Guest Blog by C.H. Admirand, author of One Day in Apple Grove
Thanks so much for inviting me back to guest blog at Love, Romance, Passion! I’m delighted to be here! Small town romance gives me the opportunity to write about neighborhoods and towns similar to the ones my husband and I grew up in and the one we’ve raised our children in.
Growing up on Cedar Hill—a tiny corner of Wayne, New Jersey—our neighborhood was like living in a small town. There were twenty-five homes in our little hamlet of dead-end streets. Unless you lived off Circle Drive, there wasn’t any reason to go to Cedar Hill. Tucked away from the rest of the world, we lived in idyllic surroundings. We could run or ride our bikes to our friend’s house and still hear when mom rang the dinner bell—a cowbell my dad found when he was a kid living in Colorado—not to be mistaken from the ship’s bell suspended between two trees that called our neighbor home—his dad had been in the Navy.
For the last thirty-one years, we’ve lived in a small lake community. My husband grew up in one and from the stories of his childhood, I knew that was the atmosphere we wanted for our kids. It was a mixed community with residents who’d lived there for forty years and those of us who’d just moved in. Five of us were pregnant at the same time and forged a bond that carried over to our kids. They played together, attended preschool together, and graduated from high school together.
One element of both neighborhoods was the core group of women responsible for keeping tabs on everyone and making sure to spread the word, both good and bad; it was like having a town crier. On Cedar Hill, it was my grandmother, my great-aunt, and both Mrs. Johnsons who kept everyone abreast of the neighborhood goings-on. In Lindy’s Lake, it was Honey Baker, Marty Walsh, Ann Ahrens, and Millie Salisbury.
In the fictionalized town of Apple Grove, Ohio, it is Mrs. Winter, Miss Philo, and Honey B. Harrington who are the glue that keeps the town together and in the know. So brew a cup of tea or grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up and relax, and spend some time getting to know the good people of Apple Grove.
The one element that I love to include in my stories will always be neighbors helping neighbors—it’s what I grew up with and what we raised our children with. Times change and lives get busy and it is so easy to be immersed in your own existence, and totally miss what is going on around you. I know, because I’ve been there—and when I come back to the reality of family, friends, and neighbors—I realize how much I’ve missed and how sorry I am to have done so.
And now a question for readers: Did you grow up in a close-knit community or small town? If so, what element did you love best about your town?
ONE DAY IN APPLE GROVE BY C.H. ADMIRAND – IN STORES JUNE 2013
Welcome to Apple Grove, Ohio (pop. 597), a small town with a big heart.
Caitlin Mulcahy loves her family. She really does. But sometimes they can drive her to her last shred of sanity—from her dad (“I’m not meddling, I just want what’s best for you”) to her eight-months-pregnant older sister to her younger sister, who will do just about anything to avoid real work. Cait just needs to get away, even if for only an hour.
When she sees someone in need of help on the side of the road, of course she’s going to pull over. She might even be able to fix his engine—after all, the Mulcahy family is a handy bunch. She’s not expecting that former Navy medic Jack Gannon and a little black puppy named Jameson will be the ones who end up rescuing in her.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.H. Admirand was born in Aiken, South Carolina, but grew up in New Jersey. She has been delighting readers with her Secret Life of Cowboys Series, featuring three cowboy brothers with Irish charm, and is now working on the next book in her small town contemporary romance series, featuring the town and quirky characters of Apple Grove, OH. She lives with her husband, who is the inspiration for all of her heroes’ best traits, in New Jersey. For more information, please visit www.CHAdmirand.com.
GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of A Wedding in Apple Grove (Book 1 in the Small Town USA Series, and directly preceding the new book, One Day in Apple Grove). Open to US and Canadian readers. Enter by answering C.H. Admirand’s question about small towns! Last day to enter: June 14, 2013.