Peggy Rothschild, The Beauty of Spring Author Guest Post



As spring unfolds, it’s great to be here at IN THE PAGES OF A GOOD BOOK! Winters in Southern California are mild and in late-February the yard usually starts “greening up”. If we’re lucky enough to get some rain, it’s like the plants go nuts overnight. Suddenly, the pomegranate has transformed from a bunch of brown sticks to a leafy green beauty with red blossoms. The milkweed is blossoming, its orange, red and yellow flowers drawing the hummingbirds. The sage shifts from a gentle gray plant to a riot of lavender flowers. And the grapevines – which for months looked like twisted pieces of dry cord – have shiny new leaves. It’s an amazing transformation.


I find myself going outside to check on individual plants: Does the milkweed have more than one monarch caterpillar munching on it? Did the buds on my blueberry bushes hang on during the high winds – giving me hope that we’ll get fruit this year? Did the carrots successfully reseed themselves from last year?


Unlike my heroine in PUNISHMENT SUMMER, I’ve long been an avid gardener. Nicki, on the other hand, is very much a city girl and not terribly connected to nature before being sent to live with her grandfather in his cabin in the woods. But, soon she’s learning about local flora, tending the vegetable patch, and planting for the changing seasons. For her this exploration of nature is the entry into a brand new world, a world where she, too, can grow.


Spring shows us how quickly things can shift from seemingly barren to bountiful – but we need to be ready for that change: sowing seeds, preparing the soil, nurturing seedlings, pulling weeds, and pruning back plants that overshadow new growth. In a way, it’s like writing. Each manuscript involves sowing ideas and countless hours of digging into the plot and characters. We prune back overwriting and weed out clunky dialogue – preparing our ‘plants’ for that moment when they break through to daylight. And, with hard work, timing and a bit of luck, we’ll create vibrant manuscripts ready for harvest.


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About Peggy Rothschild:

Always a mystery-lover, Peggy embraced the tales of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys before moving on to the adult section of the library. An English major in high school, she switched to art – her other passion – in college. Peggy has authored two adult mysteries, CLEMENTINE’S SHADOW and ERASING RAMONA. PUNISHMENT SUMMER is her first young adult novel.

IN PUNISHMENT SUMMER, 16-year-old Nicki must learn to adapt when she’s sent to stay at her grandfather’s cabin near the town of Punishment in the Mendocino Forest. Soon after arriving, she begins to suspect Grandpa is keeping secrets. From hidden pot farms to human trafficking, she discovers nothing in the ‘Mendo’ is what it seems. It’s a good thing Grandpa’s taught her how to shoot.


“A great coming of age story with a wonderful mixture of mystery, adventure, a teenage crush, pet love and friendship.” –Bookworm


Check out Peggy’s website for details about her other books and join her newsletter list to learn about new releases, giveaways and deals. If you enjoy Facebook or Twitter, pop by and say “Hi” to her there.


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