Hello, gentle reader, and welcome to the second annual British Blooms and Books giveaway! This week, we’d like to celebrate the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ blogs (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction and then leave a comment on each blog. You’ll be entered to win a fabulous, British Blooms and Books prize. (US winners only, please, due to shipping the petit fours.) Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by!
There's nothing quite like an English garden. On my tour of the Cotswolds and Cornwall (with a brief stop in Devonshire) last autumn, my family enjoyed little more than being set free to explore the beautiful grounds of the houses we toured, or frolicking about the rugged cliffs of Land's End.
We saw the stunning terraced gardens of St. Michael's Mount, in Cornwall, from above.
We saw the most perfect rose, still wet with rain, in the gardens of a manor house that had once been an abbey, in the Cotswolds.
We wandered the paths of Knightshayes's expansive gardens in Devonshire.
But for all the beauty and appeal of a formal flowerbed, of carefully plotted and potted and planted gardens, sometimes it's the wild that appeals most to us. Sometimes it's the accidental beauty, or the little bits that God positioned just so for us. Perhaps it's the purple heather or the yellow-sprigged gorse or the white wildflowers growing beside a cliff...
Or perhaps it's something as simple as a dandelion--a little burst of yellow blooming where it shouldn't. A little ray of sunshine, too often overlooked or dismissed as a nuisance.
In A Lady Unrivaled, Ella is quite determined not to be charmed by the scowling Lord Cayton, who has broken too many hearts before--fortuitous, because Cayton is quite determined not to do any charming. But when an impromptu walk through the gardens of Ralin Castle, still not quite in bloom, lead them out to the gardener's shed, they happen upon one of those weeds that the gardener would no doubt obliterate.
Just a dandelion. Nothing special. But when Cayton's toddler daughter shows delight with the spot of yellow, Cayton picks two of them. Gives one to his daughter and hands the other to Ella.
An admission that sometimes, as Ella had just insisted, you can find a reason to smile even when you shouldn't. That sometimes, even when there are clouds overhead, you can find a little patch of sunshine.
Sometimes, what the world dismisses can be the most treasured beauty of all.
Ella's optimism is perhaps what makes her A Lady Unrivaled . . . and Cayton's moods can't ever stand long against her. I hope you have a chance to read more about this unlikely couple, and the other adventures they have in a Cotswolds garden--not to mention the dangers and adventure they face as they work together to trap a villain haunting both their families. PLEASE SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER for a chance to win A Lady Unrivaled as well as the other amazing books in the giveaway, plus a sweet set of tea hat petit fours to enjoy while you read!
|Photo from Divine Delights|
One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ blogs and agrees to the one boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of each of the books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! Name will be drawn via random.org
Finished? Well done! Please visit these other fabulous authors of England-set historicals to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.
LINKS TO PARTICIPANTS: