About Debra Salonen

From award-winning journalist to nationally bestselling author with 26 published novels for Harlequin's Superromance and American lines, Debra Salonen brings humor and heart to her stories. She was named Romantic Times Reviewer's Career Achievement "Series Storyteller of the Year" in 2006. Her popular Indie release, Are We There Yet, has been called "laugh-out-loud funny, poignant and just plain fabulous!" Cowgirl Come Home, her newest release for Tule Publishing, is a full-length novel set in Montana.

Epic Fail of a medical sort

Warning: this is ugly.

Do all hospitals leave the heart monitor hook-ups on a patient after a procedure? I discovered these when I was getting ready for bed. Good grief!

Do all hospitals leave the heart monitor hook-ups on a patient after a procedure? I discovered these when I was getting ready for bed. Good grief!

Yesterday, I had a routine colonoscopy. For those of us of a certain age, these preventative measures become just another nuisance of growing older. This was my third time in this rodeo. I get one every ten years, whether I want to or not. But it may be my last because I walked away with a bad case of PTSD.

To recap: the prep is nothing short of disgusting–an evening of rushing to the toilet followed by a fitful sleep, then getting up at 3 AM to drink my final two liters of cold, yucky liquid to finish tidying up my bowels so I’d be prepared for my 11 AM procedure.

Thursday morning: the nurses were all very nice. I wasn’t worried going into this because I’d never had problems in the past. I thought I knew what to expect. But, for some reason, the anesthesia wore off too soon, and I awoke to the sound my own moans, groans and cries as someone skewered me with a dull blade of some sort. I remember hearing voices discussing the fact the doctor was having trouble finding passage through my troublesome colon, mostly I only remember the sound of my agony.

They must have given me more drugs because the next thing I knew I was alone in recovery, groggy and shaky. None of the nurses were present, but the person who took my initial intake info helped me up and handed me my bag of clothes. I got dressed and returned to be handed a tablet where I was supposed to grade my experience. At that moment, everything was a softly shaded blur. Since I remembered the nursing staff prior to the procedure quite clearly, I gave them high marks. (When I called the hospital to complain today, I told them they might want to re-think the legitimacy of any review given by a person under the influence of drugs. ;-) )

I was wheeled to my husband’s truck and that was that. Until he asked how it went and I remembered that moment of terror and pain and confusion when I awoke in the O.R. Call it a flashback. My hand is shaking while I write this.  My stomach clenches and my heart races every time I think about it.

Normally, I’m not one to complain. But I needed someone to know this happened so, hopefully, it won’t happen again. The hospital seemed to take my complaint seriously. I singled out the specialist who did the procedure…at least, I assume it was him and not a janitor they invited to have a go at me…for reprimand, in part, because he never spoke to me–not before or after. He didn’t wait around to see if I was okay–even though he might have guessed that I wasn’t…unless it was the janitor wielding the scope. As they wheeled my gurney into the operating room, I heard the doctor ask if this was patient number XXX. He didn’t say my name. He dehumanized me. Then he hurt me. But it was probably easier for him since I was just a number, not a person.

So, am I going to live? I hope so. Every twinge has me running for the thermometer, and I’m anxiously awaiting my first bowel movement to check for blood. (Never thought I’d ever write those words in a blog.) I am praying that my poor body has withstood this abuse and won’t hold a bad decision on my part against me. I thought twice about using a local doctor in my little one-horse town, but my primary physician, who I like very much, set up this referral. Next time, I will do my homework. (I did try to research the specialist’s name online, but nothing came up. I assumed that was a good thing.)

I’m diving back into to my deadline book. Wish me luck. And any advice on dealing with PTSD would be helpful.

On the bright side, nothing goes to waste for a writer, so you can probably look for something like to happen to some unsuspecting character in some future book. Guess who the bad guy will be? ;-)

Deb

New cover choices! You pick!!

Here’s something fun for your Friday: help me decide which font for my new cover. Do you like 1) or 3)? (Number 2, which was my hubby’s fave, was already eliminated by Jane Porter’s readers.) ;-)

or

sweetsummer3

This cover is for my July release, which I’m hard at work on. Leading up to that release, however, my Love at the Chocolate Shop colleagues have two yummy books for you to devour.

