Through The Nethergate #paranormal #urban #fantasy #ya #review @RobertaEaton17 @TSLpub

Blurb

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Review

Through The Nethergate illustrates the author’s ability to write an engaging tale which not only entertains the reader but weaves in historical facts against the backdrop of a ghostly setting.

Poor 16 year old Margaret has been recently bereaved, both her parents have died and she is now living with her Grandfather. Soon it becomes clear that she has a gift, the ability to transform ghosts to become more human in appearance.

There follows an age old battle between good versus evil, with characters as examples throughout history, (Heinruch Himmler, Reingard Heydritch and Adolf Eichmann,) and a clever part showcasing the potential danger of technological advances, (the dark web and terrorism,) to the soul of man.

Events unfold with Lucifer, two priests, a black cat, Hugh Bigod, (who has held the ghosts trapped – in his form as the black dog,) haunted bungay characters: Lizzie Bowlynge, Rex Bacon, Katherine de Montacute, Henry Scarle, and the infant serial killer Amelia Dyer, John Collins, Nero, Caligula and the incarnates.

Some historical figures were mentioned briefly while others played a bigger part in the tale. Perhaps a deep connection to a single character is lost somewhat due to the number of characters embodied in the narrative.

Of them all, I particularly was fascinated by the true life story of John Collins and the political discussions in the tale.

The pace and excitement picks up in the second half of the book which I really enjoyed. The ending is fantastic. It is a clever, ambitious, unusual and imaginative tale, just what you would expect from Roberta Cheadle.


Recommended for those who enjoy horror, dark and ghost tales and YA fiction.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

https://tslbooks.uk/product/through-the-nethergate-roberta-eaton-cheadle/

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has two published novels:

* Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy; and

* A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has ten children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

All my links are available via: https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Sharing Options:

Book Review: Haven Wakes, The Haven Chronicles: Book One #fantasy @FisWritingHaven @Burning_Chair

The year is 2110.

Everyone has their own robot, and magical worlds are just behind the next door…

Steve Haven always thought he was just another ordinary twelve-year-old boy. Well, as ordinary as he can be given he’s the nephew of Rex Haven, founder of the Haven Robotics Corporation.

But when Rex dies in mysterious circumstances and Steve is given a strange artefact known only as the Reactor, he finds out that the world he thought he knew is a lot stranger and more threatening than he ever imagined.

On the run from a group of dangerous villains, Steve finds himself plunged into a hidden and dangerous magical world. With his parents missing and no one in the normal world he can trust, Steve must join with his new-found magical friends to discover the truth about the Reactor and his uncle’s death.

Haven Wakes is the debut novel by Fi Phillips and the first in The Haven Chronicles, an exciting and enthralling journey through new worlds, both futuristic and magical.

If you enjoy fantastic settings, magical powers and futuristic devices, then you’ll love Haven Wakes.

Book Review

It is the year 2110. 12 year Steve’s father is an archaeologist. There is a falling out between his uncle Rex ‘robotics genius and philanthropist’ and his father. He is lonely, his parents are always away and are ‘a team.’ He is stuck at school, feeling sorry for himself but… a massive adventure is about to happen!


It becomes clear that his uncle’s death is a murder and there is a lots to get to rips with… what with auras, and characters who ‘seethed wiith magic,’ a darkling… and a place called dark acre.

It’s funny in bits and definitely entertaining!

““You’d get on with my chemistry teacher,” said Steve. “He’s never happier than when he’s blowing things up.””

“The sight of the fire imp had scared off his hangover and he felt in dire need of a weapon to defend himself.”


And some lovely character descriptions, this is of Frobisher the gatekeeper:

“Frobisher sat in a deckchair beside an archway that stretched between two red-brick terrace houses. His hair was patchy and his baldness, plus his frown, emphasised the generous size of his nose, which jutted out like it wanted something to be hung on it.”

This is for you if you like: Magic, pixies, goblins, revenants, fairies (darklings) travelling magic, fire imps and devourers! A fun packed and imaginative adventure. Really enjoyed. Entertaining and funny in parts. Loved the characters and the magic! The ending wrapped up any loose ends and opened up the potential for book 2 which is on my reading list. Looking forward to continuing this series. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For many years Fi Phillips worked in an office environment until the arrival of her two children sent her hurtling down a new, bumpy, creative path. She finds that getting the words down on paper is the best way to keep the creative muse out of her shower.

Fi lives in the wilds of North Wales with her family and a pooch called Bailey, earning a living as a fantasy novelist and real life copywriter. Writing about magical possibilities is her passion.

‘Haven Wakes’ is her debut novel, the first in a futuristic fantasy series for an 11+ readership, published by Burning Chair Publishing.

You can find her at http://fiphillipswriter.com/

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Pagehttps://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Next Chapter Publishing Author Page: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon 

#ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mjmallonauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/

Spiritual Sisters: https://www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters

Sharing Options:

Top 10 Writing Tips With Author M J Mallon #writing #tips #feature

Thank you so much to Shelley Wilson for featuring me on her blog with my top 10 writing tips.

Learning from mentors helps us to improve and evolve in our chosen field, and I still recall the advice given to me at the start of my writing journey.

To help other writers, I started a feature whereby established authors shared their words of wisdom and top ten writing tips.

It was a huge success and I was delighted to bring the feature back for a second season! You’ll find all the Top 10 Writing Tip articles here.

Meet Majorie Mallon

https://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2022/07/05/top-10-writing-tips-with-author-mj-mallon-marjorie_mallon-top10writingtips-tuesdaybookblog-writingtips/?s=09

Sharing Options:

Choke Back the Tears Blog Tour: Mark Richards – Michael Brady Book 4. #author #interview #review @lilmissmorfett

I’m delighted to be joining Donna’s blog tour for Mark Richards new release today with an interview and review too!

