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Before We Say I Do by Emerald Barnes ( @emeraldbarnes )

Before We Say I Do

Before We Say I Do~EBarnes

About the Book:

Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story.

Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town?

Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him.

Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.

Excerpt:

wingsZach

Turning from my thoughts of being human again, I watched Chase closely. He fiddled with his
own tie, straightening it when it didn’t need straightening. Something was on his mind, and little did he
know there would be a lot more on his mind later.
“Is everything alright?” I asked.
“Is Mads okay?”
“Of course. Why do you ask? Are you worried about her?”
“Well, it’s just that you’re here . . .”
I tried to put on my best smile. “Madison is perfectly fine. Honest.”
Chase sighed audibly. “I cannot tell you how happy I am to know that Mads is okay.” His lips
tugged into a half-smile, and I wondered if he was still a bit concerned.
“Chase, as long as she has you, she’ll be fine,” I assured him.
He laughed nervously. “I hope you’re right, Zach.”
“Trust me. I am.”
Chase sat down across from me. “Have you seen her?”
I felt my lips curl into a smile. “Yes, and she’s absolutely beautiful.”
Chase bit his bottom lip, and I knew he was probably thinking about their marriage. I would
never know such a union, but I rejoiced that these beautiful humans were about to embark on a new
phase of their journey together with God.
“You know. Andy’s right,” Chase said, “I want you by our side when we get married. Do you
think you could be my secondary best man?”
“It would be my great pleasure and honor, Chase.” I had never been honored in such a way
before, and it brought tears to my eyes. I just hoped he still felt that way after he learned the real reason I
was there.
Chase grinned. “You don’t know how much that means to me. To us. I know Mads would love to
have you up there, too.”
I smiled, hoping it didn’t waver. “I look forward to it.” 

INTERVIEW with Emerald Barnes via Vox Dei:EmeraldBarnesBioPic

What was your inspiration behind the story?

My inspiration for Before We Say I Do was my readers. That may sound cliché, but everyone who read it fell in love with Chase and Mads, and I, honestly, so did I. I wasn’t ready for their story to end, so I decided to continue and show them getting married. But I, also, knew there was an unanswered question from Entertaining Angels. What happened with Chase’s dad? Keeping with my themeof angels helping humans, I decided to answer that question and bring back a favorite character, Zach.

Tell us a bit about your book.

Before We Say I Do is about Chase and Madison on their wedding day, but Chase has to face his past in a huge way. His dad is seeking forgiveness, but Chase doesn’t know if he can forgive him for what he did to him years ago. Chase has to learn that forgiveness may not be easy, but it’s also necessary.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee as a hot drink, but I’m a Southern girl. I like my cold sweet tea. I take my coffee with a lot of creamer and sugar! I don’t only need the caffeine, I need the sugar rush! Plus, I’m not a big fan of the bitter taste of coffee without it.

What kind of reader are you?

Multi-tasker, must finisher, multiple books at one time I’m a “must finisher.” I have to finish a book before I can start another one. I don’t like trying to focus so much on two or more different stories.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m usually spending time with my nieces and nephews – five of them. I can’t imagine a day without them. When I’m not with them, I’m usually reading, watching TV, blogging or studying the Word.

Who is your role model/inspiration?

My role model has always been my mom. She’s always talked to me about my life, questions I’ve had about God, and she’s always given me the moral support I need. She’s never let me doubt my dreams, and she’s always been my biggest prayer warrior. My mom and dad as a unit have been my biggest cheerleaders. They have given me everything I needed to support my dreams, and they have prayed for me relentlessly.

Vox Dei’s motto is “Christian Books for a messy world.” Do you find this is true with your books?

Oh yes. I definitely find that it is true regarding Before We Say I Do. We all get caught up in not wanting to forgive someone for how they treated us, what they said, or how they acted around us. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but God said that we had to forgive for us to be forgiven. That is my theme in this short story, learning to forgive when it’s one of the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but I also want people to know that when you forgive, the bitterness and resent building up in your heart will disappear, and you’ll be free.

When did you come to know Jesus?

I was in fourth grade. It was September of 1996, and my mom and dad had just gotten a phone call about how one of my best friends had acceptedJesus into her life. I was lying in bed that night and called my dad (my youth pastor also) back to talk to me. I asked him what it would take to get to know Jesus, and he told me. That night, I asked Jesus into my life, and I haven’t regretted that decision. I’d always been in church, and I’d known about God. So, it felt like the best decision was to go ahead and ask Him into my heart as well.
How has your faith changed over time? That’s a huge question for me because it’s changed considerably. I was raised Free Will Baptist. My dad was the pastor at almost every church I’ve ever attended. One day, as we all know, it’s time for pastors to move on, and it was time for us. We took a few Sundays off to pray about where we needed to go next. My brother-in-law came from a non-denominational background, so we gave his old church a try. We haven’t looked back since, and I’ve had a considerable change in the way that I’ve seen God and the Bible. It wasn’t that I wasn’t learning it in the FWB, but I have had a deeper connection with God this go-around. I pay more attention to the Bible, and I spend more time in prayer now. It was a huge change for me, but it’sopened my eyes up to what I thought was impossible, but it’s not impossible. I feel like where I’m at now is where I was always meant to be, and that makes a huge difference in my spiritual life. It deepens it. And it’s where I need to be spiritually to write the books I am writing.
I’ve heard that the characters in Entertaining Angels series are your favorites. Why is that?
They are. For some reason, Madison, Chase and Zach have wound their way into my brain, and they won’t let go! I love them so much, that I’ve continued writing about them. Before We Say I Do continues their story, and I found a way to work them into book two when they originally weren’t going to be in it at all. I fell in love with Madison because I saw her grow from a timid, shy young woman to a confident one. And Chase, well, I’m going to be completely honest, he’s my ideal type of man (if he was older)! But, they’re so wonderful. I can’t help but love them!

What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?

I hope that the legacy I leave behind with my writing is that teens and women will learn to love themselves and overcome whatever obstacle is holding them back. My Entertaining Angels series is just about that. It’s stories to help heal, and I hope that I’ve accomplished that in some way.

ABOUT Emerald Barnes:
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie to three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews. She’s a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a familyoriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor

Connect with Emerald:

Website

Blog

Inspiration Blog

Facebook

Tsu

Twitter

Goodreads

Google +

Amazon Author Page

Piercing Through the Darkness

Read Me Dead

Entertaining Angels

Information

NEW RELEASE ~ Before We Say I Do by Emerald Barnes ( @emeraldbarnes )

The follow-up short story to Emerald Barnes’ Entertaining Angels, Before We Say I Do, is now available! If you loved Chase and Mads in Entertaining Angels, you’ll love this!

releasedayblitz

About the Book:

Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story.

Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town?

Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him.

Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.

Excerpt:

wingsMadison

The day had finally come. I was marrying my best friend. Tears of joy stung my eyes, but I tried to hold them in. I couldn’t cry. Not now. Mom and Mandy would kill me if I messed up my makeup.

I stared in the mirror. I had come a long way in the two years since I’d met Zach. We graduated high school, and I was now working on a degree in counseling. I’d fallen head-over-heels in love with my best friend, and I learned to love myself for who I really was. I won’t lie. It hasn’t been easy for me. Sometimes I would look in the mirror, and I’d see the fat girl from high school. Other times, Chase would wrap his arms around my waist and reassure me that he loved every inch of me – whether I was big or small. It didn’t matter to him. I was beautiful. When he’d say that, I’d remind myself that God had loved me enough to send his angel just to show me that I was important, loved, and beautiful.

Eventually, the way I saw myself began to change. I no longer compared myself to photo-shopped pictures of models in magazines or my friends who were smaller sizes than me, and I began to look at myself as a daughter of the King. God formed me. He knew exactly what I would look like, and as He’d told me before, He only makes beautiful things.

A knock sounded at the door, and Mrs. Cheryl asked, “Can I come in?”

Mom answered the door and let her in. I turned to face her and saw the tears form in her eyes. “Don’t!” I said, “I can’t cry. Mom has threatened me if I mess up my makeup.”

She laughed and said, “I’m so happy that you’re going to be my daughter-in-law!”

She wrapped her arms around me and pulled me close. I could hear her sniffle, but I fought the tears back again. I wasn’t going to cry. Not now at least.

“I’m happy that you’ll be my mother-in-law. I couldn’t ask for a better one.”

She pulled away and smiled at me before wiping away her own tears. I had always felt like Mrs. Cheryl was a second mom. And now, she would be!

“How’s Chase?” I asked.

“He’s nervous.” She laughed. “But he’s excited to finally make you his wife, girly.”

She winked at me, and Mom said, “Cheryl, you won’t do! Don’t embarrass the poor child.”

“It’s better than making her cry, Maggie.”

Mom laughed and said, “I’m going to check on the photographer. We need to start doing pictures as soon as we can.”

I nodded, and Mom left the room.

“Can you help me sit?” I asked Mrs. Cheryl.

“Sure, honey.”

She walked over to me and helped lift my train, so I could sit comfortably without wrinkling the dress too much. The beaded bodice felt a little tight, but I wanted to look my best. I wasn’t loosening it at all.

