Spotlight & Giveaway: Blame it on the Bet by L.E. Rico

Posted November 16th, 2018 by in Blog, Spotlight / 54 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author L.E. Rico to HJ!

Hi L.E. Rico and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Blame it on the Bet!


Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book:

M is for: Marriage—and the crazy things that can happen on the way there.
A is for: Adorably horrible toddler
Y is for: You’ll want to move to Mayhem!
H is for: Hilarious, Heartwarming
E is for: Entertaining, escapist—spend a little time in Mayhem, MN!!
M is for: Memories of the past—and honoring them in the present.

and so on…

Please share the opening lines of this book:

“Swans?” Bailey asks, fork poised midway between her plate and her mouth. “Really? Swans?”
“Sure, why not?” Bryan responds amiably.
“Uhhh…because all the water will be frozen. Where do you expect these swans to be? In the bathtub?” Walker pipes up from across the table.


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I wrote it in about two weeks—it just came to me so easily!
  • The scene with the swan plucking the pompom off of Jackson’s hat was inspired by a real-life encounter between me (in a stroller) and a very cheeky goose!
  • I don’t have kids. I don’t know anything about kids. I’m afraid of kids! So it took a good bit of Googling and interviewing friends and strangers alike to write the “Baby Bedlam” portion of this book.
  • The Tummy-Tubaroo is a real product, though the name has been changed to protect the innocent!
  • Vinegar pie is a real thing! Yuck :^(


Was there a scene in this book that was harder to write than others?

Oh, wow… Yeah, I guess it would have to be the “Flaming Puppets” scene in the Baby Bedlam portion of Mistletoe in Mayhem… Mainly because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t type…


Father Buddy has ducked behind the altar to pull out two bright red, black-horned devil moppets. One is your basic, garden variety Mephistopheles. A “worker bee” devil, if you will—with a white number one on his chest. The other is much more sophisticated—a sort of metrosexual Satan with wavy, dark yarn hair and matching beard. He’s dressed in a white, button-down shirt and a black cape. Oh, yeah, this is the head heathen for sure.
We’re all riveted as Father Buddy dons first one puppet and then the other, his hands bringing the two characters to life.
“There is a fable,” the priest begins, facing the congregation, “that tells of three apprentice devils who were coming to earth to finish their apprenticeship. They were talking with Satan, the chief of the devils, about their plans to tempt and to ruin humanity.”
At this point, the lesser devil—on the left hand—addresses the uber devil on the right.
“I will tell them there is no God,” the first devil puppet says to Satan and I’m transfixed by Father Buddy, who’s lips barely move as he delivers these lines on behalf of the puppets.
“‘That will not delude many, for they know there is a God,’ Satan replies.
That’s when the second devil comes along,” Father Buddy informs us, taking the less-impressive devil, putting it behind his vestments and pulling it out again—this time with a white number two on its chest.
“How did he do that?” Scott whispers from next to me. “He’s got puppets on both of his hands! How do you suppose he swapped out the numbers like that?”
Before I can tell him I don’t know—and I don’t really care—the homily resumes. “The second devil said, ‘I will tell them that there is no hell.’ Satan answered, ‘You will deceive no one that way, they know even now that there is a hell for sin.’
Whoa. Satan is not having that answer either. Away with devil number two—behind the back once more, returning with the number three emblazoned on him this time around. Father Buddy continues his narration.
“The third devil said, ‘I will tell them that there is no hurry.’”
Clearly devil number three is “the man” as Satan is high-fiving him after this suggested course of action.
“‘Go,’ said Satan,” Father Buddy conveys, “‘and you will ruin people by the thousands.’” At this point, the priest drops both of his arms down to his sides, so that the fuzzy characters are hanging upside down. “The point here, my friends, is that the most dangerous of all delusions is that there is plenty of time. We think we have forever to ensure our mortal souls will live on in the kingdom of heaven. We do not. And anyone who is fool enough to believe he has all the time in the world, will find himself in a very, very precarious position…”
I’ve stopped hearing what Father Buddy is saying. Everyone has. Because, what he doesn’t know, is that the impressive mane on Satan’s head has gotten a little too close to one of the candelabras and in, an instant, his hair is on fire. Literally.
“…that’s why we must ask for guidance from the Lord…” the priest drones on, totally unaware as we all just stare, as if hypnotized by the devil himself.
“Father! You’re on fire!” a young acolyte yells from the side of the alter where he’s just looked up from his iPhone to see the catastrophe in the making.
Father Buddy looks over his shoulder at the teenager and smiles proudly. “Why, thank you, young man! But you really should hold your compliments for after the end of the sermon…”
“No! You’re on fire!” the choirmaster calls out.
At last the spell is broken as parishioners point at the dangling inferno and yell.
I don’t know if it’s the increasing alarm…or the increasing heat, but Father Buddy finally realizes what’s happened.
“Oh! Oh, my dear… Oh! Oh! Oh!” he exclaims, using little devil to pummel Satan in an attempt to snuff him out. No such luck—this tactic only serves to propel the lesser Lucifer into his own blazing ball. The priest stands there, both hands raised in front of him, looking from one fiery hand to the other.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

