On promotion, this week on our Streets Ahead Group on Me We are M J Mallon’s wonderful book, The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.
I can thoroughly recommend slipping into this tale. You won’t stop turning the pages until the end.
On promotion, this week on our Streets Ahead Group on Me We are M J Mallon’s wonderful book, The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.
I can thoroughly recommend slipping into this tale. You won’t stop turning the pages until the end.
Aretha Franklin was an incredible woman with a voice that made a president cry. RIP Aretha, you will be missed greatly.
My tribute to Aretha. This first song Chain Of Fools, I used to sing when I was just an itty bitty child. I used to try to sing like she did, but no one could do her justice.
Next song: I say a Little Prayer For You. This song used to make me happy about getting up in the mornings. I didn’t learn all the words but it made a difference.
This is just incredible. A Rose Is Still A Rose. Love you, Aretha. ❤
The Navigators by Dan Alatorre A review by Adele Marie Park
“On your mark, get ready, go.” That famous line is relevant to The Navigators. From the beginning, we are dropped into the beginning of a fast-paced storyline which weaves around the characters like a twister. It’s a page-turner which kept me goggle-eyed and saying to myself, “Just one more page before I sleep.” I love it. We are introduced to the characters’ personalities through the clever use of dialogue making it easy and quick for us. Throughout the story, the characters change and develop because of the choices they make and the consequences of their actions. In the end, they are all very different from those students we were first introduced to. The secondary characters are enjoyable, especially one who I began to think of as a twitching, seething mass of energy with plans to rule the world. Will not name as it would be a spoiler. The author’s use of build up and excitement is superb and is a master at nail-biting scenes. Describing exactly what situations they find themselves in. There is a deeper thread running through the narrative. “Just because you can, should you?” The consequences of messing around with someone’s timeline is explored deeply and so is the greed of man. There is also the aspect of having in one’s grasp the one thing which could lift you from a life of poverty. What would you do? I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a great adventure journey regardless of genre. Five stars from me.* * * * *
Hi Dan, welcome and thank you for giving us this opportunity to learn more about you.
Hi Adele! Thanks for having me – and wow, what a terrific review of The Navigators! You are too kind.
I’d like to ask you about your writing process. How do you execute your day around
I make my writing a goal, like a job. There’s a set time and place I do it, and I make sure I show up for work. I don’t always shower first, but nobody there seems to care. Usually, when I’m steeped in the first draft of a book, I get up at 4am and write for a few hours before everyone else is awake. I know, everyone rolls their eyes at that. They say, “4am? I’m not doing that. That’s crazy.” Yeah, kinda . . . But think about it. That gives me 2 hours of pure writing time each day, with zero phone calls, zero packages getting delivered to the door . . . basically zero interruptions. That’s 10 or more hours a week of writing, 40+ hours a month. What would you do with 10 hours of writing time each week? You’d get your story completed, that’s what. And when you are writing, every morning is Christmas morning. Totally worth getting up early for. Don’t look at email until other 6am and people are awake. Check twitter then. At 4, write. You can check email at lunch and at night or at a stoplight from your smartphone. It’s much harder to write your novel in traffic.
Where do the creative ideas come from?
Everywhere. Everyone says that, but it’s true. I got a kid’s book idea from talking about Halloween with my daughter. I got the idea for The Navigators from reading a friend’s post about who in history he’d like to have a conversation with. I got the idea for The Water Castle, which should be released in summer 2018, from a tower in an old Tampa park. Story ideas are everywhere if you care to see them. They don’t come fully formed as novels, they come as bits of story ideas that I collect and put together like a puzzle to be assembled, gathering them in a box (or in my case files on my computer) until I have enough to write a book. Some get used, some don’t, and many get created by me once I start the actual writing, using parts of my life or characters I create that I’d love to spend time with. Then there are ideas like surprises you get to play on your readers, like shocking them halfway through the story with a cool twist they never saw coming. Those are fun.
As a child did you imagine you’d become an author?
