writing

My Review of 13 Steps To Evil – How to Craft Superbad Villians by Sacha Black

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
 
Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?
  
In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover: 
 
How to develop a villain’s mindset
A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs
  
Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.
 
If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 steps to evil today and start creating kick ass villains. 

My review:

Confession time. No, it’s nothing to do with my prison record, or my descent into villainy. It’s simply this – I’m pretty lazy about reading books about writing  – but Sacha Black’s 13 Steps To Evil has completely changed my mind! What a fantastic kick ass little book! I wish I’d read a copy years ago.

It’s a detailed resource, which informs and entertains in an illuminating, and humorous way. There are so many excellent examples that I am giddy with the potential for villains. The mental health section is handled with great sensitivity (one of my characters self-harms, so I read this with considerable interest,) and I was also fascinated by the detail on narcissistic personality disorder too.

Sacha’s extensive knowledge of villains prompts me to ask….. Is Sacha a secret villain? Or has she been hanging out with dodgy characters?  The mind boggles. No, none of these apply… at least I don’t think so! Sacha Black has done her research, and it shows. She studied Psychology to 1st Class Degree level and thereafter completed Masters in Research Methods in Cognitive Neuropsychology.  She has also spent an exorbitant amount of time watching villainous films, (from a tender age,) and has read tonnes of books, and absorbed popular culture like a sponge.   Where does this woman get her energy? I am in awe, totally star-stuck… or should I say villain struck!

My recommendation: 5 stars. Get a copy now and write a review. Share the love!

Check out the current Blog Tour hosts….

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Buy Links: http://books2read.com/13stepstoevil

Original Photo

Sacha is running a promo sale, 13 steps will be £1.99 rather than the usual £2.99 until the 7th June. So hurry…. let’s hit the books!!

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My social media hang outs:

Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
My New Facebook club : Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Shadow Welcomes Lily the Cat to Kyrosmagica!!!!

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I wonder who that paw belongs to?  And that crystal…. I think it’s a Bloodstone… That can only mean that we have a visitor to Kyrosmagica. How exciting!

If you remember I interviewed my black cat character Shadow, (who plays an important role in my soon to be released YA fantasy novel The Curse of Time: The  Bloodstone,) recently on Kyrosmagica:

My Interview With Shadow, A Black Cat Character With A Past and dear Shadow (the fictional character in my book,) promised to ask Lily, ( a real cat, and supermodel!!!) over to Kyrosmagica for an interview date!

I know it sounds bonkers… but this is Kyrosmagica, and anything can happen here…. ANYTHING!

So Who is Lily?

Lily comes from a busy household of four cats: Charlie aka Madame La Princesse aka

Princess Charlotte Oddpaw, Lily Bee, Ting Tong Maccadangdang and Tooty

Michonne….Tooty and Lily are both black cats, Ting is Siamese and Charlie is

tabby………….

 

Marje: Tell us a little about the humans and the other cats that you live with Lily?

Lily: My human family are all right – I wish they’d learn to appreciate the mice and birds I bring them a little more, I put a lot of effort into those hunts!

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The other cats are all right, as far as cats go. It’s the 21st century though, and us felines have to adapt to living in a multi-cat household. Not always easy… apparently we also have a budgie that lives with us. I often hear him screaming but I’ve never seen him…hmm…wonder why…  

Marje: What is your temperament like? Are you an easy-going kind of feline? Or can you be a bit fierce?

Lily: I may be the smallest cat, but I think I’m the fiercest! And provided things go my way, then I’m wonderful to live with!

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Marje: Out of the cat siblings that live with you do you have a favourite?  Or do you all get along really well? Tell us about Ting, Charlie, Madame La Princesse, and Tooty.

Lily: Ting and Tooty are sisters and quite a bit younger than me, so I find them a bit immature, to be honest. Nice enough, but a bit dim, the pair of them. I used to get on better with Charlie when we were younger, but she was a bit of a bully, and can still be quite… princess-y… if you know what I mean!

Marje:  What do you think of my cat character Shadow? He thinks you’re gorgeous!

Lily: Shadow sounds intriguing…exciting… put it this way, I would definitely add his book to my collection! You may thank him for the compliment, by the way.

Marje:   Are you a home buddy or do you like to wander far? Do you have a perfect spot for a nap?

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Lily: We have quite a large garden, and a park behind us… sometimes on fine clear nights I wander further than I should and remember our wild ancestors…But mostly, I don’t go too far! The best spots for napping are generally on one of the beds, but I’m not fussy. Hey, I’ll sleep on the ironing board if I have to!

