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Books That Changed Me—Fall Edition 2022! @RituBhathal @Marjorie_Mallon @Dwallacepeach @MaeClair1 @stacitroilo #writingcommunity #topreads #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustreads #booksthatchangedme #fallreading – Author D.L. Finn

Thank you so much to author Denise Finn for including my latest release The Hedge Witch and The Musical Poet amongst this blog post about great Fall Reads, including talented authors Ritu Bhathal, D Wallace Peach and Mae Clair and Staci Troilo. Delighted.

Source: Books That Changed Me—Fall Edition 2022! @RituBhathal @Marjorie_Mallon @Dwallacepeach @MaeClair1 @stacitroilo #writingcommunity #topreads #readersoftwitter #whattoread #mustreads #booksthatchangedme #fallreading – Author D.L. Finn

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Latest Book Reviews Golden Healer @NNP_W_Light @bakeandwrite @tracy_traynor #bookreview #ya #fantasy #series #writingcommunity

Thank you to Book Influencer N.N. Light for this review for Golden Healer, Book 2 in The Curse of Time series

The author is a magician with words. She crafts scenes of sublime fantasy that are clear and easily pictured in the mind of the reader. The gift of description is also present. The scenes are very easy to understand, and the reader is swept into the story.


There is a real ‘arryesque feel to these stories. If you were a fan of the original wizard and his gang then you will be drawn to Amelina and her crew. Ryder is the ultimate character. The author was so able to capture the inner feelings of this character. It wasn’t more than a few pages when I loathed the existence of that waste of air.


Fans of the first book will simply love this book. This book carries on the craftily created story and takes it along an energetic ride to the end. Fans of this series will simply not be able to wait until they get their hands on the much-anticipated third book.


Rating: 5 stars

Read the review on N. N. Light blog: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/golden-healer-br

Thank you to Robbie Cheadle for this wonderful review for Rosie’s Book Review Team:

Robbie Cheadle

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions wrapped up in an unusual storyline Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2022

Verified Purchase

Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series and continues this unique fantasy story with its unusual and intriguing storyline. Book one ended with a happy environment after Amelina’s father was finally restored to his family at the correct age and Esme disappeared from the mirror, presumably to a better place. Book two starts with small but obvious indications that all is not as it seems and the issues involving both Amelina’s father and Esme are not adequately resolved.

The beginning is a bit slower moving as the author skillfully unwinds the reader’s beliefs that all is well and hammers cracks into the happy environment. The stage is set beautifully with fascinating and intricate scenes and dreams spun like a spiderweb from the author’s pen. Amelina’s first dream travel in this book has catastrophic results as while she is away from her body her bloodstone is stolen and this accelerates the cracks in her home environment.

This book is not an easy read and you have to concentrate as you read in the same way you would while reading a classic novel. It is worth the effort as the descriptions and concepts are outstanding and beautifully depicted.

There are a few stand out scenes for me in this book, as follows: the grasshopper in the meadow, the clowns in the café, and Aunt Karissa’s chocolates. For me, these were unbelievably imaginative and full of mystery.

Aunt Karissa features plays a small role in this book, introducing some welcome lightness and humour as Ryder’s darkness and power continue to grow. The reader learns a bit more about Ryder and his origins and homeland.

Another memorable feature of this book is that each chapter or puzzle piece starts with a tanka poem that hints at what is to follow in the chapter. The author is also an excellent poet and the poems were a lovely addition.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“The grasshopper monster propelled time forward in a steady, slow, rocking motion, as if he was devouring our lives in seconds, minutes and hours as we gazed upon him.”

“Hello my beautiful reflection. You came! You always come when I need you the most. I have been so anxious listening to the troubles of this family which has become my family. What have you been doing? I see sweet flowers covering the red cuts on your left wrist.”

“”She opened the wrapper with trembling fingers. Inside, there was a small, round milk chocolate. It grew in her palm. the chocolate split into two halves, one half dark, and the other half white. In the centre, a dividing line moved form side to side as if whipping up the chocolate angrily.”

