Beautiful Blogger Award


The Beautiful Blogger Award is an honour bestowed by fellow bloggers to show how much they love reading your blog and appreciate the beauty in your words. A wonderful award – and I was honoured with it three times! You could have struck me with a feather…

Thank you so much, Topaz, Edwina, Stephanie! You made my day!  🙂

Please visit their blogs, dear readers – to see what these amazing writers are up to!

The rules are as follows…

1.  Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo.
2.  Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back.
3.  Nominate 7 (yes only seven) other bloggers and say a little something about them.


My nominees for this prestigious award:

Amanda Staley

Amanda StaleyFulfilling the dream of becoming a writer
Writing has always been Amanda’s hobby. She wrote her first short stories as a child, the next story in her early teens. She never finished the plot to figure out how it would end. For many years she quit writing, only keeping a journal. One day out of the blue about five years ago, she decided to pick up a pen and started writing. This year she hopes to have finished the first two books of the Malcolm Stone series and have them available through Smashwords, Amazon and other popular platforms. In her blog, Amanda shows the adventure and possibly misadventures of writing, self-publishing, and marketing. She will attempt to catalogue her experiences in hopes to be entertaining or educational.

Thomas Ford 

Tom describes himself as a thirty-something family man who likes movies and music. He likes to watch movies and to write about them. He likes to listen to music whilst doing the writing. He promises to post blogs about anything that takes his fancy, from posts about screen-writing to posts about soundtracks. Tom’s blog posts are very entertaining and straightforward. Whenever he writes about movies or soundtracks I know, I realise that we have rather similar preferences. As his reader, you are in for a great time, and following his recommendations will not be a waste of time.

Carol Balawyder 

Carol Balawyder – Writer
Carol was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Started as kindergarten teacher, then high school teacher. She taught ESL Later she did some research on Alice in Wonderland at The British Museum Library as she wanted to read from the original Lewis Carroll manuscript! Carol wrote a few ESL books. One of them: “Open For Business and Windows on Sci-Tech” (Jan 1990, under her married name Carol Ann Fournier). She wanted to write crime novels; went back to university to get a M.Sc. in criminology and ended up teaching Police Technology and Corrections for 18 years in a college in Montreal. In the meantime, she got divorced and found herself side-tracked from crime writing – writing about dating.

Cleo Bannister 

Cleopatra Loves Books
For as long as she can remember she has loved reading. She was often asked to recommend a ‘good book’, particularly by those who don’t regularly read. Moreover, she proof-reads and reviews published work for her colleagues. She was invited to join Amazon Vine in 2011 – ever since authors and publishers contact her for reviews so she decided to spread her wings and put all the information onto this blog. She loves reviewing – it is her way of offering her opinion on books she has read. She wants others to have that magical feeling when they find a book they will love as she knows how much other people’s reviews help her to find great books to enjoy. Thanks to Cleo my TBR list is constantly growing.

Erin Waldie 

BEST OF My Favourite Things   and her other blog   Oreos & Spilt Milk
Erin covers wonderful topics in her BEST OF blog (some examples – for a complete overview, please visit her blog):   Art, Benedict Cumberbatch, Best Of Bob Ross, Blogging, Blues, Books, Classic Movies, Daily Inspiration, Folk Music, Geek, Ireland, Irish Phrases, Mumford&Sons, Netflix, Patrick Stewart, Poetry, Shirley Temple, Social Media, Spain, StarTrek, Twitter, VanGogh, Writing, etc.
In her Oreos & Spilt Milk blog, Erin posts her beautiful photographs, writing prompts, quotes, etc. There is always something new to discover, as well as great opportunities to discuss.

Sylvester Anderson 

Syl65’s Blog – Poetry, creative writing and a desire to inspire
Syl was born in Chicago, Illinois. He wrote his first poem in the third grade. It was a Mother’s Day poem, which he still has to this day. He has been seriously writing poetry since he was in high school. In his ‘About’, Syl writes the following:  “I have been writing poetry since high school. The first poem I wrote was a mother’s day poem in the 3rd grade. I have been fortunate to have two poetry collections published. The first being “Life Through Celestial Lenses” and the second “The Darkness, The Light , And The Glory“. My purpose is to inspire and share God’s love through poetry.” Syl’s poetry is strong, touching, thought-provoking. His intense creations are something you should not want to miss.

Ali Isaac 

aliisaacstoryteller – “You have just passed through the Cloak of Concealment and into the magical realm…”
Ali grew up on a Greek island. Now, she is fortunate to live in beautiful rural Ireland, but must confess to the occasional Greek escape to enjoy a little Mediterranean sun and cuisine. She began writing her first novel at the age of fourteen. She never finished it, but it lurks in the bottom of her desk. Her book ‘Conor Kelly and The Four Treasures of Eirean’ by her daughter, Carys. She also wants to share with others Ireland’s many astounding ancient sites, and the characters and legends associated with them. She is currently working on ‘Conor Kelly and The Fenian King’, Book 2 in The Tir na Nog Trilogy, and the final book is called ‘Conor Kelly and The Three Waves of Eirean’.


Writing Process Blog Hop

Dear Friends and Readers,

My friend Jess West over at invited me to this (my first!) blog hop. It really sounded like fun and I told her to count me in. I’ve heard of blog hops before and was intrigued when I came across one and followed it. I found lots of interesting blogs worth following.

There is only one rule:  Answer the following questions:

1)    What am I working on?

There is a general blog (this one! where I present miscellaneous topics – mostly, yet not exclusively – about writing. There are book reviews, the so-called ’10 Statements’, newly introduced interviews, and other topics as polls and general musings.

