Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Aloha to C.H. Admirand and WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE


For Thanksgiving, I invited one of my college buddies (now working at the Pentagon) to join us for dinner. Since she lives south of DC, she stopped by Mom's Apple Pie (link) for dessert. My son loved the apple pie ... reminding me of C.H. Admirand's Small Town USA series set in Apple Grove, Ohio.   C.H. is celebrating the release of Book 3, WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE.  She prepared a special post ....

File:Motherhood and apple pie.jpg
Image released by the Agricultural Research Service (USDA)
Public Image (link)

Hi Kim! Thanks for inviting me to guest blog today ;) Hands down my favorite scenes in any of my books all involve family…. Especially in my latest release, Welcome Back to Apple Grove. Family is what keeps me sane and allows me to pursue this crazy career of mine.

Enter my hero, former FDNY firefighter, Patrick Garahan—who stops by with his firefighting brothers to play a game of pick-up soccer with his friend Daniel Egan and his team from Apple Grove (hero from book 1). Add in heroine Grace, who ends up calling her friend Kate McCormack for the perfect recipe to make a meal for a soccer team—and then some—and you have a typical meal at the Mulcahy household.

“This tastes great, Grace,” Mike told her. Everyone agreed.

“I can’t take credit; it’s Kate’s mom’s recipe.”

Timmy shook his head. “It’s Gram’s recipe, but she never follows it, says recipes are a guideline and every cook adds their own special ingredients.”

“McCormack likes to cook,” Doyle teased his friend.

“So?” Timmy asked. “I’ll probably be working over at the diner—and not waiting tables.”

Grace smiled. “Your cousins have been holding down the fort ever since their mom retired. I’m sure they’d appreciate your help.”

“Yeah,” Timmy said. “They wanted me to serve people, but that’s woman’s work. I can cook.”

Cait and Meg were laughing when Grace set down her sandwich and turned to stare at Timmy. “Is that so?” Grace asked. “And where did you hear that?”

Timmy must have realized he’d said something to upset her; he paled and every single one of his freckles stood out. “I, uh, well…that is—”

“Best just to keep eating,” Joe advised. “A wise man never tries to tell a woman what to do.”

The answering rumble of laughter among the men had Grace taking pity on the white-faced young man sitting across from her.

“I’m sorry, Gracie,” he said, using Kate’s nickname for her. “Mom says I talk before I think.”

Grace leaned across the table toward him and asked, “Who should Mulcahys send to your house the next time your furnace stops working or your plumbing springs a leak?”

Timmy looked from Meg to Cait and back to Grace, and said, “Just ignore the freckle-faced kid,” earning a nod of approval from Joe.

“I taught my girls everything they know about fixing things, woodworking, plumbing—”

“Too bad they’re all spoken for,” Finney said from his end of the table.

Patrick slid his arm around Grace’s neck and ate one-handed, licking the excess sauce before it had a chance to spill out of the roll. “You should stop at the Apple Grove Diner on your way back to the firehouse—Kate and Peggy are amazing cooks. And Kate’s single.”

Bear leaned toward Sledge and said, “Notice he didn’t say anything about what they looked like.”

Finney grinned. “Maybe we can sweet talk Peggy into being single. Besides if they can cook—it doesn’t matter what they look like.”

Timmy’s head shot up. “My cousins are real lookers, right, Coach?”

Dan nodded. “Pretty blonde, and curves that go on for—” He ducked as Meg took a swing at his head. “Hey, it’s always best to tell the truth,” he said, snagging her arm and tucking her against his side. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” he told Meg, “and I’m beholdin’ a beauty right now.”

Grace watched the fight go out of her oldest sister. The love that shone between Dan and Meg warmed Grace’s heart, but she didn’t get to think about it too long because Sledge and Bear started a heated debate.

When Bear shot to his feet, Grace looked up at the size of him and decided whatever the man wanted to do, she’d let him.

“I said I’m going to the diner,” Sledge said, pushing Bear, but the man didn’t budge.

Patrick leaned close and asked, “Are you going to finish that?”

Grace stared down at the half a sandwich left on her plate and shook her head. “I’m full. You want it?”

He slid his hand along the curve of her shoulder and down the length of her arm to her wrist, his hand expertly slipped to the inside of her wrist and he grinned. “Thinking about me or worried about those two goons?”

Grace had trouble concentrating when his voice dropped to that low seductive rumble. He must have taken her silence as a yes. He lifted her limp hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to one knuckle at a time.

“Maybe we should stay a little longer,” Bear said, nodding toward Patrick.

Sledge nudged Finney, who elbowed Jimmy before saying, “I’m thinking we should ask Grace if she’d like to come to the firehouse and cook for us.”

Grace heard her name, but nothing else because Patrick had turned her hand over and placed a kiss to the center of her palm. Who knew that the palm of one’s hand was an erogenous zone?

“No deal, guys. Grace only comes to the firehouse if I’m there.”

The hard, clipped tone of Patrick’s voice had her looking up to see every one of the Newark firefighters staring at her and smiling.

Even exotic Kauai has small towns and vintage trucks!


There's No Place Like Home...

Grace Mulcahy thought she'd finally gotten Apple Grove, Ohio, out of her system. Then she's lured back for a family barbecue and spies a broad-shouldered hottie hanging out at the grill. He somehow seems utterly at ease, whether flipping burgers or horsing around with her hellion nephews. Why didn't her brother-in-law tell her he had such gorgeous friends? Suddenly her mouth is watering for more than her best friend's famous pie.

Some fires aren't meant to be fought…

When firefighter Pat Garahan sees Grace, it's like a five-alarm bell goes off and he's the one ablaze. She says she wants to leave Apple Grove, but he will do whatever it takes to keep her around. The life of a firefighter isn't an easy one though, and he'll have to prove their immediate spark can have a lasting chance at love…


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, as well as the Small Town USA Series, with the 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

To Purchase Welcome Back to Apple Grove:

Barnes and Noble
Discover a New Love 

Sourcebooks is offering a print copy of WELCOME BACK TO APPLE GROVE to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  What is your favorite pie?  Check out Mom's Apply Pie (link) for tempting suggestions ... plus more than apple pie!   The Almond Amaretto Chess pie looks delicious!

2.  Sourcebooks' giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 14, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 15.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



  1. I love warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream, but those other pie's at Mom's look yummy too!

    1. Hi Di ;) I'm with you on warm out of the oven apple pie a la mode! My guys will *settle* for heavy cream or whipped cream if there's no vanilla ice cream. Mom's Pies do look yummy ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Well now here's a pie I've never made...I've seen pics though and they do look delicious ;)

  3. I Love C.H. Admirand's books!! I also love Shoo-fly pie. It is a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty and delicious... and brings back wonderful childhood memories.

    1. Waving to Betty!!! Thank you so much for the lovely compliment ;) I can't believe you like Shoo-fly pie too. As a kid I wouldn't touch it until my Dad promised there were no flies in the pie. Kids think the strangest things LOL! My Dad's mom was Pennsylvania Dutch ;)

  4. Replies
    1. That's two votes for Banana Cream Pie...I'm going to have to check out a recipe for one ;)

  5. My husband and I love apple pie. We sometimes make our own however we are not just good in making it but we certainly very good in eating it. Great post!

    Military spouse career

    1. Hi Fe, I'm with you on the eating the pie. It's a favorite in our house for birthdays too. When the kids were little I started cutting a smiley face on the birthday pies and have kept it up all these years. They groan, but still eat it ;) I'm glad you enjoyed reading the snippet from the book ;)

  6. I love apple pie and English custard. It always reminds me of my Mum, who always made it.

    1. Hi Diane! Isn't it wonderful to have happy things that remind us of those we love? Sounds Yummy. I have a custard recipe that goes into my grandmother's Boston Cream Pie--it's at the back of the book-- I have to be careful or the custard doesn't make it between those layers. ;)

  7. I like apple pie with lots of cheese melted on top. Actually, I like any kind of pie except raisin pie. The book sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. Hi Marjorie! Hmmm...I've never had cheese melted on apple pie...Cheddar? But I'm going to give it a try ;) Never had raisin pie, but my hubby doesn't like raisins--I can't even add them to my Irish Soda Bread ;( so I don't think I'll be baking the raisin pie. But it sounds interesting. I'm glad you think the book sounds like a good read. I loved spending time in Apple Grove and will miss it.

  8. I gotta go with Pumpkin :) It's my fav!!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. The classic Thanksgiving pie, Erin ;) My grandfather and great uncle used to tell my grandma that they had to have a pumpkin pie and mincemeat pie or it wasn't thanksgiving. Lucky for us kids, my mom would also bake apple pie and cherry pie because the mincemeat pie, just didn't look right and my brother, sisters and I weren't sure we wanted to try a pie with meat in it. Years later when our darling daughter was just 3 she confused the name and called it "mousemeat" pie...she never touched it at my in-laws' house. ;)

  9. Good Morning, Kim! Waving from the wilds of north Jersey...covered in dust, just wrestled the artificial tree out of the closet and spent the last hour arranging branches. It was set it up today--or no tree! LOL. Thanks for the beautiful pics to go along with my post. Love the apple pie, baseball and flag pic and the vintage pickup!!! Have a Merry Christmas!

  10. Replies
    1. Ooooh girlygirl! I've never added chocolate to my buttered pecan pie. Do you use chocolate broken into bits, or chocolate syrup? I might just have to try that ;)

  11. Peach pie and Lemon Meringue (though I'd take it without the meringue). :)

    Marcy Shuler

    1. Oh Peach and Lemon Meringue! Good choices, and I totally agree about the meringue...not my fave, but I love what's usually underneath ;)

  12. Replies
    1. That's another vote for Apple Pie! Always a fave with our three ;)

  13. I love all kinds of pie, but chocolate cream has to be my favorite.

    1. Mmmm...Chocolate Cream Pie! My great grandfather used to own a tavern and always had Chocolate Cream Pie on their menu ;)

  14. I don't think I have a particular favorite. I use to love my mom's apple pies. I probably like everything except coconut cream lol. And that almond amaretto pie sounds heavenly.

    1. I can understand about loving your mom's apple pies. Mom's baking always made us feel great ;) My dad's favorite, although mom didn't make it as often was Pineapple Cream Cheese Pie ;) PS the almond amaretto does sound good ;)

  15. I'm not much of a pie eater and the only one I make is pumpkin (not a talented baker!).

    1. Hey, Karen, another vote for pumpkin! It's the standard for holiday-time ;)

  16. Replies
    1. LOL, Liz! I've got a killer cheesecake recipe...lots of cream cheese, eggs--and no sour cream. You can't eat a big slice, but savoring it with a cup of coffee at the end of the day is decadent ;)

  17. Replies
    1. Hey Bn100 -- you can't go wrong with chocolate as an ingredient, can you? I've never made a chocolate pie, either and have a recipe from a friend for Chocolate Chess Pie...will have to dig it out and give it a try ;)

  18. I don't really like many fruit pies except for apple. I love apple pies. But, my favorite pie is German Chocolate.

  19. Until I went to Mom's Apple Pie I thought it was Lemon Meringue and Peach but I saw Red Raspberry and Almond Amaretto Chess Pie. OMG, I'm drooling here. :)
    I definitely have to read this series. I love family scenes in books. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  20. My mom's apple crumb pie is my favorite.

  21. My mothers award winning pecan pie, delicious.

  22. Rhubarb Pie. Yum.
    Patty B Coral