Guest Author: Lucie Ulrich and Mountain View Lodge

lucie-ulrichJust over three years ago, I asked fellow Clean Reads author Lucie Ulrich to come and share her sweet romance called The Starlight Inn. I’d read the book and had been fascinated by the character Tillie Spencer. She’s not strictly a main character, in that she’s not part of the romance, but she plays a big part in getting the couple together. You can read Lucie’s post here. Last month, I noticed that Lucie was completing her third romance featuring Tillie and I realized I hadn’t read Mountain View Lodge, Book Two! I quickly ordered the book and asked Lucie to share a bit more about the mysterious Tillie. I’m so pleased she agreed, so I’ll pass the keyboard to her.


I’m often asked if one of my favorite characters, Tillie Spencer, is based on anyone I know. The answer is yes, and no. Tillie is a conundrum—sweet and angelic at times, a bit of a busybody at others, and sometimes, downright intrusive.  No matter her mood or tactics, her heart is always in the right place.

There isn’t a single “Tillie” in my life. There are many. My mother had a wicked sense of humor at times, but was no-nonsense when it came to following the rules. My mother-in-law had a gentle demeanor, but could be a bit prickly now and again. I have friends and family members who are filled with compassion, while others offer advice without being asked (and I love each and every one of them). Bits and pieces of each of these people, plus a good dose of imagination on my part, brought Tillie to life. She was never intended to be more than a one-time character, but before book one was finished, I knew she had to return.

To date, Tillie has appeared in two books (with a third near completion), bringing the reader to an inn in Maine, and a lodge in North Carolina. The fun for me is figuring out where Tillie goes next. In book three, she shows up on the east coast of Florida (my neck of the woods) to a small hotel I’ve tentatively named The Beach Shack. I love small towns and cozy lodgings, so creating them gives me great pleasure. My goal is for the reader to want to check in and stay a while.

A somewhat unusual aspect of the Tillie Spencer series, is that, though the books carry her name in the title, she’s a secondary character. She’s involved in the romance, but not part of it—which suits her just fine. She’s also a little on the mysterious side, sometimes knowing things before they happen, which often makes writing her scenes more fun than the romance portions of the books.

I came to the writing world later in life. I worked for an airline and traveled with my husband for seven or eight years, was a stay-at-home mom for sixteen, a substitute teacher, and eventual drama teacher/performing arts director. I’ve never had a job I didn’t love (save for working in a daycare center when I was 17). I have to say, however, that my absolute favorite is being an author. Creating characters and stories that reach and touch others, is an honor and a privilege. Just ask Tillie. She seems to know all.


61tajkgcpilBlurb for Mountain View Lodge (Tillie Spencer Novella Book Two):
     After his mother’s death, Coll MacPherson returns to the mountains of North Carolina to work for his aunt and uncle. His part-time position at Mountain View Lodge will allow him to hone his photography skills, and hopefully forget the woman who broke his heart. When Uncle Richard asks for Coll’s help to turn an unused storage building into a shop that would feature local art and artists, Coll figures things can’t get any better—until he meets Autumn Nichols.

Always the bridesmaid and never the bride has been Autumn’s mantra for the last few years. After three failed relationships, she’s convinced God is trying to tell her something. If she can just get through her best friend’s wedding, Autumn can focus on building her graphic design business while leaving all thoughts of love and marriage in the past—until she meets Coll MacPherson.

Both having loved and lost, Coll and Autumn are happy to settle for friendship. The enigmatic Tillie Spencer, on the other hand, has other ideas. She knows the two are perfect for each other, and, in typical Tillie-style, is determined to prove it.

Mountain View Lodge can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Lucie can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and at her website.

I enjoyed reading Mountain View Lodge and I’ll post my review next week, when I share the first set of books read for my 2020 Goodreads Challenge.


GIVEAWAY TIME! Lucie is giving away a signed print copy of either of the Tillie books (or an ebook if the winner is outside the USA). To win, simply leave a comment below and tell us about a person in your life who’s provided guidance for you. A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at noon EDT.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in authors, book series, characters, Clean Writing, GIveaways/Contest, Guest author, Guest author post, Patricia Kiyono, romance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Guest Author: Lucie Ulrich and Mountain View Lodge

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Welcome to 4F1H. Pleased to see you’ve made a return appearance here.
    I love your idea of centering the series — including its name — on the character Tillie, even though she is not the one who will become half of the romance itself. That gives you — and your readers — exposure to all sorts of other personalities and places and plots… and yet they have a comfort level and recognition of the Tillie character who holds together all (or most) of the threads.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It’s an interesting story device, Jeff. I wondered about it when I read the first book, and now that I’ve read the second, I like it. I’m looking forward to book three.


  2. lucie Ulrich says:

    Thank you, Jeff, and Patricia. When I brought Tillie back, I knew the idea was somewhat unusual, but as Jeff pointed out, it gives me plenty of freedom, and I truly enjoy that. Now that book 3 is close to being sent to the publisher, I think I need to think about book 4.


  3. Welcome back, Lucie! I put Tillie on my TBR list, but unfortunately, I have to admit that I have made a terribly small dent in it over the last two years.
    As for someone who gave me guidance, I have to say 1) my mother, who taught me in words and example to always take the high road, to always do what is right for the greater good, to help anyone as you can if you can, to always do the best work, whether the job is lowly or difficult, and to be kind. Unfortunately, she also was a bit of a defeatist, so enter 2) my husband, who also strives for the greater good and made me more capable. He supports me and my endeavors.


  4. lucie Ulrich says:

    Thank you, Tonette. I’m so grateful to have been asked back. Mothers are the best, but like all of us–imperfect. I’m glad your husband was able to fill in the gaps. I don’t know where I’d be without my husband’s love and support.


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Welcome back, Lucie! I love the idea of having a Tillie in your books. I’ve found some books to add to my TBR pile today.


  6. Lucie Ulrich says:

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Elaine! I appreciate the kind words.


  7. Connie Dunlap says:

    My Spanish teacher throughout high school. She was always there to talk during some of the hardest years.


  8. Anna Herndon says:

    My Seventh grade teacher a nun. I was having a tough time in school and she came over to me and said, “I see you having a tough time with a lot of things and I want you to know that you are going to do great things. Don’t let people be your influence be what is in your heart. Since then I am not influence by what people think of me but I am influenced by my heart in which direction to go. Thank you Sister Mary Gerard.


  9. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Thank you for all the responses! Connie Dunlap wins a signed copy of one of the Tillie books!


  10. lucie Ulrich says:

    Congratulations Connie! And thank you, Patricia for hosting me. I always love sharing about my Tillie books.


  11. maryel0621 says:

    My mom. Besides her mom role she also played the non-judgemental, advice sharing, problem solver who I could always count on. I miss her and her guidance every day!


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