With: Barbara White Daille
The title of this post probably makes it sound like a plug for a dating service. And that would be a great topic for a future post! But in this one, I’m talking about the types of settings we love to read about when we pick up a romance novel.
“Where” we find love between the covers…book covers!…can be based on a real location or a fictional locale. Sometimes these books are set on a grand scale. You know what I mean—the tales that draw us into a sweeping setting, such as all of Europe, the expanse of the Pacific Ocean, or the realm of the British Empire.
But setting doesn’t have to be large-scale. Stories can also unfold in a single location so important, it takes on the role of a character in the book. Think of a hospital in a medical romance… A ranch in a Western romance... A safe house in a romantic suspense...
Whatever the hero and heroine’s story “world,” it’s a place where they find each other and, eventually, fall in love. A place we fall in love with and, often, want to return to again and again.
This is very clear in One Week to Win Her Boss, the next book in my Snowflake Valley series. The book releases next week, and to celebrate, I'm giving away some gifts! More on that below. Meanwhile, the following blurb from the cover of the book will—I hope—give you an idea of the story world:
ONE WEEK TO WIN HER BOSS
Single mom Amber Barnett loves family, kids, Christmas…and unfortunately, her boss, confirmed bachelor Michael DeFranco. It's a crush she really needs to get over. Except, when she’s temporarily forced from her apartment, her only option is to stay at Michael’s private ski lodge, where she's the housekeeper. No problem. Her handsome boss rarely visits Snowflake Valley unexpectedly, plus he’s spending the holidays with his family. Or so she thinks…
A stormy Christmas Eve reunion leaves Michael seeking the solitude of his lodge, where he finds Amber in residence—and in trouble. Attempting to save her from her matchmaking family, he announces they’re a couple. His good deed backfires when they’re instantly included in each and every holiday event in town. So much for solitude.
Only the more time he spends with the beautiful, cheery brunette, the more he yearns to make things real between them. But he and Amber want different things, and Michael could never be the family man she's looking for.
In the case of One Week to Win Her Boss, the characters’ story world is the entire town of Snowflake Valley, Nevada. As I’m currently working on book three of the series, I’ve spent quite a bit of time there. And I’ve come to love it.
It’s the specific details of a setting that makes it come alive for us. Those can range from the building-by-building outline of a college campus to the color of the napkins and placemats in a small-town teashop.
What makes the difference is not just how the setting is described but who is relating that description. Those napkins in that teashop will mean different things to the newly widowed heroine trying to save her failing business versus the biker dude who just breezed into the dry town and is being served oolong-what?!? instead of the Jack Daniels he’s craving.
I hope the excerpt below gives you an idea of why filtering the setting through the eyes of a character can be so important. Quick note: We’re seeing this scene through the hero’s point of view.
Amber touched the medallion hanging from its ribbon.
Why she’d done that, he couldn’t tell. Maybe he didn’t want to know. But the action reminded him of his promise. And gave him something to do besides worry about keeping his hands to himself. “What do you say? Everybody ready for dessert?”
“Sounds good to me,” Nick agreed. “Those marshmallows over the campfire only whet my appetite for something sweet.”
The way Amber whets mine.
She was his something sweet.
Too sweet. Too hurt. Too surrounded by family.
“Let’s go, then,” she said. “There will be a waiting line at the Candy Cane.”
Amber had told him the businesses on Icicle Lane stayed open later than usual this time of year, taking advantage of the additional tourists here for the festival. Night had fallen a long while ago, but the area was as bright as day. Strings of colored lights arced across the street between the posts. Wavy rectangles of light shining through store windows and doorways made the sidewalks look like rivers of gold.
He shook his head.
She glanced up. “What’s wrong?” she asked quietly under the noise of the conversations around them.
“Nothing. I was just thinking everything seems…” He laughed sheepishly, then finished, “…magical, I guess. Must be why you like it so much.”
He heard her sharp intake of breath. As if to cover the reaction, she opened her eyes and mouth wide in exaggerated surprise. “Oh, my. Is that really you talking, Scrooge? Can it be you’re beginning to mellow?”
“I didn’t say I liked the place,” he protested, laughing again.
“Ah…but that’s the thing about Snowflake Valley. It’s not just a place, it’s a feeling.”
Ah… Well…yes. Snowflake Valley is a “feeling.” But Amber feels very differently than Michael does about the town she loves. About the holidays and family and marriage. And that’s just where the trouble begins for these two.
From tiny town to an entire continent, what’s your favorite setting for a romance novel? I’d love to know. Meanwhile, if you're on Goodreads, the Countdown Widget above has a link to add the book to your shelf. And don't forget to check below, where you'll find info about the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Amazon Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B076PJ7SNN Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076PJ7SNN
Amazon Canada https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B076PJ7SNN
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1127274067
Apple iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/one-week-to-win-her-boss/id1299758237 Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/one-week-to-win-her-boss
About the Author:
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too! Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years later...in the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life: https://barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter.
Find Barbara online:
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-White-Daille/e/B002J6B0QQ Harlequin author page https://www.harlequin.com/shop/authors/23759_barbara-white-daille.html
Entangled author page http://entangledpublishing.com/category/barbara-white-daille/ Bookbub author page https://www.bookbub.com/authors/barbara-white-daille
And don't forget to enter her Rafflecopter! a Rafflecopter giveaway