Allauthor Cover Competition #ya #fantasy Golden Healer The Curse of Time Series #vote #coverofthemonth #competition #allauthor #writingcommunity #readingcommunity @NextChapterPB #NextChapterPub

Delighted that my YA Fantasy Golden Healer has been accepted into the cover of the month contest on AllAuthor….

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, Golden Healer (The Curse Of Time Book 2), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here: Click to Vote!

In case you missed that… here is the link. Click to Vote!

Many thanks in anticipation.

More about Golden Healer…

Dedication

Dedicated to the one and only rollercoaster that I ever rode. It was in Portugal, and I was on holiday with my young family. I’ll never forget that day, I overcame my fears and rode a rollercoaster with the encouragement of my much-loved family, my husband, David, and daughters Natasha and Georgina. So, it’s time to ride another rollercoaster… I hope you will come along with me for this crazy ride! Let’s meet our fears together…

Blurb – Golden Healer

Golden Healer is The 2nd in The YA Paranormal Adventure Series – The Curse of Time.

I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. NOTE: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy Mystery

Series name: The Curse of Time – Book 2

Release Date: 23rd January 2022

ISBN: 979-8407305149

Page Count: 336 – kindle

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Review by Vine Voice Reviewing Team N. N. Light:

The author is a magician with words. She crafts scenes of sublime fantasy that are clear and easily pictured in the mind of the reader. The gift of description is also present. The scenes are very easy to understand, and the reader is swept into the story.

There is a real ‘arryesque feel to these stories. If you were a fan of the original wizard and his gang then you will be drawn to Amelina and her crew. Ryder is the ultimate character. The author was so able to capture the inner feelings of this character. It wasn’t more than a few pages when I loathed the existence of that waste of air.

Fans of the first book will simply love this book. This book carries on the craftily created story and takes it along an energetic ride to the end. Fans of this series will simply not be able to wait until they get their hands on the much-anticipated third book.

Disclaimer: I bought a copy on Amazon CA.

My Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Mr. N

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/golden-healer-br

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60216858-golden-healer

Meet a couple of the characters: The mirror girl Esme and the Creature… two wonderful images created by the wonderfully talented artist Carolina Russo.

Copyright Carolina Russo https://yesterdayafter.com/
Copyright Carolina Russo https://yesterdayafter.com/

Inspired by

The Corpus Christi Chronophage clock on King’s Parade, Cambridge. Find out more here:

http:// http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/

https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/17/poetry-inspiredby-the-dragon-chronopage-colleens-weekly-poetrychallenge-no-50-haiku-tanka-haibun-voice-watch/

And Juniper Artland – artist Anya Gallaccio’s sculpture The Light pours out of Me. https://www.jupiterartland.org/art/anya-gallaccio-the-light-pours-out-of-me/

And the 2nd book Golden Healer mentions a popular old haunt of Cambridge which has since closed down – Clowns Cafe.

Books By M J Mallon Published by Next Chapter Publishing

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1) 

https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

http://mybook.to/bstmm

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page:https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon

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Book Review: Shadow Walker ( Shadow Walker Book 1) @Jina_Bazzar #ya #heist #magic #dystopian #setting #readingcommunity

Goodreads Synopsis

Nine Houses rule the nation, and Melaina stays away from them at all costs. She lives by one hard rule: never mingle with the supernatural.
Driven by fear of discovery, she remains on the fringes of society, occasionally stealing to provide for her aunt and her brother. When the opportunity to work for a corporation not owned by a House falls into her lap, she can’t believe her luck. With a forged non-magical certification in hand, she’s ready to embrace a bright future.
Unfortunately, the future is an ambush by blackmailing thugs, notorious assassins, and an unscrupulous House leader.
Entrenched in House conflict, Melaina’s dream of normalcy has turned into her worst nightmare.
Now, to save her brother and family secrets, she’ll have to partake in one last dangerous heist. Success means exposing her forbidden magic, but failure could cost the lives of everyone she loves

My review

4.5 stars.

Melaina is a Shadow Walker with inherited ‘despicable’ ‘forbidden sinister magic,’ but her ‘fire was weak and manageable, and it had been easy to hide it from the outside world.’