In conclusion, I would like to add that when I was a girl of 10 years old, I discovered the books written by Eva Ibottson. Every book of hers I read was a complete delight to me with its amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions of the lives of hags in dribbles and wizards in towers surrounded by mist. Throughout my adult life, I have search for an adult author who can invoke the same magical worlds and belief in magical creatures that I discovered in Miss Ibottson’s stories, and in this series by M.J. Mallon, I do believe I finally found an adult equivalent.

Thank you also to Tracy for this recent review:

happy reader

4.0 out of 5 stars YA Fantasy full of mystery and magicReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 August 2022

Verified Purchase

This author is an artful storyteller, she has a light touch and a wonderful expressive language. It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland with all its fabulous, often dark, larger than life fantasy.

Amongst all the mayhem and mystery, Amelina must use the magic crystals to save them all from the Shadow Sorcerer. To do so she must face her fears and trust the advice from Merlin, Leanne and my favourite character (dead, worm filled) Erutace.

This is a delightful tale from start to end. YA fantasy fans who like slightly dark fantasy will love it. How much time will the Grasshopper steal, and can Esme me be set free from behind the mirror?

Note: some of the storyline touches on suicide, self-harming and anorexia. All carefully woven into a positive message of accepting who you are, not being afraid and embracing your true self.

Buy Link for Golden Healer Book 2 The Curse of Time: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Buy Link for both books in the series from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B097TZL7LR?ref_=dbs_p_pwh_rwt_anx_a_lnk&storeType=ebooks

Buy Link for both books in the series from Amazon US:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097TZL7LR?ref_=dbs_p_pwh_rwt_anx_a_lnk&storeType=ebooks

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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

THE CALL OF CALMNESS


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

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

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

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

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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:)
https://dlfinnauthor.com/…/release-day-for-the-hedge…
Adele Marie Park:
https://firefly465.wordpress.com/2022/08
Ritu Bhathal:
https://butismileanyway.com/…/the-hedge-witch-and-the…/
Robbie Cheadle:
https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/08/18/robbies-inspiration-blog-tour-the-hedge-witch-the-musical-poet-and-m-j-mallon/
D G Kaye (Debby Gies):
https://dgkayewriter.com/…/new-book-promotion-for…/
Colleen Chesebro:
https://wordcraftpoetry.com/…/just-released-the-hedge…/
Richard Dee:
https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/book-review-hedgewitch/

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:
https://mjmallon.com/2022/08/15/new-release-the-hedge-witch-and-the-musical-poet-poetry-flashfiction-forest-witch/

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!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61376179-the-hedge-witch-the-musical-poet




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.

Blurb

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:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0B56G2GHT/
https://www.amazon.com/Hedge-Witch-Musical-Poet-Fiction-ebook/dp/B0B56G2GHT/

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: 
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services/
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/portfolio/

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.

https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services

Portfolio:
https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/portfolio

https://wordcraftpoetry.com/unicorn-cats-publishing-services/

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

https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Anthology – This Is Lockdown

http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit

 http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Next Chapter Publishing

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

For details of publications please visit:

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

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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

Blurb:
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.


Links:
Goodreads
Bookbub
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
Smashwords
Google Play
Apple

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

Blurb:
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.


Links:
Goodreads
Bookbub
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
Smashwords
Google Play
Apple

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:
Website
Newsletter
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon
Bookbub

Giveaway
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/

https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

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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)

https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Poetry, Prose and Photography: Mr. Sagittarius

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Anthology – This Is Lockdown

http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit

 http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

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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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Review: Unicorn Cats Publishing Services @Colleen_Chesebro : The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet #writingcommunity #review #publishing #services

Bravo to fellow poet, author and blogger Colleen Chesebro who has started a new venture!

Here is my review of her formatting and design cover service

I’m delighted with the formatting and cover design service I received from Colleen Chesebro @ Unicorn Cats Publishing Services. She did a great job designing a cover that matched my latest book The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet perfectly. She gave me a range of cover options and I just knew when the cover was right! The formatting service was carefully done with special care and attention to the placement of the poetry, as well as the all important front and back matter, ensuring that the end result met my high expectations. Nothing is too much trouble for Colleen, she will work with you to make sure that your book is to the standard you would expect from a professional publishing service. Highly recommended. 

