Friday, April 30, 2021

NUMBERS GAME: #NewRelease from Desiree Holt and Liz Crowe

 I'm excited to welcome Desiree Holt and Liz Crowe to my blog today. They've just teamed up to write NUMBERS GAME, a steamy sports romance from The Wild Rose Press. Hatch and Olivia from NUMBERS GAME tell us five things we need to know about each other. I love their comments! Welcome Desiree and Liz!

Five Things you Should Know about Olivia

(by Hatch)

1. She can quote football, baseball, and basketball stats for pretty much any player you name, past or present. I know. I’ve tested her on this.

2. Her power to pull me out of a pissed off mood if my team loses approaches “super.” And she can almost always help me figure out what went wrong on the field. I would hire her as an assistant coach but that’s nepotism and she already has a job she loves. 

3. She can whip up a delicious meal regardless of what you have or don’t have in the fridge and pantry. But I keep her favorite pizza and Chinese places on speed dial for those days I can tell she’s in no mood to cook.

4. Her favorite wine is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Her favorite desert is chocolate torte. Her favorite guilty pleasure tv show is anything with hot firemen in it. And her favorite way to ….oh, this is PG so I’ll keep that last one to myself.

5. She’s a ringer at scrabble, crossword puzzles and word search games. While I kick her butt in trivia or spatial games like jenga. We love to play games. All kinds of games.

Five Things You Should know about Hatch

(by Olivia)

1. He can give you way more information than you ever thought you wanted to know about the various beers in his fridge—more than just where they were brewed. All kinds of boring stuff about the hops and yeasts and I don’t know what all. But he has turned me into a beer drinker thanks to some of the stuff he knows.

2. I could quote his quarterback stats in college and the pros but he’d get a big head so I’ll say he was decent in college, pretty good as a pro player but is even better as a coach. He has a way about him with the kids that make them both respect him and find him approachable if they have a problem off the field. 

3. He snores after sex. (can I say that? Ok, I’m saying that). He doesn’t snore any other time. It’s quite the odd phenomenon.

4. His dream as a kid, besides being a football star, was to be race car driver—those long, skinny cars that drive on the roads mostly in Europe. I’ve watched a few of those with him on tv which I find about as excited as watching paint dry…or golf. Sometimes I’m convinced he thinks he’s driving a race car when we’re on the interstate, but he has never once gotten a speeding ticket in his life. 

5. He does not kick my butt in trivia, we’re about even on that. But he is good at jigsaw puzzles and jenga and truly terrible at word games. 


Making a pass could just mean scoring a second chance...

Former pro football player and coach Duncan "Hatch" Hatcher fumbled his career and marriage. Now divorced and ready to tackle his future, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as coach of his college alma mater's football team. But how can he turn the team's losing streak around and keep the secret of his downfall buried when the school agrees to a documentary that will allow a lovely journalist to dig her way into his past...and into his heart?

Olivia Grant's ex-husband almost wrecked her journalism career while he definitely did a number on her self-esteem. The documentary on Duncan Hatcher is the perfect way to rebuild both. As a freshman in college, she'd had a crush on the senior football hero, but he hadn't known she existed. She never expects the sparks that fly between them as they work on the project nor the struggles they must face if they both want to win.

Universal Buy Link:


Hatch winced at the memory of how goofy he must have sounded to the lovely woman he was going to be having a fair bit of contact with this season. Olivia Grant was, without a doubt, beautiful, not to mention sexy as hell. She was a natural reporter, putting him at ease, even in the face of his high-school-ish reaction to her at first. But dear Lord, the crap he’d said? That shit about her being “better than she thought” at the race? And “looking for a foot in the door”? He’d sounded about as slick as the grandpas he’d been named for.

He groaned and pressed his forehead to the leather blotter on his new desk. After his divorce, he’d made a point not to notice women, something that was a bit of a self-imposed penalty. But there was no not noticing Olivia. Her soft, dark blonde hair that kept dropping over one of her deep green eyes as she’d look down at her notes, then back up at him. That smile, and those full, barely lip-sticked lips. And there was no denying she had a body that would be hard to shake out of his brain. Scott had told him she used to play soccer here, a few years behind him as an undergrad. How he’d not known her… Granted, he hadn’t been a big partier then, kept mostly to himself and his close group of friends and, as always, focused on the game.

But damn. He’d missed out on something then, without a doubt. He felt his face flush red and his entire body begin to react in ways that didn’t really serve him well as a fully grown man, with plenty of experience under his belt, so to speak.

Thankfully, she’d left before he could embarrass himself any more.

Home. Shower. Beer. Stare at a string of old movies on the giant television screen. Anything to get the lovely Olivia Grant and all her many attributes out of his head. She was, after all, the media. And everyone knew how he felt about the media.

It was get-a-grip time—on all parts of himself.

This was his chance at redemption. The opportunity was a godsend, considering the sorry state he’d left his life in on the west coast, and he didn’t intend to do anything to screw it up. He couldn’t afford to get distracted by a single thing. But how the hell was he going to do that when Olivia Grant might prove to be the biggest distraction of all?


  Desiree Holt bio: 

USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and contemporary on a variety of heat levels up to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications. 

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Liz Crowe bio:

Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in Central Illinois. She's spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a social media consultant and humane society development director, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and always linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.


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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

#NewRelease from Gabbi Grey: IF ONLY FOR TODAY

I'm thrilled to have Gabbi Grey back for a return visit. She's here with another story in the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press, IF ONLY FOR TODAY. She's also generously supplied us with background info about the book, and some fun facts to get to know her better. Welcome Gabbi!

 Favorite Scene – I was struggling to get my word count down (a problem many authors are familiar with) and I was debating which scenes to cut.  An obvious choice was the animal shelter visit. Yes, I wove in character development and yes, it moved the book forward, but the novel would have been complete without it. My heart told me, though, that I needed to keep it. In order to do that, I was literally shaving words in the rest of the manuscript - questioning each sentence and paragraph to see if they were really necessary. In the end, I kept the scene. Recently I read that chapter to a writer’s group and my fellow romance lovers were aghast I almost cut the scene. I’m hoping readers love it as much as I do. 

Quick 5 - 

- Favorite author? I have to pick just one? Lucy Lennox and Annabel Joseph (Sorry, I’m terrible at making decisions)

- Water, pop or juice?  Diet Coke

- E-book, paperback or audiobook? Audiobook. Always.

- I love pizza with green olives, mushrooms, onions, and pepperoni. 

- When I'm alone, I sing Memory at the top of my lungs. 

5 Things List - 5 things a reader needs to know about If Only for Today. 

1. This book is part of the Deerbourne Inn series set in the fictional town of Willow Springs, Vermont.

2. Jared, one of the heroes, has appeared in almost all of the preceding twenty-five books.  Readers think they know him, but he has a few dark secrets in his soul.

3. Xander, the other hero, comes off as a crankypants.  And yeah, okay, he is one some of the time.  But he also has hidden depths.

4. This is a sweet gay romance – no hanky panky, just some smoldering kisses.

5. The audiobook version will be in production this summer.

Talk about your pets - 

Seventeen years ago, I adopted a lovely blue point Himalayan kitten whom I named Lady Arabella de Bergerac (her father was Cyrano – better know as Fluffy, and her mother was Sassafras – better known as Sassy). Bella has been my constant companion for all this time. A few years ago, I rescued a puppy.  Her name is Ally and she’s a ChinPoo (a cross between a Japanese Chin and a poodle). Please note, she neither looks like a chin nor a poodle. She’s been in my life for five years and I’m not sure who rescued who.

Blurb, If Only for Today: 

Jared Langford is a happy man. The desk clerk at the Deerbourne Inn knows everyone in his cozy town in Vermont. He is accepted and loved by the community, but he's missing someone special in his life.

Devastating news has brought journalist Xander Fortier to Willow Springs for some much-needed rest. He's photographed every major conflict in the world for the last ten years, but being stateside has forced him to reassess the solitary life he's been living.

Something in Xander's gruff demeanor calls to Jared's caring nature. Soon the men are spending time together, but Jared's kisses might not be enough to keep Xander from leaving. Can the men find a happily ever after if they only have today?

Exclusive Excerpt: 

“We should bring in the cat tree.” Xander pivoted and did a complete circle of the room, a frown on his face.

