I’m participating in Colleen’s challenge and the prompt words this week are perfect to introduce you to my main male character Ryder in my debut novel – The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.
You can join in Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge by clicking the following link: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/08/15/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-46-haiku-tanka-haibun-honey-wine/
Don’t forget about my online party to celebrate my kindle book release on 26th August which will be held here, on Facebook, and on my social media.
Here’s a buying link to my Amazon UK page:
Bye for now,
My social media hang outs:
Team Awesome at my Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Today, I am delighted to share with you my cover reveal for my debut fantasy YA novel:
The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone
I’m delighted with the cover – Wendy Anne Darling at BOOKXEEDO Book Covers has done a marvellous job. Isn’t the cover just beautiful? Thank you Wendy so much.
Cover photography credit: Chronopage and grasshopper – John C Taylor, OBE.
Cover photography credit: author photo – Georgina Mallon.
Cover photography credit (spine) : Bloodstone – Alex Marlowe.
On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.
Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.
Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.
With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?
Welcome to my M J Mallon author blog otherwise known as Kyrosmagica.
Today, I am interviewing using the initials MJ – (my author nickname and tribute to my favourite superhero – Spiderman’s Mary Jane.)
I have started doing a series of character interviews. Now it’s your turn Ryder…. Previously, I interviewed my black cat character: Interview with Shadow.
Come out of the shadows, Ryder, and let’s chat about your role in my YA novel The Curse of Time: Book 1 – Bloodstone which I intend to release in August. But, before we begin let’s put out the fire….
MJ: That smoke is troubling me.
Instead of answering Ryder lifts his head and blows smoke in my eyes….
So I resort to another tactic… I ask him about himself.
Welcome to Kyrosmagica, Shadow – the black cat who features in my book – The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone. I’m so glad you agreed to this interview opportunity today to help me promote my book which I hope to release this summer. You are such a handsome fellow and quite the gent I hear. Today, we’re going to discuss all manner of things and we will also have a #mentalhealthawarenessweek discussion about anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders.
Tell me about yourself…
Purrrrr.… Thanks for being so welcoming Marje not everyone is so kind to cats. Luckily, I have a lovely owner Amelina who cares for me. I discovered her one day when I was playing in her garden; I peered in the window and I knew she was a special person so I stayed. I’m persuasive that way, one purr, and a stroke of my sleek black fur and humans can’t resist me!
When you say not everyone is so kind to cats does that mean you have had a rough life?
Oh, to answer this question I have to think back in time. The strangest thing happened to me one day. I felt this abundant change in my spirit. One minute I was chasing birds, playing with the mice in a field and then kapow, it hit me. I felt this overwhelming feeling of change. I felt different, overcome with these overwhelming feelings of goodness. But, the goodness felt alien, like it belonged to an earwig or something! The weird thing is in rare moments I feel like I’m someone else entirely and that someone else isn’t nice at all. One day, I experienced this intense moment of evil flooding my poor furry body, it only lasted a second but it shook me up real bad. I’m still trying to recover, my fur is all matted and ruffled. Shadow shivers…
Oh, my goodness that sounds horrible!Perhaps we better change the subject. Could you tell me why you’re called Shadow?
That is a very perceptive question. Shadow twitches his whiskers while considering it. I think it’s because I arrived in the Scott’s house when something good happened that revealed something bad. I represent yin, (shady side,) and yang, (the sunny side,) light and dark, but I am more yang – of sunny disposition – than ying. My tiny moments of ying disturb me…
Yes, life can be full of perplexities and this story is a fine example of that. I prefer the simple things in life… exploring, enjoying the sunshine, lying on the grass, hanging out in my garden, chilling, eating, playing, cuddling, purring, and looking adorable!
What is it like living in the Scott’s household?
Challengingggggg! They are such a strange family. The dad is half dead; the mum is stroppy and Amelina has this sister called Esme whose not a sister but behaves like one. Esme always seems to be up and down in her emotions. Her ying and yang are out of control. She is one confused girl and behaves like a prisoner to her own reflection. I listen to them nattering on… They all have a tragic story and mum, dad and Esme inadvertently tell me their individual stories. More about that in the book…. no spoilers! I know all of their secrets. I’m a snoop! Oh, and I nearly forgot to say Amelina has an aunt Karissa who owns a dog… UGH… a critter called Toby – most unfortunate. The bloody thing comes to stay, breaks things, eats all the time and causes havoc. The aunt drinks, tea, and alcohol too, and eats a lot, mainly chocolate unless she’s dieting. She’s always losing her glasses. Toby and her are quite a pairing!
