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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Rose in Bloom... #RB4U #HotBeachRomance

I love summer, don't you? This year, I got together with 14 other authors and decided that we needed to start the summer off right. We all wrote stories based on beach themes and will make them available for a limited time for 99 CENTS in a boxed set called HOT BEACH ROMACE:SAND, SUNSHINE AND SIZZLE. How awesome is that?

My contribution to the series is the first story in my Carnal Coed series, called TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE. This series came about because I wanted to write fun, quirky reads that could be finished during an afternoon at the beach. All of the books in my series focus on college-aged mena dn women who are exploring life and figuring out who they are.

I like to think of these characters as roses ready to bloom. Each one of them has huge potential, but something holds them back from being the person they were meant to be. Roses are considered beautiful and are associated with love. Likewise, each of my stories are about women who are exploring what love means and finding relationships that are meaningful to them.

In TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE, the heroine, Hannah, is a graduate student in chemistry at a local university. She is shy and quiet, with only one close friend. This friend convinces her to go to the end-of-the-year department party, which is being held at a local beach. The two Irish exchange students in her department are there, and the flirting that had been going off and on all year is suddenly kicked up a notch. Sparks fly and Hannah is faced with a decision - which man is right for her?

I don't want ot give away the ending, so I'll just say that at that beach party Hannah starts to bloom. She comes out of her quiet, introverted shell and starts to become the woman she was meant to be. Pretty neat, eh?

Summer is a great time for exploration and rediscovering your passions. Tell me your favorite summer past time in the comments section below. I'd love to hear from you!

And why not let the romances in this boxed set spark some ideas? The stories have a wide range of heat levels, so I'm sure there is something there for all sorts of tastes and preferences. Check it out!

Hot Beach Romance: Sand, Sunshine and Sizzle


Buy links: 

15 contemporary romance stories by best-selling and award-winning authors. Each book has a beach setting, an irresistible love story and high sizzle factor.

ECSTASY BY THE SEA-Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey – When it’s pointed out that a key point for a new marriage has been overlooked, Trevor Bauer plans the perfect honeymoon getaway down to the daintiest swatch of lace. His detail-obsessed bride won’t know what hit her when he sweeps her away for a weekend filled with pure ecstasy by the sea. . .

BURN ME-Éirinn Brennan-Emma Clark has made a decision that will impact the rest of her life. But a chance encounter with the handsome windsurfer Kevin Nash can change a woman’s mind about a lot of things. In the end, it’ll be up to you to determine her fate.

FINDING JOY-EmKay Connor-When Landon Wells is left standing at the altar with no bride and no explanation, there’s only one logical place to find her: Hideaway Bay. Can this desperate groom convince his runaway bride to reveal her secrets and give them another chance to say I do?

KISSING DRAKE-Jenna Dales – Paige Owens’ bookshop is ready for another summer tourist season on quaint, quiet Butterfly Island. But sometimes her naughty beach books leave Paige feeling a little…lonely. When a late storm blows in a sexy, by-the-numbers, venture capitalist Drake Dorsey, she figures a one-night mini vacation is all she needs, but Drake is counting on so much more…

MADRONA SUNSET-Jami Davenport-Welcome to Madrona Island, where the main entertainment on Friday nights is a high school football game, the pace is slow, and the residents wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Meet a wounded warrior suffering from paralyzing guilt and a woman pining for her dead husband–both damaged souls craving comfort for a moment or a lifetime.

THE GOOD ENOUGH HUSBAND-Sylvie Fox-Hannah Morrison Keesling hops into her SUV and drives away from the man she’d thought was good enough. When her dog gets sick on the way, she turns to local veterinarian Ben Cooper. Stranded with a sick dog on the black sands of California’s Lost Coast things quickly heat up.

TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE-Suzanne Rock – Is the shy, straight-laced Hannah open to a three-way relationship? Two handsome Irish exchange students will have to do everything they can to convince her that two men are better than one.