As a young child, I wanted to be a cartoonist. I wrote cartoons for other kids and my older brother. But writing a cartoon means having story and characters, a plot, and ending – so it’s nearly the same thing. I talked the administrative people at our grade school into starting a newspaper so I could write for it. In eighth grade, I wrote what I thought was a book-length story about pirates that had to hide out as cowboys. I was co-editor of our high school newspaper, and in college (and after) I wrote short stories for fun. Then one day I decided to get serious about it. Dun Dun DUNNN!!!
Was there a famous author you admired as a child?
Absolutely. My older brother loved Bill Cosby’s comedy albums from the 1960’s. Cosby spun a long, amusing story that was riddled with personal anecdotes everyone could identify with, similar to Mark Twain. When I got older, I read Twain’s essays and would find myself laughing out loud at them, much the same way Cosby captured my attention. I loved stand-up comedians, watching them all on the late show when I could, or I recorded them and watched them the next day while I was working out. That’s a bad idea, by the way. It’s really hard to lift a weight when you are laughing. Really bad idea. You’ll drop stuff on your feet. Don’t do that. So when I started writing, I wrote humorous stuff, and my style was to have a point to the story and eventually get there but to meander all over the place first. That’s hard to do well and easy to do badly, but I was pretty good at pacing and keeping a reader’s attention, so it worked.
Your novel “Angel On My Shoulder” is one of my favourites and deals with paranormal subjects. Do you believe in the paranormal? If so has anything paranormal happened to you?
Angel was an interesting story to bring to publication. I wrote it, then I let it rest while I searched for an editor. I wrote my next book during the resting phase, but I took some time to develop my skills as a writer, and then returned to Angel. By then it had sat resting for over a year! I revamped it, going chapter by chapter to enhance the scenes, cut scenes, changed things, enhanced things – to make it into a real paranormal thriller. It was a good story before, with a few interesting characters; that time away allowed me to see it with new eyes and work it into a grabber you can’t put down. It was a real learning experience.
But here’s how I’ll answer your question about if I believe in the paranormal. Under the right circumstances, everybody believes in the paranormal. On a warm day, playing outside, the sun gloriously radiating off your skin, it’s hard to imagine ghosts or the lingering energy of people who have died and are now trying to contact you. But in the middle of the night when you are all alone and you hear a strange noise, that’s a different story. I’m not talking about scaring yourself or being afraid of the dark, I’m talking about hearing something that wakes you up and you think – just for an instant – that you saw something in the darkness, a passing shadow, that you thought was something else. Turn on the light and it’s gone, but in the dark, when you weren’t sure, and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, or you find you are holding your breath squinting into the darkness, what is it you’re feeling? Why are we afraid of the dark? Why do strange things scare us? Was it evolution that said we’d have a better chance of survival if we were scared of what we couldn’t see? All children have a phase where they are afraid of the dark. We say it’s TV or imagination, but it’s been happening long before TV ever came around, and why would every child do it if there wasn’t a reason? Every child, in every culture, at some point, is afraid of the dark. We all “grow out of it,” but that’s a learned response. A way of coping. Our natural instinct was to be afraid and to assign otherworldly aspects to what we see and feel in the dark. We have all experienced things we say are a coincidence. The phone ringing right as we were about to call someone. A relative appeared in a dream and then finding they passed away. Strange feelings we can’t explain away, or eerie beings we are certain we see in the dark. Society has said that’s not logical, and all things must be explained logically – but what if our logic hasn’t caught up with our world? After all, prevailing logic said the world was flat and that the Earth was the centre of the universe – until science and mathematics proved otherwise. So truth evolves, just as we evolve – and no one thinks we are done evolving yet. Humans evolved with two eyes, and that works better than one. We evolved with two legs, and that was an advantage over slithering like a snake. Evolution of emotions – unique to humans – make us better parents; things like empathy and the concept of fairness, unique to our species, form the foundation of our society. Our physical traits are tangible proof of our evolution, just as our emotional traits and thinking capacity are evidence of our physiological evolution. It is universally accepted that evolution pushed mankind to dominate the world, but we aren’t done evolving yet. The unexplainable things we see and feel in the dark are evolution’s way of sticking a toe in the water of our next clumsy phase, the same as a toddler learns to walk. And like the very first toddler who stood erect and took a step, it wasn’t possible before because it hadn’t happened before, it was illogical before, and it didn’t exist before – and therefore could not possibly exist. Just the supernatural obviously does not exist. Until the toddler took the step, and then it did.
