GRINCH GIRL: Release day blog post featuring Michelle Dayton!

I’m so excited for the release of my first Christmas story, GRINCH GIRL! It’s bittersweet, though, because this book is the finale of my Tech-nically Love series, which I have loved writing.

As with the other books in the series, I created a playlist of songs that kept me firmly in the world of my characters as I wrote … I hope you enjoy!

GRINCH GIRL Playlist

  1. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton.  My main character, Jane, is a hard-working woman! She works three jobs and lives in a small town that’s struggling to survive.
  2. Surface Pressure – Jessica Darrow.  Yes, this is from Encanto.  And while “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is a banger, “Surface Pressure” is my favorite song from that movie.  I feel like most women can relate to the intense feeling of having to hold it all together, of needing to be the emotional rock of their families.  Although Jane doesn’t see herself this way, she’s been the rock for multiple people in her life over the past decade.
  3. ‘tis the damn season – Taylor Swift.  This song is about returning home for the holidays and hooking up with a past love. It’s a wistful love song about the road not taken.  In GRINCH GIRL, Jane’s childhood BFF –and current enemy—Bella, has returned home for the month of December and finds herself reconnecting with her high school boyfriend.
  4. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard.  I’ll let readers figure out how this fits into the story…
  5. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany.  Let’s just say that when Jane and Nate find themselves alone … things get interesting.
  6. Arcade – Duncan Laurence.  “Black Moment” song of the book. Jane is dealing with a lot of emotions in this story.  She’s falling in love with someone who’s going to leave town and she’s being forced to re-evaluate the ending of the most important friendship of her life.  The lyrics of this song “All I know, loving you is a losing game”  are very relevant to her fear of loving either the new man in her life or her one time best friend.
  7. I Think I Like You – The Band CAMINO.  This song was on the radio a lot when I was drafting GRINCH GIRL and I completely went nuts for it.  This song *feels* like falling in love!

 

About the Author

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


Tule Author Q&A: Geri Krotow and her heroine were both in the Navy!

Geri Krotow stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in the Shop ‘Round the World series, A Santa Stabbing!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for A Santa Stabbing

I find inspiration everywhere, and I never know where it’s coming from next. I knew I wanted to write about a woman who’d seen a lot of life but still had so much of it to live and enjoy, no matter what tragedies may have occurred earlier in her life. The town we live in, in Pennsylvania, is a constant source of story ideas for me. Add in my military background, and it seemed a natural progression for Angel Warren to be a retired Navy pilot. This is my very first mystery novel after 30+ romances and I feel right at home in my new genre of cozy (ish) mystery.

 

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

Thank you! I love being a Tule author! I was a Naval Intelligence officer for 9 years, and then was a Navy spouse to my husband who served for 27 years. We moved all over the planet and are now happy to be in the same place.

 

Free Aerial View of Residential Area during Sunset Stock PhotoHow do you relate your heroine, Angel, and how do you hope readers will relate to her?

Like Angel, I moved to a small Pennsylvania town after being overseas and out of the mainstream of American life for decades. I totally identify with her empty-nest syndrome, as I went through that after my chicks left the nest (a decade ago now). As for her inquisitiveness, that’s natural for a writer and an intelligence professional!

 

The Shop ‘Round the World series is your first foray into the cozy mystery genre. What is different about writing mysteries vs romances? Which one do you enjoy more?

What I love about Mystery is the same thing I treasure in Romance; the characters and sense of community. The biggest difference is that I feel I need to write more tightly, to keep the focus on the mystery plot of each particular book. But fleshing out the characters, their strengths as well as foibles, remains the same and as satisfying as ever. I also like that my sense of humor has shown up more in my mysteries. 

 

Free Close-Up Photo of Christmas Tree Stock PhotoDo you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

Decorating for the holidays is always fun for me. I never know what I’ll do year-to-year. I don’t feel as compelled to put out every last decoration as I used to when the kids were tiny. Instead, I go with the flow and try to incorporate some more contemporary trends into our otherwise very eclectically traditional Christmas. I’ve enjoyed decorating for Thanksgiving more and more, too. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m in the midst of EverGreen Chase by Juneau Black and I just downloaded A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett

 

About the Author

Geri Krotow is the bestselling author of over 25 novels of romantic suspense, contemporary romance and women’s fiction. A US Naval Academy graduate and Navy veteran, Geri’s strong heroines are reader favorites. Geri’s Shop ‘Round the World series with Tule is her cozy mystery debut.


Tule Author Q&A: Susan Sands loves decorating Christmas cookies!

Susan Sands stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Louisiana series, A Bayou Christmas!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for A Bayou Christmas

The real-life setting of the series is Natchitoches, Louisiana, where Steel Magnolias was filmed while I was in college there. The town has a world-famous Christmas Festival of Lights, so doing a Christmas story there fit perfectly for rounding out the three-book series.

 

What has been your favorite part about writing a series set in Cypress Bayou, Louisiana?

The first book in the Bayou Series, Home to Cypress Bayou, was the first book I ever wrote, so having it published after fifteen years is such a thrill.

 

What song would be in the soundtrack to Allison and Nick’s love story?

Famous in a Small Town by Miranda Lambert

Why? 

Because Allison is so impacted by the gossip in Cypress Bayou, where everybody knows everything. She’s from a suburb of Chicago and isn’t accustomed to the familiarity the residents of Cypress Bayou have with each other.

 

This is your heroine’s first Christmas with her birth family. Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions with your family?