“I was thinking…that corner.” Jared pointed to the wall next to the sliding glass door.

“Okay, but what are you doing to do about the plant?”

“I can move that into the second bedroom. I love the plant, but Marshmallow needs somewhere to play.”

“And so it begins.” 

Jared scratched his elbow. “And so what begins?”

“Those two will take over your life. In a few days you won’t recognize yourself.”

“Is that a bad thing?” If Xander wasn’t going to be around anyway, what difference did it make?

As if sensing his unspoken thought, Xander waved his hand. “Yeah, it’s probably not a bad thing. I mean, if you had kids it’d be even more extreme.”

And there it was. The longing so visceral it almost brought him to his knees. There was nothing Jared wanted more than to be a father. He loved Liz’s kids, but longed for a couple of his own. Or one. He’d take one. He wouldn’t be greedy. As a single gay man, though, his chances were almost nonexistent. He’d gone so far as to investigate being a foster parent or adopting, but there were so many hurdles. Vermont was progressive, to be sure, but things were still slow to evolve. Whenever he heard about the children in the foster system, his heart broke. He could provide a good home. He could be a loving parent.

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Author Bio:

Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.

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Friday, April 23, 2021


Marilyn Barr joins me today to talk about 5 Things she learned about the old west while researching her upcoming historical western romance DANCE TO A WYLDER BEAT. Marilyn is holding a Cover Reveal for her book tomorrow (April 24/2021) on Facebook along with the other authors from The Wylder West series. Make sure you stop by!

Before I could Dance to a Wylder Beat, I had to learn a few trades to survive on the Sagebrush homestead in Wylder Wyoming Territory. In 1878, life was hard work. Brothers Nartan and Ikshu (pronounced ick-SHOO) Sagebrush are leather tanners who built a homestead on the outside of town when they were separated from their Arapaho band in 1874. By 1878, when Dance to a Wylder Beat begins, they have built a somewhat successful business, homestead, and sheep flock. Here are my five favorite fun facts I learned while visiting the Sagebrush brothers in 1878, Wylder Wyoming Territory. (Images in my graphic come from The Arapaho by Raymond Bial and The Arapaho by Loretta Fowler)

1.       Leather Tanning – Arapaho people were the experts in tanning, leather smith skills, and beading. I was fascinated with the art, fashion, and ceremonial leather goods I found in my research. Their beautiful crafts were the impetus behind giving the Sagebrush brothers the occupation of leather tanning. However, I had no idea how they tanned leather without the modern chemicals developed in the industrial revolution. Luckily for me, the local historical society had a non-mechanized leather tanning class where I learned I would have made a horrible leather tanner. The smell of the urine-soaking vats and conditioners made from cow brains was enough to send me running. The Sagebrush homestead had to be outside of town because the stench would have been a public menace. Removing the hair and strings of fat was done by hand while the skins were stretched on frames in the sun to dry. This was backbreaking work which I could barely perform once let alone every day because I don’t possess the physique of a romance hero…ah-hem….

2.       Travois – While most settlers would travel with a horse and buggy, Arapaho people traveled in a travois. The nomadic people would create a sling from their leather teepee panels draped on one end of their teepee poles. The other end of the long poles would be crossed over the neck of a horse and stretch behind the animal. This efficient engineering allowed for them to carry all their belongings on a few animals. Nartan and Ikshu are not migratory but wouldn’t see the benefits of building or buying a buggy with knowledge of this technology.

3.       Teepees and Cabins – Arapaho people lived in Teepees because they could be easily moved as the herd of buffalo (and other game) moved with the seasons. Nartan and Ikshu had a teepee when they first moved to Wylder in 1874, but Nartan builds a cabin in 1878 when he decides he wants to marry. Ikshu stays in the teepee which has one room serving all living purposes. A platform with skins piled on it had dual purposes as both his bed and couch. Not that Ikshu would have time to be a couch potato. Rotating skins through their maze of soaking vats, stretching frames, and smoking houses would take all day. Not to mention the work maintaining their sheep flock, garden, and meat smokers to have food.

