Importance of Reviews

f anyone out there has read my book and enjoyed it, (or didn’t) this author would much appreciate it enormously if you take a minute or two to write a review on Amazon. Until a book receives 20 reviews, it gets no publicity whatsoever, such as ‘if you read this book, you might enjoy . . . .’. Have a wonderful weekend, all.



Nancy Ellen, author of ‘Anything for Anna!’


ANYTHING for Anna!

Hi all!

Just a wee note to let you know that my novel, “ANYTHING for Anna!” is now available on Amazon in two forms now: as a Kindle e-book or in paperback, whichever you prefer, right here:

Nancy Ellen Unknown

My novel: ANYTHING for Anna!

Hey folks! My new novel is available on Amazon: Unknown

Swiss Magic! . . . Karyn’s story whisks the reader away to beautiful Switzerland. Hectic, oftentimes funny everyday life; romance, different kinds of love, fantasy . . . and an essential touch of magic, are all brought colorfully to life in sensual detail. An inspirational story of courage, faith and love . . . Ontario-Born Karyn Simpson lost her husband nearly a year ago. Simply making it through each day, one lonely step at a time, has been an enormous challenge. While dealing with her own grief, she has had to shoulder all the responsibilities that go with raising two young children on her own. Fortunately, she has solid support from caring work colleagues and neighbors. She has another source of support, too—her own special secret. It is a legendary place that she often visits. It is said to bestow its restoring energies upon certain people, who are capable of receiving and absorbing them. Karyn is one of those fortunate people. Her first year of widowhood is coming to an end, when one chilly December morning, she meets Anna at the neighborhood kiosk. They have known each other casually over the years. Karyn discovers that Anna is gravely ill and vows to do everything she can to help lighten Anna’s load. The two young women soon become close friends. It breaks Karyn’s heart to see her friend suffer through the treatments necessary to combat her illness; especially since there are no guarantees that the treatments will even be effective! If only Karyn could do more for Anna than simply be her friend! When she discovers she has a gift of healing powers, she struggles desperately to understand those powers better, to use them to save her dear friend’s life. Karyn must embrace her power and the loneliness that accompanies it.

Napoli continued…

The city itself is not the cleanest; yes, garbage disposal is a big problem for this city. But the people are proud of their appearance; open, smiling and friendly. Especially if you make even the slightest effort to speak Italian . . .no matter how horrible your pronunciation! A ‘grazie’ and a ‘prego’ or two can go a long way! Children are cherished.

Castel Nuevo is fun to explore; as is Spacanapoli; several streets that join to make one long one that divides Naples in half. You can find everything there; souvenirs, clothes, tiny jam-packed grocery stores, motorcycle repair shops, you-name-it!


Castel Nuovo

Mount Vesuvius is a half hour drive away after spending a half hour (at least!) fighting your way out out of the city first, through unbelievable traffic! Don’t think I saw a single car without scratches, dints . . . or worse!

typical homes

Pompeii, which was destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, has only partially been revealed. It was first discovered in 1738. Serious archeological research began only during the 19th century. It’s a fantastic place to visit, but a visit to the National Museum is a must, to look at the relics of the past; from silverware, vases made from glass blowers, clothes, mosaics, frescos, even children’s toys; all the things that were so well preserved for nearly two thousand years, buried under layers of ash and lava.








Colorful. That’s how I would describe this city that is so very much alive; day and night.

colorful Naples coastline







Yes–I did go out at night; often to the Piazza Bellini, which was practically at my hotel’s doorstep, letting the atmosphere of music, laughing crowds and playing children seep into my weary bones. (I walked for at least 3 hours a day around Naples, sightseeing.)

How wonderful to be able to enjoy a glass of vino rosso and a pizza (which can be had for just 5 Euros and is great!) any time of day or night!




Lov-e-ly Napoli

Bay of Naples When I told people I was going to Naples, Italy, they shook their heads, frowning, looking at me as though I was more than a bit daft, wondering  why on earth I wanted to visit such a ‘dangerous’ place, murmuring things about the Mafia under their breath . . . Was I really that naïve? Was a trip to Napoli a bad move? I made sure I had a money belt to keep my valuables close to me at all time, then decided to take all the necessary precautions; not to walk the streets of such a menacing place at night . . . pickpockets and muggers, I was ready for you. Trouble was, I didn’t find any. Not a single one!

The little motor bikes, scooters, they call them, are a bit of a hazard though. Beep-beeping away, weaving and darting their way between the crowds, coming at you from all directions in the narrowest of paths or the widest of streets, can be a bit disturbing at first. After a day or two, they just become part of the scenery.

From my room’s little terrace, was a breathtaking view of Mount Vesuvius that is still considered to be active (last blast in 1914 . . . a second or two by geological standards) Turning the other way, we had a beautiful view of the city . . . a fascinating city of contrasts of modern, old and ancient.