We’ve always decorated Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve. My brother and I did it with my mom and grandparents when we were kids, and I continued the tradition with my kids.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Stealing Ares by my author friend, Kim Conrey. It’s a suspenseful space opera/fantasy novel.

 

About the Author

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

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


Tule Publishing November/December 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for November and December!

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

 

A Bayou Christmas by Susan Sands (Southern Born)

Release Date: November 1, 2022

Louisiana, Book 3

It’s her first Christmas with her birth family…

Thanks to a bone marrow donation from her newly discovered sister, interior designer Allison Miers has just beat cancer and has been welcomed into her new family, the Bertrands of Cypress Bayou. She’s been curious about her birth family for years, and it seems they’re all trying to make amends for her mother abandoning her—even offering a trust fund if she’ll stay a year and give the town a chance.

As Allison arrives in town amidst preparations for the Cypress Bayou Christmas Festival, she’s quickly overwhelmed by the drama and competition between both sides of her birth families. Local mechanic Nick Landry is the most normal person she’s met so far, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s also handsome and friendly. Just as Allison starts to wonder if she’s finally found a new home, family, and a man to love, she discovers that Nick—just like both sides of her family—has been keeping his own secrets.

Family is all Allison has ever wanted, but should she listen to her head or her heart this unforgettable Christmas?


A Santa Stabbing by Geri Krotow (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: November 2, 2022

Shop ‘Round the World, Book 1

She didn’t realize she’d traded “Naval Aviator” for “amateur sleuth”…

Retired Navy pilot Angel Warren’s new life awaits in Stonebridge, Pennsylvania, where she’s opening Shop ‘Round the World, her travel-inspired gift and novelty shop. A newly empty nester and longtime widow, she’s looking forward to leaving her flying career and its many life-or-death decisions behind and reconnecting with family and friends. Right now, Angel’s biggest challenge is getting the shop ready for its grand opening just weeks before Christmas.

Until she finds a dead body in the shop murdered with one of her specialty Santa figurines. Even worse, Angel’s fingerprints are on the “weapon” and she’s a prime suspect. It doesn’t help that the deceased is an old friend who’s collected a long list of enemies as a cut-throat real estate agent. And then there’s the Stonebridge Chief of Police—and Angel’s high school BFF—who brings her in for questioning.

If Angel wants to clear her name before the Christmas rush, she’s going to need to do some sleuthing on her own—and with the help of her stressed out parrot, Ralph.


Above the Mistletoe by Michele Arris (American Heart)

Release Date: November 3, 2022

Haven Creek, Book 1

Sometimes, it takes more than mistletoe to find true love.

Reyna Star, owner of North Star Private Car, is drawn to Hawk Swan’s rugged good looks when she picks him up for his holiday party weekend, but she knows his type, and she’s not interested. However, she does pocket more than a generous tip from her passenger—when one of Hawk’s companions mentions the Berkshires as the perfect place to go skiing, Reyna decides to spend Christmas there with her teenage daughter, Lily, and rebuild their bond.

Custom woodcrafter, Julian “Hawk” Swan is tired of the single life and wants to settle down. When Reyna arrives in Haven Creek, he seizes the chance to fix her first impression of him. Attraction burns bright between them, but there are those not warming up to their relationship—Lily is acting out, Hawk’s cousin worries about potential hardships in their romance, and even Reyna’s ex is too close for comfort. Plus there’s Reyna’s business, firmly entrenched in Miami.

This Christmas, can Reyna and Hawk rise above these holiday hurdles and build a lasting future?


Grinch Girl by Michelle Dayton (American Heart)

Release Date: November 7, 2022

Tech-nically Love, Book 4

Sometimes, the real story isn’t the beautiful city girl returning to her small town to save Christmas—it’s the townie chick who never left.

Jane Zielinski has her hands full this December, working three jobs and directing a homemade reality dating web series, Single Bells, as a stunt to keep her small town competitive with the ritzy resort towns luring tourists. Then the gorgeous Bella Bradley, Jane’s childhood BFF who had no qualms about skipping town when times got tough, returns with handfuls of cash and her smoking-hot business partner Nate Wright on her arm.

Jane can’t believe she’s being upstaged again, especially when Bella uses the Single Bells activities to rekindle a romance with her high school boyfriend—the man Jane had envisioned her future with. So if a little competition could convince Bella to leave town—again—Jane is ready to take the mittens off. And she’s not above sabotage, cheating, or flirting with Nate to win.

These childhood friends turned rivals may have more in common than they thought. Let the reindeer games begin…


The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas by Kris Bock (Texas Born)

Release Date: November 8, 2022

The Accidental Billionaire Cowboys, Book 1

He has everything this Christmas, but all he wants is the quiet ranch life he’s losing…

When Josh Tomlinson’s Texas ranching family wins a fortune in the lottery, the formerly tight-knit family is suddenly on edge. Seeking advice, Josh reluctantly contacts family friend and now attorney, Carly Garza. His business is serious, yet he can’t believe Carly’s morphed from a long-legged colt of a girl to a sophisticated woman. Besides, he knows the intelligent Carly has no interest in a quiet, rugged cowboy like him.

Carly’s crushed on Josh for years, and she plans to ask him out now that she’s back in Last Stand. She’s hoping he’ll finally see her as someone other than his younger brother’s middle school girlfriend. But when Josh needs advice on how to handle his family’s lottery win, his client and billionaire statuses put him firmly out of reach. If only her heart could ignore the sparks that flare between them.

