The Writer Q & A Tag

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Thank you very much to James Fahy author of The Changeling series and Hell’s Teeth for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Do check out his blog: James Fahy Author, and follow him on Instagram, he has an awesome page…………Jame’s Fahy Instagram Page

What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating books, and writing. Also it’s a way to discover and make new blogging friends. So that can’t be bad can it?

Here are James’s Questions for me – and at the end of the post there are some questions for my Nominees. I believe I have to nominate ten but I like breaking rules so we’ll see how many I nominate…

  1. What book first made you cry, and why? The first book that made me cry. Um….I’m not sure it might have been a little picture book while I was in my pram…Need to ask my mum…..More recently I’m cultivating this crying book lark to a whole new level. There have been a whole bunch of books that have triggered my crying   – here’s some of them: Marcus Zuzak’s The Book Thief,  The Fault in our Stars, by John Green, You Before Me by Yoyo Moyes, Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey, Summertime, by Vanessa LaFaye, The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller, The StoryTeller by Jodi Picoult, and The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, etc… Most of these I’ve reviewed on this blog on my  A – Z Book Reviews. These particular books  definitely had me crying big time. But that’s okay as I love books that stir the emotions. They really make me happy! Nothing like a good cry, but I have to stop doing it in public places that’s too embarrassing!  Just in case you want some crying inspiration look no further than Buzzfeed’s 53 Books That Will Definitely Make You Cry
  2. If you could be any one of your favourite characters (your own or others you’ve read) for one day, who and why? I’d like to be a guy… there you are I’ve said it – confession time!  I’d like to write in the POV of a guy for the second  or perhaps the third book in the series of my current WIP: The Curse of Time….  I’ve been a lass for a long time, and getting inside a guy’s head will be a challenge so perhaps I’d like to be Dorian Grey  for a day ’cause I want to stay young and get up to mischief! Ha Ha!!  I see my Ryder character in my WIP: The Curse of Time developing into a modern day Dorian Grey – he’s a bit young at the moment but he’s heading that way!
  3. What is your favourite opening line from a book? I’m pretty taken with this opening line in this book: “I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs.                                       
  4. Do you have any odd writing rituals (has to be a yellow legal pad and a HB pencil for example) No, not really. Apart from lingering in my pyjamas longer than necessary and opening up the door to the Avon lady still wearing them. I swear she thinks I live in my pj’s. Oh, and I forget to drink, eat, brush my teeth, floss, and go to the toilet. Those ain’t so good. When I get to the serious hunger stage I rush off to have breakfast, and do my ablutions…. I’m one of those writers that tends to get their ideas really early in the morning, in fact they often wake me up, sigh…and then I have to get to it straight away… or if I can’t do so due to work or other constraints I’ll jot them down in a note pad and come back to them later.
  5. Have you drawn on real locations / experiences in your writing? Yes, a lot, I think our experiences shape us and in turn they shape our writing. Often this is at an unconscious level. Sometimes I look over what I’ve written and it scares me because to me writing is a bit like bearing your soul for your readers to pick your unsuspecting bones, and often those bones are startling even to yourself.
  6. What story scares you? Horror stories scare me, and up until recently I’ve avoided them! I never read horror as a teen, I was really into detective stories – Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, comic books, and fantasy. I only started reading horror books in earnest (if you can call it that,) Halloween 2015. I joined in the red eye readathon and that did it – I found that I really enjoyed them. Shock, Horror! Of all the subsets of horror, psychological horror really scares the heck out of me. This type of horror draws the reader into the character’s thoughts and emotions. You begin to imagine that particular horrific event happening to you. In my opinion those kind of stories are the most scary. A recent example of this is the short story – Big Driver in Stephen King’s compilation of Short Stories Full Dark No Stars, in which a female writer is sexually attacked by a truck driver while driving back from a writing event promoting her work. That really struck home. That for me is horror at its most powerful, and it works so well combined with dark humour, which Stephen King is undoubtedly a master of.
  7. If you were told you could only read one book before being executed for your terrible, terrible crimes, what would you choose and why? My terrible crimes… oh that must be that Dorian Grey influence I suppose. No question it would have to be some steamy romance, one last heart pounding moment before I die!
  8. Have you ever met any of your literary heros, and if so, were they amazing, dissapointing or just plain awkward? I’ve met a few YA authors via events at The Edinburgh Literary Festival, The Cambridge Literary Festival, and been close to some at UKYA.  I think I’ve been pretty chilled about it all..  And nobody has been disappointing as yet… They’ve all been lovely.
  9. Which word / phraze do you find yourself always over-using and having to edit out? Smiled. Smile. Smiling. Cried, Cry, Crying. Yes it’s a light and dark kind of tale so probably these words are over-used….As it’s predominantly written in the past tense I had to be careful not to have to many was’s. At one point there were so many was’s it sounded like I had a wasp infestation. With words funnily enough I think names of people can be tricky. I ended up with two Emily’s at one point, and then I had to make one of them an Emma. She’s still an Emily in my mind…The Chinese girl in the book started off as Aurora or something like that ………….I can’t quite remember but Aurora didn’t sound right so I changed her name to Jade. The main character’s names have always been Amelina and Ryder, liked them from the offset and stuck to those.  Oh and I had to change the name of the dog, it started off as the name of my friend’s son. Somehow that didn’t seem OK, bit cheeky, so in the end I settled for Toby. Woof woof… I met a Toby while working at John Lewis… hope he doesn’t mind! Come to think of it my doggy character is a bit like the JL lad, lively to say the least! He went running every morning before he started work. Toby the dog would approve!
  10. Name three people you would have at your ultimate book-club/dinner party. (living or dead…or undead.) Oh this is a fun one! Maureen Johnson because she’s so witty, and would get the party up and running. Stephen King because he would be so amazingly interesting to talk to, and Oscar Wilde, as I just love Dorian Grey! There would have to be music too, so I’d sneak in some gatecrashers:  David Bowie, and Prince, because I loved them both, and they died too young. One last crazy party in their honour. Also I’d sneak in the lead singer from Stereophonics, Kelly Jones, who’d be my eye candy crush, and last but certainly not least, Bon Jovi. Two crushes – That would be some party!