Once upon a time I had a business in financial services: nice suits, smart shirts, stripy ties. But always with a small voice inside me. “Let me out,” it said, “I’m a writer.”

I kept the small voice securely under lock and key but then – in 2009 – my brother died of cancer. It was one of those pivotal moments in life. I either let the small voice out and pursued my dream, or I forgot about it for good. So I sold my business, sent my stripy ties to the charity shop and started writing.

Now my time divides between writing for clients – copywriting, ghostwriting – and writing for myself.

In the spring of 2016 I suffered the latest in a long line of mid-life crises and invited my youngest son to come for a walk with me. That led to ‘Father, Son and the Pennine Way’ – the first of three books ostensibly about walking, but really about my ever-changing relationship with my son.

…And now – in September 2020 – I’ve turned my attention to novels. ‘Salt in the Wounds’ in the first book in the Michael Brady series and, when that’s finished, I’ll look to develop two other crime series.

You can connect with me online at:

W www.markrichards.co.uk

F https://www.facebook.com/MarkRichardsAuthor/

BLURB

Michael Brady looked at Sandra Garrity’s face. Grey skin. Bloodshot eyes open. Blue lips, her tongue protruding.
“Did you watch your husband die, Sandra? Or did he watch you die?”

“Brilliant. Brady is fast becoming the Yorkshire Rebus.”

Billy and Sandra were childhood sweethearts.
Writing their names on a lovelock. Fastening it to the end of Whitby pier. Throwing the key into the sea.
A lifetime together. A happy retirement in a peaceful hamlet on the North Yorkshire Moors.
Until the day they were brutally murdered.
“Whoever did this – he didn’t do it quickly. And he enjoyed it…”

Billy was a fisherman, making a living in the cold, cruel North Sea. One night his boat went down. Two crewmen drowned. Billy survived.
Are the families looking for revenge? It’s the obvious conclusion.
But why have they waited so long?
Why have they killed Billy and Sandra?
And why kill them in such a barbaric way? “This isn’t a murder, Mike. It’s an execution. A medieval execution.”

Choke Back the Tears is the fourth book in the Michael Brady series.
Kershaw’s away, Brady’s in charge. The bucks stops on his desk. But at least Frankie Thomson is back to help him. For now…
There are no clues. No motives. It’s a perfect crime scene.
All Brady has is his experience and his intuition. And his small team is gettng smaller by the day…
Meanwhile he’s battling problems in his personal life. His daughter Ash wants to know the truth about her mother’s death. Brady can’t put off telling her any longer.
He’s having doubts about everything. Even the memory of his dead wife.

Choke Back the Tears is the most personal Brady book yet.
He has to find the killer.
He has to keep his team together.
And he owes his daughter an explanation.
Michael Brady needs a friend.
But he doesn’t have one…

The Michael Brady books are perfect for fans of J D Kirk, Jason Dalgleish, David Gatward, T G Reid – and anyone who likes characters you’ll come to think of as friends.

“Mark Richards has created such a likeable character in Mike Brady that you want to become his friend, go for a drink with him or give him a hug when he obviously needs one. I’ve read all three Brady books within a week and am waiting for the fourth with bated breath.”

Interview with Mark…

Why write a novel?
The brutal truth is that I wrote a novel because I ran out of excuses. Travelling back in time I was a dull bugger in a suit, with a business in financial services. I also had this small voice which tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Let me out, you want to be a writer.”
In 2009 my brother died of cancer. It was one of those pivotal moments in life. I realised that I either let the small voice out and did what I really wanted to do, or I forgot about it for good. So I sold my business, sent my stripy ties to the charity shop and started writing – starting a new business as a freelance copywriter.
Then the small voice started up again. “Let me out, you want to write a novel.”
Fortunately I was too busy – no time. Then lockdown struck in March 2020: I immediately lost two clients in the day job and ran out of excuses. Suddenly I did have the time. I skulked away to the spare room and started Salt in the Wounds…
Why mystery/thriller/crime?
If I was going to move into commercial fiction I wanted a big market and clearly mystery/thriller/crime comes second after romance. My intention with Mike Brady was to land the books fairly and squarely in the middle of the target – to write books that were at least equal to those that were selling well. I read a couple of books by popular authors and thought I could do that.
But the books are really about Michael Brady’s internal journey as much as they’re about the crimes. There’s a great quote – supposedly attributed to Joseph Wambaugh – along the lines of, ‘the best crime fiction isn’t about cops working on cases, it’s about cases working on cops.’ That’s how it is with Brady, and you’ll see the impact of the cases over the course of the series.
Would you consider any other genre?
I’ve got about 10,000 words of a post-apocalyptic book written. When I lost my clients and ran out of excuses it was really a toss-up between Mike Brady and Rafe Mueller (another damaged soul…)
I have got other books out there: I’ve written three books about long distance walks I’ve done with Alex, my youngest son. Again though, they’re not about the walks as much as the relationship between Alex and me. Pop ‘Mark Richards, Father, Son and…’ into Amazon and you’ll find them.
But brand is important for an author, so I don’t feature those books on my website:
for the foreseeable future, I’ll focus on mystery/thriller/crime.

Why did you choose Whitby for the books?
As a few people know I live in Scarborough, 20 miles down the coast from Whitby. I chose Whitby because it has such a good ‘sense of place.’ Captain Cook, Dracula, traditional English fishing port, history, Heartbeat, the Moors, fish and chips.

Living so close to it I thought I knew the town quite well. You don’t know a town at all until you start planning to murder someone there…
Where did the idea for Michael Brady come from?
We have three children – boy, girl, boy. When Eleanor was 14/15 it’s fair to say she went through a fairly rebellious phase. We’re great pals now and she’s my football-buddy, but at the time father/daughter relationships were slightly strained, and there were certainly boyfriends I wasn’t told about.
I used to lie awake at night and ask myself a very simple question: ‘how the hell will I cope if anything happens to my wife?’
Simply put, that’s where the idea for Michael Brady came from and at the start of Salt in the Wounds that’s exactly where he is. His wife has been killed in a hit-and-run and he’s driving across the North York Moors with Ash (Ashley), his teenage daughter. He’s determined to start a new life, be a good dad to Ash and has absolutely no intention of going back into the police. And then his best friend is
murdered…
So Brady’s relationship with Ash is very much my imagined relationship with Elle (Eleanor). The sarcastic replies she gives him are exactly the sort of replies Elle gave me and – like I was when she was in her early teenage years – Brady has a permanent struggle between being protective and allowing her enough freedom.
Interestingly one reader in the US took me to task, saying he wouldn’t allow his daughter to speak to him in the way Ash talks to Brady, “but I guess that’s the difference between the US and the UK.” I thought he missed the point – like many teenage girls Ash feels physically awkward around her dad, so when they have these ‘banter conversations’ she’s really giving her dad a sort of verbal hug.
By the time you get to Book 4 Brady is tentatively starting his first relationship after his wife – and obviously Ash is going to have some views on the potential new girlfriend. And be on hand with dating advice…
‘All characters are fictitious…’ But what about Archie?
Nail. Head. Archie isn’t fictitious. Archie is Pepper, our Springer Spaniel, brought back to life. We got Pep in January 2006. She was just the most brilliant family pet, and my walking buddy on the cliff top. We finally said goodbye to her in November 2019 – and I still drop my toast on the floor and expect her to be there.
So Mike Brady’s dog, Archie, is Pepper brought back to life. Archie’s love of sausages and his desperate need to roll in a dead fish? That’s Pepper.
If you want to know more about Pep I brought all the short stories I wrote about her and family life together in a book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08BCGLZTW
How much research do you do?
Compared to other writers? Honestly, I don’t know. I suspect ‘above average’ is the answer. I do all my own research and that includes the physical side of it. I’ve hung off the end of Whitby Pier (Alex held on to me), gone trespassing on a railway line, trekked across the Moors…

For ‘Choke Back the Tears’ I was contemplating jumping into the North Sea fully clothed (you’ll see why) but as I was recovering from Covid at the time I had a long conversation with a girl who goes wild swimming instead.
One of the best things about research is how incredibly helpful people are. For Salt in the Wounds I had two or three long conversations with an officer in a woman’s prison, plus a paramedic. The River Runs Deep was witness protection and drowning. For The Echo of Bones I had long, long e-mail conversations with a forensic pathologist in Tennessee. And for the latest book about five trips to Whitby and a detailed conversation with a midwife.
Coming up? Brady still owes Dave a fishing trip. I’ll have to go out on a boat and try and catch a ten-pound cod. I’m not looking forward to it – I don’t like boats – but it has to be done. And an idea I had this morning means I might have to sleep rough for a night.
And while I didn’t use it in a book, my research has also taught me what to plant if you’ve buried a body in your allotment. Roses at first, then brassicas – cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli…
How much of you is there in Brady?
Brady’s 42 and his sister tells him he ‘looks a bit like Chris Hemsworth,’ so there aretwo boxes I don’t tick straightaway…
I’m in a lot of the small details of Mike Brady. How he likes his bacon sandwiches, how he has his tea, eating fish and chips by the harbour. But Brady’s physically brave – I’m not. Then again I’ve done stand-up comedy in Barnsley…
Brady’s relationship with Ash is unquestionably based on my relationship with my daughter. The replies she gives him – ‘This is a cool town, Dad. Two garden centres and a garage. Oh, and a Chinese takeaway. And a car park. I’ll certainly be coming here with my friends’ – are exactly the replies Ellie would have given me.
Ditto, Archie. We had a Springer for 13 years, before we lost her in November 2019.
Archie is simply Pepper re-born, and when Archie rolls in a dead fish, that’s Pep.
Rumour has it you’ve done stand-up comedy. How useful
is that when you’re writing a novel?
I have. I woke up with a midlife crisis one Saturday morning and told my wife I wanted to try stand-up. I did it for a year and was reasonably good – good enough to get paid and good enough to realise how good the top performers were. I did a gig in York where I was the warm-up for Russell Howard as he was just breaking through, and he was on another level.
But stand-up is brilliant training for writing. When you’re writing stand-up material is has to be tight and sharp – I could give you a great example, but it involves a lot of swearing. The same is true of novels. ‘Get it right, keep it tight, cut out the £$%&e’ as the old newspaper editors used to say.
You’re self-published at the moment. Would you like to be
traditionally published?

As a few people know I had a little bit of a flirt with a publisher around Christmas/New Year. They offered me a contract but I turned it down because of changes they wanted to make to the books.
In the short-term that was probably a poor decision, at least from a commercial point of view, but what they wanted to do was simply wrong and would have made the books worse.
Long-term let’s see what happens. For now I’m concentrating on the next book in the Brady series which I’ll have written, edited and published for Christmas. No way could you do that with a traditional publisher.
Netflix knock on the door: who plays Brady on TV?
You know what? I don’t mind. I consciously don’t do detailed descriptions of my characters because I want to give the readers the freedom to imagine the characters as they see fit. If I can give them an impression, that’ll do fine. When Brady first meets the man who’ll be his boss, Kershaw, he’s described as ‘silver-haired, silver-tongued.’ Seriously, do you need any more? Who hasn’t had a boss like that?
So no, I’m happy to leave it to the readers. Several of them see Frankie as Suranne
Jones. I think she’s too old for Frankie, but I’m happy to leave it to Netflix. I’ll only get cross if they mis-cast Archie…
What’s your favourite thing about writing?
Let me say one thing straightaway: writing is an incredibly selfish pastime. You have to say to your wife/husband/partner, ‘Yes, I’m very willing to build you a cold frame/paint the kitchen/go out for a drink… But not now, because I have to finish this chapter.’ There are also plenty of times when I’m ‘there but not there.’ My wife will say something to me and I simply won’t reply. I’m in an alley in Whitby murdering someone…
That said, I love writing. Why do I write? The same reason as I breathe. I’m not someone who believes in inspiration but occasionally you’ll write a sentence/para and it’s exactly right. Possibly even funny. There are not many better feelings.
And two things I didn’t even consider when I started writing novels. The research (see above) and the interaction with readers, which I love.
And your least favourite?
Other than the comment above about selfishness, writing is time intensive. There are no economies of scale. Two thousand words takes twice as long as a thousand, and it has to be done – especially if you have a deadline and Jeff Bezos is threatening to flog you in the market square if you don’t meet it.
On a lovely day that’s tough. The other kids are outside playing on the grass: you’re in the classroom writing your English essay.
Your favourite fictional character?
Probably Lisbeth Salander in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She’s in such a good place at the end of that book that I won’t read the next two.

