Spotlight & Giveaway: Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim

Posted December 29th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 62 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome romance author Tracy Solheim to HJ!


Hi Tracy, Welcome to HJ!

What would you say are the defining characteristic of your novels?

Tracy SolheimOne of the things that readers comment (or criticize) the most about my novels is that the characters are so flawed. Most readers like that, but a few don’t. I know that people read to escape reality, but I like to make my heroine and hero as real as possible—flaws and all. Two additional trademarks to my work would be realistic dialog and strong secondary characters.

5 things HJ readers should know about you?

1. I am the Queen of the Freak Accident. No kidding. My kids think I should have my own reality show!
2. Speaking of kids, I have two. The Prodigal Son is a junior in college and my Darling Diva is a sophomore in high school. At the time, it seemed like a good idea to space their births that far apart. At the time.
3. I have a horse named after my first book—Game On. My daughter will tell you it’s her horse, but the bank statements would make a liar out of her.
4. I’ve been to federal prison, inside a nuclear reactor and a superconducting linear accelerating and to the DMZ dividing North and South Korea. Really, I have. I’ve also been to “that little room” in the back of the White House that the Secret Service takes you to when your little brother “accidently” turns off the lights in the White House during a tour.
5. I’m doing what I always wanted to do: writing. Even better, people actually read what I write. Life is good.

What is your favorite trope to read, one you will never get tire off?

I should say secret baby, right? I do like that, but a well written “friends to lovers” book always makes me smile.

Let’s talk about your newest release: Foolish Games

If you had to summarize Foolish Games for the readers here…

FG2It was a dark stormy night at a wedding….one thing leads to another and two of the guests seek comfort together. Julianne, the designer of the bride’s gown, is gone in the morning—embarrassed by her behavior at a client’s wedding and Will, one of the groomsmen, is left to wonder what might have been. When Julianne ends up pregnant, she decides it’s best for both her unborn child and Will if she keep the existence of the baby to herself. But her son, Owen, is born with a life-threatening blood disorder that requires a transfusion—and Julianne is not a match.
Will “William the Conqueror” Connelly grew up tough shouldering the stigma of being a bastard child born on the wrong side of the tracks. He refuses to let any child face the same discrimination. When he finds out about Owen, he’s furious that Julianne kept his son a secret. But when he sees her again at the hospital, he realizes that his feelings for her go far beyond anger. Will insists that Owen recuperate at his home in North Carolina, and he’s adamant that Julianne become his wife—even if it’s only a temporary marriage in name only. And that’s when the fun begins!

Please tell us about the characters in your book

Julianne is a bit of a hot mess. She’s got a bunch of neuroses and it seems like her artist’s life is spiraling out of control. But in her heart, she always believes she’s doing the right thing and she never fails to put others before herself—especially her son.

Will is a cerebral guy who’s had to use his brain and his body to get ahead in life. He keeps his private life very private, but behind that cold, solid exterior is a wounded man. Like Julianne, he’ll do anything for his son.

Hank Osbourne, the General Manager of the Blaze, who readers first met in Game On, also appears in this book—as do Carly and Shane—and he gets his own love story. With Will’s mother Annabeth, no less! Hank’s quirky teenage daughter, Sophie is the catalyst that brings them together.

What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why? 

The secondary story scenes between Hank and Annabeth were a lot of fun to write. I hadn’t intended to give them such a huge part of the book, but they practically jumped off the page at me.

“I came here because I’m done hiding.”
Moving her body closer to his, she stretched up on her toes and kissed him. It was a sweet kiss; one in which she tried to apologize for the way she’d hurt him the other day. But Hank would have none of it. His hands went to her hair as he delved deeper in to her mouth, their tongues sliding against one another. She moaned as his mouth left hers, finding its way to her sensitive neck.
“God, Annabeth, I thought I’d never see you again,” he murmured against her skin. “I’ve missed you.”
She pulled his mouth back to hers and kissed him with a slow hunger that threatened to completely obliterate her plans. Somehow, the backs of her thighs had come in contact with the Chippendale table and her dress was now bunched up at her waist. Hank’s hands squeezed her bottom as he lifted her on to the table. When she wrapped a leg around him, her calf came in contact with his bare ass. Annabeth drew her hands over his sides, and then his back, reveling in the muscles bunched beneath her fingertips.
With a soft moan she pulled out of the kiss. Hank rested his forehead on her shoulder as both of them struggled for breath.
“We can’t do this right now.” She traced her finger down his ribcage. “We have to go to New Jersey first.”

What scene was the hardest to write? Why? 

The hardest scene to write was definitely Will and Julianne’s initial encounter at the wedding. It was a challenge to make that love scene not seem cheap or a fling. There had to be more propelling them together than just being two strangers at a wedding.

He wasn’t sure who kissed who first, but when their lips met, something ignited within them both. She tasted of coffee and smelled of tropical flowers and he couldn’t seem to get enough of her. Their clothes melted away, giving Will’s hands and lips access to warm, soft skin. When he entered her that first time, she welcomed him, wrapping her legs around his hips and bringing him to near-perfect ecstasy.

