TASTES SO SWEET: Release day blog post featuring Kelly Cain!

Tastes So Sweet is a Love Letter to Austin

I have to say, there’s a sudden sadness that comes with the end of a series. At least for me and The Everheart Brothers of Texas, but I’m also excited for the next series coming from Tule next year. So, as they say, this ending is bittersweet. I’m finishing off the series with middle brother, Weston, and his love, Ryan.

Although Ryan and Weston spend a lot of time in the restaurant, they do their fair amount of exploring when Everheart Bar and Fine Dining is closed or on joint off days. I wanted to hand Austin to readers in all its glorious quirkiness—the city motto is Keep Austin Weird after all. So, I’ll take you through a few of the places Ryan, Weston, the cousins, and architect bros visit and enjoy their intertwined lives.

The first location outside the restaurant is the entire gang meeting at Lady Bird Lake. The “lake” is actually a reservoir, part of the Colorado River. It was initially created as a cooling pond for a power plant but is only used recreationally now. And let me tell you, sitting right near downtown Austin, it is a recreational centerpiece for city residents and visitors. There’s a nice walking trail circling the lake’s perimeter where you can exercise or people-watch folks as they paddle board and kayak.

In the book, there’s a scene devoted to the event Sound and Cinema. I’ve enjoyed many an evening sitting in the grass under the stars outside the Long Center bordering the river. A local band plays (honestly, you can’t go anywhere in Austin without catching a local band performing—after all, it’s the live music capital of the world!) before everyone settles in for an outdoor movie projected on a big screen. Local cuisine is featured in various food trucks along with plenty of beer and spirits trucks, too. The event is free; however, the food and drinks aren’t. The last movie I saw there was The Goonies while eating a lobster roll.

I can’t take credit for the next great find. My sisters came to visit a few weeks before I properly moved to Austin. I drove over from Houston, and we met there and explored the city together. As a donut fiend, my youngest sister recommended Gourdough’s Public House for their specialty hamburgers made with donut buns. Yes—they really make these donut-bun burgers. I’m not kidding.

What can I say about Hippie Hollow? It boasts the clearest water around. Oh, and it’s clothing optional.

We end the book at Jo’s Coffee Shop. Weston does a great job giving you the history behind the beloved Austin mural on the side of the building, so I’ll let you read the book to find out what it’s all about and the surprising reason they end up there. We’re venturing into spoiler-y territory.

There’re at least five other locations I’d love to highlight, but I’m quickly running out of room. Just pick up TASTES SO SWEET and you’ll get the full gamut. Have I convinced you to visit Austin yet?

 

About the Author

Kelly Cain is a native Californian but has spent the last couple of decades in Texas, currently residing in the live music capital of the world, Austin. Consequently, most of her books are set somewhere between those two locations.

Kelly writes multicultural romance with determined women directing their own fates, and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. She loves reading most genres but please don’t ask her to pick just one. However, she can pick her favorite book boyfriend – Will Herondale.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Kelly is most likely using a genealogy site to research her extended family, both old and new. Or cooking/baking something delightful.

She has two adult daughters, and a new granddaughter. Visit her website kellycainauthor.com for more info.


Tule Author Q&A: H L Marsay did so much research!

H L Marsay stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fifth book in the Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery series, A Forgotten Shadow!

Where did you get the inspiration for A Forgotten Shadow?

Usually in a Shadow book, all the action takes place in the city of York. However, in this story, I wanted to delve into the past of John Shadow, so I set the investigation in Kirkdale, the fictional village where he grew up and where his father (also a police officer) was killed in the line of duty. I liked the idea of Shadow solving his current mystery and at the same time discovering the truth about his own past.  

I also wanted to incorporate the Ebor Festival, York’s most famous horse racing event and known as ‘the Ascot of the North’, so I made the victim a handsome racehorse trainer.

 

This is the fifth book in the Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery series. What has it been like following John Shadow and Jimmy Chang throughout the series? 

One of my favourite things about creating these books is writing the dialogue between Shadow and his sergeant, Jimmy Chang. I’ve loved seeing how their relationship has developed. The two of them are total opposites. Jimmy is full of energy and enthusiasm while Shadow is a world weary cynic, yet their different outlooks on life seem to compliment each other when it comes to cracking a case. Over time they have learnt to trust each other and this story even sees Shadow asking Jimmy for advice!

 

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

Oh my goodness! Guns, guns and more guns! I came up with the idea of the victim being killed during a shooting party without fully realising how much research this would involve. I spent days and days reading about shotguns, ballistics, different types of pellets and gunshot wounds. My next victim is definitely getting stabbed!

 

Where and when do you get most of your writing done?

I usually sit at our kitchen table with the laptop open, radio on, dogs sleeping at my feet and my two sons occasionally appearing to forage in the fridge. Late afternoons and early evenings seem to be my most productive time, but if I get a great idea when I’m away from my laptop, I just grab my phone and write myself a quick note.

 

What are you currently reading?

I recently attended my first book signing event at a local book shop. I had a wonderful time and I got to meet a couple of other Yorkshire-based authors so I’m currently reading their books; A Suitable Demise by Andrew Clark and The Postcard Murder by Paul Worsley QC. I also can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Home Is Where The Body Is by Jody Holford.

 

About the Author

H L Marsay always loved detective stories and promised herself that one day, she would write one too. She is lucky enough to live in York, a city full of history and mystery. When not writing, the five men in her life keep her busy – two sons, two dogs and one husband.


Tule Publishing August 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for August!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the August 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.

 

Cut to the Chase by Amy Kathryn Jones (American Heart)

Release Date: August 2, 2022

Matched, Book 3

She has one last shot at her fairy tale ending…

It’s time for fan favorite Cassie Monroe to sign on the dotted line and become the star of the hit reality show Matched, where a Panel of family and friends help determine the star’s happy ending. Except Cassie’s Panel member search has reached a dead end. Until her family-friend-turned-nemesis Dr. Nick Morgan, in an attempt to talk her out of doing the show, offers to drive her to L.A.

Things heat up when one wrong turn throws the entire trip off schedule. Cassie gets to know the Nick behind the smirk and snark and, to her dismay, discovers another side of him—a side she likes. Yes, he’s rational and rigid, but he has an alluring warmth, and he kisses like no man she’s ever known.

Nick and Cassie don’t check any of the others’ boxes, but these longtime haters are somehow falling in love. As the opt-out deadline nears, Cassie will only have a few days to decide if she should risk her new feelings on a relationship that won’t come with Matched’s famous guarantee.


A Forgotten Shadow by H L Marsay (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: August 4, 2022

Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery, Book 5

If the past comes knocking, will you dare to answer?

When Detective Chief Inspector John Shadow is called to Kirkdale Castle to investigate the death of a handsome racehorse trainer during a shooting party, he’s immersed in painful childhood memories. His father had been shot in the line of duty at Kirkdale, but his killer was never apprehended. Shadow suspects the two deaths may be linked and is determined to discover the truth, but dealing with the aristocracy is more complicated than he bargained for and the inhabitants of Kirkdale Castle are as unhelpful as ever.

