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Poetry Friday ~ A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

12 Apr

Hello and welcome, everyone!

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me and I was not able to do as much writing as I wanted, so I plan to spend the day and weekend catching up. Please enjoy my story series, A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, if you haven’t already done so and I will see you next week for another Poetry Friday. Happy Good Friday, Passover and Easter!


 

Doing the right thing

is hard when you do not know

what the right thing is

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Illustration by Melanie Delon

 

Today I’m sharing Part 1 of a short story series called A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. I hope you enjoy it.

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Who falls in love with a ghost?

 

I recall the first time I saw Abigail. She wasn’t attractive in my eyes. Her skin was as pale as an ivory mist. Her limp, blonde hair reflected merely a glint of sun. Her lips were thin and uninviting, but when she glanced my way with heavy-lidded sea green eyes, she captured my soul so completely I couldn’t look away. I should have looked away.

 

I had a task to do–so I watched. Abigail had a sweet way about her that lured me further into her world. Was it possible to take part in her world? I observed her. This girl did caring things for those around her and had a generous heart. Oddly, she never seemed to expect anything in return. Showing kindness to animals and nature was her way. She enjoyed singing, although she wasn’t very good at staying in tune. I spent hours, days, and then weeks watching her–trying to find something that would make my errand easier. I could not. What was it about this creature that held me captive?

 

Abigail was good, but also an odd and clumsy creature. I lost count of how many times I had to swiftly cover my mouth, fearing that my laughter would betray my presence. Once, she picked up a tarantula spider. It appeared to prance happily in place on her palm. She gazed at it wide-eyed and giggled with glee. Then she dropped it. The spider shattered when it hit the ground. She wailed for hours.

 

Another time she witnessed a small boy feeding bread to a swan. She ran to them and picked up a piece of bread lying by the boy’s feet. She attempted to feed the swan at the same time the boy did, but instead, she clumsily struck the swan’s beak, making it irate. She gasped as the angry bird took the boy’s arm in its beak and pounded his small limb with one of its massive wings. Abigail screamed for help and managed to pull the boy away, but not before the swan had broken his arm. The boy ran away to his parents, red-faced and howling, his arm dangling by his side. She dropped to the ground and created a puddle with her guilt and sorrow. She did not eat for days. That’s when I finally approached her.

 

“Why do you starve yourself?” I asked. She jumped and stared at me. “Do you wish to die?”

 

“No, I wish to live,” she responded, her eyes wide and pale lips trembling. “I hurt a small boy and deserve to suffer.”

 

“You did no such thing. The bird hurt the boy, but his arm is healing well. He plays happily as we speak, regardless of the cast he wears. You have no need to go on tormenting yourself.”

 

“How do you know this?” she asked, looking at me askance.

 

Thinking quickly I responded, “I was told about what had happened to the boy, and I just saw him minutes before I ran into you.”

 

She stared at me, brows crumbled and eyes squinted, and then she smiled faintly. “I’m glad to know this, thank you. My name is Abigail.”

 

“Then you must nourish yourself, Abigail.”

 

I looked around. A red fruit hanging from a nearby tree caught my eye. I picked it and handed it to her. She extended her hand slowly and took it. She bit into it, repeatedly holding the ripened, sweet fruit with both hands. She devoured it in no time. As she swallowed the last morsel, I wiped a bit of dribble off her chin. Her grateful smile turned her cheeks the color of an orchid rose.

 

I chuckled at how her face lit up. “My name is Azrael,” I told her. I’m not sure why. I reveal my name to few.

 

“It’s nice to meet you, Azrael. Would you like to walk with me?”

 

 “Yes. This forest is quite beautiful. I have always enjoyed hiking here. The smells, the sounds–fascinate me!”

 

She took my hand as we began our stroll.

 

“This beautiful place can also be quite dangerous,” I said. “Doesn’t that scare you?”

 

“No,” she said, her face as innocent and pure as a daisy.

 

We continued walking. She stopped to smell wildflowers, drink water from a small waterfall that emptied into a noisy river, to point at birds she recognized and insects. I thought today would be the day, but torrents of crystalline water gushed, white fluffy clouds whipped across intense cerulean skies, daffodils vibrant as stars quivered and danced in the wind. It was much too lively a day for death to intrude.

