Small Towns; Big Hearts

Flynn_GodBlessTXI spent yesterday fighting the urban traffic snarls that occur daily in Houston and other large cities. At the end of the day, exhausted, I realized traffic was another of the many attractions small towns hold for me.

In a small town, there are no traffic jams. No rush hours twice a day with each one taking 2-3 hours. No rain induced “domino effect” rear end crashes.

If there is an accident, someone will pull over to see if they can help or call your family to come to the scene. People in small town have big hearts.

Ah! Small Towns

I love small towns with businesses decorated to express the owner’s opinions like the store above. Because I grew up in a small town, I know a lot about these unique communities — the social structure, the economics, and, most importantly, the people who live in small towns.

Favorite Book Setting

A small town is my favorite place to set a story, and many of my contemporary romance novels are set in small towns. Small towns are like characters in a book–they give color and depth to the story.

Most of the time, I live in a townhouse in Houston, but on the weekends, my husband and I head to the country to our house there. The sky is bigger it seems in the country. Sitting on the back porch at night with a million brilliant stars above and the quiet sounds of a coyote howl gives a sensation of tranquility.

I subscribe to the weekly newspaper in the town nearest our country house. That small town, with a population of 664, is the largest of the nearby towns. My goodness. That makes my hometown where I grew up look huge with its boasted population of 5,000+. (I also subscribe to my hometown’s weekly newspaper.)

Homage to The Tonight Show Kings

When Jay Leno and Johnny Carson, the kings of The Tonight Show,  read the unintentionally funny items from newspapers and advertisements sent in from viewers, they had me–and probably most of America–laughing.

Since I subscribe to 2 small town newspapers, I see funny stuff in print all the time. Of course, it’s not supposed to be funny!

I just about fell out of my chair when I read in one of those papers about the man who planted a bomb in his wife’s car. No, that wasn’t funny, but the comment from the Sheriff’s Department was.

When the small town reporter asked the Deputy about the explosive device, the Deputy earnestly replied: “The explosive device did not explode, and we can’t tell whether it was homemade or not.”

Excuse me? Homemade or not? Are there stores that actually sell car bombs? I mean, aren’t all car bombs, by their very nature, homemade?

Life Is Just Different

The following is a perfect example of rural Texas life in the oil patch. I don’t think you’ll see a sign like this in the city.

Sign on a local restaurant: “We deliver to surrounding oil fields.”

Now that’s small town.

Life really is different in rural and small town America. The people seem more patient and kinder. It’s almost as if there are stock characters, and every town is required to have its requisite number of them.

The pace is definitely more relaxed. My Romantic Comedy series Texas One Night Stands is all about small town life where you sneeze and someone across town says, “God bless you.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Susannah Quinn, the heroine of The Trouble With Love, that closeness is suffocating. She’s tired of the town knowing everything about “poor little Susannah” and plans to escape as soon as she can. The only thing standing in her way is a tall, dark, and too darn sexy for her own peace of mind FBI Special Agent.

RJAIn the second book of the series, Romeo and Judy Anne, high school principal Judy Anne Palmer is tired of being up on a pedestal of respectability. She kicks over the traces one night in Dallas.

When her one-night lover shows up in her hometown, she’s afraid her night of passion will end up being the biggest scandal her little Texas town has ever seen.

Both of these books, along with my others, are available at most ebook sellers; audio book editions are at Audible.com and iTunes.

Your Opinion

Do you like small towns as a book setting? If not, what’s your favorite setting? Leave a comment with your email address, and I’ll send you a coupon code for a free copy of The Trouble With Love.


Joan Reeves writes sexy Contemporary Romance Novels–available at most ebook sellers. (Audio editions available at Audible, and iTunes.) All of Joan’s books have the same underlying premise: “It’s never too late to live Happily Ever After.”

Joan lives her Happily Ever After with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State.

Readers, sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL . Writers, subscribe to WritingHacks, Joan’s free NL for authors. Connect Online with Joan: Blog * Facebook * Google+  * Twitter * YouTube.


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Joan Reeves

About Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves—Keeping Romance Alive...One Sexy Book at a Time—is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. From Romantic Comedy to Romantic Thriller, all of her books have the same premise: "It's never too late to live happily ever after." Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between a book-cluttered home in Houston and a quiet house in the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch, stare at the big night sky, and listen to the coyotes howl. Sign up for Joan's Mailing List and be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Visit Joan's Blog, SlingWords.

6 Replies to “Small Towns; Big Hearts”

  1. I’m using a smallish town in my cozy series…Galveston, Texas. I find wandering among the locals very interesting when I visit. I don’t always use small towns, but I can certainly say, the novels I read which do, are usually a delight 🙂

  2. Love that, “not sure if it was homemade or not!” Small town books are my favorite, whether it’s a romance, mystery, or suspense, the location enriches the storyline. Thanks for sharing, Joan

  3. I live in a small town of only 8,000 right on the Ocean and it’s exactly as you described it. The people are wonderful, they really decorate the place nicely and… I never get lost…LOL!

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