TITLE – My Best Friend’s Bride
AUTHOR – Ginny Baird
GENRE – Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
PUBLICATION DATE – June 9, 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 72K
PUBLISHER – Winter Wedding Press
COVER ARTIST – Dar Albert
From New York Times Bestselling Author GINNY BAIRD, a new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy…
Relationship expert Jillian Jamison is in a bind. While her first book was a successful bestseller, her second tome tanked. Now, her publisher wants a spin on the third book, Married Love: Keeping Those Home Fires Burning, that’s up close and personal. With financial pressures mounting and sole responsibility for her aging grandfather, Jill feels forced into wedlock. But it’s only for a year and she’s devised a plan with her long-term friend. When Brad backs out, Jill fears she’ll be left standing at the altar. Then Brad offers a solution: Jill can marry the one man on earth she despises…his handsome best friend.
Hunter Delany is a confirmed bachelor and that’s how he likes it. When his best friend Brad approaches him with an unusual contract, he’s determined to run for the hills, especially since the name on the paperwork is international celebrity Jillian Jamison, the woman who spurned him in high school. Hunter would rather do anything than spend twelve months of his life saddled with her. But he has a soft spot for Brad who’s in a predicament, so Hunter agrees to consider Brad’s proposal. When Hunter learns he’s getting passed over for a job promotion, because the client only wants to work with those in a family way, this clinches the deal.
Hunter is “in” for as long as he can stand it. Jill is not thrilled with the arrangement either. But really, what choice does she have? Even if it has to look authentic on the outside, between her and Hunter it’s just pretend. Besides, she reasons rationally, she’s already got the dress…
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Before Jill knew what was happening, he reached for her and clamped her against his chest in a big bear hug. His frame was rock solid and he smelled of musky cologne. Hunter’s arms wound around her securing her at the waist. “Sorry bud,” he whispered to Brad, “the press is watching.”
Jill stared up at him, her mind whirling. “Hunter! Just what are you doing?” She didn’t know why, but her knees felt weak and her mouth went dry. She was probably in a state of shock. It wasn’t like she recalled that old longing she’d held, when she’d hoped to be in Hunter’s arms, so many years ago. Then, she’d imagined him to be a different kind of guy…the sort who could really care for a girl, and sweep her off her feet with one kiss. Not that she’d let him try, especially after learning what sort of guy he really was. The type who was only in it for the moment, and wouldn’t have given her a second thought once she’d completely given him her heart. His dark eyes caught the sunlight as he dipped his chin toward hers.
“Making us public,” he said with a grin. At once, Jill felt transported in time and she was all of seventeen again, helplessly under Hunter’s spell. The next thing she knew, his mouth was on hers, all hot and heavy, his tongue sweeping in to taste hers. Jill sagged in his arms and he tightened his embrace. This was wrong. This is insane… But Jill found herself kissing him back, just a little at first—and then a lot. He felt so good and smelled so fine, she nearly forgot they were standing at the edge of a parking lot. Jill’s temperature spiked as her tennis racket crashed to the ground. Oh man, he was good. Better than good. Hunter’s skill was top-notch. Excellent. Why oh why, had she waited so long? Or perhaps it was good she’d waited, until the fruit of her desire had ripened to perfection. Was it Jill’s imagination, or was Hunter just as ravenous for her? Somehow her arms were around him, her wrists overlapping at the back of his neck. It was almost like she was enjoying this, wanting more of him… What? Hunter? Jill called herself up short and broke away, stepping back with a gasp. At least she hoped she was gasping and not panting. Whoa.
Hunter saucily cocked an eyebrow and spoke with a husky rasp.
“Can I take that to mean you missed me, too?”
Jillian (Jill) Jamison – The heroine from My Best Friend’s Bride, Jill Jamison, is a thirty-year-old relationship expert. She has shoulder-length brown hair and warm brown eyes with hints of honey around the irises. Jill’s first book, Love Like You Mean It, was an international bestseller. Her second tome, Long-term Love: Making It Last, tanked. Now, Jill’s under pressure to produce a third book, Married Love: Keeping Those Home Fires Burning, that’s up close and personal. The trouble is—though she’s experienced at giving others advice—Jill has never had luck in the boyfriend department herself. She has several ex-boyfriends, including Isaac who gave Jill her dog Fifi. Jill also has a Tom cat called Mimi. When hero Hunter hears about Fifi and Mimi, he refuses to live under the same roof with pets having such ridiculous sounding names. This makes Jill steamed, as does everything else Hunter says and does. When he unexpectedly lays a hot kiss on her while seeing her for the first time in twelve years, Jill’s absolutely furious! She’s also angry with herself for reacting so eagerly to Hunter’s advances. He’s the guy she’s hated since high school. Surely, a fake marriage will never fly with a dyed-in-the-wool womanizer like him! Forget that he’s more handsome than ever, and has that lop-sided smile that still makes her weak in the knees. And never mind that her deadline for marrying is only a few weeks away. Jill can’t imagine making things work with the type of cad she warns women about. Not Hunter Delaney! No way!
Hunter Delaney – Hero Hunter Delaney is also thirty and works for an advertising agency. He’s back in town after being away for more than a decade, during which he’s developed his skills on the job and failed at his numerous encounters with women. Hunter has his own reasons for guarding his heart, so emotionally he keeps females at bay. Ultimately, they become frustrated and walk out on him, just like Sabrina did when she almost clobbered him on the head with the three-inch high-heeled shoe she lobbed in his direction. Hunter has dark hair and eyes, a buff frame, and stands over six feet tall. He’s been Brad’s best friend since prep school, and has repeatedly come to Brad’s rescue by getting him out of trouble. This time is no different, except it involves that stuck-up brunette Jill Jamison, who was too good for Hunter in high school and now believes she’s better than the rest of the world. Okay, so Jill’s held up pretty well over the years and still has those pretty brown eyes Hunter mooned over as a teenager. But, deep down, she’s still an “ice princess” with that same chilly heart. At least, that’s what Hunter thinks until Jill’s fiery hello kiss has him believing she’s experienced a deep thaw…
Cassandra Evans – Cassandra Evans has been Jill’s nemesis since high school. For as long as Cassandra’s known Jill, Jill’s been a pain the neck, besting Cassandra again and again at every competition. Cassandra wanted to write novels, but instead she’s stuck working for a gossip magazine. And just look at Jill with her worldwide celebrity! Though Cassandra’s sneakily discovered that little-miss-prissy Jill isn’t always as successful as she claims to be. Cassandra takes pride in being the one who brought Jill’s second book down by publishing her exposé on the “fact behind the fiction” of Jill’s real dating life. Now, suddenly, looky here! Jill’s getting married! Not once, but twice! First, to her childhood friend Brad, which smelled fishy enough. Next, to famed womanizer Hunter Delaney, which stinks to high heaven! If anyone smells a rat, Cassandra does, and she’s extra good at getting to the bottom of things. Thank goodness she’s tall, blond and leggy, and has a way of influencing sources. She’s also got the wardrobe for tackling any undercover operation. A fact that comes in handy when she meets a nerdy—yet increasingly attractive—private investigator engaged in the same mission.
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling Author Ginny Baird has published novels in print and online and received screenplay options from Hollywood for her family and romantic comedy scripts. She writes touching, often humorous, contemporary romance about single women facing everyday challenges. Known for featuring holidays and family themes in her work, Ginny frequently portrays the struggles of single parents or others who’ve given up on finding true love.
Ginny has two novella series, The Holiday Brides Series (holiday romance) and The Summer Grooms Series (summer romance), as well as additional single titles available. She is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, a Top 10 Best Seller on Kindle, NOOK and iBooks, and a #1 Best Seller in several Romance and Women’s Fiction categories. Visit Ginny’s website http://www.ginnybairdromance.com to learn more about her and her books.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself to start?