That—no matter what—at the end of the day, it’s your family who will be there for every step of the way. And I use the term “family” loosely because, in this instance, the entire town of Mayhem rallies around the O’Halloran sisters—their native daughters, so to speak.


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: $10 Amazon or B&N giftcard


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen happen at a worship service or wedding, christening, etc?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Info:

Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, where the cats wear sweaters, the local priest dispenses dating advice, and you can find your fortune in the bottom of a pie tin.

When her family’s pub is threatened with foreclosure, Hennessy O’Halloran, along with her three sisters, is determined to raise enough money to keep it out of the hands of the L.A. real-estate developer trying to raze it and replace it with a—god forbid!—multiplex theater.

Bryan Truitt always gets what he wants. And what he wants is the sweet corner property on Mayhem’s Main Street where O’Halloran’s Pub sits. But his “quick business” turns into more than he bargains for when he meets the feisty Hennessy. Next thing he knows, he’s betting her he can outlast Mayhem’s punishing winter in time to make the pub his—or he’ll gift it to her for free.

Hennessy knows better than to flirt with the enemy. But suddenly Bryan’s not sure which he wants more…the property or the woman who owns it.

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

L.E. Rico didn’t set out to be an author. In fact, she’s made a name for herself as a classical music radio host—doing her best to make the music and the composers relevant by putting them into a modern context. It was just a few years ago that she discovered a passion for writing that blossomed into an entire novel. And then another. And another. And, while she still spends plenty of time on the radio, telling the stories of the great composers, she spends even more time composing her own great stories.
Twitter: @TheLaurenRico
Instagram: LaurenRicoAuthor.

54 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Blame it on the Bet by L.E. Rico”

  1. Diana Tidlund

    Funny in the end but not when it was happening. 5 of the 6 bridesmaids were pregnant and it was summer. One by one we started going down and they had to keep catching us and putting chairs under us .

  2. John Smith

    “What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen happen at a worship service or wedding, christening, etc?” My experience isn’t extensive enough to think of such funny things.

  3. Joy Avery

    My brother in law dressed up in a wedding dress with a veil for a reverse wedding that raised money for my sister’s church. I will never forget how he looked and that they actually talked him in to doing it.

  4. Anita H.

    The funniest (and cutest) thing was at a friend’s wedding when the little flower girl went back to pick up all the flower petals she threw right after walking all the way down the aisle to the front of the church. Her mama had to run after her to make her stop putting them back in her basket, LOL

  5. Kathleen O

    At a friend’s wedding the groom kept screwing up his vows and the best man was cracking up, which started the whole bridal party laughing and eventually the whole congregation. We still talk about that day…

  6. Debra Guyette

    The kids would come in half though the service. One day they came in carrying small boxes of collection envelopes for their offering for the next year. One small girl was playing with hers and they flew in the air and every envelope went flying.

