Introducing Matt Lawrence – @Gills_Mod

Hello, bloggers!

Happy Monday to you all!!

We have a very special guest today, with a very special story. And I am so happy to have the opportunity to share it with you. I am pleased to introduce you to Matt Lawrence

Thank you to the wonderful Marlena for allowing me to share my story with you.
My name is Matt from London and I am writing the blog about living with, and conquering an autoimmune disease.

After battling an autoimmune disease (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis) for just over 11yrs, I had a liver transplant in March of 2017 which, has finally given me my life back. There have been a few ups and downs after the transplant but, I will be forever grateful to the donor and his family which has allowed me to share my story in the hope that it highlights the importance of organ donation and the struggles someone with an illness can go through.

Don’t worry, you will find out that my blog is very lighthearted and not straight out of a text book.

Furthermore, I hope by sharing my story it will help, inspire and make others laugh. After all, if we cannot laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at?

I upload a new blog post each weekend highlighting my journey that started with the illness, through to the transplant and, everything else in between and afterwards.

The journey we all go on in our lives is one that makes us stronger and shapes us into the person we are today.

Peace Love and Light x

How to follow me:

Read my story by visiting my blog @

Keep up to date with my daily shenanigans, and blog post alerts on twitter using:

Follow my photographic journey on Instagram using:

Thank you so much for joining us! Please help support today’s incredible guest with likes, shares, and comments.

Until next time………………………………… Stay Creative!!!


Who Are You, Woman? by @alinabarac

Hello, bloggers!

I am so pleased to welcome today’s guest, Alina Barac! This lady is such a delight! And an inspiration! The moment I visited her site, I fell in love with it. She’s leaving us a sampling below, and I *know* you’ll be anxious to read more.   ;)

There are moments in life when you take a look at yourself and start questioning who you are. You stare at that reflection in the mirror and you see your whole life – good and bad, who you were and who you became. Sometimes you like it and other times you hate it completely. It’s just a moments thought and most probably will end with you proud or disappointed but never acting upon any decisions you might take regarding who will you become.


It’s that thought that comes around Christmas time or your birthday, when you reflect and analyse, when you judge yourself and not the ones around you. Well, it’s not December so that means my 37th birthday is coming soon and I can’t stop but doing what we all do: ask myself “who am I?” The first thing that comes to mind is “a mother”. This is what defines me now. Before I would have said I am me and there is no other like me but now I cannot think about me as anything else but Ruby’s mom.

So strange how things change, how we change and our world as well…

The me I was last year is not the same with the me I am now. This time 365 days ago I was a new mom, trying to figure out what is going on with me, trying to cope with that tiny human who was so dependent on me, blessing the moments when I could have a literally two minutes shower (army style) or sip half cup of coffee without it getting cold. The me I was two years ago was in a happy relationship, moving in a new home and the me more than three years ago was a crazy want to be writer dreaming of undiscovered territory and creating a story that definitely had not ended the way I wrote it.

I judge and I am judged…

Life changes us so much, offers opportunities and takes dreams to only offer better ones, takes away one love so it can lead us to a stronger one, teaches us lessons upon lessons until we finally learn why are we living the life we are living. It is so strange when things happen more than once just so we learn the same things we were suppose to learn at the beginning. I watched my life unfolding so far, I suffered and I learned, I moved on and I taught others my life lessons as well as learned from others experiences. I judge and I am judged. I am but a simple person with dreams and hopes for better future but above all I am now a mother and this is the most important job I have. No matter what happens from now on with me does not matter. What matters is this life I created. She is my responsibility and I most definitely intend on raising her to be a better person than I am, to make better decisions and be smarter than I was at her age. I want to grow old and proud of her, I want to see her dreams fulfilled and her life full of pink clouds ad unicorns.


Once she was born I learned how not to be selfish, how to love unconditionally and give it all for her. I learned how to let go and also function on two hour sleep but most of all I learned how to live for someone else, breath for someone else and fight for someone else. All for my cheeky monkey. She is my perfect rainbow baby and all I ever wanted.

I sit in front of the mirror and ask myself: Who are you? I think of my life decisions and even though some I would change if I could go back in time, I definitely do not regret. They are the ones that shaped me and made me who I am: Ruby’s mom, a late 30’s woman, a working mom, an immigrant paying taxes in a foreign country, a woman with a normal part time job and full time dreams.

This is who I am now. This time next year? Who knows. I will definitely sit in front of the same mirror asking the same question: Who are you woman?

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Thank you so much for visiting with us today. Please help me in supporting today’s guest with likes, shares, and comments.

Until next time…………………………… Stay Creative!!

Friday the 13th — A Writing Challenge & #Giveaway

Hello, bloggers!

Today is *my* day. Not only is it Friday the 13th, but it’s also October, one of the best months of the year! Those that know me best, know that I am a horror fanatic and I love everything about Halloween! So, I feel it’s a must to celebrate with my favorite people!!


