SEMI-FINALIST – 13

Name: Christie Koester
Title: Wanted: Groom for My $100K Wedding
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance

I rest my head against the bathroom’s mahogany door, inhaling freedom. The aroma of Ivory soap and sweet pea awaken memories of being a little girl, twirling in a wedding gown ten sizes too big in Gram’s pink powder room, my best friend Tony drowning in Gramp’s blue suit. And the promise he made.

“Promise my ass,” I mumble and swallow the last bit of hope as I make my way over to the vanity. If only I had my BlackBerry, I could tweet instead…

Streaks of mascara and eyeliner run down my cheeks like mud on a rain-infused windshield. Instead of taking fingers to my cheeks like wipers, I allow my hands to thaw under a waterfall of hot water, leaving dark watermarks over my cobalt blue bridesmaid dress. Will Tammy throw a fit? I’ve never met a more demanding bride than the one marrying my best friend.

The sound of a woman’s voice causes me to jump. “If you’re going to have your wedding in January, you might as well go to Mexico. Not Minnesota.”

I’m surprised by the smile growing on my face and crane my neck in the direction of the stalls. She’s right.

“What Tony and Tammy needed to do was sign up for the big trend wedding that one magazine is giving away. I hear it being advertised all the time on the radio,” adds another matter-of-factly. “If I’m not mistaken, I think it’s a seventy-five thousand dollar wedding.”

I freeze. Wait. What?

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