Cover Reveal: The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone



28342768_10156221465562002_642054821_o FINAL Cover Paperback

Today, I am delighted to share with you my cover reveal for my debut fantasy YA novel:

The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone

I’m delighted with the cover – Wendy Anne Darling at BOOKXEEDO Book Covers has done a marvellous job. Isn’t the cover just beautiful? Thank you Wendy so much.
Cover photography credit: Chronopage and grasshopper – John C Taylor, OBE.

Cover photography credit (spine) :  Bloodstone – Alex Marlowe, via


On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in.  Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.
Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.
With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?


Writer’s journey – How did it all happen?

This is  my writer’s blog about me and my crazy journey to becoming a half decent author.

Well how did I start writing? It was quite odd really. I used to write as a teenager. At the time I had a ginger tom cat called Chester, Mr. Popularity, everyone loved him. He liked to venture afar and we would often have to rescue him. I remember one occasion in particular, my brother and I ended up trudging through the woods, in Blackhall in Edinburgh, to pick him up from a house in the vicinity. He ended up at the most peculiar places. One time he chose to visit a house with thirteen cats!

Here he is looking very much like a tom cat with attitude!



Colleens Weekly Poetry Challenge No: 76

A delight tricks us,

My Tanka for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge using the synonyms delight for Joy and passion for fury.

I find dreams fascinating. Often we wish we could continue our dream when the alarm rings to wake us up. But, if the dream becomes a nightmare we are only to keen for it to end! Would this dream be a nightmare I wonder…

Here’s the link to join in with Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge:

Hope you liked my Tanka!

Bye for now. Happy dreaming!



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Why Get Involved in the Bloggers Bash? #BloggersBash #Testimonials

Some wonderful testimonials for The Bloggers Bash. Come along join in the fun!


General-Bash-Logo-e1502828276518The Annual Bloggers Bash returns this May for its fourth year, but the committee don’t run this event just because they fancy a day out in London! Oh no, the Bloggers Bash has grown in size and popularity because of you, the blogging community who attend, engage, and spread the good blogging cheer across the world.

Don’t take our word for it! Here are just a few of the testimonials we’ve received over the years.

‘There was so much food for thought at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards event in London last Saturday that I came away positively bursting at the seams.

Between the presentations and celebrations of the awards, there were very interesting talks by Suzie and Elena on how to monetize our blogs and make good use of Pinterest. With around four decades of training experience, military and technical…

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Blog Tour for ‘Violet’ by Leslie Tate


A big welcome to my guest Leslie… author of the trilogy of novels ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’, as well as his trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage.’


Violet Front Cover

When I interview authors on my blog about their new novel I usually begin with who they are, a few words about their new title, then questions about what kind of writing they do. I follow up with how their life experiences have contributed to their book, how it changed in the making, and why they’ve written it. I’m just as interested in the process as the result, so I might include questions about their writing habits, what fires them up and who they read and why.

I interview a wide range of people, not just authors. So I talk to musicians, artists, filmmakers, publishers, comedians, care-givers and people with disabilities or mental health issues – anyone who has to use imagination in one form or another to get by. I want to learn about them as people and how the act of doing something difficult has changed them, in themselves and in their view of the world. I also want to grasp the inflow and outflow of energy and imagination as well as the hard graft that went into what they’re creating.

So, with the tables turned, interviewing myself (as authors do, turning snatches of fantasy and overheard voices into polished monologues) – can I deliver even half of what I hope to get from them?

It’s a bit like playing God, but here goes…

Q: What’s your writing history?

A: I studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, I’ve been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes and I’m the author of the trilogy of novels ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’, as well as my trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’, which has been turned into a film.

Q: Tell us about your latest book.

A: The blurb for my recently-published novel ‘Violet’ runs like this: ‘The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s openness, Beth feels an immediate, deep connection between his honesty and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister…’

Q: What kind of writing do you do?

