Welcome Guest Mary Karnes #giveaway

  Sherry — I’m delighted it’s not as hot as last week and that we are getting some much needed rain.

I am so happy to welcome Mary Karnes to the Wickeds. The Wickeds have known her for a longtime and have been cheering her writing on since we met. Her debut novel in her Wedding Planner mysteries, Wedding Bride and Doom, released on August 22nd!

Mary: I have always wanted to be a writer. I found out early on that dream came with a healthy dose of rejection. My first rejection arrived when I was six. I sent in a poem to the lady’s magazine, Redbook. I’m not sure if that publication is even still around – I’m dating myself here. I’m fairly confident my mom sent in that submission, and heaven knows I’m no poet.

        Next up was a neighborhood newspaper when I was seven. I could barely spell, and it showed. But it was a moderate success, probably because my dad solicited subscriptions from work.

        As I grew, my passion for writing, (and reading), only expanded and I was a writing major  in college. But as life does, it got in the way of my dream…or did I just not want it badly enough? I got married, had four children, and moved many times for my husband’s career. We started in California and ended up in New England.

         And just like that, the kids were grown, (four daughters, say a prayer for me tonight!), and I started my second act. I wrote a mystery about a wedding planner. At the same time my daughter number two began planning her wedding to her high school sweetheart. The next year daughter number one got married. The main thing I gleaned from planning these two weddings is that everyone needed a wedding planner. My manuscript was okay, but I need more wedding expertise. What if I became a wedding planner and wrote my book at the same time? That’s just what I did.

Credit: Sara McIngvale

         Was it instant success? Well, for the wedding planner part, kind of was! I had more business than I knew what to do with.

But the writing, part, not so much. It took me two years to find an agent. There was one particular agent who I really wanted. She was a perfect fit for me and for my cozy mystery genre. But…she had already rejected me twice. But what the heck! Part of getting published is tenacity…and luck. I queried my now wonderful agent, (Dawn Dowdle from Blue Ridge Literary Agency), a third time, and I guess I wore her  down, because she signed me! Then the hard part began, getting that manuscript ready to submit to publishing houses. A significant amount of time later, and we sent it to editors. I was lucky enough to land with Level Best Books.

        On August 22, 2023, the first in my ‘Wedding Planner Mystery Series,’ WEDDING BRIDE AND  DOOM, was  published. I’m very proud of it and I hope you give it a read and love it!

Readers: Do you enjoy receiving lines when you attend a wedding? Did you have one when you got married? Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy (US only) of Wedding Bride and Doom!

AUTHOR BIO:         

Mary Karnes, a college English major and former teacher, is the mother of four who raised her family though six corporate moves. She always dreamed of being an author and dabbled with writing throughout the years. Once the children were grown and out of the house, she started a wedding planning business, while simultaneously chasing her dream of being a traditionally published author. Her ‘Wedding Planner Mystery Series’ was born, with her business providing delicious subject matter for her books.

Mary resides in New England with her husband, Ken, and her mini-dachshund, Lucky. Her door is a revolving one with her children and grandchildren visiting frequently.

Author website: https://www.marykarnesauthor.com

Short blurb:

California wedding planner, Kate Ludlow, moves back home to New England after her marriage implodes. In tow is her teen daughter Ellis, unhappy and nervous about the move. Suddenly, Kate’s responsible for turning her part-time wedding planner gig into a full-time business. Kate’s off to a good start, too, when she books the society wedding of the year. The prosperity of her business is dependent on the success of Marcy Simpson’s wedding. The joy of an unlimited wedding budget is intoxicating. But when Kate’s best florist is murdered, her focus changes from pulling off the year’s most glamourous wedding, to saving her own skin – for Kate’s suspect number one for the murder. Further complicating her life, Kate’s old high school flame, Brian McAllister, is the police detective assigned to the murder case. The spark is definitely not gone from their connection, as they have unfinished feelings. Throw in a scavenger hunt for an antique missing family ring, the job transfer of Kate’s ex to New England, and quirky and endearing townsfolk, Kate has more than she can handle – almost.

Social Media:

Author Instagram: @marykarnesauthor

Wedding Instagram: @marypkarnesweddings

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Karnes-Author/100093538822010/

Buy links:

Amazon  e-book: amazon.com/dp/B0C8C118WN

Amazon print book: https://www.amzn.com/1685124038

Barnes and Noble Print: barnesandnoble.com/s/9781685124038

Also available on bookshop.org

53 Thoughts

  1. I do like going through the receiving lines at the receptions which seems to be a thing of the past now. I didn’t have one at either of my weddings but both were small mostly family affairs, with the reception at my parents house. Thank you for this chance at your giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com

  2. Welcome to the blog, Mary, and congratulations on being persistent! A debut novel is so exciting. No receiving lines in my family, and my second son’s wedding in February could have used your services, just saying.

    1. Thank you, Edith. You have long been an inspiration to me. I remember reading that before you were published your husband asked you, “Do you know how hard it is to get published?”
      And you said, “I do,” or some such response – and then proceeded to get published – and how many books are you up to now? At any road blocks, I thought of this story. 😊

  3. Reception lines are tricky. Who doesn’t want to congratulate the people you came to honor; however, making small talk with innumerable attendants? Not so much. Happy book baby – it sounds like a fun read and has a striking cover.

  4. While I’m sure that I will love reading a wedding planner mystery series like yours, I am one who avoids weddings at all costs.

    I am not married. I never have been and I never will be. And I don’t go to weddings anymore either. In fact, when anyone I know gets married, I just tell them to not invite me.

    One reason is because I’m naturally contrary and don’t want to waste a day for something that can be done in about 10 minutes at a town hall or something. The other main reason I don’t go is that I’m a curse. Pretty much every wedding I’ve attended before I stopped going to them has ended in divorce.

    Mary, you are the wedding planner but my presence would make me the wedding destroyer. HA!

  5. MARY: Congratulations on your debut novel & signing with your wonderful agent. Persistence does pay! Level Best Books is a great publisher.

    I have been to some weddings but none had a receiving line. They were smaller low-key celebrations, and didn’t follow typical wedding traditions.

    1. In my seven years of being a professional planner, Grace, I’ve yet to have a receiving line. I guess they are just too old-fashioned now.

  6. Your Kate sounds like a very determined go-getter, I like that! I am on my second marriage and both weddings were small, justice of the peace ones (I don’t care for attention on myself), so no receiving lines. But, I was maid of honor at my sister’s wedding and stood in for my mom at my nephew’s wedding, so I was part of those receiving lines. They were a nice honor and didn’t take too long, I thought. Good luck on your new book! Wedding planning does sound like a blast!

  7. We did not have a receiving lines at our wedding. Planning it in one state and having the wedding in another state meant that our wedding was more of a small family affair than a big wedding. It suited us just fine and even now, 40+ years later, I won’t change a thing. Honestly can’t say that I have attended a wedding with one. Being from the south, or maybe it’s just the folks I know getting married, the weddings we have attended, both big and small, have been more of the laid back affairs with less of the normal formal events in a wedding.

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read and review WEDDING BRIDE AND DOOM. It’s already marked on my Goodreads as a book to be read. Thank for the wonderful chance to win a copy!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  8. I did have a receiving line at my wedding and I kinda wish we hadn’t. It was a lot of standing around and I saw most of the people at the reception where we had much more meaningful conversation, so what’s the point?

  9. I didn’t have a receiving line at my wedding, I don’t like being the center of attention, LOL. We had a small wedding gathering. Only one wedding I went to had a receiving line. They had a bigger wedding than me!

    Thanks for the chance. Your book sounds so good!

  10. How wonderful to meet you, Mary! I thank the Wickeds for inviting you, and letting us learn about you and your new cozy mystery series, which sounds like a wonderful read! I think that receiving lines are essential, because both the attendees and the couple get that minute of attention so they can exchange greetings and best wishes. With so many in attendance, it would be difficult to have that one-on-one moment. 54 years ago, my wife and I did have a receiving line at our wedding. Thanks for sharing your writing career journey, which I hope will be as successful as your wedding planning business! luis at ole dot travel

  11. Congratulations on the new book! I don’t mind receiving lines. Sometimes it’s the only chance you get to congratulate the couple because the reception is so busy. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. Congratulations on your release! Your book sounds unique and intriguing. Receiving lines are important and give me hope.

  13. I had a receiving line for marriage #1 and as an introvert, it was torturous. We did not do one for marriage #2, instead we spent a lot of the reception going table to table talking to everyone and thanking them for coming – not as torturous as the first. There will not be a third; I finally figured out I am not good at it!
    I tend to skip receiving lines at other people’s weddings – I think because I assume they are as uncomfortable as I am.
    Congrats on your success! I’m so very happy for you and I’ll look for your book!

  14. You asked whether I enjoy receiving lines. Most of the time, yes. Sometimes, someone is in the line that I really don’t enjoy interacting with! That’s just the way it is! There was no receiving line after my wedding because we eloped.

  15. I can’t remember the last wedding I attended where there was a receiving line.

    Congrats on the new books. I’m looking forward to reading it. (And yes, please include me in the giveaway.)

  16. Welcome! Congratulations! Traditions should be followed as they are meaningful and a big part of the entire occasion.

  17. Congratulations on your first book! I haven’t been to a wedding with a receiving line in a long time. The last wedding I went to the bride and groom greeted their guests when they entered the reception.

  18. I have a love hate idea with receiving lines. We did have one at our wedding. It took forever to get everyone through the line. We then had pictures with the parents and wedding party. By the time we made it to the reception, a lot of people were ready to leave. It is nice to congratulate the bride and groom. It is hard for those in the wedding party who do not know most of the people coming through the line. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

Leave a Reply