Sinclair Jayne Shares Dawson and Sutter’s Playlist from A Country Love Song!

Giveaway Closed! Congratulations to Toni Whitmire. 

 

So for A Country Love Song, I wanted it to be a bit of a tribute to how music teachers endure those awkward beginning years with their students and instruct and cajole and inspire and push through the challenges

 

 

I have always loved music, but especially country music because it’s really about the story and the characters in that song’s story. Many of them are not even necessarily a story I can relate to like shooting whiskey or keying some cheatin’ guy’s ride, but I see that girl, I can feel what she feels. Emotions are universal, no matter what event or person inspired them—-love, sorrow, disappointment, betrayal, abandonment. In the fall, I was talking to Jane Porter about music, what we listen to when we write, and we were wondering why Tule Publishing hadn’t received a lot of romance submissions where the characters were musicians or in the music industry. Country music, especially seems like a natural as Tule has the Montana Born and Southern Born imprints. Jane and I counted the music oriented manuscripts published, and it was only a handful. I don’t remember exactly what Jane said. I think we were drinking water with lemon, and really, we should have been drinking something far more exciting, because Jane said something along the lines of “get on that.”

We bandied about some ideas, her acting as scribe and generally groaning, nixing and throwing a pen at me over my cheesy ideas because I love to make her laugh. But later that night, I got a little more serious and started thinking about my middle school music teacher. I had loved to sing—-walking, in the car, in my room, at the mall. I was okay. Never more than that. But she always said “You enjoy it, keep singing.” So I kept joining choirs all the way through college.

She also directed a hand bell choir at my middle school and high school, and of course I joined happily. Unhappily I was the worst, always playing the F# in my left hand even though I KNEW the note was a G and the G was in my right hand. My brain said G. Right hand. I heard it, but my left hand charged out. Many of the other kids grumbled the first year, wanting to toss me out because when you play a wrong note in a hand bell choir, everyone knows it. That sucker rings out. Carol shrugged off the mistakes and explained it as a neurological issue of mixed left right dominance or something like that. “Keep playing” she said. So I didn’t quit. And the grumbling turned to sideways glares. And then those faded because I got better. And better.

So for A Country Love Song, I wanted it to be a bit of a tribute to how music teachers endure those awkward beginning years with their students and instruct and cajole and inspire and push through the challenges and build a foundation where the artist can find their own voice. So I created in my mind, a young girl, Sutter Knight—naïve, earnest, talented, enthusiastic and driven who could really blossom in a small southern town with a music teacher who believed in her, and also started thinking of her a little bit as the daughter she never had. And then of course I thought of the boy who loved her and performed with her in the school choir and musicals but reluctantly and oh so painfully let her fly far from him. Sutter Knight headed to Nashville to pursue her dream of being a country singer and songwriter, but Dawson Yates stayed grounded in Sweet Tea, Tennessee because he had family obligations and dreams of his own that don’t involve a stage—unless he’s building it.

Because I love reunion romances, the story starts ten years after Sutter has left. Her career is finally on the rise. She’s charted, toured and been nominated for an award. She returns to her home town to visit her music teacher before heading back into a Nashville studio, and that’s where she finds an unexpected challenge desperate for her talents and enthusiasm as well as the boy, now a man, she thought she’d left behind. But when Sutter sees Dawson again, she quickly realizes that her feelings aren’t as far in the past as she told herself.

Writing about a country musician who thinks in melodies and lyrics was a lot of fun and definitely a different experience. I listened to a lot of music, not all of it country. The song I listened to on repeat when I took long walks to think about how the story would unspool was Ryan Adam’s To Be Without You. That song is for me the best description of a post break up—where you are no longer sick with grief or anger and sobbing a lot, but have entered the acceptance stage. But you are numb. It’s all sinking in that it’s over, really over, and you aren’t sure how you are going to keep walking forward, but you know you have to. Because so much of Sutter and Dawson’s reunion keeps tumbling into the past, that song really put me in the mood to write a story where two people’s lives split even though their hearts never fully made the separation. And they trudged on with grim determination and found success but never that effervescent happiness they had as teens. The story is them at an emotional cross roads. Can they go back and retrieve what they lost? Do they keep moving on alone? Or Find a new direction together?

