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Tag Archives: Ally Shields

Cross Keys 
From Kayelle Allen: This week on Romance Lives Forever I’m sharing
stories by authors who have faced cancer either in themselves, or a family member.
The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is vital. One
key to success is being able to ask for help — and then being willing to accept
it. It’s a lesson I’ve had in my own life during various times. I don’t accept help
well. It’s something I fight with all the time. I’d like to think “I’ve got
this” but sometimes I don’t have as good a grip as I thought I did. I have
a friend who’s dealing with cancer right now. A friend’s brother died from cancer
last year. Cancer affects all of us. I hope I’m even half as good a friend as those
you’ll read about in this series.
I’m presenting these posts as an opportunity for the authors
to share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. There’s a short
list of ways you can show your support at the end of each post.

No History, No Warning, by Ally Shields

The diagnosis of breast cancer came
out the blue. No family history, no warning. I was too young. But the moment I felt
the lump during a shower, I knew what it was. The news went downhill from there.
Seventy-five percent of the nearest lymph nodes were involved. Prognosis guarded.
Three months of chemo later, they found spots in my lungs. It appeared the cancer
had already spread, and I was reeling when I heard the words…four months.
But I was scheduled to begin immediate
training at the Federal Law Enforcement Academy for a course on identifying and
rescuing abused children. My friends, my cop partner, and employer encouraged me
to go, and I did. I was determined to live up to their faith in me that my time
there wouldn’t be wasted, and it helped me stay positive. I met an incredible group
of people. When they learned of my diagnosis, they went out of their way to make
sure I stayed positive throughout training.
Upon return to Des Moines, my cancer
doctor recommended a lung biopsy. There was a one in a million chance it was something
else. He thought I might be that one. The biopsy revealed the spots were scars from
an unrelated prior illness. The cancer hadn’t spread after all, and I went into
additional chemotherapy believing I could beat this thing.
Twelve difficult months later-with
friends and family beside me all the way- I was cancer free, and have remained so
for 25 years. Of course the medical team was fantastic, but I credit my recovery
to everyone who was around me at that critical time. The effects of friendship on
our minds and bodies can be a powerful thing, a little touch of human magic.

About the Author

Ally Shields grew up in the Midwest and currently resides near
Des Moines, Iowa. Writing has always been a part of her life, but in 2009, after
a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing. Her first
urban fantasy novel, Awakening the Fire was published in 2012 and that series continues.
She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings
into her books.

Buy This Author’s Book

Cross Keys, an Elvenrude novel
Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Conspiracy, murder and magic… A dark elf hunts the streets
of New Orleans.

Author Social Media

Ways you can show your support

Cancer Awareness Week 
Share this post on social media
Follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, or other sites where
you’re active
Encourage the author by sharing what they share
Purchase the author’s books
Review the author’s books
Leave a comment on the blog

Thank you for being part of the Romance Lives Forever community.
RLF Gem Award 
Last month, Romance Lives Forever had 31 posts in a 31 day month.
We also had three unique events. For three days, the Cancer Awareness posts
shared uplifting stories of survival and hope. Near the beginning of the month,
the 1000th post for the blog went up, and we all celebrated. Then, on the last
day of the month, we focused on the writer’s organization Marketing for Romance
Writers, which offers support and free promotion for authors.
The Top Blogger was the Marketing for Romance Writers.
Marketing for Romance Writers http://marketingforromancewriters.org/

Top Five Bloggers for the Month

(judged by page views). Congratulations to each one!
  1. Marketing
    for Romance Writers
  2. Cancer
    Awareness Participants (listed below)
  3. Melinda
    Curtis
  4. Jana
    Richards
  5. Barbara
    White Daille

Cancer Awareness Participants:

Day 1: Vicki Batman, Ally Shields
Day 2: Lloyd Meeker, Mackenzie Crowne, Marjorie Belson
Day 3: Christine MacKenzie, Terry Irene Blain
Honorable mention: JoAnne Myers and Allison Merritt
The RLF Gems post each month usually ranks in the top ten, but is not
counted, in order to focus on guests.
Romance Lives Forever features authors and new books. It has a blogger’s
FAQ page with a downloadable guide and optional interviews. Readers can follow via
Google+, Networked Blogs, Linky Followers, email, an RSS feed, and there’s a blog
button readers and authors can grab. RLF takes up to three images per article, so
authors can share previous books. The blog uses author or publisher names as tags
on posts, and author Twitter handles in the titles. The site is broadcast over Triberr
with a potential reach of over a million readers via its Twitter-linked network.
Twitter mentions are also gathered in several Paper.li ezines, giving the author
additional opportunities for promotion. The Romance Lives Forever
Paper.li ezine
features guest authors on its front page every day.

Share your book cover on Romance Lives Forever

Limited spots to share book covers are available. Cost is $3
per month, with discounts for covers posted for one quarter and up to one year.
Covers can be changed monthly.

Sign Up for a Future Post

Guest calendar http://is.gd/rlfdates
My thanks to all who took part this month. You made Romance Lives
Forever a great place to discover new books and authors.
Other participants this month in alphabetical order by first
name are:
Anita Philmar, Belinda Williams, Christina Westcott, Debra Glass, Dena
Garson, Donna Cummings, Tarah Scott, JC McKenzie, Jennifer
Britt, Juli D Revezzo, Kayelle Allen, Lisa Carlisle, Lynda Bailey, Lynn Rae, Mary
Quast, NJ Walters, Raven J Spencer, Regina Kammer, Suz deMello, Teresa Reasor
Romance Lives Forever 
From Kayelle:
For three days I’m sharing stories by various authors about
how they or a family member faced cancer. Reading their posts is inspiring and
touching. The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is
vital. From what I’ve read, the key to success includes being able to ask for
help — and then being willing to accept it. It’s a lesson I’ve had in my own
life. I don’t accept help well. It’s something I fight
with all the time. I’d like to think “I’ve got this” but sometimes
I don’t have as good a grip as I thought I did. I have a friend who’s dealing
with cancer right now. My business partner’s brother just died from cancer. It
affects all of us. Reading these helps me understand better. I hope I’m even
half as good a friend as those you’ll read about in this series.
I’m presenting these as an opportunity for the authors to
share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. Links to follow
the authors and to purchase their books are provided. Today’s authors are Vicki Batman and Ally Shields.

Vicki Batman

Most people know I refer to my husband
as Handsome. What some don’t know is eight years ago, he was diagnosed with throat
cancer.
He had a swollen lymph node that all
doctors thought was allergy or infection-related. The drugs and antibiotics prescribed
didn’t knock it out. He had a needle biopsy which came back clean. His ENT doctor
said she wanted to remove the lymph and when doing so, found the cancer in three
spots.
My son and I had been waiting for
the doc to tell us all was well with the surgery, but she took forever. When she
did say, she asked if we wanted to tell Handsome. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even speak
or hardly look at him. Waiting in the recovery room for her to discuss all

was terribly
hard.

Handsome was shocked too, but he was
very determined. He said, “Something to check off my yellow pad: Fight Cancer.”
He showed none of the classic symptoms
that lead to throat/esophageal cancer. He smoked the rare cigar. Drank an occasional
vodka or wine. Worked out. Not overweight. Little family history. Yet, he had it.
And so the battle strategy was formed
with an oncology doc, an ENT specialist, and the head of radiology. We had our dates,
we had our plans, we were marching forward.
At first, I stuffed him with everything
imaginable, but mostly lots of cheese-related products, milkshakes, and pasta. He
eventually did lose 35 pounds because the radiation scarred his throat and swallowing
became difficult. He worked until fatigued, then worked at home. The only one who
cried was me when he shaved his head. Eight weeks later, the treatment was over.
And every subsequent test and examination has shown him to be clear.
I believe a combination of many things
helped him through: his faith, our hope, family and friends, the skill of the doctors.
And the determination to check off
his yellow pad: Fight Cancer.
Temporarily Employed 

Buy This Author’s Book

Temporarily Employed
Genre: romantic comedy, cozy mystery
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Author: Vicki Batman
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
New Job. New Love. And Murder.
Hattie Cook’s dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated.
Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a
temporary job at Buy Rite Insurance Company where she uncovers an embezzling scam
tied to the death of a former employee–the very one she replaced. The last thing
she wants is to clash with By-the-Book Detective Wellborn, no matter how much he
makes her heart pound.
Detective Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all
his life. When the police determine there’s more to the death of a former Buy Rite
employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect,
he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.
Can the killer be found before Hattie’s time is up?

