Guest post: Small Town Life by Missouri Vaun and giveaway

Bold Strokes Books author Missouri Vaun is here to discuss her latest release, Love at Cooper’s Creek.

She’s giving away one e-copy to a lucky winner.

Please welcome Missouri Vaun.

Small Town Life

I’m excited to write about my newest novel, “Love at Cooper’s Creek.” It’s a contemporary romance set in western North Carolina. Here’s a short description of the book:

Shaw Daily flees corporate life to find solace in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains, but escapism eludes her when her attentions are captured by small town beauty, Kate Elkins.

I switched genres for this story. If you don’t know me or haven’t read my previous novels then you may not have noticed, but in the world that exists inside my head, this was a big deal.

My first few novels were science fiction, set on a future Earth where fossil fuels had been completely depleted so that humans are back to a world without machines. Large segments of those first novels are set in rural America. Then I followed up those books with two historical romances.

What I realized while writing all of those books is that my experiences growing up in the Deep South kept rising to the surface of every narrative.

At some point, my editor kindly observed that small town life was my wheelhouse. Setting, she pointed out, is often one of the most overlooked and under-utilized elements of story and somehow, without realizing it, it was becoming one of the strongest elements in my novels. I do try and pay attention to all the senses when I write. To describe how a space looks isn’t quite enough. Like the first moments Shaw Daily steps inside her grandparents’ old farmhouse:

“The screen door squeaked and the linoleum in the kitchen creaked as Shaw dragged her rolling bag along behind her. First things first, open some windows. The air inside smelled of old wood and forgotten things.” — Love at Cooper’s Creek

The idea for “Love at Cooper’s Creek” started with a brief bout of homesickness while I was traveling for work overseas (not for writing, but for my other job). I mention this in the acknowledgments of the book, but it bears repeating. For those of us who’ve left the Deep South because of the necessities of career there’s a part of us that always longs for home. The initial idea for this book might have started because of homesickness, but then, as with all character driven stories, this novel took on a life of its own. I love these characters and I fell in love with their journey.

“Kate rotated so that she was facing the creek. Points of light bounced off the rippling water like loosely strung pearls as it wove among the rocks. She closed her eyes and let the sound of running water soothe her senses. The stream had so little to do and not a care in the world, its only chore was to join with the river in search of the sea.” — Love at Cooper’s Creek



Release date: February 13, 2018

Successful but suffocated by the demands of her corporate career, Shaw Daily walks out on it all. She returns to her grandparents’ rural property in Cooper’s Creek, North Carolina, with a plan to hide out and reboot her life to be simple and stress free. But escapism eludes her when her attentions are captured by small town beauty Kate Elkins.

Kate has spent almost her entire life in Cooper’s Creek. For Kate, the bonds of small-town life are a source of strength and comfort. When her aging mother weakens, Kate takes a leave from teaching to care for her. Romance is the last thing on her mind when she bumps into her unrequited teen crush Shaw Dailey just back from California. Long-buried feelings resurface for Kate, but all Shaw sees is a beautiful woman saddled with the responsibilities she is finally free from.

Bold Strokes / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS



Missouri Vaun spent a large part of her childhood in southern Mississippi, before attending high school in North Carolina and college in Tennessee. Strong connections to her roots in the rural South have been a grounding force throughout her life. Vaun spent twelve years working for newspapers in places as disparate as Chicago, Atlanta, and Jackson, Miss. Her novels are heartfelt, earthy, and speak of loyalty and our responsibility to others. She currently lives in Northern California with her wife, Evelyn.

Missouri Vaun also writes under the name Paige Braddock.



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About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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