 

“I must leave now.”

 

“So soon?” She sighed heavily and her body slumped.

 

“The sun will set soon. Perhaps you should go home before it becomes dark and you can’t find your way back.”

 

She nodded with a frown. “Goodbye. It was nice exploring the forest with you. Thank you for a lovely time,” she said as she departed.

 

I rushed in the opposite direction. When I was sure to be far enough away, I crumbled to the ground.

 

“Why? Why must I carry out this burden?” I cried to the heavens. “There is no malice in her. She is a lamb!” I rubbed a deep burning ache in my chest as large drops fell from my eyes. I touched my cheek and looked with amazement at my wet fingers. A voice in my head reassured me that my daunting task was for the best. I rose from the ground and with dragging feet left the forest. 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-Azrael-angel of death-story-Vashti Q-blog tour-virtual_book_tour-son of the serpent

Illustration by AStoKo

 

Be sure to read part 2 and the finale of A Time To Mourn And A Time To Dance

PART 2

PART 3 – FINALE

Book Tour: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

24 Jan

Hi, everyone! I’m excited because today I have the privilege to host talented and creative author, C. S. Boyack. Enjoy!

CS Boyack-author-voyage of the lanternfish-blog tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-craig boyack

 

Thanks for the invitation, Vashti. You’re welcome to promote at my place any time you like. I’m here to talk about my newest book, Voyage of the Lanternfish.

I try to make every tour post unique, to give people a reason to read the post. This time the topic is some of the big decisions that went into this story. All authors have to make these kinds of decisions, and I’m interest to see if others faced similar things in drafting their stories.

I’ve written before about the plate of peas approach, where you scrape options away until the peas that remain are your story. That’s kind of the topic here.

My big decisions were Earth, or a fantasy world? Cutting throats or a bit more compassion. And finally, “Ere ye gonna write a whole novel wi nought but pirate speak, lad?”

One of the things on my mind was distancing myself from the most popular pirate franchise in history. I love Captain Jack, but this isn’t intended to be fan fiction. I decided to create my own world.

Part of this was to avoid going to places like Port Royal, Tortuga, and the rest. There may be some similarities, but I want my world to be bigger and contain different possibilities. I may have pulled a fast one on naming an island. Tortuga means turtle or tortoise. It’s the pirate stronghold. I needed one of these too, so I called mine Lagarto, which means lizard. I changed one reptile for another.

I also took my crew to places similar to Asia, the Mediterranean Coast, and even some wild moors.

I stayed consistent with the countries, even if readers don’t pick up on it. The bad guys are from a country much like England. There is a northern country that never gets visited, but all the ties to it are Germanic. This includes the original name of the ship that will become Lanternfish. My Asian part of the world is a mash up of several cultures. I stayed mostly Chinese, but allowed some drift into other areas too. It’s a fantasy world and this is one of the luxuries.

Pirates weren’t good people in reality. They came from all walks of life, but the situation that appealed to me was desperation. Common folk were treated like animals by those in power. Some of them developed a bit of backbone and rebelled. These people are the bulk of my pirate crew.

There were some looking to get rich quick, others who were more interested in striking a blow than gaining riches. In a novel, it’s a balancing act. I need readers to like my characters and be on their side. I went with the compassion, but a tempered version of it. No torturing prisoners, or walking the plank in this story. They are pirates, so there are some violent moments involved.

When it comes to pirate speak, I love it. However, it’s a nightmare to write, and spell check doesn’t like it either. This is one of those things that could drive readers insane too.

I chose to write it like any other book, but there are some secondary characters who drift into pirate speak. I ain’t afraid to butcher the English language a bit… in small doses. I want enough to get the point across without burning out my readers’ eyes trying to get through it all.

Readers will have to decide if these were the right decisions, of course. I love the story, but I could be a bit biased.

I hope your readers will give Lanternfish a chance. I’ll drop off all the important stuff for Vashti to add to the post.

How about it, you authors out there? What similar circumstances have you faced in writing your own books? I’d love to get some conversations going in the comments.

***

Voyage of the Lanternfish-C S Boyack-author-spotlight-novel-amazon-vashti quiroz vega-vashti q

 

Blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link:

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

 

Bio:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

blog tour-book blogger-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-C S Boyack-Lisa Burton_radio

Connect with C. S. “Craig” Boyack on social media:

Blog: Entertaining Stories

Twitter 

Amazon Author Page

BookBub

Goodreads

Facebook

I hope you enjoyed today’s feature. Check out Craig’s fascinating blog and follow him on social media. He’s a very talented author and a great supporter of other indie writers.

 

Poetry Friday ~ There’s something wrong with Emma.

18 Jan

Hi, everyone! I hope you all have had a great start to the new year.

 

First, I have some news. I have a new short story available on Amazon titled, Memoir of a Mad Woman. Today’s poem (my first attempt at a Sonnet) was inspired by this story. Memoir of a Mad Woman is a fictional memoir loosely based on the case studies of a female Psychopath and it’s aimed at an 18+ audience.

Mystery and Attract are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

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I can’t compare you to another girl.

You are an enigma that frightens me.

In your gleaming eyes I see rough winds whirl,

yet your smile makes me wonder what you see.

In life alluring souls are born to shine,

and everyone dances in their sunlight.

Except you, because you plan her decline.

Perhaps she’s not what she seems in your sight?

You see things in ways that others cannot.

Crazy thoughts in your head are real to you,

but in the “real” world would be a long shot.

Your madness is a thing to look into.

So long as you can breathe, and crazy spurs,

you’ll sing a deadly song of gray to her.

“Emma had nothing to lose but her mind.”

Blurb:

A short story from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Raised by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree…
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this sad but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

memoir of a mad woman-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Poetry_Friday-book_review-the writer next door

I would like to share a wonderful review written by Author, D.L. Finn.

“Memoir of a Mad Woman” is a short, but chilling read. You’re taken into the mind of a young girl, Emma, who had a very unstable upbringing. Emma ends up in an orphanage. This is where she’s finally pushed completely over the edge. It’s brutal and almost unthinkable what follows. The characters feel real, which makes it all the more terrifying in their cruelty. How Emma responds to what she considers a complete betrayal, you can’t help but to root for her and feel her pain. I thoroughly enjoyed this psychological thriller and felt like I understood her madness. I highly recommend this well-written dark short story.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Take care!

 

 

 

 

Poetry Friday ~ Congregate & Passion

10 Aug

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

 

Today I wrote a two sentence Horror/Romance story and a Haiku. I’m not sure if the combination of these can be called a Haibun. I also wrote a Tanka. I hope you enjoy.

the-last-emoji-Sprint-Poetry_Friday-haiku-haibun-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-texting and driving-poems-Colleen Chesebro-Tanka_Tuesday

Sprint Turned a Wrecked Car Into a Mangled Emoji for This ‘Don’t Text and Drive’ Sculpture.

Each night on the stroke of midnight her young, dead husband would text her. His final message, the one found beside the body at the crash site, read, ‘Stop texting me. I’m driving’.

Final rendezvous

Fire ignited your obsession

A text snuffed it out

On a less tragic note . . . 

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-poems-haibun-haiku-tanka-romance-Colleen Chesebro-Tanka_Tuesday

Soft rosy petals

Your lips pressing against mine

Under a blanket of stars

In a place where there is love

Rendezvous in the moonlight

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-romance-poems-Facebook-Haiku-Haibun-Tanka-Vashti Q-Tanka_Tuesday

Congregate and Passion are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Thanks for the visit and have a happy Friday!

Don’t text and drive. 

Poetry Friday ~ Happy & Morose

3 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

oak_tree-Poetry_Friday-haiku-haibun-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Facebook-The Writer Next Door-Tanka_Tuesday-Colleen Chesebro

There once was a tall oak tree who lived in a small forest. Night and day it complained about its noisy leaves. It protested when the leaves sang songs with the wind. It grumbled about the music they made when it rained.

One day a blue jay landed on one of its limbs and overheard the oak gripe about its noisy leaves.

“You know,” the blue jay said. “I once knew a cactus who lived alone in the middle of the desert. He was a sad and lonely thing with no one to talk to. The snakes, scorpions and other desert creatures avoided him, for he had sharp spikes all over its skin.”

