Bitmo Sunday book review
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Sunday Book Review – This is Lockdown: Covid19 Diaries – #Anthology by MJ Mallon

This week’s Sunday Book Review is for Marjorie Mallon’s new heartening release – This is Lockdown: Covid19 Diaries #anthology. Marje has written this book based on her thoughts, emotions and experiences being documented throughout this pandemic. She also invited several authors to join her anthology by submitting their thoughts and experiences in short story, flashfiction and poetry form. I was honored to be invited and be part of this testament to our times.





An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

The full list of authors are: Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and Writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction author,) Fi Phillips ,(Author, Copy Editor,) Jeannie Wycherley, (Dark stories, Suspense, Horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (Urban Fiction, Teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/Author,) Peter Taylor-Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit, Romance, Poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger, Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (Huge supporter of indie community/Blogger/Author) D G Kaye, (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, Horror, Urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (Blogger, Poet and Writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet, Author) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks for The NHS .


My 5 Star Review:

MJ Mallon begins this heartening book with a stunning foreword to mark the times that are sure to become part of a testament of our times in history on the 2020 global pandemic Covid19 that has rocked our collective world.

The book is broken down into three parts – Daily diary entries from the author, writer’s testaments, and thoughts in flashfiction/nonfiction stories, and poetry. Each contributing author evoking their experiences and thoughts.

Mallon has covered and documented life in lockdown, tracking events as they happen and the human condition scrutinized for its affects with shared incidents, displaying fears, finances, health concerns, and what a potentially killer disease portends. Her diaries touch on emotion as MJ expresses her own fears and concerns and observations at the days and weeks progress in lockdown.

Common threads I noticed from all writers: Loss of writing muse and creativity, restructuring of family life and function, adjusting to lockdown, and for many – overwhelming online ‘everything’ now, cutting into a writer’s work time and creativity.

This book is for everyone, for we all share the same common Covid fears and adjustments in this very world we all live in. A recommended read for reflection and to reinforce, we are not alone.



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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • Marian Beaman

    I’m not surprised that such an anthology has emerged during this trying time. This one seems very comprehensive with multiple authors and several genres. Amidst the gloom, I’ve noticed that the authors are also ” highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening times.”

    Never has an affliction hit us that encompasses the whole world. EVERYONE can relate in some way. Thanks for being on top of things here, as you always are, Debby!

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Marian. You’ve covered it well in your comments. We are globally affected, and I think by sharing our stories, people can feel that sense of comradery. 🙂

    • Marje

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Marian. I’m so glad to have taken the decision to compile this anthology. It’s given me a purpose when I needed it most and it is lovely to have so many fabulous contributors. 🙂

  • sally cronin

    Thanks for the lovely review Debby and it was a very community spirited project that I enjoyed being involved in.. and great to be in the same collection as you my friend as well as others from our immediate group.. Great job by Marje in bringing it all together. ♥♥

    • dgkaye

      Absolutely Sal. And I’m glad you and me will one day be a historic read in this book along with so many other talented writers. <3 xx

    • Marje

      Hi Sally thank you so much. It’s fantastic to have you and Debby involved with the anthology. So thrilled that is the case. <3

  • Pete Springer

    It will be interesting to look back years from now and see if some long-term changes of behavior come from this event. It is a reminder not to take the simple pleasures for granted.

  • Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    A lovely review of this book, Debbie. An interesting peep into peoples varying reactions and experiences with C-19.

  • Janice Spina

    Wonderful review of MJ’s book. This sounds like an emotional journey through troubled times. We are all in this together and sometimes forget that others are out there feeling some of the same things that we are – fear and apprehension of what will come and when. Will we ever be able to go back to normal?

    Thank you for sharing this book with us, Debby. Congratulations to MJ on her publication and wishing her much success with it.

    Let’s all stay safe and well and resilient during this lockdown. It will pass like other viruses before it. We can only keep praying that it will be soon rather than later. God Bless! 🤗 💕

    • dgkaye

      Hi Janice. Thank you for your lovely words. I’m with you on all you said. Just hang on tight, stay safe and wear a mask Janice! Hugs. xxx

    • Marjorie Mallon

      Hi Janice. Yes it has been a awful time and impacted so many. Sadly, I’ve just returned from visiting my mum and dad in Scotland and at 91 my dad seems worst affected by all this. Thankfully it cheered him up to have me to visit. But, I fear his age and this situation has really not helped. Let’s just hope that this virus dies out soon, or that an inoculation is available so that we can all get on with our lives. Thank you so much for your kind interest in the anthology. Stay safe and well. <3

