Settings and their Stories

As readers, we often choose a book by its setting. Certain places and historical periods intrigue us more than others.

As I thought about the settings of my novels, I realized some had stories or at least a connection of some kind to me and to my life. Several of my locations are fictitious, but there is still a personal link. I’ll share with you the background of these links!


One December

This was the first book I published. It begins in suburban New York in an Italian American family, a common ethnicity around New York City. The heroine, Nikki, moves to Paris for a year. You may know that Paris holds a dear place in my heart since I lived there for 5 years and in France, a total of 13.

Through Nikki’s experience, I shared details of daily life in Paris. More importantly, I filtered through her story my own experiences living as a foreigner, learning the language, making mistakes, and gradually adapting and finding joy there. This is one of my most personal books.


Circle Back Around

This novel takes place in a fictitious North Carolina town near Winston-Salem. The area is the true location of many textile mills, both historic and still active, which has always been an important industry in North Carolina. Though textiles play a big role in the story, Haily’s flight to Colorado and back again (and the hurt it caused) links somewhat to a personal experience I had moving back and forth to France, sparking my initial idea.


Prodigals in Provence and A Promise in Provence

These two books arose from my deep love for Provence, France. I’ve always been enchanted by the culture and beauty there. In brainstorming the plot for Prodigals, Bree’s business, Le Bon Voyage, was inspired by the real-life travel business of a friend. I have personally visited all the places in this series. Prodigals takes place in the Luberon area of Provence.

I also have a heart for refugees, so I wove the story of a refugee boy into A Promise in Provence, which takes place in Cavaillon, to the east of the Luberon area.


The Second Chance Series

This 4-book women’s fiction series has several settings. Two books take place in North Carolina, one in Florence, Italy, and one in Indiana. I chose the University of North Carolina as the college where the four women originally become friends. After college, they end up in various towns. My love of European culture figured into the Julia book (following a trip to Florence!) Raleigh, NC starts off the series with Marissa (and then she goes to Wilmington.)

Sydney begins in Charlotte, NC,  but ends up in her fictitious hometown of Kennessee near the coast. Eden lives near Muncie, IN, but resides in a fictitious suburb. (I’ve also lived in Indiana!)


The Brenner Falls Series

A lot of small-town romance series take place in the Midwest and Southeast, so I thought I’d change it up a little and create a town in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. As I mentioned, I grew up in Pennsylvania. I thought the town’s proximity to the river and to larger cities like New York and Philadelphia would allow my imagination plenty of places to roam for future books in the series.

Even in the case of fictitious locations, I research the area and bring in true details, including topography, history, industry, and ethnicity.

I have several more books planned for the Brenner Falls series, but I’m planning a trip to Nice in France and wanted to do something there too. So, expect a novel or novella from that city! (I’ll graft it into the Provence Series…)

So, there’s a whole world out there to discover and write books about!

Watch for Book 3 in the Brenner Falls Series, which will be out by the end of April 2024.

Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for spring and summer promos.

More news, AUDIOBOOKS (Yay!) are now available for all of my novels through Audible. (One December and Marissa Rewritten are on Apple, and the Brenner Falls series so far is available on Google in audiobook.)

Have a blessed spring! And happy reading!