Launch of Princelings Revolution by Jemima Pett #Book #Launch Fantasy #YA #Childrens

I’m pleased to welcome Jemima Pett to my blog today to celebrate the launch of Princelings Revolution.

Princelings Revolution is out today! The day has finally come for the last in Jemima Pett’s Princelings of the East series. She started writing it in the dim dark days of 2008, thanks to inspiration from some guinea pig friends. Today’s post has an extract and a Giveaway, so there’s a lot of reading! In 2008 it was just a trilogy. But the characters wouldn’t accept their fate and demanded more. And so the saga of the Realms wound its way from south to north, and even into Germany before returning to the east.
  1. POTE montage for video filesThe Princelings of the East
  2. The Princelings and the Pirates
  3. The Princelings and the Lost City
  4. The Traveler in Black and White
  5. The Talent Seekers
  6. Bravo Victor
  7. Willoughby the Narrator
  8. The Princelings of the North
  9. Chronicles of Marsh
  10. …….

Princelings Revolution

Jasmine’s birthday party ends in disaster. George seems to have lost a phial of highly dangerous liquid. And King Fred is battling politics, relatives and self-serving dignitaries in his aim to give the people a better way of living. But can Fred keep the promise he made to an engaging chap from another time when he was just a princeling? Or will all their hopes fail?

Jemima’s favourite quotes from the book

  • “Hector, in charge? Couldn’t lead a file of caterpillars, that one!”
  • The way Jasmine said it made Fred raise an eyebrow. It was exactly how Kira said it when she wanted to say something privately.
  • “The usual suspects are people we know. I reckon these are people we don’t know. And who don’t know us.”
  • “Oh.” George considered all the other uses he had found for it. This was not a good one. “It’s called duct tape,” he said.

About the series

Ten books take us from 2009 through to 2021, with a prequel at Book 4, explained from Lord Mariusz’s point of view. The feudal structure of the Realms, the changes wrought by new technology, largely promoted by Princeling George, Fred’s brother. The demise of paranormal creatures, thanks to George’s use of garlic in the fuel cells; the rise of an anti-monarchist group called the Causists, and the resilience of characters great and small, trying to keep their pleasant and friendly society together in the face of so-called freedom fighters. One simple book at a time creates a world of change that will be somewhat familiar to every reader on today’s uncertain planet. Suitable for good readers 8 years and up, although some parental guidance may occasionally be needed. Generally listed as age 10 and up. The first three books in the series are also available as Audiobooks

About the author

author Jemima Pett
Jemima at Bloggers Bash 2018
Jemima Pett started writing stories when she was eight. By ten she was designing fantasy islands, complete with maps and railways timetables. There was no call for fantasy island designers then, so she took the science route through university and went into a business career, then retrained for environmental technology. Once in a policy research organisation she started writing again, reports, papers and briefings. She didn’t believe she could write fiction until her guinea pigs came along, and inspired her to write The Princelings of the East. Now she enjoys writing short stories and science fiction novels, and has been published by Third Flatiron Press, among others. She lives in Hampshire with Roscoe, Neville and Biggles, who all appear in Princelings Revolution. Jemima is on Twitter…. Amazon…. Goodreads…. Facebook…. Website

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Enter the Giveaway!

Entries close at 11.59 23rd October, New York time. Open for entries in all countries and states where this type of raffle is legal. Some additional entry options may be added: please check back if this is important to you. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Extract

George overhears a plot

The harbour at Castle Wash included a large store full of bits and pieces for ships as well as sails and larger fittings. George was ferreting around in the aisle of wing nuts and clips when he heard some people talking together on the next aisle, just the other side of the box he was checking in. “So, full moon, on the spring tide, then.” “Exactly. Bring the goods ashore, hand them to the party waiting for you, they’ll have blue sashes on. Low tide before dawn, poof! Up goes the causeway.” “And all for the Cause, I like that.” “The causeway for the Cause, he-he.” the second one chuckled, but it was an ugly sound. George stayed still, his hand poised over the wing nut he wanted. It didn’t sound like these people wanted to be overheard. How could he see what they looked like without being seen himself? If they checked down this aisle when they exited theirs… There was a shelf behind him just above his head height, with bundles of netting on it. He grabbed hold of the sides of the shelving and dragged himself onto it, grateful that he’d had to use a top bunk from time to time, and the technique hadn’t escaped him. He scrambled over the netting and peered through a loose bit of it. The two conspirators reached the end of their aisle, and sure enough, checked out George’s one for anyone listening. Why didn’t they do that before? George wondered. Was it a chance meeting? Maybe they’d had to move out of another aisle, and he’d been too quiet, inspecting the contents before he rummaged in the boxes. He saw their faces. One was a regular seadog, unmarked coat, dark brown, but with a spotted scarf around his neck. The other seemed vaguely familiar. But was he someone he’d met in the past, or did he just resemble someone he knew? He listened to their conversation as they left, chatting about eateries in the area, and realised. The second looked just like Py, proprietor (with Archi) of the Cheeky Parrot, Castle Wash’s famous inn. But Py wouldn’t be involved in conspiracy. Would he? Princelings Revolution © J M Pett 2020 Badge for the Princelings Revolution launch tour

Wishing Jemima much success with her tour.

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Book Review: The Gypsy Bride by Katie Hutton

A moving and tragic cross-cultural love story for readers of Dilly Court and Kitty Neale.

Oxfordshire, 1917

Ellen is growing up in the Oxfordshire countryside. The granddaughter of a Methodist preacher and intending to marry Charlie, a boy from the local village, Ellen’s life is mapped out for her.

When Charlie is killed on the battlefields of the First World War, Ellen is left heart-broken and lost. But then she meets Sam Loveridge. Mysterious and unruly, Sam is from a local Gypsy community, and unlike anyone Ellen has ever met before. Before she knows what’s hit her, Ellen is swept off her feet and shown a world of passion, excitement – and true love.

But the conservative world that Ellen is from can’t possibly understand or approve of their relationship, and Ellen and Sam are torn apart. Is their love strong enough overcome their cultural distances, or will the hostility and prejudice they face destroy their chance at happiness?

The Gypsy Bride is a dramatic new saga for readers of A Village Scandal.

