My Talisman (Tara Taylor Quinn)

GloriaThis is Gloria.  I first met her twenty years ago.  I’d written a book and it had been published.  I was at one of my very first group book signings.  The event had been arranged by the head librarian at the Velma Teague Library in Glendale Arizona.  Her name was Shelley Mosley.  Shelley is a writer.  A librarian.  Mostly she’s a lover of people and books.  And she could sure throw a party.  I felt like royalty a I sat there among some of the romance industry’s greats.  USA Today and New York Times bestsellers.  We signed books right outside the library.  We had our own door into a private room where we kept our things.  And where Shelly had laid out a catered spread of lunch foods.  And there I was.  A brand new author.  With one book to sign.  I didn’t figure I’d sell many books.  I didn’t think anyone would know me.  I wasn’t one of the greats.  But a small woman with a big smile came right up to me.  She’d read my book already.  She was happy to be able to meet me.  She was the first person who had ever approached me simply because of my writing.  She didn’t know me at all.  We’d never met.  My writing connected us.

I have felt connected to Gloria ever since.  That signing in Glendale has changed over the years.  Shelley Mosley retired.  The library no longer hosts the group of authors.  But he city of Glendale still welcomes us as part of it’s annual Chocolate Affair.  I still attend every year.

This year I sat among great authors.  Bestsellers.  And now I am a bestseller.  A USA Today Bestseller.  I don’t just have one book to my credit anymore.  I sat there with seventy-three titles to my name.  I was happy to be there.  I watched.  And I waited.  Would Gloria make it?

Every year since that first signing, every year for twenty years, Gloria has walked from her apartment in downtown Glendale, to the Chocolate Affair to buy romance novels.  Every time she comes, she asks for me.  And if I’m not there, she comes back when I will be there.  Last year she’d been in the hospital for almost a month.  Had gotten out not long before the Chocolate Affair, and that morning she got up, got dressed in one of her colorful outfits, did her hair and walked up to see me.  She told me about her hospital stay.  And she grinned as she had me sign books.

This year it was cold.  Drizzling on and off.  I didn’t really expect to see Gloria, but I thought about her.  As I always do.  And then…there she was.  By herself as always.  With her hair done and her pretty clothes and that smile on her face.  She uses a walker, but keeps pace with the crowd.  And she comes up to me and smiles.  I’m ninety now, she tells me.  She has me sign books.  And she tells me she hopes she’ll see me next year.

I don’t know Gloria’s last name.  I don’t know what family she does or does not have.  I don’t know what she did, who she was.  I know what she is.  A very special spirit who is an angel in my life.  She is my talisman.  My reminder that my purpose is to write because my writing goes out into the world and touches people.  My reminder that every single one of us have something to offer.  That we all are equally important and our jobs our equally important.  Gloria might have been a senator.  Or a janitor.  She might be the mother of a president or might never have had children at all.  And she is one of the greats.  She taught me to get up every day and walk to the table.  And that smiles are worth more than just about anything.

Thank you, Gloria.  I hope my stories give you a small bit of what you’ve given to me over the years.  You are here with me forever.

Offers (Tara Taylor Quinn)

ttq land is swamped.  I’ve been at this business a long time and I work hard.  Pretty much all the time.  I’m blessed and incredibly grateful to be able to do what I love.  Blessed to have been given an ability to write stories that people read.  I still have to stop and pinch myself sometimes when I look at the books I’ve written, the reviews from complete strangers, and realize that I really am a professional writer.  That I actually touch women’s lives in a positive way.

And the shadow side to this is that I have a lot of books that need their fair share of the limelight.  Coming to you in September:

Four Times The Trouble Hardcover EditionHusband By Choice  Four Times The Trouble is the Hardcover edition.  Husband By Choice is the third book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series, following Wife By Design (2/14) and Once A Family (6/14).  What I have to say about Husband By Choice is this:  When I contracted the book my editor told me that an in house conversation went something like this – ‘if anyone can do it, Tara can’.  When I turned in the book, the in house conversation was ‘she did.’  The cover makes this book look like a nice sweet family story.  It’s not.  It’s psychological suspense.

The offers:  I’m told I need more reviTheFriendshipPactwebews of The Friendship Pact on Amazon.  I’ve been authorized to give away #free a limited number of copies of this book in exchange for honest reviews.  For the next week, in celebration of the release of Husband By Choice, we’ll also be giving away ebook copies of Wife By Design and Once a Family to anyone who posts a review of The Friendship Pact on Amazon!  That’s three free books!  All current and recent releases!  Email staff@tarataylorquinn.com for offer.

And…here on Storybroads…we are giving away a brand new Kindle Fire completely free, with Storybroad books pre-loaded on it!  To enter, comment on a Storybroad blog post!  You can earn one entry per blog post from now until October 31st!

More news on the ttq front – we have titles!  In December, Child by Chance will be out.  And in March, 2015, watch for Mother by Fate!

Or, if you just want to have some camaraderie, join the open Friendship board on Pinterest.  We’re just getting started, but we already have international participation!  We’re just pinning pictures and quotes of us and our friends, or of friendships that inspire us!  We’re just shining a light on friendship.  Spreading friendship energy.  Focusing on one thing that is a huge source of strength for all of us.  Hope to see you!

Dr. Duffy’s Close Encounter (Maggie)

Help a pal out?

Hi, All!

Someone was sad that I hadn’t posted about my trip to New Orleans.  Well, let me just tell you, it was amazing.  I walked on the Moonwalk, atop the levee, looking out over the Mississippi River in awe.  I listened to jazz on the streets.  I ate great food, and best of all, made friends I’ll never forget.  The keynote was well received, I made them laugh, and then made them cry, and I think they really liked it.  ;)

All very good.  Of course I couldn’t wait to get home, which is always the case.  And now it’s as warm here as it was there, and I’m outside daily and relishing every second.

I have a couple of projects you can get involved with though so I want to get to those right away.  First, our annual SPRING INTO FITNESS CHALLENGE is about to begin over at Maggie’s Health and Fitness.  This year’s challenge is to create a workout plan for the month of April.  It can be anything you like; choose something from the many fabulous workout DVDs, websites, magazines, etc, or make up one of your own.  The idea is to build yourself a month-long schedule.  Make a chart to hang on your wall with what you will do on what day of the week, and what day or days you’ll give yourself for resting up.  Get it all ready so that you can begin on April 1st.

We’ll be sharing our workout plans, and reporting in each day on the page and via the email loop.  (you can subscribe to the email loop too if you prefer it.  Send a blank email to this email address: maggies-health-and-fitness-subscribe@yahoogroups.com )

Best part: everyone who manages to get through the month of April sticking to their plan, will be tossed into the drawing for some neat prizes at the end of the month.  (To be announced.)  It’s entirely on the honor system, and you’ll be granted a few cheat days to use or not at your own discretion.  So please pop over to the Facebook page or join the yahoogroup and join in the SPRING INTO FITNESS fun!  (I don’t make any money or anything off this, or even add you to a mailing list or anything.  It’s just because I think we do better if we support each other.)

Buy it on Monday March 26th and save a buck!

Okay, next thing, and this is big.  DR. DUFFY’S CLOSE ENCOUNTER will be ready to publish on Kindle and Nook over this weekend. (Originally titled OUT OF THIS WORLD MARRIAGE, it’s been re-edited, polished, packaged, and I’m re-releasing it.)  I’d like to shoot for a powerful opening day on MONDAY MARCH 26th! I would like you all to help me spread the word and the links (which I’ll have soon) in my “BUY THE BOOK ON MONDAY & SAVE A BUCK” Campaign.  So if you’ll just check in on my facebook page or on twitter (@maggieshayne) over the weekend, (and I’ll try to post here as well on Sunday with my fellow Broads’ permission)  I’ll get an easy to share post up with the Nook and Kindle links to the book, and I’ll ask you to share them for me. The book will be $3.99 on Monday only. Tuesday it goes up to its regular price of $4.99. Let’s see if we can make this work! THANK YOU ALL for playing along.

Do you love this cover?  My daughter Jessica of Author’s Life Saver did it!

And now you’re all updated for the week!  Make it a great one!

Maggie