Melaina is a loveable thief, and was once known as the chameleon, she wants to retire… BUT…!!!


I loved the characterisation in this story, the mention of all sorts of magic abilities, the powerful houses, Melaina’s disguises, her roller skating and physical exertions even with an injured ankle! And her obvious love and devotion to her family, plus the lovely touches of humour and vivid descriptive scenes.

It’s an exciting and intricate tale, which needs a far amount of close reading to understand the finer points of the world building and set up.

Melaina is a fantastic female heroine with guts aplenty!

There is sizzling mention of her attraction to former boyfriend Bradley but in this novel relationships are more focused on family loyalty to her Aunt Camila and brother Aiden than to gushing over romantic love. Though it sits there as a tempting prospect… which I enjoyed!

This is book one. The ending is more heartfelt than explosive and encourages the reader to find out more in book two, Shadow Pawn.

Highly recommended for YA fans of heist, magic, fantasy and shadow characters – a favourite of mine! I am a recent member of Ms. Bazzar’s arc team, many thanks to the author for a copy!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Walker-book-dystopian-setting-ebook/dp/B0BFVHDPTK/

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Latest Book Reviews Golden Healer @NNP_W_Light @bakeandwrite @tracy_traynor #bookreview #ya #fantasy #series #writingcommunity

Thank you to Book Influencer N.N. Light for this review for Golden Healer, Book 2 in The Curse of Time series

The author is a magician with words. She crafts scenes of sublime fantasy that are clear and easily pictured in the mind of the reader. The gift of description is also present. The scenes are very easy to understand, and the reader is swept into the story.


There is a real ‘arryesque feel to these stories. If you were a fan of the original wizard and his gang then you will be drawn to Amelina and her crew. Ryder is the ultimate character. The author was so able to capture the inner feelings of this character. It wasn’t more than a few pages when I loathed the existence of that waste of air.


Fans of the first book will simply love this book. This book carries on the craftily created story and takes it along an energetic ride to the end. Fans of this series will simply not be able to wait until they get their hands on the much-anticipated third book.


Rating: 5 stars

Read the review on N. N. Light blog: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/golden-healer-br

Thank you to Robbie Cheadle for this wonderful review for Rosie’s Book Review Team:

Robbie Cheadle

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions wrapped up in an unusual storyline Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2022

Verified Purchase

Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series and continues this unique fantasy story with its unusual and intriguing storyline. Book one ended with a happy environment after Amelina’s father was finally restored to his family at the correct age and Esme disappeared from the mirror, presumably to a better place. Book two starts with small but obvious indications that all is not as it seems and the issues involving both Amelina’s father and Esme are not adequately resolved.

The beginning is a bit slower moving as the author skillfully unwinds the reader’s beliefs that all is well and hammers cracks into the happy environment. The stage is set beautifully with fascinating and intricate scenes and dreams spun like a spiderweb from the author’s pen. Amelina’s first dream travel in this book has catastrophic results as while she is away from her body her bloodstone is stolen and this accelerates the cracks in her home environment.

This book is not an easy read and you have to concentrate as you read in the same way you would while reading a classic novel. It is worth the effort as the descriptions and concepts are outstanding and beautifully depicted.

There are a few stand out scenes for me in this book, as follows: the grasshopper in the meadow, the clowns in the café, and Aunt Karissa’s chocolates. For me, these were unbelievably imaginative and full of mystery.

Aunt Karissa features plays a small role in this book, introducing some welcome lightness and humour as Ryder’s darkness and power continue to grow. The reader learns a bit more about Ryder and his origins and homeland.

Another memorable feature of this book is that each chapter or puzzle piece starts with a tanka poem that hints at what is to follow in the chapter. The author is also an excellent poet and the poems were a lovely addition.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“The grasshopper monster propelled time forward in a steady, slow, rocking motion, as if he was devouring our lives in seconds, minutes and hours as we gazed upon him.”

“Hello my beautiful reflection. You came! You always come when I need you the most. I have been so anxious listening to the troubles of this family which has become my family. What have you been doing? I see sweet flowers covering the red cuts on your left wrist.”

