Message From The Author

Author's Message

The Ivory Duchess

Just another day at an antique show, oohing and ahhing over exquisite pieces of jewelry from days gone by. Suddenly, one piece in particular catches my eye, then my imagination: a beautifully detailed ivory cameo in a distinctive, silver filigreed frame. Who had worn it? What had it meant to her? Was it a special gift? Needless to say, this cameo left the antique show when I did.

Wearing the cameo on special occasions heightened my interest and curiosity. My imagination conjured scenarios about the original owner, ranging from a young bride wearing the cameo or receiving it as a special anniversary gift to a lonely spinster clinging to the cameo and dreaming of the day she would be reunited with her fianc in the next world. My curiosity remained as unfulfilled as the spinster's dreams, but as years went by, the cameo became even more special to me.

Last summer, when I was writing THE IVORY DUCHESS, Kate, my heroine, needed a trademark brooch to wear on stage while performing. I knew immediately what she would wear: my cameo brooch.

Now I had the opportunity to give my imagination free reign to answer questions and provide a happy ending for the cameo's original owner. Kate, very much a woman of mystery and intrigue, considers the cameo a symbol of a life filled with shame and disappointment. To Philip Massey, himself a man surrounded by gossip and innuendo, the cameo represents a long-awaited opportunity to reclaim a life marked by honor instead of disgrace. Yet once they meet, Kate and Philip will discover that the cameo is the one link to their mutual pasts that will set them both free...with a love that is their destiny, if only they have the courage to claim it.

Imagine my thrill when my editor, Jennifer Enderlin, called and said she wanted to use a cameo as the cover's focal point! Describing the cameo over the phone was difficult, so I told Jennifer I'd send the cameo via mail. The post office was closed, so I wrapped the cameo in bubblewrap, popped it in an envelope and dropped it in the mailbox...along with a prayer that my guardian angel would watch over this cameo all the way to New York. Happily, it arrived safe and sound, and the art department has reproduced my beautiful cameo on the cover of THE IVORY DUCHESS.

I've enjoyed sharing my cameo's story To read an excerpt of THE IVORY DUCHESS or any of my previous releases, visit my web site: http://www.deliaparr.com.

Winner of RT's 94-95 Reviewers Choice Award for Best Historical (Evergreen), Delia Parr's third historical, By Fate's Design, has been nominated for Best Innovative Historical 95-96.


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