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Tara Taylor Quinn | What REALLY Happened on Maple Street?


I’m so glad to be back with Sara and Gwen and Faye and everyone here at Fresh Fiction.  My husband, Tim Barney, and I are on a fifty stop original post blog tour, and a physical tour as well for our new book, IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET.  We’re having all kinds of new experiences and are very grateful for every one of them, but it just plain feels good to be someplace familiar!  In celebration of our return to Fresh Fiction, we’re giving away a copy of IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET to one of today’s commenters.

IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET is a very unique book.  It’s marketed as romance fiction.  And it’s a true story.  I am a romance writer.  And I wrote my true life story in the form of one of my fiction novels.  As we travel, we’re hearing some of the same questions over and over and today I’m going to answer the three at the top of the list!

First:  How much of the story is true? 

Almost all of it.  As in with films based on true stories, some of the names and circumstances have been changed, but not many of them.  Most of the story is told one hundred percent as it happened.  Tim and I did not spare ourselves as we told this story.  We wrote this book, in large part, to reach out to women who, like I did, are living in the darkness of silence.  In large part, I  lost twenty-seven years of my life because of my silence.  I spent years in the internal hell of isolation chained by fear and guilt and feelings of unworthiness.  I lost Tim twenty-seven years ago because of that silence.  With his help, I’m speaking out, in the hopes that other women who might be suffering under the same misconceptions that held me silent, will find their voices.  We can’t reach these women if we glorify ourselves.  We’ll only set ourselves apart and seem like some kind of magical lucky ones.  And so in IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET, you get us for real.

The intervening years – the term Tim and I use to refer to the years we were apart – are fictionalized.  But where he and I are concerned personally (meaning, the way we felt inside) even those years have factual basis.  And a drive by Tim does during the intervening years in the book really took place. 

Second:  What Happened On Maple Street?

Everyone, from our publisher’s sales staff to newspaper reporters, are asking this question!  Maple Street is where Tim grew up.  It was where he lived when he and I met in college.  He and I fell in love on Maple Street.  Tim gave me his class ring there.  And as you’ll find when you read the book, things were pretty hot and heavy there.  The culminating factor to our original break up took place there.  And today, Tim and I live only a couple of miles from that house on Maple Street.  It looks pretty much the same now as it did thirty years ago.  New paint.  Some renovation, but the same exact bones on the same exact lot.  The book was titled by those who knew the story.  I had no idea the title would raise such question from the outside looking in.

Third:  What is your association with the National Domestic Violence Hotline?

I am a spokesperson for the hotline – and what that means is that I am distributing their information every single place I go.  The hotline The National Domestic Violence Hotline was established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed by Congress.  The Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline answers a variety of calls and is a resource for domestic violence advocates government officials, law enforcement agencies and the general public. The Hotline serves as the only domestic violence hotline in the nation with access to more than 4,000 shelters and domestic violence programs across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Advocates receive approximately 23,500 calls each month. The Hotline is toll-free, confidential and anonymous. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in more than 170 different languages through interpreter services, with a TTY line available for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing.

I can tell you that every single call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline is treated with respect and kindness.  Even if you just think you or someone you know might possibly be a victim, they will listen with compassionate ears and give sound direction.  They really really can help.

And as IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET attests, there is no shame in making the call.  No shame in being mistreated.  No matter how hard that is to believe sometimes.

Tim and I are making appearances from now through April, 2012 and would love to see any and all of you if we happen by your area or you happen by ours.  Our appearance schedule is up at www.tarataylorquinn.com.  And for the Tea Readers – we’re going to be at Readers and ‘Rita’s in November!!  We can’t wait to visit with you all – and party hardy this time around.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll join us for the IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET International Blog Tour, underway now.  We’re giving out a basket of goodies each week drawn from the week’s blogs commenters.  In addition to the random book giveaways.

This post is brought to you as part of the IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET International Blog Tour.  For a complete tour schedule visit www.tarataylorquinn.com.  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 www.thehotline.org, 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, Wednesday, April 20, Australian Romance Readers Association:  http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/.

To get your copy of IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET, visit your favorite bookseller, or www.maplestreetbook.com.

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

IT HAPPENED ON MAPLE STREET is available on Kindle and Nook, too! KindleBarnesandNoble.com

Tara Taylor Quinn




63 comments posted.

Re: Tara Taylor Quinn | What REALLY Happened on Maple Street?

Wow, what an amazing story.
(Barbara Hanson 5:09am April 19, 2011)

Domestic violence does not discriminate. Nobody ever really knows what
goes on behind closed doors. You think someone's life is seemingly
perfect and then...

