An Interview with Judy Kentrus
The Wedding Gift wasn’t on my writer’s radar to be written. Readers loved Cindi Pearl Sullivan and Preston Reynolds, the couple from Winner Takes All so much, I stopped my work in progress and wrote about their wedding. Of course, I had to make it interesting enough to hold the reader’s interest because the couple was already in love and were eager to wed. What better way to disrupt their plans than bring back a man who held Cindi’s heart as a teenager. The girl he once knew as a plain, sweet innocent, had turned into a Monarch butterfly with a vivacious personality. He wanted to pick up where they left off, but first he had to break up her engagement.
Did I have a plan of action when the book started out? No, I am a “panster” writer and my characters jump in and tell me what direction to take and rule the dialogue. Is it what I had in mind? No, but in the end it all comes together. When I type “The End” I sit back and ask myself how did I get here?
Along with a happily ever after, you will find lots of humor in my books, especially The Wedding Gift. I introduce three senior citizens who believe age is a state of mind and life is over only when you take your last breath. There are laugh-out-loud moments and the things that come out of their mouths, are priceless. I will confess to having volunteered at an assistant living center and encountered very similar characters. The names and places were changed, naturally.
The book that I interrupted and just completed is Tea in Time. Samantha Kingsley was a character in three of my other books and readers told me she needs her own book. After ten years working as an undercover operative for a private security company, she’s about to fulfill her dream and open a Victorian themed tea shop, Tea in Time. Her boss asks her to take on one more assignment, one that will change her life in ways she never imagined. I am planning a summer release.
As a writer, when a reader finishes one of my books, I hope they have a smile on their face and wonder when the next book will be out. My characters are not perfect. They laugh, cry, have flaws and face challenges. Preston Reynolds lost a part of his right leg in Afghanistan and thought life, as he knew it, was over, until he met Cindi Pearl.
I’d like to end this interview with a quote from a guest at Cindi Pearl’s personal shower. “Cindi, sex to a man is like hunger. If he can’t get into an expensive French restaurant, he’ll go to McDonalds!”
Happy Reading Everyone!
Wedding of the Year
Back Cover Copy for The Wedding Gift
Preston Reynolds and Cindi Pearl Sullivan, the loving couple from “Winner Takes All,” have planned the perfect winter wedding. Two weeks before they say “I do”, Cindi is invited to a holiday get together for the graduates of Stevensville High School. Four months before graduation, Cindi fell in love, but suffered teenage heartbreak a week before she got her diploma. The invitation brought back all of the humiliation she suffered. She confesses all to Preston and he encourages her to attend, hold her head high and show everyone she has made a success of her life. She also has a man who loves her more than life itself.
Thomas Leland has returned to reclaim the woman he pushed away and to plans to pick up where he left off. His cheerless moth has transformed into a Monarch butterfly and he’s a man who gets what he wants. First he has to break up her engagement.
Reviews for The Wedding Gift
Yet another book from Judy Kentrus to love. Preston & Cindi Pearl are the sweetest couple. They have such opposite personalities which just makes them perfect for each. Of course all the characters, human & animal, from previous books made an appearance. The Lemon sisters are so funny. While Cindi's ex was doing everything to stop the wedding, the town & all Cindi & Preston's friends were doing everything to make it right. This is a must read from a fabulous author.
G TK Baker..... Amazon
Move over Cinderella and Prince Charming, meet Cindy and Preston! This story is a modern love story that we get to see what happens after Cinderella puts on that glass slipper. On the way to the church, the wicked step sisters are replaced by Cindi''s high school boyfriend, Thomas Leland. And the wicked step mother is very tame compared to Thomas's Mother. For comic relief you will meet Muriel, Sadie, and Bertie. The coolest senior citizens you will ever meet. This book is a sweet love story, with laughs, cheers, tears, and romance. Wait till you see how Thomas goes to extremes to stop the wedding! Total romance! Still smiling after reading this book.