I nominate these eleven  ….. amazing bloggers to join in, it’s not compulsory but you might just find it fun! Your questions are just below this list.

Annika Perry’s Blog

Al The Author

Vashti Vega

Sue Vincent

Helen Jones

Debby Kaye

Ritu

Linda Hill

Shehanne Moore

Caroline Peckham

Graeme Cumming

 

My questions for you:

1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

2. What’s your favourite genre of book and why?

3. Who is/are your favourite author (s) , poet (s)? What is it about them that inspires you?

4. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.)  too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

5. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored,  attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

6. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

8. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings?Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons…etc…Make your own observations …. and let me know..

9. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

10. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you ….

 

Anyone else who’d like to join in please do…

Well, that’s it then, thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to comment. Love ya! xx

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

James Fahy The Writer Q & A Tag

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#WeekendCoffeeShare: Cambridge Literary Festival

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If I were having coffee I’d invite you to my new favourite haunt, a mysterious cafe in an exotic land of my imagination. We’d have the sun shining down on us,  warming our backs with gentle breezes, palm trees above us, and the sweet aroma of flowers too. It would be so hot that we’d have a chilled coconut coffee filled to the brim with large scoops of ice. Or perhaps if the mood takes us we might indulge in one of these cheeky delights: Tequila Mockingbird, a Margaret Atwood, The Sunday Librarian, in The Study with The Lead Pipe, or a Watership Down!

http://flavorpill.com/ntl/article/other/5-cocktails-for-hardworking-bookish-babes.

Our iced drink would be decorated with one of those fancy cocktail sticks. The theme of the cafe would be books, and an abundance of titles would be artistically placed everywhere, decorating every nook and cranny, because this week my coffee share post is all about the Cambridge Literary Festival: http://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com/

Enjoy.

I’m been looking forward to telling you about my recent experience working as a steward at the Cambridge Literary Festival. But before I begin let me fill you in on the first event at the Festival that I attended with my friend. On Friday evening my friend and I had a lovely Thai meal at Thaikun, from the streets of Bangkok, in our very own Cambridge: http://thaikhun.co.uk/

Followed by some Raving Beauties: Hallelujah for 50 ft Women at the Union library!

