Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book One) by M.J. Mallon – Books and Beyond Reviews @BooksandBeyond6

Thank you to Steven for this fantastic review of my YA Fantasy Bloodstone.

I’ll start this review by openly admitting I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve read a wide range of YA books, and plenty of mystery and fantasy books to boot. Some YA books have leaned to the younger end of the scale while others have tended to the more grown-up end of the scale. Bloodstone found itself in a nice position. It engaged me, without ever feeling too grown-up for younger readers either.

Follow the link below to read the full review…

Source: Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book One) by M.J. Mallon – Books and Beyond Reviews

Thank you to  Steven for also sharing this fabulous graphic and details on his Instagram:

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Book Review: Belonging by Liz Martinson @LizMartinson3 #romance #book #review #recommended

Amazon Synopsis

After top journalist and soon-to-be single mother Liz meets Marc, a reclusive star of stage and screen, they find themselves deeply attracted to one another.

When tragedy hits Liz’s estranged husband and her small daughter, Liz will need to learn to trust Marc not only with her heart, but with the life of her child.

But will they ever belong to each other and find happiness?

My review

4.5 stars a lovely romance read. Thank you to the author for a copy, this is my unbiased and considered review.

Good plot, pacing and characterisation. Storyline is very much romanticised  towards love at first sight trope. So, if this is your favoured romance trope you will love this. For me, I prefer a more slow building romance. I particularly appreciated the later chapters of the novel which focused on suspenseful (stalker, jealousy, mental health,) and emotional aspects of the story.

Overall, a lovely read which kept me turning the pages wanting to know the outcome, along with some tender family moments.

Recommended for the romantic at heart who appreciate good storytelling.

Liz Martinson is an author of three novels, two of which are now on Amazon and the third expected in the New Year. She uses research and her own extensive experiences to fuel her writing and in her spare time enjoys a wide range of activities which include walking, cycling, kayaking, reading and taking photographs, as well as cooking, music and travel.

Liz has taken part in a Creative Writing course at the University of Lancaster, completing it with a Distinction, and in the past has also been a runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Short Story competition. Liz hopes you enjoy reading Ullandale and Counterpoint and if you feel you can leave a comment and rating, that would be great. Feedback is always valuable. Her website can be found at https://lizmartinson.wixsite.com/home and Liz can also be found on Twitter @lizmartinson3 and be contacted by email lizmartinson3@gmail.com She’s always happy to respond to queries.

Buying link:

https://www.amazon.com/Belonging-Contemporary-Romance-Liz-Martinson-ebook/dp/B09J2CR7PF/

My new Bookstagram account – @mjm_reviews for reviews, and book news please follow, share and support this new endeavour.

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Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas hope you have a lovely day. It’s lovely to have my daughters home for Christmas.

And I had good news this morning…

The creative process of Book 2 Golden Healer, The Curse of Time has begun! Just received the cover image and it looks ace! What a great Christmas present! Cover reveal to come in 2022! So exciting. Excuse the multiple exclamation marks, so excited. Happy Christmas everyone.

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Portugal Travels: October – Faro and Olhao

Photos from my recent trip to Portugal.

Missing the sunshine!

My hubby isn’t keen on getting his photo taken so I found a new photo beau at O Castelo restaurant near Faro!

View from O Castelo
View from O castelo

Isn’t it so calm and tranquil?

As you can see from that flirtatious movement in my skort, (photo below) I enjoyed the sunshine no end!

Olhao

Photos above were taken in Olhao. Loving it!

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MJ’s Book Reviews: Black Sparrow by A. J. Griffiths-Jones, @authoraj66 #book #review #thriller

Synopsis

At Heathrow airport, a hired assassin is boarding a plane to Paris. On the same plane is young Uzma Rafiq, heading for a new life with her French lover.

The passengers carry identical suitcases, but their motives for traveling to the European city couldn’t be further apart.  When they accidentally pick up the wrong luggage on arrival, a deadly series of events is set in motion.

As a sinister twist brings them together, they will dictate each other’s destinies. Against a backdrop of The City of Lights, who will survive?

A thriller full of twists and turns, A.J. Griffiths’s ‘Black Sparrow’ is a riveting story of love, murder and deadly secrets.

My Review – 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read from A. J Griffith-Jones and I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly plotted thriller which empasses so many differing elements to keep you engrossed throughout. The characters are brilliant, the naivety of the young muslim girl is well portrayed as she sets out to find her French boyfriend, her art teacher, after a summer romance.

At the guest house where she stays two more characters, the exuberant French guesthouse owner and English gent with OCD enrich the storyline intriguing us with their conversations, musings, and contemplative flirtitiousness.

Expect to discover a hitman at work on his last mission who longs to retire! Elements of humour sneak into the narrative and made me chuckle! Who is this person and why are they at the same French guesthouse for many years?

I particularly loved the exploration of culture in this book, and muslim extremism as it effects young vulnerable women and elderly married women alike. Many aspects are considered, including discussion on honour killing, infidelity and betrayal. It explores how far extremists will go to protect their way of life, beliefs and their family honour.

