Tule Author Q&A: Leigh Ann Edwards discusses the land of Highgard and writing!

Leigh Ann Edwards stopped by to talk about the fourth book in her Vikings of Highgard series, The Norse Conqueror!


Book Opened on White Surface Selective Focus PhotographyAll the books in your Vikings of Highgard series are impressively lengthy. Do you plan out the book in advance? How detailed do you get?

All four books in my Vikings of Highgard series are very lengthy. I’ve always loved reading really long books, therefore writing long books seems to just come naturally. My last series, The Irish Witch series was seven books about the same characters so that allowed plenty of time to tell the characters’ detailed story. With my Vikings series it’s mostly one hero and heroine’s story per book, so the books ended up longer than I expected. 

I tend to plan out the beginning of each book, the main plot, the characters, a few major events, and the ending. (Although I find the endings sometimes change drastically from what I originally planned.) From there, I develop the secondary characters and subplots. Often backstories and new ideas happen along the way. As many authors say, the characters seem to develop a voice and take on a life of their own.


The heroine in The Norse Conqueror is a mother. Did this change how you approached her character?

Vora, the heroine of The Norse Conqueror, is a mother to adult children. This did change how I approached her character. I wanted her to sound a little wiser, with life experiences. However, she’s only thirty-seven years old so she’s still a young woman. It was a little more complicated developing Vora’s character because I’d already written the first books about her daughters. Vora was forced to leave them when they were only children, but they never knew the whole truth. Having created their varied and complicated perceptions of their mother, it was interesting to then write it from Vora’s perspective. It answered a lot of the questions building in the previous books. 


Green Grassy HillWhere did you get your inspiration for the lands of Highgard and Modir? 

My inspirations for the fictional worlds of Highgard and Modir came from places I’d fallen in love with when I travelled or envisioned when reading other books. When I wrote about Highgard, I imagined beautiful Ireland with its lovely green landscapes, castles, and temperate climate. Of course I added a few peculiar creatures, distinct landmarks and the very unusual aspect of Highgard’s sky having two moons. I didn’t want Highgard to be anything like Asgard from what I’ve read or seen in movies, for Asgard always seems futuristic to me. 

There isn’t as much detail about the world of Modir in my story as it is only mentioned in the last book. Because not much remains of that world, I envisioned silent, deserted ruins of an ancient civilization, crumbling buildings overgrown with vines and very few Modirian people or creatures living there any longer.


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

I tend to write in a few different locations–sometimes at the kitchen table as the large windows offer preferred natural light. Other times, I write in my bedroom…it’s a little quieter and more subdued. I’m a reiki master and rent a space for doing reiki. That room is decorated whimsically…it’s almost magical, so I do go there to write also. I’ve tried to write outdoors, but I use a keyboard with my laptop so it isn’t easy dragging that along. Plus when I’m outside, my two very large dogs assume I’m out there to play with them. Living in Canada also prevents writing outdoors for better than half the year. It’s mid-April and we’re still experiencing unseasonably cold temperatures, lots of snow and bitter winds. Occasionally, the part of the story I’m creating dictates where I decide to write.

I like to begin writing first thing in the morning, but if the words are really flowing, I’m quite happy to write all day long. I used to write through the night sometimes, but now my older eyes now prevent that. With everything that’s happening with the COVID-19 virus, I have a lot more time to write. I must remind myself to move around, go for a walk, etc. I’m lucky my husband is home now as sometimes I get so lost in my story I forget to stop to eat. I never write in the evenings or on Sunday afternoons.


What are you currently reading?

When I’m writing I don’t read the genres I love best which are paranormal romance, time travel or fantasy. I don’t want to be influenced by other authors’ storylines. Right now I’m reading Family Secrets by Shawn McGuire. It’s the first of the Whispering Pine Mysteries series. It’s a modern day mystery set in a quirky little town of Wiccans. I’m really enjoying it.


About the Author

Since she was a child, Leigh Ann Edwards has always had a vivid imagination and lots of stories to tell. An enthusiastic traveler and author for over twenty years, her adventures in Massachusetts, Ireland, and the UK inspired The Farrier’s Daughter and its sequel novels in the Irish Witch series. Edwards adores animals, history, genealogy, and magical places—and Ireland is filled with many magical places. She lives with her husband and two cats in the lovely city of Edmonton, Alberta.

Tule Author Q&A: Charlene Sands discusses she-sheds and reunion romances

Charlene Sands stopped by to talk all about her new Last Stand, Texas, book, One-of-a-Kind Bride!



How do you relate to Taylor and Coop, and how do you hope readers will relate to them?

First of all, let me thank you for inviting me on the Tule Blog. I’m honored to be here to talk about my new Tule release! 

I hope the readers relate to the fact that sometimes romantic relationships don’t work the first time around. I developed these characters first as a young boy and girl and we learn a great deal about them in just those few early pages. It’s how I saw them, as kids first, creating a bond that wouldn’t fit perfectly until their later years, after they’d both been through some trying times. But I think, both Taylor and Coop are uplifting types, Taylor determined to keep her promises, a loyal, sweet friend, a talented designer. And Coop, coming home to Last Stand, giving up his successful high-profile job, to raise his daughter and help his father, all to create a loving family unit. I may be biased, but I can’t help love these characters. 


Man Holding Clapper BoardIf your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Oh, that’s an easy one! As you might guess, I’m a big fan of Hallmark movies and series so my picks for Taylor Preston is Meghan Ory from Chesapeake Shores.  She’s got that classic beauty and grace, like Taylor, but she also has a fun, goofy side. And Jesse Metcalf as Coop, would be perfect.  I can see Jesse being the rugged carpenter, tool belt and all, but he’d also be a great father to his eight-year old daughter Cassie. 



One-of-a-Kind Bride is such a sweet reunion romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

Well, you caught me on this one, because reunion stories are my favorite stories to write!  There’s something special about two people who’ve lived a good deal of their lives apart, only to come together and find love again.  A widower sure has a lot of struggles, especially if he’s raising a young daughter. Coop’s first priority is to make sure she doesn’t get hurt in any way. So, I love that protective side of Coop.  As for Taylor, she’s come back to Last Stand temporarily, determined to fix her life and keep the promises she made to her mother. The last thing she ever expected was to fall for her one-time best friend, a guy she dumped on her last summer in Last Stand.   

On a side note, I fashioned Coop’s eight-year old daughter Cassie after my two eight-year old granddaughters, Everley and Kyra. It was fun to think, what would Everley say in this situation? What would Kyra do? So, I dedicated the book to those girls, because they were my inspiration for young Cassie.


Brown Wooden Commode Near GrassYour characters are building a she-shed in the novel. What would you put in your she-shed?

Well, the obvious answer is books. And I would line the walls with shelves of books and enjoy the sunshine beaming into the windows as I read peacefully, with no interruptions. Doesn’t that sound nice? But I’m also a big movie buff and have a collection of old movies, Clark Gable, Doris Day, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, to name a few. So, by night I’d love to make it into a screening room, where I could invite my best friends over for a girls’ night of movies and junk food!


What are you currently reading?

 I’m reading and enjoying Jane Porter’s newest novel, Montana Cowboy Romance. I love romance the best, but I also read other genres, like Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing.  I need a book that catches me from the beginning and doesn’t let go! 





About the Author

Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling author writing sexy contemporary romances and stories set in the Old West. Her stories have been honored with the National Readers Choice Award, the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award and she’s a double recipient of the Booksellers’ Best Award. She was recently honored with Romantic Times Magazine’s Best Harlequin Desire of 2014. Charlene is a member of the Orange County Chapter and Los Angeles Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

When not writing, she enjoys great coffee, spending time with her four “princesses”, bowling in a woman’s league, country music, reading books from her favorite authors and going on movie dates with her “hero” husband. Sign up for her newsletter at www.charlenesands.com for new releases and special member giveaways. Charlene loves hearing from her readers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*Bold, strong, heart-melting heroes… and always real good men.*

Tule Author Q&A: Susan Lute gives dating advice!

Susan Lute stopped by to talk all about the first book in her Angel Point series, The Sheriff’s Baby Bargain!


Tell us about the town of Angel Point! What can you do and see there?Coast Under Cloudy Sky


Angel Point. I love the Oregon coast with its small, sleepy towns. Named one of the most romantic places on the Oregon coast (also Whale’s Head lighthouse is rated the 7th out of 100 best places to kiss in Oregon), there are lots to see and do in Angel Point. You can take a stroll down Warren Avenue and check out all the shops—Rose’s Bakery, Faith’s Attic, Ginger’s Coffee House, the Dragon Gallery. You can eat at The Chowder House and Old Mill Bar and Grill, see a play at the Old Town Playhouse. You can take a walk on the beach, fly kites, build sandcastles. My favorite, you can sit on a bench and watch the waves roll in around Shipwreck Rock while you let the sun warm your face and listen to the seagulls flying overhead.


