Promotion! Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1) #sale #kindle #YA #Fantasy

So grab a bargain while you can – this offer is for a limited time period only – and is only available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

If you don’t happen to be in the US or UK, don’t despair there are free kindle copies if you are signed up to KU. Or, alternatively sign up to my newsletter for the latest news about free offers.

Blurb

I didn’t think my life could get weirder, but I was wrong…

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.

Genre: YA Fantasy Paranormal Coming of Age Story

NEWSFLASH: Bloodstone is now available at a wide range of international bookstores including Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Blackwells, in a range of formats including paperback and hardback.

If you’d like to find out more about Bloodstone check out the reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58417468-bloodstone

If you can help by sharing your review on the relevant sites… Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, Barnes and Noble, etc, and miscellaneous places like TripFiction, I would be truly ecstatic!

Buying link: mybook.to/bstmm

Check out this amazing 5 star review on Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bloodstone-m-j-mallon/1139807581?ean=9784867510322

☆☆☆☆☆5 out of 5 stars.· 12 days ago  

Crystals And Mysteries Galore

Bloodstone is the first book in The Curse of Time series written by M.J. Mallon. This is a young adult fantasy / paranormal, coming-of-age story of Amelina Scott. This book is a rollercoaster of a tale about a young lady working to find her own identity. Along the way she has to start to learn who she can trust and that the world is not at all what she believed it to be growing up.

When I first got the book I was more than hesitant about reading it. I am not into young adult fantasy books so to say. This was not my normal reading genre of tales to whisp me away in to hold my attention and keep me flipping the pages. I am very proud to say that I am pleased to have started and stayed with the book. Mallon is such an extremely talented author and really draws the reader into the book and the life of Amelina. After a while though, the book grabs you by the shoulder collar and just can not put it down!

Amelina is a really good character, as the story progresses her development, is a person who is capable of having a huge effect on those around her, and she learns of the powers she has had bestowed upon her. And then there is her Story companion who is Ryder, and he becomes very dislikeable as the pages turn. He is a negative influence on Amelina. I am very pleased you don’t realize he is a villain at his introductions since he is far from the normal build of the bad guy. It isn’t until the story unfolds you see his much darker side.

The last few chapters of the book actually had me on the edge of my seat and I want to know what will come next for our young heroine. I am very pleased to see that M.J. Mallon is already working on the sequel to this book and I know I will be getting my copy when it does.

This review was made possible by a copy provided to me by NetGalley.

  • Review Contains Spoilers: 
  • No
  • Tags: 
  • Emotional,
  • Coming of Age
  • ✔ Yes
  • I recommend this product.

Thank you for all your support.

Happy reading!

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Robbie’s Inspiration – Book review: Bloodstone, The Curse of Time #1 by M.J. Mallon

Thank you so much to Robbie Cheadle for this wonderful 5 star review of my Bloodstone for Rosie’s Book Review Team.

To read Robbie’s review please follow the link below:

https://wp.me/p7Uxin-4Ch

I’m thrilled to announce I now have 41 reviews overall on Goodreads for this YA fantasy!

Bloodstone https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58417468-bloodstone 

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MJ Interviews author @hudson_allan A Drake Alexander Adventure – Vigilantes #author #interview #new #book #release

Hi Allan,

Thrilled to welcome you to my blog to chat about your book launch for Vigilantes. Vigilantes releases today!

MJ: The blurb is very intriguing Allan. Where is the story set and why did you choose to set it in that country/place? Are your novels and short stories set in different countries? And what genres do you write in and why?

ALLAN: First, I would like to thank you, Marjorie for giving me the opportunity to visit your popular blog. The setting for Vigilantes is in Bordeaux, France where my protagonists are attending a funeral for one of their co-workers. Their escapades will take them to different European countries as well as more obscure destinations in Asia. They search for two brothers who have been evading the law for twenty years, by hiding in different countries. I love international stories and I wanted this one to take the readers to different settings as seen through the eyes of my hero.

