Reader’s Choice Awards

Readers Choice Award The Silver Locket by Holly Atkins

I’m not very good at self-promotion but, deep breath, here goes…

I submitted my debut novel, The Silver Locket which I wrote under the pen name Holly Atkins, for the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards, hosted by TCK Publishing. 

The novel is part mystery, part romance and includes various other themes. Romance is such a popular and over-crowded market that I decided to enter it into the mystery category. I’m pleased to say it’s been accepted.

I’d be honoured and delighted if you’d vote for me.

Voting continues until 13th November, so there’s plenty of time to cast your vote and I’ll leave the voting link up on the sidebar.

You don’t have to read the book to vote for it – you can just show your support. However, I will be running a short promotional offer for ‘The Silver Locket’, starting on 7th February. It’s also available to borrow on Kindle Unlimited.

Paying it forward
If you’re an author too, it’s not too late to submit your book for the award. Entry is free for the first book you enter. 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards Submissions

The Silver Locket by Holly Atkins read it anywhere
The Silver Locket by Holly Atkins – read it anywhere!
The Silver Locket by Holly Atkins
Also available in paperback

Black Friday and Beyond

Goodreads ratings for Chris Hall's books

Offers are about to abound on my novels as we approach the holiday season. They’ve all been well-received so far, so stay tuned to grab your freebie ebook or reduced price paperback.

The Inspiring Muse Award – Mar 2019

I’d just like to thank Jenn (J.I.Rogers) for bestowing her award upon me. What a wonderful gesture from a fellow author!
Now then, happy readers and writers, you will take a little peek at her work, won’t you?

J. I. Rogers - Author

#JIRogers #IndieAuthor #Inspiration #Muse #Award #Blog #Poet #Share #Motivation #Writing #Art #AwesomeAuthor @ ChrissyH_07

The Brief History of ‘The Inspiring Muse Award’

I’ve been ‘Shamelessly Promoting Someone Else’ for as many years as I’ve been online and I decided to take it one-step further. Despite the internet’s reputation for trolls, I’ve found that I interact with a brilliant collection of people on a daily basis. Each offers a gift whether it’s art, knowledge, a story, or just a well-timed joke. I wanted a way to thank them for inspiring me that was more permanent than a typed ‘thank you’.

This is a personal award that I bestow on people who I feel are excellent examples of different aspects of the creative community, or of humanity in general. Anyone I interact with is eligible to receive it, and it is awarded once each month.

The Inspiring Muse Award - lg size

March’s winner is Chris Hall for her…

View original post 68 more words

What a wonderful morning!

a lovely morning lunasonline chris hall

I woke up this morning and, as usual, I went to open my trusty laptop (still in my PJs, of course). I was surprised and delighted by two things particularly:

A lovely review by Ellie Scott of ‘A Sextet of Shorts’, my little short story collection. It’s so uplifting and encouraging to read a review like this. Thanks, Ellie.
Incidentally, ‘Sextet’ is currently available on Kindle priced at $1.14 and on Kindle Unlimited.

An new award: ‘The Writer’s Soul Award’, from Teresa Grabs, The Haunted Wordsmith, which made my soul sing! Thank you, Teresa.
Go check out the other recipients, fellow writers and readers!

And have a smashing Saturday!

…making my soul sing


The Mystery Blogger Award


A big thank you to Tanya, Salted Caramel, for this nomination!

If you haven’t done so already, check out her blog here:  It’s a real “bloggers’ blog”!


What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

The “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

Okoto Enigma, Award Creator.


The Rules

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
    (note: the link is there, but doesn’t seem to be working)
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. Answer the questions provided by your nominator.
  7. Nominate 10- 20 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  10. Share a link to your best post(s).


Three things about me:

  1. I worked in risk management for more than twenty years (how exciting is that?).
  2. I’ve seen three ghosts in different houses.
  3. I collect sea shells (not many, I promise).


My answers to Tanya’s questions:

  1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The interaction and encouragement of other writers and bloggers.

  1. What is the idea behind your blog name?

There wasn’t really an idea; I just used a version of my cat’s name. When I originally set up the site I was a bit nervous of putting my writing ‘out there’. That’s also why my debut novel was published under a pen name.

  1. How do you see your blog growing in 2019?

I’m a writer and author primarily and my blog site was really intended to be an author platform. I’ve been a bit side tracked during November, with these challenges, gifts and awards, which has been really interesting and fun. However, as I’ve said elsewhere recently (and below), I need to draw back a bit and concentrate on writing and editing above all else.

