Tamsen's Hollow by Wendy Dalrymple Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tamsen Hayes vowed never to return to her hometown of Franklin, North Carolina. But then again, she never thought she would lose her job and end her relationship on the same day, either. Weary of the hustle and bustle of corporate work and city life and in need of a new place to live, Tamsen impulsively purchases a fixer-upper farm that she had always admired as a child. With a few coats of colorful paint, and the addition of a few adorable goats, her little farm in the holler starts to feel like home.
What she didn’t bet on was that a handsome neighbor with a mysterious past would come with the territory. Despite their friendship and mutual attraction, Tamsen just can’t seem to shake the memories of her ex, and finds herself building a wall and running away before she gets hurt by anyone… especially the enigmatic Jake Turner. Tamsen soon learns that if she can’t move on, she might end up closing the door on something good and missing out on an unexpected love that, just maybe, was always meant to be.
Wendy Dalrymple gleans inspiration for her Southern Gothic stories of romance, history and horror from the great Sunshine State. When she’s not writing stories about happily-ever-afters, otherworldly beaches or Florida folklore, you can find her camping with her family, painting (bad) wall art and trying to grow as many pineapples as possible.
Tell us a bit about one of your favorite characters from your book.
Tamsen of course! Writing characters like Tamsen Hayes is so fun because I get to express hidden sides of myself to my readers. Will I ever own a fixer-upper farm in the mountains and raise fainting goats? Maybe not, but as an author I get to live out those fantasies through my writing. I loved that I could write a gutsy, smart but also emotionally vulnerable character like Tamsen and give her a happily-ever-after. I am not Tamsen, and she is not me, though admittedly, we like a lot of the same things!
What kind of things inspire you on a day-to-day basis?
Everyday people inspire me. When it comes to writing sweet contemporary romance, I look to my mail carrier, the cashier at the grocery store or a mysterious seasoned woman walking her dog and wonder what kind of romances or dramas they could have. Everyone deserves a happily-ever-after at every size, shape, age and social status.
Do you have a particular writing spot, or do you write anywhere?
Right now the entire house is my office! Due to Covid-19, I have all three of my sons doing virtual learning, and my husband is working from home as well. Depending on what’s going on from day to day, the kitchen table, the living room couch, my bed and my back porch have all been my office in the last few months.
Who are your favorite authors?
Even though I primarily write romance, I love to read horror literary fiction. I read my first “adult” book in the fourth grade from Stephen King and that started my love of all things dark. I also enjoy short stories from Joyce Carol Oates and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as the works of Daphne du Maurier and John Steinbeck. Grady Hendrix is currently my new favorite contemporary author.
Right now I’m working on a secret Christmas anthology with one of my favorite fellow indie authors which is going to be released just in time for the holiday season! I also will consistently be releasing new full-length novels through Scribd.com in the coming year, where I have over a dozen exclus
ive titles and audiobooks.
Where did you get the idea for Tamsen’s Hollow?
Just before Covid-19 hit, my family and I went on a road trip to the Smoky Mountains. While I was driving I just had this vision of staying there, buying a fixer upper farm and raising goats! As we drove from our home in Tampa Bay to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the story just began to unfold for me and I knew I had to write it.
Tamsen is a really interesting name. How did you come up with it for your character?
When I was in school I actually knew a girl with Tamsen (who also had red hair!). I just loved her name so much and one day I finally asked her where it came from. She just shrugged her shoulders and said “my mom read it in some romance novel.” Ha!
Fast-forward twenty years, and now we have Tamsen’s Hollow! Also, Tamsen is the feminine version of Thomas, which means “twin” and as my readers will come to see, Tamsen does indeed have a twin brother named Tommy.
What did you love the most about writing Tamsen’s Hollow?
It was so cathartic! Being stuck at home right now and not being able to travel, all I want to do is run away to the mountains! I also love cute, silly animals and DIY so being able to add those elements into my story was so self-indulgent.
Is there anything else we should know?
Yes! There is a sequel to Tamsen’s Hollow called Tamsen’s Ridge, and you can only read it at Scribd.com. It’s the continuation of Tamsen and Jake’s story. You can also access the audiobook of both Tamsen’s Hollow and Tamsen’s Ridge exclusively at Scribd.
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