Guest Featured Author with a New Book – MJ Mallon – The Curse of Time

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New book feature

 

Today I’m thrilled to have over, friend, author, and blogger, Marjorie Mallon with her debut book, The Curse of Time – Book 1 of the Bloodstone series, a YA Fantasy novel.

 

Marje writes at her blog Kyrosmagica  about writing, inspiration, photography, and magic Haiku. She also the founder of our Facebook group Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Group along with myself and Colleen Chesebro,   as fellow admins for that group. It’s a place for bloggers and writers to share all things writing and seek help with issues they may encounter with blogging and/or self publishing. Please feel free to come join us there!

Today, Marjorie is going to share all sorts of goodies with us about her debut book, The Curse of Time. The book  is in the YA/MG Fantasy genre and includes a smorgasbord of human elements and issues along with mystical magic.

Marjorie Mallon author

About Marje

 

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/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

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.

 

Marjorie Mallon

 

Get This Book on Amazon!

 

Blurb:

 

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?

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.

 

Now, let’s get to know a bit more about Marje and her book.

 

Please share with us how you came up with the name Kyrosmagica for your blog?

 

The Kyros derives from the Greek – Kyros (KIRos) meaning power that is legitimate, but limited and compassionate.

In Ancient Greek it means κρύσταλλος (krustallos, “clear ice”), from κρύος  (kruos, “frost”)

Magica sounded magical so I combined them together to make my interpretation of the word – Kyrosmagica, a powerful, compassionate, magical crystal!

 

I love all the beautiful quotes from famous writers you’ve posted on your blog’s about page. Which one resonates with you most and why?

 

Oh, that’s so difficult to answer but if I had to pick one it would be this:

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” Maya Angelou.

 

I know you believe in magic. What realm of magic fascinates you most?

 

I’ve always loved legends and wanted to explore the interaction between the realm of magic and myths. So with this in mind I created a main character, Amelina who could spirit walk to a time of legends. I had fun dreaming up a new King Arthur passage and Amelina chatted to Merlin to get grandfatherly advice. I introduced Greek myths into the story via the mysterious Crystal Cottage. I’d better not say too much about that, for fear of spoiling the story! Myths and Legends play a part in Book one The Curse of Time and this concept is further developed in Book two.

 

So, you love superheroes? Can you please share with us how you came up with your alter ego ‘Mary Jane’?

 

I wanted an author name but thought my name Marjorie Mallon sounded long-winded and boring. So I considered my options, I could have a pseudonym, but that didn’t appeal, so I decided on my initials and my author name became M J Mallon. My alter ego MJ became my fitting tribute to Spider man’s Mary Jane. Spider Man is my favourite super hero! I love romance so I embrace the thought of being MJ, tiptoeing up to kiss spiderman!

 

The Bloodstone is key to solving mystery in your book, and you include a character who deals with crystals. Do you work with crystals yourself?

 

No, sadly I don’t work with crystals but I would love to! I collect crystals and find myself drawn to them. My first crystal purchase was Malachite, a stone of transformation!

Read about that here: https://mjmallon.com/2017/02/18/the-bloggers-bash-competition-c-o-n-n-e-c-t-i-o-n-s/

My lovely friend Samantha Murdoch has a wonderful blog celebrating her love of crystals and cats. Here’s the bloodstone she kindly permitted me to use on the spine of my book. It’s a photo taken by her son Alex Marlowe.

Bloodstone - Marjorie Mallon

 

 

Your book sounds like an eclectic mix of magic, fantasy, mystery, and teenage struggles, what a fascinating combination. Can you please tell us a bit about what inspired you to write this book?

 

Oh, there are so many inspirations that have shaped my writing…

Crystals – in particular The Crystal Grotto that I visited in Juniper Artland – The Light Pours Out of Me – by Anya Gallaccio.  Here’s my photo of it…

Marjorie Mallon Crystal Grotto

 

I wrote this poem inspired by the grotto a long time ago: https://mjmallon.com/2016/01/14/ronovan-writes-haiku-prompt-challenge-crystal-and-hope/

 

Clocks/Time – The extraordinary Corpus Chronopage and Grasshopper on King’s Parade Cambridge invented by Dr John C Taylor OBE. I had the incredible fortune to meet with him in person on the 11th of September, 2017. He is an extraordinary man; it is a day I will not forget. His beautiful chronopage clock features on my book cover. I owe him a huge thank you for permission to use his images on my book cover, marketing, and blog.

Marjorie Mallon

This lovely man is an inventor, adventurous spirit, philanthropist, pilot, and photographer.

 

Art/Beauty/Youth/Mirrors – The concept of art coming alive fascinated me particularly after reading Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray. Time is indiscriminate and cruel. We age and loose our youthful beauty, mirrors capture this momentary beauty but they also capture our decline.

Shadows/Light and Yin/Yang. Life is balanced if there is equilibrium but what if our senses trick us and we are unable to determine good from evil?

Black Cats. In the early stages of writing my manuscript a strange black appeared in our garden. He was sleek, panther like, and so beautiful that I swear a witch had cast a spell on him to make me love him! He became my muse – Shadow the black cat in the Curse of Time. When he disappeared I had to find a black cat supermodel to portray him and I did. The lovely Samantha Murdoch had such a wonderful cat, Lily and here she is cuddling Buddha! Isn’t she exquisite?

 

Lily with Buddha

 

Please tell us a bit about your book and share an excerpt with us.

 

The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone is a YA/MG fantasy set in the UK, in the beautiful university city of Cambridge which I call home. It is Book one in a series, book two is partially written and entitled The Curse of Time #2 Golden Healer. Both books will feature the three central themes: time, shadows and crystals.

 

Excerpt:

 

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?

 

Thanks so much for visiting with us today Marje, and sharing your work with us. I love all the elements that comprise your book and look forward to reading it. <3

 

Links:

http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/

https://www.jupiterartland.org/artwork/the-light-pours-out-of-me

https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com https://alexmarloweblog.wordpress.com/

https://alexmarloweblog.wordpress.com/

 

Photo Credits:

Book cover photography – Dr John C Taylor, OBE. Corpus Chronopage and Grasshopper

Black cat – Shadow modelled by Lily – via Samantha Murdoch, photographed by her son Alex Marlowe.

 

Connect with Marje:

My Amazon UK Author Page

My Amazon US Author Page

My Amazon Canada Author Page

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Name: D.G. Kaye job Title: Author Business: DGKayewriter.com Image: https://dgkayewriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Who-Has-a-new-book-e1475608977687.jpg Facebook Url: Facebook Twitter Url: Twitter Instagram Url: Instagram LinkedIn Url: LinkedIn Pinterest Url: Pinterest Google+ Url: Google+
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DGKayewriter.com Copyright 2017

©2017
D.G. Kaye @dgkayewriter.com

Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Marjorie Mallon. Come join us!

Author Blogger Rainbow Club

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

Society of Mutual Admiration and Gratitude

Society of Mutual Admiration and Gratitude

60 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Thanks for the lovely feature Debby, you did a grand job of putting it all together. Many thanks for the #ABRSC mention too. We’re a wonderful team and the FB group is going from strength to strength, its all thanks to all the wonderful contributors that make it a lively, friendly, supportive place to visit. 🙂

    1. Marje, it was a treat to have you over and introduce new readers to you and your work. You have such a diverse and interesting background and it’s always a treat getting to know more about my friends and fellow authors. And yes, our #ABRSC if fantastic and growing every week with wonderful writers and contributions to posts on everything writing and interest to others. Looking forward to getting to read your book to my friend. 🙂 <3

      1. HI Debby, what a treat it has been. Thank you so much. I count myself as being very lucky to have had such an unusual background – now I see that it has been a great creative mixing pot for my writing endeavours! Love the #ABRSC it is fantastic and thank you for your kindness and support. So pleased that you will be reading The Curse of Time – and hope you will enjoy. 🙂 x

        1. My pleasure Marje. It was a thrill having you over. <3

  2. Lovely to finally learn more about Marje and her work. Thanks both xx

    1. Yes it is thanks Judith. Marje is so interesting with much to share about her background and inspiration for her book, I was delighted to feature her here. 🙂 xx

      1. Ahh, thank you Debby so kind of you. 🙂 xx

    2. Thank you Judith, it’s been a long old journey to get here but finally beginning to feel like an author!

  3. Debby, lovely to see Marje and her new debut book feartured on your post! Marje, at last a mystery is solved!! ?? I’ve so often wondered about the name of your blog…you can’t go wrong with the ancient Greeks! You’ve led a wonderfully exciting exotic life and travelled so far…there is nothing quite so liberating and wild as Scottish Dancing, I miss it so! Might have to give the belly dancing a go…would you recommend it?! This is a great intriguing extract and I had to smile at the last words…not often you come across ‘What the heck?’ in a book. Yeah!! Lovely to learn so much more about you, Marje and best of luck with the book. ❤️

    1. Thanks so much for reading my guest post with Marje Annika. I thought it was a great question to ask Marje – what’s behind the name of her blog? So glad you enjoyed her visit here. <3

    2. Many thanks Annika. I miss Scottish Country dancing too! The belly dancing is what MJ likes to do – I haven’t tried it yet! Would love to it’s on my bucket list. 🙂

      1. I have a friend in New Zealand who has done belly dancing for many years and at her wedding celebrations she put a show on for us all. Wow!! Very impressive, skilled and surprisingly emotional. Awed and slightly cowered at trying something similar…

        1. I’d love to! One day perhaps, it would be great for my long lost tummy muscles!

  4. Excellent showcase Debby… lovely to see Marjorie featured and her book.. hugs xx

    1. Thanks So much Sal. I was thrilled to have Marje over! 🙂 <3

    2. Thanks for your continued support and kindness Sally, hugs, Marje xx

  5. Good post, Debby and Marjorie. I too like clocks. I spent some time staring (mostly) at the US Naval Observatory Master Clock. Time is a lot more interesting than it seems at first blush, innit.

    1. Thanks Jacqui. Time is something we all wish we had more of – elusive. 🙂

    2. Hi Jacqui, thanks for your interest. Indeed time is a fascinating subject and one I that will keep my writing thoughts occupied for a long time!

  6. How nice to see Marje over here, Debby.

    1. Thanks Robbie. 🙂

    2. Hi Robbie, nice to see you too. Many thanks. 🙂

  7. Wow! I love the way MJ has packed so much into her answers and yet revealed so little about the book, which seems to be quite interesting and inviting.
    Thank you Deb for inviting Marje here and thanks to her too for revealing the truth behind her blog name…I have read it with great awe and admiration! 🙂
    Wishing you great success with your debut book dear friend. I look forward to reading it.

    1. Thanks so much B. I’m so glad you enjoyed learning more about Marje and her writing. 🙂 xx

    2. Hi Balroop, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. Thrilled at all the lovely comments I am getting. 🙂

  8. Wonderful post, Marje and Debby.. I love the list of inspirations and could relate to many of them – the crystals, mirrors, yin and yang, time. Phew – some biggies in there. Great luck with the book – Loved the excerpt.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and reading Marje’s interview Diana. <3

    2. Thank you so much Diana really appreciate your kind words and good luck wishes. 🙂

  9. A fantastic interview with Marjorie. I’m in the process of reading her novel and wow, I’m loving it. xxx

    1. Oh thanks for the inspiration Adele! <3

    2. Thank you Adele, so glad to hear you’re loving The Curse of Time. 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing Sal! 🙂 xx

  10. Thanks for sharing, Deb. I’m not exactly sure what “middle school” means in terms of target age, but judging from the words used in the excerpt it is likely what American’s call Junior High School? Personally, I was immediately transported back to the fourth grade, when everything about the world of this book would have fascinated me — especially the fact that the book was written using “grown up” words.

    I was a precocious child who read far above grade level, which made it difficult to find books whose themes and stories appealed to my vivid, girlish imagination without “writing down” to me or written to appeal to the romantic tastes of someone much older (like Gone with the Wind, which I read for the first time as a fourth grader).

    I read a lot of mythology, but there wasn’t a great deal of what I would call “enchantment” to be found once I read the standards. Changed now, thanks to authors like MJ, but not so much when I was young. (I never cared for comic books – a word nerd even then.)

    I would have loved being turned on to this book and would have adored turning it over to my sister once she became old enough to read it herself. It would have been fun to read to her aloud as well – budding actor as I was even then.

    The cat photo brings to mind Pyewacket from the 1950s play ‘Bell, Book and Candle’. To my mind Kim Novak was a perfect Gillian in the movie, which I saw after I read the play at about 10, I believe. Totally charmed by both, even at my young age. (Humming the spell song as I type).
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely feedback M, I’m sure Marje will be delighted to read this. Yes, middle-grade would be Junior High -ish lol. And wow, reading Gone with The Wind in 4th grade? I was a lot like you reading more mature books for my age, but that’s only because I had no childhood books in my home. Don’t laugh,at 10 years old I was sneak-reading my mother’s trashy novels! Now that’s an education – TMI LOL 🙂 xx

      1. lol – good thing we didn’t really understand what we were reading (exactly).
        xx,
        mgh

        1. Sooooo funny! And almost scary our similarities! 🙂 xx

    2. Thank you for your lovely, thoughtful comment Madelyn. Middle Grade is probably in this case older kids verging on the teenage years and beyond. When I wrote this novel I wanted to write something a little different and hoped that would appeal to a wide age group – bright younger kids, as well as grown ups who love fantasy and magic! I hope I achieved that aim. 🙂

  11. Wonderful to learn more about MJ’s book through this interview, excerpt and excellent discussion of her writing, Debby! You are a stellar pair <3

    1. Thanks so much Christy. 🙂 xx

    2. Thank you for popping by Christy. Yes Debby and I are a great team! xx

  12. Great to see you here Marje, I love spiderman too, although of late I prefer batman and Deadpool even more! I have a weakness for anti-heroes. Those stones/crystals are stunning, I find myself drawn to them too. I hope your launch has gone well 🙂

    1. Hi Sacha girl, great to see you here. 🙂 xx

      1. Hey Debby, yeah sorry, I’ve had shingles and I’ve got some real bad crap happening in my personal life atm, (without trying to finish books) so I’m a bit distant with everyone atm, but I’m trying to pop in where I can. Hope you’re well xx

        1. OMG Sach, that’s horrible!!! I hope you are on the mend. Did you son have Chickenpox? Or maybe you stressed yourself out to the max once again no doubt? That’s an awful ailment. I’ve been like a chicken without a head too so I’m also guilty of quick pop bys. We need to stop and smell the roses! Get better my friend! <3 xx

          1. Thanks my lovely, definitely stress – some very shit stuff happening for us, and I am still suffering burn out so it all combined into me with no immune system and a shingles break out. It’s not the first one I’ve had either, I doubt it will be the last. SIGH. I hope you’re okay and manage to slow down a bit xx

          2. Sach, besides me, I know you are one of the most of us who puts so much pressure on yourself. There’s no law against extending deadlines we self-impose. Let us stop trying to fit 10 million things in one to do list! Life is short my friend. I’m in that shit now with my newest book, wanted to publish in October, not happening, hoping for November, if not December. Not going to kill myself over it! <3

        2. Sorry to hear that you’ve not been well and hope you are better soon Sacha. Sounds like you need a well earned trip to a health spa retreat. Perhaps all we writers should do one once a year!

    2. Hi Sacha thanks for dropping by, The launch went well, just got to try to finish the paperback to launch that too. Difficult to find the time at the moment as I’ve just started a full-time job which is sapping my energy as I start work at 8.15. I am not a morning person!

  13. Hi ladies, thanks for the intro ? , always lovely to meet new authors via mutual friends. I was really drawn in by Marje’s bio, I’ve stayed on the Peak in Hong Kong, and I’m in Edinburgh right now, so some resonating details there.
    I did enjoy the excerpt, and in particular the Harry Potter-esque invitation! I’m not by a long chalk in the target audience, but I suspect I might enjoy this tale.

    1. Hi Deb. So glad you were taken in by Marje’s book, and lovely of you to drop by my friend. I too find Marje’s story intriguing and look forward to reading it. You should drop by our FB group sometime, there’s lots of good info always floating around there and some wonderful writers. <3

      1. Yes, dropping into your Facebook group is on my to do list, see you there soon ?

        1. Great Deb! 😉

        2. Yes, do drop by Deborah we’d love that. 🙂

      2. Yes, dropping into your Facebook group is on my to do list, see you there soon ?

    2. It’s a small world Deborah. Would love to go back to HK, my nearest destination eight years ago was Singapore and Malaysia to visit relatives. My mum is Malaysian. Love Edinburgh I often visit my mum, dad, and brother who still live there. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt Deborah and even though the target audience is young I do think this book will appeal to adults too. There is somethng for everyone!

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