More about them here: http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/hallelujah-for-50ft-women-186

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It was a blast, these ravers have had a beauty of a sell out run at the Edinburgh Festival. Their cabaret of diverse, passionate poetry listed above explores the themes of love, sex, creativity and work. When I say sex I mean it! Some of the titles are kinda in your face (look away if you are easily offended!): Cunts Cocks and Balls -Sally St. Clair, Cunt Artist Boyfriend – Rebecca Smith, Rutting – Arundhathi Subramaniam and a few very female orientated poems such as Women’s Blood – Vicky Feaver,  and to my last period – Lucille Clifton. Oh and one for top heavy ladies: the trials and tribulations of a well-endowed woman – Hira A.   There were a few men in the audience and I wonder what they made of the Raving Beauties! I’ve mentioned a few of the poems –  I think if my memory serves me right they performed 35 altogether, including my favourite: Recognition – Carol Ann Duffy.

After the event my friend mentioned that she’d intended to do an English Literature degree when she was younger and had been persuaded by her then controlling boyfriend to do Law. She seemed to be touched by regret after listening to the talk! But I cheered her up by saying that Law had enabled her to be financially secure career wise. But, it does make you wonder, doesn’t it? How the pathways that we choose can shape your life in an entirely different way. Who knows what she might have done if she’d ignored her then boyfriend and done English Literature. Perhaps she might have become a poor impoverished poet, or been a featured poet in the Raving Beauties!

One can’t help but wonder! I digress. Back to my stewarding duties. It all  began on Saturday. In the afternoon I helped out in the Old Divinity School, a wonderful setting for the 2.30 talk by journalists Robert Verkaik and Andrew Hosken: Reflections on the Middle East. The talk was a riveting sharing of their views on the ‘middle east cauldron.’ Robert Verkaik, is the author of Jihdi John: The Making of a Terrorist, (he is the only journalist to have interviewed the ISIS terrorist, thought to be of Arabic origin.)

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Andrew Hosken wrote Empire of Fear: Inside The Isalmic State. The event was chaired by Helen Lewis, Editor of the New Statesman.

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After that at 4pm I had the opportunity to steward in the Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore & Linda Grant event: Reader, I Married Him.

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This talk celebrated the 200th Anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth. The three speakers, Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore and Linda Grant’s short stories were inspired by Jane Eyre, questioning who, how and why we love. Again, another wonderful talk that I was able to tune into gratis via my stewarding role!

For those of you who might be interesting in volunteering for literary events here’s a brief rundown of what I did while I was stewarding at the Divinity School:

I made sure that everything was in order before the talk began, that the auditorium was clear of rubbish, that the viewers of the previous talk left, (with a little gentle cajoling,) and that the speakers had water and the appropriate number of glasses. Also I had to keep an eye on the heavy door. I had to ensure that it didn’t slam shut with an almighty bang when latecomers came! (The building seemed to echo with the least noise so we were asked to keep disturbance to a minimum!) We helped with organising the queues for the auditorium, and the book signing, and generally tried to get festival goers in the right direction for toilets, etc. Oh, and we smiled a lot! 

On Sunday I did it all again!  Here’s us stewards posing for this photo opportunity twittered via Kate Kirk, and yours truly!

There’s me second on the right of the photo!

On Sunday morning I was due at the Fitzwilliam museum at 9.30, via a back entrance which was quite hard to find. Luckily I came across another steward who seemed to have a better sense of direction than I had and we found our way into the Goods In! Now that we were tagged, and signed in, we took a large (no I lie, an enormous lift,) into the museum.

I was so lucky! I was stewarding at the Claire Harman: Charlotte Bronte: A life, talk.

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I have to say that this talk and the Hallelujah for 50ft. Women were my two favourite events at the Festival this year. Perhaps the Fitzwilliam event was in part due to the venue, my photo doesn’t do it justice, the room was beyond stunning:

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But, moreover I was riveted by Claire Harman’s discussion of her acclaimed biography: Charlotte Bronte: A Life. After the talk, audience members were able to enjoy a display of Charlotte Bronte’s personal letters dating from 1845 to her death in 1855. These letters cover the period during which Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette were published, as well as her marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls in 1854. The letters are still available for a short time period (a week, I believe) from today to view. The event was chaired by Tom Gatti, Culture Editor, New Statesman.

In the afternoon it was time for a quick bite to eat and then I was off to the take part in the Children’s programme! Yippee!!!

