The Promise of Pierson Orchard


“An expertly paced, moving exploration of grief and responsibility and an eloquent portrait of a small town struggling with compromise.” — Kirkus Review


This story is about a Pennsylvania family threatened by betrayal, financial desperation, old flames, fracking, and ultimately finding forgiveness.

In the novel, Green Energy arrives, offering the impoverished rural community of Minden, Pennsylvania, the dream of making more money from their land by leasing natural gas rights for drilling. But orchardist, Jack Pierson, fears his brother, Wade, who now works for Green Energy, has returned to town after a shame-filled twenty-year absence so desperate to be the hero that he’ll blind their hometown to the potential dangers. Jack also worries his brother will try to rekindle his relationship with LeeAnn, Jack’s wife, who’s recently left him. To protect his hometown and to fulfill a promise to himself, Jack seeks out his mother and environmental lawyer Stella Brantley, who abandoned Minden—and Jack and Wade–years ago.

When LeeAnn’s parents have good reason to lease their land, but their decision leads to tragedy, Jack must fight to find a common ground that will save his fractured family, their land, and the way of life they love.

I love to talk with book clubs!  If your book club decides to read The Promise of Pierson Orchard, I’d love to hear about it! And…if you’re interested, I would be happy attend your meeting (if I’m close enough) or Skype or Facetime with your club. Please contact me to make a request.

Here are some potential questions for your discussion.

Other Writing and Publications:

Fiction (Short Stories)

Creative Nonfiction

Non-Fiction (selected writing related to environmental science work):


I’ve done many readings, as well as talks for groups about writing, including workshops at conferences and retreats. I currently serve as a steering committee member for the writing community supported by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium. If you’re interested in a speaking engagement, please contact me.