Lots of changes for me this year! Please drop by and see some of them on my new website, MelanieKaris.com. I look forward to "seeing" you there! Note: I am finally doing as my husband suggested I to do always - sometimes husbands are right! - and authoring my books and sites using my first name rather than my middle name - Ann - and a family name - Nichols (Ann Nichols). But you, my dear long time blogging friends, can call me Ann any time you want! Thanks!

Friday, June 19, 2015

FOLLOWING JESUS: In 181 Scenes Announcing Amazon Giveaway

Please enter this ‪#‎Amazon Giveaway‬ for a chance to win a FREE copy of 
FOLLOWING JESUS: In 181 Scenes! 
(Just click here)!
This timeline book chronicles the Early Middle ministry of Jesus in a very unique way. Please visit my website for an excerpt, study questions and sign up to win the drawing I am holding for an award winning bottle of PJ Kabos Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
I hope you will help me in spreading the word about this book!

Amazon giveaway ends Jun 24, 2015 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.
PJ Kabos drawing ends September 10, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

FOLLOWING JESUS: In 181 Scenes by Melanie Karis (also writing as Ann Nichols)

Hello dear Blogging friends.
I've been away for awhile...
and this is why!
My newest release - 

It is available at Amazon.com 
(and other Amazon sites around the world) 
as well as other retail outlets.
Please "Look Inside" it on Amazon 
visit my website, MelanieKaris.com, where I will soon have an excerpt available.
Hope you all have been well!

Friday, May 30, 2014

While Walking Around Greece... (Aegean Cats with Poppies)

I must admit...
I am an animal lover.
I like all animals...
dogs, cats, birds, snails,beetles,turtles, etc, etc.
Here are two little treasures.
The Aegean Cat is a naturally selected breed (according to Cats 101) and one of the oldest in the world (meaning, they used to amuse St. Nicholas!). Along with numerous other great traits, they are super friendly and love to play in the water.
They are without a doubt, little treasures walking around on four legs!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

While Walking Around Greece...

Sunset on the eve of Easter, 2014.
(Near Athens)

Monday, May 5, 2014

While Walking Around Greece - Olive Trees - PJ Kabos

Image (and knowledge) courtesy: P.J. Kabos
The Olive Tree Flower!!
It is so delicate and just lovely to behold upon the 
olive-green and silver leaves of the trees.
This photo was taken almost two weeks ago, exactly one day after the previous post.

Note: PJKabos will soon (within the next two weeks) be selling their award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil via Amazon.com 
(For those of you in Europe, it is already sold via Amazon.co.uk- just press "buy" on Product Page and it links directly to Amazon.co.uk)
It is the Best Olive Oil - and living in Greece, 
believe me, 
I have come to know olive oils 
(Just as I'm sure...St. Nicholas did, of course!)

Monday, April 28, 2014

While Walking Around Greece - Olive Trees - P.J. Kabos

Image (and knowledge) courtesy: P.J. Kabos Olive Oil 

Closed Olive Tree Buds...
But in just one day...
well, come back and see tomorrow!
(But I must admit, it's something I find quite amazing!)

And... this is a sight St. Nicholas, living in the Greek world of Asia Minor in the 3rd  and 4th centuries would have often seen!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Olive Trees in Springtime!

From the award winning PJ Kabos Olive Oil company...
One of the company's beautiful groves in the Peloponnese of Greece,
near Ancient Olympia,
from where PJ Kabos extra virgin olive oil
gets it's start.
I will be showcasing a few Springtime views of the company's path to producing it's award winning 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
during the next few posts.
Hope you enjoy!

What has this got to do with St. Nicholas and Christmas...well, olive oil was definitely in St. Nicholas' diet!
(On a personal note, please join me at my currently more active blog, Melanie Karis... Thanks!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Beautiful Church Buildings Around the World - St. Nicholas Church, Maillezais, France

Image courtesy: My Life in the Charente
As part of my new series - Beautiful Church Buildings Around the World - I just posted this magnificent church on my author's blog, MelanieKaris.blogspot.com and facebook page. 
Please come on over and have a look! 

