Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited to Stephanie Blackmoore here today!
I love going to weddings. They are filled with good tidings and lively celebration. They provide a chance to see old friends and meet up with far-flung family, eat great food, dance the night away, and wish a newly married couple well. Whether they’re simple affairs at the courthouse or large bashes with hundreds of guests, most weddings involve many hours of planning and fretting that occur behind the scenes. Invitees are treated to a seamless ceremony and party with each detail lovingly attended to, but behind all of the tulle and flowers and cake, tensions run high and emotions are at the forefront of most wedding days. I’ve been a bridesmaid several times and witnessed the behind the curtain melee at my own wedding. There have been missing flowers, AWOL wedding party members, ripped dresses, late and lost ministers, misplaced vows, and feuding families. I wanted to create an atmosphere of high tension and family drama for my cozy series, and weddings seem like a perfect fit!
But what happens when the wedding doesn’t go off without a hitch? Is there any way for a bride to make lemon meringue pie out of sour lemons? For my first cozy I wanted to explore what happens after a bride pours her heart and soul into making her big day perfect, but gets cold feet and has to jettison her wedding at the last second. What happens when a bride cancels the wedding? What does a bride do when the invitations have gone out, the vendors are ready to go, and she can’t get her deposit back? The dissolution of a wedding can be more complicated than planning a wedding that goes off. I wanted to see what happens when a bride not only calls off her wedding, but also finds out she’s stuck with it. In Engaged in Death, the bride and sleuth, Mallory Shepard, is shocked to realize she’s planning her wedding to appease her future mother-in-law rather than for her fiancé and herself. She lets the wedding get away from her until it resembles an out-of-control carnival, with her soon-to-be monster-in-law at the helm. Before the bloated pageant of her wedding can go on, she cancels and breaks off her engagement. Since she can’t get her deposit back, she goes on a mission to find a new bride in need of a wedding. I hope you enjoy reading Engaged in Death as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Engaged in Death (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
BRAND NEW SERIES
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (June 28, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B0165HUWCC
All appears peaceful in sleepy Port Quincy, Pennsylvania–but in this small town, old grudges die hard. . .
After dumping her cheating fiancé and cancelling the wedding, Mallory Shepard can’t bear another disaster. So when the former bride-to-be unexpectedly inherits Thistle Park, a ramshackle mansion in her ex’s hometown of Port Quincy, it’s a problem she can’t afford–literally. Abound with stray cats, peeling wallpaper, and nosy neighbors, Mallory is dying to sell it off–once she finally fixes up both the place and her messy life. . .
Turns out, Thistle Park has its charms. But the honeymoon phase is abruptly cut short when an unwanted visitor is found dead on the front lawn. Enlisting the help of her sister Rachel, Mallory vows to unveil the killer before she herself becomes married to the suspect list. . .
As soon as I read the above synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. Thank you Kensington for the early copy!
Mallory had no idea who she was engaged to, but his overbearing mother was pushing her over the edge. Finding out the guy was cheating on her was just icing on the cake. Then in a weird twist of fate she inherits Thistle Park, a mansion in need of loads of tender loving care. Mallory is faced with putting it up for sale but to that she is going to need to make some improvements. Finding a dead body in the front yard was not the renovation she had planned. The wedding was cancelled but her sister’s arrives to help in anyway she can. Never knowing she would be helping Mallory catch a killer.
So much happens in this story that intrigued me in addition to the murder. The house that Mallory inherited could be amazing in the hands of the right person. My imagination was running wild with ideas. Then what do you do when your wedding is cancelled and the venue refuses to return your huge deposit? You will have to read the story to find out.
As far as the murder, the man wronged so many people, meaning there are so many that could want him dead. Her ex-future mother-in-law could even be involved. Surely she wouldn’t kill someone, or would she? The clues seem to lead in circles at times but that just added to my reading pleasure.
Mallory starts out as a “goes with the flow” type of woman, but scorned she is a force to be reckoned with. She is a lawyer who is smart and organized and definitely doesn’t need a man making decisions for her. I was so impressed with her transformation just in this first book. I can’t wait to see what she takes on in the next story.
Her sister, Rachel, has yet to find her niche. She has tried several things but doesn’t really stick with anything long. She tends to find herself living with her mom and step-dad or having them bail her out of situations. Mallory is the responsible one, timid about trying new things. They each need to rub a little off an each other and they will make a fantastic team.
I enjoy the way Ms. Blackmoore writes, it is so descriptive. I could picture everything so clearly. She also unfolds the story at a brisk pace.
Even the secondary characters are fleshed out, real and believable. Keith, the ex and his mother Helene, are excellent characters to dislike. I am not going to lie, I would not have shed a tear if one of them was the body in the front yard, but they turned the story on its ear in their own way. The neighbors are interesting and the Chief of Police just happens to live in the house behind Thistle Park, with his son and granddaughter.
This is a fabulous debut! A great start to what I hope will become a long running series!
I see the next book in the series, Murder Wears White, will be out January 31, 2017 and is available for pre-order. I am looking forward to it already!
About The Author
A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and- yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.
Click on cover to purchase from Amazon.
Coming January 31, 2017
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Stephanie for 5 Bonus Entries.
If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End July 6, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”