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I demand a recount. Surely, we didn’t go through 365 days that fast?!

But I guess I did travel a lot in 2023: the Desert Southwest, Oregon, Idaho, and Glacier National Park in Montana, Flaming Gorge, Utah, and Destin, Florida. Not to mention the short trips. That does take time.

And I did have a busy year as an author: three Sweet2Heat collaborative box sets and one biggie—With Love Montana— with Tule.

Then there’s the broken elbow fiasco, which continues to be a huge time suck. I told myself NO MORE SCAFFOLDING. Unfortunately, two days before my accident we ordered 29 new windows for our 2-story house. GAH! Poor Paul is going to have his hands full.

And to make matters WORSE, I came down with COVID the day before my appointment with the orthopedist. Double-GAH!!

Maybe being house-bound and relegated to my desk will provide the time I need to finally flesh out the first book in the cozy mystery series I’ve been working on. Or complete the 5-book box set that went to the backburner when WITH LOVE MONTANA got the green light.

And, of course, we have some new trips penciled in, which at the moment remain on the Bucket List. Sigh. But I truly wish you a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration and year filled with good health and great books!!!

I realize this recipe might be a repeat for you, but it’s so easy and delicious, I thought you might be interested in trying it for New Year’s Eve.



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups fish stock or fish stock cubes
  • 1 pound potatoes, cubed (2 to 3 cups)
  • 1 carrot, sliced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 pound salmon, cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped dill, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes, until wilted.
  2. Add the stock, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened and fork-tender, depending on the size of the vegetables.
  3. Add the salmon and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the soup among bowls. Top with the dill.

Frank’s tips: “I used heavy cream and thinned it to taste with milk. And I used clam juice and a can of minced clams because I had too much going on to make fish stock. I already have 2 requests to make it again so I am pretty proud of my work. The Netflix series “Somebody Feed Phil” had an episode shot in Finland and that is where I first became acquainted with this dish.”

I’m so happy to share this fun and sexy new box set from my very talented friend and USA Today Bestselling author Nicole Flockton:

Lovers Unmasked Boxed Set

This three-book set takes place in the bustling halls of a busy hospital. Sophie, Dawn and Phoebe aren’t looking for love, in fact Sophie and Dawn are steering clear of love all together. Alex, Andrew and Marco have different ideas about that and will fight to prove that when the masks are ripped away, true love will always shine through.

Always Look Beyond the Mask

Three friends must drop their masks and open themselves to love.

Book 1 - Masquerade

New Year, new promotion, what more could Sophie Franklyn ask for? Her one night stand not turning up at work would be top of her list. Unfortunately, luck isn’t on her side and in the middle of a medical emergency, Alex Scavoni shows up like an avenging angel. Life just got a little more interesting. Or was it more complicated?

Waking up to an empty bed after the best night of his life could’ve been a blow to Alex’s ego. But it wasn’t. He knew he’d see his masked woman again. He had the element of surprise on his side.

When they find out their night together has consequences neither of them expected, they must decide if it’s going to remain as a one and done deal. Or will it become forever?

Book 2 - Rescuing Dawn

Life is easier when you’re alone—that’s the motto Dawn Granger lives by after everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Working the nightshift is her salvation. She can’t date anyone if she works every night. She’s found the perfect way to keep her heart safe. That is, until her former high school sweetheart bursts back into her life, shaking the very walls she’s erected around herself.

Andrew Holmes has sailed the world. Older and wiser he knows now that adventure is fine. Almost dying? Not so much. With his eye on making the most out of his second chance, his new career as a paramedic is everything he wants. Then he sees her—the one that got away. He made one stupid, youthful mistake and has regretted it every day since. But Dawn doesn’t smile the way she used to. He sets about rescuing Dawn from her darkness and bringing her back into the light.

As much as she tries to resist Andrew, he awakens her sleeping soul. He’s always been a thrill seeker and she sees that drive still lurking below the surface. Can she risk her heart to embrace this new beginning, or is it safer staying in her tower?

Book 3 - Seducing Phoebe

Planning her wedding should be Phoebe Fitzgerald’s happiest time of her life. When her former lover turns up declaring his everlasting adoration…doubts crowd in. Is she making a mistake? Is she in love with her fiancé, Marco Petronelli, or just succumbing to an overwhelming bout of lust? Wanting space she escapes to a beachside house to unravel her mixed emotions.

From the first moment Marco encountered Phoebe he wanted her, only she wasn’t available. He bided his time and when he could, he swooped in and swept her off her feet. When she declares the wedding is off, he refuses to let her ruin what they have.
Marco follows Phoebe to her beachside destination. He will do anything to convince her that what they have can’t be denied. Seducing her until she can’t think straight is the easy part. Opening up and trusting his soul to her…so much harder.


And here’s a deal you won’t want to pass up:

The Cinderella Ball – Four great books in one amazing bundle.

Married by Midnight! Come to the Cinderella Ball single . . . leave happily wed.

The Cinderella Ball is the chance of a lifetime for individuals to come together to find their special someone. Their one and only. Their soul mate. Obtaining a ticket isn’t easy, but for those select few, it offers the chance at a lifetime of happiness.


I hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but SMALL TOWNS BIG HEARTS is not long for this world. Sadly, it will disappear from the marketplace on January 15.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who got a shiny new E-reader for Christmas, here’s your chance to Stock Your Kindle with eight awesome small-town romances.


I look forward to seeing you in 2024—hopefully with better news about my health and a lot more great books to share.

With joy and gratitude,


Next up:

1/12: new year, new books, new box sets…



Copyright © 2023 Debra Salonen