Friday, July 10, 2020

Cooling off with Summer Romance

With the summer heat fully upon us, it is time for something to cool us off, and why not look to ta sweet world of ice cream!  When mixed with hot summer romance, the result can be filled with fun. 

My guest today in My Writing Corner is author, D. V. Stone. She is the multi-genre author of two independently published books. Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar is a fantasy romance. Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake is a mid-grade paranormal. Recently, Rock House Grill was released by Wild Rose Press. 

She also hosts  Welcome to the Campfire and A Peek Through the Window, both weekly blogs. She was born in Brooklyn, but she has moved around  and even once lived on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she says she still always considered herself a Jersey Girl. Eventually, she met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved to Sussex County. They live with Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter and their cat Baby.

Welcome, we have a few questions for you. 

How did you get your  start  as a published author?

Almost nine years ago, I was laid off from my job due to a downturn in the economy. I admit, initially there was some wallowing and self pity. But after a few weeks, instead of it being a curse, the layoff turned into a blessing. I’d always loved reading and finally I had the time to do what I’d dreamed of, becoming an author. Aimhirghin, Kingdom at a Crossroad is still a work in progress. Everything I didn’t know about writing I learned with this book. Then a few months later I wrote Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar, another fantasy romance. Felice was my first independently published book. Since then, I’ve learned so much and have been contracted with Wild Rose Press.

Tell us how you come up with characters?

There are a variety of ways. I try to pick names that will reflect something about the character. I’ve spent hours researching names and the meaning of them. Then, especially with fantasy, I’ll run them through a translator enabling me to find more “exotic” sounding names. But honestly, with Rainbow Sprinkles the main character's name was just rolling around in my mind. Gloriana. Then I wanted to give her a simple surname and decided on Jones.

Where did you get the idea for your latest book?

When Wild Rose Press sent out a call for a “beach read”, something short and fun. Immediately my thoughts turned to my past history owning an ice cream and grill. It’s a tough business and the profit margin can be tight for new owners. I also wanted a “seasoned” character. A second chance at romance. So Rainbow Sprinkles was born and a short while later also contracted. I love the story and the cast of characters including a recalcitrant basset hound named Fred and Sadie in memory of my two bassets.
Retired and widowed Gloriana Jones is forging on with the plans 
she and her late husband dreamed of--bringing joy and happiness, one ice bream at a time, to Lake Unami. But bad weather is drowning her dream. A trip to Upstate NY is bittersweet for Nathan James. He is excited to see his first granddaughter but without his wife, he is lonely.
When his car breaks down, he heads to the only light he can see, an ice cream shop. With aid from a heavenly source, electricity sparks, but will the two weather the summer storms and find love a second time? Or will their hopes and dreams melt away.

Sounds like a perfect story for our summer reading!  Thanks, D. V. for being my guest today. And if you would like to learn more about D. V. and her books, here is here contact information:

Any comments or questions for D. V.?

Friday, July 3, 2020

Hit the Wall? Try a Writing Partner

My road to publication taught me so able lessons, but one of the biggest was that if you run into a problem getting published, why not reach out to other writers? This can be done in so many ways and it doesn’t have to be non-fiction or fiction – it can be both. Shortly after running into obstacles getting my short stories published, I met a group of other writers who wer ehaving the same problems. We decided we would go together and put all our stories into an anthology. Suddenly we had a publisher and all our stories ended up getting published. We did the same with a second anthology.  For a few of us, things worked out even better. We had novels we wanted to see published and since the anthology publisher was fairly new, the editors were looking for authors. Several of us ended up getting our first books published with Wings ePress. 

What I learned from that experience was to look beyond just the traditional world, but I also learned the value of working with other writers. We all had one story we had to write for our anthologies and we all critiqued and edited each other’s work. The critiquing, the editing and the feeling we were all in it together was more than just valuable. It helped improve my writing. That experience not only led to valuable writing friendships, but also put me on the road to getting more books and stories published.

Several years later, I met Sue Viders. Sue was already the author of a very popular writing book with several other writers, and I felt privileged when I became her critique partner. We soon found we enjoyed not only writing fiction but she wanted to write another non-fiction book on writing. A partnership was formed and we have never looked back. 

We began with a book on creating characters and moved on quickly to two on plotting and then
another on villains. Our next book will be a series of writing tips addressing the different types of authors. Like our other books, it will soon be available at

As Sue and I worked together, we discovered we liked the way the other author wrote fiction, and we decided to try our hand at writing a fiction novel together. Immediately (because that is the only way

 Sue works – she sees a job and she wants to do it --  we began working on a plot using our Plotting Wheel and putting together the characters using the various sheets we had developed together.

Sue was anxious to begin writing and before long we began developing our ideas into actual scenes and bringing our characters from charts to life.  What we enjoy about writing together is that our ideas spark interest from the other person so whenever we hit a dry spell, one or the other can supply the spark to get things moving again. When we both hit a wall, we brainstorm, just tossing out ideas to the other and before long, the problem is solved and we move along.  

All of this is a long way of saying that if you’re stuck for an idea or a writing partner, look around you. There may be other would-be writers out there looking for someone to work with. Find the person who might have other strengths and weaknesses different from yours. Years ago, I worked with a male co-author who was great at coming up with plot twists and characters, but he hated dealing with the mechanics. Together, we both loved writing dialogue and we would toss dialogue back and forth at each other and type it all up into character conversations. It was not only fun, but we were able to get the stories written faster. 

Writing with a co-author can be helpful in other ways too. Let’s face it, there are days we don’t feel like writing, but working with a co-author can help you get over those days of inaction. Let the other person carry you and then you can turn around and carry them when they are hitting a blank spot.

When it comes right own to it, writing a book is hard work. Sometimes writing with someone else can get you moving forward, so look around. Is there someone you know who might want to try to get a story written? Offer to help. Get their help, and most of all, keep writing! 

Our newest book on villains is now available on, where you can also find all our writing books for authors.

If you have any writing questions, please email me at, or visit our

Friday, June 19, 2020

Romancing Your Summer Reading

For those of us who love reading, these days with little to do are like being given a gift. We don't need to feel guilty curling up in a chair with a good book. Today in My Writing Corner, I am pleased to feature Jana Richards, who has a wonderful new book out that is perfect for when you want to take a break from the outside world. Visit a small town and discover romance. Let's find out more about Jana. 

Have you always wanted to write fiction?
Not always. At one point I considered becoming a journalist. Though I never made that dream come true, I managed to make writing a reality, just in different way.   

What are some of the challenges of being a writer?
There are plenty of challenges: coming up with interesting stories, finding time to write, mastering a multitude of software products. But probably my single biggest challenge is marketing my books. That covers everything from learning how to create Amazon ads to learning graphic design. I find it’s a never-ending job, and not exactly in my wheelhouse. But I’m learning to treat marketing as a creative pursuit to make me feel more comfortable with it. Marketing definitely has a creative component to it. You’ve got to come up with out of the box ideas to make readers sit up and pay attention. I’m still learning!

Tell us about your road to publication.
It was a rather long and rocky road. I wrote for many years before I was published. That was back in the days before ebooks and Amazon. In 2006 a friend suggested I try submitting to her publisher, a brand-new small press that was publishing only ebooks. So I did, and was thrilled when my book was accepted for publication. That sale gave me the confidence to continue writing and submitting, and I’m still going strong today.

How do you come up with your characters?
I usually come up with a premise or situation and then create characters who fit into that situation. For example in my Love at Solace Lake series, the premise is that twenty-two years previously, the Lindquist sisters’ father murdered their mother. I tried to come up with characters who were a product of that childhood trauma. For instance, the oldest, Harper, who was ten when her mother died, has lived her whole life with feelings of abandonment. Middle sister Scarlet lives with guilt, believing something she did caused her mother’s death. Maggie was too young to remember her parents and she feels cheated out of the life she should have had. And in the small town they grew up in, they all live with the shame of being the daughters of a murderer.

How do you come up with your plots?
Lots of things influence plotlines. It might be something I’ve read in the newspaper or see on TV. Sometimes I’ll explore a theme, like trust. I try to come up with plots that allow for a lot of conflict between the hero and the heroine. It’s always exciting to throw obstacles at characters and make them figure out how to overcome them.

