Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Running to Romance

We're nearing the end of summer and as the kids go back to school, there's a little more time to get in more reading before the hectic holiday season gets underway. Today's guest in My Writing Corner brings us book two in her series, Impact,  that sounds like a real winner. 

My guest is D. V. Stone, who is an award-winning,

multi-genre, traditionally and independently published author. As an author, she says she strives to write books that people want to read. Whether romance or fantasy, her stories are about the importance of friends and family. They're also about overcoming obstacles while doing it with humor.

She writes a weekly blog, Around the Fire, where she introduces both established and new authors giving an insider’s look into their lives and books as well as tidbits about her own life.


After retiring, she is now a full-time author who says she incorporates her life experiences into her books. 


A former Emergency Medical Technician, she volunteered in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At the same time, she worked as a professional EMT in a women’s state prison. She was the proprietor of a coffee shop, and a small restaurant/ice cream stand. In following years, she worked as a manager in an animal emergency hospital. Her last position was in a human medical office.


When not behind the wheel of 2Hoots—a 41 foot long 13.2 feet high 5th Wheel camper, she says she rambles around town in Northern New Jersey in a white Camaro. She also loves travel and history.

She says she is the wife to an amazing husband, mother to one son, and a not-your-average grandma to three beautiful grandchildren. A woman of faith, she says she believes and trusts in God. “My greatest pleasures are spending time outside with friends and family, cooking over the open fire, sipping a glass of wine, and reading.”


Hali, her rescue dog, always reminds her to let readers know, “Woof, woof.” Which is loosely translated as support your local animal rescue.


Her latest book is Jazz House, Book 2 in the Impact Series.  Let's get a blurb.


Jordan Vasilakis is on the run, living under an assumed name. After a disastrous marriage to a notorious Greek business tycoon, she flees to the States and starts rebuilding her life. But her ruthless husband is determined to destroy her…once he finds her.


Michael Machau is drawn to the new singer at Jazz House restaurant, but the guarded woman is harboring dangerous secrets. The dedicated police officer may have to risk more than just his heart to forge a connection with the woman he knows as Madeline Cielo, especially when he discovers she’s living a lie.


Worlds collide. Lies entangle. Survival, much less love, is in question. They must quickly distinguish friends from enemies or risk losing everything—including a future together.


Sounds very interesting.  Let's talk to the characters: 




Questions for Jordan


Why did you leave your husband?


Jordon sighed. “I was young and in love when I met this older man who promised me the world. Shortly after we married, Kyrios began to isolate me from my friends and family. At first, I thought he wanted me all to himself. Love can be like that.” She gives me a humorless laugh. “ But then he began to criticize me, put me down even in front of others. I thought it was all my fault. I wasn’t smart, pretty, or talented enough for such a worldly man. Then one day, he came home, and I tried to talk with him.” She closes her eyes. Fists are clenched. When she opened them again, there was a haunted look. “He hurt me. Badly.” 


What do you want your life to be like now?


Jordon shakes her head as if to fling off the memories. “I’ve been quite lonely these past years. Yes, you can be lonely surrounded by people.” She studies her fingernails. “I love to sing. I want to be able to do that with friends and family.” Jordon peers up at me. “Without fear.”


What worries you about Michael?


“Michael has the kindest heart. Everyone loves him.” Jordon glances out the window. “I worry if he finds out I’m living a lie…” The woman across from me gets up and walks to the window. She wraps her arms around and rubs her upper arms like she’s cold. “Kyrios is a bad man.” She turns to face me. “If anything happened to him because of me? I can’t even think of it.”


What is your hope for your future?


Jordan scrubs her hands over her face before folding them in front of her like a prayer. “Peace in my life. Being able to walk out my door without scanning the street.” She comes back over to perch on the edge of the chair. “You know, once I wanted to be a star. See my name in lights. Dreams change. Jazz House is my new dream. It gives me the place to do what I love, surrounded by people I’ve come to care about. Now, if only I knew we could all be safe. I’d love to spend the rest of my life in Slate Quarry, Pennsylvania.”



Questions for Michael


What are you looking for in a woman?


You know, some guys hate the thought of being tied down.” Michael sprawled in the chair. “Me? I’m a down-to-earth one-woman man.” He blushes. “I know, I sound like a romance novel.” He laughs it off. “But really, I look for someone with a heart for others. Someone happy sitting on my cabin’s porch with me and my dogs.” Michael leans forward, resting his forearms on his knees. “Someone who will laugh with me.”


