***Follow the tour via Writing To Be Read, and leave a comment at each stop to be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a free digital copy of Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships***
Relationships are golden and each of the poems of Arthur Rosch, Elizabeth Merry, D.Avery, Robbie Cheadle, Harmony Kent, Lauren Scott, JulesPaige, Leon
Stevens, Collen M. Chesebro, Miriam Hurdle, M.J. Mallon, and Lynda McKinney Lambert pay poetic tribute to their most intense personal moments.
There lives a little girl whom you will never know the name of, and for her, a terrible storm is coming. She is going to a new, public middle school knowing no one but her sister, and the horrors are absolutely endless.
But she doesn’t expect what is to come.
In her first few months of school, terrible and unspeakable things begin to happen, that go beyond what is considered “normal”. Finding the courage to get away from the wrong people is a difficult thing, but when a horrific incident occurs, she finds herself running from who she once thought to be friends.
Now lost and alone, The Girl turns to one thing to help her get through her darkest moments. Writing poetry is the one way she can express her anger, and when her school announces that they will be hosting an open-mic night, she knows she has to enter. But entering means that she will have to face her demons, and it could be her worst nightmare…
From a teenaged author, You Won’t Know Her Name shines a light on a heartbreaking reality that often goes unspoken about – the issue that is bullying in middle school. From hateful comments to real, shocking violence, this book shares what cannot be ignored.
As a keen poet myself I was curious to read this poetry book by a teenage author. It’s remarkable that the author, Shanti Hershenson, was only thirteen when she wrote this! There is a simplicity in Shanti’s stream of consciousness poetry which works well, highlighting the complexity of painful topics such as bullying, panic attacks, sexual assault, verbal abuse, physical assault and thoughts about suicide. There are trigger warnings throughout, each poem is highlighted with content warnings where needed.
It’s not for the faint-hearted and made me feel so sad in places. So please be aware, it is not for everyone.
Ages 14 and up. Some topics may not be suitable for younger readers
I particularly appreciate accessible poetry which is understandable without trying to be pretentious and this is simple, and yet oh so poignant. On a personal level, it’s relatable too – as I moved to a new school – a new country and culture in the last but one year of primary. And yes, I suffered, because I stood out like a sore thumb. And my daughters experienced bullying problems too in their school years.
It’s interesting how Shanti calls the bullied protagonist The Girl. I suppose the point being this reads like a personal account but it could be anyone. Anyone can be bullied. And perhaps anyone, of either gender given certain circumstances can be a bully? The bully, (whom the Girl thought was a friend,) she calls the person – not naming their gender, dehumanising them.
Bullies need to be taught that their behaviour is unacceptable. It’s all about education, tolerance, cultural and other awareness and instilling kindness. It’s about speaking out and ensuring that those in a position of authority, such as teachers, employers, and the like listen to and take appropriate action, adopting a no tolerance attitude to bullies.
These excerpts brought back personal memories…
‘They told her mother that it was
“Just middle school.”
And that, “It happens all the time.”
That night she swears not to stay silent.
Not to listen to her principal
Who thinks she’s burning bridges
Because really, staying silent never did anything.
Whether bullying happens all the time, or not, it is not acceptable. And can do such terrible harm.
Shanti’s poetry is also about not feeling alone in your troubles. Being brave and speaking out.
There is a section at the back of the book with helpful resources.
Wonderful collection from one so young. Impressive. And brave, I wish her every success.
STAIRS AND STARES The Girl hurries up the stairs And makes it to a large door Where she can hear voices inside Preparing to start the day And with her backpack slung over her shoulder She steps inside, and is met with the stares Lots and lots of stares TOO MANY CLASSMATES Up until this point, The Girl had attended private school But now she’s struggling to fit in In a new city With too many classmates That she does not know She’ll come to learn their names, in time But for now, they are strangers, and she is alone
About the Author:
Shanti Hershenson’s first two novellas were published when she was in the sixth grade, although her writing journey started long before then. Ever since she could hold a pencil, marker, or crayon, she was creating stories. They started from pictures, mere scribbles, and eventually, turned into captivating tales.
Thank you to Mary for the above feature in the Munster Bookshelf! What a fabulous boost.
