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!
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.
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.
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 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.
Enter to win one of five digital copies of Before We Say I Do!!
Where can you buy Before We Say I Do?
And, in honor of Before We Say I Do’s release, Entertaining Angels, the first book in the series is $0.99!!
Emerald 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:
By: Emerald Barnes
Genre: Young Adult
Released: June 24th, 2014
Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep.
Along comes Zach, the new guy in school. He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips.
Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?
Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to sit down with one of my favorite guys, Zach Taylor, from Entertaining Angels, and today, I get to talk to my other two favorite characters, Madison Andrews and Chase Sanders! They’re absolutely the best, and I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!
Chase and Madison are sitting on a sofa together. Mads has her arms wrapped around her waist, and Chase is glancing in her direction, watching her closely like she is at risk for falling apart any second. Did I mention how much I love Chase? Probably not, but he’s probably one of the sweetest guys you’ll ever meet! He protects Madison from others who bully her and even from herself.
Chase: Are we ready to start this? I’m supposed to meet with Andy. We just got the newest release –
Madison: Really, Chase? You knew you had to do this interview. Her voice is light and playful, and she giggles.
Chase: Yeah, but Andy’s waiting and –
Madison: Andy and the newest game can wait, Chase. Emerald wants to talk to us.
Emerald: It won’t take long. I promise, Chase. You’ll be gaming with your best friend soon enough.
Chase: Mads is my best friend.
Madison smiles shyly, and Chase pushes his glasses up on his nose as he watches me. I suppress a smile.
Emerald: I’m sorry. I should have been more careful with my words. How about we start with you, Chase? Why don’t you introduce yourself to Belinda’s readers! Speaking of which, thank you so much for hosting us today!
Chase: He pushes his hand through his brown hair, messing it up. Madison giggles quietly beside him, and even I can’t help but smile at his little nervous habit. I’m Chase. I’m a sophomore in high school, and I like to game, if you can’t tell. I’m a nerd and proud of it. Although, I think Mads thinks it’s weird. He elbows her in the side.
Madison: I don’t think it’s weird.
Chase: You’re not into like I am.
Madison: That doesn’t mean I think it’s weird. I watch those sci-fi movies and stuff with you.
Chase: Yeah, but you don’t like it.
Madison: Come on, Chase, I’m with you. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s weird to me or not. I just like hanging out with you.
Chase: Well, okay then. He pushes his hand through is hair again; he looks a bit perplexed.
Emerald: Well, Madison, what about you?
Madison: I’m a sophomore, too. I’m – um – just me, I guess.
Emerald: Well, what about you? What do you like to do for fun?
Madison: I’m not all that interesting. I really don’t do much. She lowers her head and looks at her pink Converse tennis shoes.
Chase: Of course you are interesting, Mads! We’re always having fun! Like this summer when we did nothing but veg out on the couch all summer. You were always making me laugh and smile.
Madison: Still looking at her shoes. I guess. But, I don’t really go out much. Like Chase said, we mostly just hang out at his place or mine.
Emerald: That’s always fun, too. I smile, but they don’t really see me. Chase is watching Mads, and Mads is watching her shoes. So, Chase, you’re pretty protective of Mads. How did you feel when Ashley started teasing her about her weight?
Chase: His glare turns angry. She needs to learn to keep her opinion to herself and stop hurting people. I couldn’t believe the names that she called Mads, and she really needs to learn how to stop being so dang horrible!
Madison: Chase, it’s fine.
Chase: Um, no, Mads. It’s totally NOT fine. She cannot get away with this.
Madison: Are you going to be the one to stop her?
Chase: If I have to. I won’t let her hurt you anymore.
Madison huffs and shakes her head. Clearly I haven’t thought through my questions better.
Emerald: Is there a safer topic we can broach?
Madison: Probably not with Chase.
Chase: That’s not fair. I’m just looking out for you, and you know that!
Madison finally looks at Chase, and she smiles. His angry disposition seems to melt a little, and he smiles back her.
Madison: I do know that. Thank you.
Chase: You’re welcome, Mads.
Chase grabs her hand and gives it a squeeze. My heart literally melts. Those two are the sweetest! I wish I’d had a friend like Chase when I was in high school.
Emerald: So, can we talk about the book some more?
Chase: I really need to be going.
Madison: Come on. At least answer one more question. She is our creator after all.
Emerald: Thanks, Mads.
She nods in my direction.
Emerald: This is directed at both of you. How do you like the new guy, Zach?
Chase rolls his eyes, and Madison smiles.
Madison: He’s sweet. I don’t know why he’s so nice to me, but he is. He doesn’t seem to care about my size or anything. He’s just so nice to me.
Chase: Of course he doesn’t care about your size. Your size isn’t what defines you, Mads.
Madison looks at her shoes again.
Chase: Back to your question, though, he’s alright. He seems pretty nice.
Emerald: Anything else?
Madison shakes her head, and Chase is so focused on Madison it’s hard to keep his attention.
Emerald: Okay. I guess not. Well, I guess it’s time to say goodbye! Thanks for having us on your blog, Belinda, and I hope your readers will check out Mads and Chase’s story in Entertaining Angels!
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 mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages!
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 family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.