Category Archives: Author Feature

HOME FOR HANUKKAH: Release day blog post featuring Rebecca Crowley!

Confession time: I love scented candles.

No, not like that—not like a casual candle appreciator who whacks one on the coffee table because the color looks nice with the carpet, or the impulse buyer who sniffed a certain scent and opts to bring it home.

I love scented candles.

I love cheap candles, expensive candles, artisanal candles, and grocery-store brand candles. I love bright scents, warm scents, spicy scents, and fruity scents. I have a whole shelf in the kitchen dedicated to my candle hoard (much to my husband’s delight)!

Most of all, I love seasonal candles. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than curating a season’s sequence of candles, creating the perfect progression of scents, colors, and luminary designs.

Here’s the thing—I’m not a natural candle lover. I came to my candle obsession when I was pregnant with my second child. We moved into a new house just a couple of weeks into the first trimester, and I was so hypersensitive to what I perceived as the previous owners’ smells that I invested in scented candles for the first time ever, filling every room with the scents of blue spruce and vanilla cookies and winter candy apple (whatever that is). Thankfully it was the holiday season so I had lots of good options available. More than that, though, my first foray into candle world taught me an important lesson—that sometimes the most frivolous, fleeting things in life are the most necessary.

That’s certainly the attitude of Noa Jacob, the heroine in Home for Hanukkah. Noa runs a thrift store-turned-gift boutique, Second Chance, and is a purveyor of inessential essentials. She’s a believer in adornment, in decadence, and in unadulterated joy—none of which, it turns out, prove particularly profitable. She finds an unexpected ally in Zach Strauss, a failed biotech entrepreneur with more experience in curing diseases than decorative cushions, but his dreams for Noa and her shop may even exceed her own.

Zach’s head is in the clouds while Noa’s feet are firmly on the ground, but they join forces to become purveyors of unadulterated joy. I’m more Noa than Zach, and that’s why my silly scented candle collection is so vital. By spending money on objects that are all form and no function, and by their very nature cannot and should not last forever, I’m investing in my own happiness, and reminding myself that joy in all its forms—including and not limited to an overpriced pumpkin spice candle—is always worthwhile.

Are you also a scented candle lover? Or is there another way you like to indulge yourself in ways that are beautiful and fun and completely, unapologetically frivolous?

 

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.


CHRISTMAS CAKES AND KISSES: Release day blog post featuring Lara Van Hulzen!

I know that many of us say Christmas is our favorite time of year. I’m no different. Between the decorating and the cold weather, the shopping and the music, there is something magical about this time of year.

Today I’m releasing my next book in the Endicotts of Silver Bay Series, Christmas Cakes and Kisses. It’s book two in a series that highlights the four Endicott siblings. Book one, Love At Meg’s Diner, features Chet while Christmas Cakes and Kisses features his sister, Eva.

Eva is a baker and loves her job at Baylee’s Bakery. However, she wants to focus on specialty cakes and have a shop of her own. She’s accepted into a prestigious cake competition and just knows if she can win it, she’ll have the money for her own shop. She simply has to focus and ignore any distractions, including the one that has come into her life in the form of gorgeous Tyler Vance.

Tyler is a personal trainer for professional baseball player, Drew MacIntire. When Drew moved to Silver Bay to marry Baylee (you can find their story in Saving Drew) Tyler moved as well. He’s been with content with a life that requires him to be on the road most of the year, but Silver Bay draws him in and makes him think about wanting to call it home. A beautiful baker may have something to do with his decision as well.

I think my favorite part of this book was writing Tyler. He’s 6 foot 5 and a big guy. So when he is baking with Eva or helping her with kids at the Community Center, it can get comical to have him in spaces that aren’t designed for a man his size. It fits as well with how Eva feels initially. As Tyler thinks about making Silver Bay home, Eva must decide if there is room in her life for Christmas cakes and kisses.

 

About the Author

Writing stories since she was a young girl, Lara’s dream of being a novelist became a reality with her Men of Honor Series.

An avid reader, she worked as a book reviewer for 18 years with various organizations. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Masters of Divinity in Chaplaincy.

Lara loves tea, baseball and living in Idaho with her husband and Great Dane.

A COWBOY FOR MERRY: Release day blog post featuring Jamie K. Schmidt!

In my new release, A Cowboy for Merry, our heroine is determined to be the first champion bronc rider in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Circuit of America.  It’s the first time that the WPRCA has offered this event, but in real life, some rodeos are now letting women compete in the rough stock events.

Bronc riding is a dangerous sport, whether you’re a man or a woman, and riders have to be prepared for the possibility of getting hurt. But the rewards can be great, both in terms of prize money and the sense of accomplishment that comes from riding a bronc. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be a successful bronc rider, and it’s not something that everyone can do. Some of the challenges that women bronc riders face include:

  • Greater chance for a career ending injury than with the other rodeo events.
  • Facing discrimination: Unfortunately, women often have to deal with negativity, not only from their male counterparts, but also the fans and the rodeo industry as a whole.
  • The physical demands: Riders need to have the strength and stamina to handle a 1,200 to 1,500 lb. horse, so it’s important to be in excellent physical shape. The training process often includes weightlifting, cardio, and specialized exercises that help riders develop the endurance needed to ride a bronc.
  • The head game: Riders also have to mentally prepare for their competitions. This means visualizing themselves riding a bronc and staying calm under pressure. The competition can be very intense and nerve-wracking. This can make it difficult for riders to stay focused and ride the best they can.

Female bronc riders are changing the rodeo industry in a number of ways. They are proving that women can be just as successful as men in the sport of bronc riding. This is important because it challenges the stereotype that only men can be successful in rodeo. It could also be said that in order to prove themselves, the women riders are often more willing to take risks than their male counterparts. This means that they are more likely to push the boundaries and try new things, which can lead to innovations in the sport.  In any event, women bronc riders help create a more diverse and inclusive rodeo industry. This is important because it makes rodeo more accessible to people of all backgrounds and opens up new opportunities for everyone involved.

Being a woman bronc rider in the rodeo is definitely not for the faint of heart. But for those who are up for the challenge, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Ask any bronc rider and they’ll tell you that here’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding a bronc and staying on for the full eight seconds. It’s an adrenaline rush like no other.

You can read about Merry Grayson and LeAnn Keller as they battle it out to become the number one woman bronc rider – and in Merry’s case, also fall in love.  A Cowboy for Merry releases everywhere on Tuesday, November 15th.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt, writes erotic contemporary love stories and paranormal romances. Her steamy, romantic comedy, Life’s a Beach, reached #65 on USA Today, #2 on Barnes & Noble and #9 on Amazon and iBooks. Her Club Inferno series from Random House’s Loveswept line has hit both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble top one hundred lists. The first book in the series, Heat, put her on the USA Today bestseller list for the first time, and is a #1 Amazon bestseller. Her book Stud is a 2018 Romance Writers of America Rita® Finalist in Erotica. Her dragon paranormal romance series has been called “fun and quirky” and “endearing.” Partnered with New York Times bestselling author and former porn actress, Jenna Jameson, Jamie’s hardcover debut, SPICE, continues Jenna’s FATE trilogy.


TEXAS CHRISTMAS BABY BARGAIN: Release day blog post featuring Eve Gaddy!

I really enjoy writing series. My most recent one is the Texas True series. It’s a six book series set in the town of Whiskey River, Texas. I’ve written several books and series set in Whiskey River and it’s such a fun place to write about.

Texas True follows the stories of the six Walker siblings. Four guys and two women. Four of them either live and work on the ranch, some with horses and one as an artist who has his own cottage. The youngest and the oldest are outliers, who left town to follow their career paths and recently returned.

