Janet Dean ~ Last Minute Bride & Giveaway

 The Fillies Welcome…


Janet Dean



I’m excited to hang out with the fillies and their terrific friends here at Petticoats & Pistols! This visit marks the release of my first novella and sixth Love Inspired Historical. Last Minute Bride, Brides of the West, is on bookstore and discount store shelves now. The anthology also includes wonderful stories by authors Victoria Blyin and Pamela Nissen. Three for the price of one, a romance bargain.


Here’s a peek at Last Minute Bride:


Elise Langley was stung to the quick when her would-be suitor suddenly left town. But when David Wellman returns and they are thrown together organizing their friends’ wedding, can she open her heart again?


In the dedication to Last Minute Bride, I tell my husband that our wedding day was the best day of my life. The days our daughters were born rate as best days, too, but my husband gets top billing. He was first after all.


Our wedding took place on a perfect June evening in a flawless ceremony…if you overlook that no one thought to turn off the sanctuary lights for our candlelight service. The bridesmaids wore aqua floor-length dresses and matching pillbox hats with short flirty veils. The flower girl, my five-year-old cousin, not only looked adorable, she performed like a pro, scattering petals down the aisle. The groom, groomsman and dads were debonair in black tuxes. We all either carried bouquets or wore boutonnieres of white daisies. Lace daisies adorned the scooped neck of my short-sleeved floor-length white gown. The dress graced the cover of Brides Magazine. I still have the picture, the dress, veil, even a packet of rice that wasn’t thrown as we left the church. We found rice in our Chevy convertible for months afterward. The reception consisted of a tiered wedding cake, punch, coffee, mints and nuts. The entertainment was the gift opening, nothing like the elaborate sit-down dinner and dancing at our daughters’ receptions. Though our simple reception was typical for my hometown, it does sound kind of, well, boring. But when you’re surrounded with love and well wishers and feel like the bride and groom cake topper come alive, you’re not bored. J Anyone else have this kind of a reception?


Not all weddings go as smoothly as ours did. We’ve all heard, perhaps some of you have even experienced, fainting or giggling grooms/brides/bridesmaids, screaming flower girl/ring bearer toddlers refusing to take a step down the aisle, dropped rings, and a pastor who messed up the couple’s names. If you want to see the funny and the not so funny, check out YouTube.


No matter what happens, most couples end up married. I’ve heard that brides and grooms have been stood up at the altar, but never witnessed it. The weddings I’ve attended have been beautiful, deeply meaningful ceremonies that strengthen my commitment to my own vows.


These days, with our family and friends and their children married, we attend very few weddings. I miss them. I love everything about weddings. The sacredness of the vows, the stunning clothes, lovely music, smiling faces, wedding cake. I soak up the romance of it all. My husband and I are great guests, if you need extras. LOL We stay late and love to dance. We’re no Ginger and Fred so the crowded dance floors suit us fine. I’m sentimental and get weepy during the ceremony so take a fancy handkerchief. Not sure why I get teary, except that watching the starry-eyed couple take this important step, eager to embark on their new life together, full of hopes and dreams, zips me back to the best day of my life, our wedding day. A happily ever after ending that isn’t fiction.


I realize that not everyone finds Mr. Right. Lots of marriages don’t end happily. If that’s the case for you, I hope you will be blessed with peace in your circumstances and optimism for the future. It’s never too late to write a new story, to have a new beginning, to find contentment in the now.


I’m giving away a copy of Brides of the West and Wanted: A Family. Perhaps you can share yours or someone’s wedding story. Or if you’re brave, a wedding calamity. Better yet, something funny during the ceremony that made everyone laugh. Whatever is on your mind, leave a comment for a chance to win.


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57 thoughts on “Janet Dean ~ Last Minute Bride & Giveaway”

  1. Hi Janet,

    My wedding went smoothly. Only bad thing was the band. Every song sounded the same and they played way too slow. My BIL did write HE LP on the bottom of my husband’s rented shoes. We did hear a ripple of laughter go through the crowd when we knelt down.

    My daughter had an elegant sit-down wedding. Every last detail planned. My son had a casual, outdoor wedding. Quite the contrast but each fit them perfectly. No scandals to report.

