A Taste for Honey, Beekeeping, best-selling author Darlene Franklin, Blue Ribbon Brides, book excerpt from A Taste for Honey, Catherine Castle's Wednesday Writers blog series, Christian romance, novella
Today Wednesday Writers is welcoming back best-selling author Darlene Franklin who will be talking about her book A Taste for Honey. A Taste for Honey is one of nine novellas in Blue Ribbon Brides Anthology. With summer’s state and county fairs in full swing this time of year, why not settle down with a fair-themed book as a summer read? After all, who doesn’t love homemade pies, preserves, and all those handmade goodies? With a title like A Taste for Honey, can you guess what Darlene will be talking about? Welcome, Darlene!
Since the title of my book is A Taste for Honey¸ you might guess that my heroine harvests honey. But I wasn’t sure how beekeeping in 1896 differed from 2016. In fact, my heroine’s grandfather originally erected the equipment to catch the honey. So, I had to push back the style of beekeeping to the mid-nineteenth century.
I discovered several methods were used, but I chose the one that was easiest for me to understand, picture, and hopefully communicate in the story. I’m not as sure about the bee bonnet and heavy gloves I gave my heroine—but they moved the story forward. You see, my hero caused an accident and my heroine was stung. . .but that’s telling the story.
All the early equipment was designed as an artificial setting for bees to create their hives. I decided on the “log gum.” As the name suggests, it was made from a hollowed-out log. Bees preferred black gum wood when available, thus—a log gum.
Covers sealed the hollow log. Some used a “super” instead, which would collect the honey. That’s the kind my heroine’s family used, which allowed her easy access to the honey. The process disturbed the bees, so it could be an uncomfortable process.
A Taste of Honey begins with Edith’s trip to the meadow:
Edith Grace checked her outfit, making sure she was prepared to garner as much honey as possible in one trip. Harvesting honey for free from her neighbor was a deal made in heaven, as far as she was concerned. At the fiftieth annual Rutland State Fair, she intended to make her mark as the best baker in all of Vermont, thanks to Mr. Oscar’s honey.
Edith had watched Mr. Oscar harvest honey a few times from the supers over the hollow logs, called log gums for some reason, before she tried it by herself. Today was the third time she had donned her veil and thick gloves to gather the liquid gold. She approached the log gums with caution. Experience had taught her that bees didn’t want to sting her. It cost them their lives, after all. But experience had also taught her some stings were inevitable. Although she wasn’t allergic, but they still hurt and itched. Another reason she harvested as much as possible at one time—so she could wait before returning.
About the Author:
Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over forty books and more than 250 devotionals.
A Taste for Honey is one of nine novellas in Blue Ribbon Brides: Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?