Guest Authors,  Tule Publishing

Author Spotlight: Debra Salonen Has Books and a Giveaway!

We have a winner! Congratulations to Glenda Martillotti! You are Deb’s giveaway winner! Deb will be in touch with you! Thanks to everyone who stopped by–we love talking to and getting to know our readers!

I love turning the blog over to my favorite authors and today, it belongs to my buddy and fellow Tule author, Debra Salonen!

Former award-winning newspaper journalist Debra Salonen is a nationally bestselling author with 26 published novels for Harlequin’s Superromance and American lines and one single title release for Harlequin Signature. Several of her titles were nominated for “Best Superromance,” including UNTIL HE MET RACHEL, which took home that honor in 2010. Debra was named Romantic Times Reviewer’s Career Achievement “Series Storyteller of the Year” in 2006. Debra lives in the foothills near Yosemite National Park in California with her husband and two dogs. Luckily, her two children and three grandchildren live close by to keep Debra connected to the real world.

A Backlist Book Is New to Someone Who Hasn’t Read It

Hello, friends-who-read, and thanks to our lovely hostess, Nan, for the invitation.

In case you’re asking yourself Debra Who??, I haven’t had a new Tule release in two years because I’ve been involved with a group of writer pals working to introduce our backlist books to new readers.

One friend had really good results by combining multiple authors’ individual titles that shared a common trope. (I don’t know when this word became so popular, but most readers seem to know it means a common and recognizable plot element, such as cowboys, small towns, marriage of convenience, secret baby, etc.)

Because our books are full-length romance novels, size matters. 😉 She found the best way to deliver a box set of this size was through Kindle Direct Publishing. I was skeptical, but, to my happy surprise, the experiment worked. New, avid readers found and read my books…and went looking for more. (Even titles that weren’t in the group box sets.)

So, when Tule Publishing invited its authors to a Writer’s Retreat in San Juan Capistrano this past summer, I hopped a southbound Amtrak train (I live near Yosemite National Park in the middle of the state) with the idea of offering my Big Sky Mavericks connected series and three spin-off stories using this format.

And my nine-book box set WITH LOVE, MONTANA – Big Sky Mavericks and Friends went live last week!

The title fits because I loved Montana even before Jane Porter invited me to write a story for Tule’s Montana Born line ten years ago. My first visit was a quick side-trip during a college stay in Yellowstone. My next…many years later when my husband and I were asked to help ferry our two youngest granddaughters home from a month-long visit with their paternal aunt, uncle, and cousins in western Montana.

Naturally, our trip included a stop in Livingston–the town Jane loosely used as a prototype for Marietta—the town we all know and love.



Since we had the girls, we didn’t do as much exploring as I would have liked, and we couldn’t find the Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop anywhere, so we settled for ice cream instead. 😉


This past summer we made another Montana trip – this time to Glacier National Park – before picking up the girls. What a glorious feast for the eyes!

We were fortunate to book a boat ride on Lake McDonald. And, I really can’t explain how thrilled I was to use an image of this gorgeous lake as the background of my new cover. Here’s a video I tried to shoot from the boat. The wind carried my narration away much of the time, but…


This box set will be a limited-time experiment, so even if you’ve read a book or two in this series, here’s your chance to fill in the gaps and hang out for an extended visit to Montana.


Did I mention the #newrelease price of the box set is only 99¢? (And those of you who belong to Kindle Unlimited can add it to your library for free). Here’s a link to check it out


I have two questions for you and will happily award one responder a $10 Amazon gift card in a random drawing.

1. Do you enjoy reading box sets?

2. If you’ve ever visited Montana, where would you recommend we go next?

Happy reading.

Until next time…Deb


  • Debra Salonen

    Thanks to everyone for answering my questions and sharing your thoughts on box sets and travel destinations. When I told my husband we had some new future destinations, he groaned. 😉

    I will check back in on Saturday to see I missed anyone, then Nan will be drawing a winner on Sunday. Good luck and happy reading!

    • Debra Salonen

      Interesting, Sue. Do you prefer stand alone stories? Once I get involved with a family, I find it nearly impossible not to tell every member of the family’s story. LOL.

  • Kimberly Field

    Montana is on my some day list. I do enjoy a box set. I’ve read most of these in this boxset, but I got anyway.

    • Debra Salonen

      Thanks for grabbing it, Kim. Your kind support is always appreciated.

      I honestly thought I “knew” Montana after all my research for the books, but seeing it in person was so different. There’s something about the scope of the landscape that changes, mile after mile. One thing that really surprised me on our last trip was the number of small, jewel-tone lakes that we could see from the road. I’d love to go spend a solid week at one.

      • Kimberly Field

        You are welcome! I bet it is stunning in person. I remember the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains and Pikes Peak, it took my breath away with how large and majestic the mountains were!

  • Sue Farmer

    I love box sets, if it is all by one author or a multi author series then I know I don’t have to wait for the next book. The continuity is wonderful. If it an assortment of books, it is fun because it often new authors to me and also usually a great purchase price.

    I visited Montana one time on business in 1984. I did a health insurance audit for the employees of the cities and towns in Montana. I stayed in Helena. It was a beautiful place. I took a few drives and toured the capital when I finished early. I would love to return one day and stop in Livingston as I enjoy Marietta so much.

    • Debra Salonen

      Sue, that’s how I feel about box sets, too. I love the ease of flow from one book to the next. I’ve read all the multi-author box sets that I’ve been in. And, honestly, I found new authors that I just never had time to read until now.

      I think Livingston has great potential as a destination–even if I won’t be able to buy Sage’s chocolates or visit Paul at Big Z’s Hardward. Sigh.

  • Judith Flynn

    I havent read a box set before but I would love too❤️❤️As for where to visit after montana , hubby would love to visit that area : hmmm how about wyoming ?? I heard its a great place and beautiful for a new story❤️

    • Debra Salonen

      Judith, parts of Wyoming are really great, too. You just need to get off the InterState Highway. I have fond memories of Sheridan, Cody, and Jackson Hole. And we loved Devil’s Tower.

      That’s so interesting that you’ve never read a box set before. But, when I think about it, I’m not sure ever did, either, before I started marketing them. I didn’t think I’d have time to read them all. Then, I realized I don’t have to read them all in one night. LOL.

    • Debra Salonen

      I hope you’re able to visit the state some day. I can’t wait to go back.

      Thanks for sharing your thumbs-up for box sets. Good to know.

    • Debra Salonen

      Add it to your bucket list. Montana is so worthy.

      Very happy to know you’re a fan of box sets.

      Thanks for chiming in.

  • Debra Pruss

    Yes, I enjoy box sets. I have never had the opportunity to go to Montana except in books. Thank you for the opportunity. God bless you.

  • Glenda M

    Hi Debra! I love boxed sets! They’re a wonderful way to meet new to me authors and enjoy work by authors I know and love.

    As far a visiting Montana a visit to Yellowstone is a good choice especially if you can do it in spring or fall when it isn’t quite as busy. If you’re near Bozeman, there is an amazing pizza place on historic main street!

  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    I love reading series and seeing recurring characters. I’ve never been to Montana, but it’s on my list of places to visit when I retire! (I’ve never been to Yosemite either — another bucket list one!)

    • Debra Salonen

      Roseann, that’s what I love most about connected series. And to find them all in one book…even better.

      Yosemite is equally mesmerizing and worthy–just in a more compact way. I hope you’re able to do both parks some day.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Amber GONZALEZ

    I love reading series! Never been to Montana. Highly recommend going to Iceland! It is more beautiful than anywhere I’ve been.

    • Debra Salonen

      Yay! Glad to know you like Box Sets!

      And, I agree that parts of Wyoming are awesome. We visited Devil’s Tower a few years ago. Amazing. And Jackson Hole was my mom’s favorite place on earth. Pretty sure she wouldn’t recognize it any more. Sigh.


  • Patty Fontenot Duplechin

    I love boxsets. Never been to Montana but would love to see snow and mountains. Maybe a cabin for the Christmas holidays. We never had a White Christmas in southwest Louisiana. I would love to just once

    • Debra Salonen

      That’s a great idea, Patty. We grew up in South Dakota. I don’t remember NOT having a white Christmas. I thought I’d miss that when I moved to California, but not really. LOL.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Robin Negus

    1. I really like boxed sets since it makes it easier to get all the books at once.
    2. I’ve never been to Montana, but would love to go there
    I have read so many books set there and it sounds amazing.

    • Debra Salonen

      I agree, Robin. Handy-dandy. And if you don’t love one book…move on to the next. 😉

      Montana is definitely worth a visit.

  • Laurie Gommermann

    Love boxed sets!
    I’ve been to Montana three times. We drove through in 1977. We were visiting national parks on our honeymoon. We left Yellowstone . We stayed overnight in Missoula to celebrate my husband’s 25th birthday. We met up with his sister and her husband at a local restaurant. We left for Olympic NP the next day. 5 years later we drove to visit Banff and Jasper NP in Canada. On the way home we stayed at Glacier NP. When we left we stopped in Hardin and had the best fried chicken at a small family run bar/ restaurant.
    Finally, in 2019 we went visit our sons in Logan, Utah and Portland, Oregon. On the way home we stayed in Whitefish, Mt a cute town! The next day we visited Glacier NP. We had to enter via both entrances as the road was being repaired in the middle of the park.
    A very beautiful area to visit.

    • Debra Salonen

      Thanks for sharing, Laurie. Banff and Jasper NP are on my bucket list.

      We dealt with some read repairs in Glacier, too, but since it was the weekend before July 4th, everyone had the time off. We had to follow a water truck once, but that was a pleasure compared to the huge clouds of dust from the new gravel.

      Happy reading and happy future travels.

  • Joannie Sico

    Yes I love to read box sets. Sadly I can’t help you with what to see in Montana because I’ve never left the east coast.

    • Debra Salonen

      Joannie, the east coast has plenty to see as well. We’ve visited a few states, which is one thing you can do in a single day, but that’s not the case in Montana. LOL.

      Thanks for reading. I’m glad to know you enjoy box sets.

  • Doris H Lankford

    I have never been to Montana but I have seen pictures of the beautiful state. I would love to go and visit someday. I do enjoy reading box sets but I read mostly paperback books.

    • Debra Salonen

      HI, Doris. I’m always disappointed that my photos don’t do the incredible vistas justice, but I try.

      I hear you on print books. I have friends who try to loan me print books, but I always take down the title then buy it as an e-book because my eyes are getting very tired and I only read for pleasure at night. Sadly, the sort of proper reading light I’d need to see the words, would make my hubby miss hours of sleep :-), so I make the print-size larger on my screen and we’re both happy. And you can buy the Big Sky Mavericks in print, but not for 99¢. Sigh.

      Thanks for your reply!

    • Kate Sparks

      Part 2: Yellowstone National Park anytime during the year is great to experience as long as you respect the wildlife and landscape.

      • Debra Salonen

        Kate, I am always shocked by the idiots who think the rules don’t apply to them. Pet a buffalo? Such a bad idea. We live near Yosemite and do you know what bugs the heck out of me? Cigarette butts. Every parking lot, every trail. It’s just so wrong.

        My only recent experience with Yellowstone makes me want to urge RV travelers to schedule your trip either before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. Parking is an extreme sport–and nearly impossible with a big rig.

    • Debra Salonen

      Thanks so much, Janine. I love being able to share pics from our travels. Next trip: Destin, Florida, for a gathering of brothers (my hubby and his sibs).

  • Liz Flaherty

    I love box sets, although I hardly ever manage to read all the stories in them! What a gorgeous cover shot.