Friday, August 16, 2013

Small Town Secrets

This blog was first posted on the After Dark blog July 12, 2013.

Hi Beverly,

I blogged about small town secrets and tried to tie in my books which take place in a very small town in Texas. 

This is the blog and I hope it works for you.

I thought I'd talk about small town secrets today since my latest book is part of an ongoing series which takes place in a small town. I've lived in both big and small cities, and there are benefits to both. I loved being in the city and going to the concerts, living by the beach, and in the mountains, and enjoyed the local nightlife at every opportunity. Small towns shut down as soon as the sun goes down, except maybe one bar where the locals hang out. It's a completely different experience to see a McDonalds that never shuts down to having to drive an hour to the nearest chain restaurant. 

My Riding Western series is based on life in the small town of Sunnybrook. It's a place that is completely fictional, but filled with sexy cowboys and smack dab in the middle of Texas. I love small town living in some ways. I walk by my neighbors homes and they are outside on their front porches in their rocking chairs. We talk more, we smile more, and we laugh often but there can also be some downsides.

One of them, is everybody knows your business. There is no keeping secrets in a small town. Everybody knows who everyone else is sleeping with, and all the dirty laundry goes through the gossip circles. It's a fact of life. So, I either learned to live with it or fight it when I felt I had to. Most the time problems just sort of worked themselves out.  

When I was pregnant, everyone knew before I told them and they knew when I delivered that baby. Some folks showed up on our doorstep with dinner so we didn't have to cook the day I got out of the hospital. I really believe most people have a good heart. I din't take it personal that everyone knew my business or get offended. It's just the way things were. News travels fast. When I lost my second baby in a miscarriage that same network managed to spread the word so I didn't have to explain to everyone.I got a hug everywhere I went for weeks. In some ways, it was nice not to have to explain what happened over and over. 

It worked well, when my grandparents had to slaughter one of their cows in their herd and only had one freezer. They had so much meat that they paid the butcher in steak and still had enough to share with the folks who showed up. My family ate good that year and I actually got tired of eating meat. 

It's hard to keep secrets and sometimes I don't want to. We bought our home at an auction and normally I don't interact much with the previous owners. I talk through our Realtors or mediators. However in this case,  the grandkids asked permission to come back to the property and get some plants they planted. I didn't mind at all. I enjoyed getting to know the families that lived in our home before we moved in. I enjoyed learning about the history of their family and what happened to the people before me. 

It made me feel like I was instantly part of the community and an extended family member. 

Sunnybrook is just like that. Nobody carries any vicious intent towards anyone else. The people are welcoming and accepting of everyone, which really surprised Derek, the main character in Heart of a Cowboy. He was used to fighting for everything in life, even a spot to sleep at night. He stole a man's wallet and never expected the guy to bail him out of jail or give him a job, but Jesse isn't a man to hold a grudge.

The older people want to see the younger generation happy and eventually married, with kids of their own. There is no gossip circle that ends without plotting the end of someone's life of bachelorhood. Millie is part of that circle and she didn't stop matchmaking when her son, Jesse got married to Angela. She has one grandbaby on the way and she thinks the whole world would be happier if they found their lifemate. They don't believe in divorce but when it happens, the people support their friends and stick by their family.

In Cowboys Don't Sing, the main characters had to keep the biggest secret of all. I was faced with a question, How do you hide a famous person in plain sight? If someone's face has been seen all over the world, even the people inside of the smallest town would recognize her. Esteban and Roland didn't want to agree to keep Loretta Brooks at their ranch, but there was really no where else for her to go. She couldn't hide for long, and when the town found out, they didn't blast her secret to the media like she expected. They did the one thing she needed, and that was to accept and protect her from the rest of the world. Loretta might have been an outsider at first, but she was family once she decided to stay. 

Secrets are hard to keep, but especially in a small town, and I wouldn't live anywhere else. 

Welcome to Sunnybrook. 

Riding Western Style
Book 2: Heart of a Cowboy (M/M/M)
Book 3: Cowboys Don't Sing (M/F/M)
Book 4: **Coming soon Winter of 2014

Check out all of Missy's Books on her Author page on Bookstrand:

Thanks for having me out today. I enjoyed being able to share my experiences of living in a small town and all about my books.

Lots of Love,
Missy Lyons

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