I listened to many, many more songs. Some of the songs or artists I mention in the book because Sutter does performs, but mostly because she is constantly taking her guitar with her and noddling melodies, singing in snatches and scrawling lyrics in a notebook. One song that makes an appearance is Setting the World on Fire by Kenny Chesney because I absolutely love the goofy energy of that song and the images and the sense of two people just drunk on love and acting silly and yet having a little ability to reflect and recapture those emotions. Keith Urban’s Boy Gets a Truck totally fit with Dawson’s personality and life as a teen in love with Sutter and also even later as a man glimpsing his 30s and wondering if he dare to try with Sutter again. When I was trying to think of a song that themed with Sutter, two songs really seemed to fit. Miranda Lambert’s The House that Built Me because Sutter is all about the town of Sweet Tea and her memories there and also Tim McGraw’s Humble and Kind, because even with her shiny confidence and success, Sutter is still so sweet and determined to pay it forward for other musicians and kids and her home town and larger community even when the task of giving back is daunting.

One last song that I had on repeat on my play list was My Church by Maren Morris. The attitude didn’t fit Sutter at all, but man oh man could I relate to doing a lot of thinking and emoting while driving. And as I drove and played this really loud and sang along (my poor teens, but I’m not even that sorry) another, future character started to form—Tyler Knight, Sutter’s fallen pop star actress younger sister, who returns to Sweet Tea broken but determined to grind it out and become her own personal phoenix in a future Smoky Mountain Knight book some time down that long dirt road of writing.

I hope you enjoy A Country Love Song and find something to sing along to.


After teaching writing classes and workshops to adults and teens for many years in Seattle and Portland, she returned to her first love of reading romances and became an editor for Tule Publishing last year. Sinclair lives in Oregon’s wine country where she and her family own a small vineyard of Pinot Noir and where she dreams of being able to write at a desk like Jane Austen instead of in parking lots waiting for her kids to finish one of their 12,000 extracurricular activities.


RELEASE DAY POST! Find Out What Inspired Laurie LeClair’s The Cowboy’s Rebellious Bride!

Music is the soundtrack of our lives.

— Dick Clark

Growing up, music was a constant in my life—the radio always played as we rode in the car, my parents sang and listened to records (the original vinyl) in our house, my older siblings introduced me to the latest and greatest singers and bands, and I sang in chorus for nearly a decade.

Now, one of my husband’s and my favorite things to do is go to concerts, especially to see all the performers we didn’t get to see ages ago. Along the way, we’ve discovered a long list of new favorites to hear and see.

When I began to write, music played in the background and created the perfect mood for the story. Many songs inspired scenes and some wound up in my books. A phrase in one song even became the title of one of my books.

But nothing surprised me or influenced me more than when I heard Chris Young’s song, Think Of You, for the first time. Cody and Hannah’s book, The Cowboy’s Rebellious Bride, came to me in an instant—best friends to lovers, life of the party, all their friends wishing they were them, memories that can’t be erased, etc. It was a perfect fit. The song played in my head when I wrote their story. (It’s now the ringtone on my phone.) And, it just so happened, the day I turned in the manuscript to the Tule Publishing Group was the same day my husband and I got to see Chris Young in concert. I remember hearing him sing Think Of You and tears came to my eyes. What an incredible full circle moment for me—a very grateful writer, indeed—to merge my love of music with my love of characters and stories.

I hope you fall in love with Cody and Hannah the same way I did when they jumped out of this song, danced in my head, and came to life on the pages of The Cowboy’s Rebellious Bride.

Here’s a few of the tunes on my playlist for The Cowboy’s Rebellious Bride:

Think Of You by Chris Young

Kiss Me Like This by Toby Keith

Top Of The World by Tim McGraw

Perfect Storm by Brad Paisley

Life’s A Dance by John Michael Montgomery


Bestselling author Laurie LeClair writes romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and contemporary women’s fiction. Laurie’s habit of daydreaming has gotten her into a few scrapes and launched her to take up her dream of writing. Finally, she can put all those stories in her head to rest as she brings them to life on the page.


Susan Sands’s Top 5 Southernisms!

Dear Readers,

We officially have a trilogy! Ben and Sabine’s story makes three. Forever, Alabama is the third installment of my Alabama series with Southern Born books. They are full-length, stand-alone romantic women’s fiction titles.

I came to Tule as an unpublished writer, thrilled to be given the opportunity by this team to publish my debut novel. It has been a pure pleasure to be on the verge of releasing my third story here. Much gratitude to then entire Tule family for helping me along with such grace and professional care.

The Alabama books are set in fictional Ministry, Alabama, somewhere between Montgomery and Birmingham. God’s country, some would say. I’ve never lived in Alabama, but I grew up in a tiny non-fiction small town in Louisiana that bears great similarity to Ministry. If you’ve never spent significant time in such a town, let me fill you in with a few Southernisms:

1) Family ties are stronger and more unbreakable than any earthly substance, manmade or otherwise. Families can fight and call each other names, but don’t mess with kin.
2) Recipes are sacred, but don’t share them outside the family. You can give out a bogus version so as not to sound stingy, but leave out Granny’s secret ingredient. A good casserole will cure what ails you.
3) Gossip isn’t really gossip if it’s true, bless your heart.
4) It’s okay to mount the head of roadkill if it’s at least an eight-pointer—ask your local taxidermist. It would be a waste not to.
5) Nothing’s cuter than a speckled puppy under a red wagon in a rainstorm.

All three Alabama books feature siblings of the Laroux family, a large, loud, and loving bunch, who hold hands in support, possibly right after wrestling one another to the ground for a noogie. These stories aim for big family love, romance, humor, and in the case of Forever, Alabama, a good shot of suspense.

Thanks to Tule for hosting me on the blog today!! It’s been such fun.

I love to hear from readers anytime! You can find me at the following places:

Email: snsands@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susannsandsauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusanNoelSands

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susansands/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susansands_/


Susan Sands grew up in a real life Southern Footloose town, complete with her senior class hosting the first ever prom in the history of their tiny public school. Is it any wonder she writes Southern small town stories full of porch swings, fun and romance?

Susan lives in suburban Atlanta surrounded by her husband, three young adult kiddos and lots of material for her next book.


RELEASE DAY! Justine Davis Takes Over the Tule Blog!

I am so excited to be working with everyone here at Tule; the energy is contagious! I’ve been at this a few years now, and it’s great to work with such enthusiastic people. I also need to thank my friends Eve Gaddy and Kathy Garbera for allowing me into the fictional world they created; I’m a Texan by heart if not by geography, the Hill Country is my favorite place in Texas, and I’m enjoying playing there. And what’s not to love about a place called Whiskey River?

It’s also been great fun to return to the roots of my genre, and utilize a tiny bit of my personal history in my first Tule release, Whiskey River Rescue. (As you’ll find in the story, the rescue in the title applies in more than one way!) As is usual for me, the idea for my hero came first, so Crazy Joe Kilcoyne, as he’s known around Whiskey River, went into the pot. Being the dark, haunted character that he is, he of course needed a heroine who is. . .his exact opposite. Sunny, outgoing Kelsey Blaine fit the bill perfectly. With her soft heart and a life already dedicated to rescuing abused horses, she of course can’t leave well enough alone when her world is upended by her mysterious neighbor.

But that bit of personal history I mentioned. . . I’ve always been a horse lover. I was that little girl who never grew out of the childhood infatuation with these magnificent creatures. My first horse was a learning experience that landed me in a hospital ER; never again, I resolved, would I fall for a pretty face with a malfunctioning brain. (Hmm, sounds like a romantic suspense. . .) That horse was way beyond my competency level at that point. But my second, my sweet Sassafras, was ever willing, tolerated the fact that my only riding time was at the crack of dawn and sunset, and developed a highly amusing relationship with my dog at the time.

I also grew up in the San Fernando Valley of southern California, a place jokingly (yet not) known for its four seasons of fire, flood, drought, and earthquake. And I got to know that first one up close and personal one year when the roulette wheel of the fire season stopped on the foothill neighborhood where my horse was boarded. My first instinct, along with several other fellow boarders at our stable, was to go make sure she was all right. The only problem was that the fire department, quite reasonably, had all the roads blocked off. But we all knew the riding trails in the area, away from the main roads. (apologies to fire fighters who were probably scared to death by kids popping up on the wrong side of those lines)

Our stable, thankfully, was still standing; the tack room was scorched, along with a couple of corrals, but the fire had moved on. But others in the area were not so lucky, and not only were their houses and stables burning, they weren’t being allowed in to rescue their animals. Some, on the other hand, were already inside the lines. . .

And so began what we later called the round up, through the streets of this spacious but definitely suburban neighborhood, where those who could get to the endangered horses did it for those who could not. Someone yelled out the plan, the closest safe place big enough and safely fenced. Those who could got to trailers waiting outside the fire lines. Of the rest, those who could trust their own horses enough rode herd on the frightened animals, while those whose own horses were too frightened or had already been rescued led others away from the smoke, chaos, and flying ash and embers. The air was barely breathable, but at least the humans knew what was going on; our horses only knew they were terrified.

It wasn’t pretty, or neat, and not all were gathered—a few were found loose in the streets at daylight—but hours later, the local high school had acquired a sizeable herd of horses on the football field. It was quite a sight.

So that’s my bit of personal history, something I hadn’t thought about in quite a while, until the day I found myself writing a story about a horse lover named Kelsey Blaine who ends up rescuing more than horses, and changing her entire life in the process.


Author of more than 70 books, (she sold her first ten in less than two years) Justine Davis is a five time winner of the coveted RWA RITA Award, including for being inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame. A fifteen time nominee for RT Book Review awards, she has won four times, received three of their lifetime achievement awards, and had four titles on the magazine’s 200 Best of all Time list. Her books have appeared on national best seller lists, including USA Today. She has been featured on CNN, taught at several national and international conferences, and at the UCLA writer’s program.


Celebrate the Release Day of Taming the Texas Cowboy with Author Charlene Sands!

* Congratulations to Lois I! You have won a free print copy of Whiskey River: The Kellys. Please email info@thetulegroup.com to claim your prize. *

1. What inspired you to pick Texas as the setting for Trey and Maddie’s story?

True Texans are a breed all their own. I have family who live in Texas and have studied the ways of the people of the lone star state, the pride and work ethic and love of the land. In my experience with Texans, I found them to be men and women of honor and intense manners. And you’ll see that come through in Taming the Texas Cowboy, the first book in my Forever Texan series. Trey is a good man, who believes the very worst about himself, and Maddie is a woman who sees him for the fine man that he is. Getting him to realize that takes a bit of doing, and at times, Maddie isn’t sure she can get through to the stubborn, prideful, protective Texan.

2. Did you have a playlist in mind while writing this story?

I find inspiration in country music for all my books! My playlist includes some of Brad Paisley’s funny songs, including, “Waitin’ on a Woman”, Lady Antebellum’s , “Need You Now”, Tim McGraw’s, “Real Good Man”, Luke Bryan’s, “You Can Crash My Party Anytime”, and Carrie Underwood’s, “Mama’s Song” and “Something’s in the Water.”

3. How would you describe your hero, Trey? Did you have any actors or models in mind while creating the character?

Ah…my secret is revealed!   In my head, most of my heroes tend to look like Chris Hemsworth, imagine that! (Ha!) But I have yet to find a picture of him in a Stetson. Now that would be glorious. Although, I have to say the cover model for this book fits my description of rancher, Trey Walker perfectly; a rugged, handsome, man of the land. Trey isn’t as immune to the wholesome, intelligent, pretty veterinarian, Maddie Brooks, as he thinks and when offers her a place to stay and treat her animals temporarily, he finds it a grueling test to his willpower.

4.  If you could switch places with any character in this book, who would it be and why?

Let’s see. It would have to be Maddie. She’s lost a lot in her life, but it doesn’t let it get her down. She’s strong of character, tenderhearted with her animals and a girl who doesn’t give up. Maddie is one of the most independent heroines I’ve ever written, in that she is basically alone in the world and has to make some pretty hard decisions in her life. And…she’s living under the same roof as Trey Walker, which makes life eye-popping and exciting!

5. Can you give a sneak preview of your favorite scene in the book in one sentence or less?

There’s so many scenes I love, but this one is full of fun–a leaky pipe in the bathroom spurs a water fight between a near naked Trey and an unsuspecting Maddie, and things heat up real fast.


Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling author writing sexy contemporary romances and stories set in the Old West. Her stories have been honored with the National Readers Choice Award, the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award and she’s a double recipient of the Booksellers’ Best Award. She was recently honored with Romantic Times Magazine’s Best Harlequin Desire of 2014. Charlene is a member of the Orange County Chapter and Los Angeles Chapter of Romance Writers of America.


RELEASE DAY! Get to Know Knights of Passion Author Megan Ryder!

1. Sports play such a significant role in each of your books. What is your favorite part of the sports romance genre?

I love sports heroes and how sexy they are. They’re so masculine and so competitive, driven to succeed and win. I like how they’re not afraid to get dirty and how they go all out for their dreams. In my books, I have heroes who love their dreams and cling to those dreams no matter what, doing whatever it takes to succeed. Sometimes, they forget there’s another world out there and they tend to take on the weight of the team on their own shoulders.

In The Game Changer, Dylan believes he is the one upon whom the whole team’s chances rest. Even though it’s a team sport, he puts a lot of pressure of himself to win, to succeed, to help his team mates. That devotion to his team mates and to the people around him, even while keeping himself separate can’t continue and he eventually learns that through the little rescue dog, through Savannah, and through his team mates.

2. In your story, Savannah is completely dedicated to her work with animals. Do you have a favorite pet or animal story that you’d like to share?

Sadie was such a character in this book that I had to struggle to not let her take over. She completely wanted to book to be about her and she kept upstaging the main characters. She was based a little after my own dog, Josie, whom I lost a year ago almost to the day of when The Game Changer comes out. Josie was my baby and so sweet, a cocker spaniel mix. She would get so frustrated when I’d be writing but she’d lay next to me with her head on my lap while I wrote until I was ready to play with her. She was perfectly happy to be with me.

Like Sadie, she chose me. She was one of nine puppies, the runt of the rescue litter. When I went to meet the litter, she was desperately trying to push her way through the puppies to me but her siblings kept pushing her back. Finally, I picked her up and she crawled up my shirt and snuggled into my neck like she was home. She picked me. I miss her to this day.

3. Did you have a “dream cast” in mind when writing about Savannah and Dylan?

Always. For Savannah, I pictured Cindy Crawford in the old Pepsi commercials, wearing that white t-shirt and jean shorts. For Dylan, he’s Steve Lund from the SYFY TV show Bitten.

4. In five words or less, tell us why readers will love the relationship between Savannah and Dylan.

I think people will love the story of Dylan and Savannah because of the theme of rescue. They both start because of a rescue dog, then slowly they rescue each other from their own cages – Dylan from his closed off life, trapped by his past and his own fears, and Savannah from her own fears of getting to close to anyone, even a dog, which is so ironic, given her career choice.

5. Can you share a deleted scene with us?

Here is one towards the end of the book. I hope it doesn’t spoil too much!


Despite Savannah’s pregame jitters, she handled the crowd and the ceremonies like a pro. No one noticed that she gripped Dylan’s hand a little tighter than necessary or that it was a little sweaty. Her voice was clear and strong as she thanked the crowd and the Knights for their very generous donation to their rescue and how they intended to use it. She even introduced some of her rescues up for adoption as they lined up and were paraded on the field, led by the players, then directed interested adopters to their website and upcoming adoption events if they were interested in any of the dogs. Most of the players got into the show, acting as if it were a dog show, playing it up to the crowd and everyone seemed to love it, especially the dogs. Maybe they had made a few love connections today. Judging by the way a few players were loving on the dogs, there might be a few Knights requesting applications before the day was over.

Savannah headed into the dugout, her face flushed and a broad smile on her face. She looked a little stunned and overwhelmed by everything, and relieved that it was over. Fosters were coming into the dugout to greet the players and retrieve their dogs to bring them into the stands for the game.

Dylan strapped on his catcher’s gear, Sadie leaning against him, getting in his way of his leg pads. Savannah slid onto the bench next to him, almost shaking in excitement. “Dylan, I don’t know how to thank you. I mean, all of this…”

He glanced up at her. “You did all the work. I just introduced you to Stacia.” He paused for a moment. “I’m proud of you. You were awesome out there. Handled it like a pro. I’ll bet you found some new homes and new donors.”

Her eyes were bright and dancing as she just about bounced on the bench, sitting on her hands in an effort to keep still. ‘I can’t believe how much was raised! We can easily renovate that building and get a good start on the rescue. It’s beyond anything I could have imagined. All thanks to you.”

His last leg pad was finally buckled and he straighted in his seat. He turned and pulled her to him, wrapped her in the big hug he wanted to do sooner but had to be ready to get on the field. “Congratulations. Sorry I couldn’t do this sooner. I have to get on the field.”

She froze in his arms, as if surprised he would publicly hug her or show any emotion then she twined her arms around his neck awkwardly thanks to the gear and hugged him back. “This is a little uncomfortable.”

He grinned against her neck. “Maybe we’ll try this again later.”

A couple of players whooped and Cody Patterson walked over. “Hey man, we have a game to win. Give up the lady for now. You have plenty of time for romance after we kick their asses.”

Dylan grimaced but Savannah let him go. “Go kick their asses, Dylan. Show them who’s top dog in Savannah.”

Cody laughed. “I knew I liked you! Let’s do this!”

With one final glance, Dylan headed on the field slowly thanks to his gear, Cody walking next to him, a team finally. Cody glanced over his shoulder at Savannah and nudged Dylan with his shoulder.

“Things going pretty good, huh? Nice job, man.”

Dylan narrowed his eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Cody held up his hands. “Nothing. Just saying, she’s a nice person and you’re not bad. Don’t fuck it up. Although you did a pretty cool thing here. She’ll be pretty damn grateful.”

“I didn’t do it for that. Her rescue could use the help.”

“I get it but it helps you with her too, right? Nice thinking.”

Dylan slapped his glove against Cody’s stomach. “Focus on the game and not on my girl.”

He slammed his mask on and squatted behind the plate, ignoring the laugh from Cody as he jogged to the mound. Stupid ass. As if he did all this to impress Savannah, to prove that he cared about her. No, he did this because her rescue needed it. And to show her that he could help her, if she would let him.


Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading.


Meet Joy Talley and Celebrate Waking Up Joy with a BOOK BOGO Opportunity!

Cover_Forkner_WakingUpJoy
With it being the anniversary month of the publication of Waking Up Joy, Tule Publishing invited me to write a post to celebrate, and there is so much that I am excited about and grateful for when it comes to this book. Maybe you’ll celebrate too when you hear about the spectacular promotion that, in order to show our excitement, we’re offering to readers. First, though, I want to say a few words about this novel that even after two years is still the book of my heart.

Waking Up Joy is a novel that I thought would never make it to print. In fact, I lost track of how many times it came within a hair of getting published, until this publishing committee or that one would change their minds. With each rejection, I revisited the story to see why publishers almost always liked the book, but still passed on publishing it every single time. I did everything I could to consider any editorial comments that were passed on to me that could make the book better, including taking a closer look at the genre I had the book in.

Waking Up Joy has always been a women’s fiction title, which made the manuscript longer than most romances, but it definitely had a strong romantic thread in it too. I was in love with the romantic elements of the story, but sometimes I wondered if editors would like it better if I lessened the importance of the romance. Who knows? Maybe they would have liked it better if I had. I’ll never know, because I couldn’t bring myself to do that. The book was women’s fiction, and it was also romance. Even its main character, Joy Talley, was a romance reader with gobs of books hidden from her judgmental sisters, and so was I, although my sister approved of my reading choices.
I did continue to rewrite scenes of the book and make it better, but I could never remove the romantic qualities of the novel, because we all know that a great love story counts, and this could be the biggest and most important turning point in Joy Talley’s life. How could I take that away from her? What kind of story would Waking Up Joy be without that? Thankfully we will never know, even though at the time, I wondered if any reader would ever even get to meet Joy Talley.

It seemed like just about everybody had rejected Waking Up Joy and I was about to give up. It was around this time that fellow author Amy Sue Nathan introduced me to Jane Porter, and along came Tule. They gave the novel a chance, and now, thanks to readers like you, Waking Up Joy has more than 170 reviews, has become an award-winning novel, and readers have even been inspired to make their own strawberry-lemon cake, and even some whoopee pies, after finishing Joy’s story.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up, because I loved writing this story, and even though it sounds weird, the characters are still very much alive for me. The best part of Waking Up Joy for me is that through the main character, Joy Talley, I’ve connected with more readers on a personal level than with any of my other novels. This has been a pleasant surprise for me as an author.

I wrote Joy from my point of view, and then readers took her and began to relate to her on a whole different level than I could have expected. I’m not completely sure of why, but there is definitely something special about Joy Talley. As a result, I’ve heard from more readers with this book than with any of my others. Some readers want to know if Joy is like me, and I assure you, we aren’t the same person. But Joy brings out a side of me that perhaps, before the novel, not many people got to see.

TheRealThing-300dpiI promise you, I’m not nearly as funny or possessing of any sort of pluckiness that would shock my siblings and peers like Joy, but in many ways we are alike. We both grew up in Oklahoma, we both love romance novels, and like Joy Talley, I think chocolate is magic. Every time I pop a truffle into my mouth my mood changes, but I did not model Joy Talley after myself. If anything, her strength, wit, and unassuming wisdom was inspired by other people I grew up around in Oklahoma, and so in that way of thinking, I guess some things about her were inspired by real life.
If you haven’t met Joy Talley and her quirky, if not crazy, siblings, I hope you’ll read Waking Up Joy and take advantage of this great opportunity to get a copy of my other novel, The Real Thing, for free. Please help spread the word and introduce Joy to your friends, and in the process, you can all meet Manda and Marta, two of the main characters in The Real Thing.

 

To celebrate, Tule’s giving away a FREE copy of The Real Thing when you purchase Waking Up Joy! Just send your receipt to info@thetulegroup.com by October 31st. Happy reading!


tinaxannxforknerxtrtxsigningTina Ann Forkner is the author of five novels, including the award-winning Waking Up Joy and The Real Thing. Tina is a substitute teacher and the mom/stepmom of two teens and a college student. She grew up in Oklahoma, but lives in Wyoming with her husband, who knows how to wear a cowboy hat when necessary.


Lenora Worth takes over the Tule Blog!

DriftwoodBride-300dpiHello, Tule Readers! Happy Fourth of July Weekend and Happy Summer. I’m excited about summer because, earlier this week, Tule released the third novella in my Driftwood Bay series, set in my home state for the last few years, Florida.

BridgeNavarreXX582x640XXX214x235XDriftwood Bride is a sweet, emotional story about Melissa and Judson, who have been sweethearts since they were in grammar school. I loved writing this story because while I was writing the first two—Driftwood Cowboy and Driftwood Hero—Melissa’s story kept calling to me.

Tule let me do my own thing with these stories and I appreciate that. I live near the Gulf of Mexico and I love beach stories so this is kind of a fantasy for since I’ve always loved the ocean. I hope you’ll escape with this series and go a little coastal with us.BlogIBLF1

To get you in the mood for summer, I’m sharing some of my favorite photos of my world. And … if you leave a comment and tell us about your best vacation ever, we’ll enter you in a drawing to win FREE downloads of the first two books in the series: Driftwood Cowboy and Driftwood Hero, and a beach bag full of beaching goodies and books. Once a winner is picked, we’ll ask for an e-mail address and I’ll personally send you the e-books and then I’ll mail you the beach bag!TuleXblog

Have a great summer!

 

 

 

 


Get your copy of Driftwood Bride:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks | GooglePlay


auth_LenoraWorth-2Lenora Worth writes award-winning romance and romantic suspense for Love Inspired and also writes for Tule, Zondervan and Redbud Press. Three of her books finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards and several of her books have been RT Reviewer’s Choice finalist. “Logan’s Child” won the 1998 Best Love Inspired for RT. Her Love Inspired Suspense “Body of Evidence” became a NY Times Bestseller. Her novella in Mistletoe Kisses, along with several other writers, also made her a USA Today Bestselling author. With sixty books published and millions of books in print, she goes on adventures with her retired husband, Don. They have two grown children. Lenora enjoys reading, baking and shopping … especially shoe shopping. L


Visit with author Julia Justiss on her real AND book birthday!

ScandalWithTheRancher-300dpiThe release of a new book is always a cause for celebration, but especially so when it is the start of a new venture—in this case, my first historical novella for Tule.  A company which, as readers know, puts out some of the best stories by the best authors ever, which means I’m even more honored to join them.  And for the cherry on top of the celebration, the release day is my birthday!

It’s also a parallel of sorts. Just before my birthday in 1998, Margaret Marbury with Harlequin called to say she wanted to buy my Golden Heart-winning Regency Romance.  For all of my career since (25+ books and counting) I’ve set my stories in the English Regency.  So it seems especially fitting that my debut into a new historical time period with a new publisher will occur, once again, on my birthday.

Ronan “Booze” Kelly, the hero of SCANDAL WITH THE RANCHER, is also looking to start a new venture.  Having built a trading empire, founded a town, and earned a reputation as the most dynamic and charming man in the Hill Country, Booze decides to try cattle ranching.  The ideal land for his ranch belongs to a beautiful widow, Marguerite McMasters.  After the tragic death of her husband, she’s stubbornly hanging on to their dream of establishing a horse breeding farm.  Despite her attraction to Booze, she won’t be charmed out of her land—or into his bed.

Or so she thinks.

What happens when an irresistible force like Booze meets the unmovable determination of a Marguerite?  Throw in a highly-combustible passion, and the result is bound to be explosive!

As a birth marks the beginning of a new life waiting to unfold, I’m hoping my journey into the historical American West will bring fun, surprises, unexpected twists and lots of enjoyment for me and for readers.  Thank you again, Tule, for giving me the most wonderful birthday present!

Have you had any special milestones occur on your birthday?  Please share!


AuthorX1After writing more than twenty-five novels and novellas set in the English Regency, award-winning historical author Julia Justiss expanded her focus to pen stories that take place on the frontier of the Texas Hill Country, near where she lives with her native-born Texas husband. An avid reader who began jotting down plot ideas for…


Visit with Love, Alabama author Susan Sands!

LoveAlabama-300dpiHello everyone! I’m thrilled to be here today, and am especially excited to introduce Love, Alabama, my second Tule novel. I write small town Southern romantic stories with lots of humor and family in the mix. Again, Alabama was released last June, and while the two stories share a common setting and family, they can read as be stand-alone books.

I grew up in a tiny town in northwest Louisiana where everybody knew my name and every dang thing I ever did. It’s like that in most rural areas, I suppose, but at the time I believed it to be a stifling existence. I read everything I could get my hands on, and when I outgrew Nancy Drew mysteries, I turned to Harlequin romances. Romance novels are still my escape and virtual adventure when reality isn’t quite cutting it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a happily married woman of nearly twenty-seven years, but I still love to take a journey with a hot twenty-something firefighter, billionaire, or marine, or, go back in time to another century with a duke or pirate. Sigh.

susanXblogI now relish and have returned to, in my own writing, all the things I bolted from when I was eighteen. Sometimes, you have to get away from something to really appreciate the positives and the larger picture. Small towns mean community where people look after one another. They are filled with family, home cooking, and the familiar. Now that I have a family of my own, I love going home to Louisiana to visit my parents and spending time at a slower pace

I grew up in Louisiana, I live in Georgia, but I write about Alabama…hmm. You can find out what that’s all about on susansands.com, my website!

I love connecting with readers!
https://www.facebook.com/susannsandsauthor/
https://twitter.com/SusanNoelSands
https://www.pinterest.com/susansands/

photoXcredXAndreaXBrownSusan Sands grew up in a real life Southern Footloose town, complete with her senior class hosting the first ever prom in the history of their tiny public school. Is it any wonder she writes Southern small town stories full of porch swings, fun and romance?

Susan lives in suburban Atlanta surrounded by her husband, three young adult kiddos and lots of material for her next book.