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!

Here he is looking very much like a tom cat with attitude!

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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.

Bye for now, xxxxx

 

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 35 – PAST & FUTURE

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I had a disturbed sleep last night waking up at 5am. I managed to get back to sleep and awoke again at 7am. I checked my twitter feed  and discovered the horrifying news about the terrorist attack in Manchester. I cried. I couldn’t cope with the sad news about another attack especially one which struck at our young people. This is cruel, beyond comprehension.  I contemplated the morning and realised how beautiful a day it was. A single bird remained atop a tree, not moving so I picked up my mobile phone and captured it. Seconds later it flew away. If only those young people could have flown away. If only that man hadn’t done what he did.

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How ironic. The sun shone, but how could this be? How are we to continue when such atrocities happen? I suppose the answer is we have no choice; we have to, or the terrorists will win. So, I wiped my tears and tried to do something positive. I went for a walk. I hadn’t planned to take photos, but I did.   I’m sharing these at the end of my post, as a way to heal heartache. Life has to go on, but sometimes (being a parent,) you can’t help but feel the pain of such a devastating loss. To lose a child. This shouldn’t happen. Ever.

So today I am dedicating my Tanka to all the youngsters who lost their lives in Manchester, to their families and friends and to those who are still missing. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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This is in response to Colleen’s challenge: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/05/23/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-35-past-future/

Here are my photos of Emmaus, a charity for the homeless near me. It’s a great place to go to for a cup of tea and cake. There is a garden, ample parking places and everything you buy goes towards helping the homeless. I bought several new mugs, and a couple of other things, and snapped photos of their recycled art sculptures, their hens roaming in the garden, bee area, and several quirky bits and pieces. It helped. A little.

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Take care, stay safe.

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My Kyrosmagica Review of PorterGirl: First Lady of The Keys by Lucy Brazier

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

‘Porters are not the carriers of bags, they are the keepers of keys!’

As one of the most ancient and esteemed establishments of the academic elite, Old College is in for something of a shock when it appoints its very first female Deputy Head Porter.

She struggles to get to grips with this eccentric world, far removed from everyday life. PorterGirl, the proverbial square peg in the round hole, begins to wonder quite what she is doing here.

PorterGirl – First Lady Of The Keys is a touching, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, glimpse into a world that is usually reserved for the upper echelons of society.

Whether she is chasing after naked students, drinking copious amounts of tea or getting embroiled in quaint, polite murders, Deputy Head Porter is never far from adventure.

 

My review

I’ve had PorterGirl on my must read radar for some time. For three reasons, one it’s set in Cambridge, (and I live in Cambridge too,) and two I have enjoyed reading Lucy’s blog Porter Girl and following her.

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Also, my youngest daughter works part-time as a waitress in one of the colleges in Cambridge so I hear all about college life from her, and all about the sumptuous food….

So my impressions of PorterGirl… I really enjoyed PG. It’s one of those books that lifts your spirits up and puts you in a fantastic mood. It prompts you to put the kettle on and eat lots of forbidden biscuits! Lol… Porter G’s experience as the first female porter of a prestigious Cambridge University college is a lively riot from start to finish, full of humour, tea, and jokes about eating fabulous food when and wherever PorterGirl can… Being a foodie, this constant ambition to raid the fridges and steal food from under her colleagues’ hungry noses had me in stitches, as did crazy but ever so serious tasks such as PorterGirl rescuing a most important College cat via a precarious punting escapade. There’s never a dull moment, but a dollop of rising fear ensues as PorterGirl discovers murders are being committed in Old College. She begins to fear for her life, but PorterGirl is no coward, (a former copper,) she manages to keep herself safe, until…. it gets a bit hot under the bowler hat. Even so, her bowler hat remains proudly on top of her head, never to be removed not even in the most dire, calamitous of circumstance!

My recommendation: 4 stars. A favourite read that will make you smile a lot – and smiling is one of my favourite pastimes. Lucy has a pleasing writing style that makes you feel as if you know her personally. But, this novel should come with a health warning: This will make you laugh so much that you will splutter out your tea and biscuits! I reckon our friends across the water will find the copious amount of tea drinking that is a signature style of PorterGirl exceedingly amusing!

