Body On The Bayou! A Mystery and a Wedding

We all have crazy friends and relatives…and they bring out the best AND the worst in us…especially when a wedding is involved.  Ellen Byron’s latest installment of the best selling ‘Cajun Country Mystery Series’, “Body on the Bayou”, offers us fun, mystery, laughter, and a delightful glimpse into the craziness of planning a wedding… all while solving a murder!  Amazon offers a great synopsis:

The Crozats feared that past murders at Crozat Plantation B&B might spell the death of their beloved estate, but they’ve managed to survive the scandal. Now there’s a très bigger story in Pelican, Louisiana: the upcoming nuptials between Maggie Crozat’s nemesis, Police Chief Rufus Durand, and her co-worker, Vanessa Fleer.

When everyone else refuses the job of being Vanessa’s Maid of Honor, Maggie reluctantly takes up the title and finds herself tasked with a long list of duties–the most important of which is entertaining Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke. But just days before the wedding, Ginger’s lifeless body is found on the bayou and the Pelican PD, as well as the Crozats, have another murder mystery on their hands.

There’s a gumbo-potful of suspects, including an ex-Marine with PTSD, an annoying local newspaper reporter, and Vanessa’s own sparkplug of a mother. But when it looks like the investigation is zeroing in on Vanessa as the prime suspect, Maggie reluctantly adds keeping the bride-to-be out of jail to her list of Maid of Honor responsibilities in Body on the Bayou, Ellen Byron’s funny and engaging follow up to her critically acclaimed novel Plantation Shudders.

In my mind’s eye, the Crozats’ Family Plantation B and B looks something like the photo above.  It’s definitely on my bucket list to stay at such a picturesque establishment.

Did I like this book?  No…I LOVED it!  It’s incredibly  appealing how Byron weaves family, art, an sightful glimpse into rural Southern customs and etiquette into a tight, quickly moving cozy.  Our heroine, Maggie, is a fun mix of artist, family member, sleuth and romanic figure.  Which of Maggie’s great qualities do I like the best?… her artistic bent. She is quite talented and uses it to express herself, and help others to do so, especially a precious little boy.

Would you like to obtain your own copy of “Body on the Bayou”?  If so, click on the either the Barnes and Noble or Amazon link, to be directed to the book’s page.  Once you read “Body on the Bayou”, you’ll definitely want to read the first in the series, “Plantation Shutters”!


What to serve at a Cajun wedding?  Well, if you’ve ever been to the region, you know the food is exceptional and plentiful. I, personally, would hope there would be some such fare as the photo above!

Below a photo of the lovely author, Ellen Byron.  Hey!  Would you like to hear about HER wedding?  Thought you might… Guess what?  My next post, already written, will feature Ellen’s “Wedding That Almost Wasn’t”, in her very own words!  Check back soon!

Summer Destination Wedding – Whale of a Crime

Can you think of a better Summer Destination Wedding site than a New England Bed and Breakfast?  I can’t.  I recently had the pleasure of reading “Whale of a Crime” by Karen Macinerney.  It’s the 7th book in a delightful cozy mystery series set on fictional ‘Cranberry Island’ off the coast of Maine.  The Amazon synopsis gives a wonderful overview:

“When a tour company books the Gray Whale Inn for a full week, innkeeper Natalie Barnes can’t wait to get cooking — and to hitch a ride on the antique schooner Summer Winds, getting up close and personal with the local whales. But when one of the humpback whales turns up dragging a mass of fishing gear from its tail, the tour takes a dark turn. It turns darker still when the schooner’s handsome captain winds up attached to the vessel’s anchor, sixty feet underwater… and not by accident. Before long, the tour naturalist (and Natalie’s best friend’s beau) is behind bars, charged with a murder Charlene swears he didn’t commit. Stir in a surprise visit from Natalie’s quarrelsome sister, midnight kitchen sabotage, a sick orphan kitten, and a mysterious investor with plans for a massive resort on the quaint island, and Natalie’s got a recipe for potential disaster. When a second body turns up just outside the inn, the heat is on Natalie to solve the double murder… or risk ending up with her own goose cooked.”

If you’re looking for wedding venues, and you would like a small affair, consider a B and B.  They are usually located in a scenic venue, (love the photo below!), and if you rent out the entire inn for your wedding, your guests won’t have to worry about making their way home!  Hosting a Destination Wedding, (click on the link if you’d like to read another post about Destination Weddings), encourages you to trim the guest list.  This way you will include your nearest and dearest, and keep your budget on the smaller side.

Was the book everything it promised?  Yes, and then some.  I was never bored, the characters were loveably believable; the action always flowing.   Yet “Whale of a Crime” still provided the warm domestically we all love in the cozy mystery.  The recipes incorporated in the story made my mouth water.  There are several that I will actually try…and you know me, I don’t like to cook!  I can’t wait for the next installment in the Gray Whale Mystery series.  Hurry and write another soon, Karen!  If you like cozies, you’ll love this one.  Click on the following links to be directed to either Barnes and Noble or Amazon to obtain your own copy.  Once you do, you’ll want to read all seven!

Love the cake above.  Its simple elegance seems to go with the more causal vibe a Bed and Breakfast Wedding offers.

Nova McLaren – Bespoke Wedding Gown

Looking for an update from the new wedding dress designer Olivia Humphyres for Nova McLaren?  Would you consider a bespoke wedding gown? I recently did a question and answer session with her that will answer your questions better I.  She describes a wedding shoot she worked on.  Enjoy!

MK:  2016 has ended.   What were you been up to this past year?

O: I started off in the early spring meeting with my friend Katey from Waterford’s KLW Design Co. – she and a bunch on CT wedding vendors were working on a collaboration for a styled wedding shoot.  It was a celestial wedding shoot inspired by the Pantone colours of 2016: Serenity Blue and Rose Quartz.  Katey approached me to design a gown for the shoot.
MK: oh sounds like a delightful concept, what did you make?
O: I designed a dreamy serenity blue gown using french lace, silk organza and tulle with a latticed lace bodice and an airy flounced skirt – I had an idea that I wanted a very delicate version of a Daenerys Targaryen, (From ‘Game of Thones’), Gown!
MK: Beautiful! Where did you shoot?
O: We took some shots at the photographers studio near Hartford, then we relocated to a local beauty spot on a river where the light was dreamy!  And finally at a friend’s farm to shoot with her horse.

O: The shoot was debuted on Aisle Society which was so exciting and gave me lots of images to promote NOVA McLAREN!

MK: I love the photoshoot, the dress looked beautiful and blue is a choice I see for the bride who wants to truely encompass her ‘something blue’!
O: Yes!  The dress is actually available for purchase for $3500 – and it has a veil too, and it’s famous of course!
MK:  What else has been keeping you busy this year?
O:  I’ve been working with my 2017 brides, I met with them in early summer for their initial consolations – we swapped ideas so I could get a good feel of what they like and how they want to look, I took their measurements and I drew them original dress sketches which really got them excited!
MK:  Oh wow and do you discuss fabric details at this point too?
O: Absolutely!  My clients love looking at the different laces and love being able to play designer.  I saw them all at the end of summer with their first toile fitting (the cotton prototype) and now we’re almost ready to order fabric.
MK:  Sounds super exciting!  Summer was when you made your move here to Connecticut, how are you finding our corner of New England so far – does it remind you of home?
O: (laughs) Actually, yes! All the names are the same as back home in England, some of the pronunciations are a little different but I guess the revolution happened! We’re down in Madison on the shoreline and it’s beautiful, I love having more time here now I’ve resigned from my position as Pattern Maker at Christian Siriano.
MK:  He seems like such a nice guy!
O:  He is!  Really lovely and a great designer to work for, I enjoyed my time there a lot but I’m very happy to have more time to focus on NOVA McLAREN; designing and making beautiful dresses, meeting with new clients and promoting custom bridal wear by me!
MK:  That’s great Olivia!  I’m looking forward to hearing about the next phase of the dress process!
 Don’t worry, we’ll check in periodically with Olivia and see what’s she’s up to in 2017!  🙂  You can always visit her website at:

Will You Have A Wedding Cake?

Will you have a wedding cake?  A surprising number of brides these days are opting out.  I have recently seen weddings pies, a dessert bar, smores, strawberry short cake, a chocolate bar, candy bar, the options are endless.



I think this is sad.  Yes, brides want to be different, but I hate to see some of our most cherished traditions vanish.  Am I a BIG fan of the wedding cake?  Yes, yes I am!  Just look at the delicacy above.  When I think of a wedding cake, I like to visualize it as an item of decoration, not just a tasty dessert.



I am a firm believer in ordering a cake much larger than you need to serve your guests.  There are a few reasons for this view.  1) the above mentioned cake as decoration option 2) your guests may want more than one slice – even consider choosing different flavored layers so your guests have a choice.  And don’t forget, a wedding cake serving is about the third of the size of a restaurant sized slice of cake.


Look at the beauty above!  Now this is really a work of art.  Am I saying to skip all other desserts in favor of only wedding cake?  NO!  Do remember, wedding cakes are NOT cheap, and neither are all those extra desserts.  It’s up to you and your groom, (and whomever is footing the bill for the reception), to decide if multiple desserts are where you wish to allocate your funds.



I love the sleekness of the cakes above and below.  They are quite modern. I image they looked lovely with the brides’ colors.


My dream cake is below.  Exquisite…  Considering a wedding cake for YOUR wedding?  Do you know how to cut a wedding cake?  Do you need to?  Probably not…but just in case, click on the link!  How to Cut a Wedding Cake

Will you save a piece of your cake to enjoy on your first wedding anniversary?  If so, you better do it correctly…or it won’t taste very good…  Click on the link to find out the best way to preserve a slice. How to Preserve Your Wedding Cake