Kyrosmagica is Now Award Free


Hi All,

Just a quick little post here about Awards. I meant to do an Award Free post ages ago, in fact I thought I’d done it. Perhaps my memory is going? I think I got as far as doing a Bitstrips cartoon, I found this in my picture files. So time to get to it before anyone else nominates me for an award, (particularly if said person is a good friend.) I really do appreciate it so much but due to time constraints I just feel it’s time to step back from these type of awards for now.

In the past I have been blessed with the following awards:

One Lovely Blog Award, Real Neat Blog Award, Premio Dardos Award, Liebster Award,  The Creative Blogger Award, Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, Sunshine Bloggers Award, Blogger Recognition Award, The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, The Versatile Blogger Award. I think that’s the ones I’ve had… Oh, I nearly forgot there was also an Encouraging Thunder Award, I can still hear the thunder claps….

Latest – The Mystery Blogger Award. 

Here’s the link to all my awards if you’d like to have a gander:

My Awards

My very first award is of course very dear to me, a bit like your first baby!

I remember it well, it was The One Lovely Blog Award which was delivered to me on the 14th of July 2014:

My First Award:  The One Lovely Blog Award

Plus I had fun doing The Girl Love Blog Challenge:

The Girl Love Blog Challenge

I will still be doing the odd challenge, time permitting..

I will be adding names of bloggers who have nominated me recently for awards. My way of saying a big Thank You for thinking of me….

Thank you :

Annika Perry – Annika nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you so much Annika for nominating me. She is on a similar writing journey, and we chat about blogging, writing, and books. Definitely one of my favourite blogs to follow, I count her as one of my special blogging friends.

– Annika Perry

Amalia Pedemonte – Amalia nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you so much Amalia for nominating me. Do check out Amalia’s wonderful blog it truly is a treasure chest of information about Greek Mythology, a subject that fascinates me so much that several Greek Gods and Goddesses have crept their way into my current WIP! Do follow her blog, she’s lovely, a very supportive and friendly blogger.

– Aquileana

Inese M J. Thank you so much to Inese for nominating me for The Creative Blogger Award. This is such a great honour coming from such a wonderful photographer. I urge you to follow Inese’s wonderful blog, she is such a lovely and friendly lady and has the most beautiful photography blog.

Inese M J Photography

Gary Jefferies. A big thank you to Gary for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Such a lovely award to receive. I do highly recommend that you follow Gary’s blog. He writes books, short stories and memoirs and has been known to participate in Kindness challenges. He is a really friendly chap and very supportive:

Gary Jefferies – Fiction Is Food

A big thank you to Cat for nominating me for The Mystery Blogger Award.

– Cat at High Risk

Bye for now…


Marje @ Kyrosmagica. xx

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Why Only Eleven?

Thank you so much to Annika for nominating me for The Liebster Award. I am now award free but I’m reblogging Annika’s post to spread the word about so many lovely blogs out there. Do follow Annika she really is a gem.

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One Lovely Blog Award Thank You!!!!


A Big Thank You to Charley from Books and Bakes 1 for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Congratulations on the award Charley. Do take a look at her lovely blog which is all about her love of: “books, baking, theatre, visiting places, home. books and baking,”

This time I’m going to do a Thank You post rather than participating in the award, because:

  •  I’ve been nominated for this award before !! I thought it was twice but I checked and found it was four times, including Charley’s nomination!!
  • I’m taking part in the Red Eye Readathon on Goodreads for the month of October, so I will be very busy doing bookish posts. So more on that to come, stay tuned! My theme is going to be Halloween, so there will be predominantly spooky posts on Kyrosmagica to get in the mood…… for a bit of ghoulish, scary fun, Kyrosmagica style….

So thanks Charley I really appreciate all these awards so much. Look you’re making me blush. Oh, and you have nominated some wonderful blogs which I’m now following!!! So thanks for introducing those blogs to me too.

Bye for now,


Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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Sunshine Bloggers Award


Thank you to Alicia for nominating me for The Sunshine Bloggers Award.

Here’s a link to her awesome blog, do check it out:

I like to spread a little sunshine so this award seems a particularly lovely one for me to receive. So let’s bask in the last rays of an Indian Summer, and enjoy….

Wait a minute, there are rules, in a Sunshine award? Apparently so, so I’ll just put down my Caribbean rum punch for a moment and concentrate on these rules before my eyes go a bit blurry, not to worry there are only three rules:

Rules of the Award:

•Thank the person who nominated you
•Answer the questions from your nominators
•Nominate eleven other bloggers and give them eleven new questions to answer

Oh, and don’t lie back on your sun lounger Marje, at least not yet, as there are some questions too!