That’s a great answer, Dan. One which various paranormal people in the know agree with themselves. It also brings me to our next question. Box Under The Bed is an anthology close to my heart which you organised every step of the way. What was it really like to undergo the process from baby steps to published work?
Well, until I did it with The Box Under The Bed, I had never done it before. So I didn’t know what to expect! But I knew from the writing contest that there were a lot of talented people out there who just need a little nudge. I also knew that since most of them had already gone through the contest process with me, where I do a critique on your story, I felt there was a level of trust and that when I and a few other published authors told them or asked them to do things, they would do them. For example, one story was critiqued with some suggestions and then it went back to the author and then we need some more suggestions and I think maybe it went back-and-forth three times, but the finished product was really awesome. So it was a lot of work but it was a true labour of love. Everybody pitched in. Everybody had ideas. Each contributing author critiqued two other stories. We collaborated on the artwork ideas for the cover, and on marketing ideas. It was great to be in a group of people who are all focused on the same thing, which was helping that book do well. And it did. It shot straight to number one shortly after we released it.
You are about to dip more than a toe into another scary, paranormal anthology this year. (https://danalatorre.com/2018/07/01/dan-alatorres-word-weaver-writing-contest-voodoo-is-here-let-the-games-begin-july-2018/) Can you share with us the reason you wish to undertake this again?
Simply put, I had so much fun the first time around, it seems like a great idea.
So here we are. By having 20 or so people all contributing to the same book and pushing for its success, it tends to do well. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year, but I would love for this to be an annual thing. Seeing people go from not being sure whether their work was any good, to sending it to me and working on it with them and having them appear in the contest (maybe winning first second or third place), and then basking in the glow of that light as we continued to roll forward to put out the anthology, that was huge. To think I played a small role in somebody bringing their story to the world, that’s just very humbling.
Do you think you might write more horror/paranormal books yourself in the future? Perhaps, a sequel to Angel On My Shoulder?
I can see that. There were a lot of characters people wanted to see more of. Dahlia could have her own book series, as could Tyree, so right now I am planning two books that tell Tyree’s story, one as a child where he first becomes aware that he has special abilities, and then one as an adult where he goes from trying to fit in and not pretending that he doesn’t have these abilities, to accepting them and trying to do something with them.
A question that is asked often is: What does success in writing mean to you?
I have nothing against a yacht in the Caribbean. I am totally fine with that. Making lots and lots of money is definitely a success, but for most authors, I think after they get done with visions of appearing on the Ellen show, they would be happy to make a living through their writing. I enjoy that now, so success means continuing that while helping others succeed. There’s a huge proud papa feeling when somebody you work with does well.
Where would you like to see your writing career in five years?
I suppose by then I’ll have 20 or 30 more books out. Probably I will have figured out what the heck I’m doing with some of my side projects like my blog and the writing contests and my marketing. Things evolve, though. Five years ago, if you had said would I be on the board of directors for the Florida Writers Association and giving presentations all over the place, I would’ve said you were crazy. Now I do those things. So I would hope five years and now I am still relevant and still helping people and still enjoying writing. Those seem like reasonable goals. Ellen can still call, though. I can fit an appearance on her show in, no problem.
Finally, Dan, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity to interview you and what is your advice for those setting out on the writer’s road for the first time?
Write every day. Don’t try, do. It’s in you and you want to do this, so make time for it just like it was a job. Get up earlier if you have to.
Join a critique group and find quality writers there. Become friends with them, not so they will tell you your story is good when it isn’t, but just the opposite. So they can hold you to the highest standards possible, and you will hold them to the highest standard possible. When you find somebody who’s a good critique partner that way, tell them every day how important they are to you.
The third thing would be possibly the hardest for a lot of people. Believe in yourself. Have the confidence to put your story out there. You have more than one great story in you, so stop depriving the world of them. Don’t polish it forever, publish it.
Most of you are better writers than you think because I have seen the stories in my contests. Most of them are pretty darn good. That means yours probably is, too.
Have the confidence to go for it. Nobody reaches through the Internet and punches you in the nose because they didn’t like your story. But they will become fans and write nice reviews and tell you occasionally that your story or a character or your input on their story changed their life. Hearing that can be quite addictive.
