Hi Sorchia! Thanks for visiting the campfire today. What’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, wine? The camp fridge is like the Starship Enterprise. You speak it, you get it.
I’m a green tea with jasmine freak—can’t get enough, but I’ll not refuse a crisp white wine either.
Lets start with tea and we'll see where it goes. I'm a Sauvignon Blanc fan. So there's always a bottle around here. Tell us, have you ever camped? If you’re not the camping type tell us about your favorite adventure or vacation. What made it special to you.
We used to camp often. Then we bought some property at the end of a road in the middle of a forest. At first, we camped there at every opportunity and then we built a house on the campsite. Now I can enjoy the same view, but with a kitchen and bathroom, as well! Tall pine trees, lots of deer, turkey, and other wildlife, a pond filled with fish, and the nearest neighbor is nearly a mile away—and they are nice people who value privacy as much as we do. I have a porch and a deck and a firepit and all is well. There’s really no need to ‘go’ camping anymore though I wouldn’t be opposed to a camping trip to the mountains one day.
That sounds amazing. We live at the edge of a state forest but have lots of neighbors. Tell us about your latest project. What book are you talking about today, and what’s on the horizon.
Today, I’m chatting about a 99 cent sale book. The last book in my Zoraida Grey trilogy was released in October and now all three books are available for 99 cents each. The trilogy is about a small town fortune teller who travels to Scotland on a quest to save her granny’s life. Instead, she finds herself in a haunted castle battling a family of witches and in danger of being ensorcelled by not one, but two, handsome Scottish witches. She has to choose between her comfortable, safe life or a life of magic and danger.
Wow that sounds like a great book set at an awesome deal. Do you have a tagline? Life Motto?
A reviewer provided the inspiration for my tagline: Magic, Mystery, Romance, History, a Little Whisky, and a Cat.
How long did it take you from conception to publication?
This trilogy has taken 6 years to get finished. My family were the primary culprits—they are barely aware that I write and seem to come up with one drama after another just as I get involved in a book. And then in 2020, I came down with a slight case of cancer which slowed down the last book by a year. I’m fine now, and determined to put my writing projects on the front burner instead of letting them languish.
Huh. I've never considered any cancer slight. You must have great perspective on life. I'd do a freak out at any mention of it. Are there any mentors, authors, or books?
Writing is a solitary activity but promoting and marketing are just the opposite. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met as I guest on their blogs or they guest on mine. I could point to Stephen King’s On Writing, William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, and Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life as inspirational works on the business and purposes of writing.
What does literary success look like to you?
Well, I would love to quit the day job and write fulltime—this is doable since my standards are low. I don’t crave fame—this is why I live at the end of a road. For me, literary success is a steady income from writing which would give me time to write more and to provide help and encouragement to other writers who may be having some of the same doubts and problems I had. I love to write the stories—love to dig into personalities and love to create atmosphere. The writing is the main goal.
How you have been managing your life and writing with COVID-19?
During COVID I also had cancer. Actually, if you are going to get cancer, I highly recommend doing it during a pandemic. Get it all over with at once. My hair fell out and no one saw it. I felt and looked like poo and no one will remember that. I was cranky and dopey and only a select few know about that—and I’ve apologized profusely to them. Traffic was light during lock downs as I went to the doctor for treatment and I was taking good drugs which made the whole experience kind of blurry. I still limit my trips to town and I would really, really like to go out to eat. I miss yard sales and flea markets and the opportunity to hobnob with friends. I’ve been disappointed in some acquaintances response to the situation, but I’m looking forward to talking it out with some of them.
Now the fun questions
Teach me something I don’t know in two sentences.
The word "quarantine" literally means “40 days.” The word was coined in the 14th century and 40 days was how long passengers on ships were kept in isolation to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Extra sentence: Fun fact--after the 40 days, if the infection was still extant, the ship—and passengers—were sometimes burned.
(😮⬅ Me, D.V.)
What’s your favorite cartoon, and why?
Rocky and Bullwinkle closely followed by Bugs Bunny—hard to pick between them, but Moose and Squirrel featured Boris and Natasha, Fractured Fairy Tales, Snidley Whiplash, and Captain Wrongway Peachfuzz so…..
Last movie you saw?
