(A Marriage Auction Novella)
by Audrey Carlan
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Audrey Carlan comes a new story in her Marriage Auction series…
I run the most elite auction in the world.
Candidates and bidders come from all over the globe hoping to change their lives.
And I deliver.
I’m in the business of bringing couples together in a mutually beneficial and legally binding marriage. The terms are three years for no less than a million dollars a year, not including my commission. Once a pair signs on the dotted line, the contract ensures there is no going back.
Most couples find over time they are a love match, but not all.
Before I took over The Marriage Auction, there wasn’t an extensive vetting process. Some candidates were subjected to horrors that haunt my every waking moment.
I vowed to change that. To stand up for those who deserve more and to release them from the wrongs inflicted upon them by circumstance and chance.
What my bidders and candidates don’t know is that I understand exactly what they are experiencing.
I wasn’t always known as Madam Alana.
Once upon a time, I too was purchased in The Marriage Auction… And this is my story.
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An Exclusive Interview with Audrey Carlan
~ with Jillian Stein, co-owner of 1,001 Dark Nights / The Blue Box Press
Can you tell us why or how you chose to write about this couple for your novella?
Madam Alana is the owner and operator of The Marriage Auction. She is one of the most beloved characters of the saga. I wanted to go back to her very humble beginnings to show how she became involved with the auction and how it has changed under her leadership.
Do you do anything to treat yourself when you finish writing a book?
Most of the time I buy myself some new signed books from other authors I love or a new sparkly crystal or two.
If someone were to narrate your life, who would you want the narrator to be and why?
Hands down, 100% I would love for Matthew McConaughey to narrate my life. I could listen to that man read a grocery list and feel at peace. Silly, I know, but I just love his voice and vibe.
What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Before you release anything out into the world, ensure you’ve hired a professional editor. Not a grammar service or your friends. A real life, professional that has proven experience in your chosen story genre.
Can you give us a few lines from your work in progress?
I’m currently writing Season 2 of The Marriage Auction:
“Oh my God, it’s you!” My shaky hand lifted to cover my mouth as a wave of heat rushed to my cheeks.
“Yes, it is, sweetheart. And you can call me Rhodes, your fiancé, or Mr. Davenport,” said a man I instantly recognized but could not in my wildest dreams believe was standing next to Madam Alana. The two of them smoothly entered the room I’d been assigned to wait in until my bidder arrived.
My body temp rose as I watched them enter. Gooseflesh pebbled on my skin and my ears burned.
“My fiancé?” I gasped. Rhodes Davenport was the man I’d crashed into and pickpocketed at the airport. A man I was sure I’d never see again. Which meant, if he was here now and standing next to the Madam…Rhodes Davenport was my bidder.
If you could dream cast (actors, models, singers… anyone really!) the hero and heroine, who would you choose?
For Madam Alana it would 1000% be Lindsay Price. She is on my vision board and the person I use as my celebrity cast for the fan favorite. Christophe Toussaint is my main hero. I have model Mike Dale as the celebrity I’d cast for him. He just has that rugged, yet artsy look that fits Christo so perfectly.
What’s your cure for hiccups?
Drinking water upside down. Literally bend in half, put the top of the glass to wedged at the bottom of your jaw and drink as much as you can while upside down. Works every time. Looks crazy as a loon but it works.
What mythical creature do you wish actually existed?
Angels. I believe they are real but not visible to us and always watching and protecting their charges.
What scene in this book was the toughest to write and why?
So many. When Alana has to share the truth about her scars, that made me cry. There’s another more gut-wrenching part that had to happen. Those who have read Season 1 of The Marriage Auction already knew it was coming, but even my beta readers said they were broken-hearted. It’s like when you watch Titanic. You know that sucker is going to sink, but a part of you roots for them all to survive anyway. I think it’s human nature.
If you could watch one scene from this book be played out like a movie, which one would it be and why?
When Alana finds her strength and becomes who she was always meant to be.
What’s the worst thing you’ve eaten out of politeness?
McDonalds. I’m not a fan of any food that doesn’t break down. Though I have friend that feels it’s comfort food, so I recently choked down an egg, bacon, cheese sandwich when I was on an Australian book tour in January.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
I don’t usually choose the title of any of my books until the entire story has been told. Then it just comes to me naturally as if it was always meant to be. I don’t really have to think that hard about it.
Audrey Carlan is a No. 1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author. She writes stories that help the reader find themselves while falling in love. Some of her works include the worldwide phenomenon Calendar Girl serial, Trinity series and the International Guy series. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages across the globe.
She lives in the California Valley, where she enjoys her two children and the love of her life. When she’s not writing, you can find her teaching yoga, sipping wine with her “soul sisters,” or with her nose stuck in a sexy romance novel.
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