Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – Big News – Rython Prequel to be Published in 2023

January 31, 2023
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I am excited to announce that the prequel to my fantasy series, Malgraf’s Dawning, will be published by Dream Write Publishing later in 2023. I have already contracted a book cover designer and will work with her to create an apt cover for this dark tale of a witch in the making, from childhood to adulthood.

The fantasy series began with The Rython Kingdom and was followed by the reader requested sequel, Rython Legacy. Set in medieval England these novellas are full of tales of kings, castles, sorcery and mystery.

Both books are available as print or e-book on all purchase sites. In several bookstores (Daisy Chain, Edmonton, The Bookworm, Sherwood Park & Shelf Life Books, Calgary) and also several libraries. (Sherwood Park, Jasper, and Spruce Grove)

Currently the first draft of the prequel is around 16,000 words and Malgraf is obtaining her dark powers and spells daily. Delving into the psyche of the villain in a story has its struggles, but can also be fun, as a writer it allows you to go to dark places with permission. As a Gemini, I find this easier than maybe other writers! Read into that as you will…ha,ha.

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – Sharing a Short Story – Biker & Kitten

January 24, 2023
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Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

The solitary rumble of a motorbike engine echoed along the back alley, the bright headlight chasing the jet-black night into the shadows. A sliver of a moon gave no illumination, so darkness enveloped the alley the instant the bike passed. Gravel crunched under the vehicle’s wheels, and exhaust fumes were added to the garbage bin aroma. The night air blew a chill breeze along the alley’s length blowing and spiraling detritus.

Dressed all in black leather accessorized with silver studs and chains, the rider was muscled and bearded. Large hands gripped the handlebars, tattoos across each finger and wrist. The jacket hid many more inked designs all over his body but bore the emblem of the gang’s name. His hacking smokers cough broke the midnight stillness and he spat on the ground. Another night of drinking and perceived nuisance under his belt, he smiled. His bike gang had a reputation and did everything they could to uphold it. Tonight, was no different. A brawl ended in a trashed downtown bar, with bottles smashed, knives drawn, and blood splattered on the floor. His compatriots made a hasty exit riding in a different directions to avoid capture once sirens were heard.

He switched off the motorcycle engine and silence descended in the alley, a low rumble of traffic on the highway across the hill the only sound. There were no lights on in the houses backing onto the alley, but he knew a few eyes were watching him. His neighbours were too scared to approach him, his attire and appearance deterring any interference or conversation. As he pushed the bike into a dilapidated garage a mewing sound to his right made him stop.  It was too dark to see where the source of the sound came from, and from what. Flicking a light switch the garage flooded with light making him squint and blink. One his eyes adjusted he looked round the cluttered garage, full of bike parts, beer cans, posters and scattered tools. Standing still he waited for another sound and didn’t have to wait long. Another stronger mewing sound allowed him to focus on a direction. He crouched down, peering into the shadows and lifting garbage and spare bike parts to one side. Two wide blue eyes peered back at him from under a discarded pizza box.

Holding out one hand, the man coaxed the little creature from it’s hiding place. A bundle of dirty cobweb covered black fur crept toward him. The kitten fit in the palm of the man’s hand, where it could easily be crushed in a second with little effort. Cupping his hand, the man lifted the kitten up toward his face. They contemplated each other for a moment – giant and miniature. The kitten mewed again and tipped its head to one side. The man’s grin revealed broken teeth and a gold filling.

            “Where did you come from, you little runt?”

With no answer, the man closed the garage door, grabbed his keys and walked through a doorway into a patch of brown dirt. A fire pit with old deck chairs surrounding it and more discarded beer cans and bottles littered the area. No grass could survive the scuffles, play fighting and urinating of the gang’s party nights. Unlocking a door, the man carried the kitten into a dim and untidy kitchen. Take out cartons and boxes were on every surface along with more alcohol containers, some full, others empty or half full. The room’s aroma was of stale beer, sweat and something indiscernible. Swiping his arm across the table, the man placed the kitten down and pulled open the fridge door. The interior light pierced the dimness showing dust and dirt on every surface. Pushing items aside the man found a carton containing chicken and pulled it apart before placing it in front of the animal. It sniffed, licked and then ate the offered morsel. Then looked up for more.

            “Hungry then eh? Here have some more.”

Guileless eyes watched the man place more shredded chicken on the table, and once again it was eaten with relish.

            “Now, what do I do with you?”

The kitten brushed up against the man’s hairy knuckles and mewed as he placed a dish of water beside the kitten. He watched as it lapped the liquid, then used its paws to wash its face.

            “Now, that’s darn cute – shit what am I doing?”