Marje:   What are you doing whilst contemplating on this slab? 

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Lily: Actually I’d just been told off for trying to catch one of the frogs that lives in the pond behind me in the picture… so I suppose you could say I’m sulking…

Marje:   Sometimes you look a bit thoughtful. I wonder what’s on your mind?

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Lily: Sometimes there are deep mysteries of the Universe that need pondering… sometimes I’m just wondering why Mother doesn’t realise none of us like chicken flavour catfood…

Marje:   What were you like as a kitten?  

Lily: Totally precious! Aren’t all kittens?

Marje: Are you enjoying modelling? Do your cat siblings get jealous? 

Lily: Ha ha! Oh yes, I’m enjoying the extra attention from the modelling! Charlie is always thought of as the “pretty” one of the family, so she’s quite jealous! She complained until our mother created an Instagram account that features lots of her pictures Samantha’s Instagram Account… Ting and Tooty don’t really understand the concept of social media… or blogs… or books.. or cameras… well, you see what I mean.

Marje:   Tell us a little about the crystals that your owner Samantha collects. And Buddha you seem to hang out with him sometimes… lol… J

Lily: I quite like the crystals our mother collects. Obsidian is pretty cool, it matches my fur, jade matches my eyes, and she did actually use pyrite to help when I hurt my paw. Yeah, Buddha’s all right – sometimes hanging out with him is the only way to get a decent conversation…

Lily with BuddhaMarje: Who is the most temperamental cat, and/or human in your household?

Lily: Most temperamental cat – without a doubt, Charlie. Definitely. She is such a princess… we have a catflap but she has to have the door opened specially for her, special beds in all the best places and when she’s in a temper she doesn’t care who she has a swipe at! Most temperamental human… we don’t really have any… they tend to know their place. Mother can be annoying, always picking me up… kissing me… brushing me… singing to me… hasn’t tried dressing any of us up yet though.

Marje:   What is your favourite pastime?

Lily: Well I do play chess – no! Sleeping, of course!

Marje:  Do you care for dogs? I hear your owner Samantha’s mum has a doggie…

Lily: My birth mother lived with three dogs and then my human mother actually had a little dog when I was younger. She’s since gone over the Rainbow Bridge, so yes, dogs, I don’t suppose I mind them. Couldn’t eat a whole one though…

Marje:   Are you mischievous, getting your paw prints on everything? 

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Lily: Not really, I just do what I have to do, and if that includes walking on the clean kitchen work surfaces , sitting in the bath with muddy paws, bringing in mice and birds – then so be it!

…………

A HUGE Thank you to Samantha and her son Alex Marlowe for their wonderful photos of Lily and for answering my questions!

I am so glad that  Gary @ Fiction is Food introduced me to Samantha. It has been absolutely wonderful collaborating with her. She is a true gem, just as sparkly and lovely as the crystals she collects. Do pop over to Samantha’s blog to see her beautiful cats and crystals: Samantha Murdoch Blog.

These are especially for Lily:

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Next, I will be interviewing my male character Ryder on my blog, (with some stunning photographs taken by my daughter,) so keep an eye out for that.

Bye for now from MJ…. This is my new nickname, and author initials…

 

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My social media hang outs:

Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
My New Facebook club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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#10thingsIlove

Turn off the lights.Turn on the stars.

To balance out the good with the bad #10thingsIhate here are my #10thingsIlove.

