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Prize 2: Lapis and labradorite necklace with sterling silver clasp
Prize 3: Kayanite and turquoise sterling silver necklace
Prize 4: Onyx and red agate sterling silver bracelet
Prize 5: Jade, amber and red agate necklace
by Marie Astor
Twenty-eight-year old Annabel Green is about to tie the knot with her college love, an aspiring author Jeremy Blake, but her plans for an ideal wedding are rudely interrupted when she catches Jeremy kissing his gorgeous book agent.
Shell-shocked by Jeremy’s betrayal, Annabel retreats into the quiet routine of TV dinners and solitary evenings. It is then that Annabel’s best friend, fashion designer Lilly Clayton, sets herself on a mission to draw Annabel out of her shell. In an attempt to persuade Annabel to keep an open mind on dating, Lilly takes Annabel for a stunning makeover, but after Annabel passes on a date with a dashing entrepreneur, Lilly decides that more drastic measures are needed. Lilly invites Annabel to see a palm reader who gives Annabel a lucky charm that is supposed to help her find true love.
A few weeks later, Annabel meets a new love interest, and as the two embark on a whirlwind romance, she starts to believe in the power of the talisman the palm reader has given her. But what Annabel doesn’t know is that Lilly is hiding a secret that could unravel her faith in her newly found luck in love.
As she headed for the tiny boutique shop on the corner of Lexington Avenue and Sixtieth Street, Annabel felt the palms of her hands prickle with perspiration. Her breath quickened with excitement and what might have been a bit of fear. Today she would be trying on her wedding dress for the first time.
“Annabel, you look stunning!” Lilly gushed when Annabel finally emerged from the dressing room.
“Wow,” Annabel whispered at her own reflection in the mirror, thinking that the person in there could not possibly be her. “It is so beautiful, Lilly! It’s the most amazing dress I’ve ever seen.”
“Thank you.” A quick smile of satisfaction lit up Lilly’s face. “You know, it’s the least I could do, you being my best friend and all. Now, turn around.” Lilly waved her hand imperiously. “Let’s see if we need to make any adjustments.” Lilly was tall and lanky. At five nine, she wore a size four and easily could have been a model, but instead she chose to be a designer, quipping that she preferred calling the shots instead of being a mannequin.
“Ouch!” Annabel felt one of Lilly’s pins poke her waist.
“Sorry! Did I get you?”
“How much weight did you lose?” demanded Lilly. “If you had told me that you were planning to go on a diet, I would have waited with the dress. Now I have to take it all in.”
“I didn’t go on a diet,” retorted Annabel. “I just haven’t had much of an appetite lately.”
“It’s not like you have any weight to lose. You’re skinnier than my models,” Lilly mumbled, holding the pin between her lips as she continued to adjust the fabric. “What was that you said about not having an appetite?” Lilly straightened up to survey the alterations after she had placed several more pins into the dress. “Is everything okay between you and Jeremy?”
“Oh, it’s nothing – just stress at work.” Annabel shrugged, sensing Lilly’s inquiring stare. “I don’t mean to sound like a Bridezilla, but the planning is exhausting. Meredith has been helping me, but there is still a lot to be done.”
“What about Jeremy? He should be pitching in.”
“Tell me about it! I can’t even get him to look at the guest list. But in his defense, he’s been really busy with his book. Athena and he are working round the clock.”
“He sure has been spending a lot of time with that hot book agent of his.” Lilly raised an eyebrow.
“It’s nothing like that. They’re working together. According to Athena, a book deal should be coming through any day, and she’s saying that it’s going to be really big.”
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. You know that I have issues with trusting men.” Lilly smiled apologetically, busying herself with another round of fabric adjustments.
“Don’t worry about it.” That was one of the things about Lilly –she never pulled any punches.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, romantic suspense, To Catch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window. Marie is also the author of young adult fantasy adventure novel, Over the Mountain and Back.
If you would like to learn more about Marie’s writing, please stop by her website: www.marieastor.com or visit her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marieastorcollection
Books by Marie Astor:
This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.
Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.
On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.
A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.
Over the Mountain and Back – young adult fantasy adventure novel about a boy who takes his snowboard for a ride and finds himself in a magical, hidden world he never knew existed.
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