Category Archives: New Releases

TEXAS COWBOY SWEETHEART – Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Rebecca Crowley!

Did you know that only 9% of American farms are run by women? And that women farmers are, on average, younger than their male counterparts and more likely to be first-timers? Those facts add up to a bigger one: that more and more women are choosing this field, and that we’re on the cusp of a big shift in who’s wearing the pants in American agriculture.

That’s why I’m excited to introduce you to Josie Star, the heroine of my most recent Tule release, Texas Cowboy Sweetheart. Josie’s family has been in Last Stand, Texas for generations, and so has her family’s ranch, the Lone Star. But when her dad has an accident and she leaves her corporate career to come home, she becomes the first woman to take the reins of the two-thousand-acre cow-calf operation.

Luckily for Josie, she can rely on Easton McKinney, the ranch foreman – and the best friend about whom her feelings are best described as “it’s complicated” – to help her get situated, but that doesn’t mean she’s in for an easy ride. Resistant ranch hands and antiquated systems are hurdles she’ll need to overcome, all while balancing her family’s legacy on her shoulders.

So maybe it’s no wonder that so many women farmers are in start-up mode! After all, sometimes it’s easier to start something from scratch than trying to change what’s already in place. For Josie, though, there’s more on the line than just the ranch’s profit and loss statement. She’s writing a new chapter of her family’s history book, and she wants it to be the best one yet.

One of my favorite parts of the research for Josie’s character was learning more about the day-to-day of life running a ranch. I probably shouldn’t admit how many hours I spent watching farming videos on YouTube! It’s so fun to get a peek into such a unique way of life, that is both deeply traditional and full of innovation. That’s certainly the balance Josie has to strike: respecting the past while moving forward into the future. All while catching feelings for her lifelong best friend!

I hope readers will enjoy this unique workplace romance, in which the office is a ranch and the heroine is the boss! Texas Cowboy Sweetheart is also a friends-to-lovers tale and the first book in a new series, so keep your eyes peeled for the next installment in my Stars of Texas series!

Rebecca

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.

 


THE REPLACEMENT: Melinda Di Lorenzo Talks New Release and Author Name!

What’s in a name? A rose by any other…yeah, you’ve heard that one before, right? Well, let me tell you a little story about my one and only regret as a professional writer. Yep. It’s my name.

Why, you might ask? It’s a perfectly good name. Not too common. Even a little romantic. And I don’t disagree. But if I could go back in time and change one thing about my career, it would be changing my name. Actually, it would be changing my names, plural. Why, you ask? It’s simple. I would love to have separated my genres (women’s fic, rom com, rom sus, mystery, YA, and thriller) by author name. I’ve thought about this so much that I even have names picked out non-existent pseudonyms for each one. For both women’s fiction and YA, I would keep Melinda Di Lorenzo. For my rom com stories, I would choose Minnie Read (my nickname and my maiden name, and which I think is super cute). My rom sus and mystery, I’d go with M.A. Read (my initials and maiden name). And finally, for my mystery and thrillers, I’d become M.D. Lorenzo because it makes me sound like a doctor. Sort of. ;)

But alas, I’m not a time traveler. And I think having only one regret in a decade and half of work isn’t too shabby, anyway. Which means my latest thriller, The Replacement (OUT NOW!), will be the real me, Melinda Di Lorenzo.

About the Author.

Melinda Di Lorenzo is an Amazon bestselling author, whose additional work includes titles for The Wild Rose Press, Amazon Encore, and Harlequin. She writes in a range of romance genres, from heart pounding heat, to nail biting suspense, to gutsy adventure.

Melinda lives on the beautiful coast of British Columbia, Canada, with her amazing and quirky daughters and her handsome hero of a husband. When she’s not writing, she can be found curled up with (someone else’s) good book, on the running trail, or at the soccer pitch.


THE RANCHER’S LOST BRIDE: Release Day Blog Post from Author Roxanne Snopek! (Plus a Galentine’s Shout Out!)

Celebrating the Love of Friends

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate love in all its forms. Yesterday, Tule celebrated “Galentine’s” Day, when we spotlight the love between gal-pals. I suspect that you, like me, have women friends who are as necessary as air, who make you laugh, who hold you when you cry, who cheer your triumphs and commiserate with you when you’re down. (Or maybe kick you in the pants, if that’s required!)

