Cambridge

Of A Book Tour: The Curse Of Time

Thank you so much to Beaton for featuring me on his lovely blog home: becoming the muse. Touched by his lovely sense of humour and kind words: ‘I must confess to being super curious and cant wait to read this…. its like being regular curious but I wear a cape.’ Beaton, you’re like a breath of fresh humorous air! xxx

Becoming The Muse

GuestPost:

The Curse of Time M. J. MallonIf you were having coffee with me, we would have a quick chat with MJ (whom is neither Michael Jackson nor from Spiderman)  and a sneak insight into the characters from her up coming book Bloodstone Book 1 The Curse of Time……….

Bloodstone Book 1 Book 1 – Bloodstone

Thank you to Beaton for inviting me to guest post on his blog today.

It’s a delight to be here, I have enjoyed following Beaton for a good old while and I think we seem to share a similar sense of wacky humour.

I’m delighted to share with you my novel The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone a YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, UK.

If I was to pick a character or two that Beaton would enjoy I’d guess I’d start with Ryder my male protagonist, a narcissistic fellow who prefers to hang about in the shadows…

View original post 495 more words

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

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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

Twitter: @curseof_time

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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!

 

Cover Reveal: The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone

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Today, I am delighted to share with you my cover reveal for my debut fantasy YA novel:

The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone

I’m delighted with the cover – Wendy Anne Darling at BOOKXEEDO Book Covers has done a marvellous job. Isn’t the cover just beautiful? Thank you Wendy so much.
Cover photography credit: Chronopage and grasshopper – John C Taylor, OBE.

Cover photography credit: author photo – Georgina Mallon.

Cover photography credit (spine) :  Bloodstone – Alex Marlowe.

Synopsis:

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?

(more…)

#SundayBlogShare MJ Interviews The Grasshopper – The Curse of Time.

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A big welcome… (If I dare!) to my next interviewee the intriguing Grasshopper, a fine bug of a creature who features in my soon to be released YA Fantasy – The Curse of Time: Book 1: Bloodstone. I have set a tentative date for the release of my e-book – 26th August, so keep a look out for further details and updates about that.

Today, I am interviewing  the Grasshopper using the initials MJ – (my author nickname and tribute to my favourite superhero Spiderman’s Mary Jane!)

MJ: Grasshopper, I’m speechless, is that really you? Have you come to eat me up?

Grasshopper: Of course not dear girl, I don’t eat humans, even though I have pincer sharp teeth.

MJ: I can see that… Oh, what a relief! Tell me all about yourself Mr. Grasshopper.

Grasshopper: I am the world’s largest grasshopper escapement. I’m crafted out of the finest materials, only the very best for me.

MJ: Could you explain a little about the Corpus Christi Chronopage?

Grasshopper: The Chronopage is a large sculptural clock, and my home. It is the brainchild of a team of two hundred talented people including sculptors, engineers, scientists, jewellers, and calligraphers. It includes not one, not two, but six new patented inventions.

MJ: How extraordinary! It is a breath-taking invention and I have always found you phenomenally intriguing Mr. Grasshopper. Not surprisingly, you draw crowds of onlookers and tourists on King’s Parade.

Grasshopper: Oh, yes, no one can resist me. I provoke a reaction, people pause, take photos, respond in horror, or delight. And all the while time marches on, in its cruel, relentless manner.

MJ: Such is life. Hence the spikey teeth?

Grasshopper: Yes, I eat away at your life, your youth, your beauty. Sadly, it is my fate.  I am at the mercy of my tragic role in this Chronopage. No one is exempt. I am its wretched servant.

(more…)

My Kyrosmagica Review of PorterGirl: First Lady of The Keys by Lucy Brazier

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

‘Porters are not the carriers of bags, they are the keepers of keys!’

As one of the most ancient and esteemed establishments of the academic elite, Old College is in for something of a shock when it appoints its very first female Deputy Head Porter.

She struggles to get to grips with this eccentric world, far removed from everyday life. PorterGirl, the proverbial square peg in the round hole, begins to wonder quite what she is doing here.

PorterGirl – First Lady Of The Keys is a touching, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, glimpse into a world that is usually reserved for the upper echelons of society.

Whether she is chasing after naked students, drinking copious amounts of tea or getting embroiled in quaint, polite murders, Deputy Head Porter is never far from adventure.

 

My review

I’ve had PorterGirl on my must read radar for some time. For three reasons, one it’s set in Cambridge, (and I live in Cambridge too,) and two I have enjoyed reading Lucy’s blog Porter Girl and following her.

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Also, my youngest daughter works part-time as a waitress in one of the colleges in Cambridge so I hear all about college life from her, and all about the sumptuous food….

So my impressions of PorterGirl… I really enjoyed PG. It’s one of those books that lifts your spirits up and puts you in a fantastic mood. It prompts you to put the kettle on and eat lots of forbidden biscuits! Lol… Porter G’s experience as the first female porter of a prestigious Cambridge University college is a lively riot from start to finish, full of humour, tea, and jokes about eating fabulous food when and wherever PorterGirl can… Being a foodie, this constant ambition to raid the fridges and steal food from under her colleagues’ hungry noses had me in stitches, as did crazy but ever so serious tasks such as PorterGirl rescuing a most important College cat via a precarious punting escapade. There’s never a dull moment, but a dollop of rising fear ensues as PorterGirl discovers murders are being committed in Old College. She begins to fear for her life, but PorterGirl is no coward, (a former copper,) she manages to keep herself safe, until…. it gets a bit hot under the bowler hat. Even so, her bowler hat remains proudly on top of her head, never to be removed not even in the most dire, calamitous of circumstance!

My recommendation: 4 stars. A favourite read that will make you smile a lot – and smiling is one of my favourite pastimes. Lucy has a pleasing writing style that makes you feel as if you know her personally. But, this novel should come with a health warning: This will make you laugh so much that you will splutter out your tea and biscuits! I reckon our friends across the water will find the copious amount of tea drinking that is a signature style of PorterGirl exceedingly amusing!

Opinion: I felt that perhaps PorterGirl lacked the ‘real’ names (and from Lucy’s point of view the promote-able aspects,) of the  ‘real’ Cambridge. I would love to have read about the ‘real’ University college that Old College applied to, and the ‘real’ haunts that Lucy mentions. But, I can understand why Lucy didn’t do so, why she used fictitious names. I expect she wanted to keep the secrets of the establishment, and anonymity of some of the characters in the book. If she had set it in the ‘real’ Cambridge, (and put a few folks noses out of joint,) for me it would have been a five star read. But, that’s just me…. and of course I can see why she wouldn’t want to do that! Lol…

I’m really looking forward to reading more from Lucy Brazier.

I recommend that you get a copy of PorterGirl, rush, before Lucy’s tea gets cold!

Portergirl BOOK 1 MASTER WEBSITE

Buying links: Amazon – Lucy Brazier: Porter Girl – First Lady of The Keys

Lucy’s next novel:

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Lucy has a new fan. 🙂

Bye for now,

 

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Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

I’m still on a bit of a blogging break until my eldest daughter returns to University so will be somewhat scarce in blogging land.

I had a wonderful holiday up in Edinburgh but it was all too short…

Here are some of my photos:

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That’s one of me and my daughter Georgina before I had my lunch…. I tend to shrink when I’m hungry! We were at a very nice restaurant called The Railbridge Bistro in South Queensferry which overlooks the bridges and has haggis on the menu!

And here’s my lovely mum and dad… Missing them…

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My dad hates the cold, and though the view at South Queensferry is amazing it was bitterly chilly… My mum looks okay, in fact she dares to look a bit amused but poor dad…

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Since I’ve been back in Cambridge, I’ve had a lovely time with my eldest daughter who is visiting from University.

Recently we went out to a cafe in Cambridge…

And she approved of my photo…  The drink looks like some sort of Dr Who concoction but I believe it is a green tea matcha. Oh, by the way did you see the Dr Who episode last night? If you did I bet you didn’t dare have a shower or bath before bedtime. I love it when Dr Who gets all scary!

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Then, there’s me all dressed up as I had work afterwards. Recently, I started working part-time at Ann Summers – which is a strangest job I have ever had! It’s a bit like marmite some days I love it, some days I hate it! Ha ha…. It’s a tricky one for an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Anyway, that plate in front of me is the remains of a very tasty Orange and Polenta cake that we shared at Espresso Library cafe in Cambridge.

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Before I go let me say a big thank you to all the contributors to my Facebook Rainbow Support Club in my absence.

