Category Archives: Author Feature

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

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: Michelle Pace discusses celebs and Alaska

Michelle Pace dropped in to dish on the second book in her True Alaskans series, Midnight Son!


Where did you get the inspiration for this novel?

As I was editing True Gold, I knew I wanted to do an Andi and Boone follow up. I love ensemble casts, and I enjoyed the idea of playing with supporting characters, developing out their entire world we only got a slice of previously. I was thinking about the TV show Lost, and how we had an impression of the group dynamic, but how every character had episodes for a back story, enlightening the viewers on how each character ended up on that plane and therefore on that island. I really wanted to dig in to Boone’s origin story, but I will admit, when he first came to mind, I purposely kept things vague in True Gold, because I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted that to be. 

Andi was a surprisingly unsympathetic character to readers in True Gold. I had a soft spot for her anyway, but since she was so unpopular, and I always root for an underdog, I felt morally obligated to take care of her in Midnight Son, and sort her out for them in a very real, unflinching way. When we see the progression of her events, and how she ended up betraying her sister, so many things will make so much more sense and I have faith that this audience will see her differently. 

I love gray characters. No one is flawless and everyone is the hero in their own tale.

Additionally, I knew my “happy for now” ending with Connor and Delilah would demand resolution, and I was very excited to portray Con and Lie from an external viewpoint. I think we get to know characters so much better through another character’s observations.


If Midnight Son was turned into a movie, who would play your hero and heroine?

Tom Hardy would make a perfect Boone, he’s so expressive without words and effortlessly enthralling. Oliva Wilde would definitely be my Andi. She’s all eyes and attitude. She’d make a tough Alaskan woman.


Aurora Borealis

What kind of research did you have to do for this book?

As with True Gold, I did a lot of virtual location scouting. Luckily, I had a fantastic beta reader who lives in Anchorage (she also read the first book during its developmental stages), and she was incredibly helpful, calling me out on random moments that tasted off. I read up on childhood trauma and selective mutism, last year’s Alaskan earthquakes…as well as the Swan Lake fires on the Kenai Peninsula, which I needed to work into Midnight Son, since Connor’s place in True Gold was perilously close to where that went down last summer. There are several other topics that inspired me, but would spoil far too much to share here.


Did anything about your characters surprise you when you were writing?

I was surprised that Andi came off as angry to my betas sometimes, when she was simply a glib pragmatist, as far as I was concerned. I did my best to accommodate them, but she’s truly dry and deadpan in my mind’s eye. Boone didn’t surprise me much, as I’ve had a pretty solid idea about his inner voice since I ended book one. The details of his story — and how he ended up in True with the Campbells — evolved as I was writing Midnight Son, since I am a pantser (fly by the seat of my pants) by nature, not a planner. Writing a mostly mute hero was harder than expected, especially since dialogue is my forte, but being inside Boone’s head was a lot of fun.


Image result for night circus

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Night Circus, a lush and amazing story by the talented Erin Morgenstern. I just started The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman, one of my go-to, favorite authors. It pulled me in from the first scene, and I’m always astounded by her ability to use of the third person omniscient so effectively and seamlessly.



About the Author

Raised in small town Iowa, Michelle Pace is an international best-selling, multi-genre author. After studying theater and vocal music and directing and performing in numerous productions, Michelle went on to earn degrees in both liberal arts and nursing. Determined to avoid shoveling snow, she relocated to the Lone Star State with her husband, author L.G. Pace III. Michelle is a mother of three, and she enjoys traveling, live music, and is an enthusiastic amateur beer connoisseur. Still most at home while entertaining an audience, her mission is to write gripping fiction, not fairy tales.