1. Spending time with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like this, I’m definitely a social animal. Love going out for coffee, dinner or just hanging out at home with my family. Friends both on and offline are the best for supporting and encouraging you to pursue your dreams.
2. Eating tasty food. This just had to be on my list! LOL… I love food, any food, but especially spicy meals, as I grew up with a diet of Malaysian fare – my mum is from Kuching, Malaysia.
3. Travelling. Absolutely, would love to travel more. I grew up with a father who had a penchant for travel so this isn’t entirely surprising.  Recently, I entered Dan Alatorre’s recent Word Weaver writing competition with the first chapter of my dad’s travelling adventures. Sorry, the competition is now closed, but Dan has a great blog so go follow! I’ve been to many places in the world but there are still many to explore.
4. Going to the Theatre to see drama and dance. Where would we be without the theatre to make our imaginings take form? I adore going to the Edinburgh Festival and try to go every year if I can. The buzz is fantastic.
5. Visiting Edinburgh to see my mum, dad, brother and extended family. Love Edinburgh, it is one of the best cities in the world Edinburgh ranked Second in the World for Quality of Life and  is my home from home.
6. Writing prose and poetry, and reading books. Of course, this has to feature here. What has writing done for me? So much, it has given me such confidence, and so much enjoyment. I wish I had started writing decades ago!  Reading books and going to Book Festivals ranks pretty highly up there on my favourite things to do. Books make me cry, they make me smile; they delight me. Where would we be without books? I daren’t contemplate such a fate. And book festivals, again, my favourite is the Edinburgh Book Festival
7. Tai Chi. I have been attending classes in Taoist Tai Chi for many years, and I love it. I find it helps me relax, keeps me balanced and gives me a terrific boost. I would recommend it. Start young and you’ll stay fit well into your old age! Start older and it will keep you young! It’s a win, win situation… Recently, we had a Tai Chi intensive at my local branch.  Here’s the link to the Facebook page to see photos: Taoist Tai Chi Intensive in Cambridge. What’s a Tai Chi Intensive? It’s a special lesson when a particularly awesome instructor comes along to impart their knowledge to us Tai Chi enthusiasts. We partake of a bring and share lunch and generally have a lovely time.

Here’s the instructor considering what to teach us next:

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8. Sea air and sunshine. These two I’ve combined, as I enjoy the seaside best when the weather is nice. If the sun is out,  I can swim, (not in the UK!) sunbathe, eat an ice-cream, walk and explore. When it’s cold I still enjoy it, but I have to wrap up in many, many layers!
9. The blogging community. Have been a blast, so helpful, supportive and amazing. Love you! In fact I love you so much that I set up a special community on Facebook for authors/bloggers and bookish souls. Please do investigate and join …. Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support ClubMy fellow administrators of the group are Colleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies.
10. And last but not least, crystals and cats. I collect crystals and write about them too. My current manuscript is entitled: The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone. I intend to release this YA fantasy this summer. Cats, well I like their independence, and cats always seem to like me! Unfortunately, I don’t own one as both my husband and daughter are allergic but I get my fix over at Samantha Murdoch Blog. Samantha and I are good blogging friends and she has kindly been providing me with lots and lots of photos of her cat Lily who looks like the cat Shadow in my book.

Here are the latest photos of Samantha’s lovely cat Lily.

 

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In life, there is always good and bad but it is always nice to end on a high note.  There is much more to enthuse about when writing about what I love. The list could have gone on and on…

Bye for now,

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 32 – LEAD & SAVE

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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 wondered,Are you leading me-Somewhere,I should not be.

 

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.

I wondered,Are you leading me-Somewhere,I should not be. (1)

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,

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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:

Member Page: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

and we have a general information page here too:

Join The Book Love Team at Bloggers/Authors Rainbow Support Club

Don’t be shy, join this supportive, friendly club. x

 

 

 

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #145 Beautiful&Curse

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The prompt words really attracted me to Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge this week…. (It’s a long time since I’ve joined in as I have been so busy!) as they relate beautifully to my manuscript – The Curse of Time, which I am close to finishing! I’m doing what I hope are the final edits – you never know if it is truly completed until you send it to your betas/editors!

I’ve written two haiku and used Canva to make them visually pleasing. The second one is using my own photograph of a nasty looking shadow!

Life can take youhigher than anyother kind of drug.

Life can take youhigher than anyother kind of drug.

To join in with Ronovan’s Prompt – I think the deadline is today, hope I haven’t left it too late: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-145-beautifulcurse/

Bye for now,

Have a lovely Sunday.

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Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Welcome, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the latest members of my Author/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

The Rainbow Support Club endeavours to provide a friendly and welcoming community of like-minded bloggers, book reviewers and authors who support each other in every which way we can to promote and nurture our love of books, and writing.

First up to Team Awesome is Colleen Chesebro. Colleen is a totally supportive angel, and I’d like to nominate her as person extraordinaire of the club! I can vouch for Colleen’s  worthiness, and angelic qualities as she is currently helping me with my manuscript – The Curse of Time – and doing an amazing job. 🙂 Author, Colleen Chesebro has recently released her first book: The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy, which I had the delight of reading and reviewing recently:  My 5 * Review of The Heartstone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy by Colleen Chesebro. She has an awesome blog which I strongly advise you to follow:  https://colleenchesebro.com/. Colleen and I have become great friends and have discovered that we have a  wealth of shared interests.  I enjoy joining in with her weekly Tanka Challenge so much:  https://colleenchesebro.com/category/tanka-tuesday/.

