Welcome to Tuesday Wedding Tales blog series,
where wedding-themed stories are the fare.
Today’s guest is Lindsey P. Brackett. Lindsey will be telling us about her newest novella, Magnolia Mistletoe. She also has an excerpt from the book and a surprise for readers.
And, of course, there’s a wedding!
“Take it from the expert in this industry, Cor.
You’re destined for happily ever after.”
In my debut novel, Still Waters, Cora Anne Halloway has a history degree—and a plan for avoiding her own past. But after a little matchmaking from her beloved grandmother, and a little scheming from her wedding planner cousin, she learns to live with both the past and her future in mind.
Ever since Still Waters released in September 2017, readers have written and asked me if Tennessee and Cora Anne will get a wedding. Because I write women’s fiction, not romance primarily, I closed Still Waters at the end of Cora Anne’s emotional journey toward forgiveness.
But you readers are persistent with your wants.
Next summer, my stand-alone sequel, The Bridge Between releases. It’s a love story—of marriage and separation, of divide and reconciliation. I wanted to explore the small things we let wash away the bridges built between us and the ones we love.
Spoiler alert: there’s a wedding.
But before I could cross the bridge of that story, I had to explore another first. Cora Anne’s cousin, wedding industry expert and curator of happily ever after is Hannah Calhoun. She’s a southern wedding planner, a girl who knows her way around in high heels, and a woman who’s more than a little bit concerned with image.
Hannah knows what she wants, but before she can become a full-fledged partner in her mother’s business, she has to first prove she can handle her own shortcomings. Benjamin Townsend is an entrepreneur always looking out for the next big thing—and if hosting weddings on Edisto is it, he’s all in. Even if that does mean a lot of time with Hannah, whose world is full of way more happily ever after than his.
Magnolia Mistletoe is a bridge itself—a novella that spans the time between where Still Waters ends and the sequel begins. The best part is, if you sign up for my newsletter, Magnolia Mistletoe will arrive free in your inbox before Thanksgiving!
I had so much fun writing this little story and interviewing my sister, who plans weddings and events at the swanky Atlanta Athletic Club. She’s full of anecdotes about collapsing cakes, missing groomsmen, and why an outdoor ceremony in July is never a good idea.
But most Saturday nights she fills our group chat with pictures of fairy tales—of dreams come true and a happily ever after well on its way. Like Hannah, she always errs on the side of hope and the belief: love conquers all.
Excerpt from Magnolia Mistletoe:
She strode toward the gazebo housing the band. Cutting across the lawn, she wouldn’t have to sidestep guests along the path that, conveniently for them, would keep their shoes dry. But just as she reached her destination, the heel of her favorite black pumps sank into the soft mud and seemed determined to stay there.
Disaster. Of course.
“Need a hand?” A familiar voice, laughter underscoring its tone, came out of the garden shadows. Benjamin Townsend, roguishly handsome as ever in a sport coat and tie, emerged from an arbor.
Surely the day’s stress had caused her to hallucinate. She’d memorized the guest list, and he wasn’t on it.
He slipped a hand under her elbow. “How are you, Hannah?”
She smoothed her dress and forced a smile, still subtly wiggling her trapped heel. “I’m wonderful, Ben. How are you?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “Are you so wonderful you want me to leave you stuck right here?”
She sighed. “If you’ll just—”
He lifted her by the waist and twirled her back onto the path. Balancing on one foot—and fighting her quivering stomach—Hannah waited for him to retrieve her shoe. When he did, he bent and slipped it onto her foot. “Now you can be wonderful again.”
“Thank you.” She ducked her head to adjust the heel—and hide her flushed cheeks.
“So this is one of your shindigs, huh?” He waved to indicate the festivities. Twinkling lights, magnolia garlands, and poinsettia centerpieces set the Christmas wedding ambiance.
She straightened her spine. “Shindig, no. A Carolina Calhoun wedding is a well-oiled machine.”
Between him and the rain and her mother’s tight smiles, Hannah wanted to explode. But she forced a smile, as if glad to see him. Which she didn’t want to be.
About the Author:
Lindsey P. Brackett writes southern fiction infused with her rural Georgia upbringing and Lowcountry roots. Her debut novel, Still Waters, inspired by family summers at Edisto Beach, released in 2017. Called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing,” Still Waters received 4-stars from Romantic Times, shortlisted for the INSPY Award, and was named 2018 Selah Book of the Year. Connect with Lindsey and get her free newsletter at lindseypbrackett.com or on Instagram and Facebook: @lindseypbrackett.