The Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

I was nominated by Ariel at Gemini Book Nook for The Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award. Thank you Ariel – I’m so flattered that you’ve even seen my blog, never mind thought to tag me!

Rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog.
  • Make a post of the award (with photo).
  • Post the rules.
  • Ask 5-10 questions of your choice.
  • Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.
  • Follow Vincent Ehindero to qualify for a free blog promotion, shoutout and more blogging opportunities.

Ariel’s Questions

  1. What is the first book you remember reading?
  2. Is there a book you love but everyone else hates?
  3. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life which would it be? 
  4. Would you rather only be able to read first person or third person POV?
  5. What book are you going to read next? 
  6. What is your favourite song right now?


What is the first book you remember reading?



After thinking about this long and hard, I came to the conclusion that it would be when I was in infants (5 years old) and learning to read.

Kipper, Biff, Chip and the Magic Key didn’t exist back then, at least not in the UK. No we cut our teach on Ladybird Key Words Reading Scheme books, which featured the eponymous Peter and Jane.


Is there a book you love but everyone else hates?


Well I have yet to write a glowing review on Goodreads that only has negative reviews, so I presume the answer is no. I do read romance which often seems to be a target of literary ridicule, so at times it can feel as though others hate it. Even worse, I like dark romance which attracts even more criticism AND I read a lot of indie authors.


I’m more likely to be the one who hates the book everyone else loved. My intense dislike of Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck is a case in point.


If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life which would it be? 


Urban Fantasy, because it just offers so many possibilities. Whilst pure fantasy might be able to offer an endless variety of worlds, I prefer the sliver of reality that can only be offered by the more contemporary setting of UF. The addition of a demon/magic/vampire/gods element means that the story can colour outside the lines of true reality, whilst the modern Earth setting allows me to connect and empathise with the characters in a way that isn’t always possible in Fantasy.



Would you rather only be able to read first person or third person POV?


Oh wow, this is a really tough one! For me it partly comes down to what genre I am reading as I prefer 1st for some and 3rd for others. I’m not a huge fan of work written in the present tense and also struggle, when there are two or more protagonists, with only a single point of view. If I absolutely have to choose I think the vote would have to go to first person, but only just.



What book are you going to read next? 


I’ve just finished a couple of arc books so will go back to reading Hunted by K.F. Breene. I am absolutely loving this series so far and am probably going to break my rule of not buying new books until I’ve read more of what I already own just so that I can finish it.



What is your favourite song right now?

I don’t do favourites, mainly because I’m a procrastinator and indecisive! I also only listen to music (on the radio) whilst driving.

I’m tagging One More Book, EJ Frost, Cheryl @ I Heart Fictional People, BooksandBakes1 and Happy Tonic, as they all have fantastic blogs well worth a visit, and anyone else who wants to take part!


My questions are –

  1. Where is one place you want to visit thanks to a book.
  2. Are you a re-reader? Why?
  3. Can you name a book set near to or where you live?
  4. What was your favourite childhood book?
  5. What is the worst thing about blogging? What is the best thing?
  6. Name your favourite reading snack/drink.
  7. To dog-ear or not to dog-ear, that is the question! (No judgement here because I happily dog-ear books I own!)

The Aesthete Blogger Award

Commence insanely excited squealing from me because the amazing Etta, over @Chonky Books, has kindly nominated me for The Aesthete Blogger award, which is the creation of Ashmita @The Fictional Journal. Both blogs are very much worth visiting, so what are you waiting for!


Here are the rules:-

  • Use the official logo/graphic of the award and display it on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Show some love to the one who nominated you!
  • Mention the creator (Asmita@ the Fictional Journal) and link it back to the original post.
  • Tell me a something about this world that you admire.
  • What is your favourite form of creativity?
  • Nominate 7 lovely people and notify them by commenting on their posts; spread some love!
  • Ask your nominees 4 questions.
  • Share something you created. (can be anything!)
  • And lastly, just so you know: I LOVE YOUR CREATIONS!

Etta’s Questions:

Photo by Spencer Davis on Pexels.com

If you could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?

Definitely the past. Not knowing what the future holds allows us to have hope of better things to come. What if by travelling into the future you discovered something dreadful was going to befall someone you loved? The past has already happened, so there shouldn’t be any surprised.

