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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CFBA Blog Tour - Kaye Dacus and Stand-In Groom

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Stand-In Groom
Barbour Publishing - January 1, 2009)
by Kaye Dacus


KAYE DACUS is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there.

She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her website and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.


When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman?

George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stand-In Groom, go HERE.

What They're Saying About It:

"Dacus pulls off a delightful story that places readers in the heart of the South with the debut of the Brides of Bonneterre series. Readers will enjoy this look at how lives are transformed through devastating events and how forgiveness is the key to a promising future. Nothing is as it seems in this heartwarming story."
Romantic Times, 4-Star Review

"Absolutely delightful! I enjoyed Stand-In Groom from cover to cover! Ms. Dacus's clever story and wonderful prose will draw you away to a place deep in the heart of Louisiana, surrounding you with the scents, sounds, and sights of the deep south. A story filled with romance and intrigue, betrayal and forgiveness, I found myself laughing, crying and rejoicing right along with the characters."
M.L. Tyndall, author of The Falcon and the Sparrow and the award-winning Legacy of the King's Pirates series

"Stand-In Groom is as sweet, beautiful, and chaotic as a perfectly planned wedding. Anne is a bright and wounded heroine you're going to care about for a long time. George is a hero to capture your heart. Kaye Dacus will take you along for a fun, poignent ride in Stand-In Groom."
Mary Connealy, author of the Lassoed in Texas series and Of Mice...and Murder

Buy your copy of Stand-In Groom Today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

As many people have probably guessed, the inspiration for this book came to me after watching the movie The Wedding Planner. I wasn't happy with the way that the romance in that story revolved around the breakup of an engagement. As a writer, most of my ideas come from asking "what if" questions. What if a wedding planner thought she was falling in love with the groom of the biggest wedding she's ever planned...but then he turned out not to be the groom? And the story grew from there.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I would say that the main trait that Anne and George both have that I don't necessarily share with them is their selflessness. They're so willing to put everything aside to make their clients happy---without doing it grudgingly or complaining about it. I wish I were that good of a person! There's a lot of me in every character I write. Anne is more self-confident than I am. While I do enjoy being self-employed (as a freelance editor), I don't know that I'd be as brave as she was in going out and starting my own business. I also would never last as a wedding planner---I watched a lot of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway and Bridezillas when writing this book, and I would have been out of business when the first difficult bride came along! When I worked in the newspaper advertising industry, I did a lot of event planning, so those experiences came in quite handy when writing both this novel and the follow-up, Menu for Romance.

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

I think most people George meets would immediately label him as vanilla, simply because he plays everything so close to the vest. But deep down, we all know that he's Caramel-English Walnut---a hard nut to crack, but sweet and gooey as well. Anne, well, she's obviously Southern Praline Pecan.

4. What themes exist in Stand-In Groom that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

There are several themes in this book, and I hope that different readers will be touched in whatever way they need to be encouraged through the story, whether it's remembering that compromising our Christian ethics leads to pain-for us and others around us-and that until we're willing to face our pasts, to forgive those who've wronged us and stop holding grudges, we're never going to be able to move forward into the happy endings God has prepared for us.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I went through a major transition as a writer while writing this book, as I started it before I began graduate school, then spent the next two years working on it intensively as my master's thesis. When I first started writing it, the two hardest aspects for me were putting my characters into believable conflicts on the page (instead of taking the easy way out and resolving things off page) and keeping it light hearted. Believe it or not, I used to take my writing very seriously and thought that because I saw myself as a serious person, my writing needed to be serious as well. Once my grad-school mentors convinced me that I needed to let my real voice---those little sarcastic asides I have a tendency to make all the time---come out on the page, I finally hit my stride with this story, and everything that's followed.

My favorite scene that I wrote is the one in which Anne relives the accident from her childhood that left her orphaned. I wrote that scene during a 74-hour weekend sprint to get the first draft finished by the end of my second semester of grad school. I had no idea I was going to write it, and it just flowed out of me. It's the only scene I've ever written that's brought me to tears.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I have two books coming out this summer. The first is Menu for Romance, book two in the Brides of Bonneterre series from Barbour. Menu takes us back to Bonneterre five months after the end of Groom, and picks up the characters of Meredith Guidry and Major O'Hara from Groom. Here's the blurb:

After eight years of unrequited love, Meredith Guidry makes a New Year's resolution to find someone new and end her single status before the year’s over. Executive Chef Major O'Hara has foresworn relationships, knowing he could never saddle the woman he loves with a family situation like his. But when it seems he's about to lose Meredith Guidry to another man, he realizes he must concoct a MENU FOR ROMANCE to win her back.
The other book coming out is the first book in my historical series with Harvest House, Ransome's Honor. The year is 1814, and the war with France has ended. Royal Navy Captain William Ransome has returned to Portsmouth to receive new orders, all the while hoping not to run into the woman he fell in love with but walked away from twelve years ago: his admiral's daughter. Julia Witherington swore she would never forgive William when he made her believe he was in love with her, but then never proposed. But when her conniving aunts let slip their plans for her---and her inheritance---she is forced to choose between the man she swore she'd never forgive and a wastrel cousin who will gamble away her father's hard-earned fortune.

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Thank you, Kaye, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE copy of Stand-In Groom.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com/net) or that there's a way to contact you. Otherwise, you won't be entered. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

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Carolynn said...

Please enter me, this books sounds wonderful! Thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald at hotmail dot com

Martha A. said...

This book sounds like such a fun read!!

Maureen said...

This looks like a great story.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look like its too late but if it is, sorry! :)
I'd love to read this book and share it with friends!
rebornbutterfly(at) scbcglobal(dot) net

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I have emailed you for your mailing information so we can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.