Category Archives: Muse

April Showers Bring Amazing New Releases at Tule! (Plus, Enter our Monthly Giveaway!)

Read more about our new releases for April!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the April releases. Comment down below saying which book you’re looking most forward to reading! Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. The winner will be randomly selected and announced at the end of the month.

All’s Fair with Love and Cowboys by Kristine Lynn
Release Date: April 2, 2024

Small Town Romance in the Spring (Anthology) by Melissa McClone, Kate Hewitt, Jane Porter, Charlee James and Shannon Stults
Release Date: April 3, 2024

Once Upon a Summer Night by Kyra Jacobs
Release Date: April 4, 2024

A Chain of Pearls by Raemi A. Ray
Release Date: April 9, 2024

Danger in the Outback by Nicole Flockton
Release Date: April 11, 2024

Make You Mine by Nan Reinhardt
Release Date: April 16, 2024

Outback Heat (Anthology) by Amy Andrews
Release Date: April 17, 2024

Unbreak My Heart by Dakota Harrison
Release Date: April 18, 2024

Highland Dark Magic by Leigh Ann Edwards
Release Date: April 23, 2024

Bethany Meets Her Match by Lisa Lin
Release Date: April 24, 2024

Texas Reckless Cowboy by Rebecca Crowley
Release Date: April 25, 2024

Until Depths Do Us Part by K.B. Jackson
Release Date: April 30, 2024


DARK IRISH DEMON: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Leigh Ann Edwards!


Welcome everyone. I’m Leigh Ann Edwards. I write fantasy stories for Tule–– usually historical and often romances, almost always with witches, Irish characters, and magical creatures. I’m thrilled to be on Tule’s blog today to tell you about my new Witch and Demon Hunter series. Dark Irish Demon, book one released today––February 29th

How cool to have a book release on Leap Year! What are the chances? Not just one in four years ––or one in one thousand four hundred sixty-one days. Especially considering how many authors Tule publishes. The probability of having a new release ready for publication that day are even less and the publishing schedule isn’t something an author determines. 

Therefore, I’m taking it as an sign that this is going to be a fantastic beginning to this new series. I’m having lots of fun writing it and ARC reviews have been great. A few readers even say it’s their favorite so far. 

For those who’ve read my Witches of Time series, Fiona Maguire and Lorcan Wright, the main characters in this Witch and Demon Hunter series, were secondary characters introduced in books three and four. I don’t believe I even gave them surnames then. Still, I really liked their characters and wanted to develop a story for them. I’m so glad Tule thought it sounded interesting and signed on to publish the series. 

In the Witches of Time series, originally, Fiona and Lorcan fought on opposing sides of the Battle of Magic. (The infamous battle between those with light and dark magic.) However Lorcan joined the benevolent group part way through. Skip forward about seven years and these characters both work for LAMB, an agency that locates and assesses magical beings. 

Fiona’s a witch and Lorcan is a half-demon. They are different in nearly every way imaginable and have an extremely complicated family history. When they’re given the ultimatum–– become partners and make each other responsible for following LAMB’s rules, or be let go, they’re both adamantly opposed. Yet, they want to keep their positions so reluctantly agree to the mismatched partnership. 

Lorcan is outgoing. He’s on a first name basis with everyone at LAMB. He’s physically affectionate and a hugger. He’s six foot four, has a gorgeous face and well-built body. With his black hair, intense green eyes, dazzling smile and sexy accent, women find him irresistible. (Well…most women!) He also drinks too much, swears a lot and sleeps around. 

Fiona is attractive with beautiful skin, hair and eyes. She’s physically fit, into martial arts––even has a black belt. She’s also nineteen years older than Lorcan. She’s confident, more reserved, dislikes being touched and prefers to keep to herself. She doesn’t put up with his juvenile antics or fall for his charm. She still despises his late father because of the pain he caused her. 

Each book in this series includes a couple from the Irish Witch series and Witches of Time series who’ll be brought in to assist with a mission or help solve the mystery. In Dark Irish Demon, readers will be reunited with Alainn and Killian from The Irish Witch Series.

I’m having so much fun writing the amusing banter between Fiona and Lorcan. I hope readers will love their comical or snarky interaction and exciting adventures. Many of the missions they’re sent on involve time travel. 

I’ve often thought it would be exciting to travel to the past, but I’d probably end up smack dab in the middle of a war or during a plague and die the first day. 

