Happy Birthday to Me

WeddingsecretcoverHi, all!

Today is kind of a birthday…it’s a BOOK Birthday!

I have a new novella out today —THE WEDDING SECRET–based on Lucy Kevin’s “Four Weddings and a Fiasco” romance series.

This exciting for me for a whole new reason besides just having a new release. This is the first time I’ve ever written a Kindle Worlds story. What is that? Basically, there are certain stories or licensed “Worlds” created by other authors and a new author can sort of piggyback on that created world and write a new story out of it.

I was very excited to be invited to participate in Lucy Kevin’s world. Thank you so much for the opportunity! If you would like to read the first book in this series, it’s free now on Amazon. · The Wedding Gift ~  http://lucykevin.com/KW_Kevin1

I’m thrilled to be sharing this release day with these wonderful authors as well, so don’t forget to check out their sweet romances, too:

· A Wedding Miracle ~ Melissa Storm: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Storm
· The Wedding Arrangement ~ Stacey Wallace: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Wallace
· The Wedding Bridesmaid ~ Jennifer Conner: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Conner
· The Wedding Chaos ~ Isabel Micheals: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Micheals
· The Wedding Charade ~ Melissa McClone: http://lucykevin.com/KW_McClone
· The Wedding Day ~ Sharon Kleve: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Kleve
· The Wedding Do-Over ~ Jennifer Faye: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Faye
· The Wedding Gem ~ Ann M. Richardson: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Richardson
· The Wedding Fountain ~ Kathryn Le Veque: http://lucykevin.com/KW_LeVeque
· The Wedding Photo ~ Pamela Kelley: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Kelley
· The Wedding Secret ~ Jennifer Shirk: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Shirk
· The Wedding Snafu ~ Aaliyah Burke: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Burke
· Wedding Rules ~ Dee Tenorio: http://lucykevin.com/KW_Tenorio

Happy reading!!

~The Wedding Secret~

Ten years after a high school pregnancy left her abandoned by her family, single mother Brenna March is finally getting her life under control. In possession of her dream job as a florist at the Rose Chalet, one of the premier wedding spots in San Francisco, she’s about to prove her worth and take on her first wedding as head florist. Unfortunately, the best man is none other than Senator Ashton Mirenda—her old high school sweetheart and the father of the daughter he knows nothing about.

Ashton doesn’t have time for marriage or a family. He has other aspirations and the first is winning the next senate seat election. Or so he believes until he meets a woman from his past. Seeing Brenna again stirs something inside him he’d thought long dead, and he knows that he wants her beside him all the way to the White House. But Brenna is holding a ten year old secret, one which could not only hurt his chance for re-election but also their chance to rekindle the love they once shared.

 

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a 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. Check out her upcoming sweet romance: WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH releasing December 5, 2016.

Bridezilla or My Fair Wedding?

Deb.wedding

Looking sweet, but under all that satin and lace was a girl on a mission for the perfect wedding.

 

This month our theme is weddings and to be honest, bridal reality shows are among my favorites when it comes to guilty pleasures. Probably because I know if those shows were around 26 year ago I could have been a contender for my very own show (yes, I said 26…look at me, I was a BABY!)

What would my show be called? So glad you asked! I bet if you asked my mother, my father, my bridesmaids, my husband and anyone else even remotely associated with my wedding they would all know my favorite three words…so I would call my show, “IT’S MY DAY!”

I watch these popular shows depicting brides acting badly and I cringe. I fought with my mother over the fruit cup appetizers (I wanted salad, she wanted the fruit cup…she won that one) I fought with my sister over dying the shoes to match her maid-of-honor dress (I won) and I fought with my father over everything from the father-daughter dance song to having the entire wedding video taped – something relatively new and expensive 26 years ago (I won those fights too.) I wanted a whiskey-sour fountain at the cocktail hour, and I wanted to attend the cocktail hour…something normally not done at a NY wedding at the time. Yes, I won those arguments too.

I managed to have my fingers in every single aspect of MY DAY and refused to compromise on pretty much anything…talk about being driven and focused. My parents told my husband-to-be that I’d been planning my wedding since I was three and they were probably right. He should have run screaming, but he didn’t. Instead as the true hero he is, he adopted his own three word phrase in response to any question posed, “Whatever Deb wants.”

Gotta love a man who doesn’t interfere with a wedding 23 years in the making. I got my fairy tale wedding and I’m proud to say I didn’t need a reality TV show to do it. I didn’t manage to lose any friends in the process either – which is amazing to me when I look back at the dresses with the huge bows on their asses that I MADE them wear! (Sorry ladies!)

We all made it through MY DAY and it was wonderful. The band, the food and being surrounded by all the people I loved made the day perfect. And even though my father hated the video idea, now seeing those family members no longer with us, alive and enjoying the party, is priceless to him…took him 20 years but he thanked me!