My impromptu blog tour is drawing to a close so it seems a good time to say a thank you to my author and blogger friends who have spread the word on this particular tour for my new release Golden Healer. I am intending to do a review only tour with a Blogging Tour/PR company soon but for now… Do pop over to their blogs, read their books, enjoy their content. They are all awesome authors, bloggers, book enthusiasts and great people to know!
I was lucky enough to beta read an early version of this novel, it carried on from where the first left off, straight into Amelina’s world of crystals and magic. It was good to catch up with the familiar faces, Amelina’s parents, her cat, Esme, Ryder and all the others. As you might have expected, her life is still just as complicated and exciting as before. But now she has a new purpose. There’s plenty of angst to deal with, as Amelina juggles being a teen with her new-found destiny as a Krystallos. Her relationships will be tested, people will not be what they appear. Through it all, she sticks to her new purpose. Emotions abound, expertly described and dealt with as Amelina’s fortunes wax and wane. The mystical symbolism and magic in the story are brilliantly depicted. Not only that, each chapter has a short poem to introduce it, giving clues and guidance as the plot develops. A rollercoaster ensues, in more ways than one. I hope that a third part of this fascinating tale is on the horizon. Highly recommended.
Review quote: I absolutely love the way MJ Mallon uses her descriptive writing to make me feel in in the places, I can hear the sounds and feel the depth of the darker sides of the book.
As I felt with the first book I think these books would make a great set of films. A big 5 stars from me.
Denise Finn for reading and reviewing and sharing my release in two blog posts!
“Golden Healer” picks up where the first book left off with Amelina maneuvering through her teen years while embracing her magic as a Krystallos. Some of my favorite parts were the interaction with the girl in the mirror and Amelina and her dad. Not only did the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster, but there was also an actual one in the story. Many good characters all played into finding out more about the darker side, or shadows. Ryder is a character who could have an empathic side if he allowed it, but I did like how he developed in the story. Crystals and music added depth to Amelina’s learning quest. Her friendships are still strong and are tested with Ryder involved. There are some beautiful poetic parts, and I love the poetry at the beginning of each chapter. Although this book answers many questions, it also opened the door to new ones. I look forward to more stories from these characters. Review D. L. Finn.
Ritu Bhathal for this celebratory blog post and for reading and reviewing:
It feels like an age since I read the first book in The Curse of Time series, but it was great to pick up where we left off, with the continuing story of Amelina and her mystical powers. This time, she is a little wiser, and is aware of the powers given to her, and wary of certain individuals, such as Ryder, who has his own dark secrets. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout the story. I felt so sorry for poor Esme, trapped in the mirror, and I wanted to shake Jade, until she realised the error of her judgement. But, I can feel another story coming as the ending was definitely not a Happily Ever After!Review – Ritu Bhathal
ARC copies are still with reviewers so there will be reviews forthcoming. I know some lovely folk are reading at the moment!
New book babies are always nerve racking! But, feeling happy that it is out there. It has taken a long time to create. The pandemic didn’t help. Writing dark fantasy during a pandemic isn’t the easiest thing to do!
Formats available for the Tour: pdf, mobi and epub [sorry, no paperbacks]
Trigger Warning: A dark fantasy with sensitive mention of a character’s previous self-harm, mental health issues and alluding to the potential dangers of sexual attraction with regard to vulnerable teenage girls.
I didn’t think my life could get weirder, but I was wrong…
Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.
When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.
With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?
A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.
The 2nd book in the series, Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Book 2, is coming soon.
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!
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 writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. 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, heart-warming smile to greet her.
MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. he has worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and later she wrote a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.
She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.
MJ’s motto is…
To always do what you Love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black hearted shadows.
Her favourite genre to write is
Fantasy/magical realism because life would be dull unless it is sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!
Abigail has always struggled with the voices. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that changes her future.
Moments from the past serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, and also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of the mysterious voices, while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator.
Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between people they meet during the journey, and long-buried secrets come to light in devastating ways. As elements twist, numbers align and spiritual powers connect, no one will be the same again.
Weathering Old Souls is definitely different from anything I’ve read before. It begins with a murder ( there is a serial killer, called the Fashionista.) An undercurrent of uncertainty and fear continues – there is a murderer on the loose but Abigail’s behaviour is so odd too, driving her father to distraction. I was particularly drawn to how Abigail could connect to her past lives in such a striking way.
The relationship she has with her father is not an easy one and she relies heavily on neighbours for emotional support. She becomes especially close to Margaret and the two women are both strong, interesting characters.
