Tag Archives: Gerri Russell

Standing Stones and Steely Swords: A History Buff’s Guide to Scottish Castles with Author Gerri Russell

Scotland’s dramatic landscape is dotted with brooding castles, silent sentinels whispering tales of battles, intrigue, and Highland lairds. For history buffs, these castles are more than stone and mortar; they’re tangible links to a bygone era. So, lace up your walking boots and grab your sporran (or a sturdy backpack!), because we’re delving into some of Scotland’s most fascinating castles:

  1. Stirling Castle: The Key to the Kingdom:

Panoramic view of Stirling Castle in Stirling-shire, Scotland. Taken in Stirling, Scotland on June 5, 2013Nicknamed “The Gateway to the Highlands,” Stirling Castle has witnessed pivotal moments in Scottish history. Climb the volcanic rock upon which it stands and explore the Great Hall, where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned. Stirling witnessed battles for Scottish independence, including William Wallace’s famous victory at Stirling Bridge. Don’t miss the intricate ceiling decorations and the poignant Hunting Tapestries depicting scenes from the royal hunt.


  1. Edinburgh Castle: A Fortress Fit for Royalty:

Edinburgh, Scotland - January 22nd 2024: The front of Edinburgh Castle on a sunny dayTowering over Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit. Explore the Scottish National War Museum and delve into Scotland’s military past. Marvel at the crown jewels – the Honours of Scotland – some of the oldest surviving crown jewels in Europe. Be sure to climb Mons Meg, a colossal siege cannon, and learn about its (somewhat dubious) history.



  1. Eilean Donan Castle: A Picture-Perfect Fortress:

Eilean Donan Castle, perched on a tiny island where three lochs meet, is a vision of storybook romance. Originally built in the 13th century, it was restored in the early 20th century and has become an iconic symbol of Scotland. Explore its winding staircases, secret passages, and ramparts, and soak in the breathtaking views.



  1. Glamis Castle: The Haunt of Macbeth (and More):

Glamis, United Kingdom - August 17,2014: View of Glamis Castle in Scotland, United Kingdom. Glamis Castle is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus. It is the home of the Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to public.Glamis Castle, a stunning example of Scottish Renaissance architecture, is steeped in legend and lore. Shakespearean fans will recognize it as the inspiration for Macbeth’s dark and bloody castle. Step back in time with a tour showcasing the opulent drawing rooms, the mysterious “Monster Room” (said to be haunted), and the beautiful gardens.



  1. Urquhart Castle: A Loch Ness Legend:

famous Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness in ScotlandNo exploration of Scottish castles is complete without a visit to Urquhart Castle, dramatically overlooking the legendary Loch Ness. This brooding ruin has been a strategic stronghold for centuries, guarding this gateway to the Highlands. Explore the Great Hall, dungeons, and towers, and keep your eyes peeled for Nessie while you’re there!



  1. Dunvegan Castle: Home to the Legendary Fairy Flag:

Coast near Dunvegan Castle with mountains on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.Dunvegan Castle, located on a rocky outcrop overlooking Loch Dunvegan, is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and the seat of Clan MacLeod for over 800 years, and the setting for the Guardians of the Isles series. Explore the Fairy Flag, a mystical banner believed to bring victory in battle, and immerse yourself in the castle’s rich history as you explore the many rooms. Make sure to wander through the beautiful Dunvegan Castle Gardens as well.


This is just a taste of the incredible castles Scotland has to offer. So, if you are planning a trip to Scotland, get ready to be transported back in time amidst these magnificent fortresses.

Do you have a favorite castle?

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.


Unveiling Tule’s Romance Releases of the Month! (Plus a Giveaway!)

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




Check out our new romance releases for May!

Happy Mother’s Day: A Bundle of Contemporary Small Town Romances
Featuring Stories By: C.J. Carmichael, Nan Reinhardt, Sinclair Jayne, E. Elizabeth Watson, Kris Bock and H L Marsay

The Eight Second Wedding by Anne McAllister
Cowboy, Come Home | Book 4

The Cowboy’s Mail-Order Bride by Megan Crane
The Careys of Cowboy Point | Book 1

When the Earl Desired Me by Lydia Lloyd
The Rake Chronicles | Book 3

Bayou Redemption by Susan Sands
Louisiana | Book 4

Enchanted by the Highlander by Gerri Russell
Guardians of the Isles | Book 6

Sworn to Honor by Charlee James
Sworn Navy SEALs | Book 2
The Cowboy’s Bride by Barbara Ankrum
The Hardestys of Montana | Book 1

A LITTLE HIGHLAND MAGIC: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Gerri Russell!

Light versus Darkness in Storytelling

The interplay of light and dark is a fundamental storytelling tool, woven into narratives since the dawn of cave paintings. It’s more than just a visual contrast; it taps into our primal fears and hopes, shaping the emotional landscape of our stories.

Light often symbolizes goodness, knowledge, truth, and hope. It’s the sun breaking through the clouds, the hero’s triumphant return, or a character’s moment of understanding. We associate it with warmth, safety, and clarity.

Darkness, on the other hand, represents evil, ignorance, mystery, and danger. It’s the lurking monster in the shadows, the villain’s sinister lair, or a character’s descent into despair. It evokes fear, uncertainty, and the unknown.

Photo purchased from iStockphoto and provided by author.

But the beauty of this dichotomy lies in its complexity. In art, light and dark are used to create contrast and depth, with shadows and highlights adding dimension to a piece. Light and dark are rarely absolute. They bleed into each other, creating shades of gray that make our stories richer and more nuanced. 

  • A seemingly good character might harbor dark secrets.
  • A villain might have a tragic backstory that sheds light on their motivations.
  • A moment of despair can give birth to newfound courage.

This dance between light and dark creates tension and suspense, keeping us guessing as writers and readers and invested in the outcome. It allows us to explore the full spectrum of human emotions and experiences, making stories truly resonate.

Here are some classic literature and film examples of how light and dark are used in storytelling:

  • Star Wars: The epic battle between the light of the Jedi and the darkness of the Sith.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Frodo’s perilous journey to destroy the One Ring, a symbol of ultimate evil, in the fires of Mount Doom.
  • Harry Potter: The ongoing struggle between good and evil, personified by Harry and Voldemort.

Beyond these grand narratives, the interplay of light and dark is present in countless stories, big and small. It’s a powerful tool that allows us to explore the complexities of the human condition and the world around us.

In A Little Highland Magic, the fifth book in the Guardian of the Isles series, Aria, who is half fae, half human, yearns for the warmth of her human family after years of living as an outsider in the fairy realm. By escaping Fairyland, not only has she made an enemy of Oberon, the king of the fairies, but she learns that the fairy king still has control over her. 

To break those ties and to right a wrong done to the MacLeods, Aria joins forces with Graeme Duff to travel back to Fairyland where she must confront not only the creatures of the dark, but also the darkness within herself. Success relies on a perilous journey and the unyielding support of her human kin, especially Graeme, who is untouched by Oberon’s influence. He serves as a reflection of Aria’s true potential. His unwavering belief in her goodness pushes Aria to confront the fairy king and break free from Oberon’s control. 

Abstract and magical image of Firefly flying in the night forest. Fairy tale concept. Photo purchased from iStockphoto and provided by author.

Like a firefly flickering in the night, A Little Highland Magic illuminates the shadows with laughter and love, reminding us that the brightest light often emerges from the deepest darkness. 

What book or movie has stayed with you because it explored the complexities of good and evil?

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.


Start the New Year Off Right! Check out our January 2024 Releases (Plus Giveaway!) Now!

