Friday, January 2, 2015

DREAMING OF A SMALL TOWN—AND SECOND CHANCES


Congratulations to Michelle H., the winner in Tracy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Growing up military, I always envied those people who lived in the same town all of their lives. I craved the continuity of knowing my neighbors and classmates from cradle to grave; or knowing every creak of the stairs and groan of the radiator in our home.  Instead I got to live in “exotic” places like Biloxi, Mississippi for six months (during the hot summer, no less) and Wheatridge, Colorado for nine.  By the time I’d I reached the ripe old age of thirteen, I’d lived in seventeen different houses—none of them “home”.  A few years on one base seemed like an eternity, except the neighbors kept coming and going like passengers in a train station constantly reminding me of the lack of permanence. 

                So, it stands to reason that when I ventured into the fantasy world that existed in my head, it would be to a small town where everyone knows everyone else.  In my January 6 release, BACK TO BEFORE, the coastal hamlet of Chances Inlet is that very place.  The only problem is Gavin McAllister doesn’t exactly feel the same way about his home town as I would.  He HATES having everyone know his business.  It’s the main reason he escaped Chances Inlet in the first place—so he could live where he’d be anonymous.  Fate had other plans for Gavin and he’s forced to return home to sell his father’s construction firm.  Unfortunately, that isn’t as easy as he hopes (really, I wouldn’t have a story if it was, right?) and he gets pulled back into the meddling clutches of the folks who just want to see him happily married.  I had a blast parading out some stereotypical characters—and others who weren’t so typical.  It was fun to live in the small town I’d created as a refuge in my mind all those years ago.

What I didn’t see coming was the resiliency of the story’s other protagonist, Ginger Walsh, who has the innate ability to reinvent herself--a trait born from moving about the country as a child in her mother’s professional dance company.  Ginger just might be a little bit like a certain Air Force brat who grew up reinventing herself every time she moved.  While I never would base a character on me—trust me, readers wouldn’t get past page two of that book!—some of the life skills I picked up growing up military seemed to seep into Ginger’s personality.  Like me, she craves the continuity of small town life.  Until she gets to Chances Inlet and she finds out that the life she imagined might not be all that she dreamed.  And then the sparks really fly!

GIVEAWAY:
How about you?  Did you watch It’s a Wonderful Life last month and wish just a little bit that you lived in Bedford Falls?  Would you like to live in a town where everyone knows your name?  Or do you prefer a bit of anonymity? One random commenter will win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Chances Inlet, North Carolina, has an infamous power for second chances. But its charms are lost on the town’s favorite son—until she comes along…

When his father’s sudden death puts his family’s construction business in serious debt, architect Gavin McAlister is forced to put his dream career in New York on hold. Making matters worse, his fiancée calls it quits. Desperate to return to his big-city life, he discovers an opportunity to save his family, one that has him reluctantly starring in a home restoration TV show.

Former soap star Ginger Walsh hopes this job as a TV makeup artist will lead to better things. So far it’s only brought her to a hamlet full of people who don’t like her—except Gavin. After a wild night out leads to Ginger waking up in Gavin’s loft—and the rest of town talking—the two of them soon wonder if getting back to before is what they want. Because being in each other’s arms certainly feels like what they need.

Buy it here:
Where to find Tracy:
Facebook: Tracy Solheim Books
Twitter: TracyKSolheim

Author Bio:
After years of writing reports and testimony for Congress, Tracy Solheim decided to put her fiction writing talents to better use.  Tracy is the international bestselling author of the Out of Bounds series for Berkley and southern novellas for Tule Publishing.  She lives in the heart of SEC 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. 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 3rd. 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 maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

24 comments:

  1. I, too, was a military brat who ended up going to ten schools by the time I graduated high school. The difference, however, was I got a chance to experience small town living whenever we returned to our home town to stay when my father's tours took him to places we couldn't go. I loved being in a place where everyone knew each others' names and business. It grounded me. Having lived both experiences, I prefer the Bedford Falls way of life:)

    Thanks for your post and I'm looking forward to reading your book!

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

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  2. I love small town romances, but I really didn't like living in a place where everyone knew everyone's business. I was happy when I moved. So yes, I prefer the anonymity of a big city. I'm adding your book to my TBR pile.Thanks!

    natalija(dot)shkomare(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. Jonetta,
    We always lived off base when my dad went overseas. I guess my mom wanted the support of the military wives and services. I would have much preferred your way though! Thanks for commenting. :)

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  4. I can't imagine always moving like that. Of course I still live in the same township where by great-great grandparents lived! I couldn't pass up the opportunity when I was offered to buy the house next door to my parents. While not always ideal, it certainly has its benefits too.