“”She opened the wrapper with trembling fingers. Inside, there was a small, round milk chocolate. It grew in her palm. the chocolate split into two halves, one half dark, and the other half white. In the centre, a dividing line moved form side to side as if whipping up the chocolate angrily.”

In conclusion, I would like to add that when I was a girl of 10 years old, I discovered the books written by Eva Ibottson. Every book of hers I read was a complete delight to me with its amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions of the lives of hags in dribbles and wizards in towers surrounded by mist. Throughout my adult life, I have search for an adult author who can invoke the same magical worlds and belief in magical creatures that I discovered in Miss Ibottson’s stories, and in this series by M.J. Mallon, I do believe I finally found an adult equivalent.

Thank you also to Tracy for this recent review:

happy reader

4.0 out of 5 stars YA Fantasy full of mystery and magicReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 August 2022

Verified Purchase

This author is an artful storyteller, she has a light touch and a wonderful expressive language. It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland with all its fabulous, often dark, larger than life fantasy.

Amongst all the mayhem and mystery, Amelina must use the magic crystals to save them all from the Shadow Sorcerer. To do so she must face her fears and trust the advice from Merlin, Leanne and my favourite character (dead, worm filled) Erutace.

This is a delightful tale from start to end. YA fantasy fans who like slightly dark fantasy will love it. How much time will the Grasshopper steal, and can Esme me be set free from behind the mirror?

Note: some of the storyline touches on suicide, self-harming and anorexia. All carefully woven into a positive message of accepting who you are, not being afraid and embracing your true self.

Buy Link for Golden Healer Book 2 The Curse of Time: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Buy Link for both books in the series from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B097TZL7LR?ref_=dbs_p_pwh_rwt_anx_a_lnk&storeType=ebooks

Buy Link for both books in the series from Amazon US:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097TZL7LR?ref_=dbs_p_pwh_rwt_anx_a_lnk&storeType=ebooks

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Robbies Inspiration Book Review Golden Healer

Many thanks to Robbie Cheadle for this comprehensive, thoughtful and illuminating review for Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Robbie’s Review:

Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series and continues this unique fantasy story with its unusual and intriguing storyline. Book one ended with a happy environment after Amelina’s father was finally restored to his family at the correct age and Esme disappeared from the mirror, presumably to a better place. Book two starts with small but obvious indications that all is not as it seems and the issues involving both Amelina’s father and Esme are not adequately resolved.

The beginning is a bit slower moving as the author skillfully unwinds the reader’s beliefs that all is well and hammers cracks into the happy environment. The stage is set beautifully with fascinating and intricate scenes and dreams spun like a spiderweb from the author’s pen. Amelina’s first dream travel in this book has catastrophic results as while she is away from her body her bloodstone is stolen and this accelerates the cracks in her home environment.

This book is not an easy read and you have to concentrate as you read in the same way you would while reading a classic novel. It is worth the effort as the descriptions and concepts are outstanding and beautifully depicted.

There are a few stand out scenes for me in this book, as follows: the grasshopper in the meadow, the clowns in the café, and Aunt Karissa’s chocolates. For me, these were unbelievably imaginative and full of mystery.

Aunt Karissa features plays a small role in this book, introducing some welcome lightness and humour as Ryder’s darkness and power continue to grow. The reader learns a bit more about Ryder and his origins and homeland.

Another memorable feature of this book is that each chapter or puzzle piece starts with a tanka poem that hints at what is to follow in the chapter. The author is also an excellent poet and the poems were a lovely addition.

A few memorable quotes from this book:

“The grasshopper monster propelled time forward in a steady, slow, rocking motion, as if he was devouring our lives in seconds, minutes and hours as we gazed upon him.”

“Hello my beautiful reflection. You came! You always come when I need you the most. I have been so anxious listening to the troubles of this family which has become my family. What have you been doing? I see sweet flowers covering the red cuts on your left wrist.”

“”She opened the wrapper with trembling fingers. Inside, there was a small, round milk chocolate. It grew in her palm. the chocolate split into two halves, one half dark, and the other half white. In the centre, a dividing line moved form side to side as if whipping up the chocolate angrily.”

