What's new. Since I've been furloughed from my day job in a medical office, I'm finding it difficult to maintain the structure of my daily writing. The get up and go to work stopped suddenly almost two weeks ago. It's amazing how routine is ingrained in me. Here I thought I was flexible. I was, I was flexible in my own box. Now I'm in a box created by circumstances.
Intervention. So my intervention in this matter was to create a new office. I set up the space in my camper where I'll be, Lord willing, working after retirement and we take it on the road.
Necessity. Of course I need things like my laptop and internet service and I started out with these things but everything still felt out of sorts.
Domain. To solve this, I grabbed some of my stuff and moved it down here. Some of my owl collection is a must. The white board with upcoming blog visits. A paper mache fish. The books I've published and been published in, as well as some of my writing helps. The Thesaurus of Emotion and Chicago Manual of Style.
Observation. As I've made this room my own, I find myself settling in and not experiencing the lost and confused emotions.
Well, what does this mean? So many of us are tossed into unfamiliar ground during this difficult time. We have our family all around us in our space. Or maybe, you are alone now for long periods of time. My recommendation is to attempt normalize what you have now. If you find yourself crowded, carve out a time and place where you can get away for a little while and refresh your spirit. Take a bubble bath. Sit on your steps outside. Go to your room. Insist those around you to respect that time. Even if you have children. When my son was young he knew unless there was an emergency, mom was in time out. She would be back involved soon. If you are alone, try to remember the telephone is not only for texting. I video chatted with my son's family. Find solace in your online community. And my final recommendation for both isolation and crowding- turn off the news for a while. Turn up the tunes and dance like no one is watching.
I’m happy to report Rock House Grill which is available for pre-order, received another 5 Star review.
~Rock House Grill is an incredibly uplifting story about slowing down, savoring the little miracles in life and taking a chance on love. It’s what I would call an inspirational romance but it’s so much more than that.~
Full Review from N. N. Light's Book Heaven
And for a peek inside Rock House’s window, here’s a scene about Olivia, Aden’s twin sister. She experienced great loss in her life and though surrounded by people, often suffers from profound loneliness and isolation.
“Liv.” David stood as she approached the table, and he kissed her cheek.
“Hi, I’m glad you called.” Her cheek tingled where his lips touched. “This is a great start to my day.”
When she sat down, the waitress approached the booth. “Good morning, are you folks ready to order?”
“Mmm, I’ll have a spinach, tomato, and basil omelet with a cup of Sumatra.” Olivia answered without looking at the menu.
David ordered the same, and they made small talk over their coffee until the food arrived a few minutes later.
They were finished and sitting back when he asked, “Will you go to the hospital benefit dinner with me next month?”
No one knew they were seeing each other. They kept a low profile as a couple. Was she ready to out their relationship? Olivia twisted her napkin. “I don’t know, David. I kind of like the way we are. I’m not sure I’m ready to let others know about us.”
“Are you ashamed of me?” David placed his napkin on the table.
“No! Of course not.” Her heart began to pound. “It’s just there’s so much going on. And you’re Aden’s doctor…”
“Those are all excuses.” He sat back in his chair. “Tell me the real reason.”
An hour later they were still sitting at the table, and she’d told him all about Manny. “I loved him so much. At his funeral, it felt like a piece of me was buried with him, not the rose I’d laid on his coffin.”
“I’m so sorry.” David reached across the table and took her hand. “I know what it’s like to lose someone.”
Olivia couldn’t meet his eyes. Before she chickened out and ruined any chance with him, she said, “I don’t know if I could live through losing someone again. I’m afraid to love like that a second time. And David, I think I could love you that way.”
David took her hand, lifted it to his lips, and pressed a kiss to it. “Olivia House, we’ve only known each other a couple of months, but I already love you.”
Her mouth fell open, and her head dropped. Several emotions ran through her. Panic, followed by fear, danced together before both were chased away by hope. Hope that what he said was true. Hope that she wouldn’t grow old alone and bitter, but instead with this handsome and loving man beside her.
