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VBT – Mighty Mary

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Mighty Mary” by Max Davine
Press Release – Dina Gavrilova
Paperback: 450 pages
Publisher: Tamarind Hill Press

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Australian author Max Davine is set to follow up his fifth novel “Dino Hunt” (2015) with an animal story of a very different kind. Published by Tamarind Hill Press, “Mighty Mary” tells the tragic, turbulent but sometimes heart-warming and ultimately thought-provoking story of Mary the Elephant, who was taken from the wild in India after the slaying of her mother and sold to a circus in the United States. Hers is a tale of human cruelty, of which her life would become a catalogue. She was trained with brutality by her captors and seemed to find a home amongst a surrogate herd of a different kid, that which migrated along the railroad and performed in giant tents. But there is redemption along the way. Mary forms bonds with other outcasts who also suffer at the hands of men, from horses to other elephants and even a trapeze artist named Christina. All the while, her innocence, her intelligence and her endearing qualities often inadvertently reveal the conflict within the supposedly heartless human who own her.

Davine’s previous five novels were sold all over the world to critical acclaim. His distinctly “borderless” style and keen eye for human drama has made his work accessible to anyone, anywhere and at any age. Using the sensibilities, empathy and subtlety he rendered the beloved tyrannosaurus chick in “Dino-Hunt” with, Davine instils Mary with the nuance, insight and ultimate strength that she develops over each stage of her incredible life. From a wild but naïve and dependent calf she grows into the cynical but compassionate circus performer that would become the star of the South.

Of his work, critics have said:
Uniquely crafted, Dino Hunt isn’t your typical dinosaur action/adventure tale. In compelling fashion, author Max Davine presents a surprisingly believable story that flips the customary script on the age old battle between predator and prey. The action is fast-paced, the characters realistic, and the plot highly engaging from beginning to end.” – Courtney Wells, Apex Reviews.

The author’s writing was almost lyrical, similar to an epic like “Beowulf” or “The Odyssey”.” – M.P Ceja on “Off The Map”, In D’Tail Magazine.

Utilizing a surprisingly polished writing style, the author has crafted an action adventure with real depth and quality.” – Roma Gray, on “Dino Hunt”, Trick or Treat Thrillers.

A powerful tale for all ages, “Mighty Mary” is not created to shock but rather to instil a second thought about the lives and souls of the animals we tend to use and consume in our contemporary world.

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Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Mary-Max-Davine/dp/1644673398/

Author Website maxdavine.com/

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The Students Sold Us Secrets Book Blog Tour

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Title: The Students Sold Us Secrets
Author: Lee J Mavin
Series: Volume 1
Hosted by: Beautiful Promotions

– Blurb –

No one is safe! The school has become a war-zone and the innocent are turning fast! A brave and nameless teacher has collected some awful and disturbing documents from some ghastly students. These are their stories and they will shock and amaze both teacher and student. But they haven’t been given away for free. This terrified individual has paid a hefty price to get the truth and is paying for it, with his freedom. In his report he states: ‘If you are considering a career in teaching I would advise against it completely. It has become a profession far more dangerous than a police officer or even an army soldier in open war.’ ‘I’m risking my life giving you this information, but I feel you need to know the truth. On the surface these children appear innocent and well-mannered but it is inside where their darkness dwells.’ The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume 1 is the first collection of short stories from the writer that brought you Reverse the Universe, Lee J Mavin, and will take you down a path you never thought existed. It’s packed with twelve short stories, all equally alarming and unsettling, as well as a secret report written by an undercover teacher.

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Lee J Mavin previously published a collection of poetry titled Reverse The Universe: collected poems and unused lyrics and has also published a children’s novel titled The Diary Of A 7th Grade Hybrid. This year he will be publishing more mad fiction in the form of a wicked a weird fantastic adventure titled The Intergalactic Custody Battle and the book he has always wanted to finish, also another young adult novel without a title yet.

He is currently enrolled at Sydney University as a Ph.D. in Arts and teaches ESL and Japanese between shots of caffeine to keep him awake.

He sneaks as much writing he can in between lessons, it helps to ease the pain. He has started a series of stories titled “The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One” with ASJ Publishing. Volume 2 to the series is out now!

He is also kept on his toes by his feisty wife and five year old daughter both of whom are Chinese. They like to let me know how bad my Chinese is on a daily basis.

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Interview With…. Isobel Blackthorn

Hi Readers and Booklovers! Today I am talking with Isobel Blackthorn. Isobel was born in London and moved to Aussie when she was 6. Isobel and her family spent around six years in and around Adelaide before they returned to London. Since then, she has travelled a fair bit between the UK and Aussie, and has had the opportunity to live in Spain and the Canary Islands.

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Welcome Isobel. Please tell our readers about yourself.
I was born in 1962 in London. My family moved to Australia when I was six. We were ten pound Poms and we lived in and around Adelaide for about six years, before returning to London. I’ve been back and forth between the two countries and I’ve also lived in Spain and Lanzarote, Canary Islands. I’ve been a teacher, market trader, alternative life-styler and PA to a literary agent. I also have a fascination for the occult. I received my PhD in Western Esotericism from the University of Western Sydney in 2006. It was after that, when my twin daughters left home, that I dedicated my life to my real passion, creative writing. My short story collection, All Because of You, came out in 2012 and since then I’ve had short stories and some non-fiction pieces published in journals in Australia and the USA.