Colleen is happy to help other authors by sharing their writing, editing, etc, and also will support them with posts about new book releases. In other words, if these lovely peeps write about writing, she will gladly take guest posts from them.  Colleen strongly believes that writing about your own experiences helps other authors learn.

Colleen is an experienced book reviewer, but due to her huge TBR pile she is unable to take on any further reviews at present but her reviews to date are accessible via this link: Colleen Chesebro Reviews. Colleen shares lots of interesting and informative material under the heading: Authors Supporting Authors, and also has a second blog: A Mindful Journey which is full of tips about weight loss, and balance in life so do investigate to find out more.

Karen Oberlaender is my next member, Karen is a dedicated reader and book blogger who blogs at: My Train of Thoughts On. Karen writes about her favourite quotes, the word of the day, ten statements from authors and has a section where you can add your book review blog to her website: Add Your Blog – Book Reviewers

Her personal motto is:

Smile! Don’t look back in anger.

Great motto!

Her first book –   ‘In a Small Compass, Vol. 1’ comprises 15 contemporary short fiction stories with paranormal streaks which take you on a journey to Boston, Dublin, Dundrum, Galway, Heidelberg, London, Munich, Nuremberg, Skerries, and other places.

In a Small Compass, Vol. 1 is currently available on Smashwords:

In a Small Compass – Vol. 1, an Ebook by Karen Oberlaender https://inasmallcompass.wordpress.com/

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of Young Adult, African-American Literature and Poetry. The author of nine books, most notably The Stella Trilogy, Yecheilyah is also a Blogger and Book Reviewer and offers free Author Services through her blog:  The PBS Blog Author Services. Yecheilyah is currently working on her next book series, “The Nora White Story. Yecheilyah Ysrayl blogs at PBS – Pearls Before Swine: The PBS Blog: To Support An Author.  She reviews books on her blog, and adds these books to the Indie Author Page of her blog, and promotes author’s books through her email list. All for free. The PBS Blog: Free Author Services.

Author Allan Hudson supports many of his author friends on his blog by hosting guest author opportunities at his blog South Branch Scribbler.  Allan has written: Dark Side of A PromiseShorts: Volume 1 – four tantalising stories, and Shorts: Volume 2 – five tantalising tales, and Shorts:  Volume 3 – Five tantalising tales. He  believes as I do that ‘We are all in this together,’ and he ‘enjoys helping other writers find a new audience.’ Allan blogs at: www.southbranchscribbler.ca.

Vashti Q blogs at The Writer Next Door. Vashti is very friendly and oh so chatty and I always get the feeling that she really is the girl next door!  Vashti takes part in many of my favourite link ups and shares my love of haiku. She enjoys doing author interviews, book/author spotlights, cover reveals and feature book releases. Her novel The Basement (Suspense/Thriller,) is aimed at the pre-teen/teen audience. To discover more about her writing follow the link: About The Basement.

Norah Colvin believes passionately about education and I do too! She does a once-a-month picture book author or illustrator spotlight on her readilearn blog http://www.readilearn.com.au/blog/  which is then reblogged on to her blog: http://www.NorahColvin.com 🙂

Read more about her wonderful resources via this link:http://readilearn.com.au

Mathematics is all around us. We use it every day for a wide range of purposes; from deciding on the sequence…

Annika Perry and I have been supporting each other for a good long while and have become blogging friends. She has a lovely, friendly blog which I urge you to follow.  Her ‘interests include books,’ and ‘she is an avid reader with a book or two constantly on the go.’ In her words:  ‘Life without books would seem unbearable.’ I couldn’t agree more!!

Annika’s love of books is evident in the depth of thought that goes into her excellent book reviews, so do pop over to her blog to find out more:

Annika Perry Book Reviews

Annika Perry – All About Books

Author Elise E. Rawls Author of Bleeding Heart – A collection of faith-based short stories/poems/riddles by the author about life’s journey, wonder and trial. Every writing is a little story taking you somewhere. Elise is also in the final proofreading stage with regards to her  Science Fiction & Fantasy / Speculative Fiction entitled Strayborn, Book #1 (V. Chronicles.) and has written an amusing personal account: Revising A Manuscript is Like Cleaning A Castle.  Elise has been known to  promote authors by doing author interviews on her blog. She offers this opportunity to (fantasy and sci-fi genres, and books that are clean reads). Follow the link to find out more: Author Interviews. Also, she hosts guest posts about fantasy, sci-fi, and writing topics, Guest Posts,  Book Reveals,  and Musing Reviews.

