A MORAL DILEMMA

My dilemma, sort of mine: A young woman who wants very much to be virtuous and honorable, unlike her scandalous mother, falls in love with her sister’s husband. Would you call her ugly names? What if she knows what’s right and wrong and chooses the right? She is still in love with her sister’s husband, but she chooses to stuff it down deep where it can’t do anyone any harm.

That’s Theena’s situation in THEENA’S LANDING, my new e-book. My old print editor told me this set-up was an absolute no-no, the protag in love with her sister’s husband. Your readers will hate you, she said. But! Theena does not interfere with her sister’s marriage, not at all, at least not until. . . but that’s way late in the book. And she didn’t plan it. And she suffers for it. Even so, the editor said, It won’t do.

Well, I didn’t listen. Who does? I wrote the book with all its shades of gray. Theena messes up, more than once, but the story is not about being some kind of Jezebel (though there is a Jezebel in the book, just not Theena). It’s about how hard it is to lead an emotionally honest life, not hurt anyone else ever, and grow into the strong woman you want to be. Isn’t that what we all want?

Sometimes we like to read about SuperWoman or Buffy the Vampire Slayer type heroines, but we also want to read about “real” people dealing with real-life situations. How does Theena navigate through the many shoals on her journey? When the readers start reading and emailing me about how they liked the book, I’m curious to know if my editor was right – or am I right? (Me — right?)

You can read the first chapter on my website. Please do.

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About glcraig

Gretchen Craig’s lush, sweeping tales deliver edgy, compelling characters who test the boundaries of integrity, strength, and love. Told with sensitivity, the novels realistically portray the raw suffering of people in times of great upheaval. Gretchen was born and raised in Florida. She’s lived in climates and terrain as diverse as the white beaches of the Gulf Coast, the rocky shores of Maine, and the dusty plains of Texas. Her awareness of place imbues every page with the smell of the bayous of Louisiana, the taste of gumbo in New Orleans, or the grit of a desert storm. Rich in compelling characters and historical detail, Always and Forever is a sweeping saga of Josie and Cleo, mistress and slave. Amid Cajuns and Creoles, the bonds between these two remarkable women are tested by prejudice, tragedy, and passion for one extraordinary man. Gretchen’s first novel won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Mainstream with Romantic Elements and was chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the Historical Novel Society reviews. Ever My Love, winner of the Booksellers Best Award from the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America, continues the story of Cleo and Josie’s families, of their struggle for principle, justice, and love in a world where the underpinnings of the plantation culture are crumbling. Crimson Sky, inspired by the pueblos, mountains, and deserts of New Mexico, evokes the lives of people facing neighboring marauders and drought. Now the march of Spanish Conquistadors up the Rio Grande threatens their homeland, their culture, and their entire belief system.
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