about the author
An award-winning author, Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope. The author of The Sheriff’s Second Chance and A Ranger for the Twins, she is awaiting the release of her third book, The Soldier’s Unexpected Family, coming in March of 2021. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable rescue beagle (whose hashtag is #LinustheBeagle). Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.
What is your favorite activity or hobby not related to books?
T: This one’s a toss-up between walking and watching classic movies! I love both so much. There’s a classic movie called, “Walk, Don’t Run” with Cary Grant (in his last movie role as Sir William Rutland), Jim Hutton (Steve), and Samantha Eggar (Christine). A remake of “The More the Merrier,” it’s a romance with the setting of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo where there’s a housing shortage, and Christine ends up with two roommates after Sir William Rutland sublets his half to Steve, an Olympian who evades the question of what sport he’s competing in. It’s revealed he’s in the sport of competitive walking. While I’m not at that level (!), I do love to walk. In college, my PE requirement was fulfilled in a walking class. And I love taking hikes with my family, especially when there’s a waterfall at the end of the trail.
B: I’m with you, runners are missing out!
What are some of the challenges you faced while writing The Soldier’s Unexpected Family?
T: There were different challenges about the book. The timing itself was challenging as I wrote the last half of the book and edited it while under lockdown. My kids learned to do schoolwork to classical music playing in the background as that seemed the least intrusive music and was a signal that it was time for work. However, there were different challenges about the book itself.
When Natalie came into books one and two, her personality was bright and sunny and just plain happy. These are great qualities in a supporting character who is trying to show the heroine that goodness and hope will prevail. In a heroine, though? It was hard to put someone that happy into impossible situations. The more time I spent with her and this book, the more I discovered she is happy, but there were layers to her and I hope those come across to the reader.
Another challenge revolved around Aidan. My father and grandfathers served in the military. My father was in the Air Force, and both my grandfathers were veterans of World War II with my maternal grandfather serving in the Navy and my paternal grandfather being part of what became the Flying Tigers. One interesting side note about my paternal grandfather was he was an amateur photographer who once met Babe Ruth and the last king of Hawaii and they posed in the same picture. Because of my family’s ties to the military, I wanted to make sure I did justice to Aidan, a major in the army.
On a much lighter note, it was rather challenging but fun to write a book set in summer during the doldrums of winter! I kept looking at pictures of the Fourth of July and fireworks and parade floats at the same time I saw snow out the window (yes, Georgia had snow in February of 2020!) and wore thick sweaters. It’s great fun, though, and it feels like it’s the best of both worlds to write a summer book while it’s winter.
B: 2020 was a challenge, no doubt about that!
What is your reading style?
T: I love to read, so my reading style is anytime, anywhere! I always have a book with me. I have several on my nightstand, and there’s a bookshelf in my room with my “To Be Read” pile in addition to the rest of the books that I have yet to read.
I’m usually reading a few books at one time, and that developed out of circumstance. I discovered I can read on my Kindle while walking on a treadmill so that’s when I began reading two books at the same time. I love print books, and cuddling up with my book, whether on a cozy chair or in bed, or having a special lunch to myself dedicated to reading is one of my favorite activities. I do like the convenience of the Kindle where if there’s a long line or if I’m waiting for my kids in the car (turned off in a parking spot), I can whip my Kindle out of my purse and read.
As a mom of four, I don’t have a reading routine per se, but I love to read any chance I get, and I do have to read from current paperback (or occasional hardback) every day.
B: You are my kind of reader!
What is your next release and/or what are you working on now?
T: My next release is coming out in October of this year from Harlequin Heartwarming, and it’s also set in Hollydale. The Single Dad’s Holiday Match is the first book of the Smoky Mountain First Responders series.
Will Jonathan Maxwell’s job promotion come at Brooke Novak’s expense? Five years ago, Jonathan witnessed his wife’s death in a car accident while on duty as a detective. Remembering the summers he spent in Hollydale, he accepted a job as a police officer in the small town and moved his daughters for a fresh start. With the holidays around the corner, he has a chance for a promotion to detective and his latest case takes him to the community center where a new director is shaking up the events schedule. Brooke Novak wants to settle down and has promised her teenage son they’ll stay in one place long enough for him to graduate high school. It’s also a chance for her to bond with her favorite aunt, who runs the local hair salon if she can clear the center from any suspicion of criminal activity. With the help of some friendly matchmakers, the single dad might have met his holiday match.
B: Oooo! I love the Smoky Mountains and first responder characters!
What’s your writing style?
T: My writing style tends more toward the plotting side. I start by brainstorming and developing the characters and ideas. This takes a couple of weeks as I start with names and ideas of what the characters look like and I end up with a chapter outline. From there, I start writing, and it takes me a couple of days to get into the book. The first chapter is always the toughest for me, but by the end, I’m more focused and have a more defined picture in my head of the final scenes. Walking Linus, our new rescue beagle, helps a lot as I’m usually thinking of the next day’s scene and developing a movie-like scene in my head with dialogue and setting in place. Of course, by the time I get home, I forget most of it, but it gives me a place to start. After I finish the first draft, I set the book aside for a couple of weeks and plot another book or edit or get caught up on my other writing work.
Prior to the past twelve months, I loved writing at Panera or a library while my three youngest were in school. Since then, I’m adjusting to writing at home with my cozy socks on and music playing when possible, but I look forward to the time in the near future I’ll be writing at Panera again. Maybe I’ll still wear my cozy socks under my sneakers!
B: Glad to hear you were able to adapt your writing routine over the last year.
Do you have any writing quirks?
T: I am all about cozy socks! Currently, my twins are keeping me on track in my daily writing goals as they are digital learning students. They start school while I start writing. While I write in jeans or yoga pants, I love my cozy socks! My Christmas stocking is always loaded with cozy socks so I have a wide variety to choose from every morning. I have my favorite Harlequin purple cozy socks, Cookie Monster socks, and a wide assortment of animals from penguins to polar bears to beagles. Our new rescue beagle, Linus, especially loves playing with cozy socks and throws them up in the air before wrestling with them. But I definitely wear my cozy socks when I write.
B: Cozy socks are wonderful! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us, Tanya! Be sure to grab your copy of The Soldier’s Unexpected Family by Tanya Agler, reader friends!
about the book
The Soldier’s Unexpected Family by Tanya Agler
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: March 1, 2021
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
He had a plan…
She changed it all!
Major Aidan Murphy arrives in the charming small town of Hollydale to take full guardianship of his six-year-old nephew. Only there’s a slight problem—his vivacious, fiery co-guardian. School teacher Natalie Harrison has no intention of letting Aidan take her best friend’s heartbroken little boy away.
Now Aidan must convince Natalie that blood is stronger than love…even if his heart tells him otherwise.
(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Sheriff’s Second Chance (with swag), $15.00 Amazon Gift card, and reader’s coffee cup!
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 9, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 16, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Follow along at the link above to learn more about The Soldier’s Unexpected Family by Tanya Agler and earn more giveaway entries!