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Archive for May, 2019

Hobbiton, Part Two

This is a continuation of my post about my visit to Hobbiton in Matamata. Part one is here.

Pheasant in the Vegetable Garden

I was busy taking photos of Hobbit holes and my surroundings and saw something moving. It took me a moment to realize the pheasant was real and it was busy feasting on the vegetables.

The Frog Pond

This is the frog pond. During filming the frogs made it challenging to hear the actors. Sir Peter Jackson paid someone to catch all the frogs and relocate them elsewhere so filming could continue without issue. The frogs found their way back…

The fake tree

This tree, which grows above Bilbo Baggin’s home in Bagshot Row is the only fake tree. All the rest are real. A few days before filming Peter Jackson visited the site and decided the tree’s leaves had faded to the wrong color. A man spent two days spraypainting each leaf. The trees are resprayed every few years.

Bilbo Baggin's Home

Bilbo Baggins is one of the more prosperous hobbits. We know this because his home has lots of windows, and Hobbits are taxed by the number of windows in a dwelling.

Shelley and the Hobbit Hole

There are two different sizes of Hobbit holes. I think the guide said they were 60 and 90 respectively. The Hobbit characters were filmed in front of the large doors, and the tall characters such as Gandalf were filmed in front of the small doors. I’m standing in front of a small door.

Each of the Hobbit holes is empty inside since the interior shots were all filmed at studios in Wellington.

Green Dragon Inn

This is the view of the Mill and the Green Dragon Inn. We walked across the bridge to the Green Dragon and finished our tour with a drink.

Drinks at the Green Dragon Inn

The drinks are all brewed especially for Hobbiton. I tried the apple cider, which was delicious.

If you’re ever near Matamata, I recommend a visit to Hobbiton. It’s pure fun and whimsey, and I loved every moment of my visit.

A Visit to Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand

I’ve wanted to visit Hobbiton in Matamata for ages, and yesterday, I finally got to explore the home of the Hobbits. In order to visit it’s necessary to plan and book ahead. My tour was for 10:30 and Hobbiton central was very busy with tours going out every half an hour.

Map of Hobbiton

This is the map of Hobbiton, given to each visitor. Hobbiton itself is situated on the Anderson farm, which is an operating beef and sheep farm of 1250 acres. The land in the Matamata area is gorgeous full of green rolling hills and perfect for Hobbiton. Sir Peter Jackson discovered his home for Hobbiton after flying over in a helicopter. After the Lord of the Rings movies were completed, Hobbiton was dismantled. When it was decided to film the Hobbit movies, Hobbiton was rebuilt in permanent materials and kept as a tourist attraction once filming was completed.

Welcome to Hobbiton

There are 44 Hobbit holes and seven maintenance men and women keep the 12-acre site in pristine condition. What I loved about the place was the attention to detail. Each hobbit hole has a theme or a clue as to the occupant’s occupation. There is a beekeeper, a fisherman, a painter and so forth.

A Hobbit Hole

Smoking Chimney

This one even had a smoking chimney. There were lines full of washing, and I loved the vegetable gardens.

The Fisherman's Home

Hobbit Hole

Shelley and the Hobbit Hole

I enjoyed my visit so much and took heaps of photos. There are too many for one post. Come back tomorrow for part two.

Interview with author Anya J Cosgrove #paranormal #witch

Interview Anya J Cosgrove

Today, I’m excited to welcome Anya J Cosgrove to my blog. Anya J Cosgrove lives in Québec with her husband, her beautiful son, and two mischievous cats. She works as a veterinarian by day. What would Buffy do? Kick ass!

Hi, Anya. I understand you’re a new author. Please tell us a little about yourself and what made you decide to start writing.

Hi, Shelley! Thank you for having me on your blog! I’ve published my debut this January, but I’ve been writing stories ever since I was fourteen. I started with fanfictions websites and the like but decided a few years ago to get serious about it and researched self-publishing. English is my second language, and it took me nearly ten years when I switched from French to English to get good enough to write an entire novel.

Your blurb for Shadow Walker includes this snippet. A love triangle to die for! Heart-pounding suspense, two sexy, mysterious men, and a strong-willed, snarky heroine. Nothing stays black and white in a world full of shadows. This sounds awesome since I love the tension a triangle brings to a romance. What did you find was the hardest thing about writing a love triangle?

The hardest thing was for the heroine not to appear too casual or too annoying. It’s a fine line when the heroine is unsure which one to pick. As the author, I want the sexy drama to unfold without the heroine being mean/feeble. In Vampire Diaries, it was very well done, but Elena was clearly with Stephan at the start and stayed with him for a long time, so it’s different.

Shadow Walker is a slow-burn romance. How would you define a slow-burn romance? What made you choose this type of relationship for your novel?

I love slow-burn romances. For me, it means the sex/physical stuff isn’t at the center of the relationship and is delayed. My trilogy is action-packed, and there are plenty of twists, but it does take longer for the characters to rip each other’s clothes off. I love to see the attraction and drama unfold— to revel in the uncertainty and longing that comes with waiting. But I think the longer you wait, the more explosive and incredible the ending must be, and I worked hard to do my characters justice.

Ask any author, and they’ll tell you writing is hard work. What do you like most about writing a book? What part of the creative process makes you want to tear out your hair? *grin*

I don’t plan everything, so I love to discover the characters and the story. Sometimes, they take me somewhere entirely different than what I originally thought.

I’m a slow writer, so it takes me months to write a book. I write all the good stuff first, so by the end, I get stuck with some scenes. I’m working hard to increase my speed and efficiency and not keep all those difficult scenes for the end.

I understand you have a free story called Lost Boy, which is the prequel to Shadow Burn. How do readers get their hands on this?

They can get it free through my newsletter (and can unsubscribe at any time.)
http://bit.ly/anyaslair

What is the best place for readers to learn more about you and your upcoming releases?

My newsletter: http://bit.ly/anyaslair
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnyaJCosgrove/

Shadow Walker Here is the blurb:

A newborn witch is hunted for her blood. Two smoking-hot brothers teach her how to survive. Can she unravel their dark secrets?

Demons. Magic. Fear.

I never believed in witches until I became one. I thought monsters existed only on television screens. I was wrong. And naïve.

Thom Walker saved me, but I don’t trust him. His brother Liam is one of them. A demon. He almost devoured me.

Desire. Secrets. Forbidden love.

Witchcraft isn’t easy, and my sparring sessions with my two saviors/jailers are distracting as hell. My feelings must be laid on ice before I end up dead. And I need to find out if I can actually lose my soul, or if it’s a weird metaphor.

Liam says I should embrace the darkness. And the darkness is coming…

A love triangle to die for! Heart-pounding suspense, two sexy, mysterious men, and a strong-willed, snarky heroine. Nothing stays black and white in a world full of shadows.

Purchase Shadow Walker (available in Kindle Unlimited)