Tule Author Q&A: Justine Davis delves into dialogue

Tule author Justine Davis took a moment to discuss her latest release set in Last Stand, Texas, Lone Star Nights.



How does Slater integrate his Ivy League education into his bartending?
Since his degree is in philosophy, he looks at people from that perspective. He’s always that half-step back, observing, and tends to categorize people in that way. People in all their varied types intrigue him, and he is fascinated when someone is a dichotomy, philosophically. He likes to draw them out to get them to see the conflict and see if they cling to it or change.


There definitely some history there, how did Slater and Joey first meet?
Joey was fourteen when she first saw Slater at the Last Stand Bluebonnet Festival, when she was doing a story reading at the library booth. (her career path was set early on!) When she finished she looked up and saw him, and he told her it was the best telling of that story he’d ever heard. She fell for him like the proverbial ton of bricks, but was mostly in awe and a little bit afraid, since he was an “older man.” (He was eighteen) And unfortunately for Joey’s tender heart, he was there waiting for her glamorous older sister. And that is a shadow she has trouble stepping out of.


Slater and Joey have such great dialogue. What inspired you to write it?
I’ve always collected quotations, from serious to funny. Sometimes the quotes themselves are meaningful, some are meaningful—or funny—when you consider who said them. So when I threw these two together, she being a librarian, and him a constant reader, somewhere along the line they fell into conversing in quotations, and trying to trip each other up on knowing the source. I used several from my collection for the book, but some of my favorites didn’t quite fit. For instance:


  • Wise men speak when they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something. ~Aristotle
  • Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75. ~Ben Franklin
  • Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. ~George S. Patton
  • Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party. ~Jimmy Buffett
  • Words fascinate me. They always have. For me, browsing in a dictionary is like being turned loose in a bank.  ~Eddie Cantor (this one is truly me!)
  • Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that can be counted, counts. ~Albert Einstein
  • There’s more treasure in books than all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island. Best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life. ~Walt Disney
  • Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. ~Rudyard Kipling
  • And one of my all time favorites: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. ~Wayne Gretzky


What is the fastest way to ruffle Joey’s feathers?
Compare her to her beautiful, glamorous, and utterly self-serving older sister. Joey has lived in her shadow all her life, and she’s tired of it. And that Slater was engaged to that sister first makes her doubt…everything.


What are you currently reading?
Besides keeping up with the Last Stand authors, I’ve been on a Regency binge for some reason (probably having recently discovered Darcy Burke!). But it’s been interrupted to re-read the brilliant Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Prophecy in preparation for the next book, Archangel’s War coming next month. (That noise you hear is me champing at the bit…) There are not many authors I reread, but she is definitely one. I’m in awe of her world building and Raphael is the most incredible hero ever created in romance.


About the Author

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: Mel Teshco talks heroes & high bids

Tule author Mel Teshco took a moment to talk about her new release, Highest Bid.

What would you notice first if you stepped into the Black Pearl Nightclub?
People everywhere! The Black Pearl Nightclub is extremely popular. You’d also notice a stage for bands and other acts, a long bar and a big dance floor. Everything about the nightclub is modern and trendy. It also has a beautiful Garden Café upstairs along with two function rooms.


Galan is immediately attracted to Layla. What is he drawn to most?
Galan knows women, he recognizes the beauty beneath Layla’s glasses and her men’s uniform. But more than that, he admires her courage and her spirit, and knows from personal experience how much effort it takes to present a normal façade to the world. She’s a fighter and he loves that in her.


Which actor would play Galan in a movie?
I’ve chosen Eduardo Verastegui as the hero in my story. He’s got that certain mysterious look about him. And of course the ladies would love him.


Layla is a bartender/server currently. What is her dream job?
She didn’t really know what she wanted beyond have a stable and secure job at the nightclub. It was only when she did some work behind the scenes and as a waitress at the many wedding receptions inside the function rooms that she realized something in that industry was her calling.


What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Real by Katy Evans. The hero Remington Tate is a fighter in the ring who has earned his bad boy reputation long before he meets the heroine Brooke, who is hired as a sports therapist to keep his body working like a well-oiled machine. My goodness the sexual tension is off the charts!! It’s a seriously great read.