Here are just some of the wonderful links that have appeared:

http://marshajustwrites.com/accidental-tourist/

https://dgkayewriter.com/who-has-a-new-book-the-swamp-fairy-colleen-cheseboro/

http://allanhudson.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/4q-interview-and-excerpt-with-guest.html

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/friday-roundup-on-a-thursday-13th-april/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-book-reading-and-interview-d-g-kaye/

https://jennyinneverland.com/2017/04/14/bloggers-revealed/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/12/guest-author-sarah-brentyn-where-i-spin-self-doubt-into-a-post/

https://scvincent.com/2017/04/14/guest-author-d-wallace-peach-room-to-breathe/

All the contributors have done a fabulous job of making the page a fantastic resource of information, help, and collaboration for fellow writers/bloggers.

Do pop over to the club page and take a look, and come give the club some love: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

If you’d like to join the club please do message myself either in the comment below or contact me on my email marjma2014@gmail.com, or chat about it with Colleen Chesebro or Debby Gies, my two fabulous blogging buddies who administer the running of the club with me.

All the best for a lovely Easter.

Do pop over to my Instagram page to see the rest of my photos: My Instagram

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Fireworks!!! Nearly Missed Them!!

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Just a quick blog post to share this photo  of the Fireworks on Midsummer Common in Cambridge. We had it all planned, a quick meal, and then straight to the fireworks. What could possibly go wrong?  Everything! We had a long wait to be seated at our chosen restaurant, as it was ridiculously busy. Then when we finally managed to get our table, they lost our food order. Luckily they gave us 25% off the bill plus two free drinks. After all that I was getting quite tipsy, and needed to eat something. Luckily the food did come, and was very tasty. But, time was running out. I had to pop to the toilet and by the time I’d taken two phone calls, (whilst in there,) we nearly missed it all!!!

All was not lost I just managed to capture this beauty lighting up the skies between the houses.

Do you enjoy fireworks?  I love them. They always make me feel positive, as if they light up the sky with their little rays of hope. The only problem with fireworks and bonfire night is the wretched temperature. I can’t cope with being cold… I have to wrap up!

I have lots of plans for November, it’s my birthday later this month! So more about that nearer the time. I will be having a little birthday reveal on my Instagram – my little treat to myself! We all need to have something special to look forward to…

Before I go perhaps I should leave you with my Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

Hope Monday is treating you well and not squashing the life out of you! Very amused to see that a bodybuilder/personal trainer is following me on twitter. Is he trying to tell me something? I know I need to get fit but… knowing me I’d get crushed by the weights or drop them on my foot or something.

 

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Rigby and Peller Fashion Show – Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal

 

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I am so thrilled to be part of the team of lingerie stylists at Rigby and Peller, Cambridge. This is a totally new venture for me. I’ve never worked in lingerie before, in fact in my previous retail job in John Lewis I was ensconced in the menswear department, amongst woolly jumpers, socks, underwear, and other male paraphernalia.

Since joining the company I’ve been impressed by Rigby and Peller’s training programme and their positive attitude and intention to make women feel good about themselves.

So with that in mind I put together the above slide show and this little blog post to tell you all about a very extraordinarily inspiring evening.

The Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show was held in the Grand Arcade in Cambridge on the 4th of October. Several retail companies joined in the event including Rigby and Peller. Today I heard the wonderful news that the goal to raise £10,000 for the Addenbrooke’s appeal towards the cost of biopsy equipment for the breast cancer unit has now been met, and is being surpassed!

My manager at Rigby and Peller, Jenny Mason – one of the organisers of the event – has had first hand experience of the devastating effect of cancer, having lost her father to this dreadful disease. Jenny and Natalie Emuss (one of the models,) have worked tirelessly to make the fashion show such an enormous, and memorable success.  Much respect to them both.

Here’s my daughter Georgina at the fashion show with her camera at the ready. A big thank you to Jenny Mason for allowing Georgina to take photographs of the event.  Georgina is currently studying for three diplomas in Photography, Media Studies and Business Studies.

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This was Georgina’s first opportunity to take part in a photographic shoot and what better event to begin with than one that was so charged with emotion. The awesome women modelling lingerie and fashion had us spellbound, as did their husbands and partners. I so admire their bravery and positivity.

Georgina chose four of her favourite images to share with you here: one black and white  and three in colour.

