Giveaway,  Guest Authors,  Tule Publishing

Author Spotlight: Sinclair Jayne Is in the House!

We have a winner, yay! Congratulations, Robin Whitaker, you are Sinclair’s giveaway winner. She will be in touch with you to arrange to get your prize to you. Thanks to you and everyone who joined in our conversation! We do love talking to our readers!

I love it when one of my very favorite authors (and also my editor!) drops by!  Sinclair Jayne has so much energy, she just lights the place up! She’s here with her newest release, The Cowboy Charm and a fun giveaway.

Sinclair is a former journalist and middle school teacher who holds a BA in Political Science and K-8 teaching certificate from the University of California, Irvine and a MS in Education with an emphasis in teaching writing from the University of Washington. She has worked as Senior Editor with Tule Publishing for over seven years. Writing as Sinclair Jayne she’s published fifteen short contemporary romances with Tule Publishing with another four books being released in 2021. Married for over twenty-four years, she has two children, and when she isn’t writing or editing, she and her husband, Deepak, are hosting wine tastings of their pinot noir and pinot noir rose at their vineyard Roshni, which is a Hindi word for light-filled, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Shaandaar!

Sinclair, you’re up!

Writing The Cowboy Charm, Book 4 in The Montana Coyote Cowboys

by Sinclair Jayne

Hello Nan Reinhardt and River’s Edge Fans,

Nan has kindly let me crash her party to chat about my new release—The Cowboy Charm—set in another charming town created by Tule Publishing, Marietta Montana. I love how Nan created her own town of River’s Edge with the geography, history, traditions, and charm, and it’s really caught fire. Her publisher, Tule Publishing did something similar creating two towns—Marietta, Montana and Last Stand in Texas, both based on real towns, Livingston and Stonewall/Fredericksburg, respectively. Creating a town and watching it grow feels a bit like being a parent—I feel so proud and protective of the towns that Tule has created, but also the towns that Tule authors create.

The Cowboy Charm was an unexpected book for me to write. Oh, I knew I was setting the story in Marietta, Montana, and that my hero was a Special Forces soldier mustering out and determined to become a cowboy again, and that he had to do community service for his fallen team leader as a way to honor and make amends, but I had no idea that the book would be so fun and joyous and weirdly easy to write. Why?

It wasn’t because I am normally gloom-and-doom, writing self-indulgent poetry, scowling and crying on the beach during a storm (that was teenage me); or because I wanted to write a heavy book. I love to bring the romance, spice and fantasy, but I’d had a couple of emotionally grueling years, and a friend and Tule Publisher, Jane Porter had suggested writing about what I was feeling—using my emotions to propel my next book, and I liked the idea. So there I was with my soldier, grieving his friend in a new Montana town in January—it’s frigid, he has no home, no job, and a duty to do—community service hours, 250 of them, while he also needs to find a job because he was still helping to support his siblings.

But in true hero fashion, Ryder is undaunted, rolls into town, and gets to work. I had him serve his community service hours in an assisted living facility. Sometimes other writers and I joke about how much we love to torture our heroes, and this was more than a couple of albatrosses I was hoisting around his neck—a physical man used to rough living outside on missions around the world stuck inside, volunteering with a physical therapist who doesn’t trust him or want his help, while memories of his own grandma’s mental and physical decline when he was living with her as a young teen crowding close.

Fun times. And yet, when I embrace the dark, I also lasso a lot of light. Ryder Lea became this really kinetic, live-in-the-moment, jump-all-in, embrace-the-people-and-situation-he’s-with hero. I found myself smiling when I was writing scenes, and as cautious, professional and wary as my heroine Edi is, Ryder is a human golden retriever finding humor and silliness and adventure around every corner even in the most unlikely of circumstances. I even got to build the mystery that started in book two that’s solved in book five—so yeah, I was as busy and Ryder and Edi.

I realized about half-way through that my story was also an homage to Hillside in McMinnville, Oregon, a retirement community that both of my parents lived in for about ten years. They lived through every iteration of it—independently in a cottage, a smaller apartment (my mom alone), assisted living, skilled nursing, and hospice. And while I’ve had many discussions over the years with friends and family about all the iterations of retirement communities and assisted living facilities, my parents, especially my mom had about as good an experience as she could have had, especially as her health declined. She had friends, activities, and help, and I felt that I had a support team as we trudged through the last couple of years. I wanted to show the positives and possibility of reality and hard choices that sometimes people and families need to make. I wanted to showcase how residents and staff can form a community and have fun together—build friendships, learn new skills, participate, and have a support system.

I felt like I had a really good balance in the book—realism but fun and hope and of course a budding romance and sexual tension, and yet my editor, the brilliant Kelly Hunter commented—”there are a lot of scenes that take place inside the facility. I feel trapped.”  Being trapped was the point for the first part of the book. Both of the characters are literally and emotionally trapped. And it’s January in Montana. And my H and H worked there.

But I write romance, which means possibility and hope and fun and fantasy and emotional growth and of course the HEA. Of course Ryder and Edi push themselves up and outside (and into each other’s arms). They enjoy a dinner at my favorite Marietta restaurant Rosita’s Mexican Grill (and guac!), a drink and activity night at the Graff Hotel, plan a party and enjoy a family friendly activity with Ryder and the staff of The Telford Family Ranch because of course I can’t write a cowboy hero who doesn’t get to Cowboy Up in his dream job on a ranch.

I hope you get a chance to read The Cowboy Charm. I loved writing it although I went around and around with the Tule Team about the title—should it be The Cowboy’s Charm (Ryder is super charming) or is he, the charm? Yes, he is.

GIVEAWAY! Nan will pick a winner for my prize on Saturday—Montana-themed reader swag and a couple of signed print books from the Coyote Cowboy series (one of my favorite series I’ve ever written but don’t tell the others.) Just comment below and tell me if you are a sunshine-and-light person or do you lean more toward doom-and-gloom or are you somewhere in between?

Thanks for hanging with me today. Best,

Sinclair Jayne

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The Cowboy Charm

All work and no play is not how this cowboy intends to spend his day…

Former special forces soldier Ryder Lea has dedicated his life to serving others. Now honorably discharged, he’s looking to return to his cowboy roots to work as a rodeo stock contractor and travel the country he’s spent years protecting. But first, he has an obligation in Marietta, Montana to his fallen commanding officer. Surely completing a few hours of community service won’t be that challenging?

Physical therapist Edison Martin is short-staffed and underwhelmed when the tall, broad-shouldered cowboy with the ‘awe shucks’ smile swaggers into her clinic as her latest community-service volunteer. She needs trained help, not eye-candy. And Ryder reminds Edi of everything she’s lost and every man who’s done her wrong.

Bound by duty and compassionate by nature, Ryder dives into his temporary role with humor and enthusiasm. His motto: make a difference. But what will it take to get statuesque, super serious Edi to smile and remember that each day is a gift?

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  • Sue Farmer

    Congratulations on your new book Sinclair! This is such a fabulous series. So many heartwarming stories.
    I find myself in between sunshine and light and gloom and doom. I always try for the sunny and light aspect but I believe my worrying pulls me toward gloom and doom sometimes. And as they say, tomorrow is a new day – hopefully to work in the light.

  • Cherie J

    I strive to be sunshine and light since it brings me more happiness, but I have my doom and gloom days on occasion as well. I definitely lean more towards sunshine and light though.

  • Debra Pruss

    I try to be sunshine and light. I have to admit there are times that I am not successful. When things look the darkest, I try to look at the positive to find the light in the midst of the dark. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  • Latesha B.

    I think I am sunshine and light around others but can be doom and gloom when by myself. So I guess you can say I am a bit of both. Trying to be more sunshine and light, though.

  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    I started out in life as sunshine and light, but I think reality has made me more an in-the-middle person now. I never get to doom and gloom, although I do sometimes get to “Life is good, so when is the other shoe going to drop?”

  • Robin Whitaker

    I have to admit that living with depression I am more of a doom and gloom person. I have friends who are the Sunshine and Rainbow people and I strive to be more like them.

