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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Today's Special - - Christi Barth

Today, we welcome contemporary romance author Christi Barth to The Romance Dish!  Christi's newest book, Planning for Love was released August 1st by Carina Press and is available in digital format.  Before her writing career, Christi earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi lives in Maryland with her husband. Please vist her on: Twitter or Pinterest or her Website


Authors dread the question where do you come up with your ideas?  There is no magic idea vault.  If we knew how to manufacture ideas, we’d all be millionaires, churning out bestsellers every month. (But if there is a secret idea vault that people are hiding from me, I’d really like to bribe my way in – spread the word!).

My Aisle Bound trilogy—centered around a wedding company--is an exception.  After I’d been a wedding planner in Chicago for, oh, all of a month, people started telling me that I should write a book.  They wanted the dish on tempermental bridezillas, overbearing mothers, and drunken bridesmaid/groomsmen hook-ups.  Well, if I did that I’d have about fifty lawsuits pending against me.  My guilty pleasure was watching Whose Wedding Is It Anyway, which follows harried wedding planners all around the country.  And one night, those two things clicked for me.  The idea for Planning for Love popped right into my head.

I’m a sucker for romance.  That’s why I love weddings so much.  And yes, just like my heroine Ivy, I would well up every single time one of my brides walked down the aisle.  Weddings are full of passion and love and, yes, occasionally hysterically funny drama (well, funny if it isn’t your wedding).  Here’s a quote from my hero, Ben talking about his assistant cameraman:  

“Sorry. The kid’s young, and is sure every gig we do has the potential for major drama. Instead of paying his dues, he plans to catapult to stardom on a clip of the bride falling off a chair during the Hora.”  Did I ever have that happen at one of my weddings?  No.  Did some other things go haywire?  You bet.  Three real events even made it into the book (although all the names were changed to protect the happily married).  Once you read Planning for Love, I’d love to hear your guesses about what wacky antics I made up, and what really happened.

So weddings mixed with the harsh spotlight of reality television sparked a plot for me.  How would a perfectly organized, detail oriented planner deal with being shadowed by cameras?  Why would she even agree to it in the first place?  No spoilers, but after she’s accidentally railroaded into being on one show, the network manages to talk her into starring in another one.  They think she’s a star.  Ivy disagrees.

“I can’t take all the credit,” Ivy said. “Aside from the excitement before the ceremony, everything ran according to plan.” Yes, aside from rolling around naked with the videographer after the wedding ended. Because really, no matter how ruthlessly a wedding coordinator organized the day’s itinerary, it never included three orgasms before dawn.

Of course, the story of where I got the idea for Planning for Love is exactly that – one story.  Somehow I convinced myself the wedding world provided enough inspiration for three books.  I started sorting through vendors in my mind.  Could I make anything funny and romantic about a DJ?  A caterer?  Nope.  But I do have a sexy baker/chocolatier doing unmentionably naughty things with melted chocolate in book two, and a florist hooking up with a hotel manager in a bed of rose petals in book three.  Oh, and of course another reality show to stir the pot by putting my characters under a different live spotlight.

Here’s what I want to know from all of you (because I’m still in the middle of writing book #3 in the trilogy – call it research):  What went hopelessly, and hysterically, wrong at a wedding you attended?

One randomly selected person leaving a comment on today's blog will receive a digital copy of Planning for Love!

Blurb: 
Hopeless romantic Ivy Rhodes
and
anti-Cupid Bennett Westcott
request the pleasure of your company for
their disaster of a courtship
Wedding planner Ivy Rhodes is the best in the business, and she’s not about to let a personal problem stop her from getting ahead. So when she gets an offer to star in the reality TV show Planning for Love, it doesn’t matter that the show’s videographer happens to be a recent—and heartbreaking—one-night stand.

Bennett Westcott can admit that he didn’t handle his encounter with Ivy very well. But looking at her beautiful smile—and, okay, great body—through the lens of a camera every day? He can’t be faulted for suggesting they have a little no-strings fun.

The more time Bennett and Ivy spend together, the more he realizes that Ivy isn’t the wedding-crazed bridezilla he’d imagined. But if he doesn’t trust himself to make a relationship last, how can he convince Ivy to give him another chance?

Purchase at Carina Press


26 comments:

  1. I made a horrible mistake with my own wedding 34 years ago! The band I wanted was booked for the date of our wedding. They recommended another band that was "just like them." My mistake was believing that and not going to see and hear them in person. Le'ts just say that they would have been perfect for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Unfortunately, we were not having a Greek Wedding!

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    1. Le'ts just say that they would have been perfect for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Unfortunately, we were not having a Greek Wedding!

      Oops! Hope you were all able to get into the spirit and enjoy yourselves anyway.

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    2. We did get into the spirit, PJ, and everyone enjoyed the music after the initial surprise! Our friends still talk about that band at our wedding!

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  2. hopelessly, and hysterically, wrong? it never happened on any wedding i attended, thank goodness.

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    1. Not words any bride wants associated with her wedding!

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  3. My niece got married in April and the morning of the wedding the DJ canceled, so they had a boom box and a lot of CD. It wasn't great, but what can you do right.

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    1. You do the best you can, right? Hope that somewhere down the road, the boombox story will bring smiles and laughter along with good memories.

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  4. Welcome, Christi! Planning for Love looks like a lot of fun. I have it on my tbr and can't wait to get started just as soon as my hectic day job schedule slows down a bit!

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  5. My wedding got off to a rocky start due to the fact that I was accidentally shot by the guard at the bank where I worked three weeks before the big date. Fortunately, we had planned a small wedding in the gazebo overlooking the bay where we lived and not an elaborate church wedding/reception that I could not have made it through at that stage in my recovery. The dh and I were to lead our guests down a beautiful winding path through gloriously blooming gardens to the gazebo. Three minutes - THREE MINUTES - before the procession was scheduled to begin, every sprinkler in the place turned on! We've all had good laughs over it in the years since but at the time? No, not so much! lol!

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    1. PJ. I had no idea you have been shot! That must have been terrible.

      The sprinkler image is very funny though, and like our Greek band we also have had many laughs about it over the years.

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    2. Flora, it is funny looking back and, luckily, my dh was finally able to reach someone and have the sprinklers turned off. There may have been yelling and colorful language involved (as he had been promised they would be shut off for the day). ;-)

      I blogged about the shooting incident last year. You can read it here:

      http://www.theromancedish.com/2011/03/second-chances-or-first-day-of-rest-of.html

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    3. OMG! I don't know how I missed it last year, PJ. I am so glad you survived to tell us about it and that I have had the pleasure of knowing you. Someone was surely looking out for you that day!
      Blessings, my friend!

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  6. My sister's veil caught on fire when she blew out the candle after she and her groom lit the unity candle. She was very cool and managed to extinguish it herself with a little help from our uncle who was the officiating minister. All I could do was watch helplessly, my arms full of flowers--mine and hers.

    The funniest disaster to everyone except the bride's parents was a friend's wedding in a tiny South Georgia town where the big-city best man and groomsmen spiked the punch with vodka. All the bride's little old lady great-aunts, former teachers, SS teachers, etc.--teetotaling Baptists all--were getting tipsy, and the father of the bride was muttering vague threats having to do with his shotgun and the groom's idiot friends. LOL

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    1. My sister's veil caught on fire when she blew out the candle after she and her groom lit the unity candle.

      Yikes! How scary!

      Love the reception story! Knowing many little old teetotaling Baptist ladies myself, I can well imagine the scene! LOL!

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  7. Another memorable occurance at our wedding happened when I threw the wedding bouquet into to the group of single ladies. One of my best friends literally elbowed someone out of her way in order to catch it. She denied doing so very adamantly. Until the wedding pictures came back..and the photographer had a perfect shot of her doing exactly that!

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    1. Some of those single ladies are very...determined...to come away with that bouquet!

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  8. Here is my last comment; I promise! I attended a wedding where the groom actually passed out during the ceremony! His friends made the mistake of giving him a bachelor party on the night before the wedding. He was standing at the alter looking green and swaying badly as the bride came down the isle. a few minutes into the vows, he just keeled over!

    Janga, I think your story takes the cake!

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  9. Today is my hospital volunteer day. I walked in and the lady who mans the lobby info desk with me said, "Let me tell you what happened at a wedding last weekend!" The daughter of her exercise instructor at the senior center got married Saturday. It was an outdoor wedding in the mountains and guests were asked to turn off cell phones before the processional. Well, the Maid of Honor (bride's sister) forgot she had her cell phone in her hand until just before she was to walk the walk. There was no place to put her phone and nobody to give it to so she slipped behind a tree, stuck the phone in her panties and, oh yeah, forgot to turn it off. At some point during the ceremony she bumped it and...voila! Music at full volume blaring from the Maid of Honor's wazoo!

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  10. I just saw a clip of a groom holding his bride in his arms while standing in the shallow waters of the ocean... and then deliberately dropping her.. completely soaked from head to toe... as a practical joke... sure hope he had a plan for her to have something to change into... She laughed and was quoted as saying she'd return the practical joke...
    My only hope was that the reception was over & the photos were all taken...

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  11. Actually, there is a new trend, known as trashing the wedding dress, where people deliberately walk into the ocean, or spray themselves with paint. Odd, huh?

    Believe it or not, this is the 4th story of a wedding veil catching on fire that I've heard. Dangerous stuff! I'm loving everyone's anecdotess - keep them coming.....

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  12. Hi, Christi, and welcome! Planning for Love sounds fabulous!

    My husband comes from a very dysfunctional family (I call him the white sheep in a black sheep family). So, when one of his sisters got married, there was plenty of drama--fights, sneers, foul language, and more. It was a tad bit embarrassing, to say the least.

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  13. During our wedding 38 years ago, my dad had a small heart attack and stumbled as he was walking me down the aisle. We didn't know about it until we got back from our honeymoon. We all thought he tripped over his own feet, including him.

    When my husband's brother got married, he tried to put the ring on his brides right hand instead of the left one.

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  14. Thanks for a fun post!!!

    The one and only time I was a bridesmaid, everything went wrong! Including the couple who divorced less than a year later. The biggest was the center pieces. They had pretty fishbowls w/ goldfish surrounded by votive candles. Well... by the end of the night all of the fish had been boiled by the heat of the candles... it was so sad!!!

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  15. When the wedding couple didn't pay the baker for the wedding cake and ended up buying last minute cupcakes to use as a wedding cake

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)cm

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  16. Wow. I'd like to say that if all these weddings had a coordinator, you never would've known about these blips in the happy day. But these are pretty enormous blips! I can't believe someone wouldn't pay for their wedding cake. My closest adventure to that was a caterer refusing to cut the cake. I promise you, cutting a wedding cake is MUCH harder than it sounds. Each tier ends up having multiple rows of cake carved out. I think it took me close to an hour to carve that thing.

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  17. I guess I have been to rather tame wedding,because I can't remember any major problems at any of the weddings we attended.

    We held the wedding and reception for our daughter at our house. The house was newly renovated and had a heat pump. Unfortunately, putting that many people in the house on an 80 degree with 80% humidity day did not work too well.We were all dripping before the meal was served.

    When our nephew got married in South Carolina, my sister and her husband came down from Virginia. He is one of those people who programs his GPS device even if he is going around the block. He was behind us as we pulled into the church parking lot, but didn't follow. He drove back and forth in front of the church several times with us out there waving and calling their names, but he wouldn't pull in because his GPS didn't tell him to. I think my sister turned it off and told him where to go, literally.

    Sounds like it is the perfect book for a fun, summer read.

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