A Stella Review: Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K. E. Belledonne

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RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Daniel and Erik's Super Fab Ult Wedding ChecklistWhen Daniel gets caught up in the demands of a cheeky wedding planning app, his fiancé Erik grows frustrated with his preoccupation with adhering to heterosexual traditions. Will Daniel’s groomzilla ways give them the wedding of their dreams, or ultimately lead to their relationship’s demise?

When I first start reading Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne I have to admit I was a little dubious about the writing.  I’m not a fan of the style the author chose to write the story, other times the switch between the present and the past often turned me off and made me confused. The beauty of discovering a new author! K.E. surprised me and let me like this writing style a lot. It was well done, the story flew easily, not only, I was anxiously waiting for the switch so I could learn more about the MCs, how they fell in love and who propose to whom, till the present time where Daniel is going crazy following Aurora, the wedding app, and its checklists.

I liked the story very much, it was cute and sweet, just how I like my books to be. What conquered me were the characters, I found myself caught up in Daniel and Erik’s wedding planning, I struggle with them and the various hitches they met while deciding the endless details for the perfect wedding Daniel wants. And my sympathy went to Erik, his patience and solid love for his forever man.

I loved the plot, IMO it was perfect because the author was able to give the characters a depth and a realism I wasn’t expecting in a book like this. Not just the main ones, but all of them were funny and smart. K.E. did a great job in the  relationship between the MCs, I loved (key word) how they interacted, how they were mature enough to stop and think about their future and brave enough to fight for their love. I loved the dialogues and the writing in general.

Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne was a beautiful surprise, a winner for me. I want to highly recommend it to everyone who is looking for a romantic story. You won’t be disappointed.

The cover art by CB Messer is funny and fitting and so adorable as the whole story.

Sales Links
Interlude Press

        

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 188 pages
Published June 23rd 2016 by Interlude Press
Original TitleDaniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist
ASINB01F6J3THU
Edition LanguageEnglish

Its All About the Wedding with Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist’ by K.E. Belledonne (author interview, excerpt and givewaway)

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Checklist 1600px (Smashwords, Amazon)

Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne
Release Date: June 23, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be interviewing K.E. Belledonne, author of Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist. Hi Kat, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Q. What genre is your book and what drew you to this genre?

This book’s genre would technically be “romance”, but it’s not a traditional romance. There’s no bodice ripping or long luxurious love scenes. It’s a M/M romantic comedy. It’s light, it’s fun, it’s breezy and at times a bit silly. It’s a good time read.

I adore romantic comedy, it’s one of my favorite genres to read, and to watch. I love that we all know the basic structure of the plot, but how that plot is achieved can vary greatly. It’s like writing a sonnet – there are rules that govern it, but the content can vary greatly.

Q How many days a week do you write?

I try to sit down at my computer to write at least three days a week. Some weeks, I manage to get 5 days, and some weeks, I don’t get any at all. I always carry a notebook with me almost everywhere I go, so I can scribble down ideas, or write chunks of scenes when I have some downtime.

Q On average, how long does it take to write a book?

I’d say I’m averaging about a book a year. I like to do a lot of research, and I need to build in a lot of time for shifting things around. I also write more than one book at a time; while this book was with my editor, I started writing the next, and doing research for another.

Q Do you have a trailer for your book? If yes, give us the link. If not, do you think you’d like to have one done at some point?

I don’t have a trailer for this book, simply because I lack the skills to make one! I would absolutely love to have one done. Books always play like movies in my head, even the ones I’m writing. I tend to write in a very cinematic style, so I think a book trailer would really be a great addition to the book!

Q If I could be a character in a book, I would be _______?

I would absolutely love to be Eloise Kelly from Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. I adore those books. They are such fun to read, such

wonderful romances and they make me laugh out loud. I’m always in a better mood after I read one, and that’s exactly what I want out of a book. Eloise is smart, and strong, and yet still goofy and nerdy. I love her.

Thanks, Kat, for the wonderful interview.  Now more about Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne!

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Blurb

When Daniel gets caught up in the demands of a cheeky wedding planning app, his fiancé Erik grows frustrated with his preoccupation with adhering to heterosexual traditions. Will Daniel’s groomzilla ways give them the wedding of their dreams, or ultimately lead to their relationship’s demise?

 

Pages or Words: 53,000 words, 188 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance, Rom Com

Excerpt

“I think Aurora is disappointed in me.”

“What?” Erik rubbed at his eye. It wasn’t even early morning, judging by the weak light coming through the blinds from the streetlights. “Who?”

“Aurora. The wedding planning app.” Daniel lay on his back, wide awake and staring up at the ceiling.

“The wedding planning app is not a sentient being. It has no feelings or opinions.”

