Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Travel Glasgow University, Hogwarts and Kelvingrove Park by M. J. Mallon


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the final post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week a post from 2016 and a visit to Glasgow…

 Glasgow University, Hogwarts and Kelvingrove Park by M. J. Mallon

Image M.J. Mallon

I’ve been in Glasgow for a few days, with my hubby – for a short holiday. Like my dad he’s a keen golf fan. We’ve been to the Golf Open at Troon. We had a day there together – practice day – and the next day I had a day to myself in Glasgow to do whatever I fancied. Not being the type to fuss too much about shopping I decided to have a wander in Kelvingrove Park – which happened to be very close to our hotel, The Lorne Hotel. It was quite a sunny day so I stopped for a treat, my favourite: a chocolate wafer which is basically a tasty chocolate covered wafer filled with marshmallow sandwiched together with vanilla ice-cream. What a supreme feast!

I sat down in the park and watched these guys – aren’t they fabulous? It warms the heart seeing young people out enjoying themselves having fun. Really exhilarating!

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Isn’t it nice to see such a lively park area? With youngsters doing flips and star turns on their bikes and skate boards.

I also popped over to the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery which is a must if you’re ever in Glasgow. Do not miss the opportunity to visit. I will be doing a photographic feature about this wonderful museum soon…

To round off the day I found a pathway of steps via the park that led to Glasgow University. No wonder people tend to think that this beautiful University resembles Hogwarts, (even though Harry Potter wasn’t filmed there.) The view is certainly magical. Not too far away from the University is Ashton Lane, a hidden alleyway lit with fairy lights which is packed with pubs and cafes, supposedly author J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley. I happened to have an evening drink and meal there with my hubby and a couple of our friends. We started off our evening at a very quaint bar and restaurant called The Ubiquitous Chip. Only in Scotland can the humble chip be elevated to such a grandiose name!

http://www.ubiquitouschip.co.uk/
ubiquitous
juːˈbɪkwɪtəs/
adjective

present, appearing, or found everywhere.
“his ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family”
synonyms: omnipresent, ever-present, present everywhere, everywhere, all-over, all over the place,pervasive, all-pervasive, universal, worldwide, global;

Here are a couple of photos of the Ubiquitous Chip and its wee sister The Wee Pub at The Chip:

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Perhaps when my youngest is University age she might consider going to Glasgow University! What a magical place to study.. I wish I could have studied there.. I did study in Glasgow many years ago now… but I went to the then Polytechnic which is now known as Glasgow Caledonian University……

I felt such a fondness for Glasgow returning for this short holiday all these years later. Student days are truly one of the best moments in our lives. I just wish I could turn back the clock and relive them all over again. If only…

What about you, have you been to Glasgow? Or are perhaps studying at Glasgow University? Is it a magical place to study? 

©M.J. Mallon 2016

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 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. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. 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.

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.

About The Curse of Time

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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck -#Book Review My Kyrosmagica Review of Nicholas Rossis’s Runaway Smile by M.J. Mallon


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected one of the over 100 book reviews in her archives from 2015. This book is by another author in the Cafe and Bookstore Nicholas Rossis.. for Runaway Smile.

My Kyrosmagica Review of Nicholas Rossis’s Runaway Smile by M.J. Mallon

Goodreads Synopsis:

“I woke up this morning and I had lost my smile and it wasn’t my fault and I looked everywhere and it was gone. Then I met a workman and a king and the best salesman in the world and a clown and no-one wanted to give me theirs. At school, I asked Miss to give me hers, but she gave us a pop quiz instead, and then no-one was smiling and…”

A little boy wakes up in the morning and realizes he has lost his smile. After spending the entire day trying to find it, he learns the truth behind smiles: the only real smiles are the shared ones.

My review:

The title to this children’s book really intrigued me, Runaway Smile. How can a smile runaway? Nicholas did make this little boys smile runaway, but thankfully he returned it to him in the end!