Read more about our new releases for January!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the January 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 Little Highland Magic
by Gerri Russell (Muse)

Release Date: January 9, 2024
Guardians of the Isles, Book 5

To have a future, she must face her past…

Half human, half fairy, Aria traveled to the human realm seeking safety with her family, the powerful MacLeods, where she is welcomed and accepted as a warrior. But her happiness will be short-lived if they discover her inadvertent role in their beloved mother’s death and the kidnapping of their infant brother, Kieran, by the cruel fairy king. Still, Aria plans to right the wrong by rescuing Kieren, but traveling to the fairy realm is dangerous and potentially a betrayal, for she must use the legendary Fairy Flag and its one last miracle to barter Kieran’s release.

Graeme Duff and his ancestors have served as flag bearer and protectors of Clan MacLeod for centuries. It’s his duty to guard the Fairy Flag, and when the beautiful, fierce, and intriguing Aria proposes using the flag to negotiate Kieran’s freedom, Graeme suspects treachery. He determines to accompany her, vowing to ignore the passion she evokes.

Can two independent warriors learn to trust? Or are they risking the destruction of everything they know and love?

Killer Close to Home
by Carol Light (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: January 11, 2024
Cluttered Crime Mysteries, Book 3

Not all clutter is visible to the human eye… 

Professional organizer Crystal Ward’s latest client, her neighbor Roscoe Tremaine, is changing his will, an announcement that sets off an explosive reaction within his family. That same night, a gas leak ignites, destroying his house, killing him, and rocking the Ward family at its foundation.

Her husband, Rick, is injured in the blast, so Crys hires Roscoe’s former caregiver, Wink Keller, to help him recover after surgery. But trouble is just beginning. Both Crys and Wink are beneficiaries in Roscoe’s will, and their alliance sends accusations flying from the Tremaines’ side of the fence.

Crys has her hands full dealing with her client’s not-so-grieving relatives, a teenaged girl stalking Wink, and a suspicious fire inspector. But when threatening “gifts” left on the Wards’ doorstep escalate, Crys is forced to sort through a tangled web of relationships, including her own, to keep her family safe.

Was Roscoe’s death just an accident, or is there a killer close to home?

When the Viscount Wanted Me
by Lydia Lloyd (Muse)

Release Date: January 16, 2024
The Rake Chronicles, Book 2

Her reputation is at risk. He vows to help…but soon finds resisting her the greatest challenge of all.

When Lord Hugh Aldershot, the Viscount of Tremberley, overhears the drunken Earl of Hartley claiming to have bedded Lady Henrietta Breminster, his best friend’s little sister, he is livid. He drags the passed-out earl to Breminster House to face punishment for his blathering, only to find himself face-to-face with Lady Henrietta in a sexy night dress and little else.

When Lady Henrietta Breminster sees the Viscount of Tremberley dragging the unconscious Earl of Hartley to her doorstep, she panics. Not only was she indiscreet with the earl, but she has long nursed a flaming tendre for her brother’s best friend. Now she must ask Tremberley to help her keep her biggest mistake from the gossips of the ton.

Drawn closer by their efforts to subdue the jealous earl, Trem and Henrietta soon discover their own forbidden attraction. But even as Henrietta discovers true passion with Trem, she knows she could never marry for anything less than love.

Lucky Strike
by Janine Amesta (American Heart)

Release Date: January 23, 2024
Love in El Dorado, Book 3

Is finding an unexpected gem a lucky strike?

After getting a late jumpstart in life, Luna Lanza isn’t afraid to get what she wants, including the place of her dreams. When she loses out on the perfect duplex and settles for a standard apartment, she’s disappointed. But Luna remains determined to make it work, even if it sparks a contentious relationship with her new landlord– the same guy she accidentally kissed in an impromptu photo shoot.

Still grieving the sudden death of his brother, reformed bad boy Sam Sunderland feels trapped managing his father’s rundown apartment building. When the spunky beauty, who unexpectedly kissed him, moves in full of ideas, he can’t help being intrigued– that is until she starts changing things behind his back, endangering his position and the relationship with his father.

Sam and Luna wrangle over rules and misunderstandings while fighting against the undeniable attraction between them. It’s a hard lesson to learn that ‘perfect’ can take many different forms. But will the renovations they do together lay a foundation to something more?

A Stolen Shadow
by H L Marsay (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: January 25, 2024
Chief Inspector Shadow, Book 7

This winter, the York pantomime opens as a farce but closes as a murder scene

Chief Inspector John Shadow returns from a rare holiday to Italy but before he can unpack, he’s investigating the theft of an antique sabre. Everyone involved assumes it’s a prank, however later that evening, a reluctant Shadow attends the local pantomime—his least favorite form of entertainment—with his star struck sergeant. They watch stunned as Prince Charming dies on stage. Shadow suspects poison and launches an investigation. When he discovers the missing sabre backstage, Shadow realises the theft was no joke and the entire cast and crew are murder suspects. Then another body is found….

John Shadow is a man of contradictions. A solitary figure who shuns company but is a keen observer of all he meets. A lover of good food, but whose fridge is almost always empty. He prefers to work alone but is assisted by the eager Sergeant Jimmy Chang. Together, the two men must work through an ever increasing list of jealous husbands, angry fathers and spurned lovers to discover the identity of the killer.

Someone Rotten Riding the Rails
by Kris Bock (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: January 30, 2024
The Accidental Detective, Book 6

Kate Tessler and her crew of misfits set out to blow the whistle on two feuding crime families . . . 

Former war correspondent Kate Tessler has solved multiple murders since returning to her Arizona hometown, to the grudging appreciation of the local police. Now Detective Padilla and the FBI approach Kate with a proposal. Two Russian crime families have rented a private historic train to the Grand Canyon for their children’s wedding. The route is scenic and remote. No cell phones. The FBI needs to surveil, but anyone infiltrating the train must be above suspicion.

Kate poses as herself, sent by the newspaper to cover the society wedding, while her sister Jen is the photographer. Their multi-generational and eccentric crew pose as train staff. The goal is to observe, but that quickly derails when the groom disappears, and a search for him turns up a dead body. Everyone’s a suspect and trapped on the train.

The mob families won’t contact the police, so it’s up to Kate and friends to uncover the truth before their whole mission goes off the tracks.

Tule Author Q&A: Gerri Russell loves writing strong female characters!

Gerri Russell stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in the Guardians of the Isles series, To Claim His Highland Bride!

Where did you get the inspiration for To Claim His Highland Bride?

When I originally created Rowena as the only female MacLeod with five brothers, I knew she had to be strong-willed and perhaps a bit of a rebel to counter the dominance of her warrior brothers. The most outrageous things she could ever do would be to reach across a centuries-old divide and fall in love with her clans’ enemy. 

Marcus MacDonald is a dreamer with an explorer’s heart. He loves his clan but wants more out of life than simply feuding with the MacLeods. Marcus’s heart has always belonged to the sea, so with great joy I wrote a “pirate-adventure” story for Marcus and Rowena. 


Rowena is such a strong female character in a time where women are historically more subservient. Where did you draw inspiration for her? How do you relate to her? 

In my fiction world, I like to portray strong and dynamic women who seem ahead of their time. Yet to me they are only holding on to their positions as evidenced throughout history when women were warriors, powerful priestesses, and political leaders. In the early Christian church, women held positions of equal influence to men. In Medieval times, women were the healers, and their wisdom was valued in a world without medicine. I acknowledge all of that changed at different times in history for various reasons, but I like to imagine my female protagonists, such as Rowena, could stand up to their male counterparts and demand equality in their little corner of the world. 

I can relate to Rowena’s desire for independence and her need for a sense of purpose because of my own past. My father died when I was young, leaving my twenty-nine-year-old mother widowed with three children to raise in a world where her name wasn’t even on the mortgage, the bank accounts, or any of the utility bills. I watched her struggle to gain footing in a world dominated by men, to become a strong, independent, and successful woman. My sister and I are both fiercely independent as a result. (Just ask our husbands.) A little bit of my mom, my sister, and me are in every female character I write. 


