Tuesday, November 20, 2018

PRUNING CHRISTMAS and a GIVEAWAY

by Lilly Jayne of the Garden Squad Mystery series by Julia Henry


I may be getting into the Christmas spirit. Last year was the first holiday without my husband Alan. I was barely functioning back then. But this year, thanks to the tender care of my best friend Tamara and her wonderful husband Warwick, I'm feeling more myself. Having Alan's grad assistant move into the house was his idea, and his final kindness to me. Delia Greenway helps me run the old place, and keeps me on my toes.

My house calls for holiday decorations. Since I live in the historic district of Goosebush it calls for a bit of attention, but in a classic way. Delia takes care of the front of the house, and for the last couple of years, that was as far as decorating went. That wasn't always the case. When my father was alive, the house was a Christmas wonderland, with different decorations in every room, and a winter playland in the back yard, complete with a train set that went around the different bushes and plants. What folks didn't know is that he kept the lights up all winter long, to help illuminate the long New England winter nights.

I'm not up to a holiday open house this year. Maybe next. But I will decorate. Delia and I have been working on making different wreaths from different plant pruning efforts. I have become a fan of rosemary wreaths. What a wonderful scent! Delia has been working wonders with other plants, and we're adding evergreens to fill in spaces.

So yes, thanks to my friends I'm feeling better. Who knows, maybe next spring I'll have a garden party. That could be fun.
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Pruning the Dead, the first in the Garden Squad series, debuts on January 29. The book starts during the garden party Lilly mentions here. Here's a description of the book:

Post-retirement aches and pains can’t prevent sixty-five-year-old Lilly Jayne from keeping the most manicured garden in Goosebush, Massachusetts. But as a murder mystery blooms in the sleepy New England town, can a green thumb weed out a killer?

With hundreds flocking to her inaugural garden party, meticulous Lilly Jayne hasn’t left a single petal out of place. But the picture-perfect gathering turns unruly upon the arrival of Merilee Frank, Lily’s ex-husband’s catty third wife. Merilee lives for trouble, so no one is surprised after she drinks too much, shoves a guest into the koi pond, and gets escorted off the property. The real surprise comes days later—when Merilee is found dead in a pile of mulch . . .

Lilly wishes she could stick to pruning roses and forget about Merilee’s murder—until her best friend and ex become suspects in an overgrown homicide case. Now, aided by the Garden Squad, an unlikely group of amateur crime solvers with a knack for planting, Lilly knows she has limited time to identify the true culprit and restore order to Goosebush. Because if the murderer’s plot isn’t nipped in the bud, another victim could be pushing up daisies!

The book is available for pre-order. Today I have an ARC to give away to someone who comments on the blog! I love writing this series, and so look forward to all of you getting to know Lilly and the rest of the Garden Squad.

The winner will be chosen on Friday, November 23. Happy Thanksgiving to our US readers!

37 comments:

  1. Glad this year is better than your last, Lilly. I hope you and Delia (and you, Julie/Julia!) have a wonderful Thanksgiving. mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  2. Please enter me. I love to start new series.
    Wendy
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

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  3. A gardening series is going to be such fun! Thank you for giving away this first book! I am looking forward to reading it.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    debprice60@gmail.com

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  4. I always look for new series and I would love to read your garden series. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.
    renate[at]mcmartin[dot]de

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  5. This sounds like a wonderful series. I would love to read more.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  6. I’m always looking for new series to read
    sgiden@verizon(.)net

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  7. sounds absolutely wonderful. I particularly like the idea of the rosemary wreaths. Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Thanksgiving! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Sounds like an awesome new series, thanks for the entry! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I have yet to read a book by this author. Would love to start with this one that sounds interesting.
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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  10. I have yet to read a book by this author. Would love to start with this one that sounds interesting.
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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  11. Love the sound of this book! Great start to a new series, would really like to read. Happy Thanksgiving!
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. I love ARCs and the idea of finding her in mulch!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  13. I haven't tried this series yet but would love to win! Thanks for the chance and happy Thanksgiving! JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  14. The Garden Squad series sounds like it's off to a grand start with "Pruning the Dead". I'd love to read more about Lilly's garden party and the solving of Merilee’s murder. Along the way, I could learn more about Goosebush and all it's inhabitants.

    Thank you for the wonderful chance to win a copy of what sounds like an amazing book and one that has been placed on my TBR list!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  15. Charming cover. Thanks for the opportunity.
    browninggloria(at)hotmail (dot) com

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  16. Sounds like a great series to start out the new year with! Thank you for your offer.

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  17. Happy Thanksgiving to you, also. May your days be as blessed with love, laughter, and great company! I love starting new cozy mystery series. This sounds just like the type of book I can snuggle down with our three furbabies and enjoy getting into the characters (as I love to do!)
    teddi1961(at)arcemont(dot)com

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  18. Love New England settings.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  19. Sounds great!! Love the cover!
    njcar22(at)aol(dot)com

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  20. Sounds great.
    kkat(dot)edwards(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for the chance. ematov (at) comcast (dot) net

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  22. I love older sleuths :-)
    Donah42 at aol dot com

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  23. Thanks for the giveaway. This book is one that I will read as soon as I can get it!

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  24. sounds wonderful. i would love to read this asap. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

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  25. You are a new to me author! Love finding new authors and books. This one looks great. Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Thanksgiving.

    marthalawson at gmail dot com

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  26. What a wonderful scenario. I love the idea of an older woman, recently widowed dealing with a new career and moving forward with her life as the main sleuth. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  27. On my TBR list! cheers (at) MarjimManor (dot) com

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  28. Thank you so much for the introduction to this new series. I'd love to have a copy to call
    my own. Thanks for the chance. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. After going to school in Boston, I miss and love the east coast. Can't wait to read this one set in MA!

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  30. After going to school in Boston, I miss and love the East coast! Can't wait to read this one set in MA. anajs95 at gmail dot com

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  31. Sounds like a good series.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  32. Sounds like a great new series! acate9(at)utk(dot)edu

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  33. I am an avid gardener, too, so I look forward to this new series. I enjoyed the backstory that Lily provided in the first part of the post. Makes me feel as if I already know her a bit, so it will be a treat to read about her in the first book.
    gnluciow(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. Looks good on my TBR maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  35. Thanks for the chance. Love the premise. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  36. This sounds delightful--I'd love to read it! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  37. I love reading books about MA where I was born and raised. Thank you so much for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

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