Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: False Light (Art History Mystery #2) by Claudia Riess

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for False Light by Claudia Riess. This blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt as well as a the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or a set of the Art History Mystery Books: Stolen Light and False Light by Claudia Riess. Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blitz for more content. Enjoy!
Title: False Light
Series: An Art History Mystery #2
Author: Claudia Riess
Publisher: Level Best Books
Publication Date: October 27th 2019
Print Length: 370 pages
Genre: Mystery
Academic sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, a more seasoned art history professor, set out to tackle a brain teaser. This time the couple—married since their encounter in Stolen Light, first in the series—attempt to crack the long un-deciphered code of art forger Eric Hebborn (1934-1996), which promises to reveal the whereabouts of a number of his brilliant Old Master counterfeits. (Hebborn, in real life, was a mischievous sort, who had a fascination with letters and a love-hate relationship with art authenticators. I felt compelled to devise a puzzler on his behalf!) After publication of his memoir, Drawn to Trouble, published in 1991, he encrypts two copies with clues to the treasure hunt. On each of the title pages, he pens a tantalizing explanatory letter. One copy he sends to an art expert; the second, he releases into general circulation. The catch: both books are needed to decipher the code.

When the books are at last united 25 years later, Erik and Harrison are enlisted to help unearth their hidden messages. But when several research aides are brutally murdered, the academic challenge leads to far darker mysteries in the clandestine world of art crime. As the couple navigate this sinister world, both their courage under fire and the stability of their relationship are tested.

**The eBook is on sale for only $0.99!**

Erika would not permit herself to sleep. She gave in to her selfish body only to allow it to lean its skull and spine against the wall as she went over, again and again, the day’s nightmare. Reliving it kept the memory raw; healing, impossible.

There was a light tapping on the door. She didn’t know how long she had been sitting there, only that the scant light in the room had dimmed. There was another tap.

“Miss Erika? May I come in?”

It was Grace. Erika had never heard the woman’s supplicating tone of voice, but who else could it be? “Grace?”

“Yes, Miss. Please, may I?”

A kind of dull curiosity moved her to answer, “Come in.”

Grace opened the door and entered the room. She was holding a tray, bracing one side of it with her forearm. She turned the knob with her free hand and shut the door, then better secured the tray. “I’ve brought you some cream of tomato soup and a muffin. You need some nourishment. Would you turn on the light? You wouldn’t want this old lady to trip, would you?”

Grace’s gentle prodding was so uncharacteristic that it caused Erika to rise to her feet and obey, as if to the command of a hypnotist. She clicked on the wall light and took the tray from Grace.

“Where should I put it?”

Grace scurried to the vanity table and pushed aside Erika’s pads and pens. “Right here is good.”

Erika did as she was told. Grace pulled out the chair from the vanity and reached up to touch Erika’s shoulder. “Now sit and have some soup.” She smoothed her scalloped white apron overlaying her starched black dress and stood there, waiting.

“I’m not hungry, Grace.”

“You don’t want to be hungry, but you are,” Grace said, without budging.

There seemed to be no choice but to heed Grace’s first prompt. Erika sat down. She had no intention of lifting the spoon provided. “Thank you.” She waited for Grace to exit the room.

Grace wasn’t going anywhere. She strode to the desk and dragged the desk chair to the vanity, placing it directly alongside Erika’s chair. She sat down. “You must take care of yourself—for yourself as well as your husband,” she said. “He loves you so. I have never seen him so distraught.”

“Harrison will be fine,” Erika said, staring straight ahead.

Grace shook her head. “Not if you aren’t.” She took Erika’s hand in her own. “I haven’t been very cordial to you. I apologize.”

“Apology accepted,” Erika said, feeling nothing.

“I have no children,” Grace said. “I worked for Harrison’s grandparents for fifty years. I’ve known Harrison all his life, and he is family to me; my only family. He is a dear man, but terribly naïve. It broke my heart to see his first wife take advantage of him. She nearly destroyed him. I was afraid you might do the same.”