Colleen is a member of the Midwest Independent Publishers Association and supports IBPA’s industry standards checklist for a professionally published book.

Colleen’s formatting and cover design service is available via this link: https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/my-services/
And her portfolio:https://unicorncatspubservices.wordpress.com/portfolio/

Colleen is a wonderful supporter of the writing and poetic community – check out her poetry blog with weekly challenges: https://wordcraftpoetry.com/category/tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenges/

Here is the cover for The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet!


The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is currently on preorder::

Head over to pre-order the collection for August 15th: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US

I am so grateful for the support of fellow authors, bloggers and reviewers. Thank you to Sally Cronin for this wonderful ARC review. Blog Tour begins mid August!

Sally Cronin’s Review of The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet

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.

Head over to pre-order the collection for August 15th: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US

Read the full review and content on Sally’s wonderful blog: https://wp.me/p3ZnNr-Fnh

And many thanks to Bonnie for this self-published spotlight, so kind of her. Bonnie supports self published and small press authors with her self-published spotlight.

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Family #Travel #Writing by M.J. Mallon | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally for this wonderful feature about my family inspirations for I wish I knew Then What I Know Now… and review of my latest poetry and flash fiction book The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet on her blog…

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have ac…

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Family #Travel #Writing by M.J. Mallon | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Book Review: Amanda In France by Darlene Foster #netgalley #arc #review @supermegawoman

Synopsis

Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame cathedral.

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral.

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets and sites around Paris, all the while looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic place.

Be sure to read all the books in this exciting Amanda Travels series!
1. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask
2. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting
3. Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
4. Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
5. Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
6. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
7. Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
8. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
8. Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral 

My Review

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This series of books set in different countries is a fun and clever way to introduce youngsters to different cultures.

Darlene Foster’s entertaining style draws the reader in and keeps their attention throughout. In this latest adventure, Amanda in France, we are treated to the wonders of Paris with mention of many famous places.

Amanda and her friend Leah are staying at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore whilst doing volunteer work there, accompanied by Amanda’s aunt. Jenny. The two girls are treated to wonderful sights such as Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, The Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Monet’s Garden and unexpected panic at the Opera House! There is a topical focus on the destructive fire at Notre-Dame with Amanda, Jenny, Leah, and Philippe becoming part of the human chain to help.

Amanda becomes embroiled in a mystery… who’s behind the fire at Notre-Dame? And who are this gang of youngsters ? And what part do Jerome and Philippe have to play in this mystery?

Great fun for kids and adults too. It whisked me away to Paris for a short while and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

A fun, easy and enjoyable read, with educational elements. I particularly enjoyed the ending with the advice about terrorism, and bombs. That was a nice touch and wraps up nicely from the earlier discussions in the book about terrorism and the French Revolution. .

Many thanks to Central Avenue Publishing, the author Darlene Foster and NetGalley for this title. All opinions are my own.

My rating 5 stars.



View all my reviews

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, traveling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not traveling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia. www.darlenefoster.ca

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

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

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

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Book Launch: My Perfect Ex @lizzie_chantree #launch #romance #read

So excited to announce the launch of Lizzie Chantree’s latest book! I have preordered and look forward to reading!

Book blurb:

Join bestseller Lizzie Chantree for a wonderfully romantic, feel-good summer read.

Poppy Marlowe, a mental health advocate, moves into Cherry Blossom Lane to escape her past and build a future with her gorgeous, but troublesome, boyfriend, Dylan.

Dylan lives in the house across the street. But his reputation as a heartbreaker is legendary and Poppy reluctantly decides that she must walk away to protect her heart.

Poppy’s friends think she is perfect for go-getter Jared, who’s ready to step into Dylan’s shoes and whisk her into his glamorous world.

Taking a chance on happiness is harder than Poppy imagined. Can she let go of her past and allow herself to fall in love with the same man again, or should she step into the limelight and walk towards a life with someone new?

 

Will love find a way to bring them back together, or are they destined to go their separate ways?

