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Which Animal Lives in your Heart – what Animal Are You?

Many of us identify with animals…
we relate to certain creature characteristics, to animals we connect with,
on both an aesthetic level and on a much deeper spiritual level.

Which Animal Lives in Your Heart - What Animal are You - The Last Krystallos

Lots of novels bond their protagonists with animals, from Philip Pullman’s Lyra and Pantalaimon, her dæmon, in His Dark Materials, to Harry Potter and his stag Patronus, and countless other books. My own Seren Stone Chronicles, which I’m currently writing contain animals that have connected with some of my characters, and it’s definitely fun to write.

Many cultures have beliefs that connect them to animals like Native American Spirit Guides and Animal Totems. There is huge significance to those who recognise their animal guides, and it’s not a frivolous choice of whatever creature you like, but a deeply sacred experience. There are plenty of online games and quizzes to find your Spirit Animal, but it doesn’t work like that, a Spirit Guide will come to you, not the other way round and no one can assign an animal to you.

So, I am not talking about Spirit Guides or Spirit Animals here, I’m taking a more light-hearted look at animals that we feel a commonality with.

Years ago I wrote a paragraph, at a time when I felt trapped and confined in my life, and I yearned for escape: ‘I once answered a question: If you could be an animal, which would you be and why?  No hesitation… I would be a horse, a wild horse. “I couldn’t stand being a trained horse, left in a field and ridden when the owner wished…” I wrote. “I would be wild and free, roaming valleys, mountains, forests… I would race, chase the wind and explore, as free as the air. Graceful and beautiful.” Then I put a spin on my answer, I wouldn’t be a horse, I’d be a unicorn. I would not only be wild and free, but I’d be mythical and mysterious. People would wonder if I really existed, I would live in dreams, a free spirit, magical and carefree… I would be a unicorn.’

When I came upon this piece recently, it made me think about animals we relate to, and what animal I would associate with myself? Then I expanded and was curious which animals I would link my family to. I wonder if they agree?

Although I don’t like to limit the choice to one, I’d still love to be a unicorn – I know much more about myself and I believe I am probably a Squirrel

Lisa Squirrel

© Lisa Shambrook (bottom right: Squirrel wallpaper)

I’m anxious, socially awkward, and a hoarder. I scamper about erratically, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, collecting treasure – acorn cups in particular – and I am very much at home in nature, within the forests, wandering through mossy glens beside trickling streams. I will observe you from a distance, and maybe, just maybe, if I feel confident enough, I’ll sidle up close to see if I can trust you enough with my presence! I am soft, nervous, bold, a paradox, and wild, just like a squirrel.

Vince Bear

© Lisa Shambrook (top left: Bear wallpaper)

I see my husband as a bear, a big, brown bear. He keeps me safe, and gives me confidence and my trust in him is implicit. He’s large, in the best way, has a huge heart and when I’m in his arms, nothing can touch me. When he’s grizzly and grouchy he needs love and appreciation, and then his fur fluffs up and he’s happy to explore and adventure with us. His inner strength shines like the sun. Vince is cuddly, protective, tender, warm and passionate, just like a bear.

Bekah Fox

© Lisa Shambrook (top left: Fox wallpaper, bottom right: Fox wallpaper)

Bekah is a wild one, she moves to her own beat, and follows her own path. She has a nature that embraces adventure and exploration, and a spirit that defies definition. She knows what she’s doing, constantly bettering herself, learning new things and developing. Bekah is an individual – conforming is not in her dictionary – and her style is her own. She is passion and cunning, spirit and character; she’ll twinkle like the stars and keep you enchanted and enthralled, just like a fox.

Dan Dog

© Lisa Shambrook

Dan is definitely a puppy dog. He’s cheerful and loving and sensitive to everything about him. He’ll play with gusto and disregard, and throw himself right in at the deep end. Dan will be your rock, your companion, the person you can rely on, and he will trust you just as you trust him. He is faithful and strong, playful and open. You’ll know exactly where you are with him. He’s adorable, happy, stubborn, funny, and caring, and will always be there for you, just like a pup.

Cait Wolf

© Lisa Shambrook (top left: Wolf wallpaper)

My lone wolf is Cait, a spirit that seeks something deeper and won’t rest ‘til she finds it. She’s a deep thinker, an empathic soul that desires the best in an imperfect world. She wonders in the simplicity of nature, and yearns for compassion in her fiery heart. Cait will champion your cause and fight for your rights while wrapping herself within her own aesthetic. She is quiet, sullen, bright, and quick-witted, sharp and devoted, and she will move beneath the moon, just like a wolf.

What animal do you relate to most and what do you think others’ would perceive you as?

If you could be any animal, which would you choose?    

And…I might be a unicorn, or a squirrel, but I am also a dragon, and a cat…
and much, much more! What about you?



Love, Fear, and Gratitude – Guest Post by Tina Frisco…

Suffering anxiety and panic for most of my life and seeing a counsellor has allowed me to investigate and see that its root is fear… There are many ways we can control fear, but it’s possibly the most damaging of emotions to us, so love really does need to win through! This is a beautiful and important post 💕

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

What is love? Not romantic love, but the essence of love, pure and unadulterated. Pure love lightens and enlightens. But what is it? In truth, love can’t be defined; we can only talk around it. In attempting to de-fine it, we con-fine it and thus lose it. Love simply is. And love is our true nature.

What is the opposite of love? Many would say hate. Seems logical, right? When we’re not sitting in love, expanded and with an open heart, we’re struggling to keep our heads above the quicksand of raw emotion. Truth is: the opposite of love is fear. All that isn’t love stems from fear. Love and fear are our primeval baseline emotions.

So what is this seemingly ubiquitous, all-consuming emotion we call fear? When we constrict – when our hearts close, our muscles tighten, our thoughts ricochet, our spirits dim – we sit in…

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Llandeilo X-Mas Book Fair in Pictures and Review

This is what I got up to last weekend – and I wore antlers!



15069158_1255388731194546_2608188367540591925_oOn Dec 10th the second Llandeilo Book Fair took place at the Civic Hall. It had a lovely Christmas theme and the town of Llandeilo continued its marvellous tradition of supporting the arts. Despite heavy rain there was a reasonable footfall an15493730_10153868506042132_6044812924487945261_od the characteristic positive vibe in the hall.

Many of the over 30 authors present had dressed up for the occasion, festive music added to the atmosphere and the popular “Hangout at the Yard” offered delicious refreshments.

15327500_10153868348822132_4609684603723834833_nEvery half hour a different events lured some of the audience to the upstairs event room throughout the day for performances ranging from interactive story telling, poetry open mic and author readings. On this occasion the organisers put particular emphasis on ‘Welsh’. Almost all authors present live in South Wales, and books with a Welsh theme or location were plenty afoot. 81ae2-hiraeth-a-loss-front-cover-artworkLiz Riley-Jones read from her Hiraeth Trilogy – introduced in Welsh, Graham…

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Wednesday Worries : How did we get into this mess?

Some thoughtful and passionate words from Christoph Fischer, emulating my own feelings about the hard right of society. Don’t tell me you care when you can’t give to others… We need less hyprocrisy and more compassion throughout humanity…


We IMGP2282never had it this good on our beautiful planet: Life expectancy, average intelligence and health have improved so much in the last decades, overall poverty is in decline, we have more democracies than despots and fewer wars than ever.

Past generations fought for a fairer and better world, millions gave their lives to stop evil, racism, fascism, sexism and CWBY8Hxhate. They took in Jews, refugees, sent Care packages and even fed the ones who started the war, out of goodness and love.
The dividing line between good and bad was clearly visible but friend or foe, the Red Cross helped, we didn’t turn our backs on fellow human beings.

I was under the illusion that the United Nations, Nato, the EU… all of these were institutions to prevent future wars and bring us closer together as humans. Humanity was moving forward and we were approaching a new, good age.

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Tenby Book Fair: 24th September 2016

Come and join us at The Tenby Book Fair, come and find your new book!

Judith Barrow



Events to be held at the 2016 Tenby Book Fair, 24th September

Some talks, readings, Q&A sessions will be held in an adjoining room at the fair. Numbers will be limited, so it is advisable to reserve a place in advance. There is no charge.
  1. 11:00    Cambria Publishing Co-operative will be giving a talk and taking questions about the services and assistance they offer to independent authors.
  2. 11:30    Poet Kathy Miles will be giving a reading of some of her work.
  3. 12:00    Firefly Press will be talking about publishing children’s books and what they look for in submissions.
  4. 12:30    Prizes for the short story competitions will be presented in the main hall – no booking necessary.
  5. 1:30      Colin Parsons, children’s writer, talks about his popular work
  6. 2:00      Honno Welsh Women’s Press will be talking…

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Meet the Team at Blue Harvest Creative (@JustAddBlue) #BookDesign #BHCAuthors

Come and meet my Publishing Partners: Blue Harvest Creative – changing the face of independent publishing with its amazing authors…

Interview_BHCBlue Harvest Creative is a full-author services company, including website design, graphic design, print and advertising, and social media. But it’s their book designs that I’m featuring on my blog today.

Based in Michigan, U.S.A., Blue Harvest Creative works with independent and best-selling authors from across the globe.  With over 700 book designs, BHC is fast becoming a one-stop shop for authors looking for the best design, and guidance, to enhance their product.

I am delighted to invite two of BHC’s talented design and marketing specialists, Joni and Vern, to my blog to talk about book design and what the future holds for Blue Harvest Creative.

How did you get into book design?

My background is in graphic design, and I’ve designed everything from business cards to billboards. Many moons ago, before the days of eBooks and self-publishing, the industry was very different. When a client asked if I…

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Guest Post from author, @LisaShambrook #wwwBlogs 7 Reasons Why You Should Be You…

Got a chance to be part of The Big Blue Takeover on Shelley Wilson’s blog…so find out How to Be You!


Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is, Lisa Shambrook author of the beautiful ‘Hope Within’ series and blogger at The Last Krystallos. Over to Lisa…

To be nobody but yourself - the last krystallos- lisa   shambrook7 Reasons Why You Should Be You…

I spent years trying to be someone different, trying to be someone everyone wanted me to be. Way back in 1989 – I’m giving away my age now – when I was 18, I scrawled a poem: ‘I’ll open my heart and show you inside, but don’t let me know what you’ve seen. I want to be everything everyone wants me to be, but I’m not sure I know how. I don’t even know how to be me.’ …and I lived that teenage angst for another decade or so before allowing myself to discover who I was.

Don’t do it. Don’t be anyone but yourself.

Figuring out who you are is the whole point of the human experience. …

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Lisa Shambrook

I got to visit the lovely otter, Ailsa Abraham… ❤

The Bingergread Cottage

I was prompted to invite my friend today by a post on her blog. This is mad because I have known her for ages and should have hauled her over here before.lisa

Here comes the carpet and with her hair blowing in the wind is Lisa Shambrook. (hug squee kiss kiss) Big hugs and squeee back! Thanks for having me over! I’m so excited to see your garden…

You look well. That outfit is so YOU! I’m really good right now, I’m in Dr Martens (you know how I love my boots!) my everyday black jeans and a flowy indigo and black top printed with silhouetted trees… how are you?

bootsI’m OK, boots as well of course! Come and sit in the garden and chat about Life the Universe and Everything. Your garden is beautiful, do you have a favourite plant here? I’m loving the velveteen irises coming up in…

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TLT Throwback – Alone

TLT 15 Alone

My fingers thread through strings of cosmic fairy lights,

drawing acres of studded satin across the glitter globe.

And beneath the stillness of infinity, I bring night’s dance…


Joining in Grace Black’s TLT Throwback – Fifteen, as I just couldn’t resist this photograph.

Prompt: Alone. 3 lines, 10 words max per line…

Painting a Rainbow with Nature’s Colours…

Colours are a major part of our lives, perhaps even more so to an artist and writer.
We want to create and weave worlds that will
entice you in and then play out in vivid technicolour!

Painting a Rainbow with Nature's Colours... The Last Krystallos
Colours play a huge part in Beneath the Rainbow and in much of my writing. Apart from a fall of snow, or torrential rain, or thunder and lightning, there’s not much else in nature that draws you to a window or an open door to gaze up at the sky than a rainbow!
Freya finds herself creating rainbows and it’s much harder than she ever imagined (as you can read in these excerpts):

“The science of rainbows left her somewhat defeated. She knew she had to influence the light and she knew she contained enough inherent celestial light to create a small rainbow, but it was the rain that had her beaten. It had to be in the right place and she had to use the existing sunlight to enhance her own fragile light. Dawn and dusk were optimum, just after sunrise for a few hours and another couple of hours before sunset. Midday and the sun was too high, and likewise the wrong time of year and the sun wouldn’t be in the right place either.

She couldn’t make it rain, and she couldn’t tell the sun when to shine, and she believed she’d never match the timings to the conditions.

There was one morning when Daisy, next door, stood alone in her dew-drenched garden, her elderly face upturned to catch the fresh morning rays, and Freya grabbed her opportunity. The sun was low and the air was misty. Freya spun in the sky and flung out her arms and screwed up her face in concentration.

Beneath the Rainbow, Lisa Shambrook, rainbows, colours,The sun filtered through the pale mist and rested warm between Freya’s fingers. The rays played around Freya before they reached Daisy’s wrinkled skin and Daisy opened her eyes. The bright light played a trick on her before she blinked and turned away with blue/black spots dancing before her eyes. She glanced over the fence at her neighbour’s garden and drank in the beautiful fragrance of the summer freesias and lavender, and she remembered watching Freya picking bunches of freesias with her mother just the year before.

Freya’s image remained in her mind for much of that morning, but she missed the feint, very feint colours that had pervaded the morning dew.”

Colours soak through Freya’s life just like they do mine. She sees everything clearly and vibrantly, and as an observer, I’m very much the same. Colours speak to me and, as many of you will know, sometimes they coerce me into taking photographsso here are my rainbows…and Freya’s bolded descriptions are from one of her rainbows (seen in the pictures used for the title photo above):

Scarlet like remembrance poppies… and tulips, and berries, apples, and toadstools, and leaves, poppies, scarves, and books…

© Lisa Shambrook

Scarlet like remembrance poppies… and tulips, and berries, apples, and toadstools, and leaves, poppies, scarves, and books…

Sunset Orange… and autumn leaves, and winter soup, roses, and beach sunsets, and fire, Californian poppies, and comma butterflies, and dragon-filled skies…

© Lisa Shambrook

Sunset Orange… and autumn leaves, and winter soup, roses, and beach sunsets, and fire, Californian poppies, and comma butterflies, and dragon-filled skies…

Sunflower Yellow… and sunflowers, and rudbekia, lemon cake, laburnum, and roses, and daffodils, and crocus…

© Lisa Shambrook

Sunflower Yellow… and sunflowers, and rudbekia, lemon cake, laburnum, and roses, and daffodils, and crocus…

Green, like her willow… and columbine leaves, oaks, acorns and more spring leaves, and valleys, and firs, moss, and jewels…

© Lisa Shambrook

Green, like her willow… and columbine leaves, oaks, acorns, and more spring leaves, and valleys, and firs, moss, and jewels…

Blue the exact shade of Daddy’s t-shirt… and sky, and the Himalayan poppy, ocean, and hydrangea, and forget-me-nots, and many cloudless skies…

© Lisa Shambrook

Blue the exact shade of Daddy’s t-shirt… and sky, and the Himalayan poppy, ocean, and hydrangea, and forget-me-nots, and many cloudless skies…

Indigo the colour of deepening night… and dusk, and twilight, and denim, and woven book spines, and skirts, and the fall of night…

© Lisa Shambrook

Indigo the colour of deepening night… and dusk, and twilight, and denim, and woven book spines, and skirts, and the fall of night…

Violet like Purple Ted… and Vinca, and campanula, lavender, and bluebells, and irises, and roses…

© Lisa Shambrook

Violet like Purple Ted… and Vinca, and campanula, lavender, and bluebells, and irises, and roses…

These are the colours in my life…
of flowers, and night, and water, and sky, the rainbows that colour my world…

What colours yours?

Beneath the Rainbow AD with SynopsisFreya fights to perfect her rainbow… and you can find out if she does in Beneath the Rainbow, available both in paperback and eBook at Amazon. Take a look and find out why she needs to make a rainbow…

Do you love rainbows?

Which is your favourite colour?

And what colours in nature inspire you the most?