. Personally, I don’t think it would have been right to end the narrative any other way. I can’t say anymore for fear of spoiling the story for you.

A fantastic tale, well done Didi Oviatt. I am sure I will be reading more from this author. I listened to Search For Maylee on audio and loved the Author’s About The Author page which was wonderfully recounted, so personal, giving the listener an added bonus – Didi Oviatt explains her love of writing and how she is an “unexpected novelist.”

I related to that sentiment a lot.

Rating: 5 stars. Highly recommended for readers of crime, suspense, and thriller fiction.

Amazon US link:

Author’s blog: https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/

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This Is Lockdown Paperback Release!!! #Christmas #Book #Sale #covid19 #poetry #flashfiction #anthology

The paperback for This Is Lockdown is now available to buy on Amazon at the super duper introductory offer price of £6.99/$9.31!

What a bargain.

It is a shorter version (without the diaries,) with black and white photography to include Covid19 Flash Fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ poets and creatives.

Book Description – This Is Lockdown – Paperback verison

An anthology and compilation of short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK.

This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’ There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’

This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day.

Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The wonderful contributing authors and creatives are many in number!

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem  (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) andJane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS

Thank you so much to each one of them for being a part of this project.

Please do visit their websites and buy their books to discover the huge variety of writing and creative talent amongst them ranging from talented short story and poetry writers to horror, fantasy, supernatural thriller, romance and memoir writing. And more!!! Plus the wonderful fundraising Community Masks 4 NHS initiative from Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val which has become Sew Positive.

There truly is something for everyone amongst this international group of writers and creatives who are based in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Italy, America and Zimbabwe.

This is a tough time for writers as it is for everyone. The arts and creative industry is under threat as are businesses worldwide.

PLEASE NOTE – The paperback does not include my personal COVID diaries originally published on the kindle. These are available to read on the kindle version of This Is Lockdown.

Buying Links Paperback:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Lockdown-COVID19-isolation-creatives/dp/1999822455/

The Christmas Countdown sale continues for This Is Lockdown in kindle and Mr. Sagittarius in kindle and paperback. Price is going up soon so check Amazon for the latest price!!!

Kindle Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB/

Kindle Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB/

Same with Mr. Sagittarius, check Amazon for latest sale price!!!

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Sagittarius-Poetry-Prose-Mallon-ebook/dp/B084DQV3HW/

And the paperback is currently reduced to £6.99/$9.29

Universal link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Also check out the low price offer on my YA fantasy The Curse of Time too, which is being kept on special low price until the release of the second in the series.

The Curse of Time is available in kindle and in paperback:

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

So, now that the paperback of This Is Lockdown is done what’s next?

Lots of projects for 2021. But, first will be the edits of my YA Fantasy The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer which I have neglected – there is still much to do!

All the best for a happy and restful festive break.

Much love,

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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December Book Reviews, Part I | Myths of the Mirror

Thank you so much to Diana for featuring my poetry, prose and photography book Mr. Sagittarius amongst so many wonderful book reviews.

Makes me feel very happy!

From Diana: My 60-book Autumn Reading Challenge speeds toward the finish line. I’ve read and reviewed 54 books!!

Ten days to read 6 more. Piece of Cake!

December’s Part I book reviews include my 4 and 5 star reads of fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal fiction, thrillers, a memoir written by a dog, poetry, and a children’s book! I hope you enjoy the browse.

There are such a great variety from authors Cathleen Townsend, Terry Tyler, Luanne G. Smith, Mara Rutherford, Toni Pike, Sally Cronin, Teagan Geneviene, Celestine Nudanu, Cynthia Reyes and yours truly!

To see all the fantastic book reviews click on the link:

https://mythsofthemirror.com/2020/12/11/december-book-reviews-part-i/

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This Is Lockdown: Paperback Cover Teaser and Christmas Sale !!!

I’m particularly pleased to announce that I will be having a cover reveal for This Is Lockdown soon in paperback format.

It is a shorter version (without the diaries,) with black and white photography to include Covid19 Flash Fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ poets and creatives.

