Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Thaw Blog Tour! ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! It's my pleasure to welcome Anniina Sjöblom to So Little Time...! She is here today to talk a little about her new book Thaw, and forced-marriage-scenarios! I hope you enjoy! 

Hi everyone, and thank you for stopping by at the second-to-last stop of the blog tour for Thaw—and special thanks to Candy for hosting it!

When I agreed to publish Thaw last summer and started working on expanding the original, shorter version of it for publication, I often spoke about it with friends and family members who are not acquainted with Austenesque. They were enthusiastic and supportive about my book project—and, more often than not, wanted to know what it was about. I would explain that it’s a variation of Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice; a what-if where small changes to the original chain of events eventually lead to a very different path to happiness for our favourite characters. They would nod, interested to hear how the plot would differ from the original, until…wait, what? Darcy and Elizabeth are forced to marry?

I’ve read countless Pride and Prejudice variations over the years, and a good part of my all-time favourite stories are ones where Elizabeth and Darcy, for one reason or another, have to marry early on in their acquaintance. It’s such a familiar, oft-used trope, that I had never really much thought about why I liked it so much—I just knew that whenever I saw those familiar three letters, FMS, typed in the description of a JAFF story, the chances of me not clicking to see what the story was about immediately became slim.

And thus, I was surprised to find out many of my friends thought the concept entirely odd and confusing. Did I like seeing my favourite characters miserable? No. Did I think it romantic that people who dislike each other are forced to marry? Of course not. So why is it that we love a forced-marriage-scenario so much?

When I started thinking about it, the answer, of course, was simple. We like Elizabeth and Darcy to spend time together, too see them interact. As much as possible, and preferably without chaperones. In modern variations, there’s more flexibility to how this can be achieved—and less societal norms that need to be taken into account when the two do interact. In Regency variations, the options are fewer. Unless in exceptional circumstances, unmarried adults of the opposite sex are not expected to spend a lot of time together. And certainly not without the company of others.

And thus, having them marry often comes to play. Marriage opens up the possibilities of interaction on a new level. Suddenly, there’s no end to awkward dinners alone and walks in the park with no chaperone you can put your favourite couple through. Certainly, there are many other aspects that make for a good FMS, but when I thought about it, to me, this is the key—the romance is not in the marriage, but rather in maximizing the time our dear couple spends together while working towards their happily ever after.

And that happily ever after, of course, is the second key. When I said earlier I don’t like to see my favourite characters miserable, I might have lied a little—because of course, I secretly do. But only as long as I know that it all works out in the end!

What do you think? Are forced marriage stories your guilty pleasure too? Let me know in the comments—I’d love to hear your thoughts! And if you want, you can look me up on Facebook (@AnniinaSjoblomAuthor).

by Anniina Sjöblom

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one false step can involve a lady in endless ruin. On a rainy November day in 1811, Miss Elizabeth Bennet finds herself wondering why no one ever bothered to tell her about this. 

A few blithe steps on a morning walk, taken after a succession of rain, lead to unexpected events that irrevocably change the course of Elizabeth’s life, placing her fate in the hands of the haughty and conceited Mr. Darcy – the last man in the world she had ever thought to marry. 

As long winter days slowly pass, she writes letters to her loved ones, trying to come to terms with her new role as a wife and the Mistress of Pemberley. But can she ever learn to love her husband? Will he overcome his arrogant notions of rank and circumstance? 

And most importantly – will the shades of Pemberley ever recover from being thus polluted?

Buy: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon US. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

About the Author

Author Biography: Anniina Sjöblom lives in the beautiful but
cold Finland and works in university administration. She has an MA in History and enjoys a long-standing love affair with the works of Jane Austen.

Her previous works include titles such as Thirteen Days, Fix You and When He Comes Back, published in various online Austenesque forums under the pen name boogima. The new novella Thaw, expanded from the original version of the story first published online in 2011, is her first commercially published work.

When not writing, Anniina spends her time hanging out with friends, binge-watching TV dramas and re-reading her favourite books while the stack of new ones still waiting to be read piles higher on her nightstand. She can ride a unicycle, and once, after losing an unfortunate bet, ate a bowl of ice cream with green dish soap as dressing. She does not recommend attempting it to anyone.

Connect with Anniina

Blog Tour Schedule

Jan. 6 - Austenesque Reviews
Jan. 7 - Babblings of a Bookworm
Jan. 8 - Savvy Verse & Wit
Jan. 9 - My Jane Austen Book Club
Jan. 10 - My Vices & Weaknesses
Jan. 13 - From Pemberley to Milton
Jan. 14 - So Little Time...
Jan. 15 - Diary of an Eccentric

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Quills & Quartos Publishing is giving away one ebook of THAW per blog tour stop. All you need to do to enter the giveaway is comment on this blog post, and Quills & Quartos will randomly choose winners for the entire blog tour on January 22. So, make sure you join in the conversation!

Thank you for visiting here, Anniina! And yes, forced-marriage-scenarios are my favorite Pride and Prejudice stories! I can't wait to read your story! 

Many thanks to Christina Boyd for organizing and including me on this blog tour!

And thank you, Quills & Quartos Publishing, for offering one of my readers an e-copy of Thaw!

Friends, do you love forced-marriage-scenarios too? Let us know! And remember, to enter the giveaway you, have to leave a comment below! :)


  1. I like the idea of FMS but I would like to read that storyline with other couples

    1. Now that you said it, I'm not sure I've ever read one with some other JA couple - would be interesting!

  2. Interesting discussion. I've liked a few FMS JAFF that I've picked up, but not all. Now, that I've thought about it, I guess I'm middle of the road on the trope and more depends on how the characters and the rest of the story comes together for me. LOL, funny about how her friends reacted when she told them about the trope being in Thaw. :)

    1. It was pretty funny - and required quite a bit of explaining! And you're quite right - a lot depends on other things. Thanks for stopping by, Sophia, and good luck in the giveaway!

  3. I have never been drawn to FMS. It would be so miserable. But have enjoyed when I do read them. Huh! You make a good point. I do prefer books where they have to spend a lot of time together. And it does eliminate the need for chaperones. I may have just changed the way I look at these stories lol

    1. :D I think that really is the trick of it - all that time the trope forces them to spend together, trying to come to terms with each other. Thanks for stopping by, Becky!

  4. I do enjoy a forced marriage especially when I know they will fall in love.

    1. Oh, you totally have to know, or at least be almost sure (I might have caved and checked the last pages sometimes with an especially angsty story), otherwise it might be too torturing. :)

  5. I do enjoy a forced marriage - I love seeing them get to know each other and falling in love. As a married couple they are given additional opportunities that engaged couples are not, like spending time alone with one another.

    1. That's it exactly! Thanks for stopping by & good luck in the giveaway! :)

  6. I've always loved the FMS trope too and have never thought of why it appeals to me but I can't argue with your reason as I love when ODC is forced to spend time with one another. One of my least favorite things is when they spend nearly the entirety of the book apart from each other so this is much more preferable.

    1. I, too, most often prefer more facetime than less. :) Thanks for stopping by & good luck in the giveaway!

  7. To call it a guilty pleasure is close to the point. It requires suspending reality for a while, definitely. - in reality, no decent person would like two people forced to marry against their will; also, no one would like a woman forced to be under the extreme power Regency husbands had over their wives. On the other hand, I think we secretly enjoy seeing Elizabeth take on the fight against those odds to make a reasonably happy life for herself. Also, I think we enjoy her slow enlightenment about Darcy's character while she is compelled to live with him.

  8. Love the FMS for all the reasons mentioned in the piece, but also because it gives readers a chance to see ODC come to a better understanding of themselves and each other.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...