Why I Write The Greenhouse Mystery Series
My husband and I are passionate organic gardeners. A few years ago we started our own small vegetable farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with the intention of developing it into an organic CSA (community supported agriculture). Unfortunately, things fell through with the land we were leasing and the farm never made it past its first season.
About a year later, my husband and I had driven to a solo signing at a bookstore in a small town in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. I was about a year into this whole publishing journey—my first novel, Killer Image, had been released on October 1, 2013, and the second in the series, Deadly Assets, that past July. I was still naïve enough to think, “If you have one reader, then they will come.”
Only they didn’t. My publicist and I did our best to get people there—advertised the signing on Facebook, tweeted every day leading up to the date, created an invitation, and posted the event on my website. Still, it was me, the lovely and engaging shop owner, my husband, and a plate of cookies.
I might have felt discouraged, except that a wonderful thing happened. I saw firsthand that small rural town in action. Others with shops along the quaint town center stopped in to chat with the bookstore owner. Their kids popped over after school, ate a few cookies, and then quizzed the store owner and me about the latest books. There was a buzz in the air, and despite the town’s remote location, I felt a worldly attention to life beyond its mountainous borders.
I was moved by these interactions, by the comfortable pace of life and the warmth I saw between townspeople. It dawned on me that a version of our small farm could live on—in a fictional small town in my home state of Pennsylvania. I’d been looking for a way to weave my family’s passion for organic farming and sustainable living into my novels, and here it was, served to me after a long, peaceful day in the picturesque mountains of the South.
And thereafter, Washington Acres Farm and the fiction town of Winsome, Pennsylvania were born in the form of the Greenhouse Mystery series.
I’m no stranger to small towns. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, but I spent most of my youth and young adulthood in one small town or another. Even now, I live in a small town in the Green Mountains of Vermont. But there was magic in that charming Southern small town. I wanted to share that magic.
I’m thankful for that failed book signing experience. It was a splendid reminder that sometimes we get what we need, not what we think we need.
Blurb for Seeds of Revenge
It’s time to cuddle up with a holiday whodunit. Smell the crisp pines and baking cranberries as you sip your hot apple cider. It may be the season, but the mood in Winsome is anything but jolly. Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs. And then she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road.
But this woman is no stranger to Winsome. It’s Becca Fox. A love chemist (you read that right). She’s headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events. Or so Becca thinks.
Her sneaky aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It sounds noble and kind-hearted, until the man ends up dead. Megan soon finds herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over. Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.
Now it’s personal. Our Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the murderer gets closer to her. How’s that for a ho ho ho? Don’t let your fresh apple crisp burn in the oven because you’re lost in this holiday homicide.
Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. She is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Series and the Greenhouse Mystery Series.