In conclusion, I would like to add that when I was a girl of 10 years old, I discovered the books written by Eva Ibottson. Every book of hers I read was a complete delight to me with its amazing fantasy creatures and gorgeous depictions of the lives of hags in dribbles and wizards in towers surrounded by mist. Throughout my adult life, I have search for an adult author who can invoke the same magical worlds and belief in magical creatures that I discovered in Miss Ibottson’s stories, and in this series by M.J. Mallon, I do believe I finally found an adult equivalent.

Do pop over to Robbie’s wonderful blog to read the post in its entirety: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/07/16/robbies-inspiration-book-review-golden-healer-by-m-j-mallon/

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Through The Nethergate #paranormal #urban #fantasy #ya #review @RobertaEaton17 @TSLpub

Blurb

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Review

Through The Nethergate illustrates the author’s ability to write an engaging tale which not only entertains the reader but weaves in historical facts against the backdrop of a ghostly setting.

Poor 16 year old Margaret has been recently bereaved, both her parents have died and she is now living with her Grandfather. Soon it becomes clear that she has a gift, the ability to transform ghosts to become more human in appearance.

There follows an age old battle between good versus evil, with characters as examples throughout history, (Heinruch Himmler, Reingard Heydritch and Adolf Eichmann,) and a clever part showcasing the potential danger of technological advances, (the dark web and terrorism,) to the soul of man.

Events unfold with Lucifer, two priests, a black cat, Hugh Bigod, (who has held the ghosts trapped – in his form as the black dog,) haunted bungay characters: Lizzie Bowlynge, Rex Bacon, Katherine de Montacute, Henry Scarle, and the infant serial killer Amelia Dyer, John Collins, Nero, Caligula and the incarnates.

Some historical figures were mentioned briefly while others played a bigger part in the tale. Perhaps a deep connection to a single character is lost somewhat due to the number of characters embodied in the narrative.

Of them all, I particularly was fascinated by the true life story of John Collins and the political discussions in the tale.

The pace and excitement picks up in the second half of the book which I really enjoyed. The ending is fantastic. It is a clever, ambitious, unusual and imaginative tale, just what you would expect from Roberta Cheadle.


Recommended for those who enjoy horror, dark and ghost tales and YA fiction.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

https://tslbooks.uk/product/through-the-nethergate-roberta-eaton-cheadle/

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has two published novels:

* Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy; and

* A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has ten children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Please support my review efforts by following my bookstagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

All my links are available via: https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

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Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Summer Book Fair 2022 – First in Series – #YA #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Romance #Military Jacquie Biggar | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Thank you so much to Sally for featuring myself and Jacquie in her summer book fair with first in series. <3. Do check out the post via the link below and the carousel of my latest blog posts.

Source: Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Summer Book Fair 2022 – First in Series – #YA #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Romance #Military Jacquie Biggar | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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Fantastic Reviews! The Curse of Time Series: Golden Healer and Bloodstone #Reviews #YA #Contemporary #Fantasy #Series

I’m thrilled to announce that there have been some fantastic new reviews recently for Golden Healer and Bloodstone. I’ve been so thrilled with the latest review for Golden Healer that I created a graphic on Canva to share the news!

The latest 5 star review of Golden Healer from Sheila, author S C Skillman rocks! Many thanks to Sheila and all the reviewers for taking the time to read and review.

Sheila

5.0 out of 5 stars Captivated by the surreal events and powers of this magic story Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 May 2022

Verified Purchase

Having read the first book in this trilogy, I had a number of questions about the world of magic MJ Mallon had conjured up in this tale of Amelina and the spiritual and mystical powers she faces, both positive and negative. Golden Healer answered several of my questions and clarified Amelina’s world for me. It opened up realms both terrifying and beautiful, as Amelina journeys on, aided by her allies, and threatened by repugnant spirits.

I am captivated by MJ Mallon’s descriptive writing which dazzles the reader; and she truly develops the potential of her imaginative ideas: chocolates that cast spells; a bossy front doormat; a magic paintbrush that can create illness through a white icy mist over a portrait; the Grasshopper who steals time; a magical environment that can open up your worst nightmares or your most enchanted dreams. Packed with surreal events and powers, this story is often a mind-bending read.