What draws you to this new jazz singer?


A huge smile spreads across his face, and oh my goodness, he has a dimple. “The moment I heard her, something in my chest dragged me toward her. Then I saw her. She’s beautiful, and her heart shines through those big brown eyes.” 


What worries you about her?


“You know I’m a cop. I read people. Madeline Cielo has secrets. Dark ones. I see the sorrow in her eyes.” He rises and begins pacing. “I want to help her. But I’m afraid if I push, she’ll run.”


What do you want your future to be?


“I was an only child of a single mom. I have no other family.” Michael pauses and rests his hands on the back of the chair. “The porch I talked about earlier? There are already two chairs, two dogs, and two horses. But there’s only me. I want a partner in life. To come home at night and know someone is there who loves me.”


Aren't they interesting people?  How about an excerpt?

    Jordan scrambled to the other side of the limo. 

    “You sing good tonight.” He scrolled through his phone. 

    “Yes, Kyrios.” 

    Outside the window, massive cruise ships docked in the port. Happy older people made their way up the gangplanks toting bags filled with souvenirs, while the younger ones debarked dressed for the nightlife. Sparkly sequins flashed like diamonds as one young woman twirled on the pier. 

    God, how had she come to this life? She willed her hovering tears not to fall. Kyrios wouldn’t approve. 

    When she was offered a place in the touring group ten years ago, she thought it was the beginning of great things. Standing in the cabaret with the lights shining down was her dream come true. When she was the woman in the sparkly dress. 

    Until he showed up. 

    Each night, Kyrios Vasilakis, Greek business tycoon, sat at the front table watching her. Yes, he was older but so very handsome. Dark hair with silver at the temples, he cut a dashing figure in his black suits. 

    Jordan began to sing to him. It was the beginning of the end. After a whirlwind romance, she found herself a prisoner in marriage to a brute.


                                                        *****


To buy D. V.'s book and learn more about her, here are her buy links and her social contacts.


Buy Links


https://www.amazon.com/Jazz-House-Impact-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0B1Z2KKN8

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jazz-house-d-v-stone/1141502643

https://books.apple.com/us/book/jazz-house/id6442847677

Universal Link:

https://books2read.com/u/mZQq0e

Video:

https://youtu.be/VKyvNBD56e8


Contact Info


For one-stop connections Link Tree 

Website  

Newsletter 

Amazon Author Page  

Facebook  

Twitter

Instagram 

Pinterest 

Bookbub

Goodreads 

Around the Fire Blog with D.V. Stone


Un-embedded links:

https://www.dvstoneauthor.com/

https://t.co/MUVW91E2iB?amp=1

https://www.instagram.com/d.v.stone/

https://twitter.com/donnavstone

https://www.facebook.com/dv.stone.1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16344100.D_V_Stone

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/d-v-stone

https://www.amazon.com/D.-V.-Stone/e/B01N154Y9U

https://www.tiktok.com/@dvstoneauthor

https://mailchi.mp/3b289d8d7569/d-v-stones-peek-further-and-campfire-crew

https://www.librarything.com/ner/u/DVStone

Thank you, D. V. for being my guest today. Any comments or questions for D. V.?

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Right Combination

Summer is moving toward its end so we don't have much time to get in those last minute vacations where we get to sit by the pool with a new book or just sit outside in the evening enjoying our favorite authors. But it also means the beginning of the seasons where we spend more time indoors and that means finding new authors to read--authors like today's guest in My Writing Corner.


Kim Ligon has been writing stories for most of her life—some on paper and some only in her head. She had lots of source material, growing up as the oldest child in a large family in a small town in Wisconsin. Her father was a veterinarian so there were not only lots of children around, but all manner of house pets and farm animals too. Her love of reading comes from her mother who was seldom seen sitting down without a book in her hand. After a demanding career in healthcare information technology, she is now getting to do all the creative things she loves which includes writing her stories to share with you. She lives with her chief encourager and personal romantic hero, her husband of almost forever, in Alabama. Welcome, Kim!

Tell us about your road to publication?


