Category Archives: blogging award

Teaser Tuesday – 23rd July, 2019 #Brainfluffbookblog #TeaserTuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This is my choice of the day:

Valkyrie Rising – Book 2 of the Hayden War Cycle by Evan Currie
68% “This is gonna SUUUCKKK!” someone yelled just as the light flashed once and turned green.
Solrilla went first, a mule kicking her right between the shoulders as her capsule was blown clear of the Cheyenne. The same blasted mule kicked her again, this time across her whole body, as the capsule hit the airstream and suddenly decelerated down and away from the starship.

BLURB: Two years after the initial invasion of Hayden’s World, the newly reinforced Hayden Militia is in a state of stalemate with the remaining enemy forces but neither side is content to leave things at that.

The alien alliance has dispatched their varsity to clean up the resistance on Hayden while the USF has officially activated Task Force V, the latest and most advanced combat ships built by humans.

In the end there are some things you decide in the skies, but some can only be settled in the mud.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, On Silver Wings, which I read far too long ago. So decided to get some more Sorilla goodness back in my life, as I do enjoy a nice slice of military sci fi adventure against those dastardly aliens…

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Friday Faceoff – The first cut is the deepest…

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This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week the theme is knives, so I’ve chosen Beguilement – Book 1 of The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold.

 

This is the cover produced by Harper Voyager in October 2006 is certainly pretty and eye-catching. I would definitely take another look even if it didn’t have the name of one of my very favourite authors plastered across the top – but it does make this book look a lot cosier than it actually is.

 

This French edition, produced by Bragelonne in 2008 is also beautiful – but shows Fawn injured and in a far darker landscape. As this is a science fiction adventure/fantasy mash-up, with a strong slice of romance, the curling font is entirely appropriate. I love this cover.

 

Published in October 2007 by Omicron, this Spanish cover is beautiful with the stylised forest and the female character wafting through it as if she is flying. Trouble is, it speaks to me more of existential angst in a literary offering, rather than a straightforward fantasy/romance adventure.

 

This cover, produced in July 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks features the two main protagonists. But Dag in the book is a whole lot older and more grizzled and with Fawn sprawled across the grass looks like she’s been beguiled – and not in a good way. This may have romance but it isn’t a bodice-ripper.

Time Tag

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Many thanks to Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog for nominating me to take part in this lovely tag.

What is your favourite historical setting for a book?
I love the Tudor period – it’s the period I studied for my History degree so I know a reasonable amount about the history of this time. But I also enjoy the Victorian time – events moved so very quickly during that it was a period of great upheaval and yet isn’t all that long ago. So… both these periods tend to snag my interest.

 

What writer/s would you like to travel back in time to meet?
William Shakespeare. It’s a no-brainer. The genius that gave us a canon of marvellous plays and beautiful poetry must be worth sitting across the table and chatting to! Even if he only wants to grumble about the weather and the difficulties of finding a boy to adequately play Juliet – especially if he wants to grumble about that one, come to think of it…

 

What book/s would you travel back in time and give to your younger self?
It would have to be C.J. Cherryh’s Heavy Time. Her writing style and depiction of space just blew me away. My younger self would love to read this and derive a great sense of comfort to discover that books like that were in existence as I was getting increasingly disillusioned with many of the contemporary literary offerings I was ploughing through at the time.

 

What book/s would you travel forward in time and give to your older self?
I wouldn’t bother. My older self is going to be caught up with the books being published at the time, so my crashing into her reading patterns won’t probably be very welcome. I don’t take kindly to sudden surprises…

 

What is your favourite futuristic setting from a book?
I have three… two based on Earth and one that sees us out in the among the stars. One of the most poignant and effective settings is the depiction of a nearly empty Paris, overrun by alien vegetation from portals drawn by Eric Brown in his novel Engineman. To be honest, the story itself isn’t quite as effective as the setting in my opinion – but I’ve dreamed of this landscape many times. The other futuristic setting I particularly enjoy is that in the Earth Girl series by Janet Edwards, where Earth is largely uninhabited apart from those who are unable to leave due to a genetic quirk.

