Tule Author Q&A: Barbara Hannay discusses the Outback Brides and Wirralong!

Barbara Hannay stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in the Outback Brides Return to Wirralong series, A Nanny Called Alice!

 

Leafed TreesWhere did you get the inspiration for A Nanny Called Alice?

I have always loved writing “fish out of water” stories and I often bring city girls into the outback. This time it was fun to dump a heroine from a completely different country into this almost alien environment. Sadly, there have been some real-life stories about outback muggings, but I was determined to provide a hero and a happy ending for Alice’s situation.

 

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

I know the basic core of my characters before I start and I like to make sure they’re plunged into a strongly emotional situation, but I mostly write organically and discover more about them as I write.

 

Did they ever surprise you?

Alice’s relationship with Tom’s nieces, Freda and Ivy, certainly surprised me. Alice had no experience of being a nanny and felt quite out of her depth, so it was fun to watch her learn on the job.

 

How does Alice differ from your other Outback Bride, Jenna?

Jenna is a confident and successful lawyer and brings a high level of expertise when she arrives in Wirralong. Alice is almost the opposite, with no university education and limited life experience. She’s on a journey to widen her horizons and discover her true purpose.

 

What has been your favorite part about writing stories in Wirralong?

I’ve loved the chance to contribute to the wonderful Wirralong community that my fellow authors have created.  And after writing longer, more complicated, multi-generational stories, it’s been fun to write these shorter stories that focus on one couple. I’ve enjoyed the chance to dive deep and aim straight for the heart.

 

What are you currently reading?

Ah! I’ve been caught up with another deadline, but now I’m rewarding myself by reading the first book in this Return to Wirralong series – Kelly Hunter’s gorgeous Matilda Next Door.

 

About the Author

Barbara Hannay is a former high school English teacher who was first published in 1999. Since then she has written over forty books for Harlequin and has published eight single title novels with Penguin Australia.

With more than twelve millions copies sold worldwide, Barbara’s novels have earned her five RITA nominations from Romance Writers of America and she won a RITA award in 2007. She is also the recipient of two Romantic Book of the Year awards in Australia and one of her novels is currently being developed as a television movie by Brainpower in Canada. Barbara lives with her writer husband on a misty hillside in Far North Queensland.


Tule Author Q&A: Paris Wynters discusses how she keeps track of characters and more!

Paris Wynters stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the second book in the Navy SEALs of Little Creek series, Matched!

 

Sunflowers on Rack With Price Tag Near Orange Canopy TentIf you could spend the day with Inara or Anthony, who would you choose and what would you do?

I would choose Anthony because I cannot sing and since Inara loves to sing that wouldn’t go well. Haha. As for what we would do, probably cooking lessons or spend the day exploring restaurants or farmer’s markets. Plus, with his sense of humor I know I’d be laughing most of the day.

 

This is the second book in your Navy SEALs of Little Creek series. Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?

There are challenges and benefits on both sides. The first novel is always hard because I am getting the world set up, understanding and researching areas I do not know, etc. But the subsequent novels are easier in that aspect because it’s like returning home. But the challenge is also not to make each book sound the same either. So, both can be challenging, just in different ways.

 

Person Using Tablet Computer With KeyboardAre your characters set before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go? What did that development process look like for Matched

I’d like to say they are set beforehand. But they also tend to veer off as I write and put them into different situations. I knew Tony and Inara pretty well from book one. At least at their core. But the developmental process became looking at their core wounds, their backstory, what made them who they were. Because I knew I was writing a series, I had to know who the men in the group were at their core right from the beginning so I didn’t run the risk of sticking myself into a corner I didn’t want to be in or not being able to fully develop the characters the way I wanted to. But Inara also had to be developed from early on because she is Taya’s best friend and appears in book one. I actually have an excel sheet for each character, things they say, important information that occurs in each book, etc. It helps me keep track of all the information I need to make sure I am consistent.

