Me and my big mouth – Carolyn

I seldom get angry. I learned during some stints of assertiveness training and various and sundry sorts of therapy that nobody makes us angry. We choose to react with anger. Whoever made us angry is only responsible for his intent, which may be perfectly innocent. We are responsible for our reactions.

My mother was like a great many southern women. She went through stages of anger. First came annoyance, which was generally when things didn’t go quite her way. Then came martyrdom, in which the rest of the family was making her life difficult. Finally, she would fly apart at the seams and scream, “You made me angry.” That was safe.

It was someone else’s fault. She didn’t have to own her anger or deal with it. And, in the final analysis, she kind of enjoyed it. She was an actress, after all. Like a southern thunderstorm, a lot of thunder and lightning, but short and followed by clear skies.

I don’t enjoy it at all. I try to stop at the annoyance stage and deal with it. Once my thunderstorms start rolling in, I can’t disperse them. They hang over my head like the character in Lil Abner’s own private thundercloud. I worry about what I could have said or done differently, how I could have defused the situation.

I don’t mind saying I’m sorry even if I don’t think I was at fault. People matter a darned sight more than my pride.

Friday evening, I made what I thought of and intended as an innocuous comment. The person to whom I made it flew all over me. In public. My first reaction was surprise. Then I tried to explain. Big mistake. My friend had already gone past that stage to the ‘just shut up’ stage. The people around us stared open mouthed. Me too. I did shut up, but by then I was feeling mightily put upon. I am well aware that I am endowed with the tact of the dancing hippos in Fantasia, but most of my friends understand that I am merely clumsy. After my friend stalked off in high dudgeon, I found out I had come at the end of a horrible, terrible, very bad day—like the new movie.

So I apologized again. Whether it will do any good, I have no idea. At this point, I suspect my friend has to stay angry at me or admit to an overreaction. That’s a pity. And the reason I don’t get angry. The fallout is too difficult to deal with.

Unfortunately, the corollary is that when I do—every ten years or so—actually get angry, Katie can bar the door all the likes. I’ll still go through it like a battering ram. Afterwards, I’m faced with eating a whole bakery full of humble pie. Even I don’t have that big an appetite.

So I try to stay on an even keel. Let’s hope it works.

 

I Love The Fourth of July (Pat)

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.  It’s second only to Christmas.

My parents loved the Fourth.    One of my mother’s treasured  photos was of her at  four or five years of age dressed as Martha Washington in her town’s Fourth of July parade.   That was, ouch, a hundred years ago.   My parents always thought it a special holiday, and not just because of the fireworks and picnics.

I love everything about it.   The patriotism, the gathering of family, the fireworks, the parades, the flying of flags and the Fourth of July concerts on television: The Fourth at the Capitol and the Boston Pops.

One of my ‘musts’ on the day is watching of the film, 1776..  It’s the film version of the broadway musical about the the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.   There’s humor and drama and a great deal of history (and some fine music) that will make you laugh and think and appreciate those founding fathers.   Many of them lost their lives  freedom and fortunes during the succeeding war years. .   ’1776′  will be broadcast July 4th on TCM at 2 p.m. Central time.   If you’re not home, take a  minute and record it.   I think you will love it as much as I do..

A family tradition is a grand gathering of the clan.   I always make a huge pot (or two) of Brunswick stew: a southern concoction of chicken, pork, ground sirloin, dozens of vine ripe tomatoes (that’s the secret), potatoes, corn, onions, a few hot peppers, and lots and lots of spices.   It’s a two day cooking process and a favorite of the my family.

Like Memorial Day, the Fourth is one of those days to enjoy family and friends and food and, hopefully, sun.   It’s also a day to remember the brilliance and courage of these signers of the Declaration of Independence, many of whom lost their freedom, fortures and lives in the succeeding war years.   It’s also a time to rememberthe sacrifices so many have made to preserve the nation those founders inspired.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July!!!!

 

Get thee to the mountains

You’ve heard the expression “filling the well,” right?

That was my excuse/rationalization for abandoning my revisions to spend the day hiking in Yosemite National Park with my daughter, my four granddaughters–yes, the baby, too–and a friend and her granddaughter. For my friend, Nancy, this was a first–and a goal she wasn’t certain she could make. (knee surgery, back surgery)

We set a “modest” goal of a 1.5 mile hike to the top of Vernal Fall. sign #Keyword: top.

A mile and a half…how hard can it be…she said… Distance can be deceiving in the mountains because it doesn’t take into account the climb…the very steep climb, complete with rock steps. how many steps I’ll spare you the details because the beauty, the power, the awesomeness of the waterfall was totally worth the effort. falls beauty And there’s something very empowering about accomplishing one single task that is often lost in our overly demanding multi-tasking days. We made it to the top. We took turns standing at the helm of the ship in triumph. You did it, Nancy!!! 1467282_10205184669151039_6136073758182459335_n   Then, we made the return trip, which was equally challenging because, by then, there were hoards of people on the trail coming up. But we stopped often to enjoy the view because everywhere you look in Yosemite, you see beauty. beautiful Yosemite   And beauty, a child’s laugh, making memories together, a good friend’s tremendous sense of accomplishment…these are things that fill the well. 10436247_10205184667751004_6188577599416063634_n Now, back to my revisions.

Deb

Get Out on Top (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Summer with TTQ Banner smallerI’ve been thinking a lot about right and wrong.  What’s right for one might not be right for another.  We have tough choices to make sometimes.  Choices that are right in one perspective and wrong in another.  Choices where someone is going to get hurt no matter what we do.  These kinds of challenges can be road blocks beyond which we never get past.  We become frozen, unable to move for fear of going the wrong way.  And sometimes not moving is the worst choice of all.  Because then everyone gets hurt.

I believe we have all been given a tool, an internal GPS, to guide us around the road blocks.  To help us choose the road that is the one we are meant to travel.  Or a road that will allow us to fulfill our purpose.  Or a purpose.  It’s not the mind, at this point, that can help us.  The mind is the thing stopping us.  At this critical point, it is only our hearts that can guide us.  Not to be confused with emotions.  Our emotions, depending on which one is reigning supreme, create many of life’s greatest troubles.  But our hearts, that sense of internal peace, is the ultimate guide.  Get to a place where you can quiet your mind.  Where no one’s voice is influencing you.  Including your own internal critic.  Just find a peaceful moment.  And in that peace, ask your question.  You will get a sense of knowing.

Every time in my life, when I’ve acted on that peaceful sense of knowing, I have been able to live with myself in the consequences.  When I act on emotion, or thinking, alone, I almost always have regrets.

The knowing isn’t always there.  It doesn’t always answer when I want it to.  Sometimes I have to sit for weeks, or longer, revisiting the peaceful place, until I ‘know’.  Sometimes we are meant to wait.

I have always told my daughter, from the time she was very young, to listen to her heart.  That is my prayer for everyone.  It is the only answer.

And for those of you who aren’t at a road block and just want to enjoy the day…Here’s a little fun chance to win a VISA gift card, a t-shirt and free books:

Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn Giveaway

Another world – Carolyn

I have begun taking ballroom dancing lessons. I used to dance a lot, but that was before I married an army officer who had grown up during WWII and never learned to dance. He used to say that the only way he could march was to stay close to the base drum in the field band.

I ran into an old friend at a party who said that dancing had helped her get through the death of her husband. She told me to try it. I did and loved it. It doesn’t help, of course, that I am not twenty and no longer wear a size eight. But the muscle memory is there, and my instructors are patient and great fun.

Every avocation develops something of an ethos, whether it’s contract bridge or golf or horseback riding or ballroom dancing. I don’t suppose there are appropriate costumes for bridge, but there certainly are for the others. And a language. I ride Sailor, my 17.2 hand half Clydesdale in dressage (the world just means training). Upper level dressage horses do movements such as piaffe and passage. Golfers have tee shots and eagles and birdies. Tennis has lobs and aces and love.

I am finding that dancing is no different. For example, I need dancing shoes. I have been wearing my only pair of flats that have leather soles, the better to slide on the floor. But I need real ballroom dancing shoes (as opposed to salsa shoes, which are different). Ballroom dancing shoes have steel shanks that go up the back of the heel, so you don’t break a heel (and your neck) on the floor. And they have suede soles (who knew?).

After looking on Amazon for shoes—a plethora of styles that make my eyes cross, from Mary Janes to Kinky Boots–I casually checked out ballroom dancing dresses. Good grief! Ginger Rogers once said that if you can’t dance, get a dress that dances for you. That, apparently, is the reasoning behind the dresses I found. Every color, every style, tons of jewels and spangles and floaty skirts. Again, salsa dresses are different—short and often very bare indeed. The kind of dress that requires the bikini body of an eighteen year old. Which I am not.

At my last class we were practicing swing, of which there are a bunch of styles and tempi. Single time to triple time (very fast.) East Coast and West Coast, shag and jazz. There is something called the ‘cuddle’ that winds you up against your partner before he flips you out. (as opposed to ‘off’) Then there’s something called a ‘twinkle’ and a bunch of steps in the tango that I don’t know the names of. See? A different language.

There are ballroom dancing competitions all over the country, just like golf tournaments or horse shows. With trophies and ribbons and prize money. I won’t ever participate in those, believe me. I didn’t even like horse shows, and I kind of know what I’m doing on a horse.

Recently, one of my friends called to tell me she’s just seen a competition in which the lady was ninety-five years old and skipped off the stage! At this point I can barely stay on my feet for an hour at a time, but it’s great exercise and a darned sight more fun that walking on a treadmill. Try it!

A Fourth Suggestion (Pat)

Since we are nearing the Fourth of July which is one of my favorite dates, I thought I would promote my single title Revolutionary War romance novel that recently became available in e-book format. .

It wasn’t easy coming into being.   I’m a history fanatic.  I minored in American History at the University of Alabama and had a terrific professor named Dr. Pancake.   (He wrote several books on the War of the American Revoluntion in South Carolina).   I was already prepped to love that period through the television series, “The Swamp Fox,” a television series that evolved around Francis Marion, a real-life American patriot  known to the British as the Swamp Fox.

To me, the American Revolution was a miracle.   A rag-tail army of volunteers defeated the might of the British empire.   The real llife stories were full of spies and courage and drama.   I never  understood why publishers believed it was not a popular period for historical romances.    I had several stories I wanted to tell, but I always hit a stone wall.   No Revolution War stories.

So I did what I’d done before when hitting a stone wall.  I beame devious.   I tacked one on as the last of a three book Scottish series.     My hero, John Patrick Sutherland, was the progeny of the Suntherland family which was introduced in Star Catcher.  In the second in the series, Star Finder,  John Patrick’s father was shipped to the American colonies as an indentured servant after participating at Culloden.  His son,John Patrick now captains the Star Rider,  a privateer revaging British shipping.during the War for Independence.

After his ship sinks off the coast near Philadelphia, he is saved by a crew member but winds up in British occupied Philadephia and, believed to be British, ends up in a  hospital in a private home owned by loyalist Annette Carey, a loyalist whose family was brutalized by an American mob because of their loyalty to the crown.

Both have grievances against the enemies they are fighting — she against the American rebels and he against the British — and they are definitely star-crossed lovers.   Their path to a happy ending was more than a little complicated.

John Patrick was once described by his older brother in this way: “If there’s a fight within ten miles, John Patrick will find it.  If there’s a damsel to be rescued, John Patrick will sweep her away,.  If there was an argument to be had, John Patrick will be in the middle of it.”

Annette Carey is equally as strong.   After her father was tarred and feathered and nearly killed for his beliefs, she swears to do anything she can to aid the British and bring the downfall of the rebels.   She opened her house as a hospital and worked day and night to nurse wounded British officers.  She didn’t become involved until she met the newest wounded officer . . .

I fell in love with these two  people.and  it wasn’t easy to bring such strong characterrs together when they both represented what the other despised most.   But then that was what always fascinated me most about this period.   Even more than the Civil War, it was often neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother as colonists took sides.

It received the highest rating from Romantic Times and was published in hardback as a Doubleday Club Book Club alternate selection.

I really hope you will take a look as part of  your Fourth of July remembrance.  Just go to Amazon and type in Patricia Potter/Star Keeper.

I Tweet, therefore, I Am?

I set up my Twitter account back in the beta-testing stage and promptly pretended it/I didn’t exist. When I’d get a notice that someone was following me, I felt a little creeped out and I’d ask aloud, “Why?”

Fast forward to some writers conference somewhere when the hot topic was Twitter for Business. Okay, I’m definitely a business. I decided to get serious about growing my business. I started with 357 followers…again, why? I never tweeted. I was the dullest tweep on the planet.