My goodness sounds like you have to put up with a lot. Getting back to the stories – they sound shocking. Did one confession shock you more than the rest?
The dad’s and Esme’s are the worst. The dad because something has happened to him that is out of his control, (and seems to have impacted upon the whole family,) and I relate to that (after my weird overload of goodness episode,) and Esme because she self harms or did.
Self harm… that and other mental illnesses like anxiety, and depression, are a rising problem in our young people. What’s your opinion about it?
Kids nowadays have a lot of problems and it’s not their fault. I sympathise, I really do. The word pressure sums it up. Pressure to succeed, pressure to look good, (on Instagram, and other social media,) pressure to be thin, pressure to be popular, pressure to have the best-looking boyfriend/girlfriend, pressure to have money, pressure to get to the best Universities… the list just goes on and on.
There’s bullying too, and it isn’t just face to face like it used to be now its via social media too. It’s like there’s no escaping meanness, and rudeness. It’s so immediate, one little tweet, or nasty message via an Instagram shot can go to masses of your ‘friends’ in a mere second. So it’s not surprising that our young people often have mental health issues such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression and self-harm. In the worst case scenario some resort to suicide and that makes me so sad. No one should ever feel that way, there is always help out there. Talk to your mum, dad, a close friend you can trust, a sibling, a counsellor, an aunt, anyone who loves you. Just don’t bottle it up that’s the worst thing you can do.
All youngsters should own cats, Meowwww, cats are good for you. We have superpowers. Truly, we lower your heart rate, boost your immunity, help you relax – we release a calming chemical called oxytocin into your body, and that helps induce love and trust and make you smile. We increase your sociability, yes having cats makes you more sociable, and stops you feeling lonely. Purrrrr. We have a stack load of medical health benefits too: we reduce the risk of heart disease, and heart attacks. We lower your triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Hey, we even reduce your chances of having a stroke. See we cats are superheros! Oh, and top of all that we reduce the carbon footprint, not like doggies like Toby who eat a ton. We eat small morsels, fish, and catch our own prey.
Shadow picks up his paw and licks it.
If you don’t believe me it’s all here: http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-owning-cat/
Is there anyone in Amelina’s life who has an eating disorder?
Yes, there’s this girl called Emily, who struggles with her desire to be thin, and to be loved. I don’t have that problem – I know that Amelina loves me. Also, I take a lot of exercise to keep fit and trim. But, I have a huge heart so I cry real cat tears when I think about poor Emily and others like her.
Does Amelina have a lot of friends?
No, not loads, she’s smart that way, she knows it’s not the number of friends but the quality of friends. Though, not all of them are to my liking… Except me, of course… (I’m her best friend.) She has three close human friends: Jade, Joselyn, and Ilaria. Jade is Amelina’s best human friend. She is arguably the prettiest but the most spoilt. She has this huge house, owns horses, and gets everything she wants. Joselyn is the worrier, (this girl needs a cat!) and Ilaria is the joker, but I sense the jokes hide something deeper. My favourite is Ilaria because I like a laugh. The four of them play in a band and write their own music. It’s pretty cool.
What about guys, does she have a regular boyfriend?
There is nothing regular about Amelina! She stumbled upon this guy called Ryder down a scary river pathway. I tried to follow her, but she shooed me away. The guy’s dangerous I don’t know why I know but I do. He has too much ying in his soul. I don’t trust him. He dresses all in black and has one green eye and one black. But sometimes that green eye looks red to me, like it is bleeding. Creepyyyyyyy. But, Amelina thinks he saved her, from what I can’t imagine, some prank probably.
Is there anyone else you’ve met through Amelina that has left a lasting impression on you?
Oh, yes, Kyle. Love him, he is Ryder’s best friend. He’s so snuggly and nice, I love to sit on his lap and purrrrr. Ohhh….
If you could sum your owner Amelina in words what would you say?
She’s poetic, artistic, musical, kind-hearted, magical and brave but makes mistakes. She is a flawed human, poor thing! Miaowwww.
Thank you so much Shadow for coming on to my blog today and telling us all about my forthcoming new book, The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone. I really appreciate it.
It is my pleasure my dear. Any time… Oh, before I go can I be cheeky and ask one question?