 

What do you want readers to take away after reading this story?

We all have a past, things that affect us. Some of that has to do with the relationships we have with our parents. Those experiences and relationships define us early on. I think what I want my readers to take away is that we all experience this and it makes us who we are—both our strengths and our weaknesses. And that we are who we are meant to be because of this. For example, Tony has some faults because of what happened with his mother and how he chose to handle it. But his loyalty, his devotion to his sisters growing up, his ability to love, and so many other aspects of him also developed because of his relationship with his mom. Everything has both positives and negatives, and we should embrace that.

 

Silver Macbook Air and Goose Neck LampWhere and when do you get most of your writing done?

Most of my writing occurs at home in my office. I try to write every day but the times vary depending on what is going on and how I am feeling. Some days that occurs early in the morning and other times later in the day. When it is a sunny day, I love to get work done first thing so I can enjoy the rest of the day outside. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I just finished reading Kelly’s Siskind’s The Beat Match.

 

About the Author

Paris Wynters is an adult romance author repped by Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. She lives on Long Island (in New York) with her family, which includes two psychotic working dogs. Paris is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago.

Paris and her son are nationally certified Search and Rescue personnel (she is a canine handler). She is a huge supporter of the military/veteran community. When not writing, Paris enjoys playing XBOX (she is a huge HALO fanatic and enjoys FORTNITE), watching hockey (Go Islanders), and trying new things like flying planes and taking trapeze classes.



RED HOT TEXAN: Release day blog featuring author Katherine Garbera + GIVEAWAY!

Hello! I’m so excited to be on the Tule Blog today to talk about Red Hot Texan!  This book was a long time coming. I have been watching Red and Emma dance around each other in my previous Last Stand releases.  So when the time was finally right to tell their story I couldn’t wait to get these two together.  They are a classic opposites attract story. Emma is a totally indoors bookworm.  Red is very outdoorsy and dyslexic.  When they were kids Emma helped him in school with reading, they’ve always been friends, but recently there has been an undercurrent of something more.

Red had no idea how to get Emma to notice him as a guy and not a friend. She’s not his usual type of woman and for Red that meant leaning on what he knew—fishing.  I know, right?! Only a guy would think of something like that.  But it makes sense to Red and honestly it worked for him!  

Here are the tips he used and some of his notes on how to make it work for Emma.

Emma was guided by relationship lessons she learned from reading books especially Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  

Here are her thoughts:

I had so much fun writing this book. I hope you enjoy reading it!  I think most of us here are readers so please share your favorite book that you wish someone would recreate a scene from for you. 

(GIVEAWAY CLOSED) I’ll pick one winner from all of the comments to win a paperback copy of Red Hot Texan!


Tule Author Q&A: Dakota Harrison talks about relatable characters and tropes!

Dakota Harrison stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the second book in the With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing series, The Talk Around Town!

 

How do you relate to Emma and Gabe, and how do you hope readers will relate to them?

Hi everyone! When I wrote Emma, she came to me fully formed, which is unusual for me with my heroines. Often they make me work for what makes them tick. She was smart, shy, and a little bit sassy, but with a vulnerable side that endeared her to me. Emma wants to start over, fresh, and with a clean slate. I think she portrays that part in all of us that’s scared to let people see the real you, at least at first. Gabe is just a big softy, with a sadness lying just beneath the surface that he might not be enough for a long-term love. I think he shows that part of me that tries to do the right thing, but sometimes messes it up royally. I hope readers see how genuine they are and connect with them on that basic level.

 

Aerial View of SydneyThis is a fun fish out of water romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

I wanted to explore the what-if of how would different people respond to a new girl being thrown into their friend group, a city girl at that, and how that would affect their peer relationships, relationships that had been in place for decades, particularly when more than one person was attracted to her. 

My favorite trope would be friends to lovers, equally with forbidden love. I’m a sucker for older heroines and younger heroes. I think the dynamic is so at odds with what we’ve been brought up to believe is what’s expected, and I love playing with the idea and seeing what happens.

 

What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scene in the book would have to be the one where we meet Ralph. He’s such a character and really rounds out Emma and her fears. We see Gabe, Darby, and Emma and how they react to not only each other, but to an external stimulus.

 

White Clouds With Sun Piercing Through ItWhat do you want readers to take away after reading this story?

I want readers to feel hope. Hope that things really can be all right in the end, no matter what life may have thrown at you, and that there are people out there who have your back, who put you first with no expectation of gain on their own end.

 

What are you currently reading?

I love reading and writing Science Fiction and Fantasy romance in my limited spare time, and have just finished a SciFi Romance Soulless by Kate Rudolph (it has a wonderfully unique premise).

I’m also almost finished Fiona M Marsden’s The Price of Duty, a lovely royal romance. Boy, does she make them work hard for the HEA!!! But so very worth it. 

 

About the Author

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


Tule Author Q&A: Charlee James discusses her writing process!

Charlee James stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Cape Cod Shore series, Dangerous Water!

 

This is an exciting story with some romantic suspense elements, but you also write sweet romance. Which genre is your favorite to write? Why?

My favorite genre to read is romantic suspense. Still, I enjoy writing both sweet and suspenseful novels with strong family elements—biological and the family we create from the special people who make our lives whole. I love the holidays, so a sweet seasonal romance complete with snow flurries and hot cocoa is always fun and nostalgic to write. The characters I fall for the most are the broken heroes and heroines who overcome significant personal hurdles to grasp their happy-ever-after moments.

 

Three Sliced Eggplants and Gray Stainless Steel Non-stick PanIf you could spend the day with Elle or Gabe, who would you choose and what would you do?

Gabe learned to cook from his mother, who was a chef. Her recipes ground him, and help to keep her memory close.  Each ingredient is a reminder of her sound advice, a lecture she might’ve given him, or some secret joke. In one scene, Gabe makes eggplant rollatini for Elle—a personal favorite of mine. He tells her to relax, have some wine, and sample his tapenade and crostini creations while he cooks. Invite me for dinner, Gabe, and I’ll be your taste tester!

 

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

I’m a very visual person, and it’s how I learn and work best. Characters always find a way to pop into my head, and then I think about what their story might be, how they got to where they are, and how other characters might influence the path they’re on. When I start a book, I like to get down my initial thoughts in a short one to five-page synopsis, and then I begin to write based on a loose framework. If the book starts to take a different turn, that’s fine. As I approach the last six chapters, I work out exactly how the book will end so I can tie up any loose threads.

 

What song would be in the soundtrack to Elle and Gabe’s love story?

Gabe faces personal anguish from decisions he’s made in the past, and he doesn’t always feel worthy of Elle, the woman who may or may not be his best friend’s long-ago abducted sister. “Not Strong Enough” by Apocalyptica and Brent Smith of Shinedown shows the conflict between what Gabe wants and what he thinks is honorable.

 

What are you currently reading?

My first love is reading. My perfect idea of downtime is opening a book and getting lost in someone else’s reality. I recently finished The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet Wilson, and I loved the beautifully drawn characters and fresh plot for a holiday romance. The first romance book I ever got my hands on was a rancher novel by Nora Roberts. I was in high school, working part-time at a salon, and another employee left their copy in the back room. I devoured it and was hooked. I’ve never missed a book by Nora Roberts since, so right now, I’m also reading her new release, Hideaway.

 

About the Author

Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel and was instantly hooked by the genre.

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, her early career as a wedding planner gave her first-hand experience with couples who had gone the distance for love. Always fascinated by family dynamics, Charlee began writing heartwarming novels with happily-ever-afters.

Charlee is a New England native who lives with her husband, daughters, two rambunctious dogs, a cat, and numerous reptiles. When she’s not spending time with her tight-knit family, she enjoys curling up with a book, practicing yoga, and collecting Boston Terrier knick-knacks.


Tule Author Q&A: Fiona McArthur loves the Outback Brides!

Fiona McArthur took some time to discuss the second book in the Outback Brides Return to Wirralong series, Maeve’s Baby!

 

How does Maeve differ from your other Outback Brides, Lacey and Holly?

Maeve is more laid back than either Holly or Lacey. She’s a great cook, and very capable but also softer than Lacey and less stressed than Holly despite her broken engagement. Maeve delights me, but the three of them have incredible strengths and I so loved seeing them all together in this book.  

 

 

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Maeve’s Baby?

A lot of the inspiration for Maeve’s Baby came from the beautiful cover – which I so badly wanted before I wrote the story. I just adored the big red boulders and the outback feel to the background. And of course, that purple sky is divine. I needed a reason why a young woman would buy an outback farm, one that’s quite out of town, apart from the fact that of course she fell in love with the scenery too, like I did. I found out that Maeve reveled in the isolation because she wanted to stand alone after her ex did the dirty on her and her home was her castle. Castles look good with big boulders.

 

Brown and Green Grass Field during SunsetIf you could spend the day with Maeve or Jace, who would you choose and what would you do?

I’d spend it with Maeve, because Jace belongs to Maeve and I don’t think she’d like me spending it with her man. We’d walk around her farm and boulders, maybe ride horses and eat fab hot scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea then a lovely sparkling wine to watch the sunset.

 

What was your favorite scene to write and why?

Definitely the boy-girl bath scenes. Because I cackled all the way through. Those scenes wrote themselves – Maeve and Jace were bouncing off each other and I just loved listening to them. I had to type pretty fast to keep up to them.

 

What are you currently reading?

Kelly Hunter’s Matilda Next Door. Such fun xx Fi

 

About the Author

Fiona McArthur has written more than forty books and shares her medical knowledge and her love of working with women, families and emergency services in her stories. In her compassionate, pacey fiction, her love of the Australian landscape meshes beautifully with warm, funny, multigenerational characters as she highlights challenges for rural and remote families, and the strength shared between women. She always champions the underdog, and the wonderful, ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Then that bit of drama thrown in because who doesn’t love a few tears, a heartfelt sigh of relief and a big happy smile at the end? Make that gorgeous man earn the right to win his beautiful and strong-willed heroine’s heart because that’s something she believes in. And, absolutely, happy endings are a must.


Tule Author Q&A: Nicole Flockton gushes about wine and tropes!

Nicole Flockton stopped in to discuss the second book in her Prentice Brothers of Sweet Ridge series, Falling for the Texan!

 

Close-up Photo of Two People Toasting With Red WineIn Falling for the Texan, your hero Tyler is opening up a winery. Are you a big wine fan? Red or white?

I’m more of a bubbles fan than a straight wine fan. Got to have that fizz. But if I’m going to drink wine, I do prefer white over red. The wine Tyler makes, a Sauvignon Blanc, is one of my favorites.

 

 

 

This is a fun fish out of water romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

I don’t think I’ve ever written a fish out of water trope before so it was fun to try something a little different. One of my favorite tropes is marriage of convenience or fake relationship. I just think you can go in so many directions with those tropes.

 

How is Tyler different from his brothers, Tate and Trey? How is he the same?

The similarity between the brothers is their looks and the love they have for their father. Tyler is the middle child so he suffers a little from middle child syndrome. Trey excelled at his sports. Tate had a close relationship with his father and the mutual love of peaches (the family business). Tyler had a close relationship with his mom, but as she died when he was young, he kind of lost his way and, on occasion, doesn’t feel like he belongs in the family.

 

Gray Laptop Computer Beside Green Ceramic MugWhere and when do you get most of your writing done?

Recently I was working at a desk cabinet in the far corner of our family/tv room. It’s worked for years, but with the pandemic my husband has begun working from home. He came up with the suggestion that we get rid of the dining room table and convert the space into an office for the both of us. Seeing as we don’t use the dining room table I was on board with that. I got a new desk and I’m really loving working in this new space. I liked my little desk cabinet but this is a much better set up. 

I find I get more work done in the mornings. So I try and get all the words before I break for lunch – although lately, that hasn’t been happening and it’s been taking me a little longer to get the words down.

 

What are you currently reading?

Baby Lessons by Teri Wilson

 

About the Author

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

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

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



Tule Author Q&A: Joan Kilby discusses puppies and wilderness treks!

Joan Kilby stopped by to discuss the fourth book in her Starr Brothers of Montana series, The Runaway Montana Bride!

 

This is a fun opposites attract romance, with Lilou and Garrett being so different from each other. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

Opposites attract is one of my favorite tropes! Clashing personalities and vastly different backgrounds gives a writer a lot to play with. It’s a great basis for humor, too, especially in the beginning when they have preconceived notions of each other. But what I really love is showing them getting to know each other and seeing their prejudices fade away as they find common ground and understanding. 

In The Runaway Montana Bride, Garrett is totally at home in the wilderness and his dream is to find a soul mate who loves it as much as he does. New Yorker ‘princess’ Lilou is intimidated by untamed nature – and Garrett – and can’t wait to get back to the city. But things aren’t always as they seem on the surface. Lilou isn’t the princess Garrett assumes she is, and he’s not the brutish mountain man she thinks he is. As they get to know each other, they discover that they’re more alike than they are different because they have the same core values of family and loyalty. Once they allow themselves to be vulnerable, their attraction goes to a deeper level. 

Lilou’s also a ‘fish out of water’, another trope I love writing and reading. She has to face challenges she’s never encountered before and that forces her to grow and to figure out what it is she truly wants. In trying to prove to Garrett that she’s stronger than he thinks, she discovers inner strengths that even she never knew she had. And you’d think Garrett would be a fish out of water in New York city but he managed to rise to that challenge.

 

Adorable little Pomeranian dog lying in bedTell us about Lilou’s adorable pup, Simba!

Simba was so much fun to write! To Garrett, a Pomeranian is not a ‘real’ dog but a fluff ball typical of a New York princess like Lilou. But to Lilou, Simba is her best friend and her only comfort after she runs away from her broken engagement and she finds herself not only in the wilderness, but socially isolated within the hiking group. Simba is a character in himself and plays a pivotal role in the story. He’s both a source of humor and conflict between the hero and heroine, and the catalyst for their growing romance. 

But while Simba might be small and fluffy, he has the heart of a lion. I don’t want to give too much away but he’s not afraid of anything. As for the way he’s groomed to look like a lion, I didn’t even realize that was a thing until after I wrote the first draft and then found pictures on the internet of fluffy dogs with ‘lion’ cuts. I didn’t care for the shaved hind quarters on some dogs so I was careful to describe Simba as having plush fur on his body. But I love his mane and the tassel on his tail. 

 

Did anything about your characters surprise you?

That’s a great question. My characters are constantly surprising me. You think you know who they are and then they do something that’s way out of their comfort zone. It’s even better when they surprise themselves. 

Lilou is a luxury travel blogger and never goes anywhere without her hair dryer. Suddenly she’s sleeping on the ground and washing in a stream. She has a fear of heights and of being on the water so of course rock climbing and river rafting are on the itinerary. (Cue evil author laugh.) I made it harder and harder for her to keep up with the experienced hikers to see if she would break but she had the grit to tackle every challenge. You can’t ask much more from a heroine. She surprised me even more when she was able to use knowledge gained in her luxury travel to navigate in the wilderness. 

Another big surprise was how strongly Garrett bonded with Simba and how they developed a relationship of their own. I didn’t plan that, but when it happened, it felt just right. They are so sweet together. And Garrett in New York? It’s a small but important scene that reveals a whole ‘nother side to the man and made him even more swoonworthy.