I also love the world that Lois McMaster Bujold has created in her Miles Vorkosigan series that sprawls across a chain of planets.

 

What is your favourite book that is set in a different time period (can be historical or futuristic)?
I love several – Doomsday is a classic time travel book by Connie Willis that goes back to the medieval period. It’s a wonderful book and rightly regarded as a classic. Another book that I particularly love is the above mentioned Heavy Time by C.J. Cherryh, but my favourite is Mendoza in Hollywood which is a dreadful title for an outstanding book by Kage Baker about a time-travelling biologist harvesting plants about to be pushed into the brink of extinction by the growth of the film industry. It is part of Baker’s amazing The Company series, which I think deserves to be known a lot better than it is.

 

Spoiler Time: Do you ever skip ahead to the end of a book just to see what happens?
Only if I don’t intend to finish the book – otherwise what is the point of bothering to read it?

 

If you had a Time Turner, where would you go and what would you do?
Oh yes please! And now I’m going to sound incredibly boring… I’d like to use one like Hermione Granger so I could fulfil my teaching commitments, keep the house reasonably clean and clutter-free, be a better wife, daughter, mother and grandmother, while also writing full-time.

 

Favourite book (if you have one) that includes time travel or takes place in multiple time periods?
I cannot possibly pinpoint a single book, so I’ll follow Lynn’s example and recommend four, other than the ones already mentioned above:-
Night Watch – Book 29 of the Discworld novels by the late, great Terry Pratchett

This is Pratchett’s time travel book – and one of his best, in my opinion, as Sam Vimes, the grumpy Commander of the Ankh-Morpork’s police force, is caught up in a magical storm and hauled back in time.

 

The Many-Colored Land – Book 1 of the Saga of the Exiles by Julian May

This first book in a remarkable, ground-breaking series features Elizabeth who travels back in time to escape the trauma of having lost her metaphysical abilities. Ironically, her journey – in which she encounters a humanoid alien race who have made Earth their home – causes her abilities to manifest themselves once more. Which draws down a lot of unwelcome attention upon Elizabeth…

Frozen in Time by Ali Sparkes

This standalone children’s book is a joy. A brother and sister cryonically suspended are accidentally woken up fifty years later by another brother and sister, while exploring an underground building at the bottom of the garden. The resulting adventure is both funny and very revealing about how customs have changed during the last fifty years – for both good and ill.

 

 

The Just City – Book 1 of the Thessaly trilogy by Jo Walton

This is a remarkable time travel experiment designed by the goddess Athene to test the principles set down by Plato in his book The Republic. I can guarantee you won’t have read anything quite like it.

 

What book/series do you wish you could go back and read again for the first time?
The Discworld novels! They define a part of my life and if I could bottle the sheer excitement of opening up a new one, laughing at the Pratchett jokes for the first time again, that would be a wonderful treat.

I’m not going to nominate anyone in particular – but do please have a go if this Time Tag appeals to you as a fan of historical settings or time travelling adventures. I’d love to hear your choices!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Thank you very much, BibliomanicEzza, for nominating me for this lovely, cheerful award – particularly as we are now headed into winter and can do with every scrap of sunshine we can get… If you haven’t visited her book blog, she’s now back after a break – swing by and check it out.

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BibliomanicEzza’s Questions
How many books do you physically own? (It doesn’t have to be a specific number, a guess would do)
I’ve around 800 books on my Kindle, although that is between us, as Himself and I share many of our books as we both enjoy fantasy and science fiction. And as for physical books… we must have around 1,000 physical books as well (gulp).

How did your love of reading start? Was it because of a specific book, movie etc?
I cannot recall a time in my life when I didn’t love reading and books. My mother says that when I was 18 months old, before I could walk, she would hand me her new magazines and Readers’ Digest book and I would carefully turn the pages without tearing them and look at each page, before turning over the next one. It would keep me occupied long enough for her to do the washing by hand, apparently…

What genre would you want to see reinvented or given new life?
I don’t think there’s any genre I love reading that seems to be stale. On the contrary, thanks to the influx of indie authors, I think there is a steady stream of interesting, well written books busy taking established tropes within the science fiction and fantasy genres and shaking them up.

