Today I am so pleased to welcome Alex Jane to Joyfully Jay. Alex has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Arrangement. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Alex a big welcome!
I was a little stuck on what to write today. Tell us about your new release, they say. Okay. But what? Thinking it over, I kept coming back to the fact that I love this book. Like, LOVE it. which is weird, right? I mean, usually asking any author or reader to choose a favorite book is met with squeals of anguish and the rhythmic tattoo of them banging their head against the nearest hard surface. So what makes this one so special? What makes any favorite book so special?
It has to be the characters, right? Sure. That makes sense. I think for this book particularly, the two MCs together are such a good combination. Gabriel is sweet and a little sarcastic. He’s bound by a deep sense of duty and love for his family. He’s willing to take the hit so they don’t have too.
Nathaniel is similar in that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep the people he loves safe, though he’s reserved to the point of rudeness, uncommunicative and actually a little shy. But when he’s with Gabriel, he comes alive, much to his own surprise. I love that. I love that they both have such strong personalities but when they’re together, they become…more.
I don’t always love my characters, sometimes because they’re supposed to be unlikeable and sometimes it’s because they drive me nuts and won’t follow the plot at all. But these two were such fun to write. They strayed a little at times, occasionally saying things I wasn’t expecting but generally for the better. But mostly it felt as if they wanted their story to be told and didn’t fight me one bit. Which was nice.
It could be the plot? I mean, that’s the main thrust of any story isn’t it? And this one had been lurking a long while in my head. I think I had actually sketched out the first scene before my first book was even published, I knew how it was going to begin, even if I didn’t know about the glasshouse or the accident or even the Alphas’ Homestead universe yet. I just loved the idea of the son, talking to his father about the letter in his hand, the proposal from an old friend that was both wonderful and heartbreaking for him.
I admit I’m a sucker for an arranged marriage trope. It has such scope to go in so many different directions—be comedic or tragic, angst-ridden or sweet. And yes, I do outline a bit, but I’m flexible with it. I’m a Plotster. I know what happens in key scenes but otherwise… I have points A, F, T, and Z mapped before I even begin, but what happens during the rest of the letters of the alphabet are a mystery until I start writing and, in this book, the journey was enlightening, surprising and very enjoyable indeed.
It could be the thrill of writing something new? I guess. Yes, I have been waiting on this story for a long time and, sure, it has a similar feel to Alphas’ Homestead, but the setting is sort of new, and the characters (at least the main ones) are new. And it’s a new couple.
For anyone who hasn’t read my other stuff, I am rather partial to an existing couple in my books but there is something special about writing a “first time” and having that first flush of romance on the page. Also, even though it’s Homestead adjacent, the setting is new and the historical period. Instead of researching horses and the Civil War, I spent ages agonizing over which gramophone to get them and which brand of fountain pen Nathaniel uses. Which was fun.
Ultimately, I think it’s all those things and none of them because, thinking it through, what makes me love this book so much, what has brought me the most joy and has made me so damn excited to share it, is that I took that sage advice…to write the book I wanted to read.
That’s the gift we get as a writer, that when there was a gap in my life and on my shelf, instead of having to trawl through countless unsatisfying books—or semi-satisfying, not quite the right thing, almost what I want—I just wrote the story I wanted to read. It might be a bit of a long-winded way to go about things perhaps but in the end, I think I love this story because it’s made to fit. And I think that because I have loved every second of it, that readers will too. Not all but some. One person out there might even love it as much as me. It might even be you.<
1895. New York.
Gabriel Webster’s pack is in trouble. His father’s failing health and his mother’s untimely death mean that the vultures are circling. It won’t be long before his family’s assets are stripped and his pack disbanded. When an offer of help arrives in the form of a marriage of convenience, he has little choice but to accept.
The arrangement would be the perfect solution, if not for one thing. Gabriel is to marry Nathaniel Hayward, the Alpha who was badly injured in the accident that killed his brother ten years before—and the man Gabriel has been in love with for as long as he can remember.
Trapped in a business arrangement masquerading as a marriage — in a strange, empty house with a damaged husband who barely tolerates him — isn’t what Gabriel expected from life.
But sometimes the last thing we want is the beginning of something more.
And an ending can be the start of something beautiful.
After spending far too long creating stories in her head, Alex finally plucked up the courage to write them down and realized it was quite fun seeing them on the page after all.
Free from aspirations of literary greatness, Alex simply hopes to entertain by spinning a good yarn of love and life, wrapped up with a happy ending. Although, if her characters have to go through Hell to get there, she’s a-okay with that.
With only a dysfunctional taste in music and a one-eyed dog to otherwise fill her days, Alex writes and walks on the South Coast of England—even when her heart and spellcheck are in New York.
Alex has brought along a great giveaway on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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