Guest Chick: C.L. Bauer

Lisa here, and I’m excited to introduce C.L. Bauer, who definitely has some stories to tell: She happens to be a wedding planner as well as a cozy mystery author. C.L. has generously offered our Chicks readers a chance to win an e-library of her LILY LIST MYSTERY SERIES. Walk us down the aisle, C.L.! **UPDATE: The winner of C.L.’s e-series library is Ruth!**

Who Doesn’t Love A Good Wedding?

My family has always been involved in the flower business, specifically weddings. And who doesn’t love a wedding? When I was a child, I wasn’t particularly fond of them. Weird, huh? In my eyes they took up my parents’ attention. Every weekend they were at work making bride after bride happy. (Then my father became a baseball umpire, and there went the rest of the free time.)

Admittedly, I was jealous and didn’t understand what that extra income meant for us. But there were more reasons. Weddings meant that I didn’t have a ride to the carnival, or I couldn’t visit my friend. When I grabbed the phone, most of the time it was a bride who wanted to talk to my mother. Not me, never me.

But I got even. I never planned my own wedding.  At twelve, I didn’t have a notebook filled with cutout magazine photos of dresses or samples of the perfect shade of Sand Pink or Sea Foam Green. (Now we have Pinterest to save on glue.) When I played “Barbies” with my friend down the street, we never celebrated the marriage of Ken and Barbie. We buried Barbie. Yes, we had a complete funeral under the weeping willow tree. Barbie was presented in true princess fashion on a bier of clover and covered with a pink piece of netting I borrowed from my mother’s stash. The setting was near the little creek that ran at the back of the yard. Ken cried. Midge cried. We cried. It was beautiful. I placed a small dandelion on her grave.

Then my little friend’s mother called my mom. “Why does she prefer funerals? I asked the girls why they didn’t play act a wedding, and your daughter said she doesn’t do weddings.” My mother, the saint, understood.

As I aged, my disdain dissipated. I discovered I could actually choose another career. Perhaps my father’s umpiring, or my mother’s love of football and hockey, spurred me in a different direction. I would be a sports reporter! I would still be working on weekends, but I wouldn’t be at a wedding. The sports reporter then became an editor. In college, I realized that journalism went hand-in-hand with all forms of communication. Public relations and advertising offered a better income, and my career was off and running. Until a bigger company bought out our smaller company. My dream job became a nightmare, and I returned home to tell my dad maybe I’d help out with the family business. He offered the job, almost like the witch offering a poisoned apple to the princess. My days of hating weddings were over.

I embraced everything wedding. I relished looking at the bride’s choice of her dress. I applauded the hair design she would have on her big day. I lamented with the parents at how much they needed to budget. “You could buy a house with what we’re spending on the reception alone!”

Years of hatred turned into weekends of happiness. I made friends of clients, and still to this day have lifetime ones. All those weddings also showed me another side to our human adventure—you can find humor in every situation. Yes, weddings are funny. (Funerals can be fun too, but that’s for another time, perhaps best told over a libation or two.)

From the dog that ate the license, to the ring bearer who extorted money from us or he wouldn’t go down the aisle, every wedding has offered those comical elements that make great plot lines. I stand back and watch. I set events to memory. Wow, do I have great writing material.

As I remember thousands of weddings, it’s funny how most glitches in those perfect days are seldom noticed by anyone there for the happy couple. The leaning cake is covered with flowers; the groom is sewed into his pants when the zipper busts; the best man drinks a gallon of coffee to sober up; the mother-in-law who dislikes the bride is prevented from seeing her (now that was a story!); and the outside garden wedding is moved under the tent. The show always goes on, usually. There have been a few sets of cold feet and betrayal along the road of wedding flower bliss, and those tales will be used later in some mystery or cozy.

In my case, good can come from bad. I’ve had several great careers, and now I’m blending them all together in entertaining stories. I only have one regret after all these years…I’m not sure we dug up Barbie.

About the Books:

In THE LILY LIST MYSTERY SERIES, C.L. Bauer blends humor with wedding flowers to create the world of Lily Schmidt Pierce–an intrepid florist with a penchant for post-it notes. Book Four of the series, The Sweet Pea Secret, was released in May by Corrugated Sky Publishing. The series is available at all major retailers as well as indie bookstores, and can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y97eudz5

About the Author:

C.L. Bauer has been in the wedding flower business almost all her life. Her family’s business has existed in Kansas City to help nearly six generations of families on their special days. Her first novel, The Poppy Drop, was well received on the top 100 books of Independent Publishers with Corrugated Sky Publishing. Bauer enjoys her family, travel, a good book on a rainy day, bulk post-it notes, and meeting readers of THE LILY LIST MYSTERY SERIES.

You can reach C.L. Bauer on all forms of social media and at www.corrugatedsky.com. Her author page on Facebook has updated information and you can email her at clbauerkc@gmail.com or visit her site www.clbauer.com.

Readers, do you feel sorry for Barbie, or did she get her just desserts? Did you recently miss out on a wedding you were looking forward to (or not)? Or maybe you’d just like to hear that monster-in-law story. Please leave a comment or question for C.L. and you’ll have a chance to win a copy of her e-book series THE LILY LIST MYSTERIES! **Giveaway Update: Ruth, you are our winner!! We will email you.

 

42 thoughts on “Guest Chick: C.L. Bauer

    1. Wait, this is a thing? I never considered risking getting Barbie’s hair dirty (actually, I had a Tammy doll). Maybe one of those glass (plastic carton?) deals like Snow White (or was it Sleeping Beauty)?

