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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Review

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My rating 5 stars.



View all my reviews

About Darlene Foster

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

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

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

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

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100 Ways to Write A Book @AlexBPearl #writingcommunity #release #book #writingskills

I’m pleased to be able to tell you that Alex Pearl’s ‘100 ways to Write a Book’, in which my piece is featured (along with 105 others) has now just gone live as a paperback on Amazon.

Alex Pearl will be publishing it in other formats so keep an eye out for that.

All author proceeds are being donated to PEN International.

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

Buying Links:

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

If you could share and get the word out. Many thanks…

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IT’S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING? (March 8, 2021) – Carla Loves To Read @CarlaLoveToRead

A lovely blog post from Carla Loves To Read. Source: IT’S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING? (March 8, 2021) – Carla Loves To Read

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.  I have several books on the go, and some others I hope to get to, so here goes.

To read more… What Are you Reading… click on the It’s Monday source link above.

Many thanks to Carla for including This Is Lockdown amongst this great celebration of reading!

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Author Feature: Sheila Skillman: Paranormal Warwickshire #new #release #review


PARANORMAL WARWICKSHIRE


Thank you very much, Marje, for offering me this space on your blog to introduce my book Paranormal Warwickshire to your readers.

It is my pleasure Sheila.


Warwickshire is a county steeped in the supernatural, as befits the county of Shakespeare and the many ghosts and spirits that he conjured up in his works.


The towns and villages of Warwickshire, its castles, houses, churches, theatres, inns and many other places both grand and everyday have rich and complex stories to tell of paranormal presences.


In this book I investigate stories at places such as Guy’s Cliffe, the Saxon Mill, Warwick Castle and St Mary’s Church, Warwick; Kenilworth Castle and Stoneleigh Abbey; Nash’s House and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as in the towns of Rugby, Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.


I explore the spiritual resonance of each location, recounting the tales of paranormal activity associated with it and examining the reasons for this within the history of the place.


What inspired me to write about this subject?
I’ve lived in Warwickshire for twenty-four years, at the time of writing. Though born in south-east England, I have, since coming here, grown to love and feel a deep connection with some of this county’s most iconic locations: castles, houses, abbeys and churches; and also some of its less familiar ones.


I began by frequently visiting these places, and then I wrote blog posts about them in my occasional series Places of Inspiration. Ultimately I was to draw those posts together into a book.

As a writer of psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction, I’m very interested in strong atmospheres in old houses. There’s a vast difference between a house which leaves you cold, and a house with a rich atmosphere. That seemed to lead me on naturally to paranormal events, though I’ll admit that I didn’t focus upon them until history publisher Amberley had expressed interest in my proposal and said they wanted it to fit into their paranormal series.


Amongst the places I write about, we may find Guy’s Cliffe House in Warwick, an atmospheric ruined gothic mansion near my home. As I say in my book,


Many stories linger within these ruins. As you wander around you may wish to climb the gaping staircases, or stand on one of the stone balconies and gaze at the view cross the river and over the surrounding fields; or imagine you see a shadowy figure flit past an empty window-frame.


In this, and so many other historical sites, I feel a distinct spiritual resonance; and that is why I’m drawn back to them again and again.

When I began to put my book together, it occurred to me that since this is Shakespeare’s county, and several of the locations have close personal connections with the Bard, it would be a good idea to base the book around the theme of Shakespeare’s ghosts and spirits. I hope you agree that the words of Shakespeare with which I have chosen to open every chapter in this book, capture the very essence of what these special places signify to us today.


One of my favourite quotes is this, from the mouth of Prospero the magician, in The Tempest:


These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into this air.
And like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.


I love Prospero’s relationship with his servant, Ariel, whom he addresses as my tricksy spirit. Ariel obeys his master’s every command, until such time as the magician chooses to set him free to the elements.