About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author Vicki Batman
has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement
park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative
assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything
gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts,
written essays, and sold many short stories to True Love, True Romance, True Confessions,
Noble Romance Publishing, Long and Short Reviews, Museitup Publishing, and The Wild
Rose Press. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004,
she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA
awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking
“What if??”

Author Social Media

Ally Shields

The diagnosis of breast cancer came
out the blue. No family history, no warning. I was

too young. But the moment I felt
the lump during a shower, I knew what it was. The news went downhill from there.
Seventy-five percent of the nearest lymph nodes were involved. Prognosis guarded.
Three months of chemo later, they found spots in my lungs. It appeared the cancer
had already spread, and I was reeling when I heard the words…four months.

Cross Keys 
But I was scheduled to begin immediate
training at the Federal Law Enforcement Academy for a course on identifying and
rescuing abused children. My friends, my cop partner, and employer encouraged me
to go, and I did. I was determined to live up to their faith in me that my time
there wouldn’t be wasted, and it helped me stay positive. I met an incredible group
of people. When they learned of my diagnosis, they went out of their way to make
sure I stayed positive throughout training.
Upon return to Des Moines, my cancer
doctor recommended a lung biopsy. There was a one in a million chance it was something
else. He thought I might be that one. The biopsy revealed the spots were scars from
an unrelated prior illness. The cancer hadn’t spread after all, and I went into
additional chemotherapy believing I could beat this thing.
Twelve difficult months later-with
friends and family beside me all the way- I was cancer free, and have remained so
for 25 years. Of course the medical team was fantastic, but I credit my recovery
to everyone who was around me at that critical time. The effects of friendship on
our minds and bodies can be a powerful thing, a little touch of human magic.

About the Author

Ally Shields grew up in the Midwest and currently resides near
Des Moines, Iowa. Writing has always been a part of her life, but in 2009, after
a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing. Her first
urban fantasy novel, Awakening the Fire was published in 2012 and that series continues.
She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings
into her books.

Buy This Author’s Book

Cross Keys, an Elvenrude novel
Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Conspiracy, murder and magic… A dark elf hunts the streets
of New Orleans.

Author Social Media

October on Romance Lives Forever saw eleven author
interviews, ten character interviews, and two articles.
This month marks the first full month during which we used the author’s Twitter handle as part of our post titles.  The impact of hits mentioning the author on Twitter help show them how valuable a visit on this site can be. Does it help bring people to the blog? Consider this: 18 of the 24 bloggers this month placed in the top 33% of overall hits on the blog.
Here are the top five posts for the month of October
(judging by page hits).
1. Susan Lodge — Character Interview with Hetty Avebury
2. Charlie Cochrane — Character Interview with Ben Edwards
3. Ally Shields — Author Interview “Awakening the Fire”
4. AR Norris — Author Interview “All Female Planet?”
5. Stephanie Burkhart — Character Interview with Lady Keira
Other participants this month in alphabetical order by first
name are: Adriana Kraft, Andrew Grey, Barbara
Bradley, Brenna Zinn, Casey Sheridan, Cynnara Tregarth, Dominique Eastwick, Elle
Druskin, Holley Trent, Jennifer Stevenson, Kate Hill, Kendall McKenna, Keta
Diablo, Kristina Knight, Rhea Rhodan, Sharon Kleve, Terry Spear, Tmonique
Stephens
 
Awakening the Fire.

