The Writing Life of: M. J. Mallon – Whispering Stories

Thank you so much to Stacey for this wonderful feature on her blog.

This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author M. J. Mallon, who will be sharing with us details of her writing life, telling us all about her new book ‘Bloodstone‘, which was released on 23rd June 2021 and answering a few fun questions too.

Source: The Writing Life of: M. J. Mallon – Whispering Stories

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Of Bloodstone: The Curse Of Time Book 1 Review – Becoming The Muse

Thank you so much to Beaton for this wonderful review of Bloodstone and pictures of the Grasshopper! Love it!

Source: Of Bloodstone: The Curse Of Time Book 1 Review – Becoming The Muse

And for his wonderful blog tour post which you can read here: https://becomingthemuse.net/2021/07/21/book-blog-tour-bloodstone-mjmallon/

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Media Kit: Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1) @NextChapterPB #YA #Fantasy #Release

BLURB

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

TRIGGER WARNING: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.

To read an excerpt: https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

UK Book Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodstone-Curse-Time-Book-1-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/

US Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bloodstone-M-J-Mallon-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/

Universal book Link: http://mybook.to/bstmm

To download a free copy via Book Sirens click this link: https://booksirens.com/book/H4SI6L4/Q9PZX3A

Recent Publicity/Features:

Many thanks to the following authors and bloggers for their kind features, reviews and book alerts.

James Cudney Book Alert and Review: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2021/07/11/book-alert-bloodstone-curse-of-time-1-by-m-j-mallon/

Richard Dee Review: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/new-edition-the-curse-of-time-book-1-bloodstone/

S C Skillman: Blog Tour Excerpt: https://scskillman.com/2021/07/06/blog-tour-bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1-by-mj-mallon/

Sally Cronin New Book On The Shelves: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/07/07/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ya-magic-mystery-bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1-by-m-j-mallon/

Darlene Foster Blog Tour https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2021/07/10/blog-tour-for-bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1/

Ritu Bhathal Blog Tour: https://butismileanyway.com/2021/07/10/bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1-by-marjorie_mallon-blogtour/

Allan Hudson Branching Out: http://allanhudson.blogspot.com/2021/06/branching-out-with-returning-author.html

Feature on Alex Pearl’s blog: https://booksbyalexpearl.weebly.com/m-j-mallon.html

To read the reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58417468-bloodstone

This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family captive. A captivating tale! Author Colleen Chesebro – (Editorial Review of 1st Edition – The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone.)

This is a totally different genre for me, but this year I have been reading books by so many exciting new authors that I wanted to give this book a try. This novel would be great for teenagers, or young adults and it follows the magical story of teenager Amelina as she steps into a world of crystals, magic and wonderment. There are some likeable and not so likeable characters and both are really well written. The book weaves a story of the main character learning new skills and you see her personal growth throughout the story. Nothing is what is seems and you want to find out how Amelia will use her enchanted gifts and learn who she can trust. A book packed full of intrigue, believable characters and poetic verse. Author Lizzie Chantree

This is a brilliant book for young adults interested in magic, supernatural, paranormal, fantasy and myth. I found it highly readable and the author’s imagination is phenomenal, as is the fluency of her language and the dazzling way she describes the curious events and characters in her story. I loved the idea of Esme, the girl trapped in the mirror. Author S C Skillman

An intricate fantasy novel with unique supernatural and magical elements which serves as a highly entertaining read. I had a great time reading this novel and exploring the magical world of Amelina full of magic crystals and enchanted mirrors. Author, Editor and Book Reviewer Heena Rathore P.

At its core, this is an emotional tale about a young girl figuring out her identity, learning who to trust, and discovering there is more to the world than the tangible things she’s experienced in the first one-and-a-half decades of her life. Magic Mirrors? Mysterious appearances? Letters that cannot be destroyed? Puzzling trust? What’s a girl to do when she’s followed by two strange boys in the park, only to realize something darker is beginning to happen? Mallon explores the fears in a young girl who wants to break out of her life but doesn’t know where to turn. She’s unsure about trusting friends and family. Ryder, who saves the day, might actually not be the best thing for her… safety… sanity… security. Can she fight the feelings burgeoning around her? Author James Cudney 

This magical young adult story is brimming with fresh imaginative ideas avoiding tropes often associated with fantasy. I was impressed with the unique vivid visual descriptions which brought both the settings and characters to life and the wonderful standard of writing throughout the story. A magical mystery unfolds for the main character Amelina, who makes discoveries during the plot, so we can enjoy seeing her grow in confidence and skill. The story involves complex content which was difficult to follow initially but becomes more understandable as the story develops. The introduction of the antagonist, Ryder, really helps us to root for Amelina. He is well written, and I enjoyed that he wasn’t given the typical look of a baddie but rather slowly and disconcertingly reveals his darker side, inserting himself between Amelina and her friends. I can see this being the start of a fabulous young adult series and hope there are more books to come! Sarah Northwood Poet and Author

Amelina is written so well. There is a part of her that all of us will recognise and emphasise with. At that awkward age where nothing fits and at the same time you feel as if you can conquer the world. Darkness creeps in slowly in the form of Ryder who at first seems the answer to all Amelina desires, or is he? Author Adele Marie Park

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.  Author Richard Dee

Amelina is a teenage girl whose world has been turned upside down by a curse within a world where magic is hidden and most don’t seem to know of its existence. In fact, it seems she’s a descendant of a line of magic-wielding enchanters who have a special relationship with crystals. But with this curse, her father is time-ravaged, a girl is trapped in her mirror, and her family is falling apart. There are a lot of unanswered questions come the end of the book, so be on the lookout for more in the series. There are mentions of delicate issues such as cutting and anorexia, both handled with care, and a séance, but I’d recommend this book for older teens and people who love magical stories that involve power within crystals, curses, and unexplainable happenings. Author Rachael Ritchey

This is a wonderful YA fantasy read. It’s very different from others I’ve read and I say this in the most positive manner. One way or is unique is through the use of original short poetry at the beginning of each chapter providing a clue to the chapter content. It is very well done. I do love originality. The whole work has a magical feel about it which draws the reader in with a yearning to learn more about all of the characters and their plight. My favourite characters are, Esme… The girl trapped in the mirror, and Shadow, the black cat. These two characters alone were enough to keep me rooted. Meanwhile, on the serious side of things, there are so many issues going on in this work in addition to that of dealing with a dysfunctional family. One’s familiarity will be tested and emotions may arise. That aside, when you add magic, a black cat, and a guitar and music into the mix… What is there not to love about this work? Author/Reviewer Kevin Cooper – (Previous edition of Book – The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone. )

Amelina is an indomitable heroine who will not rest until she solves the mystery and sets the world to rights. The device of magic crystals as a source of magic is novel and works well. There are loose ends that are clearly available to be addressed in future episodes of this series. As a precursor story that is relatively complete in itself, … as an introduction to the storyline and invitation to read on. MJ Mallon is not afraid to broach the risks that young girls on the cusp are subject to in these unruly times. Both physical violence and dangerous sexual attraction are broached in this tale.  Poet Frank Prem.

Beautifully written and poetic fantasy novel that perfectly sustains mystery and drama throughout the pages. The characters are very vivid and the world is rich in detail and atmosphere. Marjorie is excellent at painting imaginative and believable scenes with words and magic. A fantastic debut! Looking forward to her next book. Author/Illustrator Alina Surnaite

Here are a couple of beautiful images from the wonderfully talented Carolina Russo created for me of my characters – Esme – The Mirror Girl… and Eruterac – The Creature.

Images courtesy of Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com/

AUTHOR BIO

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

MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and she has written a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

MJ’s motto is…

To always do what you Love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black hearted shadows.

Her favourite genre to write is

Fantasy/magical realism because life would be dull unless it is sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

So excited about Bloodstone and happy to say that I am making great progress on the sequel which I hope to submit to Next Chapter Publishing soon.

Please comment below with your thoughts on the 2nd edition of this first book in the Curse of Time series.

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New Edition. The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone #Review #YA #Fantasy @RichardDockett1

Source: New Edition. The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone

Thank you so much to Richard Dee for promoting the new edition of my YA Fantasy Bloodstone in the Curse of Time series.

Pop over to his blog to read his 5 star review via the link above.

It’s time for another book review. This week, my choice is a recently re-released Y.A. Fiction adventure.

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #YA #Magic #Mystery – Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) by M.J. Mallon | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for this wonderful promotional New Book On The Shelves post for the rebranded new edition of Bloodstone, The Curse of Time Book 1. My magical YA fantasy inspired by two amazing sculptural artworks: the Corpus Christi Chronophage clock  in Cambridge England and the magnificent crystal grotto created by Anya Gallaccio’s The Light That Pours Out of Me in Juniper Artland in Scotland.

Thanks to Sally for adding the 5 star review from Sarah Northwood.

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #YA #Magic #Mystery – Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) by M.J. Mallon | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Bloodstone: The Curse of Time Book 1 – Release!!! #YA #Fantasy #New #Release @NextChapterPB

Well, I’m absolutely delighted! Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey. A big thank you to all those who have believed in me, read my books, beta read for me, reviewed and encouraged me, I would not be where I am without your support.

ANNOUNCING!!

My YA Fantasy Bloodstone is now available to purchase on Amazon in kindle, (free – kindle unlimited,) and in paperback and large print edition – Thank you Next Chapter Publishing.
MyBook link:
http://mybook.to/bstmm
Amazon Preview Link: https://amzn.eu/iwyO8p3

BLURB

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. 

EXCERPT – PROLOGUE

Most people would call our existence strange, but this is more than that; this deserves a headline. We’re not spectacular enough to feature on the national or international news, but we warranted a column in the local newspaper headed by seven not so lucky words: Missing Father Returns After Weird Aging Phenomenon. I’m glad that our short-lived fame died and the paparazzi, (what a joke,) got bored with us. Now we can get back to the day to day living if you can call it that. We live in a typical suburb of Cambridge in an untypical house. It’s no bungalow, the floors just go on and on, and so do the rumours about us. When I say we, I mean our strange extended family comprising mature, tantrum-prone Mum, Dad (alias: old man before his time), teenage me, the most stable of us all (I think), and self-harming Esme, who isn’t my sister but might as well be. I could write a whole book devoted to her alone. Oh, and I forgot to mention our permanent house guest, Shadow, a black cat of inde‐ terminate age and parentage who arrived one day and never left. The rest of the inhabitants of our household (except perhaps for me and Shadow, although his status is open to debate) are dysfunctional, weirded-out characters.

I have to cope with a lot (and that’s an understatement), so I resort to painting, rock-and-roll, collecting crystals, and writing songs and poetry. I enjoy writing haiku, a Japanese form of poetry with three lines and some syllables to count. It soothes me. I write Tanka too; adding two longer lines at the end, which soothes me more. Each poetic puzzle I jot down serves as a clue for less afflicted folk to decipher what the hell I am talking about. So, what am I talking about? The trouble is I don’t know; I’m still muddling through. Although I expect it’s a cry for help (a yell), combined with me dissecting the details about Mum’s life, Dad’s existence and his disappearance, Esme’s imprisonment, and Shad‐ ow’s ability to appear and reappear at a moment’s notice. And that’s saying nothing about living in a house that feels like a living being! Yes, I joke to stay sane. That’s a lot to process (sorry), and it’s only a fraction, a haiku tidbit, so let’s keep it simple but poetic and start with a view.

Large print edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B097SLWH49/

Click the free preview above to find out more.

And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads to read list:

It’s been a lot of hard work and no peace for the wicked!

I am busy editing the second book for release next and looking into a blog tour company to create some buzz for Bloodstone’s official release.

In the meantime, if you can help by sharing, getting the word out and reviewing, (I know many of you lovelies have already read the original edition and your reviews will hopefully be re-added soon via the powers that be at Amazon! I believe Next Chapter is in touch with them…

I will be celebrating today with my lovely daughter who has had covid but is now better and passed her quarantine.

Thank heavens, what stressful times. I hope you and your loved ones are saying safe and well.

.TTFN… (Ta Ta For Now!)

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Cover Reveal: Bloodstone – The Curse of Time Book 1 @NextChapterPB #NextChapterPB

I’d be grateful if you could share the new cover!

For my forthcoming YA Fantasy release in the Curse of Time series.

Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

More news soon, edits have been done and sent to Next Chapter Publishing, next up finalising the layout phase.

Next Chapter’s wonderful ethos:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

— Patricia Gligor

Some details about Next Chapter Publishing:

Previously known as Creativia, Next Chapter was founded 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. Today, we are a fully remote team with offices in Japan and the United Kingdom.

They have achieved: No. 1 Bestsellers in all major Amazon categories (Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Westerns, Nonfiction)

  • Book translations to 9 foreign languages
  • Featured in high-profile newsletters such as BookBub and eReader News Today
  • Average reviews of 4.2 – 4.3 stars in Amazon marketplaces
  • Official BookBub Partner

So, I am very excited to be a Next Chapter Author!

Comments on the new cover would be most welcome. I really love it. Cover art by Cover Mint.

Happy days!

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MJ Interviews Amelina – The Curse of Time – Bloodstone #SundayBlogShare

Today, it is a great pleasure to introduce you to the image of my main character – Amelina, modelled here by ….. my daughter’s friend Elise Hackney.

Today, I am interviewing using my author nickname MJ, tribute to my favourite superhero Spiderman’s Mary Jane.

MJ: It’s a pleasure to talk to you about your role in The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.

Amelina: Thanks for the invite.

MJ: So who is Amelina in The Curse of Time?

Amelina:  I’m a teenage girl stuck in the worse situation. My life sucks in a spectacularly non-normal way.

MJ: Sorry to hear that, I didn’t set out to write your character into such grief. It just happened.

We pause for a moment lost in our thoughts.

MJ:  What’s your thoughts on my creative process?

Amelina: I think you must have had an odd turn! Or, you’d been guzzling a crate of booze the night before. Who knows? One morning you jumped out of bed and a bunch of ludicrous ideas poured out of you. An unstoppable, unstructured fountain of crazy unleashed imagination.

MJ: Ha ha! That’s so true it hurts! I became Obsessive, didn’t I? You know like in the kids books… Forget about Little Miss Bossy, or Little Miss Chatterbox, I became Little Miss Obsessive!

Amelina: Yeah, you became a first rate burn the kids dinner mum. Not just that, you were hell bent on listening to your teenage daughters and their unsuspecting friends to get ideas for dialogue. You’re the noisiest person on this planet, a total eavesdropping ninja.

MJ: Guilty as charged! My daughter accused me of that recently. In fact, she begged me to be scarce if her friends come round! Can you imagine? I’m such an embarrassment.

I laugh, and Amelina rolls her eyes.

MJ: Tell us about your life…

Amelina: Oh, do I have to? Sigh. My life sucks. My day to day existence has changed and not in a good way. Forget the standard tribulations of the nuclear family. Our family is peculiar. We are four humans, one cat, and a house that behaves like a demented being. My dad has undergone some weird time shift, (no spoilers,) my mum is miserable, (and it’s not just menopausal hot flushes and night sweats.) Then, there’s this girl called Esme (a sister of sorts with an impressive lot of problems,) who lives with us in captivity and a weird black cat who visited and never left.

MJ: Sounds like some household! I must have been on the super strength vino to come up with that!

Amelina: Ha ha. Yeah, you must!  It really is on a par with the Addams Family without the horror aspect.  I swear even the foundations of our house are freaked out by our weirdness.

MJ: It can’t be all trauma and escalating problems, please tell me there are some positives?

Amelina: Yeah. I  hang out with my friends, play music, write songs,  do creative stuff: I write poetry, paint, collect crystals… (no spoilers!)

MJ: Crystals play a huge part in the novel, could you tell me a little about that?

Amelina: Yeah, crystals were the starting point for the novel. The huge inspiration – encouraged by Jupiter Artland – The Crystal Grotto by Anya Gallaccio. The novel was originally entitled The Krystallos Cottage – from Krystallos in the Greek meaning Crystal. Then, to keep it simple it became The Crystal Cottage. Then, time winged its merry dance into it and the story changed. That’s when the title of the novel changed to The Curse of Time. The Curse of Time became a series, with The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone, followed by  (the unedited – still to be released) The Curse of Time – Book 2 – Golden Healer.

MJ:  That’s a lot of changes! But one special ingredient remained throughout the creative process. Magic. What part does that play in the novel?

Amelina: A huge part. When the promise of magic came, a sense of much needed hope started to grow, but with light and hope there is always opposing darkness.

MJ: Opposing darkness, that sounds exciting… I’m drawn to the dark side! Ha ha…

Amelina: Yeah, it’s a yin and yang, opposites kind of story. There’s light and darkness, seriousness and humour, deception and truth, various themes which appear throughout the novel. Oh, and there’s a touch of romance too, but not in a conventional way, The Curse of Time avoids boring love triangles or instant love. This story digs deeper than that.

MJ: I’ve heard there’s a cute guy in the novel?

Amelina: Oh, yes. Perhaps two,  depends on your type! Kyle is fair, Ryder’s dark…

MJ: And friends?

Amelina: It’s strong on friendships, but jealousies play a part too.

MJ: It sounds such a mix. What an extraordinary amount of themes!

