Monday, August 12, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Kiss the Bride by Jody Wallace

Welcome to the last stop on the Virtual Book Tour for Kiss the Bride by Jody Wallace.  Please leave a comment or question for Jody to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.

Pantser or Plotter? by Jody Wallace 

Some writers plot their whole book before they write it, while some like to fly into the mists, feeling their way as they go. My guess is most writers are somewhere in between, with a bit of mystery on the journey and specific plot points in mind, rising up like Stonehenge out of the fog.

I'm all about writing the way that works best for you, so I'm not going to recommend one method over another. For me, finding out what's hiding in the fog is part of the pleasure of writing. And sometimes, depending on what I
find, the wonderful surprises can improve my goals and my characters.

There was a bachelorette party in Kiss the Bride that I knew was going to contain a significant event. At the same time, the interaction of the various characters and their personalities, plus the way the hero of Kiss the Bride went about planning the bachelorette party, were going to influence what ended up on the page. So out of nowhere --or out of the mists -- came a person I like to describe as a performance artist. I don't want to ruin any surprises if you plan on reading the book!

That being said, how would the hero have gone about hiring this person? Where would he have found this person? Just answering that question led me to realize that our hero "knew a guy" and that guy "knew a guy" and that led to one of the hero's defining characteristics.

Really, the surprises in writing can be like life. While driving to visit the in-laws a couple years ago, we were worried the baby was coming down with the stomach virus our first grader had the previous week. Baby was fussy and not eating well. Should we turn around and go home? Should we take the chance? Should we get a motel room? While we were discussing the baby's health, the first grader, who had fully recovered from her bout with the virus, leaned over in her seat and christened her daddy's squeaky clean car with... Yeah, you guessed it. A big surprise!

Okay, so writing into the mist isn't precisely like what happened in our car because I have faith that the end result isn't as vomitous! But unexpected things can definitely occur, and it's up to an author or a reader to decide if the new path leads somewhere you want to go or whether it's a sneaky little will o the wisp, trying to lure you off the trail and suck you into deadly bog of stomach virus.

Kiss the Bride
By Jody Wallace

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher:  Entangled Publishing, LLC

Date of Publication: June 29, 2013

ISBN: 9781622662203

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Number of pages: 140

Buy Links:  Amazon BN

Book Description:

Herman Edward Heckley knows all about drywall, concrete, and nail guns. So what's he doing fighting off taffeta in a bridal salon? He’s maid of honor for his best friend, Caroline Oakenfeld, in her wedding to a pencil-necked geek. But the closer he gets to the ceremony, the more he wonders if he's been missing out all this time.

Caroline has been missing out, and she knows it. She’s been in love with Heck forever, but frittering her life away until Heck wises up isn’t part of her life plan. She’s agreed to marry her boyfriend so she can move on with her life. But the closer she gets to the ceremony, the more she realizes she has to resolve her feelings for Heck.

For better or for worse.


“Would you relax?” Heck shut the passenger door of his truck behind Caro. Last-minute prep for the wedding had included overseeing the janitorial service that had spruced up the outbuilding on his property and finding a new photographer. Mindy Lou Meyers, Tallwood shutterbug extraordinaire, hadn’t recovered as expected from a certain elective enhancement surgery and would not be able to perform her duties. “Mindy Lou bailing on you isn’t the end of the world. Though if you want to cancel the wedding…”

He watched Caro’s face to see if she looked like she was considering it.

“Oh, shut up, Heck.” She crossed her arms and glared. She looked like she was considering something, all right, but it was probably kicking him in the shin.

They hadn’t talked about the incident in the bridal salon, but he’d been thinking about it. About her. He needed to bring it up and so far hadn’t found a good opening.

He didn’t have one now, either, but he was running out of time. He’d have to crowbar an opening. Here in a bit.

Heck placed a hand at the small of Caro’s back to escort her across the hot aggregate driveway to the front door of their destination. “James Jones says this guy’s good. He’s new in town so he’ll probably give us a discount to build up his clientele.”

“Tallwood networking.” Her shoulder brushed him as they walked. “Can’t beat it.”

He had found himself wanting to touch Caro more and more after his realization in the salon. While he hadn’t deciphered what it meant, he knew some of it was lust, some of it was not wanting Caro to leave, and some of it was—

Nope, that was all he’d come up with.

The man they were here to see, a friend of Sally’s photo-bug brother, responded quickly to Heck’s knock on the white storm door of the cookie-cutter, ranch-style home.

The skinny black guy’s gaze fell on Caroline first. “Miss Oakenfield? I’m Nathan Grimes. Nice to meet you.”

Caroline, dressed in her normal uniform of bright T-shirt and jeans, shook his hand. Then Heck did. They followed him into the house, which didn’t have much furniture. A bunch of framed photographs covered the walls.

Heck didn’t know squat about art, but they looked pretty good to him. Not a fingertip or a blurry face to be seen.

“This your work?” He didn’t actually give a shit if the guy was talented. The Oakenfield-Pencil Neck wedding wasn’t one he considered a Kodak moment.

“Most of it.” Grimes indicated some chairs beside a coffee table and took one for himself. “I understand you two are in the market for a wedding photographer and your big day is this Saturday. Congratulations.”

Heck and Caroline exchanged a glance. As they’d run around like chickens missing their heads these past weeks, tons of folks had mistaken him for the groom. People who didn’t know them. People who’d known them a long time.

At first it had amused him. Then it had confused him. Right now, it was giving him the oddest sensation, making him feel belligerent and possessive. He slid an arm around Caro’s shoulders.

“Thanks. Took me forever to convince her to settle down. She’s a wild one.”

“Ignore Heck. I’m not marrying him.” Caro didn’t smack his hand like he figured she would. She leaned against him and grinned. “He’s my maid of honor.”

“That’s cool.” Grimes shuffled some paperwork on the table. “As it happens, I have Saturday open.”

He handed Caroline some rate sheets, and they deliberated groups and singles and posed shots and casuals until Heck worried he might fall asleep. The whole time, Caroline let his arm remain around her shoulders.

His arm, and their closeness, felt wrong and right at the same time. He and Caro weren’t touchy-feely. She wasn’t the kind of person who was always rubbing on people and hugging their necks, and neither was he.

For example, he’d never seen Dan and Caroline share a kiss. Certainly he’d felt the urge to cold cock the guy, but that was for fun. If he’d seen Dan kiss her, he may have gone through with the punching.

About the Author:

Jody Wallace grew up in the South in a very rural area. She went to school a long time because there was always something new to learn and ended up with a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. Her resume includes college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and general all around pain in the butt.  She currently lives in Tennessee with her family: 1 husband, 2 kids, 2 cats. One of her many alter egos is "The Grammar Wench", which should give you an indication of her character. She is a terrible pack rat and likes to amass vintage clothing, books, Asian-inspired kitchenware, gnomes, and other items that threaten to force her family out of the house. She also likes cats. A lot. 

Ms. Wallace's approach to writing is to tell as many outlandish lies as she can get her readers to swallow. Her dream is to be moderately well-paid for this service. She is active in RWA and occasionally conducts writing workshops. Among topics she's been known to cover are training sessions for contest judges (she coordinated her local RWA chapter contest for many years), point of view, dialogue punctuation and creativity enhancement.

Her head shots were taken by Cindy Sarlo Photography of Dixon, TN.

My Review

A light contemporary romance, Kiss the Bride by Jody Wallace, gives us the story of two best friends in love.  Likable characters, good dialogue and plenty of emotional angst, kept me turning the pages to discover what was going to happen next.  After all it’s not every day your best friend agrees to marry someone else and forces you to confess your love.

Thirty four year old Caroline Oakenfield is afraid life is passing her by.  Silently in love with her best friend, Herman “Heck” Heckley for over ten years, Caroline wants to get married, have babies and raise a family.  Deciding it’s never going to happen with “Heck”, Caroline agrees to marry Dan, an accountant she’s been seeing on and off for the last three years.  Instead of being overjoyed about her upcoming wedding, Caroline’s getting cold feet and dreading the upcoming changes to her life.

Herman “Heck” Heckley can’t believe his best friend is going to marry “the pencil necked geek” he hates.  Agreeing to be her “maid of honor”, he suddenly finds himself the center of all bridal activity; from helping Caroline choose “the dress”, to picking out the cake and throwing the bachelorette party.  As the date for the ceremony gets closer, “Heck” suddenly realizes he can’t stand the idea of Caroline getting married to anyone else but him.

The scenes between Heck and Caroline are fun, full of emotional angst and chemistry.  Suddenly realizing Caroline is going to leave him behind and marry someone else, Heck is forced to face what he’s secretly known all along – his secret love for his best friend.  Ms. Wallace does a good job developing Caroline and Heck’s relationship throughout the book; we get to experience their friendship and watch as Heck finally realizes he’s going to have to speak up.

Will Caroline really go through with the wedding to someone else?  Will Hecks “Bachlorette” party become the talk of the town?  You’ll have to read Kiss the Bride to find out, I enjoyed it and I think you will too.  

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I received no additional compensation for my opinion of the reading material provided.

Tour wide giveaway

1 Acorn necklace and earring set - this nature inspired jewelry set features mocha brown shell pearls which are capped with exquisite finely detailed antique brass acorn caps, antiqued brass spacer beads, antiqued brass chain. The necklace measures 17" + 2" extender & finished with a antiqued brass lobster clasp. ~~Gorgeous Set includes matching earrings. Open to US Shipping 

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