22 May 2012

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie (Interview + Giveaway)

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Romance, Chicklit, Women's fiction.
Publication : May 15th, 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers.

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it-and the company's success rate-the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn't it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out-until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.

I'm thrilled to have Catherine McKenzie, one of the awesomest chick lit/women's fiction authors around, featured on my blog today. I was lucky enough to get an interview with her and also, thanks to Harper Collins USA/ William Morrow Paperbacks, I have one paperback copy of Arranged to giveaway! (US Only). Moving on to the interview...

If you had to describe Arranged in 3 words, what would they be?

Fun, thought-provoking, page-turner (see how I cheated and got five words in there!)

First Spin and now Arranged, both with unique plots, what inspired the story of Arranged?

Thanks! I know a couple of people who have had traditional arranged marriages and I always wondered what really made them do it. One day I asked myself whether anyone would use an arranged marriage service if they hadn't been brought up in that tradition. And I couldn't get the idea ought of my head.

Why the Anne of Green Gables reference? Any particular reason?

When I tried to imagine someone who might use that kind of service I thought that it might occur to someone who started out with such a romantic idea about love, a fateful idea, and had had it crushed one too many times. One way that people become like that (I think) is that this is what happens in books. I love the Anne books, and in part I love them precisely because they have a made-to-be love story in them. But like Rob asks himself in High Fidelity: are you sad because you listen to sad songs, or do you listen to sad songs because you're sad. Are people hopeless romantics because of books or is it the other way around. Anywho, as part of exploring that idea, I decided to up the ante and have the main character be named after Anne. So she couldn't help being drawn to that fairytale kind of story.

What's your take on arranged marriages? Do you think they work?

Like any marriage, I think some of them do, some of them don't. I think it depends on what you expect from it, and how you work on it.

What kind/genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I have very eclectic tastes: I read detective fiction, non-fiction, history, novels. Some of my favorite authors are: Jane Austen, Nick Hornby, Bill Bryson, David Sedaris, James Frey, Audrey Niffenegger and Shawn Klomparens.

Favorite Chick Flick?
I confess to having an odd weakness for The Lake House. Don't laugh at me.

Is there a book/movie quote that you love? What is it?

The scene from The Princess Bride that I quote in Spin: "Never start a land war in Asia." I also can quote large parts of Bull Durham and High Fidelity (and frequently do).

Favorite Travel Destination?
It's a tie between Cabo in Baja California, Mexico and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Neither can be beat for breathtaking beauty. And I've been lucky to spend a lot of time in both places.

Vanilla or Chocolate?

Vanilla. It sounds so boring but I LOVE vanilla ice cream.

If Arranged was made into a movie, who do you think should play Anne and Jack?
Honestly, I have no idea! And on the off chance it ever gets made into a movie I don't want to have a fixed idea.

That was fun! If you haven't already read Catherine's books Arranged or Spin, do so immediately, I love her books! Check out my review of Spin and Arranged if you'd like :) Okay now it's giveaway time!

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

  • Giveaway is US Only.
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond, or a new one's chosen.
  • It's the publisher's responsibility to ensure that you get the book, I'm in no way liable/responsible.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy The Book :

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find The Author :

Goodreads | Website


  1. That would be Gallagher Series.
    I dont really like arrange marriages...
    Thanks for the giveaway

  2. I don't really understand the "Chick Lit" label, but I really enjoy Philippa Gregory (isn't she aimed at a female market?) and The Devil Wears Prada was pretty cute. As for friendship leading to marriage, I think that can potentially lead to a strong marriage, but there is no secret ingredient. My favorite romantic movie would have to be Sweet Home Alabama - I watch it every time it's on tv. :-)

  3. Love Sophie Kinsella books. Yep, friendship can lead to marriage. Fav movie - 50 first dates. Adorable!

  4. I like Sophie Kinsella or the Bridget Jones series. Love the Bridget Jones movies! I do believe friendship can turn into marriage. It probable helps & makes it stronger.

  5. The book sounds great and I can't wait to read it!

  6. Not sure about chick lit, my husband calls everything I read chick books...I kinda consider the very femanine contemporary chick lit. In that case I love Bella Andre's Sullivan series. It's not as manly as say Jaci Burton's Play by Play series which I adore because I am a sports fanatic!

  7. I love all Sophie Kinsela books... I love it in books when friendship turns to love, but trust me, I hate it when the same happens in real life! Have lost many a good friends that way!
    My favorite romantic movie has got to be Titanic!

  8. I've actually just started with chick lit, but I do love romance, so maybe I've been reading it all along and I didn't even know it!

  9. I love Suzanne Elizabeth Phillip's chick lit books! And I do believe that friendship can turn to romance as hubby and I are living proof of that! My favorite romantic movie is Casablanca!


  10. I can't pick one favorite chick-lit book....but love Emily Giffin and Sophie Kinsella.

    Friendship can lead to love...my husband and I were friends through law school and ended up dating a year or so after we graduated...we've been married for almost 7 years now! And we are still best friends (sounds corny, i know...but true!)

  11. I think friendship is the best way to lead to love! You have to be friends with the person you love, because you need to have someone to support and depend on when you need it!

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  12. I love books by Emily Giffin, not sure I can pinpoint a certain book, I've read a lot. I know friendship can lead to love, my hubby and I are proof :). My favorite romantic movie is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

  13. I really enjoyed Liar's Guide to True Love by Wendy Chen because it balanced the romance and the heroines journey, PERFECTLY!! sometime chic-lits tend to focus more on one or the other and since I like romance more, I appreciate equal balanced book or books who lean towards to the romance more!

    Racquel @ The Book Barbies♥

  14. I can't really pick a favorite. But I do love most chick lit! :)

  15. my favorite chick lit would have to be anything by meg cabot or jennifer weiner. i think that friendship could definitely lead to love. and hopefully if you fall in love first, you'd end up being friends. my favorite movie i think would have to be either say anything or mystic pizza. (i guess i've got some 80s movie love going on today).

  16. This sounds like a good book. I am adding it to my tbr list and look forward to reading it. I really enjoy Jill Mansell's books.

  17. I don't read much chick-lit, however, I tend to watch a lot of chick movies. I've recently saw Friends with Benefits and enjoyed it.

  18. My favorite romantic movie would have to be P. S. I Love You.

  19. I think friendship can definitely lead to love. The person you love usually ends up being your best friend. So why not start that way.

  20. I don't have one favorite chick lit, but I love Janette Rallison. My favorite romantic movie is Sense and Sensibility, and I definitely think friendship can lead to love!

  21. I think friendship can lead to love and my favorite romantic movie is the Kiera Knightly's Pride and Prejudice movie. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  22. My favorite chick lit book is Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot. I definitely think friendship can lead to love. My favorite romantic movie is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.


  23. I love Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed & Something Blue) are my favorite. I totally thing friendship can lead to love. And my favorite romantic movie is The Notebook.

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