I can’t say it was on my radar to write a small town novella set in Montana. First of all, the length scared me. It’s funny that thirty thousand words might sound harder to write than fifty, but trust me, it can be. Also, Presents novels are pure escapist fantasy—which is why I love writing them. I can visit Paris and St. Petersburg, while wearing Versace, and incur neither the cost nor the jet lag.
I genuinely love living in our small town, though, which made writing Hometown Hero somewhat of a love letter to our little community. I felt both Chase’s ambition to make his mark in the bigger world and Skye’s devotion to Marietta, where she has deep roots. I struggled right along with them as they tried to figure out how they would make their relationship work when they were so far apart in their geographic wants. (Literally I struggled—I didn’t know how I was going to end this story.)
After it was all done and dusted, I was really pleased and found myself reluctant to leave Marietta and the characters I’d created. So I signed up for a second book. And a third. Then a fourth and a fifth in a series that’s now branded as Love In Montana. There’s even a spin-off book, Scorch, with Piper and Bastian from book four visiting the firefighters in Glacier Creek. I like to call Scorch book number four-point-five.
Be sure to check out the bonus scenes.