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Guest Promo–The Wedding Yarn by Lindsey Paley

The Wedding yarn

Tying the Knot is a Competition of Choices

Would you invite the whole country to your wedding? Well, that’s exactly what Lilac Verbois and Finn Marchant have decided to do. But their idea to launch seven individual competitions for the design of the wedding gown, the bridal flowers, the catering, the choir and band music as well as the wedding cake and artwork means multiple migraines for their for their hassled wedding Planner, Tish, but the opportunity of a lifetime for Callie-Louise Henshaw, couture fashion designer and all round textile and seed pearl princess.

That is until her design fails to make the final seven in The Wedding Gown Competition and she finds herself without a job or the safety net of her family.

Celebrities, couture dresses, rock bands and French patisserie – it’s enough to make a girl run screaming to the wedding cupcakes for a dose of restorative buttercream. After all, tying the knot is a competition of choices, but which one will win?

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Excerpt:

“Step away from the dress! I mean it Jules. If you even come one step closer with that skinny latte I’ll be forced to shoot you with my staple gun. What’s possessed you to bring coffee in here, anyway? You know how obsessed Christie is about the design studio being a sterile area!” Callie’s horrified eyes flashed with irritation as she extricated a bunch of dressmaking pins from the corner of her lips.

“Relax. Christie’s in Dubai.”

“That’s not the point. You know how precious this gown is. It’s the culmination of six months frenzied hard work from conception to vision creation! Only these last few seed pearls to attach to the waistline and it’ll be ready for the couriers to collect this evening for its final journey to The Dorchester. You do remember the judging’s tomorrow morning, don’t you? We’re cutting it fine but Scarlet’s slaved like a Trojan. Even Flora has pitched in. If you spill even a drop of coffee,” Callie gulped down her annoyance at Jules cavalier attitude to the most important project of her life, “well, all of our dreams will be sacrificed!”

“Stop hyperventilating Callie, will you? It’s one of a number of unattractive traits you seem to have developed since your design was shortlisted in this ludicrous competition. Don’t worry – the wedding gown of the decade will be presented in pristine condition to the fairy princess, Miss Lilac Verbois, at The Dorchester tomorrow – with no errant coffee stains to mar its perfection.”

“Jules,” Callie sighed, “you know how much this competition means to Christie and to me, especially now we’ve been shortlisted to the last seven. And if our design wins – well, it will cement Christianna Couture as a celebrity haute couture boutique. You know she deserves it.”

“Yeh, and you too, Callie-Louise, as her trusty, loyal protégé, eh?”

Callie rolled her hazel eyes at Jules. “I’m not going to deny the fact that I would be overjoyed if my design was selected. To see such a glamorous actress in one of my creations – well, yes, it would be the pinnacle of everything I’ve worked for over the last six years. But not just for me – it’s a real team effort, Christie, Scarlet, Flora, Lizzie even you, Jules. If our design is chosen, Lilac Verbois will appear in our creation on the front cover of every glossy magazine in the country. Interest in Christianna Couture will rocket. Our order book will be packed out and that includes demand for your headpieces, fascinators and millinery designs, too. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity for you to showcase your talents to the fashion savvy. Look, I know it’s been difficult to get commissions this last year, but…”

“I don’t need your phoney words of sympathy, Callie. I’m doing just fine, thank you. My creative juices are flowing too, you know. I’m not just cheering from the side-lines of your starring role. If you don’t mind, I’ll remove my interfering frame and offending beverage from your royal presence before my knees buckled under the pressure of an audience with such majesty and I inadvertently dribble on your beloved gown.

“If you can spare the time in your illustrious schedule, maybe I’ll see you back at the apartment later?” Jules’ boldly drawn features contorted with child-like petulance as he retreated to the open wooden stairs of Callie’s basement studio, his taut buttocks clad in his favourite black D&G jeans.

Callie read the signs of his restrained aggravation – the tightness of his broad shoulders, the stiff angle of his neck. As usual, his presentation was immaculate. His hair, the colour of liquid coal, curled between the nape of his neck and the collar of his charcoal Paul Smith shirt, impeccably ironed by the lady at the local laundrette as Callie had neither the time nor inclination to meet his sartorial demands of perfection.

