MJ Reviews August Catch Up – Book Reviews #bookreviews #poetry #flashfiction @SarahBrentyn @BalroopShado @Frank_Prem

I’ve been behind on adding my reviews to my blog due to lots happening in my personal life plus my blog tour for my poetry and flash fiction collection: The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet which released mid August!

This is review catch up 1, and there will be catch up 2 next.

So, here are three fab books I recommend, the first is flash fiction and the last two are poetry. Enjoy!

On the Edge of a Raindrop by Sarah Brentyn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you have ever wondered about the power in the brevity of words then this collection by Sarah Brentyn is for you! It’s a wonderful collection of flash fiction which I loved reading.

It is divided into three sections:
Mindscapes, Lifelines and Micro bursts (the shortest of which! )

Here are 3 of my favourite microbursts:

We wake the same as we slept. Strangers.
Dreams cling to our eyelashes as we sip coffee & pretend to believe the beautiful lies we tell.

Fed up with death, she entered the reincarnation lottery, returning as a farmer famous for her prize-winning ghost peppers.

I wake to hundreds of spiders crawling across my floor, up the walls. They are everywhere. I want to scream. But I feel them on my lips.

Highly recommended especially to those who enjoy flash fiction and as a fine introduction to the form.

View all my reviews

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

You can find her online at www.sarahbrentyn.com

Emerging From Shadows : Poetry by Balroop Singh by Balroop Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Balroop Singh’s collection of poetry is thoughtful, emotional and stirring to the soul. Her love for the natural world, love of words, and her inner resilience shines through in her light and dark poetry.

Really enjoyed. Highly recommended for poetry enthusiasts.

The Call of Calmness is one of my favourite poems in the collection.

View all my reviews


Gentle breeze breathes a quiet message…

I am here to bless you

To softly swing,

Sway with your dreams

Don your dewy dress of harmony

Hold me in your arms lightly

I can take you beyond branches

Of those trees, stirring serenely

Inhale that cogent calmness

Expunge all angst and anger

Trust my trail, believe in hope

Breathe in breezy light of love

We can fly beyond boundaries

I can show you the gale of happiness

It follows us wherever we go

It changes its face when it has to flow

Over the vales of wishes

Even the dales of despair

Surmounting them all

Into the lucid light of serendipity.

Balroop Singh, an educator, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in California. You can visit her blog at http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

I read Frank’s poetry a while ago while I was in Portugal! And shared my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Here is the review:

The Garden Black by Frank Prem

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to poet Frank Prem for an advanced copy of The Garden Black. It seemed the perfect opportunity yesterday to read this poetry collection while I was relaxing on a beach! It’s a little different from some of Frank’s other collections with a speculative fantasy vibe to it. Being a keen fantasy reader and author I enjoyed it. Frank’s free verse form of poetry is always a delight, easy to read and enjoy and reflect upon.

My favourite poems with their titles below:
I who am, (I liked this for its references to: wind, sun, dark, soil, leaf, bough, root, bark, sap, wood, tree!)
the hunter writes a letter
swell, (this poem relates swimming to driving!)
storm and the sea (bubbles of foam)
I dig (a forest)
it is not clear (from the dream below)
a song for the (far) horizon
a line of destiny
pain control
garden black
isosceles and me (and the war over the pond,) – very unusual but in a good way!
davey’s interview (pre-recorded)
in the stone: through the water
a song for the (deep) horizon
the second beat.

View all my reviews

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet since his teenage years. He has been a psychiatric nurse through all of his professional career, which now exceeds forty years.He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies in Australia, and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as spoken word.He lives with his wife in the beautiful township of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia. https://FrankPrem.com

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Blog Tour Thank you: The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet #newrelease #poetry #thankyou

Many thanks for supporting me with the release of my new poetry collection The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet. There have been fab reviews and awesome blog posts to celebrate the launch. I particularly appreciate it at a time when I have been busy. More about that below…

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the blogs of these wonderfully supportive and talented authors who signed up for the tour, here are their links:
D. L. Finn (Denise:)
Adele Marie Park:
Ritu Bhathal:
Robbie Cheadle:
D G Kaye (Debby Gies):
Colleen Chesebro:
Richard Dee:

I’d like to make a special mention to Colleen who helped me out on the release day taking over my blog for the day:

Such amazingly talented authors and poets! So, their opinion, (beta reading and reviewing,) is invaluable to me.

And a big thank you to Sally Cronin and Darlene Foster for their early reviews. You can read all the latest reviews on Goodreads, and do purchase a copy and add to your TBR!

With the beautiful brevity of words in mind, I’ve chosen one sentence from each review to highlight:

A beautiful book inspired by, and a nod to, the mystical and the natural world around us. Ritu Bhathal.

A unique and beautifully written collection of poetry and fiction weaved magically together. D. L .Finn.

The author and poet spins words into gorgeous tapestries and descriptions which are heartwarming and quite gorgeous. Robbie Cheadle.

An insightful collection of whimsical poems and flash fiction centered around nature. Darlene Foster.

There are some wise words here from both Mallon and the trees about life in simpler times, stories about nature, childhood memories in snippets of flash fiction, as well as some whimsical Halloween tales. D G Kaye.

This is a collection to savour and to dip into when the technical world we inhabit becomes too demanding, or we are in need of a touch of magic. Sally Cronin.

What a collection of emotions this collection produces. There’s sadness, anger, love and everything in between among its pages. Richard Dee.


The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is a collection of poetry and flash fiction celebrating the beautiful vulnerability of the forest kingdom. It begins with the poetic tale of the kind-hearted Hedge Witch, Fern, who discovers an injured stranger in desperate need of her woodland spells and magic.
The sweet pairing learn from each other and through Fern’s guidance, Devin embraces the power of magic to leave behind his trouble past to become The Musical Poet.
Poetry/flash fiction titles in section one of the collection include:
The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet, Rain Forest Love, A Forest Baby Boy, A Forest Baby Girl, A Modern Witch, Rock of Mine, Chester Don & I, The Network of Trees, More Trees Not Less, Two Boys Watching War, Mum Climbing Trees, Let’s Play, The Scorched Tree, Owl’s Holiday Home, A Man’s Holiday Home, A Child’s Excitement, The Teddy In The Woods, Run! The Organutans, All Hallow’s Eve Candy Girl The Forest Bash, Dreaming At Halloween, A Face on Bark, Golden Willow Tree, Rainbow – Parasol of Light, Lollipop Sunshine Tree,
In Section two I pay tribute to the following poets:Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, Ruby Archer, King Forest, Bliss Carman, Woodland Rain, Emily Dickinson, Who Robbed the Woods, Rupert Blake, Stopping by The Woods on A Winter Evening,Oscar Wilde, In the Forest.
With my poetry:
The Forest Weeps, The Forest King, Raindrops and Childhood Dreams, The Woodland Treasures, Winter Woodland Moon, Child Me.

Buy Links:

The paperback is available to buy and priced at only £4.99 and overseas equivalent at the moment so do grab a copy while it is at this special price.

And the kindle is available on Kindle Unlimited for those who have a KU membership.

Cover and Formatting by Colleen Chesebro’s marvellous new formatting service, more about that here: 

And I have moved! Crazy that my moving out day happened to be the day of my launch – not what I would have wanted – but life is always full of unexpected surprises. Our house sale fell through first time and then took longer second time around! I am now looking to the next chapter of my life. which will be spent partly in the UK and partly abroad in Portugal. Exciting times ahead.

Still lots to do, lots to organise, and lots of writing plans too!

To my writing pals… I am

And hope you will be there with me step by step… word by word…

My next planned poetry collection will be Do What You Love, so if you are interested in an early review copy do let me know. Early review copies will be available fairly soon…

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New Release: The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet #poetry #flashfiction #forest #witch

Hello everyone! It’s me… Colleen, from Word Craft Poetry. I’ve popped over to Marje’s blog to help her get her new book launched while she’s away on personal business. Do you know what a hedge witch is? Here are a few fast facts to introduce you to the path of the Hedge Witch:

“There are a lot of different belief systems in modern paganism, and one that’s seeing a resurgence in popularity is the path of the hedge witch. Although there are a lot of different definitions of what a hedge witch is and does, you’ll find that for the most part, there’s a lot of work with herbal magic, as well as an emphasis on nature. A hedge witch might work with gods or goddesses, perform healing and shamanic actions, or perhaps work with the changing seasons. In other words, the path of the hedge witch is as eclectic as those who practice it.”

What is a Hedgewitch: LearnReligions.com

This gives you a glimpse into the main character of Marje’s new book! So, without further ado… here’s Marje:

I’m delighted to announce the release of my poetry, flash fiction and poetry collection today, August 15th!