Universal book buy link: My Perfect Ex: viewbook.at/MyPerfectEx

Author bio:

International bestselling author Lizzie Chantree, discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a creative mentor. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, about women who are stronger than they realise. 

Lizzie Chantree

International Bestselling Author and Business Mentor. 
Member of the Society of Authors and The Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Website

https://www.facebook.com/lizziechantree/

https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

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Robbies Inspiration Book Review Golden Healer

Many thanks to Robbie Cheadle for this comprehensive, thoughtful and illuminating review for Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Robbie’s Review:

Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series and continues this unique fantasy story with its unusual and intriguing storyline. Book one ended with a happy environment after Amelina’s father was finally restored to his family at the correct age and Esme disappeared from the mirror, presumably to a better place. Book two starts with small but obvious indications that all is not as it seems and the issues involving both Amelina’s father and Esme are not adequately resolved.

The beginning is a bit slower moving as the author skillfully unwinds the reader’s beliefs that all is well and hammers cracks into the happy environment. The stage is set beautifully with fascinating and intricate scenes and dreams spun like a spiderweb from the author’s pen. Amelina’s first dream travel in this book has catastrophic results as while she is away from her body her bloodstone is stolen and this accelerates the cracks in her home environment.

This book is not an easy read and you have to concentrate as you read in the same way you would while reading a classic novel. It is worth the effort as the descriptions and concepts are outstanding and beautifully depicted.

There are a few stand out scenes for me in this book, as follows: the grasshopper in the meadow, the clowns in the café, and Aunt Karissa’s chocolates. For me, these were unbelievably imaginative and full of mystery.

Aunt Karissa features plays a small role in this book, introducing some welcome lightness and humour as Ryder’s darkness and power continue to grow. The reader learns a bit more about Ryder and his origins and homeland.

Another memorable feature of this book is that each chapter or puzzle piece starts with a tanka poem that hints at what is to follow in the chapter. The author is also an excellent poet and the poems were a lovely addition.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“The grasshopper monster propelled time forward in a steady, slow, rocking motion, as if he was devouring our lives in seconds, minutes and hours as we gazed upon him.”

“Hello my beautiful reflection. You came! You always come when I need you the most. I have been so anxious listening to the troubles of this family which has become my family. What have you been doing? I see sweet flowers covering the red cuts on your left wrist.”

“”She opened the wrapper with trembling fingers. Inside, there was a small, round milk chocolate. It grew in her palm. the chocolate split into two halves, one half dark, and the other half white. In the centre, a dividing line moved form side to side as if whipping up the chocolate angrily.”

In conclusion, I would like to add that when I was a girl of 10 years old, I discovered the books written by Eva Ibottson. Every book of hers I read was a complete delight to me with its amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions of the lives of hags in dribbles and wizards in towers surrounded by mist. Throughout my adult life, I have search for an adult author who can invoke the same magical worlds and belief in magical creatures that I discovered in Miss Ibottson’s stories, and in this series by M.J. Mallon, I do believe I finally found an adult equivalent.

Do pop over to Robbie’s wonderful blog to read the post in its entirety: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/07/16/robbies-inspiration-book-review-golden-healer-by-m-j-mallon/

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Flashfiction #Poetry – The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet by M.J. Mallon

Many thanks to Sally Cronin for this wonderful advanced review of The Hedge for the flash fiction and poetry collection The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet by M.J. MallonThe collection is on pre-order for 15th August.

Sally’s 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.

Head over to pre-order the collection for August 15th: Amazon UK – And:Amazon US

Read the full review and content on Sally’s wonderful blog: https://wp.me/p3ZnNr-Fnh

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Book Review Magic Bound: The Haven Chronicles Book 2 #new #release #arc @FisWritingHaven @Burning_Chair

.

The magic returns.

When Hartley Keg and Blessing go missing, Steve Haven, the young heir to the Haven Robotics Corporation, once again finds himself plunged back into the chaos of Darkacre.

Teaming up with the darkling, he finds himself on the run from the Council and their enforcers, the Hidden, as he seeks to keep safe those he holds most dear.

