Everything is blooming here in NorCal! Our garden is bursting and I love seeing all the beauty. I also love the delicious scents of star jasmine, orange blossom, and roses.

And fun fact… star jasmine is featured in a scene in my upcoming debut novel, Everything We Thought Was True! It’s a mother-daughter scene, so I thought of is a lot this past Mother’s Day weekend. My mother passed away in 2010, before I moved to California. So she never got to visit me here and smell the star jasmine. She was amazing. I carry her in my heart. And my book is inspired by her (and my awesome dad, who is thankfully very much still alive) and dedicated to her and my father. ❤️

Here’s a little snippet.

Teresa loved how her daughter owned a house. Not just a house, but also the land it sat on, the gardens, the trees—everything. It had an orange tree in the yard. An actual orange tree. The concept was so foreign to Teresa that it felt like she’d been transported to a different country. She smelled something divine. She wondered which plant it was. They were so different from the ones on the East Coast.

“What’s that amazing smell?” she asked Lena, who’d come outside to join her on the patio.

“Star jasmine. Isn’t it heavenly?” Lena said, handing Teresa a mug of tea.

“Thanks, sweetie,” Teresa said, grabbing the mug. “Yes, it’s amazing. I love it.”

Lena sat down next to her and smiled as she looked out over the garden. “I’m so glad you’re here, Mom,” she said, grasping Teresa’s hand and squeezing it.

“Me too,” Teresa said, stroking Lena’s hand.