Moonshine, Madness, and Murder

Novel in progress. Currently on first round of revisions.

Who among us, really, can tell the difference between a madman and one who is divinely inspired?

Emily came to Quacker Holler, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, looking for peace from the voices in her head taunting her about something she is not yet ready to discuss. She seeks out Sister Candace, the 75-year-old nun, possibly a schizophrenic, probably an alcoholic, and certainly caustic, a woman who believes she hears the voices of famous authors and who secretly writes redneck vampire nun erotica, which she self-publishes in ebooks. Emily attaches herself to Candace, hoping to learn how to deal with the voices; but when the church burns to the ground with Sister Candace inside, Emily sets out to bring the arsonist to justice and to avenge the death of her mentor.

In the process, she learns about Sister Candace’s unconventional mission to help abused young women and about the people who want to shut her down. Emily and her allies must be brave enough–or desperate enough–to act unconventionally both with themselves and their mission, pushing for changes that members of old guard will go to any length to prevent.

Set against a background of a quaint Appalachian village that is losing its identity as the world becomes a global village, a town that is shrinking as its older residents die off and its younger people seeking opportunity move away to the cities, and of the people who remain behind who want to roll back the changes and return to the older ways, Quacker Holler is known for two things: St. Marlene’s Abbey School, and its unusual source of funding, St. Marlene’s Marvelous Moonshine (made by monks). One of these things makes the residents proud to be from Tennessee, improves their quality of life, and inspires them to do things they never knew they could do; and the other is a pretty good school.

Leave a Reply