Last day of school…let the wild rumpus begin!

I was lucky enough to have to deliver kids to school this morning. Everyone wanted to go EARLY! And why not? Today is the last day of the school term. The first day of summer vacation. The beginning of something totally new for the eighth grade students who move on to junior high.

When we arrived, my son was setting up his PA system for the guest DJ (my eldest granddaughter) to play music for an all-school dance party. This song has been in my head ever since.

https://youtu.be/Kgdefpl9f_w  (No offense, Flo Rida, but the Golden State Warriors are front and center, right now, in California.)

I had tears in my eyes the whole way home.

I’ve been asking myself why and all I can figure out is milestones of every kind remind us of how fast life speeds by. These moments, which really are just small stepping stones when you’re a child, add up so quickly to the path in our distant past.

Since I grew up in a time when summer vacation was three, full months (June, July and August) and all my closest friends lived in my neighborhood, we hung out daily and played kick-the-can every evening–our bare arms and legs a feasting ground for mosquitos. Our long hot days revolved around swim lessons–if your mother remembered to sign you up–and afternoons at the town pool, which held the coldest water on the planet. (Truth. Ask anyone who grew up in Brookings, South Dakota.)

My friends and I safely slept in a pup tent in my back yard. We slept as late as we could once the sun penetrated the musty-smelling fabric that turned the opaque igloo into a sweatbox. Some afternoons, we’d go to the library to read in the air-conditioned cool to gather strength for our next full day of fun.

My granddaughters have lots of plans for the summer: hiking trips, visits to distant grandparents, swimming in my “big box of water,” and chilling. We called that: doing nothing. I’m pretty sure I complained to my mother about not having something to do. Oh, my, how delicious that sounds to me, now!!

But, my summer will be jam-packed with a deadline looming, a new release every month, a trip to San Diego for RWA, and our hiking retreat to the High Sierra in August. Summer just isn’t the same as when school let out…way back when.

So, how’s your summer shaping up? Travel plans? Will anyone be in San Diego, July 13th. I’ll be signing copies of BLACK HILLS BABY and MONTANA MIRACLE. I haven’t done a signing in a very long time, and I’m excited.

I’m also excited to tell you that BLACK HILLS WHITE KNIGHT, the 6th title in my Black Hills Rendezvous series, is now up for preorder, releasing wide on Tuesday. You can start reading HERE.

Let's jet!

This book really touched my heart. It tackles some serious topics, such as spousal abuse and end-of-life choices, but there’s kindness, forgiveness, and a great deal love to bring a smile, too. Here’s one of my favorite lines:

The best gift a mother can give her daughters is to love herself.

With love and happy wishes for a memorable summer,

Deb

(And tongue-in-cheek apologies to any Cavalier fans. I have such a fan-girl crush on Stephen Curry.)

 

Happy Memorial Day and the start of summer

I’m late posting this today because I’ve been busy helping my hubby set up our “big box water.” That’s what I call our above ground pool, which we set up and take down every season for the pleasure and enjoyment of our grandchildren.

Deb Salonen above ground fun

The girls were splashing, laughing and making their grandfather grin with joy before the water was even knee deep.

I’d never pictured myself as the owner of an above-ground pool, but we live in an area that does not lend itself to in-ground pools. We would have had to remove five oak trees before we started digging–and praying we didn’t hit a house-size rock. We opted for the seasonal route which allows us to recycle the water and still have some pleasant, cool afternoons with our grandchildren.

While the kids are splashing in the big box of water, I’ll be sitting in the shade reading this great collection. Somehow, it’s seems appropriate for a Memorial Day weekend. And, luckily, it’s a super price of just 99¢.

13235362_1040252842718604_4683667591551877398_o

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1WZsPKQ

Make it a good one, my friends! And please remember those who secured our freedom!
Deb
PS: Here’s what our lovely wet winter brought: cactus flowers. We haven’t seen this kind of blossom in four years!
Memorial Day beauty Deb Salonen

 

 

 

 

 

70 Books (Tara Taylor Quinn)

That’s it.  That’s me.  70 Books.  As of today, July 1, 2015, with the release of:

OnceUponAFriendshipIt’s a second milestone as well.  Once Upon a Friendship is my first novel with the Harlequin Heartwarming program.  This series is like Superromance without graphic sex and language.  Or, as I think of it, don’t over do the swearing or body parts.  The stories are as deep, as complex, the people are like the rest of our friends.  I’m incredibly happy with Once Upon a Friendship.  It’s the story of three college friends, two girls and a guy, who’ve become like family.  They buy a historic apartment building in downtown Denver, to save the homes of elderly residents who’d been given their moving orders.  One of the friends owns the popular coffee shop on the first floor.  And ttq style, things get all mucked up.  There’s a crime, a bodyguard, a family no one knew existed…and a friendship that is being challenged at its very core.

To celebrate #70 I thought I’d give you a peek back:

My very first published book: YesterdaysSecretsNumber 10 click for eBook:

HeartofChristmas Number 20 was listed on the Amazon top selling Superromances this month.  Click for eBook:

JustAroundTheCorner

Number 30 is a Kindle deal right now!  Just 1.99:

StreetSmart

Number 40 is based on my parent’s true life love story Click for eBook:

TheNightWeMet

Number 50 Click for eBook:

ADaughter'sTrust Number 60 was also on the Amazon Superromance Bestseller List this month!  Click for eBook:

It'sNeverTooLate

You can see there are a lot of different kinds of stories in the ttq library!  But they all have the signature in depth, psychological look at life.  Every step of the journey.  Every beat of the heart!

If you’d like to Spend the Summer with ttq, play games, attend a party, chances to free books, VISA gift cards, t-shirts and other goodies, click here:

Summer with TTQ Banner smaller

When The Road Turns (Tara Taylor Quinn)

When the road turns, I turn with it.  Not because I’m that flexible, or that willing to be led on curvy or unknown paths, but because I know that if I want to live life, really live it, I have to move with the earth.

I have plans.  I work toward them.  And sometimes the road turns.  I can stay steadfast and still turn with the road.  I just have to find the way to get where I was going via the detour.  Or to assess my plan and determine if it was the best one.  The most authentic one.

My thought for the week…if you don’t turn with the road, and the road ends, you remain in place forever.  You don’t progress or experience.  You don’t even find out what life has to offer you or your plan because you refuse to go find out.

The road sometimes leads you on a painful or dangerous path for a while.  Don’t stop!!  Just keep moving forward, eyes ahead on that plan, and keep going.  Sometimes the road leads you past flower beds.  That’s where to take a breather from your journey.  Smell the flowers.  Let their sweet nectar heal you.  And when you’re ready, get back on the road.

I’m on a new and somewhat exhilarating road lately and invite everyone along with me.  For any of you who’ve missed the journey so far, here’s a recap:

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Check out all of Tara’s events HERE.

We’re blitzing the Grand Finale for
The Good Father
By Tara Taylor Quinn

If you missed any part of this tour, including any of the excellent guest posts (some of the best we’ve had the chance to promote) go back and check them out now, along with some excellent reviews…

Launch – Intro to The Good Father

This is the story I sat down to write. What happened on the page was, as usual, a total surprise to me.

Colorimetry – Excerpt

His father had failed first.

And then, according to his mother, she’d failed, too.

Brett didn’t agree with her assessment, knowing that when she’d lashed out at him the afternoon of Livia’s funeral, beating him on the chest with blows that didn’t even leave bruises, she’d been railing at life, distraught with grief, and clinging to him as much as pounding her fists against the wall he presented between her and her need to die…

“The characters are so realistic and lovable, I mean how can you not love them with everything that they have been through.”

underneath the covers – The Dark Night of the Soul

In every good story there has to be ‘that’ moment. The one in which the reader can’t see how the characters are going to get past their hurdles. The one that keeps the reader turning the page to find out…

Mel’s Shelves – Promo

Pieces of Whimsy – Excerpt

Still in the navy blue suit he’d worn to attend the morning board meeting, he’d loosened the knot of the red tie a bit. His one concession to relaxation. His wing tips were shined. His smart watch in place.

Brett’s life was a mission—and all pieces were accounted for.

Bookworm Lisa – Promo

Brooke Blogs – I Am A Survivor

When my story went public, my editor gave me another purpose. She wanted me to write a series of books revolving around a domestic violence shelter. I’d never felt more in commune with a project in my life. And so The Lemonade Stand was born. The Lemonade Stand, Where Secrets Are Safe. It’s a very unique women’s shelter. One that I wish so badly had been there for me to run to all those years ago. One that I wish existed today.

Copywrite1985 – Review

“Tara Taylor Quinn weaves a story here that grabs you and doesn’t let go until well after you turn the last page. The characters are compelling and realistic, their motives clear, and the conflict is high stakes and seems insurmountable. Ms. Quinn doesn’t shortchange the reader by giving us a pat ending that doesn’t take into account all that has gone on before, but gives the reader both a satisfying and realistic ending that makes the ride worth it–just like she promised.”

Paranormal Books – Excerpt

He’d been celebrating. Ten years since he’d sold the dot-com he’d started his junior year in college. A decade of his life had passed, and here he was. Standing alone in the walk-in shower in his elegant, historical, two-story walk-up across a quiet street from a flowered lot that led to the ocean beyond.

Beck Valley Books – The First Five Books

The books revolving around The Lemonade Stand are not all interrelated. Many of them don’t even feature characters who lived and breathed in previous books. The books are connected by a place. The Lemonade Stand. The series started out with ideas for three books. I am currently working on an eighth one and number nine is on its way, too. So for anyone who is new to the series, and for those of you who want a reminder, I’ll give you a one liner look at the first five books.

“I really loved this story, I loved that it shows there are help for women out there and there is also love out there, even when it is hard to realize.”

My Devotional Thoughts – The Food of it All

It was right then that Brett told me about his favorite meal. He told me, not to fill in background noise, but because it showed me the conflicted man he was. His favorite meal was a peanut butter and bacon sandwich. He loved them. And as he scarfed one down, he was angry with himself, too. Because his father had introduced him to the delicacy when Brett was a young boy. And Brett, the adult, hates his father with every dark crevice in his being.

Wishful Endings – Flowers

I sat down to write the first book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series, Wife By Design, and the hero shows up at The Lemonade Stand – the unique women’s shelter around which the series is revolving – as a landscaper. Kind of threw me for a loop. I know very little about landscaping. I tried to convince him he was something else. He kept coming back as a landscaper. So I did some research.

The Good Father

The Good Father
(Where Secrets Are Safe #6)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2015 by Harlequin

Starting over…again

It seems a lifetime ago that Brett Ackerman wanted to share his life with Ella Wales. He really believed he could put his abusive family history behind him…until he realized it would always be part of him. Then he pushed her away. Hard.

Now Ella’s back as part of the High Risk Team at The Lemonade Stand, the unique women’s shelter Brett founded. And she needs his help with a family crisis. But even now, Brett can’t admit he still loves her. Until one night of passion with Ella turns Brett into the one thing he fears the most—a father.

Also in the Series

Tara Taylor Quinn

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award, a five time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award and appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists. Tara is the past-president of Romance Writers of America and served eight years on that board of directors. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. In her spare time Tara likes to travel, climb Arizona mountains, and inline skate.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

Click on the banner to take you to Tara’s landing page for all her tour events.

As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events’ landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!! We’ll be pulling the best submissions and voting for the top one during her Facebook Party on July 16th. Pull out your creative juices and share your joy of summer, be it with friends, family, or the love of your life!

Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4×6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara’s books (including Once Upon a Friendship).

Share must be public to be eligible. Can enter once each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.

Tour Giveaways

$10 VISA Gift Card & ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Print copy of The Good Father & a Spend the Summer with TTQ T-shirt (US only)
ebook of The Good Father (INT)
Ends June 18th

(All to one winner – US only.)
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara’s Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th

Release Week (Tara Taylor Quinn)

TheGoodFatherThe Good Father is out!  It hit the stands two days ago.  And on it’s first night of life, it also hit #1 on two Bestseller’s lists on Amazon.

Book six in the Where Secrets Are Safe series, The Good Father brings a heartfelt detail to The Lemonade Stand, Where Secrets Are Safe.  Brett, the reluctant hero, is the Stand’s mysterious founder.  The reader finds this out right up front.  Pretty much as soon as Brett steps naked out of the shower in the first scene.

But no one at the Stand knows who he is.  And he has no intention of them knowing.  Ever.  No one at the Stand has ever met him.  He intends to keep it that way.  Brett isn’t a perfect man.  He’s a wounded one.  At times he’s infuriating.  He knows it, too.  And tries to spare people.  But his ex-wife, Ella, just won’t leave him alone with his solitude.  And she knows how to hit him where it counts.