– – – – –

‘The history is meticulous and fascinating and the character of Sam Loveridge is absolutely captivating – I can still hear his voice perfectly, months after finishing.’ Julie Cohen, bestselling author of The Two Lives of Louis and Louise

‘A family saga that had me hooked from the first page.’ Lynn Johnson, author of The Girl from the Workhouse

A richly evoked, completely involving story of love, loss and redemption. So satisfying., Liz Woodcraft, author of The Girls from Greenway

Katie Hutton transports you to a forgotten England in this poignant story of star-crossed lovers. A triumph!, Catherine Kullman, author of The Gracechurch Trilogy

The history is meticulous and fascinating and the character of Sam Loveridge is absolutely captivating – I can still hear his voice perfectly, months after finishing., Julie Cohen, bestselling author of The Two Lives of Louis and Louise

A moving love story, brilliantly depicting the dynamic between settled communities and gypsies., Patricia O’Reilly, author of The First Rose of Tralee

A family saga that had me hooked from the first page., Lynn Johnson, author of The Girl from the Workhouse

The Gypsy Bride is an enthralling and well-researched saga, Lancashire Evening Post –This text refers to the paperback edition.

My review

I was thrilled to receive a paperback copy of The Gypsy Bride to read and review and share my opinion with you. It’s all very positive, I enjoyed reading this so much while drinking coffee in a local coffee shop!

From page one I was enthralled. This is a lovely historical tale of star-crossed lovers, which will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. There is a sense of sadness within the pages of this book, but this is counterbalanced with hope. Poor Ellen has to try come to terms with the death of her fiance.

Her rigid Methodist upbringing is so at odds with her lover’s carefree gypsy life. But is Sam as carefree as he appears to be? Or, is he unhappy, childless and married to the wrong person?

Circumstances and fate’s cruel hand force Ellen to make some painful and unfortunate decisions which have far-reaching and tragic consequences.

This is the first book that I’ve read from this author. I was impressed by the natural flow and effortless of Katie Hutton’s writing.

Wonderful storytelling. The gypsy way of life is well-researched making the story so authentic and vivid. Great characters, great story. A favourite.

5 stars. Highly recommended

About the Author

I am an Irish writer of mainly historical fiction, currently living in Tuscany, with my Italian husband, two sons and an old tabby cat. I also write under my own name, Katherine Mezzacappa, and as Kate Zarrelli. Core themes in my fiction are love and culture clash, and these come to the fore in my début historical novel, The Gypsy Bride. I’m currently revising the sequel, The Gypsy’s Daughter, for publication next year. In my spare time I volunteer with a secondhand book charity of which I’m a founder member. For my latest news please follow me on Twitter @KatieHuttonAut1.

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 196, #THEMEPROMPT

This month’s theme is:

The Night Sky

I thought I’d write a nonet to celebrate my hubby and I ‘s anniversary. We had a lovely day together yesterday. So this is for us! We’ve stood the test of time and been married for 33 years! Imagine… He isn’t one for social media, so I rarely post photos of him, so instead here is a lovely pic I found on pexels.

Happy Anniversary – Night Stars!

The night sky

Illuminates love

You and I

Heart glowing

Remembering vows, years past

Star gazing with you.

© M J Mallon

I love writing poetry and all of my published stories (except some of my short stories,) include poetry, including my YA Fantasy The Curse of Time.

To find out more please visit: Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Read the reviews and find out more about my books at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Release #Family Stevie Turner, Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Crimethriller Don Massenzio, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to the wonderful Sally Cronin for featuring This Is Lockdown (the latest review from James Cudney,) amongst so many wonderful authors, new reviews for C.S. Boyack, Don Massenzio plus a new release also from Stevie Turner!!

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – Release #Family Stevie Turner, Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Crimethriller Don Massenzio, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Flash Fiction Challenge : Snacks #flash #fiction #snacks #humour

The challenge this week from Charli Mills is to write about a snack. This piece of flash fiction is based on a true story. I made an apple pie… and this is more, or less what happened…

A Culinary Faux Pas

Vanessa cut the homemade apple pie into dainty, perfect slices.

Rich smiled as he popped one in his mouth. “Did you make the pastry yourself?”

“Yes.”

“It’s crumbly. And different. A magic ingredient?”

“Cinnamon and lemon rind.”

“Oh, from unwaxed lemons?”

Vanessa swallowed. “I, Oh dear!”

Rich picked up the melted candle on the table. “So, we’re eating cordon bleu Apple Pie Snacks flavoured with cinnamon and hot wax?”

“It seems so… Aren’t they delicious! ”

© M J Mallon

Oops, a bit of a culinary faux pas…

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Book Review: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales by Jack Eason

Book Review

A very long time ago, there once was a land called Goblindom hidden behind a magic barrier to protect its inhabitants from mankind. Man’s ancestors the humins lived there quietly alongside wyverns, griffins, trolls, witches and wizards as well as woods, mountain and plains goblins, ravens, eagles and many more creatures.
This anthology is a collection of thirty tales, which I have translated from goblin into English thanks to Globular Van der Graff, a friendly southern woods goblin who told them to me not long ago. They are not my tales, they are his, hence the title – Globular Van der Graff’s “Goblin Tales for Adults”.
For a long time, like most human children I disbelieved the stories read to me by my parents of goblins, witches and wizards, wyverns and griffins, believing them to be nothing more than tales designed to entertain, until that first fateful early morning visit several months ago, when Glob physically sought me out and deliberately entered my life.
I hope and pray that like me, you will all open your hearts and minds to the fact that goblins, especially of the noble and friendly southern woods kind, do still actually exist today. Through necessity for their own protection they have to hide from the modern world you and I live in. If you are fortunate as I undoubtedly am, some may even be living in an oak wood near you.
Lastly, may I just say on behalf of Glob whose anthology this is, not forgetting for one moment his good friend Bejuss, and his goblin brothers, Make, Mous, Neo, Byz, and myself, how much we thank you for taking the time to read this, the first ever written record of the once magical land of Goblindom

My review:

I really enjoyed Goblin Tales so much. This collection of wonderful short stories from Glob, whose anthology it is, gives you such a warm, cosy feeling. It’s very cheery, and diverse (from amusing stories to battle scenes.) So, there’s something for everyone. You’ll enjoy discovering more about Bejuss, the one eyed lisping raven with the twisted beak (who I loved,) Make, Mous, Neo, and simple-minded Byz.

Whilst reading there were many occasions when I laughed out loud, or smiled. I highly recommend Goblin Tales. The characters are all very carefully crafted and engaging, both the humins and the goblins as well as the raven, witches, and gremlins.