Yes of course you can Shadow.
It’s about Lily who models for me, can you set me up with a date? She looks real cute!
Of course I can Shadow, will do! I chuckle… imagine a date between yourself, (Shadow,) a fictional cat and a non-fictional cat, (Lily,) it could only happen in a writer’s life. Next time, (as long as Lily is willing,) we’ll have the date on Kyrosmagica… and she can tell us all about herself!
Shadow purrs a rich note of contentment in reply.
All above photos of Lily (our black cat model,) courtesy of my lovely blogging friend Samantha Murdoch – photography credit her son Alex Marlowe.
Please visit Samantha’s blog to see her lovely cats and stunning crystals: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com.
Samantha has recently started an Instagram account so please do click the link to see her lovely cats, (they are all supermodels,) and her crystals : Samantha’s IG account
She also twitters on here: Sam Crystal Cats – Twitter
Bye for now,
My social media hang outs:
My New Facebook club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
The prompt words from Colleen this week are lead and save which are appropriate for two reasons. First, I lost some of my manuscript! Somehow bl**** word, yes I am swearing profusely, lost three of my chapters which had me in a right old state… I knew something was going on when my word count dropped dramatically. Luckily, I’d backed up a recent copy so it could have been worse. Much worse. Secondly, the prompt words lead and save fit in very nicely with my sharing part of my YA manuscript The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone with you lovely peeps.
I decided to write a prose envelope which is appropriate as the story begins with an invitation.
Though, there is no invitation mentioned in this short excerpt from Chapter 2:
At that moment I heard a rustling in the nearby grass. Mitch let go of me startled by the noise. I turned, still clutching the camera to my side as I observed a young man who appeared out of the shadows near the edge of the path. His appearance caught my attention because he wore black jeans and a faded black tee-shirt washed so often that its original colour had all but vanished. His strange eyes sought me out. I stood gazing into two of the strangest eyes I had ever seen. One shone black as the richest smeared ink while the other glowed green and reminded me of the lushness of a meadow.
I continued to stare and noticed a dark shadow cloud Ryder’s face. I acknowledged this subtle yet powerful moment. When his eyes darkened, I swear they flashed thunderous daggers at the lads. Ryder’s face locked into a fixed expression as if he prepared to battle. His body became rigid, and his muscles tensed. I stepped back as I observed the hard ground beneath his feet crack, extending in a black shadow as he moved towards the boys. My hand went to my mouth, and I screamed.
To join in Colleen’s challenge: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/05/02/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-32-lead-save/
Hope you like the short excerpt, and the haibun too. Please leave comments to tell me what you think.
Bye for now,
If you’d like to join Team Awesome, a club for bloggers, bookish souls, and authors do get in touch we hang out on Facebook here:
and we have a general information page here too:
Don’t be shy, join this supportive, friendly club. x
This week for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday we have two very tempting prompt words – angel and devil. This is so me!!! I love to explore the light and dark side of life.
The following Tanka is inspired by my current WIP – The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone.
#Tanka Tuesday, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines
Do join in the Tanka fun – here’s the link to find out more: Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday
Bye for now,
I discovered blogger Samantha Murdoch in a particularly unconventional way.
I was looking for a cat to do a bit of modelling for my black cat character in The Curse of Time, and I put out a call for help on Facebook. I received a few replies, not that many, but then I suppose it did seem a bit of an odd request. LOL !!! Then a ever so helpful blogging friend of mine, Gary Jefferies who blogs at Fiction is Food put me in touch with Samantha. Not only did Samantha have a black cat but she has two! Plus several other cats too, so if you are a cat lover, (like I am,) she’s definitely a blogger to follow. Then, to my delight I discovered that she wrote about crystals. How perfect is that? I love crystals too! My manuscript, (which I intend to publish this year) : The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone has several themes: light, represented by crystals, darkness, suggested by shadows, and a nasty old curse.. etc.
Getting back to the black cat discussion …. The only slight problem with our stunning cat models Lily and Tooty is their gender. They are both females! Whereas, the cat character in my book is male… This I can’t change… Never mind… that isn’t a big problem!
Of the two cats, Lily looks just like what I imagine my character Shadow looks like – very panther like! Let me introduce you to Lily…. isn’t she a beautiful cat?
This is Lily with a very artistic shadow! She’s a natural model, look how she stays so still for the camera.
