Before I started writing romance, I tried my hand at urban fantasy…except, it wasn’t quite urban fantasy, because my characters never stepped foot into a city (or even the suburbs). I tried marketing it to agents as “rural fantasy” but that didn’t fly.
Now, I write paranormal romances instead of urban fantasy-style romance, but my penchant for rural settings hasn’t changed. My Sons of Gulielmus series is set predominantly in southeastern North Carolina, somewhere between Wilmington and New Bern. It’s the “sticks.” (That means “boondocks,” or a rural area with lots of trees for all of you non-Southerners.) I chose that area because although there are a lot of large towns/small cities within it that have higher population density, the area is still predominantly two-lane road rural. Most small errands are inconvenient there, and the people are…well. Quirky.
It’s the kind of place where going to the grocery store can be a half-day errand because the good store that carries more national brands is in the next town over. Looking for a fancy brand of coffee or teabag? You’re probably not going to find it. You’ll drink the cheap stuff or else wait on an Amazon delivery. And then you’ll cry because the mail guy left it on your back porch and someone’s hunting dog came along and tore up the box. And then the mail guy will get surly when you tell him about it because he was only trying to do you a favor when he put it back there.
It’s the kind of place where it wouldn’t be unusual for the pharmacist to call you up and whisper that your birth control prescription is ready. It doesn’t matter that you’re only taking it because you have bad cramps. You’re obviously doing the devil’s work if you need them.
It’s the kind of place where people run businesses out of their homes and don’t pay a cent of extra tax for it because who’s going to enforce it? Really, who’s going to harass an old lady about that thousand dollars she earned selling collard greens from her garden and eggs from her chicken coop? No one. Know why? Because everyone knows that old lady makes a damned good lemon cake, and she’ll know who’ll ratted her out. Snitches don’t get stitches—they just get no lemon cake.
It’s the kind of place where no one’s going to ask too many questions. If your lie is convincing enough, folks’ll go along with it if it suits them. They may talk about you behind your back, but if the sheriff visits and asks if there’s been any funny happenings going on down at the Morton place, they’ll say “No.” Why? Because even though the Mortons are weirdos who always seem to have a lot of large, unbelievably attractive men coming and going, that lady Clarissa makes a damned good lemon cake and she undercharges for her eggs.
Who wouldn’t want to set a paranormal romance in a place like that? The setting becomes a character of its own! You can learn more about the area in A Demon in Love, and be sure to go back and read the first book in the series, A Demon in Waiting, too. The third book in the Sons of Gulielmus arc—A Demon Bewitched—will be published this fall.
A Demon in Love
Sons of Gulielmus
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Date of Publication: 5/5/14
Number of pages: 163 (PDF)
Word Count: 79,000
Charles Edison has spent most of his 123 years courting women for Hell. As a faithful son of the demon Gulielmus, he’s never known true affection for women. Which is funny, seeing as how he’s descended from a love god on his mother’s side. Now that he sees his brother falling head over heels, Charles wants the same for himself. He wants to belong to someone.
The Fates conspire to right old wrongs, and Charles learns the woman destined for him is one he shouldn’t want. Marion Wilder’s family has been on the supernatural Most Wanted List for twenty-five years because they were responsible for the demise of a demon. Gulielmus would kill her if he had the chance.
But Marion’s the only human woman Charles can touch without harming. She’s his one chance at having a normal life and a real family, and he would give up anything to keep her. Even his father’s favor.
About the Author:
Holley Trent is a Carolina girl gone west. Raised in rural coastal North Carolina, she currently resides on the Colorado Front Range with her family. She writes sassy contemporary and quirky paranormal romances set in her home state.
She’s hard at work writing other stories set in the Sons of Gulielmus world, including one for the mysterious Creole cambion Claude.
See Holley’s complete backlist of paranormal and contemporary romances at her website, http://www.holleytrent.com. When she’s not on deadline, she boldly tweets under the handle @holleytrent.