Posts Tagged ‘magic’

The Dark Spell is upon us! Book 3 in The Morrow Secrets Trilogy

June 27th, 2015

NEW DARK SPELL COVER reduced is upon us…and The Morrow Secrets Trilogy is complete

In a sinister world where darkness prevails, Tallitha Mouldson is determined to unravel the secrets behind her family’s mysterious past. Swept up in a breathtaking adventure into the evil depths of Hellstone Tors, Tallitha embarks on her final quest to destroy the Dark Spell and vanquish the sinister Morrow Swarm.
Surrender your imagination to this whirlwind of magic and the macabre. A Gothic fairy tale of witchcraft and the paranormal, The Dark Spell is the final chapter in Susan McNally’s epic trilogy, The Morrow Secrets.


Step into this eerie fairy tale, steeped in magic and the supernatural and surrender your imagination to a whirlwind of fantastical intrigue and dangerous betrayal. A Gothic fairy tale of epic proportions, The Morrow Secrets trilogy will bewitch, entrance and inspire.

  The final instalment in the trilogy is here:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

More 5* for Fantasy Trilogy, The Morrow Secrets

January 5th, 2015

5* for The Shadow of the Swarm, book 2 in The Morrow Secrets Trilogy

The Shadow of the Swarm CoverWith more twists and turns than the River Ganges, 4 Jan 2015

I read this with a degree of cynicism. Could Susan McNally really do it again? My scepticism was misplaced because YES, absolutely, this work represents a seamless transition from the first fantastic installment in this riveting tale !!!!

 

Aside from Susan’s wonderful imagination and the strange lands and characters she has somehow made accessible to the reader, she has also (in Tallitha) created a protagonist adept in viewing the malignancy of the ‘swarm’ with childlike innocence.

Tallitha personifies all that we strove to be as children; driven, caring, resolute and with lodestars to ensure that justice prevails. It is her capacity to take the reader back to their own childhood and idealistic principles which is in my opinion Susan’s greatest success.

Roll on the concluding chapter of this fantastic trilogy!

 

Caedryl, Lapis & Muprid5.0 out of 5 stars

The Shadow of the Swarm – Brilliant!

The Shadow of the Swarm begins just where The Morrow Secrets ends and Tallitha learns what her fate will be. There are more character introductions in this book, some nice some not so nice but all play an important part in the story. We discover many more Morrow Secrets and throughout this book things start slotting into place. I think Tallitha is a very brave girl and she is an amazing character.

 

Susan McNally has penned a fantastic read, I enjoyed it even more than the first book in the series.

 

There are still loose ends to tie up and I really want to know what happens next. I am looking forward to returning to this series when book three is released.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

5* Reviews for Supernatural Gothic Fantasy Trilogy

December 20th, 2014

The Shadow of the Swarm Cover 5* What a Fantastic Start to a Fantasy Series! 

The Morrow Secrets was not a predictable book to read at all, whenever I thought I knew what was going to happen there was a twist and I was left shocked. There are a few shocks to this book too.

 

It was a great read for teens, young adults and adults and I would definitely recommend it.

 

I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

haunted-cemetery-hd-wallpaperThe Shadow of the Swarm – 5* Brilliant!

The Shadow of the Swarm begins just where The Morrow Secrets ends and Tallitha learns what her fate will be. There are more character introductions in this book, some nice some not so nice but all play an important part in the story. We discover many more Morrow Secrets and throughout this book things start slotting into place. I think Tallitha is a very brave girl and she is an amazing character.

Susan McNally has penned a fantastic read, I enjoyed it even more than the first book in the series.

There are still loose ends to tie up and I really want to know what happens next. I am looking forward to returning to this series when book three is released.

Caedryl, Lapis & Muprid

5 stars  – Again, Susan McNally’s, outstanding series exceeds expectation

What a fantastic start to a series!

The Morrow Secrets was not a predictable book to read at all, whenever I thought I knew what was going to happen there was a twist and I was left shocked. There are a few shocks to this book too.

It was a great read for teens, young adults and adults and I would definitely recommend it.

I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Supernatural | Comments (0)

Perfect for Halloween! YA Fantasy – The Shadow of the Swarm – Book Two in The Morrow Secrets Trilogy

October 2nd, 2014
The Shadow of the Swarm

The Shadow of the Swarm

 The Shadow of the Swarm – paperback version released on Amazon today

‘A perfectly bewitching tale to get you in the mood for Halloween!’

‘Spooky Gothic fantasy with a twist of horror’

http://ow.ly/vkV7a

5* I loved this book from start to finish! Packed with adventure, mystery and magic this is the stuff of dark mythical kingdoms and well imagined fantasy worlds where witches, ghosts and strange creatures abound. It is a great read for all ages especially for those who love dark fairy tales. Tallitha is a great heroine with a strong determination to survive and unravel the secrets that inhabit her weird family. The plot is gripping and leads the reader on a journey full of scary twists and spooky turns into the occult and supernatural. Now I want book 3!

A must for fantasy and YA lovers!

The Spider's Turret5 Stars! Another cracking story from Susan (Amazon) …I loved the first book and couldn’t wait for this one, I was not disappointed. It is just as intriguing, sinister and riveting as it’s predecessor. The characters are excellent. I like the way Tallitha is plucky but can also feel nervous…it’s much more real than a hero who is all gung-ho and brave. The shroves repulse me….can’t imagine why anyone would have them in the same house…I can smell them from the description….yuck! It is well written and holds ones interest all the time. As with the prequel Susan leaves us with a cliff hanger of an ending…now we have a year to wait for the final book….that is my only criticism!….

5 Stars! A brilliant sequel! (Amazon) …This is the second of Susan McNally’s Morrow Secrets books – the first one came out last year – and it’s just as good as the first one. It’s centred around the same main character and she’s joined not only by lots of the other characters from the first book but by new ones too. They’re all brought brilliantly to life and have more fantastic adventures. I don’t want to give anything anyway but there are some new locations which are unlike anything I’ve encountered before – spooky gothic indeed. Read it!.. Caedryl, Lapis & Muprid 

Goodreads 5* Review …’This is an amazing second book in The Morrow Secrets story and I loved it. It is even more sinister than the first with witches, ghouls and the occult. Tallitha’s adventures continue in the strange land of Breedoor. More characters, more twists and turns plus the supernatural abounds. A cracking good read!’…   Find out what happens to Tallitha and Tyaas in the next instalment of their spellbinding adventure.. Trapped in the dark castle at Hellstone Tors… surrounded by witches and shroves, trapped by the Morrow Swarm, Tallitha

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Best Children's Fiction, Supernatural, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

5* for The Morrow Secrets: Dark YA Gothic Fantasy

August 16th, 2014


Winderling Spires5* Imaginative and Exciting Gothic Tale (16th August 2014, Amazon USA & Goodreads)

Wow, what a surprise! I found this little gothic gem via Twitter and didn’t know what to expect when I started reading.

First off, I love when fantasy books have maps and illustrations to give you a sense of the surroundings, a feel for a strange new world. And strange, but wonderful it is!

CaveThe author of THE MORROW SECRETS created a wicked and creepy mystery with well-developed and bizarre characters and a fantastic, richly detailed world. The novel takes you on an adventurous journey starting at the protagonists’ eerie home of Winderling Spires and continuing across the fantastic lands of Wicham Elva all the way beyond the borders of dark and looming Breedoor. Susan McNally kept me in suspense throughout the book all the way to the very last sentence. I’m anxious to find out how the journey continues!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fantasy Trilogy, Supernatural, The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

The Morrow Secrets is Compared to Tolkien’s Middle Earth

July 14th, 2014

 

Winderling Spires       5 Stars! A Great Story!13 July 2014 on Amazon UK

Tallitha Mouldson dreams of escaping her domineering Great Aunt and the confines of the east wing of Winderling Spires, a huge sprawling house in a land called Wycham Elva. She longs to explore the rest of the weird old house and uncover its secrets.

Then circumstances give her the chance to not only explore the house, but to go on a quest through dark mysterious places that will test her resolve to its limits.
Cave I loved reading this story, loved Winderling Spires and its cast of dark characters.I also enjoyed the journey to the even darker Hellstone Tors. The plot is good, the characters are great. The world that Susan Mcnally has created is comparable to Tolkiens Middle Earth in its depth and imagination. In fact this could well be Susan Mcnally’s ‘Hobbit’ that I can see leading on to much larger works. Five stars for this book, I do feel the story could have been longer, but that may be because I enjoyed it so much. Also I am not sure about the title, When thinking back to this story I think of Winderling Spires and If I had written it that would have been the title.