What song would be in the soundtrack to Marcus and Rowena’s love story? Why?

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol captures the essence of Marcus and Rowena’s relationship. 

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

These lines capture Marcus’s guilt and grief, Rowena and Marcus’s conflict with their clans, and their need to build something of their own together. 


green and black mountain beside sea during sunsetAre there any settings in this story that readers could visit today? 

To Claim His Highland Bride is set on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Much of the story takes place at Dunvegan Castle which is open to the public from April 1st to October 15th each year. Approximately ten miles from Dunvegan is Neist Point, on the west coast of Skye, which is accessible by car. And finally, if you’re up for a bit of a hike, readers could visit Uamh Oir, the Cave of Gold, located about five miles north of Uig. 


What are you currently reading?

Just like everyone else in the world, I’m indulging in Spare.


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.

Tule Publishing February 2023 Releases

Read more about our new releases for February!

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


The Valentine Project by Susan Lute (American Heart)

Release Date: February 1, 2023

Angel Point, Book 4

A Valentine’s Day promise sixteen years in the making…

Deputy Mayor Gwen Olsen has big plans to put her own stamp on the revitalization of Angel Point. She grew up in the charming coastal town, loves its quaint downtown, and she’s confident she’ll be voted mayor if her ideas bring in more prosperity.

But this Valentine’s Day, the only thing rolling into town is Carson Loman, her childhood BFF who made a pact with her, sealed it with a kiss, then moved to Chicago and ghosted her. Now his adopted teenage son needs stability, so he’s accepted the fire chief position—and the place on Gwen’s committee that comes with it.

She’s the same witty Gwen with a successful track record to go with it. His son’s welfare drives his future, but Carson’s still a solid rock to lean on. So are they merely caught up in honoring a childish promise to marry if they’re both single at 35, or should they seize this chance for a happier future than they could have ever planned?

Escaping Valentine’s Day by Christi Barth (American Heart)

Release Date: February 2, 2023

An Italian romance is on the menu, but is she ready to order?

Content creator Rory Hibbert knows Valentine’s Day is only fun for couples and chocolatiers. For singles like her, it’s a day of disappointment. And that’s why her new marketing agency client has arranged a tour of Italy crammed full of activities to distract from the holiday. This trip is a test for Rory—if it goes well, it will jump-start her new social media career.

There’s just one snag: the ex she never got over is also on staff.

Huck Cranshaw walked away from the love of his life for a huge opportunity on a cooking competition show. At least, that’s the excuse he gave Rory at the time—and he’s regretted it for five years. Cooking for tourists was supposed to be a stopgap between restaurant positions. Now it could be much, much more: a chance to fix the past.

But when an Italian prince catches sight of Rory, Huck’s not the only one vying for her heart this time. Can Cupid still steal Rory’s heart when the truth finally comes out?

Cupid, Cupcakes and Carnage by Kaz Delaney (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: February 8, 2023

Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries, Book 5

It’ll be a Valentine’s Day to celebrate…if she makes it out alive.

Brilliant baker Rosie Hart is busier than ever as she prepares for Airlie Falls’s famed Valentine’s Day Farmers and Craft Market. The last thing she needs as she races to frost her cashew nut cakes is the mysterious appearance of a dead body found on her new fiancé, Jonah’s, property. To add icing to the cupcake, another long-dead body is found buried underneath it. For goodness bakes!

Rosie vows to leave the investigating to the sheriff this time—she has enough to juggle with her baking business and her nonagenarian friends who are entranced by a new seniors dating app. But when rumors begin affecting Jonah’s construction business, enough is enough. Getting answers will mean retracing the unexplained disappearance of a woman ten years earlier—a woman who had a dalliance with a now-famous actor and is supposedly speaking through a clairvoyant.

Can Rosie solve the case in time to ensure this Valentine’s Day is remembered for all the right reasons?

Last First Kiss by Stella Holt (American Heart)

Release Date: February 9, 2023

Legacy of the Maguires, Book 1

He’s going to fight for her this time around.

Charlotte Maguire’s family is the closest thing to police royalty in her hometown. But not even the Maguires could protect her from the heartbreak of becoming a young widow. Now twenty-eight years old, Charlotte mourns the future she lost and has thrown herself into her work. Curating promotional campaigns is the perfect distraction until her gorgeous new boss Caleb shows up, forcing her dormant heart to awaken. Caleb and Charlotte have a past, and it’s impossible to ignore the sparks that are reigniting.

Caleb Kincaid is a survivor in every sense of the word. He’s no stranger when it comes to securing second chances, so when Charlotte Maguire happens his way again, he’s all in. Charlotte has loved and lost once already, and Caleb knows he’s no sure bet. But he also knows they could be great together this time around.

Caleb has always been a man of his word, but what happens when he promises a future he might not be able to deliver?

To Claim His Highland Bride by Gerri Russell (Muse)

Release Date: February 14, 2023

Guardians of the Isles, Book 4

Destiny claims they are mortal enemies, but their hearts say otherwise.

When Rowena MacLeod falls in love with the son of her family’s greatest enemy, her laird brother refuses to grant her hand in marriage until Marcus MacDonald can provide for his sister. Marcus, now penniless after being disowned by his clan, sets sail to seek his fortune as a privateer. Rowena waits faithfully for her beloved, but on the day Marcus returns, she’s kidnapped by a vengeful MacDonald.

Marcus lost many men while seeking his fortune, and he’s determined to make amends by sharing his wealth with their families. Believing he can now no longer marry, Marcus refuses to pay Rowena’s ransom, instead offering to take his cousin to Uamh Oir, the Cave of Gold, and relinquish any treasure found. When Rowena escapes, she insists Marcus marry her and take her aboard his ship. With their plunder, she’ll make a new life for herself far from him and her family—provided they don’t consummate their marriage.

As danger surrounds Marcus and Rowena, can they resist the love and desire that’ve been tangled up in family duty and betrayal?

Four Hidden Treasures by HL Marsay (Holiday)

Release Date: February 16, 2023

The Secrets of Hartwell, Book 1

Welcome to Hartwell, an English village full of cobbled streets, ancient curses, and buried secrets.

Reeling from the last few years of uncertainty, the villagers of Hartwell are adjusting to their new normal. When two new women separately move to town, they attract local attention and quickly realise Hartwell isn’t as sleepy as it appears.

Lady Lucy Hanley is beautiful, friendly, and struggling to preserve crumbling Hartwell Hall for her son as rumours circulate about her husband’s disappearance. Rachel Foxton feels trapped. She’s lived in Hartwell all her life and is exhausted from teaching during the pandemic, grieving her father, worrying about her mother, and battling heartache. Dr. Meera Kumar has always been the good girl, but as her sham marriage unravels, she seeks a fresh start for herself and her young son. And former London detective Jo Ormond has been transferred to Hartwell in disgrace. With her career in tatters, a quiet village in Yorkshire where everyone knows your business is the last place she wants to be.

Secrets run through this close-knit community like a loose thread—with just one tug, everything can unravel. As the women’s friendship grows, and a body is discovered, will the secrets of Hartwell bring them all closer together or tear them apart?

The Doctor’s Homecoming by Fiona Marsden (Holiday)

Release Date: February 23, 2023

With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing, Book 7

He left everything behind…including her.

Doctor Saul MacDonald left Kurrajong Crossing as a teenager, fleeing impossible living conditions. He left behind his mother, younger brother Alexander, and the girl he’d loved all his life. On the far side of the world, Saul made himself into a different person—hopefully a better one—but now family ties force him home.

