Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Flower Shop Gang Takes Over {+ Giveaway}

A Root Awakening by Kate Collins - Thoughts in Progress Feb. 12I’m delighted today to welcome author Kate Collins to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her latest release, A ROOT AWAKENING, the 16th installment in her Flower Shop Mystery series.

It looks like Kate has brought the gang from the flower shop to help her out. Thanks to Kate and the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group, I have a print copy of A ROOT AWAKENING to giveaway in celebration.

Here’s a brief description of this tantalizing mystery:

Abby Knight's marriage may be in full bloom, but house hunting is no bed of roses in latest novel in the New York Times bestselling Flower Shop Mystery series...
        Now that they’ve tied the knot, flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, want to put down roots. When it comes to picking a house, Marco can’t wait to get his hands dirty, while Abby isn’t ready for a fixer-upper. But conflict really sprouts when they’re checking out a dilapidated Victorian and watch a construction worker take a life-threatening tumble.
        Since witnesses claim the man shouted for help, suggesting that the fall was no accident, the victim’s flamboyant wife hires Marco to find the person responsible. Meanwhile, Abby keeps secret from Marco her own investigation into the home’s inhabitants, a family whose off-kilter behavior has aroused her suspicions. If only Abby’s very pregnant cousin, Jillian, will stop distracting Abby with false labor pains, she can conclude her own inquiries before Marco finds out…and her case blossoms into a disaster.

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Kate and the flower shop gang. But wait, it seems the gang may be turning the tables on Kate.

Dear Readers,

I’m sitting here with Abby Knight, owner of Bloomers Flower Shop, along with some very important people in her life. They’ve agreed to meet me today in the coffee-and-tea parlor to let me interview them. Abby, would you like to introduce everyone?

Abby: Thanks, Kate. This incredibly sexy hunk on my right is Marco Salvare, who, as you know, is the man of my dreams, the guy who makes my heart beat faster, the—

Jillian: Yuk. Someone have a barf bag?

Abby: Hey! No need to get nasty. This, by the way, is my cousin Jillian, the—

Jillian: Wardrobe consultant extraordinaire.
Abby: Right. Next to Jillian are my assistants at Bloomers, Lottie Dombowski and Grace Bingham, and at the far left is my mom, Maureen Knight. My dad couldn’t come today, unfortunately. 

Kate: I’m sorry to hear that. I know he’s been a strong influence in your life, Abby. So tell me this. In MUM’S THE WORD, you try various means to bring more customers into your struggling flower shop, such as your addition of the parlor. What else do you plan to do to grow your business, no pun intended?

Abby: Okay, first of all, do you always have to refer to Bloomers as a struggling flower shop? That’s not good for our business.

Lottie: You tell her, sweetie. Kate, this little angel here kindly took over the shop when my husband’s health problems caused us a severe financial hardship. I think Abby’s doing a fantastic job, especially in this economy.

Grace: Hear, hear. Might I add that putting in this coffee-and-tea parlor was pure genius on her part?
Abby’s mom: That and selling my pieces of original art. 

Kate: Speaking of your art, Maureen, where do you get your inspirations?

Maureen (Abby’s mom): My inspirations? Well . . . I just combine things. For instance, (looking around) flowers and . . . tea. Flowers and . . . scones. No, wait. Scones and stems . . . thorns and coffee . . . I know there’s magic here somewhere. Let me just think for a moment . . .

Abby: Going back to your original question about growing my business, Kate – 

Jillian: Why just your business? Kate, my wardrobe consulting business is doing quite well, thank you. (Whispering to Kate) Would it be too much to ask if you would let me have some input on Abby’s wardrobe for the next book? I mean, seriously, do you see the khakis she’s wearing? Ew. 

Abby: I’m sitting right next to you, Jillian. I can hear you whispering. Stop it.

Marco: Calm down, Sunshine. Consider the source. 

Kate: Abby, your talent for creating beautiful floral arrangements is impressive, but where you really shine is in your ability to solve murders and catch killers. Isn’t that a contradiction of character?

Abby’s mom: (thinking aloud) Killers and flowers… murder and mocha … contradictions and coffee…

Abby: I don’t see it as a conflict. It’s more like I’m good at arranging things. I pay attention to details. Take all the flowers in my coolers, for instance. I have to pull the right stems out and put them together in a way that satisfies me as well as my customers. It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, which is what it takes to solve a murder. 

Marco: (Putting his arm around Abby) Good answer, Fireball. You must have been thinking about that one for awhile.

Abby: Thank you. I have. But I’m really not the one who catches the killers, Kate. That’s Marco’s job. He’s the pro. He’s my hero.

Jillian: Did Abby actually say she pays attention to detail? Abs, hellooo. Have you looked in the mirror today?

Abby: That’s it. I’ve had it. Marco, let go of my arm. 

Marco: I don’t think so.

Abby’s mom: Mirrors and magnolias….puzzles and petunias….

Grace: Would anyone care for one of my blueberry scones? I made them fresh this morning.

Kate: I’d love to try one later. But since time is running short, let me just ask one last question. 

Lottie: Hold on just a gosh darn minute. Why don’t we ask you the question this time?

Jillian: I think that’s only fair.

Grace: What’s fair for the goose is fair for the gander.

Marco: (folding his arms and leaning back) This should be good.

Kate: What would you like to ask? I’m an open book.

Jillian: (Whispering to Abby) Is that supposed to be funny?

Abby: Okay, I’ve got a question, Kate. You spend hours at the computer every day, documenting our lives for the benefit of readers. That has to get monotonous. Why do you do it? What do you get out of it?

Jillian: That’s easy. Look at her outfit. She gets fashion advice from me.

Grace: I’d be more inclined to think she loves my quotes.

Lottie: Or our flower arrangements.

Abby: I think it’s deeper. Am I right, Kate?

Marco: Maybe she’s a romantic at heart. 

Abby: She’s writing a murder mystery series, Marco. I wouldn’t call that romantic.

Marco: I’m talking about us, sweetheart. Our relationship. It’s been pretty hot – at least for me.

Abby’s mom: Sweet hearts . . . relation ships . . . sweet ships . . .

Kate: It’s all of those things -- the flowers, the fashion, Grace’s wisdom, Lottie’s common sense, Abby’s deep love for Marco, her passion for helping people solve puzzles and her crusade against injustice. Marco’s strength and courage, and his devotion to Abby. It’s every one of you that keeps me coming back day after day. We’ve been together for over ten years now and I love you like family.

Lottie: Well, aren’t you a sweetie to say so? We love you, too, Kate.

Kate: And to be honest, it’s even Abby’s mom’s, um, unique art creations. I always look forward to seeing what she’ll come up with next.

Maureen: Unique . . eunich . . . unicorn . . . Wait. I’ve got it!

Abby: Say goodnight, Mom.

Kate: Hold on a minute, gang. I want to tell everyone about your latest mystery, A ROOT AWAKENING

Abby: It was a rude awakening for me, that’s for sure. Double mysteries are tough to solve.

Jillian: May I just say that my part in the story got really tense when –
Kate: You’re not allowed to tell them what happens, Jillian. Don’t give me that wide-eyed look. You know better.

Jillian: Fine. Then can I just say that they’re going to meet a new character in this book that most of us have come to love? 

Kate: What do you mean by most of you?

Jillian: (pointing to Abby) Ask her. Go on, ask.

Kate: Let’s leave that discovery to the readers, too, Jillian. Thanks, everyone, for showing up. And I hope all the readers will show up for the 16th installment in the Flower Shop Mystery series, A ROOT AWAKENING, which was released Feb. 3. The ending is a WOWZER~

Kate (and gang), thanks so much for stopping by today. Getting to know these characters does feel a bit like having an extended family.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kate, here’s a bit of background on her.

Author Kate Collins
Kate Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of the Flower Shop Mystery series. Kate’s 16th book in the series, A ROOT AWAKENING, is a February 3, 2015 release. 

All of Kate’s mysteries are available in print, digital, and large-print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK. Kate’s historical romances and children’s anthologies are also available in digital format at Amazon, B&N, and other e-book sellers. 

For more on Kate and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Cozy Chicks where she blogs.

Here are my thoughts on this entertaining cozy mystery.

Author Kate Collins has created fun characters that are well-developed, likable and realistic. They are the type characters you would like to be friends with. The secondary characters add depth to the story.

The setting is warm and friendly. The story is inviting and holds you spellbound until the end. It moves at a steady pace with enough twists and turns to make it captivating and intriguing.

A ROOT AWAKENING is the 16th installment in the series, but can be read on its own. The humor, friendship, and caring mixed with the tantalizing murder mystery makes for a well-balanced story that will entertain your senses. 

A Root Awakening by Kate Collins, A Flower Shop Mystery Book #16, Signet, @2015, ISBN: 978-0451415516, Paperback, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


This giveaway is for one print copy of A ROOT AWAKENING. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Friday, Feb. 20.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress Kate Collin’s Tour’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

With Valentine’s Day just a couple days away, don’t you think it’s a great time to check out this Flower Shop series? Thanks so much for stopping by today and don’t forget to check out A ROOT AWAKENING.

*This post contains affiliate links.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a clever idea for letting us know about this new release! Thanks, Mason and Kate :-)

  2. Thank you for sharing. This sounds like a fun addition to a great series.

  3. I have not read any from this series yet, looks great and I hope to get a chance to read them soon :)

  4. love this writer's work—can't wait to read this book!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  5. The main character reminds me so much of my mother! Thank you for the chance!


  6. An interesting post, great feature and wonderful series. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Just love this series. I may have the book and will look for it.

  8. Thanks, Mason, for stopping by and welcoming me back to blogging. I HAVE missed you/your wonderful reviews. This is your niche on Blogger and you do is so VERY well. There are so many good books out there I wish there were more time in my day to read all of them. Sigh. Anyway, nice to see you're still going strong here. Cheers, Ann

  9. I think this is a perfect book for the valentine season!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  10. Now that was a FUN post. Thanks Mason, Kate, and the gang.

  11. Fun interview and I love this series

  12. I want to read this series. Love it!

  13. what a great series!!
    congrats & continued success to Kate!!!

  14. This sounds like a great series! I would love to start reading it! Thank you!

  15. This series looks so good, I would la la LOVE to win and read this! :)

  16. I love each one of Kate's books that I've read. (I admit I'm not completely caught up, but I'm getting there.) I'm sure that A Root Awakening will fall right into place besides the others on my I-love list. Thanks for this chance to win.

  17. Sixteen books in the series, wow! Didn't know that there were that many. It's nice to see that they are also available in the U.K. and in large print for people who need them.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.