Ally Shields, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch Book One).
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romantic Paranormal
Buy links: Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/Nr8jko
Amazon (UK):
http://amzn.to/Rt0zkb
Barnes and Nobel: http://bit.ly/RPrJ45
All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/U25Q0G
Publisher: Etopia Press
Cover artist: Annie Melton
Length: 83,000 words, 245 pages (approx.)
Heat rating: Sexual tension, PG-13, M/F
Tagline:
While fire witch cop Ari Calin races to stop the violence triggered
by an exotic drug, a werewolf pack is intent on starting a supernatural war.
Blurb:
Ari Calin has sworn to keep the peace in the Olde Town
district of Riverdale, and most of the time the Otherworlders cooperate. The vampires,
werewolves and other magical creatures go about their own business, living side
by side with humans, until the foreign werewolves arrive and an virtual reality
drug hits the streets. When violence erupts, Ari needs more than her witch fire,
weapons and potions to stop the madness.
Teaming with a human police lieutenant and a way-too-sexy vampire
singer, Ari hunts for the enemy—from the vampire strip clubs to the caverns under
the city. Every step draws Ari and her companions deeper into an old feud and closer
to the brink of a supernatural war.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Arianna Calin, 23, is
a fire witch and a cop for the Magic Council, the ruling authority for Otherworlders.
Andreas De Luca is a
vampire who sings in a vampire supper club—and so much more. Andreas was born in
1786 but he was 29 when he became a vampire and will look 29 and yummy forever.
Lt. Ryan Foster, 34,
is Ari’s partner among the human cops. They work joint cases for the Magic Council
and the Riverdale Police Department.

Interview

What is the most important
thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I network. When I began writing full time four years ago, my
friends and family didn’t understand why I was doing this. I felt rather lost until
I discovered other writers. Now I network for support and promotion, knowing there
are many out there sharing the same triumphs and frustrations.
What do you enjoy most
about life?
Almost everything. Seriously! I’ve always been curious and enjoy
seeing and experiencing new things, from climbing the pyramids to horseback-riding
through the Arizona
desert. I suppose that’s why writing, reading and traveling top my list of things
I love to do. It’s a way to experience many new worlds. But sometimes it’s the little
things that really catch you off guard. The butterfly in the garden, a particularly
good wine, a sailboat on the lake at sunset.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Get serious about your writing much earlier in life. I wrote
my first book when I was nine—all about a palomino horse. Imagine how many books
I could have written if life hadn’t distracted me along the way! It takes time to
learn the craft. Write, rewrite, and then do it all over again.
Do things your family
or friends do ever end up in a book?
OMG, yes, but they don’t know it! Mannerisms mostly, and sometimes
parts of funny conversations. I try to disguise them so they won’t guess. :) But
I even use people on the street. No one is safe.
What are some jobs you’ve
done before (or while) you were a writer?
I began full-time employment as an English teacher, then a practicing
lawyer and finally a Juvenile Court Officer. The most fascinating years were spent
as a member of C.A.T.T, the Child Abuse Trauma Team that investigated severe child
abuse cases.
What kind of books do
you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I can’t read urban fantasy while I’m working on a new book, so
I usually turn to mysteries like those of J.D. Robb, thrillers like Vince Flynn,
or a light romance. If I need cheering up, I re-read Georgette Heyer to laugh at
her witty dialogue.
In between manuscripts, I catch up with new paranormal releases
from Laurell K Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and anyone else that catches
my eye. I tend to like vampires!
Imagine you get to go
on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts
as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will
you go?
My laptop, so I could write and check-in by email and Twitter.
My kindle for obvious reasons. Lightweight clothing and my camera. I would return
to Egypt for the fourth time,
do the Nile trip again and see Luxor and Karnak. I love that place!
What is your favorite
holiday and why?
Thanksgiving. Everyone comes home for Thanksgiving just to enjoy
the good food and conversation. No pre-holiday shopping, fighting through the malls,
wrapping packages, or holiday programs to detract from family time. And I rather
like the pumpkin pie, too.
Which statement is more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because
I do things as fast as possible.”
I’m definitely the ten day tour, and I’ve been on several! If
something needs to be done, I want it done now. I’ll stay up all night to finish.
And I have no patience whatsoever with delayed gratification. Now, now, now. As
soon as this task is done, I can move on to the next challenge, the next fascinating
riddle to solve.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms.
I’m always ready for chocolate!
When I’m alone, I read or play tug-a-war with my miniature
pinscher, Ranger
.
You’d never be able to tell, but I have an earring collection
in the hundreds!
If I had a halo it would be tarnished.
:-D
If I could be an astronaut, I’d go to the moon or mars.
I can never watch a movie where the hero or heroine dies,
because I cry too much. It’s embarrassing!

Find Me Here

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