Spend The Summer with ttq (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Summer with TTQ Banner smallerThis week launches six weeks of on-line touring, giveaways, games and visiting with readers.  I’d love to have you all join in the fun.

There will be t-shirts, VISA gift cards, a visit from Heather Graham (this week!) a lot of free books, a picture contest, and a Facebook Party!  Click on the photo for more information!

In the meantime, this week also Suspicious Sheriff of Shelter Valleysees the release of Suspicious, a two book, one low price Bestselling Author Collection with Heather Graham and I.  It’s available in Print and eBook everywhere books are sold and on July 7th it will be releasing in all audio formats, including CD, everywhere audio books are sold!

Storybroads is on tour this summer, too!  I hope you’ll enjoy the authors who have and will be visiting us thanks to the great ladies at Prism Book Tours!  Every guest author offers free books and exerpts!

Overall, it’s a summer filled with great books, bargains, freebies, and lots and lots of reading!

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.

Visit Vegas for $1.99 (Tara Taylor Quinn)

StreetSmartFor a very limited time Harlequin and Amazon have teamed up to offer a classic ttq novel at a steal!!  Just $1.99 for the eBook version of one of my most successful suspense novels.  Just click on the cover to purchase and begin reading in minutes.

I love all of my books – just like parents love all of their kids.  This is one of those kids who might not be the prettiest, who might be overlooked due to a visual, surface blemish, but who is filled with such goodness, she succeeds anyway.  In case you can’t tell, I’m not overly fond of the cover.  I don’t think it did the book justice.

But the story I remember in detail.  After seventy plus books, some of the names and faces start to fade a little.  But not this one.  I remember my heroine searching for her runaway sister.  I remember standing on a Vegas street corner with her, fearing that the teenager would be one of the prostitutes hanging around.

I remember, in detail, the room where her sister was sleeping.  And how afraid and alone and trapped she felt.  She was in trouble.  In deep.  And couldn’t see any way out.

I invite you to join me here.  At $1.99 it’s the least expensive trip you’ll ever be offered to visit Las Vegas!  And, I hope, one of the most enjoyable.

 

All Six On The List (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Mother By Fate is out this week.  Which means I’ve been on Amazon checking sales statistics.  This week, the process has been…thankful.  I stand up for this series – Where Secrets Are Safe.  I feel that it has something good to contribute to the world beyond reading enjoyment.  According to what Amazon is telling me – you all do, too.  Mother By Fate is the fifth book in the series.  The sixth is out in June.  And this week, all six books – including June’s not yet released one – are on the Amazon Superromance bestseller list.  Not only on the list but on spots #1 & #2.  So, today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about each of the books.  You can click on any of them to purchase.

MotherByFatetn

Click To Purchase

Mother By Fate – I had a friend for many years who struggled emotionally. I took on her daughter as my own. I loved that little girl, took her into my home, my family. And when the friend moved on, when she determined that she no longer needed my help, I was left with an emptiness in my heart that I couldn’t do anything about.

That emptiness is the basis of Mother By Fate. I don’t have the answers. But I understand the pain. And believe that love really can heal whatever cuts we carry inside us.

Click To Purchase

Click To Purchase

Child By Chance – Child By Chance is the story of an ex-stripper. I took ballet class for five years.  I learned to respect the physicality of dance. The athleticism of dancers. I learned about dedication. And I learned about finding my center and ‘pulling up’. Talia, the heroine in Child By Chance, knows all of these things. But this isn’t a story about dance. It’s a story about life’s tough choices. About making mistakes. And making amends. It’s a story of heart, redemption, and the true meaning of love.  All kinds of love.

 

Click To Purchase

Click To Purchase

Husband By Choice -  One of the hardest things in the world to do is to give in to the intangible, often seemingly illogical ‘something’ inside of us – to trust it – and to follow it’s dictates.   Husband by Choice is the story of one such situation. And the woman who thought herself weak, but who is actually strong enough to listen to her heart – to act upon the instinct inside of her even though it drives her straight into danger. This story is fiction. I don’t recommend that any woman face violence on her own. I do, however, fully embrace every woman’s right to live by her heart. To fight for that right. And to know ultimate joy.

Click To Purchase

Click To Purchase

Once A Family – Families are tough. Maybe more than anyone else, we trust our family members to have our backs. To love us no matter what. And with that trust comes the capacity for great pain. If our trust is broken. If family members aren’t who we think they are. We misunderstand. And we understand, too. We know that family is heart. And heart is the one thing that we can’t ever completely walk away from.  So we run to the Lemonade Stand, Where Secrets are Safe, and pain can be healed. Come on in. Get comfortable. But be prepared to find family and be loved.

Click To Purchase

Click To Purchase

Wife By Design – Happiness comes through the choices we make in face of life’s challenges. Every woman deserves to be happy. We are special – the nurturers. Sometimes people take advantage of that which makes us most precious.  Sometimes we have to ask for help.  And sometimes there is pure joy at the end of the tunnel.   Meet resident Nurse Practitioner, Lynn Duncan and her precocious three year old, Kara. You’ll also be meeting Kara’s homosexual father.  There’s a a mentally slow child care worker, and the man who loves her. There’s struggle and challenge, fear and pain.  There is also pure joy.

Click To Purchase

Click To Purchase

The Good Father – Coming in June!!

Sometimes we create what we most need to have and that’s the case in the story of The Good Father. This is a very special book in the Where Secrets Are Safe series. It’s the story of a man who created his own safety net, he just didn’t know it.

If you’ve read any of the other books in this series, you’ve heard about the mysterious founder of The Lemonade Stand – a unique women’s shelter set on the coast of California. We hear of him, of his generosity and his decisions. We just never meet him. We have no idea who he is. Nor do any of the people who work at and are associated with the stand.

Brett Ackerman is a man with secrets. A man with an atrocious past who limits his future rather than risk any more atrocities in his life. He is also the founder of The Lemonade Stand. He created something he’d wished had existed when he was growing up a victim of domestic violence. Stepping outside the story, I created The Lemonade Stand, because I wished something like it had existed when I was a young newlywed unable to tell anyone what was going on behind closed doors.

I’m not Brett. But he and I have something in common. We both hid from our pasts, tucking things away, thinking we’d dealt with them, only to find that they’d been there all along, preventing ultimate happiness. I hope you’ll give Brett a chance. Follow along with him on his journey as he struggles to help a friend and finds himself in the process. I promise you warmth and happiness at the end.

I am deeply committed to all of my stories. And in this series, I feel as though I am a character, one of the peripheral, unnamed woman who also live at The Lemonade Stand. Because everyone is welcome here. All you have to do is want to find happiness and joy. And to understand that when life hands you lemons, you can make Lemonade.

Someone Has Your Back (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Paperbacks Plus Bookstore in Minnesota.  Click on the picture to visit!

Paperbacks Plus Bookstore in Minnesota. Click on the picture to visit!

Yesterday was not an easy day.  I’m on day nine of no less than eight hours a day and mostly no less than twelve hours a day of sitting at my computer, typing as fast as my fingers will fly.  It’s become almost comical (to me, I’m the only one here) and I laughed out loud once.  Taylor looked up at me.  For a while.  And then went back to sleep.  I love my chair, but…

You know how a person can lay in the bed for too long and get bed sores?  I’ve never personally been exposed to the occurrence, but I’ve heard of it.  Well, I think I have chair sores.  Not the open flesh kind.  A less obvious, less visible kind.  My shoulders were starting to hurt.  So this perfectly wonderful and quite expensive chair I own started to…get decorated.  First, a blanket on the back of it.  It’s Raggedy Ann and Andy.  My daughter bought it for me.  It says ‘Friends Forever’ on it with a big heart and the two books I’m working on this week are about three friends.  The blanket is kind of furry.  And kept the leather warm.

Next it was another part of me.  Including my hip.  I added a pillow to the bottom of the chair.  I was getting stiff with limited movement due to making sure Taylor didn’t fall out the open side arm of the chair.  I added a padded bath rug to the seat of the chair, tucking it in, and draped it over the arm of the chair.  Bonus added benefit to me, I now have a padded arm chair!  And she fits perfectly beside me with no harm of falling.

Then my shoulder and neck stiffened up to the point of not being able to turn my head.  So I added another pillow.  Two of them actually.  One behind my shoulders, and one beneath the shoulder one, to hold it up.  Another bonus benefit: my lower back is now supported!

My right forearm, my mouse arm, has been on the fritz for a while now.  It doesn’t hurt when I type.  At all.  But anytime I reach for something it argues with me.  Not kindly.  So I now have a heating pad in my lap, where I can rest my arm, and when my legs get too hot, I drape it across my arm as I type.  Only problem there is, it bonks Taylor in the head and she gives me dirty looks.

I can’t take a day off.  I turned in a book yesterday.  Have revisions due Friday on another book.  Chapters due for a third book on Monday.  And I can’t stop writing even if there were no due dates.  Writing is what I do.  In some facet, it’s what I am. But yesterday, in the midst of all this hard work, my Amazon sales ranking was down.  And that was my real problem.

I was a little less eager to take my aching arm to the computer this morning.  But I got up.  Took a breath.  Took Mom to work.  And presented myself at the computer.  I went to Facebook first as I do every morning.  Just to check in.  And the picture you see up there was waiting for me.  Out of the blue.  A woman whose store has been in business since 1988, had just connected with me on Facebook and posted the above picture to her wall.  Please click on the photo above and visit her.  Or like her on Facebook.  Not just because she supports me, but because she’s listening to the universe and her actions made a difference.  Yesterday was probably just another work day to her.  And her work day was a huge gift to me.  When I look at the big picture, it’s a great one!

Now a chance for a great gift for you.  The Heartwarming authors are giving away a huge Valentine gift.  My first Heartwarming book is one of the three mentioned above and not out until July, so I can’t offer you one, but there are a ton of great books in the giveaway.  To enter, just click on the book cover.  It’s part of the prize!A Child's Christmas

 

 

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.

Filling up the Soul (Tara Taylor Quinn)

My ViewAny of you who have been following me know how much I love my mountains.  This past week I was running on an empty well.  I went out to the desert, to the mountains that sustain me, and once again they filled me with a spiritual strength I cannot explain.  I can feel it though.  The torrents that rage within me calm, like an angry monster lying down to sleep.   Today, because I’m still drawing on that strength, breathing it and sitting still within it while it works within me, all I have to give you is…it.  I took the above picture from atop a horse in the Goldfield Mountains.  The mountains in the distance are part of the great Superstition Mountains.  I’ve climbed that mountain you see in the distance.  Hard to believe, looking at the picture, that I could have done such a thing.  But the memory lingers within me, reminding me that I am strong.  That I am protected.

ttq on HorsebackI spent three hours on Saturday riding up and then down a mountain.  Three glorious hours of breathing.  Of giving away that which does me no good, and renewing acquaintance with that which matters most.  I remembered my best friend.  Felt as though she was on the back of that horse with me.  Or on my shoulder as I rode.  My horse stumbled.  We were on the edge of a rocky drop-off.  No one knew or cared that my horse struggled, but I wasn’t afraid.  I was protected.  My friend and I used to ride together.  We went to horse camp together.  One time when we were riding her horse out on open road the cinch strap broke.  The saddle came loose.  But we made it home safely.

My View 2I’ve made mistakes in my life.  I have regrets.  I’ve trusted where I shouldn’t have.  I’ve given my love where I’ve not been loved in return.  But when I’m out on these mountains, all I feel is the value of every single experience I’ve ever had.  The hurt fades away and I see how every painful experience has enriched me.  I see that I have all of the abundance I need.

20150123_154255I climbed a mountain, too, this past week.  In preparation for the mammoth mountain of work that lies before me over the next couple of weeks.  The above picture is my view from the top.  The city of Phoenix lies out there to the left.  You can see hints of the millions of homes and people who are protected by these mountains in the little white dots.  I am insignificant up here.  A speck among all of the great people who live and have lived.  Relatively meaningless.  And yet…I am.  Up here I don’t need anyone else to care about me.  Up here I am just as I was meant to be.  I am good.  I am whole.  I see that I am meant to be.  That I am doing well.  That I am known.  Completely.  And I am loved – not by a specific person, but by the collective group of spirits and souls that join us all.  I am a necessary part of it all.  A thread in the fabric of life.

