Hey folks, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and there’s a wedding in the wings for the Harts of San Francisco. You’d think a Valentine’s Day wedding would be all hearts and flowers and sweet as can be, but Jenna and Larry’s wedding is anything but …
Please read an excerpt to find out what happens when a wedding becomes a reality show.
“She wouldn’t dare!” Jenna Hart rose to her full height and towered over her baby sister, Melisa. “It’s my wedding, not a reality show.”
Of course, shooting the messenger never worked, but it sure felt good.
“Contract’s already signed.” Melisa made a dour face and slapped a pink manila folder on Jenna’s ironing board. “I’m sorry, but you made a deal and you have to play.”
Last December, both Jenna and Melisa had encouraged their eldest sister, Cait, to take her husband’s surname and start a business. In returned, they had agreed to be her first clients. Hence, Cait Wonder and her business, Cait’s Wonderful Weddings, was born.
Melisa had had a New Year’s Eve extravaganza, which was another story on its own, but now, it was time for Jenna to pay the piper.
“Cait’s gone over the top, completely.” Jenna swept the folder onto the floor, scattering the contents.
Melisa, who usually sympathized with her concerning Cait’s screwball plans, shrugged and twisted her lips. “This will promote your design firm. Think of the visibility you’ll get.”
“I can’t do it! It’s going to be a zoo.” Jenna threw up her hands and paced around the small design studio. She was an independent fashion designer and owned Hart in SF Designs based in San Francisco.
She was also one of a few designers not headquartered in New York, London, Milan, or Paris, and she needed the publicity. At the same time, it was her wedding, and maybe behind the glamour and glitz of the fashion business, Jenna was still an old-fashioned girl who wanted a quiet church wedding—not the media extravaganza her sisters seemed to believe she really, truly wanted and needed.
Melisa calmly picked up the folder and showed Jenna the spec sheet. “You already agreed to the fashion show, right? You also agreed to the assortment of pets each groomsman would escort. You even agreed to the pet adoption after the reception.”
“Yes, yes, and yes!” Jenna tapped her finger on the terms and conditions. “But I didn’t agree to the reality show, especially one where I have to take on-camera dares.”
The popular reality show, She Wouldn’t Dare, was based on goading celebrities to accept challenges during important events—in this case, Jenna’s wedding to her fireman hero, Larry Davison.
They’d met a year ago when the mascot for her Valentine’s Day fashion show, a sweet and gassy basset hound puppy named Harley, was lost and then found by Larry.
A runway show, bachelor auction, and a house fire later, Jenna and Larry fell in love and decided to marry. At the time, it seemed fitting to have the wedding on Valentine’s Day. Romance, hearts, flowers, chocolates, and wedding vows went well with Cupid’s arrows.
But now, after Melisa’s raucous and highly publicized New Year’s Eve wedding, Jenna was tempted to take Larry and their dog, Harley, and elope.
“You’ll have to speak to Cait about the contract,” Melisa said. “I’m afraid you gave her power of attorney …”
“She wouldn’t dare.”
Melisa flipped to the signature page. “She already did. I don’t think you can afford the cancellation clause.”
She definitely couldn’t, and it might be a good idea to do the show. In fact, the exposure could get her name recognition and be a boost to her brand. Hadn’t a marketing guru once told her that all publicity, bad or good, was good publicity?
“When do they start shooting?” Jenna’s eyes darted wildly around her studio, currently in a deep state of chaos with half-finished dresses and material tossed everywhere.
“Camera crews are outside with Cait.” Melisa turned to the double doors and flung them wide open. “Come on in, Jenna Hart is ready to rock and roll.”
Jenna watched in horror as her older sister, Cait, led the camera and sound crew into her tiny studio, followed by the host of She Wouldn’t Dare, actress Amy Suzuki, who’d starred on the now defunct Romancing the Racer reality show a few years back. The show was a flop and cancelled when the motorcycle racer crashed and ended up in the hospital due to being distracted over her and the drama she’d caused.