How are we going to celebrate? Simple. I challenge YOU. Let’s celebrate this special day in true, writers fashion… a writing challenge!!

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*Challenge – Write a Friday the 13th inspired short piece. Ballpark figure of 250-500 words.

*Due Date – Sunday, 10/15

*Rules – You know the challenge, you know the due date. All that’s left is to be creative & unique! You can even enter multiple writing pieces! 

*Prize – A surprise electronic gift basket!! (May include Amazon gift card, e-books, promotional graphics, and so on.) If there’s enough entries, I may give away TWO gift baskets!!


Should you accept this challenge, use the comments section to post your writing piece. The Winner will be selected next week, after I’ve read/reviewed all the pieces. (I’m secretly hoping there are so many entries that it takes more than a week to get thru them all! ;)  )

Feel free to share and encourage others to participate! The more entries, the better the prize!! So share share share!!!

Can’t wait to read what you come up with!!

Until next time……………………………… Stay Creative!!!

Talking Swear Words… with @MikeScantlebury

Hello, bloggers!

We are half-way thru the week! Who’s excited?? Well, we have another fantastic guest for you today, Mike Scantlebury! And we are talking swear words!! And I love it!! You will, too……


I write books. Novels. I’ve written lots of them. If you look on Kindle for my e-books, or on Amazon for my paperbacks, you’ll find over twenty, both full novels and half novels. Some books are crime fiction, some are SF, but all those novels have one thing in common: there’s no swearing.

You know what I mean, I’m talking about the ‘F’ word, or, as we say up here in the North of England, ‘effing and jeffing’. There’s none. Not one.

I know what you’re thinking. “Stop right there, Mike. You’re telling us you write CRIME FICTION, and yet none of these criminals, low life’s, drug addicts, murderers or bank robbers, ever use the ‘F’ word? What kind of world is that?” Because, as I think you’re trying to tell me, most people seem to be under the impression that bad guys swear. A lot. But honestly, where did you get such a silly idea? Mainly, I’d suggest, from the crime fiction you read. It’s a convention, a habit. In crime books,  you can tell the nasty people, not only by the black hats they still wear, and not only because of all the knives and guns they’re carrying, but also because of all the ‘F’ bombs they drop! It’s ridiculous, but so common that we just all take it for granted. Unfortunately, it’s completely false.

How do I know that? How do I know how criminals talk? Because I live next door to them! A man on our street has just been given a twelve year sentence for robbing banks and post offices. A guy from the other side of the square is serving a five stretch for kidnapping and car theft, (with the victim in the boot – or ‘trunk’ as Americans might say – yes, really). A family on the top road have recently all been arrested for running illegal car parks and their neighbours are awaiting trial for organising a cleaning business that didn’t pay tax, ever. Their cousin actually shot a man, a young student. Killed him for no reason. It’s a tough area.

Now wait a minute, you say, these baddies all swear, surely? Well, yes, they might do, but it’s nothing like the way it’s portrayed in books. Firstly, if they use an ‘F’ word in a sentence, it’s just as likely to be an adjective for the pizza they’re eating as it is for the bank they’re planning to rob. Authors don’t get that. Most writers are pretty middle-class, and if ever they swear, it’s for emphasis. If they say ‘I’m annoyed’, they’re likely to put a swear word in between to make it clearer. In that case, the ‘F’ word is simply standing in for the word ‘very’. Real swearers don’t discriminate. They put an ‘F’ word in when they’re annoyed, angry or just plain placid. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s padding.

Secondly, authors put swear words in to make the sentence more of a declaration. Here’s news for you guys – real criminals don’t talk in sentences! They use phrases. They repeat themselves. They stop. They start. They start again. They swear a lot. It doesn’t help understanding. How do I know that? I’ve spent ten years interviewing families in this area about their history. We’ve collected their stories and put them on our local radio programme. Several people have said to me how fascinating these recollections are. ‘You should transcribe them’, they say, ‘and put them in a book’. We tried that, several times. It was unworkable, because, even though the extracts we broadcast were easy to understand, (with swear words removed), when we tried typing them out, they looked awful on the page. The stories were interesting to listen to, but impossible to read.

So what I’m saying to you is this: you’re being conned by crime writers. The authors are putting in swear words in an attempt to convince you, the reader, that somehow the characters they’ve created are ‘real’ and authentic. But ‘F’ bombs aren’t enough. If they construct sentences, make statements, explain their motives and their aims, they aren’t talking like real criminals. They just aren’t. And no amount of swear words is going to make those creations leap off the page and live out in the world. As ever, the world is more complicated than that, and the insertion of swearing is simply a lazy way of trying to create a semblance of ‘reality’. It just doesn’t make it real.