“Or maybe I’ll just spend my last evening in Leeds with people who recognise my talents and appreciate my company, as you obviously intend to remain here with your precious dress until the early hours. You know Callie, I still don’t get why we couldn’t have shot over to Dubai together for my two weeks’ leave, met up with Christie out there, regaled her with the benefit of our advice for her new boutique, shopped until we dropped, sunk some cocktails, partied until dawn. But oh no, little miss celebrity fashion designer here had to retain control of the wedding gown’s final delivery. Well, don’t rush home, darling.”

Jules’ parting shot rang in Callie’s ears like feedback from a malfunctioning microphone. She opened her mouth to retaliate but relented and squashed down her rising irritation. It would not ease his envy of her success by her reminding him that he had not yet paid her back for their jaunt to Barbados at Christmas so she was reluctant to splurge on another exotic trip.

She listened as his stacked heels clacked up the polished oak stairs, leaving in his wake a heavy cloud of Chanel Monsieur cologne in which he bathed daily. Her traitorous mind rewound its image reel to remind her how different Jules was from Theo, not only physically but in personality and nature; but then, wasn’t that exactly why she was dating him.

L Paley

Lindsey Paley grew up in Yorkshire. She relocated to the North East of England where she lives with her husband and young son and as many books as she can cram into the four corners of her spare bedroom.

She began her writing career over twenty years ago but that first novel – ‘Baringer Manor’ – remains in a cardboard box on top of the wardrobe. Her favourite writing place is a peppermint and white summerhouse (shed) also stuffed with books she can’t throw away.

An avid baker, with a willing family and neighbours as tasters, when she is not scrutinising her fellow human beings for ideas for her next novel, she is to be found perfecting her swing on the golf course – a hopelessly over-optimistic ambition.

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Character Interview-Rachel from Wish List Addiction

Today I have Prism Book Group friend, Lindsey Paley, here with an interview of the heroine from her August release, The Wish List Addiction.

How about you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Rebecca Mathews, thirty-two-year old, stressed out ex-lawyer and harassed mother of Max, my fabulous four-year-old son. I have copper-coloured hair, which I hated as I went through school but grew to love when at college, and emerald green eyes. I live in a dingy one-bedroomed apartment in Hammersmith, London and have a full-time job as a para-legal at Baringer & Co. Oh, and I’m a listoholic!

The worst part of my life is the daily struggle to get Max off to the day care he loathes in order to battle my ( single, childless) boss, Lucinda to be able to pay our exorbitant rent as Max’s dead beat father, Bradley, refuses to contribute child maintenance – it eats into his personal grooming and entertainment allowance. The best part of my life, of course, is Max. Oh, and my discovery of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’.  

 Where were you raised?

I was raised in the tiny village of Matfen in Northumberland, the largest and most rural county of England. I am an only child of George and Marianne who could not fathom the draw of the bright lights and fume-ridden atmosphere of London. It turned out they were both right as, when I became a mom, all I dreamed of was returning home to raise Max in the rural surroundings I was so happy in. But that dream was the catalyst to my downfall! Buying that rundown cottage was a stupid decision, despite the numerous lists I drafted of the pro’s and con’s of leaving London.

Did you always want to be a lawyer?

I did, yes. I enjoyed every moment of the study for my degree and I was fortunate enough to get a great job with a Top Ten law firm in London. I’d even started building up my reputation as a matrimonial litigation specialist until Brad dropped his bombshell that he was leaving me and Max and refused to provide any financial support. I couldn’t sell ‘Rosemary Cottage’ and the bank foreclosed. I lost my job and it was only the offer of a para-legal post that saved Max and I from destitution. I should have returned home, but I did hope that Brad would come round and see his son. He didn’t.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you?

Well, that would be three things. Firstly, of course, Max. Then, the unearthing of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’. I truly believe that my colleagues, Deb and Nathan’s idea to challenge me to a bunch of off-the-wall activities, and their refusal to allow me to continue with my list-making obsession, turned my life around. I mean, who wouldn’t want to give kite-flying, dancing the Tango or learning to play golf a go? I’d urge any of your readers to grab a copy of ‘The Little Green Book’ – available on Amazon.com – and give it a try! It worked for me and led to the third best thing on my list (Ooops – sorry – here’s me telling you I’m cured!) the new man in my life, Josh Charlton – rugby-playing hunk extraordinaire!!