And how I love Puck, that shrewd and knavish sprite who does Oberon’s bidding in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One of my favourite speeches is the one he chooses to end the play with:


If we shadows have offended,
think but this and all is mended,
that you have but slumbered here
whilst these visions did appear…


No-one can be quite sure whether Shakespeare believed in ghosts and spirits, or used them purely as dramatic devices. One thing’s for sure; they make frequent appearances in his plays. It’s known that he himself played the spirit of Hamlet’s father, many times, and it was the top of his performance as an actor, according to his first biographer.


I’ve heard opposite points of view on Shakespeare’s own beliefs from an Oxford professor and from a Shakespearean actor leading the Stratford-upon-Avon town ghost tour. But Shakespeare’s ghosts and spirts certainly inspired me as I was writing my book!

To us now, entering these places as curious visitors separated from their living inhabitants sometimes by centuries, those long-gone people have all melted into air and are insubstantial, but have left an imprint of their lives in the very fabric of the buildings.


Paranormal Warwickshire will be published on 15 th November 2020 hope you will enjoy reading the stories as much as I enjoyed researching them!


Buy Links


https://www.amberley-books.com/coming-soon/paranormal-warwickshire.html
http://www.warwickbooks.net/preorder
https://www.waterstones.com/book/paranormal-warwickshire/s-c-skillman/9781445698267

It has been a pleasure hosting you on my blog Sheila. I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and this collection is one to treasure. Thank you so much with entrusting me with an advanced readers copy to review.

Review:

Paranormal Warwickshire by S.C. Skillman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars – Goodreads.


I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and have had a far few ghostly and strange experiences myself, so this book by S. C. Skillman caught and kept my attention throughout.

It’s a well-researched, detailed and beautifully photographed book. Some of the images within are by S.C. Skillman herself.

If you like tales of haunted castles, churches, theatres, hotels, manor houses and many more locations beside, (a ghost can hang out anywhere they feel drawn to,) this is for you!

The collection begins in Warwick and moves on to various locations in Warwickshire: Kenilworth, Stratford-upon-Avon, Lapworth, Alcester, Rugby, Nuneaton (Birthplace of George Eliot,) and Leamington Spa.

Some of my favourite tales within included ghostly tales from theatres: in Stratford-upon-Avon, Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The ‘grey lady’ ‘is thought by by many to be the spirit of Elisabeth Scott, and is one of the theatre’s most well-known ghosts.’ ‘She appears so real she is often mistaken for a lost theatregoer.’ ‘It seems that many who have loved this theatre in their lifetimes cannot turn away from this magical and evocative place.’

And in Rugby Theatre: ‘One of the stories told here is of a woman seen floating down the stairs. It is thought she was an usherette in former times…’

It’s an interesting collection and one that will encourage you to explore the paranormal. After reading, you will want to visit these locations first hand to see if you experience the haunting visitations described within. Who knows, you might even want to become a paranormal investigator!

View all my reviews

Author Bio

Sheila lives in Warwickshire, and writes psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Association of Christian Writers.

She began her publishing journey with a duology of novels Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit. This was followed by a non-fiction book Perilous Path: a writer’s journey. Sheila is currently working on the second novel in a new gothic fiction series.

She posts twice weekly on her blog at http://www.scskillman.com and she also gives author talks to local groups.

Sheila was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent, and studied English Literature at Lancaster University. Her first permanent job was as a production secretary with the BBC. Later she lived for nearly five years in Australia before returning to the UK.

She has now settled in Warwick with her husband and son, and her daughter is studying at university in Australia.

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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Some news: My Blog Now Has A Mailing List!! Wannabe Subscribers!!!

I’ve finally taken the plunge after six years… yes it has taken me this long to add a subscribers email pop up. You can also subscribe by clicking on the image above, (that will take you to a landing page to subscribe.)

Newsletters:

29/09/2022 Newsletter May 2022 – Come Join My Team

27/01/2022 Newsletter – Launch of YA Paranormal Fantasy Golden Healer 

09/25/2021 – November Blog Tour, plus Reviews and Community News

08/22/2021 – Incredible 5 star reviews for Bloodstone, votes and MJ’s own reviews.

