Friday, February 19, 2016

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Julie Jarnagin

On Fridays I introduce you to friends of mine, and their sweet romance books. Some of the authors may write all sweet, others may write hotter stuff. But for the purposes of this blog we'll just be learning about their sweet (G/PG rated) tales. 

Please welcome today's guest, my friend Julie Jarnagin. She and I are both members of Sweet Romance Reads, an author cooperative.

Welcome to Magdalenaville, Julie! The floor is yours...


Do you like reading a prologue—a glimpse at something significant in a character’s past—before diving into the first chapter? Truth be told, I’d never felt the need to write one until I began working on Paige and Nick’s story in The Wedding Barn. I thought readers needed to be there to see and feel the emotions Paige went through.

Here’s a sneak peak at the prologue from my latest sweet romance release, The Wedding Barn:

“Who’s going to tell her?” someone whispered.

Paige Morgan ignored the chatter behind her and instead listened to make sure everything was going perfectly inside the church sanctuary. The string quartet played Canon in D, the last song before they were to begin the processional. Normally, she would have been the one with a clipboard and headset directing people down the aisle, but today Paige stood in the vestibule of the church in a white gown. Despite the veil, it was impossible to take off her wedding-planner hat—or crown as she liked to think of it. “Can someone make sure my train is fanned out before the doors open? I hate when the guests see people fussing in the background.”

It felt like half of Dallas was in that sanctuary, and they all had high expectations for this wedding. There was no better business card for a wedding planner than a flawless ceremony and reception.

Her stepsister came and stood beside her. Lucy’s face was pale and her brow wrinkled. It wasn’t like her to be nervous.

“Where’s your bouquet?” Paige asked. “It’s almost time.”

Her father stepped forward. “Sweetie…”

She straightened his bow tie and then glanced around the room. Everyone looked on the verge of tears. And not happy tears.

“What’s going on?”

This had been the hardest part of planning her own wedding. She liked being in control of every detail of the elaborate events. In her own wedding, as hard as she’d tried, it had been difficult to be the bride and the planner. It would have been impossible to get herself ready and make sure her groom and all the groomsmen looked presentable. Not to mention, managing the delivery of the cake and flowers, the preparation for a reception for nearly 500 people, and the thousands of other tiny details Paige had been forced to let her assistant handle. The planning had been a lot of work, but after dozens of weddings, this would be her crowning event.

Her father, a powerful businessman who was rarely at a loss for words, opened his mouth, but nothing came out.

“What is it, Dad? We don’t have much time.”

When he didn’t answer, she looked back to her mother who had flown in from California a few days earlier. Her mouth was pulled tight, her eyes wide.

Lucy stepped forward in her blush, floor-length dress. She took Paige’s hands. “Ryan isn’t here.”

He was late for his own wedding? He knew getting behind the schedule even by a few minutes would throw the whole day off. “How could he not know what time he was supposed to arrive? I printed out itineraries weeks ago. Has anyone called him?”

No one moved.

Her stepmother dabbed at tears in her eyes. What was going on here? Had there been a car accident? Was Ryan in the hospital?

Lucy squeezed her hands. “Ryan was here, but he left.” Her chest rose and fell. “There isn’t going to be a wedding today.”

Ryan left? Her mind raced for an explanation. He wouldn’t do that to her. They were getting married today. As if someone had taken a vacuum and sucked all the air out of her chest, her body went limp. Lucy, who still held her hands, lowered Paige softly to the floor into the deep folds of her satin dress.

“This has to be a mistake. Did someone talk to him?” Tears she hadn’t even felt coming ran down her face.

Lucy sat on her knees in front of her. She slowly held up a scorecard from the golf course. “He left a note.”

With shaking hands, Paige took it.

“The back,” Lucy said.

Paige flipped it over.

Paige. I can’t do this. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.

The Wedding Barn blurb 

Paige Morgan’s career is in shambles. What kind of wedding planner gets left at the altar? So when a job planning parties on a ranch in rural Texas comes her way, she jumps at it. So what if the cowboy who runs the place isn’t happy she’s there?

Rancher Nick Reid risked his heart once… and lost. Who needs love? He’s got a great life on the family ranch—so long as Paige Morgan and her city ideas don’t ruin it all. If only his family didn’t need her help to save their livelihood. And if only he wasn’t so darned drawn to the woman. But no sooner does Nick start to believe in love again, than a socialite shows up looking for Paige. Asking her to plan an elaborate wedding. Back in the city.

Both Paige and Nick need a second chance at love. But what will it cost them to take it?


Author Bio

Julie Jarnagin is a USA Today bestselling author of sweet and inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

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