Join RNIC in welcoming author Farrah Rochon to the site! You might remember that her novella, A Little Bit Naughty, was reviewed by RNIC and received a 5-Star rating! Farrah is here to discuss the elusive multi-cultural small town romances. Take it away Farrah!
The Elusive Multicultural Small-Town Romance by Farrah Rochon
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for small-town romances. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a town of less than 2,500 people, with zero—yes, zero—stoplights. In fact, I can probably count on my fingers the number of stop signs in my tiny hometown.
I hail from one of several small, but equally unique and diverse close-knit communities along the bank of the Mississippi River, all with a character very much their own. These are towns where a “quick” visit to the local post office often turns into an hour-long undertaking peppered with well-meaning folks inquiring about every member of your family, even though they probably saw those same family members in church on Sunday. It’s one of the charms of small town living, and those same well-meaning (okay, nosy) folks are a big part of that charm.
That is why I love, love, love small-town romances so much. They remind me of home. Often in these books the town becomes just as much a character as the actual human characters.
However, when it came to my favorite pastime, I was hard-pressed to find small-town romance novels with a cast of characters that wasn’t primarily, or as was more often the case, exclusively white. You can understand why I found this both puzzling and a bit disappointing. I knew such places existed; my hometown and those others dotting the mighty Mississippi are proof.
The more popular small-town romances became within the romance industry, the more disturbed I became at the lack of diversity in these books. So, to remedy this underrepresentation of people who looked like me and a town that looked like mine, I decided to write my own small town romance series. Thus, the Bayou Dreams series with Harlequin Kimani Romance was born.
The Bayou Dreams series is set in the fiction town of Gauthier, Louisiana, and while it is not a mirror image of my small hometown, there are certainly many similarities. There’s a group of nosy, well meaning women who make up the town’s civic association (shhh…my mother just so happens to be president of my small town’s civic association, but I would never call her nosy!). Residents frequent mom and pop stores that have been serving the community for ages, and Friday nights are reserved for high school football.
I received such great feedback about my Bayou Dreams series that I decided a spinoff was in order. The Moments in Maplesville novella series is set in the town that neighbors Gauthier. It has all the elements of a small town, but has undergone rapid growth in recent years, which hasn’t been well received by all residents. This, too, is something I’ve observed in my own experiences of small-town life.
Both series embody everything that I love about small-town living. Both Gauthier and Maplesville have developed personalities of their own that, hopefully, make readers feel as if they’ve traveled down to the Louisiana bayou. Most importantly, both series illustrate that not all small towns in the great U. S. of A. are monochromatic. They can be colorful and diverse, and just as with those other popular small-town series, just as exciting.
Blurb for book one in the Bayou Dream series, A Forever Kind of Love:
Fifteen years ago, Mya Dubois couldn’t get out of her small Louisiana town fast enough. Especially after Corey Anderson showed her what heartbreak really was. Now a family tragedy has brought Mya home to Gauthier—and the man she vowed to forget forever. But when memories flame into rekindled desire, Mya is ready to flee again before Corey discovers her painful secret.
In high school, Mya was Corey’s girl. Now she’s a sought-after Broadway designer who won’t give the former pro-baseball player the time of day. Until they’re brought together to revive their close-knit community and their passion is reawakened. This time, Corey isn’t letting her get away. Not when he has a second chance to win back his first—and only—love.
Buy it Now!
Here’s the info on the giveaway!
Prize: Want to “visit” the town of Gauthier or Maplesville? One lucky commenter will win Always and Forever from the Bayou Dreams series or an ebook from the Moments in Maplesville novella series, A Perfect Holiday Fling or A Little Bit Naughty.
Eligibility: You must be a subscriber to RNIC newsletter.
How to enter: Answer the following question: Which do you prefer, small-town romances, urban settings, or both?
Deadline: December 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST
Note: By participating in this contest, the winner has given permission to RNIC to share his/her name and email address with the person conducting the contest so they can forward the prize(s). Prizes opened to U.S. entrants only unless otherwise mentioned.
You can reach Farrah online:
About the author:
Farrah Rochon, award-winning author of the popular Holmes Brothers series, hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. She has garnered much acclaim for her New York Sabers football series for Harlequin’s Kimani Romance imprint. Farrah was named Shades of Romance Magazine’s Best New Author of 2007, and her debut novel, Deliver Me, claimed the prize for Best Multicultural Romance Debut. She has been nominated for the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America and an RT BOOKReviews Reviewer’s Choice Award. She spends way too much money on chocolate and Broadway shows.