Tule Author Q&A: Denise N. Wheatley’s mom inspired her story!

Denise N. Wheatley topped by the Tule blog to discuss her new Christmas book, Christmas in Full Bloom!

 

Selective Focus Photography of Pink and Red FlowersWhere did you get the inspiration for Christmas in Full Bloom?

I have to give my mother the credit for inspiring Christmas in Full Bloom. Christmas is my family’s favorite time of the year, and the holiday season has always been a big deal around our house. So writing holiday stories that celebrate the season is such a pleasure. Also, like my book’s heroine, my mother is a floral designer. Incorporating her love of flowers into the book brought back wonderful memories of my mom’s beautiful designs. 

 

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

I relate to Lauren in that we’re both go-getters. Like me, she wasn’t afraid to step out and pursue her dreams. One thing I admire about her character that I wasn’t able to do was move away from my hometown to pursue my career. I grew up in Chicago and always dreamed of living in LA. But I’m such a mama’s girl that I never made that happen! Maybe one of these days…

As for Mel, I can relate to his character because he is so loyal to his family. Mel is a doctor, and his father owns a medical clinic in their hometown of Maple Valley, Michigan. Rather than move away and work for a big fancy hospital, Mel chose to stay in Maple Valley and work alongside his father. Sticking close to home and putting family first is something I’ve personally experienced.

I hope that readers can relate to my characters’ desire to find fulfillment in life, all while pursuing their dreams and balancing their careers.

 

Christmas in Full Bloom is a sweet second chance romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

I am a big believer in second chances, and love the idea of revisiting old potential flames in hopes that the second time around will be the charm. In both of my holiday novels, Love at the Icicle Café and Christmas in Full Bloom, my heroines have second chance encounters with heroes in which they share some sort of past. Exploring the possibility of a relationship with someone familiar is so exciting to me, both in fiction and in real life, which is why this trope is one of my favorites.

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

I have a couple of wonderful Christmas memories/traditions from childhood that we still practice today. One is opening a gift on Christmas Eve. That is always a lot of fun. Another is trimming the tree together as a family. As a child, my father did the heavy lifting while my mother did the majority of the trimming. Now that I’m an adult, I do most of the work while Mom sits back and bosses me around!

 

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Just a Little Married by Reese Ryan. It’s about a woman who needs to find a husband immediately in order to claim an inheritance. She turns to a former flame and makes him an offer that he can’t refuse. Once they reconnect, they realize that the love between them never died. I am loving the book so far!

 

About the Author

Denise N. Wheatley is a lover of happily-ever-afters and the art of storytelling. She has written (and ghostwritten) numerous novels and novellas that run the romance gamut, from contemporary to paranormal, sweet to steamy. Denise strives to pen entertaining stories that embody matters of the heart, while creating characters who are strong, colorful and relatable.

She is an RWA member and received a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, the city where she was born and raised. When Denise is not sitting behind a computer, you can find her in a movie theater, on a tennis court, watching true crime television or chatting on social media.


Tule Author Q&A: Justine Davis is a dog person!

Justine Davis stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the second book in The Raffertys of Last Stand series, A Texas Christmas Miracle!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for A Texas Christmas Miracle?

From images I’ve never forgotten. One, of the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in, appropriately, Texas. The sculpture is of a handler and four dogs (a Doberman pinscher, German shepherd, Labrador retriever and a Belgian malinois, the breed featured in the book) done by brilliant sculptor Paula Slater. Second, also by Slater at the same location, is the sculpture of a Vietnam era soldier pouring water into his helmet for his loyal dog. (the sculpture is a functioning fountain for visiting dogs to drink from, a beautiful touch) The dogs back then were considered nothing more than equipment, and were often left behind, abandoned to their fate in a war torn country, in a culture where they were sometimes considered food. That is a part of our history that has always sickened me, and thus while the first monument makes me nod in approval, the fountain makes me cry. And from the beginning, I knew Chance would be a man who would see to those who saw to him and his brothers in arms.

 

This story is about Chance and Ariel, but it’s also about Tri, a wounded military K-9 who brings these two together. Are you a dog person? Do you or did you ever have any pets?

As you can see, this story is very much about Tri as well. I love these dogs; they’re such brave and wonderful—and smart!—animals. I am absolutely a dog person, and have had several through the years. (horses too, but that’s another story…) Currently I have my beloved Elf, a half border collie mixed with something unknown but thankfully much less intense. I adopted her from a Navy guy who sadly had to rehome her, and after a period of adjustment, she’s become the sweetest thing in my life. She spends the day in my office with me while I work, and in fact has been known to bound up the stairs, then stop on the landing and give me the side eye until I get moving up there fast enough to suit her. I swear she’s saying “Aren’t you supposed to be working??”

 

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

Oh, undoubtedly Chance. (I’m an all about the hero kind of girl…) But I would love to watch him work with the dogs, see how he settles them and calms them and convinces them they’re safe. The combination of command and gentleness is irresistible to me. That is definitely my kind of man. 

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

Since I spent so many years in law enforcement, where Christmas was just another day we had to work, those kind of fell by the wayside except for Christmas cookies and eggnog. Oh, and a Charlie Brown sort of Christmas tree, a tradition that began when one year we saw one on a trash pile on the morning of Christmas Eve and I couldn’t resist bringing the poor thing home. But I always used to volunteer to work Christmas mornings so that the folks with little kids could be at home with them. I got my payback on New Years! 

 

What are you currently reading?

At the moment I’m doing an editing read-through on the final Rafferty book, and when I’m doing that I have to focus on that book and not read anything else, so that I don’t miss something. However just prior to that, I finished Dean Koontz’s (speaking of dog lovers!) fabulous “Nameless” series of novellas. I don’t do horror but these aren’t, they’re about adding fairness and truth to the lives of people who have been deprived of both by others, and they were fascinating and wonderfully written. I both wanted to read them one right after the other, but also didn’t want them to be over, which for me as a reader is the best compliment I can give. And not to name drop, but Mr. Koontz happens to live in the city I used to work in, and the man works late! I found this out working the graveyard shift at the PD when he would trip their house alarm by accident, and call to say all was okay. Usually around one or two in the morning. When I get on a roll myself and work late, I always think of those brief chats we had. 

 

About the Author

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

After years of working in law enforcement, and more years doing both, Justine now writes full time. She lives near beautiful Puget Sound in Washington State, peacefully coexisting with deer, bears, a pair of bald eagles, a tailless raccoon, and her beloved ’67 Corvette roadster. When she’s not writing, taking photographs, or driving said roadster (and yes, it goes very fast) she tends to her knitting. Literally.


Tule Author Q&A: Sinclair Jayne watched YouTube videos for research!

Sinclair Jayne stopped by the Tule blog to discuss her new Christmas book, Lighting Up Christmas!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Lighting Up Christmas?

I was inspired to write Lighting Up Christmas after a conversation with friend, author and Tule publisher, Jane Porter, when we were talking about occupations for heroines. She had had a recent meeting with a film producer who wanted heroines outside of the more mainstream film heroine occupations of bakery or shop owner, librarian or teacher, etc. for books geared for Christmas, and I had an image of a woman in a Christmas party dress, work boots and tool belt arriving in a snowy landscape, to save the day—get the lights back on for a party. The way businesses, main streets and homes are lit up for Christmas has always been one of my favorite parts of the holiday seasons—lighting up the dark, welcoming people in. Driving around and looking at Christmas lights was my favorite holiday tradition, and of course I did it with my kids. Riley Flanagan, third generation electrician was born. 

 

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

While I would love to spend the day with Riley—I love her energy and enthusiasm and go-for-it, no matter what it is approach to each and every day, Zhang’s quiet, thoughtfulness and hidden sweet and vulnerable is so appealing to me. I would love, like Riley, the challenge of showing him a different way of experiencing something. He is so intellectual, and Riley is experiential. The scene with her tilting her head back, arms spread wide, to taste the first snow, is so something I would do. I remember being on a first date with my husband, and I stopped in the middle of a Vancouver BC street at midnight coming out of a Pink Floyd show and even in the crowd of people, I stopped and marveled at the moon. He was so surprised and entranced, and I loved that he noticed something he never had before with me—the moon’s orange hue, the shift in a breeze, a fragrance, the sparkle of water.

 

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

The most research I had to do for this story was about being an electrician. I know less than zero so I googled tools and asked questions and trouble shot problems using YouTube. I also needed to know a bit more about the wine industry of Southern Oregon. I live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and my husband and I have a small vineyard, Roshni, (yes you are welcome to visit and have a tasting), but we grow pinot noir, and southern Oregon, not so much. So, I researched some local wineries to see what they were producing and read the tasting notes (unfortunately online, not in person…but soon!) Research is a fascinating part of the writing. I learn so much but only a fragment appears in the story, but if I don’t feel that I have enough of a knowledge base, I would feel lost and paralyzed about making certain choices.

 

Photo of Christmas Baubles on Tree BranchesDo you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

My favorite holiday tradition is wrapping lights around a few key outdoor trees and then driving around or walking different city or town streets to look at decorations. I just feel such a sense of pleasure, sparkle and simple happiness looking at the colored lights against the black velvet of the sky. 

 

What are you currently reading?

Right now I am deep dive reading one of my own books in order to make edits—definitely not relaxing. I am also an editor for Tule so two of my favorite hobbies are now part of my job (SO MANY fantastic Christmas books in Tule’s line up this year), but I also rarely feel like I am working.

I hope you enjoy Lighting Up Christmas as much as I loved writing it.

 

About the Author

Sinclair Sawhney is a former journalist and middle school teacher who holds a BA in Political Science and K-8 teaching certificate from the University of California, Irvine and a MS in Education with an emphasis in teaching writing from the University of Washington. She has worked as Senior Editor with Tule Publishing for over seven years. Writing as Sinclair Jayne she’s published fifteen short contemporary romances with Tule Publishing with another four books being released in 2021. Married for over twenty-four years, she has two children, and when she isn’t writing or editing, she and her husband, Deepak, are hosting wine tastings of their pinot noir and pinot noir rose at their vineyard Roshni, which is a Hindi word for light-filled, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Shaandaar!


A GHOSTLY SHADOW: Release day blog post featuring H L Marsay!

The Ghostly Tales of York

With over five hundred reports of spooky happenings within our ancient walls, the International Ghost Research Foundation has declared York to be the most haunted city in Europe. Well, when I heard that, I just had to write a book that included some of the city’s most famous ghost stories. A Ghostly Shadow, the third Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery takes place at Halloween and involves several of York’s ghost walkers, the men and women who guide visitors around the city and entertain them with scary and gruesome tales.

Shambles

Two of my ghost walk guides dress up as York’s most infamous sons, Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin, who are both said to haunt the city. Guy Fawkes was born in York. He was a Catholic at a time when King James, a Protestant, was on the throne. Desperate to return the country to the ‘true faith’, Fawkes and his fellow conspirators hatched a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and assassinate the king in November 1605. However, they were betrayed and Fawkes was arrested next to the gunpowder in the cellars beneath the Palace of Westminster. After being tortured in the Tower of London, he was put to death as a traitor. Now every November 5th we celebrate this event with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy on bonfires. Please note, the only place that does not celebrate is York’s St Peter’s School where Guy was educated – they think it’s bad form to burn an old boy!

A hundred years later, Dick Turpin, the notorious highwayman, suffered a violent death too. Originally from the south of England, he was a thief, who killed a gamekeeper then ran away to York and changed his name to John Palmer. While here, he was arrested for stealing a chicken. From prison he wrote to his family, but by a cruel twist of fate, the postman who delivered the letter was the man who taught Dick to write and recognised his handwriting. When his true identity was revealed, Dick was hanged on the Knavesmire and afterwards his body was put on display in the cellar of the Blue Boar on Castlegate. A replica of his coffin is still there today!

Blue Boar Inn

Perhaps our most famous ghost story takes place at the Treasurer’s House. Originally built to house the man in charge of the Minster’s finances, it eventually became a private home. In the 1950’s, Harry Martindale, an apprentice plumber, was working alone in the cellar. He could hear the sound of a horn being blown, but assumed it was a radio on upstairs. Then he heard the sound of horse’s hooves and a huge carthorse suddenly emerged through the wall behind him. On the horse’s back was a Roman soldier. Harry fell from his ladder in horror and watched as the horse was followed by a procession of other soldiers. Unlike the Hollywood depiction of Romans in red and gleaming gold uniforms, these soldiers were dirty, dishevelled and dressed in green. He could also only see them from the knees up. When telling his story to historians from the university, they confirmed that his description of the soldiers was accurate for the legions who were based in York, but the details he gave were unknown outside academic circles. They also explained that the Via Decumana, the original Roman Road, was buried fifteen inches beneath the cellar floor which was why their lower legs were not visible.

Treasurer’s House

Not far from the Minster and Treasurer’s House, stands the Plague House. The bubonic plague arrived in London in 1665 and soon spread north. A little girl was bricked up inside the house with her parents who had symptoms of the deadly disease, to prevent further contamination. Although she didn’t have the plague herself, the little girl was left to die, with no food or water. Since then, her tear-stained face has been spotted staring out of the window.

The Plague House in the shadow of the Minster  

Those of you who have read A Long Shadow, the first book in my series, may remember that a victim was discovered in Bedern next to one of Shadow’s favourite Italian restaurants. Bedern means college or house of prayer in Anglo-Saxon. It was once home to the Minster’s choral scholars. All that now remains is Bedern Hall, the old refectory or dining room. In the nineteenth century, Bedern Hall was used as a school and workhouse for the city’s orphans. It was run by a man named Pimm, who was more concerned with the money he could make than the welfare of the children in his care. Many of those in his care died of starvation. At first, he buried their bodies but when winter came and the ground became hard, he hid them in a cupboard. Soon the guilt and his drinking drove Pimm mad. His crimes were discovered and he was taken to an asylum. Today it is still claimed that as you walk along Bedern you can hear the sound of children playing, but if you stop and listen, their laughter soon turns to screams.

Bedern Hall today

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ghostly tales of York. If you have, why not come and find me on Facebook where I often post about the weird and wonderful happenings in my home city.

HL Marsay | Facebook

Happy Halloween!

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 Author Q&A: Nancy Robards Thompson’s daughter helped her brainstorm!

Nancy Robards Thompson stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Wedding Bell Mysteries series, Ending on a Die Note!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Ending on a Die Note?

Hi! Thanks so much for having me on the Tule blog to celebrate the release of ENDING ON A DIE NOTE. It’s the third book in the Wedding Bell Mysteries. My daughter helped me brainstorm this book. We were having lunch at Panera one day (pre-Covid) and I was telling her about my bare-bone ideas and before I knew it, she’d helped me flesh out the story. It was such fun!

 

How do you feel Maddie and Jenna have grown and changed throughout the Wedding Bell Mysteries series? 

Well, they’ve certainly become more adept at solving murders. LOL! They’ve both experienced a lot of personal growth over the three books…especially in the romance arena. To avoid spoilers, I can’t be too specific, but let’s just say the mystery about Maddie’s husband, the navy pilot who has been missing in action since the start of the series, is finally solved in this book. That, in itself, allows for a lot of growth in both characters.  

 

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

I love both of them, but I’d love to talk cozy mysteries and motherhood with Maddie.

 

Books on Brown Wooden ShelfWhere and when do you get most of your writing done?

I have a cozy office with lots of bookcases and a great big antique desk that my father and step-mother gave me. My office is my sanctuary. I work Monday – Thursday and usually get settled in around 10 a.m. and work until around 5 or 6 p.m. I always have a strict schedule and page quota mapped out so that I know I’m on track to meet my deadlines. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER by Linda Holmes. It’s a funny and poignant story about a woman who is starting over after her life falls apart. 

 

About the Author

Award-winning author Nancy Robards Thompson has worked as a newspaper reporter, television show stand-in, production and casting assistant for movies, and in fashion and public relations. She started writing fiction seriously in 1997. Five years and four completed manuscripts later, she won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award for unpublished writers and sold her first book the following year. Since then, Nancy has sold 30 books and found her calling doing what she loves most – writing romance and women’s fiction full-time.


Tule Author Q&A: Leigh Ann Edwards was inspired by Ireland!

Leigh Ann Edwards stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in The Witches of Time series, The Witch’s Reckoning!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for The Witch’s Reckoning?

Much like with my Irish Witch series and the first three books in the Witches of Time series, the inspiration for the Witch’s Reckoning stemmed from my love of Ireland, witches, faeries, dragons––all things mythical or supernatural. I also combined those elements with my interest in time travel and my desire to create powerful, poignant, steamy love stories between fated soulmates. 

 I’m sometimes inspired by listening to Celtic music or looking at photos I’ve taken during trips to Ireland and other locations in the UK and Massachusetts. I also drew on memories of the many different castles I’ve toured and the beautiful rolling green hills, majestic cliffs, stunning land formations and enchanted forests I saw in Ireland.

 

This is the final book in The Witches of Time series. How do each of your heroines, Alainn, Arianna, Ainsley and Angelique differ from each other? How are they the same?

Although the four witches are exactly the same age, twenty-two, even born on the same date, albeit in four different centuries, Alainn is probably the most mature and thought of as the leader of the group since the other three are her descendants. Alainn is from the sixteenth century and has been through a lot in her short life. She’s learned to mostly control her temper, calm her jealousy, hold her tongue and choose her battles. She and Killian have been together the longest, already married for five years and in love for much of their lives. They also experienced a tragic heartache when they lost their newborn son which changed them both. It nearly broke up  their marriage but they worked through it. They also suffered some other really traumatic experiences that most couples wouldn’t have survived which might be why Alainn is less liable to stress about the small things. That’s not to say she isn’t really headstrong at times. 

In appearance, Alainn has golden blonde hair and very blue eyes. As far as unique supernatural abilities, Alainn is the air witch and is capable of magical healing. She can also fly and create whirlwinds and tornadoes. 

Arianna is from the late seventeenth century during the witch hunts in Massachusetts. She and Darius have been married about three and a half years. They had to fight to be together, too. Arianna is likely the most hot-tempered of the four witches and quite spirited. But she’s also extremely protective of those she loves and really funny, sometimes sarcastic, which provides some comedic moments. She’s very jealous which is a trait all transcendent witches share. Arianna has unusual scarlet colored hair and striking green eyes. Arianna is the fire witch and the only witch who can create purple hellfire which can’t be extinguished by water. 

Ainsley is from the nineteenth century. She is usually fairly calm and sensible. She keeps her wits about her during a crisis. She had to learn to do so in order to excel as a skilled Civil War nurse. She is also an experienced midwife. Ainsley is very giving and understanding, but also really strong-willed when pushed. She has a dry sense of humor. She and Cal have been married for two years and were fated to live apart but they beat the odds and cherish being together again. Ainsley has shiny, jet black hair and large expressive brown eyes. Ainsley is the earth witch. She can cause earthquakes and create deep crevasses. She can also summon people or items from any century in time. 

Angelique is from modern times/ the twenty-first century. She’s probably the least predictable of the four witches. She’s kind, loving and generous, but also has a quick temper and a jealous streak. Initially, really meek and accommodating, she now speaks her mind, is sometimes sarcastic and has some very funny sayings. She also swears quite a lot which isn’t really acceptable for a woman during the sixteenth century where The Witch’s Reckoning takes place. Angelique and Faolan have been together just over a year and also face lots of difficulties. She has curly auburn hair and deep blue eyes often compared to Alainn’s. Angelique is the water witch. Water heals her wounds and she can heal others when they’re near her in water. She controls water and creates tidal waves and hurricanes. 

The four witches are similar in that they’re all very intelligent, uncommonly beautiful, magical and remarkably passionate in their lives and their love lives. They’re best friends, really close, like sisters. They defend each other and speak up for women or anyone who’s oppressed, abused or undermined. 

They can all magically disappear or move to another location, move items, control weather and animals, speak through telepathy, see and talk to spirits and have powerful premonitions. 

 

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

Actually, this story required the least amount of research of any of my books. I spent so much time researching for The Irish Witch series and the first three books in The Witches of Time––what they wore during each time period, the homes they lived in, what they ate, how they spoke, what type of weapons they had, what history occurred during each era, etc. that for this installment it only required reading over sections of my other books and some of my previous notes to refresh my memory. 

Also, in this story, although the witches are back in time, they had all lived in the future for a while, therefore I didn’t feel the need to be quite so diligent about using words I didn’t believe they’d say during the sixteenth century. They were accustomed to hearing or using modern words/expressions. 

I did do some research of different mythological creatures because several took part in the battle between light and dark magic.

 

Are your characters set before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go along? What did that development process look like for this series?

I do have many aspects of each character decided when I begin the story. However, they always surprise me along the way. I kind of let them develop as they go. Sometimes I even question, would they really react that way when they might not have earlier in this story or in another book. They change and grow throughout the series and I believe their relationships with their men and each other tend to influence how they behave. 

Living in the future for a while and getting closer to Angelique who has spent her entire life in an era when women have more rights and freedoms does impact the other witches, too. Though always strong-willed or determined, sometimes even stubborn as individuals, with the four of them together they tend to band together which causes some amusing or difficult moments for the witches’ men. 

Their friendships developed so seamlessly through the book that I just let them go with it. However, it wasn’t a sickeningly sweet friendship between any of them where they never disagreed or didn’t call the others out if they were being difficult. They supported each other through the good and bad times.

The heroes and secondary characters all developed close relationships, as well. I enjoyed the camaraderie and joking between the men, too. They backed their women and their friends knowing they’d need to count on each other during the high stakes of the perilous battle they’d be part of between light and dark magic against the Dark Lord Odhran.

What are you currently reading?

I’m nearly done The Irish Heritage by my friend, Irish author, Carole Mondragon. I’ve also just started reading A Viking’s Shadow by fellow Tule author, HL Marsay and I’m currently listening to the audio book, The Way Home by Eliana West, another Tule author. 

Additionally, I’m really excited to be writing my new four book series with Tule, titled Maidens of the Mystical Stones. The first book, Autumn’s Magical Pact, will be available September 26/22.  

I look forward to being back next fall to discuss the series. Until then, wishing you many magical, memorable moments. 

 

About the Author

Leigh Ann Edwards has always been fascinated by history, magic, romance, witches and Ireland which all inspired her first series, The Irish Witch Series. Growing up in a very small Manitoba town on the Canadian prairies allowed lots of time to create stories and let her imagination soar. Now writing her third series with Tule Publishing, Leigh Ann also loves reading, traveling, spending time with her four grandchildren, doing intuitive readings and reiki.

Leigh Ann lives with her husband, their two very large dogs and two cats near Edmonton Alberta, Canada.


Tule Publishing October 2021 Releases

Read more about our new releases for October!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the October 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 Witch’s Reckoning by Leigh Ann Edwards (Muse)

Release Date: October 4, 2021

The Witches of Time, Book 4

They’ve prevailed against the greatest of odds, but will the ultimate battle lead to their reckoning?

The beautiful Irish witch Alainn O’Brien and her husband Killian, a handsome warrior chieftain, have been in love most of their lives. While danger has followed the gifted witch and her sovereign guardian ruthlessly and relentlessly, their love and commitment have always saved them. But now, finally returned to their castle, they and the other witches and guardians must face what may be their greatest challenge yet—the long-predicted battle between light and dark magic.

With death in the air, secrets revealed, others concealed and a spell of discontent placed upon the chiefdom, threatening even the strongest relationships, Alainn and Killian’s troubles grow exponentially. When they receive an ominous invitation to meet with the infamous Dark Lord Odhran, they must decide if it’s worth the risk.

To defeat Odhran, they’ll need to band together and combine their powers, crossing the realms of time and pushing the boundaries of magic. Who’ll live to see the battle and who’ll live through it?


Christmas Ever After by Clare Connelly (American Heart)

Release Date: October 6, 2021

Cape Hope, Book 2

He once chose her happiness over his. Can this Christmas be their second chance?

Cassidy Hanna never felt like she belonged in Cape Hope, so she fled town and heartbreak ten years ago for a new life in Manhattan and everything she ever dreamed of—a great job and the perfect boyfriend. Only she’s never felt emptier and more alone. When her beloved grandfather falls ill, she knows she must push aside the past and return home to help.

Letting Cassidy go without a fight was the hardest thing Cape Hope doctor Phoenix Walker had ever done. Even as his own life fell apart, he lied and encouraged her to fly far from home to live out her dreams. Now Cassidy’s back—just for Christmas—and Phoenix wonders if they can have a second chance at a happy ever after…even if it’s just for the holiday.


Ending on a Die Note by Nancy Robards Thompson (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: October 7, 2021

The Wedding Bell Mysteries, Book 3

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely killers…

Everybody’s talking about Hemlock’s annual fall festival’s headliner band, ShakesPierre. Everyone but Tess Harrison, whose breakup with Pierre, the lead singer, left them both singing the blues years ago. And now that Pierre is back, he’s publicly putting his feelings for Tess in the spotlight.

So when Pierre ends up stabbed in the alley outside Tess’s bakery, she’s the number one suspect—especially since she’s famously known for her quality kitchen knives. But the evidence strikes a false note with Maddie and Jenna Bell, who are determined to clear their friend’s name and make sure the real murderer plays…uh, pays for his crime.

The clues lead them out of Hemlock and into danger far outside of Sheriff Jackson Bradley’s jurisdiction. Can Maddie save everyone before the real killer strikes back and Tess goes down for a crime she didn’t commit?


The Christmas Fix Up by Barbara Ankrum (American Heart)

Release Date: October 11, 2021

The Guardian Angel Chronicles, Book 2

Heaven made a mistake. Can one clumsy, rebellious angel right a wrong by Christmas Eve without losing her heart?

Angel Elspeth Aloysious is hidden in celestial clerical work to avoid painful memories when her mentor sends her on her first earthly mingle. Her task—open the closed heart of the handsome and busy Sam Wynter so his daughter can have a new mother before she drifts too far from her destiny. Elle has one week and one rule—don’t fall for Sam.

Sam Wynter has no intention of remarrying. Instead, he’s focused on raising his daughter Molly and building his career. But when he meets a captivating and beautiful stranger in town for the holidays, he rediscovers joy and a sense of fun with Elle through donating his time and skills to those in need. Both Sam and Molly quickly bond with the sparkling Elle, and Sam starts to dream of a different future.

The clock is ticking down on Elle’s time on Earth. Can these two mismatched soulmates, who are worlds apart, find their happy ever after?


Love and Latkes by Stacey Agdern (American Heart)

Release Date: October 12, 2021

Friendships and Festivals, Book 3

You can’t make a latke without breaking a few eggs…  

Batya Averman is ecstatic when a latke fry-off committee chooses her as its web designer—until she learns the event is in Rivertown, New York, the hometown she fled years ago. But she’s no longer the girl with an embarrassing history and an unrequited crush on Abe Neumann. This delicious competition is Batya’s chance to further her career, and this time she won’t run.

Abe Neumann can’t pass up the opportunity to enter the town’s latke contest. He dreams of throwing caution to the wind and leaving his accounting firm, opening a Jewish deli, and choosing his own happiness. The prize money would bring him closer to making his dream a reality, but when Batya comes back to town, Abe remembers that a deli isn’t the only thing he’s wished for.

When the fry-off’s celebrity host has to pull out of the competition, Batya is determined to step up to the challenge. This Hanukkah, can Abe fix the past and convince Batya that dreams, like latkes, are better when they’re shared?


A Ghostly Shadow by H L Marsay (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: October 14, 2021

Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery, Book 3

Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you…

This Halloween, the notorious rivalry between York’s iconic ghost walk tour guides spirals out of control when the body of one guide dressed as the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin is found hanging from a tree. A few days later, his partner, who plays Guy Fawkes, is killed by an explosion of gunpowder at their office.

Detective Chief Inspector John Shadow is a man of contradictions. A solitary figure who notices the smallest details about other people, but endeavours to avoid their company. A lover of good food, but whose fridge is almost always empty. Although he would prefer to work alone, he is assisted by his eager and easygoing partner Sergeant Jimmy Chang. Despite a sprained ankle, a stray cat and an impromptu trip to Oxford, the two men investigate the shocking murders that have York on edge. Are the murders the work of a madman or a business feud?

And then the killer strikes again.


Lighting Up Christmas by Sinclair Jayne (American Heart)

Release Date: October 18, 2021

It’s her first Christmas alone…

Spending her first holiday without her large, loud family allows electrician Riley Flanagan more time to find commercial clients for Flanagan & Sons, the third-generation family business she’s taking over. But when the town council nixes her Christmas-themed light garden, she approaches new-to-town entrepreneur and vintner Zhang Shi, hoping to land him and his not yet open winery as a client. He’s not interested, but Riley never gives up that easily.

It’s his first Christmas celebration…

Zhang Shi bought a mountainside property and planted a vineyard to escape his corporate life in the Bay Area and reconnect with his nature-loving grandfather. Fiercely independent and private, Zhang reluctantly calls Riley to rig an emergency electrical fix shortly before he entertains some colleagues. Zhang’s determined to avoid the town’s Christmas celebrations, but Riley is hard to refuse and impossible to ignore. And as she pulls him closer into the tight-knit community, he’s no longer sure he wants to.


A Texas Christmas Miracle by Justine Davis (Texas Born)

Release Date: October 19, 2021

The Raffertys of Last Stand, Book 2

Two people who don’t believe in Christmas or miracles…

Retired from special forces and back on his family’s Texas ranch, Chance Rafferty’s finally found some peace through creating a foundation to rescue and retrain military K-9s thought to be beyond redemption. He prefers to be left alone with his dogs and his work, but when a woman arrives shortly before Christmas looking for the dog that saved her husband’s life, Chance is astonished at the dog’s—and his own—response to her.

Though it’s been years, Ariel Larson still dreads the Christmas season because it marks the anniversary of her deployed husband’s death. When she learns her husband’s K-9 partner survived combat, Ariel feels she’s been given a lifeline to escape her grief. She suddenly has a sense of purpose she’s been desperately missing. But she never expected the man determined to rehabilitate the traumatized animal would have such a stunning impact on her own life.

Can these two wounded hearts come together to create their own Christmas miracle?


Jingle Jammies by Robyn Neeley (American Heart)

Release Date: October 20, 2021

She’ll find her true love in a snowfall…

Or so Charlie Dobbs’s late mother always predicted. But surely that prophecy didn’t apply to towing a famous pajama designer out of a ditch. Besides, Charlie has no time for love—the season always has its share of wrecks, her schedule is packed with Elfcapade festivities, and she’s ditching her mechanic overalls and moving to New York City right after Christmas.

Spencer Carmichael would rather be in the Bahamas, but his famous holiday pajamas have failed for the second year in a row. He’ll need a fresh attitude to overcome this creative block, but the only thing he’s finding in his hometown is a fascination with the woman who saved him from a snowbank. In order to spend more time with Charlie, he offers to take on her never-ending to-do list in exchange for her designing his pajamas.

But partnerships that last beyond Christmas Day require trust. Can Charlie and Spencer put aside the fabric and bows and December trimmings long enough to discover what they really need this Christmas?


Christmas in Full Bloom by Denise N. Wheatley (American Heart)

Release Date: October 21, 2021

This Christmas, can they slow down long enough to smell the roses and fall in love?

When savvy, up-and-coming floral designer Lauren Beal returns home to Maple Valley, Michigan, for her sister’s holiday wedding, she’s determined to be the perfect maid of honor. She didn’t expect the best man to be the college crush she’d reluctantly left behind to pursue her Chicago-based dreams.

Family practice doctor Mel Jennings always knew he’d remain rooted in Maple Valley to work for his father’s clinic. He happily juggles his demanding practice with philanthropic endeavors that connect him to his tight-knit community. Sparks fly when he reunites with Lauren, the one who ran away. As they enjoy Maple Valley’s Christmas festivities, Mel remembers how close they once were. But can they ever have a future?

Lauren finds herself falling for Mel and suspects the feelings are mutual. Yet they’re both pulled in different directions by work and family. Will the pair find a moment alone during the hectic holiday season to figure things out, or will they miss their chance at love once again?


On Christmas Tree Cove by Sarah Vance-Tompkins (American Heart)

Release Date: October 27, 2021

The Adair Family, Book 1

This Christmas calls for a special touch of magic…

December was always a special time for seaplane pilot Morgan Adair, but after losing her parents six years ago, the holiday is a quiet affair. When her siblings announce plans to sell the family home, Morgan longs to experience her favorite, now-forgotten tradition one more time: a lighted tree that, for over a hundred years, has appeared floating on a boat in the harbor every Christmas Eve.

The Taylors were always rivals to the Adairs in the once-thriving fishing village of Christmas Tree Cove, but Jesse Taylor was much more. He wanted to be understanding when Morgan set aside their plans to escape to Chicago in order to hold her family together, but his future as a successful freelance photographer soared on without her.

As Morgan dives deeper into the history of the mysterious holiday appearance, she discovers that true love has always been at the heart of the annual tradition. Can the wonder of Christmas and a few surprises along the way rekindle that love for Morgan and Jesse too?


A Casterglass Christmas by Kate Hewitt (Holiday)

Release Date: October 28, 2021

Keeping Up with the Penryns, Book 1

To save Casterglass, all the Penryn children will need to return home, rebuild their lives among the ruins, and find love that has proved elusive…

The Penryn family have always been eccentric—living in a dilapidated castle in the wilds of Cumbria with an orchid-mad father and a classicist mother who likes to re-enact Greek myths, who wouldn’t be? Penniless and proud, patriarch Walter Penryn resists selling his birthright and family legacy until taxes, bills, and the need for a new roof force him to reconsider.

Well-heeled Londoner Althea Penryn doesn’t expect a divorce and job hunt over the Christmas holidays, but her husband claims he’s done and the prenup is solid. She packs up her reluctant teenage children and heads home to Casterglass Castle to confront the ghosts of her past—including the real one her mother claims lives in the old guard tower. And then there’s her unexpected romance with local sheep farmer, John Braithwaite, who is everything her adulterous, solicitor ex-husband isn’t.

This Christmas, amid the renovation and potential heartbreak of losing her family home, can Althea find a new purpose and the happiness that has so long eluded her?


Tule Author Q&A: Christi Barth drew inspiration from her real life!

Christi Barth stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in her Love Lottery series, Wrong for Him!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Wrong for Him?

I got the inspiration for the Love Lottery series when having brunch at a historic inn (I have pix I took sneaking through the upstairs while the maids were changing over the rooms, because I knew I had to write about it someday!). 

 

Wrong for Him is a sexy forbidden romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

Once I decided to include a brother and sister in the series, there was no question—there had to be a brother’s best friend romance. And having Amelia & Teague be good friends – that’s from real life. My hubby and I share a friend, and I always get ten times more info out of him. It may be cliched, but guys don’t talk much or deeply, but a female/male friendship mines deep. My favorite trope to write (according to my spreadsheet of all tropes in all 39 of my books, lol) appears to be enemies to lovers. But in my heart of hearts (although I can’t do it very often, it is royal romance. #obsessed

 

Person in Brown Shorts Watering The PlantsHow do you relate to Amelia, your heroine, and how do you hope readers will relate to her? How do you relate to Teague?

On one level, I can’t relate to her at all, because she’s a landscaper and I loathe gardening. Dirt. Sweating. Yuck. But aside from all that, she is deeply romantic in her heart. She’ll do anything to help her friends. That’s incredibly relatable. And Teague’s loyalty is bone deep. He’s willing to give up the love of his life to stay loyal to his best friend.

 

Are your characters set before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I’m extremely process oriented. I plot everything out ahead of time, because it streamlines my writing process. I’m big on efficiency. When I sit down to write, I need to know exactly what needs to happen over the next few hours.

 

What did that development process look like for Wrong for Him?

It was a bit more involved, because (while it is completely a stand-alone, I promise!) it is the final book in the Love Lottery series. Lots of checking to be sure secondary characters popped up for a final time, that #spoiler a small secondary romance came to fruition, and any loose threads from previous books were tied off. And I’m just going to say, you have no idea how long it took to decide on just the right dog to add to the mix!

 

What are you currently reading?

Oooh! The latest Jayne Ann Krentz Fogg Lake book, All The Colors of Night, and The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess.

 

About the Author

USA TODAY bestseller Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.


LETTERS FROM GRACE: Release day blog post featuring CJ Carmichael

Love Letters & A Trilogy Giveaway

When my father passed away a few years ago we found a small, innocuous box at the very back of his closet. Inside were all the love letters he had mailed to our mother during his time in the Canadian navy, before they were married.

My father was a gruff man, not given to praise or signs of affection. So finding these letters, full of love and sweet words for our mother, was such a treasure.

I recently asked my newsletter subscribers to share their stories of saved love letters and received so many heart warming, funny, and sad stories. I really do hope that email and text messages don’t signal the end of the old-fashioned love letter for our future generations.

Love letters feature large in my new release Letters From Grace. In this book (based on a premise from my older novel, Jessie’s Father, which is no longer in print) a daughter finds a stash of love letters from her widowed father’s high school sweetheart and sets out to match-make. I’m so pleased with early reviews from Publishers Weekly and readers. I hope you will add this book to your TBR pile!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

For your chance to win the complete Shannon Sisters trilogy in paperback format (autographed of course!), please tell me whether you have saved any love letters?

Giveaway will be open until 9/30/21. Open in the US & Canada only.

 

USA Today Bestselling author C. J. Carmichael has written over 45 novels in her favorite genres of romance and mystery. She has been nominated twice for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, as well as RT Bookclub’s Career Achievement in Romantic Suspense award, and the Bookseller’s Best honor.

She gave up the thrills of income tax forms and double entry book-keeping in 1998 when she sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance. Since then she has published over 35 novels with Harlequin and is currently working on a series of western romances with Tule Publishing. In addition C. J. Carmichael has published several cozy mystery series as an Indie author.

When not writing C. J. enjoys family time with her grown daughters and her husband. Family dinners are great. Even better are the times they spend hiking in the Rocky Mountains around their home in Calgary, and relaxing at their cottage on Flathead Lake, Montana.


Tule Author Q&A: Winter Austin loves writing about strong women!

Winter Austin stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in her Benoit and Dayne Mystery series, The Killer in Me!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for The Killer in Me?

The Killer in Me started out as an idea about corruption in a small town sheriff’s department. It was originally supposed to be set in Louisiana, but I enjoyed writing the setting in my home state of Iowa when I came back here. It’s unique in the fact that there are so few books out there set in Iowa. And we have plenty of the “good ole boy” network that goes on here that my plot of family-feuds and law enforcement corruption is real enough. Elizabeth Benoit had a slight name change to be who she is, but she’s always been the sheriff who took over with the intent of disrupting that good ole boy system.

 

Assorted Books on ShelfWhat kind of research did you need to do for this story?

I have a full bookshelf of research books on police procedure and autopsy stuff. I belong to a few crime writers’ groups so if I needed something answered I couldn’t find on my own, I have that outlet. But my biggest research came from the connections I have. A long-time friend of mine is an LEO with a local police department, he keeps me as straight and narrow as I can get. For emergency medical situations I tapped the shoulder of a friend who is a veteran and a former Critical Care EMS.

The Killer in Me is my tenth novel in a long line of other books that have military and police characters. I will tap into what I’ve learned in the past to reduce the length of time I need to research. But it really helps to have people who are in the field who can read and help correct you.

 

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

I have a thing for writing strong women, it’s kinda my signature. In fact, my best friend gave me a bracelet that is Morse Code for Kick-Ass because that’s how she sees me.

It’s taken me a long time to grow comfortable in my mindset and be who I really am, believe me that is hard when you’re an Introvert. I was the girl who said enough is enough when the boys were the ones getting to do all the fun things, and stood my ground with them, earning their respect. Exclusion is not part of my language and I’ll be in your face if you pull it on me. What I write about with what Elizabeth, and Lila Dayne, experience are the same things I see and have dealt with during my life.

Elizabeth is every woman I have ever encountered; from military wives and servicewomen to the lady running her own business in a market that is dominated by men. She’s the rancher and farmer who knew when it was time to stand by her man, and when it was time to take the reins and lead. She’s my daughter, who has stood toe to toe with arrogant adults and put them in their place and is paving her way through the world to her own tune.

This is who Elizabeth is for me.

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

I liked writing a lot of the scenes between Elizabeth and her ex-husband, Joel, or Elizabeth with Deputy Rafe Fontaine. Also, those scenes between Lila and Deputy Kyle Lundquist. While this isn’t a novel for romance purposes, you can’t have characters interacting without some kind of romantic elements. But I really liked the ones with Elizabeth and Lila together, showing their dynamics and how Elizabeth becomes sort of a mentor to Lila, despite the fact that Lila has the law enforcement experience.

 

The best scene between them is when they first meet:

Lila Dayne stood at parade rest, the deep-seated training instinctual, while the woman who held her future in her hands perused the dossier at her leisure. Off in the corner on a chair better suited for the dump, a red and white border collie watched her. Trying to ignore those brown orbs boring holes into her soul, Lila stared at the bare wood paneling above the sheriff’s head. 

Knock, knock, the seventies were calling.

Sheriff Elizabeth Benoit was not what Lila expected. To have a woman sheriff was rare in this country, rarer still in a rural community like Juniper, Iowa. It mattered little to Lila. She needed this job. This deputy position with the Eckardt County department was about as perfect as she could get.

“You have an impressive résumé, Ms. Dayne.” The older woman’s gaze lifted to meet Lila’s. “It would seem taking this deputy position would be a step down from what you were doing in Chicago.”

“Ma’am?”

“You worked in one of the roughest precincts, did a stint with a few narcotics task forces, trained with SWAT, and the coup de grace, you passed your detective exam and worked one year in homicide. So, why come here?”

Because this place gave her the promise of a new start she sorely needed. “Ma’am, if I may, I’m still not comfortable discussing certain private matters.”

Steepling her hands, the sheriff folded her fingers together as she rocked back in her chair. Those piercing dark brown eyes, so like her canine companion’s, roved over Lila, seeming to pick apart the elements that made her whole and find the parts that were missing. Never one to back down, Lila did her own scrutinizing.

Elizabeth Benoit was a tall woman, standing a good five inches over Lila, with rich brown hair that skimmed her shoulders. A gold star glinted over the left pocket of her desert tan uniform top, declaring to all she was top of the food chain. Except for some bits of leaves clinging to her hair and shirt, she was put together with near military precision. A tidbit of knowledge Lila tucked away for future reference.

“For the sake of an argument, I won’t press the matter.” The sheriff tapped the dossier file. “Everything I need is right here. I can study your file and read up on all of your past accomplishments ’til the cows come home. What these papers can’t tell me is what I want to know by listening to you. You have outstanding credentials, a stellar law enforcement career, and you fast-tracked through the ranks in Chicago PD. Eckardt County is by no means a place to advance a career. Especially for a woman.”

“Correct me if I’m wrong, ma’am, but you are the sheriff of this county, are you not? Elected by the people to keep them safe? A woman sitting in a position of power normally controlled by men. I’d say that’s a fine career advancement.”

Lila enjoyed watching the warm smile appear on Benoit’s lips.

“That being said, I need to know one thing from you, Ms. Dayne. I need to know where your focus lies.”

“My focus?”

“The deputy whose position you applied for quit. Let’s just say there was a major difference in opinion that caused the man to forsake his career. Before I make any final decisions, I want to hear from you what your intentions are for this job and if Eckardt County is a place you can see yourself living in for a good long while. To be frank, I have no intention of appointing someone who will bail on me the moment things go south.”

On the spot. No holds barred. Everything the dispatcher had mentioned about Elizabeth Benoit was true. Finally, someone who didn’t give a damn about their political rising star and was ready for real police work.

“Ma’am, I firmly believe this position came available at just the right time for you, and for me. I wouldn’t have bought a house here if I wasn’t certain of where I wanted to live. Being from Chicago, there isn’t much I’ve seen or dealt with that makes me turn tail and run. The final decision is yours, but I don’t sense that you’re willing to turn me away.”

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m in the middle of reading 2 historical mysteries. Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose the first book in her Wrexford & Sloane Mystery series. And A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd the first book in the Bess Crawford mystery series. (At the time of writing this, I just learned that the mother of the duo of Charles Todd, Caroline, had just passed away.)

When I’m writing I tend to stay close to what I write, but not in the same time period. I’ve really gotten interested in books set during the Regency era and the World Wars.

 

About the Author

Winter Austin perpetually answers the question: “were you born in the winter?” with a flat “nope,” but believe her, there is a story behind her name.

A lifelong Mid-West gal with strong ties to the agriculture world, Winter grew up listening to the captivating stories told by relatives around a table or a campfire. As a published author, she learned her glass half-empty personality makes for a perfect suspense/thriller writer. Taking her ability to verbally spin a vivid and detailed story, Winter translated that into writing deadly romantic suspense, mysteries, and thrillers.

When she’s not slaving away at the computer, you can find Winter supporting her daughter in cattle shows, seeing her three sons off into the wide-wide world, loving on her fur babies, prodding her teacher husband, and nagging at her flock of hens to stay in the coop or the dogs will get them.

She is the author of multiple novels.