And please - all my dear St. Nicholas and Christmas blogging friends - please leave a comment here or on my facebook page and give me the name and location of your favorite church building so I can post about it. I'm looking for churches (of any name) from all over the world.
But of course, I am still particularly interested in St. Nicholas churches such as this one that Diane at "My Life in the Charente" brought to my attention!
Image Courtesy: My Life in the Charente
As far as beautiful church buildings go...
this 12th c. church dedicated to St. Nicholas has to be one of the most magnificent.
Please go to, "My Life in the Charente" for more photos and quite an extensive history of the church and region.
Many thanks Diane!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Beautiful Church Buildings - Holy Family Shrine, Nebraska USA

As part of my new series, I just posted this to my new blog, MelanieKaris.blogspot.com and facebook page. 
(This blog is more general than "St. Nicholas and Christmas" - with the major theme being my walks around Greece - and other things)
Please come on over and have a look! 
And please - all my dear St. Nicholas and Christmas blogging friends - let me know about your favorite church building so I can post about it. I'm looking for churches (of any name) from all over the world!
Many thanks to Steve at Out on the Prairie!
Image Courtesy: Holy Family Shrine
(Please visit the church's website for more information)
Knowledge of this church comes to me courtesy of Steve from his fabulous site, Out on the Prairie 
(where he recently celebrated the posting of his 500th post)! 
This is one of his favorite places to worship.
It certainly is - a Beautiful Church Building.
And another view of this building that was so obviously built with love.

Don't forget to tell me about your favorite church! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

News Flash! St. Nicholas and Christmas is Branching out!

2nd Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.
Image courtesy: 2nd Presbyterian Church
What? Not a St. Nicholas church!
It's not that I have run out of St. Nicholas churches to write about just that I have long had this nagging feeling to post about other churches too - yours and mine!
So +Beautiful Church Buildings (http://beautifulchurchbuildings.blogspot.gr/) has been formed!
Please send me the name of your church (or a church you particularly like) and if you have one, a photo, and where its located and I will post about it! I would really like to know about all of your churches!
It doesn't matter what it's called - only for it to be a Christian church of any denomination! 
Blessings from Ann (now writing as Melanie!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

St. Nicholas Church - Cranleigh, England

Church of England Parish for Cranleigh 
The first St. Nicholas Church built in tiny hamlet of "Cranley" in 1170
Image courtesy: St. Nicholas Church
Look at the church today!
Image courtesy: St. Nicholas Church
The Nave
Image courtesy: St. Nicholas Church
What's unusual about this?
The plain window.
Of fourteen stain-glass windows only three survived when a bomb exploded near the church in 1944...
This is a vibrant church. Please visit its extensive and wonderful website to learn more about it's long history and current events that welcomes all!
As always it is the people who make up a church and as the following photos show, this St. Nicholas church has plenty!
Happy little ones:
Dancing girls (and one gracious boy!):
Dear helping hands:
Last three images courtesy: St. Nicholas Church
Many thanks to the wonderful people of Cranleigh's St. Nicholas Church!

P.S. To all  my dear blogging friends who are kind and go to the trouble to leave a comment. Please write your blogspot or .com address down when you leave your comment. Now that I am part of google+ it doesn't always allow me to link back to you! Sometime it does but not always... Honestly - is this PROGRESS??
Thanks and blessings!

Note about Google+ and Commenting

Hi dear regular blogging friends!
Well, I finally did it! I joined Google+ and I tell you, I am confused by it. It's a bit overwhelming but I'm going to stick with it for awhile and see (I actually don't see where I have a choice...). But unfortunately I also discovered the following after joining:

From Google + : 

What if my readers don’t have a Google+ profile or page? Can they still comment?

Google + : No, but they will be prompted to create one when they attempt to comment.

Do my readers have to upgrade their Blogger profile to a Google+ profile to comment?

Google+ : No. Although they can only comment using their Google+ profile or page, they can continue maintaining their separate Blogger profile. However, their comments will not link back to their Blogger profile, since the two are not connected.

Ann here: 
So please send me an email if you find you can't comment (annnichols3@gmail.com). I really do treasure your comments (and this strange on-line friendship that comes from blogging).

