Dear Aunt Augusta,

My name is Poppy Wilson and I’m writing to you as a last ditch effort. I’m about at my wits end. I’m afraid my sister, Violet, is about to ignore a golden opportunity. You see, Thomas Jefferson’s landscaper arrived at our landscaping company the other day all the way from America and the man is supposed to spend all his time with Violet, learning about how she hybridizes roses.

Parker Sinclair is one of the most handsome men I’ve ever encountered, but both he and Violet pay me no mind, since I’m so young, at only fourteen. But who did my father turn to when Mr. Sinclair needed a wardrobe? (His trunk was ransacked in Portsmouth, by the way). Of course, it became my responsibility to properly outfit the man.

And Violet. What can I say? She’s got this unruly mass of curls that are out of control even before she begins her day in the humid greenhouse. She wears tired-out clothing that do nothing to enhance her appearance and she’s afraid to leave her greenhouse and even talk with men.

Well, now the gentleman is in her greenhouse, learning her techniques, which she’s shared with the Royal Horticultural Society hoping they’ll recognize that a woman is every bit as intelligent as a man. While I’m impressed with her findings and her experiments, I think she should pay attention to the gentleman she’s spending her days with. I’ve already cautioned her to tame her hair and wear proper dresses, but she ignores me.

It’s my hope that when Mr. Sinclair leaves for America again, he has a boatload of roses, a head full of knowledge and my sister, Violet. What can I do to make certain this happens?

Thanking you in anticipation


Dear Poppy

How lovely of you to be concerned for your sister and her happiness. I think you need not despair, for the situation seems to me to be ripe with possibilities. Your sister is spending her days with a handsome man who is knowledgeable about and admires what she is doing; a heady combination, I assure you.

I understand your desire to help, my dear, but it has been my experience that a nudge in the wrong way at the wrong time can have precisely the opposite effect that the nudger might wish. Let the two of them spend their days working together, and see what happens. Love will find a way, Poppy. And it is love that you really wish for your sister, I am certain: that precious emotion that gilds the most unruly curls, covers a multitude of sartorial sins, and emboldens even the shyest of men and women.

I will watch with great interest for reports on who is in Mr Sinclair’s party when he returns to his own land. Believe me. All will be well.

With every good wish

Aunt Augusta.
(If your characters are in turmoil and confusion, Ask Aunt Augusta)

The Lady Banks rose, which Violet was cross-pollinating with the Scotch rose

Winning Violet

Everything’s coming up roses for an English miss and an American gentleman in this delightful new series from the author of the Cotillion Ball saga!

After British soldiers killed his wife and child during the War of 1812, Parker Sinclair vowed to never set foot on English soil. But as Thomas Jefferson’s landscaper, one must sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice. The last thing Parker expects to find is an educated English beauty who can teach him so much more than how to plant a magnificent garden.

An expert at cross-pollinating roses, Violet Wilson’s dreams of becoming the first woman recognized by the Royal Horticultural Society are fading because she’s afraid to leave the quiet solitude of her family’s nursery. Distrustful of men after a traumatic encounter, she’s not keen on disrupting her routine to help the American landscaper, but she soon blossoms under his kindness and respect.

As they fall in love, can this shrinking Violet take the risk of leaving behind all she knows for a new life with Parker? Or is he considering a different ending altogether?

The Scotch rose


“Now comes the fun part.” Violet picked a small brush from her apron, carefully wiping it free of any lingering pollen. A blush crept into her cheeks as she explained the next step. “I load my brush with pollen from the Scotch rose and brush it over the sticky surface of the pistil. The sticky part is called the stigma.” With a few deft strokes, she brushed a small amount of pollen onto the plant.

Parker observed her carefully. “I should be writing this all down. Although it’s very similar to humans and how they reproduce, so I get the gist of it.” Her cheeks bloomed even pinker, as he suspected they would. Time to change the subject. “Is that all? One time and done?

The tinge in her cheeks grew deeper, almost a reddish hue. “Oh no. Once is never enough. I have to stroke on the pollen at least three or four times to assure it’s taken hold.”

“I see.” Parker stroked the leaves of the Lady Banks as his mind conjured up images best left alone.

Buy Link: Amazon

Meet Becky Lower

Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the United States in search of great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it in America on a covered wagon headed west or in Regency England. Her Cotillion Ball Series features the nine children from an upscale New York family prior to and during the Civil War. Her first Regency, A Regency Yuletide, received the Crowned Heart and has been nominated for the prestigious RONE award from InD’Tale Magazine. A regular contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After section, her books have been featured in the column on eight separate occasions. Becky loves to hear from her readers at Visit her website at

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