Introducing my great niece Saffron Collins.

Right guys this is a bit of a departure for me but family pride strikes again. This young talented lady is my great niece Saffron Collins. Great niece as in my nephew’s daughter, that said she is a great artist. The top videos is one of her songs from two years ago.

Saffron is a songwriter, musician, arranger and producer.. Those of you who know me will know why she reminds me of my favourite Imogen Heap… not necessarily sound wise but definitely talent wise. Saffron spent most of her school life and early musical career in the U.A.E. making her mark on the local scene in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Well the family are back in the UK. This post is to showcase her latest E.P. Album below. Good luck Saffron. Give it a go I hope you like it 💜

check her out here ,

As her dad says : “Saffron was A-Z music, lyrics, production, mastering…. really proud of her ability to create. As a music fan I love them all…. no cookie cutter sound!” And I agree with him 💜

The sincerest form of poetry by Geoff Le Pard.

Today I am delighted to have Author and friend Geoff Le Pard over for afternoon tea and a chat about his latest book. Which is full of delightful poetry!

Geoff, how are you, do sit down I have got everything ready for us. While you get comfy I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the book. I love the first half very much always a smile and a barb..The sonnets too very much to my liking, especially the two about the Vet, (I assume) Hand me down, and Loyalty, especially the last lines in both. Also the the guiding hand possibly about the textilist? Here have a cuppa just as you like it I think and tell me was I right? How’s that cake?

Geoff with Buster and Moo

 In fact, while hand me down is about Jenni, point of view of a shadow which came to me while doing a poetry prompt a couple of years ago.Originally it had me rhyming ‘shadow’ with ‘saddo’ which grated horribly so I’m pleased with the revision. I can spend hours getting nowhere, revising poetry, finding the right combination of… yes, another slice would be lovely… syllables, rhymes and stresses. Oddly, the thing I notice that most poets fail to appreciate is stress. They’ll nail a rhyme, ensure the right number of syllables but when you read it, the stress you place on the words makes it feel like a bad gear change. I wonder if they read the poem out loud or in their head. The imagination is too forgiving, I find.

On reflection Geoff I have to agree with you on that.

How much did your father’s poetry influence you? 

First, he spent so much time honing his work that I am constantly forcing myself to one more read through, to mimic him. Second, he loved finding humour in poetry and I think that can be my driving force. Third, we argued constantly, vigorously and with no holes barred. Thus if I write anything with a political or social angle it will almost certainly reflect my views and equally certainly be 180 degrees contrary to his. He didn’t hold back, he wasn’t shy of voicing his opinion and I often sanitise my attempts so as not to offend. That would have annoyed him mightily, so I try and fight the urge to hide. If you’ve a point to make, make it with conviction; if not, don’t make any point. That comes from him. Mostly though, he enjoyed the process, gained huge satisfaction from a job well done. I’ve learnt that, however hard it is – and it is hard – enjoy it. In a way dad only really expressed his true self, his deepest emotions, via poetry as seen in the love poems he wrote to mum and which he refused to let my brother and I see and which mum only shared after his death. I still think he would be mightily cheesed off and equally secretly pleased with her for doing that.

What made you decide to revamp some of best known poems from the BBC’s collection of British Poets?

Don’t worry about the crumbs, Ruby or Dog will pick them up , they are getting on well aren’t they.

Back to Dad, really. He loved Kipling’s poetry and many of his best efforts use the same rhyming scheme that Kipling favoured in some of his finest works. One day – I think I was walking with a couple of friends – I conjured up a couple  of lines of ‘If’ but rewritten to the discussion we were having. Again, memory suggests it was a new take on the couplet ‘if you fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run’. I got a laugh. Later I re-read the poem and some other changes, based on the current Zeitgeist occurred to me and off I went. Once I’d begun, it was a fairly natural progression to try it with others. The sharp eyed readers will see that with my re-imagining of ‘if’ I don’t keep the first line, whereas that became one of the criteria I tried to apply to my re-imaginings. Another cup? Thanks. I’ll have oat milk, as part of a new health kick.

Really, luckily have some oat milk in the fridge, I will just get it . Here you are, just a splash. Would you like another

Tell me why did you pick sonnets for the second half of your book? 

My whole love of writing began the summer after Dad died at a summer-school in Wiltshire. July 2006. A year later, at the self same summer-school I took a poetry appreciation course that looked at British poets from Chaucer G to Cope W. In amongst the many marvels were a variety of sonnets, from Shakespeare through Rossetti to Manley Hopkins. That week I wrote two, or at least the first drafts, of the sonnets that appear here  – the opening work on the frontispiece and what turned into ‘Only skin deep’ a re-imagined Shakespearean sonnet. After that, I spun out several, I entered a number into some on line magazines and had a few published or won or were placed in competitions. I adore the simplicity, the discipline and the history of the sonnet, hence it is my go to form of choice. Hmm, is that lemon drizzle? Oh al right, just a small slice. No, not that small….

Sorry is that better?

Tell me how different do you find the experience of writing poetry as compared to fiction or flash fiction? Do you find poetry a more difficult discipline to writing prose?

Oh my, chalk and cheese. Give me a word, a picture, a phrase, a theme, a genre and I’ll write you a piece of flash, a short story or a novel, often with the bizarrest, most unlikely take imaginable. But do the same with poetry and you may be lucky one in five times. I’ve tried committing to poetry prompts and sometimes that has led to something part way decent. But mostly it just grates. Poetry = emotion and that’s something I’ve taken from dad; without a core of emotion, of self it’s just clunky prose dressed up as something pretentious and clever sounding.

Can I get you a you anything else, Oh Look Ruby and dog are asleep out in the sun. Let’s have a look at my two choices from your book.

A Dog At Leisure

(Leisure, William Henry Davies)
What is this life, if full of care?
Go fetch my lead, don’t comb your hair.
Don’t give in to untimely sloth
I know what fun awaits us both.
Let’s try the park; we know it’s free,
Full of places for me to pee.
Squirrels anxious to play chase,
Friends who’ll let me lick their face.
Secret corners where I can poo
Long lost balls for me to chew.
Picnic scraps and chicken bones,
Stale crusts and broken scones.
These treats and many, many more
Are just beyond the bloody door.
So find your shoes, tie those laces
And I’ll take you now to wondrous places
Full of fun, grass and the freshest air
And while I play, you’ll stand and stare.

And the beautiful sonnet.

Hand -Me-Down

Still wet from the womb, she flapped a fat hand,
A mindless hello that captured my soul.
Older, unsteady, like a day old foal,
She gripped me so tight, determined to stand.
She didn’t let go till the first day at school;
Then she wept as I forced her fingers apart.
From that betrayal she developed her art;
Round her finger I’d twist: her so willing fool.
One day, so glorious, and, yes, there were tears
I released her hand as I gave her away.
I smiled her free, and felt no dismay
At the thought of that other hand itwrapped round hers.
But it’s only a loan, for when I come to my last
She’ll be holding my hand, as I let go life’s grasp.

********

Now for your Authors Bio and all your book details.

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Geoff’s books

My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself? 

   

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Smashwords

Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The sincerest form of poetry.

Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

********

I can honestly say I have read all these books and enjoyed them greatly.

Thank for joining me today Geoff it was

To have you and Dog visit.

Muttiplex Movie Reviews.

🐾🐾🐾🐾 Unfortunately Westley Piddle doesn’t have a cinema, cineplex, or multiplex…only a Muttplex. But it’s showing some great movies….

Read at Source

‘This is Lockdown’ blog tour – Just muddling through life

Marian Wood reviews the poetry and poets who contributed to Marjie’s book This Is Lockdown.

Read at asource

A Q & A with Debby Kaye.

©DGKaye2020

bitmo live laugh love

Join Marjorie Mallon and Debby G Kaye as they have a Q & A session on This is Lockdown.

