Saturday, January 9, 2016



You’ve probably asked that question a lot. After reading a great book, one can’t help but wonder what made that particular author see the world that way, tell a story like that, and reach so deeply into your heart. It’s the real reason we write you know; to reach deep into your heart and find a place to connect.

For this writer, I can tell you it isn’t all fantasizing, typing, and smiling at book signings. It’s not all research, focus, and locking everything away while writing. Trust me; it’s not what you think. This writer’s life is a lot like yours. It’s full, and twisted, delicious and pretty messy. Allow me to explain.

I’ve been a radio and television copywriter, a wife (twice, long story), and a mother. I’ve worked in advertising, events planning, and in various offices doing various things; some far more fun than others. At the age of 40 I became a professional chef, a chef instructor, a culinary competitor, and eventually a professional culinary shopper. You’re looking at a grandmother, an author success coach, a speaker, a teacher, and finally a writer.

I’ve survived breast cancer and two divorces, living in Los Angeles and moving three thousand miles…twice. I tend to do things twice. I’m a volunteer, a community activist, and a good neighbor, except to the groundhog who mistakenly believes that I plant lettuce every year just for him and his family.

In other words, this author comes from everywhere and everything. She’s a pretty average person who loves history, spirituality, high energy, entertaining, fantasy, family, travel, and the supernatural. In fact, I think it probably takes all of that to make a writer.

Reading the above list makes me wonder when I got so old. Somewhere between wife and writer I learned something important about why writers write and how to find a place in the reader’s heart. It’s simple. Tell your truth. If a writer’s truth is on the page the reader will feel it, even if that truth is about an angel falling for an outlaw or a vampire seeking the key through the Pearly Gates. If a writer tells a story that taps into all the elements of their life, a reader gets a chance to ride the ride and enjoy the experience. It’s like Disneyland between the front and back cover!

What book took you on that adventure? Which author has found their special place in your heart? I’m Deborah Riley Magnus and I’d love a chance to tell you my stories!

Just Who Is Killarney Sheffield Anyway?

        The Above Titles (as well as several others by Killarney Sheffield) are available from Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Nook, as well as your favorite online bookstores. 

This month my publisher has asked us authors to introduce ourselves. So the question being asked and answered here is, just who is Killarney Sheffield anyway? Well folks, that is a many layered question! Who I am, vs who I think I am, and who others perceive me to be, are very different things sometimes.

          I am a former foster kid who always had a deep love for just three things in life, my beloved Granny Key who died when I was sixteen, horses and writing. After years of sexual, physical and mental abuse I was put into foster care at age thirteen. For me it was a terrifying experience, but there were two things I could count on, horses and writing. The horses were and still are my best friends. I didn’t have friends in school. I was bullied, teased, picked on and beat up regularly. School was torture! Not only was it not a safe place for me, but being an undiagnosed dyslexic at that time made math and spelling seem like hiking up Mount Everest. My school days were spent hiding out in the library, or music room and then running off to the safety of the barn when the bell rang at three o’clock. The horses were always there for me. It didn’t matter if I was sitting on a bale of hay telling them about my day, caring for them, or crying with my arms wrapped around their necks, they always listened and to me it seemed as if they understood. The horses taught me unconditional love, patience, understanding and confidence. Writing gave me an outlet, a way to voice what was inside in a way that didn’t get me beat up, or made fun of.
          Now that I am an adult with growing kids and young adults of my own, the things horses taught me and the solace they gave me are who I am. I speak in woman’s groups, am a spokesperson for the importance of foster care in Canada, and both breed and rescue horses. My favorite colors are burgundy and emerald green. I love chocolate and ice cream, any kind… did I mention ice cream… and ice cream! I am a three glasses of wine and I’ll do my best impression of Elmer Fudd hunting rabbits, gal. I am a ‘it can always be improved’, gal. And of course I am a ‘stay in my PJs all day if I want to’, gal.
What kind of person am I? I am a person who tries to see life with humour, the glass half full and the good in people. I am a person who feels deeply, cries over the Christian Children’s Fund commercials and the news stories about hurt, missing and killed children on T.V. I am the crazy horse person who spends $800 to bring an abused American horse to Canada after hearing her sad story of being hung by the neck and then left in a field for two years with a broken knee. I am also the same person who stands in the corner of her stall crying my eyes out because she is too afraid to come take a treat from my hand. The person just dying to wrap my arms around her neck and make her know it is going to be all right. I am also the type of person to get angry when I’m hurt by a careless word from my kids, or the senseless act done to someone else, or animal to hurt them. I am the person to whom something as simple as a compliment can make my whole day wonderful, no matter how bad it is. Last, but not least, I am an author who wants to write books people love, give them realistic heroines they can feel for and relate to, and heroes they can’t help but fall in love with. Why? Maybe it is because of all I went through as a child, or perhaps it is because I am a Libra and by definition am a hopeless romantic who thinks life should be fair. Either way, that is who I am.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Is Officially Here. by Tia Dani