Yes, I set many of my stories in different settings, different countries. Part of the fun in writing is the research, visiting various cities online, looking at photos, what is the country or city famous for? Can my readers see the cafes and boutiques, hear the language or the birds singing, or the waves beating on the shores? I hope so.

Although my reading preferences lean toward thrillers and mysteries, I love writing historical fiction as well and plain feel-good stories too.

MJ: Aww, so very fascinating and such a breadth in your writing. Thank you for your kind words. I love how you interview so many guests on your blog, Allan. Including me – twice! You are so generous with your time. The writing and creative community is so important isn’t it? You must have met so many amazing guests.

ALLAN: I have indeed, met many wonderful, friendly folks, like you. We are all in the same situation of wanting to share our stories with a new and wider audience. When I originally started my blog – South Branch Scribbler – I did so as a way to share my own writing and books and the idea came to me, I could have guests and share their stories, find out more about them and pass it on. It has been a fantastic experience. I not only discovered really cool people but really cool books. So much fun.

MJ: Yes, my thoughts too. We are all in this together and gain so much by being supportive friends. I see you are from Canada. Yeah! It’s a lovely country, so friendly and welcoming. If I could become an adoptee Canadian I would… My daughters and I visited Montreal in the days of easy travel before the pandemic. I loved it! Which area of Canada are you from? And fill us in on any family/details/hobbies you have…

ALLAN: I must admit, I love Canada and feel most fortunate to be a citizen of this huge beautiful country. Thank you for the nice comments and you’re always welcome. I too, love Montreal, a fascinating city with so many cultures and deep history. But there are so many other great places to visit. I live on the east coast of Canada, in the maritime province of New Brunswick. Our province borders the state of Maine in the west, The province of Quebec in the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The seaside community I live in is called Cocagne and is mainly a French speaking village of Acadian descendants. The bay is across the road and an inspiration and setting for many of my stories. My family lives close by and I see them all frequently. I’m fortunate that way.

As of late, I have been dedicated to my hobby of writing. I am fortunate to be retired and can devote more time to my stories. Previous hobbies included stained glass and woodworking and as gratifying as they have been, I’ve decided to concentrate on my writing and it remains my central focus.

MJ: Awesome. Your latest book is part of The Drake Alexander series. How many books are in the series and can you tell me how they connect, what inspired them and what they are about?

ALLAN: My newest novel coming is the third in the DA series, titled Vigilantes. The two earlier novels were the first stories I wrote. Drake Alexander is a former soldier of the Canadian Armed Forces. The first novel brings him and his people to look for the man that killed Drake’s best friend’s sister. It took them three years to track him down. During this novel, Drake discovered he and his cohorts have a talent for rounding up bad people. They have the financial resources, the time, the manpower, the know-how and they don’t back down from anyone.

The second novel has Drake and his team rescue a priest that is a boyhood friend of Drake’s when he gets in trouble from an historical relic discovered in his church in Peru. Incan gold and Spanish raiders. This setting was inspired by the horrible plight of the Incan people at the hands of Spanish and foreign looters. It was the first story I wanted to write but when I started, a novel by well known author, Clive Cussler, came out titled Incan Gold. I didn’t want to be accused of plagiarizing Cussler’s idea, so I passed on it and wrote Dark Side of a Promise, which takes place in Bangladesh, another country that amazes me.

Vigilantes picks up from the last tangle with the enemy. As I mentioned earlier, at a funeral, Drake is approached by a man who continues to mourn for his daughter that was killed during a bank robbery twenty years previous and the culprits have never been apprehended. He asks them to help.

MJ: Wow, good luck with Vigilantes, sounds fantastic. As you also write short stories, (and I do too!) which do you prefer writing long narratives, or short stories? I’d love to hear more about your short story collection.

ALLAN: I’ve always enjoyed reading short stories and love writing them. I have no preference when it come to writing a longer or shorter story. Sometimes an idea forms with no length in mind. Occasionally it ends as a short story or novella. Or maybe I get an idea that fits with the shorter version. It would be difficult to say which I like best as I find fulfillment in both. I feel it begins with the idea or inspiration. There have been several times when I sit to write and I intend for it to be a short story but most times, I let the words flow and see where it ends up. It only differs when I decide to write a longer version because of an idea, like the novels we talked about above. But I enjoy both equally.