  • Carol

    A lovely idea of a day to day diary and to collect a few thoughts from others certainly this virus has reacted so differently globally as has been people’s reactions …A wonderful review of a book that can be used as a reference going forward…I hope lessons will be learned… I am beginning to think will it be like measles and chickenpox with a vaccine but always there? It does also seem to affect some more than others just like other diseases and leave lasting symptoms…Quite scary but some people’s reactions have also been quite remarkable and heartwarming. Stay safe everyone..Much love xx

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Carol. And although I hate to agree, I don’t see any other way that globally, this virus will be completely eradicated, especially with that fact that too many people refuse to take vaccines. Hugs xoxo

    • Marjorie Mallon

      Hi Carol, thank you for your considered thoughts. Yes, indeed I fear it will be with us for some time yet. This is ‘the new normal’ and we must adjust as best we can. Keeping busy certainly helps, I am already missing collating this project! Stay safe and well. Marje

  • Joy Lennick

    Thanks, Debs, Excellent coverage of this special book, which covers different aspects of the pandemic and the way it affected individuals. It certainly high-lights the value of our neighbours, friends and family members and how much we all mean to each other. A a good read for sensing the pulse-rate of the many at such a fraught time! And, of course, a big thank you to Marje. Well done! Hugs xx

  • Jacqui Murray

    I have read a lot about life changes resulting from COVID. It’s good to see these made permanent, when future generations wonder what the heck happened back then.

  • Susan Scott

    Is it going to be available to be purchased as an ebook I wonder. I hope so. It sounds wonderful – the sense of camaraderie is essential in these times. Lovely review Debby, thank you.

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    A great project. I agree that it will be very interesting to read in a few years time, in light of whatever long term changes (if any) this brings. An interesting document for those who won’t have experienced it first-hand in years to come. Thanks, Debby, and congratulations to Marjorie and to all the authors involved (and that’s also you, Debby, again)!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much for you lovely comment and wishes Olga. You said it, it’s the people in years to come who will be most enlightened! <3

  • Diana Peach

    Another great review of Marje’s book. It sounds so relatable as we each experience this strange time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Debby, and congrats to Marje. 🙂

  • Amy M Reade

    A lovely review. This book speaks to something that so many writers feel: the deep-seated need to write through something in order to process it and to help deal with it. I think there are a lot of writers out there, like Marje, who documented their journey through COVID 19 in order to come to grips with the changes all over the world in an our own homes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Amy, yes, many writers share their feelings about these uncertain times. And it’s nice that a group of them shared in this book, along with Marje’s entries, so there is a compilation all in one book. 🙂 x

    • Marjorie Mallon

      Hi Amy. Yes it was my way of coping with such a stressful time. Gave me a purpose and now that’s its completed and out there in the world I’m very happy that it is highlighting the talent of lots of writers and creatives.

  • Liesbet

    Wonderful review of a wonderful collection, Debby! And, congratulations to you and Sally for being a part of it, too. I totally agree with everything Marian commented above. This will be a keeper, a time sake. It has been interesting to read input from multi-talented and multi-cultural authors during this pandemic. We’re all in this together, indeed, and I’ve been curious to read the experiences and stories on a global level.

  • Lauren Scott

    This sounds like an emotional ride, but also one very relatable, Debby. Who would’ve thought we’d all experience this pandemic in our lifetime?! It’s great that you’re a part of this wonderful project and I look forward to turning the pages. Great review and Congrats to Marje. 💕

  • Jane Sturgeon

    What a wonderful review, Debby. Thank you for sharing and Marje, thank you for creating this. It’s on my reader and I am looking forward to reading it. A loving and thoughtful testimony to our times. We are all connected and I am so grateful for the supportive community we have here. <3 <3

  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    Hi, Debby! Thanks for sharing this great review. This anthology is almost like a time capsule. We could reread it years later to reminded of how the year 2020 changed our lives. 😀 xo

    • Marje

      Hi Vashti. Yes so true. I was watching a TV recording of Muse in concert last night. There were so many people all having fun close together enjoying the concert.
      I wonder when we will be able to do that? Extraordinary times we are living in. Here’s to better years to come.

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Thank you for sharing Debby.. We shall look back in History to this Historic turning point in ALL of our lives. I am sure there is a book to be written in History too about what went down here.. 🙂
    Congratulations Marje and all other contributors..

    Much love and well wishes your way <3

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