The year 2016 is officially here.
For Tia Dani, a new year always brings adjustments. Several deadlines loom, and our personal lives are in evolution (isn’t everyone’s?).

Fortunately our sense of humor keeps yelping. “Laugh more. Laugh more.”
Wise advice we thought. So…to increase our New Year resolution to do more, be more, we went looking outside our box and found a different way improve ourselves.

Here’s what we found. A Pagan Prayer for the New Year. After we read it, we decided we liked the positive attitude this prayer ends with.

Here’s to everyone whom we have touched, this prayer is for you as well.

                                                                   Magical Druid

 Happy 2016

  From Tia Dani. 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year's Resolutions Made Easy by Gail Roughton

Another year has come and gone, and it’s that time again.  You know, the time when everyone sets themselves up with impossible goals and unattainable dreams.  “This year I’m going to lose enough weight to get into a size two.”  “This year I’m going to eat only organic.”  “This year I’m going to write the Great American Novel.” 

People! Enough already. We don’t have enough stress in our lives already? Why set yourself up for disappointment?  Instead, set yourself some goals you know you’ll have no trouble reaching.  Take me, for instance. Here’s my list:

After 41 years in a law office as a legal secretary/paralegal/general troubleshooter, I’m going to retire.  I’m retiring in March 15, 2016 and I’ve been on countdown for two years.  Especially this last year, so much so that when folks around the office ask me how much longer, I immediately respond “Six months, two weeks, four days and 3.5 hours”.  Depending on the time of day, of course.  I think they’ve kept asking just to see if I’m keeping an actual mental calendar in my head.  Uh—yeah.   I’m giving myself a bit of leeway on the actual date.  Hopefully March 15 and March 30 at the latest.  So that’s a resolution I’ll have no trouble keeping. 

I’m going to eat what I please, when I please, and not worry about my size or weight.  And since that’s pretty much what I’ve done all my life (okay, so I’m blessed with good genetics and apparently a high metabolism  and I’ve never had much of a weight problem), that’s another resolution I won’t have any trouble keeping.  

I’m not going to take a trip around the world.  In the first place, I can’t afford it, and in the second—I don’t like to travel.  So there’s another resolution out of the way.

I’m going to finish my current work in progress, Book 2 in the Southern Justice series, which has been a long-term off and on process these last two years.  I’ve got a big incentive there.  My publisher’s going to kill me if I don’t.
I’m going to spend a lot of time with my family in general and my grandchildren in particular. Not difficult, since my house is already Granddaddy Day Care Central.  With my husband already retired, neither of our grandchildren have ever seen the inside of a Day Care Center, and with their parents’ somewhat unorthodox work schedule, they’re at our house pretty much every week day from roughly noon or earlier up to eight or nine p.m.  So I already spend a lot of time with my grandchildren.  And I definitely enjoy them.  But as a bonus beginning in March, I’ll be able to enjoy them a lot more since I won’t be braindead and exhausted from a day at the office.  I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m of the opinion God gives us grandchildren because we didn’t have enough sense when we were young parents to know what was important in raising children and what wasn’t.  We thought we knew, but we didn’t.  Or maybe you did, I’m not passing judgment here.  But I didn’t.  For example:  I didn’t realize how unimportant it was that the dishes were done and put up immediately after supper or the kitchen floor swept.  What I now realize is of vital importance is sitting on the floor and working puzzles with three year olds and listening to nine year olds tell you about their day at school.  Yes, of course  I did that with my own kids.  But did I give those wonderful interactions the full attention they deserved?  Many times, sadly no.   So grandchildren are our second chance to get it right.  