Loved this book! It was funny, poignant, and a great follow-up to Winner Takes All. I especially enjoyed Cindi's bridal shower. The three senior citizens who crashed the party were a hoot. Cindi pulling a SING maneuver on the bad guy was fun too. If you enjoyed Winner Takes All you've got to get this one too. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Globally Unique Paula..... Amazon
Excerpt from The Wedding Gift
“Hold it! You can’t have a personal shower for our girl without us,” Sadie, Muriel and Bertie announced.
Cindi rushed over to the three ladies from her Saturday morning bingo crew. “This is a wonderful surprise. Did someone from the center drop you off?”
“Are you kidding? They are all a bunch of old farts thinking we’re too old to go out at night. Don’t have a license any more, but I took the special van and drove us here,” Bertie proudly announced to the entire room.
Cindi was mortified the white-haired senescent would do such a thing. They’d taken her license away due to vision impairment, among other things. “You stole the van and drove illegally!”
“Ah, fishcakes! I’m trying not to curse too much. We distracted the night guard and told him there was a fight in the TV room. Went in the social worker’s office and got the keys from the top draw of her desk and took off in the van. It was a perfect get away!”
“You could have gotten into an accident!”
“Ever hear of the saying ‘if a, could a, should a, would a, maybe? We ain’t getting any younger and I got us here in one piece.” Her birth certificate said she was ninety, but her mind was a youthful fifty and she took enormous pleasure in the balloons. “Great decorations. That yellow one reminds me of husband two. On the small size, but what he lacked in size, he had in stamina.”
“We’re glad you three arrived safe and sound. We were just about to have champagne, but first let me introduce you to everyone.”
Samantha, as the maid of honor, asked everyone to raise their glasses to make a toast to the bride-to-be, but she was interrupted by Muriel. “I’ve buried four husbands and would like to give Cindi a piece of advice. No woman can be happy if a man’s tallywacker is less than seven inches long.”
Sallie Mae jumped right in with an affirmative nod. “Men should be like coffee, strong, hot and not let you sleep the whole night. My second husband was like that, God rest his soul.”
“Well, I’ve only been married one time,” Sadie interjected. “I kicked his ass out after fifteen years because he couldn’t keep his horse in the stable. When you think about it, men are born between a woman’s legs and that is the reason they try to get back there the rest of their life.”
“That is a very sound, reasonable conclusion. As a judge, I’ve had a lot of adulterers come before my bench and men don’t know when to keep their fly zipped. Cindi, sex to a man is like hunger. If he can’t get into an expensive French restaurant, he’ll go to McDonalds.”
Jessie sat next to Lisa Kay, but her very pregnant friend refused the champagne and sipped a cup of plain tea. “Let’s check out the desserts. You are eating for three.”
“Thanks. I’ve got two more months to go. I hope everyone likes what I brought. When I stuffed the strawberries, I added orange liquor to the cream cheese to give it a little extra flavor.”
Jessie helped herself to two of Lisa’s strawberries. “I made chocolate beer cupcakes with whiskey filling and used Bailey’s Irish Cream in the icing.”
Samantha stepped up to the table and helped herself to a rum ball. “Wow! These are delicious! The flavor is so intense!” she said and selected a second confection. “Who brought these?”
“Oh, I did,” Suzie Q said. “I couldn’t find any regular rum, so I used Tom’s one hundred fifty one proof that he only drinks on special occasions.”
“I hope everyone tries my fruitcake,” Margaret said. “I used my great grandmother Struck’s recipe. The fruit is soaked in brandy for a month.”
Julie dipped the skewer of pineapple, apricots, peaches and cherries into the dark chocolate sauce being kept warm in a copper fondue pot. “I didn’t have time to bake, so I brought the fruit kabobs. The sauce recipe calls for Cherry Brandy.”
“Wait until you taste the watermelon pops. I had Samantha pick me up a bottle of vodka and I dumped the entire thing in this morning,” Sallie Mae said, sampling a piece of fruitcake and rum balls.
