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!
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!
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:
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.
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
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.