The dialogue is done so well. The author crafts the characters to speak in such a way that it makes them come alive.

Here’s a short example from Bejuss the raven: “Raark – it’th got ter be tall enuff fer me ter make a netht in itth highetht brancheth Glob,” Bejuss squawked loudly, completely forgetting for a moment just how close he was to his friend’s ear, almost deafening him in the process.

And the character names are fantastic –

Globular Van der Graff – Glob

Makepeace Terranova – Make

Byzantine Du Lac – Byz

Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous)

Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo)

My recommendation: 5 stars. Highly recommended. Not to be missed!

Find out more here. In Jack Eason’s words, this work of his is one of his favourites: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/one-of-my-favourite-short-stories-2/

Author Bio:

Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960’s, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. Now in his mid-sixties he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories, he contributes to his own blog “Have We Had Help?” Some of his short stories and numerous articles appear in the No: 1 online E-zine “Angie’s DIARY”. His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as “HAL”. He lives in semi-retirement in his home town surrounded by his favourite books, ranging from historical fact to science fiction. His literary icons are J.R.R Tolkien, George Orwell, Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham.

Authors links:

Blog: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @Akhen1Khan2

Rating:

Have you read Goblin Tales, or any of Jack Eason’s other books?

Here are a couple of reviews I’ve written for his novellas:

The Magisters: https://mjmallon.com/2020/01/09/book-review-the-magisters-by-jack-eason-bookreview/

Autumn 1066: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 195 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT

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

Image credit: Unsplash, and the photographer is Wolfgang Hasselmann

The tea gossips begin. A line black marks my whereabouts

Acrostic poem- Toadstool

This is me, a maligned fruiting fungal fellow.

Ordinary? No siree! Not me, I’m no grotty grass.

A red cap and scales crown my slim white ring of partial veil.

Dying, for attention, I stand tall, and pretty proud.

Savage me worst, fairy ring, honey fungi, fungus root and stink horns.

Toad plus stool I’m named; ugliest frog-like creature plus tiniest stool.

On point am I. Fiddle. It ain’t fair. I’m not a warty broad, squat common fellow.

Or an inedible, poisonous, rickety bar stool chair.

Love and admire me spores, forget them mushy mushroom bores!

© M J Mallon

Well, that was a fun one! Lol Hope you enjoyed the giggle. xxx

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Flash Fiction: Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Flash #Fiction #Challenge

Live Author Talk

Those bloody motorbikes can’t they stop! 1 A.M. no chance I’ll get any sleep. Tomorrow’s the live show. Never done this before. What will it be like? I’ll soon know. Introverted writers, tonight at 9 p.m. I’ll talk live. Bound to be a problem with the connection. We’ll get there… I did it! I listen, damn, I can’t see my weird mannerisms, but I can hear them. Perhaps I should have had some water instead of that glass of wine, stupid faux pas, one or two!


On Saturday evening I participated in my first Facebook live interview with horror and fantasy indie author A. F. Stewart’s Between The Pages Book Chat. I’m sharing it here so that others can see that even if you are daunted, (terrified) by the idea of speaking live, you can still give it a go. Looking back at the recording there are things I wish I’d said and some I wish I hadn’t said, or repeated as much! It’s funny how we waffle… or I do anyway. Still, if you don’t try, you don’t learn and improve. It’s not perfect but the main thing is I tried. I’m giving myself brownie points for that!

And wondering if I seriously need a haircut! Looking like a lock down woman…

I’ve also been participating in Carrot Ranch Community 5 at the Mic, which is a grand opportunity to share your writing to an audience, in a safe space. You can start by being an audience and then move on to reading your work.

More about that here:

At the Carrot Ranch blog you can also listen to Ellen Best, Anne Goodwin, Paula Moyer, and Bill Engleson: https://carrotranch.com/2020/09/06/saddle-up-saloon-one-shy-of-a-six-pac-at-the-mic/

So, how you feel about participating in live recordings. Have you tried? Does it make you want to hide?

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Horror Anthology: Spellbound – Want to be Spellbound? #horror #anthology

I’ve been creating some graphics for the release of Spellbound.

A horror anthology with 27 stories from 16 authors (The Box Under The Bed Book 4) compiled by USA Today Bestselling author Dan Alatorre, and edited by Roberta Eaton Cheadle and Donna Davis Walker, (author name M D Walker.)

I’m a contributing author with my tale The Twisted Sisters.

The first three graphics in the slideshow below I’ve made via Canva…

And these are from Robbie:

Do you dare read Spellbound?

Let me tempt you. It is already receiving 5 star reviews… Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Spellbound-horror-anthology-stories-authors-ebook/dp/B08DM83XKR/

and here is the Amazon UK link:

Do you dare….

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Guest Post #6 Dreaming Of Another World | The Glorious Outsiders

Thank you to Chantelle for including me in her guest posts about Dreaming of Another World. Hop over to her blog via the link below to read my post and to read the previous guest posts too #corona #virus #covid19 #dreams #fears #lockdown #isolation #indie #authors

Source: Guest Post #6 Dreaming Of Another World | The Glorious Outsiders

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Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Charli Mills encourages writers to participate as readers or audience in 5 at the Mic, (video recordings of live readings of our creative writings.) I’m there, (with my humorous tale – the bubble monster,) along with Bill Engleson, Paula Moyer, Anne Goodwin and Ellen Best all sharing our writing gems by reading aloud!

Source: Saddle Up Saloon; One Shy of a Six Pac at the Mic « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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Book Review: Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney (Perceptions of Glass #1) #Book #Review #Mystery #Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

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

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

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. 

I’m a blog tour host for the upcoming release of the second book in the series, so this is my review for #1 Watching Glass Shatter.

My review:

I loved this. Fantastic family drama, strong female characters, so moving it made me cry! Enjoyed the characterisation of all the five brothers. All so different and engaging. Great characters, and dialogue. Interesting look at how shocking secrets exist in families and how circumstances can alter how we deal with them when they are revealed. The story line elaborates on many important concerns within the family dynamic: vulnerabilities, mistakes made and forgiven, pressure to succeed, the far reaching consequences of drug dependency, ‘coming out,’ accepting a love one’s different lifestyle choices and learning to forgive a husband’s decision, whilst coping with the most terrible heartbreak to remain strong. The beginning and end are powerful. My recommendation 5 stars read this! 

