Deadly Garland

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The yuletide season has wrapped the small Oregon town of Apple Grove in tinsel and ornaments, and Shannon McClain is anxious for Christmas to arrive. The Paisley Craft Market & Artist Lofts is decked out in holiday finery, and Shannon needs only to find the right tree to finish off the decoration.

She and Michael Stone, the security expert who has slowly won her heart, are on a trek to Olson’s Tree Farm, when they run across a gruesome find: the body of one of the farm’s workers, pierced through the heart with an arrow. With turkey bow-and-arrow season open and a hunting tract nearby, was the man’s death an accident? Or was it cold-blooded murder?

Farm owners Marge and Dick Olson were good friends of Shannon’s late grandmother, Victoria Paisley, and Shannon feels duty bound to help them through the trauma of the incident. She also must console Carrie Weston, one of her shop’s employees, who coincidentally was the girlfriend of the dead man. 

Is Carrie somehow connected to the death of her boyfriend? Was he killed in some kind of jealous rage, or was he just at the wrong place at the wrong time? For the sake of the Olsons, Shannon digs into the case, hoping to find an answer.

Meanwhile, Hillary Jenkins, a new helper at Kate Ellis’s Ultimutt Grooming, is enlisted to teach a class in wreath making at Shannon’s craft market. Hillary is a quiet, meek soul, but her creativity wows the Purls of Hope, the knitting group that holds weekly meetings at the shop. Soon Hillary is the center of attention—even though no one, including Kate, knows much about her.

It’s shaping up to be a chaotic holiday season in Apple Grove, but if Shannon and the Purls have anything to say about it the case will be solved before the Twelve Days of Christmas are over. 

The Characters

Shannon is an avid beader -- running her own custom jewelry business. She thrives on expressing her talents through her one-of-a-kind creations. She is headstrong and can be stubborn at times. But she's best known for her sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others, and for her beautiful smile. Widowed at only 37, she draws strength and inspiration from her two teenage children, but worries about their future. She knows she needs to move on with her life ... but she never expected anything like this mysterious inheritance!

A striking and personable 42-year-old, Michael is 6 feet 2 inches, with straight black hair and striking blue eyes. He owns an elite security consulting firm with many long-reaching connections to nearly all levels of industry and politics. He is strongly attracted to Shannon from the moment he meets her, but unwilling to reveal his secrets, which raises a barrier between them. Death has followed people he's loved, having lost his wife as a result of his dangerous career -- and he is unwilling to trust his heart again. This will change with Shannon, though he tries to hold her at a distance for a long time.

Morgan is the manager of the craft market and quite the expert at card making and stamping. She is most unhappy to have Shannon on the scene as her new boss but she hides it well. What dark secret lurks behind her friendly façade?

Alec has his father's calm, thoughtful nature. He is a good son and very supportive of his mother's quest to learn the truth about her past. When he's not out with his friends, or studying for his classes, he enjoys fishing, something his father taught him to do years earlier.

Lara has inherited her mother's flashpoint temper. But she also inherited her mother's creative talents and is an expert crocheter. Lara possesses a rare talent for noticing things others miss -- seen as well as unseen. This makes her a great asset to her mother throughout the series as Shannon is drawn into the mysteries of Apple Grove.

Deborah was Shannon's grandmother's cook and confidant for more than 30 years. She becomes a comforting presence in Shannon's life, helping her adjust to life in America. Deborah is thrilled that Shannon has inherited the crafts mall. An avid quilter herself, she and Shannon find much to talk about.