The Sunshine Blogger Award – Nominated by Author Sally Cronin

the Sunshine Blogger Award

My heartfelt thanks go to lovely author & blogger Sally Cronin for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. The Sunshine Blogger Award is given out by members of the blogging community in recognition of inspiring, creative, and motivational blogs. YAY!

I am honored to be nominated alongside some really wonderful bloggers I do admire and follow. This is my very first nomination, so I am feeling quite smug 🙂 Having your blogging work appreciated is always a motivation to push for better content, but also to support fellow bloggers. For we are but lonely stars on a dark sky without each other.

During the past year I discovered such a wide range of amazing bloggers. I will use this opportunity to nominate those whom I admire for their kindness and generosity and whose blog posts motivate me.

I know how busy life and blogging can get, so if I nominated you and you don’t have the time to respond with a post, that’s okay 🙂 But I do hope you will take the nomination as a mark of my admiration.

If you choose to accept the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few rules:

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.

• Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.

• Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Do leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

Here are the 11 questions set by Sally for her nominees, with my answers:

1.What is the most daring thing you have done?

I moved half way round the world to be with the man I love, my husband.

2.Name one item still on your bucket list.

I don’t have a bucket list, but one thing I’ve been wishing I could do and never been able to (although I’ve been invited once!) is visit Greenway, Agatha Christie’s home.

3.If you had a time machine, would you choose to live in the past or the future?

Definitely in the past. I am such a history fan. And I love research. I love planning too. Am I allowed to research the era before jumping into the time machine? J

4.What is your favorite movie of all time?

I think each decade of my life can be defined by a movie. ‘Gone With the Wind’, ‘The Way We Were’, ‘Love, Actually’. I think this decade it’s ‘A Night at the Museum’. Gosh, the titles speak volumes J

5.What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Start. Writing. Now.
And do no stop.

6.What is one of your guilty pleasures?

I have only one guilty pleasure, and that is Coffee with a capital C. Coffee is my morning joy, my strengths in the wee, lonely hours, my inspiration and my fuel. I love the rhythmic, musically-drum sound of coffee beans as they sing in their container. I adore the smell of freshly ground coffee. I cherish the taste of a good cup of café latte. I relish at the sight of a frothy cappuccino and can appreciate the velvety, creamy taste of an espresso.  

7.Do you have any pets?

99% of my books include at least a dog 🙂 We have two.

8.Tell us about one thing that really gets your goat.

People who cut in line.

9.Who would you invite to a celebrity dinner. List 5, dead or alive?

Agatha Christie. Kathy Reichs. Ingrid Bergman. Margaret Atwood. My daughter 🙂 – she is my hero for handling her life as a teenager during the 21st century as well as she does.

10.What is your most annoying bad habit?

I can think of two. While awake, I tend to speak softly. While asleep, as I transition to and from REM sleep, I tend to act out my dreams and speak out loud. I am told that no one can reason with me during those seconds.

11.Name your current favorite song playing on your playlist right now.

‘Where Do You Go’ by No Mercy has been (almost) the only song on my playlist during the last six months J

Here are my 11 questions for my nominees:

  1. Share one thing about yourself that would surprise your followers.
  2. Which do you prefer, mountain or sea?
  3. What is the highest / furthest point you traveled to?
  4. You stand on a 1m high brick wall. Would you jump off or climb slowly?
  5. If you would only start your writing career now, where would you begin?
  6. Which animals you feel it represents you best?
  7. Are you an early riser or night owl?
  8. Was writing your first choice as a career? If not, what was it?
  9. What is your comfort food?
  10. Best way to relax and recharge? (either than writing J)
  11. What is your favorite word?

And here are my 11 nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Jessie Cahalin (Books in Handbag)
Jo (Tea and Cake for the Soul)
James Cudney IV (This Is My Truth Now)
Brian Langeose (Bonnywood Manor)
Bette A. Stevens (Writers and Readers)
Caz (Invisibility Me)
Katie Kay (Writer, Blogger & Pilot) & she replied here 🙂 YAY!
Barbara Auzou (Lire, Dite Elle)
Annika Perry (Annika Perry)
Mike (M. C. Tuggle)
Pete and Ollie 🙂 (Bettley Pete)

If you are reading this and would like to participate, please do! Answer those questions, nominate the bloggers you admire. And do link back to me; I will make sure to share your post.
Thank you, Pat.

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Maroons, Autumn’s Chocolates

Maroons Autumn's chocolates, chestnuts on forest floor

As Autumn fades into Winter, I find myself longing for roasted chestnuts. Prickly, like the history of their maroons shades, they are Autumn’s chocolates.

Maroons Autumn's chocolates. Coffee, Silent Heroes book, quill and ink pot.

I trust my inspiration to the rich, maroon liquid I came to associate with writing and quiet introversion at home. Its many shade and richness, in the auburn Autumn, are luscious bits of legal bliss.
Coffee.

Maroons Autumn's chocolates. Chocolate speckled eggs in a nest in forest.

Perhaps autumn found inspiration for its sepia, russet and chocolates between the patterns of birds’ eggs.

Maroons Autumn's chocolates. person holding fireworks in a forest.

Did you know that before naming a color, maroon, already associated with chestnuts bursting in the fire, dubbed a firework’s explosion?

Marooned by Howard Pyle, Public Domain. Maroons Autumn's chocolates
Marooned by Howard Pyle, Public Domain

I love how the word maroon escaped from a 17th century label for unruly people… to anyone marooned on an island in 18th century & beyond. It happened because authoritative would sent the wild specimens on an island they could not escape from, nor survive on!

Maroon has richness to it, depths, warmth. It is a promise never disappointing. Burgundy roses, chestnuts, chocolates paired with a glass of wine, coffee, tulips, an aubergines. Yet in art, maroon is perceived as a shade of red, a darker red – near burgundy, carmine, crimson, fire engine red, magenta, rust (like russet?) and scarlet, terra cotta, Venetian red, vermilion… A poem of colors.

One of my favorite spots of maroon in art is in The Wedding Feast at Cana by the Italian artist Paolo Veronese, a massive painting housed in the Salle des États of the Louvre Museum, facing The Mona Lisa. The Wedding Feast at Cana tells a beautiful biblical story of the Marriage at Cana, at which Jesus converts water to wine. And… there are dogs painted right in the center and one other dog with a gorgeous maroon head… on the left side:

I leave you now with a Maroon Haiku:

Of secret islands,
It transcended centuries
Boom! In my coffee.

maroons autumn’s chocolates maroons autumn’s chocolates
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A Love Letter to Coffee and What Coffee Is Best Paired With

The simplest way to enjoy coffee? Pair it with an interesting book.

If you love coffee as much as I do each day is coffee day, but since today my American readers celebrate #NationalCoffeeDay and on the 1st of October everyone will celebrate #InternationalCoffeeDay, I thought I’ll dedicate this post to coffee lovers all over the world!

The simplest way to enjoy coffee?
Pair it with an interesting book. Image by @PatFurstenberg
The simplest way to enjoy coffee? Pair it with an interesting book.

A Love Letter to Coffee

My beloved, it has only been moments since I’ve left you and… I already miss you!

I will not shy away from my feelings for you! You are my one, true joy in the early hours of the morning. No matter how restless my night has been or how busy my daily schedule is, sharing those special moments with you in the morning, holding you, reveling in your scent and your full body… Oh, nothing can take away the simple pleasure of our time together.

How sweet and understanding you are of my living you behind each morning. You do know that there is no one else for me, but you. I always return to you.

You are so unique, yet your flamboyant personality has me under a spell, I can never get bored with you. 

Others?  Don’t bend your ear to childish gossip. There is only one for me and that one is you.  The others, as you perceive them, are but mere acquaintances. No even a fling, but a brush with cruel, ordinary life. None will ever stand a chance near you, let alone compare itself with you, my beloved. They are. .. so different, so much more less than you will ever be. They do not have your charm, the strength of your core, your unmistakable perfume. They are not you. They can never take your place.

Oh, the way you can change your looks, it never ceases to surprise me! And the heavenly scent of your voluptuous body, always surprising, yet always them same; homely, unique, promising.

You can be hot or cold, I’ll take it; I’ll never turn you down.

My Espresso, my Latte, my Cappuccino, my Americano, my Chococino, my Macchiato, my Viennois…

With all my love, forever and always yours,

The coffee lover

I wrote this letter to support the book review and lovely blog post created by Joanne of Portobello Book Blog during my Spring 2018 blog tour with my book As Good as Gold.

As Good as Gold, A Dog's Life in Poems
As Good as Gold, A Dog’s Life in Poems

Besides BOOKS, what else can one pair coffee with?

Chocolate, of course! Since both tend to originate from similar regions of the world… Try Dark Chocolate with Brazilian Coffee if you dare…

Sweet pastries, bread, doughnuts, and dairy also go really well with coffee…

Poultry is said to go well with a coffee with fruity notes like the coffee from central and east Africa, while red meat is best paired with a dark roast coffee originating in the Pacific Islands.

Last, but not least, berries go well with the coffee from east Africa, while pitted fruits such as peaches, plums, apricots, and the citrus fruits enhance the taste of coffee originating from central Africa and central America.

I love how Gertrude Stein speaks of coffee:

Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup.

Gertrude Stein, Selected Writings

I hope you will have a fabulous day today and will never have to say:

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

How do you enjoy your coffee?? I love coffee during any time of the day, milk, no sugar. I am not very fond of espresso though, but I love cappuccino, cafe latte, macchiato, chococino, Viennois you name it and – in summer – the iced coffee!

You might also enjoy reading, paired with a cup of coffee: A Journey through the Medieval City of Sighisoara.

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