The Community in Small Town Romances

One Day in Apple Grove CoverGuest Blog by C.H. Admirand, author of One Day in Apple Grove

Thanks so much for inviting me back to guest blog at Love, Romance, Passion! I’m delighted to be here! Small town romance gives me the opportunity to write about neighborhoods and towns similar to the ones my husband and I grew up in and the one we’ve raised our children in.

Growing up on Cedar Hill—a tiny corner of Wayne, New Jersey—our neighborhood was like living in a small town. There were twenty-five homes in our little hamlet of dead-end streets. Unless you lived off Circle Drive, there wasn’t any reason to go to Cedar Hill. Tucked away from the rest of the world, we lived in idyllic surroundings. We could run or ride our bikes to our friend’s house and still hear when mom rang the dinner bell—a cowbell my dad found when he was a kid living in Colorado—not to be mistaken from the ship’s bell suspended between two trees that called our neighbor home—his dad had been in the Navy.

For the last thirty-one years, we’ve lived in a small lake community. My husband grew up in one and from the stories of his childhood, I knew that was the atmosphere we wanted for our kids. It was a mixed community with residents who’d lived there for forty years and those of us who’d just moved in. Five of us were pregnant at the same time and forged a bond that carried over to our kids. They played together, attended preschool together, and graduated from high school together.

One element of both neighborhoods was the core group of women responsible for keeping tabs on everyone and making sure to spread the word, both good and bad; it was like having a town crier. On Cedar Hill, it was my grandmother, my great-aunt, and both Mrs. Johnsons who kept everyone abreast of the neighborhood goings-on. In Lindy’s Lake, it was Honey Baker, Marty Walsh, Ann Ahrens, and Millie Salisbury.

In the fictionalized town of Apple Grove, Ohio, it is Mrs. Winter, Miss Philo, and Honey B. Harrington who are the glue that keeps the town together and in the know. So brew a cup of tea or grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up and relax, and spend some time getting to know the good people of Apple Grove.

The one element that I love to include in my stories will always be neighbors helping neighbors—it’s what I grew up with and what we raised our children with. Times change and lives get busy and it is so easy to be immersed in your own existence, and totally miss what is going on around you. I know, because I’ve been there—and when I come back to the reality of family, friends, and neighbors—I realize how much I’ve missed and how sorry I am to have done so.

And now a question for readers: Did you grow up in a close-knit community or small town? If so, what element did you love best about your town?


Welcome to Apple Grove, Ohio (pop. 597), a small town with a big heart.

Caitlin Mulcahy loves her family. She really does. But sometimes they can drive her to her last shred of sanity—from her dad (“I’m not meddling, I just want what’s best for you”) to her eight-months-pregnant older sister to her younger sister, who will do just about anything to avoid real work. Cait just needs to get away, even if for only an hour.

When she sees someone in need of help on the side of the road, of course she’s going to pull over. She might even be able to fix his engine—after all, the Mulcahy family is a handy bunch. She’s not expecting that former Navy medic Jack Gannon and a little black puppy named Jameson will be the ones who end up rescuing in her.

Buy: One Day in Apple Grove

C.H. Admirand Pub Photo


C.H. Admirand was born in Aiken, South Carolina, but grew up in New Jersey. She has been delighting readers with her Secret Life of Cowboys Series, featuring three cowboy brothers with Irish charm, and is now working on the next book in her small town contemporary romance series, featuring the town and quirky characters of Apple Grove, OH. She lives with her husband, who is the inspiration for all of her heroes’ best traits, in New Jersey. For more information, please visit

Buy: One Day in Apple Grove

 GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of  A Wedding in Apple Grove (Book 1 in the Small Town USA Series, and directly preceding the new book, One Day in Apple Grove). Open to US and Canadian readers. Enter by answering C.H. Admirand’s question about small towns! Last day to enter:  June 14, 2013.

Author: Guest Blogger

Guest Bloggers featured at Love Romance Passion are romance authors, various industry personnel, and readers just like you!

11 thoughts on “The Community in Small Town Romances”

  1. I did grow up in a very small town in Southeastern Colorado until my parents moved to another area. I like that when a name was mentioned you knew who that person was or who their relatives were..or where their farm was located. This wasn’t the case in the larger town we moved to. But it was a good town too.

    1. Hi JackieW. My Dad was born in village on the outskirts of Denver…Louviers, Colorado. He took us to visit Louviers when I was 14 and showed us the house he lived in, before Grandad was transferred again, and that great thing was that when we went into the Post Office, the Post Mistress remembered Dad and his family! It just added to my love of small towns. 🙂

  2. I grew up in a semi small town which steadily grew. At one point you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone you knew. Now it’s safe to go shopping without having to be all dolled up, in fear you’ll run into a friend 😉

    1. Chelsea B.!! That reminds me of going to the Grand Union grocery store at the falls when I was about 12 or 13 with my Aunt (who is only 7 yrs older than me) and on line right in front of us was this really good looking guy–who started talking to my Aunt. When we got into the car, she groaned and said it was the last time she’d dash out to the grocery store without washing her hair! LOL. 🙂

    1. Hey BN100 – I’ve always wondered what it would be like to grow up in a big town or small city. I’m not sure I could even imagine what it would be like to grow up in a big city 🙂

  3. I grew up in a large city in NJ, but I love to read books centered around small towns. They are so homey(not sure that’s a word), and comfortable.

  4. I did grow up in a small community in West Virginia. What I liked best about it was the fact that everyone knew everyone else, and I always felt safe. That hasn’t been the case with where I live now.

  5. I didn’t grow up in a small town but my grandparents lived in one. I spent a lot of time with them as a kid. I still have a soft spot for small town main streets. There is just something awesome about the soda jerk, the small theater and the 5 & 10 stores.

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