Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. I am a multi-genre author who also enjoys reading across genres. On this page you'll meet a great group of writers and get an insider's view into their lives and books. I hope you enjoy this special peek and find new and exciting reads.
Take A Peek With Today's Guest CJ Zahner
Who I am: I’m a novelist, and to explain how I got here, I’ll say, I picked up my purse at work one day in 2015 and walked out the door, never to return. My only sibling, who is eleven years older than me, was in a nursing home suffering from early-onset dementia. His wife was in a different nursing home stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. We (their children and I) were trying to move them into the same facility. At the time, I worked for a rude woman. One day she disparaged me in front of our consultants and something inside me snapped. I realized working for her wasn’t worth it. My husband had been telling me to quit my job, I was a writer, so on that day, I decided to do what I always wanted to do: quit my full-time job as a grant writer/administrator and write novels. Three years later, I published my first two novels, The Suicide Gene (The Wild Rose Press) and Dream Wide Awake (Kindle Direct Publishing.) Since then I published Project Dream in 2019, Friends Who Move Couches in 2020 and am currently editing, Don’t Mind Me, I Came with the House.
Interests: Family, writing, running, traveling, and people. I love spending time with my three adult children and my sweet granddaughter when I’m able. (Two of three children and my granddaughter live out of town.) I am also blessed to have several friends with whom I run, walk, and travel. (Well, we will travel again once this pandemic is over!)
Network: Since Friends Who Move Couches is “Almost” a memoir, readers will find I have a large network of “friends who move bodies” in my life. (You must read Friends Who Move Couches to understand how lucky that makes me.) For writing, several of these friends, along with a few acquaintances compose my Beta readers.
Desk: I write from my front office (next to two windows) or my screened-in back porch while I’m in my new home in Wendell, North Carolina. I moved to Wendell a year ago, but still spend summers and fall in the town I grew up in, Erie, Pennsylvania. When there, I write on a deck at a campsite on Presque Isle State Park and spend afternoons walking, running, biking or kayaking with my husband, Jeff, and our good friends. To sum it up, my desk is mobile and messy. (I’m the most unorganized person I know.)
Outrageous: I have had visions and premonitions in my life that people often find unbelievable, frightening, interesting, or outrageous. My Dream series books are based on people who have a sixth sense and several incidents in these books were inspired by real events. Chapter one in Project Dream was stirred by a vision I had in a little chapel. Chapter three in Dream Wide Awake was inspired by something that happened to me when I was three years old and sleeping in the attic of my grandparent’s home.
Window: Outside my window is a world filled with puzzles. Beyond the sunshine or darkness filtering through my glass, I see love, life, and souls. No matter where I sit while writing, in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, or occasionally in California where my granddaughter is, I gaze out the window and my thoughts wander past the setting. To me, outside my window, is a magnificently huge puzzle just waiting for me to piece it together into stories.
Bonus Content! Here's a link to an online interview with CJ youtu.be/6H1tqVqFv7M
Friends Who Move Couches
Nikki Grey's idea of living dangerously is not wearing a seatbelt, yet calamity always seems to find her.
Married to a workaholic, mothering three rebellious kids, and feuding with neighborhood friends, Nikki forgets her problems one afternoon by smoking marijuana. That blunder ignites a lifelong yet dormant medical condition, and she loses her driver’s license. Suddenly stranded in her home, she’s forced to stare out the window at women who have ostracized her.
Her true friends encourage her to concentrate on her health, but Nikki is her own nemesis. She embarks on a scheme to win back neighborhood friends and plunges into efforts that only end in muddying her reputation. She becomes the butt of neighborhood jokes.
Foolishly, her ache to mend her broken relationships escalates. Not until her two-timing husband asks her a question that catapults her frivolous suburban life into a tailspin is she forced to stop reaching for others and stand on her own.
If you like novels about family struggles, friendship wars, quieting your inner critic, and surviving rejection, you’ll love Friends Who Move Couches, a laugh-out-loud yet insightful story every woman can relate to in some way.
“I can’t drive.”
“Oh, c’mon, it’s six blocks. It’s not like you’re going to run someone over.”
“I could, you know.” I remove my keys from a hook in the kitchen and stomp toward the front door. “There are a lot of kids in this neighborhood.”
“You’re such a pansy. Have you ever done anything wrong in your entire life?”
“In case you forgot, I smoked dope the other day, Hux.” What am I doing? Trying to impress my kid? I’ve lost more than my license. I’ve lost my mind.
“Yeah and that’s what got you into this mess. It’s not my fault you lost your license. Bring me my lunch. It will take less than three minutes.”
He’s right. This isn’t his fault, and I am cowardly. I’m a law-abiding pansy. My idea of breaking the law is jaywalking. “Just because you break the law all the time—”
“You’re such a prude,” he interrupts.
“What did you call me? I’m your mother, for God’s sake.”
“Mom, you’ve driven to school thousands of times. What do you think is going to happen this one time?”
He’s attempting to guilt me into this. I know. But it’s working because I never do anything I’m not supposed to, and I’m sick and tired of the dull-and-boring Nikki I’ve aged into. That’s probably Mark’s annoyance with me, too. “There’s no excitement in our life,” he complains, relentlessly.
“Is that Hux’s lunch? I can drop it off,” Evy says.
Hux hears him. “There, if you’re chicken shit, have Evy bring it.”
My blood boils. I head out the front door and hurry toward my SUV.
“You little s--t.” I’ll be mortified later that I swore at one of my kids, but he’s being such a spoiled brat right now I don’t care. I pull my mouth away from the phone. “Evy, can you please keep an eye on the girls for a minute?” Then I holler into the phone again. “I’m getting you out of bed tomorrow at seven-thirty, you hear me?”
“You’re not supposed to drive,” Evy scolds as I get in the car and turn on the ignition.
“Seven-thirty? I start at eight-thirty. It takes less than ten minutes to walk here. I don’t know why you won’t let me take your car, anyway. It’s not like you’re driving it.”
“Naggy,” Evy hollers. “You’re not allowed to drive.”
“You wrecked my car, Hux. That’s why your father had to buy me a new one.”
I turn around and gaze out the back window because my old car didn’t have a camera, and I forget my new one does. I step on the gas, giving it more than expected. I feel a jolting motion and hear a crunch.
My first thought is, my God, I’ve run over a kid.
I shove the car into park and run to the back. Evy beats me there.
“Oh, darling, please tell me that’s D-Amy Everglade’s bike and not Gianna’s. It would be sweet justice in so many ways.”
I glance at the mangled bike lodged beneath my back bumper.
The front door opens, and Amy Everglade lets out a scream that sends our dog, Furgy, scurrying out the door and down the street.
Evy opens the car door and grabs Hux’s lunch.
“I’ll drop this off and find the dog. You might want to call in the pit crew, Mario.”
My plan to win more friends might not be working as well as once thought.
To find out more about CJ here's the links
Anna Taylor Sweringen
12/2/2020 08:34:45 am
Very inspiring. So glad you had a supportive and encouraging spouse. Thanks for sharing.
12/2/2020 10:07:14 am
LOVE your 6th sense. I know some people are sceptic and afraid but I believe it is a gift. The view from your window sounds lovely no matter where you are
Comments are closed.