Book Review: The Hitman and The Thief by Richard Dee #mystery #sci-fi #adventure #murder #fiction #book #5star #review

Synopsis:

Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.

Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.

Fliss has a rival, Kalindra Dallin. She runs a particularly unpleasant planet. Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.

To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.

My review:

I really enjoyed The Hitman and the Thief. This novel has an interesting storyline which gripped me as the chapters sped by. This is a fast paced, easy read. The character of Dan and the thief Lydia are both engaging.

Dan is an ex-serviceman, now turned assassin for Fliss. His latest kill target is Kalindra, his boss’s rival.

But, who is Kalindra? And will Dan bungle it up?

Dan’s relationship with Hesta is under strain due to a certain temptation…

But, who can he trust? The revelations and twists leading up to the awesome ending – are subtle, (read carefully!) – but well done.

All in all, I would highly recommend this for readers who like mysteries, and who might enjoy the Sci fi environment of planets and ships (great world-building,) without it being too Sci fi heavy if you know what I mean.

I’m enjoying Richard Dee’s books more and more. I’d say this is my favourite to date. There is a unique aspect to his writing which I really appreciate. So, deserves the 5 stars.

Buy Link:

And some of my reviews of his other books:

Authors Website: http://www.richarddeescifi.co.uk

Have you read The Hitman and The Thief? Let me know in the comments below.

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Book Review: The Seventh Train by Jackie Carriera #book #review

Synopsis:

What if you can’t stand where you are because there’s nothing there? What if you don’t want to end up anywhere else in case that’s empty too? When life has lost its road map, sometimes the only way to get back on track is to get back on the rails.

The Seventh Train is a ride – a ‘road movie’ on the railways. It’s a journey that Elizabeth invented; the only original thought she has ever had in her previously uneventful life. Unbeknown to her, she is not travelling alone. If only she’d pretended that the spare seat was taken.

With a wonderfully eclectic cast of characters, The Seventh Train takes its passengers on a journey from the tragic to the strange, arriving finally at hope. By turns heart-breaking, thought-provoking and hilarious, this tale is a life-affirming exploration of the human spirit via the British railway timetable!

“Ingenious, great fun, and wholly original” – Fay Weldon CBE, on The Seventh Train.

My review:

This is the second book I’ve read from Jackie Carreira, both of which are gifted copies from the author. I am thrilled to give an unbiased review of both. Her first Sleeping Through War was equally as good, if not better. I’ve rated both 5 stars as I’m really impressed by this writer.

My review for Sleeping Through War: https://mjmallon.com/2020/07/27/book-review-sleeping-through-war-by-jackie-carreira-literary-fiction-historical-womens/

The Seventh Train is a great concept from Jackie Carreira and a thoroughly engaging read. Loved it. If you appreciate a great tale about unexpected happenings in train journeys, this is for you. I’ve always enjoyed travelling by train – meeting people, listening to conversations, imagining what these strangers might do when they arrive at their destinations. This is the fodder for writers!

Jackie Carreira’s The Seventh Train takes that idea a stretch of the imagination further. This is a lovely tale that begins with a middle-aged lady, Elizabeth. She is waiting in a Cambridge train station cafe and doesn’t want anyone to sit with her, or talk to her. Of course, she doesn’t get her wish, quite the opposite! What happens next overturns everything you might imagine. A group of unconnected, different people of varying ages end up journeying together becoming unlikely companions. They have one extraordinary thing in common. Read the book to find out what that is!

This is a thought-provoking book, one which also touches upon regret, sadness, a life not lived to the full. It also expresses many concerns about the working life of train drivers. What do they have to cope with in their job? We experience many different emotions when our train journey is delayed by a fatality on the line: sadness at the loss of life and what has brought that person to that desperate decision. There is also a sense of inconvenience as well, we are delayed in our journey. We don’t know the person; we didn’t see them jump. What impact do jumpers committing suicide have upon the train driver, who can see them?

Things to note: This story was originally a play. The author is also an award-winning playwright with QuirkHouse Theatre Company.

Highly recommended. 5 stars.

I received a paperback copy from the author. My opinions are my own and not biased.

Authors Website: https://jackiecarreira.co.uk/

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Pre-order!!! #New #Release This Is Lockdown #anthology #compilation #diaries #isolation #writers #poetry #flash #stories

Thrilled to announce that This Is Lockdown is now on pre-order via Amazon.

It is a compilation and anthology of diaries, writings (from the Isolation writers,) flash fiction, poetry and short stories.

Special Pre-order kindle purchase link – Amazon UK – Only £1.99

(Also available for free on Kindle Unlimited.)

and to purchase Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB

It is set out in two parts:

Part one includes my personal diaries and poetry during lockdown, the ‘isolation writers’ discussing the impact of this extraordinarily stressful time on their lives, poems and writings from authors, bloggers and a piece from Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val about their fabulous fundraising mask venture for the NHS.

Look at these:

Part two continues with my writings during lockdown: poetry, short stories, (including my YA short story The Poet’s Club, and flash fiction plus a more mature Love Affair, (short piece set post virus.)

The wonderful contributors are:

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 Doctural Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams  (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (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,) and Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS

It has been quite a learning curve for me – my first compilation/anthology!

The formatting was a challenge. There are lots and lots of photographs in this collection. The majority are observational photos I’ve taken during allowed walks of all manner of things including concrete frogs hidden below bridges…. and my thoughts about why this fellow is there… So mysterious…

There are also lovely kitty photos from my good friend Samantha Murdoch… Now that’s a face! Poor Charlie, kitty, what is the matter?

As well as fetching author photos… and masked up photos from myself, Beaton, and the Masks4NHS venture.

Anyway, it is a true account of my observations, and the thoughts of authors, bloggers and creatives from the UK, US, Canada, Italy and Zimbabwe.

Wherever we are, we are all feeling it. This time unites us in a way that we could never have imagined.

Stay safe and well.

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Writers In Isolation: Katherine Mezzacappa #Isolation #Writers #Authors#Historical #Fiction

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is Katherine Mezzacappa coping with this enforced isolation?


At time of writing, lockdown here in Italy is easing, but I am still wary of emerging into the sunlight. To begin with, it wasn’t isolation per se that was difficult to cope with from a creative point of view, but the fear of all the unknowns around the pandemic – I’ve got a little better at living with them. I had the advantage of having worked from home for years so I was used to not having the routines of a commute and a shared office. However, my job is paused at the moment until later in the year, which meant I had to think about how best to use that time. Time is what writers often complain they don’t have enough of, but when you’re suddenly faced with lots of it, the prospect is daunting, and you feel guilty if you don’t take advantage. I know from my writing network that I’m far from alone in feeling that. I had final edits to do on two books, The Gypsy Bride (Katie Hutton) and The Casanova Papers(Kate Zarrelli) so having the space for them was a boon, though revisiting a book set in Venice when I could see that city on webcams, silent and shuttered, was also heart-breaking. Writing did pick up though, as well as other ‘writery’ activities. I’ve co-presented at a virtual litfest with an old friend from MA days, though we’re thousands of miles apart. I am now an assessor for a writing consultancy and a proofreader for a new Italian publisher. Writing predominantly historical fiction is an advantage in lockdown, as the writer must perforce go in her head into a vanished world, and the less interference from the modern one there is, the better (provided that for research purposes, Google works, and ABEbooks still deliver!). Frustration as a writer lies in not being able to do field visits for future projects – a first world problem, and those places will be waiting for me afterwards. The virtual company of other writers has become more important than ever before. There have been some stellar online opportunities, like the Society of Authors workshops, and the Arvon at Home readings. I hope these persist alongside conventional offerings once the pandemic has passed, as they represent real accessibility and democratisation of the business of writing.

Katherine Mezzacappa is an Irish writer of mainly historical fiction now living in Italy. She also writes as Katie Hutton and as Kate Zarrelli.


Her début historical novel as Katie Hutton, The Gypsy Bride, was published May 2020 on Kindle and Audible by Zaffre Books, with the paperback to follow in June.

A sequel, The Gypsy’s Daughter, is in preparation for June 2021. As Kate Zarrelli, writing for eXtasy Books, she is the author of Tuscan Enchantment (2019) and The Casanova Papers (June 2020). Her short fiction (as Katherine Mezzacappa) has appeared in Ireland’s Own, Erotic Review Magazine, The Copperfield Review, Turnpike, Asymmetry and in anthologies with the Bedford International Writing Competition, Henshaw Press and Severance Publications. She’s a member of the Irish Writers Centre, the Irish Writers Union, the Society of Authors, the Historical Novel Society, the Historical Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists Association. She was awarded a Cill Rialaig residency by the Irish Writers Centre in 2019 for the writing of a Renaissance novel, Giulia of the Albizzi. Katherine regularly reviews for the Historical Novel Society. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from Canterbury Christ Church University in addition to an MLitt in Eng Lit from Durham and a first degree in History of Art from UEA.


You are never alone with a book; that’s as true now as it was when I was a lonely teenager. Historical fiction allows us to escape into a different world, and without being preachy about it, can help us realise that we’ve been through terrible times before without the advances in healthcare and communication that aid us now. I do not believe that writers of historical fiction should offer nostalgia to their readers – more perhaps a realisation that human beings are often more resilient than they realise.

Author Links:


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gypsy-Bride-Katie-Hutton/dp/1838770259/
https://www.facebook.com/katherinemezzacappafiction/
https://www.facebook.com/katezarrellibooks/
 @katmezzacappa
 @KatieHuttonAut1

Thank you so much to Katherine for being my guest. It is interesting to hear her thoughts from a historical fiction perspective.

It’s been wonderful featuring such a variety of authors and bloggers in this series. All have shared such interesting and perceptive thoughts on lockdown and isolation for writers.

We truly are living in history at the moment. No doubt future generations will reflect on this time period in their studies to come.

I have to agree with Katherine, the human race will find a solution. It will take time but we will get there.

For now, this is the last in this series. Thank you to all that have taken part. I am currently working on my COVID19 diaries, flash fiction and poetry collection which I hope to release soon. And I will also be finalising my YA fantasy The Curse of Time #2 Golden Healer.

More about that soon.

Please comment below, I’m sure Katherine would love to hear from you.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay well.

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Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 137 #SynonymsOnly

Word prompts: Kind and shift. For kind, I used breed and shift: transform.

 

The idea for this Tanka came from a passage in my WIP: The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer when Esme (the mirror girl,) tells Amelina (my main protagonist,) about her experience with the shadow men.

Could it be a dream or is it real?

I am currently working through my edits after my beta reading comments with a view to publishing this in the autumn.

 

Here’s a short extract:

A black furrow of shadows lined his forehead. He beseeched me with his eyes, but when he saw my resolve a maniacal laugh erupted from his demented mouth. This laugh galloped from his lips in the form of a diaphanous spirit which became a pack of wild neighing horses – all black, glossy stallions. They galloped towards me. They didn’t stop, they kept on coming. Their hoofs trampled upon me pounding all of those black shadows away. They should have crushed me but I didn’t die. Instead, their hoofs stamped and stamped, breaking bones, crushing my organs and tissues until the bleeding stopped. The pain was unbelievable. I longed for death. But the horses whinnied, as if laughing. Their laughter ran through my body, fixing my broken bones, easing my pain, making me whole again. They tossed me up in the air, and I landed on top of the lead stallion’s back. He leapt into the blackness, carrying me off with him.

 

Black Diaphanous Horses 

Such a breed they are

Like no other you will see

Transformed from shadows

Wicked horses galloping

Are they real or devil’s dream?

 

 

If you’d like to join in the challenge here’s the link:

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 137 #SynonymsOnly

 

 

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

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/

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#NeverlandBlogTours – The Land Girl by Allie Burns – #HistoricalFiction – 18th July 2018

I am thrilled to be welcoming Allie Burns to my blog via Jenny Marston of  Neverland Blog Tours: https://jennyinneverland.com/tag/neverland-blog-tours/

I am one of the blog stops on the tour which runs from the 16th to the 22nd of July. Do visit Allie Burn’s other blog tour hosts  to see all the reviews, q and a’s, excerpts, etc.

 

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Today I am sharing this excerpt from Allie Burn’s novel:

 

Excerpt 1

The beginning of The Land Girl
March 1915

Emily held her breath as she stood at the top of the stairs. When she was sure it was safe she tiptoed down, which was not that easy in her brother John’s work boots, even with the gap in the toes stuffed with balled-up newspaper.
The muffled chatter from her mother’s knitting party flooded the hallway. She quickened her pace to reach the safety of the door that led through to the kitchen, only to narrowly avoid colliding with Daisy – the housemaid – and a platter of crustless sandwiches. They greeted one another and before Emily could remind her, Daisy nodded and said, ‘Don’t worry, I haven’t seen you.’
Emily opened the back door and the dazzling sunlight caressed her skin. She would have to make it up to Mother later because she couldn’t sit in that stifling sitting room, knitting socks for the soldiers at the Front when the sun shone.
‘By the way,’ Emily called back to Daisy who was straightening out the sandwiches again. ‘Did you leave this on my pillow?’ She waved a newspaper cutting that she’d found on her bed in an envelope addressed to her.
Daisy shook her head. ‘I found it on the doormat, hand delivered.’
Emily shrugged. She would thank whoever the sender was when they made themselves known.
Outside, she leant back against the scullery door, and admired the plump, carefree clouds, shifting their shapes and rushing onwards against the backdrop of the heavenly blue sky.
She held up the notice cut from the Standard, reading it slower this time to take it in. Her heart began to thump.

