Darlene Foster's Blog

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I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1), a YA Fantasy/Paranormal by M J Mallon, published by Next Chapter Publishing

The Blurb

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is 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 path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

UK Book Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodstone-Curse-Time-Book-1-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/

US Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bloodstone-M-J-Mallon-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/

Canadian Book Link: https://www.amazon.ca/Bloodstone-M-J-Mallon/dp/B097SQNYP6/

Universal book Link: http://mybook.to/bstmm

Here is my 5-star review:

For someone who doesn’t usually read fantasy, this YA novel caught my interest. The teenage characters in the book are very real with typical issues such as lack of confidence, jealousy, confusion, parental disagreements, and volatile friendships. Amelina comes from a dysfunctional family with a paranormal twist. If she can figure out the curse, perhaps her family could be happy once more.

In her quest, she meets a self-harming girl locked in a mirror, a heartthrob boy with a mean side, a cottage full of amazing crystals and an old woman with sage advice. I like that the story is based on a real clock, the Corpus Chronophage clock, in Cambridge, England. (Chronophage means time-eater). There is some time travel in the story, which I love. There’s a lot happening in this very descriptive book and not everything is explained. But that is because it is the first book in a series. I look forward to reading more about Amelina and her quirky friends.

I received an ARC of this book from the author. The review is my own.

The 2nd in the series, Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Book 2 is coming soon!

M J Mallon by the Corpus Chronophage clock

AUTHOR BIO

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery, heart-warming smile to greet her.

MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and she has written a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

MJ’s motto is…

To always do what you Love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black hearted shadows.

Her favourite genre to write is

Fantasy/magical realism because life would be dull unless it is sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Check out her eclectic blog where she shares her love of reading, reviewing books, writing, and photography: https://mjmallon.com/

AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Pagehttps://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

#ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/


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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

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

Spiritual Sisters: https://www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters

Kyrosmagica Publishing (MJ’s Imprint), Books by MJ Mallon

Pandemic Poetry:  Lockdown Innit

https://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Poetry, Prose and Photography: Mr. Sagittarius

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

An anthology: This Is Lockdown 

Kindle: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Shorter version – Paperback: mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

Excerpt from Bloodstone

My mouth gaped open in surprise. I had waited so long, and here it finally was. I couldn’t contain my excitement, and my hands shook in anticipation of my visit. I breathed in, saturating my lungs until they felt they were about to burst with the deliciousness of this moment. I pondered the realisation that since it revealed itself to me; I sensed that the cottage had made me wait. But why?

I shook off my questions and marvelled instead at the beauty of the quaint old cottage. It had a gated door leading into the garden where many varieties of roses and a fragrant patch of herbs grew. The smells were heavenly. In the front, I spotted a large courtyard filled with bird tables and bird feeders hanging from the trees. Breathless at the beauty, I stood, marvelling in the sights.

I revelled in the sight before me. The cottage sported a round, arched front door. The tiny, shuttered windows and door were a pastel green colour which blended into the landscape, and the stone cottage’s brilliant white exterior colour gleamed. An ornate plaque with angels clustering around the edges like a halo hung next to the door frame. To the right of the door hung another plaque, engraved with gold lettering displaying the name: Crystal Cottage.

I swung round when I heard a sound. The doorstep mat lifted from the ground and spun towards me like a magic carpet. When it reached my side, its coarse bristles formed a mouth that spoke. ‘Open your eyes and you will see.’

I couldn’t believe what I saw. This whole extraordinary experience had me brimming with excitement. I reached out to touch the mat, but it frowned. ‘No touching!’ it said, stiffening. Seeing my confused expression, its bristles softened. ‘Come in! Come in!’ it urged.

I blinked. I struggled to comprehend that I had arrived at the Crystal Cottage of my dreams. I followed the mat’s advice and stepped through the door. Everywhere I looked, a reward of beauty met my eyes. Light reflected off the surfaces of the many crystals and bounced around the room in a kaleidoscope of colour. A myriad of gemstones twinkled at me, winking in a musical symphony of colour, brightness, and warmth. The walls of the cottage twinkled with crystal faceted gems. Their names leaped out at me in quick succession. There were Amethysts, Black Obsidian, Bloodstone, Merlinite, Red Jade, and Honey Calcite, to name a few. Skylights in the ceiling let in rays of sunlight that reflected on the crystals, creating a dazzling display.

The remarkable sight made me feel like crying. I turned in circles, delighted with the sights and sounds. The deceptively large inside of the cottage hid an array of bird cages, housing doves who were bathing in cups filled with rose water. I peered further into the cottage and locked eyes with the owner. She appeared as a delicate, almost bird-like wisp of a person I wouldn’t have noticed if it hadn’t been for her colourful streaked hair. She stood amongst the bird cages, whispering to the doves in a gentle, chirpy sing-song voice.

The tiny woman caught my eye and smiled. ‘I am Leanne, the owner of this dear cottage. Welcome, Amelina. It’s so wonderful to meet you at last! You have been a welcome visitor in my dreams.’ The woman bowed, and smiled wider, adding, ‘No longer a stranger, for here you are before me.’

If you are looking for a fun summer read, this book would be a good choice. And, you don’t have to be young to enjoy young adult fiction!

Today is the last official day of the blog tour and I wish to thank everyone for your amazing support. I hope you have all found new and interesting blogs to follow and made new friends and followers. Thank you to everyone who offered to be part of the tour and a huge thanks to all of you who read, liked, commented and shared the posts. You are all amazing. Today I am being featured on Lisa Day’s blog, Book Time, where she asks me some great questions. Say hi to Lisa, a fellow Canadian who loves words – editing, writing and reading them. She reviews many great books!

Book Time

I am the last stop of the Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady blog tour.

Sadly, my copy of Amanda in Malta hasn’t yet arrived, however, I have been following along with the other 11 bloggers on this blog tour so I got a sense of both Amanda, the main character, and the questions I wanted to ask its creator – Canadian author Darlene Foster.

Foster said growing up on a ranch in Alberta inspired her love of reading and seeing the world. Now retired, she has house in Spain where she spends time with her husband and rescue dogs, Dot and Lia, while writing full time. She also travels, meeting interesting people and getting inspirations for her series about Amanda, a 12-year-old girl who travels the world, learning about the people and culture while solving a mystery. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady is the eighth book in…

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Today the blog tour takes us to Meggie’s Adventures,travel, thank you notes and other stories from Meg King-Sloan. Meg blogs about things she loves. When Meg was younger she had lots of interesting adventures. These included collecting postcards and other souvenirs, watching butterflies, and going to the beach with her family. Some things never change though – she still loves candy (especially chocolate), ice cream and flowers! Sounds like Meg was a bit like Amanda when she was young.

Amanda in Malta by Darlene Foster – Virtual Tour

Darlene Foster is introducing her new book with a virtual blog tour! This is the latest exciting adventure from her Amanda Travels series. If you’d like to see what other bloggers involved in the tour have written you can check out this post from Darlene’s blog.

Darlene explains the purpose of including food in her stories:

Traditional food is important to every culture. I like to have Amanda try the local food when she travels. Children need to know that people eat different food in other parts of the world and they should at least try it. It bothers me when travellers insist on eating food only familiar to them. Amanda likes to cook and try out recipes so she collects ideas as she travels and makes them for her parents. Read more and an excerpt here

https://meggiesadventures.com/2021/06/07/amanda-in-malta-by-darlene-foster-virtual-tour/

Drop in and say Hi to Meg.

Thank you to everyone who has been following along!

The virtual book tour is going well. Today we are visiting Carol Anne from Ireland! I answered a couple of questions and provided an excerpt from the story about the eye of Osiris seen on the fishermen’s boats in Malta. Enjoy!

