Tag Archives: blogging award

The Spirit Animal Award Nomination


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.


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



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.

Champions’ Blogging Award Courtesy of the Amazing Seumas Gallacher


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

Dragon’s Loyalty Award


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.

My Liebster Confessional…


Many thanks to Gloria Chao for kindly nominating me for the Liebster Award – I’m delighted to receive it. The official description for the Liebster Award is as follows:-
The Liebster Award originated in Germany. The German word Liebster means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. In short, this award is given to the upcoming promising bloggers who have some worth-reading content and certainly have less than 200 followers as a recognition of their talent and as a way to greet them “welcome”. This is a small act of inspiration that might change a blogger’s whole point of view, just like it changed mine. The Liebster Award is an award for Recognition. You would not get any money, or cup, or medal, or certificate; just a recognition which will give you a spot-light mark in this crowded blogging-market!

Another thing about this award is that this is a “Pay it forward” award, like a chain-reaction. Once you have accepted the award, you have to search for other bloggers, who are emerging as new buds with some really promising content which you find worth reading. You can accept it, or you can let it go; no harm done….However, if you want to accept The Liebster Award, you have to follow six simple rules which are:


The lovely thing about this award is that it seems to sum up the spirit of so many of the fascinating and inspiring blogs I read.

These questions are the ones Gloria has set for me, as one of her nominees, so I’ll do my best to answer them…
1. If you met your main character (or the main character from your favorite novel) in person, would you be friends, enemies, or frenemies?
The main character of my trilogy I’m currently working on – Jezell Campo – is opinionated, strong-minded, brave and rather damaged… I think we’d probably be frenemies.
2. What is the most unique part of your manuscript or blog?
Everyone who reads my manuscripts says it’s my voice. It’s very distinctive, apparently – though I have toned it down quite a bit since I started writing.
3. What is your career now, and what is your dream career?
I work as a part-time Creative Writing tutor and editor, which is a lovely job as I have a wonderful bunch of students. However, my dream career is to be a hybrid author. By the end of the year, I hope to have self-published my space opera trilogy The Sunblinded and have acquired an agent for my YA dystopian science fiction novel, Mantivore Dreams.
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
It has to be Alderney, which is one of the Channel Islands. I love the sea and am lucky enough to live very close to the coast, but Alderney is simply beautiful. I spent a wonderful holiday there as a girl and have often dreamt of living there.
5. What inspired you to write (either your manuscript or your blog)?
I’ve always known that at some stage I’d write a book – and then, about 15 years ago I simply had to make a start. The story spilled out of me and I couldn’t have stopped if I’d tried, and by the time I realised the hardest part was learning the craft of writing, I was thoroughly addicted. As for my blog – I’ve always loved reading and discovered that I also enjoy sharing my experience of the books I’ve devoured in my reviews. Which has also become something of an addiction…
6. What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing journey or life?
To walk away. Or better still – run. I wish I’d learnt this earlier – I wasted far too much of my life being profoundly unhappy.
7. What is the best advice you’ve received?
The advice came from my beloved Grandpa, a brave, intrepid man who I loved dearly and provided me with most of the really useful advice in my life. But the best tip he ever gave me was, “Don’t ever say never…”
8. Who is your closest confidante?
My husband, John, who is my hero and constant helpmate. Life would be a drab, monochrome affair without him
9. What’s your favourite blog and why?
Oh, I’ve FAR too many favourites to be able to pick out a single example – my friend Mhairi writes with fluency about her own issues and how we can boost our creativity; but all those below have something awesome and individual to offer, ranging from John’s wonderful site on old films, through to Jeanne’s quirky take on books.
10. Books, tv, or movies?
Books, books, books… I could quite happily cope without ever seeing another film or TV programme – but the prospect of never picking up another book again would destroy me.
11. How do you make difficult decisions about your characters or settings? Any trouble “murdering your darlings”?
I have an inbuilt BS sensor that quickly picks up when my narrative has taken one left turn too many, when I need to backtrack and ensure everything gets back onto solid ground. I’m something of a conflict junkie, so occasionally overload my poor suffering protagonists. So I regularly commit wholesale slaughter for the sake of pace and clarity, because my darlings are nothing of the sort. They are overwritten padding designed to help me visualise my world and have no business littering up my final draft.

Eleven Random Facts About Me…
1. I LOATHE being cold. I’m with the Vikings – Hell is a frozen wilderness.
2. I’m very bad at working out my left from my right – it took me 3 goes at my driving test before my driving instructor realised what the problem was, so made me lipstick an L on my left hand before I took my fourth test. Which I passed…
3. My parents lived in Zambia when I was a girl, so I flew on my own for the first time aged eight from Gatwick, to Ndola, stopping off at Entebbe to refuel and nearly missed the plane because I insisted on finishing my free drink.
4. I like most foods, but a fair number plain hate me – chocolate gives me migraine, chilli blisters my tongue and I’m dairy intolerant. You’d think this would mean that I was on the slim side of svelte – sadly it’s not the case…
5. I’m terrible at multi-tasking.
6. I LOVED having my children around when they were little and always came home and cried on the first day of term when they had to go back to school.
7. I hate housework – and as I get older I care less and less what people think about the state of my house.
8. I’m really good at reciting tongue twisters like ‘She sells sea shells on the sea shore’ and ‘Betty Botter’.
9. I contracted a mild case of TB as a baby which left me with scarring on my lungs – apparently… (I haven’t personally had the opportunity to check).
10. I’m fond of most insects and especially like spiders.
11. I’m addicted to strong tea. I particularly enjoy Assam and would sell my soul for a nice cup of lapsang souchong – or smoky barbeque flavour, as I like to call it…

My Eleven Nominees for the Liebster Award
1. Independent Woman
2. Book Minx Reads
3. J.E. Nice
4. thepickypagesproject
5. Reality Refugee
6. Noirish
7. Necromancy Never Pays
8. Into Another World
9. Past Offences Crime Fiction
10. The Avid Reader – Books! Books! Books!
11. The World of the Teigr Princess