Things are complicated further when a new player emerges: the Parity, who are far too keen in the Haven Corporation, and the magical device which nearly led to its destruction.

What follows is a race not only against time but through a series of worlds, each more fantastical and dangerous than the last, as Steve and his friends try to keep one step ahead of their pursuers.

Magic Bound is the second adventure in the Haven Chronicles, following on from Haven Wakes, a unique blend of fantasy and sci-fi which has been described by readers as “shades of Artemis Fowl, hints of Harry Potter… and Skulduggery Pleasant”.

My review – ARC copy releases 2nd August

Magic Bound is the 2nd book in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed book 1, Haven Wakes.

The second book continues the adventures of schoolboy Steve. It begins with the revelation that Hartley and Blessing have disappeared. Initially, I found the storyline a little difficult to follow but it certainly becomes more engaging the further I read with shots fired and an armed grenade!

It is a fun filled fantasy adventure I enjoyed. There is quite a lot going on in this second book with many new characters/organisations/operatives to get to grips with… the council, the three sisters at the sanctuary, the revenants, the parity, the grayling, the cyclops to name but a few.

I loved the magic of Hartley’s pixie tailor, the omnometer and the squirrel mail! And the robots. The dashes of perfectly placed humour brings further smiles as it did in book 1.

In book 2 young Steve turns 13! Now a teenager!

Note: Little mention is made of Steve’s parents in either book 1 or 2. Even less so in book 2. The emphasis being on Steve’s adventures, new experiences, and new friends.

Recommended for magic, sci fi and fantasy fans whether young or old!

Rating: 4 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

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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

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

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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

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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/

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Featured post

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.

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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/

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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:

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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
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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/

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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.

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Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Summer Book Fair 2022 – First in Series – #YA #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Romance #Military Jacquie Biggar | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally for featuring myself and Jacquie in her summer book fair with first in series. <3. Do check out the post via the link below and the carousel of my latest blog posts.

Source: Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Summer Book Fair 2022 – First in Series – #YA #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Romance #Military Jacquie Biggar | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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MJ’s Review of 100 Ways to Write A Book @AlexBPearl #writing #reference #book #review

Synopsis

These author interviews initiated by Alex Pearl during the Covid epidemic started as a small lockdown project. But before long, Alex’s requests for author interviews on social media elicited an overwhelming response, and the project soon took on on a life of its own.

Within these pages, authors from a wide spectrum of backgrounds wax lyrical about their backgrounds, motivations, and working methods. Among this throng, self-published newbies rub shoulders with award-winning bestsellers from all corners of the globe, including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Israel and Sri Lanka.

They provide a fascinating insight into this mysterious process of creating imagined worlds on the page.

Huge thanks go to the 100 authors who very kindly gave their time to participate in this project, as well as their consent for their words to be reproduced here in print. They are in no particular order:

Paul Waters, Jessica Norrie, David F. Ross, Drema Drudge, Chris Chalmers, Mark Farrer, Sue Clark, Hannah Tovey, Belinda Hunt, Glynn Holloway, Mark Eklid, Julian Dutton, Christopher Bowden, Alan Gibbons, Lily Mackenzie, Ian Critchley, Jadi Campbell, Tom Atkins, Jane Risdon, Charles Harris, L.C. Tyler, Fran Hill, Malcolm Knott, Nikki Dudley, Jacqui Castle, Ron Impey, C.J. Booth, Ashok Ferrey, Jennifer Irwin, Beth Duke, Vicki Olsen, Pete Langman, Pauline Morgan, Jonathan Peace, Sandy Manning, Shelley Wilson, P.J. Roscoe,
Anthony Neil Smith, A.A. Chaudhuri, Jon Richter, Carolyn Hughes, Trish Moran, Madeline Dewhurst, Jeff Pollak, Louise Fein, A.B. Kyazze, Jack Byrne, M.A. Hunter, Tessa Harris, M.J. Mallon, P. R. Black, Nina Soden, Bill Arnott, E. Chris Ambrose, Paul Kane, Sam Blake, Douglas Skelton, Louise Mumford, Philip Henry, Hazel Prior, Lauren Emily Whalen, Laura E. Goodin, Simon Van der Velde, Dr. Manuel Matas, Jane Bettany, Regina Puckett, S.G M. Ashcroft, Michele Kwasniewski, Judy Stanigar, Robert Craven, John Darling, Pramudith D. Rupasinghe, Richard Dee, Sophy Layzell, Lorna Dounaeva, Diana Stevan, Bradley Harper, Paul Gitsham, Sion Scott-Wilson, John Dean, Liz Martinson, C.J. Carver, Tony J. Forder, Sharron L. Miller, Patrick Osborne, Peter Turnham, Jude Lennon, Anna Holmes, Chris Calder, Jane Buckley, Rachel Brimble, Gail Aldwin, Anne Coates, Ian Riddle, Christina Hamlett, James Morgan-Jones, Alison Huntingford, Gila Green, Helen Pryke, Emilya Naymark, Marcia Clayton, James L’Etoile

