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Welcome to Tuesday Wedding Tales blog series, where wedding themed stories are the fare.
It’s week three 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 giveaways and seven winners! Be sure to read to the end of the post for an excerpt of Mercy Me and enter the Rafflecopter for your chance at a free ebook.
Today’s Tuesday Wedding Tales guest is Pamela Ferguson and her book in the Trying Out for Love boxed set is Mercy Me. Pamela is giving away an ecopy of her book, Mercy Me, so be sure to enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win.
As I’ve mentioned before, this whole series started with a bridal auction for bridesmaid places in the wedding party–a bridezilla who demanded her bridesmaid bid for a spot in her wedding. To make matters worse, she and the groom, who is rich, plan to use the monies from the auction to fund their wedding and honeymoon. Bridezilla even expected her sister to bid on her place in the wedding party. She didn’t and that caused a gigantic stink. Honestly, we’re not making this up. The truth is stranger than fiction sometimes.
If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen two very different story ideas from the bridezilla bridesmaid auction news article. I think Pamela has come up with a great twist on a wedding and an auction combined into one book. I know she’s piqued my curiosity. Read on to discover Pamela’s take on our bridezilla story starter.
by Pamela Ferguson
A wedding and an auction in one book? Now, there’s a combination that can create unintended consequences—exactly what an author needs to change a basic story into a page-turner! I toyed with the idea of writing about a celebrity who hosts a bridal vendor auction to raise money for a favorite charity. But then I thought, What if the bridal vendor auction becomes the catalyst for a bunch of unintended consequences? Specifically, what if a small town bridal gown designer who wants to participate in the auction suddenly learns the billionaire father of the bride—a man she’s never met—has sent his right-hand man to stop her?
That’s the premise of my novella, Mercy Me, and, believe me, that auction led to a bunch of unintended consequences in the small town of Lilac, where all my books are set. I love writing sweet romances set in small towns because I love exploring how character reveals itself in the day-to-day interactions that take place between people. There’s a saying that goes, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Yet, I believe the way people handle the “small stuff” reveals much about who they are—what they value, how they treat others, why they want what they want. At the beginning of Mercy Me, Chloe Belmont and Luke Stratford are strangers pursuing different goals. Circumstances force them to work together, and, as the story unfolds, they discover they have more in common than they thought.
I hope you enjoy reading Mercy Me as much as I enjoyed writing it.
By Pamela Ferguson
Bridal dress designer Chloe Belmont can’t believe her good luck. She’s been invited to participate in a charity bridal vendor auction for the daughter of a Wall Street billionaire. Maybe now the women of Lilac will finally appreciate her dress designs.
New York executive Luke Stratford can’t figure out why his billionaire boss has sent him to keep Chloe Belmont away from his daughter’s bridal vendor auction. What should’ve been a simple business negotiation turns personal when Luke realizes he has feelings for Chloe. As Luke discovers the real reasons for this assignment, will he be able to choose between doing his job and protecting the woman he loves?
There had to be a mistake.
Luke Stratford squinted at his phone and double-checked the rhinestone-studded numbers on the mailbox. He studied the white farm house with its sprawling wrap-around porch. His gaze wandered to the distant Blue Ridge Mountains, mere foothills compared to the Cascade Range he’d left long ago. Still, the cool autumn air, clean and crisp as only mountain air could be, poked his senses, reminding him there was a world beyond the Manhattan skyscrapers he now called home.
The sausage and green pepper breakfast burrito he’d snagged at JFK for his 6 a.m. flight roiled his stomach. Why would his boss, Martin Dalwich, a man who could buy a town like Lilac twenty times over, send him here to prevent a bridal salon from working at his super-model daughter’s upcoming wedding?
As if anyone with an ounce of sense would need convincing to stay as far away as possible from that matrimonial three-ringed circus. Not that he didn’t like Azure Dalwich and her fiancé. They were great people. But a bridal vendor auction to benefit an endangered blue butterfly? No matter how noble the cause, an event like this was going to attract publicity hounds anxious to donate extravagant amounts of money in exchange for photo ops with the superrich.
I don’t care what you have to do, Martin Dalwich had shouted, red-faced, clutching the list of invited vendors. Keep Belmont Bridal away from this auction.
Luke shook his head. Sure, the boss had been under pressure lately, assuring employees the accusations of insider trading were lies fabricated by his enemies. Company gossip had it Dalwich now spent most days holed up in his office with his inner circle of close advisors. Luke had been surprised when he’d received the call, summoning him to Dalwich’s office. He’d gotten on upper management’s radar five years before when he’d spotted a ten-million-dollar accounting error that everyone else had missed. Dalwich had promoted him out of his account manager job and given him a private corner office with the words Special Projects on the door. Whenever an issue arose that needed additional scrutiny, it made its way through the management chain to Luke’s desk.
This assignment was nothing like the other financial problems he’d tracked down. Instead of discussing the insider trading rumors as he had hoped Dalwich might, his boss had stunned him by launching a rant about his daughter’s bridal vendor auction.
He shut off the engine and sat back against the seat. What had Belmont Bridal, with its frilly curtains, pink-shuttered windows, and mailbox shaped like a fairy princess carriage, done to tick off a hard-nosed billionaire like Martin Dalwich? Even if the auction invitation had been a mistake, why not allow Belmont Bridal to participate and lose? There was no way this small-town shop could compete with rich New York designers.
But asking how high when management said jump had proven to be a winning strategy, gaining Luke a Fifth Avenue condo, a closet of Italian suits, and name recognition with headwaiters at the top restaurants in New York. Sure, the days were long, and having to be on call 24/7 to investigate every obscure request meant zero personal life. But that was a fair trade for enjoying wealth and prestige beyond his wildest dreams, wasn’t it?
The sooner he convinced Belmont Bridal to stay away from the auction, the sooner he could return to New York, to the world where he belonged.
Want to read more? Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win the book. No purchase necessary. Or if you can’t wait, Mercy Me 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.
About the Author:
Pamela Ferguson is the author of sweet romances set in small towns. Specializing in gossips, meddlers, matchmakers, and happily-ever-afters, Pamela loves dreaming up complications that wreak havoc in the lives of her characters. Her determined heroes and resourceful heroines are forever doing battle with narrow-minded mischief makers. Who knew there were so many bumps on the road to love? Wings of Love, the first novel in her small town romance series, won the 2017 RWA Golden Heart® Award for Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements. True Hearts, the second novel in The Lilac Series, is available now on Amazon. Mercy Me, a Lilac novella and the third book in the series, is also available in the Trying Out for Love boxed set.