Book Review: Amaskan’s Blood (Boahim #1) By Raven Oak

Author: Raven Oak
Pages: 441
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: October 15th, 2016
Publisher: Grey Sun Press

Raven Oak, Book Review

Blurb

Her name was Adelei.

She was a master in her field, one of the feared Order of Amaska. Those who were a danger to the Little Dozen Kingdoms wound up dead by her hand. The Order sends her deep into the Kingdom of Alexander, away from her home in Sadai, and into the hands of the Order’s enemy.

The job is nothing short of a suicide mission, one serving no king, no god, and certainly not Justice. With no holy order to protect her, she tumbles dagger-first into the Boahim Senate’s political schemes and finds that magic is very much alive and well in the Little Dozen Kingdoms.

While fighting to unravel the betrayal surrounding the royal family of Alexander, she finds her entire past is a lie, right down to those she called family. They say the truth depends on which side of the sword one stands. But they never said what to do when all the swords are pointing at you.

Amidst her enemies, in a land from the darkest reaches of her past, she must decide if she is to be more than another brainwashed puppet. No matter her choice, she must fight to do what is just and right to save the people of the Little Dozen.

Review
5 Stars

Amaskan’s Blood is an exciting epic fantasy filled with amazing adventures and wonderful characters. Everything is well planned and there’re so much happening in this book.

Adelei is the main character and she is y far my favorite character. She is such a strong character but not the perfect type, she is flawed but amazing at the same time.
The author did an amazing job with the world building and even more so with the characters. Each character brings a new complexity and uniqueness to the story, even the villain was written amazingly that you are always having your doubts about him, how amazing is this author?

The work that the author had put into this detailed world is astonishing. The author put so many details to everything that you can easily see yourself in this world, walking alongside Adelei. The first third of the book was a bit slow to read and hard to get into but I am used to this in Fantasy. However, trust me when I say that the rest of the book is worth the waiting, this novel is full of action, politics and memorable characters.

Also check out again the amazing cover, wow ❤ I love the cover so much, by itself you can feel the story.

Lastly, I will say that the strong plot combined with the strong characters makes a unique and amazing story to read, and if you like Fantasy you will LOVE this book. I am lucky I already have the next book to read immediately (yay) 😀

You can find the book over at:

Goodreads / Amazon

Go buy the book at Book Depository

I am a Book Depository Affiliate! If you buy books using my link, I receive a small referral commission, and I will be immensely grateful 🙂

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

P.S. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

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November Goals

Hey all, I hope you’re having a great day and If you are participating in Nanowrimo, I hope you are having a good writing day ❤

Before we dive into this month’s goals I want to do a small review of how I did with my October goals, and I can tell you straight away, that I didn’t do that good.

My October Goals are:

  1. Re-organizing my summer to fall/winter closet. ❌ ((Didn’t even start on that, oops))
  2. Re-organize kitchen cabinets. ❌ ((Didn’t want to do it, hehe))
  3. Finish outlining the series. ✔
  4. Continue editing (2 chapters at least). ✔
  5. Prepare for NaNoWriMo (oh yeah, this year I am all in). ✔
  6. Finish all my commitments before Nanowrimo. ✔
  7. Read 8 books (OMG, yes… 8 books, hehe) 😀 ❌ ((Finished 7 books))

So as you see there were a few things I haven’t finished in October and a few I did finish.

November Goals & TBR

Here are my November goals:

  1. Win Nanowrimo (write 50K).
  2. Paint behind the stove. ✔
  3. Blog 2-3 times a week.
  4. Duolingo daily.
  5. Yoga 3 times a week.
  6. Declutter the closet room.
  7. Read 2 books.

Books I’m reading this month

I set a goal to read at least 10 books until 2019 and because I am doing Nanowrimo, I know I will not have much time to read, so I am planning to read only 2 books this month. One is fiction and the other is not.

You Are A Badass, Coffee n' NotesI’ve read lots of mixed review on Goodreads and youtube, so I wanted to give it ago. I usually don’t read the self-help books, but I want to try and read more of different genres and see if I like it or not 😀

Shadow of the Fox, Coffee n' Notes

This was in my October TBR and I didn’t have time to read it, so I added to my November TBR.

Kingdom of Ash, Coffee n' Notes

Bonus book if by chance I will have a bit of time or mood to read more. I really want to read this book.

What are some of your goals for this month?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr / Me On NaNoWriMo

Guest Post: Conception – Pulling Ideas out of Thin Air By Nicolette Stephens

I’ve been working on a series of writing exercises, and I’d like to take this opportunity to share the first in the series I’m calling “Quarks”.

Quark (noun: a theoretical subatomic particle.)

In physics, quarks are contemplated as being the building blocks of hadrons. Now, physics doesn’t really have much to do with creative writing, but quark is a great word to describe all the little bits and pieces that go into creating stories. Whether it’s flash fiction, poetry, novels or plays, telling a tale requires certain elements to complete it. Quarks take these elements and explore them in bite-sized chunks that, when put together, help you to understand and build a story from conception to the end.

In this guest post for Coffee n Notes, you’ll find some exercises for finding inspiration from the world around you and crafting stories even when you don’t feel inspired.

When you decide to tell a story, you’re making a decision to translate abstract thoughts into words that others will resonate with. Sometimes this is a fairly simple process, but often, writers find themselves at a loss.

There are many reasons why this happens, but mostly it’s ascribed to a lack of inspiration, fondly named Writer’s Block. There are a lot of different theories on what causes Writer’s Block, and even more, methods to get you out of it.

One of the most popular is that you may have run out of ideas. So in this quark, we’re going to look at where you can find inspiration, which are really just ideas pulled out of thin air.

Where to find inspiration?

Inspiration isn’t a whimsical fairy that strikes whenever she feels like it. Rather, it’s akin to a puppy, which can either be left to run wild and disappear after an interesting scent ignoring all your attempts to recall it or with training and patience, will become a loyal friend, responding faithfully to your commands.

As with puppies though, training inspiration is not a one-time task. It’s a continual process that continues with regular reinforcement.

When you are inspired to create something, whether it’s a piece of writing, art or a school project; it simply means that you’ve had an idea you want to make concrete. Thoughts and ideas are abstract, but when you use them to create something, you turn them into a concrete form that can be appreciated by others.

Good ideas are considered to be as elusive as inspiration, but in general, the only thing lacking in creating an inspired idea is a process that works the majority of the time. Not everyone will think and respond the same way to the same process – if you don’t believe me, just ask people how they interpret emoticons. While some of the expressions are universal, the way people use and interpret them are often very different.

The same holds true with processes designed to inspire ideas for writers. Writing prompts work fairly often, so they’ve become very popular with writers across the board. A Google search on creative writing ideas will give you a host of different resources you can use.

In this quark though, we look at something closer to home. Your immediate environment.

If you look around you at this moment, you are surrounded by objects, places, words, people and emotions.

Exercise 1 – Bits and bobs

In this exercise, I want you to list five of each of the above from your immediate environment as I’ve done in the example below.

Objects: Pencil box, owl statue, oil paints, handkerchief, yoga mat.

Places: Field across the road, shopping mall, neighbor’s driveway, abandoned railway station, lawyer’s office.

Words: Bottle, loquacious, train, noise, birds.

People: Shoppers, young child, train passengers, pedestrian, homeless man.

Emotions: Happiness, fear, curiosity, anger, grief.

You may find that you end up linking several of the categories without meaning to because your mind will automatically form associations between items. That’s okay, use the table and split them up in their categories, or keep them in the same row if you like the association between them.

Words and objects are very similar categories, but whereas objects are commonplace things found in your immediate surroundings, words can be anything you’ve seen, heard or thought about recently.

Wherever possible, try to apply your current environment to the list. Emotions, for example, may not be what you’re currently feeling, but maybe you’ve felt them in the last few days, or it’s something you imagine someone else would have felt when you saw them in a certain situation.

Your turn: List five of each… object, place, words, people, and emotions.

Exercise 2 – What’s the catch?

Ask who, what, where, why, when and how.

The object of this exercise isn’t to ask logical questions that can be answered with the most common response. Rather, it’s designed to engage the creative side of your brain.