At 2.30 it was time for some Roman Mysteries and Quests with best selling author Caroline Lawrence in the Union Blue Room. Her novels are mostly set in ancient Rome. To find out more visit Caroline’s website:

http://www.romanmysteries.com/

I was impressed by Caroline’s ability to get her young audience members to join in at every opportunity, making the event a very fun and interactive experience. In fact, when she mentioned the xylospongia, an implement to clean yourself after you’ve been to the toilet,(in Roman times,) that got more than a few laughs. Toilet humour, always does the biz!! Below she’s grinning holding a xylospongia at the ready!

I managed to have a chat with Caroline and the tech guy, before the talk. Caroline was really lovely, so friendly and nice. And the tech guy was too, he trusted me to be responsible for his expensive piece of tech, I was the microphone lady for Q & A. First time doing this….. think it went ok. I didn’t drop it! Thank goodness. I didn’t mention I’m a bit accident prone! Though, I think the head steward might have guessed when I tripped over the queuing rope barriers. Luckily there was no harm done, just a bruised ego.

At 4pm I was in the Blue Room again this time helping out with Monica Vaughan’s talk on her book, Six. This is the American cover:

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A thrilling and chilling sci-fi mystery that tackles controversial topics. Like the sound of this….  As before I wielded the microphone, for Q and A, and afterwards I managed to talk briefly to Monica before I left. Again she was very lovely, and thanked me for my help which was very sweet of her.

Here’s a link to Monica’s website to find out more about her:

http://www.mmvaughan.com/

and a photo of her at the Festival that I pinched from her twitter account!

I hope you enjoyed finding out more about my stewarding role, perhaps it might inspire you to help out at the next Literary Festival near you. It’s a very worthwhile thing to do, particularly if you are a book worm, or a budding author, (you get free attendance at talks that aren’t sold out, have a chance to chat to authors, particularly in the smaller events.) Of course you do have to get in the spirit of the festival by wearing a free lurid tee-shirt, or perhaps shuffling about in a funny costume, ha ha!!! While you’re stewarding you can listen to talks and generally have the opportunity to meet like minded people. Stewarding gives you a marvellous insight into the workings of event management too. So do have a go. My motto at the moment is try everything at least once!

Do pop over to Diana’s blog, Part Time Monster to see all about the weekly Coffee Share post:

All about Weekend Coffee Share :http://parttimemonster.com/weekend-coffee-share/

Link up to the Weekend Coffee share blog by clicking on Diane’s blog, Part Time-Monster, there’s a blue link: https://parttimemonster.com/category/weekly-features/weekend-coffee-share/

Have you ever stewarded before? At a Literary Festival or perhaps another event? Do share your experiences I would love to hear all about them.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

In case you’re curious to find out more, do visit my links:

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/67166165-the-curse-of-time

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20419289-marje-mallon

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

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

Tumblr: http://kyrosmagica.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

Bye Bye Retail Hello Writing!!!!!

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As some of you might know from a previous post: https://mjmallon.com/2015/12/13/retail-inspiration-yuletide-style/

I have been working as a Christmas temp in John Lewis Cambridge, and yesterday was my last day. It has been quite an enlightening and interesting experience in many ways. I started off with oodles and oodles of training. John Lewis puts a lot of priority on staff training so if you want to go into retail in a serious way this definitely is the company to work for. Or if perhaps you might be a student looking for some extra cash while studying, or a return to work mum looking for their first venture back to work…. Or a hopeful author a.k.a someone like me….. Whoever you are John Lewis will take you on if you are prepared to work hard.

Amongst the till training, laws about selling knives, and other hazardous substances we learnt all about different kinds of fire hazards, including chip pan fires!! Hence the funny photo at the top of my post…… An extinguisher would be very appropriate if you happen to work in their staff canteen, and are regularly using industrial sized deep pan fryers. But somehow they didn’t warn us about lesser hazards and potential injuries such as the kimble gun, paper cuts, or staple accidents, etc, which happen on the shop floor!

