Tag Archives: read

5 New Bed and Breakfast Novels Your Guests Will Love

Book Covers: Inn at Hidden Run, Magnolia Inn, Peach Clobbered, Seeing Red, Summer HouseIntroducing five new bed and breakfast novels your guests are sure to love. All of these books are centered around B&B businesses. Plots include discovering family histories, chasing killers, reading about secrets, falling in love, and uncovering other mysteries. It is always good to have books available for guests to read. You already know they love inns!

 

The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport (Book #1 Tree of Life)

A father-daughter genealogy team link present to past on family trees. Meri’s family has been producing doctors for so many generations that no one remembers why, so when she flunks out of medical school, she runs as far from her parents as she can get. In the small town of Canyon Mines, Colorado, she takes a job at the Inn at Hidden Run B&B. And waits. It’s only a matter of time. What she doesn’t count on is genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her father, Nolan, having her back when it takes everything she has not to bolt again but to stay and face the truth that only unfolding her family’s history will reveal. While Nolan works on keeping Meri calm–and in town–Jillian pulls out of her gems of information she doesn’t know she has and arranges the puzzle pieces. But none of that changes the fact that Meri’s family is closing in to haul her back to her “real” life. When their arrival inflames tensions and Meri finally does bolt, Nolan and Jillian may be out of time.

The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown

A #1 Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller. New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown brings together two wounded hearts in a Texas romance of second chances and twice-in-a-lifetime true love. Inheriting the Magnolia Inn, a Victorian home nestled in the East Texas pines, is a fantasy come true for Jolene Broussard. After living with the guilt of failing to rescue her self-destructive mother, Jolene knows her aunt and uncle’s B&B is the perfect jump start for a new life and a comforting place to call home. There’s just one hitch: stubborn and moody carpenter Tucker Malone. He’s got a half interest in the Magnolia Inn, and he’s planting his dusty cowboy boots squarely in the middle of her dream. Ever since his wife’s death, Tucker’s own guilt and demons have left him as guarded as Jolene. The last thing he expects is for his new partner to stir something inside him he thought was gone forever. And as wary as Jolene is, she may have found a kindred spirit–someone she can help, and someone she can hold on to. Restoring Magnolia Inn is the first step toward restoring their hearts. Will they be able to let go of the past and trust each other to do it together again?

Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard (A Georgia B&B Mystery)

What’s black and white and dead all over? Georgia bed and breakfast proprietor Nina Fleet finds out when she comes across a corpse in a penguin costume. Nina Fleet’s life ought to be as sweet as a Georgia peach. Awarded a tiny sum in her divorce, Nina retired at 41 to a historic Queen Anne house in quaint Cymbeline, Georgia. But Nina’s barely settled into her new B&B-to-be when a penguin shows up on her porch. Or, at least, a man wearing a penguin suit. Harry Westcott is making ends meet as an ice cream shop’s mascot and has a letter from his great-aunt, pledging to leave him the house. Too bad that’s not what her will says. Meanwhile, the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty have lost their lease. Real estate developer Gregory Bainbridge intends to turn the convent into a golfing community, so Cymbeline’s mayor persuades Nina to take in the elderly nuns. And then Nina finds the “penguin” again, this time lying in an ally with a kitchen knife in his chest. A peek under the beak tells Nina it’s not Harry inside the costume, but Bainbridge. What was he doing in Harry’s penguin suit? Was the developer really the intended victim, or did the culprit intend to kill Harry? Whoever is out to stop Harry from contesting the sale of his great-aunt’s house may also be after Nina, so she teams up with him to cage the killer before someone clips her wings.

Seeing Red by Dana Dratch (A Red Herring Mystery)

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies, and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss. Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn. But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion, And her assistance. Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow. People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”–with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels. When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner. With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster–and some very nasty characters. Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?

The Summer House by Jenny Hale

From this USA Today bestselling author comes a delightful read about friendship, family, and the healing power of love. Callie Weaver and her best friend, Olivia Dixon, have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint it’s sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast. Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s real estate empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy. But as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks. Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets…secrets that stretch across the island and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor. Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm the diary unleashes, or can true love save them?

If you have a common room that is perfect for guests to read in, consider having a library of books available for them to read during their stay. Books like these five new bed and breakfast novels. See our blog post about the perfect bed and breakfast books for guests. Happy reading, to you and your guests! Feel free to comment below with your own B&B book recommendation!

 

7 LinkedIn Groups for Innkeepers

linkedin groups for innkeepers

LinkedIn Groups for Innkeepers can be a helpful way to get support and advice from other bed and breakfasts and others in the hospitality industry.  LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories.  All LinkedIn groups are private and those open to membership must request to join the group.

