One week from today, the wedding that mystery page-turners have been waiting for blossoms on the pages of "Seed No Evil" ($7.99 Penguin), the 14th book in the Flower Shop Mystery series hitting bookstores Tuesday, Aug. 6th and also available at all Internet booksellers.
"This is the book readers have been waiting for, mostly patiently, and the story I’ve been waiting for them to read, mostly impatiently," author Kate Collins, who lives in Valparaiso, told me this week.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, she signed a new contract for books 14 through 16 in her flower-themed page-turners. The next installment, book 15, is already completed and sent off, titled "Throw in the Trowel," and will be available in time for Valentine's Day in February 2014.
Most of all, Collins is tickled pink that she's finally sharing her main character's wedding with fans.
"It has a great mystery, some good laughs, such as you won't believe what Abby's cousin Jillian is up to now, another piece of weird art from Abby's mom, a dog you’ll never forget, a few flower arrangements and – drum roll, please – THE WEDDING," she said.
"Oh, what a wedding! I can't say more because I don’t want to ruin it. But I wish I could tell you. It's very, very special to me."
As for how Collins is spending her summer? She has a book signing party for the new book at Barnes and Noble in Valparaiso from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. And besides gardening, she says she's been "on the hunt for a title for the 16th book, telling me "it gets harder with each book."
For readers interested in a little floral history, here are a few interesting facts Collins shared with me.
"The Chinese are credited with being the first people to put cut flowers in water, while in ancient Greece (600-146 BC) floral wreaths and garlands were the preferred use," Collins said.
"Flower petals were tossed at festivals, ceremonies and during religious occasions. But it was the Japanese who expanded flower arranging into a meditative practice, with roots in their beliefs and philosophies."
The exciting announcement in May regarding designer Vera Wang's first floral collection, available exclusively through FTD (billed as the leading provider of flowers and gifts), has many brides and party hosts happy to have a fresh eye for design in creative floral opportunities. Her designer floral collection has an array of statement designs that each embodies a unique elegance that is a signature of the Vera Wang style. With arrangements incorporated into three distinct looks: The Traditionalist, The Romanticist and The Modernist. From lush roses and lillies used in bouquets, table arrangements and swags to wreaths and hanging globes bursting with blooms, Wang provides a wave of genius for her approach to florals. FYI: FTD.com or (800) 736-3383
My features department columnist colleague Denise DeClue chats with Alison Cuddy, who covers arts and culture for Chicago's WBEZ radio, at tonight's free outdoor screening of "About Last Night" on WBEZ's terrace area around dusk at Navy Pier. This is co-sponsored by the Chicago International Film Fest and the Northwest Chicago Film Society. DeClue, who lives in Beverly Shores, wrote the 1986 film "About Last Night," with her Second City pal Tim Kazurinsky, who also appears in the movie which stars Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi, Elizabeth Perkins and Megan Mullally.