The blog post “Two Years of Fools Gold” was originally posted early this morning, before I knew about the attacks in Paris. When I heard the news, my first impulse was to pull the post and write my condolences. After all, what do I have to offer the world compared to this event? (And, of course, I feel sympathy to the people affected.) But as I thought about it, I recalled an expert on terrorism saying that the terrorists get what they want when we interrupt our lives.
Two Years of Fools Gold–we’re coming up to the second anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Fools Gold. (Wow, has it been that long already?!) It seems like a good time to tell you a little about how I feel about the book.
For many authors, the first book is like a first love—we remember it fondly. Fools Gold has a special place in my heart. It was the book I spent the most time with, since I was learning to write a novel at the same time. Luckily, I got a great couple of editors at Prism Book Group, Jacqueline Hopper and Joan Alley, who coached me through several rounds of editing to make it good enough for publication. It was my first book that was published, too, so Fools Gold was the first cover (and still my favorite—didn’t Joan Alley find the perfect picture for Ellie Webster?). It was the first release, the first box of books to appear at the house. (That box, opened and with one copy set up so I could admire it easily, spent several days in the living room until my husband asked gently if I could find another place for it.) Fools Gold made me an author.
Ellie and Duke, the main characters, are like old friends to me. I know them as well as I know some of my “real” friends. Here’s one of my favorite scenes:
Ellie stopped and turned to face Duke, trying to ignore the twinkle in his eye. “Now, I’m serious here. I-I am fond of you. But I don’t plan to marry you.”
Duke’s smile washed from his face and the twinkle disappeared.
“I want to be honest with you, Duke, and not mislead you.”
“Well, Ellie,” he said slowly, brows knitting together. “I appreciate that. But why wouldn’t you marry me?”
“You are kind to me, and you say beautiful things, and your letters are very flattering.” Ellie was looking at his chest now, finding it easier not to look into his eyes. “And that feels…nice. But I don’t know if that’s love. I don’t think that’s enough for me to give up my independence. And marrying you would mean a whole different life for me.”
“It wouldn’t have to.” Duke drew her face toward his for the second time that day. “I wouldn’t make you change your life.”
She shook her head. “You wouldn’t mean to. But I’ve seen lots of people get married, and the wife always ends up being the helpmate and servant. His ideas always come first. It was Papa’s idea to take out that loan. Mama didn’t want to do it.”
“You and I are not like other people. Have I ever asked you to give up your plans?”
“No, but we’re not married.” She stopped herself before the word yet slipped out.
“Ellie Webster, I love you more than life itself, and I wouldn’t treat you any different when we’re married than I do today. You’ll make your own decisions then, the same way you do now.”
She looked at him dumbly. Duke swept her up in his arms and bent down, his lips touching hers. She opened her mouth slightly in surprise and their lips melded together, his moving slowly, tenderly on hers. As sensations swirled through her, her pulse raced and his warmth enveloped her.
Then his lips left hers and the moment passed. Duke’s blue eyes sparkled like sapphires and he gently let go of her, keeping one arm around her waist.
“Think about it?” he asked softly.
“I don’t know,” she answered honestly. She didn’t know what she was thinking now. Were the feelings she had for him love, or just confused vibrations lingering from the kiss? She felt as if the breath had been knocked out of her.
Fools Gold has almost run the course on its publishing contract. Buy it before Nov. 23rd to be sure to get a copy before it goes out of print. You can go directly to Amazon or to the publisher’s page at http://www.prismbookgroup.com/foolsgold.html.