Category Archives: Tell Me a Story

Tell Me a Story: The first crush.

tell your story Hi! I’m Dahlia Donovan, a new indie author.  My debut novel, Ivy, is scheduled for release sometimes this month, hopefully.

I thought I’d tell the story of a crush.

My first crush.

I was five years old when I had my first fluttering when I looked at someone.  My memories are a little fuzzy, it was almost thirty years ago.  My family had traveled through Europe over the summer.  We stayed at a little hostel in Paris, France.  It was in an old building that had massive wooden double doors.  The dining room was home to two very old, wooden tables that were incredibly long.  They covered the length of the room with benches for seats.

Every morning, we’d head downstairs for breakfast of fresh baguettes, butter and jam with yoghurt and hot chocolate.  It was simply divine.


The part that I remember most about the hostel was the young man who was staying there. I think he was in school.  He was French, always called me, ma petite.  I’d run down the stairs and he’d swing me around until I was dizzy and giggling.  I never knew his name.  I don’t remember his face.  I have a vague recollection of a shock of brown hair.  It was silly and  I was five, and he was definitely my first crush. =)

Here’s a little teaser for Ivy:


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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?


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 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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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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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.



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

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