Here are the questions that I have been asked to answer:

  1.  What is your favorite era for a story to be set in?   If it was a historical novel it would probably be during the Tudor period, I love Henry the Eighth! He was such a devil, can’t beat Henry for doing dreadful things can you? Or WW2 that’s pretty interesting too.
  2. Favorite genre and why?  Favourite genre has to be Fantasy, as I live in a bit of a fantasy world myself I suppose, and of course I write fantasy too, so yes Fantasy has to be my number one choice. But I love most genres, there are very few exceptions.
  3. What is your favorite season and why? Easy, summer without a shadow of a doubt, love the sea, sand and the beach, so summer wins hands down. I can’t stand the winter as I suffer dreadfully in the cold, hate the dark nights and lack of sunlight. I’m sure that I am a bit prone to SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Yes, I turn into a sad, dreary, energy devoid lump in the winter. I definitely hibernate.
  4. You have to complete a task of epic proportions, what literary sidekick would you bring along? Hermione Granger. That girl is smart, I’d like her on my Sunshine team, oh and Dr.Watson too,
  5. How many countries have you been to in your lifetime? Ah this is difficult as there are quite a few: Malaysia, Papua new Guinea, the Caribbean, Fiji, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Scotland, England.
  6. If you could learn one skill with the snap of your fingers, what would it be? To play the piano to the highest standard, I play average piano I’d love to be able to play like a concert pianist. The piano is my favourite instrument, I just love the sound of piano music so much.
  7. What book do you recommend people NOT read? I very rarely read books that I don’t like as I read book reviews, and follow lots of book bloggers so I tend to know what sounds good. Normally I don’t like a book when someone else has bought it for me! A case in point is: E L James. Fifty Shades of Grey, thought it was rubbish. Not that I’m a prude, far from it, I just didn’t rate it at all.
  8. Where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now? Successfully published, and writing some more, oh and growing this blog too, or at least updating it from time to time!
  9. You have to change your hair color for 3 months, and it can’t be the color it is now, what color would it be? I fancy myself as a blonde but I am way too dark for that! So I normally settle for red and blonde streaks to highlight my hair.
  10. If you could spend a year living anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would probably opt for Portugal, love it there. Or Singapore, the city of my birth. I love Asian food so I’d eat several years worth of spicy food in one year, and then come reluctantly come home!
  11. What is a good piece of advice you learned in your first few months of blogging?

Discover who you are through your blogging. This sounds a bit hoity-toity, but believe me it is true. I found out all sorts of things about myself through blogging. Ok, I’m not saying I found a long lost sister, or that I was adopted or anything like that. I would recommend that you focus on what you really enjoy doing and write about it on your blog. That way people reading your blog will feel your boundless enthusiasm rocking its way over the internet to them! But if its golf that you love don’t write a blow by blow account of every single hole played, just highlight the highlights! Write about the humorous aspects, or things that you feel passionate about. Don’t worry about the numbers, who is and isn’t following you, just have fun. Make friends, yes that one is extremely important, find some blogging friends. As far as the practicalities go its a good idea to get a good book out of the library, or buy one to help you set up your blog, this one has been recommended to me: WordPress in Easy Steps, by Darryl Bartlett. 

Right now it’s time to nominate some blogs for this award, I hope these bloggers accept awards, not all do, but if you don’t that’s okay just sip a little rum punch and chill instead. I won’t be offended.

My Nominees For Sunshine Blogger are:

Storyteller, traveler, life devotee, naturalist, ghostwriter, Grandmother, And a fairly good cook.

Letting the light in one frame at the time.  “I am a nature lover who is lucky enough to live in Queensland in one of the most beautiful spots … the Sunshine Coast.”

Between Two Tides. Poems, Pictures and Stories from Entre Deux Mers, France:

Terri blogs about the fun things in life, in particular leisure.

Yen from Malaysia enjoys the simple things in life and blogs about them at At Little Calico’s Journal:

Musings and Memories, Words and Wisdom from Ritu :

Wife, parent, and home school mum sharing advice, experiences, laughter and fellow writing blog battler:

Eclectic and Multilingual blogger with a great love of reading and writing:

Thoughts about home schooling, health and fitness, being an expat, kids and life in general:

Stacey talks books, writing and the journey to publication:

This is really a sunny blog, lots of wonderful photos on here to light up your day:

My Questions:

  1. Have you ever had Christmas in Australia? Or if you haven’t, do you think you would like your Turkey on the beach?
  2. What is your favourite ice cream?
  3. Do you like comic books? Did you have a favourite as a child?
  4. Are there any unusual customs or idiosyncrasies in your family?
  5. Do you ever read in the bath? Or in any other strange places?
  6. If you could have an unusual pet what would it be and why?
  7. Have you ever been snorkelling? Deep sea fishing? Scuba Diving? Sailing? In a Beach volleyball team? Shell collecting? Fishing?…. etc….
  8. Do you have a favourite season or time of the year?
  9. Are you good at keeping secrets? Or are you a bit of a gossip?
  10. What is your favourite book? Genre?
  11. Do you like to collect anything? Or have you done so in the past?

Bye for now. Time to Chill…. Oh, where has the sun gone? That’s okay I’m chillin’ in my Crystal hangout.

Marje @ Kyrosmagica. xx

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Blogger Recognition Award and Advice To New Bloggers


Thank you to Beaton at Becoming The Muse for nominating me for The Blogger Recognition Award:

It’s lovely that he thought about my blog, I appreciate it, it’s always nice to get noticed!

Especially when you’re only 5 foot 4 and tend not to stand out in the crowd. My husband is 6 foot 1 and makes me look tiny in comparison!

