Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do.
With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future.
The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.
float along with me
create clouds of sweetest joy
to do what you love
hold fate’s hand as we venture
near and far on life’s journey
Release Date: 25th November 2022, able to preorder via the following links.
Oh what a lovely book, filled with poetic gems and beautiful prose! I enjoy reading MJ Mallon’s poetic fiction, where she ties poetry with prose, and have read several of her previous books written similarly. Do What You Love is almost autobiographical in a sense that she has taken her memories and written them in poetic form, and the fictional, almost fantastical element is where she meets the three sisters of fate through her journey of reminiscences, and they talk about her different memories. It’s not linear, but no conversation ever is, is it? Memories jump from the more recent to the older ones as they come tumbling into your mind. I felt a keen connection to the poems about her daughters, and the autumn trees. Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. A lovely book with a personal touch.
I’ve read this author’s work before: young adult novels, poetry and flash fiction, and I love her imaginative handling of the magical, the phantasmagorical and surreal. This short book is no exception to the quality of MJ Mallon’s output. I found her exploration of her past life captivating.
We may consider that the inclusion of often very personal material in a compilation of this sort would make it difficult for the outside reader to find a way in. This is not true at all of MJ Mallon’s poetry and prose: in many places, I related so much to what she writes, especially about a daughter ‘flying the nest’ to a faraway country. I particularly loved the device MJ Mallon uses to draw all this together: she presents it as a conversation with Atropos, one of the three Fates in Greek mythology: the Morai.
Atropos presides over the past. I thought this worked extremely well as a central metaphor. It had me googling the three Fates, and reading all about them: Clotho, who spins the threads of life, guardian of the present; Lachesis, who measures the length of life with her measuring rod, and is guardian of the future: and Atropos, who is the guardian of fate and destiny, and who chooses the manner of death by snipping the threads of an individual’s life.
MJ Mallon has had a fascinating and varied life experience: born in Singapore, she spent her childhood in Hong Kong and her teens in Edinburgh. She now lives in Cambridge. Every culture she has lived in, I believe, has influenced her imagination, her interests and her approach as a writer. In this book, we find a compilation of words and images which draw us in: poignant, sensitive, delicate, playful, as she opens up for us her past and present relationships, the places she has loved and spent time in, and her thoughts and feelings about it all.
And also available in paperback with full colour photography.
I am thrilled to say that two of my poetry collections, (Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose and Lockdown Innit,) have been requested by prestigious libraries in the UK: The British Library, The Bodleian Library Oxford University, the Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin for Legal Deposit.
The cover of the paperback and kindle have been designed by Colleen Chesebro who has a new service for authors which I can highly recommend. Colleen also designed the interior and cover of The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet.
Poetry also features in my highly acclaimed YA Fantasy series. Each chapter begins with a short poem. The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone and Book 2 Golden Healer are published by Next Chapter Publishing.
Faced with a task that could turn them into monsters, Sarnd and Jessa must decide whether to run away or save the world.
Six years ago, twins Sarnd and Jessa thought they’d rid their world of the malevolent Serpentstone. Since then they’ve worked hard to set their shocking past behind them.
But the Serpentstone has returned, and they’re asked to carry it to an abandoned mine where it will be sealed deep underground. The Stone appears to be much weaker than it was, but they learned the hard way never to trust it.
The Stone starts to regain its terrifying power, and while Sarnd is desperate to complete their mission so he can go back to his new life, Jessa has other ideas.
As their mission becomes a race against time, can the twins learn to trust each other again and avoid becoming the creatures they fear the most?
Buy the thrilling sequel to The Hungry Fire and enter a world of chaotic magic, treacherous allies and underdog heroes!
Release date: 23rd July, available to preorder now.
Thank you to the author for an advanced reader’s copy which I read and review freely and without bias.
This is book 2 in the Serpentstone series. I managed to read book 2 without any problems. But ideally, it would be best to read the 1st book in the series: The Hungry Fire (Serpentstone Book 1) which is available at special offer price via this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08TCFWY8B
SARND: “I’m a monster, created by my so-called parents as a weapon using the corrupted power of the Serpentstone.”
The Poison Ember is a story of magic, power, fighting, sparring, revenge, adventure and secrets. “Known to the Academy as the Orufasu, the Stone was the greatest concentration of magical power ever discovered.”