      Liked by 4 people

  1. I love that you buried Barbie! I can’t say I ever did, but I also never planned her wedding. And yes on hearing the monster-in-law story. It seems if you hate the person your child is marrying so much that the planners have to separate you then perhaps you should just skip the wedding? I guess that wouldn’t make for a very interesting story though!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Welcome, C.L! So glad you’re visiting Chicks today and thanks for the wonderful giveaway opportunity for our readers. Your series sounds like so much fun. And now that we know you (and ahem, some of our readers, it seems) buried your Barbie alive, we’re even more intrigued. Have you been replanning weddings recently, or using postponement windows to write?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lisa, it’s great to be here! Yes, brides and grooms have had to postpone, cancel, or scale back. I am the owner of well-established wedding and event flower business. I just want 2020 to go away! Yes, in the first two months of quarantine, we finished editing my fourth book The Sweet Pea Secret, and I wrote two others for future publication. Have to talk to my publisher! Editing this week.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Ha! I love this! I never had any Barbies because I hated dolls. But I did have those plastic Breyer horses (and yes, I still have them), and we’d have weddings and funerals–more funerals than weddings–for them. But we’d “bury” the horses by putting them under blankets. And I did have an elaborate real funeral and burial for a favorite parakeet, which is probably still down there in its painted metal box and silk wrapping. My brother play Taps for us on his trumpet.

    Thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today, and for hosting the giveaway!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you, Leslie! I love your page, and the name always makes me smile. Thanks too for reassuring me I’m not the only one who did this! It sounded a little macabre when I wrote it down. I think I was rebelling against weddings, but I do love a good funeral…the music, the people watching, and the catching up with friends and relatives. Oh, forgot the food after! Love a good macaroni salad or baked beans.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Most issues are only caught by those who know how things should be. But we still usually stress over them.

    Glad you came around and have been happy doing flowers for weddings.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Welcome, C.L., and thanks for sharing such a fun post! Your series sounds amazing, and I laughed out loud at the Barbie funeral. My Barbies neither wed nor passed on. They simply endured haircuts and permanent makeup (thank you, Sharpies!) from me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ooh, Kathleen, Sharpies! My niece used glitter!!! And on our faces too. Thank you so much. I’m working on #5 right now. My character, Lily, begins a little unsure in her personal life, well, a lot unsure, but she grows just as her adventures do. I hope you try them out. They are quick reads. And, all the wedding stories are based on true events I have seen personally in most cases.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. C. L. – I love your life story arc. I’m always fascinated by how authors come to their characters and stories. It sounds like you have material for years of wonderful books. Yes, please share the story of the mother/daughter-in-law. I was fortunate in my m-i-l, although I’m sure she had trepidation. We married six months to the day that we met; luckily, 36th anniversary is in August so I think we’ve all survived :). Ruth

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Congratulations, Ruth! You did well. That mother-in-law story will probably come up in a future book. Right now, one of my characters is trying to dry grass with a small blow dryer because his bride wants to get married in one certain area on a farm. Yes, I saw it happen, and suggestion something else in real life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What a wonderful surprise! Thank you to C. L., , the Chicks, and C. L.’s publishers for this fun giveaway.

        Oh, C.L. – in My m-i-l history, she didn’t meet me until we’d been married 4 months because we were active duty military, stationed in Germany, and that’s where we married before we moved to the States. She must have been terrified about our marriage😊.

        Ruth

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post — thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today! Now I wish I’d buried Barbie, lol! Hubs and I used to do wedding photography, so I’ve seen some of the behind-the-scenes crazy! It’s stressful, but great book material!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Vickie, then you know what can happen at a wedding! You’d have your own book material. For years, clients wanted me to write a book, but I didn’t want to be sued by some angry former client. Fiction does the trick. And in the first few books, you learn about Kansas City, Missouri.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Barbie funerals! Hilarious. I didn’t have a huge wedding, but I had a dress with a huge train. My wedding planner (actually, just a church lady) was always up in my face until I needed help wrangling the dress through the door. Still makes me laugh.

    Thanks for visiting us today! Such a fun topic!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Becky. This is great fun today. Church ladies! There could be stories about those wonderful women. Have you even seen Dana Carvey do his comedy routine of the church lady? He had to have met some of them. And yes, dresses are still creating problems.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Welcome to the Chicks, C.L.! Congrats on your series, and thanks so much for the giveaway!

    Like I said in a previous comment, my Barbie didn’t get buried but dismembered. Yikes! I must have been really young, though, because I don’t remember a thing. (Or maybe I blocked out the incident entirely.)

    I do miss weddings. My dad and stepmother were actually supposed to have a postponed banquet reception this year, but it’s been delayed even longer now…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. Dismemberment did happen. That head would pop off. Happy you blocked it out. Sorry about the postponement. I don’t know one person who hasn’t had to change something significant this year.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. OMG, what a fun post! Your series sounds delightful. My NY reception (we were officially married in L.A., where we both live now, but all my family is in NY) is one of the events that inspired my Catering Hall Mystery series. I miss the days of buying bridal magazines. #allaboutthedress. Thanks for visiting us, C.L.!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Ellen. Catering has soooo many stories! Here in the Midwest, catering halls aren’t really a thing, but we call them “venues” and they charge more for them with a chic name. Pinterest has replaced the bridal magazines for the majority of brides. They come in with their boards of wishes and dreams.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Enjoyed reading your bio–your self-effacing humor is endearing.
    Never liked Barbie but as one of eleven kids (5 brothers; 5 sisters), I always had real “dolls” to play with and care for–never had cause to bury any of them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. Good luck with your work–I assume you’re working on a new novel. (Me too–my agent is shopping my mystery series right now–meanwhile, I’m writing a standalone suspense novel.)

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s