I’ve been binging movies like there is no tomorrow. The most recent batch was all the Mission Impossible movies. I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan, but Mission Impossible is great fun.
What weird talent do you have?
I’m a Firestarter. I love bonfires and am proud of my ability to lay the fire and start it in the most inhospitable conditions. I took tutelage from a historical reinactor—a mountain man—who showed me how to light fires with just a piece of flint. This guy was a mild-mannered art teacher by day but authentic mountain man by night and weekend and summer. In full mountain man regalia, he used to give presentations to my evening college folklore classes and one night, while his partner was demonstrating the meanings of Native American tatoos and badges, he sidles up to me and points to a feather in his cap. “Wanna know what this one’s fer,” he says, in character. “Sure,” I reply. “Strangling a white woman,” he says smugly. He enlivened history for my students as well as teaching me how to set the forest on fire at any time of year.
Last thing you googled? Why? I just googled how much money is to be made selling illegal firearms. Yep—I’m certain to be on an FBI list. They’ll also find searches for most lethal spots to stab someone, amount of blood which would result—and a few other bits like that. The info will show up in a small-town mystery trilogy. The first book is titled All the Pretty Knives. I’m aiming at a July release.
Blurb for Entire Series https://sorchiadubois.com/witchin-winter-sale-zoraida-grey-trilogy/
How many Scottish witches does it take to destroy one small-town fortune teller?
The Zoraida Grey trilogy follows Zoraida from Arkansas to Scotland on a quest to retrieve a healing stone to save her granny’s life. But Granny hasn’t told her everything. Soon Zoraida is smack dab in the middle of a witchy clan war and in danger of being ensorcelled by not one but two smoking hot witches. The truth of her own heritage is buried deep beneath Castle Logan, but the only one who can help her has stepped in a steaming pile of Voodoo thousand of miles away in the Caribbean. Zoraida must decide between her old, safe life or a new one filled with magic and danger.
The task may be the end of her—or the beginning.
Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones
How many Scottish witches does it take to destroy one small-town fortune teller?
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.
Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen
A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?
With her best friend held hostage in a haunted Scottish castle by the magical Logan clan, Zoraida needs help. She can’t trust beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan, and Al, her over-protective ex-boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic.
Granny says only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.
Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures? She’ll need all the magic she can muster to get out of this predicament with her skin-- and her heart-- intact.
Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes
Hostages in the tower, vampires in the caverns, witches in the drawing room.
Castle Logan lives up to its dark reputation when Zoraida returns to Scotland with vengeance on her mind.
To rescue her best friend forever, she’ll have to use every skill she’s learned. Will it be enough? How can a small-town fortuneteller hope to defeat the powerful witches of Castle Logan? The mysterious black crystal hidden beneath the East Tower offers certain victory––but the price is high.
The last book in the Zoraida Grey Trilogy finds Zoraida pitted against the entire clan of Logan witches. But if they think it’s going to be easy, they've got another think coming.
Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones: books2read.com/u/mKJkvZ
Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen: books2read.com/ZoraidaGrey2
Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes: books2read.com/ZoraidaGrey3
Sorchia Dubois is the pen name of a mysterious, retired English teacher who lives deep in the forest in a tall house with nine cats. Sorchia writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and small-town murder mysteries. She published her first book in 2018 at the ripe age of mumblety-seven and plans to publish at least ninety-nine more. Her latest accomplishment is to survive cancer, which was no fun, but served to broaden her perspective—that’s for sure. Currently, she’s working on All the Pretty Knives, the first in a new trilogy to be released 2021-22.
Straight to the blog: https://www.sorchiadubois.com/sorchias-universe-the-bloga/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/SorchiaDuBois/e/B00B60NOUQ/
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879978.Sorchia_DuBois
UnEarthly Tymes Newsletter: https://sorchiadubois.com/signup/
Excerpt from Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes
Dinner guests at Castle Logan look like a traveling Halloween party in search of a human sacrifice. Why am I surprised? A few of them stare at the looming figure of Jock in the doorway, but the majority seem to be people not put off by a giant wizard and his feathery familiar in the foyer.