Monday, October 21, 2013

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church - Wyckoff, New Jersey, USA

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Image Courtesy: OrthodoxWorld
A beautiful and peaceful center of Christian worship.
Image Courtesy: Wyckoff
Image Courtesy: NorthJersey
From the community's 40th year of service celebration journal
(1971 - 2011):

 St. Nicholas Church Through the Years
History of  the St. Nicholas Church in Wyckoff, N.J.
(Please click on it)
Many thanks to George Corniotes for his help in providing this information on his church.

This St. Nicholas church stands as an amazing testament to the giving spirit of the people who make up the church of Christ. It's a church filled with wonderful people. I even know some of them!

Many Blessings!

Monday, October 14, 2013

St. Nicholas Catholic Community - Los Altos, California, USA

Into the blue Californian sky...

...rises the lovely white adobe St. Nicholas Church

"St. Nicholas Church was built and blessed in 1942 as a Mission of St. Joseph’s, Mountain View."

The dear Christian, Bishop Nicholas, from the town of Myra

St. Nicholas... and Christmas...
The Advent Light

But it is of course the People that make up the Church of Christ...

St. Nicholas Catholic Community certainly is that!

Please visit the St. Nicholas website for more information on this haven found in the hills of beautiful California.

All images Courtesy: St. Nicholas Catholic Community

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New DoubleClick Twins Blog

Hi Everyone!
On this, my 201st posting on my St. Nicholas and Christmas blog, I'd like to extend an invitation for you to come on over to my new blog and have a look around. It's about Pete and Lucy Sinclair and their cat, Caesar. It's for kids of all ages but if you happen to have a special child in your life please tell them about it - I think they might really enjoy it. It's full of fun and adventure with original artwork. 

This new DoubleClick blog is a glimpse into some of what I've been doing during the last year - collaborating with another author in the writing of "DoubleClick" which is soon to be published as a printed book for middle school kids! This new blog, and it's corresponding facebook page, well, its a a way for everyone to get to know the characters in "DoubleClick" even before the book comes out! Oh, and if you are on facebook, please come on over to the DoubleClick site and press "Like" (if you like it of course!). I would greatly appreciate it.

But for all you who enjoy St. Nicholas Churches around the world at this blog, St. Nicholas and Christmas - now that I have a bit more time I have a whole load of new St. Nicholas churches to showcase. I will post one every Monday! After all - we are getting into that St. Nicholas and Christmas time of the year again!

Thanks so much!



Thursday, October 3, 2013

200th post!

Ann Nichols
I'm back!
(Well, almost!)
To my dear blogging friends,
I truly haven't dropped off "blogging earth" taking my much appreciated St. Nicholas Churches from Around the World with me!
I'm afraid that the wonderful thing called "Life" (and writing several books) just kind of intruded upon me. I have quite enjoyed some travelling recently, mostly to major cities of Europe - London, Paris, Berlin, and I also went to Pisa. Nice little town with a lot of history. Anyway, while travelling, I found this blog about tips on traveling, so maybe it cen be useful to my readers aswell. Here it is if you are interested: Rogues Bard travel guide.
Blogging, something I truly love, kind of got sweep to the side and here I am now, wondering how so many months could have passed since my last post. But by next week, I hope to be back in full swing with a new improved look and lots of exciting things to show and tell!
I just want you all to know that I have been thinking about you and can't wait to catch up with everyone's adventures and news!
PS It's my 200th post!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

St. Nicholas Church - Cellefrouin, France

Happy New Year Everyone!
St. Nicholas Church
Cellefrouin, France
All Images Courtesy: My Life in the Charente
For the first posting of this brand new year I have Diane at the fabulous site, My Life in the Charente, to thank.
What a St. Nicholas church this is... 
So solid and strong...
Just lovely!
Diane wrote about it:
"The church was founded as the abbey of St Peter about 1025 by Arnaud de Villebre, the bishop of Perigueux (a town in the Dordogne some 100 kilometres away - big diocese!). At this time, the it was likely to have been of wood. A stone building was commenced about 1060 and, so the scholars believe, completed about 1100-1120, to become one of the most important churches in the region. German Wikipedia tells me that it was spared damage in the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) due to its remote location but was attacked and damaged by the Protestants in the Wars of Religion (1562-98). Once peace was restored, the building was rebuilt and re-dedicated to Saint Nicholas in the 16th or 17th century. You have 700 or so years of history there in a nutshell!!"

