Hey, everyone! Carol here, and today my very super special guest today is the lovely Pepper Basham! I’ve known Pepper since 2011 and this girl is one of my faves! Her books are amazing!
And to prove that it’s not just me who think so, Pepper just signed a contract for a My Heart Belongs book for Barbour Publishing!!!! She’ll be writing My Heart Belongs in Blue Ridge for release in January 2019 and it goes along well with today’s blog post because…
Today… it’s all about the small town!
I admit it.
I’m a small-town girl.
In fact, if I have to venture into a city to shop or work…I escape it as soon as possible. It’s just not for me.
Living? No thanks!
And I don’t seem to be the only one who enjoys small towns.
For years, fiction readers have loved the atmosphere small towns lend to their stories. Hallmarks has basically made a complete franchise out of our delight in peeking into quirky and sweet small towns to discover even quirkier and sometimes sweet characters.
What is it about these small towns that makes them such a fun place to visit through stories?
Charm – whether it’s from the cute sidewalks and flower-lined streets, or a real touch of magic, there’s something indescribably attractive about a place that looks like a picture from a sweet storybook. In the world of hustle and bustle, busy schedules, and lots-of-loud, a small-town appeal to our sweet, quiet, and a slower pace of life. AND, though there’s a generalized idea about small towns, they all have their own unique characters too. The restaurant where everyone eats for lunch, the coffee shop that people hang out in before driving off to work, the local park where parents meet to watch their kids play and chat about the day. I picture spring blooms on a building-lined street, laughter drifting from the park in the middle of town, the mouth-watering smell of a restaurant wafting down the lane, a slight honeysuckle-scented breeze, a kid on a bike, two old men sitting outside the General Store talking, and a jogger breezing down the sidewalk with her dog.
In most small towns, there’s an opportunity to experience more of nature. Beautiful scenery, tree-lined walks, cows showing up unexpectedly (though I have to interject here…my husband and I were in Charlotte a couple of weeks ago and a six-pointer buck ran through the traffic-laden street, right by us (as we waited to cross the street), and through the drive-thru at Wendy’s before disappearing behind a building. WEIRDEST Animal MOMENT of recent memory. Where did he come from? And Where was he going?)
For suspense writers, there’s a sense of isolation, or even a ‘mystery’ hidden in the history of the town that an outsider gets to uncover.
Small Place-Big Heart –Because of the size and the fact that everybody-knows-everybody else, there’s a sense of belonging. Most of the small-towns I’ve been to are welcoming and bring their own unique type of welcome with them. Some have mostly brick buildings in a perfect little row on either side of main street, some are spread out with a wide-western sky, but regardless, there is usually the same openheartedness for each. The people who live in these small towns have created a sense of community and their livelihood may even be tightly linked to the existence of the town, so they feel this mutual commitment and responsibility. And this sense of community (in romances and comedies) usually provides safety, friendships, and family.
In suspense in can provide all sorts of other things too ?
So…what are some favorite small town?
Mayberry (I grew up in this area of the world so I had to mention it first)
Bedford Falls – close second ?
Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls
Dillon from Friday Night Lights
Whoville ? Just had to throw that in there -but I’d probably add Danville from Phineas and Ferb too
Pawnee from Parks and Rec
When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looked as good as it did on Rainey Mitchell.
Rainey Mitchell does not need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptation wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.
When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again?