Where did you get the inspiration for this novel?

Part of the inspiration for this story is a long-held desire I’ve had to tell a series of stories about strong women, women of honor, who make a difference, and the men who have what it takes to capture their hearts. I’m fascinated with how families come together, that sometimes family is the one you’re born into, and sometimes it’s the family you make as you go through life. The other inspiration for this book grew out of my career as a nurse. Back when I was a newly minted RN, I worked in labor and delivery. Later, after my first book was published, for a long time, I had this funny picture in my mind of a guy holding out a baby in front of him. The baby’s diaper slips off. And well . . . you know what happens next (I have an odd sense of humor). Like all the stories I write, there’s more. What if the man is an obstetrician who can’t have his own babies? What if his neighbor and best friend is a U.S. Marshal turned temporary, small-town sheriff, and has problems of her own and absolutely no experience taking care of babies? And what if a baby unexpectedly lands ‘on their doorstep’, so to speak. Set the story in an Oregon coastal town getting ready to celebrate its centennial (one of my favorite places), and you’ve got The Sheriff’s Baby Bargain.


CherriesIn The Sheriff’s Baby Bargain, Taylor asks Gabriel for dating lessons. What’s the best dating advice you could give someone?

Since I got married very, very young and don’t have much dating experience, I may not be the best person to pass along dating advice. But if I were dating in today’s world, I guess I would say, keep your dates simple. There’s nothing more fun than having a picnic by a lake on a sunny day. A coffee date in a quaint coffee shop is the best if you’re with the right guy. Be honest. Say what you mean. Don’t date just anyone. Know what you’re looking for in a date and/or partner. Pay attention to the littlest clues that show what kind of person he or she is. Like that old Kenny Rogers song, know when to walk away. Otherwise, laugh a lot and have fun. Expect the same from your date.


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

I work a day job, Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 4:30, from home and have an office in the back where the Do Not Disturb sign is out whenever I’m back there. The rest of the time, I write at my writing desk in the . . . I’m not sure what to call it, what used to be the living room, but is currently being remodeled with the rest of the house (this week, Mr. L is cleaning out the attic). Anyway, all my book stuff, including the writing when I’m home, happens there. Everything is open and I can look out big windows, front and back. It’s very cool and will be even better once the construction is done. If I take a trip, which happens as often as I can manage when not sheltering in place, I take the writing with me.


What are you currently reading?

Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas (Love it), and The Two Date Rule by Tawna Fenski (also super good).


About the Author

Susan is an award winning author of contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and dystopian romance. Like all children of military families, she spent her childhood moving from one duty station to the next. She likes to say she is first and foremost a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer, and novelist. These days, when not working as a Registered Nurse, she remodels her house and writes whenever she can.

Tule Author Q&A: A.P. Murray and her journey to publishing

A.P. Murray stopped by to talk all about her debut novel Greedy Heart!


Greedy Heart has garnered a lot of early praise, from sites like The Hollywood Reporter, POPSUGAR, and more! See a list here.



Briefly tell us about your journey to publishing your book.Book Opened on White Surface Selective Focus Photography

Greedy Heart faced an uphill battle in today’s publishing world because people are STILL not that accepting of a powerful female narrator. Put “powerful” and “female” together and somehow folks fear you end up with “unlikeable.”

I was like, really? Holden Caulfield is a little shit. And don’t even get me started on Alexander Portnoy or Humbert Humbert.


What was your biggest inspiration while writing your book?

I wanted to write about the importance of home. The financial crash of 2008 really bugged me in a profound way because it affected people’s homes. Home has meaning outside of what you can flip your house for. So I wanted to explore a situation (a rent-controlled lifetime apartment), where a character chooses the concept of home over profit.


Empire State Building, New YorkDoes your book deal with a current trending or controversial issue, and if so, why did you choose to write about that issue?

My book is about a financial collapse, a natural disaster, New York at the epicenter it, and the heroism average New Yorkers who come together in that moment. 

With what’s going on today, I can hardly think of anything more topical than that. 

What has made things worse: the corruption of the one percent, income inequality, the tenuous security of people and animals. All these issues are at the heart of my book. My main character, Delia, goes from complicity with these modern-day evils to redemption.

I’m the kind of writer who sort of HAS to tackle the issues of our time. It’s like I sit down to write and I can’t avoid them.


Which part of Greedy Heart was most challenging to write about?

