Sometimes when bad things happen it’s for the best.
I’m not talking about murder! For the fictional character Chelsea Thomas being left at the alter spins her life in a direction that she likely didn’t anticipate.
I haven’t had a husband and wife co-writing team on the podcast before so I was very excited to talk to one half of the team, Chelsea, who shares a name with her protagonist. Chelsea and her husband Matthew have co-authored ten Apple Orchard mysteries, with #11, Dropping Like Pies, arriving February 23, 2021.
If you’re looking for sweet (see what I did there?), fun, light mysteries to chase away the winter blues, look no further.
Today’s show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at www.Patreon.com/alexandraamor
This week’s mystery author
Chelsea Thomas is the married writing team of Chelsea and Matthew Thomas. Chelsea and Matthew met at Duke University and they currently live in the Hudson Valley, NY.
You’ll love Chelsea’s mysteries because everyone loves cozies with delicious food and smart female sleuths.
To learn more about Chelsea and all her books visit ChelseaThomasAuthor.com
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher, Android, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Spotify.
Excerpt from Apple Die
Left at the altar. What a cliché. I hadn’t thought my fiancé, Mike, capable of such an unoriginal break-up. But there we were, at the altar, and he kept checking the exits like he was about to rob a bank.
“Are you OK?” I whispered as the priest said some stuff in Latin.
Mike wiped sweat off his forehead. “I’m fine.”
“You’re sweating a lot.”
“I said I’m fine.”
Before I could get further confirmation, the priest joined Mike’s sweaty hands with my hands, and he proceeded with the vows. “Do you, Chelsea Rae Thomas, take Michael Martin Gherkin as your husband, until death do you part?”
“I do.” Easy answer, or so I thought.
The priest turned to Mike. “And do you, Michael, take Chelsea as your lawfully wedded wife?”
Mike swallowed so loud it echoed in the pulpit. Then, after a long moment, he said, “Uh, I think I forgot something in the hotel.” And he turned. And he walked back down the aisle.
Hushed whispers erupted among the guests as Mike took step after plodding step toward the exit. But the whispers became full-blown conversation as Mike broke into a trot and darted out the door.
Every eyeball in the pews watched as Mike left, and once he vanished from sight, all those eyeballs swung to me. What will Chelsea do now?
I’ll tell you what I did. I stood there, shocked, as excuses whirled through my mind like snowflakes in a blizzard.
He forgot the ring, I thought. Or he absent-mindedly neglected to wear underwear. He’d done that before. Or he needed to go to the bathroom. Really, really bad. Also not uncommon for him.
After about fifteen seconds of pin-drop silence, the priest cleared his throat, and I snapped back to reality.
“Uh…” I fiddled with my necklace. “It’s possible he really forgot something.”
“That’s possible. Yes.” The priest covered his microphone and leaned toward me. “Why don’t you try calling him?”
“My eyes welled with tears. “I’m wearing a wedding dress. I don’t have my phone.”
The priest nodded and stepped back to his place at the altar. “Would anyone here today be so kind as to call the groom?”
Yet another hushed whisper whooshed through the crowd. You want us to call him?!
The priest continued, “Normally I frown on cell phone usage in the church. But we have another wedding in a half an hour, and it would be good to know when Michael might be back.”
My Aunt May — a sturdy woman most people called “Miss May” — stood up. “I tried him. No answer.”
Miss May looked at me. Ever since my parents had died, she had been like my mom and dad all rolled up into one. In that moment, I felt her sympathy, and I saw the hurt of a thousand parents in her sharp blue eyes. That’s when I realized… This had to end.
I turned to the priest. “I should go, shouldn’t I?”
The priest nodded and pulled me close to him. “Go with God.”
I took a deep breath and looked out over the wedding guests. The perceptive among them knew what was about to happen. Everyone else was in for a sight they would never forget.”
I wiped my tears. I took off my way-too-expensive, peep-toe heels, one at a time. And I marched down the aisle with my head held high.
I dropped one of my shoes as I climbed down from the altar, but I didn’t stop to get it. Someday, I’ll get Cinderella’d with that lost slipper. I thought. All I needed was a prince that wouldn’t run screaming out of the chapel on our wedding day.
When I got about a third of the way down the aisle, Miss May was standing there with her arm extended to escort me out. When I saw her, I burst into grateful tears, and my whole body flooded with relief as I slipped my arm through hers.
“That dress looks amazing on you,” Miss May said. “Well worth the thousand bucks.”
At that, I cracked up laughing. Miss May had a way of hitting me right in the funny bone, even when I was bereft of joy.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said. And I walked out of the church, chin up, arm-in-arm with my aunt instead of my husband.
When I got back to the hotel room,
I found Mike’s tuxedo in a rumpled pile with a note pinned to the lapel that said, “I have no clue where to return this.”
After I muttered a few not-so-kind suggestions about where Mike might shove that tux, I marched out to the parking lot and tossed it into the dumpster, shoes and all.
“Take that, you stupid jerk face!”
I screamed, because I thought I was alone. Then I kicked the dumpster, also because I thought I was alone.
I was not alone.
I spun around as a security guard approached from the shadows. My wedding dress slid off my shoulders. Mascara ran down my cheeks. My “up-do” had transformed into an “up-don’t.” I must have been a sight. Still, the security guard attempted a cautious but well-intentioned word.
And thus ended my wedding day. Hooray.