Why Sweet Romance?

People ask me why I write sweet romance.

First off, I’m not a romance reader. I love romantic elements in novels, but have never really been drawn to stories that are all about the romance and little else. I like to sink my teeth into a strong plot with deep characters, and too often romance novels lack both those elements.

But romance is a huge part of life—or at least we usually want it to be. Regardless of our age or gender, a good romance story will tug on our hearts. Tales of how a couple met, fell in love, and weathered the ups and downs of life mirror our own lives.

We tell such stories in our families, around a table during a holiday visit. We are warmed by hearing how Grandma met Grandpa, and we chuckle at the silly or adorable ways they courted.

We all want love, and most of us want that perfect romantic relationship. But it’s not always easy to find. That’s why so many people read romance—maybe for hope, for vicarious pleasure, or for a reminder of what sweet and innocent love felt like (all those many decades ago).

I write in this genre because I want to capture some of that—of the sweet, natural, honorable, and inspiring romance that gives rich meaning and joy to our lives. But such love isn’t without its challenges and struggles.

By setting my romance stories in the old West, I have many ways to present outside conflict and obstacles that my characters must face. Trying to find, grow, and cherish love when blizzards and drought and locusts are making life almost unlivable tests a person’s mettle. Love in hard times is won through hard effort.

And so, when writing sweet historical Western romance novels, I can bring to life a whole cast of various characters that have chosen to live in difficult circumstances. Many have given up lives of comfort to pursue a dream, and when I dig deep into the history of places like Greeley and Fort Collins, I’m moved, inspired, and impressed with the courage and determination of so many of their founders.

And my aim is to inspire you, my reader, so that your life will be enriched in some ways it may not have been before picking up one of the Front Range books.

It also helps that I lived in Colorado for years, in both those aforementioned towns, and I raised horses as well. Being a huge fan of Westerns (movies and novels), it made sense for me to not only pick this genre but set my stories in Colorado and Wyoming.

I’ll be back at you in a couple of weeks to tell you more about the characters and locale of my books, and share some personal stories that inspired some of the plots in my books.

Let your friends know that if they join my readers’ list, they can get a free copy of this novella!

Just send them to CharleneWhitman.com.

Why Sweet Western Romance Set in Colorado?

There are so many wonderful things about sweet romance novels set in the 1800s in the West. When I was considering what decade to set my stories in, I wanted to choose a time of transition. Sure, the West was always changing, from the time the first settlers arrived on the eastern shores well into the middle of the twentieth century.

But I chose the 1870s for some special reasons. The railroad was just coming through Colorado in that decade, bringing a flood of hopeful people from all over–people wanting to start a new life and raise their families in a place that held promise.

Colorado became a state in 1876, the year of the nation’s centennial. I imagined this was a time of great hope and excitement for the territory. 

It was also the decade in which the last of the major Indians tribes were gathered up and shipped out to Oklahoma.

My novels run with deep themes, and I was especially keen to create characters that had to deal with the vanishing way of life for the native people that made way for the white man to take over. Along with that came the disappearance of the buffalo. Huge changes marked the 1870s, and it is my desire that my novels capture at least a piece of those changes, to help readers sense what it may have been like back then.

In addition, key communites (or colonies, as they were called) were springing up in that era, and these included the towns on the Front Range that my stories are set in.