Wednesday, December 11, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Accidental Marriage Guest Post


ABOUT THE BOOK

Nina Rushforth was born with a silver spoon caught in her throat. She and her father have mapped out a future that includes a brilliant legal career, a marriage to an equally stellar attorney or Wall Street whiz kid, and eventually the production of three perfect children. A semester at St. Andrew's University in Scotland, was part of the plan, but falling in love with a handsome missionary was not.

Six months later, after Elliot returns from his mission and after a tumultuous courtship, Nina finds herself teaching at a junior high school, learning to keep house in a minuscule apartment, and living with a man who doesn't know any more about being married than she does. Intimacy, cooking, laundry, lesson plans, and a tug-of-war with a possessive mother-in-law prove to be more overwhelming than Nina can successfully manage. The newlyweds awaken to realize the head on the adjacent pillow belongs to a stranger.

This novel captures the heartbreak of young love caught in the turbulent social crosscurrents of the 70's, at a time when brave women struggled to find dignity and equality in the workplace, as well as peace at home.


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Praise for THE ACCIDENTAL MARRIAGE:

“A thoughtful, heartbreaking, and often laugh-out-loud romp… Annette Haws explores the 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


“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 My Own Mr. Darcy


“If you want a story with plot, character 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 Over

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

Her first novel, Waiting for the Light to Change, won Best of State in 2009, A Whitney Award for Best Fiction, and the Diamond Quill Award for Best Published Fiction in 2009 from the League of Utah Writers. In July of 2008, the Midwest Book Review selected it as a Top Pick for Community Library Fiction Collections.

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GUEST POST
by Annette Haws

My most recent teaching assignment was in an urban high school squeezed between a strip mall and a row of used car dealerships. The only students remotely interested in educational pursuits had been siphoned off into the AP courses, and the other seniors (that I was assigned to teach) were enduring their last few months of seat time before the public education system unleashed them on society. I intentionally saved ghosts, death most foul (poison dribbled into the ear), berserk girlfriends, and shameless mothers for the endless month of February, but even Hamlet couldn’t hold the interest of the last section of senior English before lunch.

One dreary day, I set Hamlet aside and said, “Take out a piece of paper. Let’s fast forward ten years and project where you’ll be.” Suddenly they were completely engaged—energized. Their specificity amazed me. They knew the square footage of their two story homes in posh neighborhoods; they knew the make, model, and color of the cars in the garage; without a doubt, they were all going to be airline pilots, doctors, dentists, lawyers, or highly successful entrepreneurs; they knew the number of children they were going to have, and every single student (except the pot head on the second row who was gazing out the window at nothing in particular) was going to be happily married, svelte, and always know what bands were cool. When I asked them what steps they were going to take (starting today) to achieve those goals, I faced a sea of blank faces. I wanted to cry. Even if their names didn’t match their guardians’ surnames listed in the computer, they were absolutely positive they were going to have successful marriages—as though happily ever after were etched in their brains.

The thought of a handful of species--swans, bald eagles, wolves, vultures, turtle doves, and love birds—that mate for life brings a soft warm glow to the center of our chests. Show us a wrinkled, toothless couple married for sixty-seven years, and we give a heartfelt sigh and smile. We love the thought of monogamy, we want it, we need it, it makes us healthy and live longer. So why, do nearly fifty percent of marriages in the U.S. fail? Three years ago six adorable young people in my neighborhood bounced back home in emotional shreds after less than a year or two--because their marriages failed. Why?

I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I’ve tried to address the questions in my new novel, The Accidental Marriage. Hopefully, we can look at that person in the mirror who brushes our teeth each morning and have a serious conversation about how we contribute to the success or failure of new marriages, middle-aged marriages, or those nuptials that have endured nearly to the end.

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