Are you good at self-control when it comes to Netgalley?
Hm. To a point… I had a sticky patch during September when I requested too many books, so I’ve learnt to be self disciplined – because otherwise I run into difficulties with keeping a stream of material for my blog. And I love the diversity and range of books I’ve read via NetGalley, but I don’t want to find myself falling behind which could impact on the pleasure I get from reading.

What themes would you like to see more/less in books?
I’ve become thoroughly fed up with triangular love stories in YA books. It worked well in The Hunger Games series, but many scenarios just become sleazy, when two hapless men are kept dangling while the heroine we’re supposed to care about is busy sending mixed messages as she spends far too long deciding which one she loves. Really??

Is there any classic books that you would like to see be completely reinvented with modern values, themes and problems?
The only one that comes to mind is Treasure Island, which is a cracking tale.

What is your opinion about stretching a well known series VS a new fresh story?
It depends on how successfully its done. I’ve seen series taken on beyond their initial planned demise and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the subsequent books – the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold is a case in point. However, I did have a sense that the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris was limping a bit by the time we got to the end.

Are you an aspiring writer/author? If so what genre would your story be?
I am an author, as yet unpublished other than a number of short stories and some poems, and I mostly write science fiction books although the book I’m working on at the moment is a fantasy book based on Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.

What is your favorite book of all time?
Oh noooo… you can’t do this to me! It seriously depends on the circumstances – if I was stuck on said island, I’d want to turn to my proverbial comfort blanket, so it would have to be a Pratchett novel, probably Small Gods. If I needed to get lost in a book that made me laugh and cry and I’ve thought a lot about, then it would be Mendoza Goes to Hollywood by Kage Baker, which is the fourth book in her awesome Company series. If I wanted brainfood and a book to mull over and consider carefully, my choice is Necessity, the third book in Jo Walton’s Thessaly series. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – I haven’t covered me in grumpy mode… feeling sorry for myself… wanting a purely escapist read… But just one book? Can’t do it, sorry…

Physical book or e-book?
If it’s fiction, an e-book, but if it’s non-fiction or a picture book then it has to be the physical version. And with some of our favourite fiction authors, we still insist on ordering the hardcover edition.

How do you overcome a reading slump?
I don’t get them. However, when I’m bang in the middle of writing a book, my reading rate tails off so that I’m barely managing 7 or 8 books a month and I do find when I’m busy editing, I need to read to lose myself in other worlds, so my reading rate increases.

My nominations for The Sunshine Blogger Award:-
Emma at One Reader’s Thoughts
A great review site for book bloggers, with readable entertaining reviews all attractively presented. If you haven’t visited it, do swing by.

Jo at My Chestnut Reading Tree
Another splendid book review site, particularly for fans of psychological thrillers and twisty murder mysteries.

Leona at Leona’s Blog of Shadows
Particularly for fans of fantasy, particularly grimdark, though there are a wide range of reviews and bookchat going on at this enjoyable, well presented site. And I got to meet Leona at Bristolcon this year – yay!

Anyone else who wishes to take part by answering my nosy, bookish questions below, please dive in.

My Questions
1. What was the last book that made you both laugh and cry?
2. Do you finish reading books you really dislike?
3. Name one of the first books you read that gave you the ‘tingle’ factor.
4. When and where do you most regularly read?
5. What makes you pick up a book and want to read it?
6. What is your pet peeve that can spoil your reading experience? (Misleading book covers, blurting blurbs, lazy plotlines…)
7. What is the funniest book you’ve ever read?
8. Name a must-read author and say a little bit about why you like their work so much.
9. What is your favourite book cover of 2016 so far?
10. Which book that you’ve recently read would you like to see made into a film or TV series?

