Tag Archives: m.a. guglielmo

PRICE TO PAY: Release day blog post featuring M.A. Guglielmo

M.A. Guglielmo’s Price to Pay comes out today, June 17th!  In this third book of the From Smokeless Fire series, Zahara, a sexy jinn more interested in shopping than haunting, has to save the world from one fallen angel, while trying and failing to save her heart from his brother. 

Price to Pay takes readers on a tour of destinations both actual and imagined, including real-world locations like Marrakech in Morocco, Mount Damavand in Iran, and Mont St. Michel in France. Maria stopped by the blog today to talk about her travels and how they gave her the inspiration for the scenes in Price to Pay.

How often do your travel experiences influence your writing?

All the time! Traveling and books are two of my favorite things. Combining them is even better. In some cases, I’ve had an idea in mind for a story or scene before a vacation, and I’ve tried to delve into research and take notes while I’m there. Other times, memories of a trip pop into my mind as I’m writing, and I decide to put my characters into the places I’ve visited and see what happens.

Tell us about one of the trips that ended up in Price to Pay.

After my oldest daughter did a student exchange program in Brittany, France, I traveled there with my family to meet up with her. In addition to enjoying the beautiful coastline and fabulous seafood, we drove to one of Northwestern France’s major attractions—the stunning abbey of Mont St. Michel, which sits on a tidal island off the coast of Normandy. That visit inspired a scene in the novel where Zahara’s human friend Daniel has to hold off the bad guys while trying to rescue his jinn boyfriend from the famous Atlantic tides which periodically cut off Mont St. Michel from the land.

What’s a top destination featured in the novel you haven’t visited?

(Mount Damavand in Iran—creative commons Wikipedia photo)

The beautiful Mount Damavand in Iran, which features stunning views and even skiing in the winter! In the series, this famous Iranian landmark—it’s actually a dormant volcano—was the prison Zahara’s lover Harut and his evil brother Marut were trapped in before they were released into the human world. I’d also like to tour other sites in Iran, like the famed Persepolis, and the beautiful ancient city of Yazd.


Food from different locales and cultures also shows up in Price to Pay. How did you research those tasty details?

By trying them out whenever possible! The wonderful buckwheat galettes Daniel and Zaid share with a bottle of French wine during a romantic picnic in Mont St. Michel were a staple during our France trip. They’re a savory version of a crepe, often filled with eggs, cheese, and meat. The delicious couscous served with mint tea and Moroccan beer Jo and Parisa try in Marrakech was a meal I enjoyed both in Morocco and in one of the many amazing Moroccan restaurants in France.


(Moroccan couscous—creative commons Wikipedia photo)

Tell us about future trips and your book research.

The pandemic has limited my travel recently, but I do have a domestic vacation planned this year—to a dude ranch in Arizona, where I’m hoping to enjoy desert hikes and learn more about riding horses. My characters are always charging off on their trusty steeds, and I can’t even name the parts of a saddle. I’m also working a new novel about a mysterious metropolis of necromancers in a vast cave, which I’ve based on the underground city of Derinkuyu in Turkey. That destination is high up on my bucket list!


M.A. Guglielmo is a neurosurgeon, mother of two awesome daughters, and a life-long fan of speculative fiction. Her Italian grandmother may or may not have been able to cast the evil eye on difficult neighbors, and Maria loves telling a good story, especially if magical curses and witty villains are involved.

Her interest in Middle Eastern politics and culture inspires her to incorporate mythology and folklore from the region into her writing projects. After having the wits scared out of her by ghost tales told to her over a campfire in the Moroccan Sahara, she’s come up with a plan to travel to all the potential settings for her novels. Since those include the mountain-ringed home of the Jinn and a modernized version of the Greek Underworld, some items on her bucket list might be harder to achieve than others.

Maria was born and raised in Rhode Island, and graduated from Yale University with a degree in biology. She completed her M.D. degree at Brown University, and went on to finish her neurosurgical residency there. After several years enjoying the company of sunny friends and overcast skies in Portland, Oregon, she moved back to Rhode Island, where she’s a neurosurgeon in academic practice. She lives there with her two daughters, assorted pets, and is always dreaming of the stories that can come out of her next travel destination.


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: M.A. Guglielmo discusses fallen angels and Persian folklore!

M.A. Guglielmo stopped by to talk about the second book in her From Smokeless Fire series, Soul to Steal!


Soul to Steal is a fantasy novel with jinns, fallen angels, magic and mythology. Where did you get the inspiration for the world you’ve created?

The central story that inspired me to write the From Smokeless Fire series is the legend of Harut and Marut, two fallen angels who complain so much about human immorality that they are sent down in human form to experience temptation firsthand. After failing at resisting sin in spectacular fashion, they’re punished by being hung by their feet inside a cursed mountain, where they bestow magical knowledge on humans brave enough to find their prison.


How did your experience writing Soul to Steal differ from book one, Summoned?

In a word: time. Although Summoned wasn’t the first novel I finished and edited, it was the first I published, and I had more time for feedback from different beta readers, as well as working out plot issues by myself. The timeline for Soul to Steal was shorter, and I had to make tough and fast decisions about cutting out scenes, a few minor characters and restructuring some plotlines. Luckily, I had awesome editorial backup to help with the process! 


Jo is attacked by a magical bird from Persian legend. Can you explain the legend?

The Simurgh is a fantastical bird from Persian folklore, with the size and strength to carry away elephants. In the Persian epic the Shahnameh, Zal, an infant with white hair, is thought to be a devil and is left on a mountain top to perish. The Simurgh finds and rescues the baby, then raises him as her own. He eventually returns to the human world and uses the magical feather she gave to perform a cesarean section on his wife, saving both her and his son, who grows to become a great hero of the epic. An ancient tale with surgical technique—I love it!


What do you want readers to take away after reading this novel?

Although the story has many entertaining fantastical moments, I think in the end Soul to Steal is about relationships and love, whether in a family or a romantic dynamic. In the story, both Zahara and Jo come from family backgrounds that cause conflicts with the people they love, and they have to bring together former enemies in order to save themselves (and everyone else!) 


You work by day as a neurosurgeon. When do you find the time to write and where do you do it?

Finding time with both work and my family is a huge challenge—there’s no doubt about it! Luckily my two daughters are a huge help around the house and supportive of my writing. My dog and cat—not so helpful. I often use the month of November (when the writing event NanoWriMo takes place) as a boost to new writing. I don’t really have a fancy spot to write. Instead, I plop on my couch and put a pair of noise-cancelling headphones after dinner and try to get some words on the page.




What are you currently reading?

I love novels which feature Middle Eastern myth and legend, and I absolutely adore the The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A, Chakraborty. Her heroine is a 13th century Egyptian con artist who is pulled into the palace intrigue and warfare of the jinn world. There’s a wonderful love triangle that has me on the edge of my seat for the final novel, Empire of Gold. Another fantastic stand-alone novel is The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson, a beautiful historical fantasy based on a Sufi tale about the Simurgh. Can’t recommend these books highly enough!


About the Author

Born and raised in Rhode Island, M.A. Guglielmo is the proud mother of two wonderful daughters and works as a neurosurgeon in an academic practice. Drawing on her life-long love of imaginative fiction, she writes stories based mostly on Middle Eastern and Southern European mythology and legend.