Author bio

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Kate Brandes


“The Promise of Pierson Orchard”


Riegelsville, PA


Kate Brandes lives in the small river town of Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two sons. She’s a fiction writer interested in local confluences of people, place, and nature. Kate has also worked as a geologist and environmental scientist for more twenty years. The Promise of Pierson Orchard is her first novel.

About "The Promise of Pierson Orchard"

The Promise of Pierson Orchard is a story 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.