Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today's Special - - Tracy Solheim


It's my pleasure to welcome Tracy Solheim to TRD today! After years of writing reports and testimony for Congress, Tracy Solheim decided to put her fiction writing talents to better use.  In 2013, Berkley Publishing launched her Out of Bounds series, featuring the fictional Baltimore Blaze football team.  She lives in the heart of SEC (Southeastern Conference for non-college football fans) country, also known as the suburbs of Atlanta, with her husband and their two works-in-progress.   When she’s not at the barn with her daughter or working out with friends (i.e. lifting heavy bottles of wine), she’s writing.  Except for when she’s reading, but according to her, that’s just necessary research. 


See what she’s up to at www.tracysolheim.com, on twitter @TracyKsolheim and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TracySolheimBooks



Welcome Tracy! Congratulations on the release of SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, the fourth book in your Out of Bounds series. Please tell our readers about this series.

This is actually the fifth book in the Out of Bounds series featuring the fictitious Baltimore Blaze football team. There’s a digital novella A NUMBERS GAME that came out between books 2 and 3.  GAME ON (Book 1) was the first book I ever completed, so I’m surprised and delighted that the series has had some staying power with readers.  Of course, the hunky guy on the covers probably has something to do with that!

We do love our hunky guys but your wonderful writing has a lot to do with it too!

What can we expect from SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY?

SWTE features a couple of characters who readers have met in previous Out of Bounds books
and a few new ones as well.  Jay McManus (A NUMBERS GAME) has now taken over ownership of the Blaze, but it’s not all touchdowns and field goals for the brash, young owner.  The Sparks—the team’s cheerleaders—have filed a class action suit against the Blaze claiming discrimination.  The team’s GM, Hank Osbourne (FOOLISH GAMES) hires outside counsel to defend them.  Bridgett Janik (RISKY GAME) is assigned the case and that’s when the game really takes off.  I very subtly alluded to the fact that there might be something between Jay and Bridgett during one of the bar scenes in RISKY GAME.  The story of their shared relationship is revealed in flash backs throughout the book as the two deal with the lawsuit and drama within their own individual families to finally find their HEA after years spent apart.

As a reader, I enjoy second chance romances and SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY is a good one. What is it about this trope that inspires you as a writer?

I love to read those books, too, PJ!  This one was easy to write in some aspects, but difficult in others.  I had very few problems writing about the attraction between Jay and Bridgett.  Both are very passionate people, whether it’s in their work ethic or their devotion to their family.  The sexual attraction between the two didn’t dissipate with time, either.  But, what was hard was finding something that could shatter their young relationship so much that they couldn’t find their way back to each other without fate giving them a shove.  It couldn’t be something insurmountable, such as abuse, infidelity, or criminal tendencies.  Neither could it be something that could be handled with a conversation.  I know some will read this book and shout at the pages that all these two need to do is talk, but thirteen years have passed and as passionate as these two are, they are also equally prideful.  Dredging up the past would get messy and both Jay and Bridgett like their lives neat and tidy. Even with these difficulties, this book was so much fun to write!  I love seeing couples find each other again.  Their devotion is so much deeper after having loved and lost one another.

I was intrigued by Jay’s sister, Charlie. Any chance we’ll see her again in a future book?

The good news:  yes!  The bad news:  I don’t know when.  If you’ll notice I didn’t write an epilogue to this book because I was really struggling with how to write Charlie in the future.  I am currently developing another Blaze book that will advance the series five years because I feel as if Charlie needs to grow just a bit more secure in who she really is to find her HEA.  I will say that she gives Jay and Bridgett the ultimate gift during that five year time period.  I’m pulling together an epilogue now that will be available to newsletter subscribers sometime in September. By then I should have Charlie’s story firmed up!

Oh man, you're going to make me cry, aren't you?

What’s next for the folks from the Baltimore Blaze?

I’m ironing out a few proposals right now with my editor at Berkley.  As I mentioned, the series will advance several years so we can bring in some new players (namely a replacement at quarterback!) and some of the younger characters from previous books can mature to get their own stories—not only Charlotte, but Sophie Osbourne, as well.  I’ll keep readers posted on my website as details are finalized.

In January, you launched a new small-town series set in Chances Inlet, North Carolina with the publication of BACK TO BEFORE. When will we see the second book in this series? Are you able to tell us anything about the story?

The second book in that series is called ALL THEY EVER WANTED.  It’s due to be released on March 1, 2016.  Readers will get Miles McAlister’s story in this book.  It’s always fun as a writer to be able to introduce a character in one book where the reader sees him or her through a variety of perspectives, but when that character gets his or her own story, you see what actually makes that person tick.  Miles was arrogant and a bit of a jerk in the previous book, BACK TO BEFORE, so it took a lot to redeem him in this one.  But once readers get inside his head and get a glimpse of who he really is, I think they’ll fall in love with him as much as I did.  Of course, his love interest is his adversary, Lori, who works in his mother’s inn. Lori has lots of secrets which makes a relationship with a boy scout like Miles very complicated.  Readers will also get to see more of Patricia and Lamar’s story as their new relationship goes through some ups and downs.

I'm looking forward to it!

I love a book like SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY that engages me so much that I keep turning the pages well past my bedtime. What’s the last book that kept you reading late into the night? 

Most recently, it was THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. I read it for nine hours straight! But I know that on September29th I’ll be up all night with Julie Ann Long’s THE LEGEND OF LYON REDMOND! I’ve been waiting for this one for years. 

I'll be right there with you on the 29th! 

Jay and Bridgett’s story has me wanting to book a stay at a Napa Valley vineyard…as soon as I get back from a stay at a Tuscan vineyard. ;-) What getaway location is at the top of your wish list?

Tuscany is definitely on my list, too!  But, I think my ultimate getaway spot is Bora Bora.  The pictures of the huts sitting atop the smooth blue ocean are so amazing that I have to see for myself if it really is that spectacular and colorful there.

The start of football season is just around the corner and I know you’ve done your share of tailgating. What’s your go-to recipe to keep your family’s football fans happy?

This is the recipe we shared on the SWTE recipe cards:

Rotel Snack Cups
Yields: 45 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 Can Rotel™ original tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bag bacon pieces (I use Oscar Meyer™ bacon bits)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican mix)
  • 1 cup Mayo (light works well)
  • 3 packages phyllo pastry cups - thawed
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  2. Place pastry cups on a baking sheet (I line them with parchment for even cooking)
  3. Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl.  Using a measuring spoon, scoop mixture evenly into the cups.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy
They’re really easy to make and the perfect food for munching before, during, or after the big game!

Sounds easy and delicious!

Thanks so much for visiting with me today, Tracy. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for hosting me, PJ!  It’s always rewarding to have a new book on the shelves, but I couldn’t do what I do without an amazing support group that includes a very devoted husband, two kids who are almost as devoted, ;) great friends and wonderful readers!  I love to hear from readers, so shoot me an email or a Facebook message.  Contact details can be found on my website at www.tracysolheim.com .

Would you like to ask our readers a question?

As you mentioned, PJ, I’m a big football fan like you, so I’d like to ask your readers how they feel about the game:   Do you have a favorite team?  How about a favorite game day ritual or food?  If you’re not a football fan, I’m assuming you curl up with a good book on the weekends.  Tell me what you’re reading!

I'm giving away a signed copy of GAME ON - the book that started it all - to one randomly chosen reader who leaves a comment on today's post. (US/Canada only)

41 comments:

  1. HI Tracy!
    I am not a football fan (baseball is my thing I am a diehard Cubs fan woo-woo) right now I am reading Home to You by Robin Kaye I am enjoying it.. Your book sounds good will have to add it to my growing list...

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    1. I love baseball, too! One of the McAlister brothers (from my Second Chances series) is a baseball player. Hopefully, he'll get his book soon. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. My game of sport is baseball. Big baseball fans in my family. LA Dodgers my team. Their pitcher, Alex Wood just pitched 8 innings, 1 hit and only made 78 pitches, retired 19 in a row. And they actually won 2-0. Still cannot figure out why the mgr took him out.

    I am not a big football fan, but loving watching the superbowl. And love reading all kinds of sports related books. Sleeping with the Enemy and All They Ever Wanted sounds good.
    ladbookfan

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    1. I saw that! Kind of crazy when he was pitching so well. Maybe he's trying to save his arm? Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. I am a bigger baseball fan but do root on my Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs. I always enjoy a college football game too.

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    1. Eric Berry from the Chiefs is a local boy AND he want to my Alma Mater, Tennessee! I'm so happy that he's back on the field after his bout with cancer.

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  4. Thanks for the awesome interview! I am a 49er's fan, have been since the mid 90's. Its funny since I married a man who hates sports so I am the one teaching our girls lol That recipe sounds so good, I think I may need to buy the stuff to make it soon.

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    1. They're really easy to make and very kid friendly. Thanks for stopping by, Tracey!

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  5. Haven t been a football or baseball fan in awhile. My sport of choice is reading, non-stop. :) Enjoyed the interview and looking forward to reading this series..
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. I like your sport, Carol! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  6. Hi Tracy! Thanks for hanging out with us today. You know I'm celebrating the return of football season and having a new Out of Bounds book to read adds to the pleasure!

    I follow my Carolina Panthers as well as my favorite college teams, Michigan State and Florida State. And, of course, I'll be cheering on my favorite Carolina Girl dancer and her South Carolina Gamecocks.

    Having to go gluten-free is putting a serious dent in my tailgate munching so I'll be searching out new recipes this season!

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    1. Thanks for hosting me today, PJ. Our Gamecock flag is flying--right next to the Maryland and Tennessee flags. ;) We may be adding a fourth one next year, but Carolina is still very much in play.