It is a wonderful children’s book, an enthralling and heartwarming journey to search for one little boy’s lost smile. Nicholas introduces us to a whole host of eccentric characters. (What an imagination, Nicholas!!) The boy’s dog wears glasses, smokes a pipe, and drives a car but has lost his sense of smell, there’s a closet monster who eats all of the boy’s clothes, and even a bunch of surf boarding ants!

In his quest to find his smile the little boy talks to a bunch of characters who just can’t help him. There’s a workman walking his goldfish in a bowl on a small cart! Hey, I see this everyday too. Just regular workman kind of activity! A king with a wide smile. A salesman with an even wider one, and a clown with a painted on smile. I particularly liked the character of the salesman whose smile disappears, and ages, when he realises that he can’t sell the boy anything. “The salesman took a mirror from his pocket and stared at his image. All of a sudden he looked very old and tired, and the boy wondered how he could have missed the thinning hair, deep wrinkles, and expanding waistline.” That one’s for my husband he’s worked in Sales all his life and well let’s just say it’s tough. Being a Sales Manager, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

I’m digressing here a bit. In desperation, the boy turns to his teacher hoping that she will be able to help him. But she doesn’t think that a classroom is the right place to keep a smile! So, by the time he gets home to his mum he is in tears and has given up hope of finding his smile. But of course his mother is the only person that can help him, because the only true smile that exists is a genuine one straight from the heart. The final reflection that greets the boy is not a false one like the salesman’s reflection. “The boys eyes opened wide. He ran to the mirror to check his reflection. She was right! A wide smile had finally appeared on his face!”

The secret to keeping his smile is to share it with those he loved. Absolutely. That’s the secret.

“She tussled his hair. Anything you give with love, multiplies. No-one can take it from you then.”

So the boy promptly goes off to share his smile with his dog. Of course!

The book finishes with a lovely Ode to a runaway smile.

So, definitely recommended, a very sweet book and lovely illustrations too.

My rating:

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Nicolas C. Rossis From his About page on WordPress:

I was born in 1970 in Athens, Greece. I love books and write fantasy, children’s books and science fiction. Except for my books, I have had numerous science fiction short stories published in Greek magazines and in an anthology.

I hold a doctorate in digital architecture from the University of Edinburgh, where I lived for a number of years before returning to Athens, where I currently live with my wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is purring on my lap as I type these lines.

Runaway Smile is his first children’s book. Mad Water, the third book in his epic fantasy series, Pearseus, was published in July 2014. He has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories.

Authors Website: http://nicholasrossis.me/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis
Free book for those following Nicholas’s Blog: http://nicholasrossis.me/2014/12/07/my-first-childrens-book-runaway-smile/

Illustrator: Dimitris Fousekis

Dimitri Fouseki, is an artist of Greek origin who makes innovative illustrations. Since 2003 he has successfully focused on illustrating mainly children’s books. He already has numerous publications in Greece in this field (nine so far, with a number of further publications pending). Since 2010, Dimitri has been living on the beautiful island of Hydra, where he teaches art and works on his first major exhibition as a painter, when not illustrating.

Website: http://www.dimitrisfousekis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dimifous/

© M. J. Mallon 2015

Have you read Runaway Smile? Please comment below Marjorie would love to hear from you, it certainly would put a smile on her face…

 

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 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. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. 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.

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.

About The Curse of Time

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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Shortstory: The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake by M. J. Mallon


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the second post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected a wonderful short story that Marjorie wrote in response to one of D.Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction prompts which I enjoy participating in too.

 The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake by M. J. Mallon

Image Stefan Keller

Today, the moon is full and high in the sky and a group of nineteen men travel with brave hearts to the mouth of the Snow Snake Cave.

The wind is biting cold. Each man carries a pack of provisions on his back and thoughts of his loved ones in his heart. They know that this journey might be one to their deaths and yet they trudge on.