Here are some of my amusing highlights, I hope you like them:

  • I tend to be a bit accident prone. I managed to cut myself, on shelfing, prick my finger with the point of a kimble gun, drawing blood. This sharp needle like device is used to secure tags to gloves, hats, etc. As well as this a fellow member of staff also stapled her finger at the till! Quite a feat, I’m not quite sure how she managed to do this……
  • Not content with that alone, in the stock room I nearly squashed a fellow member of staff between the unsuspecting racks of clothes, by moving the large winding rack without checking anyone was in there. Oops. I’m so glad she alerted me to her presence up a ladder. She shouted! I would too! It’s bad enough climbing up ladders without being at the mercy of people like me….
  • I’ve had some odd requests from customers and witnessed some strange ones too. A gentleman asked me to take a photo so I asked him what he’d like me to photograph, and he said himself, dressed in his John Lewis jacket and cap. Then he asked me for my impression of the overall look. He was quite handsome ,……
  • One day a man came to my till and said he had a business meeting and he needed to buy something more suitable to wear so he proceeded to buy exactly the same designer black polo shirt, and jeans that he was currently wearing.. How strange, there was no difference at all, and the ones he was wearing didn’t even look worn. It does make me wonder why? Why would he spend so much money to buy exactly the same clothes, in the same colour? Was he about to murder someone in his current set and he needed a clean outfit for later? Ah, this is what happens if you write, you imagine scenarios everywhere… No one can escape your scrutiny.
  • At the till point one of the younger members of staff, a particularly cheerful young chap, who seemed to be particularly keen and vocal in his enthusiasm for customer care was asked to model a children’s hat for a customer, he obliged. It was a monster woolly hat, that covered the majority of his face like a balaclava. Afterwards I remarked that I wish we had had a polaroid camera behind the till to take his photo as evidence of his embarrassing moment.
  • On my last day we had fireworks at the till, well not real ones, just bubble wrap being popped by a nineteen year old co-worker who likes to burst the bubbles on the wrap. Of course it was quiet at the time, she didn’t keep the customers waiting!!
  • There were hugs, a card, with the following message from my boss: “Thanks for your support over Xmas, good luck with your writing, you may be the next J K Rowling!!” No pressure then! Last but certainly not least a pressie of Double Choc Chip Biscuits from Liberty London. Yum… Looking forward to eating these this weekend on my trip to London to go prom shopping for a dress for my daughter!

 

All in all, experiences are what make writers, they furnish us with ideas, and ideas can come from anywhere, from behind a till, in the stockroom, talking to people…….

 

I am very happy to have had this particular experience…. oh and the pay packet will come in handy as I will have a lot of expenses over the coming months. Thank you John Lewis…..

 

Now it is time to settle down and write. I am so excited, I just can’t wait!

 

I have received an illuminating writer’s report from The Hilary Johnson Authors Advisory Service: http://www.hilaryjohnson.com/ on my manuscript, Krystallos.

 

I know what needs doing, so from Monday I shall be immersing myself in writing…… with a view to editing parts of the manuscript, making some necessary changes, and then self-publishing….

 

But to do that I will have to put my sad hat on, one of the Writer’s Advisory Agency recommendations was to make my main character much more afflicted by sorrow at the beginning of the manuscript, so with that in mind I will have to try and read sad books, immerse myself in a general theme of sadness…. so that my main character, Amelina, will engage with readers on a more personal level. Teenagers like to dwell on the dark side of life and this is something I have to remember to do….
More about that and my progress editing in later posts to come….. Keep me at it, please don’t let me slack. Pester me…

 

So with editing in mind I am currently reading a book that found me quite by chance. It’s nice when that happens, I saw it at the park and ride bus stop on the way to work, (a free read donated by a fellow traveller.) I’m so glad I picked it up as it is quite a short, interesting, and sad read.
Look At Me by Anita Brookner, here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

 

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A lonely art historian absorbed in her research seizes the opportunity to share in the joys and pleasures of the lives of a glittering couple, only to find her hopes of companionship and happiness shattered.

 

So book bloggers/enthusiasts, do you have any book recommendations for sad books? Do let me know particularly if they have a young, preferably female main protagonist.

 

Lots to be done but now the path is set, all I have to do is walk in Amelina’s shoes, and hope she will lead me to the light…..

 

Bye for now,

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

The Book Courtship Book Tag

Thank you to Charley from Books and Bakes 1 for tagging me to join in the Book Courtship Book Tag.

Charley has a lovely blog about books and baking, two of my favourite pastimes!  I just love to read and to bake and eat yummy cakes too!

Here’s a link to Charley’s blog post about the tag: https://booksandbakes1.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/the-book-courtship-book-tag/

I’ve been super busy just recently as I’m currently been doing two read-a-thons. The first one is a Halloween themed readalong from Stripes Publishing, the #redeyereadalong and I have been reviewing all the awesome #redeye books on my blog, the current book I am reading this week is Dark Room from Tom Becker.  The second readathon I’m taking part in is the Trees of Reverie readathon, and for this I’m currently reading Caroline Peckham’s Creeping Shadow. So I don’t get bored I have been doing some photography, and quote challenges too, as well as joining Instagram.

I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed so:

I will be taking a bit of a blogging break in November, to coincide with Nanowrimo, and possibly December to concentrate on my writing, and getting my manuscript Krystallos ready for publication. More about that soon……

Here’s my responses to the book tag:

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?

I also bought The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, (Charley did too!) as I just loved this cover so much. It caught my eye in Waterstons and I just fell in deep book cover love. I loved the book too. My review of the Miniaturist: https://mjmallon.com/2015/01/12/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-miniaturist-by-jessie-burton/

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As well as this I loved the cover of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.

More about The Bone Clocks on my review: https://mjmallon.com/2014/12/08/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-bone-clocks-by-david-mitchell/

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Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary?

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The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern.

The summary is all in capital letters and is so engaging, even though it is simplicity itself:

THE CIRCUS ARRIVES

WITHOUT WARNING

NO ANNOUNCEMENTS

PRECEDE IT …

IT IS SIMPLY THERE, WHEN YESTERDAY IT WAS NOT.

Phase 3 – Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?

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There are so many authors that would fit into this “Sweet” category. Stephanie Perkins comes to mind.  I loved Stephanie Perkins Anna and The French Kiss, Lola and The Boy Next Door, and Isla and The Happily Ever After. My favourite out of these three was Lola and The Boy Next Door. For some reason that I can’t quite recollect I have only reviewed two out of the three in the series, omitting to do the first which is strange but anyway here they are:

https://mjmallon.com/2014/06/09/review-of-lola-and-the-boy-next-door-stephanie-perkins/

https://mjmallon.com/2014/11/16/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-isla-and-the-happily-ever-after-by-stephanie-perkins/

Phase 4 – First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

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I’m a bit lazy about reading series, on the whole I tend to prefer reading standalone novels but sometimes a series really captures my full attention and then I get hooked. An example of this is undoubtedly the first book in The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix, Sabriel. I loved this series, which I read as part of the Hot Key Books readathon.

https://mjmallon.com/2014/12/15/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-abhorsen-by-garth-nix/

https://mjmallon.com/2014/09/23/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-garth-nixs-sabriel/

https://mjmallon.com/2014/10/17/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-garth-nixs-lirael/

 

Phase 5 – Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?

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Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye would fit into this category because when I did finally get to sleep I dreamt that my bed was filled with hurricane winds! I could feel myself being lifted, and buffeted on a bed of sheets, and thrown up and down in the air. Luckily my dream carried me gently up and down as if I was on a trampoline of buffeting air!

My review of Summertime: https://mjmallon.com/2015/02/28/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-summertime-by-vanessa-lafaye/

Phase 6 – Always on my mind: A book you could not stop thinking about?

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The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak, which I read a long time ago before I started doing reviews. If you haven’t read this then go out and get a copy of this fantastic book, which is about:

A GIRL

AN ACCORDIONIST

SOME FANATICAL GERMANS

A JEWISH FIST FIGHTER

AND QUITE A LOT OF THIEVERY

and is narrated by a gruesome chap called DEATH!!!

Phase 7 – Getting Physical: A book which you love the way it feels?

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The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller, loved this, it’s gold embossed cover is so textured!! Great feels for this one, fantastic read too! Go and get a copy!

My review: https://mjmallon.com/2015/05/16/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-song-of-achilles-by-madeline-miller/

Phase 8 – Meeting the parents: A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

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The Italian Chapel by Philip Paris, just loved this book, and recommended it to my mum and dad, and some friends too! Such a lovely book, so heart warming and inspiring, if you haven’t read it then you must remedy that fast.

My review: https://mjmallon.com/2014/07/04/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-italian-chapel-by-philip-paris/

Phase 9 – Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will re read many times in the future?