Thomas Cromwell in the Hilary Mantel books if he’s allowed to qualify as a fictional character. And obviously Hannibal Lecter. “More than my job’s worth, mate.” “Fair enough, I’ll eat your liver.”
Plotter or pantser? Gardener or architect?
One of the things that stopped me writing a book for a long time was my conviction that I couldn’t plot a novel. I knew I could write reasonably well, but I thought I was limited to articles/blogs in the 600 to 3,000 word range. Essentially what I wrote for clients in the day job as a freelance copywriter.
Then lockdown struck, I immediately lost two clients and my standard excuse – I don’t have time to write a novel – went out of the window. So I invented Michael Brady, killed his wife, stuck him in a car with Ash and let him get on with it.
Right now I’d describe myself – whichever term you go for – as half way between the two. I know where the story is going and I know some of the key signposts along the way – but I do think you have to let the characters talk to you.
Possibly the best example of that is Ruby in ‘The Echo of Bones.’ I had no real idea of Ruby until I started writing about her. But then she opened her mouth, started talking and was fully formed in front of me. The moment she spat in the tea Brady had given her I knew I had a really great character.
You’ve got three children. Have any of them inherited the
writing gene?
‘Yes’ is the simple answer. Dan has just finished his PhD at Leeds University which involved a fair amount of writing. Alex wrote a western during lockdown – which I need to edit for him. But girls always come out on top don’t they?
Elle used to go upstairs to write her English essays and come down again 15 minutes later. She’s always been able to write at speed and I introduced her to an American hybrid publisher who specialised in post-apocalyptic books. She wrote four series for him and made enough for the deposit on a house. #ProudDadAlert
What do you do when you’re not writing?
A few people know the awful truth. I am North Yorkshire’s only known supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers. I watch illegal streams of their games and shout a lot.
What do you write on? Wax tablet? State of the art Mac?
I’ve got an HP laptop. I think it was about three hundred quid. It’s on a stand on my desk and I use a full size keyboard which connects to the laptop via magic. All I really do on my laptop is use Word and Excel, so I don’t need anything powerful. Oh, and the illegal streams, of course. But keep that to yourself…

Purchase Links:

https://is.gd/VJBK4O

Thank you to Mark Richards for being my guest today. I really enjoyed finding out more about him and his writing. And… I couldn’t resist reading and reviewing!

It’s rare that I read crime and I am now wondering why!

My review:

Many thanks to the author for an advanced review copy and to Donna Morfett for including me in the tour.

I absolutely loved this. I’m late to discover Mark but so glad that I managed to dive in and read book 4. First thing that struck me whilst reading Choke Back The Tears #4 is the short, snappy chapters, which carry your attention brilliantly. And the great characterisation, Brady is so well written, as are all the supporting characters and potential murderers/suspects. The murder scene is gory and much detail is given for the reader to deliberate the who and the what and the why. The setting of the scene in Whitby works well, you can just about smell and taste the fish, chips and bacon sarnies. And I just knew that Archie was fashioned on the author’s dog, guessed it before I read Mark Richard’s interview on my blog. I enjoyed the personal elements woven into the tale about Brady’s daughter which gave the story a pleasing human touch which I appreciated. But… perhaps the aspect I enjoyed the most was the story’s insight into how tough it must be for coppers and law enforcers to cope with the heinous impact of crimes such as these on their stomachs, (as in keep from puking,) and their daily lives.

It’s an easy one to rate… a page turning 5 stars.

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

All my links are available via: https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Sharing Options:

Free Offer! Mr. Sagittarius Poetry & Prose #poetry #book #free

FREE OFFER – 2nd to 3rd July

Come share in my excitement!
To celebrate the forthcoming release of my new poetry book The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet, more about that soon… I am offering Mr. Sagittarius Poetry & Prose to you for free (for a limited time,) on kindle: 2nd – 3rd July.

It’s one not to miss! A 5 star read! Available on Amazon Kindle and also free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited and now in paperback: Buying Link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Blurb

Who Is Mr. Sagittarius?

And what is his connection to twin brothers, Harold and William?

When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request

Will his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the magic of the garden ensure that she does.

A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Mr. Sagittarius features a variety of photographs including ones of: trees, a robin and a dragonfly! As well as this there are several stories, and some Halloween poems.

It is dedicated to two amazing ladies: Colleen Chesebro (for her weekly poetry challenges and Charli Mills (flash fiction challenges.) Both ladies have been a source of inspiration and encouragement.

Mr. Sagittarius is a magical celebration of the natural world, a circle of life story with an emphasis on the changing seasons of the year.

Featured at Treasuring Poetry, hosted and reviewed by Robbie Cheadle

Treasuring Poetry: Meet author and poet M J Mallon

Contents include:

THE GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW (story and poem plus photo of a dragonfly)

GOLDEN WILLOW TREE (poem and photo)

ROBIN: ETHEREE (poem and photo)

LIFE LESSONS FROM BUDDHA (poem)

LIFE LESSONS FROM CATS (poem and photo image via Samantha Murdoch)

MR. FROWNING TREE (poem and photo)

RAINBOW CHILD (story and image of Tourmaline crystal via Samantha Murdoch)

FRIENDS FOR TEA (poem)

THE CANDY CORN MONSTER (Halloween poem)

CANDYFLOSS CRITTER (Halloween poem)

MR GHOST WITH EASE (Halloween poem)

DREAMING AT HALLOWEEN (Halloween poem)

ODE TO LOVE –ETERNAL (Ghost/love poem)

LOVE TAKEN BY DEATH: DIAMANTE (poem)

GHOST: SEPTOLET (Ghost poem)

A FACE ON BARK: ETHEREE (poem)

LOLLIPOP SUNSHINE TREE (poem and photo)

FOR MR. SNOWMAN (poem)

SERENA’S CHRISTMAS BUBBLE MONSTER (humorous story and photo)

BUBBLY SNOWMAN KISSES (poem)

THAT TWINKLE IN HER EYES IS MAGIC (poem)

THE OLD MAN OF SNOW AND THE SNOW SNAKE (story)

MY HEART IS A CAVE (poem)

MR. SAGITTARIUS (story)

MR. SAGITTARIUS DIED THIS DAY IN THIS SNOW DROP GARDEN  (poem/prose/photo of snow drops.)

LOVE (story)

Wonderful 5 star review for Mr. Sagittarius poetry and prose from author D. L. Finn

 “Mr. Sagittarius” is a wonderful collection of poetry, prose, and pictures weaved into a magical story. The book focuses on three older siblings. The male twins have developed a special relationship, making their sister feeling left out. When one twin passes, that leaves the brother and sister to grieve. The stories have powerful images that move the narrative along and sometimes veer off into the unknown for a quick visit. We are led through picturesque scenery and whimsical moments, which include an unusual bubble bath, a rainbow hat, and an ice cave. The poetry was beautiful and powerful, and the photos captured nature brilliantly. A quick read that I found relaxing and endearing. A perfect escape in unsettled times that I recommend.

by M.J. Mallon (Goodreads Author)
Robbie Cheadle‘s 5 star review May 09, 2021
Mr Sagittarius is a beautiful collection of poems and short stories, set in the lovely gardens of Cambridge and linked by the visits and experiences of a family of twin brothers and their younger sister.

The story starts with William visiting the weeping willow tree in the garden, a place that was special to his twin brother, Harold, who has recently passed away. William sees Harold’s spirit in a dragonfly that he chats to and finds solace in their one-sided communication.

Image from Mr. Sagittarius Poetry & Prose.

This is a few lines from a poem about the dragonfly:
“Ancient, sweet fellow
Sacred magic bestower,
Change tumbling on fragile wings.”

When William returns home, he has an altercation with his sister, Annette. During their spat Annette reveals that she has always felt left out and overlooked by her twin brothers. This revelation leads to William and Annette becoming closer and visiting the garden together. Not long after, William passes on and Annette is left alone. She visits the garden and communicates with the spirits of both her brothers over the course of the rest of her long life.

The visits of the siblings to the garden are captured in lovely verse. This is an example I really enjoyed:
“I dream in colour
But now everything is dark
Where has the light gone?
Oh, cruel leafy canopy,
No green meadow, just blue thoughts.”

My favourite of the short stories was The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake. This is a story about making good choices in life and rejecting greed. I enjoyed the tale and the descriptive writing.

Mr Sagittarius is a gorgeous book full of delightfully depictive poems and short stories and decorated with striking photographs. This is a book that lovers of poetry, mystery, and wonder will love.

Also, many thanks to Sally Cronin for a wonderful feature review shout out recently too for Mr. Sagittarius.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Poetry and #Prose Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon

5 stars from Ritu Bhathal A beautiful combination of Prose, Poetry and Photography.

“A magical book filled with prose, poetry and photographs all linking back to twin brothers, William and Harold.
A fascination with the botanical gardens, and regular visits to the bench under the Golden weeping willow, spark poetic memorise and introduce magical creatures.
I have to say, I loved the Bubble Monster!
The author, MJ, Mallon, has weaved a mystical tale using her poetry and story-telling, to produce a lovely short read that can be dipped into whenever you want.”

5 stars from Colleen Chesebro A marvelous journey through photographs, prose, and poetry.

Mr. Sagittarius is the tale of two very different brothers and their only sister, told in poetry and prose inspired by the natural beauty of the botanical gardens in Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Montreal. The accompanying photographs compliment the story adding to the beauty of the author’s words.

We begin with William, who is mourning the loss of his brother Harold. However, he isn’t the only one feeling the pain of bereavement. Annette, the sister, also laments Harold’s passing. This loss forces the two remaining members of the family to come to grips with their grief in a most extraordinary way.

This is a charming poetic journey inspired by the author’s chance meeting with a dragonfly and a robin, sure to delight all readers. Yet, there is more than one magical tale spilling from this collection. By the time you reach the finale, Mr. Sagittarius reveals the wisdom of a life richly lived.”

https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/02/16/colleens-2020-book-reviews-mr-sagittarus-by-author-mj-mallon-marjorie_mallon/

5 stars from Sally Cronin A Magical Collection of Prose and Verse.

Set against the beautiful back drop of the botanical gardens in Cambridge, prose and verse tell the story of people who find solace and joy in the weeping willow tree and dragonflies and in the wonders of the orchids in the hot house. Twin brothers have a favourite bench where they watch the world go by, and their sister Annette reflects on her life after their loss… Other characters make their appearances sharing the magic of the natural world, including young Aurora who collects rainbows and semi-precious stones.

The author takes us through the seasons with poems reflecting the festivals such as Halloween and Christmas, with ghosts and snowmen and a Christmas Bubble Monster. Finally we meet Mr. Sagittarius who shares the loves of his long life….

This is a delightful read with wonderful photographs to enhance the words, and you will find yourself returning to certain passages to read again and enjoy. I am sure you will find your own favourites and I was hard pushed to select just one, but the Etheree: A Face on Bark struck a chord with me.” Author Sally Cronin.

This is a short book of poetry and prose about aging siblings and the wisdom of Nature. Mallon’s prose reads like fairy tales, and her poetry reads like magic. The stories and poems are loosely linked, episodic snapshots of the sibling’s lives. It’s an upbeat, happy read.” A Happy Read – Priscilla Bettis, author.

What a magical Web is woven here by author Marjorie Mallon. A tale of two brothers and a sister, botanical gardens, magical creatures and a bench under a Golden Willow Tree. This delightful mix can be either read in one go or enjoyed as momentary fix. I truly cannot recommend Mr Sagittarius enough there is something for everyone inside it’s pages. I shall say no more apart from urge you to read this book and be totally charmed by it.” Willow Willers.

From poet and author Camilla Downs:

I absolutely adore this book and will be sharing it with my 18 year old daughter. I enjoyed the different styles of poetry and prose mixed together with photography. It flowed beautifully. An uplifting, magical, sweet gem of a book.”

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3291542791/

This was a charming and whimsical read. The author, Mallon, takes us into a magical world in her prose in a tale about 2 siblings, Annette and William, both aging and dealing in their own ways with the grief and some resentments of their departed brother Harold, twin to William. They open up to each other on a bench under the Golden Weeping Willow tree where nature reveals messages.

Mallon did a wonderful job projecting the imagery as the story interconnects with intermittent poetry taking place in the magical botanical gardens, and beautiful photographs added to complement the story.

This is a short upbeat read with great descriptions and an engaging story.

5 star review from author D G Kayehttps://dgkayewriter.com/sunday-book-review-marjorie-mallons-mr-sagittarius-poetry/


5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life
. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified Purchase Shaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done. Adele Marie Park.

Details of my blog tour posts here: https://mjmallon.com/2020/02/23/thank-you-to-my-blog-tour-hosts-mr-sagittarius-poetry-and-prose/

Q and A: https://dgkayewriter.com/q-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-marjorie-mallon-and-mr-sagittarius/

Camilla Downs: http://meetingtheauthors.com/2020/03/28/meet-the-author-mr-sagittarius-by-m-j-mallon/

Ruchira Khanna: https://abracabadra.blogspot.com/2020/02/book-blitz-mr-sagittarius-by-m-j-mallon.html

Richard Dee: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/the-indie-showcase-presents-marjorie-mallon-2/

Kyrosmagica Publishing is an ethical publisher based in Cambridge, UK who specialises in fiction, fantasy, magical realism and poetry. My publishing aims are to support the writing community and to encourage and foster a love of reading and the written word.

Sharing Options:

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet – New Book #poetry #flashfiction #new #release #preorder

Delighted to announce that the preorder of The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is now available. Amazon Kindle Pre-order buying Link: https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is a collection of poetry and flash fiction celebrating the beauty and the 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 troubled 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 inspired by their works:

The Forest Weeps, The Forest King, Raindrops and Childhood Dreams, The Woodland Treasures, Winter Woodland Moon, Child Me.

Cover and Formatting by Colleen Chesebro’s new formatting service, more about that here: https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services/

Author Bio

MJ’s  favourite genres to write are Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories, various forms of poetry and flash fiction. She celebrates the spiritual realm, love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious at her blog home: https://mjmallon.com 

She is a reading, blogging and photography enthusiast!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained, and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

MJ writes fantasy/magical realism because life should be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic! Her motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even it if appears that the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.

AWARDS

The First book in the Curse of Time series Bloodstone has received many fantastic reviews on AmazonGoodreads and other platforms and was awarded a finalist book award recently from Amazon influencer N. N. Light, receiving a review rating of 5+ stars.

INDIE PUBLISHED BOOKS

Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose, (with photography,) This is Lockdown, (an anthology,) and Lockdown Innit Poems about Absurdity and The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet.

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

mybook.to/Thisislockdown

mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

NEXT CHAPTER PUBLISHED BOOKS

Next Chapter Publishing

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

For details of publications please visit:

https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon

Bloodstone Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

Bloodstone Audiobook:

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Bloodstone-Audiobook/B09SK9GFB1/

US: https://www.audible.com/author/M-J-Mallon/B074CGNK4L

Golden Healer Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

CONTRIBUTIONS TO VARIOUS ANTHOLOGIES

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse

Moons of Autumn by Colleen Chesebro (Poetry,) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09DWDMXWK

Poetry Treasures 2 Relationships compiled by Kaye Lynn Booth & Robbie Cheadlehttps://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK

100 Ways To Write A Book Alex Pearl (proceeds to Pen International.) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09R2CQGWS

Stay Home A year of writing through lockdown – Chantelle Atkins (Chasing Driftwood Writers Group.) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown-/dp/B09HVB6SZ6/

Contributions to Best Selling Horror Anthologies

Nightmareland compiled by Dan Alatorre

“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)

Spellbound compiled by Dan Alatorre

“The Twisted Sisters“ (Short Story)

Wings of Fire compiled by Dan Alatorre

“The Great Pottoo” (Short Story)

Nightmareland: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZG3ZXP3/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZG3ZXP3/

Spellbound: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08DM83XKR/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DM83XKR/

Wings & Fire: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08KJ5SQND/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KJ5SQND/

Contributions to Ghost Anthologies: 

Ghostly Rites 2019 compiled by Claire Plaisted “Dexter’s Creepy Caverns“ (Short Story) https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZQV2Y4Q/

Ghostly Rites 2020 compiled by Claire Plaisted  “No. 1 Coven Lane” (Short Story) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M9HYBLH

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA

Linktree: (all my links in one place.) https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Author Blog: https://mjmallon.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ 

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mjmallonauthor,

Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon

Authors, Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

Sharing Options:

The Apprentice Storyteller by Astrid V.J. #review #fantasy #fiction #Alchemist #spaceopera #fiction

Blurb

The Alchemist meets fantasy with a splash of space opera. Viola Alerion, a renowned storyteller in the Haldrian Empire, wants to be left in peace. For years, she’s been hounded by her past, never to find a moment’s rest. Then she meets a boy who wants to become her apprentice. He refuses to take no for an answer, and she reluctantly yields, even though she knows taking him with her could endanger his life. As their journey progresses, Viola begins to understand she’s not the only teacher in the equation. The nameless boy also has something to teach, but Viola makes for a reluctant student.

