Welcome to Tuesday Wedding Tales blog series, where wedding themed stories are the fare.
It’s week five 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 The Matchmaking Wedding Planner and enter the Rafflecopter for your chance at a free ebook. To see the list of books in the Rafflecopter just click on the circles in the entry box and you can scroll through the book titles.
Today’s featured book in the boxed set is The Matchmaking Wedding Planner
I’m pleased to introduce Bonnie Engstrom, the woman who started this whole crazy bridezilla/bridesmaid bidding journey. Bonnie was the one who sent the original news story about the bridezilla’s bridesmaid auction to the ACFW email loop. This bizarre story made the rounds on social media, garnered a lot of social media comments, and provided loads of inspiration for six authors. Thanks for an interesting writing journey, Bonnie, and some great story ideas. It’s been a lot of fun!
Behind the Story
By Bonnie Engstrom
I love, love, love weddings! Almost all of my books have one, and I’ve always been fascinated by all the details and frou-frou that they require. Designing a wedding is like producing a play, hopefully an award-winning one. Almost twenty years ago while “producing” my daughter’s wedding, I became close friends with her wedding coordinator, Jill. I learned so much from Jill and admired her expertise. Thus, Jill has become a fictitious character in many of my books, but she’s never had a story of her own . . . until now. I think she handles the crazy bride situation with aplomb in difficult circumstances, and I hope you do, too. Look for more Jill stories in the future.
The Matchmaking Wedding Planner
By Bonnie Engstrom
What’s a wedding coordinator to do with a crazy bride?
Jill Spooner is the ultimate wedding planner, a role she loves . . . until the Trumble wedding. She’s been in her wedding coordinating business, Divine Weddings, for over twenty years, but she’s never encountered a situation like this one. Nor, a bride like this one. She had privately nicknamed Jessica the bride a “spoiled brat” for insisting on having an auction to fulfill her bridesmaid spots. With the bids starting in the hundreds, she wonders if anyone will show up.
When her niece Lizzie and her friend Carolyn drive from Scottsdale to Newport Beach to participate in the auction, mostly for the fun of it, Jill predicts one of them will win the Maid of Honor spot. They even devise a dress up scheme based on the bride’s idea of a storybook wedding. It works well, until Carolyn raises her bidding paddle.
Lizzie’s love struck friend Brad shows up in Newport Beach to court her. Jill helps him with a plan, but what to do with Carolyn while he romances Lizzie? Suddenly she’s a matchmaker, and a problem solver for the wedding party. None of that was in her contract. Fortunately, as an experienced consultant, she pulls ideas and answers out of her sleeve when shocking love secrets are revealed. Who really loves whom? Was Jessica the bride-to-be lying? What about her twin brother’s college roommate? Thank goodness Jill took an iron-clad, non-refundable deposit from the Trumbles. She will earn every dollar as the wedding coordinator in captivity. She is almost ready to give up the wedding coordinating business when her matchmaking proves fruitful. Suddenly, she finds herself planning two more weddings that take her out of her element, and out of state. Will she be able to pull them off? Maybe she should start a matchmaking business.
“This is the most ridiculous wedding I’ve ever coordinated.” Jill Spooner flared her nostrils, scrunched up her nose trying to ignore the age lines, and pursed her lips. Agh. More wrinkles. “What is the point of hiring Divine Weddings and me when she doesn’t even have attendants? Stupid girl, stupid wedding.” Jill looked in the mirror and glared at her image. “Fortunately, I have the huge, non-refundable deposit,” she mumbled to the woman in the reflection trying to ignore the lines around her eyes and lips. After all, they were lines earned.
“I can’t wait for the auction. Wonder if anyone will show up? I know Lizzie and Carolyn will be there tomorrow. I wonder what characters they decided to play.”
She tweezed a stray gray hair on her left eyebrow and made a face in the glass. “Guess I will have the ‘privilege,’ as Margaret Trumble the bride’s mother called it, to open the responses and make a list. At least I will know what to expect. Will two show up? Or two hundred?” She put the tweezers back in her little makeup bag, shoved the pink pouch in her enormous utilitarian purse and slung it over her shoulder just as her cellphone chimed The Wedding March. What was her niece Lizzie calling her about? Hopefully, the girls hadn’t had any trouble on the drive from Arizona to California.
She pressed the green dot on her phone to hear boisterous laughter. “I hope you remembered to get gas, Liz. The desert can be lonely if you run out and get stuck.”
“Hi, Aunt Jill,” Lizzie yelled. “We are halfway there. Yes, we have lots of gas.”
She was relieved they were simply checking in and had just crossed the state border. The silly girls were singing “California here we come from our Arizona slum,” giggle. “Newport Beach for all your glare, we will show you we don’t care.” Then there was something about a dare, but reception had faded, and Jill couldn’t hear the rest of the frivolity, so she hung up as her phone chimed again. She was running late so she stuffed the phone in the special pocket of her brown purse.
The call was from another Arizona number, one she didn’t recognize. “Wonder who?” she mouthed. She would answer that call later, especially if the person left a voicemail.
Want to read more? Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win the book. No purchase necessary. Or if you can’t wait, The Matchmaking Wedding Planner 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. Remember to scroll through the titles on Rafflecopter, using the circles in the entry box, to see all the giveaway book titles,
Enter Rafflecopter Giveaway by clicking box below:
About the Author:
Bonnie Engstrom is a multi-published author of contemporary Christian romance. She is also a multi-grandma with six blessings. Four of her grandchildren, including twins, live a stone’s throw from her and her psychologist husband Dave. Two live in Costa Rica – Pura Vida – where they surf, even at seven and nine, thanks to lessons from their surfing teacher dad.
When she and Grandpa Dave aren’t taking the Arizona kids to gymnastics, chess tournaments, riding lessons and watching soccer games, she moderates two online prayer chains. They reside on a lagoon where Canada geese flourish every winter, and sometimes a snowy egret. Their two rescued mutts, Sam and Lola, love to chase the geese. Well, Sam does, but even though scruffy Lola is the bossy one, she doesn’t understand the chase part. She still doesn’t know she’s on the cover of the latest book in The Candy Cane Girls Series, Melanie’s Blue Skirt. Won’t she be surprised!
Bonnie is a long time member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a Pro member of Romance Writers of America.
Visit Bonnie’s website http://www.bonnieengstrom.com/ to see all the grandkids and sign up for her newsletter Life On The Lake.
She loves to hear from readers, so be sure to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with BOOK in the subject line.
You can see her books and the collections she is in at http://amzn.to/2CVT8Mc. All her books are available on Amazon.