Winner of the Christi Barth giveaway!

Planning for LoveThanks very much to Christi Barth for stopping by to tell us about her wedding-planner romance PLANNING FOR LOVE.

The lucky winner is…Cathy P!

Cathy, it’s a digital book, so email me at romancingkatrina[at]gmail[dot]com and let me know which ereader you’d like it for.

Everyone, this week you can win a banned book in honor of Banned Books Week. Hope you’re all having a great week!

Interview with Christi Barth – & giveaway!

Christi BarthIf watching reality wedding TV shows is your guilty pleasure, you will love the new contemporary romance series written by this week’s guest, Christi Barth. I read the first in her Aisle Bound trilogy, Planning for Love, a couple of weeks ago and was completely hooked by her Chicago-based wedding planners. Christi is here today giving away a copy of Planning for Love to one lucky reader.

Welcome, Christi!

Hi – I’m so happy to be here, hooking people on candy-coated romance!

1. Yum! Nice description. So, you used to be a wedding planner yourself. What’s the most incredible thing you’ve seen at a wedding, and what’s one thing you would caution all couples to avoid?

I never thought I would see – in real life – a wedding crasher. But at the very last wedding I ever coordinated, two guests who had specifically been omitted from the guest list (and were quite aware of the fact, due to family ugliness with divorce, etc.) tried to muscle their way into the reception. And it was my job to turn them away. Not easy, and not pretty.

2. Wow. That must’ve been tough for you and the happy couple. I love the role that Chicago plays in your novel. It’s such a cool city and provides the perfect backdrop for a stylish wedding planner. Is it a city you’ve spent a lot of time in?

I lived in Chicago for 4 years when I was a working musical theatre actress – great city to visit/expensive, nightmarish traffic city to live in, we found. But it is packed full of beautiful places and fun things to do. When I began writing the trilogy, I made a chart of everyplace cool I wanted to feature, and had to divvy them up equally between books (although I think I packed the most into book 1). Everyone should put it on their must-visit list!

3. You have a Master’s degree in vocal performance, so I’m guessing that music is a special passion of yours. Is there any music you have to listen to when you write, or does it distract you too much? Do you have different songs for different kinds of scenes?

Music can be distracting. I’m pulled to pay attention to it/sing along more than I am to write. However, it is a NECESSITY for writing sex scenes – I always play Pink Martini and Kurt Elling. When I wrote my 3rd book, Cruising Toward Love, I did play a little reggae to get me in the mood for the island scenes.

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Review: Planning for Love by Christi Barth

Planning for LoveIvy Rhodes is the best wedding planner in Chicago. She’s professional, competent and highly in demand…until one of her brides signs up for a trashy reality TV show filmed by irresistible videographer Bennett Westcott.

Bennett used to have an exciting career in journalism before a scandal took everything from him and left him working on bridal TV shows. But there are perks – like meeting beautiful women at weddings.

The chemistry between Bennett and Ivy is scorching hot, and he thinks he’s hit the jackpot with a woman who knows their relationship will be limited to one night and one day. But when Ivy’s desire for love and a family becomes clear, he takes off…only to discover his next assignment is to follow her around videoing her for her own TV show.

This is the first Christi Barth novel I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last. Christi Barth writes exactly the kind of contemporary romance I love: smart, sassy and real. She wraps deep emotion in humor, like in this scene where Ivy tells Bennett he should be proud of what he’s made of his life after he lost his first career:
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