I applaud you for sharing your story.
(Mona Garg 7:30am April 19, 2011)

great story. Looking forward to reading it.
(Pam Howell 7:51am April 19, 2011)

I think it's great that you are discussing domestic violence without shame. There is still such fear and stigma. Thank you very much. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com
(Kristie Donelson 8:32am April 19, 2011)

While lucky enough not to have lived through your pain, I have watched it in my family and friends. Thank you for daring to speak out about such a personal issue and making a way for others to feel your doubts and your strength. Hoorah for your bravery and the courage to tell such a personal story!
(Renee Brown 9:11am April 19, 2011)

Thank you for sharing. I understand your pain and am so sorry you had to endure that. But you sharing shows so much courage! You are awesome!!
(Dawn Staniszeski 10:02am April 19, 2011)

You are very brave and strong. Good luck in all that you do.
(Renee Pajda 10:09am April 19, 2011)

You are so brave! Good luck with your book!
(May Pau 10:30am April 19, 2011)

Tara, Thanks again for speaking out, your voice will reach those who need to
hear it. what they do is up to them but to let them know that they are not alone is
a huge step.

(Debbie Haupt 10:43am April 19, 2011)

Once again, a great post. You and Tim have done an amazing job with original blog posts each day - thanks for keeping it 'Fresh'! And, of course, thanks for sharing your story in a way that makes it easier for those who need help to get help.
(Karen Cherubino 10:50am April 19, 2011)


Once again you hit it exactly right. You could be describing me for so much of my life. There are so many others out there. I hope we can help them to take the first step out of the darkness.


Your encouragement gives so much strength. Thank you. I hope you can give the same if there is ever anyone you know who needs to find a way to speak up. I hope we can all be that listening 'ear' for however long it takes.
(Tara Taylor Quinn 11:15am April 19, 2011)

looking forward to reading this book. love that you and Tim were able to write it together from both your perspectives...
(Diana Leneker 11:40am April 19, 2011)

Thanks for telling a story that is so much a part of yourself! It couldn't have been easy, but what an inspiration you are for others!
(Sandy Fielder 12:01pm April 19, 2011)

I have never experienced domestic abuse but have 2 sisters who have. I cannot imagine living that way. Thanks to you for telling your story. It just might help someone who picks it up to read and they or someone they know is living with domestic abuse and it may be just the thing to convince them to get help.
(Mary Branham 12:46pm April 19, 2011)

sounds like an amazing story I have to read...I know leaving a situation like that takes alot of strength...but talking about it takes even more courage...so thank you
Respectfully a fan
(Chele Blades 12:56pm April 19, 2011)

I would really like to read your book since I have never experienced domestic violence and don't really understand it--how can someone who hasn't experience it understand it---but I know people that have and would like to know how to talk to them about it rather than just avoiding the subject.
(Sue Farrell 12:57pm April 19, 2011)

This sounds like an amazing story, I cannot wait to read it. You are very courageous sharing your life with us, thank you.
(Jody Hollenbeck 1:01pm April 19, 2011)

(Silvana Moscato 1:04pm April 19, 2011)

I would love to read your book. I was lucky to get out of a marriage before me or my daughter got hurt really bad..Thank you for sharing your life...
(Leisa Prater 1:06pm April 19, 2011)

It is fantastic that people can speak freely and receive help when they are dealing with such a horrific life experience. These individuals that stand up for what is right are true heroes!
(Darci Paice 1:15pm April 19, 2011)

I can not wait to read this book. Good for you for giving voice to Domestic Violence.
(Annetta Stolpmann 1:17pm April 19, 2011)

I, as many others, would love to read your book. It takes added strength to be able to move back to the area and make it your home again. I applaud you for keeping the subject alive on your tour, and not just promoting your book. Please thank your Husband for having a part in the book as well. Not many Husbands would step forward and do a compilation such as this. You married a gem!!
(Peggy Roberson 1:21pm April 19, 2011)

Thank you for sharing your story!
(Marjorie Carmony 1:21pm April 19, 2011)

Your support has me in tears. I hope other women who need this kind of acceptance are here, reading as well, and gaining strength from the knowledge that even though we don't talk about domestic violence, we are aware of it and will do all we can to help anyone suffering from it.
(Tara Taylor Quinn 2:01pm April 19, 2011)

I can't wait to read it!! Thanks so much for telling your story and for making sure there is somewhere for women and girls to go!
(Kelli Jo Calvert 2:02pm April 19, 2011)

What a terrific story! It's one I want to read.
(Anna Speed 2:07pm April 19, 2011)

Thank you for sharing your story with us! Always want to see people get their HEA!
(Colleen Conklin 2:13pm April 19, 2011)

It truly is an amazing story, and that you're willing to bring it to the public so that others may recognize themselves and potentially get help to remove themselves from the same sort of situation is amazing beyond words.

I have read the story and could hardly put it down.

Can't wait to have the opportunity to spend time with you again in November. I was pretty excited to see your name on the list.
(Sandi Shilhanek 2:23pm April 19, 2011)

This looks like a good read and congrats on getting this out there more!
(Debra Simning-Chapman 2:29pm April 19, 2011)

I know when I went through abuse I always felt alone, like no
one else could be going through it. I've been telling people
for years what I went through, but not on the scale you and
your book are doing it! I'm very happy for you!
(Darla Ray 2:44pm April 19, 2011)

Tara and Tim ~ WOW ~ this is a popular stop on the tour. You
are getting a lot of exposure here. I'll really have to look
around. I'm amazed at how you manage to keep each stop fresh
and interesting. Thank you again.
(Kaelee/Linda Esau 2:45pm April 19, 2011)

Wow! This is amazing. Fresh and new.
(Lisa Diel 3:21pm April 19, 2011)

I am so excited about this book. Your story is amazing and I am glad you are sharing it!
(Sherie Lagarde 3:27pm April 19, 2011)

Sounds like an amazing story. I look forward to reading it.
(Mary Perry 3:34pm April 19, 2011)


I'm so glad you got to read the book. And more glad that it passed with you. When we agreed to do this, I thought of all the people we could help and I was fully on board. I failed to consider all of the people who knew me, people whose opinions I valued, also reading it. I saw the book in our neighbor's hands last night and couldn't breathe.


I'm glad you're enjoying the stops. That's the great fun in all of this. We've got some brand new ones coming up in the next week or two. Some non-book sites that I thought were really cool, too.


You're speaking up right along with me - shining your light as brightly as I shine mine. Believe me, I'm leaning on you!


I hope that if you read the book, it sits well with you, and that if you think it will help someone, you'll pass it on.
(Tara Taylor Quinn 3:57pm April 19, 2011)

Kudos to you on taking such an amazing step.
(Athena Da Rosa 4:17pm April 19, 2011)

I'd love to win and read a true romance story...
(Leanna Morris 4:20pm April 19, 2011)

Would love to win, this sounds like a great read!
(Brenda Rupp 4:22pm April 19, 2011)

Keep up the good work.
(Deb Pelletier 4:30pm April 19, 2011)

Thabks for this heartfelt post. Wishing you all the best of happiness and success.
(Sharon Berger 4:31pm April 19, 2011)

What a brave woman you are. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing story.
(G S Moch 4:34pm April 19, 2011)

I think that it's wonderful that you are speaking out from a personal position to those who need to hear that they are not the only one facing this situation. Kudos to you and to Tim for standing with you. I only hope that someone who is encouraged by your outreach will take that next step and maybe let you know personally that it all started with you. Thanks for putting your self & story out there. There is too much silence on this.
(Cate Sparks 4:36pm April 19, 2011)

50 stop blog tour actually sounds like fun. Not to you perhaps.
(Mary Preston 4:49pm April 19, 2011)

Thanks for addressing this problem. I've been close enough to know how difficult it can be to escape, and am so happy you did. This sounds like a must-read book.
(Shirley Nienkark 4:55pm April 19, 2011)

Sounds like a really great story. This sounds like it would be a really emotional read.
(June A, Manning 5:32pm April 19, 2011)

I have been blessed tonever be in aviolent relationship and I am eternally grateful.
(MaryEllen Hanneman 6:40pm April 19, 2011)

I hate the way people feel they have to hide the abuse. They feel that keeping a family intact is work the bruises, fists, burns, kiscks and emotional trauma as well.
(Christina Harrison 6:50pm April 19, 2011)

A reality-based romance, wow, that's different. It sounds like an interesting book.
(Michelle Fidler 8:10pm April 19, 2011)

Thank heaven for second marriages. We lean that there are
caring and loving people who never have to raise their fists or voices to get a point across.
(Jd Simm 8:12pm April 19, 2011)

This story may help so many people! Thank you,
(Lisa Garrett 8:35pm April 19, 2011)

I can't wait to read this book. Thank you for sharing your story.
(Wilma Frana 8:37pm April 19, 2011)

Thank you for sharing this story. I would love to read this.
(Beth Melito 9:11pm April 19, 2011)

