Archive for the ‘My Blog Awards’ Category

The Kindle edition of Eden’s Garden is now up! Hurrah!

And I’ve been tagged by brilliant and thoughtful book-blogger and author Claire McAlpine  of the ‘Word by Word’ blog, as part of the ‘Be Inspired’ blog hop. Thank you Claire! And thank you again for your wonderful review of Eden’s Garden.

To take part in the blog hop, I need to send a link back to my proposer (thank you Claire!) and then answer the following questions. Once answered, I need to tag five people to answer the questions, which don’t need to be the same, but must be about the writer’s book. And then I mustn’t forget to put the links to their blogs so everyone can hop over and see their answers.

Here we go:


1. What is the name of your book?

Eden’s Garden’

2. Where did the idea for your book come from?

One inspiration is Brondanw Gardens in Snowdonia, which was the home of Clough Williams-Ellis, who built nearby Portmeirion. Part of it feels quite forlorn, 

but with some wonderfully quirky touches.

The other inspiration was a Celtic myth of a woman created out of flowers to be a perfect wife. It all ends in tears, of course, and the woman is stripped of her youthful beauty and ba

nished. But supposing that is only the beginning of her story …..

3. In what genre would you classify your book?

It’s a time-slip. Part of the story is set now and part in Victorian times.

4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?

I’d chose British actor Sam West to play the Victorian hero. His voice alone is beautiful. I could sit and listen to it for hours…… 

5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.

Two women a century apart struggle with love, family duty, long buried secrets, and their own creative ambitions.

6. Is your book already published/represented?

Eden’s Garden was published by the small but mighty Honno Press in March 2012,and was the Welsh Books Council ‘Welsh Book of the Month’ for May.

7. How long did it take you to write your book?

The first idea came about 6 years ago. I worked on it on an off between other projects, always trying to find the right form for the story I wanted to tell and never quite getting there. I sent an earlier version to Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press, a couple of years ago. They didn’t accept it straight away, but they gave me a chance to work with one of their editors. That year was one of the most intensive learning curves of my life, and that’s when the book really came together.

 8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?

I think readers of Kate Morton’s time-slip books like ‘The House at Riverton’ would enjoy ‘Eden’s Garden’, and anyone who enjoys Adele Geras’ novels like ‘Facing the Light’.

 9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

I have always loved Dickens, Elisabeth Gaskell and the Brontes. They were all an inspiration for the Victorian strand of the novel. I also love Sarah Waters’ books and Rosamund Pilcher’s ‘The Shell Seekers’.

10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.

More than a hundred years ago Ann left a trail
 through London, Cornwall and Wales that now leads Carys on a tantalising and 
increasingly shocking search for the truth…

Margaret James of ‘Writing Magazine’ called Eden’s Garden: ‘A great romantic read and also a very atmospheric, ingenious mystery.’ 

Intrigued? Then you can read the first chapters here: 

And so to the people I have tagged to answer the questions:

1. What is the name of your book?

2. Where did the idea for your book come from?

3. In what genre would you classify your book?

4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?

5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.

6. Is your book already published/represented?

7. How long did it take you to write your book?

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.

And the writers tagged are:

Shirley Wells, who writes gripping crime for Carina Press.

Susan Jones, great stories and a lovely blog to check out.

Chris Stovell, who writes for Choc Lit  – with a hero guaranteed to make you go weak at the knees.

Lorraine Jenkin, fellow Honno author, whose blog is as witty as her books.

Marylynn Bast, author of the ‘Heart of a Wolf’ series. No feeble heroine there!

Take it away, ladies!

Once you have answered the questions, remember to tag five more worthy bloggers with the same instructions- especially to link back to your blog!!

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My blog has been given a Sunshine Award! Hurrah! Thank you Susan  for nominating me.

So, the idea is that the recipient gives out random information about themselves before passing it on.

So my facts are:

1. I work on oral history projects in Penmaenmawr, on the North Wales Coast, where Gladstone, Queen Victoria’s Prime Minister, used to take his holidays.

2. I have two cats, a brother and sister called Mitzi and Maxwell, plus a feral cat who drops in now and again and a very disheveled stray who has lived nearby for years.

3. I love gardening.

4. My favourite cake is the recipe passed down to me from my mother and which makes the best chocolate cake in the world!

5. I have a brother but no sisters.

6. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life.

7. My favourite fruit is an apple. (yum)

8. I didn’t learn to drive until I was in my thirties.

9. I can remember as a child being woken up to watch the first moon landing. (yes, I’m THAT old)

10. My favourite scented flower is the honeysuckle wrapping itself over my garden gate. On a summer evening, it’s a little piece of heaven ……

And my nominees for this award are:

Susan Bergen for her lively and beautiful blog (check out the photos).

Chris Stovell, Choc lit author, for her gorgeous blog on living and writing in West Wales.

Maggi Summerhill for her totally inspiring blog.

Spread the sunshine, and ENJOY!