About the Author
Mel Teshco is an award winning, Amazon best selling author with a love for the written word, along with a short attention span that sees her juggling a variety of genres and heat levels in her stories. From contemporary to paranormal, inspirational to erotic, she hopes there’s a little of something for every reader out there to enjoy.

Her gypsy-like upbringing saw her living in many places along Australia’s east coast. Each new home stimulated an already over-active imagination, where she spent as much time dreaming about fantasy worlds as the real world – the fantasy sometimes being much better.

Now living on a beautiful rural property with views of the mountains keeping her two horses, three cats and one hyperactive Belgian shepherd happy, she is happily married to Mr Patience, and adores her three children and two grandchildren.

Tule Author Q&A: Rebecca Crowley starts off Phoenix series with ‘Insider’

New Tule author Rebecca Crowley sat down to chat with us about her first installment in the London Phoenix series, Insider.

You delve into two pretty complicated industries: Journalism and Medicine. What kind of research did you have to do?
Being honest, I cheated on the journalist front – I’m married to one! But having a peripheral view of the fast-paced news industry for more than a decade now is what inspired me to write about it. There aren’t many jobs where people constantly try to balance profitability with serving the public interest, which is what journalism so compelling.


I guess the same could be said about medicine, which is something I have zero exposure to (English major, hello!) yet it fascinates me. I recently realized that Grace is the third heroine I’ve written with a medical background (I have an orthopedic surgeon and a clinical psychologist in two novellas). I haven’t quite figured out the reasoning behind this yet – maybe I like the idea of the otherwise strong, capable female healer needing to heal herself as well? Either way, I have to admit that my scientific knowledge doesn’t extend much past a teenage devotion to the show ER!




Oren and his brothers buy the London Phoenix — what this the name of the newspaper before they bought it or is it symbolic?
They kept the Phoenix’s name, but it is also symbolic of the paper’s long and storied life as a broadsheet.


We find out Grace’s exes are bad news. In the past, was Oren more often times the dumper or the dumped? 
Oren would only really consider himself as having had one capital-R Relationship, which his ex-girlfriend Natalie. She ended things with him which I suppose puts him more firmly in the dumpee category, but the truth is he’s steered well clear of ever being half of anything that could be considered a relationship since then.


Is there any particular incident growing up that drove Grace to pursue emergency medicine?
Perhaps surprisingly for someone otherwise fairly level-headed, the unpredictability and spontaneity of emergency medicine is what attracted Grace. And scratching the surface, it’s possible that she liked the relatively low commitment inherent in emergency medicine, as opposed to a specialism with long-term patient care. Just like she hesitates to confront her relationship with her father, in emergency medicine she doesn’t have to work on building or maintaining long relationships with her patients – she can patch them up and ship them off.


What are you currently reading?


For the last couple of summers I’ve started reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series so that I’m caught up ahead of the next season when it airs on Starz in the fall (I have a thing about reading the book before seeing the film or TV adaptation!). Per tradition I’m spending 1400 pages of my summer with Jamie and Claire and at the moment I’m about halfway through The Fiery Cross.


About the Author

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

Kobo’s 40% Off Romance Sale!

Check out the Kobo 40% off Romance sale to get some of your favorite Tule titles for a discount!

Make sure to use the code 40ROM from August 22nd-26th to get some sweet deals!

Titles included in the sale:

The Other Side of the Bridge by Katharine Swartz
Ranger’s Legacy by Vella Munn
One More Round by Shelli Stevens
Challenging the Doctor by Patricia W. Fischer
Outback Brides of Wirralong: Lacey by Fiona McArthur
The Sheriff’s Mail-Order Bride by Ann B. Harrison
Cowboys Don’t Cry by Anne McAllister
A Cowboy and a Promise by Pam Crooks

Off the Market’s Recipe for Sweet Sun Tea

Written by Audrey Wick

One staple of Southern living is sweet tea. Summer is the perfect time for an ice-cold glass, and my characters in the Texas BBQ Brothers series know this. Tea makes a sideline appearance several times in the small town duet series ON THE MARKET and OFF THE MARKET. It’s served as a regular menu item in The Hut, the BBQ restaurant owned by my heroes, the Hutchinson brothers. Patrons can’t get enough of them—and their sweet tea!

But making sweet tea doesn’t require a complicated contraption or special ingredients. Here’s the perfect way to turn the heat of summer into a reason to make sun tea at home.


The Hut’s Recipe for Sweet Sun Tea

1)      Choose a pitcher or glass container.

2)      Fill with 2 quarts room temperature water.

3)      Dunk 2 family size tea bags of any variety black tea inside.

4)      Cover the container and set in a sunny location for 2-3 hours.

5)      Discard tea bags.

6)      Add 1/2 – 2/3 cup pure cane sugar. Stir until dissolved.

7)      Refrigerate until cool.

Note: Do NOT immediately add ice, as that will weaken the tea. Once the tea has cooled in the refrigerator, then ice can be used as you pour yourself a tall glass.

Have any lemon, lime, or mint leaves? Add some for a dash of extra flavor.

As the dog days of summer stretch on, stay cool! There’s still plenty of time to read, and plenty of time to enjoy a glass of sweet sun tea while you do!


Like this? Want more recipes? Each book in the Texas BBQ Brothers series contains four original recipes in the back, ranging from BBQ brisket to corn casserole to peach cobbler. Savor the flavor of small town Texas by grabbing your copy today!

On the Market

Off the Market

Tule Author Q&A: Joanne Rock gets one-on-one with Nate Ramsay of ‘Game On’

The following is a Q&A with Nate Ramsay, hero of Game On by Joanne Rock.

Hello, Tule Book Club! I thought it would be fun to do a Q & A with the hero of my new release, GAME ON, from my Texas Playmaker series set in Last Stand, TX. I’ve loved writing my baseball-playing Texans, and the dynamics of having a family full of athletes. In both hockey and baseball, I’ve seen family “dynasties,” where a son follows a father or sometimes multiple sons follow the path of a father and uncle. In the case of the Ramseys, all three sons were drafted by baseball teams after their father’s stint as a major league pitcher. Read on to hear what Nate has to say…

Joanne: Welcome, Nate! Thank you for joining us today and talking a little bit about your recent success in the majors.

Nate: Success? I’m cooling my heels back home in Last Stand while recovering from hand surgery. It’s not exactly a career season for me.

J: But after how long you bounced around double and triple A, it must feel good to be on a major league roster.

N: No doubt. I was getting to the age where some guys drop out of contention for a spot. It was cool to get the call-up, but it’s anyone’s guess where I’ll land after the hand injury heals.

J: You’ll be right back in Houston, getting the job done in right field and helping the team with key hits. But for now, can you tell us about Last Stand, Texas where you’ve chosen to recover?

N: I grew up here, so returning to Last Stand was a no-brainer for me. I’ve been meaning to check in with my grandad and see if I could give him a hand around Rough Hollow Farm & Orchards. The family business is dwindling since we—my brothers and me—all went into baseball.

J: Local rumors are flying that you’re in town for more than just reconnecting with the family patriarch, Everett Ramsey.

N: Local rumors are overrated.


N: My grandfather may have also asked me to look into a land dispute with a local wildflower farmer, but I’ll have that sewn up in no time.

J: Is this wildflower farmer the same woman you dated in your college days, Keely Harper?

N: That was a long time ago.

J: So there’s no chance of rekindling an old romance?

N: That’s a question for Keely, I think.

J: Of course. So in the meantime, you’re going to settle a land dispute while you heal. Any other plans while you’re in Last Stand?

N: I’m opening a baseball camp for kids. It will be my way of giving back to the town.

J: Sounds great! Especially with so much baseball talent in your own family to draw from. Will your father be a part of the endeavor?

N: The camp will be my legacy. Not my dad’s.

J: What about your brothers? Will they be involved?

N: Maybe in the off-season. Cal and Wes are always welcome, but they’re busy with careers of their own.

J: Sounds like you’re going to have your hands full in Last Stand between helping out your grandfather, settling the land dispute, and organizing a baseball camp.

N: It’s important for me to stay busy and minimize distractions.

J: Distractions like a certain wildflower grower?

N: No comment.

J: In that case, can you at least tell us a few of your favorite things about Last Stand?

N: The quiet you find when you drive out into the fields around Rough Hollow. Stargazing on clear nights. And don’t get me started on the peaches. Some of my happiest memories are from those years I got drafted…

Reader, if you could see the look in Nate Ramsey’s eyes at that moment, you would know that wildflower farmer was never far from his thoughts. But I let him off the hook in the interview. I hope you read more about Nate and Keely in GAME ON!