You will not want to put this book down and you will not want it to end.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Paranormal Delights! The Shadow of the Swarm: Book 2 in The Morrow Secrets Trilogy

July 8th, 2014
The Shadow of the Swarm

The Shadow of the Swarm

5 Stars! Another cracking story from Susan (Amazon)

I loved the first book and couldn’t wait for this one, I was not disappointed. It is just as intriguing, sinister and riveting as it’s predecessor. The characters are excellent. I like the way Tallitha is plucky but can also feel nervous…it’s much more real than a hero who is all gung-ho and brave. The shroves repulse me….can’t imagine why anyone would have them in the same house…I can smell them from the description….yuck! It is well written and holds ones interest all the time.

As with the prequel Susan leaves us with a cliff hanger of an ending…now we have a year to wait for the final book….that is my only criticism!

 

Caedryl, Lapis & Muprid5 Stars! A brilliant sequel! (Amazon)

…This is the second of Susan McNally’s Morrow Secrets books – the first one came out last year – and it’s just as good as the first one. It’s centred around the same main character and she’s joined not only by lots of the other characters from the first book but by new ones too. They’re all brought brilliantly to life and have more fantastic adventures. I don’t want to give anything anyway but there are some new locations which are unlike anything I’ve encountered before – spooky gothic indeed. Read it!..

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Creepy, Gothic Fantasy Trilogy, How to Write a Children's Novel, Paranormal, Supernatural | Comments (0)

The Shadow of the Swarm: Book 2 in The Morrow Secrets Trilogy

July 6th, 2014
The Shadow of the Swarm

The Shadow of the Swarm

5 Stars! Another cracking story from Susan, (Amazon)

I loved the first book and couldn’t wait for this one, I was not disappointed. It is just as intriguing, sinister and riveting as it’s predecessor. The characters are excellent. I like the way Tallitha is plucky but can also feel nervous…it’s much more real than a hero who is all gung-ho and brave. The shroves repulse me….can’t imagine why anyone would have them in the same house…I can smell them from the description….yuck! It is well written and holds ones interest all the time.

As with the prequel Susan leaves us with a cliff hanger of an ending…now we have a year to wait for the final book….that is my only criticism!

 

Caedryl, Lapis & Muprid5 Stars! A brilliant sequel! (Amazon)

…This is the second of Susan McNally’s Morrow Secrets books – the first one came out last year – and it’s just as good as the first one. It’s centred around the same main character and she’s joined not only by lots of the other characters from the first book but by new ones too. They’re all brought brilliantly to life and have more fantastic adventures. I don’t want to give anything anyway but there are some new locations which are unlike anything I’ve encountered before – spooky gothic indeed. Read it!..

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fantasy Trilogy, Paranormal, The Morrow Secrets, The Shadow of the Swarm, Witches | Comments (0)

Author Blog Interview: The Morrow Secrets Trilogy: Gothic Fantasy Trilogy

May 22nd, 2014

Interview with Susan McNally (for Melissa Holden)Caedryl, Lapis & Muprid

 

What got you into writing?

 

It was a complete moment of inspiration when a number of ideas that had been mulling around in my head came together and I just had to start writing. I am a bookworm and like many people thought I might write a book one day but it was only when I began writing The Morrow Secrets that I became absolutely gripped. I had found my genre – Gothic fantasy or Young Adult fiction, I discovered I loved creating mysterious, fantasy worlds. Having done that and cut my teeth on fantasy, I do think at some point I will move on to horror or more adult fantasy.

As a child I loved getting lost in make-believe worlds such as the Narnia books, The Hobbit and The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

I wanted to recreate that excitement as a writer – the joy of not being able to put a book down, so that the reader was desperate to turn the page and find out what was happening next.The Spider's Turret

 

 

What’s your favourite book and why?

 

That’s a difficult question as there are so many books I love for very different reasons. Can I have three books?

 

Then I would choose Dracula for its creepy atmosphere and the wonderful way Bram Stoker describes the Count and his castle. I first read it in my late teens under the blankets at university. It was so scary, one night I slept with the light on!

 

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – what a story and what a storyteller! A master of characterization and a genius at naming his characters for example Uriah Heep in David Copperfield, immediately the reader knows that Uriah is going to be underhanded and sneaky just from his name.

 

Finally Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, which I first read at 15. I was transported into a dark, world with menacing characters, a love story and one without a happy ending. Also I am from North Yorkshire so I identified with the descriptions of landscape and the desolate moors.

 

CaveWhat’s your writing routine?

 

To be honest I don’t really have a routine although I write most days. I like writing late at night and sometimes into the wee small hours and I guess for my dark narrative this works.

 

 

Tell me about The Morrow Secrets?An Early Drawing of a Shrove

 

It’s a fantasy adventure about a headstrong girl called Tallitha who is determined to unearth the dark secrets of her sinister Morrow family. From the moment you step into Tallitha’s mysterious world and the weird old house of Winderling Spires the story takes you on a rollercoaster, an epic adventure across dangerous lands, full of eccentric characters with scary twists and turns. It’s a story of intrigue, betrayal and magic.

 

The book has 20 5* Star Reviews on Amazon and 27 5* Star Reviews on Goodreads

 

The second book, The Shadow of the Swarm has just been published and both books are available on Amazon. http://myBook.to/TheMorrowSecrets

 

The third book in the trilogy will be published in 2015.

 

You write YA Fantasy: what got you into this genre, and why do you love writing it?

As soon as I began writing my fantasy adventure story everything just fell into place. I find the experience of creating the make-believe worlds so fascinating and whenever I write it is like embarking on a fantastic journey, as you never know where you will end up. Its wonderful to be able to make up stories and have people read them and in many ways it’s like being a child again capturing the wonder and excitement of fairy stories and magic. That’s the best bit.

I love fantasy stories and movies. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are all time favourites and currently I am into Game of Thrones. Of course I love the Harry Potter movies and The Hunger Games. More in the Gothic genre I thoroughly enjoyed The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and the Hammer House of Horror movies.

 

The castle at Hellstone TorsWhat inspired your Trilogy, “The Morrow Secrets”?

 

It was a combination of ideas – I have always been fascinated with dark spooky houses, with family history and the influence that past generations have on the present and also that families sometimes have secrets they keep from their children. So it was all these things that came together. I began imagining what it would be like to be a girl, caught in the web of her strange family with a mysterious past; a curious girl who couldn’t leave the past alone, who was headstrong and determined to embark on a dangerous quest and that was the kernel that started the book. I also added in the supernatural, a bit of magic, peculiar creatures and an epic journey across dangerous lands.

 

I can trace the idea for The Morrow Secrets to when I saw a children’s book illustration and it reminded me of how I loved reading about make-believe worlds as a child. I had this intense desire to recreate the wonderful excitement of reading a magical fantasy adventure story. I also wanted a strong female character as the lead and so Tallitha came into being.

 

Much GrovellI have always loved horror films and scary books, big rambling houses with secrets to unearth. I didn’t intend to write Gothic fantasy, the book just wrote itself. Once I had decided on the setting and some of the characters the story just tumbled out, it was a very odd experience looking back.

 

I watched a Stephen King “You Tube” interview recently and he said virtually the same. That is what is odd about it – do writers all have this inexplicable experience where they leave their present world in their imagination and enter another one? The only way I can describe it is that there is a real joy in engaging in this creative process – I sit down at my desk, read over the last chapter and bingo more of the story pours out… the characters take over – it is a bit like magic.

As a writer I rarely plot story lines, I let them evolve.

As a series author, do you find it hard to keep the story fresh? What tips can you give aspiring authors about writing a series?

 When I started writing the first book I only vaguely thought it would be a trilogy, but I didn’t focus on that at all, it would have been too daunting a task to envisage writing nearly 300,000 words!

As a series author, or indeed any author you have to be gripped by your story, if you’re not, believe me the process of writing a book is just too hard. So I love my story and I have been compelled to write it, it is almost like an addiction when you’re so deeply into it you can’t wait to start writing again the next day. I can imagine my characters in any situation and I know their personality and how they will react to different events. One of my writing tips is to get to know your characters and what they will do… When you begin thinking about them before going to sleep and when you wake up in the morning … you’re there!

You have to write the book you want to read.

Carry a notebook and jot ideas down when you have them,

Another tip would be to stop writing each day when you know where the plot is heading – have a few ideas jotted down for the next writing session. You may not use them but they will be a prompt to get going again.

 

I haven’t suffered from “writer’s block”. I have this mantra… just get the story down, no matter how rough and then you can go back and refine it later. No one ever wrote a great first draft so never give up.

