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.

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

Can we all agree? Alzheimer’s sucks.

I learned this morning that my beautiful, amazing cousin, Carol Bagby Gregory, who is four years my senior and lived with my family during my high school years while she was attending South Dakota State University has been moved to an Alzheimer’s facility, presumably to live out the rest of her life.

Carol was a social worker who cared for those who were easily victimized.

Carol was a social worker who cared for those who were easily victimized.

I can’t tell you how broken-hearted I feel. Carol bubbled with life, love, energy and joy from the moment I met her. Even before she moved in with us, I remember her taking me under her wing to explore her hometown of Rapid City, South Dakota, by bus–a first for a small town girl like me.

Her college years were a revelation and transformation for me. She brought fashion, flare, perfume and girly stuff into my life. She taught me how to wear makeup. She shared her amazingly well-stocked closet freely and took me shopping to help me find my own sense of style. With her guidance, I traded in my shy, nerdy cocoon for butterfly wings and self-confidence.

One of my most vivid memories is sitting with Carol on the floor of our kitchen, a tangle of arms and legs as we peeled apart each other’s split ends. My mother looked at us and said, “You two are like a pair of monkeys picking lice off each other.” Carol and I laughed so hard we wound up rolling on the floor in tears while Mom just shook her head.

I have tears in my eyes again as I write this. I will hold this memory for as long as I can, for Carol. I will visit her in my dreams and wish her Godspeed and tell her how much she meant to me. I don’t think I did that before it was too late.  #ihatealzheimers #alzheimerssucks

Deb

Judge a book by its cover…please!

Contests abound, but one of my favorites is the Houston Bay Area RWA “Judge A Book By Its Cover (JABBIC).  And this year MONTANA SECRET SANTA, my lovely, innovative original watercolor cover from artist Rhian Awni, made the cut.

Color me delighted!!!

salonen-chocolateshop-medium

Did I tell you I called my editor at the last minute in a panic when I saw the first draft and realized I’d left off an important element? “We have to put a jacket on the beagle. No jacket and I’ll get roasted by dog lovers for abusing my beagle,” I cried. Next version: the beagle has a jacket. Whew! Kerfuffle avoided.

I also love how the artist captured the longing of someone being on the outside looking in and the hopeful patience of the dogs!

I’d so appreciate your kind vote–and while you’re there, check out these other great covers from Tule Publishing. You can vote for as many as you like!

40.jpg-nggid03411-ngg0dyn-300x900x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010      65.jpg-nggid03425-ngg0dyn-300x900x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010   64.jpg-nggid03448-ngg0dyn-300x900x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010      27.jpg-nggid03402-ngg0dyn-300x900x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010

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Click here to: VOTE

Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy reading!!

Deb

It’s a “twin” thing!

Question: do you know anyone who is a twin? Are you a twin?

I am fascinated by birth order in general and it often plays a factor in my characters’ personalities. My two current Black Hills Rendezvous releases, BLACK HILLS RANCHER and BLACK HILLS STRANGER, feature the Bouchard twins–Jessie and Remy.

TWiNS Friends for Life (1)

They are best friends, but as different as two people can be. I felt comfortable creating this dichotomy because my twin nieces, Leslie and Laura, are beautiful, accomplished young women who are best friends, but also very different. I love this about them and wanted to celebrate this uniqueness in my story.

First-born Jessie is an extreme athlete, a risk-taker, someone who meets every challenge head on–even when it comes to falling in love with someone who really needs a woman more like Remy in his life.

JESSIE’s favorite meme:

babe ruth quote

Sweet, kind, generous Remy would fix the world if she could. When her first love needs her help to find his missing daughter, she wants to say no, but how can she–helping others is what she does best?

Dreamer, worrier, caregiver REMY’s favorite meme:

sisters are connected

~~~

If you liked connected stories, you can’t get much more connected than twins.

Click on the book covers below to buy from any vendor.

Black-Hills-Stranger-Generic

Black-Hills-Rancher-Generic

Happy reading and have a GREAT weekend!

Deb

 

Releasing a new book is a process! But it never gets old!

The butterflies arrive first. They settle in my belly from the moment I wake up on “Release Day” until every link is checked and the book is announced in my newsletter and fluttering about on social media, hopefully finding the readers who have been eagerly waiting to read it.

Slowly, very slowly, as every item on my Bullet List gets marked off, the panic recedes and a smidgen of euphoria blows the butterflies away…until next time.

That’s my process for a self-published new release.

But I remember feeling similar panic when I opened the first print copy sent by my publisher. Did they spell my name right? Does the back jacket copy match the book? Does my cover art work? Is the blurb too vague? Will readers love it or hate it?

These days I’m stressing about a wide array of technical questions–in addition to all of the above:

1. Is the book live at all vendors?

2. Did I remember to upload the right copy?

3. Did I make that final change my copy editor mentioned?

4. Is the first chapter of the next book in the back matter? Do the buy links work?

5. Will readers love it or hate it? (Some things never change.)

Only time–and reviews–will answer the last question, but the rest is all on me, and believe me, my fingers will be crossed from now until early Tuesday morning. 

DebraSalonen Stranger meme2

Preorders here: AMAZON   AMAZONAU   AMAZONCA   AMAZONUK   ITUNES  BNNOOK   PLAY  KOBO


But here’s one up-side of self-publishing: I can offer discounted books any time I want, and since the heroines of BLACK HILLS RANCHER and BLACK HILLS STRANGER are twin sisters, I figured readers would appreciate being able to buy BLACK HILLS RANCHER for just 99¢ before STRANGER releases on Tuesday! Who doesn’t love a bargain? And these twins have some pretty interesting stories to tell. ;-)

DebraSalonen Rancher 99.jpeg

Amazon     AmazonUK    AmazonAU   KOBO    BNNOOK   iBOOKS    PLAY

HAPPY READING, MY FRIENDS,

DEB

PS: I highly recommend seeing the movie HIDDEN FIGURES! I loved it!

 

#fridayfreebie on Friday the 13th

Really? The year barely gets started and already we have a Friday the 13th?

The only safe course is to hunker down with a cowboy, right?

Why, yes, I do have one in mind. He’s free at the moment, too.

Debra COWBOY free2017

KINDLE: http://littl.ink/MTCOWBOYAZ 
IBOOKS: http://littl.ink/MTCOWBOYIB
GOOGLE: http://littl.ink/MTCOWBOYGP 
KOBO: http://littl.ink/MTCOWBOYKobo
BN: http://littl.ink/MTCOWBOYBN

But, seriously, folks, if you’re interested, here’s a site with all you ever wanted to know about PARASKEVIDEKATRIPHOBIA, which is fear of Friday the 13th (the day, not the movie).

http://www.fearof.net/fear-of-friday-the-13th-phobia-paraskevidekatriaphobia-or-friggatriskaidekaphobia/

Be safe out there! And happy reading!

Deb