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Cherry Tucker needs to stay out of trouble.
At Halo House, Cherry Tucker finds the tea deadly sweet…
With a new art teaching gig at Halo House—Halo, Georgia’s posh independent living home—and Halo society scrutinizing her family and her love life, Cherry Tucker needs to stay out of trouble. However, her sleuthing skills are sought out by Halo House’s most famous resident: Belvia Brakeman, the ninety-year-old, blind CEO and founder of Meemaw’s Tea. Belvia confides in Cherry that the family tea empire is in jeopardy. The CEO suspects her daughter, the COO, has been murdered and she might be next. Her offer is hard to refuse, but will have Cherry treading on Forks County Sheriff toes, namely her personal Deputy Heartache, Luke Harper.
Amid her town troubles, can Cherry put her reputation, romance, and life on the line for the final request of a sweet tea tycoon? While she juggles senior citizen shenanigans, small-town politics, and corporate family scandals, Cherry finds the sweet tea business cutthroat in more ways than one.
Today we’re fortunate to have a visit from Cherry Tucker from the Cherry Tucker Mystery series (A Composition in Murder, #6)
Q: Cherry, welcome to Island Confidential. Whey don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something we might not guess?
A: Everyone should know I’m a portrait artist, trained at Savannah College of Art and Design. My hometown of Halo’s small, so that kind of information is pretty easy to come by. However, you’re more likely to hear about the trouble I get into or who I’m secretly dating (Deputy Luke Harper) or who I’m not married to but still living with (Todd McIntosh)—even though we were only married for 5 minutes in a fit of Vegas madness and have been friends since we were both knee high. Also, you’ll probably hear a lot about my brother who’s in jail awaiting trial, or about my Grandpa who shacks up with another goat farmer, Pearl, or any number of things about my mother.
I wish they’d just stick to the art.
Q: Can you tell us about some of your favorite characters?
A: I recently started a new gig, teaching drawing at Halo House, my hometown’s ritzy independent living home, and have made a lot of new friends there. Halo House is amazing. Great food, full-service salon, a swimming pool, a bar, friends to hang out with, and a bus to take you anywhere you want to go. It’s better than college dorm life. Fred, my Great Uncle Stan’s best friend, introduced me to Ada. They’re both taking my art class, as well as Ada’s buddy Hazel.
Hazel has been acting peculiar lately, though. I think she might be in trouble. And there’s a lot of talk going on about the most famous Halo House resident, Belvia Brakeman, CEO and founder of Meemaw’s Teas which she runs from her Halo House condo since glaucoma took her eyesight. You might not have heard that her daughter Della, the COO, died in a hit-and-run accident. People are saying it was probably a drunk driver, but I don’t know. Seems a little suspicious to me since Della was about to take the Meemaw’s Tea CEO crown with Belvia finally retiring at ninety.
But you can usually find the three of us hanging around the lobby fountain, sipping weak coffee and gossiping. Just like being back in Savannah. Although we weren’t drinking weak coffee back then…
Q: Which character might not be among your favorites?
A: Everyone knows that’s Shawna Branson. Shawna and I have hated each other since high school when I designed the homecoming float for Halo’s Fighting Angels and she was Homecoming Queen. How was I supposed to know that the football team would enhance the angel’s body parts? That angel looked real happy to be riding with Shawna. She blames me for everything and has destroyed my art career in Halo with her bad-mouthing. Of course, it doesn’t help that rumor says her daddy and our momma snuck off together, leaving all their kids in a sad predicament. But since her daddy is a Branson and their crowns don’t tarnish, Shawna blames it on our mother.
Also doesn’t help that her step-cousin, Luke Harper, has had his eye on me ever since he moved back to town. With her interest in Luke, I think Shawna would’ve liked to make another Branson and Harper couple. But Luke doesn’t care much for the Bransons, which is why he left town after high school. When his momma married JB, Luke didn’t care to become the prince of Halo. He tolerates Shawna, but I can’t say he wants to date her.
However, now his step-family wants to make sure Luke doesn’t hitch his wagon to a Tucker. None of the Bransons have forgiven my mother for stealing away Shawna’s daddy.
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
A: Larissa’s all right. Of course, every time I try to do something dangerous or want to figure something out without help from the police, she’s always trying to hold me back with “you could get arrested” or “why don’t you wait for Luke” or “that’s a pretty stupid move.” But after I’ve solved all the issues, we can sit back and enjoy a beer and wings. She’s also a fan of BBQ, so we’ve got that in common.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I had some fun recently in a story called “The Vigilante Vignette” in a Halloween cozy mystery anthology, MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES. I made some pretty cool art-themed costumes while helping my neighbor catch a Catwoman thief. And Tater the goat showed up at my house, which added to my trouble. Plus I’ve got a big road trip with my friends planned where big surprises might happen, but you’ve got to read to the end of A COMPOSITION IN MURDER to see what that’s all about. ;)
Q: Thank you for stopping by, Cherry!
A: Thanks for having me on! This was fun. I don’t usually get to do an interview.
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first in the series, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition in Murder, releases November 15th. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1qMwr29
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