 

Upon acceptance, each group has their own rules for what its members are allowed to post.  If the group’s profile and rules state that no links whatsoever should be posted, its members must abide by that. If you would rather find and join a group with a less stringent view of links, then simply look for a different group.

Group members are not obligated to post anything.  They can just read what other members have posted.  However, many social media experts advise that newcomers introduce themselves to their group. Not only does this let the group know about their new members, but the group will likely reach out to welcome its new members.

Things inn-keeping groups share with each other include hospitality-related articles, online marketing tips, questions for inn-keeping best practices, and much more! A great way to learn information is to ask questions from your group.

The following is a list of just some of the LinkedIn groups innkeepers may want to join:

Bed and Breakfast Business has over 900 members. “Bed and Breakfast group is a group for BnB owners who want to collaborate and communicate with other BnB owners about their business, best practices, tips, etc…”

Bed and Breakfast and Guest House Owners has over 2,000 members.  “Have you ever wondered how you can make 6 figures…from just 4 rooms? Want to know how to get raving fans coming back again and again?…If you’re a bed and breakfast owner, small hotel owner, guest house owner, then join our group and let’s share and help each other.”

Bed and Breakfast Inns has over 400 members.  “BedBreakfastTraveler.com’s goal with the Bed and Breakfast Inns group is to foster partnership, networking, and collaboration among the innkeeping industry. Through sharing of information, resources, and advice, the collective standards and profitability of the group shall increase.”

Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers has over 3,700 members.  “This group page is for Bed&Breakfast Owners across the Globe. Finding your niche as a B&B Owner and making it a success. Sharing what is your unique about your B&B, it’s amenities in what you offer and why you know that an experience at your B&B will be well remembered, and one that ensures your guest will return time and time again.”

B&B Owners Association has over 950 members.  “The B&B Owners Association has 3 main purposes:  1) To provide an independent, stable and well funded Internet marketing organization for the accommodation & hospitality sectors.  2) To ensure cost effective & comprehensive Internet marketing for its members and a effective global promotional vehicle on which to promote their businesses.  3) To ensure the public and Internet user have an easy to use and easy to find accommodation resource.”

Innkeepers has around 2,500 members.  “Bed and Breakfast Business Owners worldwide are welcome to network and share on this Group, whether you are an established Bed and Breakfast business or you want to own and run a bed and breakfast business.”

Just Bed and Breakfast Network has around 250 members.  “Justbedandbreakfast.net is the fastest growing worldwide bed and breakfasts directory offering the most complete list of unique properties from historic inns and guest houses to cabins and farm stays. View bed and breakfast descriptions, photos, reviews, and more.”

At the top of the LinkedIn page under “Interests” click “Groups” and this allows searching for these group titles or using other keywords.  Underneath the search box it will list any groups of which you are currently a member.  Underneath that, users can even create their own LinkedIn group should they desire to do so.  They can focus their membership on a specific geographical area or direct the discussion to a specific topic of interest.

Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging may start her own LinkedIn group.  If I did, what kind of topics would you like to see covered?  Please feel free to share a comment below or use my contact form to notify me directly.

Also, if you are a member of one of these LinkedIn groups (or a different LinkedIn group related to hospitality) and think it beneficial for other innkeepers to join, please tell us the name of your group and what you like about it.  I read all my comments and respond when appropriate.  Thank you!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Fun Bed and Breakfast Retreats

fun bed and breakfast retreats

I went online to BnB Finder to search for bed and breakfasts and to my pleasant surprise, I found some fun bed and breakfast retreats. These retreats include a board game tournament, a night walk, private art classes, and a literary weekend.  Typically, most bed and breakfasts do not offer these kinds of special retreats which makes these bed and breakfasts all the more attractive. Read on for more retreat ideas that you can apply to grow your own B&B business.

 

In Saugatuck, Michigan (near where I grew up in Holland, Michigan) at Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast they offer a Monopoly Tournament from November through April. If the entire B&B is booked, they promise to organize the “hippest” Monopoly Tournament ever played! The winner receives a complete set of Sherwood Forest Gear.  Lunch will be catered. This offer may expire at the end of this year.  Call for details at 800-838-1246. This reminds me of my Pinterest Board called Bed and Breakfast Games which features different board games and game rooms at various bed and breakfasts.

In the Saratoga Region of New York at Mariaville Lake Bed and Breakfast, they offer a Night Walk for a small extra fee.  This B&B invites guests to take a walk, guided by the innkeeper, to experience the full night sky. Guests will use a night vision scope and will be amazed at what they can see such as beavers working hard at their famous beaver pond. Advance notice is required and subject to availability and weather conditions. The offer may expire at the end of this year.  Contact the innkeeper for more details.

In the Hudson Valley Region of New York, at the Pine Bush House, they offer Stay and Paint private art classes with local artist Lana Privitera.  Originally from Spain, Lana graduated from the Fine Arts School of Zaragoza, where she majored in Fashion Design and Art History. Lana has won numerous art awards.  She is the current Art Curator for the Pine Bush Public Library.  A sampling of her work can be found on her website.

Currently, there are one day and two day Watercolor Workshops (four hours each) available and all tailored to suit individual needs, taste, and ability.  Supplies loaned by the instructor, but guests have the opportunity to purchase.  Guests receive one FREE double white mat and backing piece (plus an acetate sleeve to protect their “masterpiece”).  A list of art material suppliers as well as recommended art books will be provided.

Contact Lana Privitera at lanaprivitera@gmail.com or Barbara at barbara@pinebushhouse.com for detailed pricing! Discounts available if staying two or more nights.  This opportunity is available at least through June 20, 2015.

In lovely Vermont, The Governor’s House in Hyde Park offers Jane Austen Weekends full of literary-inspired diversions.  Quietly slip back into Regency England in a beautiful historic mansion.  Take afternoon tea.  Share your thoughts at a book discussion.  Attend an informal talk over desserts. Test your knowledge at the quiz brunch and possibly take home a prize.

Take a carriage ride or sleigh ride (depending upon the season).  Join every activity or simply spend the weekend watching the movies. Try English country dancing. Dress in whichever century suits you. Jane Austen fans unite!

Examples of bed and breakfast retreats, special packages, and events include:

Innkeepers are only limited by their imagination.  So get creative and think about what you have passion for. What interests, skills, experience, and talents do you have?  Innkeepers do not have to be the instructors.  In the Stay and Paint retreat example, the innkeeper has a professional artist and art curator coming to her inn. Arrangements can be made with the experts hosting the event if they are not the bed and breakfast owners or innkeepers.

If you are a bed and breakfast owner or innkeeper and have been successful with a particular retreat, package, excursion, or other event at your B&B, I would love to know about it.  Write about your successes to Kristi Dement below.  I promise to read every comment and reply when appropriate.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How To Get Started Blogging

how to get started blogging

 

I recently received a comment from a reader asking about how they could get started blogging. As a professional blogger and librarian, the first thing I recommend to get started blogging is to read successful blogs and to read about blogging. I recommend the following resources:

 

 

Technorati is a website that lists the top 100 blogs.  Since it is updated daily, the list stays current.  By reading the top blogs, you can get a feel for different blogging styles and techniques as well as what is popularly read. You will have your own style of writing, but this is a great place to start. This website also offers a directory of blogs.

When you do read other blogs, ask yourself:

  • What do I like about this blog?  What do I dislike?
  • What sort of content does it provide?
  • Does the blogger put a unique spin on the topic and/or share their opinions?
  • Do the readers give comments?  Does the blogger respond to the comments?

Another cool website is ProBlogger.  On the home page, you can sign up for free blogging tips to be sent to your e-mail.  This website is run by Darren Rowse, co-author of the very informative book Problogger: Secrets For Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.

Some other blogging books I recommend:

Bloggers Boot Camp: learning how to build, write, and run a successful blog by Charlies White and John Biggs

Blogging for Creatives: how designers, artists, crafters, and writers can blog to make contacts, win business, and build success by Robin Houghton

Born To Blog: building your blog for personal and business success one post at a time by Mark W. Schaefer and Stanford A. Smith

Creative Blogging: your first steps to a successful blog by Heather Wright-Porto

A couple more websites about blogging I recommend:

Daily Blog Tips, Daniel Scocco

CopyBlogger, Brian Clark

In upcoming blog posts, I plan to write about how to blog and why some blogs become very successful.  I appreciate your comments and questions below.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

All in the Details

all in the details

 

Do you ever notice that it is the little things that make a big difference?  Sometimes it is all in the details.  For example, when I stay at a bed and breakfast and they include free use of their washer and dryer (and even supply the detergent and dryer sheets) that is an added bonus to me.

 

Other little details can include:

  • Friendly phone conversation
  • A professional hand carved sign to see as you approach
  • A warm greeting when you come in
  • A welcome note when you enter your room
  • Specific promotional package for your special occasion
  • Fresh flowers in your room
  • A guest book to write comments in
  • A guidebook to the local area and its attractions
  • A wide selection of books to read
  • Board games to play
  • Chilled wine bottle and wine glasses near the private hot tub
  • Filled basket of various snacks to choose from

The list of details can also be custom tailored to your bed and breakfast.  Perhaps you offer weddings or workshops.  The point is to get creative so that guests appreciate the little details you put into making their stay a happy and memorable experience they will fondly recall.  

