M J’s Book Reviews: Jacquie Biggar’s Silver Bells #romance #novella #review


Synopsis:

He doesn’t believe in love, so why can’t he forget her?

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?

A family of her own. 

My review:

A quick and enjoyable novella to read at Christmas time. It’s my introduction to Jacquie Biggar being the first I’ve read of her collection. I’m sure I will read more. A nice warm-hearted tale with mention of a single mother’s worries about her young daughter’s diabetes giving the tale a deeper aspect to it. The romance between writer Joel and artist Christy is swift – perhaps a little quick for my taste – but this may just be the short format of a novella pushing the story to a quicker resolution. Lots of enticing descriptions and delectably kissable moments to make up for any slight shortcomings.

A lovely read which I can recommend.


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you read Silver Bells?

View all my reviews

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This Is Lockdown: Paperback Cover Teaser and Christmas Sale !!!

I’m particularly pleased to announce that I will be having a cover reveal for This Is Lockdown soon in paperback format.

It is a shorter version (without the diaries,) with black and white photography to include Covid19 Flash Fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ poets and creatives.

Book Description – This Is Lockdown – Paperback verison

An anthology and compilation of short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK.

This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’ There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’

This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day.

Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The wonderful contributing authors and creatives are many in number!

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem  (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) andJane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS

Thank you so much to each one of them for being a part of this project.

Please do visit their websites and buy their books to discover the huge variety of writing and creative talent amongst them ranging from talented short story and poetry writers to horror, fantasy, supernatural thriller, romance and memoir writing. And more!!! Plus the wonderful fundraising Community Masks 4 NHS initiative from Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val which has become Sew Positive.

There truly is something for everyone amongst this international group of writers and creatives who are based in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Italy, America and Zimbabwe.

This is a tough time for writers as it is for everyone. The arts and creative industry is under threat as are businesses worldwide.

PLEASE NOTE – The paperback does not include my personal COVID diaries originally published on the kindle. These are available to read on the kindle version of This Is Lockdown.

The kindle version of This Is Lockdown will be on a Christmas countdown deal from 13th December. So, grab your copy quickly to get the best bargain. It will be sold at a reduced price until 20th December when it will revert to its usual selling price.

The kindle of This Is Lockdown has received excellent reviews as has my poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius.


This Is Lockdown Kindle Purchase links – Amazon.co.uk – offer in progress:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB/


Mr. Sagittarius Kindle purchase link – Amazon UK:


Mr. Sagittarius Kindle purchase link- Amazon.com – offer available from 8.AM PST:

https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Sagittarius-Poetry-Prose-Mallon-ebook/dp/B084DQV3HW/


Also there is a Paperback Deal on offer for Mr. Sagittarius, the price dropped to £6.99 from £9.00 until 20th December !!!



https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Sagittarius-Poetry-Prose-Mallon/dp/1999822447/

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#BookReview: As Good As Gold: A dog’s life in poems

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As Good as Gold: A dog’s life in poems

Patricia Furstenberg

Goodreads Synopsis: 

As engaging as a tail wag.
Celebrating the simple things in life as seen through the eyes of our old time favorite furry friends, “As Good as Gold” is a volume of poetry revealing the talent and humor we always knew our dogs possessed.
Dogs are full of questions, yet they are famed sellers of innocence especially when it comes to explaining their mishaps and often foolish effervescence through such pondering as “Why IS a Cat Not Like a Dog”, “As Brown as Chocolate”, “Silver Stars and Puppy Tail” or, best yet, “Dog or Book?”
A book with an enormous heart for readers of all ages, it includes 35 poems and haiku accompanied by expressive portraits of our canine friends. The poems are grouped in: Questions, Colors, Musings and Haiku.

* Ideal to boost you up by reading one poem at a time,
* Great conversational piece to have around on a rainy day,
* Fantastic tool to discuss colors in nature and everyday questions with your little ones,
* A gentle way to introduce children to animals’ feelings,
* Amazing picture to cheer you up.
* An ideal gift for any dog lovers!

My review

A very sweet book of poems and haiku about dogs, nature and dog’s human! It made me smile a lot. I really enjoyed the poem at the end about cats too (cats are my preferred animal but I love dogs too.) This would particularly appeal to readers who enjoy poems about animals, snowmen, Christmas, and life through the eyes of some very cute dogs. I loved the lovely photos of our furry friends in the book too.

