Wednesday, May 20, 2020

LOVE AND FLOWERS IN BLOOM

By Caroline Clemmons


Our theme this month at Romance Gems is Love in Bloom. I hope love is blooming at your home along with whatever flowers you’ve planted. Our recent three-inch rain appears to have made our plants happy. I’m not sure if the seeds we planted floated away or were encouraged to sprout. Time will tell.

Why did I plant seeds instead of bedding plants? I wanted to emulate my maternal grandmother, who planted seeds each year. And, since Mother’s Day occurs in May, today I want to honor my maternal grandmother, Frances Josephine Gamble.

Caroline Phlox

Grandmother loved her flowers. For most of my childhood she lived where water was scarce. Summer always brought water rationing so she could only water her vegetable garden regularly. Flowers were allowed scarce amounts of water once weekly.

Salvia
Grandmother combated this by planting flowers that could thrive on little water. Those I remember were a giant lantana, iris, giant pink Carolina phlox, and purple and white salvia. Most prevalent were her petunias. I read somewhere that we can’t recall a smell but that’s not true. I can call up the sweet smell of petunias from my grandmother’s yard.

Frances Josephine Gamble Phifer Reynolds

She was sixty-nine when this photo was taken. The cousin to whom I’m closest agreed that this is our favorite photo of our grandmother. This is how I remember her, even though she lived to be ninety-one.

Perhaps her love for her flowers caused them to thrive in spite of drought. Although this is not the “love in bloom” associated with romance novels, Grandmother proved love creates blooms. In the same way, she loved her family. Somehow, she made each of us grandchildren feel as if we were her favorite. Going to visit her was always a treat.

Even before her father died when she was ten she had a difficult life. She outlived two husbands and two of her children, the first of whom died a few days old of respiratory failure and the second who died of consumption as a young mother. As long as I can remember, Grandmother looked ancient but didn’t change much in appearance during my lifetime. One reason is probably that when I was six, she moved from the farm into town and her life got a lot easier.

If you're looking for something cheerful to read, why not try MAIL-ORDER BEATRICE, one of the Widows, Brides, and Secret Babies Series of sweet historical western romances. You'll fall in love with Beatrice and Tate while they fall in love. Beatrice will only by pushed so far and then, watch out!

Here's the blurb:

Beatrice “Attie” Kendall has to escape from home with her six-week-old son. With the help of her kind brother, she goes to Atlanta where she consults a matchmaker. After the hard life Attie’s been dealt for her twenty years, she’ll finally have a good home with nice people and a friend nearby.  In fact, her husband and their home seem too good to be true. Does she dare trust that her life has really changed?

Tate Merritt isn’t ready to get married but he gives in to his grandfather’s coercing. Grandpa raised him and Tate tries to please the older man. Tate doesn’t know what to think about this mail-order bride. She isn’t at all the wife he imagined—plus, she showed up with a baby! The child’s a cute little thing but Tate isn’t sure how he feels about her surprising him. How can he trust a woman whose story keeps changing?

Life presents obstacles to further complicate Attie and Tate’s marriage. They’ll have to work together to solve their problems and protect their family.  Can they trust one another enough to make this marriage work?

The Universal Amazon Link is https://mybook.to/Attie. MAIL-ORDER BEATRICE is available in e-book and print and is FREE in KU.



I hope this month has brought you love and flowers in bloom. Don’t forget to sign up for our LOVE IN BLOOM Rafflecopter.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments:

  1. Love your grandmother's picture. Mine lived in Oklahoma during the dust bowl so understand the water scarcity. She was cautious about water use the rest of her life. Amazing she grew such beautiful plants. Here's to many sales of Mail Order Beatrice. She looks like she'd have lots of flowers blooming. Glad she'l find a home.

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    1. Nora, my grandmother lived in Oklahoma during the dust bowl, too. Their farm was on the Salt Fork of the Red River and was sub-irrigated. Should have produced a bumper crop but my mom's stepfather was NOT the hardest worker and they just got by. Life in town was so much better for her.

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  2. I love the pictures in your post--especially your grandmother. She was beautiful, wasn't she?

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    1. Liz, she was lovely to me. She lived for her family.

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  3. Charming post, Caroline! Absolutely loved it and your grandmother's photo!

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  4. Beautiful remembrance of your grandmother! Thanks for sharing it with us! Good luck on your new book! I've enjoyed this series!

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  5. Great post Caroline. It’s lovely to have such clear memories of your Grandmother. Maybe she influenced your stories too! Mail Order Beatrice sounds like another good tale of love and romance.

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    1. She did influence me. One of my first books, THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE, began because of a brief vignette she shared of someone she knew as a girl.

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  6. What a lovely tribute to a special woman. This is a great series to get hooked on.

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  7. Love the post and thanks for giveaway. I have so many great memories of my grandmother from gong on vacation with her to just stay over at her house. Kind of like a slumber party. I would love to read and the review paperback/print format of your books. I look forward to the books.
    Hope I win.
    Crystal

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  8. Beautiful post about a beautiful lady.

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  9. What a touching post, Caroline. I know your grandmother would be so proud of you. Good luck with Mail Order Beatrice. Hope it's another big hit for you.

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  10. This is a really great giveaway. I want to tell you about my grandmother. She was the happiest, most generous woman I have ever known. Her name was Rose and she would make everyone smile. When she was a in her 60's she became the welfare worker for her county and worked in a senior living center (sometimes she was older than the residents), and volunteered for the town's fire station. She loved people and especially me. I could tell her anything and she listened and then helped if needed. I watched her slowly leaving me when she started forgetting things. She was always the nurse, helper, and the most loving woman I have ever known. I will be 70 in 3 years and I pray I will be as graceful and as alive as she always was. She loved everyone and everyone loved Rose.

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  11. I love this post so much! In the past couple of years, I've drifted into gardening -- both flowers and vegetables. I moved into my grandparents house 2 1/2 years ago and inherited several roses that my grandmother had planted. One rose in particular she moved from the farm to this house in 1968. That rose originally belonged to her grandmother, and was moved to the farm. Every year for the past two years, my dad has asked, "Is the rose coming out again this year?" And I'm happy to say that it is. I've tried to take good care of it in both my grandmother and her grandmother's memory.

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    1. p.s. I've also determined that Caroline Phlox is a great name for a character. I can already see her in my head.... (another book, another day....) :)

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