THE POSSE-Tawdra Kandle-Being a young widow was never in Jude Hawthorne’s plans. After her husband’s death, the last thing she’s looking for is another chance at love. But if her husband’s best friends, the Posse, have anything to say about it, love is just what she’s going to get.

HOW TO SAY GOODBYE-Amber Lin-Dane lives for the salty breeze and a sweet wave, because that’s all he has. He lives on the streets. Then he meets Amy—smart and accomplished, she’s everything he’s not. He wants to be the sort of man who deserves her, except that means facing down his past.

LAST CALL-Alannah Lynne-For the first time in years, Sunny Black puts herself first and takes a trip on the wild side with a customer whose raw sexuality is too strong to deny. The next morning, however, she learns that in addition to rocking her world, the stranger might destroy everything and everyone she’s worked so hard to protect.

MIAMI DREAMS-Layla Wilcox-Recent widow Deena Montgomery answers a model call for a new lingerie line, thinking she is leaving a life built on lies behind her. Photographer Ben “Hottie” Hoddi wants to help her get the job, but doing so might reveal a secret in his past, and Deena has made it very clear that her new life demands transparency.

A lifetime New Englander, Suzanne married her college sweetheart and has been with him for over twenty years. Every summer she drags her husband and two daughters to Maine on a quest for the perfect lobster dinner. Every fall she can be found down in Foxboro, Massachusetts cheering on her favorite football team. In between those trips, she’s a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor and a sometimes masseuse. To keep her sanity, she often drinks copious amounts of coffee and stares at the blank screen of her laptop, dreaming of great adventures. Sometimes she even writes them down for others to enjoy.
Suzanne is represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency and writes mainstream romances under the pen name Ava Conway.

 Connect with Suzanne online:

Monday, June 29, 2015

Just why is June wedding month? #RB4U #MFRWauthor

I thought I’d do a little research and quickly turned up some fun info to share with everyone here. I’ve never been married, and I can’t recall a single wedding that I wrote into a book, so this really was an interesting search!

So many traditions, and they all have pretty cool origins. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.

Queen Victoria is credited with starting the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840—before then, brides simply wore their best dress regardless of colour.

The tradition of matching maids dates back to Roman times, when people believed evil spirits would attend the wedding in attempt to curse the bride and groom. Bridesmaids were required to dress exactly like the bride in order to confuse the spirits and bring luck to the marriage. (Maybe these spirits were short-sighted, or not too bright?)

On a similar note, brides traditionally wear veils because ancient Greeks and Romans believed they protected her from evil spirits.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue... This finds its origin in an Old English rhyme. Something old for continuity; something new represents optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity.

The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where guests broke a loaf of bread over the bride's head for fertility's sake.

Have you ever wondered where the expression “tying the knot” came from? In many cultures—including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings—the hands of the bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple's commitment to each other and their new bond.

Backtracking to the spirit thing again. According to tradition, the groom carries the bride across the threshold to valiantly protect her from evil spirits lurking below.

June weddings: the Roman goddess Juno rules over marriage and childbirth, hence the popularity of June weddings.

The honeymoon has its roots in history and legend, too: Ancient Norse bridal couples went into hiding after the wedding, and a family member would bring them a cup of honey wine for 30 days—or one moon—which is how the term "honeymoon" originated.

Other things of note:

How did June come to be the most popular wedding month? If you dig you will discover that there are some practical notions behind this modern-day wedding trend.

Harvest: In the past, couples often chose to marry in accordance to their peak harvest time. Having a June wedding meant that a possible Summer pregnancy would still be early enough in the season that a wife could help out with manual work during that year’s harvest period. (No surprise in this thinking, is there?) It also meant that after a Spring birth, the recovered bride would be in good enough health to assist in the next year's harvest. (Always have to be planning for the work that needs to be done!)