The Spirit Animal Award Nomination

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I am honoured to have been nominated for this award by Charles French at https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/. Do drop in and visit his blog if you haven’t already. He is presently busy at an exciting stage in his writing career as he has recently released his horror novel Maledicus – Book 1 of The Investigative Paranormal Society series.

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The rules of the award:
*Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link back to his/her blog.
*Post the award picture on your blog.
*Write a short paragraph about your blog and what it means to you.
*Answer this question: if you could be any animal, what would it be?
*Choose and notify ten  three nominees (yep – I’ve changed the rules on this one…)

What does my blog mean to me?
I love blogging about books. Reading is my main hobby and the fact that I can now share my thoughts and opinions with other book lovers around the world never fails to fill me with awed delight. I grew up in an era when reading was mostly a private affair and while I could discuss books with family members as we swapped our library books about, there was no way I could reach out to anyone else. However, now I can read reviews on any type of book I choose and exchange recommendations with readers who share my tastes. I am now in a position where I can request review copies through the likes of Netgalley and help spread the word about new releases that I’ve enjoyed. It is truly a wonderful time to be alive.

This other consequence is that as I exchange opinions and chat about books, I’ve got to know a community of wonderful people online – people I now count as friends. People from all over the world who I’ll probably never meet, but I now know what they read, what they do for a living and their views and opinions on all sorts of subjects. People who can have me laughing aloud as I sit reading their words, or whose kind comforting words cheer me up when I’m down. Thank you, all of you…

What is my spirit animal?
As for my spirit animal – it’s the elephant. I’ve loved these amazing creatures since I was a child and feel very sad they are being continuously hunted for their ivory. There was an excellent programme on Radio

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4 about them, where I learnt that most of their communication is carried out sub-sonically, below human hearing range and that they choose their matriarch leaders for their kindness and nurturing skills. Which just goes to show how much more evolved they are, compared the sickening violence we visit upon each other by dint of choosing the most ambitious to be our leaders.

The females live in family groups and they look after each other when they are ill or injured and raise babies together. When not hunted, they can live up to the age of seventy. They are nomadic and roam across large tracts of land and their apparent destruction can help vegetation as their manure contains seeds and fertilises the land, while they snap off dead and dying branches during grazing. I just hope when my grandchildren and their children are adults, elephants will still be roaming around Africa and Asia – the outlook for them right now isn’t looking all that good.

My nominations
I’m going to nominate three awesome bloggers:-
The Captain’s Quarters – https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordpress.com/. A fabulous nautical blogger whose reviews on a range of entertaining books are a delight to read.
SCy-Fy – the blog of S.C. Flynn – https://scflynn.com/. Author Stuart Flynn is bound to have an interesting spirit animal, given the subject matter of his book Children of the Different.
Kristen Twardowski – https://kristentwardowski.wordpress.com/. A writers’ blog, whose blogs on writing are always worth reading.

The Real Neat Blog Award

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I’ve been nominated by this award by Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek and Lynn at Books and travelling with Lynn. Thank you so much, folks – we have shared a lot of books and chat over the last few months and I very much enjoy both our interactions and reading your articulate, intelligent blogs.

Apologies for having been so tardy in my response, but one of the issues has been struggling with a glitchy computer that used to keep sulking. I cannot believe the speed at which I’ve just powered through my Inbox with the new shiny model I’m getting to grips with. I’m going to answer a variety of questions posed by both Drew and Lynn.

1. If you could meet any author, from any time (past and present), who would that be and what would be your most pressing question?
The author I’d love to meet would be William Shakespeare and my question would be, given that you retired to Avon-upon-Stratford to farm sheep in your later years – did you give up writing? Or did you burn out and writing give you up?

2. What’s your preferred reading format, book or e-reader?
I still love print books – there is nothing in the world that beats the smell and feel of a brand new book, BUT we are both book addicts in a small, busy house and all our book storage areas were full years ago. I would, of course, be reasonable and clear out all the books I’ve read, but given that Himself won’t, I am reluctant to find myself surrounded by shelves full of military fantasy, sci fi and murder mysteries. So my Kindle has become my next-best friend, not least because of the WONDERFUL gismo that allows me to make the font as big as I like when my eyes are screen-sore.