Getting the structure of the plot was definitely the most difficult. This book has a lot of moving pieces—so getting them all to work together was like assembling a pocket watch. 

From a personal level, writing about the different mother-daughter relationships was tough. That’s always hard when you’ve had your own difficult path(s) with your family.


Is there a character whose personality most matches yours? If so, which character and why?

The heroine, Delia, is like me in a lot of ways. People who know me will recognize my voice and sense of humor. But she is more bold and courageous than I am. Though I did start my own company—so I suppose that’s bold enough!


What is your writing process? Black Text on Gray Background

I do a ton of plotting up front. Just reams and reams of printer paper covered with .2mm lead pencil scratch. I’m working out character arcs and how they intersect, timelines, making lists of possibilities. Then I sort it all out into a rough timeline—which of course changes. But I must have the broad sweep. The first part of the timeline is pretty detailed—covering about 5 chapters. The later part of the timeline can be looser.

I am a morning writer. I get an hour or two done before I tackle my day-job. I’m pretty dedicated to this schedule, even though it’s tough sometimes.


About the Author

A.P. Murray’s sprawling Irish Catholic family has roots in New York City going back four generations. Her industrialist great grandfather, Thomas E. Murray, Sr., co-founded Consolidated Edison, was second only to Edison the number of patents attributed to him, and is credited with creating the mass distribution of electricity in New York City. Murray descends from this lace-curtain heritage and also from a working-class mother who rose to international fame as a fashion model.

A technology consultant by day, Murray began her career as a teacher and journalist before founding an early stage web company, which built many national brands’ first websites. The firm, tmg-emedia, later expanded into broad-ranging technology consulting. Murray has won multiple awards for her technology leadership and as a woman tech entrepreneur. She lives in New York with her husband and business partner, Christos Moschovitis, and her whippet, Orpheus. Her horse, Hershey, resides separately in Connecticut.

Greedy Heart is her debut novel.

Tule Author Q&A: Laurie LeClair discusses small towns and spaghetti

Laurie LeClair stopped by to talk all about the second book in her Cupid’s Corner series, Picture Perfect Bride!



What was it like visiting the town of Cupid’s Corner again? Do you find it harder to write the first book in a series or the subsequent novels?

I loved going back to Cupid’s Corner! It’s my ideal small, hometown in New England. I was lucky enough to get to revisit favorite people and places. To me, it’s harder to write the first book in a series because I am building a brand new world – trying to describe what I see in my mind’s eye and convey that feel and tone. In the subsequent novels, I can build on that foundation and expand to other parts of that hometown feel. Readers tell me all the time how they love to go back and visit the town and characters. It’s heartwarming to hear that I’m creating something endearing for others to enjoy.


What was your favorite scene to write and why?

I have two favorite, pivotal scenes in Picture Perfect Bride, a second chance romance. 

The first is when the hero, Adam, won’t take no for an answer from Molly. He waits for her in the back of his pickup truck outside her photography business. Hours go by and night has fallen before she realizes it’s cold and drizzling out and his truck is still parked there. She finds him shivering under a tarp while waiting for her. It shows Molly how far Adam is willing to go for her to make up for their past. 

The second scene is when Molly, at Adam’s suggestion, helps tear down walls in the wedding venue remodel. By Molly doing something out of her comfort zone, she confronts her limiting beliefs about herself and discovers physical and emotional strengths she never knew she had.


If Adam cooked Molly a meal, what would it be?Salted Pasta

Adam would cook Molly spaghetti and meatballs. In the story, Molly orders that dish and Adam brings up a past joke about her cutting up her spaghetti. It’s an inside joke with my husband, who tells me to get the blender out because I cut up my spaghetti in small, bite-sized pieces! (It’s my little wink and nod in the story to my husband, Jim.)



What song would be in the soundtrack to Molly and Adam’s love story?

“Rewrite The Stars” sung by Zendaya and Zac Efron from the movie The Greatest Showman. Adam and Molly were high school sweethearts. Adam allowed what others thought of him to derail his relationship with Molly. Now, years later after being apart, Adam and Molly wonder if they could rewrite the stars.


What are you currently reading?

I have my Kindle loaded with lots of goodies right now! There’s so many great Tule titles! I always have a non-fiction book going. However, while writing, I don’t read fiction. I’ve been working on six books in various stages, so I’m overdue for a great read. Next up, I want to dive into The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. 


About the Author

Bestselling author Laurie LeClair writes romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and contemporary women’s fiction. Laurie’s habit of daydreaming has gotten her into a few scrapes and launched her to take up her dream of writing. Finally, she can put all those stories in her head to rest as she brings them to life on the page.

Laurie considers herself a New Texan (New England born and raised and now living in Texas). She lives in Central Texas with her husband, Jim, who thankfully indulges her love of chocolate and storytelling.

Tule Author Q&A: Debra Salonen talks house renovations!

Debra Salonen stopped by to talk all about the first book in her Property Sisters of Montana series, Montana Blueprint for Love!




Where did you get the inspiration for this novel?

My husband and I had an opportunity to partner with our son and daughter to buy an elderly neighbor’s house when he moved to Maine to be with family. The house had slipped into disrepair after his wife died. We thought we could bring the home back to life and welcome a new family to our neighborhood—and make a little money in the process. What I enjoyed most about the job was the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of the day seeing the visual results of my hard work. That’s not how it happens when you write novels for a living.

Here’s a picture of me in my work gear. I’m giving away a tool belt like the one I’m wearing in the photo along with a bunch of goodies to one of my newsletter followers next month (Sign up here!).


Have you ever worked to restore a house?

Yes. Too many to count, really, because my husband is a contractor. When we first married, we bought a house from my parents. They’d brought me home from the hospital to that house before they built their “big” house across the street (where I grew up). The old house had become a rental for many years. When we bought it, one room had been painted black (even the windows). I forgot to use that in BLUEPRINT. Darn it.  But I did use a lot of things that we encountered in the flip house mentioned above.


If you could spend the day with “Diamond” Jim or Ruby who would you choose and what would you do?

Beaded Assorted-color Necklace Lot on ShelfInteresting question. What I’d really love is to sit in on a jewelry making session with Ruby and Bailey Zabrinski. I used to love to do crafts. My mom and mother-in-law were always doing needlework, knitting, quilting, or sewing projects. When I started writing, all my creative energy seemed to go into my books. Ruby channeled her creative energy to jewelry making to keep her sanity while working in a soul-crushing job. Bailey (my first Tule heroine in Montana Cowboy) is very supportive of local artisans and she sells Ruby’s pieces in her store. What I wouldn’t give to spend a day with these two creative women! Maybe they’d inspire me to start working with my hands again.


This is the first book in your new Property Sisters of Montana series. Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?

I’ve written a number of connected series, including one with three sisters, and I learned early on that your storyline lives or dies by what you lay down in Book I, so I put a lot of thought into the family’s backstory and individual characters’ life experiences that bring them to the jumping off point of the book. But I LOVE writing about families. The psychology of birth order, the shared experiences that affect each child differently and shape their memories, and each child’s relationship with his or her parents intrigues me beyond words.

I recently lost a nephew who was my sister’s third child of five (the youngest died at birth). For reasons we’ll never know or understand completely, he went rogue—and not in a good way. His parents and siblings struggled over the years to help, to understand and, ultimately, to accept that he was on his own path. He would have turned 58 in August. I much, much prefer happy endings, which is probably why I write romance.


Pile of BooksWhat are you currently reading?

I typically lean toward women’s fiction, cozies or suspense when I’m writing. I just pre-ordered Book 4 in the Sydney Rose Parnell series by Barbara Nickless. I recently enjoyed a female Sherlockian first in series called Poison in Paddington by Samantha Silver and bought #2. I’m eagerly awaiting C.J. Carmichael’s new Bitter Root Mystery. Also I adored Barbara O’Neal’s touching story of two sisters called When We Believed in Mermaids. And I stayed up much too late last night to finish Suddenly Psychic by Elizabeth Hunter. It’s a very fun story with three best-friend heroines who are in their mid-forties.



Winner will be selected on Tuesday, March 24th!


About the Author

Former award-winning newspaper journalist Debra Salonen is a nationally bestselling author with 26 published novels for Harlequin’s Superromance and American lines and one single title release for Harlequin Signature. Several of her titles were nominated for “Best Superromance,” including UNTIL HE MET RACHEL, which took home that honor in 2010. Debra was named Romantic Times Reviewer’s Career Achievement “Series Storyteller of the Year” in 2006. Debra lives in the foothills near Yosemite National Park in California with her husband and two dogs. Luckily, her two children and three grandchildren live close by to keep Debra connected to the real world.

Tule Author Q&A: Nicole Flockton discusses fake marriage and adorable kittens

Nicole Flockton stopped by to talk all about the second book in the multi-author Sweet Texas Secrets series, Sweet Texas Fire!



