Writer’s journey – How did it all happen?

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This is  my writer’s blog about me and my crazy journey to becoming a half decent author.

Well how did I start writing? It was quite odd really. I used to write as a teenager. At the time I had a ginger tom cat called Chester, Mr. Popularity, everyone loved him. He liked to venture afar and we would often have to rescue him. I remember one occasion in particular, my brother and I ended up trudging through the woods, in Blackhall in Edinburgh, to pick him up from a house in the vicinity. He ended up at the most peculiar places. One time he chose to visit a house with thirteen cats!

I told you he liked company. So it seemed natural to  write about cats,  and I kept a diary. My dad was and still is one of my other great sources of inspiration.  He has travelled extensively to the Far East, and Middle East and is a wonderful raconteur.

As far as my writing is concerned the inevitable happened.  I was the typical teenager. I got distracted. I found boys, discos, parties, and my writing suffered. Somehow I didn’t pick it up again for a very long time. This is a regret. A massive regret. But what can I do? I can’t travel back in time, I don’t have a Tardis. So I just have to accept that the time is right now.  You see, I’m still this young girl at heart, just stuck in an older and maybe wiser body. I have experienced more, travelled more, lived more, so hopefully that will make me a better writer.

Several events came together to ignite my desire to write again. First of all I read a lot.  At the time I was reading Dorian Gray and it was definitely a novel that captured my imagination and set my mind free. Also my eldest daughter was studying GCSE Art and I took a sudden interest in art and photography. I’m not saying that I can paint or draw, though I wish I could. No, I enjoyed watching her artistic development and I enjoyed sharing ideas with her and encouraging her.

All of these influences helped me to write my first book, a children’s/YA fantasy set in Cambridge, which I hope to publish soon. The female protagonist in my novel is a teenage girl who paints a puzzle of art. But it is by no means a novel simply about Art. She expresses her sadness, and discovers her magical powers, through the medium of painting and well the rest you will find out when you read the book. Lets just say that a lot happens and I think that it will keep you entertained!  Well I hope so anyway.

Also I know this sounds crazy but my other source of inspiration was a black cat, a  throw back to Chester.  I had never seen this strange black cat before and suddenly he just started appearing in our garden. There was something different about him. He appeared  like a miniature panther, all glossy and splendid, looking for attention, with his mesmerising eyes, I fell under his spell. He liked to show off, he would disappear into thin air, climb to ridiculous heights, or chase his tail around the garden like a demented clown. He just had to play a part in this book too. Lets just say he has a subsidiary part to a main character, who is male, young and very interesting too, just like him. That was the beginning. Looking back I am amazed that from just a few initial thoughts my idea just seemed to grow and grow. Now my debut novel is nearly ready for the final edit. How did that happen? I couldn’t be happier in fact if I had a tail, I’m sure I would be whizzing around and around chasing it with excitement!

Update: I am in the process of editing my novel with a view to self publishing this year. More about that soon. I will continue to add news to this from time to time, or post individual updates on my blog.

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AND THE MOST AMAZING CAT’S PYJAMAS.  XXX

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Above photos courtesy of Google and Bing images. Cartoon me  image via : http://bitstrips.com/

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Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge: Magic And Stars

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It has been an age since I have written any haiku. Sigh!

Recently  Denis at haiku hound commented on one of my posts, but added – where are your haiku? Good point Denis – his comment prompted me to write this post! Thanks so much for the encouragement.🙂

Denis is a keen haiku poet, photographer and also has some stunning afghan hounds – do check out his blog:  Haiku Hound – Afghan Hounds

I have really missed joining in with Ronovan’s weekly challenge. Unfortunately I have just been so busy job hunting, editing my manuscript, etc, etc.

Good news – I now have a new job… More about that soon. It’s a bit of a secret. Kyrosmagica likes secrets but all will be revealed soon. But one things for certain I doubt that you will guess what my new job is, as it is quite unusual.

This weeks prompt really caught my attention… Magic and stars. Kyrosmagica is all about the magical moments in life whether it’s simply reading a book, walking and observing the beauty all around us or engaging in creative endeavours. Kyrosmagica also tries to reflect on the deeper aspects of life – you can’t have light without a touch of darkness… But today, I’m feeling lighthearted so let’s celebrate love with Ronovan’s beautiful prompt words magic and stars!