Phew… quite a few folks have now signed up for the club!!! In fact, I had to make sure that  I didn’t forget anyone… I hope I didn’t – if I did I apologise profusely.  It’s because my old brain cells don’t work as well as they used to, so if I have missed anyone out please don’t hesitate to give me a good old nudge!

In total, we now have 21  awesome members, including me!  LOL !!

The first group comprises these lovelies:  Shelley Wilson, Debby Gies, Sally Cronin, Jennifer Marston, Seumas Gallacher, Carol Hedges, Tina Frisco, Anita Dawes, and Jaye Marie, Heena Rathore Pardeshi, Loretta Milan, and Eloise De Sousa who you can meet here:  Group 1: Rainbow Support Club Team Members.

We are now on Facebook for members and non members:Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

The group page for members only : Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club Members Group Page

Kyrosmagica blog continues to support authors in whatever way I can by writing reviews, author/blogger spotlights and interviews, so please don’t be shy, do get in touch if you’d like to be featured on Kyrosmagica.  

If you’d like to join the group and feature on my next listing please do get in touch by leaving a message here or emailing me at marjma2014@gmail.com.

Thanks.

Bye for now,

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The Bloggers Bash Competition: C-o-n-n-e-c-t-i-o-n-s

 

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I believe it all began when I moved to Cambridge from Scotland.

Shortly after our marriage, my husband and I made the rash decision to live out in ‘the sticks,’ in a sleepy Cambridgeshire village called Chatteris. What an enormous culture shock for an Edinburgh city girl like me – I felt isolated and pretty miserable.

Perhaps I would never have started writing if it wasn’t for this and later sadness’s in my life.  In time we moved to the suburbs of Cambridge, within easy reach of the city centre. I made new friends but missed the loving support of my extended family. My husband worked long hours, but I knew that he longed to Do What He Loved – ski on a mountain or be in a rock band! Financial responsibilities meant that his personal dreams languished. Inadvertently, this sacrifice triggered my idea for The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone,  my WIP – which is currently being edited by my lovely friend –  Colleen Chesebro – Author of The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy

As my  daughters grew older I developed an interest in alternative therapies and worked as an Aromatherapist/Reflexologist. During this time I discovered an interest in crystals. This beautiful Malachite captured my attention, demanding to be my first crystal purchase.

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The Malachite definitely sparked my creativity, and helped alleviate my shyness! My urge to write developed in a whirlwind of reading, and imagination. I woke up with ideas and jotted them in a notebook.  This manic phase coincided with the arrival of a strange black cat who demanded my attention. He became my muse.  Was he a stray? Or perhaps  a witch’s cat? Sadly, he disappeared without a trace. I had an odd idea (to find a black cat model,) and my blogging friend Gary Jefferies: Fiction Is Food  introduced me to Samantha Murdoch – the proud owner of Lily.

Astonishingly Lily bears a remarkable resemblance to the black cat in my book, Shadow.

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Guess what? Samantha loves crystals too! Bloodstone, (photographed below by her son,) plays a central part in my book – another extraordinary coincidence!

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Photo credit for above three photos: Alex Marlowe, Samantha Murdoch’s son.

All these incredible connections have fuelled my desire to write. I am so lucky to have many inspiring writers, bloggers, and creative individuals who I call friends. Astounded by their support and encouragement my confidence has soared. I’ve participated in short stories prompts, poetry, photography challenges, and weekend coffee shares…  In August 2015 I did the unthinkable – I shrugged off my shy persona and attended My First Bloggers Bash

In part, this is thanks to the power of my Malachite crystal!  I can’t wait to attend the next bash in June, and see some of my blogging friends, (unfortunately not all can attend,) and new ‘faces,’ too.

Life is devoid of meaning without ‘real’ positive relationships, connections that matter. I believe that if you give of your best, you will receive the best back. I have a passion for the arts, and I will continue to promote bloggers, writers, and creative individuals who I count as my dear friends. I love supporting authors by writing book reviews:  My Wise Old Owl A – Z Book Reviews, and offer  Blogger/Author Spotlights. One recent example is: Sue Vincent and Stuart France

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MY MOTTO:  

Always Do What You Love,

Stay True To Your Hearts Desires,

Remain Young At Heart,

And Inspire Others To Do So Too,

Even If It Appears The Odds,

Are Stacked Against You,

Like Black-Hearted Shadows.

