“Everyone knows the sweetest-smelling roses

have the worst thorns,

so I consider it a small price to pay

for true joy and beauty.”

He slid Marcy a secret smile.

“As long as one keeps his hands to himself,

that is, far from the prickles.”

— Patrick O’Connor, A Light in the Window

Hard as it may be to believe, I am not your typical “girl.” For instance, I’m not big on diamonds, shopping, or roses, and to be honest, I have to be in the mood for chocolate. 

Now … before you quit reading and just write me off, please know that I have mellowed with age and now enjoy shopping once or twice a year with my daughter if I have a conference to go to, am marginally addicted to Hershey Bars, and recently badgered Keith for a new diamond wedding band for our 35th

Although diamonds leave me cold, I did feel it was time for the diamond wedding band since the diamond from my engagement ring fell out while cleaning my house about 20 years ago and I never did find it. Frankly a big, hunky diamond sticking up on my ring finger annoys me because it catches on things and just gets in the way, so I wasn’t overly upset when I lost it. For the next 20 years I simply wore a plain gold band that originally had a pretty engraved flower motif, which eventually wore off. But this year—our 35th—I went for the gold … uh, and the diamonds … so now I won’t look like bag lady when I go to writer’s conferences. 🙂

And roses? Yes, I suppose I liked it when Keith gave me roses for the birth of my kids and for a number of our anniversaries, too. And, yes, they’re very pretty of course and smell good, but then they die and you have to pick up all the dead petals and wash the stupid vase. And it smells, for goodness sake!! I know, I know … for a romance writer, I’m not all that romantic, am I? 

BUT … I am dirt-practical, so when I discovered a way to make roses last forever, I absolutely fell in love with them! And, no, I’m not talking plastic or silk roses here, I’m talking the real thing, in a very, very special way.

For instance, did you know that you can take any rose cutting—be it from roses you received as a gift or a clipping from your neighbor’s garden—and stick it in the ground and have a rosebush next year? Well, it’s true, and I have proven it over and over again during my former gardening days when I was SO into gardening, that I even won a perennial garden contest. Check out the picture above showing some of the rosebushes at my old house that came from those few initial clippings!!

So today, I’m going to share the secret with you so that you, too, can enjoy roses that last forever! And September is THE month to do this, so give it a shot!

1.) Take a rose clipping with a stem about 4 to 6 inches in length and stick it in the ground where you want to plant it. I have found that the best roses to do this with are Jackson & Perkin’s pink rose hedges, which used to grow profusely in berms along the parking lot where I used to work. I SO fell in love with them that I asked the maintenance director if I could take a few clippings home, and he said yes. So I planted several of the cuttings and eventually ended up with about twelve nice-sized rosebushes in my yard, ALL from one or two cuttings!!

2.) Water the rose stem really well and cover it with a glass jar, stabilizing it with a little edging of mulch around the bottom so no air gets in.

3.) Don’t touch or lift the glass jar until next spring when all danger of frost is past. When you take the jar off, you will have a tiny rose bush that will grow and grow and grow! Easy and fun, so give it a shot! I gave a clipping to a friend about twenty years ago, and check out a bloom from that same cutting that has bred two gardens full of rosebushes!!

You know, if you think about it, roses are a lot like life—at times it looks good, feels good, smells good and makes us happy. But then there are those nasty thorns, pests and fungi that sap our energy and make us sick, weak, and sometimes even die. Which is all the more reason we need to incubate, like the roses above under glass, in the warmth and safety of God’s Word and grace. This is where we can thrive and grow strong enough to handle the world and all its trials, offering the world the sweet fragrance of a rose that lives forever, from this life into the next.


WHOO-HOO … one of my VERY creative reader friends, Salyna, put together celebrity collages for each of my books, choosing who she thought the characters would look like. This week is the final week and the featured book is A Light in the Window (September 6 – 13), so check out which celebrities Salyna chose at Kissed Books Blog! Can you say DROOL????


It’s Open Mic night at Southern Writers Magazine, and I am up, so be sure to check it out, then head on over to the Take Five section of the magazine’s website to hear me read (more like stumble through) my favorite romantic scene from my latest book, Love at Any Cost.


And everything is coming up roses for BONNIE ROOF, an adorable reader friend who took up my challenge last week to listen to an excerpt I read from Love at Any Cost for the “Take Five” segment of Southern Writers Magazine. Bonnie not only found the two mistakes I thought I’d made in my reading, but she atually found a TON more, so YAY, Bonnie—you have won your choice of a signed copy of any of my books! SUPER CONGRATS, my sweet friend!!

Hugs and Here’s hoping everything’s coming up roses for you too!! Happy Weekend!