3. Who is your absolute favourite character, ever? I know you’re probably groaning and rolling your eyes but there must be one character that springs to mind immediately – probably followed by a host of others – but, I want that first knee jerk reaction please and why!
Granny Weatherwax. I fell in love with her when I first encountered her more years ago than I can recall in Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites. But as I’ve grown older with children and grandchildren of my own, I now fully appreciate the power of headology as a way of ensuring that you persuade people to do what you want them to do without appearing to…

4. If you could make any book into a film/TV series, which book would you choose?
I’ve always thought Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series would make a cracking TV series. There is loads of adventure, along with strong likeable characters, fabulous dragons and some really great plot twists – the best one turning the whole series from fantasy into science fiction.

5. Favourite drink/tipple/beverage to have whilst reading?
My favourite drink is lapsang souchong tea. Yummm…

6. Most anticipated book for the remainder of 2016?
Necessity, which is the third book in the Thessaly series by Jo Walton. She is an amazing writer with great range. She writes with intelligence that never underestimates her readers and produces astonishing books that are sparkling, witty and wholly original. I think she is one of the best speculative writers alive today and shamefully under-appreciated.

7. What is your favourite genre of book to read?
Science fiction and fantasy – outstanding examples of each stroke part of my soul no other genre quite reaches. Even historical thrillers, or crime.

And my nominees for this award are listed below. However, I realise everyone is really busy and whether you decide to take up this award and display the badge – know that you were nominated by me because I admire your blog and your contribution to the blogging community.
Loreen at Coffee and Cats
Zeezee at Zeezee with Books
Jean at Jean Lee’s World
Bette at Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author
DJ at MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape
Ali at IWuvBooks
And here are your questions. I have borrowed/pinched Lynn’s really neat idea (see what I did there?) of combining some of my favourite questions posed by Drew and Lynn and then added a couple more of my own.

1. If you could meet any author, from any time (past and present), who would that be and what would be your most pressing question?

2. Who is your absolute favourite character, ever? I know you’re probably groaning and rolling your eyes but there must be one character that springs to mind immediately – probably followed by a host of others – but, I want that first knee jerk reaction please and why!

3. What is your favourite series out of all the books you’ve read? The series you would recommend without hesitation.

4. What’s your preferred reading format, book or e-reader?

5. Who is your favourite animal character, and why? This can be a mythical creature like a dragon, or real, like Elsa in Born Free.

6. What is your most anticipated book for the remainder of 2016?

7. Imagine someone has given you a magical Audible account and you can order up your favourite narrator to read aloud the book you’ve always wanted to hear. Who would be narrating the book and what would it be?

Champions’ Blogging Award Courtesy of the Amazing Seumas Gallacher

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This Champions’ Blogging Award is generated by successful crime Indie author, Seumas Gallacher for those amongst the blogging community who go the extra mile to encourage others.

Recipients, if you choose to accept and wish to propagate the CHAMPIONS AWARDS, please do the following:
1. Post this Award Sticker on your blog, with the hashtag #CHAMPIONSAWARDS
2. Acknowledge the sponsor of your Awards.
3. Choose at least five of your own nominees and advise them accordingly, attaching these 5 guidelines.
4. Keep it simple… no need for explanations for the Awards… we know how great these folks are.
5. You are free to give out these Awards as frequently as you wish.

Many thanks for nominating me for this award, Seumas. If you haven’t swung by and checked out his blog, I recommend you do – he is generous with advice as an established self published author, as well as regularly hosting stimulating interviews with a range of authors.