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The Brandon Sanderson’s series, these are just so awesome, if I had a lot of spare time I’d love to read and re-read these as they have so much going for them. Brandon Sanderson has a wicked imagination. I’ve read The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) and The Well of Ascension (Mistborn # 2.) I’ve reviewed Mistborn #1 on this blog:

The Final Empire. Mistborn: https://mjmallon.com/2015/01/31/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-mistborn-by-brandon-sanderson/

Phase 10 – Share the love: Who do you tag?

I would like to tag lots and lots of you lovely book bloggers so here goes:

http://novelreveries.com/

https://ireadnovels.wordpress.com/

http://heenarathorep.com/

http://www.mybookishlife.com/

https://scatterbooker.wordpress.com/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com

https://lipsyy.wordpress.com/.com/

https://stephaniesbookreviews.wordpress.com/

http://mylittlebookblog.com/

http://jennyinneverland.com/

http://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/

http://booksaredelicious.com/

http://theprettybooks.wordpress.com.

http://amandasnoseinabook.wordpress.com/

http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

https://bibliomad.wordpress.com/

https://katnisspotterbooklover.wordpress.com/

If I’ve left anyone out don’t be shy join in please do, the more the merrier!

Hope you enjoyed reading my Book Courtship Tag post! Have you read any of the books in my post?

Oh, and by the way I am now on Instagram if you’d like to follow me there too: https://instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#Redeyereadalong: Dark Room by Tom Becker

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Bad Bones, I’m joining in the #readeyereadalong:  The Red Eye series of books from Stripes Publishing, this event runs from September 28th to October 31st and is hosted on Goodreads.

There are five scary titles to get you in the mood for Halloween!

Frozen Charlotte, Sleepless, Flesh and Blood, Bad Bones, and Dark Room.

Dark Room is the next scary book I’ll be reading for the #RedEye readalong  from:

26th October 2015 – 31st October 2015

Wait a minute – 26th October, that’s today. Can it really be the final week? How time flies when you’re having fun.

It is the final book in the readalong!!!! Dark Room by Tom Becker.

It’s been a blast such eerie, scary excitement all the way, there’s never been a dull moment.

Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis of Dark Room:

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood.

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog. There are lots of fun activities on their blogs so do check them out:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/

Have you read Dark Room? Do you dare to? Let me know if you have!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#RedEyeReadalong: Bad Bones by Graham Marks

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Flesh and Blood, I’m joining in the #readeyereadalong: The Red Eye series of books from Stripes Publishing, this event runs from September 28th to October 31st and is hosted on Goodreads.

There are five scary titles to get you in the mood for Halloween! Frozen Charlotte, Sleepless, Flesh and Blood, Bad Bones, and Dark Room.

The next scary book I’m reading for the #RedEye readalong this week  from 19th October 2015 – 25th October 2015 is Bad Bones by Graham Marks.

Sounds fascinating, wonder what kind of bad bones we’re going to be in store for!

Here’s the Synopsis to tell you more:

Some things are best left buried. Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave. Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…A chilling new story in the Red Eye series.

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog. There are lots of fun activities on their blogs so do check them out:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/

Author link:

http://grahammarks.net/

 

Have you read Bad Bones? Do let me know I’d love to hear if you have read Bad Bones or any of the other books in this readalong.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

Trees of Reverie Readathon

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I’m joining in the Trees of Reverie Readathon, hosted by Sarah on Tumblr, here’s a link to her post about this: http://treesofreverie.com/post/131283792785/trees-of-reverie-october-read-a-thon

This runs from 12am on Saturday, October 17th and runs through to 11.59pm on Sunday, November 1st, so fingers slapped I’m a bit behind, it’s already October 18th and I’m just starting! Still my excuse is I’m still participating in the #redeyereadalong and I wanted to devote some time to reading something slightly different for the Trees of Reverie read-a-thon….. 

So I will be reading Creeping Shadow by Caroline Peckham.

The title Creeping Shadow sounds in keeping with my theme of creepy, stuff and nonsense leading up to Halloween.