I liked the spiritual/metaphysical aspect of this novel and it is not something I have come across before. Perhaps I should read more books like this!
A detailed novel, written by two authors James Cudney and Didi Oviatt and yet the writing is seamless as if it were just one person writing.
I’d recommend this novel if you enjoy stories that combine more than one genre – in a way that is different from the norm.
Highly recommended. My rating 5 stars.
Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
A Ghost and His Gold Supernatural Historical Stand-Alone Novel Publisher TSL Publications (1/27/2021) Number of Pages 264 pages ISBN 9781914245039
After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?
After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.
What an ambitious book! A Ghost and His Gold combines two genres: Paranormal and Historical Fiction and delivers on both counts. Robbie has done her historical research and it shows as she delivers considerable detail on such matters as the “Scorched Earth,” British military policy Boer War 1899-1902 and the concentration camps for Afrikaner women, children and black people. The story is imaginative, moving, educational and written with exceptional flair. Hats off to Robbie, she has done a fabulous job.
The narrative begins with friends getting together partying around an Ouija board in South Africa. If you chance playing with an Ouija board you may welcome a ghost into your home and this is exactly what happens to Michelle and Tom! As the story unfolds we are introduced to the ghosts of Robert, (a British soldier – through his journal, ) a Boer named Peiter, and a young girl named Estelle (Pieter’s daughter,) whose life story is particularly harrowing and poignant revealing the sadness of her home life and the horrendous atrocities against females during the Boer War.
Mysteries are unearthed. Michelle has to come to grips with disturbing revelations that threaten her marriage to Tom.
The Boer women in the story are portrayed as unflinching and immensely determined, even though they suffer terribly.
A Ghost and His Gold is a novel about forgiveness and understanding, and the terrible cost of war in terms of human suffering and regret.
As I read this I kept on thinking this would make a wonderful film!
Robbie Cheadle has published nine books for children and one poetry book. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.
Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate children’s picture books are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision. Her books for older children also incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.
Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s supernatural stories combine fabulous paranormal elements with fascinating historical facts.
Children’s picture books – available as a square book and an A5 book (co-authored with Michael Cheadle): Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook
Middle school books: Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town (includes five fun party cake ideas) While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with Elsie Hancy Eaton)
Poetry book: Open a new door (co-authored with Kim Blades)
Supernatural fantasy YA novel: Through the Nethergate
Supernatural historical adult novel:
A Ghost and His Gold
Horror Anthologies (edited by Dan Alatorre): Spellbound Nightmareland Dark Visions Wings & Fire
Paranormal Anthologies (edited by Kaye Lynne Booth): Spirits of the West Whispers of the Past
Murder mystery Anthology (edited by Stephen Bentley) Death Among Us
Hi Marje, it’s great to be here on your lovely blog Thank you so much for your generosity to host my Book Release Tour and allow me to share my process from pen to publication with your readers.
It’s my pleasure Miriam. <3
The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd, Part 6
Formatting a Picture Book
There are boxes of children’s books in the storage from my teaching days. I picked about ten books to study how they positioned the images and text. Some have bleed (the images flow over to the margin) and some without bleed. Some pages have text without images, and some have text layered over the images. My conclusion was to have the book fully illustrated with bleed, and have the text inserted over the images.
Formatting a picture book with bleed is a different story than without bleed. So, I hired a designer to do the job. He could insert the text for me, but I had a preference of the appearance.
After I received the pages of illustration from Victoria, I inserted one layer of white rectangular shape with round corner, then inserted another layer of text over the shape.
When I finished inserting the text, I created a file with the pages in a correct sequence for the designer to use as a reference. Then I sent this reference file and all the pages of the illustration to him to format for eBook and print book according to the requirements of Amazon and Barns & Nobel.
Note: I skipped many technical details. I can answer your questions if you’re interested.
Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do?
This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.
A lovely picture book with beautifully colourful but simple illustrations from Victoria Skakandi (Illustrator) It’s a straight forward story which tells the tale of a young girl Tina who has just finished 3rd Grade, (about 8 – 9 years old,) and is about to go on summer school holidays. Tina and her friend Erica chat about the coming changes in the new school year. When she gets home she plans a list with her mum of what to do over the summer . No. 2 on the list is to hear the music from Swan Lake, followed by Sleeping Beauty and fireworks at the Superbowl!
Tina and her friend Erika gets lost…
Note: The story is based on a real life event in the author’s life and is dedicated to Miriam Hurdle’s daughter.
This brought back a similar memory in my life. My husband and I were frantic after my daughter Natasha disappeared during a wedding event. She turned up safe and well. Thank heavens. Every parents nightmare! Tasha was always going missing, she was quite the adventurer and still is!
Tina Lost in a Crowd delivers such a clear, important message to youngsters who may for whatever reason get parted from their parents/carers. So, I reckon it would be an excellent read for schools – educating pupils about a simple method to keep safe.
Thank you to the author for an ARC. I happily review and give my unbiased opinion.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
For the first time in over a century, Clyde will know what it means to feel powerless and weak.
Headless bodies appearing across Windemere is only the beginning as Clyde faces the terrifying vampire hunter, Alastyre. Able to match the Dawn Fang leader in power and ferocity, this new menace shows no signs of weakness or mercy. With both friends and enemies getting dragged into the battle, Clyde will have to find a way to become stronger. For that, he will have to accept an ancient challenge and pray that those he cares about and trusts can hold Alastyre at bay.
Which monster of Windemere will claim the top of the food chain?
Want to hear more? Enjoy this Teaser!
Alastyre disappears for a moment before reappearing in front of Clyde and grinning at how the Dawn Fang does not react. “I have waited many years for this day. You probably don’t remember me since it has been so long. The temptation to tell Mab the truth when she was my captive was so strong that I knew I needed more time to mature. I should only feel happy and excited when we are about to clash. By the way, your enemies put up an entertaining fight. It lasted no more than a couple of minutes, but I enjoyed it. My hope is that your reputation is true and I will get to use my full power for once. The thought of ripping your head off and adding it to my collection is one of the few dreams that gives my life meaning. Is this where we’re going to fight? I see that there is a lot of sand and giant boulders scattered about. Do you use this courtyard as a large rock garden in order to relax? You are a more amusing monster than I expected.”
“I don’t like you,” Mab growls before she is grabbed by the face.
“A drug-addicted worm should watch-”
“Put . . . my . . . partner . . . down,” Clyde growls from behind the hunter. The illusionary vampire fades away as the real one materializes, his gauntlet sword already pressed against the man’s meaty neck. “You say we’ve met before and you’ve been training to fight me. Looks more like you’ve altered yourself to become a freak. The smell of your blood reeks of corruptive magic and demon influence. There’s a hint of Dawn Fang and dragon in there too. You’re nothing more than a glorified golem. Bunch of parts and auras cobbled together to turn a weak mortal into a monster. I’m not impressed, Alan Stryker. Still trying to strike fear into the rotting hearts of my kind? At least your name isn’t as stupid as it was before.”
“Wait, do you mean that guy who attacked you outside of Lord Shallis’s castle?” Titus asks with a chuckle. He grunts when his sister is thrown into him, the force sending the siblings crashing against the patio’s railing. “I told you that keeping him alive was a mistake, but I didn’t think it would turn into this. You must be angry that nobody believed your story about vampires that are immune to the sun. Is that what this is about?”
With a casual flick of his finger, Alastyre sends Clyde’s sword and arm flying across the courtyard. “No because it was another hunter who survived and told that tale. Your leader was so distracted with Mab biting him that he failed to notice a second mortal that he failed to kill. I focused on recovery and getting stronger because I refused to follow such a ridiculous plan. The fewer people who knew about the Dawn Fangs, the better my chances were at being the one to succeed. Please know that I only want to destroy your leadership. Originally, I wished to wipe all of you out of existence, but that could prove to be impossible. You monsters are more talented at hiding than anything else I have hunted, so I could never be sure of your extinction. The next best thing is to take over Nyetfall and use it as a jail for your kind. All Dawn Fangs will be contained on this island once they no longer have their precious rulers. Don’t you agree that this is much better than extermination, Clyde?”
“I have no opinion because it’s never going to happen.”
“Do you accept my challenge?”
“You never officially made one.”
“I demand that you fight me to the death.”
“Thank you for being straightforward and not making me hunt you down.”
“We fight in an hour then.”
“Why not now?”
Alastyre points while mentioning, “You are still missing an arm. I want to face you at full strength.”
“Don’t say I didn’t give you a chance,” the Dawn Fang says as he continues healing the injury.