I follow many blogs and authors, always on the lookout for new books. I was intrigued when I read the interview with debut author Marla Cooper on Jungle Red Writers and was introduced to her new release TERROR IN TAFFETA. Marla was giving away an advanced reader’s copy and her questions for entering the contest were: Have you ever been to a destination wedding? Or have you ever been to a wedding where things went really wrong?
I knew I needed to enter the contest, (and I did win — thank you, Marla!) if only to answer those questions…since my answers were both YES and YES…my own memorable wedding. If you’re interested in my extended answer, I’ve added it to the bottom of the page…and I should clarify that at least we didn’t have any dead bodies like the author’s bride!
TERROR IN TAFFETA was memorable too, and Marla Cooper makes a splash with her debut novel!
Destination wedding planner, Kelsey McKenna, has meticulously planned Nicole and Vance’s wedding set to be held in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Nicole has added a last minute bridesmaid, Dana. She is high maintenance and has done nothing but create problems for Kelsey and irritate the rest of the wedding party. Dana creates the ultimate disruption when she drops dead at the end of the marriage ceremony. Most people think she just fainted but the bride’s mother, Mrs. Abernathy, who is paying for the wedding and for Kelsey’s services, tells Kelsey to take care of it and make sure no one else knows so the reception isn’t tainted.
When the police determine that Dana was murdered, they arrest Zoe, the bride’s sister, when incriminating evidence is found. Mrs. Abernathy demands that Kelsey, as the wedding planner, “fix” it and get Zoe released. Kelsey has no idea what to do but starts asking questions and finds that Dana had made enemies left and right, wherever she went. But with time running out and Zoe facing certain conviction in the Mexican judicial system, Kelsey must delve deeper into the secrets people are hiding and find the real killer.
TERROR IN TAFFETA is a well plotted, humorous mystery with an exotic location that adds to the panache of this debut novel! The protagonist, Kelsey, is fun-loving, but takes her job very seriously and at heart, believes it is her job to fix any problem that comes along. I enjoyed the dashes of humor and the situations that arise from the mixture of personalities the characters exhibit, but there is still a kindness in the concern Kelsey shows towards her clients, no matter how irritating they may be. I’ll have to admit that when I found a moment to sit down and start this book, I only planned on reading for a half hour….but this well written mystery kept me turning pages late into the night! I will be anxiously awaiting for the next installment in this series!
While TERROR IN TAFFETA does not have recipes included with the book, Kelsey and her clients enjoyed amazing meals during their stay in San Miguel de Allende. The bride chose Snapper Veracruz for the wedding reception and I have a wonderful recipe that Marla was happy for me to share. Firm Red Snapper is baked with a fresh cherry tomato sauce, flavored with green olives and capers. This dish comes together quickly but is beautiful and tasty enough to serve to guests.
Thank you to Minotaur for providing a hardcover copy of TERROR IN TAFFETA for one lucky winner! Please use the Rafflecopter box located below the recipe to enter. Contest ends Monday, May 16, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST, and is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
4 6-8 ounce Red Snapper fillets
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped and divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime wedges for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Add the olive oil to a large oven-proof skillet and heat until shimmering over medium heat.
Add the onion and sauté for one minute.
Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften and split, about 5 – 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the raisins and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and dried oregano. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Stir in the olives, capers, and parsley. Cook for two minutes, until thoroughly heated. Be sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat.
Season the Red Snapper with salt and pepper, then place on top of the tomato mixture, spooning some of the sauce on top of the fish.
Bake for 14 – 22 minutes, uncovered, just until the fish is opaque in the center and begins to flake.
Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of chopped parsley over dish and serve with passed lime wedges and steamed rice.
Regular raisins can be substituted for golden raisins.
If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the tomato mixture to a 9″x13″ casserole dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Add the Red Snapper fillets and cook as directed.
