Tag Archives: Charlee James

SIX DAYS OF SPRING: Release day blog post featuring Charlee James + A GIVEAWAY!

Hello, Tule Readers, 

Charlee James, here!

I’m excited to share the third book in the Northampton Hearts series, SIX DAYS OF SPRING, with readers. Spring has been a longtime favorite season of mine. There’s something so refreshing about seeing cheerful daffodils poking their sunny heads up from the ground after a cold New England winter. 

SIX DAYS OF SPRING is an enemies to lovers romance surrounding a decade-old family feud. In the interview below, I’m happy to share more about the book through the eyes of the main characters, Dahlia Reynolds and Tristan Stoll.  

Feuds, Flowers, and Foot Pain: An Interview with Dahlia Reynolds and Tristan Stoll

QUESTION: Tristan, tell us about your first interaction with Dahlia. 

TRISTAN: Aside from nearly shattering every bone in my foot? I thought it would be a dull, routine day at work with my father. He bought and sold commercial real estate, and we stopped at the Reynoldses family business to collect an overdue lease payment. While my father and hers discussed business in the back room, she asked me a few poignant questions, like why my dad hated her family so much. That’s right. This bold, spirited kid squared her shoulders and let me have it. Then, she proceeded to stomp on my foot and storm out of the store. Aside from the lasting podiatry pain, she really opened my eyes to my dad’s business practices. Let’s just say he really wasn’t on the up and up. All joking aside, meeting Dahlia changed the trajectory of my life. Made me want to be a better person than the one my father was raising me to be. 

QUESTION: Dahlia, what was your first impression of Tristan? 

DAHLIA: He was a sullen, spoiled brat with the bluest eyes I’d ever seen. I had a few questions for him, and if I know Tristan at all, he’s probably already mentioned how a girl with Godzilla-Esque strength pummeled his foot. Really, he’s being a bit dramatic. His dad had purchased the strip mall where my parent’s business was located and raised the lease rates sky-high to force shops to shutter or fall into financial ruin. My dad was so dead set on keeping our store– my family chose the latter. I see now that there are a million things my parents could’ve done differently, but the past is over. 

QUESTION: If your families disliked each other so much, how did you reconnect? 

DAHLIA: My sister Lacey got into a bad car accident and needed help with her business, The Pickle and Preserve. A six-day farmer’s market in Northampton makes up a large portion of her yearly income, so my dad and I decided to stay in the city and handle the preparations while Lacey recovered. When I arrived for the tour, I thought I had found the perfect place for us to stay—an apartment rental that also allowed dogs— but then I discovered Tristan owned the building. 

QUESTION: Tristan, what went through your mind when Dahlia’s apartment inquiry came across your desk?

TRISTAN: I can’t outrun my past. Then, this might be a good opportunity to right some wrongs. When I opened the door and saw Dahlia on the steps, every thought evaporated from my mind. I was captivated.

QUESTION: I can’t imagine Mr. Reynolds was okay with renting from Tristan. 

DAHLIA: He was at first, but only because I didn’t tell him who owned the building. I had no idea Tristan lived in the penthouse on the top floor. Every time my father left the apartment, I was on edge, worried he’d bump into Tristan. 

QUESTION: When did you realize that Tristan was nothing like his father, and maybe you’d been wrong to judge him so quickly?

DAHLIA: I had built Tristan up in my mind as this horrible, cold businessman, but his actions told me a different story. He never tried to tell me I was wrong about him. Still, the way he jumped in to help me during an emergency and made sure my dog was alright amidst a thunderstorm weren’t the actions of an unfeeling jerk. He had turned into everything his father wasn’t. 

QUESTION: When did you discover your feelings for Dahlia went beyond the misplaced guilt of your childhood?

TRISTAN: The attraction was instant, but I promised myself I’d stay away. My father had done enough to hurt her family, and I knew it would kill her dad to see her with me, a Stoll. Only, I overestimated my willpower when it came to Dahlia. With her, I’m completely defenseless. 

For more from Tristan and Dahlia, pick up a copy of SIX DAYS OF SPRING and escape with stolen kisses and midnight garden waltzes in the beautiful city of Northampton.  

 

For a chance to win a signed copy of SIX DAYS OF SPRING and a $15 Amazon gift card, tell me about your favorite springtime activity. Giveaway closes May 19, 2022 at 12 pm PT. (US only)

 

All of my love and warm spring wishes. Happy reading!

Charlee   

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: Charlee James shares her ideal Valentine’s Day date!

Charlee James stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the second book in the Northampton Hearts series, Fourteen Days of Valentines!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Fourteen Days of Valentines?

When I thought of the concept for this book, I was working at a job in human services. Some of the folks really needed a champion, which made me think of the importance of those who volunteer their time or go out of their way to help someone. The type of people who add a little extra warmth to a world in desperate need of some TLC. Adam and Savannah bond while rallying the community to aid the local kids club. All it takes to make a difference is a gesture of empathy, a single person, or a community to wrap around and uplift an organization. 

 

Three Red Heart BalloonsWhat would be your ideal Valentine’s Day date?

Dates tend to be few and far between with young kids, but dinner as a family with some Valentine’s cupcakes sounds perfect. If my husband and I could sneak in some time to ourselves, it would be nice to go to a quiet restaurant, talk, and enjoy each other’s company. 

 

How do you relate to Savannah, your heroine, and how do you hope readers will relate to her? How do you relate to Adam?

Savannah shares my love of bearded dragons. As a roommate, I was happy to give her Gilbert, a rescued lizard. In personality, Savannah turned out to have similarities to my cousin Kelsy, a home inspector who knows everything there is to know about buildings. I hope readers can relate to her tenacious spirit and ability to put one foot in front of the other during difficult times. Adam is everyone’s rock. Steadfast and patient. As a psychologist, he helps others make sense of the events in their lives but prefers to prioritize others before himself. Savannah makes him take a closer look at the relationships in his life. 

 

Where and when do you get most of your writing done?

My favorite place to write is sitting on the living room couch or up in my office. I try to write every day, even if it’s only a few hundred words at a time. Those stolen late night hours after the kids go to bed add up. I also appreciate how often my husband takes them on day trips close to deadlines so I can have some long stretches of writing time. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I just finished reading the romantic suspense series Gemini Group from Riley Edwards. If you enjoy military alpha heroes, these books are fantastic. Next, I’m reading The Killer in Me by Winter Austin from the Benoit and Dayne Mystery series. Reading is my absolute favorite pastime, and I’m a sucker for binging series.

 

About the Author

Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel and was instantly hooked by the genre.

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, her early career as a wedding planner gave her first-hand experience with couples who had gone the distance for love. Always fascinated by family dynamics, Charlee began writing heartwarming novels with happily-ever-afters.

Charlee is a New England native who lives with her husband, daughters, two rambunctious dogs, a cat, and numerous reptiles. When she’s not spending time with her tight-knit family, she enjoys curling up with a book, practicing yoga, and collecting Boston Terrier knick-knacks.

TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS: Release day blog post featuring Charlee James!

Twelve Fun Facts About Twelve Dates of Christmas

  1. The idea for this book was born at Walmart. I ran into a man searching for a particular doll for Christmas, and I couldn’t let him go it alone. We braved the holiday madness and found it! That experience two years ago is the basis for how the two main characters meet. 
  2. The hero, Owen Ellis, shares a likeness to Mr. James. Shy. Super smart. Adorable introvert. 
  3. Grace McGovern is an extrovert like me. Opposites attract! I can talk, and talk, and talk…
  4. After Owen and Grace’s chance meeting at a local toy store, they grab hot cocoa together. The date turns into a whole hot chocolate tasting. I was kicking myself for weeks after writing this scene because there was not a hot chocolate in the entire state of Massachusetts that was safe from me. 
  5. One very special Christmas, my parents got my sister and I a horse. We both loved to ride, and they made some sacrifices to give us this wonderful wish. Holly was a beautiful mare that only did things on her terms. She was the boss and never let any of us forget it. My sister wanted Holly to be part of a Colonial throw-back video for a school project, but the horse was having none of it. She escaped and ran through the streets of our town until we caught up to her. I had fun developing a horse-drawn sleigh scene for this book and showing Grace’s perspective of the experience (magical) versus Owen’s (horrified.)
  6. One of the dates in this story is a glass-blowing class. This is on my bucket list! 
  7. Grace and Owen visit a European-inspired Christmas Market in the book. This scene was the most difficult to write because I kept going back to scale down all the treats the characters ate, so there would be room for actual romance. 
  8. Before the start of this series, we took a family road trip to the city of Northampton so that I could refresh my memory on all the sights, the downtown area, and the architecture. 
  9. One of Grace’s holiday traditions is caroling. I’ve only gone once when I was very young, but I remember the memory of snow-filled streets, dozens of handheld candles, and the happiness of the season. 
  10. When my parents were dating, my father told my mother that he also skied like she did,  never expecting to hit the slopes with my mom. Of course, he didn’t know what he was doing. He went straight down the hill, through the fence at the bottom, and out into the road beyond. That story was in my head while writing the tubing scene in this book. 
  11. Twelve Dates of Christmas marks my fifth book with Tule Publishing, a wonderful group of professionals who believed in my writing from the start—thank you for your mentorship! 
  12. Sending everyone lots of love this holiday season! 

 

xoxo, 

Charlee  

 

About the Author

Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel and was instantly hooked by the genre.

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, her early career as a wedding planner gave her first-hand experience with couples who had gone the distance for love. Always fascinated by family dynamics, Charlee began writing heartwarming novels with happily-ever-afters.

Charlee is a New England native who lives with her husband, daughters, two rambunctious dogs, a cat, and numerous reptiles. When she’s not spending time with her tight-knit family, she enjoys curling up with a book, practicing yoga, and collecting Boston Terrier knick-knacks.

HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS: Release day blog featuring Charlee James

Happy autumn, Tule Readers, 

Hugs to you all!

No matter what is going on in the world, books are always my go-to destresser, and I definitely needed them this year. 

With the holidays approaching, I’m excited to share my new release, HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS. In the town of Hollybrook, residents eagerly anticipate the grand finale of the Christmas Eve Spectacular at The Candy Manor. The Victorian mansion houses the Hunters’ gourmet chocolate and confection business. Even though Kayla Hunter lives in the city, she returns to her hometown each year to help her grandparents with the event preparations. This year is different, though. Not only have her grandparents decided to retire, but they’re leaving her and Dominick Rowe, a family friend and town lawyer, to oversee all of the arrangements. 

I loved writing these characters and enjoyed how their opposing personalities come together for one common goal. Kayla Hunter is so organized and structured that she sometimes misses out on the fun of spontaneity. As Hollybrook’s lawyer, Dominick Rowe is a business professional through and through, but there’s something magical about being in the moment and following your heart that makes things all come together uniquely. The scene below is from the beginning of the book when Kayla and Dominick begin turning The Candy Manor into a winter wonderland. 

 

Excerpt:

He found her in the next room, sitting among half a dozen boxes of décor, brows adorably drawn together just as he had imagined. She had a list at her feet. A really long, complicated-looking list. The bows were stacked in one corner, opposite a tangle of garlands. A trio of reindeer were positioned near her knees, and a Rubbermaid tote bursting with colorful ornaments sat behind her. 

“Kayla?” he said softly. She let out a shriek and dropped the pen she was holding. “Sorry. I was calling to you. I brought pizza. I know it’s still a bit early, but we can always warm it up.”

“That sounds amazing. Thanks.” She lowered the clipboard and tried to stand, but she had wedged herself in with bags and boxes. 

“Do you need me to dig you out of that avalanche of good cheer?” He’d kind of hoped she had embellished the amount of work that needed to be done, but there were a whole lot of decorations at her feet.

“Very funny. This is only six boxes of stuff.” She combed her fingers through her hair, pushing the strands away from her face. The honeyed strands caught the light, shimmering against the rich chestnut color as she moved. “I’d hoped to get so much more done, but we had a rush of shoppers right before closing.”

“There’s more than this?” How could someone accumulate so many decorations? 

She let out an amused hmph. “Yeah, there’s more.” She stood, brushed off her knees, and gestured toward the hall. “Let’s go up to the attic and figure out what we’re dealing with.”

For the next thirty minutes, they battled back cobwebs and crawled through tight spaces to bring the Christmas boxes down to the second floor from the attic. 

“Twenty-three boxes, to be exact,” Dominick said, as he handed Kayla the last container. He was impressed by the amount of seasonal décor packed in the attic—and slightly horrified. 

“Looks like Gram hit the end-of-season sales last winter.” Kayla held the large box to her chest and glanced around for a place to put it down. “Hard.”

“Hang on. I’ll get that.” He made his way down the fold-up stairs and took the box from her when he was within reach. 

“Thanks for helping me get these down. I’m going to have to sort through and devise a plan of attack. I think it’s pretty safe to say we won’t be doing much decorating tonight.” Her forehead creased, and he couldn’t help but want to make her laugh, so it disappeared. 

“Why not? We’ll take these down to the main floor and get started.” He was already moving, but she reached out and laid a hand on his arm. 

“I was making a list, sorting everything so we could decide where to put it all.” A predictable blush colored her cheeks, and she let her hand fall to her side. “It needs to be magical.” 

There was something so intriguing about a woman who seemed as practical as they came talking about creating magic for others. His parents had given him a gift or two around the holidays, but there was no time for trees, lights, or decorations. “Can’t we just, you know, wing it?” he asked. 

Her eyes widened. “I’d rather strategize. Make sure we’re doing it right the first time.”

“Or we can get creative.” He grinned, enjoying the back and forth. “The results might surprise you.”

“I’m not a big fan of surprises,” she muttered, and grabbed a four-foot-tall nutcracker from atop the boxes. 

“You don’t say.” He chuckled and was rewarded with a smile. “How about I start taking these boxes down and unpacking? You can do what you need to do with the list. Note things down while I take them out. Teamwork.” 

She blew out a breath, gusting up a piece of her hair. Would it feel soft between his fingers if he brushed it away? They stood in the quiet hall of the manor, her butterscotch eyes locked on his. Her expression softened, and he could hear his heartbeat drumming in his ears. He lifted his hand and smoothed some attic cobwebs from her hair. She made a little noise, a sharp intake of breath, and for a moment, time seemed to hang in the balance. They could’ve been outside, wind and snow whipping at their skin, or on the sidewalk of a busy street. It wouldn’t have mattered. All he could see was her. 

 

Decorating for the holidays always makes me very nostalgic (I usually end up a blubbering mess). If we were decorating for the holidays together, I’d probably show you my favorite ornament, a gold heart with a picture of our childhood dog, Taffy. It’s a tear-jerker for sure, but it brings back great memories of skating on the frozen pond behind our house, Taffy bounding through the snow behind us with her favorite yellow ball clutched in her teeth. On Christmas morning, she’d snort around the discarded wrapping paper looking for treats.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED 11/9/20
For a chance to win a signed copy of HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS and a $15 Amazon gift card, tell me about your favorite holiday decoration in the comments. Winner will be selected on Monday, November 9th (US only). 

 

All of my love and warm holiday wishes, 

Charlee   

 

Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel and was instantly hooked by the genre.

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, her early career as a wedding planner gave her first-hand experience with couples who had gone the distance for love. Always fascinated by family dynamics, Charlee began writing heartwarming novels with happily-ever-afters.

Charlee is a New England native who lives with her husband, daughters, two rambunctious dogs, a cat, and numerous reptiles. When she’s not spending time with her tight-knit family, she enjoys curling up with a book, practicing yoga, and collecting Boston Terrier knick-knacks.

Tule Author Q&A: Charlee James discusses her writing process!

Charlee James stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Cape Cod Shore series, Dangerous Water!

 

This is an exciting story with some romantic suspense elements, but you also write sweet romance. Which genre is your favorite to write? Why?

My favorite genre to read is romantic suspense. Still, I enjoy writing both sweet and suspenseful novels with strong family elements—biological and the family we create from the special people who make our lives whole. I love the holidays, so a sweet seasonal romance complete with snow flurries and hot cocoa is always fun and nostalgic to write. The characters I fall for the most are the broken heroes and heroines who overcome significant personal hurdles to grasp their happy-ever-after moments.

 

Three Sliced Eggplants and Gray Stainless Steel Non-stick PanIf you could spend the day with Elle or Gabe, who would you choose and what would you do?

Gabe learned to cook from his mother, who was a chef. Her recipes ground him, and help to keep her memory close.  Each ingredient is a reminder of her sound advice, a lecture she might’ve given him, or some secret joke. In one scene, Gabe makes eggplant rollatini for Elle—a personal favorite of mine. He tells her to relax, have some wine, and sample his tapenade and crostini creations while he cooks. Invite me for dinner, Gabe, and I’ll be your taste tester!

 

Are your characters set before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go? What did that development process look like for Dangerous Water?

I’m a very visual person, and it’s how I learn and work best. Characters always find a way to pop into my head, and then I think about what their story might be, how they got to where they are, and how other characters might influence the path they’re on. When I start a book, I like to get down my initial thoughts in a short one to five-page synopsis, and then I begin to write based on a loose framework. If the book starts to take a different turn, that’s fine. As I approach the last six chapters, I work out exactly how the book will end so I can tie up any loose threads.

 

What song would be in the soundtrack to Elle and Gabe’s love story?

Gabe faces personal anguish from decisions he’s made in the past, and he doesn’t always feel worthy of Elle, the woman who may or may not be his best friend’s long-ago abducted sister. “Not Strong Enough” by Apocalyptica and Brent Smith of Shinedown shows the conflict between what Gabe wants and what he thinks is honorable.

 

What are you currently reading?

My first love is reading. My perfect idea of downtime is opening a book and getting lost in someone else’s reality. I recently finished The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet Wilson, and I loved the beautifully drawn characters and fresh plot for a holiday romance. The first romance book I ever got my hands on was a rancher novel by Nora Roberts. I was in high school, working part-time at a salon, and another employee left their copy in the back room. I devoured it and was hooked. I’ve never missed a book by Nora Roberts since, so right now, I’m also reading her new release, Hideaway.

 

About the Author

Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel and was instantly hooked by the genre.

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, her early career as a wedding planner gave her first-hand experience with couples who had gone the distance for love. Always fascinated by family dynamics, Charlee began writing heartwarming novels with happily-ever-afters.

Charlee is a New England native who lives with her husband, daughters, two rambunctious dogs, a cat, and numerous reptiles. When she’s not spending time with her tight-knit family, she enjoys curling up with a book, practicing yoga, and collecting Boston Terrier knick-knacks.