My latest collection is titled A Box of Memories. Many of the short stories were inspired by memories of an incident in my life or a memory of what may have happened to someone else. One story in particular – Four Boxes of Memories – was inspired by my own boxes of keepsakes, things I can’t throw away, birthday cards, drawings by the boys when they were small, rocks and seashells, postcards, plane tickets, and such that make up our histories. There were four of them and I was thinking that someday I would have to part with them, no matter how dear they were.

MJ: That sounds lovely – I also find it difficult to throw things away! Are you a procrastinator/plotter/panster/cafe/at home writer? What is your favourite place to write?

ALLAN: I have the neatest spot to write in. I converted my previous workshop to a more friendly spot to read and watch movies… and to write. I’m a morning person and I cherish quiet moments. No music in the background, no one leaning over my shoulder. My wife has been terrific, allowing me to write freely and uninterrupted. I write from six in the morning until eleven, usually. And almost every day now. Unlike others, I could never write in a café or in public, too many distractions for me and yet, I admire writers who can do so.

I’m definitely a panster. I run with an idea, no outlining, just enough research to get me going. There have been a few times I knew the ending but not often. I like to see where it all goes. Interesting enough, on my WIP, I was stuck and stared at the computer for some time, unsure of where to go and when I couldn’t decide I started to write about where the protagonist was sitting and then the words followed.

MJ: Oh, me too Pantser to the core! What your writer’s tip and or disaster? Make it funny, serious or both!

ALLAN: So, my one and only tip is to keep writing and sort out the garbage later.

MJ: Sounds like simple but great advice. What do your family think about your writing?

ALLAN: When you mention family, I think of my children and they’re spouses. Their support and encouragement have been tremendous. Always attending my events, sharing my posts, telling their friends but oddly enough, they don’t read my stories. They are happy for my accomplishments but not readers. Oh well.

My other families’, siblings and in-laws for example, read and comment on my writing, usually favorable. They don’t always like the rough sections and tell me so, but in a nice way.

But the support is always there, the encouragement is always appreciated.

MJ: That’s wonderful!

Vigilantes blurb

The master vintner at Chateau Lambert Estates, Jean-Paul Chouinard, stares up the rise at the family cemetery, where the darling of the house was laid to rest yesterday. The grave site is surrounded by four men and a woman. The people whose service Mireille Lambert was in when she died. One of them was her lover. One of them is Drake Alexander.

Chouinard knows what they do. He knows who Alexander is. He hears the whispers. Vigilantes. He grieves knowing the brothers who are responsible for his daughter’s death twenty years ago have not been apprehended. Maybe it’s been too long. Maybe the brothers are already dead. Maybe, if he asked, Alexander and his people could find them.

Buy your copy of Vigilantes on Amazon:

Author Bio

I live by Cocagne Bay in Eastern Canada where the summers are hot and the snow is deep in the winter. I married the greatest gal on earth, Gloria, and have a son Adam, two stepsons Mark and Chris (Mireille)Young. Three grandchildren Matthieu, Natasha and Damien.

I love reading. My mother was a school teacher and taught me to read and write when I was young. I’m presently retired and write as often as possible. My other hobbies include woodworking and stained glass.

I love jazz and am a HUGE fan of JJ Cale.

I have a wonderful life. I hope that you will read my novels – Wall of War and Dark Side of a Promise & a short story collection titled A Box of Memories. I trust you will enjoy them and if so please tell someone.

I can be reached at sbscribbler@yahoo.com Please visit www.southbranchscribbler.com if you like short stories, guest writers, artists and musicians and interviews.

http://allanhudson.blogspot.com/p/vigilantes-coming-soon.html

It’s been such a pleasure to have Allan visit Kyrosmagica blog.

