By Bree Stewart, from Sheila Connolly’s Orchard Mysteries
I don’t like changes. I’ve seen plenty in my life, like when my parents left me with my auntie in Massachusetts so I could go to school there instead of shuttling back and forth to Jamaica with them. I know why they did it—to give me better chances—but that doesn’t mean I liked it.
After I got a degree in agriculture, I went to work for Meg Corey. Meg knew, like, nothing about running an orchard. Most of what I knew came from books and from one hands-on class with a great professor at the university, so I knew a little more than Meg did. We got along pretty well, and we kept things going.
Two years later, Meg’s learned a lot. The orchard is doing all right, and we might have enough money left over this year to buy and install a new pump for the spring in the orchard. Last year in hot weather we had to water by hand, hauling a tank around the orchard with a tractor, and I don’t want to do that again—it’s hard work.
Now Meg is getting married. I like her almost-husband, Seth Chapin. He really is a good guy, and he and Meg go together well. But that’s another change. You see, Meg provides me with a room in her house, with its own entrance, but we share a bath and the kitchen. So where do I fit now?
The whole marriage thing kind of sneaked up on me, because Seth kept spending more and more time at Meg’s house until he was around almost all the time. I should have noticed, right? But during harvest season there isn’t time to do much more than, well, harvest apples. So my living situation is kind of up in the air, I guess. We never got a chance to talk about it before the wedding, because Meg got sucked into trying to clear the name of some down-and-out guy who showed up out of nowhere. Like she didn't have enough else to do.
I like working with Meg. I like being able to call the shots in running the orchard. But you can’t tell me things aren’t going to change now. For the better, I hope, but I’m going to wait and see.
A Gala Event (Orchard Mystery #9) will be released by Berkley Prime Crime on October 6th. You can preorder it now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.