Newly released yesterday is THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH by Melissa McClone. (Click on image to buy from your favorite vendor.)

the chocolate touch cover

 Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets former Air Force captain York Parker passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined.

Or you can preorder June’s SWEET HOME COWBOY from Marin Thomas. (click on cover)

Sweet Home Cowboy cover

 When Marietta newcomer Elena Puente is coerced into attending a speed-dating event at the popular Copper Mountain Chocolate shop, she’s blindsided by a serious attraction to local cowboy, Wesley Banks.

 

Happy reading, my friends! And, please, your input would be so appreciated. Which cover grabs you? 1 or 3?

Deb

A good deal more…

Have I told you about The Inheritance collection?

I heard about this project at a NINC conference. (Novelists, Incorporated is a professional group I’ve belonged to for a number of years.) We were in Florida, and several friends were discussing creative ways to get new work into the hands of new readers. I listened wistfully since I’d already committed to writing a new series for Tule Publishing at the time.

Then, about a year later, one of those friends invited me to join the group. A good number of the books in the series had already been released, but mine would come out as lucky number 13. (It’s possible they miscounted and thought I was number 12. ;-) )

The concept was so fun and intriguing. A wealthy humanitarian with a bit of wanderlust travels around interacting with normal Joes and Josephines. Occasionally, someone would do something that impressed him and he’d add his or her name to his bequeathal list. Not all the gifts were money. In my heroine’s case, the gift came to her through her late mother’s estate. It was a complete surprise, but it allowed her to buy a neighboring piece of property that accidentally came up at auction for nonpayment of back taxes. An oversight the owner quickly regretted.

This gift sets in motion a chain of events that brings two mismatched lovers together, as well as opens the door to a thirty-year-old mystery–one someone might go to any lengths to keep under wraps.

One of the many interesting marketing ideas this creative group came up with was the Inherit the Charms contest. Each month’s new release author would share three possible charms that held some connection to their book.

CharmBanner

Mine were these:

Debra charms. jpeg

Why those three?

#1- The Eiffel Tower

Robyn Craine’s late mother, MaryBeth, had her sights set on seeing the world before she died. A busy nurse and single mom, she pinched pennies to be able to take her young daughter to Europe every other summer and to famous tourist destinations in North America on the off years. Robyn treasures the memories her mother created, but Robyn’s worldview is a lot smaller: the Black Hills of South Dakota. She loves her home and the business she plans to grow using the inheritance her mother left when she passed away a year ago—the gift from a generous patient MaryBeth helped. To celebrate her mother’s love of travel, Robyn wears a charm of the Eiffel tower—one of her favorite memories.

#2  –  Motorcycle charm

Robyn is very much her own person. She loves math, balancing the books at the Mystery Spot, and then jumping on her motorcycle to cruise around the Black Hills. And because she rides, Robyn’s friend, Jenna, introduces her to Sentinel Passtime TV heartthrob, Liam Temple, who roars into her life on a Harley. Robyn does what any red-blooded Black Hills girl would do, she hops on her bike and takes him for the ride of his life.

#3 – The Chapel in the Hills

As Liam’s and Robin’s relationship heats up, they find themselves at a difficult crossroads. Liam’s family crisis and career are pulling him back to Los Angeles. Robin, who has never had any reason to trust the word of a man, can’t turn her back on her business obligations, her friends and her dreams on the “possibility” Liam is the love her life. She seeks answers at her mother’s favorite spot: the Chapel in the Hills-an exact replica of a famous Norwegian stave church.  When Liam shows up, the answer to her dilemma is all too clear.

As you can see, the winning choice of my three was the Eiffel Tower. And the winner of this one-of-a-kind prize was named this week. Congratulation, Giselle P.

Inheritance charm bracelet

If you’re even a little intrigued by this concept, right now, KOBO books is running a special promotion you won’t find anywhere else. And, you should know you can download the KOBO app for free. I read mine on my phone, laptop, and notebook.

The+Inheritance+Kobo+Teaser

Here are the links:

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceCA

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceUS

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceUK

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceAU

http://store.kobobooks.com/p/inheritanceNZ

Have a great weekend. My newsletter is going out on Sunday and will include some other great buys in my READ4LESS segment. You can sign up here: newsletter.

Best,

Deb

Happy Earth Day!

