Tag Archives: Montana Born

A MATCH MADE IN MONTANA – Release Day Blog Post Featuring Elsa Winckler

Book cover of A Match Made in Montana by Elsa Winckler. Romantic couple smiling with Montana background.

If you’re a die hard romantic like me, you probably also love romantic comedies – whether it’s a book, a play or a movie. The laugh-out-loud ones but also the laugh-with-a-tear ones. I haven’t set out to write Annie’s and Craig’s story as a comedy, it just ended up that way. The basic plot for a romantic comedy, Google tells me is 1. Meet 2. Lose and 3. Get.

I love writing the meet-cute moment but because A Match Made in Montana is the second story in the Millers of Marietta series, Annie and Craig have already met so I had to find a way to have them “meet” in a cute way again – hence the first scene in the book where Annie is lying in a hammock and reading a very vivid description of a heroine’s bodily reaction to the hero in the story! 

Maybe it’s also because they have both been hurt before and are struggling to leave the past behind that I instinctively added more funny moments than what I usually do. The chances that they can have their happily ever after are slim, there are so many obstacles, but as we’ve come to realize by now, the magic of Marietta and Copper Mountain has a way of bringing lost souls together.

I’ve been writing romance since 2008 and I’ve discovered some characters are harder to forget than others. Annie Miller, the heroine in A Match Made in Montana is one of those characters that seems to be stuck in my mind. Maybe because she’s so different from most of the other feisty and more forceful heroines I’ve written. In contrast to most of her friends and her sister, Viv, Annie is a homebody. She’s a natural caretaker and nurturer. Nothing gives her more pleasure than to feed people and to see them enjoy the food she’s made – the reason why her fiancé dumped her weeks before their wedding. According to him, she’s not enough of a go-getter. 

The Irishman, as her brother Mitch calls Craig, has been in her mind since he’s hugged her goodbye during his first visit to Marietta. Now he’s back for his cousin Aiden’s and sister Vivian’s wedding and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore the obvious spark between them. 

The more time she spends with the big red head, the more she likes him, but Annie is still bruised and unsure of herself. Why would a hot-shot marketing guru from Portland be interested in her?

Finding a happy-ever-after for Annie and Craig has been a challenge, there are so many obstacles in their way, but as we romance lovers know by now, never underestimate the magic of love. It will find a way.

To win an e-book copy of Book 1, My Montana Valentine, in the The Millers of Marietta series, tell us about your favorite Marietta couple! Or perhaps tell us what your favorite romantic comedy movie is?

I hope you enjoy Annie’s and Craig’s story! Thanks for stopping by.

About the author

Author Elsa Winckler headshotI have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my Honours studies, I was hooked for life. 

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 43 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 3 beautiful grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exciting and interesting one! 

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story. 

 

A COWBOY’S PROMISE: Release Day Blog Post featuring Anne McAllister! (and Giveaway!)

Piecing Together Stories and Visions

Writers are often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?”  It’s a fair question because most people who have not struggled through writing a book beginning to end (never just once, but countless times) logically seem to expect that a book comes from a single particular idea, and then the next book comes from another one.

The truth, for me,  is that a book cobbles itself together from lots of ideas the same way dreams do. I snatch one bit from this location, another from that memory, a third from something my dad said, or my cousins told me, or from watching a film or sitting in a hospital waiting room.  And then there’s research – the bits I don’t know yet, but someone else does and has kindly written about or is willing to talk about, that will help me vicariously live in the fictional world that is gradually taking shape.  Finally, then, it coalesces (not without revisions!) into a book.  

That was certainly true of A Cowboy’s Promise.  

The hero, Charlie Seeks Elk, was born in an earlier book of mine called Gifts of the Spirit where he was a troubled teenager. I have known several of those.  Once upon a time when we were in grad school, my husband and I house-dog-and-teenager-sat for a semester. Plenty of things we experienced then were grist for the mill of Charlie’s teenage years. 

He needed a role model then, and the hero of that earlier book, Chase Whitelaw, reluctantly stepped up. Chase’s experience bridging life between his own urban Los Angeles and his father’s Navajo reservation owe more than a nod to my dad’s and his uncle’s experiences.  They gained opportunities. They lost connections.  They sought a future. They lost a past.

There were a lot of other ‘ideas’ that meshed when Charlie Seeks Elk came face-to-face with what eternity was all about after he was shot in a crossfire halfway round the world (I give thanks that I have no firsthand experience with that).  And when those things came together, I finally had a focus – what Charlie didn’t have was the one person he needed most – Cait.  And what Cait meant to Charlie was home.

She was the one who touched his heart, who made him whole.  She was the one who mattered — too much — more than he dared let her.  He knew how to be rootless.  He didn’t know how to connect.  It was safer not to. But facing eternity, Charlie had second thoughts.  

Cait Blasingame was the embodiment of home.  She might have seen lots of the world. She might have fallen in love with the wrong man.  But when she goes back to Montana after years abroad as a nurse, she knows who she is, what she values, where she belongs. She isn’t prepared for Charlie reappearing in her life.  

When my editor and I were looking for a series title for A Cowboy’s Promise and the other books that will follow it this year, home was a theme that underpinned all of them, so “Cowboy, Come Home” seemed a perfect choice. 

In a way, it turns the iconic American image of the cowboy riding off alone into the sunset on its head.  That cowboy doesn’t go home. He doesn’t have a home. Charlie wants nothing less.

The other two books coming later this year, The Great Montana Cowboy Auction and A Cowboy’s Christmas Miracle, also look at home, each in a different way.  If you would like to win a copy of one of my earlier Tule releases, please tell me what is most important to you when you think about “home.” One or two commenters will be chosen randomly by the Tule staff and will receive a copy of the book they choose.

About the Author

Years ago someone told Anne McAllister that the recipe for happiness was a good man, a big old house, a bunch of kids and dogs, and a job you loved that allows you to read.  And write.  She totally agrees.
Now, one good man, one big old house (since traded for a slightly smaller house. Look, no attic!) a bunch of kids (and even more grandkids) and dogs (and one bionic cat) and seventy books, she’s still reading.  And writing.  And happier than ever.
Over thirty plus years Anne has written long and short contemporary romances, single titles and series, novellas and a time-travel for Harlequin Mills & Boon and for Tule Publishing. She’s had two RITA winning books and nine more RITA finalists as well as awards from Romantic Times and Midwest Fiction Writers. One of the joys of writing is that sometimes, when she can’t go back in person, she can go back in her mind and her heart and her books.

Exclusive Barbara Dunlop Q&A About Her New Release Chase!

1.  What can we expect from your hero, Chase Garrett?

Chase is very self-reliant. He’s hard-working and extremely principled. Ever since his fiancée cheated on him with his best friend, Chase has guarded his emotions. But his principles won’t let him walk away from someone in need. You can expect Chase to step up and help, and to stick around until the job is done. Continue reading

Lara Van Hulzen Shares Her Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe!

Delicious recipes straight from the kitchens of your favorite Tule authors.

Credit to Ambitious Kitchen for this delicious recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • For rolling mixture:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Continue reading

Bachelor Bake-Off Author Jessica Gilmore Shares Her Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes Recipe!

Delicious recipes straight from the kitchens of your favorite Tule authors.

Ingredients

  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced. Any apple will do, a baking apple makes a moister cake, an eating one a crisper one.
  • 1 cup (225g) self raising flour – if using all purpose add the usual amounts of baking soda
  • 2 sticks (225g) softened butter
  • ½ cup golden castor sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • 4 eggs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 C/350 f
  • Cream the butter and sugar until smooth
  • Beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and cinnamon smoothly. If your batter isn’t a dropping consistency, add a tablespoon of milk until it is.
  • Line the bottom of the cupcake cases with slices of apple so the bottom is covered
  • Fill each case to about ¾ full
  • Top each cake with more slices of apple
  • Mix several tablespoons of brown or golden castor sugar with a tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle the tops of each cake
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 18 minutes. If a skewer doesn’t come away clean bake for another three-five minutes.
  • Enjoy!

An ex au-pair, bookseller, marketing manager and seafront trader, Jessica now works for an environmental charity in York. Married with one daughter, one fluffy dog and two dog-loathing cats she spends her time avoiding housework and can usually be found with her nose in a book. Jessica writes emotional romance with a hint of humour, a splash of sunshine and a great deal of delicious food – and equally delicious heroes.

RELEASE DAY POST! Get to Know Baking for Keeps Author, Jessica Gilmore!

It has a beautiful setting, a town full of interesting folk and, best of all, ranches full of cowboys and other bachelors all waiting for the right girl to tame them – how could I resist?

Hi! I I’m Jessica Gilmore and I live in the beautiful city of York, England with my husband, ballet-mad teen daughter and our much-loved and much-spoiled dog. I’ve been a published author for nearly three years now but Baking for Keeps is my first book for Tule. Continue reading

Bachelor Bake-Off Author Jennifer Faye Shares Her Montana Cowboy Cookies Recipe

Delicious recipes straight from the kitchens of your favorite Tule authors.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup Reese’s pieces
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely broken pretzels

Makes 30-32 cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add butter to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Lower heat to simmer. Continue to stir until the butter turns a caramel shade (approx. 7-9 mins). Cool pan in a cold water bath in the sink (approx. 15 mins).
  3. Combine eggs, baking soda, coarse salt, and vanilla. Whisk together.
  4. Whisk in cooled butter.
  5. Whisk in brown sugar.
  6. Stir in flour, ½ cup at a time. Stir pretzels, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Pieces.
  7. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using Tbsp take a well-rounded scoop of dough and place on tray. Space cookies an inch or two apart.
  9. Bake 12-13 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Now living her dream, she resides with her very patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. When she’s not plotting out her next romance, you can find her curled up with a mug of tea and a book.

Release Day Post! Meet Sprinkled with Love Author, Jennifer Faye!

* Congratulations to JCP. You have won a free ebook of Sprinkled with Love! *

Take a bachelor bake-off, one ornery cowboy and a matchmaking cat and it made for a really fun book to write.

I’ve wanted to be an author since I was little and asked Santa for a typewriter…yes, I said typewriter. I was tickled pink when I got it. I immediately started to write a book of poetry that went something like Roses are red…Violets are blue…

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I got my hands on my very first romance. From then on, I couldn’t get enough of them. In my mind, it confirmed the fact that I wanted to be a romance author when I grew up. Continue reading