Friday, January 15, 2016

Can Love Be Arranged?



I met my husband the traditional way, we were college sweethearts.
My parent’s marriage was arranged. My grandparents introduced them during a family dinner. It was the 1970’s in India, she was nineteen and shyly considering the man sitting across from her. He was twenty-six and counting his lucky stars that his future wife was so beautiful. They didn't talk, just stole glances while their parents discussed how perfect the families would meld together. They’ve been married for over forty years.
Today, with online dating, I wondered whether arranged marriages still exist. Yes, they do.

Meet my heroine Meera Malhotra from First Comes Marriage (available February 1) She is a practical woman, a physician and scientist for whom love is illogical. A modern woman with a successful career needs a partner who can support her goals. And who better than her best friend and research partner? They’ve known each other for years, they get along well, and have mutual respect for each other. How many married couples can say that?
What about love? They love each other, not the heart pounding, butterflies in your belly love but how long does such frivolity last anyway? Arranged marriages have long been a part of her culture. The divorce rate in India is 1%, compared to 50% in the US.
Meera's wedding is in two months. A big, fat Bollywood style Indian wedding that’ll formalize the close relationship between two families. Her life is all planned out, and she’s happy with it.
So why did she schedule a medical rotation in the town of Hell’s Bells, USA two months before her London wedding? And what happens when this buttoned up Londoner falls for an American cowboy?
I hope you’ll enjoy the fusion of Western romance with Bollywood style drama. I'll be back on February 19th to talk more about arranged marriages in the modern world.

In the meantime, I have a goodreads giveaway you can enter.
      Enter Giveaway
I also have book extras on my website including a playlist for the First Comes Marriage--country music meets Bollywood acoustics. And if you sign up for my VIP list, you'll get more freebies in February. And check out this book trailer for First Comes Marriage.
video


First Comes Marriage is Available for preorder now. Amazon/kindle, Barnes&Noble/Nook, Apple/iBooks, and Harlequin.
Don't forget to check the amazing January Heartwarming titles. There is an amazing line up from Kate James, Pamela Tracy, Amie Denman, and Cynthia Thomason.
So tell me, how did you meet your mate?



23 comments:

  1. Great post, Sophia. I'm very excited for you for the release of your first Heartwarming title in just two weeks! I look forward to reading First Comes Marriage; you've definitely captured my interest.

    To answer your question as to how my husband and I met, I can't do the story justice in this comment, but this post gives a hint: http://heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.ca/2014/09/a-dogs-life-by-kate-james-and.html ;-)

    Thanks for the shout-out for our January releases!

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    1. Ooh, will definitely check out the blog post. Thanks for the tweets Kate and hope your January promotions are going well.

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  2. Very interesting!! Your new book sounds great. I didn't know the divorce rate in India was so low. Evidently arranged marriages DO work out. I saw this movie, The Namesake, and it was excellent. It was about an arranged marriage, and it opened my eyes to the concept of marrying someone you hadn't known previously.
    As for me, I chose my husband. But I'm sure I would have fallen in love with him (or someone just like him) if someone had chosen him for me. ( :

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    1. Laurie, interestingly, the divorce rate in India is going up. I think there are generational differences to the acceptance of arranged marriage and cultural expectations. What fascinates me is the late generation X'ers (of which I am one) who are choosing arranged marriages as their second marriage. Oh I could go on but I'll save it for future blog posts. So nice to hear you're married to your soul mate :)

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  3. Your book sounds delightful. Look forward to reading it. I met my husband when we were both in an off Broadway production of “Of Thee I Sing.” (I love saying that because it sounds so outstanding but it’s true – off Broadway by about ten miles!) We became best friends, dated for two years and then married in the church where the play had been performed on 88th Street in New York City.

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    1. Marion, your story sounds like the stuff romance novels are made of :) Thank you for sharing.

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  4. LOVE this, Sophia! Can't wait to read all about Meera's adventures! And I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

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  5. Sophia, so interesting. Can't wait to read the book. I love to read how couples meet and get married. On a trip to China right after the border first opened the group I was with had the privilege of watching a brokered marriage. The bride was in a carriage that had gauze-like curtains. The young man stood with his parents. The marriage broker accepted the dowry and took it to the girl's parents. Only after all of that ritual did the bride emerge from the carriage and the person performing the marriage arrive in a lot of pomp and circumstance. We were told the couple had known each other as children and were pledged to marry by the families at that time. It was so interesting. I'd love to know if that marriage lasted. But if the split rate in India is so low, perhaps that couple, too, is happily married.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the story Roz. I too often wonder what happens to couples I randomly meet. I can tell you the divorce rate in India is on the rise. I think there's differences in the generations. Are the arranged marriages happy or do people stay together out of a sense of obligation? I could write several blogs just on this issue :)

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  6. I met my husband on a blind date. I had no idea the split rate in India was so low. Hmmm, I know what girl I'd pick for my ten year old if I had a say.

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  7. Your books sounds fantastic, Sophia! Congratulations to you!

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  8. LOVE this post and totally can't wait to read your book, Sophia! My parents had an arranged marriage as well. My grandfather and dad basically visited my mom's parents to kind of get a feel for things and talk about the possibility, and I think my mom came into the living room to serve tea or coffee (that was when the two of them had a chance to glimpse each other), and the rest is history. They're still married! But I agree with the above comment about generational changes. Things are simply different now. My parents never even considered arranging the marriages of their kids. I met my husband in college.

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    1. Rula you and I really need to get together for that coffee :) My parents would have arranged my marriage if I let them :)

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  9. I can't wait to read this book!! One of my best friends spent a number of years in India and speaks of it with such affection it's definitely piqued my interest. I find the idea of arranged marriages fascinating. What a great topic for you and Heartwarming to tackle! Here's to tons of sales!

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    1. From your lips Anna to the book sale Lords (there's multiple ones in India) :)

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  10. This is a wonderful example of the way our editors offer diverse stories! Such a fresh take on a traditional romance

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    1. Thanks Mel! I agree the editors have been very open to unique angles. Such a great line.

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  11. Sophia, your book sounds fabulous! Wow, what a clash of cultures. I look forward to reading it. Marion, I love your story about meeting your husband. How did I meet mine? Hang on. He approached me on Fifth Avenue the day I got my first job in NY and he struck up a conversation. Thank goodness he wasn't a serial killer! We're still together. Arranged marriages make a certain amount of sense--and aren't those who "meet" online kind of doing that too? The modern version.

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    1. Leigh, you are previewing my next blog :) I started to write about the parallels of arranged marriage and online dating but thought it was best left to it's own blog post :)

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    2. Ha. Who knew I was prescient? Can't wait to read your next blog. The arranged marriage connection is an interesting facet of modern, tech-savvy life. Now there's a story idea...

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  12. Sophia, your story is so captivating. And I have to know what goes on in a town called Hell's Bells. Met my husband at the Xerox machine on my first day of work in L.A. (1966) I'm very non-mechanical (or electronical - is that a word?) and he helped me. And has been helping for almost 48 years. So happy for your parents, and for you! Congratulations on the book.

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    1. Muriel, congratulations on 48 years of marriage, now that is true love:)

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