Annie Adams is the author of The Final Arrangement, book one in The Flower Shop Mystery series. When not writing she can be found teaching workshops to authors about the business of being a writer, or arranging flowers and delivering them in her own Zombie Delivery Van. Today Annie visits us to discuss using flowers to decorate your home. Learn more about Annie at her website.
Annie is offering either a paperback or e-copy of The Final Arrangement to one of our readers who posts a comment. Please make sure you either leave an email address with your comment or check back on Sunday to see if you’re the winner. We can’t get your book to you if we have no way of contacting you. -- AP
The Final Arrangement is the first in The Flower Shop Mystery Series, where you will find our heroine, Quincy McKay working away in her flower shop. Following are some things she would like to pass on about using flowers in your home.
Flowers are beautiful, they smell nice, and they are used to mark special occasions. Too expensive to keep around the house…right?
Even a single bloom has the power to make an emotional impact in your life as soon as you see it, not to mention what the aroma can do to balance hormones and improve your overall well being. And, a single flower can cost as little as a dollar or two.
Did you know it’s been proven flowers have an impact on your emotions? At Rutgers University, a team of researchers performed a 10-month study of responses of research participants to receiving flowers. They found the following:
1. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
2. Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
3. Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.
I always recommend visiting your local florist to find out what’s in season and to see some fantastic ideas for what you can do with flowers. There are several economical and long lasting blooms such as alstromeria, carnations and chrysanthemums that come in hot, vibrant colors sure to warm up a gloomy winter room.
Carnations and mums were once the lowly forgotten flowers of design, but they’ve made a big-time comeback in party design at places like the Oscars, Oprah’s parties, and more.
Besides using longer-lasting varieties, there are tricks to extending the life of flowers. Make sure you keep the water clean by changing it daily. If you receive a packet of flower food with your purchase, it is imperative you read the directions on the back of the packet and follow the measurements to the letter. Studies have shown that dosing flower food improperly can actually be worse for the flowers than not using any food at all. So keep the home remedies like sugar, soda pop, aspirin, pennies and whatever else you may have heard of, out of the vase.
Give the stems a fresh cut just before placing them in clean water. Lastly, keep your flowers cool. This is the most important step in my opinion. Optimal temperature for flowers is generally 38-42 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of us don't have a flower cooler in our homes, so the next best place is a cool area in the house.
It only takes one flower to lift your mood and stave off the effects of depression, so stop and pick up an affordable bouquet, even if it’s from the local grocery store. Flowers are calorie-free, drug-free and guilt-free sources of happiness that don't have to break the bank.
The Vulture is dead.
The body of Quincy McKay’s nemesis and biggest competitor in the floral business has just been discovered in a casket at the mortuary, complete with flowers on the lid.
Derrick Gibbons, aka The Vulture, stole all of Quincy’s funeral business, and now she’s on a mission to get it back. But there’s a problem—Quincy is now the main suspect in The Vulture’s murder.
Armed with only her Zombie delivery van, good intentions, and the business card of a handsome cop named Alex, she must find the killer, save the flower shop, and keep from ending up in the next casket. If she can dodge burning bushes, the plague of a polygamist ex, and her mother's Mormon Mafia Spy Network, her life with Alex and her shop could become the perfect arrangement.