Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Of Brides and Blooms by J.Q. Rose

Book Hooks--excerpts from novels

   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. 

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.


 June is the traditional month for weddings. According to theknot.com, June, September and October are the most popular months to get married in the US. Yes, I am a June bride, so I thought an excerpt about weddings at the flower shop would be appropriate.

Extract from Chapter 23: Of Brides and Blooms

One summer morning a shaggy-haired young man built like a wrestler dressed in a ragged shirt and dirty jeans showed up at the front counter to order flowers for a wedding in four days. I looked around the showroom for his bride or mother. But he was alone. 

His menacing posture and attitude intimidated me. I was glad Agnese was in the shop only steps away from me, but I knew the leprechaun-sized woman would not be of any help if the guy got unruly. He hadn’t shaved or showered for a while and his size was threatening to me, a 5’5” petite woman. The smell of cigarette smoke, B.O. and bacon grease overpowered my senses. Unfortunately, I had to be near him. 

I took him to the end of the counter away from customers hoping they wouldn’t leave the shop because of the odor and because I did not feel comfortable seating him at Agnese’s table in the back where no one could see us. 

We started through the order form. “Okay, let’s see now. What’s your name?” “Josh, just Josh.” From the tone in his voice and his glaring at me through defiant eyes, I decided not to ask his last name. 

“Your phone number?” 

“Ain’t got a phone,” he growled. 

“Um, how about your bride and her phone number?” 

“Carol and she ain’t got a phone either.” 

He told me he was on a limited budget having spent most of his money on the beer and food for the reception. I kind of laughed, the nervous kind, but he was serious. 

I showed him pictures and made suggestions for the flowers for the bride and bridesmaid. He wanted to spend the least amount possible. He decided on one white carnation with ribbon and greens for the bridesmaids, but he wanted something very pretty for his bride, so we figured it out together incorporating the matching carnations in the bride’s bouquet. He needed corsages and boutonnieres too. 

“Okay. Do you want to pick up the flowers or have them delivered to the church?” I asked after figuring out the total for the wedding flowers. 

“You can deliver it to the house. The wedding’s gonna be there.” 

“You’re quite a way out in the country. I’ll have to tack on a delivery charge to that address.” Glad I had learned more about the area by the summer, I smiled. 

“That’s okay.” He did not return my smile. 

I added up the amount he owed for all the flowers with delivery and presented him with the total on the form. He glanced at it and nodded his head in agreement. 

Without making a move to reach for his billfold in his pocket, he said, “Okay. I’ll pay you for the flowers when you deliver them.” 

I swallowed hard. Should I press him for a down payment of at least something? After looking up into his hard face, I decided to let it go. 


Oh my, taking this wedding order and filling it turned out to be a huge mistake. I learned a good lesson and eventually could laugh about this dangerous wedding. Nope, I can't tell you what happened because you know this is a hook to entice you to buy!! 

Click the links below to download or order the print book! Thank you.

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Lisabet Sarai said...

She should be trusting her intuitions...

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Haha, great hook. You are such a tease, Janet. Happy anniversary.

Janet Lane Walters said...

Great hook. Guess you learned a lesson

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Joylene! Glad I gotcha! Thank you for the anniversary greetings too. We celebrated with an ice cream cone at our favorite ice cream shop.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, I did!

Helena Fairfax said...

Love this hook, Janet! You picture this guy so well. I can just feel how threatening he is.

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. Yes, this is a good hook. What a scary scene you describe in this memoire. Good job. I've shared. :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Book Hooks, JQ. Considering your last name a flower shop is an appropriate setting.
You're a June bride and I'm a June groom. But we aren't married to each other, in case you're wondering.

Tena Stetler said...

Always trust your intuitions. Loved the hook and excerpt. Thanks for sharing!

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