Cleanliness: The "annual bath" – before we went in for daily bathing, it was a luxury reserved as once-a-year event that the that most of the population observed during the last part of May or beginning of June. As expected, right after their "annual bath", many couples decided to tie the knot since each person was probably their most presentable (and less fragrant) during this time. No further comment needed, is there?

Weddings: Customs and Traditions

Although engagement rings have been popular through the ages, it wasn't until Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented a diamond to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 that the tradition of offering the most enduring gem on Earth became popular. These days, the majority of brides receive diamond engagement rings.

The Time and the Place:

Ancient Greeks used pig entrails to determine the luckiest day to marry.

The Japanese traditionally looked to an ancient astrological calendar for propitious days.
In early U.S. history, Wednesday was the luckiest day for weddings. Friday was avoided as the "hangman's day."

Sunday used to be a popular wedding day; it was the one day most people were free from work. Puritans in the seventeenth century put a stop to this, believing it was improper to be festive on the Sabbath. Today, Saturdays are busiest, despite this old rhyme: Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all.

June is still the most popular month to marry, followed by August, July, May, and September. The goddess Juno was the protector of women in all aspects of life, but especially in marriage and childbearing, so a wedding in Juno's month was considered most auspicious. The idea of June weddings also comes from the Celtic calendar. On the Cross-Quarter Day of Beltane, or May Day (May 1), young couples would pair off to court for 3 months and then be wed on the next Cross-Quarter Day (Lammas Day, August 1). Youths being impatient, the waiting period was shortened to mid-June, and the popularity of June weddings was ensured.

The Wedding Party: According to tradition, only an unmarried woman could be a maid of honor, and only the brother, best friend, or father of the groom could be the best man.

The original purpose of the bridesmaid and the best man was to aid in the capture of the bride, get her to church on time, and keep any hostile family members away! Now the bridesmaids usher the guests to their seats, the best man carries the ring, and offers a toast.

Once the flower girl's role was not simply to spread petals down the aisle but, with her shield of virginity, to protect the bride from the Devil. Today, the ring bearer can be a girl, boy, or even a dog!

For a Smooth Send-Off: Rice is the latest in a long list of fertility symbols that have been thrown at newlyweds. Over the centuries, guests have tossed cakes, grain, fruit, sweetmeats, and biscuits. Nowadays, it's common to shower the couple with rice or the more environmentally-friendly birdseed. Another idea is to toss dried rose petals.

Some great info, use it wisely. *wink*

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Guest Blog: Raven McAllan: A Rose by Any Other Name...

A rose by any other name… or take that peal of wisdom and use it wisely.

They say a rose is the flower for beauty and love. Okay, but what about when it fades and dies? Can you still say it's beautiful and lovable?

I can. I remember how it came to life, grew into itself and gave me pleasure.

Ad I do like those rose petals to use in a Regency book…you know to scent a bath and strewn on a bed.

I guess a lot of people wouldn't agree. They only see the here and now. Get rid of it. It's had its day.

(A bit like I feel after a long walk and too much chocolate)

Some will nip the bud off… others toss it altogether.

Over and done with.

But you know, I do wonder why. That rose has given us so much joy. Now it's time for it to move on.

But… think about it for a moment.

Stop, think, and yes as my mum used to say, take a second to smell the roses, and then remember, we all bloom and fade in one way or another. It happens with everything. It (or we) are created, grow, and bloom, and eventually fade and die. But something (someone) else takes over.

That’s the beautiful circle of life.

And hopefully, it is something positive that will come from it.

Yes, we all know there's not always a happy ever after, but it's worth trying, isn't it?

From the rose? A chance of a second bloom or another bud next year.

From one level of love? Another, deeper level.

That's it, a second chance.

From an oyster. If you're very lucky a pearl. Not every time and not all as perfect as the next one. Like people and roses, they differ.

But wouldn't it be boring if every pearl, every rose, and yes every person was the same.

For instance, let's start with one little part of life.

Think of the love part and add it to the beauty bit. Each one is important, but together, they make something special.