If the snapper fillets are not equal thickness, check the thinner fillets for doneness early. Remove cooked fillet(s) from pan and place on a plate, covering with aluminum foil to keep warm until the remaining pieces are cooked through. My thinnest fillet was cooked in 14 minutes while my thickest fillet took 21 minutes to cook.
If your snapper has the skin still attached ‘score’ the skin to keep it from curling in the heat. Place the fillets, skin side up, on a cutting board. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make several shallow slashes in the skin, about 1-inch apart. Be sure to not cut too deeply since you don’t want to cut the actual fish.
My Wedding Story
Having both been around the “block” a time or errrr….two, my fiancé and I decided we wanted our wedding to be something intimate, without a lot of fanfare, but still memorable (and we got that!). We went to Hawaii with his daughter and her husband, and our wedding coordinator chartered a helicopter to land us at a very remote waterfall on Kauai, along with the minister and photographer. We woke up to pouring rain on our wedding day. Typically rain showers in Hawaii blow over in an hour or so, but this one dumped for hours and hours. Obviously the helicopter couldn’t fly and there wasn’t any indoor place we could hold the ceremony at such a late notice. (I nixed the idea of the hotel lobby…not my idea of memorable…) As our coordinator searched for someplace we lost our minister to other duties.
It was suggested we reschedule for later in the week, but I was determined to get married that day (some might call me stubborn). Finally around 4 o’clock in the afternoon the sun came out. My coordinator found a new minister, we hiked to the outer edges of Shipwreck Beach and stood on the cliffs and got married. However, during the ceremony a surfer dude (obviously smoking some Maui Wowie) walked in between my husband and myself, saying “A wedding…righteous dudes….” before wandering off. After the ceremony we stood on the edges of the cliff to take photos and as we looked down behind us, there were several nudists still catching the sun and our ceremony. We truly had a memorable wedding and I now believe what the Hawaiian locals all told us: It is good luck to have rain on your wedding day!
Not really…I haven’t been to that many weddings
I went to a wedding where the son of the President had been invited, and with him came the Secret Service. We had to wait outside the church in over 100 degree weather while each “admission” card was checked before we could get into the church, and several older guests collapsed outside from the heat — bring in the firetrucks and ambulances and more police cars. At the reception, one of my friend’s Mom said that there seemed to be a lot of hard of hearing men at the wedding (Secret Service men wearing earpieces).
Oh my! You would have thought they would plan for making sure people were safe standing in that kind of heat! How sad that those elderly people ended up missing the wedding.
I’m always lookout for a new series and this one sounds good! Love your wedding story!!
I have never attended a destination wedding. But, our son and daughter-in-love were married in a beautiful church in Charleston SC. That was a gorgeous place and wonderful ceremony. 🙂
I have never been to a destination wedding and I don’t know any wedding “horror” stories. I did love your wedding story. Thanks for the giveaway.
Yes my husbands daughter got married and there was supposed to be a horse and carriage to come get them from the home they were married in to the reception well 2 hrs later it came and all the guests were so tired. Then they started a video that was just horrible so many people started complaining as no idea what video was about so the father of the groom told them to start serving it was just wedding gone wrong. She is a person who wants everything perfect incl herself so this was not a happy day in the end, I felt bad but had nothing to do with anything called to see if she needed any help oh no she said. Love new series and new authors would love to read and review a book about a wedding!
Does my wedding count? Everything was going smoothly, until my cute little three-year old flower girl niece decided she wanted to wear exactly the same dress as her flower girl partner cousin. They were so cute in coordinating dresses… They were the exact dress, but she was in mint green, her cousin in apricot. Then came the tears and the fingers in her mouth. So…my apricot niece walked bravely down the aisle by herself, and my teary-eyed niece was escorted down the aisle by her dad…and I have the pictures to show it.
Awwww….kids can be so darn cute and then throw a wrench into the works. I’m sure you’ll both look back at those photos and get a good laugh, and you’ll have something to remind her of at her wedding!