  7. janinecatmom

    At my wedding, I dind’t have anyone walk me down the aisle because my step-father was in a wheelchair and the old historic church didn’t have wide enough aisle for him to go down with me, so my husband stood at the alter and when I was to walk down the aisle, he turned and walked down to get me to walk me back up. Well, everyone thought he was walking out on me and the looks on their faces were priceless. No one thought we would get married and many tried to split us up, so it was our personal joke on them all.

  8. Amy Donahue

    We were at a Catholic wedding and when the priest directed us to kneel for the third or fourth time my 4-year-old said very loudly “AGAIN?!”

  9. Victoria

    At a wedding, the maid of honor totally danced her way down the aisle with a sign on her back that said “my best friend is better than yours” lol

  10. laurieg72

    My B-I-L did write HE LP on the bottom of my husband’s shoes. We couldn’t figure out why people were laughing when we first knelt down.

    Last month my middle son was married. My almost 7 yo granddaughter was the flower girl.. At the rehearsal they told her to slow down. The day of the wedding she went so slow the bride almost caught up with her. Her mother had to run out to get her out of the way. Everyone chuckled. She also ran out of rose petals!

  11. Sue C

    My veil caught on fire at our wedding reception. I was standing near a candle and it caught my veil on fire. It was funny later looking at the hole.

  12. Teresa Williams

    I was at cousin’s wedding and it was storming .Raining hard thunder and lightening.The ring bearer was standing there and there was a loud clap of thunder that shook that big old church..He jumped and the rings fell off the pillow and rolled under the piano.

  13. lraines78

    My sister’s family sat in the front row and my nephew told tall tales that had everyone laughing except my sister and her husband. Last time they ever sat in the front!

  14. Calvin

    Some people trying to cheat at the draw for trivial prizes.. it’s funny .. even at church.. it was quite embarrassing really.

  15. Debra Branigan

    The best man pulled out a giant cow nose ring, instead of the regular ring. What was so funny was the look on the bride’s face. If looks could…

  16. Laurajj

    I was not too amused at the time, but the best man put “help me” on the bottom of my fiances shoes in masking tape…so that when we knelt at the alter, everyone attending could see it!

  17. hartfiction

    It’s always funny when children perform in front of the church–whether it’s forgetting lines, scuffling with another child in the play, or getting stage fright, it’s fun to watch.

  18. Jana Leah

    My mom told me that one of the groomsman passed out at my parents’ wedding. He was hungover, it was really hot, & there was no AC in the church.

  19. Cherie J.

    My husband’s five year old nephew was chosen to be ring bearer at our wedding. No one thought to practice with him on how to carry the pillow. He walked with the pillow in one hand and straight down. He swung the pillow back and forth as he walked.

  20. Nicole (Nicky) Ortiz

    When it was really quiet in the church my uncle’s phone went off and his ringtone sounded like church bells.
    Thanks for the chance!

  21. Sonja M

    One of the guests at our wedding had a mishap with his pants. He was dancing pretty excitedly when his belt buckle snapped open and his pants fell to the floor.

  22. Glenda

    There was a wedding where the flower girl and ring bearer started fighting and the bride and groom had to physically pull them apart.

  23. Chelsea B.

    Well I’m always told the story of when I was a flower girl and kept walking the pews asking people for gum xD

  24. lorih824

    When the ring bearer went part of the way down the aisle but decided he didn’t want to go any further and followed it up with a fit of wailing.

  25. Cheryl Hastings

    At my niece’s wedding, her groom was given 2 tissues…one for each of them, which he put in different pockets. He started crying as she came down the aisle and used it, but then she started during the officiant’s speech. Inst as of giving her the clean tissue, he gave her the used one, which they kept sharing

  26. Terrill R.

    At my own wedding, my husband started physically swaying half-way through the short service. We were holding hands, so I could feel him swaying. He nearly fainted and he had to sit down with his head between his knees before we could resume. 3.5 years later, he nearly did it again during the birth of our first child.

  27. isisthe12th

    Me! At my brothers wedding when I was young I dove for the bouquet, caught it but not before landing on the floor. Thank you

  28. Patricia B.

    Our priest’s dentures flew out in the middle his sermon one Sunday. He didn’t miss a beat. He picked them up and put them back in and kept right on talking.

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