Wednesday, June 29, 2016

One last fling with Audrey Bloom—with a giveaway!


As a florist, I have to admit, I’m not always that keen on the tradition of flinging a bouquet--especially one I might have spent hours designing--into the air with such gleeful abandon. I guess it was a compromise that went back to the middle ages, when wedding guests actually tried to rip off bits of the bride’s clothing for luck. Yeah, given the choice, I’d be more willing to part with my flowers than my dress.

But I always wince a little, especially when a full bouquet goes flying into the air. For one thing, I worry about liability. Some are heavy and can have sharp elements. I always recommend a smaller bouquet, just for tossing. I chose to break apart my hand-tied bouquet and gave out all the flowers to the young girls present. Even a little violet for baby Vi. It was so sweet and I have great pictures.
But the flowers for my own wedding? Well, I did have a bouquet in mind, back in the day. But it hardly seemed right to use it, especially since there was a change in groom from when I thought Brad and I had a future together. But many of the elements stayed the same.

Public domain, Wikipedia Commons
White roses for innocence. These took on new meaning. The last few years I’ve learned a thing or two about innocence and about guilt, and about the sometimes thin divide that separates them. I’ve come to realize villains generally aren’t hunchbacks with handlebar mustaches, with pronounced evil laughs as they tie victims to railroad tracks. They’re real people, who, for whatever reason, make very bad decisions. Innocence is something that has to be carefully maintained, so that the evil of this world doesn’t color us and make us jaded, cynical, or bitter. Yes, I kept the white roses.

I did replace the original lavender roses, which represented love at first sight. Instead, I chose multi-
Gerhard Knuhl, Wikipedia Commons
colored zinnias, which speak of remembering absent friends. As Kermit the Frog (channeling Dickens) said, “Life is made up of meeting and partings. That is the way of it.” I was happy to see so many friends, if only for a little while, make it to the ceremony. Even my mother and father seemed to get along for a few hours.

I also kept the Queen Anne’s lace, since it reminded me so much of my beloved Grandma Mae. And the ivy, which symbolizes friendship and fidelity. 

I did want something to symbolize the groom, who stepped into my life and quickly became my cohort, my sidekick, my friend, and the love of my life. I agonized over the choice for weeks, and then surprised myself by picking stephanotis, that almost clichéd symbol of marital bliss. But you know what? I couldn’t have been happier with my choice, either of flowers or of groom.

I’d love to tell you more, about the wedding and about our new life together. Oh, the adventures we could have had! But time has come for one of those partings…

Author’s note: The Bridal Bouquet Shop series from Berkley has ended, and while Audrey and her friends might pop up from time to time here on Killer Characters, starting next month, I’d like to begin to introduce you to some new friends from my upcoming series, The Vintage Toyshop Mysteries, which debuts in October from Crooked Lane. Meetings and partings. Or in this case, partings and meetings. Yes, that is the way of it.

Audrey Bloom’s Last Fling Giveaway: For a chance to win one of these three books (BLOOM AND DOOM, FOR WHOM THE BLUEBELL TOLLS, and FLORAL DEPRAVITY), tell me your favorite flower and which book you’d like to receive if you win, if you have a preference. Entries will be accepted, on this post only, until midnight of July 5th, after which winners will be chosen randomly from the comments and notified.



100 comments:

  1. My favorite flower is a tiger lily and I would like to start a new series with bloom and doom.

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  2. Tulips since they come in a variety of colours, and are a sign that spring has arrived. I would like the first book, Bloom and Doom, if I win! grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

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  3. I love carnations. I would choose FOR WHOM THE BLUEBELL TOLLS. Thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  4. My favorites are daffodils and I would be very happy to win any of them! Thanks for the chance :)

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  5. I love orchids. In don't know types of orchids but I think they are very pretty. Love a chance to read Bloom and Doom. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  6. I love peonies and am lucky enough to have some in my yard. I would love to win For Whom the Bluebell Tolls. Thanks so much and will enjoy meeting your other new characters in posts to come.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. My favorite flower is the tulip. I would love to have a copy of For Whom the Bluebell Tolls. Thanks for the chance. Moonbay7399@gmail.com

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  8. I love roses. Those were my moms favorite. They remind me of her. I would love to win any of them. They sound like something I would like. Thanks for the chance to win. robinmariewood61@Yahoo.com

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  9. I love carnations and would love to win Bloom and Doom. Thanks for the chance.
    karen(dot)kenyon(at)rogers(dot)com

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  10. My favorite flower is the David Austin 'Tea Clipper' rose, and I'd be delighted with any of these three titles! angelamcrae at charter dot net

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  11. My favorite flower is the moonflower, a beautiful white flower that blooms only at night! I would be so happy to win any one of these books!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  12. I love daffodils! Any book would be appreciated.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  13. My favorite flower is the bluebell. I would love to win For Whom the Bluebell Tolls. Thank you for this chance.
    peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

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  14. I love daylillies outside and Christmas cacti?? inside. I'd love For Whom the Bluebell Tolls!

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  15. I love marigolds. They are pretty and they remind me of my Grandmom. She was special to me. I would like to win For Whom The Vluevell Tolls. Thank you for the opportunity.

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  16. I love Geraniums and I especially like the way they bloom. I would like to win For Whom the Bluebell Tolls...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  17. I simply adore the scent of lilacs! I'd really love to read the first book in the series! Thanks so much njcar22@aol.com

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  18. I love tulips. I would enjoy any of the delightful books. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. I love calla lilies the best of all. harbingerdc(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. I have a black thumb! That said I grow herbs for cooking and salads. I have a yearly membership to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and spend quite a few Sunday afternoons in the Rose Garden there, taking photos which sometimes end up on my FB page. I love the perfume and the amazing array of colors.

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  21. I love tulips and would be happy with any book that I could win. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  22. I love geraniums. Thanks for this lovely feature. I would be happy with any of the books. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Sunflowers have been my favorite almost since birth. They make me happy . I would absolutely love to have any of the 3 books. I would pick For whom the bluebell tolls .

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  24. Sunflowers have been my favorite almost since birth. They make me happy . I would absolutely love to have any of the 3 books. I would pick For whom the bluebell tolls .

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  25. I love the look of roses but unfortunately I am allergic to them. I would love to win Floral Depravity. Thanks. Kuzlin at AOL.com

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  26. I love all types of lilies!!!

    I would love bloom and doom

    rockergoddess2002@yahoo.com

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  27. I love daisies and I would LOVE to read bloom and doom. brichardson0056@yahoo.com

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  28. So many series not continuing.

    I love lilacs. They bordered our driveway when I was growning up and I can still remember that smell every time we drove in our out. I would love to win any of the books. Thanks.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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  29. I like meadows of wildflowers. I'd like the first book if I win.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  30. I grew up with a grandmother who grew roses. Turns out her last name is also Rose. So I now take pride in growing and planting my own roses. So for that Roses are my favorite flower. If I had to choose my preference is to start at the beginning with Bloom and Doom. Thanks.

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  31. My favorite flower is the red oriental poppy. I'd love a copy of Floral Depravity.

    llcejka at gmail dot com

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  32. My favorite flower is the red oriental poppy. I'd love a copy of Floral Depravity.

    llcejka at gmail dot com

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  33. I absolutely love Parrot Tulips. So beautiful. Thank you!!!

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  34. My favorite flower is the Pansies, love their face's. I don't have a preference in which book i would receive. Thank you!
    rags6152 at gmail dot com

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  35. Lilacs are my favorite! I'm missing Floral Depravity from my collection. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

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  36. My favorite flower is the pink rose. I would love to start your series with Bloom and Doom.

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  37. my favorite flower is bleeding hearts they are so pretty. I would love to read any of these books.

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  38. I love tulips. I would love to win Bloom and Doom. Thanks for the chance. jademoss17@gmail.com

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  39. LOVE, LOVE hydrangeas!!! I would love to have the first book!! I have been looking at starting this series!!

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  40. Sweet Peas have always been my favorite flower but California Poppies are a close second I would love Bloom and Doom live starting new series mama2bulls@gmail.com

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  41. Carnations are my all time favorites. They have been my favorite since I was small. If I'm chosen a winner I would appreciate any of the books offered. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  42. Carnations and daisies are my favorite flowers. :) I'd like to win Bloom and Doom since this is an all new series to me! Thanks so much for the chance to win.
    awilcox1182@gmail.com

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  43. Daisies are my favorite. I'd love to have book 2 in the series! Thanks!
    bwilhoite87@gmail.com

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  44. Daisies are my favorite. I'd love to have book 2 in the series! Thanks!
    bwilhoite87@gmail.com

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  45. I love tulips. Would like any book. Thanks pwtish171@gmail.com

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  46. I adore red roses. Floral Depravity, please. Cheers@marjimmanor.com

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  47. My favorite flower depends on the season. Right now my favorite is a hollyhock growing in my garden on the hill. It is a double and almost looks like a carnation. This hollyhock is variegated with pink and white. robeader53@ahoo.com