“I feel like she’s judging me. I’m sorry if I woke you up.”

“Oh my god, go to sleep.”

“I can’t. I’m never going to sleep ever again.” Daniel tugged the blanket higher up his chest, folding his arms over it and exhaling heavily.

“You’re being dramatic.”

“I’ve got too many things buzzing in my head. There’s too many things I’m going to forget to do.”

“I thought that’s why you had that damn app, so you don’t have to remember anything; it’s all right there saved on your tablet.”

“Yes, but I have to remember to put everything in it.″ Daniel rolled over. ″She doesn’t just know everything—”

“A: She is not a she. It is an it. B: What are we doing tomorrow?”

“Oh my god, what is the point of sharing the app calendar if you’re never going to look at it?” Daniel wailed.

“I look at it. It’s just crammed so full of everything that I have no idea what’s going on when.”

Daniel blew out his breath. ”Look, I know you don’t like the calendar. We’ve been over that, but I don’t know how else to keep track of all of these appointments and deadlines.”

“I told you, we could color-code them, or something,” Erik rolled to his side and punched at his pillow.

“Aurora doesn’t give you that option.”

“Well, it should.”

“I agree, but there’s nothing I can do about that.” Daniel bunched his pillow up under his head. “Tomorrow, we have four appointments to meet with caterers: two in the morning, two in the afternoon.”

“Why so many in one day?”

“It’s the only day we both have available this week, and I am not going to make any decisions about the food at our reception without you there to discuss it.”

“Seriously, you could just make a choice, and I’ll live with it.” Erik rolled over.

“I don’t want you to just ‘live with it,’ Erik.″ Daniel tried to keep his voice neutral, but failed. ″This is our wedding. I don’t want you to just ‘live with it.’”

“Why are you getting so worked up about it?”

“We only get one chance at this. Everything needs to be perfect.”

“You’re going to drive us both crazy, you know that, right?” Erik tugged the blankets back up over his shoulder.

“Well, then, we’ll both be crazy.” Daniel squinted up at the ceiling. He was so tired of making these decisions. Why were there so many options? Why were there so many decisions? The planning was getting on Erik’s nerves; he was getting on Erik’s nerves. Erik was getting on his nerves. They were both just a pile of irritated nerves because the to-do list didn’t seem to be getting any smaller.

Daniel’s phone chimed with another notification from Aurora.

New Private Message from: MommyMargie.

His mother probably had another ludicrous suggestion for the reception, or a passive-aggressive reminder of the hymn that she and his father had had played at their wedding, that their grandparents had had played at their wedding and that she expected to hear at his wedding. Or maybe his parents had decided to paint the living room green. Who knew?

 

 

Buy the book

 

 

 

Meet the Author

 

K. E. Belledonne is a writer, editor and translator. A native New Englander, Kat spends her spare time listening to Glenn Miller records, reading history books and cheering on her beloved Red Sox. Her first novel, Right Here Waiting, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

23-Jun

Prism Book Alliance, Unquietly Me, Book Lovers 4Ever, Man2ManTastic, Three Books Over The Rainbow,

BFD Book Blog

24-Jun

Bonkers About Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

27-Jun

Oh My Shelves, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

28-Jun

Havan Fellows, V’s Reads, My Fiction Nook, Open Skye Book Reviews

29-Jun

Up All Night, Read All Day, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews

30-Jun

Molly Lolly, Full Moon Dreaming

1-Jul

Attention Is Arbitrary, Alpha Book Club

4-Jul

Happily Ever Chapter, The Novel Approach, Love Bytes

5-Jul

Nephy Hart, Bayou Book Junkie, Divine Magazine

6-Jul

A.M. Leibowitz, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, 3 Chicks After Dark

 

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press gift card, 5 first prizes of an e-copy of Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

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A MelanieM Review: Right Here Waiting by K. E. Belledonne

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Right Here Waiting cover

Author’s synopsis: 

In 1942, Ben Williams had it all – a fulfilling job, adoring friends and the love of his life, Pete Montgomery.

But World War II looms over them. When Pete follows his conscience and joins the Army Air Force as a bomber pilot, Ben must find the strength to stay behind without the love of his life, the dedication to stay true and the courage he never knew he’d need to discover his own place in the war effort.

Good friends help keep him afloat, until a chance meeting on the home front brings him an unexpected ally—one who will accompany him from the stages of New York City to the hell of the European warfront in search of his love.

Written in the style of a 1940s film, Right Here Waiting is an homage to classic wartime romances from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

 

Right Here Waiting by K. E. Belledonne is a first novel (as far as I can tell) by this author.  I have used their blurb and note to highlight one of my issues with this novel.  Supposedly written in the overly dramatic style of a 1940’s screenplay, this story suffers from some of the same excess that those movies and screenplays exhibited, to the occasional detriment of what was an otherwise terrific story.

