Category Archives: Liebster Award

I’ve received another Liebster Blog Award!


Woo hoo! I’ve been nominated for yet another Liebster Blog Award. This time fellow YA and Famous Five Plus author, Suzy Turner, bestowed the honour upon me.

The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is to recognize blogs with fewer than 200 followers that deserve a little extra attention. In keeping with the tradition of the award, I have to:

List 11 random facts about me
Answer the 11 questions Suzy has set me
Come up with 11 questions to ask other authors
And perhaps the most difficult, tag 11 authors who deserve to bask in the Liebster glow.

Here goes:

11 random facts about me:

1. I’m allergic to cat hair but not dog hair.

2. In my pre-school years, I grew up in a winterized cottage along the shore of the St. Lawrence River, about 6-7 miles east of where I currently live.

3. I’ve schmoozed with Royalty. I met Princess Anne in Scotland in 1999.

4. After a concert here in town, my cousin, her friend and I sneaked backstage and met the members of the band (we were about 14).

5. I don’t eat a lot of desserts but love cherry cheesecake.

6. I learned to play the guitar when I was 14.

7. I don’t play, but I love to watch curling on the telly.

8. I learned highland dancing when I was young and won a silver medal in the sword dance at the 1000 Islands Highland Games in 1969.

9. When I first met my husband, I didn’t like him. Hmmm… something changed, we’ll be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary this year.

10. I love to wander through cemeteries – the older the better.

11. I’ve been to Paris.

Phew! That was tough. My poor wee brain hurts.

Now to answer Suzy’s questions:

Suzy: I always wished I had a middle name but I’m just plain old Suzanne (Suzy) Turner. Do you have a middle name? If so, what is it?

I have two middle names – Heather Ann.

Suzy: When I write my books, I usually have a rough idea of the general plot but I usually go off on a tangent and change it dramatically halfway through. What about you? Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I like to think of myself as a plantster. Some is plotted some is as it comes to me. As long as I know the ending, I can make the rest of it work.

Suzy: I was always a ‘pink’ girl until I had all my hair chopped off and then for some reason, I changed my favourite colour to blue. What’s your favourite colour and why?

I used to be ‘pink’, too, when I was younger then I moved on to blue. I’m not sure why I gravitated to blue, maybe because it looked better on me – and anything to get the boys to take notice, right? I love royal blue but any shade will do.

Suzy: I always loved the name Sheharazade. If you were to re-name yourself what would it be? (he he he… no I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to go for the aforementioned name!)

Rename myself… hmm… you’ve got me stumped. Maybe something that combines my middle name with where I live? Something like Heather Brock? Heather Park? Heather Scotland? No I don’t live there but read further down and you’ll see where this might come into being. The aforementioned names would make fab pseudonyms, too.

Suzy: I used to have the most amazing dreams where I was flying. Is there a recurring dream you remember having as a child?

It was more of a nightmare, actually. We’d be driving out in the country and when we got to his one place, the road disappeared… vanished behind a hill and around a bend. Not sure at the time why it terrified me so much, but it did. This disappearing road actually does exist (maybe as a child the family had driven down it – I don’t remember) and I’ve since been on it many times and it’s not as frightening as it was in my childhood dreams.

Suzy: My favourite TV shows at the moment are Castle, Scandal, Bones, Lost Girl, Haven, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones. What are some of yours?

Like you, I love Bones and Downton Abbey. In addition to those I love Criminal Minds and CSI (never thought Ted Danson could pull that role off but he’s doing a fine job of it).

Suzy: If my life was ever made into a movie, I’d want Sandra Bullock to play me. Who would play you?

I think Diane Keaton could do an excellent job. Somehow, though, I don’t expect to get that famous that my life would be made into a movie.

Suzy: In an ideal world, I’d have enough money and resources to spend half the year in England and the rest in Canada or the US. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

This is a no-brainer. I’d be on the first plane to Scotland.

Suzy: I’d change my feet if I could. If you could change anything about your appearance, what would it be?

Feet? I don’t like mine either but that’s what shoes are for – keep them covered. I’d get rid of the middle-age spread… the belly and the butt (keep the boobs – took me too long to get them) and go back to being slim and fit looking.

Suzy: The Time Spirit series by Melissa Pearl, The Marchwood Vampire series by Shalini Boland, Scarlet Vamporium by Poppet are just a few of my fave indie books. Name two or three of your all time favourite indie books.

Harry Leslie Smith’s memoirs – 1923: A Memoir, Hamburg 1947. When I’m looking for something fun, I love Juliette Sobanet’s Paris books – Sleeping with Paris, Kissed in Paris and she has more coming out – yay!

Suzy: I can speak Portuguese but it’s getting a bit rusty. Can you speak any other languages?

French but not well. Took it in school but haven’t used it a lot in years so it’s beyond “a bit” rusty. I can also rattle off a few words/phrases in German.

Now for the 11 questions for my victims… oops, nominees:

1. When you’re not writing/blogging, what do you like to do?

2. What’s the furthest you’ve travelled on a vacation?

3. What’s your favourite beverage (can be alcoholic or non – up to you)?

4. Did you have pets as a child and do you have pets now? If so, what type?

5. Do you have a favourite food?

6. As you saw in my random facts, I like to wander through cemeteries. Do you have a favourite place you like to walk?

7. Do you have a favourite author?

8. Salty or sweet? And what’s your favourite food in that category?

9. If money were no object, what would be your ultimate travel destination?

10. Can you share your most embarrassing moment? Or at least a moment that left you red in the face, at a loss for words.

11. If you were to win the big prize in the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

And now to nominate 11 bloggers:

1. Pauline Barclay
2. Maggie Jagger
3. Dorothy Bush
4. Vivian Zabel
5. Joe Mossman
6. Christopher D. Hanna
7. Patricia Capitain
8. Rosemary Gemmell
9. Maureen Fisher
10. Nikki Bywater
11. Jontybabe JB Johnston

Happy Hogmanay!

Dec 31st says goodbye to the current year in anticipation of what is to come in the next year. Known as New Year’s Eve in many countries, in Scotland, it’s a special celebration known as Hogmanay. Great street parties with entertainment take place in major cities. Edinburgh’s celebration is the most widely known. You can see what’s happening in Scotland’s capital to ring in 2013 here.

But before I pop the cork on the champagne, I want to take a look at 2012 and reflect on all the good things that happened to me during the year.

In early January, fellow Writers’ Ink member, Joe Mossman, and I did a spot for the local cable TV’s program, Readers’ Corner and talked about our group.

Joe Mossman, myself and host of Readers' Corner, Doreen Barnes
Joe Mossman, myself and host of Readers’ Corner, Doreen Barnes

A few days later, I was assigned my editor. We hit it off immediately which made the revision process a lot more fun. My gorgeous cover designed by Aidana WillowRaven was revealed here on January 18th.

My novel's cover created by Aidana WillowRaven
My novel’s cover created by Aidana WillowRaven

In February, I was honoured with my First Book award from the Ottawa Romance Writer’s Association.


March came and with it, I received the Versatile Blogger Award from associate reader, Susan Livingston. I had been an associate reader for myself since June 2011 and on May 21, 2012 (my son’s birthday), I became a featured author!

June brought about the new Melanie Robertson-King “brand” reveal.

website header
The weekend of Sept 14-17 (okay Friday to the following Monday – weekend plus) took me to Kansas for the debut of my novel… and best of all, I got to hold it in my hot little hands for the first time. It was brilliant meeting my editor, Carla, for the first time and my publisher, Vivian Zabel, and fellow 4RV Publishing authors Jacque Graham, Janet Brown and Galand Nuchols.

Janet Brown, me, and Galund Nuchols with our books that debuted at the Kansas Book Festival
Janet Brown, me, and Galund Nuchols with our books that debuted at the Kansas Book Festival

My short story, Cole’s Notes, that had been accepted for publication became available for the Kindle in Carrick Publishing’s first cross-genre anthologyEFD1 Starship Goodwords Cover – EFD1 – Starship Goodwords, and classed as literary fiction, no less!

Home from Kansas and the following weekend I hosted my hometown launch at the Wedgewood Retirement Resort in downtown Brockville.

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One week later, I embarked on a 21-stop 15-day blog tour starting off at and ending at Author Roast and Toast.

In October, I created a blog for my character, Sarah, and filmed another program for Readers’ Corner – this time talking about my novel,

readers corner

was invited to join Famous Five Plus and woo-hoo, I got my first 5-star review for A Shadow in the Past!

November came along and with it, my first kick at the can taking part in NaNoWriMo, and a number of appearances and signings – Ladies’ Night at Green Things Garden and Gift Shop, the Mallorytown Legion’s Christmas Bazaar and Bake Sale, and finally downtown Brockville’s Christmas Open House at Leeds County Books.

December and another signing – this time in Gananoque at All About Books Internet Cafe and I was awarded the Liebster Award by Joanne Clancy.

A great year for sure, and now I’m looking forward to what 2013 brings! So now that I’ve rambled on long enough, it’s time to pop the champagne corks and ring in the New Year.

champagne 5

champagne 4

Happy New Year! Happy Hogmanay! Or Happy whatever you call it in your part of the world. May 2013 be good to you and yours! Cheers!

Liebster Award

Thank you to Irish author, Joanne Clancy, for awarding me this. Joanne is the author of The Unfaithful Series; Unfaithfully Yours and Revenge, The Secrets and Lies Trilogy; Secrets and Lies, Aftermath, Redemption and The Wedding Day, Unforgettable Embrace and My Love. The third book in her Unfaithful series, Web of Deceit, will be available in January 2013. You can visit her amazon author page here.

The Liebster Award is an award for up and coming bloggers with less than two hundred followers so you can imagine how chuffed I was when Joanne nominated me.

Instructions for Nominees:

Post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

Pass the award onto 11 other blogs and notify each blogger that you have nominated them.

Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees. (Do not nominate the blog who nominated you!)

Paste the award picture into your blog.

Random facts about me:

  1. I love to travel, especially to Scotland.
  2. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate.
  3. I’m an avid reader and am happiest when I have my face stuck in a book – physical or e-book.
  4. My debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, was released in September 2012.
  5. I love to nap on the sofa.
  6. My Scottish heritage is extremely important to me.
  7. I’ve been writing off and on since I was a teenager (although lately, more on than off).
  8. I love my morning coffee.
  9. I’m addicted to Coronation Street.
  10. After fighting it for a long time, I finally got on Facebook earlier this year.
  11. I collect stuffed animals.

Joanne’s questions for me:

  1. What’s your favourite book and why? My all time favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The conflicts between the races in the deep south during the time before desegregation were coming to an end when I was born, but the idea of a white lawyer defending a black man back in those days was unheard of. I applaud Harper Lee for writing a novel on such a controversial subject.
  2. Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? Not so much anymore but when I was younger, I used to dream about a road that disappeared over a hill behind a house. It terrified me back then.
  3. Do you believe in life after death? Yes.
  4. What do you like or dislike most about Christmas? Dislike – Shopping and the hassles that go along with it. Like – all the classic Christmas movies and spending time with family.
  5. Why do you blog? I love to talk about my Scottish heritage, my writing and showcase up and coming authors.
  6. What inspires you? Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and the panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River that I love so close to.
  7. What is your top health tip? Don’t stay glued to your desk and chair all day. Get up and move around. Your eyes, wrists and butt will thank you for it – not to mention your heart.
  8. What is your top beauty tip? Be yourself and be comfortable with who you are. Real beauty is below the surface.
  9. What’s the best book you’ve read in 2012 and why? I’ve read a lot of books in 2012 so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. I would have to say it was Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugton. I loved the lengths the mother went to in order to prove her autistic son is innocent of murder. There were also elements in the story that rang really close to home.
  10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? Coming out of the ladies with my skirt tucked up inside my pulled up pantyhose.
  11. What’s your guilty pleasure? Guilty implies that I sneak it but I do love red wine – but I’m very open about it.

My questions for my nominees:

  1. Who is your favourite author?
  2. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
  3. What is your favourite travel destination?
  4. If you had a choice to visit any country in the world that you’ve never visited before, which one would it be?
  5. Books or movies – which do you prefer?
  6. What is your favourite food?
  7. Do you have a favourite hobby?
  8. Sitcoms or dramas? Which do you prefer?
  9. Do you have an all-time favourite movie?
  10. iPhone or Blackberry?
  11. What are you most afraid of?

And finally – drum roll, please – my list of nominees:

Miriam Wakerly
Pauline Barclay’s Scribbles blog
Chris Longmuir
Jontybabe’s Brook Cottage Books blog
Dorothy Bush
Joe Mossman
Jo Lambert – Writer
Rosemary Gemmell’s Reading and Writing blog
Stephanie Keyes
Gina Dickerson
Gilli Allan’s Writer Cramped blog