Tag Archives: Joan Kilby

SAY I DO: Release day blog post featuring Joan Kilby!

I’m super excited about the release of Say I Do, Book 2 in my Sweetheart, Montana series. Readers first met Brianna and Angus in Book 1, Long Lost Christmas. When we last saw the young couple they’d just gotten together and were madly in love. By the time we meet them again in Say I Do, they’ve broken up, Angus went away to college and five years have passed. Brianna is now tourism director and organizing the first annual cherry blossom festival. Angus, now an architect, is back in Sweetheart for a short visit and gets roped into overseeing the construction of the community center where the festival is being held. Forced to work together, they have to figure out what went wrong with their relationship, rediscover what is right, and figure out if their love is strong enough to hold them together when their individual goals threaten to separate them again. 

One of the things I loved about writing Say I Do was the cherry blossom festival. The town of Sweetheart is named after Sweetheart cherries, which the Flathead Lake area is known for in real life. Brianna goes all out to promote the festival, including a countdown to peak blossom with townsfolk posting photos of the stages of blossom on the tourism website. She even invites a contingent of Japanese, known for their famous cherry blossom festivals, to be special guests. It’s all cherries, all the time, around Sweetheart.

Photo of Cherry Blossoms

I grew up on an acreage with cherry trees so as a kid I developed a deep affection for the delicious fruit as well as for climbing the trees. Many was the happy hour I spent perched high in the limbs of a cherry tree, (with a book to read, naturally), feasting on ripe cherries. Say I Do isn’t the first book I’ve written in which my heroine climbs a cherry tree and it might not be the last! 

I hope you enjoy this story and cheer Brianna and Angus along as they find their way back to true love.

Tule Publishing June 2021 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.

 

 

The Wedding Planner Playbook by Shannon Stults (American Heart)

Release Date: June 1, 2021

May the best wedding planner win…

After spending years making a name for herself as one of Atlanta’s top wedding planners, Tori Schaefer moved to the small, coastal town of Bedland Shores, Georgia, to take over her mother’s wedding planning business. While attending a wedding to assess the local competition, Tori meets a charming, camera-wielding stranger with a smile that leaves her heart stuttering.

Wyatt Rhodes has always loved helping couples celebrate their special day and created Narrative Weddings to do just that. When he runs into a gorgeous woman at one of his weddings, he’s completely smitten until he learns she’s his competition for the most influential wedding the town has ever seen.

They have two weeks to find the perfect venue and pitch their ideas to the bride. Tori is willing to do whatever it takes to land the gig that’ll put her business on the map. Can she find the balance between attraction and rivalry, or will her determination to win lose her a chance at her own happy ever after?


Capturing the Texas Rancher’s Heart by Debra Holt (Texas Born)

Release Date: June 3, 2021

The Tremaynes of Texas, Book 1

She thought she’d protected her heart…

After a tumultuous childhood, nurse Jamie Westmoreland craves the comfort of predictability. She loves her quiet life in a small Texas ranching town and finally feels in control until a handsome rancher becomes her newest patient. He challenges her at every turn, but Jamie is too stubborn to admit she enjoys their sparring, and that he makes her heart race. But when his charming little cowboy son starts following her around, her long-neglected heart opens.

Thomas Tremayne, the eldest son of a well-respected local ranching family, is both mom and dad to his young son and has no plans to change. When a ranch injury requires an in-house expert, the nurse who called him out on his attitude is sent to help him heal. She’s even harder to resist on his ranch than she was at the hospital, but Thomas is determined to try—except he’s out-numbered. His son decided he wants a mom, and nurse Jamie is his choice.

Can two stubborn adults let down their guard long enough to let love in again?


An Acquired Taste by Kelly Cain (American Heart)

Release Date: June 8, 2021

The Everheart Brothers of Texas, Book 1

May the best chef win…

After four years at the country’s top culinary school and several years as head chef in her mother’s restaurant, Rowan Townsend has built a notable reputation. Her farm-to-table collard greens have long been bringing everyone to the yard, but limits on the restaurant’s size have led to long waits. Looking to expand the restaurant, she enters a televised chef competition. The problem? Her infuriatingly-talented nemesis from culinary school also enters.

To the culinary world, Knox Everheart is restaurant royalty. As much as Rowan wants to deny it, he’s a gifted chef. Rowan knows her arrogant arch-nemesis is confident he’ll win—he’s certainly given her a run for her money more times than she’d like to admit. But this time, she’s ready to show him who’s boss.

