Friday, May 2, 2014

APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS

THIS MONTH WE ASKED INTRIGUE AUTHORS

Do you garden? 
What’s your favorite flower or plant? 
Or is your favorite flower delivered in a vase?

HUNTED 
Harlequin MIRA, January 2014 

When I moved into my current house, it was winter and I had no idea what was in the gardens, so I waited anxiously to find out what would bloom in the gardens.  The answer?  Mostly pricker weeds that promptly grew to 3-feet tall.  Other than a few daffodils and irises, there wasn't much.  So, it was a lot of fun to yank out those weeds and replace them with roses, hibiscus, hydrangea, rose of sharon, peonies, and other assortments. 

I also dragged in 800 pounds of rocks to border another garden so I'd have more space to fill with flowers.  But some of my very favorites are probably my orchids, which brighten up my house even in the dead of winter. 
THE WITCH'S DESIRE
Harlequin Cravings 
May 2014

I love flowers! All the colors bring a smile to my face every time. I haven't always been fortunate enough to grow them, but the house I live in now has the best sun to grow flowers and I've been lucky each year to have a beautiful flower garden. 

I planted a lot of azalea bushes that bloom in the spring and again in the fall. I planted tulips to welcome spring in each year. 

In late April, early May, I plant my annuals. Usually I'll put in begonias and vinc (periwinkles) and marigolds. I have the pleasure of enjoying them all summer long. 

Which flower is my favorite? Hard to say. They all bring me joy! 


NAVY SEAL SURRENDER
Texas Family Reckoning Book 1
Harlequin Intrigue, May 2014

I'm sooooo not a gardener. But I am surrounded with great gardens here in my hometown and take a ton of pictures to share on my blog and on Facebook.

I do try rosebushes, but I don't have much light in my yard--so more power to 'em for sticking with me! My favorite flower is an Apricot Queen Anne Rose...mainly because it's right by the back porch and has outlasted my black thumb.

April in Texas is bluebonnet season and this year they were awesome. We searched all day for a picture like this. I will definitely be framing it for our wall.


BLACK ROSE
Harlequin Shivers
April 2014

Sorry to say, I don't garden at all.  But I do love looking at other people's lovely gardens.  My favorite flower would definitely be a deep red rose, the kind that smells so beautiful. 

And of course, I'm doing a whole series for Shivers where the titles have flowers in them, so that's an ongoing theme. BLACK ROSE, BLOOD ORCHID, AND SCARLET BELLS.  I'm currently working on a fourth book which is called DARK LILY.  See?  Like I said, all about flowers.  Well, and a lot of shadows.

ANIMAL INSTINCTS

I'm a long time self-taught gardener, but five years ago, I became a Master Gardener, trained by University of Illinois Extension to be a volunteer to help other people with their gardening problems.  That training has helped me improve my own garden, and it has made me more aware of a sustainable lifestyle. I recycle, I compost, I add native plants to my garden to help with storm water runoff, which is a serious problem in big cities. 

My city backyard is totally a garden as you can see the in the attached photos. I spend as much time as I can reading or writing in my garden every summer. It is my greatest pleasure. My heroine Skye in Animal Instincts reflects on the healing nature of her (my) garden. But, writing as Lynn Patrick with a partner, I was able to give  my gardening knowledge to my heroine, Heather, in A Forever Home. 

UNDERCOVER WARRIOR
Harlequin Intrigue, July 2014

Here is a photo taken today of a Columbine, a plant Aimée and I planted three years ago. Last year it didn't bloom at all, but this year it's bigger and more beautiful than ever, and that means a lot to me.

Our heroine in the July 1st Copper Canyon Intrigue, UNDERCOVER WARRIOR, has a dream of buying her own farm someday and working with her hands, growing things. Here is an excerpt from UNDERCOVER WARRIOR:

Erin led the way outside, then hurried over and crouched by the tiny plant. At the tip of its sole slender stalk was a small stem with new growth and two leaves. In the center was a tiny perfectly formed bud. “Look!” 
 
DIAGNOSIS ATTRACTION
Harlequin Intrigue, April 2014

I love to garden.  My favorite flowers are the azaleas that bloom here in the spring.  I wish they lasted longer, but I do have early blooming varieties and later ones, so the color lasts for about six week.  Here I am with some of the ones in my front yard.

THE BRIDESMAID'S BODYGUARD
June Free Online Read at www.Harlequin.com 
(a prequel to KCPD PROTECTOR, August 2014)


I'll confess, I'm not much of a gardener--too many allergies!  Fortunately, my hubby has a green thumb and we have a lot of flowers around our house.  I love a riot of colors--nothing too lined up or perfectly sculpted for me.  An iris is my absolute favorite flower, but impatiens are a close second.  I have a stand of irises across the front of my house.  I'm bummed this year because a late freak sleet/snow/ice storm pretty much decimated the iris that were coming up, so I probably won't have many (if any?) of those this year.  

But it's an annual tradition at my house to go to the local nursery on Mother's Day and pick out a bunch of flowers to put around the house in colorful pots I've collected over the years.  I love to get lots of impatiens and bunch up related and contrasting colors to show off against our white house.  My job is to pick out what I want, and my hubby plants them for me.  I help a little with the tending.  But since I have the distinction of being able to kill even a cactus, no one lets me do too much but enjoy the flowers all summer long.

HUNTED
Harlequin Intrigue, Aug 2014

One of my favorite things in the world is a flower garden in bloom.  I live in the Midwest but that doesn’t stop me from getting excited in February about gardening, anxious in March, and ready to go in April. This year it is way too cold to be planting flowers, yet I’ve already been to the garden center and have bought many flats of annuals and have started filling pots.  Of course I’m covering them with a sheet at night so that they don’t get too cold! I suspect that amuses my neighbors.

I generally do about thirty pots every year so I have to get an early start. Plus, I like to plant annuals in my perennial gardens to give them a boost of color.  I don’t have a favorite flower, although I am partial to Cosmos and Zinnias and for early spring, nothing beats a big pot of pansies.  Here’s a picture of my early efforts. 

We hope May brings our readers many happy blooms !!  You can catch us everyday on Facebook. Send us a copy of your favorite Intrigue in your "blooms" and be entered in a special giveaway.

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22 comments:

  1. I still feel like I'm in winter mode around here. Your blooms are helping me to accept that PERHAPS winter has really gone (although my very cold house is proof otherwise)!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. IT WILL GET WARMER... That's a promise.
      And then we'll be waiting anxiously for things to cool down.
      Nice to "see" you Laney !! Waving from Texas.
      ~Angi

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  2. It feels like Winter still in MI too, Laney! But I'm holding out hope that Spring is really on its way...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could be getting sunburned right now...whew...hot hot hot here.
      (sorry Liz)
      ~Angi (okay, I was rubbing it in...huge to you still waiting for spring)

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  3. Our weather has been getting hotter and hotter... possible chance of hitting 100 degrees this weekend! Ugggh! In the past I have done a veggie garden...

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    Replies
    1. Wow! (Since it's only 50 in MI, I'm a little jealous!) There's something wonderful about vegetables from your own backyard...so much better than anything you can buy!

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    2. Colleen, we're supposed to be in the 90's here...but they mentioned rain this weekend.
      ~Angi

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  4. Pretty flowers. Happy May! My bulbs bloomed this week after all our rain. Pink and white. So pretty.

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    Replies
    1. AWESOME !! Love this time of year.
      ~Angi

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  5. Heading into Winter here but feel like a winner already finding some of my intrigue writers on FB brilliant have the very first one ever written, actually all the way up to 2009 and run out of room now have eBooks. Love my daffodils.... and roses

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    Replies
    1. That is so absolutely cool, Jan -- ALL the Intrigues. WOW !!!
      ~Angi

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    2. That IS cool, Jan! What amazing-looking bookshelves you must have - that's quite a collection! :)

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  6. My philosophy on gardening is quite simple. I garden because I have to. I like it neat & tidy, but I do tend to let my garden go to seed. Less work for me, because then it is self propagating. If I buy seeds or seedlings they just die from too much love or neglect.

    I do prefer flowers outside as opposed to in a vase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really know the second thig about gardening... The first I can handle, but I always forget to come back.
      ~Angi

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  7. Loved seeing everyone's garden. And love this time of year.

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    1. I always love seeing pictures of your sunroom .
      ~Angi

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  8. Loved seeing everyone gardens. I love to garden myself. Thank you for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. With a name like SPRING, you probably should garden !!
      >>>grin<<<
      ~Angi

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  9. I love flowers, but I can't grow anything except foliage. :( Luckily, I live not too far from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada where they deck out the entire town in blooms! I visit frequently and always bring my camera.

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  10. Our peonies are blooming now and I love their smell. I only wish they would last longer.

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