Cat T. Gardiner
GETTING FROM THERE TO HERE - ABOUT THE BOOK
Hi-Di-Ho, my friends! Well, today is the big day: The Cover Reveal of my upcoming novel, A Moment Forever!
Some of you know that this, much anticipated, novel developed as a Jane Austen Fan Fiction readers would come to know as My Dearest Darling. It posted on two forums beginning Veteran's Day 2014 - May 2015. No longer a fan fiction novel, I am over the moon happy, positively lulu to announce that it is being re-born as a rich, WWII-era Romantic Saga, now titled: A Moment Forever. (AMF) The first novel in the Liberty Victory Series.
Here's a little history about the project's beginning. One morning in April 2014, I showed up at my BFF's hotel room (she was visiting me in Florida) with a roughly drafted prologue to a Second World War JAFF plot bunny that I birthed the night before over dinner. The prologue was about a house, nothing more, just how a woman in 1992 is bequeathed a rundown mansion, filled with vintage heirlooms, in historic Victorian Flatbush, Brooklyn.
You see, that's always been my secret desire. To discover an abandoned home bursting with family memories and treasured items from their past, mementos of historical significance. Reminiscent of an HGTV television show, "If Walls Could Talk," I wanted the house in my novel to do the "talking" - to tell those stories hidden away with the passage of time, whether they were scandalous, salacious, heart wrenching, or joyous. I imagined shedding light on the role the occupants may have played in history. Later, I discovered a house in Victorian Flatbush's W. Beverly Squares that I used as the model for AMF: the former honeymoon cottage of one of the Guggenheim daughters, built 1901. (pic. right)
"In every footlocker, hope chest, and heart full of secrets, there is a story waiting to be discovered and told." was the catch phrase we two plotting masterminds concocted over coffee. LOL
At the time, the prologue began with a key that opened a door leading to a perfectly preserved time capsule where a dusty fireplace mantle remained as a shrine to a beguiling woman, which ultimately led to the discovery of an undelivered engagement ring in a second bedroom. Photographs from 1942 piqued our young, modern heroine's curiosity ... and that was as far as my plot bunny had taken me, but I, too, became curious. What else was in that house? What kind of secrets did it hide in the attic? What was the previous owner's story and why did he abandon the house? I knew there had to be letters somewhere, old records ... a painting with an historical past. Yeah, I also knew that there were a number of novels where that house/letter trope had been done, but I was confident that I could write it differently - and I did. It was then I decided that my novel would have two heroines: one in 1942 and one in 1992; two heroes as well, and four compelling backstories that will ultimately find a happy ever after. Did I mention the history? Once again, like all my other novels, it is total immersion. You. Are. There. - 1942 & 1992.
In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.
Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle's and others' lives - and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.
This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.
A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.
I want to share with you a little about the cover designed by JD Smith Design in February of this year. Those Silver Pilot Wings you see were worn by a real WWII AAF pilot and are part of my growing collection of historical heirlooms that give me inspiration. William Martel, A Moment Forever's hero is B-26 bomber pilot from Brooklyn, New York. The Flower: He began his relationship with the spirited cookie, the cheeky debutante Elizabeth Renner from the Gold Coast of Long Island, by presenting a sweetly scented gardenia for her hair. The Swans: They pledged their undying love for one another while watching two swans drift on Lake Mirror in the moonlight. The Title Font Lettering: Specifically designed to show the utilitarian of 1940s combining with the flourish of cursive handwriting. The parchment on which the four symbolic pieces of their romance are laid out represents the letters that bound them together and play a significant role in their forever romance.
A Moment Forever - the title - shares with the reader this one simple spoiler. Two innocent lovers shared a relatively small moment in time yet it lasted forever, its ripples affecting three generations.
She couldn’t resist rising to her tiptoes to kiss him under the stars. Not another person was in sight but to their left a group of the local Mute swans laid nestled in sleep at the grassy shoreline. Two others swam together in unison, in the moonlight.
Lizzy breathed in, holding Will’s gaze, resting a hand upon his cheek. “I love you so much.”
He draped his arm over her shoulders, and she nuzzled into him. Gazing out onto the lake and its mirrored reflection of the sky above he observed quietly, “Swans mate for life.”
“They do and so will I … ‘Unwearied still, lover by lover, they paddle in the cold, companionable streams or climb the air. Their hearts have not grown old. Passion or conquest wander where they will, attend upon them still’,” she recited.
“You know Yeats?”
“Of course. Not every book for the victory drive is a novel, you know.”
She delighted when he finished the poem she had become enamored with from a donated book by the Fricks.
“ ‘But now they drift on the still water, mysterious, beautiful. Among what rushes will they build, by what lake’s edge or pool’.”
He kissed her sweetly before declaring. “I’ll mate for life, too, because I know I’ll never love another like I love you.”
The smile that graced her visage was, without a doubt, the happiest expression to ever grow from her heart to her eyes as it blossomed upward. Elated by his confession, she was bowled over by his overwhelming romantic nature, and it filled her heart with something she had never felt before—absolute trust and contentment, as though her twenty years had brought her to this moment. She was sure he would propose now that he declared his heart and intentions for their future.
The swans became an important symbol to A Moment Forever, as did the poem our lovers recite: The Wild Swans at Coole, by William Butler Yeats. So much so that the book is dedicated to all the lovely ladies who had their hand in bringing this story to life. I consider them the Sisterhood of the Swan, women who believe, like me, in soul mates, enduring love, re-kindled love, and finding love a second time around no matter the age.
For an excerpt of A Moment Forever visit Here
Look for it soon, my friends. Here are some comments from readers when it completed posting in 2015.
"I've had such a miserable time of late, and your wonderful story has been a place to go for love, solace, hope often amidst pain."
"Perfection!!! I adored the ups and downs, the tears and giggles, the ugly truth of that time in history and how you took us back in time ... to try and understand."
"Over the last weekend, during which I read, these characters have come to life as if they were real, so much that I have thinking of them quite often and imagined them being somewhere in the world happy and well. Thank you very much, Cat, for this gut-wrenching, heart-rending, and oh so wonderful story."
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