When a random text message appears on her husband’s phone from Josephine, a friend as close as family, Braeburn thinks little of invading Reed’s privacy . . . until she reads it, “Whatever you do, don’t tell Braeburn.” This threatening message combined with an unseasonably early snowfall dangerously coating the country roads near her small Pennsylvania town of Scarlet’s Mill, sends Braeburn careening out of control in more heart pounding ways than one.
Now, baking apple pies for her sister’s business—despite being horrible at preparing a homemade pie crust—may be Braeburn’s only hope for recovery. Since moving into the farmhouse with her mother at the Scarlet family’s orchard, Braeburn has been tormented by questions surrounding the events on the day of her accident. What was Josephine hiding? And, was her entire marriage based on one big lie?
Secrets, Lies, and Apple Pies will leave you wanting more. This is a great story that is expertly written. Fryer has outdone herself!
E-Book: 279 pages
Publisher: Audry Fryer; 2 edition (July 24, 2013)
Twitter hashtag: #SLApple
Secrets, Lies, and Applie Pies is available as an e-book at Amazon.
About Audry Fryer:
Find out more about Audry by visiting her online:
Audry's Blog: http://allthingsaudry.blogspot.com/
Audry's Facebook page: https://https://www.facebook.com/pages/Audry-Fryer-Author/207222035989970?fref=ts
-----Interview by Crystal J. Otto
WOW: Secrets, Lies, and Apple Pies made me hungry the moment I saw the cover, as well as throughout with the descriptions of the pies and discussions about the best pie crust. Are you a pie baker or what gave you the idea for the apple pie theme?
Audry: First of all, thank you for finding my cover appetizing. I actually took the photo on my kitchen counter one afternoon while my children were at school. The apple was a Gala which was perfect because that’s the name of one of my characters. I think I had sliced up a half dozen of them before getting the right shot. When my kids got off the bus that afternoon, I said to them, “I hope you guys are hungry.”
In answer to your question, yes I do indulge in quite a bit of baking and every Fall I must bake at least one apple pie. As I was teaching a close friend of mine the art of assembling a homemade pie crust (she happens to be a great cook and yet was frustrated that this was one thing she couldn’t seem to do), I became inspired to create a story with this very theme. There’s something very special about baking something from scratch. It takes time and patience, not to mention a little skill. But, for all that effort, the rewards are, well, delicious!
WOW: I’ll be waiting for my apple pie; it sounds like it would be well worth the drive to come visit! Just in case not all of our readers are invited for a visit, tell us some of your baking secrets and tips. And of course, I want to know which crust you prefer!
Audry: It was my mom who taught me, completely hands-on, how to prepare a homemade pie crust in just the same way her mom taught her. So, believe it or not in this age of everything being one click on the internet away, I use a recipe from the good old-fashioned cookbook, Joy of Cooking.
My mom is the expert pie baker in the family. She prefers to use shortening instead of butter and to roll out her dough after it has chilled in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I’ve figured out a few tips on my own to make an awesome apple pie. I think a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon on the apples makes all the difference. Plus, I have a hand crank apple peeler that slices the apples flat and makes fun spirals out of the peel that my children have a great time devouring.
Also, in my novel there is a debate over crumb-topped pie versus an eye appealing top crust. For the record, I like a buttery crumb-topped pie. The funny thing is my parents have been debating this issue for years with my dad insisting on a lattice top crust and my mom preferring a crumb-topped one.
WOW: I'm hungry again and seriously considering a visit to Pennsylvania now! As I was reading, I was curious if Scarlet's Mill, PA was a real place and in finding out it is, I'm curious if some of the places in your book really exist. Can you tell us more about the physical places in the book and which ones are real?
Audry: Yes, Scarlet’s Mill, PA is a real place a few miles from where I live. However, the town as it is described in Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies is pure fiction. The real Scarlet’s Mill is a small community of homes along a few winding country roads. The area does date back to the Civil War Era and one of the historical homes had once existed as an important stop on the Underground Railroad.
The places described in Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies are taken from my everyday travels around my corner of Southern Berks County, PA. Scarlet Orchards is loosely based on a local orchard, Weaver’s Orchard, that I have visited often to pick my own fruit, take a hay ride and shop in their farm store. Cold Creek Road from the novel doesn’t exist, but there are many similar twisting and turning downhill roads around here such as one nearby called Cold Run Road. The church with the angel statue is a mix of imagination and a real place. During the “Snow-Apocalypse” that the late October snowstorm of 2011 is known as around here, I was diverted in completely different direction and happened to pass an old church with an angel statue that I couldn’t seem to forget. And, finally, just like a scene from the story I have attended the Oktoberfest celebrations in Reading, PA. This past year, since I knew I was going to write about it, I was claiming I was doing “research” while enjoying good food, drink and music.
WOW: That's my kind of research! (As well as great time management—and speaking of which...) Secrets, Lies, and Apple Pies was a book I truly enjoyed. I never would have guessed you had written it while raising three children and being an active blogger. Where do you find the time? How do you stay focused and what tips do you have for other writers?
Audry: It’s definitely a balancing act especially since I’m such an involved mom. Completing Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies plus blogging took sticking to a daily routine. I’d take advantage of my oldest leaving for school and my twins being sleepy, to quickly write some coffee-fueled blog posts. Then once the twins left for afternoon Kindergarten, I made sure that I blocked out at least two to three hours for working on my novel. Actually, after having a busy morning and knowing I was in for an active late afternoon, sitting back to write with a mug of hot tea felt blissful. As for staying focused, I remind myself often of the big picture. A writing career is something I have always dreamed of doing and if I was going to make it happen, there was only way to do it—sit and write!
WOW: That was a great lead in to my next question—thanks Audry! How do you write? Do you come up with an outline first or do you sit down with a pen and paper? What is most motivational for you?
Audry: I write exclusively on my laptop but I start with a pen and a notebook in order to form a basic outline of the beginning, the middle, the climax and the conclusion. In my notes, I lay out the story, how it will end and a detailed storyline for each character. I’ve learned the hard way (as in deleting over a hundred pages) that I can’t start writing until I have a full understanding of my characters and the key plot points. That said, I go into a scene with a main objective (I have a degree in Elementary Education, so that’s the teacher in me) but as I write I’m very open to discovering where the characters take me. As I get deeper into the story, I’m always thinking (usually while driving to soccer practice or while I’m in the shower) about details and about what’s working or what I need to change. When I read, I like to be entertained and that’s the type of writing I want to provide to my readers.
WOW: As one of your readers who was definitely entertained, I have to know: what's next for you? Have you already begun work on your next project? Can you give us a sneak peak?
Audry: At the start of the summer, I bought a brand new notebook and started brainstorming ideas. I’d like to start a series of books involving five friends. So far for the first book, I have a title, How Lucy Got Lucky, and a general idea about how a large win of cash/prizes changes the life of one down-on-her-luck woman. I’d like the story to come around to the discovery that perhaps Lucy was lucky before the win, but she never realized it. I’m toying with having the big win occur on the long running tv show, The Price Is Right. I always wanted to go on that show and play Plinko!
WOW: The research for How Lucy Got Lucky sounds like it might be really interesting for you and the entire family. I'll be waiting to hear more. In the meantime, is there anything else you'd like to share with readers and fans?
Audry: I would like to ask readers and fans for their support. Hopefully, you will enjoy Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies and if you do, please tell a friend, like my Facebook page and/or take time to write a nice review. That kind of help can do wonders for an author, especially one just getting started.
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