Desert Island Books with… Marjorie Mallon – A Little Book Problem

Thank you so much to Julie @ A Little Book Problem for this lovely Desert Island Books blog post featuring my favourite books that I would take with me and one other item…

Source: Desert Island Books with… Marjorie Mallon – A Little Book Problem

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Bloodstone: The Curse of Time Book 1 – Release!!! #YA #Fantasy #New #Release @NextChapterPB

Well, I’m absolutely delighted! Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey. A big thank you to all those who have believed in me, read my books, beta read for me, reviewed and encouraged me, I would not be where I am without your support.

ANNOUNCING!!

My YA Fantasy Bloodstone is now available to purchase on Amazon in kindle, (free – kindle unlimited,) and in paperback and large print edition – Thank you Next Chapter Publishing.
MyBook link:
http://mybook.to/bstmm
Amazon Preview Link: https://amzn.eu/iwyO8p3

BLURB

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is 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 path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. 

EXCERPT – PROLOGUE

Most people would call our existence strange, but this is more than that; this deserves a headline. We’re not spectacular enough to feature on the national or international news, but we warranted a column in the local newspaper headed by seven not so lucky words: Missing Father Returns After Weird Aging Phenomenon. I’m glad that our short-lived fame died and the paparazzi, (what a joke,) got bored with us. Now we can get back to the day to day living if you can call it that. We live in a typical suburb of Cambridge in an untypical house. It’s no bungalow, the floors just go on and on, and so do the rumours about us. When I say we, I mean our strange extended family comprising mature, tantrum-prone Mum, Dad (alias: old man before his time), teenage me, the most stable of us all (I think), and self-harming Esme, who isn’t my sister but might as well be. I could write a whole book devoted to her alone. Oh, and I forgot to mention our permanent house guest, Shadow, a black cat of inde‐ terminate age and parentage who arrived one day and never left. The rest of the inhabitants of our household (except perhaps for me and Shadow, although his status is open to debate) are dysfunctional, weirded-out characters.

I have to cope with a lot (and that’s an understatement), so I resort to painting, rock-and-roll, collecting crystals, and writing songs and poetry. I enjoy writing haiku, a Japanese form of poetry with three lines and some syllables to count. It soothes me. I write Tanka too; adding two longer lines at the end, which soothes me more. Each poetic puzzle I jot down serves as a clue for less afflicted folk to decipher what the hell I am talking about. So, what am I talking about? The trouble is I don’t know; I’m still muddling through. Although I expect it’s a cry for help (a yell), combined with me dissecting the details about Mum’s life, Dad’s existence and his disappearance, Esme’s imprisonment, and Shad‐ ow’s ability to appear and reappear at a moment’s notice. And that’s saying nothing about living in a house that feels like a living being! Yes, I joke to stay sane. That’s a lot to process (sorry), and it’s only a fraction, a haiku tidbit, so let’s keep it simple but poetic and start with a view.

Large print edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B097SLWH49/

Click the free preview above to find out more.

And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads to read list:

It’s been a lot of hard work and no peace for the wicked!

I am busy editing the second book for release next and looking into a blog tour company to create some buzz for Bloodstone’s official release.

In the meantime, if you can help by sharing, getting the word out and reviewing, (I know many of you lovelies have already read the original edition and your reviews will hopefully be re-added soon via the powers that be at Amazon! I believe Next Chapter is in touch with them…

I will be celebrating today with my lovely daughter who has had covid but is now better and passed her quarantine.

Thank heavens, what stressful times. I hope you and your loved ones are saying safe and well.

.TTFN… (Ta Ta For Now!)

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South Branch Scribbler: Branching Out with Returning Author Marjorie Mallon of Great Britain.

Thank you so much to Allan for inviting me over to South Branch Scribbler again. I really appreciate it.

Do pop over to see the post at source: South Branch Scribbler: Branching Out with Returning Author Marjorie Mallon of Great Britain.

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Book Review: Sugar and Snails @Annecdotist @InspiredQuill

Goodreads Synopsis

Shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize.

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails charts Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

My review

This is the first book I’ve read from Anne Goodwin. Sugar and Snails is her debut novel and what an impressive story it is. Anne draws upon her psychiatric knowledge to write a narrative which is absorbing, poignant and intriguing.

To begin with we are introduced to Diana a 40 something Professor living a life of solitude with her much loved cat Marmaduke (who almost takes on the role of a life partner – she can’t bare to part with him.) Diana begins looking for love and hopes to find it with Simon.

But Simon doesn’t know her secret…

As the story progresses we learn that there is so much more to this novel – discovering Diana’s past and her decision at the tender age of 15 to change gender. So this is both a coming-of-age story as well as an exploration of mid-life and gender issues. There are shifting time periods and settings in different cultures: (Cairo, Egypt and North Derbyshire, and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in England,) which interweave the story in a confident way.

The characters of Diana’s mother and in particular her father are also carefully and brilliantly crafted.

My recommendation: Highly recommended. You will love this story if you enjoy thoughtful stories about gender, family relationships, psychiatric/mental health/self-harm issues, secrets and regrets and the search for love and acceptance.

Thank you so much to the author for a complimentary copy which I was pleased to receive. I happily give my unbiased opinion.

My rating: 5 stars.

Author Bio:

Anne Goodwin writes entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice. She is the author of three novels and short story collection published by small independent press, Inspired Quill. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her new novel, Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home, is inspired by her previous incarnation as a clinical psychologist in a long-stay psychiatric hospital.

Authors Blog: annegoodwin.weebly.com

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Cover Reveal: Bloodstone – The Curse of Time Book 1 @NextChapterPB #NextChapterPB

I’d be grateful if you could share the new cover!

For my forthcoming YA Fantasy release in the Curse of Time series.

Blurb:

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

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

More news soon, edits have been done and sent to Next Chapter Publishing, next up finalising the layout phase.

Next Chapter’s wonderful ethos:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

— Patricia Gligor

Some details about Next Chapter Publishing:

Previously known as Creativia, Next Chapter was founded 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. Today, we are a fully remote team with offices in Japan and the United Kingdom.

They have achieved: No. 1 Bestsellers in all major Amazon categories (Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Westerns, Nonfiction)

  • Book translations to 9 foreign languages
  • Featured in high-profile newsletters such as BookBub and eReader News Today
  • Average reviews of 4.2 – 4.3 stars in Amazon marketplaces
  • Official BookBub Partner

So, I am very excited to be a Next Chapter Author!

Comments on the new cover would be most welcome. I really love it. Cover art by Cover Mint.

Happy days!

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Book Review: Share Some Secrets @ChristiGabbitas @nspcc #NSPCC #safeguarding #children

Synopsis:

Share Some Secrets, is a story that encourages children to think about the secrets they should and shouldn’t keep, encouraging them to speak out without fear, by giving praise. The story is also available on audio and free to download. Synopsis: The story begins with Mum, (Emily) telling the family about a surprise party for Granny, and that it’s a secret that she would like them all to keep. Billy notices that Milly is always quiet, after their Uncle has visited. Billy encourages Milly to share her secret which she eventually shares with her teacher. The issue is addressed and Milly is praised by the teacher and her family. The story ends with a surprise party for Granny.

My review

Share Some Secrets by Christina Gabbitas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I am glad to be able to review and share my opinion on such an important topic handled with great kindness and sensitivity. The message of Share Some Secrets is implied through picture rhyming audio and in paperback (for ages around 5 – 8 year old.) The emphasis is on praise – encouraging the child to come forward and share their secret and not to be afraid to do so.

The publication has been endorsed by the NSPCC and Barnardo’s.

In the story Milly is finding is hard to say what her secret is but with the help of her kind brother Billy she manages to get the help she needs.

The illustrations by Ric Lumb accompanying the text enhance the message well. Making it easy for young children to understand how important it is to speak out – even if that secret is embarrassing or distressing – or involves a person in a position of trust, such as a family member.

The story ends on a happy note and there is a short but all important reminder at the end about how important it is to share your secret.

This should be used as a teaching aid in all schools so that children can understand that is okay to speak out and to get help.


My recommendation: Highly recommended. 5 stars

Thank you to the author Christina Gabbitas for gifting me a copy. I happily give my unbiased and considered review.

I have also reviewed another title from Christina Gabbitas – No More Knives.

Link to the review for No More Knives: https://mjmallon.com/2020/11/30/book-…



View all my reviews

https://www.christinagabbitas.com/share-some-secrets/

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Book Review Will You Remember Me (No Greater Love #6) by @MrsAmandaProwse

My review

Will You Remember Me? by Amanda Prowse

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


4.5 stars
Confession… I’ve never read Amanda Prouse before – which puts me in the minority. This is the final book in the No Greater Love series. I haven’t read the rest of the series but could engage with the story and the characters without any trouble.

Will You Remember Me was such a moving and sad read. There were times when I had to pause, cry, take a break and then read on. What struck me most about this novel is how painful it must be for young cancer patients to cope with the thought of leaving their family and loved ones behind. I can’t imagine anything more devastating. And it is clear that Amanda Prouse wrote this novel with these thoughts in mind.

You could feel Poppy’s pain on learning about her diagnosis, her determination to carry on and fight it alone by keeping the terrible news from her much loved husband. Of course, as her sickness grows this becomes impossible to hide and impossible to do.

There were other details, a long lost family member in St. Lucia – which added a much needed break and a way for Poppy perhaps to come to terms with her fate and to accept that we all die but perhaps it is how we live and how we forgive that makes the difference.

The male characters in the novel: her son, (being so young,) and (to a degree,) her husband are not quite as detailed and fade a bit into the background. The character spotlight is and should be on Poppy, she pulls at your heart strings. I also found her daughter Peg to be very engaging and a much needed source of light and hope in what is after all a dark tale.

Thank you so much to the author for a signed copy. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

My recommendation: I enjoy and appreciate stories that tug at the heartstrings. A highly recommended and emotional read.


View all my reviews

Authors Website: http://www.amandaprowse.org

Have you read Amanda Prouse’s books? Do comment below.


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Book Review Voices In The Trash – @frank_prem #poetry #review #picture

My review

Thank you to the author for a copy. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

Voices (In The Trash)Voices by Frank Prem
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love this collection. So imaginative to photograph images from a second hand shop and write poetry about them! The objects Frank Prem finds are so unusual.
Here are some of my favourites in the collection:
Ain’t nothing – half naked gnomes suspended from the ceiling.
Too much – a mask face! so funny. My Dance card. Manby – then it changed – sad and so true. Liked – about a stuffed toy. Chill Factor – about a glass head. What remains has a sadness to it and refers to a naked discarded doll. We do not/You do not. Who Knew is imaginative and funny.
Who the poem about the discarded things that look like Dr Who Dalaks. Two fruit themes: Your Friend, and The Hot Chili Brothers Band. Such a cute one about paintbrushes: the one. Reminiscent of childhood: at me I’m flying. For Cinderella fans with a twist : where the (cinder)- ell-a you. wisdom (1) and wisdom (2) wisdom (3) ethnic figure heads about light and dark. And what adornment for you.
Such an eclectic and quirky book! Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

https://frankprem.com

https://frankprem.wordpress.com

Have you read Voices?

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Flicker by PJ Reed #book #review #poetry @PJReed_author

FlickerFlicker by P.J. Reed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I’m very behind on my blog reviews… so here is a fantastic poetry book I read some time ago from P. J Reed.

My Review

I didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t read poems from P J Reed before. I was interested to see that some of the poems in Flicker are about COVID19, a subject which I have also written about too.

There are observations of a child standing apart from a long lost friend. The impact of closure of public toilets. Overheard conversations from disbelieving binmen. The UK governments eat out to help out scheme. Nature’s revival in roaming wildlife seen in our streets during the first Lockdown in March. Hoarding of toilet rolls and the impact of selfishness on the vulnerable. Poetic commentary about the public’s inability to wear face masks properly, and amusing face mask faux pas!

There are so many wonderful poems expressed in so few words. The power of poetry at it’s best!

Such a great variety of poems – poetic observations about plastic surgery, homeless men, the blessing and curse of social media, modern war, the authors rescue dogs, tourist watching abroad, magical observations of the moon, sea and nature, to light-hearted and amusing coffee shop anecdotes.

Plus a wonderful intro by Karen Jones.

My recommendation: a fantastic collection of poetry. I loved it.



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