    • sinclair

      Robin, Depression is its own thing isn’t it? You don’t really get a choice to self-talk yourself out of that. I’ve been lucky, but there are times when I think most of us hit a wall–illness, life events, winter, when it’s just a bit more of a challenge to stay positive–still I always try to self-talk my way up instead of wallow, but yeah, a good wallow with a friend and chocolate or ice cream or wine is sometimes on my menu. Thank you for reading my blog and responding. Sj

  • Melissa

    What a great premise for a story! Love learning more about Sinclair and her journey as a writer. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m more the sunshine end of things.
    Appreciated what you wrote about place being so central to your story. It nearly becomes a character of its own after a while, doesn’t it?

    • sinclair

      You are so right. Setting can become a character. I feel like Marietta has in so many of my books become a central character as has the weather–warm and sunny gets everyone outside on the ranch or at the farmer’s market or by the river, but the blustery cold forces them by the fire playing games or perhaps tucked into the pub style bar at the Graff Hotel with appetizers and a warm drink. I do feel like where we live does imbue us with energy or anxiety –almost it’s own eco system. Thanks so much for reading my blog post. SJ

  • Joannie Sico

    I’m probably somewhere in between but once in a while I can be more on the doom & gloom side. Now I enjoy reading all of it.

    • sinclair

      I think I’m still pretty much more sunny side up, but now that I am older I do have a bit more anxiety or awareness of time seeming a bit more limited–the horizon closer. Or worry about my sort of/almost adult children and their future. I don’t shake things off the same way, yet there is power in that too. Awareness, reflection and strength. Thank you for sharing and reading my blog post. SJ

  • Kathleen Bylsma

    I bounce between the two……one minute: all will be well, the next: woe is me…

    Sometimes, I give myself whiplash!

    • Sinclair

      Your comment made me smile. So mercurial. I remember when I was a middle school teacher some of my students would be all dramatic and upset in the morning, and I would check on them a couple of class periods later, being worried, and they’d be flying high.

      So fun to feel and embrace the full range of emotions,

  • Faye Peters

    I’m a sunshine type person, I like to be more up and happy. I have to work a little harder in the winter but I push myself. Thanks for the chance to win!

    • Sinclair

      Hi Faye, I too am pretty positive. I see a lot of silver linings as I careen through life–and also the pitfalls–but I feel that that duel view makes me more pragmatic, but also sunny because for the most part I assume it’s going to go well, and it not, there is always next time. I was a total goth drama queen as a teen though–not sure why as I find my former attitude hilariously dumb, and I’m happy to be away from that grump. I was dreading my kids hitting the teen years, but other than my son starting out as a glass half-full and someone’s about to take the rest of it and drink it down and laugh at you guy, things went smoothly. And now even my son is fairly positive and hope for the best and strategize and problem solve when things don’t go his way so another win in my column and theirs. thanks for reading my post.

  • Doris H Lankford

    I am probably somewhere in between the doom&gloom and sunshine&rainbows. I like to think positively about things but also realize that bad things do happen to good people.

    • Sinclair

      Absolutely, we all get hit at different times. I feel like I’m on a giant team, and sometimes I am just up to bat for the sucky moment. And it’s my job to figure out a way to fall down, take a breath, absorb the blow and then stagger back to my feet and figure out a way to walk through or around or over or just rest a while. I try to find the rainbow or wait for it as the storm hits. Thanks so much for reading my blog entry.

  • Liz Flaherty

    Hi, Sinclair! The book sounds wonderful. While I lay claim to sunshine and lollipops, I have to admit to giving in to the sadness sometimes. I enjoyed your post!

    • Sinclair

      Sunshine and lollipops. I LOVE that. I think that’s from Gypsy Rose–Everything’s coming up Roses. That was the first song my daughter sang in a vocal competition–what a weird song to give to a nine-year-old. She always asks why I did that to her, and yet she was the one always climbing up on tables at school and events and belting out songs and auditioning for everything. I just drove and paid for lessons and costumes. But yes, I can be happily positive, and yet I do know that our turn for sorrow is lurking around a corner somewhere and that the dark can randomly hit and there’s not really a way to duck it at times, and that all we can do is be kind and supportive to ourselves and each other. Thank you so much for reading my blog post and responding. Have a lovely winter day–Spring is a month away!