Tag Archives: Barbara Hannay

Tule Author Q&A: Barbara Hannay shares her hero and heroine’s first kiss!

Barbara Hannay stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in the Outback Babies series, His Best Friend’s Baby!

Where did you get the inspiration for His Best Friend’s Baby?

Gosh. Sometimes I can pinpoint exactly when or how I settled on a story idea. Other times, they just seem to have arrived out of the ether, and this was one of those times. A couple of years ago, though, I wrote a single title about a woman who had a surrogate baby via IVF for her sister (The Sister’s Gift), so it’s possible that variations on that IVF theme were still floating at the edges of my imagination. In any case, when I was invited to write a Wirralong Baby story (thanks so much, Tule) this idea arrived quickly and it didn’t want to shift.


This is a charming friends to lovers romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

Thanks. I do love friends to lovers, possibly because some of the earliest stories I fell in love with, like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women, were essentially about friends to lovers. Mind you, I also find the trope challenging, as you don’t usually get to write the first meet cute, or the “getting to know you” scenes that come with other tropes. An added challenge is that there has to be a believable reason for these friends to not fall in love or discover their true feelings early in the piece. But exploring that history is always fun.

Another favourite trope of mine is “secret baby” and I’ve written just about every version of that possible from many different perspectives. I guess it’s a trope that also requires the characters to at least have a history, so maybe that’s part of the appeal for me. Bottom line, both these tropes bring a lot of underlying tension and I always like to know I have plenty of tension brewing before I can start writing.


Can you share a fun fact about your hero and heroine, Seth and Polly, to help readers get to know them better?

Well, Seth is all round gorgeous – owns his own garage in Wirralong but has also been building his own beautiful house on the outskirts of town. (Inspired by a builder friend of mine – and here’s a pic of friend’s house)

Polly is a computer geek and so a little nerdy, but she’s also not very good at mixing socially. This made her rather different from my usual heroines, but I loved showing how motherhood and reconnecting with Seth helped Polly to grow and relax and come to understand her true feelings.


What was your favorite scene to write and why? 

Oh, my favourite scene to write was most definitely the first kiss scene. Polly has been struggling for so long to deny her feelings for Seth and she is very nervous about taking things further and, because of this, Seth knows she needs to initiate this kiss.

As I was writing the scene, I was also listening to classical music on the radio and suddenly a piece came on that was so absolutely beautiful and so sad and full of underlying tension that I had to find it and play it over and over. (In case you’re interested it was Mahler’s 5th Symphony Adagietto and you can listen to it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8LZ43LA2nY

 I’m hoping I managed to capture just a fraction of the music’s qualities in this scene. 

Here’s a snippet from the lead-in to that kiss.

The words Polly needed to say next were the most difficult she’d ever uttered and she had no idea how they’d be received. She squeezed her face tight. She was terrified. ‘I just wondered if maybe we needed to kiss – and get it over with.’ 

Phew. Now the hardest part was out, Polly managed to add, ‘And then we would know once and for all – and we could get on with our lives with the big question answered.’

Seth still hadn’t moved, but there was a heart-stopping sheen in his eyes. ‘Sounds like a plan, Pollz.’

She felt compelled to make it clear. ‘And even if there were sparks, we could still keep things casual. No strings.’

 ‘You don’t want strings?’ he asked, lifting one dark eyebrow.

You don’t want strings, Seth.’

‘I don’t?’

‘You – you’ve made such a big thing about us just being friends.’

‘I have?’

‘Of course. Last year, when you were so generous and everything.’

‘Oh, yeah, right.’ Seth nodded as he took this in. For Polly, it was hard to tell if he was amused or sad, or if he was dealing with some other emotion altogether. ‘Well, okay,’ he said. ‘Let’s stick with no strings.’  

‘So no one will get hurt.’

Very gently, he said, ‘I’d hate to hurt you, Polly.’

‘Well, no you won’t hurt me, actually, because this was my idea and if it turns out to be a big mistake, it was my mistake. And if I’m upset by the kiss for any reason, then I’d only have myself to blame.’

It felt like an age before Seth answered.

‘You’ve got it all worked out.’

Polly shook her head. ‘I don’t have anything worked out, Seth. I just feel like we’ve had this big question mark hanging over us for so long and I’ve been trying to pretend it’s not there and the pressure keeps building.’

‘It’s called desire, Polly.’

She nodded.

‘And I quite like your idea, your experiment. I’m willing to be a guinea pig.’

Oh. This wasn’t quite what Polly had expected. Apart from setting his glass on a side table, Seth still hadn’t moved. Wasn’t he supposed to be reaching for her by now?

‘You going to make a move on me, Pollz?’

Polly’s heart thudded hard. ‘You want me to kiss you?’

‘Isn’t that the plan?’

‘I – I’ve only ever done it the other way round – where the guy is the kisser and I’m the kissee.’


What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Barbara O’Neal’s When We Believed in Mermaids’ I’m not very far in, but absolutely loving it. Barbara is a wonderful writer – her settings, characters, storylines and attention to detail are just fabulous and this story about sisters and a huge mystery is incredibly intriguing.


About the Author

Barbara Hannay is a former high school English teacher who was first published in 1999. Since then she has written over forty books for Harlequin and has published eight single title novels with Penguin Australia.

With more than twelve million copies sold worldwide, Barbara’s novels have earned her five RITA nominations from Romance Writers of America and she won a RITA award in 2007. She is also the recipient of two Romantic Book of the Year awards in Australia and one of her novels is currently being developed as a television movie by Brainpower in Canada. Barbara lives with her writer husband on a misty hillside in Far North Queensland.

Tule Publishing May 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for May!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the May 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.


A Hard Yes by Sinclair Jayne Sawhney (American Heart)

Release Date: May 3, 2022

Misguided Masala Matchmaker, Book 1

Is it a love for the ages or just a season?

Rohan Kapoor is the golden boy of Charlotte. As a newly minted cardiothoracic surgeon with several prestigious job offers, potential brides eagerly line up when his parents—pillars in their Indian American community—hire a matchmaker. Even his favorite cousin Rani has a plan to divine his perfect match. But Rohan’s not looking for a bride, and then he takes a wrong turn, meeting a woman who changes the way he feels about everything.

After years of traveling and painting commissioned murals, artist Solei Beals wants to plant roots now that she’s been hired as a high school art teacher. She meets Rohan at an art festival, and the attraction sizzles. During the festival of Holi, Solei admits she’s fallen in love with a man who’s made it clear he’s not free to commit beyond spring.

As summer teases, Rohan’s family obligations and expectations create a barrier Solei’s not sure he’s willing to breach. And if Rohan’s not willing to fight for her or the life he says he wants, why should she?

Smooth Talking Texan by Katherine Garbera (Texas Born)

Release Date: May 5, 2022

The Rossis of Whiskey River, Book 2

He’s her best friend, but she wants so much more…

Barrel racer Colby Tucker has never said no to her best friend and secret crush, Olivier Rossi. When the handsome and charming rodeo clown asks her to attend his brother’s wedding as his pretend fiancée, she reluctantly says yes. This might be her last chance to either nudge Olivier into falling in love with her or finally get him out of her system.

Olivier’s proposition to Colby was impulsive. But she’s the one person in his life he could count on and—unlike his family—Colby never judges. But from the moment they begin “practicing” their parts, Olivier knows he’s in trouble.

Suddenly Olivier wants more than a fake relationship. But is Colby only playing a part or are her feelings as real as his?

Find out in the latest Rossis of Whiskey River novel by USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera.

The Casterglass Heir by Kate Hewitt (Holiday)

Release Date: May 10, 2022

Keeping Up with the Penryns, Book 3

Meet the Penryns…an eccentric family determined to keep hold of their castle in the wilds of Cumbria.

Sam Penryn, the only son and heir, has returned to Casterglass with deep reluctance. After dedicating his life to far-flung adventures to forget his past, the last thing he wants is to come home and take the reins of his family’s crumbling estate. But he knows his duty, and his sisters are doing their best to turn their ancestral ruin into an interactive tourist attraction. He can surely do the same, even if he dreads every moment…

Rose Lacey has spent her life as a nomad, adopting a carefree attitude to protect her fragile heart, which worked until she met—and then left—Sam. Their goodbye becomes hello when she shows up on his doorstep months after their fling, pregnant and uncertain what she wants from him, yet believing he needs to know he’s going to be a father.

Sam is gobsmacked by Rose’s return—and he remembers just how hard he fell for her. Despite his own hurts and hard memories, can Sam be brave enough to convince Rose to fall in love with him all over again, this time for keeps?

Six Days of Spring by Charlee James (American Heart)

Release Date: May 12, 2022

Northampton Hearts, Book 3

Thrown back into a decades-old family feud, she discovers not all is fair in love and war.

When free-spirited potter Dahlia Reynolds and her dad take over running her sister’s shop, The Pickle and Preserve, for a six-day spring farmer’s market, she doesn’t expect to run into Tristan Black, the son of the man who greedily destroyed her family’s business. Despite learning he’s a commercial property owner like his father, Tristan seems different. Dahlia discovers he’s shy but charming, honest, and committed to helping his community. Her father is unforgiving, but Dahlia believes everyone deserves a second chance, and she’s giving Tristan his.

Tristan Black has lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes since he was a teen. He’s determined to shed the aura of mistrust that plagues his family name, but his past is never far behind. When Tristan sees Dahlia again, the secret crush he had on her when they were kids blossoms. He longs for another chance with her, but how can they build a future when the past and her father’s fury surround them?

Flipping the Script by Amy Kathryn Jones (American Heart)

Release Date: May 16, 2022

Matched, Book 2

After an unexpected season finale, the future of the hit reality show Matched is in jeopardy.

Field producer Kat Kramer needs a bold, last-ditch idea to save her job and the show she loves. Her boss and former lover dangles an overseas promotion, but Kat knows he’s really trying to get rid of her to appease his estranged wife. Kat wants to stay in L.A.—she doesn’t want to live in a city where her best friend, coworker, and secret love isn’t.

Matt Corrado has enough drama. Next season’s intended star won’t commit, the show’s relationship expert wants to quit, and his sullen teenage daughter has taken over his sofa, determined to reunite her divorced parents. While Matt will do almost anything for his kid—like staying in a loveless marriage for years, even as he secretly pined for Kat—he’s determined to finally move forward.

Kat’s solution to the show’s problem is bold: produce a winter wedding special featuring last season’s controversial match. The solution to Matt and Kat’s personal drama is even bolder: fake a relationship to convince everyone that they’re in love.

A Perfect Engagement by Karla Kratovil (Muse)

Release Date: May 17, 2022

The Maidens of Marbury, Book 1

When Charlotte Grisham is saved from an out-of-control carriage by a handsome gentleman, she knows fate has sent her the perfect man. The Marquis of Hawksridge is titled, handsome, and heroic—precisely the kind of gentleman her parents want for her husband. Before Charlotte knows it, she is engaged to be married.

Daniel Weston can’t believe his identical twin brother is marrying a lady he barely knows. Moreover, he’s begging off his own engagement party. Daniel allows his twin to talk him into going to the week-long house party in his stead…just for a few days. They used to pretend to be each other all the time in their youth. What could possibly go wrong?

Charlotte immediately realizes her fiancé has sent in a doppelgänger, but continues the ruse so no one will realize her fiancé has all but abandoned her. Everyone sees her as perfectly behaved. But perfect girls do not share searing kisses with men who are not their betrothed. Charlotte knows her duty, but what about her heart?

His Best Friend’s Baby by Barbara Hannay (Holiday)

Release Date: May 19, 2022

Outback Babies, Book 1

She needs a little favour…

Polly Martin has given up on love, but not on becoming a mother. She returns briefly to her hometown of Wirralong to proposition her childhood best friend, Seth Ramsay, confident he’ll agree to be her IVF donor.

Seth walks out of their reunion dinner date after Polly’s clinical and unemotional proposal. How could she think he was the type of man who wouldn’t take an ongoing interest in his child? A year later, still haunted by Polly’s question, he seeks her out in Melbourne and finds her heavily pregnant, unemployed, and barely making ends meet. Seth invites Polly back to Wirralong for a weekend only to end up delivering her baby girl early and finding himself more charmed than he could have imagined.

As Polly and her newborn recover at Seth’s house, their friendship is back on, but Seth wants more. He feels like he’s finally within reach of his dream when the town gossips send Polly fleeing home. And now Polly must ask herself searching questions, including where her new future lies.

Preserving the Evidence by Kaz Delaney (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: May 23, 2022

Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries, Book 2

In this small town, not everyone is who they claim to be…

When amateur baker, and now amateur sleuth, Rosie Hart finds herself embroiled in another mystery in rural Airlie Falls, Texas, she can’t believe her bad luck. Soon the town is reeling from a murder, an unidentified body, a late mayoral challenge, missing town money, and a strange group of socialites gathered at a mansion out of town.

With so many of her new friends suspected of wrongdoing, Rosie can’t sit on the sidelines any longer. She’s convinced these strange occurrences are connected, but she’s running out of time to prove how. She’ll need to unmask a murderer before there’s another body to add to the tally.

Snooping around undercover is harder than it looks, and Rosie will be lucky to get out of this one without more casualties than a batch of burned Buried Treasure Cookies.

The Way to Hope by Eliana West (Southern Born)

Release Date: May 24, 2022

Heart of Colton, Book 4

Rhett Colton has spent the last two years working deep undercover for the FBI. He’s forsaken his friends and family to keep his community safe, but now that his mission is over, he’s haunted by what he’s done and is having a hard time returning to his previous life. Only two things are keeping him from becoming totally lost—his dog, Rebel, and the beautiful new town veterinarian.

Jasmine Owens is ready to start over in the charming town of Colton, Mississippi, by opening her own veterinary practice. Jasmine knows what it’s like to constantly have her abilities questioned, but she’s strong enough to persevere. When she agrees to board Rhett’s dog while he’s away in D.C., they begin talking every night over the phone and she realizes Rhett isn’t the man she thought he was. He’s so much more and sparks quickly fly on both ends.

But when new threats surface, Jasmine and everyone in Colton’s safety are threatened. Rhett will need to make a decision. He’s always sacrificed everything for his job, but is he willing to risk their relationship too?

A Mother for Ella by Trish Morey (Holiday)

Release Date: May 26, 2022

Outback Babies, Book 2

They both desperately need a second chance…

After enduring a family tragedy and scandal, all Amber McGuinness wants is to bury her past. She settles in faraway Wirralong and opens an accounting practice, hoping for a fresh start. As she settles into town and is embraced by the warm community, Amber gets her first client. His taxes are a mess, but his smile, dimples, and adorable baby more than make up for it.

Between work, parenting, and fighting for custody of his fifteen-month-old daughter, Todd Sinclair—Sinclair to his friends—is barely keeping his head and farm above water. His new accountant puts his finances in order, but she messes with his heart. After his disastrous marriage, he’s sworn off romance, but Amber gives him renewed hope.

As Amber and Sinclair spend more time together, they wonder if the mythical magic of Wirralong is real—until a reporter starts digging into Amber’s past, revealing secrets that threaten her newfound happiness. Can Sinclair convince her to stay and fight for their life and new family together?

Home to Cypress Bayou by Susan Sands (Southern Born)

Release Date: May 31, 2022

Louisiana, Book 1

It’s not true that you can’t go home again, but do you want to?

Paris gallery owner Leah Bertrand returns to her historic, moss-draped Louisiana hometown to fulfill a deathbed promise to her friend and mentor. She’s been matched as a bone marrow donor to a stranger, yet the match is so close that doctors suspect a family relationship. But how? Leah’s family has always seethed with drama, but this visit home promises secrets as deep, dark, and mysterious as the water in Cypress Bayou. And then her ex arrives, and Leah realizes the feelings and secrets she buried years ago have come back to haunt her.

Dr. Jake Carmichael returns to Cypress Bayou after years away and is shocked to see Leah, his childhood sweetheart and first love, back in town and on his patient roster. The sparks still burn, but when he tries to discuss what went wrong and perhaps rebuild their relationship, Leah refuses.

Jake’s not ready to give up on their future together. But Leah fears she has even more to lose this time…


Tule Author Q&A: Barbara Hannay discusses the Outback Brides and Wirralong!

Barbara Hannay stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in the Outback Brides Return to Wirralong series, A Nanny Called Alice!


Leafed TreesWhere did you get the inspiration for A Nanny Called Alice?

I have always loved writing “fish out of water” stories and I often bring city girls into the outback. This time it was fun to dump a heroine from a completely different country into this almost alien environment. Sadly, there have been some real-life stories about outback muggings, but I was determined to provide a hero and a happy ending for Alice’s situation.


Are your characters set before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go? 

I know the basic core of my characters before I start and I like to make sure they’re plunged into a strongly emotional situation, but I mostly write organically and discover more about them as I write.


Did they ever surprise you?

Alice’s relationship with Tom’s nieces, Freda and Ivy, certainly surprised me. Alice had no experience of being a nanny and felt quite out of her depth, so it was fun to watch her learn on the job.


How does Alice differ from your other Outback Bride, Jenna?

Jenna is a confident and successful lawyer and brings a high level of expertise when she arrives in Wirralong. Alice is almost the opposite, with no university education and limited life experience. She’s on a journey to widen her horizons and discover her true purpose.


What has been your favorite part about writing stories in Wirralong?

I’ve loved the chance to contribute to the wonderful Wirralong community that my fellow authors have created.  And after writing longer, more complicated, multi-generational stories, it’s been fun to write these shorter stories that focus on one couple. I’ve enjoyed the chance to dive deep and aim straight for the heart.


What are you currently reading?

Ah! I’ve been caught up with another deadline, but now I’m rewarding myself by reading the first book in this Return to Wirralong series – Kelly Hunter’s gorgeous Matilda Next Door.


About the Author

Barbara Hannay is a former high school English teacher who was first published in 1999. Since then she has written over forty books for Harlequin and has published eight single title novels with Penguin Australia.

With more than twelve millions copies sold worldwide, Barbara’s novels have earned her five RITA nominations from Romance Writers of America and she won a RITA award in 2007. She is also the recipient of two Romantic Book of the Year awards in Australia and one of her novels is currently being developed as a television movie by Brainpower in Canada. Barbara lives with her writer husband on a misty hillside in Far North Queensland.