I found myself drawn in by Amelina and her predicament, navigating her parents, her quirky aunt Karissa who bestows dangerous magical gifts, her friends Jade, Ilaria and Joselyn; the tragic and fascinating Esme, trapped in the mirror; and the evil Ryder, Shadow Sorcerer, who appears so charismatic and charming on the surface to others.

I was intrigued by the changing viewpoints within the story: mostly first person in the mind of Amelina, but at one point in the viewpoint of her father Mark, and then switching to third person near the end.
The idea of the Crystal Cottage continues to fascinate me, and the law that states “only spiritual and magical individuals may approach the crystals safely.” A true Krystallos of the mightiest power, we learn, must be female, intuitive, a fierce protector, and kind of heart. This role is Amelina’s. Her aunt Karissa is an Ice Krystallos and her father Mark a Fire Krystallos.

Alongside the magical dimension in the story we are carried forward in the real world of school life and volatile emotions and shifting relationships between the teenagers: Emily and Jade, both infatuated with the handsome Ryder; the new rapport Amelina discovers with Kyle; and the conflict this creates with Esme, over her own feelings for Kyle.

There is intense jeopardy in this story for Amelina; gifted with the master crystal Golden Healer, she receives the power to transform everything, right all wrongs and overcome evil; but only at great peril to herself. The risk is high in this treacherous spiritual realm; will she make the right choice?

I also loved the beautiful and cryptic ‘tanka’ poetry that opens each chapter, which is described as a ‘puzzle piece’.

With a dramatic and truly disturbing end, MJ Mallon’s readers can only wait in dread and hope for the final book of the trilogy!

Buying Link for Golden Healer:

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60216858-golden-healer

And Fabulous reviews for Bloodstone…

Mike Kernan

5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and compelling Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 March 2022

Verified Purchase

I’ll start with a confession – this is the kind of book I would normally run a mile from. But I ended up loving it and that is a tribute to the skill and imagination of the author.

The whole otherworldly realm of fantasy and magic and special powers and talking animals and general disregard for the rules of reality is just not my bag. Bloodstone has all of that in abundance – a magic paint set, power-giving crystals, a house with a personality, a character trapped in mirrors, a cat that may not be a chatterbox but definitely feels more human than feline. Never mind the author’s trigger warnings for her young readers, I had plenty of my own.

And yet, within the first few pages I found myself sucked into the life of Amelina along with her strange, disturbed family and their equally bizarre surroundings. I remained captivated throughout because when you put genre aside, what you have here is a terrific tale written with pace and insight, and compelling characters you cannot help but care about for better or worse.

Amelina is such a believable teenager – vulnerable yet brave, lost at times, bold at other times. Ryder is a puzzle – is he the hero he appears to be on the surface or is there something darker lurking there? Esme is the one you will want to save and protect. Watching over it all, the enigmatic Shadow.

I was quickly won over by the way the oddness of the characters and the set-up was acknowledged. On the rare occasions when I have dipped my toe into the fantasy genre, a big gripe has been the way the reader is expected to accept outlandish concepts as just the way things are (or perhaps that’s just me). But right there, on the opening page, Amelina is almost wearily hinting that she is the normal one – perhaps the only normal one – in her strange existence.

I can see how Bloodstone would not only entertain young adults but make them think about important issues, like how you can be surrounded by people yet still feel lonely, how you should look out for others who might be struggling, how people aren’t always what they seem. But a major strength of the book is that these powerful messages are not waved in the reader’s face but drip fed gently without getting in the way of the story.

I only read Bloodstone because it was recommended in a book group and I have learned a little about the author, but it has shown me the value of getting out of your reading comfort zone once in a while.

Sim S

5.0 out of 5 stars A GEM of a storyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 April 2022

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Bloodstone is book one in the Curse of Time series. I was drawn in by the amazing cover art and the intriguing title.

This book is full of whimsy, magic, and mythology—giving me strong Philip Pullman, Frank L. Baum, and Lewis Carroll vibes. It kind of reminded me of films like The Labyrinth or Never Ending Story with that sense of alternate reality.

The story can be quite “trippy” at times with the main character, Amelina’s many dreams and hallucinations. You definitely have to suspend all belief and logic when reading, and just let the story take you. Because of this I did find parts hard to digest.

