Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Matrimonial Mayhem by various authors

My Rating: 5 Stars

Title: Matrimonial Mayhem

Author(s): Elaine Cantrell; Kim Bowman; J.F. Jenkins; Kay Springsteen; Therese Gilardi; J. Gunnar Grey

Publisher: Astraea Press
Cover Art: Elaina Lee

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 198 Pages


Revisit some of your favorite characters and meet some new ones along the way!

Matrimonial Mayhem is an anthology of wedding stories, to benefit the Governor of Alabama's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, for the hardest hit areas of the state. There are six stories:
  • Elaine Cantrell, "It All Started with Cinders Malone's Dress," based upon A New Dream. From the wrong dress to a canine disaster with the wedding cake, can anything go right for Matt and Violet on their wedding day?
  • Therese Gilardi, "Marriage on Sunset," based upon Matching Wits with Venus. Before Colin and Amelia, came Amelia's parents Stella Sweetwater and Gerard Coillard. Maybe not a match made in Heaven, but certainly one arranged by Venus...on Sunset Boulevard.
  • J.F. Jenkins, "Legend of the Aero Dragon," based upon The Legend of the Oceina Dragon. When a young dragon falls in love, best not to be standing between him and his chosen mate...especially if his choice doesn't exactly match the choice of his father.
  • Kim Bowman, "The Ballad of Brenda and Willard," based on a true urban legend Third time was the charm in the wedding tale of this author's parents, but exactly what date their anniversary should be celebrated on is anybody's guess.
  • J. Gunnar Grey, "The Lilies at Laura's Wedding," based upon Deal with the Devil. No happy hitching to be found here, but sometimes the better course to take is to say "I don't."
  • Kay Springsteen, "Camp Wedding," based upon Heartsight. A blind Marine, a nervous bride, and an adorable child who loves them both is an equation for another tug on the heartstrings in the story behind Dan and Trish's wedding. 


    Oh, where to start? As a whole, I loved this book. I got to revisit some of my favorite characters from some recently favorite authors and basically see part of the “happily ever after” played out. Annnnd, proceeds from this book is being used to help contribute to the victims and survivors of the tornadoes that devastated the south not long ago. You can't beat that! You get a great read and you get to donate to a good cause. You can't go wrong.

    To review individually:

    Elaine Cantrell, "It All Started with Cinders Malone's Dress,"
    Poor Violet. Seriously. Anything that possibly go wrong for this poor couple on, and leading up to, their wedding does. It's not as though they haven't been through enough (Seriously Ms. Cantrell, they've been through enough!) to get to this point finally.

    Therese Gilardi, "Marriage on Sunset,"
    This was fun to read. While not the main characters from the original book, we did get to revisit a couple of the secondary characters (the parents) and see how their marriage began. This one held so true to the personality of the characters, I was laughing.

    J.F. Jenkins, "Legend of the Aero Dragon,"
    Now this one was a lot of fun for me. When I originally read The Legend of the Oceina Dragon I was intrigued by the idea of the other elemental dragons. We got a little glimpse of them in the first book, but just enough to tease. This little short takes us back to the same world, but instead of revisiting known characters we get to meet some new ones within the air dragon family rather than the water dragons. Another tease for future installments. Makes me look forward to it all the more.

    Kim Bowman, "The Ballad of Brenda and Willard,"
    What can I say? I loved this one. It's not based on any of Kim Bowman's original characters – it's the story of her mom and dad. This one is so much fun and so amusing. I can very easily imagine this being the story in the family for generations. I did find it a little sad because of a certain situation, but with that said, her parents are such characters that they truly deserve their own story someday.

    J. Gunnar Grey, "The Lilies at Laura's Wedding,"
    This one was interesting because I haven't yet read Deal With The Devil so I wasn't familiar with the characters at all. The author managed to convey the personalities of the characters very well in such a short length story. It intrigued me and made me want to learn more about Harris while simultaneously making me loathe the character of Laura. I will definitely have to check into this book.

    Kay Springsteen, "Camp Wedding,"
    Ahh, love. I loved this story originally, and I still do. Getting to re-visit Dan, Trish and Bella was like reconnecting with old friends. They all stayed true to form and, of course, Bella stole the show. We got to meet Dan's family, which I loved! 

    Again, as mentioned above - proceeds from this story are being donated to "the Governor of Alabama's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives" to help the devastated victims of the tornadoes that swept through the south a few months ago. The book is definitely worth the price.



    1. Thank you for taking the time to review our charity anthology, Laura. And thank you for your kind words.

    2. Thanks so much for the review. I promise no more torture for Violet or Matt.

    3. Thank you so much from all of us, Laura. And not just us six authors for this book. But you've been awesome to all of us authors at Astraea Press and we and owner Stephanie Taylor appreciate it!

    4. Thank you all for the nice comments. :) I loved the book and it was so much fun getting to revisit some of the characters. I need to re-write reviews for some of your books that are on the other site for this site. Unfortunately, I can't c/p them here - they own the copyright. Hopefully soon I can get that done!