I’m a blog tour host for the upcoming release of the second book in the series. I’m currently reading Hiding Cracked Glass and so looking forward to being part of the tour which begins on 5th October.

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

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

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

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

  1. Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
  2. Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
  3. Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
  4. Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
  5. Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
  6. Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

As a blog tour host for the second in the series I also received a copy of Watching Glass Shatter. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

Have you read James Cudney’ books? Do comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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MarySmith’sPlace – Cancer Diary #01

I’m so sad to read Mary’s latest blog. She has been diagnosed with lung cancer. This blog is the start of her cancer diary. She is sharing her experiences through her blog and others in a similar position might wish to connect with her: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2020/09/06/marysmithsplace-cancer-diary-01/

Please support and send her your love by leaving a comment on her blog. Annoyingly FB has marked her blog posts as unable to share via the usual share buttons. This is happening to my lovely writing friends in the community for no apparent reason. It is particularly unfair at a time when Mary needs our support the most.


She is a fascinating lady and a wonderful member of our writing community who I have met in person at many of the London based blogging bashes.

If you don’t know Mary Smith, this is the link to her about page: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/about/

And her latest afghanistan adventures blog post: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/marysmithsplace-travels-with-a-sheep-afghanistanadventures-51/

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills @ Carrot Ranch #trees #flash #fiction #neighbourhood #mother-in-law #elderly

My flash is based on a true story. I visited my mother-in-law in Edinburgh, Scotland. She hadn’t been too well but made a miraculous recovery. At ninety-four she is an incredible woman! This tree and our conversation inspired me to write this piece of flash.

It was kind of eerie at the time… knowing what I know now. The wind was blowing lightly but I added a gust of ghostly wind to the flash fiction piece!

The Tree of Life
I encouraged my mother-in-law to venture out for a walk. She hadn’t been out since a fall laid her low before lockdown. We sat by the wise old tree. I had no idea that just a few days ago this area had been the site of a funeral gathering. The family decorated the branches with colourful ribbons, dream catchers, pretty baubles and teddy bears. As we talked, a tremendous gust of wind blew the ribbons, twirling them in a whirl of colour as the baubles and teddies danced.

I heard leaves rustling; it was his last goodbye.

I didn’t know the man who died, or what he died of. His funeral happened at a time when people couldn’t gather in the usual way. So, touching and sad. His friends and family came together to say their last goodbye amongst nature, by that tree, in the area in which he had lived. Passersby who may, or may not have known him saw the reminder of the vibrancy of his life in the colour of the adorned tree.

I picked some purple flowers for my mother-in-law which she carries in the photo. Purple is her favourite colour. She always mentions our walk each time I speak to her. Somehow, that walk to the tree have given her confidence back. I believe she has now walked to the shop again. I’m glad I encouraged her to walk with me even though I was so worried that she might fall. Sometimes you have to be brave to make a special memory.

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 193, #POET’SCHOICE: #senryu #Photo #Meringue #Sweet #Tasty

This lovely dessert was one of the tastiest, most visually pleasing delights I have ever had the pleasure of eating!

But, it’s not for everyone… not if you are allergic to egg whites, or you don’t like meringue, or…

You love meringue but have put on a few pounds during lockdown… maybe I shouldn’t have another one…

Only joking, this was at a restaurant…

Sumptuous meringue

A tempting, strawberry high

My body shouts NO!

A strawberry crown

Crumbling meringue face

Dotted with delight!

Somehow I prefer the last one… oh dear I do have a problem. Even my poetry is saying eat the dessert… Such a sweet tooth!

Which poem do you prefer? Let me guess…

I love poetry!

I write poetry in all of my books (excluding some of the anthologies.) You’ll find poetry in Mr. Sagittarius, Poetry and Prose, in The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone, (short form poetry at the beginning of each chapter,) and there is also poetry in the anthology/compilation This Is Lockdown.

Check out my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Thank you for stopping by and remember to leave a comment! xxx

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Launch of Liars and Thieves by D. Wallace Peach – #Fantasy #Release #Book #Launch

I’m thrilled to welcome the lovely D. Wallace Peach to my blog today for the launch of her latest series: Unravelling The Veil. Looks superb and no doubt it is, as Diana is without question a wonderful fantasy writer.

Blurb:

Behind the Veil, the hordes gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—

When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—

Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—

Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

Q & A

What prompted you to write in your chosen genre?

My dad was a fantasy/sci-fi reader, and those types of books stuffed our shelves. When we’d go on vacation, my goal was to read one book a day, so I was exposed to a wide variety of authors. When writing popped up as a possibility, fantasy seemed like a natural fit. Another reason I chose fantasy was because I also thought I could avoid research! LOL. Wow, was I wrong about that! My research doesn’t come close to what some genres require, but who knew that I’d be researching Einstein’s theories about mass and energy for this series. Or what martens sound like. Or the smell of lightning.

Liars and Thieves excerpt:
(In this scene, my characters just discovered that they’re stuck with each other. It’s not pretty.)


A shower of sand rained from Alue’s hair as she scraped her fingers over her scalp. The endless heat and humidity, the dirt and sweat, fouled her mood as much as it fouled her nose. She needed a hot soak with oils and soap, a hair wash, and something to eat that didn’t taste like an unwashed shirt.


Arianna had released the three of them onto the trail heading north to the railway spur, a three-day walk. Any deviation from the path, any mention of what had occurred in the jungle would result in a gruesome death, and Alue didn’t doubt the queen’s willingness to see the threat through.


Still a day from the spur, Talin led them to another tree-stand, the changelings’ method of spending a night safe from cats if not insects, snakes, and monkeys. She sat on the platform’s edge, one leg dangling, while she attempted to lob balls of light from her fingers—without them disappearing the instant she let go.


The goblin wrinkled his nose.


“What is your problem?” she snapped.


He scowled at her. “You have the odor of an ape.”


She gaped at him. “I haven’t had a chance to bathe.”


“Elves always smell like apes.”


Talin blurted out a laugh. He sat at the platform’s other end, eating some kind of hideous, withered root.


“Is that so?” Alue was tempted to push Naj over the side, but he sat against the tree in the middle of the platform. “And I suppose goblins smell like jasmine petals.”


“Goblins don’t sweat,” Naj informed her. “Changelings bear the scents of animals, but not as pungent as
elves.”