In my latest release, The Rancher’s Lost Bride, the friendship between three main female characters is pivotal to the storyline. Leila, our heroine, relies heavily on the advice of her friends Kendall, who starred in book one of the series (The Cowboy’s Lost Family), and Diana, a vital secondary character in all four books. Both women have stakes in Leila’s search for her birth family and it takes the three of them to figure out the most important clues.

I have so many great women friends who lift me up when I’m down, who remind me of what’s loveable about me when I can’t remember a single thing, who challenge me to be my best self, who look after me, who celebrate me… Some of you are right here, right now, reading this, so I say… THANK YOU (and I’m taking a huge risk by naming names) to: Connie, Dianne, Ruth, Julie, Cindy, Lynn, Robin, Paula, Stephanie, Lee, Pauline, Charlene, Diane, Teresa, Jami, Andrea, Leigh Ann, Denise, Mia, Jane, Shari, Kate, Riet, Megan, Janet, Kim, Beverley, Della, Heather, Ronda… I sent you all virtual chocolate and flowers from my heart to yours!

Thank you for being YOU!
– Roxanne

About the Author.

Born under a Scorpio moon, raised in a little house on the prairie, USA Today Bestselling Author Roxanne Snopek said “as you wish” to her Alpha Farm Boy and followed him to the mountain air and ocean breezes of British Columbia. There, while healing creatures great and small and raising three warrior-princesses, they found their real-life happily-ever-after. After also establishing a successful freelance and non-fiction career, Roxanne began writing what she most loved to read: romance. Her small-town stories quickly became fan favorites; print editions of her latest series were recently launched in France.


February Releases to Check Out! (Plus a GIVEAWAY!)

Read more about our new releases for February!

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

The Cowboy’s Prize by Jamie K. Schmidt
Release Date: Feb 1, 2024

She vowed she’d never date a cowboy…

LeAnn “Killer” Keller is determined to be the first woman in the WPRCA to win a buckle in bull riding. She’s sworn off the distraction of rodeo cowboys, until her sister hires veteran bull rider Dylan Porter, not knowing that LeAnn and he indulged in a steamy one-night stand last season. LeAnn intends to keep their night together a secret, but Dylan’s kind, sweet and oh so tempting.

Dylan Porter was eager to reconnect with the woman who rocked his world last season, but he never imagined he’d be training her to ride bulls. She wants to keep their hook up a secret from her overly protective family, which is disappointing because Dylan felt like she could be the one. He’d like to walk away, but he needs the money.

When a male rider is killed by a bull gone wild, Dylan tries to keep LeAnn from competing. He knows she’ll never forgive him if she misses her shot, but he’d rather have her safe, even if he loses her forever.

The Accidental Crush by Mia Heintzelman
Release Date: Feb. 6, 2024

Dante Fortemani’s family never takes his ideas seriously during business meetings, so he zones out. That is, until the agenda includes selling his late grandfather’s struggling vineyard. Desperate, he appeals to his mother and siblings, and buys himself two months to protect their legacy.

Business consultant Morgan Forster is constantly connected to anything with a digital pulse. Her friends believe she’s a stressed-out workaholic in need of an intervention: a Galentine’s Day getaway in wine country, an electronic detox, and hopefully, Mr. Right feeding her grapes.

The Fortemani Vineyard Galentine’s brunch is a smashing success for Dante. Except for the woman hiding in a corner with her phone…who’s convinced he’s an escort hired by her helpful Sister Circle. Soon, laughter, undeniable chemistry, and an unforgettable night, lead Dante to hire Morgan to help save the vineyard. She accepts under one condition: it’s strictly business.

As they tread through an inconvenient attraction to create a proposal before the next meeting, though, their focus yields to blossoming feelings. Is it a mistake for them to mix business with pleasure? Or is a chance at love worth the risk?

The Rancher’s Lost Bride by Roxanne Snopek
Release Date: Feb. 13, 2024

Leila Monahan is creating her dream family, but when her fiancé gets cold feet, she sends him packing. A sperm bank would be easier but first, she’ll take a DNA test. She doesn’t care about finding her birth parents, but her future children might. The surprising results are nothing to the shock of seeing her first true love back in town, with an eight-year-old daughter.