Tell us about your latest book, To Heal A Heart.  What made you write it?
I’m currently working on a small-town romance series published by The Wild Rose Press called the Masonville series which is set in the fictional town of Masonville, North Dakota. In these books I’m exploring the effects of heartache, loss and various forms of trauma on my characters. In TO HEAL A HEART, which released June 15, 2020, Garrett Saunders is a former Marine who lost part of his leg in Afghanistan. Blair Greyson has had her share of heartache and trauma in the past. She thinks she’s put it behind her, but the truth is, everything she believes about herself is controlled by what happened to her in the past. She has to come to terms with her history before she can have a future.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?
If writing is what you really want to do, don’t give up. Keep learning your craft by taking classes and going to conferences. Keep reading. And definitely keep writing.

What’s your next project?
I’m currently working on book three of the Masonville series which I’m calling “Unexpected”. Ben and Jamie rush into marriage in order to retain custody of Ben’s stepchildren. To their surprise they discover an unexpected love. But when Jamie has to choose between what she believes is best for the children and her relationship with Ben, their love is tested. Can their new-found family, and their love, survive?

Let's find out more about To Heal A Heart
Garrett Saunders' world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.
Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett's rescue horse and he'll help with repairs around her farm.

Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she's hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett's love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?

Want more?  Here are the buy links:

Barnes & Noble:


 And if you would like to get in touch with Jana:





Amazon Author Page:

Amazon UK Author Page:

Newsletter Signup:



Thank you, Jana, for bringing us some much needed summer reading! Any comments or questions for Jana?

Friday, June 12, 2020

A Blossoming Romance

Summer has always been my favorite time to read -- chalk that up to a small town and my dad putting me to work in the summer time watering the lawn. In those days, we didn't have timed sprinkling systems, so I sat outside on a folding lawn chair in the shade with a good book. Every twenty minutes or so I had to put it down, get up and move the sprinkler to a new spot. Needless to say, sometimes the sprinker over-watered a spot if the book was really good.

Actually, I didn't mind those sprinkling sessions because it meant I also had an excuse to make a weekly visit to the library for several new books to read. My mom also gave me money to stop at the local drugstore for a drink at the soda fountain before walking home. (yes, this was a long, long time ago). 

That experience gave me a love of summer reading and now I get to do it inside sitting on a comfy chair with air-conditioning. Outside, the sprinkling system takes care of  watering the lawn so I have more time to read, and the cold drink is only as far away as the refrigerator in the kitchen. The internet brings me my reading material and author connections have given me new exposure to new books. Instead of searching the stacks, I put in whatever genre I want to read and keep finding wonderful new authors to enjoy and to learn their persosnal stories.  

This week, I am excited to have visiting in My Writing Corner  author Angela Lam. She has written several books focusing on the lives of modern women struggling to find their place in the world. She spent the past three decades writing for newspapers, small press and literary magazines. She tells us her work has included real estate, finance, art, education and nature therapy. She has also received several awards and is the recipient of residencies at Hedgebrook and Vermont Studio Center. 

Welcome Angeles, here did you get the idea for this book?

After a lifetime of being teased for being overweight, I finally decided to write a happily-ever-after for women like me. During a work conference in Georgia, I met a man who later became my best friend. He showed me the flip side of the struggle men face being underweight. With the dual storylines in place, I added several layers to the drama through research into the military, PTSD, alcoholism, sex addiction, and family trauma to create Friends First.

Any advice for new authors?

I sold my first poem in 1985. Publishing has changed a lot since then. Adaptability, persistency, devotion to the craft, daily discipline, and lots of fortitude are necessary to fuel the journey. You will face tons of rejection, dry spells, disappointments, and hard earned victories. Remember why you write and have faith you will find your readers. Define what success means to you, and celebrate your accomplishments. The greatest satisfaction is story well written and well received.  

Angela's news book is Friends First

Maddy Strong doesn’t like to be alone but a weight loss boot camp is not her idea of a good time. Working out and counting calories is a test she’s bound to fail—especially when paired with fitness-focused Greg as a workout partner.

Health-conscious Greg Power is desperate to end his night terrors. While he doubts his therapist’s prescription of exhausting his body and reprogramming his mind he is willing to try anything.

During their workouts they uncover a deep connection. But when their friendship blossoms into love, they discover possibilities neither have ever considered.  Faced with the biggest decision of their lives, who will they choose?

 Social Media Links
Facebook: Author and Artist Angela Lam; 
Twitter: @authorangelalam; 
Goodreads: Angela Lam; 
Linked In: Angela Lam Turpin Gross; 

Anything else you’d like to add: 10% of each sale will be donated to Hope For The Warriors to support military families throughout our communities during this most stressful time.