Animals and plants are the only living things successful entrepreneur Trudie Weiss trusts unconditionally. Neglected as a child and forced into dangerous situations she couldn’t control, Trudie prefers to keep people at a distance. But the arrival of Saul “Sunny” MacDonald back in The Crossing tests the exposed armour around Trudie’s tender heart. Like it or not, they share a deep bond. And an attraction that glows white hot.

Trudie knows a wounded animal when she sees one. And if she gets too close to Saul, he will lash out. But as he confronts old relationships and digs into his painful past, is there room for Saul and Trudie to move forward and forge a loving future…together?

Someone Missing from Malapais Mountain by Kris Bock (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: February 28, 2023

The Accidental Detective, Book 4

It’s hard to walk away from the truth when you need a cane…

Former international war correspondent Kate Tessler had to trade her illustrious journalism career for her childhood bedroom after a brush with death almost took her leg. But when the editor of a local newspaper asks for her help, Kate is drawn back into her old world. A journalist covering a sprawling story of political corruption may have uncovered explosive new evidence, but she was run off the road in a hit-and-run accident. Gabriella, Kate’s mentee, has been injured and can only communicate by blinking yes or no to questions. Meanwhile, another reporter is missing.

The editor is short-staffed, with no one experienced enough to handle something this dangerous. Kate can never give up on the search for truth, so with her trusty senior sidekicks and new PI partner—her sister, Jen—Kate takes the case. Can a fifty-year-old journalist still recovering from a war injury survive the dangers of the Arizona desert long enough to catch a killer?

TO WIN A HIGHLANDER’S HEART: Release day blog post featuring Gerri Russell!

Warrior Women by Gerri Russell

History is filled with unsung female heroes who not only took care of hearth and home, but also brandished weapons, fought in battles, and proved not only their physical strength, but mental abilities. They proved they were just as capable of leading armies and protecting their kin as well as any man, all while defying gender norms.  There are many notable examples such as Ana Nzinga, Zenobia, Lozen, Artemisia, Tomoe Gozen, Queen Teuta, Joan of Arc, Margaret Ann Bulkley, Lady Triệu, Boudica, Grace O’Malley, and the list goes on and on. 

I want to highlight four brave women in Scotland who are often not mentioned in the history books who should also be remembered for their bravery, cunning, and daring feats. I’ll talk about each of them below. I used these women to form the basis for my heroine, Isolde Nicolson, in To Win a Highlander’s Heart. Isolde is a warrior, as good at her craft as any Scottish male. He was determined, loyal, brave, all while still maintaining her femineity.

Image purchased from iStockphoto.com

Queen Scathach of Skye

This warrior woman comes from myth and legend which often have a foundation in truth. Scathach’s name translates to “the shadowy one” in Gaelic and with good reason: Scathach was a woman warrior you did not want to trifle with.

Legends claim that she trained warriors in battle skills mixed with martial arts at her covert school, so covert in fact, that if you wanted her to teach you, you had to find her first. Her fortress sat on the Isle of Skye northwest of Scotland. But reaching the fortress was just the beginning: Scathach’s impregnable castle had a gate that was guarded by her fearsome daughter, Uatach.

Scathach’s training regime was as difficult and deadly as the journey to her island. She imparted on her trainees how to pole vault over a castle’s walls, fight underwater, and use a special weapon of her own making called a gáe bolg, which was a barbed harpoon. 

It is said that she trained the Ulster hero Cúchulainn, after who the Cuillin mountains are named. He sought out Scathach when his future father-in-law made it a condition for marrying his daughter. 

In addition to training scores of great heroes and warriors, Scathach also became the goddess of the dead. If a warrior was strong enough to defeat her in mortal combat, they could enter the Land of Eternal Youth as a reward for defeating one of history’s greatest women warriors.

Lady Christian Bruce

Lady Christian Bruce was the older sister of Robert the Bruce and after spending six years as an English prisoner played a vital role in the Wars of Independence, leading the defense of an Aberdeenshire castle against British forces. 

Lady Christian’s third husband was Sir Andrew Murray who was appointed Guardian of Scotland after Robert the Bruce’s death in 1329. Sir Andrew was a vital figure in the second War of Independence against Edward III, who wanted to install Edward Balliol on the Scottish throne.

In 1335, English forces besieged Kildrummy Castle in Aberdeenshire. The defenders were commanded by Lady Christina Bruce, who held out until reinforces marched north and defeated the English at the Battle of Culblean.

Following that victory, Lady Christian continued to play an important role in Scottish politics until her death in 1357 at the age of 84.

Image purchased from iStockphoto.com

Lady Anne Farquharson-Mackintosh (Colonel Anne)

Lady Anne Mackintosh was the wife of the chief of the Mackintosh clan who played a prominent role during the 1745 Jacobite uprising. Anne married Angus Mackintosh at the age of nineteen. He was a captain in the Black Watch, a fighting unit the English government raised from loyal clans to police the Highlands in the aftermath of the 1715 Jacobite uprising. 

Despite her husband’s affiliations, Lady Anne’s sympathies lay with the Jacobite cause. When Bonnie Prince Charlie raise his standard at Glenfinnan, Anne rode around the clan lands, wearing a tartan riding costume and carrying a pistol. She raise over three hundred and fifty Farquharsons and Mackintoshs to fight with the Clan Chattan regiment in the Jacobite army. 

During the uprising, Captain Angus Mackintosh fought on the losing government side at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745 and was subsequently captured. He was later released into the custody of his wife. When they met, she greeted him with “your servant, Captain.” To which he replied, “your servant, Colonel.” And although Anne never actually led troops into battle, the nickname has stayed with her through history. 

After the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden, Anne was arrested by government troops and held at Ulster Castle for six weeks. She was later released without charges into the custody of her husband. Despite their support for opposite sides during the 1745 uprising, Anne and Agnes lived contentedly together. Anne is known as the only female military leader during the 1745 uprising and the first female to hold the rank of colonel in Scotland.  She died at the age of 64.

Lady Agnes Randolph (Black Anges)

Lady Agnes Randolph faced down an English army without ever raising a sword and won. She was called Black Agnes because of her dark hair, dark eyes, and olive skin.

Agnes married Patrick Dunbar, 9th Earl Dunbar, 2nd Earl of March. She was his second wife. One of the earl’s castles was the formidable fortress of Dunbar near Berwick. The castle was seen as the key to the southwest of Scotland. Edward II had been keen to capture it, and the earl had even leveled it to the ground to keep it out of English hands. After that, he rebuilt the castle and by 1338 the castle was completely restored as a mighty fortress.

Despite Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the English had not given up hope of conquering Scotland. Edward III wanted desperately to oust David II, Robert the Bruce’s son, from the Scottish throne and replace him with the much more pliable Edward Balliol, the exiled King John Balliol’s eldest son. While the Earl of March was away on military duty with the king in the north of Scotland, leaving Lady Agnes and a handful of men to hold Dunbar. Edward III sent his best men to attack Dunbar. 

Willian Montague, Earl of Salsbury, descended on Dunbar with his army and demanded its surrender. These men thought victory was imminent since Berwick had already fallen and the castle was only held by a small contingent of men and a woman. Salsbury was shocked when Agnes told him no. In response, Salsbury began his siege, bombarding the walls with boulders and lead. Agnes instructed her warriors to save the boulders then paraded with her ladies in their best gowns and dusted the ramparts with lace handkerchiefs, astonishing the Englishmen below and angering Salsbury. 

In retaliation, Salsbury brought out a battering ram and pounded the gates, but the boulders that they had previously been launched at Dunbar were returned on English heads from a great height. When force didn’t work, Salsbury tried to bribe a guard to open the castle gates. The guardsman kept the money but told Agnes immediately. Salsbury’s small band of men almost got trapped in the castle but hey escaped. Agnes taunted him as he fled, “Fare thee well, Montague, I meant that you should have supped with us and support us in upholding the castle from the English.”

 So Salsbury settled in to wait. He would starve them out. What he didn’t know was that there was a secret door where men and supplies were replenished by Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie. After the castle was resupplied, Agnes gave the English a gift of a fresh loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. 

As a final straw, Salsbury captured Agnes’s brother and presented him before her with a noose around his neck. He claimed if she didn’t submit, her brother would hang. Agnes called back that he should do it with her thanks as then she would inherit her brother’s titles and land.  

Five months later, the Earl of Salsbury was defeated. He negotiated a truce and marched away with Dunbar still in Scottish hands. The only victory Salsbury had at Dunbar was to write a song about his nemesis. “She kept a stir in tower and trench, That brawling, boisterous Scottish wench, Came I early, came I late I found Agnes at the gate.” 

Image purchased from iStockphoto.com

These are but four examples of determined Scottish women who were willing to defy gender expectations for the sake of their homeland. The lesson here is: do not mess with a determined Scottish woman. If you’d like to read about another fictional warrior woman, check out Isolde Nicolson in To Win a Highlander’s Heart.


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.

Tule Publishing June 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for June!

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


Love at First Spark by Sarah Fischer and Kelsey McKnight (American Heart)

Release Date: June 2, 2022

Hazel Oaks Resort, Book 2

Love is a numbers game…

Kay Hangler has a mind for numbers and a passion for the matchmaking app she helped to create. This Fourth of July weekend, her company is hosting a singles event at the historic Hazel Oaks Resort. Fun, sun, and romance are on the schedule for dozens of potential couples while Kay stubbornly flies solo…again. While she trusts her algorithm, she hasn’t personally tried it—until the resort’s handsome and friendly sailing instructor dares her to put it to the test.

Finn Stark was born on the water and comes from a long line of sailors. While he enjoys his summer gig teaching sailing at the resort and restoring boats, he’s longing to meet someone special. When a pretty brunette wanders into his boathouse and promises she can find his perfect match using numbers, Finn’s skeptical.

Finn doesn’t believe true love can be calculated, but Kay’s built her entire career on this belief. Will their numbers add up to a future before the Fourth of July fireworks, or is their romance destined to fizzle out?

Grim and Bear It by Heather Novak (Muse)

Release Date: June 6, 2022

Love Me Dead, Book 2

Poppy’s skull over heels in love, and not even death can stop her…

Poppy Grim dreams of starring in a real-life rom-com. Instead, she’s an overworked, lonely grim reaper with chronic motion sickness from ferrying souls to the afterlife. She adheres to all the reaper handbook rules except one—she regularly visits the love she lost twelve years ago when she passed. She’s not worried—humans can only see her when they are about to die, after all—until Jake looks up and says her name.

Supernatural Investigator Jake Robinson wants to leave active duty because of past on-the-job injuries, but he’s determined to finish solving the most important case of his career first. His plans sink like the Titanic—his ghost roommate’s favorite movie—when he sees Poppy.

With death looming, they both risk everything—including their hearts—and work together to keep Jake alive while he stops the people threatening his family. But love is a losing game when the punishment for a reaper-human relationship is permanent removal from existence.

Falling for the Doctor by Nan Reinhardt (American Heart)

Release Date: June 7, 2022

The Lange Brothers, Book 2

They were in it for the fun, but never expected the storm…

Life for hometown ER physician Dr. Max Lange has always been sweet. He loves his job and is dialed in socially with his family, friends, and community. But lately, something feels like it’s missing. When a visiting doctor pulls him in for a hot kiss and asks him to play along in order to avoid unwanted attention from a hospital administrator, Max knows exactly what he wants and needs—the lovely Dr. Mitchell.

After a tragic error shakes her confidence beyond repair, Dr. Lauren Mitchell has abandoned her career in cardiothoracic surgery and instead works as a lead medical consultant for a top cardiovascular technology company. She enjoys her simple life on the road—hotel rooms, room service, and no emotional entanglements.

When a violent storm throws her into service at St. Mark’s hospital, Max has only a few days to prove to Lauren that they belong together, while she must reevaluate her career…and her life. Will Max’s love be enough to make River’s Edge and Max her home?

The Baby Whisperer by Fiona McArthur (Holiday)

Release Date: June 9, 2022

Outback Babies, Book 3

The last man she needs is another hero…

After losing her father, brother, and now her husband to their work in the fire service, midwife and mothercraft nurse Stephanie Lee leaves Perth for Wirralong to move near a midwife friend from university. She buys her first house along with the Wirralong Creche, where she’ll be able to immerse herself in looking after new mothers. Stevie’s not looking for romance, but when she meets her home builder, who’s everything she doesn’t want, she can’t resist.

When he’s not remodeling homes with his young crew of at-risk young adults, Eli Grayson is a volunteer for the rural fire service and international disaster relief. Eli’s never tried to resist the lure of a beautiful woman until he meets Stephanie. It’s love at first sight and captivated Eli is determined to win her trust and heart, no matter how long it takes.

She’s afraid to love and lose, but he’s convinced they can both win. Stevie has to answer the question, is Eli—the most compelling man she’s ever met—worth the risk?

To Win a Highlander’s Heart by Gerri Russell (Muse)

Release Date: June 14, 2022

Guardians of the Isles, Book 3

It’s impossible to defy destiny…

Orrick MacLeod is a famed Highland warrior from a powerful clan who can no longer fight. Painful memories from battles plague him when he raises his sword, and he fears that one day he’ll hesitate and he, or one of his brothers, will perish. Leaving his castle to thwart his battle hero destiny, he stumbles across a young woman. Rumors whisper she’s born of fairies, but Orrick only sees a beautiful woman in jeopardy.

Isolde Nicolson is a devoted daughter of her clan, but when she rejected her chieftain brother’s choice of a cruel husband by striking her brother with an arrow, she’s banished. The kindly Orrick shelters her in the safety of the MacLeod castle where they soon unlock hidden desires. Orrick wishes to ask for her hand in marriage, but when he tries to do what’s right, everything goes wrong.

As an incident threatens to tear the MacLeod family apart, a pivotal and bloody battle between English and Scottish forces ensues. Soon the warrior who can no longer fight must stand to protect everything he holds dear.

Lola and the Single Dad by Kelly Hunter (Holiday)

Release Date: June 16, 2022

Outback Babies, Book 4

When love comes to town…

Artisan blacksmith Ned Harrow lost his wife and gained a son, all in the space of a day. Since then, he’s been caring for his son, Ollie, and working to rebuild his business. When his neighbour’s visiting goddaughter offers to help, she’s a lifeline and so much more. Ned knows the beautiful and fun-loving Lola isn’t staying long, but she’s impossible to resist and his heart is cracking wide open.

Actress Lola Darcy has never hit the big time and she’s beginning to wonder if she ever will. She’s in-between auditions when she visits her godmother in Wirralong. The country life and adorable baby she can sing to is a balm to her heart that’s been wounded by so many rejections. Lola loves caring for the sweet babe next door, and his eye candy father makes the visit even better.

As Lola and Ned become friends and perhaps more, the part of a lifetime beckons. Should she follow her dream or create new ones in Wirralong?

Something Deadly on Desert Drive by Kris Bock (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: June 21, 2022

The Accidental Detective, Book 2

Starting over at fifty might be hard, but it shouldn’t be deadly…

Still recovering from an injury that might have permanently derailed her career as an international war correspondent, Kate Tessler is living in her childhood bedroom and pondering her second act when another case lands in her lap. Kate’s father and his coffee group are worried. Their friend Larry married a younger woman who now insists he has dementia and won’t let any of his friends visit. They’re convinced that Larry’s wife and her two adult, dead-beat kids are out to steal his money. Can Kate help?

Soon Kate and her unusual gang of sidekicks are unofficially, officially investigating. But before they can dig out the truth, a murder raises the stakes. Now they need to prove Larry is both mentally competent and not a killer. They’ll have to find the real murderer—without risking their own lives in the process.

Her Fake Boyfriend by Shelli Stevens (American Heart)

Release Date: June 23, 2022

Bro Code, Book 2

Thou shalt not sleep with thy friend’s ex…

Eric Nordland has been in love with his best friend’s girl since he met her. And now that she’s single, the temptation to make a move is killing him. Especially since their paths keep crossing. Dating your friend’s ex is a big bro code violation, but when Hannah comes to him in trouble, there’s no way he’ll leave her to fend for herself.

Coming out of the only romantic relationship she’s ever known, Hannah Jeong isn’t really looking for a rebound. But when the creepy parent of one of her students starts to stalk her, she jumps at Eric’s offer to pose as her fake boyfriend. What she didn’t expect was to start having feelings for a man she’d always seen as just a friend.

The line between right and wrong becomes fuzzier by the day as the attraction between them grows. Keeping Hannah safe from an obsessive man is just as much Eric’s mission as not giving his heart to a woman he can never have.

Escape Girl by Michelle Dayton (American Heart)

Release Date: June 28, 2022

Tech-nically Love, Book 3

You can’t divorce yourself from love…

Emily Saturn’s world is spinning out of control. An intellectual property lawyer, she’s gone rogue from her firm, dealing with a major lawsuit against a predatory software company’s CEO pro bono. When she isn’t looking for elusive evidence she can use—legally, of course—she’s trying to avoid her soon-to-be ex-husband, Bobby March.

After their whirlwind courtship and wedding, Bobby can’t pinpoint what went wrong between them. He’s been working for months on his new career and personal growth, determined to be the man his wife deserves. Desperate to get her attention, Bobby invites Emily to a series of individually designed virtual escape rooms, each one a moment from their love story. Hopefully, the sexy, romantic trip down memory lane will rekindle their intense connection—and clue him in as to how to fix this.

Emily has never been able to resist a puzzle. Or, frankly, Bobby. The more she interacts with her husband online, the more she wants to see him again in person. Which is beyond stupid because Emily knows he’s wrong for her. Right?

The Montana Rancher by Paula Altenburg (Montana Born)

Release Date: June 30, 2022

The Endeavour Ranch of Grand, Montana, Book 3

He’s been keeping secrets. She needs the truth…

Reclusive billionaire and enigmatic ranch owner Ryan O’Connell spares no expense when it comes to the Endeavour Ranch and its charitable organizations. Next up on his philanthropic agenda is a youth group home for troubled teenage boys. When he hires a social worker to work with the counselors and teen clients, he thinks he can take a step back. But her beauty and determination are tough to ignore and even tougher to resist.

Heiress Elizabeth Benson became a social worker after her older sister was murdered, destroying her once-close family. She’s fiercely protective of the boys on the Endeavour Ranch and is determined to learn more about her mysterious boss who is so much more than the quiet cowboy he pretends to be. Too bad their chemistry complicates everything.

Can Ryan trust Elizabeth with his darkest secrets? Or does he risk losing even more than his heart?

Tule Publishing April 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for April!

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


Blood Thinners by Heather Novak (Muse)

Release Date: April 4, 2022

Love Me Dead, Book 1

The only thing more annoying than a ghost flash mob is a rogue vampire attack…

Supernatural investigator Mina Summers is only one undercover mission away from the promotion she’s worked for her entire career. Her assignment is simple: figure out why several unregistered vampires are going rogue—including one that ruined her best suit—and attacking humans. Her investigation leads her to Thinner, a new celebrity-endorsed weight loss company that’s shrouded in mystery and promises seemingly impossible results.

Mina’s convinced she’ll finish her mission in time for dinner, but when she face-plants into Carma Nicks, Thinner’s smart and sexy vice president, Mina’s suddenly out of her depth. Surely her heart is only racing due to adrenaline, right? Falling for—and sleeping with—a mark goes 100% against protocol, but Mina’s plans to keep her distance are as flimsy as the agency-issued ghost that resides in her apartment.

When Thinner’s secrets disrupt the peace between supernaturals and humans—and threaten Carma’s life—Mina’s forced to choose between protecting her dream career or saving the woman she loves.

Stuck with You by Fortune Whelan (American Heart)

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Dorseys of Conception Bay, Book 1

They’re both starting over. Fate’s determined they do it together.

NHL all-star Clark Dorsey is still at the top of his game, but he’s done with hockey. The night of the championship, Clark announces his retirement and returns to Seattle to spend time with his sick brother and figure out his next move. He needs to unwind, but his interfering brother sets him up by renting half of their shared condo to a beautiful, opinionated and fascinating woman.

Nurse Leena Lopez is done with the spotlight. When her whirlwind fairy tale romance ends in a cheating scandal, Leena’s suddenly broke, alone and hounded by paparazzi in a new city. Desperate to put down roots, Leena says yes when a patient offers her the condo he shares with his Canadian hockey star brother. She can ignore the teenage crush she had on Clark Dorsey—he won’t even be in town.

But Clark arrives and they’re both thrust back into the headlines they’ve been desperately avoiding. Can they figure out how to be alone together? Do they want to?

Something Shady at Sunshine Haven by Kris Bock (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: April 7, 2022

The Accidental Detective, Book 1

She’s pursued the most dangerous news stories around the world. But can she survive going home?

Injured in a bombing, war correspondent Kate Tessler returns to her hometown in Arizona to recover. For the first time in her life, she’s starting to feel her age of nearly fifty despite living like a teenager again: staying in her childhood bedroom with only a cat for company, trying to understand why her sister resents her so much, and running into people who still refer to her as Kitty. The hardest part? Seeing her once-sharp and witty mother stuck in an Alzheimer’s unit.

When an old friend asks her to investigate suspicious deaths at the nursing home, Kate limps into action. Is a self-appointed “Angel of Mercy” killing patients to end their suffering? Are family members hastening their inheritance? Is an employee extorting money and removing the witnesses? Kate uses her journalism skills to track clues, but the puzzle pieces simply won’t fit.

If Kate can’t uncover the truth quickly, her mother could be next on the killer’s list.

Two Nights to Forever by Rebecca Crowley (American Heart)

Release Date: April 11, 2022

Orchard Hill, Book 2

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but love just might…

Eve Klein almost has it all: a thriving career, great friends, and adoptive parents who’ve supported her in everything—including her quest to find her birth mother. She’s hired a private investigator, and while she waits for the last piece of her history to make her whole, she focuses on the most exciting deal of her career—a controlling share in Keller and Sons, a luxury watchmaker.

To most people Keller watches are status symbols, but to Saul Keller they’re handcuffs. He thought his brother had everything under control, until a distress call from an employee forced him to leave Wall Street and move home to Orchard Hill, Missouri. A year on, he’s shifted from trying to save the family business to selling it—and finally setting himself free.

Eve is Saul’s most exciting—and alluring—professional adversary, and he’s exactly the type of high-flyer she’s sworn to stop falling for. But when she needs his help to prepare for a Passover seder with her birth mother, the lines between business and pleasure become perpetually blurred.

Cowgirl Tough by Justine Davis (Texas Born)

Release Date: April 12, 2022

The Raffertys of Last Stand, Book 4

Sometimes the line between love and hate is blurry…

Cody Rafferty and Britt Roth may have grown up on adjacent Hill Country ranches, but they’ve always been oil and water. Britt knows it’s because Cody’s a tech nerd who doesn’t get the ranch life she loves. Cody knows it’s because Britt’s a single-minded cowgirl, who lives to complain about the technology he loves. Their families claim it’s because they were born within minutes of each other.

They’ve declared one truce in their lives—when Cody’s father was KIA overseas. Neither of them expected there would be another, but when Cody suspects a crash of his test drone spooked Britt’s champion barrel racing horse, endangering her life and future, he calls a second truce. Prodded by guilt, he steps up to take care of Britt and her beloved horse. Britt balks, but Cody’s hard to refuse even for a tough cowgirl. Forced together, they learn surprising things about each other neither ever knew.

Can these two lifetime adversaries learn to get along, especially when they realize that the sparks that fly between them aren’t fueled only by anger?

Losing It by Shelli Stevens (American Heart)

Release Date: April 14, 2022

Bro Code, Book 1

Thou shalt not sleep with thy friend’s sister…

It was basically the number one rule of the bro code, and Blake Wolfe just came dangerously close to breaking it. How could he know that the gorgeous woman he made out with at a party was his friend’s little sister? Now that he knows, she is hands off…which is easier said than done.

Kristen Watson is in Seattle for a much-needed vacation after graduating college. Though she has more planned than just hanging out with her bestie—it’s also the perfect time to ditch her virgin status and have a little fun before joining the real world. But finding the perfect guy is proving harder than she expected, especially when the perfect guy is apparently off-limits.

Blake knows trying to dissuade Kristen from the plan is useless. So he does the next best thing and volunteers to be her wingman. But helping her pick “the one” might be as challenging as trying not to claim her for himself.

Only a Highlander Will Do by Gerri Russell (Muse)

Release Date: April 19, 2022

Guardians of the Isles, Book 2

Enemies and lovers are but two edges of the same blade…

Tormod MacLeod vows revenge on the MacDonalds, who brought war to his clan’s doorstep. Gathering a company of men to attack the MacDonald home, Tormod discovers a beautiful red-haired lass being taken to marry Garrick MacDonald, the clan’s heir. Tormod kidnaps the fiery beauty to be his own bride—and to torment her dastardly fiancé.

Fiona Fraser is forced to leave everything familiar when her father pledges her to a man she’s never met. But before she can meet her groom, whose cruel reputation precedes him, she’s taken hostage by a vengeful Highland rogue. Fiona’s given three days to decide her fate—marry the imposing soldier who imprisons her but ignites her passion, or choose a different MacLeod.

When Fiona hears her father is a hostage, and the MacLeods have breached the barrier between the human and fairy worlds, she’s forced to make a terrible choice to save her people and home. Can Fiona and Tormod put aside their family bonds and clan loyalty for the love they feel for each other?

A New Mantra by Sapna Srinivasan (American Heart)

Release Date: April 21, 2022

The Sood Family, Book 1

She’s always done what was expected of her. Until…

When 30-year-old Seattle-based Indian housewife Mira Sood is blindsided by her husband’s extramarital affair, her three-year arranged marriage is shattered. Humiliated, heartbroken, near-broke, and facing the united dissension of her orthodox family, Mira is desperate to rebuild her life. She moves in with her rebel cousin, searches for any job that will take her, and impulsively signs up for a half-marathon race. There’s just one problem—Mira’s experience with running starts and ends with running to catch the bus.

With herself as her biggest critic and doubter, Mira commits to the race and is assisted by entrepreneur Andy Fitzgerald, a handsome, elite marathoner who helps her create a training schedule and personal goals. When the lines of friendship begin to blur, Mira realizes she’s facing an even bigger challenge.

Can Mira embrace her stronger, more independent self—risking another heartbreak and disappointing her family—or will she once again play it too safe and let the possibility of happiness slip away?

The Montana Doctor by Paula Altenburg (Montana Born)

Release Date: April 25, 2022

Grand, Montana, Book 2

Moving on is never easy…

Small-town doctor and Endeavour Ranch co-owner Dr. Dallas Tucker has very few problems in life—other than a shortage of time and an inheritance he doesn’t believe he deserves. He loves volunteering at the local nursing home and is planning to open a clinic on the ranch. But when he discovers the woman who loved and left him has moved to Grand, Montana, he sets out to win her back.

Brewmaster Hannah Brand still regrets her impulsive mistake at her sister’s wedding. After discovering her high school sweetheart had cheated on her, she had a passionate one night stand with a charming doctor and left town. Determined to pursue her dream of opening her own brewery, Hannah moves back to Grand and is determined to move on with her life—single.

But when the same handsome doctor walks through her door—and clearly makes house calls—Hannah’s past comes flying back. When old doubts resurface, Hannah wonders if time really can heal all wounds…

The Cowboy’s Texas Sky by E. Elizabeth Watson (Texas Born)

Release Date: April 26, 2022

The Dixons of Legacy Ranch, Book 2

They have a second chance at love…if they’re brave enough to take the risk.

Fifteen years ago, Skylar Rivers fled from home after her boyfriend’s Army unit was annihilated. Now, she’s a veterinarian who’s created a foundation to honor Travis and the dreams of a ranch they shared. When a car accident lands her and her foster son in the ER, Dr. Travis Dixon arrives—seemingly resurrected from the dead. Their chemistry still flares hot, but he’s changed, and she has a troubled teen to protect.

Travis Dixon has many regrets. Most notably, losing his best friend in a battle that took his foot and nearly his life, and then turning to the bottle during recovery. He hurt everyone he loved, but is now a respected orthopaedic surgeon determined to establish a riding program for injured vets. When the blonde beauty he never forgot throws his heart and his plans into a tailspin, he realizes he wants to reconnect with his roots and find a new place in Skylar’s life.

They’ve both run from their pasts. Can Skylar make room for Travis in her future?

No Safe Haven by Melinda Di Lorenzo (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: April 28, 2022

Trinity Calhoun Mystery, Book 2

You can’t go home again…but can you return to the life you’ve made?

After a harrowing experience in her childhood town, Detective Trinity Calhoun has at last been cleared to return to her job at the Vancouver PD—but with a caveat. Her boss insists that she eases back into it by being chained to a desk. Trinity understands the request. She knows it’s reasonable. But that doesn’t mean she likes it. Or will abide by it.

And the desk, it seems, is the last place she can be. Because someone is stalking her. Baiting her. Using her long-solved domestic abuse cases to draw her out. And whoever the culprit is, they know an awful lot more about her than she does about them. Soon, everything Trinity values is on the line: her memories, her reputation, even her sanity. Nowhere is safe, and she can’t trust anyone offering her help—including her closest allies.

But is putting faith in only herself enough to stay alive?


Tule Author Q&A: Gerri Russell loves all things Scotland!

Gerri Russell stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in the Guardians of the Isles series, The Return of the Heir!


Where did you get the inspiration for The Return of the Heir

I love all things Scotland. My family knows that. I’m always reading books about Scotland or planning my next trip. About ten years ago, my brother-in-law brought me an article about the Fairy Flag. At the time, I was deep in other projects, but the Fairy Flag intrigued me as did the MacLeod clan, Dunvegan Castle, and the Isle of Skye. I’ve been there and absolutely fell in love with the isle. It was easy enough to believe in fairy magic after seeing so many beautiful landscapes and learning about the lore of the isle. 

That’s one of the hardest parts of writing…not letting yourself get distracted by other things! So, I put the article into my potential stories folder. Then, after I finished up my current projects and was thinking about what to write next, I remembered that article. I spent the next few months researching the MacLeod clan and the Fairy Flag. All kinds of elements needed to build a story-world started falling into place, and I knew I’d found my next series, The Guardians of the Isles.  


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

Every one of us has had bad things happen to us at some point in our lives. And every one of us has had to figure out how to rise from such an event. I wanted Gwendolyn to embody the spirit of a survivor. I want readers to follow along on Gwendolyn’s journey as she finds the strength to heal from her trauma and as she learns that her trauma has not lessened her but made her stronger. I hope many readers will see themselves in Gwendolyn’s strength and determination and that they will cheer for her as she receives the gift of true love after everything she’s been through. 

