Friday, January 17, 2014

Marriage by Arrangement by Anne Greene with Interview


Interview

1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

Anne Greene here. I live in McKinney, TX, a town of 135,000 just north and west of Dallas and considered its furthest north burg. McKinney was a tiny town when I moved here fifteen years ago, but tripled in size since. I’m married to a wonderful man, my second husband since my childhood sweetheart husband died. Between Larry and me, we have four grown children, one girl and three boys. We also have eight grand-babies. Larry is a wonderful man working on his third career, getting a Masters in ESL, that is teaching English as a Second Language. Before that he was career military, retiring as a full Colonel from the Army. I could talk a lot about my talented Special Forces husband, but this blog is supposed to be about me. I do get story ideas and military expertise from my husband.

2) How long have you been writing?

My first book was published when my dear husband Don lived. It’s called Trail of Tears by W.A. Swonger, the A being my name Anne. That book is considered a classic. After Don died I supported my two children for several years before I met and married my new sweetheart. During those years I didn’t write at all. When things settled down at our home I started writing again under my new name, Anne Greene. So I’ve been writing approximately ten years full-time. I have four books published.

3) Do you have a favorite place to write?

Yes. I have a lovely office with floor to ceiling windows along the back with a view that overlooks the golf course. I have four bookcases stacked with research books and good reads. I have three tall filing cabinets filled with folders of writing material and written books. I have a corner in one end of the room with my oil paints, half-finished canvases, and drawings. The minute I sit at my computer my brain starts rolling out ideas and dialogue. I do dream in the shower and some mornings I wake with new ideas. I like silence when I write so I can hear my characters speak.

4) Why did you decide to write MARRIAGE BY ARRANGEMENT?

After a fabulous visit to Scotland, the characters started asking me to write their tale. They were so beguiling I couldn’t resist. I’d always wondered what happened to the clans that had once lived in the Highlands. So the research began. I wrote some of Scotland’s fascinating history and those pesky characters who wouldn’t keep quiet made it real.

5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

 I love the Duke of Avondale. He’s a compelling hero. His growth is interesting. His character arch is massive. I love him because he is so very human. Though born to the aristocracy, he had grave problems to overcome. Rich, handsome and athletic with a title to bequeath to a son, the English gentry gave him the cold shoulder. Why? Why would none of the titled English ladies wed him? Why was he not accepted into English society? Readers know the book will have a happy ending. So the fun comes with experiencing the Duke’s journey. The reader steps into the Duke’s skin and takes the wild ride with him.
 
6) How about your least favorite character?

Ummn. I even love my villains. They don’t think what they do is bad or unacceptable. So, as evil as they are, I still enjoy them.

What makes them less appealing to you?

I find a really evil villain appealing, so I can’t say any of my characters is less appealing to me.

7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I edit and proof all my own books. I do have a critique group that gives me input now and then. And, of course, I have a publisher who edits the books before final print. I write lessons for writers on my blog. You can visit my blog at http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com.

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
 
I love to read. I love to travel and have visited thirty foreign countries and every state in the US. I don’t like to exercise, but I do or I’d be twice my size. I like to be with my family and my friends. I paint pictures when I have the time. I sing in a choir and enjoy church most Sundays. I don’t like to cook, so I get out of that whenever I can. So I enjoy eating out a lot. I’m pretty much like everyone else you know.

9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I don’t get to read as much as I would like. My reading now consists for the most part in research. But I love doing research. Sometimes my husband thinks I’m being lazy when I read a book, but no, I’m really working hard doing research. Who could ask for a better job?

10) What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

I don’t think there is such a question. I racked my brain to think of something that someone has not asked me about my books. Every question in my head has already been asked by someone. I love to answer questions from my readers. They come up with questions I would never dream of. But I so love when a reader tells me he or she is in love with my books and plans to read them over and over. That makes me walk on a cloud. That’s why I write. That’s what writing is all about for me.



BLURB:

A MARRIAGE COVENANT

Why does a handsome, powerful noble of the highest rank in England stoop to marry a mere Lady of Lowland Scotland?
             
A GREAT SECRET

Are the whispered stories about him true? With his shadowy past and strange behavior, what awful secret does he hide? Each change of clothes transforms him into a different man.
             
AN IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE

Can Lady Cailin keep her vow to make her marriage happy and successful, unlike that of her parents, or must she arrange for the Duke's accidental death?

Excerpt:

Castle Drummond near the Village of Kirkmichael in Lowland Scotland -– April 19, 1746
“I won’t run.” A shudder skipped down Lady Cailin MacMurry’s spine, and she stared at her younger sister. “I’m committed.”

“It’s not too late. I heard another scandalous rumor about Duke Avondale.” Lady Megan MacMurry grasped Cailin’s arm.
“I won’t listen to gossip.” Cailin pulled away from her sister and lifted her wedding bouquet to inhale the white rose fragrance. If only the sweet scent could overcome Megan’s words, and her own misgivings. Though most arranged marriages turned out badly, surely God would give her a loving one. After all, since her earliest years, she’d prayed for a happy-ever-after love. 
“Ask yourself why such a grand noble would stoop to marry a Scottish lass with but the title Lady? Why did he not choose an English Duchess or Marchioness or even a Countess?” Megan tilted her head and lifted elegant brows. 
Why indeed? Cailin clutched her enormous diamond engagement necklace. The thing felt heavy with responsibility.  

“The man’s an English duke. He owns palaces all over England.” Megan planted her hands on her slender, mossy-green silk covered hips. “Every noble lass in the land should be offering to give her right arm to be in your shoes. And yet they are not.” 

New knots formed in the nape of her neck. She held her finger to her lips. “Too late to turn back now. The wedding chorus has begun.” She forced her feet to take the first step and then began the slow glide from the stone castle’s rear archway through the garden toward the rose arbor. 

With a jerk, Megan lifted and straightened Cailin’s cumbersome satin train. “In truth, beyond his wealth and titles, our family knows little about the English Duke.” She gathered up her own long skirts, then ran ahead to lead Cailin down the flower-strewn path. Seven bridesmaids stopped giggling and chatting and moved to their places in front of Megan to head the procession.
Beneath her veil, Cailin smoothed her frown. Papa had chosen to take this path in light of the violent upheaval following England’s latest battle with the Highlanders. Her marriage to the Duke would shelter her family with his great cloak of protection. Neither the English nor the Scots would dare invade a castle guarded by the powerful Duke’s Coat of Arms.
More goosebump fingers shivered her spine. Surely jealousy fueled the flagrant tittle-tattle. She pulled in a deep breath, straightened her shoulders, and took measured steps in time to the music toward the loch gleaming in the late afternoon sunlight. She would not let whispers spoil her wedding. She laid her hand lightly on her father’s offered arm.
Their procession passed the scores of guests assembled on both sides of the flowered path. Ahead her groom stood beneath the rose bower, sunlight from the loch gleaming on him, the pastor, and his groomsman. 
Her heart fluttered. The Duke looked the perfect picture of manhood. He towered above his shorter groomsman and the pastor. Sun glinting off his iceberg blue satin coat, heavily laced with gold, almost blinded her. His chocolate eyes gazed past the dazzling crowd of guests and focused on her. Beneath those beckoning eyes, the straight bridge of his nose above softly smiling lips formed the most handsome face she’d ever seen. Her pulse quickened. Butterflies flitted from her stomach to her heart and back.  

As she reached her groom and the chamber music died, her high-heeled slippers sunk into the grassy moor, but her foreboding dissolved like fog before the sunshine.    

The rose bower in the garden where she and the Duke stood together and promised their fidelity was pure romance with its lush greenery, heavy scent of roses, and panorama of softly rolling, newly green glen. Though she didn’t know the man she wed, she repeated with all her heart to love, honor, and obey him as long as she should live. 

Marrying a man one had barely met happened more often than not to daughters of Lords. So why were her knees shaking? Her attractive groom, with his mahogany hair, wide shoulders, and square jaw, held her hand gently in his warm, strong grasp. Rumors were just rumors, and, truth be told, if he were not perfect, neither was she. 

A breeze loosened strands of brown hair from the gold band that tied the thick mass neatly behind his muscular neck to dance around his face. She was glad he had not powdered his hair. Her throat tightened. Loving him would be easy. Oh God, please let him love me. She would love him so greatly, with everything inside her heart, surely he would love her in return. She would work hard to make certain her marriage turned out differently from Mums. There would be no coldness nor violent arguments between her and her grand Duke. No sleeping in separate parts of the castle. No making their daughters’ lives miserable with the dislike they bore one another. 

As the magnificent sunset painted him gold, the Duke’s chestnut eyes stared into hers with promise, his inviting lips tipped upwards at the corners, and his demeanor was affectionate and approving. Joy burst through her chest, and she gave him a brilliant smile. Yes, her marriage would be happy. A storybook marriage like Cinderella’s. 

The English parson the Duke had brought with him raised a hand in blessing. “I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

She handed her heavy bouquet of roses and lilies to Megan and tipped her chin up. The tall, lithe, young Duke stepped forward and lifted her expensive Brussels veil. She was so very fortunate he was not old. She closed her eyes.

He touched his lips to hers.

Oh! Her eyes flew open. The bridal kiss had been so short…and disappointing. The pledge in his gaze had led her to expect so much more. She frowned. Their first kiss was like melding lips with someone on stage, acting a part.  

He dropped his arms and moved back.

A terrifying thought swirled through her brain like a ghost. Since Papa had betrothed Megan to a cruel man, what type of man had he selected for her? Were safety and titles and lands more important to Papa than both his daughters’ happiness?

She shivered.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement released November, 2013.  A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com. Visit http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com for information on writing an award-winning novel. Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. Visit Anne’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/annewgreene?fref=ts


Anne will be awarding a digital copy of Masquerade Marriage – book one in the series, to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop during the tour, and a Grand Prize of a 20.00 GC to the Pelican Book Group website to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Comment often for a better chance to win, follow the tour here.


My Review:  December 2013   ~ Review Copies ~


Marriage by ArrangementMarriage by Arrangement by Anne Greene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I would like to thank the author Anne Greene for giving me this book for an honest review. I enjoyed this book very much, I love historical romances and I do not believe I have ever been disappointed by one. The characters are well developed. I look forward to reading more from this author.

View all my reviews

7 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Darlene, for inviting me to visit on your lovely blog.

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  2. I'm enjoying getting to know a little more about Anne and her writing at each stop!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Patty. Tell me a little about you.

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  3. You proofread/edit your own book, Anne? As a reader, librarian, and English major, I'd say that's pretty risky. A good proofreader/editor is invaluable!

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  4. HI Catherine, No, I don't. Two editors proofed my book. I did disagree with several things they insisted on, but they had the last word. This happens a lot with published authors. Just the way life is.

    ReplyDelete