Book Description – This Is Lockdown – Paperback verison

An anthology and compilation of short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK.

This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’ There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’

This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day.

Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The wonderful contributing authors and creatives are many in number!

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem  (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) andJane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS

Thank you so much to each one of them for being a part of this project.

Please do visit their websites and buy their books to discover the huge variety of writing and creative talent amongst them ranging from talented short story and poetry writers to horror, fantasy, supernatural thriller, romance and memoir writing. And more!!! Plus the wonderful fundraising Community Masks 4 NHS initiative from Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val which has become Sew Positive.

There truly is something for everyone amongst this international group of writers and creatives who are based in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Italy, America and Zimbabwe.

This is a tough time for writers as it is for everyone. The arts and creative industry is under threat as are businesses worldwide.

PLEASE NOTE – The paperback does not include my personal COVID diaries originally published on the kindle. These are available to read on the kindle version of This Is Lockdown.

The kindle version of This Is Lockdown will be on a Christmas countdown deal from 13th December. So, grab your copy quickly to get the best bargain. It will be sold at a reduced price until 20th December when it will revert to its usual selling price.

The kindle of This Is Lockdown has received excellent reviews as has my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius.


This Is Lockdown Kindle Purchase links – Amazon.co.uk – offer in progress:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB/


Mr. Sagittarius Kindle purchase link – Amazon UK:


Mr. Sagittarius Kindle purchase link- Amazon.com – offer available from 8.AM PST:

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Sagittarius-Poetry-Prose-Mallon-ebook/dp/B084DQV3HW/


Also there is a Paperback Deal on offer for Mr. Sagittarius, the price dropped to £6.99 from £9.00 until 20th December !!!



https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Sagittarius-Poetry-Prose-Mallon/dp/1999822447/

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New Book Release – #Shortstories – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet by Sally Cronin

Sally has a new book out and it’s a tempting one!

Pop over to her blog to find out more and to order a copy: https://wp.me/p3ZnNr-xeP

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Announcing the 2021 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest | Writing to be Read

A competition and chance to be featured in Wordcrafter Paranormal Anthology compiled and edited by Kaye Lynn Booth

Source: Announcing the 2021 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest | Writing to be Read

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#TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 205, #POET’SCHOICE #Tanka #Poem #Excerpt #YA #Fantasy

I’m deep in complicated edits for the second in my YA fantasy series – The Curse of Time #2 Golden Healer, and they are driving me crazy! As it’s Poet’s Choice I’m going to share the opening poem and a short extract, (which still needs a final edit so please bear that in mind.)

The story opens with two dear old friends, Leanne the owner of the magical crystal cottage and Eruterac, the creature, who is the caretaker of the cottage. The below link is to Carolina Russo’s wonderful blog.

Carolina has created two amazing art portraits of my characters which you can see below – Esme the mirror girl and Eruterac the creature at: https://yesterdayafter.com/

© Carolina Russo

The creature is getting impatient! So off we go…

The Creature and Leanne Share Some Tea

Worms, caviar too,

Two unlikely friends share tea,

And Chit – ter – Chat – ter,

That Chiastolite, oh my!

And Amelina’s bloodstone.

Come with me…

Through a gated door leading to a herb and rose garden where two strange companions Leanne, and Eruterac the creature share a rare moment together.

Today, they marvelled at the beauty and fragility of the rose petals which created a dazzling display of white, yellow, pink, and darkest crimson blooms. The delightful fragrance of roses and herbs filled the air, bursting with sweetness. In the backdrop, a quaint old cottage with shuttered windows rested as if waiting for a passing stranger to dare to cross its threshold. Within, skylights alighted on all manner of crystals as they twinkled, longing for a release from their embedded position on the walls. The ground around the cottage stirred, breaking and settling as if the cottage might be drawn back into its hiding place: the earth.

In the surrounding courtyard, there were cages and feeders for birds which hung from the trees. White doves cooed and preened themselves in bird baths.  

The creature Eruterac paid no attention to the antics of these exquisite birds, instead he fidgeted as he tried to rearrange his tall skeletal frame into Leanne’s dainty, wrought iron chairs.