When one beauty fades, another takes its place. It's like love.

Even the happy ever after for this lifetime love.

I guess that's at the basis of our romance stories. Love, how it blooms, changes and hopefully gets stronger.

And snigger yeah, if those pesky characters are in an ornery mood, you get the opposite, and it’s a slanging, shouting, dead rose moment.

You just can't please everyone eh? Ah well, I'm still a believer in love. It evolves and changes for us?

Oh and I'm a believer in roses…and pearls… and I'm not averse to oysters either…

What do you think?

If someone steals your identity and marries a sex god and that sex god husband shows up at your door…do you get to keep him?

Jules has no memory of marrying a sex god—and no woman is that forgetful.

So when the devastatingly handsome Gray turned up on her doorstep looking for his wife and calling said wife by Jules’ name, Jules wondered briefly if she’d landed in an alternative universe. She knows she’s not his wife and so does he, but apparently someone with her name and history is. Is it a case of coincidence or did his missing wife ‘borrow’ Jules’ life?

Even though the dominant Gray sends her knickers aflame with just one look, with a missing wife in the equation, Jules knows there’s no chance of finding out what else he could achieve.

There’s only one thing to do—unravel the mystery and try to keep their hands off each other in the meantime. The first may well prove far easier than the latter.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of light bondage and BDSM.
Publisher's Note: This book was previously published elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound.

Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband—their children having flown the nest—surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.

She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland—the midge.

A lover of reading, she appreciates the history inside a book, and the chance to peek into the lives of those from years ago. Raven admits that she enjoys the research for her books almost as much as the writing; so much so, that sometimes she realizes she's strayed way past the information she needs to know, and not a paragraph has been added to her WIP.

She admits she's no domestic goddess, and wonders why tourists think she might run the local bed and breakfast. She doesn't.

Her lovely long-suffering husband is learning to love the dust bunnies, work the Aga, and be on stand-by with a glass of wine.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wedding in Matrix Crystal Hunters

Since June is the month for weddings, I have a excerpt from Matrix Crystal Hunters. I can't reveal too much since its my ending scene for my couple.

Grandmother crossed her arms. “We haven’t discussed the matrix crystals.”
Maya blinked. Now she wants to talk about the crystals? She turned back to the commander. “She wants to discuss the crystals.”
“I’m a little confused.” The commander rubbed the back of his neck. “You went out in search of the crystals and ended up here. We haven’t heard from you in over two weeks.”
Maya’s mouth dropped open. “Has it really been that long?”
Kim stood. “Her arm isn’t broken, just badly bruised, but she seems to be recovering from some kind of illness.”
“Have you been ill?” the commander asked. “You’ve been gone so long that some of us thought you were dead. We finally received a message but our linguistics department had a little trouble translating it. It appeared to say that we should come here to discuss your dowry.”
Maya tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “I was poisoned. I’m getting better.”
“Poisoned?” Kim and the commander said, at the same time.
Maya frowned. “Wait a minute, did you say dowry?"

Matrix Crystal Hunters is available:
US Kindle

Friday, June 26, 2015

Juggling Multiple Projects - Could you? Should you?

Available Now! 
I can't believe it's the end of June already. Suddenly my writing schedule for the year is starting to feel a little cramped. It's all my own fault of course, I have so many ideas and so much trouble saying no...  Or it could just be that old adage that whatever amount of time you have, you're going to fill it up.

I'm currently working on trying to finish up a book I really should have completed last year, but it just kept being shoved off the calendar to make way for something new and shiny. #:0) I'm also starting work on another book which will go into a box set in late Summer. In addition, I have two more series books that need to be written waiting in the wings and another couple which aren't promised or scheduled, but which I'd really like to finish because they're fun projects.

Add to all that a six book series that I got the rights back on, which needs to be re-edited, revamped, and rebranded before launching again by the end of the year...and you can maybe see why I'm panting a little bit. LOL

Right now you might be asking yourself if I'm just a tiny bit crazy. The answer to that would be, yes, of course I'm crazy...I'm a writer! But seriously, I do sometimes get feeling a little overwhelmed, but the feeling generally has little to do with my writing world and more to do with juggling the real world with all my writing projects.

So why do I do this to myself, you might ask? I would jokingly tell you I have writer's ADD and can't focus on one project for any length of time. That's only partly true. #:0) I actually like being busy, and I also like being productive. In addition, I generally write totally different types of projects at the same time, so I can use one as kind of a brain freshener when I get stuck on the other.

Moving back and forth from sci fi or paranormal to mystery or suspense keeps my brain fresh and agile. The wide creative shift enables me to totally slough off the kinks in the first project and tackle the next project without any hangover from the first one. The shift from one to the other builds creative elasticity. Yes, I'll occasionally put the wrong names into a book because I'm fresh from writing another story, but this doesn't happen as often as you might think.

In the course of doing this over the years, my brain has become a well-toned athlete (except when it isn't, LOL), performing a daily high wire act that rarely finds the net far below. Sure I still get stuck once in a while and, when nearing the end of a book I find I'm unable to shift away from it, but for the most part the system works for me, both short term and over the long haul.

Should you...could you...try juggling more than one writing project at a time? Only you know the answer to that. Not everybody is wired for project shifting. But I can tell you that it has its own challenges and definite rewards. If you're willing to give it a try, you just might discover your own athletic brain along the way!

Happy writing!

Felicity Chance returns to Sinful looking for a message from her father. Following a trail of clues Felly hopes will help her find him, she enlists the invaluable…and distracting…aid of Swamp Team 3. Unfortunately their search is complicated by the usual things—Carter and new mayor Celia Arceneaux have made it their mission to keep a close eye on Swamp Team 3 plus 1. The team also finds itself running from the Russian Mafia as well as the local bad guys. Will Felly and the Swamp Team find her father before all the bad guys do? Or will she get bogged down by the swamp, and sucked into the muck of her father’s shady past?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Guest Blog: Carly Carson: Weddings Are Wonderful!

Weddings are wonderful, and June is a popular month in which to hold them. Regardless of the season, however, most weddings run into one problem - money. Often, there just doesn't seem to be enough of it. And that is precisely the problem in my novel, Duke of Devonwood, a contemporary romance set in modern-day England. 

In this story, it is the step-mother who is trying to marry, and the step-daughter who is determined to find the money to give her beloved step-mom a posh wedding. It's kind of a reversal of the natural order. The two women travel to England, and plenty of problems and complications ensue.

If they are successful in getting the funds for a wedding, the marriage can take place in Westminster Abbey because the groom-to-be is a member of the Order of the Bath and those members can marry at the Abbey. Not many people can marry at Westminster, although Prince William and Kate Middleton did, by virtue of, ahem, his membership in the Royal Family. (They can do things that most of us cannot.) A wedding at Westminster would be a fancy wedding, no doubt, but, alas, would cost more than a bit of cold cash. It's not a venue for small, informal weddings.

The Brits have a lot of traditions, one of which is that you can always get married in your local church. Often, even members of the mobility do get married in the village church near their home. This is what the Duke of Devonwood would do.

If he were to get married.

Which he has no intention of doing.

Here are some British wedding cakes. The first one is kind of fanciful - a fairy tale cake.

The next two are more elegant.

Which do you like best? Which would you think appropriate for a Duke and Duchess?

My contemporary romance, the Duke of Devonwood is also available in the Summer Lovin' Anthology for a limited time for only 99 cents! It's a great deal with 14 contemporary romance stories.
Miranda's father left her inheritance under the trusteeship of a Duke of England? Did he not realize this is the twenty-first century? She is certainly capable of managing her money. More importantly, she needs that money to start her business, and to keep her family together.

She is not about to sit around while some arrogant Duke tells her what she can do with her own money. Luckily, she's determined, hard-working, and a touch devious. She vows to do whatever it takes to foil the Duke...