Opinion: I felt that perhaps PorterGirl lacked the ‘real’ names (and from Lucy’s point of view the promote-able aspects,) of the  ‘real’ Cambridge. I would love to have read about the ‘real’ University college that Old College applied to, and the ‘real’ haunts that Lucy mentions. But, I can understand why Lucy didn’t do so, why she used fictitious names. I expect she wanted to keep the secrets of the establishment, and anonymity of some of the characters in the book. If she had set it in the ‘real’ Cambridge, (and put a few folks noses out of joint,) for me it would have been a five star read. But, that’s just me…. and of course I can see why she wouldn’t want to do that! Lol…

I’m really looking forward to reading more from Lucy Brazier.

I recommend that you get a copy of PorterGirl, rush, before Lucy’s tea gets cold!

Portergirl BOOK 1 MASTER WEBSITE

Buying links: Amazon – Lucy Brazier: Porter Girl – First Lady of The Keys

Lucy’s next novel:

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Lucy has a new fan. 🙂

Bye for now,

 

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 34 – POWER & ALLURE

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Colleen’s  prompt words this week, power and allure are just up my alley!

So here’s a short extract from my YA fantasy manuscript followed by a haiku.

The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone – excerpt. 

Stealing a glance at Ryder I drew in a sharp breath. I had been so absorbed in the drama back at the river that I hadn’t noticed the subtleties flickering like wraiths across his face. I took the time now to note that he had blue-black hair that gleamed in the gloominess of the day. As the rain began to fall, I found myself drawn to his unusual eyes. His inky black eye contrasted with his green eye and had to be his most stunning, and unique, feature. He had long lashes now slicked with raindrops that gleamed in the failing light.  Unable to look away, I stared into those captivating eyes as if they were two dark, mysterious pools pulling me into their depths. I imagined myself sinking into oblivion. I felt light-headed as if I’d lost my grip at the top of a high cliff, free-falling, tumbling over and over again, but instead of fighting against this frightening sensation I welcomed it.

It's World Book and Copyright Day!

© Marjorie Mallon 2017 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

My good friend Colleen Chesebro has taken me under her fairy wings and is working through my manuscript at this very moment….  I can’t thank her enough for all her kindness. She has been such an incredible help….

Just recently, I started a club on Facebook for authors, bloggers and book bloggers – Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club.

Colleen ChesebroDebby Gies (D.G. Kaye Writer) and I run the club together, we are quite some team. The three of us had such fun recently working on a new header for the club (which you can see at the very bottom of this post.)  Guess what? We’ve been looking at rainbows!

During my search I discovered a lovely rainbow fairy, so this one’s for Colleen for all her hard work and help with my manuscript. xxx

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To join in with Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge follow the link: Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge

Bye for now,

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Shadow Welcomes Lily the Cat to Kyrosmagica!!!!

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

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

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

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

So Who is Lily?

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

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

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

tabby………….

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marje:   What were you like as a kitten?  

Lily: Totally precious! Aren’t all kittens?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marje:   What is your favourite pastime?

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

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

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

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

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

…………

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

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

These are especially for Lily:

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

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

 

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Mini Reviews, Bookish Photos and my TBR pile.

 

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I’ve been so busy recently with editing my manuscript, gathering promotional ideas, etc, that I have neglected my much-loved book reviewing. So, to remedy this a little I’m doing a few mini reviews:

Starting off with….

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Goodreads Synopsis: 

In his twisty, gritty, profoundly moving debut—called “mandatory reading” by the New York Times—Adam Silvera brings to life a charged, dangerous near-future summer in the Bronx.

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

My review: 4.5 stars. This debut novel surprised me. I started off not being too sure about it and then loved it! Sometimes I’m like that, I can be a bit slow on the uptake! I need a little convincing and then kapow – it hits me full force. Great idea, fantastic characters, particularly the main protagonist Aaron Soto, thought provoking questions about his emerging sexuality, and interesting setting – the Bronx. Have added to my favourites list. Read? Yes, yes, yes.. !!!

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the tradition of Nick Hornby and David Nicholls comes a warm and tender novel in which a father and his autistic son connect over the game of Minecraft.

Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.

My review: 4 stars. I discovered this book via my good blogging friend Annika Perry. She had written a detailed review and it piqued my interest: https://annikaperry.com/2016/07/15/a-boy-made-of-blocks-a-book-review/.

Annika enjoyed this novel but didn’t love it, and I enjoyed it too but it didn’t quite make my favourite list either. Author Keith Stuart used his own experiences with his son to write A Boy Made Of Books, and reveals the complexities of coping with day to day activities with a child on the autistic spectrum. Even going to the park can become a major worry particularly if you meet a dog who might set off your child’s anxieties. In my experience, I found it to be well written throughout but the latter part of the novel was more emotionally engaging. Read? Yes, particularly if you are interested in novels about autism, and family/son relationships.

Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

My review: 4 stars. This deserves all the hype. It is an entertaining, sweet read, a must read YA novel… grab a copy! Read? Yes, most definitely Read!!!

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Yvonne Carmichael sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Before all of this, she was happily married, a successful scientist, a mother of two. Now she’s a suspect, squirming under fluorescent lights and the penetrating gaze of the alleged accomplice who’s sitting across from her, watching: a man who’s also her lover. As Yvonne faces hostile questioning, she must piece together the story of her affair with this unnamed figure who has charmed and haunted her. This is a tale of sexual intrigue, ruthless urges, and danger, which has blindsided her from a seemingly innocuous angle. Here in the courtroom, everything hinges on one night in a dark alley called Apple Tree Yard.

My review: 4.5 stars. Really enjoyed this a lot.  I grabbed it off my mum’s bookshelf in Edinburgh… I’m always pinching books… beware! A fascinating tale of how the most unlikely of women could end up having such a wild and crazy affair, (I kid you not!) leading to such dire consequences.  Highly recommended. Read?  Yes, Read!!!

Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending the Christmas hols in snowy Cambridge. Hazel has high hopes of its beautiful spires, cosy libraries and inviting tea-rooms – but there is danger lurking in the dark stairwells of ancient Maudlin College.

Two days before Christmas, there is a terrible accident. At least, it appears to be an accident – until the Detective Society look a little closer, and realise a murder has taken place. Faced with several irritating grown-ups and fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use all their cunning and courage to find the killer (in time for Christmas Day, of course).

The fabulously festive fifth mystery from the bestselling, award-winning author of Murder Most Unladylike.

My review: 4 stars. A very fun murder mystery set at Christmas in the colleges of Cambridge. Particularly enjoyed reading this as I live in Cambridge and it was nice to recognise some of the familiar settings. Read: Yes, particularly if you like an easy, entertaining, enjoyable read.

Following on from this I am currently reading Lucy Brazier’s Porter Girl so more about soon…

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And after that I have various beauties on my TBR pile including The Words In My Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd, (Costa book awards shortlisted author,) who I met in person at a recent inspiring event held by Cambridge Writers.

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Bye for now,

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Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
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My interview with Shadow – A Black Cat Character with A Past

 

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Cat model Lily via Samantha – https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com

Welcome to Kyrosmagica, Shadow – the black cat who features in my book – The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone.  I’m so glad you agreed to this interview opportunity today to help me promote my book which I hope to release this summer. You are such a handsome fellow and quite the gent I hear. Today, we’re going to discuss all manner of things and we will also have a #mentalhealthawarenessweek discussion about anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders.

Tell me about yourself…

Purrrrr.… Thanks for being so welcoming Marje not everyone is so kind to cats. Luckily, I have a lovely owner Amelina who cares for me. I discovered her one day when I was playing in her garden; I peered in the window and I knew she was a special person so I stayed. I’m persuasive that way, one purr, and a stroke of my sleek black fur and humans can’t resist me!

When you say not everyone is so kind to cats does that mean you have had a rough life?

Oh, to answer this question I have to think back in time. The strangest thing happened to me one day. I felt this abundant change in my spirit. One minute I was chasing birds, playing with the mice in a field and then kapow, it hit me. I felt this overwhelming feeling of change. I felt different, overcome with these overwhelming feelings of goodness. But, the goodness felt alien, like it belonged to an earwig or something! The weird thing is in rare moments I feel like I’m someone else entirely and that someone else isn’t nice at all. One day, I experienced this intense moment of evil flooding my poor furry body, it only lasted a second but it shook me up real bad. I’m still trying to recover, my fur is all matted and ruffled.  Shadow shivers…

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Oh, my goodness that sounds horrible!Perhaps we better change the subject. Could you tell me why you’re called Shadow?

That is a very perceptive question. Shadow twitches his whiskers while considering it. I think it’s because I arrived in the Scott’s house when something good happened that revealed something bad. I represent yin, (shady side,) and yang, (the sunny side,) light and dark, but I am more yang – of sunny disposition – than ying. My tiny moments of ying disturb me…

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That’s deep…

Yes, life can be full of perplexities and this story is a fine example of that. I prefer the simple things in life… exploring, enjoying the sunshine, lying on the grass, hanging out in my garden, chilling, eating, playing, cuddling, purring, and looking adorable!

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What is it like living in the Scott’s household?

Challengingggggg! They are such a strange family. The dad is half dead; the mum is stroppy and Amelina has this sister called Esme whose not a sister but behaves like one. Esme always seems to be up and down in her emotions. Her ying and yang are out of control.  She is one confused girl and behaves like a prisoner to her own reflection. I listen to them nattering on… They all have a tragic story and mum, dad and Esme inadvertently tell me their individual stories. More about that in the book…. no spoilers! I know all of their secrets. I’m a snoop! Oh, and I nearly forgot to say Amelina has an aunt Karissa who owns a dog… UGH… a critter called Toby – most unfortunate. The bloody thing comes to stay, breaks things, eats all the time and causes havoc. The aunt drinks, tea, and alcohol too, and eats a lot, mainly chocolate unless she’s dieting. She’s always losing her glasses. Toby and her are quite a pairing!

My goodness sounds like you have to put up with a lot. Getting back to the stories – they sound shocking. Did one confession shock you more than the rest?

The dad’s and Esme’s are the worst. The dad because something has happened to him that is out of his control, (and seems to have impacted upon the whole family,) and I relate to that (after my weird overload of goodness episode,) and Esme because she self harms or did.

Self harm… that and other mental illnesses like anxiety, and depression, are a rising problem in our young people. What’s your opinion about it?

Kids nowadays have a lot of problems and it’s not their fault. I sympathise, I really do. The word pressure sums it up. Pressure to succeed, pressure to look good, (on Instagram, and other social media,) pressure to be thin, pressure to be popular, pressure to have the best-looking boyfriend/girlfriend, pressure to have money, pressure to get to the best Universities… the list just goes on and on.

There’s bullying too, and it isn’t just face to face like it used to be now its via social media too. It’s like there’s no escaping meanness, and rudeness. It’s so immediate, one little tweet, or nasty message via an Instagram shot can go to masses of your ‘friends’ in a mere second. So it’s not surprising that our young people often have mental health issues such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression and self-harm. In the worst case scenario some resort to suicide and that makes me so sad. No one should ever feel that way, there is always help out there. Talk to your mum, dad, a close friend you can trust, a sibling, a counsellor, an aunt, anyone who loves you. Just don’t bottle it up that’s the worst thing you can do.

All youngsters should  own cats, Meowwww, cats are good for you. We have superpowers. Truly, we lower your heart rate, boost your immunity, help you relax – we release a calming chemical called oxytocin into your body, and that helps induce love and trust and make you smile. We increase your sociability, yes having  cats makes you more sociable, and stops you feeling lonely. Purrrrr. We have a stack load of medical health benefits too: we reduce the risk of heart disease, and heart attacks. We lower your triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Hey, we even reduce your chances of having a stroke. See we cats are superheros! Oh, and top of all that we reduce the carbon footprint, not like doggies like Toby who eat a ton. We eat small morsels, fish, and catch our own prey.

Shadow picks up his paw and licks it.

If you don’t believe me it’s all here: http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-owning-cat/

Is there anyone in Amelina’s life who has an eating disorder?

Yes, there’s this girl called Emily, who struggles with her desire to be thin, and to be loved. I don’t have that problem – I know that Amelina loves me. Also, I take a lot of exercise to keep fit and trim.  But, I have a huge heart so I cry real cat tears when I think about poor Emily and others like her.

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Does Amelina have a lot of friends?

No, not loads, she’s smart that way, she knows it’s not the number of friends but the quality of friends. Though, not all of them are to my liking… Except me, of course… (I’m her best friend.) She has three close human friends: Jade, Joselyn, and Ilaria. Jade is Amelina’s best human friend. She is arguably the prettiest but the most spoilt. She has this huge house, owns horses, and gets everything she wants. Joselyn is the worrier, (this girl needs a cat!) and Ilaria is the joker, but I sense the jokes hide something deeper. My favourite is Ilaria because I like a laugh. The four of them play in a band and write their own music. It’s pretty cool.

What about guys, does she have a regular boyfriend?

There is nothing regular about Amelina! She stumbled upon this guy called Ryder down a scary river pathway. I tried to follow her, but she shooed me away. The guy’s dangerous I don’t know why I know but I do. He has too much ying in his soul. I don’t trust him. He dresses all in black and has one green eye and one black. But sometimes that green eye looks red to me, like it is bleeding. Creepyyyyyyy. But, Amelina thinks he saved her, from what I can’t imagine, some prank probably.

Is there anyone else you’ve met through Amelina that has left a lasting impression on you?

Oh, yes, Kyle. Love him, he is Ryder’s best friend. He’s so snuggly and nice, I love to sit on his lap and purrrrr. Ohhh….

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If you could sum your owner Amelina in words what would you say?

She’s poetic, artistic, musical, kind-hearted, magical and brave but makes mistakes. She is a flawed human, poor thing! Miaowwww. 

Thank you so much Shadow for coming on to my blog today and telling us all about my forthcoming new book, The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone. I really appreciate it. 

It is my pleasure my dear. Any time…  Oh, before I go can I be cheeky and ask one question?

Yes of course you can Shadow.

It’s about Lily who models for me, can you set me up with a date? She looks real cute!

Of course I can Shadow, will do! I chuckle… imagine a date between yourself, (Shadow,) a fictional cat and a non-fictional cat, (Lily,) it could only happen in a writer’s life. Next time, (as long as Lily is willing,) we’ll have the date on Kyrosmagica… and she can tell us all about herself!

Shadow purrs a rich note of contentment in reply. 

All above photos of Lily (our black cat model,) courtesy of my lovely blogging friend Samantha Murdoch – photography credit her son Alex Marlowe.

Please visit Samantha’s blog to see her lovely cats and stunning crystals: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com.

Samantha has recently started an Instagram account so please do click the link to see her lovely cats, (they are all supermodels,) and her crystals : Samantha’s IG account

She also twitters on here: Sam Crystal Cats – Twitter

Bye for now,

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My social media hang outs:

Blog: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
My New Facebook club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Meet Eleionomae, the Fairy Nymph from The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy

Here’s your chance meet Eleioomae the Fairy Nymph from Colleen Chesebro’s The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy. She’s fluttering about on Kev’s blog – KC Books and Music.

KC BOOKS & MUSIC

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Book Cover Design by Bookxeedo Book Covers

Hi, everyone. I would like to give many thanks to Kevin of KC Books & Music for his kind invitation to visit his blog. It is much appreciated and a great honor.

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Colleen Chesebro. I am a writer, a poet, and a fairy whisperer…

Yes, I bet a few of you are scratching your head wondering what I’m talking about – a fairy whisperer? Let me tell you the story of the greatest experience I have ever had.

While on a walk during a warm, foggy morning in November 2014, I had a close encounter of the fairy kind. At the time, we were living in Pensacola, Florida. I still remember the day, as if it has been carved into my memory; something I will never forget.

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The road I took…

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Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 33 – CLEAN & SHARP

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For this week’s poetry challenge Colleen has given us a tricky prompt – clean and sharp. Clean isn’t exactly my favourite word and neither is sharp! I suppose both of them coupled together conjure up moments in our household where my hubby gets a bit cross with me for spending so much time blogging and writing and so little time cleaning the house! Lol… I’ve never been terribly domesticated… Well, he knew that before he married me so surely he can’t complain…

So perhaps a little humour is the way to go…

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Ha ha! Better hide this blog post from my poor hubby… or I’ll be in trouble…

To join in with Colleen’s poetry challenge follow the link:

https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/05/09/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-33-clean-sharp/

Bye for now,

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My social media hang outs:

Blog: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com
Twitter: @marjorie_mallon
My New Author Support Club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Author Profile: 23 Questions With Marje from Kyrosmagica

Thanks so much to Dan Alatorre for featuring me on his awesome blog. Here’s my interview there…. Can’t wait for Dan to join me on Kyrosmagica soon for an author interview…

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Your humble host.your humble host

Occasionally on the blog we will talk with one of our author friends, gaining valuable insights into their behind the scene world. Today we meet with Marje Mallon of Kyrosmagica, a magical place and a magical person.

And what exactly IS Kyrosmagica?

Well, in Marje’s words:“Kyrosmagica is all about the magic of writing, my love of books, crystals,  laughter, and much, much, more!”

And for the “more” let’s talk to her!

Join me in welcoming Marje to the blog!

  1. Dan: As always, right to business: what is the working title of your next book?

marje 6 Marje, of Kyrosmagica

The Curse of Time. I’m intending writing a trilogy, probably with the full title: The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone. Followed by The Curse of Time – the Golden Healer. I haven’t decided on the name for book three, as I haven’t started writing it yet.

2. Where did the idea…

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#10thingsIlove

Turn off the lights.Turn on the stars.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Bye for now,

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