On my short stories blog (, I monthly present 2 – 3 of my short stories as well as some stories by my friend Jess‘ which I directly reblog from her website.

The main novel I am working on consists of episodes in the life of four friends. The episodes are sometimes mystery, sometimes urban fantasy. They all end with the foursome having a common meal and – the recipe. My first inspiration for this work was Joan Aiken and her stories about the Armitage family. My second inspiration was a dream for the first episode.

The second work is an urban fantasy novel. The now adult Danny Wilde (from my short story Only You) writes his memoir about his life as a superhero.

My writing motto in brief:  There is always room for improvement.

2)    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As every writer has her/his own perception of life, every writer’s work is unique. I play with my writing – as do the other writers. I am inspired by dreams, events, everything – as are the other writers. I listen to what my readers comment and I learn – as do the other writers. Each writer’s style may seem unique. What makes us really unique in the end – are our readers and their perception of how and what we write.

3)    Why do I write what I do?

As Jess already mentioned last week: ‘I write because I enjoy it.’ I love reading all kinds of genres, especially mysteries and thrillers. I realised very soon that I like to mix urban fantasy and mystery. This combination is fascinating and inspiring. I also write because I want to make the readers happy, to lead them places where they can also let their imagination flow.

4)    How does your writing process work?

My process is quite different for my current projects. They all have only one thing in common: My little black notebook.

For my general blog I use a file for scheduling, keynotes and connections. For my short stories blog, I use my little black notebook, electronic newspapers, agent coincidence, and the comments of my readers. For the novels I use (separate!) mind-maps and sticky (computer) notes to keep track of the characters, their developments and the scenes. In addition, I compare the achievements and handle this like a typical lessons learned process.

As my time is limited due to a full-time job and my family, I cannot work on my projects more than two hours a day. Therefore it may take longer, sure; yet it is worth every minute.

That’s it from my side.



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Let me now introduce two amazing and inspiring friends – Topaz Winters and Amanda Staley – and follow the links to their respective blogs below. Topaz and Amanda will both share a similar post next Monday, there is a lot of great stuff to discover in the meantime. Just visit and enjoy!

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Topaz Winters

Topaz Winters is a fourteen year old singer/songwriter and author.  When she is not staying up until four AM on a steady diet of coffee and cheesecake, writing her heart out, she can be found exploring musical frontiers with her eccentric collection of band mates or playing with her Japanese Spitz puppy, Hachii. Topaz’s debut novel, Frozen Hearts, drops in January of 2014, and her debut album, Falling Star, later on in the same year.  Topaz does not yet know her path in life, but she is stopping to smell the roses on the way.

Amanda Staley

My day job, I am records manager / IT liaison.  I split the evenings between standard household responsibilities and writing on my two blogs, social media and my books.  My husband and I share our small home with four ferrets, 1 boy and 3 girls, who are like children to us.  I love to cook.  I used to bake a lot of sweets, but now I am more focused on preparing nutritious meals for my husband and I.  I have a great interest in wellness both physical and mental. Which is why I started my blog on Happiness, talking about my own personal growth and hopefully it could be used as a guide for anyone who is also searching for their own way.
I attempt to enjoy life as it is by enjoying the moment.  I am an outdoors person and love spring and summer.  I am an avid bird watcher who enjoys finding new ways of attracting new varieties of birds to my feeders. I also love taking a nature photos and am a bit of a shutterbug.  Every season I probably take at least 500 photos and am extremely thrilled with the invention of digital cameras.

10 Statements – Amanda Staley


My name is Amanda Staley. I am a very positive person who loves nature, animals, practicing yoga, and all things book related.  I am a records manager at a police department by day, but by night and weekend I am a writer and amateur photographer.  I recently finished my first novel Reverie and I am currently working on the first book in the series Dissonance.

Photos Oct 08 to Aug 09 531 (2)

My personal motto:

To be present in the moment and to smile everyday.

10 statements
  1. A typical work day begins with… the alarm going off and me wishing it were Friday, while promptly hitting the snooze button 3 times before dragging myself out of bed to head for the shower.  I am like a cranky walking zombie before my shower!
  2. I lose track of time… when I am doing anything I enjoy, especially when writing, reading or playing video games 🙂
  3. I have always… been fascinated by history.  I have always wanted to know the story behind an old house, or a name on a gravestone.  I always believed that was why I loved to write.  I can make up my own story about what happened.
  4. I have never… given up on a person I consider a friend.
  5. Home means to me… I used to think home was where our family was, but as we have gotten older, we have discovered home is where my fiancé and I can pursue our own happiness.  A place where we can engage in our hobbies, find work, enjoy ourselves, and be around others with similar hobbies and moral values.
  6. I am inspired by… nature in all forms, one of my favorite things to do is watch the birds eat at the feeder outside our kitchen window.  I am also inspired by music.  I do the majority of my writing with music playing in the background.
  7. I would like to meet… His Holiness The Dalai Lama.  He has mastered technique of compassion and easing of suffering.  I feel just being in his presence watching his interactions with others could teach a person so much.
  8. My worst character trait… I get frustrated by individuals who ask for advice on how to handle a situation, and but always find an excuse external to themselves for the issue, while refusing to make a conscious effort change; even when they acknowledge the need for change.
  9. My best character trait… I never give up.  No matter how bleak the circumstance may be, I can always see the bright side and find hope in the situation.
  10. The best advice I was given… was to forge my own path and not to worry what others may think.