“You can’t smell your own breath,” Talin said. “It reeks from eating meat.”


“Speaking of food…” Alue plucked up one of the roots Talin had gathered for her and tossed it over the edge. “I’m famished.”


“Don’t throw good food away,” Talin muttered. “You’ll be forced to ask Naj to spear you a snake.”


“Don’t make me vomit.” Alue shook her head when Naj glanced her way. His glaive had been confiscated in Glenglisan along with her pulser, and though he acted as if its loss didn’t matter, the ropey muscles in his neck tightened at its every mention. “I thought changelings forbade the killing of animals?”


“We do.” Talin brushed the dirt from a flesh-colored root. “We never know when one of us might be mistaken for a wild creature… like a panther.”


Alue stared at him, her empty stomach rolling over. “Was that… was the panther…”


“A man named Janu.” Talin slouched, dark eyebrows lowered in her direction. His chin bristled with rough scruff, and his long hair needed a comb almost as much as hers. “You shot him near the falls, and Naj finished him off.”


“I ate his…” Alue’s hand slapped to her mouth, and she closed her eyes, reeling. If Naj hadn’t gripped her arm, she might have fallen.


“He was the aggressor,” Naj said as if somehow that justified chewing on a man’s heart.


“Why didn’t you tell me?” Alue shrieked. “I ate a changeling, a person!”

“Thank you for acknowledging that we’re people,” Talin said.


“Gah! I never said you weren’t. We’re all people. And that’s beside the point. You tricked us.”


“I saved your life,” Talin yelled back. “I didn’t need to do any of it. I could have left you in the pit, left you in the cell. Gone on with my life.”

“Why did you help us?” Naj asked.

Talin crossed his arms. “I thought I knew. Now I don’t remember.”

Trailer:

Liars and Thieves Global Purchase Linkhttp://a-fwd.com/asin=B08FGQ2W3Q

Author Bio:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: @dwallacepeach

And check out this wonderful post that Diana has created with all the blog tour hosts books. What a lovely idea. <3 x https://mythsofthemirror.com/2020/08/29/liars-and-thieves-book-launch-central/

Wow, that was wonderful. I love Diana’s writing. So interested to learn that Diana’s father was a writer too! Awesome.

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Inspirational Visions Oracle Card set by Judy Mastrangelo #Art #Oracle #Cards #Mind #Body #Spirit

Description From Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit.

Do you have hidden wishes and desires that have been elusive since your youth? Now there is an inspirational oracle that will take you on an exciting adventure of self-discovery and enlightenment! Explore your unique gifts through 50 stunning oracle cards and a quick-and-easy guidebook with whimsical messages that will help you enhance your life and express your deepest feelings. Create a “Mind Painting” of your ideal self someone whom you would like to become and then ascend to unbelievable heights by developing your imagination. Talented people throughout the agesgreat thinkers, authors, poets, painters, and composers -have shared wonderful creations with humankind, and you can too by developing the innate talents that slumber deep within your Soul. This is the place of wizards, magic, and fairies! Prepare to be inspired! Includes 50 art cards and full-color guidebook.

REDFeather: Facebook: @redfeathermindbodyspirit, Twitter: RedFeatherMBS, Instagram: @redfeatermbs

My review:

I was thrilled to receive a complimentary deck of Judy Mastrangelo’s new release: Inspirational Visions Oracle cards.

I followed the instructions, meditating before I shuffled and drew two cards: Pan and Unicorn (magical beings surround us) and Where Candy Trees Grow (lands of childhood live within us always throughout our life.) The two cards seemed uncannily appropriate as my favourite genre to write is magical realism/fantasy and I am young at heart for my age! A gorgeous set, truly inspirational. ❤

Author Bio

Judy Mastrangelo has painted all her life. She licenses her artwork in several markets, such as murals, art prints, inspirational card desks, and books she has written and illustrated. Her preliminary technique of “Mind Painting,” helps her develop imaginative works of art and teaches others to develop their imaginations. https://judymastrangelo.com/

Here are some photos to show you how lovely the set is:

There are 50 cards in total with a sweet little full-colour guidebook to explain how to use the cards and how to create a mind painting.

My favourite cards are: Pan and Unicorn, Lonely Dragon, Create your Fantasy, Paradise of Children, Peaceful Garden, Puck’s Magic Flower of Sleep, Oberon and Titania.

Each card within the set is lovely and there is something for everyone.

5 stars. I’d highly recommend this set of oracle cards. I received a complimentary copy but all opinions are my own and unbiased.

This wonderful set is available to buy via Amazon:

Publisher : Schiffer Publishing Ltd

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COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “This is Lockdown” BY AUTHOR, Marjorie Mallon, along with other authors, @Marjorie_Mallon | Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

Thank you so much to Colleen for this wonderful 5 star review of This Is Lockdown. Thrilled. <3

Source: COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “This is Lockdown” BY AUTHOR, Marjorie Mallon, along with other authors, @Marjorie_Mallon | Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry

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New Release: Spellbound #Horror #Anthology #Preorder

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m a contributing author in Dan Alatorre‘s Box Under The Bed horror Anthology no. 4: Spellbound which is currently on pre-order and releases 14th October 2020. There are many of my lovely friends contributing to this anthology too, including Robbie Cheadle, Ellen Best, Adele Marie Park, and Geoff Le Pard.

So pre-order your kindle copy now! While it is on special offer price: £0.78 Amazon UK and $1.02, Amazon US.

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

From the creators of the #1 bestseller The Box Under The Bed horror anthology and its #1 bestselling sequels Nightmareland and Dark Visions, comes Spellbound
– a horror anthology with 20 stories from 15 authors.

A young girl and her mother seek out a mysterious sorceress to guide the child in developing her powers, but the beautiful blonde witch has ideas of her own – and desires a powerful book that only the child can give her.
Tremble along as the stories in the magical book are revealed. “Some are true, some are false, and some are spells disguised as stories to hide our kind from those who would do us harm.”

* A young man is given a family heirloom at his mother’s funeral, but her protection can’t save him from himself.
* A sailing ship takes a journey to the new world and discovers horrors along the way.
* A young girl seeks a connection with her parents but learns she isn’t magical enough.
* And many more!

Compiled by USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror once again unites the minds and stories of more than a dozen amazing authors.

Spellbound will take you into the shadowy world of the eerie and macabre, with heart stopping stories.


Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before borrowing a book, giving away jewelry, looking into a mirror, or going out on a moonlit night.

CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

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

My story is called Twisted Sisters.

Here’s the blurb to my short story:

During a meeting of The Twisted Sisters coven Luna, an ambitious member, proposes a determined plan: to give the public excitement after the grim life imposed by COVID19. With her Twisted Fairytales shop, she hopes to gain power and influence. The elder witch and the moon are fearful of her idea. At work, she dons her little red riding hood outfit. Hidden in her basket she keeps two shiny objects ready to work their evil…

This is going to be the scariest anthology yet!

Don’t forget to check out the other books in the Box Under The Bed Set, all available via Amazon,

And I’m also a contributing author to Nightmareland as well…

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A new horror anthology

Thrilled to be a participating author in the next Box Under The Bed Anthology compiled by Dan Alatorre: Spellbound. Editor and Contributing author Robbie Chantree has written a fantastic post about the anthologies, plus there’s a video of her reading one of her stories in the previous anthology: Nightmareland.

Please do share widely!! Many thanks. 🙂

Click the link below to visit Robbie’s page.

Source: A new horror anthology

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Flash Fiction Challenge: Charli Mills Carrot Ranch Literary Community

The last time my eldest daughter left home I wrote a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch which I entitled The Riptide Suitcases expressing my emotions at my daughter moving abroad.

The Riptide Suitcases

The riptide hid in two shallow suitcases. Foreign tee-shirts lay crushed against jumpers, jeans pressed unfolded next to sandals and boots. I lifted my daughter’s larger suitcase up; it was heavy but not as heavy as my swirling heart.

No traffic impeded our journey. The ripples began early, too early. We shared coffee but didn’t eat. The departure gate beckoned. The riptide began. It burst out of me. I cried, no I wailed. Guilt crashed against waves of sadness. Sadness wrestled and drowned my heart. Never again will I feel such depths of emotion. My adventurer, daughter had gone.

Here is the link to that piece of emotional flash: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/18/september-14-flash-fiction-challenge/

That was three years ago. Natasha stayed in South Korea for a year and absolutely loved it. I’m so proud of her for taking that courageous step, to travel to the other side of the world to teach English takes a considerable amount of guts especially when you don’t speak the language and you are so young. She was the youngest EFL teacher in her school, newly graduated from University.

You can see a little about that here: (unlike her mum she never really got into blogging, she only wrote two blog posts! )

https://tashainkorealand.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/this-place-sure-has-soul-my-first-trip-to-seoul-south-korea-part-1/

It’s been such a confidence boost for her. What an experience!

Today, she is travelling again but not so far this time – to Glasgow to study to be a secondary English Teacher. I wish her luck, happiness and success.

I wrote about our trip to Glasgow, ( looking for accommodation,) and a poem here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/03/06/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-167-poetschoice-haiga/

Why Scotland? Natasha has always loved it. My hubby and I always make Edinburgh our home-from-home, so it’s no wonder that at least one of our children might decide to stay there…

This is my piece of flash:

This Life

Three years ago, we said our goodbyes at the departure gate before that first flight. How I cried. I wept for a day, and the next day I wept without weeping. My darling daughter gone so faraway. She braved how scared she was. Now, she is adventuring again – not so far this time! And yet her friends miss her already. I miss her already. This is life, young adults are always moving, taking those steps to independence. They never leave your thoughts. They’re always a part of you, wherever they are.

Daughters always stay in your heart.

***

It will be my youngest daughter’s turn next – Georgina – and then it truly will be empty nest syndrome! Still, I still have her for now… Yay!

Having spent so much time with both of them during lockdown I know I will find it especially hard.

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Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge no. 191 #Photoprompt

Aishwarya, aka, Kitty from Kitty’s Verses, was Colleen’s selection from last month’s challenge. She has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

I’ve chosen to write a Stacked/Double Inverted Etheree

Twenty lines with a syllable count per line of 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1, 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10 syllables per line, which looks like an hourglass when centered on the page.

The track meanders to nowhere special

I imagine places, people, dogs.

The train driver speeding through lunch

I hope he forgives me. If…

I step out, one last step.

Feet, a friend to air

Sigh. The track cries

Stay strong. Fight.

Crush it!

Live.

***

It

Isn’t

Who I am.

Brought to these tears

Lost. Anxious. Depressed.

Peering up there’s heaven

And down, the track is groaning

Pleading, don’t kiss death. Lucy, live.

I halt! I see them. And who I am.

Family, friends, my dog barking, come home.

© M J Mallon

This poem is inspired by a book I reviewed recently by Jackie Carreira: The Seventh Train. I’d recommend reading it. Here is the link to my review: https://mjmallon.com/2020/08/15/book-review-the-seventh-train-by-jackie-carriera-book-review/

The book touches upon the impact of suicides on train drivers. Hence, the mention in this poem.

A sad topic but an important one to address, particularly during these difficult times.

Remember, if you are ever feeling lost, low or depressed there is always a better day waiting for you in the future. Today might be hard but keep your family and friends close to your heart and always talk through your problems with a friend, family member or counsellor. A problem shared is always halved.

Sending love, hugs and hopes for happy days.

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How To Write A Short Story – a video tutorial – Dan Alatorre

This is an excellent video tutorial from Dan Alatorre. He reads from his introductory story in the forthcoming anthology Spellbound and discusses the story processes that he employs to create mystery, ambiance, vitality and atmosphere.

What do you include when you write a short story? What does it mean to show and not tell? How much setting is appropriate, or description? These and other writing tips are here in this 53 minute vi…

Source: How To Write A Short Story – a video tutorial – Dan Alatorre

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Book Review: The Seventh Train by Jackie Carriera #book #review

Synopsis:

What if you can’t stand where you are because there’s nothing there? What if you don’t want to end up anywhere else in case that’s empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.

The Seventh Train is a ride – a ‘road movie’ on the railways. It’s a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had in her previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she’d pretended that the spare seat was taken.

With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters, The Seventh Train takes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arriving finally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the British railway timetable!

“Ingenious, great fun, and wholly original” – Fay Weldon CBE, on The Seventh Train.

My review:

This is the second book I’ve read from Jackie Carreira, both of which are gifted copies from the author. I am thrilled to give an unbiased review of both. Her first Sleeping Through War was equally as good, if not better. I’ve rated both 5 stars as I’m really impressed by this writer.