 07/23/2021 – An Invitation To Join My ARC Team  –  Book Sirens

05/06/2021 – Thrilled To Announce I Have A Publishing Contract!!!

03/02/2021 – FREE FOR SUBSCRIBERS NEW RELEASE!!!

 02/27/2021 – Welcome – New Release: Lockdown Innit Poetry

02/23/2021 – FREE FOR SUBSCRIBERS NEW RELEASE!!! 

01/22/2021 – January Newsletter: 5 star reviews of Mr. Sagittarius  and a free kindle offer today 22 January on Amazon

12/13/2020 – Happy Holidays! December Newsletter Kindle and Paperback Sales and much more! 

10/26/2020 – Halloween News, reviews and authors features

09/20/2020 – Want to Be Spellbound? Do You Dare?

08/12/2020 – Bookish News, and Photography Tips

 07/16/2020 – Blog Tour and Release of This Is Lockdown

06/30/2020 – First Official Newsletter – Book Alert & Free Book! 

Why?

I had a feeling it would be tricky to do and I was right.

In fact, it is probably the worst blogging job I’ve ever had to do… EEK…

But, the good old happiness engineers helped me. So, I hope it works…

I’d love it if you would test the subscribe to my blog via the pop up! Yes, there is a pop up on my blog which you can add your email address to. I promise not to spam you with lots of unnecessary emails. Just the odd hello, some freebies and news from time-to-time.

Thank you in hopeful anticipation.

I’ve created these three social media thingy me jigys via Canva

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Charli Mills Flash Fiction Challenge

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February 20, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a library cat named Rainbow who escapes. Use this situation to write what happens next. Where does this situation take place, and who else might be involved? Go where the prompt leads!

https://carrotranch.com/2020/02/21/february-20-flash-fiction-challenge/

Rainbow’s Heaven

While cats hide, rainbows emblazon the sky with short-lived brilliance!

Rainbow the cat crept into the library one rainy day and never left. A confirmed cat bachelor his colourful tail had never been turned before. Not once! Until… a beautiful white cat stuck her pretty nose into his favourite book. She turned the pages with her cute paws. His imagination went wild. Rainbow imagined her to be the softest, fluffiest, most angelic being he’d ever seen. He didn’t hesitate; he followed her out the door. Purring, he realised that heaven’s shelves overflowed with rainbow books!

 

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My new release: Mr Sagittarius Poetry and Prose

Kindle Buying Link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Paperback will be available soon.

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YA Fantasy:

The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone

http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

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The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody is Now Available on Amazon

A huge welcome to my dear friend, fellow author Marcia Meara…

It’s lovely to be here with you today, Marje, and I thank you for inviting me over. I’m really excited to share a little about The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody with you and your readers.

To Love Somebody is the middle book of The Emissary Trilogy, and like Book 1, it was a lot of fun to write. This little series of novellas is my first foray into what I call Urban Fantasy Lite, and it features a ginormous, white-winged archangel named Azrael. Popular books today often involve romances between heavenly beings and beautiful women here on earth, but this angel keeps his robe on at all times. In fact, Azrael can get downright snippy when questioned about such dubious affairs, and believe me, making the archangel angry is never a good idea.

I hope the blurb and short excerpt below will tempt some of your followers to check out these novellas. Both Book 1 and Book 2 of the trilogy are quick, easy reads, which are definitely not meant to be taken as serious religious dogma. Rather, they are merely excursions into a bit of “what-if-ery,” with a few nuggets of universal truths scattered throughout.

Note: I do need to point out that this middle book of the Emissary Trilogy is not a stand-alone novella. With that in mind, Book 1, The Emissary, can be downloaded HERE.

Corrected The Emissary 2_kindle cover_2

BLURB

They’re back!

