The Apple Orchard is published. It’s in stores everywhere, starting right now. My amazing literary agent send me a gorgeous bouquet, featuring pink-and-white apple blossoms. As an unexpected bonus, my friend Janet delivered the flowers. Most days, I love my job.
Here are the books on a pallet in the carport:
Important note: if you preorder this or any other edition of the book from any retailer, you are eligible for a special place in this writer’s heart. More importantly, you can participate in TWO amazing drawings. To enter the drawing for the iPad2, simply email your proof of preorder to firstname.lastname@example.org. To enter the drawing for the epic Sonoma getaway, email your receipt to email@example.com. Heck, knock yourself out, enter both. I am so grateful for every preorder, I wish you all the best! Thanks, people.
The Simplest Gooey Molasses Cookie
(with kitchen tips* from moi)
3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
Measure the oil first, then pour it into a mixing bowl. In the same measuring cup, easure the molasses next; that way, it won’t stick to your measuring cup.*
Blend the first 4 ingredients together.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix well to form a thick, dark dough.
Drop by teaspoons into a dish of sugar (try to use the coarse turbinado variety) and roll to coat.*
Place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Make sure they’re far enough apart so they don’t turn into one giant molasses rectangle.* Duh.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the parchment, then store in an airtight container.
Good luck not eating the whole batch.
I was a storyteller before I could speak in fully formed sentences, or write words on paper. I know this because I have the kind of mom who tended to save things she deemed important—like a toddler’s markings on an old church collection envelope, or stick-figure drawings featuring imaginary characters. This is how I know that all my stories have always been about the same thing—an ordinary girl, facing extraordinary circumstances, whether it’s a kid up a tree with Bad Things after her…or a lonely young woman who suddenly discovers a family she’s never known.
But that’s just the spine of the story. For me, the magic happens when I discover just the right setting and tone for the story to unfold. I created the town of Archangel, in glorious Sonoma County, as the setting for THE APPLE ORCHARD, because I wanted to evoke that golden, sweep-you-away quality that comes over the reader as she sinks into the world of the story.
Besides the setting, my favorite aspect of this story is that often, the key to the present is found in the past, sometimes deeply buried. As Tess, the main character, uncovers the hidden dramas that have brought her to THE APPLE ORCHARD, she uncovers her own heart’s desire.
BIG NEWS: THE APPLE ORCHARD (have I mentioned the title enough?) is 50% off when you preorder from Barnes&Noble on April 3 and 4 only. So grab a copy for yourself, and maybe order an extra for your mom, your BFF, your local library…I do love a sale!