Saturday, August 15, 2015

Molly's Garden by Roz Denny Fox


Let me tell you how I got the idea for this novel...
 It started when I followed a 4-part documentary on the lack of fresh food in low income homes, and one part was on school back-pack programs. They send a backpack full of food home on Fridays with children who may not have meals over the weekend. This coincided with several times our local newspaper ran articles about gardens that encourage children to help plant, harvest and then eat organically grown vegetables.

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say? Blue skies and sunflowers warm the heart.


How long did it take you to write?  Almost 4 months. I don’t seem to write fast these days.

What is your favorite scene? “I’m Molly McNair. May I help you?” She watched him unsnap a pearl button on the breast pocket of a blue Western-style shirt. She blinked as he extended a piece of paper.
     The action was enough to make Nitro do something he’d never done before. He jerked his leash right out of Molly’s grasp and bounded up to the Harley.
    She made a grab for him and missed. The next thing that happened was more shocking.
    The man, who had yet to identify himself, stripped off his sunglasses with one hand and reached down with the other, murmuring soothingly until the dog dropped to the ground. Nitro rolled onto his back and wriggled in the dirt as the man laughed and scratched his exposed belly.
    Molly’s jaw dropped. Impressed but wary, she crossed to the biker and took back her traitorous pet’s leash. It was then she saw the paper that had fluttered from the man’s hand. Her ad, torn from the newspaper. Bending, she picked it up.
    “I came about the driver’s position.” The biker twirled his sunglasses by one arm. “Has the job been filled?”

Who was your favorite character and why? Maybe Nitro, Molly’s Doberman who is supposed to be a guard dog, but has a soft spot for the hero and the children who come to plant their garden at her farm.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be? This is always hard for me because I am not a big movie buff. But a friend who has read the book chose Simon Baker as the hero, and Keira Knightly when she had her hair short and black as Molly. My daughter said maybe Josh Holloway and Katy Perry. I guess I’ll defer to readers on this question.

Tell us one thing you learned during research. I was shocked to learn during the documentaries how many truly needy families we have in the United States—this land of plenty. It’s hard to know that child hunger is an ever growing problem.

What music would match the mood of this novel? Maybe Jon Bon Jovi’s “Everybody’s Broken”

This is your  56th book.  Exactly what does that mean to you? I’m profoundly grateful to Harlequin for each book their editors choose to accept. And when I hear from readers who like my story and characters it’s like ice cream with my cake.

What do you plan to work on next? I’m ready to start book 3 of a trilogy for the American line set in a fictional Montana town.

What are you reading for pleasure right now? I just finished the July Heartwarmings and Harper Lee’s new book. Next up are 2 books in the American line, one from Cathy McDavid and the other Barbara White Daille. Then my August Heartwarming subscription should arrive.








40 comments:

  1. I love everything about his post, Roz: the story of how you came up with the idea, the cover and especially your favorite scene. Now I look forward to reading MOLLY'S GARDEN even more!

    I wish you all the best with your new release!

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    1. Kate, isn't it interesting how as writers ideas sometimes strike out of nowhere when we least expect. But it's nice, too that there's a never-ending supply. At least I hope so. I hope you enjoy the book.

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  2. What a great post and a great story line! We have a backpack program here that I help with sometimes and what makes me sad is how many more children need it each year. (I also worry about what they eat in the summer--I think they need Molly's Garden.) I love the title and your cover, too!

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    1. Liz, I'm so glad you help with the program in your area. I can't imagine that sometimes the food in those packs feed a family of 5 or 6 on a weekend. Here my RWA chapter collects money at each meeting for our food bank. Each year it too has greater need.

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  3. Roz, I adore your cover! More importantly, I'm so impressed with how you came up with the idea for your book. And Molly's Garden...just the idea of it gives me goosebumps of such thanksgiving for those of us who were and are able to feed our children and grandchildren. I can't wait to read it! I wish you all the best of success with it!