The thunder and lightning were winding down the second time they made love, her fingers and mouth torturing his body before he found his release. The third time he took her, the storm had dissipated outside but continued to rage on between them as the electricity he’d felt in the hallway reached a fevered pitch. Will had never felt such an intense connection with any other woman.

Until she called out another man’s name while climaxing. And then the condom broke.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

Will Connelly — Channing Tatum
Julianne Marchione — Mila Kunis
Brody Janik — Chris Hemsworth
Annabeth Connelly — Julianne Moore
Hank Osbourne — Chris Meloni
Sophie Osbourne — Liz Morgan
What? You haven’t heard of Liz Morgan? You will. She’s starring in the motion picture The Remaining due to be released in 2014. She’s also my neighbor and I might have based Sophie’s looks on Liz’s.

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2014?

Right now, I am finishing up the first book in a new series which won’t be that new for my readers. It’s Gavin’s story and it will take readers back to the small town of Chance’s Inlet, where Foolish Games is set. Readers will be introduced to the McAlister family—all of whom thought they’d escaped the small town of their youth but keep coming back to find love. I had planned for this to be the follow-up to Foolish Games but a guy named Brody Janik asserted himself throughout Will and Julianne’s story and pretty much demanded his own book. Risky Game, Brody’s story, will be released May 6, 2014. Before then, I have an ebook novella coming April 15, 2014. A Numbers Game is not a prequel, but it sets up one of the main premises for Risky Game. And lest readers think I’ve abandoned the Blaze, I haven’t. There are a few folks who appear in both A Numbers Game and Risky Game who’ll get their own story, in the not so distant future!

Where can readers get in touch with you?

My website:
Twitter: @TracyKSolheim

Thank you for stopping by HJ!

GIVEAWAY: 2 print copies of FOOLISH GAMES

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: I’ve had some hot covers on my books. Are you more inclined to look at a book with a provocative cover or is it the blurb on the back that entices you? Why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Our hero meets his son

“Sit,” she commanded, surprising the hell out of him.
Not wanting her to change her mind, he squeezed his large frame into the chair. She hesitated a moment before slowly lowering the baby into his arms. Grasping his left hand, she showed him how to cradle the baby’s neck. Will’s breath hitched as he looked into the face of the small bundle in his hands. Owen wasn’t much bigger than a football, swaddled as tightly as he was in the blanket. The silly cap on his head covered up what little hair he had. Will was surprised to see it was blond, like his own. All morning he’d been picturing a baby with the dark Mediterranean coloring of his mother. The baby’s eyes were closed and disappointment flickered through Will. He wanted to see them, to see into them.
Julianne crouched down in front of the pair, pain etched on her face as another tear slipped from her eye. “Owen,” she said softly. “This is your daddy. He’s come to make you better.”
Will’s heart nearly stopped when, at the sound of her voice, Owen squinted with one blue eye as he worked a hand free of the blanket to give a pump of his right fist, before he worked the hand to his mouth. At that moment, Will knew there would be no more waiting on a paternity test. He prayed his blood would be a compatible match because he’d give this baby every drop of blood in his body to see him survive.
Owen was his son. He’d figure out what to do about Julianne later. For now, getting his baby well was the top priority.






62 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim”

  1. Sue Peace

    I can’t wait to read this! Have it, not entering contest! The cover draws me in first…generally I don’t like too provocative or too young looking, lol..then the blurb has the final say 🙂

  2. Sandy Xiong

    Both! The cover gets my attention and then I read the blurb on the back. If the blurb is good then I read the book. I guess the blurb is the decision making for me

  3. Irish Pax

    For me it’s all about the blurb. I work for a nonprofit and am in grad school, so I don’t have a lot of money. The blurb has to grab me for me to spend the money on the book… this looks great though!

  4. Kashia

    I really want to read this book. The cover was hot and im pretty sure the book itself will be hot too!

  5. Rita Luken

    Honestly, the cover catches my eye then I read the blurb..and it will either finish dragging me in or i move on.This cover and blurb are dragging me in 🙂

  6. marcyshuler

    I pay more attention to the blurb on the back. I’ve found too many covers that don’t match the characters descriptions in the book. This book is on my wish list.

  7. martha lawson

    The cover will catch my eye first, then I look at the back cover. If the back cover reads good, then I’ll buy the book!

  8. Rose

    The cover usually draws me in, and then I read the blurb. But if the blurb doesn’t appeal to me it’s game over.

  9. Jenn H

    I have to admit that I look for sexy covers. But I do read the blurbs to see if the book will interest me at all.

  10. Inga

    I’ve gotten interested in a book by covers and blurbs. The blurb is the real defining factor. Because it comes down to if it is a subject that I want to find out more about.

  11. Jen B

    I suppose the cover draws me in, but I make a descision based on the blurb. Having said that, the cover can count against a book if it’s a paperback or hardback because I live with my parents, and let’s just say my Mum’s taste in books is different than mine.

  12. Chanpreet

    I’m a read-the-blurb-have-to-read-it-kind of girl. Nice covers are just a bonus. Of course the cover on this book makes me drool. I could look at it for hours and not get enough.

  13. Barbara S

    It doesn’t have to be a hot cover, but an eye-catching one. then i read the back, so it’s a 1-2 punch

  14. Debra A

    It depends if I see the cover first, yea the cover, but if I read a review without seeing the cover…the plot draws me. I have gotten some books that if I had seen the cover first I would have given them a miss. But the plot/blurb caught my attention first. I love to see a hot body with clothes or some but not explicit detail. Leave enough for the imagination please.

  15. Gretchen

    Both. The cover gets my attention first then I read the overview. Jaci Burton sends the play-by-play cover cards with each new release and they’re amazing covers and the overviews are great. Definitely the cover first, then the overview before I make a purchase.

  16. Jenn McElroy

    A cover will grab my attention, but the blurb needs to sustain the initial interest. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  17. Sharlene Wegner

    I usually pick up a book based on the cover (Jed Hill will always get me to look!), but I read the blurb before deciding to read the book.

  18. Cari White

    The blurb… Although if the cover looks too general fiction or too much like erotica, I won’t even look at the blurb. The blurb is how I decide whether or not to read. With reviews on sites lite HJ, I’ll get to the book. I’m all ebooks now.

  19. Kai W.

    I need both the cover and blurb on the back of the book. I love a nice looking cover and a good story.

  20. Books4me (@BooksForMe2)

    The cover needs to catch my eye but then I read the blurb. If the cover is HOT but the blurb isn’t too good, I won’t read the book. If the cover doesn’t catch my eye, I don’t read the blurb so I won’t read it. So a book needs a good cover for me to consider it but the blurb will make or break it for me. Barrie

  21. veRONIca

    Covers definitely attract my eye first, but if the blurb sucks doesn’t really matter about the cover

  22. Leanna

    A hot guy on the cover may draw me to pickup a book but the blurb on thr back has to sound good for me to buy if I don’t know the suthor.

  23. Glenda

    I use both to decide about a book. Maybe I’m fickle, but I have passed on books because the cover was just totally repellent for one reason or another.

  24. Linda Brennan

    A cover may initially catch my eye, but if the info on the back cover doesn’t interest me, I won’t want to read the book. Your cover is beautiful, and the topic of your book really had me interested. I love the premise, and I really enjoyed the excerpts! Congratulations on the book, and thanks for the chance to win!!!

  25. Barbara Hopkins

    I tend to read the blurp on the back, and then I look at the cover. I like it when you can see a connection between the two, but if I can’t then I usually go by the blurp on the back, you can depend on it more thank you can a picture. B

  26. Maureen

    It is more the blurb that interests me because I have read some great stories with awful covers and some awful stories with great covers.

  27. ndluebke

    Actually both, the cover draws my attention, then the blurb defines it into wither I will read it or not. Something can look interesting but then the genre could be different than what I want to read.

  28. Christine L.

    While a spectacular front cover will grab my attention, the synopsis usually is the deciding factor regarding whether to purchase a particular book. An awesome cover image is great if I were only going to display the book as a piece of art. In order to try to get a better idea of the contents, though, I rely on jacket flap/back cover synopses to help prevent me from buying stuff that isn’t of interest to me. Blurbs from professional critics or other authors are given some consideration. I once chose *not* to buy a book because the blurb was something to the effect of “a grizzly (sic) murder mystery from a fab new talent” — and NO bears were involved!

  29. Margaret

    The cover and the blurb are both important, but if there is a smokin’ hot cover I am more likely to **eventually** flip it over to read the blurb!

  30. Texas Book Lover

    I used to not pay attention to covers at a all but will admit that I have been paying attention to some of the hot covers more lately. Esp. those with athletes on them since I’m a huge sports fan.

  31. Chelsea B.

    A cover may catch my eye, but it’s always the blurb that is the deciding factor on if I buy it or not!

  32. infinitieh

    A great cover prompts me to pick the book up; a hot guy (especially one of my favorite cover models, like Jed Hill on yours) will make me *buy* the book. After all, I still have to look at the book once I finish reading it. 😉

  33. Ada

    A little of both. The cover gets me first but the blurb has to be equally as interesting if I’m to invest my time and add it to my extremely large TBR pile lol

  34. Anita H.

    Definitely a little of both. I’m a cover girl so it’s always my first point of interest but I have to read the blurb second to make sure it sounds good rather than just risk it.

  35. Amy R

    The cover draws my eye but then I also read blurb and typically check Goodreads. Covers are not always the best interpretation of a book. Example Anne Calhoun’s Uncommon Passion is a good book with a great cover that doesn’t represent the book at all.

  36. Sandie W

    The cover draws me to the book, but it’s the blurb that sells me. I’ve always been told, “Don’t judge a book by the cover” and most times it’s correct.

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