The Beekeeper's Ball
Bella Vista Chronicles #2
by Susan Wiggs
May 31, 2016
Available in: Trade Size (reprint)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs
returns to sun-drenched Bella Vista, where the land’s
bounty yields a rich harvest…and family secrets that
have long been buried.
Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the
enchanting Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her
childhood home into a destination cooking school—a
unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the
culinary arts. Bella Vista’s rambling mission-style
hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens
and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel’s
project…and the perfect place for her to forget the past.
But Isabel’s carefully ordered plans begin to go awry
when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O’Neill
arrives to dig up old history. He’s always been better
at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely
guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the
searing sensuality of Isabel’s kitchen coax him into
revealing a few truths of his own.
Originally published July 2014 in hardcover and April
2015 mass market paperback.
Using blunt scissors, pages from a Big Chief tablet, a borrowed stapler and a Number Two pencil, Susan Wiggs self-published her first novel at the age of eight. A Book About Some Bad Kids was based on the true-life adventures of Susan and her siblings, and the first printing of one copy was a complete sell-out.
Due to her brother's extreme reaction to that first prodigious effort, Susan went underground with her craft, entertaining her friends and offending her siblings with anonymously-written stories of virtuous sisters and the brothers who torment them. The first romance she ever read was Shanna by the incomparable Kathleen Woodiwiss, which she devoured while slumped behind a college vector analysis textbook. Armed with degrees from SFA and Harvard, and toting a crate of "keeper" books by Woodiwiss, Roberta Gellis, Laurie McBain, Rosemary Rodgers, Jennifer Blake, Bertrice Small and anything with the words "flaming" and "ecstasy" in the title, she became a math teacher, just to prove to the world that she did have a left brain.
Late one night, she finished the book she was reading and was confronted with a reader's worst nightmare--She was wide awake, and there wasn''t a thing in the house she wanted to read. Figuring this was the universe''s way of taking away her excuses, she picked up a Big Chief tablet and a Number Two pencil, and began writing her novel with the working title, A Book About Some Bad Adults. Actually, that was a bad book about some adults, but Susan persevered, learning her craft the way skydiving is learned--by taking a blind leap and hoping the chute will open.
Her first book was published (without the use of blunt scissors and a stapler) by Zebra in 1987, and since then she has been published by Avon, Tor, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Mira and Warner Books. Unable to completely abandon her beloved teaching profession, Susan is a frequent workshop leader and speaker at writers' conferences, including the Romance Writers of America conference, the PNWA and Maui Writers Conference. She won a RITA award in 1994, and her recent novel The Charm School was voted one of RWA's Favorite Books of the Year. She is the proud recipient of several RT awards, the Peninsula RWA's Blue Boa, the Holt Medallion and the Colorado Award of Excellence.
Susan enjoys many hobbies, including sitting in the hot tub while talking to her mother on the phone, kickboxing, cleaning the can opener, sculpting with butter and growing her hair. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jay, her daughter, Elizabeth, and an Airedale that hasn't been groomed since 1994.