Liebster Award – Praising and “Prizing” Bloggers

A huge bunch of flowers and thanks to Miss Andi for having nominated me for the Liebster Award. I can only hope that these words manage to convey my genuine gratitude and pleasure to be part of this. Miss Andi and her co-bloggers aren’t music critics, but they have great taste – that’s how they describe their blog and I can endorse the statement, as well as Miss Andi’s talent with words and – hopefully soon – pancakes. I’m coming over for that pancake one of these days, Miss Andi 🙂

The Liebster Award is a new-comer award given by bloggers to other bloggers, it creates a great platform for new blogs to be discovered and build communications. The best thing about this award is that it creates a lot of encouragement and support within our blogging community.

However, the award comes with a price. We have to answer a set of 10 questions formulated by the person who nominated us, providing honest answers and, at our turn, a set of 10 questions of our own. Here are Miss Andi’s questions and my answers:


  1. How do you eat your pancake?


Fat, fluffy and smeared with chocolate.


  1. Do you sing when you cook (Do you cook)?


I don’t sing (I have a terrible voice – husband says “swan voice.”) I also happen to have two left hands what cooking is concerned.


  1. What would you rather live without? Tea or coffee? Why?


Tea. I cannot imagine a life without coffee. I’m a total coffee junkie, I love it so much I take it 20 times a day like some people take the cigarette. It’s almost a fetish, I even pin coffee pictures on Pinterest.


  1. To turn off the world do you watch a movie or listen to music?


Listen to music, if I have to choose between the two. But I normally turn to books. Coffee and books by the window on a rainy day is my idea of paradise and my kind of unwinding/meditation.


  1. Do you stream (music or movies) or prefer physical copies?


I stream.


  1. When was the last time you went to a record store?


Seemingly an eternity ago. I was ten and I borrowed a DVD with Jet Li from Planet Hollywood (with my mom). Does anybody know if they still exist?


  1. What band did you last see in a concert?


Last concert was Michael Jackson in 1996 with my mother.


  1. What’s the best way to procrastinate?




  1. What’s your happy place?


The sea. Physical or in my mind.


  1. Are you going to do the A to Z challenge in April?


Not sure yet. I’m considering adjusting the challenge and making a quiz every day starting with the respective letter, but that would mean some changes in the schedule for the online reads, so I’m still thinking about it. What do you guys think, should I do it?


Now, before I share with you my own 10 questions, I’d like to mention that I don’t know if all the bloggers I’ll nominate here are new-comers, but I’ll nominate SOME (ONLY SOME!) of those that I truly believe deserve the award and don’t have over 1000 followers. There are many bloggers I discovered and who deserve a close look, and I’ll link to them in the following Meet and Greets.

Okay, here are my questions, and I hope you’ll take the time to answer one or two of them in a comment, because I’d love to hear from all of you. I’m a people lover and I can’t get enough of you guys.

  1. What’s your favorite pastime (hobby)?
  2. If you had to choose between a book, a song and a movie, what would you choose? Why?
  3. What is your ideal lover like?
  4. What’s your life dream?
  5. What’s your ultimate goal with your blog?
  6. What’s your favorite book or movie? Why?
  7. What do you daydream about?
  8. What was your favorite fairytale as a kid?
  9. What’s your favorite word?
  10. What’s your favorite place in the world? Tell me a little about your reasons for the choice.


I nominate the following bloggers:


Hyperion Sturm – stories and wisdom


Sara Flower – creative writing


Dracul van Helsing – comedy writing


Gary Lum – special food blog


Miriam – Travel Blog


Eternal Atlantis – about mythology, history and mystery


Rosie Amber – book reviews and book/publishing mentor


Stephanie Hurt – romance novels and writing tips


Niki’s Simple Life – Inspiring, motivating, mindfulness


Mark Fonz – last but definitely not least, cancer survivor blogging to encourage


Liebster Award Rules:


  • Thank your nominator;
  • Share the award on your blog;
  • Answer the 10 questions asked to you;
  • Ask 10 questions to 10 new nominees (who have less than 300 followers);
  • Notify them via social media.


Looking forward to reading from you 🙂

On The Dark Side of your Spirit Animal

First of all, I’d like to thank Arcane Owl for the idea for the article. They wanted to know more about the dark side of their spirit animal, since the Quiz (if you haven’t taken the quiz about your spirit animal yet, you can take it here) focused more on the strengths than the weaknesses, on the bright side rather than the dark side.

Before I go on writing a few of the “darker” traits of the spirit animals, I’d like to tell you a bit (just a bit) about WHY I don’t normally do that.

First of all, I’m sick and tired of the downright dystopian inclinations of our media and entertainment. I’m a people lover, and my intention with these quizzes is to help you discover what’s good about yourself, the strengths you can build on, the traits you can sharpen and use to attain your goals in life.

Our self-esteem is often a wreck of its accord, and we don’t need someone else to hammer the nails in our wrists. Focusing on the bad only weakens the good. Zooming in on the dark only reduces the light. I always have and always will focus on the bright side and will always bring your strengths in the limelight. As a former teacher I know this works wonders, nurtures talent, power and confidence.

That being said, off to the dark side:

  1. Wolf – you can become a victim of false friends. You may warm snakes at your breast. You would go to any lengths to protect those you care for. Sometimes, however, you can go aggressive on the wrong people.
  2. Fox – you’re often subversive and use your cunningness to put others at a disadvantage. You can be vindictive and your honesty bends. You may be forced in situations where your dignity is challenged, and you’ll play the part, but you’ll get back at the offender.
  3. Lion – you’re too proud and often vain. You may have a sense of entitlement, which bothers. You repay loyalty but suffer greatly if betrayed. When hurt, you may fall prey to falsely sweet tongues licking your wounds, to flattery.
  4. Bear – you may indulge in too much relaxation time. Escapism is a danger. Your loves are long-lasting, but you may stay true to people who hurt you. You tend to avoid problems instead of solving them.
  5. Dolphin – you’re often too sweet, trying to please everybody. You may be easily taken advantage of. To top it all, those whom you’ve proved your worth to act all proud and have you prove yourself again and again. You’re terrified of disappointing, a trait which can be used to manipulate you.

These are some of the “dark” traits of these spirit animals. Of my experience I may confidently state that the good outweighs the bad, and that the qualities outweigh the defects by far. Let me know your thoughts in a comment, I’m always happy to read from you.

I’d also like to mention this, because I think it’s only fair to both you and me: Lately I’ve received a great many requests for personal profiles on my Gmail address. As much as I’d love to oblige every request, limited time doesn’t allow it, so I decided to make personal profiling an official offer: 25 $ for a roughly full three-page personal profile with focus on any area of your life. Please write to me at

Best of thoughts,



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Welcome to Saturday Five of the new project “Meet and Greet.” Inspired by a fellow blogger whom I admire I started this project some weeks ago, and I feel ever more motivated to go on – it goes so well with a cup of hot coffee (Coffee, My Love, My Sweet Addiction, LOL). In the context of this project I endorse blogs that I discovered (yes, often among my own followers) and that have something special to offer the world. Please feel free to recommend blogs that have drawn your attention, and I’ll check out yours as well. Here are my special recommendations for today:

The Richness of a Simple Life -This blogger talks about relevant things in life, and she does it often. Always a good pic, always a good thought, always a good word. You’ll most probably hear me talking about her articles more often.

Rosie Amber – I’ve “known” Rosie Amber since my beginnings as a writer and blogger, and have great respect for her. She’s an avid reader with a special love of flowers. She reviews novels and offers support for authors, and has wonderful tips I wouldn’t miss for the world.

Putting my Feet in the Dirt – This blogger has offered me profound and meaningful minutes with myself, which are a rare commodity these days. You’ll find words of wisdom and real passion.

Looking forward to your recommendations, propositions and links!

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Some Comedy for a Change – Mr. Christopher Milner’s “The Giant Rat of Sumatra”


Dear, the Dearer, the Dearest, today is the day when I’d like to make one of my rather rare book recommendations. I couldn’t resist this one. It’s from an author that I follow regularly, because he has such cool, erudite humour that often makes my day.

As you know by now, I always try to stay as honest as honest goes, and will admit this: what attracted me to this author are his absolutely hilarious, super skilfully crafted and witty Vampire Novel series, made mostly of scenes and snippets between characters you come to know and love very quickly. As a gal, I’m totally into THOSE.

But today Chris has published his first novel, a Sherlock Holmes Fan Fiction “The Giant Rat of Sumatra” which gives a taste of his unique brand of humour. My personal opinion is that this book will be especially appealing to men, but us gals can take away a good time from it as well. I’d very much like to point out that Mr. Milner does a wonderful job of keeping spot-on regarding the character, manner and style of the greatest detective the world has ever seen, while at the same time being original. He stays true to the character, but gives us a new, great story.

The book is available on as of today, so go grab it here (“The Giant Rat of Sumatra”) if you’re in for something special, humorous and witty. The book is short, crisp and delicious. Here is the blurb so you get a first taste:


A Sherlock Holmes Fan Fiction

The Giant Rat of Sumatra

By Christopher Milner


“… the Giant Rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.”

So said Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson in the story The Adventure of The Sussex Vampire.

The Giant Rat of Sumatra is a comical tale about a sinister plot to import a mysterious beast from Sumatra for a circus performance.  A series of events involving the giant rat and cast of characters run a gamut of emotions as the story unfolds on a 19th Century English circus carnival fair ground.  

Mysterious occurrences aboard the ship Matilda Briggs begin when a cabin boy’s recreation of a Vincent Van Gogh still life painting leads to disaster for the ship and the town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, England where cats are disappearing under diabolical circumstances.

When the doomed ship arrives, something terrorizes the cobblestone alleys of Stamford called the “Devil incarnate” by the town’s Scottish maker of meat pies. An odd cast of characters all converge on the scene, some to solve the mystery and others to help keep it secret.  

Sherlock Holmes is called in to investigate the strange events and in place of Dr. Watson as Holmes’ companion for this adventure is the veterinarian Fred Clegg – a good doctor for a tale involving animals from exotic Sumatra. Will Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Clegg deduce the reason for the disappearing cats and the whereabouts of the giant rat? Find out in this entertaining fan fiction of the world’s most famous detective.

My very favorite of Mr. Milner are characters that are not in this book, for they were “born” later, but you might want to check out his sexy dominatrix Sherrielock Holmes, and my most favorite (secret crush) Michelangelo the Psychic Lobster (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this episode, you gotta check it out, it’s HYSTERICAL!) I’m telling you, this author is GOLD.

Check out Chris Milner’s Debut Novel, it will give you a very good time, and stay tuned tomorrow for dark suspense and romance with a new episode of “The Marquis” and his epic revenge.


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Update on the Drama of a World-Class Ballet Dancer

For Blog Bogdan


Dear friends and readers, thank you so much for your help and support for Bogdan during these last months! Further donations won’t be necessary, but all the prayer you can give. Bogdan has passed away on the 21st of June, “tranquil and without regrets.” These were his words. The disease had advanced very quickly – four times faster than in the average case – and left him with solely the command of his eyes in a matter of months. He will always be remembered, loved and cherished.

R.I.P. Bogdan Nicula

SAVE A LIFE – A world-class ballet dancer paralyzed in full glory


This is an appeal to all my friends and readers and to the world at large.
Sadly this post isn’t fiction, but the true story of an amazingly talented young dancer, Bogdan Nicula, whom I had the honor of knowing personally fifteen years ago. We didn’t stay in touch, but a couple of weeks ago I was shocked to learn that he struggles with ALS, the disease against which last year people poured buckets of ice on their heads and which nails Stephen Hawking in his high-tech chair too.

But in Bogdan’s case the disease seems to be advancing at a much faster pace than usual. Bogdan now lies on a hospital bed in Düsseldof, Germany, where he used to work as a ballet dancer until December 2014. His family and friends hope to raise the necessary funds for his transport to Thailand for a stem cell transplant, his only chance of survival.

His friends and colleagues, ballet dancers from Bucharest, Constanta and Cluj, Romania, organized beautiful charity ballet shows, but until now they could only raise about a quarter of the necessary sum.
Bogdan Nicula is a valuable, acknowledged artist in Romania and Germany, he danced on the world’s greatest stages includig the Balshoi Theatre, Moscow. For this reason the Romanian press reported his case, and I took the liberty of translating a chunk from an article that offered the detailed story.

View the original here.

The Tragedy of the Romanian Ballet Dancer who paralyzed in full glory. Bogdan Nicula suffers from the same disease as Stephen Hawking.

In less than six months Bogdan Nicula (35), a Romanian ballet dancer living and working in Germany, was forced to leave the stage of the Opera House in Düsseldorf for a hospital bed, now almost entirely paralyzed. His family is struggling to raise the money for a stem cell transplant, Bogdan’s only chance of survival.

He danced on the world’s greatest stages, from famous German theatres (Mainz and Düsseldorf) to the Balshoi Theatre in Moscow, being one of the most talented Romanian ballet dancers known abroad. But Bogdan Nicula’s career was interrupted this fall, after he was diagnosed to be suffering from a  relentless disease, the same one that nails Stephen Hawking – the famous physicist and Nobel Prize winner – to his chair, namely amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It was to raise funds to find a cure for this disease that last year Hollywood stars poured buckets of ice on their heads in what became a viral movement on the internet (“The Ice Bucket Challenge”).

The first signs of the disease

For 25 years Bogdan Nicula worked every day to achieve the best possible muscular coordination, as well as strength, gracefulness and the discipline necessary to attain success as a dancer. He began dancing ballet in the 6th grade, when he moved from a normal school to the School of Coreography in Bucharest, where he managed to catch up the work of two years in only six months.

After graduation he worked at the ballet theatre “Oleg Danovski” in Constanta, on the coast of the Black Sea, and in 2001 he started his international career on the stages abroad as a main dancer at Ballet Mainz and later at Ballet am Rhein, Düsseldorf, Germany. His schedule used to start early in the morning with training and it would end late in the evening with ballet shows. But in September 2014 it changed abruptly. Bogdan began to feel drained of energy much faster than usual and increasingly exhausted. He began having difficulty controlling his arms and legs, and getting back pain. Bogdan went to the doctor’s for investigations. The diagnosis came as a shock.

In Bogdan’s case the disease avances four times faster than usual. By the end of December he was forced to use a wheel chair and since January he’s lying on a hospital bed, almost entirely paralyzed and barely able to breathe by himself. He only let his family know at the beginning of January, when his state worsened and he found himself unable to fend for himself in any way.

The disease evolved at a very high pace

The newspaper “Adevarul” contacted Bogdan’s mother two days before she came back home from Germany. She was at Bogdan’s side and crying. “We found out on the 10th of January. He didn’t tell us before, didn’t want to cause us pain. He’s in a good state of mind, he can still eat and talk even though with difficultly because of the oxygen mask, but he can’t use his arms and legs anymore. He’s a vegetable,” says Bogdan’s mother among sobs. “I pray to God for a miracle, he’s such a good boy, such a loving child. I spend the whole day with him. Friends from the theatre come to visit, they took care of him, he wasn’t alone for a second. I pray to God to save him.”

The family needs 50.000 Euro

“Adevarul” also contacted Monica, his sister, who explained that her brother’s only chance is a stem cell transplant, a procedure that can be successfully performed at the Beike Biotechnology clinic in Thailand. “This disease usually evolves between three and five years, but his case is particularly dangerous. Before Christmas he could still walk and in January he was almost entirely paralyzed. When we came to the hospital in Düsseldorf he was already wearing an oxygen mask. His only chance is a stem cell transplant. We already sent the documents to the clinic in Thailand, and the doctors told us the transplant must be carried out as soon as possible. The problem is that he can’t be transported as a normal passenger, he needs special transportation. The costs for the transport and transplant are very high, around 50.000 Euro,” Monica explained.


Dear friends and readers, thank you so much for your help and support for Bogdan during these last months! Further donations won’t be necessary, but all the prayer you can give. Bogdan has passed away on the 21st of June, “tranquil and without regrets.” These were his words. The disease had advanced very quickly – four times faster than in the average case – and left him with solely the command of his eyes in a matter of months. He will always be remembered, loved and cherished.

R.I.P. Bogdan Nicula

Much love,