Read at source

This Is Lockdown #BlogTour @Marjorie_Mallon

Join Marjorie as she talks to Ritu about her latest book This is Lockdown. It is a true piece of living history.

Read at source.

Day Three of the, This Is Lockdown. Blog Tour.

Hi everyone welcome to a socially distanced tea and chat with the very talented and lovely Marjorie Mallon.

 Well make yourself comfortable and enjoy your cuppa and cake while we chat.

Oh, thanks so much for inviting me over Willow, I like nothing better than a cuppa, cake and a natter! What scrumptious cake!

1 Now we already know your reasons for writing this excellent book  but which of your personal entries says the most about your feelings on lockdown.

Oh, thank you, Willow. My personal entries… now that’s an interesting question! I think there will have to be two: one light and one dark. The saddest one, (Stay at Home,) because we all fear the worst case scenario, counterbalanced by the happiest outcome, (Grandad Is Coming Home.) 

Stay At Home – (Family – Trigger Warning) 

Rich lays in bed.

His wife has just put his profile picture up on Facebook with the caption ‘Stay at home.’ His breathing is laboured, his thoughts petrified. What has he brought into his house? His wife, children and new baby, what has he done?

Regret flows through his veins, entwining with the progress of the deadly virus. He acknowledges his failings, softly whispering for forgiveness to a God he never knew he had.

His thoughts rage, condemning himself for his stupidity. He’s an idiot who carried on as normal, mixing in groups, laughing at the virus, putting up funny jokes on his Facebook profile page. Now the virus has him, it is gripping his chest, punching his lungs for his stupidity and carelessness. It is laughing at him.

Next door he hears his baby daughter crying. A tear spills from his eyes. He can’t get up to feed her, he can’t hold her in his arms. His wife’s footsteps come rushing, her voice soft and gentle as she tries to calm their baby down while he is certain that her terrified heart beats to a tune he cannot touch.

The baby is quietened. He guesses she’s been fed, nappy changed, tucked back under the covers. Safe. Or is she? He can’t see his family as they are in the living room next door to his isolated bedroom, but he knows his wife has opened her Facebook page to read more grim accounts of death. His photo has been shared again with the caption begging their friends and family to, “Please Stay at Home.”

The word please shouts but will people listen?

Fighting through fever, he tries to focus, to listen for his son. Where is he? He struggles to hear. He fears that he might notice a new sound, a cough, perhaps, a dry, wheezing sound. 

Nothing. Not a sound.

Instead, he coughs, his temperature racing.

Then he hears his son’s voice, scared. “What’s wrong, mummy. Why are you crying?” 

“It’s okay, Jonny,” his wife soothes. “Look, I’m keeping busy, cleaning your Lego, then you can play.”

“Where’s Daddy?” asks his son.

“He’s in bed, Jonny.”

“But, I want to play with him,” Jonny whines.

“He’s sick Jonny, we have to let Daddy rest.”

He can’t see his wife, his sweetheart, his son, or his newborn baby and this breaks his heart. But he knows how rigorously his wife will clean their son’s toys. How she will pop each piece of Lego in the sterilisation liquid before drying them meticulously.

A mother’s love is unstoppable.

But he can hear his wife. “Go play,” she says, sighing.

His son shouts, “Yay,” as if it is a normal day. “Can I go to the park?”

“No,” his wife yells. Then her voice pierces the air with even more urgency. It is a knife to his heart. “Don’t put things in your mouth.” 

His son is crying. “Sorry, mummy.”

“Oh, darling, I didn’t mean to shout at you.”

His son sniffs, and his wife consoles.

Rich continues to listen, but he hears nothing. It is silent for a time. He imagines his son building a fortress to keep the virus out. His wife watching him, marvelling at their young son, wondering who he will become. A scientist who will cure deadly viruses. Or a doctor who will save patients.

By now Rich is struggling to breathe, but he can’t shout for help. He can’t risk infecting his loved ones. He has to be a grown up. This isn’t the flu. This isn’t the sniffles. He knows that now, but perhaps it is too late. If they stay away, perhaps they will be safe. 

