Monthly Archives: March 2014

Coffee Mugs, Commiseration and Chihuahuas.

2012-02-26-028wb I’m cheating, this is actually a tea cup.  I hunted for it an an antique shop in Denver.  I was looking for one with blue roses, but found this delicate little cup instead.  I’m still hunting for the blue one.  Ahh well.

Things I’m not looking forward to this week:

– pollen

– pollen

– more pollen

– see my pollen problem?

Things I am looking forward to:

– working with a new client

– cadbury caramello ice cream

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Tell Me a Story: The Best “Mistake” that Ever Happened To Me

tell your storyAllie Boniface stopped over to tell us a story:

Once upon a time, I lived in Cleveland, Ohio. Now, Cleveland gets a bad rap a lot of the time; in fact, its nickname is still “the mistake on the lake.” I don’t know whether the bad rap is because of the city’s brutal winters, or its perpetually losing sports teams, or perhaps because the Cuyahoga River, that runs right through downtown, was so polluted that it caught on fire back in 1969.

But me? I ended up loving the four years I spent there. I was a graduate student for two of those years and a community college instructor for another two after that. This was in the mid-1990s, when both The Flats and the Indians were at their zenith. My friends and I would dance until dawn at the nightclubs that had grown up in the old factory buildings along the river, and we would try our best to get tickets to the sold-out baseball games in the summers of 1995 and 1996. The city was alive, beautiful, and bustling; it had (still has) an amazing orchestra, research university, and cutting-edge hospitals. It has suburbs as different in nature as any you’ll find outside of any major city, and I learned more about diversity from living there than anywhere else in my life.

But what really happened while I lived in Cleveland was the slow evolution of what would become the author inside me. I didn’t write while I lived there. But in the years since, I have found time and time again that many of my story ideas come from that time spent in northern Ohio.

Eddie, my hero from The Promise of Paradise, is based on a real-life close friend who went to graduate school with me and who was, in fact, involved in a serious car accident that left him with facial scars.

The haunted lighthouse in Beacon of Love had its first inklings of thought during a day trip to Put-in-Bay, a lovely little town about an hour away from Cleveland with – of course – a lighthouse!

Finally, the idea for one of the sub-plots in Inferno of Love, the restaurant fire that turns Finn into a reluctant hero, came from the many nights my girlfriends and I spent at The Basement, a popular dance club down in The Flats. The place was always crowded, and we got there early so we didn’t have to wait outside in line.

One night I remember thinking, “This place is packed. Wonder where the back exit is? Wonder if they even have a back exit?” And that turned into the classic writer’s ‘what if” that became “What would happen if this place caught fire?” There was a bouncer inside who always stood in the same spot near the dance floor, a big burly guy who came to know us after a while, and around the same time that I was wondering about fires, I pictured him being the one to drag people out. He was that hero type. (By the way, Finn’s name is an adaptation of Phoenix, a reference to the mythical creature that rises from the ashes, since he saves seven people from a burning building. I’ve never mentioned that piece of trivia anywhere before, so you heard it here first!)

It wasn’t until five or six years after leaving Cleveland that I started writing in earnest, with an eye on publication, but those moments and memories were stored away in my head, just waiting for the right story to make an appearance. Fascinating, isn’t it?

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Thank you so much for having me here today! If you’d like to know more about Inferno of Love (or any of my books!) stop by www.allieboniface.com/books. And to whet your appetite, here’s the blurb and trailer for Inferno of Love:

What happens when your soul mate returns after twelve long years — and has no idea who you are?

One teenage summer, Finn and Aubrey fell in love in the tiny coastal town of Lindsey Point. But that was before a local fire turned him into a hero and a horrific accident stole her memory. When they finally reunite years later, sparks fly and memories return — but so do long-lost secrets and locals who want them to stay buried. Now Finn and Aubrey must come to terms with the past if they have any chance of building a future together… 

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Trash, Respond or Save?

03092014-024wb I recently read an article in a Better Home & Gardens Special Interest magazine(Secrets of Getting Organized) . It was about how to deal with office clutter of the paper variety.  The author had a great list of rules for handling the issue.  The more I thought about it, the more I thought it would translate well to handling your email inbox.   It even sort of matched how I already handle client email accounts.

Simple rules:

– delete junk and trash immediately.

– forward emails that you don’t handle on to appropriate parties immediately.

– respond to things that you do need to answer promptly and move into appropriate folders.

– file emails on events or articles that you want to save but don’t require a response.

– create an auto-filter that moves newsletters into a newsletter folder.

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Review: Content, content, content.

Book reviewContent Rules by Ann Hadley and C. C. Chapman is a book that I’ve been reading for the past two months.  It’s one of those books that I can’t race through like I usually do.  I’m a speed reader of sorts, I tend to read very quickly.

I couldn’t do that with Content Rules and not because it wasn’t an interesting read.  It was fascinating and insightful.  I took my time with it because it was relative to my business and I didn’t want to miss something.  My thoughts in bullet form since I jotted them down while reading:

– great book

– lots of useful information

– a ton of case studies that were analyzed for the reader

– amazing How-To section

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Tell Me a Story: Just who is the hero here anyway?

roses2Hi, my name is Killarney Sheffield, former natural horsemanship trainer and coach, turned award winning, multi-published historical romantic adventure author. I have been an animal lover all my life and the evidence of that seems to work its way into many of my novels. For example: My release Through Gypsy Eyes is a story set in early 1800’s England, but has a very unusual character, Jester, the seeing eye pony.