At last after many exhausted steps they arrive at the forbidding entrance of the cave. It is no ordinary grotto. This cave is fashioned out of layer upon layer of snow. The mouth of which is an ice sculpture of a snake’s jaw gaping, its eyes furious and wide. The old man above is exquisite, his hair and snow beard fall in intricate icicles. He is leaning to one side, his hand of snow pushing down on the snake as if it coax it to move.

The Old Man of Snow startles the men, he stirs, his snow encrusted eyes open wide as he bellows,

‘Dare you approach us? I think not little men. I will crush you like ants and feed you to my friend the Snow Snake.’

The men stop so suddenly that they almost fall over with exhaustion. Several of them stagger backwards frightened by the sheer size and forbidding nature of the Old Man of Snow. But, one amongst them stays still, resolute and strong.

He squares his shoulders, takes a deep breath and replies. ’I have come to meet with the Old Man of Snow and the legendary Snow Snake. I wish to discuss what you’ve done with the countless others who have ventured here. That is all that I and this brave group of men want – my old friends back. We are not greedy men. We don’t desire wealth, or gold, we only want happiness.’

‘Happiness?’ the Old Man lifts his hand and pulls at his beard. The Snow Snake begins to wind his tail back and forth causing a volley of tiny snowballs to fall.

‘They are lying Old Man,’ said the Snow Snake, hissing. ‘They mean to trick us. Don’t allow them passage. If you do, I will swish my furious tail even more and they will be crushed under an avalanche of snow.’

‘Silence, Snow Snake! I am sick of your reptilian attitude. Let them speak. I have never heard a human ask for so little before and I am curious if indeed they speak the truth.’

The humble man bowed before the Old Man of Snow and then kneeled on the cold earth. ‘I swear by the almighty that I tell the truth. I, and my men are simple farmers, we tend the earth, eat our crops, and milk our herd. We don’t need riches and fame.’

‘You are a wise man. Unfortunately, your friends who came before you were foolish and greedy. They tried to steal from the Snow Snake and he and I were very angry.’

‘They were wrong to do so and I apologise on their behalf. Please forgive me for asking but what happened to their foolish souls?’

‘Within the cave there are a multitude of tiny snow snakes who wriggle free when they smell greed. These tiny snakes are lethal, one bite of their venom stilled these greedy mens’ hearts and froze them for all eternity. Here, come. I grant you entry to see the power we possess so you will not dare to steal from us. The ice sculptures of your friends are very beautiful.’

The men muttered. Some made as if to turn back but the leader spoke again.

‘Men come with me, we must pay our respects to our old friends.’

One replied, ‘Are you mad? They may do the same to us. How can you trust the Old Man of Snow, the Snow Snake and his allies the tiny venomous snakes?’

‘I only know what is right and good,’ replied the humble man.

‘So will it be,’ said several of his followers, but many turned away, retracing their steps back from where they had come.

The few that remained were granted a passage into the mouth of the Snow Snake’s cave. But the snake hissed and rattled his snow tail in a show of extreme displeasure.

The Old Man of snow stamped his snowy boots, and the snake stopped.

Once inside the cave, the humble man and his band of followers saw nothing but ice and snow. They heard no sign of life, no trickle of water, but still they walked on.

As they turned a corner, the cave widened, and they entered a room which was ablaze with a colourful array of magical stones. For a moment even the humble man was tempted to pop one of these magnificent stones in his pocket but then he remembered the Old Man’s warning.

The men began to question their desires. ‘Surely one small stone for each of us wouldn’t be a wicked thing to do?’ they clamoured.

The humble man turned to them in turn and spoke. ‘We are here to save our friends, not to steal. We must save them, or bid them farewell. Follow me.’

With much grumbling and moaning the men finally did as they were told and were rewarded with the sight of the ice sculptures.

How beautiful they were. Each of the trapped men had been saved for all eternity in a moment of rugged, albeit, frozen handsomeness. None of these men would ever age, hunger, or cry, ever again.