My haiku is inspired by my recent visit to Tavira, in the Portugese Algarve. To find out more about Tavira do visit this excellent website: Tavira Uncovered. In this quaint town there is a bridge dedicated to love! All along the bridge padlocks are attached, with the names of partners, husbands, wives, and lovers!

This particularly bright pink padlock caught my eye. I do hope that Stefan and Claudia are still together!

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Magical Fireworks Explode

Stars twinkle brightly,

Magical fireworks explode,

When I’m near to you.

 

Stars padlocked our love,

In magical Tavira,

Love you forever.

 

The key’s ours alone,

No one else can break the bond,

Magic star of love.

 

This bridge links our love,

A magical star glistens,

On this pink full heart.

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Tavira is such a lovely quaint place to visit, with an oldie world charm, so with that in mind here are some of my photos to tempt you:

Two views from either side of the lovers!!! bridge ….

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 My daughter looking tiny amongst the quaint old buildings!
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There are some lovely churches in Tavira:

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Of course when love hits the mark it’s truly magical, and so is Tavira. If you’d like to see my other Portugal post do visit here: Portugal Missing You

I hope you liked my haiku. Do join in with Ronovan’s challenge.

Here’s the link to find out more: Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge – Magic and Stars

Oh and see if you can guess what my new job is…

Bye for now, much love. Happy Sunday!

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5 Things to Remember When Designing Your Book Cover With @AuthorhelenJ

Excellent post on Sacha Black’s blog about designing book covers with author Helen Jones. Sometimes it’s a no brainer to reblog!

Sacha Black

5-book-coversToday is the last instalment from my lovely friends, who have been keeping my blog stocked with juicy tidbits in order to give me time to finish my book. A huge thank you to everyone who helped out, without you, I wouldn’t have had time to finish it

You can check out the other posts here:

3 Things You Need to Create The Perfect Gothic Story

11 Must Do’s When Creating A Podcast

4 Top Tips For Self-Publishing Your First Novel

But today, I welcome the lovely Helen Jones, to talk about book covers. I recently talked about mastering your genre’s book cover. But Helen goes into a tone of useful things you need to consider, that I hadn’t even thought of. So her post was super useful for me this week, because I just sent off my cover design brief! *squeal*. Without further ado…. Helen…

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My Kyrosmagica review of the Cosy Teashop in The Castle

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I won a copy of Caroline Roberts The Cosy Teashop in The Castle via Suze Lavender, @SuzeLavender who blogs at http://www.withloveforbooks.com/

Book enthusiasts tip: Suze is great to follow as she does lots and lots of book giveaways!

My review:

I read this charming novel while  on holiday in Portugal.  More about my trip here: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/portugal-missing-you/

The Cosy Teashop in The Castle is the perfect read to take away with you for a relaxing break. A light-hearted story set in Northumberland about a young women’s dream to run her own tea shop. Being a big fan of cakes, baking, tearooms, and castles, this really appealed to me. By the way there is the added bonus of a lovely cake recipe at the back of the book : Ellie’s grandmother – Choffee cake. Sounds delicious! There is also a very satisfactory dollop of romance that never goes amiss on a summer read! The only aspect of the novel that surprised me was just how steamy the romance sections were. Boy were they hot, just about as sweltering as the Portugal sun. So do bear that in mind! Obviously all that floury cake baking, combined with the chemistry between Ellie and the manager of the tearoom, Joe, really enabled the spark to light Ellie’s broken-hearted fuse. Phew….Yes, Ellie hasn’t had the best of times as far as men are concerned, making her a bit cautious, and Joe has his reasons to be a bit distant too. But the fuse well and truly does get lit, believe me!

My recommendation –  Read and find out more! 

My rating: 4 stars.

Have you read The Cosy Tea Shop in The Castle? Do let me know your thoughts if you have.

Bye for now, that little tea shop was surprisingly hot!

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Portugal Missing You!

