~written by Tara Taylor Quinn
I believe in the good in people. Believe that there is good in almost everyone. I write about the depths of people’s hearts. And as I sit here today and look at what has grown these past months, I’m surprised. And very, very touched. This three-month, international, 75 stop blog tour started out as a mention from my editor in July. I brought the thought to Tim. Talked to him about my need to raise awareness and money for the fight against domestic abuse. We put our energy into making something happen. Set our sites on making a difference. Helping other women who’d suffered domestic abuse allowed me to open up a part of my heart that’s been locked away for thirty years and once I got started, I couldn’t stop.
The result is – right here. Right now. In Phoenix. This weekend. Tomorrow morning at 6:15 am Tim and I will be in Tumbleweed Park in Chandler, Arizona with Penny Wright, founder of the nationally acclaimed Predators Speed Skate Club, setting up for our 10K skate followed by a 5K walk-a-thon. We needed so many things to fall into place to make this happen, and I’m sitting here shaking my head in awe as I see them all lining up perfectly. More than perfectly. I needed someone to attend a meeting in Chandler in October or I wasn’t going to be able to have a skate there. Penny Wright appeared. I needed a course. Penny had one. She had everything from timers to award boxes and registration forms, too. And there she was – ready and willing to help. Just because.
We needed barricades to close park entrances. The husband of someone my mom knows not only donated them, but he delivered them to us. We needed EMT presence. The city of Chandler provided that plus a fire truck. Insurance? No problem, a company on the internet had a ‘special event’ special! Medallions? A company in New York was running a sale on my first choice. Caution tape? Tim had a roll. Pens for registration? MIRA sent some. Signage? MIRA had beautiful posters made. They arrived this week. PR? MIRA again. Cash box? My cousin. Registration table? My cousin. A million small details and organizational efforts and copies and collecting of goods and trolling for donations – my mother. Skaters? We’ve got two coming from Michigan. And a small tribe of young speed skaters, aged 5-9. We have Tucson skaters and Phoenix skaters, indoor skaters and recreational skaters. Bib numbers – Penny knew someone who would donate them. On-line registration? No problem, Michelle Gaynor, from Predators, set us up on the Predator Speed Skate website. It’s all just happened. And yet, it hasn’t ‘just’ happened. People happened. We’re doing something important here. Something that matters. Something that we believe in. Something that is going to help society – even if just a little bit. Because this is what people do. We care about each other. We help each other. It really does work.
This year’s skate is only the beginning. Penny and Tim and I and my mother have already decided that we’re going to make this an annual event. Next year we want to move the skate up to October – Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. And all of the benefits will still go to the fight against domestic abuse. I’m on a crusade. A life long crusade. I have a purpose. To help protect other battered women, as I should have protected myself. To give them the chance to come out of hiding, raise their faces to the sun, and feel the warmth that emanates all around us from the hearts and souls of good and loving people.
There’s still time to be a part of this great event. To sponsor a skater/walker or to register, just click here: http://www.predatorspeed.org/news.php?id=112&PHPSESSID=b2f3a66c523c4390601c950ecc6e84c6. Or show up tomorrow, Saturday, December 4th, at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler Arizona at 7:00 am for on site registration.
And don’t forget to come to the PARTY!! If you’re in Phoenix, we’ll be at the Burton Barr Library Auditorium on Saturday, December 4th from 1 – 3, and honestly, everyone is welcome. Just show up and come on in! We’ve got two hundred free copies of one of The Chapman File Books to give away. A hundred coupons to Buca di Bepo. Goodies from Romantic Times and HCI books. And we’ll be giving away door prizes throughout the entire two hours. You get a ticket, for free, just for walking in the door and you’ll be entered to win baskets of autographed books, Christmas baskets, facials, a Kobo e-reader, and more! We’re having Christmas music and goodies to eat and the guest of honor, Sandra Ramos, founder of the nation’s first battered women’s shelter will be with us, sharing words of inspiration and hope. Local authors will be there to visit and share their wisdom.
And for those of you who can’t make it to Phoenix, your party is going to be great, too! Coming live from the Burton Barr Library Auditorium, we’ll be at http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/simply-series/tara-taylor-quinns-chapman-file-book-launch-and-charity-skate. Enter the forum and your name is dropped in the hat for the door prize giveaways – just as if you were with us in Phoenix. And Blog tour participants – for every single time you’ve commented on the blog, you’ll have an additional entry! We’ll be entertaining you with wit, relaying speeches, and including you in the door prize announcements. We’ll also being sharing tidbits from the cyber party forum on the PA system at Burton Barr.
One more thing…Tim and I are donating 5 cents for every retail sale of The Fourth Victim in the month of December to Strengthen our Sisters and so MIRA added a little more incentive to the deal. Print the coupon for a $ saving coupon good wherever paperback books are sold!
This post is brought to you as part of The Chapman Files International Blog Tour. Please join us in our fight against domestic abuse. In our downed economy domestic abuse has risen and the monies to help have dwindled. To donate any amount to the cause go to http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/ and click donate.
E-books of all of The Chapman File Stories are available at amzn.to/bmJzp4.