Archive for the ‘Friday Features’ Category

Friday Features’

Released March 5 from

Chris Pavesic,

the author of Starter Zone: The Revelation Chronicles, the first book in a new steampunk mystery series. Looks like another best seller for this fine author. But you be the judge.

When the Temples north of Chiaroscuro are burned and followers of the Sun Goddess are murdered, Catherine, a bard of the Ealdoth Temple, sets out to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. With only the help of a traveling group of minstrels and a retired fae investigator, Catherine must solve the mystery before more people are killed.

So saddle up your clockwork mount, buckle on your electro-dagger, and join Catherine as she finds herself pitted against members of her own Temple, rogue members of the Seelie Court, and a seemingly unstoppable army of undead.

In Chiaroscuro it’s important to keep the faith.

Services were scheduled to commence in an hour, and Ernest needed to be ready. He struck a match and lit the first gaslight, watching the flame take hold and flare up. The light pushed back the shadows so parishioners were able to find their way to the pews without stumbling. He would extinguish the artificial lights right before the service so the effect of the sunlight illuminating the darkness hit with maximum impact as it flooded through the skylights.

The parishioners would marvel at how the Temple filled with the Goddess’s Holy Light just in time for the service. Ernest would marvel at the fact that none of them were smart enough to realize he flipped a switch on back of the altar to swing open mechanical shutters.

There was a religious stirring in Grand Marsh more powerful than anything Ernest had experienced in his ten years as a Sacerd. The services at dawn, noon, and sundown were packed. Few of the farmers went out to the fields. They worked in town on community projects or sat drinking at the tavern. Their wives remained in the town square, full of chatter, instead of staying on their farmsteads. Their thin voices filled the air. The youngest children were kept close while the teens clustered in protective packs far enough away to keep their discussions out of reach of their parents’ ears. But close enough to be in sight at all times. None of them wandered off.

Three times a day they filled the Temple, ready to hear his words. Faces tilted up to him. Man and woman, young and old. And none of his parishioners would confess why they were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they were neglecting their farms. They were afraid of speaking blasphemy. But he knew the reason, and it caused a lift in his heart that was not due to religious inspiration. They were scared, plain and simple, and it gave him hope.

Since being assigned to the far parish almost five years ago, a posting he saw as an end to the upward progress of his career in the Temple, he struggled daily to swallow his disappointment. It wouldn’t leave, and it was bitter. Bitter.

In this remote village, far from the bustle and industry of Chiaroscuro, the quality of his life, the texture of his life, changed. He longed for life in the city. The world seemed to have shifted into two zones. The pace of life for the city dwellers increased while people living in the countryside were being left behind.

Time’s arrow struck fastest through the densest populations. Sacerds assigned to any of the major cities made more connections and accumulated more power in a single week than he did in a year. Exerting influence was impossible when the spheres of power were spinning outside of his reach, moving too fast for him to see, let alone have an impact.

The wound to his pride stung the most. The elders had hurt his feelings. To be dismissed so easily, passed along so casually—it was like the swatting of an annoying insect. The Temple elders did not treat him as if he mattered, as if his family ties were consequential. True he was a third son, but of a noble line. And they assigned him to a rustic Temple to attend to common folk far below his station.

Very little was required of him here. Or, more precisely, very little of what he did here interested him. He burned to return to the central Temple and to be part of the intrigues and power shifts. This attracted him more than caring for the simple souls of farmers and shopkeepers. Power was why he joined the Temple, and what he was now denied.

But not for long. The thought clanged in his mind with undeniable rightness. Not righteousness. It was an important distinction. Would the Goddess sanction his actions? Probably not, but he was past caring about her approval. During all of the ceremonies, all of the prayer and introspection, he had never felt any divine presence. He had never witnessed any miracles, and doubted their existence.

But power, oh he had seen the existence of power. Political. Social. Religious. Whatever you called it really didn’t matter. Get enough people to follow you. Enough people to believe in what you were selling. This was the belief that could move the world.

There was only one woman in his life he needed to please now, and she held no divinity. Merci had offered him a way out of this rural purgatory, and he had accepted. Truth be told, he had grabbed at it like a castaway might grab at a line from a passing airship. If the price were the damnation of his soul, so be it.

He glanced out the window at the transport coming down the lane. A high quality clockwork carriage with the Temple’s Crest stamped on the doors rattled over the boards strewn across the irrigation ditch and stopped, parking in the speckled light cast by the ornament trees planted along the lane. The carriage blocked traffic, but the driver did not seem to care. Elder members of the clergy, Hlytere, and above, felt they had the right of way. Others had to go around.

A pale, dark-haired woman emerged and stood for a moment looking around. She pulled the hood of her dark cloak over her hair and walked through the yard toward the Temple. Ernest’s gaze followed her, trying to imagine who this stranger was.

Her footsteps sounded in the aisle and, when he turned from window, she was almost upon him. Her speed startled him. When he saw her face to face he realized she was younger than he had supposed. Too young to be a Hlytere, but her use of the carriage meant she was favored by the Temple elders. The seed of jealousy radiated through him. He felt it in his chest and the pit of his stomach. He struggled to keep the emotion off his face.

“Greetings.” He shook her hand with a firm grasp. Her hands were small and smooth and white. “Will you come in for a moment?” He led her to the small reception room off the main area that contained a round table and several wooden chairs. He lit a cheroot, offered her one, which she declined, and they sat down.

“Please forgive me for calling on you so close to mid-day Services, Sacerd Ernest.” She paused. “You are Sacerd Ernest, correct? It’s not like me to presume.”

“Of course. I’m glad you came. I watched you drive up, you know, and I wondered who you were. We don’t get many visitors from the Temple here.”

“I’m surprised you don’t recognize me, cousin. Of course, I didn’t recognize you. So perhaps it’s not so surprising.”

“I’m sorry. I …”

“I’m from the cadet line of our family tree. My father is the elder son of the younger son of our line.”

His brow creased in thought. “Grace?”

“Yes,” she said with a smile, reaching out to touch his hand. Her fingers rested there for a moment too long. Lingered. And then she leaned back in the chair and crossed her legs, which were slim and bare beneath her robe.

Sacerd Ernest regarded his guest, wondering that her physical presence should suddenly dawn upon him so. She was more beautiful than he had thought at first. Her skin was clear and lovely, and her eyes and mouth were made up carefully and well.

What’s her game? He licked at the perspiration that appeared upon his upper lip.

“I would like your help in a small matter. And of course I wanted to meet you.”

“You did?”

“Our sponsor has spoken of you with such affection.”

“Our superior?” He used the wrong word to see if she would correct him.

“Technically, I suppose, she may be yours. I’ve never thought much of the rules of hierarchy in the Temple.” She cocked her head, listening to noises from the other room. Some of his parishioners had started to file in for the service. “It’s such a mercy, isn’t it?’

Ah, code words.

She must think she’s being clever, although he had no idea who could possibly overhear their conversation. It was only just dawning on him why she must be here. In his town. In his Temple. But he didn’t care. All he wanted to do was get out of Grand Marsh. Get back to Chiaroscuro. It didn’t bother him that people, his parishioners, may die, or suffer a fate worse than death. He just wanted to get out.

It’s not my fault if I’m following orders.

But that was a poor excuse, wasn’t it? Guilt flared, hot and strong.

Do you want to stay in Grand Marsh forever? Ministering to the townsfolk? Do you?

No … but he didn’t want to hurt people. Those conflicting thoughts pulled at him. There was the question of right and wrong. What was right for him might go wrong for others. But that was the way it had to be.

Thus he banished the guilt. When something inside of him tried to protest again, tried to tell him to think before he did this, he smothered it.

“When?” He didn’t have any time for nonsense. The quicker it occurred, the quicker he resumed his rightful place.

“In two days. I have some items in my transport that need to be set up in the Temple, but kept out of view.” She smiled and spoke a little louder so that the earliest arrivals overheard her. “I wish I could stay to help with the Mass, but I am needed back in Chiaroscuro.” She lowered her voice. “Officially I never left the city.”

“Of course.” He guessed that she had no desire to partake in the service. “I will help you with whatever you need.” Whatever may come of it, he had gone too far to stop now.

