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About The Wedding Dress by Lisa MondelloWhat girl doesn’t dream about her wedding? I sure did. It doesn’t matter if it’s lavish or something small. We think about it. At the center of that wedding, aside from the man she’s going to marry, is what a girl will wear: the wedding dress.A year ago, a group of authors and myself met at a conference and talked about ways to create a series within a series. Each of our books will be connected to one of our own series, but all of the books in the “collection” would also be part of a connective series. One of the authors thought up the idea of having a billionaire will “something” to either the hero or the heroine in our book and the story could go from there. The name of the collection is The Inheritance Collection http://www.theinheritanceseries.com.Each of the authors thought up a story about how they encountered Harold Hopewell, a billionaire widower who had no children and was leaving random items to people who had met him and touched him in some way. As I thought about it, I instantly knew that I wanted my story to revolve around a vintage wedding dress being willed to my heroine Hannah Ward in The Wedding Dress, book 7 of my Texas Hearts series. The wedding dress was the dress Harold’s wife had worn when they’d gotten married, but that she’d sold very early on to gift her new husband with money that helped him make his fortune.Sounds romantic, huh? I thought so too. But I had to figure out how Hannah Ward, a young Texas woman and former Army mechanic, became the benefactor of the dress. Since it was around the time of wedding season, I’d found a lot of catalogs at the supermarket and restaurants announcing wedding shows. One in particular talked about vintage dresses that were available at a consignment shop. So I wondered, what if it wasn’t a shop but it was an actual auction where the dress was being sold? And what if Harold Hopewell, now elderly and still mourning the passing of his wife after decades went to the same auction that a very young Hannah Ward goes to in order to find the perfect dress to wear when she elopes with her childhood sweetheart, Dane Bancroft? The only problem is, Hannah is practically broke and Harold is a billionaire who easily outbids her, leaving her devastated.Fast forward ten years. Hannah is now out of the Army and she receives this wedding dress in the mail from a lawyer who is charged with dispersing items in Harold Hopewell’s will. In the letter, Harold apologizes for outbidding her on the dress and says that while it might be too late for Hannah to wear the dress, he wants her to give it to her daughter in the hopes that she can be as happy as he was with his wife. The only wrinkle is, Hannah doesn’t have a daughter because Hannah never ended up marrying Dane. The dress opens up old wounds for Hannah and Dane and makes them examine why they parted in the first place. Young love becomes new love that is much deeper and magical in ways they’d never expected.
I love The Wedding Dress because I love reunion and second chance stories. There’s so much history there and so many things the hero and heroine need to resolve before they can move forward. In the end, it’s never about the perfect dress. That’s just fabric. It’s about the love that weaves two special people together to want to spend a lifetime as husband and wife.
The Wedding Dress
By Lisa Mondello
Texas Hearts, Book Seven
The Inheritance Collection
Publisher: Lisa Mondello
Date of Publication: 5/17/2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 40,000
Cover Artist: Purple Girl Design
About the book:
Ten years ago, Hannah Ward thought she’d found the perfect wedding dress to wear when she and her childhood sweetheart, Dane Bancroft, decided to elope right after graduation.
But instead of walking down the aisle like she dreamed of, she was not only outbid on the wedding dress at the auction by an old billionaire who didn’t need the wedding dress like she did, but she never ended up getting married. Needing to escape Dane after the break-up, she enlisted in the military and left Liberty, Texas behind.
But now she’s back, and not only does she have to face Dane, the deputy sheriff in town, but she’s just been willed the very wedding dress that was supposed to be the beginning of her and Dane’s happy life together.
Can they both get a second chance so she can finally wear the wedding dress of her dreams and marry the only man she’s ever really loved?