So for example, don’t use “who” with the “people” category for your first round of questions.

Below is an example of a question phrased for one item in each category:

Object: Owl Statue.

Question: Where did the statue come from and why is it chipped on the corner?

Place: Lawyer’s office.

Question: Why is the exterior of the building so run down for what seems to be a profitable business, given that the car that’s always parked there is a top of the line BMW?

People: Pedestrian

Question: Where was he going in such a hurry that he didn’t see the car turning the corner before he stepped out into the road?

Word: Loquacious

Question: Who would use a word like that in an everyday situation and what do they do for a living?

Emotion: Curiosity

Question: What is it about curiosity that it seems to be as contagious as yawning?

Some of these questions may end up never being used – I don’t like the one I created about curiosity for instance, so I may try to think of something else to ask that gets me a response I’m excited about, but I will only do that later, when I’ve exhausted the answers to my first questions.

Your turn: Ask a question about each of the items on your list. You can choose one item from each category, or do it for all of them dependent on how much time you have available.

Exercise 3 – Seeking Answers

The third and final exercise is when you start the process of developing your story. Although the answers to the questions you asked in Exercise 2 are kept simple, they form the basis of your plot – the hook you use to reel in an audience.

There are different methods you can use to answer the questions, and it’s a good idea to switch between them regularly when doing these exercises. Sometimes you’ll find one that works really well, and it will become a habit to use that for everything, which may result in writing which follows a predictable pattern for readers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there’s not really a right or wrong in any form of art, writing included – but challenging yourself brings you out of your comfort zone and often inspires you. So don’t be afraid to try new things.

Below, I’ve used the question about the lawyer and a technique called word association to answer it:

Technique: Word Association. We’ve all played games where someone says a word, and you say the first word that pops into your head in response. This is similar, where each word builds on the last to slowly develop a story. When you run out of words, use the words you’ve come up with to piece together the full sentence.

Answer: Lawyer – criminal – defence – failed – arrested – innocent – broke. The lawyer is a criminal defence lawyer who failed to get his client acquitted. The client was actually innocent but went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. The lawyer is broke which is why his business is falling apart.

Expensive car – gift – client – wife of client – actual criminal – secret. The car is a gift from his client – the wife of the man who was wrongfully convicted. The wife is the true criminal and is sleeping with the lawyer who was a good friend of the couple’s before their affair. He knows her secret and is beginning to reconsider his actions.

Your turn: Choose a technique and answer the questions you asked about your items in Exercise 2.    

This brings us to the end of Quark 1 – Conception. I hope you’ve found it useful and would love to hear all about your experiences working through the exercises.

Why don’t you share an example of your own in the comments below?

Nicolette Stephens Bio

Nicolette Stephens

Dreams and storytelling have always been a part of my life, and as a writer, I know the pitfalls involved in trying to publish. This led to the creation of Chasing Dreams Publishing, where I aim to help other writers share their stories.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing a story unfold on the page, and even more so when it gets published! After years working in the corporate world, I decided it was time to strike out and fulfill my dreams of writing full time.

On a daily basis, I’m inspired by people who chase their dreams (whether or not they’re related to writing), and this inspiration translates to my stories, workshops and writing groups.

Jozi Flash is a product of this inspiration.

About the book

Guest Post, Coffee n' Notes

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons, to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

Goodreads / My Book Review / Chasing Dreams Publishing

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

Book Review: Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour

Hey everyone, this is a way overdue book review and I am sending my apologies to everyone who participated in the book tour and to the authors themselves for my late review. But it’s finally here, hehe, and before I’ll start my review, I have to say that I enjoyed reading these stories very much and I am excited to review this book 😀

I received this book from the lovely Rachel Poli for an honest review and be part of the blog tour. Thank you, Rachel for your kindness and patience and for this lovely book ❤

Author: Ten Authors: Christelle Bloem, Candice Burger, Justin J., Carin Marais, Elliot P. McGee, Nthato Morakabi, Liam Selby, Nicolette Stephens, Nicola Tapson, Kim Wainer.
Pages: 174 Pages
Genre: Flash Fiction
Publication Date: January 31st, 2018
Publisher: Chasing Dreams Publishing

ozi Flash Blog Tour, Book review

Blurb

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

Review
5 Stars

I will not choose a story to review, I will review it as a whole collection 😀 Because each story is a unique story by itself with its own style and genre I want to review this as an entire collection.

