OK. I'm not really giving away wedding dresses. But I've got the lovely South African author Kathy Bosman to my blog today as she launches her new sweet contemporary romance Wedding Gown Girl published by Astraea Press. She's also giving away a digital copy to one lucky commenter. So please make her feel welcome. I've also got some photos of wedding dresses from my favourite designer, Yemi Osunkoya at Kosibah. He designed my wedding dress. Over to you, Kathy.
Thank you Kiru, for hosting me on your blog today. I love your books – they are full of passion, deep emotion, and exotic settings and cultures. It’s a privilege to be on your blog.
I’ve had quite a tumultuous journey to get to where I am today. I’ve been writing romance for several years, and have received many rejection letters and quite a few setbacks, like publishing a novel with a vanity publisher who let me down in so many ways. It was also quite a challenge to discover a genre that worked well with my writing style. I’ve tried women’s fiction, inspirational romance, historical romance, and even erotic romance, but know that sweet contemporary is perfect for me – for now.
So when I received my contract from Astraea Press in June this year, I was over the moon!
Wedding Gown Girl was such fun to write, and I have to admit that, although I suffer from the dreaded writer’s block, I didn’t get it when writing this book. I think I enjoyed the chemistry between the characters and the naughtiness of my heroine, yet her vulnerability. I enjoyed how the hero couldn’t help falling for her when everything in his logic screamed against it. I enjoyed the parts about their pets as they make the characters empathetic to the readers. The book was character-driven, so I think that’s why it was so much fun to write.
Honestly, though, it wasn’t always easy, and there were times when I doubted the book. I don’t think publishing a book takes away all that self-doubt – it just magnifies it.
Wedding Gown Girl is about wedding dresses. Doesn’t every woman love them? I do.
Kienna works at a bridal boutique, helping brides choose their dream dresses. Secretly, she designs evening gowns at home which no-one knows about. A couple come in one day and Kienna thinks the groom is perfect, but she’s sworn to singleness because of a bitter divorce, and she would never go after a client. Then the bride confides in her that she’s not marrying for love. Kienna can’t bear for that wonderful groom not to know – he can’t go through what she went through. At first, he thinks she’s just flirting with him, until he’s jilted at the altar on his wedding day. They meet again and the spark between them ignites, but Kienna holds back. Will Kienna and Blake realise that they were meant for each other and that their love can last forever?
I’m giving away a PDF version of my e-book to one commenter on this blog.
Here’s an excerpt from my first chapter:
“Rachelle, I think you’ll love this one.” Kienna held up an empire--‐‑style wedding dress with layers of satin and snow--‐‑white chiffon. “This style will accentuate your curves and make you look taller.”
“That’s just perfect. It’s so beautiful!” Rachelle’s eyes lit up.
She pursed her pouty lips and fingered a small diamante line below the bustline. “I’m sure Blake will love it. Shall I try it on?”
“Of course!” Kienna removed it from the hanger and draped it over her arm gracefully. “All yours for a few minutes.” It was easy to pretend eagerness with a customer. Not like she pretended often – she normally loved playing dress--‐‑up. This time, however, she didn’t want the bride to look beautiful.
“And the price?”
Kienna shook her head. “Well below budget.”
Rachelle popped into the fitting room, and Kienna flitted to the adjoining chamber to find Olivia.
“Did you see my couple?” she asked Olivia.
Olivia nodded, a small smile curving her caramel mouth.
“Sure did. They came to my room by accident.”
“He’s waiting for her in the other room. You should see how besotted he is. And handsome. Of all the grooms I’ve seen, none matches him. I would scoop him up any day.”
“Kieeenaa! So unlike you. But he was quite handsome.”
“Fairy--‐‑tale prince kind of handsome. The type of man dreams are made of.” She placed her hand on her chest and sighed.
Olivia chuckled. “He’s better than the one I have. This guy is balding and has a mole on his nose.”
“If he wasn’t marrying someone else…” Kienna sighed and twirled a strand of her short hair, which bounced back into her eye. When was she going to remember that she couldn’t do that with her new, tight, pixie hairstyle? And that she wasn’t ever going to get married again nor did she look at men?
“You don’t even date, and now, you’re talking about marriage?”
Kienna winked at Olivia. “It’s fun to dream sometimes. I’d better go – my client will be waiting for me.”
Kienna was back to her client in a moment.
“Ms. Worndell, I’ve put it on. Please, will you do up the buttons at the back? And it fits me perfectly. I love those mirrors in the fitting room – like the whole wall is covered in mirrors. You can see yourself from every angle.”
“Aren’t they marvellous?” Kienna smiled as she pressed the pearly buttons through the tight buttonholes. She’d suggested the mirrors to management, and they’d put them in a few months back. How proud she was that they’d agreed to her idea and that a client
appreciated them too.
“Now for the true test – to see if your future groom likes the
dress. It’s good that you’ve decided to let him see beforehand. Very few women take that chance to break tradition.”
Rachelle shrugged. “Blake insisted. He’s paying for it.”
Kienna stared at the petite brunette standing before her. She had a perfect hourglass figure, dark enchanting eyes, and the sleekest hair she’d ever seen. Kienna bit her lip. Why was she
jealous of this bride? Very unlike her.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s show him how gorgeous you look.” The chiffon swished as Rachelle walked through the door onto the little modelling platform. Blake’s
expression turned from boredom to pure rapture in a moment. His eyes brushed Rachelle up and down, and his straight mouth formed a wide smile, creating long dimples at the edges.
“You look absolutely gorgeous, sweetheart. You’ve looked beautiful in every dress you’ve tried on, but this one looks perfect.”
He walked up to her and took her hands. “Let’s forget the ceremony and get married right now.”
Rachelle laughed dryly. “After all the money you’ve spent on this wedding? Forget it.”
That wasn’t a sneer on Rachelle’s pretty mouth, was it?
Kienna blinked. Maybe she was imagining it. But anything was possible with what she’d experienced. She’d even watched a couple break--‐‑up right before her eyes, with the future bride in her wedding gown, bawling her eyes out.
“Of course, dearest. I want you to have that dream wedding with all the bells and whistles.” His face was tender. Tough and tender mixed. A perfect combination.
Rachelle nodded, a false smile plastering her face.
Out of ten, this one is definitely a two. How sad! That handsome and sweet man deserved a nine or ten. Not that many got that score. She led Rachelle to the back room.
“You may take the gown off. I suggest that you make another appointment for a fitting.”
“Not today?” asked Rachelle. “The ceremony is in a month’s time.”
“Oh, yes, Anna did inform me that you had little time, and that I should arrange a fitting ASAP. Let me check my weekly planner, and I’ll set up something for this week.”
“Thanks so much.”
Kienna ran to the desk which she shared with Olivia.
“How much?” Olivia asked, her brown eyes twinkling at her.
“You’re kidding, right? With that sexy hunk of a man?”
“It’s her. There’s something wrong there.”
“You’re just jealous.”
Kienna shook her head. “How could I be jealous when the last thing I want is a man in my life right now? No, there’s no connection between them. I don’t think it will last.”
Olivia sighed. “You’re way too cynical. There were more eights and nines before you divorced Ridge.”
“I’m a realist through and through.”
“Not a romantic bone left in your body.” Olivia sniggered.
“I’d give my couple at least a seven. There were plenty of stars in their eyes.”
“As long as they weren’t falling stars,” giggled Kienna. She left with a spin and, when her hair didn’t bounce against her cheek, was momentarily reminded of her radical haircut the day before.
She wouldn’t tell Olivia that she had to watch at least three romantic movies a week. She didn’t need to confess how much of a softy she still was.
Wedding Gown Girl can be found on the publisher’s website at Astraea Press or on Amazon. Here are the links to purchase:
Kathy’s website and blog: http://www.authorkathybosman.weebly.com