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.



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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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Vote for Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1) @allauthor #allauthor #cover #competition

I had no clue that Bloodstone had been picked for the August Allauthor cover competition until late this afternoon.

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!

Author: M.J. Mallon

Genre: Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

Buy Now: Amazon

I really appreciate it! I’m a real sucker for beautiful book covers. And I hope you agree that the new cover of Bloodstone is mighty fine!

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Book Review: Ghosts of Lock Tower by @JackMassa2 #YA #Fantasy #Paranormal

Ghosts of Lock Tower by Jack Massa

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is the third book in the Abby Renshaw series and my first introduction to author Jack Massa.

I’m so glad I discovered this author. Jack Massa’s magical writing is really up my street. I loved the character of Abby (who is on the cusp of eighteen but not your ordinary girl!) and all the subsidiary characters including her loveable grandma. Even Abby’s car Veronica has a character of its own as she names it too!

It’s a quirky tale – think frog monster – so if you like quirky you will like this. There is magic, two different magical societies, sigils, tarot, seances , astral projection, psychic abilities, ‘egregore (thought forms,) etc, with some lovely touches of humour.

To add to the story mix there is also a murder on campus and a Nazi ghost. Abby’s blossoming romance and an ex in the picture – better not say anymore for fear of spoiling it for you.

All in all a well written, engaging book, with a great heroine to cheer for.

There is an interesting author’s note at the end of the book about the locations: ‘Harmony Springs is fictional, although based on some actual places in central Florida.’
‘Lock Tower is based on the real Bok Tower in Lake Wales… ‘

All sounds fascinating I like narratives that are based on real places and people.

I received a copy from the author and happily give my unbiased review – M J Book Reviews


Buying link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0997646160/
http://www.triskelionbooks.com

View all my reviews

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Friday with Friends: Embracing Change – M.J. Mallon | Meet The Authors @CamillaDowns

Thank you so much to Camilla Downs for featuring me at her blog Meeting the Authors – Friday with Friends – blog post. I am talking about embracing change!

I have a new release, or should I say rerelease!
My debut novel has been re-released with Next Chapter Publishing, Bloodstone The Curse of Time #1. This YA Fantasy novel is primarily prose but each chapter starts with a short poem, so there are masses of poems!
Good grief, it has been an interesting and somewhat daunting experience relinquishing control of my book to someone else – especially as I’m republishing a version and if you are a control freak like I am… there are obstacles, difficulties and invaluable lessons to be learnt.
Metadata, title changes these all effect your novel and make the process much more complicated. But I am hoping that the initial niggles will be overcome and it will be worthwhile.
Change is challenging but sometimes you …

Find out more at source on Camilla’s lovely blog: Friday with Friends: Embracing Change – M.J. Mallon | Meet The Authors

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Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1) is Featured on Books Go Social #YA #Fantasy

“Don’t give up, keep on developing your craft,
read, write, repeat and find your tribe.”

Read the Interview

“Hope appears in conflicting messages and magical paints as a strange creature of skin and bone summons Amelina to the cottage.
In time, she discovers her magical Krystallos skills and hopes to cure her father of the curse of time and perhaps to release Esme from her mental trauma and imprisonment.”

Get the Book

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8 Steps to Side Characters #ARC #Review #Launch @Sacha_Black

MJ’s Review

8 Steps To Side Characters is part of Sacha Black’s many writing craft books – other titles include: 13 steps to Evil, 10 steps to Hero, and the Anatomy Of Prose.

Thank you so much for an ARC copy of 8 steps to side characters which I freely give my review and opinion of.

Sacha Black’s writing style is engaging, humourous, clear and informative. I definitely learnt a lot about writing side characters and also discovered how important these pesky folk are!

I had some laugh out loud moments. Here’s an example:

“If you don’t layer your conflict, and you only have world ending levels of conflict at every opportunity, it’s like electrocuting your readers over and over again.”

Yes, this had me in chortles.

Also, there are many light bulb moments too.

“It’s a misnomer that to create big universal feelings you have to describe giant emotions. It’s actually the small, unique and intangible things about our loved ones that create that effect.”

And…

“One thing all readers share in common is a heartfelt solidarity for a character going through shit times.”

“Just because you craft characters to be one way for the majority of the time, say, kind and tolerant, doesn’t mean they have to be that way or feel that way for the entire story.”

I read this on my kindle and highlighted lots of passages to refer to later.

At the end of each step she summarises all the important ideas that she has mentioned. There are also Questions to consider. Plus she makes it all really clear with real examples from film, and books (with spoiler warnings for well known books.)

Recommendation: Read this! Highly recommended – a must read and one to refer back to. 5 stars.

INSTAGRAM / YOUTUBE TIPS SERIES

She’s been sharing a tip a day from the book in a IGTV / Youtube video series. If you’d like to watch the tips or share the series, you can by visiting her on instagram or YouTube:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/sachablackauthor/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCmGEeUxCRW5ZVxwJ_mEunw 

Live Events

Join Sacha on launch day, 29th July, in her Facebook group for a live Q&A session. If you have any questions about writing, publishing, marketing, her books, unicorns or anything in between, hit her up on sachablack@sachablack.co.uk and let her know, or drop it in the Facebook group/event page here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rebelauthors/

Event: https://fb.me/e/GVZcAjmm  

 Your Side Characters and You LIVES

As part of the launch week, Sacha will be interviewing nine authors all about their side characters, their favorite side characters from books and films as well as their tips for creating better characters. And She’ll be doing that all LIVE on instagram every night at 8pm from the 30th July to the 8th August.

