A Town of Intrigue Back to Blog

Update: Thanks everyone! The signed paperback copy of Rarities Incorporated winner is Fedora! Congrats, Fedora!

For as far back as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated with towns, places, communities and what makes a family. I enjoy watching the interactions of those around me. I’m curious about all that makes towns, places or communities come together. Work, play or just become. So to those who know me or read my books it comes as no surprise that I love to create towns, places and communities. People who are families – some not by blood but by choice or circumstances. Communities that are tightly woven and you know your neighbors. Towns that you feel comfortable with and love being there.

I’ve created many towns, places and communities. In Club Immortality I’ve created a club where paranormal beings, humans and all those in between can come and have their deepest fantasies and desires fulfilled. With Rarities Incorporated I’ve built a world/community of beings that retrieve various artifacts, provide protection and some are closer than blood- literally. Nefer Investigations Force is a world where agents work to protect humanity from all those things that go bump in the night, everything in between or things that can end the world. In Seductive Pursuits and Olympus Unleashed I’ve used two towns that I along with two other authors have built on a free reads site called Satin Notes. On Satin Notes we have two towns Trescott Cove is our contemporary town and Savoy Valley is our paranormal town. They are neighboring towns and their worlds sometimes overlap. In Seductive Pursuits and Olympus Unleashed – my two series that have some stories set in those towns there is a sense of community. A sense of people knowing who you are and those wonderful quirky things that don’t happen any place else.

All the towns, places and communities I’ve created or helped to create have two things in common. People would want to live there to become a part of the fabric of the place and there are little idiosyncrasies that enhance them. Building towns, places and communities to me are fun. I love coming up with the concept of the place I want my characters to inhabit. In my opinion the town, place or community is its own character. It adds a level to the story. Gives it a texture that brings it to be more.

In my latest book I’m working on I knew I wanted to build a new town. A medium sized town where there are various communities. I call it my town of intrigue. Halliwell is a quaint seemingly idyllic town. The town is medium sized so not everyone knows each person in the town. In those communities where people know each other they help each other when needed. Neighbors get together for fun, everything in between and when there is need. In these communities there is the bookstore owner, baker, butcher or a variety of stores that people in that community frequent. There are faces in the crowd at the stores they will recognize. They are their neighbors, family or friends. They know these faces. Or so they think. In creating Halliwell I wanted to bring to life the old adage “everything is not always as it seems”. This seemingly idyllic town and community have a lot of secrets. People on the surface may seem one way but in reality they are different.

In many discussions I’ve had with friends and family we’ve talked about the layers of people. The face if you will that people present in certain circumstances. Although many people may not realize it but there are different “faces” you use when dealing with various people. In very general terms here are a few “faces” I’ve thought of. The “professional face” is the one you present to the public to people you do business with but aren’t anything more than that. “Family/Friendly but not to close face” is one which is for those people who you are not well acquainted with but have a passing one. “Friends face” the one where you share some of your secrets, confidences and things with. “Close family/friends who are like family face” is the one where you share almost all your secrets/confidences, cry with, celebrate and so many other things. “Deepest face” is the one where all your secrets/confidences are shared, fears are exposed and all else is done. There are so many “faces” we use in our interactions.

The variety of “faces” is the general premise of what I wanted to create when I built the town of Halliwell. I wanted to get below the surface of who a person presents in a variety of circumstances. In Beneath the Skin, the first book in the series set in Halliwell this is exactly what I explored. The blurb sets the tone for the book.

Beneath the Skin

A woman with secrets she wants to forget, a detective with a case he needs to solve and a past that will not be forgotten.

Too many people, Lena Holland seems to be the easygoing bookstore owner in the quaint town of Halliwell. Yet if you ask, no one knows much about her. Lena has strived hard to find the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. She has the scars both physically and emotionally that are testament to all she has done in her previous life. All she has lived through. It is all in the past. A past she does not ever want to be a part of again. With one act of violence Lena knows her past has caught up with her.

Detective Malik Williams gut tells him that there is more to this case. His instincts warn him that Lena isn’t all she seems. The laid-back woman everyone seems to think Lena is clashes with what he has seen. He knows that personal involvement should be out of the question yet there is something about the fiery tempest that sets his primal needs ablaze.

Lena tries to hide what she feels although she feels him under her skin. Getting involved with a man much less one who is a cop is a bad idea. Isn’t it? Malik knows getting to the bottom of what is going on is priority but he wasn’t letting go of this woman who set all his senses haywire. As the danger mounts and things get more complicated they must come to terms with Lena’s past in order to face a future. Lena can no longer forget all that should be left in the past. Someone wants her to not only remember. They want her to pay. Pay with what is … beneath the skin.


As I wrote Beneath the Skin the town and communities came to life. It is a fabulous feeling as I built the first layer of the town. The book is done but I’m going back through it then I have to decide where I want to submit it. I already have plans for more books set in Halliwel. Each book will create another layer of the fabric of the town, place and community of Halliwell – a town of intrigue.

Now for a contest. I’m always on the lookout for great books so come on and share what are some of your favorite towns in books you have read? Give me the title of book or books, author and town name. I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of Rarities Incorporated to one winner chosen from the comments below! Contest will end on 7/22/10 at 11:59pm EST. I’ll post the winner at the top of this blog post on 7/23/10. Be sure to check back. Good luck!


ricoverTaige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Total-E-Bound. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at her website: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com or blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog.

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16 responses to “A Town of Intrigue”

  1. CatsMeow says:

    Excellent post. Your books sound like great reads. The first book(s) that come to mind is the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. You can almost visualize the layout of Caldwell, NY in each of her books.

  2. Cynthia Eden says:

    Hi, Taige! Thanks so much for guest-posting with me! Halliwell sure seems like one interesting town!

  3. Denise T. says:

    One of my favorite towns to read about is Smithville, North Carolina. Shelly Laurenston makes this shifter town come to life!

  4. Fedora says:

    I’ve enjoyed Debbie Macomber small-town feel books–her Blossom Street series isn’t set in a small town, but it feels like a small town because of how well you get to know the places that matter to the characters. And of course, her Cedar Cove series is about the people who live in Cedar Cove :)

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  6. Viki says:

    I love how The Lords of the Underworld are in Budapest. Also, Women of the Otherworld are near Syracuse.

  7. Valerie says:

    I’m with Denise T. I read a ton a books and to be honest, I’m more interested in the plot and the characters, especially the characters…hehe!!!

    in Germany

  8. Chris says:

    like Viki I love Gena Showalters Lords of the Underworld series and I already visited Budapest and it’s fantastic!!!

  9. Jane says:

    I love Barbara Freethy’s series set in Angel’s Bay and Toni Blake’s books set in Destiny, Ohio.

  10. Liz Kreger says:

    I love world building … whether its a town, a city or a world. There’s just something so freeing about doing it “your” way.

    Great post, Taige.

  11. Colleen says:

    I love visiting Debbie Macomber’s… also love how Cheryl St. John brings her historicals to life!

  12. Tracey D says:

    I like Amy Lane’s Little Goddess series setting.

  13. Diane Sadler says:

    Going into the dungeons and back streets of Ireland as in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series.

  14. Casey says:

    Ooh I think that the town/setting gives the story that background feel of…fullness? I’m not sure what word really describes that. But I agree with Diane, in saying that Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series with Ireland as it’s background was amazing!

  15. cories says:

    Sometimes I get a thrill out of stories that are set in an alternate or secret version of known places. For some reason, the only thing that pops into my head is the Alchemyst series by Michael Scott. It’s YA, I believe.

  16. Ilona says:

    I am an avid reader and read lots of books with many locations. However the two I really like are Larissa Ione’s UGH and Demonica world and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DH version of New Orleans.