Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Sweet Pea Productions (March 30, 2017)
Paperback: 368 pages
Paperback: 368 pages
When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.
GUEST POST BY AUTHOR JENNY B JONES
Hi, I’m Jenny B. Jones, author of Engaged in Trouble, book one in the Enchanted Events series. When Paisley leaves Los Angeles and moves back to Sugar Creek, she knows she’s inheriting her great aunt’s derelict wedding planning business. What she doesn’t know is things have changed a lot in her old home town—including Aunt Zelda’s shop.
With coffee in one hand, I pulled Shirley into a tight-fitting spot on Main Street. Cars circled around the square, jockeying for parking spaces like buzzards swooping on prey. What was everyone doing downtown this morning? Was there some event Sylvie forgot to tell me about?
Without bothering to lock the car, I grabbed my purse and coffee and walked the flower-lined sidewalk to Sugar Creek Weddings and More.
Housed in a two-story storybook house the color of cotton candy, the little business had held its ground near the square for fifty years. Owned by my great-aunt Zelda, the place was known for putting on some of the worst weddings in the history of the state. If you wanted glam and glitz, you traveled a few towns down the road. If you were okay with sweating through your gown at the Sugar Creek First Baptist followed by watery punch in the basement, Zelda was your gal. She wasn’t known for quality, but she was known for her ability to throw a cheap wedding together in days. If a couple had reasons for a hasty, classless production that wasn’t even accompanied by some good cake, Great Aunt Z could fix you right up.
I noticed the sign change first.
When had Aunt Zelda changed that? I guess it was better than Sugar Creek Weddings and More, when everyone in town knew the more was the complementary eau du mothballs.
The door chimed the same familiar tune as I stepped inside the lobby.
But that brass bell above me was the only thing I recognized.
“Excuse me.” A woman sailed past me, carrying three wedding magazines thick as Encyclopedias and speaking into her headset. “Yes, we have the governor’s vow renewals scheduled for the twenty-fourth, then Elegant Weddings magazine have their photo shoot here on the twenty-fifth. Can you hold? Enchanted Events…”
I did a slow turn, wondering if that bump on my head last night had addled my brain or maybe sent me back to some alternate reality. This didn’t look anything like Aunt Zelda’s shop. Where was the faded orange hotel carpet? The samples of polyester wedding dresses on zombie-like mannequins? The lobby chairs that looked like the results of a bad dumpster dive? The Merle Haggard tunes on the crackling stereo? The shop had been totally renovated. It looked like. . . a real business. Walls of white shiplap, aged wood chandeliers above, seating areas with plush chairs, dark walnut floors. A handful of work stations flanked each corner with sleek white computers where waiting brides-to-be sat and flipped through gleaming photos on iPads while light instrumental music filled the air.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered to no one in particular.
A dapper man who could’ve been Idris Elba’s twin stopped beside me. “Is something the matter?”
I blinked my eyes and sniffed the air. “I don’t smell moth balls.”
“Enchanted Events is now known for something more than smelling like granny’s attic.”
“What’s happening here?” I couldn’t even seem to find the right questions to ask. “I’m—”
“Paisley Sutton,” he supplied.
“Uh-huh. And I’m supposed to be taking ownership of—”
“Sugar Creek Weddings and More. We’re now called Enchanted Events.”
“And I’m really—”
“Confused and overwhelmed.”
“Exactly,” I said. “And also—”
Not what I was going to say. “I’m here to meet the current manager of” —I waved my hand around— “this. But maybe I’m not in the right place?”
“You’re where you’re supposed to be. Alice, get us some tea,” he yelled over his shoulder. “And you might want to spike one of them.”
“This is not my Aunt Zelda’s wedding business. Her shop was a musty, dated, relic of a thing that she hung onto for a tax write-off.”
“Then she hired me.” He stuck out his hand to shake. “Henry Cole.”
“I was in Sugar Creek two years ago. I would’ve noticed someone totally transforming a family member’s business.”
“I started not too long after your wedding debacle. But we don’t have time to revisit your travesties or hear of my miracle-working powers right now.”
I dumbly followed him down a hall, taking in all the hustle and bustle, the charm and class. “You have at least five brides sitting out there.”
“And those are just the ones who could score an appointment. Word of mouth is a powerful thing.”
This wasn’t word of mouth. This was voodoo. This was sorcery. “Why didn’t my family tell me about this?”
He turned a corner “Sylvie swore us all to secrecy. Said you’d never come back if you knew the shop had gone big time bridal, given your own nuclear bomb of a wedding.”
“My grandmother is right—I want nothing to do weddings. I’m the last person you want making bridal decisions. So I’m just going to go on home and—”
“Not so fast.” He stopped in front of a door bearing his name. “You’re our boss.”
“But I don’t want to be.” My voice sounded small, whiny.
He slipped into his office and headed toward his desk. “And I don’t want to be a devilishly handsome black man who’s freakishly good at wedding details and rocking the business world, while simultaneously canceling out any hopes of the female population thinking I’m straight.”
“Uh-huh. Sounds like we’re both hitting hard times.” I fumbled in my purse for my car keys. “So it looks like you’ve got things under control here. I’d just mess things up. I’m gonna be one of those bosses who let’s her employees do what they do best. Nobody likes a micromanager.”
“You don’t have a choice,” Henry said. “I’m quite familiar with the terms of the will. You have to show up to work at least eight hours to get a paycheck while you’re here, plus, Lisa’s on maternity leave, and we’re short handed and need the help.”
“Is a newborn a good excuse to miss work? You should really be questioning Lisa’s loyalty.” I felt like I’d requested a ride on the carousel, yet unknowingly sat in the front cart of a roller coaster. This was so not going according to plan. One one hand, when I sold the business, it would clearly bring more money than I expected. But on the other hand, I was going to have to work in this frilly, frippy sponge cake of a store. “I have a lot to think about. Permission to take the rest of the day off?”
MEET THE AUTHOR
Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever. She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.Author sites and social media:
Good Reads: www.goodreads.com/JennyBJones
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