My name is Elise Beckett and I hail from the quaint, little town of Delphine in Bastrop County, Texas. If you’ve never been there, you’re really missing out because it’s a truly beautiful part of The Lone Star State. My family owns and operates River Bend Vineyard and Winery nearby along the Colorado River where I’m in charge of research, development, and production. Though I choose to live in town these days, I have the best of both worlds—my own space close to family.
Speaking of family, mine is great…if a bit quirky. My dad passed away a few years back and left his family’s vineyard to us. My mom, Laura, runs it now with our help. My brother, Ross, is the business manager for the property, and my sister, Madison, is in charge of Lodge Merlot—our event center. Meanwhile, we’re all kept in check by my maternal grandmother, Abigail DeVries. Miss Abby to just about everyone in the county, she’s a force to being reckoned with. Though she may be a bit on the eccentric side, she’s adored by all. But don’t you dare mess with her. You’ll end up with a whuppin’…she’s small but mighty, if you get my meaning.
As for me, I’m a total girlie-girl with a fetish for shoes—which I’ve obviously passed on to my eighteen pound Snowshoe Siamese who is continually absconding with a shoe here and a shoe there. But don’t let my appearance or obsession with shoes fool you. With a Master’s in Horticulture, I’m nobody’s fool and plenty curious— though some folks would say nosy. Like Deputy Jackson Landry.
Jax practically grew up at River Bend and is my brother’s best friend. Nothin’ but trouble when we were younger, he’s turned out to be quite the hunk in a uniform, which is really annoying for me ‘cause my heart beats just a little bit faster when he’s in the room…and because our timing is always off. When I’m free, he’s in a relationship. The minute he’s flying solo, I’m hooked up. Like now…I’m currently dating Stuart Jenkins, a super-smart guy from Dallas, but the five-hour drive every other weekend is killing me. Stuart’s recently been promoted and has offered me a job in the Dallas area in my specialized field—and though it sounds like a dream job—I’m reluctant to move that far away from the family and vineyard I love.
Especially now, ‘cause there’s trouble fermenting alongside the wine, and it’s centered on my uncle, my dad’s only sibling. He’d always been angry that my dad left a vineyard that had been in his family for generations to my mom. Usually short on cash, Uncle Edmond was always looking for a way to line his pockets. With the way his bad behavior had been escalating lately, it’s no wonder he ended up dead down by the river, but now we’ve all become suspects in a murder case that Jax will have to sort out…cautiously. Though the Becketts are like family to him, he’s gonna have to be careful about showing any partiality. Well, he may have to watch his p’s and q’s, but I certainly have no such restrictions. With the help of my BFF C.C. Duncan, we’ll do some digging and make sure the family is protected, but we’ll have to do some fancy footwork while we’re at it to keep out of Jackson’s line of fire. He’ll be on me like stink on a June bug if he catches me snooping around his investigation.
Anyway, y’all come on down to Delphine and visit River Bend. I’ll pour you a glass of excellent Merlot and we can watch the sunset over the river. It’ll be worth the trip…I promise.
Joni is giving away one (1) copy of “GRAPES OF DEATH.” Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends September 21; US entries only.
Meet the Author
Grapes of Death is the first in the “Tangled Vines” mystery series and was published on September 8th, 2013. The next book in the series will be out in September of 2014.
A native of Oregon, Joni Sauer-Folger spent twenty-two years with an airline traveling and moving around the country before settling down near the beautiful Pacific Ocean with her three very spoiled cats. When she’s not spending quality time with the characters she creates, she enjoys gardening, crafting, and working in local theater.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.