Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Happy 4th July...

... to all my friends on the other side of the pond.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and get to spend lots of time making memories with those you love the most. <3

Sunday, 2 July 2017

50 Shades of Bringlish...

I love the English language. It's like a living thing, ever changing, constantly evolving.

Although English has many rules - as any student will know! - most are fluid and exceedingly 'iffy'. 

From shire to shire and shore to shore, it's seldom the same language. 

The language of kings, and paupers, poets, and Vikings. So many vibrant shades and regional variations, a patch-word quilt of our history, and of lives that are no more.

What's not to love? 

All the Silly Walkers in the house say YEAH!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Random, but True...

Did you know there are 4174 hillforts dotted about the British Isles and Ireland?

No. Neither did I. 

Have fun playing about with this handy online atlas!

You're welcome!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

An Interview With Yours Truly...

Hello, everyone. How was your weekend?

Well, it's been the annual Lytham Club Day event here in my wee corner of Blighty. In other words, parades, picnics, lashings of Prosecco, and lots of partying in the sun.

Anyway, when I arrived home, footsore but happy, I found that my gorgeous author gal-pal Terry has uploaded my recent interview to her blog. 

Here's a bit about Terry and her wonderful books...

Terry Lynn Thomas grew up the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches, windy dunes, and gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back. Now Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which&nbspfeature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. She also pens the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, a series of novellas set in 1930s Cumberland, which features a feisty middle-aged woman who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

If you like Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, or Dorothy Eden, or if gothic suspense is your thing, please give these books a go. Oh, btw, the next book in the Sarah Bennett Series, "Neptune's Daughter" will release on July 25th. If you fancy getting your hands on an early copy, please get in touch with Terry by clicking here...

Friday, 26 May 2017

The Monk, The Midden and the Missing Monastery...

A fascinating documentary about last year's archaeological dig over on Lindisfarne.

(Ooh, look... I think I see our holiday cottage!)


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Shaken, Not Stirred...

Here's a quick dream status update for you!

In last night's episode, yours truly enjoyed(!) a rather chilly encounter with none other than James Bond himself, Mr. Daniel Craig.

Poor D.C. had apparently taken one portal too many on his travels through time, and as a result was hypothermic and blue with cold. Aww. 

Quick as a ferret down a rabbit burrow - at the instigation of an old pal of mine who wouldn't do the deed himself on account of him being a straight bloke, thanks - I found myself in a close-up, fully clothed, clinch with old Blue-steel Bond. Not a task I ever care to repeat. 

Wonder who I'll be sharing some dream time with tonight, eh? Watch this space!


Is it real?
Or is it Memorex?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Perchance to Dream...

Another beautiful day here in Blighty. An afternoon of blue skies, gentle sunshine, and sweet bird song.

Here are a few pictures I took on the walk to school. 

It was so nice to be outside in the fresh air. I haven't been sleeping well just lately so I could fall asleep on a clothes line. Actually, to be fair, I'm sleeping just fine. It's the constant soap opera of crazy dreams that are wearing me out.

Here's a quick summary of some of the nightly highlights from the past week:

Dream 1: I was Pamela Anderson (!) in a movie where my screen son and I were on the run from my handsome, but cream cracker ker-azy, stalker played by Rob Lowe who, incidentally, had bumped off my former husband. 

Dream 2: I was an American spy - a male spy! - in North Korea, trying to sneak back home to the States. 

Dream 3: Last night I dreamt I was Katharine Parr, Henry VIIIs wife number six. Only in the dream, I hadn't yet married old Horrid Henry. The groom and I were plotting to kill him off... with poison. 

You see why I wake up worn out? If you have any tips on how to switch off my brain off while I sleep, I'd love to hear them.

I mean, I don't watch TV, and I avoid the news unless it comes up on my FB feed, so I have no idea what's fueling these dreams. 

Oh, well. I'm yawning my head off. Time to go to the land of nod to see what's showing on the big screen tonight!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017

My kind of Shambles...