Chris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.


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Friday Features’


Lizzie T. Leaf

shares her

Baked Apple French Toast

Want a romantic breakfast that is easy to prepare and tastes great? I have just the meal for you. Try my Baked Apple French Toast with a side of sausage patties. Top the meal off with mimosas and let the magic begin!

Baked Apple French Toast

 Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
3 – 5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
½ cup dried cranberries
12 slices firm bread, diced
8 eggs
4 cups milk
2 tbsp. vanilla
Cinnamon sugar to taste

Melt butter and sugar in a skillet. Add apples and then cook 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer ingredients to a 13” x 9” baking dish.

Scatter cream cheese over the apples. Sprinkle on cranberries. Top evenly with bread.

Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla together in a medium-sized bowl. Carefully pour over the bread.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cover with cling wrap. Store in refrigerator overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator no less than 45 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake 50 – 60 minutes or until firm to the touch. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with your favorite syrup.

Here is a little from Lizzie’s latest romantic release.

Following the Powers directive to unite soul mates, a Scottish Cailleach’s magic will have repercussions in several realms.

Mixed-blood author Ian McCabe, grandson of Fae and gods, tries to deny his powers while hiding his true origins from the human world. When he discovers mortal, Emma Grant unconscious at his front door, his world starts to change.

Tour director Emma Grant leads a group of senior ladies through Scotland. The breakdown of their bus on a rural Scottish backroad has her sloshing through the rain and mud on foot. Her efforts to seek help results in a fall that knocks her unconscious. She awakens to find the man of her dreams staring into her eyes.

Both feel an instant attraction, but will his secrets and her distrust of men keep them apart.

A few lines that tweak a grin.
Yep, at this rate, a long three weeks lay ahead. No one had told Emma that the dozen school teachers ranged in ages from sixty-nine to eighty-eight. Good grief, what happened to women at this age sitting on the front porch and enjoying their rocking chairs?

Mildred waved away the correction “Of course, dear. Whatever you say. I just want to know, will we see any men in kilts soon? I want to see what they wear under them.”

Dirty old woman. She asked that question at least half a dozen times before we got on the bus and stated the reason just as often.

Read the first chapter on Amazon.

To read excerpts from other books by Lizzie T. Leaf please click onto Amazon.

Lizzie T. Leaf loved books since she opened her first one. Her dream was to write them herself. Lost in the hectic day to day world of family, job, laundry and housework, writing became a distant memory. When the twinkling ember did spark, it was usually doused by someone demanding their share of her time.

Lizzie’s life went full circle. The desire to put the stories that continued to play in her head on paper emerged stronger than ever, and at a time when there was someone who encouraged. Now she lives her dream.

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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Friday Features

We’re going on tour via

Goddess Fish Promotion!

For the month of March we are going on a Goddess Fish Promotions Virtual Tour for Can’t Stop the Music by C.D. Hersh, a 154 page fantasy available now from Soul Mate Publishing. The tour will run every Wednesday for 4 weeks starting on March 7, and the book is available on Amazon.


We will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. So the more places you visit to see what others think of Can’t Stop the Music and comment the better chance you have of winning.


Jammed highways, food shortages, and rainstorms can’t stop the music when hippies Rose and Dakota hear the melody of love at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. Or can it? When a jealous wannabe girlfriend and misunderstandings drive them apart, the couple loses track of one another in the massive crowd. Will they find each other again, or live lives of missed opportunities?


March 7: Sharing Links and Wisdom

March 7: Andi’s Book Reviews

March 14: Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance

March 14:

March 21: The Reading Addict

March 21: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

March 28: Kit ‘N Kabookle

March 28: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love



College senior and hippie wannabe Rosemary—Rose for short—has a teaching job within her grasp, but she wants more. She wants love, the kind of love that has bound her parents for so many years. When she’s dumped by her current boyfriend because her morals can’t bring her to give into free love, she finds herself at Woodstock in the middle of the biggest free-love, music festival of the 60s. Alone, again. That is until a magical tree grants her wish and she finds the man of her dreams—and loses him before she really knows who he is.


