Tule Author Q&A: Melinda Di Lorenzo found inspiration on a road trip!

Melinda Di Lorenzo stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fist book in the Trinity Calhoun Mystery series, Can’t Go Home!

 

Aerial Photography of Pine Trees on the MountainWhere did you get the inspiration for Can’t Go Home?

This story has been in my head for AGES. It started while I was on a road trip with my family. We were travelling through the mountains when I imagined a small town hidden there—the kind of place designed for secrets. I started telling my husband about it, and before long, I had the whole plot mapped out. That’s a rarity for me, since I prefer not to outline!

 

What kind of research did you need to do for this story?

As usual, I relied on my police contacts to get (and take liberty with) info about procedure. But since Whimsy is a completely fictional place, I got to let my imagination run wild!

 

Trinity Calhoun is such a strong female character. Where did you draw inspiration for her? How do you relate to her?

I love Trinity. I love the little voice she has inside her own head, reminding her of the rules while also encouraging her to break them. Trinity is funny. Sure of herself in her work. Unsure of herself in her personal life. She has a soft spot for people from her past. And I’m certain she gets her facetious remarks straight from me.

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

I have two favourite scenes. The first appears on the opening page—the phone call that starts it all. The second is right near the end, so I won’t give it away!

 

Prologue

A crackle over the line.

“Trinity?”

“Yes?”

“Trinity Calhoun?”

“Asher?” 

A too-long moment of silence.

“Professor Phillip? Is…Are you there?”

“Trinity…do you remember Sylvia?” 

A chill.

“You mean Savannah.”

“Yes. Yes, that’s right. Savannah.” A throat clear. “But do you? Remember, I mean.”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Trinity, I need you to come home.”

A pause.

“Home? Asher…” 

“Trinity. I need you here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Can you come?”

“I can. But—”

A click.

“Asher? Are you there? Asher?”

Dead air.

 

What are you currently reading?

My current read is Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens. It also happens to take place in a small mountain town, and like me, Ms. Stevens is a Canadian author.

 

About the Author

Melinda is an Amazon bestselling author, whose additional work includes titles for The Wild Rose Press, Amazon Encore, and Harlequin. She writes in a range of romance genres, from heart pounding heat, to nail biting suspense, to gutsy adventure.

Melinda lives on the beautiful coast of British Columbia, Canada, with her amazing and quirky daughters and her handsome hero of a husband. When she’s not writing, she can be found curled up with (someone else’s) good book, on the running trail, or at the soccer pitch.


SCAMMER GIRL: Release day blog post featuring Michelle Dayton!

A few years ago, I noticed something fun on my Twitter feed. All of the writers that I most loved to follow were posting Spotify Playlists for their books. What an incredible idea! (And for me – what an incredibly fun way to procrastinate the actual writing part!)

I’ve created playlists for my last three projects, but the list of songs I put together for SCAMMER GIRL has been the one I’ve listened to most. So I thought I’d share it in case you want to listen – and I’ve included notes on why I chose each song!

SCAMMER GIRL Playlist

  1. Dancing with Myself – Billy Idol.  I chose this song because it reminds me of Jo at the beginning of the book. She’s a brilliant woman, confident in her brain and skills. She runs a lucrative business and she’s a big sister-figure to her team.  She’s also lonely – not that she would ever admit it.
  2. Because the Night – 10,000 Maniacs
  3. Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie
  4. Wild World – Cat Stevens.  Jo and Jamie get to know one another quite a bit via letters. Because they know they shouldn’t trust one another, they can’t talk about anything too personal at first. In their first letter, they talk about music – important songs in their lives. These three songs figure prominently.
  5. She Used to Be Mine – Sara Bareilles.  The song lyrics of this one make me think so much of Jo. She plays a role so much of the time that she sometimes gets lost. She’s sometimes nostalgic for her true self – which is one reason that she falls so hard for Jamie. He sees the real Jo right away. 
  6. Hope Is A Heartache – LEON.   So much pining in this one.  What romance reader doesn’t love pining?!
  7. cowboy like me – Taylor Swift.  It’s a love song about con artists!  Perfect!
  8. Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves.  Part of Jo’s melancholy stems from her lonely childhood. Her emotional arc in the book is for her to overcome this life hangover and grow into the adult woman she’s meant to be.
  9. Jolene – Dolly Parton.   Hmmm … you’re going to have to read the book to learn why I included this one!  😊

 

About the Author

There are only three things Michelle Dayton loves more than sexy and suspenseful novels: her family, the city of Chicago, and Mr. Darcy. Michelle dreams of a year of world travel — as long as the trip would include weeks and weeks of beach time. As a bourbon lover and unabashed wine snob, Michelle thinks heaven is discussing a good book over an adult beverage.


Tule Author Q&A: Nicole Flockton was inspired by an old Australian TV show!

Nicole Flockton stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Welcome to Bunya Junction series, Doctor in the Outback!

Black CRT TVWhere did you get the inspiration for Doctor in the Outback?

I’ve taken inspiration for this whole series from an old Australian television show I used to watch as a teenager – A Country Practice. It was a show about a country hospital and it had a town of colourful characters. I took inspiration for Waratah River Hospital – the one Scott works at – from the Wandin Valley hospital. Scott is loosely based on Dr Terence Elliot. 

 

How is Scott different from his siblings, Jonas and Sindy? How is he the same?

Scott tends to be a bit more serious than his siblings, although as a teenager he pushed the boundaries with Ryan. He has a caring nature which all the Carruthers’ siblings have, so it makes him the perfect doctor and the perfect person for Franceen. She needs someone who gets her.

 

What kind of research did you need to do for this story?

There wasn’t a lot of research necessary for this story as I didn’t get into too many medical details. 

 

Unrecognizable pregnant couple with sonogram images in handsWhat was your favorite scene to write and why?

One of my favourite scenes is when Scott experiences some more pregnancy symptoms that Sindy is going through. I actually have fraternal twin cousins (boy and girl) and they were both expecting a child at the same time so I used that to give Scott and Sindy a fun twin connection. Here’s a little teaser of just what Scott is going through.

Scott got back to his office and closed the door, leaning against it as another wave of pain washed over him. What the hell was going on? He hadn’t used his home gym in the last week, so he hadn’t pulled a muscle. And the pain wasn’t in the area of his kidneys so it couldn’t be a kidney stone. The pain was in his lower belly, not concentrated on the right, so not his appendix. It was concentrated around the middle of his belly.

Realisation struck him like a bolt of lightning.

“I don’t believe it. Surely it’s not possible.”

Remembering what Franceen had told him in the cafeteria, he breathed through the pain. This couldn’t be happening. Not now.

Once the pain subsided, he pulled his mobile phone from his pocket and opened up his brother-in-law’s contact details.

“Not a good time, Scott.” Ryan sounded harried.

“Let me guess, Sindy’s in labour?”

“How—oh shit, really?”

Scott chuckled, what else could he do? There was nothing he could do about it; he would just have to ride out the pains along with his twin sister.”

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Shine a Light by Rebecca Crowley.

 

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.

On her first school report her teacher noted “Nicole likes to tell her own stories”. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first child and after having fun on a romance community forum that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book. Now with over 20 books published she hasn’t looked back.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.


Tule Publishing January 2022 Releases

Happy New Year! Read more about our new releases for January.

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the January releases. Comment down below saying which book you’re looking most forward to reading! Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. The winner will be randomly selected at the end of the month.

 

Doctor in the Outback by Nicole Flockton (Holiday)

Release Date: January 11, 2022

Welcome to Bunya Junction, Book 3

Can she find the courage to love again?

With running the busy small-town hospital at Waratah River and setting up a foundation to help others achieve their dreams like he has, Dr. Scott Carruthers has his plate full. So when a beautiful specialist obstetrician is employed to ease his workload, his inconvenient attraction toward her is a complication he doesn’t need.

Dr. Franceen Lewis arrived at Waratah River Hospital to start her life over. After a tragic loss and the resulting breakdown of her unsuitable marriage, she’s ready to focus on her career and help those who need her. Working with Scott challenges her not only professionally, but personally. Getting involved with another man is not on her to-do list, but Scott shows her again and again that not all men are as shallow and unreliable as her ex.

The longer they work together, the harder they fall…but can Franceen really put the past behind her and reach for the happiness she deserves?


