Tag Archives: kaz delaney

Tule Author Q&A: What Kaz Delaney would do if she was stuck in a blizzard!

Kaz Delaney stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the fourth book in The Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries series, Murder Below the Mistletoe!

Where did you get the inspiration for Murder Below the Mistletoe?

My favorite mysteries—and probably all stories—are those set during the Holidays and I was itching to write a Christmas cozy, so when the timeline of the Hart Of Texas Mystery series naturally wound around to the Holiday season, I couldn’t wait. There’s a wonderful—if that’s the right word—juxtaposition of all the prettiness and joy of the Holiday season set alongside the ugly cold-heartedness of murder. I also love locked-room mysteries, and so having a murder take place in an isolated lodge that’s cut off by blizzards and snow dumps seemed to be a great place to start. I guess we could say this story is inspired by all the classic whodunits of time gone by.

 

In this story, we see Rosie outside of the Airlie Falls setting. Was it fun to get out of the town you created or were you eager to get back?

I live in a country where the Holiday season is hot and sticky, but also where our season parties are mostly outside under pretty lights, and the day itself is usually spent overindulging on luscious seafood or hot roast dinners (for my family, it’s both), diving into the pool, lounging on a beach or engaged in a hose-water fight with your kids. And while we love it nonetheless, the allure of cozy Christmases spent by a raging fire with snow outside the window and carols playing inside has always held a certain magic, probably because it’s the opposite to what we have here. 

Moving Rosie to Colorado for a week or so, allowed me to fulfil my fantasy of a northern Christmas. So, initially I thought it was a great idea, but the first obstacle came when I had to have a legitimate and believable reason for Rosie to leave Airlie Falls at that time of year—which was where the wedding came in. What better idea than to have her invited to be an attendant at a Christmas wedding? Of course, she had misgivings about going, and why not? It was a crazy busy time for her From the Hart baking business, plus, leaving Jonah during the build-up to their first ever Christmas together, was a hard decision to make. However, there was something unsettling about the invitation and that intuition was proved correct when the first body was discovered. Had someone really murdered Santa? Surely not!

When I began writing it though, as much as I loved the mystery, I felt something was missing—and that something was the fun and color the folk of Airlie Falls bring to each story. So, I’m hoping that readers of the series will be delighted when some of the most loved characters manage to—hilariously—get themselves up that isolated lodge just before the whole place is completely cut off. 

Was I anxious to get Rosie back to Airlie Falls? Not so much anxious, as contented. The tiny rural town of Airlie Falls is the heart of this series and its community warmth and inclusiveness has connected with readers, many of whom wish they, too, could live there. (Something that makes me cry with joy each time I hear or read that comment – thank you.) So, as beautiful and majestic as Colorado is, and as fun as it was to write about, for Rosie, Airlie Falls is home. And home is where the heart is, right? 

Free Snow Covered Pine Trees Stock Photo

If you were stuck in a blizzard like your heroine, what would you do to pass the time? 

I love this question – and okay – as this is highly unlikely to ever happen to me, and as I have no experience, please know this is my fantasy answer. To set the scene: I’m in a very well-run private lodge with staff on hand who cannot wait to do my bidding, there are no shortages—food or otherwise—and heat and firewood are in indecent supply. So, what would I do?  Easy. I’d read until my eyeballs fell out under protest! Specifically, I’d curl up beside a fire (that I hope someone else was stoking to maintain that cheerful blaze), have choc-topped cappuccinos delivered every hour or so, along with a selection of home baked cookies or cake—and just sink into all the stories currently lined up on my bedside table (and that I coincidentally had packed to take with me) or are on my kindle list. If, for some reason (that I cannot even contemplate) I tired of that, I’d welcome a fireside chat—as long as the person was happy to chat about books, ha!—or even a game of cards. Maybe some other board game, as well. Maybe watch the occasional movie—especially all those I’d intended to go see and missed. This lodge would also somehow have access to an array of fresh seafood and I’d dine like a queen every night before sinking into a feather bed in a bedroom warmed and lit by a log fire. Hey! The more I get into this, the more I really like this fantasy. Or maybe I just need a vacation. It has been a big year… Yep, it’s sounding better by the minute. Who wants to join me?   

 

Do you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

We’ve practiced many over the years, some of which have evolved as our children have grown and had their own families. Our family tree decorating parties were always a joy, often with many extended family members joining in. Lots of music, and loads of food (that required days of preparation) and much hijinx. Brothers and sisters hiding each other’s ‘name’ baubles, everyone crying foul and immediately planning payback. It’s been heart-warming to see our own children continue these traditions with their own families.

For me, the buildup to Christmas has always held the most magic. The stores all decorated, the music, the carol singing, the cards, the children’s school and or church pageants—the magical anticipation on the faces of the children so dear to me. A hushed church… And the aromas! Those particular smells that so quickly take you those magical moments of the past, and bring with them the promise of more in the future. Fresh tree boughs, scented candles… Puddings steaming; the spicy deliciousness of fruit cake baking in the oven. Sugary, buttery sweetness of shortbread. Many of our traditions still revolve around food—like steaming my mother-in-law’s ultra-delicious Christmas pudding; making my mom’s seafood sauce, her fruitcake recipe and the fruit punch she made for me first when I was a teenager having my first party and which my children, as adults, still associate with Christmas all these years later.  It’s watching my wide-eyed grandchildren’s faces when they spy the first Christmas cookies in Nonna’s jar, and baking more with them when they’re all too-soon devoured! And for my husband, ensuring our pool is ready for a heavy workout! 

We (or rather my husband!) decorate the exterior of our house each year with hundreds of colored lights and I just adore it. Each year, our neighbors all congregate in our yard under those lights a week before Christmas for our annual neighborhood party. We all bring food to share and in recent years I’ve begun reintroducing foods made from long-forgotten recipes that we all passed across fences in our early years of marriage and loving the memories and stories that has evoked.  And we love to see how other people have decorated their houses. We still drive around before Christmas with our youngest grandchildren, sharing their delight at the houses decorated for the season and often sit on our own porch in the evening with a cool drink and wave to families doing the same thing.   

This, to me, is what Christmas, or the Holidays, are all about. Family, friends, food, love and laughter and thanksgiving that we’ve all made it through another year. 

 

What are you currently reading?

Being deep in the throes of another Hart of Texas Mystery, I haven’t had as much time for reading as I’d like (hence the fantasy above !!) However, here’s a couple that I’ve really enjoyed over the last month. The first, The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland, is a thought-provoking story that follows a guilt-ridden wife who wants to fulfil the long-held wish of her dementia-suffering-husband, giving him one last adventure, which means breaking him out of his aged-care facility and going on the run. 

Then, if you like romantic suspense, I can also give my tick of approval to Protecting their Destiny by Erin Moira O’Hara. It’s part of the famed Bindarra Creek series, and it’s quite a ride and will keep your heart racing from start to end. Just finished it and loved it. 

Right now though, I have just dived into the first few pages of Fortune Whelan’s My Christmas With You and from the start it’s giving me all the right holiday feels! Loving it. 

 

About the Author

Award winning YA & children’s author, Kaz Delaney, and her alter ego, have currently sold 73 titles between them over a 26 year career.

Her books have won many awards, among them the prestigious Aurealis Award for best paranormal and ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) awards. Her novel ‘Dead, Actually’ (Allen & Unwin) was nominated for a Davitt Award, (Best crime novel, Sisters In Crime) in the YA section.   Dividing her time between teaching and writing, Kaz formerly tutored Creative Writing for CSU’s Enrichment Program as well as teaching and creating courses for the Australian College of Journalism.

