Thursday, October 21, 2010

Alison Henderson's Harvest of Dreams

Don’t you just love fall?  It’s been my favorite time of year for as long as I can remember.   I’m a Midwestern girl and avid gardener, and from June to October, I can’t get enough of the riot of pink roses that line my front walk.  But when the sun dips lower in the sky and the days get shorter, everything changes; the focus seems to sharpen.  Then there’s nothing as beautiful as the sight of brilliant red, orange, and yellow trees arrayed against a piercing blue sky. 

Having an October birthday undoubtedly influenced my feelings as a child, but even now my energy starts to rise when the soft breezes of summer give way to clear, crisp autumn days.  Maybe it’s an ingrained response from years of equating fall with “back to school”.  Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe it’s the first hint of the holidays to come.  Whatever the reason, even more than spring, fall has always represented the season of new possibilities to me.

Autumn is also the season of harvest.  When I was growing up, my mother used to take me and my siblings to pick apples in the backyard orchard of one of my grandmother’s friends.  We would fill bushel baskets with perfectly fresh, tart apples and take them home, where Mom set up an assembly line to produce pies for the freezer.  On Sunday nights during the winter, she would pull out a frozen pie, pop it in the oven, and voilà, homemade pie for dessert.  I still remember the smell of warm cinnamon and apples.  I love to bake pies, but I never choose apple, because no apple pie can live up to those memories.

What childhood memories still move you?

An apple orchard also plays a starring role in my first novel, Harvest of Dreams, coming out tomorrow from The Wild Rose Press.  The story takes place in a small river town in northwest Missouri, where my heroine is struggling to carve out a new life in the devastating aftermath of the Civil War.  Here’s a blurb:

Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child.  Help arrives in the strong hands of a stranger wearing a six-gun.  Lisa has no reason to trust this man who makes a living by violence, even if he is on the right side of the law.  Men and their guns have already claimed the lives of her father, brother, and husband, and she’s determined to protect her son at any cost. 

Jared Tanner, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve.  Against his better judgment, his feelings of protectiveness toward Lisa and her baby turn to something deeper, and he is tempted by the possibility of a family of his own. Can their tender new love survive when an act of ultimate violence threatens to tear them apart?

Leave a comment and I'll be giving away one lucky commenter a free copy of my book Harvest of Dreams.

I invite you to visit me on the web at and help me celebrate the culmination of my long and winding road to publication.  It’s been a bumpy ride but worth every setback and triumph.   Thanks for visiting with me today.

Alison Henderson


  1. I'm a Midwestern girl myself and I must say that my favorite things about fall are these:
    1. Getting to use the word autumnal
    2. The smell of the apple orchard
    3. Pumpkin pie flavored everything
    4. The long shadows and the dewy fog filled mornings
    5. Oh yeah, bite sized candy
    BTW I love a good western novel so I hope I win your giveaway, lol

  2. Fall is not my favorite time of the year - the harbringer of winter. I do love Halloween though and pumpking pie like Deanna.

    Book really sounds good. Will add to my wish list.

  3. Deanna,
    I'm so glad to hear from another fan of Western romance! Good luck on the giveaway.

    I'm not much of a fan of winter either (a bit of a prolem living here in Minnesota), but who doesn't love pumpkin pie? Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I'm another October birthday girl, and our wedding anniversary as well, add in Halloween and I'm there! But I vote fall as the time of the best smells in the year. Apples and cinnamon, pumpkin pie... clear cool air...Love it!

  5. Fall is my favorite time too, Alison. And I guess I was one of those geeky kids who actually looked forward to school starting! So fall to me means:
    * new pencils and paper
    * walking to school on crunching leaves
    * change of wardrobe (although I am SO ready to change again about January 3rd!)
    * bonfires, smores and lots of chocolate

    Good luck with the release of Harvest of Dreams. It sounds wonderful and very romantic.


  6. Hi Alison,
    Aapple pie, a girl after my own heart, but with a large dollop of cream. I can still remember my grandmothers apple pies, the pastry was to die for.
    Love the cover of your book, those blossoms are so pretty and your story sound wonderful.



  7. Fall is my favorite and your books looks fantastic. :)

  8. Thanks so much, everyone. I hope your fall is as gorgeous as ours here in Minnesota.