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Tuesday 24 February 2015

A Versatile Blogger

I have been gifted with this:

... courtesy of a fab lady  Elaine Cougler (do visit her blog when you've finished reading mine!) So without much more ado I shall accept, make my thank you speech and comply by the rules.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
The Versatile Blogger Award Rules:
  1. Display the Award Certificate (cut and paste it from my post) - DONE
  2. Write a post and link back to the blogger who nominated you - DONE (see above
  3. Post seven  interesting things about yourself -- DONE (read on
  4. Nominate up to fifteen other bloggers (and why you've nominated them) - DONE (read on)
  5. Inform them of their nomination  (probably via comment on their blog unless you have their email!)  -  DONE
Task One

Task Two 

Write a post

Often these Bloggy type awards can be a tad daunting, that's because one of the rules is to pass on the baton (or should that be wireless keyboard?) You want to be nice to nice bloggers by saying "Hey I think you deserve this!" but you also know they are probably incredibly busy and do not have time for faffing about finding the next bloggers to follow on.

Well yes, because I accepted the honour of becoming A Versatile Blogger I've spent most of the day, therefore, faffing about. And I've thoroughly enjoyed it! I've had a wonderful day browsing some of my favourite blogs, immersing myself in some fascinating - and diverse - articles.  From Rome to a switch to short-story writing via Sweden and A Wonderful Life - please click the links below and have an enjoyable read and find new blogs and new friends into the bargain! (but don't forget to vote for Sea Witch first!) 

Task Three:

Seven things about myself:
  1. I have just discovered Game of Thrones. OK I know, I'm late to the party, but it was on Sky here in the UK and I don't watch Sky. So I rented the first four episodes from Amazon's Lovefilm and was hooked from the start. Possibly too violent and sexual for some though. Rated 18 for a reason.
  2. I like Tia Maria Coffee with Devon cream on top. Oh gosh its gorgeous! Even when the cream doesn't float.
  3. I traipse into the Orchard of a morning in my wellies, nightdress and dressing gown to let the hens, ducks and goose out. Aw c'mon you don't expect me to be dressed before 8.30 a.m. do you?
  4. I have a companion in my study. Mab the cat has taken to sleeping on the chair. Only problem the blanket on it is black and white. She's black and white. I've accidentally sat on her a couple of times.
  5. We are not alone. We have at least one spirit in the house and one in the dairy. Nice 'people' who love this eighteenth century farmhouse I live in as much as I do.
  6. Devon cheese. Devon Blue and Taw Valley Cheddar. Oh boy. Delicious. We have a fantastic cheese shop in South Molton. Mmm. Mm!
  7. I'm getting over being frightened of spiders. Well, living in the country I haven't much choice have I? One ambled across my desk the other day. I just said 'hello' and let it amble. Ok OK it was about as big as my little finger thumbnail. I probably wouldn't have been as calm had it been as big as a coffee-mug coster (as they are here in Devon.)

Task Four:
I nominate

  1. Alison Morton Because this is a place to go for everything Roman. Alison knows her stuff! (Her Roma Nova series is also pretty good! :-) "Superficially, Lupercalia looks like a mob of  scantily clad young men of rank, running around the posh part of the city, full of sauce and whipping people, especially young women – sounds very student-like… But this was a quintessential Roman rite and significant on many levels to Romans for a thousand years."
  2. Richard Abbott  Because he reviews for HNS Indie and he supports indie writers (and his blog isn't bad either!) "For the Mad Reviewer 2014 Reading Challenge I signed up for the Slightly Sane category – 26 books during the course of the year."
  3. Anna Belfrage Because she writes about so many versatile things and I enjoy reading them.  "Every now and then, I sit down to have a serious one-to-one chat with yours truly. Okay, so the conversation is generally one-sided, as I haven’t progressed to doing different voices for different sides of my personality, but the purpose of these little tete-a-tetes is to remind myself why I write.
  4. Joanna  Barnden I met Joanna while doing my 'author bit' at Battle Abbey for the annual Battle of Hastings Bash (re-enactment). She was a delight to talk to and I'm always happy to support interesting writers. "Why write historical fiction? All my life I’ve been fascinated by the past. I remember as a child visiting Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh and standing over the (presumably re-touched) bloodstain where David Rizzio was murdered by Lord Darnley and being forcibly struck by the reality of standing on the same spot."
  5. Janis Pegrum Smith because I agree with her - It's A Wonderful Life :  "I have made it a ritual to watch the movie 'It's A Wonderful Life' at some point in the run up to Christmas".  
  6. Jessica Talbot  because I enjoyed her book Picaflor and her blog reminds me that being far from home is nice, but being home is even nicer! "This site is for writers, storytellers and people who have a story to tell. I think there is a need for a place to share stories and to feel connected through the experiences we share living in countries far from our birth places."
  7. Caz Greenham because her books about Eric the Seagull are fun and she lives in Devon. 'Nuff said! "If I’m not writing about Eric Seagull ‘Storyteller’ then you can find me paddling along the seashore or dipping my toes in rock pools."
  8. Carol McGrath because she is an admirer and fan of Harold II who died in 1066 killed in Battle seven miles from Hastings. Any fan of Harold's is worth following!  "It’s 1075. Eighteen-year-old Gunnhild, King Harold’s daughter, is living in a nunnery. She has no wish to be a nun: she is a princess and would rather wed a knight and have the life a princess should. So when Count Alan offers to elope with her, she accepts. But does he love her, or does he just want the lands that she will inherit?"
  9. Katherine Bone because she likes pirates and writes about pirates. Couldn't be a better reason! "Shoutin’ from the top of the mizzen, me hearties! Sails on the horizon!"
  10. Loretta Livingstone because she's a lovely lady. "Some of you may have noticed that my writing has taken an unexpected turn. I went for a wander in Writing Woods, took a different turning than usual and ended up down Short Story Lane."

