Message From The Author
Plotting a Wedding
Can be Murder
By Christie Craig
It can happen anywhere. But for
me, it happened in 2006 as I walked the aisles of Houston's Bridal Extravaganza with my daughter -- an excited but oh-so-nervous bride-to-be. I was a frazzled, non-Martha Stewart mother of the bride who needed help planning a wedding. Ahh, but I was also a panicked writer in search of a plot for a new novel. Who knew my two needs would collide, that one would inspire the other?
At the door we were handed bags and told they were to collect cards and brochures to help us pull off the perfect wedding. Thrilled, I walked in prepared to find the best of the best. What mother doesn't want her daughter's wedding to be perfect? And I swear, when I first arrived, I wasn't thinking about killing anyone, but all that changed.
Vendors of all sorts -- photographers, wedding planners, cake bakers, DJs and florists -- all lined the aisles. What I thought would be a relaxing stroll down wedding lane turned into a frenzied game of treat or treat. Positioned like hungry door greeters beside their booths, the vendors competed for our attention. When simple eye contact didn't work, they surrounded us and stuffed everything from brochures to candy into our bags. We fought our way through the crowd, feeling overwhelmed, claustrophobic and needing more air.
"Here, try this. Taste this." With the tenacity of ADD-afflicted used-car salesmen, they pushed us to sample everything from wedding cake to marshmallows dripping with chocolate -- chocolate that magically flowed from ornate silver fountains. Then one of those magical ornate fountains burped and sent droplets of chocolate leaping through the air and onto my new blouse. Martha Stewart I may not be, but I liked my new blouse and didn't think the pristine white looked fashionable speckled with milk chocolate. Then I looked at my daughter, and I didn't think her sweet face looked too fashionable speckled with chocolate either. We both froze in a state of cocoa shock.
The vendors' voices boomed louder, echoing in my ears, making the event feel more like a sporting event
than an exposition to help plan a wedding.
"When are you getting married?" "Oh, goodness, you'd better hurry!" "Let me take your pictures." "Let me bake your cake." "My flowers are prettier." "I have a disk of music, listen ... listen!" "Do you two know you have chocolate all over you?"
The noise level rose as more people crowded into the arena. My daughter pointed to a restroom sign, but before we could move, a lady carrying a napkin filled with cake bumped into my daughter, the cake toppled off the napkin, bouncing off my daughter's jeans and landed on my shoe. White pumps covered in white cake and cream icing.
My daughter looked at her jeans, my shoe and then into my eyes. She got that deer-in-the-headlights kind of look, the same look she used to
get when she was 2, right before she started biting people. On instinct, I stepped between her and the woman.
More brochure-armed vendors approached, taking advantage of our nonmoving status. The bag stuffing commenced again, and our bags grew heavier, our arms tired.
My panicked daughter reached for me, her fingers squeezing white pressure points into my wrist as another brochure was stuffed into her bag and another chocolate-dripping marshmallow was shoved into her hand. "Mama," she seethed as fudge sauce dripped from the marshmallow, "planning this wedding is going to be murder!"
And right then, at that exact moment, is when it happened. Standing in front of the magical chocolate fountain, wearing a chocolate-speckled blouse and a white cake and cream icing-coated pump, I found my killer instinct.
I looked around and saw them ... the cake baker, the photographer, the florist, the DJ -- all of them were suspects. Suspects in a murder. Or maybe ... just maybe, one of them was the victim.
That's right, while visiting the bridal expo, the idea and plot for Weddings Can Be Murder (June, Love Spell) was born.
Don't get me wrong. Bridal Extravaganzas are a must-attend event for anyone planning a wedding, or in my case, for anyone looking for a bit of killer inspiration.
In four months, I had the book finished, and for the most part, I had my daughter's wedding planned. Hey, it takes some killer instinct to plan a wedding too.
Read Book Review ›