Gossip in my hometown of Cays Mill, Georgia, runs so dang fast that half the town knows what you’ve done before you’ve done it. Which isn’t good news for me, since my misguided youth has given the local tongues a lot to wag about. In fact, I wasn’t back home but half a day before I heard someone whispering behind my back, “Dear, Lawd! Nola Mae Harper’s back in town!”
Yup, word’s out. The black sheep of the Harper clan is back in town. Not that I necessarily want to be back. I was perfectly happy doing my own thing working as a humanitarian aid worker for the past fifteen years—a career which just happened to keep me far from my hometown and the secrets I’d left behind. But my job situation has taken a downward swing, and now instead of traveling to the world’s remotest locales and lending a hand to those in need, I’ve been relegated to a desk job. A desk job! Well, that’s not going to work for this hands-on type of gal.
So, when Mama and Daddy called and asked if I wouldn’t mind coming home and watching the family peach farm for a few weeks while they took their dream trip . . . well, I quickly agreed. The extra time at home would give me some time to think through this bump in my career path. Besides, I love my family and I’d do about anything for them, including coming home and facing down the local gossip mongers. Little did I know, my current work dilemma and past indiscretions paled in comparison to what awaited me at our family peach farm—murder!
And the people in this town think I’ve got issues? Well, nothing I’ve ever done comes close to the things local lumber baron, Ben Wakefield, has done: from philandering, to dirty business dealings, to Heaven knows what else. It’s no wonder someone decided to put that man out of our misery. Only problem is, they did it with my sister’s scarf. Strangled the fellow and left him propped up right out in our peach orchard! To make matters worse, my brother-in-law, Hollis, has become the sheriff’s main suspect.
Now, Hollis is a whole other story, but there’s not enough time for me to go into all that right now. Just know, that I would never let a member of my family–no matter how crazy they are–take the rap for a murder they didn’t commit. No, for me, family is everything. That’s why I set my mind to proving Hollis’s innocence and bringing the real killer to justice. Not that it’s an easy feat. Especially since my own past keeps creeping up on me . . . not to mention problems with the farm, encounters with ex-boyfriends, and a whiskery old moonshiner who steals my heart. If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of Peaches and Scream. The whole story is there, laid out all neat and pretty. There’s even a few peachy recipes in the back! I hope you’ll give it a try. Because one thing about small towns like Cays Mill, Georgia, there’s always plenty of interesting characters to go around . . . and enough juicy stories to keep you entertained for years to come.
You can read more about Nola in Peaches and Scream, the first book in the NEW “Georgia Peach” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime.
About Peaches and Scream
In the first Georgia Peach Mystery, when murder threatens her family’s orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm’s reputation. . .
To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are threatening to ruin the Harpers’ livelihood, and small-town gossip is spreading like blight thanks to Nola’s juicy reputation as a wild teenager way back when. But Nola really finds herself in the pits when she stumbles upon a local businessman murdered among the peach trees.
With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects—before she too becomes ripe for the killer’s picking. . .
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on July 14 for the chance to win a print copy of Peaches and Scream. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.
About the author
Susan Furlong has lived throughout the United States, including the South, but is now happily settled in the Midwest on a small hobby farm with her husband and four children. Writing about peaches comes naturally to her as she grows several varieties of her own. Susan also writes the Novel Idea Mysteries under the pen name Lucy Arlington. You can learn more about Susan by visiting her website at www.susanfurlong.com.