I have been writing stories a long time. Polly’s List has been in the works about three years under two different titles. I sent it in last July to The Wild Rose Press and things proceeded very quickly from there. I had a contract in October and the book release was August 17, 2022. I was blessed with a marvelous editor, Dianne Rich, who was super patient and helpful to me as a first time published author. I so appreciated that she made the dates she promised and took the time to really explain things to me. I’m looking forward to getting to  use what I learned this time on more publications with The Wild Rose Press. I love how supportive the whole organization is. Especially how helpful the authors are with each other, like you hosting me today. It’s a very positive, family type atmosphere and has really made the process very enjoyable. 


What do you enjoy about being a writer?


I love the whole creative process especially when my characters surprise me. I think if they can make me laugh or cry while I’m recording their stories, they will have the same effect on my readers. I like being my own boss—at least about how I spend my time. I’m stingy with my time and like it to be spent productively, either with stories or some other creative endeavor. I am a voracious reader and I find that everything I read helps me be a better writer by assessing how other authors twist a plot or describe a scene. As an author you’re always learning. I like to keep exercising my little gray cells. The rest of me may not be in great shape, but I think they’re pretty fit. 

What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

Finding the balance between living the life you love and writing about happily-ever-afters to share with others. Writing doesn’t have set hours and when you’re on a roll sometimes it is hard to stop and do normal life stuff. I don’t want to lose my identity as a wife, sister, aunt, and friend in favor of my one as an author. That would be disastrous. I also struggle with the deluge of social media stuff that is recommended for promotional activities and have intentionally limited my efforts to my personal blog and a few guest appearances on some other Wild Rose Press authors’ blogs. 

Tell us about your latest book, Polly's List. How did you come up with the idea to write it?

I love plots where a case of mistaken identity or misconstrued information is involved. Since I have a gender neutral first name and have received my share of Mr. Kim Ligon mail, I wanted to have some name related confusion. A dear friend is named Mikal and she happily said I could use it for my heroine’s name. Polly’s List was born from that start. There are several phone conversations where misidentification continues. There had to be a dog because I couldn’t leave Polly alone in that big house. I was a little like the hero in that I was eager to leave the small town I grew up in right after high school graduation. I treasure my small town upbringing now, but I wasn’t that smart at seventeen. The rest of the story evolved. Some of it from recommendations from early readers, some from my characters appearing in my dreams to straighten out the plot. 

Let's get a blurb:

CJ Reynolds couldn’t wait to escape his hometown. He’s loving his bachelor life as a software developer in California. So much so that he hasn’t been back in years to see the grandmother who raised him. 

Mikal Benson believes her small town is perfect for raising her son, Will, alone. When Mikal finds her neighbor, Polly Rogers, sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood, barely clinging to life, she calls Polly’s grandson—CJ Reynolds—and insists he must come home. Now!

From her coma, Polly whispers three words that change everything. Did she fall or was she pushed? CJ, Mikal, and Will form an unlikely team coming together to discover the truth as danger engulfs them and love transforms them into a family. 


Want more? Let's get an excerpt!


Why is the Bassett baying? Mikal Benson hurried across the yard and pushed her neighbor’s unlocked back door open. It groaned loudly. The still howling dog rumbled into the kitchen – as quickly as his short legs would allow. 

“What’s wrong Rhett? Polly, where are you?” she called as she crossed the worn linoleum-covered kitchen floor. “It’s me, Mikal.”  

The dog loped into the front entryway. She followed. What happened? Was the purple-flowered heap with legs and arms akimbo Polly? Blood pooled beneath her head . The body was lying in front of the door. Was she still alive? Mikal knelt beside her neighbor’s crumpled body. She gently picked up her arm and felt for a pulse. It was faint. Polly took a ragged breath and moaned. Mikal pulled her cell phone out and called 911. 

A blood stain circled Polly’s head like a dark, expanding halo – blotting out the muted colors of the antique rug and spreading into the cracks in the parquet floor. Something had to be done. 


What is your next project?


