Hello. My name is Tara Sheets and I kill plants.  I don’t do this willingly, I promise you.  I just wasn’t born with a green thumb, and it’s taken me many years to admit that house plants and I may never get along.  It’s not for lack of trying on my part!  I read all the directions and follow all the instructions, but for whatever reason, most plants seem to wither and die under my care.  I once had a plant specialist at the local nursery tell me that my indoor palm tree died because I “loved it too hard”.  P’sh!  What does that even mean?  You can’t love a plant too hard! (Yes, you can. It’s called overwatering.)  In my early twenties, I had a boss with a large ficus tree in his corner office, and while he was on vacation I watered it for him.  It stayed nice and glossy and green.  I was pretty proud of myself, until he returned from vacation and kindly explained the tree was plastic.  So, yeah.  Not even fake plants are safe around me.

But the wonderful thing about being an author is having the opportunity to create fictional characters with talents and abilities I will never have.  The fabulously gifted Juliette Holloway is nothing like me.  She’s the main character in Don’t Touch My Petunia, the second book in The Holloway Girls series.  Juliette has the magical ability to make plants grow and thrive.  Her cottage garden is a magnificent paradise overflowing with plants and flowers that pay no attention to the climate or season.  They just grow all year long in harmony together.  Orchids and tulips and lavender and gardenias.  Hydrangeas and jasmine and aloe and daffodils.  Blackberry bushes with no thorns.  Roses that smell like chocolate M&Ms.  If you can dream it up, it’s probably growing in Juliette’s garden.

In the opening scene of Don’t Touch My Petunia, Juliette is busy working in the local florist shop on Pine Cove Island.  As the manager, it’s up to her to make sure all the plants are healthy and happy—a job she takes very seriously.  So when she sees a tall stranger messing with her poor petunia plant, she gets annoyed.  She calls across the room, asking him to stop touching it, but he ignores her.  Juliette doesn’t realize he’s wearing earbuds and listening to loud music, so he can’t hear her.  Eventually she marches across the room, thumps him on the back and says, “Don’t. Touch. My petunia.”  He’s amused and she’s flustered.  Later, she’s even more bothered to find out he’s Logan O’Connor, the boy who broke her heart back in high school.  Juliette hasn’t seen him in almost thirteen years, but now he’s come home.  To make matters worse, he’s going to be doing the remodel at the florist shop, so they’ll be working alongside one another.  Juliette is feisty and sassy and absolutely devoted to her business.  She wants nothing to do with falling in love and all that messy relationship stuff.  Both she and Logan have goals that are entirely opposite, but in spite of all their plans, they can’t help falling for one another. 

I loved writing this book, especially because I got to experience Juliette’s world where she was constantly surrounded by her beautiful garden and thriving plants.  I know I’ll never have her relationship with Mother Nature, but I’m not giving up yet!  My newest indoor tree is an umbrella plant.  I’ve named him Hercules, because he’ll need to be strong enough to survive me.  Wish me luck, you guys.  Hope springs eternal!

 

“I loved this book!” –Jude Deveraux on Don’t Call Me Cupcake

Pine Cove Island is the kind of enchanting place where anything is possible . . .

The Holloway women each have a special gift, passed down through generations, each one a little different. Juliette possesses a magical green thumb, which makes her job managing the local florist shop a dream. She may be a bit wild, but she knows what she wants: to save enough money to buy the shop from her boss. Then in marches Logan O’Connor, more annoyingly handsome than ever, turning all her plans upside down.

Logan hasn’t been back on Pine Cove Island since he was eighteen and broke Juliette’s teenage heart. Now it turns out he’s her boss’s nephew—and will be spending his days remodeling the shop and barking orders. At her.

For the sake of the business, Juliette will have to ignore their simmering attraction and work with Logan. But that doesn’t mean she has to make things easy for him. Because no one knows better than she that one tiny, perfectly planted bit of garden magic could uproot Logan’s own plans and keep him out of her way. And nothing would make her happier. At least that’s what she thinks . . .

Praise for Tara Sheets’ previous book, Don’t Call Me Cupcake

“I loved this book! Beautifully written and the story has stayed with me.” –Jude Deveraux

“Funny, sexy, charming and full of practical magic. . . . Fans of Sarah Addison Allen will love this novel.” –RT Book Reviews