After the guest post I have included a bit about the book itself--so read on!
Confessions of a Reality TV Junkie- guest post written by Arlene Hittle
I haven’t always loved watching reality TV shows. In fact, I was proud of myself for successfully avoiding “The Bachelor” and “Survivor” when they first aired. Then I attended a Super Bowl party hosted by one of my roommate’s friends. The new season of “Survivor” premiered after the game...and the host insisted we stay and watch it. By the end of the premiere, I was hooked.
From “Survivor,” it was a fast tumble into ever-trashier reality shows. “Joe Millionaire”? “The Surreal Life”? “My Big, Fat Obnoxious Fiancé”? “Mr. Personality”? I’m not ashamed to say I watched them all. Does anyone else remember “Mr. Personality?” Monica Lewinsky hosted, and the female contestant dated men wearing colored hoods (because she was supposed to make her choice based on their personalities, not their looks). I even watched the first several episodes of “Playing It Straight,” until it got canceled—probably for offending people, since it involved a woman trying to choose a straight man from a pool of straight and gay men. I think it was set on a ranch. (Note: I can’t find a reference to it being canceled on Wikipedia or imdb, but I
don’t remember getting to see how it ended. It was on every week, and then it wasn’t anymore.)
These days, I have a bad ID habit. I’m always watching the true crime shows on Investigation Discovery (or whatever it wants to call itself now). It’s a habit borne of working ’til midnight and having a satellite TV with an East Coast feed. Most of the
channels I used to watch showed nothing but infomercials during the hours I watched TV—so I turned to ID. No infomercials there!
I’m not sure when I got the idea to turn BLIND DATE BRIDE into a “Newlyweds”-style reality show. The original idea—two reluctant winners of a cable TV network’s “Get a Love Life” contest—came after I heard a news story over the car radio. At
some point, it morphed into the “happy” bride and groom agreeing to let cameras follow them through the contest-mandated 90-day cohabitation period. I think I was fascinated by the notion of how the cameras would affect Kari and Damien’s attempts to get to know one another. Of course the camera’s intrusion makes it harder for them to be intimate—witness the many, many interruptions of their hot-and-heavy interludes. However, knowing they’re being filmed also forces Kari and Damien to get closer. She would have been happy to ride out the cohabitation period in his apartment’s spare room had they not been forced to cede it to the camera crew. Instead, she must share his bed—and in so doing, learns to trust him.
I guess I’m just a sucker for a happy ending. Of course, that makes my reality TV habit even more puzzling. Those shows aren’t known for producing long-lasting happy couples.
About the Book Blind Date Bride by Arlene Hittle
Nearly a decade ago, accountant Kari Parker shed 220 pounds of dead weight — her hulking, abusive college boyfriend. The last thing she wants in her life is another man — especially one as tall as a Windy City high rise. Yet when her best friend enters her in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest, another man is exactly what she gets. As much as she'd love to just say no,
she can't turn down the prize money that will allow her to help her parents save the restaurant they've run all her life. Sparks fly between Kari and her bogus groom, and as she and Damien share close quarters, intimate meals and — gulp — his bed, Kari doesn’t stand a chance of resisting his considerable charms. Even worse? She might not want to. But building a real future
out of their sham marriage will be tougher than baking a wedding cake from scratch … with no flour … in a broken oven.
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About the Author:
Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in northern Arizona. She suffers from the well-documented Hittle family curse of being a Cubs fan but will root for the Diamondbacks until they run up against the Cubs. Longtime friends are amazed she writes books with sports in them, since she's about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe and used to say
marching band required more exertion than golf.
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