Alice in Wonderland Easter Eggs

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I read the following post on Nicholas Rossi’s blog recently. Both Alice books were childhood favourites of mine and I reread them not so long ago. It won’t be long before I dive into them again with a new perspective after reading this:

One of my favorite free newsletters, Atlas Obscura, recently offered a fascinating glimpse into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – or Alice in Wonderland, as most of us call it. As you …

Source: Alice in Wonderland Easter Eggs

The Max Power Reccommended Read Award 2015

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Looking at this list of the top ten Max Powers recommended reads, I don’t think I’ll be reading anything but Indie in the next twelve months. Check these out; there’s something for every palate covered.

Maxpower's Blog

To coincide with the publication of my 100th review on amazon, The Max Power Book Awards were created to celebrate great Indie authors and to highlight the depth and quality of talented available through the world of Indie publishing.

In addition to the overall winner of the Book of the year award, the Indie Author Story-teller Award and the Max Power Choice award, ten special Authors have been awarded the Max Power Recommended Read Award for 2015.

These are books of quality that inspired me to pick them out from the 100 reviews and highlight them for a little special attention. Spread across genre, the selection criteria was strict.  Importantly the selection process was not inter-genre with each competing on its own merit across all genres. This was perhaps the most difficult challenge in terms of selection for there were so many books I have loved  that choosing ten was tough. That…

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Making Dreams Happen and Reaching your Goals

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Dreams … we all have them, but can we achieve them?

The Last Krystallos

‘A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.’
J R R Tolkien.

making dreams happen, reaching your goals, the last krystallos, I wrote about dreams and why they’re important in a previous post, but how do you put them into action and achieve them?

A single Dream... Tolkien QuoteTo start with you need dreams – as Tolkien said one dream is more powerful than anything real, but to harness that power you need to do something to make those dreams reality, so you can grow and dream loftier and higher desires. 

I began life as a contemplative dreamer…a quiet, shy child with an imagination that spanned so many ideas. It took until I was thirty to turn those gossamer dreams into concrete goals, but I did, and now I’m working hard to keep those dreams-turned-goals alive!

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There is a difference between gossamer dreams and concrete goals.

Putting something in writing or into action changes the aspect of a dream…

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The Max Power Book Awards ; My five star reads…

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Selkie 110I’m thrilled that #Selkie has been included in the #MaxPowerAwards #fivestar #reads. To discover more of his #recommendations, check out his blog.

Maxpower's Blog

In advance of the 2015 Max Power Book Awards I would like to remind book lovers of some of the great books I have read by reposting here some of the five star reads I have enjoyed on the way to posting my 100th review on amazon. Pick one of these wonderful Indie books today and discover a whole new world of talent.

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5.0 out of 5 starsEnjoyable and original, December 12, 2014

Refreshingly, here is an author comfortable with dialogue and narrative in equal measure, unafraid to have a unique voice and in the process Katerina Sestakova Novotna has written a creative and original collection of short stories. I say short, some are longer than I would traditionally expect from short stories but if anything their detail only enhances the reading experience.

With what is clearly a strong understanding and relationship…

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Myths, Mysteries and Coming of Age: An Interview with Author Julia Lund

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I was delighted that after reviewing my novel, Selkie, earlier this year, author Andrew Updegrove, who writes fine quality fiction, asked me if he could feature an interview with me on his blog. Here it is …

Andrew Updegrove: Tales of Adversego

Lund 100Back in July, I reviewed a fascinating new novel titled Selkie, by English author Julia Lund. I’m now pleased to present an interview with the author, in which she shares the inspirations for her work, her thoughts on defining an audience (or not), balancing lyricism with action, and more.

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#PrayforParis

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I was seventeen the first time I visited Paris. After a two week stay with a French Family in Nuits-St-Georges, the school party I travelled with had a little free time in the capital city before heading home. I will never forget those few hours alone exploring the streets, crossing the river, stumbling upon Notre Dame, wandering the length of the Champs Elysées. I’m not a city girl, but on that day Paris crept into my heart. My husband and I spent our honeymoon there and I’ve been blessed enough to return several times. One year, as I attended a two week Education conference, I spent le 14 juillet watching fireworks light up the sky over la Seine as French citizens all over the country and the world, celebrated their values of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. Freedom. Equality. Brotherhood.

Expressions of shock and horror and condemnation over the events this weekend that have claimed so many lives have been expressed millions of times across the world, the destruction that a handful can inflict on a community beyond comprehension.

I don’t know the names of the dead, I haven’t yet seen any of their photos that will trickle across our television screens in the days and weeks ahead. People who’d had a hard day at work, who were celebrating a birthday, catching up with friends, laughing at a joke, trying to say sorry to someone. People who’d planned what they were going to wear, bought tickets for a concert weeks ago, saved up for an evening out, looked forward to a great weekend. No two stories the same. Gone.

So, what sort of people could perpetrate such unthinkable acts of murder? What sort of evil inhabits their hearts?

#PrayforParis, alongside other expressions of grief, has swept social media. As I did just that earlier today, as I continue to pray for that city in my own inadequacy, I was reminded to examine my own heart. Along with all the others who profess to be Christians, we are called to be light in the world, for even the tiniest light can be seen through darkness. We are called to be salt, to add flavour to the life of the world. We are told that out of the heart, a man speaks, and as a man speaks, so actions follow. But so often, my heart is so full of my own needs, my own frustrations, my own prejudices, my own intolerance, that impatience, anger, dissatisfaction, jealousy, selfishness are what spills out. Self-justification becomes the currency by which I buy my peace of mind; it’s okay to say this, do that because the person I’m irritated by, the person who has cheated me, hurt me, betrayed me, doesn’t deserve anything else. Their hearts aren’t filled with patience and goodness or love, so why should I bother about how I treat them? Because, so long as I profess to love God, to claim His forgiveness, it’s my heart I should bother about.

In my last blog post, I wrote about words and quoted one of St Paul’s letters where he talks about the nature of love. That same passage could equally apply here, but I’m reminding myself of other words he wrote, to yet another group of early Christians in Galatia who were not quite getting the point:

‘But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. There is no law against these things.’

As the city of Paris, the French nation, the people of the world community who condemn the evil that has been done, as humanity seeks to root it out and replace darkness with light, let me look to my own heart and make sure that the fruit I produce in my life is not bitter or spoiled or rotten.

Leas Amoureux aux Poireaux; Robert Doisneau, Paris 1950

Leas Amoureux aux Poireaux; Robert Doisneau, Paris 1950

It’s only words

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Words. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a writer, I think about them a lot. Sometimes, capturing them is like trying to trap breeze-blown soap bubbles. Other times they hang rich as ripe blackberries in a thorn-filled hedgerow. How to pick and pour and blend and mix and mould them into the smells and tastes and touches of the story that plays through my mind like the dream of someone else’s life? How to turn them into feelings and sights and sounds when they are just marks on a page? Words.

Some words I’ll always remember writing. Or reading. Or hearing. Words that made me feel safe, words that made me feel smart, words that made me feel stupid. Words that shattered my world. And then there are the words I can’t even remember writing. Or reading. Or saying. Words that came out of my mouth and made someone’s day. Or destroyed it. If only I thought as much about the words I speak as the words I write.

Words written almost two thousand years ago, words that millions of people have heard or read, still have the power to make me forget to breathe as their truth reminds me it’s not the eloquence or beauty of my words that that write the most powerful story.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” St Paul, writing to the Corinthian church in his first letter to them. Chapter 13.