So my advice to new bloggers would be:

  • To get involved, have fun, write or blog about what is in your heart, what inspires you. I’d like to mention a post I did about doing what you love:
  •  Join in challenges. There are so many to choose from, try out a few and see which ones appeal. Join in when you want to and don’t beat yourself up when you haven’t got the time.I usually take part in the following fantastic challenges:
  •  I love writing haiku so I’d highly recommend Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge:
  • There’s nothing like a quote to inspire you so I often take part in Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday:
  • Recently I started joining in Rachael Ritchey’s Weekly Writing Short Story Blog Battle:
  • This week I had a go at Julia at My Red Page’s Camera Lucida Photography Challenge:
  •  Try out new things, be spontaneous and adventurous.
  • If you can write a Book Review then do, these nuggets of pure gold support authors so much.  Or do Bookish posts and memes such as The Friday 56 via Freda’s Voice: or Book Beginnings, via Rose City Readers, I particularly take great pleasure in supporting new authors, that’s one particular blogging activity that is very dear to my heart. That’s why I love going to Book festivals, both here in Cambridge, and in Edinburgh, I love discovering new up and coming authors.
  • If you do Book Reviews it is a great idea to have an A – Z list of all your reviews. Do this right at the beginning otherwise it is a lot of work to catch up with this. I’m currently compiling my A – Z list of Book Reviews and it’s taking me a long time to do this as I have 58 reviews on this blog and counting …….!!!! EEK!!!
  •  Don’t be afraid to be who you are, in fact being yourself is super important, if you pretend to be someone else it will probably show.
  • Chat to people via comments, like and appreciate other bloggers posts,  make it a community endeavour.
  • Have a laugh, but be serious when you need to. Life is made up of both darkness and light so share both.
  • Help and support other bloggers, this is a community so encourage others to fulfil their potential too.
  • Get to know other bloggers if you can, meeting them in person at a blogger’s event is such a brilliant thing to do.  But don’t meet up with random strangers, keep safe! I’d recommend this kind of organised event wholeheartedly, even if like me you’re intrinsically shy, push your boundaries. I went along to the Bloggers Bash in London on 1st of August and it was such a success:
  • This blogging lark takes time, so be patient, developing a blog isn’t an overnight activity it takes a lot of hard work. I blog at all sorts of weird times of the day, forget to talk to my family, burn the dinner, done it all! Be aware that it is quite addictive!!!!!! No, that’s a lie it is 100% quite addictive.
  • Remember to breathe, take in the odd bit of fresh air, watch the squirrels in your garden, don’t sit in front of your keyboard all the time! You have to experience life so you have something to write about.
  • Don’t take it personally if people follow your blog and then seem to vanish into thin air, this happens. In fact in general try not to be too sensitive, just shrug it off. If people want to read your blog they will, especially if you write great content, so focus on that. That’s my no. 1 tip.

I’ve been very slow with this post, life has been extremely busy just recently, I’ve been helping out my mum up in Edinburgh after her operation, and taking in some of the sights of The Edinburgh International Festival which I’ve shared with you in my recent blog posts. So that’s my excuse.

To make up for my tardiness I’ll try to make this post as humorous as I can, I like a little giggle….

Blogging, well I never, over a year ago if you’d told me I’d be receiving awards for blogging I would have looked at you as if you were barking mad. I would not have believed it. Also I certainly would not have imagined that I’d end up going to a Bloggers Bash on the 1st August in London. No, I’d say stop teasing me, but yes I did go, and it’s been such an experience. What an adventure. Why didn’t I do this Blogging lark years ago? It’s a terrible setback being such a slow developer, ack, that’s life, have to accept that NOW is my time, and I’m lapping it up, loving each and every minute of this Blogging journey. Oh, a thought just occurred to me Blogging rhymes with Snogging. Random thoughts like this are always creeping into my mind. Have you ever noticed that before? No of course you haven’t, and even if you had you’d keep it to yourself wouldn’t you? There are some similarities between the two words I suppose, kissing is connecting with someone, on a personal level, and blogging does all of these things on a much wider platform….  That’s what I love about blogging you can say the most incredibly nutty things and get away with it…

Well, I hope I got away with it! I mean, please don’t unfollow me!! EEK!!

Awards are the icing on the cake, and a great way to shout out about great blogs. Hopefully the bloggers that I’m nominated accept awards – I know that many bloggers don’t accept awards due to time constraints. If I’ve nominated you and you don’t accept awards that’s fine don’t worry, I won’t turn up on your front door step, stand on my tippee toes, and and force you to join in! This Five Foot Four girl is a gentle soul so no cause for concern on that count.  I’ll just smile and say, “No Can Do, No worries,” blow you a bloggy kiss and get going!

Right, where did all that randomness come from? Started off talking about my small frame and ended up having a bit of a moment. Well I’m writing parts of this while consuming a glass or two of wine, that’s my secret.

The other thing I like about blogging is the way that it encourages you to explore all sorts of creative activities and takes you on new pathways. When I started this blog it was mainly about books, and writing and now it’s kind of expanding in all sorts of directions: haiku,  photography challenges, and general craziness, with a touch of magic. I called it Kyrosmagica so it was bound to happen. I’m casting a spell on you….  Beware!!

Here are the rules of the award which I’ve pinched word for word from Beaton’s blog:

The Rules: 

  • Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
    Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.
  • Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers.
  • Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
  • List who you’ve nominated in the post.
  • Make sure to also attach the award itself! (You can do this by right-clicking, saving, and uploading the image above).
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them.
  • Provide a link to the award post you created. 
  • Provide a link to the original post on Edge Of Night. That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!

Without any more jokes about snogging, casting spells, or yapping on about my lack of height, I’d like to nominate some wonderful blogs for this award:

This is quite tricky as I have nominated quite a few people before for various awards so with this in mind I’ve tried to come up with some new nominees, hope I’ve succeeded, if I’ve nominated you before well that’s my failing memory’s fault…

Here in no particular pecking order, (couldn’t resist that!) my nominees for Blogger Recognition Award are:

The lovely Erika At BookVentureLand.:

Sharukh Bamboat at India Destination blog. I’ve always wanted to go to India but have never been, so this is my way to go there on a virtual visit:

Annika Perry’s Excellent Writing Blog. :

Kevin at The Screenplay of Life’s Chronicles. Kevin is a stand up comedian, freelance writer and an excellent photographer:

A wonderful poetry blog:

Julia at My Red Page. A girl that likes the colour red, writing and photography. Her blog is very stylish:

For creative endeavours look no further than Wild Daffodil:

D. Wallace Peach’s wonderful blog, Myths of The Mirror:

Ameena at Randoms by A Random, poetry enthusiast, and mental health advocate:

EmMakwall Explains it all, especially her passion for films, television, humour, and soundtracks:

Kayleigh, a Scottish lass who blogs about books, life, and everything in between. She is a fellow Edinburgh Book Festival enthusiast. You can find her blogging at Miserable and Magical:

Hugh over at Hugh’s Views and News, I met him at the Bloggers Bash in London and he’s a lovely bloke, most definitely one to follow:

I’m a devotee of holistic health so I’d recommend Holistic Health Consultant, Reiki Master, and Nutritionalist, Gina Briganti’s  blog:

Poet and Author Adam Gainer. Adam is very approachable, a friendly guy who shares my love of poetry.

and a new discovery, check out Denis’s wonderful afghan hounds and his haiku at Haiku Hound:

Thanks for celebrating this award with me.

Do leave a comment I’d love to hear from you. If you found the advice to new bloggers helpful please do remember to share, thanks so much.


Bye for now.

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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The Creative Blogger Award


Thank you so much to My Personal Teen Life for nominating me for the Creative Blogger Award this one means so much. It’s taken me some time to get this post together, I’ve been real busy recently, so apologies for being a bit slow.

Here’s the link to My Personal Teen Life’s  blog. It’s lovely. I would highly recommend that you check it out. :

First of all I’d just like to say I’ve been getting quite a few awards, first of all it was the Thunder award, followed by the Sisterhood Award and now this. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve cast a spell on my fellow bloggers, I’m smiling a lot, Kyrosmagica, white witch style, and it’s not even Halloween yet!

10393682_976284289056818_7636206669828528129_n Me

Well whatever it is it’s very nice indeed to be nominated for these awards, and then being able to share them with some of my bloggy friends too.

So here are the rules:

1. Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you.

2. Share five facts about yourself to your readers.

3. Nominate 10 other blogs and post their link.

4. Notify all the nominees via their social media/blogs.

5. Pass the rules on to them.

Five things about me:

1. I’m quite a messy person, and tend to flit from one activity to another. If you meet me in person you wouldn’t think so as I dress quite smartly but this is just a smoke screen, believe me. If you should see my desk, no on second thoughts you really don’t want to see my desk, that would be so embarrassing! No desk photos allowed!

2. I’m a water person, I love the sea, and really enjoy swimming. If I was to be reincarnated as a fantasy character I’d like to come back as a mermaid! A nice one though, all shiny and colourful.

3. I’m terrible in a crisis, so don’t count on me if you’ve fallen down and fractured something. Unless you’re over the initial crisis part, and then I’ve very helpful to have around. Which is just as well as my family tend to make quite a fashion out of breaking things, my brother his elbow, myself my foot, my husband his leg, my dad his ankle, my eldest daughter her ankle, (you can read about this calamity here:….. Even my youngest daughter isn’t exempt from drama, you might like to find out more about her unfortunate experience with a sea urchin in Greece:

Anyway I digress, back to the crisis situation as I said I’ll most probably panic. I’d make the worse nurse ever. Sadly, this is most definitely true  my mum fell down and broke her shoulder on the way out for a Chinese meal. It was scary, partly because she’s over seventy, her blood pressure shot up, and she looked really bad. Scared me to bits. But, I gathered myself, and went with her to the hospital in an ambulance. Luckily her shoulder’s healed now, but the memory is still fresh in my mind. Ugh!

4. I have a fear of heights which was a nightmare when I tried to go skiing, but I overcame it, and managed to ride cable cars, chair lifts, etc. One time I didn’t manage to get off the chair lift in time and a hunky ski instructor had to lift me off himself, I didn’t complain! Some women have a thing about men in uniform, well I have a thing about men in ski gear! Handsome Paramedics too they come in very handy when you’ve broken your foot!

5. I love my food a little too much, particularly satay and banana fritters. I used to eat these in Malaysia, and would love to tuck into some right now. YUM!!!!


My nominees:

Ten is just not enough, there are so many others that come to mind (some of which I have already nominated for other awards before)) but here goes …………..

Remember this award isn’t compulsory, if you want to join in that’s great but if you don’t that’s fine too. Don’t worry I won’t cast a spell on you!

To wear a rainbow – Silver linings in a Woman’s World:

Words across the oceans. Lover of poetry, books, music, art & exploring of life!

Nigel Borrington’s Photography blog:

Tofino Photography:

Lucile De Godoy. Bridging Lacunas.

Inese MJ Photograpahy blog:

Stefan Viklund Photography blog:

Patricia No. Art by Mimulux.