"Located in the heart of the city of York, England, the Shambles is an old medieval street, often called Europe’s best preserved, with overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century..."

I love the Shambles. It always makes me think of Edgeway.


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Pussycat, Pussycat Where Have You Been?

Hello, all!

Some of you might have noticed my absence over the last few days. Although I didn't quite manage to visit the queen, I did make it to old London town, and I took in a fair few sights along the way. 

The weather was absolutely fantastic throughout. Three days of touristy stuff, and tubes, and boat rides. The highlight of our trip was a cruise along the Thames, basking in glorious sunshine, followed by a trip on the London Eye.

Pure magic! 

So, who wants to see some of my holiday snaps? You do? Splendid!

London by night

Cutty Sark. Greenwich
Tower Bridge
Hide and Seek in Hyde Park

London Eye at Night

Westminster Goes Whizzing By.

Do you want to see more? Leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Here Comes The Summer...

Ah, spring time. That marvellous time of year when a young(ish!) woman's fancy switches into holiday mode. Plastic in hand, she scans Trip Advisor for a likely looking destination.

So, you'll never guess where we're going this summer! 

Here's a clue...

"Nowhere, except in Egypt or at Pompeii, is a prehistoric settlement the sites, huts and even domestic furniture of which are in such perfect preservation." 


How about a visual aid? Maybe that'd help.

Who'd live in a house like this?

Honestly, I am SO excited!!! 

Monday, 27 March 2017

The Mystery of the Versailles Time Slip...

On 10 August 1901, while visiting the gardens of Versailles, Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain took a brief detour to the Twilight Zone. 

Or did they?

What do YOU think?

Marie-Antoinette and two of her children

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Inspirational places...

I truly love this diverse little island I call home. So many wonderful places in which you can lose - and maybe find - yourself. 

This great little list features some truly magical places. Where would you go first?

For me, without doubt, it'd have to be the magnificent Dunnottar Castle.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Monday, 13 February 2017

First Love Never Dies...

Ah, the flush of first love. 💘

Do you remember yours?

Mine was Peter Storey back in Infant 1, St. Theresa's primary school. (Come to think of it, in my head, Peter looks a lot like Rapunzel's bloke, Eugene, albeit a baby-faced version!)
Crush number two? Oh, that would be James. T. Kirk (from the original series of Star Trek, dodgy acting and all. S'funny, even after all these years, I still have a soft spot for old Bill. 
Crush number three? Strider/Longshanks/Aragorn - the man of many names and guises. *le sigh* All my leading men have a strand of King Elessar running through their DNA. 

So, who was your first crush? Do tell.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Free Romance!

Who needs Cupid?

Start getting in the mood for Valentine's day by treating yourself to some fab FREE romance

Who knows? You might even find your new favourite author!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

That's Muse-ic To My Ears...

Hello, everyone.

Sorry I haven't been around much (ie: at all!) since the start of 2017, but one of my new resolutions has been to limit the amount of time I spend plugged into the interweb. Although I miss chatting to all my lovely friends, disconnecting myself from the matrix has been the best thing I could have done. 


Because I'm finally back writing properly again, that's why, and at full steam too! (And I'm talking words by the thousand here!) It's such a rush. One of THE best feeling in the world.

Until the next book goes off for editing, although I'll pop in from time to time, I'm going to continue keeping a low social media profile. If you want to chat to me about anything, anything at all, (and I really do love hearing from you all) you can contact me by email @ nicola@njlayouni.com. Or if you prefer, I can shoot you newsletter once every month. You can sign up for me Super Secret readers' group right here: https://njlayouni.com/ 

Go on! You know you want to. Not only can you get your hands on two EXCLUSIVE free stories, there's also the chance of winning my monthly Amazon  gift card giveaway. (Not that I'm trying to dangle a carrot in front of you. Nope. Not me. I have scruples, you see. Or should that be Fruitloops? Hmm. Vexing!)

Hope to hear from you soon!


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