Amelina: Masses. Time plays a huge part, as do crystals representing light, shadows, (darkness) and deception.

MJ: I believe there’s scope for so much more – in book two?

Amelina: There might even be a Book three. This story has a long way to go. Time is ticking… and where it will end – who knows?

MJ: Thank you for accepting my invitation to talk to my readers about The Curse of Time.  You are my first character, my principal leading lady, the starting point. I love Ryder, Shadow, the Grasshopper and the subsidiary characters too but they came into being after you. So dear Amelina you mean a lot to me.

Amelina: Aww, thanks! No problem.

MJ: I mustn’t keep you. You’ve been a very helpful interviewee, I can’t say the same about Ryder.

Amelina: Huh, no surprise there!

MJ: Ryder has become one of my favourite characters too. Somehow he has that effect on people. But, he’s difficult to figure out.

Amelina: Yeah, I get that,  he’s fit as can be but he’s a mystery.

MJ: Never a truer word said.

Hope you enjoyed my latest character interview, find out more about my other characters here:

https://mjmallon.com/2017/07/02/mj-interviews-ryder-the-curse-of-time-bloodstone/

https://mjmallon.com/2017/05/11/my-interview-with-shadow-a-black-cat-character-with-a-past/

https://mjmallon.com/2017/07/23/sundayblogshare-mj-interviews-the-grasshopper-the-curse-of-time/

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Photos courtesy of:

Dr John C Taylor OBE – photographs of chronopage and grasshopper.

Georgina Mallon – photographs of female model E. Hackney posing as Amelina, male model, J. English posing as Ryder.

Alex Marlowe, via https//samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com – bloodstone crystal, and black cat model Lily – my character Shadow.

Don’t forget to pop over to my launch party on 26th August here on my blog, Facebook, and social media. Can’t wait! 

On-Line Book Launchfilled with

Bye for now, time to hang out on my crystal chandelier….

untitled

My social media hang outs:

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time
Instagram
Tumblr
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies.

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#SundayBlogShare Invitation to My Online Launch Party 26th August Curse of Time – #1 Bloodstone

On-Line Book Launchfilled with

Hi. I have some awesome news, my e-book  The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone releases on August 26th and you are all cordially invited to my on-line launch party which will be held on Facebook, and here on my blog, etc.

Please share, reblog, tweet this invitation dear friends…..

Summary:

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

An Excerpt from my YA Fantasy:

Opportunity,

An unexpected invite,

Such a mystery,

To explore and discover,

A hidden cottage of light.

 

I found it to be a mystifying situation. An unnatural stillness seemed to linger after many days of storms. Today, the sky reminded me of a painting. It appeared too perfect, too bright, too still, a picture landscape with no beginning or end. Instead, the vault of heaven spread out toward an endless grey forever, as if seeping around the edges of an untamed watercolour bleeding into the rest of the day. Even so, the sight filled my heart with promise, a ray of hope in an otherwise dull morning.

The quietness of my contemplation came to an abrupt end. I heard the sound of an envelope crashing through the mail box. I jumped at the clatter. The letter landed on the floor as the sound of a thousand crystal chandeliers echoed throughout the house. I rushed to retrieve the envelope and turned it this way and that. I couldn’t find an address label and wondered if the note had been hand-delivered. Who could this message be for?

I stood puzzling over this peculiar circumstance when out of nowhere my name: Amelina Scott appeared in bold writing. I watched wide-eyed as the final character of my surname was spelled out in a delicate font. I tore the dispatch open and inside I discovered a card printed on the finest paper with gilt edges and embossed calligraphy. There were few details, just an instruction to visit:

Crystal Cottage, River Walk, Cambridge, and the following added at the bottom as an afterthought: R.S.V.P – Not required. We promise to be welcoming when you arrive. When you’re ready, you’ll discover us…..

 

I shook my head in disbelief.  Nothing good ever happens to the Scott’s so this invitation might look magical, but surely it must be nonsense. Weird messages from unknown sources count as dubious junk mail, the way I look at it.

I grabbed the envelope and attempted to rip it into pieces, but it wouldn’t tear. With a mind of its own the envelope curled its edges in protest. I searched in a drawer until I found scissors and tried to cut the invite. That didn’t work either. My hand ached, but the invitation endured intact as if mocking me.

Frustrated, I tried to cut the invitation again. A sputtered cursing sound filled the room even though I was alone. On my third attempt, I tore into the card with success. (I think it let me.) And once again, I perceived a noise, an angry murmur, and then nothing. Quiet descended in the room, so I threw the torn parts into the bin.