Alexis bit into her second fresh strawberry, wondering what the unique flavor was in the cream cheese. “I wanted to bring a Bourbon Pecan Pie, but Samantha suggested finger desserts, so I used the mini-cupcake pans. The recipe called for three tablespoons of bourbon, but I threw in two more for extra flavor.”
Bertie wandered over to the table that displayed the drinks. The champagne was lovely and the eggnog delicious, but her eyes lit up at the sight of the little bottles wrapped in colorful foil. “I haven’t seen these in years,” she announced and selected a Grand Mariner filled chocolate bottle. She turned away from the table and almost collided with Cindi. “Listen up, girlie. Money can’t replace love, especially on cold winter nights when you need someone to keep your feet warm.”
Cindi was worried her friend had consumed too much alcohol, but gave her an endearing smile. “I’ll remember that.” She nodded toward the dwindling row of foil wrapped bottles. “How many have you had?”
“The chocolates? Only three.” She wasn’t about to tell Cindi she stashed a dozen in her oversize purse.
“Have you eaten anything?”
“Oh, sure. Have to keep a balanced diet. Had me some of that chocolate dipped fruit, a cupcake, bunch of watermelon, couple of rum balls. Didn’t eat any strawberries. Makes me break out in hives. I had two of the pecan cups, too. I washed everything down with Eggnog.”
According to Cindi’s calculation, Bertie consumed an entire liquor store of booze. “I think you need some coffee.”
She was about to suggest to her guests, who were feeling no pain, that everyone could use coffee, but paused at the sound of tipsy giggling. Suzie Q stood up and thrust out her empty glass of eggnog. “I’ve got something to say. Men mostly hate the words not and enough, unless you say them together!”
The punch-drunk women burst out in a fit of slap-happy laughter.
“No, no.” Julie stood up and grasped the edge of the table to keep steady. “Remember, sex for a man is a goal, and a tool for a woman! I think I’ll ask Scott for a tool box for Christmas!”
The women put their hands together and clapped. Jennie put her pinkies in her mouth and a shrill whistle filled the room.
“I’ve got one better.” Alexis stood up and rested a steadying hand on Julie’s shoulder. “This is coming from a woman who owns a cleaning service. Some men know that women dream of having two men at the same time. What they don’t understand is, in these fantasies, one naked hunky guy is cleaning the house and the other is cooking.”
The howling and merriment got louder and wilder.
Jennie polished off the last of her chocolate dipped fruit, two strawberries, and four rum balls and lined up the six toothpicks from her watermelon pops. She stood up and thrust out her third glass of champagne. “Hear ye! Hear ye!” The pink balloon brushed her cheek and she moved it aside with her hand. “Pardon me,” she slurred. “I’ve seen a guy with a similar size and color, but he didn’t need helium to fuel his staying power.”
Her audience whoop whooped in response to her statement.”
“Thank you, thank you,” she said, doing an Elvis Presley impersonation and took another drink of chilled bubbly. “Now where was I? Oh, yea, I’ve never been married. You know why? Men think with the teeny tiny brain between their legs and not the one in their head. You won’t find this advice in any nature book, but men are like frogs. The most important thing a woman can do is jump on them faster.”
Peels of laughter rang out, joined by a few rib bit, rib bits.
“Frogs! Frogs!” Julie shoved up, pushed her chair back and politely fell on her ass. She got up quickly and braced herself against the mayor’s shoulder. “I’m okay.” She tried to say it with a straight face, but broke out into a fit of giggles. “I’ve got a secret, but everyone has to cross their hearts and promise not to tell a soul what I’m about to say. Scott has a big blue frog costume and I did a strip tease to the song, I’m in love with a big blue frog.”
“That’s it? I’ve got a story about a boa and what happens when you put it between a man’s legs,” Alexis began.”
Cindi had heard enough. At the rate these women were going, she’d be able to compile a book entitled ‘Naughty Wisdom Sayings and Embarrassing Moments.
About the Author
I have always loved to read and write, but put my writing career on hold to raise my family. My reading interest runs from contemporary romance, romantic suspense to espionage and cookbooks.
I married Joe, my high school sweetheart, and he is the love of my life
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