The series begins with Texas Forged. Gabe Walker’s story. He’s the metal artist who has been in several of my earlier books set in the town. Gabe appears in the Devil’s Rock at Whiskey River series in all three books. Gabe is a metal artist, and I confess, I absolutely adore this guy. I mean, just look at his picture on the cover! Now there’s a cover that captures my idea of Gabe perfectly. Chantel Chandler is the girl he has had a thing for since high school. When they get together their story is hot as fire—pun intended.:)

Next came Truly, Madly Texas. Chase Walker, two time saddle bronc World Champion, is home on the ranch, sidelined with an injury. He meets a gorgeous, mysterious woman who he spends an unforgettable night with. He’s sure it’s a one-night stand…Until Ella Slade—none other than his mysterious lady—shows up to interview for the ranch manager job. It’s really hard for them to be all business, especially when neither can forget their night together.

And then there’s Texas Made, Marshall Walker and Jaclyn Carson’s story. He’s country, she’s city and no matter how much they want each other, they know it won’t work long term. Marshall’s work is on the ranch, raising his paint horses while Jaclyn owns and runs a well-known makeup company in Dallas. Long distance relationships are hard, especially when neither can give up their career to be with the other.

As you probably know if you’ve read my books, I really like men. Especially great looking hot guys like the Walker men. But there are also two sisters in the family. Texas Cowgirl is Damaris Walker’s story. She was fun to write. She’s been in all three of the earlier books. Nate Kershaw, the guy she’s kept firmly in the friend zone, finally figures out a way for Damaris to see what’s been right in front of her. That they’re perfect for each other. Nate is a pilot who has also been in some earlier stories. What a sweetheart he is! A guy who will go all out to make his grandma’s dream come true. Of course, it helps that it’s his dream as well.

Then there’s Hot Texas Trouble. Jedidiah Walker, the baby of the family, who happens to be an undercover agent who comes home to Whiskey River after losing her fiancé in her last undercover case. Neither she, nor her boss, Trevor Holt, plan on getting together but the attraction is soon too much for them to resist. But Trevor, an app designer, has other interests, and Jedidiah finds that they can be a bit more dangerous than she wants. She’s had enough danger to last a lifetime. Can Trevor convince her that Bikers for Kids is a worthwhile organization, even if sometimes a little danger is involved?

Finally, Cole Walker, the eldest of the brothers and sisters, gets his story in my latest book, the Texas Christmas Baby Bargain. Imagine his surprise when he finds Micki Kennedy, the woman who broke his heart years ago, is now living in Whiskey River. Micki wants a baby, but not a baby daddy. She thinks Cole is the perfect guy to ask to be her donor. But Cole is ready to settle down, and he vetoes Micki’s plan to have him father a child and walk away. However, he’ll be happy to get her pregnant the old fashioned way. As for walking away from his own child—No way, no how!

I hope you enjoy the Walker family’s stories. I sure loved writing them!

Do you like series, stand alone books, or both?

 

About the Author

Eve Gaddy is the award winning, national bestselling author of forty novels. Her books have sold over a million copies and been published in many countries and several languages. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic mystery, and a bit of paranormal romance as well.

Eve’s books have won and been nominated for awards from Romantic Times, Golden Quill, Bookseller’s Best, Holt Medallion, Daphne Du Maurier and many more. Eve was awarded the 2008 Romantic Times Career Achievement award for Series Storyteller of the year, and was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Innovative Series romance. She loves her family, books, electronics, the mountains, and East Texas in the spring and fall. She also loves a happy ending. That’s why she writes romance.


On The Movie Set of Long Lost Christmas

When I got the call that LONG LOST CHRISTMAS, Book 1 in my Sweetheart, Montana series, was being made into a Hallmark movie, I was super excited. Frantic preparations were made for me to travel from Australia to Vancouver, Canada, so I could visit the set during filming. Vancouver is my hometown and I hadn’t seen my family since before Covid, so I was doubly thrilled that I was able to go. 