“I know it’s all new, but I don’t want to hide us anymore.” David reached over, and with his index finger he lifted her chin. “I want to introduce you to my friends and family. I don’t want to have to avoid Aden or tap dance around the truth. Will you think about it?”
Still speechless, Olivia nodded.
David stuffed some bills into the black folder on the table. Glancing at his watch, he rose. “I don’t want to leave, but I’ve got to go. Let me walk you to your car.”
He helped her into her jacket and placed his hand low on her back.
Stepping outside of the cafe, Olivia smiled, amazed to see snow flurries though it was early November. They walked in quiet contemplation to her sedan.
“David…” She broke the silence.
“No, don’t say anything yet.”
He slipped his arms around her and kissed her like she hadn’t been kissed in years.
Cars drove by, beeping at them.
“Get a room,” someone yelled, laughing.
When he pulled back, both were flushed and out of breath. “I’ll call you later, after the surgery.” Reaching behind her, he opened the car door.
She plopped into the seat, then lowered the window, and David leaned in with an adorable, smug smile on his face.
“Uh-huh.” She didn’t trust her voice.
“I’ve got to go. Drive safe.”
Starting the car, Olivia glanced at the rear-view mirror and watched him walk back toward the hospital. She touched her lips, and a huge grin erupted on her face. When David disappeared around the corner, she put the car in drive and pulled out.
Who- Hi, my name is Sadira Stone, no relation to our hostess. After leaving my teaching career in Germany, I now live in Tacoma, Washington, where I write steamy contemporary Romance. My Book Nirvana Series, published by The Wild Rose Press, is set in an indie bookshop in Eugene, Oregon. I hope you’ll come visit Book Nirvana’s quirky staff and friendly shop cat, Lulu.
Interests- Well, self-imposed quarantine has narrowed the possibilities! Hubs and I love to play darts with our friends at AmVets, an organization that supports veterans. Lately, we just play against each other. We also play guitar together, and I play ukulele as well. No gym these days, so we take walks, work in the yard, and connect with friends and family. Thank goodness for social media and video chats! Of course, I read tons, mostly romance. When the quarantine finally lifts, I look forward to exploring the Pacific Northwest and listening to live music again—mostly blues.
Network– I’m a member of RWA, WFWA, the Wild Rose Press authors’ group, and active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Desk– Always messy, but I know where everything is. Post-its galore! You’ll usually find a cooling cup of coffee or tea, Triscuit crumbs, a box of Kleenex, because it’s springtime, and several pads of paper—also the finger-less gloves my sis-in-law knitted. For some weird reason, my mouse hand always gets cold. Oh—and a stand-up/sit-down desk topper, plus a cushy mat tucked beneath my desk.
Outrageous– I’m quite good at belly dancing. I once performed with a sword balanced on my head—and I didn’t cheat by using a padded turban, thank you very much! Also, I’ve lived outside the U.S. (in Germany) longer than I’ve lived inside it.
Window– Outside my window, I see the neighbor’s house, alas. Good thing they’re nice people. Right now, I see raindrops. Occasionally, a crazed squirrel jumps from the fence to my windowsill and scolds me.
Fierce passion or long-cherished dreams...she can't hang onto both.
Chasing a big-city art gallery job, Laurel detours to Eugene, Oregon to help her spitfire great aunt into assisted living. While on a run, she’s harassed by a group of teens until a tall, broad-shouldered hottie rescues her by pretending to be her boyfriend--with a kiss that makes her wish it were true. But she's only passing through.
Their fierce chemistry burns up the sheets—and the couch, the shower, the woods...but falling in love could cost Laurel more than she’s willing to sacrifice. She can't stay in Eugene, and he can’t leave. His only hope is to convince her those big-city lights have nothing on her inner sparkle.
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One man’s choices—One woman’s impact
Rock House Grill
Available April 6th, 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?
“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.
