Celebrate the Release Day of Taming the Texas Cowboy with Author Charlene Sands!

* Congratulations to Lois I! You have won a free print copy of Whiskey River: The Kellys. Please email info@thetulegroup.com to claim your prize. *

1. What inspired you to pick Texas as the setting for Trey and Maddie’s story?

True Texans are a breed all their own. I have family who live in Texas and have studied the ways of the people of the lone star state, the pride and work ethic and love of the land. In my experience with Texans, I found them to be men and women of honor and intense manners. And you’ll see that come through in Taming the Texas Cowboy, the first book in my Forever Texan series. Trey is a good man, who believes the very worst about himself, and Maddie is a woman who sees him for the fine man that he is. Getting him to realize that takes a bit of doing, and at times, Maddie isn’t sure she can get through to the stubborn, prideful, protective Texan. Continue reading


RELEASE DAY! Get to Know Knights of Passion Author Megan Ryder!

1. Sports play such a significant role in each of your books. What is your favorite part of the sports romance genre?

I love sports heroes and how sexy they are. They’re so masculine and so competitive, driven to succeed and win. I like how they’re not afraid to get dirty and how they go all out for their dreams. In my books, I have heroes who love their dreams and cling to those dreams no matter what, doing whatever it takes to succeed. Sometimes, they forget there’s another world out there and they tend to take on the weight of the team on their own shoulders.

Continue reading


Meet Joy Talley and Celebrate Waking Up Joy with a BOOK BOGO Opportunity!

Cover_Forkner_WakingUpJoy
With it being the anniversary month of the publication of Waking Up Joy, Tule Publishing invited me to write a post to celebrate, and there is so much that I am excited about and grateful for when it comes to this book. Maybe you’ll celebrate too when you hear about the spectacular promotion that, in order to show our excitement, we’re offering to readers. First, though, I want to say a few words about this novel that even after two years is still the book of my heart. Continue reading


Lenora Worth takes over the Tule Blog!

Hello, Tule Readers! Happy Fourth of July Weekend and Happy Summer. I’m excited about summer because, earlier this week, Tule released the third novella in my Driftwood Bay series, set in my home state for the last few years, Florida.

BridgeNavarreXX582x640XXX214x235XDriftwood Bride is a sweet, emotional story about Melissa and Judson, who have been sweethearts since they were in grammar school. I loved writing this story because while I was writing the first two—Driftwood Cowboy and Driftwood Hero—Melissa’s story kept calling to me.

Tule let me do my own thing with these stories and I appreciate that. I live near the Gulf of Mexico and I love beach stories so this is kind of a fantasy for since I’ve always loved the ocean. I hope you’ll escape with this series and go a little coastal with us. Continue reading


Visit with author Julia Justiss on her real AND book birthday!

ScandalWithTheRancher-300dpiThe release of a new book is always a cause for celebration, but especially so when it is the start of a new venture—in this case, my first historical novella for Tule.  A company which, as readers know, puts out some of the best stories by the best authors ever, which means I’m even more honored to join them.  And for the cherry on top of the celebration, the release day is my birthday!

It’s also a parallel of sorts. Just before my birthday in 1998, Margaret Marbury with Harlequin called to say she wanted to buy my Golden Heart-winning Regency Romance.  For all of my career since (25+ books and counting) I’ve set my stories in the English Regency.  So it seems especially fitting that my debut into a new historical time period with a new publisher will occur, once again, on my birthday. Continue reading


Visit with Love, Alabama author Susan Sands!

LoveAlabama-300dpiHello everyone! I’m thrilled to be here today, and am especially excited to introduce Love, Alabama, my second Tule novel. I write small town Southern romantic stories with lots of humor and family in the mix. Again, Alabama was released last June, and while the two stories share a common setting and family, they can read as be stand-alone books.