Their rivalry soon sparks fireworks in the kitchen and, as the competition heats up, so does Rowan’s attraction to Knox. And somewhere between pasta and gumbo, they both need to decide what’s worth fighting for.


Cowboy Honor by Michelle Beattie (Texas Born)

Release Date: June 10, 2021

Tangled Up in Texas, Book 5

This time he wants it all…

Hudson Granger’s family has been estranged since he was a boy. Sixteen years later, not much is different. Or so he thought. After an eighteen-month deployment, he arrives home to his family’s Texas ranch and is shocked by how much life has changed. His brothers are mending fences and have found love. Their father is slowly recovering from a massive heart attack. The kick to Hudson’s chest—learning he has an infant daughter.

Nurse Avery Collins never planned on telling Hudson their vacation fling had resulted in a child. He’d made it clear he wasn’t looking for anything serious, and after her dad ran out on her and her family, she didn’t want to rely on a man for anything. But when her daughter has a serious health scare, Avery’s hand is forced.

Despite their sizzling attraction, Avery is determined to keep Hudson at arm’s length, co-parenting only. But Hudson wants everything—a wife and a family. And he’s determined to get it.


A Case for the Cookie Baker by Candace Havens (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: June 15, 2021

Ainsley McGregor, Book 5

It’s all fun and games until the last cookie crumbles…

Ainsley McGregor and the entire town of Sweet River, Texas, are preparing for the annual summer celebration. And thanks to the extra tourist traffic, Ainsley’s shop, Bless Your Art, has never been busier. Good thing her new friend, Lizzie, has opened a bakery nearby and provides Ainsley and her staff with tasty treats and daily sugar rushes. It’s all cookies and fun, until someone ends up dead in the bakery and her new pal is the prime suspect.

Ainsley is convinced Lizzie is innocent. Unfortunately, her brother, the town sheriff, and her boyfriend, Jake, have some not-so-secret suspicions. With a town full of strangers who just might be suspects, Ainsley finds herself targeted by a killer. Even as her world crumbles faster than a cookie, she’s determined to prove her friend’s innocence—if she can stay alive long enough.


Price to Pay by M.A. Guglielmo (Muse)

Release Date: June 17, 2021

From Smokeless Fire, Book 3

She’s gone from party girl of the paranormal to the world’s best hope against a deadly fallen angel.

Zahara‘s tired of saving the world from imminent doom, and her enemy to almost-lover Harut’s “no hanky-panky before marriage” rule is driving her crazy. To take the fight to his evil brother Marut, Zahara returns to the land of the jinn to cobble together an alliance between the peoples of the Mountains of Qaf to defeat the fallen angel. Everything that can’t go wrong does anyway, and after dealing with a malfunctioning magic carpet and killer unicorns, Zahara has to steal back an enchanted feather from a feared necromancer and face down the father she’s never known.

As more of the jinn join Marut in his plan to destroy humanity, Zahara needs Harut’s help more than ever—to save the world and her heart. But when the final confrontation comes, defeating one brother may mean Zahara loses the other forever.


Nothing But Cowboy by Justine Davis (Texas Born)

Release Date: June 22, 2021

The Raffertys of Last Stand, Book 1

He thought he was content, until she walked in the door…

Keller Rafferty abandoned his dreams long ago to help his mom raise his brothers after his father’s death. Duty, family and deep roots still guide him as he runs his family’s Texas cattle ranch and cares for his new, grieving foster son. They’re just beginning to find a balance when a beautiful and determined woman arrives on the ranch.

Sydney Brock spent her entire globe-trotting life thinking she had no family except her ne’er do well, nomadic, irresponsible parents. When she discovers her parents lied and she has a newly-orphaned cousin, Sydney rushes halfway around the world to provide the teen with something she never had—a home. She’s shocked to be thwarted by a protective—and sexy—cowboy.

Sydney’s determined to form a relationship with her cousin, but Keller doesn’t trust that the worldly woman will stay in small town Texas. It’s up to Sydney to prove him wrong, and the longer she spends time with Keller, his family and her cousin, the more she vows to do just that.


History of Us by Stacey Agdern (American Heart)

Release Date: June 24, 2021

Friendships and Festivals, Book 2

Do they have a future together, or is their relationship ancient history?