Shari Bradbury Photography and Writing

Artist Kirt Tisdale talks about his Art Gallery



Thanks for stopping by. Don’t be shy leave a comment, I love to hear from you.


Kyrosmagica. Friendly white witch x




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Guess What – I’ve joined The Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers


Thank you so much to Alicia at Caffeine and Books for kindly nominating me for The Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award.

Do check out her blog:

These are the five rules to follow:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.

  2. Put the Award logo on your blog.

  3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.

  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.

  5. Nominate ten blogs.


Did you have a book that meant a lot to you as a child?

I loved C.S. Lewis’s  Chronicles of Narnia, and read them all. If you haven’t read them then please do but in this order, (The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy;  The Magician’s Nephew; and the The Last Battle,) so that you get a full idea of the magic of this series. Some publishers are printing them in a different chronological order:


Is there any author or book that you collect and will always welcome multiple editions of the same title?

When I was a youngster I used to collect The Chronicles of Narnia, Tintin, and Asterix the Gaul. I had a pretend library in my bedroom! When I was older detective novels captured my interest – Agatha Christie, and Raymond Chandler. Nowadays I’d love multiple editions of fantasy titles as fantasy is my favourite genre. As well as this I still enjoy detective novels, Asian literature, Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Say that you find yourself judging a book by its cover (not that we ever do that!); what sort of covers do you go for? Are there any that are an absolute turn off?

I love pretty covers, the more elaborate and vibrant the better, here are some of my favourites:

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell


The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton……


Sometimes a simple cover can be very effective too, a perfect example of this is The Art of Being Normal.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson.


I don’t like bland or unimaginative covers, that’s the only criteria I go by, but ultimately it is the writing that matters most.

If you could pick any imaginary animal to bring home to Mom with an earnest, “Can we keep him?”, what animal would it be?

I think it would have to be Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia, as I love cats, and he’s one big cool lion.

Is there any book to movie adaptation that you simply refuse to watch? No way, no how, you’re not even giving them the opportunity to mess it up?

I don’t think so.  I love going to the cinema, but unfortunately I don’t go as often as I would like. I like to see how stories are handled cinematically, but of course sometimes the cinema version just doesn’t quite live up to the book.

What is the most unusual book you’ve ever read? (Plot, writing style, chapter layout, etc?)

The most unusual book I’ve ever read is A Girl is A Half Formed Thing, which I’ve reviewed on my blog, here’s the link to read my review:

 Is there any book or series that you’ve read that is so totally outside of your normal genre, but you loved it and would recommend it to others as a “take a risk!” type of book?

I don’t normally read horror, but I read The Exiled by William Meikle and would recommend to readers of thriller, dark fantasy and horror. Here’s the link to my review:

Do you have any bookish collections, or anything you covet and hope to someday collect? Candles, artwork, bookcases?

I love candles, so I’ve got quite a lot of those scattered about the house, as well as candle holders too. I’m a bit of a jewellery collector, I have so many pieces of jewellery. Our house is overflowing with books too. A lot of them belong to my daughter as she’s a bookworm too. She’s a great source of information on what’s current in terms of YA titles and she kindly lends me all her books if I ask nicely, so I’m lucky that way! Her bookish blog is

There aren’t enough bookcases in our house for all of our books, it’s such a shame. If I had loads of money I’d remedy that and probably splash out on some art too.

What book has been on your TBR pile the longest, but you just can’t convince yourself to pick it up?

Probably one of the longest, is Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. I did pick it up eventually, I read the first chapter and then started the second but somehow I couldn’t quite connect with it. That might have been the frame of mind I was in, sometimes it’s good to go back and try again. I don’t like starting books and not finishing them – this rarely happens! Also another one was Liar’s Poker, I really didn’t fancy this much, but my reading group had chosen it for this month, and I ended up reading about half of this and then I gave up. It wasn’t because it was badly written, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, there’s too much financial information in it, and the obsession with money just drove me mad!

You get a $500 gift card for all things bookish – do you run to your nearest bookstore and spend like a fiend? Or do you create pro/con lists (a la Rory Gilmore) to make sure you get just the right & perfect & wonderful bookish things? Or are you eyeing a particularly expensive bookcase somewhere?

I’m not one for lists, or being organised, so I’d just go out and choose something. I’d like one of those fancy chairs to sit on, to relax while reading a book, or a hammock on a tropical island, but I don’t suppose the gift card would extend to that!



I could get a pretend one I suppose!


Some bookcases would be good too. I’d like to buy lots of gorgeous books, yes pretty ones from authors I especially enjoy.

My questions:

1. What is your most memorable holiday destination?

2. Tell me about your favourite drink, or food? Or both!

3. What kind of books/stories do you write? Or creative activities do you engage in?

4. What’s your favourite author/genre? What is it about their writing style that inspires you?

5. How do you spend your spare time when you aren’t writing or creating?

6. Have you ever done anything that was really embarrassing/funny?

7. If you could come back as a fictional character, (human, alien, animal!) which character would you choose?

8. Are you superstitious? Would you dare to travel on Friday the 13th?

9. What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe in zodiacs, numerology, etc?

10. What’s the most scary, or challenging thing you’ve ever done?


If you’d like to accept the award – It’s not compulsory! –  but I hope you might like to, please could you answer my questions above. Thanks.

