Monday, July 30, 2012

Bloomfield – Butterfly Gardening Tips

Naomi is delighted to show off the Lake Bliss Retirement Village butterfly garden to anyone who wants to see it. She has some tips to you be successful with drawing these beautiful winged creatures to your garden.

• In order to attract a variety of butterflies, choose flowers that bloom at different times.
• Select flowers that are bright and have potent, sweet scents. Most varieties of butterflies are attracted to reds, oranges, deep pinks, purples, and yellows.
• Plant as much of your garden as you can in full sun because butterflies need warmth.
• Cluster the flowers to make it easier for butterflies to find because they are nearsighted.
• Have an assortment of perennials and annuals so you can change the flowers according to what you discover the butterflies prefer.
• Plant some herbs in your garden so the butterflies have plants for all their life stages.
• Provide plants that have nectar, such as alfalfa or milkweed, to feed the caterpillars.
• Butterflies need shelter, so have tall trees or commercial butterfly houses that can be found in garden centers.
• Do no use pesticides anywhere in your garden. Plant petunias, marigolds, and mint to repel unwanted insects without creating danger to the butterflies. Ladybugs and dragonflies also help with pest control.

Butterfly favorite plants and flowers:
• Azalea
• Black-eyed Susan
• Butterfly bush
• Ironweed
• Lantana
• Marigold
• Hibiscus
• Daylilies
• Lavender
• Verbena
• Rosemary
• Aster
• Starflower
• Coneflower
• Lilac
• Milkweed
• Zinnia
• Willow
• Fennel
• Pawpaw

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Discussion Questions Waiting for a View (part 3)

  1. Naomi has always enjoyed being an integral part of young people’s lives. During the course of the story, she started transferring some of her helpfulness from Sherry to Lacy. Why do you think she does this? Is she missing something important in her own life?
  2. When Sherry acknowledges all that Gina and Jeremy have overcome, her perspective in her own life changes. Have you ever experienced learning through observing other people’s hardships?
  3. How does the contrast between the fresh, new apartment and the house Sherry grew up in compare to what is going on internally?
  4. Did you notice that Naomi and Pamela schemed together, even though they normally didn’t get along? Have you ever had to work with someone you didn’t want to, only to discover you had more in common than you thought?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Facts about Murray and His Other Feathered Friends

A character who frequently appears throughout the Bloomfield series is Murray the parrot. He’s interesting, funny, naughty, and very honest—all traits of a domesticated macaw. As I wrote about him in Waiting for a View, I was tempted to go out and get a bird, but after doing some research, I decided to admire them from afar. Having any type of pet involves commitment, and the Macaw can live for a very long time—long past my life expectancy.

Here are some interesting blogs and articles on parrots:

Macaws: Did You Know…

Interesting Facts About Macaws

Ten Things You Should Know Before Buying a Bird

Parrots: Owning a Macaw, Cockatoo, or Other Type of Parrot

Monday, July 23, 2012

Discussion Questions Waiting for a View (part 2)

  1. Brad has always been fond of Sherry, but he valiantly didn’t act on his feelings as long as his old friend Theo was in the picture and dating Sherry. What would you have done in his position?
  2. Why do you think Brad didn’t pursue Sherry immediately after Theo left town and married someone else?
  3. Sherry greeted her old boyfriend’s wife at the urging of Naomi. Have you ever had to face something from your past that made you very uncomfortable? Did the results make you glad you did it?
  4. Something Sherry overheard Theo say devastated her. Have you ever jumped to conclusions when overhearing a snippet of conversation?
  5. Do you sit in the same pew at church? If so, why? If not, do you see things you missed from a different vantage point?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Discussion Questions - Waiting for a View (part 1)

  1. Can you relate to Sherry’s resistance to change? If so, did something happen in your life that made you that way?
  2. Naomi has been there for Sherry all her life, so Sherry doesn’t have the heart to ask her to stop meddling. Is there someone in your life who seems to know you better than you know yourself?
  3. Why do you think Sherry has such a difficult time with the idea of moving, even though her house is falling apart around her?
  4. Small children often speak their minds, and Lacy did exactly that when she called Sherry the “old maid lady,” repeating what her mother had said during one of those frazzled moments moms experience. Have you ever been the object of a child’s faux pas? How did that make you feel? Was it worse or better coming from a child?
  5. What do you think is the main theme of Waiting for a View? Sub-themes?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Waiting for a View

I thought you might like to meet a few of the characters in Waiting for a View, so here goes.

Sherry Buttler has resisted change all her life. Right out of high school, she started working at the local card shop, and she’s still there twenty years later.

Brad Henderson has always liked Sherry, but her walls of resistance have been so thick, it takes more than his feelings to break them down.

Naomi McCord is a well-meaning busybody who will stop at nothing to make sure everyone’s happy…no matter how miserable it makes them.

Murray the parrot who was named after the lovely agent Tamela Hancock Murray squawks his way right into the hearts of the rest of the town. He’s a bad boy, and he knows it.

Photo courtesy of Juditu at

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wynn-Wynn Winner!

Here's a picture of me with Jeane Wynn who is doing the publicity for the B&H Publishing Bloomfield series.

Great Start to ICRS 2012

Last night the Logos group invited Jessica Nelson, Rachel Hauck, and me to speak at their dinner event. It’s wonderful to see old friends – booksellers and authors! Jessica talked about the process of her first book release, and Rachel shared some of her experiences as an award-winning author. We had a wonderful time!

I’ll always be thankful for booksellers who provide a service to our readers by learning new ways to help them find what they are looking for. If your customer is looking for a certain type of book or something new by a favorite author, try ACFW’s Fiction Finder page.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Welcome to Bloomfield

From the splash fountain in the middle of the town square to Lake Bliss Retirement Village on the outskirts of town, Bloomfield is made up of quirky and endearing folks that you’ll want to know better…and will never forget. If they’re not in the process of falling in love, they’re busy matchmaking.

Drop by for a visit and plan to stay awhile. Enjoy delectable treats at the bakery, a delightful rest at the bed and breakfast, or have a scrumptious meal at the restaurant (nicknamed the Fancy Schmantsy) on tree-lined Main Street. Even better, make Bloomfield your home and help the town reach their goal of 10,000 residents—only 22 people away, if no one else dies!

While nothing is perfect, the people in Bloomfield would argue that this is as close to heaven on earth as a person can get without passing through the Pearly Gates. And at the heart of it all…Bloomfield Garden Club. This group of lovable oddballs of all ages will stop at nothing to make everything beautiful. (And we do mean nothing!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bloomfield Series Introduction

I’ve been working with Gail Sattler, Kathi Macias, Martha Rogers, Trish Perry, Miralee Ferrell, Jenness Walker, and Tracy Bowen on a new series set in our fictional town of Bloomfield. Our dedicated (and gorgeous) agent Tamela Hancock Murray took this project to B&H where our editor Julie Gwinn caught the vision. Now we’re starting to roll out the stories, with my straight-to-digital Waiting for a View launching the series.

Join us on Facebook: Bloomfield Club
To purchase: Waiting for a View by Debby Mayne
To order: Take the Trophy and Run by Gail Sattler