Monday, May 7, 2018

Characters Ripped from the Headlines

With: Tracy Solheim

Congratulations to "Patricia B.", the winner in Tracy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

People always ask me where I come up with the characters for my books. Most of the time, they just pop into my head chatting away. Occasionally, they show up as a secondary character in another book I’m writing, loudly demanding their own cover shot and HEA. But for my latest release, Recipe for Disaster, the characters are based on real people. Sort of.

I got the idea for my hero, Griffin Keller, while watching the nightly news several years ago. One of the stories featured a very hot federal agent with awesome hair and dimples. I knew I had to write a book about him. A little while later I was watching a sports talk show when one of the anchors gave a shout out to his daughter who had just landed a pastry chef gig at a prestigious Washington, DC restaurant. My writer brain had a field day with a pastry chef and a federal agent on the run. It took me eight years to fit their story into my writing schedule, but I’m glad these two finally made it to the pages—and the White House!

Recipe for Disaster
By Tracy Solheim

Book 1 in the Men of the Secret Service series from Tule Publishing

Secret Service Agent Griffin Keller always gets his man. And, his woman. In pursuit of an international counterfeiter known only as "The Artist", Griffin stumbles across paintings that have been unknowingly stolen from the White House and swapped with forgeries. His only clue to the thief's identity, a dish towel from the White House kitchen.

        White House pastry chef Marin Chevalier desperately needs a date to her cousin's society wedding. Unfortunately, her busy schedule and lackluster social life leave her little opportunity to meet eligible men. When a sexy Secret Service agent shows up in her kitchen—and just about everywhere else she goes—Marin believes she's finally met the perfect date. But as a series of frightening accidents and near misses begin to occur around her, Marin finds herself relying on Griffin as more than just her "plus-one".

        The more dead bodies that pile up around Marin, the more Griffin is convinced she is the link to The Artist. Too bad he can't convince his libido. The curvy chef has gotten under his skin like no other woman. When the clues finally fall into place and Griffin realizes Marin is not the suspect, but instead the target, he'll risk everything in his arsenal to keep her safe. Even his heart.

Book 2: Between Love and Honor (Ben’s story) coming Fall, 2018.
Book 3: Shot in the Dark (Adam’s story) coming January 2019.

Buy links for Recipe for Disaster
After Marin learns Griffin has only been paying attention to her because he thought she was a suspect in the art thefts, she is taken to a safe house for her protection from the real thief. While she’s there she keeps busy by cooking for the agents on her detail. Things are going fine until Griffin arrives and the two of them are forced to address the elephant in the room:

“Damn it, Marin, I was doing my job!” Griffin was suddenly beside her.
            The knife stilled in Marin’s hand. “Your ‘job’? Your job.” She slowly turned and pointed the tip of the blade at Griffin’s chest. “Was it your ‘job’ to kiss me senseless? Or how about when you had your hands and mouth all over my body, was that your ‘job,’ too, huh?” She jabbed the knife at him. “Or what about when you were making me—”
             “For crying out loud, Ben can you give us some privacy!” Griffin yelled, his eyes never leaving Marin’s face.
            “Just when it was getting good,” Ben mumbled. “Come on, Otto, let’s go check your pee mail. Maybe we’ll catch up with Adam on his run while we’re out.”
            “Put the knife down, Marin,” Griffin commanded once Ben and the dog had left the kitchen.
            Marin’s hand holding the knife shook, but she couldn’t seem to get the rest of her body to move.
            “Please,” he urged softly.
The knife landed on the counter with clank. Her eyes stung and her face burned with humiliation. This man had too much power over her. And stupid woman that she was, Marin was about to give him more.
“You kissed me,” she choked out. “Why did you do that? It wasn’t fair.”
He stepped in closer so that their bodies were only separated by a distance the same width as the blade of the knife she’d just tossed on the counter. Marin breathed him in. Despite being exhausted and bedraggled, Griffin still smelled crisp and clean, like a freshly showered man. The guy was a menace to women everywhere.
“I kissed you, Marin, because I couldn’t not kiss you.” His soft voice was like a caress to her skin. “I’d be lying if I said I tried to avoid kissing you. Because I really didn’t. Yeah, it was wrong, but I’m not going to apologize. From the moment I saw you standing in the pastry kitchen looking like an Amazon goddess, I knew I had to touch you. To kiss you. And when I finally did, it felt anything but wrong.”

One print copy of Recipe for Disaster for a US winner. International winner will receive a digital copy. If a romantic suspense book were based on your life, what would the title be?

Tracy Solheim, author of romantic women’s fiction.

After years of writing reports and testimony for Congress, Tracy Solheim decided to put her creative talents to better use.  A two-time finalist for the Maggie Award for Excellence, she’s the international best-selling author of contemporary sports romance, romantic suspense, and small-town second chance stories.  Tracy lives in the heart of SEC country, also known as the suburbs of Atlanta, with her husband, two adult children who frequently show up at dinner time, and a Labrador retriever who thinks she’s a cat. She currently serves as the vice president of programing for the Georgia Romance Writers. When she’s not 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. See what’s she up to at

Social Media Links:

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 8th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway.


  1. Congratulations on the new release!
    Giveaway response - No Turning Back.

  2. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

  3. crazy

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Chaos Reigns

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  5. Congrats on the new release! This sounds awesome! ummm... She Never Saw it Coming :)
    efender1(at)gmail dot come

  6. The! Can't wait to read the new book!


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