Therapy Bits

I’m happy to be part of Canadian author Darlene Foster’s launch of her latest book, Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. She has answered a couple of questions and provided a short excerpt of the book.

Why did you choose Malta as the setting for this adventure?

When I started to write this series, my goal was to introduce readers to interesting locations that may not be that well known. Malta is one such place. Its not a country many people get to or know much about. My husband and I visited Valletta, the capital, for half a day while on a cruise. We loved it and decided to return for a week a year later. While we were there, I kept saying, Amanda would love it here. So, it was not surprising that I choose Malta for Amanda´s next adventure

How do you do your research for each book?

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Today on the blog tour I am featured on Nancy Klein’s blog American Writer in Spain, where I talk about choosing names for characters. Nancy blogs about life lessons and life in general. She has also recently launched a great book for Young Adults, Torn Between Worlds: an illegal immigrant’s journey to find herself.

US Author Nancy Klein in Spain

Darlene Foster’s latest book in her Amanda series for young readers


How do you choose names for your characters and do you think names are important?

I believe names are important. When I was expecting my daughter, I asked my son what we should name the new baby. He said, “Don´t we have to see what the baby looks like first?”

Like naming a baby, it is important to put some thought into picking a name for a character as he or she has to live with it for a long time. I don’t care for names that are difficult to pronounce or spell. I used Amanda as the name of my main character as that was the name of my granddaughter who was twelve at the time I began writing the first book. It was only going to be a working name but it suited the character so I…

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Nex on the tour is Kim at By Hook or By Book (don’t you just love the name of her blog!) We talk about Amanda and how she learns and grows by travelling. Kim’s blog is full of great reviews, humour, videos and interesting articles. Definetly worth checking out.

By Hook Or By Book

B14C7669-C775-418C-A092-ED65C99705E9

It is my honor to be part of the virtual blog tour for Darlene Foster’s delightful children’s book Amanda in Malta, which is the eighth book in her Amanda Travels series. If you missed my review, you can find it here:

https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/2021/04/02/amanda-in-malta-the-sleeping-lady-by-darlene-foster-5-0-stars/

Here is Darlene to give you some additional insight about Amanda.

Can you tell us more about Amanda?
Amanda is a twelve-year-old girl from Calgary, Alberta. She is the only child of Evelyn and Don Ross, both accountants. She loves to read, is interested in history and enjoys cooking. Her parents work long hours so she likes trying different recipes for them, especially ones from places she has visited. She is inquisitive and kind and always wants to help people. This gets her in trouble sometimes. She loves animals but has no pets of her own. Once she travelled to visit her Aunt and Uncle in the United…

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The virtual book tour is moving right along. Today I am a guest on Anne Mehrling’s blog where I talk about some of the animals in my stories. Anne blogs about life in the mountains of North Carolina with humour and great pictures. She also writes about living in England for two years with her husband and then young children. Very entertaining.

Mehrling Muse

An exciting new book, Amanda in Malta, by my friend Darlene Foster has just been released. Instead of a regular book tour, she is having a virtual tour via blog posts. You can participate just by reading this!

Amanda in Malta is the eighth book in the Amanda Travel series. Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents. Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these…

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The next stop on the blog tour for Amanda in Malta is at Miriam Hurdle’s blog, The Shower of Blessings. Miriam is sharing her review as well as my tips on writing a series. Miriam, a great supporter of other authors, has written a children’s book as well as a book of poems. Stop by and say hello to Miriam.

The Showers of Blessings

I’m excited to have Darlene Foster on my blog to share with you about her new release Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8). When Amanda turned twelve, she made a wish as she blew the birthday cake candles. Here she is with her wishes come true – traveling all over the world.

I was curious about writing the Amanda series, so I asked Darlene to share with you her experience.

Is it difficult to write a series?