Jake and Dodger, the first (and so far, only) Emissaries to the Angels, are on the road again.

They’re looking for mortals about to take a wrong turn. You know the ones—the kid thinking about stealing from a corner market or the man planning to lie about a coworker and destroy her career. Yeah, them. People on the brink of making a mistake that could send them down that wrong road and jeopardize their mortal souls.

Of course, there are rules by which the emissaries must play, and the archangel Azrael stands ready to enforce them. First and foremost, a person’s free will must never be compromised. Emissaries are allowed to use only the smallest of mental nudges. Thankfully, a whispered suggestion here or images of a better course of action there is usually all it takes. The potential mugger walks on by. The thief drops the wallet back into the unattended purse. But whether the results are obvious or not, Jake and Dodger are fully committed to making a positive difference, even as they struggle with issues of their own.

Will Dodger get over losing his chance to learn what true love is all about? Will Jake survive the grueling angelic equivalent of Boot Camp? Will Azrael ever finish the Official Emissarial Guidebook—including the chapter titled Do Not Even Think About It?

One thing’s for sure—Jake’s and Dodger’s strengths are growing daily, as they help more and more people make better choices. But is the price for so much power higher than they’re willing to pay?

EXCERPT

(Jake and Dodger)

“You know, there’s a lot more to Florida than just sand and waves. I’m thinking we’re overdue for a change of scenery. Maybe when we finish our loop through Key West, we could head to the center of the state again.”

Dodger stared at the floor a long minute before answering. “That didn’t work out so well last time.”

“That doesn’t mean it won’t ever work out again, does it?”

Silence.

“Come on now, Dodge. There are people living in non-coastal areas who could use our help, too, you know.” The memory of a lost young man from the little town of Riverbend came to mind, and he hoped yet again that all was well with him, then focused on Dodger once more. “We shouldn’t ignore them, in spite of what happened in Clewiston. If we can’t ever return to places where we weren’t able to save someone, we might end up someday with nowhere left to go.”

Reluctantly, Dodger nodded. “Okay. I get that. But we don’t have to go back to that exact spot yet, do we?”

“Definitely not. I’m considering a couple of places more scenic.”

“Scenic? You mean there are places away from the ocean where I can still enjoy girls in bikinis?”

“Probably, since Florida has plenty of lakes, rivers, and swimming pools. But I was thinking more along the lines of wildlife.”

Dodger cocked his head. “Yeah? I didn’t think emissaries were allowed to have any kind of wild life at all.”

“One word, kid. Wildlife.”

“Oooh,” Dodger drawled, eyes twinkling. “You mean like lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!”

“More like birds, and alligators, and snakes.”

The boy grimaced. “I was afraid you were gonna say that.”

Jake had to give Dodger his due, though–he accepted the new plans with very little grumbling. After they’d spent a few productive days in Key West, they said goodbye to the emerald waters of the Gulf, and hello to the darker beauty of places with names like Big Cypress Preserve, Corkscrew Swamp, and the Fakahatchee Strand.