My review for Sleeping Through War: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/27/book-review-sleeping-through-war-by-jackie-carreira-literary-fiction-historical-womens/

The Seventh Train is a great concept from Jackie Carreira and a thoroughly engaging read. Loved it. If you appreciate a great tale about unexpected happenings in train journeys, this is for you. I’ve always enjoyed travelling by train – meeting people, listening to conversations, imagining what these strangers might do when they arrive at their destinations. This is the fodder for writers!

Jackie Carreira’s The Seventh Train takes that idea a stretch of the imagination further. This is a lovely tale that begins with a middle-aged lady, Elizabeth. She is waiting in a Cambridge train station cafe and doesn’t want anyone to sit with her, or talk to her. Of course, she doesn’t get her wish, quite the opposite! What happens next overturns everything you might imagine. A group of unconnected, different people of varying ages end up journeying together becoming unlikely companions. They have one extraordinary thing in common. Read the book to find out what that is!

This is a thought-provoking book, one which also touches upon regret, sadness, a life not lived to the full. It also expresses many concerns about the working life of train drivers. What do they have to cope with in their job? We experience many different emotions when our train journey is delayed by a fatality on the line: sadness at the loss of life and what has brought that person to that desperate decision. There is also a sense of inconvenience as well, we are delayed in our journey. We don’t know the person; we didn’t see them jump. What impact do jumpers committing suicide have upon the train driver, who can see them?

Things to note: This story was originally a play. The author is also an award-winning playwright with QuirkHouse Theatre Company.

Highly recommended. 5 stars.

I received a paperback copy from the author. My opinions are my own and not biased.

Authors Website: https://jackiecarreira.co.uk/

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Thriller Carol Balawyder, #Mystery James J. Cudney | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thanks to Sally for this wonderful mention for This Is Lockdown: a 5 star review from Sarah Northwood.

And wonderful reviews for James Cudney and Carol Balawyder. Awesome. I’m in great company!

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Thriller Carol Balawyder, #Mystery James J. Cudney | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Book Review: Life’s Rich Tapestry by Sally Cronin

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres. 

My review:

What a lovely book from a lady who does so much for the indie author community. I’ve been following Sally’s blog for many years. The title: Life’s Rich Tapestry sums this beautiful book up perfectly. I enjoyed this immensely. It is like a treasure trove with a range of delights for everyone: poetry, micro fiction and longer pieces of writing too.

Sally Cronin is a talented story teller and I have so many favourite pieces in the collection!

Here they are:

Speculative Fiction section: A moment of alignment, Onions, The Enhancement Project.

There is a very cute dog section titled: The underdogs! Lol. And of course…The Superiority of Cats.

CAT FAVS: For the love of Lily. (my tied favourite in the collection – loved this.)

DOG FAVS: An Ugly Mutt, The Junkyard Dog (my tied favourite in the collection – loved this.)

Micro fiction:

FAVS: Strawberry Jam, Storm Windows, Splashing Good Time, Rock Star, Recycling Centre, My Mouse (so funny!) Following Elephants, The Charm Bracelet, Broken.

Poetry FAVS:

Random Thoughts: In touch with the earth

Celebrating Pets: My best friend, A Dog’s Life.

Fav poems in Remembrance: Wedding Anniversary Septhember 11th, The Poppies

Fav poems in The Natural World: The Beach, The Cave, A Magpie’s Prize, The Magnolia

FAV Poems in Fairies and Other Folk: Fairy Gold, Fairies at play.

FAV poems in the All Things Human section: Romance, Youth,

FAV Poems about the Seasons of the Year: Glorious April, March Hares,Hallowwen – This Night, Rust and Gold, November Trees, December.

Do make sure to follow Sally’s wonderful blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

I mention my favourites only so you can see the variety of stories, poems and microfiction in this collection. The cat and dog sections are superb so this collection will really appeal to those who love their cats and dogs!

My recommendation: 5 stars. An excellent collection. Highly recommended.

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0827SXLF4/

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#Bookreview – The Italian Assistant (previously Poggibonsi) by Dan Alatorre

A review by Robbie Cheadle for The Italian Assistant by Dan Alatorre.

What Amazon says “Funny, Sexy, Heartbreaking, Hilarious” When a married man’s overseas business deal goes wrong, the one person who can help him has ideas of her own. A madcap comedy where true lov…

Source: #Bookreview – The Italian Assistant (previously Poggibonsi) by Dan Alatorre

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Cover Reveal for Hiding Cracked Glass in the Perceptions of Glass Series by James J. Cudney #Cover #Reveal

Congratulations to Jay. I’m pleased to announce the cover reveal for the 2nd in the series – Perceptions of Glass – Book #2: Hiding Cracked Glass.

Shalini at Digital Reads  @Shalini_G26 is running Jay’s 8/1 reveal for Hiding Cracked Glass https://thisismytruthnow.com/2020/08/01/cover-reveal-hiding-cracked-glass-sequel-to-watching-glass-shatter/

But there are many who are helping spread the word too, including yours truly!

Publication date for Book #2: Next Chapter, October 8th, 2020
PreSale / Amazon Link: Pending from Publisher — will send if I get it before 8/1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54399989-hiding-cracked-glass


Summary of Books

Book #1 Name: Watching Glass Shatter

Watching Glass Shatter (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family. Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death. We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them, or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits.


Book #2 Name: Hiding Crack Glass

About

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved.  

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: 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

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

·       Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

·       Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

·       Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

·       Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

·       Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

·       Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

Pleased to share the news about Jay’s latest release. He is an incredibly busy bee, I’m always amazed at how much energy he has. Impressive as always,

Lovely to be part of your cover reveal today, Jay. Wishing you much success with all your books.

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Book Review: P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by D. G Kaye #Memoir #Family #Mother #Daughter

Goodreads synopsis:

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

My review:

This is a very personal account of the author’s experiences of coping and coming to terms with the emotions experienced after the death of a narcissistic mother. D. G Kaye’s mother is herself a product of the terrible parenting she experienced as a child. My own mother struggled with many heartbreaking problems as she grew up. She overcame these and was and continues to be a wonderfully caring mother. I have a deep, unbreakable bond with her which I also have with my daughters.

As I continued to read further into this memoir I kept on comparing our circumstances. How sad and damaging such an uncaring, selfish parent is to her children. How can a mother behave in such a way? P.S. I Forgive You is an important read for all of us. This memoir is about letting go, releasing the emotional turmoil which began in childhood.

It is a compelling read. It courageously deals with the extremes of family relationships. Relationships are complex and difficult, even in what I would deem to be ‘normal’ families. There are many who struggle to understand or relate to their son or daughter, sister, brother, wife or husband.

But this memoir takes those problems to a whole new level that no one should have to experience. After such a damaging upbringing, D. G. Kaye has suffered but has learnt to forgive. She lives a happy, fulfilled life. That is a wonderful testament to her strength of character and her can do attitude.

My recommendation: Read this. 5 stars. I’d highly recommend this memoir to us all whatever our circumstances. Also read the first book in the series: Conflicted Hearts.

Authors Website: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

Authors Twitter: pokercubster

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Book Review: Wisp II Sea Dragons by Adele Marie Park #Dark #Fantasy

Synopsis:

The malevolent and ruthless mage, Dante Asano is defeated but victory came at a horrific price.
Before Wisp and his companions could intervene, Dante possessed Pendra Thorn’s body. In order to stop Dante without killing Pendra, a magic sleep spell was cast.
A glass coffin warded with powerful spells encased her body while her mind fled to a favourite memory; unfortunately, Dante is also trapped with her.
The magical coffin will only keep her alive, and Dante contained for a short time.
A desperate plan to undertake a treacherous journey across an unknown sea means Wisp and his companions must disband. Some journey with Wisp to find an ancient spell to release Pendra and banish Dante’s spirit.
Those left behind must guard Pendra in a city under threat.
An ancient evil casts a shadow over Edra causing burgeoning unrest and setting the inhabitants against one another.
Wisp’s journey must be successful not only for Pendra’s sake but also for Edra itself.

I was lucky to be part of the beta reading team for Wisp II and was entrusted with an early copy before release. This a highly imaginative fantasy book with many aspects to it to keep you entertained. It is the second in the series continuing the tale from the first book which I read and enjoyed also.

The story begins with the news of the death of the senior law enforcer Nether Green. Could this be a murder case? Marsh fairy law enforcer Wisp is drawn into the mystery and must try and discover what has happened. Alongside this, there is a change in the tone of writing – becoming darker – in the sections devoted to Pendra who is sealed in a glass coffin. We are whisked away on a trip across the Great Sea to Samoyer, (Wisp’s father’s homeland,) to find a spell to separate Dante from Pendra.

There are times when Park’s writing takes you to a very special place drawing you into the narrative beautifully. An author to watch, a talent in the making.

I enjoyed the amusing dialogue which gave the protagonists a distinct voice and style.

I’d recommend reading the first in the series before continuing with WISP II.

Here is the link to my review of the first book:

My recommendation: 5 stars. Read this if you like dark fantasy tales which are full of intrigue, mystery and murder! A definite recommendation for fantasy readers, and may also be of interest to LGBT YA Fiction readers due to the (continuing love story between Wisp and Finn.)

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Book Review: Sleeping Through War by Jackie Carreira #Literary #Fiction #Historical #Womens

Goodreads Synopsis:

The year is 1968 and the world is changing forever. During the month of May, students are rioting and workers are striking across the globe, civil rights are being fought and died for, nuclear bombs are being tested, there are major conflicts on every continent, and war is raging in Vietnam. Against this volatile background, three women strive to keep everything together.

Rose must keep her dignity and compassion as a West Indian nurse in East London. Amalia must keep hoping that her son can escape their seedy life in Lisbon. And Mrs Johnson in Washington DC must keep writing to her son in Vietnam. She has no-one else to talk to. Three different women, three different countries, but all striving to survive – a courageous attitude that everybody can relate to.

Although Sleeping Through War is a work of fiction, this somewhat hidden history attempts to humanise a few weeks in time that were so stuffed with monumental events that it’s easy to forget the people involved. The author was a child in 1968 and lived in London and Lisbon during the 1960s. She met women like these and didn’t want their voices to go unheard into the future. Readers of both history and literary fiction will enjoy this emotionally-vivid work that weaves fiction into fact. 

My review:

I’ve never read anything from Jackie Carreira before so I was thrilled to receive a gifted paperback copy of Sleeping Through War from the author. This in no way influences my review. All opinions are my own.

Did it meet my expectations? More than. I loved these intimate stories set in 1968 told from the perspective of three very different women: Amalia, a widow living with her much loved young son in Lisbon (after her husband dies in the war between Portugal and Angola.) Amalia is struggling financially, she takes desperate measures and tries her utmost to keep her son away from taunts and unkindness. Rose, a West Indian Care Home nurse in London is struck by the dreariness of London compared to the vibrancy and colour of her homeland: St. Lucia. Rose experiences discrimination but her nature is to shrug it off and be forgiving and kind. She helps a young mother through difficult times. Mrs Johnson writes poignant letters to her son who is fighting in Vietnam. The three women are admirable characters. All live in different countries and yet their story-lines all share a common thread of courage, and fortitude, coping with their experiences as best they can. All three are caring individuals – Rose cares for the elderly in the care home, a young woman with a new baby, and an inebriated person she finds in the street. Amalia will do anything to keep her son away from harm and Mrs Johnson’s much loved son, (who is serving in Vietnam,) is the focal point of her letters. I don’t want to say too much about these other than to say that they are heart-wrenching.

These poignant stories sit alongside factual short news reports of the turbulent civil, and political unrest of this time period.

My recommendation: Read this novel, it will draw you into the lives of these three women in a way that will make you think of them often. 5 stars.

Looking forward to reading more from this author, a real find. I have The Seventh Train on my list too.

Author Bio:

Jackie Carreira is a writer, designer, musician and co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre Company. British-born of Portuguese parents, she grew up in East London and lived for a while in Lisbon as a child. After travelling the world playing music for 12 years, she hung up her bass guitar and picked up a pen. She’s been writing ever since and twice been a winner of the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama. Some of her plays are available online via lazybeescripts.co.uk. If Jackie could have another life, she would be a full-time philosopher and get paid to ask questions all day.

http://jackiecarreira.co.uk

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‘This is Lockdown’ blog tour – Just muddling through life

It’s the last day of the blog tour for This Is Lockdown. Marian is my host today, many thanks to her for this lovely poet’s corner of contributors.

Source: ‘This is Lockdown’ blog tour – Just muddling through life

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