They’re already keeping the family’s lottery win a secret from the town. Can they also hide their budding romance during the most magical time of year?


Christmas with the Cowboy by Jeannie Watt (Montana Born)

Release Date: November 9, 2022

Return to Keller Ranch, Book 1

This Christmas, it’s time to rebuild bridges…

Hard-living cowboy Reed Keller is returning home to the same ranch his father kicked him off of fifteen years ago. He knows he’s in for some battles with his headstrong dad, but his dad needs help and Reed needs a place to raise his daughter, Lex. Reed’s determined to put the past behind him and concentrate on being the best father he can be, especially with Christmas around the corner. Also around the corner? The woman he’s never been able to forget.

Trenna Hunt has finally broken free of her controlling father to pursue her own goals, but she never would have accepted the temporary job at the Keller Ranch helping to compile the family’s history if she knew the sexy, reckless cowboy Reed would come home. They’ve both changed, but Reed’s still as impossible to resist as when they were teenagers.

Reed knows he needs to keep his focus on his daughter and building their future, but he can’t help longing to keep Trenna in it. Will she trust him enough this time to stay?


Texas Christmas Magic by Katherine Garbera (Texas Born)

Release Date: November 10, 2022

The Rossis of Whiskey River, Book 3

Sometimes a fresh start requires a Christmas miracle…

Angelica Rossi moved to Whiskey River, Texas, for a true second chance. As Christmas approaches, she’s ready to rebuild her reputation and help her community by launching a nonprofit aimed at providing resources to the town’s underserved residents. To pull off this miracle, she’ll need to grab the attention of billionaire Max Parrish who’s offering business grants. How? By crashing his holiday party.

Max Parrish is a successful entrepreneur who prides himself on seeing through people’s characters and ulterior motives. When Angelica approaches him during his business Christmas party, he knows she’s not on his carefully curated guest list. Still, he lets her make her pitch. Her beauty and confidence intrigue him, and her proposal is nearly as tempting as she is. Max knows firsthand how important second chances are, so he agrees to fund Angelica’s grant with strings…him.

Max and Angelica find themselves collaborating over her business plan during the town’s festive holiday traditions. But Max has been fooled before. Will Angelica’s good intentions last beyond the holiday?


Texas Christmas Baby Bargain by Eve Gaddy (Texas Born)

Release Date: November 14, 2022

Texas True, Book 6

This Christmas, a baby is on her wish list…

Art gallery owner Micki Kennedy loves her new home in Whiskey River, but she yearns for a baby. Seeing the Christmas lights and happy families only makes her more determined to have a child of her own, but her divorce has made her wary of relationships. She wants a baby, not a baby daddy. Footloose Cole Walker seems like the perfect person to ask for help.

Cole Walker thought he had plenty of time to settle down, but a near-death experience has him questioning his single status. He heads back to Whiskey River for Christmas determined to find a woman he can spend his life with. But the first person he sees when he arrives in town is the woman who dumped him years ago to marry her ex-boyfriend.

Cole can’t believe Micki would ask him to father her child and walk away. But can he risk heartbreak again to court her and try to father her child the old-fashioned way—and build a family of their own?


A Cowboy for Merry by Jamie K. Schmidt (Texas Born)

Release Date: November 15, 2022

Three Sisters Ranch, Book 6

Ten years turned her into a champion and him into a cowboy looking for a fresh start.

Roped in by her sisters, Merry Grayson is home in Last Stand, Texas, for Christmas and a charity event at the Three Sisters Ranch. She’s shocked to run into her bad boy ex-boyfriend. She thought he was still in prison, and if he’d ratted her out all those years ago, she would’ve done time too. Instead, Merry had seized her second chance and made a career in rodeo—trying to forget her rebel past and the boy who stole her heart.

Simon Reynolds is determined to move on. He never regretted protecting Merry when his Robin Hood heist failed. After his father had hung him out to dry, the thought of her warmth and beauty kept him going. Simon knows he needs to let go of his past, but the sparks and chemistry are as volatile as ever and he feels himself being pulled back in.

Christmas is a time for miracles. Is asking Santa for a second chance at love too much?


The Christmas Clues by Scarlet Wilson (American Heart)

Release Date: November 16, 2022

What is Christmas without some healthy competition?

When successful Chicago sports journalist Dawson McLeod and botanist Piper Davis receive a mysterious summons to an attorney’s office, they learn they are the potential benefactors to a famous and reclusive author’s historic estate—including her mansion, famous gardens, greenhouses, and more. Neither of them has had any contact with the author of their favorite Christmas book since they were both scheduled to interview her as children. But only Piper, who arrived early, succeeded, much to Dawson’s envy.

Both Piper and Dawson have ideas for how they plan to benefit the community with their potential winnings, but the legacy has strings. The author has left them a series of clues to be solved around the city starting twenty days before Christmas. Once childhood rivals and now strangers, Dawson and Piper must work together to uncover the clues by Christmas if they want either of their dreams to come true.

Will working together during the most magical time of year open their hearts, or will their lingering feud get in the way?


A Cowboy’s Gift by Anne McAllister (Montana Born)

Release Date: November 17, 2022

The Cowboy’s Code, Book 4

He’s ready to settle down this Christmas…

Montana rodeo bronc rider Gus Holt has made a career out of eight-second commitments. He’s intuitive, instinctive, and impulsive. And then he moves on. He’s never done forever, and a dozen years ago, he even backed out of his own wedding! But Gus isn’t nineteen anymore, and when Mary McLean, the bride he left behind, turns up pregnant, on her own, and as lovely as ever, Gus knows he wants a second chance. He won’t squander it this time.

Trust Gus Holt? Not likely. Mary’s been there, done that—and has the failed wedding to prove it. Now she’s the surrogate mother to her sister’s child—as close as she’ll get to a family of her own. This time Mary’s determined to resist Gus’s advances.

But Gus isn’t giving up. He believes they have a future, that they can have forever. After all, Christmas is a time of hope and new beginnings. But can he convince Mary to give their love another shot?


Christmas Cakes and Kisses by Lara Van Hulzen (American Heart)

Release Date: November 29, 2022

The Endicotts of Silver Bay, Book 2

Eva Endicott comes to Silver Bay to prove to her family that she can make it on her own. Working in the local bakery, she’s determined to save enough to open her own cake decorating business. Winning an upcoming Christmas cake competition is the key to her dream, so Eva has no time for distractions, especially not devastatingly handsome ones that make her heart skip a beat.

Tyler Vance is the personal trainer for professional baseball pitcher, Drew MacIntyre. After following a retired Drew to Silver Bay, Tyler’s own future is uncertain. Things become more unsettled when a beautiful baker enters his world. Eva fascinates Tyler and as he gets to know her better, he considers planting his roots in Silver Bay. But when the location Tyler chooses for his training facility is the same one Eva wants for her bakery, something has to give.

With the contest deadline looming, Eva can barely think about Tyler. Until a blinding moment finally reveals her true feelings.

Is it too late? Or will a Christmas miracle give them both more than they ever dreamed?


Home for Hanukkah by Rebecca Crowley (American Heart)

Release Date: December 1, 2022

Orchard Hill, Book 4

He’s looking for one last miracle…

Zach Strauss may be down, but he’s not out. His Bay Area biotech start-up has crashed, leaving him broke, but it’s only temporary until he can raise more money—or so he tells himself. Failure isn’t an option, and Zach’s always been able to sell anyone on anything. But back in his hometown, he finds himself in the unfamiliar position of needing a job.

After a childhood of instability, Noa Jacob purchased Second Chance, a thrift store-turned-boutique in Orchard Hill, and is determined to put down the roots she never had. Running her own business is more challenging than she’d imagined, and she’s in danger of losing it all—until a handsome stranger bursting with ideas walks in looking for work.

Noa only has ten days to turn Second Chance around, but Zach is confident that’s plenty. Together they create a successful Hanukkah Miracle Market that draws in families looking for something other than the Christmas cheer. But as the balance sheet ticks up, Noa wonders if instead of losing her business, she risks losing her heart.


Tule Author Q&A: Karla Kratovil wants to have tea with her heroine!

Karla Kratovil stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in The Maidens of Marbury series, Christmas at Belhaven Hall!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Christmas at Belhaven Hall?

When I was fleshing out the characters for Charlotte’s friends, I knew already that Olivia would end up a widow. (I know, sneaky author stuff.) I had a clear picture of Olivia, Henry, and Max as childhood friends. It was then just a matter of timing. What better time of year to forgive and reconcile than at Christmas?

 

Free Gold Kettle Pouring Hot Water on Cup of Tea Stock PhotoIf you could spend the day with Olivia or Maxwell, who would you choose, and what would you do?

As much as I adore fun-loving Max, I would choose to spend the day with Olivia. We could have tea and spend the morning reading and discussing books. And then maybe she would take me to her bookstore in Marbury to browse and pick out something new. Or perhaps we would go to the tea shop to meet with the other Maidens and eat delicious cakes made by Mrs. Buxley.

 

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

I read several interesting books about Christmas traditions during the Regency. For anyone interested, the best book I read was A Jane Austen Christmas by Maria Grace. It had a bit about all sorts of things from holiday entertaining, to caroling, to parlor games and recipes for plum pudding. A couple of interesting things I learned: Christmas trees were not widely used in England until Queen Victoria in the 1830s. And Syllabub is not eggnog but is similar in that it is a mixture of alcohol and cream. The cream was usually mixed with wine and the juice of lemons and oranges! Would you try it?

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

My favorite Christmas tradition involves our Advent calendar. It is a beautiful wooden house with 24 little doors for each night in December leading up to Christmas. Painted on the front is a scene from the classic book The Night Before Christmas, where Santa Claus flies over the neighborhood on his sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. 

Behind each door, I place a chocolate or little toys when my kids were younger. And each morning, they take turns opening a door to find their treat and listen to a Christmas song play from the calendar. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean.

 

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


MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS: Release day blog post featuring Ieshia Wiedlin!

Christmas traditions. 

It’s something that means a whole lot to Angela Miles in Maybe This Christmas. She spends a considerable amount of the story determined to make sure that her and her son David don’t lose their traditions and is devastated at the possibility that things may be changing. 

While writing this book, it got me to thinking about my own family traditions around Christmas, and what were staples in my home growing up. 

I kept coming back to the smell of home every December 23rd courtesy of my mother and her amazing baking skills. 

No matter if she was off from work or coming home from working a twelve-hour shift as a NICU nurse, she took the time to make sure our Christmas cookies were ready by Christmas Eve morning. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses in the middle, almond cookies, and my father’s favorite Apple Crisp. Every now and then she would even toss in a pie or two. 

Christmas just wasn’t Christmas without these tasty sweets, and we looked forward to them every single year. 

Now that I have my own family, those traditions have endured. 

Those smells now warm my home every Christmas Eve, while I call my mom occasionally for advice on a recipe. 

Below, you can find my late father’s favorite holiday treat, that he ate with French vanilla ice cream. I hope that you can add it to your own family Christmas traditions: 

 

Free Close-up of Apples in Wooden Bowl Stock PhotoApple Crisp

Use a Casserole dish /11 ½ x 8 ½ deep dish pan 

2 cans of Apple pie filling or fresh apples, any kind you like 

¾ cups of granulated sugar 

1/3 cup of oatmeal (my mom used quaker oatmeal)

1/3 cup of bisquik or jiffy mix 

½ cup of brown sugar 

1 tsp of nutmeg 

1 tsp of cinnamon 

½ stick of butter 

Pre-heat the oven to 375

Place the apples in the dish and spread evenly

Put the bisquik, oatmeal, nutmeg, and cinnamon in one bowl, mix 

Put butter, and sugars in a separate bowl and mix 

Combine the mixtures together in the one bowl with your hands. It should become a crumbly mix. 

Take the crumbly mix and spread over the apples by hand. 

Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a golden brown

Feel free to add ¼ of chopped walnuts if you’d like 

 

Ice Breaker: What are some of your family Christmas traditions? 

 

About the Author

Ieshia Wiedlin grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and currently resides in Brookfield, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago. She is married and has two great kids, Lucas and Zoey. She has always loved writing and telling stories, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, and is a huge junkie for all things Marvel and Star Wars. But somehow in the midst of loving all things sci-fi, she was a sucker for all things Molly Ringwald. Ieshia became a huge fan of rom-coms and loves stories with strong women characters. Growing up the youngest, and the only girl on her block, she craved strong women who fell in love. She loves romances with strong women leads who have conviction, but are also filled with humor. It’s important to her that women in her stories are smart, strong, loving, and funny, and also represent for sci-fi geeks and music lovers everywhere.


Tule Q&A: Anne McAllister’s newest story is an opposites attract romance!

Anne McAllister stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in The Cowboy’s Code series, A Cowboy’s Secret!

Where did you get the inspiration for A Cowboy’s Secret?

I met both J.D. and Lydia first in my book, Cowboy on the Run. J.D. is the foreman of Trey Phillips’ ranch, but he lives on the much smaller spread he grew up on, a ranch Trey now owns.  And Lydia is Rance’s law partner. She’s whip-smart, very verbal, law-school-educated, and beautiful, to boot. I thought she’d make a good counterpart to J.D.’s stoic, silent, school-of-hard-knocks-educated cowboy. It was sort of opposites attract, which isn’t something I’ve written a lot, but which appealed to me when I met them.  I thought Lydia would admire the physical J.D. – and she did. She also admired his competence.  I didn’t know what on earth J.D. was going to think of Lydia.  She seemed a long way out of his comfort zone.  But it became clear pretty quickly that J.D. had issues beyond his thoughts about Lydia. None of us – not me, not Lydia, not even J.D. himself – knew that J.D. had issues that went beyond even what he imagined they were!  That was a revelation.  A Cowboy’s Secret was a fun book to write because getting into J.D.’s head was such a challenge. He was pretty much determined to be a closed book. We had a lot of staring contests – me and J.D., me and the blank page he wasn’t contributing to. But at last we got a book out of him.  I’d like to think I wore him down, but I suspect it was Lydia who finally managed to do that!

 

How is J.D. different from your other Cowboy’s Code heroes, Riley, Rance, and soon Gus? How is he the same?

J.D. is a salt of the earth kind of guy.  He’s someone you can depend on absolutely – one of those cowboys that tradition says you can “ride the river with.” But he is by no means perfect – and he knows it.  In fact he knows his major flaws better than anyone.  He has a secret which he’s determined that no one will learn.  But it’s hard to keep a secret when it comes up and bites him at the most inopportune times – like when the book begins and he finds out that Trey Phillips has sold the ranch that he’d been hoping to buy.  He feels furious and betrayed. But he feels even worse when he figures out that he can’t really blame Trey. He has to blame himself. That personal frustration is not one that Riley or Rance or Gus experiences.  Riley is probably closest to J.D. in that they are both basically close-mouthed, hard-edged, responsible, honorable men who are doing what needs to be done. Rance is, in some ways, the least like J.D.  In J.D.’s estimation, Rance is everything that he is not – worldly, ambitious, clever, well-educated – all the while managing to deal with having Trey, his father, pushing at him and trying to manipulate him. It’s a situation J.D. couldn’t have tolerated in a million years.  And Gus – well, Gus is J.D.’s brother, but they are definitely not cut from the same cloth.  Gus is like a sparkler – flashy, fun, life of the party. At least he always has been.  That’s why Gus hasn’t been able to settle down. There were always places to go, broncs to ride.  That was why he’d broken things off with Mary.  J.D. had no such desire to wander. He would settle down if he could. He can’t because the one woman who tempts him is Lydia Cochrane – and there is no way on earth a brainy, beautiful lawyer like Lydia will look twice at a stubborn silent cowpoke like him.

 

If you could spend the day with J.D. or Lydia, who would you choose and what would you do? 

I’d spend a day with J.D. because I’d rather be on a ranch than in a law office! I suppose, if he asked, I’d be willing to do whatever jobs he was doing that day, though he’s certainly more fit than I am — and younger, too. So I don’t know that I would be able to keep up!  But if the fictional ‘me’ got to go out with him on the ranch, that would be great.  And besides spending a day working with him on the ranch, I would also enjoy watching him work with horses where I’d see J.D. at his quiet competent best.  Whatever we did, though, I’m fairly certain we wouldn’t be having any long discussions. J.D. is not a talker. Even when we were working on his book, he played his cards very close to his chest.  No chatter for that man!  But watching him in action would be a treat. I’d love that.  

 

Free Decorative judgement scale and gavel placed on desk in light lawyer office against window Stock PhotoDid you need to do any research for this story? If so, what? 

I had to learn about what Lydia would do in her law practice.  I spent long hours on the phone with one of my husband’s cousins, a lawyer in Pennsylvania, who talked me through a lot of the details that Lydia would be dealing with.  We had a good time batting around what I wanted Lydia to have to contend with.  I think my lawyer in-law enjoyed it as much as I did. She had already talked me through some of Rance’s lawyerly  dealings in Cowboy on the Run, so she knew what she was getting into.  I’m extremely grateful to her for having taken the time not only instructing me in the life in a legal practice, but mostly in telling me how lawyers think. It’s not the way I think, believe me.

    

What are you currently reading?  

I have three books that I am in various stages of reading. The first is The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker.  As an introvert I don’t get energized by meetings and group activities as a whole, but I do find gathering with others can sometimes provide wonderful and stimulating experiences. I want to know more about what goes into conscious gathering to facilitate that happening when I’m part of a group. I’m not very far into the book right now, but I am finding it thought-provoking. I’ll be interested to see what my take on it is once I’ve finished it. The second is Pippa Grant’s new rom-com, Irresistible Trouble.  I have enjoyed lots of Pippa’s books over the past couple of years (she had a considerable back list by the time I discovered her, so I got to do a lot of catching up), and I’ve found them fun and charming and very often they make me reflect on relationships in ways I have not considered them before.  Irresistible Trouble is doing that because charming, handsome, fun baseball player Cooper Rock, who has been in a number of her books, always with a good prank at hand, has met his match in pop star sensation, Waverly Sweet, a young woman who is doing even better at making the world a better place than he is.  Cooper is the anti-grump in a world filled with grumpy heroes, and while I like a grumpy hero as well as the next romance reader, I have been charmed by what Pippa has done with Cooper and Waverly.  I’m not at the end yet. I’m getting there, and I should stop writing this so I can go finish it and find out how on earth they’re going to resolve their overly busy lives to be together.  But if you’re in the market for a fun, sometimes over-the-top read, give it a try.  And then there’s Float Plan by Trish Doller, which I just finished last night .  I found it at my library and picked it up because the heroine was going to sail through the Bahamas, and I’m a sucker for sailing books because I get so deathly seasick that about the only way I can ‘sail’ is virtually on the pages of a book.  While I have written sailing books in my life, I give credit to Peggy Nicholson and Antoinette Stockenberg, sailors and writers both, who have talked my characters through many times at sea.  They did for sailing in my books what my lawyer cousin-in-law did for Lydia’s legal chops.  Anyway, Float Plan was a lovely book, by turns making me smile and feel sad as the heroine took off to sail her way through the Caribbean as a way of coming to terms with her fiancé’s suicide.  It sounds grim. But with the sadness comes determination and despair and inklings of hope and satisfaction and, ultimately, joy that learns to live with that piece of sadness alongside.  Trish Doller made it a voyage I was glad I took.  Going on Anna’s journey from grief to a new stage of life (never forgetting the man who left her behind even as she learned how to move beyond where she’d been left) was believable and rewarding.  Float Plan is the first of three books with related characters, Anna’s sister, and the Irish sailor Keane’s brother, are protagonists in the next two. I’m looking forward to them both.           

 

About the Author

Years ago someone told Anne McAllister that the recipe for happiness was a good man, a big old house, a bunch of kids and dogs, and a job you loved that allows you to read.  And write.  She totally agrees.
Now, one good man, one big old house (since traded for a slightly smaller house. Look, no attic!) a bunch of kids (and even more grandkids) and dogs (and one bionic cat) and seventy books, she’s still reading.  And writing.  And happier than ever.
Over thirty plus years Anne has written long and short contemporary romances, single titles and series, novellas and a time-travel for Harlequin Mills & Boon and for Tule Publishing. She’s had two RITA winning books and nine more RITA finalists as well as awards from Romantic Times and Midwest Fiction Writers. One of the joys of writing is that sometimes, when she can’t go back in person, she can go back in her mind and her heart and her books.

Tule Author Q&A: What Kaz Delaney would do if she was stuck in a blizzard!

Kaz Delaney stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in The Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries series, Murder Below the Mistletoe!

Where did you get the inspiration for Murder Below the Mistletoe?

My favorite mysteries—and probably all stories—are those set during the Holidays and I was itching to write a Christmas cozy, so when the timeline of the Hart Of Texas Mystery series naturally wound around to the Holiday season, I couldn’t wait. There’s a wonderful—if that’s the right word—juxtaposition of all the prettiness and joy of the Holiday season set alongside the ugly cold-heartedness of murder. I also love locked-room mysteries, and so having a murder take place in an isolated lodge that’s cut off by blizzards and snow dumps seemed to be a great place to start. I guess we could say this story is inspired by all the classic whodunits of time gone by.

 

In this story, we see Rosie outside of the Airlie Falls setting. Was it fun to get out of the town you created or were you eager to get back?

I live in a country where the Holiday season is hot and sticky, but also where our season parties are mostly outside under pretty lights, and the day itself is usually spent overindulging on luscious seafood or hot roast dinners (for my family, it’s both), diving into the pool, lounging on a beach or engaged in a hose-water fight with your kids. And while we love it nonetheless, the allure of cozy Christmases spent by a raging fire with snow outside the window and carols playing inside has always held a certain magic, probably because it’s the opposite to what we have here. 

Moving Rosie to Colorado for a week or so, allowed me to fulfil my fantasy of a northern Christmas. So, initially I thought it was a great idea, but the first obstacle came when I had to have a legitimate and believable reason for Rosie to leave Airlie Falls at that time of year—which was where the wedding came in. What better idea than to have her invited to be an attendant at a Christmas wedding? Of course, she had misgivings about going, and why not? It was a crazy busy time for her From the Hart baking business, plus, leaving Jonah during the build-up to their first ever Christmas together, was a hard decision to make. However, there was something unsettling about the invitation and that intuition was proved correct when the first body was discovered. Had someone really murdered Santa? Surely not!

When I began writing it though, as much as I loved the mystery, I felt something was missing—and that something was the fun and color the folk of Airlie Falls bring to each story. So, I’m hoping that readers of the series will be delighted when some of the most loved characters manage to—hilariously—get themselves up that isolated lodge just before the whole place is completely cut off. 

Was I anxious to get Rosie back to Airlie Falls? Not so much anxious, as contented. The tiny rural town of Airlie Falls is the heart of this series and its community warmth and inclusiveness has connected with readers, many of whom wish they, too, could live there. (Something that makes me cry with joy each time I hear or read that comment – thank you.) So, as beautiful and majestic as Colorado is, and as fun as it was to write about, for Rosie, Airlie Falls is home. And home is where the heart is, right? 

Free Snow Covered Pine Trees Stock Photo

If you were stuck in a blizzard like your heroine, what would you do to pass the time? 

I love this question – and okay – as this is highly unlikely to ever happen to me, and as I have no experience, please know this is my fantasy answer. To set the scene: I’m in a very well-run private lodge with staff on hand who cannot wait to do my bidding, there are no shortages—food or otherwise—and heat and firewood are in indecent supply. So, what would I do?  Easy. I’d read until my eyeballs fell out under protest! Specifically, I’d curl up beside a fire (that I hope someone else was stoking to maintain that cheerful blaze), have choc-topped cappuccinos delivered every hour or so, along with a selection of home baked cookies or cake—and just sink into all the stories currently lined up on my bedside table (and that I coincidentally had packed to take with me) or are on my kindle list. If, for some reason (that I cannot even contemplate) I tired of that, I’d welcome a fireside chat—as long as the person was happy to chat about books, ha!—or even a game of cards. Maybe some other board game, as well. Maybe watch the occasional movie—especially all those I’d intended to go see and missed. This lodge would also somehow have access to an array of fresh seafood and I’d dine like a queen every night before sinking into a feather bed in a bedroom warmed and lit by a log fire. Hey! The more I get into this, the more I really like this fantasy. Or maybe I just need a vacation. It has been a big year… Yep, it’s sounding better by the minute. Who wants to join me?   

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

We’ve practiced many over the years, some of which have evolved as our children have grown and had their own families. Our family tree decorating parties were always a joy, often with many extended family members joining in. Lots of music, and loads of food (that required days of preparation) and much hijinx. Brothers and sisters hiding each other’s ‘name’ baubles, everyone crying foul and immediately planning payback. It’s been heart-warming to see our own children continue these traditions with their own families.

For me, the buildup to Christmas has always held the most magic. The stores all decorated, the music, the carol singing, the cards, the children’s school and or church pageants—the magical anticipation on the faces of the children so dear to me. A hushed church… And the aromas! Those particular smells that so quickly take you those magical moments of the past, and bring with them the promise of more in the future. Fresh tree boughs, scented candles… Puddings steaming; the spicy deliciousness of fruit cake baking in the oven. Sugary, buttery sweetness of shortbread. Many of our traditions still revolve around food—like steaming my mother-in-law’s ultra-delicious Christmas pudding; making my mom’s seafood sauce, her fruitcake recipe and the fruit punch she made for me first when I was a teenager having my first party and which my children, as adults, still associate with Christmas all these years later.  It’s watching my wide-eyed grandchildren’s faces when they spy the first Christmas cookies in Nonna’s jar, and baking more with them when they’re all too-soon devoured! And for my husband, ensuring our pool is ready for a heavy workout! 

We (or rather my husband!) decorate the exterior of our house each year with hundreds of colored lights and I just adore it. Each year, our neighbors all congregate in our yard under those lights a week before Christmas for our annual neighborhood party. We all bring food to share and in recent years I’ve begun reintroducing foods made from long-forgotten recipes that we all passed across fences in our early years of marriage and loving the memories and stories that has evoked.  And we love to see how other people have decorated their houses. We still drive around before Christmas with our youngest grandchildren, sharing their delight at the houses decorated for the season and often sit on our own porch in the evening with a cool drink and wave to families doing the same thing.   

This, to me, is what Christmas, or the Holidays, are all about. Family, friends, food, love and laughter and thanksgiving that we’ve all made it through another year. 

 

What are you currently reading?

