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

52.jpg-nggid03501-ngg0dyn-300x900x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010

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

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.

debrajanfbheader

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.

santa-meme-2-deb-salonen

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:

cover_porter_kidnappedchristmasbride-672x1024

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

51qaddrlqml

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

 

 

 

#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:

and-so-it-begins

to all five brothers working as Team Salonen:

team-salonen-day-3

To this:

as-done-as-can-be

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