WishlistAddiction copy (1)

BLURB:

Rebecca Mathews is a Listoholic—you name it, she has a ‘To Do’ list for it. Coupled with her daily ‘Must Achieve’ List, she possesses a mid-term, creatively drawn ‘Wish List’ and an exhaustively-researched ‘Bucket List’. But so far, they have delivered nothing but spectacular failure.

With her much-loved career exploded in her face, her marriage terminated in an acrimonious divorce and her frail father’s pleas to return to her native Northumberland ignored, Rebecca concludes that if it wasn’t for her beloved four-year-old son, Max, she would be adding a trip to a Swiss clinic to her list.

A sparkle of light appears in Rebecca’s life wrapped in the guise of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’, which challenges the reader to ‘ditch the list’ and instead to use its gems of wisdom as a ‘dip in/dip out’ lucky bag of challenges from all areas of life.

Persuaded by her colleagues to relinquish her obsessive reliance on her multiple lists, cast adrift from their reassuring structure, she agrees to complete random tasks selected for her from the ‘little emerald book of miracles’.

Will it deliver the desired result and cure Rebecca of her Wish List Addiction?

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Release promotion for The Wish List Addiction

Wish List Addiction

Blurb for The Wish List Addiction

 

Rebecca Mathews is a Listoholic—you name it, she has a ‘To Do’ list for it. Coupled with her daily ‘Must Achieve’ List, she possesses a mid-term, creatively drawn ‘Wish List’ and an exhaustively-researched ‘Bucket List’. But so far, they have delivered nothing but spectacular failure. 

With her much-loved career exploded in her face, her marriage terminated in an acrimonious divorce and her frail father’s pleas to return to her native Northumberland ignored, Rebecca concludes that if it wasn’t for her beloved four-year-old son, Max, she would be adding a trip to a Swiss clinic to her list. 

A sparkle of light appears in Rebecca’s life wrapped in the guise of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’, which challenges the reader to ‘ditch the list’ and instead to use its gems of wisdom as a ‘dip in/dip out’ lucky bag of challenges from all areas of life. 

Persuaded by her colleagues to relinquish her obsessive reliance on her multiple lists, cast adrift from their reassuring structure, she agrees to complete random tasks selected for her from the ‘little emerald book of miracles’. 

Will it deliver the desired result and cure Rebecca of her Wish List Addiction?

 

Excerpt from ‘The Wish List Addiction’

EXCERPT

Copyright 2014 © Lindsey Paley

“Right! Where’s that wishes book then?” Deb demanded first thing Monday morning. “Hand it over! I’m holding you to your promise.”

Before Rebecca handed the little green book to Deb, Nathan glanced at their team manager, Georgina, still engrossed in a complicated call, then scootered his chair to Deb’s desk as if keen to get involved.

“The Little Green Book of Wishes.” Deb rotated the book in her hand, stroking its emerald cover as though wedding dress silk, parting its pages at the contents page. “‘Wishes with your Partner’, ‘Wishes with Children’, or ‘Wishes for the World’ section? Hey, there’s one of your wishes here, Nath, from the ‘Wishes with Friends’ section—‘Real Ale tasting’! Oh, and ‘Swishing’! Now that’s one I would include on my wish list!”

I don’t understand why you are both so excited.” Nathan rolled his eyes. “It’s a complete waste of time and energy, if you ask me. Wishes never come true. I’d love to get the supervisor’s job when Georgina is promoted to associate next month, but I know I won’t, so what’s the point applying? Why put myself through all that anxiety and stress?

Anyway, it’s Becky we’re selecting random wishes for, not me. And why put poor Becky through the hassle and potential humiliation of performing challenges from a randomly purchased book extolling the unachievable virtues of fulfilling our deepest desires? Crazy, if you ask me.”

He flicked his Baringer & Co pen between his fingers until it became a blur. However, despite his pessimistic forecast, he continued to pour eagerly over the contents section of the little green book with Deb and Rebecca.