Women on the Land

Highly trained women of good birth and some country-bred women, hitherto working in service, or in trade, will make themselves useful in any way on a farm to gain experience.

May we make known that we wish to hear from farmers, market gardeners and others wanting the services of women for work on the land.

The notice went on to say that educated girls would act as a shining example to village and city girls – encourage them out in their numbers to do their bit for the war effort.
But whoever posted this through the door must know that she wasn’t ‘highly trained’ in anything other than English literature, and that wasn’t an easy situation to fix. She did spend far more time on the farm and outdoors than was usual for a girl like her, as Mother was always reminding her, but that didn’t mean she could turn her hand to farming so easily; she’d need to be trained and the notice in the Standard said that took six weeks.
She couldn’t in all good conscience leave her Mother to attend a course. Mother hardly slept and was afraid to be left alone since Father had died two years ago, and it was even worse now Emily’s older brother, John, had received his officer commission, turning Mother a ghastly pale whenever the delivery boy came up the path.

 

Blurb: War changes everything…

Emily has always lived a life of privilege. That is until the drums of World War One came beating. Her family may be dramatically affected but it also offers her the freedom that she craves. Away from the tight control of her mother she grabs every opportunity that the war is giving to women like her, including love.

Working as a land girl Emily finds a new lease of life but when the war is over, and life returns to normal, she has to learn what to give up and what she must fight for.

Will life ever be the same again?

 

Author Photo

About the author:

Allie lives in Kent with her family and two tortoises. When she is not writing for business or penning her women’s historical fiction. She has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and The Lido Girls is her debut novel. She is currently working on a second interwar years novel, which is due for publication in the summer of 2018.

Website: http://www.allie-burns.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/allieburns1

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/allieburnsauthor

Goodreads: Goodreads The Land Girl

Amazon UK: The Land Girl

Blurb: War changes everything…

Emily has always lived a life of privilege. That is until the drums of World War One came beating. Her family may be dramatically affected but it also offers her the freedom that she craves. Away from the tight control of her mother she grabs every opportunity that the war is giving to women like her, including love.

Working as a land girl Emily finds a new lease of life but when the war is over, and life returns to normal, she has to learn what to give up and what she must fight for.

Will life ever be the same again?

 

Website: http://www.allie-burns.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/allieburns1
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/allieburnsauthor

 

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

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Goodreads: https://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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My #Book Review of I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl…. a novel with “an astonishing intensity that drags you in and never – ever – lets you go.” (Daily Mail, UK)

On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street …

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them.

My review:

This psychological thriller surprised me, again and again but I am ashamed to say it has been sitting on my shelf for some time. And guess what – it belongs to my mum! She loves well written murder mysteries and thrillers (the more gruesome the better)  but can’t watch anything remotely scary on TV. This cracks me up! So mum, you’d be proud of me, I loved this, even though some passages made me draw a shocked breath in, thankful that I wasn’t the main protagonist in the story.

Here are the blurb sentences on the back of the book and my commentary!

In a split-second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare.  (No kidding!)

Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows, to start afresh. (But how can she?)

Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life for ever.  (And isn’t that an understatement.)

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. (Curiouser and curiouser!)

But her past is about to catch up with her and the consequences will be devastating….  (Never a truer word said!)

My recommendation:

Read I let You Go if you enjoy tense, fast-paced (particularly in the second half of the novel,) thrillers with a twist that surprises and shocks. There is plenty to get your teeth into: emotion, grief, trust, blind love, overcoming fear, a mother’s love, guilt, domestic violence …

My rating:

Overall 5 stars. The first half of the novel is perhaps a little slow (a four star,) but well worth hanging in there to reach those middle to end chapters that sky rockets this novel up to five stars.

Amazon UK Kindle Buying Link: http://amzn.to/2A5Hb6b

Amazon UK Hardcover Buying Link: http://amzn.to/2A4U0gU

Amazon UK Paperback Buying Link: http://amzn.to/2B2OgUk

 

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  
My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Have you read I Let You Go? I’d love to hear your views if you have.

Bye for now.

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My social media links:
Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook

 

 


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

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

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

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

Amelina: Thanks for the invite.

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

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

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

We pause for a moment lost in our thoughts.

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

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

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

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

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

I laugh, and Amelina rolls her eyes.

MJ: Tell us about your life…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MJ: And friends?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amelina: Aww, thanks! No problem.

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

Amelina: Huh, no surprise there!

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

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

MJ: Never a truer word said.

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

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

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

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

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Photos courtesy of:

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

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

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

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

On-Line Book Launchfilled with

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

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My social media hang outs:

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time
Instagram
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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.

