Category Archives: Weekly Trail

Summer Fun

What are your plans for the summer? I just renewed my passport and dreams of travelling to exotic locations have found their way onto my bucket list. Thanks to this heatwave hitting the south of England, I need not travel far to feel the warm kisses of the summer sun. Holidaying at home seems to be the most affordable and fun way of enjoying this August.

Since I will be around, I have been lucky enough to be included in a story time extravaganza being organised by the ladies at the Windsor Yard. Look out for me on Thursday the 27th July and 11th August at 12.30pm at the Windsor Yard Event. Scat and his friends will be sharing their tall tales

The inflatable pool is filled, my glass of water is chilled and my favourite music is playing. Enjoy your summer folks!

My Windrush

This is my Windrush:

My hope, my fear , my salvation.

What comes of it is unknown,

As unknown as the cultural retribution

Now claimed by those once muted.

Unspoken destinations tantalise my journey

To nowhere, with nothing but ageing –

Maybe capturing a memory or two on 

The glass stair I’m climbing.

Look down.
There, the angels

Are singing calypso songs.

Fantastical fears and miracles

What could  go wrong?

Negating lifelines that limbered between

Ship and sea, amongst the sinners 

shaping and shifting those complicit and free.  

Embrace the future:

Tavel assured.

This is my Windrush.

I will be cured. 

Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Series

I have had the pleasure of meeting Marjorie Mallon, author of The Curse of Time Series, and I am very excited to share the news of her new book, Golden Healer. Marjorie has worked hard over the past year to produce the second book in the series which follows the paranormal adventures of Amelina Scott on her destiny to becoming a magician of light. If you enjoy paranormal young adult books, then this series will keep you enthralled with the characters and setting, not to mention the action and suspense. Inspired by Corpus Christi Chronograph clock in Cambridge, England, the series mixes reality with ethereal in a seamless storyline that transports the reader into a magical world where we all wish we could exist.

What is the book about?

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

About the Author:

‘My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!’ M J Mallon

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these two vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

Her motto is to Do what Your Heart Desires.

And her favourite genre to write is fantasy/magical realism because life should always be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Accolades: M J is a finalist in the Fantasy category of N. N. Light’s Book Award for her novel Bloodstone and a finalist in the International author. She has also contributed best-selling short stories to Dan Alatorre’s Box Under The Bed anthologies.

Winner of the Blogger’s bash blogging prize with her flash fiction piece The Queen’s Dress Down Day. https://mjmallon.com/2018/03/21/the-bloggers-bash-blog-post-competition-2018-the-queens-dress-down-day/

Winner of Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Contest with her murderous piece: Mr. Blamey https://carrotranch.com/2017/12/19/winner-of-flash-fiction-contest-7/

Purchase your copy of Golden Healer here. Click on the pics below.

Other books available by M J Mallon:

MarySmith’sPlace ~ The Celebration

Mary Smith's Place

We will be celebrating Marys life.

The public memorial celebration for Mary will be held at the Ernespie House Hotel, Castle Douglas on January 14th 2022 at 1.30pm, following a short private cremation.

Kindly email us at maryscelebration@stewartry.co.uk as soon as possible if you are able attend to help us ensure a safe event. On Mary’s request, there is no formal dress code.

We hope you will be able join us for a celebration of Marys life, in person or watch the live stream online at: https://www.stewartry.co.uk/mmc.html

Jon and David

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Book Review – Cathas and the Squirrel Incident

Title: Cathas and the Squirrel Incident Author: Tessa Bremner Genre: Children’s Fiction My Rating: Source: ARC Synopsis: Catch up with the Peace …

Book Review – Cathas and the Squirrel Incident

Romance for Christmas?

It is that time of year again when the Christmas list comes out and thoughts of pressies reign supreme. I have to admit that this year I plan to share more of the well loved stories written by authors whom I follow. One such author is Lizzie Chantree. Her collection of books are more than just romance stories for singular genre-loving type of reader. She manages to capture the emotions and realism of everyday men and women, capitalizing on their love interests and mishaps, culminating in humourous, if not dangerous turns of events that spice up the action and render the romance as a the icing on the cake.

Lizzie’s latest book is no exception. The Woman Who Felt Invisible tackles the sticky emotions of a forty-one-year old Olivia Tenby who felt – invisible.

Working as a stationery supervisor and a sitter to a pair of internet famous, delinquent dogs, wasn’t how former cyber-specialist, Olivia, imagined her life turning out. Working in a tiny cubicle with a decrepit computer and being overlooked had suited her for a while, but now she’s fed up, lonely and determined to make the world ‘see’ her again. Old school friend, Darius, wants to fill Olivia’s days with romance, but their love of technology has taken them on very different paths. Gorgeous undercover policeman Gabe, is steadfast in finding out if Olivia was part of an online scam, but something doesn’t feel right and he suspects someone else was manipulating her life. 

Can love blossom from the most deceptive of starts? And can someone who feels lost, find a way to flourish against all odds?

Here is an excerpt of the story to titillate your taste buds:

The woman who felt invisible, by Lizzie Chantree.

This was it. This was Olivia Tenby’s life, now. This was how low she had come. At the age of forty-one, she was sweating her guts out in a house that felt like a furnace, babysitting two delinquent Labradoodle dogs called Bertie and Belle, while their owners swanned around getting even richer somewhere else. Wiping her palms across her face, feeling glad she’d discarded her top so that she couldn’t drip on it, she pressed a button. Music blared out of speakers set into the ceiling. This house had everything – lights that came on when you spoke to them, a vacuum cleaner that tripped you over while it scurried along the floor of its own accord, and a fridge that dispensed perfectly shaped ice cubes into crystal glasses.

Olivia looked around furtively for a moment, and then laughed and decided to go for it. Her job as dog sitter extraordinaire had begun two weeks ago. She’d been told to entertain the excitable animals in any way she could think of, as they were naughty and destroyed everything while the owners were out – which they always were. Olivia hadn’t even met them, which was baffling. They left her notes with instructions on how to stop the dogs eating the walls and making a mess of the thick pile carpets. She actually quite liked the job, it was as easy as walking in a straight line. Then she thought about how wobbly she always was after three vodka and cokes, and quickly pushed that picture aside. The dogs were bored and, although her job included giving the house a cursory swipe with a duster, it was always immaculate when she arrived. Something was a bit weird, though, as the place was incredibly hot. The dogs liked to slobber all over her, making her even hotter. So she’d taken to stripping off as soon as she sat down with the pooches, otherwise she’d probably pass out and be found weeks later, mummified in dog hair.

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at http://www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.

So, if you’re expecting a little something under the Christmas tree, why not treat yourself or your loved ones to a copy of Lizzie’s latest book and sit back to enjoy the thrills and spills of great story-telling.

Expiry Date

It doesn’t creep

in the middle of the night.

It’s not that cold shiver

you experience as the

first golden leaves fall

at the end of summer.

It’s not the cold ache

biting into your skin

in the middle of winter,

or the silence that slips in

behind the laughter.

Our fallibility falls like dust motes,

coating one and all equally

in the inevitable: our expiration.

Copyright held by Eloise De Sousa (2021)

Cover Reveal

It is such a pleasure to share the book cover of Cecily Lalloo’s new book, which is counting down its its debut as I write this. Cecily has worked tirelessly over the last year to perfect her book on employing positivity and I look forward sharing her work with you over the coming weeks.

cecilyswritings.wordpress.com/2021/10/05/cover-reveal-book-1/

Trudging Through Treacle

After a month of sickness where I watched each member of my family fall under the evil grasp of ‘Rona, I am happy to say that we have all survived and are now on the road to recovery. With anosmia taking away the taste of victory for a few of the family members, and the hubble’s residual chest infection sounding like sludgy blocked pipes every time he coughs, it still feels incredible to say that we survived her visit and lived to tell the tale.

The scales were weighed against us from the onset of this crazy year and a half since the news broke about a new, more deadly virus sweeping across the world. As people panicked and tossed toilet rolls into their trollies, the hubble and I made a plan to shield for as long as possible, setting up cleaning stations for the children on their return from school and berating the older two when they dared go out into the invisible dangers that threatened our lives. The year swept by with the same speed and violence as the virus and 2021 brought opportunities to vaccinate ourselves against the deadly disease. I was called up for my first vaccination in March. It wasn’t a pleasant experience as the side effects knocked me down for a few days, making me regret my decision. Before I had a chance to recover my wits, the hubble was hit with a massive heart attack. I watched helplessly as they wheeled him to the ambulance and told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to go with him to the hospital. He was alone. There are no words to describe the gut-wrenching moment you realise your life partner might never return and this would be your final good-bye. His last words before the doors closed were of him begging the paramedics to give him the vaccine before taking him to the hospital. We were terrified at the prospect of him going into a place riddled with the virus as we had heard horror stories of patients catching Covid and dying once they entered the hospital.

