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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wild flowers of England

Flowers are a universal language. 

Since one of the themes for this month is flowers, and I'm nutty about all kinds, I searched my more recently published books for something appropriate.  Finding an excerpt on wildflowers was pretty easy.  This excerpt from Daunting Pursuit fits perfectly, except that it's set in England.  And pictures of British flowers are hard to find.  Managed to come up with these though. But then, I'd guess most countries have
wild daisies. They must be pretty universal in temperate climates.







Then there's always clover. And I found this picture under British wildflowers. Some of the other flowers common to England are not known here, at least not by that name. This clover is definitely different than the kind I know.



In this excerpt from Daunting Pursuit Ben is driving through the British countryside, with wild flowers all around him. He'd reveling in the beauty surrounding him. He's about to get in a barrel of trouble, but then this is one of my series about sexy, pointed eared elves, and they do tend to attract lots of problems


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"Benedict drove to Vale’s clinic early the next morning. Garth would not be down from London for several hours. He’d checked his brother’s mind and knew he was on the way, so this seemed a good time to visit Vale and Nicki.

Ben drove slowly, admiring the flowering oleanders along the road. The mild climate of southern England produced vegetation not available in the colder rest of the country. Amazing that this lovely shrub had poisonous leaves and flowers but even more surprising was that horses seemed to know not to munch on them. Always fascinated by wildflowers, he admired their tenacity and invincibility. Even after this year of drought, the bright yellows and pinks of many of his favorites had reappeared. He lowered the windows in the Bentley, inhaling the scents and sights of spring. The road between Alfheim and Vale’s clinic abounded with red and white clover, betony and the ubiquitous campion. Unquenchable campion, the white flower found everywhere in Britain.

A gentle rain had fallen during the night and drops still sparkled on leaves and blossoms. There was a pleasant earthy smell to the day with a tinge of the copious wildflowers. Summer and southern England on a warm, sunny day. What could possibly be better?

In the best of moods, Ben vaulted out of his car and strode toward the clinic. Vale opened the door. Of course he’d known Ben was coming. One might as well be wearing bells where Vale was concerned.

With a grin, Vale thumped him on the back.

“Glad to see you, Ben. I’ve been waiting for you. I’ll state my problem. I need your assistance in a special problem. We have a beautiful new nurse. She’s extremely competent but she’s got a prickly shell around her. I’m hoping you can break through her reserve. My every instinct tells me she needs help and needs it badly. But she has to signal  in some way or other she’ll accept it. I won’t use invasive tactics on her.”

Ben blinked. “And why not? If anyone needs help you usually read their mind if you must. Why not this girl?”

“Jane. Her name’s Jane Richmond. Because I think she’s going to be important to our family and I want her trust to be voluntary.”

Ben pursed his lower lip between his fingers as he stared at his uncle. He’d never, ever heard him say anything like this. He wasn’t even sure what Vale meant.

“I don’t think it will be easy for you to get past her defenses. But I’d like you to try. Will you?”

“Vale, you puzzle me. I have no idea what I can do to help loosen anybody’s tongue but of course I’ll try.”
Vale smiled his smile that made every woman want to embrace him. His white-blond hair swirled around his handsome face as he stepped forward and gave Ben a slight hug. Vale’s hair looked even longer than usual. Probably hadn’t taken time to get it cut so it only touched his shoulders. Now the beautiful pale tresses parted and some trailed down his back.

“Good, let’s go visit the ward where she’s working today. She’s had one year of training and is a natural nurse if I’ve ever seen one. She won’t tell me why she quit her studies but any clinic would be delighted to have her even without a nursing degree.”

Still baffled, Ben trailed along behind his uncle. No one seeing them could doubt they were related. Vale looked barely older than Ben and only Ben’s darker hair, streaked with Vale’s pale blond, set them apart. Both were handsome and carried themselves with confidence. Ben was still finding his healing abilities but he knew he had them and looked forward to trying them out in the clinic. Wherever he was needed would be fine with him.

He was anxious to claim his elfin heritage. Perhaps this mystery woman would provide the chance he was looking for."
I'm always interested in my reader's reactions.  You'd do me a real favor if you told me your favorite wildflower. I imagine it will vary according to which part of the country you live it, so you might indicate that. Myself, I'm torn between the shy violet and the stridently bold sunflower. Crazy of me, but there it is!







13 comments:

Cara Marsi said...

Loved the pictures and the information about the wildflowers. I don't know much about wildflowers so I can't say which are my faves. We have tiger lilies in our yard, planted by the previous owners. They're beautiful when they bloom, rather wild. Loved your excerpt too.

Paris said...

Wildflowers have always been a favorite of mine. When we lived on the farm my husband would always leave a swath of cone flowers (echinacea), daisies, Indian paintbrush and others for me to enjoy through the summer. Some springs we would have tiny little lilies that bloomed around Easter. Thanks for the lovely photos and the wonderful excerpt!

vicki batman said...

I had to laugh about the daisies as they are featured in a scene in the movie Emma. She said daisies should be banned from England because he loves me, loves me not didn't work. LOL

Where I live is noted for the wildflowers. If we have a wet spring, the flowers are spectacular along the highways. With our excessive rain this year, beautiful.

stanalei said...

Daisies are my absolute favorite! And wonderful excerpt!

Judy Baker said...

Oe of my favorite flower is Daisy. Even had them when I got married many, many years ago. Enjoyed your excerpt.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies. Cara, get yourself a package of wildflower seed and plant them just for fun.. a plant box would do. You gotta have flowers, girl. Vicki, I'd forgotten about that scene from Emma. Our wildflower are spectacular too this year, even in the desert. Paris, I never saw small white lilies,, they must be darling. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt....

jean hart stewart said...

Stanalei and Judy, Thanks for the comment. There does seem to be something extra cheerful about daisies. I absolutely couldn't pick my favorite...I simply love all flowers....

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Being from California, the first wildflower I experienced was the Poppy. It's still one of my favorites, but I also like New Zealand Calla Lilies when they grow wild in the swamps. I didn't know they could be so many colors. I really don't care what kind they are when I see rolling hills covered with mixtures of beautiful brilliant colors.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks for the comment, Ann. How lucky you are to have seen the New Zealand flowers. They sound gorgeous! I'n glad to know about them...

Tina Donahue said...

Great excerpt, Jean. You know I love your books. :)

jean hart stewart said...

It's mutual, Tina.... thanks for coming by..

Melissa Keir said...

The purple flowers look a lot like the ones on my chives. I like the way they look and the chives are very hardy!

jean hart stewart said...

Love chives. They smell and look so good. I wish I'd also asked if there were any flowers the reader didn't like. That might have gotten some interesting answers too. Thanks for coming, Melissa...

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