Can she give way to possibility and embrace a future in alignment with what she’s always wanted? Can she find the courage to embrace the principles that will transform her life? Can she overcome her circumstances and face her past? Or will she keep on running with nowhere to hide?

And what of the boy who guards untold secrets and exhibits mysterious powers that defy belief?

The e-book of The Apprentice Storyteller also includes exclusive access to “Viola’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible”. This workbook to help guide you through the first steps towards achieving your own dream is based on key transformational principles from the DreamBuilder™ Course and is not intended for publication. The workbook is only accessible through The Apprentice Storyteller e-book. The link to Viola’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible is embedded in a concealed place. This is a treasure hunt. 

About Astrid V.J.

Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author, Astrid V.J. was born in South Africa. She is a trained social anthropologist and certified transformational life coach. She currently resides in Sweden with her husband and their two children. In early childhood, she showed an interest in reading and languages—interests which her family encouraged. Astrid started writing her first novel at age 12 and now writes fantasy in a variety of genres, exploring her passion for cultures and languages. When she isn’t writing, Astrid likes to read, take walks in nature, play silly games with her children, do embroidery, and play music.

Astrid writes transformation fiction: incorporating transformation principles in novels, rather than writing another self-help book. She loves exploring the human capacity for transformation and potential to achieve success in the face of adversity. Astrid is interested in minority group questions, considerations on social standards of beauty and the negative consequences these have, and would like to make the fantasy genre accessible to people of non-white, non-Christian backgrounds. Astrid feels the fantasy genre has become too restrictive with limited representations of race, ethnicity and culture. She seeks to explore other paths on this writing journey, incorporating her background in anthropology and psychology to create engaging experiences, which also provide food for thought on the diverse topics she finds most important. These include: racism, minority rights, cultural diversity, culture change, intolerance, humanity’s environmental impact, the representation of people on the autism spectrum in among the general populace, the human capacity for transformation, and much more.

https://www.elisabethandedvard.com/

My review

The Apprentice Storyteller by Astrid V.J.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is book 1 in the Wishmaster series.

Such a beautifully written almost poetic tale. The strengths lie in the perfect placement and beauty of words, the thoughts (philosophical, considered,) and the growing relationship between the Storyteller Viola and her young apprentice who has supernatural powers.

Viola has been a loner on the run for twenty eight years and her mysterious background is hidden until much later in the book. Now, in mid life she longs to settle down and live a simple life: “she dreams of a life living in harmony with her purpose as a storyteller, but where she can also stay in one place. She sees herself sitting in a window, her fingers flying over the keys as she records new tales onto a device.”

Her apprentice is just thirteen and spiritually wise for his years, but there is a vulnerability about him too. In some ways, roles are reversed as he becomes a teacher to the older storyteller. In time, the two, (who surprisingly have much in common,) learn to trust, teach, appreciate and value each other.

The first half of the tale is perhaps a little slow, giving details of both the characters but speeds up towards the end with more ‘action,’ and a magical portal!

Overall, I would say this is not so much for readers who like action packed stories. This is more for those who love the wonder, magic and beauty of storytelling, secrets, and thoughtful reflections of life. And for those who appreciate a beguiling story which is focused on two main characters with less emphasis on secondary characters.

The Apprentice Storyteller also has a planetary futuristic aspect, with spacecrafts, and different lands. Jo, the apprentice, comes from his home planet Mshrali. There are deep discussions about the damage humans do to the world, to the peoples, “We have marginalised, killed and driven to extinction all the other beings such as elves, kobolds, and trolls,” and the rainforests: “the serpent in the forest,” which is referred to as “a levianthan.”

I am sure there are many more revelations to follow. A beguiling and interesting start to the series. I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended.



View all my reviews

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

All my links are available via: https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Sharing Options:

Cover Reveal: The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet by M J Mallon #arc #poetrycommunity #flashfiction #new #release #indiepoet #coming soon! @colleen_chesebro

I’m pleased to announce that I have a new book coming out this summer The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet. I’m delighted that Colleen Chesebro designed the cover and formatted the files for me. She did a grand job… And I can recommend her wholeheartedly.

Colleen has a new formatting service… https://wordcraftpoetry.com/unicorn-cats-publishing-services/

Member: Midwest Independent Publishers Association

If you’re looking for quality eBook & print book publishing services, please email Colleen at unicorncatspubsvcs@mail.com, or contact her via the above link.

There is a google sign up form for the blog tour below.

Also, there is a free promo at the beginning of July for my poetry and prose book Mr. Sagittarius, so read on to find out more about that too!

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is a collection of poetry and flash fiction celebrating the beauty and the 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 troubled 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 inspired by their works:

The Forest Weeps, The Forest King, Raindrops and Childhood Dreams, The Woodland Treasures, Winter Woodland Moon, Child Me.

BLOG TOUR

I’d be delighted if you sign up for the blog tour via the form below.

Any questions, comment below, or email me at: marjma2014@gmail.com

Also, I’m delighted to announce as a double celebration my poetry and prose book Mr. Sagittarius (which has received many 5 star reviews,) is on free promotion in July for two days on these dates:

Free Book PromotionSaturday, July 2, 2022, 12:00 AM PDTSunday, July 3, 2022, 11:59 PM PDT
Sharing Options:

The Station Master’s Cottage @PhillipaNClark #review #romance #mystery #saga #historicalfiction

Blurb

Christie is happy in her life… or so she tells herself. Despite a tragic childhood, she has built a satisfying career and loves her city apartment. But deep down she yearns for a simpler life. Family. A garden. And a place to heal her heart.