He survived. A surprise phone call two hours later reassured me that our world had not completely imploded and that the super heroes working the wards at the hospitals were still fighting fearlessly to keep everyone alive. Over the next few months we moved forward as a family, making sure the hubble’s recovery went smoothly. All was well and he received his vaccinations making us both double vaxxed and supposedly safe. That is, until the virus decided to catch a ride on one of our older children and arrived home at the beginning of July. It didn’t take long for ‘Rona to make herself feel at home, nestling in the folds of the family, sucking the breath and life out of each member as they fell under her spell. The older two were the first to fall, followed by my youngest. I nursed them, watching them turn and twist with the fever, cry out at the blinding headaches and cough up phlegm and what sounded like lung into mountains of tissues. My hands turned crusty from the amount of bleach and disinfectant used in the battle to keep the virus to their rooms, but she was clever. She hitched a ride on me. Just as the first lot finished their isolation, she attacked the next, knocking down the hubble and my middle child within a day. By this time I had fallen to her wily ways too and lost a weekend to delirium.

Weak, washed out and weary, we struggled to hold each other up during what felt like endless days of illness. Work had to continue and each family member limped on, trying their best to keep some semblance of order after a sudden reshuffle of life cards. I think the worst part was the fear – the fear of watching the children burn up day and night without respite. The fear of hearing their airways close as they struggled to talk and slowly lost their sense of smell and taste. Stress over the hubble’s weak heart created palpitations in my own ticker. Would he be removed from our lives again? Would the children have to watch him disappear into the back of an ambulance, never to return? ‘Rona had us all in her tight grasp and refused to let go.

There are those among us who don’t believe that the vaccines work or protect us. I, myself, had my doubts whilst fighting through the riptide of ‘Rona’s wrath. All I can say is that my worst fears were not realised. Were were not hospitalized and for that, I am grateful to the vaccines for what little or immense support they gave our bodies in fighting off the virus. As I sit here now, I still have a cough and a very husky voice that will rival a heavy smoker. The hubble is sitting across from me working at his desk, suffering coughing attacks every few minutes and continuously blowing his nose. If this is the price we have to pay for tussling with the b*tch from hell, then I am okay with that. When I think of all those friends and family who have lost loved ones in this battle to survive, I count our blessings and breath a shaky sigh of relief. We are probably not completely out of the woods yet as ‘Rona has a way of paying her respects to her victims in the form of long Covid. That’s a fear that we will just have to live with.

We all have different experiences and opinions about this virus. Some are educated and others less informed. The media does not help with the scare tactics and misinformation, which is spreading fear and segregation as fast as the virus is killing us off. She doesn’t need help, yet here we are giving her an extra hand. I’m sharing my experience with you not to sway you towards a certain opinion or to share the gross facts of the side effects of what awaits those who fall under ‘Rona’s spell. No. Instead, this is me acknowledging just how awful the past few months have been for us as a family and realising that the virus itself was bad, but the fear of it was far worse. Yes, I will be that person wearing a mask when you come near me and I will take a few steps to bridge a gap between us because I know just how much of a toll this virus has taken on myself and my family. I am going to do my level best to make sure she doesn’t get a return visit.

Cancelling Enid Blyton and Chimamanda’s “It Is Obscene” essay – is it possible to have a balanced discussion?

I have been searching for a well balanced written piece that discusses history and literature without spurting vitriol which we seem to face at every social turn these days. To sit on the fence makes you a sitting duck ready for target practice.
I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

Vaseem Khan

This week saw two incidents that exploded into the literary firmament, the shock wave propagating out into the public domain and inciting worldwide comment and debate. At the risk of stepping into a political minefield and having my metaphorical legs blown off, I present here my own take on matters.

Firstly, English Heritage updated its online entry for Enid Blyton, a recipient of the organisation’s blue plaque honour. For those not familiar with the scheme, blue plaques are awarded in England to figures of historical significance. You can see them dotted around the country on the walls of buildings where the recipients once lived.

English Heritage’s revised description of Blyton notes that her work was criticised –during her lifetime and after – “for its racism, xenophobia and lack of literary merit”. Such updates are being made, according to English Heritage, “to provide a fuller…

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