Today we bring you C.H. Admirand who’s celebrating the release of her latest novel A Wedding in Apple Grove, which is the first book in her brand new Small Town USA contemporary romance series. Join us as we discuss small towns, romance, and Happily Ever Afters!
Stella: Hi C.H., welcome to Book Lovers Inc! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
C.H.: Hi Stella, thanks for inviting me to be interviewed. I’m a huge fan of the “Happily Ever After (HEA)” and am addicted to Romance. I fell in love at first sight at 17 with the man who still makes my heart stop. We have three amazing kids—two sons and a daughter in the middle—and now a son-in-law and darling year old grandson. I have characters arguing in my head until I agree to write their stories. I love to bake—am a carboholic—love to play in the dirt in our gardens, and read romance.
Stella: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
C.H.: My typical days are anything but. I’ve been writing full time for a little over a year now, but am still trying to find my balance. Guilt for not going to a day job was a surprise, but since I’ve always worked—I had my own typing service when the kids were little, and started working part time again in an office after our youngest started first grade—I guess it’s hard not to feel guilty that I’m not contributing a weekly paycheck. Planner/plotter for sure. Once the germ of an idea, or character starts, I have to jot it down and that’s when the what ifs start and I’m writing the synopsis.
Stella: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
C.H.: Hmmm…interesting question. IMHO a reader can choose when and what to read at their leisure…while a Romance Fanatic (such as myself) goes through withdrawal if they don’t have a Romance book to read. I thoroughly enjoy re-reading favorites and will usually pick out a historical to re-read when I’m on deadline with a contemporary.
Stella: Your latest release, A Wedding in Apple Grove, is the 1st novel in your Small Town USA trilogy and was released this month by Sourcebooks Casablanca, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of this series and especially A Wedding in Apple Grove?
C.H.: I’ve always loved small towns and the busy-bodies passing gossip over their backyard fences and at the hot spots in town, quirky characters that will bring a smile to readers’ faces, and a dash of the unexpected—the Mulcahy sisters are running the family business now that their father has retired—it’s a handyman business. These ladies know how to use power tools…well except for the youngest sister, Grace, she runs the office and doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. The first three books are about the Mulcahy sisters, but I just had the McCormack sisters (who run the Apple Grove Diner) bugging me to tell their stories, sooo…we’ll see what my editor thinks.
Stella: Could you introduce Daniel and Megan, the hero and heroine of A Wedding in Apple Grove?
C.H.: OK, Dan, you first.
Dan: Just the facts, yes ma’am. My parents would tell you I’m trying to outrun my past—a relationship gone bad. Can you believe my ex actually flushed that diamond I pawned my 1952 Mickey Mantle Rookie card for? To make matters worse…she decided she’d rather hook up with my ex-best friend…apparently he has more money than me…go figure after she flushed that investment down the toilet. Great Aunt Trudi Philo let me know that Apple Grove was looking for a new Phys. Ed. teacher and varsity soccer coach…I figured Apple Grove, Ohio was just far enough away.
C.H.: Seriously Dan, readers want to know what you look like.
Dan: Oh…right, it’s a female thing. OK…brown hair, gray eyes, 6’ tall, built like a defender—you know broad-shoulders, stocky frame…you can’t get past me to our goalie and score.
C.H.: Meg, how about you?
Meg: I’m the oldest and the shortest. I get my height—I’m 5’2” tall—blue eyes and freckles from my mom and my pin-straight auburn hair from my dad. I love fixing things. I used to follow my dad around asking him to teach me what he knows—until mom died…then things got tough. My sister Caitlin is 6 years younger than me and Grace is 7 years younger…I had to watch out for them and help my dad out after school. But we’re a close family and families stick together through the bad times and the good. I love living in Apple Grove, but my sometime boyfriend Jimmy Van Orden doesn’t. Oh well, I hear there’s a new eligible bachelor coming to town, who knows what fate has in store?
Stella: Lol, thank you! C.H., if you could have your dream cast who would play the characters in A Wedding in Apple Grove?
C.H.: Hmmm…good question, I have their images in my mind’s eye…but putting faces to them is trickier since I don’t get out much and NEVER get the remote! LOL! Let’s see…Amy Adams for Megan Mulcahy and possibly Gerard Butler for Daniel Eagan.
Stella: And now let’s have Couple’s Therapy: Megan, Daniel, if you had to introduce each other, what 3 words would you use to describe the other?
Dan: Hmmm…I’d say Meg is pretty, petite and engaging.
Meg: Well, Dan is Rugged-looking, broad-shouldered, and irritating.
Stella: What is the quality that you like the most in the other and the one that drives you up the wall?
Dan: I love the way Meg goes out of her way to help others. She’s afraid of heights and still insists on doing roof repairs.
Meg: I really love the way Dan relates to the kids in his class and on his team. It drives me crazy that he could be hot one minute and then cold—putting on the brakes—the next.
Stella: What was your first fight about?
Meg laughs: Me stepping forward and Dan stepping back from what we have.
Stella: C.H., this contemporary romance trilogy of yours is set in a lovely small town, have you ever lived in one? What inspired you to set your series in Apple Grove, and what makes this small town so familiar to readers or to the contrary different than the other small towns?
C.H.: I grew up in a remote neighborhood of 25 homes all on dead end streets…if you didn’t live up on Cedar Hill, you wouldn’t go there. As kids we loved having the run of the neighborhood, riding bikes and the neighborhood baseball games in my grandparents’ yard. We’d worn out a patch of dirt that was home plate, first base was the Dogwood Tree, second base was usually somebody’s sweatshirt and third base was a cedar tree; and I’ve spent the last 30 years living in a small Lake Community so small town living is near and dear to my heart. On a trip home from Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together, I drove to Purity, Ohio—just outside of Newark, Ohio and fell in love with the area. I took pictures and filled up both sides of a cassette tape with thoughts and what I saw while driving through. The heart of the town is its people and the gossips that keep everyone in the know and on their toes.
Stella: Will we get to see Daniel and Megan in the subsequent books as well? Speaking of those, when will we be able to read them?
C.H.: Yes, they are in the 2nd & 3rd books. Book 2: One Day in Apple Grove releases in June 2013 and Book 3: Welcome Back to Apple Grove releases in December 2013.
Stella: Yay, congrats! Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read A Wedding in Apple Grove?
C.H.: Small town romances are a feel-good read. The quirky townspeople are loveable. You’ve gotta love a woman who knows how to use power tools and drives an antique black, Ford F1 pickup.
Stella: Can you summarize A Wedding in Apple Grove for us twitterstyle (140 characters or less)?
C.H.: Tool Time with a twist, Meg is the handyman and Dan is the teacher. A modern-day Mayberry where everyone feels at home.
Stella: What is next on your schedule? Any future plans you’d like to share with us?
C.H.: I turned in the edits for One Day in Apple Grove last month and am on deadline with Welcome Back to Apple Grove. In March 2013, my first digital Historical Irish Western Romance Comic, Bring ‘Em Back Alive, releases from Sea Lion Books. A special print edition will be available during the Graphic Novel & E-Book Expo during the RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City. In April, A Wedding in Apple Grove will be released in large print…another first for me!
Stella: Congratulations and thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with us!
C.H.: It’s been my pleasure, thanks for interviewing me!
Book #1 in the Small Town USA trilogy
He’s not so sure about small town life.
She can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Welcome to Apple Grove, Ohio (population 597), where everyone has your best interests at heart, even if they can’t agree on the best way to meddle. When the townsfolk of Apple Grove need handiwork done, there’s no job too small for the Mulcahy sisters: Megan, Caitlin, and Grace.
Specializing in hard work and family loyalty, tomboy Meg Mulcahy has left behind any girlhood dreams of romance. Enter newcomer Daniel Eagan, looking to bury his own broken heart and make a new start. He’s surprised-and delighted-by the winsome girl with the mighty tool belt who shows up to fix his wiring.
But Dan’s got a lot to learn about life in a small town, and when Meg’s past collides with her future, it may take all 595 other residents of Apple Grove to keep this romance from short-circuiting.
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 books 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.
Sourcebooks has generously offered a paperback copy of A Wedding in Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand to a lucky US/CAN commenter, and not to leave out our international readers, BLI is sponsoring a copy for those who live outside the US as well!
All you have to do is leave a question/comment for C.H: or tell us: do you enjoy reading small town romances? and why?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, 15 December 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.