I’ve never attended a wedding where something went wrong.
When our son got married he hired a phtographer and separate videographer. They got some photos, but when they nicely asked the photographer not keep posing everyone after the initial posed shots, the photographer got mad and stopped taking pictures. Then the videographer had a breakdown of his equipment and the only video they got was of static and feet! The good part was our son and daughter-in-law requested one of my husband’s songs for their first dance.
How sad to have lost out on all those treasured photos! At least they have a few to remember their special day by and your husband’s song…that truly would make it special!
Nothing that actually went wrong, but those brides get way too nervous!
Our wedding was interesting to say the least. We had it at my husband’s home church, which was about 30 miles or so from where I lived, so all my wedding guests had to travel there. Our ceremony was a candlelight ceremony set for 5 p.m. Well nothing was going to go smoothly it seemed. My parent’s were about 15-20 minutes late arriving due to having a severe summer storm hitting on the way out. Well wouldn’t you know it, it also came with them and the electric blinked several times. Then when we were busy trying to get photos it delayed the reception and my great uncle almost passed out. The best part was during the reception my father disappeared. My brother ended up locating him at a little restaurant up town from the hall. He didn’t like all the noise and decided to go someplace quiet. Little things like this add to some memories we won’t forget. firstname.lastname@example.org
You are very right about those little quirky memories that make the day so memorable 🙂
What a fun blog to read, so neat that rain brought good luck!
LOOKING FORWARD TO ADDING THIS SERIES TO MY LIST!
My wedding! The election results came out just as I was going to walk down the isle (someone came to whisper in my ear). I was shattered and the photographer didn’t know what he was doing from then on! The photos were terrible, family photos with most people looking strained and half the guests did’t turn up because there was trouble in the streets. The guests had mixed feelings, some were trying not to show they were disappointed so as not to spoil the day but one started to panic and shout…..I had an odd wedding!
How terrible for you and your family! And heartbreaking to not have any good photos of your special day. Hopefully things have since turned around for you and your country!
Two churches on the same street with almost same name. A lot of guests went to the wrong church.
Oops! Hopefully they weren’t late for the intended wedding!
i’ve been to one wedding, and my mama got stabbed in the foot from a toothpick from the hor d’oeuvres!
Ouch! Hopefully it wasn’t too painful and she could still dance the night away!
I’ve only been to a few weddings, and as far as I can tell they all came off without any issues.
Actually the weddings have attended, nothing went wrong, thank goodness.
Oh boy another new author to me.
Oh boy, another new author to me.
Terror in Taffeta sounds like a fun read. I don’t recall ever going to a wedding where something went wrong, at least to the people attending the wedding. 11
Yes Kim, I have attended a wedding where something went wrong. What was it? I was the bride marrying my first husband which was a really big mistake! All went down hill after the “I do”! Thanks for the intro & review of this new series. Well done!
Sandy, I think you and I both had the same experience with first weddings 🙂
I’ve never been to a destination wedding.. However, I have encountered a few “bridezillas”. A few years later, two of the husbands came to their senses and filed for divorce! I love red snapper too. Thanks for the opportunity to win and I look forward to this new series…
I haven’t attended a wedding where anything went wrong – at least, not to my knowledge. Recipe looks delicious!
I’ve never seen anything go wrong at a wedding. Kinda boring when I think about it.
No, I really haven’t, my friends and family have been lucky! Your story is very memorable and what a way to find a new author!
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of your books. I would love to start.
Only thing I can think of was when a miniature bridesmaid fainted during the ceremony.
I was at a wedding once when a groomsman fainted… I think it’s fairly common, but it’s still a shock when it happens! Poor girl, I’m sure she was scared when it happened!
I would love to have a hardcover copy of TERROR IN TAFFETA! Its sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you for the chance to win it.
The last wedding I attended was my son’s last May. Luckily nothing weird happened! Thanks for the chance to win this!!