The humble man touched each sculpture and openly wept, greeting each by name. His tears fell on the sculptures and caused them to melt, little by little. His followers did the same. Soon the tears flowed so freely that each and every sculpture broke apart to reveal their living friends within.

All were reunited in the most beautiful moment. Hugs and words of regret were shared. They were no longer as rugged, or as handsome as they had been whilst enclosed in ice, but they wept true tears of joy that they lived. They could now go home to their beloved family and friends.

The Old Man bellowed so loudly that he could be heard. ‘Humble man, you are blessed by a natural inclination to fortune and good sense. Your heart is kind. Take one stone – a magical Sphene – back to your village. You are worthy. It will make your harvest plentiful forever more.’

The humble man wept, glad that he had not succumbed to greed’s desire but had been rewarded for his earnestness. He paused for a moment unsure how to proceed. Which stone was a Sphene? His fingers trailed the masses of crystals and alighted on a single one. It was plain in comparison to the rest, a clump of layered plates and flattened wedge-shaped crystals. But when he placed it in his hands it glowed in a dazzling array of colours.

He cried, his friends cried too, and they hugged each other. They started to move back towards the mouth of the cave.

The snow snake hissed. ‘How dare you, Old Man? I thought you were joking! That Sphene is our treasure. My treasure! Stop this immediately, or I will kill them all.’

Inside the cave, there was a rustling noise as a billion tiny snow snakes appeared, hissing in fury they slithered menacingly towards the men. The men clutched their hearts in fear, their eyes wide with panic.

The Old Man didn’t reply. Not one word slipped from his lips. Instead, he blew from his mouth, and continued to blow. The tiny snakes were blown back, tumbling and rolling into snowballs whence they had come. The wind picked up as a flurry of snow began to trickle from the Snow Snake’s body. The men ran as the Snow Snake’s body started to break apart, as small pieces of the entrance of the cave were thrown to the wind.

‘Hurry!’ shouted the Old Man. ‘If you don’t run, you will be crushed under the Snow Snake’s broken cave body.’

The men ran as fast as they could. Just as they exited the mouth of the cave the roof of the snow snake cave began to crumble.

The Snow Snake’s mouth blew apart in a final raging hiss before it crushed back together, closing the entrance to the cave forever more.

The men collapsed to the ground, safe but breathing heavily.

Once the humble man had recovered his breath he spoke. ‘Why did you protect and save us, mere strangers to you, above your companion the snow snake?’

The Old Man of Snow lifted his hand and cupped the area around where his heart would have rested. ‘There is no room for a greedy heart. It is lonely to live alone but it better to live alone than to blight the gift of true magic with greed.’

©M J Mallon

I think you will agree that this a wonderful story and showcases Marjories writing stunningly.

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 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. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. 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.

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.

About The Curse of Time

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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Health – My Gallbladder Operation by M.J. Mallon 2014


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Delighted to welcome author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) to the series with her first post from the archives. I have chosen a health post this week from 2014 as I know that facing any operation is daunting, and if you are waiting for a gallbladder procedure.. this might reassure you. Especially as today the majority are carried out with key hole surgery.

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My Gallbladder Operation by Marjorie Mallon

I was a bit apprehensive when I received my appointment letter for my Gallbladder operation. The date was set as Monday 13th of October, being a bit superstitious the number 13 just didn’t do much to alleviate my fears. On the day of the operation my husband was driving me to Addenbrookes in the early hours of the morning when he suddenly said, “Oh No.” I thought his outburst was most probably due to an announcement about bad traffic ahead, but no of course it couldn’t be that, the NHS were on strike! So as we drove to the hospital I had no idea whether my operation would go ahead as planned. The superstitious no 13, lifted his ugly head and smirked.