John Shadow is a man of contradictions. A solitary figure who notices the smallest detail about other people, but endeavours to avoid their company. A lover of good food, but whose fridge is almost always empty. Though he would prefer to work alone, he is assisted by his eager partner Sergeant Jimmy Chang.

Can the men work together through the web of deceit and corruption to find the killer, clear an innocent man’s name, and solve the mystery clouding Shadow’s past?


Tastes So Sweet by Kelly Cain (American Heart)

Release Date: August 9, 2022

The Everheart Brothers of Texas, Book 3

Forbidden fruit has never tasted better…

After losing her parents in high school, Ryan Landry grew up fast, solely focusing on supporting her younger twin sisters. With the twins now preparing for college, the financial stakes are raised so Ryan enters a restaurant manager of the year contest. Her chances for the grand prize are strong—after all, she’s the executive manager of Everheart Bar and Fine Dining, which is as famous for its exemplary service as it is for its mouth-watering food.

The only thing standing in her way? The restaurant’s Michelin star patriarch chef. Ryan meets his near-impossible challenges, except this creates another obstacle—increased temptation with her best friend and pastry chef Weston Everheart. She’s fought to keep Weston in the friend zone, because romantic fraternization means immediate firing, and she needs her job and the prize money more than ever.

But when she realizes Weston has also been in love with her for years, it becomes impossible to maintain business as usual. Will Ryan play it safe or finally listen to her heart?


Won’t Back Down by Shelli Stevens (American Heart)

Release Date: August 11, 2022

Bro Code, Book 3

Thou shalt not fall for the girl thy cousin wants…

James Watson is at a breaking point. The last year has put him on rocky grounds with his friends, and now he just bombed the bar exam. He pins the blame on one person: Tori Brown. She’s not only his sister’s best friend, but an undeniably sexy goddess who chaos seems to follow.

Tori is tired of men seeing her as nothing more than a conquest. She’s particularly tired of James Watson, her friend’s hot older brother and the man who can’t give her a break. Now that Tori’s finally landed the human resources job she’s been working toward, she knows she won’t have time to think about him anymore. Until it becomes clear that the up-and-coming lawyer at her new workplace is none other than James.

Beyond working at the same firm, James’s desire is kept in check by the bro code rule: Don’t date the girl your cousin likes—especially when he’s the attorney who invited you to join the firm. With the lines between lust and hate getting blurry, can they help but be crossed?


Secrets in Cypress Bayou by Susan Sands (Southern Born)

Release Date: August 16, 2022

Louisiana, Book 2

Some secrets are buried deep…

When newly minted attorney Carly Bertrand returns to Cypress Bayou, Louisiana, to be close to her family, her first priority is finding a job. She’s shocked to get an offer from her childhood crush, Tanner Carmichael, whose town roots are as deep as hers. Carly accepts, confident she can help Tanner get his new law practice up and running, and keep her attraction to him under lock and key. She’s no longer a starry-eyed teen admiring from afar.

Their first client is a woman searching for her birth mother who mysteriously disappeared decades ago without a trace. Carly and Tanner take the case and soon find themselves drowning in a swampy patch of secrets, political corruption, and danger. And the further they dig, the more it looks like Tanner’s powerful, narcissistic father is involved.

As they work to unravel the mystery, Carly’s old feelings resurface and Tanner can’t believe the shy girl next door has become such a brilliant, beautiful, and determined woman. Should they risk everything for the truth, including their hearts, or settle for safety?


The Last Casterglass by Kate Hewitt (Holiday)

Release Date: August 18, 2022

Keeping Up with the Penryns, Book 4

He dreams of saving his ancestral home. She longs to escape hers.

Persephone is the youngest Penryn, and she’s always felt like an afterthought. As her siblings ventured out one by one, she was left behind, learning to rely on herself. Now that they’ve all returned and are on a mission to save their home, she’s reluctantly falling in with their plans and keeping her distance, especially when an Oxford-educated intern arrives wanting to learn how to save one’s ancestral home.

Oliver Belhaven has come to Casterglass to prove to his uncle that he can make Pembury a financial success, so the only home Oliver has ever had isn’t sold. He is intrigued by the beautiful and mercurial Seph and senses a kindred spirit—alone even around family.

Oliver may be charming, but under her surly facade Seph is afraid to get close to anyone. Yet the longer Oliver works at Casterglass, the more invested he becomes—in Seph and in saving his home. But will achieving one dream mean that he has to let go of another? And can Seph finally learn to let go—and love?


Home Is Where the Body Is by Jody Holford (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: August 23, 2022

The Wannabe Sleuth, Book 1

The coastal Oregon town of Rainbow Falls might be sleepy, but it’s definitely not innocent…

When graphic designer and true crime fan Annie Abbott agrees to house sit her parents’ home for a year, she’s convinced that even though the small town has ten coffee shops, nothing exciting will happen. But that’s before a seemingly feral cat gives birth in her garage, prompting a call to the very handsome, very single town vet. It’s a dream meet-cute, but just as their romance blooms, Annie discovers the bloody body of her grumpy neighbor. And despite the fact that she passes out at the sight of blood, the police suspect her.

To clear her name, Annie will need to put her years of watching police procedurals and reading mysteries to good use. She’ll also need to rely on her new friends who have welcomed her to Rainbow Falls, but is one of them the killer?


The Stardust Cowboy by Anne McAllister (Montana Born)

Release Date: August 25, 2022

The Cowboy’s Code, Book 1

He is nobody’s hero…

Wyoming rancher Riley Stratton has nothing in common with his newly discovered young nephew Jake’s imaginary “stardust cowboy”—the one who makes dreams come true. Riley’s own dreams died so many years ago, he doesn’t even think about them anymore. Now he just works hard, doing his duty by the family ranch. He knows it’s only fair to buy out Jake’s half.

Trouble is, Jake has dreams too. After inheriting half a ranch, Jake’s boyish dreams of becoming a cowboy are alive and well. Which means Riley’s world is about to expand to include Jake’s fiercely determined, seriously tempting mother, Dori Malone, too. And much to Riley’s dismay, Dori stirs his dormant dreams to life.

But Riley doesn’t trust those dreams. He doesn’t trust Dori. He gave his heart once and won’t do it again. Some men are made for love. Others, like Riley, are made for duty. And some dreams not even Jake’s “stardust cowboy” can make come true. Or can they?


Better Left Behind by Melinda Di Lorenzo (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: August 30, 2022

Trinity Calhoun Mystery, Book 3

When no one is who they seem, the only person you can trust is yourself.

Detective Trinity Calhoun‘s closest friend was due back weeks ago from his undercover operation, and the last thing she wants to do is take a trip. Not even to attend a high-profile conference at a swanky hotel on a beautiful island with all expenses paid. But with her boss counting on her, Trinity sets aside her misgivings and goes.

Except from the moment she sets foot on the ferry, something feels…off. First comes a man who’s far too interested in her. Then Trinity swears she’s spotted her late-to-return friend. And someone—who could be an ally or a foe—is definitely planting breadcrumbs for her. Is a little girl missing or is that, too, a misdirect?