And if the boy wondered whether they’d really find themselves needed in these relatively quiet, remote places, he soon found out Trouble never does a head count before showing up to cause misery.

~~~

Buy The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody HERE


Author Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Her belief in the redemptive power of love is a unifying factor in both of her popular series and her poetry. Today, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!

Marcia has published six novels, one novella, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:

The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Twitter: @marciameara
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

It’s been such a pleasure having you visiting my blog Marcia. You are such a lovely, friendly lady who I admire so much and your new book sounds fascinating. Love that excerpt! Wishing you much happiness and continued success. xxx

Bye for now,

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Social Media Links
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/
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M J Mallon _ YA Author

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#ABRSC – MJ Interviews Author Darlene Foster – Children’s Adventure Series: Amanda Travels

A huge welcome to Darlene Foster who is over at my blog home today for a Q and A about her children’s adventure series: Amanda Travels.

Some of you might know that I like to interview using my nickname MJ…

MJ: I’d love to find out more about your amazing travel series featuring a twelve year old girl. Who is Amanda Ross and where does she like to travel to? What mysteries does she uncover/solve? What adventures does she have?

Darlene: Amanda Ross is an average girl living in Alberta, Canada and she is bored. On her twelfth birthday she makes a wish for travel and adventure before blowing out all her candles. The next day tickets to visit her aunt and uncle in the United Arab Emirates arrive in the mail. She has an amazing adventure in the UAE that includes a mysterious perfume flask, a beautiful princess, a loyal camel and a chase across a dangerous desert. You can read about her adventures in Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask

Amanda now has the travel bug and when her friend Leah invites her to come to Spain on a holiday with her, she jumps at the chance. She visits Madrid, explores a mountain town with houses hanging on the edge of cliffs, stays overnight in an old, spooky monastery, takes part in a tomato fight and discovers the amazing sights of Barcelona. A young girl, looking amazingly like a girl in a famous painting, shows up wherever Amanda and Leah happen to be. Can Amanda keep this sweet young girl, and her beloved pony, safe from the clutches of an evil horse thief without bringing harm to herself and Leah? This adventure is in Amanda in Spain-The Girl in the Painting.

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Amanda travels to England to spend spring break with Leah where she has to get used to funny accents and cars driving on the opposite side of the road. The girls visit the Isle of Wight where they meet Charlie, a kind old bookseller, and his cat Rupert. They discover a vintage book is missing from a set, meet a couple of dubious teenagers and a suspicious woman. Amanda explores Hampton Court, Harrods, The Tower of London and Windsor Castle while trying to find out what happened to the missing novel and why Charlie is acting so strange. Find out more in Amanda in England-The Missing Novel.

Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta when she visits from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, tour a ranch, go on a cattle drive, visit a Buffalo Jump, spend time at a Dinosaur Museum and explore the Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s very important, until everyone appears to want it. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and risking their lives? Spend time with Amanda in Alberta as she attempts to decipher the writing on the stone in Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone.

On a river cruise down the Danube, Amanda is given a valuable violin to look after by a homeless musician. She is fascinated by the medieval castles, green valleys and charming villages of Germany, Austria and Hungary, learns about European history and enjoys the sounds of music along the way. But, she is not sure who she can trust and if the violin can be kept safe for the poor prodigy in Amanda on the Danube-The Sounds of Music.

MJ:  How many books have you written? I’m sure my readers would be fascinated to find out more…

Darlene: I have written six books in the Amanda Travels series and one Spanish/English book called, Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio. The most recent Amanda Travels adventure takes place in New Mexico where Amanda is on a school trip. One of her classmates claims she sees ghosts but Amanda has trouble believing her, until strange things start to happen. The beautiful but haunting landscape, an ancient pueblo and a haunted hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past in Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind.

MJ: Is Amanda a little like you, when you were her age?

Darlene: There is always a little bit of you in your characters. But, Amanda is more like the girl I would have liked to have been when I was twelve. Unlike Amanda, I didn’t start to travel until I was twenty-eight years old. Perhaps I should have made a wish before I blew out my candles.

