Monday, February 13, 2012

An Unlikely Arrangement by Patty Wiseman | Excerpt, Interview, Book Trailer | Historical Romantic Suspense

Young and rebellious, Ruth Squire defied her parents to live the high life of young people in 1929 Detroit. Handsome and responsible, Peter Kirby worked diligently to make his family's life easier. Rich and powerful, Eric Horton held the fates of many families in his hands. These three lives intertwine through the differing worlds of high society, middle-class life, and organized crime, culminating in an engagement, a kidnapping, a misunderstanding...and a murder.

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Her hands remained clasped in front of her, settled against the soft folds of the velveteen gown; eyes downcast. Rage coursed through her body, her heart pulsed with the beat of it. Face-to face with a man said to be her future husband, white-knuckled, she fought for control. Mother is angry, yes. Of course, I knew there would be consequences but I never expected this. To think my parents would betray me in such a way never once entered my mind. 
“Dear, please do not be rude. Give Mr. Kirby the courtesy of acknowledging his presence.” 
She lifted her trembling hand to his out-stretched palm. Her throat constricted, and she could not look directly at him. Instead, she focused on his gray pin-stripe slacks and moved up inch by inch until she reached his handsome face. An explosion echoed in her head as his eyes penetrated her soul. He stood over six feet tall, solidly built, and she felt small in his presence. She was not sure what she had expected, wasn’t sure she expected anything at all. A woodsy fragrance tickled her nose. Broad, muscular shoulders complemented the rugged look, but at the same time exuded finesse, well-schooled manners, and proper decorum. His eyes were kind and compassionate, and her hand fit in his warm grasp like a comfortable glove. 
The two-story brownstone had been Ruth’s home from the day of her birth, a sanctuary from the modern upside-down world of 1929 in Detroit, Michigan. Until recently, she had loved this warm, relaxed house and appreciated her mother’s lavish taste. Now, it had turned into a guardhouse, and she yearned for freedom and independence. Last night, an eternity ago, her rebellion triggered this situation, and Peter Kirby appeared. She knew Mother, who now occupied the single chair in the room, leaving Father to stand by the fireplace, chose the parlor for this rendezvous because of its intimate arrangement. 
“Ruth is a lovely name,” Peter said. “Are you named for your beautiful mother, Miss Squire?” Peter moved a bit closer and touched her hand. 
Mother laughed aloud. “Why no, but thank you, Peter. May I call you Peter?” Mrs. Squire flirted, unabashed. “I chose Ruth’s name from the Bible. It fits her, don’t you think? 
“Indeed it does, Mrs. Squire.” Peter addressed the older woman, but his attention remained riveted on her. 
Why won’t he look away? He never wavers. I must look away. She couldn’t. 
“Our marriage is in a fortnight, Miss Squire. Do you have any questions for me? I know this is sudden. I want to make this as pleasant as possible.” His hand now covered hers.
“Oh, I think we know as much as we need to know, Peter. Your mother gave us a detailed profile of your life. We are happy with our choice.” Mother rose to pour tea and handed a fragile china cup to the hopeful bridegroom. 
Peter shifted his gaze from Ruth…slowly. “I am sure you have all the answers you need, Mrs. Squire. However, Ruth is the one who must commit. Surely, she has a few questions.” He looked steadfast into the eyes of the matron this time. 
Ruth’s heart skipped and the silence took on a life of its own. Such boldness, how will she react? No one ever talked to Mother in that tone. She stole a glance, but turned back to look again on the man who dared such effrontery.  
His rugged face glowed bronze in contrast to his white blond hair, and the blue in his eyes had turned to ice.


Tell us about your current release. 
I like to classify my book as a cozy armchair romantic mystery with many twists and turns. Just when you think you have it figured out, you don’t!
An Unlikely Arrangement is my first release and it is based on a true story. In the 1920’s my grandmother was a rebellious seventeen year old girl. In a day when girls were expected to marry and raise a proper family, Ruth Squire decided just the opposite. Detroit was a very dangerous city in that day and her parents were frantic about her errant behavior. My story is based on fact, but because I didn’t have the full story, I fashioned a mystery around what I did know. There are many twists and turns and includes, an engagement, a kidnapping and even a murder.  
Tell us about your next release.
   I love this question. Because of popular demand, I am now writing the sequel to An Unlikely   Arrangement. Frankly, I wasn’t at all sure how the public would react to my unorthodox ending, but I have been overwhelmed with requests for the next book. I am now making a series out of it. I also have a romantic comedy coming out. This book deviates from the style of my first book. It is set in modern time and is about a single woman raising two boys and the escapades that help her survive.
What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?                 
My husband is the rock of my writing career. He has supported me in my need to retire from my day job to write full time. I have been an administrative assistant to a financial advisor for 24 years. With his encouragement, I have now retired and can spend my days crafting the stories running around in my head. I would never be able to do this if it weren’t for him. He’s a quiet man, but makes sure I have everything I need, the tools, the time, suggestions when I get stuck. He loves the fact that I am free to pursue this for myself. My children and grandchildren are very supportive and even come up with story suggestions for me!! I am lucky to have the freedom to do what I love.
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?
I actually DO hear from my readers. I have had several wonderful reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads. The people in the town where I live have always let me know what they think of the book. Funny story…in the office where I worked a man came in one day and said he had been in the local grocery store and a woman was waiting for her prescription at the pharmacy at the back of the store. He saw my picture on the back of the book and said, “I know that woman!” He immediately came to my office and bought my book. A week later, he came back and said he loved it and that his wife was taking her turn to read it. I got a big kick out of that. The MAN read it first, before his wife!
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I have to say I am a Pantser. I’ve tried to plot a story, gone to the seminars and done the webinars on plotting, but it never works for me. It’s like the character screams out in my head, “No! That’s not what happens.” I actually had a different ending to my book, but had to change it. I couldn’t sleep at night. One Sunday morning the answer came to me and I sat down and wrote it. Once I was finished I felt at peace. My publisher loved it!
Do you play any sports?
You know, I do! I am an avid league bowler and have been for over 35 years. I wouldn’t say I am passionate about it, because I am only passionate about my husband, my family, and my writing, but I really enjoy the opportunity to still compete. I bowl on two leagues, a ladies league and a mixed league. It’s great exercise and great comraderie.
Do you have a Website or Blog?
Yes, my blog is actually on my website.           
I also have a buy button there, so you can buy my book right from my website.
New York or LA? Why?
Well, I’d have to say New York! I’ve been there several times and love the Broadway shows and the sites. I haven’t seen everything yet, so I would love to go back!
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
I’ve had the privilege of visiting England, France, and Germany, and of course, Canada and Mexico. I do a lot of research on my family lineage which I’ve traced back to England, Scotland and Holland. So, of the three, I would love to go to Scotland.


I'm married, two grown sons, 15 grandchildren and living a life full of challenges at every turn. But what is life, if not an adventure?

I grew up in Tacoma, Washington, the second of four children. I got lost in the shuffle alot because I was the second girl, and father wanted a boy. He got two boys after me, but I always felt like an extra in my family. So I escaped the lonliness by reading. Books became my friends and companions, and I couldn't wait to lose myself in their worlds. Through many twists and turns, I eventually ended up in North East Texas, and love it. I met my second husband here and feel it was a journey I was meant to take to find my soul mate.
Read a longer profile on her Website

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