Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Open Up Your Heart, Happy Easter, Joyous Passover



Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!

This is the season of Lent for Christians and Passover for the Jewish people.
You may not belong to a group of spiritual people, but you may have a feeling or a sense that there is something greater than yourself when you stand on a sandy shore overlooking a peaceful lake, gaze in awe at the sight of a mighty mountain, find hope when a newborn baby curls her tiny hand around your finger. The dictionary defines spirituality as "an opening of the heart."

Can you recall a time when your heart opened? Perhaps you can find a quiet time to reflect and record a few words about your spiritual life this week.
Spring and the Beautyof the Earth

Signs of spring are around us everywhere, although Mother Nature can be pretty cantankerous this season of the year. One day snow and the next a warm gentle breeze ruffles our hair. The sun seems to show off how bright and beautiful it truly is. Then we are walloped by more frigid, dark days. But Rachel Carson in the quote above assures us spring will come after winter. Much like living during a pandemic, I am sure this dark time will pass away.

Wishing you a week of peace and love as we celebrate these meaningful holidays and re-discover hope in the future.
"Only in the darkness can you see the stars." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you for joining me today. 

Happy Easter, Joyous Passover!

JQ Rose at the Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS.

Click here to stay-up-to-date with JQ Rose. The Rose Courier will be delivered once a month to your inbox filled with articles, news, giveaways and more!!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Planning a 4 Season Vegetable Garden , 99 Cent Vegetable Gardening eBook

Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening 
by J.Q. Rose and Gardener Ted
99 cents!!
Click here to download your copy.

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!

Planning a 4 Season Vegetable Garden 

by J.Q. Rose

My husband's love of gardening is the reason we set our dreams on growing plants in a greenhouse. That dream grew from a simple plan to build a hobby greenhouse against the back of our garage. When the neighbors wanted to buy some of Ted's plants for their yard, he began growing not only plants for our flower beds and vegetable garden but also extra plants to sell. His hobby blossomed into a dream to own and operate a greenhouse operation. In 1965, we stepped into our dream, searching for and purchasing a greenhouse operation and a flower shop in Michigan.

I tell our story about the first year in the flower business in my newly released memoir, Arranging a Dream.
In 1975 we moved to Fremont, Michigan to become entrepreneurs. This is our flower shop and greenhouse operation, top right, and our 1-year-old daughter, Sara, bottom right.

My farm boy husband, Ted, is still in love with gardening. We are retired from the greenhouse business, but Ted is living his life-long desire to garden 12 months out of the year. He has a garden up north in the spring, summer and fall and a garden in Florida during the winter. 

This time of year Ted begins planning his large garden up north. Are you planning your garden whether just in your head, on paper or on the computer with a garden planning program? He is devouring the gorgeous photos in the seed catalogs and making lists of plants to try in the spring garden. I imagine a lot of you can identify with that planning and dreaming process.

Here are a few tips from Gardener Ted for planning a garden this spring. Enjoy those delicious veggies!

1. Determine the size and location, preferably with 6-8 hours of sun a day with water nearby for watering the plants. Buying too many seeds or plants for the space you have available is easy to do, but knowing the space you have to work in helps you face the reality of the actual square feet you have to use.
Gardener Ted watering his spring garden

2. Decide which way to plant the rows in your garden.

3. Remember to save room for a path or paths through the garden so you can easily water, fertilize, weed, etc.

4. Select areas for planting for the seasons. It is best to plant those veggies you will harvest in spring in a group. For example, plant lettuce, peas, green onions, radishes together for spring harvesting. In another section plant beans, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, squash, and tomatoes for summer harvest, and broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce or cool weather crops for fall gathering.

5. To efficiently use the garden area, it is possible to "double-crop" the section. When the spring plants are depleted, re-plant the section with another group of plants for late summer or fall harvest time. See how grouping the seasonal plants together allows this extra perk?

6. Another advantage of planting with the season of harvest in mind helps you clear out a section to re-plant or to clean up for the winter. So instead of planting the cole crops like cabbage and broccoli which like the cold weather on the opposite ends of the garden, plant them together with the fall harvest crops like pumpkins and winter squash.

7. You may live in an area where it is possible to keep root crops such as parsnips and turnips in the ground longer for a winter crop. Be sure to keep these vegetables planted in the same section so you can clean up and prepare the rest of the garden for winter.

Think first about the harvest times for your vegetables and group them accordingly in your garden. With some pre-planning, you can eat fresh all year.


Arranging a Dream: a Memoir by J.Q. Rose
In 1975, Ted and Janet with their one-year-old baby girl move all their earthly belongings to Michigan to make their dream of owning a greenhouse operation come true. Through tears and laughter they cultivate their loving marriage, juggle parenting and dig deep to root a thriving floral and greenhouse business.

Click here to discover more books by JQ Rose at the BWL Publishing JQRose Author's Page


"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."--Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

SPRING BREAK: Paradise Just 20 Minutes Away by JQ Rose

Paradise just 20 minutes away.

