Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: Picture Perfect Wedding by Lynnette Austin

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Picture Perfect Wedding (Magnolia Brides, #3) by Lynnette Austin

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Synopsis

img_5045Third in the heartfelt and charming Magnolia Brides series from Lynnette Austin

One mistake can change everything…forever

Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun were inseparable—until Tansy left Misty Bottoms, Georgia, promising to come back after she finished school. Beck stayed behind to save the family business, dreaming of the day when Tansy would return. Instead, his trust and his heart were broken when she inexplicably married another man and bore his child.

Five years later, Tansy comes home, a sadder and wiser woman. Despite his anger, Beck finds it hard to avoid her and her adorable little daughter—especially with all the busybodies of Misty Bottoms going out of their way to throw him and Tansy together, hoping a lingering spark will reignite their enduring flame…

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | iBooks

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Author Guest Post

Love—the Second Time Around!

I love second-chance romances—both to read and to write! Our couple’s first chance has generally happened before the book begins, and, then, they meet again—with all the ensuing angst. This is no slow-build relationship but rather a raging inferno from the get-go with the chemistry and connection full-blown on page one.

The once-lovers often face-off as enemies; the conflict is built in. Something caused their relationship to implode the first time around. When they meet again, that problem remains unresolved. If they couldn’t solve it before, how can they hope to now?

On top of that, neither the hero nor the heroine has remained in a vacuum during their “away” time. They’ve both had lives for these two or five or ten years. Both have changed, and those old emotions, resentments, and frustrations have had a chance to fester.

Picture Perfect Wedding, the third book in my Magnolia Brides series, is a second-chance-at-love story. When Tansy Calhoun left for college, she promised to return to Beck Elliot, who stayed behind in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, to save the family business. She reneged on that promise and married someone else, had his baby.

Five years later, divorced and broke, she and her daughter return to Tansy’s small hometown to create wedding cakes for Magnolia Brides. The question isn’t whether or not she and Beck will fall in love but rather will either take a chance on risking his heart again.

One mistake can change everything…forever.

If you love this trope as much as I do, I’m sure you have favorites! Here is one of mine:
Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Sugar Beth Carey ruled Parrish,

Mississippi, fifteen years ago. When she left town, she left behind a lot of hatred and resentment, all well-earned. Collin Byrne’s animosity is almost a living entity.

At the story’s start, this golden girl crawls back to Parrish with her deceased third husband’s dysfunctional dog and barely enough money to feed herself and put gas in her car. One of the feistiest heroines ever, it’s a veneer. She’s the girl you love to hate, the one who made high school a living hell. Yet, under Phillips’ expert hand, I found myself rooting for Sugar Beth, and, once the reason for her behavior was exposed, I wanted her to rise like the phoenix. Sugar is fighting for a second chance both at love and redemption.

My guilty confession—I’ve read Ain’t She Sweet at least six times, and, every single time, I cringe at the fork-under-the-table incident. I’m not telling. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

What’s your favorite second-chance romance? Why?