However, there was consistency throughout and that was Mallon’s writing. The writing itself was clear despite the story jumping in parts, and the addition of poetry and lyrics made it a different and more artistic read. Almost as if it were a piece of Amelina’s art itself.

It’s clear a lot of research went into this story too with the many references to folk lore, art, and crystals. And for that it’s impossible not to give Mallon 5 stars.

If you like magic and fantasy, this is one for you.
It also leave plenty of questions for the follow up.

Julia Sutton

Mar 20, 2022 Julia Sutton rated it it was amazing

AN ENCHANTING FIVE STAR READ

Bloodstone is a fantasy novel aimed at the Young Adult market. I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few Young Adults books but I’ve never read within the fantasy genre before. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It tells the tale of 15 year old Amelina who lives with her parents and her cat in a melancholy household. Her father vanished for years and since his sudden reappearance seems devoid of joy or happiness and her irate secretive mother seems unable to face up to what is happening around her.
Amelina’s only solace seems to be in her music and crystals. This is one girls quest to overcome the problems within her family and restore harmony within her world.

On her journey we meet a variety of magical characters. There is Esme, a girl trapped within the mirror, an enigmatic boy called Ryder who Amelina finds herself drawn too and an elderly woman who lives in an enchanted Crystal Cottage. Added to this unusual mix are her 3 school friends. They all have a part to play in Amelina’s destiny but appearances can be deceptive and Amelina soon realises that some characters may not be as altruistic as she first thought.

This is a very well written novel. The author certainly has a flair with description and the imagery is beautiful. Bloodstone is also very interesting, I found myself mesmerised by the storyline. I particularly liked how the author has woven her own concepts of fantasy and magic, combining them with references to popular myths and legends. There are moments within this novel which were completely surreal, it reminded me of Alice In Wonderland and there is a poetic, almost dreamlike quality to the writing.

As well as brilliantly highlighting teenage emotions, it also explores the complexities of friendship, and the introspective narrative touches on topical mental health issues.

Bloodstone is a very impressive debut novel. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants an original, magical read. Five stars from me.

Lynda Checkley

4.0 out of 5 stars Good YA fantasy/Magic bookReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 May 2022

This is the first in The Curse of Time series a YA fantasy/magic book and it’s safe to say I’ve never read this genre before. It took me a while to get into it as my common sense head kept kicking in but, about one third of the way in, I realised I was page turning wanting to know what happened next. It’s very well written with an interesting cast of characters led by 15 year old Amelina Scott who lives with her parents, a black cat and Esme, a girl who lives in the mirrors in their home in Cambridge. Yes you read that right!

Briefly, Amelina’s father has returned home after being missing for some time but he is changed and they are no longer the happy family they were before. Amelina wants to find out the truth about her fathers disappearance and the change in her parents personalities. On her journey she meets attractive Ryder, but is he what he seems to be? As she realises that she has unusual powers her understanding of her family situation grows.

As well as the fantasy elements such as potent crystals and a magical paintbox given to her by her Aunt, some real issues such as toxic relationships, mental health and self harm are addressed but are dealt with in a sensitive manner. I’m still not 100% convinced that fantasy is for me but I really did enjoy this book and I will make further forays into this genre. My last word, I know this is classified as YA but I’m more OAP so it’s definitely an adult read as well. Oh and my last last word I just love the cover of this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Chanatkins

4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced magical fun Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 April 2022

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I found this to be an action-packed, fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable read. I think all ages will get something from this book, and it’s a great start to a series. Amelina is an interesting teenage protagonist who lives in a house surrounded by mysteries. What happened to her dad when he mysteriously disappeared, and why was he so altered and strange when he reappeared? Why is there a girl trapped inside the mirrors of the house? And who is the enigmatic Ryder? As well as trying to survive and solve these mysteries, Amelina must also contend with the usual teenage angst and drama, such as not getting on with her mother and worrying about fitting in with her friends. A great read with plenty set up for the next book!

Thank you so much!