A: My published writing is about the changing patterns of modern love. It grows out of language – I constantly search for the right word to guide me to the next. My plots develop from the characters: what they say, how they interact and what lies deepest inside them.

Q: How do you approach the task of writing a novel?

A: When I write, I need to find the exact turn of phrase to get started. So I listen carefully as I try out multiple formulations. That can take days. When I hear the right note that sets me off, and from then on I repeatedly rewrite as I go. If I take a wrong turning or come to dead end I either find a ‘fix’ or cut back the story and rewrite. I don’t dash off an initial plot-driven draft and then revise later because the story grows slowly, organically, out of the words on the page.

Q: What fires you up? Who do you read – and why?

A: I’m inspired by the broad sweep of Robert Lowell’s poetry, the mysteries of ordinary life and sheer quirkiness of Carol Shields and Anne Tyler, the singularity of Marilynne Robinson’s vision, and the depth, power and complexity of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf.

Q: How much of your personal life went into your latest book?

A: Violet’s picture of a late-life love affair was adapted from my first meeting with my wife and children’s author, Sue Hampton. The love story soon develops its own fictional dynamic, but part two is based on supporting a sick friend – although this section focuses on the spiritual and psychological impact of long-term illness, rather than the physical details.

Q: Why do you write?

A: I wrote ‘Violet’ for the same reason I write anything – because I want to develop a strong authorial voice capable of ‘looking inside’ modern relationships and holding up a mirror to the society around, while retaining a feeling flow that comes naturally (despite all the rewriting) and transports the readers to places only fiction can take them.

In the UK, you can buy signed copies of ‘Violet’ at

The ebook of Violet is available here: Violet by Leslie Tate (eBook)


Violet is a captivating novel narrated through letters, diary entries, instant messages, poems, and other writings that create a multi-textured depth to the storyline. Leslie Tate’s fluid, musical sentence structure, vivid use of imagery and description, and skilful storytelling bring to life a memorable protagonist in the character of Beth Jarvis, an imaginative and sensitive woman. A pleasure to read! Beth Copeland, Pushcart Prize nominated poet & winner of the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize

Leslie Tate has a beautiful turn of phrase and this work is threaded with elegant descriptive passages. The central characters are instantly likeable, and the reader has a quick and affectionate bond that hooks right from the opening pages. – Dawn Finch Trustee, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Children’s Writer & Librarian.

The third, free-standing part of Leslie Tate’s trilogy opens with a thoroughly modern scenario: Beth, a middle-aged woman, sits in a restaurant waiting for her first meeting with James, a man of similar vintage with whom hitherto she has exchanged letters and phone conversations.

From that point on, Violet becomes timeless. Events and relationships could be from almost any era. Beth herself is a weaver of stories; the possibility is hard to dismiss that the whole thing is in Beth’s head. In places the author hints as much: “In fact, I could almost say we imagined who we were.”

There’s a dream-like quality to the painstaking precision of much of the description of places, events and conversations. Beth’s love stories – with Conrad first and, in her fifties, with James, are somewhat stylised. “Right from the start we chose to be in love,” she says of James, and there are echoes of Tristan and Isolt, Abelard and Heloise in their story.

Beth punctuates her musings about her men, her families, her illness – in short, about her life – with stories in various forms. Some are contributed by others, some are her own, some are reports of dreams. Beth suggests that the theme of her story is love, but I’d say it’s imagination: where it comes from and what purpose it might serve. In Violet, it gives full value. – David Guest, author and journalist.

At the heart of Violet, there is Beth, a divorced mother of two grown daughters and owner of a café, and there is James, previously married and with two adult children of his own. They are together, right from the opening pages, though in fact the paths of these two characters only intersected later in their lives. Theirs is a passionate love story.

The breadth of Violet is found not in its narrative scope—it is a personal tale with a limited cast of characters—but in how far it reaches inward, and outward. Symbolism and allegory abound, as Beth and James push the boundaries of their connection. They are the couple who dance among the flowers, with or without music, at times literally dancing words. They are the couple who have arrived at a place where the waiting ends.

