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Welcome to Tuesday Wedding Tales blog series, where wedding themed stories are the fare.

It’s week two in the Trying Out for Love promo and giveaway. Each week readers can enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post’s book excerpt for a chance to win one of six books in the Trying Out for Love boxed set or the complete boxed set of six books. Seven chances and seven winners! Be sure to read to the end of the post for an excerpt of Bidding on the Bouquet and enter the Rafflecopter for your chance at a free ebook.

Today’s featured book in the boxed set is Bidding on the Bouquet, by Catherine Castle.

As I mentioned last week, this whole series began with a bridezilla news article. If you’ve ever watched any reality television and seen some of the bridezilla stories, you think of brides behaving badly—divas who think of no one but themselves, wedding dress disasters, wedding venue disasters and much more. But I’d never heard of this kind of bridezilla—a woman, marrying a rich man, who decided to make her bridesmaids bid for spots in her wedding party. The story struck a creative chord in several of the authors who read the article and who then took up the challenge to write a book using this story starter. And we all had some very interesting twists on the original story.

 

To Bid or Not to Bid—That is the Question

To bid or not to bid was a question a number of the real-life ladies, including the bride’s sister, must have asked themselves when they found out about bridezilla’s bridesmaid auction. By the way, the real bridezilla’s sister chose not to bid.

To bid or not to bid was also the question my heroine, down-on-her-luck grad student Marietta Wilson, briefly asked herself when she received an invitation, out of the blue, to “buy” a bridesmaid’s spot in a wedding for a girl she hardly knew.

Marietta thought that one-hundred dollars to reserve a spot to bid, and then spend who knows how much more money, was a waste of resources that could be put to better use.

But my bridezilla had a very special inducement for her bridesmaids. One of them would not only get a coveted spot in the wedding of the year, but a chance to catch the bridal bouquet containing a solid gold rose nestled among the flowers. Who could resist that? Obviously not my heroine, otherwise there’d be no story.

 

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Bidding on the Bouquet

By Catherine Castle

 

Two people from different social classes.

Two different philosophies.

One bridal bouquet to unite them.

 

Excerpt

 

You are invited to participate in the season’s most prestigious event.

Date: June 17

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Place: The Vandermere Estate

Event: The auction of bridesmaids’ positions for Chrissy Vandermere’s wedding

Light refreshments will be served

Chrissy is auctioning off a chance to be an attendant in her wedding.

Winners will be escorted down the aisle by New York’s finest bachelors,

and they will procure a bridesmaid-only spot at the tossing of the bride’s bouquet event.

Chrissy guarantees one of the bridesmaids will catch the bouquet,

containing a solid 14-carat rose-gold flower.

Opening bids begin at $100 and are non-refundable. Cash only.

You may make an opening bid higher than $100 if you choose.

Please RSVP by April 30

 

Marietta dug into the envelope again and retrieved a smaller card and matching envelope.

 

I, ________________________, will be pleased to attend the auction.

My opening bid is $_______

Should I win a spot, I will be available on August 9

to be part of the wedding party

for Chrissy Vandermere

and

Jock Sterlingson

 

Stunned, Marietta reread the invitation. Chrissy Vandermere? The only Vandermere she knew was her wealthy classmate Chip Vandermere, and they weren’t on real talking terms. Nor did they run in the same circles. They only had a few of the same classes and a couple of case studies together in which he had commandeered the group. The guy thought himself a born, or rather a privileged, leader. His attitude had driven her nuts, and, although he was one hot guy who knew he had undeniable sex appeal, she’d stayed away from him as much as she could. She was at the MBA program to learn and conquer, not be someone’s conquest.

Is he related to this Chrissy?

If so, the whole auction idea was totally insane. Chip Vandermere had so much money he could afford to pay bridesmaids to be in a wedding. No need to auction off the spots. Besides, why should anyone spend money to be in her wedding—or any wedding for that matter? And why had the bride invited her to participate? Even though she’d spent the last six years at an elite private college, she didn’t hang around with the sort of people who had money to throw away on frivolous things such as bridesmaid auctions. She’d spent her undergrad and postgrad years nose-to-the-grindstone, studying and pinching her pennies.

Then she remembered. As a college senior, she had contact with a Chrissy, a rich, air-headed girl, who talked of nothing but herself. She’d never mentioned having siblings. The beautiful, but not-very-bright, student, had asked Marietta to help her pass an exam—and not in the study-hard-so-you-can-pass way. She’d refused, convincing Chrissy to join the study group instead. Chrissy got a D plus, but she’d at least done it honestly. Marietta wasn’t certain the rich debutante had appreciated being spared the indignity of cheating. But if the Chrissy she knew was this Chrissy Vandermere, and if she remembered who she was after two years and invited her to bid on her bouquet, maybe she’d learned a lesson.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe taunting her with the idea she might win something of great value—a 14-carat rose-gold flower—was some sort of joke.

The time the two of them spent together, however, hadn’t been rosy. When she wasn’t trying to cram knowledge into Chrissy’s bubble head, Marietta continually dodged the girl’s questions about her background. She had tried to keep all conversation focused on learning. Chrissy, however, kept pressing for information: how did Marietta get into the elite-of-elite private college where everyone knew everyone else, where did she come from, and why didn’t she ever go out with the rest of the group? The simple truth was, unlike her other classmates, Marietta came from such a dirt poor, dysfunctional, crooked family that if anyone knew her real background they would ostracize her even more. Ducking the questions hadn’t satisfied Chrissy, forcing Marietta to leave the group to keep from being outted as a pretender and fake. Someone who didn’t belong in the exclusive circles of the rich.

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Want to read more? Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win the book. No purchase necessary. Or if you can’t wait, Bidding on the Bouquet is available on Amazon. Winners will be announced February 20 at the end of the Trying Out for Love author guest posts. Remember, all six authors are giving away an ecopy of their book in the series. A boxed set of Trying Out for Love is also in the giveaway. Seven chances and seven winners! Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Castle is a multi-award-winning author who loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she quilts and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place is in her garden. She’s a passionate gardener who won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

 

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing. Her latest release, Bidding on the Bouquet, from Forget Me Not Romances, is an inspirational contemporary romance. Her books are available on Amazon.

Connect with Catherine at her website  Twitter @AuthorCCastle or Facebook