About the Author:
EXCERPTIt was just a box with fabric inside.Hannah gazed at the white box that had come with the letter with longing for time that has long since passed her by. Although she’d stared at the dress in the auction catalogue for hours before deciding to drive to San Antonio more than ten years ago, she’d only seen that wedding dress up close for just a few minutes before it had been snatched away from her by the higher bidder.She was a smart women. She didn’t need the dress. Or the memories that were now tumbling through her mind. Good and bad, they were all there together. The wedding dress had been the start of it all. And the end.Sighing, she got up from the bed and walked over to the box that sat like a tangled blanket at the foot of the bed after a rough night of sleep. The wide white organza ribbon was tied tightly around the box to keep it secure and then knotted into a pretty bow on top. With a quick tug of the organza, the ribbon untied and fell to each side of the box.Her heart pounded as her fingers felt for the edges of the box. She didn’t want to see the dress. Not really. Why was she doing this? She should just put it in her car and drive right over to the consignment shop in the next town and let someone else buy the dress for their wedding. Get rid of it. Get rid of the memory.She lifted the top of the box off and placed it carefully on the bed next to the box. Pink and white tissue paper covered the contents, keeping her from seeing inside.“Ugh. For an army soldier who has spent the last eight years in combat boots and fatigues, you’re being a wimp, Hannah.”
She reached for the tissue paper, then quickly stopped and looked at her hands, turning them over. Most days her hands were covered with grease and oil from working on a plane engine. Today her hands were clean. Even her fingernails showed the white half-moon nails that were clean.Hannah held her breath as she pushed aside the tissue paper and had her first glimpse of the dress. A lump lodged in her throat as she thought of the day of the auction. This was supposed to be her wedding dress. If she’d married Dane all those years ago, she would have worn this dress. Who knew what their lives would be like now.Taking a deep breath, she slipped out of her T-shirt, unbuttoned her cut off shorts and let them drop to the floor. She carefully lifted the sleeveless dress out of the box, holding it by the shoulders and let the fabric drop to the floor. There were a million buttons in the back and she knew she’d have a hard time fastening them all. But she had to see what she looked like in the dress. It took a while, but when the last button was fastened, she walked across the room to the mirror and looked at her reflection.“This never would have fit me like this ten years ago,” Hannah said, staring at herself in the standing mirror. But now, it fit perfect. It was as if she needed to grow out of the young girl’s body and become the woman she was now in order for it to fit.Tears filled her eyes but she refused to let them fall. Reaching behind her to undo the first button, she muttered, “It would have been nice.”A gust of breeze came in through the open window. Along with it, Hannah heard the sound of male voices talking. Jackson had gone out for a ride earlier with Cole. There were other ranch hands here now.Her stomach dropped. It wasn’t just Cole or Jackson. If she lived a thousand years, Hannah would always recognize the deep timber of Dane Bancroft’s voice.
Still wearing the dress, Hannah rushed to the window and pulled back the curtain just enough to see outside. She groaned.“You would have to show up today. Of all days,” Hannah muttered to herself as her heart pounded in her chest. She gazed down from the window to the dirt driveway below. Dane Bancroft stood next to Jackson, talking about something interesting that made them both laugh.He was as tall as Jackson, but he wasn’t the straight up and down young man she remembered. His police uniform did little to show off the muscles she knew were under his shirt.Just when she thought she couldn’t take anymore, Dane lifted his face up in the direction of the window. Their eyes locked for a brief moment. It took a few seconds, but then he smiled, making Hannah’s heart remember what it was like to be close to him. She actually sighed.
About the Author:
New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa Mondello, has held many jobs in her life but being a published author is the last job she'll ever have. She's not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she'd still be penning stories with paper and pen. Her book The Knight and Maggie's Baby is a New York Times Bestseller. Her popular series includes TEXAS HEARTS, DAKOTA HEARTS, Fate with a Helping Hand and the new SUMMER HOUSE series. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence series made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List and was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012. You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at lisamondello.blogspot.com and sign up for her newsletter to receive new release information at http://eepurl.com/xhxO5