Terror in Taffeta“Destination wedding planner? What’s that?”

That’s one reaction I get when I tell people what I do for a living. Of course, I don’t hear it nearly as often as I used to, now that turning weddings into big group vacations is all the rage. Seems like everyone has a cousin who’s getting married in Hawaii or a best friend from college who’s planning an intimate little ceremony on the Amalfi Coast.

Lucky for me, these things don’t plan themselves, and I get to be there for one of the most important days in people’s lives at least twenty times a year.

Another response I hear a lot? “Ooooh, you’re so lucky! Can I be your assistant?” Seriously, I get volunteers weekly. I could easily increase my staff to 73 people without even putting an ad on Craigslist. Anyway, for now I’ve got Laurel, and she’s doing a bang-up job of holding down the fort in San Francisco while I’m away.

Oh! The other reaction I get sometimes? “A wedding planner? You must really want to get married.” To which my response is, “Huh?”

I mean, sure, maybe when I meet the right guy I will, but that’s easier said than done when you’re more focused on everyone else’s happily ever after. Doesn’t stop my best friend Brody Marx from trying to fix me up—not to mention every bride I work with. They always seem to know someone in the wedding party who’d be just perfect for me. But if I took them all up on their offers, I’d have as many prospective husbands as I have potential assistants.

As for Brody, he’s a fabulous wedding photographer, and I try to get him hired as often as I can so he can come with me on my adventures. As much time as I spend with virtual strangers, it’s nice to have a friendly face in the crowd—plus he’s good to have around when something goes wrong.

And something always seems to go wrong.

Take this recent trip to San Miguel de Allende, for example. It’s this super charming little artists’ colony in Mexico with cobblestone streets and a gorgeous church overlooking the town plaza. I thought the bridesmaids were just hung over, until one of them pitched over into a big bouquet of flowers. Turns out, her problem was not the kind that could be fixed with a little Pepto-Bismol and a long nap.

But that’s a story for another day. . .

Terror in Taffeta is the first in a new series about destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna, published by Minotaur Books in March, 2016.

Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna is just a few hours away from wrapping up her latest job: a destination wedding in the charming, colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. The reception is all set up, the tequila donkey is waiting outside, and the bride and groom are standing on the altar, pledging their eternal love. But just as the priest is about to pronounce them husband and wife, one of the bridesmaids upstages the couple by collapsing into a floral arrangement, a definite wedding “don’t.” Kelsey soon discovers that the girl hasn’t just fainted—she’s dead.

Losing a bridesmaid is bad enough, but when the bride’s sister is arrested for murder, the demanding mother of the bride insists that Kelsey fix the matter at once. And although Kelsey is pretty sure investigating a murder isn’t in her contract, crossing the well-connected Mrs. Abernathy could be a career-killer. Before she can leave Mexico and get back to planning weddings, Kelsey must deal with stubborn detectives, a rekindled romance, and late-night death threats in this smart, funny cozy mystery debut.

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Meet the author
MARLA COOPER was astonished when, at the age of 18, she realized people could actually get paid to write things. So she switched her major from business to advertising—much to the relief of her accounting Marla Cooperprofessor—and began her career as an advertising copywriter. She later became a freelancer so she could take advantage of perks like working in her pajamas, and now she writes a little bit of everything. It was while she was ghostwriting a book on destination weddings that she found inspiration for her first novel, Terror in Taffeta. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat. Visit Marla at www.marla-cooper.com, on Facebook, or at her blog, www.chicksonthecase.com

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Terror in Taffeta. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end March 29, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

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