It's Monday again and we are only ten days to the big day. Are you sick of the holiday hustle and bustle? Would you rather kick off your shoes, grab a hot drink and snuggle under a blanket and just read? If that sounds like your perfect evening, settle in and see what I have in store for you. I am delighted that I get to welcome the wonderful Carolyn Brown back again. Carolyn has become a regular here on the blog, and I will tell you a secret, she is back next Monday as well. A double dose! Today, I am featuring Carolyn's newest release The Wedding Pearls. I absolutely adored this one. It has feisty old ladies, a sweet romance, a road trip in a vintage Cadillac and lots of laughs. You don't want to miss this one. Loved it!! Alright, let me settle down and reintroduce you all to Carolyn:
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and a RITA finalist. Her books include historical, contemporary, cowboys and country music mass market paperbacks. Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, she refers to herself as a Tex-Okie. She and her husband live in Davis, Oklahoma. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Find Carolyn on her website,Facebook, and Goodreads.
Carolyn has graciously dropped by today to tell us a little about the heart and soul of The Wedding Pearls, and that would be the characters. Please welcome Carolyn:
Hello, Heidi and everyone at Rainy Day Ramblings. Thank you for inviting me back here to talk about my brand new release which will hit the shelves tomorrow morning, The Wedding Pearls.
From the time the characters entered my world, I was in love with them. Today I’d like to introduce you to them and tell you just a little about each one.
Tessa never minded being adopted and wasn’t really interested in meeting her biological family. She was secure in her own world with her adopted parents and her cousin who worked with her at the travel agency. Right up until Branch walked into her agency and turned her world upside down with his asinine idea about her going on a month long trip with her biological mother and grandmother so they could all get to know each other.
Branch loves ranching far more than he loves the lawyer business with his family. And he sure doesn’t want to drive a bunch of women around the perimeter of Texas in a 1959 Cadillac. No sir! But he’s the only one that Frankie will let drive the Cadillac, which is named Mollybedamned, so his job for the next four weeks is keeping a log book of his driving time and billing Frankie a lawyer’s fee for that work.
Frankie is Tessa’s biological grandmother, who had no idea that she was even a grandmother until Tessa was almost thirty years old. She’s outspoken, rich and nothing stands in her way when she wants something. Not a lawyer who doesn’t want to go with her on her “retirement” trip or a granddaughter that she didn’t know about.
Ivy has been best friends with Frankie since they were in kindergarten and she’s just as excited as Frankie about the trip and about meeting the new granddaughter. She’s just as outspoken as Frankie and drags around an oxygen tank with her, which she unfastens from her nose when she wants to smoke a cigarette. Both she and Frankie are very fond of their cigarettes and their Dr Pepper laced with moonshine—oh, and gambling when they get a chance.
Lola, Tessa’s biological mother, knits little pink baby hats for the local hospitals to atone for her sin of giving her only child away. And now she’s in the front seat of the Caddy on a long trip with that daughter and is trying to get to know her but doesn’t really know how.
Melody, Ivy’s sixteen year old great niece, is along on the trip against her wishes. But she got caught smoking pot in the high school bathroom and the judge gave her 30 days of community service. Ivy had a few connections and pulled in a few favors and asked if she could go along on the trip to be her assistant.
This bunch just flat out stole my hearts with their layers of guilt, dysfunctional backgrounds and all that made them who they were. So sit back, enjoy a trip around Texas in Mollybedamned and watch friendships blossom and love take hold. It’s a trip you won’t soon forget!
So what would you do if you were faced with the same question as Tessa? Would you go on the trip or reject the offer?
A huge thanks to Carolyn for taking time out of her crazy busy schedule. Don't miss her back here again next week. I am delighted to be able to offer up a fantastic giveaway. I have an Audiobook copy of The Wedding Pearls to give away to one lucky reader. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Here is my review:
The Wedding Pearls by Carolyn Brown
Tessa Wilson’s life is all over the map.
She may be clumsy, but this time she’s stumbled into a pickle by choice, not by accident.
She’s agreed to take a month-long trip around Texas jammed into a ’59 Cadillac with a drama-loving teenager, two elderly spitfires, and—oh, yes—her biological mama who gave her away at birth.
And the ride gets even crazier when hot-as-sin cowboy Branch Thomas crosses into her lane.
They don’t call him the sexiest man in the Lone Star State for nothin’.
As the miles pass and sparks fly between Tessa and Branch, her grandmother starts dropping hints about family wedding traditions. And as Tessa discovers the power of her budding friendships and the unbreakable strength of her newfound family of strong Texas women, she wonders if she’s also on the road to the biggest adventure of all: true love.
Expected publication: December 15th 2015 by Brilliance Audio
Five stars: A road trip book that will make you laugh and cry. Loved this one!
Tessa grabs her thick romance novel, hoping to spend the last hour of her workday without a mishap. Tessa has been clumsy her whole life, and she blames it on her biological parents. Tessa has always known she was adopted, but she has never wanted to find her real mother. Everything changes when a handsome cowboy with green eyes strolls into her travel agency. Tessa is shocked when she learns that Branch is actually a lawyer. He arrives with a proposition for Tessa. Her biological mother and grandmother want to meet her at long last, and they would like for Tessa to accompany them on a month long road trip across Texas. At first, Tessa has no interest in going, but her her adoptive mother persuades her to go. What follows is the trip of a lifetime as Tessa finds herself crowded into a shiny red, convertible 1959 Cadillac named Mollybedamned, along with her biological Mother Lola, her grandmother Frankie and her best friend, Ivy, Melody, Ivy's sixteen year old great niece, and Branch, the sexy cowboy who is their driver. What will Tessa discover on the road with her new found family?
What I Loved:
- I don't even know where to start with this one. I absolutely loved this book. It came at the perfect time, just when I needed a terrific, pick me up read. This is a book that will stick with me always. I adored the characters, the story and the journey. If you want a read with an epic road trip, a romance, new found friendships and sass, you must read this. I promise, it will make you laugh and cry. It is an amazing read. You can stop here and go get the book now......
- Okay, obviously you are still reading the review, so I will tell you a bit about the characters who captured my heart. The story centers around Tessa, at almost thirty, she is seemingly content in her life. She is recovering from a broken engagement, but she is happy working at the travel agency she started with her cousin. She is clumsy, and attributes it to her genetic parents, whom she has never met. She is kind and sweet, and she has some spunk. Lola, Tessa's real mother, is quiet and nice. She is burdened by the guilt of putting her daughter up for adoption, so to make up for it, she knits baby hats. Frankie and Ivy are the scene stealers of the book, and I absolutely adored these old gals. These two are attached at the hip, life long friends from cradle to grave they claim. At eighty some years old, the two old ladies are determined to live life to the fullest and enjoy every second of it. They smoke, drink moonshine spiked Dr. Pepper, gamble and giggle. I loved their sass and spunk. You have to read this book to meet these two. Melody is a moody sixteen year old girl, forced to go on the trip because she was suspended from school for smoking pot in the bathroom. She starts out the book as an annoying teenager, but she grows and changes, and I loved seeing her transformation. Finally, add in Branch, one sexy cowboy, who is sweet and chivalrous, someone you would want to have on a road trip. I loved this cast of characters!
- This is a book all about relationships. First, there are the new found relationships that Tessa forms with her biological family. I loved watching Tessa fall in love with her family. Then there is the wonderful, lifelong friendship between Ivy and Frankie. This was the highlight of the book for me. For all you romance lovers, there is also a romance. I loved exploring the different types of relationships in this one.
- I love road trip books, and this has to be one of the best road trip books ever. Imagine six people stuffed into a vintage Cadillac touring the state of Texas. It has mayhem, snark, romance and all kinds of interesting stops, from yard sales to steakhouses. If you enjoy road trip books, this is one you have to read.
- The romance is sweet and subtle and it doesn't overtake the story. I loved that it took its time to develop as it starts out as a friendship. Even when it bursts into flame, it still flickers in the background. It was just right.
- The ending was bittersweet. I am not going to lie, it made me cry, and laugh at the same time. I loved the messages and the journey. This is a book that reminds you to grab life with both hands and live it to its fullest. I cannot recommend this one enough!
- I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and I thought that Brittany Pressley did an outstanding job. Her voices for Ivy, Frankie and Melody are wonderful. My one hesitation was that I don't think she quite managed to pull off Branch. Still if you can get your hands on an audio copy, do it.
And The Not So Much:
- I can't think of much that I didn't like about this one. I wished that the road trip could have gone on and on, I hated for it to come to close, especially when I knew what was at the end.
- I found myself wanting to know just a bit more about Lola. She remained a bit of a mystery. I wanted more on her romance as well.
- I was curious about Clint, Tessa's cousin. I felt like there was backstory to him, his marriage and the travel agency, not an issue, just me being curious.
The Wedding Pearls is an absolute must read. I cannot recommend this one enough. Grab a copy for yourself, and one for a best friend or even your mother or both. This is a book that you need to read. It will make you laugh and cry. It is so sweet and wonderful and packed full of humor. I hope that when I grow up, I can be just like Ivy and Frankie. Please get yourself a copy of this and read it!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.