Small Town Romances & A Fun Contest!

After an incredible two weeks in Europe researching in Scotland, and getting words down on writer’s retreat in Ireland, I am back in California and trying to get caught up while getting boys ready for school. Jake is wrapping up at Santa Monica College while my middle son Ty starts UCIrvine next month, and my youngest, Mac, begins 3rd grade.

I started my next Harlequin Presents in Ireland. It’s a duet with the one and only Caitlin Crews (aka Megan Crane) and so fun to plot a mini-series with her! It so helps my writing and motivation to hear from you, too, and I have loved the emails from my readers telling me much you enjoyed Thomas and Ellie’s fiery relationship in Married in Montana, book two in my Paradise Valley Ranch series. For anyone who hasn’t yet had a chance to read Married in Montana, you can order a print copy, or a digital download for your favorite ereader, from your favorite online retailer. Its important to me that you can always get print and e-copies of all books!

For those of you who love stories set in small towns, be sure to check out a contest I’m participating in right now. I’ve teamed up with 30 small town romance authors to give away a huge collection of novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS bookstore gift cards, PLUS a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet to the Grand Prize winner!

But that’s not all!  Once you sign up for the small towns contest, come back here for a chance to win another cool prize which includes the 2 Tule romances that have become Hallmark movies in 2017, A Bramble House Christmas and The Art of Us. To enter, just leave a comment and tell me something fun you did this summer!  I’ve shared my highlight, now I want to know yours!

 

Married in Montana is here!

I’m travelling this week to attend my Mother’s 80th Birthday celebrations before I head to Yosemite for time with my family. After being chained to my desk for the past month, I’m ready to hike and be outdoors.

Married in Montana, Ellie Burnett and Thomas Sheenan’s story, is book 2 of my Paradise Valley Ranch series. You can grab your copy at all major online retailers.

Get your copy today!
AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | KOBO | AMAZON UK

I’ve always loved the cinematic nature of storytelling and I use Pinterest to help build my world. Check out the Married in Montana Pinterest board here to see my real life inspiration for the characters and the setting! You’ll see Ellie, a fiery redhead who’s stubborn and determined to marry to save her family’s ranch. You’ll also encounter Thomas, an Irishman who left his past behind to start a new life. Thomas is determined to be successful–on his own terms. He doesn’t want a wife, he doesn’t need any emotional commitments, so Ellie’s everything he doesn’t want and his attraction to her is a complication. I loved bringing these two strong-headed people together and I hope you’ll enjoy meeting them just as much as I did!

If you have already subscribed to my newsletter, you got an exclusive sneak peek excerpt in your mail box this morning! If you aren’t subscribed already, be sure to sign up today so you don’t miss more fun stuff in the future.  Meanwhile, here’s a Ellie’s recipe for Thomas’ favorite dish, Steak & Stout Pie.  If you try it, let me know what you think!

Ellie Burnett Sheenan’s Steak & Stout Pie
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds round steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces lard
  • 8 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 5 onions, minced
  • 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle Irish stout beer (such as Guinness(R))
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) package double-crust pie pastry, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Place steak cubes onto a plate and sprinkle with flour.
  3. Place lard and bacon into a large skillet over medium heat; heat until lard melts and bacon begins to sizzle. Stir floured steak cubes into bacon and hot lard and cook, stirring frequently, until steak and bacon are browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer steak mixture to a large casserole dish.
  5. Cook and stir onion and mushrooms in the same skillet over medium heat until onions are lightly browned and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to casserole dish with steak mixture.
  6. Stir Irish stout beer, parsley, raisins, and brown sugar into steak mixture. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until gravy has thickened and steak is tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
  8. Remove casserole dish from oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  9. Line a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate with a pie crust and bake in the preheated oven until crust is partially cooked and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  10. Spoon cooked steak filling into the partially-baked pie crust.
  11. Cover steak filling with second pie crust; pinch the top crust against the bottom crust to seal tightly.
  12. Bake pie until top crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

To read more of Ellie and Thomas’ story, head over to your preferred online retailer right now and download your copy! Prefer print? Gorgeous paperback copies will be available in a week!

Before I sign off, I have a fun Married In Montana giveaway to celebrate my new release and I’d love for you to be the lucky winner! For a chance to win, tell me if you love historical romances or just tell me what’s happening in your world and you’ll be entered to win. Contest ends Monday with winner announced Tuesday.

Megan Crane’s HOT Bullrider : Cody

Unless you’ve just been introduced to me for the very first time, you won’t be surprised when I play fangirl to my longtime pal, Megan Crane.  And I’m not a fangirl because she is Dr. Crane and holds a Phd in Literature, or because she’s damn funny, or even because she puts up with me, but I’m a fan because she writes.  

Megan’s heroes are to die for.  I LOVE them.  And her heroines are the perfect match for her heroes, too.

I don’t know how she does what she does, but CODY, her brand new bullrider story and the 4th in the multi-author American Extreme Bullriding Tour series is beyond delicious.  I love it so much and I had a little chit chat with Megan about her amazing hero (and heroes!) and that’s coming up.

Megan’s interest in bullriders go back a number of years, too.  We’ve been attending the PBR together for almost five years now, ever since we saw our first bullriding event together in Clovis, CA.  Of course, Megan and I did a little shopping before Clovis, too, stopping at the enormous Boot Barn in Tulare, CA to make sure we had the right ‘accessories.’

Welcome back to my blog, Megan, and let’s talk bull riders!

Thanks, Jane, and I had so much fun writing this book!  I’m so happy that I get to be a part of this amazing new Tule series, with so many authors I admire.  And I’m thrilled that readers are responding so well to this book!

Jane: I love Cody.  he is so strong and so 100% himself. Where did he come from?  how did you get the idea for him?

Megan: He just sort of appeared that way!

He was clear in my head from the moment we started talking about bull riders.  Probably because I’ve spent quite a few years daydreaming about bull riders, ever since you took me to my first PBR show all those years ago!  Cody is an amalgamation of all my favorites.  Plus, I just love a surly hero.  Watching them fall in love makes my heart happy.

Jane: I love how you pair opposites attract. I think you do it better than anyone else I know. Who came first to you Cody or Skylar?

Megan: I think they came to me at the same time.  I’d imagined Skylar and her pre-Cody situation a while back, when I came up with the whole, extended Grey family, so I knew who she was.  Or who she used to be.  And I’d originally planned to write her a different book.   But then the bull rider series came along and I decided to pair her with my bull rider hero.  And once I decided that, I knew her hero had to be utterly different from her fiance.  And it all sort of flowed from there.  Skylar’s in such a state of suspended animation in the beginning of the book.  She needs someone to shatter it all into unrecognizable smithereens—and Cody Galen is just the man for the job!

Jane: Tell me three things you like about Cody .

Megan: 1. He’s very, very good at what he does.  Everything he does. 😉
2. He has no idea how deeply he can fall in love and how it will transform him.
3. When he falls in love with Skylar, he falls hard and he learns from it, because that’s the bull rider way.  And then he gets back up with every intention of winning, because that’s what makes him a legend.

Jane: Tell me three things Skylar likes about Cody.

Megan: 1. He treats her like she’s a flesh and blood woman, not a shrine to her lost fiance.
2. He lets her be whoever she wants to be, not what she’s expected to be.
3. He might pretend otherwise, but she knows he’s a good man, because no matter how surly he gets, he’s always good to her.
4. Um.  He’s SO FREAKING HOT.

Jane: In your mind, what are the attributes of a great hero?

Megan: I like my heroes edgy and dangerous and maybe not all that nice.  Because watching such tough, inaccessible men fall for the women who were put on this earth to wreck and redeem them just makes me happy.  The great thing about a rough, harsh alpha hero is that however powerful and hard he is in the beginning, that’s exactly how hard and powerful and true he’s going to love his woman for the rest of his life.  The more awful he is at the start, the harder and deeper he’ll fall.  And I love watching them fall!

I also think that great heroes are reluctant, maybe because they give their all no matter what they do.  I think sometimes these men know that once they fall in love, that’s it for them—so of course they do their best to avoid it!

Jane: Megan, I can talk books and heroes with you all day long!! And readers, be sure to visit one of these online retailers to download your own copy of CODY :
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK 

And if you love music with books, here’s a Megan Crane Bonus – Cody’s Playlist! :

“The Devil & the Huntsman”—Sam Lee & Daniel Pemberton
“If I Told You”—Darius Rucker
“Crazy for You”—Scars on 45
“Beryl”—Mark Knopfler
“Halo”—Tim McGraw
“Human”—Rag’n’Bone Man
“Broken Halos”—Chris Stapleton
“Liability”—Lorde
“That Feeling”—Cragan and Moroney
“White Liar”—Miranda Lambert
“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”—Thompson Square
“To Be Without You”—Ryan Adams
“When I’m Small”—Phantogram
“Saving Grace”—Stellar Revival
“Colder Weather”—Zac Brown Band
“America”—Austin Plaine
“Out There in the Middle”—Robert Earl Keen
“Roller Coaster”—Bon Jovi
“Red Light”—David Nail
“Body Like A Back Road”—Sam Hunt
“Amen”—Nick Sturms

Megan, I have loved having you visit my blog and in case I didn’t already say it, I absolutely love Cody! In fact, I’m so excited about his story, I’ve got a fun giveaway for one lucky reader and it’s a box of my favorite Megan Crane reads! For a chance to win, tell me why you should be the one to win this ultimate Megan Crane fan girl book box! Contest ends Saturday with winner announced Sunday.

The books you will receive in this awesome Megan Crane/Caitlin Crews prize package!

Happy Memorial Day & New Releases!

It has been a whirlwind spring. I can’t believe Mother’s Day has already come and gone! I knew this year would be busy with my 8 year old’s First Communion and my 18 year old’s senior activities, along with all the other graduations happening for my friends and family.

Mac looking sharp for his First Communion
Son Ty with his date for Senior Prom
Ty with his best friends and music band members.
With my sister, Kathy and mom, Marybeth at my neice, Krysia’s graduation from Duke University

But here we are, with prom last week and graduation on Saturday and I couldn’t be more proud of my crew–not because we’re perfect and do anything all that amazing–but because we are a family and we keep sticking together through ups and downs, thick and thin, and its a very real love, with muscle and heart.

I’ll have two books out very soon, the 3rd book in my Harlequin Presents Scandalous Copeland mini-series, and then the 2nd story late June in my historical Montana series.

Her Sinful Secret, Harlequin Presents
The secret she never told…
Heart racing, Logan cannot look away from tycoon Rowan Argyros as he declares her life is in danger. All she can think is that Rowan took her virginity, heartlessly rejected her after a night of reckless abandon…and is the father of her child. She must reveal the truth before she’s whisked away to Rowan’s castle for safety…
Isolated together, Logan finds herself at the mercy of Rowan’s unrelenting need to claim her— and their daughter! Logan has known no touch but his, and yearns to feel it again…but to do so, she must agree to meet him at the altar!

