Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Wedding Day by Joanne Clancy (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Joanne Clancy, author of The Wedding Day!

Author Guest Post

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Finding love in these modern times is not easy. Everyone wants and expects so much of each other. We’re all so busy rushing around, juggling work, family commitments and social lives, trying to keep up with everyone else, wanting what everyone else has. We’re so absorbed in the material and in our striving/struggling to obtain/achieve, that we’ve forgotten that the material world is in fact immaterial to our ultimate deep-down happiness.

The big car sits in the driveway of our large garden, while inside our fancy house we sit mindlessly watching our 42” high definition plasma television, killing the hours, and a little bit of our souls, until we go to sleep in our top of the range orthopedic bed, when we wake up to start the endless cycle again.

We have forgotten that the most important and fundamental part of us needs and wants to love and be loved in return. Some of us are lucky enough to fall off our daily treadmill of chasing the materialistic dream, and realize that we have very little love in our lives. It’s never too late to find love, true love. We need to remember that we are born to love and love is there for us if we just open our hearts.

The Internet has changed not just the way we work but the way we love. Meeting new people, dating, falling in and out of love has all become part of the modern way of living and loving. Finding love online is the modern way to find that special someone for most of us in our hectic lives, and we can find true love on the Internet. It is important to be careful at first, reveal yourself slowly but honestly, until you are comfortable to meet and start dating.

I’d like to finish with a passage from one of my favorite films, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

About The Author

Joanne Clancy is a writer from County Cork, Ireland. She is an avid reader, a self-confessed Kindle addict, and a tea fiend! Joanne is the author of The Secrets & Lies Trilogy: Secrets and LiesAftermath, and Redemption; The Unfaithful Series: Unfaithfully Yours, Revenge, and Web of Deceit; The Wedding Day; Unforgettable Embrace; and My Love. Watched is her latest release. Joanne is currently working on her eleventh book.


The Wedding Day - Book Trailer

Book Review

The Wedding Day by Joanne Clancy
Publisher: Cupid's Arrow Publishing
Publication Date: March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback - 244 pages / Kindle - 915 KB 
ISBN: 9781475047998
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Wedding Day

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review, and for hosting a virtual book event for the author.

Book Description:

Sometimes, getting lost is the best way to find yourself.

Nicole Baxter thinks she has the perfect life all mapped out. She is steadily climbing the corporate ladder as an intrepid journalist and she's about to marry the love of her life, Dr. Paul Schofield.

Everything is working out exactly as she planned. Life can't get any better.

Nicole's carefully planned life is unceremoniously turned upside down when she gets jilted at the altar by the so-called love of her life.

She must learn to live and love all over again and decides to open her heart and mind to new people and possibilities.

She begins to realize that life is about finding her passion and with the help of her sister and some new friends she sees that getting lost was the best way to find herself.

Book Excerpt:

Head up, shoulders back, deep breaths. Nicole Baxter took one last admiring look at her reflection in her full-length bedroom mirror and smiled. This is it, she thought. This is the first day of the rest of my life. All the years of waiting patiently and being the perfect girlfriend had finally paid off. She was about to marry the man of her dreams, Dr. Paul Schofield, after nine long years of waiting.

Nicole and Paul met as first year undergraduates at university. She was studying journalism and Paul was studying medicine. They'd literally bumped into each other one day in the library when Nicole had dropped her books and Paul had fallen over her as she bent to pick them up.

He'd sustained a nasty bump on the head, but the two soon became friends and it wasn't long until they'd started dating.

"I fell head over heels for her," Paul joked when he regaled new acquaintances with the story of how they'd met.

Nicole smiled to herself at the memory. No more Nicole Baxter. I'll soon be Mrs. Nicole Schofield. She carefully adjusted the tiny diamantes in her expensively highlighted blonde hair before taking her father's proffered arm and beginning her much-anticipated journey to the church where she would soon be married.

"You look beautiful, darling." Imelda Baxter had happy tears in her eyes. She gazed lovingly at her eldest daughter as she gracefully descended the stairs.