Sawyer Lafferty loved Leila, but her desire to get married—at nineteen!—sent him running. Before settling down, he wanted an education and opportunities. But those, and any future with Leila, vanished with the unexpected arrival of his baby girl. Now a single dad with full custody, he’s come home to manage Grand’s new therapeutic riding stable and rebuild his life.

Leila is gutted to learn that Sawyer wanted a family after all—just not with her. But little Piper quickly captures her heart, and when Sawyer shares the circumstances of his marriage, the spark they once had flares back to life, but is it enough to sustain them? Or will the secrets and lies surrounding them douse it forever?

The Replacement by Melinda Di Lorenzo
Release Date: Feb. 15, 2024

Ari Strange thought she’d survived the worst after the sudden death of her husband. She couldn’t have been more mistaken…

Nearly two years have passed since Ari’s husband died in a shocking hit-and-run, and she’s finally beginning to feel normal. She has a job. An apartment. She’s fully focused on her miracle–her 13-month-old daughter, Lucy-Kate. And she never dreamed it could all go sideways again in an instant…

On a freezing winter night, Ari wakes to find a blood-covered woman taking Lucy-Kate from her crib. In minutes, she goes from frantic parent to being accused of kidnapping her own daughter. The police don’t believe her story. They don’t even believe that Ari is Ari. Rather, they’ve taken the side of the woman who claims—with proof—to be her. The only person who gives Ari the benefit of the doubt is her unfriendly neighbor. But his behavior is sketchy, his motives unclear.

As evidence mounts against Ari, the time to save Lucy-Kate is running out. Can she uncover the truth before she loses everything all over again?

The Cowboy Charm by Sinclair Jayne
Release Date: Feb. 20, 2024

All work and no play is not how this cowboy intends to spend his day…

Former special forces soldier Ryder Lea has dedicated his life to serving others. Now honorably discharged, he’s looking to return to his cowboy roots to work as a rodeo stock contractor and travel the country he’s spent years protecting. But first, he has an obligation in Marietta, Montana to his fallen commanding officer. Surely completing a few hours of community service won’t be that challenging?

Physical therapist Edison Martin is short-staffed and underwhelmed when the tall, broad-shouldered cowboy with the ‘awe shucks’ smile swaggers into her clinic as her latest community-service volunteer. She needs trained help, not eye-candy. And Ryder reminds Edi of everything she’s lost and every man who’s done her wrong.

Bound by duty and compassionate by nature, Ryder dives into his temporary role with humor and enthusiasm. His motto: make a difference. But what will it take to get statuesque, super serious Edi to smile and remember that each day is a gift?

Texas Cowboy Sweetheart by Rebecca Crowley
Release: Feb. 22, 2024

The land they love might tear them apart…

Josie Star knew one day she’d step into her father’s boots and take over the Lone Star Ranch, but she hadn’t expected it to happen so soon. When her father collapses, she trades her corporate desk for a dusty tractor to shoulder the legacy of generations of Jewish Texans. She’s ready to take her place in the Lone Star’s history – with a little help from Easton McKinney. The ranch foreman is her lifelong best friend – and a man for whom her feelings once ran much deeper.

The Lone Star gave Easton the stable home his upbringing lacked, but when Josie returns, the dirt beneath his boots crumbles. She broke his heart when she left – and now she’s his boss. He’ll help her find her feet, but he won’t abandon his dream of running his own ranch. Maybe her homecoming is the kickstart he needs to finally move on from the Lone Star – and from her.

When Josie uncovers troubling family secrets, she needs Easton more than ever. But can he stay knowing she’s forever out of reach?

A Death in Chelsea by HL Marsay
Release: Feb. 27, 2024

Inspired by the remarkable life of Dorothy Peto, the Metropolitan Police’s first female superintendent.

During war, death isn’t only found on the battlefield…

It’s 1915 and war continues to rage across Europe, but at home in England, the members of the Women Police Volunteers are more accepted and their numbers continue to grow. However, founding member, Dorothy Peto is frustrated at being consigned to office duties and training recruits. Then, early one morning, her friend Margaret finds a dead body in the garden next door.

When they discover the wealthy victim’s will is missing, the list of possible suspects grows. Once again, Dorothy finds herself working alongside the inscrutable Inspector Derwent. Determined to prove herself a worthy investigator even as she battles personal loss and feuding friends, Dorothy gains the trust of witnesses, and pits her wits against a killer who may not stop if threatened.

Dark Irish Demon by Leigh Ann Edwards
Release: Feb. 29, 2024

Tall, dark and devilishly handsome Lorcan Wright can spot evil better than anyone. As a half-demon, he knows it well, and numbs his own urges with alcohol and the many women eager to share his bed. Now, however, he’s determined to use his supernatural abilities for good. His job locating and assessing magical beings at the LAMB agency seems perfect… until he disagrees with them on which evil beings should be destroyed.

Lovely Fiona Maguire is a strong, independent woman who’s been around long enough to trust her instincts. She’s also a powerful witch employed at LAMB and has no patience for Lorcan’s immature antics. About the only opinion they share is the stupidity of LAMB’s rules. Why let someone die when, with a wave of her hand, she could send them to a safer time or place, right?

Rogue agents aren’t popular at LAMB, so when disturbing events occur that could change the course of human history, Lorcan and Fiona are forced into a partnership. Their assignment: gather a team of other gifted creatures from the past, uncover the mystery, stop the evil and save the current world.

To do that, they must first learn to trust each other.

Saving the world might be easier.


THE COWBOY’S PRIZE: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Jamie K. Schmidt!

Hello everyone!

I’m so happy that today you can read The Cowboy’s Prize.  It’s the first book in my new series, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, but it’s come a few familiar characters from my six-book series the Three Sisters Ranch.  Like all of my books, The Cowboy’s Prize can be read as a standalone, but it’s a lot more fun when you can recognize the people and places in the background.

The Cowboy’s Prize is a steamy tale of LeAnn Keller.  Fans of my Three Sisters Ranch series will remember her from A Cowboy for Merry.  LeAnn wanted to be the first woman’s bronc champion.  In this book she’s still riding broncs, but she’s turned her attention to bull riding.  Her sister, Dolly, is worried about her and hires Dylan Porter to help hone her skills and keep her safe.

There’s one slight hitch in that… Dylan and LeAnn had a one-night stand and things are a little … awkward between them.

LeAnn has three older sisters: Dolly, Reba, and Loretta.  Their parents were huge country western fans.  LeAnn was named after LeAnn Rimes and Lee Ann Womack.  The songs from LeAnn Keller’s namesakes I think that would best suit her would be:

Can’t Fight the Moonlight by LeAnn Rimes and I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack.

In addition to bronc busting, LeAnn is also a barrel racer.  Her horse’s name is Garth.  He doesn’t have any songs that remind me of him.  Not yet, anyway.  If you think of some, let me know.  My favorite Garth Brooks songs are Ain’t Going Down to the Sun Comes Up and I’ve got Friends in Low Places, which doesn’t really fit this horse.

LeAnn starts off the book, a little wild and a little desperate.  But she really comes into her own through the love and support of her family and of course, the enigmatic Dylan who is fighting his own demons and guilt about a tragedy he feels responsible for.

In 1839, the first recorded instance of a woman riding a bull was documented in Texas. Women have been riding bulls professionally since the 1970s, though. In 1994, however, an athlete by the name of Polly Reich decided that she was going to ride the same bulls as them men. She got roughed up pretty bad. Then in 2012, nineteen-year-old Maggie Parker gave it a shot. At five foot, four inches she got on a 1,500-pound bull with the goal to ride him for eight seconds. She didn’t make it, but that didn’t stop her. In 2020, fourteen-year-old Najiah Knight was the first girl to ride a bull at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  She beat all of her male competitors that day.  These fearless women and a few more determined athletes inspired me to tell LeAnn’s story.

Here’s a little snippet of LeAnn’s first bull ride:

***

Whiplash’s hooves barely touched the ground. He jumped. He twisted. He bucked. He did everything possible to throw her off. LeAnn’s wrist hurt from gripping the rope so tight. Her other arm that was wildly trying to help her stay balanced felt like it was dislocated. She couldn’t touch the bull with it. She’d lose all her points.

Her thighs screamed at her as she fought hard to stay on. Her backbone ached as it slammed down on the bull not once, but twice. She could not stay on for a moment longer. She didn’t know if it had been eight seconds, six seconds, or just one long second. She hadn’t heard the buzzer over the roar of the crowd and the roaring in her own head. Then she was airborne.

At times like this, LeAnn wished she was a cat because she knew she wasn’t going to land on her feet. It always happened in slow motion, and she heard Trent’s voice tell her how to fall. Tucking her shoulders, she rolled as she hit the ground. Somehow, she used the momentum to get back up on her feet and threw her hands up in the air in victory. LeAnn knew she would feel the pain later. But right now, all that mattered was that she had done it.

Or had she?

***

It just gets more exciting from there … and did I mention this book is steamy?

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.


SOMEONE ROTTEN RIDING THE RAILS: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Kris Bock!

The Accidental Detective humorous mystery series: A witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty.

Book 6: Someone Rotten Riding the Rails

Kate’s ready to blow the whistle on these crime families . . . 

Former war correspondent Kate Tessler has solved multiple murders since returning to her childhood home in Arizona to heal after a bombing injury. Now Detective Padilla approaches Kate with a proposal: Two Russian mob families have arranged the marriage of their children and hired a scenic railroad for the wedding. The FBI wants eyes and ears on that train, but anyone who infiltrates the wedding must be above suspicion. 

An Arizona newspaper will send Kate on assignment to cover the wedding, with Kate’s sister Jen posing as her photographer. Meanwhile, tech genius Mackenzie will oversee the dining car, while the seniors who make up the “Coffee Shop Irregulars” will pose as the passenger services agents who work each car.

Kate and her eccentric sidekicks are only supposed to observe and record anything suspicious, but that plan is quickly derailed. The groom disappears – from the moving train – and a search turns up a dead body but not the missing groom. The mob families aren’t about to call in the police, so it’s up to Kate and friends to uncover the truth before their whole mission goes off the tracks.

This story has roots decades in the past. When I was in my twenties, my parents moved to Saudi Arabia, where my father worked as an economist for an oil company. My brother and I joined my parents in various places for the winter holidays. One year that was Egypt as part of a tour group of Americans living in Saudi Arabia. We took a boat down the Nile for several days, stopping at various places to tour archaeology sites. Many people in the group already knew each other, and we quickly got to know them.

Which of course turned my mind to murder. Okay, that group was a lot of fun, but writers generally have a muse – or maybe it’s a little devil – whispering in their ear, “What if…?”

What if someone was murdered on about traveling down the Nile? No, what if someone disappeared from a boat in the river? How would that happen and why and who would be the suspects?

I never wrote a book set on a Nile river boat, but I did come across my notes while pondering my next Accidental Detective story. Arizona doesn’t have a lot of large bodies of water, of course. The only riverboat tour I know of, the Dolly Steamboat, has lake tours of about three hours, but I wasn’t sure how I’d make that work.

Arizona does have the Grand Canyon Scenic Railway, and wouldn’t that be a fun setting for a mystery? 

My editor commented, “What a cool idea paying homage to Murder on the Orient Express and yet in Arizona.” But honestly, that hadn’t occurred to me! And I haven’t ever read Death on the Nile either, so while this might seem like an Agatha Christie homage, it wasn’t intended that way.

In any case, I had a ton of fun researching this story. My husband and I took the train from Williams, Arizona as a daytrip with three hours at the Grand Canyon rim. I grabbed our car’s passenger services agent, Craig, and asked questions such as “What would you do if a group claimed one of their party was missing?” and “Where could someone hide a body on the train?” He was a big help and didn’t even report me to any authorities!

Writing the novel was fun too, and I hope readers will enjoy it just as much.

Learn more or purchase The Accidental Detective humorous mystery series.

About the Author.

Kris Bock headshotKris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. In the Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. This humorous series starts with Something Shady at Sunshine Haven. Find The Accidental Detective Series in ebook or print on Amazon US, Amazon UK, or at Tule Publishing with links to all retailers. 

Kris’s Accidental Billionaire Cowboys series follows a Texas ranching family that wins a billion-dollar lottery. Who wouldn’t want to be a billionaire? Turns out winning the lottery causes as many problems as it solves. The 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. Learn more at www.krisbock.com. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter to get a free Accidental Detective mystery story, a free cat café novella, and more. 

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.

Find Kris: Website

Blog  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  TikTok  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest  |  GoodReads Author Page  |  BookBub  |  Amazon US page or Amazon UK page

 

Photo one: The Grand Canyon Scenic Railway at the depot.

 

Photo two: View from the train window.

 

Photo three: Kris Bock on the train with her husband.

 

Photo four: Passenger Services agent Craig and a singing cowboy entertainer.

 

Photo five: The “Sheriff” after the train is “robbed by bandits.”


A STOLEN SHADOW: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author H L Marsay!

A Stolen Shadow is set in January, a few weeks after A Christmas Shadow ended. The opening chapters include Shadow and Jimmy watching a performance of the pantomime Snow White. Unfortunately, the production does not go according to plan and Prince Charming is poisoned at the beginning of the second act.

Pantomimes have been popular in the UK for centuries. They are a form of family entertainment and are traditionally staged at or just after Christmas. They are usually based around a fairy tale or folk story such as Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk or Robin Hood and feature familiar characters including a pantomime dame (a middle-aged man in drag) and a pantomime horse or cow (two actors in an animal costume). There are musical numbers, dancing, slapstick comedy, lots of jokes and double entendres.

Audience participation is a big part of pantomime. Sweets are often thrown from the stage, and those watching are encouraged to join in with singing songs or to boo and hiss whenever the villain appears and call out phrases like, “He’s behind you!”. Whenever a character says “Oh yes it is,” the audience responds with “Oh no it isn’t.”

As readers of other books in the Chief Inspector Shadow series can probably guess, Shadow is not a fan of the pantomime. However, their popularity shows no sign of waning, particularly when famous actors are given a starring role. Recently, Sir Ian McKellen played the dame in a touring production of Mother Goose and this year, Dame Judi Dench stars in her first pantomime as the talking mirror in Snow White at Bury St Edmunds. So, love them or loathe them, it looks like pantomimes are definitely here to stay.

About the Author.

H L Marsay grew up binge-reading detective stories and promised herself that some day, she would write one too. A Long Shadow was the first book in her Chief Inspector Shadow series set in York. Luckily, living in a city so full of history, dark corners and hidden snickelways, she is never short of inspiration. She has also written The Secrets of Hartwell Trilogy and The Lady in Blue Mysteries. The Chief Inspector Shadow Mysteries have recently been optioned for television.

When she isn’t coming up with new ways to bump people off, she enjoys drinking red wine, eating dark chocolate and reading Agatha Christie – preferably at the same time!


LUCKY STRIKE: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Janine Amesta!

I don’t think it’s very surprising to hear that, for authors, our characters are as real to us as anyone we’d come across in real life. They may be even more real because we know them, their thoughts, their feelings, so intimately. Even when a character is a “problem child”, you still love them and want everyone else to love them as well. 

In my newest book, Lucky Strike, I have one such problem child named Luna Lanza. (To be clear, she’s not a child. Luna is very much an adult woman, which is a good thing since this book is a romance.) Anyway, when I considered Luna during the story development stage, I always imagined her along the same vein as Emma Woodhouse, who I imagine is one of Jane Austen’s more divisive characters. Both are far too young to be so confident in how they think the world should work, say regrettable things, and are surprised to discover that what they always believed could be wrong.

These qualities can easily make them unlikable due to what society has told us about how women should behave, both in romance books and real life. The line for “likable” female characters is incredibly fine—there’s more wiggle room on a tightrope. But, as a writer, I like a challenge, not only because writing a troublemaker is amusing, but because I see the greatest potential for character growth. Luna can come out on the other side, not necessarily a perfect person, but at least a better version of herself. It gives me hope because I see a lot of myself in Luna, especially from when I was younger. If Luna has hope, then maybe all of us regular, imperfect, real people can have hope too. 

I think Luna knows she’s not romance leading lady material. That would be Mia, her cousin, and who Luna is constantly comparing herself to. As she says to Sam, the hero of Lucky Strike, “I’m not Mia.” For Luna, Mia represents how she should be: sunny, optimistic, sweet, and always saying the right things. In Luna’s mind, they’re as different as the sun and moon. No matter how much Luna tries, she will never be Mia. She can’t help being exactly who she is and, because of this, she thinks she will never be loved as much. It’s as though there’s a limited amount of love in the world and the sun will always be more adored than the moon.

But a person doesn’t need all the love, they only need the right kind. This is how Luna strikes it lucky in meeting Sam. He’s also imperfect, a little rough around the edges. He’s another moon. And while things don’t start off well between them, they eventually see the kindred spirit in each other. These characters who start off as unlikable grow into something likable as they fall in love with themselves and each other. And, hopefully, readers will grow to love them as much as me. 

About the Author.

Headshot of author janine amestaJanine Amesta is a California girl who now lives in the high desert of Oregon with her husband and their cat, Hitchcock. She studied screenwriting in college, but her moody thrillers always had way too much flirty banter. She’s a master at jigsaw puzzles, skilled at embroidery, and critiques bad movies on Twitter.


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.


KILLER CLOSE TO HOME: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Carol Light!

Killer Close to Home is the third book in my Cluttered Crime mystery series about Chicago professional organizer, Crystal Ward. Her latest client is her backyard neighbor, Roscoe Tremaine, who’s recovering from a broken hip and preparing to move into assisted living. A widower and something of a curmudgeon, Roscoe’s been a friend to Crys and her husband, Rick, especially when a shooting left Rick paralyzed. Roscoe’s only family—his brother, two nieces, and one great-niece—don’t see him often…by choice. When he summons them to his house, he asks Crys to stay to meet them. To her surprise, he announces he’s changing his will to disinherit his nieces and giving ten thousand dollars each to Crys and his caregiver, Wink Keller.

That night, Roscoe’s house explodes. Although the cause is soon confirmed to be a gas leak, Crys begins to suspect that it may not have been an accident. Wink is fortunate to have survived the blast, but now he’s out of a job. The explosion also has another casualty. Trying to get out of bed to help, Rick falls and dislocates his shoulder, which requires surgery. Crys hires Wink to help her husband during his recovery. 

Soon mysterious “gifts” begin appearing on the Wards’ front porch. What at first seem like childish pranks turn into vandalism and worse. Crys must learn more about the dysfunctional Tremaine family, a new neighbor overly anxious to be her friend, and Wink to stop a killer close to home before she becomes the next victim.

I’m often asked where I find my ideas, and the answer is everywhere! News stories are particularly helpful. Years ago I read about a woman who started a business delivering dead flowers and bouquets of black roses. Her clients included soon-to-be divorced spouses, victims of unhappy breakups, or others wanting to express their angry feelings in flowers. That feature story stuck in my memory and gave me an idea for one of the items found on the Wards’ front porch.

Another news story about a house that blew up provided inspiration for a cause of death that could look like an unfortunate accident. One of the worst gas explosions in recent U.S. history was in my former hometown, Indianapolis, in 2012. Much larger in scope than the one in my story, the Richmond Hill explosion killed two people, injured seven, and left twenty-seven homes uninhabitable. The owner of the house where the explosion originated and four others were convicted on multiple charges, including felony murder and deliberately causing the blast to collect insurance money. I couldn’t bear to destroy Crys’s house, not with so much else going on in her life in this book, so I scaled down the blast. Fortunately, my research led me to an article about an explosion similar in size to Roscoe’s that (oddly enough) had also occurred in Indianapolis. Maybe it’s good that I moved to Florida, where we only have to deal with hurricanes, sink holes, alligators, pythons, black bears, and heat stroke. Then again, maybe not!

I hope you’ll enjoy Killer Close to Home. Characters you’ve met in the first two books, Room for Suspicion and Deadlier Than Fiction, return to offer Crys support and comic relief, including Maggie, Mitch, and Connie, although you don’t have to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one. If you prefer to listen to books, I’m excited to announce that all three Cluttered Crime mysteries will be released in audiobook format in February and March 2024. The fourth book, No Room to Hide, will be published June 6, 2024 and will also be available as an audiobook.

Wishing you all a happy new year and hours of reading pleasure in the coming year!

About the Author.

Headshot of Author Carol LightCarol Light is an avid reader and writer of mysteries. She loves creating amateur sleuths and complicating their normal lives with a crime that they must use their talents and wits to solve. She’s traveled worldwide and lived in Australia for eight years, teaching high school English and learning to speak “Strine.” Florida is now her home. If she’s not at the beach or writing, you can find her tackling quilting in much the same way that she figures out her mysteries—piece by piece, clue by clue.