Happy Medieval Monday! Having just finished reading this thoroughly enjoyable, medieval romance, I thought it a perfect time to share a little information about it, along with my review.
Friends becoming lovers in the middle of the Hundred Years War.
Catriona has been in love with Sebastian all her life. But the rakish future Earl of Whitley has eyes for every woman – except his best friend. Then one day, against all odds, he proposes to her to save her from marriage to a man who scares her.
Or so she thinks…
It will come as a bitter blow to realise that he only did so to gain back his inheritance. Can a woman deeply in love with her husband accept the fact that she has only been married to be used as a brooding mare? What will it take for Sebastian to realise that what he feels for his wife is love of the deepest kind?
His departure for war will precipitate them into a whirlwind of self-discovery and when secrets are revealed, Catriona and Sebastian will have no choice but to accept what they cannot change.
Wedded to Her Golden Knight by Virginie Marconato is a tender and unexpected romance. Set in England during the 100 Years War, the historical aspect is excellent and the medieval ambience lends a poetic beauty to the tale.
At the beginning of the story, our heroine Catriona loves her knight with an idealism and naivete that's a bit unfair to him. While Sebastian is a gentleman and has affection for her, he's completely oblivious to her feelings. He's full of energy and ambition and doesn’t have the time, expectation, or desire for true love in his life. Until he does...
The character development in the story is exceptional. Catriona and Sebastien are young and passionate. They both focus on their own, individual hopes, dreams, and feelings without giving the other's due consideration. It's realistic, and the ending is all the sweeter for it.
Life being life, everything changes. The characters grow in depth and maturity right before our eyes.
The love scenes are lusty and fun as well as tender.
Wedded to Her Golden Knight is a satisfying and deliciously medieval romance.
Available at Amazon. Free with Kindle Unlimited.
For more Medieval Monday -- we can never have enough -- be sure to check out these medieval ladies, Barbara Bettis and Mary Morgan.
Wishing you a wonderful day and week ahead!
I'm proud to welcome Brenda Whiteside, multi-published author of romance and mystery! Her latest book is Curse of Wolf Falls, the third book in her series The MacKenzie Chronicles. Congratulations, Brenda, and welcome!
Thank you so much for having me on your great blog, Anastasia. I’m happy to be here.
And now for our little interview, Literary You.
1) What sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series? The first memories I have, although Mom says I loved to read when young, was middle school. I read Peyton Place and any other book Mom left lying around that I probably shouldn’t have been reading.
2) What sort of books do you enjoy reading nowadays?
I love romantic suspense and romantic mystery. I also like series suspense novels involving the same detective and recurring characters. Character driven stories, think Maeve Binchy, are a favorite too.
3) Around what age did you realize that you liked to write? And when did you know that you wanted to write books?
I’ve always loved to write. But I always liked to paint and draw also. I chose art over writing until adulthood. At that point, I took a creative writing class for fun and realized I enjoyed filling an empty page with words more than with paint.
4)What’s the first thing you wrote that you remember being proud of?
In the fourth grade I combined my love of art and writing. Using crayons, I drew a fairy forest with flowers and fairies. On one side I wrote a poem about fairies.
I looove that! :)
5) You have traveled quite a bit! Have your travels given you ideas for your novels? Tell us about the creative force within you? What inspires you to write, to create?
Way back, when I wrote short stories, I did draw on some of my adventures from places we’d visited in Europe. But when I turned toward novels, I found myself using settings closer to home as well as people I knew. The smallest detail can strike an idea for a story. I’ve been inspired by words on a wedding invitation, a happening from my mom’s childhood, a millionaire I met and became friends with, a tourist city, and a night my brother spent in a cheap hotel.
6) What’s your writing space like?
Cramped! We’ree living in an RV…a large RV, but still no office. I write from a recliner, which actually suits me fine. I like my feet up and my coffee on the table next to me. I have a great view out the window of my fairy garden and the forest beyond.
7) Do you have a favorite time of day to write? Any habits or little rituals that put you in a writing mindset?
I’m better in the morning, and I quit by 3:30. I’m up by 5:30. Love winter when it’s dark, and I’m the only one up. I can’t say I have any special habits.
8) Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us about it. How did you come up with the idea for this series?
Curse of Wolf Falls (The MacKenzie Chronicles Book 3) is the story of the youngest MacKenzie sibling. In present-day Joshua, Arizona—an 1800s mining community-turned-ghost-town, reborn hippie haven, and now tourist town clinging to the side of Spirit Mountain—secrets and treachery come home for the MacKenzies. The town is modeled after Jerome, Arizona, and if you ever come to Arizona, Jerome is a must stop. The MacKenzie family had their beginnings in the hippie community of the 1960s. The three siblings are definitely products of that upbringing.
Ahh. The whole series sounds marvelous.
9) I realize you’ve just published a new book and I know what that takes. Still, I can’t help but ask – do you have another story waiting on the backburner?
Ha! More than one. I am currently writing a cozy mystery series with another author. I have two more ideas for stories revolving around the MacKenzies. And my nine-year-old granddaughter wants me to write a book about a dog with her. Too many stories and not enough time!
Wow! You are prolific! I completely agree about there not being enough time. I have a nine-year-old granddaughter, too -- so much sweetness.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
The second book in the series, Mystery on Spirit Mountain, will be on sale for $.99 October 22 to October 29. Although a series, it is possible to read them out of order and enjoy the stories.
Brenda, thank you for sharing your time and talent. Wishing you continued joy and success.
Secrets can protect what the truth will destroy.
Elidor MacKenzie has a gift she can't return—the ability to absorb the joy, pain, and suffering of others. She's spent her life running from what she considers her curse. Now, her best friend is dead, and she alone holds the key to an archaeological discovery that could destroy a culture. With newfound inner peace, Elidor has returned home to make amends and guard the secret revelation. But greed-driven scavengers have followed her. Once again, the energies of Joshua will stir the hurricane, with her at the deadly center.
Jules never got over Elidor. Twenty years and a famous journalism career later, he's back in Joshua—and so is his first love. If his heart can stand the torture, he'll risk reviving their relationship. But saving Elidor from herself and the secret she won't give up may be the death of them both.
With Jules by her side, Elidor is determined to outrun the scavengers, guard the secret, and renew their love. But fate is coming after her, and there's nowhere the couple can hide.
About the Author
Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of romantic suspense, cozy mystery, and romance. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart so won't discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.
I'm so pleased to welcome the talented Darlene Fredette on my blog today! Darlene is an artist as well as an author. Creative people always amaze me. Today, of course, we're focusing on her writing and her new release, Derailed Hearts!
Let's get to know this creative lady a bit better with my new, quick interview, Literary You.
1) What sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series?
Growing up I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I also enjoyed reading Archie comic books.
2) What sort of books do you enjoy reading nowadays?
I love romance books of many genres such as contemporary, paranormal, suspense, mystery, fantasy, and western.
3) Around what age did you realize that you liked to write? And when did you know that you wanted to write books?
I was in my early teens when I started writing a young adult novel. I didn’t think I had a talent for writing until my high school English teacher told me I had a great writing voice.
4) What’s the first thing you wrote that you remember being proud of?
Finishing my first novel ‘Law of Attraction’ and seeing it published was a proud moment I’ll never forget.
5) Tell us about the creative force within you. You are an amazing artist as well as a writer. What inspires you to write, to create?
Thank you for the compliment! I have always loved to create stuff, from crafts, to drawing, and building things. I believe art comes in many forms. Writing is one way I release my creative side, but I also love to draw and paint. I draw a picture for my daughter every week, and I recently discovered the art of fluid painting.
6) What’s your writing space like?
I have a desk in the den, but my favorite place to write is in the living room, sitting in my comfy recliner. My husband made a small table that sits above my lap and holds my laptop.
Oooh, I need to ask my husband for one of those! I usually plop mine on a throw pillow, which isn't the most stable situation.
7) Do you have a favorite time of day to write? Any habits or little rituals that put you in a writing mindset?
I would like to have a favorite time or ritual to write, but daily life gets in the way. I go with the flow of my day. After house cleaning and a long walk with my dog, I manage to get a couple of hours late morning, break for lunch, then another couple of hours before shutting down for the day.
8) Congratulations on your new release, Derailed Hearts. The whole series, Redford Falls, looks wonderful. How did you come up with ideas for this series? Please tell us about your writing, Redford Falls, and Derailed Hearts.
Thank you! Redford Falls is a made-up town. I created it with the visual of two places my family visits often - a small town about an hour away is our favorite place to go, and another town (an hour away in the opposite direction) has a park with amazing waterfalls. With the first book in the series, I reworked character names from some of my favorite holiday movies. The town and its residents soon came to life and grow with each new book.
