Nothing is As it Seems

- by Tara Taylor Quinn

The Third Secret went on sale yesterday.  This book is mine.  I wrote it.  I feel my touches, my style there.  And yet, I look at it and wonder where it came from.  It’s me – and it’s more.  I love the heroine.  Her name’s Erin.  She’s fighting a fight that I’ve wondered about my whole life.  She’s a defense attorney.  A good one.  She wins cases.  And then she has to leave the court room and live in a world where the people she defends are free, out there, doing things.  If they do wrong things are those deeds on her shoulders?  Her conscience?

Erin knows the other side first hand, too.  She’s lived with the reality of an innocent person going to prison for a crime not committed.  A person she loved more than anyone else on earth.  The only way she can honor that love is to try to right the wrong in the world – to do all she can to protect the wrongly accused.  To fight their fight. 

And then there’s Rick.  My hero.  I’ve written a lot of heroes.  Fifty four of them to date.  None of them stand out for me like Rick does.  I’m not even sure why.  He’s so real to me.  So compelling.  Here’s a man who has no expectations other than those he can provide for himself.  He doesn’t have a lot.  His life has been largely lived in the dark.  And yet he’s really, honestly at peace with his life.  This man is not filled with angst, and yet I cry for him.  He’s not waiting around for a woman to change him or save him from himself or love him.  And yet I want to do all three.  He lies without blinking, and yet I trust him with my life.  He’s dangerous and I want to be around him anyway.  He’s done heinous things and I look for a way to be okay with that.  And, even now, I have no idea why.  I need a book discussion on him!

The book itself asks questions for which I have no answers.  When is it okay to lie?  And how do we ever know, really, if anyone is telling the truth?  When are we being naive and stupid to trust and when is trusting the right choice?  The best choice?  How do we know?  We all have secrets – are they ours to keep?  Or do we owe the society in which we live our very lives simply because we live among others.  Do we have to come clean because we aren’t islands and what we do effects others? 

I’m not sure what ended up on the spine of this book.  I generally write romance and romantic suspense.  The Third Secret isn’t either one of those.  And, I guess, it’s kind of both.  There’s a hero and a heroine.  There’s emotion between them, but the story isn’t about their relationship.  There’s suspense.  And mystery.  And family.  There’s death.  Suicide.  Murder.  It’s a story that presented itself to me and had to be told.  It’s part of The Chapman File series.  Kelly’s there, bringing her usual wisdom and calm – and yet she’s different, too.  She’s starting to question herself.  Kelly, can you believe it?  And while Kelly is there, The Third Secret doesn’t have to be read as part of the series.  It stands alone.

The book is just different.  It’s everything.  I can’t let go of it. 

If you’d like to join me in this inexplicable world, The Third Secret is available in either e-book or print form here - and everywhere else books are sold.

This post is brought to you as part of The Chapman FilesInternational Blog Tour.  Please join us in our fight against domestic abuse.  We’re hosting a charity skate/walkathon on December 4th in Phoenix, Arizona.  If you can join us, we’d love to have you.  Tim and I are skating and we’re going to have a blast.  If you aren’t going to be in the area, you can still sponsor us.  Please.  In our downed economy domestic abuse has risen and the monies to help have dwindled.  To register for the skate, or to donate any amount to the cause, click here:, or go to and click donate.

There’s an item from our new book, The Third Secret, hidden on the tour with us. Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it! Today’s clue: Sometimes they are collector’s items. Send all guesses to To see previous clues visit blog sites listed at Guess as many times as you’d like!

Don’t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th at! We’re giving away a KOBO e-reader and many other cool prizes! All you have to do to be entered to win is leave comments on the tour!

E-books of all of The Chapman File Stories are available at

Next tour stop: Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Storybroads: We hope to see you there! The more blogs you visit with us, the more chances you have to win! Every time you comment your name is dropped in the bag for the prize drawings.
For weekly blog tour dates, visit Or to have the weekly schedule sent directly to your email, send request to
The Third Secret by Tara Taylor Quinn.  MIRA, ©2010. ISBN 9780778328346 (paperback), 400p.


  1. I think if you listen to yourself, which is something we sometimes neglect, we would be a bit better equipped to know when to trust and not to trust.

    As for lying I try not to do it at all, I had a relative that did it constantly and hurt alot of people in and out of the family. Sometimes I think it can be justified (not necessarily right) but each situation has to be looked at separately.

  2. I tend to trust based on instinct. The Third Secret sounds so compelling. I know I won’t want to put it down when I begin reading!

  3. Congrats on the new release. I sometimes think we really never know when a person is lying or telling the truth, but there are times when you’re convinced that they are lying to you.

  4. Like Darla and Mary, I’m a big believer in using my instincts to gauge how much I trust — and not because they are always on target or that I never get fooled or hurt. But typically, if things feel “off” at the outset, I can at least move forward cautiously or not at all. I also think the reverse is true (although far more rare), that sometimes you just know the good in a person. And the more I trust someone, the more I am willing to share who and what I am with them.

    And you’re right – Rick is different. I can’t wait to see how all the threads come together……….

  5. I just wish we could all go out into the world and tell the truth and be told the truth, too. I’m just not good at the subterfuge. Discerning it or living with it.