  1. What proportion of your blogging time do you spend on blog promotion?

Not much. I’ve set up my posts to automatically share to my Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts; sometimes I’ll tweak the shares bit. Otherwise, I guess engagement also equals promotion and I try to keep up with all the blogs with which I connect. That’s maybe an hour a day.

  1. Relate one funny anecdote about blogging.

I’m not sure is this is funny or just weird, but I’ve been pulled up by ‘real’ people (in the sense of people I go for coffee with) for talking about the characters from my work in progress novels as if they are real people. I see worried looks in their eyes…


My nominees (with no obligation to participate!)

Gristle Mill, Alice Gristle’s Writing Blog –

Thea by Me –

Hitandrun1964, Rethinkinglife –

JP the Wide-eyed Wanderer –

Lilly Eves World –

Natalie Swift, The Midnight Ember –

Laleh Chini –

Sarah, The Abject Muse –

Desi Videsh, Indians Abroad –

Demi Mitchell, The Lupie Momma –

I’ll be letting them know in the next few days…


My questions – should you choose to answer

  1. What song will always get you on the dance floor?
  2. What’s your signature dish?
  3. If you could meet any author throughout the whole of history, who would it be and why?
  4. If you could only read one book genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  5. Which do you prefer: jelly beans or fish fingers with custard (this is the silly question!!)


The link to my ‘best’ post

Okay, it’s a link to my work-in-progress novel  which I spent most of this year writing. I’m in edit mode now, and so this is going to have to be my last Award participation for a while.

I need to concentrate on my writing in 2019. So, if it doesn’t involve actual creative writing: something I’ve written or a response to an inspiration or writing challenge (short, very short or even medium-sized), I’m going to be a bystander. But it doesn’t mean I won’t be following and commenting on all your lovely blogs!


0happy hols

Liebster Award (take two)

Liebster award nom from Sadje

I was nominated for this award by Sadje of lifeafter50forwomen at the end of October.
Then I was busy with NaNoWriMo, but I promised I go back to it.

There has been a bit of debate about the relative merits of awards in my little corner of the blogosphere, but to me it’s a ‘take it or leave it thing’ and I’m taking this one. Thanks for the opportunity, Sadje!

So, on with the award.

What is Liebster Award?
This award was created to discover and encourage new bloggers in their creative journey. A welcome gesture for the people new to the blogging world.

As always, the award comes with rules, which I’ll be bending a little, because it’s the thought that counts.

liebster rules

The Questions

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
    Misplaced apostrophe’s (sic)
  2. Where did you get the name for your blog?
    Luna, my cat (named after Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books since you ask).
  3. If you could change your blog’s name, what would it be?
    Maybe to a title using my own name (for the search engines, yawn).
  4. What was your favourite TV show as a kid?
    The Double Deckers. I guarantee no-one reading this will have heard of it.
  5. Do you have any weird habits?
    I wouldn’t say so, but I’m sure others might. I do have a weird sense of humour.
  6. Do you like fall scents /tastes?
    Fallen leaves, both crisp and damp, the slight smell of decomposition, bonfires and damp air.
  7. What is your favourite holiday and why?
    The school holidays in our winter (Cliff’s a teacher). The weather is damp and cold (cold by South African standards, anyway). It gives us an excuse to travel somewhere warmer. We went to Botswana last year which was amazing.
  8. Do you prefer writing it down or typing it up?
    Typing. Hand written notes are fine, but typing for everything else. It’s just so much easier; I can type as quickly as I think (maybe I don’t think that quickly).
  9. Netflix or cable?
    We have satellite. I record stuff. Sometimes I get around to watching.
  10. If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?
    Write more, travel more and set up a publishing house which would print, market and distribute all my favourite Indie Authors’ books.
  11. What is your favourite thing about yourself?
    My imagination.

11 random thoughts about myself

  1. I studied, lived and worked in Liverpool (UK) for almost 30 years.
  2. I emigrated to South Africa with my husband (Cliff) and cat (Luna) in 2010.
  3. I once worked as a packer in a gripe water manufacturer’s.
  4. I have an A level in Latin.
  5. I knitted 30 squares (badly) for blankets for Bosnian refugees while on jury service.
  6. I keep chickens.
  7. I like eggs.
  8. Luna knows not to try to eat family (the chickens).
  9. I would never eat family (the chickens).
  10. I have a growing repertoire of egg recipes.
  11. If you come to my house, you are likely to leave with some eggs.

