Welcome to the Party! It’s hard to believe that my 15th book is releasing today! There was a time when I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sell my second book, but I kept writing, characters kept talking to me, and even though six years passed since I’d published my first
book—something wonderful happened...the planets were aligned, the stars smiled down upon me, and I sold five books! A first for me :)
Grab a glass and I’ll be delighted to fill it up with cyber-bubbly to celebrate! There are a few trays of my own special decadent chocolate fudge going around—hey I could have baked some canapés, but I really love chocolate. Now raise your glasses high for a toast— Sláinte [Irish Gaelic for Health :)]
Welcome Back to Apple Grove is the third book in my Contemporary Small Town Series for Sourcebooks. And yes, I have connected the Garahan brothers from Pleasure, Texas (see my first series with SB: The Secret Life of Cowboys) with their NYC firefighting cousins. Enter Patrick Garahan, well…he actually appeared in the first book in the series as a blind date for Meg's friend Honey B.--but you’ll need to read A Wedding in Apple Grove to find out what happens.
This is the youngest Mulcahy sister’s story. Grace is the black sheep in the family and the only one who couldn’t wait to get out of Apple Grove, spread her wings and fly in a completely different direction than working for the family in their little one-horse town. But fate has a way of changing even the most stubborn of minds and hearts.
Add in a dash of sisterly and friendly interference (well-intended of course) and Grace doesn’t stand a chance because her sister, Meg, gets on the phone with the McCormack sisters, Peggy and Kate…and they have the perfect man in mind to keep Grace in Apple Grove for more than one weekend.
Here’s a sneak peak at their plotting session:
“Honey B., what do you think of Pat Garahan?”
“Great guy, broad shoulders, big hands, and a bigger heart.”
“Soooo,” Meg said, “what do you think, Kate?”
Kate was having a hard time following Meg’s thought process. “About what?”
“Fixing him up with Grace.”
“Oh.” Kate tried to picture the former FDNY firefighter dating her friend. An image of the auburn-haired giant with the crooked smile and great personality seemed like a good fit. “Isn’t he too busy now that his firehouse has had to cut back and lay off firefighters?”
“There are still enough guys on shift that everyone gets time off,” Meg told her.
Kate wasn’t sure about his job though. “Why him?”
Honey B. and Meg paused as if considering Kate’s question. “As a friend of the family, he’s usually at our family functions. He and Grace always seek one another out to talk to if they’re thrown together. I think with a push in the right direction, they might discover that there are sparks there,” Meg said.
“Besides,” she added, “we like him.”
“But what about his job?”
“At least he has a job,” Meg bit out.
“But it’s dangerous!” Kate said.
“So is Mitch’s, but I try not to let it keep me up nights.” Honey B.’s voice was calm and soothing.
“OK, well then, what about Grace? Do you think she’ll suspect that we’re trying to set her up?”
“Not if we’re sneaky enough,” Meg replied. “I’ll have Dan invite Pat to the barbecue on Saturday.”
Here's what Reviewers are saying...
"Welcome Back to Apple Grove is a romance reader’s guilty pleasure. It’s fun, entertaining, lighthearted and thoroughly driven by love. This is a feel good book, meant to take a reader on a journey where they can smile, relax and enjoy and forget about life’s cares for a while. I heartily recommend this story for those reasons. It’s a little treasure." LASR Reviews ~ 4 Stars!
"Welcome Back to Apple Grove is a cute story of an adorable town filled with busy buddies. There is lots of fun loving humor, family and friend meddling and romance. A perfectly enjoyable read." Tome Tender Book Blog
"C.H. Admirand has a gift of writing engaging comfort stories with beloved characters I find myself rooting for. Keep them coming, C.H.!" Chere, Amazon Reviewer
"Admirand continues to match strong, sensuous romance with realistic situations in a fun small-town setting. Fans of Debbie Macomber who also like some heat with their romance-along with recipes-will devour this thoughtful series." Amy Alessio, Booklist
"The dialogue is quick, often funny and perfectly fitting for a charming small town. Prepare to lose yourself in this beautiful story of friends who discover that sometimes "the one" is right in front of you." Eve Polak, RT 4-/2 Stars
"Absolutely fantastic third book set in Apple Grove...I loved this book and the series. There is nothing better than small town America." Terri, Night Owl Reviews
"If a new story by Admirand is due to hit the shelves, you can bet that I am eager to get a copy in my greedy little hands. I always look forward to Admirand’s stories."
Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews ~ 4-1/2 Stars
Don’t you just love when Fate steps in and knocks you upside the head to get your attention?
Patrick Garahan was trying not to step on the twin forces of destruction currently whooping like wild men while they chased after the soccer ball he was dribbling across the grass. It was hard because they were quick and coordinated. He didn’t remember his sisters’ kids being this good at soccer at the same age. But it had been awhile since he’d been home, and maybe he was thinking of his nieces and nephews when they were younger than the two pistols hooting and hollering as they grabbed his left leg and took him down.
Before he hit the ground, he spun and plucked the two of them off his leg and curled himself around the boys to protect them. “Can we do it again, Unca Pat?”
He was a sucker for a cute kid. His two honorary nephews were hard to ignore—and pretty damned special too. He saw more of them than he did any of his sisters’ kids back in New York. For a moment, little Michael’s face filled his mind then morphed into the face of the little boy he hadn’t been able to save—the one who was his nephew Michael’s age—as the image from his nightmare bubbled dangerously close to the surface.
Danny dug his knees into Patrick’s stomach as he crawled toward his chest. Joey wasn’t one to be left out, so he scrambled to his feet next to his brother. Shoving those thoughts deep, Pat made a grab for the boys—they were heavier than the looked. But they were fast and each gave a rebel yell that would have made his cousin Tyler proud as they leaped off his chest, tucking and rolling as they hit the ground.
“Ompfh,” he groaned as their tiny sneakers pushed off. “Uncle!” he hollered, making his friend Dan Eagan laugh.
“You can’t say I didn’t warn you, Garahan,” Dan told him. “Besides, you know they’ve been asking for you for a couple of weeks now.”
Pat leaned on one elbow and watched as the two chased each other across the Mulcahys’ backyard, tumbling into one another like puppies. “Did you ever imagine that you’d be a dad?”
Dan’s gaze moved toward the petite, auburn-haired pixie woman he’d married.
Watching his friend, Pat chuckled. “Earth to Dan!”
“Hmmm? What?” Dan blinked and had to ask him to repeat the question.
“You seem to fit life here in Apple Grove like you were born here.”
Dan agreed. “It was like coming home, you know?”
Pat did and told him so. “When I left Brooklyn, I didn’t think I’d be staying. I just needed to get away”—and for the nightmares to stop—“but it grows on you. Everything just clicked and my life seemed…”
“Seemed what?” Dan asked.
Pat couldn’t speak, couldn’t think—he could only stare at the goddess standing in the sunlight on the Mulcahys’ back porch. Her hair was clipped short, brushing against the line of her jaw, but it was the way the woman filled out her T-shirt and jeans that kicked him in the gut. “Is she real?”
Dan looked over at the woman and back, and shrugged. “Last time I checked, why?”
Pat swallowed his spit before he drooled. She had killer curves. “Aren’t you going to introduce me?”
Dan’s laughter had the curvaceous, strawberry-haired goddess glancing in their direction. She pressed her lips to the top of Dan and Meg’s daughter’s head and helped baby Deidre wave at them. “Whatever you want, Eagan, it’s yours, but you’ve got to introduce me.”
Dan turned and stared at Patrick as if his friend had lost his mind. “Introduce you,” Dan said slowly then nodded toward the woman. “To her?”
Pat ran his fingers through his hair, hoping there weren’t any leaves or sticks in it. “Yeah. Is that a problem?”
Dan cleared his throat and his amused expression changed to one of concern. “Yeah.”
Pat felt like the bottom had dropped out of his stomach. “Come on, man,” he pleaded. “I’ll owe you.”
Dan looked from Pat to the woman cooing at the baby in her arms. “OK.”
Pat felt relief flow through him. Just then the goddess looked at Patrick and tilted her head to one side as if wondering what he and Dan were discussing.
Dan said. “Come on.”
They walked across the grass, around the big old oak, and over to the bottom of the steps, where Meg was speaking to his mystery woman.
“Whoa, Meg! You cut your hair?” This was the first time he’d seen her without her signature braid hanging down past her waistband.
“It was for a good cause.” Meg turned and reached out to brush the ends of the other woman’s hair. There was something familiar about her…
“I, uh—” The woman turned and her gaze connected with Pat’s. The air sizzled between them, short-circuiting his brain.
“Patrick Garahan,” Dan began, “I’d like you to meet my sister-in-law Grace Mulcahy.”
Pat’s held hand out. “Grace?” His voice cracked and Dan coughed to cover the fact that he was laughing at his friend.
“Hi, Patrick.” Grace’s voice was soft and soothing. “It’s been awhile.” She gathered Deidre in one arm and held out her hand to grasp his.
“You too,” he said, reaching for her hand. “I mean—great to see you.”
Her green eyes sparkled, captivating him. Then she smiled and he noticed her dimples. Damn, he always had a thing for curvy, green-eyed women.
I'll be celebrating and doing giveaways all this month beginning with a chat tonight on the Casablanca FB page at 7pm with our other December authors. Here's what I'm giving away...a pair of gorgeous flour sack towels and my favorite Crumb Cottage measuring cups from the Victorian Trading Company. So be sure to stop by tonight!
December 10th, I'll be at the Barnes & Noble in East Brunswick, NJ for a New Release Party! I have two adorable plush puppies--Jameson (aka Jamie) from book 2, One Day in Apple Grove, and his brother Guinness--that we'll be drawing names out of a hat to give away. Holiday placemats with the map of Apple Grove on them, and more...Lots of goodies...and the best part? I'm bringing my homemade Cream Scones and toppings, i.e., raspberry preserves, black cherry preserves, whipped cream, and clotted cream. Here's the link for more information. Barnes & Noble, E. Brunswick, NJ
Here's a pic of the two plush puppies:
Click here to see my December Blog Tour Stops. The FAB Sara Humphreys and I will be doing three special blog stops together and I'll be giving away my Contemporary Small Town Trilogy at these stops. :)
December 3rd at the USA Today HEA Blog with Joyce Lamb
December 9th at Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My Blog
December 24th at Romance at Random Blog with Sue Grimshaw
And now for today's special giveaway...
Has fate ever stepped into your life and knocked you upside the head to get your attention? I’m giving away my Contemporary Small Town Trilogy to one lucky winner. All you have to do is comment—leaving your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner. Random.org will be picking the winner for me tonight.