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!
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:
And what is his connection to twin brothers, Harold and William?
When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request
Will his sister Annette honour it?
Or, will the magic of the garden ensure that she does.
A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.
Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties. Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press. When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct. After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Mr. Sagittarius features a variety of photographs including ones of: trees, a robin and a dragonfly! As well as this there are several stories, and some Halloween poems.
It is dedicated to two amazing ladies: Colleen Chesebro (for her weekly poetry challenges and Charli Mills (flash fiction challenges.) Both ladies have been a source of inspiration and encouragement.
Mr. Sagittarius is a magical celebration of the natural world, a circle of life story with an emphasis on the changing seasons of the year.
Featured at Treasuring Poetry, hosted and reviewed by Robbie Cheadle
THE GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW (story and poem plus photo of a dragonfly)
GOLDEN WILLOW TREE (poem and photo)
ROBIN: ETHEREE (poem and photo)
LIFE LESSONS FROM BUDDHA (poem)
LIFE LESSONS FROM CATS (poem and photo image via Samantha Murdoch)
MR. FROWNING TREE (poem and photo)
RAINBOW CHILD (story and image of Tourmaline crystal via Samantha Murdoch)
FRIENDS FOR TEA (poem)
THE CANDY CORN MONSTER (Halloween poem)
CANDYFLOSS CRITTER (Halloween poem)
MR GHOST WITH EASE (Halloween poem)
DREAMING AT HALLOWEEN (Halloween poem)
ODE TO LOVE –ETERNAL (Ghost/love poem)
LOVE TAKEN BY DEATH: DIAMANTE (poem)
GHOST: SEPTOLET (Ghost poem)
A FACE ON BARK: ETHEREE (poem)
LOLLIPOP SUNSHINE TREE (poem and photo)
FOR MR. SNOWMAN (poem)
SERENA’S CHRISTMAS BUBBLE MONSTER (humorous story and photo)
BUBBLY SNOWMAN KISSES (poem)
THAT TWINKLE IN HER EYES IS MAGIC (poem)
THE OLD MAN OF SNOW AND THE SNOW SNAKE (story)
MY HEART IS A CAVE (poem)
MR. SAGITTARIUS (story)
MR. SAGITTARIUS DIED THIS DAY IN THIS SNOW DROP GARDEN (poem/prose/photo of snow drops.)
Wonderful 5 star review for Mr. Sagittarius poetry and prose from author D. L. Finn
“Mr. Sagittarius” is a wonderful collection of poetry, prose, and pictures weaved into a magical story. The book focuses on three older siblings. The male twins have developed a special relationship, making their sister feeling left out. When one twin passes, that leaves the brother and sister to grieve. The stories have powerful images that move the narrative along and sometimes veer off into the unknown for a quick visit. We are led through picturesque scenery and whimsical moments, which include an unusual bubble bath, a rainbow hat, and an ice cave. The poetry was beautiful and powerful, and the photos captured nature brilliantly. A quick read that I found relaxing and endearing. A perfect escape in unsettled times that I recommend.
by M.J. Mallon (Goodreads Author) Robbie Cheadle‘s 5 star review May 09, 2021 Mr Sagittarius is a beautiful collection of poems and short stories, set in the lovely gardens of Cambridge and linked by the visits and experiences of a family of twin brothers and their younger sister.
The story starts with William visiting the weeping willow tree in the garden, a place that was special to his twin brother, Harold, who has recently passed away. William sees Harold’s spirit in a dragonfly that he chats to and finds solace in their one-sided communication.
This is a few lines from a poem about the dragonfly: “Ancient, sweet fellow Sacred magic bestower, Change tumbling on fragile wings.”
When William returns home, he has an altercation with his sister, Annette. During their spat Annette reveals that she has always felt left out and overlooked by her twin brothers. This revelation leads to William and Annette becoming closer and visiting the garden together. Not long after, William passes on and Annette is left alone. She visits the garden and communicates with the spirits of both her brothers over the course of the rest of her long life.
The visits of the siblings to the garden are captured in lovely verse. This is an example I really enjoyed: “I dream in colour But now everything is dark Where has the light gone? Oh, cruel leafy canopy, No green meadow, just blue thoughts.”
My favourite of the short stories was The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake. This is a story about making good choices in life and rejecting greed. I enjoyed the tale and the descriptive writing.
Mr Sagittarius is a gorgeous book full of delightfully depictive poems and short stories and decorated with striking photographs. This is a book that lovers of poetry, mystery, and wonder will love.
Also, many thanks to Sally Cronin for a wonderful feature review shout out recently too for Mr. Sagittarius.
“A magical book filled with prose, poetry and photographs all linking back to twin brothers, William and Harold. A fascination with the botanical gardens, and regular visits to the bench under the Golden weeping willow, spark poetic memorise and introduce magical creatures. I have to say, I loved the Bubble Monster! The author, MJ, Mallon, has weaved a mystical tale using her poetry and story-telling, to produce a lovely short read that can be dipped into whenever you want.”
“Mr. Sagittarius is the tale of two very different brothers and their only sister, told in poetry and prose inspired by the natural beauty of the botanical gardens in Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Montreal. The accompanying photographs compliment the story adding to the beauty of the author’s words.
We begin with William, who is mourning the loss of his brother Harold. However, he isn’t the only one feeling the pain of bereavement. Annette, the sister, also laments Harold’s passing. This loss forces the two remaining members of the family to come to grips with their grief in a most extraordinary way.
This is a charming poetic journey inspired by the author’s chance meeting with a dragonfly and a robin, sure to delight all readers. Yet, there is more than one magical tale spilling from this collection. By the time you reach the finale, Mr. Sagittarius reveals the wisdom of a life richly lived.”
“Set against the beautiful back drop of the botanical gardens in Cambridge, prose and verse tell the story of people who find solace and joy in the weeping willow tree and dragonflies and in the wonders of the orchids in the hot house. Twin brothers have a favourite bench where they watch the world go by, and their sister Annette reflects on her life after their loss… Other characters make their appearances sharing the magic of the natural world, including young Aurora who collects rainbows and semi-precious stones.
The author takes us through the seasons with poems reflecting the festivals such as Halloween and Christmas, with ghosts and snowmen and a Christmas Bubble Monster. Finally we meet Mr. Sagittarius who shares the loves of his long life….
This is a delightful read with wonderful photographs to enhance the words, and you will find yourself returning to certain passages to read again and enjoy. I am sure you will find your own favourites and I was hard pushed to select just one, but the Etheree: A Face on Bark struck a chord with me.” Author Sally Cronin.
“This is a short book of poetry and prose about aging siblings and the wisdom of Nature. Mallon’s prose reads like fairy tales, and her poetry reads like magic. The stories and poems are loosely linked, episodic snapshots of the sibling’s lives. It’s an upbeat, happy read.” A Happy Read – Priscilla Bettis, author.
“What a magical Web is woven here by author Marjorie Mallon. A tale of two brothers and a sister, botanical gardens, magical creatures and a bench under a Golden Willow Tree. This delightful mix can be either read in one go or enjoyed as momentary fix. I truly cannot recommend Mr Sagittarius enough there is something for everyone inside it’s pages. I shall say no more apart from urge you to read this book and be totally charmed by it.” Willow Willers.
“I absolutely adore this book and will be sharing it with my 18 year old daughter. I enjoyed the different styles of poetry and prose mixed together with photography. It flowed beautifully. An uplifting, magical, sweet gem of a book.”
This was a charming and whimsical read. The author, Mallon, takes us into a magical world in her prose in a tale about 2 siblings, Annette and William, both aging and dealing in their own ways with the grief and some resentments of their departed brother Harold, twin to William. They open up to each other on a bench under the Golden Weeping Willow tree where nature reveals messages.
Mallon did a wonderful job projecting the imagery as the story interconnects with intermittent poetry taking place in the magical botanical gardens, and beautiful photographs added to complement the story.
This is a short upbeat read with great descriptions and an engaging story.
5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified PurchaseShaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done. Adele Marie Park.
I am an author who has been blogging for many moons at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com.
My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, ghost/horror short stories and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka.
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.
As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters often return to visit me with a cheery smile.
When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I share book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, photography and inspirational details of my writing journey at my lovely blog home – Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com/
I added the last line as the dragonfly has such a short life like the butterfly and change can be fragile unless we encourage and nurture it and learn to be our better selves.
A while ago on my frequent visits to Cambridge Botanical Gardens I came across a very friendly dragonfly. This particular fellow, or lady dragonfly, landed right next to me on the bench. Mr. or Miss. Dragonfly remained for a very long time as if enjoying my company! I even placed my hand above expecting the dragonfly to fly away but it stayed motionless enjoying the sunshine with me.
It flew off for a few moments and then came back to me as if showing off its flying prowess.
Later, I posted about this encounter on Facebook and received several comments, one of which said: dragonflies are good luck omens and seeing one may denote change.
How interesting! Yes, this ancient insect has many myths and legends attributed to it. In Japan, it is revered as a good luck symbol and often mentioned in haiku poetry. Some cultures link the dragonfly with the dragon which is a startling synergy as I intend to write about dragons in the final book of my YA series The Curse of Time. I’m currently editing book two and hope to have the second book out by Christmas.
The first book in the series is available via Amazon and is receiving a good amount of 4 and 5 star reviews: Buy Book:myBook.to/TheCurseofTime
Returning to the dragonfly I’d recommend the following post if you want to find out more about dragonflies. It is a fascinating dragonfly article sharing different reactions from all over the world ranging from: celebrating, or fearing the dragonfly: J Sedgwick: http://www.icysedgwick.com/dragonfly-folklore/
Whatever the truth about dragonflies I like to believe in their magic.
Certainly, it is true that my life has changed in the most amazing way since I’ve discovered the joys of writing, blogging and photography.
Since encountering my dragonfly friend I have written a short story about twin brothers and a dragonfly bound to the magic of the gorgeous Golden Willow Tree which opens the narrative in Mr. Sagittarius.
I’ve mentioned the Willow Tree before in my series of posts about the magic of trees:
It’s amazing that there are ideas/characters/inspirations for writing everywhere. All manner of strange beings: (Insects, trees and people!) can supply ideas which excite me as I pass by on my way to my day job, or on my days off work.
For instance, the two brothers in Mr. Sagittarius: Harold and William were inspired by a couple of elderly gents that I noticed on my way to work one day. They were such extraordinary looking characters that I just had to write about them! They had no idea what I had in store for them… Thank goodness it’s all fictional. Lol.
If you open your eyes to magic you will discover stories everywhere. Time to embrace change with a full and happy heart.
Getting back to the dragonfly. Have you had a similar encounter with a spirit animal?
Do let me know, I’d love to hear about it.
Some good news! My full colour paperback is now available in Amazon. Here’s my universal link for Mr. Sagitarrius which is available in paperback, kindle and free on kindle unlimited: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius
Thank you to Ritu for this blog tour post for Mr. Sagittarius.
Pop over to read a short excerpt… and to find out more.
The first month’s royalties of the ebook will be donated to the Australian bush fires.
All proceeds for the first month’s sales will be donated to the Australian Bush Fire charity. So please do buy a copy, and share this post widely.
Link to Amazon UK:
My blog tour hosts are these lovely peeps:
Samantha Murdoch whose son Alex Marlowe has two photos included in this collection of poetry, prose and photography. Sam and I share a love of cats and crystals. She is a beautiful soul and has a n awesome blog about cats, crystals and her life at: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/
Rachael Ritchey – who did an amazing job she designed the cover and formatted the interior of the book. I swear this lovely lady never sleeps. Her life is full of creativity! She writes YA fantasy: https://rachaelritchey.com/and has a separate blog with short story prompts to encourage writers to write! https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/
Charli Mills from Carrot Ranch Literary. What a beautiful lady, she does so much for the writing community with her enthusiasm for writing flash fiction: https://carrotranch.com/charlimills/
Sherri Matthews is such a lovely, genuine, dear friend. I’ve met her in person at the Bloggers Bashes in London. She is a blogger and memoir writer whose lovely blog is called A View From My Summerhouse: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/
Colleen Chesebro is the Fairy Queen of poetry. Her weekly poetry challenges have done so much to help me in my writing journey. Her blog is: https://colleenchesebro.com/ Colleen also gave me masses of help and support when writing the first in my series The Curse of Time. A hugely supportive writer and fellow Sister of the Fey in our collaborative group: https://sistersofthefey.com/
Jacquie Biggar is a USA Bestselling author of Romance. She is an indie author who supports others by opening up her blog to author promotions particularly for romance authors: https://jacqbiggar.com/
Ritu Bhathal is another sis! This lady inspires me so much, she is a teacher, blogging expert, poet and romance writer. She is the real deal, a genuinely nice gal who I’ve had the honour of meeting at the Bloggers Bashes in London too! https://ritubhathal.com/
Willow Willers, is another blogging sis, a popular blogger, poet and friend via: yes you guessed it The Bloggers Bash in London! A sweet soul with a heart of gold https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/