Text by Diane Slocum

 

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As June slides us into summer and it’s time for some fun and relaxing reading, what could be more appropriate than a story that combines romance with “The Summer Job.” Lizzy Dent’s debut novel centers on Elizabeth “Birdy” Finch, a 30-something who can’t seem to get her life together. Heather, her best friend since childhood, has her own problems, but she at least has risen to a pinnacle of her career as 

a sommelier. In an emotional dither, Heather skips out on a summer job in Scotland, leaving Birdy to straighten it out. Instead, Birdy falls into pretending that she is Heather even though she knows almost nothing about wine. 

As the summer passes, she becomes ever-increasingly tangled in the web that she has constructed, hoping not to ruin the lives of the people depending on her, which includes the handsome, charming, sensitive chef.

In Abby Jimenez’ “Life’s Too Short,” Vanessa Price’s mother and sister died before they were 30, so she feels the preciousness of the time that she may have. She quits her job to travel the globe and has millions of YouTube followers join her vicariously. But the travel is short-circuited when she suddenly is left with a half-sister’s baby. The lawyer next door offers his help and turns out to be a natural baby tamer. 

Yet the more attractive he becomes, 

the more Vanessa struggles with her sense that she has no future. 

VALLEY WRITERS 

Visalia native Jane Porter’s latest novel, “Montana Cowboy Daddy,” came out last month in e-book and paperback. It is the third in the Wyatt Brothers of Montana series. The first installment is “Montana Cowboy Romance,” featuring brother Joe, who swears off romance when his only true love marries another. Next is brother Sam in “Montana Cowboy Christmas,” who finds that the woman he left two years ago needs more than a shoulder to cry on. The current book centers on brother Billy and Ericka, a woman he has never met who shows up with a baby she claims is his. Scheduled for release in November is “Montana Cowboy Miracle,” which brings in Cade Hunt, who is looking for his half-sister and learns how he ties into the Wyatt family. 

Porter also features Montana in the Paradise Valley Ranch series. Book one is “Away in Montana,” which pits McKenna, the daughter of a Butte copper king who returns to Montana 

in disgrace, against her former love, Sinclair, who wants to forget her and her whole family. Second in the series, “Married in Montana,” features headstrong Ellie, who needs a husband to preserve her father’s ranch, even though she intends to be the boss, and Irishman Thomas, who has no intention of marrying a domineering woman.

TULE PUBLISHING 

Porter’s books mentioned above are published by Tule Publishing. Others of hers are “Take a Chance on Me,” “The Tycoon’s Kiss” and “The Taming of the Bachelor.” Porter is the founder of 

Tule Publishing. 

Tule is a small publisher concentrating on romance, chick lit, women’s fiction and mystery. Currently, it is looking for romantic comedies, strong, savvy heroines, fresh takes on classic romance, female sleuths, crime fiction and more. Their imprints are Montana Born, Texas Born, Southern Born, Holiday, Muse and American Heart. 

Tule is a full-service publisher that accepts agented or non-agented submissions. It does not accept previously published work. 

The newest books are “To Rescue the Runaway Bride” by Kelsey McKnight, “Miss Mary Bennet” by Katherine Cowley and “The Cowboy’s Vow” by Leah Vale. 

Three Tule publications are finalists in the Romance Writers of America inaugural Vivian Contest. “Heart Throb” by Robin Bielman, “Swipe Right for Cowboy” by Karen Foley and “Greedy Heart” by A.P. Murray are in the running. 

Porter is also the founder and current CEO of Tule Productions. It currently has more than a dozen works under option and in production. 

WRITING CONTEST 

Deadline for the 19th annual Romance Through the Ages Contest was May 31. Finalists judged by agents and editors. Nine categories from ancient to modern. Details: heartsthroughhistory.com/rtta-contest/ 

THE LAST WORD 

“Yes, love indeed is light from heaven; A spark of that immortal fire with angels shared, by Allah given to lift from earth our low desire.” 

– Lord Byron (1788-1824)

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