Monday, April 18, 2011

Tara Taylor Quinn - Guest Blogger

It's a pleasure to welcome Tara Taylor Quinn back. She has a very unusual story to tell about herself, her husband, and her latest book, It Happened On Maple Street, so I'm not going to spoil it. Thank you, Tara.

A huge thank you to Lesa for having us back! We’re on a fifty stop blog tour and finding great things at every stop. This one is a five star visit. Please take time to look around, to scroll through and read previous posts. If you’re anything like me, you’ll blink and find out an hour had passed without your knowing about it.

We’re here today talking about It Happened On Maple Street – a true, domestic violence survival story, written by me, a bestselling author of romance. In some ways my life is the biggest irony of all. But I’m changing it into the shining light of truth.

My husband, Tim Barney, and I met at 18. Fell in love. And because I didn’t tell him the truth about something that had happened to me, we went our separate ways. But I’d had a taste of true love. I’d met my true love. I knew that the love existed. And so I spent the next twenty-seven years writing about it. Successfully. I have 56 books in print with Harlequin and MIRA books. I’ve hit the USA Today bestseller list. I’ve won awards. And in my deepest core, I was living a lie. The only person I could love wholeheartedly, honestly, was my daughter. Because she didn’t have to know about my past. It had nothing to do with her. Parents weren’t supposed to saddle their children with baggage so keeping my secret was the right thing to do. Or so I thought.

I didn’t see, couldn’t see, that my baggage was in our home. It enveloped the choices I made. The people I associated with. In keeping my secret, I was setting an example for her that I regret with all of my heart. I told her to always listen to her heart. To act on the dictates of her own heart. I believed that I was doing the same. I was not. The only part of my heart that was open and healthy and capable of fully loving was the huge part that she owned.

My daughter is not the only person hurt by my silence. There are so many. And I bear the weight of that every single day. And so I bring you It Happened On Maple Street, the complete truth of my relationship with Tim and the abuse I suffered, with circumstances changed in the middle years to protect the innocent. I hope that in the telling of this story those I have inadvertently hurt will gain some understanding. And I hope that the one in four women in the United States who suffer from domestic violence still will find the strength and the will to take control of their lives. To dare to speak up. To dare to reach for the joy. Because the bottom line, the end of the story is that there IS joy. Wonderful, all encompassing joy. A joy that holds my hand through the hard moments. A joy that holds on to my life when I cannot see the value in it.

I’m here to testify that standing up is worth every single bit of the pain of doing so. I took my stand, twenty-seven years late, but I took it. In January of 2007 I verbally spoke my intention to take control of my life. And less then twenty-four hours later, I was blessed by an email in my inbox when I sat down to finish the work I had in progress (Behind Closed Doors, MIRA Books.) The email was from Tim Barney, my very first love. It was the first I’d heard from him in twenty-seven years. Six weeks later I’d moved cross country. And now, four years later, married to Tim, I am living the love I’ve spent more than twenty years writing about.

This past fall, at the invitation of HCI books (non-fiction publisher of the original Chicken Soup for the Soul books) Tim helped me write It Happened On Maple Street. It is our love story. And it’s so much more…

This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. Gift Basket given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is, please contact, or call, toll free, 24/7, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The call can be anonymous and is always confidential. There is not one second of life that is worth wasting.

Next tour stop, Tuesday April 19, Fresh Fiction:

To get your copy of It Happened On Maple Street, visit your favorite bookseller, or

Don’t miss The Chapman Files! Still available at:

It Happened On Maple Street is soon to be available on Kindle and Nook, too!; 

Thank you, Tara. It takes a great deal of courage to write and speak about abuse. Thank you for sharing your story in It Happened On Maple Street.


Darla said...

The important part is that your making your stand!

Not to long after I finally told someone what had happened to me is when I met my future husband.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Darla, for speaking up. And, congratulations.

debbie h said...

the article made my cry almost as much the novel.
thanks for hosting lesa


Lesa said...

I'm glad I could host Tara, Debbie. I know it's a subject that needs exposure.

Tara Taylor Quinn said...

Deb and Darla,

It's good to see you! Two days without the tour seemed like a long time!


You are such an example to me. I'm determined to find your strength.


Your continued support means more than you'll ever know.

Karen said...

I hope you and Tim had a good weekend off. Still tagging along, learning more about your love story; still checking B&N for the Nook version!

Good post ... Thank you!!

kaelee said...

I agree with Karen I hope you had some down time this weekend. I have found another new to me site which I will explore. Thanks for taking me on your wonderful tour and also for the insights into your book and life.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Tara, for sharing a bit of your story here. Good luck with the book, and the rest of the blog tour.

Lynda K said...

What a great site to revisit! I always end up with more titles on my TBR list!!

This book demonstrates that moving from darkness and solitude to joy and happiness is not just a wish and not just fiction. It's real and it is possible -- and by showing your path, and how the end of the path is worth the obstacles along the way, you have opened the door for others to follow. Remarkable!

Tara Taylor Quinn said...


Thank you for hanging in there with the Nook version! I'm checking every day, too, thinking we'll have a party when they finally show up. I was told last week that it would be this week. Hopefully that's correct...


We're really glad you're sharing bits of your life with us. We had some down time on Sunday. Cleaned out the pond in our backyard to prepare for the goldfish. And drove to a town about an hour from here for homemade ice cream!


I think life at its best is all of us shining our lives for each other - probably because I watched from the sidelines for so much of my life. Each of us, a lot of times unknowingly, has done something that is an example to others - that teaches and helps others. I'm very glad to be a part of that.

Mona said...

Children are remarkably perceptive and pick up on things without explicitly told.

I hope that other victims of domestic violence ultimately have happy endings.

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