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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Q & A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Marjorie Mallon – This is Lockdown #Anthology

Thank you so much to Debby for this wonderful promotional blog tour post for This Is Lockdown it includes a Q and A, excerpt and an early 5 star review from Adele Park.

Source: Q & A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Marjorie Mallon – This is Lockdown #Anthology

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This Is Lockdown #BlogTour @Marjorie_Mallon | But I Smile Anyway…

Thank you so much to Ritu for this Blog Tour post/excerpt for This Is Lockdown.

Ritu is a contributing author. 

Source: This Is Lockdown #BlogTour @Marjorie_Mallon | But I Smile Anyway…

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Shaz’s Book Blog: The Write Stuff with… M. J. Mallon

Thank you to Sharon for this feature for This Is Lockdown at Shaz’s Book Blog. It includes a poem from Adele Park and my thoughts on writing my first anthology. 

Source: Shaz’s Book Blog: The Write Stuff with… M. J. Mallon

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20th July – Release Day: This Is Lockdown #Compilation #Anthology #Writing #Authors #Lockdown #Poems #Flash #Diaries #Contributors

Happy Release Day to all the contributors in This Is Lockdown.

Help yourself to a slice of pineapple, your favourite coloured balloon, and some blueberry pancakes… I made this smiling fellow during lockdown. I had to eat him – with that smile how could I not? My tummy smiled afterwards!

It seems strange to celebrate anything during this horrendous time but… it’s important to look to the future and hope that this worldwide pandemic will ease and a solution will be found in the months ahead.

During lockdown I found it difficult to write my usual genre: YA Fantasy, so I focused instead on interviewing authors on the subject of ‘isolation’ during COVID19. I enjoyed this blog series so much, discovering so much common ground with other authors and bloggers that it seemed a good idea to take this further and to produce a book, a compilation of my diaries, poetry, flash fiction, and writings with ‘The Isolation writers,’ who live  in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Australia, Zimbabwe and Australia.

It doesn’t matter where we live, our experiences are similiar.

Here are some quotes from contributors to This Is Lockdown:

  1. ‘Isolation itself is not a problem, as an author I tend to live in other worlds anyway.’ Richard Dee. 
  2. ‘Nobody should feel they have to achieve things during this time of corona. It’s ok to just be – to stay safe, spend time with family, read and relax.’ Catherine Fearns.
  3.  What has changed? The answer is: Everything – but it took me a while to notice. Jackie Carreira
  4. We could get through this crisis better if everyone would cut each other some slack and come together. One can only hope… Sharon Marchisello
  5. I feel I’ve become like the ancients, huddled with my little family around the fire in a small circle of light.  Lynn Fraser
  6. I’m taking life at the moment with a huge dollop of perspective. – Fi Phillips
  7. If nothing else, this pandemic will have allowed us to work together in a way we might never have considered doing before. Jeannie Wycherley
  8. What’s changed for me? Nothing and everything and believe me, that’s as confusing as it sounds.  Chantelle Atkins
  9. Still, I’m just thankful that I am okay, we are all healthy, and that, in itself, is the biggest thing. Ritu Bhathal
  10. This situation easily calls forth the entire spectrum and expression of human emotion. Tracie Barton Barrett
  11. Instead, I started painting – no, not the walls, although they could do with it. I created big bright, colourful pieces of art to cheer myself up. Alice May
  12. On my walks, I spend time thinking what the world will be like after coronavirus and how it will differ from the past. Peter Gooby-Taylor
  13. Festivals are important. We meet, talk, drink, solve the world’s problems, learn and relax. Miriam Owen
  14. We greatly miss our author visits to shops, libraries and book clubs. – Ceri and Drew
  15. At time of writing, lockdown here in Italy is easing, but I am still wary of emerging into the sunlight.  Katherine Mezzacappa
  16. If it has taught me anything, it has taught me that my blogging time must be managed, as it helps me, so it must have its place. Willow Willers
  17. I
    believe
    there is a
    silver lining
    to isolation 
     –  a line from Sally Cronin’s poem.
  18. I am very much missing human engagement – talking in person, hugging a friend, and seeing a compassionate, genuine smile, not hidden behind a mask. D G Kaye
  19. Something is very wrong in this new world, (from poem) Adele Marie Park
  20. The world is quiet, a new strange calm,  (from Poem) Marian wood
  21. unknowing (the city) –  for the rains… (from Poem) Frank Prem
  22. Anxious thoughts lace my outings to The Wasteland. Sherri Matthews.
  23. Welcome to the new normal, I could be smiling right now but you cannot see it behind the mask. Beaton Mabaso
  24. We really felt that our project hit a chord and it showed what a community pulling together could achieve. It seemed to give focus in this strange and new world of lockdown. Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val. Fundraising for the NHS: #CommunityMasks4NHS
  25. We are living in strange and difficult times indeed my friends, but there comes a time when we must raise our eyes to the future, and reflect and act on what we have learned. Samantha Murdoch.
  26. As the virus bloomed, so did sales, until non essentials were forced to close. But she soon found lockdown’s silver lining in endless days communing with her own bookshelves. – quote from a piece by Anne Goodwin.
  27. Stay Safe in Your Own Personal WildernessM J Mallon

This Is Lockdown is:

An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

This Is Lockdown kindle buying Link:

Universal link: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

It is also available for free on kindle unlimited.

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CD1MCFB?pf_rd_r=NPA6S5SQJ30A6VYX87Q5&pf_rd_p=e632fea2-678f-4848-9a97-bcecda59cb4e

Amazon US link:

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19th July – New Release: This Is Lockdown #Anthology #Compilation #Diaries #Poetry #Flash #Stories

Thrilled to say that tomorrow is the launch day for This Is Lockdown, a compilation of diaries, flash fiction, poetry and short stories, an anthology: from the ‘isolation writers,’ on the topic of isolation for writers and creatives during COVID19, plus brilliant poetry and writings.

Blog Tour and features coming up….

19th July – Promo at M J Mallon’s blog – Recap of all the great promos: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/18/19th-july-new-release-this-is-lockdown-anthology-compilation-diaries-poetry-flash-stories/

20th July – M J Mallon – Quotes from the collection: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/18/20th-july-release-day-this-is-lockdown-compilation-anthology-writing-authors-lockdown-poems-flash-diaries-contributors/

21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog https://shazsbookblog.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-write-stuff-with-m-j-mallon.html#more

22nd July – Ritu Bhathal – Blog Tour and Excerpt: https://butismileanyway.com/2020/07/22/this-is-lockdown-blogtour-marjorie_mallon/

23rd July – Richard Dee Blog Tour and Review: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/this-is-lockdown/

24th July – Debby Gies D G Kaye ( Q and A, Excerpts and Early Review) https://dgkayewriter.com/q-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-marjorie-mallon-this-is-lockdown-anthology/

25th July – Marian Wood – Final Day of The Blog Tour. https://justmuddlingthroughlife.co.uk/2020/07/25/this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

Early Promos:

10th July Lorraine Macehttp://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com/2020/07/friday-fiction-feature-this-is-lockdown.html

A huge thank you to those who featured us during the pre-release:

13th July: Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-special-feature-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/comment-page-1/#comment-316239

14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A):

https://chantelleatkins.com/2020/07/14/this-is-lockdown-q-and-a-with-mj-mallon/


15th July Beaton Mabaso https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/07/15/of-this-is-lockdown-book-and-blog-tour/


16th July Willow Willers: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/day-three-of-the-this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

And on 17th July I shared a double promo for two books:


17th JulyDouble Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park’s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons:


https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/17/17th-july-promo-hot-off-the-press-new-releases-wisp-ii-sea-dragons-and-this-is-lockdown-fantasy-dragons-and-covid19-anthology-compilation/

18th July Sally Cronin a 5 star review: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/smorgasbord-book-reviews-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

I’m thrilled that Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val have contributed a piece about their fundraising venture #CommunityMasks4NHS sharing their amazing face masks for the NHS health service and free masks for charities and not for profit organisations.

To date Jane and Melissa have raised a staggering £30,000.

And the masks are really cool! Here I am wearing a sea themed one. Yes, I am missing the wee fishes! No snorkelling for me… No holidays abroad. Sigh. So, I am spreading the word… get yourself a face mask, perhaps one for each day of the week!  

The awesome contributing authors are old friends and new…

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

I’m so glad I started this project, it has connected me to new friends in the author world and strengthened ties with old pals too.

Sweet.

There is such variety in This Is Lockdown… something for everyone.

In fact, Willow referred to it as:

A piece of living history…

Poetry, diaries, writings, humour, thoughts, feelings, fears and hope.

Without hope the human race is lost. Keep hoping for a better world.

I hope you enjoy This Is Lockdown, I truly enjoyed writing, compiling the anthology featuring numerous authors and bringing it all together – it is my first anthology!

Kindle Buying Links:

Amazon UK link: 

Amazon USA:

Universal link:

mybook.to/Thisislockdown

What an experience it has been. I’ve learnt new skills: how to use Kindle Create and how to design an ebook cover.

So, what’s next – the paperback perhaps? I may hire someone to help, decisions, decisions!

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Sally Cronin’s Review of This Is Lockdown #anthology #compilation

Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for taking the time to read and review This Is Lockdown which releases 20th July. The kindle is currently on preorder via Amazon.

Read the thoughtful and detailed review via the following link:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/smorgasbord-book-reviews-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

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17th July PROMO: Hot Off The Press – New Releases Wisp II – Sea Dragons and This Is Lockdown #Fantasy #Dragons and COVID19 #Anthology #Compilation



Congratulations to Adele Marie Park for two new releases – Wisp II – Sea Dragons,(which is currently on preorder and releases 18th July,) and Adele is a contributing author in This Is Lockdown which is also on preorder and releases 20th July.

Wisp II – Blurb

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.

Congratulations to Adele. I had the pleasure of beta reading Wisp II,(an imaginative, dark fantasy,) and looking forward to reviewing it soon. And it’s lovely that she is a contributing author in This Is Lockdown.

Author bio – Adele Park

I love writing, it`s my passion. My genres include fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and a mixture of all those. I love telling stories;period. I am married to my wonderful wife, who is my rock. Our daughter and our dog, german shepherd collie cross, are also my passions. To experience a moment of pure love is to experience the world.
Creativity is something I couldn`t live without.
I am also a Supernatural geek, and love my music. Punk, Goth, Rockabilly and visual Kei music from Japan.

The paranormal is my normal.
oh, and I also totally believe in faeries.

Adele’s links: https://firefly465.wordpress.com/

An early 5 star review for Wisp II from Colleen Chesebro: An atmospheric dark fantasy filled with suspense, murder, and magic!

And This Is Lockdown

An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

Buying Link:

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CD1MCFB/

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

Universal link: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

The fabulous authors, bloggers and creatives who have contributed to This Is Lockdown. I’d like to give a shout out to them all.  

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

Promo/blog Tour posts:

List and details of proposed book promo and book tour: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/11/blog-tour-and-promo-for-new-release-this-is-lockdown/](https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/11/blog-tour-and-promo-for-new-release-this-is-lockdown/

Twitter: @Binky567

The full list of contributing authors in This Is Lockdown:

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

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Day Three of the, This Is Lockdown. Blog Tour. | willowdot21

Hi everyone welcome to a socially distanced tea and chat with the very talented and lovely Marjorie Mallon.  Well make yourself comfortable and enjoy your cuppa and cake while we chat. Oh, tha…

Source: Day Three of the, This Is Lockdown. Blog Tour. | willowdot21

 

Thank you to Willow for this lovely blog tour post for This Is Lockdown.

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Of This Is Lockdown: Book and Blog Tour – Becoming The Muse

Thank you to Beaton for this wonderful blog tour post for the release of This Is Lockdown. It is currently on preorder and will be released 20th July. Available via Amazon Kindle.

https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/07/15/of-this-is-lockdown-book-and-blog-tour/

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This Is Lockdown – Q and A with MJ Mallon | The Glorious Outsiders

Thank you to Chantelle Atkins for this Q and A as part of the blog tour for the forthcoming release of This Is Lockdown, an anthology of 29 authors, writers and creatives. This Is Lockdown, is a snapshot of time and includes writing, diaries, flash fiction, poetry and contributions from the ‘isolation writers’ who featured on my blog. This Is Lockdown releases on July 20th. To preorder: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

 

 

Source: This Is Lockdown – Q and A with MJ Mallon | The Glorious Outsiders

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for this special feature of This Is Lockdown which is currently on pre-order, releases 20th July.

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Book Review: Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle

Synopsis:

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude depicts a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache and unpredictable circumstances. It also celebrates genuine love and fulfilling relationships. The poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience.The poems are inspiring to the mind, heart, and spirit. The readers will resonate with these experiences. Hurdle illustrates the poems with her photograph and watercolor paintings.

My review:

What a lovely collection of poetry, photography and paintings. I really enjoyed this poetry collection. Songs of Heartstrings tells the story of the author’s life and the many difficulties she has overcome. It is heartfelt and personal. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry touches upon human frailties: struggling through cancer, learning to love again, rejoicing in the gifts of parenthood, music, exalting in the joy of nature, friendship and the sadness that returns with loss.

There is much that I related to, especially the poems of nature and the sea. Both of which mean a lot to me. It’s clear that Miriam Hurdle takes a great deal of comfort from religion and she shares her faith in her poetry.

The reader is enriched from reading Songs of Heartstrings with a sense of shared reminiscences and a deeper connection. Miriam Hurdle’s poetry is simply that, truthful, personal and real.

My recommendation: Highly recommended. 4.5 stars.

Author Website: https://theshowersofblessings.com/

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Blog Tour and Promo for #new #release – This Is Lockdown

The Blog tour and promo for This Is Lockdown starts officially next week with the pre-order promo followed by book launch week!

Already, we’ve had a promo post from Lorraine Mace: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com/2020/07/friday-fiction-feature-this-is-lockdown.html

Lorraine writes bestselling crime: The DI Sterling series. There’s no crime in This Is Lockdown but Lorraine features a wide variety of authors in her Friday Fiction Features. She also has a critique and mentoring service plus information for writers on her blog.

Pre-order week promo for This Is Lockdown

13th July the awesome Sally Cronin is featuring us!!! – a new book on the shelves, special promo: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-special-feature-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

14th July Chantelle Atkins: https://chantelleatkins.com/2020/07/14/this-is-lockdown-q-and-a-with-mj-mallon

15th July Beaton Mabaso : https://becomingthemuse.net/2020/07/15/of-this-is-lockdown-book-and-blog-tour/

16th July: Willow Willers: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/day-three-of-the-this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

17th July: Double Promo: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/17/17th-july-promo-hot-off-the-press-new-releases-wisp-ii-sea-dragons-and-this-is-lockdown-fantasy-dragons-and-covid19-anthology-compilation/

Blog Tour:
14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A) .
15th July Beaton Mabaso
16th July Willow Willers (Q and A)
17th July – Double Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park‘s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons at M J Mallon’s blog.

18th July Sally Cronin – Promo/Review!!!

19th July – Recap Promo of all the great promos- M J Mallon

Launch week:

20th July – Launch Day Promo M J Mallon – Lockdown Quotes.
21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog – promo
22nd July – Ritu Kaur BP
23rd July – Richard Dee
24th July – D G Kaye ( Q and A)
25th July – Marian Wood

25th of July is the last day of the tour as I am going on holiday thereafter and taking a break from social media! As this has been a huge project and I reckon I will be exhausted by then.

The fabulous authors, bloggers and creatives who have contributed to This Is Lockdown. I’d like to give a shout out to them all.  

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

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Media Kit: This Is Lockdown #COVID19 #Corononavirus #Compilation #Anthology #Shortstories #FlashFiction #Poetry #Isolation #Writers

This Is Lockdown is a anthology/compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction and poetry set during COVID19 from 23rd March until 1st June 2020. The anthology also features the ‘isolation writers’ who featured on my blog discussing their thoughts on isolation during this time.

The question which I posed at the time was:

How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

Several of the contributing authors and bloggers also contributed poems, or thoughts about this time.

The wonderful contributing authors and creatives are many in number!

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

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

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

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

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

This Is Lockdown was released on 20th July. There was a two week promotion and blog tour from the week beginning 13th July.

Book Promo:

10th July. A promo post from Lorraine Mace: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com/2020/07/friday-fiction-feature-this-is-lockdown.html

Pre-order week:

Sally Cronin – Featured us with a new book on the shelves on 13th July: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-special-feature-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

Blog Tour/Promo posts:

14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A) – Book Tour: https://chantelleatkins.com/2020/07/14/this-is-lockdown-q-and-a-with-mj-mallon/

15th July Beaton Mabaso – Book Tour – https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/15/of-this-is-lockdown-book-and-blog-tour-becoming-the-muse/

16th July Willow Willers – Q and A – https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/16/day-three-of-the-this-is-lockdown-blog-tour-willowdot21/

17th July Double Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park’s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons – here!

18th July Sally Cronin – Promo and Review – https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/smorgasbord-book-reviews-anthology-this-is-lockdown-covid-19-diaries-flash-fiction-poetry-m-j-mallon-and-other-authors/

Launch week:

20th July – Myself! – Book Tour Release Day: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/18/20th-july-release-day-this-is-lockdown-compilation-anthology-writing-authors-lockdown-poems-flash-diaries-contributors/

21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog – Promo post. https://shazsbookblog.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-write-stuff-with-m-j-mallon.html

22nd July – Ritu Kaur BP – Book Tour https://butismileanyway.com/2020/07/22/this-is-lockdown-blogtour-marjorie_mallon/

23rd July –Richard Dee – Book Tour and Review: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/this-is-lockdown/

24th July – D G Kaye ( Q and A) – Book Tour: https://dgkayewriter.com/q-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-marjorie-mallon-this-is-lockdown-anthology/

25th July – Marian Wood – Book Tour – https://justmuddlingthroughlife.co.uk/2020/07/25/this-is-lockdown-blog-tour/

Features:

Beetley Pete: https://beetleypete.com/2020/08/02/bloggers-books-marjorie-mallon/

5 star Reviews:

5 star review from Sarah Northwood: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3457694888/

Review from Adele Park: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3432131317/

Review from Marian Wood: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3484130110/

Buying Link:

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CD1MCFB/

Amazon US link:

Universal link:

mybook.to/Thisislockdown

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Book Review Life and Other Dreams – Richard Dee

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Sci-Fi and psychological thriller fans are in for a treat.”
“…action, adventure, romance and cerebral high-jinks…”
Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.
In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.
Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.
When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.
Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?
Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page! 

My review:

I loved this, so imaginative, exciting and relatable. Awesome writing Richard Dee. My hubby has action-packed, crazy, dreams all the time, so this really appealed to me. Though, I don’t think my hubby’s dreams have taken him off planet as yet, at least, if they have he hasn’t told me!

Poor Rick, he truly does get into trouble with his dreams which take him off galavanting to planet Ecias away from his married life, ( with Cath on earth,) into the arms of Vanessa. In Ecias, he has a name change too and becomes Dan.

Cath begins to think that Rick is having a real affair… And her jealousy leads her and Rick to disastrous measures.

Oh, can’t say I liked Cath much… But she redeemed herself somewhat… Jealousy can bring out the ugly in people.

Which is real? Life on earth, or life in Ecias?

My recommendation: 5 stars. If you want to read something different – in the Sci Fi/Thriller category give this a go. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio copy.

I loved the ending by the way!

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

I also really enjoyed his Andorra Pett cosy mysteries (review link below,) which recently got a mention on YouTube….

I received a free audio book from the author but this in no way influences my review.

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Pre-order!!! #New #Release This Is Lockdown #anthology #compilation #diaries #isolation #writers #poetry #flash #stories

Thrilled to announce that This Is Lockdown is now on pre-order via Amazon.

It is a compilation and anthology of diaries, writings (from the Isolation writers,) flash fiction, poetry and short stories.

Special Pre-order kindle purchase link – Amazon UK – Only £1.99

(Also available for free on Kindle Unlimited.)

and to purchase Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB

It is set out in two parts:

Part one includes my personal diaries and poetry during lockdown, the ‘isolation writers’ discussing the impact of this extraordinarily stressful time on their lives, poems and writings from authors, bloggers and a piece from Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val about their fabulous fundraising mask venture for the NHS.

Look at these:

Part two continues with my writings during lockdown: poetry, short stories, (including my YA short story The Poet’s Club, and flash fiction plus a more mature Love Affair, (short piece set post virus.)

The wonderful contributors are:

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

It has been quite a learning curve for me – my first compilation/anthology!

The formatting was a challenge. There are lots and lots of photographs in this collection. The majority are observational photos I’ve taken during allowed walks of all manner of things including concrete frogs hidden below bridges…. and my thoughts about why this fellow is there… So mysterious…

There are also lovely kitty photos from my good friend Samantha Murdoch… Now that’s a face! Poor Charlie, kitty, what is the matter?

As well as fetching author photos… and masked up photos from myself, Beaton, and the Masks4NHS venture.

Anyway, it is a true account of my observations, and the thoughts of authors, bloggers and creatives from the UK, US, Canada, Italy and Zimbabwe.

Wherever we are, we are all feeling it. This time unites us in a way that we could never have imagined.

Stay safe and well.

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Soliciting Syllabic Poetry Donations Part Two

Colleen Chesebro is looking for syllabic poetry donations for Part Two of her book:

It’s time for an update on the poetry I need for examples for my new book, Word Craft – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry. I’ve been playing with book cover ideas. The book is divided into two group: Japanese forms and American forms. This book covers the eleven forms we use in the weekly…

Source: Soliciting Syllabic Poetry Donations Part Two

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Review: Flying Solo by Zoe May #Book #Review #Romance #India

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rachel Watson has it all worked out. By 30, she’s ticked off most of the goals on her Life List. She’s a home owner, a partner at her law firm, she has a gorgeous boyfriend, lots of hobbies and loads of good friends. The only thing that’s missing is a ring on her finger.

According to her Life List, Rachel should be getting hitched around now, so when her boyfriend, Paul, plans a romantic date, Rachel’s pretty confident he’s going to propose. Except Paul has other ideas. He’s jetting off to India to find himself.

Distraught, Rachel doesn’t know what to do. Not one to easily admit defeat, she embarks on a mission to win him back.

Flying solo to India is definitely not part of Rachel’s plans, but could her trip teach her unexpected lessons about love, life and herself? Could she realise that perhaps her Life List wasn’t exactly what she wanted, after all? 

My review:

This is the first book I’ve read from Zoe May and I really enjoyed it. Well, I was in the mood for romance! It was different and in a good way. I liked the whole Spiritual aspect to the ashram in India and the laughable scenes, (yes I fell about laughing,) particularly when Rachel first meets Seb. Paul not so much so, I didn’t warm to him at all, now Seb that’s a different matter! That guy sounds hot! I wonder if a sequel is planned, there are some loose threads.

Now, when can I go to India? Take me there!

Highly recommended, quick fun read. Loved all the scenes in India.

I received an ARC copy via a competition. All opinions are my own.

Release date: July 6, 2020.

My rating: 4 stars.

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The Curse of Time: #Free #Kindle #Promo



The Curse of Time is still on free Amazon kindle promo today and tomorrow, so grab your free copy while you can!

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Thank you so much to all those who have downloaded.

I’ve created a couple of graphics to celebrate! Yesterday, James Cudney featured me on his Book Alert. He shared an excerpt, lots of visuals and two reviews, one from himself and one from Kevin Cooper.

The link to the Book Alert: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2020/06/30/book-alert-the-curse-of-time-by-mj-mallon/

Here’s the first review graphic I created with canva:

Thank you to Kevin Cooper for his review. You can read the full review here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R17TZZPV0JVF0V/

Thank you to James Cudney, Vashti Vega, Carolina Russo for both sharing promos for the Curse of Time to their stories on my behalf:

Carolina Russo is starting World Watercolour month today 1st July: https://yesterdayafter.com/2020/06/25/coming-soon-the-world-watercolor-month-2020/

To inspire you these are the beautiful illustrations she created for The Curse of Time:

News: I’ve been featured on Literary Lightbox with my piece on Inspiration featuring my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius.

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Book Alert: The Curse of Time by MJ Mallon – This Is My Truth Now

Source: Book Alert: The Curse of Time by MJ Mallon – This Is My Truth Now

Thank you to James Cudney for this beautifully present book alert for my YA Fantasy: The Curse of Time which is currently on #free #kindle #promo offer from today 30th June for three days!

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The Curse of Time YA Fantasy: #Free #Kindle #Promo #Offer #Coming #Soon – 3 days from 30th June!!!

I’m pleased to announce that my YA Fantasy The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone will be on free kindle promotion for three days from 30th June!!!

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger. With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Photography Credit: Dr John C Taylor, OBE: http://www.johnctaylor.com/

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

Latest author interview: http://fiphillipswriter.com/2020/05/11/author-interview-with-m-j-mallon/

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

Also, Mr. Sagittarius, my poetry and prose collection is being featured over at Literary Lightbox in the category Inspiration. Here’s the link:

Subscribe to Kyrosmagica Publishing - Author M J Mallon
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Esther Chilton – #Non-Fiction #New #Release #Pre-Order – Publication Guaranteed (well, almost!)

I’m pleased to welcome Esther Chilton to my blog today with her new release which is currently on pre-order – the release date is Saturday 27th June, 2020.

I’ve met Esther on many occasions at the Bloggers Bash in London. She’s a lovely lady and it’s a lovely treat to have her feature on my blog today.

Blurb:

Publication Guaranteed

(well, almost!)

Fed up with rejection after rejection? Not sure how to target the right market, or what to write about?

Writers Bureau tutor, editor and freelance writer, Esther Chilton takes you through the necessary steps to gain publication whether you’re just starting out or have been writing for a while.

Topics include writing:

  • Readers’ letters
  • Fillers
  • Articles
  • Short stories
  • For competitions

You’ll find information on market research, how to set your work out and send it, as well as lots of useful tips, examples and writing exercises to give you ideas and build on your writing skills with the aim of publishing your work.

A Helping Hand for Writers

Here an extract from the book – it’s from the Sizzling Story Ideas chapter, which features lots of prompts and writing exercises.
Location
A tranquil beach with a blazing riot of a sunset and the gentle lapping of waves into shore is the perfect setting for a romance story, but more mundane locations can also generate a compelling story idea. How about your local market? You may be poking and prodding at the apples when you see a child out of the corner of your eye. In your story, the child could steal an apple from the stall. Perhaps the child has run away from a terrible homelife or maybe he/she is doing it as a dare to look good in front of a group of friends. Another possibility is a bully, lurking in wait, ready to taunt the child if he/she doesn’t carry out the act. One option is to tell the story through the child’s eyes. This always stands out and adds an extra element of emotion. So, as well as thinking up locations for your stories, take note of what’s around you. Inspiration often strikes where and when you least expect it.
Writing exercise
Want some more? The following are just a few locations to stimulate places for an entertaining and compelling story. The story threads suggested here may bring others to mind. Write down your ideas:
An old house that’s been boarded up for a long time. Walking past one evening, your character notices there’s a light on. Who is in there? A ghost? A squatter? An axe-murderer? A group of teenagers?
A supermarket. A woman starts screaming. What’s wrong with her? What/who has she seen? Or is she mentally ill? There’s a crash from outside. What’s going on? An accident? An attack?
A bedroom. Has someone died in the bedroom? Now? Or years before? Perhaps the bedroom has a secret door into another world, or it’s just a hiding place for secrets.
Some woods. A person may be killed, or become lost in the woods. Or maybe something happened there years before – something supernatural and unexplained. It could be happening all over again. Alternatively, two dog walkers meet in the woods and love blossoms.
A school reunion. Could feuds have festered over the years? Will first loves be there and once more rekindled? Is there someone there who shouldn’t be?