Told in voices both living and posthumous, Violet is a celebration of the numinous, and a paean to life and love. With James at her side, and in spite of the all-consuming struggles she faces, Beth chooses to embrace a path that is “wild and windy and crazy”, along which the smallest experiences are acts of worship; a world that pulses with life and magic and joy. Michelle Payette-Daoust, blogger, bi-linguist and teacher 

Violet is the final instalment of Leslie Tate’s Lavender Blues trilogy. It chronicles the passionate later-in-life relationship of Beth and James. A simple love story? Think again. From the very first scene, a childhood story of Beth’s, entitled The Girl who Began Again, we are given a sense that this story will be something unique. We move straight from the childhood story, to an adult Beth sitting in a restaurant with a sheaf of letters sent to her by James. We learn that the pair have been corresponding and talking by telephone and that this would be their first date. Not a bad introduction.

After their successful first date, Tate eschews traditional story telling techniques by going backwards, over the series of pre-dated letters that have led to this point in the story. I wasn’t initially sure about this strategy, surely it would have made more sense to have the letters before the date? However, though the unorthodox decision does quench some of the initial dramatic tension, the letters themselves are fascinating. The move an invitation for the reader to abandon all pre-conceived ideas of what a novel ‘should’ involve.

After divesting us of our expectations, Tate then moves the narrative back and forth between Beth’s childhood and her evolving relationship with James. The various chapters are quirky and unorthodox involving text messages, dialogues without attributions, dreams, stories and poetry, giving one a sense that we are reading not so much a novel, as a real-life scrapbook of someone’s life. Particularly effective are the scenes from Beth’s early courtship with her first husband, an evangelical church minister, juxtaposed against the playfulness and indeed sacredness of her burgeoning relationship with James.

In part two, we skip forward six years, to a series of diary entries in Beth’s first-person narrative voice. She is married to James by this stage and I had similar reservations about the loss of dramatic tension as we looked back over their early struggles as a married couple. Despite this, I found part two the warmest and most endearing part of the novel. Beth is ill, the reader soon learns, her simple diary entries a chronicle of a couple coming to terms with a terminal illness. Their struggles, are chronicled in a quirky, unorthodox manner, which I’m beginning to recognise as Tate’s signature style. There is a loveliness to Beth’s simple spirituality, evoking all that is best in a life of faith. Their return to the rocky headland of their courtship concludes this section in a deeply symbolic manner.

Part three, opens with a letter written by James who is now in deep mourning. It is followed by some third person reflections of the community and then, what can only be described as series of affecting vignettes and stories from the perspective of the recently departed (or is she?) Beth. This section brought the metaphor of a scrapbook forcefully back to me. Perhaps, because I have only just planned a funeral, I was mindful of the fragmentary nature of our recollections. How one person can be different things to different people. How it is only when we pull them together that we can form a complete picture of their life. Which is sacred, in all of its phases, as Beth’s story was. This, I think, is the triumph of Tate’s novel. – Elizabeth Jane Corbett – Bristol Short Story Prize winner and author of The Tides Between.

Leslie’s website:

Purple cover front_300 (1)

In the UK, you can buy signed copies of the first novel in the trilogy, ‘Purple’, at:

Amazon UK has ‘Purple’ as an ebook and in paperback at:

Blue front cover

You can buy signed copies of ‘Blue’ in the UK at:

Amazon UK has paperback copies of ‘Blue’ at:

front cover Heavens Rage

You can buy signed copies of Leslie’s trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’ in the UK at

Amazon UK has paperback copies of ‘Heaven’s Rage’ at


Leslie Tate studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and has been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes. He’s the author of the trilogy of novels ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’, as well as his trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’, which has been turned into a film. Leslie runs a mixed arts show in Berkhamsted, UK, where he lives with his wife, multi-talented author Sue Hampton.

Well, that certainly piqued my interest… what about you? Do comment below.

