D.V. Stone returns to Journeys with Jana for another look at her brand new release (April 6, 2020) ROCK HOUSE GRILL. If you missed her first visit with her favorite scene, check it out here. Welcome D.V.!
Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He's rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.
Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.
Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?
“God, I need a miracle.” Olivia rubbed at the muscles knotted tight in her neck and shoulders.
“Well, maybe I’m an answer to your prayer.”
Spinning around, Olivia stared into a set of hazel eyes, twinkling with good humor and backed by steel. “Who are you?”
“Hi, I’m Shay McDowell.” The young woman came toward Olivia with her hand outstretched. Medium height, chestnut-colored hair pulled into a high ponytail, and tasteful makeup, she wore a sharp suit and practical, stacked heels. Shay McDowell looked the epitome of professional.
“Olivia House.” She wiped her damp palm and grasped the proffered hand, giving it a brisk, businesslike shake. “How can I help you, Ms. McDowell?”
“It’s Shay, and I stopped by to drop off my résumé.” The woman shrugged one shoulder and lifted her hand at the disaster. “But if you’re willing, I could give you an on-the-spot interview and get this under control.”
Quickly scanning the résumé, Olivia then eyed the shorter woman. “The previous hostess left with no notice.”
“Yeah, I met her in the doorway, but I’m more than a hostess. My specialty is Front of House.” Shay stepped back and glanced around the room. “Take a few moments. I’ll understand if you decline the offer. It’s not the normal way of applying for a job.”
Olivia took a moment to study Shay over the top of the résumé. The woman stood straight with shoulders back and chin lifted, wearing an admirable confidence. Her résumé definitely indicated experience.
“Well, it can’t get much worse than this. Have at it.”
At the rate the staff was going, it didn’t matter, they wouldn’t be ready for the first customers anyway. Margaret and Eli were dealing with their own issues in the kitchen and wouldn’t be any help out front. Stepping back, Olivia took a seat to watch the show. How had things deteriorated this far? Aden usually ran a tight ship. His split focuses recently had set in motion a downward cascade. Everything he’d planned to accomplish was falling apart. His absence the past couple of days was the final straw.
“Swwwttttt!” A sharp whistle filled the air, and Olivia jumped. She gaped as Shay took two fingers out of her mouth. The interviewee then proceeded to squirt hand sanitizer from a small bottle she pulled out of her purse and rubbed it into her skin while the staff hushed. Blessed silence filled the room as everyone turned to stare at the composed figure with hands now on her hips.
“May I have your attention, please?” Her pleasant voice carried well without shouting. “I’m Shay McDowell, and for today, I am your Front of House. We have two hours to pull this together, and I’m counting on each and every one of you to either step up or step out. From what I’ve heard, your boss, Aden House, deserves more respect than this.”
Gazes drifted toward each other. Soft murmuring and the shuffling of feet revealed embarrassment from many of the staff. No one left.
“Okay, I guess you’re all in.” Shay walked to the center of the room and started firing off orders.
She certainly knew how to work a crowd. Within minutes, the entire staff was eating out of her hand and working as a team.
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D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women's state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette. Life handed some setbacks, and she ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital.
During the poor economy, she was laid–off from a long-time position she cared about. Devastated, D.V. wondered what to do with her life. Finding comfort in her love of reading, she realized it was now time to follow her dream of writing. It's been a long road but worth every minute of it. Now a published author, she also works in a people medical office again.
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