Romance Without Tropes

    If you're looking for a different sort of romance with an unusual setting, you've come to the right place. My books combine humor, adventure, and snappy repartee with classic storytelling. My sexy, intelligent heroes and heroines are always over the age of forty, and they’re willing to take chances. But behind the bravado are the doubts and fears we all share. 
   So come in, take a look at my books, read an excerpt or two. Fun is guaranteed!

    Do feel free to contact me and tell me what you think. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, and Twitter but you can email me or come visit my blog, too. 

   Happy Reading! 


The Blake's Folly Trilogy

​Blake's Folly is a Nevada silver boomtown in the 1880s, and notorious for its rough saloons and brothels. Later, during prohibition, although the silver has run out, the speakeasies and illegal stills keep the community alive. After the 1940s, the town's divorce ranch provide a steady income; but by 2022, it has become a semi-ghost town of abandoned shacks and weedy dirt roads where 54 original cranks comprise the town's population.

I love writing about people who are different. Some are forced to adapt to new circumstances in order to survive, others are folks who have never really fit into mainstream society. But no one is humdrum, and all have dreams. And in the Blake's Folly Trilogy, we peek into their lives.

A Room in Blake's Folly
A Blake's Folly Romance

If only the walls could speak…

What happens when a mail order bride discovers her husband is a primitive brute? When a brothel owner meets a very original—and artistic—silver baron, when a desperate war refugee seeks the stardom that has always evaded her? Just imagine the conversation between a woman who protects spiders and a veterinarian!

A Room in Blake's Folly

In one hundred and fifty years, Blake's Folly, a silver boomtown notorious for its brothels, scarlet ladies, silver barons, speakeasies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town.
Although the old Mizpah Saloon is still in business, its upper floor is sheathed in dust. But in a room at a long corridor's end, an adventurer, a beautiful dance girl, and arejected wife are caught in a love triangle, and their secret touches three generations.



What people are saying about A Room in Blake's Folly

  • The messages running through this saga are hope and resilience. And I'm left with a memory of the cigar smoke lingering in that top floor room of the Mizpah Saloon. Whispering Stories


  • The sense of the "present" of each generation and the subsequent intermingling histories of the characters is poignant, however, ROMANCE is the heart of this great read. (Also, a mutual love of spiders had me hooked! Roxanne O’Brien


  • With flowing descriptive phrases ("... the walls had a yellowish hue that only time could bring") Culiner effectively intertwines the characters and descendants of Blake's Folly. And although overhunting and pollution mean environmental change, the charm of this old world community remains intact. Cheers for this book! Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite


  • What an intriguing way to tell a story that spans generations. Ms. Culiner is talented at painting a scene and bringing characters to life while weaving a story you can’t put down. Brenda, Author


  • J. Arlene Culiner’s original historical novel A Room in Blake’s Folly is a delight. Through research or intuition (probably a combination of both), she manages to bring each era in Blake’s Folly to life, both via language and through period detail. Her characters are distinctive individuals, many of whom are somewhat at odds with society – outcasts, outsiders, and survivors. A Room in Blake’s Folly is a skillfully crafted tale about love and chance, history and family. I recommend it highly. Lisabet Sarai, Author


A Room in Blake's Folly

Trade Paperback ISBN 978-1-5092-4202-3
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-4203-0

Desert Rose
A Blake's Folly Romance

Rose Badger is the local flirt, and if the other inhabitants of backwoods Blake’s Folly, Nevada, don’t approve, she couldn’t care less. With a disastrous marriage and doomed career far behind her, settling down is the last thing she intends to do. Newcomer Jonah Livingstone is certainly intriguing, but with his complicated life, he’s off limits for anything other than friendship. Besides, Rose has a secret world of her own—one she won’t give up for any man.

The last person geologist Jonah Livingstone expected to meet in a semi-ghost town is the sparkling and lovely Rose Badger. But Rose, always surrounded by many admirers, doesn’t seem inclined to choose a favorite. So why fret? Jonah keeps his personal life well hidden…and that’s the best way to avoid disappointment.


Purchase Link:

What people are saying about Desert Rose

  • Reading Desert Rose was such a delight I didn't want the book to end. MicaMaca
  • I really enjoyed this story. I didn’t want to put it down. It was refreshing to read an original plot that was written in a unique setting with memorable characters. LAS Reviews

Trade Paperback ISBN 978-1-5092-4861-2
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-4862-9

All About Charming Alice
A Blake's Folly Romance

Alice Treemont has no intention of falling in love. Living in Blake’s Folly, a semi-ghost town, she cooks vegetarian meals, rescues unwanted dogs, and protects the most unloved creatures on earth: snakes. What man would share those interests?

Jace Constant is in Nevada, doing research for his new book, but he won’t be staying. He’s disgusted by desert dust on his fine Italian shoes and dog hair on his cashmere sweaters. As for snakes, he doesn’t just despise them: they terrify him.

So why does the air sizzle each time Alice and Jace meet? A romance would entail far too many compromises.


