Rejected by the exclusive women s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead, until a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, an African-American college student home on his summer break. Their relationship blooms and challenges the prejudices of Tess small town in North Florida. When Jacob confesses that Tess s uncle is trying to steal his family s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and the marshes she has loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the 22-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of Jacob s father and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves. Tess and Jacob s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?
Laura Templeton is a writer who enjoys reading, gardening, ice skating, and taking long walks on the quiet country road. One of her favorite places is the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She is the author of Something Yellow. She lives near Athens, Georgia