Although the concept is really intriguing, a lot about going back in time would be disturbing, even aside from the danger. Personal hygiene was much different and social norms then would seem appalling now. Being a woman in past centuries wouldn’t be easy either. Still, I like to fantasize about other times and when an author writes fantasy novels it allows them to blend fact and fiction as long as they’re true to actual historical events and people. 

I’ve never felt the same intrigue regarding the possibility of traveling to the future. Maybe because the unknown is even scarier than the frightening parts of the past. 

Lorcan and Fiona have magical abilities–– some the same, others different. They both see ghosts. However, he sees them as they were when they died and she sees them in a restored state. 

The two communicate with telepathy and move objects through telekinesis. Lorcan can walk through walls and stop time. Fiona is able to teleport from one location to another and move time forward or back. She can create time portals and he’s able to locate natural portals.

They both have premonitions and when Fiona touches someone she can often see their past or future. Lorcan’s faster and stronger than most and when angry can make things explode. Fiona can move objects and people from one location to another. 

During a recent Tule Book Club author visit, I talked about what constitutes magic. I believe there are many wondrous, magical things in nature. I see magic in sunsets, sunrises, moon phases, frost patterns and sparkles on the snow. 

Although no one has invented a time machine yet, even Einstein thought time travel might one day be possible. Our five senses are powerful time portals. They create memories that take us back––especially our sense of smell. If we smell something familiar and close our eyes it’s like we’ve been transported straight back to another time. I often feel that way about a certain taste or when hearing a song, too. 

When I’m driving down a dusty gravel road (we have lots in Canada) and there’s a Seventies song playing on my Bluetooth, it’s like I’m sixteen again on the  Manitoba backroads with my friends or boyfriend. At my age, the dust now kind of chokes me up and I can’t tolerate the music blaring, but still it’s almost supernatural how you feel like you’re right back there. 

I seldom hold a new baby and catch their precious scent that I don’t feel as though I’m holding my own newborn daughters or my grandchildren for the first time. 

When I smell rain on warm pavement, I’m five years old walking with my mum and brother eating a Big Ten. (an ice-cream treat something like a revel with chocolate on the outside and vanilla ice-cream in the center. They haven’t made Big Tens for probably 50 years.)

The fragrance of baby oil takes me back to our family’s lakefront cottage lying on the dock with my teenage girlfriends listening to music on our transistor radios. (Yes, we used baby oil to attract the sun to get a tan. Not a good idea and would now be highly discouraged as a melanoma waiting to happen! I have very fair skin so I suffered many risky sunburns while trying to achieve a tan like some of my friends who tanned easily.)

The tangy smell of Mandarin oranges always remind me of Christmas as a child. They were only available at Christmas time and we even referred to them as Christmas oranges. Our family had one or two boxes per year, tops, and they came in an actual wooden box. There was an orange in our stockings every Christmas morning and in the paper bags Santa handed out at the school’s annual Christmas concert. 

The combination of the brisk scent of a wintery evening and seeing sparkles on the snow will always transport me to being thirteen and experiencing that innocent first kiss, when my first boyfriend walked me home from public skating.  

I used to help my mum hang clothes on the clothesline and still love the smell of fresh sheets that have dried on the line. I have a small clothesline but our dogs like the challenge of pulling the clothes off which is a little counterproductive. Lol 

Are there any smells or tastes that take you back to another time? Does a certain song evoke a memory? 

It’s been fun discussing the new series, the magic in everyday life, and our own personal time machines. I look forward to being here in April for the release of book two in the series, Highland Dark Magic. 

Until then wishing you many magical moments. 

Leigh Ann

Leigh Ann Edwards’ fascination with history, romance, magic, fantasy, time-travel and Ireland sparked her interest in creating the Irish Witch Series and her growing collection of published novels. Growing up in a very small Manitoban village on the Canadian prairies left a lot of time to create stories and let her imagination soar.

An author for nearly thirty years, Leigh Ann has almost completed writing her fourth series with Tule Publishing and will soon begin a fifth. Besides writing, Leigh Ann loves spending time with her four grandchildren, reading, traveling, doing intuitive readings and reiki. Leigh Ann and her husband, their two cats, one large dog and their Boston Terrier puppy, live near Edmonton Alberta, Canada.

 


WHEN THE VISCOUNT WANTED ME: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Lydia Lloyd!

Hello everyone! 

I am Lydia Lloyd and today is release day for my book, WHEN THE VISCOUNT WANTED ME. The second in my Rake Chronicles series, this book is an ultra-steamy, older brother’s best friend/brother’s best friend, age gap romance—it is a total romp, with a good amount of humor, a splash of angst, and a lot of spice. 

What is it about? Henrietta Breminster is the belle-of-the-ton, but she has just made a mistake that could jeopardize everything. Tired of watching everyone else have fun while she is constrained by the rules for Regency debutantes, Henrietta decided to take her friend, Justin, the Earl of Hartley, up on his offer of a night of no-strings-attached pleasure. Unfortunately for her, after their tryst, Hartley reveals that he is actually in love with Henrietta and tries to pressure her into marriage—and Henrietta does not feel AT ALL the same way and is running out of ways to put him off. Enter her brother’s best friend, Hugh Aldershot, the Viscount of Tremberley, aka Trem. Trem hears Hartley talking about his night with Henrietta in their gentlemen’s club. He assumes that the earl is lying about his liaison with Henrietta and steps in to shut him up. When Trem confronts Henrietta about his claims, she finds herself confessing her sins to the handsome viscount, for whom she has always nursed a wicked crush. Once Trem vows to help her out of this delicate situation, they are drawn closer together than ever before. Henrietta and Trem soon realize that they might be perfect for each other…but, to make their relationship a reality, they must contend with a world (including her brother!) that does not want to see them together. 

I am so excited to introduce this book to readers—it was so fun to write and is very much the daring, bold historical romance that I myself want to read. To give you a better sense of the book and celebrate its release, I present my five favorite moments from WHEN THE VISCOUNT WANTED ME below: the steamy, the sweet, and everything in between! 

#1) When Trem DRAGS a passed-out Hartley to Breminster House 

This moment is right at the beginning of the book and it really sets the tone for the wild fun to follow. Trem wants to punish Hartley for drunkenly blabbing about Henrietta in the premier gentleman’s club in London—but then the man stone-cold passes out from drinking. So Trem, along with the help of a friend of Hartley’s who he intimidates into submission, loads the inebriated earl up into his carriage and takes him to Breminster House to be dealt with by him and John, Henrietta’s brother. Of course, when he arrives there, he realizes that John is out and only Henrietta is at home. 

#2) Henrietta’s response to Trem’s hypocrisy 

When Trem finds out about Henrietta’s tryst with Hartley, he expresses his dismay at her actions—and asks how she could do something so irresponsible. Henrietta, however, does not waste any time clapping back and turns the tables on Trem. She asks him how he could do any of the irresponsible and reckless things that he has done over the years (he is a rake, after all!) and if he is really going to be that hypocritical. To Trem’s credit, he quickly sees her point and apologizes. 

#3) The Drawing Room scene 

Once they are thrust together by circumstance, it is not long before Trem starts to realize that his feelings for Henrietta have (even before this incident) begun to take on a distinctly non-brotherly cast. With Hartley still trying to court Henrietta despite her disinterest, Trem becomes increasingly infuriated by the young earl. When he comes across Hartley in Henrietta’s drawing room, he intimidates him into leaving—and then a very steamy scene between Henrietta and Trem ensues. 

#4) Trem’s marriage proposal to Henrietta 

The next day, Trem and Henrietta dance at a ball—and then sneak off onto the balcony. Trem wants to propose marriage to Henrietta because he can’t stand the idea of having anyone else as his wife or her marrying any other man (and she has a lot of suitors!), especially now that they’ve been intimate. Henrietta knows that he wants to propose, but she thinks it is only out of a sense of honor and because he wants to do the decent thing, particularly because she is his best friend’s sister. I won’t give away what exactly happens on the balcony, but I can guarantee it is very spicy and they come back to the ballroom engaged! 

#5) Mr. Foxcroft 

When Henrietta goes back to Trem’s estate towards the end of the book for their wedding, she meets his steward, Mr. Foxcroft, who is like a father to him. Trem has been an orphan since his parents died in a carriage accident when he was two years old and Henrietta knows that Trem tends to be very unsentimental about his parents’ deaths. However, when she meets Mr. Foxcroft, he reveals to her that, when Trem was a child, he made him recount the same story about what his parents were like over and over to him. Both Trem and Mr. Foxcroft remember every word of it even now—and they recite it to her. 

Okay, so, as I wrote this list, I realized that I could have easily picked another five scenes and called them my favorites—such is my love for this book. 

If you want to learn more about this book, the whole Rake Chronicles series, or just like talking historical romance, I encourage you to come over to my Instagram. I hope you love reading this book—and come back for the third in the series, WHEN THE EARL DESIRED ME, out May 14!  

xoxo,
Lydia 

About the Author.

Lydia Lloyd writes high-heat historical romance set during the Regency period. She enjoys creating love stories between roguish heroes and complex heroines that are driven by authentic conflict and steamy encounters. Lydia holds a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature and, when she isn’t writing historical romance, works as a teacher and scholar.


A LITTLE HIGHLAND MAGIC: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Gerri Russell!

Light versus Darkness in Storytelling

The interplay of light and dark is a fundamental storytelling tool, woven into narratives since the dawn of cave paintings. It’s more than just a visual contrast; it taps into our primal fears and hopes, shaping the emotional landscape of our stories.

Light often symbolizes goodness, knowledge, truth, and hope. It’s the sun breaking through the clouds, the hero’s triumphant return, or a character’s moment of understanding. We associate it with warmth, safety, and clarity.

Darkness, on the other hand, represents evil, ignorance, mystery, and danger. It’s the lurking monster in the shadows, the villain’s sinister lair, or a character’s descent into despair. It evokes fear, uncertainty, and the unknown.

Photo purchased from iStockphoto and provided by author.

But the beauty of this dichotomy lies in its complexity. In art, light and dark are used to create contrast and depth, with shadows and highlights adding dimension to a piece. Light and dark are rarely absolute. They bleed into each other, creating shades of gray that make our stories richer and more nuanced. 

  • A seemingly good character might harbor dark secrets.
  • A villain might have a tragic backstory that sheds light on their motivations.
  • A moment of despair can give birth to newfound courage.

This dance between light and dark creates tension and suspense, keeping us guessing as writers and readers and invested in the outcome. It allows us to explore the full spectrum of human emotions and experiences, making stories truly resonate.

Here are some classic literature and film examples of how light and dark are used in storytelling:

  • Star Wars: The epic battle between the light of the Jedi and the darkness of the Sith.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Frodo’s perilous journey to destroy the One Ring, a symbol of ultimate evil, in the fires of Mount Doom.
  • Harry Potter: The ongoing struggle between good and evil, personified by Harry and Voldemort.

Beyond these grand narratives, the interplay of light and dark is present in countless stories, big and small. It’s a powerful tool that allows us to explore the complexities of the human condition and the world around us.

In A Little Highland Magic, the fifth book in the Guardian of the Isles series, Aria, who is half fae, half human, yearns for the warmth of her human family after years of living as an outsider in the fairy realm. By escaping Fairyland, not only has she made an enemy of Oberon, the king of the fairies, but she learns that the fairy king still has control over her. 

To break those ties and to right a wrong done to the MacLeods, Aria joins forces with Graeme Duff to travel back to Fairyland where she must confront not only the creatures of the dark, but also the darkness within herself. Success relies on a perilous journey and the unyielding support of her human kin, especially Graeme, who is untouched by Oberon’s influence. He serves as a reflection of Aria’s true potential. His unwavering belief in her goodness pushes Aria to confront the fairy king and break free from Oberon’s control. 

Abstract and magical image of Firefly flying in the night forest. Fairy tale concept. Photo purchased from iStockphoto and provided by author.

Like a firefly flickering in the night, A Little Highland Magic illuminates the shadows with laughter and love, reminding us that the brightest light often emerges from the deepest darkness. 

What book or movie has stayed with you because it explored the complexities of good and evil?

About the Author.

Gerri Russell is the award-winning author of historical and contemporary novels including the Brotherhood of the Scottish Templars series and Flirting with Felicity. A two-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and winner of the American Title II competition sponsored by RT Book Reviews magazine, she is best known for her adventurous and emotionally intense novels set in the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Scottish Highlands. Before Gerri followed her passion for writing romance novels, she worked as a broadcast journalist, a newspaper reporter, a magazine columnist, a technical writer and editor, and an instructional designer. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four mischievous black cats.

 


FATE’S FINAL SEASON – Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Leigh Ann Edwards!

Hello everyone. For those who don’t know me, I’m Leigh Ann Edwards. Besides being an author, I’m married to a sweet English expat who’s been in Canada for sixteen years. I’m mother to two beautiful daughters, and grandmother of four wonderful grandchildren. I love animals and traveling. I’m a reiki master and also do angel and tarot card readings. We live in a small town northeast of Edmonton Alberta, with our four spoiled pets. 

I’ve written historical fantasy series for Tule since 2016. I’m pleased to be back on the Tule blog today and thrilled to celebrate the release of Fate’s Final Season during Tule’s 10th anniversary month. 

Isn’t this a beautiful cover? I’m really happy with every cover in this series. Christian, at Covers by Christian, is unbelievably talented. Don’t Broccan and Rhianwyn make a great couple?

Fate’s Final Season is the fifth and last book in my Maidens of the Mystical Stones series. ARC reader reviews have been fantastic. I’m grateful to the Tule team, my editors, and loyal readers for all their support.

Every book in a series is important, but since mine aren’t typically stand alone, the first and last in a continuing series are crucial. Book one has to grab and hook the reader. The following installments must hold their interest, but the final book is often the one that stays with readers. Therefore, authors aim to ensure readers are given a satisfactory ending. That said, it’s true you can’t please everyone and to quote a line from this book, “not everybody’s idea of happily ever after is the same.”

I also leave a few little mysteries to allow for a possible spinoff series. I’m delighted that readers have already been asking if there’ll be a sequel series featuring the Welsh Dafyddson brothers and their dragon curse. 

Fate’s Final Season is set in a fictional village near Stonehenge in medieval Wessex before the individual kingdoms formed England. However, the story also takes Rhianwyn, the main heroine, on a dangerous adventure in Wales. 

Although my four heroines, Rhianwyn, Selena, Elspeth, and Lilliana’s story takes place during the medieval era, some issues they encounter and life-lessons learned, are timeless. The healer, harlot, castle servant, and princess, soon discover walking a mile in someone else’s shoes (literally) is more difficult than they could’ve imagined. 

Writing this series was extremely thought-provoking. It touches on the harsh realities women of all stations faced during historical times––having no rights, they’re often the victims of oppression and abuse––sadly with little or no hope for change.

That sounds dark and serious, but along with the heavier storylines, there’s humor, magic, strong heroines, chivalrous swoon-worthy heroes, great secondary characters, enduring friendships, true love, steamy love scenes, knights, dragons and other mythical creatures, beautiful scenery, and several plot twists. Readers have said they laughed out loud and ugly cried. Knowing that our books have evoked emotion in our readers is perhaps the greatest compliment to any author. 

Whether reading or writing, a series ending is always hard for me. Writing the last few chapters, I become quite emotional. True, authors might torture or cause chaos and conflict for their characters (what’s a story without conflict?) But you also become deeply attached to them. They’re your babies, after all. Authors often spend more time with their imagined characters than people in the real world. 

Writing the conclusion of a series of books with the same characters is like having to say goodbye to dear friends knowing it’s unlikely you’ll see them again. (Unless there’s a sequel.) My series also have several characters, therefore ensuring you provide an ending for each of them is somewhat daunting. 

This is maybe a perfect time to discuss my present personal challenges. 

Last time I was on this blog, I’d purchased airline tickets and was looking forward to attending Tule’s July author retreat. Unfortunately, my California trip didn’t happen. Insert heavy sigh! My husband had ongoing back issues. (Carpentry work for 40+ years isn’t kind to a body.) However, when he became ill, I had to cancel my trip. I was naturally worried about him and of course disappointed. But I admit, selfishly, I was also a little upset… thinking why did it have to be now?

I haven’t traveled in over six years. My month long writing holiday in a 200 year old cottage in Ireland in 2020 had been cancelled. (COVID cancelled everyone’s travel plans then.)

With my husband sick, I simply couldn’t leave. Taking care of two active dogs and two cats can seem a lot even when you’re well. Especially our year old Boston Terrier who’s extremely attached to me. When he hides under the trees in our back yard, good luck to anyone but me in getting him out. I think we might need doggy behavioral advice. But I digress…

Initially my husband’s diagnosis was kidney stones which I’d been told are very painful. Although I only witnessed that second hand, renal cholic looks absolutely excruciating. Hubby finally had to have the lithotripsy procedure done––where kidney stones are broken up by ultrasound shock waves so they can be passed through the body. 

Thankfully it worked, but his appetite didn’t return and he continued to feel unwell. His blood tests results are still all over the place––some levels much too high, others low. Doctors suspect something autoimmune as my husband’s been experiencing full body weakness, fatigue, painful muscles and joints. Meds are helping; he’s been able to return to work, but they’re only a temporary fix until the cause can be determined. (No. It wasn’t COVID as many people have suggested.)

We’ve recently had another serious, upsetting health issue come up in our family. Someone very near and dear to me requires complicated surgery. Needless to say, me not being able to travel this summer has been all but forgotten.

Funny how something that seemed so relevant becomes trivial when facing something more alarming. It changes a person’s outlook and makes you extra thankful when you and yours are blessed with good health. 

The theme of remembering to count your blessings occurs throughout the Maidens of the Mystical Stones series. The four female friends fell into the destructive habit of comparing and envying each other which causes heartache for them and our hero, Sir Broccan.

It reminds me of one of my favorite poems, “Desiderata”, by Max Ehrmann. It contains a wealth of wisdom. During the seventies a popular song included the Desiderata poem. I used to have it memorized. If you’re interested, check it out on YouTube. (You Are a Child of the Universe.) I thought about including the link here, but wasn’t sure about copyright infringements. 

This first photo is of a lovely gift my two daughters gave me. We found it in a little tea shop on my fiftieth birthday when my sister surprised me by flying out to see me. The four of us spent the most special day together. The other photo is a wall hanging with the beginning of the Desiderata. My kitty obviously loves it, too. 

This line is relevant to my series but solid advice for everyone: 

If you compare yourself to others you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself. 

Here’s another important passage I try to follow when I have self-doubts or life becomes hard: 

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees or the stars, you have a right to be here… and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

I’m super excited to be writing another five book series for Tule. It’s titled Witch and Demon Hunter. As usual, it’s fantasy/paranormal. However, at my suggestion, it’s a bit of a diversion from my previous works. It’s a mystery, time-travel adventure series where the two main characters (who aren’t romantically involved) investigate magical beings and supernatural occurrences. 

Ever a hopeless romantic, I keep trying to pull romance into their story. Roxanne, my amazing editor, wisely reminds me this isn’t primarily a romance series. 

Those who’ve read my Witches of Time series briefly met Fiona and Lorcan–– the witch and demon hunter. I’m enjoying further developing these two interesting characters and now writing, Book two, Highland Dark Magic. 

Book one, Dark Irish Demon is presently with the copyeditor, and scheduled to release February 29/24. Yep…Leap Year. I’m a huge believer that dates are highly significant. What are the chances? Leap Year does only happen every four years, so how special is that!? 

I look forward to being back in February to talk about Dark Irish Demon and the Witch and Demon Hunter series. Until then have a wonderful autumn, a joyous holiday season, and a happy, healthy beginning to 2024. 

Magical wishes, 

Leigh Ann

About the Author.

Leigh Ann Edwards’ fascination with history, romance, magic, fantasy, time-travel and Ireland sparked her interest in creating the Irish Witch Series and her growing collection of published novels. Growing up in a very small Manitoban village on the Canadian prairies left a lot of time to create stories and let her imagination soar.

An author for nearly thirty years, Leigh Ann has almost completed writing her fourth series with Tule Publishing and will soon begin a fifth. Besides writing, Leigh Ann loves spending time with her four grandchildren, reading, traveling, doing intuitive readings and reiki. Leigh Ann and her husband, their two cats, one large dog and their Boston Terrier puppy, live near Edmonton Alberta, Canada.


WHEN THE DUKE LOVED ME – Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Lydia Lloyd!

Woman in purple dress kisses shirtless man

Hello everyone! 

I am Lydia Lloyd and today is release day for my debut historical romance, WHEN THE DUKE LOVED ME. It is a steamy, tropetastic, enemies-to-lovers road trip romance and, hopefully, a whole lot of fun to read. My hero, John Breminster, and my heroine, Catherine Forster, first meet at a ball and soon find themselves in the gardens sharing a kiss…but soon discover that, due to a mix-up with their identities, they have stumbled into an embrace with the enemy. As it turns out, their families hate one another due to a scandal that disgraced both the Breminsters and the Forsters years before. John and Catherine are only drawn back together when John realizes that he has a big problem that only Catherine can help him solve. In need of cash, Catherine agrees to help him for a price. They set off across the English countryside together—with only their enmity and a whole lot of sexual tension between them. 

Along the way, there a LOT of steamy moments between John and Catherine; this is a Regency romance with spice! If you’re interested in hearing about some of those scenes, head over to my Instagram @LydiaLloydRomance, where I’ve been highlighting the extra sultry interchanges between John and Catherine. For this blog post, though, I wanted to do another kind of list—while this book IS steamy, it also has a lot of sweet moments (and some of those steamy moments are super sweet!!). That said, I thought I would use this opportunity to describe my five favorite sweet moments in WHEN THE DUKE LOVED ME. So, here it goes…

#1) The letters between John and Ariel
When Catherine first agrees to work with John, her chosen family isn’t sure what to think. Catherine’s parents died years ago and she has lived since the age of eleven with her father’s friend, Lady Wethersby, and her son, Ariel. When the book opens, Ariel is ten years old and only starting to understand the world around him. When Catherine explains that she will be traveling with John, Ariel is very suspicious. He is super protective of Catherine, who he sees as kind of a combination between a sister and an aunt. So, Ariel sends John a letter threatening to duel him if he does anything to insult or harm Catherine. His letter is hilarious—it is shown on page with all of the misspellings that a ten-year-old would make—and it not quite as scary as Ariel intends. But it does show John how beloved Catherine is to Lady Wethersby and Ariel. And then, when John shows his letter back to Ariel to Catherine and she sees how kindly he responds to his concerns, it totally melts her heart. 

#2) When John cleans Catherine’s fingers
Catherine is a scholar and so she is always taking notes, drafting, and editing. Because this book takes place in the Regency period, that means that she frequently has ink on her fingers…and it totally drives John wild. Seriously, he has a total fetish for her ink-stained fingers! When he is trying to resist his attraction to her and they are stuck in a small carriage together, they have a quick luncheon of bread and cheese…and John can’t stand the sight of Catherine’s ink-stained fingers any longer. He also can’t believe that she would eat with such dirty hands. He brusquely commands her to give him her hands and he cleans each of her fingers with the whiskey from a flask in his pocket. It is the first time that they have touched since their kiss in the gardens seven years before!  

#3) Catherine and John in the apple orchard
When Catherine and John travel back to his estate, they are both forced to encounter the ghosts of their pasts. Catherine grew up on the estate that borders John’s, but it has long since been sold. After they have fallen for each other, Catherine and John walk in the apple orchard that marks the boundary between his estate and her old one. As they share an early-season apple, they trade stories about their childhoods and recall glimpsing each other at rare intervals when they were kids. Catherine tells John that she once saw him and his father walking together and remembers a snippet of conversation that she overheard. Her memory is super meaningful for John because his father has recently died and he remembers their walks in the orchards together, but he can’t recall what he and his father actually said to each other. Catherine gives him back a piece of his childhood in this scene and it really shows how they complete each other on so many levels. 

#4) The Extra £500
When John and Catherine are traveling for hours in the carriage, they, of course, end up talking quite a bit. As John fails at containing his feelings for Catherine, he begins to ask her quite a few probing questions about her past, including whether she has ever had ~carnal relations~ with anyone. Of course, she refuses to dignify this question with a response…that is, until he offers to pay her £500 for the answer. With so much money on the table, she does answer (and you’ll have to read the book to hear her response!!). Much later in the book, when so much has happened since this moment and Catherine thinks that she and John can’t be together, he sends her the payment he promised her at the beginning of the book. She notices, however, that he has paid her an extra £500 and, at first, she is confused. Then, she remembers their conversation in the carriage and has to laugh—he has remembered his absurd promise to pay her a truly ungodly sum to answer his invasive question. It gives her a little bit of hope that they’ll find their way back to one another. 

#5) John’s Grand Gesture
Okay, I am going to leave this moment a little bit of a mystery because I don’t want to spoil it. But I can say that this grand—and it’s quite grand!!—gesture happens in the epilogue. Let’s just say real estate purchases might be one of John’s love languages. 

Well, that concludes my list. Thank you so much for reading. If you want to learn more about WHEN THE DUKE LOVED ME, the whole Rake Chronicles series, or just want to talk historical romance, I encourage you to come over to my Instagram. I hope you enjoy this book—and come back for the second in the series, WHEN THE VISCOUNT WANTED ME, in January! 

xoxo,
Lydia 

About the Author

Lydia Lloyd writes high-heat historical romance set during the Regency period. She enjoys creating love stories between roguish heroes and complex heroines that are driven by authentic conflict and steamy encounters. Lydia holds a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature and, when she isn’t writing historical romance, works as a teacher and scholar.


SUMMER’S CELESTIAL PLEA: Release Day Blog Post by Leigh Ann Edwards!

Inspiration and Creativity

I’m thrilled to be back on the Tule blog today to talk a little about, Summer’s Celestial Plea, book four in my Maidens of the Mystical Stones series. I truly love every cover in this series, but this one’s my favorite. The colors are beautiful, the night sky over Stonehenge looks absolutely magical, and the owl is an enchanting part of this story. I’m extremely thankful to Tule for so many things–– including always finding the most talented cover designers. 

I’m often asked what inspires my writing or one particular book or series. Sometimes there’s no clear answer. However, for this series, I can definitely say how the creative idea began. Firstly, when checking into my genealogy a few years ago, I discovered the ancestors in the Edwards branch of my family tree were from a small village not far from Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. That made my imagination soar. I thought a story could definitely grow from that tiny seed of information. 

In the Maidens series, I created the fictional town of Hengebury and King Thaddeus’s kingdom. There was never a king by that name. However, during medieval times there were several kingdoms throughout what is now the British Isles. 

As with every series I’ve written that’s set in the past, I’ve learned a lot of history through the required research. It was interesting to read about medieval Wessex––prior to the many kingdoms uniting to form England. I learned more about Stonehenge, too. There are several standing stone circles throughout the UK and Ireland, but Stonehenge is undoubtedly the most recognizable. During the medieval period the formation was referred to as the sunstones. 

As far as the concept of the four women switching places–– that came from a few different sources. I really enjoyed the book, The Prince and the Pauper, where two very different boys trade lives. I also liked Freaky Friday, the film where a mother and daughter switch bodies only to discover the other doesn’t have it nearly as easy as they originally believed. 

People often compare themselves to their friends or peers and sometimes envy them. The grass might seem greener, but they don’t always know what’s actually happening in other people’s lives––until they take a turn in those lives. 

In this series, four markedly different young women––a healer (Rhianwyn), a harlot (Selena), a castle servant (Elspeth), and a princess (Lilliana), become unlikely friends. As the years pass they envy each other and dread their own futures–– all wishing they could trade places. While inside the stone circle, a mystical old crone suddenly appears offering them the chance to magically spend a season in each of the four women’s lives. As you might expect there are varied reactions to the unbelievable opportunity. The other three women are willing and eager, while Rhianwyn is more skeptical. 

This far into a continued series it’s difficult to elaborate about the story without creating spoilers. Therefore, I won’t go into too much detail except to say in Summer’s Celestial Plea, the women will experience their third transformation. Although they all thought they knew their friends quite well, they’ve already learned many secrets about each other. They’re beginning to deeply regret entering into the magical pact. 

Broccan, the hero in the story, has become more confused but is determined to discover what might be causing his wife, Rhianwyn, and the other women to behave so uncharacteristically.

This was one of the most interesting but also the most thought-provoking and challenging series for me to write. I needed to make sure readers were clear who each of the women were when they inhabited the other bodies. I relied on body language, sayings, and habits. I had to ensure the women were different enough that they’d be distinguishable. My editors, Roxanne, Helena, and Marlene were amazingly helpful with this and caught more than a few errors.

As with any series where the individual books aren’t stand alone, the story gains momentum with each installment. I’m excited for readers to learn more and I hope they enjoy the plot twists and character arcs. Thus far people are loving the story and reviews have been great. I’ve had several readers reach out to let me know they’re invested in Rhianwyn and Broccan’s heartwarming albeit very complicated love story. 

I haven’t traveled anywhere since before Covid, but this July I’ll be attending the upcoming author retreat celebrating Tule’s 10th anniversary. I can’t wait to meet the Tule team in person, some of the people I’ve been working with for several years. It will be great to get together with other Tule authors, too. 

I’ll also be looking forward to being on this blog again in September for the final installment in the Maidens of the Mystical Stones series, Fate’s Final Season. Until then, magical wishes for a wonderful, safe, happy, and memorable summer.

 

Leigh Ann Edwards’ fascination with history, romance, magic, fantasy, time-travel and Ireland sparked her interest in creating the Irish Witch Series and her growing collection of published novels. Growing up in a very small Manitoban village on the Canadian prairies left a lot of time to create stories and let her imagination soar.

An author for nearly thirty years, Leigh Ann has almost completed writing her fourth series with Tule Publishing and will soon begin a fifth. Besides writing, Leigh Ann loves spending time with her four grandchildren, reading, traveling, doing intuitive readings and reiki. Leigh Ann and her husband, their two cats, one large dog and their Boston Terrier puppy, live near Edmonton Alberta, Canada.



A WITCH’S DESTINY: Release day blog featuring author Leigh Ann Edwards!

GIVEAWAY: Read until the end of the post to see what we have in store for you! Join us in celebrating Leigh Ann Edwards’s final book being released in the Irish Witch Series.

I’m so happy to be featured on the Tule Blog today, on this the release day of A Witch’s Destiny, Book Seven, the final installment in the original portion of my Irish Witch Series. It has been such an exciting couple of years. I have loved every single portion of it even when I sometimes stressed over my struggles with technology or upcoming deadlines.

Often during my book launches or book club and library author visits, I am asked what inspires my writing or where I get my ideas. Readers also have many questions regarding whether I have a specific time of the day I write, or where I prefer to write, etc.  I think I have answered most of these questions in previous blogs, but readers also tend to be very curious about when I began writing and how I became published. I know those topics haven’t been discussed on the blog, so I thought I’d share some of that information today.

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