The location, Harrison Hotsprings, is a small, lakeside resort town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. It made an excellent stand-in for the fictional town of Sweetheart, Montana. The private residence that was used as my hero’s log home couldn’t have been more perfect, inside and out. Filming at the end of summer in unusually warm conditions meant that the “snow” you see in this photo is actually sheets of white felt. For close up scenes outside, wheelbarrow loads of  crushed ice were brought in and shovelled down the sides of the steps.

I arrived to find the house swarming with movie crew and the living room being decorated for Christmas in preparation for the day’s shooting. I was feeling a little lost until Shelly Hack (yes, the Shelly Hack from Charlie’s Angels fame, who’d optioned my book and  sold it to Hallmark), took me under her wing and put me to work hanging baubles on this tree. I learned that set decorations (so many! everywhere!) are known to the crew as “gak.” But the end result was a wonderfully warm Christmas atmosphere.

At last they were ready to start shooting the first scene of the day. The crew was assembled, I was introduced (cue a gratifying round of applause for the author!)  and given a chair in front of a monitor in a room informally called “video village.” Here, the director of photography, the sound mixer, the producer, and various other people worked behind the scenes. A huge thrill shot through me as the clapperboard snapped shut, and the director called “action.” 

Taylor Cole plays my heroine, Haley, and Benjamin Ayres plays Blake (changed to Jake in the movie). If I look starstruck in these photos, it’s because I was. As well as being warm and friendly, Taylor and Benjamin are blindingly attractive and charismatic. When they stood side by side and both smile directly  at me, the  effect was so dazzling I could barely speak. Their onscreen chemistry was wonderful to watch. Seeing them do take after take, as the director captured different camera angles and the actors played with nuances of dialogue and emotion, was a fascinating glimpse into the world of film making. I gave them signed copies of my book and got them to sign a couple of others, one for myself, and one for me to give away. I was tickled to learn that Benjamin also plans to give away a copy with my signature as a prize to his fans.   

Stephanie van Dyck, who plays Brianna, asked how I saw her character and we talked about how Brianna is brainy but quirky with a colorful dress sense. When I mentioned that Brianna is the heroine of SAY I DO, the second book in the series, I could see her thinking, as do I, how fantastic it would be if they made a sequel….

Grant Vlahovic, who plays Gordon, Brianna’s father and Blake/Jake’s boss wasn’t on set the day we took photos but he was also terrific in his role as Haley’s uncle and her mom’s long lost brother.

Over the two days I was on the set, I developed huge respect and admiration for everyone involved in making the movie. They worked 12-13 hours/day, six days a week, for three weeks, an exhausting schedule. Between takes I did what writers do when they’re not writing, and observed people as they went about their various jobs. From the burly, tattooed and pierced, food stylist guy delicately arranging appetiser platters for a party scene, to the stand-ins who patiently stood in one spot for ages while the cinematographer took light readings, to the intensely focused director who shook my hand, told me I had beautiful blue eyes, and then lol, promptly forgot I existed. I wasn’t  able to take photos during filming, and between takes the set was full of people moving equipment around. I did manage to snap this pic of the front of the house showing one of the crew, Christmas trees waiting their cue, a board stuffed with the surgical booties we had to wear inside the house, and though the door, some of the equipment.  And this is a photo of some of the crew eating “lunch” at 5.30 pm by the lake across from the house.

The movie version of Long Lost Christmas differs in some respects from my book but that’s normal due to the nature of the two media and I think the scriptwriter made excellent choices. I can’t wait to watch the whole movie when airs on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel on November 19! 

[GIVEAWAY CLOSED] A fun question to go in the draw for a chance to win a print copy of LONG LOST CHRISTMAS – If a movie was made of your life, who would you like to play you – or your younger self? Who would be your leading man?

With the release of  SECOND CHANCE DAD on Sept. 13, 2022, the whole series of Sweetheart, Montana is now available. Click the cover images to buy from Tule Publishing, and find links to other digital platforms.

 

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.


Tule Author Q&A: Katherine Garbera loves writing in Whiskey River!

Katherine Garbera stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Rossis of Whiskey River series, Texas Christmas Magic!

Where did you get the inspiration for Texas Christmas Magic?

The inspiration for Texas Christmas Magic came from my love of Christmas stories and how it seems like the world is a little bit kinder. It’s the perfect season for miracles and redemption.  

 

If you could spend the day with Angelica or Max, who would you choose and what would you do?

I would probably choose to hang out with Angelica, chatting about our Italian family and our traditions.

 

What has been your favorite part about writing another series set in Whiskey River?

Every time I return to Whiskey River, I fall in love with the town again.  Eve Gaddy and I wanted to write a series together which is how we started.  I love the chance to revisit characters from past series and see how they are doing and to walk the streets and see how the town has changed. 

 

What song would be in the soundtrack to Angelica and Max love story? Why? 

There are so many songs on their soundtrack.  Better Than Ezra by Good is one that is them at the beginning of their relationship, If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes and then the Eagles Please Come Home For Christmas.  

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

I have tons of Christmas traditions starting with my large wooden advent calendar, when my kids were little I’d put clues in the boxes for each day and they’d have to search around the house for their treat.  One of my other traditions is baking my family’s cookie recipes.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The X-Mas Club by Lenora Worth and it’s very good!

 

About the Author

Katherine Garbera is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 115 books.  She is celebrating her 25th year as a published author in 2022 and is still thrilled to bring stories of happily ever after to her readers.  Her books are known for their emotional impact and sizzling sensuality.  She lives in the midlands of the UK (aka not London) with her husband and sweet miniature dachshund.


Tule Author Q&A: Jeannie Watt cuts her own Christmas tree!

Jeannie Watt stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in the Return to Keller Ranch series, Christmas with the Cowboy!

Where did you get the inspiration for Christmas with the Cowboy?

My husband and I raised our family in a rural ranching community, and I was so inspired by the multi-generational ranching families there. My kids attended a three-room K-8 school, and the community was involved in everything from potlucks to brandings to cattle drives to basketball tournaments (basketball is big with ranch kids). I wanted to write a story that touched on the relationships between parents, kids and grandkids and neighbors along with the romance between the hero and heroine. 

 

This is the first book in Return to the Keller Ranch series. What is the series about?

One thing I’m exploring with this series, in addition to some fun cowboy romance, is the effect of birth order on family members. In Christmas with the Cowboy, Reed is the first born and the most like his (reformed) wild child father in temperament. As you can imagine, their similarities led to headbutting while Reed was growing up. Now he is back on the ranch with his own child, and he needs to figure out how to forge a peaceful relationship with his father while at the same time negotiating a reunion with the woman he’s never stopped loving. 

 

Free Christmas Cookies On The Table Stock PhotoIf you could spend the day with any of the characters from Christmas with the Cowboy, who would you choose and what would you do?

First, I would send my hero and heroine on a nice romantic horseback ride, then I would head to the kitchen with Lex, the hero’s fourteen-year-old daughter who loves baking, and Audrey, the hero’s mother, who is full of wisdom. I would sip hot apple cider, help make cookies, and listen to the two talk about life. I think it would be very entertaining.

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

My favorite holiday tradition is having the kids come home. Another tradition since moving to Montana is to cut a Christmas tree on the mountain with my parents. I also enjoy baking and board game playing and generally getting into the feel-good vibe of the season. I make mulled wine and keep the carols playing.

 

What are you currently reading?

When I’m writing, I don’t read in the romance genre, so lately I’ve been reading some classics in other genres, primarily detective stores. I read all of Dashiell Hammett’s novels this year, and I just finished my first Raymond Chandler, The Lady in the Lake. I enjoy Chandler’s writing. The plot kept me guessing and I love the way the man writes descriptions. I truly felt the atmosphere of Los Angeles in the early 1940s as I read. I also read a lot of books to help me understand characters, and my latest there is The Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide to  Dealing with Toxic People. I’m getting some great ideas for antagonists from my reading. As soon as I finish writing my latest story, I’ll dive back into the romance, and catch up on my Tule holiday reading.