Please comment below to wish Allan much success and congratulations on his new release. It was lovely having him visit, such a Saturday treat. 🙂

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MJ’s Book Reviews: His Kidnapper’s Shoes @mjamesfiction #psychological #suspense #book #review

Daniel is my son. He has always been mine. And he always will be.

On some level deep inside, Laura Bateman knows something is wrong. That her relationship with her son is not what it should be. That it is based on lies.

But bad things have happened to Laura. Things that change a person. Forever.

For twenty-six-year-old Daniel, the discovery that his mother is not who he thought comes close to destroying him. As his world turns upside down, he searches for sanity in the madness that has become his life. Daniel is left with nothing but questions. Why did Laura do something so terrible? Can he move past the demons of his childhood?

And the biggest question of all: can he ever forgive Laura?

My review

His Kidnapper’s Shoes by Maggie James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is the first book I’ve read by Maggie James and I certainly enjoyed it.

It’s an emotional tale of Laura Bateman who is driven to steal someone else’s young child, the reasons why and the terrible impact on herself, Daniel (who’s now an adult,) and Daniel’s real family are all explored.

Can Daniel forgive the woman who kidnapped him? And what sad secrets is she keeping from him? And what terrible truth hasn’t he told her?

There are startling revelations, and emotional scenes with the story building up slowly but surely to its conclusion.

It’s a difficult one to comment on in detail without spoiling the story. But I didn’t quite buy into the girlfriend conundrum revelation at the beginning of the story. Some of the other details regarding Daniel’s life story and proclivities were more interesting to me.

This is for you if you enjoy psychological suspense with a strong emotional aspect, looking at both a female and male viewpoint (cleverly done,) as the story is written in dual point of view. The plot is simple, engaging and effective. The characters are damaged by the tragic circumstances of their lives and this is conveyed well. Laura Bateman’s certainty that her actions were justified creates an interesting and engaging aspect to the story.

Overall, an enjoyable read, which kept me turning the pages.

A recommended read – my rating 4 stars.

Thank you so much to the author for a copy. I freely give my unbiased and considered opinion.




View all my reviews

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#TANKATUESDAY WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE @ColleenChesebro NO. 239 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT #Tanka

Observe blue, fine trains
Bright and low in the night sky 
Dazzling hours
Heaven sparkling its light
Creating magic and joy

I hope you enjoyed my tanka for this week’s Ekphrastic Photoprompt for Colleen Chesebro’s poetry challenge.

I’ve a fair amount of news! I would like to share that my YA fantasy Bloodstone is in The AllAuthor cover competition! I’d love it if you could vote for it. It is doing really well and at the last count was at #23 in the voting ranks. I’m hoping with your help it will go through to the next round.

To vote: https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/12131/

News To Share!

Thrilled with these two new 5 star reviews of Bloodstone. Thank you so much to Helen Pryke and Denise Finn for reading and reviewing!

Helen Pryke https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4176712706/

D L Finn: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4164151591/

A big thank you to Sally Cronin who has featured her review of my poetry book, Lockdown Innit Poems About Absurdity in her Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind. Do pop over to her blog to read her review:

Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind – #Poetry Lockdown Innit by M.J. Mallon

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The Sky’m by @RichardDockett1 #Fantasy #book #review #recommended #read

Goodreads Synopsis:

Behave, or the Syk’m will come and take you away.

That was the threat hanging over my childhood, the terrifying punishment that made us all obedient.
As children, we were told that the Syk’m watched over us. Should we misbehave, they could do unimaginable things.

Because we were young and knew no better, the mere mention of their name was enough to control us. We went to bed, minded our manners, stopped our shouting. Although the Syk’m were mythical creatures, never seen, we all believed in their power over us.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I thought that I had outgrown the unseen terrors of my childhood. I thought that I no longer believed in the power of the Syk’m.
Then the day came when I discovered that the Syk’m were real. The day they found me. Their message was clear. Despite everything I had imagined, they needed my help.
It was the day I discovered that they were not the monsters we had all believed them to be. There were others in the universe.

My Review

Richard Dee just gets better and better!