The decision to attend a funeral in a town she’s never heard of throws her safe world into disarray, exposing the cracks in her life. As she deals with the fallout, Christie moves into a rundown cottage she’s inherited and there, makes a discovery.

Fifty years ago, a heartbroken young artist waited each dawn on a jetty for his true love to return. And each night, he wrote her a love letter.

What Christie uncovers will change her life forever.

This is a beautiful tale of love – sometimes lost, sometimes found and sometimes both. This is also a book with a mystery to solve which keeps your interest in the story. The author did an amazing job writing this book. The characters were well developed, the story was unique, and the descriptions helped you to feel the emotions, smell the scents, and visualize the persons, places and objects. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy romance with a bit of mystery and a HEA. Karen Thurmer.

 NEW COVERS ON ALL IN THIS SERIES AUGUST 2021. Recommended reading order:
The Stationmaster’s Cottage
Jasmine Sea
The Secrets of Palmerston House
The Christmas Key  

Review

The Stationmaster’s Cottage by Phillipa Nefri Clark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book one of four in the River End Series.

Even though I don’t usually read romance, saga, historical fiction novels, I really enjoyed this so much.

It was the mysterious aspect, the fantastic characterisation, sense of place, the dawning realisations, sexual tension, secrets, cute cottage and the mysteries regarding the deceased grandmother, Dorothy, and the painting – all of these managed to draw me in. And keep my attention. From the opening chapters, oh, how I hated the lead character Christy’s fiance Derek! He was a total toad and even in the moments when you thought perhaps he wasn’t as bad you were soon whisked off by the narrative skill of the author to a deeper understanding of his intentions. And conversely, I loved Martin!


Great read, moving, a little soppy in parts but highly recommend for romance saga and mystery lovers and all those who enjoy fantastic storytelling. The ending is terrific.

Listened to on audible, and the narrator did a fantastic job too. Also, have the kindle version.



View all my reviews

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Phillipa writes from the heart about love and life with all its joy and sadness. She believes in happy endings and the power of hope and resilience, no matter what the situation. She grew up around wild beaches and misty cliffs, always with a horse or dog as her companion. Now she lives in regional Victoria, Australia on a small acreage close to a mountain range. Her great loves, apart from writing, are her family of two young adult sons and her husband, their Labrador, music, reading, research, fine wine, and an oversized vegetable garden. Phillipa is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, Sisters in Crime (Aust), Writers Victoria and more. 

Next Audiobook review Jacqueline Evans Nostra Dame, A True Story.

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

All my links are available via: https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Sharing Options:

The Poison Ember Serpentstone Book 2 @AMObstWriter #new #book #preorder #ARC #review

Blurb

Faced with a task that could turn them into monsters, Sarnd and Jessa must decide whether to run away or save the world.

Six years ago, twins Sarnd and Jessa thought they’d rid their world of the malevolent Serpentstone. Since then they’ve worked hard to set their shocking past behind them.

But the Serpentstone has returned, and they’re asked to carry it to an abandoned mine where it will be sealed deep underground. The Stone appears to be much weaker than it was, but they learned the hard way never to trust it.

The Stone starts to regain its terrifying power, and while Sarnd is desperate to complete their mission so he can go back to his new life, Jessa has other ideas.

As their mission becomes a race against time, can the twins learn to trust each other again and avoid becoming the creatures they fear the most?


Buy the thrilling sequel to The Hungry Fire and enter a world of chaotic magic, treacherous allies and underdog heroes!

Release date: 23rd July, available to preorder now.

Review

Thank you to the author for an advanced reader’s copy which I read and review freely and without bias.

This is book 2 in the Serpentstone series. I managed to read book 2 without any problems. But ideally, it would be best to read the 1st book in the series: The Hungry Fire (Serpentstone Book 1) which is available at special offer price via this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08TCFWY8B

SARND: “I’m a monster, created by my so-called parents as a weapon using the corrupted power of the Serpentstone.”

The Poison Ember is a story of magic, power, fighting, sparring, revenge, adventure and secrets. “Known to the Academy as the Orufasu, the Stone was the greatest concentration of magical power ever discovered.”

“The Stone was so mighty, and had the power to strip away all that she thought she was, turning her and Sarnd into projections of its own violent and callous will. How could they be deluded enough to think they could come near it and survive?

And now, here he was, carrying a bag that held the greatest concentration of magic ever found. Against his will, he was caught up in a new adventure—one likely to end in tragedy rather than triumph.”

It’s a tale in which you suspend belief and take a magical journey into a land created wholly by the author’s imagination. Amusing in parts, I appreciated the revelations about the stone, the sibling banter, and uncertainties of trust played out between Sarnd and his twin sister Jessa. 

The latter chapters of the story became more exciting as the adventure continued.

Overall, this is a well written, high fantasy adventure tale. Please note: a fair amount of dialogue and the story is delivered with quite a few characters to get to grips with, which is (not uncommon with high fantasy books, but usually there is one central character who is the main focus.) In this story, there are three main protagonists – the twins, Sarnd and Jessa, and of course the stone, who also becomes a character in many ways.

My rating: an enjoyable 4 stars. Recommended for high fantasy, epic fantasy, adventure, sword and sorcery fans. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Author Bio:

An Australian living in the United Kingdom, A.M. Obst has always loved to daydream and make up things about places that don’t exist. An avid reader of fantasy novels, he has also been spotted holding books from other genres, including science fiction, crime, thrillers, horror, romance and historical adventures.

Follow my reviews…

Featured and latest reviews: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

And on my blog:

https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Sharing Options:

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