Tag Archives: fun

More Life Lessons we can Learn from Cats

You can’t have too many posts about cats…no, really, you can’t!
So, here are some more things we can learn from cats.
Actually, I’d quite like to be a cat…

More Life Lessons we should Learn from Cats - The Last Krystallos

Some more life lessons we can learn from cuddly floofballs…

A cat purring on your lap is healing...as the vibrations pure love and contentment - Saint Francis of Assisi - The Last Krystallos

Fluffy © Lisa Shambrook

A cat purring on your lap is more healing than any drug in the world, as the vibrations you are receiving are of pure love and contentment – Saint Francis of Assisi
They say animals assist healing, both physically and emotionally, and they’re often used in hospitals to aid recovery, especially in children and the elderly. I know that a purring cat is one of the most beautiful things in my life. Stroking a cat and listening to their contented purr has the ability to calm me and make me happy.
We could try to be more understanding, calming, and let our words heal.

What greater gift than the love of a cat - Charles Dickens - The Last Krystallos

Misty © Lisa Shambrook

What greater gift than the love of a cat – Charles Dickens
As above, a cat’s love is given when you’re worthy of it, and is infinitely rewarding.

Cats possess numerous charms, and anyone who has ever loved a cat has fallen for its magic - Susan Easterly - The Last Krystallos

Raven © Lisa Shambrook

Cats possess numerous charms, and anyone who has ever loved a cat has fallen for its magic – Susan Easterly
If we could harness just an ounce of cat magic, we’d be rich in mystery, and able to weave spells of utter enchantment. However, we have buckets of magic to offer, if only we would recognise it in ourselves. Find your magic and weave your own spells

God made the cat - pleasure of caressing the tiger - Fernand Mery - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

God made the cat in order that humankind might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger – Fernand Mery
These miniature tigers and lions enhance our lives with their fun, love, and sense of adventure. We have the responsibility of caring for them and playing with them without the danger of huge claws and man-eating teeth…just small claws and small sharp teeth… Respect them!

Cats worshipped as Gods...Cats have never forgotten this - Anon - The Last Krystallos - Photo Caitlin Shambrook

© Caitlin Shambrook

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as Gods. Cats have never forgotten this – Anon
Love this! Actually it doesn’t matter if cats were ever Gods, or if you are better than anyone else, cats generally love those who love them, and that’s a great ideal to live by! Again, it doesn’t matter who you are. As C. S. Lewis once said in The Weight of Glory It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible Gods and Goddesses…

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat - Ellen Perry Berkeley - The Last Krystallos - Photo Bekah Shambrook

© Bekah Shambrook

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat – Ellen Perry Berkeley
The cat is independent, and if you don’t treat them right they will walk.
I find several parallels with this quote. Every life on this planet is important, and we have been given the responsibility of caring for them and the planet that gives us life. This isn’t something we should or can walk away from. We don’t own this planet or any of the creatures on it, but our environment is something we should care deeply about. Unlike the cat, we can’t walk away if it’s not treated right.
And though cats wanderNot all those who wander are lostJ. R. R. Tolkien.

There are no ordinary cats - Colette - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

There are no ordinary cats – Colette
And there are no ordinary humans either… and to continue C. S. Lewis’ quote …There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
Embrace your oddness, your quirks, and your funWe’re not meant to be ordinary!

Enjoy your relationship with cats…
Find your love and magic, and make sure you can roar and purr!

Also check out: Life Lessons we can Learn from Cats and Life Lessons we can Learn from Dogs.

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Pumpkins and All Black for Halloween…

We don’t shy away when it comes to dressing up – you’ve probably noticed, but pumpkins are another thing all together!

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

We’d never carved pumpkins before and trying to decide what to carve took more time than sculpting them!

Pumpkins and ghost cakes © Lisa Shambrook

Pumpkins and ghost cakes © Lisa Shambrook

I also made ghost fairy cakes…to take for the treat table.

carving pumpkins, the last krystallos,

Pokemon Pikachu, pumpkin inside a pumpkin and a lone wolf howling © Lisa Shambrook

Bekah opted for Pikachu from Pokemon, and the following day Caitlin spent a long time choosing to carve a howling wolf and I, with no idea, finally decided to carve a pumpkin inside a pumpkin!

halloween outfits, the last krystallos, the grim reaper, gothic china doll, steampunk cat, hybrid bat,

The Grim Reaper, Hybrid Bat, Steampunk Cat and Gothic China Doll © Lisa Shambrook

Outfits, of course, were well-planned and fun, and we were ready to party, or at least hang out as socially as those with social anxieties do.
Note: we don’t all have socialising issues, hubby can be quite the extrovert, especially when disguised as Death!   

2000 and 2015 © Lisa Shambrook

2000 and 2015 © Lisa Shambrook

We missed Dan, and we wonder kind of Halloween celebrations go on in Canada? So if you miss Dan too, like us, here’s a throwback to the Year 2000…and a contrast with now!

pumpkin inside a pumpkin, carving a pumpkin, the last krystallos, lisa shambrook,

© Lisa Shambrook

…and lastly, my pumpkin won me bubbles and ballons! Yay!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!