The Massive and Welcoming Door

Please visit Diane's site for more information on this church and her fabulous life and adventures in the Charente of France!
Thanks Diane!
And again... a Very Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Feast of St. Nicholas - St. Nicholas Cathedral - Elblag, Poland

Happy St. Nicholas Day!
St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral
(Katedra Sw. Mikolaja)
Elblag, Poland
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Since St. Nicholas Day is such an important and lovely holiday in Poland I thought to post about this very old church located in the north of the country. 
This beautiful church's cornerstone was first laid in 1247. The building was completely destroyed during WWII... but the indomitable spirit of the Polish people prevailed. It was totally reconstructed and in 1992, it was made a cathedral.
An interesting View
Katedra Sw. Mikolaja
Image Courtesy: Geolocations
It's fun to note that St. Nicholas - that is, Sw. Mikolaj in Polish - brings gifts to all the good boys and girls on this, the anniversary of his repose. But if a child is naughty - watch out! A switch made from one of those lovely birch trees that fill the rolling hills and plains of the country is given instead!
One more view!
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia
Author: Krzymill
Happy St. Nicholas Day to all!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Parish Church of St. Nicholas - Steventon, Hampshire, UK

The Parish Church of St. Nicholas 
The Very Church Where Jane Austen Worshiped!
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Image courtesy: Astoft
Okay, I happily admit it! I am a true Jane Austen fan! I think she was just an amazing woman and that the world is a much better place for what she accomplish and gave to it during the time allotted her. So to know that this 12th c St. Nicholas Church (Anglican) is the very one where she worshiped for the first 25 years of her life - well, that is something to write home about! Not only did she worship here, but her father was the rector here for all of her first 25 years (until 1801), while her brother became rector afterwards.
Location of Hampshire within the U.K. - Jane's Birthplace of Steventon (1775)
Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Since most all by now know the great respect with which I hold Nicholas of Myra, I think I might be forgiven for saying that I can't help but feel that the fact that her church building was dedicated to him probably inspired her somehow... Whimsical thought maybe but then again... whose to say? She did write "Pride and Prejudice," "Northanger Abbey," and "Sense and Sensibility" while she lived in Steventon! (Tell me, have there ever been better titles for books? I sigh for want of such titles!) Perhaps dear St. Nick "helped" this very deserving and wonderful young woman out a bit!
Now, I would like to direct all who would like to see more of this historic St. Nicholas church to a wonderful site. Astoft, not only has 82 pictures of the church for us to enjoy but presents a wonderful history to go along with the photos. I highly recommend a "trip" over to Astoft!
A few photos from Astoft 

Many thanks to Astoft for the work and attention that went into documenting this very special St. Nicholas Church.

Now I must go... I am suddenly in the mood to reread, "Pride and Prejudice"!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

St. Nicholas Cathedral - Yombol, Bulgaria

St. Nicholas Cathedral
Yambol, Bulgaria
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Photographer: Emil Manchev
Look at this gorgeous cathedral dedicated to St. Nicholas (St. Nicolay in the Bulgarian language) that my friend Tanya told me about!
This city was the ancient Thracian city, Kabyle, that was re-founded as a Greek Polis - city - by Alexander the Great's father, Philip II. A very old history indeed.
Tanya wrote:
These pictures are from a Bulgarian church in the town of Yambol dedicated to St. Nicolas the Miracle Maker. This church is the biggest in the town and was built in 1888, ten years after the Bulgarian liberation from the Ottomans!
Since Tanya is from Bulgaria...I think she is a very good source about this beautiful church!
 (Notice the Icon of Christ)
The Cathedral On A Sunny Day
(Two above images are courtesy of Tanya)
The Lovely City of Yambol
Image courtesy: Holidays
Many many thanks to Tanya!