Search This Blog

The Devil in Midwinter: Giveaway and Guest Post!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


In my paranormal romance “The Devil in Midwinter,” my heroine Esmeralda is bound to serve her magician uncle for a period of seven years.  Uncle Oscar is something of a plant wizard and he specializes in growing heirloom apples.

Once upon a time in America there were hundreds of strains of apples. Varied in color and shape and size, these were eventually considered problematic by grocers and fruit sellers, because they didn’t conform  to the specifications of a “proper” apple, which should be red, big and round.  For the past fifty years, apples have been bred for appearance, rather than flavor, and we’re all the worse for it, in my opinion.

Luckily a few orchardists—like Esmeralda’s uncle—devote themselves to trying to revive these ancient strains of misshapen but tasty fruits.  If you are ever lucky enough to visit a heritage orchard, I urge to try as many of the apples as you can.  They are not all pretty, but they are all distinct and tasty.  Here are some varieties to check out:

Pitmason Pineapples – really do have a hint of pineapple flavoring and a very sweet smell

Ashmead Kernal – tart and crisp, it typifies the “best” apple flavor, although it is not at all an attractive fruit, having a rough exterior

Calville Blanc – mostly yellow, with little red dots on the skin, this one smells fantastic, and makes a lovely pie

Hidden Rose – has pink flesh, it’s like biting into a dream

Heirloom apples are often site specific (many of them only grow properly in certain areas of the country), so you can’t get all varieties in all places.  Most of them have not been hybridized for cold storage (like Red and Golden Delicious apples) so you can only get them at certain times. But heirloom varieties are worth exploring.  A good place to start is The Heirloom Orchardist:
And Trees of Antiquity:
You can also contact orchards near you and ask if they grow heritage fruits and when they have tastings.


Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this book! (ebook)

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ


  1. Babel said...:

    Striking cover, and yes, it's a pity that food's appearance is more important than flavour or nutrients.
    Thanks for the giveaway :-)

  1. Jo said...:

    We stopped buying apples at the grocery store and started buying them from a local farm, and I couldn't believe the difference in taste.

  1. bn100 said...:

    Tasty sounding apples

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  1. bn100 said...:

    Tasty sounding apples

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  1. Thank you for this giveaway and all you do... this book looks and sounds amazing

  1. Unknown said...:

    I've actually had a hidden rose apple and it was delicious. I'm now eager to try the others you've mentioned.
    The book sounds really great and I'm eager to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot) com

  1. patanne said...:

    this looks an awesome read!

  1. magic5905 said...:

    Sounds great. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  1. I love the sound of this. I love apples too.


  1. i love the cover thanks for the giveaway.

  1. I love eating apples.. I eat one just about everyday... Thank you for the giveaway and I must say this cover is AMAZING

  1. Unknown said...:

    I look forward tor eading the book. email:

  1. Natasha said...:

    Sounds like a great read!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  1. Unknown said...:

    Looks and sounds like a great read!!