4.       Pemmican – When I thought of the Old West, I thought of the rich American staples such as stew, meatloaf, fried chicken, and biscuits – all smothered with gravy. However, these meals would be reserved for special occasions or after-church brunches of the rich. My struggling leather tanners would only dream of such heavy meals. They maintain a garden, can hunt on their land, and butcher the sheep, but how did they maintain fresh food without refrigeration? The answer is a Native American staple called pemmican. Most of the settlers would be eating plain dried meats, but pemmican is meat pounded with spices, nuts, and berries before drying. It was still tough to eat but at least it had flavor. The Sagebrush boys would be able to make a month’s worth of pemmican in a day and store it without the risk of food poisoning.   

5.       Sanitation Papers – I wanted Nartan to prepare something for his intended bride to show her from the first day that he was committed to making her happy. In 1871, sanitation papers were invented which we now call toilet paper. Sanitation papers were sheets of thick paper which could be purchased plain or coated with aloe and essential oils. Nartan buys lavender scented ones to stock the outhouse he digs for his bride. What was everyone else using? Corn cobs, brushes, or old newspapers often hung inside outhouses for multiple uses. Nartan not only keeps Olive fresh with the papers, but he also gives her a bucket of latrine lime with dried lavender to act as “flushing” after she does her business. Nothing says, “I want to care for you” like a fresh bottom. What a luxury!

Travel with me and the other authors of The Wylder West series tomorrow, 4/24/2021, as we party like it’s 1878 in our Facebook group – here. The Sagebrush brothers and I will be revealing their book cover as we “Dance to a Wylder Beat”. Discover all the cowboys, ruffians, saloon girls, homesteaders, and handsome leather tanners who reside in Wylder, Wyoming Territory. I hope to see you there!


Nartan Sagebrush's name may mean "to dance" in Arapaho, but he dances in secret. Forced to abandon his Shamanic apprenticeship, he is overwhelmed with homesteader life, and even his spirit guides are at their wit's end. Nartan takes fate into his own hands. Instead of divine intervention, a wife will help with his responsibilities and in assimilating into the Wylder community. 

Olive Muegge answer's Nartan's "wife wanted" advertisement.  Wildly independent she has secretly dreamed of a family to call her own. The secret she carries inside makes her an outcast and her wild ways don't fit the quiet wife Nartan thinks he desires.

Despite their differences, they are drawn to each other but a mistake may drive them apart.  Will Nartan embrace his Shamanic past to save them both or will he choose to rid himself of Olive forever? 


When I turn back, the men are wrestling in a cloud of dust. Dead Eyes’ friends hoot like owls while a small crowd gathers around the scene. Being half-drunk, Dead Eyes is two steps slower than Nartan, who is landing punches on both sides. When Dead Eyes slams his gun on the ground in surrender, the dust settles, and I can study my future husband. 

Nartan’s muscular body straddles the smaller man while his broad chest billows. His hat has blown off in the scuffle, revealing two thick black braids adorned with feathers. Tendrils of raven-black hair wave around his head. “Quiet wife for a quiet life” my bloomin’ butt. This man is a sweet lick of passion wrapped in a delicious exterior. I think I’m gonna like being Mrs. Sagebrush just fine. I can handle an odd stick as long as he has the countenance of Nartan because I’m not as normal as I appear myself.

Pre-Order Buy Links: Coming Soon!

Author Bio:

Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, published microbiologist, special education/inclusion science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, certified spiritual & energy healer, and advocate for the autistic community. This puts her in the position to bring tales containing heroes who are regular people with different ability levels and body types, in a light where they are powerful, lovable, and appreciated. 

When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula. She is a sucker (haha) for cheesy horror movies, Italian food, punk music, black cats, bad puns, and all things witchy.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Pamela S. Thibodeaux Celebrates the release of TEMPERED TRUTH

Pamela Thibodeaux is here to celebrate the release of TEMPERED TRUTH, book 5 in her Inspirational Tempered series. She took the time to answer Five Quick Questions I had for her. Let's get to know her better. Welcome Pamela!

Five Quick Questions with Pamela Thibodeaux:

 - Favorite author? Although I love reading a variety of folks, Nora Roberts by far is my favorite author. 

- What song would best describe your life? On the Road Again by Willie Nelson because I love to travel!

- Country life or city life? I’m a country girl for sure! I used to say, “I’m so country I want 20 acres of woods with the center 5 cleared for my log home. I’ve narrowed that to 2 acres LOL and would still love a log home.