"Thanks mom." Nicole hugged her mother close, breathing in the familiar comforting scent of lavender, her mother's signature fragrance.

"Congratulations, soon to be Mrs. Schofield." Simone Collins, Nicole's friend from college, smiled as she handed the wedding bouquet of red roses and baby's breath to the bride.

"You can't say Mrs. Schofield yet!" Helena Murphy scolded. Helena was another of Nicole's friends and her maid of honour. "It's bad luck to congratulate the bride before the actual wedding."

"Don't be dramatic," Simone rolled her eyes. "You make your own luck in this world, and silly superstitions have nothing to do with it."

"Well, I was only saying," Helena continued. "There's no point in accidentally jinxing her."

"Ok, ladies, let's have everyone out to the limousine, or we'll be unfashionably late at this stage." John Baxter, Nicole's father, looked pointedly at his watch.

"What time is it?" Nicole asked, her nerves beginning to give way to panic. "I don't want to keep Paul waiting too long."

"There’s plenty of time, dear." John gently patted his daughter's arm as Helena and Simone gathered the bride's wedding paraphernalia together.

Helena and Simone helped Nicole outside to the waiting limousine, which would take them to the church. They folded her carefully into the car, delicately arranging the layers of the bride's dress so that she wouldn't arrive looking crumpled. Then they climbed in beside her.

"Is there a minibar in here?" Simone asked the driver. "I could do with a strong drink. I don't know about you girls but my nerves are starting to get the better of me." She laughed loudly.

Helena looked at her sternly. "It's a bit early for alcohol, don't you think?"

"It's never too early, darling." Simone laughed shrilly again.

"Are you ok?" Nicole looked pointedly at her friend.

Simone had been acting strangely for the past few weeks. She'd always been outspoken and a little eccentric, both qualities which Nicole loved about her but recently, she'd been acting even odder than usual. "I'm fine, never better." Simone tossed her long auburn hair nonchalantly over her shoulder. "I’ve never been better, darling. I'm not the one getting married. I'm still young, free and single." She was starting to sound slightly hysterical. Helena elbowed Simone sharply in the side, which promptly shut her up.

Nicole decided not to push the matter any further and turned to gaze out the window. She tried to distract herself from the sinking feeling that had crept up on her at random intervals during the past few months. She shook herself and practiced her yoga breathing, dismissing her panic as wedding nerves.

It was a perfect day for a wedding. September usually had the best weather in Ireland. The sun shone brightly and there wasn't a single cloud in the clear blue sky. The road was lined with trees and the rich colours of the autumn leaves caught the sunlight brilliantly. The myriad colours of rich burgundy, deep orange and yellow-gold carpeted the ground. It was a wonderful autumn morning, filled with hope and promise for the future.

Nicole sighed deeply as her nerves began to abate. She thought of Paul who would already be waiting for her at the church. He was he wonderful, handsome, dependable and successful Paul. She lost herself for a few comforting moments in the happy memory of his marriage proposal.

He'd taken her to Killarney, in County Kerry, where they'd stayed in a jacuzzi suite at The Millington Hotel. She'd spent the whole day indulging in the exclusive beauty treatments at the spa while he'd played golf.

Then he'd whisked her off for dinner at the Michelin starred O' Hara restaurant where she'd never eaten food as sumptuous. Every single bite was melt in your mouth fantastic! After dinner, they'd taken a horse-drawn carriage around Killarney National Park. It was a cold, frosty night but the stars had shone brightly down upon them. Paul had taken her hand as he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Nicole hadn't been expecting his proposal but she accepted immediately. She had never felt happier or more content in her life.

She sighed happily at the wonderful memory that she knew she would treasure always. She couldn't wait to become Mrs. Nicole Schofield and start the rest of their lives together.

"We're here, sweetheart." Her father's voice broke her pleasant reverie.

"How many people have you invited?!" Helena exclaimed. "The car park is full to overflowing."

"Paul has a lot of extended family who insisted on an invitation," Nicole replied, distractedly.