The Duke of Devonwood doesn't want more dependents. With an entire dukedom to run, plus his father's second family to manage, he has too many people hanging on his coattails. But this headstrong American, Miranda, won't take 'no' for an answer. In fact, she soon has his other dependents conniving with her—and against him.

He could handle the problem...if only she weren't so enticing.

Carly will probably never marry into the British nobility, as she is already happily married to Traveling Man. But there's nothing wrong with a little fantasy in one's life, right? She has three children, who provide a daily dose of reality, even though they are almost perfect (just ask them!).  Carly loves traveling, outdoor sports, reading, and visiting with friends and her large extended family.
Carly Carson Website:
Carly's Newsletter:
Buy Duke of Devonwood:
Buy Summer Lovin' Anthology:
and elsewhere. Please check my website:
Thanks for joining me!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's the Marriage, Not the Wedding

This month we’ve read a lot of interesting and terrific posts about weddings, pearls, and roses. Weddings, Pearls & Roses, sounds like a rock group.

Thirty-nine years ago this month, I was a cliché—a June bride. I never set out to be a June bride. Growing up, I wasn’t like other little girls, dreaming of a big wedding. Maybe I never wanted one because I don’t like being the center of attention. In 1974, on a trip to Northern California with my boyfriend (now husband) to visit my sister, the three of us went to Reno, Nevada, for a few days. Like Las Vegas, Reno is dotted with wedding chapels. I wanted to get married in one of the chapels, dressed in my cutoff jean shorts and halter top, a simple ceremony with only my sister as a witness. My husband, more of a traditionalist than I am, said no. To this day, I wish we’d done that.

Fast forward two years and I’m engaged and planning a wedding. I still didn’t want anything big. Because of the iffy weather on the East Coast, I chose June, not for tradition, but because it’s a month where there’s less chance of rain. I love to attend big weddings, just didn’t want one for myself. When I was growing up, the custom was to invite children to weddings. I remember having great times at family weddings when I was a child. Nowadays, you rarely see children at weddings.

I was married once before, in 1969, at city hall in Toronto, Ontario. For that wedding, I wore a cute ivory-colored body-skimming jersey mini dress. The morning of the wedding, I took the subway to a florist shop and bought a bouquet of violets. I still have the dress. After fifteen months of marriage, I left Canada and my husband. A few years ago, I sold the wedding band from that marriage for the gold.

As you can see from the picture below of my second, and last, wedding, I wore a simple dress, a bridesmaid’s dress, to be exact. I was brought up in a less tolerant time when it wasn’t suitable for women to wear elaborate bridal gowns for second marriages. I’m glad times have changed, but I wasn’t comfortable wearing a traditional gown, and it didn’t go with my idea of a small wedding.

It’s not the size of the wedding, but the marriage that’s important.

If I couldn’t get married in a Reno wedding chapel wearing cut-offs, then I was determined to get married in the Catholic Church. The priest who married us in 1976 was very, very rigid in his ideology. Because my husband and I lived together before marriage, he felt we shouldn’t have a wedding, but that we should sneak into the church and have a private ceremony with no guests. Don’t ever tell me what I can’t do because it makes me more stubborn and strong-willed to do what I want. That priest set roadblocks in front of us every step of the way, and I fought him every step. He wasn’t going to stop me from getting married in my church. He made me get a notarized affidavit from my aunt and uncle, active in their parish, stating that my first marriage wasn’t in the Catholic Church (if a Catholic is married in the Church and subsequently gets divorced, the Church still considers that person married and won’t let them remarry in the Church). I’d shown the priest my marriage license from 1969 showing I’d been married at City Hall, and my divorce papers, but he still insisted on that affidavit. Then he made my husband, who’d been baptized in the Ukrainian Catholic rite, get permission from the Ukrainian bishop to marry in the Latin rite. We persevered and we had a nice, low-key wedding in the church, with the reception in my in-laws’ back yard. The day was sunny and very hot.