My Nominees:

My Nominees for this award are all the ladies in the blogging world, you’re great, but I have to narrow it down to ten for the purposes of this award, so here goes:

 Writer of Fiction, adventurer, lover of animals, nature and chocolate covered strawberries:

Elsie Elmore:

Author, Blogger, Poet and Freelance Writer:

Bookin’ It So Many Books. So Little Time. Let’s Review!

Ramona Wray. #YA novelist. I read and write books.

Susanne Leist author of the Dead Game – A paranormal fantasy, a Vampire Suspense.

Just Olga. Olga’s things: writing, reading, translating, stories, life. The first book in Olga NúñezAngelicBusiness trilogy is available now for pre-order on Amazon.

You can’t change the world but you can change the world of one person:

Sacha Black. Mother, Wife, Writer….. Almost An Author.  Full Time Worker Bee, Part Time Nail Artist:

DorneWhale. My life in pictures and craft work.

And Write Dorne! :

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My Goodness Another Award!!!! The Encouraging Thunder Award




Well, I’m astonished to say that I’ve been struck by another award, this one is a new one for me –

The Encouraging Thunder Award

Thank you to Caroline Peckham  for nominating me for the encouraging Thunder Award.

Here’s a link to her lovely blog, I would really encourage you to take a look:

Caroline Peckham’s YA fantasy series is coming soon to kindle, so keep an eye on her blog for further details.

I’ve been a bit slow regarding this award, apologies Caroline instead of a mighty thunderous response, I’m afraid it’s been more like a slow steady trickle of rain. I’ve had a bit of internet connection problems recently so I’m behind on my posts.

I do kind of like the sound of this award, the name Encouraging Thunder evokes all sorts of fantasy images in my mind. Having said that I’m not going to deceive you I’m not really a storm chaser type of person. I wish I was but I’m not. But, I was once caught in a small scale tornedo in Ibiza many years ago, on a beach that was largely frequented by nudist bathers! Luckily they didn’t get their non-existent clothes destroyed by the tornado! I hasten to add that I was in a bikini, no nudist bathing for me that day! Anyway it was quite an experience, very memorable. It was guess who, yes my husband who acted like a storm chaser extraordinaire busily taking photos of the tornedo, while I did my best to stay  out of trouble, and keep my clothes on!

Here’s some old photos out of my album of Formentera, Ibiza, the tornedo, and my husband and I standing in the calm sea afterwards.





Right I’m getting side tracked so let’s get on to the award with that in mind I’d like to mention the creator of the award, encouraging life, so please do check out this link:

Here’s what it says about the award on the Encouraging Life Blog:

Encouraging Thunder originated from one of nature’s true powers, a crack of thunder from the sky. From the ancient Greek God myth, the most powerful god Zeus uses thunder to banish his enemy. Encouraging Thunder is a symbol that only god can judge us but not us human.

Thunder creates a powerful addition to the blog as an awesome blog award. Raymond, founder, was bestowed upon a thunder medallion by the great nature so he can create a powerful spell Encouraging Thunder to grant powerful protection to other bloggers. It’s a special spell that only bloggers who has true purpose in their life can master it.

As other bloggers are granted the power of thunder, he or she has the permission to post the power of thunder on their blogs as well as sharing the award with other bloggers.

What you can do with Encouraging Thunder award?

  • Post it on your blog
  • Grant other bloggers with the award

What you can’t do with Encouraging Thunder award?

  • Abuse or misuse the logo
  • Claim that it’s your own handmade logo

What you should do after receiving Encouraging Thunder award:

  • Enjoy the award
  • At least gives thanks via comments and likes and or mentioning the blog who give the award.

So without further ado I’d like to nominate the following blogs for this award:

Dating After Breast Cancer Surgery:

“Photography helps people to see.” ~ Berenice Abbott.

Wild Daffodil. The Joy of Creativity.

“Join me on my journey as I write my first novel” :

Trials of a wannabe published writer:

YA Chit Chat. The Ponderings of YA author.  J. Keller Ford:

Olivia at

Crazy Chinese Family:

 Doru’s  photography blog:

Tell Me About It!


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Liebster Award!!! So Thrilled, you may have been nominated!





I was thrilled to discover that Olivia at Wording on A Whim has been awarded her first Liebster Award, absolutely deserved. It is hard to believe that Olivia is in her last year of junior school in Australia. Her classmates have been encouraged to create their own blogs. How amazing is that! Her blog is lovely, and her friendly, welcoming personality really shines through.

Olivia’s blog is a real treasure chest of wonderful photography, information about the student blogging challenge, poems, writing, and so much more. I would definitely encourage you to have a look and support and encourage her in her blogging. :

The Liebster is an award that is usually given, as far as I can see, to bloggers with less than 200 followers. Olivia has nominated both new blogs with great potential and slightly more experienced bloggers like me. (Not that I’m an expert, far from it!) I will nominating on the same basis.  My very first award wasn’t a Liebster, it was the One Lovely Blog award, so I am very pleased to accept this award.  Thank you so much Olivia.


So let’s share the bloggy love!


Here are the rules:

1. Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.

2. Include the Liebster award sticker in the post.

3. Nominate 10 other bloggers who you think are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts.

5. Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you.