Yes, you heard that right. It all started with a beloved family Shetland and a show I saw on Animal Planet about a lady who trains miniature horses as ‘guide ponies’ for the blind. Because horses and other animals are close to my heart ‘Jester’ threatened to take over my romance novel and quite literally run away with it.

Same too with my newest historical romantic adventure, Love’s Magic. The story is about a female magician, and what magician is complete without the rabbit the pull out of their hat? In reality ‘Dexter’ the black Holland Lop rabbit in the story was in real life my son’s favorite pet, and a true character in his own right! Yes, Dexter could give Houdini a run for his money any day.

Everyone has that pet or pets that just has so much personality they stand out and steal the show right? Be it a dog, cat, horse, rabbit or what have you, they make you laugh, smile and sometimes even cry. They love you and you love them. Unconditional love; that is what my romances are about after all and the best example of that comes from animals. So you see, as a farm gal and animal lover romance novels and animals seem the perfect match. Sometimes I even have to ask myself just who is the hero here anyway?

LovesMagic_png1200longside_72dpiCheck out this brief blurb for Love’s Magic releasing March 17th:

A female magician, a not so innocent black rabbit, a treasure map, a duke firm in his convictions, a band of pirates, and romance equals mayhem in the making! Celeste Summers is a self-reliant vegetarian magician, and her sidekick is a mischievous black rabbit named Dexter. It’s the kind of mixture that can get you burned at the stake in 1820. All Lord Devlin Rutland wants is to see Celeste taken care of as his father instructed, but wedding a girl who may not be dealing a full deck of cards is not easy. Celeste sees opportunity to foil his plans when she comes across a map to a pirate’s treasure, but Devlin is after the same booty. Foolishly, she bargains with a stranger, finds herself double-crossed, at the mercy of pirates, and in need of Devlin’s aid. Devlin comes to the rescue, but he has an ethical dilemma. He can ensure that Celeste honors her betrothal to him, or set her free with the treasure and his heart. His only other choice is to persuade her that Love’s Magic is enough to bind them together.

 

Get the book here: Amazon

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Coffee, Commiseration and Chihuahuas

03082014-009wbI have a problem.  It’s a ‘mug life’ for me.

My collection of random mugs grows every year by at least one.  There are a few however that my hubby is not allowed to use.  You see a photo of them to the right.  =)

In other news, things I am not looking forward to:

Spring and the impending allergy attacks of doom.

Oh, and here, have a cute Chihuahua attack.

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Book Photo Challenge: Yummy

03142014-024wb The word today was Yummy.

I own a rather extensive cookbook collection.  Though I have a new rule where I try not to bring in more unless I’ve sold, given away or donated a couple.  I just don’t have enough space for them.  These are three of my favorites.

French Farmhouse Cookbook  (One of the most amazing lamb dishes that I’ve ever had is in this cook book.)

Twelve Months of Monastery Salads (Who knew monks made such great salads?)

Mastering the Art of French Cooking (The great, the classic, everyone who loves to cook should own this, and try the chocolate cake.)

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Who the bleep are my likes?

DSCF5965wb  In the past week, I’ve had several author friends ask me how they find out who likes their pages.  I figured that they couldn’t be the only ones that wondered so here’s how I found the likes on my business page.

If you have an author page and want to see who likes you:

– on your Admin Panel, select edit page and go down to use Facebook as your page.

– then at the top of the screen on the blue bar, you should see an icon with two people.

– right click on it, and then again on ‘see all’.

– a pop-up should come up that shows you all of the people who like your page.

The key point is that you have to be using facebook as the page itself, not as your regular FB. To change back to ‘yourself from the page’ just go back to ‘edit page’ and selected use Facebook as ‘you.’

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Book Photo Challenge: Bookish Place

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The only bookish place in my house is my bookshelf which is packed to the point of being double stacked.  My hubby and I both work from home so space is limited.  It makes getting the books on the back rows complicated, and sometimes they all come tumbling down lol.

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Tell Me a Story: Adventures in Taco Bell

tell your story A nineteen year old should never be placed in charge of other nineteen year olds on the late shift at a fast food restaurant.

Ever.

EVER.

When I was nineteen, I was the shift manager at a Taco Bell. In the eight months that I worked there before moving to the Caribbean, I had a number of interesting adventures that were mostly not my fault.

There was the epic food fight with caulking guns filled with guacamole and sour cream.  I can honestly attest to the fact that sour cream is not as powerful a weapon as guacamole is.  It is also really stinky the next morning if you fall asleep before rinsing it out of your hair. Just saying. For future reference, if that is ever a problem that you run into.

Ok, I admit, that was completely, partially my fault.

It’s only the second funniest thing to happen to me. The most amusing thing that happened while I worked there was the time a truck driver tried to back his 18-wheeler up to the drive-thru window.  See by law and for security purposes, most fast food places are not allowed to help people who walk up to a drive-thru window.

It was late at night and the lobby part of the restaurant had already closed.  The truck driver was angry that we wouldn’t serve him when he walked up to the window so he tried to reverse up to it but got stuck.  Which was bad.

It was compounded by a convertible full of teenage boys who decide to prank us at the exact same time. They pulled up to the speaker and ordered a hundred tacos, then laughing at us, they raced around the corner and right into the back of the truck.  I’m not certain why the 911 operator had trouble believing my story when I called them.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction

Want to tell me a story?

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