We watched HIDDEN FIGURES last night and seeing the Earth through John Glenn’s tiny window was so beautiful and moving. No matter what the politicians say, we have to take of our home–it’s the only one we’ve got.

the-earth-has-its-music-for-those-who-will-listen-george-santayana

I’m a day late posting this blog because, believe it or not, my brand new Internet service wasn’t set up until 6 PM last evening. By then, I was a basket case and in need of adult beverages. ;-) And I’m glad I waited because once I waded through my million or so emails, I discovered this GREAT DEAL from KOBO.

You know you don’t need a KOBO reader to download a free KOBO app, right? I love KOBO and I stock up when they have a special deal, like this one: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/inheritanceUS

The+Inheritance+Kobo+Teaser

My book is lucky #13. :-) And it’s been getting great reviews. If you like a little mystery and suspense with your romance, this might be the book for you.

LEGACY REVIEWS Bernadette

But you can’t go wrong with any of the titles from 12 of my favorite authors. This great deal ends April 30th, so grab a freebie while you can!

And have a wonderful Earth Day–love your mother…Earth.

Deb

Love your mother...Earth

Ends April 30th

If your WIFI goes out and you can’t get online, are you still alive?

My Internet provider provided me with a modem, which apparently left itself open to malicious hackers. On Monday afternoon 2,000 people in this service area lost Internet connection for five very long days. Thanks to my phone, I was able to track the company’s progress (or lack of it) in fixing the problem. My old router–with its new, invisible bandage–was returned to me late yesterday afternoon. Several thousand emails are on my ToDo list today.

The FaceBook response to this problem ranged from furious to frivolous. Yes, I would love to read instead of working, but I forgot to update my book list on my Kindle and it doesn’t load without WIFI. Grrr.

My takeaway from this experience? I am much too dependent on the Internet where my work is concerned. I have a new book releasing on Tuesday, and some of the joy and excitement a new release normally brings fell by the wayside when I couldn’t create new memes, update my website or send guest blogs to the friends who generously scheduled me on their sites. Frustration is not fun.

But today IS Good Friday. And I am very relieved to be back online so I can write this blog because I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and wonderful Spring Break.

And, if you’re looking for a new romantic-suspense to take with you on your travels, this book will be live on Tuesday.

The final book is here-Nothing like an unconscious doppelgänger to ruin a perfectly good day at the Mystery Spot.

 Robyn Craine has two loves: her Harley and the Mystery Spot, the Black Hills tourist attraction she bought with funds from her late mother’s estate, an inheritance that included a generous gift from billionaire Harold Hopewell. With a chance-of-a-lifetime expansion in the works, Robyn doesn’t have time to babysit the handsome Sentinel Passtime actor who shows up to do “research”–especially when she figures out his connection to the wealthy businessman/politician trying to sabotage her new project.

 Liam Temple has no intention of falling for a Black Hills local. His agent has Liam’s breakout, big budget movie deal lined up. Even though Liam likes his current Sentinel Passtime gig, he promised his late sister he’d win a Golden Globe by thirty-five. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a feisty, Harley-riding tourist trap owner caught in Liam’s father’s crosshairs for buying a hunk of land Richard Marston thinks belongs to him. But when Robyn’s stunt double is attacked, Liam recognizes his father’s MO and Liam makes keeping Robyn safe his first priority.

You can start reading for Free on my website: LEGACY.

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/black-hills-legacy-inheritance/id1114674932?mt=11

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/black-hills-legacy-the-inheritance

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2JZ7KR

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y2JZ7KR

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06Y2JZ7KR

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06Y2JZ7KR

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-hills-legacy-debra-salonen/1126170910

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=05abDgAAQBAJ

Have a lovely weekend, my lovelies. May the bunny bring you oodles of chocolate.

Deb

To Grandmother’s house I go…

In 1989, when my husband and I bought a five-acre parcel in the Sierra foothills not far from Yosemite National Park, my mother, who had been a widow for two years, decided she wanted to be closer to family so she bought the five-acre parcel next door. My hubby, a general contractor, built her a sweet little two-bedroom two-bath home as soon as he finished our big house.