“Welcome to this episode of She Wouldn’t Dare, featuring up and coming San Francisco fashion designer, Jenna Hart.” The Asian-American beauty spoke to the camera as she positioned herself beside Jenna. “We’re in Jenna’s design studio where she is busy putting together her bridal collection. How are you feeling today? Is the pressure ramping up?”
Jenna was sweaty, her hair was a mess, and she hadn’t put on makeup. She glared at her two sisters and felt every sharp pain of the knives stabbing and twisting in her back.
Gritting her teeth, she forced a smile for the camera. “Everything’s going great. I have these two bridesmaid’s dresses on the forms, and my two wonderfully adoring sisters just happen to be here for a fitting.”
There, that’ll get back at them and give them on camera time. See how they like not having their hair sprayed and their clothes ironed before going on camera.
“Awesome,” Amy chirped. “I see the two dresses are different in terms of cut and style. Why is that?”
“My two sisters are very different animals.” Jenna kept herself from growling. “Cait, the eldest, is efficient and very bossy. She favors clean lines and bold statements. She also has a figure which presents many design challenges.”
“How so?” Amy shifted her glance from Jenna to Cait’s waistline.
“I have to be careful with balance and form. For example, drawing the eye away from problem areas to provide the illusion of a slender femininity.”
“Rawrrr …” Amy made a catty noise as she place the mic in front of Cait. “We all know how difficult bridesmaid dresses are. Do you have confidence Jenna can tackle all of the problem areas, as she puts it, and make you a truly memorable dress?”
“I have no doubt. My sister is capable of anything.”
“Do you like your dress?” Amy asked. “After what Jenna said about her design goals?”
“Yes, I do.” Cait crossed her arms. “She captured my personality and style fabulously.”
“That’s why she’s the star.” Amy focused on the form holding together the pieces of Melisa’s dress, a lacey, frilly concoction of tulle and soft curves. “Tell me about your younger sister, Melisa.”
“She’s always been a sweetheart,” Jenna said. “Until now.”
“Oh, do tell. Is that why her dress is so juvenile?”
Jenna couldn’t help smirking at the frown which flickered across Melisa’s face. “She’s the baby of the family, almost, and she follows Cait around like a little duck.”
“I do not.” Melisa put her hands on her hips and stamped her foot. “I may be nice, but I’m no pushover.”
“Do you like the dress she designed for you?” Amy ran her fingers from the beaded lace bodice down to the poufy tulle skirt.
“No, it’s too fairy tale.” Melisa wrinkled her brow. “The problem with Jenna is she underestimates me. I don’t believe this dress reflects who I am.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” Amy said. “If Jenna had time for a do over, would you want her to make you another dress?”
“Of course.” Melisa jutted her chin at her designer sister. “I’m no longer that dreamy little girl she thinks I am.”
“Cait, Melisa, tell me something.” Amy chuckled in an annoyingly saccharine voice. “Is there anything Jenna wouldn’t dare?”
“Nothing whatsoever.” Cait bobbed her head as if she were an expert on Jenna, having bossed her around since she came home from the hospital. “Jenna has no circuit breakers. She’ll try and do anything.”
“Jenna’s brave. She always did her own thing,” Melisa said. “I looked up to her, and I still do.”
“Wonderful.” Amy turned to the camera. Her assistant handed her a pair of scissors. “Jenna Hart, you are five weeks away from your wedding. For your first dare on the She Wouldn’t Dare: Wedding Edition show, I dare you to cut up Cait’s dress, the one she likes, and replace it with one that isn’t so businesslike.”
“Can I cut up Melisa’s dress instead?” Jenna’s heart took a flying leap. There was no way she could redo both Melisa and Cait’s dress.
“No, the dare is to cut up Cait’s dress. She’s going to be in a wedding, not a presidential cabinet meeting. Up for grabs is a home remodel worth fifty thousand dollars.” Amy put the scissors in Jenna’s hand as the countdown clock began to tick.
“Does it have to be a remodel or does new construction qualify?” Jenna’s parents’ house had burned down earlier in the year, and they were having a new one built.
“New construction is okay as long as it’s within the budget. Do you take the dare? You have ten seconds left.” Amy turned to the camera and said, “She wouldn’t dare, or would she?”
Jenna swallowed and bit her lips, computing time and material estimates in her head. She owed her sister-in-law, Nadine, a dress, and her mother’s dress needed alterations. As for her own gown, she had a bad case of designer’s block, and it was still on the drawing board.
“Four, three, two,” Amy counted down.
“I’ll do it.” Jenna slashed the scissors across the satin lapel of Cait’s dress and ripped in the bodice.
“No!” Cait lunged to the form and put her arms around it, almost getting cut. “I love this dress. I love it, I love it.”
[End of Excerpt]
To read more, please PRE-ORDER Valentine Wedding Hound for a special pre-order price of 99c! Be sure to check out the other Have A Hart stories including:
Valentine Hound Dog, #2 [when Jenna and Larry meet]
I hope your Valentine’s Day is all hearts and flowers and everything sweet! Kisses, Rachelle
Hey everyone. I hope your summer is going swimmingly well. June and July just flew by. Can you believe it?
I’m busily writing Christmas stories. Yes, that’s the life of an author. Christmas stories in summer so they can be ready for you come October and November. But … I do have four hot boxed sets for you in the meantime (27 stories total!)
Introducing the Hotshot Romance Collection.
Hotshot Heroes – Mimi Barbour, Jennifer Lowery, Chantel Rhondeau, Lyssa Layne, D’Ann Lindun, and Rachelle Ayala
Crave your men hot, alpha, and strong? Fall in love with sexy agents, cowboy sheriffs, firemen, bikers, and more. Danger, excitement, and heart-pounding romance await the women who love these brash and protective men. 6 full-length action-suspense romances plus one bonus novella from NY Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors.
Hotshot Danger – Kathryn Jane, Dale Mayer, Jacquie Biggar, Chantel Rhondeau, Rachelle Ayala, Silver James
Love and Suspense, Heart-pounding romance and thrills in one hot package. 6 full-length action-suspense romances plus one bonus novella from bestselling and award-winning authors. Danger and excitement, secret agents, sexy SEALs, bikers, undercover operatives, and heat! What more can a woman want?
Hotshot Alphas – Nina Bruhns, Sable Hunter, Rachelle Ayala, Chantel Rhondeau, Angelique Armae, Kelly Collins
Because you just can’t get enough! Hotshot Alphas are men who know what they want and get what they want. Will it be you? 6 full-length heroes, oops, I mean, romances with brash and exciting lovers from NY Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors. Get your cowboys, chefs, special operatives, and sexy bad boys today.
Hotshot Desire – Sable Hunter, Rachelle Ayala, Mimi Barbour, Taylor Lavati, Dani Evans, Chantel Rhondeau
Desire so hot and needy. Passion uncontrolled. Lust and desperation. 6 full-length romance novels and one bonus novella from NY Times, USA Today, and National bestselling authors. From billionaire bikers to special agents, jocks and bad boys, emotions run hot and the action never stops when love and life is on the line. Spend your sultry days and steamy nights addicted to these unforgettable romances where desire overrides reason.
Pick up all 4 for less than 4 bucks, or read FREE with your Kindle Unlimited Subscription.
Amazon Link (All Four)
Watch the video for Hotshot Alphas!
There’s nothing like an extra helping of pie, merry Christmas music, a crackling fire, and a Christmas story. Back when I was a kid, I yearned to watch Christmas cartoon specials, Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, to Hallmark specials and Christmas movies. They were familiar, the same, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, classics to be enjoyed again and again.
However, if you want something new, something odd, or intriguing, or even way out, look no further than the avalanche of Christmas romance novellas at ebook stores everywhere. From talking cats to hairless dogs, Navy SEALs to shapeshifting bears, dashing doctors to scarred veterans, romance writers everywhere are putting out Christmas stories for every taste, mood, and theme.
This years crop includes Ten Christmas Brides, for all you marriage minded readers, centering around Christmas marriages and proposals.
Then there are sweet kisses, and behind the door love scenes, geared for the PG-crowd.
And the hot, steamy, sensual ones with enough heat to melt Frosty!
If inspiration and faith is your theme, there’s a set for you too.
