I don’t think many women are asked to plan this ex-husbands’ weddings. I was. I said, “no” of course. Any sane woman would, especially since Eddie, my ex, and I got divorced because he had an affair when our son Hayden was a toddler. Unfortunately, I’m still planning his wedding. I didn’t have a choice. I was trapped between a rock and hard place. Sadly, this is a location I have become accustomed to as the Director of Barton Farm, a living history museum on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio.
Here’s how it happened: Krissie Pumpernickel. I suppose you need more explanation then that, but I don’t. Krissie is my ex-husband’s betrothed. She’s young, beautiful, athletic, and conniving. For some reason, she got it into her head that she had to get married at Barton Farm, my place of work. Why Krissie chose Barton Farm when as far as I can tell she has had no interest in history is beyond me. All I can assume is she chose the Farm to annoy me as much as possible. Her method to get what she wanted after I initially said “no” was to go over my head to the Cherry Foundation, the foundation that oversees Barton Farm, and to tell the Board of Trustees that her wealthy parents would make a large donation to the Foundation, if and only if, she and Eddie were about to have their wedding on the Farm. As you can guess, I got a call from the Foundation shortly after that telling me the “good news” that I would be hosting the wedding.
When Krissie found out that I agreed to host the wedding on the Farm (not that I had a choice in the matter), she and her wedding planner, Vianna Pine, descended on me like a blinged-out plague. It was in the middle of winter, and the Farm was closed for the season. I was in my office pushing papers around my desk when they walked in.
Krissie clapped her hands. “Oh, Kelsey, won’t it be amazing to have the wedding here on the Farm!”
Amazing was not the word going through my head. Nightmare and disaster were more on point for me. I forced smiled.
Vianna was a petite woman who vibrated with energy. She scanned my office, and I knew she took everything in, including the enormous about of clutter, with one sweet of her gaze.
“Well, I am glad that you came in.” I removed a document from a manila folder on my desk. “This is the contract that both you and Eddie will have to sign. You can take it home and read it over, but basically, it tells you that you cannot make any changes to the Farm grounds or buildings for the wedding.”
“Don’t worry, Kelsey. We would never ask you to change one thing about the Farm.” Krissie beamed at me. “I will be the sweetest bride you’ve ever met. I’m just so happy to be marrying Eddie. What can I be other than sweet?”
I had my doubts about her sweetness. I noticed that Vianna raised her eyebrows at the comment. She wasn’t buying Krissie’s sweet bride story either. As it turned out, Vianna and I were right to be doubtful, and Vianna paid for it with her life.
You can read more about Kelsey in The Final Vow, the third book in the “Living History Museum” mystery series.
Summer weddings at Barton Farm’s picturesque church were standard procedure for museum director Kelsey Cambridge―until the Cherry Foundation, which supports the museum, ordered Kelsey to host her ex-husband’s wedding on Farm grounds.
Ambitious wedding planner Vianna Pine is determined to make the bride’s Civil War-themed wedding perfect. But each time Vianna’s vision threatens the integrity and safety of the Farm, Kelsey has to intervene. And when she finds Vianna’s dead body at the foot of the church steps, everyone’s plans fall apart. With both the wedding and Barton Farm at risk of being permanently shut down, Kelsey has to work hard to save her own happily ever after.
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About the author
Amanda Flower, a national bestselling and Agatha Award winning mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio. Connect with Amanda at amandaflower.com.
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