Category Archives: Book Tuesday

Books, stories, blogs of interest and other articles that may stimulate conversation.

Library

It is with great pleasure that I get to announce that my books are now available at the Woodley Library in Reading. From Spoilt Miranda to The Iron Pendulum, they are rubbing words with the likes of Tom Clancy and Julia Donaldson!

It’s not the easiest thing to get your books into your local library and it can take a while for them to be vetted and loaded onto the database. But that’s not the most exciting thing: it’s opening a copy of your book and finding the first page stamped with dates acknowledging the book has been taken out for a spin! That’s when the bubbles ricochet against your rib cage and you realise book lovers have access to your words, anytime.  

I’m jumping for joy and would like to thank the librarians at Woodley Library for adding my stories. Little events like this mean so much to budding authors like me. 

If you get a chance, why not ask for an independent author’s story to be added to your local library and don’t forget, spread the word with reviews – we all need them!

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Book Tuesday with Marje

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday.

curse of the timeToday, I would like to introduce you to a fellow author, Majorie Mallon, whom I was fortunate enough to meet at the Bloggers Bash in London this year. Marje has been very busy with her new book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone, and it is with great pleasure that I get to share her work with you.

Before we get to your book, please tell my readers a little bit about yourself.

 

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: 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/

marje mallonAs 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.

Now tell us about your new book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone. What is it all about?

It is a YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

Here is the synopsis of the story.

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?
curse of the time

Marjorie has provided me with an exerpt from her new book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone, to tantalise your reading taste buds! Enjoy.

Puzzle Piece 1: The Invitation

 Opportunity,

An unexpected invite,

Such a mystery,

To explore and discover,

A hidden cottage of light.

 I found it to be a mystifying situation. An unnatural stillness seemed to linger after many days of storms. Today, the sky reminded me of a painting. It appeared too perfect, too bright, too still, a picture landscape with no beginning or end. Instead, the vault of heaven spread out toward an endless grey forever, as if seeping around the edges of an untamed watercolour bleeding into the rest of the day. Even so, the sight filled my heart with promise, a ray of hope in an otherwise dull morning.

The quietness of my contemplation came to an abrupt end. I heard the sound of an envelope crashing through the mail box. I jumped at the clatter. The letter landed on the floor as the sound of a thousand crystal chandeliers echoed throughout the house. I rushed to retrieve the envelope and turned it this way and that. I couldn’t find an address label and wondered if the note had been hand-delivered. Who could this message be for?

I stood puzzling over this peculiar circumstance when out of nowhere my name: Amelina Scott appeared in bold writing. I watched wide-eyed as the final character of my surname was spelled out in a delicate font. I tore the dispatch open and inside I discovered a card printed on the finest paper with gilt edges and embossed calligraphy. There were few details, just an instruction to visit:

Crystal Cottage, River Walk, Cambridge, and the following added at the bottom as an afterthought: R.S.V.P – Not required. We promise to be welcoming when you arrive. When you’re ready, you’ll discover us…..

I shook my head in disbelief.  Nothing good ever happens to the Scott’s so this invitation might look magical, but surely it must be nonsense. Weird messages from unknown sources count as dubious junk mail, the way I look at it.

I grabbed the envelope and attempted to rip it into pieces, but it wouldn’t tear. With a mind of its own the envelope curled its edges in protest. I searched in a drawer until I found scissors and tried to cut the invite. That didn’t work either. My hand ached, but the invitation endured intact as if mocking me.

Frustrated, I tried to cut the invitation again. A sputtered cursing sound filled the room even though I was alone. On my third attempt, I tore into the card with success. (I think it let me.) And once again, I perceived a noise, an angry murmur, and then nothing. Quiet descended in the room, so I threw the torn parts into the bin.

Finally satisfied that the annoying issue with the strange invite would no longer plague me, I brushed my hands together, and picked an apple out of the bowl on the kitchen counter, polished it on my jumper and then took a bite. In no time my hunger had abated, and as I chucked the core towards the bin, I registered a chuckle. I stopped, my feet rooted to the ground as a feeling of certainty filled my soul. I knew what to expect. I have no idea how I did, but I could see the image in my mind, the invitation had reformed. The invitation was playing games with me! I peered in the rubbish, and there I saw the envelope, connected in one perfect, unblemished piece. What the heck?

Marjorie Mallon’s book, The Curse of Time – Book One – Bloodstone, is available now from Amazon. Links are listed below.

My Amazon UK Author Page

My Amazon US Author Page

My Amazon Canada Author Page

marje mallonMy blog – for information about new releases, photos of main characters/character interviews, book reviews and inspiration: https://mjmallon.com

My New Facebook Group #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook:

Instagram: Instagram:

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and Twitter: @curseof_time

Facebook: Facebook: m j mallon author

Tumblr: Tumblr: mjmallonauthor

I have devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on My Goodreads Review Account, and on my blog to help support traditional and indie writers.

Thank you for joining me today and finding out about Marjorie’s book, The Curse of Time. As always, please leave a review for the author as it helps us to find more readers who enjoy our work.

Have a great day!

curse of the time

 

Book Tuesday with Teagan

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. I have the pleasure of introducing a good blogging buddy of mine this week: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. She has been visiting many bloggers’pages over the past few days, spreading the exciting news about her new book. If you’ve been lucky enough to follow her blog, you’ll know that she is the queen of pantser writing. Her unique 1920’s based stories take her readers to a forgotten era, serving a delicious mix of home made recipes to tantalise readers as they delve into her stories. 

Without further ado, I’ll let her do the talking!

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise. I asked friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device. The purchase links are below. But first, here’s a snippet.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily. The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses. My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away. I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas? I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar.

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Thanks for joining me and please remember, reviews help authors! Have a great Tuesday. 

Book Tuesday

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday. Pull up a chair because we have a humdinger of a book this week.

Pic courtesy of Pan-Macmillan Books

Today’s focus is going to be on a children’s book written by an author who has been awarded numerous awards for her outstanding books.  Her name is Eva Ibbotson and the book we will share today is Journey to the River Sea.

Now I stumbled across this book in the school library and I was pushed to reading it with the Book Club because we had spare copies and that meant no-one had to buy the club book. Apparently it was a class reader once upon a time. Some of the children had already read Journey to the River Sea but they managed to convince the rest  of the members that the book was so wonderful, it was worth reading again. Straight away I could sense there was something special about it.

Journey to the River SeaThe story follows the life of an orphan called Maia, who is sent to live with her estranged uncle and aunt on a rubber plantation in Brazil, near the Amazon river. With hopes of finding herself a new loving family and twin cousins to call sisters, she embarks on the voyage with a rather stern governess who has a love of books that surpasses most things. Of course, the twisty tale takes us to a place where lies melt beneath the heat of the jungle and the true reason behind the request for Maia to live with her long lost relatives becomes apparent.

What I loved most about this book was the way Eva Ibbotson created characters that literally jumped off the page and into my heart. The setting brought to life vivid creatures from the Amazon and a life that most children could only dream of as an escape from the mundane. Danger is never far off and the promise of adventure is around every corner of the story, sending the reader on a journey down the river to a place where, hopefully, Maia finds true happiness. Not only did one root for the main character but each supporting role, whether protagonist or otherwise, as each evoked great emotion within the reader.

We are completing a chapter a week in our Book Club and the pressure is mounting to read faster to find out what happens next. To see the children enjoying the challenge of the book as well as listening to further explanation about some aspects of the culture of the people or the language used gives us ample opportunity to chew over the delicious details of this story.

If you are looking for a good read for your child and are stumped to find something that includes adventure, excitement, sadness and honest-to-goodness fantastic writing/vocabulary/grammar/punctuation (I fear a lot of the modern ‘fun’ books have forgotten good grammar), then this is the book for your child and you!

Click on the link below to order your copy of Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotsun.

