Author Post by Kate Clayborn

When it comes to gardening, my husband and I have an arrangement that’s evolved over time: I’m secretary of the interior, and he’s secretary of the exterior. Since we’ve lived in our house, he’s built our fence, constructed beds for the vegetable garden, and dug out plots for landscape features. For the past couple of years, he’s been pretty invested in attracting monarch butterflies, which means lots of beautiful experiments with wildflowers.

As for me? Well, I contribute pretty regularly to our outdoor garden, but unless I’ve got SPF ten million and someone giving me compliments about my work ethic every thirty seconds, I’m less in love with the big projects that sometimes go along with outdoor gardening. A little harvesting from our lavender plants, sure…but digging out a huge new garden bed that’s going to require tons of mulch? Well, I think I’ll stay inside…

But me and indoor plants, we get along just fine. When I was younger, I thought I’d never get the hang of keeping a plant alive, but over time, maintaining a set of indoor plants has become really special to me, and that’s because nearly every plant I have in my house comes from a cutting given to me by a loved one.

My first ancestral plant comes from my dad, who’s been cultivating the same spider plant since the 1970s and handing out cuttings to literally every single person in the family. It’s become a bit of a joke among us, but at the same time, it’s so special to have a plant in my house that comes from a plant in the house I grew up in! Every time I water it I think of my dad, and I’ve made cuttings from my plant and given them to friends.

Another special one comes from a dear friend who passed along a gorgeous aloe plant from her garden before she moved to Florida. Beside it I keep a small black begonia from a friend in Ohio, which blooms with beautiful, delicate pink flowers each spring.

Maybe the most unique ancestral plant I have is a rare night blooming cereus, given to us by a friend who himself cultivated his from an cutting. It’s grown pretty huge for a houseplant, but the best thing about it is that it blooms only once a year, for a single night. Each year, we watch out for a small bloom to appear on one of the huge, cactus-like leaves, and then we wait. On the night of the bloom, the flower begins to open around 9:00. It’s the most beautiful flower, with the most unbelievably lovely fragrance—and by 6:00 am, it’s gone. It feels like a little mystery in our house, and I love it so much.

So while these plants we keep around are decorative, they’re also wonderful reminders of people we love—and they keep me in a springtime spirit even during the long months of winter!

Buying a lotto ticket with her two best friends didn’t change Zoe’s life. Only following her heart would do that . . .

Sure, winning the lottery allows Zoe Ferris to quit her job as a cutthroat corporate attorney, but no amount of cash will clear her conscience about the way her firm treated the O’Leary family in a wrongful death case. So she sets out to make things right, only to find gruff, grieving Aiden O’Leary doesn’t need—or want—her apology. He does, however, need something else from her. Something Zoe is more than willing to give, if only to ease the pain in her heart, a sorrow she sees mirrored in his eyes . . .

Aiden doesn’t know what possesses him to ask his family’s enemy to be his fake fiancée. But he needs a bride if he hopes to be the winning bid on the campground he wants to purchase as part of his beloved brother’s legacy. Skilled in the art of deception, the cool beauty certainly fits the bill. Only Aiden didn’t expect all the humor and heart Zoe brings to their partnership—or the desire that runs deep between them. Now he’s struggling with his own dark truth—that he’s falling for the very woman he vowed never to forgive.