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Missing you Portugal! We stayed at this all inclusive hotel in Porches, the Algarve – Be Live Palmeiras Village. This is the pool area with a slide – there were two pools with bars – where you could wile away the sunny day with a cocktail in hand! I’d highly recommended this hotel especially for families with young children, the entertainment on offer to keep them occupied was excellent. The poolside activities such as Water Zumba were also great fun, and there was a daily program of evening entertainment too. There were two buffet areas included in the all – inclusive price plus three extra restaurants with a small charge attached. The food was diverse, catering for most tastes. In general I’d recommend Buffet 2 as there was an outdoor seated area to enjoy your food in the sun, rather than eat inside in the other larger buffet area within the hotel itself which felt like a food hall.

 

We discovered this wonderful cave cut through the cliff face linking two beaches near our hotel.

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It was well worth it!

 

Here I am with my daughters about to explore what’s beyond the cave…

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And here’s the reward – a  beautiful beach on the other side.

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Talk about tranquil golden sand, textured with footprints of assorted humans, occasional dogs who have escaped from their owners – rolling in furry abandon on the sand, not to mention the crazy seagulls. One minute those seagulls were tranquilly standing on one leg, stretching their wings, doing a tai chi move, the next they were dive bombing us!

Striking cliffs and that sea……so rich with hues of colour. An artist’s dream.

These wonderful cliffs are everywhere in Portugal and provide a great backdrop for family photos.

 

 

A holiday to Portugal wouldn’t be complete without a boat trip. The four of us went via Albufeira on a well organised day out.  We had a wonderful experience stopping at a beautiful bay for a barbeque of fresh fish, pork, salad and wine.
No wonder my hubby and I are smiling!

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Here is the lovely boat we sailed on..

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Perhaps I might have convinced you to visit Portugal. It is one of my favourite holiday destinations – I have been to the Algarve three times, and loved it each time!

Bye for now,

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Poets For Peace: Promise People Peace

This is my submission for #PoetsForPeace.

To join in please refer to this post by Neha: Forgotten Meadows: Poets For Peace Submission Details for Praxis Magazine

Promise People Peace

I long for it to return,
The word I can no longer say,
But in my throat. It chokes:

-‘The bomb blast silenced me.’

This word, rich companion,
To Happiness, Joy, Love, and Hope,
Is lost, discarded. It whispers:

-‘I’m buried under hatred’s rubble.’

Now my words fragment,
Syllables of death and destruction.
Scatter, scare. I scream:

– ‘So the suffering grows.’

In a poultice of grime,
Black smoke, battered skin, broken lives,
Unspeakable, incomprehensible. My…

-‘Tragedy lives on.’

I am numb, that’s my new word.
The one that claims,
Whispers and holds me.  Together ….

– ‘Binding my sadness.’

 I need that unspoken word,
Wrap it tenderly,
In layers of bubble wrap. Pop ….

– ‘Break its bonds with an explosion of joy.’

Let’s find that sweet word again.
A simple expression of the human race,
Unite us in love. I say,

-‘Make me whole again.’

This wondrous word – our go to home,
Haven to our blessed children,
Let them know love. I pray,

-‘Nurture this gentle word.’

Please

Promise

People

Peace.

 

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

A subject that is very dear to my heart, please do feel free to comment below.

Bye for now. Hope you have a purrfectly peaceful day.

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Writespiration #94: Condense Your Novel Into 3 Sentences

Writespiration: Condense Your Novel into Three Sentences

In Sacha’s words:

So, your challenge this week is to boil your plot down to its simplest form. This isn’t marketing 101, don’t try an sell me your book like a pitch sentence. This is purely about plot. Tell me your entire novels story in three sentences.

If you want to join in,  you can pop your sentences in the comments on her blog or in a blog post and ping back  so she can find it. You have until 12pm on the 28th August.

No pressure… three simple sentences. Somehow, that sounds a bit unrealistic, simple sentences, there is nothing simple about my plot, convoluted, yes, but simple, No!  But, this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time, because right now this is the kind of activity I’m engaging in… writing blurbs, author bios, etc, trying to get everything ready for my novel release this coming autumn.

Here are my three sentences:

Da da dee da,

Da da dee da,

Da da dee da!