It takes alot of courage to share such a personal story about your life. Can't wait to read this book.
(Cheryl English 9:12pm April 19, 2011)

We just had a case of domestic abuse across the street from us; I never even knew or heard anything going on and then one day cops are there arresting the husband. A young woman with an 18 month old baby and a family ruined!
(Diane Sadler 10:30pm April 19, 2011)

If it wasn't for the kindness of some strangers, I wouldn't have known how to get through my day -- that was years ago, when I was married. I spent years in a horrible cycle, and years dealing with its aftermath. It was looking at my children, the need to protect them, that got stronger within me and gave me the strength and courage to get away. Years later he still trys to abuse in whatever way he can, my children and I suffer from PTSD, but through it all every day is a blessing, we are together and alive, we are respected and happy.
The best thing I think - talk to people you think are abused, don't allow them to continue to be isolated, feel alone, don't judge- listen, and when you have items around the house - donate them to a woman's shelter -- toys, books, clothes, shoes, linens help too.
Thank you for your story and a chance to share a little of mine.
(Carla Carlson 10:55pm April 19, 2011)

The book is already doing good in the world, as evidenced by these posts!!

I had a conversation with a student today that took an unexpected turn, and
because of the honesty of the book and your posts, I heard what she was
saying in a different way than I would have before..... we talked as far as she
could go, then recommended she head to the bookstore for your book, the
NDVH card in hand! Thanks not only for telling your story but for helping us
learn to listen as well.
(Lynda Kachurek 11:09pm April 19, 2011)

It's great that you have shared your story.
(Robin Daily 11:21pm April 19, 2011)

I was never truly abused in my life and I'm very thankful for that. I can only imagine very imperfectly what such a life is like, but I think it's awe inspiring that you and your husband have volunteered to present your story to all the women who are able to read it. I can hardly wait to read it.
Do you have any special e-mail that can be sent out to groups caring for abused women and children to alert them to this book, so that other women who are in such situations may benefit from your experience?
(Sigrun Schulz 1:10am April 20, 2011)

Wow, thanks everyone for the great response!!

Mary, the blog tour actually is a lot of fun. It's a lot of work, too, but well worth the time spent. We're bringing women together in a bond of strength that can make a real life difference in some lives.

To those of you who've never suffered abuse, thank you so much for speaking out. Once you've been there, it seems normal and it's so so good, so heartening to hear that there really are women who go through their whole lives not as physically strong as men, but still safe. I am so thankful for Tim. His gentleness makes him the strongest man I've ever known.


I hate the silence, too. I wish there was a way to give voice to every single woman and child who suffer. Sometimes speaking out seems scarier than the abuse itself, because there is that fear that speaking out will increase the level of abuse. In the end, of course, nothing is worse than a life lived in fear and retribution.


I'm with you completely.


The good thing is, she got out while she was still young, and before the child grew up with the abuse. I am very thankful for that, at least. I hope and pray she has all the help and support she needs to stay out and to eventually find a healthy, loving relationship.


Thank you so much for sharing. I'm really not alone out here. There are so many of us who can band together to make the world more aware so that more of those still living in silence can be reached. I am very very thankful that you are out and free and that you are HAPPY. That's the key point. There really IS happiness on the other side. It doesn't ever seem possible when you are living in the darkness.


I read this to Tim and he said - 'you have your one.' The very first conversation we had with the editor on this book, she ended the conversation with the one line that made my decision to write this book. She said, 'if we even help one woman, we've done
(Tara Taylor Quinn 7:11am April 20, 2011)

The mental abuse can be equally as bad as the physical. My best friend didn't survive the mental abuse. It's been three years now and I still can't understand how such a strong person could have been caught in this. I guess the years of mental abuse finally dragged her down.
(Heather Pearson 12:47pm April 20, 2011)

Speaking out or being vocal brings on a lot of fear and yet can make you stronger.
(Betty Miles 5:40pm April 20, 2011)

I passed on information last week and will follow-up with my friend to see if she can have some safe place to call home. I looked up the local phone number and gave her a page printed off the internet.
(Alyson Widen 8:19pm April 20, 2011)


I sometimes think the mental abuse is the most insidious because there is nothing obvious to point at - no bruise or breaks that can be quantified. For me, the mental abuse was the worst. It plays with your ability to trust your own mind.


I agree. Taking a stand makes you a lot stronger than enduring does.


I am SO glad to hear that you're helping you're friend. Please don't give up on her. It could be a long haul. If the local place doesn't work, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233, they'll find the closest place to your friend.
(Tara Taylor Quinn 7:10am April 21, 2011)

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