Category Archives: People I Meet

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

 

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Tell Me a Story Eloise DeSousa

A huge thank you to Annette for taking the time to interview me. What a fantastic opportunity to catch up with her about life, love and the power of books.

Annette Rochelle Aben

What can reading books teach us, at any age?  Pull up the podcast of Eloise DeSousa today on Tell Me a Story and find out.

Eloise DeSousa blogs, raises 4 children, is a wife and holds down a full time job. So, when would she ever find time to write and publish books….   AND she manages to blend things like life lessons, romance and horror into neat, tidy packages.  Yeah, you’ll want to check this out!

Be sure to FOLLOW her on her Author Central Page and how kind, that you would leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads once you have gotten her books.

* all podcasts are posted in alphabetical order 

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Guest Post – Melissa Barker-Simpson

Earlier this week I mentioned how much I enjoy Melissa’s blog and didn’t go into too much detail about her. It is with great pleasure I hand my blog over to her so that she can tell you more about herself. Please don’t forget to visit her blog page and her author page to view her fantastic collection of books already published and ready for your perusal.

Without further delay, I present Melissa Barker Simpson…

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Patient Care

I have to take a deep breath before typing this because I don’t want to appear emotionally blinded by what’s happened. I need some feedback from doctors, nurses, care staff out there who have had experience in renal care in a UK hospital.

Okay, this is what happened…

Hubble and I went to see my mum this evening and found out she had been moved to another ward again without the hospital notifying us. This is the second time it has happened during her current stay in hospital. I can understand if they have policies in place to protect the patient, but surely a woman whose next of kin have requested to be notified of any changes should at least be called? Am I wrong in thinking this? I even left my number on the case file for them to call me. She was moved on Monday night a few hours after we left her in the evening.

Now putting aside the fact that I panicked when I saw someone else in her place in her old ward, we found her placed in a new ward, sitting upright in bed when she is paralysed on the left side, her head leaning heavily to the right due to the fact that she can’t stay awake for long (the side effects of her infection) and the weight of her body leaning onto the same arm that had the fistula and graft. I woke her, only to find she was shivering with her neck and left shoulder exposed. When I tried to help her into a straighter position since there were no nurses about, she cried out in pain and I quickly checked her arm to see if it was in an awkward position. In the past I have come to visit her in hospital and found her paralysed arm put into an uncomfortable position with the hand twisting against her hip at a weird angle. It’s painful to see let alone move.

Anyway, I looked at the arm and the forearm was swollen by the fistula and an angry red. Alarmed, I searched for her bell which was placed on her left side…she’s paralysed on the left! How the hell is she supposed to ring the bell for help. Bear in mind she is semi-conscious and in a confused state too so I guess it wouldn’t matter where her bell is placed. She wouldn’t be able to ring it anyway.

The bell was pressed and we waited, me supporting her head and shoulder to try and take the weight off the arm whilst I waited for someone to come help me move her off it. Minutes later, no-one appeared so I left Hubble with Mum and went to see if I could find a nurse. I found a lady in blue and asked if she could help me. She followed me to Mum and I explained my concerns. By that time another nurse had arrived and was talking to Hubble. I asked them why mum was left in that position and was told she had just been moved to that bed not long before. When I explained that she shouldn’t be leaning on her arm with a fistula, they told me it was a graft that looked infected/inflamed and that it had been like that.

When we visited Mum on Monday at the other ward, her arm had been fine without any swelling and there was no sign of angry reds. I tried to tell them that maybe it was swollen because they had left her leaning on the arm and putting pressure on it. They didn’t look too impressed and said they would fix her. They said they weren’t aware of her fistula and they were not in charge of her care. They had called the nurse who was responsible for her. The nurse in charge of her care came and I went over the things that worried me again, and she told me that Mum was put onto stronger antibiotics and would be going to Oxford on Friday for a day visit to check the graft and fistula as they are still trying to figure out where the infection is coming from. I wondered whether they would have bothered phoning me to tell me this if I hadn’t come to the hospital.

What if I worked far away and wasn’t able to visit nearly everyday. Would she be left sitting on her arm with her head and paralysed arm at odd angles? Am I overthinking things and being unfair?

We asked the nurse to remove the plastic tags on the fistula arm as they had made indents into her skin where the arm was swollen and she said she would, but nothing happened whilst we were there for the next hour and a half. We also had to give the baseline for my mum’s cognitive skills again, even though I had done that in the other ward. Why is this never written down? Again, if I wasn’t there, how would they know that my mum could talk and knew who she was, where she was and could reason things out? I’ve given this information – it should be on the notes for the next set of carers to read. The last thing I asked was for her not to be left upright where she would end up falling onto her arm. The nurse said she would make a note of it. Am I cynical in thinking she didn’t? We asked if the stains on the side of her sheet were blood. She laughed and said it was probably spilled tea. Didn’t the other nurses say she had just been moved to that new bed? Surely if she had, she would have had crisp clean sheets? And if she was given a cup of tea in the time she had been moved, wouldn’t the stain still be wet and not dry?

From Monday night when we saw her on the other ward with caring nurses who did not walk past us like we were scuff marks on the wall, my mum was talking, smiling and responding. The nurse in charge came to give us an update and told us about her day, giving full details of my mum’s condition. She had a slight fever which was being monitored, but there was no sign of swelling on her arm and she as being cared for closely by the staff.

In the two days she has been moved to this new ward, we’ve found her unresponsive, shivering cold (we had to ask the nurse to get her a blanket), her arm swollen and red and her outlook bleaker than before. One of the first nurses I had called over to help us asked me if Mum was capable of telling them if she was cold. I looked at her and said, “well I think it is common sense if you see a patient shivering and muttering she’s cold, she is cold!” I got the same ugly look from before.

Please tell me if I am unfair in thinking the quality of care on this ward is below standard. I’m so upset and to think my mum was showing signs of improvement, it’s distressing to think I have left her in the care of people who could turn the tables on her recovery. What should I do?

Ladies and Gentlemen: Eloise De Sousa

JMLibby has given me the chance to visit her blog. Join me as I share a little info about myself and tell you about my lovely blogging friend.

jmlibby

When I decided to have guests stop by once a month for 2015, the first name on my list was Eloise De Sousa. Kind, sweet, smart and witty, Eloise always makes me laugh and brings excellent content to her blog. How could I not ask her to be part of my adventure? Without further ado, I turn this space over to her.

~

Fancy joining me for a cup of Peppermint tea?  I’m all out of Darjeeling unfortunately…unless you’d prefer a coffee or something stronger.  It’s five’clock somewhere in the world!  Jessica has let me loose on her blog and I thought it would be a perfect time to meet you and share a cuppa.  Take a seat and I will pop the kettle on.

I met Jessica last year when I started my own blog and have found a lady I enjoy following and reading.  She gave me a…

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Memories

That feeling of holding on to moments that resonate through nostalgic music, a smell, a picture or a place. I lived through a few of those moments tonight as we drove to and from the hospital in Oxford. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Love

What if love isn’t so straight forward? What happens when the man of your dreams turns back into a toad? You’re left with a broken heart, several kilos of chocolate depression that turns into fat misery whilst he waltzes off with his new love. What then? Continue reading

10 Reasons People Hate Me

Okay my last reblog for the night. I have to end on a high note with a man so funny, so sharp and straight forward he makes angles look rounded (yes okay my jokes are lame!). I present the Opinionated Man!

Confessions of a Non-Shopaholic

I hate shopping! Yes, I am one of those people that grumble if I have to stay for longer than half an hour in the shopping mall, dragging my poor carcass from one glitzy waste of space to another.
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If We Were Having Coffee

The usual hangout is bustling with excitement today as the writers and bloggers gather together to discuss their busy weeks. School, university, college, work and general life have sucked the time and energy we enjoyed freely during the summer holidays and now time is a premium commodity we have to conserve wisely.

I have a new friend I’ve been wanting to sit down and chat to…ah there she is at a table full of familiar faces. Continue reading