    As for being stood up at the alter. A classmate Sue. Yes, the groom was a no show. SOOOO embarassing for the bride. The expense! She did eventually marry, has 2 college age boys and her husband is perfect for her. She had a lucky escape!

    I’d love to read Elise and David’s trip to a wedding in LAST MINUTE BRIDE!!

  2. No need to put me in the drawing. I loved this book and all the stories. Get it, get it, folks. Lots of emotion and wonderful heroes and heroines.

    Calamity: Washington DC. Heatwave: 100 degrees, 100% humidity. No exaggeration. NO AC in the church. All the pictures have the tuxes with sweat stains. In fact, we know one had to be destroyed afterwards. I just lost my curls!

    Funny: My groom was so worried he would mess up the vows that I subconsciously started mouthing the words back to him after the minister spoke. Everyone saw that! And no one, especially my husband of 31 years, has let me forget.

    Peace, Julie

  3. Hi Laurie G!

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve seen HELP on the groom’s shoes on YouTube. Did you wonder what was going on when you heard the laughter?

    Both of your kids’ weddings sound Lovely. Nice when weddings fit the couples. I attended a reception where the bride and groom danced sedately to some sweet song, then the music changed and they did a line dance. Another switch to a rock beat and he swung her over his head several times. No idea how, but her dress stayed up! No surprise that this couple is fun loving!!

    Sue’s lucky escape sounds like a book title. Poor thing. I’m happy to hear that she got her happy ending. Wonder what happened to the first groom?


  4. Morning Julie!

    Thanks for the recommendation for Brides of the West. P&P fillie Vicki shares the pages with a fabulous story!

    Weather is a big factor with weddings, especially in churches without air conditioning. I’m amazed no one fainted!

    LOL, you were a helpmate before the knot was tied. 🙂 Love a family joke/story that lives on! Thanks for sharing!

    Hugs, Janet

  5. My husband and I were set up by friends and a month later married. We now have been married 25 years. Our wedding was in his parents living room and performed by his grandmother. Are reception was in his parents kitchen with punch and a single layer cake from Piggly Wiggly.

  6. Sherry, you and your husband must’ve fallen in love at first sight! That’s the shortest acquaintance I’ve heard of! Congrats on 25 years!


  7. I’m looking forward to reading this. It’s the only way I go to a wedding. I haven’t been to a wedding in 20 years. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

  8. Janet, it’s wonderful to have you back again. You’re like an old friend. Congratulations on the new anthology! It must’ve been fun writing with Vicki and Pamela.

    I don’t have any wedding stories. Although I’ve been married twice I eloped both times. The ceremony was short and sweet. And cheap.

    Wishing you lots of success.

  9. The only thing that went wrong at my wedding was when my husband and I tried to light the Unity candle. No matter what we did, it would not light. Everyone was laughing. What else could you do. The minister finally got it lit after about 15 tries.

  10. Hi Janet! It’s great to have you here at P&P and a total delight to be in “Brides of the West” with you 🙂 My wedding was small–just family in my parents’ living room. It suited my husband and me to a tee–no drama, just a lot of wonderful memories.

  11. Hi Linda! I feel like a longtime friend here. I won’t say old. In no way do the fillies and their friends age. 😉

    Were your parents bummed or relieved that you eloped? 🙂

  12. Hi Rebecca! Three stories in one is exciting. My novella Last Minute Bride is Elise’s story, an unwed mother in Wanted: A Family. The reason I’m giving away both books. I enjoyed giving Elise her much deserved happy ending.

  13. I got married in the mid ’90’s so long sleeved dresses were popular–with the poofy sleeves on top and tight down to the wrist. Unfortunately, I got married in August and it was 98 degrees out!! Luckily, the church had A/C. Our wedding went wonderful and we were married at the end–so our goal was accomplished! 😉

    My sister’s hubby FORGOT THE RING at his apartment!! My sister got married with my mom’s wedding ring while the pastor’s wife drove to my brother-in-law’s apartment to grab the real ring and do a switch-eroo before the receiving line!!

  14. My first child to marry was also one of the first ceremonies given by our preacher.
    Halfway through the ceremony the preacher just absolutely and utterly lost his place. Carrying on he went into some sort of ‘reflex” wedding ceremony in which they took their vows not once but TWICE, but he skipped lighting the Unity Candle and one of the songs were had planned by my son in law’s sister, which was a shame.
    The whole ceremony was about twenty minutes long, a new record for speed.
    I wasn’t sure if they’d made some last minute changes or what so I didn’t stand up and say, “HEY! hold up there with the pronouncing man and wife. We’ve got a song to sing yet!”
    So the church bells were supposed to ring, one of the groomsmen’s jobs. All the sudden, he sees the bride and groom turning to face the crowd and applause begin as the preacher introduces the new couple. The groomsman, my nephew realizes that’s his cue to ring the bell. He just jumps up and SPRINTS for the bell, which is out the door and down a hallway.
    And my son in law’s sisters are peeking around from the choir loft to look at their mother in a ‘what is happening here, what about our song?!” kind of way.
    There is a picture of my daughter and her husband walking out, capturing that joyous moment and the look of confusion on their faces is just priceless.
    My daughter’s expression seems to say, “So did we get married or not?”
    And my son in law’s expression to me says, “We’re just going to live together whether we’re married or not. I am NOT going back up there.”

  15. My husband is the worst father of the bride ever. He just can’t handle things like this. He’s too emotional.
    For my second daughter’s wedding my son in law from the previous story was named the first ever in the known universe Attendent to the father of the bride. It was my son in law’s job to keep my husband from utterly freaking out or worse yet CRYING. It was a perfect job for my sil, he’s hilarious and did his assigned tasks brilliantly.
    I didn’t want to know, but at some point, I believe beer might have been involved.

  16. One more wedding story.
    When my sister got married I and another sister were her attendents.
    And my two year old oldest daughter was her flower girl.
    My daughter was just over two and we had an infant daughter.
    My husband was adamently opposed to letting my daughter be in the wedding, on the plausible theory that having a two year old in the wedding was just asking for trouble.
    But of course I wanted her in so bad, the cute dress!!!
    So, we concocted this plan. I would go down the aisle, then my daughter, then my younger sister (not the bride sister) So if my daughter ran forward I could catch her and if she ran backward my sister could catch her.
    So I had to walk along the back of a row of pews, then reach the center aisle, turn and match down.
    I walked away and turned and when I vanished down the aisle I hear this BLOOD CURDLING SCREAM from my two year old.
    Then silence.
    I didn’t know what to do so I just went on. Abandoned my poor little girl.
    When I got to the front and turned around, here comes my not-bride sister with my daughter in her arms. my daughter was just wrapped completely around my sister, her head buried in her neck.
    I looked at my daughter then my eyes went to where my husband was sitting and he just was so disgusted. Every bit of ‘I told you so’ he could muster was right there in his expression.
    My sister got to the front, handed my daughter to me and I had to hold that kid for half the ceremony and it almost killed me. Then she finally calmed down, got down and proceeded to pretty much rampage around the front of the church.
    Two might really have been too young.

  17. I just typed my wedding story and it disappeared. 🙁

    There was a lot of laughter at my wedding. I had moved to Indiana from California to marry my groom. We were married in the church he pastors. In order to get onto the stage where we were to do our vows, I had to climb about 8 stairs. I kept stepping on my dress as I stepped up on the next step. I finally stumbled down onto my knees and my groom had to come to my rescue. After the gasps then came the chuckles. Then it was my groom’s turn…he dropped my wedding band and when it landed it started rolling, and rolling and rolling. My groom’s brother (best man) went chasing after it and he finally grabbed it about 20 feet away. 🙂 I was embarrassed to say the least but it definitely left us a funny memory.

    We celebrate our 11th anniversary on the 28th of this month! We’re still laughing!

    I would love to be entered to win a copy of Janet’s book. I’ve had my eye on this one. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

    🙂 Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  18. Mary, there seems to be problems with weddings you are involved with. They have certainly been memorable for maybe not the best reasons. It is what makes life interesting and memorable. Live and learn.
    Our wedding had to be postponed for a few weeks because my soon-to-be husband was extended in Vietnam. It rained for 2 or 3 days prior to the wedding which in our case was a problem. We had planned an outdoor wedding at a shrine in the mountains. Back then (1972) outdoor weddings were rather rare. Actually, ours was the first, and the last for a long time, in the area. The morning of the wedding dawned with clear blue skies. There was a light breeze which was a blessing. I had forgotten about black flies, which anyone in the Northeast knows will eat you alive. The breeze was just enough to keep them at bay. We had a sit down reception, but no dancing. We had our honeymoon at a cabin in the woods. The black flies made up for missing the wedding. We tried to picnic once, but the food literally black with flies before we could get it to our mouths.

    As for wedding disasters, our youngest daughter was blind as many women in love could be. We couldn’t manage to talk her out of the marriage. Even her future mother-in-law advised her not to marry him. No luck, so we supported her decision. We rented an historic mansion, lined up the caterers, ordered invitations, napkins, etc., the cake, the flowers, had the attendant gifts, dress, etc., Attendants lined up (from out of state), and were set to go. Two weeks or so before the wedding he had not yet ordered his tux or that of his best man. He was by the house that morning and asked us to go by that day and put the deposits down for them, which I never did. That evening he backed out of the wedding. It was literally one day past when I could get my deposits back. In spite of the money we lost, I was relieved more than anything. Of course, our daughter was crushed and didn’t give up. 7 months later they went to the Justice of the Peace and got married without telling anyone. The marriage lasted about two years before he was unfaithful. The good part was we got a wonderful grandson out of it. The bad part, he stuck her with most of the bills and thanks to a careless lawyer, managed to walk away from the mortgage on their place which he was supposed to have put in his name only. but didn’t. Our daughter didn’t know there was an HUD action against her until several years later when they started garnishing her wages and her credit was ruined. I still don’t know how he managed to not be held accountable. Anyway, she now is in a happy marriage and will celebrate their 10th anniversary this summer.
    That second marriage, by the way, was at a small historic house, family only, her sister did the wedding cake, my husband and I catered it, and her son and his two sons and nieces were the attendants. It was simple, lovely, and enjoyable. To top it off, on the way home, we hit our little town just as the 4th of July fireworks started. We pulled to the side of the road and watched. The perfect end to the day.

  19. We got to read the pastor’s notes ahead of time; he talked about the meaning of “tying the knot.” An idea sparked in my head that we should do this, literally. I had never seen it done before. It was a beautiful part of our ceremony that made it so special– at the end, he brought out a sash and crossed it over our clasped hands. We’re going on 14 years!

  20. Our wedding 49 years ago was beautiful. Very simple with me in a full gown with hoop that was so full pictures of us going back up the aisle following the ceremony look like hubby is pulling me because there was not room for both of us to walk side by side. During one solo our flowergirls stood betwwn the minister and us and sang jinglebells. Only the wedding party could hear them but everone wondered why we were laughing. Our reception was simple also, cake nuts and mints and we, too, opened our gifts at the reception. We did have a dance a week later at a dance hall in a nearby town.

  21. What great stories. Mine I didn’t know about until it was over. They kept it secret. My dress was at a friend’s house. We were all to meet at the church and dress. There was a gas leak in the area and they had every one evactuate. I didn’t know but the rest did, including my husband. He said I would freak out–which I would have. I didn’t know about it until the next day and he thought it was safe to tell me.

  22. The only wedding I went to was my sister’s which was a very small ceremony in front of a judge in a court room… I thought it was a bit strange standing there, but that is what she chose to do… it felt very somber…

  23. Hi Tracy!

    Maybe October is a popular month for weddings now for the reason you state. Summer can be hot!

    Sounds like everyone pulled together to get that gold band on your sister’s hand. 🙂

  24. Mary, your wedding story made me chuckle. Not a surprise since I love your humor. Speaking your vows twice mean your daughter and son-in-law had a double wedding, right? LOL Glad the bells rang.

    Love church bells. I heard church bells recently that played hymns. Gorgeous.