 

A Writing Award To Give Yourself: Do What You Love

Hence the name of my blog: Kyrosmagica – Crystal Magic.

The Bloggers Bash Competition – Sacha Black

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Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka #Poetry Challenge #19 – “Craft & Rise”

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Colleen’s prompt words this week for Tanka Tuesday are Craft and Rise – (I used soar instead of rise.)

I thought I’d apply Colleen’s two prompt words to the act of writing itself. Without a doubt, all my blogging/writer friends will know just how consuming and frustrating writing can be! Perfection is desirable but so difficult to achieve! To succeed in getting the perfect words on the page is a bit like trying to capture the ebb and flow of the oceans. Sometimes you hit moments of perfection but mostly you’re fighting the tide of your own demons, the depth of your imagination, and how far your final words may take you.

Sounds familiar?

So with that in mind, this is my Tanka for this week…

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#Tanka Tuesday, #micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines

Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday – Join in the fun!

Phew, it took me ages to write my Tanka this week! My words were buried in the sand at the bottom of the ocean but finally, I managed to coax them up to the surface.

I do hope my Tanka inspires you. Perhaps one day that masterpiece might just reach your shore!

Keep on writing!

Bye for now.

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Blogger Spotlight: Samantha Murdoch

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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?

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This is Lily with a very artistic shadow! She’s a natural model, look how she stays so still for the camera.

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And Lily with her eyes closed, looking very chilled! Love how the light falls on her fur giving it a white glow.

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This is my favourite of Lily  looking very regal! Look at those eyes, and that glossy fur!

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This is Tooty – Don’t they look similar?

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Here’s Tooty on the move, her shadow is following…

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One way and then another…

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Finally, Tooty staying still… looking quite thoughtful.  What an interesting background.. Great photo! Mesmerising…

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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:

Samantha Murdoch: Danburite and Darling Cats

And her feelings about spiders….

Samantha Murdoch: Moonstone and Meanderings, Spiders Part 4

And some wonderful poetry too!

Samantha Murdoch: Wanderer

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,

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Revive Old Posts Bloggers Link Up

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What better way to start a New Year than to glance back in time? To take your own personal tardis and whizz back and reflect on all that you have achieved in the last year or so.

Perhaps you are still chasing a dream like I am?

The dream of being a published author, or poet, or renowned artist, or photographer. Whatever your dream might be there is bound to be a moment in the past that you’d like to share with your followers? Maybe an inspirational post?

Or there might be an article that you wrote a long time ago that meant a lot to you, and you’d now like to bring it to the forefront of your followers attention again.

Whatever the reason do feel welcome to join in with my new monthly bloggers link up. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s exciting!! LOL!!! 

After a long struggle it does appear that 2017 will be my year to publish. I am feeling much more confident about this after all the ongoing help I am receiving from the marvellous blogging community. So with that in mind I’d like to share with you a post that I originally published in June 15th 2014. This post highlighted the extraordinary beauty of a crystal grotto that I visited in Juniper Artland. This grotto was one of my early sources of inspiration for my YA manuscript about a mysterious Crystal Cottage, which I have since entitled The Curse of Time. It is my intention that The Curse of Time will be at least a two books series, perhaps a three! With book one featuring The Bloodstone, and book two The Golden Healer.

So let me introduce you to my photos of the Grotto….

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Juniper Artland – The Light Pours Out of Me – Anya Gallachio

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Aren’t the crystals magnificent? I was totally enthralled by these gleaming beauties. It inspired me to write a story about a hidden, magical, but vulnerable place . In time the story grew and grew to encompass several themes: light, darkness, shadows, myths, time, deception, et cetera, et cetera, and oh a curse, or two.

So next time you visit a beautiful place just stop for a moment and allow yourself to fall in love with it. You might just find yourself on a wondrous journey.

If you’d like to join in with my bloggers link up, please draw attention to your old posts  by writing a short blog post as I have done and then add your links to the comment field of this post. If you wish you may use the photo at the top of this post as your blog post header. 

Also if you wish you can link your posts to a popular hastag  #Throwback Thursday #THT or if you’re posting on a Friday #FBF #FlashbackFriday. These are great link ups for old photos, or memorabilia…

More about that here: Lifewire – Throwback Thursday

Shake out your old posts and give them a new lease of life.

I do hope you decide to join in, the more the merrier!

Happy Blogging!

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