Breaking the Cowboy’s Rules by Sinclair Jayne (Montana Born)

Release Date: January 13, 2022

Montana Rodeo Brides, Book 3

It’s time to take advantage of his player reputation…

Pro rodeo bronc and bull rider Bodhi Ballantyne is always upping the stakes. This year he’s been hiding a secret, and when he and his cousins come home to Marietta, Montana, for the Copper Mountain Rodeo and learn their granddad is contemplating selling his legacy ranch, Bodhi challenges his cousins to a game to save their futures. To stay in the game, they’ll each need a bride by the end of the rodeo.

Nico Steel is on the run from her family, her fortune, and her unwitting role in the corporate scandal of a generation. After cooperating with the FBI and the New York state attorney’s office to right the wrongs, she drives across the country, desperate for peace and reinvention. One impulsive stop at a saloon along with a dance with a sexier-than-sin cowboy and suddenly Nico’s learning to shoot whiskey and agreeing to be a stranger’s fake fiancée for the week.

They’re both players, so it’s a win-win—unless one of them loses their heart.


Scammer Girl by Michelle Dayton (American Heart)

Release Date: January 18, 2022

Tech-nically Love, Book 2

Technology complicates everything, including love.

Five years ago, Jo Harper did a bad thing. Dumped, injured, and in crippling debt, Jo did what any desperate woman with a PhD in psychology and above-average computer skills would: become an elite, undetectable online romance scammer. Now Jo and her team of four young women bring in enough cash to keep them securely afloat. Their targets? Married cheaters.

Jamie March, Bay Area royalty known as “The Conscience of Silicon Valley,” hates every aspect of online crime, especially those who defraud people. And when it appears that his brother is the victim of a sophisticated romance scam, he can’t stand idly by.

What’s weird though, is that when Jo and Jamie meet…they don’t hate one another. Not at all. He makes her laugh and feel alive again. She challenges his intellect like no other. But they can’t trust one another, right? And you can’t fall in love with someone you don’t trust—or can you?


Can’t Go Home by Melinda Di Lorenzo (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: January 20, 2022

Trinity Calhoun Mystery, Book 1

“Do you remember Savannah?”

How could she forget? Two decades ago, Trinity Calhoun‘s best friend—18-year-old Savannah Stuart—went missing. Just weeks later, Savannah’s body was found brutally slain outside the mountain town. With no suspects or leads, the local authorities dismissed the murder as a tragic one-off, likely perpetrated by a tourist. But Trinity wasn’t convinced.

Determined to do better for other victims, she left town and settled in Vancouver, rising through the ranks to become a detective. She’s never looked back. But now, an unexpected phone call from her former lover has her barreling down the highway to face the past.

Another young woman has disappeared under eerily similar circumstances. Allegedly. But the local police are disinterested. Trinity’s ex has a tenuous—at best—hold on his mental and physical health. And Savannah’s secretive and handsome brother is in town, asking an awful lot of questions.

Trinity’s focus is clouded. Maybe her judgment, too. As she wades through her past, she needs to answer a potentially life-threatening question: is there a dangerous, repeat criminal on the loose, or is she just desperate for closure?


Cowgirl in Love by Jamie Dallas (Montana Born)

Release Date: January 24, 2022

The Hartman Brothers, Book 3

She has a lot to prove and won’t get distracted by a cowboy again…

Barrel racer Ella James Sanders has one goal for her breakout year in Pro Rodeo—to make it to the National Finals Rodeo and prove to her hometown that she’s more than a girl raised on the wrong side of town. But her dream quickly crashes when an accident injures her and her horse, ending her rodeo season and leaving her in the care of the man who carelessly broke her heart years ago.

Cowboy and veterinarian Ty Hartman knows what it’s like to be rejected by those close to him. Ty’s loved Ella since high school, but she’s rejected him twice so he’s resolved to keep his distance and protect his heart…until an accident forces Ella and her horse into his life and he can’t step aside. As he cares for the feisty cowgirl, he feels himself falling for her again.

Can he convince this cowgirl that not only is he a man she can trust, but that he’s also a man she could love?


Once a Cowboy by Justine Davis (Texas Born)

Release Date: January 25, 2022

The Raffertys of Last Stand, Book 3

He’s a cowboy through and through…

Rylan Rafferty was a cowboy long before interest in his leatherworking artistry and saddle making for the rich and famous catapulted him to national fame. He values his privacy, so when a popular Texas magazine wants to feature him, his first inclination is to run. His military father who died in combat when Rylan was a teen was the artist, not him. But then he meets the photographer, and Rylan suddenly no longer wants to bury himself in his work.

