Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 | 35 comments

Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

It’s June, the season for weddings! It is a joy to introduce you to author, editor, and speaker Eva Marie Everson and her latest book, Five Brides! For the romantic among you, this is a treat you won’t want to miss. Leave a comment for Eva Marie and sign in on the Rafflecopter for even more opportunities to win her book!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome, Eva Marie! When did you first discover that you were a writer?

Honestly? At the age of six. At 13 I admitted it to my classmates, who I then forced to read my first “novel.” I kept writing my stories until sometime in my late twenties when the process of rearing children and work and home took all my time. Then, in my thirties, I became ill and had to resort to bed rest to get better. That led to reading again for the first time in forever and the reading led to the writing. I wrote my first “real” novel at the age of 40. Shadow of Dreams was my third book published.

What would you like to share with us about your family?

Dennis and I have been married for thirty-six years (in 2015). He brought two children into my life when we married, Chris who was 8, and Ashley who was 2. Two years later, we had Jessica. Chris (and Kathleen) have three children (two boys, one girl). Ashley (and Jimmy) have two children (a girl and a boy). Jessica (and Tony) have one son. Both of my parents are with the Lord and I have one younger brother.

How did you come up with the idea for Five Brides?Five Brides

I heard about Joan Zimmerman’s story of coming to America with only a few dollars in her pocket, moving in with four strangers, and then buying the dress with the four from a friend of mine who was a friend of Joan’s. I more or less “chased” the story for a couple of years because, while Joan had agreed to “give” me the story, it was hard to pin her down long enough to hear the story (Joan is a very successful businesswoman and, even in her 80s, she stays quite busy.) Finally I was able to meet up with her in Charlotte, NC. I filmed my interview, took photos of some of the photos she brought (of the dress), and hoped I could produce a book proposal worthy of publishing. Over a year later, I did … and then I contacted Joan for at-home interviews with her and her husband.

How do you “design” your characters?

Joan only knew her story (with the exception of a tiny portion of “Betty’s). We agreed to completely fictionalize the other four women. To design them, I simply stared at their photos long enough until they “told me” their stories.

What character in Five Brides is most like you? Was that intentional, or did it just come about in the course of the writing?

Magda, I suppose, because she marries a man with children and she wants to be a writer. It wasn’t intentional.

If you could spend the day with a character from your all-time favorite novel, who would it be and what would you do? 

My all-time favorite novel is Mr. & Mrs. Bo Jo Jones …

July Jones’s grandmother (Grandmother Greher) is my kind of woman. She’s quick and to the point and lovely. What would we do? Have tea in fine china while sitting in an English garden, look over old photographs, and she’d tell me about the stories behind each one.

How do you go about researching and creating a setting?

Five Brides is set in the 1950s, so I spent a lot of time combing through old photos, films, and magazine ads. I also listened to old radio programs and the music of the era.

What do you want your readers to gain by reading your book?

More than anything, I want my readers to simply enjoy a good read! (Is there anything wrong with that?) From a spiritual standpoint, I want them to remember that God does direct our path when we trust Him to shine just enough light upon it for the step we’re on.

How do you see the importance of Christian fiction?

I think it’s very important. Jesus got his point across with story and those stories moved people. But I also think we can get too carried away with “gotta find the message …” The message will be different things to different people. “Write good stories,” I tell myself, “and let God worry about the message.”

As a multi-published author, what advice would you give a writer just starting out?

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Would you share the first scene of Five Brides with us?  


June 2015

London, England

The phone on the hotel’s bedside table rang, startling Julie Boland from her near-nap. She jerked upright, placed her feet on the plush carpet between the two beds, and reached for the handset. “Hello?” she said, her voice shaking. Glancing at the Fossil watch her husband had given her on her last birthday, Julie groaned before speaking, this time her voice steady. “Hello?”

“Mrs. Boland?” the crisp British voice inquired.

“Yes, this is Mrs. Boland.”

