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.
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!
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
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.
Author Instagram: @marykarnesauthor
Wedding Instagram: @marypkarnesweddings
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