Please welcome guest author Jennifer Lohmann to the Cafe!
A Southern Promise is the second book that I’ve set in Durham, North Carolina. While many authors write romances in made up towns, Durham is a real place. I live there, work there, and most of my friends are there.
For the most part, writing a book set in the town where you live is a joy. For research into places the hero and heroine can go, I take myself out to dinner or to a new coffee shop or to my favorite coffee shop. I know the city’s weather, sounds, smells, and rhythms. And people love to read about the places they live, which means I have a loyal following of Durhamites.
A loyal following of Durhamites means that many people have an opinion on how well I did representing my town. Did I get all the street names right? Did I capture of the feel of downtown? Or the smells of a farm in the northern part of the county? How did I do with the history, the buildings, and the characters who inhabit the book? More importantly, how did I do with the dialect and accent?
This is made more complicated by the fact that I’m not a native Durhamite and many of the people reading my books are not only native, but they can trace their ancestry in this area back to before the Civil War.
The pressure is high.
And the high pressure is awesome. I’ve gotten both compliments and (a very few) criticisms about my portrayal of Durham. I welcome both the positive and the negative comments, because it means people in my town are reading my book and are finding meaning in it. They are seeing themselves and where they live reflected back at them. They are interacting with the text in a way they never could if I didn’t live here too.
I wouldn’t trade that connection to my readers, neighbors, and friends for anything.
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A Southern Promise
They say money and murder go together like biscuits and gravy, but Julianne Dawson thought her family was different. Even if they are the wealthiest family in Durham, North Carolina, she can’t believe someone close to her could’ve killed her beloved Aunt Binnie.
Detective Howie Berry is determined to find the murderer. But the more he gets to know Julianne, the more he’s drawn to her. She’s not just the town’s golden girl – she smart and incredibly tough. Howie can’t get involved, though, since the next clue he uncovers could tear her family apart. He’ll protect Julianne at any cost … except the truth.
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Jennifer Lohmann is a Rocky Mountain girl at heart, having grown up in southern Idaho and Salt Lake City. When she’s not writing or working as a public librarian, she wrangles two cats and a flock of backyard chickens. (The dog is better behaved.) She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina, where her favorite cup of coffee is from Old Havana.
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