I’ve had the pleasure of reading many of Richard’s books in different genres and I loved The Syk’m, his latest, first foray into fantasy – not surprising as fantasy is my favourite genre! And what a confident foray it is!

I particularly enjoy narratives that explore the idea of feared creatures not really being quite what they seem and The Syk’m has this off to a tee. The story introduces us to Hors Lawis, and his friends, who are encouraged to follow a Syk’m girl Enuna to help them. In Hor’s homeland Skandir the Syk’m are feared winged creatures, so can he persuade his friends to join him on this potentially dangerous quest?

Here are some excerpts from the book:

“I can’t agree with you,” said Torsen. “Just because the Syk’m were used as a threat, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were bad. Look at the Watch, for example. Children are told of the Watch in the same way, to frighten them. Don’t steal, don’t be rude, don’t fight or the Watch will get you. It’s the same thing; the Syk’m were just another reason to make people behave. It doesn’t inherently make them bad.”


“the Syk’m became known on Skander as a thing to be feared, a source of anxiety in children.”

I loved the winged creatures, the beautiful passages where the author Richard Dee’s words take passionate flight:

“She undid the clasp at her throat, shrugged her shoulders and the robe fell to the ground. Underneath, she was dressed as a warrior. A simple tunic and shorts. Muscled arms and shoulders, a flat stomach. Her torso was adorned with crossed leather straps, a collection of blades hung from a wide belt at her waist. Her long, shapely legs were encased in more polished leather, boots extending to mid-thigh. She had the look of a goddess and I felt my pulse quicken.
But that wasn’t the strangest thing. I watched as huge wings unfolded from her back, gossamer-thin with white ribs, they extended and beat the air.”

It’s an exciting, gripping tale which will keep you entertained throughout. There are fight scenes, mentions of magic, and The Druhaan might have no wings but they like to make war!

And what an amazing ending in the Epilogue, I absolutely loved it. 

Richard Dee has crafted a truly wonderful fantasy which I can highly recommend.

My recommendation. A must read – 5 amazing stars!

The Syk’m launches on 15th October 2021.

Thank you to the author for an ARC. I was lucky to beta read an early copy of The Syk’m and my opinions are my own and unbiased.

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Book Review: The Ferryman and The Sea Witch@Dwallacepeach #Fantasy #Review

Blurb

The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.

The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.

Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.

Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.

And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.

Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.

My review

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D. Wallace Peach

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


https://mjmallon.com/2021/08/07/book-…


This is a beautifully written fantasy novel – an absolute page turner. I knew I was bound to love it considering that I’ve always felt a deep affinity to the sea and all its creatures!


The variety of characters are all ace including Callum the ferryman, and the cruel sea witch Panwar as is the plot – the only person who can cross the Deep between the countries of Brid Clarion and Haf Killick is the ferryman but at the cost of a human’s life in royal blood to the merrow. High stakes or what? It is a tale of secrets, adventure and intrigue.

And as for that cover that’s an attention seeker to boot!

Highly recommended for readers of fantasy who like engaging, poetic and descriptive writing (which I love,) and rich plots that keeps you invested in the story throughout.

No qualms about rating this one 5 stars. D. Wallace Peach is a fantastic fantasy author and if you haven’t read her books yet you are in for a treat.



View all my reviews

Authors Website: https://mythsofthemirror.com/

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Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1) Coffee and Bookish Chit Chat with MJ. Art Coming Alive #YA #Fantasy @NextChapterPB #Art #Inspirations

Coffee and Bookish Chit Chat with MJ – Themes in Writing – Inspirations

Art coming alive!
Art coming alive is one of the many fascinating themes explored in the Curse of Time series. The main protagonist Amelina, our young Krystallos heroine, is gifted a magical paint set from her aunt Karissa and when she paints with the crystal infused paint, the creature Eruterac comes knocking at her door like a Halloween nightmare in glorious, scary detail!

What are his intentions? Is this painted apparition real? Is he a friend, or a foe?

