Liebster Blog Award

Wow, what a way to start the new year! Can you imagine my surprise when one morning I logged into Twitter and saw that I had received an award? I could not help but smile and think about how my year was off to a great start.

I want to say thank you to J.J. Collins who is a Political and Historical writer. You can find his website here.  J.J. Collins (a.k.a. Jason) has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award and I am truly honored. I met Jason via Twitter and we quickly became friends. He is a great supporter and I am always grateful to be able to count him among my friends. I wish you a great new year and great success with your writing, Jason!

As for the rules, well, I'm supposed to offer random facts about me and answer Jason's questions.Yikes! This is the part that always gets me nervous, so I'm going to dive right in....headfirst.

Random Facts

1- I love to cook for fun and I often use my family as test subjects for the concoctions I try. Add a double dose of pleasure when my 12 year old daughter joins me in the kitchen. We can whip up a five course meal together, while listening to music, and never step on each others toes in my small kitchen. We work like a well-oiled machine, so beware to all those who would get in the way! LOL

2- My favorite teas come from a store called David's Tea. I especially like those with coconut in them, such as The Alpine Punch.

3- I love to travel the world and hope to never stop. I teach my kids to not be afraid to try new foods, new languages, and most importantly to be open-minded toward other cultures.

4- My favorite summer past time is swimming.

5- My favorite all year round past time is reading.

6- I take time off of my work by cuddling up in a soft blanket with a book and a cup of coffee.

7- I collect things that come from France, especially the Provence region.

8- I hate waiting for an appointment and not having a book to read. For me, that is time wasted. Actually, I can often be found standing at the stove, stirring a sauce and reading a book at the same time. I don't have a lot of time to read, so every minute counts.

9- I always thought I had no imagination. You know the pretend games young children often like to play? Those were my least favorite to play with my kids, because I always thought I had no imagination. Pfft! The jokes on me since I discovered my love for writing. Now, I can't keep my mind quiet and often lose sleep over ideas I have for other books.

10- I hate cold weather. Cold and I don't get along...really don't get along. I'm thinking I might have been a bear in a previous life, because when winter time comes and it's -30 degrees outside, I hibernate and wait for spring to come.

Questions from my Nominator - J.J. Collins

1. Smart or Funny?
 I'd say a little of both. I know I'm funny and hope I'm smart. ;)

2. How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
 There are many facets of my personality in my characters. I also believe that if you can draw from life experiences, then your writing will be richer for it.

3. Biggest influence in your life?
This is a tough question, but I have to say the art of positive thinking. Being grateful every day is a powerful tool to help you realize what you have and be happy with it. I don't pine after material things, I don't care if I have the biggest house on the block, nor if I have the latest model of a car. What's important to me are the ties that bind a family together. When you can make those real tight, the rest is superfluous.

4. Favorite place to escape and write?
I have my own office in my home where I am surrounded by things that make me smile. They are simple things like a glass bowl in my favorite color or a post card from Provence. Little souvenirs from my trips around the world make me happy. I can also say that it is the one room in the entire house that reflects who I am and I feel at peace. I sit in that room 7 days a week for 8-12 hours a day and the restful atmosphere helps me concentrate.

5. Favorite holiday destination?
Avignon, France is a town that has so much history, yet you can find modern artisans who sell their wares in the open market. The food market is a great place to meet and greet friends, there are many antique book stores, while the Popes Palace adds a wonderful touch of history. The surrounding caf├ęs and terraces are the perfect place to share a meal with family and/or friends.
6. Favorite drink?
Good quality hot chocolate, the darker the better.

7. If you were at a lunch and you ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do?
I would politely explain the situation and ask for a second steak. If you go from rare to well done, there's a major difference, but if I'd asked rare and got med-rare, I'd keep the steak and be happy with what I got.

8. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?
The Avengers. I love that movie, it's filled with action and humor, and I absolutely love Iron Man.

9. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year?
The Canterbury Tales. Reading that book is time well spent.

Hey, that was not so bad after all! Thank you, Jason, for giving me this opportunity to share a few things about myself. Glad to see I'm still in one piece. The important thing is to smile and be sincere! After all, what's the worst that can happen? :)


  1. Well is should be no surprise, because you are incredibly talented and an all around amazing person :)

    1. Aww, thank you, Tim. Although, it did come as a surprise for me. :)

  2. Late-- as usual-- You really do deserve this award and I'm so happy Jason had the good sense to name you. I always enjoy learning more about my peers and friends. You are an interesting writer and I see your support for other writers everywhere. Way to go, Natasha!

    1. Thank you, Dannie, for your comment and for coming by my blog. I'm always happy to hear from you. :) I do like to help, but wish I had more time. If you ever come up with a solution to add more hours in a day, I'm all ears! :)

  3. Hey, Natasha! How are you, stranger?!? I hope you and yours are having a great new year. I've missed you on Twitter, but since the follow app was discontinued, I have pretty much been out of the game. *sad face*
    You cracked me up when you mentioned hating the cold, because I recalled you telling me how cold it gets where you are. *slaps head* We have no idea here near Fresno, Calif. We're expecting to have the coldest temps of the year this week and that's barely 23 to 28 degrees!! *laughs* Sorry. I'll be sure to send some hot chocolate your way.
    Take care, my friend. *waves*


    1. Hiya, James! It's so nice to hear from you. Actually I was just thinking about you yesterday and told myself I needed to take a minute and pop by your sites. And don't get me started with 'cold' temp's of 23-28 degrees, I'll take those anytime over the kind of winter we get here. Thanks for the hot chocolate, though, I do appreciate it. LOL

      I didn't know about the app being discontinued, so sorry about that, but you may want to try Tweetdeck, works like a charm for me. I hope 2013 will be a great one for you and for your family.

      Take care, my friend. *waves back* :D

  4. I'm later than you 'thought' you were, Dannie.

    Natasha, congratulations my friend. It's well deserved! Although I know quite a fair amount about you, there's always more to learn so I loved reading all your answers.

    I love Iron Man, too!


    1. Thank you, Sandra. Yes, you do know me quite well by now. Thanks for stopping by! :)