or A Day in the Life of a Red-Headed Hot-Tempered Florist

Dear Euphorbia,

Half an hour until the flower shop opens, so I’m grabbing a minute to update you. Sorry to have been MIA, but, hey, life is never dull here at Bloomers, even after the chaos of the infamous vampire murder died down. So far today, things have been quiet. We started off with my assistant Lottie’s traditional Monday morning scrambled egg and toast breakfast, and Grace’s gourmet coffee and fresh blueberry scones, so how bad can the rest of the day be?

Wait. What am I saying? Today is Monday – the day Mom always brings in her latest outrageous art project for us to sell. Even so, I am determined to remain upbeat because I really want to have a pleasant day.

On the good news front, I’ve taken back my bridal shower! Euphorbia, you’ve been listening to me complain since I began this journal three months ago, so you know what would have happened if I’d allowed Mom, with her off-the-wall ideas, and Marco’s mom, with her take-no-prisoners approach to any kind of celebration, to pull it off. And heaven help me had my cousin Jillian been allowed to choose my shower outfit from one of the haute couture boutiques she frequents.

Being 5’ 2” tall, with red hair, way too many freckles, and what my mom refers to as an ample bosom, I don’t fit into the kind of garb Jillian’s ultra-chic customers do, but she never seems to get that. Well, actually, no surprise there. For a Harvard grad, Jillian doesn’t get much. Luckily, Marco, my groom-to-be, the malest of all males, likes the way I look, freckles and all. So why spend mega-bucks on an outfit that would only make me look like an upscale fireplug?

Anyway, today is going to be crazy busy – two funerals and a wedding to make arrangements for! All I can say is Ka-ching! It would be awesome to have some money in the bank instead of constantly struggling to make this shop profitable. Thank goodness Marco doesn’t have any big PI cases going. Being his assistant isn’t easy when I have to squeeze it in between my work here at Bloomers. Not that I mind assisting him. You know I am all about justice — and Marco.

By the way, the reason I named you Euphorbia? You’re a cousin of the Poinsettia and your sap is extremely irritating to the skin and eyes. Some might call it poisonous. So if Jillian ever starts poking around in my desk drawer, well, let’s just say I’ve already let her know what happens when someone gets your sap on their fingers. If she sees your name on the front of this diary, she’ll be too frightened to open it. She’s gullible that way.

Hello! Marco is on the line. Looks like we’ll be spending our evening investigating a missing person’s case. Who knows? It might turn out to be murder.
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You can read more about Abby in TO CATCH A LEAF, the 12th book in the “Flower Shop” mystery series. The first book in the series is MUM’S THE WORD.

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series. Her books have made the New York Times Extended Bestseller List, Barnes & Noble mass market mystery bestsellers’ lists, the Independent Booksellers’ bestseller’s lists, as well as bestseller lists in Australia and England. All of the books are available in e-book and large-print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK.

For more information on the Flower Shop Mysteries, visit Kate at: www.katecollinsbooks.com. Kate loves for fans to visit her on her Facebook page, as well as the Cozy Chick website: www.cozychicks.com.

** To celebrate the release of TO CATCH A LEAF, I’m giving away one copy of the book, thanks to the publisher. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. This is only open to US addresses at the publisher’s request. Contest ends on November 11th at 6pm EST. Winner will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

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