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Autumn Has Arrived!

If you've been around this blog for any length of time or read any of the interviews I did around the release time of FATAL FREEZE, you're no stranger to this Fun Fact: I don't like cold weather! But what I do like is cool weather, specifically the kind that comes at the beginning of Fall. 
Cooler weather means long-sleeved shirts, pumpkin everything, and... apples! Late summer / early Fall means our apple tree is ready for harvest. I'm still getting used to having an apple tree in our front yard -- in fact, we didn't even know it was an apple tree until two years ago, when we thought the little green apples that started appearing were crab apples. 
Turns out they're not -- they're Macs! Last year I trimmed the tree and we had a small yield, and this year the summer was very dry, so I didn't think we'd get a whole lot. The fruit looked quite small until only a few weeks before summer ended... but then we got some heavy rainfall, a few warm days, and voila! The apples matured and we had a decent harvest after all! 
I picked two baskets of apples, one is in the picture above. There's a second basket in the fridge right now, but the one above turned into slow cooker apple cider two nights ago. Delicious!

There were also a lot of dropped apples, which I assume happened because of the dry weather. But apparently that didn't matter to a neighbor, who knocked on our door yesterday and asked if she could take some of the dropped apples to make a pie. She took quite a few of them (I don't envy her work in cutting out the bugs & bruises!), so I suspect she'll have more than enough for a tasty pie. It makes me happy to know the dropped fruit didn't go to waste!
And I should also mention... the squirrels are enjoying the dropped apples too. They keep dragging apples onto our porch, having a nice snack, and then leaving the rest of the apple for the ants (or for another squirrel to eat later). Yay for multiple people & critters benefiting from our fruit tree!
What grew in your yard this year? Did you plant a garden or have you ever tried growing fruit?

Killer Voices Debut #6 -- Christmas in Hiding

It's release day for another one of my Killer Voices sisters! Cate Nolan has waited a loooong time to see her book in print -- yes, she sold at the same time those of us published earlier this year did! -- so it's very exciting to be able to finally celebrate this release with her.
Christmas in Hiding is Cate's debut -- come on over to the Harlequin debut thread and read more about her and what inspired this book!
Plus, a bonus is that it's a Christmas-themed book which makes it a perfect gift option for those bibliophiles on your list. Oooh, yeah!