Please join Brett and I on tour.  (Click the banner for dates and links.)  We’ll be giving away a $10 personalized VISA gift card.  A Spend the Summer with ttq women’s t-shirt.  and copies of The Good Father.  On tour you can also play the Spend the Summer with ttq Lovin’ Summer social game, with a basket full of summer and free books attached, and enter to win the Spend the Summer with ttq Grand Prize.

The Good Father Banner

As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events’ landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!!  Top five favorites will be chosen by Prism Book Tours and will be voted on by attendees at Tara’s Facebook Party on July 16th.  The winner will be announced that night!

Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4×6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara’s books (including Once Upon a Friendship).

Share must be public to be eligible, one each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.

Tour Giveaways

GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
(All to one winner – US only.)
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara’s Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th

There are still a couple of days left to enter the Suspicious Tour Giveaway celebrating Tara’s last week’s release Suspicious/Sheriff of Shelter Valley with Heather Graham!

SUSPICIOUS GIVEAWAY
$10 VISA Gift Card (INT)
Print copy of Suspicious/The Sheriff of Shelter Valley (US only)
2 ebooks of Suspicious/The Sheriff of Shelter Valley (INT)
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-shirt (US only)
Ends June 6th

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Those Little Comforts (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Life is hectic.  So many people in the world and every single one of them with their own drives to have their own needs met.  Millions and millions of needs – a lot of them counter-productive to each other.  And here each one of us are, in the throng, one little body among millions, with needs.

Tim and I have been traveling for a lot of the past month.  I feel as though I’ve been amassed by people – nice, good people, who all need things.  Basic things.  First level on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, type needs.  The physiological stuff.  Food.  Water.  Bathrooms.

I have had to wait in lines to use the restroom.  To eat.  To even see a menu so that I can think about what I want to eat.  We’ve had to wait to have conversations so that we can move on to the next moment of our day.  And wait to drive down the highway – while on the highway.

And…we’ve had a great time.  Because for all of the hassle and the overabundance of people with conflicting needs, for all of the need with too few facilities, we have coping mechanisms that carry us through.  And when you’re down to Maslow’s first level, those coping mechanisms are easy.  Carry a tootsie roll in your purse, or pocket.  (Or some other little feel good that can be accessed at any time in any place.)  Always keep a bottle of water close.  Find a little talisman – something that reminds you of something good, or that makes you smile – and keep it in your purse or pocket.  Touch it or look at it when you start to suffer.  While in line, sit down sometimes.  Give your body a chance to rest while your mind is being forced to wait.  The physical act puts you in a state of relaxation and makes the wait time a bit of healthy rest and down time to rejuvenate you for the upcoming activity.

I’ve also been reminded over the past month that those little comforts work for needs on higher levels as well.

Feeling blue?  Look at something beautiful.  Something that makes you feel good.  I only need to step outside and look up at my mountains.  Or look at vibrant colored flowers.  They give me emotional sustenance.  If I am particularly low, I take myself someplace – even a mall – to look at beautiful things.  Looking is generally free and, for me, always beneficial.  And sometimes, if I’m stuck inside someplace where there is nothing immediately beautiful, I look at my jewelry – at my engagement ring, or the ring that my mother gave me from my father for Christmas one year.  The watch my daughter had made for me for my birthday.  I love jewelry so, for me, this always works.

Needing extra love?  Pet a dog.  Or a cat.  Go to the pet store – there are always animals there who are eager to make your acquaintance, even if only for a few seconds of mutual love giving.

Stressed?  Take one second and pull in a long slow steady breath of life sustaining air.  Take a walk – even if only for a few minutes.  Watch a television show that makes you laugh.  Focus on someone else nearby who, you can bet, has problems, too – maybe even worse than yours.

Always, in anything that is affecting you negatively, the best thing to do is take a moment and mentally leave the situation.  Even if you’re only able to go for a second or two, take that second or two.  You have the right.  And the need.  Take yourself anyplace that looks, feels, sounds, smells better than where you are.  Take yourself to someplace that appeals on a deep level to your inner self.  I have a field, with a light breeze.  The sun is shining.  The sky is blue.  There are no bugs or people.  There’s a sheet on the ground.  Snacks packed someplace close.  A book.  And quiet.  It’s a place in my mind and I can pop in and out at will – anytime of the day or night.

We live in a happening world.  You’re here.  And you need you to take care of you.  Take a couple of seconds and find at least one of your little comforts.  Solidify its existence by giving it notice.  I’ve told you some of mine.  What are yours?