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My Review of Thirteen Reasons Why

20170722_193102 (2)Goodreads Synopsis:

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

My review: 

This is a difficult book to review not because of the writing brilliance or lack of, more because suicide is such an emotive and difficult subject to deal with sensitively. It’s one of those books that definitely fits in the unputdownable category. Curiosity carries you forward, and keeps you turning the pages… but, for me the tapes were a device, a method that the author used to convey the suicide’s victims feelings beyond the grave to the people who had hurt her. Wait a minute, I have an issue with this. Suicides don’t do this. This involves planning, and people considering ending their lives are unlikely to write a note, family and friends are left wondering  – Why? But, I reckon Jay Asher meant well. I believe her intention was to explain that even the smallest hurt can attach to a larger hurt to grow into a huge hurt ball of pain. I get that, and it sounds plausible, but the upshot of this is the main protagonist starts of sounding whiny, and distances the reader somewhat. I didn’t find the main protagonist Hannah a likeable character, but perhaps that’s the point? The act of suicide means that you don’t dwell on who you might  hurt by your actions – you are too immersed in your own pain – hence the significance of the rape scene. I’m not going into details in this review, no spoilers, read this yourself and make up your own mind.

Ultimately, suicide is the most terribly sad act of self destruction committed by a person who has mental health issues, or is suffering with unbearable pain. Mental health, bullying and depression are major reasons why people commit suicide and these issues should be discussed openly and with a caring attitude, particularly as they are a rising problem in our young people.

Thirteen Reasons Why isn’t a perfect book, but it does provokes discussion. It makes you consider what damage people do to each other and acknowledges that we don’t really know what is going on in other people’s lives.

Of course this debut has been an enormous success with a TV series on Netflix. Both of my daughters have watched the series.)

Rating: A very difficult one to rate, I spent a lot of time deliberating about this one. I’d say it is sitting on a 4 star read.

Resources: 

If you are experiencing mental health problems I’ve discovered this wonderful online resource that I would recommend:  https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/general/i-need-someone-to-talk-to-about-my-problems-but-where-do-i-turn/

 

Disclaimer and buying links: 

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Buying Links:

UK Kindle:  http://amzn.to/2f5UABK

UK Paperback: http://amzn.to/2f61iaR

 

Bye for now,

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My social media links:

Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time

Instagram

Facebook

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


Continue reading My Review of Thirteen Reasons Why

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My Kyrosmagica Review of The Bone Collection by Kathy Reichs

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A collection of pulse-pounding tales featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan—including the untold story of her first case!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the hit Fox series Bones, Kathy Reichs is renowned for chilling suspense and fascinating forensic detail. The Bone Collection presents her trademark artistry in this collection of thrilling short fiction.

In First Bones, a prequel to Reichs’s first novel, Déjà Dead, she at last reveals the tale of how Tempe became a forensic anthropologist. In this never-before-published story, Tempe recalls the case that lured her from a promising career in academia into the grim but addictive world of criminal investigation. (It all began with a visit from a pair of detectives—and a John Doe recovered from an arson scene in a trailer.) The collection is rounded out with three more stories that take Tempe from the low country of the Florida Everglades, where she makes a grisly discovery in the stomach of an eighteen-foot Burmese python, to the heights of Mount Everest, where a frozen corpse is unearthed. No matter where she goes, Tempe’s cases make for the most gripping reading.

 

I won a copy of  The Sunday Times No. 1 Bestseller Kathy Reich’s The Bone Collection via Linda Hill who blogs at: Linda’s Book Bag

So a big thank you for my winning copy! Of course, my opinions are my own and are not influenced in anyway by me receiving a free copy.

My review:

This isn’t my usual kind of read and at first, I was a little bit skeptical whether or not it would appeal to me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The excellence of Kathy Reich’s writing and her detailed and knowledgeable observations about forensic anthropology kept me entertained throughout all four of these novellas, based on her successful Temperance Brennan series. This is a special treat for Kathy Reich enthusiasts as all four pieces: Bones In her Pocket, Swamp Bones, Bones on Ice,  and First Bones are presented in a single collection in this novel. Bones both animal, and human do figure a lot in this novel, it’s to be expected! So be prepared for some gruesome moments. If I were, to sum up this novel I’d say: punchy, gripping, wincing, chilling, compelling, detailed, gut turning sleuthing mysteries to be solved, sliced with unexpected twists and turns, and served with a fulsome dollop of humour.

Highly recommended. My rating 4.5 stars.

Have you read Kathy Reich? Do comment and let me know.

Bye for now, happy reading!

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