**Joanne’s Giveaway – To celebrate release day, Joanne is giving a prize pack to one US winner, and a digital download of THE PERFECT CATCH to a second winner (that one is open INTL). To win the prize, just share with us what you’d pack in your thermos for a night of stargazing in Texas Hill Country! Winners announced on 8/12.

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Joanne Rock writes emotional, sexy romance from fast-paced contemporaries to small-town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. When she’s not writing, she enjoys long lunches with good friends and walking on the beach as often as possible. A quiet and organized Virgo, Joanne married a fiery and boisterous Aries man in true opposites-attract fashion.

Tule Author Q&A: Aimee O’Brian discusses dream homes & male-dominated jobs

New Tule author Aimee O’Brian took some time to talk about her new release, Steal My Heart.

Lexanne’s side job is house sitting mansions. What detail would you include in your own dream house?
As a teen I used to sketch out my dream houses. Inevitably they incorporated many of the same features found in the elaborate homes described in this novel: balconies, porches, conservatories, and stone-step walkways with towering shade trees. I’ll be honest. I absolutely love a big front porch complete with welcome mat, hanging plants and rocking chairs. A staircase that Scarlett O’Hara would envy wouldn’t hurt my feelings either, or a kitchen designed for a chef.  And honestly who can resist—since we’re dreaming—a foyer with a dazzling chandelier. But most of all, I covet a balcony off a master bedroom. I’d decorate it with flowering plants and hide there at the end of every day.  It’d be such a great way to relax—with or without my sexy cat burglar coming to visit.


How much research did you do on the police procedural aspects of this book?
I grew up watching police shows set in Los Angeles with my dad. He grew up in LA County and could tell me which streets filmed belonged to which Southern California cities. We watched everything from reruns of Dragnet and Adam-12, to Police Woman, Cannon, and Columbo. He would’ve loved Bosch, a series currently set in LA. So you’ll find elements in my novel common to television dramas depicting law enforcement: the gruff police captain, the veteran detective, the questionable co-worker. With the focus of the novel being on the sexy interaction between the protagonists, the police procedural details are no more realistic than what you might see on television.

As far as specific research goes, I spent some effort choosing the division where Detective Lexanne Harris would work. The LAPD has a complex system of departments including a Burglary Special Section, but it falls under the Commercial Crimes Division. Since the burglaries in the novel are of personal property, I created a fictional department—the “prestigious Larceny Division.” It sounds real but gives me freedom as an author to structure it how I want.  For Lexanne growing up in Watts and climbing the career ranks to detective, the Larceny Division is huge step up for her.


Lexanne’s friend Cassidy is a smart and funny secondary character. Did you base her off of anyone in particular?
Lexanne needed a friend with woodworking skills to help bail her out of the mess she’d created, a friend outside her work and one with a common history.  Hence Cassidy is in an occupation commonly dominated by men just as Lexanne is. Overall, she’s a completely fictional character. But I’ve known many women who worked in traditionally male roles, and it didn’t make them any less feminine. Like Cassidy, they enjoyed girly accessories and clothing. As to her being smart and funny, well, most of my own girlfriends are clever and possess fabulous senses of humor.  I wanted the same for Lexanne.


What was Lexanne’s favorite course at the police academy?
Lexanne was an excellent student. While she paid particular attention to Crimes in Progress and Unusual Occurrences, her overall favorite course was Self-Defense. She thrived in being strong and capable, reveling in being able to best her male opponents when her training was equal to theirs.


What are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks.

I’ll freely admit that I read romance almost exclusively, but I was wandering my local bookstore and came across this book in the historical fiction section. After reading the back cover copy and the first page, it joined the stack of books already in my arms which included books by Maisey Yates, Robyn Carr and Ella Quinn.

I’m about halfway through it now, and it’s captivatingly dark. It features a woman doing traditionally unwomanly activities during the Elizabethan era. Who can resist a story set in 1581 about a woman with superlative lock-picking skills? I certainly can’t.

About the Author

Having lived in both California and Texas, Aimee O’Brian now resides in the beautiful wine country. With her three children grown and experiencing their own adventures, she and her husband are free to explore the world. When she’s not reading, writing, or planting even more perennials in her garden, she can be found stomping through ancient ruins and getting lost in museums.