Vicki Batman asks "How does your garden grow?"

Mary, Mary, quite contrary...

An old rhyme, but one really which resonates with me--Vicki Batman. Mary’s garden is full of “silver bells and cockerel shells and pretty maids all in a row.” Mine suffers so in the heat. I tend to plant more native flowers and pray they survive. My particular favorite is lantana. I received this one from my old neighbor after we’d moved. Butterflies and hummingbirds like to come visit:

And this particular plant seemed ideal for moi with the characteristic “you can run over it with a car, and it will grow.”

Here’s a small blurb from TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED, a romantic comedy mystery: New Job. New Love. And Murder. 

Hattie Cook's dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee--the very one she replaced. 

When the police determine there's more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, Detective Allan Charles Wellborn steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.Can the killer be found before Hattie's time is up?

Find Temporarily Employed at: Amazon

Liz Selvig’s favorite garden flower is a Johnny Jump-Up. Officially it's called a viola and is like a tiny pansy. I adore them because they were my
grandmother's favorites. She always had pots of Johnny Jump-Ups in her back yard and on her porches. I try to get some every year because they simply make me happy--so small and bright and always cheerful! And a reminder of a very special person.

THE BRIDE WORE DENIMWhen Harper Lee Crockett returns home to Paradise Ranch, Wyoming, the last thing she expects is to fall head-over-heels for Cole Wainwright, her childhood neighbor and her older sister's long-time boyfriend. The spirited and artistic Crockett sister has finally learned to resist her craziest impulses, especially falling for her sister's ex. But this latest trip home and Cole's appeal might prove too much for her fading self-control.

Cole has long been fascinated by the sister who's always stood out from the crowd. His relationship with Amelia, is over, and with Harper back in town, he sees everything he's been missing. But they have no future together—he's tied to the land and she's created a successful life in the big city.

Still—neither of them can escape their growing attraction or inconvenient feelings. Will they decide to listen to their heads or to give their hearts what they want?


Angi Morgan shares about her garden: I definitely have a brown thumb. But I seem to be lucky with roses. My favorite flower (that I seem to be able to grow) is a Queen Ann apricot rose. The bush was the first one I planted here at our house, I thought I’d lost it last fall, but it came back this spring. (Snoopy Dancing). 
Coming next Valentine Day’s from Angi is BULLETPROOF BADGE, Texas Rangers: Elite Troop #1Two murders, one witness, one on-the-run Texas Ranger.

Pre-Order on Amazon
His key witnesses dead, Texas Ranger Garrison Travis had to protect innocent bystander Kenderly Tyler. Her crucial evidence had two very dangerous Texas crime families willing to do anything to keep her quiet. But Garrison's undercover status had branded him a killer, and now the bad and the good guys were after them both. 
Hiding out with a handsome protector, on the run for her life, was so beyond anything Kenderly had imagined. While there was more than just adrenaline pulsing between them, the Ranger vowed his job was his life. Dare she wonder what would become of them should they actually make it out alive?

E E Burke loves lilies! My favorite flowers this time of year are the lilies. We have several different varieties and they are all in bloom in our yard. Here's one of them: 

My new book, FUGITIVE HEARTS, released on July 28. Here's the blurb:

“Sheriff…I just shot my husband.”

Hotel owner Claire Daines is a respected member of the community. Until she shocks the entire town by rushing into a saloon wearing only her nightclothes and confessing to very inebriated lawman.

Is she a killer? Is she crazy? Or is she covering up something worse?

For years, Claire hushed up her husband’s dangerous condition to guard his reputation. When tragedy strikes, she puts her own life at risk when she vows to keep another terrible secret.

Sheriff Frank Garrity must get to the truth, although the tough, hard-drinking lawman hides his own secrets and would rather walk a lonely path than face his demons. But as Frank unravels Claire’s subterfuge and unlocks her heart, he’s torn between his desire to save her and his duty to bring her to justice. 
Find FUGITIVE HEARTS at:  Amazon

Are you wondering who has a brown thumb? Alexa Bourne says “I have the brownest thumb EVER. People know not to ask me to take care of their
plants and flowers when they go away. However, I do love them! One of my favorite flowers is the hydrangea. It reminds me of my carefree summers as a child in New England. I also love the bright blues and whites in there, too.”