Leanne sat opposite him. Except for the tulle layers of her silken gown, her tiny frame appeared lost in the chair. She tilted her head with an air of grandeur as if she was about to join a garden party frequented by the finest royalty, or perhaps the Gods themselves.

Eruterac had no such attire, except for his knitted rasta cap with sun-cured palm leaves which covered his matted dreadlocks.  

His needs were a thing of the past, for now his concerns were reduced to the worms that crawled across his bony frame. He held one such wrigging creature inches from the gap where his mouth used to be and edged forward dangling it in front of Leanne’s nose.

“Dinner,” he joked as he bobbed his skeletal head.

Leanne shuddered. “No worms, thanks, dearest creature. Caviar for me!” She picked up her finest china teapot and poured the liquid into a cup. It flowed slowly, twinkling with a myriad of brilliant colours. When it filled the cup, it turned the colour Leanne expected. She’d thought of green tea and magical green tea it was.

Eruterac choked and spluttered on clods of earth as he laughed. “That’s foul. Green tea, how can you drink such muck?”

“Easy. I do so with a smile, unlike … poor you! I see worms continue to ooze gunk where your dear mouth used to be,” replied Leanne, reaching forward to pat Eruterac on his skeletal shoulder.

They rested for a moment, her gentle hand on his bones.

 “I’ll try not to drink such delicacies!” replied Eruterac, cracking his bones for a joke.

“Wise fellow. Forgive me for changing the subject but your new hat is very fetching! I’s so brown and earthy with that Chiastolite death crystal, completed by that black cross embellishing  the cap’s centre.”

“Indeed, it’s a dark beauty, like an honourable death,” he said, his skeletal arm reached up to touch the crystal on his hat.

“Take heart, dear Creature, forget about death, and being bound to this cottage. Let us rejoice in the simple pleasures of life which we take for granted…” Leanne pointed at their sublime surroundings.

Eruterac sighed. ”Yes, there are times when amidst such tranquillity and beauty that I forget everything.”

A white dove landed on Leanne’s slender shoulder, she turned and smiled. But the dove thought better of it and alighted on the Creature’s hat. It pecked away at the worms making the creature smile.

“Cheeky doves, always favouring Eruterac’s sunny hat.”

“They know who provides them with a constant dinner of worms. And who’s boss.”

“Huh!  A boss? You? That Chiastolite’s making you big-headed.  Oh, my days! The protectors, you, and my dearest doves are all that I and my dear cottage need… But, I mustn’t forget, I have news to impart – the midsummer fly is up to his tricks.”

“Where’s that stinking fly been to this time?” asked Eruterac, leaning forward, sending worms tumbling towards Leanne’s teacup. Her eyes grew wide as she placed a protective hand over the top but a few swift worms landed in the saucer. She swiped them away.

© M J Mallon

More to come, there is a mention of the bloodstone in the latter part of this opening chapter, find out more when the book is complete. It continues to be my most challenging writing project, so it may be a while. Be patient with me dear readers.

Any feedback would be greatly received.

While I am editing book two here is the link to the first book in the YA fantasy series The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone, the blurb and some review quotes.

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone

Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Do you like the opening chapter?

I’m thrilled to announce I am included amongst some wonderful poets in Colleen Chesebro’s poetry book store with my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius: https://colleenchesebro.com/poetry-books-for-sale/

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Book Review: Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon – This Is My Truth Now

Thank you so much to James Cudney for this lovely review of Mr. Sagittarius it really made my day!

Source: Book Review: Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon – This Is My Truth Now

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Author Interview with M J Mallon: 7 Questions about Book Publishing Process & Mindset » Huma Zuellah Ahmed

Need some insights about book publishing? Check out my latest author interview for some awesome tips.

Source: Author Interview with M J Mallon: 7 Questions about Book Publishing Process & Mindset » Huma Zuellah Ahmed

And the previous author interview link is: https://zuellah.com/author-interview-m-j-mallon-book-writing-mindset/

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Book Review – No More Knives by Christina Gabbitas #childreninneed #childreninread #education #children #knife #crime #drugs

Due to personal reasons, I decided to bid for No More Knives in the Children in Read auction for Children In Need.