That said I loved the possibilities of “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury, which I read at school and have never forgotten. But even given the events of that book I would still choose back in time.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Would you rather be an author, a publisher, or work in a bookshop?

As a child I wanted to be an author, but whilst I always had lots of good ideas for the start of a story, or a world in which to set a story, the middle and endings just never appeared. As a teenager I did work in retail, so working in a bookshop wouldn’t phase me. However I would never be able to resist all those beautiful books with their shiny covers, so would never have any money for the essentials, such as food and rent. So I think I’d rather be a publisher with ambitions of being an author.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

How would your friends describe you?

I’d love to say adventurous, zany and wild but the truth is more along the lines of careful, conventional and prudent. I’m not a risk taker, though if the wind is blowing in the right direction I can be a little impulsive. I try to be dependable, honest and trustworthy, as well as kind and caring. The sort of friend I want others to be for me.



Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

Aside from blogging, how do you like being creative (art, singing, dancing, cooking, etc.)?

This is a difficult one to answer because I wouldn’t describe myself as creative. It’s not that I didn’t love creating as a child, just that I soon realised MY creations were not on a par with most others. It’s only recently that I have discovered that I am at the very low end of the visual imagination spectrum. I don’t have aphantasia because I CAN visual some things, however they are very blurry, lacking detail and very briefly “seen”. So I can create some things by copying exactly – I used to do this when I did scrapbooking – but I can not create from scratch because I can not “see” in my mind what the end product will look like.


Since that isn’t an answer to the question, I will say that I enjoy photography as a creative outlet.

Tell me a something about this world that you admire.

I am in awe of how supporting and warm the book blogging community is. Every single book blogger that I have ever interacted with has always been kind, friendly and helpful. Bloggers seem only too happy to share their creativity alongside their love of all things bookish.

What is your favourite form of creativity?

Discussion blog posts. Whilst I enjoy writing and sharing reviews my favourite posts are the ones with discussion prompts or questions to answer. And I love blog hopping to see what thoughts others had on the same topic.

I am nominating Penelope @The Reading Devil, Kathy @Inside of a Dog, Shellyrae @Book’d Out, Laurel @My Creative Journey, @Your Bookish Friend, Elza and her Mommy @Elza Reads and Cheryl @I Heart Fictional People.


My 4 questions for these are

1. If you could only create using one art form/media for the rest of your life what would it be?

2. What is your earliest or happiest memory?

3. Is your blog the only form of creative writing you do, or are you also a writer/author?

4. How/Why did you choose your blog’s name?

The Liebster Award Post

A huge thank you to the amazing Leslie @Books Are The New Black for the nomination. The rules are as follows –

THE RULES
Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
Give 11 random facts about yourself
Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

1 – A character that reminds you of yourself?

This is a really, really tough question – there are plenty of characters I would love to BE like, but I’m not sure if there are any I AM like! I was very much a swot at school and very often was top of the class so, magic aside, Hermione Grainger is my answer for that one!

2 – A book that you loved and wasn’t in your typical genre?

Hillary: Tail of the Dog. One thing I constantly repeat is that I don’t read horror. I don’t watch it either, it’s just not for me. Except there was something strangely compelling – and frighteningly, uncomfortably wrong – about this story.#

3 – What’s a book that deserves more hype?

Can I go for an author, rather than a book? Cari Silverwood is an indie published author who writes dark romance and I absolutely adore her writing. If I had to narrow it down to one book it would be Acquired Possession, or maybe Rough Surrender

4 – One unusual thing about yourself?
Errrrr…….. I’m blood group O negative. I also have really, really small toes. Really small.

5 – If you won the lottery what is the first thing you would do/purchase?

Depends on how much – the most we ever won (back when we did play it most weeks) was £10. If it was a few million then most of it would be invested so that I could stop working. I guess I’d buy my three offspring a house each – sadly young people can’t even afford to rent these days, never mind buy a house.

6 – What is your favourite trope?