Having always had a love of cozy mysteries, Kaz is having so much fun writing her Hart of Texas Mystery Series for TULE Publishing, that she worries it’s not legal!

With their family grown and gone, Kaz lives with her wonderful husband at beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia, a place she describes as a strip of land between the ocean and lake.  Like Rosie, Kaz loves to bake and grow vegetables and unlike Rosie, manages to make a mess of every crochet task she undertakes.

Tule Publishing October 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for October!

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

 

Someone Cruel in Coyote Creek by Kris Bock (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: October 3, 2022

The Accidental Detective, Book 3

Turning fifty in her childhood bedroom wasn’t on her bucket list…

Kate Tessler is convinced her sister is trying to kill her. In fact, she might prefer death to Jen’s “50 for 50 Challenge,” where Kate will try fifty new things throughout the year she turns fifty. Still adjusting to her new underemployed life back in her childhood home in Phoenix, the last thing Kate wants is to prepare for paddle boarding, especially when she receives an anonymous message claiming that Mayor Todd Paradise is taking bribes. The author claims to have proof, including photos, and challenges Kate to publish the story.

Could good guy Todd, Kate’s almost boyfriend, really be corrupt or is someone trying to set him up? Kate sets out to discover the truth, with help from her multi-generational, unconventional, and often unhelpful crew. She thrived reporting from war zones as an international war correspondent, but can she survive a deadly fundraising party, a close encounter with a taser, a turn at an open mic night, and a 100-pound dog named Whiskers?


A Boyfriend by Christmas by Jami Rogers (American Heart)

Release Date: October 4, 2022

The Evergreen Brothers, Book 1

She’s looking for the one. He just wants a plus-one.

This Christmas, tradition is going to be on photographer Lucy Adam’s side. She’ll finally find Mr. Right and marry him at the gazebo at Melody Square Park, where her late parents tied the knot. There’s just one snag in her plan. Scrooge, aka Carter Evergreen, plans to demolish the park. She needs all the mistletoe she can muster now that her goal has an expiration date.

Lucy has always been the girl next door—literally—and the one that got away. If she wants to find her true love, Carter’s happy to provide dating advice if she’ll be his plus-one at business functions. And to sweeten the pot, he’ll consider her ideas to save the park, too.

But Carter also knows the property is unstable and repairs are too costly. As they grow closer, he’s willing to do anything to save this holiday season for her—except grant her what she wants most. Can their partnership build the real foundation they need to create a magical future?


The Christmas Concierge by Beth Kendrick (American Heart)

Release Date: October 5, 2022

Christmas concierge Holiday Smith, known as “the Wish Granter,” procures impossible-to-find gifts for her elite clients. But after years of granting everyone’s wishes but her own, she promises her family that this year she’ll finally make it home for Christmas. Just one tiny glitch: a favorite elderly client begs Holiday to set up her grown granddaughter on a blind date with her old high school crush, tech-world escapee Alex Sappier…who’s somewhere off the coast of Maine.

Famously private, Alex flatly refuses a date with an old classmate he doesn’t even remember. And there’s nothing this beautiful stranger can do to persuade him. Unless…she’d be willing to cast her wish-making magic on his own Christmas family crisis?

Holiday has less than a week to rescue Alex’s family’s Christmas, arrange a Grinch-defying Christmas Eve blind date, and get herself home before a blizzard closes the roads—or worse, before they give in to the growing attraction between them.

As Holiday teams up with exactly the right man at exactly the wrong time, can she find a way to make her own wish for love come true this Christmas?


A Country Christmas by Fiona Marsden (Holiday)

Release Date: October 6, 2022

With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing, Book 6

This Christmas will bring the ultimate gift…

One night with a stranger changed Moira O’Brien’s life forever. She’s always denied needing a family of her own, until she met Gio and discovered life could offer her something more, something special—before it was snatched away. Now Gio and his daughter are back in Moira’s life, and this time Gio seems determined to stay.

After losing his wife a year ago, Gio Tsiarkas is ready for a fresh start with his daughter, Emilia. He’s in Kurrajong Crossing with a new home, new car, and the chance for a new life—maybe with the woman who’d been a much-needed bright spot in his life amid so much loss. All he has to do is convince his daughter that a new woman in his life won’t ruin hers. Oh, and hopefully find the woman.

When love and attraction come up against parental responsibility, will Gio and Moira have to make all the sacrifices? Or will a reluctant twelve-year-old discover Christmas can be about creating new families as well as holding onto the old?


A Christmas Shadow by H L Marsay (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: October 11, 2022

Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery, Book 6

Even the season of goodwill can’t stop a murder…

Detective Chief Inspector John Shadow is reluctantly attending York Minster’s Advent Ceremony when the new Dean is taken ill after drinking wine. Was her allergic reaction a simple case of human error or could she have been poisoned? Shadow becomes suspicious when he learns someone else has died under similar circumstances. He begins to quietly investigate, but when the body of a young woman is recovered from the river, he knows he must act quickly. And this time, Shadow requires the help of someone from his past.

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 a maze of cheating husbands, corrupt clergy and criminal gangs to solve the murders before the killer can strike again.


The Christmas Blueprint by Sinclair Jayne (American Heart)

Release Date: October 12, 2022

Bear Creek, Book 2

She needs a win this Christmas. He’s standing in her way.

Boutique owner Sophia Gonzales is ready to shake off her grief and make some changes. As a new member of the town’s planning commission, she agrees to run point on an exciting proposal to repurpose an abandoned, historic mill for the city. But proving herself becomes far more challenging when she meets with her project partner—her late fiancé’s best friend who’s never agreed with her about anything.

The last thing architect Killian Flanagan wants is to move back to Bear Creek, but his best friend needs him to watch his daughter while he completes his last deployment. So Killian accepts a part-time city planner job, hoping he can avoid the one woman he’s never been able to forget. But not only is Sophia the first to greet him, she’s already got plans in motion for his—no, their—project.

It’s the ghost of Christmas past, with Sophia and Killian trying not to fall in love in the present…but maybe a future together is the real blueprint for happiness.


My Christmas with You by Fortune Whelan (American Heart)

Release Date: October 13, 2022

Dorseys of Conception Bay, Book 3

Christmas is a time for family and forgiveness…

Mabel Gray is no stranger to rebuilding her life. She ran away from her childhood sweetheart, ghosting him to create a life away from her controlling family in Conception Bay. Fifteen years later, she’s done it again. After walking away from her marriage and the hotel empire she built with her ex, she’s broke and a single mom to a teen. But with a loan from her mother, she plans to rise again, this time back in her hometown. Her only concern? Running into Danny, the man she’s never forgotten.

Danny Dorsey knows all about second chances. After recklessly crashing his car days after signing a professional hockey contract, he lost everything—including the girl he loved. Years later, he’s the wealthy creator of an illustrious social media and lifestyle brand. Finally feeling settled, Danny makes an unexpected detour to visit his family for Christmas…only to find himself sitting with Mabel at dinner.

Falling in love has always been easy. But will the secrets of the past once again tear them apart?


The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Paula Altenburg (Montana Born)

Release Date: October 17, 2022

The Endeavour Ranch of Grand, Montana, Book 4

Rodeo champion and buckle-bunny favorite Miles Decker is the “face” of professional bull riding. So when his famous face is badly scarred in a bull riding accident, he retires from public life and returns to Grand, Montana, to manage the new circuit rodeo on the Endeavour Ranch. He has few regrets—he’s made his money and has had his fill of beautiful women. But his future is upended when a surprise Christmas gift lands on his doorstep: an eight-month-old baby girl with his eyes and smile.

Local girl Tate Shannahan just lost her elf job, so being hired as the caregiver for Miles Decker’s baby is a godsend for an already difficult Christmas. Her twin brother’s death in a bull riding accident fractured Tate’s family, leaving her and her older brother to continue the Shannahan traditions alone—or not, as her brother decides. The baby is a joy, but working for a man who represents everything her family has lost isn’t easy.

Miracles happen at Christmas though, and as Miles and Tate discover new traditions together, can love grow where they least expect it?


The Fireman’s Christmas Wish by Nan Reinhardt (American Heart)

Release Date: October 18, 2022

The Lange Brothers, Book 3

Her heart is wide open, but he’s nailed his shut.

Preschool teacher Harley Cole has always viewed life through rose-colored glasses. With a career she loves, friends she enjoys, and a home that is her haven, there’s only one thing missing—finding her soul mate. As the holidays approach, Harley is inspired to help her former high school crush rediscover his holiday joy. It’s just a good deed…until the feelings she thought were gone come rushing back.

Fire Chief Becker Lange returns home to River’s Edge with a heavy heart. His divorce has emotionally ravaged him, leaving him more confused than ever about what women want. So to protect himself from another failure, he closes his heart. And then Harley Cole makes him a flirty dare that she can help him overcome the holiday blues. Beck’s not sure he wants to, but Harley’s a hard woman to tell no.

Can the magic of Christmas and a sweet stray kitten bring these two lonely souls together?


Murder Below the Mistletoe by Kaz Delaney (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: October 19, 2022

Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries, Book 4

It was going to be a Christmas wedding to die for…

What could go wrong when baker Rosie Hart heads to a snowy Colorado mountain lodge for a week of elaborate pre-wedding festivities at her friend’s wedding? The better question would be: what could go right?

Rosie’s fears for the nervous bride are confirmed when one of the wedding guests turns up dead. All evidence points to the groom being the intended victim, but with the guests dressed in Christmas-themed attire, and a dead Santa on their hands, Rosie’s not so sure. What if the killer did hit the right target all along?

Stuck in a blizzard with the wedding party being picked off one by one, Rosie’s investigative instincts kick in—only this time she’s acting without the support of her friends back in Airlie Falls. Until her four irrepressible card-shark mentors from Riverbend Retirement Village unexpectedly turn up to rescue her.

The more the merrier…right?


A Cowboy’s Secret by Anne McAllister (Montana Born)

Release Date: October 20, 2022

The Cowboy’s Code, Book 3

Montana cowboy J.D. Holt has more secrets than any man needs—and he’s not sharing a single one with bright and brainy Lydia Cochrane. He’s a hard-edged, down-to-earth cowboy, and she’s the smartest woman in the state. They have nothing in common—until Lydia buys his ranch!

Lydia has loved J.D. for as long as she can remember, but he barely knows she’s alive—that is, until she becomes his boss! Who cares if she isn’t a rancher? Lydia has never been afraid to learn, and surely J.D. can teach her the ropes. There’s a lot he could teach her if he’d ever look her way.

J.D. knows Lydia isn’t for him, and he definitely isn’t for her. But the longer he’s around her, the more she makes him want things he’s never wanted before—a home, a family, and mostly Lydia herself. J.D. knows he has too many secrets for this to work. But what if some secrets were meant to be shared?


The X-Mas Club by Lenora Worth (American Heart)

Release Date: October 24, 2022

Christmas is a time for miracles…

After a tragic traffic accident several years ago, Veronica Cearley has avoided all socializing and celebrating—especially during Christmas. Her daughter wants her mother back and finally gives her an ultimatum: this year, she’s spending Christmas with her fiancé’s family, and if Veronica doesn’t rediscover the joy in life, she won’t be involved in planning her spring wedding. When Veronica finds a flyer inviting people to attend a “Not a Christmas Club” on her daily walk, she wonders if fate has played into her hand.

Cullen Murdock doesn’t want to spend Christmas alone. He’s back in Hidden Mountain, Georgia, on business, and while he and the town have a history, he’d prefer to keep it locked in the past. He puts a plan in motion to ensure he has company for the holiday, hoping that the other lonely people he’s invited are willing to accept his mysterious invitation and make a few positive life changes.

Forced together with three other lonesome people, Veronica and Cullen fall hard and fast, but will Cullen’s secret steal their newfound Christmas spirit?


Maybe This Christmas by Ieshia Wiedlin (American Heart)

Release Date: October 25, 2022

Romancing the Doctors, Book 2

Maybe this Christmas she’ll unwrap what she really wants…

Angela Miles is a hardworking mom, doing everything she can to make sure her family traditions endure with her twelve-year-old son, David. Before her husband passed, choosing the Christmas tree on the first day of December and creating magazine-worthy decorations meant the world to them, and she can’t let these memories disappear. But this year, she’s also in the midst of planning a blowout gala for her nonprofit, Acts of Faith, and David is more into Chicago Bulls games with his friends than hanging out with her.

Dr. Shawn Atkins is a pediatric surgeon devoted to staying the best in his field. But when an opportunity arises to help Angela with the gala, he jumps at the chance to be her knight in shining armor. Angela has always challenged him to up his game, so he’s happy to help her out. What he’s not prepared for is how that decision turns his whole world upside down.

This Christmas, will new experiences open the door to a chance at love that neither of them is expecting?


Once Upon a Christmas by Jane Porter (Holiday)

Release Date: October 26, 2022

Can the magic of the Christmas season lead to a fairy tale happy ending?

When Cara Roberts’ family plans an extra special Christmas to support her after her broken engagement, she wants nothing to do with the holiday. After learning her brother and his wife can’t use the cottage vacation they purchased, she impulsively escapes to an English cottage in the bucolic village of Bakewell, despite having no idea where Bakewell is.

Lord Alec Sherbourne of Langley Park is no fan of Christmas, but following in his parents’ footsteps, he annually donates his impressive 19th century country home to be decorated and opened on December weekends as a community fundraiser. This year, Christmas is complicated by the arrival of a pretty American woman who booked a cottage on his estate—only the cottage is occupied. Forced to take her under his vast roof, he’s dismayed when a storm and frozen pipes keep her with him longer than he’d anticipated. Even more worrisome, her presence is making it feel like Christmas for the first time in forever.

As these two holiday housemates become friends, is there something more in the Christmas air?


Christmas at Belhaven Hall by Karla Kratovil (Muse)

Release Date: October 27, 2022

The Maidens of Marbury, Book 3

She wants nothing to do with him or the holiday frivolities…

Lady Olivia Rivenhall has always lived at Belhaven Hall. A year has passed since her husband’s unexpected death, and she’s been living in limbo wondering when she will have to vacate her home and finally decide what to do with the rest of her life. Just as she is beginning to believe that the new earl will never come to take possession of the manor, Maxwell Drake walks back into her life.

After almost dying in a gutter in Venice, Maxwell Drake vows to turn his life around. Learning that he’s inherited his estranged cousin’s title is exactly the fresh start he needs. Max is looking forward to enjoying Christmas in the English countryside at the estate he’s missed, but he’s dreading facing his cousin’s widow, the only woman he’s ever loved.

The attraction is stronger than ever, but so are the wounds. As Christmas magic steals through the ancient halls and secrets beckon to be shared, can these two lonely hearts find a second chance at love?

Tule Author Q&A: Kaz Delaney loves candy!

Kaz Delaney stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries series, Candy-Coated Conspiracy!

Where did you get the inspiration for Candy-Coated Conspiracy?

Initial inspiration came from two things. The first was location – well, specific location. It was always going to be set in a small town, as all the Hart of Texas Mysteries are, but I’ve always loved covers that featured candy stores – they’re so pretty – and real ones smell so good, so I knew one day I’d write about a mystery linked to a candy store. And secondly, I was drawn to a trope I’ve played around with a few times now and absolutely love, and that’s when someone is not who they’re pretending to be. I adore secret identity stories and once I’d hooked these two up, I had to work to find the story behind. 