Please do follow the blog tour that begins today… and support these wonderful authors.

The authors and bloggers on the tour are:

D L. Finn, Ritu Bhathal Richard Dee, Robbie Cheadle, Adele Marie Park, Colleen Chesebro, D G Kaye.

Many thanks for these 5 star reviews for the collection from Sally Cronin and Ritu Bhathal:

I received a copy of the collection from the author without any expectation of a review.

This is a poetry and flash fiction collection seeped in nature and illustrates the love the author has for the environment, particular the forests.

The first pages share the delightful love story of the Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet, bringing two solitary characters together in the sanctuary of a magical forest far from the human world.

This story is followed by poems and flash ficton, some of which are poignant such as the tribute to a ginger cat in Chester, Don & I,and bewilderment voiced in The Network of Trees as they stand in danger from the human need for progress.

There is also the sad reflection that much of the beauty and adventures to be found in the forests are being missed as children find themselves engrossed in the online world instead. The author makes sure to include the fun they could be enjoying instead.

The Teddy in the Woods probably should come with a tissue alert.

There are some reminders of poems from another collection which I also enjoyed Mr. Sagittarius Poetry; one of my favourites being Rainbow – Parasol of Light.

In the second section of the collection there is a series of poems inspired by other writers. Set in the woodlands and the beauty they offer. This includes the ethereal The Forest King.

The forest king lives in the shadows
his hair and beard, a flame alight
in his crown, the fairy queen sits
far from the tangled roots of his throne.

This is a collection to savour and to dip into when the technical world we inhabit becomes too demanding, or we are in need of a touch of magic. I recommend to lovers of nature and fantasy.

Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin’s review of The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet (goodreads.com)

Sally also featured me on her blog recently: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/07/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-post-i-wish-i-knew-then-what-i-know-now-family-travel-by-m-j-mallon/

A beautiful book inspired by, and a nod to, the mystical and the natural world around us.
Marjorie Mallon has used both fiction and poetry to craft a selection of flash fiction for the first part of the book, about the Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet, as well as other scenarios, interspersed with verse.
The second section is devoted to poetry inspired by various famous poets.
A lovely book to delve into when you want a little slice of magic.

Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal’s review of The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet (goodreads.com)

The cover and interior of the paperback and kindle have been designed by Colleen Chesebro who has a new service for authors which I can highly recommend.




The paperback of The Hedge Witch is on special release offer price at the moment so do grab a copy before the price goes up!

Kyrosmagica Publishing

The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet


Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose


Anthology – This Is Lockdown


Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit


Next Chapter Publishing

Acclaimed YA Fantasy series, The Curse of Time, Bloodstone and Golden Healer

For details of publications please visit:


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Blog Tour Dark Goddess, Dark Creation 13th August @lolasblogtours @kelseyketch #dark #fantasy

Dark Goddess tour banner

This is my post during the blog tour for Dark Goddess by Kelsey Ketch. Dark Goddess is a vampiric retelling of the Eye of Ra.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and the tour runs from 7 till 13 August. You can see the tour schedule here.

Dark Godess book cover
Dark Goddess (A Dark Reflections Short Story #1)
By Kelsey Ketch
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: August 2022

Chaos has descended on Egypt, and the people are revolting against their immortal king. Little do they know the wrath he is about to unleash using his daughter as his weapon.

Google Play

Other book in the series:
Dark Creation
Dark Creation (A Dark Reflections Short Story #2)
By Kelsey Ketch
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: 30 April 2021

Long before Charissa began her murderous rampage through history, she was a young woman living in ancient Alexandria.

Oppressed by society and cursed by the color of her hair, Charissa had hardly seen the world beyond the four walls of her home. So, when her husband leaves for extended military duty, she takes the opportunity to tour the city her brother once loved. Little does she know the Fates have other plans in store for her when she runs into an exotic woman in the Rhakotis District. The encounter will change her life forever.

Google Play

Dark Creation series

Kelsey Ketch author picture
About the Author:
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

Author Links:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Dark Goddess. The author is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT).

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dark Goddess square tour banner

Lola's Blog Tours graphic

Here’s the link to the giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1407/

Review – Dark Goddess: Dark Reflections #0.5

Thank you to the author and to Lola Blog Tours for an advanced copy. I review freely and without bias.

Dark Goddess format: short story with author notes at end.

Dark Goddess is a short story inspired by the ancient Egyptian goddess, Sekhmet. I love Greek tales!

It is pretty gory! And a page turner… that keeps your attention throughout as you can see from this quote: “My cravings taking over, I sat up and sunk my teeth deeper into my father’s flesh until I heard the crunching of bone.”

From author notes: ‘Sekhmet was the goddess of the desert sun, plague, chaos, war, destruction, and healing. She was said to be the daughter of the sun god, Ra, and had been created from the fire of his eye.’

“But you are right, my beloved daughter. The blame does not fully lay on you. I am the one who transformed you into that terrifying force of vengeance and destruction. You were brought forth by my fire—my rage. You are merely an extension of myself.”

I enjoyed this short story and would definitely recommend this author.

Review: Dark Creation: Dark Reflections #0.5

Thank you to the author and to Lola Blog Tours for an advanced copy I review freely and without bias.

Story format: Short Story with author notes at end – obviously the author is knowledgeable about ancient Egypt and has researched many aspects.

This is Charissa’s back story. which was intended to be a bonus chapter for Dark Reflections. The author writes beautifully: “Her slaves moved forward without a single word spoken to them, like soulless bodies, and shielded the sun from touching the young woman’s flesh.

The sight twisted knots into my already aggravated gut. Not only that, the young woman’s skin was as cold as ice to the touch compared to the hot, moist air of the Nile Delta. Like I was being touched by a corpse.
I, too, was ruled by a man.”

Something in the back of my mind told me I shouldn’t. Something told me to run. I just couldn’t remember why, and the little voice within quickly slipped into a haze. “Yes. Let’s go home.”

“I am Sekhmet, your sire. And by the blood we just shared, we are now bound together.”

It was the scent of human blood, freshly killed. I licked my lips, ready to battle one of the lionesses for a taste.

Sekhmet : “That’s right. Drusus was an assassin sent to kill me. Apparently, the new emperor feels my quiet existence here in Egypt is a threat to the Roman Empire. Drusus confessed as much. Though I accidently slit his throat and dispatched his body in rage before asking why.” 

I enjoyed this short story and it serves as a great introduction to the author, and the wrath of dark goddesses! Would definitely recommend.

Here are the links for Dark Goddess:

– Goodreads

– Bookbub

– Amazon

– B&N

– Kobo

Check out all my reviews on my blog: https://mjmallon.com/mjs-reviews/

And featured reviews on Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/


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News!! And New Review Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose #poetry #prose #photography #review

I’m delighted to announce that there is a new review for Mr. Sagittarius from fellow author S C Skillman. Many thanks Sheila!

And I have had a request from the following prestigious libraries for copies of Mr. Sagittarius and Lockdown Innit Poems About Absurdity!

A legal deposit record for these books are to be held at the British Library, National Library of Scotland, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, National Library of Wales, Cambridge University Library, and the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

This is an exquisite collection of poetry, prose and photos reflecting upon the joy, comfort and peace that is to be found in the natural world and in a beautiful garden. This author’s playful, lyrical style conveys an atmosphere and message which is at once magical, poignant and compassionate. Her central theme is that of ‘transformation’. I loved the Old Man of the Snow; the Bubble Monster; and the Rainbow Shell. As with her novels, I find that this author handles fanciful ideas with elegance and grace. Highly recommended.

S C Skillman

Exquisite collection of poetry, prose and photos (amazon.co.uk)

Do check out all my books under my publishing imprint Kyrosmagica Publishing.

Kyrosmagica Publishing

The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet kindle releases 15th August 2022 (able to preorder)


Poetry, Prose and Photography: Mr. Sagittarius


Anthology – This Is Lockdown


Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit


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📚Golden Healer is the second book in #Ya #Fantasy series The Curse of Time by  @Marjorie_Mallon | Rosie Amber

Thank you so much to Rosie for sharing Robbie Cheadle’s Review of Golden Healer, Book 2 in my Curse of Time series. It’s a fabulous 5 star review and I am so delighted with the response I am having to this series.

Today’s team review is from Robbie. Robbie blogs here Rosie’s Book Review Team Robbie has been reading Golden Healer by M.J. Mallon Golden Healer by M J Mallon Golden Healer is the seco…

Source: 📚Golden Healer is the second book in #Ya #Fantasy series The Curse of Time by  @Marjorie_Mallon | Rosie Amber

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