I grew up in a tiny town in northwest Louisiana where everybody knew my name and every dang thing I ever did. It’s like that in most rural areas, I suppose, but at the time I believed it to be a stifling existence. I read everything I could get my hands on, and when I outgrew Nancy Drew mysteries, I turned to Harlequin romances. Romance novels are still my escape and virtual adventure when reality isn’t quite cutting it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a happily married woman of nearly twenty-seven years, but I still love to take a journey with a hot twenty-something firefighter, billionaire, or marine, or, go back in time to another century with a duke or pirate. Sigh.

susanXblogI now relish and have returned to, in my own writing, all the things I bolted from when I was eighteen. Sometimes, you have to get away from something to really appreciate the positives and the larger picture. Small towns mean community where people look after one another. They are filled with family, home cooking, and the familiar. Now that I have a family of my own, I love going home to Louisiana to visit my parents and spending time at a slower pace

I grew up in Louisiana, I live in Georgia, but I write about Alabama…hmm. You can find out what that’s all about on susansands.com, my website!

I love connecting with readers!
https://www.facebook.com/susannsandsauthor/
https://twitter.com/SusanNoelSands
https://www.pinterest.com/susansands/

photoXcredXAndreaXBrownSusan Sands grew up in a real life Southern Footloose town, complete with her senior class hosting the first ever prom in the history of their tiny public school. Is it any wonder she writes Southern small town stories full of porch swings, fun and romance?

Susan lives in suburban Atlanta surrounded by her husband, three young adult kiddos and lots of material for her next book.


Julie Benson: I’m a Girl. Why Is Creating Heroines So Hard?

TLATC-300dpiTule is thrilled to have Julie Benson here with us today discussing the inspiration for her Heroine in her first Tule book, To Love a Texas CowboyWelcome, Julie!

When I envisioned the Wishing Texas Series I saw the heroes, their friendship their goals, their dreams, and their fears. I knew I wanted to start with Ty’s story because his land provided the anchor for these four friends. Then I turned to my heroine, and went blank.

For me, heroines are always more difficult to create. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a tomboy. Then when I had children I had three boys. Being around that much testosterone, especially during their teen years, has to fundamentally change a woman’s thinking. Right?

Whatever the reason, all I knew was my heroine needed to be opposite personality wise from Ty. While he was organized and developed a plan, my heroine flew by the seat of her pants, and based her decisions on emotions. She was creative, while he was right brained, and she’d push his buttons. Big time.

IMG_5150Thankfully, as so often happens, inspiration struck out of nowhere. This time while visiting my BFF in Chicago. (Sometimes I think the Lord has guardian angels specifically assigned to panicked authors!) One afternoon Lori suggested we visit her friend Maureen Claffy’s art studio. She thought seeing Maureen’s studio and artwork might inspire me to create a heroine.

Boy did it. Without Maureen, Cassie Reynolds might never have come alive for me.
I’d met Maureen over the years Lori lived in Chicago, but we’d never had much chance to talk. Over the years Maureen’s life had taken twists and turns, and she’d recently returned to her art. My writing career fairly new, Maureen and I immediately bonded over the challenges of pursuing a life long dream at this point in our lives.

IMG_5652Surrounded by Maureen’s incredible artwork filled with color, strength and hope, I couldn’t help but be inspired. Maureen told me about the research she was doing for an angel series she had in mind, and her enthusiasm was contagious. Instantly I saw Cassie’s determination to keep her career going despite the upheaval in her life caused by her sister’s death. Cassie’s determination, strength, and passion for her art came straight from Maureen. She also helped me see the business side of the art. Consignment work, building a clientele, art shows, and countless other details. She provided a touch stone and resource where Cassie was concerned.

Check out more of Maureen’s fabulous art at www.maureenclaffy.com. Maybe her artwork will inspire you the way it did me. It definitely will make you think, smile, and warm your heart.

Thanks for joining us on the Tule Blog, Julie!

Start reading Julie’s To Love a Texas Cowboy!

auth_JulieBensonAn avid daydreamer, Julie Benson doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t creating stories. After graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Sociology, she worked as case manager for a social services agency before having her children. Three boys, and many years later, she started actively pursuing a writing career to challenge her mind and save her sanity. Now she writes full time in Dallas, where she lives with her husband, their three sons, two lovable black dogs, a mischievous brown one and a turtle. Julie says, while her house is never quiet or predictable, it is full of heroes.

 


Escape with the Runaway Brides

BOTR-300dpiEscape with the Runaway Brides

By Joanne Rock & Catherine Mann

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” —Maya Angelou

So often a romance novel ends with a wedding or a soon-to-be bride. The romantic storyline follows a couple as they battle obstacles to their happily-ever-after, ending with its “destination full of hope.” And, as Maya Angelou suggests, love jumps hurdles to get there.

But what if a romance novel opens with a bride leaping fences to escape the promise of her happily-ever-after? That’s the story we wanted to write when we sat down to pen our first Runaway Bride story, How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days. Yet, like any fun story premise, the idea of a runaway bride didn’t just generate one story. We wondered what it would be like if the bride was running away from Mr. Right and didn’t know he was Mr. Right (How to Lose a Groom). Then, we wondered what would happen if the bride ran from a guy who seemed perfect, but wasn’t HER Mr. Right (The Wedding Audition).

Of course, a bride could also be completely happy and ready to marry when her husband-to-be reveals a secret affair (There Goes the Bride). Or she could suddenly realize the guy she was marrying wasn’t at all who he pretended to be (Bride on the Run). The fun thing about the Runaway Brides has been that each heroine had a very different journey, but they all started with a great escape from a wedding day.

Even the escape from the wedding itself turned out to be a fun writing challenge. Our brides were inventive in their disappearing acts, shimmying out a window, commandeering a trolley, or hopping on a motorcycle to take a serious emotional “time out” from what should have been the most important day of their lives.

Maybe that’s what makes the runaway bride so compelling. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of ditching our lives and starting over at some point? No matter how much we love our kids, our husbands, our families, we have all stared out a window now and then and wondered—what would happen if I made a different choice? What would happen if I just walked away?

We enjoyed the fantasy of the escape vicariously, roaring away on a Harley in full wedding regalia. Because seriously… what if?

The course of true love never did run smooth, a Shakespearean character laments in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sometimes it takes a big shake-up to help us find the right path in life, the path that will lead us to true and everlasting love. Love recognizes no barriers—pushing us to make the romantic choices that will make us happiest. Part of the power of the romance novel is reminding us not to settle for half-measures in love. In other words, don’t marry a man just because he seems like Mr. Perfect, or because it seems too late to call the whole thing off. There is always time to trust our instincts and follow our dreams, even if that means taking a giant step backward.

That destination full of hope is worth waiting for!

tuleprize**Let’s pretend you are making your big escape today… where would you go to start fresh? Or, where would you like to be for just a day-long break? Tell us what you think and we’ll give one random poster the prize pack pictured!**

 

 

 

auth_CatherineMannACatherine MannUSA Today bestselling and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule Publishing. She and her husband have four children and live in Florida, where she is a founding member and president of the Sunshine State Animal Rescue. Visit Catherine Mann at her website or on Facebook and Twitter

auth_JoanneRockJoanne Rock has taken her love of happily-ever-afters to a variety of subgenres from contemporary romance to medieval historicals. A Golden Heart recipient and three-time RITA nominee, Joanne is a dedicated reader and super-fan of the romance genre. Visit Joanne at her website, or on Facebook and Twitter

 


An Interview with “Whiskey River” authors Katherine Garbera and Eve Gaddy!

K and E photoKatherine Garbera and Eve Gaddy
take over the Tule Blog!

WTAW-300dpiSerendipity brought the two authors together more than 15 years ago when they were assigned to room together at a writers conference in Savannah, GA.  Their friendship was cemented by arriving late to a publisher get-together and being forced to drag chairs across the lobby to join the gathering.  It was the kind of thing that has happened more than once to the two friends.

Eve is a lifelong native Texan and Katherine moved there in 2005.  Their love of the south has always been one of the many things the authors have in common.  The best-selling, award-winning authors had long wanted to collaborate on a series and so Whiskey River was born.

They have filled the town with all the things they love about Texas.  Sexy Texan tycoons and cowboys with smooth southern drawls, feisty women who go toe to toe with magnates and know how to keep those smooth talking cowboys in line. Experience the beauty of the Texas Hill Country and the sexy men who live there with them.

How do you come up with your heroes?

Eve: I think about what they are, what they do, their profession, hobbies, background and a general idea of what they look like starts forming. Then I pick pictures on Pinterest, but sometimes I’ll think it’s one picture but the hero winds up being another. Sometimes I’ll know their backstory, but often it comes to me as I write.

Kathy: I always start with what I find attractive in a guy.  I like them strong, a little-bit alpha, and determined to have the woman they want no matter the cost. Because family is at the core of every story I write I sometimes am mean and make the hero feel responsible for the loss of his family—trying to give him an extra barrier to overcome while he is falling for the heroine.

How has Pinterest influenced your writing?

Eve: 1)Pictures of good-looking men. What’s not to like?

2)Time sink—pretty pics, animal pics, funny things, clothes, houses, cakes, sand sculptures . . . hot guys . . .

3)Helps me visualize my characters, helps a lot with the setting and   descriptions of the characters’ houses, place of business, etc. For instance     I had to go looking for my hero’s horse in the next book. That was great. Now I have all sorts of horse pictures. I love all sorts of animal pictures.

4) Sometimes I’ll get an idea from some random picture on Pinterest.

Kathy:

  • I love to find photos that really capture the emotion of my characters and then I pin them to the board.
  • Then I add in quotes that capture what I think of as the core of my characters.
  • I think Eve already covered this, but good-looking, hot guys. :)
  • I love finding places that I didn’t know existed. Like for Whiskey River we found fields of lavender in Texas even though normally you think of fields of bluebells in Texas. :)

How do you get the ideas for your stories? (Yes, that question!)

Eve: Sometimes it’s a movie, or a TV show, or a song, or an article from a newspaper, or a conversation with a friend, or a conversation overheard:), or when I’m looking for something specific for one book something will catch my eye that I think might be interesting, so I put it in a file for later. Or there’s always surfing the web and clicking on links that lead to strange stories that you find when you click on each link and it sends you to more links and before you know it (usually hours later) you’re looking at an article on alien babies birthed by celebrities with bad plastic surgery results. What, I haven’t written that story yet? Well, I might. You can’t tell.

Kathy: The ideas of my stories come from everywhere.  Usually from a combination of interesting news stories I’ve read, conversations with my hubby and kids, movies I watch, TV shows…pretty much everywhere.  I have written a lot of books and so sometimes people are surprised I still have stories to tell, but I don’t think I’ve even come close to telling them all.

I’m also really nosey about people so I will watch them from behind my dark sunglasses and try to figure out why they are doing whatever they are doing.  I have spent hours just watching people and being inspired by my version of their lives.  :)

Where do you work?

photo eveEve: Sometimes in my office. A lot of the time in my chair in the den. But if I really need to work and get a lot accomplished, then my office is the best place. With a laptop, though, you can work anywhere. I’ve written in the car while my husband drives when we go to Colorado. A long trip as I’m in Texas.

 

Kathy: I work wherever I can.  I have an office which I use most every day for my daily page count, I either sit at my desk or in my big comfy chair.  I’ve been using an app for the iPad called Hanx Writer (it’s named after the actor Tom Hanks).  The app turns my iPad into a typewriter with the old typewriter sounds.  I love it!

Sometimes I really need to get out of my regular space, especially if I’m distracted by a new book being released and then I go to the café and write.  I find that I’m unwilling to sit on Facebook or play games when I think someone else might see me!

Describe your office

photo (8)Eve: That depends on a lot of factors. I usually try to clean my office after I finish a book. Sometimes I manage to do it, but sometimes I don’t. I am not neat. I have piles of stuff to be filed, a bunch of SWAG for giveaways, books, of course. Notes! Notes everywhere on every kind of paper. Stickies everywhere, scratch paper that might have something important on it or might be junk. Small notebooks that are each supposed to be for a certain book or project. Yeah, I try but that doesn’t happen. They’re all jumbled up. I have a whiteboard with a bunch of colored markers. (I don’t always use it but it helps a lot sometimes.) Printers, TV, magazines, dog bed I just had to get rid of because cute little Ellie peed on it again. Sometimes my laptop is even in there!

 

 

My DeskKathy: I have a huge counter top that I used as my desk.  It’s set to my height and I have two monitors on it.  On my desk are post-it notes from my husband and my kids.  One reminds me to “stay fresh”—not sure what that means, but I do try!  I also have stuff my friends have given me over the years and little figurines I collect.  Above my monitor on the wall I have a quote by Carl Sandberg “Nothing happens unless first a dream” and an affirmation.

I have a bookcase to the left of where I sit that is jammed full of my favorite books on writing (Stephen King’s On Writing and Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer) and then my binders where I keep everything that is involved in my story.  The synopsis, the letters from my editor, my research and then when it’s released reader letters.

What is a “best thing about writing”?

Eve: I can work in my pajamas, or my shorts, or my old shirt that should be thrown out. I don’t have to wear make-up. I can work anytime I want, and often do. Sometimes one a.m. Or during the day. Whenever I feel like it. (Well, unless life interferes and I have to do something else.) But to me the best thing is the feeling I get when everything is falling into place. The characters are talking to me, the plot is writing itself, I write a particularly touching scene. Or a funny one. Or one I know is good. When the writing is going well, there’s nothing else like it.:)

Kathy: Truth? It’s that I get to make up stories for a living.  That’s it for me.  I’ve always loved telling stories and the fact that I get paid to do it makes me very happy.  Readers who take the time to write to me and let me know how my books helped them or cheered them up make all those hours by myself in my office worth it. I also really love that I am can call myself a writer.  They are the most fascinating people I’ve ever met and I like being part of that group.

Thanks so much for joining us, Kathy and Eve, and thank you Book Lovers for visiting with us! Start reading the first book in the Whiskey River series, Where There’s a Will, now!


“Waking Up Joy” Author Tina Ann Forkner takes over the Tule Blog!

Cover_Forkner_WakingUpJoyTule is thrilled to have Tina Ann Forkner  here with us today, chatting about what a special place home is in books and in life. Her novel, Waking Up Joy, is only $0.99 for a limited time! Take it away, Tina.

Writing Waking Up Joy was a little bit like going home for me. I grew up in an area of Oklahoma that is very similar to character Joy Talley’s hometown. A large part of Oklahoma is part of the Great Plains, but Joy’s town, Spavinaw Junction, is special. It rests in the Northeast corner of Oklahoma, just a few miles from Arkansas and Missouri in the foothills of the Ozarks. This area of Oklahoma, also called Green Country, has a decided Southern influence and its heavily wooded landscape, rolling hills, and twisting creeks and rivers provide a beautiful backdrop to Joy’s tale. All of these details are familiar to me in real life, and in fact, as I wrote Waking Up Joy, I really did go home.

During the writing of Waking Up Joy, I spent many summertime hours in Oklahoma on my parents’ front porch surrounded by a forest of trees. My parents live a humble life, but I’ve always thought they were blessed to be surrounded by such a beautiful garden of woods and wildflowers. The only trick to writing my novel as I sat on their porch was getting up early enough in the morning to write when it was still cool. In case you’ve ever wondered, it’s hot in Oklahoma, so by the time my daddy walks out on the porch with his coffee, it’s already too hot to write. This is why I also wrote some of Waking Up Joy around a pool.

This is where I leave the heat behind and head to a place where I can more easily cool off while I write. Just thirty minutes of driving along winding roads through some of the most beautiful forested landscape and lakeside communities takes me to my brother’s house. He has a pool. As much as I love the trees, floating the river with my parents, and watching the nieces and nephews trap minnows and crawdads on the creek banks, I also like kicking off my flip-flops, taking a dip in the pool, and kicking back in the lawn chair to write. This is one of the places in which I also wrote Waking Up Joy. The only problem with this kind of writing is the propensity to set aside the writing of a book for the reading of one. What could be better than grabbing a good book and a glass of iced tea – or a margarita with my sis and sis-in-law if the hour is right – and whiling away the hours in the shade of an umbrella?

I love going back home, and that’s one of the reasons I wrote Waking Up Joy. It reminded me of where I grew up. I now live in Wyoming where my husband was born and raised, but I’m still a Southern girl at heart. It won’t be long and I’ll be going for another visit and taking a stack of good reading material with me. If I were Joy Talley in Waking Up Joy, it’d be a big stack of romance novels, so my stack will include plenty of those.

auth_TinaForknerTina Ann Forkner writes Women’s Fiction and Romance. She is the author of Waking Up Joy, Rose House, and Ruby Among Us. She lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming with her husband, three teenagers, and two spoiled dogs, but she is a Southern girl at heart. Learn more about her and her books at www.tinaannforkner.com