Kaitlyn Miller values three things above all else—the memory of her father, her photography, and the mentor who first handed her a camera. Her beautiful but flawed mother may have chipped away at her self-esteem as a child, but Kaitlyn has confidence in her work. So she’s thrilled to be back home in Texas for her first big break—a photo shoot of a local Last Stand artist.

When plain Kaitlyn collides with gorgeous Rylan, unexpected sparks fly. But can he convince her that her generous heart and artist’s eye make her more than beautiful to him?


Hush, My Darling by Winter Austin (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: January 27, 2022

Benoit and Dayne Mystery, Book 2

Sometimes, the past starts to bleed into the future…

Dark memories haunt Eckardt County Deputy Lila Dayne. Two years ago, she survived a serial killer’s attempt to add her to his growing list of victims in Chicagoland, but the fight cost her more than just time lost to surgeries and rehab. Now she’s finally beginning to connect with the people in this small section of southeast Iowa, even if she can still sense him watching her.

Sheriff Elizabeth Benoit has her sights on bringing down Eckardt County’s corruption when two bodies surface, both bearing striking similarities to the serial killer victims discovered along I-80—and one delivers a personal message for her department. Lila spirals out of control under the pressure, pushing everyone out of her life.

As Elizabeth and her deputies try to bring Lila back into the fold, the killer closes in, marking his next victim. Lila must shake free of her fears and trust those who have supported her—or the killer will finish what he started.


SHINE A LIGHT: Release day blog post featuring Rebecca Crowley!

When I was growing up my parents were not big into holiday decorating, and whatever we did have had to be “tasteful.” I’m still not completely sure of the exact boundaries of tasteful, but I think it roughly translates to “uniform, minimal, and unobtrusive.” I pretty much accepted this as gospel. After all, what will the neighbors think?

Then we bought our current house in Houston, and it was the first one we’ve lived in that wasn’t behind a gate or a brick wall or otherwise structurally weird in a way that precluded decorating. My husband couldn’t wait to decorate, and neither could my eldest daughter, who was three. At first I insisted – in the name of being tasteful – on all-white lights, and not too many of them. Sure, some of our neighbors had giant inflatable Snoopy Santas and huge cardboard reindeer and all manner of over-the-top decorations (this is Texas), but we had a standard to uphold.

My husband hung the lights…and they were kind of droopy. But he’d worked so hard and was so pleased with himself, so I said nothing (I didn’t have to – the neighbor kid next door pointed out his less-than-perfect technique). Then we turned them on, and guess what? Not all white lights are the same white, especially if you accumulate them randomly in various stores!

Our decorations were relatively uniform, somewhat symmetrical, definitely unobtrusive, arguably tasteful…and super boring.

That’s when I realized that the notion of “tasteful” is really about other people, and who has time for their approval? Finding and inhabiting your own joy is so much more important, and that’s part of what inspired the story for Shine a Light. Set around Hanukkah, Jonah and Ellie are in conflict as they each try to live up to the heavy expectations they’ve loaded on to what should be a joyful, lighthearted holiday. It’s not easy, but over time they help each other loosen their grips and give themselves over to pure delight.

As for us, we went back to the store and bought rainbow lights – lots and lots of rainbow lights. So as the winter nights get longer, the front of our house will glow in all the colors of the rainbow, plus various shades of white, draped imperfectly but with love and joy. And you know what? It makes me happy every time I see it.

What’s your take on decorating for the holidays?

 

About the Author

Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary
romance with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City, London and Johannesburg, Rebecca currently resides in Houston.


MUST LOVE CHRISTMAS: Release day blog post featuring Kelly Hunter!

WRITE THE WORLD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN, THEY SAY

But for me this was bad writing advice.

I’d just bought and taken possession of a little cabin on the outskirts of a sweet country town. Not the biggest mistake I’ve ever made, but let’s just say it needed far more work than I thought it would. A five month wait on heating components and building materials. A twelve month wait for tradesmen.

Was it any wonder that my heroine stumbled across a God with a Hammer who was better than Thor? No story tension or conflict, mind—he simply did whatever my needy heroine told him to do at the end she got a very nice house out of it and he stayed on because he was handy to have around. My fantasy! Better than Thor.

But not a romance. At all.

So I put the story away, and fixed the cabin as best I could, and only once my real-life desire for competent tradesmen waned did I take to the story again. Because while I’m altogether on board with wrapping the end of a story up in a perfection covered bow, the journey to get to that point shouldn’t be a mellow stroll through a perfect world. If it’s too perfect, I’ll get bored writing it and you’ll fall asleep reading it and that won’t do at all.

Must Love Christmas isn’t boring anymore. It’s stuffed with hopes and dreams, and hearts that clamor for love, and a heroine taking her first wobbly steps toward confidence and self-respect. My Christmas gift to her. Merry Christmas, Madeline and Seth. Have a good one.

You can find the story here.

But if you know of any tradesmen looking for work, give me a call.

 

About the Author

Accidentally educated in the sciences, Kelly Hunter didn’t think to start writing romances until she was surrounded by the jungles of Malaysia for a year and didn’t have anything to read. Eventually she decided that writing romance suited her far better than throwing sterile screw-worm flies out of airplane windows, and changed careers. Kelly now lives in Australia, surrounded by lush farmland and family, 2 dogs, 3 miniature cows, a miniature pig, a 3-legged cat and a small flock of curious chickens. There are still flies, but their maggots don’t feed on flesh. Bargain. Kelly is a USA Today bestselling author, a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and loves writing to the short contemporary romance form.


YOU HAD ME AT CHOCOLATE: Release day blog post featuring Amy Andrews!

Origami anyone?

Like the first book in this chocolatey Marietta Christmas duet, there’s a little something I wrote at the beginning, an object I plucked out of the air as a quirky thing from the hero and heroines combined past, that ended up playing a much bigger role in the story.  

In the first book – All’s Fair In Love And Chocolate – it was a music box and I blogged about it here. In You Had Me At Chocolate, it’s all about paper cranes.

This is known in literary circles as motif and I’ve come to realise I do this a lot in my books without even being aware of it. The first time I ever heard the term was on a Jennifer Cruise blog. I found it an interesting concept at the time but didn’t give it a lot of thought. Except, clearly, I must have on some kind of subliminal level. For sure, I never plan to put a motif in a book but, hey presto – somehow, they just appear! 

So, what is motif you ask?

This definition comes from the New York Book editors website:“Motifs are recurring elements in a novel. Motifs can be physical objects, images, actions, sounds, symbols, or abstract ideas. The most important thing to note about motifs is that they repeat themselves throughout the story.”

Who knew I was being all literary and stuff?? 

Anyway, as you’ll see if you read You Had Me At Chocolate, paper cranes play a big role. Clementine and Jude learn how to fold them at their first ever summer camp together when they were eight. Jude doesn’t really get too involved in the whole thing but Clem becomes a bit obsessed and she’s forever folding him paper cranes both at camp and to pop in the letters she writes to him between summer camps. When they meet again after many years apart, he gives her a paper crane. His father’s bird watching hobby is about actual cranes (the whooping crane to be precise). And paper cranes become integral to the inn Jude ends up buying. 

This one little tiny throw away detail from page 1 of the book just grew and grew and grew. 

It also morphed into other forms of paper art that Clementine pursues which feature in the book. You can check out the pins on my Pinterest page here to see where I got my inspiration. You’ll also find lots of yummy chocolate treats!

I hope you enjoy reading Jude and Clementine’s journey to HEA in beautiful Marietta and spotting the references to cranes/paper cranes throughout the book.  

Question: Do you like books that have motifs in them? Or do you not really notice them as a reader? Do you have a favourite read that has an obvious motif in it? 

 

About the Author

Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written sixty plus contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She’s sold two million books and been translated into over a dozen languages including manga.

Her books bring all the feels from sass, quirk and laughter to emotional grit to panty-melting heat. Yes, her books feature lots of sex and kissing. You probably shouldn’t try one if you think the sexy times belong behind closed doors – Amy rips the door right off the hinges.

She loves good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. She has two grown kids who have flown the coop for distant shores which is awesome because now she has a good reason to travel instead of because I want to.

At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and she did. He’s the kind of guy who can start a fire with nothing but two stones, construct a dwelling from half a dozen tree branches and a ball of string, mend anything that’s broken with weird fixit juju and navigate home blindfolded with both arms tied behind his back but will also happily eat cornflakes for dinner when a deadline is looming. True hero material.

For many, many years she was a registered nurse. Which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them!

She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.


Tule Author Q&A: Lara Van Hulzen shares her Christmas traditions!

Lara Van Hulzen stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in the Silver Bay series, Hannah’s Hope!

Where do you get the inspiration for Hannah’s Hope?

Paul and Hannah were characters in the first Silver Bay book, Return To Silver Bay. Maggie Mitchell is the main character and Hannah is her best friend. Paul is Hannah’s high school sweetheart. Readers get a glimpse of them in Return To Silver Bay and by the time I was done writing it, I had a Christmas story in mind for Hannah and Paul.

 

How do you relate to Hannah, your heroine, and how do you hope readers will relate to her? How do you relate to Paul?

I think I relate to Hannah in that she tends to be optimistic and upbeat. And the people in her life are the most important thing to her. I’m not sure I relate to Paul as much as I can see aspects of my husband in him – laid back, thoughtful, all about his family. 

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

It’s actually a short, simple scene but one that I think shows the connection between Hannah and Paul as a married couple. It was my first time writing a couple who are already married, and I loved getting to show the deep connection that comes with history and time together. There are tough times and challenges, and yet those are what can make a couple that much stronger. 

 

Paul smiled at her and her insides did a flip again. His brown hair was cut short in the back but was longer on top. He combed it to the right every morning and Hannah could swear not a strand moved all day. No hair products, no help. The man just had awesome hair.

He wore his work clothes, dress pants with a button-down shirt and sweater. His shirt was opened at the collar, its print showing where the cuffs were rolled up over the sweater. 

As much as the whole package together made her swoon, Paul’s smile had always been what drew her to him. So genuine and kind and full of joy. And every time he smiled, it reached his eyes, the brown depths sparkling like the bay in summer when the sunshine hit. 

“What?”

She giggled. 

“Why are you staring at me?”

“Just thinking about how lucky I am.”

“Oh yeah? Lucky how?”

“Lucky I got to be the one to snag you in high school.” She lifted an eyebrow and smirked.

He laughed, the sound only adding to the flutter inside her. “Oh yeah?” The blush in his cheeks was beyond adorable. 

“I had to fight the other girls, but they didn’t stand a chance.” 

He laughed even harder at that and stood. He stepped toward her and leaned over, his hands resting on the arms of her chair. He leaned down until they were nose to nose. “There was absolutely never, ever anyone else for me but you, Hannah Wagner.”

She placed her lips on his. They’d shared countless kisses over the years. It never ceased to amaze Hannah how often it felt like their first kiss. So full of excitement and eagerness and promise. And yet with time came security and desire and every kiss, every moment, a sense of coming home.

Paul leaned in, deepening the kiss as Hannah wrapped one hand around his neck and left the other resting on his chest. His heartbeat beneath her fingers seemed to match hers in a rhythm all their own. 

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

Decorating the tree. My husband and I got married at Christmas and so we have ornaments that were wedding gifts, ones from our honeymoon. Wherever we have traveled over the past 28 years together, I have bought an ornament. And of course, all the ones the kids have made over the years as well. It’s a walk down memory lane for me and I love it. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I tend to have multiple books going at a time, but I just finished The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek and LOVED it. So full of flirty fun and great romance. 

I’m also reading a non-fiction book called Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee.

 

About the Author

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. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Masters of Divinity in Chaplaincy.

Lara loves tea, baseball and living in San Clemente, California with her husband and two dogs.


Tule Author Q&A: Jeannie Moon based Compass Cove on her hometown!

Jeannie Moon stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in the Compass Cove series, My Christmas Wish!

Where do you get the inspiration for My Christmas Wish?

Over the past three books, the Miller family has really evolved. In All of Me Natalie blew into town telling the story of why she was fired from the art gallery. She made light of it, but you could feel the pain behind her words. I had a lot of readers ask me if I was going to tell her story, and to be honest I didn’t know how I could avoid it. She was in just a few scenes in that book, and she stole every one of them. The idea to have her matched with a British aristocrat didn’t come until later, when I started to explore her reasons for coming home. James was a delightful surprise. He was one of those characters that jumped off the page, fully formed and talking to me. It was a lot of fun to write this couple. They are polar opposites, and that’s what makes it work.

 

Being from Long Island yourself, what was the process like writing about the town of Compass Cove? 

It was interesting. Initially, when I started writing the first book (which became Then Came You)—before it was contracted—I had the town located in the Pacific Northwest. However, my friend and mentor, JoAnn Ross, read the first book and told me my characters were looking at the wrong ocean. “These people are New Yorkers,” she said. “Tell their stories.” That was the moment I knew I had to bring Compass Cove to Long Island. It’s been a wonderful journey getting to reacquaint myself with the place where I grew up. There’s a lot of comfort writing these stories because this is my community. It’s not perfect—there are certainly ups and downs that come with living here—but the people are what make it wonderful. The most important aspect of developing Compass Cove was populating it with people who could bring it to life…people who make Long Island special. 

 

If you could spend the day with Natalie or James, who would you choose and what would you do?

That’s like asking me which one of my kids is my favorite. I mean, spending the day with a charming, handsome man sounds quite appealing, but I’d want to spend the day with Natalie. She is a kindred spirit. I understand how it feels to be at the mercy of other people’s expectations, to suffer with self-doubt and anxiety, and question every single choice. But that said, Natalie is a fighter. She doesn’t give up, and she works hard for the people who matter to her. She’s smart and passionate. Her family and her friends are her heart, and I’d really love to spend the day with her. 

 

Grocery StoreIn your story, your hero moves to a different country to win his girlfriend back. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love? 

Hmmm. I’m not sure. My husband and I met when we were in high school, while working at the same grocery store. He was so darn cute standing there in the produce aisle making sure the lettuce was fresh, as I checked out groceries. We started dating the July before we were seniors in high school, and we’re still together 42 years later. I think that’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? He’s the sweetest man, and he’s better looking today than the day we met. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I am loving The Secret of Snow, by Viola Shipman.  It’s a relationship-based women’s fiction about a television meteorologist who ends up moving back to her hometown in Michigan to reset her life. The writing is gorgeous; I’m smitten.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs and a mischievous cat and lives in her hometown on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

 


Tule Author Q&A: Lenora Worth closely relates to her heroine!

Lenora Worth stopped by the Tule blog to discuss her new Christmas book, A Nanny for Christmas!

Where do you get the inspiration for A Nanny for Christmas?

Well, I love Christmas stories, and I had an idea of a woman who’d help raise her younger siblings being thrown into a difficult situation of having to help out a man who doesn’t know how to handle being a widower with two children.

 

How do you relate to Kara, your heroine, and how do you hope readers will relate to her?

I am the baby of seven, so I had lots of nieces and nephews, growing up. I had to help take care of them a lot. So I could easily understand Kara doing her duty to help her widowed father. I could also see a tad of resentment since I felt that way at times myself when I’d get saddled with the kids at family gatherings. 😊

 

How do you relate to Richard?

Richard and I have nothing much in common. He’s a tech giant and I am technically challenged, but I could relate to his grief and his inability to be firm with his children and one feisty chihuahua. He was in over his head on that.

 

Green Leafed TreesWhere and when do you get most of your writing done?

I usually get going around ten or eleven (I am not a morning person) and keep going until five or six in the evening. I take coffee breaks and eat, of course. But I stay fairly busy on writer stuff all day and I work a couple of hours here and there on weekends. I have a small office with a big window on the world. And we have a fixer-upper lake where I can get work done, unless Himself is hammering or sawing or power-washing!

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

I love quiet Christmases, so one tradition is being able to bake cookies and wrap gifts while I listen to Christmas music and drink hot chocolate or a latte.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m actually reading Susan Sands’ Christmas, Alabama. It’s Southern and funny and whimsical and just a great story to get me in the mood for the holidays.

 

About the Author

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Honor Rolls, Lenora Worth writes romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin’s Love Inspired and sweet romance for Tule Publishing. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards. She also received the Romantic Times Pioneer Award for Inspirational Fiction. Lenora is a NY Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling writer and a 2019 RWA RITA® Finalist. With eighty-plus books published and over three million books in print, she enjoys adventures with her retired husband and loves reading, baking and shopping…especially shoe shopping.