MJ: Where do you currently live? What is it about your home/s that you love?

Darlene: I have a house in Spain, on the Costa Blanca, where I spend most of my time. I love the never ending sunshine and the relaxed life style. I have plenty of time to create my stories and am close enough to other parts of Europe that I can explore. I will always be a proud Canadian though.

MJ: I am a keen traveller and you are too! Is there a favourite holiday/travel destination that you like to visit frequently? Or do you prefer to discover new places?

Darlene: I so often fall in love with a place and say I must return but I always want to check out new places too so seldom do. We once made a stop at Malta on a cruise and decided we needed to see more of it. A year later we spent a week there. I think Amanda may visit Malta too.

MJ: It sounds like you’ve had a very interesting background: growing up on a ranch in Southern Alberta. That sounds fascinating! Tell me more…

Darlene: It was an incredible place to grow up but I didn’t appreciate it at the time. I was often bored and lonely and couldn’t wait to grow up and move to the city. The plus side was that I had lots of time to make up stories in my head and plenty of time to read, when my chores were done.

MJ:  What are your accomplishments that you are most proud of:

a. With regard to writing.
Darlene: I am proud of the fact that I have published seven books in eight years.
b. A non-writing one!
Darlene: I am proud of raising two amazing kids, one an accomplished potter and another who is not only a great dad and grandfather but a talented musician. Creativity in one way or another seems to run in the family. Of course, I encouraged it.

MJ:  I believe you do speaking engagements and the like. What are your tips for public speaking?

Darlene: Be natural and be prepared. Know who your audience is and involve them. Be energetic and enthusiastic about your subject matter. Once you make a connection with the audience, the rest flows naturally.

MJ:  What is the best part of being an author? And what is the worst?

Darlene: The best part of being an author is having a reader tell me how much they enjoyed my book. That is the icing on the cake for me! The worst is sitting in front of the computer plugging away alone. I am an extrovert and am energized by being around people, so the solitary part of writing is hard for me. But if I don’t do it, I won’t have readers telling me they enjoyed my book!

MJ: What are your favourite things to do, besides writing?

Darlene: Walking my dog, eating chocolate, reading, chatting with friends and family, exploring new places.

MJ: Have you found any resources/websites that you would like to share that are particularly helpful to authors?

Darlene: A friend gave me a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi and it is the best resource ever. There are others in the series which I have since purchased as well. Their website Writers Helping Writers has great writing tips too. https://writershelpingwriters.net

MJ: Are you a plotter or pantser?

Darlene: I am a paid up member of the panster club and have the badge to prove it. I have tried to be a plotter many times and have failed miserably.

MJ:  What kind of food do you like?

Darlene: You mean besides chocolate? I am a vegetarian and love most vegetables, if done right. I especially enjoy Asian food as I love how the vegetables are prepared. So Thai, Indian, Chinese and Japanese food are high on my list. I also prefer my food to be spicy and not boring. Please don’t serve me plain steamed vegetables.

MJ: What advice would you give new authors such as myself?

Darlene: To persevere and believe in yourself. Writing is hard work but it is so worth it when you hold that finished book in your hands. Never give up!!

MJ:  If you were to lose one of your senses which one would you feel the loss of most and why?

Darlene: I think I would have to say the sense of sight. There is so much to see in this amazing world we live in and I am thankful I have seen a lot. But there is still much more I would love to see.

MJ; Finish this sentence. A travelling onion…

found itself part of a pasta sauce in Italy and said “Sono contenta”

Darlene: Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Marjorie.

MJ: It’s been my pleasure Darlene.

Reading through your responses to my questions I have to say we have a fair amount in common: a love of travel, chocolate, (who doesn’t like chocolate – I have met one person who didn’t but that is a long story,) reading, writing,  spicy food, and a paid up membership of the pantser club!

Thank you for taking my travelling onion to Italy. He needed a slice of the action on a holiday abroad! Lol…

Darlene’s social media links:

Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon Author Page
WordPress Blog
Goodreads
Twitter

What fun. If you’d like to visit my blog for a Author Spotlight/Guest post, do get in touch. MJ would love it if you do!

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M J Mallon _ YA Author

 

Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“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 hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

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Authors Media Kit: https://mjmallon.com/2018/02/13/media-kit/
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
