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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Idea Trail by Liz Flaherty @LizFlaherty1 #harlequinheartwarming

I am not one of those authors who has more ideas than she knows what to do with. I won’t die leaving dozens of unexplored stories in my wake simply because I don’t have dozens. And, naturally, one of the most frequent questions a writer is asked is, “Where do you come up with your ideas?”

Er…what ideas would those be?

But with Nice to Come Home To, released today from Harlequin Heartwarming (squealing and jumping up and down here—aren’t you glad you can’t see me?), I can pinpoint the idea trail. Want to come along?

My grandson, Shea, worked at McClure’s Orchard, about ten miles from where we live. I picked him up at work. What a cool place it is, with the acres of trees and the cafĂ© and the pumpkin patch and…

We’re driving home one day—I forget whether it’s on Interstate 65 or State Road 31—and there on a farm was a round barn replica. Make no mistake, we have the real thing around here, and I love them, but this was a replica. What if…

There’s a guy from church... His name is Bryce. He’s a lawyer, a good guy. He helps run Doud’s, the family orchard about five miles the opposite way from where we live. What a cool place it is, with jams and jellies and…have you ever had an apple cider slushie? Heaven!

My husband sits on a stool when he plays in public places. I love his hands…his fingers on the strings…the emotion that fills his music and my heart. I can see him in a coffee shop. Oh, a coffee shop…in the round barn…at the orchard…what if…

Okay, I have the orchard. What should I name it? Cheryl Reavis suggests Keep Cold, from the Robert Frost poem “Good-bye and Keep Cold.” The suggestion makes me warm and delighted, and makes the orchard home.

Home. I use Cole Porter song titles in this series. In the annual Cole Porter festival, someone always sing “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.” I named the work-in-progress So Nice to Come Home To. Most of it stuck.

I already had Cass and Luke, the protagonists—people always come to me first—and now I had their setting. Luke’s fingers on guitar strings. Cass and a coffee shop and the round barn. What if…

And there you have it, the birth of Nice to Come Home To. I’ll be giving away a copy of a book from the backlist, along with some apple-type swag to a commenter who’d like to be added to my mailing list. (The swag hasn’t come yet, so I can’t even put a picture here!) I promise not to send very many newsletters—it takes me too long to get one ready!

Thanks for coming by. Have a great week.

Check out the Orchards' websites.

McClure Orchard:

Doud Orchard: https://www.doudorchard.com/

About the Book

Will an apple a day…
Keep love at bay?

For Cass Gentry, coming home to Lake Miniagua, teenage half sister in tow, is bittersweet. But her half of the orchard she inherited awaits, and so does a fresh face—Luke Rossiter, her new business partner. Even though they butt heads in business, they share one key piece of common ground: refusing to ever fall in love again. But as their lives get bigger, that stance doesn’t feel like enough…

About the Author: Liz Flaherty spent way too much time when she was young worrying about growing old. Regardless of how much hair color and moisturizer she used, it happened anyway. Now that she really IS old, she only worries that it won't last long enough--it's a lot more fun than she anticipated. She still loves adventures with Duane, her husband of 47 years, and she's not even going to get started on the grandkids--there are seven, by the way, all perfect... She writes and makes quilts and spends time with friends and family and never dusts. It's all good.


  1. I love hearing about where people get their ideas! We’re headed to Michigan next week and our daughter in law has been raving about one of the apple orchards there. I can’t wait to check it out!

  2. I don't know if I've even been in a round barn. Could you post a photo?
    Book sounds great, but I'm still waiting for the sequel to McGuffey's (did I spell that right?)

    1. There are a few pictures of them here.https://www.fultoncountyhistory.org/events I'd kind of like to do a McGuffey's sequel...we'll see...

  3. What a warm and wonderful post! Thoroughly enjoyed this. Good luck with the book, Liz! Tweeted this and saved it on Pinterest.

  4. Happy Release Day Liz:) Love, love, love hearing about how a book gets it start:)

  5. I love this behind-the-scenes look at the way you come up with ideas! Sounds like a great story!

  6. Warm drinks and barns and apples -- it does sound nice to come home to. Can't wait to read it!

    1. Thanks, Beth! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did yours! :-)

  7. Having grown up in Oregon where in our valley we had all manner of orchards and berries, etc. I really enjoyed reading this book and loved the characters.

  8. Thanks Liz, and wish you much success.
    I love the way words can mingle places,time, and how they make you feel, a richness, full of flavor.

  9. I really enjoyed the post. I wish you the best of luck with your new release. :)

  10. Congratulations to Roz for being the winner!


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