“Well, I think it’s an excellent idea and so does Fergus. Hey, look, there’s even a section on marrying. Thank goodness, ’cos I could do with some seriously helpful tips, we’ve still got so much to do. I’m up for ‘Becoming the Perfect Bride’ and ‘Maintaining a Successful Marriage’. Might even try ‘Co-existing With Your In-laws’.” She sniggered.

“Oh, I’m so excited. Look, Becky, ‘Amassing a Prestigious Shoe Collection.’ Let’s study that one and slip off one lunchtime soon to Jimmy Choo’s wedding shoe emporium! Come on, what’ll be your first challenge from the little green book? You chose the category, but me and Nath are choosing the challenge.” She held the book up to Rebecca’s face and flicked the pages from back to front, her perfectly plucked, honey-blonde eyebrows disappearing into her fringe.

“Well, I really don’t want to go on a date, and my career is rock bottom, so it’ll have to be some sort of an activity.” Rebecca fervently hoped the selection would be ‘Making Maracas’ or ‘An Afternoon Kite Flying’, which she and Max had discovered, but somehow she doubted Deb would let her off so easily.

“Right, now me and Nathan will confer. It’ll be a great way of meeting new guys, anyway.” She giggled. As she was in love, she expected the whole world to want to be, too. “Mmm, what do you think, Nath?” They huddled together in her cubicle, her blonde mane meeting his dark spikes. “Where will there be lots of hot, single men? Oh, and let’s find something she can do with Max, too, this being the first challenge.

“What about ‘Taking a Dance Class’? Must be on everyone’s wish list that, surely? It suggests the waltz or the tango. Here, did you know the tango is said to have been born in the brothels of Argentina, the dancers connecting chest-to-chest or hip-to-thigh displaying strong and determined passion? What could be better? Only two stars, Becky, must be an easy challenge, right?”

“You’re joking. I’m not taking Max to a tango class! Anyway, look what it says at the end. A dance class such as the tango or the jive is not for the faint-hearted when wishing to meet new people. No, Deb.”

“Well, okay, but I might persuade Fergus to take some lessons with me.

We could perform a passionate tango as our first dance at the wedding reception—spice up the night and shock the grannies!”

Her infectious giggle rang around the office, causing Georgina to lift her eyes and throw them a puzzled look. Shaking her short, black curls, she returned to her phone call. It was their lunch break after all.

“Right, ‘Exercising Section,’ then. What sport have you always had a hankering to try? Yoga? Crossbow shooting? Oh, what about Morris dancing? Is that really a sport?”

“Be serious. I’ve not done any real exercise since giving birth to Max. Anything too energetic would be the first and last challenge to be attempted from the book and I’d end up in the A&E.”

“I suppose that also means ‘Climbing Mount Everest’ is not going to make Rebecca’s wonderful wish list, then?” Deb smirked.

Rebecca’s glare said, “Do you think I’m stupid?”

“Right, got it.” She held the book up in front of her and Nathan’s faces. He glanced at the page and then peered around the cover at Rebecca.

“Sure,” Nathan agreed. “As good as any. And Max can join in with that, too, which is what the book is suggesting, I think. There’s a great club near us which runs a junior academy and welcomes kids from the age of three.”

“What? What are you talking about?” Rebecca’s heart hammered against her ribcage, particularly at Nathan’s suggestion that Max join her.

She had not agreed to involving him in this crazy folly. But her new friends ignored her protestations.

“Yes, I’ve been to that club with Fergus’ nephew. It’s great fun. Right, decided.” Deb turned the chosen page toward Rebecca. “There you are, Becky, ‘Learning to Play Golf’. You can take Max along and have some fun just hitting the balls from the driving range, or there’s an American mini golf course to try out. You can enquire about the junior academy whilst you’re there for Max. It’s an activity you can do together and there’ll be lots of men wandering around in that delightful golf gear. You could kill two birds with one golf ball!”

She handed the book to Rebecca, who grabbed it and read out loud, “Learning to play golf is fun. Hitting a golf ball is easy, but hitting the ball in the direction you want it to go takes an enormous amount of practice. Mmm. Look at the warning at the end. Be sure never to stand in close proximity to a golfer’s swinging club. I foresee disaster.”

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