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Where in the world are Deb & Paul?
Answer: Oregon. (Photos to follow.)

Since our anniversary fell on Monday this year, we opted to use the weekend before to spruce up the RV and plan a route to visit old friends in our neighboring state. I promise to share pics next week, but since we’ve been homebound for so long, I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of Anniversary Travels PAST.

2019: Guerneville, Armstrong Redwoods, Bodega Bay. Fort Ross

2018: Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, San Clemente, Mono Lake

2017: Martinez Regional Shoreline, Concord (Daisy’s gymnastics),
home (look, Ma, the wedding dress you made me still fits!)

So…in case you’re curious, this year is #46 for us. Living the happily-every-after, like every good romance novel. 😉

Remodeling update: Doors hung, trim installed, cabinets delivered (lowers), painting continues, siding begun…

The fun never ends…or so it seems when you’re on the job site every day. JP completed one side of the house using fire-resistant HardiePlank (concrete/fiber based) lap siding, but the remainder of the 2,000 lb. delivery was the wrong stuff—smooth, not textured. Lowe’s agreed to replace…next week. Waiting is so frustrating.

Like most things in life…remodeling is a work-in-progress.

THE MATCHMAKER'S SECRET, the 4th snippet
from our CUPID TO THE RESCUE anthology,
belongs to my old friend, Kay Lyons.

Kay and I both wrote for Harlequin Superromance at one time, and I remember being dazzled by her gorgeous eyes and friendly smile. She’s a sweetheart and I’m so happy she’s part of this great group.

Kay Lyons published in 2005 with Harlequin Enterprises and her first romance hit #7 on the bestseller list. Kay has also been a HOLT Medallion, Book Buyers Best and RITA Award nominee while writing for Harlequin, Berkley Publishing, and Kindred Spirits Publishing. Kay lives in Wilmington, NC, with her very needy labradoodle named Harley. Find out more at



Professional matchmaker Marsali Jones didn’t mean to share her secret crush on national television, especially when it’s her brother’s best friend and Hollywood A-lister Oliver Beck. But the damage is done and her career is on the line. Deny it and she loses all credibility, but to move forward means paying Oliver’s price....


The Matchmaker's Secret © Kay Lyons


       “You mentioned coming up with this when you were 'actively dating' and I think a matchmaker is only as good as good as her own perfect match. Am I right, audience?” the television host asked. “So, tell us, Marsali, who is yours?"
       The cheers and catcalls erupted once more and Marsali felt her face begin to flush. "Um…"
       "Now, now, Marsali. You have to give us the details. Your significant other has to be a gem of a man. I'm guessing tall, dark, and handsome?"
       The audience response became even louder, and Marsali felt her entire body break out in sweat. Not the glistening kind but the kind that comes when fear takes hold. "Um, yeah. M-my perfect match… is, yes, he's all of those things."
       "Go on."
       Her brain scrambled like the eggs she'd tried to down this morning and couldn't due to nerves. She needed to end this topic. Now. "H-How about we discuss more of the suggestions included in my book?" Surely now the host would take a hint and change the subject?
       "Oh, no, girl. We want a name. Don't we?" Gwen said to the audience, waving at them to get their agreement. "There has to be someone special to you. Someone who immediately comes to mind when you think of your perfect match. So, tell us, who is the matchmaker's secret?"
       Marsali wanted the floor to open up and swallow her. Was she really not going to be taken seriously because she wasn't matched? "I really can't—"
       "Of course you can! We have to know who this perfect specimen of manhood is."
       "Tell us!" a voice called from the audience.
       "Does he have a brother?" asked another.
       "Our viewing audience wants to know, girlfriend. Am I right?"
       The crowd roared, the sound deafening.
       This was it. The time to come clean and confess her single status. Her heart raced in her chest, pounding against her ribs, her palms sweaty and slick, the jacket too hot. "I'm not… I-I mean I—"
       "Marsali, how can we believe in love when you won't share? You've already said he's tall, dark, and handsome. I'm guessing quite successful, too. Someone special you think of as your perfect match?"
       "Ollie," she said softly, and the microphone she wore picked up the breath of sound.
       "Ollie? How sweet!" Gwen said, a sly grin forming on her face.
       No, no, no, no!
       "Girl, you should be shouting his name from the rooftops, not whispering," Gwen said. “Especially since Marsali's sweet Ollie is short for Hollywood hottie Oliver Beck."
       The audience gasped collectively and erupted in applause, shouts, and whistles.
       "Take a look at this. Our little hometown girl and Oliver Beck are official," Gwen said, "as you can see from this picture of the happy couple taken when Oliver was in Wilmington not long ago. How cute are they?"
       Marsali looked around until she spotted the image being shown to the audience. The picture was zoomed in and showed her staring up at her brother's best friend with adoring eyes that revealed far too much for comfort. "I— How did you— That was a private gathering." Her parents' anniversary party, in fact.
       "Oooh! Girl, we all know when it comes to Hollywood stars, ain't nothing private. Especially when they look like him! So tell us, Marsali, what is it like being Oliver Beck's girlfriend?"
       Marsali stared into the blinding lights and stumbled through the next minute of live television looking like a fool with all of her ums, ahs, and silence when Gwen's questions bombarded her.
       Obviously they'd kept things on the down low, so were they now going to make things official? Was there a ring involved? Coming soon?
       The very moment the all clear was given, Marsali ignored Gwen's request to talk privately and raced from the set to the ladies' room, gasping for breath when her phone began to ring. She ignored it but it kept ringing and ringing. She fumbled to silence it and groaned when she saw her brother's name appear above her mother's. Her father's. Her best friend, Eliza, who had boarded a cruise ship this morning with her husband. A multitude of unknowns that were rapidly leaving voicemail messages. "Sweet baby Jesus," she said prayerfully, knowing only a higher power could ever deliver her from the mess she'd just created. "What have I done?"


OMG, right? Way fun! Personally, I can’t wait to meet Oliver. Pre-order price is only 99¢.

Pre-order CUPID TO THE RESCUE here!

Last week's Q&A was: Have you ever seen the International Space Station fly over?

Your response was about 50/50. To all my fellow astronomy geeks, thanks for sharing your memories and experiences with the International Space Station. The silver flash in the sky continues to intrigue me—even if I have no desire to hop aboard.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

William Harris
Paula Wall

(William and Paula congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&ADo you like to listen to music? Yes or No?

Although I love music, I often forget to turn it on when I’m working at home, but working on JP’s jobsite, where he always has a wireless player blasting, I’ve discovered how much I miss music when it’s not playing.

Here are a couple of songs I’ve added to my playlist thanks to JP’s eclectic taste in music:

Firestorm - Danny Schmidt
All On My Mind - Anderson East
Damned (If You Do) – The Mavericks
Texas & Tennessee – Lucero
Cuando Me Enamoro (Spanish) – The Mavericks
Someday Soon – Judy Collins

To name a few… 😀

Last, but, hopefully, not least a new video: “Unboxing” ALL THE STARS IN MONTANA (complete with Covid hair and my granddaughter, Poppy, who may be angling for Vanna White’s job someday).

Take care and stay well, my friends,


Next week: Oregon pics + Snippet #5 from Cupid to the Rescue.



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen