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Tule Author Q&A: Joanne Walsh’s new Greek hero heats up

Tule author Joanne Walsh took some time to give us inside information on her new release, The Greek’s Bedroom Bargain.

We have to ask, have you ever been to Greece?
I’ve visited Greece many times.  I’m fond of all the southern European countries around the Mediterranean and Aegean, but it’s the Greek Islands that hold a special place in my heart.

Each island has its own unique character, and I love island-hopping by ferry to discover pretty whitewashed towns and villages tumbling down hills and mountainsides to the azure sea, and meeting the locals who are always hospitable and ready to share their culture, traditions and history—and serve their yummy cuisine. The best times have been when I’ve sat with friends and a gin and tonic on an idyllic, peaceful beach, watching a magnificently fiery sunset, or occasionally, when I’ve danced until dawn and then been treated to the equally unmissable sight of the sunrise on a pearl-gray-misted horizon.

I treasure the vacations I’ve spent in Greece, and it’s a joy and a privilege to share my memories with readers, weaving the sights, sounds and experiences garnered on those trips into the Greek Island Millionaires trilogy.

What about Kathos made your heroine Frankie pick it for the spot to heal her heart?
Frankie’s looking to find peace and answers. Her marriage has broken down in a hurtful way and all but taken the life she had in England with it. Her mom has an old schoolfriend, Alison Angelis, who settled on Kathos thirty years ago, marrying a Greek man and setting up a rescue shelter for the numerous feral animals that populate the island. It seems like the perfect time for Frankie to take the summer off, go stay with Alison, help out in the shelter, lick her wounds and think about next steps. She’s not looking for another relationship, but soon Nik Kontarinis, millionaire entrepreneur and a volunteer captain at the local firehouse, strides into her life. Although Nik makes it clear he’d like a fling with Frankie, she’s determined not to get involved…until it dawns on her that if she wants to make real the idea she has about staying on Kathos and starting over, she’s going to need him and…well, you can find out how that works out in The Greek’s Bedroom Bargain!

What inspired your hero Nik to become a volunteer firefighter?
Nik’s the kind of guy you want to have around in a crisis. He’s a natural leader, good at taking charge and keeping his cool, and he has strong desire to give back to the community that has nurtured him since he was orphaned as a baby after an earthquake struck Kathos in which his parents were killed.  He’s fit and works out loads (Frankie is left dry-mouthed by his muscular physique!), so firefighting is another physical challenge he relishes.

But there’s another reason behind Nik’s drive to be a first responder. He carries a good deal of guilt about Marco, his adoptive younger brother, who disappeared when he was a toddler while the teenaged Nik was supposed to be minding him. Nik and his other two brothers, Sergei and Dimitri, have never stopped searching and holding out hope that, someday, Marco will be found alive and well. Fighting fires and saving people and places helps Nik to manage how he feels about Marco’s absence.

Greece is known for great food. Does Nik have a dish he’s mastered?

When Nik first meets Frankie, he’s used to having food cooked for him—he owns two bar-restaurants and a nightclub and he knows all the best tavernas on Kathos. But once he gets to settle down, he becomes a dab hand in the kitchen, as readers will see in The Millionaire’s Marriage Proposal, book three of the trilogy, when he throws a party to celebrate his brother Sergei’s song-writing success, treating his guests to his signature dish: Lamb Kleftiko, in which a leg of lamb is sealed and roasted for five-and-a-half hours with lemon, garlic and herbs, and potatoes to soak up the delicious juices. This he serves with a Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumber, onion, greens, and black Kalamata olives tossed in a mint yoghurt dressing.  Teleios(perfect)!

What are you currently reading?
An Orphan’s Wish by Molly Green, which is set in England during the Second World War. Molly is a member of the writers’ group I also belong to. I love historical romance fiction, and Molly is a wonderful storyteller—she has a real gift for penning vivid characters and heart-warming plotlines full of twists and turns that bring the wartime period beautifully but honestly to life.

 

About the Author
Joanne Walsh became hooked on romance when her grandma gave her a copy of Gone with the Wind for her birthday. The teachers at her strict girls’ school didn’t approve of a ten-year-old reading such a ‘racy’ novel and confiscated it. But Joanne still became a voracious romance reader and, later, an editor for one of the world’s leading women’s fiction publishers, where she could do two of her favorite things: work with her beloved alpha-male heroes and spend time in the USA. These days, Joanne lives in the south of England and divides her time between freelance editing, writing and spending time with her very own real-life alpha…

 

 



Tule Author Q&A: Lenora Worth explains inspiration & restoration

Tule author Lenora Worth took a moment to talk about her new release, Closing the Deal.

Is there a particular inspiration for The Brides of Blossom, Texas, series — either from your travels or TV/film?
The inspiration came to me when a wedding venue popped into my head. I imagined three friends making it work and I wanted to tell each of their stories. The idea held my heart so I’m glad I’m finally writing this series.

Did you have to do any research on home restoration?
I did a lot of research on Texas historical sites and what had to happen to received historical status from the Texas Historical Commission. I envisioned the house as a jewel that needed cleaning and shining. I love old houses and watch a lot of HGTV’s Rehab Addict.

Hill Country Texas is known for some great food. What do you imagine is Drake’s favorite dish?
I think Drake would like a good medium-rare steak and all the trimmings. He’s used to eating great food and since his friend Holt (hero of book two in The Brides of Blossom, Texas) runs a food truck, he’d also love tacos and a good barbecue sandwich, too.

What is Sarina’s favorite memory of her grandmother?
I think her favorite memory is of the wind chimes that her Nana loved. They are like a reminder from heaven that her grandmother loved her in spite of the tragedy that brought them together. Her Nana also left her the hidden history of her home, which is a turning point for Sarina.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Mary Kay Andrew’s Sunset Beach. I love a good beach read! And of course, I have several Last Stand, Texas, books on my Kindle app, waiting to be read!

About the author

Lenora Worth writes romance and romantic suspense for Love Inspired and also writes for Tule Publishing. Three of her books finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards and several have been RT Reviewer’s Choice finalists. She also received the RT Romance Pioneer Award for Inspirational Fiction. “Logan’s Child” won the 1998 Best Love Inspired for RT. She has made the NY Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With eighty books published and millions in print, she enjoys adventures with her retired husband, Don. Lenora loves reading, baking and shopping … especially shoe shopping.


Tule Author Q&A: Jamie K. Schmidt gets in the Last Stand saddle + GIVEAWAY

Tule author Jamie K. Schmidt moseyed on over over to discuss her new new release, The Cowboy’s Daughter (the first installment in the Three Sisters Ranch series). Bonus: Check out the giveaway below!

Welcome to Tule! What is one thing you can tell our readers that no one else knows about you?
Hi!  Thank you!  The one thing that no one else knows about me is that I don’t really like coffee. Gasp!  I like the effect that the shot of caffeine give me, but in order for me to enjoy it, my coffee can’t taste like coffee.  So I doctor it up with heavy cream, and sugar free syrups.

This is the first cowboy book you’ve published. How did your approach to writing this novel differ from your others?
I’ve always loved cowboys. I think they’re so polite, in addition to being sexy and tough.  I’ve been to Billy Bob’s Honky Tonk in Texas.  That’s where I saw my first professional bull riding event and I was hooked.  We took my son when he was little to see a PBR show in the Hartford Civic Center a few years ago.  He was scared by all the pyrotechnics, but it was great to see a larger show.  When I thought about the Three Sisters Ranch series, I knew that I would have to have a bull rider as a hero.

The relationship between Trent and his daughter, Alissa, is so sweet. Where did you find the inspiration for this?
I’ve found that the men who sowed their wild oats when they were young, really appreciate their daughters and tend to be more protective of them because they are afraid they’ll hook up with someone like they used to be.

What song would be in the soundtrack to Kelly and Trent’s love story?
“I Can Love You Like That” by John Michael Montgomery.

What are you currently reading?
I’m not a faithful reader so I usually have two or three books going on at one time. Currently, I’m reading Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient, Shayne Silver’s Angel’s Roar, and J.D. Robb’s Seduction in Death.

To celebrate the release of The Cowboy’s Daughter, I’d like to
give away a bracelet like the one my hero is wearing on the
cover.  Just comment below with “I can’t wait to read this!”
and we’ll pick a winner out at random  at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, June 7.

 

 

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.

 


Tule Author Q&A: Kimberley Ash makes our mouths water & heartstrings pull

Tule author Kimberley Ash took the time from across the pond to share with us some insider details on her new release, Forget Me (Book 2 in The Van Allen Brothers series).

Laurel is converting a greasy spoon into a gastropub: What menu items can she keep on the menu?
Laurel has quite a learning curve to go through to adjust her prejudices against some of the comfort food that Sullivan’s offered before she got there. She asks the regulars what they like and after a couple of missteps, she finds a balance. The burgers remain, as do the chicken fingers, but she ups the game with things like top quality meat and a panko coating on the chicken fingers. She keeps the buffalo wings but adds a better side dish to offset their heat. And then there are her homemade rather than shop-bought desserts… which make her irresistible to Jonah.

Why did Jonah and Laurel break up originally?
Their initial relationship, ten years ago, was a heady three-month rush of an affair, kept secret because Jonah was the town bad boy and Laurel was the good girl. The secrecy added to the spice. But Jonah had a lot of issues to work through, and back then he was numbing them with alcohol. Laurel was falling in love with him, but her father was an alcoholic and she knew the path Jonah might be going down was one she couldn’t help him out of. So she broke up with him. Ironically, her actions made him re-evaluate his life and he stopped drinking.

Why do you think Jonah picked psychology?
All the Van Allen brothers, at their core, want to help people, and this determined their career paths. For Jonah, his own journey through therapy made him want to help others the same way. He’s also an observer and so can keep his own feelings separate from his clients’. Unfortunately, he keeps them from himself as well.

What is Laurel’s favorite thing to cook? Do you have a recipe for us?
After Jonah’s reaction to her brownies, I think that recipe would be her favorite, and I’ve added it at the back of Forget Me. But her recipe for Mint Sauce really sends him over the edge, and it’s not something I see often in the U.S. This is my mum’s recipe and was my dad’s responsibility with roast lamb for Sunday lunch.

Mint Sauce
Wash and pull the leaves from the stems of a bunch of mint, discarding the ratty-looking ones. Put the leaves on a chopping board and sprinkle 1½-2 teaspoons of sugar over them. Get your biggest chopping knife and chop the leaves up small. This part will smell amazing. Put the chopped leaves in a sauce bowl and add 2-3 teaspoons of white wine vinegar. This will also smell amazing. Then pour enough boiled water over to about half-cover the leaves. Stir and leave for a few seconds to melt the sugar. Take a sniff of the whole thing because… yes, it smells amazing. You can add more sugar or vinegar to taste. Spoon over grilled lamb chops and hand-feed to tasty neighbors!

What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Adriana Herrera’s American Dreamer. A wonderful, authentic voice that makes me want to go find an Afro-Caribbean restaurant, stat! For Mother’s Day my daughters gave me Tracey Garvis Graves’ The Girl He Used to Know, and I can’t wait to get stuck in to this second-chance romance.

 

Kimberley Ash is a British expat who has lived in and loved New Jersey for twenty years. When not writing romance or romantic women’s fiction, she can usually be found cleaning up after her two big white furry dogs and slightly less furry children. You can reach her at www.kimberleyash.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.

 

 



Tule Author Q&A: Paula Altenburg highlights lifelong value of teachers

Paula Altenburg took some time to sit down with us and discuss her new release The Rancher’s Secret Love, the second installment in the The Montana McGregor Brothers series.

Your heroine Mara is a dancer — did you take lessons as a kid or are you just a fan?

Thank you for having me here today. And yes, I did take dance lessons as a kid! Tapdancing. I loved the noisy shoes, but all I remember is the instructor saying, “Brush one, brush two.” I can brush like nobody’s business, but that’s about it. I think it would be more honest to say that Mara’s a dancer because I’m a fan. Plus, a free-spirited dancer really did seem like the kind of partner a nerdy professor, who’s a cowboy at heart, needed to balance his life.

What is Luke’s favorite movie?
Luke’s favorite movie… I’m not sure I can come up with just one, but he’s definitely all about CGI and special effects. He’s not watching them for the plotlines.

Luke and Mara are both teachers — did you have a favorite teacher?
I did have a favorite teacher. Terry Wadden, my high school English teacher. I contacted him after I wrote my first book and reminded him that he once told me he’d read anything I wrote. (Be careful what promises you make, teachers.) He made me feel even more important by thanking me because I was one of his first students, and my book came out as he was about to retire, making it part of his story. (Don’t bother doing the math on that one.) He tells new teachers to remember that they do make a difference, because they do.

On that note, my mother was also a teacher and she encouraged me to write from the start. I’m sorry to go on about this, but teachers are so important and she’s a great example. She loved her students as much as she loves her children. She has Alzheimer’s now and the fact that she has a daughter who writes is one thing she hasn’t forgotten, even though she struggles every day to remember what (and who!) is important to her. When we were going through her belongings, and trying to decide what she should keep, we found a box of her memorabilia. I can still see the look on her face as we went through each piece and she couldn’t remember why it once meant something to her. Then I found a letter from one of her former students who wrote to her on her retirement to tell her how much she meant to her, and what a difference my mother made in her life. My mother, who has faced this disease with amazing stoicism, started to cry because she remembered that particular student, and then proceeded to tell me all about her. She told me to throw everything else in the box away but that letter.

So if you had a favorite teacher, please take the time to thank them and tell them why. I promise you, they were your favorite teacher because you were important to them, even if they don’t remember your name, and they will welcome the gesture.

What actress would play Luke’s ex-girlfriend in a movie?
Another great question! Luke’s ex-girlfriend isn’t a terrible person, she’s simply very self-contained and focused. She comes across as cold because nothing has touched her yet, and that includes Luke. They meshed on an intellectual level, which was important to them both when they were students, but he always knew there was something deeper missing from their relationship. I’m trying to think of what actresses I’ve seen lately who would suit the role, but unless they were in a Marvel or X-men movie, I’m at a loss. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique might work.

What are you currently reading?

Heartthrob by Robin Bielman. To shake things up a little, and because I love anything with a western theme, I’ve got a book by Harlan Coben on the go and I’m re-reading my Louis L’Amour collection. I just finished a Lee Child novel, too. I don’t read a whole lot of romance while I’m writing romance.

 

 

Paula Altenburg lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and two sons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys working from home and writing fulltime. Paula writes fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as short contemporary romance.


Sasha Summers shares something sweet from new release

What summer snack would Gwen Hobbs make? Author Sasha Summers answers that question with a recipe for peach nectar bars that her heroine would create in the Draeger Ranch kitchen in her new Last Stand release Sweet on the Cowboy.

Easy Peach Nectar Bars



Tule Author Q&A: Gerri Russell covers broadswords & ‘brogue-light’

Tule author Gerri Russell took the time to discuss her new release in the All the King’s Men series, Romancing the Laird.

What is your favorite thing about writing historical dialogue?
For me, writing historical dialogue is like playing a balancing game. It’s tricky trying to make a book historically accurate while making the words assessible to the modern reader. If I laboriously researched the historical context of every word used in the 16th century and added a thick brogue for all the characters in my story, I would finish one novel in about five years, and it would take readers almost as long to figure out what the character were saying!

There are two really important aspects to writing historical dialogue. First, use dialect lightly so that it sets the stage but doesn’t overwhelm the narrative of the book. I like to say I use “brogue-light” and usually only for my secondary characters. And I toss in a few Gaelic or Celtic phrases, more for setting than actual dialogue. Second, it’s important to use the right words by checking what date words came into use. For instance, my hero cannot be mesmerized by the heroine in 1591 because the word did not exist until 1820 as a result of Franz Mesmer, the illustrious 19th century magician, whose association with hypnosis was so great that “to be mesmerized” came to be synonymous with being in a trance or hypnotized. I’m a writer. I love words, and figuring out what words my characters can say to tell their story is one of my favorite parts of writing.

Lucy is an elite archer. Does she have natural skill or is she well-trained?
Lucy is highly atypical for a woman of her century. She is not one to stay in the shadows, to follow the dictates of the men in her life, or to trust that those men will protect what she loves most—a sister who is vulnerable due to illness. In order to accomplish her goal of protecting her sister, Lucy taught herself how to use a bow and arrow by watching the castle’s guardsmen and imitating what she saw until she was a better bowman than any of those in her father’s employ. She did not need a partner to battle against in order to train as an archer since her weapon of choice has more to do with skill and accuracy then power.

Who is more stubborn: Lucy or Reid?
That’s a tough question because both Lucy and Reid are both terribly stubborn! Reid is duty-bound to protect king and country, and will let no one and nothing stand in the way of that duty. Whereas, Lucy is bound by the bonds of love to her sister. She will do anything, even sacrifice herself, to keep her sister safe. But I do think Lucy has had more obstacles to overcome in order to achieve her goals, so her stubbornness is more of an asset than a detriment. Lucy and Reid are a perfect match for each other. Their life together will never be boring.

Reid Douglas is a warrior — what is his favorite weapon to yield?
Reid’s weapon of choice is the broadsword—which is considered the king of weapons. It was used by the Vikings, the Crusaders, and knights in armor. For a thousand years it was the classic weapon of the west and a symbol of power, religion, authority, and the subject of myth and legend. It was a weapon that was strong enough to defend against heavy blows, and yet light enough to deliver a fast and accurate attack. In the right hands, the broadsword could and did change history. Why would Reid use anything else?

Without giving too much away, what is next for the All the King’s Men series?
In the next book in the All the King’s Men series, we meet Lachlan, the youngest of the Douglas men and of the King’s warriors, and Elizabeth, the daughter of the Ruthven clan leader. The Ruthvens and the Douglases are bitter enemies. When the King and Queen of Scotland order Lachlan and Elizabeth to marry, hoping to end a feud that has spanned three generations, they do as they are commanded but do not go quietly into marital bliss. As tension builds between the couple, outside forces threaten not only their lives, but the very fabric of Scottish society.

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.