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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.