The hardest part was discovering what dastardly secret the town was hiding. I mean, how can a whole town keep something secret? My husband always says that the moment you tell one person—no matter how trusted they are—your secret is no longer a secret, so I knew if a whole town was keeping it secret it had to be big. And bad… 

 

Free Red and Blue Glass Door Stock PhotoIf you went to The Sweet Treat candy store featured in Candy-Coated Conspiracy, what candies would you be leaving with?

I’d probably need a truck to get me home with my load, but anything with nuts and caramel, preferably hard caramel. I’d love to try the sisters’ eggnog caramels and their marshmallow fudge. Um, oh yes! Tropical creams… They’d be delicious with their rich pineapple filling.  And I probably couldn’t leave without some Rocky Road. 

 

If you could spend the day with your heroine, Rosie Hart, what would you two get up to?

It’s a no brainer that we’d first bake. It’s a passion we both share and I can imagine the hours whiling away as we baked and chatted. She’s way more talented than I am so I’d be also watching and learning. I know her home almost as well as I know my own, but I’d still love to walk through those rooms, and chat with Rosie and Fiona about the color palette they chose.

Then we’d have to go into town so she could introduce me around. First stop would have to be to see the Fab Four out at the retirement village—those gorgeous, yet scandalous, rascally and irreverent nonagenarians—ensuring we didn’t come between them and a meal or food break; nor distract them from cheating their way through yet another hand of Texas Holdem’.  We’d drop in on Miz Brenda and pick up some of her amazing preserves, say hi to Janet while we popped in to meet Sheriff Frank Kinnead, who, like Rosie, I see as a father-figure. Naturally I’d have to go to that iconic newspaper office to see Midge and inhale all the history held within those walls. We’d meet the other townspeople, and then hopefully have dinner with Jonah and his family, Fiona and Clay. 

Although, if she was embroiled in a mystery, we’d have that famous whiteboard out and we’d be brainstorming while I helped her solve whatever needed solving. How much fun would that be!!    

I’d probably roll home after having consumed too many sweet treats, and be wishing I could do it all again the next day.

 

 What was your favorite scene to write and why? (include a snippet)

Oh gosh, this is a tricky one and I’ve really struggled for an answer—and also one that’s relatively short enough to be a snippet. Any scene with the Fab Four from Riverside Retirement Village is usually a hoot to write, and always so much fun. Then there are some really poignant scenes that still make me cry no matter how often I’ve read them—a final scene between Katya and Lester Jackson is beautiful; the scene with 103 year old Rita Wiley-Hannaford as she recounts her lost love story is as inspiring as it is sad as it offers up answers to this mystery. Speaking of the mystery, I liked the scene with Dwayne Morris’ sister where she explains to Midge and Rosie why her brother may have been not only pretending to be someone else, but why he was tearing up the house of his supposed elderly aunts. Here’s a teeny bit of it. 

The set up is that Gabrielle, Dwayne’s sister, has been recounting a story passed from her grandparents; a story that had obsessed a young Dwayne from a young boy. It’s about a letter given to her grandfather’s cellmate that through misfortune never reached its destination – the cellmate’s family. The uncle of the two elderly women suspected of Dwayne’s murder.

——

Gabrielle closed her eyes momentarily, maybe trying to block out memories. Maybe trying to block out the horror of what her brother had done. Maybe trying to block out this day… And us.

“But why take so long?” Midge pondered. “He’d known this story all his life.”

“Mom had an idea about that as well. Obviously, the letter had been passed down and when my grandparents passed away it was in their papers. Mom had them, intending to go through them. The last time Evan was at her house, my mom was sorting those papers. She came across the letter, but later that evening after he’d left, the letter was gone.” Gabrielle was looking very tired now. “She said she’s been praying he wouldn’t do something stupid. But I guess it was too late. He did.”

For long moments we all sat in silence, I guess all pondering that statement. Well, I’m assuming they were. My thoughts were very personal and becoming more urgent.  I’d been hanging on to go the bathroom for a while, not wanting to miss a moment but we seemed to be at a break point—an impasse of sorts, and as the situation was becoming grave, I asked for directions and excused myself. I always say I get my best creative ideas in the shower or bath so I guess it was no surprise that even releasing water raised another question we needed to ask.

Back out with the others, Gabrielle was rinsing cups in the kitchen sink, and Midge had our bags, ready to leave as soon as I’d made my return. But I couldn’t go just yet. Just one more question. Maybe two…

“Gabrielle, did you ever see the letter? Read it with your own eyes?”

When she shook her head, my heart sank. But I still had one more. “So, do you have any idea why your great-grandmother thought the whole thing was fictitious? Vivid imagination?”

At that, she smiled. It was wan and half-hearted, but it was a smile. “That I do know and I agreed with her.” She shook her head “Oh, come on… Diamonds hidden in a wall? And he hadn’t told anyone? The man was a pauper and he had diamonds supposedly hidden in a wall? Crazy!”

And there it was… 

Diamonds.

My breath stalled at the mention of that word. Diamonds. 

Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. It was a gut thing. But it was significant.

And unlike Gabrielle’s great-grandmother, I believed the story.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading a novel entitled Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson. It’s a spoof on mystery novels, with its own mystery of course. Snow isn’t something that’s immediately associated with Australia but we do have a couple of snowfield areas in the mountains down south and this is the setting for this novel which plays into the locked room scenario as they’re cut off from the rest of the world by heavy falls.  Given that I’m reading it in one of our coldest winters in a hundred years, I’ll be looking for a warmer setting for the next book I choose. I have just the titles in mind on my TBR (To be Read) pile.  Six Days of Spring by Charlee James next on my Kindle list and I’m looking forward to that, but I’m also so keen to start on Tule’s Outback Babies series. It features some of my favorite people – and authors: Barb Hannay, Trish Morey, Fiona McArthur and Kelly Hunter – and I think it will be huge fun. And besides, I’m such a pushover for babies and little people. When I’m not indulging myself and want to pretend I’m working instead, I want to re-read The Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque 

 

About the Author

Award winning YA & children’s author, Kaz Delaney, and her alter ego, have currently sold 73 titles between them over a 26 year career.

Her books have won many awards, among them the prestigious Aurealis Award for best paranormal and ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) awards. Her novel ‘Dead, Actually’ (Allen & Unwin) was nominated for a Davitt Award, (Best crime novel, Sisters In Crime) in the YA section.   Dividing her time between teaching and writing, Kaz formerly tutored Creative Writing for CSU’s Enrichment Program as well as teaching and creating courses for the Australian College of Journalism.

Having always had a love of cozy mysteries, Kaz is having so much fun writing her Hart of Texas Mystery Series for TULE Publishing, that she worries it’s not legal!

With their family grown and gone, Kaz lives with her wonderful husband at beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia, a place she describes as a strip of land between the ocean and lake.  Like Rosie, Kaz loves to bake and grow vegetables and unlike Rosie, manages to make a mess of every crochet task she undertakes.

Tule Publishing July 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for July!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the July 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 Cowboy’s Texas Heart by E. Elizabeth Watson (Texas Born)

Release Date: July 7, 2022

The Dixons of Legacy Ranch, Book 3

It was only meant to be one night of pleasure…

After a failed engagement, paleontologist Heather “Heart” Carvalho has vowed to always protect herself in love. When she’s hired to conduct a geophysical survey for a mineral rights dispute on ancient land, she never expects to be swept up in the arms of a rugged cowboy. After a night of passion, she learns the handsome cowboy is her new client. Even more complicated, he has kids, and soon Heart longs for something she knows she can never have…a family.