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Encourage Yourself Every Day

encourage yourself every day

 

 

Bed and breakfast owners, do you want to know a good way to encourage yourself every day?  For the rest of the year you can write down something on a little piece of paper and fold it and put it in a jar.  Then, at the end of 2014, you can read all of your little notes!  You could write notes about:

 

 

 

  • Something funny a guest said
  • An unexpected good surprise
  • A compliment you were told
  • An unlikely happy coincidence
  • A blessing or favor from someone
  • Something that went smoother than you thought
  • A welcome phone call you received
  • A great breakfast guests loved
  • Something that made you laugh
  • Anything else you want to recall at the end of this year

You are giving yourself a present every day by adding to the jar.  At the end of the year, get ready for laughter, tears of joy, and fond memories! It is important to encourage yourself every day!

 

For Guests Who Love To Read

For guests who love to read, your bed and breakfast can house a small library or even a parlor or study with a large selection of books on your shelves.  If you are wondering what kind of books to have on the shelves, the following are some great suggestions:

  • Architecture–for those interested in construction and architectural styles
  • Biographies–of any legends about the people who live in your town or former tenants of your home or anyone famous in your area
  • Cooking–people may be looking for a new recipe–especially if it is your cookbook (that you have for sale)!
  • Fiction–if the setting in the book is in your local area it may really be attractive to your guests
  • Flora and fauna–for the garden lovers, horticultural experts, biologists, and green thumbs
  • Guidebooks–for people who want to get to know your area and its attractions
  • History books–many people love to read about history (especially the history of your location)
  • Home decorating–people who stay in bed and breakfasts usually appreciate home decor
  • Success books–people love reading about how to have success, achieve more, and reach their dreams

You need not spend a lot of money if you do not already have a wide collection of books. There are plenty of good used bookstores and even yard sales that sell them.  Having good reading material for your guests who love to read. This helps them remember their stay at your bed and breakfast even more fondly.  See the B&B Books listed for a great selection of Bed and Breakfast related books!

Successful People Help Others Get What They Want

Successful people help others. The late success consultant, speaker, and author, Zig Ziglar, said that

“You can get everything you want in life, if you help enough people get what they want.”

So we must ask ourselves what we can offer people that they would want?  The answer to that question depends upon several factors.

First, do you have positive role models in your life?  Even if you do not personally know someone who is successful in your field of interest, of course you can read about accomplished people. Their success can motivate you.  Do what they did.  Read what they read. Learn what they learned.  Just take action!

In addition, use your resources (this includes your education and experiences) to seek out ways to meet the needs of others.  You can also use your skills (such as communicating or leading or researching) to your advantage.  Use the skills that people tell you they admire about you.

Also, the more connections you develop, the easier it is to refer people to others and to receive referrals from others.  Social media (such as Face Book, Linked In, and Twitter) makes it even easier to be connected to other people.

I think Mr. Zig Ziglar’s point was that when you put others needs before your own, then your needs will be taken care of as well. It is only natural that people will hear about how you helped other people and want you to help them, too.

So take your eyes off of yourself for the moment and look to solve someone else’s problem. In doing so, you will have solved your problem. That is the beauty of what Mr. Ziglar was talking about.

Zig’s most popular book is See You At The Top. Much of his sage advice is timeless wisdom that can be applied in modern everyday life.

 

 

 

 

5 Sources of Good Ideas

We all love good ideas and we want to know where and how to find them.  Good ideas come from many different sources.  Here is a list of five:

1. Conversations with others–you never know what someone will say that will spark a light bulb to shine in your head. This could even happen when you overhear others talking in a public place. They could be discussing the latest news story or anything that triggers you to think of a good idea.

2. What you read–this could be from a book, a magazine, a newspaper, an online article, a chat room discussion, a web page, etc. You would be amazed where people find sources of inspiration. It could even be from an advertisement!  You just never know!

3. What you watch–on the television or in the movies.  On the television, you could be watching the news, a documentary, or a funny sitcom.  It could be any kind of movie, too.  It could be a concept that is being discussed or watching the plot of a story that gives you an idea.  Even watching people you know interact in person and do things can help you come up with an idea.

4.What you do–when you are working or exercising or having fun, your body can focus on a new way to go about solving your problem or answering a need.  There is something to be said for concentration, whether it is from organizing or looking for information, taking a leisurely walk, or even singing the lyrics in a karaoke song.

5.When you sleep–Albert Einstein kept a pencil and notepad next to him so that, if his dream gave him an idea, he would write it down before he forgot the idea.  Some times your brain works on a problem for you overnight (or during a nap) and you wake up with new insight.

The important thing is to keep an awareness of your goals in the back of your mind, so that your brain can be working on a solution or answer.  Ideas can come from anywhere.  It does not matter how you thought of the idea or the source that sparked the idea, it just matters that the idea be something that will help you reach your goals.

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