“I won’t.” She withdrew her hand from Grace’s.

“I know you won’t. I see how you are with him. I see how you look at him.

My prejudice made me blind to this, but now I see.”

Erika turned to Grace. “I’m empty, Grace. Do you see that?” She returned her focus to the wall.
Claudia Riess, a Vassar graduate, has worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker and Holt, Rinehart, and Winston and has edited several art history monographs.

Claudia Riess will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card (INT) or three sets of Art History Mystery Books: Stolen Light and False Light (US only) to a randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter after the blitz. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the blitz each day. Good luck!

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Book Blast and Giveaway: Paragon by Shauna Alderson

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Paragon by Shauna Alderson. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other stops participating in the book blast for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Paragon
Author: Shauna Alderson
Publisher: Zimbell House Publishing
Publication Date: March 17th 2020
Print Length: 312 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Now that high school is over, Randi just wants to live her quiet life in her little town, but it doesn’t feel right without her friends there. Ever the daredevils, they’ve gone to seek adventure in the capital city of Grandin, and Randi can’t help but feel left behind. Not to mention she definitely can’t stop thinking about that kiss she and Eddy shared before he left.

When Randi discovers a mysterious mark on her skin that matches an illustration in “A Handbook on Paragonhood”, she’s thrown into a world of powerful gods and ancient magic that she thought only existed in the myths. She’ll have to step out of her comfort zone—and into the dangerous streets of Grandin—to find a way to protect herself and the people she loves.

Randi’s not the only one with a secret, though, and she finds herself questioning who she can trust. Randi will have to wrestle with what it means to be a Paragon and how far she’s willing to go to do what’s right.

With the fate of the world on the line, can she live up to being one of the chosen?

Granite floor, walls like black static, and out of the moving darkness looms a door. I push its handle down, opening the door to a huge space.

A man and a woman circle each other like raptors, each brandishing a knife. The static-fuzz wall to my left is covered in weapon racks—everything from maces to swords to guns—and stone braziers, while the wall to my right is lined with punching bags and benches. A seemingly spaced-out old man sits on one of the benches, and a middle-aged guy fiddles with something on the furthest bench.

I don’t think I’m supposed to be here.

The middle-aged man lifts his head to watch the fight and sees me. “New girl,” he tells the others.

Everyone stops. The other two men simply seem bewildered, but the lady-predator with the knife might just kill me, judging from her glare.

“Uh, sorry, I'll just go,” I stammer. I pivot on my heels, but behind me, I only find blackness. No door.

My gut drops.

“Don’t be afraid,” the male fighter says. “We won’t hurt you.”

I peek over my shoulder as he discards his weapon onto the floor. That's not a hazard at all. “Where am I?” The words come out in a squeak.

He scratches the side of his head. “It’s—well, it’s hard to explain.”

“We call it the dreamscape,” the woman says. “We Paragons come here to hone our skills. You being here means you found out.”

She must be referring to the mark and the myths. I found out what I am, and now I show up here. Makes sense in a dream-logic sort of way.
Shauna Alderson began writing teen fantasy even before she was a teen. After she “grew up", she completed creative writing courses (and a BA in Development Studies) at the University of Calgary. When not reading or writing, she can usually be found teaching ESL, composing on the piano, creating art, or volunteering abroad. She also enjoys dessert, Studio Ghibli films, and being the silliest person she knows.

Shauna Alderson will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different blog participating in the book blast each day. Good luck!
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Monday, March 30, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Sellsword's Oath (Assassins of Landria #2) by Gail Z. Martin

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Sellsword's Oath by Gail Z. Martin. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as a guest post, and the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Sellsword's Oath
Series: Assassins of Landria #2
Author: Gail Z. Martin
Publisher: Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
Publication Date: January 20th 2020
Print Length: 186 pages
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Buddy flick epic fantasy! The second in the Assassins of Landria series from the award-winning, bestselling author of Scourge: A Novel of Darkhurst and The Chronicles Of The Necromancer books!

Wandering mystic Yefim Makary, known to his followers as the ‘Witch Lord’, disappeared before he could be accused of inciting dissent against King Kristoph. His supporters among the disenchanted aristocrats who weren’t arrested have fled or died by their own hand. The king is happy to put the matter behind him. Yet Burke, the commander of the elite King’s Shadows, doesn’t believe the threat is over, and he assigns his two most troublesome, rule-breaking—and successful—assassins to ferret out the real threat and put a stop to Makary’s plots.

Joel “Ridge” Breckinridge and Garrett “Rett” Kennard rose through the ranks of the Landrian army together, from teenaged conscripts to seasoned fighters. Together, they became the most feared team of assassins in Landria, surviving longer that most in their profession by virtue of excellent fighting skills, legendary bravado, peerless strategy, and an uncanny synchronicity.

As the threads of a new plot come together revealing disloyalty among the priests and generals, Ridge and Rett once again find themselves on the run, hoping they and their allies can figure out the Witch Lord’s latest scheme before it costs them their lives—and the king his throne.

“Moving along,” he said with a grimace, “there’s the matter of your next assignment. The Witch Lord has disappeared. We know he wasn’t killed or captured, but right now we have no idea where he’s gone. The nobles who supported him have either vanished, committed suicide, or been imprisoned for attempted treason. Some of us believe it’s only a matter of time before the Witch Lord makes another move, but until then, King Kristoph is eager to move on and put the incident behind him.”

Ridge thought the king didn’t want to look weak by dwelling on the attack. Kristoph had narrowly escaped death, and now he needed to show his enemies he was strong enough to take the matter in stride. That didn’t change the reality of Kristoph’s situation, and it presented a complication when it came to protecting him.

“Do you agree?” Rett asked.

Burke looked pained. “I serve the king, which requires doing what he asks and what he needs,” he added in a quiet voice. “So I am authorizing you to keep your ears open, but anything you find out—anything—you bring it to me before you act. Are we clear?”

Ridge and Rett nodded.

“In the meantime, I have a job for you. Those counterfeiters I mentioned before. Treason of a different kind.” He slid a folded paper across the table to Ridge.

“It’s your letter of marque to go after anyone illegally producing the coin of the realm,” Burke said. “We believe there’s a group set up near the border, where they can prey on merchants looking to exchange gold for Landrian currency. Counterfeiting is an act of violence against the king’s treasury and the realm itself. You’ll be passing as traders. Find the people responsible, destroy their forge, and end the threat. As quietly as possible.”

“Yes, sir,” Ridge replied.

“If in the course of your duties you learn more about the Witch Lord and his disciples, I’ll be fascinated to hear about it,” Burke added. “Now, finish your ale and go home. You’ll be leaving in the morning.”
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Witch of the Woods, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include Loose Ends and Unholy.

- If you were a character in a fantasy novel, what would you be?
Depending on the way magic worked, probably a mage/magic user, because then I’d never run out of anything I needed! Jokes aside, it would depend on what kind of magic you might have. Although I write about several necromancer characters, it wouldn’t be particularly useful day-to-day. Much better to be able to conjure up a good meal, clean water, or a sack of gold!

Of course, magic always has a price, and depending on how the system is set up, that can be anything from a bad headache to slowly sapping your life force. Some magic systems draw magic from the world around you, or from within yourself, or from other people.

Pulling magic from other people’s energy or souls is obviously bad! Drawing from with yourself has obvious limits, because if you drain yourself then you die, or are unconscious and helpless (not good). Calling magic from the world around you would probably be the most sustainable, but what impact does it have on the planet? How much magic can be done before harm is done? Those are the kinds of questions that keep authors up at night?

I’d want to use the magic that caused the least impact to the people around me and the world itself.

That’s the fun part about being an author—I get to think through all these scenarios as I create worlds, stories and characters.
Gail Z. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour.d To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
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Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 29th 2014
Print Length: 458 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
From the author of Nine Perfect Strangers, Truly Madly Guilty, and The Husband’s Secret comes the #1 New York Times bestselling novel about the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

A murder...A tragic accident...Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal.

After reading (and loving) What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, I had wanted to read more by her. When I finally got the opportunity, I chose Big Little Lies. Liane Moriarty did not disappoint!

Many things are happening for the parents of the children that attend Pirriwee Public school. Madeline is happy go lucky, but she isn't afraid to speak her mind. Celeste is gorgeous and seems to have the perfect life, but it's what goes on behind closed doors that make her want to run away from it all. Jane, a single mom, is younger than most of the parents and has just moved to the area. With her, she brings a very big secret. As their lives intersect, things come to a head leaving one person dead. The thing is, was it murder, self defense, suicide, or just an unfortunate accident?

The plot for Big Little Lies is easy to navigate and understand. It was easy to imagine myself as a bystander in the book whilst all the action was going on around me. Most of the characters in this book lead a privileged life, so it was nice to get a sneak peek into their lives and see that they have problems as well. The pacing was done beautifully. The chapters weren't very long, so I kept telling myself one more chapter which we all know turns into many more chapters! The prose was fantastic and flowed perfectly. I kept wanting to know more and would try to guess who the character was that died. I enjoyed the dialogue that would start off most chapters where a character was talking to someone regarding the death of a character in present day. I did predict which character would end up dead though, but I suppose that was a lucky guess. There was one big plot twist I didn't see coming, and I loved that plot twist! The book ends with no cliff hangers, and all of my questions were answered.

I enjoyed every character in Big Little Lies. Each and every character was well developed and interesting to learn about. Although the story follows Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, other characters are fleshed out through their narratives. I loved how Madeline wasn't afraid to tell it like it was. She just could not hold anything back, yet people still wanted to be her friend.  Her loyalty to her friends was admirable, and I would love a friend like her! Her husband, Ed, was very supportive to Madeline, and it was easy to see that he loved her. Her oldest daughter, Abigail, was an interesting one. I liked reading about her and seeing how she would turn out throughout everything. (The virginity thing sure was interesting, and I would have done exactly as Madeline!) Madeline's youngest daughter Chloe was cute. She reminded me so much of a younger Madeline. Nathan, Madeline's ex-husband, and his wife Bonnie were other characters that helped flesh out Madeline. I did like Bonnie's carefree personality though. I also loved reading about Celeste, and I felt bad for her many times with what she had to endure. Sure, to others, she had it all - looks, a huge house, a very rich and good looking husband who seemed to adore her, beautiful twin boys - but her pain was obvious throughout, and I could understand her hesitation to do the right thing. Getting to read about her thought process was interesting. Perry, Celeste's husband, came across as very charismatic. It was easy to see why everyone loved him so much. I wanted good things to happen for Jane and her little boy, Ziggy. Jane's love for Ziggy oozed from the pages. The love she had for Ziggy was so sweet. Ziggy seemed like such a cute little boy, and I just wanted to hug him and never let go especially after what happens very early on in the book.

Trigger warnings for Big Little Lies include death, drinking, drunkenness, profanity, domestic violence, violence, and sexual situations (although not graphic).

All in all, Big Little Lies is a delicious morsel of a book. It delves right into the lives of its characters who come to feel like close friends and family by the end of the book. I would definitely recommend Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty to everyone aged 16+ who are in dire need of a fantastic read with a great cast of characters and a plot that sucks you right in!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Keep Forever by Alexa Kingaard

Title: Keep Forever
Author: Alexa Kingaard
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: March 28th 2020

Print Length: 253 pages
Genres: Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction

Unlike some war stories that focus on intense, harsh and graphic depictions of post-combat trauma, this tale unfolds gently, like an Edna Ferber novel, spread across many decades, detailing the impact this soldier’s illness has on an entire family, including children and grandchildren. KEEP FOREVER is a wonderful, emotionally satisfying read that I highly recommend. ” - GARY SEIGEL, author of “Haskell Himself”

Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice.

Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school. At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight. The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother. Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home.

A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul. Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades.

After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.

A True Story

Paul gently put his hand on the small of Elizabeth’s back and guided her through the still-crowded room, down the stairs, and out to the sidewalk that was packed with people in no hurry for the night to end. Elizabeth felt something, not sure what, but mostly safe, warm, and happy.

When Paul walked Elizabeth to her apartment door, he glanced at his watch and couldn’t believe it was already two a.m. Sam and Linda waited behind at the curb, car in neutral, waiting for Paul to say good night. With a charming smile, Paul said, “Thanks for a great evening, Elizabeth. I think that’s the most fun I’ve had since I came home from Nam.”

Still feeling a bit light-headed, she didn’t let on to Paul that her heart had fluttered all evening and she hoped the date would end with more than a handshake. Accepting the fact that she was probably alone in her fantasy, she simply nodded as she turned the key in her door. “Me too, Paul. That was fun. Thanks for a perfect evening.”

Paul, aware of the watchful gaze of Sam and Linda, threw aside caution and leaned in for a kiss, eager to taste the sweetness of Elizabeth’s lips, a moment he’d been thinking of since he first laid eyes on her when she was just sixteen years old. Then it had seemed impossible to him that they could ever share this moment. As his body felt the physical pain of restraint, his mind cautioned. Take it slow. Don’t hurt this girl. Don’t start something you can’t finish.

Elizabeth smiled and leaned in closer, savoring the sensation of his gentle mouth pressed against hers, careful not to linger. Her body tingled with a rush of pleasure, something she had never felt or dared to think she would ever experience. They stepped back, nervous and uncertain of what to do next. Elizabeth finally spoke first, “Well, ’night Paul.”

“’Night Elizabeth. Thanks again,” was all Paul could think to say as he turned and walked back to climb into the back seat of Sam’s car. What did I start that I might never be able to finish? I will never be good enough, rich enough, confident enough to share my life with this angel. The timing was not right, and he knew it. “Maybe one day,” Paul thought to himself.

ALEXA KINGAARD was born in San Diego, CA and has lived most of her life in the area. She currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of a son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders.

Her debut novel, KEEP FOREVER, was inspired by her late ex-husband who batted the residual effects of the Vietnam War for decades after his return. The burden he brought home is shared by combat veterans of all conflicts, and her fictional account highlights the collateral damage encountered by family members and loved ones living with PTSD in their midst.

Her second novel, MY NAME IS ROSE, departs from her personal experiences and focuses on the collective memories of her generation. She loves writing about nostalgia and the human condition, the common denominator of our lives.

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: Execution in E (A Gethsemane Brown Mystery, Volume 5) by Alexia Gordon

A Gethsemane Brown Mystery, Volume 5 
Alexia Gordon

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: March 24, 2020
Number of Pages: 252

Scroll down for the giveaway!
Romance is in the air. Or on the 'gram, anyway.

When an influencer-turned-bridezilla shows up at the lighthouse to capture Insta-perfect wedding photos designed to entice sponsors to fund her lavish wedding, Gethsemane has her hands full trying to keep Eamon from blasting the entire wedding party over the edge of the cliff.

Wedding bells become funeral bells when members of the bride’s entourage start turning up dead. Frankie’s girlfriend, Verna, is pegged as maid-of-honor on the suspect list when the Garda discover the not-so-dearly departed groom was her ex and Gethsemane catches her standing over a body.

Gethsemane uncovers devilish dealings as she fights to clear Verna, for Frankie’s sake. Will she find the killer in time to save Frankie from another heartbreak? Or will the photos in her social media feed be post-mortem?

