Killarney Sheffield, The Author, And Barbie, The Horse

This is the third installment of the story of a woman, Killarney Sheffield, who gives her all to her writing such as her latest book, The Emperor’s Concubine. She also gives her all to her family and her horses. One horse in particular, Barbie, learned that gentleness does exist through the care and guidance of Killarney’s love. The author shows there’s often much more to a writer than words. Rescuing Barbie The Barbie in my story is not a doll, but a palomino American Quarter Horse from Idaho USA. I was approached by her owner to take her after her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was given just a few months left to live. When I heard Barbie’s story I sat in my truck and cried tears of sorrow for this little horse, partly because of what she had been through, and partly because I had been an abused child myself and could understand how she must have felt. My parents were abusive and at a tender age I was taken away from them so they couldn’t hurt me anymore. I was lucky though, I had great foster parents to teach me not all people were bad and to look after me as I grew up. What Barbie needed was a foster mother who understood her pain and would help her learn not all people were bad too. Poor Barbie’s story was so sad. When she was two years old she was taken from her mother to start her training to be a show horse. It was all very new and sudden. She was being difficult to catch since she is a very nervous horse. The man chased her into a barn and because she had never been in a barn before she was scared and refused to let him …

Read more

Killarney Sheffield, In Her Own Words

Today I’m continuing with the talented and fascinating Killarney Sheffield. The picture to the right is one of her happy and healthy horses. To the left, her latest novel, The Emperor’s Concubine, a post-apocalyptic romance.  Below is her life story, told in her own words. Just Who Is Killarney Sheffield Anyway? 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 …

Read more

Spotlight on Killarney Sheffield, Author of The Emperor’s Concubine

Killarney Sheffield is a cyber buddy of mine from way back. She is a gifted writer of several genres. Her latest book is a post-apocalyptic romance novel, The Emperor’s Concubine. What I like about Killarney – beside her writing skills – is that she is a committed and responsible human being. She is a devoted wife, mother, and horsewoman. She cares deeply about them. This love and devotion to others carries into her work and for sure, makes her a better writer. For instance, the reason she hasn’t given me an interview yet for the release of her new book is because one of her horses suffered an accident. She is nursing the mare back to health. Yes, her writing is important to her. But Killarney always puts the needs of others, even her animals, first. It shows in her writing, this love for all beings that inhabit the earth. Her care about Real Life leaps from the pages of her work in every line. It helps make her the talent that she is. I have read a lot of Killarney’s work through the years, even genres I don’t ordinarily read. But it is a good writer who transcends a genre, who makes stories human and interesting.  There’s always something the reader can embrace, real and true. I am proud to call Killarney Sheffield friend. Here is a blurb from her upcoming book, The Emperor’s Concubine, which can be pre-ordered for its February 14th release. “Have you ever felt dead even though you’re very much alive? Sometimes I wonder if the apocalypse really happened, or if the world has always been as it is. Maybe my memories are just dreams and not reality… not this reality anyway.” Ocean Delany wants the world to change, she’s tired of the same old grey concrete existence, but on …

Read more

It’s Not Too Late For A Christmas Memory Tree

  Over fifteen years ago during the Christmas season, I was visiting a dear friend and noticed a small, jewel-like tree glittering on her hallway table. When I asked her where she got it, she told me she had made it for her mother using ornaments, broken jewelry, and so forth from her family’s life. Now that her mother passed, she had the tree and would someday leave it to her own daughter. When I examined it more closely, I saw some of the ornaments were older, some cracked or faded, and sparkling earrings or bracelets were wedged in here and there among the firmly packed decorations. My friend pointed out several ornaments saying things like, “This is the first Christmas ornament my parents got me when I was born,” or “I made this for Mom in the 3rd grade.” When asked how she could make such a tree, she told me it was simple. All you need is a small fake tree, a container to hold it, plaster of Paris, lights, ornaments, costume jewelry, and a glue gun. I ran, not walked, to my local craft store containing the ubiquitous little green, plastic trees and bought a small one-and-a-half foot tall tree, a bag of plaster of Paris, and an attractive round plant holder. The plan is simple. Day One: fill that charming little container about ¾ of the way up with plaster of Paris (follow the directions on the box). Pull the little tree out of the base it came on, stick the tree into the wet plaster of Paris, hold the tree straight for a minute or two until the plaster begins to set, then go about your business for the rest of the day so it can dry thoroughly. Day Two: Starting at the top, take …

Read more

Gobble, Gobble

Which do you like better, cats or dogs? Cats are phenomenal animals. They have surpassed dogs in popularity, but I suspect this is because we have a lot of city dwellers in apartments where space is at a premium. We could never short-shrift our canine buddies; dogs are pretty terrific, too. Most people I know have both when they can. I would if we had the room. In Japan, where many apartments are the size of closets, cats are almost revered, which from a feline’s point of view is only as it should be. This Thanksgiving, Yulie and Ellie want to reach out and wish all their four-footed friends a safe, happy, and tummy-filled holiday. Across the land shelters are filled with those less fortunate. Please remember them, too. To us, their two-footed friends, they advise to keep turkey-coated tinfoil out of harms way and not let pets get too freaked out from visitors or small hands that can paw harshly at them. Good memories and love to all, no matter how many feet we have. Or if we meow or bark. Happy Thanksgiving. To win a copy of my ebook, DEAD….If Only, leave a comment and your email address.

My Guest Blogger is J.Q. Rose, Author of Deadly Undertaking

J.Q. Rose and I are exchanging blogs today. She and I are fast virtual friends, as we’ve never met in person. However, through the years I have come to know and respect my pen-pal colleague, not just as a mystery writer, but as a fine human being. Please join me in welcoming J.Q. Rose, who has a wonderful tale of the heart to tell. She continues on a blog tour promoting her new book, Deadly Undertaking. Thank you, Heather, for hosting me today. Deadly Undertaking is dedicated to a special woman in my life, my friend and mentor, Bernie Frens. Sadly she passed away two years ago after struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for over ten years. Discovering she had this debilitating disease was heartbreaking news for her, her family, and for us. But, Bernie was a strong woman and   leaned on God for strength and courage to face the future. Bernie, about twenty years older than me, came to me at the right time when I needed her knowledge, patience, and skill set. She came to ask me for a job. My husband and I had just purchased a floral shop and greenhouses in a small town in Michigan. When we moved from Central Illinois, we didn’t know a person in that town, but we were fired up to become members of the community and make our fledgling business a success. We had absolutely no training as business owners and no experience in the flower business. The only knowledge I had about flowers I learned when I helped in my family’s funeral business. One of my jobs was to help my mom set up the display of funeral arrangements for a visitation and funeral service. The background for my character, Lauren Staab, in Deadly Undertaking comes from my growing up in the …

Read more

Guardian Angels et al

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet Act 1, scene 5 When I was twenty, I had life all figured out. When I hit forty, not so much. Now at this number of spent decades I realize I don’t know squat. I used to be a doubting Thomas about anything I couldn’t see up close and personal. But let’s face it. I can’t see bacteria, not without a microscope, and there are one or two of those suckers which just might take humanity out one of these days. Ebola. A game changer. And Pluto. First it didn’t exist. Then it did. Then it was a planet. Then it wasn’t. Now it’s a dwarf planet. Whatever. All because we found it with a mammoth telescope. But it’s been doing its thing all this time, regardless of what we call it or when we saw it. But back to me and what I can’t see, like my guardian angel. I didn’t know I had one until after my mother passed about a year and a half ago. Mom and I were close. Her death, even though expected, took a lot from me. We were more than mother and daughter. We were good friends. Recently, I was speaking to her as I am wont to do upon occasion. It had been an odd, down day for me, so I asked my mother out loud if I had guardian angel. I knew Mom was a believer. She wore one of several small pins depicting guardian angels on her lapel or collar every day. I heard my mother’s voice as sure as if she was in the next room. “Of course, you do. It’s your Aunt Ann.” I was shocked for a lot of reasons (let’s put aside hearing your dead …

