Join me at the Festival.
Books, stories, blogs of interest and other articles that may stimulate conversation.
I’m over the moon to receive another wonderful review for Space Dust. Sally has recommended this little story as a great Christmas gift. I hope you’ll agree.
Delighted to share my review for the latest children’s book by Eloise de Sousa.. Space Dust which is available in print.
About Space Dust
We’re going on a trip in Big Ox’s canoe. Watch the fire bears roar on Venus as pepper pot trees grow on the moon. As Big Ox steers us to the planets, Litte One wonders if Mum will come home soon.
My review for Space Dust
A wonderful journey around the planets in a canoe paddled by a favourite spoon that will delight younger readers, and those reading the story to them. There are beautifully colourful illustrations between the stages of the trip, which will encourage a pause in the storytelling, offering an opportunity to discuss the journey so far. The two main characters, Big Ox and Little One are lovable travel companions as they head off in search of Little One’s mum. and discover creatures…
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Eloise De Sousa’s Books and Publications Spotlight
— Read on www.lulu.com/spotlight/eloisedesousa
A fresh look at both children’s and adults’ stories that capture the imagination and inspire young minds.
It’s here! My blood, sweat and tears arrived today in the post and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.
The setting is as close to perfect as I can get it and my illustrations have come to life on the white, glossy pages. The true test, of course, will be whether the children engage with the book and if the story fires their imaginations. After testing it on my book club members and year Reception at school, I have optimistic hopes of getting them to love this story as much as I do.
Now the fun part: this story was written for the library service in my borough, inspired by their theme Space Chase. I didn’t want to write a generic book about racing through space and instead, took inspiration from the imaginings of the children as they gazed up at the moon. Is it made of cheese? Does it have alien trees?
Using these ideas and brainstorming with Mark Hickling, one of our teachers at my school, and my youngest sprog, a new concept was born. I created Little One – a character who could be a boy or girl, giving the story a gender neutral balance. Little One’s mum has gone away and, like most young children at some point in their lives, Little One feels as if the separation is for a long time. Big Ox, the adult in charge, decides to take Little One on an adventure to help his tiny friend cope with Mum’s absence. What better way to occupy the mind of a small person than take them in a canoe ride across space, using Big Ox’s absolute favourite spoon as an oar?
This space story aims to entertain young and old alike with various visions of space through eyes that aren’t jaded by time or a lack of imagination; instead it inspires silly questions and adventure.
If you’d like to order your copy of Space Dust, click on the pic below. It will take you to my author site with all my book titles available to purchase.
Thank you for stopping by.
Welcome to a long-awaited guest post for our book lovers out there. Today’s guest is Andrew Joyce, a wonderful fictional writer who takes the journey to America, hoping for a better life, to a whole new level.
Without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Andrew…
My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Eloisehas been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, Mahoney. So, I thought I’d tell you how it came about. But to do that, I gotta tell you how my mind works.
A few years ago, I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. I had them as adults in the Old West. Kind of like Wyatt Earp type characters. It was a modest success and won an award as Best Western of 2013.
I think my favorite book of all time is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I’ve read it a number of times over the years. The last time being two years ago. Now, for those of you who may not have read it, it’s about one family’s trek from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930s to the “Land of Milk and Honey,” also known as California. Of course, California wasn’t a land of milk and honey. If anything, the family was worse off in California than they were in Oklahoma. The subtext of the book is how those on the lower rungs of society’s ladder are oppressed and have very little voice to fight against that oppression.
Near the end of the book, Tom Joad, the protagonist, runs afoul of the law and must leave his family or else be arrested on a trumped up charge or be killed by the big landowners’ goons.His mother, quite naturally, will miss him and is worried for him. The words he spoke to her in that scene have become iconic.
“I’ll be aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folk eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.” — Tom Joad, TheGrapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
So, here’s what I did. Just like with Huck and Tom, I started thinking about what ever happened to Tom Joad after he left his family. I wanted to write about injustices and the people who suffer those injustices. I thought I’d follow Tom around and write about what he encountered from about the mid-thirties to 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech.
However, there was just one problem with that: copyright laws. The character of Tom Joad belongs to the heirs of John Steinbeck. So, I had to come up with another angle. After somethought on the matter, I decided to expand my initial time frame from between 1933 and 1963 to 1849 and 1963. I’d start the story in Ireland during the potato famine and work my way to America and then I’d end up where I had originally intended.