Only joking…  though I did think the da da’s had a certain ring to them, not sure about those dee da’s! Cup of tea perhaps? Sacha did suggest that we boil our plot! Maybe not… Perhaps I should indulge in a bit of FB? Twitter? Instagram? But no selling… OK, I could be nosey, see what folks are up to… Or I could go for the simple approach.

Right, no mucking about, concentrate Marje, stop procrastinating! You can do this…

Ah, I know what to do, doodle, get a cute doodle pad and write a few words on it:

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That will do the trick… Don’t plan, just write…

By now, you really must be thinking this gal has gone a bit doolally twist… perhaps.

Enough! This procrastination is really becoming a curse.

Here is my contribution, my three simple sentences for my WIP: The Curse of Time.

Amelina Scott doesn’t know it yet, but she is a magical Krystallos. That knowledge might just save her family from the cruel roller coaster ride which has bugged her family’s happiness, since The Curse of Time. A shadow hides, crystals twinkle, and gossamer wings threaten to bring Amelina full circle on the ride of her life.  

I thought I’d elaborate upon this to make an initial blurb idea which would go very roughly something like this:

 Sixteen year old Amelina  Scott lives in Cambridge with her prematurely aged father, cranky mother, a black cat called Shadow, and a self-harming mirror girl.  

She doesn’t know it yet, but she is a magical Krystallos. That knowledge might just save her family from the cruel roller coaster ride which has bugged her family’s happiness, since The Curse of Time. A shadow of two halves hides – Ryder’s  mesmerising eyes and dark charisma draw her to him – but appearances can be deceptive. While crystals twinkle, and gossamer wings threaten, Amelina’s spirit is brought against her will to a tranquil meadow in Grantchester. Whilst there she is encouraged by her captor to paint a  bizarre puzzle of art, and all the while, a threat lingers groaning to turn youth into old age, and to turn neighbour against neighbour.  

The verdict is out, hope that made sense, and didn’t bore you.

Bye for now,

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My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.

Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her  spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. 
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a  barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her  bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain  murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. 
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. 

She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love,  stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and  inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...

 

My Links: 

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Thursday Doors : Edinburgh Queen’s Gallery

 

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For this week’s Thursday doors I’m focusing on my recent day trip to Edinburgh. I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days with my hubby and some friends so I popped over to Edinburgh to see my mum and dad. We went for a Chinese dim sum lunch and then mum and I took the bus to Hollyrood Palace. Here’s a photo of the crags of Arthur’s Seat.

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Now for the doors. The Queen’s Gallery –  an art gallery at Holyrood Palace complex.

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And here it is with a bit of a magic wand makeover… From Prisma.. Using the Gothic touch.

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This gateway… leads to the tea room where we had a very royal Cappucino.

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Hope you liked my Thursday doors post. If you share your posts on Twitter and Instagram remember to use the #ThursdayDoors hastag. If you’d like to join in Norm’s Thursday doors here’s the link to his blog to do so: Norm’s Thursday Doors

Bye for now,

 

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Attention #PoetsForPeace Contributors: We are getting published & will need your help!

If you’d like to contribute to #PoetsForPeace and be published in Praxis magazine this is how to. Entries will be open to the 31st August.

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Hello Everyone,

This is for all present and future contributors for our collaboration #PoetsForPeace. Michael and I  are so excited to let you know that our friend and fellow blogger Laura M. Kaminski has graciously offered to help us get published in Praxis Magazine Online! Laura herself is an amazing writer and a published poet… I encourage you to check out her blog if you haven’t already done so.

In order to get published we will need  permission from our contributors who would like their piece published with this collaboration. One or all of these fields will need to be included: URL, Name, Location Contributor is writing from. “The standard Praxis copyright page at the beginning will show that copyright for contributed lines is retained by the individual contributors”.- Laura

Michael from the Poetry  Channel, will be contacting individual contributors with details soon; however, we wanted to make sure we…

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My Kyrosmagica Review of The Eternals by Richard M. Ankers

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For Jean, eternity should have meant forever.

The Eternals, they are a breed apart. Born to immortality, neither human nor vampire, a dying sun is to end their race where no other could. It is to this ultimatum that Jean, the last Eternal lord, is born. Jean accepts the end once preached by his deceased parents, where others won’t, their arrogance furthering his melancholy. He would fight for the future where they, the Hierarchy, would waltz into nothingness.

But everything changes for Jean when he commits the cardinal sin: his bite takes the life of Princess Chantelle of The New Europa Alliance, whose sister will come to enthrall him. It is a deed Jean thinks has passed unnoticed; it has not. When the Britannian dandy, Sir Walter Merryweather, informs him of this, Jean runs. Aided and abetted by the irksome Merryweather, Jean stumbles from manipulated mishap into age-old conspiracies and beyond.

With the sun’s clock ticking, Jean must find time where there is none to reconcile his sordid past with the promise of new love.

Author Bio: 

Richard is a former Company Director who after winning a Gold Medal on HarperCollins’ Authonomy website gave up everything to become the writer he had always wished to be.

Richard counts himself fortunate to have been published both online and in print by such wonderful magazines as Daily Science Fiction and Devoltion Z, as well as anthologies by Third Flatiron Publishing and Leap Books.

The cumulation of his storytelling has arrived in the form of The Eternals. This is the first in a trilogy of books of the same name. The Eternals is set on our Earth in the far distant future as the sun prepares to set one final time. Neither human nor vampire, the Eternal Hierarchy look to waltz their way into oblivion. Jean, a brooding and disillusioned outcast, would have it different.  Aided and abetted by the hapless dandy Merryweather, Jean’s tale unfolds to a backdrop of love, death and deceit. With the sun’s clock ticking, Jean must find time where there is none to reconcile his sordid past with the promise of new love.

Genre: Romance, Adventure, Action, Fiction.

My review:

Well I love a good old vampire story, so I was really looking forward to reading this.  The Eternals isn’t quite a traditional vampire story. This is something else. These creatures are ‘neither human nor vampire.’

I enjoyed The Eternals – particularly the descriptive passages, (you really can tell that the author, Richard. A Ankers  is a poet too, ) which for a bit of a poetic soul like myself is absolutely wonderful.

I also really found myself chuckling along to some of the little touches of humour that liberally peppered the story. But, I did find the instant love, and some of the terms of endearment (at the beginning of the story,) between Jean, and Linka a little difficult to relate to, particularly if you consider that Jean has just lost his wife, (not much of a grieving period for our hero!) and killed Linka’s sister, Chantelle. Though, there is more to this sibling relationship between Linka and Chantelle than meets the eye……  Either way, perhaps Eternals aren’t prone to having much of an emotional attachment to their siblings.  The Eternals is exciting in parts. Particularly in the second half of the novel, the pace picks up, and the eloquence of the prose more than made up for some minor irks that I had.

Overall, I’m a great fan of beautiful prose, and without a doubt The Eternals is absolutely chocka block full of wonderfully descriptive writing, and the dialogue flows well too.

So I’d recommend The Eternals for readers who:

Appreciate a more poetic type of writing.

Who’d enjoy going on an adventure with a hero who is used to women swooning at his feet, (or even dying for his return,) – perhaps a kind of ruthless, but charming Sean Connery – James Bond of Vampires! Sean Connery always was my unchallenged favourite James Bond –  us ladies do like the charmingly rugged Scottish bad guys!

I do believe this is the first in a Trilogy so I will be interested to see how this series progresses.

I’m sharing this as part of the Terry Tyler #AugustReviews initiative, and #FridayReads to try to encourage people to read and write a review. More about that here: Terry Tyler Blog August Reviews

My rating:

Overall rating : 4 stars.

Authors Website: Richard Ankers – The Eternals

Have you read The Eternals? Do comment if you have, I’d love to hear your opinion.

 

Bye for now,

 

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New book release

Today is release day for Devastation, second volume of Jane Dougherty’s Pathfinders series. She is offering free Amazon downloads of Abomination, in case (like me) you have some catching up to do. The book covers look amazing….. I can’t resist the pull of a pretty cover!!

Jane Dougherty Writes

Today is release day for Devastation, second volume of The Pathfinders series

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If you have already read Abomination, you can buy Devastation here:

Amazon.com

Amazon. UK

If you haven’t read Abomination yet, you can download a free copy here

Amazon.com

Amazon.UK

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So you have NO EXCUSE! Obviously, I’d rather you read it too, but just a little download would be nice.

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