Image via Carolina Russo


Here’s a snippet from the book:

The paintbrushes were silent and so involved in creating they didn’t have the energy to talk. My hand moved of its own accord. Breathing deeply, I calmed down a little. The brush continued to make progress.

Before I knew it, the black splodges of paint I’d painted during my last session had moved together to form a dark, ominous creature dominating the centre of my painting. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the creature from my dream. The face scowled at me, and I noticed a suggested movement as if the creature contemplated leaping out of the canvas in my direction at any moment.

This terrifying being deserved the term: hideous. No other word would do it justice. Lumps of earth were matted around its skull, convincing me that it wore dreadlocks. Worms fed on the rotting skin that hung from its skeletal frame. Many insects collected in the recesses of the creature’s decaying body.

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1 )

What do you think? Is the creature a nice guy?


The idea of art manifesting as a living albeit dead being came in part from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray – the painted portrait representing the horror of moral disintegration. 
So, to find out if Eruterac really is a horror (there is no doubt he isn’t pretty to look at and he is disintegrating – a creature of skin, bones, worms…) read the book! 


Portraits of Eruterac, The Creature and Esme are both created by the amazingly talented artist Carolina Russo who I have had the pleasure of collaborating with.


Esme is a favourite character with my readers and with me!  

“This is a brilliant book for young adults interested in magic, super‐ natural, paranormal, fantasy and myth. I found it highly readable and the author’s imagination is phenomenal, as is the fluency of her language and the dazzling way she describes the curious events and characters in her story. I loved the idea of Esme, the girl trapped in the mirror” Review Quote Author S C Skillman

Esme is vulnerable, sensitive and trapped in a mirror, cursed by a spell. She is also trapped figuratively by her mental health and self harm issues of her past.

Excerpt: Esme and Amelina chatting…

Esme peered through the glass, standing up on tiptoes. Her eyes gleamed with a morbid curiosity as if we were chatting about some sinister TV drama.

I didn’t want to talk about it. So, instead, I played it down, saying, ‘As you know, the Crystal Cottage invited me to visit.’

‘You must go,’ said Esme, stretching to her full height to give weight to her words. ‘It’s a sign—dreams often are.’

‘Maybe. I dreamt I had set foot within the cottage, but it was just a dream, and I still haven’t found it in real life. I so badly want to escape, though. This house imprisons everyone, not just you, Esme.’

‘Yes, I know, but it’s worse being inside this glass, believe me.’ Esme pointed at herself, and I watched as her face fell, inch by inch, a chilling avalanche of sadness.

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1)

Some great news! Bloodstone now has wide distribution!

My YA Fantasy Bloodstone is available at Amazon and many leading bookstores worldwide including Book Depository, Blackwells, Barnes and Noble, in all book formats including hardback.

Amazon KU and link to buy a copy: Universal book Link: http://mybook.to/bstmm

I would really appreciate some reviews on Amazon. There are many on Goodreads but any Amazon reviewers out there please help!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58417468-bloodstone

For professional reviewers and book enthusiasts Bloodstone is currently available to read on Netgalley and and on Book Sirens for a limited time only, so please request your copy asap.

To download a free copy via Book Sirens click this link: https://booksirens.com/book/H4SI6L4/Q9PZX3A

To request a copy via NetGalley click this link: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/230784

If you can help by voting for the beautiful cover… it is in the Allauthor cover competition.

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that! If you liked the cover of my book, Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here: Click to Vote!

To read my latest author interviews:

Interview about the writing life of M J Mallon with Stacey at Whispering Stories:

https://www.whisperingstories.com/the-writing-life-of-m-j-mallon/

And to Camilla Downs for this wonderful feature on Meeting The Authors:

https://meetingtheauthors.com/2021/07/30/friday-with-friends-embracing-change-m-j-mallon/

https://booksgosocial.com/2021/07/27/interview-with-m-j-mallon-the-author-of-a-fantasy-novel-bloodstone/

Media Kit: https://mjmallon.com/2021/07/17/media-kit-bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1-nextchapterpb-ya-fantasy-release/

Bye for now, happy saturday!

