Ever After

One of my favorite rainy day movies is Drew Barrymore’s play on Cinderella, Ever After.  An unexpected love weaves a tale of star-crossed lovers that struggle through to that almighty HEA.  The much sought Happily-Ever-After.  But I’d never looked at the movie from the wedding/marriage perspective.  Ok, I admit it.  I’m weird.  I wasn’t a dreamy little girl that played wedding with my Barbie’s.  My own environment didn’t encourage the dreams that many may have of planning the perfect wedding.  I’ve never been one to want the spotlight.  I’ll often avoid situations to keep that from happening.  I didn’t cut out pictures, or wish for the princess style flowing white gown.  I’m not, and never have been, a girly-girl.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I love me some bling but I don’t wear it often.  I’m a flip-flops and t-shirt kinda gal.  Ya know…jeans and boots during the winter.  So I’d never put much into the thought of what my dream wedding might be.  My wedding turned out to be more about sharing that special moment with friends and family than the little details so many stress over.  I didn’t even try on my wedding dress until the day I walked down the aisle.  Or grassy hill I should say.  My idea of the perfect wedding?  It’s not about the fashion, the flowers, the filet mignon…it’s the meaning behind the vows.  The wedding was all about sharing our commitment with friends and family.

I met my husband through friends when he first moved to town almost thirteen years ago.  I was a single mom that worked full-time and had returned to college.  I had my hands full and a handsome cowboy, that was younger than me, didn’t fit in that schedule except when my son wasn’t home.  But the cowboy was persistent and refused to give up.  When it came time for us to talk about a ceremony…it was all about a simple, close friends and family get together only.  That was the plan until my mother got ahold of the planning.  Her and her posse.  They may have taken over but they were also good about looking at who we were as a couple.  A western style wedding was the only true way to go.

And everything that could go wrong almost did.  I couldn’t find a western style wedding gown but did at the last second.  It was a little loose so I ordered a size smaller thinking I’d diet.  Ha.  If you know how much I like to cook and feed my cowboys…you’d be laughing too.  So as I was getting dressed…I wondered if I’d even be able to zip it up considering I’d never tried it on.  It fit perfectly.  My husband went to pick up his black, western cut tux jacket he was going to wear with jeans, boots, and his black cowboy hat, and it was the wrong size.  He and his friends went on a wild goose chase trying to find the shop that had his size in stock.  They ended up going the wrong direction and barely made it back…we’re talking 30 minutes to spare.  I dropped one of the decorations on the groom’s cake and we had to make repairs as guests were walking in.  The DJ responsible for the music showed up and had forgotten to bring the cd’s we requested.  So we were digging cd’s out of our vehicles 30 minutes before the ceremony began.  We chose to get married at a cabin on the lake with the ceremony in late June…in the typical Oklahoma heat.  The boats and jet ski noise in the background were an added plus.

And then there was the fact that I hate being in the spotlight.  I stepped out of the building to walk down the lawn to my groom…and realized a hundred plus people were standing up and staring at me.  I was walking in heels…in the grass…in a long, full dress.  I can barely remember the ceremony itself but I survived, after I took off my crinoline slip and heels, and we have a wonderful, funny story about our wedding that people still talk about.  We had barbeque and a full bar.  We had our friends and family.  We had great music and people stripping on the dance floor.  And I tear up thinking about how much it all meant to me…then and now.  It was all I could dream of and more.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Wedding Reads

file000353140187Happy June!

I love that we here at the Heart-Shaped Glasses blog picked “weddings” as this month’s theme.

I happen to be a June bride! In fact, my anniversary is tomorrow…

(just sayin’)

As a reader and writer, I think “weddings” make the perfect backdrop for a romance. Who doesn’t like a wedding? Neurotic brides, beautiful dresses, love, romantic proposals, jealousy, friendship, crazy families, stress—there are so many interesting facets to them.

Now, put all those things in a fiction book and you can really have a lot of fun as a writer!

My next book I plan to write will incorporate a wedding. My heroine’s mother is getting remarried—to my heroine’s ex boyfriend’s father! Needless to say, the wedding will be a perfect opportunity to bring my hero and heroine back together again (whether they like it or not) 🙂

Do you like to stories that involve weddings too?

Well, here’s a rundown of some of my favorite wedding reads:

**Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin  (one groom but the best friend has the hots for him–chick-lit)

**I Do, but I Don’t by Cara Lockwood (about the crazy mishaps of a wedding planner–chick-lit)

**Save the Date by Tamara Summers   (YA book about a girl who has four sisters planning weddings–really fun!)

**Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson (about a wedding photographer and the competition she falls for)

**The Brides Quartet Series by Nora Roberts (I especially love this one! All four books were very romantic as the characters created weddings for other people)

Ah, so much drama to be had! I hope you get to check out some of these books this month for yourself. And if you’re a writer, I hope our theme inspires your own wedding story!

Are you a June bride? Do you have a favorite fictional wedding read?

**Also, don’t forget all commenters this month have a chance of winning our $5 Amazon GC Giveaway!

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. 🙂

Say No to the (Cookie-Cutter) Wedding

cookiecutterMy wedding was disastrous, mostly because I just wanted to be married. And we were very broke. My dress was horrifically ugly, my husband drank a six-pack of beer before (I told him then this was not grounds for taking it back), the decorations and cake were a wedding gift from friends who knew we’d never pull it off otherwise. But, I didn’t choose any of it. As the years go by, I realize how not me (or him) it was. I threaten often to renew our vows in an Elvis impersonator ceremony, in Vegas. Maybe this explains my passion for great weddings.

My cousin recently remarried the love of her life. It’s a long story (and not mine, so I won’t tell it), but romance novel worthy. Here’s the thing: it was nothing like a wedding. Nothing. At least not the fairy tale our society and commercial industries spend billions perpetuating.

I hate that we’re raised, as girls, dreaming of this cookie-cutter experience. Every wedding should be individual. That’s my single voice in a chorus of millions saying different.

I’m leaving you with my favorite wedding video. It never fails to make me smile. Because weddings should speak of who the couple is, what their lives have been, and what they hope it will be.

Jill & Kevin’s Wedding Entrance Dance

Don’t forget that every comment this month will be entered to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card from the talented Jennifer Shirk! What’s your great wedding story? I really, really want to know. Feed my wedding story addiction.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Wedding Dresses

Yesterday was my 12th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary, Kevin!

I loved our church wedding, and I still like the simple wedding dress I chose.

Wedding Photo

One of the fun things about writing romance novels is getting to create fictional love stories, proposals, and weddings. It’s like getting to plan a wedding without the stress and without the budget. Wedding dresses make appearances in a couple of my books. I love watching shows about brides choosing their dress, and I enjoy shopping online for them for my stories.

The dress below had a large role in my book Canyon Crossing. I loved how sweet and romantic it is.


A book I recently finished writing, The Wedding Chapel, features this wedding dress in the opening scene. I wanted the bride to be in a sea of tulle.


Describe your dream wedding dress. Or if you’re married, what did your wedding dress look like?


About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

The Happy Ever After…After ~ with Jeannie Moon

Welcome to June and here at Heart-Shaped Glasses it’s wedding season! Today I’m thrilled to introduce our guest, Jeannie Moon! Her debut romance is burning up the charts and it takes place in a location I know well…Long Island! Welcome Jeannie!

The Happy Ever After…After.

It’s June and just like everywhere else love is in bloom and weddings are everywhere.

The Temporary Wife, my debut contemporary romance from Intermix, starts out with a marriage of convenience. But this wasn’t a hasty, run-away-to-Vegas-and-marry-quick wedding. No, Meg and Jason’s beautiful wedding was staged in a vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island and they honeymooned on his yacht. He is a billionaire remember.

Such is the stuff of romance dreams, but when I thought about the book and about the wedding that Meg had, I came to the conclusion as so many do, that the story just begins there. The wedding is the first chapter on a long, epic adventure. So the mini wedding cakes and the designer dress and shoes, the food, the yacht, none of that means anything. In the end it comes down to two people. And that’s not the end…that’s the beginning.

Meg and Jason face many trials and tribulations to get to their happy ever after, but that’s true for all of us. My husband and I have been married for almost twenty-five years and while my wedding day is still a beautiful memory, it’s everything that’s come after that’s made this special.

When we read romance novels, we know the happy ever after is coming. It’s why we read them, but a real marriage, a real happy ever after comes after the couple says I do.

That’s when the love story starts.


Moon headshot

Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books. Married to her high school sweet¬heart, Jeannie has three kids, two lovable dogs and a mischievous cat and resides on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy. The Temporary Wife is her first book. Visit Jeannie’s website at www.jeanniemoon.com

The Temporary Wife

TheTemporaryWife (2)It was an offer she couldn’t refuse…from a man she couldn’t resist.

Kindergarten teacher Megan Rossi is devoted to being a mother to her best friend’s five-year-old daughter, Molly. When the child was orphaned, Meg became the little girl’s legally named guardian—over the objections of Molly’s wealthy grandparents, the Campbells. Now the Campbells are petitioning for custody, and Meg is faced with a long and expensive legal battle. The last thing she expects is for her former high school boyfriend—and the Campbells’ estranged son—to offer a solution: marriage.

Billionaire software developer Jason Campbell knows his parents don’t have Molly’s best interests at heart—it’s all about control for them. There is one way he can ensure that his sister’s last wishes are honored. He will offer Meg the protection of his name and lawyers until the custody arrangement has been finalized , then he’ll secure his niece’s future with a very generous divorce settlement. Jason’s considered all the scenarios, except one—that the sparks that once flew between he and Meg might reignite a burning passion. And that his confirmed bachelor heart might just melt away from the heat…

You can find The Temporary Wife on Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Follow Jeannie on her blog, on her Facebook page and on Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by today to welcome our first guest of the month! What a great way to kick off our season of weddings!


About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Heart-Shaped Glasses May Mash-up

Welcome to our first mash-up! Never been to a mash-up before? Well, you’re in for a treat – a big heart-shaped treat, that is. Because all the ladies here love to share, once a month we’re going to share with you some of our favorites from around the web.

Tina’s pick of the month:

This awesome list of worksheets for writers that includes spreadsheets, worksheets, etc. for plotting and story structure.


Julie’s picks of the month:

Potential Husbands from YA Fantasy: A Comparison Chart
25 Vintage Photos of Librarians Being Awesome
Lori’s pick of the month:
Jennifer’s finds of the month:
How to Immediately Become a More Productive (and Better) Writer
Bethanne’s top picks of the month:
Debora’s hot picks of the month:
Cool Writing Fiction Plotting Cheat Sheet
* * *
Have a great day and we’ll see you again next month with more of our favorite views around the web!

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

  • Our LATEST Buzz!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series were released in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous was released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, A PROPOSAL & PUMPKIN PIE is on sale for .99 through Thanksgiving.