I was admitted, given a bed, and everything seemed to be going as planned. The doctors and nurses checked me for everything under the sun, diabetes, high blood pressure, and my medical record was clarified and re-checked over and over again. One thing surprised me, the check for nail polish and makeup, whatever was that in aid of? This one might seem irrelevant but believe me it is not. Your nails and skin are a means to verify that enough oxygen is reaching you whilst you are under. So leave the make up and nail polish at home ladies, oh and any gents too who are so inclined! I met my anaesthetist and was somewhat perturbed when I saw that she was very heavily pregnant. She made a comment about coming in as a patient herself in the next two weeks. Please don’t have your baby today, I silently prayed.

I hadn’t eaten or had any fluid since the night before and my operation wasn’t scheduled until around 3 o’clock. A very chatty member of the hospital staff waited with me while I perspired anxiously. I told him all about my writing journey and my completed book. Then I was called in. No going back. I woke up around 4.20pm and just before I stirred I could have sworn that I was on my computer writing my latest blog post about my experience at the hospital! Trust me to think about writing whilst I was under the surgeon’s knife. Fortunately I didn’t embarrass myself too much, I was a quiet patient, but the guy in the bed next to me was a challenge to say the least. He just wouldn’t stay still when he awoke. The nurses had a difficult job restraining him. I suppose even the quietest of guys may react badly to a general anaesthetic.

I didn’t stay in recovery for long and was quickly transferred back to the original ward. It was a bit of a lonely night as I was all by myself on the ward. Mind you it wasn’t as if I was up to much socialising I had enough trouble going to the toilet! The next morning one of the nurses casually suggested that I might like to wash my face and freshen up a bit. I must have smelt pretty bad and this was her polite way of saying I needed to wash. I really wished that I’d packed some nicely smelling deodorant but all I had was a functional roll on. Still, I was so glad I had packed a dressing gown, a must if you are going in for an operation.

Then a new batch of patients arrived waiting for their operations. I was struck by their positivity and cheerfulness. I felt guilty eating and drinking as they were unable to indulge in either of these pursuits. The aroma of my food must have been distressing. Nevertheless, we were drawn together by this strange experience, it was a club of sorts but not one you would normally want to join. An elderly Italian lady made a big impression upon me. She had been for countless operations before but she just smiled, and talked endlessly. I have never heard anyone talk so much! Even though everything must have been a bit of a challenge for her, she had a walking stick, suffered from dizzy spells, yet she didn’t complain. Even after she returned from her operation she still had so much to say! She gave me a lovely wave and wished me well when she left to go home. I just hope she will be fine too, her arm was limp after the operation and I wonder whether it is fine now? She made light of it, joking that she didn’t think the alien arm belonged to her. I couldn’t believe she was released within a day, what a tough old cookie! Not like me, I stayed overnight, was hardly able to walk after the operation, and had a raised temperature for the first night. An eighty three year old with a walking stick, definitely put me to shame!

Overall surgery is not an experience I would like to repeat in a hurry, but the nurses and doctors did a sterling job. NHS staff shouldn’t need to strike to get a 1% pay rise, they deserve every single penny. I’m relieved that my short stay at Addenbrookes is all over. Hopefully now I’ll be able to eat normally again, a favourite pastime of mine. I can’t wait to tuck into a long awaited Chinese Buffet!

©Marjorie Mallon 2014

I hope that has given you some reassurance about this procedure…

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for many moons: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 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. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations. 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.

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.

About The Curse of Time

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.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie

Website/Blog: https://mjmallon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon
Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon

My thanks to Marjorie for allowing me access to her wonderful archives and I hope you will head over and explore more for yourself. Thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves – The Curse of Time by M. J. Mallon


Delighted to showcase the debut novel by author and book reviewer M.J. Mallon. The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure, which is on pre-order with delivery for August 26th.

About The Curse of Time

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.

Pre-order The Curse of Time: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

About M. J. Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years:  My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/category/a-z-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.
Connect with M.J. Mallon

Website: https://mjmallon.com/
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17063622.M_J_Mallon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon

Thank you very much for dropping by and it would be great if you could share the news of Marjorie’s debut novel. thanks Sally