The young girl’s father is insufferable and his behaviour and his family’s turning a blind eye is shocking. The younger generation are portrayed in a softer light but seem unable to stand up to the extremist beliefs of their elders.

I felt so sad for the young girl’s mother and her desperation and anger were conveyed exceptionally well. So poignant and sad.

In fact this human interest aspect is the thread of the story which I enjoyed the most.

Towards the end there were missing suitcase and other discoveries and twists to keep the reader wondering what now and I was surprised by some aspects of the conclusion.

Highly recommended read. Listened on Audible.

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Algarvean Adventures – 1 #Portugal #Tavira #travels #Algarve

As some of you already know I had an adventure in Portugal beginning in October and lasting until the middle of December.

I’m now back in the UK and boy was that complicated what with pre-flight testing requirements and the like. Thanks to hubby for being great at doing it all.

I’ve taken the plunge and resigned from my job! Difficult to disappear for several months without doing so. Might have been easier if, cough cough I was still working from home. Lol.

My new home from home in October, November (and… just short of two weeks in December,) was the sun drenched Algarve – in a beautiful lesser known but up and coming Algarvean town – Tavira and what a stunning spot it is.

Three bridges cross the centre of Tavira with pubs and restaurants in ample supply. There is nothing more relaxing than drinking a glass of wine and admiring this stunning view! It really helps to soothe those ever present covid anxieties.

I began my stay in a typical Portuguese flat in the quaint centre of the town with hubby. Busy, quite noisy, (lol,) interesting, and great for nipping out to all the local amenities, bars, shops and… not too far from the train station and the all important library!

Here are some panoramic views of Tavira from the Maria Nova roof top hotel, where you can (covid permitting,) sample the drinks, music and bar snacks.

Early on my hubby and I went to Tavira beach via the Tavira Island ferry. How quaint is that?

I’ll be sharing more photos and news in my next instalment of my Algarvean adventure! Before I go, let’s take a trip to the beach!

You can reach the beach either by catching the ferry in the central town area, or by walking to the marina to catch it there – which we did. It was well worth the long walk.

On Friday before our departure we realised that no local places were open Saturday afternoon to do flight covid tests. EEK. A scramble to find anywhere. We managed thanks to my resourceful hubby and were fit to fly!

Best much love, I can’t quite believe my good fortune! I just hope covid fxxxx off so we can have total freedom of movement again.

I took the Christmas lights photo which heads this blog on my last night in Tavira, so pretty.

Hope your Christmas preparations are going well. Bye for now,

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Finalist International Author and Fantasy Author N.N Light’s Book Awards @NNP_W_Light

Just heard I’m in the running for an award from N. N . Light for my YA novel Bloodstone The Curse of Time Book 1 which she recently reviewed. Wish me luck! I’m a finalist.

I quote: Each year, we rate the books we’ve given five-star reviews (December 2020 – November 2021) and award the best book of the year in select categories. We’ve tabulated the votes and we’re pleased to announce you’re a finalist in the Best International Author category.

And fantasy category.

We’re announcing the finalists on N. N. Light’s Book Heaven on Thursday, December 9, but wanted to let you know ahead of time.

It’s now up: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/2021-book-award-finalists 

The winners will be announced on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Here is her review:

N.N. Light rated a book it was amazing

Bloodstone by M.J. Mallon

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time, #1)by M.J. Mallon (Goodreads Author) Read in November 2021. A magical invitation, that doesn’t tear up, urges Amelina to go to Crystal Cottage to seek out the hidden secrets of her family. Amelina Scott knows her family isn’t what you call normal and neither is her house. No one she knows has a girl trapped in the mirrors. When she receives an invitation to visit Crystal Cottage, she doesn’t know what to make of it. Is it a prank? Is it a trick? She decides to ignore it and throws it in the trash. Only it doesn’t stay in the bin. She tries to cut it up but it doesn’t cut. It sings, it dances, it is somehow alive. She finally decides to travel to the Crystal Cottage to see what happens. Along the way, she meets Ryder and discovers magic (both light and dark) is all around. She interacts with magical people, beings, and objects while learning the truth of her family. What happens next will astound you, the reader. Are you ready for an adventure?

Bloodstone is an imaginative fantasy adventure I enjoyed from start to finish. From the first page, I connected with Amelina. She’s a delightful heroine. I could relate to her on so many levels. Everything from her curiosity to her reactions to her emotional state rang true. While it’s tricky these days to write an original fantasy story, M.J. Mallon wrote one of the most original fantasy books I’ve read in a long time. Taking bits from fantasy authors of the past, M.J. Mallon adds her own blend of magical realism and emotional coming of age to make Bloodstone a gem. The plot moves at a good pace with each chapter starting with a puzzle. What a creative way to keep the reader invested. The world-building is intricate and riveting. The characters are engaging and easy to connect with. Overall, Bloodstone is a brilliant story and when I finished, I wanted to read it all over again. If you’re a fantasy reader, you need to read Bloodstone. Highly recommend!

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it. My thoughts are all my own.

My Rating: 5+ stars

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

This review first appeared: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/po…

Great news, wish me luck!

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