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Brondanw Gardens, near Portmeirion, North Wales. Part of the inspiration for 'Eden's Garden'. Click on the picture and it will take you to the Brondanw Website

Oh, okay: I’m cheating a bit. actually it’s the same award twice. Yipee! Even better.

So a very belated thank you to Lady Gwen, who blogs about writing and running and makes both as fascinating as each other, and to Linda Gray of the brilliant and insightful Critique Sisters, both of whom  nominated me for this award. Thank you, ladies. You are totally awesome!

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

Thank the person who gave it to you and link back to them.

Share seven things about yourself.

Pass the award along to other, recently discovered blogs and let them know about it.

(Click on the names for links to each of the Blogs)

Thank you LADY GWEN!

These are my 7 things about me:

  1. My mum once ended up in the arms of Led Zepplin’s Robert Plant. (Aha, that got you going, eh? :))
  2. To explain: from the age of 8 to 15 I went to an alternative education school, a Rudolf Steiner School. I didn’t know who Robert Plant was, and neither did my mum. He was just another parent. (Well, apart from the gasp of pure envy from every woman in the school hall when my mum tripped on the way to her seat).
  3. I’m a Reader for the Romantic Novelist’s Association’s New Writers Scheme, which helps aspiring writers towards publication. That’s how I ever became a published author. It’s one totally wonderful scheme! Thank you, ladies. 
  4. I love gardening.
  5. This is my veg box, straight from the farm where they’re harvested just before you collect them, and which I have every week from June to January. (February, I only eat chips , there’s only so much health a girl can take :))
  6. My favourite spring flowers are primroses
  7. I make a mean chocolate cake, though I say it myself.

And these are my nominees:

MCatherine for her lovely blog on morphing into an author.

Catherine Miller for her insightful blog about turning writing into more than a hobby,

Jan Jones for her great blog about being a working writer, from her ‘Penny Plain’ serials, to highwaymen and Regency days.

Amy Summers for her lovely blog on writing and reviews – and being honest on just how hard writing is!

Jo Barlow for her touching blog about life with ex-battery chickens now living the good life. Lovely chicken pics, too.

And thank you LINDA GRAY!

These are my 7 facts about me:

  1. I’m a lifelong vegetarian. Which meant I spend my childhood being weird. But hey, I’m cool now! (which somehow doesn’t feel right) 🙂
  2. My ancestors were nailmakers in Lye Waste, near Careless Green at the heart of the Black Country, cradle of the Industrial Revolution. I like to think that some of them were chain makers – because then they might have made the chain for the ‘Titanic’. I’m still looking …

    Beautiful Brondanw, home of Clough Williams Ellis, the creator of Portmeirion.

  3. I have two grape vines. (okay, they are both tiny and no grapes yet! But one is a cutting from the Hampton Court vine.)
  4. I’m addicted to coffee (trying to get onto herbal tea)
  5. I love taking photos. (You might have guessed that one)
  6. My favourite summer flowers are sweet peas.
  7. Thanks to my friend Salena (awesome vegan cook) I can now also make a pretty mean vegan chocolate cake. Yum! (still not as good as my teacher, though. No competition!)

And my nominees are:

Salena Walker For her awesome blog on sustainable living and totally delicious vegan cookery. A revelation.

Alison May for her intelligent and informative blog on all things writing (plus one or two others, besides)

Judith Kinghorn for her beautiful blog about writing, and her book ‘The Last Summer’. And for being a fellow writer in taking nearly half a century to do what we were born to do!

Phillipa Ashley for a great blog about books, writing and research, from high heels to campervans ….

Lucinda Rose for a great blog and following her dreams, and ….. watch this space!  🙂

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My blog has been given an award! I’m really touched and honoured to have been given a Liebster Award, which is to connect fellow Bloggers, especially those with under 200 followers.

So thank you for my nomination to Samantha Stacia, http://samantha-stacia.blogspot.com/ founder of the Blooming Late group on She Writes, who is full of wonderful ideas and support for her ever-expanding collection of late blooming writers. Late blooms are the best!

Now I need to post the award on my blog. Here it is: worn with the utmost pride!

And I need to nominate 5 bloggers and post my nomination on their blogs.

So all my wonderful nominees, if you decide to accept the award, then please do the same, and have fun and keep on spreading the karma!

My nominations go to:

Barbara Ehrenteu http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com for her blog on writing and great interviews with writers. Definitely check them out! And (a bit belated) congratulations on an exciting publication day.

Rhiannon Paille http://rhiannonpaille.blogspot.com/ for her gorgeous-looking and imaginative blog – and for loving Romeo and Juliet, of course!

Marlene Dotterer, www.marlenedotterer.wordpress.com for her blog on writing, and mouthwatering cooking. Now there’s a combination…

Shirley Wells for her wise and witty comments, on life and writing crime books  http://www.shirleywells.com/blog/ Shirley is based here in the UK, and writes the Dylan Scott crime novels for Carina Press.

Kat Ward http://keepingsane.com/ For her wry, brave and honest accounts of keeping a business afloat, balancing responsibilities while getting that writing career going and the terrors at bay. Go, girl, go.

And hurrah for writers – the greatest support group in the world.

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