Indie Author: Yes
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Publication Date: 5.22.22
Page Count: 206 Pages
There’s something growing in the garden . . . and it’s not a flower. A mystery is growing in the garden!
Greenhouse expert and horticulture Professor Heather Moore gets a new lease on life when she inherits her grandparents’ estate in New England. But the garden she loved as a child has seen better days. Determined to restore her grandfather’s garden to its former beauty, she’s accompanied by Ant, her charming chihuahua, and Pansy, her grandfather’s cat.
But wait, what? Heather suddenly digs up an even bigger challenge when she finds some human remains in an old potting shed. As she discovers clues and follows the evidence, a few suspects cross her mind, but ultimately they point to one wily and clever killer. Suddenly in danger herself, can Heather solve this puzzling mystery, restore her family’s legacy, and bring about justice?
Tell us about the background for the theme, what inspired it or why you wanted to write in this setting, or with play with these tropes?
I always love sharing about why I chose this setting for my book! I think my book could be subtitled “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, always depended.”, which is a quote from Blanche Dubois, a character in the play, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. My book’s journey all began on a gorgeous October day in the Boston area where I live.
I saw a social media post from my friend, and she was at the most beautiful park, Cutler Park Reservation. This is a 600-acre park around the Charles River. At this time in my life, I was an up-and-coming nature photographer and fall foliage was my speciality. This park had really beautiful fall trees, and I messaged her to see if she could show me some especially good spots for photography.
Unfortunately, she was finished there for the day and unable to return the rest of the week, so I decided to jump in the car and go explore it right then by myself. After I parked, I saw someone enjoying the sunshine next to the office building by the park and asked him if he could recommend which direction to go to get the best photos of the fall trees. He said while this is a great park, if I wanted the best fall trees, he’d recommend going to Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. He assured me they had even better spots for photography than this pretty park.
After that hot tip, I thanked him and popped back in my car and drove directly to Wellesley College. Indeed, once I entered the main gate, I was bowled over by the beauty of the campus. It has a fabulous botanical garden with mature plantings, a vegetable garden, a butterfly garden, a large lake, a picturesque pond, and so much more!
I went there every day to take photos in the fall and then also availed myself of all their public activities. I visited their Observatory, heard organ and carillon concerts, was able to climb the five-stories up the bell tower and even play the carillon, which is a set of bells, myself! I enjoyed their cafeteria and tried to eat there as much as possible. They had a fresh buffet for lunch and dinner, plus crepe station, ice cream station, salad bar, and so much more!
As fall turned to winter, I discovered their greenhouse complexes. This was the ideal solution to beat the cold and wind during our long New England winters. The greenhouses captured my imagination, and I was inspired to write my book. I set my book in the fictional Shellesby College, but I bet you can see where I got that name from! It was my hope that I could transfer my love of that campus through to you through my book! Wellesley College always feels like a little vacation getaway whenever I’m on campus. Perhaps my book can take your imagination on a charming journey too!
Almost every description in the book is exactly how Wellesley College is laid out . . . except for the asparagus fields. Wellesley College doesn’t have asparagus that I know of! So in conclusion, I hope you see that my author journey was prompted by pure happenstance. If that stranger hadn’t pointed me to Wellesley College, you wouldn’t be reading this book! Can you imagine? Well, they say truth is stranger than fiction, and I am grateful for the kindness of that stranger and his recommendation. I hope you enjoy the Shellesby College campus as much as I enjoy Wellesley.
What playlist did you listen to while creating this book?
I prefer to write in silence. However, I really enjoy getting pumped up to write beforehand . I am the 24/7 caregiver to my Dad, who has cancer and dementia, and so I would play music while I fed him. After eating myself, I then would climb up to my computer room all inspired and energized to write.
I prefer Spanish-type classical music for this. Malagueña was always on repeat, along with Symphonie espagnol by Edouard Lalo. Sometimes I enjoy Schubert Symphony No. 9 in C, 4th mvt, because the very ending reminds me so much of the Imperial March from Star Wars. The Imperial March is also a favorite. Dad loves them all. He keeps chewing steadily throughout my playlist session as I get very inspired to write.
What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope readers enjoy the fun setting of fictional Shellesby College. I particularly enjoyed writing the animal scenes and hope they enjoy the humor I tried to use with them. There is a sweet romance in the story, and I was inspired to write their big date restaurant scene from my experience in Peru.
I heard about this exact type of unique restaurant when I was there, and tried desperately to get in, but alas, they really do fill up all reservations within hours six months out when they announce new reservation times. That Peruvian restaurant is #4 in the World Global restaurant rankings! So I hope readers can feel the sense of excitement I felt when I heard about the unique theme to the restaurant, and I promise you, if you do manage to win the lottery and get a reservation there, my book will have prepared you to the fullest.