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    1. Catherine, I love the cover, too. It's different. I hope it makes people want to read the book. I grew up at the end of the depression and in our area there were still "Victory Gardens". My mother fed people, mostly men on the move who were out of work. I thought we were way beyond that need, and I was shocked to learn how great the need really still is.

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  4. What a great story idea! And the cover is beautiful. I can't wait to read it.

    When I taught in Yuma, every Friday the schools would receive huge crates of fruits and vegetables from the local farms. Believe it or not, Yuma (aka HELL) is a huge agricultural region. The students would take tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, raspberries and lots of other vegetables home each week. I worked at an inner city school and you have no idea how much these bags of food were appreciated. For some kids, it was the only fresh fruits and vegetables they ever got. I thought it was amazing that these big farms donated so much food to the local schools.

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  5. LeAnne, I'm so glad to hear they do that.

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  6. The first time I saw your cover, it made me smile, Roz. It's so beautiful. I love to read what sparks an idea for a writer. Congratulations on 56 books...that's amazing! I look forward to reading, Molly's Garden.

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    1. Our editors get the credit for the nice cover. I probably suggested cabbage--lol.

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    2. Ha ha! Cabbage is cool, Roz...so is corn. :)

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  7. Roz - what a wonderful post. I love knowing that big farms care that much. I love your cover - the old car and the sunflowers - and I especially love your teaser. How did he do that with the dog? I'm always amazed when you talk about the never-ending supply of ideas. I climb every tree (metaphorically), look under ever rock, shout into every dark corner for ideas to jump out at me and all I get is a little shred of a glimmer or something that I have to resuscitate then put on life-support until I get it breathing!

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    1. Muriel, with as many fantastic stories as you've written, I am sure your mind is filled with unwritten ones. Just keep them coming.

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  8. Roz, amazing post. I am enthralled. By the story, by your inspiration, by the dog, the garden, the motorcycle-driving hunky hero.... Can't wait to read this one. Congratulations on your 56th book.

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  9. Carol, with all of the years I've been at this writing career I should have many more books out. But I just don't write fast. I contemplate and muse a lot.

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  10. Nitro is a great character, but so is your hero. Adam felt so real! Lovely story you've written.

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    1. Laura, so glad you liked the story. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. LOVE the cover! Looks like summer and hope.
    I saw a news segmant of a family in the middle of Los Angeles who took their 5000sqft lot around their home and planted an enchanting organic garden. They have more than enough to feed their whole family and then the chefs of the nearby high end restaurants come by to buy for their night's menus.
    There are also many, many books and youtube videos on Square Foot gardening, showing how much you can grow in just a square foot by combining veggies that grow well together. Even on a tiny apartment balcony you'd be able to grow a lot of your family's vegtables. Think of all the extra food there would be to donate.
    No need for acres if land to grow food, it's amazing what one can do in a small space.
    Congratualtions on your lastest release!

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    1. Shannon, the documentary I watched had one segment of people growing roof-top gardens in big cities. They were co-op gardens, so more than one family got to have fresh vegetables.

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  12. Thank you for telling us about the concept for Molly's Garden. The cover is very vivid and eye-catching, and the storyline sounds wonderful. Doesn't it make you scratch your head when you look at how much food is produced, and wasted, compared to the number of people who either don't have food, or don't have nutritious food? It's inconceivable, but it's the reality.
    You've written quite a few books. And....four months doesn't sound very long to me to write a book. Maybe because I'm not a writer?? Congratulations on this new release. ( :

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  13. Laurie, thank you for popping by. I am blown away by learning how many families go hungry even when both parents are working. But they barely earn enough to keep a roof over their heads and food keeps going up in cost.

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  14. You made my mouth drop 3 times in your post! The first time with the opening to your book. I love it. Then when you said it was your 56th book, I was almost envious. :-) And I want to know what you think of the Harper Lee book.
    Can't wait to read Molly's Garden.

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    1. Patricia, I didn't hate Harper Lee's book as some readers I know have. To me it really was a gritty look at what was happening in the South at the time she wrote it. I didn't find it as well written as To Kill a Mockingbird, but we don't know how many books she wrote prior to sending it out to an agent. And I hope the reason for bringing it out wasn't all about how much it will earn.

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  15. Thanks for the fun post, Roz. What a great idea to teach children to garden and harvest their own vegetables. I think every family should have a garden that they work together, rich or poor. What a great bonding experience, too. How about Lucas Till and Olivia Munn for your cast? Can't wait to read Molly's Garden! :-)

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    1. Krissie, thanks for stopping by. Now I have to admit I'll have to go out on the internet and look up Lucas Till and Olivia Munn. I truly know little about TV or Movie stars. AAk, what does that say about me? I guess that I read in my spare time.

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  16. Really cool, Roz. It's nice to see you so content and liking what you do. Keep going. Looks like your career is thriving.

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    1. Kathy, so good to hear from you. I hope to see you again at the Tucson Festival of Books. Maybe we can get more time to talk this coming festival.

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  17. Sounds great, Roz! I love the scene you picked as your favorite and your inspiration for the book. At the school I work at, we have something called Joanie's Closet (named after a beloved nurse who went above and beyond to take care of many children in our district). People donate food, gift cards, clothing, etc for needy kids. We send home bags of food at Thanksgiving and giveaway coats in the winter. It is shocking, but sometimes the only meal kids get are the free lunch at school. Can't wait to read this one!

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    1. Amy, Love to hear what all the school where you work is doing for underprivileged kids. In Tucson I know our Firefighters and several churches take children shopping for things like shoes and clothing before school starts each year. I know many do holiday dinners, too. But I find it so sad to know a growing child might only get one meal a day. It's just wrong.

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  18. The school where I taught for so many years had a Friday Snack Pack program where the kids took home food for the weekend. For most of them, it was the only food they received all weekend. I've started your book, Roz, and hope to finish it soon. Love the idea.

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  19. Hey, Patti, I have my fingers crossed that you like the story. I know a church in your area took your students to get shoes, and that impressed me. I like they had a snack pack program, too. It's great how many schools participate in the food programs.

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  20. Congratulations on your 56th book! Harlequin is lucky to have such an eloquent author who brings us such unique characters and important issues like poverty amongst American children. Prior to becoming a full time author, I was a teacher in a city with a large percentage of students with free and reduced lunch which is the terminology used for students living in poverty. We did give them food over weekends and vacations but we knew it was never enough. I always had fresh fruit and snacks in my classroom that the kids could take everyday and my supply always vanished fast - so many hungry kids who literally only got to eat when they came to school. It broke my heart. Thank you for writing about this important issue and raising awareness!

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    1. Karen, I take my hat off to teachers like you. I have a lot of teachers in my family and they all have spent their own money on supplies and food and--well, teachers should make more money for what they do.

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  21. Oh, wow, coming in late here -- but, Roz, I'm awed by 56 books! And the fact that you're still as enthusiastic about reaching readers as you've always been is like the ice cream with OUR cake. :)

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    1. Laurie, I'm getting back late to this. We had thunder and lightning over the evening so I shut down my computer early. You all were sweltering in 115 degree heat. Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. Congratz Roz on your continued writing success! What a great idea for a story - the poverty in this country of such abundance is appalling! I hope thay make a movie of Molly's Garden! All this is good for us who love your books!

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    1. MT, If the story even moves one reader to donate to food banks, or consider contributing to needy schools, I'll be a happy writer.

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  23. Loved this opportunity to get to know you a little better, Roz! And loved hearing a little about your next book, and big contrats to seeing your 56th book hit the shelves! Have a beautiful week, dear lady! :-)

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  24. In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

    My first thought? ANOTHER WONDERFUL BOOK BY ROZ DENNY FOX!

    Love your writing, my friend. Keep on keeping on. So what if you take your time with each book..when.the results are always so wonderful. Love you!

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  25. In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

    My first thought? ANOTHER WONDERFUL BOOK BY ROZ DENNY FOX!

    Love your writing, my friend. Keep on keeping on. So what if you take your time with each book..when.the results are always so wonderful. Love you!

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