My Favourite things

I should have added and not of a chocolate kind. The reason being there was a time when I was addicted to chocolate.

Back to the topic.  My top five favourite things:

  1. Reading with the company of two foot warmers (Ellie and Bob)
  2. Writing with the encouraging sounds of musical snores from Bob and Ellie
  3. Walking on a beach regardless of the weather. We have even done this as a family on Christmas day or St. Stephens day mainly due to asthmatic son.
  4. An evening out with friends
  5. Receiving a review for a story or a book.

Pretty straightforward and simple, and the weird thing is I believe if I won a huge sum of money, they wouldn’t change.

So what is your top 5?

Have a great Halloween.

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Books I have recently read.

I joined Goodreads. Why? To find interesting indie writers to read and to find people to review my books. I have found a group of highly talented people who simply write for the enjoyment of producing a finished item, a little like Nanowrimo. I feared it would be more like the first auditions in Britains Got Talent or The X Factor, it is far better. So I would encourage anyone who is looking for interesting new writers to try it.

Some of the books I have read and reviewed are:

Eyewitness Blues. Tim Baker

I chose this book of Tim Bakers because of the cover and title.  I enjoy thrillers and mysteries and this promised much. I was not wrong.  His characters were strong and full of personality.
The main character Martin, was born on the wrong side of luck. Lorenzo and his boss, Don Gammino featured in Martin’s run of bad luck and set a string of events in motion. .
Romance arrived with Mercedez, who I felt had a soft spot for Martin, this she proved later on in the book. Ike was a mysterious character, tough and ready to help anyone who needed it, I wanted him to adopt me after reading a few chapters where he featured.
The plot was strong and flowed sweetly with the odd hiccup or surprise, just enough to keep me reading.
I recommend this book of Tim Bakers to anyone who likes a thriller with a twist and I will be reading more of his work in the future.

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Christmas at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley

I enjoyed this book which is the second novel, featuring Demelza. A young woman who appears to have climbed, with a little help from Cal out of a bad place into a life she loves. Cal’s rival for Demi’s love is Kit. I found Kit a little disturbing and wondered from the start what sort of game he was playing. Of course I loved Mitch, Demi’s dog, as I love 99.9% of dogs, real or imaginary.
I did wonder at how much patience Demi had with Cal and his mysterious past. There was a few occasions where the story line repetition had me sighing but beyond that it flowed enough to keep me hooked on which guy she would end up with. All in all if you are looking for a gentle story this is one I would recommend.
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And as I love writing children’s stories, I sometimes read children’s fiction to see what is out there. So far this year I have read:
This is a very different book  to the usual children’s fantasy book as Lieve is a wildlife photographer, who has created a very different book.
The photographs and images were cleverly input into the story. I could imagine reading it to a five or six year old and they becoming immersed in the story. I enjoyed it, though I am not five or six and would recommend it to parents whose children love animals.
Marie and her sister Lowieske are from Belgium and, like me, did not know what a woodchuck was prior to their meeting with Margot. The images of the groundhog wearing glasses etc were amusing and again this would appeal to children. 

Bob’s Diary: Maria’s Kindle Deal

Hi, I have been asked to remind everyone that

 

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Maria’s first book is on Kindle Countdown deal from the 10th of November to 17th November.

Amazon.co.uk : Here

amazon.com : Here 

 

 

 

 

Not that I would be caught reading it.

(Though she said I’m in it – so where is my picture?)

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Maria’s Stuff: An Introvert Living in a world of Extroverts

My side of the tale.

Having now lived for 50 odd years on this planet I have acquired a disguise of being a sociable person.  Truth is I hate big parties, weddings and events.

Bliss was found at an early age in between the covers of books, old or new I didn’t care. I would home in on a book shelf and find a cosy quiet corner and lose the world and myself in a book. The reasons are not generally known by those I hang out with these days but truth is I seemed to have been born with a sign on my head saying kick me, or target for bullies.

Primary school was a nightmare, I would have been happy to sit in a corner and read or dream but everyone was expected to play with everyone. Teachers were relentless in their coaxing, cajoling and often scolding if you were seen to be not mixing.  When I was spotted writing with my left hand this was blown up into an insufferable event. Teachers tried to convince me to do the normal thing and write with my right hand. A conversation overheard by two teachers about my lack of writing skill still stays with me today, 49 years later.

I found freedom and happiness in unexpected places. The two I loved most were my grandfathers company and the library. Both were a fountain of knowledge about different worlds and experiences.  I learnt to let callous taunts and scathing remarks go in one ear and out the other. I sought refuge in my mind. I learnt that not everyone has to conform to the boxes set out for them.

The point of this post.

Is to ask parents not to push or prod their children into doing the socially acceptable thing. Some of us need time alone, time to explore, learn and most of all let the creative side flow.

If a child asks for sketch pads and crayons don’t feel obliged to run out and buy the newest version of paint for the computer. Let them be themselves.

In Ireland last week a couple were fighting the system regarding home schooling and educating children.  Their eleven year old daughter appeared with them on TV and I admired her for her well-chosen comment. She spoke quietly and well. I sat back and thought, I would vote for her.

I would love to know other introverts feelings on how society functions and how they fit  or didn’t fit into the world they were growing up in. More importantly how did it make you feel? And how did you cope?

Maria’s Stuff: Free on Amazon – Kindle Deal

As many of you know I have taken a giant step for me and self published my 1st book. It was a tough decision to make but I knew I had to start somewhere. Self publishing like blogging is a journey. And I decided the only way to thank those who support me in my blogging journey was to make the book available to you.

The book is available free on Kindle from August 27th until August 30th. The link for American readers is simply: http://www.amazon.com/Moving-On-Maria-Matthews

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The first  chapter is available here to give you a taste of it.

 

As my two readers pictured here are not good at giving reviews, I am asking for reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.

 

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Once again thank you all for encouraging me to keep writing. (I promise I will get better at it as time goes by.)

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Bob’s Diary: Why me?

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The trouble with being such a sociable charismatic dog is simple, Maria keeps putting me in stories. Here is a short one. ( I’ve met Molly. She is cute and she feeds me jelly babies.)

Children’s Story: 500 words.

 

Chasing the snow dragon.

 

Snowflakes twirled and danced about Molly. ” I love snow,” she said.

“Woof” Bob said jumping around her.

Molly whispered, “Quiet Bob. A  Snow Dragon might hear us and run away.”

The dog nudged her hand with his nose. He tickled Molly, making her giggle.

They began their search in the garden.

No Snow Dragon.

They walked through the gate, looking right and left. Molly walked past Gran’s kitchen door. They looked in the garden shed, even behind the coal bags but didn’t find a Snow Dragon. They did meet many birds and Gran’s fat cat.

They walked to the front garden. They met the postman. “Hi Molly. Where are you going?” he asked.

“We are going to catch a Snow Dragon.” She whispered.

“Well – don’t let him catch you.” He said.

“No. We won’t.” Molly told him.

Bob looked behind every tree.  Molly looked at the bare branches.

No Snow Dragon.

“Not even a squirrel, Bob.” She said.

Molly looked behind them. The snow was falling onto the ground covering her footprints. She couldn’t see her house. “Let’s go home,” She said.

Molly made a snow ball. She threw it. “Go get it Bob,” She said.

He sat and watched it land.  Molly sighed. Bob never chased tennis balls.

“Lets make a snowman instead.” She began by making a small ball and then dropped it on the ground. As she rolled it along the ground the snowball changed from being a round ball into a wobbly, wonky shape. It was big and getting bigger.

Bob helped by staying out of Molly’s way. She pushed her snowman into the garden saying, “I’ll finish you after tea.”

It was warm inside. Molly felt tired. She forgot about her snowball but told dad about her search for a Snow Dragon.

“I think there are no Snow Dragons,” she said. Molly felt sad.

“Maybe they are shy, creatures. Perhaps you should send an email to one and see what happens.”

“What would I say?” She liked this idea.

“That you believe in them but you would love to know what they look like. Wait then and see what happens. Granddad always said, they were magical creatures.”

Molly wiggled her nose as she thought about this. “Let’s do it, can you help please?”

The email was sent and Molly went to bed.

Next morning she got up and peeped out the window.

Her heart jumped for there in the garden was a large dragon. He was white and very still. Molly raced outside to see him. “Its a Snow Dragon.” She said to her dad who came to look at it.

“But Dad, how did he get here?”

“Molly you did say you would love to know what they look like, didn’t you?”

Molly nodded her head. “I did. Now I know they are amazing.And he chased my snowman away. ”

Dad took a picture of the snow dragon.

It hangs on Molly’s bedroom wall in case she forgets what they look like.