Hope you enjoyed the book chit chat.

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The Syk’m by @RichardDockett1 #release #fantasy

I’m thrilled to welcome Richard Dee to my blog to highlight his amazing fantasy book The Syk’m. Richard is a talented author with much to offer, his enthusiasm for writing and cooking are never ending! And he is a lovely chap to be much admired.

Tagline

Everyone said that they were monsters. Then they asked for my help.

Blurb

Behave, or the Syk’m will come and take you away.

That was the threat hanging over my childhood, the terrifying punishment that made us all obedient.

As children, we were told that the Syk’m watched over us.  Should we misbehave, they could do unimaginable things.

Because we were young and knew no better, the mere mention of their name was enough to control us. We went to bed, minded our manners, stopped our shouting. Although the Syk’m were mythical creatures, never seen, we all believed in their power over us.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I thought that I had outgrown the unseen terrors of my childhood. I thought that I no longer believed in the power of the Syk’m.

Then the day came when I discovered that the Syk’m were real. The day they found me. Their message was clear. Despite everything I had imagined, they needed my help.

It was the day I discovered that they were not the monsters we had all believed them to be. There were others in the universe.

How the story was devised and written.

It all started with a memory, my grandmother used to tell me that if I was bad, a creature that she called the bogeyman would come and take me away. It scared me when I was younger, because of the way she said it and the threat that it implied. Whether it improved my behaviour is another matter.

Anyhow, fast forward to a couple of years ago, when my wife and I were talking about aspects of our childhood. I mentioned the bogeyman and we laughed about the effect things like that had on children. And how we grew out of such fears as we got older and learned more about the world.

Then I had a thought. What if the bogeyman was real, what might happen if you met one? What would be the truth behind the stories, the basis of the legend?

My mind went into overdrive, perhaps the bogeymen were members of an alien race, watching us and occasionally taking someone for research? Maybe they had been more active in years past, hence the old tales. It could be that they had since turned their minds to other things and had decided to leave us alone. If that were true, then how, and for what reason, might the first new contact in ages develop?

I realised that there were enough possibilities in that paragraph alone to build a story.

The Syk’m grew from that premise. I decided to write it as a sword and sorcery fantasy adventure, given the origins of the tale in folklore. I thought it would be the most fitting genre for it. I invented a world, Skander, with a medieval society. These were the people who would be held in thrall to their own version of the bogeyman, who they called the Syk’m. The story would concern what happened when the people of Skander finally learned the truth.

I made some brief notes and let the story stew in my mind. The whole story came to me, just in time to be my project for NaNoWriMo 2020. I wrote most of it in November 2020 and sent it off to my editor, as well as a few trusted friends. I got positive feedback and completed the final version in April 2021.

As a writer of Sci-fi and Steampunk, building the world was fairly straightforward. Incorporating magic and primitive technology was a bit more of a challenge. I had to forgo all the usual tricks and the freedom that writing about the future gives you, go right back to basics. The aim was to make it as plausible and integrated a society as I could. A place like our history suggests, yet not ours  

Apart from the action and adventure that such a tale demands, I also wanted to examine the emotional aspects of meeting people whose existence had only ever been hinted at and feared. I thought that it would be fun to explore the relationships that might develop between the two races, the similarities and differences that such an event might expose.  

Beta readers comments,

I loved it. The characters are amazing and the plot just flows.   Channing Schneider

Everything I love about High Fantasy. Dixie Messing

Richard Dee has crafted a fantastical fantasy filled with fun, adventure and danger all in equal measure. Steven Smith

A short excerpt,

She passed the last stalls and turned off the street into a narrow alley between two high brick buildings. I stepped after her into the gloom. I had no thoughts of a trick, or possible danger, I just wanted to find out who she was, why she had looked at me in that way.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw her, no more than ten paces ahead. She had stopped, her back to me. Suddenly, it looked as if she was encased in a glowing cloak of rainbow colours. It was a trick worthy of the best entertainments at Kauron’s palace. Perhaps she was a theasp, an illusioneer, or should that be illusioness?