Hi! Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m Ginny Baird and I write sweet romance and traditional romantic comedy. I’ve also penned a few romantic mysteries with a hint of paranormal (i.e., romantic “ghost stories”). I started writing romance for a New York press, Kensington Books, and now indie publish my romance fiction. I’ve published more than twenty titles under my own imprint Winter Wedding Press, including full-length novels, novellas and collections, and am having a great time with it. I have a team of fab editors I work with as well as a few excellent cover artists, and was thrilled to hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists last November with my Holiday Brides Series.
Q: How are you feeling now that your latest book is out & on tour?
I am SO excited about my newest book, My Best Friend’s Bride. For one thing – at 72K words – it’s the longest book I’ve written! It was one of those stories that took off and just kept going. The characters engaged me and made me laugh, as well as sigh. There are several laugh-out-loud moments and also some truly tender ones. The heroine is awesome: a very accessible person I could imagine being friends with, and the hero is to die for… I totally fell in love with Hunter Delaney. If I weren’t already happily married, I’d probably track him down in Fiction Land and try to marry him myself! LOL.
Q: How does your family feel about you being a published author?
They’re all very proud of me, especially my mother. She tells everyone I’m a published author and will be in Hollywood soon. Bless her.
Q: What inspires you to write?
Life! Anything and everything, including funny experiences I’ve had and places I’ve been. Sometimes the idea for a novel starts with a really fun title. That’s how it happened with My Best Friend’s Bride. I was thinking of a spin on the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” that was fresh and interesting. I wondered what would happen if a guy were asked to marry his best friend’s fiancée? The circumstances would have to be extreme and most likely entertaining. I fleshed out the concept, and…tadahhh! A new romantic comedy was born!
Q: Describe your book in 3 words?
Heartfelt, Hopeful, Hilarious
Q: Out of all of your books do you have a favorite character or couple?
This is easy. My favorite couple tends to be the one I’m engaged with at the moment, because the ones I’m writing about are the ones I’m most emotionally connected to. Right now, that’s Jill and Hunter from My Best Friend’s Bride. Last month, it was Sam and Jake from The Light at the End of the Road. Secondary characters are a little different, as I feel more distanced from them, hence can be a tad more objective. I’ve got to say, Cassandra Evans from My Best Friend’s Bride is my favorite “secondary” to date. She’s so wonderful in her own spiteful way, and her arc is absolutely outstanding.
Q: Are you currently working on a new book at this time?
Yes, I’m working on a new holiday novella series for release in fall 2015, and am having a dynamite time with it. I’m currently about halfway through the first book, and have the other two already mapped out.
Q: What was the first thing that came to your mind when your first book was published?
I thought I was dreaming, really I did. It was something I’d aspired to for so long (nearly ten years), it was hard to believe it when it happened. After I received “the call” from New York, I hung up the phone and I ran to the front door, throwing it open wide and whooping into the mountains! My family was still at the dining room table, but they figured the news had to be good. We had a very firm rule about not answering the phone during dinner, but when the editor started recording her message on the answering machine, my family – who could hear the whole thing – urged me to go, go!
Q: How do you go about creating the most “Swoonworthy” character?
I think part of what makes a hero “swoonworthy” is understanding what makes him tick. Even though Hunter in My Best Friend’s Bride starts off as kind of a stereotypical ladies’ man jerk, when you see inside his head, you get a glimpse of certain circumstances that made him into the person he is today. As the story evolves, so does he…and then he becomes totally irresistible! I just love the way his relationship with Jill changes him – right from the very start. Then again, even in the beginning, Hunter’s pretty hot. Way hot, in my opinion. He had me swooning with his self-assured machismo, buff bod and dark-haired good looks right away. Particularly as I was privy to his amusing inner thoughts, I couldn’t help but love him – and cheer for him, hoping he’d get the girl!
Q: As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
I very badly wanted to be a news anchor on television. I don’t know why; it just seemed glamorous at the time. Back then (1970s) you didn’t see many women in that position. Later, in high school, I thought I wanted to work in advertising. Then, I wanted to write. I suppose I eventually achieved two of those goals. I now write and am in a form of advertising (marketing my work), but I’ve not yet made it onto the evening news.
Q: What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it in (ebook, hardback or paperback) and who is the author?
I am loving this book called Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophie Kinsella). It’s my favorite of hers so far. Oh! And it’s a paperback.
Q: When you aren’t writing what do you do to relax and have fun?
My husband and I both really enjoy cooking. Sometimes we cook together, sometimes apart. There’s no greater music to my ears than, “Hon, what would you like for dinner?” We also enjoy biking together. Apart from that, I regularly walk “our youngest child,” a three-year-old English Style Yellow Lab. She’s my helpmate and my #1 Author Assistant throughout the day. To relax, I like to read pop psychology books on relationships and communication, a fun comedic novel, or work a crossword puzzle. I’m also addicted to a few television shows. Namely, Nashville, Orphan Black and Grimm.
Okay now some fun ones:
Q: Can you tell us about your worst date ever?
Oh my gosh! What a question! Ha-ha. There were two actually, each from a different period in my personal history… The first was in college. I went on a “mercy date” which I realized afterwards was a very bad idea. You should never-ever go out with a guy just because he pesters you into it. Anyhow, the boy was very nice, only not for me. I was trying to be polite, but for some reason he was having a hard time understanding I just wanted to be friends. When I told him I had mono (which I did), he said he didn’t mind catching it. I’m telling you, nothing I could think of could dissuade this guy.
When we got back to my dorm, he begged me for a “goodnight kiss” which was um…tactfully, the furthest thing from my mind. It had been raining out and I still held an umbrella. He became so bothersome—even going so far as to “play wail” and throw himself down on his knees—I finally had to threaten to bop him over the head with my umbrella, if he didn’t go. Some girls watching TV in the dorm lobby witnessed the whole ordeal. Yes, I did have to “bop” him (gently—he shrieked in dramatic disbelief!), and yes, he finally did leave. For the rest of my freshman year, my girlfriends affectionately referred to me as “Umbrella Girl”… It was a moniker hard to live down.
My second truly memorable disaster date happened many years later when I was a single mom. I had this one friend from a hiking club who had asked me out for tea. Then eventually, he invited me to dinner. I was very nervous, as I hadn’t dated as a single woman in many years. As it turned out, I needn’t have fretted about being alone with an adult man. Ten minutes into our dinner, he received a call from his teenage daughter who insisted on being picked up by him right then.
Our meals arrived and we carried them out in Styrofoam boxes. This sweet child high-jacked the remainder of our evening, demanding to be taken back to her dad’s apartment to change, then over to a store, then way out into the country to be dropped off at a friend’s house for a sleepover. Earlier arrangements had been made for her getting her there that she obviously didn’t care for. Mostly though, I think she was interested in sabotaging dad’s date. Which turned out to be okay!
As I got to know him better, I saw that “X” wasn’t the guy for me. (Did I mention he “forgot” his wallet?) Which was a great thing actually. Made me totally appreciate the man I met shortly afterward, a wonderfully kind and caring college professor, whom I married and cherish to this day. For the record, his daughter didn’t accompany us on our first date—and he paid.
Q: What is your one “guilty pleasure”?
This is something I’ve publicly admitted to no one… I like to mix chucky peanut butter with maple syrup and pour that over vanilla ice cream. Consequently, I very rarely keep vanilla ice cream in the house! I know it sounds disgusting, but hey… It’s really good!
Q: What is or was your most embarrassing moment or the craziest thing you have ever done? Come on you can’t hold out on everyone. LOL
Does walking through the Miami airport with a four-foot length of toilet paper dragging from my shoe count?
Q: Do you have a favorite love scene from a book or movie? Which book/movie & scene?
I still love the scene where Rhett Butler carries Scarlett up the stairs. It takes my breath away.
Five Copies Of The Calendar Brides by Ginny Baird (ebook edition: choice of Mobi or ePub)