“The Stone was so mighty, and had the power to strip away all that she thought she was, turning her and Sarnd into projections of its own violent and callous will. How could they be deluded enough to think they could come near it and survive?
And now, here he was, carrying a bag that held the greatest concentration of magic ever found. Against his will, he was caught up in a new adventure—one likely to end in tragedy rather than triumph.”
It’s a tale in which you suspend belief and take a magical journey into a land created wholly by the author’s imagination. Amusing in parts, I appreciated the revelations about the stone, the sibling banter, and uncertainties of trust played out between Sarnd and his twin sister Jessa.
The latter chapters of the story became more exciting as the adventure continued.
Overall, this is a well written, high fantasy adventure tale. Please note: a fair amount of dialogue and the story is delivered with quite a few characters to get to grips with, which is (not uncommon with high fantasy books, but usually there is one central character who is the main focus.) In this story, there are three main protagonists – the twins, Sarnd and Jessa, and of course the stone, who also becomes a character in many ways.
My rating: an enjoyable 4 stars. Recommended for high fantasy, epic fantasy, adventure, sword and sorcery fans.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
An Australian living in the United Kingdom, A.M. Obst has always loved to daydream and make up things about places that don’t exist. An avid reader of fantasy novels, he has also been spotted holding books from other genres, including science fiction, crime, thrillers, horror, romance and historical adventures.
These author interviews initiated by Alex Pearl during the Covid epidemic started as a small lockdown project. But before long, Alex’s requests for author interviews on social media elicited an overwhelming response, and the project soon took on on a life of its own.
Within these pages, authors from a wide spectrum of backgrounds wax lyrical about their backgrounds, motivations, and working methods. Among this throng, self-published newbies rub shoulders with award-winning bestsellers from all corners of the globe, including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Israel and Sri Lanka.
They provide a fascinating insight into this mysterious process of creating imagined worlds on the page.
Huge thanks go to the 100 authors who very kindly gave their time to participate in this project, as well as their consent for their words to be reproduced here in print. They are in no particular order:
Paul Waters, Jessica Norrie, David F. Ross, Drema Drudge, Chris Chalmers, Mark Farrer, Sue Clark, Hannah Tovey, Belinda Hunt, Glynn Holloway, Mark Eklid, Julian Dutton, Christopher Bowden, Alan Gibbons, Lily Mackenzie, Ian Critchley, Jadi Campbell, Tom Atkins, Jane Risdon, Charles Harris, L. C. Tyler, Fran Hill, Malcolm Knott, Nikki Dudley, Jacqui Castle, Ron Impey, C. J. Booth, Ashok Ferrey, Jennifer Irwin, Beth Duke, Vicki Olsen, Pete Langman, Pauline Morgan, Jonathan Peace, Sandy Manning, Shelley Wilson, P. J. Roscoe, Anthony Neil Smith, A. A. Chaudhuri, Jon Richter, Carolyn Hughes, Trish Moran, Madeline Dewhurst, Jeff Pollak, Louise Fein, A. B. Kyazze, Jack Byrne, M. A. Hunter, Tessa Harris, M. J. Mallon, P. R. Black, Nina Soden, Bill Arnott, E. Chris Ambrose, Paul Kane, Sam Blake, Douglas Skelton, Louise Mumford, Philip Henry, Hazel Prior, Lauren Emily Whalen, Laura E. Goodin, Simon Van der Velde, Dr. Manuel Matas, Jane Bettany, Regina Puckett, S. G. M.Ashcroft, Michele Kwasniewski, Judy Stanigar, Robert Craven, John Darling, Pramudith D. Rupasinghe, Richard Dee, Sophy Layzell, Lorna Dounaeva, Diana Stevan, Bradley Harper, Paul Gitsham, Sion Scott-Wilson, John Dean, Liz Martinson, C. J.Carver, Tony J. Forder, Sharron L. Miller, Patrick Osborne, Peter Turnham, Jude Lennon, Anna Holmes, Chris Calder, Jane Buckley, Rachel Brimble, Gail Aldwin, Anne Coates, Ian Riddle, Christina Hamlett, James Morgan-Jones, Alison Huntingford, Gila Green, Helen Pryke, Emilya Naymark, Marcia Clayton, James L’Etoile, Edward Trayer, Mark Leichliter, Lindsay J. Sedgwick, David Liscio, Kate Reynolds
“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.
An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.
In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams and loss.
The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?
At the end of the collection there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits and love of food!
What strikes me about Sally Cronin’s books is the quiet unassuming way in which they appear without too much fanfare. Sally is a wonderful supporter of the indie writing community, so I am glad to be able to give her a little fanfare too by writing a review for her latest book Life is Like A Mosiac: Random Fragments in Harmony. Great title, I’m sure you will agree!
I loved the dedication within with all the names of the people within her writing circles, so lovely.
I’m a big fan of poetry in all its forms, so this book of eclectic poems from Sally Cronin really appealed to me. There are a wide variety, some wise, some amusing, some thoughtful, some just darn well cute. They are all beautiful presented with accompanying photographs taken from various sources.
Favourites include: Farewell to Colourful Friends, Spices, Dreams, Happiness, Mother Nature, Immortality, Hope, Loose Lips, First Steps, The Circle of Life, Finding Clarity, Creatures of The Night, A Toast to Life, Beneath The Redwoods, Persecution in The Garden, Advancing Years, The Crocodile, Silver Lining to Isolation, The Wise Woman’s Apprentice.
Some are illustrated with personal photographs taken from the authors Childhood Memories in Ceylon, and on Summer Holidays, and as she gets a bit older she becomes Rebellious in Frome!
This poetry collection is accessible, unpretentious, (which I love,) and enjoyable. It will make you smile, reflect and bring back your own memories of when you were young, mischievous and perhaps a little difficult too!
In my case, it brought back memories of when I lived abroad in Childhood Memories – Sally’s poetry spoke to me taking me back in time.
Highly recommended – 5 stars
Many thanks to the author for an ARC copy for review which I happily give with no bias.
An author’s life can get somewhat manic at times. Recently, I travelled up to Edinburgh to see my family. I was so looking forward to a break, a chance to unwind, spend time with mum, dad, my brother, friends and my MIL.
Here I am with mum and dad in the beautiful botanical gardens in Edinburgh.
Whilst on holiday the inevitable happened, I had this feeling it would. My publisher Next Chapter asked me to check all the files for publishing! And to do this within five days.
This wouldn’t have been too bad if there was one file but there were 9 in total including clear print, (which I have no clue what this is for?) epub, mobi, large print, hardback, and a range of different sizes too.
All very impressive, beautifully formatted and edited but a little voice cried out but… I’m meant to be on holiday… this will take me forever!
Forget it sucker. Writers don’t ever get holidays.
Next up, what next? My eldest daughter Natasha has been ill for a couple of days and it turns out she and her friends have covid. What? So, crank up my worry notch ten thousand paces. I couldn’t see her for 10 days – most of my holiday. She was alone in her flat in Glasgow and was running out of food. Crank up the worry notch even more. Luckily, the kind guys on reception took her online order up to her flat and left it for her by her door.
Apparently the first four days of her covid experience involved nasty coughing, temperature, vomiting and other nasties. Thank goodness she is well now.
After the fellows at Track and Trace gave her the all clear I popped over to Glasgow to see her and stayed in her student flat. That was an eye opener – I didn’t sleep for two nights. There was a fantastic reggae party going on somewhere – I wish I’d been invited – I loved reggae as a youngster! And the sea gulls were joining in too, squawking merrily. The upstairs flat were doing some kind of odd manoeuvres in the middle of the night. Natasha slept through it all – obviously used to it – exhausted post covid with ear plugs in.
Nevertheless, Natasha and I still managed to have a couple of days fun in Glasgow.
We went to Hanoi Bike Shop, a tasty Vietnamese restaurant where we tried the surprise menu with extra spice! We didn’t know what was coming but it was great and fun to try new things.
We went for a walk afterwards…
Natasha’s moving to Edinburgh (she’s starting her teaching job in August – whoop, whoop so proud to have a Secondary English teacher in the family, and delighted that my youngest daughter Georgina has been awarded her degree a 2.1 in Fashion with Business Management.)
I offered to help take some of Natasha’s endless coats and books through. My suitcase handle decided not to work all the way from her flat to the station. We missed the train by a few minutes, (no way was she able to run as she was still a bit weak after covid,) so we waited for the next one. As soon as we sat down the suitcase handle decided to pop up! I asked some advice from the train staff about the validity of my ticket and he called me pal – this is Glaswegian style for mate, like hen (which is a common colloquialism in parts of Scotland,) this brought back memories of my student days in Glasgow!
Now, here’s the thing, we are told to keep apart, mask up, etc, etc. But the train was packed! There were two young girls on board who thought showing off their perfectly applied make up counted as more imperative than wearing a mask. And there was a guy too – unmasked, but no make up – I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt perhaps he had an exemption?
So, long story short I’m back home now. Back at work. What else can happen? Oh, a small matter of losing 22 reviews on Amazon…
Republishing my debut has had its problems. Sneaky metadata and a title change has caused Amazon to treat this new edition like an all new spanking new book but without the benefit of a new book’s promotion.
And this message from BookBub: The new edition of Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) has now been added to your profile. I want to share that previously published works are not eligible for New Releases for Less or New Release Alerts. I’m sorry about this.
Laughing hysterically! Not to worry, I’ve got this.
I like a challenge.
So, please… I’d love some help with reviews…. and you can call me whatever you want…. hen, chick, pal, whatever.
Bloodstone is available for free on kindle unlimited… and on Amazon outlets. Here’s the link:
Well, I’m absolutely delighted! Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey. A big thank you to all those who have believed in me, read my books, beta read for me, reviewed and encouraged me, I would not be where I am without your support.
My YA Fantasy Bloodstone is now available to purchase on Amazon in kindle, (free – kindle unlimited,) and in paperback and large print edition – Thank you Next Chapter Publishing. MyBook link: http://mybook.to/bstmm Amazon Preview Link: https://amzn.eu/iwyO8p3
Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.
When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.
With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?
A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.
Most people would call our existence strange, but this is more than that; this deserves a headline. We’re not spectacular enough to feature on the national or international news, but we warranted a column in the local newspaper headed by seven not so lucky words: Missing Father Returns After Weird Aging Phenomenon. I’m glad that our short-lived fame died and the paparazzi, (what a joke,) got bored with us. Now we can get back to the day to day living if you can call it that. We live in a typical suburb of Cambridge in an untypical house. It’s no bungalow, the floors just go on and on, and so do the rumours about us. When I say we, I mean our strange extended family comprising mature, tantrum-prone Mum, Dad (alias: old man before his time), teenage me, the most stable of us all (I think), and self-harming Esme, who isn’t my sister but might as well be. I could write a whole book devoted to her alone. Oh, and I forgot to mention our permanent house guest, Shadow, a black cat of inde‐ terminate age and parentage who arrived one day and never left. The rest of the inhabitants of our household (except perhaps for me and Shadow, although his status is open to debate) are dysfunctional, weirded-out characters.
I have to cope with a lot (and that’s an understatement), so I resort to painting, rock-and-roll, collecting crystals, and writing songs and poetry. I enjoy writing haiku, a Japanese form of poetry with three lines and some syllables to count. It soothes me. I write Tanka too; adding two longer lines at the end, which soothes me more. Each poetic puzzle I jot down serves as a clue for less afflicted folk to decipher what the hell I am talking about. So, what am I talking about? The trouble is I don’t know; I’m still muddling through. Although I expect it’s a cry for help (a yell), combined with me dissecting the details about Mum’s life, Dad’s existence and his disappearance, Esme’s imprisonment, and Shad‐ ow’s ability to appear and reappear at a moment’s notice. And that’s saying nothing about living in a house that feels like a living being! Yes, I joke to stay sane. That’s a lot to process (sorry), and it’s only a fraction, a haiku tidbit, so let’s keep it simple but poetic and start with a view.
And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads to read list:
It’s been a lot of hard work and no peace for the wicked!
I am busy editing the second book for release next and looking into a blog tour company to create some buzz for Bloodstone’s official release.
In the meantime, if you can help by sharing, getting the word out and reviewing, (I know many of you lovelies have already read the original edition and your reviews will hopefully be re-added soon via the powers that be at Amazon! I believe Next Chapter is in touch with them…
I will be celebrating today with my lovely daughter who has had covid but is now better and passed her quarantine.
Thank heavens, what stressful times. I hope you and your loved ones are saying safe and well.