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FICTIONALLY FACTUAL: The “Real” Small Town Behind WINNING OVER HARMON by Megan Slayer


The “Real” Small Town Behind WINNING OVER HARMON by Megan Slayer

The series, Love Me Do, is indeed set in a small town. The town of Norville, Ohio. Now this town isn’t on a map—that I know of. It’s of my own creation. That said, it’s based on a few towns I know and love.

There’s a little place in the middle of Ohio called Bucyrus. It’s not very fancy, but it has some great features that factored in the Love Me Do series. I don’t live there and never have, but I’ve lived close to Bucyrus and visited their often. They have a fantastic Bratwurst festival in late August. If you like bratwurst, then it’s the place to be.

So why would I set this series there? Because Bucyrus has character. It really does. There is a small movie theater in town—there was. It’s gone now, but it used to show movies. I know, it seems strange, but it did. It was a little theater open in the 1980s and we’d go there to watch movies. I saw Sleeping Beauty there and I believe Cinderella, too. It was a lot of fun. But the movie house closed. So I wondered what would happen if the building wasn’t gone and the facilities were there, but someone turned it into something else…like a hair salon? Okay, so it’s a little out there, but if you’re a funky salon owner and want some great marketing for your business, having your very own marquee and posters is pretty good  marketing. So I gave the main character that threads through the series, James, his own salon, Dye Hard Style…and it’s in the theater.

But Norville isn’t based solely on Bucyrus. It’s not. Many little towns in Ohio have centralized squares or circles for parks. Oberlin, Ohio, is one of those places. It’s part of the college, but there is a nice, pretty park in the middle of town. It’s perfect for walking laps, plus there is a band shell, at least one monument and so many trees. Beyond that, there are all kinds of little shops that surround the park. Record stores, bead shops, little funky restaurants, a jewelry store, bakery and even a Ben Franklin (remember those?). Most everything is within walking distance and the apartments as well as houses are not far away, so you can walk to shop or dine or exercise. I wanted that in Norville, too. Why? Because I wanted the town to be close-knit.

That’s another wonderful thing about small towns. Okay, it’s a blessing and a curse. Everyone knows everyone, most people are related in a shoe-string sort of fashion and it’s cozy. But that everyone knows everyone can be a pain when they start talking about each other. Gossip can be dangerous in this way, but it’s part of life.

When I wrote the series, I wanted to make it feel like the reader could live in Norville. They get a sense of the atmosphere. The buildings are older, but they’re maintained. There are flowers, there is the nosiness of some neighbors, but there is a funky art scene as well as the famous-in-a-small-town salon which was a movie theater. The guys in this series sort of know each other and have ties to the community beyond just living there. It’s a home, but it’s also their refuge.

That’s what I want the reader to take away from the stories. They’re love stories, for sure, but they’re also stories of friendship, love and laughter. There’s tears and heartache, too, but when we come together, we can make things great.

Here’s a look at WINNING OVER HARMON:

Second chances are possible if you’re willing to give love a chance.

Harmon Keyes wasn’t looking for romance when he visited Roy Mars’ gallery show, but the moment he sees Winston Saint, he’s smitten. He has no idea who Winston is, but the attraction is off the charts. He also isn’t sure if he’ll ever see the man again. Can a trip to Dye Hard Style help get him together with Winston?

Michael Winston Saint knew the second he spotted Harmon that he’d fallen head over heels. He’d never forget the geeky guy who talked too much or that kiss full of electricity and passion. Unfortunately, he has to leave the gallery show before he can give Harmon his number. He returns to Norville for a rest and the chance to connect with his dream man. Winston’s determined to win over Harmon at all costs.

Will the teacher and the rock star be able to make a go of their relationship? Or will the gossip and complication of small-town life be more than they can handle?


Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj

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