A HOMETOWN PROPOSAL: Release day blog post featuring C.J. Carmichael

Are you the eldest, middle or youngest child?

Your birth order in your family likely had a big impact on your personality and success in life. This “birth order” theory was first proposed by Alfred Adler in the twentieth century. Since then other scientists have agreed and expanded on this theory.

Whenever I write about a family (like The Shannon Sisters), I like to take this theory into account as I develop my characters. But it’s also fun to see how well the theory applies to the people you know, and even your own family. 

The eldest of the Shannon sister, Maureen (book 3, A Hometown Proposal) has many of these typical first born traits and as a first born child myself, I have to claim ownership of these traits as well (especially I am conscientious, cautious and I hate to admit it, controlling):

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achievers

(They also say that in addition to generally having higher IQ tests and more education, eldest children also tend to earn more than their siblings. This is true for The Shannon Sisters, but not necessarily in my own family situation.) 

Middle children generally have to compete more for their parent’s attention and as a result they generally are: 

  • Somewhat rebellious (in order to gain attention)
  • Sociable with lots of friends who are very important to them
  • Peacemakers

The middle child of my Shannon Sisters trilogy (Kelly, A Convenient Christmas Proposal) definitely has the first (rebellious) and last (peacemaker) of these traits. Which brings us to the last category, the youngest child (Cathleen, A Cowboy’s Proposal). These children don’t typically get a lot of demands from their parents which tends to make them more:

  • Fun-loving
  • Uncomplicated
  • Manipulative
  • Extroverted
  • Attention-seeking

Coming from a family of five, I definitely see this theory playing out with my own brothers and sisters (though, as the eldest I’m kind of annoyed I didn’t get to be the highest earner. I will not relinquish my inherent claim to highest IQ however without evidence to the contrary). 

Now as my daughter starts a family of her own I’m going to enjoy watching her children develop their personalities and I’m sure, despite all her efforts to treat them the same, they will naturally be impacted by their birth order.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Do you see yourself and your siblings fitting into this theory of birth order? For a chance to win an autographed paperback copy of books 1 and 2 of the Shannon Sisters Trilogy please tell me whether you are an oldest, middle or younger child and which of the associated traits you think fits you best.

 

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

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

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

Visit C.J.’s website at http://CJCarmichael.com



REMEMBER ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE: Release day blog post featuring Kate Hewitt

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

As I write this, the part of the world I live in—Wales, in the United Kingdom—is in full lockdown for at least three more months. Nothing is open—not schools, or shops, or restaurants, or cafés, or gyms or movie theatres or even playgrounds. 

I have five children who all need to be online for school, and our internet is very patchy at the best of times, so recently they’ve either been burning through their phone data or staring at a page unable to load while a class or lecture goes on without them. Plus, I have a book due to my editor on February 1st, and it’s very hard to focus on it when I’m meant to be homeschooling my seven-year-old.

We haven’t been able to have people in our house in ten months, and we’re currently forbidden from meeting with anyone, inside or outside, who doesn’t live with us. My mother, whom I haven’t seen for a year, is seriously ill with Alzheimer’s, and has started forgetting who people are, and as she lives in the US I’m unable to see her. 

With all this in mind, there are times when I feel pretty low. Times when I feel like giving way to either rage or despair. And sometimes I do. Sometimes I seek comfort in a glass of wine or a piece of cake—nothing wrong with either, but it has taken a self-medicating role in my life, which is unhelpful.

But I didn’t write this post to complain, as much as it might seem like it right now! I wrote it to remind others as well as myself that whatever life throws at you, and it has thrown a lot at all of us, we don’t need to give into despair. Being thankful—cultivating an attitude of gratitude—has really helped me to get through these tough times. 

Sometimes I am thankful for big things—that my husband and I and all our children are healthy, for example—and sometimes for little things-the sunrise in the morning that turns the sky pink, that steaming cup of coffee I can curl up with. It only takes a moment on the internet to realize how fortunate I am compared to many, but even if things get worse, I know there will always be something to be thankful for.

Ann Voskamp develops this idea in her book 1000 Gifts, where she aimed to write down one thousand things she was thankful for. And what she discovered was that the more thankful she was, the more things she discovered to be thankful for. Gratitude led to joy.

So if you’re struggling today, try to find just one thing to be thankful. Maybe it’s a comfy chair, or a ray of sunlight, or a good book, or a hug from your family member. Whatever it is, I hope it helps you to get through this time that has been challenging for so many. And my feel-good romance about a widow who gets a second chance with a sexy younger man can help, too! Remember Me at Willoughby Close is out on January 19th, and I absolutely love the hero and heroine, James and Laura. 

Take care everyone!

Kate

 

Kate Hewitt wrote her first story at the age of five, simply because her older brother had written one and she thought she could do it too. That story was one sentence long—fortunately, they have become a bit more detailed as she’s grown older.

She studied drama in college and shortly after graduation moved to New York City to pursue a career in theatre. This was derailed by something far better—meeting the man of her dreams who happened also to be her older brother’s childhood friend.

Ten days after their wedding they moved to England, where Kate worked a variety of different jobs—drama teacher, editorial assistant, church youth worker, secretary, and finally mother.

When her oldest daughter was one year old, she sold her first short story to a British magazine, The People’s Friend. Since then she has written many stories and serials as well as novels. In 2007 she received ‘The Call’ from Mills & Boon for her first Harlequin Presents novel, The Italian’s Chosen Wife. Since then she has written over 25 books for Harlequin, and also writes women’s fiction for Carina UK and Lion Hudson Press. She loves writing stories that both tackle tough issues and celebrate the redeeming power of love.

Besides writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and learning to knit—it’s an ongoing process and she’s made a lot of scarves.

Kate lives in a tiny village on the northwest coast of England with her husband, five young children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.


THE WITCH’S AWAKENING: Release day blog post featuring Leigh Ann Edwards

I’m really excited to be here on the Tule blog today celebrating the release of The Witch’s Awakening, book one in my newest fantasy/romance series, The Witches of Time.

My maternal grandmother was very superstitious and as I’ve grown older, I find myself becoming more superstitiously inclined, too. I never spill salt without tossing a little over my left shoulder and wouldn’t walk under a ladder, although that might just be common sense. I don’t buy into Friday the thirteenth or black cats being unlucky though for our twelve year old cat, Guinness, is a sweetheart. (or maybe my familiar!)  But I do pay closer attention to dreams, signs, dates and numbers. The fact my book is being released 1/12/21 seems like a good omen. 

This is my third series with Tule and I’m delighted to continue to be an author with this fantastic publishing company. Jane, Meghan, Nikki, Cyndi and Lee are amazing. My editors, Sinclair, Rachel, Helena and Marlene are great, too.

This series consists of four novels, each featuring a different couple from a different time period. Although The Witch’s Awakening is a new book, the characters and story are derived from my very first novels created back in the nineties, but never published. I was eager to finally share Arianna and Darius’s story with readers. I’d filled several thick binders with numerous adventures written about these characters. I thought it would relatively easy to take the hero and heroine, my favorite storylines and secondary characters to create one book. To say I was wrong, was an understatement completely befitting of 2020. 

It was a hugely ambitious project. After painstakingly narrowing it down, I was still left with a word count nearly triple what was allowed. After two deadline extensions and a pandemic which all but eliminated most other commitments (providing part-time childcare for my two youngest grandchildren, homeschooling my eldest grandson, and doing reiki treatments and tarot/angel card readings at my reiki room) and after rewriting the entire manuscript at least twice, my labor of love is finally completed. 

The Witches of Time is a stand-alone series, however for readers of The Irish Witch Series, this will be a crossover and you’ll read more of Alainn and Killian. It’s been lots of fun and very interesting researching and deciding what time periods, real people and actual events to include. I’ve always loved history, fantasy, witches, time-travel and Ireland so I’ve included a little of all of these elements in this series. 

I’ve visited Salem, Massachusetts twice to do research (thankfully before Covid made travel nearly impossible.) Although Wyndham Village is fictional, it was inspired by the witch hysteria and trails in Colonial Massachusetts during that time. The hero and heroine in The Witch’s Awakening meet when Darius saves Arianna from the Puritans’ pillory. 

I’m very excited to let you know this series will be also be available in audio format. I’ve had a lot of people asking, so I’m happy to be able to reach more readers this way. 

I love creating beautiful, strong, feisty, magical heroines and gorgeous, sexy, chivalrous, protective heroes. It makes for humorous banter and tension that leads to heated encounters in and out of the bedchambers. I hope you’ll enjoy my characters and their world as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them.  

Happy 2021. Best wishes to you and your families for hope, health, happiness, love, laughter and finding whatever brings you peace, joy and contentment.

Leigh Ann Edwards

 

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

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



LOVE AT THE ICICLE CAFÉ: Release day blog post featuring Denise N. Wheatley

Hello everyone, and happy holidays! I am so excited for my Christmas release, Love at the Icicle Café. One of the most common questions I’m asked by both readers and fellow authors is what inspired me to write the novel. There are several factors that went into shaping this story, and I’d love to share them with you!

First off, I love Christmastime. I’m that girl who’s putting up decorations way too early, shopping for gifts in the summertime, watching all the holiday movies, and listening to festive music as soon as the leaves turn colors. So for those reasons alone, I was inspired to write Love at the Icicle Café.

As I began plotting out the book, I decided to pen a story that celebrates love, family and friendship. I wanted to create characters who appear to have it all figured out, when in reality they’re experiencing some real life challenges.

The novel is based in Gosberg, which is a magical little fictitious town located in Germany. I was inspired to create this snowy village by my father, who was stationed in Germany when he served in the U.S. Army. The stories he shared about the wonderful people he met while there helped shape the town’s community.

There are messages in Love at the Icicle Café that I hope will resonate with readers. The characters affirm that it’s never too late to pursue a passion, chase a dream, or go after a lost love. My wish is that their journeys will leave readers feeling encouraged and fulfilled.

Thank you for allowing me to share the things that inspired Love at the Icicle Café. I hope you enjoy reading this sweet holiday romance as much as I enjoyed writing it!

 

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

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


MIRACLES AND MENORAHS: Blog post featuring Stacey Agdern!

Possibilities, Fantasies and Miracles by Stacey Agdern

This year is different. No two ways about it. Some of us will be celebrating long distance, with computer monitors connecting us to friends and family across the country and across the world.  And others will be celebrating differently.

We will all, however, dream of being together in person, hoping that it will be next year.

It’s a theme that flits through different holidays, of music and of observance. The hope of the future, the dream of togetherness as a community and a family. I’ll be home for Christmas, White Christmas are two examples of songs that derive from a dream of togetherness.

Miracles and Menorahs is a book that I wrote before everything changed, but it also derived from a fantasy.  I’ve never been to a Hanukkah festival, because, quite frankly, they don’t exist, not the way I wrote about them. 

But they could.

And that’s the important thing.  People have gathered together for centuries, for more, celebrating together in the summer and in the winter. And they will again.

At the end of one of my favorite holidays, there is a wish that we all get together…next year. 

And so my wish to you is that may we all find ourselves together, next year. 

Wherever family is.

 

Stacey Agdern is an award-winning former bookseller who has reviewed romance novels in multiple formats and given talks about various aspects of the romance genre. She incorporates Jewish characters and traditions into her stories so that people who grew up like she did can see themselves take center stage on the page. She’s also a member of both LIRW and RWA NYC. She lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.