The hashtags for the Trees of Reverie event are:

| #treesofreveriereadathon | #treesofreveriebookishchallenge |

I received an ARC  of Creeping Shadow from Caroline Peckham, more details of that here if you’re interested in receiving an ARC for an honest review: http://carolinepeckham.com/2015/10/13/arcs-for-honest-reviews-creeping-shadow-a-ya-fantasy/

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Here is the Goodreads Synopsis:

A man waits in Vale, a world void of humanity.

A mother vanishes, her disappearance concealed by the police.

A girl collapses, black magic invading her blood.

And a boy linked to them all must fight to save his family.

Earth is just one of seven worlds. Gateways divide the realms and those who pass through must earn keys, participating in challenges that will separate the fearful from the brave, the weak from the strong, and the witless from the cunning.

Sixteen year old Oliver Knight knows nothing of the other worlds or his family’s dark past. But when his adopted sister succumbs to a deadly curse the truth is revealed and he is plunged into an unknown land in a desperate bid to save her. However, a sinister enemy is on the rise and the danger they face at every turn throws those around them under suspicion. In order to survive, Oliver must figure out who to trust, who to believe and, ultimately, who to fear…

Creeping Shadow will be released 10th December 2015 on Amazon Kindle.

As well as this I have the following in mind to read next on my TBR’S, a Fantasy contemporary  by fellow blogger, author pal Helen Jones : Oak And Mist (The Ambeth Chronicles #1) 

Helen Jones blogs at Journey To Ambeth :  http://journeytoambeth.com/

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Goodreads Synopsis:

‘The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.’

Alma Bevan didn’t mean to go on a quest.
But when she disappears between two trees at her local park and reappears in Ambeth, she finds they’ve been expecting her.

And now she has to find a lost sword or the consequences for humanity will be dire. With no idea where to look, despite help from her new friend Caleb, things become even more complicated when a handsome prince of the Dark expresses an interest in her.

All this plus homework too?

Travelling between worlds is hard enough without having to manage a suspicious best friend, complicated love interests and concerned parents. Add in some time-twisting, a mysterious bracelet and a group of immortal beings all vying for control of a lost sword, and it’s enough to make any fifteen year old girl want to give up. But then she wouldn’t see Caleb any more. Or Deryck…

Oak and Mist is book one of The Ambeth Chronicles. Book two, No Quarter, is coming soon.

And if my eyes go a bit squiffy reading off readers I have one of these in mind as a diversion, my kitty is guarding them and it’s a secret at the moment which one I might chose!

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Hope you like the sound of my TBR’s for the Tree of Reverie Read-a-thon.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

ARCs for Honest Reviews! Creeping Shadow – A YA Fantasy

Exciting News: Caroline Peckham is releasing her YA fantasy Creeping Shadow on 10th December and is looking for Advanced Readers to read and review. I’m looking forward to Creeping Shadow, sounds very appropriate for my theme this month which is creepy stuff and nonsense leading up to Halloween.

#RedEye Readalong: Flesh and Blood, by Simon Cheshire

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Sleepless, I’m joining in the #readeyereadalong:  The Red Eye series of books from Stripes Publishing, this event runs from September 28th to October 31st and is hosted on Goodreads.

There are five scary titles to get you in the mood for Halloween! Frozen Charlotte, Sleepless, Flesh and Blood, Bad Bones, and Dark Room.

The next scary book I’ll be reading for the #RedEye readalong next week from 12th October 2015 – 18th October 2015 is Flesh and Blood by Simon Cheshire.

Well, no messing about with the title, this one spells it out straight away, Flesh and Blood….. Yikes, let’s hope I don’t have nightmares…..

Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis:

Sam Hunter’s neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they’re liars too. The Greehills are hiding something and Sam’s determined to find out what it is. As his investigation unfolds, he realizes the lies reach further than he ever imagined is there anyone he can trust? Uncovering the horror is one thing … escaping is another.

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog. There are lots of fun activities on their blogs so do check them out.

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/redeyereadalong-qa-with-lou-morgan/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/redeyereadalong-qa-with-alex-bell/

 

Author link:

http://simoncheshire.co.uk/

There will be tweets about the readalong using the hash tag: #RedEyeReadAlong

This month as I mentioned before I will be focusing on a bit of scary fun to get me in the mood for Halloween, so any posts that I do will be spooky or linked to Halloween !!! I promise…

Let me know what you think about Flesh and Blood, have you read it, do you dare? !!

Bye for now. I hate bats.. ugh…

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx