To connect with my Monday wedding countdown theme, here's a spotlight feature that's great for the summer wedding craze. It's the fun sequel from Janice A. Thompson's Bridal Mayhem Mystery Series, called Gone with the Groom. I promise you, though, that MY groom will not go missing. *winks*
But, before we get rolling into the interview, I have some tips for brides and mothers-of-the-bride as well as 2 wise quotes to share. These all appear in Janice's book, Happily Ever After, a devotional for brides-to-be that releases in 2008.
For the FREE book giveaway, post a comment leaving your own tip or advice or personal wedding mayhem anecdote. A winner will be announced her next week.
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TOP FIVE TIPS FOR THE BRIDE-TO-BE:
1). Look at the process of preparing for both your wedding and your married life as a gift, not a chore. Keeping this joyful mindset will help when challenges arise.
2). Make time for your husband-to-be. Don't allow the busyness of your plans to cause your relationship to suffer. As much as you can, involve him in the process. His opinions matter! Let your imaginations run wild...together!
3). Sadly, the average bride inadvertently spends more time preparing for her wedding day than her marriage. Make sure YOU adequately plan for your life together. Discuss financial issues, purity issues, financial matters, housing, jobs, potential children, etc. well in advance of the ceremony. And take the time to pray together, even if it's awkward at first.
4). Be willing to let go...and trust others to do most of the work. Yes, it's your plan. Yes, you have ideas for how you want everything to go. But, you're not super-human. Trust God, and the people he has placed in your life. They can take care of the details as you get closer to the big day. Relax. Take a deep breath. Enjoy your time as the bride!
5). Keep God at the very center of your union - both before and after the big day. A three-fold-cord is not quickly broken.
TOP FIVE TIPS FOR THE MOTHER-OF-THE BRIDE:
1). Praise God every day for answering your prayers for your daughter. He has brought the perfect complement, her "ideal." And if you're struggling to see your future son-in-law as "ideal" for her, then release this to the Lord.
2). Remember, this is your daughter's wedding, not your own. When differences arise, graciously bow to the bride-to-be. On the other hand, when she looks to you for advice/instruction, be ready and available.
3). Be careful not to allow your daughter to "vent" about her future husband. Surely by the next day she will have forgiven him (and you will likely still be holding a grudge)
4). When things get sticky, remember the twelve words that will save every relationship: I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.
5). Mother-of-the-Bride, I know you've heard this before, but it's really true. You are not losing a daughter. You are gaining a son. Praise God for this new addition to your family! And praise Him for the grandbabies that will one day arrive while you're at it!
A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers.
To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Janice A. Thompson lives in the Houston area. In 2004, her two oldest daughters both received proposals within weeks of each other. The weddings came off without a hitch! Janice has since coordinated weddings for friends and is thrilled to incorporate many of her adventures into her novels.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Annie Peterson, mother of the bride-to-be, works to solve the riddle of the missing fiancé in Gone with the Groom, a fun and riveting romantic mystery.
The best laid plans of brides and men go awry when Annie Peterson's future son-in-law Scott disappears. Have pre-wedding jitters caused Brandi's fiancé to take flight, or are more sinister forces at work? Annie puts her super-sleuth powers to work and sets about to solve the riddle. Who could be behind this apparent kidnapping caper? Maybe the drug company Scott works for has hidden motives. Perhaps it's the handiwork of Otis, Scott's sneaky dad. But then again it could be the shady wedding photographer or even have something to do with the political campaign of Scott's mother. Maybe her opponent is somehow involved in this. Will Annie solve the mystery and recover the missing groom in time for the couple to say their wedding vows?
1. Where did you birth the idea for this book (and the series)? When? How did it come about? Did any of the experiences in the story happen to you personally?
I have four daughters in their 20's. Two of them got married in 2004 within four and a half months of each other. It was a stressful time, but I always knew I'd eventually be able to use the information in a story. Just about the time I thought I could rest, my third daughter got engaged. Her wedding just took place six weeks ago. Three down, one to go! As for how I decided to turn these books into mysteries (instead of traditional romances)... I asked myself the question, "What would you do if you had to pay for two weddings and didn't have the money to do so?" Out of that, the first book (THE WEDDING CAPER) was born. After that, I got to thinking, "What would you do if the groom disappeared just before the wedding?) Out of that, GONE WITH THE GROOM was born. And so on, and so forth.
2. If your book was turned into a movie, who would play the main characters?
Wow. Never thought about that before. Who would play Annie Peterson? If she were still alive, I might pick someone funny like Madeline Kahn. If she were younger, maybe Carol Burnett? Diane Keaton might work, (though, Annie is really only turning 50, so even Diane might be a bit too old). As for the twin daughters, I think it would be fun to have someone like Jennifer Garner play dual roles. Or, hey...what about the Olsen twins? They could split the workload, and they're about the right age. As for the husband (Warren) I wouldn't want to go for anyone terribly famous, because I wouldn't want him to outshine Annie. For Sheila? Someone quirky like Bette Midler or even Kathy Bates would do - in flamboyant colors, of course.
3. Which one of your characters is most like you, and why do you say that?
I'm a lot like Annie Peterson, truth be told. I find myself "in over my head" a lot, and I tend to think I can solve most any problem. She's going through some empty nest issues, and I can certainly relate to that. Like Annie I also find myself turning to God for the real answers. I'd like to say I'm funny like Sheila, but I patterned that character after my best friend Kay, who always keeps me laughing. Kay is always coming up with funny sayings, and all-the-more, now that she knows I need material for Sheila to use.
4. What book is coming next?
There will be three more Annie Peterson mysteries after this one: PUSHING UP DAISIES, THE PERFECT MATCH, and CATERING TO DISASTER. They will all be released as part of the new mystery line at Barbour Publishing (Heartsong Presents Mysteries).
5. What book are you working on now?
I just turned in a Heartsong romance titled WHITE AS SNOW - about a young woman who can't stand football. She lives in the Pittsburgh area, and eventually (of course!) falls in love with a professional football player. I had a lot of fun writing this one. Why, you ask? Because I'm not a football fan! Figure skating, yes! Gymnastics, of course! Football. . .are you kidding?
6. What book are you reading now?
I just read a really funny book by Ray Blackston call FLABBERGASTED. It was kind of like chick lit for guys. I ear-marked all of the pages that made me laugh out loud. By the time I got to the end, I think I'd ear-marked over forty pages! I also just read a really great non-fiction book by Lee Ezell called FINDING GOD WHEN LIFE'S NOT FAIR. In it, she talks about the death of her husband, and her bout with cancer, ten weeks later. I could relate to so much of what she was going through (refer to next question below).
7. How do you deal with your other obligations (family, church, etc.) when it's crunch time near deadlines?
This has been a tough year for me. During the writing of GONE WITH THE GROOM, I lost my father to bone marrow cancer. It was an awful time for our family. Then, the week before the book was due, my married daughter (Randi) became very ill during her 33rd week of pregnancy and the baby (Madysen) had to be delivered early. She was only four and a half pounds, but (thank God!) is just fine now. Then, about the time the book went to the edit stage, my sister passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. This week, as I began marketing the book, one of my best friends suddenly passed away. It seems like every time a tragedy strikes, I'm on some sort of deadline. I don't resent that fact, (though at times it's tough to keep going). I find the writing to be a blessing, particularly in light of the fact that I "need" the humor of light-weight stories like GONE WITH THE GROOM to bring a smile to my face. God always helps me with the obligations/deadlines part. I'm totally dependent on Him for those things. Wouldn't have it any other way.
8. What's your favorite worship song, and why?
If you had asked me this question one year ago, I would have answered "Amazing Love." It's been my favorite for years. But this year, I'm very drawn to a song called "Praise You in this Storm" (by Casting Crowns). The lyrics are so true of my life right now. (Praise You in This Storm, words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms)
Trust me when I say that it is possible for believers to go on praising, even when the storms are blowing out of control around you.
9. What do you crave (beverage or food) when you have writer's stress?
I am addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper. And when I'm really needing a treat, I turn to Earl Grey tea (like Annie Peterson) or even Chai Latte. When all else fails, I reach for a piece of cheesecake.
10. What do you want your readers to know about you?
I love God with my whole heart, and no matter what troubles come my way, (no matter what mysteries I need to solve) I will never ever give up on my faith. Never. I will keep on keeping on, no matter what!