Robbie’s Inspiration – Poetry book tour: Do What You Love by M.J. Mallon #review #poetry #bookreview #readingcommunity

Thank you so much to Robbie for this blog tour post and review of my latest poetry, flash fiction collection Do What You Love.

Robbie is a huge supporter of the indie community, a wonderful author and poet who reviews extensively. I appreciate her valued opinion so much.

Do read at source and connect with Robbie: https://wp.me/p7Uxin-57v

Robbie’s Review

This is a beautiful and personal account through poetry, prose and photographs, of the emotional highs and lows of the poet’s life. The poet is accompanied on her walk down memory lane by the three sisters of fate, the Morai: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos with whom she engages in conversation about the particular moments in time highlighted by the poems.

While the poems are personal, their themes are universal which makes them relatable to the reader and facilitates emotional engagement with the particular set of circumstances detailed in the various syllabic poems. The poems are accompanied by beautiful photographs, many of which are nature orientated. I particularly liked the Botanical Gardens Cambridge UK.

One of my favourite poems in the collection is My Daughters. Perhaps this one appeals so much to me because my own sons are standing on the cusp of adulthood and will soon be flying the nest. This is a short extract:

“Now the drama’s nearly over. I tremble.
Expecting the next crisis to come
rippling around the lake.
The waters swaying. It’s stiller now.
They’re wiser.”

This is a book that is best savoured slowly over a glass of wine. 

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Blog Tour: Sarah Bourne When Lives Collide @sarahbourne007 @lilmissmorfett #blogtour #newrelease 6th October

I’m thrilled to be reviewing Sarah Bourne’s psychological thriller When Lives Collide for the blog tour organised by Donna Morfett.

Blurb

A hit-and-run puts two women on a collision course with fate, in this mind-blowing psychological thriller from the author of Exile.
 
It only takes one second to change a life. Loretta Davidson learns this the hard way when, on a rainy afternoon, her car crashes into another vehicle at an intersection. Loretta survives with only a few stitches. Her four-year-old son is not so lucky. Falling into a coma, he soon succumbs to his injuries, leaving Loretta and her husband devastated.
 
Emma Elliot’s four-wheel drive glanced off the car she hit, and she left the scene of the accident convinced no one was hurt. She could not be late running errands for her partner—or there would be hell to pay. He had hit her before, and he would do it again.
 
In the months following the accident, Loretta struggles to survive her grief as her marriage crumbles. Emma gets engaged—and then pregnant. But the twists and turns life throws at the two women have a way of balancing things out, sending them straight into one another’s paths one more time.
 
“The novel does what fiction does best: exploring the small moments that can change lives for good.” —The Bookbag

My review:

This is an engaging tale with a fantastic premise. Two women’s lives collide after a terrible accident involving a fatality of a child. Emma is the younger of the two women. She is blindly in love and foolish in her choice of abusive partner, Derek. Loretta, the older and more assertive of the two takes Emma under her wing after an estrangement from her partner but is initially unaware of how their lives are so cruelly entwined.

There are several crucial similarities between the two women and a web of unspoken words envelopes them both hiding the shocking truth.

Whilst I was sympathetic to Emma’s plight, and her loss and Loretta’s tragedy I found it difficult to like Emma, though I sympathised with her. Her actions and her struggle to walk away do show just how powerful an abuser’s control can be on a woman and how hard it is to escape and behave and think logically.  Both women had undoubtedly suffered so much.

I enjoyed this and would read this author again.

Recommended for readers who enjoy psychological thrillers about women’s lives, abuse, and female relationships.

The clever ending wrapped everything up in a convincing way.

I won’t say anymore for fear of spoiling it for you!

I found this a difficult one to rate. The more I thought about the subtle intricacies in the story the more I liked it. Cleverly done.

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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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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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.

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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.

About Richard Dee

I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in Devon.  

I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective.

I spent forty years in shipping, firstly at sea, then in Port Control and as a Thames River Pilot, with adventures to match anything you could imagine. When I retired, I just moved them out into space, changed some of the names and wrote them down.

When I’m not writing, I bake bread and biscuits, cook delicious meals and walk the Devon coast.

My first novel, Freefall, was published in 2013, my eighteenth, We Are Saul, will be published in June 2022

I also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection of alternative history stories. I’m currently working on more prequels, sequels, and a few new projects.

