Take A Peek
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.
Who –I was born in the middle of a blinding spring snowstorm at the University of Michigan, which forced my mother to walk across campus in the snow to the hospital while in labor. I don’t remember any of this auspicious beginning, but it always makes for a good story! As a child, I moved across the country six times to various big cities before the age of fourteen. At college I met and married my love and moved to his small hometown in southern Ohio. At the time I didn’t know how I could live in a place where the stop light went on flasher at 11 o’clock, but now you couldn’t get me out of here with a crowbar! I taught first grade and fourth grade and raised my children who did not have to change schools even once.
Interests – History has always been one of my loves. I am fascinated by the people from the past and how they lived. Much of history falls under the category of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!” and lends itself to some interesting stories. My favorite thing to do is find a real historical event and drop my characters into it and see how they fare. My two fiction books published by The Wild Rose Press, Steadfast Will I Be and By Promise Made, are set in the 1500s in Scotland during the reigns of King James V and his daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots.
Network/Support System – My biggest support system is my family and friends. Before Covid-19, I spent time having lunch, enjoying movies, attending church, going to a Bible Study, and golfing with my friends in Ohio and those in Florida where we spend our winters. This pandemic is hard on everyone, but email, Skype, and Facebook streaming have been a big help for me. My niece and granddaughter, along with several of my friends, serve as my Beta Readers. Their input has been invaluable. I have also depended on my editor at The Wild Rose Press, Eilidh MacKenzie. Not only has she improved my writing, her own Scottish background has helped me give my stories an authentic flair beyond my research.
Desk – I am lucky to have my own office. Originally intended as a Mother-in-Law suite, after my husband and I decided that neither of our mothers-in-law would be moving in, it became my office. Every other week I clean it up so the cleaning people can do their job, but the rest of the time I have papers, etc. stacked everywhere. I can usually find whatever I’m looking for even if it takes me awhile, and as A.A. Milne said, “One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.”
Outrageous Talent – The first time I was onstage in a community theater production of “Guys and Dolls,” I realized that I wanted to play all the parts. As a writer, I can do that. My time on stage the last fifteen years has been with a music and drama ministry called “LightReaders.” We are a small troupe that, until the pandemic hit, traveled around to churches and nursing homes with programs of music and Biblical drama. I have played Jonah’s wife looking for ship insurance, an angel trying to figure out Christmas, and the bleeding woman who touched Jesus’s robe, among many other roles. I have written most of the sketches we present, and we find accompaniments for the music. Some people think this is “outrageous” and would never get up in front of others, but the influence Christian drama has on other people resonates with me.
Window – The entire backyard of our house is untamed forest. It gives us complete privacy in the spring and summer, is colorful in the fall, and serenely beautiful in the winter. My granddaughter made the paper butterfly hanging off the sill in preschool.
BLURB FROM BY PROMISE MADE
Hugh Cullane, accused of murder and sentenced to hang, is forced to deliver a message of betrothal to four-year-old Queen Mary of Scotland. He faces death yet again when, in rejecting the proposal, the queen's guardian orders his severed head sent back to England in a jar.
Trained to protect her queen at all costs, Katherine Payne can show no mercy to the handsome messenger, despite the way his stolen kiss unsettles her single-minded sense of duty. Trapped between the English and Scottish armies, she must escape with Mary. Hugh joins her as they are chased by men determined to murder the young queen in their own quest for power.
Musselburgh, east of Edinburgh on the Firth of Forth, 1547
Death circled him like a vulture.
Hugh Cullane, on his knees in chains and surrounded by her guards, gaped at the queen’s guardian in disbelief.
How could this be happening to him? All he wanted was to get back to his family home at Makgullane in the southern Highlands. All he had intended was to stop here at Fawside Castle, deliver his message from the duke, and head for home. He’d already wasted five years of his life, gambling and carousing in London. It was time to go home.
“Why?” he beseeched her.
“Ye will be beheaded in the morning,” she repeated calmly as if she were ordering porridge for her morning meal, “because the Duke of Somerset abuses his power as regent for the young English king Edward, and because he thinks our babe, Queen Mary, has no one to protect her. He will soon find out how wrong he is.”
Hugh’s breath came in quick gasps. “I was sent from London to offer a proposal of marriage between Queen Mary of Scotland and King Edward VI of England. Surely ye can see the advantage of joining the two countries peacefully.”
She spit out the words. “Peacefully? Ha! Somerset thinks he can marry off four-year-old Mary to a nineyear-old child they call king. ’Tis obscene! He doesna want a marriage. He wants Scotland to fall at his feet. He’s a loon! Yer head will send a message that his ruthlessness will be returned with equal ruthlessness.”
“But I didna come to conquer Scotland,” he implored her. “Can ye no’ hear my brogue? I am a Scot, same as ye.”
“After all these years of invasion by old King Henry, why would Somerset send only a single messenger? And a Scot to boot? Do ye think me an amadan?”
“Nay, mistress!” He was the amadan for leaving Makgullane and the adopted father he loved.
The woman continued to rant at him. “Our land has been ravaged by war over a tiny babe, and still, even after Henry’s death, ye want to slaughter us. The Duke of Somerset is a brutal man who will get the same in kind. Yer head in a jar will show him exactly that!”
“Please, mistress, I merely came as ordered on the demand of wee King Edward. I had no choice but to come.”
“Then ye will have no choice but to die. Take him away.”