How are you celebrating?

The Adventures of Katie Button – Lizzie Koch

It’s a delight to begin a short run of Author Interviews with Lizzie Koch,
the author of newly released The Adventures of Katie Button.
If you’re looking for a fun read, you’ll have just that with Katie! 

I’ve known Lizzie for a while, having written on the Flash Fiction circuit with her, and she’s one of the most genuine people I know! She’s cheerful, warm, passionate and fun, and her writing reflects her personality. 

The Adventures of Katie Button - Lizzie Koch

The Adventures of Katie Button – Lizzie Koch

I decided to take the opportunity of interviewing Lizzie to coincide with the release of her debut novel, so come and take some time to get to know a great new writer…

Katie Button is fun, ditzy, distracted, and passionate, is she like you, Lizzie, or did you create her entirely from imagination?

Haha, good question. Katie Button is pure fiction. However, I like to think I’m a fun person to be around. My lovely Yankee Doodle Dandy friend, who I work with, is the ditziest person I know so maybe hanging around with her for a decade has rubbed off in my writing. As for the passion, I don’t think I’d be here now, talking with you if I wasn’t passionate. Without passion, a story can fall flat, without passion there’s no drive. So yes, I’m extremely passionate.

This book came out of NaNoWriMo, did you always want to become an author, what made you write about Katie Button?

I actually always wanted to become a police officer which I achieved. That was the only job I planned for. The rest of my life just happened, including writing. After successful flash fiction pieces, I heard about Nano and thought ‘why not?’ I love the excitement of deadlines and writing under pressure. And doing it alongside friends, Nano didn’t feel impossible.

I don’t know where the idea came from for Katie Button.  Probably during the night where most ideas decide to pop into my head! In fact Katie started out as Emily but Hubby said he heard the name Emily Button somewhere so we googled it and turns out it’s a rag doll. How he knew that, I don’t know. So Katie was born. I wanted a fun, memorable name but also a name that would work across history, alongside my highwayman flash fiction piece. But I didn’t feel confident in writing a full blown historical piece so my novel sort of shaped itself as I wrote.

If Katie made it to television, would you love to see her in a movie or a TV series, and who would you love to play her?

I have a secret board in Pinterest, showing my characters. I was going to share but then I didn’t want to put ideas in my readers heads as to what they looked like as people generate their own idea of characters. But on my Pinterest board I have Emilia Clarke from Games of Thrones (which I can’t watch as too violent for my fluffy mind). She has that cute, girl next door smile and looks bubbly and fun.  And she’s British which is vitally important,  don’t want another awful attempt at a British accent although Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones was fab. A movie would be fantastic a la Richard Curtis.

I’ve read much of your flash fiction and short stories, and you’re able to write in many different fields. Did you always want to write romance, will you write more romance, or are there other genres you’d like to explore?

I love romance. Everybody needs some romance in their lives. To be honest, I though it was all I could write as it was all I read. Sophie Kinsella and Lisa Jewell are my favourite authors and I devour their books! Flash fiction opened my mind and broadened my horizons.  I’ve written about a zombie apocalypse, vampires, dabbled in a bit of steampunk and horror. But the romance pulls me back. So more romantic shenanigans from me but maybe with different settings. There’s a Katie Button sequel in the works. But never say never. I mean Katie Button started with a piece of flash. I do like a challenge!

The Adventures of Katie Button - eBooks

The Adventures of Katie Button – eBooks

We often talk of the need to create or write because of an innate desire, what does writing do for you?

Writing is a form of relaxation after a long day at work. I find it very therapeutic and satisfying just tapping away at the keys, in my own little world, shutting out the TV the boys are watching, and talking with my characters. I don’t write everyday (I know I should) but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about plots and characters. Sometimes I just need to sort out in my head where it’s going before I commit to paper. By sort, I mean hold conversations in my head between my characters and me.  Of course, writing for me is not a solitary activity. When you write a piece of flash, you read other submissions, you leave comment. You share and talk about it. It’s a sense of belonging and achieving something I love most.

lizzie-koch-adventures-of-katie-button-2015Thanks so much for joining me, Lizzie, you’ve given us a lovely insight into your writing and ideas!

You can find Lizzie Koch’s debut novel The Adventures of Katie Button, released through Crooked Cat Publishing, at Amazon UK, Amazon US, all other local Amazon stores and Smashwords

She blogs at 40 Something Undomesticated Devil

You can tweet her  @Lizzie_Koch

She’s addicted to Facebook, here’s her Facebook Author Page: Lizzie Koch Author

You can also find her on Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Families That Cosplay Together – Stay Together…Cardiff Comic Con

Have you ever wanted to release that inner geeky child?

If yes, then Comic Cons are the way to go! 

lara croft tomb raider 2013, lara croft, cosplay, the last krystallos,

Getting ready to play – Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2013 – © Lisa Shambrook

My daughter, Bekah, of Arkhdrauth Cosplay, is a cosplay enthusiast and after her first Comic Con dressed as Thranduil, we were all raring to have a go… So after a few months of preparation and much costume design…we headed off to Cardiff Comic Con.

indiana Jones cosplay, cardiff comic con, Antti Karppinen Photography Alias Creative

Vince Shambrook – Indiana Jones by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

maleficent cosplay, cardiff comic con, Antti Karppinen Photography Alias Creative

Bekah Shambrook of Arkhdrauth Cosplay – Maleficent by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

Bekah entered the Community Masquerade and placed First with her magnificent Maleficent cosplay!

ghost call of duty cosplay, cardiff comic con, Antti Karppinen Photography Alias Creative

Daniel Shambrook – Ghost Call of Duty by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

Daenerys cosplay, cardiff comic con, Antti Karppinen Photography Alias Creative

Caitlin Shambrook – Daenerys by Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative

This was a family affair and we had a great time. The atmosphere at Cardiff was brilliant and the cosplayers fantastic. I also really loved seeing all the families arriving with little cosplayers…start young!

the last krystallos, cardiff comic con, cosplay

Cardiff Comic Con – Daenerys and Margery, Ghost and Star Lord, Indiana Jones and The Penguin, Maleficent and Maleficent, two Indys, Daryl Dixon and Lara Croft – © Lisa Shambrook

the last krystallos, cardiff comic con, cosplay,

Cardiff Comic Con, Maleficent and Star Lord, Daenerys x2 and Margery, Daenerys, Tauriel, Aragorn and Lara Croft, Daryl Dixon and Daenerys, Space Marine and Ghost, Star Lord, Lara Croft and The Terminator – © Lisa Shambrook

The organisers did a great job and special thanks must go to Antti Karppinen of Antti Karppinen Photography, Alias Creative who took the most amazing photographs of almost all of the cosplayers, because he believes that the fans, the cosplayers, are what Comic Con is all about and he wants to recognise the passion and work they put into their costumes! He made a lot of cosplayers very happy with his brilliant photographs!

So, to release the child in you…dress up…honestly, it’ll do you the world of good! 

Have you ever wanted to Cosplay, if so who would you choose?

If you have already – who did you go as? 

Red Nails: New Book Release for D.C. Legendre

With Valentine’s Day only just gone…grab an opportunity for a fun romance with D. C. Legendre’s new release ‘Red Nails’. I thought I’d take a moment to get to know this lovely new author:

How long have you been writing, and when did you decide to write a novel?
I’ve been writing since I was a child.  I remember writing a short science fiction story when I was eleven years old and received an “A”.  I was so surprised!  I had ideas for a historical romance novel in high school and still have the notes I made.  Over the years I have written fairytales and short stories that are yet to be published.  “Red Nails” came to me several years ago but it is not until this point in time that I chose to publish it as it is.   And, the name for the novel came to me on a long drive late one night last fall and afterwards I realized it should have been so obvious.  I did a “word search” on my manuscript that night and the references to “red” and “nails” were unbelievable.  I will admit the story is intense but the circumstances of the story will allow the reader to see the reason behind this as they “experience” the novel.

Share one positive thing writing does for you?
Writing allows me to share my memories, imagination and feelings in the hope that somewhere along the way even one person will find a bit of understanding in their own life.  I always hope that I will bring a moment of joy or hope to the reader in some way. 

‘Red Nails’ sounds like a hot read, just right for Valentine month, how would you like to be romanced?
I would love to meet and be loved by someone who will accept me for “me”.  In the end, I think we all hope for this.  Sometimes we think we have found it, but then it disappears.  I would love to meet someone in the midst of a thunderstorm in a beautiful castle and find a love that lasts forever.  A dream to hope for…..if this happens I will consider writing a sequel!

Red Nails Cover

Cover design by
Blue Harvest Creative

Blurb:

Red. It becomes the color that Hunter sees every day. After fifteen years of marriage, her husband, Jon, leaves her and their life behind. Hunter is left with the revelation that only she can find the truth behind all the comments about red nails, blonde hair and what happened to her fairytale marriage. One night she discovers a clue on a credit card statement and creates an alter-ego to tempt Jon… into a relationship that will be a source of laughter, discovery, fantasy, and tears. Intense innuendo is the basis for their communications and she learns more than she ever thought possible about herself and Jon. Red Nails is a story of endings and new beginnings and one of beautiful memories and hope for the future.

D. C. Legendre is a freelance writer, aspiring fundraiser and designer who lives in New England. Thunderstorms, fairytales, and castles are some of her favorite things, as well as uncovering the mysteries in life. She believes without a doubt that life is an endless journey of the heart.

Available now on Kindle AmazonUK, Amazon.com and paperback.