9) I realize you’ve just published a new book and I know what that takes. But I can’t help but ask – do you have another story waiting on the backburner?
Derailed Hearts is the sixth book in my Redford Falls series, but I am currently writing the seventh. My new story is about Eric Martini, who is the brother of Jenn Martini (the heroine in Derailed Hearts), and Jade Parsons who has been a secondary character in previous books. My new book is part of a series with six other authors. Each book is individual and has a common object in the stories.
It all sounds wonderful!
10) Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
If you are new to Redford Falls, and starting with Derailed Hearts, don’t worry because each book stands well on its own, but for those returning to this quaint little town will be looking for the town’s legendary and mysterious matchmaker.
I love it! Thank you for sharing your time and talent. Wishing you continued joy and success.
Thank you, Anastasia, for hosting me and for allowing me to share my new release. I really enjoyed this interview.
Links, information, and an excerpt from Derailed Hearts follow. Readers, enjoy!
Nana Marley has her heart set on more great-grand babies, and with the help of a folklore legendary rabbit, she might receive her wish.
Derailed Hearts by Darlene Fredette
Single father and ER doctor, Ethan Marley, is ready to put down roots. He and his daughter embark on a train adventure across Canada from west to east coast. Boarding the train, he meets a woman who steals his breath, and he learns that she too is headed to Redford Falls. He is intent on maintaining a friendship only, but Jenn makes his heart race faster than the train.
Fashion designer, Jenn Martini, travels by train to Redford Falls to visit her father. Her plan for a solitude escape derails after meeting Ethan and his daughter. Sharing a confined-spaced cabin sparks an immediate attraction, and by the end of the trip, she longs to be a part of their family. Only as she opens her heart to love, do the scars from her past begin to heal.
With more in common than relatives in Redford Falls, is their love strong enough to overcome the truth behind the accident…and save their future?
Avery pointed to herself, Ethan, and then Jenn.
Ethan rested his forehead against his daughter’s. “You want Jenn to come, too?”
The little voice in Jenn’s head told her to return to her cabin and to stay clear of Ethan and his daughter. They were as enticing as strawberry ice cream. “I would love to join you.” The words fell from her lips.
Ethan stood and set Avery on her feet.
The child held onto her father’s hand and reached outward with the other.
Jenn accepted the tiny hand and in doing so, she sensed a comfortable connection to this family—a connection she suspected would be incredibly hard to break.
About Darlene Fredette
Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, or painting, or drawing, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador.
Other Books by Darlene Fredette
Law of Attraction
Twist of Faith
His Candy Christmas (Redford Falls Story 1)
Kissed By Winter (Redford Falls Story 2)
Under The Apple Blossoms (Redford Falls Story 3)
A Recipe For Forever (Redford Falls Story 4)
Finding Home Again (Redford Falls Story 5)
Airdchartdan. Urquhart. To my surprise, the castle isn’t named for a family, but for its location. There are a few suggestions as to the meaning of the ancient name, but mostly I’m finding that the old Gaelic/Welsh refers to a promontory with a woodsy thicket. A few sources translate it as "upon a thicket".
Even more surprising to me was how accessible it is from the road. From my research, its image was seared into my memory, ancient and mysterious,. Then there we were, driving along Loch Ness, and suddenly it was right there, clearly in view. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was amazed and thrilled and could hardly wait to visit.
It seemed like a dream.
In view of my research on the Picts, I find it interesting that the earliest mention of the site was in a biography about Saint Columba. In the 600s, a little over a century after the fact, the saint’s biographer Adonmán wrote that Saint Columba visited Airdchartdan, where he baptized Emchath, a pictish noble on his deathbed, along with the entire household.
Adonmán also recorded the first written mention of the Loch Ness monster. Legend has it that while in the area, Saint Columba scared him away and, in doing so, converted still more Picts.
Loch Ness was calm the day we visited. Sun and drizzle danced a bit, but neither a monster nor tremor disturbed the day.
There is some debate as to how old the ruins are, but some portion of it was certainly there in the late 1200s, when Edward I of England invaded Scotland.
From that time, the castle was more or less fought over continuously. Its history is tumultuous to the point that finally, in 1692, it was blown up, never to be resurrected.