Read more

1% Polynesian Princess

I just had my DNA tested. 99 bucks and you find out who you are, although I thought I already knew. For a girl who is the off-spring of a 100% Italian/American on my mom’s side (both her parents came from Bari, Italy) and the other (my father), with a mother named Margaret MacLaughlin (can you get any more Irish sounding). My grandfather was English/French Canadian (De Haven), so I didn’t think this news would be too shocking. And yet…. here are the results. Africa North 2% Europe West 49% Italy/Greece 24% Iberian Peninsula 8% Trace Regions 8% Pacific Islander < 1% Trace Regions < 1% And the Irish would be where? But on the upside, I find having even a scant 1% Polynesian is exhilarating. I mean, how exotic is that!! And while I haven’t learned yet that I am a dyed-in-the-wool Polynesian Princess, until hard evidence says otherwise, that’s what I’m going with. My call. This is sooooo me. Now I know why I love Hawaii!  Pass the tiara and the poi. Here’s some info on my new people: Most of Polynesia’s islands lie within a triangular area in the Pacific Ocean. The Polynesian Triangle’s “points” are Hawaii, Easter Island (Rapu Nui) and New Zealand. It’s a world defined by the ocean. With about 120,000 square miles of land spread across some 10 million square miles of water, Polynesia’s islands were among the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. Despite great distances separating the outer islands, the Polynesian people are linked by linguistic, cultural and genetic ties.  

Time To Chuck The Bengay

  Hubby and I just returned from a ten-day cruise. Cruising seems to be what more ‘mature’ people do these days. I suspect it has something to do with not having to pack and unpack every time you hit a new place. That can be such a drag. Add into the mix someone comes in to straighten out your room three times a day, and makes and serves your meals. Now you’ve really got something. Everything is done for you with a big smile, whether they mean it or not. Being home the first day was a shock. What is this, I have to open my own refrigerator door and find something to cook for dinner? What do you mean I have to make my own bed? While I loved being home and cuddling with my cats, this was a big let-down. I pondered all of this as I brushed my teeth, concentrating hard on my lust for the sybaritic lifestyle. After about twenty-seconds I noticed the toothpaste tasted funny. I picked up the tube and read the label: Bengay. I panicked then rinsed and spit, expecting my entire mouth to tingle and burn from the ointment. It didn’t. I read further on the label. Expiration date: 2011.  What had once been a soothing muscle ointment became a gelatinous nothing in only four years over it’s due date.I looked at my face. Only several decades over my due date. Time to take another cruise.

What’s With Men And The Godfather I, II, and III?

Yes, they were good movies, especially the first one. Yes, they had wonderful actors, story line, yada, yada. Well, maybe using Coppola’s daughter might not have been the best idea, but nepotism is alive and well in America. I remember seeing all three of them waaaaaaay back when. And I got over it. I have already told my husband, Norman, there is now a moratorium on having to hear about these movies. Is this a guy thing? Most of the men I know quote from them as if they were the Holy Grail. They say lines from the movies the moment they get together. I’m trying to think of one man I know who doesn’t rhapsodize poetic, reciting  many of the scenes and lines when the subject come up. And these movies were made decades ago. Before, during, and since fabulous, fabulous movies came out of Hollywood. What is with the male concentration on GI,II,III? Maybe I’m coming at it from a female point of view. These women didn’t get treated so well. When they were in the way, they either got bedded or slapped around. They had absolutely no power as women or people. Not something to emulate. Also, I am Italian American. My life took on a new slant when these movies came out. Most people think this is the life of Italian Americans. Not mine nor anyone I knew. Possibly, the menfolk in my family were too stupid to be a part of the Mafia. But regardless, these movies became the defining example of the culture. So on a lot of levels, I resent the impact they’ve had on our society. I mean, the Italian culture is so much more that guys running around with guns and slapping people around. But mainly, I don’t get it. Guys, they …

Read more