That’s not to say that I didn’t love parts of this book, because I did.  Some sections and elements had me in tears they were so well done.  But I had to wade through some not so fabulous scenes, elements,  and dialog to get there.  Let’s take a closer look.

First of all, I admire Belledonne’s taking up the challenge of not only writing a historical romance but one written in a particular style.  Double the challenge, double the courage, double the way a story could fall short.  Historical fiction is one of the hardest things in the world to get right, doubly so (again) to do it in your first novel.  The author must be able to fold those historic elements from the era they have chosen into their story in such a way that its not an information dump.  Instead those pieces of history must be subtly fitted into the plot in such a way that the reader absorbs the information as a natural part of the narrative..  What the author shouldn’t do is make a reader feel as though they have been whapped over the head by historical “things”  throughout the story.  Pointing out that Ben’s large wooden radio with its glass tubes warming up is a little too explanatory.  Ben would have simply turned on the radio, not been aware of the cabinetry or other elements, rickety table included.  For me, it felt that everything had one or two or three more adjectives than was necessary (here and throughout the story) in hopes to make everything seem more authentic.  This included, unfortunately, people talking about doodlebugs, robot bombs and buzzing when all around are screaming and dying.  Falling bombs are killing people and destroying everything around them.  What type of bomb is probably the last thing anyone would care about. Sigh. The author goes overboard in trying to make the reader see every historical detail she has researched and included.  And that bogs down the emotional flow of the story.  And yes, this is a pet peeve of mine, if you couldn’t already tell.

And then there is the dialog, at least the dialog from the “civilian” scenes.  At one point Ben reminds Peter to “stay hydrated”, something I’m not sure they would have said in the 40’s.  Plus there’s an awful lot of weeping going on (not that men can’t cry, far from it), no, more that its done in the overly dramatic manner you might expect from a 40’s drama and damsel in distress. The situation was poignant enough and didn’t need that embellishment (that’s what it felt like) for the reader to find it powerful.

Now on to what I loved.  The war scenes.  Once Belledonne whisks her characters away from New York City and into the various locations of WWII, then this  story starts to come alive.  Pete’s squadron and their camaraderie is wonderful.  I felt like I became intimately acquainted with these men, their aircraft and their stories.  I cared about them and their questionable survival up in the air against the enemy.   Ben too solidified into someone I truly liked and committed to once he became a part of a sort of USO traveling show.  His relationship with the effervescent and fabulous Gwen Andrews (how I loved this character) vibrated with life and energy!  They were fun, snarky, real, and you felt in the moment with them and the rest of the show troopers.  The same goes for Ginger, a good friend of Pete and Ben’s back home, who went to war with Pete as a nurse.  Their relationship felt as though they were truly old, close friends and their dialog and scenes not only reflected that but made us believe in it as well.

Looking back, I wish that a great editor had made one or two more passes over this manuscript, that could have solved most of the issues that I felt kept this from being a 5 star story. Belledonne can right some fantastically believable relationships, her dialog can snap with verve, and her scenes make you sob or laugh depending upon the situation.   And I appreciate the chances she took in her style of writing and era.  From looking at her website, it’s clear that the 40’s hold a special place in her heart so I hope she will continue to put her own touch on M/M historic fiction.  I look forward to seeing what new stories K. E. Belledonne will give us.

I do recommend this story, not every issue that bothered me will bother another reader.  Pick it up and decide for yourself.

 

Cover Artist Colleen, cover design by buckeyegrrl.  What a gorgeous cover.  Perfect in style and content, its definitely one of my favorites this year.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press    Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 10th 2015 by Interlude Press
original titleRight Here Waiting
ISBN 1941530281 (ISBN13: 9781941530283)
edition languageEnglish

Fly Back to the Past with K.E. Belledonne’s Right Here Waiting! (contest)

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magnifying glass and focusRight Here Waiting

by K.E. Belledonne

BookCover_RightHereWaiting

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About Right Here Waiting…

In 1942, Ben Williams had it all – a fulfilling job, adoring friends and the love of his life, Pete Montgomery.

But World War II looms over them. When Pete follows his conscience and joins the Army Air Force as a bomber pilot, Ben must find the strength to stay behind without the love of his life, the dedication to stay true and the courage he never knew he’d need to discover his own place in the war effort. Good friends help keep him afloat, until a chance meeting on the home front brings him an unexpected ally—one who will accompany him from the stages of New York City to the hell of the European warfront in search of his love.

Written in the style of a 1940s film, Right Here Waiting pays homage to classic wartime romances from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

And now a special excerpt from Right Here Waiting

“And now, coming to you from a secret location, pre-recorded earlier today, in cooperation with the Armed Forces Radio Network, we are proud to present one of our brave young men, United States Army Air Forces Captain Peter Montgomery, performing a special song from all our troops here to all of you folks back home.”

Ben gasped and rushed to the radio to turn up the volume. He closed his eyes and pictured Pete standing in front of the microphone in his freshly pressed uniform—khaki, the color of his eyes when he laughs—standing surefooted and strong. Crowds never made Pete nervous; singing for millions of people over the radio wouldn’t be a problem for him. When they’d sung duets during Ben’s shows at the Black Cat supper club, Pete was always so smooth and sure, never a tremor or nerves. And now, Ben could just picture him: Pete’s eyes would be closed; he’d have a slight smile; his hands would be either gently folded behind his back or holding the microphone stand.

The honey sound of Pete’s voice singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”—a voice Ben hadn’t heard in two years—poured from the radio, simple and unaccompanied. He sank to his knees in front of the set and turned the volume even louder. He reached out with one finger to caress the wood, stained golden-red because Pete swore it was the same color as Ben’s hair in the summer. The set reverberated under his fingers. Ben put his entire hand on the set, feeling the vibrations of Pete’s voice through the wood in almost the same way as he’d felt Pete’s voice through his chest when Pete would sing him to sleep, Pete’s naked chest under Ben’s palm, their legs tangled and bodies satiated.

Ben didn’t feel the tears streaming down his face and ignored the pain in his knee as he knelt there—he only felt Pete. Pete’s happiness and joy in the world, Pete’s kindness and generosity, Pete’s caring and love—Ben was enveloped in thoughts of Pete. For this short song, a song of longing and dreams of home, which he knew Pete had picked as a secret code of their own, he and Pete were together, just as they’d be together again, someday soon.

After the song ended, Ben heard Pete whisper, “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” Ben whispered back. “Be safe, darling. Come home soon.”

Right Here Waiting will be released by Interlude Press on February 10, 2015.

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About author K. E. Belledonne

K. E. Belledonne is a writer, editor and translator based in the French Alps. A native New-Englander, Kat spends her spare time listening to Glenn Miller records, reading history books and cheering on her beloved Red Sox.

Ms. Belledonne describes her story as “like an old friend—the book you curl up with when you’re not feeling well. You know how it goes. You know how it will end, but it just makes you feel better reading it.”

Right Here Waiting is her first novel.

We asked K.E. one of our favorite author questions, here is her answer:

Q. People say write what you know. Do you think that is right or even important?

I think it’s both right and important. I think it’s impossible to write competently about something that you know absolutely nothing about. There’s always an element of your reality, or a fragment of yourself in anything you write. It doesn’t mean that every single character is an exact copy of yourself, or that you can’t write about something you’ve never experienced.

But I believe that what makes us love books, what keeps us coming back to books – we see ourselves reflected in them. We relate to these characters, we consciously or unconsciously find the commonalities we share with the characters we love. It’s what makes us care about them, root for them, and continue reading.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I am doomed to write nothing about people exactly like me (no matter how well small, round, knitting aficionados who like disco dancing and long walks on the beach might make for an interesting short story). One of the main characters of Right Here Waiting is a WWII bomber pilot who happens to be gay. I am neither of those things.

However, I am a human being, and I write about human beings. There are some grand over-arching commonalities we all face, regardless of age, time period, job, or sexual orientation. Love, separation, deprivation, not belonging, sorrow, loss, joy, hurting – these are things that almost every single person on the planet has experienced, in one way or another.

Pete is fathoms deep in love, and I know what that is like. I can write about that.

Pete misses the love of his life with a bone-deep ache. I know that feeling, too. I can write about that.

Pete’s life as a bomber pilot overseas is that of constant tension and danger – though, thankfully, my experience with it is not as extended as his, I do know about living in states of emergency and what the aftermath of an adrenaline rushes feels like.

Now, there are many other things that I’ve had to research. I’ve chatted with many people about their experiences, and I’ve had to imagine and envision some aspects of this story. But I’d like to think that in the end, readers remember the authenticity of the characters’ emotions.

Contact/Follow the Author at:

Her website http://www.kebelledonne.com, on Facebook at , on Goodreads at  and on Twitter at @kebelledonne.

VBT_TourBookCoverBanner_RightHereWaitingRight Here Waiting Sales Links:   Amazon       Interlude Press  eBook and Paperback

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Contest: Must be 18 or older to enter.

THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:

K.E. Belledonne will be awarding a $25 Interlude Press GC to a randomly drawn winner and a digital copy of RIGHT HERE WAITING to 10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

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