Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. Life is hard, and we all go through some rough patches. Some of us go through extraordinary patches, and we aren’t the same when we come out.
Imagine for a moment, you’re the most popular girl in school. You’re good at sports, tons of friends or hopeful friends orbit around. You’re beyond pretty. Then one day, you’re abducted. Everything changes, who you are, who you hope to become, gone in an instant. But it’s worse than that. What happened to you took a turn for the paranormal. That’s the case with my special guest today. “Welcome to the show, Esme.”
“Thank you Lisa, I’m honoured to be your guest.”
“Why don’t you tell our listeners where you are right now, please?”
“I’m trapped in a mirror.”
“Ooooh, tough blow, Esme. Mirrors have been magical pathways for centuries. Are you able to look beyond into another plane, or is this like some kind of magic mirror enslavement?”
“It’s not magic mirror enslavement Lisa; I can’t do anyone’s bidding! All I can do is look out and see the same strange reality every day. I’m in a house but it isn’t my home. I recognise the girl who lives here, Amelina, an only child. I’m on an endless sleepover but Amelina didn’t invite me and I can tell you it’s no party. There’s no exit. If I try to step too far forward the cold glass presses against my fingertips. Amelina sees me in my mirror prison wherever she walks. It’s her house, and her house has become my prison. It seems as if I am enclosed in a single mirror and yet Amelina can see my reflection in many rooms. There is one exception – the attic at the top of the house. For some reason I never get to talk to Amelina up there. I don’t eat, or drink and I don’t die. All I do is breathe, cry, laugh hysterically and collapse. I’m not stable; my mental health issues are getting worse. I long to escape. Amelina longs to escape too. She walks out but she will never desert us.”
“I’m just theorizing here, but it seems to me that someone put you inside the mirror. You may need someone to help you find that person and make them reverse the curse. You said you’re stuck in Amelina’s room. Is she someone you trust enough to help you?”
“Yes Lisa your theorising is correct. Someone put me in this mirror but if I told you who that person is there would be terrible consequences. My only hope is that Amelina will help me. She is unaware of her powers but two events will happen in succession which will trigger her abilities. The first, is an invitation to visit the mysterious Crystal Cottage, the second is a magical crystal paint set – a gift from Amelina’s aunt. There is also a third source of power, but this is a dark shadow she must avoid at all costs. There is a black cat, Shadow who holds the secret of this source but he does not speak. He is 99% good. I have only known one time when I saw his 1% bad but that was frightening.”
“Um, yeah. Magical abilities and a black cat sound like clues to me. How good a friend is Amelina again?”
“Amelina and I were never friends at school. I was Miss Popularity, and she was Miss Obscurity. But now I have all the time in the world to listen, and to talk. I realize I misjudged her. She has hidden depths, whereas I was all surface, and superficiality.”
“So if it wasn’t Amelina, who else might be checking up on you? People usually do things for a reason, and it’s odd that nobody has asked you for anything.”
“Not true! Amelina has begged me to tell her more about this curse but I have told her I can’t reveal what I know. It’s too dangerous. One look at Amelina’s dad and you’ll see what I mean. He’s aged unnaturally, but it’s more than that. He’s lost a cherished part of him. Amelina’s mum hasn’t aged but every aspect of her yells bitter. Both of them look like a cruel caricature painting. Just recently, Amelina has taken to walking down this forbidden river pathway where she met Ryder. Every time I see Ryder my skin crawls.”
“Does everyone talk to you, or are some people incapable of seeing you inside the mirror?”
“No, not everyone talks to me. Ryder doesn’t. Amelina’s aunt Karissa never blinks an eyelid in my direction which is unusual as she natters and gossips non-stop. I expect that means she doesn’t see me. Amelina’s parents talk to me. No scratch that, they tell me what they daren’t tell anyone else. I reckon they’d both have a fit if they knew I’d been listening to them spill their guts out. They have a permanent house guest/prisoner and they’ve no idea.”
“Wow, not a lot of clues to go on. I worry that you won’t be able to get free once more. Any closing thoughts for our listeners today?”
“Lisa, there are numerous clues but like the Crystal cottage they are hidden. There are depths of meaning in this story. You have to delve into the puzzle to reveal the mystery. I’m trapped so Amelina has to find those clues. It is frustrating having no control over what happens. Sometimes Amelina and I fall out because of that mounting frustration. I fear for her knowing what I know. She is too trusting. I implore her to see the darkness that hides in the shadows. If The Curse of Time won’t release us, our fates will continue to be an individual prison with or without bars.”
“You can read all about Esme’s plight in the book The Curse of Time, by Marjorie Mallon. I’ll include all the pertinents on the website.
“You can also help them out by using the sharing buttons on the website. Tell your friends on Facebook, or Google+ about Esme’s plight. I’m sure they’ll do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio show.
On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.
Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.
Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.
With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?
A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.
Pick up your copy at this link.
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, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love 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.
Social media contacts:
My blog – for information about new releases, photos of main characters/character interviews, book reviews and inspiration: https://mjmallon.com
My New Facebook Group #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Facebook: Facebook: m j mallon author
Tumblr: Tumblr: mjmallonauthor
I have devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on My Goodreads Review Account, and on my blog to help support traditional and indie writers.
Photo credit: Black cat Alex Marlowe – https://alexmarloweblog.wordpress.com. Shadow the cat is modelled by Samantha Murdoch’s cat Lily – https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/
Photo credit: Corpus Chronopage on book cover – Inventor Dr John C Taylor, OBE. http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/
Artwork: Esme Portrait – available to buy via Carolina Russo’s wonderful art page: https://yesterdayafter.com/2017/09/06/new-release-esme-bringing-alive-a-character-with-a-painting-collaboration-with-author-mj-mallon/
If you’d like to vote for me in the AuthorsDB cover and first line contest here’s the link to find out how to do so: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/08/please-vote-for-me-in-authorsdb-first-line-contest/