Friday, November 2, 2012


Welcome to Apple Grove…where love is always in the air and the proof is painted in John Deere Green on the side of their bright yellow water tower! For those that aren’t fans of Country Music, Joe Diffie wrote John Deere Green back in 1993, and I’ve always loved the idea of someone climbing up the ladder to a water tower and painting their pledge of love on the side. There’s that certain amount of risk involved to the hero: the woman he loves might not return the feelings, and heaven forbid the hero might slip off the ladder! So although my hero and heroine are not Billy Bob or Charlene, the sentiment is the same…but I’m getting way ahead of myself and don’t want to spoil the fun for readers.

When Deb first asked if I’d be interested in writing a small town series for her, I jumped at the chance and am so glad that I did. Deb suggested Ohio as the state, now all I needed was a name for the town…I Googled names in Ohio and found a town called Purity and thought perfect! It said small town to me and given the history of my characters was just what I’d been hoping for. But I wanted to make sure that I visited Purity, Ohio to get some pictures to immerse myself in the town. On my way home from Lori Foster’s Reader Event two years ago, I made a detour and drove to Purity. Snapping pics and filling up both sides of a cassette tape with my hand-held tape recorder. I loved the rolling hills, the farmland dotted with ponds and outlined with trees, and the names of the streets! One picture that I took really said it all for me…the inflatable canoe next to the pond in front of the barbed wire fence with horses standing on the other side.

Although the title for the series and the town name changed, I kept the street names and the image of the town. Aside from their bright yellow water tower, you’ll find a ship’s mast with a crow’s nest standing in the middle of McCormack’s field. I figured Apple Grove’s quirky characters should at least have something interesting to look at. Here's the proof that there is a Dog Hollow Road in Purity, Ohio--you might not be able to see it, but "Licking County" is above the street name on this sign and every other one in town. Nice small town touch, IMHO.

Here’s a snippet of Daniel Eagan meeting Megan Mulcahy for the first time…

     He slowed down and took it all in—the women dressed in myriad colors standing amid the background of grays and dark blues of the men in jackets and ties. There were long tables clothed in white and folding chairs sporting ridiculously large bows. Everyone seemed to be talking, laughing, and having a wonderful time. A wedding—he wondered if it was Edie and Bill from the water tower.
       As he drove past, he saw a figure up ahead and laughed. “Must be my perspective.” A few more feet and he saw he wasn’t hallucinating; there was a young woman walking along the top of the fence as if it were a balance beam!
     His heart stuttered as the figure windmilled her arms to keep from falling, barely regaining her balance. Swerving to the shoulder, he threw the gearshift into park, cut the engine, and ran toward her as she lost her balance a second time. This time she pitched backward off the fence and into his waiting arms. 
      She weighed more than he’d thought she would, but that wasn’t as much of a problem as the warning bells going off in his head as her curves brought his libido roaring to life. He opened his mouth to speak as she turned her head, and he nearly lost himself in the endless blue of her eyes. The sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of her nose captivated him, and they both laughed suddenly, for no apparent reason. He gently set her on her feet and noticed the bright green polish on her bare toes. It somehow fit the intriguing young woman.
     Irritation tangled with thoughts he had no business thinking. “You could have been seriously injured,” he ground out. “What were you thinking, pulling a stunt like that?” 
     The imp’s head was even with his shoulder. She tilted back to look up at him. “I didn’t ask you to stop—”
     “You could have broken an arm or leg.” It was his “coach” voice, he realized with some chagrin. He was here for a new teaching job, and he was used to being the boss. Kids, and their parents, respected his authority. Why was this disconcerting new acquaintance giving him a problem?
      She put her hands on her hips, giving him a measuring look, and he began to wonder if she was older than he’d first thought. He took in the swirl of pale green silk—but then remembered that some of the teenagers he’d taught dressed as if they were in their thirties. Looking for other clues as to her age, he focused on her face. The freckles hinted at youth, but he just wasn’t sure. He shook his head and demanded, “Does your mother know you walk on fences?”
      Her smiled slipped and tears filled her eyes. “She used to.”
      Now he’d gone and done it. It was obvious she’d lost her mother recently. “Can I call someone to pick you up?” He was reaching in his pocket for his phone when she brushed a strand of fiery silk out of her eyes. Damn him for noticing the color and texture of her hair. If she was a minor, the local law would be taking him out behind the first available barn and shooting him for harboring the kind of thoughts he was having.
     He had to put some distance between them. “Here,” he handed her his phone, but she shook her head, declin­ing his offer.
    “I’m just taking a walk and I’ll be heading back to my friend’s wedding.” She tilted her head to one side and asked, “Are you driving through Apple Grove or staying on?”
     “Moving here. I’m Dan Eagan,” he said, holding out his hand, “your new phys ed teacher.”
     At her lilting laughter, he withdrew his hand and balled it into a tight fist. He didn’t like to be laughed at. While he searched for the diplomatic words to put her in her place, she crossed her arms beneath the breasts he was trying his best to ignore and said, “Well, Dan Eagan, you would have been a welcome addition to the teaching staff a dozen years ago when I was there. Mr. Creed didn’t have the high school girls’ hearts all aflutter, like I am sure they will be when you walk into class.”
     She smiled and he noticed the fine lines around her eyes and the maturity that comes with living life. He narrowed his eyes. “You’re not one of my students.” Relief speared through him.
      This time, she held out her hand. “No,” she agreed. “I’m Meg Mulcahy. Welcome to Apple Grove.”      
     He clasped her hand in his and realized she’d known all along what he was thinking—and she seemed to enjoy the fact that he’d been caught off guard. In his book, he owed her… and payback was a bitch.
      He held her hand captive. “Well, Meg,” he said, “I’m glad you’re not one of my students.”
     “Oh?” She seemed surprised by his comment. “And why’s that?”
      Encouraged by the catch in her voice and interest in her gaze, he drew her even closer. When she tumbled against him, he felt the jolt of energy all the way to his soul.
      Her eyes said yes, but her body tensed as if she wanted to say no. He waited a heartbeat for her to make up her mind. The instant she relaxed against him, he lowered his mouth until it was a breath from hers.
     “What is it about you?” he asked. “I don’t even know if you have a boyfriend waiting over at that reception, or a husband, and I still want to kiss you.”
       She slowly smiled. “No boyfriend, no husband.”
      Right answer, but still he hesitated, asking, “If I kiss you now, will you hold it against me?”
     “If you don’t, I just might.”
      Unable to resist her sassy mouth, he brushed his lips against hers. She might have expected heat, but it was their first kiss—a kiss that shouldn’t even be happen­ing—so instead of heat, he gave her softness and the promise of more to come.
      Then, unable to resist, he pressed his lips to the freck­les on her nose and eased her out of his arms, wondering what had possessed him.
     Indecision filled her gaze for a heartbeat before she grinned and launched herself at him. “That wasn’t a kiss—” She wrapped her arms around him and used his shock to her advantage, tangling her tongue with his.
      He groaned and would later swear that he’d lost his mind on the side of Eden Church Road.
      When she finally slipped out of his arms, she rasped, “That’s a kiss.”

What reviewers are saying about A WEDDING IN APPLE GROVE:
“Small-town romance at its best!” “…a terrifically fun read…” Eve Polak, RT 4 Stars HOT
“…a fun read…” 5 Stars, Stephanotis, LASR

“Sexy and fun new series…Admirand’s series will be popular.” Booklist

“Raw charm…one to read.” PublishersWeekly

“By the story’s end, I was grinning from ear-to-ear…Admirand needs to write faster!” Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews

“The characters are all engaging, the story moves right along and it ends with a heartfelt sigh. Definitely a great comfort read!” Chere, Paranormal Reviews
Click here for my Virtual Tour schedule

I’m giving away a signed copy of A WEDDING IN APPLE GROVE to one lucky winner, so be sure to leave your email address so that I can get in touch with the winner after picks the name for me. 

Question for Readers: What do you like about reading small town romance?  

Happy Reading!


  1. Congratulations on a brand new release in a brand new world! I've been waiting for this book. Can't wait to read it. What do I like about small towns? They have a heart beat and pulse of their own. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing most of the time and they read the local newspaper once a week to see who got caught! LOL Yes, ma'am, I was raised in a small town!

  2. I love the charm of a small town and the collection of interesting characters that come with it. As part of my day job, I go to patient's homes and that sometimes involves traveling to small towns. Everyone knows you're not from around those parts, because they will actually stop what they're doing to stare. It always makes me laugh.

    Congratulations on the new release! And that's a great cover. :)

  3. CH this is so much fun! I loved your descriptions!

    I've lived in small communities all my life, so love this! When I was living in Poteau, OK, we ran to Walmart, our only big store--everything else was the mom and pop businesses in town--my parents were visiting. Mom ran inside, and Dad and I stayed outside with the kids. Dad popped my car lid to check my oil and water me for the millionth time how to do it. And a gentleman sauntered over to ask if we were having any car trouble? Dad was so impressed!

    A lady left her baby in a car with a friend at a jiffy type store to get a soda. Her friend decided she wanted to get one too, and hollered in the door to get her one. Some guy jumped in the car and took off with it. Three men ran out of the store jumped in their pickups and chased after the car to rescue her baby.

    When the guy realized he had a baby in the backseat in a car seat, he quickly stopped the car and ran into the woods! They did catch him. But with locals like that, crime didn't pay!

    Small towns can be worth their weight in gold.

  4. I do like them, Colleen, because I live in a big city, so it's an escape for me. Congrats on the release!

  5. I lived in big cities all my life, and books about small towns have always appealed to me. I am loving this book already and I can't wait to start reading these books....

  6. The sense of familiarity...knowing one of the best parts of a small town. It has its advantages and disadvantages, of course, but oftentimes residents are really there for each other. I really like that!

    I'm so excited for your new series, Colleen! I LOVE YOUR WRITING!!!

    HOOYAH & HUGS!!!!

  7. The relationships with neighbors and friends written into small town romances is what I love. It just adds an extra layer to the main characters or the way that I get to see them.

  8. Aloha, C.H.! I am hosting your heroine, Megan, on my blog today. She's a great ambassador for you! I offer you a Hawaiian proverb to bless this day:

    Ua ola loko I ke aloha.

    Love is necessary for life.

  9. I like that they focus on family.


  10. I love that every single character matters, and you're sure gonna see them more then once. And if you're lucky, maybe even get thir story


  11. Congratulations on your new series. I always find small towns or big cities fascinating reads because I live in the suburbs and each sounds wonderful in it's own way.


  12. Congrats on this latest new release! :)

    As for what I like in small town romances, I love the strong cast of secondary characters and heart warming stories!


  13. I love the sense of community where a helping hand is always available.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  14. Since Miz C. H. is still without power due to Sandy, she has asked me to pick a winner for this contest. So using Mr. Random and pouting because he did not choose my name, it has been done. CONGRATULATIONS, Lil! If you will send your snail mail address to, I will be sure to send it right on to her! Thanks to everyone that commented. Miz C. H. was sorry that she missed the party!

  15. Thank you to everyone for their patience and understanding while we were without power for 10 days and without internet for 13! We just got the internet back this afternoon.

    A HUGE thank you to Ms.Carolyn Brown for stepping in and choosing a winner for me. Unfortunately, Lil never got back to Carolyn, so I asked to choose another winner for me...

    Congrats to Bn100! I'm sending you an email, so watch your inbox.

  16. OK...I have the other half of my brain back and am going through my blog tour one-day-at-a-time to catch up.

    Thanks, know I can't wait to read you women's fiction--The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee--come March! Here in town we have read the local paper's 'Police Blotter' for years so we can keep up with our kids' friends! LOL!

    Thanks,'re right I'm guilty of doing that in our Lake Community...we know which cars belong and which ones are just passing through :)

    Thanks, Terry! What great stories. Thanks for sharing and that's exactly why I love small towns and living in one. You wouldn't believe the way our Lake pulled together during this storm...we were making the rounds checking on one another, especially the older residents, and Lord was there a crowd cutting up the trees that were across the streets blocking everyone in.

    Thanks, know I don't know if I could live in a big city for long, but there are so many aspects that are appealing that I do like reading about them too!

    Thanks, Kathleen :) I was not happy when the had the nerve to install two traffic lights in the center of changed the 'feel' of things. We don't have sidewalks or streetlights in our neighborhood and like it that can see soooo many stars at night :)

    OMGoodness, Annie! Thanks for stopping by. You are so right about the residents being at the heart of what makes small towns tick. :)

    Hi Lil, get a deeper feeling for the characters because of the reactions of all of those busybodies who can't keep their noses out of everyone else's business. LOL!

    Hi Kim!! Thanks for hosting Megan over at your blog...I was just there replying to comments, catching up. I really appreciate the Hawaiian blessing. Thank you :)

    Bn100 - exactly! In my books the focus is usually on's at the heart of who and what we are, IMHO.

    LOL, ChelseaB - there are some characters that insist on having their own the last week there were three characters that just put their foot I'm going to see if I can convince my editor that they need there stories told, too. :)

    Hi Catslady - I agree...settings can make or break a book for me when I'm reading. There are certain countries that I love reading about and certain aspects of the town or city that the story takes place that will keep me interested. :)

    Hi Winnie...those secondary characters can be really pushy! Mitch and Honey B. just wouldn't quit bugging me! LOL.

    Hi Taurus - exactly! The helping hand and sense of sums up small town in a nutshell. :)

    Thanks everyone!

  17. I've lived in small towns and rual areas all of my life. I don't think I'd enjoy living anywhere else. Congratulations on the new release.