“Grandma’s” was a favorite spot for kids and grandkids. Mom enjoyed it for many years, until she stopped driving. Then the country became a bit too isolated. We helped her rent the house and move into a Senior Living center. Eventually, we bought the house and built my husband a new shop on the property. Our son and his family lived in it for ten years. But in January, Jon-Paul bought his first home in nearby Mariposa–a fixer-upper that his dad helped remodel. We are celebrating that wonderful accomplishment at his HOUSEWARMING tomorrow!

With Mom’s house empty, I saw my chance to DOWNSIZE! New paint, new flooring, recessed cans…my poor hubby went from one remodeling project to another. But he’s a great sport and he loves me and this house is closer to his shop… ;-)

Here are a couple of BEFORE shots. Next Friday (if I’m done moving), I’ll send you the AFTER.

Before

In addition to this move, I just typed THE END on my NEW book, BLACK HILLS LEGACY: The Inheritance.

BlackHillsLegacy_3DBook

I’m so excited about this book. It was great to re-visit my Black Hills series and reconnect with some of my favorite characters. I can’t wait to share this with you. Release date: April 18. I’ll have all the preorder information next week, along with a sneak peek excerpt.

On another fun note, the creative geniuses at Tule have helped to shine the spotlight on three books that sort of fell off the Big Sky Mavericks series flagship. We’ve rebranded these titles and given them their own series flash: Love, Montana. More about this later, too.

Love, Montana

Click on the image to check out these great new covers.

There’s paint to watch dry, boxes to pack and a new Love at the Chocolate Shop book to write, so…it’s off to Grandma’s house I go.

Have a great weekend, my friends! Happy reading!

Deb

Happy St. Patty’s Day – celebrate with a new romance!

The corned beef is in the crockpot. The cabbage is large, crisp and looking pretty. The carrots were freshly picked by my granddaughters from my neighbor’s organic truck farm (Yes, I do live in paradise.) And I even bought Guinness. :-) Who else is ready to party?

St. Patricks Day dog

I’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day for as long as I can remember, but I don’t remember why?

imgresMaybe to honor Bridget O’Brien — my great-great grandmother? Somehow that seems unlikely.

imgresMaybe because it’s starting to feel like spring? The green grass is ready for mow #3.

imgresMaybe because I never think to buy corned beef any other time of the year?

I really don’t know. Why do you celebrate this odd holiday on March 17th?

Regardless of the motivation, I do have a special WAY to celebrate. I plan to finish reading CHARMED BY CHOCOLATE by Steena Holmes. I started it last night and I must say…I am charmed.

charmed by chocolate cover

When Leah ran off to Southern California, she hoped to leave freezing cold winters and unrequited love behind. She was never meant for a small town life and the timing with her longtime best friend–and secret soul mate–was always hopelessly off.

But after a mishap on the hit reality show Charming, Leah declares her love for Wade nationwide and is publicly dubbed “Lonely Leah.” She returns to Marietta to hide at her family’s home–from the media who wants to turn her into a human interest story, from the townspeople upset with her blunder, and most of all, from Wade, who wants to talk.

It took Leah leaving town to wake Wade Burns up to the reality that he’s head over heels in love with his best friend. But now that she’s back home, she’s giving him the cold shoulder. With chocolate and a grand gesture, can Wade charm his way back into Leah’s heart?

AMAZON  BN  IBOOKS  KOBO  GooglePLAY

It’s garnering delicious reviews. I think you’ll enjoy it, too.

CHARMED REVIEW 2

“I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a second chance romance. Leah has returned home to Marietta, which she never wanted to return to, after embarrassing moment on a reality tv show to lick her wounds. Wade has never left Marietta and has always loved Leah. Their timing has always been off in the romance department but now he has one more chance to move his love with chocolate and fun things to do around Marietta. The whole town is rooting for this couple.

This was great addition to the Chocolate Shop stories. Many laugh out moments through the story. Plenty of chocolate and home made goodies that will leave you hungry. I highly recommend this book along with the rest of the series. Can be read as a stand alone.”

~ Shari, Goodreads Review

Happy St. Patty’s Day, my friends!

Deb

Dodging Trolls – 4 tips to avoid a sleepless night

Major panic yesterday.

In addition to writing books, I oversee the office for our family construction company. We recently hired a new bookkeeper. She’s lovely and very good at her job. Unfortunately, we encountered a printer problem that’s outside her realm of expertise. My wireless printer wouldn’t “talk” to our business PC. She went (she thought) to HP support and clicked on a very authentic-sounding link.