It’s a feel good collection of doggy poetry which would be an ideal gift for Christmas.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for a fair review.  All opinions are my own and unbiased.

Recommended, particularly for doggy and poetry enthusiasts!

My rating: 4 very woof woof stars.

Goodreads Author Profile:

Patricia Furstenberg is the author of Amazon Bestseller Joyful Trouble. She writes children stories about real and imaginary dogs and about animals in general. Patricia believes each creature has a story and a voice, if only we stop to listen.
Patricia came to writing though reading, her passion for books being something she inherited from her parents. “When I write, I write,” she usually says.
When she’s not writing she likes to read, listen to music, dance and bake.
One of the characters portrayed in her children stories is Pete, the yellow toy elephant. Not many know, but Pete exists and lives in Pat’s home.
This Romanian born writer is living happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Patricia Furstenberg Author Page and Blog: http://alluringcreations.co.za/wp/

 

Have you read As Good As Gold? Let me know in the comments.

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Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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

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

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

 

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#SundayBlogShare A Christmas Thought – Hoping for Ordinary Kindness and Love This Year

 

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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a Happy New year.

I’d like to spare a thought this Christmas for all those who are lonely, or devastated by terrible news. Not everyone is surrounded by family and friends at Christmas. Perhaps someone you know will be at home eating baked beans alone. I know someone who is. His partner works shifts as a hospice carer, she will be working Christmas day, so he will be alone. Fortunately, they are having their celebration the day after on Boxing Day with a big family get together.

My heart goes out to my daughter’s friend this Christmas. Her mum is terminally ill with cancer and will not live much longer. I feel for her and her brother who are overwhelmed with much responsibility and sadness at such a young age. To add to their plight their parents are separated and they are young adults living alone.

Reflecting upon these overwhelming emotions are perhaps one of the reasons why I became a writer – to express those emotions that are not always easy to understand or to live with. Life can be cruel, but it can also be wonderful.  So, I am going to spare a kind thought for her family this Christmas, and hope she finds the strength to deal with the ordeal that will surely follow. From what my daughter has told me she is a resourceful, admirable young woman, and I am sure her mother would be so proud of all she is doing.

2017 hasn’t been the best of years, has it?

There has been much senseless violence, sadness and loss of life, but I discovered a wonderful tweet from one of my writing hero’s: Stephen King which lifted my spirits …

Let’s hope that 2018 is a better year and that ordinary kindness and love will prevail.

Do enjoy the festivities, smile a lot, drink and be merry for life is short, but make it sweet.

I will be taking a bit of blogging break for a few days but I’ll be back in the New Year.

Much love, xxxx

 

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Happy Christmas!!!!

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I’m signing off for a blogging break until the New Year, so this is just a quick post to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

If you’d like to see my light-hearted, very silly contribution to Solveig Werner’s Advent Calender this Christmas Eve – here’s the link to my story:

Solveig Werner’s Advent Calendar – Christmas Eve – Serena’s Bubble Monster

Much love,  and snowman kisses!!!!

 

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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Kyrosmagica Christmas Ice Skating Party

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 Please consider yourself cordially invited to the KYROSMAGICA Christmas Ice Skating Virtual Bloggers Link Up Party on Sunday 18th December

I would be delighted if you could join me by putting this date in your diary.

KYROSMAGICA is nearly at the spectacular milestone of 1,000 followers – see if you can get me up to that magic number with three exciting zeros.

If you do I will be very, very chuffed !!!! Either way, come and enjoy yourselves. After all it’s not all about the number of followers, it’s really and truly about the friendships you make via blogging. I count myself very lucky in that respect – there are so many lovely bloggers who I now count as friends.

There will be lots of fun, a dash of sparkling magic and a large dollop of fantasy to be had. Prepare to party on the ice, and bring all your links, Christmas cheer, and any news you would like to share for this Bloggers Link Up Party.

R.S.V.P:

Marje @ Kyrosmagica

–  Transport via Rudolf’s golden, shimmering sleigh from The Grand Arcade, Cambridge…. to …

Venue: Magical Winter Wonderland Cambridge, UK….  🎄 🎅  🎈 🎉

 

 

 

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To Add Snow to Your Blog…. and other Christmas Cheer

Time for some Snow – It’s December 1st!!

I’ve been wondering how to add falling snow, and I found the perfect answer. It is very simple just:

  • Go to Settings → General.
  • Then to your dashboard.
  • Select the box next to “Show falling snow on this blog.”
  • Apparently if you’ve done this last year it will automatically remember and do it again. How cool is that? If you want to stop it and be all humbug you can make it stop on your personal settings page.

Find out more by clicking the link at the end of this  post-  including lots of other Christmas ideas to adorn your blog… : WordPress Holiday Snow Transformation

 

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Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge: Prompt Words – Gold and Sing

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For the 1st of December I thought it would be a lovely idea to join in with Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge.

The prompt words this week are gold and sing : Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge, Gold and Sing

To understand a little of what the following haiku is about I urge you to read a piece of writing that I enjoyed doing some time ago, when my bubble bath took on a bit of an extraordinary form that grew and grew into a swirling mass of monster imagination….

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Serena’s Bubble Monster

My theme for the following haiku….. is to continue this preposterous fun.

Thereafter, I will be writing a piece of flash fiction about the Bubbly Snowman for Solveig Werner’s Advent Calendar on the 24th of December so keep a look out for that on  Solveig Werner blog.  I’m hoping that the snowman might just melt your heart…

As well as this I am joining in with Ronovan’s suggestion to add photos to this post. This is in conjunction with the 52 day Photo Challenge – Extra – The Aran Artisan Photo Challenge– I’ve been baking my Christmas cake – which I’ll be adding extra sherry to!!! and lots of nuts, fruit, glace cherries,….. yum! The recipe is via  Natalie at There She Goes. Thanks Natalie for the awesome recipe, it looks like it’s turned out well…

The mix …

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The cake… turned out heavenly, in fact I could still smell the wonderful Christmassy aroma well into the evening.

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So on to those 1st of December promised haiku Snowman kisses…

Bubbly Snowman Kisses

The Bubble Monster,

Appears in all disguises,

Often he may sing.

 

A hearty Snowman song.

On Snowy Christmas days,

He greets you.

 

Singing golden verse,

He’s always chillingly sweet,

Jewelled admirer. 

 

This Christmas  Cracker,

Bubbly terror of the tub,

So hot, he’s soon gone.

Grab him while you can…

Watch out for his sweet kisses,

They might leave a mark. 

 

Like all cool, chic guys,

He’s bound to rush away fast,

Swirling down the plug.

 

Before he is caught.

By much loved, bearded, guess who?

Prize bubble catcher.

 

Santa’s no nonsense,

He’ll get the reindeer on him,

Send him on his way.

 

***************

 

Trying not to cry,

Teardrops from frosty Lapland,

I sigh, once, twice, thrice.

 

Farewell, Adieu,

Poor Snowman – you melt my heart,

Santa’s cute rival.

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ha ha!!! Yes I did say it was going to be preposterous and I wasn’t joking. Well why not? Life is too short to be too serious!

 Hope you enjoyed my silly haiku. I enjoyed writing it.

 Stay tuned…… Kyrosmagica is planning on inviting you all to my Christmas party on this blog on Sunday 18th of December when you can pop by for a bit of virtual ice skating, and to share your news and your lovely links.

Bye for now.

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#BlogBattle Week 42 Theme Gift

 

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Week 42 Theme will be Gift

Date to Post: Tuesday, December 29th, 2015


Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!
The inspiration for this story came from a missing present on Christmas day, not an unusual event in our house as I tend to be a bit scatty and sometimes I forget where I have put all the presents! It eventually turned up, luckily I hadn’t thrown it into the rubbish by mistake but it just got me thinking……  what might happen in different circumstances if a touch of fantasy made its way into Christmas Day. Who knows where a missing present might lead you ?
Read on and find out…
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Christmas

The Secret Santa Gift

The envelope was white, plain apart from the printed letters marking her name. Ellie opened it and found a white and gold gift tag inside bearing the words: Happy Christmas, love from your Secret Santa, followed by two golden criss-cross kisses. The envelope was empty, no present, no gift voucher, nothing.

Ellie didn’t mind that there was no present inside, that just made her even more curious. She lifted the envelope to her nose and inhaled the masculine scent within. This succeeded in making her knees go all weak.

She dropped the envelope and a flurry of gold dust appeared, scattering a trail that extended towards the front door. Ellie didn’t hesitate for a moment she liked an adventure so she followed the trail. The gold dust continued for several feet and then vanished. She spotted another tiny envelope. Ellie leant down and picked it up. Inside she found the tiniest folded envelope that she had ever seen, and within this envelope there was an even tinier painting of a heart. Ellie blushed.

