In Nice to Come Home To, Cass Gentry returns to the lake because it was only place she was ever truly happy. She doesn't expect to find that again--too much time and too many things have crossed the bridge for that--but inheriting half of Keep Cold Orchard and having temporary custody of her half sister Royce bring her back.
Luke Rossiter, the handsome widower who owns the other half of the orchard, hopes Cass will want to sell him her percentage. He likes her, but he doesn't have any interest in a relationship. None at all.
Although the writing of this book was difficult--sometimes it just is, isn't it?--so much of it was fun. Like when I went to pick up my grandson Shea at McClure's Orchard, where he worked, I looked around. And walked around. And drank apple cider slushies. And petted goats and listened to music and...
My thoughts went to what a great place it would be for a book. I took the whole orchard out to Country Club Road by the lake, planted Aunt Zoey's (you'll love her) farmhouse in the middle of it, a round barn replica near the entry, and made myself--not to mention Cass, Luke, and some family members--right at home. I hope you like it there, too.
I also ate lots of Honeycrisp apples, which actually had nothing to do with this book. However, if you don't already know it, Honeycrisps are the edible definition of Heartwarming romance. They are crisp and sweet and memorable and one is never enough.
One of my favorite things when I was writing the book was naming the orchard. Friends offered many suggestions, but Cheryl Reavis suggested Keep Cold Orchard, taken from a Robert Frost poem. I not only loved the name of the orchard, but love the words of "Good-bye, and Keep Cold" as well. I leave you with them.
Good-bye, and Keep Cold
BY ROBERT FROST
This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark
And cold to an orchard so young in the bark
Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
An orchard away at the end of the farm
All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse
By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse.
(If certain it wouldn't be idle to call
I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
(We made it secure against being, I hope,
By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
"How often already you've had to be told,
Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.
Dread fifty above more than fifty below."
I have to be gone for a season or so.
My business awhile is with different trees,
Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these,
And such as is done to their wood with an axe—
Maples and birches and tamaracks.
I wish I could promise to lie in the night
And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
But something has to be left to God.
P.S. Before I go! One of the best parts of having a new release is that you get to share the month with three Heartwarming sisters. I love sharing August (my birthday month!) with Carol Ross, Tara Randel, and Jeannie Watt. Here are our offerings this month. I hope you love them all.
I love your setting, and you're so right about Honey Crisp apples. We have a local orchard that sounds a lot like yours! Best wishes for a great release month and a happy birthday!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Amie--on both counts! I am in the middle of BACK TO THE LAKE BREEZE HOTEL (not that I'm behind much) and enjoying it a lot. What a great series.Delete
I’m eager for another visit to Lake Miniagua, Liz, as I so enjoyed The Happiness Pact. I love the cover, the title and what better location for a romance than an apple orchard! Thanks too for including this wonderful Robert Frost poem, which I’ve never read before. Congratulatins to you and your August release mates!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Janice. I loved "being at the lake." I agree about the poem. I'm a poetry idiot, I'm sorry to admit, but I like a lot of Frost.Delete
Congratulations--thanks the poem, too, which was new to me. It's true, an orchard is a such a good setting for a book--we could say "ripe" with possibilities. (Ouch. Sorry.) Happy Birthday and happy release month.ReplyDelete
Lol. Pretty good, Virginia! Thank you!Delete
I have to buy my Honey Crisp apples at Safeway, but they are still good. As a kid we always had apple trees in our yard and loved all the dishes my mom could make with kinds you don't see in stores any more. The book didn't feel like you had any trouble writing it, Liz.ReplyDelete
Hi Liz!! I loved this, and completely agree with honey crisp apples as a way to define Heartwarming books. I think the title Keep Cold Orchard is great!!ReplyDelete
Your new release sounds WONDERFUL!! I had so much fun spotlighting The Happiness Pact on my blog, and the giveaway winners were so happy. Thanks for everything, and congratulations on the new release!! ( :
Thanks, Laurie! I hope you like Nice to Come Home To when you get to it--and thanks again for your support to all things Heartwarming.Delete
We inherited a peach tree on a southern slope, and Robert Frost is right about the heat -- it blooms too early and freezes out most years. Love the poem and can't wait to read the story. And I think Honeycrisp apples should be "the official fruit of Heartwarming."ReplyDelete
What a great idea! I've certainly test-eaten enough of them to testify to their quality. :-)Delete
I'm with Laurie...loved the comparison of Heartwarming to a Honeycrisp apple. I've got a Honeycrisp branch growing in the backyard on my composite apple tree. Unique setting for a story. All the best, Liz!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Moira. I remember seeing composite apple trees in the seed catalogs--I've never actually seen one of the trees. I'd love to hear more about it.Delete
Hi, Liz! You always have the best book titles. And this setting sounds so lovely. The poem reminds me of my late father who loved to grow everything. He wasn't above threatening the critters who breached his fences. Lol. Love sharing a birthday month with you, too.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carol. As someone who can't successfully grow anything (other than kids and moles in the backyard), I have so much admiration for those who can and do. Happy birthday to you this month!Delete
Hi Liz, Just letting you know I featured your book on my website today:ReplyDelete
Apple cider slushies...never had one before and would love to try it. Congrats on the book!ReplyDelete
They are so good--and I'm not a slushies fan! Thanks, Callie.Delete
I loved "The Happiness Pact" and look forward to going back there. I'm seeing this a day late because on the day it posted, my daughter and I were visiting a sunflower farm, which also had an apple orchard. It was HOT and she got an apple cider slushie, too. Being in nature, in real life and in books, is so relaxing.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Cathy. I need to visit a sunflower farm--I love seeing them in the fields. I hope you like Nice to Come Home To.Delete
It's extra sweet to me that you chose a honeycrisp apples, because my son LOVES those. They have replaced all other apples for him! Love your post, Liz! Nice to Come Home To sounds wonderful. A perfect fall read!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Claire, and I'm with your son--they're the only ones I want.Delete
Liz, Robert Frost is my favorite poet and your book sounds wonderful. Congrats on your release!!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Rula!ReplyDelete