In my parcel I discovered that the author Christina Gabbitas had kindly added a beautifully illustrated book: Share Some Secrets (illustrated by Ric Lumb) complete with audio written and narrated by the author, plus a poem about the importance of our environment ‘save us from plastic.’ Both of these books and poem are about subjects which matter greatly.

So why did I bid for No More Knives?

If you’ve ever had the misfortune to come into contact with gangs, (as my daughter and her boyfriend did,) you will realise how frightening and dangerous it can be. Luckily, they both survived to tell the tale and thankfully, no knives were involved, but I doubt the experience will ever be forgotten.

So, that is why this is so important to me.

Education is key to ensuring that youngsters understand the very real dangers of drugs and how bad friendship choices can lead to crime.

Blurb No More Knives

Friends, Siobhan, Ellie, Luke, Jamie and Mo, meet in the local park as usual to hang out. There is a new guy in town, Steve, wo offers them money to deliver packages to different areas.

The promises of close freindships and what they thought was easy money, don’t quite work out.

A story of choices and consequences.

Christina was approached to work with the Police & Crime Commissioners Office to help educate and work with children aged 10-16 on the topic of Knife Crime. Christina will be producing and online digital magazine that will be used as a resource for children, teachers and parents. The delivery of the project will be January 2020.

My review of No More Knives – Christina Gabbitas, illustrated by Evie Hurst.

This is a beautifully illustrated book on such an important subject. I love the cover art showing all the children linking arms and smiling.

The youngsters portrayed in the story are from different cultural, family and socio-economic backgrounds. From the first page, we learn that Jamie, Luke, Siobhan, Ellie and Mo rang in age from pre-teens to teenagers – ten to sixteen years old.

When the youngsters meet Steve, who’s involved in a drug gang, they are encouraged to think they can make ‘easy’ money.

The children soon realise that nothing is easy, friendly or safe about this at all.

I’d recommend this book to help educate young people about the dangers of crime, drug taking, and the very real threat of knives and violence, which sadly are becoming all too prevalent in our society.

The simple but effective illustrations in a comic graphic strip style will appeal to young people. These convey with ease how young people can end up in dangerous situations.

A fantastic book and a lovely project for Christina Gabbitas to be part of.

My recommendation: Highly recommended, particularly as an educational tool to use in schools.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/no-more-knives/christina-gabbitas/evie-hurst/9781916254299

https://www.christinagabbitas.com/no-more-knives/

Author Bio:

Christina Gabbitas is an award winning children’s author, poet and voice artist. A successful author and businesswoman, and unrecognisable from her younger self. At school she was a pupil who preferred to sit at the back of the classroom and blend in with the furniture, scared of people and anything that moved. She was a quiet, shy character who nearly lost her first job, as she found it difficult to converse with people. Over a period of time she had to teach herself not to be so self-conscious and gradually she flourished with an abundance of energy, ideas and passion to achieve. Christina not only writes but stages storytellling sessions, engaging with primary age children, encouraging imagination through writing. Christina equally enjoys inspiring older children to believe in themselves, as she talks eloquently about her journey from wallflower to author, poet, voice artist and director.   

Christina has made her dreams become a reality and feels privileged to be able to pass on her experience to others. 

Social media links:

https://www.christinagabbitas.com

https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaGabbitasAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/christinagabbitas

https://www.poemsandpicturespublishing.org/

Please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

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2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 204, #THEMEPROMPT #Crapsey #Cinquain

This month’s theme is a wonderful evocative haiku written by Sue Vincent:

clouds cover the moon,

beyond dawn’s pale horizon

sun rises unseen

©2020 Sue Vincent

pexels-photo-2479882.jpeg
Photo by Wellington Cunha on Pexels.com

I’m going to attempt to write a crapsey cinquain – never done one of these before, so I used Colleen’s handy poetry cheat guide: https://wordcraftpoetry.com/tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-cheat-sheet/

The Crapsey cinquain is a five-line, non-rhyming poem featuring a syllable structure of 2/4/6/8/2. Choose words that create drama which builds into the fourth line. Remember, the turn occurs on line five, the most important line. This is where you change your focus away from the drama in some interesting way. Surprise your readers!

The World in Stardust

The moon

Caressed by hands

Fairy stardust twinkling

Kind eyes flutter open to see

The world!

© M J Mallon

I enjoyed writing this poem.

All of my books under my Kyrosmagica Publishing imprint include poetry, do check them out. I’d love it if you’d read one of my works:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Happy Sunday all,

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Book Review – Deceived by Heena Rathore Pardesi #Psychological #Thriller #Book #Review

Goodreads Synopsis

How well do you know your loved ones?

A girl struggling to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.
A journalist chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.
A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughtered her parents.
And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.

After 9 years, a young writer is still coping with the brutal murders of her mother and five-year-old brother, as she moves into a house of horrors, to start a new life with her lover. Will friends and family be able to redeem Ally out of the impending doom in time? Will her infallible love become the key to the destruction of her already fragile world? Will madness prevail over love; true love over revenge?

Deceived is a gripping psychological thriller that mazes through the deepest, darkest emotions of human mind through the story of a vulnerable girl who treads in the mist of deception bred from a long unforgiven betrayal.

My review

Deceived by Heena Rathore P.

My rating: 4 .5 of 5 stars


Disclaimer – I received a free ebook copy of Deceived. My review of this book has in no way been influenced by this kind offer.


An excellent debut by Heena Rathore Pardesi. Just what you would expect from a book blogger who loves to read and studies the craft of writing extensively.

I have to admit that there were times especially towards the end of the book where I went, ugh, that is so horrible, Heena! So, be prepared for that. Heena is a huge fan of horror and this comes across in her writing. She is not afraid to shock the reader.

In Deceived we read of Elizabeth’s story, a sad tale of sexual abuse perpetrated by her stepfather that led her already fragile, disturbed mind towards a need to commit violent acts herself.

Ally ‘s mum and young brother were murdered making her a vulnerable character longing for stability and love. She has suffered so much and I longed for her to be happier and free from anxiety.

Both Elizabeth and Ally are damaged people. There is a sense that anything can and will happen.

I liked the creepy journal entries which add an insight into a murder’s crazy psyche and these are interspersed with Ally (Allison Stone’s) and Elizabeth Lawson’s story.

There are obvious parallels between Ally and Elizabeth. They are both looking for love. Ally hopes to find happiness with her boyfriend Danny. Elizabeth imagines the love she thinks she deserves. Will either of them find happiness, or will there be more tragedy?

Right from the start it is clear that Ally’s best friend Sam doesn’t trust Danny. I would have liked Sam to be more determined and vocal about Ally escaping from Danny’s clutches. Especially, when it becomes obvious that Allie’s mental health is slipping due to weird discoveries in Danny’s creepy house and the ‘voodoo’ house next door. Also, it would have served as a strong contrast to the ending of the book. But, no spoilers.

Ally’s journalist cousin Steve doesn’t come across as a very trustworthy character at the beginning of the book. And yet Steve doesn’t trust Donny, (who is helping him in his murder investigations,) and is obsessional about Allie. But are Steve’s instincts right? Is Donny strange too?

Ally’s dog Max is such a sweetheart, always wanting to be beside Ally to protect her from harm. But with a killer on the prowl even Max is in danger.

And Elizabeth, what a tale that is!

There are numerous clues throughout the book to keep the reader engaged and turning the pages.

Heena Rathmore uses an unusual technique in some dialogues whilst speaking on the phone – only showing one person’s speech, which I found somewhat unusual until I got used to this style. Perhaps the author did this to maintain the pace of the story, and add an air of mystery.

This novel certainly brings a fair few questions… very cleverly done.

My recommendation:
Read this! An engaging psychological page turner. The ending will stay with me for a long time… Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

About Heena R. Pardeshi

Heena Rathore Pardeshi is a published fiction author, manuscript critic and the Editor-In-Chief at a local publishing house. She is also a fiction writing coach and conducts regular webinars, workshops and lectures on Creative Writing and Fiction Writing.

She has a Bachelor Degree in English Literature from University of Pune. She has also studied 3D Animation Film Making from Reliance Big Animation, Modern Masterpieces of World Literature from Harvard University and Introduction To Psychology from Yale University.

She has seven years of extensive knowledge in blogging and content creation and continues to create content for her YouTube Channel. She is also an animal activist and participates in regular Neuter-And-Release and animal foster activities in her city. She loves music and is currently learning Piano from a tutor of Trinity College of Music, London. She is a book aficionado and reads more than a hundred books every year. She loves travelling, but prefers a lifestyle that suits her introvert nature. She lives in Pune with her husband and 6 cats in a house full of love, chuckles and books.

Social media links:

Website: https://crazycatwriter.com

Blog: https://crazycatwriter.com/blog/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15799129.Heena_Rathore_P_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crazycatwriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/crazycatwriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crazycatwriter/


Book Links:

Amazon (India): https://www.amazon.in/Deceived-Heena-Rathore-P/dp/8193344901/

Amazon (.com): https://www.amazon.com/Deceived-Well-Really-Know-Loved-ebook/dp/B07XKVRKS5/

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Author Interview with M J Mallon: 5 questions about Book Writing Process & Mindset » Huma Zuellah Ahmed

Thank you to Huma for this author interview.

Pop over to her blog to discover my answers to these five engaging questions:

#1 Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

#2 Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

#3 What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

#4 Does writing energize or exhaust you?

#5 What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Source: Author Interview with M J Mallon: 5 questions about Book Writing Process & Mindset » Huma Zuellah Ahmed

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WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 203 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT

How could I not take part with such an evocative image chosen by Diana?

This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Diana Peach from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

ETHEREE: The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. An Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Double Etheree

Stare

Downwards

Beyond life

A darkness grows

To infinity

Seeping into water

My long blonde hair stays behind

Exposing my poor nakedness

A child lost in a time with no kindness

Cold skin, white against teeming cruel shadows

Black heart whispering melancholy words

Stay still, forever no one will care

Who will remember you strange child?

Mother, father, sister, none.

Death is your only friend

Come! In the water

Reflect and be

Still. Death’s friend

Holding

Hands

Ooh, that was creepy!

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Children in Read Auction – No More Knives by Christina Gabbitas #childreninread #childreninneed #children #education #nomoreknives

For the first time, I participated in The Children in Read auction in aid of Children in Need this year. I donated a copy of my YA fantasy The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone to the highest bidder.

I decided to bid for No More Knives ( illustrated by Evie Hurst.) in the Children in Read auction for Children In Need. I chose this particular book for personal reasons: my daughter’s boyfriend was assaulted (while she was with him,) and mugged by a gang of youths. He was repeatedly kicked and ended up in hospital – thankfully there were no knives involved in this unprovoked attack but if there were… I hate to think what might have happened. Sadly, the experience has left its mark on them both.

Educational books such as No More Knives are crucially important. They might help prevent youngsters from getting involved in gang culture, and drugs. I hope so.

In my parcel, I discovered that the author Christina Gabbitas had kindly added a beautifully illustrated book (illustrated by Ric Lumb) complete with audio, written and narrated by Christina, entitled: Share Some Secrets, plus a poem about the importance of ‘Save us from plastic.’

Both of these books and poem are about subjects which matter greatly. I look forward to reading and reviewing. #nomoreknives #childreninneed2020 #childreninneed #childreninreadauction #childreninread

https://www.instagram.com/p/CH4oowjAFTN/?igshid=gb81wh3249v6

Some detail regarding my YA series:

The Curse of Time is to be a series. I’m currently working on the second book, so do consider supporting an independent author by buying a copy of book one. I’m deep in edits and could do with some encouragement!

And some review quotes and images of The Curse of Time #YA #Fantasy.

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime