Colleen's Choice By Holley Trent

Monday, April 07, 2014

A Post Hijack by The Emerald Springs Underbelly Blog

Hello, fellow snoops! Holley Trent was supposed to provide a post, but I think you’ll like what I have to say even more. I’ve got gossip! Who doesn’t love gossip?

As you know, every spring, the folks here in Emerald Springs, Washington pitch in for a massive town potluck. This year, Sam Whitman of Emerald Tea Farm thought the gathering would be a great venue to test out his new blog feature. His experiment with video didn’t go so well, but our crafty snoops at The ES Underbelly Blog were able to download his video before he pulled it. We’ve transcribed these awkward exchanges for your reading pleasure.


(Camera activates revealing Sam seated at a table in the community center. Alan Prevost walks past, carrying a plate and a bottle of beer.)

Sam Whitman: Alan! Alan Prevost, come talk to me.

(Alan looks around, sighs, and pulls out a chair next to Sam.)

Alan Prevost: Hello.

(Sam tents his fingers.)

Sam: I didn’t have the opportunity to formally welcome you to Emerald Springs. I take it that you’re staying now? You’re a long way from home.

(Alan blinks a few beats, forehead furrowed.)

Alan: I’m sure my wife would prefer I stayed here, and yes, Washington State is a long way from South Africa.

Sam: Oh, yes! That’s right. Your marriage is still so shiny and new, that I keep forgetting someone finally managed to nail down our slipperiest bachelorette. Colleen Sanders is quite a catch.

Alan: There’s no possible way for me to respond to that without sounding like a schmuck. I mean, what can I say, “Thank you”? I’m not the one who made her, and I’m not so conceited to think she just collapsed into my embrace due to my irresistible charm. I’m sure you heard the rumors, and they’re true. Charm? I have none.

Sam: Fair enough. What big plans do the two of you have for Split Acres Farm this spring? It’s exciting to see what direction the farm will go in now that Colleen’s taken over for her father. Maybe it’s time for all of us old coots to retire, ha ha!

(Sam gives Alan a playful punch to the shoulder. Alan’s cheek twitches.)

Alan: Yes, I agree these are exciting times.

Sam: So…

(Alan drums his fingertips on the tabletop and stares at his food longingly.)

Alan: I’m not sure what you’d like me to tell you. We’re positioning the farm for comfortable growth and prosperity. Beyond that, you’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Sam: Fair enough. I had the pleasure of meeting your sister Kimi at Emerald Eats a few weeks ago. Beautiful young woman, and rather sweet. Will she be visiting us again soon?

(Alan glances at webcam, pushes away from table, and picks up his food.)

Alan: I don’t want to talk about Kimi.

(Alan shouts to someone across the room and walks out of frame. Sam shuffles his paperwork atop the table and looks around. He perks up.)

Sam: Oh! Miss Chavez.

(Jen Chavez tries to edge around the webcam. Sam catches her hand and pulls her into the frame. Jen chuckles nervously and sits.)

Sam: Miss Chavez, Jen—may I call you Jen?

(Jen clears her throat and tugs at her collar.)

Jen Chavez: Sure, yeah, you can call me Jen. How are you, Mr. Whitman?

Sam: No need to be so formal. You work with my nephew, and that practically makes us family, right?

(Jen looks at the webcam.)

Jen: What’s this recording for?

Sam: Oh, it’s for my blog. It’s brand new. Multimedia.

(He chuckles.)

Sam: I’m trying it out, seeing if it’s something we should incorporate into the tea farm marketing.

Jen: I don’t want to be on the Internet. I—

Sam: Don’t worry, you’re perfectly photogenic. Won’t even matter if the camera adds ten pounds.

(Jen gapes. Sam shuffles his papers.)

Sam: So, Jen, how did you get into beer brewing? An odd profession for a lady.

Jen: Brewing isn’t a gendered profession. Just because I wear a skirt on occasion doesn’t mean I’m not qualified to brew a damn good beer. In fact, I could concoct something that could put hair on your head.

(Sam rubs a hand over his shiny head. Jan stands, gives Sam a little finger wave, and moves out of the camera’s view. Sam looks around, perks up.)

Sam: Adam! Come talk to me for my blog.

Adam Whitman: [Off-screen] No thanks, Uncle Sam.

(Sam turns off camera.)


Well, well. We at The Underbelly Blog are sorry we can’t post Sam’s video here, but I’m definitely intrigued by Emerald Springs’s newcomers. We’ll be doing some snooping, as we do, to learn more about them and we’ll be sure to report the dirt as we get it. If you can’t wait for news, I found something on Facebook. It looks like some people are following the Whitman and Sanders families around and writing stories about them. I found this on the Emerald Springs Legacy page:

Life in the small town of Emerald Springs, Washington, is anything but slow and peaceful. An old feud between former business partners Whitman and Sanders keeps competition on a high burner, fueling resentment, renewing rivalries … and love. Now someone is trying to bring down Emerald Tea Farm, and it’s up to both families to protect their future while still wrangling over the past.

Ooh! Sounds intriguing.

Check out the series overview at Adam’s Ambition (by Monica Tillery), Colleen’s Choice (by Holley Trent), and Chad’s Chance (by Elley Arden) are available now.

There’s even a free sampler for the series. Boy, I love free stuff. Speaking of free…

One lucky reader who comments on this blog will be randomly selected to win e-book copies (epub or mobi) of the first two Emerald Springs Legacy books.

Good luck!