Sunday, August 26, 2018

Summer Stories: Reluctant To Wed

Interview with Anneliese Dalaba about her book, Reluctant To Wed:

Alexis: Who is Emma and what is her role in this story? 

Anneliese: Emma is the main character, the heroine of the story. Although born and raised in America, she is the granddaughter of Baron Houlton, who plans to use her to secure greater prestige for his progeny. 

Alexis: Why does Emma leave her parents’ farm in Pennsylvania and travel to England? 

Anneliese: Baron Houlton investigates the family of his younger son living in America and uses their adversity to offer a bribe. He will save their farm if Emma will agree to an arranged marriage in England to the Earl of Devonport. The family does not coerce Emma to comply, but after much prayer Emma feels she should accept.

Alexis: Who is Earl of Devonport and what role does he play in this story? 

Anneliese: The Earl of Devonport, also known as Devon, is the hero of the story. His father and Baron Houlton were close friends who arranged a marriage between the earl’s son and the baron’s oldest granddaughter. However, Devon dragged his feet for too long. The oldest granddaughter falls in love and marries another man, much to the baron’s displeasure. Although Devon’s father has passed away and Devon is now the Earl of Devonport, he feels obligated to fulfill his father’s promise to Baron Houlton’s family.

Alexis: Is Emma a hopeless romantic? Why or why not? 

Anneliese: I don’t find Emma to be a hopeless romantic. She is an optimist. She finds good in every situation. But she is greatly challenged to maintain such an attitude in this story. She hopes for love, of course, and longs for it desperately, but seeks for it in prayer and in obedience to God’s Word. 

Alexis: Why does Devon want to keep Emma at arm’s length as his wife, with no emotional ties? 

Anneliese: Although Devon honors his father’s wish for a marriage alliance with Baron Houlton’s family, he assumes Emma is a fortune hunter or an opportunist since she is willing to come to England leaving behind all she knows. His experience in London society has not given him a good impression of wives. He sees how his friends and even his brother have to dance to the tune of their women. Devon wishes to maintain his independence. Although he agrees to marry, he plans to leave his wife in the country while he spends most of his time in London with his friends.

Alexis: Devon sounds kind of coldhearted. He’s willing to provide a home and allowance for Emma but not share his heart in love. How does his coldhearted nature affect Emma? 

Anneliese: Devon is not as coldhearted as he seems. Emma is unaware of his plans, so she continues to hope for more. 

Alexis: What is it about Emma that starts to draw Devon to her? 

Anneliese: Emma is not a pushover. She is honest and direct about her opinions but in a graceful and respectful manner. Her unpretentious attitude draws Devon from the start. He enjoys being around her but fears she is weaving a web that will cause him to become like all his married friends.

Alexis: Why does Emma think that she has to let go of her dreams? 

Anneliese: Something unexpected happens in the story just when Emma’s hopes are high that she and Devon have found love after all. It is so devastating to her. She wants to have hope in the situation but one thing after another dashes any hope she wishes to cling to. 

Alexis: What role does faith in God play in your characters’ story? 

Anneliese: It is when all hope seems gone that Emma relinquishes her dreams and hopes, accepting that perhaps God has a different plan for her life. She isn’t happy about it, but she realizes that God is faithful and can always be trusted to guide her life. She would serve Him no matter what life brought her way. 

Alexis: Did you do research for this story? If so, describe the process.

Anneliese: I’ve read hundreds of novels in the Regency time period so much of my research accumulated over years of reading. I did do some research about America in the early 1800s. I also researched some settings in England, but the towns I created are all fictitious. I researched the clothing men and women wore as well as the transportation they used. Research takes time but is very fascinating.

Alexis: What was your most memorable moment in writing Reluctant to Wed

Anneliese: Since this was my first attempt at writing a novel, it was all a new experience. I’ve heard it said that most writers do not know what they are doing until they’ve done it. Well, that would certainly describe me. I also heard that the characters in the story should be given the freedom to tell their own story, which I thought was rather odd or fantastical. However, as I began weaving the story that is exactly what happened. The imagination takes over and the characters become so real that they do drive the story forward. The story just flowed until it was written. That part was fun. 

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about this story? 

Anneliese: I want my readers to see how applying God’s Word in every situation we face and then fully trusting Him is where our true strength lies. I also hope that they will try to find something good in whatever situation they are facing. Although life can be hard, there is always something good to be found in every day. And even if you’re hurting, look for ways to bless others. In the process, you will find joy in the midst of trials. 

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Anneliese! God bless you.

Author Bio:

Anneliese Dalaba lives in Michigan with her husband of 30 years.

She has been in full-time ministry beside her husband all of those years. He’s the hero of her personal love story and her greatest encourager. 

She is a member of ACFW and ACFW Great Lakes Chapter. For many years, she worked as an administrative assistant and medical transcriptionist. 

After raising their two children, she is now experiencing the wonderful phase of grandparenting. 

Anneliese is an avid reader and an author of Christian historical romance.

Book Blurb for Reluctant To Wed:
To keep her parents from losing their farm in Pennsylvania, Emma agrees to travel to England and accept her grandfather's offer to arrange a marriage for her with the Earl of Devonport. She secretly hopes a marriage to this stranger will lead to love. 

To honor his father, Devon reluctantly agrees to marry Emma but determines to keep her at arm's length. A marriage of convenience is satisfactory to the earl who wants no emotional ties. He needs an heir, but he refuses to bow to the whims and demands of a wife. He would prefer simply to provide a home and a generous allowance for her but continue to enjoy his freedom.

Emma’s straightforward and unpretentious manner draws Devon’s admiration. Unfortunately, long-held fears are not easily overcome. Emma finds herself falling in love with him, but after an unexpected event, she faces her greatest challenge ever. Emma must learn to trust God even if it means letting go of her dreams.


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1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, what a fascinating story! I'd love to read it. 😊


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