I’m over at Dan Antion’s facility called No Facilities! Dan hosts Thursday Doors challenge and meets with his friends at his virtual bar for the Stream of Conciousness Saturday post. He is hosting Day 2 of the blog tour for my new book, The Winding Road. I talk about Memoir Writing during this tour. Please head over to join me for the discussion.
A few months ago, Miriam Hurdle joined me at the bar on a Saturday, along with Robbie Cheadle. They set the record for views and comments for a bar visit. A few weeks later, Miriam sent me a collection of resources to help me launch my debut novel. When I heard she would be releasing The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival I immediately offered to join her launch tour. When I receive the book and started reading, I was so happy I would be part of this tour. I’m going to turn this over to Miriam for a while, but I’ll be back.
Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Dan! I’m so happy to be here to share my new book with your friends.
During this launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Here is my topic for today.
Sally at the Smorgasbord Magazine invited me over to share my latest book, The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival with her readers. I’m honored by her generous offer. Please head over to visit her and browse around the entertaining features on her blog.
It is my pleasure to share the news of the latest release by Miriam Hurdle… a memoir The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival. On preorder for August 26th.
About the book
In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.
I’m delighted to have Marje Mallon on my blog as my guest today. Her new release Golden Healer is the second book in The Curse of Time series. In celebration of the new release, she shares with us the inspiration behind the series. She also shares the fantastic reviews and awards she received for her first book.
Thank you, Miriam, for inviting me to share my excitement about the new release of The Curse of Time series Book 2 Golden Healer with your friends!
Dedicated to the one and only rollercoaster that I ever rode. It was in Portugal, and I was on holiday with my young family. I’ll never forget that day, I overcame my fears and rode a rollercoaster with the encouragement of my much-loved family, my husband, David, and daughters Natasha and Georgina. So, it’s time to ride another rollercoaster… I hope you will come along with me for this crazy ride! Let’s meet our fears together…
Blurb – Golden Healer
Golden Healer is the 2nd in The YA Paranormal Adventure Series – The Curse of Time.
I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…
Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.
Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.
As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?
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. NOTE: This book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.
The first book in the series Bloodstone has received many fantastic reviews and a finalist book award recently from Amazon influencer N. N. Light, receiving a review rating of 5 stars. Yes, she loved it a lot!
N. N. Light’s review – Bloodstone:
A magical invitation, that doesn’t tear up, urges Amelina to go to Crystal Cottage to seek out the hidden secrets of her family. Amelina Scott knows her family isn’t what you call normal and neither is her house. No one she knows has a girl trapped in the mirrors. When she receives an invitation to visit Crystal Cottage, she doesn’t know what to make of it. Is it a prank? Is it a trick? She decides to ignore it and throws it in the trash. Only it doesn’t stay in the bin. She tries to cut it up, but it doesn’t cut. It sings, it dances, it is somehow alive. She finally decides to travel to the Crystal Cottage to see what happens. Along the way, she meets Ryder and discovers magic (both light and dark) is all around. She interacts with magical people, beings, and objects while learning the truth of her family. What happens next will astound you, the reader. Are you ready for an adventure?
Bloodstone is an imaginative fantasy adventure I enjoyed from start to finish. From the first page, I connected with Amelina. She’s a delightful heroine. I could relate to her on so many levels. Everything from her curiosity to her reactions to her emotional state rang true. While it’s tricky these days to write an original fantasy story, M.J. Mallon wrote one of the most original fantasy books I’ve read in a long time. Taking bits from fantasy authors of the past, M.J. Mallon adds her own blend of magical realism and emotional coming of age to make Bloodstone a gem. The plot moves at a good pace with each chapter starting with a puzzle. What a creative way to keep the reader invested. The world-building is intricate and riveting. The characters are engaging and easy to connect with. Overall, Bloodstone is a brilliant story and when I finished, I wanted to read it all over again. If you’re a fantasy reader, you need to read Bloodstone. Highly recommend!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!
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 storytelling began bolstered by these two vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have traveled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumored 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 smile.
Her motto is to Do what Your Heart Desires.
And her favorite genre to write is a fantasy/magical realism because life should always be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!
It’s an exciting day today to share the goodnews with you about my friend, Elizabeth Gauffreau’s new release GriefSongs: Poems of Love & Remembrance.
About the Book
“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.” ~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review
“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review
Grief Songs: Poems of Love and Remembrance is a poetry collection written in Tanka form. After her mother passed away, Elizabeth Gauffreau cleaned up the “forbidden rooms” and found the “hidden photographs.” These are the photographs of the author and her father, mother, and brother George.
Grieving is a personal process that can last for any length of time. The memories of the loved ones could be fleeting or lingering moments, and the emotion of grieving could be of the surface or intensely deep.
In Grief Songs, the photos brought back the intensity of the precious memories to the author. Elizabeth expressed her grief in poetry. She paired the poems with each photo included in this collection.