Also my publisher Next Chapter is featuring Bloodstone in the Contemporary Fantasy eBook category on their blog: https://www.nextchapter.pub/blog/new-fantasy-ebooks

And… some news. Since, I have now joined Tiktok I have now decided to add all my social media and buying links to one place. This is a work in progress but have added most of my links now: https://linktr.ee/mjmallonauthor

Multiple Platform Buy Link Bloodstone – in kindle, paperback, hardback.

https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

Audiobook

UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Bloodstone-Audiobook/B09SK9GFB1/

US: https://www.audible.com/author/M-J-Mallon/B074CGNK4L

If any of my blog readers would like a free copy of either book or an audiobook of Bloodstone, ( I have a limited amount of free codes,) please let me know. Always looking for new reviews!

Professional Review copies of Bloodstone available here:

ProlificWorks Giveawayhttps://claims.prolificworks.com/free/zamECb9a

BookSweeps Reader Magnethttps://www.booksweeps.com/free-ebooks/bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1/

BookSweeps Sweephttps://www.booksweeps.com/join/bloodstone-the-curse-of-time-book-1/

StoryOrigin Reader Magnethttps://storyoriginapp.com/giveaways/59f339e0-bae0-11ec-9429-03bc8087bcb0

StoryOrigin Review Copy Linkhttps://storyoriginapp.com/reviewcopies/f019203e-badf-11ec-bf98-f3e3906b0f3a

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MJ’s Book Reviews: The Phantom’s Curse by Shelley Wilson #Book #Review #Fantasy #Young Adult

Goodreads Synopsis

An old evil threatens to rise from the depths of the warded city…

Sixteen-year-old Marianne lives a simple life as a healer in the Link, looking after her younger brother since their parents’ exile. Little does she know how everything will change after attending the blessing in the city of Obanac. After her brother is wrongfully imprisoned, Marianne seeks his release from Crawford Reign, the Lord of Obanac. But she’s faced with an impossible choice—the lord wants her in exchange. To save her brother she turns to the daring outlaw Robbie and his friends for help. Along with the help of Theo, the holy man’s son, a daring rescue soon uncovers rumors of an old sorcerer who may still live and whispers of the phantom’s curse—an evil that requires a host and seeks to destroy the world—threatening to resurface.

With the threat of an old evil rising in Obanac and the attacks of the Black Riders throughout the realm, nowhere seems safe. To save the people of the land and everyone she cares about, Marianne must unlock the secret to who she really is and embrace the mage magic that stirs within her. 

My review:

The premise of this story is a simple one: fighting the forces of a terrible evil with good magic, the importance of family/ community and mentions of the city folk and the lower towns, giving a privileged and underprivileged vibe too.

At the beginning, the story revolves around two siblings Marian, (who is on the cusp of turning 16 and a healer,) and Newt, (her younger brother,) who live in the lower towns of Obanac.

There are some lovely passages of descriptive writing which I really enjoyed.

After ‘the blessing,’ which happens when children turn 16, Newt (who is accompanying Marianne,) is taken away for allegedly stealing an apple. The protective love that Marianne (Maz,) feels for her younger brother is clear and well portrayed. Maz is distraught and sets out to rescue her brother from captivity.

The love interest in the story, Robbie reveals that the wicked lord – Crawford, ‘sacrifices young girls for dark magic.’

Crawford has his secrets and his plans involving Marianne. Revelations follow and a battle ensues between good and evil.

Evil in the form of.. Crawford, Cassius, the phantam, as well as an undead, unholy army of black riders.

At one point Cassius uses a purple crystal to raise the phantam. There are other magic scenes, one mentions an orange orb. I would have liked a bit more explanation of some aspects of the story, such as the magic system and more development of the growing ‘love’ expressed between Robbie and Marianne.

But the relationships between Marianne, and her wee band of helpers: Xander, Eli, Fergus and Robbie are entertaining to read. Also, I enjoyed the feisty character of Marianne!

And the scene in which Crawford is ‘set free,’ allows the reader to be more sympathetic to the bad guy!

So overall an enjoyable, quick read, perhaps more suited to middle grade, or younger YA. And recommended for those who like short, entertaining stories with a determined female protagonist.



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Authors Links:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Buy Link Bloodstone (multiple platforms): https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

Buy Link Golden Healer : (extended distribution links coming soon) https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page:https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon – https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon 

Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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