Next year we celebrate our 40th anniversary. We didn’t have an elaborate wedding, not that there’s anything wrong with that, and I didn’t wear a traditional wedding gown. But we’re still together, and that’s all that matters.

Since we’ve had lots of discussions here about weddings, I thought I’d do a little research on the history of marriage.

I read a very interesting essay by Friedrich Engels, in which he gives the origins of the patriarchal societies and marriage. In simple terms, during prehistoric times, women held power in the tribes. As men began to acquire property, they wanted to be sure their property passed down to their legitimate male heirs. Hence, marriages were made that were property contracts. The chivalrous love of the Middle Ages, celebrated in poems and stories of the time, wasn’t conjugal. Among the ruling classes, marriage remained what it had always been, arranged by the parents. Because these marriages were of convenience, in most cases a strategic alliance between families, the married couple looked outside the marriage for romance.

It was quite common in Biblical times, and even now in some countries, to keep marriage within the family. It’s estimated that throughout history, most marriages have been between first and second cousins. Polygamy was also common throughout time. Most instances of polygamy were one man with several wives. In some cultures, the women took multiple husbands.

I found some of the information below at

Monogamy in Western cultures became the norm somewhere between the sixth and ninth centuries. Even then, a monogamous marriage was very different from the mutual fidelity we demand now.  Up until the nineteenth century, men had wide latitude to be promiscuous. Women, on the other hand, were dealt harsh punishments if they were sexually active.

Marriages in the West were primarily contracts between families, with the Church staying out of it. Until 1500, the Church took a couple’s word that they’d exchanged marriage vows. In the last several hundred years, the state has taken a more active part in marriages. Massachusetts began requiring marriage licenses in 1639.

Mutual attraction and love in a marriage weren’t important until about a century ago. In Victorian England, it was believed women didn’t have strong sexual urges. Love matches gained ground throughout the world as we shifted from an agricultural to a market economy. With women gaining independence and parents no longer holding the purse strings, couples were finally free to marry whom they chose.

Marriage wasn’t about equality until about 50 years ago. As close as the 1970’s, marital rape was legal in many states and women couldn’t open credit cards in their names. (I had trouble getting car insurance in 1971 because I was divorced. I was told, many times by women, when I called insurance companies, that they did not insure divorced women. A divorced man could get insurance). If a wife was injured or killed, the husband could sue the responsible party for depriving him of home services but the wife couldn’t sue under the same circumstances.

Now, we’re seeing same-sex marriage gain ground, and I applaud that. Many would have you believe marriage has always been a sacred, church-sanctioned sacrament, but that’s not the case.

The Marriage Coin Boxed Set is a collection of five original marriage-of-convenience novellas. My contribution is Her Forever Husband, also available separately. Our anthology has been a best seller on Kobo, and is popular in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, places that still have arranged marriages. I think the fact that these are sweet romances, with the lovemaking occurring behind closed doors between married couples, makes the book a favorite in those cultures. The Marriage Coin Boxed Set is 99 cents everywhere. It’s also available in print.

“Flowers make the perfume of love stronger.” 

A mysterious coin is passed down through the centuries to those deserving of Luck and Love. Five couples in different eras each come into possession of the coin and enter into a marriage-of-convenience. Will the coin lead them to love as well as luck? 

Five original sweet novellas by three award-winning authors and two talented debut authors. 

Violet-Any Earl Will Do by Gwendolyn Schuler 
Lilly-The Bronze Talisman by Martha Schroeder 
Rose-The Power of Hope by Kate Welsh 
Poppy-Her Forever Husband by Cara Marsi 
Dahlia-A Gypsy’s Flower by Daria Grady 

I hope you’ll consider signing up for my newsletter. Go to my website: or my FB page, Click the “join my list” button on Facebook. If you sign up now, it’s not too late to enter the June contest.

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