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Writing books is like raising children. You birth them, nurture them, and try to mold them. One day you look at your labor and say, "It's time. Go out into the world." Then, as you approach the door, you wonder if they are ready. Nodding inwardly, you smile and open the door. D.V. Stone
Saturday morning, I opened a box containing copies of Rock House Grill. For a moment I stood and stared down into it. Then a breath hitched in my chest and then I cried like a baby. Rock House is not my first release. It’s not even the second or third. When I received Felice in the mail, I cried too. She’s my eldest and turned three this past January. But the emotion didn’t run as deep as. I wondered why? Thinking about it led me to want to share the story. Oh, some of you know bits and pieces, but, Rock House Grill followed a different path then Felice and even Agent Sam Carter.
As I’m typing this the Theme from Love Story drifts through my mind.
Where do I begin
To tell the story of how great a love can be
The sweet love story that is older than the sea
Because, I think, for an author, each of their books is a love story. Sometimes a dysfunctional one. So, let’s start with Rock House’s birth.
During October 2015, Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake was my focused project. I knew I needed to complete the it by November 1st. That’s when National Novel Writing Month began. 30 days. 50,000 words.
I’d been thinking about what to write for a couple of weeks. At the time, I’d thought of myself as a Fantasy author. With that in mind, I’d jotted down some notes for a novel about dragons. Nothing meshed. With such a limited time the words Write what you know kept nagging at me. I thought I knew fantasy because that’s mostly what I read. But I realized, I knew a lot about real life too. Instead of forcing the fantasy book, I listened to my inner muse, and the concept was born for a divorced woman rebuilding her life. Been there and done that - no free t-shirt.
Wonder of wonders I reached November 30th and had a bit over 50,000 words. I received my certificate and brushed off the dust from immersion in my office for a month. Like many writers, I have a folder for manuscripts in different stages of development—everything from full unedited works—to a couple of lines of an idea. Then I returned to fantasy. Kingdom at a Crossroad is a huge epic fantasy with a completed story-line, but a massive editing nightmare.
Fast forward to 2017. I pushed the self-publish button on Felice. A few months later, I launched Agent Carter. Crossroad was giving me fits, so, taking a step back from Kingdom, I went to my sort-of-finished folder.
Rock House sat there with a complete story. Moving it to the desktop, I began to go through the manuscript. RHG went out for editing and a cover into development. Everything seemed to be moving forward. Beta readers liked the story. The recommended edits didn’t appear daunting. Notice I said seemed?
While working toward self-publishing, I thought I would send out some queries to publishers and editors. Somethings are meant to be. Making a mistake doesn’t mean doom and despair. In May of 2017, I sent a few more out queries. Not hearing anything, I went to check on my emails, and here is what happened. 0h, let me preface this by saying it was my birthday weekend.
May 27, 2017 11:53 a.m.
Hi Avon Impulse,
My name is Donna Van Stone, and I write as D.V. Stone.
The Rock House Grill is the first book in the Impact Series.
May 29, 2017 11:14 am
A few days later...OMG!!!
The Wild Rose Press. The Wild Rose Press. I’m so sorry I sent the wrong query to you I know it’s Wild Rose Press. Remove greeting to Avon Impulse and insert The Wild Rose Press...
Sorry, sorry, sorry...
May 29th, 2017 2:32 pm
Welcome to the Garden.
The review of your query will begin XXX will be in contact with you soon to provide you with more information and a review timeline.
After that day, it was still touching and go. The editing I mentioned that seemed not daunting? Yeah, it got me almost kicked out of the Rose Garden. Poor Elf, my WRP editor, must have wanted to pull her hair out at times. Commas, POV issues, and Plot holes just to mention a few not daunting problems.
Fast forward to Saturday, March 7th, 2020.
I opened the box holding Rock House Grill and bawled my eyes out. Not once. Twice.
Why do I want to share this with you? If you read my bio, you know all my books are about hope. But behind the hope, there has to be perseverance and often thick skin. My advice is to keep plugging away. If you have a story, believe in it, but also trust the professionals.
I’m happy to say through Wild Rose Press, I have a short story in the Australia Burns books. Rainbow Sprinkles is contracted for a Summer release. In the next few months, Elf will hopefully not be pulling her hair when I submit Jazz House.
Good luck in whatever your endeavor. Don't take no for an answer and at the same time roll up your shirtsleeves and do the work. It's worth it.