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  48. I love deep purple mums, and I'd love to win Bloom and Doom! ekehlet@yahoo. com

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  49. Iris is my favorite flower Babsbookbistro @gmail.com

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  50. Carnations. The first in the series please. I like to start at the beginning.
    jawdance@yahoo.com

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  51. Lily of the Valley - Bloom and Doom

    cyderry@yahoo.com

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  52. I love peonies. I have them along the side of my house, I just wish the blooms would last longer. Sorry to hear this series is ending, I really enjoy it. I would like to read "Floral Depravity". I have the other two in the series. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  53. I love peonies. I have them along the side of my house, I just wish the blooms would last longer. Sorry to hear this series is ending, I really enjoy it. I would like to read "Floral Depravity". I have the other two in the series. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  54. My favorite flower is Poppy. It is my son's very private house only nickname.

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  55. I love daffodils, because they mean winter is nearly over. I would love to have Doom and Bloom, since I bought the other two after I found Doom and Bloom at the library :)
    zukeeper.geo@yahoo.com

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  56. I love lilacs. We always had huge bushes in the yard growing up. I guess it's just too hot to grow them in Florida. I'd like to have Doom and Bloom. Thanks so much for the chance to win. Have a happy 4th! ksarginson@tampabay.rr.com

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  57. I love all wild flowers but my favorite is daisies. My middle name is Rose so that's all my family could associate me with growing up. I now hate roses. I would love bloom and doom.

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  58. I love all wild flowers but my favorite is daisies. My middle name is Rose so that's all my family could associate me with growing up. I now hate roses. I would love bloom and doom.

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  59. I love the smell of lilacs. Some of my students would bring them to me and they smelled so good setting on my desk! Since I haven't read this series yet, I guess I should start with the first one. skforrest1957@gmail.com

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  60. This is nice. Thank you for a chance to get one of your books. If picked I would like to start with Bloom and Doom. My favorite flower is carnations. Love the scent and color variations. Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com

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  61. The Iris is my favorite flower. I have no preference in the books.

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  62. I love peonies. But I have to say Lily of the Valley brings me back to a childhood memory.

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  63. Favorite flower...wow that is hard. I think it is a tie between sweet peas, hydrangeas and iris. But I also love foxglove, calla lillies and Gerber daisies!! No preference in the books but maybe starting with the 1st one in the series Bloom and Doom! Thank you for opportunity to win!! Susan... Pucsbride13@gmail.com

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  64. Favorite flower...wow that is hard. I think it is a tie between sweet peas, hydrangeas and iris. But I also love foxglove, calla lillies and Gerber daisies!! No preference in the books but maybe starting with the 1st one in the series Bloom and Doom! Thank you for opportunity to win!! Susan... Pucsbride13@gmail.com

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  65. Mine is the Birds of Paradise and red roses and sweet peas
    These sound very good thanks for the chance to win
    Penney penneyw(AT)sbcglobal.net

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  66. I do like daisies. Such a sweet flower.

    No preference re the books. I could not choose.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  67. That would be red roses. However I like a variety of flowers, as long as I don't have to get too close to them. Too many allergies. Although I haven't read any of the choices, Bloom or doom would be great. Thanks for this opportunity.

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  68. My favorite is lilacs. Bloom & Doom would be my choice. Loved this series & am sad to see it ending. I have read all 3 of the books. I am looking forward to reading your new series. doward1952@yahoo.com

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  69. My favorite flowers are wildflowers, especially bluebonnets. I have all of the Bridal Bouquet books, and I really enjoyed them. I am so sad to learn that the Bridal Bouquet series is ending. I don't know if that is by choice or if it is due to publisher issues. I have read that publishers are cutting back on Cozy Mysteries which is really disappointing. I will look for your new series.

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  70. My favorite flowers are lilies. I would love to start with the series Bloom & Doom. I have enjoyed this series and very sorry to see it end. I have enjoyed learning about all the flower meanings. poohwine1217@gmail.com

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  71. Blooms and Doom would be the book I choose to win. My favorite flower I would have to say is carnations. Thank you for the chance to win and have having the giveaway!

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  72. My favorite flowers are tulips. So sad to see this series end, but thank you for writing it and allowing us to enjoy what we've had. I look forward to reading the new series. If I were to win my choice would be Bloom and Doom (somehow it's the only one that I don't actually have a copy of yet). Thank you for the chance to win.

    robbfan141729@yahoo.com

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  73. My favorite flowers are pink roses. I am sad to hear this series is ending... I pick the Floral Depravity. Thank you for the lovely giveaway. myrifraf (at) gmail(dot)com

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  74. My favorite flowers would be roses and I really don't care about the color. They're all beautiful to me. If I won, I'd like Floral Depravity. dbahn@iw.net

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  75. My favorite flower is the lilac, such a beautiful smell! But really I love all flowers. I would just love to receive any of your books. Thank you. j.marshall730@yahoo.com.

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  76. Hello Beverly, flowers in the summertime are breathtaking, even the weeding and deadheading are fine with me. My favorite is the sunflower, any variety, as they seem to touch the sky! I am looking forward to reading Floral Depravity, enjoyed the first two also, Maureen

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  77. Hello Beverly, summertime is grand for gardening, even weed pulling! My favorite is Sunflowers as they seem to touch the sky! I am looking forward to Floral Depravity, enjoyed reading the first two also. Thanks, Maureen

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  78. I love Gardinias and Daffodils. thanks for the chance any book would be lovely!

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  79. I love Gardinias and Daffodils, thanks for the chance to win! any title would be lovely! amandasmother@aol.com

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  80. Favorite flower. Hmm I guess my tiny rose bush that I found on the property. They grow vines that shoot off and are covered with tiny roses. Next would be the black Eyed Susan s that have been in competition with the mint to take over the side lawn. Njlinza@yahoo.com

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  81. Carnations - they are lovely and their scent is so lovely. Any color will do.

    I would love For Whom the Bluebells Toll. annettena at yahoo dot com

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  82. I am so sorry to hear this.. I love carnations....always have....Floral Depravity is my choice....
    the3beersus@yahoo.com

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  83. Hello! My favorite flower is the Yellow Rose! This series of books sounds wonderful! I have no preference of which I would like to receive, I would enjoy reading any one of them. Thank You!

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  84. Hello my favorite flower is the Yellow rose! All of the books sound great, i would not mind winning any of them! pc1977@zoominternet.net

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  85. Barbara, I have all three books already, so I don't need to win one. Just wanted to let you know that I am so sad to see this series end. I would follow Audrey to another publisher or self-pub, in a heartbeat. Our garden is set up to bloom all year long, and I love whatever is in bloom at the time. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the lily of the valley bed under a tree in our back yard. It developed from starts from my mother's garden.

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  86. My favorite flowers are pink peonies. I would love to win a copy of For Whom the Bluebell Tolls. Thanks so much for the giveaway! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  87. I love the smell of lilacs, they are such a pretty and fragrant flower, and of course a field of wild flowers always looks so pretty. Thank you for the opportunity to win one of your books! I haven't read Floral Depravity yet and would love to win a copy. Merry
    Northstarvance@bellsouth.net

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  88. Lilacs I love the smell and color!! Lavenders!!!

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  89. Any book you picked out would be awesome!!!

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  90. So hard to choose but I have to pick Lilacs...their smell is lovely and the colors are So pretty....I would accept any of the books because I have not started this series yet.

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  91. I love lilies, they are my favorite. I guess that comes from working in a funeral home. I would love to have any of your books because I only have the e books. utaker555@gmail.com

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  92. I love hydrangeas because my grandmother had huge bushes of them and they were beautiful. I am sorry the series is ending because I have enjoyed it. Since I have read the others, I'd love Floral Depravity. hannah03@bellsouth.net

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  93. Hi Barbara, so sorry to hear the series is coming to an end, and I have not read the first book yet. I hope another publisher will take you in so you can continue with this series. My favorite flower is the lily of the valley. It smells so pretty, small delicate, but poisonous to children and dogs so I cannot have any. I would like Bloom and Doom please. Georgia queenvictoria50@aol.com

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  94. I have always liked daisies. Any book would be fine with me.Thanks for offering a choice for us.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  95. My favorite flower is the carnation. Any book is fine with me. Thanks fir the chance. dcriley8409@aol.com

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  96. I have a shooting star hydrangea which I love! Would love to have whichever book is the first in the series, as I haven't read any, but I will check them out.

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  97. I love pansies! I would love Bloom and Doom. Thanks for the chance!
    MarshaMysteryreader at yahoo dot com

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  98. I love pansies and lily of the valley. I love to smell lilacs. I would love Bloom and Doom. Thanks for the chance!
    MarshaMysteryreader@yahoo.com

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  99. I love daisies and morning glories and I would love to bloom and doom or any of them musecbs@gmail.com

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  100. THIS CONTEST IS OVER. WINNERS ARE: SKKORMAN (BLOOM AND DOOM), HOLDENJ (FOR WHOM THE BLUEBELL TOLLS), AND HANNAH03 (FLORAL DEPRAVITY).

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