Quickly, Trinity realizes the danger is closing in. And she’s trapped. Hemmed in by a storm that’s cut off both digital and physical access to the mainland. Her survival depends on her ability to differentiate between clue and bait. Because someone wants to help—and someone wants her dead.


Tule Author Q&A: Eve Gaddy’s biker hero supports kids!

Eve Gaddy stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fifth book in the Texas True series, Hot Texas Trouble!

Where did you get the inspiration for Hot Texas Trouble?

I wanted to write a heroine who was a retired spy. She’s retired because she decided she wanted a nice, uneventful life so she comes back to Whiskey River in search of that. Of course, that’s not exactly what she finds.:)

 

If you could spend the day in Whiskey River, what would you do and which characters would you visit?

I would go see Levi Chapman’s house. (Levi is Whiskey River’s resident billionaire) His house is really cool and he is really hot.:)

 

Free Black Cruiser Motorcycle Stock PhotoCan you share a fun fact about your hero and heroine, Trevor and Jedidiah, to help readers get to know them better?

The idea for the organization my hero belongs to, Bikers for Kids, was taken from a real-life organization called BACA—Bikers Against Child Abuse. They have both national and international chapters and help a lot of foster kids, abused kids, and kids who fall through the cracks. I found an article about BACA online and filed it away until I found the story for it. 

During the time I wrote this story I went to Hilton Head with my family. We had gone to a small bar that we were told would cook our fresh fish we caught for us. I was looking around and noticed a mirror with lots of stickers. One of the stickers was for BACA. I’d never seen anything about it other than online until then.

 

What song would be in the soundtrack to Jedidiah and Trevor’s love story? Why?

Dangerously in Love—Beyoncé . Because in Jedidiah’s mind it’s dangerous for her to be in love with Trevor.

 

What are you currently reading?

No Gentle Giant by Nicole Snow. I’ve been on a romantic suspense kick lately and she’s a new to me author. Well, she was at the first of this series, anyway.:) I’ve also been reading a lot of Cynthia Eden’s books. Her Wilde Ways series is great.

 

About the Author

Eve Gaddy is the award winning, national bestselling author of forty novels. Her books have sold over a million copies and been published in many countries and several languages. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic mystery, and a bit of paranormal romance as well.

Eve’s books have won and been nominated for awards from Romantic Times, Golden Quill, Bookseller’s Best, Holt Medallion, Daphne Du Maurier and many more. Eve was awarded the 2008 Romantic Times Career Achievement award for Series Storyteller of the year, and was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Innovative Series romance. She loves her family, books, electronics, the mountains, and East Texas in the spring and fall. She also loves a happy ending. That’s why she writes romance.


Tule Author Q&A: Fortune Whelan is an amusement park junkie!

Fortune Whelan stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the second book in the Dorseys of Conception Bay series, One Night with You!

Where did you get the inspiration for One Night with You?

Cheramie is inspired by everyone I know that has ever been under the thumb of a controlling parent. Relationships between parents and children are so varied and often complicated. I always feel it’s important to try and understand the other person’s point of view.

But the main external plot about development in a tourist town was very much inspired by a controversial issue currently happening in the town where I live. I won’t go into details here, but there was a week-long public hearing where proponents and opponents gave impassioned but fact-based statements about where they stood on the issue and why. It was absolutely riveting. I lost a week of my life because I was glued to this hearing.

 

Free Ferris Wheel and Ship Stock PhotoYour setting, Conception Bay, seems like such a fun place to be. If you could visit, what’s the first thing you would do?

Ferris Wheel for sure! I’m an amusement park junkie. One of my favorite things about being a mom is riding all the rides with my child.

 

What song would be in the soundtrack to Cheramie and Deacon’s love story? Why?

Fever by Peggy Lee, hands down. Despite their ages, they are both a little old fashioned, especially Cheramie even though she’s the younger one. But as soon as they get together, they are both lit on fire, and that’s just the first few chapters!

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

By far, my most favorite scene to write was the one where Cheramie and Cameron first see Deacon in the hotel bar. I love Cheramie so much, she’s endearingly naïve, and we’re already rooting for her. We want her to get hers.

—————

“Him? He’s the one?”

Cheramie and Cameron sat at a high top in the shadows next to the hotel lounge’s entrance. A strategic placement for the two of them to get a close-up of everyone entering and exiting without being seen.

“You’re sure,” Cameron asked. “Because you have other options. Two o’clock looks about our age. Decent looking. You’ll have lots to talk about and an easy escape if he turns out weird. Eleven o’clock looks like he’s here for a good time and not a long time.”

Cheramie shot him a look. “Not a glowing endorsement.” She didn’t want decent or a quickie. She only had one night. What she needed was quality.

“I mean. He’ll be fun, and you won’t have to worry about exchanging numbers or names.”

She tilted her ear to one shoulder to fully absorb what he’d just said. Cheramie hadn’t considered not exchanging vital information, assuming fling assessment was akin to speed dating. Not that she’d participated in any of those either. But she might have watched a show or two about it. “Give a fake name? I can’t do that. I can’t lie.” She physically couldn’t. Her stomach gurgled at the thought. So, what if she came off too direct? At least she was honest. “I won’t lie. You know I won’t.” Seriously, she might puke first.

Cameron shook his head. “Just no names. And you don’t have to lie. But definitely don’t tell him anything about yourself—where you live, where you work. Just no. That could turn into trouble. At best, you’ll have someone who won’t leave you alone, and at worst, true-crime podcast. Tell him you’re originally from Boston, if that makes you feel better. Tell him you’re in the middle of moving. That’s not lying.¬¬”

Cheramie’s index finger tapped the tabletop rhythmically as she crammed these new rules along with glaring red flags into her head for future reference. 

Cameron’s hand covered hers. “Look. You’re overthinking this. If the weathered old guy standing at the bar is the one, then fine. Let’s go with him. He looks harmless enough.”

Cheramie clutched at her chest like she’d been stabbed in the heart. Sure, his car had gotten her attention. What was the point of driving a car like that otherwise? A cherry-red blossom in a sea of black, boxy, monster-sized SUVs. Sport utility vehicle. Made for strapping kayaks or bicycles to the roofs. Except none of those men carted around more sports gear than racquets, sneakers with non-marking soles, and goggles to protect their eyes from balls.

He wasn’t weathered. Just older. Experienced. Quality. Not still figuring out who he was and what he wanted out of life. Cheramie wanted the guy who knew exactly what he was—a lightly stubbled, salt-and-peppered haired gentleman in the Loro Piana threads she’d spotted as soon as he’d stepped out of his car. She nipped at her thumbnail, daydreaming about the soft kiss of fine knit wool against her fingers, but dropped her hand under the table when her gaze met Cameron’s shaking head and pursed lips.

“You’re caressing his turtleneck with your eyes.”

“I’m not.” She was.

“You’re a horrible liar.”

Also, true. Cheramie stood and took a step before Cameron caught her by the wrist.

“Wait. Where are you going?”

