New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She's a workaholic who loves her job. When she's not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.
What can you tell us about the small town setting of your upcoming romance?
Samantha Chase (author of RETURN TO YOU): The south shore of Long Island had always been my heroine Selena’s home. Born and raised minutes from the beach, she always dreamed that it would be where she’d find love, raise a family and live happily ever after. The small coastal town really hadn’t been part of James Montgomery’s plan for his own life, after meeting Selena, it’s suddenly a very appealing part of his future.
Grace Burrowes (author of KISS ME HELLO): Damson Valley lies in rural Maryland, about an hour away from both Washington, DC, and Baltimore. The Appalachian Mountains give the town a protected, bucolic feel, despite the proximity of big city lights. My hero attorney MacKenzie Knightley loved growing up with his brothers on a farm right outside Damson Valley, and was all too happy to go into practice with both James and Trent. The Knightley farm is now owned by foster mom Sidonie Lindstrom, who has moved away from Baltimore to give her foster son a better start in life. Sid has no patience for small town life, though before too long, the scenery does catch her interest…
Andrea Laurence (author of FEEDING THE FIRE): If you’re willing to turn your car off the highway and venture from the beaten path, you might be lucky enough to run across a town like Rosewood, Alabama. Steeped in southern charm and the traditional values of God, Family and Football (although not always in that order), Rosewood is like a time capsule preserving everything modern cities have lost. Here, you’ll find homemade pies, perfectly brewed sweet tea, and beauty parlors filled with lively gossip. It’s the kind of town where everybody knows everybody – and everybody knows your business whether you like it or not! Thanks for stopping by. Sit a spell and tell us what you know.
What’s the hardest thing about finding love in a small town? The easiest?
Grace Burrowes: For MacKenzie Knightley, never having really left the small town where he grew up, the difficulty of small town life is that he’s more easily trapped in the view of himself he developed as a younger man. He’s one of those MacKenzie brothers, good old Mac, Mac the guy who does the horse shoeing on weekends for the therapeutic riding program. He’s worn those roles for years and every person he meets—almost—views him in those predictable ways. Then he meets Sidonie Lindstrom and getting his tall, dark and handsome on is abruptly a real possibility…
The easy part of small town romance is that the territory is familiar and beloved. By sharing the town and the surrounding area with Sid, Mac also shares a part of himself. For a guy who’s become nearly silent in social situations, that’s a huge plus.
Is there a big party or a community get together for your small town?
Samantha Chase: The high school reunion is one of the big events for the town. It takes up an entire weekend with all of the alumni coming together to celebrate. The first event on Friday night kicks off the weekend – this year it’s bowling at the local bowling alley. Everyone comes with their spouses for an informal night of hanging out, enjoying snacks and reliving the good times they had at this local hangout. Saturday is the actual reunion and it’s held at one of the larger hotels with a ball room to fit everyone. Sunday is a family/community day where everyone meets at the high school baseball field for a day of softball and picnics. So many people stayed close to home upon graduation that the reunion weekend really is a community event.
Where is the best ‘date spot’ in your small town?
Andrea Laurence: There’s only one place to take a date in Rosewood once you graduate from high school and the Pizza Palace loses its charm. Whittaker’s Restaurant is the kind of restaurant where the lighting is low, the tablecloths and napkins are fabric, and the wine list is extensive. It’s the place you save for the big date – Valentine’s Day, anniversary dinners and romantic proposals.
Happy March! Get ready to set those clocks to spring forward an hour this month. February was a bit a whirlwind and we've got a list of releases coming out this month on our wish list as well as our fingers are one-click ready. Hopefully the snow will go away soon and we'll be looking at the beautiful spring. Soon! Do you hear that Mother Nature? We're so over this cold weather.
Q: What sexy reads are you looking forward to in March?
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Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. Her romances have been published all over the world. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author Melody Anne has written the popular series, Billionaire Bachelors, Surrender, Baby for the Billionaire, and she also has a young adult series: Midnight Fire, Midnight Moon and Midnight Storm – Rise of the Dark Angel.
Originally from the picturesque coastal town of Florence, Oregon, Melody often takes her readers to small town locations, not too unlike the small town she grew up in. As an aspiring author she wrote for years, until publishing in 2011 her first three books, which would later become the wildly successful Billionaire Bachelors series.
Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in business, and having left behind the airline industry with all of its business travelers, she loves to write about strong, powerful, businessmen and the corporate world.
When Melody isn’t writing, she cultivates strong bonds with her family and relatives and enjoys time spent with them as well as her friends, and beloved pets. Living in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, the Willamette Valley, Melody continues to be a country girl at heart. She loves the small town and strong community she lives in and is involved in many community projects.
Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she'd rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewers' Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book, Firelight, received RT Book Reviews' Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher's Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.
V. K. Sykes is a wife/husband writing team-Vanessa Kelly and Randall Sykes-who write romantic suspense and single title contemporary romance. One of the great things they appreciate about being writers is that they can work anywhere so Vanessa and Randy split their time between Ontario, Canada, in the summer and Florida in the winter. Both locations have shores just as beautiful as the imaginary Seashell Bay.