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What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I’m an early riser. Up before dawn, sometime around five, and I do my best writing in those still hours before my day takes over. Writing is a huge passion and after waiting for three decades of my adult life to get to this stage so I’m on fire. When you get to my age, there’s a sense of urgency. I can’t waste time dreaming or fiddling about with inconsequential things when I have big goals still to achieve before I slip the coil.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
At the moment I would love to hang out with Umberto Eco. I have so many questions for him. I’d love for him to show me around his extensive book collection and we could drink fine Italian wine and talk all day about medieval history and figures like Cagliostro, and esoteric sects like the Freemasons. There are many authors I would like to meet, and sadly some have passed from this life, like Doris Lessing, and my favourite Scottish author, Iain Banks. But with Umberto Eco I would have a unique chance to talk about both creativity and a shared special interest. I’m in awe of prolific writers, writers who can sustain a story for 500+ pages. I’ve just finished reading The Prague Cemetery, my third Eco to date, and I’m left with the feeling that something is missing in my life that can only be filled with another Eco.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Asylum is my first novel and it has its basis in truth. Like the protagonist Yvette Grimm, I was an English-born visa overstayer and I really did invest my hopes in a palm reader’s prophecy that I would meet the father of my children before I was thirty. What a nut! That was the starting point for the story but I needed to make Yvette very different from me so I made her an artist. I can only paint walls.

Yvette’s quest takes her to Perth, and into a world of actors, artists, dilettantes and no-hopers. She’s estranged from Australia and offers a unique migrant’s perspective on what it’s like to find yourself an alien in this land. Asylum is basically a story of alienation. It’s also a black comedy about one woman’s struggle to make good the wreckage of her life, and heal her wounded heart.

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What are you working on next?
I’m working on two other projects. I’m venturing into horror, with more than a toe hanging outside that bed sheet. I don’t think I’m capable of straight ahead horror. Something always bends me back into satire. I’m inspired by the British film, “Sightseers,” directed by Ben Wheatley. How dead pan and matter-of-fact the killing was in that film.

The other project is satirical too. It’s about a young woman trying to prise from her mother the details of her father’s disappearance. The occult in all its dimensions features heavily in the story. It’ll be huge when it’s done; my homage to Umberto Eco.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
This question makes me feel boring. People tell me I have a talent for inspiring others, and it is true that I’m able to create grand schemes in my mind, which is good for writing, but I’ve fallen foul of this so-called talent many times. Beware of castles in the air. And I can’t recall the number of times I’ve conjured a vast vision of possibility for a friend, unaware that she or he is sitting there waiting without much patience for me to finish, having lost interest hours before.

Who are your favorite authors?
I adore Doris Lessing, Alice Munro, Fay Weldon, Iain Banks, Peter Carey, Chris Womersley, and of course Umberto Eco. And so many many more.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Free time? I have to remember to make that happen. Even when I’m reading, it isn’t really leisure time, because I have a sharp eye on everything the author is doing.

I love hanging out with my girlfriends for lunch or coffee. I adore long bus journeys and visiting my two daughters who are living in Melbourne. I can’t see enough of them. Writing is a solitary life. A writer makes enormous sacrifices for the demands of her craft. I try to strike a balance by spending time in my garden, growing my own vegetables, and hanging out with my cat, Psyche, the gentlest, sweetest cat ever born.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
My second novel, The Drago Tree, is due to be released in September 2015, by Odyssey Books. Signing that publishing contract felt like stepping into another world. The novel is set in Lanzarote, a tiny island off the coast of southern Morocco, with stunning landscapes of calderas, lava flows and vast swathes of volcanic ash. The Drago Tree a romantic tale of geologist Ann Salter’s attempt to escape her life back in England, and find a new direction. Only she’s haunted by memories of her estranged sister Penny. I was going through a hard time when I wrote the story and would escape for hours of every day into a world of tourism websites, history and geology websites, Youtube footage, photos and best of all, google maps, whose little man toured the island the year before. One time on street view I actually clicked my way down the length of the whole island.

Where can people find you on the web?
I have a blog containing all my latest news along with all sorts of information about projects I’ve been involved in, and my previous publications.
https://isobelblackthorn.wordpress.com/asylum/
I can also be found on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Isobel-Blackthorn/e/B005JGLS74

Any final thoughts?
I’ve really enjoyed this interview. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Thanks Isobel for being here today 🙂

Guest Author – Lee Mavin

Guest Author – Lee Mavin
Books: The Students Sold Us Secrets Vol 1; The Students Sold Us Secrets Vol 2
Book Publisher: ASJ Publishing

Lee Mavin

Lee J Mavin lives in Sydney with his wife Grace and daughter Charlotte.

Lee is busy with Postgraduate study and is about to finish his Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Canberra.

​Between all this, he still finds the time to write poetry, short stories and novels for both children and adults.

The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume 1 & 2 are available in Paperback and Ebook

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