Thursday, November 12, 2015

A visit with Lynnette Austin, author of The Best Laid Wedding Plans

Please join me in welcoming author Lynnette Austin as she chats about her new book, The Best Laid Wedding Plans, and give us her top five "first dance" wedding songs.

Take it away, Lynnette!

5 Favorite Songs for the Bride and Groom’s First Dance

At its base, The Best Laid Wedding Plans is about trust and rebuilding. Jenni Beth Beaumont needs to return home to small-town Misty Bottoms in Georgia’s Low Country. Her parents are struggling with the loss of their son, Magnolia House, her family’s antebellum home, is crumbling, and Misty Bottoms, Georgia, like so many small Southern towns, is dying. She decides to turn her family home into a wedding destination, hoping to help her parents, save Magnolia House, and bring new jobs to the area in one fell swoop. But before she leaves Savannah, she has one last wedding to tend to at Chateau Rouge where she’s worked as an event planner.

Tiny white lights transformed the gardens into a magical fairyland.
As the evening wore on, Jenni Beth relaxed.
A familiar voice whispered in her ear. “Dance with me.”
Cole Bryson. She hadn’t seen his name on the guest list.
Shivers raced down her spine, and her heart stuttered. It had been too long, not long enough. She always had found him irresistible, and that hadn’t changed. He’d perfected that slow Southern drawl, had the sound of a true gentleman. But the twinkle in his eyes gave him away. Revealed the bad boy tucked not far below the surface.
Right now, dressed in a dark suit and tie, the man looked like every woman’s dream. On the surface, smooth and debonair. But beneath lay the wild.
A full moon shone overhead and candlelight flickered. When he drew her into his arms and pulled her close, she sighed. One hand held hers, the other settled south of her waist.
Despite herself, she rested her head against his chest, seduced by the strong, steady beat of his heart, the illusion he could make everything and anything all right.

Cole Bryson, her brother’s best friend, the one who’d stood her up for her high school prom, the one to whom she’d given herself one crazy night in Savannah.  An architectural salvager, he wants to buy and deconstruct Magnolia House, while still others in town desperately want Jenni Beth to fail and will stop at almost nothing to ensure that happens.

Cole and Jenni Beth find themselves mired in intrigue, painful memories, and tough realities as they work to set their past aside for a second shot at their own happily-ever-after.

But that shared dance in Savannah reminded them of emotions they couldn’t deny. What song did they dance to in the moonlight? How do you choose from all the beautiful, romantic songs?

Here’s my list of the top five favorite songs for a couple’s first dance:

1. “All of Me” by John Legend — John dedicated this song to his wife Chrissy Teigen. What woman wouldn’t want this kind of love? 'Cause all of me loves all of you, Love your curves and all your edges, All your perfect imperfections   ::big sigh::

2. “Keeper of the Stars” by Tracy Byrd — Okay, as far as I’m concerned, these lyrics are some of the most beautiful ever written! The song makes me teary-eyed every single time I hear it. If you’ve never listened to it, do yourself a favor and pull it up on YouTube or iTunes and listen to it. Be prepared to melt! I hold everything when I hold you in my arms, I've got all I'll ever need, Thanks to the keeper of the stars

3.  “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton — Seriously, Blake is so darned sexy! And these lyrics? A divine conspiracy that you, an angel lovely could somehow fall for me… Ahhh! Let’s dance!

4. “Destiny” by Jim Brickman — Baby, you’re my destiny, You and I were meant to be. So romantic!  What bride and groom wouldn’t want to dance to these lyrics, to this emotion?

5. “You Are So Beautiful” by the great, late Joe Cocker — This song is so simplistic and so heartfelt. You’re everything I hoped for, everything I need. Boy, words to make a bride...and groom...feel cherished.

Runners up: “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion, “When You Say Nothing At All” by Alison Kraus, and “Unforgettable” by Mr. Nat King Cole.

When all the attention is on the bride and groom as they dance for the first time as Mr. and Mrs., everyone watching should feel a little misty-eyed. I truly believe any of these songs will help make that happen.

Thanks so much for sharing this magic moment with me today!

The Best Laid Wedding Plans
Magnolia Brides #1
Lynnette Austin
November 3, 2015
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - BAM - IndieBound
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Some dreams are worth whatever it takes...

Jenni Beth Beaumont left her broken heart behind when she took her dream job in Savannah. But after her brother's death, Jenni Beth returns home to help mend her parents' hearts as well as restore their beautiful but crumbling antebellum mansion. New dreams take shape as Jenni Beth sets to work replacing floors and fixing pipes to convert the family homestead into the perfect wedding destination. However, some folks in their small Southern town are determined to see her fail.

Cole Bryson was once the love of Jenni Beth's life, but the charming architectural salvager has plans of his own for the Beaumont family home. As the two butt heads, old turmoil is brought to the surface and Cole and Jenni Beth will have to work through some painful memories and tough realities before they can set their pasts aside and have a second chance at their own happily ever after.

The 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.

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