The virus will decide.

© Copyright M J Mallon

***

But, to counterbalance it, there always has to be hope:

Granddad Is coming home! 

(Flash Fiction – Uplifting)

Grandma couldn’t believe it; her husband had survived. 

At eighty-seven he was in the at risk group. Someone was looking after him and it wasn’t just the NHS! She looked at his photo in the news, walking arm-in-arm with an NHS worker. He was wearing a face mask, and yet he looked like he could take on the world. The nurse’s face glowed with joy, happy to share some good news about his recovery from COVID19 pneumonia. The image was shared all over the world, gobbled up by viewers desperate for some cheerful news. 

For a moment Grandma pondered the strangeness of life. What was God’s plan in all of this? She had no idea but her heart filled with happiness at the thought of her dear husband coming home. 

© Copyright M J Mallon

2 What lessons will you take away with you and learn from when we finally find our way out of these Covid19 days.

To live life to the full, treasuring each moment. Life is a precious gift and one we should be respectful of.Relationships with my family of four: hubby, and two grown-up daughters, Natasha and Georgina have deepened. We’ve spent so much time together. This is one positive to come out of COVID19. Especially, as Natasha and Georgina will be flying the nest at the same time this Autumn. Hubby and I will be empty nesters! I shall miss them so much. Lockdown has also been an opportunity for me to continue on my mindful journey. Before this all happened I studied mindfulness, which helped me a lot. I’ve learnt to appreciate the quiet, the beauty of nature, observations and thoughts which come and go, and, to love our planet. The skies shone during lockdown, as if the world appreciated our peacefulness – no airplane trails, less cars on the roads…It’s a delicate balance and one we should be mindful of. 

Would you like another

3 Do you think that lockdown has bought your family closer together.

Ah, yes, I definitely think it has. We’ve always been close, but now we are closer. Also, I think my daughters have grown up and regressed too! It’s a strange thing, on the one hand they have shared more grown up discussion and on the other they have become childlike again. I think it often happens – if you spend a lot of time with your parents you become little people again! I adopt a little person persona when I visit my mum and dad and I’m no a youngster! 

4 Did you have any Covid panics .

Yes, my hubby was ill right at the beginning. It may have been COVID but we aren’t certain. He’d been in Austria skiing near the Italian border. Everything was shutting down and all his friends became ill with flu-like symptoms. With no testing in the UK, we couldn’t be certain, but I think it is likely. I had an off-and-on series of not feeling well, shivers and the like, but no other symptoms. So who knows? There have been other COVID panics, my mum and dad as they are older and both have health issues. I’ve been in a state of constant worry about them. Also, I worry about my youngest daughter as she is asthmatic, but she keeps on reassuring me that she only gets stomach bugs! The diaries section of the book candidly shares all my thoughts, fears and hopes.

5 What was the item you found difficult to get in the shops and did it frustrate you.

Toilet paper, pasta, thermometers and hand gel. Toilet paper was the most frustrating item. I hated seeing how it affected other people too, particularly the elderly. 

6 I think this book is piece of living history do you agree. 

Ah, what a lovely thing to say Willow. I’m so touched. It’s my hope that it will be. One day, when I’m an old granny, (hopefully I will be but not too soon,) I will pass This Is Lockdown to future generations and say – this is what happened during lockdown in the UK in 2020! 

7 What will you miss about being locked down.

Time to write, time to create books, time to breathe in a world which rushes all the time and time to be with my family. 

Thank you Willow for the marvellous questions.

Thank you to all the contributing authors including your good self who have made this collection and anthology very special to me. 