But it all starts with putting a story out there in the first place.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/DanAlatorreAuthor/
This post is about Marjorie Mallon the author of The Curse of Time Book One The Bloodstone.
Here is the live link to the paperback of The Curse of Time Book One – The Bloodstone
I’ve had to amend my post to make sure that people on Facebook can see who this article is about and not think that it is about me. Why Facebook doesn’t show my Word Press articles exactly as they appear, I don’t know. It’s very annoying.
I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.
As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
Books by M J Mallon:
The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone
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.
Title: The Curse of Time Book 1 – Bloodstone
Kindle Publication date: 27th August 2017
Genre: YA/Paranormal Fantasy
Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime
Intended Paperback Release date – April 2018
Genre: YA/Paranormal Fantasy
Book Design: https://wendyannedarling.wordpress.com/
Photography Credit: Dr John C Taylor, OBE: http://www.johnctaylor.com/
Paperback includes additional material – two black and white illustrations by Artist – Carolina Russo. https://yesterdayafter.com/
Edited by: https://colleenchesebro.com
Buy Paperback Book link: Coming soon!
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
This terrifying being deserved the term: hideous. No other word would do it justice. Lumps of earth were matted around its skull convincing me that it wore dreadlocks. Worms fed on the rotting skin that hung from its skeletal frame. Many insects collected in the recesses of the creature’s decaying body.
Surprised at the painting’s transformation, I knocked over my paint pots in shock. Paint spattered across the kitchen table. My mind raced. I questioned how I could have painted such a revolting thing? Was I hallucinating?
Without warning, the floorboards beneath my feet rattled. I tried to throw the paint brush away, but it clung to my hand like extra strength super glue. After several attempts, I succeeded; my fingers released the paint brush. I ran into the lounge in a panic leaving my art stuff scattered all over the table. This calmed me down a bit, and I slowed my pacing. The thudding of my heart grew so loud I heard it pounding like an overzealous gong in my ears.
With the continuous sound of the beating of my heart, it wasn’t long before I heard the house joining in with a chorus of shouts, and yells. The rattling floorboards continued moaning out their sorrowful tune.
When the doorbell rang, I sprung up to answer it thinking it could be my dad. Just in time, I remembered what he had always said: ‘Make sure you check who’s at the door before you open it.’
I turned on my heel and sprinted upstairs to the first-floor landing where I could observe the transparent window above the doorway. This window allowed an excellent view of the front of the house.
To begin with, I saw nothing. I considered the doorbell ringing must have been kids playing a prank. I was ready to turn away when there followed a flicker of movement. My eyes darted left and right, and I couldn’t believe what I saw standing on the doorstep. There in all its glory stood scary dreadlock dude, the creature I’d just painted, the same creature I had met in my dream standing on my front doorstep, like a visitor at Halloween.
A family of rats sat perched on its head, biting at the last remnants of meaty flesh from around its eye sockets. Closing my eyes, I hoped that he was just some wild figment of my imagination. However, when I re-opened them, I saw that my fears were justified. The being resembled a horrible hellish beast transported from a Halloween Underworld Party who had paid me a trick or treat visit! Except, I saw no sweets, instead a bunch of worms and rats were making a mega meal out of him.
I heard distressed sounds coming from the house as it registered this unwelcome visitor at the door. Weird noises echoed from within the walls, and the floorboards creaked like they would crack wide open. The central heating pounded a protest like an agitated heartbeat.
Beneath my feet, Shadow’s black fur stood on edge. He hissed and bared his sharp fangs at the sound of the unwelcome visitor at the door. The strange being continued knocking. I freaked out. I feared the door threatened to tumble down. The sound of splintering wood shattering filled my ears. I imagined the creature racing up to get me; the rats tucking into my painted toenails, and the worms feasting on my mascaraed eyes.
The pre-release blog tour begins in April with my #ABRSC club pals, followed by a release tour with Neverland Blog Tours. (Jenny Marston is also a #ABRSC member!) http://neverlandblogtours.weebly.com/
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Carolina Russo has created two wonderful portraits of my characters which feature in my paperback which is due for release in April. Below you can see the full colour version of the images, please note the paperback images are in black and white.