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What a great start to her photographic studies.

I will leave you with one of our shop windows at Rigby and Peller advocating :

Strength, Courage, Love.

I couldn’t agree more!

Don’t forget to pop into Rigby and Peller to donate your unwanted bras in store this October. Or do what you can to raise money and awareness for breast cancer sufferers.

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Links:

Saffron Walden Reporter Brave breast Cancer Models

Addenbrookes Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show Facebook Page

To donate:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Natalie-Emuss2

Bye for now,

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The Curse of Time: Pre-Publication News

I am having a bit of a break through in terms of my publishing plans:

First I’ve changed the name of my manuscript from The Krystallos Cottage to The Curse of Time. This has had quite an impact on the general direction of the novel, with more emphasis on the dark side of the story. But the theme of light/darkness, and good/evil, still prevails. I have done some extra research into self harm, anxiety, and schizophrenia as one of my characters self harms.

There are still lots of light-hearted aspects in the crystals, storyline, dialogue, etc. So I do hope that this will have something for everyone.

I have had two beta readers working hard to make my manuscript the best it can be.  Graeme Cumming author of Ravens Gathering read through the first draft and my bookworm daughter/budding writer Natasha Mallon, has been reading through the final draft, both have done an amazing job and I can’t thank them enough. So the final beta read is now done and I am in the final stages of editing.

At last, it’s nearly there. There will be lots of work to do…. edits of chapters, removal of one chapter, some extra work on dialogue, a few paragraphs here and there that are unnecessary, and I have been working on three short but hopefully powerful chapters to develop the dark aspect of the story.

At the moment it looks as if it is likely that the finished novel will be aimed at the YA market.

In the meantime I’m busy writing my author bio and my blurb…

As well as this I’ve won an month’s advertising in Jenny At Neverland’s blog in November and I’ve decided that would be the ideal time to get everything ready for publishing. Fingers crossed! So, perhaps I may get this book out in time for Christmas….

More news, I’ve  contacted the inventor of the Corpus Chronopage, Dr John Taylor  OBE, to ask for permission to use an image of this celebrated local clock and tourist attraction on my book cover.  My manuscript has been approved by his publicist Tina Fotherby at Famous Publicity. This is great news – now I know that my book cover is going to be pretty striking.

So now I’m getting some ideas together regarding cover photography and Wendy Anne Darling is going to knock it all together for me:  https://wendyannedarling.wordpress.com/bookxeedo-book-covers

How exciting!

I am considering the possibility of a domain name for this blog too. I’m fond of Kyrosmagica but wonder whether my author name should appear in my domain. If anyone has any advice do let me know.

 

Here are some more photos of The Corpus Chronograph courtesy of John C Taylor OBE.

The first is of Dr John C Taylor and his magnificent invention.

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This one is the Grasshopper with his shadow… pretty cool! Especially as one of the themes in my book is shadows…

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The Corpus Chronophage at dusk

The Corpus Chronophage at dusk

The scary grasshopper in all his close-up glory!  EEK!

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Copyright Dr John C Taylor OBE

Copyright Dr John C Taylor OBE

Do let me know what you think of the Corpus Chronopage images. I am absolutely thrilled with them… So one of these with the right dpi (not all pass the level of dpi required for a book cover,) will be gracing my front and back cover. Decisions, decisions!

 

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Bye for now.

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#ThursdayDoors: A Church Door before the Dentist!

For #ThursdayDoors:

Here’s a tiled image of a door I found in my neighbouring village Histon – it’s the door of Histon Baptist Church on Station Road.

It never ceases to amaze me where you find a door. This one was on the way to the Dentist! I was just about to go for a scale and polish and there she was shouting out for me to photograph her! Isn’t she a beauty?

Here she is in a bigger individual photo – all red and shiny, no don’t worry -it’s not my mouth…

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Anyway, the dental hygienist did a fantastic job. It didn’t hurt much at all, but I did get quite drenched… no not the rain… the device to clean my teeth was pretty full on!

If you’d like to join in the #ThursdayDoors fun here’s the link up to Norm’s blog: Norm’s Thursday Doors.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button on Norm’s blog. 

Oh, and I just found this for Thursday Doors enthusiasts: door_embassy on Instagram: Door Embassy

Hope you enjoyed my #ThursdayDoors post.. I wonder where I’ll find my next door…

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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