With such a history, one might expect a lingering air of melancholy. At least, I would. But that day, I found that it wasn’t the case. I did mention it on social media, but it’s worth repeating. To me, Urquhart Castle and its grounds felt peaceful, stoic, and proud.
Beautiful ruins, indeed.
For more wonderful Medieval Monday, be sure to visit authors Mary Morgan and Barbara Bettis.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!
image credit: Christopher Rynn, University of Dundee
Happy Medieval Monday!
In 2017, Professor Susan Black of the University of Dundee, Scotland, was on an archaeological dig on Black Isle, Ross-shire, Scotland with Dr. Christopher Rynn and three PhD students when they discovered the remains of a man buried in a cave.
According to Professor Black, he had been brutally beaten to death, but buried carefully, laid in an unusual position, and in a protected location in the back of the cave.
Despite his battered skull, researchers at the University of Dundee were able to reconstruct his face using digital imaging. To me, the man looks strikingly modern. Why do I feel a bit surprised? What else should I expect of anyone without worldly trappings affecting their appearance?
It's so easy to dehumanize others -- whether in the past or, worse, even in the present. He might have been a bad guy. He might have been cruel. He might have been a great leader, betrayed. We will probably never who he was. But from now on, when I think of the Picts, his face will come to mind.
There've been a lot of archaeological discoveries all over Scotland the past few centuries. One very impressive site is the hillfort at Burghead. Radiocarbon dating shows that the fort's construction began as early as the 3rd century, and it's presumed to have flourished between the 4th and 9th centuries. Over 12 acres, it's the largest pictish settlement ever discovered and surely a main center of power for the Picts. Findings at the site show it was a center of both commerce and religion.
I owe it to the Picts to write at least one more post about them -- about their writings, their art, their body-paint. But it will be a few weeks. I'll be away and mostly offline for a little while. I can hardly wait to tell you all about it!
Be sure to visit the marvelous, medieval ladies Mary Morgan and Barbara Bettis!
Wishing you a happy, wonderfully medieval Monday!
"The True Picture of a Woman Picte", engraving by Theodor de Brys, 1588
Happy Medieval Monday!
It's been a fascinating time, learning, un-learning, and repeating the process several times over as I've made the acquaintance of the ancient people called the Picts. I have to say, I absolutely love them.
No one seems to have a really firm grasp as to who they were, where they were from, or how their language sounded. Possibly the biggest mystery of all -- since they were a known people during recorded history -- is what happened to them?
It would seem that someone should know something. Right? Yes, I'm a bit cranky about it. To be fair, it's only because the Picts didn't leave a lot for us to work with -- at least, not a lot has been uncovered yet. But archaeologists continue to make amazing discoveries.
They lived in northern and eastern Scotland. Growing evidence shows they were there in the Iron Age which, in Britain, was from roughly 750 BC to when the Romans invaded in the first century AD.
It's hard to even know which question to address first! I've decided to go with their name. After all, that is usually first in order when getting to know someone. Then, since it sort of ties in, I will add a few words about where they came from.
It's worth pointing out that no one is even sure what they called themselves. I've found a few resources that suggest they might have referred to themselves as the albidosi, as in of the Kingdom of Alba (Scotland). I like that.
So where does the name "pict" come in? The most popular theory is that the Romans gave them the name. “Pict” or “Picti” in Latin means “painted people”. It is assumed that this would have been the Romans' way of painting them (no pun intended, but HA) as savages, referring to their blue war paint.
But there’s another theory out there that I personally prefer -- that "pict" might be a word of proto-Celtic origin. Cruithni (Irish), prydyn (Welsh), and pretani all mean "ancestors". It's been suggested that pict or pecht (Scottish Gaelic) comes from these old, indigenous words.
That brings me to where they came from. Some sources suggest that they came from Scythia. Others, from Ireland. These are the most popular theories, but not the only ones.
There's one theory gaining steam that I personally feel is the obvious right choice. Of course, all the work has been done for me. Moreover, what do I know? I'm just getting to know these folks. But I appreciate the suggestion that the picts were indigenous to the land -- indigenous to what is now Scotland. To me, that makes the most sense.
Ancestors. Right. To say nothing of Iron Age evidence... I'm going with it.
But that's just me.
Before I go, I thought to share this astonishing, digital image (University of Dundee) created from the well-preserved remains of a Pictish man. He was handsome and died a violent death. I'll tell you more about him next week.
For more medieval fun, be sure to visit these medieval ladies, Barbara Bettis and Mary Morgan.
Wishing you a great week ahead!
The digitally recreated face of the Pictish man. (Image credit: Christopher Rynn/University of Dundee)
Mysterious History: Medieval Scotland
I was so excited for this week’s Medieval Monday! After struggling through my last few posts -- more to the point, struggling out of the deep and fascinating rabbit holes I had dived into head first – I finally hit upon a plan! The weekend and Monday morning were busy, but I was fine. I knew what I was going to write. I would settle at my computer in the early afternoon and the post would be up in no time.
I wasn’t expecting a cable outage. And then, suddenly, our Wi-fi was gone. No internet, no phone for approximately fifteen hours. I’m typing this at four o’clock in the morning. I could have waited -- slept -- but I had so many things on my mind that I finally decided to give up and write. And then I realized that our services had returned. The rest of the neighborhood will doubtless be glad when they wake in a few hours.
Onto my Medieval Monday post!
The pyramids at Giza, the classic philosophers, the architects of Greece and Rome, runes, hieroglyphics, cuneiform… Some civilizations left us a vast legacy, evidence not only of their existence, but of their way of life, their beliefs and traditions. Others left almost nothing at all.
Why is that?
It all has to do with the way the people lived, which was, in turn, reliant upon their surroundings. Was it an agrarian society? Warlike? Was the society stable enough to support creativity and education? Were there cities? Was there a wealthy leisure class? An educated one?
What’s really fascinating to me is that even of those civilizations that left behind a brilliant collection of writings, immense monuments, and well-preserved artifacts, there’s still so much we don’t know.
History is mysterious and (probably) unfathomably vast. Even when broken up into eras, there are innumerable aspects to consider – for every civilization. And so, for study and research purposes, the eras are divided.
For the medieval era, we have the early period (500 A.D. to 900), high (900 to 1300), and late (1300 to 1500). The dates are rough/approximate.
You can imagine, in this span of 1,000 years, that a lot changed. People and landscapes, conditions and circumstances -- basically, the world -- changed drastically in the course of a millenium. If you consider how much our modern world has changed in just one hundred years, well, you get the idea.
For Medieval Monday, in order to keep my blogposts reasonably focused and book-centric, I’m going to largely focus on Medieval Scotland. Moreover, I will concentrate mostly on the Highlands, although not entirely.
The posts will be shorter, too, due to my new focus.
There was so much more going on than is commonly assumed. But first things first!
Are we all clear on the difference between Dal Riata, the Kingdom of Alba, Pictland, and Scotland as we know it today?
During the next few Medieval Mondays, we are going to see what we can find out.
If you haven't already, be sure to visit Mary's Tavern and Barbara Bettis' blog for more of Medieval Monday!
Wishing you a great week ahead!
There are more books in this series. I listened to these three audio versions, but I enjoyed the books and characters enough that I will take time to read the rest and hope for more.
My favorite character in the series is the setting. Donna Kauffman describes an absolutely gorgeous, fictional area in the Blue Ridge mountains. But I love ALL the characters. Most make at least brief appearances in all the books.
In the series, every couple has to overcome self-imposed obstacles to be together. At times, I found it exasperating, but their hesitance to move forward is probably more realistic than not. In both Blue Hollow Falls and Bluestone & Vine, the characters have to decide whether or not they are willing to make drastic moves in order to be together. In Lavender Blue, Hannah and Wilson must overcome pain and fear of loss. To my surprise, Lavender Blue is my favorite even though it is the heaviest of the three. All three books are beautiful. They encourage choosing joy and life.
I did not know that Donna Kauffman died in 2020. She left a wonderful legacy of books behind that I believe reflect her spirit. May she rest in peace.
The Blue Hollow Falls series consists of six books:
Blue Hollow Falls
The Inn at Blue Hollow Falls
Bluestone & Vine
Lavender & Mistletoe
Under a Firefly Moon
I’m proud and excited to welcome Author D.V. Stone. Today is the launch day of her new release! Welcome, Donna! Congratulations on Jazz House!
I have to tell you, I’m a fan! I eagerly look forward to your posts on the various social media venues. You always seem to be doing something interesting. Before we delve into writing and your upcoming release, won’t you please tell us about yourself?
Thanks so much not only for your kind words but for having me over today. As I’m doing this interview, we’re returning from a camping trip that included Maine and Massachusetts. I’m blessed to have retired from full-time employment and now can focus on the things I love. Hubby and I love to travel, history, and camping. We are both avid readers and enjoy opening a book or, in my case, a device and reading around the campfire. Cooking is one of my hobbies, and I recently was invited by Still Moments magazine to contribute a recipe and short blurb about the recipe to each of their issues starting this fall.
I look forward to your recipes! I love the premise of your blog, Around the Fire with D.V. Stone. You have such a warm, relaxed style and you very generously showcase and interview a lot of authors. How did you come up with the idea and how in the world do you find the time?
Thank you! One of the things about camping is if you light a fire, people will join you. Discussions often lead late into the night, and you learn so many interesting things. Other people interest me. Anytime I can talk about books is a bonus. Time management is much easier now that I don’t have a nine to five.
Tell us about your writing! Where do you write? When? Do you have a favorite spot or time of day?
When my son moved out, my DH turned his room into an office/library. I spend a lot of time there. However, I move around a lot depending on the weather. A lap desk makes me mobile. The deck is one of my favorite places, and my camper has a bunkhouse that doubles as an office when we hit the road.
Okay (rubbing hands together), let’s talk about your Impact Series. How did you arrive at the name for this series? Tell us more about your inspiration and research.
I believe we should all we can to make an Impact in our world. Each of our lives touches so many others for the good and the bad. Choices we make, or don’t, have repercussions. As a former EMT, both as a volunteer and a professional, was an important part of my life. When I learned about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I took what I knew and loved. Rock House Grill was the first book and combined my love of Rock/music-House/family-Grill/cooking into a novel about love and how our life choices can help or harm others. Jazz House easily followed with a continuing theme of First Responders.
That sounds like an amazing combination! Jazz House – it looks intense! Please tell us about your latest release!
At the end of RHG, Shay and Olivia are getting ready to take on the restaurant world by opening Jazz House. They listen to a demo tape for their dinner club’s entertainment, and we hear about Madeline Cielo. One of my favorite characters in the first book is Michael Michau, a police officer who had a crush on Shay. I needed Michael to have his happily ever after. In the same way, Shay makes an Impact on the House family, as Michael does in Madeline’s shattered life.
Were some scenes hard to write? Did you ever get emotional?
One day I’m going to finish Olivia’s story. Liv is like the spoke of the wheel the series revolves around. Her story is tragic, and every time I write a scene with her, my heart breaks.
I realize this might seem a crazy question, considering we’re celebrating the launch of Jazz House. But we’d really like to know – is your next book in the works?
Honky Tonk House is being drafted. Along the lines of First Responders, this one will focus on a female firefighter. I’m a huge fan of 80s and 90s country music, hence Honky Tonk. I have a couple of lost souls looking for love and haven’t decided which male character will find his soul mate. Both Nick (Shay’s ex-husband) and Zach, another EMT, have been requested. We’ll see. I’m also working on several Indie projects. One is a fantasy series, the other a historical paranormal adventure.
Oh, wow -- it all sounds great! Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to share?
We live in very difficult times. Be kind. You never know what someone else is going through. Make an Impact for the good. One of my favorite quotes is—let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
I respect and appreciate that. Thank you, Donna. I look forward to reading Jazz House and the Impact Series. I wish you happy travels and much success!
About the Author
D. V. Stone is an award-winning, multi-genre, traditionally and independently published author. She writes books people want to read. Whether romance or fantasy, her stories are about the importance of friends and family. About overcoming obstacles while doing it with humor.
Around the Fire is a popular weekly blog where she introduces both established and new authors, giving an insider’s look into their lives and books and tidbits about her own life.
After retiring, she is now a full-time author and incorporates her life experiences into her books.
A former Emergency Medical Technician, she volunteered in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 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 the years that followed. The years following were as a manager in an animal emergency hospital, while 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 rambles around town in Northern New Jersey in a white Camaro. She also loves travel and history.
D.V. is wife to an amazing husband, mother to one son, and not your average grandma to three beautiful grands. A woman of faith, 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.
You can learn more about D. V. by following her on social media.
For one-stop connections Link Tree
Amazon Author Page
Around the Fire Blog with D.V. Stone
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.