Dakota meets the girl of his dreams at Woodstock, but a jealous wannabe girlfriend drives them apart before he can discover Rose’s last name and where she comes from. After he sees a disappearing tree that promises him true love, a frantic search to find Rose comes up empty-handed.


Magic and music brings them together at Woodstock 1969. Misunderstandings tear them apart. Will two flower children find one another again, or live lives of missed opportunities?


Can’t Stop the Music is available on Amazon.

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Friday Feature


Two regency romances


Emma Lane

New Regency Romance from the incomparable Emma Lane that is destined to be a best seller. A firm believer in love and all things beautiful, Emma has dedicated these two stories to love and lovers everywhere.

A Valentine Masquerade
Two of Ms. Lane’s most interesting characters return in a vignette of mature family romance and affection as Lady Jane discovers the authority of the title, Duchess of Leaver. Romance shimmers with suspicious matchmaking in progress, while a whimsical young viscount creates a hilarious solution to end a perplexing mystery. Into the blissful partnership between Lady Jane and her faux pirate, the Duke of Leaver, an old enemy reappears causing consternation.

A Valentine Surprise
Love is in the air, mysterious adventures and old friendships abound. Which couple solves the mystery of the stolen treasures and who receives a precious necklace of love? A Valentine house party on a country estate creates entertainment for the entire family while cupid works his magic. Romance simmers between the eldest daughter and the young viscount,her handsome suitor. Regency Romance at its finest seduction in Valentine Masquerade.

Emma Lane enjoys leaving her garden for a few hours to dip into the romance genre Regency era of history. Join her for a glimpse of a half selkie fairy as she teases a powerful duke and fights the curse of a lowly, evil warlock. Other Regency romances are available on Amazon and Wild Rose Press. As Janis Lane she writes a series of Cozy Mysteries for Soul Mate Publishing.

Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest is in the hot seat

discussing his three novels


Ellen from ItsWireNow.com.

The year is 1671. René Gilbert’s destiny glints from the blade of a slashing rapier. The only way he can protect those he loves is to regain the power and knowledge of an ancient lifetime. From Bordeaux to Spain to Morocco, René is tested and with each turn of fate he gathers enemies and allies, slowly reclaiming the knowledge and power

To uncover the truths and secrets awaiting in Morocco, Elliot Baker has kindly returned to ItsWriteNow.com for the third time to chat about The Sun God’s Heir: Return. I love seeing authors progress with their writing careers, so I’m glad you’ve taken a few minutes out of your busy schedule to chat with me. What’s been going on since we last caught up in September 2017 with The Sun God’s Heir?

The novel has won a couple of contests which is a hoot. Book one has remained in Amazon’s top 10 Free books in its primary category of Sea Adventures and in the top 20 in Historical and Fantasy since its launch in January of 2016. It has enjoyed over 27,000 downloads.

That’s fantastic news! What a great testament to the quality of your work. With fantastic feedback from both contests and the reading public, I’m sure you’ve had great motivation to keep yourself working hard. What have you been up since September?
Exploring the strange and challenging world of book marketing. Does a tree make a sound when it falls in the woods if no one is there to hear it? I’d like to thank the readers of The Sun God’s Heir for listening. I am also beginning to write the next book continuing with these characters only in other lives and time periods.

I’m eager to hear about your new book, and I’m sure the readers are too, but first let’s chat about that strange world of book marketing. What have you been doing with marketing? Have you been using social media or your own site to kick things off?
I am slowly learning the ropes. I’ve been a member of Instagram since my start, but will soon begin to inhabit the page. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words. I had a graphic artist render René and Akeefa and the drawing of Akeefa is very close to the picture in my head. Who knows. She may show up. Hard to decide whether to leave people’s images of my characters alone or share mine. If you want to see what she looks like in my head, or think I should put the image up on Instagram, use the contact form on my website and let me know.

That is a tricky one. Pictures of the characters are great and can look fantastic, but some readers do get disappointed when the pictures don’t match what’s in their head. Personally, I think it’s a great idea to show a little taste of how you see life in your books. Are these characters in your mind when you write?
I keep my mind as open as I can. I don’t think my characters are alive, but their patterns, which I’ve thought about a lot, are. If I’m open to it, the pattern makes a raspberry sound in my mind when I consider having the character do something contrary to their pattern. There is always the overarching ‘why.’

