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.

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

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

#whatlovetasteslike

That’s the hashtag for Tule Publishing’s new “Love at the Chocolate Shop” series, which launched yesterday with the release of MELT MY HEART, COWBOY by C.J. Carmichael. melt-my-heart-cowboy This is a lovely, sweet romance with a focus on family and being open to new possibilities. There’s a secondary character–the hero’s sister who has developmental challenges on the Autism scale–that touched my heart.

When my hubby and I were visiting our old home town, we recalled a man in our neighborhood named Lee. Lee was probably ten or more years older than us, but his mind was…”different.” He didn’t understand things like personal boundaries and social graces. He was very sharp where certain things were concerned (remember Dustin Hoffman in Rainman?) and completely oblivious about things we took for granted. He once flew to Chicago, wandered around the airport for four hours and flew back home, where his worried parents were waiting for him. A triumph and complete success in his mind. He boasted about “visiting Chicago” for months. We went to college, moved away and completely lost track of Lee. His parents were old (well, everyone over 25 was old to us back then) and I never heard mention of siblings or other family. As we drove past Lee’s family’s house, we shared our memories of him–both funny and poignant in hindsight.

I wished I’d been a bigger, kinder person to Lee. I wish I’d been more like Rosie Linn in C.J.’s book. Do you have a “Lee” in your life? I’d love to hear.

You can read the first chapter of MELT MY HEART, COWBOY here: start reading for free.

I’m so excited to have a book in this line-up. Don’t you love the covers?! chocolate-four-covers I know I mentioned the Facebook Release Party last week, but here’s the schedule. I’d love to hang out with you on Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 3-8 PM (Pacific). You’ll have to join the Main Street Marietta private group to participate–and be eligible for all the great prizes–but you’re not obligation to remain in it once the party is over. chocolate-shop-party-times-jpg Have a great autumnal weekend–and stay safe Floridians and all those in Hurricane Matthew’s path.

Deb

#whatlovetasteslike

Home sweet home

Travel is great. Travel opens your eyes to new places, new possibilities. Travel rocks.

That said…it’s wonderful to be home.

I promised to share a bit more of my South Dakota trip, so here you go. This was a working vacation for my hubby, who is a general contractor. His brother wanted to build an enclosed sunroom at his place on Lake Poinsett in eastern South Dakota, and since you can’t build in the winter, it was hit the ground running once we settled in.

The project went from this:

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to all five brothers working as Team Salonen:

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To this:

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Until we ran out of material (the walls are reclaimed barn wood) and umph. :-)

We spent our final few days exploring Sioux Falls–a really lovely, clean, progressive city that until this trip I still considered our rival from high school-LOL…

sioux-falls-rocks

We also had a chance to catch up with old friends at a Brookings, SD, landmark: Nick’s Hamburger Shop. Kismet/great timing is a beautiful thing!

happy-nicks-day-with-old-friends

photo credit: Steve Bailey

Also during this trip, I managed to put the finishing touches on Caleb’s Christmas Wish–a book that Harlequin published in 2002. I was thrilled to get my rights back to this one because it’s such a deeply emotional story set in the foothills not far from where I live. I love the new cover from Rogenna Brewer. I hope it will attract a new group of readers who will love this book as much as I do. It’s available on pre-order now, but will be live tomorrow. I have a number of review copies (ebook any format) available, if you’re interested. (email me at debsalonen@gmail.com)

calebs-christmas-wish-kindle

How far would you go for the sake of a child?

Black Friday. Black ice. Lives changed in a blink.

The lines in Miami financier Jake Westin’s world are crisp and easy to delineate: black and red, profit and loss. On paper. Until the day after Thanksgiving when Allison Jeffries—a woman he’s heard about for four and a half years but never met—calls to tell him the world they’ve shared from opposite sides of the country will never be the same.  Pam and Kenny Rydell–Jake’s best friend and only link to the “bad ol’ days” of his youth—died in a car accident on the way to a Sierra ski resort, leaving their son, Caleb, with his grandmother, who upon hearing the news of her only daughter’s death went into cardiac arrest. In an instant, Caleb’s godparents–two grieving strangers who never imagined the worst-case scenario becoming a reality—must decide how to best care for the little boy they both love.

Jake is determined to do the right thing for Caleb–even if that means facing demons from his own loss-filled childhood and dealing with the woman Kenny called “a sweetheart but wound too tight for her own good.” Allison suffers no illusion that she’d make a good mother. After all, hasn’t she let her computer business fill the gap left by a failed marriage and aborted pregnancy? But she’ll do anything in her power to give her godson the life Pam intended for her son–even if that means sharing a house with the charismatic stranger Pam teasingly called “Jake the Rake–a broken heart waiting to happen.”

Read the first chapter for FREE: http://littl.ink/CalebXmas16

Amazon   BN    iBOOKS   KOBO  GooglePlay

AmazonCA     AmazonAU     AmazonUK

Happy reading, my friends!

Deb

 

Where in the world is Deb Salonen?

Remember last Friday when I said I was going to South Dakota for a taste of Autumn?