“To proposition this guy.” That was the reason they were here. “I want to be direct and clear. No strings. I’m marrying someone else.” She tapped her temple with her finger. “And, I didn’t forget, I won’t tell him my name.” 

Cameron grabbed her finger. “No.”

“What do you mean no?”

“I mean no. That’s not how you seduce a person. That’s how you send them screaming into the forest, never to be seen again.”

Cheramie’s entire body slacked in defeat.

“Also, you might want to leave the cardigan.”

“No.” Today, this cardigan was her superhero cape. A shield against passive-aggressive barbs and rejection.

“Say, Hello. I like your sweater. Start there. And don’t mention you’re marrying someone else. He doesn’t need to know that. It’s not lying. It’s just not relevant.”

“It’s lying by omission.” Technically.

“Are you going to tell him you hate the dentist because the tools are too loud, and you physically cringe every time said tools touch your teeth?”

“That’s clearly not relevant.”

“Neither is telling him you’re almost engaged. Especially since you don’t plan on dating him or even seeing him again.”

Touché. She ran her tongue over her teeth, deciding whether she could go through with chatting up this guy with relevant facts with the aim of losing her virginity. But concluded she could. She had to. It was necessary. She needed to get her first sexual experience out of her system, and if all it took was a few practice rounds to level up her nonexistent sex skill set, then it was worth the time.

The alternative of being alone with her feelings to process them made her panicky. She started to sweat just thinking about it.

Cheramie sipped her old-fashioned until her teeth hurt from the sugar, increased the ring volume on her phone to max like she and Cameron discussed, and strutted away from the table.

“Break a leg,” he called out just as she tripped over a ripple in the carpet, sending the sticky remains of her glass, including the bourbon-soaked orange peel, into the air and against the man’s beautiful knit wool turtleneck, staining it an orangey-brown mess.

Mortified, Cheramie tried to smile as he turned toward her. Honestly, she did. But her legs crossed at the ankles, and any second, she’d hit the floor face first at his feet. What an introduction!

 

What are you currently reading?

Currently, I’m reading Brooke Shield’s memoir, There was a Little Girl and Shania Twain’s From This Moment On

 

Thanks for reading, everyone!

 

About the Author

Fortune’s stories are “charming, silly and emotionally fraught” with “fast-paced plot[s] that keep pages flying”. When she’s not at her standing desk fending off feline invaders, you can find her on her yoga mat, or shelving books at the local library. Keep up with her @fortunewhelan everywhere.


Tule Author Q&A: A country song inspired Dakota Harrison!

Dakota Harrison stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in the With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing series, Hometown Cowboy!

Where did you get the inspiration for Hometown Cowboy?

The Sam Hunt song Break up in a Small Town. I love his voice and the lyrics and I wanted to give the main male character a happy ending. Darby has loved Ryan for a long time. I thought it was time to sort that man out. ;) 

 

Can you share a fun fact about your hero and heroine, Ryan and Darby, to help readers get to know them better? 

Darby is a keen gardener and has an awesome veggie patch, she’s also scared of thunder. Ryan is a complete flirt but anyone he lets close is in his heart for good and he’d do anything for them. Anything at all. He also roasts his own coffee beans and is a complete coffee snob. His dog Bill is his foil. (Bill is based on a real dog I knew by the same name. Every time I went to his human’s home he would go get whatever toy was his current favorite and I’d have to throw it for him for ages.)

 

Free Delicious chocolate cupcakes with cream on plate Stock PhotoIf you could spend the day in Kurrajong Crossing, what would you do and which characters would you visit? 

Oh, man! That’s hard. I’d definitely get a cupcake at Kitty Cat’s, and sit outside on the Riverwalk to eat it, making sure George the Currawong didn’t get it first. Then I’d have to go say hi to Darby. She’s always so happy and friendly to everyone. Then it would be off to Maxine’s café for a milkshake. (You’ll meet Maxine not too far in the future.) If it was a weekend, I’d then have to go to the Casellati winery for their Sunday breakfast and drool over the four super-handsome Casellati men. The youngest, Dante, is the hero of my next book out in September, and he is such a sweetie!

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

My favorite? Hmm. I’d have to say the fight between Ryan and Gabe. I had the scene from Bridget Jones’ Diary running in my head for the whole thing, where the men fight over Bridget. It’s in no way similar, I just got the same vibe from it. A fight that isn’t a fight, but is. 

*SPOILERS AHEAD!*

The crunch of gravel and the rev of an engine pulled his head up. Gabe’s ute flew up his driveway.

Ryan closed his eyes momentarily, then stood. “Goddammit,” he repeated, resigned to what was coming.

“Bill, heel.” The dog wiggled his butt in the dirt, happy to see his friend Gabe, but obedient to the command.

The ute stopped in a spray of gravel toward the carport and Gabe hauled out of the driver’s side door.

Bill glanced at Ryan and he flicked his fingers in Gabe’s direction. The dog bounded toward him, looking for pats. Gabe ignored him and rushed at Ryan.

Gabe grabbed him by the shirt and hauled him forward.

“What the hell? I mean, what the actual fuck? You slept with Darby? Then you piss off and leave her to tell us she’s pregnant, all alone? Who does that? I told you to stay away from her!”

Gabe shoved him backward, hard. Ryan stumbled then straightened. Gabe shoved his hands through his hair and turned from him.

“It’s not what you think. I mean, it is, but it’s not.”

The rage on Gabe’s face would’ve scared him if he hadn’t already been gutted by the fight he’d had with Darby.

He didn’t have anything left to give.

“You screwed her, then she finds out she’s pregnant, then you dump her. What else is there to know?”

“I guess that’s what you would see. That conversation you’re referring to was over fifteen years ago. I would’ve thought that being an adult and all would imply that she can do what—or who—she damned-well wants.”

Gabe spun back. His fist hit Ryan deep in the gut, bending him in half. His breath burst from his body as pain registered and spread like lightning.

He dragged in a rasping breath and shoved himself forward, arms out. He connected with Gabe’s middle, the oomph of impact satisfying, if short lived.

Gabe grabbed him and swung. Ryan didn’t let go, his arms tight around Gabe’s waist.

They both hit the hard, compacted dirt. Ryan shoved at him and flung Gabe off and rolled onto his back, breathing hard. Bill whined and shoved his face into Ryan’s, licking his cheek. He scruffed Bill’s neck and gently pushed him away.

Gabe shoved at Ryan’s shoulder, both of them on their backs in the dirt, a half-arsed attempt at pushing him away.

“Just tell me why?”

Gabe’s breathless, pain-laced question sliced him deeper than any angry pounding ever could. He knew Gabe could’ve pounded him into dust if he’d really wanted to. The fact that he hadn’t flooded Ryan with relief.

“I don’t know, okay?”

At Gabe’s weary sigh, Ryan’s belligerence dissipated. Gabe had only come after him because he cared, for both him and Darby. Ryan knew that. And he knew it was one hell of a messed-up situation. It didn’t change the fact that he’d screwed up royally, but he knew Gabe’s anger came from a good place.

“That’s a lie. Of course I know why. Because I like her. I’m attracted to her. I always have been. After your wedding, she drove me home. It just happened, Gabe. It wasn’t some attempt to screw with you, to betray you or any of that shit. It just … happened.”

He glanced at his lifelong friend. Gabe scraped his hand over his face and shook his head as well as he could lying in the dirt of Ryan’s driveway.

“I’m assuming it wasn’t just one night. You know what? I don’t want to know. What I do want to know is where were you? Why did she have to tell us on her own, and why was she so damned upset? I can’t believe you’d turn your back on her. That really hurts, man.”

Gabe turned his head, his anguished gaze spearing Ryan’s heart, twisting and turning pain throughout his body.

“That’s just it—I didn’t. I freaking-well proposed. I asked her to marry me and she turned me down flat.”

The shock on Gabe’s face couldn’t have been greater than if he’d told him he wasn’t human.

“You what?”

Ryan shook his head and stared up at the brilliant blue sky above. Puffy white clouds skipped across the wide expanse as he watched.

“I asked her to marry me. She said no. End of story.”

“Well … hell.”

Ryan let out a humourless chuckle. “Yeah, a few stronger words than that ran through my head.”

“Are you in love with her?”

That question again. His gut tumbled and rolled. He wasn’t sure if the nausea was from worrying he’d lost his best friend, lost Darby, or both. 

What are you talking about? You never had Darby to begin with. It was a bit of fun.

Wasn’t it?

“She asked me the same thing.”

“And?”

“And what? What do you want me to say? Profess my undying love and grovel like some lame-arse guy in one of those movies?”

Silence stretched. Ryan chanced looking at Gabe, who stared at him, his considering glare spearing his soul. “Am I a lame-arse for loving Emma, and admitting it? Is it such a bad thing to actually get that close to someone, to let someone in?”

“Of course not. That’s different. You’re different. I’m not …”

“Not what?”

Not like you. I don’t deserve her.

He didn’t know how to articulate what he was thinking. It all didn’t make any sense.

“Nothing. I don’t see what big of a deal it is. I want to be there for her, I want to be there for the kid. I did the right thing—I proposed.”

Gabe stared at him in disbelief. “Wow. What a romantic. For someone who’s supposedly a ladies’ man, you sure know jack about women. No wonder she told you to get lost.”

A revving car engine caught their attention and they both twisted their heads to see who was headed their way.

Max pulled up with a squeal of brakes. He strode toward them and stopped, hands on hips, staring down at them still lying on their backs in the dirt.

“Are you both all right, or do I need to call an ambulance?”

Ryan sent him a half-hearted smile. “Depends if that big jerk over there is going to hit me again.”

“Depends if you deserve it,” Gabe muttered as Max helped him up.

 

What are you currently reading?

Tethered Souls by Tiffany Roberts. It’s a Science Fiction Romance. SF/FR is my go-to for clearing my head when I’m writing contemporary romance. It gives me a brain boost and makes me sigh in contentment. And one of the main male characters is to die for.

 

Thanks for reading, everyone!

 

About the Author

Dakota lives in a (not so) sunny part of Queensland, Australia, with her human and fur kids, and harbors a strange love of UGG boots. K- and J-Pop feature heavily in her home, especially when drafting her novels, drawing inspiration for her heroes from the music videos and anime, much to her children’s delight and her husband’s sufferance. She loves writing both alpha and beta heroes, all of whom she tortures and makes fall to their knees before their heroines and beg for mercy.


Tule Author Q&A: Karla Kratovil was inspired by her mother’s friend group!

Karla Kratovil stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the second book in The Maidens of Marbury series, Saving a Scoundrel!

Welcome to Tule! Can you share a fun fact about yourself to help us get to know you?

Hello! I don’t know if this is a fun fact or just an embarrassing fact… I love to roller skate but every time I go to a rink, I end up falling and busting my butt at some point. I was recently in NYC and in Rockefeller Center where they have ice skating in the winter they now have a roller skating rink. My family and I had so much fun, but you guessed it, I fell trying to move out of the way of a small child. A whole lot of tourists got to see me fall on my butt. 

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Saving a Scoundrel and The Maidens of Marbury series? 

The inspiration for the Maidens of Marbury series was my mother and her group of friends. These women have been getting together for forty years to “Stitch n’ Bitch”. Their friendship has supported one another through a lot of life’s ups and downs. I loved the idea of a circle of friends that meet regularly, and I chose to make it a book club because that’s the kind of club I would join. The love letters they found inside the books at their bookshop just sort of showed up as I was writing the scene. Writing the over-the-top love letters became one of my favorite parts of the series. 

 

Free Architectural Photography of Brown and Gray Castle Stock PhotoYour heroine, Eleanor, has a list of adventures she wants to complete. What would be on the top of your own list?

I’m a real homebody. My husband is the adventurer and he drags me along. Although I always end up having fun once I get out the door! I would say that currently on the top of my list of adventures is to travel to Scotland. I’d like to poke around old castles, drink some good whisky, and enjoy the scenery.    

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

My favorite part to write in any book is always the scene where the couple finally tell each other how they feel. It’s so satisfying after their struggles during the course of the story to write them being together heart and soul. But for Lucius and Ellie this scene would be more than a bit spoiler-y so let me share my second favorite scene, their first kiss. 

Ellie has been in love with her best friend’s older brother forever but they have always just been good friends. A death of one of their friends becomes the catalyst for Ellie to evaluate her choices in life and want to take some risks. It’s not easy to take risks and the kiss surprises both of them.

——

A gust of wind rustled the flaps of her cloak, and she shivered. Lucius stepped close and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. His body blocking most of the wind. “What are you thinking about, kitten?” 

Ellie grimaced at her childhood nickname. Lucius was the only one that still used it. The silly moniker just proved how he still viewed her, simply as a childhood friend. She sighed. “How life is too short for some. How if I died tomorrow, I would look back and see that I’ve not done anything with my life. Just existed from day to day, but I never chased any of my dreams.” 

“Hey now, that is some heavy thinking.” He squeezed her shoulder. “It’s never too late to chase your dreams. At least, I hope not. Otherwise, my life will have been a waste as well.” 

Ellie turned to face him. His hand dropped to rub up and down her back. 

Lucius’s lips quirked up into a wry smile. “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Ellie.”   

She stared up at his familiar face. Her gaze traveled over his elegantly arched eyebrows, green eyes, a long straight nose, and that square jaw. All parts that should be entirely ordinary, but she’d loved his face for an eon. She thought him impossibly handsome. Not that he would ever know. 

Coward. 

Her first instinct was to step back with a clever, self-deprecating quip. But Ellie shook off that instinct. Not today. Today she would take a risk. She was twenty-four years old and had never kissed a man. Olivia was the same age and had been married and widowed already. Ellie had waited years for Lucius to be her first kiss, but she would wait no more. She slid her hands up and grasped the lapels of his wool coat. 

Those green eyes widened, and one eyebrow rose in question. 

Gathering her courage, she rose on her tiptoes and pressed her lips against his. She had no idea how to kiss someone, but his lips were warm despite the cold, and she found kissing him to be quite pleasant. Ellie tilted her head and brushed her lips across his again. His hand at her back stilled. She dared to glance up and meet his startled gaze. But, oh Lord, what was she doing? Ellie pulled back fractionally, her eyelids fluttered closed in embarrassment. 

Then the hand at her back flexed, and Lucius pulled her hard against him. His other hand rose to frame her face, and he kissed her. Really kissed her. 

A pulse of pleasurable heat raced through her as his lips caressed her own. The tip of his tongue ran along her bottom lip, and Ellie’s lips parted at his wordless request. He changed the angle of the kiss, his wicked tongue tangling with hers. Ellie was no longer cold, nor confused, nor sad. There was nothing but the heat of his kiss and his intoxicating scent of lemon soap and tobacco.  

His thumb gently rubbed across her cheek just before he pulled back. He leaned his forehead against hers. “Well, that was a surprise.” 

Ellie opened her eyes slowly. She wanted to savor the last moments of her first kiss before she had to face what she had just done. She had kissed Lucius Grisham! It had been everything she’d dreamed it would be. But now, Lucius looked down at her with soft concern. 

All of her breath left her body in one long whoosh. Her face was on fire. Lord, what had she done? What could she say to him? Panic fluttered in her throat, and like the coward she was, she turned and fled across the frozen churchyard. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading To Tame a Scandalous Duke by Liana De La Rosa and next on my TBR is To All The Earls I Loved Before by Fenna Edgewood.

 

About the Author

From the time she read fairytales as a child, Karla Kratovil was hooked on stories that ended in Happily Ever After. Now as an author of sexy historical romance she gets to craft her own happy endings. Karla lives right on the edge of Northern Virginia’s wine country with her college sweetheart, two terrific teenagers, and two blond terriers. She is a Taurus. Like any good earth sign she loves good food, good wine, and getting her hands dirty growing things in her garden.

To keep in touch, sign up for her newsletter on her website – www.karlakratovil.com


CALLING ALL ANGELS: Release day blog post featuring Barbara Ankrum + A GIVEAWAY!

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be back on the Tule Blog and thrilled to be releasing another new book today! CALLING ALL ANGELS is the third book in The Guardian Angel Chronicles. I want to call it a trilogy because this one might be the wrap up book, but you never know. Those pesky story ideas just keep coming.

The thing most people want to know when you’re a writer is: Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes, when I’m writing stories, they do actually feel like they come from somewhere else (besides my weird brain!) and this one kind of felt like that. This series was inspired by a difficult time for all of us, a time of isolation and separation, a time that really felt like no other we’ve experienced before. I remember watching tv during the height of the pandemic and seeing the surreal images of abandoned city streets and highways. Wild animals roaming through neighborhoods. As if the human world had just…stopped. And people? They were isolated in their homes, apart from one another, feeling lost and frustrated. Of course, this triggered a lot of writerly ‘what if’s’ for me. What if this isolation went on and on? What if this was what it might feel like to be on the ‘other side’? What if angels get lonely and long for the connection they left behind?

In this third book, CALLING ALL ANGELS, there are some familiar characters if you’ve seen in the other two, but it’s a stand-alone book if you haven’t. In this one realtor Emma James has been in a bad car wreck and she’s alarmed to find herself stuck somewhere between life and death in a coma. In the in-between. She moves unseen about the real world, and meets a sexy Scottish angel named Connor, who claims he’s her Guardian there to guide her through this nightmare. CONNOR, a centuries old angel, is wrestling with his own demons, despite his position as a guardian, and drawn to Emma because of –well…it’s complicated. There’s a mystery about her car wreck and she enlists a reluctant Connor’s help in solving it before something worse can happen to her precious niece. And it seems there is a long, long history between Emma and her Guardian but it’s only one he remembers. Do you see her dilemma?

I loved this story so much and loved watching these two long lost soul mates discover each other again. This is a romance with a little mystery thrown in.  And despite the subject matter, it’s really a lot of fun. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Please let me know if you do and if you feel like leaving me a review somewhere I’ll be very grateful to hear your thoughts!

This series, starting with Every Time a Bell Rings, is under option for film with MGM, a thrill I never expected. Keep your fingers crossed that one of them makes it to the screen sometime soon.

GIVEAWAY: I have a giveaway for one lucky reader here. A $10 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of CALLING ALL ANGELS!  To enter, just tell me: Do you believe in angels? Heavenly or otherwise….

I’ll choose a winner randomly on Wednesday 7/20 at 5pm. Please check back to see if you’ve won!


Tule Author Q&A: Kaz Delaney loves candy!

Kaz Delaney stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries series, Candy-Coated Conspiracy!

Where did you get the inspiration for Candy-Coated Conspiracy?

Initial inspiration came from two things. The first was location – well, specific location. It was always going to be set in a small town, as all the Hart of Texas Mysteries are, but I’ve always loved covers that featured candy stores – they’re so pretty – and real ones smell so good, so I knew one day I’d write about a mystery linked to a candy store. And secondly, I was drawn to a trope I’ve played around with a few times now and absolutely love, and that’s when someone is not who they’re pretending to be. I adore secret identity stories and once I’d hooked these two up, I had to work to find the story behind. 

The hardest part was discovering what dastardly secret the town was hiding. I mean, how can a whole town keep something secret? My husband always says that the moment you tell one person—no matter how trusted they are—your secret is no longer a secret, so I knew if a whole town was keeping it secret it had to be big. And bad… 

 

Free Red and Blue Glass Door Stock PhotoIf you went to The Sweet Treat candy store featured in Candy-Coated Conspiracy, what candies would you be leaving with?

I’d probably need a truck to get me home with my load, but anything with nuts and caramel, preferably hard caramel. I’d love to try the sisters’ eggnog caramels and their marshmallow fudge. Um, oh yes! Tropical creams… They’d be delicious with their rich pineapple filling.  And I probably couldn’t leave without some Rocky Road. 

 

If you could spend the day with your heroine, Rosie Hart, what would you two get up to?

It’s a no brainer that we’d first bake. It’s a passion we both share and I can imagine the hours whiling away as we baked and chatted. She’s way more talented than I am so I’d be also watching and learning. I know her home almost as well as I know my own, but I’d still love to walk through those rooms, and chat with Rosie and Fiona about the color palette they chose.

Then we’d have to go into town so she could introduce me around. First stop would have to be to see the Fab Four out at the retirement village—those gorgeous, yet scandalous, rascally and irreverent nonagenarians—ensuring we didn’t come between them and a meal or food break; nor distract them from cheating their way through yet another hand of Texas Holdem’.  We’d drop in on Miz Brenda and pick up some of her amazing preserves, say hi to Janet while we popped in to meet Sheriff Frank Kinnead, who, like Rosie, I see as a father-figure. Naturally I’d have to go to that iconic newspaper office to see Midge and inhale all the history held within those walls. We’d meet the other townspeople, and then hopefully have dinner with Jonah and his family, Fiona and Clay. 

Although, if she was embroiled in a mystery, we’d have that famous whiteboard out and we’d be brainstorming while I helped her solve whatever needed solving. How much fun would that be!!    

I’d probably roll home after having consumed too many sweet treats, and be wishing I could do it all again the next day.

 

 What was your favorite scene to write and why? (include a snippet)

Oh gosh, this is a tricky one and I’ve really struggled for an answer—and also one that’s relatively short enough to be a snippet. Any scene with the Fab Four from Riverside Retirement Village is usually a hoot to write, and always so much fun. Then there are some really poignant scenes that still make me cry no matter how often I’ve read them—a final scene between Katya and Lester Jackson is beautiful; the scene with 103 year old Rita Wiley-Hannaford as she recounts her lost love story is as inspiring as it is sad as it offers up answers to this mystery. Speaking of the mystery, I liked the scene with Dwayne Morris’ sister where she explains to Midge and Rosie why her brother may have been not only pretending to be someone else, but why he was tearing up the house of his supposed elderly aunts. Here’s a teeny bit of it. 

The set up is that Gabrielle, Dwayne’s sister, has been recounting a story passed from her grandparents; a story that had obsessed a young Dwayne from a young boy. It’s about a letter given to her grandfather’s cellmate that through misfortune never reached its destination – the cellmate’s family. The uncle of the two elderly women suspected of Dwayne’s murder.

——

Gabrielle closed her eyes momentarily, maybe trying to block out memories. Maybe trying to block out the horror of what her brother had done. Maybe trying to block out this day… And us.

“But why take so long?” Midge pondered. “He’d known this story all his life.”

“Mom had an idea about that as well. Obviously, the letter had been passed down and when my grandparents passed away it was in their papers. Mom had them, intending to go through them. The last time Evan was at her house, my mom was sorting those papers. She came across the letter, but later that evening after he’d left, the letter was gone.” Gabrielle was looking very tired now. “She said she’s been praying he wouldn’t do something stupid. But I guess it was too late. He did.”

For long moments we all sat in silence, I guess all pondering that statement. Well, I’m assuming they were. My thoughts were very personal and becoming more urgent.  I’d been hanging on to go the bathroom for a while, not wanting to miss a moment but we seemed to be at a break point—an impasse of sorts, and as the situation was becoming grave, I asked for directions and excused myself. I always say I get my best creative ideas in the shower or bath so I guess it was no surprise that even releasing water raised another question we needed to ask.

Back out with the others, Gabrielle was rinsing cups in the kitchen sink, and Midge had our bags, ready to leave as soon as I’d made my return. But I couldn’t go just yet. Just one more question. Maybe two…

“Gabrielle, did you ever see the letter? Read it with your own eyes?”

When she shook her head, my heart sank. But I still had one more. “So, do you have any idea why your great-grandmother thought the whole thing was fictitious? Vivid imagination?”

At that, she smiled. It was wan and half-hearted, but it was a smile. “That I do know and I agreed with her.” She shook her head “Oh, come on… Diamonds hidden in a wall? And he hadn’t told anyone? The man was a pauper and he had diamonds supposedly hidden in a wall? Crazy!”

And there it was… 

Diamonds.

My breath stalled at the mention of that word. Diamonds. 

Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. It was a gut thing. But it was significant.

And unlike Gabrielle’s great-grandmother, I believed the story.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading a novel entitled Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson. It’s a spoof on mystery novels, with its own mystery of course. Snow isn’t something that’s immediately associated with Australia but we do have a couple of snowfield areas in the mountains down south and this is the setting for this novel which plays into the locked room scenario as they’re cut off from the rest of the world by heavy falls.  Given that I’m reading it in one of our coldest winters in a hundred years, I’ll be looking for a warmer setting for the next book I choose. I have just the titles in mind on my TBR (To be Read) pile.  Six Days of Spring by Charlee James next on my Kindle list and I’m looking forward to that, but I’m also so keen to start on Tule’s Outback Babies series. It features some of my favorite people – and authors: Barb Hannay, Trish Morey, Fiona McArthur and Kelly Hunter – and I think it will be huge fun. And besides, I’m such a pushover for babies and little people. When I’m not indulging myself and want to pretend I’m working instead, I want to re-read The Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque 

 

About the Author

Award winning YA & children’s author, Kaz Delaney, and her alter ego, have currently sold 73 titles between them over a 26 year career.

Her books have won many awards, among them the prestigious Aurealis Award for best paranormal and ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) awards. Her novel ‘Dead, Actually’ (Allen & Unwin) was nominated for a Davitt Award, (Best crime novel, Sisters In Crime) in the YA section.   Dividing her time between teaching and writing, Kaz formerly tutored Creative Writing for CSU’s Enrichment Program as well as teaching and creating courses for the Australian College of Journalism.

Having always had a love of cozy mysteries, Kaz is having so much fun writing her Hart of Texas Mystery Series for TULE Publishing, that she worries it’s not legal!

With their family grown and gone, Kaz lives with her wonderful husband at beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia, a place she describes as a strip of land between the ocean and lake.  Like Rosie, Kaz loves to bake and grow vegetables and unlike Rosie, manages to make a mess of every crochet task she undertakes.


Tule Publishing July 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for July!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the July 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.

 

The Cowboy’s Texas Heart by E. Elizabeth Watson (Texas Born)

Release Date: July 7, 2022

The Dixons of Legacy Ranch, Book 3

It was only meant to be one night of pleasure…

After a failed engagement, paleontologist Heather “Heart” Carvalho has vowed to always protect herself in love. When she’s hired to conduct a geophysical survey for a mineral rights dispute on ancient land, she never expects to be swept up in the arms of a rugged cowboy. After a night of passion, she learns the handsome cowboy is her new client. Even more complicated, he has kids, and soon Heart longs for something she knows she can never have…a family.

Tyler Dixon doesn’t have time for emotional attachments. He has two sons to raise solo, a multimillion-dollar ranch to operate, and a pending lawsuit to protect his land from an unscrupulous oil company. Carrying on with the gorgeous, free-spirited paleontologist will only jeopardize Tyler’s case. So why does he feel the impulse to keep crossing the line with her?

They’re both everything they told themselves they didn’t want. As their chemistry burns, Heart claims she can remain impartial, but soon Ty wants the one thing she’s sworn to never again give away—her heart.


A Rebel’s Mantra by Sapna Srinivasan (American Heart)

Release Date: July 12, 2022

The Sood Family, Book 2

She’s never done what was expected of her…

Laila Sood has always resisted tradition and her parents’ wishes, from leaving her small town in India and moving to Seattle to start a rock band, to rejecting the groom her parents chose for her arranged marriage. Now twenty-nine, Laila’s band has critical acclaim on the indie scene, but she hasn’t attained her goal that will cement her rock star status—signing with a major L.A. label.

Marriage is the last thing on Laila’s mind when she meets Hari Singh. He’s an Indian mama’s dream—a handsome pediatrician from a rich, well-connected Indian family—and everything Laila’s rejected her entire life. Even worse, sparks fly between them like Diwali fireworks, and though Laila’s aunt is hoping to match Hari with her daughter, Hari is fascinated by Laila. She thinks a few dates will prove that he’s too boring and traditional for her, except Laila only falls harder.