She paused, wondering what to do next. The tiny folded envelope began to spiral round and round twirling, lengthening and widening, flattening and folding into a succession of beautiful origami flowers. First, an exquisite rose, then a vibrant lotus flower, followed by a proud orchid, and then the origami flower took flight turning into a bird of paradise that flew up into the air and finally flattened out, folding into a pocket heart than lingered like a tender caress within the palm of her hand.  Ellie couldn’t believe her eyes, how extraordinary!

She unfolded the origami pocket heart and saw that within it there were three paper puzzle pieces with the words:

Love and kisses!

From your …..

Secret admirer.

How strange! She heard a rustling sound and looked up, just above her sat a tiny elf on a branch of an overhanging tree. He smiled at her, and blushed so much that he turned the tips of his pointed ears a spectacular candy floss pink.

Ellie realised that her secret admirer was in fact one of Santa’s elves. He was tiny, but had the most handsome face that she had ever seen. He was dressed to impress, his clothes were smart and shiny, his hair sleeked back. He jumped down from the tree with the agility of a dancer and bowed down so low that it looked like he might scrape his nose on the ground.

“So pleased that my gift reached you Ellie; I’ve been saving up Santa points for good behaviour for years so that I could be your Secret Santa!”

“Goodness, that’s so sweet of you… ”

“Eddy the elf, at your sweet service,” he said bowing again, even more theatrically than he had done before.

“I’ve never met an elf before,” said Ellie, reflecting that she had never met such an imposing fellow in such a tiny but perfect muscular frame.

“Well, you’ll have lots of opportunity to meet all of my elf friends,” said Eddy, “We’re off to help Santa with the last minute wrapping.”

“You’re kidding me,” said Ellie, wide eyed with excitement. She couldn’t believe her ears. She thought she must be dreaming, this couldn’t possibly be real.

“No, I most certainly am not kidding! You are to be my new bride, so I must make a special elf speech. Here goes,” he cleared his throat for special effect, several times before continuing, “Every year one elf must choose a human bride so that we will be on the pulse of what youngsters want today. Will you marry me, sweet, beautiful, exquisite, Ellie? ”

“Your bride!” said Ellie in surprise, “But I’m still in secondary school, I’m way too young to marry.”

“Not in Elfland. Elves marry really young, you’re the perfect age for a love match,” said Eddy with a grin, “We seal the match with a very special kiss. That is how we show love in Elfland, we kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss! We are the kissing champions!”

Eddy took a massive leap catapulting himself up to land a kiss in a million on Ellie’s lips before she could even think to reply.

The kiss was beyond magical. It lingered for ages, long after he had landed back on the ground, tingling and caressing her lips. At the same time Ellie felt a strange sensation, as if someone was pressing firmly, but gently down on her head, squeezing her oversized body into her shoes. She looked at Eddy. Eddy’s nose and her nose were on a level, Eddy’s lips and her lips were at exactly the right point, and she was now the exact same height and proportions as him.

He gave her a huge hug. “Welcome to Elfhood my love,” he said.

Ellie no longer had the feeling that she didn’t belong in her tall, gangly human body. She wanted to screech with joy but she thought that might not be the best example of elfish etiquette.

So instead she said, “Thanks for rescuing me Eddy,” and with a demure lady like smile, she continued,” I always felt out of sorts, a stranger in my gigantic, gangly, human body.”

“I know,” said Eddy, jumping up and down with excitement, as if he was on a super charged pogo stick. “I have always been sure that you are the one for me.”

Eddy and Ellie danced around and around, twirling faster and faster until Ellie’s head felt as light as the lightest Chocolate Whip.

“Hurry, Santa’s nose will be getting redder by the moment, his nose goes as red as his Santa’s top when he’s cross, we’d better go, or we’ll be late for the present wrapping ceremony.”

Off they went, their hands swaying together in perfect joyous unison. Ellie grinned, squeezing Eddie’s hand. Eddie tickled her hand, and Ellie laughed, an unrestrained elfish laugh that started deep in her soul and never ended just like those tasty Elfish lingering kisses!

 

I hope you liked my story, a bit of a Christmas theme!

 

Bye for now,

 

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Do share your views I’d love to hear your opinion on my #BlogBattle story.

 

If you’d like to join in with BlogBattle or vote for your favourite entry here’s the link to Rachael’s blog:

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

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