“We have the rather large package you’ve been expecting at the front desk, if you’d like to make your way down.”

The door to the bedroom opened and her daughter Rachel all but flew over the threshold. Light from the living room streamed in past the height of her, brightening the room without the assistance of electricity, bringing a sheen to the room’s burgundy and gold accent colors. “Is it here, Mama?”

Julie waved a hand, hoping her daughter would get the hint and shut the door. “I’ll be down in a moment,” she told the caller.

Julie replaced the handset, then reached for the sleeveless linen shift she’d slipped out of only fifteen minutes earlier. “Yes, my darling, it’s here,” she said, standing. She straightened her dress as she turned to shove her feet into the pair of Antonio Melani sandals at the foot of the bed. “Zip me up, hon.”

Rachel rushed to her mother and tugged at the hidden zipper. “Oh, Mama, I could just burst from the excitement of it all. To think, in five days I’m going to be Mrs. Jeremy Sullivan and today I finally get to see MiMi’s wedding dress. Well, yours and MiMi’s.”

“It was Miss Evelyn’s long before it was mine.” Julie turned and pressed her hands on both sides of her daughter’s face. “Miss Evelyn’s, and Miss Joan’s—”

“And the sisters and Betty,” Rachel finished for her. “Hurry, Mama.”

Julie tapped her daughter’s upturned nose. “Don’t get sassy,” she teased, smiling. “Oh, darlin’, just wait till you see it in person,” she said. “A Carson’s original.” Julie started for the living room, running her fingers through shoulder-length chestnut hair. She stopped at one of the room’s several wall mirrors. “What is it with this hotel and mirrors?” she asked rhetorically, tugging lightly at faint crow’s feet.

Rachel practically skipped beside her, forcing another smile out of Julie, even as she said, “I wish Edwin hadn’t insisted on taking in a tour this afternoon. But your daddy’s going to do what your daddy’s going to do.” She exhaled in the fashion of every Southern woman she’d ever known, from childhood on.

“You know what I wish,” Rachel said, wrapping her arm through her mother’s as they crossed the room to the outer door, her voice suddenly quiet and reflective. “I wish MiMi had lived long enough to see this. She’d have thought it something that I’m marrying an Englishman.”

Julie stopped to look at her daughter. “You look so much like Miss Evelyn, you do. Same soft features. Same green eyes.” She tussled Rachel’s bangs. “Same light hair.” She sighed again. “Miss Evelyn never saw herself as beautiful, although I don’t know why. I always thought she was quite something, just by the way she carried herself.” Julie cupped her daughter’s chin. “You, however, should have never doubted your beauty. You won enough beauty pageants to fill our house with ribbons and trophies, and your grandmother’s besides.”

Mama,” Rachel laughed, nudging her mother out the door. “Hurry on now.” She looked at her bare feet. “I’m not dressed to go down or I’d have gone and been back ten times already.”

“In those shorts and that tee you look more like you should be the junior bridesmaid than the bride.” Julie pointed to the middle of the room. “Park it over there on the sofa, young lady. Your mama will be back in a minute with your grandmother’s wedding gown.” She’d made it halfway out the door when Rachel called out to her again, “Mama?”

Julie turned.

“You’ll tell me the story then? As soon you get back? You always said you’d tell me the whole story—start to finish—the day I was fitted for my own wedding.”

Julie smiled. “I will tell you exactly what she told me the week before I married her son. Start to finish. How they all met in Chicago, how they saw the dress for the first time, and about the day each of them wore it.”

Rachel beamed. “Who will you start with? Which one of the brides?”

Julie pondered a moment, her fingertips touching lightly on the doorknob. “I believe I’ll tell you the story the same way Miss Evelyn told me. Starting with Miss Joan, her English pen pal . . .”

Book Blurb:

 One dress, five women, a lifetime of memories.
Five single, fiercely independent women live together in a Chicago apartment in the early 1950s but rarely see one another. One Saturday afternoon, as they are serendipitously together downtown, they spy a wedding dress in a storefront window at the famous Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. After trying it on―much to the dismay of the salesclerk and without a single boyfriend or date between the five of them―they decide to pool their money to purchase it. Can one dress forever connect five women who live together only a short time before taking their own journeys to love and whatever comes happily ever after?

Eva Marie EversonAbout the author:

Eva Marie Everson is a multiple-award winning author and speaker. She is president of Word Weavers International, director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and enjoys coaching new authors through her company, Pen in Hand. Eva Marie and her husband are the parents of three fabulous children who have blessed them with the world’s greatest grandchildren.

Connect with Eva Marie:


Facebook Author Page:





Other: (A place for everyone to share the story of purchasing “the dress.”)

Book Links:


Barnes & Noble:

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  1. Great interview. What a great story. I am adding this book to my reading list

    • Thanks for stopping by, Cherrilyn!

    • That makes me very happy, Cherrilyn! Let me know what you think after you read it!

  2. Hey everyone! If you’d like to know more about the REAL Joan Hunt Zimmerman, go to:

  3. I would love to read your new book, Eva. I have a blog called Mother of the Bride Blog so as you can imagine Five Brides sounds especially intriguing to me! 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl! I can see why it caught your eye!

    • Why yes I can! Be sure to check out, which is a place where you can share your own bridal dress story!

  4. Thanks NormaGail and Eva Marie for this great interview. Everything about the story is intriguing — the friendship, the inspiration, the dress. Can’t wait to read it.

    • Well, hey there darlin’!! Love and miss you!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Rose!

  5. I always enjoy Eva’s stories, and this sounds like another winner. I’ll have to add it to my reading list for one of those lazy summer nights when I feel like reading a good romance.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment! I know you’ll enjoy it!

    • Thank you, Linda! I know you’d love this book!

  6. This book is a must read for me!

    • Matilda, I’m so happy to hear that!

    • Thanks for taking time to comment!

  7. the most beautiful wedding dress I ever saw was my mother’s. She and Dad married in 1947. I wanted it but like tradition, she was required to pass it on to another relative. Because of this, I have a special obsession with wedding gowns. This story makes me think of that! I would love to hear these stories.

    • How sweet, Gina! Thanks for leaving a comment!

    • Gina, if you have a photo of the dress, post the story to I’m sure the readers there would love to see it!

      • Wow, I do!! thank you for that 🙂

  8. (´¨*•.¸☆ I enjoyed the Interview and Prologue, I’m intrigued. Thank Ya for the GIVEAWAY!! I hope to have the Opportunity to “Win!!”☆¸.•*¨) •**¤✿ I’ve also placed ‘Five Brides’ in my TBR in Goodreads. ¤•**✿

    • Thanks for stopping by, Becky!

    • Becky, YAY!!!

  9. The fact that five different women can fit in one dress intrigues me. 😉 Seriously though, it sounds like such a beautiful story. I can’t wait to read it!

    • Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

    • Mikal, this is a true story … and they all fit in the dress. But, when I think about it, my three best friends during my school years and I could wear the same clothes.

  10. Eva, I love your work and now I know you a little better. Thanks for sharing with us. This sounds like another fun read. Thanks for the interview Norma.

    • Thank you, Nan!

    • Thanks for taking time to participate in the giveaway, Nan!

  11. This book sounds like a winner–I love that it is based on a true story.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Cathy!

  12. Sounds like a great story, it reminds me a little bit of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants!

    • Ally, I thought that too when I first heard it … only it’s true! Again, if you have a wedding dress photo and story you’d like to post, go to I’d love to hear your story!

  13. I find it intriguing that five women who really didn’t know each other very well bought a wedding dress together. I wonder about the logistics of it all. It sounds like a very interesting story, made more so since it’s based on an actual occurance.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Pam!

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