The limousine pulled up outside St. Patrick's Chapel, which was attached to the university where Nicole and Paul had met. They'd thought it would be romantic to have their wedding ceremony at the university church, almost like coming full circle.

A few last-minute stragglers made their way quickly into the church when they spotted the wedding limousine pulling up. Nicole checked her makeup one last time and reapplied her lipstick before opening the car door and being helped outside by Helena and Simone. They adjusted her veil and made sure her dress was perfectly aligned before assuming their positions behind the bride and her father.

"You look beautiful, darling. I'm very proud of you," Nicole's father whispered to her as they entered the church to the soaring music of Wagner's Bridal Chorus.

Nicole's heart skipped a beat as she made her way slowly up the aisle. She returned the beaming smiles of friends and family who watched in admiration as she glided gracefully past them. Her heart was bursting with happiness and love. She knew it was a cliché but she genuinely felt that this was the happiest day of her life. The nerves, which had plagued her earlier, had now given way to an overwhelming joy and peace.

She could see Paul standing, waiting for her near the altar, with his best man, Bob Phillips, by his side. She couldn't wait to stand beside her husband-to-be and look into his eyes and see the love that was reflected there. She gulped back tears, suddenly feeling overcome with emotion. She was leaving the old Nicole behind and standing at the precipice of her wonderful new life.

"Good luck darling," her father whispered to her as he passed her hand to Paul and took his seat in the front row.

Paul smiled nervously at her as he took her hand in his. She squeezed his hand three times, their secret code since their college days, to tell him "I love you." He didn't return the squeeze but instead let her hand drop as he turned to face the priest.

Nerves, Nicole tried to dismiss the unease that suddenly gripped her heart. He is looking rather pale. She stole a glance at him under her eyelashes as the priest opened the wedding ceremony.

Paul was very pale indeed under his tanned golden brown face. He had dark circles under his eyes and Nicole noticed a bead of sweat on her fiancé’s brow. He was usually so calm, cool, and collected that she was more than a little surprised by his demeanour. Nothing ever seemed to shake him or knock his cool reserve. She'd never seen him in such a state.

"Do you, Nicole Ann Baxter, take Paul Michael Schofield to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

"I do," Nicole replied proudly as she looked at her husband, but he refused to meet her eyes.

"Do you, Paul Michael Schofield, take Nicole Ann Baxter to be your lawfully wedded wife?" "I...I..." Paul stumbled over his words. He looked like he might throw up at any second. Nicole anxiously searched his face but he still wouldn't look her in the eyes. A hushed silence fell on the congregation as the groom searched for words.

The priest decided to repeat the question. Nicole started to feel a horrible panic rise in her stomach. She felt very hot. Her heart began to beat faster. She reached for Paul's hand but he pulled away from her. Nicole heard her father clear his throat loudly. Bob put his hand on Paul's shoulder and whispered something in his ear.

Nicole was beginning to feel like she was having an out of body experience. It was as if she was watching her own wedding in slow motion from somewhere far away. She wished she was far away at that moment and that she could somehow magic herself out of there.

She was suddenly aware of everyone's eyes on her as she stood there at the altar. She felt like some sort of showpiece.

"Paul?" she heard herself whisper.

He still wouldn't look at her.

"Paul!" she screamed, her voice echoing around the church.

The congregation gasped and she could sense them leaning forward in their seats to listen or get a better view of the spectacle that was unfolding in front of them.

"Nicole...I'm sorry, I can't do this," he whispered.

"You can't do what, Paul?"

Nicole wanted him to say the words. Some part of her still hoped and fervently prayed that he meant he couldn't do something else; like take the rubbish out or wash the dishes.

"Say it, Paul, just say it!" Nicole screamed again.

Helena rushed to her friend's side and put an arm around her slender waist. She tried to whisper something to her but Nicole pulled away.

"Say it Paul. Grow a set of balls and say it!"

"I can't marry you!" Paul roared, his voice reverberating around the church.

The congregation gasped in unison. It was like watching a daytime drama on the television.

"Are you happy now?" Paul hissed at her.

"Am I happy?!" Nicole yelled at him incredulously. Her face was distorted with anger and humiliation. She would have gladly killed him in that moment; the absolutely worst moment of her entire life.

"Why?" she asked him, her voice quieter this time.

"I can't." Paul sounded defeated.

"Can't or won't?" Nicole asked, her voice rising sharply again.

"I can't and I won't marry you," Paul hissed back at her.

"Why? There has to be a reason," she persisted.

"Do we have to do this here, now, in front of everyone?" he asked her, looking tired and defeated.

"Why?" she repeated. "Tell me why! I have the right to know why I am being dumped at the altar on my wedding day!"

"I slept with someone else." He finally admitted the truth to her.

A deathly silence fell on the church. Nobody spoke. Nobody moved. It was as if everyone was frozen in time or holding their breath. Nicole looked at Paul, the man who was supposed to love her more than anything or anyone else in the whole world. She couldn't breathe. The feelings of anxiety and trepidation that had plagued her recently were back in full force now.

Somewhere in the pit of her stomach she'd known that Paul was up to something behind her back. He'd been snappy with her about the wedding plans and reluctant to make decisions. She'd put it down to pre-wedding nerves on his part. She hadn't wanted to admit it to herself, to face the truth. She'd tried to block it out, to dismiss her thoughts as wedding jitters and silly jealousy. She needed to know the answer, the truth and needed to know it right now.

"Who is she, Paul?" Nicole whispered through gritted teeth.

Paul looked at her then, shock written on his face. His reaction made her catch her breath. She desperately swallowed the sobs that were threatening to escape.

Nicole looked frantically around the congregation, scanning the faces of her family and friends. She wondered if her fiancé’s mistress was someone she knew personally. Had she had the audacity to attend their wedding?

"Are you here, you bitch?" Nicole lashed out at the congregation. "Speak now or forever hold your peace, you coward!" She laughed maniacally, her blue eyes spitting fire.

Her gaze snapped back to Paul, who was staring meaningfully at someone over her shoulder. Nicole swung around and caught Simone smirking.

"It’s you!" Nicole yelled. "It's you, Simone, isn't it?"

Simone arched an eyebrow, no emotion showing on her immaculately made up face.

"Is it her?" Nicole turned back to Paul. "Is it her?!"

"Yes!" Paul finally admitted defeat.

Nicole looked from one to the other. She'd known there was someone, but one of her best friends? How could they stoop that low? Helena reached out to her then and tried to put an arm around her friend.

"Get away from me, all of you!" Nicole shrieked. "I have to get out of here."

She gathered up the folds of her wedding dress and ran down the aisle. Several people tried to stop her but she pushed them away. She burst through the doors of the church and crashed outside into the blinding brightness of the spring day. I have to get out of here. I can't stand their pitying looks. How can I escape from this train wreck that was supposed to be my wedding?

She squinted for a moment, searching frantically for a mode of escape and with relief, she saw the wedding limousine and jumped inside. The driver was nowhere to be seen. The ceremony wasn't scheduled to finish for another half an hour and afterwards there would have been photographs to be taken outside. He'd decided to go for a walk around the park and take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather.

Nicole fiddled with the keys in the ignition, which luckily for her, the driver had left behind. She started the engine and reversed the awkward car out of the church. Another car slammed on their brakes and blew the horn loudly as she suddenly shot out of the church entrance. She blinked and tried to focus.

"What now?" she said aloud. "Where can I go? Everyone who supposedly means anything to me is back in the church." She sighed, wracking her brains for an escape plan. Evette! Suddenly she remembered her younger sister, who'd been invited to the wedding but had declined the invitation, pleading work commitments as an excuse. Evie, I'll find Evie. The sisters had never been very close, but Evie was Nicole's only hope now.

Nicole took a sharp right turn and drove the motorway to the city centre. Her mind and heart were racing with the living nightmare that she'd experienced in the church. It seemed surreal. She couldn't quite comprehend that less than an hour previously she'd been driving down the same road heading to what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life and now she was driving in the opposite direction with her whole life in meltdown.

