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


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

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PS: I highly recommend seeing the movie HIDDEN FIGURES! I loved it!


Smelling the Roses (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Roses AboundI am stopping to smell the roses.  I am on a horrendous schedule over the first nine months of 2015.  Horrendous and blessed at the same time.  I’m in the midst of writing five contracted books.  Three are done.  I’m currently on number four.  And I want number five to be as good, as deep and enriching and entertaining as number one was.

So I’ve made a conscious effort to fill my well.  Every single day.  And I had to be able to fill it fast so I could get to the pages that were waiting.  I wasn’t going to be able to go out and find the roses.  So I brought them home.  Two bushes to go with the one floundering one I already had.    Asked nicely for my honey to give them the underground irrigation they’d need.  I took ownership of a pair of pruners.  And every single morning I visit all three plants.  I talk to them.  Thank them for sharing life with me.  One bush in particular has the most incredibly fragrant aroma.  Another has soul filling colors.  The third is angelic white roses.  So far I’ve only had one flower there.  The picture above was just taken.  I have more than twenty buds in various stages of blossoming into flowers on one plant alone.  The previously floundering one.  I’ve had the sickly bush for more than year.  It produced, at most two roses at a time.  And today I have more than twenty.  Funny what happens when you put your mind to something.  And I do.  Every day.

Funny what else happens.  You focus and suddenly you have four books coming out almost at once.  We’re planning a great summer for anyone who wants to join in with us.  I’ve had help on this one from the ladies at Prism Book Tours.  Lots of games and prizes, excerpts and free books coming up over the next eight weeks.  Starting next week.  You can follow the fun starting on 5/27 at Spend The Summer with ttq.  We’ll be visiting lots of places.  Giving away gift cards and books and a surprise or two along the way.  And ending with a huge Facebook Party and grand prizes in July.

The first book up for celebration is out in just six days.  It’s a re-issue of my The Sheriff of Shelter Valley in conjunction with a Heather Graham reissue, Suspicious.  You get both bestselling novels for one great price so if you missed them, you’ll want to grab the chance now!  You can click on the book to pre-order either print or eBook today at 35% off the price with coupon code HAPPYMAY!  Until next week, I hope you all smell some roses!

Suspicious Sheriff of Shelter Valley

The Debut of a Badge (Tara Taylor Quinn)

RITA-Nominee-Badge-504-x-504-AdMy publisher is good to me. In addition to the Godiva chocolates they sent in congratulations for the RITA final, they also sent this.  I love it, of course!

Once A Family is the second book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series.  It’s my fifth RITA nomination.  Still, I cried when I got the call.  Because this series is deeply personal to me.  The final validates my hope that I am doing the series justice.

If you haven’t read this book, you can get it for only $3.99 by clicking on the badge above.  It’s the story of a fifteen year old girl who shows up at The Lemonade Stand, a unique women’s shelter off the coast of California.  She claims that her older brother, the guardian who raised her, is abusive and she is seeking shelter.  The hero is her older brother.  The heroine is the lawyer who is representing the girl.  I tend to write myself into impossible situations.

I once wrote a book, Sara’s Son, where the heroine had been raped at a party and the hero was one of the rapists.  I have no clue what I thought I could do with that one.  Or how it could possibly be a story worthy of reading.  But the story was there.  The people had appeared.  So I sat down.  I trusted that for whatever reason, it was meant to be.  Maybe not to be published, or globally read, but for some other reason unbeknownst to me.  I let them tell me their story.  It sold.  Globally.

Once A Family is finding similar success.  And I realize, even here, in my writing, I’m not in control.  They just let me feel like I am so I keep coming back.

Early Arrival (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Have you ever been getting ready for company, racing around the house trying to accomplish a million things at once, worrying that you won’t get it all done in time, and, just as you’re elbow deep in toilet water, hear their knock on the door?  I actually haven’t.  I’m one of those who watches the clock a week ahead of expected arrivals and plan jobs and execute them all week long.  I want people to love being at my house and go all out to make certain that they have everything they need to be comfortable hopefully without having to ask.

But I’m paying for my lack of experience now.  I’ve got an early arrival and have no idea how to handle it!  The First Wife showed up this week.  Several weeks ahead of schedule.  We’ve been planning this gig for two years – since July of ’08.  We talked, we brainstormed, we agreed on a theme, we decided dates, signed contracts.  We did the work.  A lot of work.  A lot, a lot of work.  I wrote.  My editor read.  She scribbled.  I wrote some more.  She scribbled some more.  We brainstormed some more.  Titles, this time.  I wrote ideas.  Sent them in.  Got them back.  Reconsidered.  Sent in more.  We spoke on the phone.  Sent ideas off to art and marketing.  And then we had to come up with cover concepts.  I was sent out to the Internet.  To bookstores the world over.  I had to copy covers that gave me the feel of The Chapman Files.  Highlight things I liked.  Explain what I didn’t like.  We developed vision.  More so than we’d already done.  And sent our final suggestions off to art and marketing.  And I wrote.  And wrote.  And wrote.  And Paula scribbled.  And scribbled.  And scribbled.  And then Jane Robson was called.  Jane was…Jane.  She used to be an editor.  My editor.  She took me on, under Paula’s direction, back when I was a two book baby.  She straightened my spine, spiffed me up and sent me to the USA Today Bestseller list.  And then she left me to move away with her husband.  I cried.  So did she.  And for The Chapman Files, we were reunited.  After 35 books, we were together again.  With Paula right there, too, this time.  Jane read the first versions of The Chapman Files.  She wrote the cover copy.  And she scribbled.  And I re-wrote.

The work hasn’t stopped.  No vacations.  No time off.  Not for two years.  I just finished the final read through on The Fourth Victim.  Just sent in the final changes on Monday.  And now, according to plan, I have until September 14th, the official release date of The First Wife, to prepare for the arrival of the most important project of my life.  These are by far the best books I’ve ever written.  As I read through The Fourth Victim this weekend, my heart was pounding, I cried, even though I knew what was going to happen next.  I couldn’t believe that I’d written the book.  I was actually engrossed as a reader, not as a writer.  These books have more depth, more layers, than anything I’ve written before.  And yet, they’re commercially entertaining, too.

Their advent into the world is a big deal.  A HUGE deal.  And…I’m not ready.  We’re going on tour – a good bit of it on-line.  Next week is the start of a three month blog tour that is going to culminate with a launch party in Phoenix, Arizona, for The Fourth Victim.  The launch party is going to be broadcast live on-line.  A lot of prizes will be awarded to readers who accompany us on the blog tour.  (Accompany us by commenting on the various blogs.)  We’re planning a charity function, as well, in conjunction with the party, all proceeds to be donated to help fight domestic violence.  We’ve got sponsors already.  We just don’t have all the details.  Details, details, details.  Conference call tomorrow with Harlequin.  I need my five weeks of detail time!  Heck, I need a morning with my calendar so that I can find out what I’m already doing.  

And Monday there was a knock on my door.  I went to the e-harlequin website www.eharlequin.comto blog on the Superromance site and The First Wife was on a banner across the home page of e-harlequin.  She just popped out, proud as could be, to greet me.  She’s available, exclusively on e-harlequin, for the next four weeks before she is officially on sale in the rest of the world.  Not only is she available, but she’s on sale for $1 off the cover price.  Maggie’s new release, Kill Me Again, is there, too.  On sale.  Yesterday, when I opened my Harlequin Reader Newsletter, The First Wife was there, too.  On sale.  Kill Me Again was with her there, too.  I guess they’ve gotten to know each other here and have decided to travel together!

I apologize to all of you for my mess.  I’ll have the blog tour schedule next week.  The tour launches on e-harlequin on Friday, August 20th.  I hope you all will join me on the trip.  We’re going to be visiting some fun places and hopefully having a blast.  I want you to win the prizes!  And I have this leftover fear from high school of being the last one picked for basketball.  I really was.  I was too short.  And a bookworm.  Doesn’t bode well for the court.

And in the meantime, if you’d like to read the first chapter of The First Wife, completely free, click on the browse the book button in the Breaking News box.  When I do it, I have to scroll through the pages to read them.  If you can’t see them, give that a try.  While you’re there, you can also read an excerpt from Kill Me Again.  And from Ruthless.  The Broads have been working hard to bring meet the Broadie’s expectations!