Tag Archive for: roses

Roses are Stealthy by T. K. Thorne


 Writer, humanist,
          dog-mom, horse servant and cat-slave,
       Lover of solitude
          and the company of good friends,
        New places, new ideas
           and old wisdom.

Roses are following me around. 

In my first mystery/thriller/crime/urban fantasy, I named my police officer-witch, “Rose.” 

Names are a funny thing. When you give one to a character, it can instantly color them and lead to interesting places.  I don’t know why that name popped into my head at the critical moment of creation. I’ve tried to figure it out:

Was it a subconscious play on my last name, “Thorne”? 

Was I thinking of my grandmother whose name was “Rose”? 

Or was it just that it was fun, because as Rose herself says, 

“‘Rose’ is a difficult name. For one thing, it made me a target throughout childhood for “smells the same” taunts. For another, it sets up an assumption that fails to describe any part of my nature, conjuring an image of a tiny gray-haired woman. I am neither tiny—standing barefoot at 5’8”—nor gray-haired—dark curls minimally tamed per Birmingham police uniform regulations—and I’m more prickly thorns than soft petals.”

A one-armed man gave me the climbing rose in my yard (not that one-armed man, if you are of an age to have watched “The Fugitive”). It is in full bloom as we speak. That rose bush taught me valuable lessons (See “The Rose Wars.”)

Rose (the police-witch) got this for a cover:


All sorts of roses seem to show up in my life—a painting from a friend, a favorite scarf I never noticed had a black-and-white rose pattern, the two dozen long-stemmed roses my ex-husband (#2) sent me when he wanted to make up. That last one may be cheating since it was long ago. If my current husband sent me roses, I would definitely freak out (you have to read House of Rose to know why.)

Book two of the Magic City series is finally making its debut as House of Stone.


Just want to be clear, that is a red diamond in there—in case the universe wants to do that “Law of Attraction” thing, I’m good with it!

Here’s a  promo moment for the new novel:

Witches and warlocks abide in Birmingham, Alabama in three ancient
Houses—Rose, Iron and Stone. They arrived over a century ago to draw their
powers from the abundant ores beneath Red Mountain. Rose Brighton, a Birmingham
police detective, is the last witch of House of Rose and possibly the most
dangerous thing since the hydrogen bomb. A terrifying encounter with House of
Iron has mentally crippled Becca, her best friend. While Becca struggles to
find herself, Rose battles to control her own abilities and the supernatural
attraction that pulls her to a mysterious, handsome warlock.


When magic kicks in at the scene of her first homicide, she learns
that her partner—the mentor and friend she depends on—is lying to her, and she
is on her own. Unraveling the murder entwines Rose in a web of greed and profit
involving a promising new medicine. Someone is willing to kill to keep a cheap
drug from the market. Not only do countless lives depend on Rose’s skills as a
detective, the fate of a unique race of people facing extinction also rests on
her shoulders . . . and some of them are determined to kill her.



“Thorne delivers a spellbinding thriller, an
enthralling blend of real-world policing and other-world magic. It’s a wild
ride of high stakes that pits the warm humanity of Rose and her friends against
chilling powers of darkness in a battle that is both ages old and totally of

—Barbara Kyle, author of The Traitor’s Daughter

“A deftly crafted and riveting read by an author with
an impressively deft ability to hold the reader’s rapt attention with her original
fantasy novel “House of Rose.” Readers new to her will look eagerly forward to
the next title in her new Magic City Stories series. While very highly
recommended for personal and community library Contemporary Fantasy Fiction
collections, it should be noted that “House of Rose” is also available in a
digital book format.”

Midwest Reviews

“Rookie cop Rose Brighton never imagined that a simple
suspect chase into an alley would lead her into dark passages where she would
question her definition of reality, her own identity, and whether she was pawn
or prey. HOUSE OF ROSE is a gem.”

DP Lyle,
award-winning author of the Jake Longly thriller series

“The life of Birmingham, Ala., rookie cop Rose
Brighton, the narrator of this promising paranormal series launch from Thorne (Noah’s
), veers into the extraordinary one night. . . . Thorne, a retired
captain in the Birmingham PD, grounds the fantasy with authentic procedural
details and loving descriptions of the city and its lore. Readers will look
forward to Rose’s further adventures.”

Publishers Weekly

“T.K. Thorne is an authentic, new voice in the world
of fantasy and mystery. THE HOUSE OF ROSE blends the realistic details of
police work with magic. The result is an explosive story that will keep you on
the edge of your seat as Rose learns of her true heritage…and the dangerous
powers that are her birthright. Pick up this story—you’ll thank yourself over
and over again.”

Carolyn Haines,
USA Today bestselling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney, Pluto’s Snitch, and
Trouble the black cat detective mystery series.

“House of Rose” is speculative fiction, a kind of fantasy, T.K. Thorne is so
knowledgeable about Birmingham and law enforcement that it is also, truly, a
police procedural and a thriller—something for everyone. House of Rose” is the
first of a series which should be a hit.”

Don Nobles,
reviewer for Alabama Public Radio

T.K. is a retired police captain who writes Books, which, like this blog, go wherever her interest and imagination take her.  More at TKThorne.com

Clicking Our Heels – Summer Flowers

Clicking Our
Heels – Summer Flowers

It’s summer
and the flowers are blooming. We all have different favorites – and some of us
even have a reason behind our choices.

Lynn McPherson – I like
lilies–all sorts. They bloom every year and produce big, colorful
flowers–can’t beat that!

– Black-eyed
susans because they make me smile.

Bethany MainesHydrangas.  No particular
reason.  I just love their giant poofs of color and their ability to
change color if you adjust the soil pH.

Kay Kendall – To survive in
Houston’s summer heat, a plant has to be tough. Of those types that can take
it, my favorite is the zinnia. Its flowers attract butterflies and
are excellent for cutting. Zinnias come in shades of red, orange,
pink, yellow, and white and bloom from spring through fall.

– Birds
of paradise (not sure if they are a summer flower) have a special place for me,
as well as starburst lilies. 

Ann Love
– I’m
not much of a flower person – especially since the smell causes me headaches.
But I do like the look of them all.

H. Goldstein
– Yellow Roses and Daisies because I like the contrast of the
power of the rose

and the delicacy of the daisy.

Penz Sheluk
– Lilacs
because I love the smell. Lupines by the side of the road at our camp on Lake
Superior because they thrive despite the harshness of the winters there.

– I
love the pop of bright red geraniums.

Cathy Perkins – I have to pick just one? I love flowers, but one of my current gardening challenges is the deer eat everything. So I’ve decided I absolutely love lavender. Although the deer are also leaving the day lilies alone. 
Shari Randall – I’m very partial to lilacs.
There was a giant, old lilac in my childhood home’s backyard, so big that there
was a space inside it just big enough for a few friends to fit inside. It was
the secret clubhouse for me and my neighborhood pals. The scent always brings
me back.

Linda Rodriguez I
love peonies and the plain old ditch lilies that all of the fancy daylilies
come from. I’m a huge flower lover so it’s difficult to pick a favorite. There
is also Rose of Sharon, the American hibiscus, that hummingbirds love, and
naked ladies, the American Amaryllis. I suppose I could just go on and on, but
I’ll stop there.

Mary Lee Ashford (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey) –   My
all time favorite flower is the Bird of Paradise but I’ve not been able grow
them here in the Midwest. These exotic flowers are bright orange and blue
and I love the contrast of the colors and the elegance of the plant. 


The Rose Wars, a Life Lesson–by T.K. Thorne

Writer, humanist,

          dog-mom, horse servant and cat-slave,

       Lover of solitude
          and the company of good friends,
        New places, new ideas
           and old wisdom.

A one-armed elderly man I knew long ago gave me a rosebush. To call it a bush was a stretch—three thorny sticks attached to a ball of dirt. I planted it in the yard along the pasture fence and forgot about it.

It grew. I was hardly a good shepherd, basically leaving it to live or die on its own. Profusions of delicate pink blossoms rewarded my neglect. The rosebush and I did our own thing as the years passed, unaware of a growing menace. It crept from the pasture, just a green background at first and then suddenly, without warning, the honeysuckle vines invaded, wrapping over and around the rosebush, smothering it. There was little I could do, as the other side of the fence was a hillside too steep to bush hog, protected by masses of thorny blackberry bushes.

It saddened me to see the roses smothered. I felt helpless. What kind of person was I to let my roses die? Yet, I like honeysuckle too. To breath in its presence is to inhale the summer’s prelude; to pull a drop of nectar onto my tongue sweeps me back to barefoot wanderings, to days of magic unraveling without care of time. It wasn’t the honeysuckle’s fault; it was just doing what honeysuckle vines do. The world is like that.

For a couple of years, I missed seeing the rich fountain of spring and summer roses and figured the rosebush was dead. It had its day, as do we all.

Then one year, I noticed a thorny spike thrusting through the mass of honeysuckle like a drowning man raising one arm above the water. Not dead. But no flowers. I’d almost rather it just went down and stayed down than to have to watch this.

The next year, a few more spikes appeared.

Well, good for you, stubborn old rose bush. Never give up. Who knows? Maybe it doesn’t have to be roses vs. honeysuckle; maybe they can coexist, find a peaceful way to drink the same sunlight and flourish.

Indeed they did. Not only is my fence line a mass of intoxicating blooming roses and honeysuckle this spring, but the strangest thing has happened. There, in the the sea of satin pink and honeysuckle gold, thrusting up and over in a delicate arch is a tendril of blood red roses! What? I never planted red roses there. Did a bird drop a seed into the dark mass of honeysuckle vines? Did a section of my pink bush somehow revert genetically?

I don’t know. I’m treating it as sort of a miracle, a message—maybe from my one-armed friend—to never give up, to remember that out of darkness and conflict and not having things come easily, a beautiful, unexpected thing can happen.

T.K. Thorne’s childhood passion for storytelling deepened when she became a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama.  “It was a crash course in life and what motivated and mattered to people.” In her newest novel, HOUSE OF ROSE, murder and mayhem mix with a little magic when a police officer discovers she’s a witch. 

Both her award-winning debut historical novels, NOAH’S WIFE and ANGELS AT THE GATE, tell the stories of unknown women in famous biblical tales—the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. Her first non-fiction book, LAST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE,
the inside story of the investigation and trials of the 1963 Birmingham
church bombing, was featured on the New York Post’s “Books You Should
Be Reading” list. 

loves traveling and speaking about her books and life lessons. She
writes at her mountaintop home near Birmingham, often with two dogs and a
cat vying for her lap. 

 More info at TKThorne.com. Join her private newsletter email list and receive a two free short stories at “TK’s Korner.