FINALLY FRIDAY: an unexpected perk of getting older

Triggered by the 30-year anniversary of the release of Die Hard, my hubby and I have started “re-visiting” some older movies, which thanks to the little touted perk of age–poor memory–seem like new releases to us. 😉

First up: Quigley Down Under – starring Tom Selleck and his moustache.

We truly enjoyed this movie for several reasons.

First, Tom Selleck’s hero never wavered. He carried the female lead (Laura San Giacomo) across a freakin’ desert and — be still my heart–when he left her to go finish off the bad guys, he did what every great hero does…he looked back. I cheered. My hubby rolled his eyes.

Second, to our complete surprise (“Is that… No, it can’t be…OMG, it is…) Alan Rickman played the bad guy. So well. With such smug, self-satisfied egocentricity, he could have been a politician. I miss him. 🙁

Third, we were reminded of the sad facts surrounding the treatment of native residents at that time. I’d never heard the term “pacification by force.” Some scenes were truly heartbreaking.

Do you have an older movie favorite we might enjoy? I’m making a list to get us through the cold winter nights. 😉

Cheers, Deb

P.S. – one of my Tule books is currently free and it has a pretty cool hero, too. FYI.

FIRST KISS TUESDAY- MERRY CHRISTMAS! 50% off Caleb’s Christmas Wish

Today is December 25th. Since it’s also a Tuesday, here’s a blog from a sweet, heartbreaking love story about going the extra mile for someone you love–and finding your destiny in the process. If you haven’t downloaded this book, I’d like to offer it to you through my online bookstore for 50% off the retail price using this code: SK2U5DPZPY


West Coast Happily-Ever-After,  Book III

How far would you go for the sake of a child?

Black Friday. Black ice. Lives changed in a blink.

The lines in Miami financier Jake Westin’s world are crisp and easy to delineate: black and red, profit and loss. On paper. Until the day after Thanksgiving when Allison Jeffries—a woman he’s heard about for four and a half years but never met—calls to tell him the world they’ve shared from opposite sides of the country will never be the same. Pam and Kenny Rydell—Jake’s best friend and only link to the “bad ol’ days” of his youth—died in a car accident on the way to a Sierra ski resort, leaving their son, Caleb, with his grandmother, who upon hearing the news of her only daughter’s death went into cardiac arrest. In an instant, Caleb’s godparents—two grieving strangers who never imagined the worst-case scenario becoming a reality—must decide how to best care for the little boy they both love.

Jake is determined to do the right thing for Caleb—even if that means facing demons from his own loss-filled childhood and dealing with the woman Kenny called “a sweetheart but wound too tight for her own good.” Allison suffers no illusion that she’d make a good mother. After all, hasn’t she let her computer business fill the gap left by a failed marriage and aborted pregnancy? But she’ll do anything in her power to give her godson the life Pam intended for her son—even if that means sharing a house with the charismatic stranger Pam teasingly called “Jake the Rake–a broken heart waiting to happen.”


FIRST KISS Excerpt © Debra Salonen:


“I’m home. And I have pizza.”

Allison’s cheerful greeting made Jake want to crawl under the table. She’d been working in Fresno all day while he and Caleb had delivered canned goods, done a little Christmas shopping and taken a nap. Now, instead of giving his partner some much-needed down time, he was leaving her alone to care for a rowdy little rascal who refused to bathe.

“Ummm, pizza,” Caleb cheered, racing past Jake to meet her at the back door. “I want pizza. I want pizza.”

Jake hurried after him. Even though he felt guilty about leaving, Jake rationalized that this outing wasn’t entirely his fault. He’d been coerced by Richard, who wanted to introduce Jake to the volunteer firemen. The group planned to honor Kenny at a memorial next month and needed Jake’s input.

“Let me help,” Jake said, hurrying to relieve Allison of a plastic bag obviously filled with a six-pack of cans.

“Thanks,” she said. “The handle was cutting off circulation to my fingers.” She shook her hand then walked to the kitchen counter where she placed a large cardboard box and a paper sack.