The Nominations

These are my nominations: a handful of new bloggers; a smattering of artists, a chef whose site I just came across (with super-tasty recipes) and a blatant plug for one of my clients.

Newer bloggers:
Amartya,The Jumbled Letters –
The Patchwork Fox –
935SANAH –

Other goodies:
Kathy Wivell is a good friend of mine who lives just up the road from me. Kathy is an artist and a writer. We have done a few little projects together over the years, including an on-line magazine for our local art society and hosting a writing group.

Take a look at her art site –

Suzanne Starr is an artist from whom I’ve taken inspiration for a few written pieces, so you may have already seen some of her work.
There’s more on her artist’s site –

J.I. Rogers (she of the 6 Word Story fame) is also an artist, but not so well known as such, I think. Take a look:

Sebby Holmes – chef and writer – I made his easy and delicious kale recipe the other night (there’s a lot of kale in my organic veg bag):

Viv Garside writes motivational pieces and is just starting out in the blogosphere, to support her collection of self-help books.
Help yourself to a better life –

Further participation in any element of the award by any of the above is, of course, entirely optional.

The White Elephant

white elephants

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, is holding a ‘White Elephant’ party throughout December and since Teresa very kindly gifted a beautiful time-turner to me yesterday, I’m continuing with three gifts of my own.

The first gift goes to Sadje of Keep it Alive and I’m giving her a display cabinet in which to keep all her well-deserved blogger awards:

Display Cabinet

Now, I actually got two of these in a Black Friday sale, so the second gift of a display cabinet goes to Salted Caramel for exactly the same reason. She also gets a second silly gift of a bowl of salted caramel flavour popcorn because I know she likes it and you can’t have too much of a good thing!

Salted Caramel Popcorn

And finally, my third gift goes  to The Dark Netizen  and I have chosen to give a him a lightsaber as I’m excited to know what he’ll do with it!


I’ve been Nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Sunshine Bloggers Award.jpg

I’m delighted to say that Sadje, of Keep it Alive, has nominated me for the
Sunshine Bloggers Award!

Sunshine Bloggers Award Rules

Thank you, Sadje for the nomination, it’s an honour!

Okay, here are my answers to Sadje’s questions:

What made you start blogging?
I set up Luna’s on line about 6 years ago purely as somewhere to store my short stories. I was also experimenting with WordPress as I had started my ‘ghost blogging’ career.
It wasn’t until early this year when I started working from home full-time that I got up and running with it and started interacting with other writers and bloggers. I am so glad I did; the support and encouragement is amazing.

Do your friends and family support you in this?
I have a lot of encouragement for my writing. Maybe they actually believe I’ll be a best selling author one day so want to be nice to me! And a special mention for Cliff, my husband who’s really supportive unless it’s suppertime (a bit like Luna, my cat).

Which is your favorite time of the day?
I write best in the late afternoon, so it’s then.

What would be your dream vacation?
Visiting the gorillas in Rwanda. I’d need to have some strong-armed bearers to carry me and to bring the G+Ts.

What genre of movies you like best?
It depends on my mood. I have very eclectic taste (although I don’t like rom-coms or splatter movies much).

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I’ll own up to a couple which work both ways: I get too involved with my characters. I talk to them, often out loud. Also, I’m a dreadful grammar pendant.

Are you an emotional person?
Don’t you have to be if you write fiction?

What motivates you in life and writing?
Imagination and an enquiring mind.

What sort of friend are you to your pals?
I’m there in mind and spirit, always.

Have you written poetry as well?
Some, but it’s not really my forte.

sunshine cup
Now imagine: I’m standing at the podium in full evening dress – gold lame, glitzy earrings, killer heels – (I did say imagine) and I am holding the 11 envelopes.
Here’s the speech…

These are some of the most inspirational, inventive and supportive writers I’ve met in ‘blogland’ so far. This is my thank you to them! Check them out. I’ve put in some links to their sites and to their work.

  1. Kent Wayne, the Dirty Sci-Fi Budda for being the first person to like my first post – check out his Echo series: I really enjoyed Vol.1 and I have Vol.2 is ready to read. Thanks for all the re-tweets!

