Monday, May 25, 2015

Fabulous Firsts with... ALLIE BONIFACE




The first few lines of... 

The Promise of Paradise & After Paradise
(part of SUMMER on MAIN STREET boxed set)


“Is this it?” Jen craned her neck and stared at the street sign.

Ashton wiped one damp palm on her thigh and tried to will away the knots in her stomach. “I don’t know.” She pulled her Volkswagen to the curb and dug in her pocket for the email print-out with directions.



Available now!
The Promise of Paradise







SUMMER on MAIN STREET
Boxed Set--Available for pre-order


* * * * *



Fun First Facts About Allie

What was the first Rated R movie you ever saw?
My best friend and I saw Nightmare on Elm Street when we were 14. Her mom gave the theater permission to let us in even though we were underage (this was before you had to show ID!), but needless to say, even though today it views as a pretty cheesy horror movie, we
were TERRIFIED by Freddy Kruger. We didn’t sleep a wink that night at my house, and my mom was so mad she had to get up at midnight and reassure us that a burned-up crazy man with knives for fingers was not hiding in our basement!


What was the first romance you ever read?
I actually don’t remember, but I do remember loving These Happy Golden Years from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House collection. That’s the book in which studly farmer Almanzo courts young schoolteacher Laura by riding his horse and sleigh over the prairie to bring her home every weekend. Sigh.


Tell me about the first novel you ever wrote? What ever happened to it?
Great story: it was a novel called Lost in Paradise, and I sold it to The Wild Rose Press back in 2007. Although I was thrilled to finally have published a book, it didn’t sell particularly well. When I was dabbling with the idea of trying out indie publishing back in 2012, I decided to get the rights back and try to re-brand and publish it on my own.

It has since been renamed The Promise of Paradise, and it currently has over 100 reviews on Amazon and has been downloaded (between sales and free download specials) over 100,000 times! For Summer on Main Street, I’m including this book along with a brand new novella that gives best friend Jen her very own story (it also introduces readers to Lindsey Point, which is where my Hometown Heroes series takes place). So even if you’ve read The Promise of Paradise, the novella After Paradise will be brand new to you on June 23rd. Pre-order your copy of Summer on Main Street now to make sure you have it!



More about Allie
Allie was born and raised in a tiny community in upstate New York, which probably explains her fascination with small town life. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Rochester in New York and a M.A. in English Literature from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1997, she has enjoyed life in the northern NYC suburbs, where she lives with her husband and teaches high school English. In her spare time, she and her husband love to travel. She is also a runner, a musician and an animal-lover.

Allie is a USA Today best-selling author of sensual contemporary romance. She reads in all genres and loves chatting with other readers and writers about any topic under the sun. You can find her around the Web, at writers' conferences, giving workshops and always swapping stories. Allie loves stories set in small towns and is a firm believer in the power of love and the emotions that connect us all!

Find Allie online:

Website
Newsletter sign-up 
Facebook
Twitter

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for...WALK IT OUT

A to Z Blogging Challenge


Growing up, I hated any form of exercise, even leisurely walking, unless that leisurely walk took me to the ice cream store or bookstore. Or both.

I started walking when my kids were small because if I put them in the stroller and gave them a lollipop (I know—bad, bad mommy), they wouldn’t scream or otherwise make my
nerves go taught as a violin string for at least 20 minutes. I knew for at least 20 minutes every morning I would have peace and quiet, time to gather my frazzled thoughts. Soon, those walks became addictive. Sometimes, I went for two walks a day. Sometimes even three, depending on whether or not the Alien Toddlers felt like napping.

I soon learned another benefit of daily walking. It was a great way to work out the kinks in my WIP. Almost like magic, for the scene I was having so much trouble with, the one that had me staring at the blinking cursor until I could see it in my sleep, the solution would pop into my head. Oftentimes, my mind would be overflowing with so many great ideas, I’d extend the walk (with more lollipops) until I couldn’t wait to get home and onto the computer (after Alien Toddlers were napping, of course).

