**Kindle Scout Winning Book** Being jilted almost-at-the-altar by text message is not at all how prim and proper Roxy Rose thought her wedding day would go. Getting dragged on her Hawaiian honeymoon by her excessively self-centered sister and outlandishly irreverent grandma is the icing on the horrible wedding day cake.
Can Kai, the resort’s hunky and talented chauffeur / bartender / flame-thrower, turn this disaster of a trip into a romantic adventure to last a lifetime? Or will his mysterious secrets keep their love from blossoming? Escape with Roxy into the enchanting Hawaiian Islands as she finally discovers the joys of hanging loose and “Getting Lei’d.”
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My family visited Hawaii last October. It was impossibly beautiful and practically begged to be the setting of a terrific romance.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Many readers have commented that Baggy, Roxy’s irreverent grandma, is their favorite character. My crazy, hilarious, and utterly lovable mom was the inspiration for Baggy.
Jilted at the altar. These are words that I never in ten trillion years would have thought would apply to me. Okay, technically, I’m not at the altar yet, but I’m already in the white dress. Besides, getting jilted by text message should count for double or triple points, right?
I keep looking from my cell phone to the full-length mirror in the coatroom-turned-bridal-party-prep-area in the quaint, white-steepled church, which my fiancé and I had recently started attending because I envisioned it as the perfect place to exchange marital vows. The reflection staring back at me from the mirror with big brown eyes is beautiful, and I’m not one to say that (or even think that) about myself. Well, my likeness would be beautiful, if it weren’t for the mouth hanging wide open in shock.
The ladies in the room with me are bustling around excitedly. My eyes blink quickly as I work to process the sterile text message and attempt to devise a way to share the bombshell news.
Time seems to slog slowly past. I stare at the mirror and a bride gazes back at me. I tilt my head to the side wanting one last glimpse of her in all her Swarovski-crystaled glory. What I am about to say will ruin her big day.
When I finally speak, my voice sounds croaky and muffled, almost like I am underwater. “The wedding is off.”
The room goes silent. Everyone is completely still for a moment. I guess they were able to hear my life-altering, shocking mumble.
My practical, ever-rational mother is the first to speak. “Don’t be silly, Dear. Everyone gets wedding day jitters. Just smile and say your vows. It will all be over in a jiffy.”
I cringe slightly at her attempt to comfort me. The fact that she views a wedding day as something to get over with quickly, rather than a blessing to cherish as one of the most wonderful gifts that life has to offer speaks volumes about her relationship with my dad. I can’t focus on that right now, though.
Mother begins moving about the room as if her dismissive words negated my previous statement. I guess she thinks telling me to ‘get over it’ will make everything fine. In my mind, I picture her checking ‘calm high-strung daughter’ off her list of things to do today.
The other women in the room remain motionless. Their eyes roam around uncertainly while their bodies remain frozen in whatever position they were in when I made the announcement. I feel hysterical laughter beginning to bubble up inside me. They look like they are playing a grown-up version of the game ‘freeze dance’ and the music has just stopped.
Mother just doesn’t get it. I watch her fluff the deep purple ribbons on my bouquet of daisies as she shuffles about, business as usual. She’s going to lose the game, I think, and I’m horrified to hear the impending giggles burst out of me.
Since we aren’t playing the musical game, my maniacal chortling serves as the catalyst for resumed activity. Suddenly, I am surrounded by five of the ladies I love most on this Earth. There are only five because my best friend, Lizzie, is conspicuously absent, and now I know why.
I turn my phone so the group can see the text from my now-former husband-to-be, Gary. I watch as they each read the words, some of them moving their lips as they do so. The shock, pity, and outrage move in waves throughout the group.
“What in tarnation?” This outraged question comes from my wildly irreverent grandma, Baggy. Although she looks like a sweet (although slightly shriveled) little old lady with her freshly set silver curls, bright pink lipstick, and lemon yellow sweater, she is anything but. “He can’t do this. I’m going to give that snot-nosed little wiener a piece of my mind.” With that, she whirls around, shaking her white leather Aigner handbag in the air like a battle weapon.
If I weren’t hysterical, I would be amused by her typical show of spunk. Baggy has never been the typical grandmother who sits quietly in her rocking chair knitting red mittens. Even as a child, I had known my grandma was different. In fact, her nickname, Baggy, was my toddler version of ‘Bad Grandma.’ The moniker is so appropriate that it has stuck to the point that everyone now calls her Baggy, even non-relatives.
“Mother, no.” My mother grabs Baggy’s arm as she smoothly slides into her usual role of
‘voice of reason.’ A role she relishes, even with her own parent. She glares down at Baggy through her half-glasses, which are perpetually precariously perched on the end of her nose. I decide that one of my mother’s odd talents is having glasses that always look like they might fall off at any moment, yet somehow managing to keep them on. It is a trick that works great for intimidation ¬– that and her 5′ 9″ height, which she uses to full advantage.
Looking at the two of them, I wonder – not for the first time – how Baggy survived my mother’s birth. Baggy has shriveled slightly with age, but she was always diminutive, and my mother is not what anyone would describe as a small woman. She can’t possibly have been a tiny baby.
Baggy tries to yank her arm free as she lets out a rallying cry for the group. “We won’t let that good-for-nothing, low-life bag of worms get away with this.” She continues to hold her purse with her free fist in the air.
Realizing she can’t break away from her daughter’s firm grip, Baggy tries to start a chant. “Get Gary. Get Gary.” The women in the room look around seeming uncertain of what to do. A few of them join in on the chant before it peters out.
Once the chant fizzles, Mother decides Baggy is not as much of a flight risk and loosens her hold on her forearm. Baggy seizes the opportunity and tries to make a break for it. As Mother realizes what is happening, she whirls around to try to stop Baggy.
In her haste, Baggy trips over my sister’s heels that she has left in the middle of the room (in typical Ruthie fashion). Baggy agilely tucks and rolls her tiny body – just like she always claims she’ll do when falling – in order to avoid breaking a hip.
My formidable mother fails to let go of Baggy and falls much less gracefully than her elderly, spry mother.
The rest of us stand there looking at Mother and Baggy for a moment, uncertain if either has been injured. When Baggy shakes her head, her pin curls don’t budge. She proceeds to spring up like the Energizer bunny before saying to her daughter, “Get up, you big weenie. I have almost twenty-five years on you, and I’m fine.”
I hold my hand out to help Mother stand. She is much larger and less agile than Baggy, and it takes both of my hands to help heft her up. She groans once she is upright and puts a hand on her back, wincing a little.
“You just need to learn how to fall,” Baggy tells her, putting her hand on Mother’s shoulder. “You’ve never been a good faller,” she adds seriously.
Suddenly, the ridiculousness of the entire situation sinks in with me, and I begin to giggle again. The whole group turns their attention back to me as the laughter turns to tears.
“Well, let’s go then.” Baggy pulls me out of the room. This time no one tries to stop her, and I silently pray that she isn’t dragging me off to ‘Get Gary.’
With Baggy, it’s hard telling what ‘get’ means. He might not survive it. Although I’m completely humiliated and furious, I don’t wish the man dead, but with my wild grandma, you just never know.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!