Writing a series can be fun. I love getting to know the main characters, Amanda Ross and her friend Leah Anderson. But I worry that the stories might get too predictable. I know my readers expect some things to be familiar, but each book needs to come with something new to keep it fresh and entertaining.

Coming up with new settings is easy for me as I…

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The next stop on the virtual book tour is from South Africa where the amazing Robbie Cheadle lives. Robbie is a superhero woman. She has a full time, demanding job, is raising two teenage boys, bakes and decorates fabulous cakes and is a prolific writer of poetry, children’s books, short stories and a paranormal historic saga. Thank you, Robbie for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate in the blog tour, read and review Amanda in Malta, as well as ask me a couple of questions. Check out Robbie’s blog and her many books.

Robbie's inspiration

Today, I am delighted to welcome talented children’s author, Darlene Foster, to Robbie’s Inspiration to answer a few questions about her new book Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping lady. I’ve also shared my review of this terrific book for middle school kids.

Amanda and Leah seem to be very good friends. How did they meet?

Amanda first met Leah when she visited the United Arab Emirates in Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask. Leah lived in the same apartment block as Amanda’s aunt and uncle. The girls got along right from the start even though they are quite different. Leah is English and well-travelled as her father’s job takes them to many countries. After the adventure in the UAE, Leah and her parents invite Amanda to spend a week with them in Spain at their timeshare. She also visits Leah in England and Leah visits Amanda in Alberta. Whenever they…

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It always seems like such a long time between the day you type The End and when your book is actually released to the public. But when that day arrives, it is always exciting, no matter how many books you have written. Things are different this year so my launch for Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be virtual. At least for now. I wish to thank all the wonderful people who have offered to help me with this virtual launch and those who have posted reviews and guest posts leading up to this day. I am one lucky girl to have so many people on my street team!!

Jacqui Murray is starting off the tour. Jacqui so kindly chatted with me on ZOOM and gave me some super ideas on how to do a virtual blog tour. She writes amazing prehistoric sagas and offers great writing and technical advice on her blog. As well as a glowing review, she asked me a couple of questions and included an excerpt from Amanda in Malta. Hop over and enjoy.

Another Great Amanda Travel Book

Posted on  by JACQUI MURRAY

I’m so excited to be part of Darlene Fosters launch of her eleventh Amanda book–Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. This is a wonderful series that take kids all over the world to not only solve mysteries but visit some of the planet’s exquisite sights.

Before we get to my review of this book (spoiler: This Amanda story is great) and let you read an excerpt that will whet your appetite, I had the opportunity chat with Darlene about this book:

Why did you choose Malta as the setting for this adventure?

When I started to write this series, my goal was to introduce readers to interesting locations that may not be that well known. Malta is one such place. It’s not a country many people get to or know much about. My husband and I visited Valletta, the capital, for half a day while on a cruise. We loved it and decided to return for a week a year later. While we were there, I kept saying, “Amanda would love it here.” So, it was not surprising that I choose Malta for Amanda´s next adventure.

Read more here

https://worddreams.wordpress.com/2021/05/11/another-great-amanda-travel-book/

Here is the schedule for the month long blog launch tour. These are all amazing blogs and well worth checking out.

May 11 Jacquie Murray https://worddreams.wordpress.com/

May 15 Robbie Cheadle https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

May 18 Miriam Hurdle https://theshowersofblessings.com/

May 21 Anne Mehrling https://amehrling.com/

May 24 Kim Barker https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/

May 27 Nancy Blodgett Klein https://spainwriter.home.blog/

May 30 Shirley Healy https://therapybits.com/

June 2 Debra Purdy Kong http://www.debrapurdykong.com/

June 5 Michele Somerville https://michelesomerville.blog/

June 7 Meg King-Sloan https://meggiesadventures.com/

June 11 Lisa Day https://booktime584.wordpress.com/

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. I am feeling the love!
One of the colourful doors and unique door knockers of Malta


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