As a reader, you always hope there is an overarching why. Looking back on it, what do you think was the greatest why or what you want readers to take from your characters?
The accumulation of power will not bring you joy. It will not even bring you security and the escape from that which you fear. Fear and its manifestation, anger does not lead to joy which is the only reason to play this game. Good thing we get to choose.

Indeed we do. Was the exploration of these ideas of power, security, fear and joy what you had in your mind when you first started writing or did you have another target that you were working towards?
There are three books in the Sun God’s Heir trilogy. I had a general idea of how I wanted to finish, but the actual story of the main characters did not present itself until near the end of the writing. I had a couple of what if it doesn’t moments, but for the most part, (I don’t know why) I was confident that it would show up. I’m very pleased with the ending. After you’ve read over eleven hundred pages, the ending better be satisfying.

There’s nothing worse as a reader or writer than to be emotionally invested in a story, and finally get to the end and find that it is rubbish. What steps did you take to make sure your endings were satisfying? Did you bring in elements from your life to make the overall story solid?
Writing is a funny thing. We all enter the zone. Olympic athletes train to do it. So do yogis. Most of the time it’s unconscious and fleeting and we’re not even aware we passed through the state. A writer or musician or artist experiences the zone after a time of concentration. Stuff comes out that seems to be better or beyond what the writer or musician feels capable of. I think that we touch our subconscious and download patterns that we’ve unconsciously put together. The output seems brighter and though we take credit for it, we are always a little dubious of our ability to have created it. There are characters in The Sun God’s Heir from whom I learn as they speak. One of my greatest motivations to write is to get them to speak so I can listen. Sounds pretentious, but I’m glad for the help.

I’m glad you found satisfaction reaching the end, but do you have the same satisfaction at the beginning. What was the original idea behind your book that you wanted to continue to explore until you were fully satisfied?
The Sun God’s Heir began with a remembered dream. Like most folks, I don’t remember dreaming that often, but this one morning, I carried the dream into waking consciousness. It wasn’t the whole story, but there was the protagonist and antagonist as well as the germ of the story and the setting. The story stayed with me and refused to go away until years later, with the help of NANOWRIMO, I began to write it down.

Other than trying to conquer the challenge of NANOWRIMO, why do you write?
The easiest answer and the most trite is because I can. A great joy for me in reading a story is when I am transported somewhere else for a few minutes. When I come back to this reality, to my chair, I feel nothing so much as gratitude to the writer for having helped me take a break from the stress of this life. Often I feel recharged with the emotional energy from the scene or story. I wanted to do that. There is nothing so sweet as when someone tells me in so many words that they went somewhere for a few minutes.

Do you feel that your author voice or writing, in general, has progressed as you’ve continued to practice your craft?
We all have a voice in our heads. And we all have stories to tell. The trick is to stay seated long enough to access our authentic voice. Takes time and patience. Unfortunately it also often takes a support system to give the writer the energy that can’t be found in the moment. Just like listening to yourself in a tape recorder, you are often less than excited by the sound of your own voice. Stay with it.

The publishing process is fairly straight-forward if you set up your work well in the first place, which means that you can spend more time on what matters. The content. And speaking about content and deciding what you want, what are you working on at the moment?
Research for the next series of novels.

It sounds like early days. At the beginning stage of a new project, you must be asking yourself a lot of questions. I’m going to ask you a few questions that you may not have considered when you’ve been busy beavering away. But you never know, your book might be better from answering a question like, if you’re in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
You run into less stuff.

Always advantageous when driving. Continuing onto the advantages, why is lemon juice made with artificial flavour, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
Because the paradoxes of life are what make it fun.

You gotta love those paradoxes. Looking back on the Sun God’s Heir, what was your biggest learning experience?
It ain’t over till it’s over.

Elliott, I’m so glad that the door has already opened for your writing career, but I hope that you are able to open it wider and have so much more fun and success with it!
Thanks, Ellen, I really do appreciate your support.

The Sun God’s Heir RETURN Book One FREE on Amazon
The Sun God’s Heir REBIRTH Amazon
The Sun God’s Heir REDEMPTION Book Three Amazon

Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and performed throughout the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott has turned to writing novels. His debut novel, The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book One of the trilogy, was released this past January and Rebirth, Book Two released in May.

A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his beautiful wife Sally Ann.

Learn more about Elliot Baker on his website. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook. Like Elliott’s Author Page on Facebook to learn all his latest news.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

A Series in the Making


Marci Boudreaus

Never before have I felt the need to make a series bible. Maybe because I’ve only written one series before and had no idea what the hell I was doing!

On to series two…the title is still a work in progress, but I have some ideas that I’m just waiting for my editor to tell me are crap so I can start over. (She’d say it very nicely, though.)

This new series is about a detective agency run and operated by some pretty kick ass dames who don’t take crap from nobody—especially the men in their lives. This is also completely out of the norm for me, so we’ll see what (if anything) happens to it.

Meet the ladies of the yet to be named agency that will be doing awesome to be determined kick ass things! Also known as Em’s imaginary friends for the next year or so.

Problem is, unlike my last series, I’m dropping all the characters into book one. Most will be in the background so I don’t boggle anyone’s brain with a huge cast. But, even so, my brain gets boggled so I gotta keep all these people and their nuances straight in my head.

And, that right there, folks, is what that whole series bible thing is for.

I get it now.

Since I’ve never done this before, I’m totally winging it. Pinterst pages. Word docs. Notes in two different notebooks that will eventually all be put in one place. I have pictures. Descriptions. Quotes. All kinds of things that someday, I’ll look at and go “DAMN! I totally forgot she’s got blue eyes not green!”

I’m working on getting organized enough to have all this in one place. I’ll get there. I’m just a wee bit slow, but I am taking this whole thing very seriously, y’all.

I’d love to introduce you to the ladies, but book one is still with my editor and I don’t want to jinx this series before it is even out of diapers, but keep an eye out. I think you’ll be hearing about them soon!

Until then…any suggestions on how to keep all this stuff straight?

As a teen, Marci Boudreaux skipped over young adult books and jumped right into the world of romance novels. She’s never left. Marci lives with her husband, two kiddos, and their numerous pets. Until recently, she was a freelance writer appearing monthly in a variety of local magazines. She now focuses on writing and her work as a content editor.

Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn’t like when she does that in real life.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about



Eris Field

Photo by Chris Sharp

Marriage is usually thought of as being brought about in one of two ways: love-based marriages and arranged marriages. Love-based marriages are easy to define. They are marriages arranged by the two people to be married–two people who are wildly, deliciously in love. Arranged marriages have greater variety. Traditionally, arranged marriages have been thought of as marriages orchestrated by others—parents, family members, matchmakers, or religious leaders. However, there is an atypical form of arranged marriage, dearly loved by novelists—the marriage of convenience—that is the marriage is arranged by the two people to be married but it is not based on love, definitely not on love or there would be no story. Finally there is the maverick form, On-line Dating, the method used by 40 million Americans to meet suitable partners for the purpose of matrimony. Overall, love-based marriages are more common in the Western World and arranged marriages more common in traditional societies.

In love-based marriages, it is the mutual attraction of the two people for each other that leads to marriage. Their goal is immediate, blissful happiness. Their motto is Love Conquers All. Issues such as expectations of their extended families, whose work with take precedence, how money will be managed, religious practices, where they will live, and previously acquired debts may or may not be discussed by the two of them prior to the marriage.

In contrast, in arranged marriages, the goal is not immediate happiness for the two people being married but long-term well-being and lack of problems for them and, equally important, for the members of both families that are being united by the marriage. It is accepted that, if the selection process is carefully carried out by people who know the couple well and have their best interests in mind, the bride and groom will be well-matched and will come to love each other. The motto in arranged marriages is Love Comes After Marriage. To increase the odds of a trouble-free marriage, it is common for the person arranging the marriage to present the following information about the prospective partner:

1) Reputation of the individual and of all the members of the family,
2) Vocation/career of the individual and how long employed,
3) Wealth of the individual and the family,
4) Physical appearance including grooming,
5) Values such as traditional beliefs or liberal beliefs,
6) Religion, and
7) Medical history of the entire family (possibly to rule out potential mates with a family history of genetically transmitted disorders).