6. Think of ten questions you would like your nominees to answer.

7. Lastly, copy these rules in the post.


Here are my answers to Olivia’s questions:

1. What is your favourite aspect of blogging?

My favourite aspect of blogging is the sheer diversity, one moment you could be doing a book review, writing up an author interview or talk, the next moment you might be posting some photos, then you might be creating some poetry, blogging about cooking, or fashion, or perhaps sharing some quotes, writing travelogues, short stories, and flash fiction. There are so many opportunities for self-expression, and I hope to explore more of these as this blog develops. Blogging allows you to explore and play with new creative endeavours which you might not otherwise have had the courage to do. This particularly applies in my case to writing poetry and sharing my photography, both of which are fairly new interests. As well as this, I really like connecting and making friends with people from all over the world, it is nothing short of miraculous to me that I might be “chatting” to someone  in say Australia, like my new blogger friend Olivia, while I’m sitting here in Cambridge UK. As well as this I intend to use this as a platform to help other people too, to see if in some small way I can provide a resource for other bloggers, and writers, a supportive environment which will hopefully assist others as well as myself to reach those all important goals.

2. What is your best memory that involves photography?

Oh, this is a difficult one. The first that comes to mind are my wedding photographs. I had the best day ever it was the most memorable day of my life. It was late September, yet the sun shone, even though it was an autumnal day in Scotland! Everyone seemed to have a whale of a time, it was the best party ever.

If you’re asking me of my best memory that involves my own cheeky photography I’d probably say some photos I did years ago when the kids were very young and we were eating Spaghetti Bolognese and our chins were all covered in the tomato sauce, and all of us were laughing hysterically, simple moments like that mean so very much.

More recently it would probably be the photo that I did of the Corpus Christi Clock in Cambridge, as the creature trapped within the clock mechanism features in my first novel.  I hope that this novel will at some point be published in some format either as a traditionally published book, or as a self-published novel.



3. What are you passionate about? Why?

Ah, I am passionate about writing, reading, and enjoying life to the full. I love the theatre, travel, beautiful things, jewellery!  Life is too short, so I don’t want to waste a single minute. I am passionate about treating everyone in this world with respect regardless of their cultural background, race, religion, or sexual orientation. That is why I have started to feature diverse books on this blog. I am passionate about the importance of family, nurturing your children to do their very best and fulfil their potential as adults.

4. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

An introvert with extrovert tendancies! I’ve become more outgoing with age, but intrinsically I am still shy, and sometimes still find crowded social gatherings awkward, unless I’ve had a few glasses of wine, and then I’m just fine!

5. What do you find inspiring?

People who push through all sorts of difficulties to reach their dreams, and individuals who encourage others to achieve their full potential. Positivity is inspiring.

6. What are 5 words that describe you?

I expect my five words would be: Passionate, Stubborn, Funny, Crazy, Kind, but I do wonder what my family and friends would say!

7. What makes you laugh or cry?

I think laughter is as its best when it just comes out of nowhere. I remember recently I was waiting in a queue to get my copy of The Art of Being Normal signed and I was chatting to my daughters about what we should ask the author Lisa Williamson to write in the book, I suggested to my girls the Mallon family, and somehow it just reminded me of the Addams family, well that was that, lots of giggles!

What makes me cry, well reading sad bits in books really does it for me, sometimes I even end up crying in public on the bus home, or even in supermarket cafes, it gets a bit embarrassing. One time my husband came home, he looked at me quizzically. I think he was wondering if he had upset me in some way! Of course it was another sad ending in a book!  Yes books that stir those kind of deep emotions are in my opinion the very best.

8. What is/has been on your bucket list?

I’d love to go on one of those author retreats, especially if it was somewhere abroad. One year I did go off on my own for a few days just to write, it was such a liberating experience. I stayed in a lovely hotel on the sea front in Brighton and wrote in coffee shops, and libraries. I went to the theatre in the evening, and even ended up at a party one night. I remember one of the partygoers asking me how I knew everyone and I said I didn’t, I just met them that night. I would never have had the courage to do this when I was younger. There are some incredible advantages of getting older! It was such fun, I’d definitely recommend it.

9. If it were your last day on earth, what would you do?

I’d have to spend it with my closest friends and family. Family and friends are very important to me, so yes I’d want to share my last day on earth with them. I love the sea so I’d organise a trip to the seaside, maybe have a beach barbeque, somewhere vibrant like Barcelona, or perhaps a beautiful bay in Portugal. The sun would be shining, music would be playing, and there would be this wonderful party atmosphere, nobody would go home, we’d just enjoy every last precious moment.

10. What is the best book you have ever read?

The best book, oh, I have so many that I love, how can I pick just one?

I loved The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak, yes that’s definitely up there as one of my favourites. It’s fantastic.

My favourite fantasy author is Victoria Schwab, currently reading A Darker Shade of Magic, review to follow soon.



Now, I have the opportunity of nominating 10 other blogs that I think are worthy of the award:


I’ve chosen to focus on some smaller blogs as well as some who perhaps have a larger following, they all have one thing in common, they’re all super awesome and dear to me:

1. First up is some music, where would we be without music? In a sad, silent land I reckon, so without any further ado let me introduce you to, Steve Says music blog: “The music blog that does what it says” Talk About Pop Music:

2. I love to travel, and the Caribbean is very dear to me, as I spent some of my teenage years there so when I came across Rashida’s Jamaican blog, “the Life of a Jamaican girl” I jumped at the chance of following 876 Lover:

3. What’s not to love about snacking? Outside the Coffee Cup. “Snacker, dreamer, baker, communicator, just a girl wanting to make a change. ”

4.These two guys Husband and Husband are just so cute, they have a really lovely blog.  They even have their own web comic: “Writers, Artists, Husbands.”  :

5. I love to connect with younger people, I write for the 9-12, YA age group, and I love to day dream and encourage others to do so:  A little Day Dreamer  “Just a creative teen with a blog” :

6. Again another blog reaching out to youngsters: Black Cat my Ramblings. “I am in middle school and love to dance, write, and hang out with my friends.”