My nominees for the Champions’ Award are:champions-awards

Anastasia at Read & Survive

Ana at Ana’s Lair

Micheline at Micheline’s Blog

Proxy at Books by Proxy

Sophie at Sophie E Tallis

The Infinity Dreams Award

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I’ve been very remiss in responding to award nominations recently – sorry! It’s not that I am indifferent to the honour. I am always humbly grateful that anyone out there enjoys the blog sufficiently to consider nominating it… So many, many thanks to the wonderful Sara Letourneau for nominating me for this beautiful award. Sara is a fellow speculative fiction author, beta-reader par excellence, avid reader, great blogger and huge tea-drinking fan. If you are remotely interested in the craft of writing, then check out her blog – she is generous with her advice and tips.

The rules for this award are:-
1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.
2. Tell us eleven facts about you.
3. Answer the questions that were set for you.
4. Nominate eleven bloggers and set questions for them.

Fact 1 – I love my garden, though it is sadly neglected. I am passionate about gardening organically to encourage wildlife. The exception to that of course is slugs and snails, though I still refuse to use slug pellets to exterminate infinitydreamsawardthem.
Fact 2 – I enjoy listening to music while I am writing and when completing Miranda’s Tempest this year, I compiled a specific playlist to help me write the more emotional passages.
Fact 3 – I loathe being cold. If I had the choice, I’d far rather cope with bone-melting heat than being chilly, which makes me miserable, bad tempered and unable to think.
Fact 4 – I took four goes to pass my driving test, which I finally managed aged 34. My difficulties were caused by my problems with left and right, so whenever I was directed by the driving instructor, I hesitated too long at junctions. Or turned the wrong way… I only passed because my instructor suggested I lipstick the letter L on my left hand.
Fact 5 – I also learnt to swim in my thirties. One day while queuing at the checkouts with my son in the pushchair, a delightful elderly lady in my swimming group cheerfully hailed me from a neighbouring queue with, ‘Hallo there! I thought it was you – I nearly didn’t recognise you with your clothes on, though.’
Every head swivelled in our direction as silence roared around Gateway’s checkout area…
Fact 6 – I’m very fond of spiders and insects and grow lots of plants to encourage them. Earlier this year, a large bumble bee flew into a spiders’ web in my garden shed and she crawled across my hand for nearly an hour while I teased the silk from her wings and body until she was able to fly away.
Fact 7 – I LOVE people-watching and eavesdropping on conversations. Favourite overheard line – one builder to another, describing the receptionist at a high-end solicitors’ office he was working on… ‘She was a stunner – legs up to her armpits. The sort you’d elbow your old lady in the face to get a crack at if you reckoned you stood half a chance…’
Fact 8 – I was a skinny, worried young woman and now I’m more laid back and a whole lot wider… On balance, while I’d like to be slimmer and fitter (I have writers’ backside) Life is easier now I’m more chilled.
Fact 9 – I used to sing in a choir, but I simply don’t have time anymore, which doesn’t prevent me warbling in the shower or on the rare occasion I do housework.
Fact 10 – I hoard TV programmes and films to watch on the hard drive and often simply delete them without getting around to seeing them. My favourite TV show these days is ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Horizon’.
Fact 11 – I am a writing addict. If I go for more than a few days without writing something fictional and fanciful, the world becomes a grimmer place. My husband maintains it’s me who gets grim, but I find that hard to believe…

Answers to the 11 Questions
1) Does your personality fit your zodiac sign? How? (Or, do you believe in the accuracy of zodiac signs?) I can’t say that it makes any sense for those signs to be accurate – but the fact is that I have many typical characteristics of someone born under the sign of Cancer.
2) What is the most chilling or frightening story you’ve ever read? Annoyingly, it is in the days before I kept proper reading logs and it was a science fiction near future story of a world where the machines decided to rid Earth of humanity and finally achieved it by poisoning the money. I just can’t recall the name of the author, or the book…
3) What is your favourite fruit? Mango – yumm…
4) What is your favourite room in your home? The lounge where I do nearly all my writing. So it’s where I have the most fun…
5) How do you de-stress after a long day? Read or play solitaire on the computer – at present. I tend to zero in on one game until I get tired of it, then flit onto something else.
6) What was the name of your first pet? What kind of animal was it? Rufus and he was a golden Labrador.
7) What was the last funny thing that made you cry because you laughed so hard? I cannot recall the exact exchange, but this last week I went out with my writing group pals and we were laughing hard enough to make me smudge my eye make-up.
8) How do you like to pass the time during a car/train/plane ride? In the car, I am most often with my husband if it’s a long trip, so we chat or listen to an audio book or music together. On a plane or train, I read.
9) Have you ever kept a journal or diary? No. For which I’m very thankful…
10) Do you speak other languages besides your native tongue? Which ones? Very rudimentary Spanish and French.
11) In your opinion, what is one thing (tangible or intangible) that our world could use more of right now? A distribution system worth the name so those with too much could ensure those with not enough had sufficient for their needs.