- E-book, paperback or audiobook? I love to read and prefer paperback or hardcover, however my Kindle allows me to always have a book at my fingertips which is wonderful because I do love to travel so much and it’s so much easier to pack than a stack of books. I’ve come to enjoy an audio book from time to time also.

- I love pizza with: meat, mushrooms and pineapple. Something about those flavors meshing satisfies my craving for sweet and salty. Although, I’ll eat just about any kind of pizza as long as it does not have onions or peppers or anchovies. I’m not a fan of olives either so I guess my tastes are somewhat limited LOL!

Title: Tempered Truth, book 5 in Edgy, Inspirational Tempered Series.

Blurb: Fate declared them neighbors. Scandal insisted they were brothers. The fact that they looked enough alike to be twins only added fuel to the rumors flying about their parentage. 

For fifty-plus years Craig Harris and Scott Hensley have enjoyed a bond nothing can sever. 

Not the insinuations that they share the same father. 

Not the years of strife and grief and heartache.

Not even death.

Will the truth set them free or will it destroy the friendship that has lasted a lifetime?


Scott wiped the tears from his cheeks. He was right, had been right all along, in thinking he would not be the same after reading what was inside that envelope. And he wasn’t. He was better, richer, wiser. He possessed a deeper understanding of who he was, why he was here, and what love—true, sacrificial love, was all about.

As usual, his mind turned to Craig Harris, his friend of a lifetime. He remembered how difficult Craig’s childhood had been, how strong he’d become, how close they were, and how blessed he was to have him in his life. Through the love and wisdom God had given his parents, he’d had it all… a best friend and a brother, and his life was far richer than it would have been had they not been obedient to Him.

Buy links:

Author bio: 

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!


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Friday, April 16, 2021

1st Book Birthday: ROCK HOUSE GRILL!

D.V. Stone is here to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of  ROCK HOUSE GRILL's publication. Happy Book Birthday, D.V.!

Happy Birthday to Rock House Grill.

I can’t believe it’s been a year already since publication. The road to get there was filled with potholes and detours. Rock House Grill started out as a NaNoWriMo challenge in November of 2015. The challenge is 50,000 words in 30 days. I was able to complete the first draft and received my certificate. Then, like many manuscripts, it was set aside while I finished other projects. I had a couple of independents in the hopper and focused on those.

Fast forward to 2019. I pulled up some old files, and there sat Rock House waving at me. “Hey, remember me?” I did, and with fresh eyes, began to revisit. I’d always dreamed of becoming a traditionally published author. To be able to say, my publishing house—my editor. I began to send out query letters. Let’s just say most places don’t even send a response, much less express an interest.

I sent several letters out in May. Word of warning. Be careful to look things over before you hit send. In horror, I realized the salutation in the email to The Wild Rose Press had another’s name on it. Panic ensued, and a new email went out. “Wild Rose Press. I know you’re The Wild Rose Press!”

Well, I blew that one. Wait. Not necessarily. A few days before my birthday, there was a ding in my inbox. Please send… OMG! Then came the next. Please send the full manuscript. After a couple of starts, stops, and a change in editors, this came on Jul 13, 2017.

Dear Donna,

My name is ELF and I am the editor who has been assigned to evaluate your story, “The Rock House Grill,” for The Wild Rose Press. 

Poor ELF didn’t know what she was getting into. At one point, she had to use tough love and warn me I had one more chance.

So here we are in 2021. You do the math. Publishing for me is not a straight road. I imagine for many, it’s a long pothole-filled one. But don’t give up. Even when you send the wrong email.

Rock House Grill and I are celebrating our first birthday together. Coming soon is the second Impact book Jazz House. Who knows when that book birthday will be. But I’m sure it will be as sweet as this one. You want to know why? Just like having more than one child, holding each of your subsequent books is an amazing feeling.

My final word to you? Go forth and be bold. Don’t let fear or worry hold you back. I promise it’s worth it.


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?


This engrossing story had it all, mystery, suspense, and romance. The twists and turns made it impossible to put down. I enjoyed the supporting characters as well. I will be looking for more from this talented storyteller.

This book is a delightful, savory, hopeful, fun, romantic, and warmhearted read!!

I really enjoyed this romantic suspense. The author portrayed a vivid description of the glamorous world of the high-end restaurant business. The characters were believable, and I rooted for Shay, the heroine, to overcome the many obstacles in her quest to find true love with Aden, the physically and emotionally damaged hero.


“Easy, you’re going to be okay.” 

A soft voice eased through the chaos around him. The owner of the voice grabbed his arms and held them in a firm but gentle grip. “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.” 

“Can hardly m-move.” His voice slurred. “C-can’t see anything.” 

“You’ve been in an accident. I’m an EMT with the ambulance squad,” the velvety voice calmly explained. “You can’t see well because we’re under a tarp. Hold still, okay?”


A small light flickered at the edge of his vision. It shone into a bag next to him. Penlight. “You’re restrained to a board. It’s to keep your head from moving and causing more injury.” 

She continued to talk to him. The voice reached down somewhere inside him, calming and peaceful, so he focused on it. A glow from spotlights on the outside lit whatever covered them. The shadow gave the woman the appearance of a halo—like an angel.

About the Author:

Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. I am a 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. Rainbow Sprinkles, a novella released on July 8th. I also host Welcome to the Campfire and A Peek Through the Window, both weekly blogs. Here’s a little more about me.

Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County.  They live with Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter, and their cat Baby.

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. She ended up back in the medical field, but this time in a veterinary emergency hospital. 

“Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Each time you open the pages to one of my books, I hope you’ll be swept away by the story and find encouragement in your own life, never to give up on hope.”

D.V. Stone

Buy Links:

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Find out more about D. V. 

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Welcome to the Campfire Blog Amazon Author Page

Other Books by D. V. Stone:

Rainbow Sprinkles

After the storm come the rainbows.

Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar

One foolish thought. One brutal act. Instead of a peaceful alliance––war.

Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake

A Mid-grade paranormal

Contributing Author

Australia Burns

One-stop link

Sunday, April 11, 2021

LIES AND SOLACE #onsale for #99cents!

LIES AND SOLACE, book one in my Love at Solace Lake series, is on sale for .99 cents! Get your copy while it's hot. The sale price is in effect only until April 17.


She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth.

Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own. 

Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.

Read an excerpt at my website.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021


 Today my guest is middle grade author Kimberly Baer and she's here to tell us about her book MALL GIRL MEETS THE SHADOW VANDAL. The star of the book, Chloe Lamont will tell us the top 10 things about living in the mall. Take it away Kimberly and Chloe!

The Top Ten Great Things About Living at the Mall

Hi, my name is Chloe Lamont, and I’m the star of Kimberly Baer’s new middle-grade novel, Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. My mom and me, we have a weird kind of living arrangement. Our house is in the middle of a shopping mall. You’d think a kid would love living at the mall—but, trust me, it gets old. Especially now that somebody’s trying to frame me for vandalizing stores. Still, sometimes life at the mall isn’t so bad. (Don’t tell my mom I said that!) Here, in no particular order, are some good things about living in a shopping mall: 

1. You never have to worry about running out of clean underwear. Just run to the nearest department store and buy more!

2. Want to enjoy puppies and kittens without having to take care of them? Hang out at the pet store.

3. Every day is a party. Lots of noise, lots of people, lots of merriment.

4. A mall is essentially an indoor town. Mine has stores and restaurants, but also a bank, a movie theater, a hair salon, and an eye doctor. And you can get to all those places without having to put on a coat or get in a car.

5. Hungry for Chinese food? Tacos? Pizza? The food court is thirty seconds away.

6. There’s an ATM in your back yard.

7. If you’re lucky, people will throw money down your chimney. Sometimes they miss, and the coins end up in your yard. But, hey, it’s still free money.

8. You never have to shovel snow, rake leaves, or mow the lawn. (But you do have to vacuum the fake grass.)

9. Your mom doesn’t have heating or cooling costs—which means she has more money to spend on YOU.

10. Your next-door neighbor is your favorite clothing store.

Blurb for Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal (a middle-grade novel):

"A lively, jaunty mystery with a terrific cast of characters." - Kirkus Reviews

Chloe Lamont doesn't live in a neighborhood, like most kids. Her house is in the middle of the mall. And now someone is stealing items from her house and using them to vandalize stores. Who is trying to frame her? And how are they getting into the house? 

Desperate to catch the real vandal and clear her name, Chloe seeks help from the kids in her Mystery Reading Group at school. While searching for clues, the Mystery Groupers make an astounding discovery. And then things get really crazy…


I hate getting up early, so it’s a blessed relief when Saturday morning rolls around and I get to sleep in.

Then I wake up and find out there’s been another egging.

Mom tells me about it when she comes home at lunchtime. This time Maynard’s Shoes was the victim. A bunch of shoes on display out front got hit. Like last time, the police think the crime took place in the middle of the night.

“How many—” I begin.

“Eight. They used eight eggs.”

We eye each other uneasily. Outside the living room window, a lady says contemptuously, “She acts like she’s the first woman on earth to ever have a baby.”

Mom turns abruptly and heads into the kitchen. I’m right behind her. We park ourselves in front of the refrigerator. 

“I bought a new carton on Thursday,” she says, twisting her opal ring around and around on her pinkie. “I haven’t used any eggs at all. If you haven’t either, there should still be a full dozen.”

“I haven’t used any,” I tell her.

She takes a deep breath and tugs open the refrigerator door. She has the grim demeanor of a fourteenth-century villager about to open a vampire’s coffin. She takes out the egg carton and places it on the counter. Gingerly, she lifts the lid.

There are four eggs inside, crowded together at the left end of the carton. The rest of the carton looks starkly empty, like eight tiny bird’s nests emptied of occupants.

“Oh!” Mom clamps a hand over her mouth. “How can this be?”

I can only stare at the carton in silence, dazed by the undeniable truth. Somebody is taking our eggs and using them to attack mall stores. I just don’t know who or how or why. 

View the Mall Girl book trailer

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Author Bio:

Kimberly Baer wrote her first story at age six. It was about a baby chick that hatched out of a little girl's Easter egg after somehow surviving the hard-boiling process. Nowadays she enjoys writing middle-grade and young adult fiction. She lives in Virginia, where she likes to go power-walking on days when it's not too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, or too windy. On indoor days, you might find her binge-watching one of her favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Friends, or The Office.

You can call her "Kim." All her friends do.

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Friday, April 2, 2021

#NewRelease from Nancy Fraser: TEACH ME

 Nancy Fraser makes a return visit to Journeys with Jana to tell us about TEACH ME, Book 3 in her Lusty Liaisons series. Since Nancy writes "short" or novella length, she wants to let us know what goes into writing a book of a shorter length. From experience, I can tell you the same amount of effort goes into writing a novella as something much longer. Welcome Nancy! Glad to have you back.

The Art of Writing Short

While most writers/authors strive to create that great novel, be it romance or mystery or thriller, there are distinct advantages to being able to write a shorter length novella or short story.

However, there’s a huge difference in being able to write “short” vs being able to write “complete”. Writing something short, e.g., 10,000 – 40,000 words, takes as much skill (if not more) than writing 80,000 words. The challenge is to tell a complete story within the context of the shorter length.

As a reader, I prefer reading shorter books as well. Books I can finish in a couple of hours, yet tell a full and rewarding story without all the ephemeral stuffing. Nothing irks me more than to come across pages and pages of unnecessary filler. I’d much rather read something that’s non-stop story from front to back. I find I’m far more satisfied.

As the writer of shorter pieces, I find the planning to be more intricate. I know I’ve only got so many pages in which to get from that first meeting (be it instant attraction or dislike), to the happily-ever-after.

Going into the book, I have to develop a firm character outline so that I know my heroine, hero, and supporting characters inside out. I have to have my black moments defined before I write them, and I have to (in my head at least) have my conclusion envisioned.

With my new release, Teach Me, (15,000 words) writing short wasn’t as much of a challenge as usual because the story was intended to take place in one, hot and steamy, night. So, as much as you’d think you can’t develop character in a string of lovescenes, you definitely can. All you need to do is show vulnerability, acceptance, and resolution of the character’s main reason for embarking on their one-night-stand.

In my upcoming Cougars & Cubs, age-gap romance, Seduced by the Handyman, (26,000 words) I had to develop a full, strong relationship and a plausible reason why their 15 year age difference would work. That meant a full story, challenges, resolutions, and happily-ever-after. It also meant weaving in supporting characters and giving just enough to fill out the story, but not enough that any of them would take over parts of the plot.

Writing the shorter length has become my ultimate writing plan. On occasion, I do push the boundaries and write 55-60,000 words, but not often. They say, “write what you love” and for me, shorter is the way to go.


Can this tenured professor create the best lesson plan for her ultimate satisfaction?

Med student Jayne Willis is devastated when she's stood up for a date arranged by hookup service Lusty Liaisons. Really, who stands up someone willing to have sex?

Widowed professor Noah Gallagher's chance encounter at a hotel bar with an alluring young woman is unexpected but might be just what he needs. He's on the last leg of a cross-country trip prior to returning to the university, ready to start a new chapter in his life.

One lonely widower looking to reconnect plus one beautiful, albeit inexperienced, young woman equals one hot night. Will she get an A in lovemaking, and will he get a hall pass back to life?


A quick, hot shower, clean T-shirt and jeans, and Noah was back in the lobby within twenty minutes. The bar was nearly empty except for an older couple enjoying martinis at a corner table, a middle-aged man in a cheap suit nursing a beer at the bar, and a young woman, no doubt barely legal, sitting alone in a two-person booth.

The woman intrigued him. Not just because she was attractive—which she was—but because he couldn’t fathom why she’d be there alone. Or why she’d come out on a night like this if she didn’t have to.

The idea of someone standing her up for a date was ludicrous. Her bright-red, pouty lips and long dark hair revived his dormant senses. He took a seat at the end of the bar closest to where she sat. If nothing else, he could chance an occasional glance and daydream about what it would be like to make love to her.

He’d just ordered a scotch, neat, when he sensed someone standing beside him.

“You wouldn’t happen to be Carl, would you?”

Noah glanced over his shoulder and came face to face with the woman. He turned slightly to get a better look. Up close, she was astonishingly beautiful, from her deep-set, chocolate-brown eyes, to her pink-tinged cheeks, to those luscious lips.

“No,” he said, “I’m not. Unfortunately.”

She smiled, and her cheeks darkened a deeper shade of rose. “Oh,” she responded. “Sorry I bothered you.”

“No bother. You’re welcome to join me if you don’t want to sit alone. At least until Carl gets here.”

A look of relief washed over her face, and she slid onto the stool next to his. “I’m pretty sure I’ve been stood up.”

“Well then, Carl’s a fool.” He shot her a grin. “Blind date?”

“Sort of,” she admitted.

“What does ‘sort of’ mean exactly?”

She shook her head, her gaze fixed on the top of the mahogany bar. “It’s complicated.”

When had a blind date become something other than a blind date?

He stuck out his hand. “I’m Noah, by the way. Noah Carpenter.” She put her hand in his, the simple touch of her soft skin against his palm bringing his entire body to full alert.

“I’m Jayne Willis.”

“Nice to meet you, Jayne. What’s so complicated? Either you know this Carl fellow, or someone’s set you up on a blind date.” When she just shrugged, he added, “I know a few of my friends have set me up with some pretty disastrous results.”

She let out a long sigh. “It wasn’t a friend. It was a service, a specialized dating service.”

“Like a matching service?” he asked, a slight cringe running through him at the thought of ever having to rely on a dating app to find a woman.

“It’s not a find-your-soulmate type of dating app.” She glanced from side to side and lowered her voice. “It’s just for…uh…you know…sex. One night only, no expectations.”

He nearly choked on his drink. By the time he stopped coughing, his eyes were watering, and Jayne, bless her sexy soul, was laughing hysterically. “Just sex?” he said as soon as he could catch his breath.

She nodded and pursed her lips to hold in another laugh. “Yes, just sex.”

The thought of volunteering to take Carl’s place sat perched on the tip of his tongue. He wrestled with making an outright offer, wondering if the boldness of it would scare her way. So instead, he went with, “That’s some dating service.”


Author Bio:

NANCY FRASERJumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for three publishers and has recently dipped her toe into the self-publishing market. She has published over thirty books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five energetic grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

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Twitter:  @nfraserauthor