All widowed Alicia Galloway has left of her war-hero husband are the flag that draped his coffin and his final wishes: to move to his hometown, take over the family bookstore and enjoy a simple, quiet life with their two small children. When she arrives, her husband’s best friend makes that new life anything but simple. How can she be so drawn to Liam Addison?
Liam only intended to help Alicia get settled. But one unexpected kiss awakens his long-held forbidden feelings. Soon, the town busybodies swoop in to warn Alicia away from him. Because no matter the man he’s become, he’ll never live down his reputation as town troublemaker and wolfish womanizer.
No one wants the war hero’s sweet widow and the supposedly former bad boy together. But the more everyone tries to keep them apart, the closer he and Alicia get. And the more determined Liam is to prove he’s a changed man. Will it be enough to convince Alicia to let a new love in her life?
Michelle Garren Flye is a mother, writer and editor based in coastal North Carolina. She obtained her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992. Not liking the hours required of a journalist, she went on to obtain a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1997. When her first child was born in 2000, she packed her diplomas away and began a new life as a stay-at-home mom, which fortunately afforded her the opportunity to pursue her writing on a semi-regular basis.
Michelle has served in various capacities for several online and print literary endeavors, including Dark Recesses, edifice WRECKED, Horror Library, Butcher Shop Quartet, and Tattered Souls.
Michelle is the author of three romance novels, Where the Heart Lies (Carina Press 2012), Winter Solstice (Lyrical Press 2011) and Secrets of the Lotus (Lyrical Press 2010). Michelle also self-published a fiction book titled Weeds and Flowers for the Kindle in December 2011.
Blog: BREATHE: http://michellegflye.com
Life in a Small Town
By Michelle Garren Flye
I have been blessed to live most of my life in small towns. I say blessed because I have always felt the positives outweigh the negatives, although I can see both clearly.
When I was growing up, I didn’t really know there was any other way to live. My little hometown in the heart of the North Carolina mountains wasn’t really close to anything big. I remember visiting Charlotte as a child and being befuddled by the tall buildings and the fact that you could watch cartoons on Sunday morning (of course, this was before the time of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon—and cable, to be honest). And that’s what life in the city meant to me. Living in a tall building instead of a house and getting to do something you couldn’t do in a small town.
As I got older, I realized life in a small town meant so much more. Driving is easier with less traffic, but your choices of entertainment are fewer. Safety is less of a concern, but privacy is more of one. Everybody’s in everybody else’s business in small towns! If you live in a small town, don’t try to deny it. You know you know stuff about your neighbors and people who go to church with you that’s not really your business. And just try to keep a secret in a small town. Doesn’t matter if you only tell your best friend, somehow everybody will know, even if she keeps her mouth shut.
I set most of my stories in small towns because it’s what I know. I’ve played around with larger settings, and it’s fun. My first novel Secrets of the Lotus was set in New York, and I’m currently working on one that will be set mostly in Las Vegas, but for the most part, my stories could take place right down the street from me, or in my hometown, or in one of the little towns I pass through. My current work-in-progress may take place in Las Vegas, but it has a tie to Bath, N.C., one of the tiniest and most beautiful towns I’ve ever been in.
On the other hand, Where the Heart Lies takes place in Hillsborough, N.C., one of my favorite small towns I’ve ever lived because of its mixed-up atmosphere. It’s thirty minutes away from Chapel Hill, home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, so it has a bit of that liberal university town feel. However, it’s a staid, conservative little place, too, in a lot of ways. I tried to capture some of this in Where the Heart Lies with a mix of businesses and business owners, including a bar owned by a former alcoholic, a sex shop owned by a lesbian and the little family bookstore my heroine Alicia inherits from her father-in-law. Of course, none of these places actually exist in Hillsborough, and since I lived there almost fifteen years ago, I would never suggest that I know anything personal about any of the business owners.
It’s fun to play around with setting and creating one with enough flexibility to accommodate your characters and story. Sometimes the story requires a big city, and it’s always fun to sort of stretch the imagination to try to capture the excitement of the Las Vegas Strip or the energy of Wall Street. However, I’ve always been content to have my own story play out on the streets of small towns. Even if everybody’s in my business!
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Michelle will be awarding promotional postcards from Carina Press with 10% off coupons to one commenter at every stop, and a $10 Amazon GC + a copy of Bartlett's Poems for Occasions!
Make sure to check in at the other stops on the tour to enter! Click HERE to see a list.