Some stories were emotional, while others were fun, cute and even horror. This anthology was beautifully made from the gorgeous cover to the amazing and fun stories. You get immersed immediately into a new world and new characters and you get to read different genres that to my surprise I LOVED IT 😉

The prompts and the illustrations were perfect and everything had a feel of writer’s journal (but in a very good way). Each author did an amazing job with his/her writing, making the short story fly by fast.

Overall, I loved the book, it was short and fun to read and I highly recommend it to everyone who loves to read short stories and fiction. You can even choose the right story for you by your favorite genre or by your current mood.

You can find the book over at:

GoodreadsChasing Dreams Publishing

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

Author Interview With Thomas Josef

Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome Thomas Josef, author of Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan, for an author Interview.

About the author

Author Interview, Coffee n' Notes Thomas Josef is a native of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. In his mid-twenties, he hiked the 2000+ mile epic Appalachian Train from Georgia to Maine and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa. He studied Spanish in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. With his passion for travel and adventure, he took a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. This is his story of that time and his first book.

Hello, Thomas. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 🙂

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. [This can be a quick blurb of the kinds of books you write, etc.]

 I was born and raised in Wisconsin and I’m a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. I took a little time off between my sophomore and junior year of college to hike the epic 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

From 1989 to 1991, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa as a community service worker helping local farmers manage greenhouses. We were ordered out of the region by decree of the State Department because of the initial Iraq-Kuwait conflict that escalated to the Gulf War.

With my Peace Corps assignment cut short and the US being at the brink of war, I decided to travel to Mexico and Central America where tensions were much more subdued. I learned Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala. When I returned to the states, I endured my career with the State of Texas and continued to reside in Austin.

After nearly ten years of service to the state, I was looking for a change in my career and one that would offer a good compensation package and travel opportunities. I decided to take a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to help serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. During that time I started to write about daily accounts that became the premise of my book.

 Describe your book in 1-2 sentences.

My book is a memoir of true-life unique experiences under extraordinary circumstance. I talk about the everyday life as a military contractor in Afghanistan: the interesting people, libidinous love affairs, and fun events that helped me keep my sanity, perspective, and peace of mind while working in a war zone.

Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

I tend to write on the fly when the mood strikes and I want to share an interesting story or experience.

What is your writing process like?

I write when stories need to be told and I have the time to tell them. When I put the pen to paper – so to speak – I relive the moment with a detailed, step-by-step description of what’s taking place or about to take place. Sometimes I add comment, speculation or a bit of my dry sense of humor.

Where did you get your book idea from?

It’s a memoir and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and feelings of war that are not shared in newspapers or magazines, how I was able to find peace and happiness in a place that reminds us of dark and gloom almost every day, and that it’s more about the journey, not the destination.

What is your favorite place to write?

Because I am task-oriented, I like to write at a desk or table where I can stay focused.

Just for fun … pick your favorite color, animal, and food.

My favorite color is blue. My favorite animal would have to be a dog. And my favorite food is nicely seasoned and grilled ribeye steak with a glass of Argentine Malbec wine!

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

If you want to do something, do it. Don’t wait for anyone to do it with you because you’ll probably still be waiting.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring author?

As a friend and fellow author told me, “Everyone has a story to share; share yours”. I pay that forward to the next aspiring author!

You can find his book Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan By Thomas Josef 

Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan, Coffee n' Notes

On Amazon / On Goodreads

Thank you so much to Thomas for being here at Coffee n’ Note, I loved having him here and I hope you enjoyed his interview, as much as I did 😀

 As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

NaNoWriMo Prep: Using October to start writing again

Hey everyone, I hope you are all doing okay ❤

NaNoWriMo is less than a month away and October is the month to start writing again or just give yourself a boost of motivation to continue your on-going project. I am (still) in my editing phase so I will continue on with my own writing project in hopes to finally put a serious dent in my edits.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, then let me explain it to you… Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month that comes every year on November. In this nano month, you will try to write 50K in one month 😀 If you’re gasping of shock right now and thinking that it’s way too hard, then let me tell you that it is hard and it is madness, but that’s the entire fun of this. The point is to write and not think of what your novel will look like (that’s editing for).