Richard Dee, (Sci Fi , Steampunk, Amateur Detective author,) Catherine Fearns, (Amazon Bestselling Author of Police Procedural/Mysteries and Music Journalist,) Lynn Fraser, (Author,) Jackie Carreira, (Writer, musician, designer and aspiring philosopher,) Willow Willers, (Poet and writer,) Sharon Marchisello, (Murder Mystery, Financial non-fiction,) Fi Phillips , (Author, Copy Writer) Jeannie Wycherley, (dark stories, suspense, horror,) Chantelle Atkins, (urban fiction, teen/YA,) Tracie Barton-Barrett, (Speaker/author,) Peter Taylor- Gooby, (Crime, Love Stories, Political Fiction,) Ritu Bhathal, (Chick Lit romance, poet,) Alice May , (Author, Artist and Speaker,) Miriam Owen, (Blogger and Doctoral Researcher,) Drew Neary and Ceri Williams (Ghost Horror, Supernatural,) Katherine Mezzacappa, (Author name: Katie Hutton,) (Historical Fiction/Romance,) Sally Cronin, (huge supporter of indie community/blogger/author) Debby Gies (D G Kaye), (Memoirist/NonFiction,) Adele Marie Park, (Fantasy, horror, urban fantasy,) Marian Wood, (blogger, poet and writer.) Samantha Murdoch, (Writer, Blogger,) Beaton Mabaso (Blogger, African Storyteller,) Frank Prem (Poet, Author,) Anne Goodwin (Author, Book Blogger) Sherri Matthews (Writer, Photographer, Blogger,) and Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago-Val – Community Masks 4 NHS.

This Is Lockdown

The Blurb.

An anthology and compilation of diaries, short stories, flash fiction, contributions from the ‘isolation writers,’ plus poetry written during the time of lockdown in the UK. This Is Lockdown is written from a writer’s perspective highlighting the simple pleasures of day-to-day life during such an uncertain and frightening time. It also gives a glimpse of the blogging, writing world. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. I also discuss the handling of the pandemic and my thoughts on what might happen next. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

This Is Lockdown buying Link:

Universal link: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CD1MCFB?pf_rd_r=NPA6S5SQJ30A6VYX87Q5&pf_rd_p=e632fea2-678f-4848-9a97-bcecda59cb4e

Amazon US link:

https://www.amazon.com/This-Lockdown-COVID19-Diaries-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CD1MCFB

Bio

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 parents Paula and Ronald, only sister to my elder brother Donald. I spent my early childhood in a mountainous court dwelling in the Peak District in Hong Kong.


It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters often return with a cheery smile.

Sometimes when the mood takes me, I adopt an alter ego, M J – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!


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 practice Tai Chi and Yoga. 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.

My favourite genres to write are: YA fantasy, magical realism, and various forms of poetry. I blog about books, writing, photography and inspiration at: https://mjmallon.com. 

I enjoy writing articles celebrating the spiritual realm, my love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious. One of my greatest pleasures is reading. I’ve written over 150 reviews at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/


I’m a member of a professional writing body. SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators.

Links: 

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

Collaborative Group: https://www.facebook.com/pg/5SpiritualSisters/

Blog Tour: Dates
14th July Chantelle Atkins (Q and A) .
15th July Beaton Mabaso
16th July Willow Willers (Q and A)
17th July – Double Promo for This Is Lockdown and Adele Marie Park‘s new release Wisp II – Sea Dragons at M J Mallon’s blog.

18th July Sally Cronin – Promo/Review!!!

Launch week:

20th July – Launch Day Promo M J Mallon – Lockdown Quotes.
21st July – Sharon Wilden of Shaz’s book blog – promo
22nd July – Ritu Kaur BP
23rd July – Richard Dee
24th July – D G Kaye ( Q and A)
25th July – Marian Wood

Thank you for joining me Marjorie and I wish you every success with this Marvelous book.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Romance – Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal

Head over to Sally Cronin’s blog and read at Source.

Guest author: N. A. Granger ~ Torrent…a #writephoto story and news of The Last Pilgrim

A great story from Noelle for #write photo and news of her new book.

Read at source

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Magic Mr. Sagittarius by M. J. Mallon

Head on over to Sally Cronin’s place to see what she has to say about Mr Sagittarius from Marjorie Mallon.

Read at Source

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