seeds-of-deceptionSeth Chapin and I just got married. I still find that kind of hard to believe. We first met over a body in my septic tank, almost two years ago, and for a while he was angry at me for a lot of reasons connected to that body.

Seth lived next door, and getting involved with someone you have to live around is always risky. Plus he was a plumber, and I guess I had kind of a snobbish attitude toward blue-collar trades. Of course, I didn’t have a leg to stand on, since I had somehow become a farmer. Not my original game plan.

Fast forward two years. Along the way I discovered that Seth was one of the kindest, most decent people I had ever met, and I guess we kind of fell in love. So living next door was convenient, especially when he leased me some of his property so I could expand my orchard. Purely a business deal, of course.

But I was going to talk about the getting married part. I’m pretty sure it was not the wedding my mother had always envisioned for me—we got married in a local restaurant run by friends, with only our families and townspeople around us, and that was fine. Why in December? Because that was the first breathing space we had, right after I finished up my apple harvest and Seth wrapped up some renovation projects that had to be done before winter set in (he kind of veered from plumbing to historic building restoration). And we didn’t want a lot of fuss. We were very happy with our small wedding.

And then we realized we had never planned a honeymoon. We’re not beach people, and we didn’t yearn to tramp around exotic foreign countries. We don’t like packaged tours. But we did agree that getting out of Granford, much as we love it, and going somewhere else, just the two of us (the farthest we’d been together was Vermont, only one state away) was a good idea—but where?

We decided on Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, because Jefferson loved apples and cultivated an orchard, and he created an amazing home for himself—something for each of us. We spread the drive out over a few days, and made some interesting stops along the way, just enjoying each other’s company.

It was a lovely honeymoon—or at least the first half was. We should have known our luck wouldn’t hold. While we were still in Virginia, my mother called to say there was a small problem at my parents’ home in New Jersey, where we’d planned to stop on our way back: there was a dead body in the back yard. So of course we had to go help them out. After all, Seth and I know something about murder investigations, although I’m still not sure how that happened. Solving murders may be a bonding experience, but not the way most couples start their life together.

But it all worked out, I guess. Seth is a rock in difficult situations (staying at your in-laws’ home while arguing with local law enforcement is certainly a test!), and we got the job done. We came home and we’re still married. Now my biggest problem is whether to take Seth’s surname or keep my own. He doesn’t care—he’ll take me just as I am.

Seeds of Deception is the 10th book in the Orchard mystery series, published by Penguin Random House, October 2016.

The New York Times bestselling author of A Gala Event returns with newlyweds Meg and Seth Chapin who should be worried about writing thank you notes, not taking a juicy bite out of crime. . .

With the bushels of time they spent organizing their wedding, Meg and Seth didn’t have a chance to plan a honeymoon. But now that winter has arrived, there’s not much to do at the orchard. So with their shared love of history and all things apple, they pick Thomas Jefferson’s orchards at Monticello as the perfect getaway.

While they enjoy the beautiful sights, there’s a rotten addition to the agenda when Meg’s parents discover their handyman dead in the backyard. With a bitter police chief eyeing Meg’s father as a suspect, Meg and Seth have to cut their honeymoon short to find the root of the problem.

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About the author
Sheila Connolly, Anthony and Agatha Award–nominated and New York Times bestselling author, writes three mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, set in Philadelphia, rural Massachusetts, and the Wild West of Ireland. In addition, she writes the Relatively Dead paranormal romance series for Beyond the Page Publishing, as well as the occasional romantic suspense. Her short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies. She lives in Massachusetts, surrounded by a few hundred of her ancestors, and in her spare time she loves to travel and to excavate old trash heaps. Seeds of Deception will be her 30th book.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Seeds of Deception. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 9, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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