Small Town Life with Jennie Marts

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by Jennie Marts

I love writing and reading Small Town Romance because I am originally from a small town myself. I grew up in a little town in Kansas and there is just a different feel about small towns. They are places where people take care of each other, where everyone knows you, and knows your parents and a sometimes know your grandparents, too.

After graduating college, my husband and I packed up a small U-haul, our old VW bug, our new puppy, and a goldfish and moved to a small town in Montana. It was about the same size as the town I’d grown up in (population: 1200ish), and we lived there for four years, had our kids there, and made some of our best life-long friends there. We didn’t have family in the state, but when we had our first son, the community was there, banding together to help us.

That’s the great thing about small towns, the people might always be in your business and you can’t get away with much, but they are always there if you need them.

Because I loved Montana, I knew I had to write a series set there. The Hearts of Montana series is set in Broken Falls, and the town is a combination of Fort Benton, Montana and Washington, Kansas (the two towns I lived in).

In Tucked Away, Charlie Ryan is a city girl who inherits a farm in small town Montana and when she gets there, she finds a lonely teenage girl, an ornery goat named Clyde, a super cute cowboy, and a place she can finally call home.

At first, Charlie is totally lost. There is no Starbucks, no shopping mall, not even a fast food restaurant. But the town takes her in, even the three busybody old ladies who watch over the community from their faded bench on the town square. Everyone in Broken Falls knew and loved her grandmother, Gigi, so they accept Charlie and take her under their collective wing.

In writing small town romance, the town almost becomes a character in itself. You have to plan that if your heroine runs into the grocery store to grab something, she’ll most likely run into someone she knows, especially if she’s buying something embarrassing.

I can attest to this fact. The first time I took a pregnancy test, we weren’t quite convinced of the results and needed a second test. But our town only had two grocery stores and we were friends with both sets of owners. The next closest store was forty-five minutes away. I couldn’t buy the test myself because we didn’t want my work to find out I was pregnant just yet. So, I had my best friend, who was already six months pregnant herself, go into the store and buy the test for me. The cashier looked down at my friend’s swollen stomach and said, “I can probably save the fifteen dollars for this test.” My friend smiled and said it was a gag gift for a baby shower. We still laugh over that story. And I really was pregnant.

The Hearts of Montana series follow three sets of friends, and I have no doubt that Cherry would go into a store and buy a pregnancy test for her friend, Charlie. And she’d have a smart mouth remark to anyone that questioned her. The three heroes, Zack, Taylor, and Cash, all grew up together and act more like brothers than friends.

Hidden Away is Cherry and Taylor’s story and it’s about an orphaned boy, a scruffy dog named Rex, a couple that gets a second chance at romance, and a secret that could tear them all apart.

The third book in the series is coming out in September, and with Tucked Away being on sale right now, it’s the perfect time to get caught up in all of the romance and drama that happens in Broken Falls.

All of my series revolve around small towns. Whether it’s in Montana or in a small town in the mountains where a park ranger helps run a bed and breakfast or a small town in Colorado where a book club finds mystery and romance, I try to bring the people and the flavor of the towns into each book.

So, grab a glass of iced tea and a slice of pie and pull up a rocker on the porch. As you read, I hope you fall in love with these places as much as I have and that reading the next book in the series makes you feel like you’re coming home.

Get your copy today! On sale for just 99¢!



About the Book:

Sometimes you find what you need in the most unlikely places…

Charlie Ryan’s cheating fiancé left her with a broken heart and even broker bank account. She’s hit rock bottom, but everything is about to change. Suddenly, she’s inherited a Montana farm named Tucked Away from a grandmother she never knew existed. A fresh start is just what she needs—and no men in her future this time, even if the local vet is as hot as a Montana summer.

Zack Cooper is content with his simple life. Running his veterinary practice and raising his daughter are enough to keep him busy, and he doesn’t need a high-maintenance city girl like his ex who plans to sell her grandma’s ranch and split faster than a setting sun. So why can’t he stop thinking about Charlie and her hot-pink cowboy boots…and the way her eyes say she wants to stay while her lips tease him with plans of leaving?

Just when both start to believe love might be worth the risk‪…one night will change everything.‬


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2 Replies on Small Town Life with Jennie Marts

  • Love small town contemporary romance. We also lived in a small town of Kansas, no family around. The town brought us right in!

    • That’s so cool Shari! I’ve driven through Kansas and all I saw was a lot of flat land. lol. I can imagine they have some great small towns though.

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