Yellow pine and northern lakes, tumbleweeds and sage, new schools, rodeos, New York City skyscrapers, and beautiful rainy Portland. Twenty years in Oregon’s nascent wine country.
This is my journey. Place speaks clearly to me. It puts its stamp on my soul. Some days the smell of wet bark comes to me out of nowhere, of freshly cut logs floating in booms on Lake Coeur d’Alene, and I feel the lake where we spent our summers swimming and taste the cakes Mom baked for our birthdays. At other times, it’s the aromas of coffee and frying steaks in the Whitman College dining room. Cigarettes, cheap wine, and the wind blowing off the Palouse. The color of skies and sunsets. Sweat and urine subway smells, or horse dung and dust and the roar of a rodeo crowd. I see the many, misted valleys where grapes are grown and smell wine grapes fermenting.
Everything has changed now, but I remember it so well because I’ve had the opportunity to be there and write about it. All of it. In journals, magazine articles, wine columns, the magazine I started and edited, and books. First nonfiction, and now fiction.
I will never be a famous person. As my fellow Oregon author Jane Kirkpatrick once said, “Oprah doesn’t know my name.” But I’m a good storyteller. Throughout my adult life, and before, everything in my heart pointed me to writing. I graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism, and I wrote while I reared two beautiful, smart children; while I managed a household and cooked for our harvest crews; during the times I held various jobs; while I edited a magazine; and, when the darkest of days came and I had nothing else but writing.
I care about stories and the fires where people clustered to hear them before there was the written word. I care about books, so I write them. I care about mystery writing because there is a puzzle to be solved, because there is a resolution, and most often because in the books I read and write there is justice.
Writing isn’t easy, but it is the only thing I seem to know how to do.
Blackthorn is the first gothic thriller by Judy Nedry. In this modern-day gothic novel set on the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Sage Blackthorn revisits demons from her past and confronts a multitude of new ones when she returns to her childhood home to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.
An Unholy Alliance introduces Emma Golden, a self-styled has-been who is invited to write a book on her beloved Oregon wine country, and manage a bed and breakfast for a friend. All seems ideal until Emma encounters her verbally abusive ex-husband, Dwight McCourt, shortly after settling in at the B&B. She discovers that she still harbors unresolved feelings for him.
the difficult sister
The Difficult Sister is the second mystery/suspense novel from Judy Nedry featuring Emma Golden. This latest adventure takes Emma and her friend, Melody, to a remote, southern Oregon coastal town to search for Melody’s missing, ne’er-do-well younger sister, Aurora. However, they quickly both realize that at the very least, Aurora is in some sort of major trouble and may even be dead.
the man who wasn’t there
James Ryder has it all. A founding pioneer of the Oregon wine industry, he has the stately good looks of a gentleman farmer, the perfect family, an ample bank account, and the prestige of owning one of Oregon’s oldest and most respected wineries. His youngest daughter has taken up the torch to become the second-generation winemaker at Ryder Estate.