How do you relate to Alastair?

I am a peacemaker. That’s always been my role in my family and in my life. So I truly understand Alastair’s need to sow peace at a time when there was very little. As the new laird, and having survived his own trauma, I wanted Alastair to need Gwendolyn’s strength to help him become the leader and the man he is supposed to be. She teaches him that a peace-first approach isn’t always feasible, but at the end of the day, he will always have peace at home with the woman he loves. 


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

When I start writing, I have a basic idea of who my characters are, what they want, what they fear, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. The rest of it, we discover together along the way. It’s always nice to be surprised by your characters. It keeps writing interesting. 

Architectural Photography of Brown and Gray CastleWhat did that development process look like for The Return of the Heir?

Since The Return of the Heir is the start of the Guardians of the Isles series, it took almost a year to research and write the first book. I had to build my story world that would encompass the three MacLeod triplets and their family. One of the main characters I needed to research was the story’s location—Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. The castle has changed a lot over the centuries and I needed to understand what it looked like in the 18th century before it underwent a major restoration. I have pictures all around my office of the front, back, sides, and interior of Dunvegan now and in the past. I made a map of Dunvegan and all the places on the property that I use in the stories. I also made a map of the Isle of Skye and put all the places the characters visit on it so I could keep things straight in my mind from book to book. Now that I think about it, I should probably put that map into the books for all of you!  

I have a story world binder that contains all the characters with descriptions, details, and notes as the books move along in the series. I also have three three-inch binders filled with research. I print out or make photocopies of everything so that I can have it at my fingertips. Finding first sources for research is very important and I want to remember where I found what. After all the research, writing the story is the easy part! 


What was your favorite scene to write and why? 

An enjoyable task for any author is to put your characters in complicated situations and see how they work out a solution. In the following snippet, Gwendolyn and Alastair have just learned that their previous betrothal is still valid despite the fact that Gwendolyn had been missing and presumed dead for the past five years. Alastair, not knowing Gwendolyn was still alive, allowed the Isle council to arrange a marriage for him in the hopes of maintaining peace amongst the clans. Now he has two brides and must decide what to do about the situation, as well as find a way to deal with his grief over what happened to Gwendolyn five years ago. 

Gwendolyn stood by the window, looking out over the rear courtyard. The strong sunlight streaming through the window highlighted her skin with a burnished glow, making her appear even more ethereal than she had looked when Garrick had thrown her image with the pane of glass. The gown she wore hugged her small waist and fitted snugly over the swell of her breasts. She was of medium height, but she appeared much taller, for despite all she had suffered, she carried herself boldly, proudly, and with grace.

He could feel himself harden just looking at her. She was his if he wanted her. The thought brought a bittersweet smile to his lips. 

She turned, and seeing the evidence of his desire, her cheeks flushed. “Thank you for encouraging Samuel to join the others in sword practise.”

“Every young man should know how to defend himself and those he cares for.”

“And women do not deserve such consideration? Are they not in need of protecting themselves and others as well?”

He lifted a brow and drew closer to her. “Anytime you would like to learn to wield a sword, only say the word and I will teach you.”

She lifted her chin in challenge. “You would teach your enemies how to fight?”

“You, dear Gwendolyn, are not my enemy.” He wished she looked less challenging and more vulnerable. He was having a difficult time recalling her recent suffering when he was having his own immediate physical response to her presence. Without being conscious of what he was doing, he gently took her chin between his forefinger and thumb, tipping her face up to his. He moved his thumb from her chin to her lower lip, rubbing lightly against its inviting fullness. He realised what he was doing and released her, his hands falling to his sides. 

She swallowed roughly and looked away, drew a breath, then turned back to him. “What are you going to do about being betrothed to two women?” In her eyes he saw both fear and uncertainty. She was no doubt thinking of not only her survival, but that of her siblings. 

“What would you like to happen?”

Her glance slid away. “I have no opinion in this matter.”

“That’s not true. I believe you have several opinions and I’d like to hear them.”

“I cannot decide your fate.”

He arched a brow. “But you’d like me to decide yours?”

Gwendolyn’s teeth pressed hard into her lower lip. “It’s not just myself I need to consider. I’m afraid for Arabella.”

“She’ll recover in time. I will spare no expense in seeing her returned to health. Besides, the progress she’s made so far proves your sister is a lot like you—strong and determined.”

“I thank you for your support of Arabella. As for myself, I’ve had to be strong my whole life. Which is why I know I can survive losing you if that is what you choose. Can Beatrice do the same?”

She had neatly managed to turn this conversation back on him. “Beatrice has not suffered the way you have. That fact alone is more than enough of a reason to choose you as my bride. You need the security marriage can bring to your life and that of your kin far more than Beatrice does.”

Her brow furrowed. “Why did you agree to a marriage that the council set forth?”

He winced at the words. “Is it that obvious that the match between Beatrice and myself is not a love match?”

“Those are your words, not mine, and you still didn’t answer the question.”

He shrugged. “The entire council seemed to welcome the match in order to facilitate peace amongst the clans.”

Her eyes narrowed. “You would sacrifice your own happiness for the council?”

She had laid his decision out before him with simplicity, but the situation was quite complex. He could either have love and marriage with major conflicts amongst the clans, or he could have peace between the clans and a marriage that was lacking. “Peace amongst the clans is vital,” he said, his expression grave. 

He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. “Might we talk of other things?”


“Would you tell me what it was like for you in the tower?”

“Why would you want to know that?”

He offered her an encouraging smile as he motioned to two chairs near the bookshelves. “I’ve heard talking about a tragedy, or a time of great emotion, can be very cathartic. Perhaps it will help you move forward with your life, in whatever form that takes.”

She pursed her lips, thinking. “It was very dark and very cold.”

When she said nothing more, Alastair’s anger flared. “That is all? Pray tell, did you like being chained to a wall? Or not knowing if or when someone might come to feed you, or bring you water?”

She tensed and her cheeks flamed. “Nay, I didn’t enjoy being chained to the wall like an animal. I hated not knowing when or where Garrick would appear, or wondering if this was the day he would finally kill all of us. I was hungry, thirsty, desperate, and so alone. Even though we had each other, I still felt as though I was in a cocoon, wanting to die, and wanting to live with equal measure. After the first few months, when I’d become more settled into our bizarre reality, the desire to live started to override everything else. I wanted to live to feel the sun shine down upon my face once more, to feel the soft grass slip between my toes. I wanted to live for my brother and sister, to see them grow up and to one day run free as I had done for many more years than they ever had.” Gwendolyn drew in a ragged breath. “Is that what you wanted to know? What it’s like to be a prisoner?” 

Agony coiled in his chest. “I wanted to know what I did to you by not protecting you on our wedding day. I should have walked into the chapel beside you. I’ve replayed that day over and over in my mind hundreds of times.” He looked up at her miserably. 

She reached out, took his hands in hers. Her delicate fingers folded around his larger ones. 

He held tight as if she were a lifeline. “In every scenario, I failed you. For that I am so terribly sorry.” 

“Neither of us is at fault. We cannot live backwards. It is how we move forward into the future that matters.” At her gentle smile, Alastair felt as though a suffocating weight had been lifted from his chest. 

The anxiety that had shadowed her eyes since yesterday vanished, replaced with a glimmer of hope. 


What are you currently reading?

I always read several books at once and pick up each based on my mood at the time. I’m reading a research book titled, From Montrose to Culloden by Sir Walter Scott. For pleasure, I’m reading Readying to Rise, a collection of essays about social justice by Marcus Harrison Green, and Six of Crows, a fantasy novel, by Leigh Bardugo.


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.