Castle Logan looks much as I remember it, but I’m changed in more than appearance. The place is as creepy as it ever was. Dark shadows lurk in the upper hallways, a cold mist flows along the floor, and the prickle of magic crawls across my skin like a dozen tiny spiders. The first time I walked into Castle Logan, I had a severe case of the heebie jeebies. Now, the weirdness feels homey. I’m glad to be back.
Normal rules don’t apply here. We’re going to sit down to dinner as if nothing monumental has happened. Our unexpected appearance is but one of many odd happenings in the last quarter hour alone.
Zhu materializes beside me and hands me a glass of wine. I marked her presence and apparent good health the first minute I walked into the castle. I’m glad to see her, and not just because of the wine, though that’s a nice plus.
“You took your sweet time,” she says, grinning like a drunken Cheshire cat. “This place is nothing like Arkansas.”
“You’re the one who wanted to see witches and real magic. I didn’t want to come back too soon and ruin your fun.” I breathe a silent sigh of relief. She’s safe and she’s not bewitched. The world is still right side up. “You look pretty chummy with all these folks. I had the idea you were being held hostage.”
As I lift the glass of wine to my lips, I notice a tall, blue-eyed man standing close to Zhu. If I didn’t know better, I would say he was her bodyguard. And if not for the large, dark Scotsman holding my hand, I would be giving this blond fellow a longer look. Instead, I raise my eyebrows at Zhu.
Zhu smiles sweetly and sips her wine. By this, I understand I am not the only one with a story to tell.
A new trilogy for 2021-22:
When a routine burglary goes tragically wrong, Money MacQueen heads for the only safe place she knows--Home. But her hometown isn't as quiet and secure as she remembers. Prominent townspeople keep turning up dead and her own dad may be on the killer's list. Did she bring trouble with her or has her crazy uncle finally gone too far? Old loves, new enemies, and a murderer haunt the familiar streets. Money must confront her own bad decisions before she can help people she loves.
Watch for All the Pretty Knives, Birds of a Feather, and Corked by Sorchia Dubois. Sign up for my newsletter to get the latest—along with freebies.
Hi Liz! I'm glad you joined me as 2021's first campfire guest. With so much going on in the world it's nice to step away from it all and hunker down around a cozy flame and great company. So, what can I offer you? The camp fridge is like shooting star where all your wishes come true.
I’ll just get some coffee. Oh, good, you have hazelnut creamer.
I love hazelnut creamer so it's a staple on every shopping trip. Tell us, have you ever camped?
I camped with a friend’s family as a kid, and it was so much fun, but it wasn’t something we did later with our own family. I do love staying in a lodge in a state park—any state, any park! That’s almost like camping, isn’t it?
Absolutely. To me, camping is just about the shelter or lack of one. It's about time in the outdoors with family and friends. Conversation and good food. My son and his family don't have a camper but love the experience. Each Christmas we get them a KOA gift certificate and they rent a cabin and enjoy themselves. Now, tell us about your latest project. What book are you talking about today, and what’s on the horizon?
My latest book is a complete departure. Although I’ve written contemporary romance since the late 90s, I’ve also written a column called “Window Over the Sink.” Sometimes for newspapers, a few times for magazines and often for my blog. My husband wanted me to compile a bunch of them in a book. A mere 15 years or so after he broached the subject, Window Over the Sink, the book, was published.
That's great! I love books like that .Do you have a tagline? Life Motto? If you have both, let us have them.
My tagline is Stories from the Heart. My motto is my favorite A. A. Milne quote: “What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
My favorite mug is a Winnie the Pooh one. So much simple wisdom from the stories. How long did it take you from conception to publication?
It took years—probably 10--at the beginning, and sometimes years between sales, too. I was published before indie became a “thing,” so my career path wasn’t unusual. While I always resented the term “hobbyist,” I suppose to some, that’s what I was. Writing was my second job, no matter how much I loved it, and the time I had for it came after the kids, the husband, and the day job. When I had the time to devote to it, I no longer had the drive. If I didn’t still love it as much as I always did, it would be a sad story; as it is, I’ve just been lucky.
I don't know, luck? Maybe. How about adding talent and perseverance? And speaking about writing, are there any mentors, authors, or books you would like to give a shout-out to?
