The official launch of Beauty For Ashes is only a couple of weeks away and I thought you might enjoy meeting my two protagonists, Carrie Bell Daly and Griff Rutledge.
Carrie is modeled after so many strong Southern women who had to find a way to carry on after the Civil War decimated their homeland and their hopes of marriage and family. Though Carrie has promised to marry Nate Chastain, the local bookseller–someday—she can’t help but feel that something is missing. Like many women, she wonders whether she should stop looking for that heart-pounding, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love settle for the attainable. In the meantime, she works hard on the farm she shares with her bachelor brother, cooking, cleaning, churning butter, gathering eggs, growing and harvesting vegetables.
When I began this story, I looked for models whose faces reflected my idea of who Carrie is. This young blond woman, though obviously from modern times, has the right coloring, and the qualities of strength and vulnerability in her face that I tried to capture in the story.
Finding “Griff” meant going farther back in time. He’s from Charleston, very well turned out, tall, dark and handsome. Though he does not have a mustache, in my mind’s eye he looked very much like this young Clark Gable. Like many of the characters Clark portrayed, Griff is a man’s man. He’s all about adventure, tasking risks, moving on to the next big thing. But underneath, he’s like Carrie, longing for the comfort and love of a family and a home.
When these two meet, it’s love at first sight…though in fiction as in real life, the course of true love never runs smooth. Writing their story of finding each other, and finding that heart-pounding kind of love was a real joy to me. I hope it will be to you, too and that if you enjoyed their journey, you’ll leave a comment here and let me know. And that you will share the book with a friend. Happy reading.