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20 Questions Book Tag

 

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I came across the 20 Questions Book Tag via Jenny’ s blog and thought I’d join in.

Here’s the link to her post: https://jennyinneverland.com/2018/06/04/20-questions-book-tag/

And here are the questions:

How many books is too many books in a series?

It amuses me to admit this but I’m really bad at reading books in a series. Shocking really as I am writing a series myself! I have to LOVE them a lot to do so!

How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I love a good cliffhanger. It gets the old pulse going so that’s got to be a wonderful thing!

Hard copy or paperback?

A paperback. It’s easier to store, more forgiving and lightweight for taking on the bus or reading by the beach! I so wish I was away on some exotic, foreign holiday… Sigh…

Favourite book?

I have fifty-eight books on my favourite list on Goodreads!

Here are some of my 4/5 star favs: Caraval by Stephanie Garber, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff,  I Let  You Go, I See You by Clare Macintosh, I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai, (memoir,) In Order to Live A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park, Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng, A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak.

Least favourite book?

I like to focus on what I like and love rather than on what I don’t.

Love triangles, yes or no?

Yes, if the love triangle is well-written. I enjoy reading romance from time-to-time so I wouldn’t say no to an exciting love triangle!

The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

I always finish books and sometimes I am surprised when I realise just how much I enjoyed them when I might have started off uncertain.

A book you’re currently reading?

I’m reading two at the moment!  Charli Mills – The Congress of Rough Writers: Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 (Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology) and Matt Haig’s How To Stop Time.

Last book you recommended to someone?

A book of poetry by Annette Rochelle Aben – A Haiku Perspective. Here’s the link to my review: https://mjmallon.com/2018/05/24/book-review-a-haiku-perspective-2018-annette-rochelle-aben/

Oldest book you’ve read?

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 1890 closely followed by Dracula, published 1897.

The newest book you’ve read?

I’ve just finished reading an ARC of Lizzie Chantree’s If You Love Me I’m Yours which I will be reviewing as part of her blog tour. So that fits the newest book category! It’s a very sweet romance and the characters are fantastic. Really enjoying it!

Favourite author?

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Oh difficult. I read Nevernight by Jay Kristoff recently and was blown away. Here’s the link to my review: https://mjmallon.com/2018/03/03/review-of-nevernight-by-jay-kristoff/

Buying books or borrowing books?

Both! I love to buy books when I can afford to but the library is a great option. Or, pinching YA off my eldest daughter’s overflowing book shelf when I’m short of cash.

A book you dislike that everyone seems to like?

Don’t know. Can’t think of one.

Bookmarks or dogears?

I tend to use bookmarks, or whatever I can get my hands on to mark where I’ve read to. A receipt, a piece of paper, anything!

A book you can always re-read

Poetry books are great to re-read, or memoirs because you can pick up something extra on that second, or third reading.

Can you read whilst hearing music?

If the music is on low that would be okay. But, in our house my hubby blasts loud rock music most of the time so probably not in that case!

One POV or multiple POV’s?

I don’t mind either as long as it is done well.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Over multiple days as I am a slow reader and also find it difficult to find the time. I would love more opportunities to read. I have been known to peek at a book whilst ironing or cooking! Luckily, I haven’t burnt the clothes or the food yet…

One book you read because of the cover

I love a beautiful cover but the book itself has to be great for me to want to read it. I loved The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and the cover persuaded me to buy the book!

To see more about my enthusiasm for books do pop over to my Goodreads account: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

If you’d like to join in the Book Tag please do. It’s been fun. I haven’t done one of these for ages.

I’d like to invite some of the Bloggers Bash guests that I met this year, (some albeit briefly, plus some old pals who I have met many times before,) who I think may enjoy doing a book tag.

Don’t feel obliged to join in. It’s up to you!

Ritu: https://butismileanyway.com/ Zoe: zooloobookblog.co.uk/, Willow: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

Barb: www.barbtaub.com,  Jo and Isla: http://www.joandisalovebooks.blog/,

Linda: https://lindasbookbag.com/,  Jemima: http://jemimapett.com/,

Sam: http://lovingthefiftysomething.com/,    Sheila: www.scskillman.com/,

Deborah:  https://deborahjayauthor.com

And anyone one else – who’d like to join in, please do! Sisters of The Fey?

Perhaps, Annika might like to? https://annikaperry.com/

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

 

 

 

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