ALL AUTHOR PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO PEN INTERNATIONAL 

100 Ways to Write a Book by Alex Pearl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was thrilled to be a contributing author to this project by Alex Pearl. So, much so, that I have my own paperback copy of this on my bookshelf at home. It’s a great read and a way to discover new authors in a variety of genres and how they all tick. What struck me the most about this is how interesting and varied all the contributors are. We may all have different ways of approaching writing but we all love to write and this shines through!

Highly recommended read and for a good cause – Pen International.



View all my reviews

Do get a copy!

About Alex Pearl

Alex’s first novel ‘Sleeping with the Blackbirds’, a darkly humorous urban fantasy, written for children and young adults, was initially published by PenPress in 2011. It has since become a Kindle bestseller in the US. In 2014, his fictionalised account of the first British serviceman to be executed for cowardice during the First World War was published by Mardibooks in its anthology, ‘The Clock Struck War’. A selection of his blog posts is also available in paperback under the title ‘Random Ramblings of a Short-sighted Blogger.’ In 2019, his psychological thriller, ‘The Chair Man’ that is set in London in 2005 following the terrorist attack on its public transport system, was published as an ebook by Fizgig Press. The paperback followed in 2020.

Alex lives in NW London with his wife and two children who are far smarter than their old man.

He is quite possibly the only human being on this planet to have been inadvertently locked in a record shop on Christmas Eve.

You can visit his website at https://booksbyalexpearl.weebly.com/

https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

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Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal #new #release #review The Rishtay Series@RituBhathal @SpellBoundBKs

Thrilled to be supporting my lovely friend Ritu Bhathal with her re-release of Marriage Unarranged on 6th June, now published by Spellbound Books!

The cover above has been updated with a little quote from Amanda Prowse on the front! How cool is that!

And a press release…

Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Well, I loved Marriage Unarranged so much I read it twice. Lol. It’s quite a long book!
https://mjmallon.com/2020/02/09/book-…

I read it for the first time as a beta reader with an ARC and then again for this review. Everything about this engaging romance appealed to me: the characters, the cultural aspects, the little touches of humour, the Asian family dynamics, the beautiful and informative descriptions of India, (I’ve never been, but it has always been forever on my bucket list,) This story transported me there, and I especially loved the detail in the Gurdwara scenes in which Sikh’s come together to worship and share simple community tasks. Oh, how I would love to visit!

I found it particularly relatable as my mother is from an Asian background and the first thing she says to me in the morning is ‘What are we having for dinner!’ The lovely cooking scene between two of the characters in the book, sums this up so much. Food is of prime importance in Asian culture and can be a great ice breaker.

I also loved how Aashi ‘s character changed as the story progressed, retaining all her admirable qualities (and she has these in abundance,) but becoming more confident. To begin with she is cossetted by her family and her brothers, Sunny and Bali. But, away from home, her trip to India with her brothers and her best friend Kiran does wonders for her flagging self-esteem after Ravi’s selfish treatment.

All the characters in the story are well crafted. I especially have a soft spot for: Aashi, her best friend Kiran, (who fights her corner like every best friend should,) her feisty brother Bali, and Arjun, the potential love interest otherwise known as ‘Pillow.’ Even the subsidiary characters such as the fashion designer Milan are well crafted and entertaining! And, Ravi well he’s a rat!

The fledgling romance unfolding between Aashi and her ‘Pillow’ was just so lovely, especially after all the heartbreak she experienced with a broken engagement.

The reveal towards the end of the story regarding Arjun was an interesting addition and I loved the humorous ending!

I better not say anymore for fear of spoiling the story for you.

My recommendation: Go get a copy! My rating 5 stars.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marriage-Unarranged-Rishtay-Book-ebook/dp/B09SBSSD67

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Do follow my Bookstagram a/c for all my reviews and blog tour participation:

If you liked my review of Marriage Unarranged by @RituBhathal @SpellBoundBKs please mark it as helpful on Amazon, it helps the author and it helps me gain credence as a reviewer. Many thanks. #writingcommunity #review #romance https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R1J5EAM6I8UD4H/

And… Coming Summer 2023, is book 2 in The Rishtay Series! It will now officially be part of a series, The Rishtay Series with book two coming out in June 2023! Rishtay means relationships, which covers both romantic and familial relationships that are at the heart of this whole series.

How exciting is that! Looking forward to reading book 2.

Author Links:

https://linktr.ee/ritubhathalwrites

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Review: Book: Bloodstone- M. J. Mallon – From the Book Reviewer’s Desk

Many thanks!

A review of Bloodstone From Destiny Bridwell at The Book Reviewers Desk

My Personal Review: I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I have to stay this book was a little strange in the best of ways. It has all the part of being a magical and crazy YA fantasy novel with a paranormal twist. She has a friend that is trapped in a mirror named Esme. I hope as the series goes on we get to learn more about her. This is all about Amelina finding herself and the curse that plagues her family. I think it was a great start to a series. There are so many interesting little tidbits in this novel that just keep me wondering what is going to come next.

My Rating of the Book: 4 Stars

Source: Review: Book: Bloodstone- M. J. Mallon – From the Book Reviewer’s Desk

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We Are Saul – Richard Dee @RichardDockett1 #scifi #new #release #blog #tour #review #extract

It is my great pleasure to share in the excitement of the release tour for Richard Dee’s We Are Saul. I can heartily recommend Richard’s latest novel to you. His writing is ace. So, if you haven’t read it yet… grab a copy!

Release date: 1st June.

Blurb

When Saul is paralysed in an accident, he thinks it’s the end of his life. In fact, it’s just the beginning.

While trying to come to terms with his injuries, the mysterious Dr Tendral offers him a way to make a difference. All he has to do is join his project. There are no other details until he agrees, he’s either in or out.
What choice does he have?
Agreeing is just the beginning. Saul undergoes drastic surgery, only then is the full depth of the project revealed.
Or is it?
As time goes on and he learns more about Tendral’s scheme, Saul’s new life becomes increasingly difficult.
In the end, he has to abandon everything as he learns the truth.



All second chances come with a price.

Links

Purchase http://mybook.to/We_are_Saul

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60304988-we-are-saul 

This is science fiction, but the author writes with such clarity that you find yourself believing that this too, like so many of the futeristic imaginings of the past, might well be feasible at some point in the coming centuries, if not decades.

Sally Cronin – Goodreads

We Are Saul makes for a sci-fi novel with a difference. There’s modern technology, robots, and something more, but the story offers hope for what could be. But it also offers a cautionary tale of what just might await us in our future. Not everything is as it seems, and very rarely does something life-changing come without a catch. And this is something Richard Dee sets up in this novel really well. I found myself hooked from the first page to the last.

Steven Smith – Goodreads

Richard’s blog post about the launch: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/new-book-we-are-saul/

Chapter One Extract.

I’m Saul and I’m paralysed. Thanks to a drunk driver my life stopped when I was twenty-five. When I woke up, the last thing I remembered was walking along the pavement on a glorious spring day, following the metronomic motion of a young lady in front of me. One moment, my mind was fixed on speeding up and getting acquainted with the rest of her, next thing, there was a loud noise behind me coupled with a scream. Before I could turn, I felt an impact, a burst of pain and it all went dark.

