RELEASE DAY POST! Ann B. Harrison Shares Her Writing Process!

Writing is such a lonely job.

That was what I was told anyway. Sure, parts of it are but since I started writing in 2010, I’ve built up a fabulous network of like-minded souls who I can call on when the need arises.

For instance: when I first started my first book, I lived out in the middle of the desert in Queensland, Australia. We were miles from anywhere – two-day drive to the nearest big town – and our tiny town had limited resources for most people, let alone writers. I took online classes but found I didn’t really learn an awful lot because they weren’t necessarily aimed at what I was writing or the style I needed to use.

Then I joined Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America. At last! People who do what I do. Who knew there were so many writers out there?

From there, things moved quite fast. I entered competitions, found great editors and got my first contract. Then I got another one and things snowballed!

But here is what I’ve learned along the way.

My writing process has changed – a lot.

Before I would happily tell you I was a pantser. That means I write by the seat of my pants. I didn’t plot anything. It wasn’t how I worked at all. But more books a year meant I had to be more organized, especially when it came to writing series.

Now when I get an idea, I let it ferment in my mind. Perhaps I’ll write myself a few pages of notes. A chapter or two at most gets done before I pull out the big guns: these are my critique girls, both of them successful writers. The same girls I meet up with for plotting days and can call upon when I have a plot knot or something doesn’t go right for me. If anybody is going to tell me my writing sucks or the plot doesn’t work, it’ll be these two. They’re also the girls who I meet for coffee for no other reason than I need a break away from the office. But rest assured, plotting always, always gets a look in whenever we meet up.

I’ve also learned to be more organized and keep notes. My office wall has plotting boards for each book which I add to when I think of something. Some stories get plotted well ahead of time, four or five books even. I need to know the character I had in book one doesn’t become someone else by book three or I don’t use him again in another series. The more books I write, the more I need to keep them in line.

With the Watson brother’s books, I plotted the first four stories simultaneously because the characters reappear in each book. The bride in book four, Her Favorite Cowboy, is the legal brain in book two, The Sheriff’s Mail-Order Bride. Heaven forbid I should get these characters mixed up.

I’m always on the look-out for a great easy to use program to keep everything sorted but so far, have found post it notes on a board seem to be the best for me.

If you have any great ideas, I’d love to hear them. You can find me at http://www.annbharrison.net
https://www.facebook.com/Ann-B-Harrison-Author-311207972338638/


After moving to the lush green wine region of Australia’s Hunter Valley, Ann has the perfect surrounding to let her imagination to run wild. She alternates her time between writing western romances, women’s fiction romantic and playing in her garden.


RELEASE DAY POST! Lynne Marshall Shares the Inspiration Behind Her Baby, His Love!

Hello Tule Readers and Friends!

My name is Lynne Marshall, I’m new around here and so, so happy to have been invited to blog. I’ve had my eye on TULE ever since it opened. I especially like how they publish books that don’t always fit exactly into the puzzle of romance publishing. Let me explain why.

I once joked to a friend that I’d written an inspirational romance with sex. We had a good laugh over that huge newbie mistake. Many re-writes later I’d whittled the single title romance down to category length, and, depending on which draft, either totally removed the sex, or completely watered down the inspirational elements. Frustrated, I decided to tuck the book away. Yet I could never completely forget how Joe Collins, my ex-convict hero, had found a place in my heart, or that Taylor Clarke was a mixed up, partially lost character with whom I could honestly relate.

Recently during a lull between contracted books, something made me pull out the last incarnation of Her Baby, His Love, and have another look. I found myself smiling as I reread it. So I wrote another draft, one with a hint of inspiration (an inspirational hero, for sure!) and a taste of sensuality, and, on a whim, I decided to submit the newest draft to a publisher willing to take chances on different kinds of stories —TULE!

How glad I am that I did.