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 A writer since childhood, Alexia Gordon won her first writing prize in the 6th grade. She continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. She established her medical career then returned to writing fiction. Raised in the southeast, schooled in the northeast, she relocated to the west where she completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program. She admits Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. She practices medicine in North Chicago, IL. She enjoys the symphony, art collecting, embroidery, and ghost stories.
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In Execution in E, Gethsemane and Eamon take on a social media influencer-turned-bridezilla and her entourage of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and a particularly problematic groom. He’s the ex-fiancé of Frankie’s new girlfriend. Describing their breakup as bad is like describing the Mona Lisa as “kind of well-known.”

While the bride-to-be in my novel is fictional, bridezillas are a thing in real life. I took a dive into the Reddit deep end to bring you this list of top ten bridezillas.
10. A bride asks her nineteen-year-old niece, a talented baker as well as a college student and waitress, to bake her wedding cake. The niece agrees and travels to the wedding locale at her own expense. She also pays for all of the cake ingredients. The cake is a big hit—beautiful and flavorful. Later, the bride calls her niece—not to thank her, but to yell at the young woman for not buying her a wedding present.

9. A woman elopes. Her courthouse wedding is a secret. Years later, still married and with small children, she asks her friends to pay for her to have a bachelorette party at a destination resort.

8. A bride demands strangers give up their rented beach house because she wants it. They refuse. She responds by forcing her wedding guests—neither related to nor acquainted with the renters—to stand out on a sunny, Mexican beach at midday with no shade or water. And she made the bridesmaids wear gold lamé.

7. A bride asks the internet for advice on how to convince two of her friends, whom she “loves like family,” to decline her invitation to be her bridesmaids. Her reason? She chose a crop-top style for her bridesmaids’ dresses and doesn’t think these two nearest and dearest will look good in her selection. Why not change the dress style? Because a different style wouldn’t fit her “vision.”

6. A bride asks her best friend/maid of honor to dye her hair because her current color would clash with the wedding’s color scheme and cover up her tattoos (which the best friend has for years) because they might trigger the bride’s “OCD.”

5. A bride becomes enraged at two of her bridesmaids for losing weight because she wanted them to be fatter than her at the wedding.

4. A bride wants her one-year-old and three-year-old nephews to be in her wedding. The problem? Rehearsal is at 9 a.m., they need to be dressed for the wedding by 1 p.m., the wedding will be at 3 p.m., and dinner will be at 7 p.m. No naps and no food allowed between getting dressed and dinner. And they’re not allowed to change out of their wedding suits before dinner. Planned children’s activities were canceled due to cost. An aunt, not the mother, was assigned to carry the one-year-old down the aisle. Things went as expected—with the one-year-old having a meltdown during the ceremony and the three-year-old rolling in the dirt before dinner.

3. A sister asks her brother to play the organ, which she rented for $2,500, at her wedding. She won’t pay him, but she will “allow” him to eat at the buffet in exchange. (Meaning he wasn’t invited to the wedding as a guest?) He agrees (!) if she’ll promise to provide vegan options. She promises. On the wedding day, months later, the sister announces she wasn’t able to get any vegan buffet options, so she hands her brother an Impossible Burger from Burger King as “payment.” But the burger has mayonnaise on it—not vegan—so the brother can’t eat it. Brother says he won’t play the organ unless she pays him $250. She refuses, an argument ensues, he walks, she demands he pay her $2,500 (the cost of the organ rental) for “ruining” her wedding.

2. A woman insists on marrying her fiancé, a widower with young children, on the first anniversary of his late wife’s death. She then disinvites his three daughters from the wedding because they weren’t excited about it. She later resents them for not calling her “Mom.”

1. A bi-racial woman who identifies as African American offers her brother and his fiancée, both Caucasian, $10,000 to pay for his wedding. Then the bride-and-groom-zillas inform his sister that the wedding is to be held at a Southern plantation where African Americans were formerly enslaved. They can’t understand why she no longer wants to pay for the wedding.
At least there were no dead bodies…
Win a signed copy of Execution in E by Alexia Gordon, a $10 Starbucks Gift Card, a Gethsemane Brown Swag which includes a mug, stickers, pens, bookmark, combo bookmark/laser pointer, coasters, & more
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