CLICK TO LEARN MORE
AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | GOOGLE | KOBO | BAM

Married in Montana, Tule Publishing
Beautiful, spirited, Texas born Ellie Burnett needs a husband. Fast. Her father, rancher Archibald Burnett, is dying and she’s determined to marry to protect the ranch and preserve her father’s legacy in Montana’s rugged Paradise Valley. The trouble is, she wants to wear the boots in the family and the man she has in mind, Irishman Thomas Sheenan would never stand for that.
Independent and taciturn Thomas Sheenan isn’t looking for a wife, having spent far too much of his life taking care of others.  He’s come to Montana to carve out his own identity, and be his own man. The last thing he needs is a headstrong bride, but when Ellie approaches him with the offer of a lifetime, he can’t refuse.
Thomas didn’t anticipate falling for his new bride.  He moved to Montana to stake his claim…he never planned on losing his heart.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY:
AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | KOBO | AMAZON UK

I also have a fun JP Memorial Day giveaway full of books, giftcards and lots of cool colorful summer swag for one lucky reader because new releases should be celebrated and readers need to know how important they are. I wouldn’t be here–17 years after my first sale–if it weren’t for you. For a chance to win, leave a comment below and tell me did you receive my newsletter this morning? Contest ends Wednesday with winner announced Thursday.

I wish you the happiest of Memorial Day weekends and you know how much I enjoy hearing from you. Please stay in touch!
All my love,

Hot Aussie Knights Bring The Heat!

I’ve known brilliant Aussie romance author Amy Andrews for a long time and her books just keep getting better.  I love everything she writes (hot!  smart!  sexy!) and I’m so happy to have her on my blog to introduce the brand new Tule series, Hot Aussie Knights.

The Knight family are Australian firefighting royalty, so when family patriarch Leonard Knight dies amidst suspicion of wrongdoing and scandal it’s up to his three firefighter grandsons—and one firefighting granddaughter!—to restore the family name.  After years apart, four Knights reunite at their grandfather’s funeral—Logan, Dare, and twins Dylan and Caleb—and tattoo Bothers Forged in Fire to celebrate their grandfather’s life, legacy and commitment to family.  The Knights are legends, and they work hard, and play even harder. What they aren’t expecting is that their family tragedy will lead them to love and a deeper understanding of what’s really important in life.

PROLOGUE – from Hot Mess

The cathedral was packed. Standing room only at the back, the mourners spilling out onto the wide, stone steps at the cathedral’s entrance and through its ornate side doors.

Leonard Knight would have hated it.

The old man hadn’t believed in pomp and ceremony. Or being the centre of attention. He’d believed in God and family and getting the job done – quietly, efficiently, and effectively.

He’d believed in hard work, in strategy, and he’d believed in his men.

Men who were, today, honouring him with the highest accolade that could be bestowed upon a fallen fire fighter of such distinction. A funeral with full honours for the man who was a legend in the ranks of Australian fire fighters.

The fire service was burying one of their own – their commissioner no less – and they could out pomp a royal wedding.

Rows and rows of bright-buttoned, shiny-shoed, uniformed men and women filled the pews of the cathedral, sitting stiffly erect, their dress hats on their laps.

Logan Knight was one of them but he had a front seat view.

He stuck his finger inside his collar and eased it off his neck for what felt like the hundredth time. It was a scorching January day outside and warmer still inside the packed cathedral. Plus, he was as uncomfortable wearing his formal uniform as his grandfather had been.

He hadn’t joined the fire department to don a suit and tie. Neither had Leonard; although, he’d spent the last decade of his life doing just that.

Logan’s gaze fixed on his grandfather’s polished cherrywood coffin, the brass trimmings shining as brightly as the buttons on Logan’s uniform. It was draped in the fire services flag and topped with enough flowers to open a garden shop. It was hard to believe that a wooden box – no matter how fancy – could hold the man who had always been larger than life.

He stuck his finger into his collar again.

“Stop fidgeting, for fuck’s sake,” his cousin Caleb muttered beside him as some dignitary droned on at the lectern. “You’re worse than a two-year-old with worms.”

“He’d have hated this,” Logan muttered back out the corner of his mouth.

“I know.”

“Funerals are for the living, not the dead,” chimed in Dylan, Caleb’s twin brother, from the other side.

Logan ran a belligerent eye over his cousin. “Thank you, Socrates.”

The sound of muted sobbing filled the sudden silence as the dignitary finished up and Logan glanced over to the row of pews to his right to see his father and Dylan and Caleb’s father comforting their mother. His other uncles – Leonard had seven sons – looked everything from stoic and stiff-upper-lipped to haggard. They all sat in the first row with their mother, their formal uniforms neat as pins, shouldering her through the shock of the sudden and unexpected death of her beloved husband of fifty years.

Logan had never seen his grandmother cry before – not once – and it pulled at his gut to see it now.

“Let us pray,” the minister announced from the pulpit indicating that everyone should rise.

“Christ,” Dylan muttered quietly as the congregation rose. “I could murder a beer.”

Logan bit the inside of his lip to stop from laughing. It was one of their grandfather’s favourite expressions.

“There’ll be plenty of that at the wake,” Logan murmured as he bowed his head. “Now shut up or Caleb’ll give you a wedgie.”

The minister’s, “Dear Lord,” drowned out the muffled chuckles from the Knight boys.

*

Several hours later, jackets discarded, ties loosened, sleeves rolled up, the cousins were on their fourth round of Rosie’s house beer. Rosie’s was an institution to Brisbane firefighters; a bar that had welcomed the city’s finest for over thirty years. Leonard Knight had spent a lot of hours after knock-off with his mates here back in the early days of his career.

Just two blocks from Logan’s station house, Rosie’s had closed its doors this afternoon to everyone but emergency services personnel as it, too, paid tribute to Leonard’s legacy.

And it was wall-to-wall uniforms.

Logan glanced around. It seemed like he was related to half the people in the room. His father and his uncles were scattered around, reminiscing about their old man, his three brothers were also drinking in a big group, all laughing loudly about some anecdote or other. Not to mention the thirty or forty cousins and seconds cousins and variety of prick relations—as his grandfather so colourfully called them—dotting the bar area.

Many of them had flown from interstate to attend. Caleb and Dylan had come from Adelaide. Even his cousin, Dare Knight, a smoke jumper from Montana, had flown in from the States with her father.

The Knights were about as much of an institution in firefighting circles as Rosie’s was.

“To the old man,” Dare said. Her American twang seemed even more accentuated surrounded as she was by a bunch of macho Aussie blokes.

She hadn’t seen her grandfather, or any of them except Logan, since her family’s last visit to Australia when she’d been fifteen, but her grief was as tangible as theirs. Thankfully she was staying on at his firehouse for a while as part of an exchange programme. Logan had done the same thing a few years back, joining Dare’s firehouse in Montana for a couple of years and he was looking forward to reconnecting with his kickass, GI Jane cousin.

Although, there was something new and edgy about her that worried him. Something that lay buried beneath the big smile and the electric blue dress that was turning heads left and right.

They drank to Leonard as they had the last three times. Normally, when Knight cousins got together, they smack talked relentlessly but the mood was distinctly sombre today.

“Do you think it was the investigation that killed him?”

Dare asked the question that had been bugging Logan since the news of their grandfather’s death broke a week ago.

She might live on the other side of the world but the Knight clan was tight and she knew all about the investigation into the multi-departmental mismanagement that had led to the disastrous outcomes from the massive bush fire that had ravaged vast tracts of land down south a few months ago.

One hundred and eight people dead, three of them firefighters. He and Caleb and Dylan had been there, along with half the guys in the room, travelling to help their interstate brothers fight the firestorm side-by-side.

The loss of life – particularly his comrades – had gutted Leonard. Then the blame game had started. The government was looking for a scapegoat to divert attention from decades of funding cuts.

“He was seventy,” Caleb said.

“Yeh, but he was fitter than a lot of men half his age,” Dylan countered.

“Apparently not,” Caleb shot back.

The twins glared at each other over their beers. Strikingly similar, they were both tall and broad and blond, which killed with the ladies. They played on their similarities too, often pretending to be the other to keep the women guessing.

Of course, their attitudes gave them away quickly. Dylan was relentlessly upbeat but Caleb, since his divorce, had turned into a cynic. His ex had accused him of being married to the job and hell if that wasn’t true.

Half the guys in this joint were divorced because fighting fires was like some kind of drug. It could be hard for partners to understand. God knew, the only woman who’d ever managed to capture Logan’s heart had struggled with it too. At the end anyway.

“What happened with those fires was not his fault,” Logan said, breaking the tension between the brothers stirred up by grief and booze.

“You think that matters?” Caleb snorted. “Shit moves uphill; you know that. The guy at the top always carries the can. That’s why they get paid the big bucks.”

“That’s crap,” Dylan said. “Those fires were a cock up because of chronic underfunding and mismanagement at the local and state levels.”

No one who had been on the ground had doubted that. It had been shocking. Logan had seen things he hadn’t seen during his nine years on the job. Things he couldn’t unsee. Things that still sometimes woke him in the middle of the night.

Property, livestock, people.

And his grandfather, who had felt every one of those deaths personally, had been hung out to dry. No wonder the old man’s heart had given way after fifty years of dedicated service to the job.

Caleb snorted. “You think the politicians give a shit about the facts? And now he’s gone that makes him an even easier target.”

Logan suspected Caleb was right but he didn’t want to think about it today. Today, they were supposed to be celebrating their grandfather’s life, not talking politics either national or departmental.

He was pretty sure Leonard Knight would kick their asses for not already being drunk and talking football and women.

“Dude.” Dare shook her head at Caleb then took a deep swallow of her cold beer. “You need to get laid.”

The change of subject worked as the guys laughed. “Just because I’m divorced doesn’t mean I’m not getting any.”

Logan kicked up an eyebrow. “Are you doing it wrong?  ‘Cause Dare’s got a point, man. You are a little uptight. I could give you some pointers if you like.”

“Hey, if he wants pointers, he doesn’t have to go any further than his own brother.” Dylan puffed out his chest. “The ladies love them some of this.”

Caleb shook his head in disgust. “Get your hand off it.”

Logan laughed and raised his glass. “To getting laid and fighting fires.”

Glasses clinked and they drank. Then they drank some more. Then they all went and got tattoos…

*

BONUS SCENE –

Between the drinking of the beer and the leaving for the tattoo parlor there was much discussion about what type of tattoo the Knight cousins would get to honour their grandfather…

“Too easy,” said Logan. “You can’t go past – Save a fire truck, ride a fireman.”

 “Nah.” Dylan shook his head. “I like – In case of emergency, pull hose”.

 A round of boozy cheers ensued, in the midst of which Caleb stood and managed to settle the hub bub down. “My vote goes to – Stay safe. Sleep with a fireman.”

 Dare snorted at the lot of them. “Because it’s all about men, right? What’s wrong with – Firefighter. Because badass isn’t an official job title?”

 “Damn straight,” Dylan said, clinking his beer bottle against Dare’s and they all drank to that.

Several more inappropriate suggestions were put forward. Where my hose at and the hotter you get the faster we come caused much hilarity. But Logan finally found the right tone.

“Brothers Forged in Fire,” he suggested. “That’s how the old man talked about his firefighting family, right? That’s how we should honour him.”

 And so they did.

*

If you read the books, you’ll find out just where exactly those tats ended up!

Meanwhile, we hope you love the Hot Aussie Knights!

Happy reading, from Amy
(and the rest of the Hot Aussie Knights authors, Sinclair, Victoria and Trish.)

Order your copy of Hot Mess here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Multi-award winning and USA Today bestselling author Amy Andrews is an Aussie who has written fifty romances from novellas to category to single-title in both the traditional and digital markets for a variety of publishers. Her first love is steamy contemporary romance that makes her readers tingle, laugh and sigh.  She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany. Visit her website at AmyAndrews.com.au

~~

Amy, thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your exciting series with us!