I have another book set in Lansdale, Wisconsin. The main character, Dr. Chase Merrick, had a minor role in Polly’s List. He gets a love interest. While the setting is the same and you may recognize some of the places and characters, it isn’t a series. Each story stands alone. It is basically complete so I hope it will be able to join the world of the published novels next year.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Write often. Write from the heart. If you force it or try to copy someone else’s style, it will show. You won’t believe it and neither will your readers. I believe everyone has a story to tell. If you’re stuck on a plot point or an ending, put it aside, and do something else creative. When you’re not intensely laboring over the problem, an answer will make itself known. Never be afraid to start over. As many times as you need to. Share your work with someone you trust who loves you enough to tell you if it sucks. Listen to them. Don’t change everything based on their say so, but look for the grain of truth in what they’ve told you. If you love writing, do it. If it becomes a chore, do something else.   


To learn more about Kim here are her buy links and social contact information.


Buy Links:


GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61135497-polly-s-list

BOOK BUB     https://www.bookbub.com/books/Polly-s-list-by-Kim-Janine-Ligon

AMAZON        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09ZYVGWF1

BARNES & NOBLE 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pollys-list-kim-janine-ligon/1141488044


Social Contacts:


FOLLOW ME AT:   https://www.spinningromance.com

CONTACT ME AT: KimJanine@spinningromance.com

Thank you, Kim, for being my guest today. Any comments or questions or Kim?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A Dose of Summer Magic

We're nearing the end of summer, and it's almost time to send the kids back to school. How many of us still have books we want to read before we end the slower days of summer? I know I'm going through my TBR (To Be Read) and looking for that one more book I want to read before we head into the crazy, busy days of the Fall with the Holiday season soon to begin.


One book you might want to check out is, Night Magic, Book one in author Kathleen Gallagher's Moonlight and Magic series. Her second book, A Summer's Enchantment, in the series will be coming at the end of this month and will be featured in one of my upcoming fall blogs.


Kathleen is originally from New Jersey, but currently resides in Southwest Florida with her husband and her Coton de Tulear Luc. She says she has been creating stories since she was a young girl. When she is not dreaming up a plot for her next romance, Kathleen also enjoys performing in community theater. You might also find her relaxing on one of Florida’s beaches dreaming up her next romance novel.  Kathleen loves meeting her readers, and she is extremely grateful for their continued support. 

Let's learn more about Night Magic: How about a blurb?


Secrets can put a halt to happiness, unless you free yourself of fear.


Krista Winter is in need of legal counsel. Several years ago, she was forced to flee her life as a teacher in New Jersey after being shunned for practicing witchcraft, and her past is about to catch up with her.


Jon Bartolo is a dedicated attorney. His days are spent serving his clients with their struggles, and his nights are spent in agony, lost in a world between life and death. His mother, who died three years ago, lurks in his house, suffering from a curse for eternity, without a final resting place.

A smoldering fire ignites between Jon and Krista almost immediately, however, he’s sure his secret would frighten any woman away. An afternoon escape brings them closer, but doubts linger between the love-struck couple.

Burning questions about how to fuse their futures together with so much of their past still clouding the future becomes a heavy burden that they’re both trying to bear on their own.

It will take a touch of magic if there’s any hope in sight.

Want to know more? Let's get an excerpt:

    It never crossed her mind he’d be so good looking and oozing with sex appeal. She’d pictured an older, average looking man, not the person who stood in front of her. Where has he been hiding?

      Krista zeroed in on his wide shoulders and the girth of his chest. It was as if the sky broke open and delivered her dream man in a pretty package. She nearly forgot why she came in the first place. Krista tried to focus and remain professional. She stood and fumbled with the strap on her purse.  

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Winter.” His deep and welcoming tone helped calm the tension that traveled through her body. He reached out and shook hand, his touch gentle, and a powerful, magnetic surge hit her hard, zipping all the way down to her feet.

“Please, make yourself comfortable,” he said in a pleasant, yet authoritative manner, and pointed to a beautifully carved chair with a burgundy upholstered seat. With a confident stride, he made his way behind the massive desk and sat. He caught her gaze and smiled.

Her heart thumped as she followed his lead. Settled in front of him, Krista cleared her throat and bit the side of her lip. Grandma Angie had taught her how to tell if a man was attracted to her. Late night chats about how she met her grandfather and words of wisdom from a loving relationship stayed in her memory, and she kept that advice close to her heart. There was no denying her attraction to the handsome lawyer, and it was strong. Fear of failure had ruled Krista’s heart since the breakup. 

Want to read more? You'll have to get the book:


Buy Link:


https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B09ZZJX1JB?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_0&storeType=ebooks

And if you would like to get in touch with Kathleen, or learn more about her, here is her Social Contact information:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKathleenAnnGallagher


KATHLEEN'S PLACE TO RELECT (kathleensplacetoreflect.blogspot.com)


https://twitter.com/Kathleenwrites


Thank you, Kathleen, for being my guest today.  Any questions or comments for Kathleen?

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Bag Full of Romance and Suspense

When I think of purses, I always think of my mother. She was constantly shopping for purses of all shapes and sizes, and I think she passed her habit on to me. Today's guest in My Writing Corner, Wendy Kendall, caught my attention when I learned about her own love of handbags. Her passion for purses, mystery and writing come together in the intriguing Purse Suit Mysteries.

Her book, Kat Out of the Bag, introduced Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth.  As Kat moves from designer bags to body bags, she's uncovering clues to a murder. The prequel, Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash delves into a chilling cold case. The romantic suspense, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For created a tangle of mystery and love and raises suspicions about Desiree's romantic new sweetheart, Leo. 

Now Wendy has a new summer read that will keep you on the edge of your beach towel, Cherry Shakes In The Park. It blends danger, divas, and frothy delights. Wendy says she enjoys investigating the Pacific Northwest life, and she leaves a trail of her own clues as a blogger, YouTube podcaster, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist. Just wait until you see what Katherine Watson and her friends in Bayside face in their next adventure.

Let's get a blurb:

Selling ice cream on a bike cart, Bryson Tanner pedals his way into a double mystery.


Bryson is training for Olympic trials in track and field, when his coach's brother disappears. The police find no cause for opening a case, but Bryson and Coach disagree. What they uncover leaves Bryson cornered, his life at risk. 


Bryson is also plagued by mysteries of the heart. His ex, Marta is back and stars in the acting troupe's weekend show in the park. She'd stomped on his heart once. Could he trust her with it again? Marta's co-star, Senona charms Bryson over cherry shakes in the park. He's torn between rekindling his past, or starting a new flame. He joins Senona on the actors' mystery hunt, where the winner receives a career-boosting prize. 


Who knew the actors' clue hunt would merge with the kidnapping? Danger escalates during a midsummer night's dalliance at desolate Loon point.


Want to know more about this book?  How about an excerpt:

        “Bryson, Vince might have been kidnapped.” Coach’s voice tremored.

“What? That’s crazy.” 


Coach leaned against his car. Bryson faced him. “The cops will find him. They’re on the case now.” 


Coach put his hand up to his forehead. “What is this about? There’s been no ransom call. They think they found blood. What did Vince get himself into?” 

    They stood speechless, as the cops worked. Jason and Hobbs left the scene, and the dog jumped back into the car. Jason came over. “They’re done with me for now. It’s going to be a long night, and there’s nothing either of you can do at this point. They’ll call you as soon as they know more. I suggest you wait at home.” 

Coach slowly shook his head. “No, I’ll wait here.” 


Jason looked at Bryson, then back at Coach. “Okay. Stay back here while they’re collecting evidence. Good night.” 


As they watched his patrol car leave, Bryson got an idea. “Coach, he’s right, there’s nothing you can do for Vince here—” 


“I’m not leaving. You go ahead.” 


“Listen, you wanted to check out Vince’s laptop. This would be a good time to go to his house. By morning the cops will think of searching there, and they’ll probably put crime scene tape up and not let you in. We can go now.” 


Coach slowly straightened up as Bryson’s words sank in. “Good idea.”

 

Bryson got in his jeep. “I’ll follow you.” 

                                                                            *****

This story sounds intriguing, but if you want to read on, you'll have to buy the book. Here are the buy links as well as the information on how to get in touch with Wendy.

Buy Links:


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Kendall/e/B085FWG8Q3?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1657503282&sr=8-1 


Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cherry-shakes-in-the-park-wendy-kendall/1141622049?ean=2940186707899 


KOBO - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/kat-out-of-the-bag 


Social Contacts

Website – WendyWritesBooks.com

Facebook – WendyKendallMysteries

Twitter - @wendywrites1

Instagram - wendyekendall


Thank you, Wendy, for being my guest today. Any comments or questions for Wendy?

From Fan to Fiction Writer

Like so many avid readers, I am always looking for the next book I might want to buy so I try to keep a close watch on new releases. That...