Bloodstone is the first book in The Curse of Time series written by M.J. Mallon. This is a young adult fantasy / paranormal, coming-of-age story of Amelina Scott. This book is a rollercoaster of a tale about a young lady working to find her own identity. Along the way she has to start to learn who she can trust and that the world is not at all what she believed it to be growing up.
When I first got the book I was more than hesitant about reading it. I am not into young adult fantasy books so to say. This was not my normal reading genre of tales to whisp me away in to hold my attention and keep me flipping the pages. I am very proud to say that I am pleased to have started and stayed with the book. Mallon is such an extremely talented author and really draws the reader into the book and the life of Amelina. After a while though, the book grabs you by the shoulder collar and just can not put it down!
Amelina is a really good character, as the story progresses her development, is a person who is capable of having a huge effect on those around her, and she learns of the powers she has had bestowed upon her. And then there is her Story companion who is Ryder, and he becomes very dislikeable as the pages turn. He is a negative influence on Amelina. I am very pleased you don’t realize he is a villain at his introductions since he is far from the normal build of the bad guy. It isn’t until the story unfolds you see his much darker side.
The last few chapters of the book actually had me on the edge of my seat and I want to know what will come next for our young heroine. I am very pleased to see that M.J. Mallon is already working on the sequel to this book and I know I will be getting my copy when it does.
This review was made possible by a copy provided to me by NetGalley.
Coffee and Bookish Chit Chat with MJ – Themes in Writing – Inspirations
Art coming alive! Art coming alive is one of the many fascinating themes explored in the Curse of Time series. The main protagonist Amelina, our young Krystallos heroine, is gifted a magical paint set from her aunt Karissa and when she paints with the crystal infused paint, the creature Eruterac comes knocking at her door like a Halloween nightmare in glorious, scary detail!
What are his intentions? Is this painted apparition real? Is he a friend, or a foe?
The idea of art manifesting as a living albeit dead being came in part from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray – the painted portrait representing the horror of moral disintegration. So, to find out if Eruterac really is a horror (there is no doubt he isn’t pretty to look at and he is disintegrating – a creature of skin, bones, worms…) read the book!
Portraits of Eruterac, The Creature and Esme are both created by the amazingly talented artist Carolina Russo who I have had the pleasure of collaborating with.
Esme is a favourite character with my readers and with me!
“This is a brilliant book for young adults interested in magic, super‐ natural, paranormal, fantasy and myth. I found it highly readable and the author’s imagination is phenomenal, as is the fluency of her language and the dazzling way she describes the curious events and characters in her story. I loved the idea of Esme, the girl trapped in the mirror” Review Quote Author S C Skillman
Esme is vulnerable, sensitive and trapped in a mirror, cursed by a spell. She is also trapped figuratively by her mental health and self harm issues of her past.
Excerpt: Esme and Amelina chatting…
Some great news! Bloodstone now has wide distribution!
My YA Fantasy Bloodstone is available at Amazon and many leading bookstores worldwide including Book Depository, Blackwells, Barnes and Noble, in all book formats including hardback.
If you can help by voting for the beautiful cover… it is in the Allauthor cover competition.
They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that! If you liked the cover of my book, Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!
Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here: Click to Vote!
Thank you so much to Stacey for this wonderful feature on her blog.
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author M. J. Mallon, who will be sharing with us details of her writing life, telling us all about her new book ‘Bloodstone‘, which was released on 23rd June 2021 and answering a few fun questions too.
This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family captive. A captivating tale! Author Colleen Chesebro – (Editorial Review of 1st Edition – The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone.)
This is a totally different genre for me, but this year I have been reading books by so many exciting new authors that I wanted to give this book a try. This novel would be great for teenagers, or young adults and it follows the magical story of teenager Amelina as she steps into a world of crystals, magic and wonderment. There are some likeable and not so likeable characters and both are really well written. The book weaves a story of the main character learning new skills and you see her personal growth throughout the story. Nothing is what is seems and you want to find out how Amelia will use her enchanted gifts and learn who she can trust. A book packed full of intrigue, believable characters and poetic verse. Author Lizzie Chantree
This is a brilliant book for young adults interested in magic, supernatural, paranormal, fantasy and myth. I found it highly readable and the author’s imagination is phenomenal, as is the fluency of her language and the dazzling way she describes the curious events and characters in her story. I loved the idea of Esme, the girl trapped in the mirror. Author S C Skillman
An intricate fantasy novel with unique supernatural and magical elements which serves as a highly entertaining read. I had a great time reading this novel and exploring the magical world of Amelina full of magic crystals and enchanted mirrors.Author, Editor and Book Reviewer Heena Rathore P.
