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.

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!

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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.

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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

Happy First Friday of 2017!

TGIF takes on new meaning when it’s the first of the new year, doesn’t it? So fresh. So hopeful. So…wow, that week went fast!!! Is the whole year going to be like this?

New stuff abounds in Debland.

Rain up the wazoo–and boy, did our wazoo need it! They’re saying another storm is coming. I can’t wait! Although the down side when you get a lot of rain in one fell swoop is flooding and parts of Yosemite National Park have been closed just in case this next storm is as strong as predicted.

Yesterday, I got a new header for my Facebook and newsletter from the very talented Sharlene Martin-Moore.

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And I’ll be sharing a new cover reveal in my newsletter on Sunday. Are you signed up? I’m doing a monthly giveaway in 2017. Here’s January’s gift. I love supporting fellow artists, including my talented photographer friend, Jackie Maxwell of JaxImages. Her calendars are just gorgeous. NEWSLETTER

jan17-newsletter-prize

I’m back to work on my next book–no rest for the writer types. Have a great weekend, my friends.

Happy reading!

Deb

My 2017 resolution, what’s yours?

I have one simple resolution for 2017: more nature, less drama (unless it’s in my books).

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

I took this photo on the hilltop behind my daughter’s house. The wind seemed to be talking to me, but we’ve been out of touch too long. I couldn’t make out all the words. It broke my heart a bit.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Are you successful in making them stick?

A friend of mine suggested I try this site for inspiration, but I have to admit I’ve been too busy to do more than glance at it:

KaiZen https://medium.com/the-mission/get-1-better-every-day-the-kaizen-approach-to-self-improvement-b79c9e045678#.fp833xyyy

One of the quotes that made sense to me was: “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily”—Mike Murdock

That’s where nature comes in. My goal is to walk–and breathe deeply–every day. I am determined to give myself time to connect to the world outside my busy, frantic brain and truly focus on the world around me.

Will I be successful? Time will tell. All we can do is try, right?

Have a very happy New Year’s Eve, my friends. I’ll see you in 2017.

Deb

PS: If your resolution includes reading more, I do have a fun story that opens at a masked ball on New Year’s Eve.  You can start reading for FREE here: MONTANA REBEL.

rebel-mask-1

4 steps to staying sane during the holidays

Yesterday, I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption: “Am I the last person to get my tree up?”

deb-christmas-tree-2016

To my profound surprise, the answer was: “Not even close.” (You can see for yourself here: FaceBookPost.)

This response led me to question why I assumed the worst about myself. It’s only the first week of December. And, yes, we usually put up the tree right after Thanksgiving, but we did something fun instead (we hiked in Yosemite). So, I’m a little behind. Big deal, right?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who puts unrealistic expectations on myself, but I’ve decided to try to be kinder to myself this holiday season. Here are four positive affirmations I’ve printed out and plan to read aloud every time I start feeling the pressure to be “perfect” and/or to make things “perfect” for someone else.

deb-salonen-4-steps

I should have added: repeat as needed. :-)

Have a great weekend. I will be shopping and I intend to keep these 4 steps close at hand.

DEB

Let’s Read Holiday Books!

I love to write–and read– Christmas stories. I’m going to list a few that I’ve enjoyed recently, along with my new one, which I’m so thrilled to say received a lovely review from Library Journal!

verdict-sweet-affecting-and-just-plain-fun-this-holiday-charmer-is-a-delightful-addition-to-the-series-and-a-perfect-companion-to-a-mug-of-hot-chocolate-and-a-crackling-fire

I’m working like mad to meet a deadline before the birth of my new grandbaby, so hopefully I’ll be able to share some photos in a week or two. Please feel free to add your holiday reading suggestions in the comments. I’m always looking for new books and authors.

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MONTANA SECRET SANTA, Bk III Love at the Chocolate Shop, Tule Publishing

KINDLE: http://littl.ink/MTSSAmazon

NOOK: http://littl.ink/MTSSBN

iBOOKS: http://littl.ink/MTSSIB

KOBO: http://littl.ink/MTSSKobo

GooglePLAY: http://littl.ink/MTSSPlay 

AMAZONAU: http://littl.ink/MTSSAZAU

AMAZONCA: http://littl.ink/MTSSAZCA

AMAZONUK: http://littl.ink/MTSSAZUK

start reading for FREE: http://littl.ink/MTSSTule


Other great holiday reads, including Dani Collin’s delightful:

Free! Don’t miss out. Click image.

I love all of Jane Porter’s holiday stories, especially this one:

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And don’t miss this wonderful new release from Jean Brashear:

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Click on image for Amazon link to 99¢ special sale, for a short time only!

Happy reading, my friends. See you next Friday…with a new baby in my arms, I hope.

Deb

 

 

 

Are you Black Friday shopping? Here’s an alternative.

I must admit–it’s tempting to go shopping for some excellent, money-saving deals, but the stress of standing in line with a great deal of humanity, just doesn’t work for me.

Here’s my alternative: hiking in Yosemite National Park.

john-muir-quote-in-yosemite-deb-salonen

And when I get home, I will be sitting by the fire and reading…for FREE.  Please join me–and help spread the word. Who doesn’t love FREE?

black-friday-free

Amazon: http://littl.ink/+bXg 
BN: http://littl.ink/MTROGUEBN
iBooks: http://littl.ink/+7Q5
KOBO: http://littl.ink/+B8z 
Google Play: http://littl.ink/+bNz


 Also, I’d like to invite you to Tule Publishing’s Holiday Party on Facebook next Thursday, December 1. Please drop by for some good cheer, book talk with lots of authors and prizes galore. Here’s the link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1876161522604220/?notif_t=plan_user_joined&notif_id=1479676749575422

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I’ll be there off and on all day, celebrating the release of my new Love at the Chocolate Shop title, MONTANA SECRET SANTA, which just received a wonderful review from Library Journal.

Red Christmas  background with luminous garland. Vector illustration

Here’s the review: Salonen, Debra. Montana Secret Santa. Tule. (Love at the Chocolate Shop, Bk. 3). Dec. 2016. 168p. ebk. ISBN 9781945879029. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Temporarily back in Marietta, MT, to dog-sit while his parents are away, brainy tech millionaire Jonah Andrews has no plans to stay—until classy advertising expert Krista Martin is knocked off her feet by one of his wayward charges. Railroaded into chairing the town’s wish- granting Secret Santa Society, Jonah is totally out of his depth. Then Krista reluctantly ends up on the board as well, and she proves to be just the lifeline he needs. A brilliant but socially clue- less hero and a career-focused heroine struggle to keep their growing attraction on the casual side and eventually find their goals and lifestyles aren’t as far apart as they seemed. Who could resist a lovable canine trio or a hero who invents something just for you? VERDICT Sweet, affecting, and just plain fun, this holiday charmer is a delightful addition to the series and a perfect companion to a mug of hot chocolate and a crackling fire. Salonen (Black Hills Rancher) lives in South Dakota.

(For the record: I lived in South Dakota. I’m a California girl now. ;-) )

Whatever your plans for the day, I hope they turn out great!!!

Deb