Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Welcome, Kim McMahill

One of the best parts of being an author is getting to meet other authors who are willing to help you out. When I put out a call in one of the writer's groups I belong to, asking for help publicizing my book, Kim McMahill volunteered to help me spread the word, even though she doesn't know me. I am happy to return the favor!

I would like to thank Jennifer for hosting me on her blog and allowing me the opportunity to share a bit about myself and my work. I’ve been writing for about twenty years which has taken me on an evolving journey from non-fiction, to stand-alone novels, to short stories, to series fiction. 

After two decades dedicated to a variety of writing projects, I’m often asked what I love most about writing. This is a tough question, but I guess my answer would be that writing allows me to escape into a world much more exciting than my day-to-day life and to take readers on far-flung and outrageous adventures. I started out writing non-fiction and have published over 80 travel, geographic, and human-interest pieces. I enjoyed this type of writing, but in many of my articles I could see things, if grossly embellished, that would lend itself well to suspense and adventure fiction. 

I’ve always loved stories of survival against the odds and happily-ever-after endings, which if I’m in charge of the keyboard, that is exactly what I get.  Books can help us to escape reality, if for just a moment, and indulge in flights of fancy, and heart-warming romance. Life doesn’t always provide for happily-ever-after, but depending on the genre a reader chooses, he or she can find that warm and satisfying feeling at the end of a book. I write stories primarily to entertain and provide an escape, but if any of my books encourage readers to dream, take out a map, or just ask “what if” then I’ve accomplished more than I set out to do.

My latest venture is a romantic suspense series focused on the diet and nutrition industries that I’ve titled the Risky Research Series. It started about six years ago with, A Dose of Danger, which deals with a potential miracle diet pill. Book 2, A Taste of Tragedy, revolves around a deadly sweetener, book 3, A Foundation of Fear, explores the role of lobbyists and politics in the industry, and the latest novel in the series, A Measure of Madness, sees the crime organization start to unravel as the FBI closes in. There are also two short-story prequels to the series available for free download, A Formidable Foe and Midnight in Montana. But, here’s a bit more on the latest novel, A Measure of Madness


FBI agent Devyn Nash's pursuit of a deadly organization heats up in this fourth installment of the Risky Research series.

The FBI locates the mastermind behind Coterie, but attempts to bring him in result in a shootout that sends Coterie’s members scrambling for cover. When Devyn’s partner is left fighting for his life in a Puerto Rican hospital, she becomes more determined than ever to bring them to justice.

Devyn’s decision to ignore her orders and pursue the head of Coterie to Brazil puts her job and her relationship with Sheriff Gage Harris in jeopardy, but she is unwilling to allow those responsible for so much death to live out their lives in paradise


There was nothing she wanted more at the moment than to go home and to hear Gage’s voice. At least one of those she could remedy immediately. She retrieved her cell and selected the first contact in her list.

“Hey cowboy, how are you doing?”

“Devyn, where are you? Are you all right?” When he was worried and anxious for information, he always jumped right to the point. It felt good to have someone who cared enough to really worry.

“I’m about forty miles from São Paulo. Gordo has made arrangements to fly me out of Brazil and into Uruguay on a private plane, and I’ll fly home commercial from there.”

“Thank goodness you’re on your way home. How about the second part to my question?”

“Do you want the truth or the candy-coated version.”

“I’m a big boy; lay it on me.”


To learn more about the Risky Research Series or to Download your copy of any of Kim’s novels, visit:


Barnes and Noble:



More About the Author

Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense and adventure fiction. When not writing she enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, playing games, puzzles, and spending time with family.

You can find Kim at any of the following:



Facebook Page:


Goodreads author page:



Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Welcome Back, Kimberly Baer!

My Wild Rose Press sister, Kimberly Baer, writes for middle-grade readers. Find out why!

Reliving Childhood by Writing Middle-Grade Novels

Every story I write begins with a plot idea. From there, I decide which audience the idea best aligns with. Occasionally, my target readers are grown-ups, sometimes they’re young adults, and most often they’re middle-graders (roughly, ages eight through twelve).

Why do I get so many story ideas for kids? Probably because I have such fond memories of my own childhood. The span from ages eight through ten was particularly splendid. My friends and I spent long, unsupervised hours exploring the world. (Read about one of our excellent adventures in my blog “We Found a Secret Fairyland.”) We hadn’t yet entered the dark realm of puberty, with its angst and boy troubles. Life was fun and exciting, filled with simple pleasures. 

Writing for middle-grade readers allows me to revisit that world, to temporarily become a kid again. Sometimes I think I never really grew up, because I find it really easy to slip back into that mindset and view the world through the eyes of a youngster.

Of course, writing for middle-graders isn’t the same as writing for adults, or even YA readers. The reading level has to be lower, for starters. The themes are less sophisticated, and nothing too dark or disturbing can be included. The focus is typically on real-life situations, and the characters don’t delve too deeply into self-reflection. Those elements make middle-grade novels easier to write than books for older readers, not to mention more fun—at least in my opinion.

Generally, I have no trouble writing at a lower reading level. I’m an editor by trade, and I also teach the principles of plain language to people at my workplace. (My employer encourages the use of plain language in all our professional documents because it’s easier for everyone to read—even the brainiacs among us.) Writing middle-grade fiction, with its clear, simple language, is a natural extension of what I do at work. It lets me practice what I preach.  

Of course, the language limitations can occasionally be frustrating. There have been times when I’ve written the most sparkling, perfect, precise sentence the world has ever seen—only to realize it’s too complex for my audience. So I have to tear it down and try again, using simpler language. 

But, hey. That’s a small price to pay for the chance to be a kid again.

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

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…


On a Sunday morning in mid-September, I’m jolted awake by a shriek. “Chloe! Get in here!”

It’s not the gentlest way to wake up, but in this case it’s better than staying asleep, considering I was at the very beginning of the spider dream.

“Mom? What’s wrong?” I stumble out into the hall.

Mom, in her bathrobe, is standing just inside the kitchen. She beckons me in and points to the floor. Our eight-inch carving knife is lying there, between the table and the refrigerator.

“Did you do that?” she asks. 

I look at her blankly. “Do what?” 

“Put that knife on the floor.”

“Why would I put a knife on the floor?”

“Exactly,” says Mom.

“Oh, no!” My heart seems to slide up into my throat. “You mean—”

“It wasn’t there last night,” she says in a tremulous voice. “I just got up, and when I came into the kitchen, there it was. Lying in the middle of the floor.”

“Oh,” I say in horror. 

What has the Shadow Vandal done now? Murdered somebody? Apprehensively, I circle the knife, examining at it from all angles. There’s no blood. At least not on the side that’s showing.

Mom’s face is almost as white as her bathrobe. “Are you sure you didn’t use that knife last night? I know how you like to have sliced banana with dabs of peanut-butter for a snack.”

“I had popcorn last night. Anyway, if I was going to slice bananas, I wouldn’t use a big, sharp knife like that.”

The doorbell rings. Mom and I both jump, and I kick the knife under the stove without even thinking about it. Mom sends me a look that’s a mix of reproachful-grateful and hurries to get the door.

It’s Ram. I breathe a sigh of relief to see him standing there unmurdered and then freeze as a police officer steps out from behind him. I recognize him as one of the policemen who were at the scene of the first egging. Officer Sanford, the burly one with the shrewd gaze. 

“Ursula. Chloe. Can we come in?” says Ram, looking grim. 

He tells us there’s been another vandalism incident, this one involving a knife. The second he says knife, my knees go weak. I struggle to stiffen them, all the while trying to keep my expression serene.

View the Mall Girl book trailer

Buy links:


Barnes and Noble


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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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Welcome, Desiree Holt & Liz Crowe

I'm thrilled to welcome Desiree Holt, and Liz Crowe, to my blog today, to talk about writing together and their latest book, Numbers Game.

Why Write Together?

Liz Crowe

On behalf of Desiree Holt, co-authors of NUMBERS GAME


We all have our heroes.

And when I say “hero” I’m talking about my personal ones, not the 40 or male ones I’ve created during the course of my writing career. I have lifestyle heroes, sports heroes, parenting heroes, my kids are even my heroes sometimes. My list of writing heroes is short, and in some cases more like hero worship from afar since a couple of them are super stars that I can only be a stan for on social media.


However, luckily for this writer, one of mine is a writer named Desiree Holt. When I think back on our earliest conversations, it was mainly me, a lowly stars-in-my-eyes romance author, wowed by the fact that she was so approachable and cool. She’s also one of Those Authors who give advice, tips, and inside scoops to those of us coming up behind her, learning the ropes of what can be a bit of a brutal industry at times.


When she figured out that I lived in Ann Arbor (at the time) we got to talking sports—a mutually favorite topic of ours. When she told me that she and some of her family were coming into town for a football game a few years ago, I made sure we met at the brewery I owned (at the time) and our friendship was sealed.  Since then, I’ve approached her with ideas for books, questions about publishers, and all sorts of author-related stuff, but in 2016, I helped organize, promote, and run a massive fundraiser for my kids’ high school’s athletic department that featured John and Jim Harbaugh, returning to the high school that John graduated from to honor them. It was a roaring success. We raised $50,000 for the athletic fund in one night, and I got to give Desiree a present. A few of the commemorative 2016 Pioneer High Hall of Fame footballs we had made were signed by both brothers so I made sure I got one and sent it to her.


All in the name of bribing her just a little bit because I had a project in mind that I wanted us to tackle together.


It worked! But because we’re both busy, it took us a few years to get to the point of actually talking through the concept that became the novel: NUMBERS GAME, that is releasing April 20 from The Wild Rose Press. We wrote in the sort of back-and-forth manner that was fun but also frustrating at times for both of us. I know I learned a lot about my process and habits as I crafted the point of view for Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher, a former pro player and coach who’s hiding the secret of his downfall in the pros, but has landed at his fictional Michigan alma mater as head coach. When we finally got the book exactly the way we wanted it, then came the challenge of finding it a publishing home. That was a task Desiree took on with a vengeance and landed us at The Wild Rose Press, a new-to-me publisher. It’s been great working with them and we’re proud to present this sports romance, featuring characters that are both divorced, both a tad jaded, but once they meet….well, those sparks catch fire quick and burn hot!


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.


Every move after that, to her, seemed to have some kind of sexual connotation.

The air between them vibrated with the electricity sparking back and forth. By the time he paid the check and they left the restaurant, every pulse in her body pounded, her breasts ached, and her teeny tiny thong was soaked. She wanted to hurry home and take a cold shower before she did something really stupid.

In the truck, he turned on the radio and found a station playing oldies rock music that he tuned low. They rode in a silence that was more electric than uncomfortable, especially when he reached over and took her hand in his, giving it a gentle squeeze. When they reached her townhouse, he again lifted her from the cab and walked her to the door, holding her hand. When she had the door open, he turned her to face him and studied her face for a long time. She waited, wondering if she had the willpower not to cross that line from professional to personal and how much damage she’d do if she did.

“You have to be the sexiest sports reporter I’ve ever met. I would really like to kiss you. Would that be okay with you?”

She should have turned away, but she couldn’t find the willpower. The kiss was soft and gentle, a mere brush of lips, a touch of flesh. Then it was over, but she wanted more. A lot more. She could feel this spinning out of control, and she was powerless to stop it.

“If you invite me in, I’m not going to turn you down.”

Buy Links:  

Universal Link:


Apple Books:  Coming Soon

Kobo:  Coming Soon


Google Play:  Coming Soon

Print:  Coming Soon

Goodreads:  Coming Soon



About the Authors:  

Liz Crowe:


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.
















Amazon Author Page:


Podcast Interview:



Desiree Holt:


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 BeastUSA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications. 









Facebook Reader Group:










Amazon Author Page:



Monday, April 12, 2021


Fill your eReader with a surprise! 

Is your eReader full of tumbleweeds? Do you need something to read but have no idea where to start? Let my mystery box pick for you!

Forty authors teamed up to bring you TWENTY-NINE mystery bags of romance. Alpha heroes, untouchable bosses, sexy vampires, kilted pirates, and more wait to sweep you away. There will be numerous winners!

You get to pick between the three categories what interests you most: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal

Enter whichever genre is your catnip, or go for all three if you love everything romance.

Do you want a sneak peek hint of which books are available in the bundle? Visit the giveaway page to check them out and enter.

The giveaway is sponsored by these wonderful authors:

Ellen Mint • N.J. Adel • Kara Kendrick • Jaqueline Snowe • Megan Slayer • C.J. Burright • Aurora Russell • Tina Gallagher • Melissa McClone • January Bain • Sheri-Lynn Marean • Jennifer Wilck • Angela Addams • Robert Herold • PE Kavanagh • AE Lister • Katherine McIntyre • Maggie Blackbird • Renee Regent • Anna Taylor Sweringen • Amanda Uhl • Angela Taylor • TJ Finn • Jessie Harper • Cassie O’Brien • S. J. Coles • M.C. Frank • Brooklyn Knight • Sue London • Michelle Deerwester-Dalrymple • Laurie Benson • J.P Bowie • Tia Didmon • Zoe Beth Geller • Sandra Carmel • J.R. White • Robecca Austin • T. Strange • Janis McCurry

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

DV Stone Celebrates A Book Birthday

 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.


Rock House Grill


One man’s choices—One woman’s impact


Winner NNLights Book Heaven 1st place Sweet Romance

Author Shout Out Recommended Read 2020


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?” 

“‘K.” 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

Amazon          Barnes & Noble         iBook’s      Google Books       Kobo


Find out more about D. V. 

Website         Facebook      Twitter          Instagram

Pinterest        Bookbub       Goodreads    Newsletter

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


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