The list here is really long, so I’ll name just three. Muriel Jensen, who wrote a gazillion books, all of which I’ve read, told me never to give up and was a friend to me always. Kathleen Gilles Seidel has, for my money, the best voice in romantic or women’s fiction, and I grew as a writer just by reading her. Nan Reinhardt, who is my favorite travel buddy, is also my best writer friend. We brainstorm and have even discussed writing a book together, but decided the friendship was too important to risk.
They sound like a fantastic trio of women. Liz, what does literary success look like to you?
I’m happy in my writing life, and that’s all the success I need. I’m not sure how I’d answer that if I wrote for a living; I’m afraid I wouldn’t have recognized pleasure as success.
Life Hacks for Authors. Do you have any tips, tricks, or anything you specialize in that you would share with others? I'm especially interested in how you've dealt with COVID-19.
Have your own space. I remember reading that way back when my own space was my seat at the kitchen table. I laughed—probably derisively—but I can’t overstate its importance.
It’s easier for us than it is for many other people. We live rurally, like each other’s company, and being creative when it comes to shopping or food someone else has cooked. I miss my kids and grands a lot, but we’re all safe, so I count my blessings.
Now the fun questions
Funny how the spelling of some words allude us. Liz, thanks for being my guest today at the campfire. Would you leave as with a little more about your book and where readers can find out more?
It’s been nearly ten years since we retired. I’m still in the office Duane and the boys created for me. The seven quilts I promised to make have been completed. A few books. He has new knees and new guitars. We’ve had grief and loss in these years, occasional discontent, times of being alone even when we were together. We’ve also had a blessed amount of fun. Of music and laughter and family. Of the other side of being alone that comes of knowing we never really are. Much has changed in those nine years and change, and much has stayed the same. At first, it seemed as if this book was a vanity thing. Or a thing for the grandkids to look at and think Okay, Nana, what do you want me to do with this? But in the end, like most other things in life that are worthwhile, it is a labor of love. A gathering of thoughts and dreams and memories. Thanks for joining me on the journey.
GOALS AND SOMETIMES
I don’t do resolutions, although I start each new year with some goals that sometimes I make (finish at least one book) and sometimes I don’t (lose fill-in-the-blank pounds). I hope each year will be an improvement over the last one, which sometimes works out and sometimes not.
I used “sometimes” a little too often in that first paragraph, didn’t I? But to tell the truth, it’s an important word. If you say “always” or “never,” you’re committed to something whether you want to be or not.
Like “I would never say that.” Sure, you would, if you were mad enough.
Or “I always wash the sheets every Monday.” Unless I forget.
Or “I would never wear yoga pants to the grocery store.” Yeah, you would. And hair curlers back in the day. And, if your nose is running and you’re about to cough up a lung and you’d rather just stay in bed, maybe you’d wear your pajamas, too. (Lots of people do, even though they really shouldn’t and I wish they really wouldn’t.)
Or, my kids never did that. Okay. You go ahead thinking that.
Or, things were always better in my day. No. They weren’t. They were different and some things were better. Some things were awful.
Unless you say you’ve never done something that might be fun or exciting or mind-enhancing. Then you should add it to your list.
Or unless you say you’re always glad to see someone or to help someone or to have a great conversation with them. Then you should hang onto those things and do them more often.
You can say you’ve never done or said something as long as you tack “yet” onto the end of the sentence.
You can say you always do or say something as long as you add “almost” in front of the always.
Often, though, you’re better off with “sometimes,” instead of committing to something you might not be able to accomplish. Or with “I’ll try” instead of “I promise,” because broken promises are much harder on both sides of any equation than trying and failing.
I need to interject here that I am kind of big on clichés and quotes—you may have noticed—and one of my favorites is the only failure is in not trying. Robert Kennedy said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Even if greatness isn’t your goal, daring to fail is an important part of any success.
There, do I sound pompous enough for you?
So, although I don’t do resolutions, I have goals—finish another book, lose…a few pounds, laugh a lot, see good movies, cry some, read, see my family and friends every chance I get, stay healthy, volunteer.
I’ll achieve all of them. Sometimes. And I’ll keep trying.
Buy links: https://books2read.com/u/bw7NM0
Bio and links:
Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and wanting to travel. The author of 20-some books and her husband Duane share an old farmhouse in North Central Indiana that they talk about leaving. However, that would require clearing baseball trophies from the attic and dusting the pictures of the Magnificent Seven, their grandchildren, so they’ll probably stay where they are.
