A Conversation With Rob Columbus by Alyse Carlson

The Begonia BribeIntroducing Rob Columbus, paramour of Cam Harris, the sleuth in The Garden Society Mysteries:

Today is one of those days I’m glad to be me. Alarm set for ten AM, lunch date with my gorgeous girlfriend, Cam, afternoon baseball games (watching a college one, then playing one in the local amateur league) and then doubleheader basketball in the evening. Oh, I know, some of you are shouting ‘get a job’ but that’s the beauty of it; I’m a sports reporter, so this is my job. I get up late because I have to stay up late, prioritizing the syndicated sports stories for my editor and meeting my own deadlines, but during the day most days? Sports, sports, sports.

Roanoke is smallish, and not what you’d call a prime sports market, but between colleges and being a stone’s throw from Washington DC, I get to enough live games to keep me happy. And I also get to write off the fancy cable that lets me watch four games at once, so I’m not complaining.

Very often.

There is the issue of defining sports. My boss seems to feel anything with an element of competition qualifies as sports, which is how he roped me into covering the Little Miss Begonia Pageant my girlfriend is coordinating. Now this isn’t college age beauties in swimsuits. This is elementary school girls, competing on talent, coordination, and poise.

Cam’s best friend Annie has been Tweeting me messages harassing me since Cam told her I’d be the reporter for the event. She even photoshopped a picture of me with a tiara and sash. That’s Annie, though. Any chance to tease someone and she takes it. It’s a good thing she bakes the world’s best brownies and brings out Cam’s playful side, or I might be annoyed.

I will just have to hope this event is as exciting as the last one I helped Cam with—that one ended up with a couple murders: a young reporter’s dream!


Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of THE BEGONIA BRIBE to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. Contest ends May 24; US entries only per publisher’s request.


You can read more about Rob in The Begonia Bribe , the second book in the “Garden Society” mystery series. The first book in the series is The Azalea Assault.

The Begonia Bribe Synopsis
Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’s job to promote them. But when a pint-sized beauty contest comes to town, someone decides to deliver a final judgment.

A beauty pageant for little girls—the Little Miss Begonia Pageant—has decided to hold their event in a Roanoke park. Camellia is called in to help deal with the botanical details, the cute contestants, and their catty mothers. She soon realizes that the drama onstage is nothing compared to the judges row. There’s jealousy, betrayal, and a love triangle involving local newsman—and known lothario—Telly Stevens. And a mysterious saboteur is trying to stop the pageant from happening at all. But the drama turns deadly when Stevens is found dead, poisoned by some sort of plant. With a full flowerbed of potential suspects, Cam needs to dig through the evidence to uproot a killer with a deadly green thumb.

Meet the author
Alyse Carlson is the pen name for Hart Johnson who can be found at Confessions of a Watery Tart, Facebook, her author page, or Twitter.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

36 responses to “A Conversation With Rob Columbus by Alyse Carlson

  1. Debbie Carney

    I’d love to win the book 🙂 It looks great

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  2. Sounds like another fun read. Count me in. Dee

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  3. Nancy Bradford

    Sounds like a real fun book.

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  4. Being a sports reporter sounds like fun!

    I love the cover on this book. 🙂

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  5. Barbara Jones

    Sounds great! Thanks for the opportunity!

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  6. jill george

    I havent read this author but the book sounds good would love to read it

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  7. Kathy Gonzales

    I would love to start this series, winning a copy would be great!

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  8. He’s a good sport to cover the pageant. (Pun intended!)

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  9. Sounds like a great premise on which to base a new cozy series. I like the idea of this and would like very much to win this book. The cover art work is great; that is something that I always take note of. Thanks for including me in this giveaway.

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  10. Looks like a fun read!

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  11. I’d love to win!

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  12. Thank you for the chance to win. This is a fun series.

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  13. I would absolutely love to win a copy of Hart’s book – and I have a feeling Cam’s boyfriend might get his wish… 🙂

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  14. (aka: Alyse Carlson)
    Dru-thank you so much for hosting today! I hope those of you who plan to read it really enjoy it!

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  15. Oh Rob!! Be careful what you wish for when you cover the pageant. Just sayin! 😉

    Take care
    x

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  16. I’d would love to win this book. It looks like such a fun read and I love the cover.

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  17. Sounds like a great book, beauty pageants and sports. Plus a little romance and mystery, perfect.

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  18. Yes, the cover would attract me in a bookstore. I love flowers anyway, but the pageant would be an extra interest. I don’t own any Johnson/Carlson books yet but I’d like to. Thanks. judydee22002@yahoo dot com

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  19. Sounds like good, fun reading.

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  20. Having read the previous book in this series, I simply have to win this book.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. What a fun post. I can just see this guy interviewing all those elementary school girls and trying to stay professional. LOL. I also loved the cover.

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  22. Jan Mackinem

    I haven’t read any of this series, but this certainly grabbed my interest! I would love to win a copy and will be adding this series to my ever-growing reading list!

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  23. I would really like to read this series. I read the author’s blog all the time. She is so funny!

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  24. Lisa Garrett

    This is a new series for me. I would love to read it!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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  25. Kristi Accola

    Loved The Azalea Assault…and am looking forward to this book as well.

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  26. Mary K. Deane

    Hart Johnson is such a talented, FUNNY, extraordinary person, writer and friend! Would love to win a copy of her latest book!!

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  27. I think saying that a little miss beauty pageant is a sport is really a hoot. The humor in this book should be entertaining.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  28. This looks like an entertaining cozy! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  29. Gretchen Ruark

    Really enjoyed the first one – looking forward to reading this one too!!

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  30. Sounds like a fun read.

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  31. shelly womack

    can’ t wait to read this book. loved the first one.

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  32. Loved the Azalea Assault. So nice to hear a bit from Rob, in his own words.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  33. Stacie Amelotte

    I know I’m going to love this series. Thanks for the giveaway. Fingers crossed. 🙂

    Scouts579(at)aol(dot)com

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  34. Love this series. Have a great weekend. elisanabby at gmail dot com

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  35. thanks Hart for stopping by and introducing us to Rob.

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  36. Contest is closed, but comments are always welcome

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