 

Woman Standing on Green GrassDo you think you could handle Garrett Starr’s wilderness trek?

I’d like to think I could! I definitely could have in my younger days. I’ve done a lot of hiking and camping in my time, including a three week trek through the Himalayas to Everest Base Camp. In my twenties I worked as a fisheries biologist in northern British Columbia and spent weeks at a time camping in the kind of wilderness Garrett and Lilou trekked through. I’ve seen my share of black and brown bears although I’ve never run into a grizzly, thank goodness. One of my coworkers was charged by a grizzly defending her cubs, and another biologist friend was mauled by a grizzly while studying spawning salmon. Drawing on their first hand accounts gave me a lot of insight into terrifying possibilities. 

As a marine biologist I used to navigate inflatable boats through pretty rough water, which was scary and exhilarating at the same time. I’ve never tried rock climbing with ropes, but I’ve been in tricky situations hiking up mountains where I’ve been scared to move forward and couldn’t go back. Of course you have to go forward. Just about everything I write about in my books, I can connect to personally in some way.

 

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

I have a home office with all the usual things – desk, printer, bookshelves – as well as some extras like dog leashes, yoga mats, a stuffed elephant and my mom’s cookie jar. My desk is super messy but I find a clean desk somehow distracting. (My story and I’m sticking to it.

When I edit my work I prefer absolute quiet. But when writing new words I listen to binaural music. I find it really works to quickly put me in the ‘zone.’ I’m quite disciplined and work best with a routine, writing from 9 to 5 most days with a break at lunchtime to walk my dog, Sparky. Fresh air and exercise are great for working out plot problems or coming up with new ideas. 

Morning is my most productive time but when on deadline I can be up to all hours. Now that my husband is retired, he coaxes me out to lunch occasionally, which is a good thing as I tend to be so focused I sit at my desk for too long and that’s not healthy. These days lunch out is more likely to be a picnic with social distancing but it’s nice just to get out.

 

Books in Black Wooden Book ShelfWhat are you currently reading?

Lots of different things. I’m too busy writing during the day to read so at night I listen to audiobooks while drifting off to sleep. It’s very relaxing but can backfire if the book is so good that I stay up and lose sleep to listen. I borrow audio books from the library and because the selection is somewhat limited, I often listen to books I would never have picked up if I had a wider choice. 

Silver lining is that I’ve discovered new authors and new areas of interest such as historical non-fiction. It sounds dry but Thomas Keneally, the Australian author who wrote Schindler’s Ark, unearths some fascinating things. For example, in the 1860s, a convict sentenced to life in the Australian penal colony, escaped and somehow made his way to America where he became a famous orator, public figure and Governor of Montana. Not all the convicts were bad people. 

I enjoy mystery novels with quirky heros and a bit of humor. Lately I’ve been binging on Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series, and the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsay Davis, a detective series set in Ancient Rome. I also stumbled on The Dalai Lama’s Cat And The Power of Meow by David Michie, written from the point of view of HHC, His Holiness’s Cat. The novels are gentle parables of buddhism but not at all preachy. From a purely story standpoint, there’s an exotic setting, an appealing cast of characters, and the cat is laugh out loud funny at times. 

I read romance novels, too, of course, and Tule authors are some of my favorites, but I tend not to read romance when I’m actively writing in case I’m influenced in some way. It’s a bit of a superstition. The upside is that I have a giant TBR pile of romances for when I next have time off. I’m looking forward to that!

 

About the Author

Award-winning author Joan Kilby writes sweet, sexy contemporary romance with a touch of humor. When she’s not working on a new book Joan can often be found at her local gym doing yoga, or being dragged around the neighborhood by her Jack “Rascal” terrier. Her hobbies are growing vegetables, cooking, traveling and reading–not necessarily in that order. Happily married with three children, Joan lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to hear from readers so feel free to drop her a line. For contact details and more info on Joan’s books, go to joankilby.weebly.com.