Saturday, August 16, 2008

Greatest Summer Olympics Moments

Well, in honor of the Summer Olympics, I thought I'd run a series of "greatest moments" from Summer Olympics past. Now, a caveat: these are moments that I actually remember watching, so of course many (possibly greater ones) occurred before I was around. They also don't include ths current Olympics, but I think we could all agree that Michael Phelps' accomplishments would make the top of the list. Finally, since I was a gymnast for most of my youth, I always watched the women's gymanstics competition...making my choices slightly biased, perhaps.

But that's OK, 'cause it's my blog, right? Anyway, here's my first choice, from the 1984 Games in LA:

Mary Lou Retton Wins the First US Women's All-Around Title ~ She was THE gymnastics icon for my generation of girls growing up in the sport. She received a perfect 10 on her vault, then went on to win the all-around title, and I remember her celebration. Compared to what the girls do now, her vault looks pretty tame, but it was monumental then. (And did you see her in the audience when Nastia Luikin won the same gold medal, last week?)

So awesome!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I've Been Giggled!

For those of you who don't know, Mrs. Giggles is a terrifyingly blunt (or, some would say, brutally honest) reviewer of romance novels. She tears books apart in a single sentence and can bring otherwise sane, stable authors to their knees with her opinions.

Yesterday I Googled myself (yeah, I do that sometimes) and found, to my surprise, that she had reviewed One Night in Memphis. I almost didn't want to read it (she gave One Night in Boston a 73/100 and had some harsh things to say about the heroine) - but I'm glad I did, because WOW - she liked it!

She gave me an 86/100 for One Night in Memphis, which is pretty darn good, and she had some really, really nice things to say. Here are some clips:

"One thing that I really like about One Night In Memphis is how well the author delves into the hearts of her characters to the point that the characters' emotions come off as pretty real. Dakota's feelings after she has ditched her married boyfriend, for example, are vividly portrayed to the point that I feel that I can relate to every blue feeling of hers. Likewise, there is a real yet bittersweet poetry to Ethan's suffering - I don't know whether to write a ballad about him or to give him a sweet comforting hug. I don't necessarily agree with every thing these two say, do, or feel in this story, but that's okay. I don't read romance to have a story where everyone agrees with me and does as I say, after all. Ms Boniface has made her characters real enough that their strengths and flaws make them come off as human beings...

"Falling in love over a short period of time is not an easy sell for me, but Ms Boniface manages to make me believe in her story. She even makes falling in love such a wonderful kind of bittersweet poetry to read about. A part of me will probably wish that the suspense elements have been scrapped altogether so that the story has more opportunity for the characters to moon over each other, but still, One Night In Memphis is definitely a pretty good story in my opinion. "

Yay - I'm doing the happy dance!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another Positive Review

Just a quick blog today, since I'm recovering from last night's Maroon 5/Counting Crows/Sara Bareilles concert at Bethel Woods (awesome, by the way!):

Received another review for One Night in Memphis - a Black Seal from Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction. This is what the reviewer said, in part:

"Usually, the hero and heroine meet at the very beginning of a romance book, but Ms. Boniface breaks this rule and gets by with it. With her obvious talent and her gift of expressive phrasing, she smoothly moves the story along. The reader becomes a participant; one cannot wait until Dakota and Ethan actually meet face-to-face...From the first meeting to the last page, the reader savors each word, touch, and kiss. Ms. Boniface has a special voice, unique in the world of romance novels. She allows the hero and heroine to talk, become acquainted, and care for each other before sexual contact. It is a rare thing to feel delicious tension through simple dialogue and narration.

"She finely portrays the characters. The plot is certainly believable. The suspense and danger is real. In conclusion, ONE NIGHT IN MEMPHIS is a fantastic read, one the reader will remember, and I highly recommend it."


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Kassie Burns

Welcome to another edition of Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm chatting with erotic romance author Kassie Burns. Enjoy!

Welcome, Kassie! Can you tell us a little about your background?

English was my favorite subject in school, surprise, surprise, and I went on to become a journalist. As if writing all day at work wasn’t enough, I came home at night and switched on the creative juices. When I learned about ebooks I became really excited because I’m a sucker for instant feedback and I love the closer contact between authors and readers. I have books published with Extasy, Loose Id, Changeling Press and Samhain Publishing.

When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?

For me, writing started with reading. I always loved to read and devoured books. It only seemed natural to move on to writing them. The first thing I actually remember writing formally was a short story for eighth grade English. Naturally, it was an SF piece (although not erotic at that age, lol!.

Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

Lately, I am like a juggler, just trying to keep those balls in the air. My most recent release was Starbound, an SF erotic romance from Samhain. I also Buried Passions from Loose Id and Earth Storm from Carnal Desires Publishing released this spring.

These books run the gamut of SF: A colony ship lost and space and invaded by aliens, an archeological dig on an abandoned planet that unleashes an ancient alien passion and a story set on Earth where terrorism brings humanity to the brink of destruction and only love can save us. What they have in common is passionate romance and complex characters struggling to overcome all obstacles to achieve their happily ever after.