In arranged marriages, it is generally accepted that the couple will have the final say in accepting or rejecting the proposed candidate.

There is a different type of arranged marriage, the forced marriage, in which the couple does not have the final say. Most frequently it is a young girl who is forced to marry against her will. If she refuses, she may face physical punishment, banishment, or death (honor violence). Forced marriages are more common in the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia, and India; however, they do exist in other countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. among their immigrant populations. The reasons for forced marriages include:

1) To strengthen family or tribal ties,
2) To increase family wealth,
3) Parents’ cultural or religious beliefs,
4) To control behavior of young women (reduce chance of sexual activity),
5) Settle disputes between families/tribes,
6) Make retribution for an injury or insult,
7) Resolve tribal feuds, blood feuds.
8) To help someone gain entry to the U.S. i.e. to get a ‘green card.’

The United Nations views forced marriages as a form of human rights abuse and the practice has been outlawed by many countries.

In comparing the outcomes of love-based marriages and arranged marriages, it appears at first glance that the divorce rate is lower among arranged marriages. However, it should be kept in mind that the acceptance of divorce is lower in the parts of the world where arranged marriages are highest. There have been studies showing that couples who met through on-line dating were happy, loving, and committed. If there is any conclusion to be drawn in considering love-based marriages versus arranged marriages, it seems that the chance of a successful marriage may be increased by knowing more about the person before the marriage takes place.

In my book Lattices of Love Emine Wheeler, a 26-year-old Turkish-American professor of psychiatric nursing, has vowed to marry for love, like her American father. When Emine meets Marc van Etten, a reticent Dutch psychiatrist, at a conference in Amsterdam, she recognizes him as the man she has been waiting for and knows that she can’t live behind the lattices of old harem rules any longer.

Marc, who believes that his colleagues blame him for his wife’s suicide, restricts his life to work and caring for the troubled four-year-old girl he calls his daughter. But, when Emine runs into difficulties, he offers his assistance. Emine, ignoring the age-old harem rule that forbids talking or spending time with a man who is not a family member, accepts his help.

Later, when Emine must choose between accepting the family-approved proposal of a man she does not love or damaging her family’s honor, Marc offers a solution—marriage. It will save her family’s honor and provide a mother for his daughter.

Believing that her fierce love for Marc will be enough, Emine agrees, only to discover that it is not. When Marc erroneously accuses her of betraying him, she flees. Realizing belatedly that he loves Emine beyond everything in his life, Marc must find a way to win her back.

Here’s a little from Lattices of Love for you.

Emine Wheeler, a 26-year-old Turkish-American professor of psychiatric nursing, has vowed to marry for love, like her American father. When she meets Marc van Etten, a reticent Dutch psychiatrist, at a conference in Amsterdam, she recognizes him as the man she has been waiting for and knows that she can’t live behind the lattices of old harem rules any longer.

Marc, who believes that his colleagues blame him for his wife’s suicide, restricts his life to work and caring for the troubled four-year-old girl he calls his daughter. But, when Emine runs into difficulties, he offers his assistance. Emine, ignoring the age-old harem rule that forbids talking or spending time with a man who is not a family member, accepts his help.

Later, when Emine must choose between accepting the family-approved proposal of a man she does not love or damaging her family’s honor, Marc offers a solution—marriage. It will save her family’s honor and provide a mother for his daughter.

Believing that her fierce love for Marc will be enough, Emine agrees, only to discover that it is not. When Marc erroneously accuses her of betraying him, she flees. Realizing belatedly that he loves Emine beyond everything in his life, Marc must find a way to win her back.

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Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen-year-old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who she later married. He told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, about the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and about forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—an endeavor requiring a great deal of hard labor.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, her interests include Honor Killings, eradicating female genital mutilation, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about the old cities of the world.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.


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