    Sounds like a great read! amyp115 AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. My mom lives 7 hours away and she's been sick a lot this past year so the right next door option sounds good to me. :)

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  5. Yes, I always try to watch It's a Wonderful Life, and I always cry....
    I grew up in a small town where everyone knew my business (but ME, apparently), as I was 39 when I learned that my dad (who had died 9 years previously) was not my bio dad. My bio dad was the guy across the street who taught me to drive, bought me my first halter top, took me to work with him, taught me how to overcome my fears (like climbing on his roof near a hornets' nest), got me started reading romance books when I entered high school, etc. When I found out that both I and my brother were sired by the neighbour, my mom had been gone for 4 years, but she had time to tell me after my dads had both died. Nope. Big secret - but you'd be surprised how many people in town knew all those years but me! Bio dad had shown our pictures to his family when we were first in school, stating that we were his, he would be in our lives, but our "dad" would raise us. Bio dad visited almost daily, though - and was friends with my parents! Very, very strange....
    I now live half an hour away. Far enough to keep a little anonymity in my life, but close enough to still know what goes on in the small town (thanks to my brother still living there and thanks to a couple of newspaper web sites I check daily), so I guess I like a little of both worlds.
    (Maureen has my email address.)

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  6. Didn't watch the movie; probably not live in a small town

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  8. I love that movie, but I don't think I could live in a town where I knew everyone and everyone knew me.

    mybeach52 at yahoo dot com

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  9. I was also a military brat and moved around so when I left home and moved to a small town and knew everybody. Lived there 10 years and ended up being so big I did not know anyone I ran into. Moved to another small area and had no street lights and could wave at every car because we knew them, now 30 years in the same place and it is so crowded and I know very few people. I know if I had moved again they would come!!

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  10. I'm not a serial "It's a Wonderful Life" watcher, and I think I'm ok with that. My family is huge, and pretty much lives within the same one-mile radius sort of like living in a small town where everybody is into your business. It was great when I was a kid, not so much when I was a teen.

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  11. I can take it or leave it when it comes to "It's a Wonderful Life." I've always been a city girl, and can't imagine being a teenager in a small town. Now though, there are days sitting in the Atlanta traffic, where it doesn't sound so bad. And my "military kid" friends were all so strong and resilient. Got to admire that.
    I was lucky to get an advance copy of BACK TO BEFORE. The characters are so complex and you are right there as they go through lots of ups and downs emotionally. And the sexual tension and steamy sex scenes were just what you were hoping for. You've got to read this book!

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  12. There are times when I wish I lived where everyone was neighborly and knew each other... but then I am shy, not that social and would probably dislike people knowing everything about me... Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!

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  13. I love watching that movie! I'm not entirely sure I would love living in a small town where everyone knows me and knows my business. I'm too much of a big city girl although I do love reading the antics of those who do live in small towns :)

    thebigbluewall77 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  14. I love that movie...watch it every year. While I like to read about small town romances, I think my town of about 16,000 is small enough! I don't know everyone and they all don't know me!!
    Sunnydays25 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  15. That is a great movie, showing the good and the bad about living in a small town. I think I would like living in a small town like that now but I probably wouldn't have when I was younger.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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  16. I don't have a TV so I didn't watch It's A Wonderful LIfe. I have seen it before and love it though.

    I have lived in a small town where everyone not only knows your name but everything about you. It was good in that my kids couldn't get away with anything without me knowing about it. I didn't like having my magazines read at the post office before I got them. In general, I prefer small town living to city life.

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  17. Oops! I forgot to leave my email address so I can be contacted when I win!
    joanne.boyko@yahoo.com

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  18. Wow, I can't imagine moving and starting over so many times! It must be so difficult to make friends and then have to leave them behind and make new friends. It would be nice to live in a small town where you know there are always people to support and help you out. Although everyone knowing all my business might not be so good! One of my favorite small town romance series is Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor, I love how the town always rallies around their own. I didn't catch the movie this year, too busy with the holidays!

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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  19. I prefer a little anonymity but also to know my neighbors

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  20. I love living in a small town--everyone looks out for you, can't imagine not having this--Great red, am looking forward to more stories in this series

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  21. Couldn't put it down...love a good read and this is a favorite new author!

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