Unable to put the small creature back out in the alleyway to fend for itself, the man took it to bed with him, where it curled up against his tattooed neck, began to purr and slowly fell asleep. That night both lives changed – a safe haven for the kitten and a softness entering the man’s brutish heart.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Book Reviews from a Sick Bed

January 17, 2023
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Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

I’m suffering from a nasty chest infection, so the only thing I could comfortably do was read and drink tea and water. Screens were just too bright and in all too much information to try and process. Gently embraced into a story was just what I needed to relax and try to recover. I got through these two books in record time and enjoyed them both very much.

Villa Serena by Domenica De Rosa
A wonderful tale of reality versus dreams. Italy is a country of mystery, tradition & misconceptions. I loved following Emily’s journey from outsider to acceptance. Life is never as it seems and this book goes into one family’s world. Highly recommended.

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

A captivating mystery told from various POV’s made this narrative a complex and enjoyable read. The characters were well rounded and defined. I loved the twists and turns of the story the choices made- good and bad.

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday- Celebrating Author & Book Birthdays

January 10, 2023
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Author Birthday’s – first week in January

1st January E.M. Forster, 2nd January Isaac Asimov, 3rd January J.R.R. Tolkien, 4th January Isaac Newton, 5th January W.D. Snodgrass (Just love his name – it’s a character all of it’s own!), 6th January C.D. Wright, 7th January Gerald Durrell, 8th January Terry Brooks, 9th January Philippa Gregory and 10th January Dorianne Laux.

Of course, there are other famous author birthday’s to consider, I am only showing a few. Some are posthumous, while others are celebrated through social media greetings and memes. Another ‘birthday’ celebration writers hold are for the launching date of a book, and some authors recognize these milestones annually. For a non-writer this may seem odd, but when our stories go out into the world it is akin to a birth. We have nurtured and loved the creation of a narrative for months, sometimes years prior to the actual launching date, and so it is thus deserving of a celebration.

Do you have a favorite author whose birthday you celebrate?

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday – A New Year – A New Reading Challenge

January 3, 2023
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It is always exciting to begin a New Year and a new book! I have an impressive book pile to begin 2023, and will, as always, leave a review on Goodreads for each one.

I would love to know what you are reading this month and why you chose it. Also please review each book you read, as these reviews are the life blood for authors. It validates all their hard work in creating a time, place and characters from their imaginations. Your review can be one sentence long, it doesn’t have to be a synopsis of the narrative.

My first book for 2023 is Villa Serena by Domenica De Rosa. As many of my followers know I love Italy, and this will in some small way ease my hankering to fly to Italy in 2023 and escape the Alberta winter.

I have set my Goodreads 2023 challenge. Why not do the same?

You can, of course, find many reading challenges online – here is a selection!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/books-to-read-in-2023/

https://www.the52book.club/2023-reading-challenge/


#TBR Challenge 2023

2023 Beachcomber Mystery Reading Challenge

2023 Books in Translation Reading Challenge

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

2023 Children’s Book Reading Challenge…for Adults!

2023 Classics Reading Challenge

2023 Diversify Your Reading Challenge

2023 Diversity Reading Challenge

2023 Diversity Reading Challenge

2023 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge

2023 Library Love Challenge

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

2023 Monthly Key Word Reading Challenge

2023 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

2023 NoveList Reading Challenge

2023 Romance Book Reading Challenge with She Reads Romance Books

2023 Romance Reading Challenge

2023 Southern Literature Reading Challenge

Around the World in 80 Books

Around the World Reading Challenge 2023

Beyond The Bookends’ 2023 Reading Challenge

Booklist Queen’s 2023 Reading Challenge

BookRiot’s 2023 Read Harder Challenge

Calendar of Crime Challenge

Color Coded Reading Challenge

COYER (Clear Out Your E-Reader) Challenge

Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

Creativity Reading Challenge 2023

Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2023

Epistolary Reading Challenge 2023

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

Humor Reading Challenge 2023

Memoir Reading Challenge 2023

Mental Health Reading Challenge 2023

Read Around The World Challenge

Read It Again, Sam Challenge

Read With Allison’s 2023 Reading Challenge

Read Your Bookshelf Challenge

Reading by the Numbers Challenge

Roll to Read Challenge

Romanceopoly Reading Challenge

TBR Pile Challenge

The 52 Book Club’s 2023 Reading Challenge

The Book Girls’ Guide Decades Reading Challenge

The Book Girls’ Guide Lifetime of Reading Challenge

The Book Girls’ Guide Read Around the USA – 2023 States Reading Challenge

The Book Girls’ Guide Read Around the World: Book Voyage Reading Challenge

The Nerdy Bookworm 50 Books A Year Reading Challenge 2023

The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2023

Thrifty Thursday Challenge 2023

Uncorked 2023 Reading Challenge

Virtual Mount TBR Challenge

What An Animal Reading Challenge 2023

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