Tyler Dixon doesn’t have time for emotional attachments. He has two sons to raise solo, a multimillion-dollar ranch to operate, and a pending lawsuit to protect his land from an unscrupulous oil company. Carrying on with the gorgeous, free-spirited paleontologist will only jeopardize Tyler’s case. So why does he feel the impulse to keep crossing the line with her?

They’re both everything they told themselves they didn’t want. As their chemistry burns, Heart claims she can remain impartial, but soon Ty wants the one thing she’s sworn to never again give away—her heart.


A Rebel’s Mantra by Sapna Srinivasan (American Heart)

Release Date: July 12, 2022

The Sood Family, Book 2

She’s never done what was expected of her…

Laila Sood has always resisted tradition and her parents’ wishes, from leaving her small town in India and moving to Seattle to start a rock band, to rejecting the groom her parents chose for her arranged marriage. Now twenty-nine, Laila’s band has critical acclaim on the indie scene, but she hasn’t attained her goal that will cement her rock star status—signing with a major L.A. label.

Marriage is the last thing on Laila’s mind when she meets Hari Singh. He’s an Indian mama’s dream—a handsome pediatrician from a rich, well-connected Indian family—and everything Laila’s rejected her entire life. Even worse, sparks fly between them like Diwali fireworks, and though Laila’s aunt is hoping to match Hari with her daughter, Hari is fascinated by Laila. She thinks a few dates will prove that he’s too boring and traditional for her, except Laila only falls harder.

Does Laila still chase her rock star dream, or has Hari shown her a new way to fly her rebel flag that just might be anchored in tradition?


Candy-Coated Conspiracy by Kaz Delaney (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: July 14, 2022

Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries, Book 3

Every family has secrets, especially the sweet ones…

When talented baker Rosie Hart delivers cakes and cookies to her newest clients, The Sweet Treat candy store, she finds herself embroiled in yet another murder case. Will she ever catch a break?

Her elderly clients, The Percival sisters, are shocked when their long-lost great nephew appears with no warning. The sisters have never met nor heard of the man, but he’s family so they accept him with open arms. He immediately begins to tear up his aunts’ home, so when he turns up dead, Rosie feels only a sense of relief. Until she realizes the police suspect the sisters.

Rosie is as convinced of their innocence as she is of the deliciousness of her popular salted caramel cupcakes. But as the body count begins to rise and new secrets are unearthed, she begins to wonder if the sweet artisan candy makers are hiding more than their family recipes.


Calling All Angels by Barbara Ankrum (American Heart)

Release Date: July 18, 2022

The Guardian Angel Chronicles, Book 3

What if soulmates truly are forever?

Emma James isn’t sure if she’s dead, dreaming, or somewhere in-between after a car accident leaves her hospitalized in a coma. And the gorgeous but grumpy Scot with a sexy brogue claiming to be her “guardian angel” seems to have her confused with someone named Violet. After discovering her “accident” was no accident at all, Emma fears her niece may be in danger. Enlisting her reluctant guardian’s help to solve the mystery takes all her persuasion skills. But alarmingly, she finds herself falling for this centuries-old, grudge-holding immortal.

Connor Montrose instantly recognizes Emma as the woman who betrayed him two centuries ago—Violet MacLeish. Though Emma has no memory of that life, or the love they shared, she’s Violet’s doppelgänger and a pain in his tortured soul. He needs to help her cross over so he can get a long-awaited celestial promotion, but this new version of Violet is even more beguiling and stubborn than before, drawing him deeper into the human world he’d rather forget.

Stuck between life and death, can these two lost souls find common ground?


Saving a Scoundrel by Karla Kratovil (Muse)

Release Date: July 19, 2022

The Maidens of Marbury, Book 2

The death of a friend leads the cautious Eleanor Spencer to reevaluate her life. In a rare impulse, she kisses the man of her dreams—her best friend’s older brother. The moment of madness gives her courage to take more chances. This spring, she will finally travel to London for the social season. All she needs is to compile a list of adventures to complete. At the top of her list? Kiss Lucius Grisham again…

Barely surviving since his father severed his funds, Lucius Grisham works two respectable jobs, and one decidedly disreputable job, just to keep up critical appearances. When Ellie becomes the target of a sordid bet made by his rakehell friends, Lucius must step in to protect his sister’s friend. As he finds himself pulled into helping Ellie with her list of adventures, he is surprised to find his jaded heart tempted by the innocent beauty. But Ellie Spencer is far too good for a scoundrel like him.

Ellie will endanger both her heart and her virtue to make Lucius hers. Can Lucius become the man Ellie believes him to be?


Hard Road Home by Fiona Marsden (Holiday)

Release Date: July 21, 2022

With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing, Book 3

This time, he’ll need to play for keeps—or not at all.

Xander Mac, now an internationally acclaimed country singer, has finally come home to Kurrajong Crossing. It’s been four years since his casual, no-strings-attached relationship with Bonnie Callaghan imploded under the pressures of distance and secrets held back. Xander’s return for a charity concert during the town’s winter festival is his opportunity to reconnect with Bonnie. Only this time, he might have to put his heart on the line.

Bonnie left Kurrajong Crossing hoping distance would give her heart a chance to heal, but she owes Xander’s grandparents, so when they need her help she answers the call. The return of Xander brings back hurt, long-buried feelings, but Xander has always said he only wants fun from a relationship and that’s not something Bonnie can guarantee.

Their attraction is still hot and their connection is deep. But to make it work, they’ll both need to be all in or say goodbye forever.


Hometown Cowboy by Dakota Harrison (Holiday)

Release Date: July 25, 2022

With Love, From Kurrajong Crossing, Book 4

Anything that can go wrong will…

Darby Jameson knows that spending the night with groomsman Ryan Thomas after her twin brother’s wedding is a big mistake. Darby’s not cut out for one-night stands and Ryan’s definitely not one for relationships—she knows this. Still, she falls hard for the sexy cowboy’s many charms, and it’s better than she ever imagined. Darby is in for a world of hurt when one night turns into a secret affair, but what’s she to do when his smile melts her heart?

When Ryan finally gives in to his attraction to his best friend’s sister, he insists it’s only temporary and best kept to themselves. Darby can do so much better than to take up with him. He has nothing to give to a sweet woman like her, and everyone knows it.

But when Darby drops a bombshell, suddenly a casual fling is no longer an option. With so much at stake, and so many factors keeping them apart, do Darby and Ryan have a chance at a happily ever after?


One Night with You by Fortune Whelan (American Heart)

Release Date: July 26, 2022

Dorseys of Conception Bay, Book 2

Their lives are about to change forever…but not how they expected.

Cheramie Johnston-Davies is almost set to embrace the path her family set for her—a handsome and ambitious fiancé, an enviable address, and a guaranteed board position wherever she desires. But when her grandmother passes unexpectedly, Cheramie gets a few more months of freedom while she steps up to secure her family’s legacy by completing the revitalization project her grandmother started.

Former risk-taking, adventurous Deacon Dorsey knows he needs to clip his own wings and create a loving, secure home for his preteen daughter after his ex dies. Considering his own unstable upbringing, Deacon’s work is cut out for him. He decides to settle in his hometown and invest in a local project in Conception Bay. He can’t change the past, but he’s determined to shape the future for his daughter.

An anonymous hookup in a Seattle hotel bar is a last night of freedom for Deacon and Cheramie before they settle into their new responsibilities. Only it’s not so anonymous when they find themselves on opposite sides of the same project…


Hot Texas Trouble by Eve Gaddy (Texas Born)

Release Date: July 28, 2022

Texas True, Book 5

She’s had enough excitement to last a lifetime…

Jedidiah Walker has spent years embracing danger as an undercover agent for a secret government agency, but she barely escapes with her life when a mission goes south. Her fiancé and long-time partner isn’t so lucky. Burned out and grieving, Jedidiah returns home to Whiskey River intending to create a new, perfectly boring life. A job with app designer Trevor Holt is a dream. She can use her computer skills without death looming, and nothing says “safe” more than a computer geek.

Not exactly. Trevor may design apps, but he’s also tatted, muscular, and rides with a motorcycle club that provides support to exploited children. While sparks sizzle between them, Trevor’s conscious that as her employer, any romantic moves need to come from her.

Jedidiah falls hard for her sexy boss, but she senses he has a dangerous side that is beyond tempting—and precisely what she’s determined to avoid. Can Trevor convince her that what they have is worth the risk?

PRESERVING THE EVIDENCE: Release day blog post featuring Kaz Delaney!

What Is It About That Small Town Setting? 

When I was growing up there was one sentence my mother continually used and it was all it took to keep me on the straight and narrow. Those words were, “Remember, there’s always someone around who’ll see what you’re doing – and they’ll tell me.”  

Of course, my mother’s admonishment was issued to keep me safe—for the most part—but I knew also that if I did do something silly, neighbors would not only tell her, but they’d tell each other. The whole town would know faster than a brushfire can race through dry tinder, which in her eyes would be as bad as my misbehavior.    

And so, it was true. She would find out—and I’d be in trouble. 

I grew up in an outer suburb, an older community in the town in which my father had been born – and I was subsequently also born (in a house run by a midwife which was in the next street to where I grew up!) My grandfather was one of ten children, nine boys and one girl, and almost all of them had settled in the town and raised their own large families there. One reason for them continuing to settle in that town was because my grandfather and his brothers owned the local coal mine that employed many of the men in the area, including my father and his siblings and seemingly dozens of cousins. Additionally, my great grandfather had been the Lord Mayor.  So, not only was it a smallish community, I was also part of a well-known family.  

I could stand on our back steps and look out in one direction across huge fields owned by my extended family, and if I turned directly right or left I saw the homes of my relatives. An aunt lived next door. Next to her was a cousin of dad’s and his wife and family. 

In the other direction I saw the homes of two great uncles and two more belonging to more of my father’s cousins and their families. In that same street, but out of sight, was my grandparent’s home.  My elementary school and the local park were mere steps away. 

The long main street boasted three pubs (bars) which serviced the thirsty miners, two movie theatres, a rotunda, the doctor’s rooms, a milk bar that sold the iciest milkshakes ever, and a long strip of mom and pop owned stores. The library was out of sight and up around a corner. For a number of years my mother and aunt owned and operated a European delicatessen. 

The elementary school I attended had also been attended by my father and his siblings, and a whole host of his cousins; I was just the next in a long line. Of course, by the time I’d become a teenager, the town had fallen prey to an issue often found in many outer lying areas – too many kids with nothing to do. And so they started getting into trouble. 

I’d been spared this by being sent away to boarding school, and then by eighteen I’d moved away from my hometown and as things worked out, I never returned to live there again, making my life in other bigger towns, finally settling with my husband in a coastal town. However, while I’m not sure I miss that particular town of my childhood, something must have clicked in when I was young, because I have always dreamed of living in a small community. Smaller even than the one I grew up in. 

Is that why I write about them in my cozy mystery series? The Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries is set in the fictional rural town of Airlie Falls—named for falls that have long-since dried up—in North Central Texas, and I’ve found I’m not the only one who loves that small town setting. My readers love it too, and I’ve had so many of them tell me that they’d love to live there; and that vicariously living there through the books is like being ‘in a big warm hug’.

Lately, several things have made me ponder my own feelings as well as those comments from readers. One was a workshop on Creating a Book Series I gave just this week. All through preparing that presentation, I was drawn to one question: what brings a reader back to a series? I had my own theories, but I asked around; asked other authors who also create series – and the answer wasn’t really a surprise. 

Naturally there are many elements that may bring a reader back – great characters, overarching story questions, the challenge to solve a mystery— but overwhelmingly the one word that continued to come up was ‘community’. 

Yes, it was that sense of community referred to by those readers, and the very thing that at the heart of my own dreams. And it’s not something really new. In the Cheers theme song – that successful television series from the 80s – the popularity of that bar was to be somewhere ‘where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came’.  

I also believe that in this cyber age, as well as in an age where the place you live is often not the place you work and play, that old fashioned sense of community is becoming more and more alien to many people. Remember when COVID-19 first hit and we were all in isolation? People who had lived next door to neighbors for many years suddenly learned their names for the very first time. That was shocking in so many ways.

Again, is this why we create our stories in these small settings? No, it’s not the only reason, there are myriad of good solid reasons to do so, especially in cozies that contrast with the stark, impersonable tone of big city crime stories. But, okay, maybe it’s true that we can only stretch the small town community so far with regards to creating our cozy mysteries. I mean, how many people can we murder without running out of victims, right? Even Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote had to eventually move to New York, right? So, it’s good to remember that a small community can be anywhere. It can, and often is, a retirement village, a doctor’s practice, a café, community college, a B&B, a craft group, a hotel… The list goes on. 

Basically, I think most of us want to be a part of something, and our stories can give others that, even if just for the time they spend in our books.  A small town or limited setting where if someone went missing, others would immediately know. A place anchored by trust; a place where no one imagines the bad things can happen – but they can and do. A place whose sheer ordinariness makes it remarkable. A place where, if you mess up, someone will tell your Mom…

I hope you enjoy your time visiting Airlie Falls in Preserving the Evidence, the latest in the Hart of Texas Mysteries. The people there will welcome you with open arms; someone will always have your back. Of course, there’s always the chance that hand at your back might also be holding a knife, but rest assured it will be adorned with a pretty bow. After all this is the south, and even murderers are expected to abide by certain standards. Wink… 

 

About the Author

Award winning YA & children’s author, Kaz Delaney, and her alter ego, have currently sold 73 titles between them over a 26 year career.

Her books have won many awards, among them the prestigious Aurealis Award for best paranormal and ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) awards. Her novel ‘Dead, Actually’ (Allen & Unwin) was nominated for a Davitt Award, (Best crime novel, Sisters In Crime) in the YA section.   Dividing her time between teaching and writing, Kaz formerly tutored Creative Writing for CSU’s Enrichment Program as well as teaching and creating courses for the Australian College of Journalism.

Having always had a love of cozy mysteries, Kaz is having so much fun writing her Hart of Texas Mystery Series for TULE Publishing, that she worries it’s not legal!

With their family grown and gone, Kaz lives with her wonderful husband at beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia, a place she describes as a strip of land between the ocean and lake.  Like Rosie, Kaz loves to bake and grow vegetables and unlike Rosie, manages to make a mess of every crochet task she undertakes.

Tule Publishing May 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for May!

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

 

A Hard Yes by Sinclair Jayne Sawhney (American Heart)

Release Date: May 3, 2022

Misguided Masala Matchmaker, Book 1

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

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

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

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


Smooth Talking Texan by Katherine Garbera (Texas Born)

Release Date: May 5, 2022

The Rossis of Whiskey River, Book 2

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

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

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

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

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


The Casterglass Heir by Kate Hewitt (Holiday)

Release Date: May 10, 2022

Keeping Up with the Penryns, Book 3

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

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

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

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


Six Days of Spring by Charlee James (American Heart)

Release Date: May 12, 2022

Northampton Hearts, Book 3

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

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

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


Flipping the Script by Amy Kathryn Jones (American Heart)

Release Date: May 16, 2022

Matched, Book 2

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

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

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

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


A Perfect Engagement by Karla Kratovil (Muse)

Release Date: May 17, 2022

The Maidens of Marbury, Book 1

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

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

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


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

Release Date: May 19, 2022

Outback Babies, Book 1

She needs a little favour…

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

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

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


Preserving the Evidence by Kaz Delaney (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: May 23, 2022

Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries, Book 2

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

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

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

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


The Way to Hope by Eliana West (Southern Born)

Release Date: May 24, 2022

Heart of Colton, Book 4

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

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

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


A Mother for Ella by Trish Morey (Holiday)

Release Date: May 26, 2022

Outback Babies, Book 2

They both desperately need a second chance…

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

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

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


Home to Cypress Bayou by Susan Sands (Southern Born)

Release Date: May 31, 2022

Louisiana, Book 1

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

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

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

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

 

Tule Author Q&A: Kaz Delaney shares a delicious cake recipe!

Kaz Delaney stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in the Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries series, A Bittersweet Murder!

 

Welcome to Tule! Can you share a fun fact about yourself to help us get to know you?

Okay… a fun fact? Well, my kidneys are in the wrong place, but I doubt that helps you get to know me better. Ha! What might help is to tell you I’m a pretty ordinary person who happens to have a somewhat extraordinary job that I love.  

I’m a home-lover who loves to cook, bake and preserve and like my protagonist Rosie, I also like to grow fruit and vegetables.  I dislike cold weather and love hot weather, though regardless of the season you’ll often find me at the beach, either soaking up rays or walking along the water’s edge. Luckily, we live quite near both the Pacific Ocean and Australia’s largest lake, so there are plenty of opportunities.  

Add to that, if there’s music anywhere in my vicinity I find it impossible to remain still! True! I wiggle and jiggle and yes, I’m also that dreaded Mom/Grandmom who sings to the piped music in shopping centers and supermarkets. Loudly.

I guess if I was to summarize, I’d say I am a beach loving, pie baking, vegetable growing, party lover who values a smile over just about everything, and if a stranger offers a heartfelt smile, it can make my day.    

 

Where did you get the inspiration for A Bittersweet Murder?

Having been a Christie et al devotee since I was quite young, barely a teen in fact, of course I adore cozy mysteries. I don’t think there was a specific moment of inspiration for A Bittersweet Murder but more of a compilation of things that I love in this type of mystery, and more to the point – in a series. Things like interesting, entertaining characters and a strong community base. The protagonist Rosie Hart came first. She’s a great friend, and very loyal, so she’ll always jump in to right any injustice. She’s a strong, warm, passionate young woman with a nose for mystery and a penchant for sometimes finding herself in trouble. And what’s more trouble than finding you’re under suspicion for a murder you didn’t commit?

In creating Airlie Falls, I strived to present a town populated with colorful, entertaining characters; a place where people have your back and community isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life – a place you want to return to. Hopefully I’ve achieved that and it’s been so heartwarming to read so many reviewers refer to feeling like they’re in a warm hug when they spend time with these townsfolk.   

However, it’s a murder mystery and as with each time I plot a new story, one phrase plays over and over in my head: Everybody has secrets. In real life, those secrets need to be respected. But my characters? (Insert evil laughter) They’re not so fortunate and it’s my job to drill down and discover if they’re the kind of secrets that need to be revealed. 

And it’s no spoiler to say that one of those revelations involves a long-ago mystery that’s tied to the present and that’s another element that I love. It’s such fun to peel back those layers and uncover truths from the past that can explain and solve mysteries of the present. 

 

Ingredients On TableYour heroine, Rosie, is an amateur baker. Are you a baker too? Do you have any delicious recipes you can share?

Absolutely! Like Rosie, I love baking. However, I’m a home baker and what I bake doesn’t always look like it does in the recipe book. It usually tastes pretty good though – and I always think (hope) that makes up for my clumsier presentation. Rosie on the other hand can create both heavenly tasting goodies that look just as divine. She’s my baking idol! 

I have dozens of cookery books, though many of the sweet treats I bake are from recipes that have been passed down from my mother, mother-in-law, aunts and grandmothers – or passed sideways from friends or other family members– and even handed over (the back fence) from neighbors who also love baking. So, it was tricky deciding what to share here. Which one? 

What I eventually decided upon is a healthier option with a decadent twist. It came from my sister-in-law in my early married years; it’s one we don’t bake often as a little bit goes a long way. While it’s heavy on ingredients it’s light on effort, and that’s always a bonus. And it’s delicious!

It’s three layers and serves 12, so it also makes a great party cake. And the best part? It always looks the way it’s supposed to look! Yay! 

Chocolate Carrot Cake with Pineapple

Serves 12 

1 – 3 layer 9 inch round cake

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup crushed pineapple with juice

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

½  cup butter

1 pound confectioners’ sugar

½ cup flaked coconut

1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa, set aside. In another bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla and oil. Stir in the dry ingredients until they are completely absorbed. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Pour the batter evenly between the three prepared pans.

Step 3

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth, then stir in the coconut and nuts. Frost cake when cool.

 

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

Despite having two designated office areas in the house, I find I’m most productive in my recliner chair with my laptop on my knee. While in my recliner, my body is relaxed and my mind is free to create. (And my knees thank me. They complain loudly if I sit in an ordinary chair for any length of time. Go figure.) 

Yes, it sounds counterproductive in a world that promotes standing desks, ergonomic chairs and balance balls, and yet crazily, it works for me. I do have to often set timers to remind me to get up and move though because otherwise I get so wrapped up in the work that hours would slide by and I’d still be there in that one spot! 

I look out at palm trees and the most stunning hibiscus tree. Not a bush, which is more traditional, but a ten feet high tree that’s always awash with gorgeous baby pink blooms, and whose branches drape like a willow.  I’m constantly amazed at how many varieties of bird feed from that tree! Parrots to magpies to teeny birds – they all come. According to my late mother-in-law this hibiscus variety is called ‘Apple Blossom’ but I’ve never confirmed that officially. She gave it to me when I was first married, and I really like that name, so for me, that’s what it will always be called. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I have just finished The Russian Wife by Barry Maitland. Barry is an expat British architect who moved to Australia for work about thirty years ago and writes a police detective series featuring the team of Brock and Kolla. They’re set in London which he claims is a great excuse to spend several months each year there in the name of research. I’m figuring that means I should look to spend several months each year in the US, particularly Texas, in the name of research, right? Anyone got a spare bed available? I don’t eat much… 

Next on my pile? A complete change of pace. It’s a romance by my dear friend and Harlequin author, Annie West, entitled ‘One Night with Her Forgotten Husband’. 

Thank you so much for this opportunity to chat. It’s been such fun! 

 

About the Author

Award winning YA & children’s author, Kaz Delaney, and her alter ego, have currently sold 73 titles between them over a 26 year career.

Her books have won many awards, among them the prestigious Aurealis Award for best paranormal and ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) awards. Her novel ‘Dead, Actually’ (Allen & Unwin) was nominated for a Davitt Award, (Best crime novel, Sisters In Crime) in the YA section.   Dividing her time between teaching and writing, Kaz formerly tutored Creative Writing for CSU’s Enrichment Program as well as teaching and creating courses for the Australian College of Journalism.

Having always had a love of cozy mysteries, Kaz is having so much fun writing her Hart of Texas Mystery Series for TULE Publishing, that she worries it’s not legal!

With their family grown and gone, Kaz lives with her wonderful husband at beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia, a place she describes as a strip of land between the ocean and lake.  Like Rosie, Kaz loves to bake and grow vegetables and unlike Rosie, manages to make a mess of every crochet task she undertakes.