Readers, Do you like tattoos? Do you like guys with tattoos? Would you ever get one? Leave your answers below for a chance to win a Hot Aussie Giveaway packed with books by your favorite Australian writers and lots of Tule reader swag! Contest ends Saturday with winner announced Sunday.

Michelle Beattie’s 10th Book Celebration!

It’s no secret that I love historical romances and I’ve always had a weakness for rugged heroes, so I’m thrilled to feature the wonderful Michelle Beattie on my blog today with an interview to celebrate her 10th book, A Sheriff’s Passion!

So glad you could join us today, Michelle!

  1. What is your favorite part about writing historical Marietta?

What I like about historical Marietta is that I was able to take a town that is already so beloved by readers and show a different side to it and introduce some different characters.   I’m very thankful those readers have gone along with me on this ride and are enjoying this other side of Marietta.

  1. Why do you like writing historicals, and why does this time period appeal?

I enjoy writing historicals because it’s different than what I live every day.  It allows me to “live” in a simpler time.  Simpler, not easier.  I’ve just always been attracted to this time period, and in the west specifically.  Maybe that’s because I was born and raised in Western Canada so the location is familiar. While I love the fancy dresses and corsets of the Regency period, I have a hard time relating to that.  Pioneer women couldn’t bend over and tend a garden tied into a corset.  I like the freedom away from that, and all the formality.   I’m not one for formality.

  1. Tell us about your delicious hero. 

Delicious, I like that.  To me Shane is the ultimate fantasy.  He’s a Sheriff, so you know he’s upstanding and fair.  In a time where the law could be as corrupt as the outlaws running wild, Shane has remained honest.  And so, right there, that’s sexy to me.  Add the low-slung gunbelt, the dark hat and grey eyes and it’s no wonder he’s captured Silver’s heart.  But Shane had a tough upbringing and it’s shaped him.  He wants so badly to rise above the smear his dad put on their last name that he’ll do anything to avoid being painted in the same light.  Even if that means fighting the love he has for the saloon owner.

  1. If you were a character in Marietta, what would you do?  Where would you live?  What kind of life would you have, and do you think you’d enjoy it?

Oh, that’s an excellent question.  So here’s the thing, assuming you mean in the time frame I write in, I would love to do what Silver or Jillian (the heroine in A Rancher’s Surrender) do but I don’t have a head for business nor can I stand blood, so I couldn’t be a vet.  I suppose I’d end up being a rancher’s wife though hopefully I’d get to spend more time with the horses than stuck in a vegetable garden, which I hate.  Ideally, I’d have a small ranch with a house in the hills overlooking the Yellowstone River, but within a few hours ride from town so I didn’t feel isolated and could still spend time with friends.

  1. What makes this book special to you?  And did you have a favorite scene, or passage?   Can you share a snippet with us?

Besides the fact that A Sheriff’s Passion is my 10th published book, it’s special to me because from the time I wrote A Rancher’s Surrender I’ve had my eye on Shane and Silver.   The conflict between them is just so perfect.  The straight-laced sheriff and the bold saloon owner, there’s just so much fun in that.   Some of my favorite parts of this book are toward the end and the climax but I don’t want to give any of that away so here’s a little snippet from the earlier on.  Here they are walking back toward Marietta and discussing Shane’s brother, who recently arrived in town and is showing interest in Silver.

     Since Shane had walked out after kissing her, they’d never talked about what happened.  In fact they’d each gone out of their way to pretend it hadn’t happened at all.  It worked for the most part though their teasing felt less natural than it had before.  Today they’d taken a large step toward rebuilding their friendship and easy camaraderie.  Silver would be wise to let it be.  But she wasn’t about to let Shane get away with interfering in her personal life.  Especially when he didn’t want her in his.

     She stepped out of his touch.  “I’m not blind.  I can see the type of man he is but whatever I choose or don’t choose to do with Mitch will be between him and me.  Only him and me.”

     His gaze narrowed.  “What is it you’re planning to do with him?”

     Fury began to simmer in her veins.  Who did the man think he was?  Did he really think he could kiss her breathless, walk away as though it hadn’t mattered, and then presume to interfere in her life?  If he did, he was about to find out differently.

“Whatever I decide, Shane, is no business of yours and if you value our friendship, you’ll stay out of it.”  She straightened her shoulders.  “I’m a grown woman. I can make my own decisions and I’m strong enough to live with the consequences.”

She hadn’t meant her action to draw attention to her breasts but it did.  His eyes locked onto them.  She saw his Adam’s apple bob in his tanned throat.  His chest rose and fell with quick breaths.  Desire, hot and thick swept over her, filling her breasts and pebbling the nipples into rigid peaks.  Even through her chemise and blouse, there was no masking her need.

     His hands clenched at his sides.  His lips parted and, through them, she heard his rapid breaths.  Seeing his desire, knowing it matched hers, increased her fury.  If he wasn’t so blasted stubborn, if he’d only see what he could have, what they could have…

     Finally he dragged his gaze to hers.  The passion she saw snapped the last of the grip she’d held on her temper.

Shoving him aside, she said, “You had your chance, Shane McCall.  You could have had everything but you chose to walk away.”

Shane looked completely poleaxed.  She took the opportunity while she’d shocked him speechless to push the flowers at him and march away.  But she hadn’t gone more than a few steps before Shane grasped her elbow and spun her around.

Molten grey eyes met hers. “What do you mean ‘everything’?”

  1. Why is the heroine a good fit for your hero?  What do you like about her?

Silver is perfect for Shane because she’s never let what anyone thinks of her stop her from reaching for her goals.  In that, she’s Shane complete opposite.  He puts his reputation before everything but with her he’s happier than he’s ever been so she forces him to see his reputation can’t give him love.  There are so many things I love about Silver.  She’s hard working, driven, and confident.  She’s not afraid to speak her mind and can stand toe to toe with a man.  I tend to be more like Shane myself, always worrying about what folks think, what they’re saying about me.  I love that Silver doesn’t give a damn.