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M at Angel

Mike Scantlebury lives in the North of England and writes crime fiction about his local area. His latest novel is being feature on Kindle Scout. Check it out. If you vote for it and Kindle decides to publish it, you’ll get a free copy. Here’s the link:

You can also follow Mike online:




Thanks so much for stopping by! Please help me in continuing the support of today’s guest author! Let’s see those likes, shares, and comments!!

Until next time…………………………………… Stay Creative!!

The Library: A Light at the End of the Tunnel, by @LytraWilson

Hello, Bloggers!

Happy Monday to you all!! I hope you are all safe and able to enjoy the start to your week.

Today, I am pleased to welcome a new guest to Life As I Know ItLytra Wilson! Enjoy!

The Library: A Light at the End of the Tunnel

In 1991, I re-entered the world of college, carting one child on my hip, and tugging the other by the hand. Both girls treasured their days of being hauled in and out of the library, while mommy studied or combed through the world of books, searching for a profound manual to influence a research paper. Then, mommy met Mr. Right and got engaged to a man who would provide us with a warranted life of happiness. Yay! Help was on the way. The S.O.S I sent out had been answered. Then, an untimely broadcast surfaced, drained the spunk from my demeanor, and forced me to change my mind. Two months later, we were found sitting in a library again. Somehow The Library became a place of solace for me and my daughters. Even now before hurricane Irma drove through Naples, Florida where I now reside, I found myself strolling through the nearest library in search of many things; where to register to vote, where to exchange my Michigan License for one that represents the sunshine state, and most of all a good book—one that keeps you company when the sun isn’t shining. I believe everyone should have a place where they can step into and feel at home no matter what their situation portrays. Life teaches us and we teach others. Regurgitating our experiences, bad or good, fun or sad, extreme or menial could be the light shining at the end of the tunnel for someone else.

Speaking of light at the end of the tunnel, a few days ago, I discovered my eldest da is also carrying and sometimes dragging my 3 year old grandson to the library. Now that she is back in college herself and raising a child with her fiance’ she recognizes the need for familiarity. Especially in a day and time when change comes quicker than a finger snapping or a New York minute flying by, she too has returned to her roots: pursuing a higher education and the Library – the light at the end of her tunnel.

With this being said, she and I shared our latest reads and found we even gravitate towards similar books. And today, I’d like to share them with you, and introduce a book club I recently discovered called Mama’s Got A New Read @ This Book Club derived from my blog, in which our goal is to not only inspire relationships, but to enhance them through fun and contagious reads.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Feel free to like, share and comment below.

Until next time…………………………………… Stay Creative!!

Inspired by the British Seaside: Guest Author Catherine Green – @SpookyMrsGreen

Hello, Bloggers!!

Happy Friday to you!

I am so pleased to welcome a lovely guest author today. Please help me in supporting Author Catherine Green!

Hello, and thank you, Marlena, for inviting me to join you on the blog! My name is Catherine Green, and I am a British paranormal romance and contemporary English Gothic author. I previously published the first four books in the Redcliffe novels series, which follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she falls in love with a vampire and becomes embroiled in his brother’s werewolf pack on the coast of Cornwall.


Today I want to share my new novel, Vampire of Blackpool. Has anyone here visited Blackpool in the North of England? It is a beautiful Victorian seaside resort, but it fell into disrepair when I was a child in the 80s and 90s. It is now being redeveloped, but the town has a thriving social scene, is popular with the LGBTQ+ community, and is a favourite holiday spot for many young families, including mine. It is no wonder, then, that I was compelled to write the story of the Vampire of Blackpool


The vampire, the witch, and the hunter battle it out in a contemporary Gothic adventure in Northern England.

Meredith Hanson lives in Blackpool, the former Victorian holiday hotspot of Northern England. She masquerades as a reclusive author, feeding on the blood of unsuspecting tourists without remorse. Her life takes on new meaning when she meets a young witch in a local pub one evening. Despite Meredith’s cold demeanour, she finds herself oddly fascinated with Samantha Morris, and falls into an accidental relationship with the girl. It is at this time that a vampire hunter arrives in Blackpool. He is tough, he is determined, and his next target is an ancient vampire that has been spotted in the tourist town. He intends to bring her down and destroy her to save the lives of innocent humans. Will he succeed? Or will the experienced vampire seductress be the cause of his undoing?


You can buy Vampire of Blackpool in various eBook formats here, and from Amazon.


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About the Author


Author of British paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels, Catherine Green was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves. Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her contemporary stories.

If you sign up to Catherine’s newsletter, she will send you a free copy of her Redcliffe short story, It’s Complicated, to introduce you to her fictional supernatural seaside town in Cornwall, England.

You can find Catherine in the following places:


Author Blog


The Pagan Housewife Blog


Thanks so much for visiting with us today! Please help me in continuing the support for our fabulous guest blogger! Let’s see those likes, shares, and comments!!

Until next time………………………………… Stay Creative!!