When you watch the wedding shows do you remember how you behaved and think about what you would do differently? Were you a bridezilla?

Don’t forget any comments you make this month will get your name in a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card…so don’t be shy!

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.

A Lovely Wedding, A Beautiful You

One of the many hats I wore before becoming a mostly full time writer was that of a licensed esthetician. I managed a full service salon and spa for about ten years. It was one of the most fun jobs I’ve had. As you can see from my hair, it still hasn’t worn off.

Wedding parties were always a challenge. Managing to do hair, make-up and nails for a group of anywhere from three to ten girls, along with the mother of the bride, and sometimes the MIL to be, in a short amount of time left one feeling frazzled. In a good way.

So I thought I’d give you some tips on how to manage those pesky details that may not be mentioned in the How to Look Your Best on the Special Day wedding guide.

—Do get the groom and groomsmen haircuts the week before the wedding. Not the week of.

For the bride:

The best thing you can do is to think about the look YOU want. Spend some time looking at brides online, in magazines, etc. Pick a few looks for hair, make-up and nails. Bring pictures to the salon with you for discussion.

If you are getting hair, make-up and nails done professionally choose a group of stylists that you trust or find a group that’s highly recommended.

Hair: If you want to change your haircut or color start six months before the wedding. You need time to make sure you’re happy with your new look and also to make corrections if you’re not.

Do schedule a trial run about four to six weeks before the wedding. Make sure when you set your appointment you tell them you want a wedding up-do. These things take extra time. Be fair to yourself and give your stylist time to give you what you want. If you will be wearing a veil or putting flowers or something in your hair, bring it with you this time so you can be sure everything works with your hair.

The day of:  Do wear a button down shirt to the salon. You won’t have to take it off later, over your hair or make-up.

Make-Up: If you’re having it professionally done, do schedule a practice run so you can be sure the look you want looks good on you. The day of, is NOT the day to make adjustments. You’ll be nervous enough.

Remember, you are the star! You’ll be having photos taken of you the entire time, from every angle. You’ll need great make-up. If you’re not comfortable wearing a lot of make-up, practice. You’re not comfortable wearing a gown and heels all day either. The last thing you want is to look washed out.

If you’re doing your own, there are tons of how-to wedding make-up vids on YouTube. Make the time and practice in advance. You’ll be glad you did.

And the very last helpful hint I have, because this happened more often than not, is this – If you’re part of the wedding party, the bride asked you to be in her wedding because she cares for you. Don’t say bad things about her to the professionals who are working hard to make you look your best for her big day.

Now go out there and be beautiful!

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

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

5 Things NOT To Do When Planning a Wedding

What do I know about weddings?

Nothing really…

I remember the first time I was asked to be in a wedding, all I could think about was being able to dress up, wear a gown, get my hair and nails done, and whirl around in my dress with one of the groomsman, just like prom! Except I really didn’t get to pick my date. That was interesting.

When my best friend got married, I actually got to help her plan the wedding as her maid of honor, and let me share with you 5 things NOT to do when planning:

1. Listen to everyone but yourself – Yeah, we know there’s all these voices talking to you at once, what you should have, what you shouldn’t have, what needs to be done, what you shouldn’t do. It’s exhausting! But you need to go with your gut and find what you want because it’s YOUR day!

2. Let your mom pick your bridesmaids – Don’t do it! You think I’m joking? If you put all your cousins, sisters, and childhood friends in your wedding party because your mom said so, it may equate to disaster if you’re not close to any of these people! Even if they’re family! Your wedding party should be filled with people you love, people you want to help you celebrate this day by your side, people who are dependable and make sure you are where you’re supposed to be at certain times, people who will contribute to making the day dedicated to you and your love extra special! Remember, this is only once in a lifetime!

3. Wait until last minute – Do you want a nice wedding or something just totally thrown together? Why would you want to be running around crazy right before the big day? I’m telling you, you do not want your wedding to be a nightmarish memory when it could be a day of wonder! Get organize and plan, plan, plan! We waited until two days to look for flowers for the reception and let me tell you…BIG MISTAKE!

4. Forget Dancing! Let’s karaoke! – Um…yeah, all I have to say is DON’T DO IT!

5. Forget about taking care of yourself – It’s your day. It’s your life. As much as planning is important, you still have to remember that your happiness and the future is more important than the wedding itself. So don’t go crazy!

So those are my words of wisdom. Planning weddings even though they were not mine was fun, and I know for sure I’ll be better prepared when it’s my turn!

What’s your wedding advice?

Wedding Favors I made as the Maid of Honor! It's a lot of work!

Wedding Favors I made as the Maid of Honor! It’s a lot of work!

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

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.

Monique-Lhuillier-12407-large

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.

Tulle

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

 

About Julie Jarnagin

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and young son who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.com

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    The first two books in the Cupid's Cafe series release in June by Lori Sizemore and Landra Graf *** Lori Sizemore's Infamous 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, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.