 

Book Tuesday: Review – The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta

For my Book Tuesday, I thought it might be nice to hear a fresh voice. Dee’s Rad Reads and Reviews shares a crime thriller that sets her teeth on edge.

Dee's Rad Reads and Reviews

25987144

The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta (Anna Curtis #5)

Published May 3,  2016

Touchstone

4 Stars!!

When I started reading this book, I didn’t realize it was a part of a series. I should know better as this has happened to me before. Had I checked Goodreads, I would have seen that it was in fact book #5 of the Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. However, the description intrigued me so I thought I’d give it a go……..and I’m really glad I did.

Prosecutor Anna Curtis is at home relaxing with her sister and niece when she sees the news that a university student is missing. When they play the grainy surveillance footage that shows the girl being pursued by a man the night she was last seen, Anna says a little prayer for her. What Anna doesn’t realize is that she will soon be at the center…

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Book Tuesday

Hi and welcome to Book Tuesday.
Last year I had the privilege of assisting a fellow blogger launch his book, Knitting Can Walk. As the year has worn on, I’ve decided to revisit my old post and update it a little, giving you a refresher on a great book. Lance Greenfield, who will be attending the Bloggers Bash this weekend, has written a variety of books that set an easy, enjoyable pace to his stories which are based on true life events.

The story follows the adventures and misadventures of a teenage boy growing up in Hong Kong in the early ‘seventies. There is plenty of mischief, but at the centre of his story is the greatest achievement of his life. 

Capturing the spirit of a boy surviving the split of his parents, Lance describes Calum McDougal’s adventures in south-east Asia with his best friend James. 

Being parceled off to each parent every couple of months has its advantages as we find out when the boys discover various ways of making money, which brush the lines of legality with sometimes humorous consequences.

Lance translates the emotional hiatus of trying to belong in a foreign world as a British boy discovering himself.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because it took me back to the seventies when foreign families lived in exotic places, sometimes becoming pillars of good within the communities and sometimes taking advantage of their status to the detriment of themselves and those around them.
In the book, our likeable rogue, Calum, is a mixture of good and evil and partakes in some whacky adventures with his friends to make easy money from unwary soldiers looking for a good time. With his quirky personality and naughty streak, he lands himself in trouble many times, giving the reader hilarious pranks to enjoy and solicitous behaviour that is somehow seems excusable in him.
As the road darkens and Calum discovers that there are some things you can’t take back, we see his life turn to a more positive storyline which leaves the reader feeling uplifted, if not a bit tearful!
If you’re looking for a book that has bits of romance, loveable characters, adventure and suspense mixed with a good back story, this is the book for you.

Knitting Can Walk is available from Amazon. Click on the pic to order your copy. As always, please leave a review of the book for the author so that they know you care.

Thanks.

 
 
 

Book Tuesday

Dear Readers,

I need your help. From my different sites, I’ve noticed that a few of my lovely readers have left reviews of my books. Now, on Amazon, it is an absolutely barren place for The Iron Pendulum and my children’s books. 

Cue the sorrowful music, tiny violins squeaking in the background attempting to set the moroseful scene…

Due to the low rate of reviews, my books are dropping down the rankings to the bottom of the pit where poor books go to die. 

Now the upbeat tempo kicks in, lifting the somber tone to one of hope…

There’s a way to change this. YOU, yes you, the wonderful readers who took the time to buy my books, or downloaded free copies or just read it from the backseat of the bus as the person on front of you dozed off – I NEED YOU! Please click onto Amazon from wherever you are and leave a review for me: good, bad, ugly – I’m a big girl, I can take it. If you’re not a member of Amazon, then please log onto whatever site you bought my books from, borrowed, stole, illegally downloaded and leave a review. 

I’m counting on all of you and will send you loads of butterfly kisses and well wishes. That might sound like a lousy repayment but my gratitude will be eternal. 

Eloise’s books – click

Book Tuesday

Welcome to Book Tuesday.codename camelot

Last week, I introduced you to an action thriller called Codename: Camelot  by David Archer. Let’s take a look at the book and what I discovered…

The story started off rather slow with delightful tidbits left as breadcrumbs through the script, filling us in about the main character, Noah Wolf.

After witnessing the horrific murder of his parents as a child, Noah becomes immune to emotions; without a conscience or feelings to guide him, he invested his time in watching others, mimicking their emotions. Gaining the nickname, Pinocchio, from one of his friends, he struggles to react in the appropriate way that a child would behave when various circumstances are thrown in his direction.

An unfortunate chain of events sees Noah getting charged with the murder of his fellow officers; he is put on death row and escapes sentencing when he is recruited by a secret organisation known as E and E. Finding himself in a world that requires people to stuff their consciences away and lock up their emotions, Noah thrives, becoming the deadliest assassin in the world.

I enjoyed the repertoire between characters, a key element which was used successfully whilst focusing on technical details of the assassins’ training and equipment. My only bug bear was the fact that there was a repetitive strain at the beginning, as though re-affirming Noah’s lack of emotional balance whilst trying to prove that he is a good guy without it. The characters were fleshed out nicely, giving a sense of purpose to each person he met, however fleeting. I just wish that the action was a bit swifter. The book made it to over a hundred pages before something really interesting happened. Not that I’m complaining. The story needed to be told and I was taken on a journey with the main character, through the memories of his childhood, the threat to his life and the rigorous training he required to become the best. Once the action did start, it harked back to the old movies, where there was an infusion of detail, great action and the subtle lack of messy sexy scenes which tend to slow the action down.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to the sequel, which, in my opinion, will be even better as I now know the character and look forward to finding out what he does next.

If you would like to read Codename: Camelot by David Archer, please click on the pic below to order your copy. Don’t forget to leave a review for the book on the website as this helps the author greatly.

Thanks for joining me.

codename camelot

 

Book Tuesday

Hi and welcome to Book Tuesday.

For most of today, I have been posting reblogs of snippets from other bloggers promoting authors and their latest books. My little book corner has been rather quiet over the past weeks because of my house move and lack of time to read the wonderful array of books I have waiting on my kindle. Since I am in the middle of a book, I thought I would share my view of the story so far.

codename camelotAt the moment, I am reading a book by David Archer called Code Name: Camelot. The plot follows Noah Foster, a man who is put on death row for killing the men in his army unit during a mission in Afghanistan. Now you might think it’s an ordinary story about a murderer and the main protagonist is his JAG lawyer, Lieutenant Mathers; a woman who is willing to fight for what is right even when the decks are stacked against her. As she fights to find a solid alibi for Noah Foster, she finds out that one of the murdered soldiers happens to be the United States Congressman’s son who is currently running for president, making the chances of her winning her case more remote than igloos in Egypt. But that’s not all!

The author, David Archer, has made his main character have a condition where he has no emotional stimulus, a figure who has to evaluate the reactions of others and measure the moral balance of how to engage with them through logic and mimicking those around him. His main defense for the murders is down to the fact that he acted in the most logical manner when witnessing his fellow officers commit crimes against humanity.

I still have a way to go to finish the book, but I am excited to say that I do not think I will be disappointed. The action moves swiftly enough to engage a reader without boring them with too many details (well, in my case, because I have so little time to read, I need to get to the crunch faster!) Noah has just had his death faked and he is now joining a government agency that targets certain individuals who need to be eliminated for the good of mankind. I am hoping for a good twist amidst the chaos and a bit of a romantic interlude thrown into the mix.

Once I have finished the book, I will give a more thorough analysis of how well the book behaves towards the end.

Watch this space!

If you would like to join me in reading David Archers, Code Name: Camelot, click on the link below to order your copy. Let me know what you think of the story.

codename camelot

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Linda Bethea, Jacquie Biggar and Eloise de Sousa

Sally has been kind enough to feature my books with some illustrious writers’ books, which I plan to download and review in the coming weeks.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update and the first author with news is Linda Bethea with a new collection of her wonderful short stories released on April 28th. Just Women Getting By.

About the collection

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere…

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