Creativity guru Julia Cameron urges all of us artsy fartsy types to take daily walks to restore our spirit and nourish our creativity. In her book, Walking in this World, she says, “The truth is that walking holds our solutions.” Before the walk, we’re stuck. After the walk, we’re miraculously unstuck.

Walking clears your head and focuses your thinking, it pulls your awareness away from relentless mind chatter to the gentle rhythm of the walk. The repetitiveness of each step after step gradually brings you into an almost meditative, deeper state. And this deeper state is where your creative mind is free to let go, to explore the possibilities and all the “what if’s.” This is when the magic happens.

It’s no secret that exercise and creativity go hand in hand. Stephen King is known to be an avid walker (unfortunately, he didn’t have eyes in the back of his head when he was hit by that car…). Henry David Thoreau wrote a book about it. And St. Augustine said, Solvitur ambulando—“it is solved by walking.” The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

Great minds, great walkers.

I’m not telling you to go out there and walk as fast as you can until you’re all hot and sweaty and cursing my name. I’m talking slow and leisurely, people. Easy does it. Nourish that inner muse, don’t give it a heart attack.

Next time you’re stuck with your writing, instead of beating the tar out of your computer, calling your muse foul names, or scarfing a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, trying going for a walk instead. Your muse—not to mention your waistline—will thank you.

Rebecca J. Clark walks almost daily but swears her internal critic is following her. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

V is for VIDEO

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today, V stands for Video. Because I couldn't think of anything to post on V-day other than Vacuum (boring!) I thought I'd post a funny video. This is some 80s style aerobics with Taylor Swift's recent release, Shake It Off dubbed over it. Good stuff. But OMG, did we really think those hair styles and outfits looked cool????


U is for... UP

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today, U stands for UP, as in Legs Up the Wall Pose. It's a restorative yoga pose that feels SO good. It's great for your back. It's great for achy legs and feet. Great if you suffer from
varicose veins. It's super simple, too. Anyone can do it. 

Find a bare wall. Lie on the floor with your hips scooted right up to the place where the floor meets the wall. Your legs rest on the wall in front of you. Now, if your hamstrings are really tight, you might need to scoot your hips back away from the wall a bit to be more comfortable.

Once you're in position, just relax, breathe and enjoy! Spend at least five minutes a day in Legs Up the Wall Pose. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for... SUMMER ON MAIN STREET

A to Z Blogging Challenge

SUMMER ON MAIN STREET

I'm so excited to be a part of this new boxed set with these amazing authors. Several of the books (including mine) are
brand new, never released. 

The book I'm including is LEAD-OFF BRIDE, book 1 of my new Take Me Out to the Wedding series, about weddings and baseball. Of course.

Summer on Main Street is available now for pre-orders and releases June 23.



Available now to pre-order
Just 99 cents!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for... RUNNING

A to Z Blogging Challenge

7-Week Beginning Runner Program
(Personal trainer since 2003, NSCA & ISSA certified)

Thinking of starting a running program? Here's an easy one to try. Yes, I said "easy." There are a lot of great beginning running programs out there, but most of them are still too advanced for a lot of people.

One mistake many beginning runners make is starting off too fast, too long, too soon. It's going to take a while for your bones and joints to get used to the work, so take your time. Personally, I need to start out really slow & easy because I have foot and back issues to work around. If I do too much, too fast, I hurt. Bad.

So, I thought I'd share with you the program I created for myself. It works for me. Maybe it'll work for you, too.

You're going to work in five minute bundles. You'll do 4 bundles in a workout, plus warm up and cool down.  After the warm up, you'll run for the allotted time, then walk for the remainder of your 5-minute bundle. You'll repeat that combination until your workout is done. Then you'll walk for five minutes at the end to cool down. 

The running/jogging times are a suggestion. Don't do more than I suggested, but you can certainly do less and increase at a pace that's better for you.