Being deep in the throes of another Hart of Texas Mystery, I haven’t had as much time for reading as I’d like (hence the fantasy above !!) However, here’s a couple that I’ve really enjoyed over the last month. The first, The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland, is a thought-provoking story that follows a guilt-ridden wife who wants to fulfil the long-held wish of her dementia-suffering-husband, giving him one last adventure, which means breaking him out of his aged-care facility and going on the run. 

Then, if you like romantic suspense, I can also give my tick of approval to Protecting their Destiny by Erin Moira O’Hara. It’s part of the famed Bindarra Creek series, and it’s quite a ride and will keep your heart racing from start to end. Just finished it and loved it. 

Right now though, I have just dived into the first few pages of Fortune Whelan’s My Christmas With You and from the start it’s giving me all the right holiday feels! Loving it. 

 

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 Author Q&A: Nan Reinhardt loves baking!

Nan Reinhardt stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in The Lange Brothers series, The Fireman’s Christmas Wish!

Where did you get the inspiration for The Fireman’s Christmas Wish?

Becker’s story began in the first two Lange Brothers stories, as did Harley’s. They came together so naturally in my head that I just started writing their romance. The rest of the story—the guys’ dad and that drama came somewhat from my own life. Our dad abandoned us when we were kids and so a lot of my emotions around that came out in that part of the story.

 

Free Three Round Pies Stock PhotoIf you could spend the day with Harley or Becker, who would you choose and what would you do?

I think I’d like to spend the day baking with Harley—I love to bake and so does she, especially pies. Maybe make pies and then take a walk along the River Walk after we’d spent the day baking in her kitchen.

 

Your heroine is helping your hero rediscover his holiday joy. What gets you in the holiday spirit?

I love going to the symphony’s Yuletide celebration—it’s such a joyful concert and sometimes I do a carriage ride afterward. If it’s snowing and the air is crisp, I love it! 

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

Oh, man, so many, but I do love that we always watch Holiday Inn on Thanksgiving night. Sometimes as a family if we’re still at Son and DIL’s house, or sometimes, Husband and I save it for after we get home. We get into our jammies and cuddle up on the sofa with a glass of wine and Bing and Fred. Best part of that tradition is that Son has continued it with Grandboy, so my 10-year-old grandson can sing all the songs from the film and he does lines with the rest of us. I also love Poppy-and-Grandboy cookie day. The two of them are so much fun when they make Christmas cookies together.

 

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen—a book that goes between WWII and present day that is another story involving the Paris apartment that was discovered in 2010—it hadn’t been opened for over 70 years. I’d love to write a story about it myself, but it’s been done a lot since 2010. Next in the queue is Amy Andrews’s Some Girls Do.

 

About the Author

Nan Reinhardt has been a copy editor and proofreader for over twenty-five years, and currently works mainly on fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, Tule Publishing, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Author Nan writes romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after they turn forty-five! Imagine! She is also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, and a secretary.

She loves her career as a freelance editor, but writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! She’s still writing romance, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, post-menopausal woman who believes that love never ages, women only grow more interesting, and everybody needs a little sexy romance.


Tule Author Q&A: Paula Altenburg isn’t leaving Montana anytime soon!

Paula Altenburg stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in The Endeavour Ranch of Grand, Montana series, The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby!

Where did you get the inspiration for The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby?

Thanks for having me here! I love writing about babies, and there’s nothing sexier than a man who knows how to handle them. 😊 I have a husband and two sons, and they’re all good with children, so they’re definitely my inspirations for heroes. Miles Decker loves children too, and he LOVES his Christmas surprise. It just seems so cliché to write about cowboys who can’t at least figure one out and I try to avoid writing that kind of character.

 

This is the fourth book in The Endeavour Ranch of Grand, Montana series, but it isn’t your first time writing a story set in Grand, Montana. What was it like to come back? Will we see any familiar faces?

I’ve written seven books set in Grand, MT now, with three more in the works, so Grand is going to be my writing home for a while. I love this town. I started with the McGregor Brothers of Grand, MT and I’ve settled into the Endeavour Ranch of Grand, MT for the time being. The McGregor brothers make appearances in the Endeavour Ranch books, as do other main and secondary characters. And I’ve just submitted a proposal to my editor for Tate Shannahan’s brother Ford’s story because reviewers asked me if he was going to get one. Of course he is! 

 

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

That’s a hard question. It’s like asking me which of my children I’d rather spend time with, and the answer is always, “It depends on the day.” If I want to lounge around in my pajamas and watch movies, it’s Tate. She’s high energy though, so I’d have to catch her on a day when she needs to unwind and recharge. Miles, though… If I want to spend my day smiling, then my money’s on him.

 

Free Selective Focus Photography of Popcorns Stock PhotoDo you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

Family dinner! Everyone comes to my house for turkey. When it comes to cooking, I’m a one-trick pony and turkey dinner is it. It’s the only meal I love to prepare. After dinner, we all head to my brother’s house to watch movies in his home theater. He’s a sound engineer, so when I say “home theater” think ten-foot screen and speakers that are probably the reason why I’m hard of hearing.

 

What are you currently reading?

Jim Butcher. I’m a huge urban fantasy fan and I’m re-reading the Dresden Files. I love Harry Dresden, and wizards in general. But honestly, the genre I read depends on my mood and what I’m writing. I tend to avoid reading contemporary romance when I’m working on one of my own books.

 

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author Paula Altenburg lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and two sons. A former aviation and aerospace professional, Paula now writes contemporary romance and fantasy with romantic elements. You can connect with her at www.paulaaltenburg.com.