Any questions or comments for Angela?

Monday, June 8, 2020

Sweet Treats for Summer

Now that it's June, it's time to officially start our summer reading. And what could be better
than a mixture of romance and the sweet taste of ice cream?  That's what we're serving up today in My Writing Corner.  Our guest is author,  Marilyn Baron, who writes in a variety of genres from women's fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to  paranormal/fantasy. She writes in a variety of formats, from short stories and anthologies to full-length novels, including a musical.

Marilyn has received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, and Paranormal/Fantasy Romance. She was also The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) in the Romance Category for her novel, Stumble Stones, and The Finalist for the 2018 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for her novel, The Alibi. She is a nominee in the upcoming 2020 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for The Saffron Conspiracy: A Novel. 

In addition she is a  public relations consultant in Atlanta, and is immediate past chair of the Roswell Reads Steering Committee and serves on the Atlanta Authors Series Committee.

Marilyn says the idea for her new story came from a past event in her life:

My husband and I traveled to Italy last October. After a visit to Lake Como, we were based in Rome and took day trips to Florence, the Amalfi Coast and Capri. I wanted to return to Florence to visit some of the places I loved while I was attending college there 48 years ago, because I thought I might not have the opportunity again. We took a train to Florence and visited the Uffizi Gallery to see my favorite painting, The Birth of Venus, walked along the Arno River to the Ponte Vecchio and went to my favorite gelato shop, Vivoli®. While eating gelato, my husband asked, “What If you could go back in time and recapture your youth?"

 While I was studying in Florence, I was actually cursed by a gypsy. In this story, a reverse Roma curse transports the sixty-something heroine back in time to her 23-year-old self.

Great! Let's get a sweet taste of her new summer romance:

Kate Buckthorn, a sixty-something woman in a predictable marriage, takes a day trip to Florence, Italy to relive the months spent there as a college art history student. 

After visiting all the familiar sights, she returns to her favorite gelato shop where she tosses some coins into the plastic cup of a Roma looking for change. And change is what is what she gets, literally.

After enjoying her triple-scoop gelato, she leaves the shop, magically transformed into her twenty-three-year-old self.

Does she stay in Florence and have a fling with a gorgeous Italian hottie, pursuing her painting career in the birthplace of the Renaissance? Or does she return to her unfaithful husband as her younger self? What choice would you make?

Let's get an excerpt:

She was running out of time. She would just have a handful of minutes to walk along the Arno River and perhaps walk across the Ponte Vecchio. She loved jewelry and she could spend hours gazing at the shops. There wouldn’t be time to see the David at the Accademia Gallery. She hadn’t thought to reserve a ticket and probably couldn’t get in anyway. It was a good thing Michelangelo’s David was burned onto her brain. She would never forget the magnificent sculpture. By the time she arrived at the river, she realized she had forgotten her cane. Damn, she couldn’t walk without it. But then she had fairly run to the river, without the cane. She scratched her head. How was that even possible? She no longer needed a cane to walk. Her steps were lighter. She felt infinitely lighter, even after that humongous cup of gelato.

She glanced into the mirror of a parked motorcycle and drew back in shock. She could hardly believe her reflection. She was staring back at her twenty-three-year-old face and body, complete with butt-hugging jeans, a form-fitting beige ribbed blouse, and clogs she couldn’t have walked in before she arrived in Florence.

A band of Italian boys surrounded her, shouting, “Ciao, Bella.” What was happening? Was she hallucinating? What was in that gelato anyway? Somehow, that Roma woman or the gelato or a miracle had managed to melt time and transport her back to the Florence of her college days. She recognized the outfit she was wearing from her photo album. Was she having sunstroke? There had to be a rational explanation. 

Intrigued?  If you'd like to read on, here are the buy links: 


The Wild Rose Press Links to other digital outlets:

And if you woul like to learn more about Marilyn and her books, here is her confact information: 

Website/social media contact info:

< Facebook:


Amazon Author Page:

Thank you, Marilyn, for bringing us this sweet treat!! Any comments or questions for Marilyn?

Cooling off with Summer Romance

With the summer heat fully upon us, it is time for something to cool us off, and why not look to ta sweet world of ice cream!  When mixe...