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Excerpt

In a perfect world or, heck, even in a movie, music would play softly in the background. The SUV’s windows would be down, her auburn hair blowing softly in the breeze. Her hero would wait at the road’s end, arms open and welcoming.
They’d kiss…
Tansy Calhoun Forbes’s cell rang, and, startled, she glanced in the rearview mirror. Gracie, her four-year-old daughter, slept soundly, a welcome respite from today’s endless are-we-there-yets.
“Hello?” she practically whispered.
“You unpacked yet?” Jenni Beth Beaumont, her best friend forever, sounded stressed.
“Still a few miles from town, but almost there.”
“Good. Great. Listen, I know this has been a stressful day, heck, a stressful year, and you’re tired…”
Tansy smiled. She could practically see her friend squirming. “What do you need, Jenni Beth?”
“Oh, Tanz, I have two weddings and a sixteenth birthday party coming up this week. Magnolia Brides is booked solid for the next nine months—my dream come true—but I’m dying here! I need cakes. Phenomenal cakes. Your cakes!”
“I don’t have—”
“Kitty said you can use the bakery’s kitchen.”
Tansy sighed and ran her fingers through already-mussed hair.
“I know, I know.” Jenni Beth’s tension vibrated over the airwaves. “I’m putting you on the spot. Big-time. I’m a horrible person. An even worse friend.”
“No, you’re not.” Determined, Tansy sat up a little straighter. “This is exactly what I’ve insisted I want. Part of the reason I’m on my way home. Color me stupid, but I’m in.”
As the city-limits sign loomed, she hung up and removed her dark glasses. Misty Bottoms, Georgia. The Low Country. Even slowing to a crawl didn’t stop the inevitable.
Home, sweet home.
Right back at the starting gate.
Waiting for her? No music, no hero, and no kiss.
And no one but herself to blame.
Tansy pushed her sunglasses back in place and glared at the brilliant sunshine that bathed the beyond-gorgeous autumn day. The humidity had dropped, and a few white clouds drifted high in the bluebird sky. Shouldn’t it be raining, the sky dark with ominous thunderheads?
Divorced for fifty-three days, five hours, and—she checked the dashboard clock—six minutes, and here she was, hell-bent on creating the cake for a bride’s special day.
She’d had her own shot at the dream and lost—because the wrong groom stood beside her at the altar.
Walking out of her supersized house that morning had been confusing. She’d expected a huge weight to lift, and it had. Still, that was the house she’d brought Gracie home to after she’d been born. Where her first four birthdays had been celebrated. Christmases and Thanksgivings.
And so much unhappiness and deceit.
A building off to Tansy’s right caught her attention and caused a hitch in her heart. Elliot Construction and Lumberyard.
Beck Elliot, the groom behind door number one, the door she hadn’t chosen.
Oh boy. Was she making another mistake? Should she have started over somewhere else?
Ding, ding, ding. The low-fuel indicator chimed, and the little red light blinked on. Shoot!
Tommy’s Texaco loomed.
Relieved, she flipped on her turn signal, veered into the lot, and pulled up to the gas pump.
And there it sat.
A big red truck with Elliot Construction on the side.
The door to the gas station opened, and Beck Elliot, looking hotter than any man had a right in dusty jeans, a faded T-shirt, and old work boots, stepped outside.
He tore the wrapper off a candy bar and took a bite.
Then his intense, midnight-blue eyes met hers. The chill had her rubbing her arms even though the temperature read seventy-five in the shade.
As she got out, her gaze collided with Beck’s again.
His eyes radiated resentment and betrayed hopes.
Hers? She figured they held remorse, hurt, and impossible-to-deny desire.
Beck nearly choked on the bite of chocolate. What the hell?
He tossed the bar into the trash barrel outside the door.
Months ago, he’d heard rumblings that Tansy’d enrolled her daughter in the local preschool, but since no one had said anything else about it, he’d figured she’d changed her mind. That fancy SUV of hers was loaded to the roof, though, way more than she’d need for a quick visit.
His chest constricted, and he swore under his breath. Why would she return to Misty Bottoms? She looked like one of those emaciated French models in the magazines his mom read. A good strong wind off the coast would blow her from here to Atlanta.
The strong, carefree Tansy he’d known had disappeared. She’d become… He didn’t know. Ethereal came to mind.
Not his business—and she’d be the first to tell him that.
“Hey, Beck,” Tommy said. “Got your truck filled for ya.”
“Thanks. I left the money on the counter. Later, pal.”
Without another word, without another glance toward the woman he’d once expected to marry, Beck hopped in his truck, turned the key, and pulled out of the gas station, reminding himself that Tansy Calhoun—no, make that Tansy Forbes—was history. Ancient history.

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Giveaway

10 Copies of The Best Laid Wedding Plans

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

LYNNETTE AUSTIN gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: Every Bride Has Her Day (Magnolia Brides, Book 2) by Lynnette Austin

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Every Bride Has Her Day (Magnolia Brides, Book 2) by Lynnette Austin

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Small Town Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

imageCAN LOVE REVIVE A WILTING HEART?

Cricket O’Malley can’t wait to plant roots back home in Georgia, where she’s returned to restore an abandoned flower shop to its former glory. The only blemish? Her neighbor’s house is even more neglected than her old flower shop, and its occupant seems as surly as he is darkly handsome.

Devastated body and soul after a tough case went south, New York City detective Sam DeLuca thought he’d have no trouble finding solitude in the quiet Georgia town of Misty Bottoms, but his bubbly neighbor seems determined to shine happiness into Sam’s life. Sam is equally determined to close himself off, but his heart says otherwise…

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Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1T8AGGz
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/21XD0yF
iBooks: http://apple.co/22WC3wu
Books A Million: http://bit.ly/25BFmb6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RRK4dL
!ndigo: http://bit.ly/1RD2WLe
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1RS7LWk

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Author Guest Post

Lynnette’s Tip for the Perfect Wedding

Your wedding day. You want it to be perfect, and it will be…if you don’t wander into the bridezilla zone. Keep your eye on the prize—a lifetime with that someone special—rather than the minutia of the wedding. In the long run, does it really matter if the cream-colored tablecloths are a smidgeon darker or lighter than you’d expected? Don’t become so obsessed on this one day that you lose sight of what’s important. If you find yourself slipping into rude behavior over the little things, maybe it’s time to play—and really listen to—Tim McGraw’s song, “Humble and Kind.”

Remember, too, the age-old adage, “You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. Not that you want to catch flies! But you’ll find that you get what you want a lot more often and a lot faster by being nice rather than unkind. And that means treating everyone well. Your attendants are your best friends. Relationships of a lifetime have been irreparably damaged by bridezilla behavior. Don’t say or do anything that you’d be ashamed of if a video of that conversation popped up on YouTube. Yes, you’re getting married. Yes, it’s a very important day. No, that doesn’t make it okay to be rude to others.

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Excerpt

“Hold on a sec.” Sam raised a finger and headed back inside. Grabbing the small radio he’d found tucked inside a closet, he placed it on the ledge above the sink, dialed up a station that played a lot of Frank Sinatra, and opened the window. The music drifted into the twilight.
In another cupboard, he found a stub of a candle in a squat holder. His aunt Gertie’d probably kept it in case of a power outage. It would do. He lit it and stepped outside to find Cricket curled up on the back porch swing, Hobo at her feet.
“So you decided to come home,” he said to the dog. “You’ve been gone half the day.”
In answer, Hobo thumped his tail on the porch.
“Yeah, I know. You heard steak was on the menu for dinner.”
The tail thumped harder, and Cricket laughed, a warm, sultry sound.
Sam set the candle on a small side table, his system on high alert.
Cricket O’Malley. The girl-next-door meets sex goddess.
He didn’t understand it, but that didn’t seem to matter. Chemistry fairly sizzled between them.
He cleared his throat, then leaned down beside the fire circle. After he got a nice little blaze started, he pulled an old bench close. “I know we don’t need the heat—” He broke off. No, they sure didn’t. If they got within ten miles of each other, they generated enough of their own. “I mean, uh, I thought it might add a little ambiance.”
“Nothing I enjoy more than sittin’ around a campfire.”
“Have a seat then, and I’ll start the steaks.”
After he tossed them on the grill, he inched down beside Cricket.
The woman smelled like heaven. Or sin. He couldn’t decide which and slung an arm over the bench back. Hobo jumped up beside him.
Sam slid closer to Cricket to give the dog more room.
Hobo took it and more.
“You’re crowding me, boy.”
Those big eyes stared up at him, then Hobo threw his head back in an ear-piercing howl.
“Stop that!”
The dog answered with another mournful cry.
“Oh, for Pete’s sake.” He tried to move the dog off the bench, but he’d become a boneless, dead weight.
Cricket laughed. “I think we both know what he wants.”
Sam let out a half-laugh. “You up for it?”
“I can handle it if you can.”
“Oh, yeah, I’m up for it.” He rolled his eyes. “Wrong way to put that, but—”
He broke off as she laid a hand on the side of his face, leaned into him, and gave him a taste of heaven.
“Not enough,” he muttered, pulling her closer, dipping his lips again and angling them to take more. He trailed kisses along her neck, then moved back to her mouth. His hands moved down her arms, brushed the sides of her breasts.
A log dropped and sent up a loud popping and a shower of sparks.
He drew back and laid his forehead against hers, noticed, thank you God, her ragged breathing matched his own. “Cricket—”
“Shhh.” She laid a finger over his lips. “Let’s just accept that for what it was.”
“What was it?”
“Darned if I know.” She laughed. “But Hobo’s quiet.”
Sam looked at the dog who, job done, had hopped off the bench and rested in the grass. “I’m liking that dog more every day.”

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Giveaway

5 copies of THE BEST LAID WEDDING PLANS by Lynnette Austin

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

imageThe luxury of staying home when the weather turns nasty, of working in PJs and bare feet, and the fact that daydreaming is not only permissible but encouraged, are a few of the reasons middle school teacher Lynnette Austin gave up the classroom to write full-time. Lynnette grew up in Pennsylvania’s Alleghany Mountains, moved to Upstate New York, then to the Rockies in Wyoming. Presently she and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. A finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest, she’s published five books as Lynnette Hallberg. She’s currently writing as Lynnette Austin. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse. Visit Lynnette at http://www.authorlynnetteaustin.com.

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