My nominees for the Infinity Award
No one is obliged to take on this award – or you can postpone it until Life is not falling on your head. But know that you were recommended because I enjoy your blog.
1. Dream Big, Dream Often
2. Bette A. Stevens, Maine author
3. Jean Reinhardt
4. Ana’s Lair
5. Rosie Oliver
6. The Earthian Hivemind
7. A Daily Rhythm
8. Roam Wild and Free
9. Never Less Than Everything
10. Sophie E. Tallis
11. Chris the Story Reading Ape

My questions for my nominees (should they wish to answer them)
1. What is your earliest memory?

2. What is the worst present you ever received and why?

3. What is your dream car and why?

4. What is your favourite type of cake?

5. What was the first film you remember seeing at the cinema? Did you enjoy it?

6. What is your favourite font for reading and/or writing?

7. If you had a chance, what would you tell your 10-year-old self?

8. What is your favourite type of weather?

9. What is the oldest thing you own?

10. When was the last time you wore a hat?

11. If you had a chance to attend your dream dance, what would be the song you’d dance to and who would you want to dance with?

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

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I am delighted to accept Charles French’s nomination for the wonderfully named Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Charles French’s Words Reading and Writing blog is subtitled ‘And exploration of writing and reading’ which nicely sums up his whole approach, so it’s not a surprise that he is rapidly growing in popularity with his series of readable and informative articles that he publishes. He is also has a delightfully friendly, inclusive approach which guarantees a dragonawardwarm welcome to any passing visitor. If you haven’t already dropped in, I recommend you do so.

Meanwhile I have this Dragon Loyalty Award, thanks to Charles. The rules are:-

* Display the award certificate on your website.

* Announce your win with a post, and link to whomever presented your award.

* Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.

* Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.

* Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

So, my 15 nominees are:-

Mhairi Simpson – Crazy Creative

Lizzie Baldwin – My Little Book Blog

Sara Letourneau’s Official Website & Blog

Michael D. Griffiths – Yig Prime

Joanna Maciejewska – Melfka

Sophie E. Tallis

Leiah Cooper – So I Read This Book Today

From Couch to Moon

Anastasia – Read and Survive

Zeke Teflon – Rip-roaring reviews

D. Parker – yadadarcyyada

Ionia Martin – Readful Things Blog

Siamese Mayhem – Musings on YA novels and pop culture

Humanity’s Darker Side – A book review blog

Dr Suzanne Conboy-Hill

Seven Interesting Things About Me – hm… it’s debatable whether the facts below are remotely interesting, but I tried to dredge up details many of my online friends wouldn’t necessarily know about me.

1. I spent a chunk of my childhood in Zambia, and when living with my grandparents I first flew unaccompanied from England to visit my parents in Africa when I was 8.

2. As a left-hander, I turn the paper sideways and write from top to bottom, a strategy I adopted at school to avoid smudging my writing.

3. I’m a writing addict and if I go more than 3 days without putting keyboard to paper, I turn a tad unreasonable.

4. I was born on a Wednesday and so were both of my children and my granddaughter.

5. I am the ultimate monotasker – the multi-tasking skill women are supposed to be endowed with has completely by-passed me.

6. I’m an insomniac.

7. I visualise each of my books as colours when I’m writing them.