Monday, October 31, 2011

New Release - Small Town Girl by Linda Cunningham

It’s time to get a peek at our new release that will be available on November 1st! Linda Cunningham’s Small Town Girl is a wonderful story of a woman finding herself in her past and in a small town she thought she hated.

When Lauren Smith begrudgingly returns to the small Vermont town where she grew up to arrange for the sale of her late grandmother’s old farmhouse, she has everything she’s always worked for. Lauren drives a Mercedes. She’s engaged to one of the most powerful businessmen in the country and wears a three-carat diamond ring to prove it. She lives in a penthouse on Central Park West. Yes, Lauren has everything she considers important. She is smugly prepared for any eventuality in dealing with these country people so Lauren isn’t surprised when the hot water isn’t working at the old house. No problem. She simply looks in the phone book and calls the local plumber.

The moment Caleb Cochran steps through the old screen door to fix the hot water, the glittery facade that masquerades as Lauren’s life begins to crumble around her. Though she tries hard to deny their mutual, magnetic attraction, Lauren is finally forced to reevaluate her focus and come face-to-face with her true self. Small Town Girl is a story of discovering the true meaning of life and love.

Linda was nice enough to answer a few questions for us and share her thoughts about her writing and small towns –

Omnific: Small Town Girl is set in Vermont  and New York City, two totally different lifestyles. Which do you prefer and why?

Linda: Without a doubt, I prefer Vermont.  There's nothing like a visit to the city for occasional shopping or a show, but that's all I can take – a visit.  When I wake up in the mornings I look out onto lawn and gardens and see my horses in the pasture.  The air is clean and smells good.  It's quiet.  I'm not sure I could think straight in the city.  Maybe that's what happened to Lauren!  She had to leave the city before she could sort things out.  In my own experience, I think that individuals value eachother more in a small town.  Sometimes a small town may seem like a nosey, bickering family, with everybody's nose in everybody else's business, but there is a definite security in truly knowing your neighbor.  In small towns, people still rely on and are there to help their neighbors because it's always personal.

Omnific : I’ve actually lived in a small New England town, and you’ve done a great job of painting the “small town life” that Lauren encounters. Is it based on a personal experience or just a compilation of small towns in general?

Linda : I've lived in a small town all my life.  Clark's Corner, Vermont, is a composite of the town I grew up in and the town where I now live.  There is something very comforting about small town life.  It used to be where most people lived but now most of our national population is clustered in the big urban areas.  In the “Small Town Girl” novels, I want to point out the benefits of living in a small town.  I want to illustrate how people can live loving, fulfilling and contributing lives even in a country village.  That has been my personal observation living as part of a small town community throughout the years.  

Omnific : What is your writing process like? Do you write when it hits you or do you make time to write?

Linda : I definitely write my best when it hits me!  There's nothing like the feeling when everything is aligned and the words are flowing and making sense!  However, as all writers know, that doesn't happen every day.  Sometimes it's a real chore.  I write something almost every day.  Sometimes all I can get out is a few words, or I will leave off the book I'm writing and write a short story or even a vignette that I will “stockpile” and use later in a book.  I wake up early, about 5:30, do chores and then write.  I like to get in about four hours every day.  Some days, I actually write for four hours.  Those are the good days.  Some days I stare at the computer screen for three hours waiting for inspiration.  That's when I bring up Twitter!

Omnific: Now, we are all about romance here at Omnific, so what is your favorite romantic scene from a book?

Linda : Wow!  That's a hard one!  I guess I have to say that the scene in Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy finally declare out loud their feelings for each other to each other, is probably one of the best romantic scenes ever!  Romance, after all, is the triumph of true love over any obstacle and no book illustrates this better.

Omnific : If they made that book into a movie, who would play the hero? Or if they have did you like the casting of the hero who would you have liked to see in that role?

Linda : The Keira Knightly film was excellent.  Matthew MacFadyen was an absolutely smoldering Mr. Darcy!  However, the TV mini-series starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett was also wonderful.  If I was filming a new version, I would probably cast Eric Bana as Mr. Darcy.  I could see him as Heathcliff or Mr. Rochester, too!   

Omnific:  I know that you are already working on a sequel to Small Town Girl, any hints that you want to give us about the story? Any more yummy volunteer firemen to look forward to?

Linda : The current Small Town Girl story deals with the way family and business have to mesh in order to succeed.  It is a story of two selfish, self-centered people who must work out their differences in order to find that they become stronger through their love for each other.  There may be a bit more skullduggery in this one!  As for hunky volunteer firemen – I wouldn't write a story without them!
Thanks so much, Linda for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you the best of luck with the book!
Linda also shared one of her favorite excerpts from Small Town Girl with us (and I have to agree that it is a good one!).

             “Damn!” she said aloud, smacking her hands on the steering wheel. Darkness was closing in. It was about a mile back to the village. She had no intention of walking alone on a deserted country road back to a village where she was a stranger. She had no idea who to call locally in such a predicament. Then she looked down the road. Just where the road had begun to rise sat Caleb’s house. She could see a light on inside. Someone might be home. Did she dare knock at the door? After their rather uncomfortable exchange at MacTavish’s Pub, she really didn’t want to confront him again from such a vulnerable position. And she could not be more vulnerable than right now, right here, in a strange place, in the dark, with a dead car.
            “Damn!” she muttered again out loud, then thought more realistically, what am I going to do now? She really needed help. And what did it matter? She was leaving town tomorrow anyway and would never see him again. She was not going to stoop to playing games. It was not a matter of daring to knock and ask for help or not daring. It was not a matter of daring at all. It was just the intelligent thing to do. Her only option.
            Of course she dared! What was stopping her? After all, other than Joan the Realtor, he was the only person she knew in town. “Come on,” she convinced herself as she climbed out of the car. “It’s nothing. He’s nothing to you.” However, she could not seem to still her thudding heart.
            Lauren made her way tenuously up the front walk. Through the illuminated window, she could see the kitchen, so she made for the side door. Hesitantly, she raised her hand, then boldly knocked at the door. She could hear movement in the room and the door opened. Caleb stood in the doorway. He was naked from the waist up and his feet were bare. His jeans, obviously hastily thrown on, were zipped, but he held the button closed with his hand. His face registered surprise, then he looked worried.
            “Lauren! What are you doing here? Are you okay?”
            Of course, Lauren had never seen Caleb without his shirt, or so late at night. She stared. She was awed by how strikingly masculine he was. His muscles were knit together, sculpted, but relaxed, too, as though they were resting yet capable of springing into any kind of action at any time. She could see the lines at his hips that defined his loin. Lauren felt the blood rise up the sides of her neck and flush her cheeks till they burned. Caleb seemed to notice her blush and appeared suddenly aware of his state of undress.
            “Ah, sorry,” he said self-consciously. “I just stepped out of the shower and threw on my jeans.” He gave a funny little smile. “Long time, no see.”
            “I need your help, Caleb,” Lauren blurted out, ignoring his sarcasm. “Your house was right here, and you’re the only person I know in town anyway. I was driving home from the pub, and my car just died. See?” Her situation suddenly sounded so juvenile and lame.

Again, thank you, Linda for sharing with us.

Linda would love to hear from her readers and you can find her here:

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