Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Marriage by Arrangement

Today's special guest is Anne Greene. Anne 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. 


What era does Marriage by Arrangement take place, and why did you select that particular time?

The date is 1746 and the place is Lowland Scotland. The book begins just as the Battle of Culloden ends. This battle changed the Highlands of Scotland forever. The English won the battle by using overwhelming odds against an exhausted and under-armed Scottish group of Highlanders bent on returning their King to the throne to replace the hated German King. The date and events are true. The characters, except for the Duke of Cumberland and King George, are fictional.  

In Marriage by Arrangement, an English nobleman marries a Scotswoman. Can you tell us about the backdrop of England and Scotland at the time the book takes place, and why you selected those two countries?

England planned to destroy the Scottish Clan system and rid the Highlands of all Scots. They wanted no more rebellions from the Scots who desired their own identities and freedom to rule themselves. England viewed the Scottish Highlanders as uneducated barbarians. England saw their allies, the Lowland Scots as somewhat educated and civilized, but still far below them in social and economic status. An English Duke marrying a Lowland daughter of an Earl was definitely unheard of, however wealthy she was. And yet, none of the English gentry allowed their daughters to wed this particular English Duke. You have to read the story to discover why. The Duke needed an heir.

Tell us about the Duke and Lady Cailin.

The Duke must remain a shadowy character in order not to spoil the story. However, rumors about him abounded. He’d squandered all his inherited money, retaining only his many land holdings and homes as well as the Dukedom and title he would bestow on a son. He was rumored to be a gambler and apt to behave oddly at social events. His fiancĂ©e, a wealthy duchess, broke off their engagement because he was no longer accepted in finer English homes. Though he was handsome and had a fine physique, women feared him. The English gentry considered the Duke too dangerous to marry their daughters. The Duke needs an heir.

Lady Cailin, known as the Golden Goddess of Castle Drummond, sweetly obeyed her father’s betrothal of her to the Fifth Duke of Avondale. Marrying the Duke gave her family, their castle, and their holdings protection from both the English and the Scots during the bloody war and the slaughtering aftermath that followed. Neither Cailin nor her family knew the Duke, though they too had heard some dark rumors. Cailin believes her love will encircle the Duke and bring his love in return. Above all she desires her marriage to be happy, unlike that of her parents.   

 What are you working on next?

I’m working on several as yet unsold books. Murder In Istanbul is a contemporary suspense about an archeologist, Nicole, and her archeologist brother, Ian, who is deaf. In a single day, Nicole discovers her brother’s been kidnapped, her purse stolen, and she’s alone in a foreign city with only a mysterious stranger to help. And someone wants the secret she hides…enough to kill her. The mysterious stranger is an undercover CIA Analyst, Josh, who is not an operative, but who tracks the man who murdered his brother. He uses Nicole as bait because his brother’s killer is the same man who kidnapped Nicole’s brother. Josh wants justice. Along the way he finds more than he ever dreamed.

The other book I’m working on takes place during the roaring 1920s during prohibition, when speakeasies were filled with jazz-loving flappers. It’s working title is Cupid Goes Barnstorming. It’s 1925 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Gloria, an orphan, is on her own What happens in the roaring twenties when a wing walking flapper falls in love with a daredevil confirmed bachelor? Rand doesn’t want to share the spotlight of his aviation show with a woman, but his box office appeal lags. He needs her and she needs him. But neither has the time nor the money to bother with romance. Both follow their dream and the other is a hindrance. Falling in love means surrendering their dreams.



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

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.

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?

Avondale sauntered from the smoking room after deliberately losing a game of whist to his father-in-law and, as was now his habit, headed for Loch Drummond.

His nightly trek to the loch gave him time to reflect. Two weeks had passed since he made his vows and surely God had abandoned him.

He opened the back castle door. A burst of cool night air washed over him. He lifted his chin and pulled in a deep breath filled with the taste of bracing, country air. How could he face his beautiful bride? Each night brought more torture.

But tonight he would return to Cailin, otherwise the woman wouldn’t sleep. And he would again permit the sweet innocent to read the Bible to him, but he would sit across the room in the shadows.

At first he’d been angry when he discovered the strength of Cailin’s faith, then he’d felt indulgent. Why not allow her this pleasure when he must deny her so many others? He lengthened his stride until his boots thundered over the marshy moor. Her faith had yet to be tried, so, of course, she held to her naive belief. He fisted his hands. But reading the Bible couldn’t help him. Nothing and no one could.

His frown softened. Yet her turquoise eyes sparkled and her creamy complexion glowed when she defended the faith he questioned. And he’d grown to appreciate the intelligence behind the beauty of her angelic face. He beat one fist against the other. Why could he not be like other men?

She knew exactly who she was. She was bright and shining, inside and out. Sure of herself. Secure in her world, whether inside the castle or out with the common folk. He heaved a sigh. Would that he had that ability. He growled deep in his throat. Since he’d wed, the darkness had grown worse. How much longer could he hide his past from Cailin?

He’d silenced her questions with anger he barely controlled. And turned a stony face from her hurt.

He’d hoped being away from court and living inside the MacMurry castle would help. Of course it hadn’t. He walked a tightrope. One wrong step and he’d tumble to his death. And he’d take sweet Cailin with him. He should never have married.

Yet he must produce a legal male heir.

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.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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