  1. What do you read when you’re not writing?  And have you read something recently you’d recommend?

I typically read contemporary, and I prefer westerns.  I wish historical westerns would make a comeback as that’s what I started reading and what gave me the passion to write.   I recently read a new to me author Amy Andrews and her book Some Girls Don’t.  It was hot and steamy with a lot of emotion and it took place in Australia, I country I love with people I adore so it was a really enjoyable read.  I highly recommend it.

  1. What’s next? Can we look for more Montana Born historicals from Michelle Beattie?

Yes!  In A Sheriff’s Passion you’ll meet Shane’s brother, Mitch.  I’m currently writing his story and after that I will wrap up the series with Shane’s other brother, Logan.

Look for A Sheriff’s Passion at these online retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK

Historical Romance fans, don’t miss out on Michelle’s 10th book!  I’m so excited for her and to help celebrate, I’m doing a giveway of  A Book Girl’s Guide to Marietta, Michelle’s 1st book in the Frontier Montana series, A Rancher’s Surrender–winner’s choice of print or ebook–a Starbucks drink card, and some fun Tule/MB swag! For a chance to win, leave a comment below and you’ll be entered!

Meet Patricia W. Fischer!

Patricia W. Fischer is one of those great Texans I love so much.  She’s smart, kind, generous, but also very hard working.  I love her can-do attitude and her desire to contribute and when the Men of Marietta series was being developed, the Tule team though she’d be an awesome fit.  Help me welcome Patricia to my blog and so glad she has a chance to meet you, my amazing readers and friends!

Hello Tule Readers! I cannot accurately express how excited I am that my book Burning with Desire, earned a spot in the Men of Marietta series.

This is my first book with Tule and I hope I brought all of you a story that you’ll love because I sure had a great time writing it.

To give a bit of backstory, last summer when we discussed this project, our fearless leader, Jane Porter, gave me the chance to bring a brand new character to a familiar place in Marietta—the Main Street Diner.

What a challenge! But I pulled out many of my family recipes and began thinking what a new kid in town would add to an already happy establishment. Food brings people together and gives us all a great idea of what it’s like to be sitting at the next table and listening in on the conversation between the hero and heroine.

Being from Texas, I knew I wanted Gabriella Marcos, the heroine, to come from my home state, but getting her to Marietta was a bit of a challenge. After a bit of brainstorming with writer friends, I figured the best way to get someone out of their comfort zone is giving them no other choice and Gabriella really has no other choice but to leave everything she knows and head to the very cold state of Montana.

Along with being the new owner of the diner, she also brings her teenage daughter, Trinity, a two beloved pets, Cookie Cat and Belle, a lab.

Upon their arrival, she awkwardly meets her neighbor, Kyle Cavasos, a firefighter and paramedic with the Marietta First Responders.

Kyle hasn’t been in Marietta that long either, but he’s been a welcome addition to the fire department, especially since he’s agreed to pose for the calendar to raise money for Harry’s House.

Coming up with inspiration for my characters wasn’t difficult. Instantly, I knew I wanted Gabriella to be Hispanic and the first actress I thought of was Gina Rodriguez from Jane the Virgin. She’s smart, gorgeous, and the perfect compliment to Kyle Cavasos, who reminds me of Jensen Ackles from Supernatural . (Guess I was in a CW mood when I came up with the story.)

Add in some good recipes, fun conversation, hilarious pets, and some saucy scenes, stir and savor and you’ve got Burning with Desire, coming April 18th.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the book.

Give me a shout or write a review.
Thanks!

Burning With Desire is available at these online retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK

Because I’m in Hawaii right now, I can’t help but think a Hawaii giveaway would be just the thing.  So for great beach reads and a Hawaii Starbucks drink card and chocolate macadamia nuts and so much more, leave a comment, welcoming Patricia to the blog, and/or comment on the Men of Marietta series and you’re entered! Contest ends Saturday with winner announced Sunday.

Kaylie Newell’s Man in Marietta

I first heard about Kaylie Newell because of FB posts where my friends Megan Crane and Maisey Yates would mention her, or have a pic and a mention of them having coffee in Jacksonville, Oregon and I would be envious because they always looked like they were having such fun.  And then I started following Kaylie because her posts really resonated with me…she is such an amazing mom, and a fierce spirit, and a kind soul.  I love the combination of gentle warrior and I couldn’t wait for the day where I’d have the chance to work and play with her….and now I do!

Kaylie and Jane at the RWA Conf in San Diego, July 2016

I am so delighted to introduce all my readers and friends to the wonderful Kaylie Newell.  Kaylie, take it away!

Hi, everyone! Thank you so much to Jane for having me on her lovely blog.  If you don’t know me yet, my name is Kaylie Newell, and today is release day for my very first Montana Born book, Falling for The Ranger! To say I’m excited is an understatement.  I’ve actually been celebrating with Cadbury eggs all afternoon.  So, I have release day excitement, combined with a significant chocolate buzz going on, that’s going to make falling asleep tonight interesting.

If you’re not familiar with the premise of Molly and Todd’s story, it’s one that was born during the Olympics last summer.  As I was watching all these beautiful, young athletes on TV, I started thinking, so many of them are in their prime right now.  The world is their oyster.  But what happens when superstars such as these have too much money, too much fame, and nobody to keep them in check? That’s when Molly Cordero started taking shape.  I wanted Molly to have fallen from grace as a gorgeous, young gold medal Olympian, but finding a soft place to land in Marietta.

Todd Harris is adjusting to a brand new life as a Montana forest ranger, after making the change from a Chicago police officer.  Having been a big city cop, he’s a little gruff and a lot alpha, but he meets his match in the feisty athlete who’s got nothing to lose.

