Kelly Chapman here. I’m taking over today. I admit it. I didn’t give ttq much say. She’s working crazy, talking to… I’d like to say I’m not even sure who because then I wouldn’t have to take accountability for it all…but…this woman is on a mission and one thing I know about ttq, when she’s on a mission there’s no stopping her. Sense doesn’t stop her. Logic doesn’t stop her. Pleading doesn’t stop her. She just goes.
She’s got some big announcements coming in the next weeks. Some of the news is her own. Hers and Tim’s. And it’s important. In my opinion, one of the most important steps of her adult life. But I have to wait and let them tell you about it all. It would be inappropriate for me to do so. Let’s make it quite clear, though, ttq has my blessing. My support. And she will have all the counseling I can give her. Rest assured, I will be here holding her hand over the next months.
Back to her mission. So ttq-like, she doesn’t just have one of them. She has two. She took Sandra Ramos, founder of the United State’s first battered women’s shelter, into her heart over two years ago and ever since she heard about Sandra’s current dire need, she won’t rest. Her brain just keeps racing, day and night, to figure out more ways to raise money to help Sandra’s women. I understand, of course. ttq is taking all of this personally. Because of her own issues. She knows it, too. We’ve talked about it. And that makes the drive even more crucial to her. Big announcements coming on that end, too.
And her second mission – and this is where I am completely culpable – she’s determined to make my stories, my files, a rousing success. She’s doing it for me. I know that full well. If the books do well, I’ll be able to open more of my files to you. If they don’t, then I close my cabinet and slink away to small town Chandler to help the few people I can reach there instead of the entire world of them that ttq has opened up to me. I’d like to say that would be fine. To tell you that I don’t care, either way. But that’s not true and ttq knows that. She knows that my life’s work is all wrapped up in this. Which is why she’s up most of the night worrying about blogs and touring and publicity. She’s doing all she can to get me out there so that she makes a success of this job I’ve given her. Like, if the books don’t do well, I’ll think I chose wrong when I chose her to write them.
She’s wrong about that part, you know. I chose right. ttq did all that I could have hoped and more. I’ve read every one of the books, of course. Multiple times. I couldn’t have done it better, dreamed or imagined it better. My job is to help her see that.
So she’s talking to all of these people, city people, county people, corporate people, making things happen for this blog tour, our physical tour, the charity event – and yesterday I heard her and Tim talking with Penny – ttq’s miracle worker – about this big party they’re throwing for the launch of The Fourth Victim – my personal story. I gotta tell you, I feel really guilty about that. The big deal they’re making. But at the party they’re also giving out two hundred free books and collecting donations for Strengthen Our Sisters, and drawing a ton of names from commenters here on the tour for some really fun prizes, and broadcasting it all on line at e-harlequin for you guys, so that’s all good. Still, I fell horrible about all of the work I’ve caused. I’m helping everywhere I can, but ttq’s a tough cookie. In my mind, she’s the definition of determination.
Comes from her father, I think. We’ve talked quite a bit about him. ttq was a bit intimidated by the man. Afraid of him, is my professional opinion. But she adored him, too. And, if you ask her, which I have, she says that he taught her one thing. He taught her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. God, love him. The poor woman puts her mind to something and can’t let go. She really and truly believes that if you want something badly enough, need it badly enough, you just keep your focus on it and you will be able to make it happen. I’d love to argue with her – to give her some peace – but the truth of the matter is, she’s mostly right. Her father was mostly right. So here I am, trying desperately to help her through this humongous task I asked her to take on.
What I really wanted to tell you today was that in midst of all of this - I failed to mention that ttq is also finishing a book, a new Superromance, that’s due this month – ttq, with Tim pushing at her back, fought and won another battle this weekend. I mentioned in an earlier post on the tour that I robbed ttq of one of her most fervent loves – in-line skating. You’ll find out all about it in The Fourth Victim. I am here to testify to you that an author, or at least ttq, doesn’t just write books. She takes them on until they become as real to her as people she passes on the street. She has to. I understand that. It’s the only way for her to make the books, the characters, real to you, the readers. But in this case, taking on a story, taking on the horror that ensued because of a stupid choice I made, turned ttq’s love of skating into an endurance contest. She still went – she would, that’s her. But she had to fight to breathe. She had to concentrate on the form, the rhythm. She didn’t trust. She didn’t fly and enjoy. The skates weren’t an extension of her. They were a challenge.
Tim, who has become as adept as ttq and I at skating, wouldn’t let her off the hook, though. He kept suggesting they go skate. And every time, she went. Because she knew, as I did, that she had to keep getting back up on those skates. And as they skated, she talked to Tim about the time she’d been hit by a pick up truck and had been thrown out into traffic while she was skating. About the time she wiped out at the elementary school. About the time she’d skated part of a fifty mile trail in Denver, and along the Potomac River outside of Washington DC. She talked and she got tense, and she skated six miles. Or eight. Nothing like her usual skates. Until this weekend. Over Labor Day, ttq really skated!!!! She put on her skates. She pushed off. And she flew. Without thinking about breathing. Or falling. She was herself again. Taking the trail with confidence. One day she and Tim made it twelve miles. In less than an hour. Just like that, she’d doubled her usual distance. And it was fun! A piece of cake! Really! I was there. I saw it. But the real victory came on Monday. ttq and Tim set out to do a leisurely cross country skate. So she thought. But he kept pushing her to go a little further. And a little further. She went willingly. She was a good sport. Until she started to worry. And then she started to tell him maybe they should turn back. He said okay. And then pushed her some more. Until she stopped and turned around. At which point, as he turned around, he let her know he was disappointed. Smart man. He knows ttq. She turned forward again. And she skated with everything she had. They logged over twenty miles, skating between two cities and back again, in ninety degree heat. Tim made ttq lead the entire day and she took the last nine miles without stopping at all. As I watched her back at the truck, taking off her skates, saw the sweat on her body and the grin on her face, I was so relieved I wept.
One more piece of good news I just have to share and then I’m off from here. I know, I’ve gone on far too long. That’s me. I’m long winded. I just want to give everyone every piece of information I can in case it will help…
So…the good news…ttq found out yesterday that The First Wife was #1, on Amazon,for all Superromances sold. She says it’s not that big of a deal, it’s just one venue and the rankings change by the day, but she’s selling us short here. Even if it was only for an hour, in one store, hitting number one is hard. And newsworthy! I hope, for ttq’s sake far more than mine, that the next three books follow suit…
And now, for our Chapman File International Blog tour business…
For those of you just joining us, I need to tell you that over the next three months, as we celebrate The Chapman Files, ttq and I are going to be asking for help. If you can, join us in our fight against Domestic Abuse. Since February of this year, the United States’ first battered women’s shelter, Strengthen Our Sisters is down $400,000.00 in donations. Some of the staff members are working without pay as they struggle to pay mortgages on ten houses filled to capacity and keep their women and children housed and safe. If you’d like to help, click here to go directly to a secure paypal sight. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VR7WPWDHR6KFS.
There’s an item from our new book, The First Wife, hidden on the tour with us. Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it! Today’s clue: It takes a lot people to make one. Send all guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org. To see previous clues visit blog sites listed at www.tarataylorquinn.com. We’ve had some correct guesses!!
Don’t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th on www.e-harlequin.com! Tour random prize winners will be announced!
E-books of all of The Chapman File Stories are available for pre-order at http://amzn.to/bmJzp4.
Next tour stop: Thursday, September 9, 2010. Return Customer. http://www.returncustomer.com. We hope to see you there! The more blogs you visit with us, the more chances you have to win! Every time you comment your name is dropped in the bag for the prize drawings.