Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kickoff to Summer Blog Hop and Giveaways

Join us June 5 and June 6 and enter for giveaways!
Today I am thrilled to welcome you to the Kickoff to Summer Blog Hop featuring author friends who are outstanding writers AND  my critique partners. When this group, dubbed the Koffee Kuppe Writers,  first met not one had a published book. Now four of the five are traditionally published with approximately fourteen books pubbed or contracted.

We, the Koffee Kuppe Writers, are gathering together online today for a fantastic, Kickoff to Summer Blog Hop. Not only will you learn  more about my special author friends, but you will have the opportunity to win the random drawing on each author's blogsite. Just leave a comment to enter. The winners will be announced on June 7.

Please visit the rest of the Koffee Kuppe Writers to discover their unique stories 
and win their great giveaways:
 Mystery author W.S. Gager
YA paranormal author Tess Grant
and Sweet Romance author Joselyn Vaughn 
on June 5 and June 6 on the
***Kickoff to Summer Blog Hop.***

Win a PDF copy of my mystery, Sunshine Boulevard, but if you can't wait for the drawing,  Sunshine Boulevard, is specially priced during this blog hop at my publisher's bookstore, Muse It Up Publishing. The winner will also receive an excerpt from my latest mystery, Coda to Murder, which will be released by MIU Publishing February 2013. You will be the FIRST to read it. AND what would be a giveaway by J Q Rose without some kind of flamingo as the prize? So you can win a cuddly flamingo too! 

Veggies from our vegetable garden.

Our Main Summer Activity

Throughout our marriage, my husband has been a gardener. Our summers are focused on gardening and eating! We have a pretty good deal worked out where he does all the soil prep, planting, weeding, fertilizing,  harvesting and I do the prep and cooking. Yep, that's it. No bugs or weeds or pickin' green beans for me.( He doesn't like the way I pick beans, therefore I am off harvesting duty. The beans are the same color as the leaves and stalks so I "overlook" the beans. He even planted purple beans several years to help me find them lurking in the green foliage. Needless to say, I even missed the purple ones! Yes, really. Purple beans are tender and turn green when you boil them.)

Can you find a green bean in here? Neither can I!
He was so intent on gardening that on our FIRST anniversary over 40 years ago, he went out to till the garden. I was shocked! No romantic, candlelight dinner? Not even a pizza from the take out pizza shop to celebrate? Needless to say I was in tears when he came in that evening. And being a man, he had no idea I had expected some celebration and romance. That was the beginning of learning to communicate with each other. After forty years we are still working on it.

We continued to garden even after having our first daughter. He loved taking her out to the garden with him.

Green, purple, yellow, and pole beans.
Bean Planting Time

Our two-year-old daughter, Sara, toddled around the spring vegetable garden as my husband carved rows to plant the bean seeds. It was a perfect evening to enjoy the outdoors. So many fun things for the little girl to explore….hoses, buckets, new plants springing up, lots of dirt and bugs.

My husband grabbed the bag of bean seeds from his pail and noticed how enthralled Sara was with the beetle-like black June bugs crawling around the dirt and through the plants. She picked them up and let them crawl along her small hands and up her arm until it tickled her, then she would shake them off and pick up another.

“Sara,” he called. “Don’t step on the onion sets, the green stuff there in front of you.”

Sara looked up from her play with the bugs. She squatted down and gently touched the delicate sprouts arising from the row of onion sets. She checked with her daddy to see if this is what he meant not to play with.  “Yes, Honey, don’t play with the plants, okay?”

He watched her for a minute and smiled as she carefully reached for another June bug. Turning his back to her, he began planting the bean seeds in the rows.

My husband heard a rustle behind him and checked to discover little Sara following him down the row. He turned back to the planting, then heard Sara crunching and chewing.

Whirling around to our daughter, he yelled, “Spit it out! Spit it out, Sara.” Fearing she had eaten a mouthful of June bugs, he rushed to her side as she slobbered out pieces of bean seeds.

What a relief. Sara ate bean seeds, not June bugs!

Sara is now a grown woman, and her sons toddle after Grandpa in the garden. So far, no grandsons have eaten the bean seeds during the spring planting….that we know of.

Through the years, we learned a LOT about gardening. We especially enjoyed sharing tips with customers who came to our greenhouse in the spring. A few years ago I decided to blog about our gardening experiences and knowledge on The Garden for Eatin'  for Practical Vegetable Gardening. If you're a gardener, you may want to check out the site to follow our journey this year. If you are the cook and like trying new recipes, please e-mail me for a copy of The Garden for Eatin' Recipe Collection with tasty recipes using fresh veggies from your garden or local farmer's market. My email address is jqrose02 at gmail dot com.

Thanks for Kicking Off the Summer with us! Comment now to be eligible for the drawing and visit the other authors in the hop to learn more about them and discover their entertaining stories. Leave a comment to win!

Wishing you a fun-filled, relaxing summer season!!


Joselyn Vaughn said...

Oh, I'm so glad she was eating bean seeds instead of June bugs. Eww.