  25. LOL, Mary! A nervous dad isn’t unusual. Love that he had his own attendant.

    A friend told me her husband was so panicked about giving away his little girl that, at the church, he couldn’t get out of the car, paralyzed with emotion.

  26. Cindy W, thanks for retyping your story! All those little incidents make your ceremony unique. As long as no one gets hurt. 🙂 I’m curious how you met your dh with all those miles separating you.

  27. Hi Patricia. I never heard of black flies. They sound like one of the plagues in the Bible. Our flies only bite when it’s going to rain. Sorry they ruined what should’ve been a romantic picnic.

    Love can be blind, that’s for sure. I’m glad your daughter is happy now. Nice that her lovely wedding ended with a bang, a good one.

  28. Good afternoon, Christina L! I’ve never heard of tying a sash across the couple’s hands, but I like the image of tying the knot. Congrats on the 14 years!

  29. Connie, Can you imagine wearing a hoop skirt like that every day like women did around the Civil War? I assume you got married near Christmas with the little girls’ precious Jinglebell chorus. Congratulations on those 49 years!!!

  30. I loved the review. Love the Historical Romance novels of the late 1800’s. Please enter me in your contest.
    Pat Hines

  31. I love weddings, but honestly isn’t there a part deep down inside that thinks the thousands of dollars spent on modern weddings would be better spent on setting up the newlyweds household, and wouldn’t an old fashioned picnic be just as much fun and a lot less stress?

    Love the old time weddings and movies and stories that depict those types of weddings. I look forward to reading Brides of the West, Janet!

  32. Nope, Janet we got married in September. It was a very warm day and one of the groomsmen was so warm sweat was running off him. He told my hubby that he was sweating for him, imagining what was ahead for him. Two years later when hubby was in his wedding he sweat buckets. He always said it was because he Knew what was in store.

  33. My girlfriend got married in October one year. It had been nice all week and we woke up to 15 inches of snow and no electricity. She got married but there was no lights and no hot food. The electric didn’t come back on til the next afternoon.

  34. One of the last weddings I went to while they were saying their vows, the bride started screaming and waving her hands about furiously. The audience did not know that a bee had escaped her bouquet and was buzzing around her face. Wedding stopped, they disposed of the bee, and the wedding carried on. We in the audience thought something else was wrong.
    She will be talking about that for a long time to come.

  35. Our photographer had us take our shoes off for a photo and I got mine back on fine, but my husband’s feet were so swollen he couldn’t get his on.


  36. Your wedding sounds lovely, Janet!

    Mostly I think today’s weddings are overdone and a waste of money. Some of those couples could buy a starter house for what they spend on a wedding!

  37. Tina, I’m with you on teh crazy expensive weddings. The money those cost is LIFE CHANGING MONEY. It’s a nice downpayment on a new house. It’s a good used car. (A new one for a lot of weddings!) It’s all your college loans paid off or paid way, way down.
    I’ve got four daughters. Believe me I have added it up!

  38. Our son-in-law is in the Navy and wore his dress whites for our oldest daughters wedding. As they left the church they passed through the arch made of swords held by his Navy buddies all in their dress whites.We learned that part of the tradition is for the last man they pass to give the bride a tap with the sword. The photographer was sorry he missed it. Their reception was outdoors in the park-like grounds of an old school that serves as a community center.

    Our youngest daughter was married at the church we go to 20 miles from our home. The reception was in our yard with a whole pig barbeque (We cooked the pig the day before so we could all make it to the wedding. I did miss the rehearsal since someone had to stay at home until the pig was done.) Fortunately, the dust storm we watched rolling in stayed several miles south of us. The day turned out beautiful.

  39. Hi Hilltop Farmwife! Both daughters’ weddings sound lovely. It’s a lot of work to host a reception. Did you prepare all the food?

    Flatland City girl

  40. This was such a sweet post! I didn’t find your account of your wedding story boring. At. All. It was lovely, all round, through and through. 🙂

    I just love weddings, too, though I haven’t been to very many. However, I do have some friends who are engaged. 🙂 My favorite was the boyfriend/husband-to-be-soon who gave the ring to my friend’s young son and had him ask, “Will you marry him, Mommy?” Adowable. 🙂

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this beautiful book!

    biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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