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In the words of Willie Nelson: We’re “…on the road again…” or, in our case, on the road for the first time in an RV.

If you remember, we rather impulsively bought an RV in January. My hubby, the master carpenter/remodeling contractor, isn’t the type to leave well enough alone, so here’s the BEFORE and AFTER.

The existing graphics were cracked and faded. We watched a few YouTube videos on how to remove old graphics. This in no way prepared us for how much work we had ahead of us. And by “us,” I mean Paul. The man is driven. (No pun intended.)

It took nearly the same amount of time to remove the old graphics as it did for the two of us to agree on new graphics. In case you’re ever in this position, I highly recommend Shutterstock.

We were delighted to find someone local to install the new graphics in time for our first planned excursion. The refurbishing also included: new tires, chrome wheel covers, a complete systems check of engine and brakes, and a thorough cleaning inside and out. But, finally, we were road worthy.

Our first stop? Mercey Hot Springs (a gift from our kids).

Mercey Hot Springs is an interesting step back in time. It was first put into use as a “destination” in 1912. It’s only about a two-hour drive from our home—under normal conditions. It took us at least forty minutes longer because I listened to Google Maps. (And I’m not real happy with Apple Maps, either.) If a key bridge is being replaced, don’t send drivers that way. Grrr….

Anyway, once we crossed over Highway 5, the scenery and our mood changed.

The hot spring tubs were amazing. I fell asleep that night listening to the resident owls discussing life and politics, no doubt.

The next morning at Mercey Hot Springs video:

The hot rock sauna and mineral water shower the next morning was the perfect start to our four-day camping plans on the coast with our friends, Fred and Colleen. The beach was calling, so we pulled up stakes, put the RV in drive, and headed to Moss Landing. You’re gonna love the pics…next week.

A scene from the Cutting Room Floor…or, as my editor probably calls it: Are you sure you want to go there?

This snippet is from MONTANA BLUEPRINT FOR LOVE, which RELEASES in 12 DAYS!!! In my original version I made Ruby’s mother a point of view character. Why? I’m not sure. I have a thing for moms, I guess. Maybe I secretly want to tell their story, too, so their sons or daughters will understand them better. Hmm…

Here Ruby’s mom, Rosemary, is caught between a rock (her daughter, Ruby) and a hard place (her husband, Diamond Jim). Ruby has shown up unexpectedly and things are about to go south.

     She’d argued until she was blue in the face against selling half the company to Boone Fielding. She loved Boone. Adored him even. Did she resent the way Jim introduced Boone as the son he never had? Sometimes. But that wasn’t the reason she didn’t want to open their books to someone who wasn’t family.
     Rosemary never enjoyed the luxury of college and had no formal training in bookkeeping, but she wasn’t dumb. She read books from the library in the early days of the business, and when the Internet came along, she invested in an accounting program that included links to her bank and the ability to do payroll online.
     One thing she’d learned over the years is you can’t run a successful construction company in western Montana without getting a little creative at times with your cash flow. If her books came under intense scrutiny from an objective third party—like the accountant Boone wanted to hire, that professional would see that Rosemary had become a master at robbing Peter to pay Paul…so to speak.
     Unfortunately, thanks to Jim channeling all his billable hours and way too many expenses into the house on Carlton Road, instead of working with Boone and their crews on paying jobs, their cash flow was in crisis. She really didn’t have time to listen to Ruby’s current life drama. Whatever it was.
     The roar from inside the Summit office made the tips of Rosemary’s fingers tingle as adrenaline shot through her veins. She nearly slammed the door and used her body weight to keep Jim inside. Not that she could, but the idea crossed her mind.
     Ruby’s fair complexion turned a shade lighter. “Dad’s home? What’s he doing here?”
     Rosemary braced for what she knew was coming.
     All hell was about to break loose and there wasn’t a darn thing she could do to stop it.


This week’s Q&A: Do you have a tattoo or plan to get one someday? YES or NO. (If yes, I’m dying to know what?)

The question came up from a cover questionnaire for the Valentine’s Day 2021 book I’m starting as soon as I’ve completed revisions on Property Sisters of Montana Book 3. It got me thinking—have I ever written a hero or heroine with a tattoo? I’m thinking no…but maybe it’s time.

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways: email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Happy reading,


Next week: MORE travel photos, and an invite to my release party!!!



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen