... to my blog this week. Hi, Stephanie, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to be here again and I believe you have a surprise for us...
SC Yes I do. Today we meet Holly, the heroine of Paris Proposal.
HG Hi Stephanie. I’m Holly Gardiner. I know, don’t laugh. I don’t know what my parents were thinking. Well, I do – they weren’t thinking. They’d expected a boy so when I came along they plucked a name out of the air – there was a holly bush outside the hospital window and my Mum thought it was pretty, so that’s what I got. Sometimes I tell people my name’s Helen instead so I don’t have to listen to them snigger about the whole plant thing. None of my friends want to change their names when they get married, but I can’t wait!
SC Married? Is there a wedding coming up?
HG Well, now, that’d be telling! There might have been a few hints, but I’m not going to count my chickens – that didn’t work out too well last time.
SC How do you mean?
HG Last year, my ex-boyfriend Ryan bought tickets to Paris for my birthday. Well, obviously he wasn’t my ex when he bought them. We’d been together at uni, and then I went to work for his Dad’s law firm. Mistake. He booked us a weekend in Paris at New Year, and like an idiot, I thought he was going to propose, but by the time it came around he’d turned his attention to the new receptionist at work. I don’t suppose he actually meant to dump me in Paris, but that’s how it turned out.
SC Wait what? He took you to Paris and then dumped you?
HG Yup. It was a pretty weird relationship all around, looking back. Can’t say I miss him. But it was pretty heartbreaking being in Paris on my own on New Year’s Eve. Not that I stayed on my own. I figured I might as well at least see Paris, so I went out clubbing and ended up getting a bit tipsier than I intended. I met a group of guys and told them the story and then one of them, a gorgeous guy who said his name was Jean-Luc, pulled a ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him, so I did get my proposal, in a manner of speaking.
SC Okaaay, this is getting even weirder. A guy you’d just met that day proposed to you?
HG Well, yes. I don’t think he was completely serious. But he said I was beautiful, and he wasn’t lying about that. He was lying about pretty much everything else, but that’s another story…
SC So Jean-Luc had some secrets? Tell me more!
HG Nope. You’ll just have to read the story.
SC How about a sneak preview?
"Do you believe in destiny?" Luc asked.
Then he frowned. That question wasn't the kind you asked strangers in nightclubs. At least not in his usual world, but then, this was a long way from his usual world.
"Destiny?" Holly's eyes crinkled as if she was peering hard at a distant object, trying to discern his meaning.
"Yes." Luc hoped she wouldn't ask him to explain. He didn't think he could.
"I don't know. I suppose some things are meant to happen. Is that what you mean?"
"Something like that."
"Maybe I do. I'd like to think my life is more than just random."
"Me, too. I would like to think perhaps Ryan was meant to be, so you would be here tonight, because otherwise, how could I have met you? And how could I have done this?"
If she'd said she didn't believe in destiny, he would have finished his wine and gone home. Butnow she'd given her answer, however cautiously, the words kept on flowing. Before he could rethink, he pulled the ring box from his pocket and dropped to one knee.
"Beautiful Holly, Holly Gardiner, will you marry me?"
SC You can’t stop there!
HG Sure, I can! I have a business studies degree. I know about marketing and I know when to end with a good hook. If you want to know what happened next, go and read the book.
SC If you insist. Where do I find it?
HG The ebook is at all good online booksellers. The Amazon UK link is: Paris ProposalSC Thanks, Holly. And good luck with whatever’s next. Don’t forget to invite me to the wedding!