Liz can be reached at email@example.com
or please come and see her at:
Liz also sent a cover shot of her favorite book. So I've attached the blurb and Goodreads link What are some of your favorites?
For all of her nine years, fragile Elizabeth Ann has heard her Aunt Frances refer in whispers to her "horrid Putney cousins." But when her aunt can no longer care for her, Elizabeth Ann must leave her sheltered life to live in the wilds of Vermont with those distant relatives.
In the beginning, Elizabeth Ann is shocked by country living--pets are allowed to sleep in the house and children are expected to do chores! But with country living comes independence and responsibility, and in time, Elizabeth Ann finds herself making friends and enjoying her new family. When the year is up and Aunt Frances comes to get her niece, she finds a healthier, prouder girl with a new name--Betsy--and a new outlook on life.
Understood Betsy has delighted generations of young readers since it was first published by Henry Holt and Company in 1917.
I'm sure for many of you the holidays were a bit different. My dear husband and I drove and delivered porch presents in the pouring rain. We waved and moved on. Then came home and had a bit of turkey and the fixings. I know I'm not the only one looking forward to 2021. But, in the midst of all I never want to forget the good things. There's an old hymn that says Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Seems like great advice to me.
How could everything be bad when there’s cake? There were several major events this year in my life that were served up with sugary sweetness. Hubby retired in June which has been amazing. He wonders how he found time to work? With the help of friends the new deck is fabulous. The Christmas display grew, and even with all the COVID restrictions we were able to camp with the grandchildren, have outside church (which Hali loved by the way) Christmas came and Hali went for a hayride to pick out a tree and then the morning of the big day, Pete made his homemade cinnamon buns which we did porch deliveries in the pouring rain.
Now here we are it's January 1st 2021. For each of you I hope you have a happy, safe, and blessed New Year. And without further ado here we go.
Now the fun questions
I hope you enjoyed my little self-indulgence today. I'd love to hear from you. And if you've gotten this far, let me know what my favorite childhood book is. First one to comment gets a signed copy of Magical Sweets an anthology including Rainbow Sprinkles.
Agent Sam Carter
The Mystery At High Pointe Tower
Join the gang in the second Agent Sam Carter series. Sam’s camping vacation is canceled. Strange happenings at the High Pointe Tower are going to take all his wits and skill to save the world from its latest threat. The convergence of the Dragon Aurora and volcanic eruption tears a hole between the dimensions trapping a paranormal creature on earth side. But as usual, nothing is as it first appears.
And if you signup for my monthly email you'll get a link to read the first Agent Carter for free!
D. V. Stone is a multi-genre author, both traditional and independently published. A weekly blog host of Welcome to the Campfire and A Peek Through the Window. She reviews books and shares her favorites in a monthly newsletter.
D. V. is a full-time employee in a medical office, wife to an amazing husband, mother to one son, and not your average grandma to three beautiful grands. A woman of faith, she trusts and believes in God.
When not behind the wheel of my camper, 2Hoots—a 41 foot long 13.2 feet high 5th Wheel, she tools around Northern New Jersey in her white Camaro named Snowball. Her greatest pleasures are spending time outside with friends and family, cooking over the open fire, owls, and reading.
Hali, her rescue dog, always reminds everyone, “Woof, woof.” Which is loosely translated. Support your local animal rescue.
You can find out more about D. V. by following her on Social Media
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Pinterest Bookbub Goodreads Newsletter Link Tree For one-stop connections
Welcome to the Campfire Blog Peek Through the Window
D. V. Stone
After the storm come the rainbows.
Amazon Barnes & Noble iBook’s
Rock House Grill
One man’s choices. One woman’s Impact
Amazon Barnes & Noble iBook’s Google Books Kobo
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
Amazon - The Mystery At Branch Lake
Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery At High Pointe Tower
A Mid-grade paranormal
Amazon - High Pointe Tower
Link Tree For one-stop connections
And if your still with me, here are the lyrics to the Hymn I mentioned above
If you're reading this, comment with your favorite inspirational song, hymn or Psalm and you'll get a chance for a free signed book of Rock House Grill.
Happy New Year!