      I've been trying to find lighter fare for tailgates. Too much time spent sitting in my chair while writing has brought on some unwanted padding. :) I'll let you know if I find anything gluten-free.

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  7. I'm a big sports fan with a lot of sports but especially baseball, hockey and football. We usually get together with friends and family for Steeler football games although I'm very disappointed in their roster this year.

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    1. Pittsburgh has always been one of the class acts in the NFL. I hope they stay that way. I do agree that their roster has aged out a bit. But they have a great head coach!

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  8. Hi Tracy! I am reading Lorie's Heart (A Wells Landing Romance)
    by Amy Lillard. wonderful interview.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Emma. :)

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  9. Loved the interview--SWTE is another wonderful story in the Out of Bound series by Tracy Solheim-- Love the Whole look at the Blaze Team support staff that Tracy has added with this book.
    Yay Tracy Solheim

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  10. We are big college football fans. Our team is the Georgia Bulldogs. We occasionally go to a game, but we prefer our family football-watching parties.

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    1. I love the energy of being in the stadium but when it gets cold I love the warmth of watching from my living room couch! :)

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    2. Being at the game is more exciting, but it sure is more comfortable to watch the game at home!

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    3. I love being at the game, but it's the getting there and getting home that can take the fun out of it, for sure!

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  11. Hi Tracy. You made my TBR list from Read A Romance Month. My favorite football team is the Chicago Bears. Yes I yell and scream at and with them. It is the only time you will ever hear me drop the "F" bomb. Which cracks my adult children and their friends up.

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    1. It is the only time you will ever hear me drop the "F" bomb.

      I know what you mean. I've warned my new neighbors that I tend to be a bit excitable - and vocal - during football season.
      *grin*

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    2. Ha ha! I've been known to get pretty passionate about my team's, too. My husband likes to tell people that he knew I was a keeper when I shushed him so I could hear an ESPN report about breaking news with the Redskins. :)

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    3. Love it, Tracy! Back in the 90's we bought a 55" rear projection TV for our new house. Female neighbors commiserated with me over size of the TV, undoubtedly (in their minds) purchased by my husband with sports in mind. They didn't know me well yet and were a bit perplexed when I explained that the TV was a gift from the hubby to me for my football watching!

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    4. Love it PJ. When my now husband & I were dating, I told him not to call me till after the game on Sunday. I didn't want to be bothered. Since then, we have spent our Sundays and now any other day that DaBears come on together.

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  12. In a few words, I LOVED this book! It had such a perfect blend of story, back story, characters, hotness, coolness and just plain everything. I honestly thought I was going to dislike Jay. I really did think that and bam...wow, he was just sooo good. I rooted for him every step of the way. Great book, simply great.
    As far as Lyon and Olivia....looks like we all will be having a pajama reading party!!!

    My go to for football season is an old fave...Chili. We pile it on home made corn bread!!!

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    1. We bring snack sized bags of Fritos and put some chili in them at tailgates. It's awesome!

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  13. I was looking for something different for this weekend's game and your Rotel Cups fits my needs!!! Thanks and I have always enjoyed your books!!! I'm happy you have a new one!

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    1. I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Not particularly, but I have paid more attention to the Ravens since my niece moved to Baltimore. And when there is a pool for the superbowl I'll watch that. It's a lot more fun to follow a sports romance teams story.

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  15. Hi Tracy I am so excited about your book and I love the summary. It sounds really good.

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  16. My family is BIG into football! Me...not so much ;) I'm definitely reading on the weekend rather than watching the game. I just finished The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas and holy feels, Batman.

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  17. Football is my favorite sport. No specific rituals or anything for us, just watch the game. :-) Attending a game in Kyle Field (even before it's recent makeover ) is always impressive -- especially when the entire stadium sings the Aggie War Hymn. :-D

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  18. Football is on our TV right now. Husband and three sons are huge football fans.

    Denise

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  19. no fav team

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  20. I have been a football fan since high school. I enjoyed pro football for a while, but it has gotten a bit too mercenary in many cases. Currently I enjoy college football the most. I have a few teams I like, but I enjoy a well played game. As long as both teams played good football with no undue roughness and the officiating is fair it isn't important who wins. We can appreciate a well played game, even if it isn't by our team.

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  21. I do enjoy football but not as much the NFL as the CFL (Canadian Football League). We have a local team that I love to cheer for even when we stink lol No game day rituals, we don't really tailgate here, just love tuning in!! We're such a small league (9 teams) that everyone is a hardcore rival.

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  22. I haven't read this series, but I do enjoy books with a sports motif.

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  23. I enjoy watching football but I'm more of a hardcore hockey fan! I so enjoy reading sports romances like Rachel Gibson's Chinook series, Lori Foster's SBC Fighters series and Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars. Looking forward to reading Sleeping With the Enemy!

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