You'll want to do this workout three times a week. No more than that. On off days, cross train by lifting weights, taking a class, etc.

Don't forget: 5 minute warm up walk to begin, and a 5 minute cool down walk to finish. Not optional. :)

Week 1
30 seconds--run/jog
4.5 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x
*If 30 seconds is too long, start with 15 seconds. Or 10 seconds. Then walk the remainder of the five-minute bundle.

Week 2
45 seconds--run/jog
4.25 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

Week 3
1 minute--run/jog
4 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x


Week 4
1.5 minutes--run/jog
3.5 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

Week 5
2 minutes--run/jog
3 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x


Week 6
3 minutes--run/jog
2 minutes--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

Week 7
4 minutes--run/jog
1 minute--walk
Repeat this bundle 4x

This level is where I stay. Running/jogging continuously hurts my feet and back, but if I walk for 4 minutes and run for 1 minute over and over, that works for me. But if you get to this point and want to run for longer times, keep adding 1 minute to your running times each week, until you're at the level you want to be at. Perhaps your goal is to run 20 minutes straight. Or 30 minutes straight. Or to run 2 miles without stopping. 

You can do it. Try this program and let me know what you think. :)



Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for... POSTURE

A to Z Blogging Challenge

Today we’re talking about posture. All of us know what good posture is—we can probably still hear our moms and grandmas and teachers telling us to “Stand up straight!” or “Sit up straight,” or “Don’t slouch!”
But now that we’re adults and don’t have our moms, grandmas and teachers around constantly to tell us what to do, we may have developed some bad postural habits.
Good posture is important for everyone, because it makes you look better (ie: taller and leaner), and it’s good for your health. Poor posture puts excessive stress and wear on certain joints and muscles. It looks bad and it causes pain. How many times have you spent a lot of time at the computer or behind the wheel only to have horrible back pain as you finally stood up? Better posture could help eliminate that pain.
This is of particular importance to writers because poor posture can hurt our creativity. I’ll explain.
Let’s try something. Stop what you’re doing and give me your worst posture, all slumped over and slouched. Staying in that position, take a deep breath and let it out. Now straighten up, shoulders back, chest out and take another deep breath. Notice the difference? Your breathing was much easier when you were sitting up straight, wasn’t it?
Slumping requires more muscle activity so it uses up more of our precious energy. Poor posture inhibits circulation, which means your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function at its best. And if you remember from my last blog about exercise and creativity, your muse doesn’t do well without plenty of oxygen.
So, what is good posture?
When you’re seated, whether at the computer or behind the wheel, it’s sitting up straight, belly gently in, shoulders back and down, chin tucked slightly. When you’re standing, it’s balancing your weight evenly between both of your feet, pelvis just slightly tucked, belly in, shoulders relaxed and not hunched by your ears, chin not jutting forward.
You might find that holding good posture is not comfortable, maybe even it hurts a bit. This is probably because your chest muscles are so tight from hunching forward.
Here are some good chest openers:
Stand or sit with your back tall and straight. Clasp your hands behind your back, straighten your arms and raise your hands. Hold for 20-30 seconds while taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Stand in a doorway and lift your arms out to the side, your forearms resting on the frame. Lean forward into your arms, feeling the stretch through your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds while breathing deeply.
If you have one of those big exercise balls, sit on one and walk your feet forward until you’re lying backward over the ball. Stretch your arms overhead or out to the side. Hold for as long as you want, at least 30 seconds.
Roll up a beach towel, yoga mat or exercise mat. Lie back on it, the roll centered along your spine, length-wise. Let your arms fall open to the sides. Straighten or bend your legs, whatever is most comfortable. Hold this position, breathing deeply for 3-5 minutes. It feels fabulous—you’ll love it.
Have I convinced you yet to work on your posture? No? How ‘bout this? Good posture will make you look 10 pounds lighter.
Now, stand up straight! Don’t slouch!