Trolls 1

With my okay, she wound up giving remote access to my PC to a bogus troll with a thick middle-eastern accent (I believe he said his name was Christopher). 

Trolls 2

I figured out the scam about two minutes into the conversation. Around the time he opened a note on screen and started typing in how much it would cost me to pay him to fix my million-or-so really awful, horrible, freakish problems.

TRolls 3

My real, human tech guy came the next morning to assess the damage. I’d already checked all my bank accounts and credit cards online. He removed any detected malware (scary word) and installed a reliable (based on experience) protection. Marcus, my new hero!

Marcus killing trolls

Here are the two FREE protection programs he installed for me: Malwarebytes and AVIRA Internet Security. Hopefully, you’ve got a system that works for you. But if something changes and you find yourself the middle of a dark cyber alley in the company of a fast-talking stranger…

trolls tip 4

Now, do you need a FREE romance novel to get the bad taste of this blog out of your mouth? I do.

FREE arrows

The Chocolate Cure (Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 4)

No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men!New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it.

But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her.

The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could rejuvenate Maddie’s dying career. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions… on chocolate… on meddling… and especially on men.

Download THE CHOCOLATE CURE for FREE now!
                    
AmazonUK / AmazonAU / AmazonCA

Happy reading! Be safe out there. #notrollsallowed

Deb

Greetings from San Francisco–it’s Free Book Friday!

San Francisco rocks

Hi, everyone. I’m in San Francisco for the annual Indie Uncon where published authors get together to share advice on what works, what doesn’t, what’s coming and what’s new. It’s a lot of fun, but also some mind-blowing a-ha moments–and a chance to reconnect with old friends.

But while I’m on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) headed for my hotel, my newsletter is going out. In case you missed it, I have two announcements that might interest you, so I’ll share here, too.

 #1: It’s #freebookfriday

Free CURE

I love Roxanne’s delicious sense of humor. I know you’ll enjoy her characters and witty, delightful dialogue. And wait till you meet her lovely hero…be still my heart!

Chocolate Cure snippet 1

The Chocolate Cure (Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 4)

No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men!

New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it.

But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her.

The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could rejuvenate Maddie’s dying career. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions… on chocolate… on meddling… and especially on men.

Download THE CHOCOLATE CURE for FREE now!

Amazon     IBOOKS     KOBO    BN    GOOGLE

AmazonUK / AmazonAU / AmazonCA

&

#2: MORE GOOD NEWS….

The newest The Inheritance book is here!!! And it’s by the wonderful, amazing Donna Fasano. You are so going to love WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER. And don’t forget to vote for your choice of charms. The winner will be announced in just a few months.

The Inheritance Collection Book Eleven
WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER (Ocean City Boardwalk Book 3)

Cathy Whitley’s two best friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.

Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has left him weary.

 

Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell. Hopewell had traveled the world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?

 

One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…

 

Read an excerpt HERE!

 

Purchase WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER now!

AmazonUK /AmazonAU /AmazonCA

CURRENT CONTEST: WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER by Donna Fasano.

Happy Friday, my friends! And happy reading. I know you’ll enjoy both of these great books.
Deb

OMG! People’s Choice WINNER!

My peeps ROCK!

Thanks to EVERYONE who voted for MONTANA SECRET SANTA’s cover in the recent Houston/Bay Area RWA “Judge A Book By Its Cover” contest! This sweet, yummy cover by the very talented artist Rhian Awni took 1st Place in the People’s Choice division.

http://jabbic.hbarwa.com/2016-jabbic-readers-choice-winners/

salonen-chocolateshop-medium

I couldn’t be happier. To celebrate, I’m giving away a fun little prize on the Love at the Chocolate Shop Facebook page. Click here to enter: LATCS. Winning name drawn Sunday.

Here’s the prize: two autographed print books, two recipe cards and a sweet little “Peace” bracelet.

LatCS cover prize

Best of luck and thanks for your lovely support. Happy Friday!

Deb

PS: I got so wrapped up in the heady joy, I forgot to mention that Michelle Beattie’s gorgeous cover, In The Arms of a Pirate, took 3rd Place honors in the Judges’s Choice catergory. Way to go, Michelle and cover artist Kim Killion.

64.jpg-nggid03448-ngg0dyn-300x900x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010