Finally satisfied that the annoying issue with the strange invite would no longer plague me, I brushed my hands together, and picked an apple out of the bowl on the kitchen counter, polished it on my jumper and then took a bite. In no time my hunger had abated, and as I chucked the core towards the bin, I registered a chuckle. I stopped, my feet rooted to the ground as a feeling of certainty filled my soul. I knew what to expect. I have no idea how I did, but I could see the image in my mind, the invitation had reformed. The invitation was playing games with me! I peered in the rubbish, and there I saw the envelope, connected in one perfect, unblemished piece. What the heck?

 

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Enjoy the slideshow of images, and additional poetry – The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone.

Images

Ryder – (J English) via Georgina Mallon.

Chronopage and Grasshopper courtesy of Dr John C Taylor OBE.

Shadow the black cat – (Lily,) courtesy of Alex Marlowe via

https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/

 

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Looking forward to you joining me on my very special day.

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Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

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Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!

 

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The Bloggers Bash Competition: C-o-n-n-e-c-t-i-o-n-s

 

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I believe it all began when I moved to Cambridge from Scotland.

Shortly after our marriage, my husband and I made the rash decision to live out in ‘the sticks,’ in a sleepy Cambridgeshire village called Chatteris. What an enormous culture shock for an Edinburgh city girl like me – I felt isolated and pretty miserable.

Perhaps I would never have started writing if it wasn’t for this and later sadness’s in my life.  In time we moved to the suburbs of Cambridge, within easy reach of the city centre. I made new friends but missed the loving support of my extended family. My husband worked long hours, but I knew that he longed to Do What He Loved – ski on a mountain or be in a rock band! Financial responsibilities meant that his personal dreams languished. Inadvertently, this sacrifice triggered my idea for The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone,  my WIP – which is currently being edited by my lovely friend –  Colleen Chesebro – Author of The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy

As my  daughters grew older I developed an interest in alternative therapies and worked as an Aromatherapist/Reflexologist. During this time I discovered an interest in crystals. This beautiful Malachite captured my attention, demanding to be my first crystal purchase.

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The Malachite definitely sparked my creativity, and helped alleviate my shyness! My urge to write developed in a whirlwind of reading, and imagination. I woke up with ideas and jotted them in a notebook.  This manic phase coincided with the arrival of a strange black cat who demanded my attention. He became my muse.  Was he a stray? Or perhaps  a witch’s cat? Sadly, he disappeared without a trace. I had an odd idea (to find a black cat model,) and my blogging friend Gary Jefferies: Fiction Is Food  introduced me to Samantha Murdoch – the proud owner of Lily.

Astonishingly Lily bears a remarkable resemblance to the black cat in my book, Shadow.

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Guess what? Samantha loves crystals too! Bloodstone, (photographed below by her son,) plays a central part in my book – another extraordinary coincidence!

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Photo credit for above three photos: Alex Marlowe, Samantha Murdoch’s son.

All these incredible connections have fuelled my desire to write. I am so lucky to have many inspiring writers, bloggers, and creative individuals who I call friends. Astounded by their support and encouragement my confidence has soared. I’ve participated in short stories prompts, poetry, photography challenges, and weekend coffee shares…  In August 2015 I did the unthinkable – I shrugged off my shy persona and attended My First Bloggers Bash

In part, this is thanks to the power of my Malachite crystal!  I can’t wait to attend the next bash in June, and see some of my blogging friends, (unfortunately not all can attend,) and new ‘faces,’ too.

Life is devoid of meaning without ‘real’ positive relationships, connections that matter. I believe that if you give of your best, you will receive the best back. I have a passion for the arts, and I will continue to promote bloggers, writers, and creative individuals who I count as my dear friends. I love supporting authors by writing book reviews:  My Wise Old Owl A – Z Book Reviews, and offer  Blogger/Author Spotlights. One recent example is: Sue Vincent and Stuart France

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MY MOTTO:  

Always Do What You Love,

Stay True To Your Hearts Desires,

Remain Young At Heart,

And Inspire Others To Do So Too,

Even If It Appears The Odds,

Are Stacked Against You,

Like Black-Hearted Shadows.

 

A Writing Award To Give Yourself: Do What You Love

Hence the name of my blog: Kyrosmagica – Crystal Magic.

The Bloggers Bash Competition – Sacha Black

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