At its core, this is an emotional tale about a young girl figuring out her identity, learning who to trust, and discovering there is more to the world than the tangible things she’s experienced in the first one-and-a-half decades of her life. Magic Mirrors? Mysterious appearances? Letters that cannot be destroyed? Puzzling trust? What’s a girl to do when she’s followed by two strange boys in the park, only to realize something darker is beginning to happen? Mallon explores the fears in a young girl who wants to break out of her life but doesn’t know where to turn. She’s unsure about trusting friends and family. Ryder, who saves the day, might actually not be the best thing for her… safety… sanity… security. Can she fight the feelings burgeoning around her? Author James Cudney
This magical young adult story is brimming with fresh imaginative ideas avoiding tropes often associated with fantasy. I was impressed with the unique vivid visual descriptions which brought both the settings and characters to life and the wonderful standard of writing throughout the story. A magical mystery unfolds for the main character Amelina, who makes discoveries during the plot, so we can enjoy seeing her grow in confidence and skill. The story involves complex content which was difficult to follow initially but becomes more understandable as the story develops. The introduction of the antagonist, Ryder, really helps us to root for Amelina. He is well written, and I enjoyed that he wasn’t given the typical look of a baddie but rather slowly and disconcertingly reveals his darker side, inserting himself between Amelina and her friends. I can see this being the start of a fabulous young adult series and hope there are more books to come!Sarah Northwood Poet and Author
Amelina is written so well. There is a part of her that all of us will recognise and emphasise with. At that awkward age where nothing fits and at the same time you feel as if you can conquer the world. Darkness creeps in slowly in the form of Ryder who at first seems the answer to all Amelina desires, or is he? Author Adele Marie Park
The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding. Author Richard Dee
Amelina is a teenage girl whose world has been turned upside down by a curse within a world where magic is hidden and most don’t seem to know of its existence. In fact, it seems she’s a descendant of a line of magic-wielding enchanters who have a special relationship with crystals. But with this curse, her father is time-ravaged, a girl is trapped in her mirror, and her family is falling apart. There are a lot of unanswered questions come the end of the book, so be on the lookout for more in the series. There are mentions of delicate issues such as cutting and anorexia, both handled with care, and a séance, but I’d recommend this book for older teens and people who love magical stories that involve power within crystals, curses, and unexplainable happenings. Author Rachael Ritchey
This is a wonderful YA fantasy read. It’s very different from others I’ve read and I say this in the most positive manner. One way or is unique is through the use of original short poetry at the beginning of each chapter providing a clue to the chapter content. It is very well done. I do love originality. The whole work has a magical feel about it which draws the reader in with a yearning to learn more about all of the characters and their plight. My favourite characters are, Esme… The girl trapped in the mirror, and Shadow, the black cat. These two characters alone were enough to keep me rooted. Meanwhile, on the serious side of things, there are so many issues going on in this work in addition to that of dealing with a dysfunctional family. One’s familiarity will be tested and emotions may arise. That aside, when you add magic, a black cat, and a guitar and music into the mix… What is there not to love about this work?Author/Reviewer Kevin Cooper – (Previous edition of Book – The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone. )
Amelina is an indomitable heroine who will not rest until she solves the mystery and sets the world to rights. The device of magic crystals as a source of magic is novel and works well. There are loose ends that are clearly available to be addressed in future episodes of this series. As a precursor story that is relatively complete in itself, … as an introduction to the storyline and invitation to read on. MJ Mallon is not afraid to broach the risks that young girls on the cusp are subject to in these unruly times. Both physical violence and dangerous sexual attraction are broached in this tale. Poet Frank Prem.
Beautifully written and poetic fantasy novel that perfectly sustains mystery and drama throughout the pages. The characters are very vivid and the world is rich in detail and atmosphere. Marjorie is excellent at painting imaginative and believable scenes with words and magic. A fantastic debut! Looking forward to her next book. Author/Illustrator Alina Surnaite
Here are a couple of beautiful images from the wonderfully talented Carolina Russo created for me of my characters – Esme – The Mirror Girl… and Eruterac – The Creature.
M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery, heart-warming smile to greet her.
MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and she has written a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.
She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.
MJ’s motto is…
To always do what you Love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black hearted shadows.
Her favourite genre to write is
Fantasy/magical realism because life would be dull unless it is sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!
So excited about Bloodstone and happy to say that I am making great progress on the sequel which I hope to submit to Next Chapter Publishing soon.
Please comment below with your thoughts on the 2nd edition of this first book in the Curse of Time series.
Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for this wonderful promotional New Book On The Shelves post for the rebranded new edition of Bloodstone, The Curse of Time Book 1. My magical YA fantasy inspired by two amazing sculptural artworks: the Corpus Christi Chronophage clock in Cambridge England and the magnificent crystal grotto created by Anya Gallaccio’s The Light That Pours Out of Me in Juniper Artland in Scotland.
Thanks to Sally for adding the 5 star review from Sarah Northwood.
For my forthcoming YA Fantasy release in the Curse of Time series.
Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s 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 pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.
With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.
More news soon, edits have been done and sent to Next Chapter Publishing, next up finalising the layout phase.
Next Chapter’s wonderful ethos:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
— Patricia Gligor
Some details about Next Chapter Publishing:
Previously known as Creativia, Next Chapter was founded 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. Today, we are a fully remote team with offices in Japan and the United Kingdom.
They have achieved: No. 1 Bestsellers in all major Amazon categories (Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Westerns, Nonfiction)
Book translations to 9 foreign languages
Featured in high-profile newsletters such as BookBub and eReader News Today
Average reviews of 4.2 – 4.3 stars in Amazon marketplaces
Official BookBub Partner
So, I am very excited to be a Next Chapter Author!
Comments on the new cover would be most welcome. I really love it. Cover art by Cover Mint.