Thanks so much for having me here! This is my first time ever being here so I’m waving hello from the SE corner of Virginia to all your friends and followers.
So far the weather in Virginia has been wonderful! I wasn’t a June bride, I was a November bride, but my husband moved me to Virginia the following Memorial Day weekend. I think I was here two weeks when I discovered exactly what the weatherman meant when he said hazy, hot, and humid!
Our weather is actually worse than a tropical rain forest for humidity. If you plan on moving here, make certain you have gills! Many years later, I’m still here, and I still try to avoid the outdoors during the worst of the summer’s hazy, hot, and humid. That means I stay indoors as much as possible. Why didn’t we move to Wyoming? I’d rather shovel snow.
But no matter where you live, June is the month for brides. And who doesn’t love a wedding? There’s something so special about seeing a woman dressed in a bridal gown. Maybe it has something to do with all those fairytales we read as children. It probably is the most expensive dress many women will wear in their lifetime. It’s her special day. It doesn’t matter if it’s an extravagant wedding or a simple one. Most brides want it to be special.
Weddings are about love and hope. And where and how someone marries has little to do with long-term happiness. But for those who want a wedding to remember, there are plenty of options available.
The long white dress is changing. Many formal weddings today are often second marriages. And white is not always the best color on some brides. She can pick and choose colors. She can wear bridal gowns that are pants. And many are opting for less formal and more casual fun-filled events with dresses made for such weddings.
One hundred fifty years ago, women often married and were buried in the same dress a few years later. Scary! But times have changed, medical care has changed, and childbirth is safer. Thank goodness! And with it weddings have changed.
We’ve blended traditions because the world has become a melting pot of people. Some weddings have become huge parties meant to impress. The solemn formal affair is left to the religious ceremony and even that can be much more exciting and upbeat then it was even twenty years ago. A few sandwiches or finger foods can become elaborate buffets. Skip all that formal music and slow dances. Today’s wedding receptions are fabulous parties. The mother of the groom and the father of the bride have been known to rock the place!
From big formal affairs to backyard picnics, weddings have definitely changed. But say wedding and this wonderful feeling happens within us. It’s the ultimate show of love - the great promise. We read romances because we love that feeling of living happily ever after. It makes us feel good.
Weddings on Main Street
The Authors of Main Street decided to write another boxed set of books and the theme is weddings. I had this terrific character, DeeDee Drayden, and she was a fashion designer who wanted to exclusively design wedding gowns.
The rest of the Authors of Main Street thought it was a super idea and decided they would buy their gowns from DeeDee. Except we had decided to only write about 25K word novellas for the set, I’m a little wordy – just a little, maybe more than a little. At almost 25K I realized I was in big trouble! I was nowhere near the end of my story. Scrapping and shredding it was probably the only way to repair it.
More than a little crestfallen, I went back to the group and told them my dilemma. One of the authors suggested I use someone from that bridal salon for the story and write two stories. That’s exactly what I did.
With This Ring became DeeDee and Cody’s story, And I wrote I Thee Wed,
Julia and Aaron’s story for the boxed set.
Julia is Cody’s adopted daughter and she works with DeeDee. Cody is tall, dark, and handsome. I needed someone very different for Julia. Aaron came to mind, a freckled-faced redhead. Not exactly the average hero for a romance novel, but he was perfect for Julia and loads of fun to write.
What made him interesting was that he wasn’t the average guy. Think about it. We all know those redheads. We grew up with them, the class clown or the charmer. They can flash a smile and get away with it. There’s something about a redhead that says fun. Oh, but they can have a very serious side to them and Aaron showed that perfectly.
So two stories came out of a simple idea and I have another one planned. I think I like writing wedding-themed stories. They tend to be lighter than what I normally write - a great way of doing something slightly different. With This Ring became a full novel, and I Thee Wed is a novella, available as part of the boxed set, Weddings on Main Street.
Weddings on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street will be available for a limited time, so grab it! In addition to I Thee Wed, there are ten other books in there and every book is worth reading. Nothing is too hot or too sweet, just right down the middle for the average reader.
But the real joy for me, and I hope for the readers, is following the characters through both stories and watching Main Street Bridal Salon go from a dream to a thriving business. If I don't like the characters, I can't write the book. I've got to love the hero and he's got to have someone who is special. I also don't write perfect people. To me, they are unrealistic. So characters have to play in my head until they gel into "people" I can use.
DeeDee, as a character, came very quickly to me. She was strong and yet she had this very soft side that she kept hidden. That part of her that had been hurt so she packed it up and hid it from the world. She knew it was there, but she was afraid. Sometimes we have to hid things from the world. We can't let that guard down - we don't dare open ourselves to more pain. So DeeDee does what so many women do, she threw herself into her career. Is she good at it? Yes!
And Cody has been burnt, twice. He's picked up the pieces of his life and continued. He's a bit of an enigma to the community because in his way, he's gone into hiding. He trying to raise decent kids and keep them out of the limelight. Is he overwhelmed with seven children? Not really. He’s coping and running an efficient household. He loves the children and they know it. He is their parent and the only family they have.
But does anyone manage to be the perfect parent? I don’t think it’s possible. Good parent? Yes. But perfect? No way! With four teens, a tween, and a young set of twins, Cody’s doing the best he can.
Julia floundered in high school. But when she went to work for DeeDee, she tucked the young woman under her wings. Julia latched onto her job with enthusiasm. Like so many teens today, her computer skills were excellent. Plus she has the natural ability to match the designs to the women and make their dreams come true.
Julia's Story in
Julia is growing up and Cody is having a difficult time letting go of the oldest of his brood. Plus he’s trying to protect her from making the mistakes that he made. Especially when he realizes that Aaron has swept her off her feet.
Aaron is older and getting his PhD. His father owns a national delivery service. He never quite understood his own parents’ relationship until love-at-first-sight hits him when he spends his summer substituting for delivery drivers and sees Julia at Main Street Bridal Salon. She ignites a fire in him that won’t go away.
So squish it all together, and that’s what I wrote. The good, the bad, the oh-no moments, and the humorous ones all sort of combined in these stories. But through both stories, there’s love, each as different as the characters. The love is between Cody and DeeDee, Julia and Aaron, but also a father’s love.
With This Ring is the story of DeeDee Drayden and her dreams of having her own successful bridal business. She was an only child and the product of a broken marriage. She doesn’t really believe in a happily ever after, especially since her only serious relationship ended when she caught her guy cheating.
Cody Montgomery has two failed marriages in his past and a pack of kids from those marriages. He’s sworn off women until he meets DeeDee. But chipping away at her tough exterior isn’t easy. With four teenagers, a pre-teen, and a set of young twin boys, hot dates are almost impossible, especially when trying to set a good example for his children.
An Excerpt from With This Ring
Cody took DeeDee back to his house. “You've been on my mind all morning and I know that tonight is not going to be conducive to a hot date or even a cold one. I've got children to deal with as they come home.”
DeeDee nodded. “I figured as much.”
“Good, then you'll understand my next move.” He took her hand and led her back to his room. “Remember when I said I was a safe date? I mean that, but I want you in my arms and in my bed. Can we try one more time? I can barely keep my eyes open.”
She raised her eyebrows. “No sex, just a nap?”
He peeled off his shirt. “The more skin the better it will be. There's a small part of me that might seem willing, but the rest of me is shot.”
She laughed and pulled off her sweater revealing a camisole top.
He dropped his slacks as he stared into her eyes. “Don't you think you need to get rid of the pants, too? You certainly don't want them to wrinkle.”
“That's all that's coming off.”
He pulled open a drawer and handed her a condom. “In case of emergency.”
She dropped it back in the drawer. “You've got to be feeling worse than I do.”
She removed her pants revealing long, well-portioned muscular legs.
His breath hitched. He pulled down the covers, set his alarm, and climbed into bed. “Promise me, you’ll ignore any body part of mine that isn’t sleeping?”
DeeDee snuggled against Cody, then gazed into his blue eyes. “Ditch the tee shirt. I happen to like skin, too.”
He yanked it over his head and then tossed it in the direction of his clothing. “You know you're getting old when this is hot dating.”
“Maybe this is better. It's also not hormone driven.”
“Better tell that to the area below my waist, because it hasn't realized how tired the rest of me is.”
“I won't entice it.” She giggled.
“Too late. It knows you are here and that's enough.”
Amazon buy link for With This Ring
***You Can Find E. Ayers on the Web at:
(Amazon Author Page)
(Authors of Main Street Newsletter)
Other Books by E. Ayers
Wanting (A River City Novel)
A New Beginning (A River City Novel)
A Challenge (A River City Novel)
Forever (A River City Novel)
A Son (A River City Novel)
A Child's Heart (A River City Novel)
Campaign (A River City Novel) coming in June 2014
Coming Out of Hiding (a novel)
With This Ring (a novel)
I Thee Wed (a novella) coming in June 2014
Weddings on Main Street (boxed set)
A Fine Line (a novella) *
Mariners Cove (a novella)
Ask Me Again (a novella)
A Skeleton at Her Door (a novella)
A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Cowboy's Kiss in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Love Song in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Calling in Wyoming (a novella) *
A Rancher’s Woman (a historical novel)
Sweetwater Springs Christmas (anthology) *
* sweeter reads