7. This Australian blogger seems to appreciate all the things that I love too. TJ Paris. “La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin.”  ” I am an Australian who enjoys photography, art, collecting, poetry, writing and all things French.”A ma vie de Couer Entier.

8. A blog about books, well of course this is bound to be one of my recommendations. Jenny’s wonderful blog about books, and lifestyle. Jenny In Neverland.

9. The travel theme again! A very nice blog about an expat family and their wanderlust. Tiny Expats.  “Expat family, moving around, travelling and exploring with our tiny expats”:

10. And last but certainly not least food has to get a mention, as I’m a bit of a foodie. So check out Mommy Cook for Me’s great recipes, and paintings too. Just recently I tried out her Easy Chicken Fajita recipe it was delicious, and very healthy too:


My questions for the nominees:


1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What is the best food you have ever tasted?

3. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go?

4. Do you enjoy fantasy and sci-fi?

5. What are your tastes in music?

6. Have you a favourite book, TV series, or film?

7. Do you like to cook or bake?

8. What is the most exciting or scary thing that you have ever done?

9. Is family important to you?

10. Which is your favourite holiday destination, beach/ski resort, and why?


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The Versatile Blogger Award


Thank you so much to Scars Tears and Training Bras for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award.  So without further ado, I’m delighted to accept this award. I do like to try to be versatile so this means a lot. Thank you too to Elizabeth Gracie for the lovely Versatile Blogger Award badge.

Here are the rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1- give the name link of the blogger who nominated you ( throw in a thank you if you’d like to! 🙂 )

Thank you so much to:

2- share 7 facts about yourself

1. It took me a heck of a long time to pass my driving test, it’s quite embarrassing really, but I got there in the end. Now, I consider myself to be quite a good driver, but I still have terrible trouble parking.

2. I used to be very shy as a teenager, but now I am far more adventurous, even though intrinsically I am still shy at heart.

3. I like slow activities, I’m a bit of a tortoise really, so Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Swimming, these are the kind of activities I enjoy. I tried running once, but ended up jogging a bit, stopped as I was panting, and then jogged some more. A curious dog started barking at me, so that was that, no more jogging.  I just pretend that I’m power walking, and wear those special work-out trainers that exercise your muscles for you.

4.  I love creative pastimes, writing, photography, and baking are my three favourites. I love cakes! I’d love to paint and draw but don’t have a natural talent that way. C’est dommage! But I have heard you can learn so who knows ……………..

5. I went to a Theatre Workshop one time, and learnt all about writing a play, acting and directing in it. It was a blast, and was definitely something that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do when I was younger. It was an exhilarating, but exhausting experience. I don’t think I’m cut out to be an actress. Maybe one day I might explore writing plays but for the moment, I’m sticking to book reviewing, blogging, and writing novels.

6. I can’t cook fish, I overcook it, but I make a mean stir fry or a wicked curry. I love to cook spicy food!

7. I love the changing seasons of summer, spring, and the autumn, but I wish the winter was shorter, a day or two would be enough. I can’t stand the cold, and I hate the dark nights.  I have terrible circulation in my hands, and my face puckers like the skin of an old, withered, orange. I age in the cold! I’m not joking! So, one day before my orange peel skin has become a permanent disfiguring feature, I would like to live abroad in the warmth of the sun.

3- nominate 15 blogs to do the same!

Well this was quite tricky because some bloggers who I was thinking of for this award don’t accept awards, some like are award-neutral. Also because I have been nominated for awards before I wanted to find ‘new’ worthy  blogs to nominate. On top of this there are several blogs that I was thinking of nominating, several of which are overflowing with awards, so I thought, with a few exceptions, that I’d try to focus on blogs that didn’t quite fall into these categories. This has taken me some time to deliberate.

Here is my list of Versatile bloggers, some of which are blogs that I have been lucky to discover recently.

1.  Amy’s the World is A Book:

“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.” ― Saint Augustine

2. Meredith’s musings:

“Writing from the heart.”

3. The Aran Artisan:

“Making a living by creating every aspect and ingredient of daily life.”

4. Precinct 1313:

‘Comic books, horror movies, Video games, oh my!”

5.  Mad Meandering Me:

“Going with the flow of life.”

6. Project Prose:

“Exploration through writing, photography and art”

7. Totally Inspired Mind:

“Where Positive Minds Congregate”

8. Louise’s Baby Gates Down:

“Gave birth. Totally transcendent. Moving on…”

9. Smriti D. Isaac’s Blog:

“Creating, collecting, and sharing thoughts and ideas. And learning along the way.”

10.Dear Kitty Some Blog:

“On animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women’s issues, arts, and much more.”

11. The Belle Jar:

“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” – Sylvia Plath

12. Almost Open Book

“living one story at a time”

13. Gingers Grocery:

Gingers grocery. “Come in and Browse.”

14. Cameron Karsten’s Imaginarium:

“Exploration with Culture”

15. The Ferkel:

‘Tis funny.’

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