Todd and Molly are polar opposites in many ways, but they’re similar, too.  They’re both calloused from being hurt; Todd by his ex-wife, and Molly by the general public who’s decided to make her their punching bag. They both have to learn how to trust people again, and most importantly, how to trust each other.

To me, this book is about starting over and how scary that can be.  It’s about taking risks that even the most seasoned adventurers might find daunting, and discovering love in the process.

If you pick up Falling for The Ranger (the fourth book in the Men of Marietta series), let me know how you like it.  I love to hear from my readers!  And if I see you in person, I might even be persuaded to share a few Cadbury eggs.

Author coffee with Tule editorial Jacksonville, OR March 2017

Look for Kaylie’s Falling For The Ranger at these online retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GoogleAmazon UK

Kaylie, thanks for joining us today and letting me introduce you to my readers. I’m so excited about your new release and I know readers will love it too!  To keep the fun going, I’ve got this awesome book girl prize (which includes a signed copy of She’s Gone Country and Away In Montana) for one lucky reader! For a chance to win, just leave a comment below for Kaylie and you’ll be entered. Contest ends Friday, with winner announced Saturday.

Jeannie Moon on Librarians and Romance Novelists

I’ve been writing a lot and haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like, but at the top of my tbr is Jeannie Moon‘s Daring The Pilot.  It’s no secret I love the fictional town of Marietta, Montana and Tule’s new Men of Marietta series has to be one of my favorites.  I roped Jeannie Moon into sharing with us more about her new release in this series.  Please join me in welcoming Jeannie to JaneBlog!

What happens when you cross a librarian and a romance novelist?

You get me and one of my books.

I love writing. Truly. Developing characters and stories is an incredibly good time. But I have this problem. Deep inside me is my other half.

Yep.

MY librarian half is always waiting.  And she researches topics to death.

I raised three children. My two oldest, my daughters, majored in hard sciences.  Julie has her doctorate in Physical Therapy.  Katie is a civil engineer. I know…they’re no joke.  Needless to say, I love girls who love science, and Keely is not the first scientist I’ve written. But she’s the definitely the most intense.  In order to make her true to life, I had to learn about geology. And geophysics. And volcanoes. And mountains.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at US Geological Survey maps and reports about the mountains around Marietta. That’s where Keely was going to be working and studying for the next year, and I needed to know the age, the composition and how the mountains were formed. I also wanted to know if the area was seismically active…and guess what?  Marietta sits right near Yellowstone and it turns out Montana is one of the most seismically active areas of the United States. That was the payoff.

All of this may seem dry, but as I built my character, I started to appreciate the area much the way Keely did. A born science girl, the only thing Keely wanted was to know more than she did the day before. Sometimes she took risks, but in the end, Keely never regrets getting one more piece of information.

This is part of why Jonah falls for her. He’s a straightforward guy. Smart and focused, he’s one of the best pilots around, but when it comes to Keely, her brains are the biggest turn on for him. He loves her curiosity. He loves how she thinks, and how she processes information. Sure, she’s pretty on the outside, but what finally gets to Jonah is how much her work matters to her. How much she’s given up for it. Her dedication and her smarts make for a perfect package in him mind.

I get questions sometimes about why I write the brainy heroine. No one wants to say it, but there’s an underlying question about whether smart and sexy go together. I can tell you, after writing teachers, nurses, engineers, psychologists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, artists, librarians, and yes, geophysicists, that sexy is a state of mind, and smart is very sexy.

In the end, what does all that research do?  It helps me build realistic heroes and heroines who are smart, funny, and focused.  It allows them to go beyond the confines of what I know into the realm of what I can learn. It gives them depth. It gives them a something to care about.

In turn, the readers care about them.

Look for Jeannie’s Daring The Pilot at these online retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GoogleAmazon UK

Jeannie, thanks for a wonderful book in a great series! You’ve tempted me to do nothing all day but stay lost in the joy of reading.  I do have a fun prize for you all! Leave a comment for Jeannie and you’ll be entered to win a Marietta Montana book girl prize – Books, gift car, tote bag, fun stuff and so much more!  Contest ends Friday with winner announced Saturday.

The Men of Marietta!

I’ve been so excited about Tule’s new series featuring the Men of Marietta and invited good friends and wonderfully talented authors, Heidi Rice and Kate Hardy, to share something with us about their new books. Please join me in welcoming both of these fabulous authors to JaneBlog!

Heidi Rice
and Kate Hardy interviewed each other about Heidi‘s Tempting the Deputy and Kate‘s Flirting with Firethe first two books in the Men of Marietta series.  Keep reading to hear about Marietta man candy, darkroom crushes, puppies with shoe fetishes, and the importance of rigorous cover research!

Kate: Heidi, tell me a little about yourself.

Heidi:  Hi Kate. Well, I’m married with two sons – which can give me way too much of an insight into the male psyche – and I’m a Londoner, born and bred. But I adore travelling, particularly to the US, where I’ve been on numerous road trips with my best mate (she’s got two sons too… we need our girl time!). Basically we’re Thelma and Louise but without the driving off a cliff bit. That said, we haven’t been to Montana (yet), but thanks to Tempting the Deputy I have at least spent several wonderful months in Marietta. So Kate, let’s here a bit about you now.


Kate:
I’m a mum of two teenagers – the oldest is away in his first year at uni and the youngest is in the middle of exams – and I live with them, their dad and a springer spaniel puppy in Norwich, England. And I was so pleased to be working on the series with you, especially as we were able to brainstorm so much of our books together. Tell me a little about your book, Heidi.

