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Monday, August 13, 2018

The Bridesmaid’s Checklist by K.T. Castle πŸ’• Series Tour & Gift Card Giveaway πŸ’• (Contemporary Romance)



BCL is a Contemporary New Adult Romance that tells Kassandra's story.

Kassie is a single, independent woman that finds herself questioning her lifestyle after all of her best friend get married and settle down.

Even if she’s the only unmarried girl in the pack she isn’t single anymore. Now that all her friends are married and all the wedding planning is over, she has a chance to concentrate in her relationship with Josh. Or so she thought, since her friends keep visiting her with a major life changing crisis.

Helping her friends plan their wedding was no problem─dealing with unexpected personal situations is a whole other thing.

You can read how she helps Laura and Marisol to plan their weddings.



 
 




Kassandra is a single, independent woman who prides herself on her own success. But when she’s asked by her best friend Laura to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding, Kassandra finds herself questioning her lifestyle. Helping Laura plan the wedding is no problem—she’s done it before for all their other friends. The first time was a blast, the second super fun, but doing it without receiving any help from the rest of the girls gets old really fast.

The whole event kicks off with the worst kind of surprise when Kassandra discovers who her friend's fiancΓ© really is, and she's torn between supporting Laura's future happiness and hiding the deeply buried, intimate past she shares with the groom-to-be. Struggling to be the bigger person and do all the hard work on her own, Kassandra finds surprising comfort in Josh, the best man in the wedding and someone she's been avoiding for years. He's charming, thoughtful, handsome, and the worst kind of womanizer, but she just can't seem to stay away. All the while, Kassandra can't help wondering if the wedding could be any more clichΓ©—until she finds unexpected ways to change things up a bit.




From Chapter 1

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I’d heard that saying more than once now. And I was about to hear it once again.
“Kassie! Kassie, wake up! I’m getting married,” a high-pitched voice squealed at me at 3:00 a.m.
Who the hell is this? I had picked up the phone without even looking at the caller ID. Oh, Laura. Great.
“Kassandra, are you listening? I’m engaged!” Laura screamed from the other side of the phone.
“Yeah, wow,” I said. “Congratulations.”
“I can’t believe you, Kassie. You should be more excited. You’ll get to be my bridesmaid!” The volume of her voice kept rising.
“I’m happy for you, Laura.” I really didn’t know at the moment how I felt. I was trying to look around to see exactly where I was. “Believe me. It’s just…it’s three o’clock, and I was sleeping.”
After looking at my surroundings, I remembered I was in my own house. I had a minor headache, probably from all the drinking the night before, and my body ached a bit. I looked beside me and found the reason for my hurt.
Next to me I found the silhouette of a beautiful man. The memories of the few hours before my abrupt awakening came back at me:
A bar. A blond. My home. Some sex...in that order.
“I know it’s late, but I had to give you the good news.”
“And news it is.” She was the last of my best friends who was single; not so long ago we roamed all the bars in town together, looking for men to hook up with, and suddenly she was engaged.


 
 




Kassandra’s last single friend got married in the summer. But even if she’s the only unmarried girl in the pack she isn’t single anymore. Now that all her friends are married and all the wedding planning is over, she has a chance to concentrate in her relationship with Josh. Or so she thought until Marisol visits her with a major life changing crisis. Helping her friends plan their wedding was no problem; dealing with an unexpected pregnancy is a whole other thing.

Kassandra is unable to decide the best way to help Marisol, specially when her relationship with Josh reaches a level of commitment she wasn’t expecting. Both girls will have to remember the past in order to move their relationships forward.

Kassandra is a single, independent woman who prides herself on her own success. Now her life seems complete when Josh, a thoughtful, handsome, and the worst kind of charmer, leaves his womanizing days behind and can’t seem to stay away from her. Kassandra keeps wondering if their single days are really over and they’re ready for a monogamous and committed relationship.

Marisol is a married woman with the perfect life: a wonderful husband and a beautiful son. Life gets even better when her little boy is finally ready for school and Sol can go to go back to work.

Destiny is full of surprises for both girls, and sometimes the plans that you have aren’t the ones in the path before you.

Join Kassandra and Marisol as they remember how they planned Sol’s wedding while they solve together the difficulties in the present.



From Chapter 1
My apartment had an open plan. It wasn’t big—just big enough. I had it all decorated in light neutral colors, white dominating most of the space. Marisol had taken the pink piglet with her and placed it on the marble counter while we had some tea and cookies.
She was calmer after she revealed her true intentions to me, but we didn’t discuss her options much more; we both knew that this was a decision she had to make on her own.
An hour later, Josh and Micah returned. We knew they’d already had dinner, since anyone could see red thick tomato sauce smudged all over the toddler’s face. The boys had hunted some chicken soup and green salad for us girls, relieving me of my cooking duties.
After having her soup, Marisol said her farewells. Michael texted her that he was on his way home, and she wanted to be there to greet him. She took some leftover pizza and salad for Michael’s dinner. Josh helped her out with Micah, who’d fallen asleep watching cartoons in my room.
It was a surprise to see Josh so helpful with the rowdy toddler. I didn’t know he liked children, and it surprised me even more that he was actually good with them. I finished cleaning the kitchen, and Josh came back to hug me from behind. “How about I rub your shoulders before I go home?”
“That sounds wonderful,” I said as he stepped back so I could continue with my last task.
“You’re really tense, babe,” he informed me. “What had Sol so upset?” He moved away and leaned against the kitchen counter.
“She’s pregnant.”
He crossed his arms before commenting, “I thought that would be something to be happy about. I know I’d love to knock you up.” My boyfriend said naturally, as if we’d had a conversation of the sort recently—or at all.
We’d only dated for six months, so the baby subject had never been discussed before. To be honest, I’d never in my life even thought about babies. I was about to ask Josh what exactly he meant by his comment when he distracted me with another question.
“Michael isn’t happy about her being pregnant, or what?”
“Michael doesn’t know yet,” I explained, doing my best not to show the panic I felt at his mention of us having babies. I wasn’t ready for that at all, but this was really about Sol and Michael, not us. “And, please, don’t tell him. I probably shouldn’t have told you anything.”
“Sure, that’s for them to talk about.” At least we agreed on that, but I was still stock on his revelation.
“Josh,” I asked as calmly as I could manage, trying to control the arrhythmia suddenly overtaking my body, “what exactly did you mean by the knocking-me-up comment?” I stopped wiping the microwave so I could look at him and size up his reaction.
“Nothing much,” he nonchalantly answered, his gray eyes clear with honesty. “Just a silly comment.” Then he crossed his arms over the broad chest I loved so much and gazed back at me as if he was gauging my own reaction in return.
I didn’t know if he’d meant anything by those words or if he was just trying to shake off the whole topic—maybe because of the doubtful vibes I was sending his way. I turned and walked to the sink, rinsing the cloth I used to clean the kitchen and placing it next to the wide metallic bowl. “You’d like to have a baby.” It was meant to be a question, but I expressed it as a statement.
“Sure. Why not?” Josh answered with complete honesty. “I’d like to have a baby in the future.”
I exhaled deeply. That made me feel a little better, even if he hadn’t said he wanted to have a baby with me in that future. I walked to the living room, made myself comfortable on the light couch, and took a few seconds to think clearly.
It was rational for anyone to think about having children in the future, wasn’t it?
“I didn’t even know you liked children,” I said. He joined me on the sofa and turned me around so he could massage my shoulders as he’d promised.
“I didn’t know it myself, so of course you didn’t know.” Josh cleared his throat while his hands did their magic. “I thought my nephew was the only kid I liked, and he’s older now. Playing video games with him is the highlight of our relationship. But I’ve been spending some time with babies recently. Nat’s girl is so cute, there are no words to describe her. And Micah—he’s super fun. We had a good time together today.
“My sister got pregnant in her early twenties,” he continued, “so I was still a teenager when Elliot was born. I guess that’s why I didn’t have that much time to enjoy him. He’s twelve now—a real teen nightmare. Of course, being the cool uncle and playing Playstation with him always helps.”
“Oh.” I mean, what else could I say? I knew so little about his family. I already knew he had a sister who was a single mother, but I didn’t know his nephew was a teenager. He rarely talked about them, so I thought he wanted to keep our relationship lighter than ‘meeting-the-family’ status, and I was perfectly fine with it.
He’d mentioned to me that I should meet his sister once or twice, but there’d always been something else to do. Maybe he wasn’t that interested in me meeting his family, but I knew why I didn’t want him to meet mine. Knowing them, they’d make the situation much more formal than it should have been, and I didn’t want Josh to get the impression I was out to tie him down. Our intentions with each other were clear, but the formality and future path of our relationship was a whole other topic. I didn’t know if he was ready for something like that; I knew that at the moment, I definitely wasn’t.
“I still don’t get it, though.” Josh completely changed the subject and therefore my train of thought. “Why is her pregnancy a problem?”
“Marisol hasn’t worked since Micah was born,” I explained. “She’s the best financial manager I’ve ever met. Sol’s great at her job, banks were always throwing money at her to work for them, but most of all, she really enjoyed working with numbers. She was really truly happy. Not that she isn’t right now,” I clarified. “She’s completely in love with Michael and Micah. I don’t think she’d have it any other way. But she was happy to go back to work, to feel fulfilled in her professional life. Now that Micah’s in preschool, she accepted a proposal from a bank she used to work for. Marisol’s super happy getting her chance to work with all those numbers. And she feels that a new baby will change it all. Somehow, she thinks that Michael and her family will pressure her into staying at home with the baby. She’s terrified of that.”
“That’s why she was so upset.” Josh seemed to really understand Marisol’s situation—seemed completely sympathetic. “But there must be other options,” he added. “Besides, a new baby should be a source of joy in any family. I love how children light up a place.”
OMG. I had never expected something like this from a man like Josh. A man I saw with so many different women, I once considered him a womanizer. A man who worked in the fashion world at a modeling agency, scouting models at bars and pubs. A man who kept telling me he was so in love with me. And now he mentioned babies and how wonderful they are.
It was too much for me right then.
“Whether they’re planned or not, having a baby is a big deal. People should be happy about it,” Josh continued, voicing his opinions in a parallel universe I never thought existed.
Yep, too much. I needed to stop this conversation.
“I’m sure,” I said, trying to stop any more ‘how wonderful are babies’ comments. “You know what, Josh? I’m really tired.” I stood and ran from his loving ministrations. “This whole thing with Sol completely drained all my energy and I have an early day tomorrow. Do you mind if I go to bed now?”
“Oh, sure, gorgeous,” he said. “I completely understand.” Josh walked to the door and I followed him closely. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.” The way he said goodbye sometimes made my body physically reluctant to let him go. His kisses completely melted me, and he knew just how to ignite my body so I couldn’t do anything but want him. Tonight, though, I felt like being alone, and I really needed him to go.
“Will you meet me tomorrow at my place?” he asked as his mouth left a trail of kisses down my neck. “Or should I come back here?” His hands had already unbuttoned my shirt, exposing one of my breasts, and his skilled fingers played with my nipples.
“You’re the devil,” I said, pushing him against the door. He dropped his hands and gave one his most deliciously impish smiles. “Stay away from me.”
“Until tomorrow?”
“I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know,” I answered.
“I love you, baby,” he said.
I kissed him lightly and closed the door behind him as he left. It might have been silly, but at that moment, I was really thankful that I was on the pill.


 
 




Kassandra never thought she’d be in another committed relationship, but now she’s living with her boyfriend Josh. Things can’t get any better. But they can get worse.

Natalie has dropped a major bomb on her, confessing she believes her husband is having an affair. Kassandra is always ready to help a friend, but accepting that one of their marriages isn’t working goes against everything she believes about the people she loves. Wanting to help their friend overcome this difficult situation and provide Natalie the support she needs, Kassandra and the girls pull a lot of strings to help Natalie uncover the truth. In the process, Kassandra discovers remarkable similarities between Josh’s recent changes and those in Natalie’s allegedly cheating husband. She’s always been an independent woman who prides herself on her own success, and when she digs up one dirty secret after another, she can’t help but wonder if her man’s womanizing days are really behind him.

Sometimes, love makes us twist reality to avoid hurting those we hold closest to our hearts. Join Kassandra and Natalie as they struggle to reconcile their fears in love with the truth.


From Chapter 1
“There’s just no fucking way Andrik’s sleeping around on Nat. No way!” I’d heard Josh say the same thing several different ways on our drive home. He not-so-gently gripped the steering wheel of his Challenger.
“I know. I can’t believe it, either.” I was running out of replies, and I had no idea how to make him feel better, seeing as since I struggled with it myself. Honestly, I was more worried about Natalie than anything else. I’d only seen her that upset one other time, when she told us she couldn’t have children. All her life, she’d wished for the perfect family and somehow, against all odds, became a mother with the best husband in the world. The possibility of Andrik hurting her so deeply and taking away her dream seemed surreal.
“I’m sure it’s some sort of misunderstanding.” Josh couldn’t let it go. “You have to make Nat talk to him. He isn’t an asshole. He worships the ground she walks on. It makes no fucking sense.”
“I’ll check on her tomorrow,” I said. “Tell the rest of the girls about it. Natalie needs us.” I rubbed my pant legs, my hands feeling cold and unpleasantly damp.
“But make sure she talks to her husband.” He gave me a determined stare before looking back at the road. “Andrik isn’t that kind of man. I wouldn't be surprised if Ed had a fling on the side, but not Andrik. Never him.”
“What makes you so sure?” His words surprised me. Edward was his best friend, and Josh had no problem picturing him cheating on his wife. Why couldn’t Andrik cheat on Nat? He’d cheated before; in fact, he’d cheated on his previous wife with Nat, and that was how they fell in love. He’d been married before he broke his wedding vows and ultimately left his family to begin a new one with my friend. I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t discard the possibility that he’d do it again.
“There’s just something about the way he looks at her. It’s so obvious how much he loves her. He’s still in love with her. I’m just sure.” Josh switched gears angrily, and I was afraid he’d wreck the clutch and not even notice. He’d regret that later. “It’s like when you told me you thought Dzed was cheating on Babah.”
“Shut the hell up!” What did my grandparents have to do with anything?
“Exactly! Not fucking believable.” He shook his index finger at the windshield before slamming his hand bitterly back down on the wheel.
“Why do you have to use my grandparents as an example?”
“I couldn’t use any of our parents.” He shrugged. Josh’s mother had raised him on her own, and my parents had died when I was five. While our families weren’t the best illustration, I still held onto the greatest memories of my parents as a couple. “I’m sorry, babe,” he added. “I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m so fucking shocked.”
“I couldn’t tell.” I chuckled softly and rolled my eyes. “And I feel the same way. I just don’t understand why you feel so strongly about this.”
“I really like them. They’ve been kind of an example to me. I look at them, and that’s the kind of life I want with you.” Josh moved his hand from the wheel to take mine. “Of course, it’s nice that there’s not such a big age gap between us.” He winked at me, then let out a long, slow breath. “I guess I also feel really protective of Nat. She’s too sweet. I don’t want her to hurt, especially since I consider her our personal cupid. We might not be together if it wasn’t for her.”
It surprised me that he felt the same way as I did about my friend’s support of our relationship. Natalie had cheered us on from the very beginning. She’d always made little remarks about how Josh was the perfect man for me, even when I was in total denial. She’d been his champion whenever we were all in the same room. When I turned the other way, she kept pushing him toward me, and she never gave up. Even if she asked us not to interfere, I owed her whatever help I could give to save her marriage.
We’d left late to pick up Ella and take her and Natalie home, and when we finally got back to our house, I was exhausted. What I really needed was a long bath before bed, and I’d work on figuring out how to help Natalie—without hurting her even more—in the morning. She’d torture herself endlessly if she waited too long to talk to Andrik about what was going on.
Josh parked in front the house, not bothering with the garage. As he turned off the engine, I let myself out and went to unlock the front door. Once I’d stepped inside the wooden entryway, I felt his hands on my waist, and he turned me around to face him, pressing me against the wall with his body. He pressed his lips against mine, working his magic and leaving me sore. Eager hands roamed my body until they found their way to my neck. Josh held my face tenderly, making me feel precious, needed. Then the kisses that had quickly made me forget about my friend’s situation abruptly stopped. Josh’s forehead rested against mine, both of us breathing heavily.
“I can see the gears turning in your head,” he said. “I know you’re trying to figure out a way to help Natalie. And while I’m nothing but supportive, I want you to remember something.” He pulled back a little, his deep gray eyes gazing intently into mine. “I love you, Kass. You’re everything to me.”
“I love you, too.”
“I just need you to know that. Whatever’s going on with Natalie and Andrik is upsetting and sad, and I really hope it isn’t true. The only thing I know for sure is how much I love you. How much I want you.”
Anything I could have said would have just repeated what he’d already told me. Instead of telling him how much I loved him back, I showed him the best way I knew how.
I jumped into his arms and wrapped my legs firmly around his waist, my lips seeking his to continue their previous assault. I’d always found it easier to communicate with my body what I couldn’t voice. I kissed his neck and could almost feel his eyes roll to the back of his head in pleasure. It gave him time to say, “I know it’s totally selfish, but I don’t want to worry about our friends tonight.”
I pulled my lips away from the soft skin of his neck, where I’d felt his heartbeat pulsing, and leaned back to look at him. “Take me upstairs,” I said, a little breathless. “I want to show you exactly how I feel about you.”






Fun Facts About The BCL Series

Why write about bridesmaids?

I’ve wanted to be a writer for quite some time, dreamed about it from years. I started young and have practiced ever since. Mostly, I wrote about adventures with my friends, about school and my teachers (made comics strips of them all), and then some paranormal romance. Not so long ago, Avon sent a request for a 50K words story about bridesmaids and I decided to go for it… several years later here I am. Writing about a bunch of girls, their friendship, and how one of them ended up being “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

How the story was born?

It was clear from the beginning that I wanted for my story to be a little bit different from what a wedding romance typically is. I wanted it to be funny, to be sexy, to be real, and to have all those elements that make romance, romance. But apart of the phrase “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” I didn’t have anything else. So, I went to my friends and told them how I wanted the story to have all those wedding cliches that we all expect, but I wanted them to be addressed differently.

My best friend told me, “the main character has to have slept with the groom.” And I though, of course, and said, “and she has to end up in love with the best man.” Then we decided the bride needed to go Bridezilla on everyone, and the bridesmaids would leave all the planning in the hands of the main character. How they all became friends since high school, how she resented her friends because they did support her when she needed them, and how she had mixed feelings about her last single friend getting married.

I loved how my friends and I came up with the main highlights of the story, and I could play around with them. I believe I achieved talking about the most common wedding cliches, and hopefully I did it in a new and funny way.

Why did I chose those name for my characters?

There’s many ways to come up with names for characters. Now I even have a list of names that I like, but I also use books of baby names for inspiration every now and then. For Laura’s Wedding it was a little different. Since I was brainstorming with my friends about the plot and the story was about a group of friends that met in high school, I decided to use the names of my best friends back in the day. I told them about it, and hopefully they don’t mind, because even if the girls have their names they don’t have much else in common.

How did I choose the settings?

I wanted the wedding venues to be colorful and exotic, a year or so before I wrote Laura’s Wedding I went to my cousin's wedding in Playa del Carmen and got inspired from the beautiful beaches. But Laura needed something more extravagant, so Google pointed me to Bora Bora and I fell in love with the place.
The following year my sister got married in San Miguel Allende, and I decided that Marisol (being Mexican) needed to go back to her roots and marry in Mexico. It’s a beautiful place that I had visited with my high school best friends on a field trip, and I knew it was the perfect setting for her wedding.
I’m excited about choosing the following wedding venues. I love researching in Google Maps and if I’m not careful, I could spend hours looking at all those wonderful places instead of actually working.

Why those covers?

Choosing the perfect cover is always difficult, at least from my perspective. Usually, you write the story, and have a clear picture of what your characters look like. Then comes the time to select the perfect image to present your book to the world. Which translates to using stock pictures (unless you have the skills, tools and means to have your own photoshoot). There’s a beautiful selection of stock pictures in so many places; they’re wonderful and have great quality… but, since they’re available to anyone, you could end up using the same image than someone else.

With that in mind, I decided to use something that no one else could. My cousin’s wedding pictures. So, I talked to my cousins and asked them if they didn’t mind being in the cover of my books. I was lucky they agreed and I have a set of original covers. Now my books are even more special. So Laura and Marisol are pictures of my cousins’ actual wedding, and I asked a couple other cousin to model for a photographer wearing wedding dresses for Natalie and Denise’s books. It was super exciting to have my own little photo session for the next books.

What book do you like the most?

I love all my books. But they all have different reasons for me to love them.

Laura’s Wedding was the first book I published, and it will always have a special place in my heart. The words just flew form my mind to the computer, chapter after chapter. It was a great writing experience.
Marisol’s Wedding in the one I enjoyed the most to write. I still laugh whenever I read it. I really love it and its characters. Besides, I felt super professional about it, and had all aspects of the story planned. This is the first book that I didn’t write in order, which is so unlike me but actually worked pretty well.
Natalie’s Wedding, that’s coming out on July 24, is the book that has demanded the most of me. It is intense, and dark in a way, and I believe you’ll be able to see how much I’ve grown as a writer. It has proven to be the most challenging of them all, and I really encourage you to read it. And until now, it has my favorite cover.

Who’s my favorite character?

Some aren’t going to agree with me… but this is how I feel. I have two favorite characters. The first one, and there’s no surprise there, is Josh. He’s just so awesome! He’s hot, he’s sweet, and all kinds of perfect… so probably there isn’t much surprise there. BTW, if you want to receive an exclusive chapter from hi POV join my newsletter. I’ll be sending it after the publication of Natalie’s Wedding on July 24.

My other favorite character is Laura. I know, I know. Most people hate her. She can be awful, a complete bitch, but that’s what makes her so fun to read and write. Give her a chance and I know you’ll change your mind on her. There’s a reason Kassie and the girls keep her close.


K.T.  Castle  is  an  author/artist  on  a  quest  to  find  the  words,  forms,  and  colors  to materialize    the    worlds    and    people    of    her imagination.    She    never    saw    herself    as    an incurable romantic, but lately, that's what she finds herself  musing  about.  Love  is  found  everywhere, regardless  if  it  comes  from  a  nice  person,  an ass — mundane or even vampire. When  she's  not  busy with  work,  in  front  of  a computer  placing  many  thoughts  in  order,  she makes her best to be creative or relax with a good book and a snack. Some of her favorite characters are Sookie, Rule and Shaw, Bella, Edward, Clary, Jace, Wrath, Hollywood, Blaire, Woods, Ethan, the Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel.
Get to know her more on her social media pages.


      


Win a $10 Amazon gift card!


Up for grabs:

$10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC and autographed copies of both books and some swag (stickers and bookmarks)

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7 comments :

  1. I liked the Marisol's Wedding cover the best; very pretty :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Amy.

      That book is actually my favorite :)

      Delete
  2. Hello, everyone!

    Thank you so much for having me over again, Lauren :)
    I always enjoy to visit Romance Novel.

    If anyone has questions, ask away. I'm always happy to read your comments and answer questions.

    Later,
    KT

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm interested in reading them all. Thanks for the chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, Karen! Thank you so much.

      Hope you do read them and then write me to let me know your thoughts on them.

      Best of luck!

      Delete
  4. Sounds like a great book! Best wishes on your tour.
    How do you get inspired to write?

    ReplyDelete

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