And Lily with her eyes closed, looking very chilled! Love how the light falls on her fur giving it a white glow.
This is my favourite of Lily looking very regal! Look at those eyes, and that glossy fur!
This is Tooty – Don’t they look similar?
Here’s Tooty on the move, her shadow is following…
One way and then another…
Finally, Tooty staying still… looking quite thoughtful. What an interesting background.. Great photo! Mesmerising…
Photographs courtesy of Alex Marlowe (Samantha’s son.)
Thank you so much to Samantha and Alex for allowing me to use these images of Lily and Tooty on my social media. I really do appreciate it, and a big thank you to Gary for introducing me to Samantha.
Please do pop over to Samantha’s blog to appreciate all her lovely cats, and crystals. And visit Gary’s blog too – Gary is such a helpful and friendly blogger, who likes to write, and also blogs about kindness: Fiction Is Food Kindness Challenge Sign Up
You do get a sense of Samantha’s love for cats, and crystals in the following links:
And her feelings about spiders….
And some wonderful poetry too!
Hope you enjoyed my Blogger Spotlight. I shall be continuing to do Author and Blogger Spotlights fairly regularly.
I will be sharing the wonderful photos of Lily and Tooty on twitter, Facebook, and my Instagram account later in the week. So keep a look out for them.
Before I go let me just say – I do find black cats very fascinating…
Black cats rule!
Many thanks to Samantha, Alex, and Gary for all being so kind, and to Lily and Tooty for being so fabulous.
Bye for now,
It’s #12 Challenge from Julia at My Red Page and this week’s photography challenge is metal.
Here’s a link to Julia’s post : https://myredpage.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/camera-lucida-metal/
I decided to take a photo of one of my favourite metal candle holders in the evening, all lit up, and it was interesting how the shadows around made interesting patterns.
I’ve done some other metal photography in previous posts, here’s a link to these too:
The metal structure in the ceiling of the Grafton Shopping Centre, Cambridge. https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/instagram-kyrosmagica-style/
Hope you like them. You can see more of my photography on my Instagram account here’s the link:
Bye for Now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
I’m having a shot at taking part in Julia’s Camera Lucida photo challenge this Monday.
Do check out Julia’s blog it is wonderfully dressed in a most brilliant, sumptuous Red!
Here’s the link to My Red Page if you’d like to join in Julia’s Weekly Photography Gallery:
Julia’s chosen theme this week is : Divergent
The definition of divergent is things that move in different directions or that are far apart from each other.
Opposites, dissimilar, different, contradictory, reverse.
I decided to focus on shadows as the theme of light and shadow, and in particular good and bad characters, is one I like to consider in some of my writing. The photo below is one of my Country park photos that I took in the woods, I’ve cropped the image to make it seem more scary looking! I’m particularly pleased with this creepy shadow, what do you think?
The photo below is a striking shadow on the mottled ground, I’ve manipulated the image to make the shadows appear darker, thicker and more menacing. Creepy huh?
This is a gentler image of my shadow set against contrasting brightly coloured hexagonal paving stones. What am I up to? Is it really me? There’s no way of telling is there? That’s the fascinating thing about shadows they leave so much to the viewer’s imagination.
This is another photograph that I took at the country park, I’ve cropped the image to focus on this interesting pattern of lined shadows that caught my eye.
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
Well it’s time for another Blog Battle, if you haven’t come across Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battles here’s your chance to join in this fun community of writers.
This link will take you to her blog battle page: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/
The rules are:
Week 21 Theme will be Eye
Date to Post: Tuesday, August 4th 2015
- 1000 words max
- fictional tale (or true if you really want)
- PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
- 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
- Go for the entertainment value!
- Post your story by Tuesday 11:59 PM PST
- 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)
- Have fun!
This is a new piece of writing, it is a continuation idea from my first manuscript which is open ended and could become a series of books. If I wrote a second novel I would like the male character to develop his wicked side so this is a short unedited snippet from an idea I have. I hope you like it! This is probably more a YA plus or New Adult type of idea rather than a children’s book!
The Eye of the Shadow
Bethany always came to the same spot to read her book, the quietest corner of the park near her University campus. Today she saw that this favourite spot had been invaded by a strange person who she had never seen before. She considered moving elsewhere but Bethany couldn’t bring herself to move away.