I hate weeding. I'm always afraid I will find a snake lurking under one of the hostas. I've seen a few too many in my mother's zucchini plants (and by too many I mean one.)

Tess Grant said...

I grew those purple beans one year. They really threw me off!

So happy to be blog hopping with you. :)

Taryn Raye said...

I tried my hand several years in a row with gardening but I have more of a green thumb for flowers than veggies and fruits- though I do wish I'd had better luck with it because nothing tastes as good as fresh cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini and tomatoes out of your own garden.

Now my kids swing set sits where my garden used to and well, if I want really good homegrowns- I'll have my hubby take me to shop from our local Mennonite grocer not far from here. ;)

J.Q. Rose said...

Joselyn--that bean story is one of the family favorites...the kind that is told over and over at gatherings.

Tess--Have you seen the purple potatoes?? Glad to be hopping with you too!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Taryn--Thanks for stopping in. I have a friend who says "Fresh is best." I bet the Mennonite grocer veggies are pretty fresh and tasty too. Enjoy your flowers...hey some of them are edible too!

WS Gager said...

Great blogging and learning about your bean experience. I don't have beans this year and am bummed. I do have two tomato plants, three peppers, three brocolli and a basil. Have to work a new garden into the landscape slowly!
W.S. Gager on Writing

Penny's Tales said...

We live in NW AZ and have a garden that has to be built like Fort Knox. The rats/rabbits and other .. ahum... varmits eats anything that grows. We finally made some raised beds out of block and it seems to work well. Romaine lettuce and radishes are the only thing this black thumb grows, but my hubby can grow lots of other vegies!

J.Q. Rose said...

Penny--I know exactly what you mean about Ft. Knox to keep the varmints out of the garden! We have an electric fence around ours! But there is no stopping darn birds diving into the strawberry patch and picking thru the netting...!! However we are winning since my DH just picked 9 lbs of strawberries this a.m. Thanks for stopping by.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

"He doesn't like the way I pick beans". Haha, I read that and had to laugh. I think your husband is related to mine. Happy Summer Blog Hop, Janet. I'm looking forward to getting to know your friends. Hope you all have a blast.

J.Q. Rose said...

Joylene...Oh noooo...there's another guy like mine?? LOL..Thanks for stopping in.

Conda Douglas said...

Oh, I love mysteries and reading about your garden made me hungry!

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

Janet, your story made me miss my own little garden I used to have every summer when I lived on Long Island. I would get the garden ready by myself, since my husband worked in the city and my kids were too young to help me. Then I would plant the seeds and what I loved best were the fresh tomatoes. I loved the cherry tomatoes and would eat them right off the stem. I also loved the cucumbers you could eat right out of the ground and the zucchini with the flowers. My backyard had wild strawberries growing in it so I would pick through and try to get them all before we mowed it. Really missing my garden!!

I have a copy of Sunshine Boulevard and haven't yet had a chance to read it. So if I do win give my copy to someone else.:) Great idea to do this and what a great and talented group of authors you all are!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Barbara, Thanks so much for the kind compliment. We have a good time with lots of laughs and oh those wild and crazy ideas we weave into our stories per suggestions from another writer. And sometimes we even keep them in the book! Nothing like picking veggies from your own back yard. I'm glad you had such a good experience with gardening.

WS Gager said...

My mouth is watering just thinking about fresh tomatoes. Nothing like them. Want to pick Michigan strawberries today. They are the best!

Also a little BSP: On Saturday and Sunday is a free anthology that has a short story of mine in it. It also showcases some other authors. A great read and chance to see if you like other authors before buying. Download it at
http://www.amzn.to/CornerCafe this weekend.


W.S. Gager on Writing

J.Q. Rose said...

Congrats on the anthology. Please check the addy for the book. It won't come up for me. Maybe it isn't live yet? Thanks.

WS Gager said...

Here is another link but longer. Won't be free until this weekend. http://www.amazon.com/The-Corner-Cafe-Collection-ebook/dp/B0085YDO7E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339016174&sr=1-1

Patricia Kiyono said...

Great post! I can't grow any kind of plant to save my soul. The purple beans sound interesting - I'll have to look for them at the Farmer's Market. I love your planting story. It's wonderful that your hubby shared that love with his kids and grandkids.

J.Q. Rose said...

Wendy--Yes this link works. What a wonderful variety of genres. Looks good!! Best wishes!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Patricia. Yes, try the purple beans. It's such a mystery...changing from purple to green when cooked. And I think they are more tender than green beans. We do have a couple of our grandsons who really love the garden. I hope he has influenced them so they will make it a life-long love too.

J.Q. Rose said...

Congratulations to Conda Douglas! You are the winner of the J Q Rose Kickoff to Summer Blog Hop! I hope you'll like your cuddly flamingo!!

Pat McDermott said...

I'm late, JQ, but I enjoyed the post, and I'm looking forward to seeing a recipe or two at harvest time!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hey Pat... Glad you stopped by. I plan to find some good veggie recipes this year. I'll be checking out your blog for ideas!!! Put the Kettle On!!!!

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