Ah, the happily ever after. So how do you go about developing your characters?

I wish I knew. It’s almost a mystical process and certainly a mysterious one, like a child taking form in a womb. A story idea usually sparks their conception but somehow they take on substance in the depths of my mind and emerge full-blown. Naming them is always important, though, because I like the name to give a hint of their essence. And on the practical side, I admit to being a lifelong student of other humans and their strengths and weaknesses.

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Write what you love. Don’t give up. The business side of writing can become overwhelming at times—not to mention confusing—so remember you started writing because it was fun and never lose that first thrill of putting words on a page.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I’ve always loved SF and fantasy. I love so many books and authors that it is almost impossible to chose a single favorite. Like a mother who loves all her children, I love them all for different reasons. If pressed to the wall for my very favorite, I would have to name the Merlin series by Mary Stewart, which starts with The Crystal Cave.

OK, now what do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding?

The most difficult thing is usually finding the time. I need a block of time when I’m not worn out from other things. Since I have a full-time job, a husband, a house, and two dogs, that’s sometimes hard to do. The most rewarding moment is when that new idea leaps into your mind like a burst of starshine and you can’t wait to get started writing it.

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I’m not sure I do, LOL. Usually, something has to suffer neglect. Most of the time it’s the house which is never going to win any awards for cleanest house on the block. Other times, like last year when my husband went through a serious illness, I’ve simply had to stop writing for long periods and do other more important things.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

I’ve never suffered from writer’s block where I didn’t have ideas or couldn’t write. I did suffer from burnout, though, a few years ago when my “writing career” seemed to take over the actually writing and I had so much going at once that writing became a job and not fun anymore. It was a hard period, but I learned to pull back and concentrate on what really mattered to me—the joy of creating a story.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I read, I watch most of the SF programs that are on TV, I walk the dogs and critique the neighbors’ lawns, and when the weather is cooperative, my husband and I love to go out for a game of golf.

Last question: What is your favorite movie? Did it inspire your writing in any way?

Choosing a favorite movie is about as bad as picking a favorite book. But I notice all my favorites have something in common—good people fighting against terrible odds to protect and preserve what is important to them—those they love. Strangely, my books have much the same themes.
Name names you say? I’d have to mention the Lord of the Rings movies, the Harry Potter movies, The Secret Garden, and on the romance side rather than the fantasy side, Return to Me.

Kassie, thanks so much for being here today! Anything else you'd like to mention?

I have a web site where I feature excerpts from my books, a couple of short stories and my blog. You can also sign up there for my quarterly newsletter. Check it out at

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Olympics Talk

"If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard." ~Jessie Owens

So are you watching the Summer Olympics?? I hope so; amid all the politics and controversy there always emerge some great human interest stories. Two of my favorite so far:

The Story of the USA Flag Bearer in the Opening Ceremony ~ He was adopted as a teenager by a family who lives about 15 miles from my hometown.

The USA Victory in the Men's 4x100 Swim Relay ~ I saw this one live on Sunday night, and it was something else. Nothing like a come-from-behind victory and a split-second finger touch to excite the crowd. I know, I know: some people are criticizing the Americans for celebrating inappropriately. While I can see how some may have found the over-exuberance of Michael Phelps annoying, I didn't think he or any of his teammates were being rude or disrespectful. That's just adrenaline-fueled joy, in my opinion. Americans tend to be less reserved in situations like that...but is it inappropriate for that situation? I don't know...I'd be interested in what you think.

Next week I'll be posting some of my favorite Summer Olympics moments from past games. Anyone have any they want to throw into the ring for consideration?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time for Some Fun - Do You Want to Win??

"The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk." ~Mark Twain

Had a great, if tiring, time hiking with my sister over the last few days. Besides the physical exercise, it was also a really good way to talk out some of my story ideas and get feedback from her. She took all the pictures, so I'll post some later this week when she emails them my way. Hiking the Adirondacks is always a challenge: there are a lot of trails, many of which cover rocks straight up, and when it rains in the 48 hours before you hike, the extra mud adds a slippery effect :) The view from the top, though, is always worth it ~ that and the trip up, where it's just you and the trail, remind me of the important things in life.


Today you can win a Summer Grilling Goodies package at The Long and the Short of It, sponsored by Yours Truly. Go on over to their website to enter - it's one day only!

I got my first official review for One Night in Memphis over the weekend, 4.5 stars from Ecataromance. (Insert sigh of relief here) The reviewer had some lovely things to say:

"This story is exciting,funny, scary,poignant, and heart touching. I highly recommend it to anyone who believes in first and second chances for love. Ms. Boniface has penned some of the loveliest prose that I have read in any story anywhere. Curl up with this book, and spend a wonderful evening sharing the adventures on world famous Beale Street..."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Annual Sister Trip: Final Report

Well, we're back from our hiking trip...a little tired, but happy. I'm on my way back home this morning, so I'll post the full report and some pics later on today. Come back and visit then, OK??


Sorry, no pics as promised. I drove through a crazy thunderstorm/hail storm to get home and am now facing piles of laundry and an inbox with 100+ new messages. I'll see you here tomorrow...