When I set out to write Where the Heart Lies, I created my characters, Alicia and Liam. I liked both of them, thought they had realistic problems, problems that would keep them apart if their love wasn’t strong enough to overcome them. So then I started to wonder: Where do they live?
I thought about this a long time. Where could two people fall in love but be held apart? I’ve lived in small towns almost all my life. I was born and raised in North Carolina, and I continue to live here as an adult because I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. So I’m pretty familiar with small town life in this state. It’s both wonderful and much less than idyllic.
For the purposes of my story, I chose Hillsborough, N.C., one of the most beautiful, historic, quaint southern towns I’ve ever lived in. I spent four very happy years there shortly after I got married. My first son was born while we lived there. I left a part of my heart there when we moved away.
I took a lot of liberties with Hillsborough’s geography. The Colonial Inn, where Liam and Alicia have their first date, was open when I was there but has been closed for years. To the best of my knowledge, there is no shop in downtown Hillsborough like Lulu’s sex shop. Also, though Hillsborough does have a very nice little book store I visit whenever I’m there, the store Alicia takes over from her father, The Book Nook, is based largely on my memories of a similar store in my own hometown by the same name.
What I came up with after I peopled my half imaginary Hillsborough with townsfolk concocted for the purpose of both encouraging and hindering Liam and Alicia’s love, was what I felt was the perfect background for a slow, lingering kind of love story with southern grace and a spice of antagonism.
Here’s the blurb for Where the Heart Lies:
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?
What about you? Where would you fall in love if you could? Leave me a comment here for the chance to win a $10 e-gift card to Amazon!