Excerpt from Jazz House
Jordan scrambled to the other side of the limo.
“You sing good tonight.” He scrolled through his phone.
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.
Other Books by
D. V. Stone
Rainbow Sprinkles by The Wild Rose Press
After the storm come the rainbows.
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Rock House Grill by The Wild Rose Press
One man’s choices. One woman’s Impact.
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Australia Burns by The Wild Rose Press
Agent Sam Carter
The Mystery at Branch Lake https://a.co/bb0HlkS
The Mystery at High Pointe Tower https://a.co/bb0HlkS
Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Author Cherie Colyer. Her paranormal romance Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss just launched yesterday! The title alone sounds scrumptious and as you will see from my review, so is the story!
Welcome Cherie, and congratulations on your new release! Before we get knee-deep in questions, won’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks for having me on your lovely blog! I’m the mother of four amazing sons, a senior technician for an IT company, a bit of a solitary witch, lover of nature, Harry Potter geek, author, wife, and friend to some amazing people. My happy place is in books, from reading great stories to creating my own contemporary worlds.
You write children’s books, YA fantasy, and adult paranormal romance. There’s something always a little magical in your writing, which I find impressive, appealing, and clever. It takes a lot of imagination to write fantasy. To me, adding even a little magic or other-worldliness also softens – sometimes even disguises -- an important lesson or a painful truth. On the other hand, it can also be sheer fun. I’m all for that!
So why do you write magic and fantasy? From where do you find your inspiration?
I’ve always been drawn to stories with magic in them. The idea that people can possess magical powers or be supernatural fascinates me, and whose to say there isn’t a bit of magic in us all. I certainly believe there is.
My inspiration comes from all over the place. Peyton, the protagonist in Salted Caramel Bliss and a Wedding Kiss, was Cassie’s best friend in Merry Little Wishing Spritz. The inspiration for these characters came from my desire to step into the world of adult paranormal romance and an idea I had for a stories that happen to include three witches. When the Wild Rose Press announced their call for submissions for their series, I stole the characters from my unfinished WIP and created these new books. And I’m so glad I did!
Do you have a favorite place to write?
I usually write in my family room. I’m pretty good at ignoring the TV and my husband. (Shh, don’t tell him I said that.)
What sort of books do you read?
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but most of the books I read have a touch of the paranormal in them. From Harry Potter (I’m a proud Gryffindor!) to The Midnight Library. Really, put a little magic or a witch, vampire, or faerie in a book and I’ll check it out.
Now, for Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss! Was it fun to write? I looove Roman, Travis, and Peyton. Spoil us. Tell us a little about your main characters and how the story evolved.
I had a lot of fun with this story. As I mentioned earlier, Peyton is the best friend in Merry Little Wishing Spritz, so I knew her pretty well. She’s a witch and a seer, and it’s a premonition that brings her to the small seaside town in Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss.
Roman, though not without his flaws, is selfless. He cares about the people around him and tends to do the right thing. Well, most of the time. He really screwed up with Peyton when they had been together.
This is their second chance, even if neither of them asked for it. But I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll just say that I loved writing this story.
Excuse me, but I have to ask – what’s your favorite ice cream?
Usually, it’s cappuccino mocha chip, or any coffee flavored ice cream, but I can’t resisted the chocolate peanut butter ice cream at the ice cream parlor by my house. And normally, I never get chocolate ice cream.
Mmm, that sounds delicious! I must admit, I have a weak spot for pretty much all ice cream.
I know that you’ve just launched a book. I do. But do you have something else in the works? We’d love to know.
I do! As far as WIP, I’ve been playing around with another spinoff with the characters in Merry Little Wishing Spritz and Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss. It’s been a bit slow going, because I’ve had to stop to work on edits for this book and a middle-grade fantasy, Atticus Everheart, Fifth Grade Tutor…and Monster Hunter? which comes out this fall.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before we close?
I love to hear from readers, so drop a comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook. Although, I’m better with IG than FB.
Thank you for joining us today, Cherie. Wishing you joy and great success with your wonderful, imaginative books!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. It’s been a lot of fun!
About the Author
Professional network technician by day, novelist by night, Cherie lives a quiet life in the Chicago suburbs with her charming husband. She has four amazing sons who she loves dearly. Cherie magically weaves together stories with a paranormal twist. She’s the author of the Embrace series, Challenging Destiny, Damned When I Didn’t, and Friends to the End. She waltzed into the adult novel world with Merry Little Wishing Spritz. She’s delighted to be back with Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss.
To learn more about Cherie and her novels, visit www.cheriecolyer.com.
Award winning author of fiction with a paranormal twist.
A kiss to remember... if only she could.
Roman Briggs built a life for himself in Siren’s Cove. He restored the Sugar Cones Ice Cream Parlor and turned it into a popular stop along the boardwalk. He has everything he needs until a certain blue-eyed woman wanders back into his life.
Seer and witch Peyton Woods isn’t sure why her latest visions feature a man and boy she’s never met. Determined to find out, she casts a spell that leads her to a small beach town in Maine and, to her utter surprise, the man who broke her heart eight years earlier.
Peyton's left with one question. Why didn't her magic show her him?
Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss by Cherie Colyer
“We’re meeting up with Henry and some friends,” Roman said. “We always watch the fireworks together during the summer festival. You’re welcome to join us.”
Since I was there to see Henry and Travis, I couldn’t say no.
I expected to stop at a picnic table, but Roman strolled past them on his way to the docks.
“We’re going on a boat?” I asked. On land, if the metaphorical shield protecting my heart from breaking cracked, I could leave. But on a boat, I’d be trapped.
“Just a mile out. We can see the fireworks better. Come on.” He jerked his head to the side. When I still hesitated, he added, “I don’t bite.”
I remembered him nibbling all the right places when we dated. The memories sent an elated shiver through me. Sex with Roman had always been amazing. At least, I thought it was. Roman obviously enjoyed love-making with Travis’s mom more. The thought added a new layer of protection around my heart. I reminded myself that I was over him. His endless brown eyes and smoky voice no longer had any sway over me. Now, if I could just convince the fireflies in my stomach to settle down, I’d be okay.
I could do this. I could be held captive on a boat with Roman and not let old emotions ruin the evening. Maybe we were destined to be friends all along.
That thought had me agreeing to go with them to watch the fireworks.
Roman led the way to the pier and a battered blue- and-white fishing boat. I stumbled. The boat looked as if it had made hundreds of exhausting voyages and was ready to sink.
“She isn’t pretty,” Roman said as he lifted Travis onboard. “But she’s safe.”
“Sturdiest fishing boats on these waters,” Henry said from the back of the boat. He sat on a folding chair next to an older Black couple.
“It’s the only fishing boat docked in this harbor,” a white-haired man said, clapping Henry on the back as he walked by.
“Don’t listen to Mattie.” Roman climbed in and then held his hand out to help me.
I glanced over my shoulder, finally second-guessing this whole trip. What had I been thinking, racing off to follow a vision and then sticking around even after I found out Roman was here? I should have fled Siren’s Cove the moment Karly said his name.
But then Henry coughed as if choking, and Travis patted his back, just like I’d seen in a vision.
Jinx jumped on my legs. She wasn’t worried about boarding the vessel. I scooped her up and whispered, “Don’t get attached to these people. Hanging with them is a onetime thing.”
Jinx licked my face. I seriously wondered if I should trust the instincts of such a young familiar. Maybe magical companions grew into their sixth sense instead of being born with it. Past the boat, a spark shimmered above the water. Was the spell that led me here telling me this was the right course to take? Or was the glow of the evening sun reflecting off a buoy? I hoped to soon find out.
This book fills all requirements for a relaxing, enjoyable read: there's sand and surf, an adorable kid, a cute puppy, a gorgeous, single-dad, and a loveable, relatable heroine who just happens to be a witch.
The discomfort and sexual tension between Peyton and Roman had me rooting for them immediately. They have a history, and they really aren’t sure how to deal with each other. But Roman’s son Travis has no issues. His sweet, innocent presence bridges their awkwardness perfectly and adds charm to every scene he’s in.
And I can’t leave out Jinx, the smart little puppy who is Peyton’s familiar. I can’t imagine the story without her. Neither, I’m sure, could Peyton.
There are some unexpected twists and turns, and the story flows easily. Lightly, deftly, Colyer weaves ice cream and magic throughout the book, lending fun and whimsy to this summer romance. She is an excellent storyteller.
I could read a book like this every day. Whether you’re actually at the beach or just wishing you were, this story will engage you, relax you, and make you smile. Highly recommended!
It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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