Only smoothly run weddings nothing crazy …yet!
A wedding where something went wrong? My sister and her boyfriend lived together for 5 yrs. Had 2 kids together when she got pregnant again. He said let’s marry. She said what for. He said for the kids security and our forever. Right in the middle of the pastor asking them to say their vows she clutched her tummy and gave a little ‘oomph’. and the baby dropped. She said she had no warning at all. And the dr had said earlier in the week that she was due in about 3 weeks. Dave wasn’t that happy about the interruption but was delighted that this time it was a girl. After the emt’s said all was fine Dave insisted they finish the ceremony. Now!! The emt’s weren’t too happy. But they completed the ceremony. Nice post. A new author and series is always so exciting. I am looking forward to reading this book. And trying that recipe. Thanks for the recipe. and the heads up on a new author/series and for the chance to get it sooner. Would be a great introduction.
That certainly has to be the most memorable wedding I’ve ever heard of!!! And what a story to tell your niece!
I went to a very big wedding many many years ago in my hometown. I think the bride and groom drank to much and he pushed into the pool and the picture showed up in a Weekly magazine . Several years later they moved to the small town where I live and their drinking was well known. Small world.
No, fortunately I haven’t been to a wedding where anything bad has happened!!!??
I’ve been to a few that had unusual things happen. Your book sounds great. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
Let’s see…at my own wedding, my brother-in-law-to-be aka the best man, forgot my ring but was able to fetch it just before the wedding was about to start, only caused a minor delay 😉
Another wedding I was at, the couple had an extremely difficult time lighting their unity candle. Maybe it was an omen, since they did end up divorced down the road.
I’m so glad it worked out with only a minor delay for your wedding!
I have never attended a qeding where things went wrong…thank goodness
Yes I have attended a Wedding where something went wrong. I was in it as a Bridesmaid. The air conditioning in the Church broke down the morning of and we were lined up on steps going up to the Altar with our lovely flower bouquets in our hands. The Windows had to be opened and during the wedding… bees attacked the Bridesmaids who broke rank and were swatting away and clutching each other to keep from falling with the whole Church laughing.
Oh my!!! I’m surprised the entire audience didn’t go running to get away from the bees…I know I would be 🙂 It sounds like everyone had a good sense of humor about the situation though!
Weddings are magical. They all hold a level of mystery though and humor. I have only been to a handful of weddings but they have all been wonderful no murder involved! Congrats on the new book!! Great blog post.
Thanks, Bree! I love weddings that incorporate some humor too!
My wedding! My mother & Aunt (in-law) almost came to blows over a small detail for my reception AT the reception!
Oh no! I realize those involved in the details of the wedding can have a lot of emotions riding on the outcome, but it’s unfortunate when they forget to take the bride and groom into consideration. I hope your mom and aunt(in-law) have made up 🙂
How exciting…a new author for me. Sounds like a very fun read. Thanks for the chance
Exciting giveaway! I can’t wait to read you books! Thank you!!
Mine. It was time for the ceremony and the flowers still weren’t there. They said no one was at the church at the time they were to be delivered, but I was. My mother was running around putting them on the altar while the guests watched.
I’ll bet your mom was fit to be tied! Hopefully you had some beautiful photos after the ceremony with the flowers in place!
I WAS PART OF A WEDDING THAT ENDED UP IN A WINTER HAIL AND ICE STORM. LOST ALL POWER AND HAD TO — USE CANDLES. ONE WILD WEDDING AND NIGHT!
Oh wow! I’m sure the glow from the candles made for a beautiful ceremony but probably didn’t make for very good photos afterwards. Hopefully the storm didn’t last too long!
I hired a deaf organist because I felt sorry for him. He wasn’t getting too many bookings. Thank God we also hired a trumpeter to cover the squawks coming out of the organ. Congratulations, Marla, on your release! Sounds fun and funny!
Oh my goodness…You have a very kind heart to do something like that!