The hero of my March 2016 Love Inspired Historical, A Home Of Her Own, James O'Brien, is an apple grower in Diamond Springs, California, a Gold Rush town not too far from where I live.
The Diamond Springs, California area was a fruit growing region in the 1870s when the story takes place. I had such fun researching the job of apple orchardist. I had no idea how much was involved.
In order to remain true to history, I had to find out which apples were grown here in that day. Thankfully, I was able to locate period books on pomology, the fancy word for fruit growing, that listed the varieties James might have grown.
Choosing which apples James grows was fun. I wanted a nice variety in both the season the apples ripen as well as the colors of the blossoms on the trees.
All of the apples James grows have red skins of various shades. While many people prefer red apples, I'm partial to tart green varieties. My favorite varieties are Pippin and Granny Smith.
Which apple varieties are your favorites?
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About A Home of Her Own
A Blossoming Love
Becky Martin knows that she can’t stay at James O’Brien’s apple farm forever, but she wishes she could. After her brother framed her for arson, she flees Chicago, traveling cross-country to California and finding work caring for James’s ailing mother. Beneath the apple blossoms, it’s almost as if she has a real family…but her secret won’t stay buried forever.
James, scarred from an explosion, didn’t expect to connect to the pretty young traveler. Could she really love someone damaged like him? He knows she’s hiding something. If only she’d trust him. Can she let go of her past and believe in the possibility of a future amid the apple trees?
Click here to read an excerpt.