I opened my eyes to see a man’s face, complete with thick glasses and stubble, staring at me, very close. I blinked, tried to turn my head, failed. It felt like something was holding my neck still. I could move my eyes, that was about it. Flat on my back, my field of vision was limited. There was a lot of noise, machines bleeped and clicked, there was the hiss of compressed air.

“Where am I?” I said, my voice sounded faint and weak, like it was coming from miles away.  

“You’re in a hospital. Intensive Care, actually,” answered the man, moving back a little. “I’m Mr McGee, a consultant neurosurgeon on the staff. Do you know who you are?”

“I’m Saul,” I said. “Why can’t I move?”

His eyes narrowed. “Saul, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you.”

I had sort of gathered that my situation wasn’t brilliant. “Go on then, tell me the worst.” I tried to sound brave, inside I was more than a little frightened. Beside his head, I could just make out a screen. It showed multicoloured flickering lines, a row of numbers. That was me, my life was reduced to mathematics.

“You’ve had emergency surgery to stabilise your injuries,” he said. “Do you remember what happened to you?”

“It’s all a bit hazy, I was walking down the road, there was a noise behind me.” I stopped, that was it. “How long ago was that?”

He looked at me. “This might be a shock: three weeks.”

“Three weeks!” My voice was definitely getting stronger.

“I’m afraid so. What you heard was a lorry mounting the pavement and taking out everything in its path. Six dead but not you, the good news is, you’ll live.”

His face was blank, what wasn’t he telling me? Perhaps I had broken bones, internal damage. I was being kept still while I healed. I tried to move my arms, legs. It felt like they worked but I couldn’t see the sheet moving, had no idea if anything was happening.

The bed suddenly moved, the motion felt strange, as if my head was being tugged by some dead weight attached to it, that I couldn’t see or sense. I felt nauseous. Somewhere below me, I heard a machine start up with a rattle.

“What’s going on? I think I’m going to be sick.” I must have sounded panicked.

“It’s what we call the Low Air Loss and Alternating Pressure Air Mattresses,” he said. “Technical name for a special bed. It stops you getting bed sores from lying in one position, as well as that, it helps takes moisture away from your body if you sweat.”

Although it all sounded interesting, I couldn’t concentrate on his words. I was too busy thinking about the time I had lost. There were things I needed to do. There was clearly more, it was time to find out. “I’ll take your word for it. Tell me the bad news then.”

“Sorry,” he said, “I got distracted. You were thrown thirty feet in the accident. As well as a broken leg and arm, the impact also broke your neck. I’m afraid that it’s damaged your spine.”

“Oh, OK.” It didn’t register. “How long till I’m up and about?”

He shook his head. “I don’t think you understand what I’m telling you.”

Then it hit me, bones mended, spines did not. Panic set in. “What do you mean?” I shouted. “That I’m paralysed? That I’ll always be like this?”

“I’m afraid so,” he said. “We can’t fix you with the medical technology we have at the moment. In time, who knows? Your breathing and bowel function appears to be unimpaired, but your arms and legs don’t work. It’s called quadriplegia. Worst case, we can keep you alive and with care and expert attention, your life can carry on.”

I realised that it was all just ‘doctor speak’ for aren’t we amazing, look at what we can do. McGee probably felt really clever that he was able to prolong my suddenly useless life. There could be a paper in it, recognition of his skill from other doctors. My attitude to medical miracles was different. I looked at the quality of the lives that had been saved, the cost to those who had to do the caring. Just because medicine had advanced enough to make it possible. And from my position of good health, I had often wondered about the benefits of so-called miracle surgery.  

I always thought that just because you could, it didn’t mean that you should. Now I was on the receiving end of the same ability to play God and cheat nature. Despair washed over me, my life had been full of adventure, extremes. I wasn’t used to spending time inside, with nothing to do. Immobility might not kill me but boredom would. Why hadn’t the lorry done a proper job, wiped me out in an unknowing flash; it felt like an additional cruelty to leave me like this.