Spotlight & Giveaway: The Magnolia Sisters by Michelle Major

Posted April 2nd, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 34 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Michelle Major to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Michelle and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Magnolia Sisters!

 
Thank you! I’m so happy to be here.
 

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

The Magnolia Sisters is a series that focuses on three women who discover they share the same father after he dies and how they manage to forge a bond in the small town of Magnolia, North Carolina. In the first book we meet Avery – a big city transplant who is starting over and definitely not looking for love (spoiler alert – she finds it with a sexy firefighter). I loved (as always) writing an emotionally charged romance but also having the opportunity to explore the relationship between the three sisters.
 

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

“I have something to ask you.” He cleared his throat when Violet elbowed him in the ribs. “We have something to ask you.”
“About another chance?” she asked, her voice gentle. “My answer is yes. All the chances.”

 

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I read across genres and news stories -especially human interest stories. Sometimes the kernel of an idea will come to me from that. As I was plotting this new series, I noticed a lot of stories about families discovering members they didn’t know about and how you’d go about forging those new relationships fascinated me.
  • One of my favorite fun facts that came about during the writing of the book I credit to mindless scrolling on Facebook. The dog in The Magnolia Sisters was inspired by a story about a little rescue dog who needed to lose weight. I just had to put her into the story. https://www.facebook.com/lusealdog/

 

What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

For different reasons, both Avery and Gray are trying to be tough and to muscle through life without admitting that they need to rely on anyone. I think they recognize the same loneliness and hidden desire for connection in the other one. But admitting they feel that way is more of a challenge…and was lots of fun to write!

 

Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

In addition to falling for Gray, Avery also develops a sweet (and a little sassy) relationship with his young daughter, Violet. I loved how that relationship developed and the way the precocious girl brought out Avery’s well-hidden soft side. This is a tiny bit from a scene where Violet’s dance school gives Avery a private concert to convince her to help save the town’s finances.

After a few minutes, the music ended. The first group of dancers bowed and then filed out of the room, replaced by the next class. Violet appeared, still sporting Avery’s braids from yesterday. She waved to her father, beamed at Carrie and then shot Avery an angry death glare.
Avery tugged on the ends of her hair and mouthed “nice braids,” earning an eye roll from the girl.
“You know she’s five,” Gray whispered, leaning in. “You’re supposed to be the adult.”
Oh, yeah, Avery’s girlie parts wanted to shout as Gray’s heat and masculine scent washed over her. All grown woman right here.
“Kids shouldn’t be coddled,” she answered instead then bit the inside of cheek, hating that she sounded like her mother.
“Dad used to say the same thing,” Carrie told them both. “That’s a strange coincidence.”
“Stop distracting me. I’m pretending to care.” Avery ignored both Carrie and Gray, even when she felt them share a look behind her back.
She’d never admit it, but she did care. It was infuriating to have her emotions manipulated by a financially strapped dance teacher and her students, but Avery couldn’t help it.

 

Readers should read this book….

I think during this challenging time in our world, the ability to escape into a book is more important than ever. To disconnect and give our brains and hearts a little respite from the constant stream of news that bombards us from every angle. And I’m grateful to be able offer that to any person through my story.

 

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

In addition to The Magnolia Sisters, the second book in the series, The Merriest Magnolia, will release in October. I also have three books in a new series, Welcome To Starlight, with Harlequin Special Edition so it’s an exciting year for me! 2021 will continue both series and hopefully even more books to come.
 

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: Since I’m not going out much other than for essentials, this giveaway will be for 5 ebook copies of The Magnolia Sisters. Open internationally as well.

 

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Can you give one tip on how you cope with the current stay-at-home or social distancing reality? I think the more we share as a community, the better we’ll be able to get through this time. My tip is to be gentle with yourself. I’ve seen lots online about cleaning out all the closets and getting caught up on everything – and that’s good. I’m working on some projects to stay busy. But I’m also remembering to take time to just breathe or sit outside or pet the dog – there’s enough stress right now without putting even more on ourselves. XO

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

Excerpt from The Magnolia Sisters:

How did any sane person survive the South’s oppressive humidity?
As Avery Keller surveyed the landscape surrounding the gas station just outside of Magnolia, North Carolina, she tried to draw in a deep breath. It felt like sucking air from a hot oven. Thick forest bordered the concrete parking lot, the trees more the pine variety than the town’s namesake. She glanced up at the water tower looming in the distance, the word Magnolia emblazoned on it in thick block letters. The bold designation mocked her, a lofty reminder that her past had been here waiting, even if she’d known nothing of it until a few days prior.
Almost a week now. One late-August week to process that the story of her life had been a lie because the truth was too callous, even for her aloof and ambitious mother. Avery had struggled with her identity as the daughter of a single mom, whose reckless decision had left her pregnant from a one-night stand with a nameless, random hookup.
Or not so random after all. As it turned out, Avery’s father knew about her, at least enough to leave her an inheritance after he died.
Maybe the humidity wasn’t to blame for the prickly heat crawling under skin. More likely the bitterness that had festered like an open sore on her cross-country trek for the reading of the will. She would have preferred to ignore the summons, to remain unaffected by the news that she wasn’t the fatherless, unwanted girl she’d thought herself to be.
Fatherless, no. Unwanted, most definitely.
She shoved the gas pump nozzle into the tank of her Lexus sedan and stalked toward the convenience store, needing caffeine and chocolate in equal measure.
The stale air inside the shop carried the scent of hot dogs and processed nacho cheese, but it was blessedly cool. She reached for a water but changed her mind at the last moment and pulled a Diet Mountain Dew from the commercial refrigerator at the back of the store, immediately shoving the bottle under her shirt. She gasped at the bite of cold plastic against her skin.
“Normally people drink that stuff,” a deep voice said from a few feet away. “Although the color’s too reminiscent of antifreeze for my taste.”
She rolled her head to glare at whoever was offering an unwanted opinion and stifled another gasp. Over six feet of gorgeous man stared back at her. As if the thick brown hair, piercing green eyes and rock-hard body weren’t enough, he was wearing the crisp blue uniform of a firefighter. Avery had always been a sucker for a man in uniform, although she wasn’t about to admit that now.
Apparently she didn’t need to because one side of his sexy mouth pulled up, like his effect on the fairer sex was a given. No doubt, which only fueled Avery’s irritation. She’d spent the past two and a half days on the road, steaming asphalt and satellite radio her only companions. She’d given up the guise of healthy choices midway across Missouri, and she wasn’t in the mood to take crap from anyone.
She made a show of studying the slim container of beef jerky dangling between his fingers. “Those who live in meat stick houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
His half smile widened into a full grin. “Now, darlin’,” he drawled, “I don’t even know your name. Seems a bit premature for you to be discussing my meat stick[CG1] .”
She felt her cheeks flame at the blatant innuendo but managed only a lame “in your dreams” as a response.
He chuckled. “Sorry,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t get out much anymore.”
“Shocker,” she muttered before heading for the cash register. She added a pack of M&M’s—the peanut variety for protein—and paid the gum-smacking attendant. Halfway to her car, Mr. Beef Jerky caught up with her.
“I really am sorry for the lousy joke,” he said, matching his stride to hers. His voice was gravelly, the vowels drawn out in typical Southern fashion, and she fought the immediate prick of attraction skittering along her skin at the unnecessary apology for some silly teasing.
The unsolicited bit of kindness didn’t make him a decent guy and shouldn’t matter either way. She was here to discover why the father she never knew had reached out to her now when he’d never bothered to during his life. Collect her inheritance and put this tiny dot on the map in her rearview mirror.
Too bad she had no plan for what came next. She’d essentially blown apart her entire life a month ago with her stupid choices. One particular choice involving one specific man.
Avery wanted to believe she hadn’t inherited her mom’s self-destructive streak when it came to men. The facts—and the lives ruined in her wake—told a different story. She wasn’t about to take a chance again, even for a moment of harmless flirting.
She stopped next to her car and turned to face him. “Listen, Jim-Bob or Billy-Bob or Bubba or whatever your redneck name is,” she began, loosening the reins on the anger, irritation and misplaced grief she’d been tamping down for days, “you might be hot but I’m not interested in some good ol’ boy who thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”
He cocked a thick brow, but she continued before he could speak. “So why don’t you just saunter off to whatever god-awful watering hole this town has to offer and ply your tired charms on a woman who’s too drunk to care whether this…” She wagged a finger up and down in front of him, “is all you have to offer.”
When his eyes flashed with something that looked like pain before narrowing, she sucked in a ragged breath. Oh, no. She’d just ripped into a perfect stranger who didn’t deserve her unbridled animosity. Talk about kicking the dog. Shame and regret bubbled up inside her, as familiar as a worn pair of shoes. She opened her mouth to apologize, but he held up a hand.
“It’s ten in the morning and I’m on duty,” he said, his tone stony. The Southern drawl sounded even more pronounced when laced with temper. “But I sure do appreciate the advice and I’ll keep it in mind for later, darlin’. This was just the reminder I needed of why women like you are a bad bet.”
Women like her.
Ouch. She didn’t understand the exact meaning of his words, but they were obviously an insult of the highest order. And one she deserved more than he could realize.
Which was why she didn’t go after him when he stalked toward the hulking black truck parked near the front of the building, even though guilt ate at her insides. Let him believe she was a raving bitch. Most people from her old life did.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
 
 

Book Info:

An inheritance brought her to Magnolia, but love just might keep her there…

Avery Keller arrives in Magnolia, North Carolina, with one aim: collect her inheritance and quickly put the quirky town in her rearview mirror. But the father who didn’t acknowledge her when he was alive has left Avery a mess to sort through—along with two half sisters she’s never met and a gorgeous single dad living next door. Soon her plan to keep this colorful, close-knit community at a distance gets complicated….

Grayson Atwell has rescued plenty of people in his firefighting career. His work and his little girl, Violet, are his entire world and there’s no time for anything—or anyone—else. But the vulnerability beneath Avery’s prickly facade brings out a fiercely protective side of him. Despite her protests, Gray can see that Avery’s falling under Magnolia’s spell—just like he’s falling for her. Now the only question is: How can he convince her to give them both a chance at forever?
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |
 
 

Meet the Author:

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well- behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at www.michellemajor.com.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |
 
 
 

34 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Magnolia Sisters by Michelle Major”

  1. erahime

    Reading a good book is one coping mechanism during this time. Also, I am finding out that I have become motivated to do the things that I had been neglecting for some time; basically getting motivated to finally start on them. But not to the extent of going overboard, just slowly.

  2. carol L

    It can definitely get a little frustrating but then I reach for my TEN like and read. And it’s also given me the time to purge my closets and bag it up for charity. My children & grandkids and I talk almost everyday by phone or video chat. But the reading is the best relaxation for me.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  3. Janine

    I wanted to do extra cleaning in my closet, but I ended up sick and then hurt my back. So, I haven’t been doing much at all except reading. But reading is a great escape for me, so I’m enjoying it.

  4. anna nguyen

    staying connected with family, friends, neighbors. using phone, text, email to stay connected to friends, neighbors, adult children, anyone who matters to you.

  5. Texas Book Lover (@TexasBookLover)

    I need these tips too. I was previously unemployed and was hired three weeks before everything went crazy in the US and now I am working from home and my hours are even more insane but since I’m so new I’m afraid to say anything so I’m working like 13-14 hours a day even though I’m salary and only get paid for 8.

    The only things that are getting me through are my small breaks where I Facetime with my oldest daughter who lives just outside of Seattle, the couple pages of my current read I actually get in before I pass out and the little bit of play time I get in when I step outside with my puppers everyday! Those are a must, without them I think my husband would make me sleep in the other room!

  6. Pammie R.

    I have been doing a lot of reading and a fair amount of writing as well as crafting. I have to be careful because I have OCD. Good when it comes to washing hands all the time, but bad because I have hoarding tendencies and right now, Amazon seems to be my best friend. Thankfully, I’m just hoarding e-books at this time. I have more e-books than I will ever be able to read. I am also trying to go our in my yard and play with the dogs. It’s going to be hard today though. Yesterday I woke to rain. Today, to several inches of snow.

  7. Marcia J White

    I am getting ahead of my planting (in pots because it is not warm enough for outside yet) reading, revisiting some of my older genealogy for updates. Our cable company has taken down the pay wall for some programming so I am watching some Great Courses lectures, primarily historical.

  8. Lori R

    I am going for walks around my neighborhood and not listening to too much news. I also have a group of friends who have been very supportive. Authors have been so sweet in giving away books or discounting books which I really appreciate!

  9. Kathleen Bylsma

    Not coping very well since Anchorage is snowing right now on top of ice and I live on off the main roads, so very dangerous…not able to go walking, my usual coping skill

  10. Eileen AW

    I’ve been reading, walking outside when the weather cooperates, working on various projects, and keeping in touch with family.

  11. granny2@outlook.com

    It’s not bothering me to stay home .It bothers me that we can’t find food and what we do find the price has over doubled in price.I had a video Dr appointment today that was weird.