I’m an active member of Exeter Authors Association, attending events and giving talks on World-building for speculative fiction.

You can keep up with me at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/ where you’ll find free short stories, regular features on writing, book reviews and guest appearances from other great authors.

There’s also an offer for a FREE novella, when you join my subscriber’s newsletter.

I can be found on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor and contacted by email at mailto:richarddeescifi

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/richard.dee.scifi.author

My review:

We are Saul by Richard Dee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

I’ve had the pleasure of beta reading an advance copy of We Are Saul by Richard Dee. Every time I read a new story from Richard Dee I am always struck by his ability to create wonderful new story lines, worlds and characters. He is one of my favourite indie authors. Hats off to him!

And We Are Saul was a thoroughly entertaining read from start to finish. What a fabulous concept for a story. I absolutely loved how this explored fascinating medical technological advancement in the form of robotic ‘humans.’ The main protagonist Saul has a terrible accident leaving him paralysed but is given the chance to live fully again by becoming an ARP – a robotic enhanced version of himself – using cutting edge technology.

But Saul begins to wonder at what cost? And what do they expect in return and are there others like him? This tale has love, heart, thoughtful observations and sci fi too! The ending was ace. Loved it and think it would make a great film. Well done Mr Dee!



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Blog Tour: S C Skillman – Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire @scskillman @amberleybooks #blogtour #review #interview #newbook #travelphotography #curioustales #supernaturalwarwickshire

I’m thrilled to welcome Author S.C. Skillman to my blog to celebrate her latest release!

Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire
S. C. Skillman

Warwickshire, often known as Shakespeare’s County, has a host of strange and mysterious tales ranging from ancient legends and stories of the supernatural to more modern documented cases. Curious beliefs and customs were once widespread in Warwickshire’s towns and villages, some of which still flourish today.These strange and spooky stories include the quirky death of the Roundhead commander who owned Warwick Castle, the association of the great author J. R. R. Tolkien with the town, and the story of the hand of glory obtained at Warwick hangings. The historic buildings of Stratford-upon-Avon have witnessed many strange events over the centuries and more recently the Crackley Wood sprite has been sighted at Kenilworth. Other stories include the Wroth Silver at Knightlow Cross, an 800-year-old violent ball game played annually at Atherstone on Shrove Tuesday, and the unresolved mystery of the 1945 murder at Lower Quinton associated with witchcraft, along with other strange tales from the surrounding towns and villages. These stories are accompanied by the author’s photographs in this hugely entertaining book.

Q & A

  • How did you find your publisher for Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire and Paranormal Warwickshire?

A:  It all started when I shared my WIP (Paranormal Warwickshire) with my writing group. I read out the chapter on Guys Cliffe Warwick, and another member of the group, a historian, suggested a few history publishers to me.  I tried them with a proposal and Amberley were the ones who responded positively, saying they would like it for their Paranormal section.  So that’s how I focused the first book and subsequently Amberley asked me to write another 3 books about Warwickshire for them, which I have been very happy to do.

  • Out of all the tales in this latest collection which one/s is/are your most beloved. And/or which one surprised or intrigued you the most.

A: Probably the story of the footsteps in the derelict 17th century coach house near the beginning of the book. I like this one because it came to me unsolicited via a first person account from the individual who experienced it, and he volunteered the story.  Also, it had a truly authentic feel about it, with several satisfying elements; it came over as a genuine spooky tale. The narrator had experienced this in his teenage years, and never forgotten it. At the time of the experience, he sought rational explanations, and then tried to confirm those explanations, and had to accept it as paranormal. Finally, verification decades later from an independent source made it even more convincing. It also reminded me a bit of an MR James ghost story; ‘years later, curiosity drew him back to the scene of his youth’… those words give me a delicious frisson!

  • It must be fascinating and fun collating all the information for these tales. Tell us a little about the people you have interviewed in person and the places you have been.

A: I have spoken to people of all ages and backgrounds. One gentleman, Philip, I met through a chance encounter in the Warwick Tourist Information Centre, and he volunteered his story of hauntings in the basement of the Old Coffee House Tavern.