Here’s the blurb for the book:
In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a riveting story of adventure, endurance, and hope as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America.
In the second year of an Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.
Well, that’s how Mahoney came about. For those of you who may read it, I hope you enjoy it. It took me almost two years of full-time research, writing, and editing to get it to where I wanted and to tell the story I wanted to tell.
Thank you, Andrew. For anyone interested in a taste of the book, here’s a little excerpt to tantalise your reading taste buds:
The reflected firelight flickered across awestruck faces and mirrored in the eyes of those who listened as stories were told of yesterday’s indignities and tomorrow’s aspirations. The look in those yearning eyes spoke of hopes and dreams. The laughter heard around the fire conveyed a sense that somehow it would all work out. For a few short hours, on Saturday nights, in the deep woods of a place none of them had ever heard of before, the constant fear that lived within their hearts was banished from their lives.
In time, they would prevail. Their sons and daughters would one day stand straight and tall as proud Americans, as proud as their fathers had been to be Irish.
Follow Andrew’s writing journey here and please remember, ever author survives on reviews. Please don’t forget to leave yours.
“A vividly enlightening read!”
It has been a fair bit of time since I last wrote a blog post for Book Tuesday. So, grab your cup of whatever, come sit by me and let’s discuss what we have been reading over the past weeks.
Since the end of the school term and my school year, I’ve taken advantage of my free time between the sprogs, pets and general housekeeping to catch up on my much anticipated collection of must-reads. So far, I’ve tried to reach many of my blogging friends’ books, but alas, have not conquered the pile which is starting to resemble Mt Everest.
Whilst delving into romance, kicking back with crime thrillers and adding to my general knowledge with well-known best sellers, some stories have floated back up to the surface of my writer’s mind, bobbing away until I rise to the bait and take a nibble. Such dark little demons giggle from the shadows, tempting me to write out my quirkier fantasies that usually remain locked away for ‘special’ horror writing days.
Saying that, a quote from Sacha Black’s 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft a Supervillain resonates with that dark side. “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger.” (Quoted from 13 Steps to Evil, discussing the insanity of the villain: the Joker) Needless to say, my villainous tendencies are usually packed in a box for those deliciously dark days when the writer takes over and throws caution to the wind, sending the superheroes aflutter with dastardly deeds delivered by my delectable diabolics. Of course, this doesn’t happen without the stimulation of a good book like Sacha’s. A catalyst needs to be created to form such stimulus and she has it in buckets!
I am currently enjoying a book from Sacha’s great collection The Eden East Novels – Keepers. Now generally, I’m not a great fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, preferring the creepier realms of horror or crime fiction, but her book surprised me. Similar to 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft a Supervillain, Sacha’s words resonate and make the story flow in a way that keeps me wanting to read more. I tend to read at least three different books at the same time when on a role (usually covering different genres for interest’s sake); her book is calling out to me to be read first every day and, to be honest, I can’t resist.
Sitting next to my phone with Sacha’s book safely stored inside is Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Robert Crais’ Indigo Slam (both paperbacks). They are in great company with Sacha’s collection and I look forward to diving into her next novel, Victor (the next book in The Eden East Novels collection once I’ve finished these three books. I’ve already finished the sloppy romance series I was reading and have now absorbed enough sweetness to last me a week, so this selection provides me with the perfect balance for nutritious reading. I do enjoy having a good collection of writers at hand to focus my own writing skills.
Now, this is not all about me. I would love to know: what’s on your night stand waiting to rock your world?
Before I end this post, I must remind you that any book your read deserves a review. Authors need their readers to respond so that others can find their books. So please, be kind and leave reviews.
Thanks for reading.
Hello and welcome back. Whilst taking a break from studying Shostakovitch, I thought I’d write a little story for you. It was inspired by Whitney Houston’s, I Wanna Dance with Somebody. Okay, here goes:
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.
Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday.
Today, 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/
As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
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?
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
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 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:
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!
Books and Stuff
Drawing a line through 50
Inspiring the Uninspired
Folkore, Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends from Around the World
Faith, Cookery, and Travel [and a bit of life in general]
Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.