The sunlight drifted over the young man, a warm caress lingered on his upper body, savouring him. He was stripped to the waist, his back lay like a half completed painting, a terrible deed still to be done. She imagined finishing his painting. Each exquisite brush stroke could become a wicked promise, or a sweet memory Bethany couldn’t begin to decide which of the two would be more likely.
At this moment Bethany spectacled eyes found no appeal in her chosen book, she did the unforgiveable, the unthinkable, this socially awkward book-worm pretended to read! She just couldn’t keep her eyes from the young man. It was too easy to stare at such a beautiful someone who lay face down in the grass. She felt a delicious sense of wickedness staring at his muscular but lean body. A flood of hesitant shadows drifted spreading their eerie pictures on the sunny grass.
He turned around. She didn’t have time to look away, his motion had been lightning quick, as if he hoped to catch her staring at him basking in the sun. He caught her guilt straight in the eye, and sent it back to her in an unexpected ricochet. He didn’t look down or away, no attempt was made by him to play such a game, his eyes bore into her soul, and rested there imprisoned in her cluttered thoughts. His gaze was so arresting that she was certain that she had forgotten how to breathe. She gasped. A second or two passed by but she could swear that he still held her soul in his dark green eyes, resting like a tiny glimmer of crystal light, a blink and she was sure that it would be gone.
She had no idea what his face looked like, all she could see were his eyes, his beautiful eyes, cruel and gentle, dark and bright.
He stood up in one quick fluid movement, his agility reminiscent of a sleek panther, and then he smiled. Bethany saw the smile. The eyes told her to. She wasn’t sure if his mouth was forming a nice smile but somehow it didn’t matter. She wanted to capture that smile and plant it in her memory for later.
“Hello,” he said, delivering each syllable like a warning.
Bethany swallowed. She tried to return his uncertain gift of a smile but the smile that she would give appeared to have been swallowed, along with her words. She coughed and said nothing. A dry sensation lodged in her throat.
He walked over and stood directly in front of her. Now his eyes implored her to see his jet black hair, shining like a panther’s, willing her to touch it.
She trembled, the forgotten book slipped from her grasp, she reached out and stroked his hair. There was an expression of fear trapped in her eyes, but a desperate need in her shaking hands.
He picked up her book and glanced at it, turning the pages absent-mindedly as if he was searching for an answer to a question that he had posed. After a short while he grew restless and began clawing at the pages of her book until he threw it away in irritation. His temper lashed out, a cruel, forgotten wind that subsided before it began.
Bethany couldn’t believe it. Now her precious book meant nothing to her, yet a moment ago it had been her heart. He sat next to her, this book mauler, this uninvited marauder who dared to touch a loose strand of her hair and place it behind her ear. She did nothing to stop him, instead she stared into his eyes and plunged into their delightful but horrifying depths.
She could feel a tumbling sensation, as if she was falling down a long corridor. The corridor was narrow, wide, long, short, straight, and bending. The next thing she knew the tumbling sensation slammed to a complete and endless halt. She stood up, but her legs didn’t remember how to. She meant to run away but he kissed her, his lips hard and soft, apologetic and unrelenting. Her knees betrayed her giving way, buckling under, an independent component of her body.
The corner of his mouth twitched, an almost imperceptible motion but his eyes gave her a sensuous message before she had even imagined the possibility. She swore that she could hear a tiny purring sound, a throaty tender note that slipped into the heady air. He claimed her from the summer breeze as if she was a precious prize and laid her on the warm grass planting tiny kisses on her. The flood of hesitant shadows stretched their eerie long limbs reaching further into the untamed wilderness of grass.
“Who are you?” she breathed whimpering.
“I’m the Shadow you’ve been hiding from,” he replied.
She looked up at the sky, the sun was still out yet shadows danced and played all around them. She felt a strange sensation invade her body, a coldness swept deep within her soul, plunging her into a strange but welcome melancholy.
“It’s alright,” he said, his voice sounding regretful, but certain, “You and I are bonded by our shadows. Don’t be afraid. There’s no need to fight, that moment is forever gone.”
The richness of his voice inflamed her cold body, this purring black demon’s tongue struck a chord in her pounding heart.
He kissed her one last time. A tender kiss. Then it was complete.
Now he smiled, and frowned. “Welcome.”
© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.
I hope you enjoyed my entry for #Blog Battle. Do leave a comment I’d love to hear your opinion on my latest piece of writing for the #Blog Battle.
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx