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Thanks for all your kind 47th Anniversary wishes. They worked. We had a wonderful time in California’s North Coast and Wine Country.

We spent two nights at a darling AirB&B in Ft. Bragg. The peaceful garden was a welcome sight after the long and winding road it took to get there. The quiet on our deck was only broken by the occasional hummingbird war.

The next day we made the most of the break in the rain—yes!!! RAIN!!—and took a ride on the World Famous Skunk Train. It was a perfect way to learn more about the history of this area. Here’s a link if you’re curious about how it got its name: SKUNKTRAIN. It was fun to play tourist, and the train let us explore without actually hiking—not something Paul is up to yet.

The Fort Bragg Redwood Lumber Co. set up business in 1884. The mill—under a series of owners—provided a robust economy for the town until closing in 2002. The harvesting of old growth trees probably accounts for the incredibly dense and gorgeous “second growth” forests we drove through on our way here.

One of my bucket-list stops has long been: Glass Beach. I’d heard about this magical place for years, and as you know collecting little bits of sea glass is something I love. But the beach was NOTHING like I expected. Sigh.

The entire Mendocino coastline is wild, rugged, windy, and a little dangerous. I did stumble across a small cove where you could walk without getting swept out to sea, and I picked up a few treasures, but much of the glass was in that early stage of weathering. Interesting, but a little disappointing after all the hype.

The next day we drove south on Highway 1 through nearly blinding rain. We loved every second of it. Since the whole region is suffering from a bad drought, we hope this storm brought some joy—especially to the charming little town of Mendocino.

Our drive through Wine Country provided the sort of “Autumn Splendor” only the Napa Valley can give—miles and miles of golden leaves on miles and miles of vineyards. It’s the sort of beauty you can’t capture on a cellphone while driving, but if you’re ever planning a trip to this part of the country, I highly recommend coming in October. Not only are the vineyards gorgeous, but there are far fewer tourists!

We stayed in Calistoga—renowned for its healing waters and mud baths. Paul didn’t feel up to either but we did explore the area, including one of the wineries that was lost in a wildfire. All that remains are the landscaped grounds and a giant wild boar.


Aspects of this crazy business are always changing, which forces changes on the user’s end. I’ll spare you the details, but I just found out the tracking method that allowed my wonderful VA to “re-send” my newsletter on Saturdays to followers who missed my Thursday mailing is no longer functional. This is disappointing since the second sending accounts for a lot of newsletter “opens” (the way we know whether or not I’m reaching people or wasting my time and mailer fees.)

So, because I don’t want you inundated with repeat mailings, I’ve decided to cut back on my newsletters. I’ll still include my travels and usual family “overshare,” along with book news, bargains, and writing stuff, but I’ll only send these twice a month, instead of weekly. In November, these will go on Wednesdays, instead of Thursdays, because of Thanksgiving.

And as much as I have LOVED reading every response to my weekly Q&As, and I consider so many of you real friends, not merely readers, the exchange has definitely cut into my writing time and productivity. Just look what’s currently piled up on my desk:

  1. My poor neglected Whiskey Ridge series. Book 2 is complete but languishing in production. I plan to start working on new cover choices for you to vote on next month. (And, yes, there will be $$ winners drawn from all who vote.) My ultimate goal is the rapid release of the entire series—Books 1-4—in early 2022. Gulp.
  2. I just signed up for a scriptwriting class—apparently romcons are hot and I happen to have a half-written manuscript sitting on a back burner. I can’t wait to tell you more if anything comes of this.
  3. Paul will be getting Knee Replacement #2 in early December. Nurse Deb will be back on the job.😉 We all know what a time-suck that is. (But so worth it.)

I have a feeling that while you enjoy my “just life” stuff, you might be hungry for more of what brought us together in the first place: books. So, that’s where I’m going with this.


Last chance to grab any title in my BLACK HILLS RENDEZVOUS series for 30% off in my Deb Salonen Bookstore (including the boxed sets).

Click: HERE! Enter code: BlackHills30

You voted for these covers, but have you read the books? Reviews are SOOO important to future promotions and newsletter swap opportunities. I’d so appreciate your kind review.


Tule Publishing has FIVE book-to-TV movies on the small screen this holiday season. Do yourself a favor and check out these heartwarming holiday stories with their oh-so-yummy happily-ever-afters.

As always…happy reading, my friends.


Upcoming in November:

Wednesday – 11/10: Someone has a birthday. (It’s a big one.) + Christmas Bargain Book #1 + Cover Vote Whiskey Ridge Books #1 and #2

Wednesday – 11/24: an early Morro Bay Thanksgiving + Christmas Bargain Book #2, + Title Vote Whiskey Ridge Book #3



Copyright © 2021 Debra Salonen