Another person was Caroline, a lady inspired by the spiritual rituals of the First Nation peoples, who calls herself a ‘Hedgerow Healer’ and holds healing ceremonies in a local community woodland using ancient smudging rituals and sage sticks. I had to be careful in the information I shared about her because she was wary of being misrepresented and wanted to ensure I wasn’t comparing her to spiritualists (I had no such idea in my mind). I feel privileged to gain the confidence of remarkable people like her, and being able to include their story, in such a way that they are happy with.

I also met a lovely elderly gentleman called Cyril in Costa Kenilworth, who has for many years been a traditional wooden toymaker, and he was fascinating. He appeared as a real life Geppetto in the ‘extra footage’ on a remastered version of Disney’s classic film Pinocchio. Though retired now, he is still a highly gifted painter and street photographer, fizzing with energy and humour.

  • I believe you have lived in Warwickshire for many years and the area is rich in intriguing history. Have you ever come across, or seen any of the tales you speak of… such as the big cats?

A: I’ve lived in Warwickshire for 28 years now.  I have tried to experience or gain personal knowledge of many of the stories I tell.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any big cats though!  One of my stories is about the ancient tax gathering ceremony the Wroth Silver which takes place on 11 November each year at daybreak in a field off the A4 near Ryton on Dunsmore. I was determined to attend the ceremony! It was moving to see how several of those who keep the ceremony alive have been attending for many decades and I have since been in correspondence with the elderly gentlemen involved. Also, I was very touched by the poem read out at the Wroth Silver breakfast by Barry Patterson, a local Bard. It was called ‘Dear Ancestors’ and for me it crystallised my thoughts about how people like to connect with their ancestors, which is why they cherish these ancient ceremonies. I think this is true of folklore and folk rituals such as the Wassailing Ceremony and groups like the Border Morris sides too. I’m delighted that Plum Jerkum, the local Warwick Border Morris side will be performing at my book launch in May!

  • Tell us a little about you and your past, and future writing projects.

A: I was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent, and studied English Literature at Lancaster University. My first permanent job was as a Production Secretary at the BBC in Portland Place, London.  Later I lived and worked for four and a half years in Australia, then returned to England to live. Now I live in Warwick with my husband and son, and my daughter is now spending time living and working in Australia. I have long been fascinated by ghost stories and tales of the unexpected, and visiting ancient sites: castles, stately homes, and gardens. I’m a member of English Heritage and the National Trust and I live near two of England’s great castles at Warwick and Kenilworth. Currently I’m working on a third book for Amberley, A-Z of Warwick. I also have a completed mystery novel, Director’s Cut, out on submission to publishers and agents, and am nearly halfway through the sequel to that novel, Standing Ovation.

  •  Do you believe in ghosts and what is your personal experience of the paranormal/strange happenings.

A: I have a theory about ghosts; I believe energy can be trapped in stone, and in the fabric of certain buildings, and those who are sensitive can tune into it.  I haven’t experienced ghosts but have had curious experiences which seemed to me like out-of-the-body experiences. My sister has experienced phantom footsteps, and her story is very convincing. I suggest that those who see ghosts or hear phantom footsteps are experiencing a psychic recording. However, this doesn’t cover every kind of verified experience. Sometimes we may hear stories of a ghost apparently interacting with the living percipient. I am intrigued by the whole phenomenon and keep an open mind. I respect people who tell stories of genuine experiences. I don’t judge but listen. Some stories are very convincing, especially those experienced in the same place by different individuals at different times quite independently of each other. Some might possibly be the person’s imagination. I still respect their convictions about what they have experienced.

MJ: Thanks Sheila for the wonderful interview and your fascinating theory about ghosts.

MJ’s Review

Illustrated Tales of Warkwickshire is a wonderfully informative, interesting and beautifully illustrated book of tales of Warwickshire. Some of the images within are the author’s own photography. And I learnt a thing or two! Readers who enjoy strange, supernatural, historical and quirky tales will enjoy this book immensely. It is evident that the author S. C. Skillman loves her home in which she has lived for over 20 years. Judging by the lengthy bibliography and the book itself she has researched, interviewed and knows her subject matter exceedingly well. Warwickshire is deservedly known as Shakespeare country! Authors, writers, tale hunters, and those keen to discover more about Warwickshire would love this. It would make a lovely gift for both visitors to the UK and local folk alike.

Delve into tales of big cats, mysteries, magical forests, witchcraft, extraordinary true life stories, intriguing people, and much more… plus famous authors such as Lewis Carroll who studied at Rugby School, (though he wasn’t happy there!)

Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher Amberley Publishing and S. C. Skillman for a beautiful copy. Review given freely and readily with no bias.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
Publication: 15th April 2022
Price: £15.99
ISBN: 9781398110939
Size: 234 x 165mm
Binding: Paperback
Extent: 96 pages
Illustrations: 100 illustrations
Rights: World, all languages

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Illustrated-Tales-Warwickshire-S-Skillman/dp/1398110930/

I have also read and enjoyed Paranormal Warwickshire by S. C. Skillman – my review and author feature here:

And Mystical Circles which I also enjoyed. here is the link to my amazon review:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R730W80HJX1X5/

THE AUTHOR
S. C. Skillman is a writer of psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction, who has
lived in Warwickshire for over twenty years.

Social Media Links:
Website and blog: https://scskillman.com/
Amazon Author Profile: http://bitly.ws/9SK9
https://www.facebook.com/scskillmanauthor
https://twitter.com/scskillman
https://www.instagram.com/scskillman/
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/scskillman/_created/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sc-skillman-42347a47/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4692653.S_C_Skillman

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Zigler News: “Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships” #WordCrafters Book Blog Tour – Includes A #Giveaway + My #Review

The blog tour of Wordcrafters Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships continues…

Many thanks to Tori Zigler for featuring me on her blog (with a couple of excerpts of my poems,)  and for reading and reviewing the poetry collection.

Source: Zigler News: “Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships” #WordCrafters Book Blog Tour – Includes A #Giveaway + My #Review

***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***

Blurb
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.

Universal purchase link

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#New #Release Golden Healer – (Curse of Time Book 2) Blogging Promo – Thank you! #Reviews #Interview #Features #YA #Fantasy #Book #Series

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!

Many thanks to…

Richard Dee for his 5 star Book Review and Spotlight: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/book-review-ghealer/

Richard Dee 5 star review:

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. 

Vicsta Dolan for her 5 star Review:

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:

https://butismileanyway.com/2022/02/09/golden-healer-by-marjorie_mallon-blogtour/

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

Colleen Chesebro for her coffee klatch post! https://colleenchesebro.com/2022/02/04/colleens-coffee-klatch-welcome-m-j-mallon-marjorie_mallon/

Sally Cronin for her new book on the shelves post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/02/07/smorgasbord-bookshelf-new-book-on-the-shelves-ya-fantasy-golden-healer-the-curse-of-time-book-2-by-m-j-mallon/comment-page-1/#comment-557345

Sheila Robinson for introducing… Golden Healer: https://scskillman.com/2022/01/25/introducing-golden-healer-new-ya-paranormal-fiction-by-mj-mallon-out-now/?fbclid=IwAR1bcOaFhVP0h6RKfsPDzu-L-basHXe3SNmfqyDjplPPqOjp8H7LCqWk-Io

James Cudney for his wonderful Book Alert.

Thank you to four lovely ladies for sharing the news… Shelley, Miriam, Darlene and Aurora.

Shelley Wilson: https://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2022/01/28/newrelease-golden-healer-by-marjorie_mallon-ya-fantasy/

Miriam Hurdle: https://theshowersofblessings.com/2022/02/07/new-release-golden-healer-by-marjorie-mallon/

Darlene Foster: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2022/02/05/book-launch-for-golden-healer/

Aurora Alexander:

Then what next… a guest post, author interview and amazing feature from these awesome guys and gals Pete, Chantelle and Eloise.

Pete at Beetley Pete: https://beetleypete.com/2022/02/04/guest-post-marjorie-mallon/ via @beetleypete

Chantelle Atkins: Indie Author Interview: M.J. Mallon

Eloise De Silva: https://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com/2022/02/11/golden-healer-the-curse-of-time-series/

An unexpected one from Felicia Denise! So kind.

https://nesiesplace.com/2022/02/05/newrelease-golden-healer/

Lovely feature from dear Willow Willows who I have had the pleasure of meeting in person along with Eloise, Ritu, Sally and Shelley at the blogging bashes of old. https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2022/02/14/marjorie-is-here-to-talk-about-her-lastest-book-golden-healer/

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!

Love ya!

Authors Links:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Buy Link Bloodstone (multiple platforms): https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

Buy Link Golden Healer : (extended distribution links coming soon) https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page:https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon – https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon 

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

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

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

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

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