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.


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?


Google Play:

 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:


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!!!


Purple Friday

Remember when romance was called “Purple Prose”?

According to Wikipedia, the phrase refers to literary criticism. “Purple prose is written prose that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It may also employ certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader’s response.”

People who wanted to knock romance–yes, there are those non-believers out there–said romance novels were too emotional, too cliche, too predictable.

Bah humbug, I say. Instead of joining in the Black Friday frenzy, I thought I’d offer you some intelligent choices that don’t require rubbing elbows with the masses at your favorite Big Box store.

Great buys! Delightful books!





Free read on my website!






$.99 (today only)

Now, if you’re a die-hard Black Friday shopper, I wish you all the best. I’m doing what I do best–read.

See you next week when I’ll be talking about holiday decorations and Pinterest.


Rushing the season

The push to introduce the Christmas buying season starts earlier and earlier. I swear I spotted Halloween candy with red and green bows on it. ;-)

And poor Thanksgiving. Before long it will be known as the Day Before Black Friday.

My late father-in-law and my sister, Jan, enjoying the start of one Thanksgiving with killer Bloody Marys.

My late father-in-law and my sister, Jan, enjoying the start of one Thanksgiving with killer Bloody Marys.

Me? I braved the madness of a big box store the morning after Thanksgiving ONCE. I promised my hubby breakfast out if he’d go with me to buy our daughter something she absolutely had to have and couldn’t live without because everyone else had one. Who remembers what it was? Not me.

Whatever that must-have gift was, it probably wasn't a book, which is something her daughter treasures.

Whatever that must-have gift was, it probably wasn’t a book, which is something her daughter treasures.

Anyway, by the time we pulled into the two-square block parking lot, there was one parking spot left, in the last lane. The lines at the checkout counters were twenty deep. My hubby’s a strong, brave man but I swear I saw his knees buckle in fear. It took us forever to find the cleverly hidden loss leader. And…you guessed it, they were all sold out.

A small sign said “No rainchecks.”

My husband, who obviously dodged a bullet and potential cardia arrest, gave a cry of salvation, “Hallelujah!” and pulled me out of the store as fast as he could. We never went back. Somehow, my daughter managed to grow up to be a productive, well-adjusted adult without that one must-have gift. But the experience taught me a lesson: time is the most precious gift of all. If you enjoy the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, then I say go for it. That’s time well spent–and bragging rights.

For me, the peace of not being in the madness is worth a million great deals. Give me a book and a cup of tea, and I’m good. Recently, I’ve been asking readers: what is the best “forever” gift you’ve ever gotten? The answers are interesting and insightful: my grandma’s wedding ring, my children, a trip to China with my sister…and so on.

Hint: it's something you already have.

Hint: it’s something you already have.

The conversation stems from my new release, HER FOREVER GIFT. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but love is not the gift in the title. The most obvious tie-in to the title brought me to tears when I was writing this short novelette (longer than a short story but shorter than a novella). But as the story progresses, other gifts appear. Heartfelt. Handmade. Representative of the giver’s love and respect for the recipient. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find that in a big box store? ;-)

Next week, on Black Friday, I’m going to try to put together a list of Book Bargains, including a couple of mine, as an alternative to getting up at zero-dark-thirty to stand in line. Just snuggle under the covers and read–that’s what I’ll be doing.

And this coming Tuesday: Please check out my EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY blog for some great Thanksgiving recipes from my fellow authors, Barbara McMahon, Linda Barrett, Karen Sandler and Rogenna Brewer, in the 5-author anthology: CELEBRATE ROMANCE–a real bargain at just $.99.

Love With All The Trimmings by Barbara McMahon is the Thanksgiving story.

Love With All The Trimmings by Barbara McMahon is the Thanksgiving story.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.