featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


MJ Flournoy writes romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Learn more about her and her books at her website. Today she joins us with a decorating tip.

Since I’m visiting on Wednesday, I’ll share a decorating tip. Flowers and flower arrangements are expensive, so I like to make the most of them. When you have fresh flowers, before they begin to wilt and drop their petals, take them out of the water and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place. Allow them to air dry, then gently take them down and create a flower arrangement such as this one made from flowers left from my daughter’s wedding.

The drying can take weeks or months, so be sure to hang them out of the way. I use thread strung from the ceiling of my mudroom and hang them up high so that no one will bump into them accidentally. Hanging them upside down helps the flower heads retain their shape. Be sure the flowers are not crowding each other because that will damage their shape as well. Don’t lay them on a flat surface to dry. That will cause them to have flat sides.

This arrangement was made using a small vase, glass marbles and flowers dried for several months. The roses were originally white. Now they’re an ivory or beige but made a lovely arrangement that will last for a long time. The flash makes them look darker than they really are, but the arrangement is lovely. So the next time you have flowers and want to enjoy them longer, try drying.

A Matter of Trust
Her paranormal abilities had always caused her grief. But can they save the life of a child who has been spirited away fro her parents and the life of the man she loves?

Jolie Wyngate is a middle school teacher with an extraordinary gift—or is it a curse? Throughout her life, she's never been sure. Now, when she is implicated in the disappearance of a child, the ultimate value of her powers will be put to the test.

Mac Carlson, former Navy SEAL and security expert, is tasked with rescuing the girl, Rachael Anne. From the moment he meets Jolie, his suspicious and protective nature sets its sights on her as a prime suspect. Can Jolie clear her name and gain this man's hard-won trust?

More importantly, can she save the girl before time runs out? She won't be able to do it without her psychic abilities—but Mac has a hard enough time trusting Jolie as it is, let alone trusting her powers to lead them to Rachael Anne.

As Mac and Jolie realize they have no choice but to work as a team—and as they slowly warm to each other in the process—they realize they have a new problem: the man they are after has set his sights on Jolie. Now Jolie will need all of her abilities, and all of Mac's strength and skill, to stay out of the fiend's hands and bring Rachael Anne back home.

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Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

I tried to post this morning on my cellphone and it wasn't working. Sorry I'm late checking in. It has been a pleasure visiting with you today.


Mary Marvella said...

Hey, MJ! I still have dried flowers from your daughter's wedding last year. I should have tried your method.

Your book is wonderful!

debjulienne said...

I've always wanted to try this, now I will, thanks for the tip. As for the excerpt, can't wait to read it...I love the teaser you posted.

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

Deb, I hope you will try to make your own dried flowers. The ones from my daughter's wedding made a lovely arrangement. I put it in the downstairs powder room. It stayed there until my granddaughter arrived, then she moved it to her bedroom. It looks great on her dresser. Hope you enjoy reading A Matter of Trust!
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Barbara Monajem said...

That's a great tip, MJ. Thanks!