Reading…the great escape!


Oh! The places you'll go READ!

We all need to disappear now and then. Be somewhere else. Be somebody else. Books are a much healthier alternative than some means of escape, wouldn’t you agree? ;-)

But how do you pick which book to read when there are a zillion or so choices out there?

Reviews can help. Word of mouth is still the most powerful advertising money can’t buy. (For everything else, there’s BookBub.)

My newest book released on Tuesday. So far, I have two reviews — one from a reader in the UK and one from Australia. (I love this so much.) I’d like to share them because Amazon doesn’t co-mingle reviews between its stores.

Offering a beautiful balance of humour and romance, this book was a real page turner f

 AMAZONUK: Romance with a nice touch of humour, 18 May 2016 By Shelagh

This review is from: Black Hills Outcast: a Hollywood-meets-the-real-wild-west contemporary romance series (Black Hills Rendezvous Book 5) (Kindle Edition)

It’s no secret that I love Debra Salonen’s books And Black Hills Outcast is no exception. Offering a beautiful balance of humour and romance, this book was a real page turner for me. There were rolling on the floor funny moments (imagine dumping a box of sex toys at the feet of a man you’ve just met), some nice touches of passion and also a backstory dealing with the difficult issues of death and cancer. I thought these were handled with grace and dignity.

Guilt can do awful things to a person and Rufus Miller, hero of Black Hills Outcast, is dealing with a bucketload of it over the death of his brother Stephen. This is not recent death but rather one that occurred while both boys were teenagers, but that hasn’t stopped Rufus from feeling responsible. He and his guilt are hiding out in the Black Hills after a cancer scare ended his modelling career..

Rachel Grey has always been the model daughter, living up to her mother’s expectations with regard to both her career and her marriage until the moment she finds her husband cheating on her. Her divorce acts as the catalyst for Rachel to spread her wings and launch herself into a new career, much to her mother’s horror.

I loved the interaction between Rachel, bursting with creative ideas designed to promote Rufus and his wonderful Dreamhouses, and Rufus, keen to sell as many Dreamhouses as possible while preserving his privacy and anonymity. You could just tell that there was going to be friction there!

Black Hills Outcast is the latest book in the Black Hills Rendezvous series and if you’ve read the other books you’ll quickly feel at home in the quirky town of Sentinal Pass, however if you haven’t, don’t worry. This book stands alone very well. I loved reading it and have no qualms about recommending it.

Outcast new wht

#2 AmazonUK – MF

I think this is my favourite of the series! Rachel’s helpless honesty and frank responses made me laugh. Rufus’s whimsical but insightful creativity touched me – plus I like a man who steps up for his girl. There are some great visual moments too!

The vein of recognition of wishes and aspirations, hope and second chances, runs through the book in many different situations and the reason for Rufus’s solitude is the grit within the pearl of this book.

It wouldn’t be Black Hills without family, dogs, gossip, fun and some hot romance – plus a magical ending!

This is part of a series but you don’t have to have read them in sequence, Black Hills Outcast more than delivers on its own.

So, go ahead, make some author’s day–and maybe help someone who needs to leave the real world behind for a bit.

One last picture. I’ve been in the mountains writing this week, and I want to share our glorious spring with you. Have a great weekend, wherever you are!

Deb Salonen hiking Lewis Creek


PS: in case you’re interested in escaping into BLACK HILLS OUTCAST, here are the buy links. :-)


Happy Mother’s Day (9 affordable ways to celebrate)

As I head off to the beach for some badly needed R&R, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day! I find the day particularly poignant because my dear mom suffered a health setback on Mother’s Day 2008 and passed away two days later. I still miss her so much.

Daisy B. Robson 1913-2008

Daisy B. Robson


Before I leave, I’d like to share 9 great ways to celebrate Mother’s Day, if Mom’s idea of R&R (or yours) is relaxing with a heartwarming book. (This is exactly what I plan to do.)

My wonderful publisher, Tule Publishing, has created three special Mother’s Day gifts for Book Girls and their moms. I’m honored to be paired with two gifted author friends, Melissa McClone and Alissa Callen, in: MOTHER’S DAY IN MONTANA, which is offered exclusively to NOOK readers. Buy: HERE.

The other two Mother’s Day bundles are:

Mother’s Day Romance Bundle features CJ Carmichael, Rachael Johns & Kate Hewitt, and is available only at KOBO. I just purchased it: HERE.


Exclusively at iBOOKS, check out this wonderful threesome: A Mother’s Day Romance Collection with Sarah Mayberry, Jane Porter & Kat Latham. Yours:HERE.

These are limited time releases. Enjoy! And Happy Mother’s Day!

A bit of dogwood beauty from my favorite place: Yosemite National Park. Spring 2016


All the best!


Lost in the mountains

I bet you think I was abducted by aliens?

Ran off with a sheik?

Holed up in the writer cave with bread and water?

Got lost–in thought–in the mountains?


For the past three weeks, I have been providing support for my contractor hubby as he worked on a remodeling job in the mountains about an hour and a half from our home. Too far to commute daily, so we rented a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) spot that was a few minutes away from the job site. Luckily, the place has a kitchenette and most of the comforts of home–just not very dependable wifi, which has made blogging impossible.

But now that I’m back for a couple of weeks, I’d like to share a few pics from our great adventure.

I call this my Hobbit House.

A neigborhood Hobbit House.


Some spring flowers in the area.

Some spring flowers in the area.

We're right outside of Yosemite National Park. Water! Snow! Waterfalls!

We’re right outside of Yosemite National Park. Water! Snow! Waterfalls!

And in case you're curious, here's a Before and After shot of the cabin my hubby is remodeling. Wow, right?

And in case you’re curious, here’s a Before and After shot of the cabin my hubby is remodeling. Wow, right?

I’ve also been super busy uploading titles in my BLACK HILLS RENDEZVOUS series. Book IV is releasing next week (click on the image to go to my website).



And I’m excited to tell you I’ve decided to make BLACK HILLS BABY, first in series, FREE! It’s already free at iTunes, but the other venues are a little slower to jump onboard. Also, I’m giving away a free short, sweet read to people who sign up for my newsletter.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Picture me doing laundry. LOL. Traveling is fun, but playing catch-up with life…not so much!



Spring: It’s Everywhere!

Spring is full-fledged now. Mother Nature is in her element, strutting her stuff and perfuming the air. Here are two photos from our front yard.

One of our pear trees with tulips.

One of our pear trees with tulips.

 Remember those orchard mason bees I talked about a few posts ago? They’ve been busy little, well, bees… We hope they pollinated both pear trees. I’ll let you know.

Partial view of the front yard, showing one of the rhodies, beginning to bloom.

Partial view of the front yard, showing one of the rhodies, beginning to bloom.

 Between or front and back yards, we have some 8 to 10 rhododendron bushes in several colors. This is one of the first to bloom. So lovely!

On a different note, I have just published Mr. January, the first book in my Heroes of Rogue Valley: Calendar Guys series. I loved writing this book and am having so much fun with the series.

Ann_January300dpi1500x2400 lg

Senior Firefighter Adam Healey is a man with a mission: get promoted to lieutenant at the Guff’s Lake Fire Department. It’s time, but more important, the promotion will finally earn him the respect of his dying father. Single mom Samantha Everett’s deadbeat ex has left her to fend for herself, and she’s working hard to support her young son with her baking business. Neither Adam nor Samantha is looking for a relationship. But love has a way of surprising people…

Mr. January is available from Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo. For links to buy, visit

Until next time,
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A very good Friday, indeed!

Oh, happy day — a doubly “Good Friday” and first day of Passover!

Malte easter gloves

The Easter Holiday is one of my personal favorites. I have great memories of dressing up in all my newly purchased finery–hats and gloves were a must–to go to church. This photo of my granddaughter (she’s 11, now) is one of my most treasured.

Competitive egg dying is a more recent thing, but when my nephews showed up at Grandma’s, egg hunting became a contact sport. My daughter just asked me to pick up some Kool-Aid when I do my grocery shopping to dye the eggs. Kool-Aid? Who knew? (Pinterest.)


This Sunday, several generations will gather at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s home to watch the “old” kids hide eggs and candy for “new” kids while the parents snap pics and the grandparents snap pics of their kids snapping pics.

Easter meme newsletter

I will be taking the day to turn the “online” off, reconnect via “face time,” not Facebook, and stop to smell the spring flowers.

May you begin next week and the new month with hope renewed. Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring!




The Sweet Smell of Spring

Tomorrow is the official first day of spring. Here in Seattle, the air smells delicious! Currently our Daphne bushes are blooming. We have two different kinds, each with its own sweet smell.

Daphne2 other daphne

In a few weeks, The Daphne will shed their petals, and other flowering plants will perfume the air–freesia, lilacs, lily of the valley, azalea, peony, sweet peas, honeysuckle, lavender and a host of other flowers whose names I do not know.

Between the fragrant scents, the calls of mating birds and the greening trees, one can’t help but be happy. Even so, I tend to get caught up in whatever story I happen to be working on, to the point that nothing else matters. If I’m not careful, I can easily miss the joys of spring, and I don’t want to do that!

To prevent that from happening, I’m taking daily walks after lunch. (Except when it’s pouring outside.) Fresh air, exercise, staying in the here and now rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, and admiring Mother Nature–what’s not to like? I come back happy, refreshed and energized.

And Bonus: My midday mini-excursion often refills the creative well, so that I bring home new ideas for my current work-in-process. I love that!

Happy Spring, and  until next time,
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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: )

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!


Here Comes the Sun! (Maggie Shayne)

My daughter Katie and I right after her wedding last year

This was the most sunshiny photo I could find to use today, and besides, Katie’s first anniversary is upon us, so what better photo to use? Happy Anniversary Kate! And welcome back, sunshine! Oh my, you have been missed!

All week long, we’ve had beautiful sunny days in the mid to high sixties and even lower seventies during the peak hours of the afternoon. It’s still dropping into the mid-forties at night, to make for lovely sleeping weather. And there’s just something about the return of the sun that inspires me so much. I don’t know if it’s true for you, but it is for me. I’ve not only spent tons of time outside this week, but I’ve also managed to accomplish more work than I usually get done in two weeks!

I wake earlier, the bright yellow sunshine streaming through my windows.
I go outside running, almost unable to resist doing it, rather than having to force myself.
I can hardly wait until it’s time to walk the dogs.
And I’m dying to get some of my more mundane tasks wrapped up so I can play in my flower beds. I’ve already done so to some extent. I have tulips, grape hyacinths and daffies like never before. And Lance has mowed the lawn for the first time of the season. I love that smell!

I am so thrilled with spring’s arrival, even though she was fashionably late, like the sought after belle she is. I’m basking. And basking is good. I’ve covered that with you all, right? Basking is the best thing you can do for your life, because when you’re basking, just simply relishing the very fact that you’re alive, that’s when all the wondrous wishes, hopes and dreams you’ve been wishing and hoping and dreaming, can most easily find their way to you. They follow the beam of your basking.

So bask!

I do have an annoucement–two actually. First, I’ve inked a new three book deal with MIRA for a trilogy of dark, sexy paranormal stories about Witches. They’ll be as follows:
MARK OF THE WITCH in October 2012
BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS in February 2013.

Exciting, yes? I’m excited, that’s for sure! And busy writing too.

But don’t forget TWILIGHT PROPHECY is on sale now, followed by the companion book and finale of my vamp series, TWILIGHT FULFILLED in late September. In between–on sale in just a couple of weeks–look for VACATION WITH A VAMPIRE.

Also, I’m blogging today at

Until next week–BASK!

Seasons and Such (Maggie)

Maggie & Dozer

Okay, so I suppose I have to admit at this point that I was wrong in my prediction of an early spring here in the northeast. It was still snowing a little bit as late as yesterday. And our morning temperature here still hasn’t hit 40, though I expect it to get there momentarily. The forecast high today is 55. We’ll have about three days of high 50′s and then Monday it’ll be 73. This is a phenomenon that happens where we live from time to time. Winter lingers too long, and then suddenly it’s summer. And we’re left wondering what happened to spring. Not complaining, mind you, just observing.

The photo above is the one I’m sending in for the RITA Awards. (Imagine the word RITA with the little R inside a circle beside, as it’s a registered trademark.  I’ve never been able to find a way to insert it via my keyboard, and not one font on my Mac includes it, so just be aware.)  The Romance Writers of America (another trademark) will put a photos of the nominated authors and their book covers up online, and in the magazine, and then on the big giant screen at the back of the stage on our glittering gleaming awards night. I dithered a bit about what photo to use. This one was my favorite, especially since one of the nominated books (KILL ME AGAIN) featured Dozer as the third main character, Freddie. My daughter Lisa, a fabulous photographer, took the shot, but I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, and no makeup. Then I found India Redman, who actually changed my outfit and added a bit of makeup by magic! If anyone needs a photo retouched, definitely contact her. I have her email.

So yes, RITA finalist day this year was a very good one for me. And after the first call, first thing in the morning, I was convinced that would be all, and just basking in happiness. And that’s when the second call came in. I blogged about it on my solo blog. Was in the midst of writing the blog, in fact, when that second call came in. And it amazed me how easily the Law of Attraction worked for me in this case, when I was relaxed enough to allow it. I felt like quoting the kids from South Park, “I learned something today.”

I’m still learning. Lots of good things happening around here. I’m doing my best to bask in every one of them, and relax enough to allow even more.

And there are sure to be more to come, and soon, too, as TWILIGHT PROPHECY goes on sale April 19th in print, and May 1st in E. The reviews are coming in: 5 Stars from Night Owl Reviews has been the highlight so far. Send me links if you find any (But not to bad ones. You know I’ll mope for days if I see those.)

As for me, I’m heading outside to enjoy our 3-day Spring before it’s gone!

Oh, and please tune in to my Health and Fitness Facebook Page, where I’ll be cajoling members to join me in my “Spring Training All Out Get Ready For RITA Award ™ Ceremony Bootcamp Workout.”  I want to rock my glam gown and have strong enough knees to handle one night in killer heels.  I might shorten the name of the challenge, though.


Beat the Winter Blues Naturally (Maggie Shayne)

Snow got you down?

It’s February. And although it’s the month of my birthday and the month of romance’s own holiday, it’s not my favorite month. I think it’s probably my least favorite month. It’s the month when I reach my absolute limit with winter. And being the owner of dogs too big and temperamental (and yes, spoiled) for anyone else to care for, going south is not an option.

Neither, however, is giving in to the winter blahs. You know if you have them. You feel tired all the time, and sit around watching too much TV, overeating. You feel cranky, your joints ache, you think you must be getting old. (Age is way more mental than physical, dear readers.)

I enjoy being up, far too much to let winter get me down. Even in the aftermath of the biggest storm the Northeastern US has seen in a while. I love being happy too much to tolerate being sad. (Or SADD). So here are some of my tools for staying aligned, upbeat and happy during this final few weeks of winter.

1. Vitamin D. Take a supplement, and get extra by exposing skin to sunlight at every possible opportunity. Yes, even here in the frozen north, we have sunny days.
2. Exercise! I know, this is the time you feel LEAST like moving, but it’s also the time you need is most. Exercise releases the same chemicals in your brain that anti-depressants do. Now which do you think is healthier? Get some fun, silly workouts and make a game out of it. Old school Jane Fonda routines complete with leg-warmers, you’ll laugh so hard you can hardly do the steps! They have workout games for every game system on the market now, and dance games too, which serve the same purpose. (Michael Jackson Experience, anyone? Learn to do the Thriller Dance!)

3. Get outside. No matter how awful it is, bundle up and go outdoors. Even fifteen minutes a day will help. That’s a short walk with the dog. (Sidebar: if you don’t have a dog, get one!)

4. Reduce the Carbs! Yes, you crave them more at this time of year. But you need them less. So it’s a great time to start paying attention and eating less carbs, more protein.

5. Increase green leafy veggies and fresh fruits. These food items carry the energy of the sun inside them. Eat them, and you get instant sunshine.

6. Fish Oil! Make sure it’s a good quality supplement (or get it by eating actual fish) and you’ll feel loads better. It’s good for any depression, but especially effective for Seasonal Depression.

7. You can get artificial sunlight by adding full spectrum bulbs. Though they’re expensive, they cost less than therapy and prescriptions.

8. St. John’s Wort has been shown to be helpful too.

9. Laughter is always good. Watch funny movies, read funny books, share a laugh with friends, and just generally do things that you enjoy!

Hope some of this helps you get through the remaining weeks of winter. If not, here’s a bit more. The groundhog didn’t see his shadow, which points toward an early spring. And we’ve just passed the exact halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox! It’s all downhill from here!