And finally, there’s the heartwarming magic of Christmas that heals broken families, gives hope to the scarred, and brings people and pets together all in the name of love.
Whatever set you pick [or get them all], you’ll laugh, cry, hug your pet, husband, or child, and rejoice as you cuddle with this year’s crop of Christmas stories. Perhaps what I like MOST about Christmas stories is the happy ending and uplifting of my spirit. It gets me into a holiday mood, give me hope, and lets me look at the world and my fellow man more kindly.
So tell me, why do you like Christmas stories? Which one is your favorite?
Romancing Christmas: 10 Love Stories to Spice up the Holidays
Multi-author boxed set
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Genre: Holiday Romance
Cover Artist: http://www.bellamediamanagement.com/
Do you like your Christmas nice…or a little naughty? Bring the season into your heart with love stories to match your mood. This boxed set from 10 of today’s hottest romance authors will warm your heart even on the coldest night.
When Charmin Marvin wonders when Christmas Day would be in their new time frame, he sets events in motion no one could have expected.
Dani and Charmin lost a lot when they were brought 200 years into the future. But nostalgia brings the possibility of Christmas back into Dani’s life – if she can make it happen.Levi hates to deny Dani anything, but all holidays were removed from his society by the government decades ago. He has no idea what she’s talking about – and when he does research and finds out – he wonders if something can be done. And someone outside of their small family wonders, too…
Dani has the best of intentions – but creating Christmas in a world that no longer knows what a holiday is makes her life very complicated very quickly.
Do you like murder and mystery with your mistletoe?
The specter of death tempered by beautiful miracles is all in a day’s work for head nurse Tess Riggs and pediatric specialist Dr. Dash Brisson. But discovering Christmas is the season for love could be their biggest challenge yet.
A Christmas Miracle (a 2014 Carolyn Reader’s Choice winner) by Sandy Loyd
Megan Jenkins isn’t looking forward to Christmas, a holiday that reminds her of what she had and lost, a husband who died right after Christmas the year before, leaving her a young widow with a fatherless son to raise. During the course of this Christmas Eve, Megan experiences her own Christmas Miracle as she learns the true meaning of giving with the help of Kevin Murdock, a long-time friend who’s always been there for her.Website: www.sandyloyd.com
The Salty Carmel Christmas by Barbara Lohr
Nothing ever changes for Rachel Morgan in Paris, Indiana. And then Eli kisses her. When Rachel returns home for Christmas, she’s not exactly the family success story. The soft-spoken guy with killer blue eyes makes Rachel take a second look. Paris offers her a second chance. Sometimes life can be like a salty Christmas carmel—sweet but with a tang you remember. Sometimes the boy you leave behind is the man you want forever.Website: www.BarbaraLohrAuthor.com
Heating Up the Holidays by Marcia James
When Chris Spencer returns home with his daughter, he’s not looking for a second chance with his first love. And the last thing Nicky Paxton needs at Christmas time is her high school heart-breaker. But thanks to a hairless dog and a lonely child, they might get their Christmas desires.
A widow of two years, Mallory Gardner is struggling to keep her business alive and still function in her dysfunctional family. Having two daughters, one of which who blames Mallory for her father’s death is enough to test anyone’s sanity. But when Arden J. Miller waltzes into town, he has other ideas—like capturing Mallory’s heart even though love is the last thing on her mind.
Erin Matthews returns home to find closure, but she soon discovers truths that change her life forever. Luke Simmons never expected to meet a woman who sparks fire in his soul, even as his heart is breaking. Together, they find healing, and the true spirit of Christmas, in the love of a patchwork family.
Worldwind Virtual Book Tours presents a 12-day 17-site tour for Hidden Under Her Heart, my latest romance. There will be guest posts, excerpts, interviews and fabulous prizes: three of them. First prize is a collection of paperbacks, personalized and signed by me. Second prize is your choice of a paperback and a $10 giftcard, and third prize is your choice of a paperback.
Stop by and visit the wonderful tour hosts as well as Worldwind Virtual Book Tours and see the other tours and services they provide. Starts March 21! Don’t miss it.