About the Book
Always a Wedding Planner --
Genre: Contemporary romance anthology
Release date: June 1st
Love Is Only Business for 4 Wedding Planners
Discover how keeping secrets from each other threatens four women’s friendships, wedding business, and own ability to find love in Loveland, Colorado.
Business partners Felicity Anderson, the cake baker; Kiki Bell, the seamstress; Cassie Blackthorn, the coordinator; and Chef Saffron Fare are best of friends in a town that is a romantic wedding destination for many couples—who work together at Weddings by Design to make every bride’s special day perfect. Could each falling into their own romance be the key to working out their differences and learning to trust each other—and God—with their futures?
About the Authors
R.L. ASHLY is a master seamstress with a Master of Arts degree in Literature (May, 2019). She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Literature in the near future. A mother and grandmother, she is active in her local writing community, never says never to a home improvement task, and strives to one day write the Great American Novel.
RL Ashly writes on the run. She enjoys a good mystery with a complicated plot. Iced tea is her beverage of choice. Hemmed In is her first traditionally published novel.
Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels.
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Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
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DAVALYNN SPENCER is a Publisher’s Weekly and ECPA bestselling author with novellas in three Barbour collections, The 12 Brides of Christmas, The 12 Brides of Summer, and The Cowboy’s Bride. She won the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction and is the author of ten additional titles, both contemporary and historical. She blogs monthly for Christian Authors Network, Heroes, Heroines & History, contributes to the American Christian Fiction blog, and writes her own weekly inspirational blog. She appears on an area radio broadcast, Write Time Radio, and teaches writing workshops when not wrangling Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley.
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Toni Shiloh “Going virtual”
More often than naught, my books are set in a place I’ve never been to. Or even better, I create a fictional world I can get lost in. When I wrote Finally A Sweetheart, it was with the understanding that the setting would be in Loveland, Colorado.
Just so you know, the closets I’ve probably been to Loveland was driving through the state on a road trip. I vaguely remember stopping at a gas station in Aspen and seeing mountains. For the most part, I slept (what I do on most road trips). So for the Always a Wedding Planner collection I had to go virtual. I pulled up Google maps and zoomed in until the “browse street images” feature popped up, AKA, the orange man.
I also did a lot of internet search for people who had visited. I also looked at pictures on Pinterest. All in all, I hope I did the setting justice for those of you who actually live there. If not, my sincerest apologies from a virtual traveler.
Loveland, Colorado is a beautiful town. With its backdrop against the Rocky Mountains, it’s the ideal place for a romance novel. After all, it’s the land of love and there’s no better place for a single seamstress to meet a confirmed bachelor-till-the rapture. The Weddings by Design office is set in the downtown area and Kiki enjoyed her colleagues and job. Working with her best friends had its perks. That is until the new office manager moves Kiki’s sewing zone to the garage. Her new work area is a source of conflict in the story.
As the descendent of a long line of farmers, placing my characters in a rural setting was something that appealed to me. Kiki Bell inherited her late aunt and uncle’s farm. With the help of her niece and nephew, her family commenced with the daunting task of decluttering the house and outbuildings in hopes of turning the place into a wedding venue.
Bing Kelley’s farm is located across the road. He keeps his place in pristine shape. Perhaps it is a sign he has too much time on his hands. Living as neighbors, the setting is used to aid Kiki and Bing’s relationship.
The idea for The Worst-Kept Secret is sort of autobiographical, in that I’m an introvert and my hubby is an extrovert. I can see that this combination works in our marriage, because I’m the one who builds relationships with people we meet through getting comfortable enough to talk to them by asking questions, while hubby does the meeting and introductions. I suspected we weren’t unique in our personality types, so decided to try this pairing in a story.
A good romance needs romantic tension, and one of the best ways is if each character has a secret they’re trying to keep from the love interest and from others. Since this is a faith-based book, I didn’t want that secret to be something so serious as to call into question their salvation, so I based the secrets on struggles they were already having in their own lives.
I think a good romance also needs a few light moments. From the disastrous limo interview, to the puking pastor, to the coffee debacle, and even the car accident, while each of these were serious moments, I hoped to create an atmosphere of “what more could go wrong?” for both the reader and the characters.
Pronounced “LOVE-lund” rather than “Love-LAND” by locals, the “Sweetheart City” snugs against the Front Range at the mouth of the Big Thompson River in Northern Colorado. The river originates in Rocky Mountain National Park and courses through Estes Park before tumbling down to the eastern plains. The area is rich in ranches and farmland, the perfect setting for confirmed bachelor, Ty Ellicott, who carries on the family’s rope-making business following the death of his parents and brother in a single engine plane crash.
Ellicott Ropes is home to a sprawling ranch house, barn, and roping arena. A long rope barn, pastures, pond, and cottonwood trees create an idyllic setting for the heart-broken cowboy who keeps his mind off his pain by keeping that mind busy.
Saffron (Ronnie) Fare grew up in Loveland, the daughter of schoolteachers. She is more familiar with city life and acquainted with the tree-lined streets of established neighborhoods, small downtown businesses, and outlying shopping centers. She had no desire to leave her famous hometown, and after culinary school bought a quaint yet rundown Victorian home on one of those shady streets. With a small-business loan, she invested in a commercial kitchen, an expense that left precious little for the rest of the house, and the paint and gingerbread trim on her classic home bear testimony to neglect as well as age.
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