A rose by any other name

    A perfect rose... A new bloom on Louise Odier, a Bourbon rose.

    Thank you all for your supportive emails and messages. I feel so lucky to know you all and to have the chance to share my stories with you. I am feeling much better. I just needed to have a good cry and get the emotion out of my system. Now I'm anxiously awaiting word from my agent and from my editor in New York that the book is acceptable. It's really long...

    In the meantime, my rose garden is in high bloom. I have two rose gardens, one in the front yard which takes up most of the yard, and the fairy garden in the back. Both have exploded with blossoms that smell so wonderful. I went out early this morning and took photos with my cell phone, but I'm hoping to have better photos later this weekend. These are all rebloomers, so the blossom-fest lasts most of the summer, though it's never this intense. The first round of blooming is always the most floriforous.

    This shows two bushes — Anne Boleyn, the best-smelling rose in the world, next to Heritage, which is taller and is the other best-smelling rose in the world. The blossoms on Heritage are perfect pink cups. Both are old English roses.

    This is the time of year I go around sniffing constantly. I plant all kinds of herbs and other flowers between the roses, including lavendar, so that I can just walk and sniff the whole time. Everything blooms, so there are layers upon layers of flowers — tiny ones, big ones, pink, purple, blue, red, white, yellow. And they're all mixed up. The photo above shows lavendar in the foreground.

    This is a view of Heritage and Anne Boleyn with a King Arther giant delphinium in the foreground. I think these look magical!

    So, yes, I am a flower 'ho'. No man could ever give me too many flowers. Ever.

    This shows Carefree Beauty, another wonderfully scented rose, in front of a climbing rose that has perhaps 200 white blossoms on it.

    The photo above is hard to see, but there's a climbing rose that's making an arch over our wooden fence. It is covered in tiny white roses, perhaps 200 to 300 of them. They have a very sweet, apple-y rose smell.

    This isn't even a third of my bushes. And it doesn't show the fairy garden either. But it gives you a blurry sense of what I'm enjoying these days.

    This weekend I'm going to shop for a glitter gown for the RITAs (only three weeks away!) and a suit for the more business-y aspects of the convention and, yes, shoes. I'm going to wish you were all here to help with this. I'm not much of a savvy shopper.

    I also plan to plot my next contemporary and write a proposal for that. It will be Kat's story. She's going to fall in love with a mountain parks ranger, who saves her life when she falls while out hiking. (Does that sound vaguely familiar to anyone?) The names I'm toying with for the hero (and feel free to cast your vote) include: Gabriel (Gabe), Chase, Cole, Malachi. I kinda feel like I can't use Cole because I used it in Sweet Release. I'm leaning toward Gabriel and Malachi.

    It's so nice to feel like the pressure is off for a while. After I get the proposal for my next RS written, I'm going to dive headfirst into Morgan's story. I left him at death's door a year a go and need to revive him. At the same time, I'm going to try to write my first erotic novel. Stay tuned for that...

    Have a great weekend, everyone! And thanks again for being the greatest!

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