“You look gorgeous,” Mrs. Cheryl said, pulling her phone out of her purse and snapping a picture of me.

“Thank you,” I said, smiling at my future mother-in-law.

“Are you nervous?” she asked, taking a seat beside me.

“Yeah,” I answered, honestly. “Not the marrying Chase part. That I’m okay with, but I’m afraid I’ll trip or mess up my vows or something.”

I laughed, praying that what I’d just spoken wouldn’t come true at all. I don’t suppose it mattered. I was about to be joined with Chase forever in our very own happily ever after. I knew not all marriages were perfect, and I didn’t expect ours to be any different. I did hope that we would have a beautiful marriage as close to perfect as possible. I knew that if we put God first, we could get through anything; however, the wedding night was what really made me nervous. I just didn’t want to tell Cheryl that.

Chase and I had waited until marriage. It was what was right to do according to the Bible. We wanted to be each other’s firsts and each other’s lasts. At least we were both new at it. I wondered if that was why he was nervous, too. I mean, I certainly understood that.

“Is that all?” she asked, staring at me knowingly. I briefly wondered what all Chase might have told her. This might be awkward. I didn’t even talk to my own mom about stuff like this.

I hated to lie, but I didn’t want to have this conversation. I nodded and said, “Yeah. I guess.”

She patted my leg and said, “There’s nothing to worry about, dear. You two will learn each other’s rhythms before you know it.”

Oh my gosh. Was she really talking about this with me? “Uh. Yeah. I know.”

She laughed. “You don’t have to be so shy. I’m not your father. I’m not in denial about what happens on the honeymoon.”

I felt the blood rushing to my cheeks, and I was thankful for the pink blush already coloring them.

“Are you worried about what he may think about your body? I know that’s always been a concern of yours.”

“Well, partly, but I know he loves me for my flaws and all.”

“Honey, you don’t have flaws. You’re perfect. Have you forgotten what God has done for you?”

I shook my head, biting the inside of my cheek. I wasn’t going to cry now. “No,” I said, “I’ll never forget what he’s done. Zach’s here too.” I added on that last bit to distract her from the conversation she seemed wanted to have.

“Is he?” She smiled broadly. “I always loved him. I knew he was special from the start.”

“I was blind,” I said. “I thought I might actually have a crush on him. Boy was I glad when I decided that I wanted Chase! How awkward would it have been to fall in love with an angel?”

Cheryl let out a deep laugh and said, “It could be worse. You could’ve fallen for a man like Chase’s father.”

Her smile faded at the mention of him. She rarely brought him up, but I couldn’t blame her for that. He’d left her for another woman and ignored them for the first seven years he’d been away. He’d only just started talking to Chase again two years ago. Even Chase didn’t want to tell his dad about our union, so we kept it a secret from him. I didn’t know if that would work or not, but Chase really didn’t want him ruining the day. I wasn’t going to force him to invite his father to our wedding, though. It was entirely his decision.

“We didn’t invite him, you know,” I said.

“I know. I told Chase to, but he refused. I don’t blame him.”

“Nor do I, but he may have seen the announcement in the paper.”

“Well, then he’ll understand that his son doesn’t want anything to do with him. He shouldn’t have left us, Mads.”

“I know.”

I didn’t know what else to say. I hated that Chase had such a rocky relationship with his dad. I couldn’t imagine not having Dad around, but then again, Dad didn’t cheat on Mom and have a new family while ignoring me completely for the first few years of his new life.

Mom pushed the door open and said, “Come on, Mads. It’s time for pictures.”

I looked at Mrs. Cheryl and gave her a big smile. She stood and extended her hand out to me. “Let’s go, Mads. It won’t be long until you’re officially part of the family.”

I wrapped my arms around her in a tight hug after she helped pull me off of the chair I sat in. She kissed my cheek, and we walked out of the room and into the sanctuary where we were about to take pictures. It was now a little over two hours before I officially became Mrs. Chase Sanders.

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Where can you buy Before We Say I Do?

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And, in honor of Before We Say I Do’s release, Entertaining Angels, the first book in the series is $0.99!!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Nook

Kobo

iBooks

Emerald BarnesEmerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She tries her hardest to write novels that appeal not only to young adults but to those who are young at heart as well.

She mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages! She’s constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She’s also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is amazing, and she is a crazy grammar nazi who proofreads novels!

When she isn’t writing or proofreading novels, she’s spending all of her time with her nieces and nephews. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd, avid reader, and TV watcher. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.

Connect with Emerald:

Website

Blog

Inspiration Blog

Facebook

Tsu

Twitter

Goodreads

Google +

Amazon Author Page

Piercing Through the Darkness

Read Me Dead

Entertaining Angels