Esther has regularly written for writing magazines such as Writers’ Forum and Writing Magazine. She has also had her work featured in a diverse range of magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, Best of British, Your Cat, Prima, My Weekly and The People’s Friend, to name a few.


Winner of Writing Magazine, Writers’ News, The Global Short Story and several other writing competitions and awards, Esther has also judged writing competitions. For over ten years, Esther has been a tutor for The Writers Bureau and after requests from students, she put together a collection of her stories – The Siege. Esther’s latest book of short stories, A Walk In the Woods is out now.


Esther has been working on her first non-fiction book to help writers get published –Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!). It’s the first in her A Helping Hand For Writers series and is available as an e-book. A paperback will follow shortly. In addition to tutoring, Esther works as a freelance copyeditor offering an editing, guidance and advice service for authors and writers. She has edited novels, non-fiction books, articles and short stories. You can find out more about it here:
https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/editing-proofreading-and-advice-service/
If you’d like Esther’s help, or would like to know more about what she can do for you, please get in touch: estherchilton@gmail.com
Links:

Website
Blog
Twitter
LinkedIn

To buy Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!):
Amazon UK
Amazon US

For The Siege:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

For A Walk in the Woods:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Wishing Esther every success with her new non-fiction book. What a brilliant idea!

Before I go, I’d like to mention that I really enjoyed Esther’s short story collection – A Walk In The Woods. Read my review here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/04/08/book-review-a-walk-in-the-woods-by-esther-chilton-book-review/

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Excerpt: Samantha Murdoch – Forthcoming Anthology – This Is Lockdown

Photo by Ella Lena from Pexels

Today, I have great pleasure to share with you an excerpt from This Is Lockdown, an anthology of writing plus my poetry, flash fiction, and short stories due for release soon.

This is from my good friend Samantha Murdoch…

Strange Days Indeed…!

A tale from Samantha Murdoch

© Copyright Samantha Murdoch

We are living in strange and difficult times indeed my friends, but there comes a time when we must raise our eyes to the future, and reflect and act on what we have learned…

Although not a native of the East Midlands, I find its quirky humour and the people here have grown on me the longer I’ve lived here and there’s always something… well strange going on.

Take the other day for example – as the youngest, fittest and lowest risk category member of my little family I do the shopping and medication run, and I had just returned from delivering essential items to my mother.

“Hurry up for Christ’s sake Samantha, you know I can’t go out and I am gasping for a cigarette and the dogs are driving me mad for treats!” namely cigarettes, dog meat and dog treats, leaving them carefully on her doorstep and waving to the dogs who were grinning madly at me through the window while standing on the windowsill wearing Mother’s net curtains on their heads like very fetching lace mantillas.

I called goodbye and left – “Get off the bloody windowsill you idiots!” – her words of farewell echoing behind me and went pottering off up the hill to return to my own house, pondering weighty issues like should I feed my sour dough starter again – did I need to plant more beetroot and would my partner possibly let me buy a little goat…

My reverie was, well, strangely interrupted by a somewhat overweight and half naked gentleman running towards me, his hands cupped carefully around something at his groin level shouting:

“Can you do anything with this please?”

Understandably, I backed away rapidly, fumbling desperately in my handbag for a weapon (I found a biro) and my look of confusion must have registered with the man because he stopped running and said, a little more reasonably:

“No, look!”

He held his hands out to me, and nestled on his palms was a collared dove, one of our prettiest native birds. I approached and looked down. It seemed uninjured, and gazed back trustingly at us.

“What would you like me to do with it?” I enquired politely, hoping I wasn’t about to be wrestled indoors and commanded to make pigeon pie…

“My cat had hold of it – she’s a bogger * for catching birds and bringing ‘em in and I can’t leave it in my garden coz she’ll only have it again, so I thought you could take it with you,” he finished, looking at me hopefully.