  • Friday 30th July – Mark Lefebvre from Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing Podcast
  • Saturday 31st July Jeff Adams from Big Gay Fiction podcast
  • Sunday 1st August Katlyn Duncan YouTuber and author
  • Monday 2nd August Daniel Willcocks, my Next Level Authors cohost, book coach and horror authors
  • Tuesday 3rd August Crys Cain, host of Write Away, cohost of TASM and author
  • Wednesday 4th August Kristina Stanley, CEO of Fictionary.co
  • Thursday 5th Helen Scheuerer author of fantasy
  • Friday 6th Miranda Bridges romance author
  • Saturday 7th Elaine Bateman urban fantasy author and staff writer at Indie Author Magazine
  • Sunday 8th August – if I haven’t collapsed, will be a solo show from me!

Buying Links:

Universal purchase link textbook: books2read.com/sidecharacters 

Universal purchase link workbook: books2read.com/sideworkbook 

Impressive! Or what…

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MJ’s Book Reviews: Life is like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony #poetry #newrelease @sgc58

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.

An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.

In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams and loss.

The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?

At the end of the collection there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits and love of food!

My review

Life is like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony by Sally Cronin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What strikes me about Sally Cronin’s books is the quiet unassuming way in which they appear without too much fanfare. Sally is a wonderful supporter of the indie writing community, so I am glad to be able to give her a little fanfare too by writing a review for her latest book Life is Like A Mosiac: Random Fragments in Harmony. Great title, I’m sure you will agree!

I loved the dedication within with all the names of the people within her writing circles, so lovely.

I’m a big fan of poetry in all its forms, so this book of eclectic poems from Sally Cronin really appealed to me. There are a wide variety, some wise, some amusing, some thoughtful, some just darn well cute. They are all beautiful presented with accompanying photographs taken from various sources.

Favourites include: Farewell to Colourful Friends, Spices, Dreams, Happiness, Mother Nature, Immortality, Hope, Loose Lips, First Steps, The Circle of Life, Finding Clarity, Creatures of The Night, A Toast to Life, Beneath The Redwoods, Persecution in The Garden, Advancing Years, The Crocodile, Silver Lining to Isolation, The Wise Woman’s Apprentice.

Some are illustrated with personal photographs taken from the authors Childhood Memories in Ceylon, and on Summer Holidays, and as she gets a bit older she becomes Rebellious in Frome!

This poetry collection is accessible, unpretentious, (which I love,) and enjoyable. It will make you smile, reflect and bring back your own memories of when you were young, mischievous and perhaps a little difficult too!

In my case, it brought back memories of when I lived abroad in Childhood Memories – Sally’s poetry spoke to me taking me back in time.

Highly recommended – 5 stars

Many thanks to the author for an ARC copy for review which I happily give with no bias.

View all my reviews

My previous reviews for Sally Cronin:

Details about Sally Cronin:

Delighted to promote authors for FREE please see for details: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore

And the new: Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room

Sally’s books are available on Amazon, the Moyhill site and  Smashwords. 

Amazon: Amazon US

Amazon UK: Amazon UK

More reviews can be found on GoodreadsGoodreads

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2021/

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #YAFantasy M. J. Mallon, #Romance Jacquie Biggar | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally for this lovely update featuring reviews for Balroop, Jacquie and myself. Do pop over to see Sally’s update  – link below.

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #YAFantasy M. J. Mallon, #Romance Jacquie Biggar | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Oh and while I am here, just to let you know you can request a review copy of my YA Fantasy Bloodstone via Book Sirens: https://booksirens.com/book/H4SI6L4/Q9PZX3A

and for those who are on Netgalley: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/230784

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MJ’s Book Reviews: Perfect Daughter by @MrsAmandaProuse #BookReview #WomensFiction #Contemporary

Wife. Mother. Daughter. What happens when it all becomes too much?

Jackie loves her family. Sure, her teenage children can be stroppy. Her husband a little lazy. And providing round-the-clock care for her Alzheimer’s-ridden mother is exhausting. She’s sacrificed a lot to provide this safe and loving home, in their cramped but cosy semi with a view of the sea.

All Jackie wants is for her children to have a brighter future than she did. So long as Martha, the eldest, gets into university and follows her dreams, all her sacrifice will be worth something… won’t it? 

My Review

Perfect Daughter (No Greater Strength, #1)Perfect Daughter by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With a title like that I was bound to be drawn in! I’m a daughter, and have two daughters of my own.

This is an immersive story about Jacks and her family, her husband Pete, her mum Ida and her daughter Martha. It’s also a story about regrets, the choices we make, the fears that we could have taken a different path and perhaps had a more exciting life. Perfect Daughter doesn’t shy away from life’s difficulties and real struggles: looking after an aging parent with Alzheimer and keeping the family on an even keel especially when life has a way of veering off course bringing more grief in its wake.

Perfect Daughter doesn’t hide away from these issues, at times it’s quite difficult reading and at other times it is heart warming and uplifting. It is a generational story focusing on three female family members: Jack’s mother Ida, Jacks and Jack’s daughter situation too.

There is a sense of history repeating itself. Can Jacks discover what really matters beyond material wealth and the freedoms it brings?

Perfect Daughter whizzes back and forward giving us a taste of life when Jacks was younger to the present day difficulties. Should she stay with dependable Pete, (who was there for her through thick and thin,) or should she risk throwing it all away for a promise of rekindled love with someone who could give supposedly give her everything?

Thank you to the author for kindly gifting a hardback copy. My review is freely given and without bias.

Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

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

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