Last year and a few years back I wrote a few NaNoWriMo Prep Posts that might spark your creativity and prepare you for what is coming, especially if you are new to Nanowrimo and not so familiar with what is Nanowrimo 😉

Here is my checklist, that helps me stay on track with my writing through Nanowrimo and preparing for it

Know what you gonna write about

Use this month to know what you’re going to write about. Try imagining your world, your characters, the theme of the entire plot. At first, it’s okay to write just a name, a place or a sentence of the plot. The more you write whatever comes to your mind the more good ideas will flow out and spark your Imagination and let it run wild.

Outline

I said this a lot but it’s true, outlining your novel truly helps, especially after the midpoint of your novel. So… Outline your nano novel as much as you can. My outline is about 40 pages and in many times more than 60 pages long (lol, wow… I need help). So do as much outlining as you can this month until you know all the characters, places, plots, and even some subplots 😉

Research

Don’t be lazy and do the work. Research about places, or people.
Listen to some conversation near you, hehe (I know it sounds weird and intrusive but it helps a lot) then, write down some key notes about what stood out in your eyes.
If your book is more on the sci/fi or Fantasy research about that subject, and try to create as many details as you can because when Nanowrimo arrive you will not have any time to do all this and you will have a much easier time writing down almost 2K a day, every day.

Connect

Go now to nano site and connect with other writers. you can find groups in your local area or just add writing buddies to help you be more motivated throughout the month, and do some sprints with them.

Take a break

In the week before nano or even just a couple of days before, take a break and enjoy your freedom, it will be your last chance for some free time for 30 days, hehe 😀

Embrace the madness

Don’t think of how it will turn out, no one has to see it. Enjoy the community and the madness of writing sprints with other writers and race towards your goal of writing 50,000 words a month. Ready to have some fun? 

This what I do every year, and it helps me get on track when I feel stuck or just have fun and write with other writers out there, so I hope it will help you too.

After all, as writers we mostly tend to do our craft alone and once in a year it’s so much fun to just embrace the madness of Nano and enjoy the wonderful community ❤ Btw, I’ve made this for NaNoWriMo last year, to put on my phone and on my Instagram and other social media, feel free to download it and use it 😀

Link to download this cute nano picture here: Nanowrimo Pic 😀 Have fun downloading it and, I hope you’ll enjoy using it.

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr / Nanowrimo

Author Interview: With M. J. Mallon

Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome M. J. Mallon, author of The Curse Of Time (Bloodstone,#1), for an author Interview.

About the author

Author M. J. Mallon, Coffee n' Notes

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: 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 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-o…

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.

Hello, Marjorie. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 🙂

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself

I live in Cambridge, England with my husband, and youngest daughter Georgina. My eldest, Natasha is following in her grandfather’s footsteps, (my amazing dad had a serious case of wanderlust,) by working abroad. She is TEFL in South Korea and I miss her very much. Proud mum moment! Family is very important. Perhaps that’s why I wrote a family-centered YA novel. I love spending time with my two daughters, whether we are chatting, or gossiping! I’ve been with my hubby (who I like to call my black sheep,) since I was eighteen. I can say there has never been a dull moment, not when your husband is a Scot who plays guitar and listens to rock music every night. Welcome to the biggest teenager ever! My extended family: mum, dad, and elder brother plus my in-laws live in bonnie Edinburgh. I love visiting the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in August. I adore the buzz and excitement of the book festival, the visiting theatre groups, dance performances, art exhibitions, street performers and comedy shows. You name it; I am there.

I am a member of several writing/reviewing/author collaborative groups: SCBWI, Cambridge Writers, RRBC, Sisters of the Fey. Founder of Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook.

A self-proclaimed hedonist and sponge for fun.

Describe your book in 1-2 sentences

This imaginative YA fantasy, coming of age novel will appeal to teens, young adults and those who hear the ticking clock but fight to stay young. If you adore stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and curious mysteries this novel is for you.

Do you have any writing rituals or habits?

Not really. But, I do sometimes wake up early in the morning with an idea and this overwhelming (almost manic,) desire to commit my words to the page. This is strange as I am not a morning person!

Where did you get your book idea from?

My initial book idea came from: The Light Pours Out Of Me at Juniper Artland Wilkieston, Scotland – A stunning crystal grotto designed by Anya Gallaccio: https://mjmallon.com/2014/06/15/jupiter-artland-the-light-pours-out-of-me/

Then I incorporated the magnificent Corpus Christi Chronopage Clock, which features on my book cover into my novel and the story became darker and more curse driven.This extraordinary time device invented by Dr John C Taylor OBE is situated on King’s Parade in Cambridge.

Author M. J. Mallon's cat, Coffee n' Notes

I had to have a muse and one came to visit me one fine day: a strange black cat who I called Shadow. Photo courtesy of Lily, Samantha Murdoch’s cat: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com

Art had to feature in the novel too. Art’s beautiful possibilities are too exquisite to ignore.

Mirrors sprung to mind and my resident mirror girl—Esme–brought a new, unexpected element to the narrative—one I feel passionate about: mental health and self-harm. Poor Esme can’t escape her mental health issues physically or metaphorically and this turmoil is represented by her imprisonment in the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

And last but not least. Where would this story be without a scary creature? Who is Eruterac? What does he want? And was Amelina wise to paint him bringing him to life?

Art, Coffee n' Notes Art, Coffee n' Notes

Esme portrait and portrait of Eruterac, The Creature designed by talented artist Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com/

What is your favorite place to write?

A few years ago I enjoyed a writing break in Brighton. That was very memorable and so much fun. I wrote in cafes, eavesdropping on conversations and met lots of interesting people. I’d love to do it again one day. Brighton is such a friendly, vibrant, seaside town—the perfect place for a writer’s break.

Just for fun 😀 Pick your favorite color, animal, and food.

Favourite colour: Green. I’m drawn to the colour green. The first crystal I ever bought was a green malachite, a stone of transformation.

Favourite Animal: My first cat—a ginger tom cat called Chester. I adored him and so did everyone. He was such a friendly, adventurous cat. Chester featured in the first post I wrote on my blog and is still rocking the web with his beauty: https://mjmallon.com/2014/04/27/writers-journey-how-did-it-all-happen/

Favourite Food: A huge plate of spicy Noodles. I adore Asian food—my mum is Malaysian and the best cook ever.

What is your writing process like?

I plan little. Sometimes ideas come when I least expect them to. I’m working on Book Two in the Curse of Time Series and I realised that the ending I had envisioned wasn’t the ending at all. I added a little extra. It’s those unexpected inspirational moments that make writing so magical. Discovering a new direction that one of your characters can take is so liberating and exciting!

What is the latest book you’ve read that inspired you?

I’m reading Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. I adore his writing. I devour each page saying to myself if only I could write like Jay! I am in danger of becoming a fangirl stalker! Ha Ha! He once chatted to me on twitter and I nearly fainted!

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author?

I’m a debut author so there have been oodles of challenges. At the moment I’d say writing the second book is a huge hurdle and I’ve always been terrible at sports days! There are so many things to consider. It’s important to refer back to the first book to check details and to ensure that I am developing the full potential of the story. My ultimate aim is to make the second book in the series even better than the first book.

What is the best advice you’ve been giving?

Stay true to who you are. Believe in yourself, but remember to help and encourage others to fulfill their potential too. Never put anyone down.

Before we say goodbye… Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write for the love as few authors make masses of money! Read in all genres, and pay particular attention to how your favourite authors write dialogue, character, and plot. Write whenever and wherever you can. Try different forms of writing such as flash fiction, short stories, and poetry. Never give up even if you feel that the journey is impossible. Accept helpful positive criticism with good grace but reject negative, unhelpful criticism with confidence.

Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

You can find Marjorie here at:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

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

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

Founder of #ABRSC – 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/

Thank you so much to Marjorie for being here at Coffee n’ Note, I loved having her here and I hope you enjoyed her interview, as much as I did 😀

 As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

Summer Is Here: 5 Reasons I Can Enjoy Summer

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great summer ❤

A few weeks back I did a post of Why I will never be a summer person and I listed 10 reasons why, but now I want to share the things I do like about summer and there are a few of those I like, lol. I am still truly not a summer person, this extreme heat we’re having all summer is slowly killing me. But I had to do another post and share with you the 5 things I do enjoy throughout the summer.

Beautiful and Bright Colors

All the countryside is brown and yellow but in the summer a lot of items in stores are painted with beautiful bright colors. From gorgeous bright pink and yellow notebooks to many bright clothes and throw pillows, great nail colors… It always makes me smile looking at them 😉

Bright nails, Coffee n' Notes

Cold drinks (and Ice cream)

I love hot drinks, like a good hot cup of coffee/tea or even a yummy soup, but I enjoy a cold drink, especially in the summer. Cold ice coffee or a zero coke taste amazing in 38-49 degrees, more so when I am out of the house doing errands with my mom.

  • Sometimes when my mom and I are out and about we like to sit down and eat some yummy ice cream and drink some cold drink to help with the heat.

Ice Cream, Coffee n' Notes

An excuse for staying indoors

God, I use it a lot, lol. In the summer I hate going out of the air con, so in every chance, I get “I can’t go out, it’s too hot” I will use this excuse a lot, hehe (evil smirk).

Staying indoors, Coffee n' Notes

Beautiful sunsets

Okay, even I can’t say no to a gorgeous sunset 😀 I don’t know why but in the summer there are so many gorgeous sunsets, even from my small bedroom window I can see the beautiful and colorful sky at sunset. Just looking at one of these sunsets makes everything feels good inside ❤

Sunset, Coffee n' Notes

Longer days

The days are longer in the summer and there’s light even at 7pm which is amazing in my opinion. I can do more and the day end so late, I feel more accomplished even if I’m not that productive that day, hehe. If I get up at 6am and the night arrives at 8pm, I feel that I can do so much more in a day (more time to write or play, hehe) 😀

Pool, Coffee n' Notes

Well, these are the 5 things I do enjoy throughout the summer even if I am not a summer person ❤

What do you love about summer?

 

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

10 Random Generated Questions

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a great day ❤

I found this amazing and fun post over at Jenny In Wonderland and I ask her permission to do this post as well and she was so kind to say yes ❤ If you don’t know her blog you must go visit and say hello. You will instantly be in love with her writing and her blog posts that are so informative, fun and inspiring.

As she said in her post, I generated 10 random questions from this site and answered the first 10 questions. I got lucky because question #11 was something I really didn’t like at all. So I got lucky with the first 10, yay 🙂

So let’s start!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza! Well, gluten and dairy free pizza. Pizza is a very healthy choice 😉

What is your favorite thing about winter?

Omg, the cold air, rain and everything is so clear, beautiful and green.

What would you be doing if you were not here right now?

If I wasn’t blogging right now, I would be writing. I am not procrastinating… I promise.

Do you like to dance or sing?

I love them both. I’ve always love to sing and dance, I am not good at any of them and I sing very off key but I don’t care I still love it.

What is your favorite drink?

Coffee and Coka Cola Zero. Again not a healthy choice.

If you could give one piece of advice to the whole world, what would it be?

Be Kind. Stop being cruel to others just because they look, act or think differently than you, we are all the same.

Are you smarter than your parents?

No. Well… In some areas yes 😀

What is one thing that you would like to change about the world?

Make people understand that kindness is the only thing that truly makes peace and understanding.

Where do you work?

I am a writer (hopefully be a published author <3) and I work from home 😀

Do you keep a journal?

Yes, I have a few types of journals: Dream journal, morning pages, and bujo 🙂

What question would you, like to answer?

If you’re doing this tag, don’t forget to tag Jenny and me so we can see your amazing answers ❤

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

Patreon / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr

10 Apps & Sites I Use (almost) Every Day

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great Tuesday ❤

I had a few very hard days in every aspect of my well being, but today I can finally rest and do the things I love, like talking to you 😉

As a blogger and a writer, I gathered some great apps that are actually useful. I also found some cool sites to help any fellow writer/blogger do their work better. Some of the apps are more obvious than others but because I use them almost daily they got their spot of honor in my top 10 (my phone camera, calendar, and Gmail are not included as it’s too obvious and because I don’t have a regular camera, I use my phone camera for everything) and I’m also not including WordPress site as it’s too obvious 😉

So let’s start…

Instagram App

I am obsessed with Instagram and I want to use it more for my blogging/writing. I think it’s a wonderful tool and can be utilized well for your business. For me it means, putting more of my own pictures which are a not an easy task for me.

My Instagram

Google Keep App/Site

This is a very overlooked app (or site) but it’s amazing. I use it for my notes daily and even multiple times a day. I have labels for my mom, my writing/work, my blog, home and many more and you can color code the notes, put pictures, links, record voice, draw… But still keeping everything looking simple in the presentation – I love it. I’ve been using it for almost 2 years and I am loving it. It’s like a pocket planner for notes, hehe 😀

Google Keep

Grammarly Site

Okay, this site has taken over my life completely and I use the free option. It helps so much with writing anything, from writing blog posts, comments, and even writing your novel, lol. I use the site, it’s on my chrome and even my windows. Such a simple tool but works well and beyond. I can’t even imagine writing anything online without this site. I wish they had an app as well.

Grammarly

WordPress App

My blog is on WordPress, so I naturally have the app. I don’t use it a lot, mainly with comments and likes, but it’s a useful app to have around if you’re a WordPress blogger.

WordPress Android / WordPress IOS

Pixabay Site

I love taking pictures on my own, but I don’t want to put my already very rare free time on taking pictures, I want to use that time to actually write my book or edit it and connect with you ❤ So I use Pixabay a lot – A lot! I love this site and I think everyone can find gorgeous pictures that will relate to what you like and what’s your blog is about.

Pixabay

Canva Site/App

If you edit your pictures for a blog post this site is for you. I used to use the picmonkey but then they deleted the free option (they have a 7 days free trial) so I switched to Canva and I am so happy I did, it’s amazing. It has great options for every social media, newsletter, and posts, and so much more. Everything is so approachable and easy.

This one is my favorite, though I mostly use the site. I also have the app which is also very nice to use however, I use it to share my edited picture that is already saved on the site and so I don’t need to download right away and just share from the app. I use the site daily as well and it’s one of my most used sites after Instagram and Google Keep 🙂

Canva

Buffer App/Site

This is my favorite scheduling app for my twitter, it’s sad that they give you just so little free scheduling but I’ll take what I can 😉 I use this app and site a lot and I need to use it more, hehe. If you know any good free scheduling tool, let me know 😀

Buffer Site

Twitter App

This one is obvious, I think. I love twitter a lot and I want to use it more for connecting with you and for my writing. I try to use my twitter daily but in most cases, I use it every second day or so, but I do comment and like a lot. This is a very helpful tool for any blogger/writer and I need to really utilize it more.

My Twitter

Dropbox App (and site)

This is pretty obvious as well, I think, well at least for me. I use it so much daily for storing my pictures (mostly) but also notes and all of my huge pile of Ebooks (I have too many books both paper and ebooks… I need help).

Dropbox

Hemingway Editor Site

This is a relatively new site for me but I absolutely love it. If you like to get truly “abused” and see your writing shred apart with beautiful colors of errors this is the site for you 😉 as I edit my novel, after each chapter I put in Grammarly and after that I put in this Hemingway Editor Site, lol (yes I know… and I am… Crazy, hehe) and there I see all the wonderful errors I would never catch by myself, YAY.

So I truly think that this site is an amazing tool for writers and if you like your book to be the best it can be, put your chapter in there and start editing 😀

Hemingway Editor

  • A bonus app is for editing pictures that I use so many times a day, way too much. Is called Snapseed which is a great and easy app to edit your picture very professional looking. I love using this app a lot and it’s free 😉

Snapseed Android / Snapseed IOS

What app (or site) is your favorite?

Good Bye, Coffee n' Notes

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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