I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by two bloggers, D.L. Finn and Ron Yates. I am honored and thrilled. The award is given out by members of the blogging community in recognition of their inspiring, creative, and motivational blogs.

My thanks to both Ms. Finn and Ron Yates whose blogs are uniquely different and yet both well worth the time to read. Author D. L. Finn is one of my favorite blogs ( Her philosophy is Embrace your inner child by reading a good book. Ms. Finn has written biographies, children, poetry, paranormal, and short stories.

Mr. Yates blog can be found at His blogs often challenge the reader about certain social or historical issues as well as supporting authors and their books. He is an award-winning author of action books, historical fiction, and former foreign correspondent.

Part of the nomination process requires that I answer 11 questions. Here are the eleven questions, D.L. Finn has asked me to answer. You may well learn something new about me.

1. How long have you been blogging? I have been blogging for about eight years. I recently moved my blog from Blogspot to WordPress.

2. Do blogs encourage you to purchase books? Yes, I have purchased, read and reviewed many books based on what I learned about them from various blogs that I follow.

3. How many blogs do you usually read in a week? I read 2-3 blogs each day, but do not always leave a comment. Unfortunately, I do not read the many I subscribe to.

4. Do you enjoy seeing poetry on blogs? Yes, I love poetry. D.L. Finn and Natalie Ducey are two of my favorite blogs with poetry.

5. If you could write your blog from anywhere where would it be? I love where I am right now for all my writing: in my office looking out at the lake.

6. If you could be any animal for a day what would you be? I love cats and would love to be a tiger for a day. They are beautiful, strong, and I feel a spiritual connection to them.

7. Do you collect anything? No, I do not collect anything.

8. If you could beam anywhere, like in Star Trek, where’s the first place you’d go? I would beam myself to a wildlife preserve somewhere in Africa.

9. What draws you to a blog? Anything about books and/or authors, anything spiritual, and about social issues (not political).

10. What do you write about in your blogs and why? I write about social issues, cancer and/or medical issues, and authors. I care deeply about such issues as abuse, chemical dependency, and discrimination and try to do what I can to bring awareness. As an ovarian cancer survivor, I want every female to know about this lesser known cancer. It is not a cancer for just us older women…it can affect any female of any age. I have always loved to read and I love to support those authors and their books who have informed or inspired me.

11. If you could transport to anytime in history when would you choose to visit? I am fascinated by the Civil War era, but I would like to be an abolitionist helping to save the slaves.

Ron Yates had the following questions for me to answer:

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer or blogger? I started writing when I was a preteen to help me deal with an abusive family. I did not share my writing with anyone until I was 70. I was then told I had the gift of writing.
  • What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author or blogger? Believe in yourself. Others might not like your writings, but don’t let them influence you.
  • What do you think makes a good story?A great story must have interesting and believable characters and it must be well edited. I prefer stories that have a moral, historical, or spiritual message.
  • If your book became a movie, who would be your first choice to play the lead roles? I will respond to this question for my book, Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. I do not know current actresses of today that well so I am going to say the role of Davida would have to be someone similar to Grace Kelly.
  • Do any of your characters have qualities/characteristics that are similar to yourself? I believe Davida’s qualities of strength, deep love, and motherly devotion are similar to me.
  • Is anything in your books based on real-life experiences or are they all solely the product of your imagination? In my book, Outshine, it is all real-life experiences. In the other three books, it is a combination of both.
  • If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? I would love to meet my great-grandmother, Davida. Her life is a mystery. We only know she was born in Sweden, her first name was Albertina, and some snippets of her adult life when she met Mr. Saint-Gaudens.
  • What books have most influenced your life? Sermon on the Mount by Emmett Fox, This is Africa (read it as a preteen), After You, Marco Polo, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Life After Life by Mooney, Being Mortal by Gawande, 7 Lessons from Heaven by Mary Neal, MD, and the Bible to name just a few.
  • If it were mandatory for everyone to read three books, what books would you suggest? This is a very difficult question to answer. Since I believe that all of us must find a relationship with God or a Higher Power to live a moral and peaceful life I would recommend Sermon on the Mount by Emmett Fox, Life After Life by Mooney, and 7 Lessons from Heaven.
  • If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why? I am assuming that the author could be living or dead. This is also a difficult question because there are so many. One of my favorite books is Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. I have read it twice. I also read War and Peace. His life in Russia was not an easy one and he often doubted his ability as a writer. I would ask about how he faced his self-doubt, dealt with the early death of his parents, the turmoil occurring in Russia, and his faith journey.
  • What do you think makes a book “a great book?” Strong and interesting characters, a message of love and faith. All of my favorite books have these qualities.

For accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few rules.

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.
  4. Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

My Nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award

Here are my 11 nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award. They are listed in no particular order. It’s difficult to choose only 11 blogs to nominate because there are so many excellent sites out there. However, I did my best to nominate ones that I find interesting and well-written, so please be sure to check them out too.

*Smorgasbord Blog Magazine *Sacha Black *Esther Chilton blog, *Melissa G. Henderson blog, *Janice Spina, *Gayle Irwin *From the Pen of Mae Clair, *Bette A. Stevens, *Charles W. Jones, *Pamela Schoesser Canepa, *Vashti Quiroz-Vega

My 11 questions for my nominees are listed below. If there are any questions you do not wish to answer, please feel free to give them a pass. Many of these questions are directed at authors, but if you are not an author and are primarily a blogger please feel free to adapt any question to fit your expertise.

  1. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
  2. Describe your favorite writing place or environment.
  3. How do you overcome writer’s block?
  4. If you had the opportunity to go to the moon, would you and why or why not?
  5. If you could be any person for a day, who would it be and why?
  6. If you were lost in a forest, who would you want to be with you and why?
  7. What are your two favorite books and why?
  8. What is the hardest part of being a published author, and what is the best part?
  9. When writing your story, do you seek advice from others? If so, who and why that person(s)?
  10. What methods do you use to market your book?
  11. For fun: name a cartoon character that is most like you and why?

I wish for you to have fun and success with your blogging in this new year of 2020.


  1. I love all your answers, Karen:) I love all cats, too. I was born in the year of the tiger and always felt connected to it, along with my oldest granddaughter. The two family tigers. Great choices for visting. Thank you Jaren. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

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