Newlywed DeadHi, my name is Pepper Pomeroy and my day usually starts out early. I run a proposal planning business. No, not an event planning business, although I started in event planning. What I do is plan elaborate events for a man or woman to create a special night to ask the love of their life to marry them.

I begin by interviewing both parties. I have to come up with a ruse to interview the party to be surprised. Some people ask me why interview them at all and take the chance that they will figure out what is going on and ruin the surprise. Well, interviewing the person the party is for allows me to gage how committed they are to the person who wishes to marry them. I guarantee everyone will be happy with the proposal. The only way to do this is to ensure the couple is truly committed. Then in sleuth out some of their favorite moments in their dating life and incorporate that into the proposal.

This research alone takes a lot of planning. Next I find a venue and contact my boyfriend, Gage, who owns a local prop house for the Chicago Theater scene. Did I mention we live in Chicagoland? Gage is great help. If he doesn’t have what I need in his warehouse, then he usually knows someone who does. I’ve created underwater treasure hunts and black and white movie proposals.

Meeting families and friends of my couples is certainly challenging. This time is harder than ever. I have a couple of meddling moms who are more interested in a wedding than the bride and groom to be. Then I have a woman who insists on being a part of the process of planning her engagement while demanding to be surprised. No surprise-no engagement. It’s a tough conundrum.

With days filled with research and planning, I also have to make room for Felicity’s wedding. Only once in a life time do you get to be Maid of Honor for your baby sister. It’s been a bit of a rough go for her with murder at every step. Unfortunately, her wedding is no different. Felicity and Warren have left the reception when a bartender crumbles to her death. In order to keep Felicity from feeling cursed, I vow to figure out what happened and bring a killer to justice before the honeymoon is over.

I’m curious, do you think death at a wedding is good luck or bad?

Best, Pepper

Newlywed Dead is the third book in the Perfect Proposals mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, May 2016.

In the new Perfect Proposals mystery from the author of Bodice of Evidence and Engaged in Murder, a country club wedding reception becomes the scene of a baffling crime.

The wedding for Pepper Pomeroy’s sister Felicity starts with dearly beloved but it ends with dearly departed when Ashley, the bartender Pepper befriended earlier in the evening, drops dead from a lethal nightcap. Authorities think it’s just a tragic accident. After all, who’d want to kill a virtual stranger at a country club wedding reception? That’s what Pepper wants to know.

A search into Ashley’s past reveals a twisty path of secret sororities, well-connected enemies, and an unsolved slaying still shadowing members of high society—including a filthy-rich battle-ax whose demands for the services of Pepper’s Perfect Proposals are starting to sound more like veiled threats. Pepper’s business may be booming but continued success means outsmarting a mysterious culprit who’s still wedded to the idea of murder.

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About the author
Nancy J Parra also writes the “Baker’s Treat” series for Berkley Prime Crime and the “Candy Coated” mystery series for Kensington Books. Nancy lives in the South with her plucky Bichonpoo known affectionately on line as Little Dog. Visit Nancy at

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

All comments are welcomed.

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