 

About the Author

Jeannie Watt is the author of over 20 contemporary romances and the recipient of the Holt Medallion Award of Merit. She lives in a small ranching community—a place where kids really do grow up to be cowboys—with her husband, dog, cat, horses and ponies. When she’s not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing retro fashions, running, and buying lots and lots of hay.


THE BILLIONAIRE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS: Release day blog post featuring Kris Bock!

The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas: Who wouldn’t want to be a billionaire? Turns out winning the lottery causes as many problems as it solves.

How did you get the idea for this series?

I was browsing the top sellers in Kindle romance and saw lots of billionaires, lots of cowboys, and a few billionaire cowboys. I doubt the average cowboy would have enough free time to develop and promote an app that would become the next TikTok and get a billion dollars. So I wondered, how might a cowboy (or rancher anyway) realistically become a billionaire? I came up with a family of four brothers and their mother. She plays the lottery, not expecting to win, but simply so she can spend an hour dreaming about being rich.

And then she wins. Everything changes, and not necessarily for the better. People who win huge lotteries are advised to go into hiding, which you can’t really do when you have to take care of animals. Friends and family might demand a share of the winnings. Strangers come up with scams and sob stories.

In this first book, Josh has acted as the head of the family since his father died when he was 25. Things are tough financially, and he feels like he has to take care of everybody, but he’s comfortable with the status quo. He knows his place in the world. The lottery disrupts everything. He has to figure out how to let his brothers go in their own directions. He has to figure out what he wants now that he could have anything. This allowed me to play with questions of dreams, choices, and responsibilities.

 

The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas 

He has everything this Christmas, but all he wants is the quiet ranch life he’s losing…

When Josh Tomlinson’s Texas ranching family wins a fortune in the lottery, the formerly tight-knit family is suddenly on edge. Seeking advice, Josh reluctantly contacts family friend and now attorney, Carly Garza. His business is serious, yet he can’t believe Carly’s morphed from a long-legged colt of a girl to a sophisticated woman. Besides, he knows the intelligent Carly has no interest in a quiet, rugged cowboy like him.

Carly’s crushed on Josh for years, and she plans to ask him out now that she’s back in Last Stand. She’s hoping he’ll finally see her as someone other than his younger brother’s middle school girlfriend. But when Josh needs advice on how to handle his family’s lottery win, his client and billionaire statuses put him firmly out of reach. If only her heart could ignore the sparks that flare between them.

They’re already keeping the family’s lottery win a secret from the town. Can they also hide their budding romance during the most magical time of year?

RELEASE DATE: Nov 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-957748-86-3

Order The Billionaire Cowboy’s Christmas

 

Sneak Peek Excerpt:

“I’ve been thinking about your question the other day,” Carly said after a while.

“Which one? I feel like I’ve been questioning everything.”

“What would you do if you could do anything? That one.” One corner of her mouth pulled up. “The one I tried to avoid since I’m not the one with all the money. But you were right. It is a good question. Of course, you might come up with an answer you don’t like. You might discover that you want to do something you can’t possibly do, because it requires too much money or too much of something else. Like I don’t think I could be an Olympic figure skater, even if that was my dream and even if I had your riches, because I didn’t start training in childhood and probably don’t have the talent anyway.”

“No, that’s true. Huh. You know, I’m going to be rich enough I could probably buy a pro football team if I wanted, but I still couldn’t be a pro football player. Well, unless I bought a team and forced them to let me play. Funny to think about that.” He studied her. “You didn’t actually want to be a pro figure skater, did you?”

“How should I know? I’ve never skated in my life, unless you count sliding around in my boots on frozen cattle ponds. No, that was just a random example of when the question isn’t too useful. I think it could be useful a lot though. For example, your mama said she and her friends talked about hiring cleaning people if they won the lottery.”

“Yeah. That’s going to be her Christmas present. Don’t tell.”

“Okay, but imagine if she hadn’t won the lottery.” She gestured with her free hand. “Maybe y’all couldn’t afford to hire a cleaning person with the current budget. But if your mama decided she really didn’t want to do cleaning anymore, if she hated that job and would rather do anything else, then maybe she could get a part-time job and make enough money to pay a cleaner. She could sell baked goods at the farmers market to make money. Maybe she’d have to work more hours baking and selling than she would’ve spent on cleaning, but she might prefer it.”

He frowned. “Do you think she would?”

“I have no idea, but I bet she never asked herself that. ​That’s my point. If we don’t think about what we love and what we hate and what we want to do in life, we might get stuck in a rut when we don’t need to be there.” Carly tipped her head back so the sun shone full on her face. “Now she can do whatever she wants, of course. She doesn’t have to take care of all of you, so she can spend more time on self-care.” 

What’s that mean?” He’d heard the phrase, but it sounded like one of those New Age things that didn’t make much sense, like lighting scented candles so you’d feel calm or energized or whatever. He’d never yet met a candle that took away the strain of working for twelve hours in a freezing rain.

“It’s simply where you take care of yourself, whatever that means to you. Bubble baths, a massage, spending an afternoon reading.” Her nose wrinkled. “It’s one of those things you’re supposed to do when you have a lot of stress, but of course people who have a lot of stress don’t usually have the time or money to do those things. But my point was, Ava saw cleaning the house as part of her job, so she did it. She never thought about other options. If you don’t spend some time thinking about what you really want out of life, you’re not going to move toward your goals.”

Josh scratched his head. “Wait a minute, are we talking about Mama or me or you here?”

“Well, I meant to talk about myself but got off track.” She grinned. “Sorry. I was trying to make the general point that it’s probably good for people to think about their priorities and their wishes once in a while. Lots of people do New Year’s resolutions, but that’s not quite the same. People resolve to lose weight or get in shape because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do. I doubt most people really think about what they want to do with their lives.”

“And you’ve been thinking about it?”

“Yes, darn it! You got me thinking about it.” She tossed her head. Her braid bounced and glowed in the sunlight.

“Well, good, I guess,” Josh said. “Why should we be the only ones facing these hard questions?”

 

Are you working on anything now?

I’m still working on the later books in this series, and also on my Accidental Detective mystery series. In that one, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. It begins with Something Shady at Sunshine Haven: When patients are dying at an Alzheimer’s unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home? I just started book 5.

 

About the Author

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter and get a free 10,000-word story set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café, a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the novels, and an Accidental Detective short story and bonus material. Learn more about Kris at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. (For other countries click here.) 

Kris also writes a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The Felony Melanie series follows the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for the romantic comedy newsletter to get a short story preview, or find the books at Amazon US or All E-book retailers.

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GRINCH GIRL: Release day blog post featuring Michelle Dayton!

I’m so excited for the release of my first Christmas story, GRINCH GIRL! It’s bittersweet, though, because this book is the finale of my Tech-nically Love series, which I have loved writing.

As with the other books in the series, I created a playlist of songs that kept me firmly in the world of my characters as I wrote … I hope you enjoy!

GRINCH GIRL Playlist

  1. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton.  My main character, Jane, is a hard-working woman! She works three jobs and lives in a small town that’s struggling to survive.
  2. Surface Pressure – Jessica Darrow.  Yes, this is from Encanto.  And while “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is a banger, “Surface Pressure” is my favorite song from that movie.  I feel like most women can relate to the intense feeling of having to hold it all together, of needing to be the emotional rock of their families.  Although Jane doesn’t see herself this way, she’s been the rock for multiple people in her life over the past decade.
  3. ‘tis the damn season – Taylor Swift.  This song is about returning home for the holidays and hooking up with a past love. It’s a wistful love song about the road not taken.  In GRINCH GIRL, Jane’s childhood BFF –and current enemy—Bella, has returned home for the month of December and finds herself reconnecting with her high school boyfriend.
  4. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard.  I’ll let readers figure out how this fits into the story…
  5. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany.  Let’s just say that when Jane and Nate find themselves alone … things get interesting.
  6. Arcade – Duncan Laurence.  “Black Moment” song of the book. Jane is dealing with a lot of emotions in this story.  She’s falling in love with someone who’s going to leave town and she’s being forced to re-evaluate the ending of the most important friendship of her life.  The lyrics of this song “All I know, loving you is a losing game”  are very relevant to her fear of loving either the new man in her life or her one time best friend.
  7. I Think I Like You – The Band CAMINO.  This song was on the radio a lot when I was drafting GRINCH GIRL and I completely went nuts for it.  This song *feels* like falling in love!

 

About the Author

There are only three things Michelle Dayton loves more than sexy and suspenseful novels: her family, the city of Chicago, and Mr. Darcy. Michelle dreams of a year of world travel — as long as the trip would include weeks and weeks of beach time. As a bourbon lover and unabashed wine snob, Michelle thinks heaven is discussing a good book over an adult beverage.


Tule Author Q&A: Geri Krotow and her heroine were both in the Navy!

Geri Krotow stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in the Shop ‘Round the World series, A Santa Stabbing!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for A Santa Stabbing

I find inspiration everywhere, and I never know where it’s coming from next. I knew I wanted to write about a woman who’d seen a lot of life but still had so much of it to live and enjoy, no matter what tragedies may have occurred earlier in her life. The town we live in, in Pennsylvania, is a constant source of story ideas for me. Add in my military background, and it seemed a natural progression for Angel Warren to be a retired Navy pilot. This is my very first mystery novel after 30+ romances and I feel right at home in my new genre of cozy (ish) mystery.

 

Welcome to Tule! Can you share a fun fact about yourself to help us get to know you?

Thank you! I love being a Tule author! I was a Naval Intelligence officer for 9 years, and then was a Navy spouse to my husband who served for 27 years. We moved all over the planet and are now happy to be in the same place.

 

Free Aerial View of Residential Area during Sunset Stock PhotoHow do you relate your heroine, Angel, and how do you hope readers will relate to her?

Like Angel, I moved to a small Pennsylvania town after being overseas and out of the mainstream of American life for decades. I totally identify with her empty-nest syndrome, as I went through that after my chicks left the nest (a decade ago now). As for her inquisitiveness, that’s natural for a writer and an intelligence professional!

 

The Shop ‘Round the World series is your first foray into the cozy mystery genre. What is different about writing mysteries vs romances? Which one do you enjoy more?

What I love about Mystery is the same thing I treasure in Romance; the characters and sense of community. The biggest difference is that I feel I need to write more tightly, to keep the focus on the mystery plot of each particular book. But fleshing out the characters, their strengths as well as foibles, remains the same and as satisfying as ever. I also like that my sense of humor has shown up more in my mysteries. 

 

Free Close-Up Photo of Christmas Tree Stock PhotoDo you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

Decorating for the holidays is always fun for me. I never know what I’ll do year-to-year. I don’t feel as compelled to put out every last decoration as I used to when the kids were tiny. Instead, I go with the flow and try to incorporate some more contemporary trends into our otherwise very eclectically traditional Christmas. I’ve enjoyed decorating for Thanksgiving more and more, too. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m in the midst of EverGreen Chase by Juneau Black and I just downloaded A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett

 

About the Author

Geri Krotow is the bestselling author of over 25 novels of romantic suspense, contemporary romance and women’s fiction. A US Naval Academy graduate and Navy veteran, Geri’s strong heroines are reader favorites. Geri’s Shop ‘Round the World series with Tule is her cozy mystery debut.