Bay of Naples Naples

Wonderful Kenya

This summer when I told friends I was going to Kenya, they thought I was crazy: ‘But it will be so hot in the summertime!’ After all, Kenya’s in Africa, right? Right. But Nairobi and the surrounding nature reserves are at elevations of about 2000 meters (over 6000 ft.) above sea level: Morning outings required pullovers and jackets, and the temperatures rarely rose above 21 C / 70 deg. Fahrenheit. We covered 2200 km (1400 miles) during our weeks’ adventures.

We left Nairobi at dawn and stopped first for a breathtaking view of the Great Rift Valley:


Then we headed for the Masai Mara, a huge reserve famous for its people, the Masai, who are shepherds; the men that is; the women do EVERYTHING else, including building their homes!

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The countryside is vast and breathtaking.


And the ‘sausage trees’ (the hanging fruit is edible) are an amusing phenomenon.


But what makes Masai Mara special is the wealth of animals. As long as we stayed in our little buses, we risked nothing. The animals just went about their business. But if you put a foot on the ground; you just might be somebody’s lunch, if you happen to cross a hungry lion’s path. Or a gnu or water buffalo ready to charge.


These long-necked beauties were my personal favorites:



Sometimes we were the ones being watched:

Would you please stop staring at me?


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Yeah, I know I’m  beautiful, thank you very much!

And who could blame them?

The strangest creatures of all were on four wheels!


As we were almost on the equator, evening fell fast at 18:30 (6:30 PM).
But since our days often began at dawn, we didn’t mind.



My favourite lodge was one entirely built on stilts. Around it was a watering hole. As night fell, we were able to observe elephants and water buffalo coming to drink.


Yes. Kenya is truly marvelous.

Lost in Venice

How wonderful to be able to jump on a train, get out a few hours later and find oneself in a different world. No cars, buses or motorbikes; just boats!


Boats delivering supplies to grocery stores, police boats, ambulance boats skimming down canals, sirens squealing causing tourist-crammed gondolas to pitch and turn. Other tourists look down from an overhead bridge and grin,laugh. The water calms; it’s the gondola tourists’ turn to laugh at themselves.


How wonderful it is to wander, cross a bridge, only to find it is a dead end. You turn around, try to retrace your steps and it is impossible.



Suddenly the air is filled with a wonderful mixture of smells; pasta? pizza? seafood? You put your map away and follow your nose. Ahhhh! You find yourself on a warm sun-filled terrace and receive an equally warm welcome. Easing gratefully into the proffered seat, you order, sit back, relax, and watch the world go by.


A few minutes later, you are served a slightly chilled glass of vino rosso.Shortly after follows a plateful of the most wonderful seafood pasta you have ever eaten.



Then alas, it is time to go. You wander down to the vaporetto (boats that serve as buses) stop and take a trip across the water, to enjoy a waterfront view of this city of secrets.


Then your vaporetto winds its way back toward town, through the Grand Canal.


Ohmygosh! You see the name of the vaportetto stop next to your hotel! You elbow your way through the crowd to clamber off before it roars on to the next stop. Soon you are back at your cozy little hotel, with its own little terrace.



‘Just’ a Stone?

To some people, stones are stones, unless they are diamonds or other known precious gem in an expensive gold setting . . .

To others, well, here are a few examples:

A crystal Quartz Cluster is said to be a basic stone of all magic and can be used to amplify other stone energies. It enhances psychic ability, especially when used in meditation.


Copper is a metal that channels energy. Put copper with any other stone and it increases that stone’s energy. For a very powerful tool, wrap copper wire around a crystal wand. the most powerful tool is a copper pipe filled with stones and on each end fit a crystal point.


Citrine Cluster in a room will clean out the negativity. Once month, put the citrine cluster in the sun for a day. Now it is recharged and free of negativity. They range in color from pale yellow to reddish-brown.


Red calcite helps invigorate the life force in the body. It brings the physical into proper focus. Red calcite can give you focus on sexual awareness and help you overcome doubts or fears about sexuality. It is a good balance stone for pregnant women to carry. Drop a red calcite in a tub of warm water. After relaxing a few minutes, you should emerge feeling rejuvenated.


Kunzite is a love stone. It opens the heart to love for all in the Universe, including the Divine. It can also bring the song of the heart into your mind. Give kunzite as a gift to all you love, so they will feel your love and lead a more fulfilled life.


Red garnet lets you release anger. It is also a balance stone, as it will bring each individual what she/he needs. Passion or serenity. Garnet is also a protector of the home, as a symbol of the ‘home fire’.


Hematite harmonizes mind, body and spirit. It prevents negative energies from entering one’s aura. It makes the bond between friends stronger.


Onyx is a protection stone. Black onyx is the most common onyx. It is a good stone to have if you think anyone is plotting against you. It protects you from attacking negativity.


Rhodochrosite can attract a love filled with compassion to you. A love for your greater good. Take a bath with rhodochrosite and you may dream of the one who loves you.


There are so very many stones to choose from; you know how kids like to collect things in their pockets? Often stones? Could it be that little people know things we don’t know . . . instinctively feel things we don’t tend to feel as much . . . or anymore? Hmmm?

Wishing you a wonderful positive energy-filled day!