Where did you get the inspiration for this novel?

Being part of a continuity with Robyn and Monica was a lot of fun and we brainstormed ideas about our characters. Who they were and what their backstories would be. I knew I wanted to do an Australian heroine and I loved getting the youngest brother, Gage. A lot of who Charlotte is and things she likes is based on me and my experiences. I’m an ex-pat Aussie living in Houston. My husband’s job is in Oil & Gas and he’s a Health and Safety Analyst, so I played a little on that for Charlotte’s career. Being in Texas I knew Gage was going to have to high school play football. I decided that I wasn’t going to use the ‘injury wrecking his football career’ storyline that is done a lot. And he wasn’t going to be a quarterback. If you want to find out what position he played and why his football career went nowhere, you’ll have to pick up the book! LOL ;)


Black And White CatTell us about the adorable kitten on the cover, Oil Slick!

Ohh I love Oil Slick. She popped up in Monica’s book as the little kitty that Macy ran over. We all decided that Gage needed to have the cat. It was fun to come up with a different name than what Monica had given the cat, to make the kitty uniquely Gage’s. By renaming it, it really gave Gage a sense of ownership of the bundle of fur. Oil Slick was a lot of fun to write, and as I’m a cat lover it was easy to include her in the book. I may have squealed out loud when I saw the cover with Oil Slick on it.




Gage and Charlotte have to accept a fake marriage in the book. Would you have ever considered doing this?

Ohh that’s an interesting question. I’m not sure that I would have, even though I love the Marriage of Convenience trope and was so happy I could write it in this book. I really do love the idea of two strangers getting married for one reason, but then actually finding out that they really are soul mates.


Midsection of Woman Making Heart Shape With HandsWhat was your favorite scene to write and why?

Hmm can I say all of them? No? I have to choose one? Well, I think it would be the wedding scene. I may have watched a reality TV show set around a Las Vegas Wedding chapel at some stage and decided I needed to write a Vegas wedding. The wedding really suited who Gage and Charlotte are as people. It became a lot more personal than either one of them thought it was going to be, too. I also have a secret desire to renew my wedding vows in Vegas.


What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Defending Zara by Susan Stoker.


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: C.R. Grissom talks body image and burritos

New Tule author C.R. Grissom stopped by to talk all about her debut new adult romance, Mouthful!



Welcome to Tule! What is one thing you can tell our readers that no one else knows about you?

I switched to digital format reading because of an injury. I’d been revisiting the Outlander series for the umpteenth read. By the time I reached the end of book six, I’d sprained the pinky finger of my right hand because the weight of those hardback tomes became too much. I didn’t want to stop reading, so I bought the series in digital format. Problem solved! Now I can’t imagine leaving the house without my entire bookshelf in my back pocket. But it all started with a book nerd injury.


Tacos With LimeWhat was your favorite scene to write and why?

I had such fun writing Caleb and Faith’s first date at Iguana’s. She felt unsure, but she still walked through the door. She’s nervous, waiting for Caleb to return with their food and then Everest sits down. He’s chock-full of confidence, charm, and loaded with audacity. There’s an instant sense of friendship that springs from their first conversation. Once Everest leaves, Caleb and Faith start to recognize the chemistry arcing between them while sharing a five-pound burritozilla.


Mouthful touches on teen and young adult body image issues in such a real and poignant way. What inspired you to write about this topic?

Young women are inundated by fashion magazines promoting a certain body type. As a result, far too many of us aren’t happy in our skin. Myself included. A conversation with my niece about my harsh inner critic had a profound impact on me and sparked the idea for a book about a girl struggling with negative body image. Faith is a compilation of all women who face the daily battle against perceived imperfections and her character arc reflects her journey towards body acceptance.


What song would be in the soundtrack to Faith and Caleb’s love story?

That’s a tough choice. Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” best fits their relationship. But John Legend’s “All of Me” has the line about a smart mouth that reminds me of Faith.


What are you currently reading?

A Small Town Christmas by Nan Reinhardt. I just read the scene inside the winery where Sam tastes Conor Flaherty’s chambourcin wine for the first time. Now I want a glass! It’s a great read and I’m falling hard for these characters.  




About the Author

C.R. Grissom lives in San Jose, California—smack dab in the middle of Silicon Valley. She works for a high-tech company by day, and at night writes contemporary sports romance featuring young adults as they transition to college. Winner of the 2018 RWA Golden Heart Award in young adult romance for her first manuscript: Mouthful.