“What has that to do with me,” the tree grumbled.

“Well, every time I land on one of your branches I hear you complain about your leaves.”

“So what,” the tree said.

“The last thing the cactus told me before it died of a lonely heart was that it wished its prickles were leaves, so that it may hear their melody,” the bird said.

“If I never hear another leaf sing I would be a happy tree!”

“That is a horrible thing to say,” the bird said, fluttering its blue feathers. “Your leaves are beautiful and the rhythm they make with the wind and the rain is enchanting. They also attract all kinds of birds, snakes, and squirrels. Your days and nights are filled with cheerful pieces of music, laughter and conversation.

“I don’t need music, laughter or conversation. I just want silence!” the tree yelled.

The bird flew away.

One hot, dry summer day a fire broke out in the small forest. Some of the animals escaped the wildfires but many were killed. The crown fire burned the trees up their length to the very top, and few survived.

The tall grumbling oak did survive, but it was no more than a scorched and leafless trunk with naked limbs. None of the nearby trees survived and were chopped down. The colorful birds and animals were gone and only soot and smoke remained. The oak’s world was gray and silent.

Months passed in a blur. The oak tree began to miss the happy lilting of its leaves and their verdant color. “If only I could hear them sing once more I’d be a happy tree.”

A year passed in the blink of an eye and the sad and lonely oak tree was ready to give up. He thought about the beautiful lush canopy it once had, full of lively green leaves. He missed their songs and music and the birds and animals they invited.

Every night the oak prayed. “Mother Gaia, please return my leaves, so that I may hear them sing with the wind.” But every morning he awoke to bare branches. The pain of living in silence, in complete solitude was too much to bear.

As the life began to seep out of its heartwood, he noticed a little green sprout coming out of the ground a couple of feet from him.

“Little sprout,” the oak tree said. “Grow tall with a strong heartwood and a huge canopy made verdant by a myriad of leaves. Always be grateful for what you have. And, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.” And with those words the oak tree left the world of the living.

Poetry_Friday-Poetry-haiku-haibun-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Colleen Chesebro-Tanka_Tuesday-Twitter-short_story

 

Do not wish away

the cheerful things in your life

on your grumpy days

 

Happy and Morose are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Enjoy your day!

 

Blog Tour: The Curse of Time by M J Mallon

14 Apr

Hello, everyone! 

 

So, I had surgery on Monday––nothing life-threatening, but surgery nonetheless. Therefore, I’ve been a bit off my game this week. I apologize for the lack of ‘Haiku Friday’ this week, I will try to make up for it next Friday.

the curse of time-m j mallon-novel-fantasy-book-blog-tour-the writer next door-vashti q-vashti quiroz vega-bookworm

I have a special treat for you today. Author, M J Mallon recently released the paperback version of her book, ‘The Curse of Time’ and it is my pleasure to feature her and her book. I’ll turn it over to her now. Please give her a warm welcome.

M J Mallon-author-blog_tour-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega

In Her Words . . . 

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: 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 superheroes! 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.

young_adult_fantasy-novel-curse of time-M J Mallon-author-book-blog_tour-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-writer

(Click On Image To Purchase)

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Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Q & A with Marje

1/ Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they are inspired?

When I have an inspiring idea I am driven by a demonic desire to write! With The Curse of Time, a flood of possibilities kept bouncing around in my brain and I could hardly keep up! Last week, I had a similar eureka moment. I was driving on my way to work and an idea for a ghost story hit me (fortunately no cars were damaged in the production of this story.) When this happens I get very excited and I am compelled by a sense of urgency to write my thoughts down. That’s a dangerous process when you’re driving!

2/ Do you prefer writing over reviewing the work of others.

It depends. I’d say I love both. When I read an exceptionally well-written book that stirs my deepest emotions I adore that feeling. I often cry. My tears might be tears of sadness triggered by a sad passage but sometimes I’m crying because I’m immersed in a book that speaks to me through the author’s voice. Equally, when I write a powerful paragraph I have the same depth of feeling. There is nothing like the power of words, words can thrill, shock and transport you to places you have never been before.

3/ How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It has been such a phenomenal experience. It will be interesting to see how my writing process will change with book two –The Curse of Time is a series. The next book’s framework has already been written. Recently, I had the idea of incorporating the Midsummer Chronopage (which features a mythological fly,) into book two so I will be adding some extra passages/chapters to the narrative and looking at how this fits with the plot as a whole. Also I will be paying attention to constructive, well-written reviews to see how my readership responds to my book.

The Writer Next Door-blog_tour-novel-the curse of time-m j mallon-author-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-book-YA_novel

Photo courtesy of Dr. John C. Taylor OBE:

4/ Do you base your characters on real people?

Some of my characters are based on facets of one or two people amalgamated together! I love observing people’s idiosyncrasies; listening to conversations, seeing how people dress, walk, move… From these impressions I create a character bank in my mind for future projects.

5/ What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

I’d like to give up full-time work! Working part-time would be ideal; I’d still have lots of anecdotes from my working life to inspire me to create characters. I currently work as a receptionist and I meet lots of visitors from different backgrounds and cultures. This is a perfect job for a nosy writer!

6/ Does a bad review affect your writing?

I haven’t had a really bad review and I hope this continues. My reviews range in star rating, some reviewers have ratedThe Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone five stars, some four and a few have rated it three stars. I think this demonstrates the authenticity of my reviewers. If I had all five star reviews I’d be suspicious! I do believe that reading a book is and should be a very subjective experience. Some people might not like my book, I get that, I just hope that the majority do!

7/ What’s next? Are you working on another book?

I am working on the second book in The Curse of Time series which I have entitled, The Curse of Time Book 2 – Golden Healer. In the second book in the series expect the growing friction between the protagonist Amelina and the antagonist Ryder to escalate. Ryder will introduce the reader to his birthplace, a place you would never want to visit and he will reveal aspects of his darker, shadowy side which have been partially hidden by his hypnotic personality. Be prepared to fly away with The Grasshopper to meet the most twisted rollercoaster you have ever imagined.

Beware-Time is indeed a cruel, relentless monster.

Esme and The Creature-illustration-book-M J Mallon-YA-novel-blog_tour-characters

Illustrations by Carolina Russo

 

Fun facts about Marje:

  1. I wish I could be wonder woman or MJ from Spiderman.
  2. I adore crystals, alternative therapies, the unusual and the strange. I’m a qualified Aromatherapist, Reflexologist, (I no longer work as a therapist instead I devote my spare time to reading, writing, blogging and reviewing.)
  3. Some say that I am a white witch…my blogging friends confer and have included me in the Sisters of The Fey, a writerly collaboration.
  4. My husband can’t remember asking me to marry him and neither can I. He suspects I cast a spell on him!
  5. I have travelled to many foreign destinations, including: Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Rome, Venice, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Portugal. I would love the funds to travel some more!
  6. I currently work as a receptionist in a massive building, home to twenty companies. In quiet moments I observe peoples’ mannerisms, listen to snippets of gossip and dream up new story ideas.
  7. I love food! Asian food and anything spicy, yum…My mother is Malaysian and my father is Scottish so I grew up with a very varied diet.
  8. My motto is to do what you love! Stay true to your heart’s desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.
  9. I studied Communication Studies at University, (marketing, media studies, public relations, etc.) My degree is coming in mighty handy now.
  10. I love cats but don’t own one (my husband and daughter are allergic,) so I adopted a virtual black cat called Lily who looks like my black cat character Shadow in my book: https://mjmallon.com/2017/05/17/shadow-welcomes-lily-the-cat-to-kyrosmagica/

 

Social Media:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

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Enjoy the new week!

Haiku Friday – Singe & Deep

5 Jan

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you are all keeping warm. The temperature in S. Florida is 55º F and it’s midday and the sun is blazing! 😮  To us, Floridians that’s like -10º F, anywhere else. Ironically, today’s prompt words from Ronovan Writes are Singe and Deep. Just reading the word singe warms me a little, but it also gives me an eerie feeling. With that being said, here’s my contribution for this week’s prompt challenge.

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“The house is on fire, and it isn’t my fault.” Emily crossed her thin arms as she stared at the burning house. She stood wide-eyed with red lips pursed.