“So how did we do today?” she asked, stealing a piece of pepperoni off the pie. “Cans galore?”

“We topped last year’s total by how much, Caleb?”

“Six million,” the little boy said, taking the paper plates and napkins out of the sack.

“Six hundred,” Jake corrected, trying not to laugh.

“Wow,” Allison exclaimed. She hung up her coat and washed her hands. “That’s impressive. How ’bout money-wise?”

“Eight trillion dollars,” Caleb said his eyes aglitter.

Jake loved to see his godson joke. This was the child he remembered from summer. Jake extended his arms in an impression of Frankenstein and ambled toward the little boy. “How much?” he roared.

“Eight thousand,” Caleb squealed, dodging left when Jake lurched right. Napkins flew into the air. Allison tried to catch them and wound up tripping over Jake’s foot. His only recourse to prevent her from falling was to snatch her into his outstretched arms, which curled backwards without conscious thought.

“Oh,” Allison said, with a small exhale. Her face was close to Jake’s. Her breath carried the tangy scent of pepperoni.

“Eiou,” Caleb cried, ducking behind the paper plates he still held. “Kissing. Just like Mommy and Daddy.”

Allison righted herself almost immediately and stepped back. “Sorry.”

“No apology needed. It was my fault.”

Caleb yanked on Jake’s pocket. “You didn’t kiss her.”

“Well, no…I…um.” Jake felt his face heat up. He was rarely speechless, but this was definitely one of those times.

“Shall we eat?” Allison asked, her voice wobbly. “I’m starved.”

Caleb tugged again and motioned Jake to bend down for a private chat. In a loud whisper, the child said, “You have to kiss her. Girls like kisses. We can’t lose another mom, Jake.”

Jake’s breath left him. He put his hand to his face and squeezed the bridge of his nose to keep his tears at bay.

Suddenly, he sensed Allison’s presence. She picked up Caleb and put her free arm around Jake’s back to pull him into a hug. “Everybody likes kisses,” she said softly. She pressed her lips to his cheek, and then did the same to Caleb.

The child hugged her fiercely then wiggled free. “Can I have chocolate milk with my pizza?”

Allison smiled. “Sure. There’s a carton in the door of the fridge.”

Her arm was still touching him. Her warmth enveloped him. Her scent made his mouth water. Girls weren’t the only ones who liked kisses. He lowered his head and touched his lips to hers. She gave a startled peep but didn’t move away. He kissed her again, his tongue teasing her lips that parted hesitantly.

The whooshing sound of the refrigerator door closing made her jump back. Her expression was unreadable, but her blush told him she was embarrassed and regretted the kiss. Jake wished he did, but in all honesty, he wanted more.


I’m happy to offer this sweet story to you for the bargain price of 50% off at my online bookstore: Deb’s Bookstore. Click on the link and be sure to use the 50% off coupon code: SK2U5DPZPY

Caleb’s Christmas Wish is also available from these fine vendors!

Amazon / Nook / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play


Merry, merry Christmas! Thanks for reading! Your positive reviews are greatly appreciated!!



Finally Friday: seeing red…or pink!

 I promised some dear readers that I would have print copies of PRINCE CHARMING UNDERCOVER ready to give and send by Dec.1. And, low and behold a green Grinch box arrived from Amazon on my doorstep on 12/1.


Wait. Not so fast. What happened to my beautiful cover? My hero and heroine look as though they’ve been hanging out in the Vegas desert for much too long. I immediately pulled out my over-price Proof Copy, which I’d used as the basis for my order. Side-by-side, there’s a bit of a difference, eh?

I spent an hour trying contact Amazon’s KDP division to express my dismay about this difference, but every time I tried to add this image, it would kick me out. I quit after the fourth try. (A part of me wonders if they make the complaint process ridiculously challenging just so people will give up. Sigh.)

I am still going to give away these books as prizes this month at various blogs. I will pray that this was a one-off and not the norm. Maybe I can blame it on the Grinch.

Any customer service foibles you’d care to share to make me feel better?


PS: Remembering Pearl Harbor today — and my grandniece’s birthday! Happy day, Leah!