This depends on genre. My answer for romance would be totally different to my answer for Urban Fantasy.
Years ago there was an advert where a little girl had to decide what she loved more, “Daddy or chips”, with the phrase being repeated throughout. Well I now have “second chance or dark?” on repeat in my head. Dark just has the edge.
However in UF my preference is for demons and magic. Is that a trope? Oh well it is now.

7 – Do you have a character that you absolutely hate and why?

Yes. Not a specific character but a type of character, in fact two types of character.
The alpha male is king in the world of romance. However sometimes authors seem to confuse dominant with domineering. I can’t stand a hero who keeps secrets from the heroine whilst insisting on total honesty from her, who knows what’s best for her without ever asking her thoughts or opinion and/or who feels more like a self-centred ass than a man who puts the welfare of the heroine first and foremost. I want to throat punch those characters.

The other is the “cheating/evil-ex” that doesn’t really add anything to the story. Usually they are so morally dubious, so odiously unpleasant, that you then end up questioning why the protagonist was ever attracted to them in the first place.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

8 – Best advice for a reading slump or what works for you?

Re-reading old favourites. I went through a massive reading slump a year ago, when we went into the first national lockdown and we had no idea what the future would have in store for us. I DNF’d oh so many books and despite having a ridiculous number of unread books on my kindle, I found myself re-reading something, then another something and even more of them. Reading a different genre can also be a good kickstart to the reading mojo.

9 – If you could receive any ARC in the mail what would it be?

If I could go back in time it would be a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. However since that won’t be happening I’m actually going to say that, for two reasons, my answer is “none”. First of all I read exclusively on my kindle, since I do a lot of my reading in bed. My beloved paperwhite removes the need for a lamp or other illumination device that would keep my husband awake. A paperback doesn’t have this amazing ability. Secondly I’m actively reducing the number of arc books I read, so anything that adds to the pile rather than takes away is not welcome!

10 – Do you subscribe to any monthly book boxes? or other items?

I once, back in the pre-internet days, joined a monthly book club where you had to purchase minimum number of books per month for a set number of months. It wasn’t a great success, so I’ve avoided them ever since. These days most book boxes don’t contain books I’m interested in, and the ones that do are released in the USA, resulting in prohibitive postage costs to my little corner of England.

I did subscribe to a scrapbooking kit for a few years and loved that. Sadly an increasingly busy workload and teenagers who no longer wanted to pose for photographs meant this hobby petered out of steam and was eventually abandoned.

11 – If you had to choose, what book villain would you be?

This is tough, because I don’t read many books with female villains and the ones that DO contain them are not likeable at all. I have just finished a book where a female side character was a “privateer” and fairly kick-ass to boot. She did double cross several people too, so I’d be Roksana from The Curse of the Dark Prince, by Ariana Nash.

11 random facts?
My favourite subject at school was science – specifically Biology but I did enjoy chemistry too.

My least favourite subject – and the one I got a big fat U in – was French, I can not learn a foreign language to save my life.

Despite loving the film versions, I have tried to read Wuthering Heights at least 4 times but have never made it further than a few chapters.

I did a degree in Genetics at Nottingham University.

I can roll my tongue.

As I child of the early 80’s the choice was between two bands – Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet – I was a Duranie and madly in love with John Taylor.

As a pre-teen I took ballroom, latin american and disco dance lessons, passing my One Dance, Bronze, Silver and Gold awards with the IDTA.

Which is where I learnt the “Brooklyn Bus Stop” which is danced to Saturday Night Fever by the Bee Gees.


My first official job was as a sales assistant at a now defunct department store, Littlewoods, though I lived in a proper old fashioned corner shop and helped out in the holidays.

I have three children, had two pregnancies and gave birth the “normal” way once.

I would love to live by the coast.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is the tough part – thinking up 11 questions and nominating other blogs. Here goes with the nosiness…


1 – Did you have a favourite childhood book? (If yes, what was it.)

2 – Have you ever met a favourite (or any) author?

3 – What is your most precious book or book related item?

4 – What is your favourite genre and why?

5 – What is your least favourite genre and why?

6 – Do you set any kind of reading goals/challenges for yourself?

7 – What made you decide to start book blogging?

8 – What is your favourite blogging meme to take part in?

9 – How have your reading tastes changed over the last 10 years?

10 – What is the longest you have gone without reading a book?