Got it. And brrr…it’s colder than I remember. ;-)

We arrived in Sioux Falls on a warm, beautiful night of a full moon.

deb-salonen-spooky-sky-in-south-dakota

The next morning, we stopped in my old hometown of Brookings for a trip down memory lane. The place has really changed. Even my beloved Carnegie library where I spent every Saturday morning as a child has evolved into a home for art.

deb-salonen-trip-down-memory-lane-to-the-library Then we headed north on the Interstate, which provided an author-type all sorts of interesting images like giant wind generator propeller blades (I don’t get out much remember). It’s good to know somebody is benefitting from all this wind. ;-)

deb-salonen-the-things-you-see-on-the-highway I thought this photo would make a good “Where In The World Is Deb Salonen?” image. Eastern South Dakota isn’t as flat you thought, I bet.

where-in-thw-world-is-deb-salonen My new office faces Lake Poinsett. The views are everchanging—just like the weather. So far, I’ve seen the water as smooth as glass, pink sunsets, puffy white clouds, fog and mist that obscured the other side of the lake and whitecaps that remind me of the Central Coast of California. (Just hoping it doesn’t snow before I leave.)

twilight-in-sd-is-inspiringand-then-the-clouds-moved-in But for a girl from parched California, here is a sound that is music to my ears.

Happy Friday, my friends, wherever you are. If you haven’t signed up for my NEWSLETTER, I have more pics PLUS a new giveaway coming out on Sunday.

Signing off from South Dakota,

Deb

PS: I’ve gotten tons of writing done, too. CALEB’S CHRISTMAS WISH is uploaded and ready to go when I get back home!

 

And we’re off…

Hubby and I are leaving for South Dakota in the morning. It’s been two years since I’ve been back. I’m really looking forward to a taste of autumn.

deb-in-south-dakota-2014

Plus, it’s been a crazy busy month for me so far.

Wednesday was release day for my new Black Hills Rendezvous book: BLACK HILLS NATIVE SON. This book always tugs on my heart. It came to me one night as I closed my eyes and a voice said, “There’s an old black woman who lives in my head.” As you might imagine, that caught my attention. I tried to ignore it, but I HAD to find out more so I went to my office and wrote–just wrote. I was too tired to think, so what came out was quite a story. One I knew belonged to Char Jones, a member of the Wine, Women, & Words book club. And once I met Eli, I was seriously hooked.

elis-question

Here are the links, chickadee:

NOOK: http://littl.ink/BHNSBN 
Amazon: http://littl.ink/BHNSAZ 
KOBO: http://littl.ink/BHNSKOBO 
iBOOKS: http://littl.ink/BHNSiBook 
GooglePlay: http://littl.ink/BHNSPlay
AmazonUK: http://littl.ink/BHNSAZUK
AmazonCA: http://littl.ink/BHNSAZCA
AmazonAU: http://littl.ink/BHNSAZAU

Yesterday, I turned in my manuscript for my next Tule Publishing book. I’m super excited about MONTANA SECRET SANTA because it’s part of a 12-book series with 5 fabulous, celebrated and successful authors: C.J. Carmichael (who’s 2015 Tule Christmas book just sold to Hallmark!), Melissa McClone, Roxanne Snopek, Steena Holmes, and me. Here are the first three covers. Aren’t they gorgeous?

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SAVE THE DATE : Oct 12, from 4-7 PM (Pacific) to join us for a Launch Party in the Main St. Marietta Facebook group. You’ll need to join the group to attend, but feel free to leave after the event! Click here to go to the group. There will be prizes!

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I may not have the best wifi during my stay in South Dakota, so if I’m not here blogging here next Friday, you’ll know why. But hopefully I’ll be here to share some great fall photos.

Happy reading, my friends.

Deb

Autumn is here. What happened to summer?

First, let me apologize for being MIA for the past couple of Fridays. This is what happens when you overbook your life–with good things, don’t get me wrong. But when you’re go, go, going and you’re some place that doesn’t have wi-fi (yes, those spots exist, believe it or not), something has to give. For me that something was blogging.

Quick catch up. So this happened:

Annual High Country Creatives Retreat, which included my son and granddaughters this year since we had some cancellations. It was fabulous. We hiked, soaked in hot springs at the wonderful Muir Trail Ranch, swam in icy lakes at 10,000′ elevation (by swim, I mean I jumped in and survived the shock long enough to get out without dying), road horses and–best of all–my eldest granddaughter and I collaborated on a young adult novel. Discussing motivation, story arc and point of view made the trip worth every penny. And the views weren’t bad, either.

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I went from 7,400′ to sea level…

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San Simeon Revision Intensive - me, lap top, sand, waves and editor notes for my next Tule Publishing book: MONTANA SECRET SANTA. Good news: my editor loves the story. Extra good news: I love, love, love my new cover!

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Available for pre-order on iBooks now, but it will available wide 12/6/16. PREORDER.

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And there’s this: I got my rights back to the only Black Hills book my former publisher had retained. Smack-dab in the middle of my 9-title series. But, now, that book is officially mine again, and I couldn’t be happier. I worked with a freelance editor and my favorite cover designer to get this into production ASAP. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but I’m very proud of the end result and excited to add Black Hills Native Son to my Black Hills Rendezvous series.

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Releasing wide on Tuesday, but available for pre-order on all platforms:

NOOK: http://littl.ink/BHNSBN 
Amazon: http://littl.ink/BHNSAZ 
KOBO: http://littl.ink/BHNSKOBO 
iBOOKS: http://littl.ink/BHNSiBook 
GooglePlay: http://littl.ink/BHNSPlay

~~~

So, I’d like to tell you I’ve settled back into my comfortable routine and I’ll faithfully blog every Friday, but…I leave next week for a trip to South Dakota (more research for my next Black Hills book) and I have two self-pub books releasing in October (what was I thinking?!), so…all I can do is try. Thanks for your patience and your interest. And thanks to my fellow Storybroads for putting up with me.

Happy reading,

Deb