Guest Post: Petal, Georgia – Small Town Love by Lauren Dane

We are super excited to welcome one of my new favorite authors. I discovered her on twitter and have been in love with her characters ever since. So when she was getting ready for her blog I volunteered. So without further ado I turn the blog over to Lauren…

Petal, Georgia – Small Town Love by Lauren Dane

I love to write books set in small towns. There’s a sense of intimacy, of community there and I love to use that in the story. There’s also a sense of everyone knowing your business, which is often lovely, but often a pain in the butt.

Of course not every town is Petal. Most towns are whatever the people living there make them into. Big or small, home is where you make it.

But when I open up any manuscript set in Petal, it just sort of automatically transports me there, calms me. I can smell the air, thick with honeysuckle on a hot day, or cool and crisp in the winter. I can see Main Street all done up with fairy lights at the holidays, and red, white and blue banners near Fourth of July.

The Chase family only has four sons so with Making Chase, the series ended. But I wasn’t’ done with Petal or the people who lived there. I just had to find the right story and the right characters for the newest chapter.

And then Nathan and Lily came to me. I’ve wanted to give Nathan a book for a while, but no one seemed right for him until I started thinking about Lily. And then as I began to write, I started thinking on Petal as the setting for Beth Murphy’s story too. And so on.

Nathan Murphy loves his family. They’re all very close knit and supportive. The Murphys are loud and rambunctious and a whole lot of fun. So I wanted to write a heroine who could fit into that on her own terms.

Lily grew up in Petal. Beth Murphy was her closest friend, but it wasn’t until she was in college and he was finishing his teaching degree that they got together. And then he messed up and she moved on.

But now she’s back in Petal and neither of them are the people they were years before.  And he’s got some groveling to do and she needs to deal with her own stuff as well.

You’ll see the Chases in the book and in the others in the series. They’re a big part of the Murphy family and of Petal in general J  I don’t know whose story will come after Beth’s just yet, but it’ll most likely be a four book series (seems to be my sweet spot 3-4 books in a series).

I hope you all enjoy Nathan and Lily’s HEA!

What about you all? Do you like small town romances/stories?

I’ve got two different prizes to give away: 1) A digital ARC of ONCE AND AGAIN to one lucky winner chosen from the responses to this post.

2) And then from all the comments to all the guest blogs and posts I’m doing for Once and Again, I’ll choose THREE winners of a complete set of the CHASE BROTHERS books in digital or paper – winner’s choice.  International entries are absolutely welcomed.





  1. Regina Ross

    i love small town romances and i love the Chase brothers i cant wait to read Once and Again 🙂

  2. Chele Blades

    I do love the small town romance….where everyone knows your name and your business…it can add humor for the gossips and suspense for the bullies…all the charm of small towns too…i do want to hear about Nathan & Lily…must have!!

  3. mizzmaja

    Yes, I too love small town romances. They’re just that interesting, you think you know everything and everyone when something unusual happens.
    And Lauren is so good at her writing! I can’t wait to read this book.

  4. Julie K

    I love small town stories, especially when characters are revised. Can’t wait to read Nathan and Lily’s story.

  5. Aurian

    It sounds a bit like Debbie Macomber’s series of Cedar Cove, or perhaps Susan Donovan, only with a lot more hotness I guess. But I do like series in a small town, where the previous main characters make an appearance again and again, and you are being updated how their relationship is going, and their family is growing.
    So thanks for the chance to win, I would like to read your series.

  6. ClaudiaGC

    I like small town romances, too. I really love it when an author creates a whole little world and revisits it during the whole series and we get to see old characters again.

  7. Na

    I adore small town romances. The community is stronger, more unifed and present. With small towns, characters seem to stand out more. I fall in love not just with the main couple but also with the secondary characters. I like towns that have character and are full of fun characters.

  8. Emily Tardy

    I love Romance, but there is something special about small town romances to me. Maybe it has to do with my wanting to live in a small town? *shrug* I dunno =D

  9. Helen L.

    I love small town romance stories and cannot wait to read Once and Again and that other one coming out with the sexy dude on the cover – Never Enough???

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. Michelle Bledsoe

    I enjoy the stories set in small towns a little more than others. I like the sense of community the small town gives a reader. The secondary characters always steal your heart.
    Lauren, I especially like that you do sets of books. I am reading the Cascadia Wolves series now and loving them.
    Thank you so much for the chance to win your Petal set book.

  11. jeanette8042

    I love small town romances because they usually include a lot of family characters, which I love to read about too.

  12. Kati R

    Oh my flipping gosh! I read my first Lauren Dane book a few days ago and LOVED it! Why have I not read her sooner???

  13. Kati R

    Oopsie! Forgot to answer the question.

    I’ve been reading quite a bit of small town romances lately. There’s just something about a small town with its small town folks who thrive on community and gossip. Throw in a little suspense and a super creepy stalker neighbor or out of towner and I’ll move the book up my TBR pile. Oh, can’t forget the hot man in uniform or band of brothers that make the town worth while. 🙂

  14. Spav

    I loved the Chase series and it’s great that we get to read about the Murphy’s now. I can’t wait to read it!

  15. Amy H.

    Small town romances are perfect! I love how the the side characters typically take over the novel. I love Lauren Dane and can’t wait to read this!

  16. Pat L.

    Count me in if not too late. Would love to win either prize. Love the cover on Once and Again. And Yes, I do love small town stories. Robyn Carr’s Virgin River is a good example.

  17. Monikarw

    I love small towns stories!:) I live in a small town and it feels close ’cause I know what is like!;) LOL
    thanks for the giveaway! And if I win and I get to pick I’d like my books in print! I don’t really like e-books.. They don’t make sense to me! So, I don’t even have an e-reader!:) LOL
    thank you for ur wonderful stories! Hope there’s more to come in the future!;)

  18. Laura

    I love small town stories! I have read so many of them that i’m too the point that I want to pack up and move to one! The Chase brother’s were awesome and I can’t wait for this series.

  19. Eliwrites

    I have to say that I do enjoy small-town romances. I love the concept that everyone gets to watch two people fall in love. I also like the idea that the people around you are rooting for you, even when you put your foot so far down your throat you are chewing on knee socks. *lol* That is probably my favorite part of small-town settings. Getting to know all of the characters is such fun.

    I just finished re-reading the Chase Brothers, so I am looking forward to the Murphy Siblings’ stories!

  20. Kara C

    I just finished a reread of the Chase brothers, and what great timing. Obviously, I enjoy a good small town romance story. Can’t wait to read this new Petal story!

  21. Angie M

    I love small town romances. I think the town becomes another character in the story if written well, as yours are! I think living in a small town makes me enjoy stories set in small towns.

  22. Jordan H.

    I love small town romances. It’s fun to see everyone in everyone else’s business, makes the story very entertaining.

  23. Sarah W

    I love small town romances. The cast of characters in small towns tends to be so much more entertaining. 🙂

  24. chrisrina hay

    i love stories set in small towns. I think it makes for a fun book when everyone is either playing matchmaker or all in the couples business…just makes for interesting drama 🙂

  25. Tania

    I love small town romances! There are, however two other elements that I love just as much. The first of those is a series based on brothers like The Chase Brother’s. I read all the Chase Brother’s books and I have been dying for more ever since. I was so excited when I saw that Once and Again was coming out and I am so looking forward to it. The second element and the one that appealed most to me about The Chase Brother’s was the sense of family. I come from a small disjointed family so seeing the family cameraderie and the coming together of the Chases and the Murphy’s appealed to me on a very deep level.

    PS: I loved Goddess with a Blade too 🙂 for entirely different reasons of course.

  26. Michelle Drew

    Oh wow – reading a story set in a small town is like a trip to a new country – and I live for new experiences. The characters’ worldviews are so different from my own – and I LOVE that. I’ve never lived in an American small town and I am enthralled by the chance to peak at a different way/pace of life. Add to that the chance to read a stories created by such a talented and captivating writer – well, I’m crossing everything with the hope I might be lucky enough to be selected as a winner.

  27. Tamara Hoffa

    I love small towns. I moved to a small town in Tn 6 years ago and love the lifestyle here. I love walking into the corner store and hearing, ” how’s your mom an’ them?” One of my favorite series is the Mitford series by Jan Karen. I look forward to reading this story!

  28. Denise

    I love stories that are set in small towns. The Chase Brothers and Petal are so wonderful because you made it so real that it was like we were a part of Petal. Not only did I want to live in Petal, but I wanted to meet Polly Chase and be a part of their lives.

    How exciting that Lily will have a chance to have a story in Petal.

    Thanks for a great contest.

  29. Deanne Dawe

    I am so looking forward to this book, it has just the right mixture of small town charm, family and a dash of spice……..I just can’t wait!!

  30. Grace S

    I like a good romance regardless of the setting. I am a huge fan of Lauren’s Brown family, whose novels take place in and around big city Seattle.

  31. Rachel R

    I, like everyone else can’t wait for Lily and Nathan’s book!!

    I do like smalltown romances because they just seem so much more intimate. But then again the Brown family is in Seattle so it’s not always true. As long as the author, which Lauren does, paints a wonderfully vivid picture the story could take place on mars and I’d probably read it.

    Great post!!

  32. Corinne

    I think it all depends on the characters of the book. Take for instance the Brown Siblings that Lauren writes about are totally city, so that works. But the Chase series backdrop is small town, which also works….Lauren’s writing works either way!! 🙂 BTW great contest!!

  33. Diane

    I love small towns, grew up in one, got married there and even hubby came from a smaller town. You certainly get to know more of your neighbors.

  34. Christine

    I totally enjoy a series based in a small town. You get a chance to meet all kinds of great characters and opportunities to meet them all through the series.

  35. Jimena D.

    I love small town romances, everyone knowing everyone gives the book a totally different dynamic where relationships are concerned. I especially like the drama it adds when everyone has an opinion and butts into the characters relationships. The Chase series was one of my first small town romance novels and I loved that series and all the other small town books I’ve read. Can’t wait to read more about Petal in Once and Again 🙂

  36. Emily

    I’ve decided over the past few months that I don’t have preferances when it comes to settings. Books need to have good characters, good plots, and if tropes are use they should be used well. I don’t think it matters where the book is set, as long as it’s a good book. Lauren Dane’s are the best!

  37. Stephanie Shaw

    I can’t wait to read the new series. I have read 3 of the 4 Chase Brothers series, and I refuse to read the 4th right now because I just can’t accept the finality of it all. I suppose I can finally read it if there’s a new series in Petal. I love that you are going to include the Chase family in the new series as well. Polly is a hoot, and I can’t wait to hear about her click clacking into other people lives too. I think some of the greatest stories take place in small towns. Most everything is usually blown out of proportion and everyone knows everyone elses business, so it makes for good tales. lol Please enter me in the contest.


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