The young female police officer in charged of her, observed her for a while. “Are you okay? I know this is a terrible experience for a ten year old girl to go through.”

The little girl didn’t look her way. She blinked a long blink and gave her a one shoulder shrug. Then she nodded her head ‘yes’, but said, “No, I don’t think so.”

The policewoman tilted her head and furrowed her brow. “I’m sorry, I know it’s got to be so hard for you. You can rest assured that the fireman are doing everything in their power to rescue your mother from the fire.”

Emily pressed her lips together, narrowed her deep-set chocolate brown eyes and then gazed at her like a puppy dog. “I left my scrunchy and my favorite teddy bear in the house. Do you think they’re burning right now?”

The policewoman stared at her and narrowed her eyes. She rubbed the nape of her neck and squatted down to be at eye level with the girl. She took Emily by the shoulders and turned her, so that they faced each other. “I think you should come with me. I can take you to the hospital where you can be properly looked after. You shouldn’t be here.”

Emily frowned and wrested her shoulders from her. She turned away and continued to stare at the house engulfed in flames. “Once I had a pet hamster. He accidentally walked into our fireplace. He made the strangest sounds as he burned––it was a he and his name was Agamemnon. Do you know how long it took me to learn that name? I was only six then, but that’s the name my mother wanted to give him. She couldn’t even let me name my own pet.” She grumbled the last sentence. “I would have named him, Apple, because he was round and had red hair like mine.” Her alabaster skin flushed making her freckles appear darker. She lowered her eyebrows and squinted her eyes. “Agamemnon died quickly and stunk up the whole house!” She turned to look at the officer. “Do you think my mom will stink like that, as she burns?”

The woman jumped to a stand and looked at the girl with a shocked expression.

Emily turned her sight to the burning house again. “I’m sure it will take much longer for my mother to die, because she’s bigger. She may stink up the whole block.” She crinkled her pixie-like nose.

“Come with me.” The officer took her by the hand and pulled her toward her squad car.

“No!” Emily screamed. “I want to stay here! I want to see.” She wore a hostile facial expression. She pulled her hand from the woman’s hand and took a few steps closer to the house. Her small chest heaved with every breath. She raised her chin and shoved her hands in the front pockets of her jeans.

The policewoman’s eyebrows bumped together in a worried scowl. She minced her way up to her and stood silently by her side. Her eyes were fixed on the girl and squinted in a furtive manner.

A fireman covered in soot and coughing approached the police officer. He took off his fireman hat and ran his hands through his hair. His face was black with residue from the intense fire, but his agonized expression was clearly seen. He gave Emily a grim look before turning to the officer again. He shook his head. “We did everything we could, but we couldn’t save her.” He lowered his voice some more and moved closer to the policewoman. “The fire got to her before the smoke. She burned to death. It was a gruesome sight.” He turned to Emily who was staring in their direction. “I’m sorry, kid.” He gestured goodbye to the officer and hurried away.

The policewoman wrapped her arms around her body. Her breaths were shallow and rapid. “I’m so sorry, Emily. The firemen did everything they could, but––”

“I know!” Emily interrupted her. “I heard everything the fireman said, even when he whispered.”

The police officer stared at the little girl with eyes glistening with pity, but her expression quickly turned to shock.

A grin spread slowly across Emily’s face, moving all her freckles.

After the first death

there is no other, you see.

Fire is complete

 

“Too many logs can squelch a fire. Flames need room to breathe.”

~Vashti Q

 

Singe and Deep are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

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Enjoy your day and stay warm!

Haiku Friday – Pink & Shell

21 Jul

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“She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in.”

~J Iron Word

An enchanting mermaid swam through the oceans of the world trying to forget her past. You see, not long ago she found a young man resting on a strip of sand punctuated by palm trees, and it was love at first sight. She lured him to sea and they swam together. They kissed and caressed, as they laughed giddy with pleasure. She held him tight and plunged into the depths, failing to remember in cruel bliss that even lovers drown.

So she swam and swam, all the while the distance she created did not relieve her heartache. She came to a mystical land of pink sandy beaches. Relieved to be far from the terrain of men she rested. The ocean sighed and brought in the tide and as she breathed the salty air she felt a stir in her middle. She rubbed her belly and felt it pop. Soon after, she realized she was with child.