Does Laila still chase her rock star dream, or has Hari shown her a new way to fly her rebel flag that just might be anchored in tradition?


Candy-Coated Conspiracy by Kaz Delaney (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: July 14, 2022

Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries, Book 3

Every family has secrets, especially the sweet ones…

When talented baker Rosie Hart delivers cakes and cookies to her newest clients, The Sweet Treat candy store, she finds herself embroiled in yet another murder case. Will she ever catch a break?

Her elderly clients, The Percival sisters, are shocked when their long-lost great nephew appears with no warning. The sisters have never met nor heard of the man, but he’s family so they accept him with open arms. He immediately begins to tear up his aunts’ home, so when he turns up dead, Rosie feels only a sense of relief. Until she realizes the police suspect the sisters.

Rosie is as convinced of their innocence as she is of the deliciousness of her popular salted caramel cupcakes. But as the body count begins to rise and new secrets are unearthed, she begins to wonder if the sweet artisan candy makers are hiding more than their family recipes.


Calling All Angels by Barbara Ankrum (American Heart)

Release Date: July 18, 2022

The Guardian Angel Chronicles, Book 3

What if soulmates truly are forever?

Emma James isn’t sure if she’s dead, dreaming, or somewhere in-between after a car accident leaves her hospitalized in a coma. And the gorgeous but grumpy Scot with a sexy brogue claiming to be her “guardian angel” seems to have her confused with someone named Violet. After discovering her “accident” was no accident at all, Emma fears her niece may be in danger. Enlisting her reluctant guardian’s help to solve the mystery takes all her persuasion skills. But alarmingly, she finds herself falling for this centuries-old, grudge-holding immortal.

Connor Montrose instantly recognizes Emma as the woman who betrayed him two centuries ago—Violet MacLeish. Though Emma has no memory of that life, or the love they shared, she’s Violet’s doppelgänger and a pain in his tortured soul. He needs to help her cross over so he can get a long-awaited celestial promotion, but this new version of Violet is even more beguiling and stubborn than before, drawing him deeper into the human world he’d rather forget.

Stuck between life and death, can these two lost souls find common ground?


Saving a Scoundrel by Karla Kratovil (Muse)

Release Date: July 19, 2022

The Maidens of Marbury, Book 2

The death of a friend leads the cautious Eleanor Spencer to reevaluate her life. In a rare impulse, she kisses the man of her dreams—her best friend’s older brother. The moment of madness gives her courage to take more chances. This spring, she will finally travel to London for the social season. All she needs is to compile a list of adventures to complete. At the top of her list? Kiss Lucius Grisham again…

Barely surviving since his father severed his funds, Lucius Grisham works two respectable jobs, and one decidedly disreputable job, just to keep up critical appearances. When Ellie becomes the target of a sordid bet made by his rakehell friends, Lucius must step in to protect his sister’s friend. As he finds himself pulled into helping Ellie with her list of adventures, he is surprised to find his jaded heart tempted by the innocent beauty. But Ellie Spencer is far too good for a scoundrel like him.

Ellie will endanger both her heart and her virtue to make Lucius hers. Can Lucius become the man Ellie believes him to be?


Hard Road Home by Fiona Marsden (Holiday)

Release Date: July 21, 2022

With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing, Book 3

This time, he’ll need to play for keeps—or not at all.

Xander Mac, now an internationally acclaimed country singer, has finally come home to Kurrajong Crossing. It’s been four years since his casual, no-strings-attached relationship with Bonnie Callaghan imploded under the pressures of distance and secrets held back. Xander’s return for a charity concert during the town’s winter festival is his opportunity to reconnect with Bonnie. Only this time, he might have to put his heart on the line.

Bonnie left Kurrajong Crossing hoping distance would give her heart a chance to heal, but she owes Xander’s grandparents, so when they need her help she answers the call. The return of Xander brings back hurt, long-buried feelings, but Xander has always said he only wants fun from a relationship and that’s not something Bonnie can guarantee.

Their attraction is still hot and their connection is deep. But to make it work, they’ll both need to be all in or say goodbye forever.


Hometown Cowboy by Dakota Harrison (Holiday)

Release Date: July 25, 2022

With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing, Book 4

Anything that can go wrong will…

Darby Jameson knows that spending the night with groomsman Ryan Thomas after her twin brother’s wedding is a big mistake. Darby’s not cut out for one-night stands and Ryan’s definitely not one for relationships—she knows this. Still, she falls hard for the sexy cowboy’s many charms, and it’s better than she ever imagined. Darby is in for a world of hurt when one night turns into a secret affair, but what’s she to do when his smile melts her heart?

When Ryan finally gives in to his attraction to his best friend’s sister, he insists it’s only temporary and best kept to themselves. Darby can do so much better than to take up with him. He has nothing to give to a sweet woman like her, and everyone knows it.

But when Darby drops a bombshell, suddenly a casual fling is no longer an option. With so much at stake, and so many factors keeping them apart, do Darby and Ryan have a chance at a happily ever after?


One Night with You by Fortune Whelan (American Heart)

Release Date: July 26, 2022

Dorseys of Conception Bay, Book 2

Their lives are about to change forever…but not how they expected.

Cheramie Johnston-Davies is almost set to embrace the path her family set for her—a handsome and ambitious fiancé, an enviable address, and a guaranteed board position wherever she desires. But when her grandmother passes unexpectedly, Cheramie gets a few more months of freedom while she steps up to secure her family’s legacy by completing the revitalization project her grandmother started.

Former risk-taking, adventurous Deacon Dorsey knows he needs to clip his own wings and create a loving, secure home for his preteen daughter after his ex dies. Considering his own unstable upbringing, Deacon’s work is cut out for him. He decides to settle in his hometown and invest in a local project in Conception Bay. He can’t change the past, but he’s determined to shape the future for his daughter.

An anonymous hookup in a Seattle hotel bar is a last night of freedom for Deacon and Cheramie before they settle into their new responsibilities. Only it’s not so anonymous when they find themselves on opposite sides of the same project…


Hot Texas Trouble by Eve Gaddy (Texas Born)

Release Date: July 28, 2022

Texas True, Book 5

She’s had enough excitement to last a lifetime…

Jedidiah Walker has spent years embracing danger as an undercover agent for a secret government agency, but she barely escapes with her life when a mission goes south. Her fiancé and long-time partner isn’t so lucky. Burned out and grieving, Jedidiah returns home to Whiskey River intending to create a new, perfectly boring life. A job with app designer Trevor Holt is a dream. She can use her computer skills without death looming, and nothing says “safe” more than a computer geek.

Not exactly. Trevor may design apps, but he’s also tatted, muscular, and rides with a motorcycle club that provides support to exploited children. While sparks sizzle between them, Trevor’s conscious that as her employer, any romantic moves need to come from her.

Jedidiah falls hard for her sexy boss, but she senses he has a dangerous side that is beyond tempting—and precisely what she’s determined to avoid. Can Trevor convince her that what they have is worth the risk?