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:
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!
Bye for now, time to hang out on my crystal chandelier….
My social media hang outs:
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies.
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.
I’d recommend this excellent site if you are experiencing mental health issues: https://www.betterhelp.com/start/
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