A blurb from LIAR, LIARUnable to protect her mother from her father as a child, Devin McQueen has made it her mission as an adult to protect as many abused women and children as she can. The rare moments she’s not consumed with work as a victims’ advocate, she limits her involvements to safe, predictable men….until she meets bounty hunter Grady Cooper. He is big, bold, brash, and has no problem speaking his mind.

Growing up in a broken home, Grady realized early on that good deeds had a price.  To survive, he learned to weigh every decision by what he could gain. Unfortunately, the successful, solitary life he’s worked so hard to create spins out of control when demons from his past shake his confidence. His boss has given him one last chance—bring in Devin’s latest client quickly, and quietly and maybe he’ll still have a job. It didn’t sound unreasonable until he met Devin.

Suddenly, Grady must make a decision: save his career or follow his heart?

Find LIAR, LIAR at:Amazon

Kat Baldwin is quite fond of Irises! The colors are so vivid and they arrive early in the spring and by then I'm starving to see rich colors - I go a little flower crazy in spring. 

A blurb from A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS: It's 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England's dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don't fit high society's constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies--plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure "completely original and totally engrossing."


So...how does your garden grow? Are you a gardener? Do you have a brown thumb? What is your favorite flower?

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  1. Interesting hearing about the different flowers.

  2. Hi, Angie! I liked reading what others' favorites are. I want to plant something and be able to just add water when needed. lol

  3. Liked the discussion on flowers! Refreshing! I love tulips, hibiscus, pansies, and ... You get the picture! I can't pick, love most flowers.

    1. Hi Hebby!!!
      Waving. Great to see you.

    2. Hi,Hebby! On a recent trip, most of my pictures were flowers. I was captivated. lol

    3. HI HEBBY !!!
      I can take really great pictures...but growing is a totally other story. Most of our yard is shady...and it seems most flowers need a lot of sun.

  4. It's fun to see everyone's favorites. I have a brown thumb. My husband is the gardener in our family. We have some portalacka (spelling?) that seems to grow all over. In fact, the dogs pee on it and it still grows. It's growing through the cracks on our patio and all around it. I don't mind because the flowers are pretty, colorful and this succulent is hard to kill. A perfect flower for me!

    1. Hi, Melissa! I'm going to have to google portalacka. My kind of plant.

    2. Me too. Does it grow in the shade?

  5. In the past I have had a veggie garden... usually do pretty well, but have not done one in 2 years... my fav flower/plant is the bleeding heart... it reminds me of my grandmother... she always had the plant in her yard.

    1. Hi, Colleen! I did veggies until the dog. He ate the red ones. The green ones. The vines. Then the rose bushes, thorns and all. Handsome said he must have needed fiber. Yikes!

    2. We've had two Labs that have eaten rose bushes. I haven't ever attempted a garden garden. I just think...that's a lot of money to invest in something that will turn brown.

  6. What a great list of flowers and books and authors.

    1. Thank you, Stanalei! You are so kind. And this is an awesome group.

  7. Replies
    1. You don't have to worry about flowers there... :)

  8. Loved reading about everyone's favorite flowers! Vicki, I have actually killed a lantana plant. I did not think it possible. :) Great post!!!

    1. I kept a Lilly plant for years and years and years. Then for no reason it just died. I'll have to try the Lantana...but if you didn't have luck Karilyn...sigh

  9. Hi, Karilyn! I did not know that was possible either. lol

  10. This turned into a wonderful, happy, informative First Friday--so much fun to read about our favorite flowers. Thanks so much Vicki for thinking up a great post! Now I want to grow some of everyone's favorites!!

    1. Congrats again on your daughter's wedding --pictures have been beautiful....talk about wonderful flowers !!

  11. hi, Liz! so glad to know you are enjoying the gardening post. I hope your weather is more conducive to gardening than ours. Hugs