I’m really delighted today to be joining in with Bridezilla’s first birthday celebrations. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already, but Amy Lynch’s debut novel, Bride Without A Groom – available from Amazon in the UK and US – was published by Avon, Harper Collins in May 2015.
Single, coupled-up or married, this laugh-out-loud summer read is the perfect anecdote for the wedding season!
Rebecca has chosen the most luscious, five tiered, wedding cake. The engagement ring that she has selected is celebrity inspired. The wedding singer is on speed dial. He doesn’t usually do Michael Bolton, but as it’s for a first dance he’ll make an exception. Father Maguire is checking dates for the parish church as we speak. The deposit on the white sand honeymoon is paid for in full on Barry’s card. She has fallen for an ivory lace couture gown that is to die for. The down payment may require her to sell a left kidney, but it will be worth it. Isn’t that why you have two?
There’s one teeny tiny problem. It’s nothing, really. No need to panic! It’s just that Barry has yet to propose. Says he’s not ready! He can be a bit of a kill joy that way. In fact, he’s gone away on a business trip and says that he needs some space. Meanwhile, Barry’s tie loosens, the Tiger beer is flowing, and his colleague Shelley is providing more than a shoulder to cry on. Back in Dublin, Rebecca worries, putting Operation Win Back Barry into action. But who is the mysterious dark haired woman that is so keen to talk to her, and what is it that Barry wants to get off his chest?
So many people have enjoyed this book – let me give you a taster, see if you might too. Karaoke anyone?
We endure a tuneless karaoke rendition of Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’ from the next table. They’re murdering it, so we talk loudly over it. Some people are so tone deaf! I’ve retrieved the microphone, and treat my enchanted audience to a touching duet from ‘Dirty Dancing’. I play the part of Patrick Swayze aka Johnny Castle (quite convincingly, I think) and Karen plays the role of Jennifer Grey aka Baby. Not everyone finds it as hilarious as I do when I repeat ‘Johnny!’ into the microphone and Karen launches herself on top of me. She is, of course, attempting the iconic ‘lift’ from the film.
However, we’re not as graceful as we thought we’d be. This is due to:
a) our staggeringly high blood alcohol levels, and
b) our lack of an idyllic lake setting.
Sadly, I’m unable to catch Karen, and we both end up under the table. The microphone has been passed along to the next table and I suspect that I may in fact have carpet burn on my bum. The restaurant is empty now, and the lyrics to ‘All By Myself ’ line up. I decide to give it a bash. It’s a bitter and tearful performance. Karen lines up a shot of Sambuca to keep us on our toes. She can no longer pronounce the word ‘hashtag’. Thank Christ.
The waitress keeps yawning. It’s such an insult to my art form. Another waitress is stacking chairs and one is polishing the glasses. I suppose that’s what you do at three in the morning.
‘Rack ‘em up,’ garbles Karen incoherently. She’s pointing vaguely to the cocktail menu, and in desperate need of subtitles at this point – even I cannot understand her.
‘Yeah! Surprise us!’
We’ve sampled the full array of beverages, and are unsure of what to order next.
‘Yeah!’ I address the youngest waiter. ‘Use your initiative!’
By the way, ‘initiative’ is an impossible word to get my tongue around. The screen is blank and the power has been cut from our microphones. I’m tapping ferociously.
‘So many songs are left unsung. We’re only getting started! Hey! You there! You don’t know who you’re dealing with here, buster! I was Gretel Von Trapp in the 1992 school production of The Sound of Music. I had to say “I have a sore finger”. It was critically acclaimed!’
The staff are oblivious to my pleas, and I seem to have spilled my last drink. Since I don’t remember all of the words to ‘My Favourite Things’ or ‘Doe a Deer, a Female Deer’, I drop the subject. Pity, really. Still, this little setback doesn’t dampen our enthusiasm.
With tears rolling down my face, I launch into ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’. This is easily the best Foreigner hit. Who needs a backing track when you’ve a belter pair of lungs and a belly full of heart ache?
The bill, along with two black coffees, is placed on our table. A miniature mint decorates the saucer. Karen is playing air guitar against the backdrop of a Chinese pan pipe version of ‘Lady in Red’. It’s absolutely genius; if only I’d thought of it first. Our long-suffering waiter stands beside us with the pin pad, and we blatantly ignore him. How dare he stifle my creativity? He is raining all over my parade!
‘Would you like a taxi, ladies?’ a little Chinese man offers kindly.
‘How absolutely dare you?’ I snigger.
Karen and I make admissions of undying eternal love to each other. Then we have a Mrs-Doyle-style row over who will pay the bill.
‘Put your money away,’ shouts Karen. ‘Your money’s no good here.’
I produce Barry’s credit card and punch in the pin number with glee.
‘Barry’s treat. Serves him right for not marrying me! Ha-ha!’
Karen has to help me up off the floor because I’ve just realised that I’m possibly the funniest person in the world. Really, I should write this stuff down. I might even win the Perrier Comedy Award some day.
We wave to the staff and promise to return soon. Ling Ling the waitress and I are now soul mates. I’ll send her a Christmas card. I never knew that we were kindred spirits. Karen links my arm as we make our way unsteadily onto the cobblestone pavement, and then bundle into a waiting taxi. It’s with great determination that I finally turn the key in the door. There’s much curtain twitching from that cow next door. I can feel a hangover starting already. This is possibly not a good sign.
The house is so still. So silent! I pan around the downstairs – the flat-screen TV, the cream leather couch, and the Shaker-style kitchen. I climb the stairs. Alone in our king-sized bed, I sob into my duvet, my mascara staining the Egyptian cotton pillow cases. I would have made a beautiful bride!
All together now… “All by myself…” Happy Birthday Bridezilla…!
About the author
Amy Lynch is an Irish author of humorous romantic women’s fiction, but not always with fairy tale endings! She has been working in the charity sector for many years, is married and has two young children. When she is not writing, she can be found juggling school runs, packing lunch boxes, tackling the laundry mountain and walking two large rescue dogs who stare at her until she walks them. Talk about multi-tasking!
Connect with Amy through her Facebook page, Twitter or her website.