Another part of the draw was Tule’s love for books set in Montana. Call it serendipity. Last August my husband and I took a road trip to Montana, since we’d never been. We started in Missoula, heading to White Fish and spending two fabulous days in Glacier National Park, then crossing north through the state via the Blackfeet Reservation, and later the Fort Belknap reservation to North Dakota. Then heading back to Billings and visiting the Crow Nation Reservation, all in ten days. We thought we’d snagged a little piece of heaven when we saw McDonald and Flathead lakes, and every time we looked up at the “big sky”, or saw horses running free, and roaming bison, hundreds and hundreds of them in the National Bison Range, we were sure we’d landed in western paradise. So it was pure joy to add more elements from The Treasure State to my story, set in the fictitious town of Charity, Montana, for the Montana Born Line.

Now I bite my nails and wait for this book, written with love and hopefully a little wisdom, to be released, and I thank my lucky stars that Tule believed enough in the story to publish it. I say this at a stage in life when most people are retired, yet I’d submitted a book to a new publisher, aspiring to open a new chapter in my writing life.

When I was growing up, I often referred to myself as a late bloomer. That title is particularly true about my writing career, which I refer to as my late mid-life crisis event. I’d started and finished a twenty-five-year career as a Registered Nurse before I found myself writing my first book. After putting it off long enough, one day when the characters wouldn’t leave me alone, I gave in. Over fifteen years, and thirty-two books later, I can’t imagine how my life would have been if I hadn’t discovered who I was meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, I loved just about every single day of my adult life before, especially after becoming a mother, yet way in the back of my mind there was always this daydreamer who wouldn’t give up. Nudge, nudge, nudge. Yes, I would have survived if I’d never discovered my inner writer, but I suspect I would have been frustrated and restless, and not nearly as happy the past decade and a half. What a journey I’ve been on!

I still get a kick out of calling myself a writer. Not great. Not amazing. Simply put, good enough. A good enough writer. With more stories to tell.

What’s your inner muse telling you to do? Maybe today’s the day you’ll listen.


Lynne Marshall used to worry she had a serious problem with day dreaming, until she discovered she was supposed to write those stories. Now traditionally published for more than ten years with over twenty-five books as a category romance author, she has also gone hybrid. She is a Southern California native, has been married to a New Englander for a long time, and has two adult children of whom she is super proud. She is also an adoring grandmother of two beautiful little girls, a woman of faith, a dog lover (Milo can vouch for that), a cat admirer, a meandering walker, a curious traveler, and an optimistic participant in this wild journey called life.


Lara Van Hulzen Shares Her Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe!

Credit to Ambitious Kitchen for this delicious recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • For rolling mixture:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside. Over medium heat, melt butter in a saucepan until foam starts forming. During this process, keep whisking the butter. When the butter starts to brown, immediately transfer to a bowl. Let the butter cool for a few minutes.
  2. Using an electric mixer to combine the butter and 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until well blended. Gradually, beat in the egg, yogurt, and vanilla.
  3. Incorporate the dry mixture gradually and beat on low until combined.
  4. Chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon into a separate bowl.
  7. Measure out 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll them into balls. Once finished, cover in cinnamon sugar.
  8. Drop cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until the edges are slightly toasted.
  10. Enjoy!!

Lara is a published author and public speaker with a degree in journalism.

Writing stories since she was a young girl, Lara’s dream of being a novelist became a reality with her Men of Honor Series.

An avid reader, she worked as a book reviewer for 18 years with various organizations such as Crossings Doubleday, YouthWorker Journal, and www.radiantlit.com.

Lover of movies, music, art, travel, baseball, CrossFit and her dog, Lara lives in California with her husband, teenage daughter, and teenage twin boys.


RELEASE DAY POST! Lara Van Hulzen Shares Her Inspiration for A Recipe of Romance!

When I was given the opportunity to write in the Bachelor Bake-Off Series, I jumped at the chance. The concept of writing in a series with other authors was new to me and not only did I learn a lot, I was able to work with some wonderful people while having fun creating – a great combination.

This was my first time writing in Marietta, Montana as well and I can’t think of a better setting to do so. And as much as I love cowboys, I enjoyed writing a wealthy businessman who finds love, even though he believes that’s the last thing he needs in his life. The St. Claire family have a home in Marietta, their home base being in New York. However, after the matriarch of the family passes away, Daniel St. Claire decides that his wife’s favorite place – Marietta – is exactly where he wants to be.

Not understanding why his father would want to completely change his life, Wes St. Claire comes to visit with the mindset of a quick trip to see family, then get back to work and his world in New York. However, his father and young niece sucker him into baking in the Bachelor Bake-Off. Although horrified at the idea, he caves when his niece gets her beautiful dance teacher, Noelle Olsen, to help Wes learn to bake.

I have to confess, I’m not much of a baker myself, so I had to refer to my daughter throughout the process. I can bake, it’s just not my strong suit. But it made A Recipe For Romance that much more fun to write. As Noelle helps Wes learn to bake, I got to be a part of it. I got to walk right along with them on their journey to each other, as well as new beginnings in Marietta.

My favorite thing to write is families. And I love the St. Claire’s. Their wealth and status is a part of their life, but it isn’t who they are. And having spent most of their lives in New York, Marietta changes each one of them in it’s own special way. The Bake-Off is just the beginning for them wanting to be a part of the community and make a difference for the town that meant so much to their mother.

As a huge fan of cookies, I couldn’t resist a series like this. It’s impossible to turn down romance mixed with decadent desserts – a perfect combination.


Lara is a published author and public speaker with a degree in journalism. Writing stories since she was a young girl, Lara’s dream of being a novelist became a reality with her Men of Honor Series. An avid reader, she worked as a book reviewer for 18 years with various organizations such as Crossings Doubleday, YouthWorker Journal, and www.radiantlit.com. Lover of movies, music, art, travel, baseball, CrossFit and her dog, Lara lives in California with her husband, teenage daughter, and teenage twin boys.


Bachelor Bake-Off Author Jessica Gilmore Shares Her Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes Recipe!

Ingredients

  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced. Any apple will do, a baking apple makes a moister cake, an eating one a crisper one.
  • 1 cup (225g) self raising flour – if using all purpose add the usual amounts of baking soda
  • 2 sticks (225g) softened butter
  • ½ cup golden castor sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • 4 eggs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 C/350 f
  • Cream the butter and sugar until smooth
  • Beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and cinnamon smoothly. If your batter isn’t a dropping consistency, add a tablespoon of milk until it is.
  • Line the bottom of the cupcake cases with slices of apple so the bottom is covered
  • Fill each case to about ¾ full
  • Top each cake with more slices of apple
  • Mix several tablespoons of brown or golden castor sugar with a tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle the tops of each cake
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 18 minutes. If a skewer doesn’t come away clean bake for another three-five minutes.
  • Enjoy!

An ex au-pair, bookseller, marketing manager and seafront trader, Jessica now works for an environmental charity in York. Married with one daughter, one fluffy dog and two dog-loathing cats she spends her time avoiding housework and can usually be found with her nose in a book. Jessica writes emotional romance with a hint of humour, a splash of sunshine and a great deal of delicious food – and equally delicious heroes.


RELEASE DAY POST! Get to Know Baking for Keeps Author, Jessica Gilmore!

It has a beautiful setting, a town full of interesting folk and, best of all, ranches full of cowboys and other bachelors all waiting for the right girl to tame them – how could I resist?

Hi! I I’m Jessica Gilmore and I live in the beautiful city of York, England with my husband, ballet-mad teen daughter and our much-loved and much-spoiled dog. I’ve been a published author for nearly three years now but Baking for Keeps is my first book for Tule.

I blame Avonlea for my love of small towns. I have no idea how old I was when I first read Anne of Green Gables, or the first time I saw the iconic Megan Follows series, but it seems as if I have always known and loved first Avonlea. It’s the joy of returning to a place, to seeing recurring characters again, watching them grow and find happiness.  They feel like home, thanks to the people, the quirky traditions, the landmarks which define Avonlea and Ingleside, Stars Hollow, Capeside and Pawnee. Even Sunnydale has a certain charm although I prefer my small towns without a hellmouth if possible! That’s why I was so happy when Tule asked me if I wanted to be part of the Bachelor Bake Off series. Marietta is the quintessential small town. It has a beautiful setting, a town full of interesting folk and, best of all, ranches full of cowboys and other bachelors all waiting for the right girl to tame them – how could I resist? And one of the most fun parts for me was adding my own contribution to the Marietta canon.

Charm and quirkiness are two things my hero, Zac Malone, really hates. He’s also not a fan of small towns and people knowing his business so it’s a surprise to him when local radio host Lacey Hathaway persuades him to enter the Marietta Bachelor Bake-Off. But he’s no soft touch and he turns the tables on Lacey with a dare of his own – she has to learn to bake alongside him. Lacey dislikes baking almost as much as she dislikes losing but the more time she spends with Zac the more she realizes it’s not just her pride at stake – it’s her heart.

Some books are easier than others to write and Baking For Keeps was an absolute delight from the first word to the last. I adored setting a book in Marietta and had so much fun with Crooked Corner, Lacey’s home, her two delightful great- aunts, the Bake-Off scenes and, of course, with discovering Zac and Lacey’s story. I hope you love it as much as I do!


An ex au-pair, bookseller, marketing manager and seafront trader, Jessica now works for an environmental charity in York. Married with one daughter, one fluffy dog and two dog-loathing cats she spends her time avoiding housework and can usually be found with her nose in a book. Jessica writes emotional romance with a hint of humour, a splash of sunshine and a great deal of delicious food – and equally delicious heroes.


Bachelor Bake-Off Author Jennifer Faye Shares Her Montana Cowboy Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup Reese’s pieces
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely broken pretzels

Makes 30-32 cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add butter to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Lower heat to simmer. Continue to stir until the butter turns a caramel shade (approx. 7-9 mins). Cool pan in a cold water bath in the sink (approx. 15 mins).
  3. Combine eggs, baking soda, coarse salt, and vanilla. Whisk together.
  4. Whisk in cooled butter.
  5. Whisk in brown sugar.
  6. Stir in flour, ½ cup at a time. Stir pretzels, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Pieces.
  7. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using Tbsp take a well-rounded scoop of dough and place on tray. Space cookies an inch or two apart.
  9. Bake 12-13 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Now living her dream, she resides with her very patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. When she’s not plotting out her next romance, you can find her curled up with a mug of tea and a book.


Release Day Post! Meet Sprinkled with Love Author, Jennifer Faye!

* Congratulations to JCP. You have won a free ebook of Sprinkled with Love! *

Take a bachelor bake-off, one ornery cowboy and a matchmaking cat and it made for a really fun book to write.

I’ve wanted to be an author since I was little and asked Santa for a typewriter…yes, I said typewriter. I was tickled pink when I got it. I immediately started to write a book of poetry that went something like Roses are red…Violets are blue…

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I got my hands on my very first romance. From then on, I couldn’t get enough of them. In my mind, it confirmed the fact that I wanted to be a romance author when I grew up.

Fast forward to 2007 when my husband and I decided that if I was going to follow my writing dreams, I should go for it. So I traded in my position as a statistician where I played with numbers, formulas and spreadsheets all day for an opportunity to let my imagination run free.

I started off entering contests…lots of RWA contests that had a Harlequin editor as final judge. I learned so much from that experience and I thank each and every one of you who volunteer your time to judge those contests. It definitely didn’t happen overnight and it did have some setbacks along the way, but finally my dream came true.

I love how the romance subgenres span historical, paranormal, contemporary and so much more. And best of all, romances come with a happy ending. With so much unhappiness in the world, it’s nice to turn to romances where you know eventually the hero and heroine will find their happily-ever-after. Such is the case for Avery and Jillian in Sprinkled with Love, but their journey is not without a few twists, turns and bumps.

I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Tule team with my Montana Born debut, Sprinkled with Love. Take a bachelor bake-off, one ornery cowboy and a matchmaking cat and it made for a really fun book to write. And did I mention the delicious cookies, pies and cakes. Oh my!

Speaking of cookies, yes, I did bake a batch of the Montana Cowboy Cookies. After all, you do have to make sacrifices for your art, right? And I didn’t hear the husband complaining when he helped me eat them. ;-)

I hope you enjoy Sprinkled with Love as much as I enjoyed writing it. And just remember, it’s calorie-free. ;-)


Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Now living her dream, she resides with her very patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. When she’s not plotting out her next romance, you can find her curled up with a mug of tea and a book.


Celebrate the Release of A Cowboy’s Temptation with Michelle Beattie!

“This really is a story of relationships and love, of discovering who you are and what you want.”

 

 

When I wrote A Rancher’s Surrender, I hadn’t planned on a series. It wasn’t until I was reading the scene to my critique group of when Scott comes running around the bunkhouse with his open shirt flapping that someone said, “OMG, you have to write Scott’s story!”

So, many (way too many) years later, A Cowboy’s Temptation was conceived. I always knew Jillian’s sister Katie would be Scott’s heroine. From inception, she was going to have flaming red hair that matched her personality: fiery, plucky. A little wild. Who better to knock the normally affable Scott off his feet?

Certainly in today’s day, giving in to desires doesn’t result in a hasty marriage, but in the 1880’s? I love that the marriage is Scott’s idea. That Katie, the woman who would stand to lose the most in those days, is the one to say no, that nobody need ever find out. I think that’s one of the reasons I love this time period. The men had honor; they stood for something. And for Scott who grew up with worse than nothing, to have that kind of integrity despite his past? How can you not fall for a hero like that?

This story is a little different for me. Nobody’s on the run, nobody’s shooting and nobody’s life is at stake. This really is a story of relationships and love, of discovering who you are and what you want.

Welcome back to Frontier Marietta, folks, where you never know how far love and passion will take you.


Award-winning author Michelle Beattie began writing in 1995, almost immediately after returning from her honeymoon.  It took 12 long years but she achieved her dream of seeing her name on the cover of a book when she sold her novel, What A Pirate Desires, in 2007.  Since then she’s written and published several more historical novels as well a contemporary. When Michelle isn’t writing she enjoys playing golf, reading, walking her dog, traveling and sitting outside enjoying the peace of country life.


Bachelor Bake-Off Author Kate Hardy Shares Her Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

* KC Crocker, you have won a free ebook of your choice! Please email info@thetulegroup.com to claim your prize. *

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 oz) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) white sugar
  • 1 cup (8 oz) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (about 18 oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 packets choc chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter and sugars until uniform. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Add flour and baking powder; beat until smooth. Add choc chips.
  3. For best results, refrigerate the lot for 1-2 hours.
  4. Dollop lumps of dough onto a baking tray lined with foil, leaving 2 inches between.
  5. Bake for 10-12 mins, or until golden, and allow to cool on a wire rack.

 


Kate Hardy is the award-winning author of more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Entangled and Tule Publishing.

She lives in Norwich in the east of England with her husband, two teenage children, a springer spaniel called Byron, and too many books to count. She’s a bit of a science and history nerd who loves cinema, the theatre, and baking (which is why you’ll find her in the gym five mornings a week – oh, and to ballroom dancing lessons). She loves doing research, especially if it means something hands-on and exploring. (That’s how the ballroom dancing started…)