Anna Cohen, perpetual assistant at the Manhattan Museum of Jewish History, lands a golden chance to curate her own exhibit when her boss sends her to Rockliffe Manor, New York. She’s to assist an influential Jewish family as they organize an exhibit of their own in time for the town’s Summer Days Festival. While she’s there, Anna just needs to convince them to part with some of their archival history for an upcoming exhibition—something they’ve always refused—and not get involved with her ex, the family’s heir. Again.

Jacob Horowitz-Margareten wants to help save the world. Despite having no time to spend organizing his family’s archives, he’s always had a soft spot for Anna. The chance to spend more time with her intrigues him, but he doesn’t trust her boss or the museum she works for with the tangible bits of his family’s rich history.

As they work together, Anna and Jacob need to decide what’s more important: their history or the story their hearts are telling them.


Say I Do by Joan Kilby (Montana Born)

Release Date: June 29, 2021

Sweetheart, Montana, Book 2

She’s been over him for years, until he returns home…

In her new role as tourism director, Brianna Renton intends to put Sweetheart, Montana, on the map with the first annual Cherry Blossom festival. She’s also supervising the build of a new community hall by her father’s log cabin construction company. But the project is stalled and an unexpected visit from a former employee could be the answer to Brianna’s prayers. Except he’s her ex.

Angus Adams never forgot Brianna. When they were together, he put her on a pedestal and was determined to win her hand by proving himself and working hard to eventually buy into a partnership with her father’s company. He accepted a scholarship at a prestigious university to get his architecture degree, planning to return for Brianna, but she broke up with him the week before he left with no explanation.

Saying yes to helping her during his vacation is easy. Trying to win her heart while protecting his own is much harder.

Tule Author Q&A: Joan Kilby discusses puppies and wilderness treks!

Joan Kilby stopped by to discuss the fourth book in her Starr Brothers of Montana series, The Runaway Montana Bride!

 

This is a fun opposites attract romance, with Lilou and Garrett being so different from each other. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

Opposites attract is one of my favorite tropes! Clashing personalities and vastly different backgrounds gives a writer a lot to play with. It’s a great basis for humor, too, especially in the beginning when they have preconceived notions of each other. But what I really love is showing them getting to know each other and seeing their prejudices fade away as they find common ground and understanding. 

In The Runaway Montana Bride, Garrett is totally at home in the wilderness and his dream is to find a soul mate who loves it as much as he does. New Yorker ‘princess’ Lilou is intimidated by untamed nature – and Garrett – and can’t wait to get back to the city. But things aren’t always as they seem on the surface. Lilou isn’t the princess Garrett assumes she is, and he’s not the brutish mountain man she thinks he is. As they get to know each other, they discover that they’re more alike than they are different because they have the same core values of family and loyalty. Once they allow themselves to be vulnerable, their attraction goes to a deeper level. 

Lilou’s also a ‘fish out of water’, another trope I love writing and reading. She has to face challenges she’s never encountered before and that forces her to grow and to figure out what it is she truly wants. In trying to prove to Garrett that she’s stronger than he thinks, she discovers inner strengths that even she never knew she had. And you’d think Garrett would be a fish out of water in New York city but he managed to rise to that challenge.

 

Adorable little Pomeranian dog lying in bedTell us about Lilou’s adorable pup, Simba!

Simba was so much fun to write! To Garrett, a Pomeranian is not a ‘real’ dog but a fluff ball typical of a New York princess like Lilou. But to Lilou, Simba is her best friend and her only comfort after she runs away from her broken engagement and she finds herself not only in the wilderness, but socially isolated within the hiking group. Simba is a character in himself and plays a pivotal role in the story. He’s both a source of humor and conflict between the hero and heroine, and the catalyst for their growing romance. 

But while Simba might be small and fluffy, he has the heart of a lion. I don’t want to give too much away but he’s not afraid of anything. As for the way he’s groomed to look like a lion, I didn’t even realize that was a thing until after I wrote the first draft and then found pictures on the internet of fluffy dogs with ‘lion’ cuts. I didn’t care for the shaved hind quarters on some dogs so I was careful to describe Simba as having plush fur on his body. But I love his mane and the tassel on his tail. 

 

Did anything about your characters surprise you?

That’s a great question. My characters are constantly surprising me. You think you know who they are and then they do something that’s way out of their comfort zone. It’s even better when they surprise themselves. 

Lilou is a luxury travel blogger and never goes anywhere without her hair dryer. Suddenly she’s sleeping on the ground and washing in a stream. She has a fear of heights and of being on the water so of course rock climbing and river rafting are on the itinerary. (Cue evil author laugh.) I made it harder and harder for her to keep up with the experienced hikers to see if she would break but she had the grit to tackle every challenge. You can’t ask much more from a heroine. She surprised me even more when she was able to use knowledge gained in her luxury travel to navigate in the wilderness. 

Another big surprise was how strongly Garrett bonded with Simba and how they developed a relationship of their own. I didn’t plan that, but when it happened, it felt just right. They are so sweet together. And Garrett in New York? It’s a small but important scene that reveals a whole ‘nother side to the man and made him even more swoonworthy.

 

Woman Standing on Green GrassDo you think you could handle Garrett Starr’s wilderness trek?

I’d like to think I could! I definitely could have in my younger days. I’ve done a lot of hiking and camping in my time, including a three week trek through the Himalayas to Everest Base Camp. In my twenties I worked as a fisheries biologist in northern British Columbia and spent weeks at a time camping in the kind of wilderness Garrett and Lilou trekked through. I’ve seen my share of black and brown bears although I’ve never run into a grizzly, thank goodness. One of my coworkers was charged by a grizzly defending her cubs, and another biologist friend was mauled by a grizzly while studying spawning salmon. Drawing on their first hand accounts gave me a lot of insight into terrifying possibilities. 

As a marine biologist I used to navigate inflatable boats through pretty rough water, which was scary and exhilarating at the same time. I’ve never tried rock climbing with ropes, but I’ve been in tricky situations hiking up mountains where I’ve been scared to move forward and couldn’t go back. Of course you have to go forward. Just about everything I write about in my books, I can connect to personally in some way.

 

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

I have a home office with all the usual things – desk, printer, bookshelves – as well as some extras like dog leashes, yoga mats, a stuffed elephant and my mom’s cookie jar. My desk is super messy but I find a clean desk somehow distracting. (My story and I’m sticking to it.

When I edit my work I prefer absolute quiet. But when writing new words I listen to binaural music. I find it really works to quickly put me in the ‘zone.’ I’m quite disciplined and work best with a routine, writing from 9 to 5 most days with a break at lunchtime to walk my dog, Sparky. Fresh air and exercise are great for working out plot problems or coming up with new ideas. 

Morning is my most productive time but when on deadline I can be up to all hours. Now that my husband is retired, he coaxes me out to lunch occasionally, which is a good thing as I tend to be so focused I sit at my desk for too long and that’s not healthy. These days lunch out is more likely to be a picnic with social distancing but it’s nice just to get out.

 

Books in Black Wooden Book ShelfWhat are you currently reading?

Lots of different things. I’m too busy writing during the day to read so at night I listen to audiobooks while drifting off to sleep. It’s very relaxing but can backfire if the book is so good that I stay up and lose sleep to listen. I borrow audio books from the library and because the selection is somewhat limited, I often listen to books I would never have picked up if I had a wider choice. 

Silver lining is that I’ve discovered new authors and new areas of interest such as historical non-fiction. It sounds dry but Thomas Keneally, the Australian author who wrote Schindler’s Ark, unearths some fascinating things. For example, in the 1860s, a convict sentenced to life in the Australian penal colony, escaped and somehow made his way to America where he became a famous orator, public figure and Governor of Montana. Not all the convicts were bad people. 

I enjoy mystery novels with quirky heros and a bit of humor. Lately I’ve been binging on Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series, and the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsay Davis, a detective series set in Ancient Rome. I also stumbled on The Dalai Lama’s Cat And The Power of Meow by David Michie, written from the point of view of HHC, His Holiness’s Cat. The novels are gentle parables of buddhism but not at all preachy. From a purely story standpoint, there’s an exotic setting, an appealing cast of characters, and the cat is laugh out loud funny at times. 

I read romance novels, too, of course, and Tule authors are some of my favorites, but I tend not to read romance when I’m actively writing in case I’m influenced in some way. It’s a bit of a superstition. The upside is that I have a giant TBR pile of romances for when I next have time off. I’m looking forward to that!

 

About the Author

Award-winning author Joan Kilby writes sweet, sexy contemporary romance with a touch of humor. When she’s not working on a new book Joan can often be found at her local gym doing yoga, or being dragged around the neighborhood by her Jack “Rascal” terrier. Her hobbies are growing vegetables, cooking, traveling and reading–not necessarily in that order. Happily married with three children, Joan lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to hear from readers so feel free to drop her a line. For contact details and more info on Joan’s books, go to joankilby.weebly.com.

Behind the Cherry Lake series with Joan Kilby

 

TheSecretSon-300dpiA year ago I was given the opportunity to write a book for the newly-conceived Cherry Lake series. All I knew about the concept back then was that the series would be set in a small Montana town on Flathead Lake, and that the main characters would be descendants of four brothers – returned soldiers – who founded the town and  planted cherry orchards.

I’ve worked with an amazing group of authors on this series. We whittled down the four brothers to one living ancestor, Nate Jackson, the grandfather of all of our characters. Early on the editorial director at Tule mentioned that one of the characters could have a secret family. I loved that idea so I quickly grabbed that character for my own. He became Nate’s oldest son and the father to my hero, Alex, in The Secret Son.

In all, Nate had two sons and two daughters who form the second generation and are the parents of our characters. Nate’s backstory and his own romance is fleshed out in the free prequel novella, Small Town Secrets by Roxanne Snopek.

Either the hero or heroine of our stories are first cousins and have always been part of each other’s lives. It’s been fascinating watching their stories evolve and interweave to create a sprawling family saga. One by one, we created businesses, stores, restaurants, parks, and secondary characters until we had a town that feels real, with real people and places, a colorful history and a vibrant present.

As well as the family connection we wanted another layer linking our stories. Riffing off the idea of the secret family we decided that all of our stories would be about secrets of some sort. Small town secrets.

I truly hope our readers enjoy discovering the lives and loves of the inhabitants of Cherry Lake as much as we, the authors, did in creating them.

The Secrets of Cherry Lake

Book 1: Small Town Secrets by Roxanne Snopek – Available now!
Book 2: The Secret Son by Joan Kilby – Available now!
Book 3: Her Secret Love by Paula Altenburg – Available now!
Book 4: Her Secret Protector by Roxanne Snopek – Available now!
Book 5: The Secret Bride by Jeannie Watt – Coming soon!

JoanKilbyPRAward-winning author Joan Kilby writes sweet, sexy contemporary romance with a touch of humor. When she’s not working on a new book Joan can often be found at her local gym doing yoga, or being dragged around the neighborhood by her Jack “Rascal” terrier. Her hobbies are growing vegetables, cooking, traveling and reading–not necessarily in that order. Happily married with three children, Joan lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to hear from readers so feel free to drop her a line. For contact details and more info on Joan’s books, go to http://www.joankilby.com.

 

USA Today Bestselling Author Roxanne Snopek takes over the Tule Blog!

From USA Today Bestselling Author Roxanne Snopek:

Welcome to The Secrets of Cherry Lake!

FroeseFamilyBook3
Self-publishing way before it was cool!

I’m lucky to belong to a family that loves to create “family books.” These pictorial directories trace our family tree back to… well, a long way. As a kid, I thought they were worse than boring. They were embarrassing! I mean, look at the hair, the clothes.

Now, I’ve got much more appreciation for how the people I’ve come from affect my own life path. Of course, none of the entries tell me the sort of things I really want to know. Come on! Birth, marriage, baptism, death. There’s so much more! How about the scandals? Were there honestly no divorces? No affairs? No long lost uncles or disappearing fathers? No surprise babies or extremely healthy premies? (Oh, yes, there were. Check the dates.)

FroeseFamilyBook1
Children having children. The following year, there’d be another one, too. And in a couple of weeks, she’s off to university. <sob!>

In writing the novella Small Town Secrets,  I was able to use that curiosity to crack the window open on a family that is, to me, much more than a properly posed grainy black-and-white photograph. Cherry Lake founder Nathan Jackson has faced huge decisions, impossible choices. He’s made mistakes, he’s found love, lost love, created love and reclaimed love. He’s pretty great, as grandfathers go. Even as dads go, though he believes otherwise.

My little snapshot paves the way for the first book in the series, Joan Kilby’s book The Secret Son. In it, you’ll see how choices made in one generation trickle down into the next, and the next, and the next, unbeknownst to those following. So much makes sense, when you know what came before. Oh, you’ll love this one, trust me.

FroeseFamilyBook2
I’m from good, hearty stock.

We’re all part of an intricate web of brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, family by blood or family chosen, young and old, near and far. Join us as we explore the hidden side of our favorite small town, Cherry Lake, Montana. It might not be on any map, but it’s as real as they come.

Small Town Secrets and The Secret Son are available now!