Purchase Link:


What people are saying about All About Charming Alice

  • Simply charming! This sweet romance kept me turning the pages. Loved the desert setting and the unexpected profession of Alice. The dogs also added to the overall warmth of this story. Just a feel-good read. Romance Lover
  • I love how this story emphasizes how nice it is to just enjoy the simplicity of life, love and friendship. Excellent book... just my style... highly recommend! Chattykat
  • I feel like I have had a complete experience and I don't feel like this with many other books. The writing and dialogue is magical and masterful. The romance filled my heart with an emotional, heartfelt, dazzling experience. Enjoy! Sheila Clapkin, author
  • If there is love from both sides of a relationship, even against tough odds, things have a way of always turning out right. A heart warming tale when all
    is said and done. D. Larios


Trade Paperback ISBN 978-1-5092-4853-7
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-4854-4

Contemporary Romance

A Swan's Sweet Song

The air sizzles when a country music star and renowned playwright meet, but can opposites fall in love?

Sherry Valentine

Smart-talking Sherry Valentine has fought her way up from poverty to stardom as a country music singer. Ever surrounded by clamoring fans and paparazzi, her spangled cowboy boots carry her from one brightly lit stage to the next. But Sherry's been on the star circuit for too long, and she wants a change: is it too late for an acting career?

Carston Hewlett

A renowned but reclusive playwright, Carston Hewlett cherishes his freedom, the silence of the deep woods surrounding his home, and his solitary country walks. So why is he fascinated by a flashy country music singer? Perhaps a short passionate, fling will resolve the problem

What Happens...

When their names are linked in the scandal press, and Sherry's plans to become an actress are revealed, Carston feels betrayed. Is their budding relationship doomed?

Purchase links

What people are saying about A Swan's Sweet Song...

Culiner has a knack for intertwining believable older characters,plot, and setting, but her voice is what makes her book stand out among other contemporary romances. The Book Breeze

The connection between Carston and Sherry was well written and very realistic, so readers will really come to love them and their story. Nice job! Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite

This author writes the most unique and endearing romances that revolve around older/mature characters. So, if that's what you're looking for then you need to add this author to your stalking pile... she is a wonderful writer. Chattykat


Contemporary Romance

Felicity's Power

Lovers meeting forty years later

San Francisco, 1971: hippies in the streets, music and revolution in the air.

The evening Marek Sumner opened his door to the wild-looking Felicity Powers, he knew nothing would ever be the same. 
But even love and passion couldn’t keep them together

Forty-three years later, having lived in the world’s most dangerous places as an aid worker, Felicity is back, still offering love, passion, and adventure. 

Now a well-known author, Marek loves his calm life in an isolated farmhouse, and he knows their relationship would never work : he and Felicity are just too different. Besides, why risk having his heart broken a second time?

 But Felicity is as fascinating and joyful as ever, and the wonderful sexy magic is still there too. Can love be more delightful the second time around?


What people are saying about Felicity's Power...

J Arlene Culiner has a unique and poetic voice and I kept turning the pages anxious to find out where the story was going to lead me. I really enjoyed this story and was sorry when it ended - it left me satisfied but still wanting to read on, and that's the highest compliment I can pay any book! Lyn

I am rating this 5 stars because it is well written and ends in such an awesome way . . . because you know both characters very well by the end. D. Larios


This story was amazing! I adored the plot. The passion between Felicity and Marek jumped off the pages. I enjoyed the playful banter between them all the way through. Romance Lover


At last! A romance story for mature readers. Written in J. Arlene's down to earth, humorous style, bringing her unusual and interesting characters vibrantly to life. I loved this. Jeanne Livingstone

First Love, Lost Love?

Don’t we all have a memory tucked away of someone we once loved, or someone we just might have fallen in love with if the circumstances had been right? And what would happen if we came face-to-face with that person today? Would the magic still be there? Would our hands tremble, our knees knock together just the way they did back then? Or would we just stare, appalled, wonder how we could once have been so silly.

Also available as an audiobook

Purchase link:


Print ISBN 978-1-62830-875-4
Digital ISBN 978-1-62830-876-1


The Turkish Affair
Romantic Suspense

Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

 Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site director has vanished. 

Called in to solve the mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate, although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her fear of public scandal. 

But when murder enters the picture, both Anne and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.

What people are saying about The Turkish Affair

This is an excellent book that was an easy read. The pace was steady and the whole mystery kept me gripped to the unexpected ending. Whispering Stories

THE TURKISH AFFAIR by J. Arlene Culiner is an easy read brimming with intrigue, and I enjoyed reading it. Books of all Kinds

The writing is great. It’s very simple, but don’t be fooled. Here, the simple prose is masterfully used as a tool to drag the reader into the story, without diverting the attention to the writing style. It’s very contemporary, very alive, in a thoroughly enjoyable opposite with the history within. Marco

From the first page to the last, The Turkish Affair was a great read. The descriptions had me feeling the desert heat, smelling the exotic spices and seeing the small Turkish villages and the people that inhabited them. Diane Jewkes

Buried pasts and questionable reputations, vulnerable hearts and fragile feelings, stubbornness, suspense, fear and intrigue - they are all here. I didn't want to put it down. Jean Livingstone


Paperback: 978-1-5092-2913-0

Digital: 978-1-5092-2914-7

ASIN B0823B18Z3


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