Esme and The Creature
The above images are Copyright ©Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com
Fun facts about Marje:
1. I wish I could be wonder woman or MJ from Spiderman.
2. I adore crystals, alternative therapies, the unusual and the strange. I’m a qualified Aromatherapist, Reflexologist, (I no longer work as a therapist instead I devote my spare time to reading, writing, blogging and reviewing.)
3. Some say that I am a white witch…my blogging friends confer and have included me in the Sisters of The Fey, a writerly collaboration.
4. My husband can’t remember asking me to marry him and neither can I. He suspects I cast a spell on him!
5. I have travelled to many foreign destinations, including: Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Rome, Venice, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Portugal. I would love the funds to travel some more!
6. I currently work as a receptionist in a massive building, home to twenty companies. In quiet moments I observe peoples’ mannerisms, listen to snippets of gossip and dream up new story ideas.
7. I love food! Asian food and anything spicy, yum…My mother is Malaysian and my father is Scottish so I grew up with a very varied diet.
8. My motto is to do what you love! Stay true to your heart’s desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.
9. I studied Communication Studies at University, (marketing, media studies, public relations, etc.) My degree is coming in mighty handy now.
10. I love cats but don’t own one (my husband and daughter are allergic,) so I adopted a virtual black cat called Lily who looks like my black cat character Shadow in my book: https://mjmallon.com/2017/05/17/shadow-welcomes-lily-the-cat-to-kyrosmagica/
11. I have so many writing projects and so little time! I am a writing butterfly so this pains me greatly!
12. I am an original! I have been to every single Bloggers Bash until now. http://sachablack.co.uk/annual-bloggers-bash/
13. I have met the inventor of The Corpus Christi Chronopage clock – Dr John C Taylor, OBE who kindly gave me permission to use his images in my book. http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/
14. I interview my fictional characters on my blog. Currently you can meet:
The Creature: https://mjmallon.com/2018/02/20/mj-interviews-the-creature/Esme The Mirror Girl:https://mjmallon.com/2018/02/23/mj-interviews-esme-the-mirror-girl/
Finalist in Authorsdb Book Cover Contest
Winner of Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge no. 7 with my murderous flash – Mr Blamey: https://carrotranch.com/2017/12/19/winner-of-flash-fiction-contest-7/
Thank you Marjorie for sharing information about your wonderful book, I can say that because I’ve read it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
I hope this post lets you know more about Marjorie and below are the links to the blog tour for the paperback version of Curse of Time Book One The Bloodstone.
From the beginning, I was drawn into the main character, Amelina’s world.
It is quickly established that Amelina’s world is not like other girls her age.
I can’t say more than that as I don’t want to give spoilers away.
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?
The circle of friends she has are all different personalities but they fit together like a circle.
The description of each girl is short but gives us an immediate picture of their personality.
Then there are Amelina’s parents, her growing power and the strange invitation.
I give Curse of Time Book One five stars.
I enjoyed reading this novel and the only consolation I had when finishing it was there will be a book two.
Marjorie has written a magical tale and drawn for us a world where nothing is what it appears to be on the surface.
I loved this novel and Marjorie’s telling of it.
Amelina has a strong voice and I could see everything crystal clear through her eyes.
A book to go back and read time and time again.
You can purchase your own copy at http://amzn.eu/aPkJS7I
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a copy of Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) free from the author.
From the beginning when we meet Nora and her family on their farm this book hooked me and I didn’t want to put it down.
The language was so well written that I can still hear the soft southern accents and the bustle of city life.
The period in which the novel is set, during the famous Harlem Renaissance vibrates with details that make it spring alive inside your mind.
I loved how the author sprinkled the back story in delicious detail which didn’t slow down the pace of the book. It is horrifying in places but, it is historically correct too and it made me sad that people treated other humans this way.
To sum up, this novel grabs you and transports you to another era and into the lives of those characters who lived during that time. With all the horrors, highs and lows they go through I felt as if I went through it with them. That is a sign of a wonderfully written story and the author has created a treasure.
I will have to be patient and wait for Book 2 because at the end of this book I actually shouted out loud because I had finished it.
Highly recommended to anyone who loves a tremendous tale that spans history and life.
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