Although the child would be offspring to the one she had lost at sea––the one whose blinding smile still burned in her eyes––she swore to the ocean she would always care for it. But when a male babe was born in the likeness of her lost love she did not know how she would keep her promise. Every day she fed the babe and cared for him, only leaving him at night when she returned to the sea. She always left him sleeping, swaddled in palm fronds in a small trench she dug near the water.

Days turn to weeks and as the little male child grew, so did her suffering for he reminded her of the lover she held too long underwater. Finally, one night she prayed to the ocean goddess asking for help. After hours of tearful prayers she went into the sea to sleep with the coral. The next morning she awoke and swam dutifully to the pink shore to feed and care for her child.

When she arrived to the area where she had left him for the night––he wasn’t there. Swaddled in palm fronds was a large conch shell. She picked it up and examined it in her hand. It was the most exquisite shell she had ever laid eyes on. A soft, mellifluous sound escaped the shell. The mermaid lifted it to her ear and heard the voice of the ocean goddess, “This is your baby boy. He shall be easier to care for now.”

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She danced with coral

Happy as a clam with pearl

Till in love she fell

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Pink and Shell are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

 


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Have a happy Friday, everyone!

 

Spotlight: Hugh W. Roberts

22 May

Welcome to my blog, everyone! It is a happy Monday indeed because I have a wonderful guest today, Author Hugh W. Roberts.

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Hugh is one of the sweetest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet and he is also a talented writer. He writes about all kinds of everyday life. Nothing too serious, mostly about the little things in life and how important they can be to all of us. Some of his posts are humorous while others may bring a tear to your eye.

Hugh spends his days writing, reading, walking, cycling and likes to relax in front of the television with a glass of red wine. He’s always been a morning person and does most of his writing during the day.

Hugh’s first book ‘Glimpses‘ is a collection of 28 short stories that allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories.

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In his words . . . 

My name is Hugh, and I live in both the town of Abergavenny and the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

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I have always enjoyed writing and the fact I suffer from a mild form of dyslexia has not stopped me. Yes, I get things wrong with my reading and writing but I now always find those mistakes humorous and always laugh about it. I no longer allow dyslexia get in my way. Now in my fifties, I thought it about time I let my writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for me to do this. I lead a very happy life and always try to stay positive. I share my life with my wonderful Civil Partner, John, and our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Toby, who I both cherish with all my heart.

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I write about life because I find it so fascinating. I have many stories to tell, some of which I have started to put into a book. I think my life has been incredible and I want to share it with anyone that wants to listen. I am also a wonderful listener and I love to be interactive with other people. I guess you could say I am a ‘people person.’

Hugh’s book Glimpses has gotten many wonderful reviews and it’s available on Amazon as a beautiful paperback or eBook.

Check out Hugh’s blog at: Hugh’s Views & News – A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

You can also connect with Hugh on social media:

Twitter

Instagram

Google+

YouTube

 

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

 

Haiku Friday – Secret & Burn

3 Mar

Welcome! It’s Haiku Friday!

Secret and Burn are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

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Just One Kiss by SatelliteGhost (DeviantArt)

Our secret exposed

Romance reduced to ashes

I still burn for you

And will love you like a wolf

Secretly adores the moon

A woman, against her better judgement, entered into a relationship with a married man. She’s smart and knows relationships of this type rarely workout, if ever, but there was something about this man. She hoped things would end differently for her although, every fiber of her being warned her that it wouldn’t.

Now, the secret of their affair has been exposed and the man she had fallen in love with is begging his wife to forgive him. His words, ‘It was a mistake. She means nothing to me! You’re all that matters in my life. I love you. You are my wife.’ burned a hole in her chest that may never be healed.

Despite everything she saw and heard, regardless of the fact that he had abandoned and forgotten her and lives happily with his wife, in spite of the humiliation she endured, she still loved him and she missed their time together.

This is the lesson, while she continues to be secretly in love with this man, like the wolf’s love for the moon, her love will be unrequited. It’s best to respect another’s marriage/relationship even if they don’t, because it never ends well.

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Have a happy Friday!