Hearing my footsteps behind her she turned and looked back. I couldn’t see her expression, just a flash of bright teeth as she stepped sideways, into the wall. It accepted her, she was gone.

What I had just witnessed was impossible. I ran to where she had been and looked at the bricks. They carried a faint glow of rainbows. Gently I reached out to touch them and watched in disbelief as my hand vanished deep into what should have been a solid wall.

How had she done that?

I knew of magic, of the tricks worked in the market. I’d seen the disappearing coins found behind the ear and watched as people or objects appeared to vanish. But I also knew that it was not real and that there was always an explanation. Yet this was beyond my mind to explain. I quickly removed my hand, lest the bricks should change their state and trap me. Then, as if poking a wound to see if it still hurt, I pushed my hand forward again, once more it vanished.

One small step was all it would take to follow her. I didn’t hesitate, had no thoughts of right or wrong. Where was I going, how would I return? It never crossed my mind. Taking a deep breath, I stepped forward.

Published on October 15th 2021, you can find The Syk’m for yourself at

http://mybook.to/the_sykm 

or on Goodreads at

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58663708-the-syk-m

My review:

Richard Dee just gets better and better!

I’ve had the pleasure of reading many of Richard’s books in different genres and I loved The Syk’m, his latest, first foray into fantasy – not surprising as fantasy is my favourite genre! And what a confident foray it is!

I particularly enjoy narratives that explore the idea of feared creatures not really being quite what they seem and The Syk’m has this off to a tee. The story introduces us to Hors Lawis, and his friends, who are encouraged to follow a Syk’m girl Enuna to help them. In Hor’s homeland Skandir the Syk’m are feared winged creatures, so can he persuade his friends to join him on this potentially dangerous quest?

Here are some excerpts from the book:

“I can’t agree with you,” said Torsen. “Just because the Syk’m were used as a threat, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were bad. Look at the Watch, for example. Children are told of the Watch in the same way, to frighten them. Don’t steal, don’t be rude, don’t fight or the Watch will get you. It’s the same thing; the Syk’m were just another reason to make people behave. It doesn’t inherently make them bad.”

“the Syk’m became known on Skander as a thing to be feared, a source of anxiety in children.”

I loved the winged creatures, the beautiful passages where the author Richard Dee’s words take passionate flight:

“She undid the clasp at her throat, shrugged her shoulders and the robe fell to the ground. Underneath, she was dressed as a warrior. A simple tunic and shorts. Muscled arms and shoulders, a flat stomach. Her torso was adorned with crossed leather straps, a collection of blades hung from a wide belt at her waist. Her long, shapely legs were encased in more polished leather, boots extending to mid-thigh. She had the look of a goddess and I felt my pulse quicken.
But that wasn’t the strangest thing. I watched as huge wings unfolded from her back, gossamer-thin with white ribs, they extended and beat the air.”

It’s an exciting, gripping tale which will keep you entertained throughout. There are fight scenes, mentions of magic, and The Druhaan might have no wings but they like to make war!

And what an amazing ending in the Epilogue, I absolutely loved it.

Richard Dee has crafted a truly wonderful fantasy which I can highly recommend.

My recommendation. A must read – 5 amazing stars!

The Syk’m launches on 15th October 2021.

Thank you to the author for an ARC. I was lucky to beta read an early copy of The Syk’m and my opinions are my own and unbiased.

About Richard Dee

I’m Richard Dee and I normally write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures. I also chronicle the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective for the space age.

I spent forty years at sea, firstly as a ship’s officer, then as a Thames River pilot, taking vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.

In retirement, I set up an organic bakery and then, from out of the blue, I started writing. You can read about my writing journey at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/i-was-never-a-writer/ 

The Syk’m is my seventeenth novel and my first in the Fantasy genre.

You can find me at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/  where you can read more about me and my worlds. There is also the opportunity to join my newsletter and get a free novella, the prequel to one of my series. I’m on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor 

It’s a great book, grab yourself a copy!

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