One poem was about the author’s mother took her and George to the vaccination. Their mother gave the kids a treat of root beer floats for being good for the occasion. By the way, root beer is a soda, not a beer with alcohol! Another fun poem was about a youth group picnic when the author and her brother waited for their dad in the car after the picnic. Apparently, their dad didn’t come right away. They pressed the honk for so long that when their dad finally came back; the battery was dead. I loved the poem and the photo with Elizabeth and George sitting on their father’s lap for reading time as a nightly ritual. The lines were, “Waiting until your father gets home, not a threat but a promise.”
There were poems about Elizabeth as a kid for the first sacrament, confirmation, and baptism. What precious memories as she could see the history from the beginning of her life when father and mother holding her in their arms that led to her present life.
Family time such as clam bake at the beach and the family reunion always flashed back fond memories that ache the heart yet bring smiles on the face. The dying takes away a part of the ones left behind yet leaves them something sweet and long-lasting.
The poetry is a short read, yet the emotion of joy and sorrow lingers long after I put down the book. Highly recommended
Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.
The 2021 WordCrafterParanormal Anthology, Where Spirits Linger, was released today – September 20, 2021!
Where Spirits Linger Authorswith Kaye Lynne Booth, editor
“I hope you will stay with us and follow thetour to each blog stop to learn more about the stories within to picque your interest. Of course, I hope you buy the book, but each comment you make along the way earns an entry into a random drawing for a free digital copy of Where Spirits Linger, so you could be our next lucky winner!” – Kayne Lynne Booth
I’m excited to host the tour on Day 2 featuring Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s piece “Listen to Instructions.”
I’ll let Roberta tell you about the process she went through to write her story. Here’s Roberta:
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The Location of “Listen to Instructions”
This year the WordCrafter short story challenge required a story built around a specific place. This was a new idea for me as my stories are usually built around an event or a character. Never before had I tried to write a story that focused primarily on the setting.
I went through my file of story ideas and came across a true South African haunting of a farmhouse in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. The clip about this haunted house was only a few sentences long and involved a man who had stolen a large sum of gold coins. Following his death, the thief returned to haunt the house where he’d stowed the treasure.
This story interested me. I wondered if the ghost regretted stealing the money which led to his being trapped indefinitely in the nether world between life and death. Would the spirit take an opportunity of redemption if it was offered?
I wondered how any person who occupied the farmhouse and found the hidden money would feel about it? Would the finder keep the treasure, or hand it over to the state? How would the ghost react if his hidden horde was discovered?
From these thoughts and questions, my short story, Listen to Instruction, was borne.
Stellenbosch is a university town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The town is surrounded by the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the nature reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg.
Stellenbosch was established in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, the governor of the Cape. He granted land in the vicinity of Stellenbosch to interested farmers. Stellenbosh officially became a village in 1682 and in 1685 it became the Cape’s second magistracy, with an authority that extended for 25,000 square kilometres. It is the second oldest European town in South Africa.
The farmers build Cape Dutch houses with graceful gables and irrigation furrows for their lovely gardens.
In 1690, some of the French Huguenots settled in Stellenbosch and planted the grapes that turned the town into the centre of the South African wine industry. Stellenbosch became an important educational hub in 1859 when the Dutch Reformed Church opened a seminary. The University of Stellenbosch was established in 1918.
Thank you, Roberta, for the interesting information. Now, here is my review of the story “Listen to Instructions.”
I listened to ghost stories with my dad when I was a kid. Once a week we stayed up late because the ghost broadcasting didn’t start until 11:00 p.m. A perfect hour to cuddle up next to someone in case I got scared. I still hear a vibrating voice announcing the Midnight Zone.
If you enjoy ghost stories, you’re into a treat with the new release of Where Spirits Linger, an anthology with Kaye Lynne Booth, Robbie Cheadle, Stevie Turner, Enid Holden, Sharon Kretschmer, and Crysta Planko.
We hear the cliché “RIP” (rest in peace) when someone passed away. Do all the spirits rest when people passed away. Will they have unfinished business to cause them to linger?
In Where Spirits Linger, Roberta Eaton Cheadle writes about the spirit of Simon Pienaar, who didn’t cross over to the other side of the world. He broke into someone’s home one night, killed the owner, and stole his collection of antique Kruger coins. The police arrested Simon Pienaar and charged him with murder, but nobody found the treasure.
Jake bought the 19th-century house owned by Simon Pienaar despite rumors and gossips about the haunted house and all the stories behind it. He got a bargain on an auction, planned to renovate it over time, and wanted to live there while he did so.
He soon found out the restless spirit haunted him by asking for help. He ignored the chilling voice that invaded his dreams night after night but finally asked what the ghost wanted him to do. It was Simon Pienaar’s spirit asking him to do something with the antique Kruger coins he had stolen. He gave instructions to Jake to help him take care of his unfinished business.
How hard could that be to help a ghost put the closure in his business? It’s not as easy as it seems, especially for following Simon’s specific instructions. Roberta will let you know Jake shouldn’t have messed around with Simon.
Roberta’s “Listen to Instructions” is entertaining, so are the rest of the ghost stories. Highly recommended for an evening reading. I received a free ARC to do an honest review.
After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?
After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lies in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behavior towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.
Through the Nethergate
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.
In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.
With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specializing in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.
Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.
Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.
Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.
Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.