Thursday 16 January 2014

GuestPost: THE ACCIDENTAL MARRIAGE by Annette Haws

“Marriage is Nature’s way of keeping us from fighting with strangers.”
--Alan King

We seem to be divorcing as quickly as we marry. Divorce is occurring progressively earlier in marriage, often within five years of the wedding day, with 25 percent of all divorces occurring within the first two years of marriage. What’s up with that? It’s hard to pinpoint which people will marry and divorce quickly—each couple is unique. Some suffer from drug and alcohol problems, family crises, insufferable in-laws, or adultery, but most are plagued by less dramatic conflicts. Many who divorce quickly are over achievers, confident, and head strong. Enter Nina and Elliot—stage left. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say they both exited center stage; Elliot to the right and Nina left of center.

Elliot avoided old friends. He didn’t want the slap on the back and empty assurances. He didn’t want to hear the latest on who was getting married, the massive march toward matrimony that started on the east end of campus and ended on Temple Hill. His very presence made the newly engaged squirm; and frankly, friends avoided him. No one wanted to entertain the possibility that they might pull a “Nina and Elliot,” the synonym for newlywed disaster.

How did other couples skate through the first months of marriage? Things had always come so easily to him; why not this? He’d been a prize, a friend worth having, a member of that cadre of straight-A students athletes. Now everything he thought he knew about himself was wrong. He was a failure at marriage, banging his head against Nina’s stubbornness. And so, as the leaves started to change color, and the morning walk up the hill grew chill, he spent more and more time alone.

Poor Elliot. Man is not meant to be alone. Along with wolves, vultures, swans, eagles, and angel fish, humans want to mate for life. When we see a wrinkled couple, married for sixty plus years, we get a lovely warm sensation in the center of our being because marriage just feels so right.

Nina could live without him, stumble along on her own, but Elliot had carved out a place in her heart that only he could fill. She loved him. Convenient or not, she loved him, enough to do battle in the kitchen with lobster bisque, or chocolate mousse, or New England pot roast. Enough to compromise.

“One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.”
-- Margaret Mead

The Book
The Accidental Marriage by Annette Haws
Genre: contemporary romance

About The Accidental Marriage:
Standing on a Scottish tower high above the North Sea, Nina Rushforth gazed into the eyes of a lanky American and made a big mistake, she fell in love. Six months later, with a ring on her finger, she’s standing in front of a classroom of farm kids, discussing the dangers of dangling participles. How did this happen? Instead of the sophisticated life she had planned, she’s keeping house in a miniscule apartment and living with a young husband who doesn’t know any more about being married than she does. Well intentioned parents, as well as friends and siblings, join the fray, and the newlyweds teeter on the brink of disaster. Beset with classroom shenanigans, lesson plans, essays to correct, and faculty politics, Nina’s overwhelmed, and when the shenanigans at work take a dark and dangerous turn, who can she trust?

Award winning author, Annette Haws brilliantly captures the comic strife of young love caught in the turbulent social cross-currents of the 1970’s. The heartbreak of starter marriages–relationships that flounder after a year or two—is examined through the eyes of her delightful heroine who struggles to find dignity in the workplace and love at home.
Source: Info in the About The Accidental Marriage was from the press kit from the publicity team.

There’s a new teacher in room 106; the new girl in town. A tall, blonde recently married new girl in town—and rumor has it her father is rich and her new husband is not. Schools are like small towns, rife with gossip.

Her arms raised above her head, she smacked the stapler against the wall in rhythm to a triple of Three Dog Night. She stepped back pleased with the look of the trim and ready to put up red lettering, when she noticed three men standing in the front of her classroom ogling her intently.

Nathan, she already knew. That grin must be carved on his face.

“This here’s Marlo and Zach.” With his thumb, he indicated the middle man with dark curly hair and amazingly thick lips.

“Lead her out, Nathan,” Marlo crowed, “and let’s have a look at her. She’s eighteen hands if she’s an inch.”

Curly, Moe, and Larry had come to check out the new girl in town. If the guy with the curly hair tried to pry open her mouth to look at her teeth, he was going to be peeling himself off the floor. Shoulders back and her head raised, Nina lifted her hands shoulder level. “Now, don’t tell me. Let me guess. Which one of you guys teaches Boys’ Charm?”

Elton John’s “Honkey Chateau” leaped out of the transistor radio, and the short man with bad teeth did a couple of dance steps. Marlo took a long swig of Coke from a bottle, then he wiped those thick lips with the back of his meaty hand.

Zach giggled. “When you finish your bulletin boards, you could come out and do mine.”

Hands settled on her hips, Nina nodded at them. ”Sorry, every man for himself.” Marlo? What had Ruth said about him? His father’s on the school board.

The principal paused in the doorway.

“Hey, Boss.” Marlo grinned broadly as he sauntered out the door followed by his crew.

Zach puffed out his chest, “If you don’t get too close, she looks almost normal.”

The Buzz:
A thoughtful, heartbreaking, and often laugh-out-loud romp that captures the complexities of a new marriage that’s falling apart. Annette Haws also explores the more interesting question: What keeps a marriage together?
Terrell Dougan, a columnist for the Huffington Post and the author of That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for my Sister.

“In The Accidental Marriage, Annette Haws has created rich characters, so real and flawed you want to shake them, yet so loveable you want to invite them to dinner. Haws delivers a story that makes you want to rush to the end to find out what happens and prose that makes you want to slow down and savor it.”
Karey White, author of For What It’s Worth, Gifted, and the recently released My Own Mr. Darcy.

Annette Haws, the acclaimed author of Waiting for the Light to Change, has just done everyone a favor and written a new book, The Accidental Marriage. Annette writes the story of two mismatched people in love, and wraps their lives around your heart in a way that won’t let go. If you want a story with plot, characters, and real, deep meaning that will leave you thinking long after you’re done, this is the book for you.
Shannon Guymon, author of Do Ever.

Meet The Author
About Annette:
Annette Haws’s literary strengths are based upon her experiences in the classroom. She began her teaching career as a junior high teacher in Richmond, Utah and ended it teaching Sophomore English at Murray High School in Salt Lake City. However, her favorite assignment was a five year period at Logan High School teaching English, coaching debate and mock trial, and watching the antics of her own three children who were also students in the same school.

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