Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How About Them Apples?

Keli Gwyn here talking about apples.

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.

I settled on five varieties: Baldwin, Esopus Spitzenburg and Rome Beauties with white blossoms, Jonathans with white to light pink blooms and Winesaps with pretty pink flowers.

 Apple varieties have changed over the years. Of those listed, the only one I see in my local grocery store's produce section today is the Rome Beauty.

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?

• • •

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.
Copyright © 2016 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover art and cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
or its affiliated companies, used under license.


  1. I love Granny Smith apples. Especially with peanut butter. My go-to deadline lunch!

    Great cover! Good post!

  2. Lenora, I haven't tried Granny Smith apples with peanut butter. I like both, so I'm going to give this a try.

  3. My favorite variety is the Empire apple. We have a heritage Winsap apple tree. And on my husband's family's farm in Western New York, they have an old Northern Spy orchard that was supposedly seeded by Johnny (Chapman) Appleseed.

  4. Jean, I haven't heard of an Empire apple. Is is tart or sweet?

    What fun that you have a heritage apple tree in your yard. I would love to see a Winesap tree in bloom. From the pictures I've seen of their pretty pink blooms, I'm sure it's a sight to behold.

    I ran across Northern Spy while doing my research. Later in the story when James is asking Becky for suggestions of apple varieties to include in his next orchard expansion, she suggests Northern Spy because of its spiciness.

  5. My son loves Granny Smith green apples. We probably buys hundreds each year. Maybe I should get a tree.

  6. I love Granny Smith apples as well. For a sweeter apple has anyone tried the Honeycrisps?

    Keli, I love the cover of your book and can't wait to read it.

  7. Pamela, it sounds like your son and my husband have something in common. Carl really does eat an apple a day. Most of the year his pick is Granny Smith. The only time he varies is when Pippins are in season. Like me, he enjoys their tartness.

  8. Mary, I've never had a Honey Crisp. I can't recall seeing them in our stores here in California. I love the name, though.

    Thanks for your kind words about my book. I love the cover, too. The Love Inspired art department does a wonderful job on our covers.

  9. I really love the cover of this book! So eye catching and soothing.

  10. Thanks, Patricia. When I opened the email and saw that beautiful cover, I squealed. The Love Inspired art department does a wonderful job on our covers. I know I'm biased, but I think they hit it out of the park on this one. =)


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