The Apple Orchard
Bella Vista Chronicles #1
by Susan Wiggs
May 24, 2016
Available in: Trade Size (reprint)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs
brings readers into the lush abundance of Sonoma County, in
a story of sisters, friendship and the invisible bonds of
history that are woven like a spell around us.
Tess Delaney makes a living returning stolen treasures to
their rightful owners. She loves illuminating history,
filling the spaces in people’s hearts with stories of
their family legacies.
But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father
she never met, and a mother who spent more time traveling
than with her daughter.
Then Dominic Rossi arrives on the doorstep of the San
Francisco shop Tess hopes to buy, and he tells her that the
grandfather she never knew is in a coma. Tess has been named
in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre
apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel.
The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half sister she
hadn’t heard of.
Isabel is everything Tess isn’t: all softness to
Tess’s hard angles, warm and nurturing where Tess is
tightly wound. But against the rich landscape of Bella
Vista, with Isabel and Dominic by her side, Tess begins to
discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food
and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world
where family comes first and the roots of history run deep.
Originally published May 2013 in hardcover, May 2014 in
trade paperback and February 2015 in mass market paperback.
Using blunt scissors, pages from a Big Chief tablet, a borrowed stapler and a Number Two pencil, Susan Wiggs self-published her first novel at the age of eight. A Book About Some Bad Kids was based on the true-life adventures of Susan and her siblings, and the first printing of one copy was a complete sell-out.
Due to her brother's extreme reaction to that first prodigious effort, Susan went underground with her craft, entertaining her friends and offending her siblings with anonymously-written stories of virtuous sisters and the brothers who torment them. The first romance she ever read was Shanna by the incomparable Kathleen Woodiwiss, which she devoured while slumped behind a college vector analysis textbook. Armed with degrees from SFA and Harvard, and toting a crate of "keeper" books by Woodiwiss, Roberta Gellis, Laurie McBain, Rosemary Rodgers, Jennifer Blake, Bertrice Small and anything with the words "flaming" and "ecstasy" in the title, she became a math teacher, just to prove to the world that she did have a left brain.
Late one night, she finished the book she was reading and was confronted with a reader's worst nightmare--She was wide awake, and there wasn''t a thing in the house she wanted to read. Figuring this was the universe''s way of taking away her excuses, she picked up a Big Chief tablet and a Number Two pencil, and began writing her novel with the working title, A Book About Some Bad Adults. Actually, that was a bad book about some adults, but Susan persevered, learning her craft the way skydiving is learned--by taking a blind leap and hoping the chute will open.
Her first book was published (without the use of blunt scissors and a stapler) by Zebra in 1987, and since then she has been published by Avon, Tor, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Mira and Warner Books. Unable to completely abandon her beloved teaching profession, Susan is a frequent workshop leader and speaker at writers' conferences, including the Romance Writers of America conference, the PNWA and Maui Writers Conference. She won a RITA award in 1994, and her recent novel The Charm School was voted one of RWA's Favorite Books of the Year. She is the proud recipient of several RT awards, the Peninsula RWA's Blue Boa, the Holt Medallion and the Colorado Award of Excellence.
Susan enjoys many hobbies, including sitting in the hot tub while talking to her mother on the phone, kickboxing, cleaning the can opener, sculpting with butter and growing her hair. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jay, her daughter, Elizabeth, and an Airedale that hasn't been groomed since 1994.