  12. erinf1

    My advice is to stay educated but don’t fall into the rabbit hole of internet misinformation and hysteria. This is a very serious situation, but as a healthcare worker, it’s shocking to me how much misinformation is shared and believed with no evidence or medical/scientific background. Start locally. Find out how your community is doing, what your family, friends, and neighbors need and feel, and then work outward. You’ll find that while it is heart breaking to hear about what’s going on nationally and globally, fixating on these things will only increase your feeling of helplessness. But focusing on yourself, your family, and your community will give you a better sense of control and ability to move forward.

    Be smart, be safe, and follow the social distancing and quarantine recommendations. Definitely take advantage of the extra time to read and watch TV/movies, but don’t spend hours bingeing. Keep a schedule. Even if your day may seem long and boring, keeping to a schedule works wonders. Stay on your “normal” schedule as much as you can. Go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, eat your meals, etc. etc. Take advantage of extra time to walk and continue exercising. It’s ok to leave your home for exercise. Be aware of but not hyper vigilant of your health. This is still flu and cold season and we are now hitting the opening of season allergies.

    But overall, know that this will end. We will develop medical treatments and vaccines. Communities and nations will rebound and recover. Times are dire but not hopeless. Take this opportunity to connect or reconnect with family and friends. Take this time to care for yourself. Take joy in seeing how our communities are rallying and in the daily displays of kindness, kinship, and caring.

    I hope this helps. I continue to have hope. I continue to go to my hospital each day and we are bracing for the worse since the midwest is a few weeks behind the peak. But we are are a community and we are reaching out to each other and everyone is kinder. I’m uplifted each day and I hope that everyone can find that joy and hope despite the bleak times.

  13. Glenda M

    In my opinion, we need to do what we can, where we can, without stressing about not doing enough each and every day – and keep in mind it can all be worse. We need to remember that we are all in this together. Keeping in touch with family and friends is easier today than ever before in history, we should take advantage of that. I am enjoying spending time with my husband and pets; talking to and texting my kids, family, and friends; and calling my father (since he doesn’t text) more often than usual.

  14. Shannon Capelle

    I focus on my husband and our 4 kids and our furbabies. I take each day at a time and try to be positive and take time to meditate a little everyday. Read, bake watch movies play games, make crafts and do little prijects around the house.

  15. Pamela Conway

    This is definitely a scary time but have been trying to stay positive & be thankful I’m still working at home & getting paid. Let’s all hope & pray this is over soon

  16. Calvin

    Go on walks, garden, find a distraction. It’s good to dive in a hobby. I think that music is a good one.

  17. Nicole (Nicky) Ortiz

    Relax pick up a hobby or do something fun you wanted to try but didn’t have the time. Read more.
    Thanks for the chance!

  18. Terrill R.

    I avoid most of social media right now. There’s too panic-inducing posts, etc. that just exacerbate the issues and I find that it cause me to be more anxious.

  19. Daniel M

    nothing’s different for me, i’ve been socially isolated for over a decade since my back injury where i can’t go anywhere or do anything anymore, haven’t seen friends in years, stuck in poverty.

  20. Lynette

    I’ve been letting my kids choose when they want to do home school. They’re not morning people, so afternoon is okay with starting school. I think flexibility is a thing right now, as is patience!

  21. Patricia B.

    Not doing much of anything. I made a list of all the things that needed to be done and I wanted to get done. Other than watering my plants and paying bills, I don’t think I have accomplished much of anything else in 3 weeks. The day goes by and somehow I have accomplished very little. We are retired and were very involved with several volunteer organizations, primarily Red Cross Disaster & Service To The Armed Forces and at the local VA Hospital and with other veterans’ groups. We do miss that. There have been a few meetings done as phone conferences, but that isn’t the same as helping at the individual level. I worry about our children and their families, but they are adults and with the current situation, there isn’t much we can do to help.
    I am not stressing over not getting much done or things I have no control over. I am working on getting over the ennui that seems to be the problem. This weekend I will work some more in my flower beds and start planning the plantings. It is always wonderful to see things come up and bloom. My husband has the vegetable garden in good shape. We have already had kale and asparagus from it. The rhubarb is ready early this year, so I had him get some strawberries and made a strawberry rhubarb pie.
    It has been nice to see that people are pulling together and there has been much more good than bad to come out in the country. The politicians may be failing us, but we, the people, know what is important and are stepping up. It helps a little to balance off the heartbreak of what the virus is doing to the world. Every country is fighting back and supporting those on the front lines. I hope this attitude continues when the threat is over.

Please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.