Friday, June 11, 2010

Yes, Freckles Can Be Your Friend


Abby Knight’s my name. Flowers are my game.
Job.
Passion.
Okay, job and passion.
Let me clarify that, because actually I have four passions: 1. Flowers. 2. Marco Salvare (more about him later). 3. Justice. 4. Life. The last one I’m particularly keen on, yet because of number 3, I keep getting into situations where hanging onto number 4 gets a bit dicey. But before I get into that – oh, sorry. Let me answer this call.

“Bloomers Flower Shop. Abby Knight speaking. How can I help you?”

To me, those are the most beautiful words in the world. Having my own flower shop, even a struggling one, is a dream come true. Seriously, have you ever stepped inside a flower shop without inhaling the sweet scents of all those heavenly blossoms and feeling a sense of pure delight? Who wouldn’t be happy working there?

It’s especially blissful for me, considering where I started from, and that was ground zero. If being the youngest child in the family, not to mention the only girl, standing at a mere 5' 2" tall, sporting flame red hair and too many freckles to count, and being overly endowed on top (ahem), wasn’t bad enough, try following that with two older brothers who graduated with honors from med school and are successful surgeons. Then add to the mix a fussy fiancĂ© from one of the prominent families in town and a horrible experience trying to cut it my first year in law school.

And finally to finish this recipe for disaster, stir in getting kicked out of law school and top that with being jilted by the fiancé for embarrassing him and his blue blood family. So you can see why Bloomers has become my paradise. When I was drowning in failure, Bloomers threw me a lifeline.

I love working with flowers. My assistant, Lottie, who used to own the shop, tells me I have a genuine eye for design. You can even try some of my original designs yourself. There are at least 2 in every one of my books -- and I say MY books because the stories are, after all, about my exploits. (Step back from that delete button, Kate. I’m serious!) Okay, my misadventures. Satisfied?

I also love the happiness that flowers bring to people. You wouldn’t believe the joy of ringing a doorbell and handing a person a gorgeous floral arrangement. I never tire of it.

In all honesty, though, some customers can be a challenge. Such as one bridezilla and her overbearing mom who wouldn’t take any advice I offered and ended up with a disaster of a wedding. Wilted brown bouquets, ugly boutonnieres, horrendous table decorations . . . But customers like that are the exception, thank goodness. And I’m always up for a challenge anyway.

The one thing I can’t – make that won’t – tolerate is injustice. There is nothing that makes me angrier than to see animals abused or innocent people railroaded by ruthless detectives and prosecutors. When that happens, I have no choice but to get involved. It might come from being the daughter of a cop. Or it just might be a trait I inherited from my stubborn Irish clan. Whatever the cause, I’m up for that challenge, too. I’ve helped catch a number of murderers because of my refusal to let an injustice happen.

And at the end of the day, there’s my hunk-a-hunk of burnin’ Italian love, Marco Salvare, who owns the Down the Hatch bar and grill just up the block from Bloomers. He went into the army after college, became an Army Ranger, Special Ops, served for two years, then came home to be a cop. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good fit, so now he runs his bar and does PI work on the side. He has a large family – 6 siblings in all – and a mom who looks like a younger Sophia Loren, and although Francesca can be, shall we say, a little too enthusiastic at times, anyone who did such a great job of raising Marco is okay in my eyes. Because Marco is hot – dark wavy hair, deep, soulful eyes, hard-muscled, and all man.

And he listens! How many men really listen to women when they talk? Sure, he can be a tad bossy sometimes, but then so can I. But the best thing about Marco is that he loves my freckles, something I've always seen as a curse.

I’ve got a great life now – my flower shop, Marco, my two assistants, and I can’t forget Simon, the white cat who rules my apartment and loves to play hide-and-seek (sometimes in the middle of the night, which scares the living daylights out of me).

Next time, I’ll tell you about some of the funny things that happen to florists. I’ve got some great stories for you. So stay tuned. And I promise to try to keep my clueless, fashionista cousin Jillian from posting in my place. Talk about a recipe for disaster.

Abby, signing off

A note from Kate Collins: You can read more about Abby and the Bloomers gang at my website and take a tour of the flower shop. Abby's next "misadventure," DIRTY ROTTEN TENDRILS will be out October 5, 2010. www.katecollinsbooks.com

19 comments:

  1. I just found "Mum's the Word" at a used book store yesterday! Can't wait to find out about all your "interesting life experiences"! :)

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  2. Hi Abby,

    It's nice to meet you. I look forward to your next adventures.

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  3. Kate, I love your titles! And Abby is a fantastic character. Love her too.

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  4. I love Abby Knight! I'm always amazed that she manages to run a successful business and yet finds time for romance(Marco is hot, hot), deal with her zany relatives (Cousin Jillian is a handful) and of course, solve murders. And come up with some really witty one-liners on every page. Can't wait for DIRTY ROTTEN TENDRILS!

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  5. Abby, you're a hoot! Kudos for finding a job you're passionate about (not to mention that hunky man) and for fighting the good fight.

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  6. Hey Abby, does this Marco fella have a brother? Preferably single?

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  7. Hi, Abby! It's a pleasure to meet you. I've recently began the Flower Shop Mysteries and I'm loving them! I'm already on the third book after reading the first two in just one week. I can't wait to get caught up so that I can see what you're up to now. Keep Marco around, because it sounds like he's a keeper! Keep the mysteries coming, Kate! They're fantastic!

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  8. One day your Abby and my Abby ought to chat. Or your Jillian and my Jillian. We seem to have names in common! And Simon the cat can come to play with three cats who are always getting in trouble. Great post and I think Dirty Rotten Tendrils is my favorite title.

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  9. See, Kate? I told you they'd like MY writing style, too. Hey, Bree, Marco has an adorable younger brother named Raphael (Rafe). You'll meet him in later books, but you'd better grab him fast. He's very popular with the girls. (Can't imagine why...)
    Leann, maybe you and Kate were separated at birth or something. Two Abbys, two Jillians? Look out, world!

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  10. Hi Abby, I love your stories. A friend recently asked for books to read over the summer. I handed her my stack of Flower Shop Mysteries. She asked me to pick my favorite book in the series. I again handed over the entire stack of books in the series. i love them all.
    Abby, you forgot to mention your other "love" in your life, your bright yellow corvette.
    I look forward to reading Dirty Rotten Trendrlis.
    I would love to read Jillian, Nick, Marco. Lottie or Grace on this blog.
    Annette

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  11. Annette, you are so right! My other passion is my bright yellow, 1960 Corvette! (And how did a penniless flunk out law student end up with a hot car? Well, it wasn't hot when I found it. But that's all explained in Mum's The Word.)
    Thanks for recommending my books to your friend. So who would you like to see take over for me first? Marco,Jillian, Grace or Lottie?

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  12. Not to mention your mother and her "interesting" art. LOL Love your books. Can't wait until the next one is released :-) And please come to Indy for your next book signing! :-)

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  13. Sandra, if I can get down to Indy in October, what bookstore do you recommend?

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  14. I'd say Borders, either in Castleton or Noblesville (personally, I like Noblesville better) :-) It's got a really nice outdoor plaza with fountains and is much "happier". Does that make sense? LOL I say Borders because I don't like the customer service (or lack thereof) at Barnes and Noble LOL

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  15. Great post, Abby! Boy, I don't envy you, dealing with bridezillas all the time! I love that you try to right the injustices out there. :) You seem to be doing a great job!

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  16. Hey, Abby! I worked in a flower shop in college, wish you had been my boss instead of the monster I had...love to read about your adventures, tell Kate to keep 'em coming!

    chana

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  17. Hi Abby!

    I think you and have Skye might have a lot to talk about. Although she would be sooo jealous of your zippy little Corvette since she's stuck with a 1957 Bel Air.

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  18. Denise,
    Hey, nothing wrong with a cool 57 Bel Air! If you had seen my poor little Vette when it was found in a farmer's barn, well, it wasn't a pretty site.

    Chana, I am the BEST BOSS EVER! You should buy a little shop like Bloomers, in fact, buy that monster's shop and show her how it should be done. LOL.

    Sandra, thanks for the bookstore advice. I would really like to get Kate down there this fall.

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  19. Thanks for dropping by Abby! Can't wait to finish reading about all of your exciting adventures. You've got quite the gang to help solve all those mysteries you seem to get yourself into! Take care until next time!

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