Tara and Tim at WindcaveAnd I have proof that I was here.  A memory captured in digital form.  Me with all of my layers of shirts and jackets wrapped around my hips because I’d climbed a huge precipice and was heated by the physical effort in spite of the cool, Arizona winter breeze.  Because life is not always just one thing.  Hot or cold.  It isn’t always clear.  And isn’t always what it seems.  Still, I’m standing.  On the ledge of life.  At the top of my world.  With the hope of possibility.

And I breathe.

Let It Happen (Tara Taylor Quinn)

My moniker this year is “Make It Happen.”  Each year Tim and I start the year looking at our goals.  Determining what we want out of the year.  And choosing one phrase which we repeat to each other and keep as our moniker for the year.  Every year, we have reached our goal.  The goals are realistic. If not in our grasp, then at least within our near reach.  They are things that require things of us – not of others.

This year is the year to make it happen.  Make it.  That applies to anything we can do.  Because we cannot change others.  Or force others to do what we want.  We can only do what is within our own personal powers to do.  We have a list of specific things that we intend to make happen.  But the moniker applies to everything we do.  When I stop and look at what I want, I see so much that is not within my personal power to make happen.

The first instinct is to try to figure out a way to make it happen anyway.  To force it to happen somehow.  But I know that not only is that not right, but it’s out of my reach.  And even if I got ‘lucky’ and made it happen somehow, ‘it’ would not be what I want and need.  Because I need it to happen in the right way.  In a way that is abundant – not fleeting.  A way that is lasting.

And so…as I look at the year ahead, look at how I might best succeed in ‘making it happen’ I’ve come down to this:

I will let it happen.  Important words but they have depth, too.  Letting it happen means that I will get up everyday and do all I can do.  Each and every day.  I will not give up.  I will not lose hope.  I will not concede defeat.  I will do all I can do.  I will be determined and strong and fight for the things that need me to fight for them.  I will be diligent and accountable.  I will do what I say I will do.  And then I will let go of the need to control everything else around me, to try to force it to fit the molds I see in front of me, to ‘make’ the things out of my control happen.  I can love, but I cannot force others to love me back.  I will continue to do all I can do, and let the rest…happen.  As it will.  As it needs to.

We all have wants and needs.  We can all go around trying to force everything around us to fit our wants and needs.  And we might succeed in some ways.  For a time.  But if we want true abundance, true joy, we need things to be as they were meant to be.  We need to allow the wants and needs around us – apart from us, outside of us – to be as they need to be.  That doesn’t mean accept injustice because someone is corrupt and wants to hurt others.  Or allowing bad things to take place because someone wants to be bad.  It applies when life is being lived sincerely.  To those who are trying to follow conscience and heart.

So, this is my year.  I will make it happen.  And I will let it happen.  I am buckled up and ready for the ride.  I pray it’s a good one.

Harlequin Heartwarming Arrives at WalMart! Giveaway! (Tara Taylor Quinn)

On tour with Prism Book Tours.

We’re thrilled to be spreading the word about Harlequin Heartwarming books now being available in local US Walmarts. Join in the fun by taking some selfies with a Heartwarming book or two to win a Walmart gift card. Heartwarming titles are also 35% off at Walmart through the end of January!

Ten Heartwarming authors are sharing their own selfies and messages at each stop of the tour! Stop by each day to check them out…

January 3rd: Launch – Special Message from Tara Taylor Quinn
January 4th: I Am A Reader - Amy Vastine
January 5th: Mel’s Shelves - Anna J. Stewart
January 6th: deal sharing aunt - Cari Lynn Webb
January 7th: Reading Is My SuperPower - Carol Ross
January 8th: Katie’s Clean Book Collection - Catherine Lanigan
January 10th: Babs Book Bistro - Leigh Riker
January 11th: Love, Laughter, Friendship - Melinda Curtis
January 12th: Heidi Reads… - Pamela Tracy
January 13th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts - Rula Sinara
January 14th: Bookworm Lisa - Tara Taylor Quinn
January 15th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

15 – $10 Walmart Gift Cards
- Rules: To enter, take a selfie at a local Walmart with a Heartwarming book and post publicly on social media (can be your hands, your face, etc. with a Heartwarming book). Can enter once each day with a different picture each time. Those who post the same picture multiple times will be disqualified. Those who only post privately (so that it can’t be viewed publicly) will also be disqualified.
- US Only
- Ends January 20th

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