But I found a coach–thank you, Rogenna Brewer. I learned. Now, I’ve crested 5K. Not a lot compared to those with a zillion followers, but I’m happy.

Screenshot 2015-06-14 16.52.56 Do I think this helps sell books? Oh, who knows? But once you get comfortable with the format, tweeting becomes a bit like a game.

And my most recent challenge has been to find a way to make it play with itself. (Sounds dirtier than it is.) I’m all about the visual these days. You’ve seen some of my memes in my recent blogs:Montana Hero quoteMontana Cowboy FREE Father's Day Tule Imagine my glee when a friend told me about a service that will feed my Tweets with images in a way that won’t make Twitter think you’re a spammer. :-) The service is called: Feed140.

Screenshot 2015-06-18 16.08.08 One of the cool things about this service is they offer playlists of their own that you can use to supplement your feed. I chose 100 Motivational and Self-Help quotes.

Here’s one in my feed: The achievement of one goal should be the starting point of another. -Alexander Graham Bell

I’m still figuring things out, but here’s a quick primer:

1.) Sign up for the free option to start out (no risk if you don’t like it).

2.) Create tweets and save them in a Word doc. Since I knew I wanted to be able to take advantage of Feed140′s Playlist option, I cut and pasted each tweet in the Playlist queue (not the Twitter queue). You can add tweets to the Twitter queue independently of the Playlist queue, but they will go away after they’ve posted and you have to fill the queue again. (Believe me, I did this and was not amused.) With each tweet, upload an image to go with it.

(Aside: I make memes using Canva. I will go into this in another blog, but it’s easy and cheap.)

3.) Visuals are a great eye-catcher in a Twitter Feed. Don’t believe me? Check your feed and see where your eye goes.

4.) Pick the frequency that you want your tweets shared. Feed140 insists that you have enough tweets to meet 3 days of unique tweets in order to make the Playlist initiate a loop with random selections (just like with your music). I uploaded 30 tweets, and set my frequency to 10 tweets/day for 3 days.

Here’s one of my tweets and the meme that goes with it:

She thought she had all the answers…at 17. Who doesn’t? @BNBuzz  MONTANA COWGIRL http://clc.li/hvS #readzTule   COWGIRL - mistakes rodeo5.) Don’t have enough tweets? Think about this: if your book is on multiple platforms and/or foreign countries, you can use the same tweet and meme with a different buy link for each format. I may change the wording slightly to target that link and possibly get some RTs (retweets).

You should also create interesting, non-commercial tweets. I support libraries, so I have some positive tweets about books, bookgirls, reading and libraries that I sprinkled into the mix.

Ex. Have you hugged a librarian today? #iheartlibraries quotes-about-inspirational_368599-4 So, if you’re new to Twitter, let’s connect. My handle is @debsalonen.

If you’re an author wondering whether or not you want another time-suck in your busy life, I can’t give you a definitive answer. But I will say that visuals help raise visibility and connect at some level that mere words don’t. Maybe they feel like less of a hard sell. And, if you can make one effort do twice the work, then why not give it a try?

And because life is soooo much more than just PR, here’s the other thing I did last weekend–my granddaughter’s 8th birthday. Daisy cake Deb PS: Next week, I’m going to tell you more than you ever wanted to know about making a book trailer. Oh, joy! ;-)

Debra Salonen

Amazon

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When The Road Turns (Tara Taylor Quinn)

When the road turns, I turn with it.  Not because I’m that flexible, or that willing to be led on curvy or unknown paths, but because I know that if I want to live life, really live it, I have to move with the earth.

I have plans.  I work toward them.  And sometimes the road turns.  I can stay steadfast and still turn with the road.  I just have to find the way to get where I was going via the detour.  Or to assess my plan and determine if it was the best one.  The most authentic one.

My thought for the week…if you don’t turn with the road, and the road ends, you remain in place forever.  You don’t progress or experience.  You don’t even find out what life has to offer you or your plan because you refuse to go find out.

The road sometimes leads you on a painful or dangerous path for a while.  Don’t stop!!  Just keep moving forward, eyes ahead on that plan, and keep going.  Sometimes the road leads you past flower beds.  That’s where to take a breather from your journey.  Smell the flowers.  Let their sweet nectar heal you.  And when you’re ready, get back on the road.

I’m on a new and somewhat exhilarating road lately and invite everyone along with me.  For any of you who’ve missed the journey so far, here’s a recap:

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Check out all of Tara’s events HERE.

We’re blitzing the Grand Finale for
The Good Father
By Tara Taylor Quinn

If you missed any part of this tour, including any of the excellent guest posts (some of the best we’ve had the chance to promote) go back and check them out now, along with some excellent reviews…

Launch – Intro to The Good Father

This is the story I sat down to write. What happened on the page was, as usual, a total surprise to me.

Colorimetry – Excerpt

His father had failed first.

And then, according to his mother, she’d failed, too.

Brett didn’t agree with her assessment, knowing that when she’d lashed out at him the afternoon of Livia’s funeral, beating him on the chest with blows that didn’t even leave bruises, she’d been railing at life, distraught with grief, and clinging to him as much as pounding her fists against the wall he presented between her and her need to die…

“The characters are so realistic and lovable, I mean how can you not love them with everything that they have been through.”

underneath the covers – The Dark Night of the Soul

In every good story there has to be ‘that’ moment. The one in which the reader can’t see how the characters are going to get past their hurdles. The one that keeps the reader turning the page to find out…

Mel’s Shelves – Promo

Pieces of Whimsy – Excerpt

Still in the navy blue suit he’d worn to attend the morning board meeting, he’d loosened the knot of the red tie a bit. His one concession to relaxation. His wing tips were shined. His smart watch in place.

Brett’s life was a mission—and all pieces were accounted for.

Bookworm Lisa – Promo

Brooke Blogs – I Am A Survivor

When my story went public, my editor gave me another purpose. She wanted me to write a series of books revolving around a domestic violence shelter. I’d never felt more in commune with a project in my life. And so The Lemonade Stand was born. The Lemonade Stand, Where Secrets Are Safe. It’s a very unique women’s shelter. One that I wish so badly had been there for me to run to all those years ago. One that I wish existed today.

Copywrite1985 – Review

“Tara Taylor Quinn weaves a story here that grabs you and doesn’t let go until well after you turn the last page. The characters are compelling and realistic, their motives clear, and the conflict is high stakes and seems insurmountable. Ms. Quinn doesn’t shortchange the reader by giving us a pat ending that doesn’t take into account all that has gone on before, but gives the reader both a satisfying and realistic ending that makes the ride worth it–just like she promised.”

Paranormal Books – Excerpt

He’d been celebrating. Ten years since he’d sold the dot-com he’d started his junior year in college. A decade of his life had passed, and here he was. Standing alone in the walk-in shower in his elegant, historical, two-story walk-up across a quiet street from a flowered lot that led to the ocean beyond.

Beck Valley Books – The First Five Books

The books revolving around The Lemonade Stand are not all interrelated. Many of them don’t even feature characters who lived and breathed in previous books. The books are connected by a place. The Lemonade Stand. The series started out with ideas for three books. I am currently working on an eighth one and number nine is on its way, too. So for anyone who is new to the series, and for those of you who want a reminder, I’ll give you a one liner look at the first five books.

“I really loved this story, I loved that it shows there are help for women out there and there is also love out there, even when it is hard to realize.”

My Devotional Thoughts – The Food of it All

It was right then that Brett told me about his favorite meal. He told me, not to fill in background noise, but because it showed me the conflicted man he was. His favorite meal was a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. He loved them. And as he scarfed one down, he was angry with himself, too. Because his father had introduced him to the delicacy when Brett was a young boy. And Brett, the adult, hates his father with every dark crevice in his being.

Wishful Endings – Flowers

I sat down to write the first book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series, Wife By Design, and the hero shows up at The Lemonade Stand – the unique women’s shelter around which the series is revolving – as a landscaper. Kind of threw me for a loop. I know very little about landscaping. I tried to convince him he was something else. He kept coming back as a landscaper. So I did some research.

The Good Father

The Good Father
(Where Secrets Are Safe #6)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2015 by Harlequin

Starting over…again

It seems a lifetime ago that Brett Ackerman wanted to share his life with Ella Wales. He really believed he could put his abusive family history behind him…until he realized it would always be part of him. Then he pushed her away. Hard.