Now.  See how easy it is to set manageable goals that won’t set you up for failure? And if you’re really pressed for time, here’s a short version that encompasses everything calculated to make for supreme happiness.  It’s not original and in fact, it’s rather “out of this world” in origin.  But it pretty much covers everything.  Resolve to make every attempt to “Live long and prosper.”  
Coming Soon!
 There's No Justice Like Southern Justice
Take a Trip Down Home!

Find all Gail Roughton titles at

You can also visit at her Blog and on Facebook

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Books We Love New Releases

Check out these Books We Love new releases, now available from Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple, and your favorite online book sellers.


Monday, January 4, 2016

The Death of King Charles II by Katherine Pym

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 Last time, I mentioned King Charles II's death and how nasty it was. Happy New Year to you with this macabre tidbit. May 2016 treat you better than 1685 bestowed upon the poor king.

King Charles II, Older but Healthier
First, a little about him…

After his father was beheaded, King Charles II went into exile where he learned to keep his own counsel. He loved sex. Prompted by others, his revenge extended to only a few of the regicides, but he took no joy in it.

Charles took a long time to come to a state decision. He’d put it off with a wave of his hand, and play with one of his women. He loved spaniels, and several romped in his private chambers, soiling the floors so that no one could walk across the room in a straight line.

Even though he reigned in a Protestant country, while on the run in 1651 after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester, Charles was protected at their peril by Roman Catholics. For a few hours, Charles hid in a priest hole, very snug and claustrophobic, while Parliament men searched for him. By the end of his trek through England and into exile, Charles had gained a high regard for Catholics and Catholicism.

But I digress.

While Charles reigned, he did not confide in many. He was considered an enigma by both his contemporaries and those who study him. He had a kind heart. His nature made people comfortable. They confided in him, wanted to be near him. But when Charles wanted to be alone, or was tired of the subject, he’d pull out his watch. Those who knew of this would quickly state their business, for soon their king would walk away.

Charles loved reading (not political or religious). He brought great strides to the theatre sector, and he enjoyed science. In 1660, he approved a charter for The Royal Society. The group of great minds, Isaac Newton for one, met at Gresham College in London City. Experiments took place there, including draining the veins of a dog into the veins of another dog. The results amazed those curious people.

So, we come to his death…

Physician's Tool
‘He fell sick of a tertian fever’, but the official cause of death was: Uremia (per—“a condition resulting from the retention in the blood of constituents normally excreted in the urine.”), chronic nephritis and syphilis.

On the evening of February 1, 1685, Charles went to bed with a sore foot. By early morning, he was very ill with fever. His physician (Sir Edmund King) tended to his foot while a barber shaved his head. Suddenly, the king suffered apoplexy. His physician immediately withdrew sixteen ounces of blood.

Sir Edmund took a big risk, and could have been charged with treason. The protocol was to get permission from the Privy Council prior to a bloodletting the monarch.

For several days, Charles was tormented by his physicians. As a private man this must have been difficult. Surrounded by more physicians than could gain his bed, they attempted to remove the ‘toxic humours’ that penetrated his body.

17th c - Hooke's Microscope
17th c - Hooke's Microscope
He was bled and purged. Cantharides plasters were stuck to his bald pate, which caused blistering. They attached plasters of spurge to his feet, then red-hot irons to his skin. Besides the large number of physicians crowding his bed, His Royal Highness’ bedchamber was filled to the walls with spectators (family members and state officials).

They gave the poor king “enemas of rock salt and syrup of buckthorn, and ‘orange infusion of metals in white wine’. The king was treated with a horrific cabinet of potions: white hellebore root; Peruvian bark; white vitriol of peony water; distillation of cowslip flowers; sal ammoniac; julep of black cherry water (an antispasmodic); bezoar stone from the stomach of a goat. He was forced to drink boiled spirits from a human skull.”

After days of this, he apologized for taking so long to die, then added, “I have suffered much more than you can imagine.”

Finally, on February 6, 1685 “the exhausted king, his body raw and aching with the burns and inflammation caused by his treatment, was given heart tonics, to no avail. He lapsed into a coma and died at noon on February 7.”

His death is considered by historians as “iatrogenic regicide”.

~ * ~ * ~

I give thanks to:

Royal Poxes & Potions, The Lives of Court Physicians, Surgeons & Apothecaries, by Raymond Lamont-Brown.

Wiki-commons public domain

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