Friday, October 24, 2014

Holiday at Magnolia Bay

Giveaway of a $15 Hallmark gift card!

The holiday season for me is all about home, friends and family.   I love decorating my house with items my family and I have collected throughout our travels.  The big family dinners and parties with friends make the season.  Growing up, I felt a little cheated out of the Hallmark Christmas because my dad was in the military and, more often than not, our holiday consisted of my family of five and whatever pets might be living with us.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved “growing up military” but I always felt sad those years—which were most of them—when we couldn’t get together and celebrate with extended family.

This is probably why I can relate to Jenna Huntley, my main character in Holiday at Magnolia Bay.  Jenna is a military brat herself, a woman looking for a place to call “home.”  She finds it in the small coastal town just south of Charleston, South Carolina.  Magnolia Bay is the one place that’s been a constant in her life, the summer vacation destination she and her family visited every year while Jenna was growing up.  Now a marine biologist, she works at the town’s Sea Turtle Rescue Center.

Just to make Jenna’s life a little more interesting, I threw in a love interest who’s actually a Navy SEAL.  Jenna has sworn off the military life—which means all military men—but the sexy Lieutenant Commander is very potent.   Of course she’s attracted to the one guy who she’s vowed to stay away from.  Yeah, I’m evil that way.  

Drew’s not interested in family, though.  In fact, he’s pretty much isolated himself from relationships with everyone in his life because he fears that if something happens to him, there will be collateral damage.  He’s set on being alone the rest of his life.  Or so he thinks.

But I couldn’t leave their HEA to fate—or sea turtles, as the case may be—someone had to do a little meddling.  I chose an octogenarian spinster for this.  The character of Evie Song is named after a fan named Evie who also happens to be a very lively senior citizen herself.  I try to name a minor character in each of my books after someone I know but Evie needed to have a bigger role.  I’ve never met Evie, but she treats me like she she’s known me all of my life.  She sends lovely fan letters and hand sells my books to everyone she meets.  If anyone deserves to be immortalized as a character in one of my books, it’s Evie.

You see, Evie, and the friends I’ve collected along my life’s journey, are as much my family as the people I’m actually related to.  All those holidays spent on military bases without family?  We celebrated with a tribe of friends around us instead.  And when we finally did get to celebrate with our relatives we enjoyed those times and savored the memories.  

I hope you enjoy Drew and Jenna’s story.  As a military brat myself, I love sharing with readers the complexity of life in the military, whether it’s serving in the armed forces or loving someone who’s served.  Times are a little crazy right now in our world and I ask that you keep those who serve and their loved ones waiting at home in your hearts.

Is there a special food you prepare for family or friends during the holiday season?  I’m giving away a $15 Hallmark gift card to one random person who comments on this post.  

Tule is giving away a $500 Visa gift card this week also.  Go to my facebook page and click the giveaway tab to enter.


After a mission goes terribly wrong, ending in the death of a teammate, Navy Seal, Drew Lanham, is forced to take a leave from active-duty. Retreating to his godmother’s beach house in coastal Magnolia Bay, Drew plans to spend the three weeks R&R licking his wounds and catching some rays while the nightmares from his failed op fade. The last thing he wants to do is mingle with the locals. What he doesn’t count on is an early morning encounter with a goddess rising from the sea. His interest is piqued and his body put on alert when he finds out that same woman may or may not be after his godmother’s money. 

Marine biologist, Jenna Huntley, has been searching her whole life for a place to call home and Magnolia Bay is that place. Unfortunately, she’s underutilizing her education giving tours at the town’s turtle rescue center. With the help of an octogenarian patroness, she maps out a proposal to develop a turtle hatchery on-site. Everything is going as planned until the older woman’s godson arrives. Suddenly, nothing is as it seems and Jenna’s future is hanging in the balance, with a sexy warrior pulling all the strings. Her natural tendency is to help the damaged hero, but she’s sworn off letting military men in her life ever again. 

Will Drew and Jenna be able to put their pasts behind them and learn to trust their hearts long enough to enjoy their Holiday at Magnolia Bay? 

Buy it here:  Holiday in Magnolia Bay 
Southern Born Christmas series 
Book 1: Holiday in Magnolia Bay by Tracy Solheim 
Book 2: Just in Time for Christmas by Kim Boykin 
Book 3: A Very Married Christmas by Erika Marks 
Book 4: The Trouble with Christmas by Kaira Rouda

Author Bio
Tracy Solheim is the international bestselling author of the Out of Bound Series for Penguin.  Her books feature members of the fictitious Baltimore Blaze football team and the women who love them.  In a previous life, Tracy wrote best sellers for Congress and was a freelance journalist for regional and national magazines.  She’s a military brat who now makes her home in Johns Creek, Georgia, with her husband, their two children, a pesky Labrador retriever puppy and a horse named after her first novel.  See what she’s up to at  Like her on Facebook at

Other books by Tracy Solheim
Game On
Foolish Games
A Numbers Game
Risky Game
Back to Before

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 25th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. My favorite thing to make is decorated Christmas cookies and fudge too. Now I want to read your book. I love Charleston -spent my first wedding anniversary there.

    1. oops yenastone at aol dot com

    2. I love making the decorated cookies also, Tammy. I just wish elves would come clean the kitchen afterward!

  2. It is a family tradition to always have my grandmother's pumpkin pie for the holidays... even though she has been gone for years... we still carry on the tradition!

    1. I love to use recipes handed down from generations. :)

    2. Is there a special food you prepare for family or friends during the holiday season? Yes.
      It is a family tradition to have my mother's recipe for pumpkin pies.
      Thank you for the opportunity to win.I email you my email address.

  3. I always make my mother's sausage stuffing

    1. We never had sausage stuffing growing up but my husband and I started it making it for our holiday dinners and I can't imagine going without it now!

  4. With many family members gone and several moved away; our traditions have changed. You have to go with the flow and the last 6 years we have had a cute little granddaughter to share all our holidays with us.

    1. I'm actually looking forward to the grandparent years! I love having little kids in the house at the holidays and my kids are teenagers and young adults.

  5. turkey for Thanksgiving

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Our go-to holiday treat is a chocolate bark we make this time of year:

    Very fun, Tracy!

    fedora at gmail dot com

  7. I make my grandma Catherine's meat dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas! My children prefer it over the turkey. I also make a Mackintosh apple pie and a pumpkin pie for dessert.

    johns lake at usa dot com


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