Now Ella’s back as part of the High Risk Team at The Lemonade Stand, the unique women’s shelter Brett founded. And she needs his help with a family crisis. But even now, Brett can’t admit he still loves her. Until one night of passion with Ella turns Brett into the one thing he fears the most—a father.

Also in the Series

Tara Taylor Quinn

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award, a five time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award and appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists. Tara is the past-president of Romance Writers of America and served eight years on that board of directors. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. In her spare time Tara likes to travel, climb Arizona mountains, and inline skate.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

Click on the banner to take you to Tara’s landing page for all her tour events.

As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events’ landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!! We’ll be pulling the best submissions and voting for the top one during her Facebook Party on July 16th. Pull out your creative juices and share your joy of summer, be it with friends, family, or the love of your life!

Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4×6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara’s books (including Once Upon a Friendship).

Share must be public to be eligible. Can enter once each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.

Tour Giveaways

$10 VISA Gift Card & ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Print copy of The Good Father & a Spend the Summer with TTQ T-shirt (US only)
ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Ends June 18th

(All to one winner – US only.)
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara’s Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th

The Good Father Tour Grand Finale

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Check out all of Tara’s events HERE.

We’re blitzing the Grand Finale for
The Good Father
By Tara Taylor Quinn

If you missed any part of this tour, including any of the excellent guest posts (some of the best we’ve had the chance to promote) go back and check them out now, along with some excellent reviews…

Launch – Intro to The Good Father

This is the story I sat down to write. What happened on the page was, as usual, a total surprise to me.

Colorimetry – Excerpt

His father had failed first.

And then, according to his mother, she’d failed, too.

Brett didn’t agree with her assessment, knowing that when she’d lashed out at him the afternoon of Livia’s funeral, beating him on the chest with blows that didn’t even leave bruises, she’d been railing at life, distraught with grief, and clinging to him as much as pounding her fists against the wall he presented between her and her need to die…

“The characters are so realistic and lovable, I mean how can you not love them with everything that they have been through.”

underneath the covers – The Dark Night of the Soul

In every good story there has to be ‘that’ moment. The one in which the reader can’t see how the characters are going to get past their hurdles. The one that keeps the reader turning the page to find out…

Mel’s Shelves – Promo

Pieces of Whimsy – Excerpt

Still in the navy blue suit he’d worn to attend the morning board meeting, he’d loosened the knot of the red tie a bit. His one concession to relaxation. His wing tips were shined. His smart watch in place.

Brett’s life was a mission—and all pieces were accounted for.

Bookworm Lisa – Promo

Brooke Blogs – I Am A Survivor

When my story went public, my editor gave me another purpose. She wanted me to write a series of books revolving around a domestic violence shelter. I’d never felt more in commune with a project in my life. And so The Lemonade Stand was born. The Lemonade Stand, Where Secrets Are Safe. It’s a very unique women’s shelter. One that I wish so badly had been there for me to run to all those years ago. One that I wish existed today.

Copywrite1985 – Review

“Tara Taylor Quinn weaves a story here that grabs you and doesn’t let go until well after you turn the last page. The characters are compelling and realistic, their motives clear, and the conflict is high stakes and seems insurmountable. Ms. Quinn doesn’t shortchange the reader by giving us a pat ending that doesn’t take into account all that has gone on before, but gives the reader both a satisfying and realistic ending that makes the ride worth it–just like she promised.”

Paranormal Books – Excerpt

He’d been celebrating. Ten years since he’d sold the dot-com he’d started his junior year in college. A decade of his life had passed, and here he was. Standing alone in the walk-in shower in his elegant, historical, two-story walk-up across a quiet street from a flowered lot that led to the ocean beyond.

Beck Valley Books – The First Five Books

The books revolving around The Lemonade Stand are not all interrelated. Many of them don’t even feature characters who lived and breathed in previous books. The books are connected by a place. The Lemonade Stand. The series started out with ideas for three books. I am currently working on an eighth one and number nine is on its way, too. So for anyone who is new to the series, and for those of you who want a reminder, I’ll give you a one liner look at the first five books.

“I really loved this story, I loved that it shows there are help for women out there and there is also love out there, even when it is hard to realize.”

My Devotional Thoughts – The Food of it All

It was right then that Brett told me about his favorite meal. He told me, not to fill in background noise, but because it showed me the conflicted man he was. His favorite meal was a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. He loved them. And as he scarfed one down, he was angry with himself, too. Because his father had introduced him to the delicacy when Brett was a young boy. And Brett, the adult, hates his father with every dark crevice in his being.

Wishful Endings – Flowers

I sat down to write the first book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series, Wife By Design, and the hero shows up at The Lemonade Stand – the unique women’s shelter around which the series is revolving – as a landscaper. Kind of threw me for a loop. I know very little about landscaping. I tried to convince him he was something else. He kept coming back as a landscaper. So I did some research.

The Good Father

The Good Father
(Where Secrets Are Safe #6)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2015 by Harlequin

Starting over…again

It seems a lifetime ago that Brett Ackerman wanted to share his life with Ella Wales. He really believed he could put his abusive family history behind him…until he realized it would always be part of him. Then he pushed her away. Hard.

Now Ella’s back as part of the High Risk Team at The Lemonade Stand, the unique women’s shelter Brett founded. And she needs his help with a family crisis. But even now, Brett can’t admit he still loves her. Until one night of passion with Ella turns Brett into the one thing he fears the most—a father.

Also in the Series

Tara Taylor Quinn

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award, a five time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award and appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists. Tara is the past-president of Romance Writers of America and served eight years on that board of directors. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. In her spare time Tara likes to travel, climb Arizona mountains, and inline skate.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

Click on the banner to take you to Tara’s landing page for all her tour events.

As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events’ landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!! We’ll be pulling the best submissions and voting for the top one during her Facebook Party on July 16th. Pull out your creative juices and share your joy of summer, be it with friends, family, or the love of your life!

Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4×6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara’s books (including Once Upon a Friendship).

Share must be public to be eligible. Can enter once each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.

Tour Giveaways

$10 VISA Gift Card & ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Print copy of The Good Father & a Spend the Summer with TTQ T-shirt (US only)
ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Ends June 18th

(All to one winner – US only.)
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara’s Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th

Happy Birthday – Carolyn

Today is my daughter’s birthday. Never mind which one. My mother used to say to me that nothing makes you feel old like having old children. I have a widespread group of friends, some of whom have children, some don’t. The ones who don’t invariably talk about how delighted they are to be childless.

The unfortunate thing is that a good many of my friends with children agree with them. At least occasionally. The consensus seems to be that although we love our children, there are times when we don’t like them very much.

Of course, there are times when they don’t like us either.

I happen to be blessed with one I do like. She drives me insane, of course, but that goes both ways. My mother used to tell me that she wanted me to be happy the way she wanted me to be happy. We think we can see more clearly the path that will lead our children to happy and productive lives. Not necessarily.

There is a wonderful book called Please Understand Me (I highly recommend it for writers) which has a very readable take on Jungian archetypes, and a marvelous test to figure out who is what. I use it for my main characters in almost every book. I find out all sorts of great things about them, and certainly about myself.

No archetype is better than another. But we are different. The problem comes when we try to enforce our archetype on a husband or a wife or a parent or a child. I learned early on that my daughter doesn’t accept punishment. It just makes her more stubborn. But she will listen to an explanation, and if she considers it rational, will accept and act on it. Me? Not so much.

We are both introverts. I am high-functioning, which means I can be extroverted as all getout for a short time. Then I have to go take a nap and read a book. I have a very extroverted friend who delights in personal interaction. She simply loves people and they love her. Her daughter, however, is an introvert. They can drive one another nuts. I have learned that when we go anywhere, my friend automatically ‘works the room,’ talks to everyone, and maintains her high long after we leave. I tend to speak to a few old friends and go to sleep in the car (with her driving) on the way home. She can’t understand why her daughter is not more ‘outgoing,’ and her daughter is uncomfortable with her mother’s real interest in everyone she meets. Neither way is better than the other. Accept it and go on.

I think a great many of the problems between parents and children come from that essential ‘otherness.’ Why we are born so different I have no idea, but I know that parents always say that their children came from the womb with their personalities pretty much formed. We try our doggondest to turn them into an idealized version of us. We want them to live our lives perfected. Not gonna happen.

I am delighted that I not only love my daughter, but I like her. She’s very different from me, and I am always fighting against my ingrained need to turn her into me—which would be a disaster. So happy birthday, kid! I’m glad you’re here.