Who could object to a flower festival?
Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin are delighted that their Portland floral boutique is part of the city’s Rose Festival, which draws thousands to the Pacific Northwest for dragon boat races, fireworks, and other attractions—capped off by a big parade. They’re building a float that’s sure to rock the judge’s boat . . . until a gang of angry protestors shows up. The group, who call themselves Dark Fusion, are decidedly not into flower power, and they want to take down the system . . . including the upcoming extravaganza.
Then their leader is strangled with a garland of violets—and Britta finds the body. With tensions running high and so much at stake, there are plenty of suspects, from the Grand Marshal to a longtime volunteer to a former Rose Queen. But before Britta and Elin can stem the violence, the case is going to get even more explosive . . .
Guest Post from Kate Dyer-Seeley
Thanks so much for having me as a guest today! I’m super excited for the release of the second book in the Rose City Mysteries, Violet Tendencies. One of the best things about writing for me is the time I spend on research. For this series I immersed myself in the world of flowers. It wasn’t such a bad gig.
I was fortunate to be able to interview and shadow a number of professional florists. I toured the flower market—which is a huge trading floor that is like the floral equivalent of the New York Stock Exchange. And, I spent time building flower floats for the Portland Rose Festival—which is where the book is set.
I thought it would be fun to share a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned from the flower pros.
- Flowers pair best with? I asked everyone I interviewed this question and without fail every single person answered—wine. It makes sense. A lovely bouquet and a bottle of wine are the perfect hostess gift or birthday present. One unique suggestion is to pair your wine and flowers by color. For example, if you pick up a bottle of blushing rosé pair it with vintage pink roses. Or if you opt for a dark, earthy bottle of Malbec, pair it with deep burgundy roses. You don’t need to know a thing about wine tasting or flavor profiles. Simply use your artistic eye to create a beautiful and fragrant gift.
- Baby’s breath or something new? Here’s another question that I asked the flower experts. The quintessential symbol of romance used to be a vase of a dozen red roses with sprigs of baby’s breath. That trend has died out (pun intended) as of late. Florists recommend modernizing the classic with sprigs of herbs—like eucalyptus, or leafy cedar and holy berries. If you like a touch of white to contrast with the red, try Queen Anne’s Lace or Lily of the Valley.
- How to design like a pro? If you’re intimated at the thought of trying to put together a flower arrangement, never fear. The most important piece of advice is to start by picking an assortment of flowers that you love. You don’t have to be bound by only flowers, either. Add greenery, bark, moss, berries, fruit, leaves, and even branches to your creation. Pick an interesting vessel—a Mason jar, ceramic bowl, or a piece of clay pottery. Then start building by layering in texture and height. Before you know it, you’ll be designing like a pro.
Happy reading and here’s to flowers!
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.
She also writes the Bakeshop Mystery Series as Ellie Alexander for St. Martin’s Press set in the charming Shakespearean town of Ashland, Oregon where pastry chef Juliet Montague Capshaw has returned home to heal her broken heart and run the family bakeshop. Recipes included!
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
Book Review by Bree Herron
Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin are two wonderful characters in this floral themed mystery series. I really liked the theme of the Rose festival in this one. Those that want to stop this parade though The Dark Fusion gang. Now I found this part to be humorous, an “evil” gang out to take out the flowers. It is fun filled with action and great characters. In this delightful story filled with flowers, charm, and mystery there isn’t a better read to find.
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
Rafflecopter Giveaway: (3) Print Copies of Violet Tendencies & Natural Thorn Killer (Rose City Mysteries) by Kate Dyer-Seeley
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