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!

We've been cooped up for a year, and I am ready to get out of the house and see some sites. How about you?

Come with me to an amazing place just 20 minutes from us; I forgot I was near my neighborhood!

My dear brother-in-law, Terry, discovered this accommodation while biking last week, so he had to share this unique spot on the Gulf of Mexico with his friends, GT and me. What a gem! Not only did the actual place lift my spirits, but the owner of the Captain's House, Yann, was a delight to meet. 

First, we enjoyed a delicious dinner in the garden at his restaurant, the Silver Dolphin. Then Terry took us on a three-minute drive to see the Captain's House. After we rounded the curve, the large house, located in a quiet location, loomed into view.

Greetings from the Captain's House

We parked the cars in the small parking area and began moving toward the house. Yann spotted us through the eye of the security camera and walked out to join us. This hale and hardy gentleman was quite dapper in his captain's hat, floral shirt and shorts. A white VanDyk beard outlined his smiling mouth. Terry explained he was bringing us over to see the magnificent works of art adorning the small beach next to the channel.

Yann is an interesting fellow. He came to the USA when he was 11 years old from Morocco. He has made a contribution to this country through his energy and vision. Yann has been in the hospitality business for a long time in various locations. When he and his wife settled in Hernando Beach, Florida, a couple of years ago, he opened his 13th restaurant! He also purchased an existing motel, Hernando Beach Motel, and then renovated the house into a magnificent hotel on the channel that leads to the gulf. 

A mermaid bathing in the sunshine

The winged horse

Our host led us past the "beach" overlooking the channel. We oohed and awed at the amazing sculptures and artwork along the way. A large seating area on a deck, a gorgeous boat for guests' tours and a surprising boat-shaped swimming pool included the playground for guests.

The back of the house impressed with the wide steps sweeping up toward the beautifully designed structure, originally a home built in 1993 for the county judge.

The gracious back door of the Captain's House

We entered the house through the kitchen door adjacent to a lovely outdoor dining area. Many of the guests prepare their meals in the kitchen. It's a great way to enjoy camaraderie with the other guests and make new friends.
The reclaimed sea horse

This adorable sea horse was found 23 miles out in the gulf. Its tail was missing; you can imagine the shape it was in. This restored piece of art was originally created in the mid-1800s. A local artist repaired and brought it back to life to the delight of those preparing meals in the roomy kitchen.

Just me with my pal, Einstein

The writer in me could not resist having my picture taken next to Einstein and his stack of books in the "exercise" room 

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

What a perfect way to end the tour, watching the sun set over the gulf.

Click here to visit the Captain's House website. (No, I am not affiliated with this business.)

Note: Hernando Beach does not have a beach. As the legend goes, when the developer in the 60s wanted to attract property buyers from up north, he used clever names for his planned developments to grab their attention. Of course, a beach to those dealing with snow, ice and gray skies sounded pretty good, so northerners made the trek south to the blue skies and warm sunshine. Even if there is no true beach in Hernando Beach, the visitors were thrilled with the gulf and the opportunities to fish and participate in water sports in winter.



Arranging a Dream: a Memoir by J.Q. Rose

Click here to discover more books by JQ Rose 
on her author page at BWL Publishing 


About JQ   

Author JQ Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.”  She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her romantic suspense novels. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. 

 Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep JQ out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law,  four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon.


Click Here to receive updates from J.Q. Rose, articles, 
newsworthy events, giveaways in the Rose Courier
Delivered to your inbox once a month.   

Thank you!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

A Bittersweet Moment by J.Q. Rose #MFRWHooks



Book Hooks Blog Hop #MFRWHooks
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joining the Book Hooks Blog Hop sponsored by the Marketing For Romance Writers Group. Each participating blogger shares an excerpt from their book. Today, I share an excerpt from my memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir, released on January 1, 2021.

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir
by J.Q. Rose

BACK OF THE BOOK: Arranging a Dream: A Memoir

In 1975, budding entrepreneurs Ted and Janet purchase a floral shop and greenhouses where they plan to grow their dream. Leaving friends and family behind in Illinois and losing the security of two paychecks, they transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, where they know no one. 

 Will the retiring business owners nurture Ted and Janet as they struggle to develop a blooming business, or will they desert the young couple to wither and die in their new environment?

 Most of all, can Ted and Janet grow together as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting with work, and root a thriving business?

 Follow this couple’s inspiring story, filled with the joy and triumphs and the obstacles and failures experienced as they travel along the turbulent path of turning dreams into reality.


Arranging a Dream: A Memoir

EXCERPT: Chapter 13, The Funeral Business Keeps Us Alive

    A few months into the winter season, I had the sad task of creating a small casket spray of white roses for a baby. This order was the first one I would design on my own since the baby’s visitation and funeral were scheduled on a Sunday. I waited until Sunday morning to go downstairs to the silent shop to design the miniature casket spray. 

    Switching on the lights didn’t chase away the gloom that winter morning in the design room. I noticed the chill and dampness in the air as I gathered everything I would need to create the piece. 

    I soaked the foam used as the base to hold the flowers. It had to be a small piece to fit the small baby casket. I went to the cooler and took out the white sweetheart roses, greens and baby's breath and set them on the design table. I wrapped the block of foam in green foil and taped it onto a papier-mache tray. A casket saddle used as the base for an adult-sized casket spray that fits on the foot of a casket would have been too large. 

    I set the prepared foam block next to the bucket of flowers and greens. I could not stop thinking of the heartbroken mother and father of this baby. My eyes brimmed with tears when I thought of losing Sara. How does one get through the crushing grief? The loss?  

    I prayed, “Please, Lord, be with this grieving family. Give them strength to endure the loss of their beloved baby. Give them comfort and peace. Be with their friends to help them through this unimaginable grief and loss. Be with me as I design this loving tribute to their baby. Bless my hands and sharpen my skills to help bring peace to their grieving hearts. Amen.” 

    I stepped back from the design table, closed my eyes, and pictured the small casket spray. This floral spray was the most important piece I had ever made. I took my time to place the dainty flowers and ribbons into a design to convey how special their baby was. 

    Working on this spray brought home the bond that I had with the families, my customers. My work was woven into families’ celebrations through weddings, graduation parties, and through their trials of sickness and death. I would be a part of the highs and the lows in people’s lives. I felt the weight of this huge responsibility and was humbled by the honor of being trusted to be a part of their life-changing moments.

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir is available at major online booksellers. Click the Universal Link to find your favorite retailer.

UNIVERSAL LINK  eBooks from your favorite digital bookseller.

 Paperback from amazon

Thank you for stopping in!

Click here to visit bloggers participating in the #MFRWhooks  Blog Hop!


About JQ   

Author JQ Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.”  She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her romantic suspense novels. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. 

 Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep JQ out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law,  four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon.


Click Here to receive updates from J.Q. Rose, articles, newsworthy events, giveaways in the Rose Courier
Delivered to your inbox once a month.   

Thank you!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

IWSG Blog Hop: What Do You Read? 99 Cents eBook Sale #IWSGbloghop


Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog 
AND the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!!
and an early Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.


Aye, 'tis a lucky day for me indeed because it's my turn to be a cohost, sharing duties with a bunch of lively leprechauns.--- Sarah - The Faux Fountain PenJacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre.
You may not find a pot of gold at the end of your blog hop stops, but I bet you'll find some golden nuggets of information, inspiration and encouragement that are more valuable than gold.

Question of the Month

March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write.
 But what about your reading preferences? 
Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for?
What motivates your reading choice?

As I romped through the wide-open cyberspace filled with books, I discovered I have my go-to genres- romantic suspense, cozy mystery, YA, time travel, historic fiction, and Westerns (written by Sandra Cox). My non-fiction choices are mainly books dealing with the craft of writing, marketing, publishing and memoir. ( I like memoirs written like fiction.) I have tried many other genres to support fellow authors in the BWL Publishing Stable and here at IWSG.I found delightful reads that widened my reading horizons. Frankly, there were some genres I sampled, but could not finish. I'm sure you have the same experience when it comes to trying something new. 

1. You may remember last fall, I was revising and adding new material to my Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women interactive eBook. I had to put that plan on hold when my publisher decided to put my memoir, Arranging a Dream on pre-order in November. 

I picked up where I left off. I contacted the 15 role models to let me know what they were up to nowadays. Afterall, it had been 10 years since their interviews. What fun to reconnect with these amazing women. And yes, they have moved on. 

I updated each interview and added another interview. I was privileged to interview add another amazing role-model for girls, an attorney. (Girls requested a chapter about the career of an attorney.) 

With so many changes, the book needs to be released with a different title and cover. In a nutshell, the book profiles successful women who made their childhood dream careers come true. Their stories will inspire MG girls to dream big and work toward making that dream come true.
So--if you have an idea for a clever title that would catch a reader's attention, please let me know.

Here are a few ideas: 
  • Girls' Dreams Come True: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women
  • Dream Careers Can Become Reality
  • Dream Careers Can Come True.   
I plan to release the book in March during Women's History Month.

Naturally go together-Your Words, Your Life Story and My Life Writing Journal

2. As you may know, I am a life storytelling evangelist! To further my mission for encouraging people to write their stories, I made the needed changes to My Life Writing Journal to make it a useful tool. The writer can choose from a long list of topics to spark their memories, then jot down notes, thoughts, or a complete essay in the journal about the topic such as Travel, Hobbies, Homes, etc.

I also updated the eBook that accompanies the journal, Your Words, Your Life Story:  A Guide for Sharing Memories. 

If you have thought about sharing stories from your life, click here to download the eBook format of this guide at your favorite digital bookseller. On sale now for 99 cents.
Click here to order your life story writing journal at amazon.com. Promotional price $5.82.

Thank you!

Click here to visit more bloggers. I hope to see you on the hop!


The Rose Courier March 2021 Edition

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