Hello, gentle reader, and welcome to the first annual British Blooms and Books giveaway! This week, we’d like to celebrate the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ blogs (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction and then leave a comment on each blog. You’ll be entered to win a fabulous, British Blooms and Books prize. (US winners only, please, due to shipping the petit fours.) Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by!
My boyfriend had secretly purchased 50 long-stemmed red roses. The catch? They were affordable only because the stems were thoroughly studded with thorns. Undaunted, he sat up all night, a bucket of prickly beauties before him, a pruner in one hand, and a John Wayne movie on the TV. The following day was my birthday. The man who’d shorn all those roses so I could have a fragrant treasure, without pain, is now my husband. Since then, red roses have held unmatched importance in my own personal flower language.
The English, of course, are known for their roses. They have long cultivated old varieties and hybrid new ones, for example, the Diana, Princess of Wales. Roses are so common and popular in English culture that “she’s an English rose” is a noted phrase used to describe Englishwomen.
In my book, Bride of a Distant Isle, the heroine, Annabelle, is part Maltese, part English, and has dark hair. I chose the rose, Dark Lady, to represent her because the red rose is Annabel’s favorite. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“Would you care to dance?” he asked.
I toyed with the idea of letting my Maltese half answer, saying, ‘I have been waiting for an hour or more for you to propose this very thing’, but my English heritage won. “I would be delighted.” I touched the velvety roses in the vase as we stood. “Red roses are my favorite flower.”
He led me to the dance floor as the orchestra began to play. “Why red roses?”
I smirked. Some playfulness must be allowed, after all. “A lady must keep some things secret.”
“A challenge, Miss Ashton, and one I gladly accept!” One hand reached round my back, and the other led the dance.
I hope you’ll read the book to see how Captain Dell’Acqua answered the challenge, and to find out if he won our Dark Lady’s heart. Please sign up for my newsletter (if you’re already signed up, just let me know in the comments). Then, comment below letting us know what you like best about books set in Britain, and easy-peasy, you’ll be entered in the sweepstakes to win the grand prize!
One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ blogs and agrees to the one boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of each of the books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! Name will be drawn via random.org
Finished? Well done! Please visit these other fabulous authors of England-set historicals to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.
• Melanie Dickerson’s Post
• Kristi Ann Hunter’s Post
• Julie Klassen’s Post
• Carrie Turansky’s Post
• Roseanna White’s Post