  2. JI (Jenn) Rogers, a great inspiration – all those Six Word Challenges, wow, she’s right, they are addictive! Check out her book The Korpes File, vol 1 – a cracking read – vol 2 will be out soon; can’t wait to find out what happens next.

  3. Jean Lee’s World such lovely writing and great support. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed several of her ‘Tales of the River Vine’ and I now have ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ to read on my Kindle.

  4. Teresa Grabbs, The Haunted Wordsmith, for all the inspiration and support, I’m reading her short story collection, ‘Tales from the Haunted Wordsmith’ now, and her new novel Reflected Echois lined up ready to read on my Kindle too.

  5. Ellie Scott for being awesome and witty and from Yorkshire (where I grew up). Ellie writes lot of lovely little engaging pieces not only on her website, but on Twitter and on Instagram (clever!). She’s on Medium too – head over and give her a clap.
    I’ve started reading her
    Merry Bloody Christmas: A Short Story Collection’ – one story a day in the run up to Christmas, although it’s tempting to pig out on a whole week’s-worth in one go! 

  6. Debra of Nana’s Whimsical World  for her ever-so-wittily described crafty projects, her wonderful stories about Foster and Panda (you have to read these!) and general awesomeness – this woman installed her own toilet!

  7. Adam West, The Writer of Age with whom I’ve probably had the longest email exchange ever when trying to download his free offer on Amazon (they like to make it tricky for you if you live in deepest, darkest Africa). However, The Vague Ship: A Tale of Ambiguity was well worth the effort!

  8. Freja Travels – a travel blog by Mickey & Yunni, so beautifully illustrated with photos. I followed them every step of the way through Madagascar. And Yunni is reading my work-in-progress novel from this blog (so I’d better hurry up and finish it).

  9. Muted Mouthful – Tiara has truly found her feet in her blog! Awesome stuff. I really don’t know why she doubts herself. And she lives in New York, which I find very cool!

  10. Jason H Abbott, The Aetheral Engineer – wonderful witty flash fiction. He’s on Twitter and Instagram too – thanks for being there.

  11. Keith Sandvidge -– dark and witty tales. Great support over in ‘twitterland’. Don’t tell anyone, but I think he’s reading my first novel…I wonder how it’s going.
    He also writes on Medium – pop over and give him a clap.

…and there are others, newer to my circle – and since Sadje also very kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award as well, I’ll give them their shout out there – stay tuned!

And I’m not going to ask anyone any questions, I merely offer the invitation to grab the ‘Sunshine Blogger’ banner, tell us more about yourself and pay it forward if you’d like.

You are someone's sunshine


Random Acts of Kindness Award: an open invitation

Random Acts of Kindness Award

I was nominated for this award by Vicklea who has been very supportive of my writing since I started posting at the start of this year. I’m very pleased because it’s given me an opportunity to share an example of how some people help each other in my adopted country, South Africa.

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. We have the very, very rich (a small number) and the very, very poor (sadly many more). We may think we’re somewhere in the middle, but the vast majority of the population live on very little.

We are fortunate enough to be able to afford to employ a housekeeper, Joyce, and a gardener / handyman, Johannes, a couple of days a week. This sounds quite grand, or at least it seemed to me to be so when we first came over here. We don’t necessarily need the help, although it’s nice to have someone to do the housework and look after the garden. It also gives us an excuse to help them to support their families.

However, this is not about us in our privileged position and what we do, rather I want to share something which Joyce did for one of the kids in her neighbourhood last week.

Joyce was standing by the gate to her little rented house having just seen her youngest child Joshua and her grandchild, Lesego, off to school. She was watching some of the other children make their way to school when she noticed a little boy of about Joshua’s age struggling to walk in gum boots which were much too big for him. She could see by how he was dressed that he came from a family who must have very little to spend on clothes and shoes. She called him over and saw that he was crying. He said it was because the gum boots hurt his feet and made it hard for him to walk.

Joyce told him to wait by the gate. She fetched a pair of Joshua’s shoes. The shoes were in good condition and still fit Joshua, but he did have his school shoes and a pair of trainers as well and Joyce decided that she must give them to the little boy who was struggling. He tried them on and they fit. He was over the moon! Joyce gave him a plastic bag for the gum boots and off he ran to school so as not to be late. On his way back that afternoon, he came and thanked Joyce again.

When she told me, I could see how happy she was to have been in a position to help the little boy, even though she herself manages on a very modest budget as a single mum, with a grown up daughter and son, another son who’s studying civil engineering and the two little ones.

Award Rules

All through life we encounter people who for no particular reason help someone out, or extend a hand when needed. Some do it directly and some do it indirectly.
1- copy or paste image for reward on your post.
2- Write about a random act of kindness, either you saw, was given to you, or you have done. It is okay to spread the love people. You don’t have to name specific names or whatever but tell us about it.
3- Share this award and link to original post or tag the person who nominated you.
4- If you should want to do this then you can leave an open ended invitation, or personally tag others.
5- Pictures are a good share to, if you have pictures to share a random act of kindness, that is great!

I’m leaving this Award open to anyone who might read this and like to share something good. There’s too much bad stuff in the world.



I’ve been nominated for…

blogger recognition award

Honoured, in fact doubly honoured, to have been nominated by firstly:

The Haunted Wordsmith back in July (OMG how time flies) – thank you Teresa!

and secondly, just last week by the The Floating Thoughtsthank you  Roy, Amrita, and Dee Kay!

Be sure to check these wonderful people out in the unlikely event you haven’t found them already…

blogger recognition award rules

You will notice that Q5 and Q7 appear less prominently. This is because they don’t always appear for the award. But well, so what, everything is optional, apart from death and taxes – to misquote Benjamin Franklin (apparently). So, 1 and 2 completed…

How ‘lunasonline’ started

I originally set the blog up in about 2010 to ‘store’ some of my stories. I was way too scared to publish. A couple of years passed during which I finished and self-published my first novel, The Silver Locket – under a pseudonym – still lacking confidence, you see.

But then, at the start of this year, having sold several handfuls of the paperback version of my novel through the art gallery where I’d been working, I decided to launch myself and my blog (all right, Luna’s blog) into the world.

In the meantime, I’d started writing my second novel and, to spur me on, I decided to post a chapter on my blog each week. Discipline! I also set my self a target to publish a short piece of writing every Friday – mostly fiction – just something for fun.

Now, eight months later, I never would have realised the wonderful community of bloggers out there. The interaction and support is wonderful! Thank you all!


My two pieces of advice (for what it’s worth)

Be genuine, be supportive  by this I mean that we should ‘like’ what we truly like… and read whatever it is first; interact positively, as much as we can;  and be kind, be positive!

Enjoy yourself, just get it out there – even if it’s a rant – we’ll understand! Have fun with your work, and try to be the best that you can on that day.


My Answers to The Floating Thoughts’ Questions:

1.If you could live a life of immortality, would you?
On balance, no. Although I would manage to read all those books out there.

2.If you had 1 billion dollars (or whatever your currency is) what would you do?
Invest a couple of million, buy houses all over the world and give the rest away to people who really need the money. And I might take a hit out on a couple of people (politicians and despots, beware).

3.If you had infinite resources to fund someone to make a piece of media for you (movie, anime, TV series, video game etc.) what would that project be?
A fantastic wildlife series involving loads of awesome places which I would co-host with Sir David Attenborough.

4.If you could have one skill you don’t currently have, what would it be?
The ability to fly.

5.How do you get over it when you feel sad? What do you do?
Write my way out. Or have a long, hot bath; but since we have a severe drought here in Cape Town and bathing is out, it has to be the writing. Wine helps too.

6.What kind of person annoys you the most?
One who promises to deliver then fails to do so.

7.What have you always wanted to be able to do but aren’t able to do?
See Q4.

8.What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t worry what other people think.

9.What is your favourite film character? and why?
Elizabeth Bennett from Jane Austin’s ‘Pride & Prejudice’ (any version). She’s my all-time favourite heroine. It’s her wit. She didn’t worry about what other people thought either.

10.If you could talk to anyone again, living or dead from your life, who would it be? Why?Sorry, I’ve moved on.


My Nominees

This is just a handful of the lovely bloggers I’ve come across out there; my list doesn’t include people who I nominated for the Liebster Award, but you could check them out too.

Dear Nominees, what you do with the award is entirely up to you!
You should get the ‘pingback’.

and finally (but not least)…  – one of my co-nominees (by The Floating Thoughts) who I’d selected earlier!

Your Questions

There aren’t any – but feel free to tell the world a bit about yourself and your work if you’d like. The floor is yours. Blog! Blag! Brag!  Did you see what I did there?

blogger recognition award