11 – Would you like to/are you planning on publishing your own book?

I’m tagging Tessa Talks Books, Susan Loves Books, EJ Frost, The Fantasy Princess, Reading Tonic, The Reading Devil and Musings of a Bookish Kitty.

#BookTag – Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you to the The Biblioshelf for my Sunshine Blogger Award nomination! This is my first Blogger Award nomination and so I’m more than a little giddy about the whole thing.


Rules
(1) Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
(2) Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
(3) Nominate 11 people and ask them new 11 questions.
(4) Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their posts.
(5) List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award in your post.

T’s Questions

1 What inspired you to start your blogging journey?

Scrapbooking and the community surrounding it (at the time). My original blog started over on blogger. I’m not sure when because I think I deleted the first posts I made. Back then my posts were more family life, photos and crafting based. I’m not the most creative of individuals so I followed various blogs and crafters that helped inspire me. I also joined in various scrapbooking challenges which required a blog for linking up.

A combination of teenagers unwilling to pose for photos, less free time and a kindle full of books led me away from crafting but in November of 2016 I started book blogging. This was mainly joining in promotions and blog tours, as well as leaving reviews for books I’d arc read. It wasn’t until lockdown that I joined in with blogging memes, and whilst I no longer have time to do them all, I do intend to do at least 3 a week.

2 What is your favourite quote? (It can be a well-known saying/proverb, bookish quote, music lyrics etc.)

“This too shall pass.” Life has taught me that bad things do happen, but they don’t last forever. I also love “May you live in interesting times”, which isn’t as pleasant a pleasantry as first appears!

3 If you had to live in any fictional world where would it be and why?

The Halow system from The Messenger Chronicles series by Pippa DaCosta. Lots of reasons, including tec, fae, magic, living space ships and most of all Marshall Kellee.

4 What would the title of your memoir be?

I’ll do that tomorrow – if I don’t forget about it.

5 If you had Aladdin’s three wishes, what would you wish for?

Good health for me and my family (would that count as one or two?), enough money to live comfortably, a cure for cancer because I’d feel guilty not doing something for others.

6 Favourite book to film/TV adaptation?

I don’t think there are many adaptations where I’ve both read the book AND watched the film. The Harry Potter series is one but my favourite is probably Willie Wonker and the Chocolate Factory.

7 What’s your zodiac sign and do you follow it?

Cancer and no. I’m too much of a scientist.

8 If you were gifted a copy of any book in the world which would you hope for?

A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. If not that a signed Terry Pratchett book.

9 Who is your biggest inspiration?

I’m not the type of person who is massively influenced by others. That’s not to say I don’t care or worry about what they think, but I’ve never felt the need to do or be like someone else – not even for a great cause. I don’t tend to be self-reflective or over think things. What I would say is that my parents have always been my biggest role models.

10 Would you rather go to an all-day beach party in Mykonos or spend the night watching the Northern Lights from an igloo?


Neither. I’d rather watch the Northern Lights from a very warm room/building! I’m not a fan of extreme temperatures, I like it somewhere between 12 and 22 degrees C.

11 What has been the greatest experience of your life so far?

It’s the little moments that are important to me. I’m not a fan of big, huge gestures or over the top occasions. There isn’t one single great experience, but my greatest joy is my family.

My Questions

  1. What is your guilty pleasure genre/trope?
  2. What’s the longest time you’ve gone without reading a book?
  3. Has lockdown/Covid affected your reading habits and if yes, how?
  4. Are you a reader who creases the spine and folds the page down to mark your place?
  5. What one item could you not live without?
  6. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or have a couple on the go at the same time?
  7. Do you have a favourite drink or snack to eat whilst reading?
  8. If money was no object where would you go on holiday and why?
  9. What was your favourite childhood book?
  10. What advice would you give your teenage self?
  11. Do you have a bucket list? Share one item from it, or tell me one item that would go on a bucket list if you did have one.

I always feel really awkward about nominating people, feel free to ignore the tag! However I’m nominating

A Lovely Book Affair

Reading Tonic

All In Good Time

Flora’s Musings

Tessa Talks Books

One Book More

Susan Loves Books

Reading in the Garden

Books and Bakes

Notes by J

Suzy’s Cosy World