She wished that she was dreaming or having a nightmare and that it was some other poor misfortunate woman who'd been dumped at the altar. How could this happen to her? She'd had everything planned so carefully and meticulously, like everything else in her life. She'd always believed in plans. All her other plans had worked out, why not this one; the most important day of her life!

She'd believed that as long as she was a good person, and made sensible decisions that everything would be well in her world. Follow the plan was her mantra and it had served her well until today. She slammed her fist on the horn in anger.

Paul had been unfaithful with one of her closest friends. She suddenly broke out in a cold sweat. The steering wheel was slippery in her clammy hands. Her stomach heaved and her mouth went dry. She pulled over just in time to open the car door and violently throw up. How long had it been going on? How long had they been making a fool of her? Images of them together made her throw up once again.

She slammed her fist on the horn in frustration. How could she not have known that he was cheating on her? How had he hidden it from her? Was Paul happy that it was over between them? Would he start dating Simone officially? Was Simone the only woman he'd been with? How many others were there?

She could feel her stomach heaving. She felt dizzy and lightheaded, like all the fight had suddenly been knocked out of her. She rested her head on the steering wheel for a moment and tried to focus on her breathing.

How could he do this to me? How could that bitch do this to me? Block it out, block it out! She couldn't deal with the enormity of her situation in that moment. I have to find Evie, then everything will be okay.

My Book Review:

After nine years of waiting to get married and meticulous planning, it is finally Nicole Baxter's wedding day, and she is so excited to start her new life with Dr. Paul Schofield. It's a beautiful autumn September day in Cork, Ireland, the kind of day that many happy brides dream of ... but for Nicole, what starts out to be the happiest day of her life turns into embarrassment, humiliation, anger and devastation when Paul dumps her at the altar because he slept with Nicole's best friend Simone, who happens to also be a bridesmaid in their wedding! Feeling sad and empty with her whole life and everything she had believed in crashed down around her, Nicole is lost ... but maybe that's not such a bad thing ... with the help of her younger sister Evette and a group of new friends, just maybe it's the best way for Nicole to find herself again!

The Wedding Day is a lighthearted story of love, forgiveness, re-discovering oneself and second chances. Author Joanne Clancy weaves an enjoyable tale written in the third person narrative, set in the enchanting city of Cork, Ireland. This delightful tale follows Nicole Baxter as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery guided by her younger sister Evette and friends, who help her get through the humiliation and depression of her failed relationship, discover the power of forgiveness and understanding, help her become a better person, get a new perspective on life, and a second chance at love.

I loved following Nicole's story as it unfolded, especially the development of the reconnected relationship between Nicole and Evette. These two sisters are polar opposites, who bond together over a traumatic event and become friends and eventual business partners in a wedding planning business. Of the two, I have to say that I really liked Evette's free spirited and kind personality over Nicole's uptight and perfect personality. With Evette stepping up and helping her sister get her life back in order along with the help of some really cool friends: Ben, Liv, Jack and Sarah, Nicole is able to get past the hurt and anger towards Paul and forgive him (even though I wouldn't have, lol). Of the friends, I connected with Sarah the most, I loved her personality and outlook in life, especially the message that she gave to Nicole, to find her passion in life. I also loved this awesome statement that Sarah said to Nicole: "Getting lost is often the best way to find yourself. When you stop planning every little detail, that's when you discover the fun in life."

With an engaging cast of characters who are realistic and fun to get to know; witty dialogue and interactions; and an enjoyable storyline that mixes humor, emotions, friendship and love; The Wedding Day isn't your usual cookie cutter romance story, it has twists and turns and a surprise ending that makes it worth reading. This is a sweet story that will simply make you smile.



  1. Thank you, Kathleen, for hosting me on your blog, and for your wonderful review of "The Wedding Day". I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

    1. Hi Joanne! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host a virtual book event for The Wedding Day. I really enjoyed the book, and look forward to reading more of your books.