Tule Publishing March 2022 Releases

Read more about our new releases for March!

GIVEAWAY: We will pick ONE winner to receive a digital book of their choice from the March 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 True Confessions of a London Spy by Katherine Cowley (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: March 1, 2022

The Secret Life of Mary Bennet, Book 2

No one said being a spy for the British government would be easy.

When Miss Mary Bennet is assigned to London for the Season, extravagant balls and eligible men are the least of her worries. A government messenger has been murdered and suspicion falls on the Radicals, who may be destabilizing the government in order to compel England down the bloody path of the French Revolution.

Working with her fellow spies, Mr. William Stanley and Miss Fanny Cramer, Mary must investigate without raising the suspicions of her family, rescue her friend Miss Georgiana Darcy from a suitor scandal, and solve the mystery before anyone else is harmed—all without being discovered, lest she be exiled back to the countryside.

This is the perfect job for a woman who exists in the background. Can Mary prove herself, or will this assignment be her last?


She Gets a Happy Ending by Denise N. Wheatley (American Heart)

Release Date: March 3, 2022

A Fearless Fairytale, Book 3

Sometimes happily ever after arrives on its own magical schedule…

Devon Jacobs’s star is definitely in orbit. Despite the cancellation of her weekly sitcom, she lands a job writing for a television drama, then sells her Christmas script to the perfect producer. But her boyfriend, Ryan Roberts, is having no such luck. Down on himself and burning out from all the auditioning, his frustration puts a strain on their relationship, and suddenly they find themselves calling it quits.

A movie shoot in the holiday town of Leavenworth, Washington, is exactly the mental break Devon needs. Until their leading man quits and the producer replaces him with none other than Ryan. Finding the right level of professionalism isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when this opportunity means everything to their careers—and it’s becoming more obvious with each passing day that neither one of them is successful in saying goodbye.

Can Devon and Ryan find a way to combine their dreams and tie a bow around their relationship—this time for keeps?


A Tasty Dish by Kelly Cain (American Heart)

Release Date: March 8, 2022

The Everheart Brothers of Texas, Book 2

The show must go on…

Kasi Blythewood has spent most of her life in the shadow of her famous film producer father who’s deliberately kept her under his thumb with tough love. Ready to make a name for herself, Kasi secretly heads to Austin for a film conference to rustle up some financing for her dream project—an indie series that showcases cuisine from around the world.

When Kasi meets chef Declan Everheart, it’s instant lust spiced with an intriguing business opportunity. Declan’s father, a Michelin star chef, is interested in funding her film, but there is a sexy string attached—Declan must be a producer on her series. Not ideal. Kasi craves independence, and she knows business and pleasure never mix well, but she’s exhausted all other options.

Declan’s more than just eye candy and Kasi’s not blind. She immediately discovers Declan’s not just a natural producer and talented chef, he also shines on camera as the host. Can Kasi convince Declan to break away from his father and build the life he wants…with her?


Muzzled by Katja Desjarlais (Muse)

Release Date: March 15, 2022

Hellhounds, Book 3

Born in hell. Raised to serve. Destined to disobey.

Hellhound Ryan Echidna is hunting the final enemy of his master, Hades. Running point for his brothers, Ryan’s eager to corner his target and return to his mistress, Persephone. He knows his quarry hides among the crowds of the summer art festival, but for the first time in centuries, he’s unable to pinpoint a location. More confusing, a beautiful, enigmatic human artist is painting scenes straight from his memories.

Artist Micah Wheaton doesn’t understand the dark turn her art has taken when she’s compelled to paint the unsettling images from her dreams. Even worse, she feels she’s being stalked and is afraid to sleep. Her newest fan, a sexy but sweet accountant named Ryan, makes her feel safe—though she suspects he too has secrets.

While Ryan’s hunt hits one dead end after another, the images on the tip of Micah’s paintbrush foretell a fatal end. Ryan must race against time and destiny to eliminate the danger to the woman he now loves and complete his final hunt…before leaving Micah forever.


Reunion in the Outback by Nicole Flockton (Holiday)

Release Date: March 17, 2022

Welcome to Bunya Junction, Book 4

Everyone deserves a second chance…

Yolanda Watson thought she had left her hometown in her rearview mirror when she married her high school sweetheart and moved to the big city. Nearly a decade later, she’s returning to Bunya Junction newly separated and with her young daughter in tow. Maybe, surrounded by family, she can start again and rebuild her life. Although a piece of her heart is still miles away…

Michael Watson thought he had it all, until his wife left him and everything else in his life quickly crumbled at his feet. But Michael isn’t one to give up so easily, and he especially isn’t ready to end the marriage to his soulmate. Determined to put his family back together, he heads to Bunya Junction, willing to do whatever it takes to make Yolanda see that their story is far from over. Although telling her the truth about his circumstances is harder than he thought.

But secrets have a way of coming out. When Yolanda’s and Michael’s are revealed, it’ll be the ultimate test of their love.


A Bittersweet Murder by Kaz Delaney (Tule Mystery)

Release Date: March 22, 2022

Hart of Texas Murder Mysteries, Book 1

Everyone knows everyone in small town Airlie Falls, so where could the killer be hiding?

For one brief hour on a sunny Texas morning, amateur baker Rosie Hart glimpses the life she’s always dreamed about—thanks to a surprise inheritance from the late Miss Alice. But her benefactor is barely cold in the ground when Rosie is accused of her murder.

As the only stranger in the tight-knit Airlie Falls community, and the only person with an obvious motive, all eyes turn to Rosie. Especially when more bodies begin to pile up and mysterious letters from the grave start circulating faster than Rosie can pull a tray of cherry nut clusters out of the oven.

When Rosie begins to suspect the murders have links to a sixty-year-old suspicious death on the very property she’s just inherited, town locals become uneasy. But how can Rosie prove the two are related—and prove her innocence—before the killer strikes again?


Texas Cowgirl by Eve Gaddy (Texas Born)

Release Date: March 24, 2022

Texas True, Book 4

They’re made for each other, he just needs to prove it.

Pilot Nate Kershaw may be one of Whiskey River’s biggest players, but from the moment he met cowgirl Damaris Walker, he was smitten. After sharing a searing kiss years ago, she made her feelings clear so Nate doesn’t dare press for more than friendship. No other woman can win his heart, so when his beloved grandmother tells him her dearest wish is to see him settled down, Nate decides it’s the perfect opportunity to convince Damaris they’re meant to be.

After a devastating betrayal years ago, Damaris is still unable to trust or risk her heart—especially with a charming lady-killer like Nate. Against her common sense, she agrees to be Nate’s fake girlfriend and finds herself falling for him harder than she did two years ago.

When Damaris learns Nate has been deceiving her about his true feelings, her fears and trust issues reignite. Will Nate be able to convince Damaris to overcome the pain of the past and take a risk on forever—with him?


Montana Cowboy Promise by Jane Porter (Montana Born)

Release Date: March 29, 2022

Wyatt Brothers of Montana, Book 5

Three and a half years ago, Tommy Wyatt was in Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo. He had only one thing on his mind—winning another national championship—until he met a beautiful young med student who changed his life.

Blake Eden is in the last few months of her general practice residency, interviewing for jobs and eager to move forward. But before she can seize her future, she needs to settle some things from her past—like bringing closure to her impulsive marriage to rodeo champion Tommy Wyatt.

When Blake shows up at the Salinas Rodeo demanding Tommy sign their divorce papers, Tommy makes it clear he isn’t interested in signing anything. When he married Blake, he meant his vows. Now Tommy has one week to convince his secret wife they’re meant to be together.