“Ah! Oh – no, I have four cats,” I told him, and we both nodded in mutual understanding of our furry friends’ proclivities.

Suddenly, he brightened as an idea struck.

“That house over there – they’ve got a big hedge! I can put it in there!”

“That’s a good idea,” I replied encouragingly.

Together, we sneaked across the road, keeping out of the sight line of the house and I watched as the man pushed the dove into a suitable hole as far up as he could reach in the hedge.

We stood back and looked. The dove settled quite happily into its hiding place and we smiled at each other, the half naked somewhat overweight man and I, united in our common goal to help save a little life.

I haven’t seen him since, and I hope the little bird recovered too. But in these strange days sometimes that’s all that’s needed – a little kindness.

Stay safe and well, friends.

© Writing and Image – Samantha Murdoch

* The term bogger is the pronunciation used in Nottingham of bugger!

Bio:

Samantha Murdoch enjoys sharing her thoughts on writing and the power of the written word. She entertains and amuses her blogging community with her thoughts and memories, cats, crystals laughter and the magic of everyday life.

A lovely blog with a warm and friendly welcome, and lots of furry friends too!

Links:

https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com

https://www.instagram.com/crystalcats1485/

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Book Review: The Willow Woman (Philip Ye, #1) by Laurence Westwood

Goodreads Book Synopsis:

Chengdu: a teeming, modern metropolis.

Yet China’s painful turbulent history still leaves its mark on the minds of all who live there.

Philip Ye, half English, half Chinese, is a homicide detective with the Chengdu Public Security Bureau who suffers his own anguish from a life blighted by tragedy and the unsettling appearance of ghosts that often intrude in on his investigations.

On a misty grey morning one such apparition leads him to a busy street corner during the rush hour where he bears witness to a shocking event. Against his better judgment, Phillip is drawn into the search for a missing, vulnerable boy. His investigation brings him into contact with Xu Ya, a brilliant and beautiful public prosecutor. She is new to Chengdu, determined not only to make her mark but to also leave behind her own personal heartbreak. They have crossed paths before. He has no memory of her, but she remembers him very well indeed….

Soon enough Philip Ye has a vicious murder on his hands, and then another – the boy’s disappearance seemingly sparking a chain of violent events. With the help of Xu Ya – dedicated to upholding făzhì, the Rule of Law, in China ‒ and her indefatigable and worldly-wise assistant Fatty Deng, Phillip Ye is quickly on the trail of a mysterious figure known as The Willow Woman. But, unbeknownst to them all, there are secretive and subversive forces at work within the dark heart of the city and tremendous danger awaits…. 

My review


This isn’t my usual genre but when I read the cover and synopsis I knew The Willow Woman would be for me. I was lucky to win a copy, (this in no way influences my review – all opinions are my own,) and I wasn’t disappointed.

What a great novel. The Willow Woman is well written, engaging, and thoroughly researched too. There are masses of characters in the novel, but don’t let this put you off. The author kindly gives us a detailed list, so we don’t get confused who is who!

Within the cover of this book you’ll find: touches of the paranormal and the mystical, police procedural, China’s historical past and the frailties of what it means to be human and vulnerable set amongst the cliques, violence, cults and mysteries of China.

There are many characters in this tale to keep the reader entertained. Laurence Westwood introduces them with care and such detail that the reader is immersed in this world.

My personal favourites are Fatty Deng, Constable Ma, Mouse, the main protagonist Philip Ye and the Prosecutor Xu Ya.

In fact, I wish we had more of Fatty Deng…

Moreover, there are the lovely touches of spontaneous humour that bring a smile from time to time.

The ending what can I say – read it and see! 

I look forward to reading more from this author.

My recommendation: Highly recommended.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Authors Website: https://www.laurencewestwood.com/

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Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction: Good Vibrations

The flash fiction below is based loosely on a true story! I’ve been asked to beta read twice recently. One of those beta reads was a little different…

Good vibrations can come in the most unusual ways! A friend of mine asked me to beta read for her. She mentioned that her story wasn’t her usual style of writing and she was using a pseudonym. With various writing projects on the go, I didn’t give it much thought. I knew I’d help her, as she’s always supported me.

When I started reading the manuscript, I soon realised what she meant. This was a  sensual read. I ploughed on; completing the beta edits of the romantic erotica in record time!

June 18, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes good vibrations. What is unfolding? Is someone giving off or receiving the feeling? Where is the story situated? Gather some good vibes and go where the prompt leads!

Respond by June 23, 2020https://carrotranch.com/2020/06/19/june-18-flash-fiction-challenge-2/

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