Task Five
Will carry out as soon as this is posted.

Thanks for dropping by
and thanks for being versatile readers and friends!

I was


  1. Oh, my word. I'm blown away. Thank you so much for the nomination. I haven't much of a blog but I do have a small one on Goodreads, so I shall pay it forward there in a week or so. I'm rather shattered at the moment, but as soon as I catch up with myself, I'll get onto it. Thank you so much, Helen. What a wonderful surprise. And how nice to read about all the other authors. Lots of luck with the BookBuzz comp.

    1. No rush Loretta (I know you're often poorly) We all start out small with our blogs... you'll be a lot bigger in a year or two! :-)

  2. Most flattered. I had no idea I wrote about so many versatile things - but now that I do, I'll set the bar higher :)

    1. Groan - you're already a hard act to follow LOL :-)

  3. Helen, what a lovely blog post. I like the way you mentioned something written by each of your nominees--we're writers, after all!
    I had the same experience the day I wrote my post (last Sunday). Taking time to just look up 15 of my blogger peeps was quite a delight.
    Thanks so much for taking part. I'll be looking up your 10 nominees for sure. :-)

    1. Thank you Elaine. I changed the number of nominees to 'up to fifteen' for the simple reason that I ran out of time, and I thought that would be more Versatile for anyone following :-)

  4. Thank you Helen for nominating me. Thanks for being so supportive too! I'm so happy you are winning your category in the bookbzz competition. I sent out a shout out on FB and Twitter...hope I got you a few 'safety' votes! Keep up the good work! xxxx

    1. Thanks Jessica - need a couple more votes to reach 200!

  5. Helen, what a delight reading your blog suggestions and 7 'secrets.' The best thing about VBA is following up on the nominations that sprout from it and reading all the wonderful insights and share facts. I've been a fan of yours since I joined HNS, and now even more so. Hope to see you in Denver, where Elaine, myself and fellow Cdn Cryssa Bazos aka Highwayman author will be attending. We hope fellow Cdn blogger and writer Gwen Tuinman will join us in London in 2016! The Canadian delegation is growing since Brock's Agent author Tom Taylor suggested I attend the San Diego conference a few years back. Had a blast and have only missed one since! We HF writers have to stick together. It's amazing who you meet and what you learn! Love the darling white boots on your kitty, btw.

    1. Yes see you in Denver... and I'll be at the 2016 conference - I've apparently managed to get myself onto the organising committee for that one!

    2. Excellent! Only the best may serve. ..

  6. OH, btw, Cryssa Bazos's faerie muse is called Mab....great minds think alike.

    1. Not sure that my Mab is much use as a muse.. especially since she has recently decided that my role in life is to open and close the door so that she can go in and out - this despite a perfectly serviceable cat flap in the kitchen! :-)

  7. Lol, just like Cryssa's Mab, she knows how to get your attention.

  8. Thanks for the nomination, Helen! My contribution is at
    Very glad you versatilely changed the rule to "up to"...

    1. Will hop over to yours and have a look anon.... :-)

  9. Thanks so much Helen. Some fab blogs on here - very distracting!! Will get onto this ASAP. xxx


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