Let’s get our hands dirty!

I don’t know about you, but I love to play in the dirt. Planting flowers, bushes, and trees can be calming and rewarding if you don’t buy annuals (the flowers that only live for about one year). Perennials are a particular favorite of mine because all I have to do is weed every couple of weeks. My plants come up every year if I take care of them right and my garden is beautiful for all seasons.

Restoring Fairhaven release week fun!

Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it?

Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud.

But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world.

Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking.

How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time?

Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future.

Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after?

Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Do you have a green thumb?

(In keeping with the Grandmother theme of all my celebration week posts, I hope you enjoy this sweet memory with my grandmother-in-law)

I didn’t used to have a green thumb. I wanted one though. As a girl, I dreamt of having a yard overflowing with flowers and flowering trees. I loved the look of English tea gardens and rose gardens. When I would envision my home, a garden was always part of the picture. My mother worked and didn’t have time to keep up on a garden. She did, how ever, cultivate a love for roses. Growing up, we had a rose bush on the side of our house that had been there since my parents bought the house in 1978. It is called a peace rose and it is one of the most fragrant roses I have ever smelled.

Anyway, the older I got, the more I asked God to send me someone who could show me the ways of the Green Thumb. On the Thanksgiving of 1995, I went with my then boyfriend (now husband) to his grandmother’s house for the holiday dinner. Her yard was stunning. I was amazed at the various trees, shrubs, and the way her garden consumed her yard. The weather was comfortable that year, so she gladly gave me the grand tour. I asked her all sorts of question on what the plant was and what it would look like when in bloom and she would happily tell me all about her yard.

“Wait until you see it in the spring,” she said with pride radiating from her face. And she wasn’t kidding. It was even more spectacular.

Magnolias, hostas, hydrangeas, tulips, hyacinth, lilacs, peonies, evergreen shrubs–you name it, it was in that yard. Her favorite, though, was the daffodil.

I asked her after hubby and I married in 1999, what she did to keep your yard looking beautiful without a ton of work. She rarely weeded the yard and I was spending hours in my tiny garden at our first house.

She gave me 5 tips…

1) Never put shrubs or trees next to the house. The roots can damage the foundation and the water lines between the road and the house.

2) Safe all your clippings from the shrubs, leaves, and grass clippings and put them in a compost bin. Use that the next year’s mulch. The natural nutrients are still in those things and will be beneficial to the plants.

3) Cover your flowers with leaves in the winter. It will keep the frost off your spring bulbs and they will come back sooner the next year.

4) Use fertilizer on your flowers once a week unless you get a lot of rain. You don’t want to overwater your flowers.

5) Keep trees and bushes trimmed back to keep the yard nice, but don’t start timing for a couple of years. You want the roots to become established before you start trimming.

I have held on to the tips over the last twenty years and I work hard to make sure the little gardens I have would make Grandma Wardwell proud. Sadly, we lost her to breast cancer complications on the first day of spring (her favorite season) 2010. Thankfully, though my daughter never knew her, she enjoys helping in the garden–at least she used to.

My daughter sniffing the flowers in Gebe’s (Great-grandma Wardwell) garden when she was 3


For my giveaway, one winner will receive a copy of Scrumptious Independence and a $5 Amazon gift card. So be sure to enter my name in your entry then stop at the other authors’ sites to enter in their giveaways. the links will remain available until December 15th.

Carolyn Miller – Dec 8

Chautona Havig – Dec 9

Melissa Wardwell – Dec 10

Kari Trumbo – Dec 11

Rachel Skatvold – Dec 12

Tabitha Bouldin – Dec 13

CelebrateLit Publishing – Dec 14