There are 20 Gothic illustrations in The Morrow Secrets and in the second book in the trilogy The Shadow of the Swarm.

I get some of my inspiration from movie stills, imagining scenes in a film when I write – so I can see my characters acting their parts. I also get inspiration from the visual arts, photographs, paintings and drawings so I was keen to have my characters illustrated. You can find these illustrations on my website. www.themorrowsecrets.co.uk

They are by the artist and illustrator Luke Spooner at www.carrionhouse.com

 

Are your friends and family supportive of your writing career?

 Another great question! My husband is a creative person and is a composer and early on he gave me some good advice…”sometimes you have to kill of your favourite children”. That sounds terrible but what he meant was that you have to be ruthless with yourself and edit large chunks (characters) out of your book.

He also said don’t read reviews!

My children have been very supportive and are my biggest fans! They are the first to have read my books along with my husband and have given me some great feedback including what I should change.

On the down side there are some people who you imagine will be supportive and who aren’t.

 

The Shadow of the Swarm CoverHow do you manage your time? Is it hard balancing your writing life with your working life?

 

I am self-employed so I have the luxury of deciding when to write and when to work on my other career.

 

 

Are you self-published or with an agent?

 I have a publisher called Sweet Cherry Publishing who specialise in YA and children’s trilogies and box sets. They have been fantastically supportive and I have done a lot of events with them. Last week I went to The London Book Fair which was amazing and I have done a number of book signings and school events.

I have also designed and led Creative Writing Workshops with young people that were fantastic fun. Seeing these participants fired up about writing their own stories was very inspirational.

How do you keep motivated?

 You have to love writing otherwise it’s too difficult and I believe as a writer you have to love reading. Read lots of different authors from many genres and notice how they use dialogue and employ their craft. Watch movies and notice how directors and scriptwriters build suspense, dialogue and tension. I love the visual arts and can be motivated through art, cinema, photographs as well as the written word.

You have to treat professional writing as a job. I used the word “professional” there on purpose. Get up every day, sit down and start to write and believe me if you have writing in your blood you will write. Don’t wait for the mythical “inspiration” to occur, you have to create it. Sometimes you will write rubbish and other times the words will just flow out of you which is an amazing feeling when you get your strange imaginings down on paper just the way you want it.

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/MorrowSecrets

Amazon Books

http://myBook.to/TheMorrowSecrets

THE SHADOW OF THE SWARM – Book 2 in ‪@MorrowSecrets Trilogy ‪http://ow.ly/uWHel 

Website

www.themorrowsecrets.co.uk

Twitter

https://twitter.com/SMcNallyauthor

Radio Interview

http://youtu.be/9ZJt4hlNX3w

Writing tips for new and aspiring authors

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in The Morrow Secrets | Comments (0)

Supernatural Influences on The Morrow Secrets

May 11th, 2014

The Graveyard at Winderling SpiresGhoulish things that go bump in the night and all things weird have influenced my writing from an early age. Ghost stories, Hammer House of Horror, Supernatural Tales and curiosities associated with death and dying have influenced my sense of the macabre.

One amazing place for inspiration is Highgate Cemetery in North London where the Victorians celebrated the cult around mourning, death and dying. The cemetery, one of seven that ring London, is a Gothic paradise with huge Gothic Mausolea, fantastic headstones and grotesque  catacombs to the dead. Satanists and Dracula fans have used the cemetery in the past for midnight services. It is extremely overgrown with only certain pathways open to walking tours where the ‘friends’ of Highgate cemetery, well versed in death rituals and the Victorian period talk the visitor through the history of some of the famous and infamous inhabitants of the graveyard.

http://www.highgate-cemetery.org/

Three out of every twenty babies died before their first birthday in the Victorian era. Given this high mortality rate in the mid to late 19th century, many middle class women spent much of their adulthood in mourning. The death of close family members required a Victorian woman to spend a year and a day in deep mourning, wearing rough dresses and bonnets that chaffed their skin, known as ‘widow’s weeds’ – and upwards of two years in black.

http://www.victorianflair.net/VictorianMourning.html

http://www.msu.edu/user/beltranm/mourning/mourning.htm

 The often grotesque Gothic architecture, inscriptions on the tombs and haunting atmosphere is perfect for any horror or fantasy lover.

 

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Fantasy Trilogy, Supernatural, The Morrow Secrets, Uncategorized | Comments (0)