Monday, January 15, 2018

Winter Warm Up Tour with J.Q. Rose

Thank you, Sandra, for kicking off the Winter Warm-Up 2018 Blog Tour for Terror on Sunshine Boulevard on your blog. I look forward to visiting with you and your readers and to answering any questions asked of me in the comments.

Readers--Please leave a comment below because a lucky commenter will win a PDF copy of Terror on Sunshine Boulevard.
Today I’m sharing tips on arranging fresh, cut flowers in this blog post because Sandra loves flowers and is quite the flower gardener. She has written an excellent, information-packed book on flowers, Flower Gardens and More. Plus my main character, Jim Hart, is an avid gardener, and his wife Gloria loves flowers in their yard. Nothing sparks up a mid-winter day like a vase of fragrant and colorful blooms.
Before I became a published writer, my husband and I owned and operated a floral shop, garden center, and greenhouses in West Michigan. So these tips are ones I have shared with customers. Hope there’s a gem or two in here for you.

Basic Fresh Floral Design Tips by J.Q. Rose
  1. Cut the flower stems on a slant in order to allow more surface area for water to enter the stem. Place the bunch of flowers in a bucket or large vase to allow the flowers to soak up the warm, not hot, not cold, water with dissolved preservative before beginning your design.
  2. Always give a fresh cut to the flower stem before placing it in the arrangement.
  3. Use a very sharp knife or scissors to cut the stems. Dull tools will crush the stem and not allow the flower to drink up the water.
  4. If you use wet foam for your arrangement, be sure to place the foam in a bucket of warm water with preservative dissolved in it. Then place the foam, cut to fit your container, into the water, but don’t hold it down in the bucket. Every inch of the foam needs to be wet. If you hold it down for a couple of minutes, water does not reach all parts of it and may leave air holes in the material. Your flower could dry out because the stem end is in air and not water. So leave it in to soak up all the water. You can tell when you pick it up if the block is full or not by the weight.
  5. If making a “plunk-it” arrangement in a vase, simply set the vase on the edge of the counter, hold the flower bunch next to the vase, and determine how tall or short you want the arrangement to be.  Cut at the point where the flower stems are even with the top of the counter.  Then “plunk” the flowers in the vase immediately. Easy-peasy.
  6. When making a centerpiece, determine the width and length by placing a flower or greens at north, south, east, and west. Determine the height by placing a flower in the center. Just remember to start your arrangement with five flowers, then fill in.
  7. Don’t forget to use various kinds of green foliage to make a lovely background for the flowers to showcase their colors.
  8. Include three shapes of flowers in mixed bouquets—a spike flower e.g. gladiola or snapdragon, round flower e.g. carnation or mum, and a form flower e.g. iris or rose.
  9. The rule is to place lighter colors at the top of an arrangement and darker colors at the base. But rules are made to be broken, so design your piece to please your eye.
  10. Leave space around each flower so you can see each one. Don’t cram them together so tightly that the viewer can’t appreciate each beautiful face.
  11. The most important rule is to make a bouquet that you will enjoy. 
  12. Really, how can you go wrong when working with brilliant colors, unique shapes, and pleasant fragrances? You can’t!

Back of the Book:  Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed or investigating mysterious murders are not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.
Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from the sadness and loss.
Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?
Tagline: Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders? These are not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community for volunteer first responder Jim Hart.
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard is available for purchase at these digital booksellers.
Universal Link for major online retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4XoN8e

About J.Q.
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Dangerous Sanctuary, and Terror on Sunshine Boulevard released by Books We Love Publishing. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She spends winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
Books We Love Author Page http://bookswelove.net/authors/rose-j-q/


Congrats on the release, J.Q.

50 comments:

  1. Rescuing a naked woman lying in the geraniums does indeed sound out of the ordinary. Just as well that they are hardy blooms and grow well from cuttings.
    Terror on Sunset Boulevard sounds like fun - thank you both.

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    1. Laughing--you're thinking about the woman damaging the blooms, but you didn't ask about the condition of the naked woman. Probably can't tell you anyway...no spoilers. Thank you for leaving a comment!
      JQ Rose

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    2. Ha. I'd just as soon not find any naked ladies in my garden.

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  2. Sounds like a good read. And the thought of the naked woman in a bed of geraniums is very provoking. Have a good start in the new week, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thank you, Valerie--Jael. I hoped that might be a good tease to get some attention for the story. You have a great week too.
      JQ Rose

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    2. It sure does sound like a good read doesn't it, Val?
      Hugs back,

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  3. What a wonderful sounding book. And I enjoyed all the floral hints, even though I prefer my flowers to be silk.

    Congratulations to J.Q. The book sounds like it will be a good read.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the floral hints. With silk flowers, you don't need to worry about water, but you can use the tips for arranging them. AND if you cut silk flowers too short, you can always add a pick to lengthen them. Thank you for your congrats.
      JQ Rose

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    2. It sounds exciting, doesn't it, Elizabeth? And what great floral advice.
      Thanks, JQ.

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    3. Sandra, we should've had folks get their flowers and then post their arrangements on your page. I could've given a prize to each one who did it. !!!!

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  4. haha have to like the one about rules made to be broken. Do it ones own way and enjoy the display.

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  5. Congratulations to JQ!
    I can honestly say I have never made a flower arrangement and if I had, I would've done it all wrong.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. It's not too late to start. Just buy a bunch, cut the stems, and put them in the vase. See? You don't need to fuss. Just do what you like and if you like it plunked in the vase, then it's good! AND very easy.

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  6. I have to be the world's worst gardener with an actual purple thumb, so these tips really, really help me out, and I'm so appreciative. YIKES! A dead woman who's naked in a flower bed sounds intriguing and makes me want to know how in the heck she got there. Hugs...RO

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    1. Glad you found the tips helpful, RO. I must tell you the woman didn't die. But I can't tell you more than that...!!Now you'll need to know how she got there and what happened to her after the rescue. hee hee Mean, aren't I?

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    2. Naked ladies in a garden bed certainly is intriguing isn't it, Ro?

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  7. I've also heard cut the stems under water but I never thought to cut them at an angle.

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    1. Yes, Diane, cutting the stems doesn't allow the flower to take up air. But when dealing with 100's of flowers, we never did it. The slant cut gives the flower more surface to drink up water and it won't sit flat on the bottom of the vase and unable to draw in water. Okay--probably TMI.

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    2. I've always heard to cut at an angle but I never understood why. Thank you for explaining it to us, JQ. Now I understand.

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  8. Wonderful floral advice... I love fresh cut flowers displayed around our home, especially in winter 💮
    I do love gardens but not one with a dead woman in it!!! Caught my interest though~

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    1. Thank you, Jan. Flowers do brighten up a wintry room and the fragrance uplifts your mood. Glad the woman caught your interest!!
      JQ Rose

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    2. They bring us a touch of spring when we need it most don't they?

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  9. Hey Sandra, thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. What a wonderful kick-off to the blog tour!!!

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  10. i would like to go out and pick flowers, it will be a few months. like to have them indoors this time of year so buy them occasionally

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    1. Yes, I enjoy picking flowers from our yard too and arranging them in a vase. Nothing beats fresh flowers and fragrance. Valentine's Day is probably the most expensive time of the year to buy flowers because of the demand. What kinds of flowers do you pick "Out on the prairie?" Enjoy your flowers!
      JQ Rose

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  11. I love a good mystery! And flowers, too! Thanks so much for the tips. I never seem to have good luck with roses -- maybe this will help!

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    1. Roses don't last as long as some other flowers. Keep changing the water and give the rose a fresh cut to slurp it up again. I suggest alstromerias. There are so many pretty colors and they will last over a week. Of course, the same is true. Change water, fresh cuts prolongs their life.

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  12. Well, this was fun. And I love the title of this book. What a juxtaposition of ideas: terror and sunshine! I'd love to read it.

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    1. It was fun to write this book. Caught myself giggling in some parts. Hope you do read it. Thanks.

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  13. Indeed, Regine:)
    It sure does, doesn't it, Jamie?
    Loved having you, Janet. I just ordered my copy! :)
    Steve, flowers is what I miss most in the winter.
    Jeanie, you can't beat flowers and a good mystery:) I tried rooting my roses last year, but I don't think I was patient enough. I plan on trying against this year:)
    Hi Lee. The title is perfect isn't it?

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  14. I did enjoy all the floral hints and tips.
    The book sounds an interesting read.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Wasn't the cutting info great, Jan?
      It does sound interesting. I'm looking forward to a great read.

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  15. I enjoyed reading this post Sandra albeit late. Thanks for sharing.

    Y7vonne.

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    1. You're never too late when it comes to the Internet. There's no time frame for blogs to disappear. I bet 50 years from now, this will be here, but I won't be back to check...LOL Thank you for stopping in.

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    2. Ha, JQ.
      Glad you made it, Yvonne. Whenever you get here works for me.

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  16. Thanks for those great tips, JQ. I love to have a vase of flowers in the house. My arrangement is more enthusiastic thank skilled :) I hadn't tried putting in five blooms first and building round them. Thanks for the tip! I have Terror on Sunshine Boulevard on my Kindle already and I'm looking forward to reading it!

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    1. Woo-hoo! Thanks for purchasing the ebook. Hope you get a giggle or two from it. Glad you like the tip.

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    2. Glad you stopped by, Helena:)

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  17. Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed or investigating mysterious murders???? Sounds very interesting!!!
    Thanks for the list! Loved the great tips!
    Big Hugs Sandra!

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    1. It does look like a fun read doesn't it, Stacy?
      Hugs back,

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  18. Hi MLC, Thank you. Glad you liked the tips. Thanks for stopping by

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