Posts Tagged ‘small town’
Cheryl “Cher” Stanton is about to discover home is where the hunk is …
My indie publishing debut joins DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, which was released last month by Turquoise Morning Press.
The musician heroine of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS leapt out at me, fully formed, last year when I read Carina Press’ open call for holiday shorts. I clearly saw the story’s beginning and end … I just wasn’t sure how she got from Point A (singing the blues because she’s forced to return to the hometown she couldn’t wait to get out of) to Point B (singing the town’s praises).
This being a romance, a man had to figure into the transformation. Enter Derrick Mullins, one of her two best friends throughout middle school and high school. Cher had always had a thing for Derrick—and even went so far as to put the moves on him on graduation night—but she left town on the 6 a.m. bus the next morning convinced he didn’t know she existed.
Nothing could be farther from the truth, of course. And now that Derrick’s no longer young and stubborn, he’s ready to pick up where Cher left off all those years ago.
I knew I wanted Cher’s hometown to be a small town, one a high-school girl with big dreams would find stifling. And I knew just the place: Langley, Indiana. I’d already written one story where Langley figured into the equation, so I had a clear picture of the town. Nestled in the Indiana cornfields, it had just one stoplight. A high school (Langdon High, Cher and Derrick’s alma mater), a barber shop and Dottie’s Diner (the town hangout) dotted the main drag.
It was the kind of place from which Cher couldn’t wait to escape. She returns only because her health demands she get some R&R, and she figures she can hide out at her folks’ house, so far off the beaten path that her fans will never think to look for her there.
And it works. She’s getting her much-needed vacation … until she runs into Derrick. Things heat up and Cher finds herself developing a new appreciation for her hometown.
Why set a story in a tiny Indiana town? Well, they say write what you know. I grew up in small-town Indiana. My high school was in Albion, which had one stoplight—at the intersection of state roads 8 and 9.
Langley is not Albion, but Albion is part of Langley. So are a lot of other small Indiana towns, places I’ve come to appreciate now that I’ve been gone from them for more than a decade.
I hope you enjoy Cher and Derrick’s story, and your stay in Langley. (I have three other stories set in nearby Willow’s Grove, including OPERATION SNAG
MIKE BRAD, the manuscript in which Langley was born.)
If you know me on Facebook at all, you’ve probably seen it already — but I’d be a Bad Author if I didn’t post an official cover reveal here on the blog.
So here it is: the cover for HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Cover artist Rogenna Brewer did another beautiful job! And Ruby Slippered Sister Kelly Fitzpatrick gets props for suggesting the tagline. I was on vacation last week, but taking the task of coming up with one way too seriously — until Kelly came up with that gem.
This cover wasn’t quite as simple to choose as the ones for BRIDE and PARADISE, though. Right before Rogenna sent me her initial idea, I’d just read a piece of advice: Don’t sign off on a cover until you get at least 5 people to say they love it.
With her permission, I posted the cover on my Facebook author page (and a few other places) and asked for opinions. I did get quite a few “love its.” Then Rogenna sent me a different take. It, too, went up for input — and got some definite love.
Unable to decide which one I liked best, I made a side-by-side comparison of the two covers and solicited votes.
Right up until I decided to go with the pink background — mainly for the pop of color, reasoning that it’ll stand out more in thumbnail view — the vote was dead even. A couple of extra votes for Cover B (on the right) showed up on the thread AFTER I told Rogenna to go with the pink.
I’m still happy with the decision. With so many votes for both, I think either cover will be a winner.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a 30,000 word novella, is my first indie release, slated for mid-November — just in time for, well, the holidays.