Heidi: Okay, so my book is the first in the series and it’s about Sheriff’s deputy Logan Tate – who also owns a small cattle ranch outside Marietta with his brother Lyle – and British photographer Charlotte (aka Charlie) Foster who’s travelling around America taking shots for a book project. Logan’s one of the good guys. He’s tough, stoic, he always plays by the rules, he’s very protective and he’s also, ever so slightly, uptight. So the last thing he needs is for a bad girl like Charlie – who decided a long time ago that rules are for other people – turning up in his town and messing with him. I absolutely adored writing these two because they were so wrong for each other and yet so right. So why don’t you tell us a bit about your book, Flirting with Fire, Kate.

Kate: I had a lot of fun writing my hero Lyle, who’s Logan’s laid-back younger brother, and Em, who just happens to be the uptight elder twin of Charlie! My book starts a week after your book ends when Em comes to Marietta, wondering if her sister is about to make the biggest mistake of her life. But she soon discovers a lot more than she bargains for. She realises that there’s a lot more to Lyle than meets the eye; and Lyle realises that he doesn’t have to keep searching for love because it’s right before his eyes… Best of all, the book is set in Marietta. This is my third book set in the town and I’ve really fallen in love with it. Though I did find some challenges – what did you find the most challenging thing, Heidi?

Heidi: To be honest, when I’m writing a series of connected books with other authors I get a bit nervous about using other people’s characters in my story. I worry about letting people down. I want to do their characters justice. That said, I had a terrific time writing The Fairy Tales of New York series for Tule last year and this series was no different, once we’d started working on it. Brainstorming with you was a big part of that, but I was also really inspired after meeting authors Jeannie Moon, Patricia Walters-Fischer and Kaylie Newell for the first time at a swanky breakfast in San Diego with Jane and her team. Still sad you couldn’t make that Kate, not only was it a great way to kick off the brainstorming for the series, but the pancakes were delicious! In the end I really enjoyed writing the scene where all five of our Calendar hotties meet Charlie in Grey’s Saloon, a few months later. Seeing our guys all freak out (all except Lyle!) when she suggests that they pose for a nude calendar to raise money for Harry’s House was even more fun… So how about you Kate, what was your most challenging thing, while writing your Men of Marietta book?

Kate: For me it was getting the continuity elements right – and making sure I was using American terms instead of British ones. I’m very grateful to our editor for flagging up my Britishisms! Now, I’m an only child, so I’m quite fascinated by sibling relationships. How about you?

Heidi: I am too, but for the opposite reason I guess, because I have lots of siblings! Maybe that’s why a high point for me was exploring the relationship between Logan and his brother Lyle in my book and then reading about it in yours. I loved that these guys are super close, but also so different in a lot of ways. While Lyle’s a joker and a charmer, Logan’s serious and reserved. Or at least that’s what Charlie sees on the surface. Luckily Logan also has an undiscovered wild side that me (and Charlie) had a lot of fun uncovering (literally). Okay, now you’ve gotta tell us a bit more about Lyle because I know you used him in the series that went before Men of Marietta, the Bachelor Bake-Off. Can you tell us any more about that connection? Also there’s a great moment in Flirting with Fire which has something to do with your Bake-Off book, right?

Kate: Yes, there’s an interesting history to that moment. Lyle’s good friends with Tyler, my Bake-Off hero in A Spoonful of Sugar, and he teases him mercilessly. Tyler has the chance to get his own back with a bet – although he loses, he and Lyle agree terms, and the result is Lyle dressing up as Lady Gaga and singing ‘Born This Way’. I do have a bad habit of slipping music into my books, and I ended up writing the songs for Lyle in the book. Heidi, I know you’re a film buff, but are you a photography buff as well?

Heidi: I didn’t know you wrote the songs, that’s so cool… And yes, I’ve always been a huge film buff, in fact I was a film journalist before I was an author. My interest in photography also goes back a few years. When I was 19, I worked one summer in Houston, Texas, on a low-budget movie. While I was there, I had a ‘thing’ for the guy doing the cinematography (who was gorgeous!) and he taught me all about taking photos, and how to develop stuff in a darkroom. So now you know where the inspiration for a certain hot scene in a darkroom came from in my book! LOL! So now I need to know, is it true you gave your new puppy a walk-on part in Flirting with Fire?

Kate: I couldn’t resist! Brontë is heavily based on Archie, even down to being a springer spaniel. The only difference is that we met Archie when he was five weeks old, so he wasn’t a rescue dog. However, he is a TERRIBLE shoe thief. Unlike Em, the heroine of my book, I don’t possess Louboutins – I normally scuff around in flats or trainers – but Archie did chew my only pair of posh shoes a couple of weeks before I went to an awards do… Thankfully, I was able to get another pair in time to go to London! Now, I know you love doing picture research, so tell me about the research you did for your cover?

Heidi: Yes, it’s true. * Heidi puts on her serious author face. * Hours and hours of arduous research went into scouring photos of hot shirtless cowboys to find the perfect Logan lookalike for my cover. But I think it was totally worth it. Never let it be said I am not prepared to suffer for my art!

So I guess that’s it from Kate and me. We had so much fun writing these first two stories in the Men of Marietta series. I really hope readers have as much fun reading about our guys – and the other three First Responder dudes – who all discover while taking their clothes off for a good cause that sometimes the way to a woman’s heart is paved with a naked pec, or two! Who knew?

Look for Heidi’s Tempting The Deputy at these online retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GoogleAmazon UK

Look for Kate’s Flirting With Fire at these online retailers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GoogleAmazon UK

Heidi and Kate, the reviews on these stories are fantastic and this series is quickly becoming a reader favorite.  I am so glad  you took time to talk to us about the series and working together. I have a very special Montana Born prize for readers as well.  This mug has been handmade for Tule and the little red star shows where Marietta is on the Montana Map!  For a chance to win, just leave a comment below for Heidi and Kate and you’ll be entered to win this prize. Contest ends Saturday with winner announced Sunday.