Four and a half years ago, a group of women embarked on a blogging adventure where we’d chat about our books, lives, kids, men, old dogs (as opposed to men) new adventures, and food. When we started, I had only met one of the original six women in person. But as we’ve gone through this journey, I feel like I know them–and the others who’ve joined us since–extremely well through their blog posts. Some I’ve been fortunate enough to meet at conferences or author events. Others are valued Facebook friends who I hope to meet someday.
Today marks my final post on Women Unplugged. Over these past years I’ve blogged about my journey as an author–including that magic moment when I got a book deal! I’ve also told you all about my kids and their adventures growing into adulthood. I’ve written about the sadness of my old dog leaving me and the fun (?) of a new puppy in the house. I’ve introduced you to my amazing book club–Talking Volumes–and some fabulous new authors. We’ve talked about football, the junk drawer, and music. It’s been a lot of fun.
But what started as a group of authors standing on the cusp of publication is now a group of women who have achieved some success on that road and who need to focus on other projects. The good news: None of us are going far. I’m on Facebook every day. (I have giveaways on Friday so you might want to stop by today and LIKE my page.) You can also get the latest scoop by going to my website and signing up for my newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you! And each month, I pick one subscriber to win an autographed book, so there’s a little incentive for you!
I’m still blogging each week over on the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today. You should stop by and check it out. We talk about sports and how it relates to romance. I try to give some recommended romance reads that go along with that day’s topic. There might even be a picture of a hot guy once in a while. You can also find me in the Romancing the Jock Facebook group and on the blog of the same name. If you like sports romance, that’s the place to be.
I’d love to meet in person, maybe share a cupcake and chat about books. I’ll be at a variety of reader events and conferences in 2016–including RT in April. Check out the events page on my website for more details. Or sign up to be a member of the Blaze street team. We’re always drafting new members to read and review ARCs and share on social media. Email me at tracy (at) tracysolheim (dot) com if you want to join the team.
My eighth (!) book comes out in a few weeks and it features a hot triathlete who’s running for Congress in his home town of Chances Inlet. (You’ll remember that town from FOOLISH GAMES and BACK TO BEFORE.) RT gave it 4 1/2 stars and named it as a Top Pick for March! Here’s the scoop:
Even love might not prove strong enough to save a man’s promising future from a woman’s hidden past…
All he ever fought for…
Aspiring congressman Miles McAlister has dreamed of representing his hometown of Chances Inlet, North Carolina, since he was a boy. So when he’s asked to help run his mother’s bed and breakfast he moves home and rolls out his campaign at the same time. But political stardom isn’t a given, especially when he’s expected to compromise the very ideals he’s trying to uphold. Making matters worse is the inn’s stubborn, and distractingly beautiful cook. He’s loved and lost before, so falling for Lori Hunt is not part of his plan.
All she ever feared…
Lori just wants to do her job and be left alone until she can safely move on. The last thing she needs is to get involved with her boss’s son. Miles proves to be too sexy to ignore, however. Their heated fling elicits feelings deeper than either anticipated. But everything about Lori is a lie. She’s harboring a secret that will destroy Miles’s career, and when the truth gets out it’s going to shock Chances Inlet to its core, forcing Miles to make the hardest decision of his life.
You can pre-order a copy of ALL THEY EVER WANTED now at these fine book sellers:
Thanks for hanging out with us these past few years! It’s been fun sharing the journey with you all. Be sure to find me on social media and we’ll keep the conversation going.
I’ve written before about how feminine stories focus on relationships and connection, while masculine stories focus on identity and alienation. American culture in particular tends to be masculine, and to devalue feminine concerns—the kind of struggles we find in romance and women’s fiction.
Romance novels are about people who want opposite things, yet manage to come together and resolve their differences in a way that leaves them both satisfied, happy, and on the path to lasting love.
The world needs more stories like that.
The events in Paris last week are more proof that there isn’t enough love in the world. The masculine value of competition, where one person wins and another loses, has a place in business and sports. But when it comes to people, whether on an individual or international level, we need more understanding. We need to work harder to build relationships and resolve our differences amicably.
The best time to stop terrorism is before young people become radicalized, before they become so disaffected that they believe violence is the best answer. That means listening to ideas that differ from our own and incorporating them into our world view. It means tolerating things we disagree with. It means working together to find solutions that create a bigger pie, rather than trying to grab the biggest piece for ourselves.
Life isn’t a competition. We’re all in it together, and no one gets out alive. We’re happier when we celebrate and enjoy each other’s differences rather than letting them divide us.
I’ve quoted this saying before, but it bears repeating: “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”
What are you doing to create more love in the world?
Photo Copyright: olgacov / 123RF Stock Photo
It’s the age old argument. Is romance real literature?
According to Washington Post writer Justin Wm. Moyer, romance is”formulaic with fill-in-the-blank qualities.” His recent comments expressed in the article about the plagiarizing case against Laura Harner sparked a firestorm of controversy in the romance community over his generalization of the genre.
The truth is, romance is a billion dollar business catering mostly to women. Romance is no more formulaic than the mystery, suspense. or science fiction genres, but you rarely hear diatribes on the worthlessness of those stories. I write romance. I read romance. And I can appreciate the work behind a well-written love story. I wish everyone could.
Love makes the world go round. When people lie on their death bed, they don’t want co-workers or acquaintances around–they want their loved ones–husbands, wives, lovers, children, family, and friends. These relationships are what matters in life–all that matters in life, so I become confused when books that delve into the making of said relationships are bashed as worthless.
I suppose Justin Wm. Moyer, upon his deathbed, will feel gratified while surrounded by stacks of newsprint. May that same pile of print keep him warm at night.
What are your views of romance?