Bye for now, you know me…. I’m

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Leslie is a member of our thriving Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club, to find out more please visit the following link: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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The Bloggers Bash Blog Post Competition 2018: The Queen’s Dress Down Day



Here’s my cheeky entry to the Bloggers Bash Blog Post Competition 2018, sorry your majesty!

The Queen’s forehead creased in worry, she’d had enough, so many engagements, accompanied by endless rounds of champagne, canapes and caviar.

She turned to her trusted adviser, ‘Dear fellow,’ she enquired, ‘Could you help me? I’d like to be a commoner for the day, to ride a double-decker bus full of beer swilling pensioners, purchase a sale bra and cheap stone-washed jeans. Oh, and I’d like to get to the lowly department store via a rusty old bike.’

Her adviser’s jaw dropped as if she had asked him whether he picked his very large nose.

He wandered off, or hid she wasn’t sure. She contemplated chopping his head off but decided against it. Instead, she turned to Google to find an answer. A wonderful site proposed A Royal Dress Down Day with a difference plus a Royal surprise. She squealed with delight. Her corgis hid under the bed in shock. She sighed; even her dogs were turning against her!

She squinted at the small print. The Dress Down Day promised a Fairy Godmother, a basic bra fit, a guarantee of poor service plus a cup of strong builder’s tea to wash down her disappointment. She signed a special disclaimer to say she wouldn’t complain.

The day loomed, Elizabeth was so excited! But, being a commoner wasn’t as great as she thought it would be. The Fairy Godmother turned out to be a little girl in a tutu who kept on whining. Instead of riding on a bike she had to get to the department store via an over populated ocean on a jet ski, and the pair of jeans clung to her body like a clinging wetsuit.

All very inappropriate for a woman of her age. She picked up her diamond tiara. Back to business as usual.


If you want to enter the competition you better get your skates on, tomorrow is the last day!





Thinking of writing a book review?

Great points about authors reviewing authors from Jack Eason.

Have We Had Help?


This post is aimed squarely at my fellow writers.

Since the act of reviewing a book was made available to every Tom, Dick or Harriet, and before you even think about writing one, there are a few things everyone needs to take into consideration before you hit the ‘Publish’ button.

To begin with, avoid spoilers (giving away the plot) like the plague. Next refrain from mentioning that you found errors in any given book, whether traditional or Indie published. It is extremely bad form. No one likes a smart arse endlessly droning on about it in every review they write, least of all the publisher and author of the work in question. To say the least, it becomes tiresome in the extreme. To that end there’s a highly appropriate saying which goes something like this – People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” In other words, unless…

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Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #Cinquain #Poetry #5lines


The prompt words this week are Renew and Fresh. I chose to use improve for renew and shocking for fresh.

The idea for this particular Cinquain came from a recent critique session at Cambridge writers. I’d submitted the first draft of my prologue for Book Two. Not everyone is a fan of prologues so the comments were kind of… make it shorter…. so short it would be tiny. Dare I make it a four, five line prologue?  Anyone got any advice on tiny prologues?

I wrote this Cinquain with that in mind:

Copy of Cinquain

Hope you enjoyed my Cinquain…

Happy writing!

Bye for now,





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Step Through Numerology – What Does This Number Mean?

A fascinating post about numerology via Annette at our sister of the fey blog.

The Sisters of the Fey

People ask if numbers are good or bad. Many will cite examples of the numbers 13 or 666 as to why they might ask. Interesting question. My answer is this, there are no bad numbers. The only thing that makes a number good or bad is the definition YOU choose.

In numerology, every number can have many interpretations, some you might like better than others. For instance, the number 5 can mean changes in your life that you cannot control. Who would say they were comfortable with that? Especially when they already have an unpleasant emotional connection to changes. However, the number 5 can also mean, that magic and miracles are about. Is that a more uplifting thought?  Sure, for many, it speaks to hopefulness as opposed to hopelessness.

So, what do the numbers mean? Here we go!

1 – newness

2 – balance

3 – integration

4 – stability

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Colleen Cheseboro’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge no. 73


Sometimes you have to stop and take a photo! Isn’t this snowman so cute? I spotted him on Saturday in central Cambridge. I was out for a shopping day and this cheeky chappy caught my eye. It was the combination of his daft hairstyle and walking stick that did it. Those twigs are so perfectly perched on his head sweeping over his left eye and his walking stick is firmly planted in the ground. He means business. Ha ha! He really made me smile.

To celebrate his awesome cuteness I decided to write a Tanka especially for him…

For Mr. Snowman

This snowman’s vigour,

Frosty spirit caught my eye,

He winked, the snow fell,

His hairstyle melted my heart,

Sweet guy stay mine forever!


I used the synonyms vigour for power and spirit for energy.

To join in the challenge:

Please feel free to comment or post your photos of snowmen in the comment field below.

Bye for now,



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An Open Invitation

Lisa Burton is looking for guests. Great opportunity to be interviewed by Lisa on Craig’s blog. Don’t let it slip.

Entertaining Stories

Let’s start this post by recycling this graphic:

Lisa Burton

Long time followers know what this is all about, but I’m going to write about it for the new folks out there. I use my original character, Lisa Burton, to host an imaginary radio show on this blog. Lisa Burton Radio interviews the fictional characters from your books.

These are a bit of a collaborative effort; whereby, I get your notes and create the shtick. You fill in the blanks where your character would interact with Lisa. These post on Thursdays.

I didn’t have a guest this week, but I’m set for next week. I must have a dozen of these interviews in the mail in various stages right now, but they aren’t getting finished for whatever reason. Some folks get halfway through the process, then simply disappear.

I generally work up the shtick over the weekend and send it to you…

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#Review of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Goodreads Synopsis

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


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My review: 

I loved this from the moment I picked it up. There is so much to recommend reading Nevernight, especially if you are a YA Fantasy author. I loved the shadows, (of course I did,) the not cat, (Mr Kindly) and especially the kick-ass heroine, Mia who’s determined to avenge her father’s killers. Mia is spurred to revenge by witnessing the death of her father and the subsequent cruelty meted out to her remaining family members.

All the characters are so well defined – and I adore Tric. I know some readers develop book boy crushes and he’d be mine! Ha ha…

This is YA but there are some seriously sexy scenes which are written so well that my jaw dropped! Ha ha… If I ever want to write sexy scenes I better bookmark these!

The plot and world building are phenomenal. I was a little kind of oh, please tell me this is not happening…. by something that occurred towards the end of the novel, but no spoilers…

I wish I had read Nevernight before I started writing The Curse of Time as there are so many parallels that made me go WOW… SHADOWS..,. In A Massive YEAH WAY! It should be compulsory reading for all fantasy authors! It is exciting, sexy, bloody… yes expect some stabbing.  This is not a PG. Definitely a favourite. No doubt I will continue with this series and read Godsgrave.

Things to watch our for: 

Fantastic expressions… ‘Never flinch’ ‘Never fear. And never, ever forget.’ ‘When all is blood, blood is all.’ You might just find yourself saying ‘Maw’s teeth,’ a lot! I did! And ”Byss and blood’  I just loved these!

Oh, and I reckon Jay Kristoff’s favourite Nevernight twitter hashtag is  .

And this photo on his twitter page is so fabulous. It’s of a cosplayer in Germany.

My rating: A fabulous #stabstabstab five stars.

Jay Kristoff’s blog:

More news: You can pre-order a signed copy of Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s Obsidio – The Illuminae Files: Book 3, Mar 14th via

Have you read Nevernight, and/or Godsgrave? Do let me know, let’s have a bookish chat about it….


Obsidio – The Illuminae Files : Book 3

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Link to buy the kindle copy of The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone:

The pre-release blog tour for my YA novel begins in April with my #ABRSC club pals, followed by a release tour with Neverland Blog Tours. (Jenny Marston is also a #ABRSC member!)

curse of time

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