Paula’s hero in Fragrance of Violets chose his own name!
When I first started writing Fragrance of Violets, I had the vague outline of the story in my
mind. Needless to say, that outline morphed into a different story by the time
I finished, but I’m used to that happening now.
My heroine’s name was always Abigail, known as Abbey, but
when I started the story, I didn’t know what to call the hero. As a stopgap
measure, I decided to call him Jack, and thought I would probably change his
name once I got to know him better. I wasn’t even madly keen on the name of
So what happened? By the time I got to the second or third
chapter, my hero with his ‘temporary’ name somehow became Jack. I’m still not sure how that happened, but there was no
way I could change it. Any other name would have felt wrong.
Here’s Abbey’s first meeting with Jack (ten years after they
had a huge fight and fall-out in their late teens, even though they’d been
‘best friends’ for years before that):
Reaching the car park, she did a quick u-turn so she was
facing the main street again, and pulled up beside the shop. After she’d
unlocked the side door and switched on the light, she returned to the car and
opened the boot.
As she lifted out the first box, a voice startled her. “Do
you need any help?”
She spun around in the direction of the voice. It was dark
but she didn’t need to see him. Her mouth went dry and her hands tightened on
the box. “No, thanks, I can manage.”
Jack Tremayne stepped into the dim light cast by one of the
car park lamps. As her eyes adjusted, Abbey’s breath caught in her throat. His navy
sweatshirt stretched across wide shoulders and a broad chest, and mid-blue
jeans encased his slim hips and long legs. No longer a teenage boy, but a man
whose compelling figure exuded strength and unequivocal masculinity. Her heart
started to thud hard against her ribs.
“What are you doing here?” Resentment at her involuntary
reaction to him lent an extra sharp tone to her voice.
He laughed, the deep rich laugh that still sounded so
familiar. “I’m not psychic, I didn’t know you’d be getting out of your car
right here and now. And I’m not a lurker either. I’ve been for a walk by the
lake and was taking a short cut through the car park when you did your
“I did not do a—and I didn’t mean right here—I meant—”
Damn! So much for
being polite and cool with him. Why on earth couldn’t she be a mature and
self-assured twenty-seven year old, instead of stuttering like a gauche
teenager? She steadied herself. “I meant, of course, why the hell have you come
back to the village?”
“Welcome to Rusthwaite,” he said with amused irony.
“You aren’t welcome here. Not by me, not by anyone.”
He shrugged. “Maybe not, but I’m back, and I intend to
Shock bolted through her. “You’re staying?”
“Why not? It’s my home.”
“The home you betrayed.”
“That was eight years ago. People forget.”
As he took a few steps nearer, the light spilling from the
shop doorway illuminated his face. His hair seemed to have darkened to the
colour of damp sand and was brushed back instead of the tousled blond mop she
remembered. A few stray strands escaped over his forehead, and her glance took
in his handsome features—the blue eyes, the high cheekbones, the well-defined
jaw, the perfectly shaped mouth, and the cleft above his chin.
A quiver rippled through her but she ignored it. “This
village hasn’t forgotten. People here won’t ever forgive you.”
“What about you?” His eyes challenged her, forcing her to
remember the night everything had gone wrong between them.
She returned his scrutiny with a defiant glare and tried to
distance herself from the unwanted sensations that threatened to destroy her
composure. “I don’t think you and I have anything further to say to each other,
so if you’ll excuse me, I need to unload this stock.”
“Are you sure I can’t help?”
She turned away and took the box into the shop. When she stepped
outside again, he’d gone. She stared through the darkness toward the main street,
but he’d obviously walked quickly. There was no-one there.
For the next few minutes, she concentrated on carrying the
boxes into the storeroom and stacking them tidily, ready to be unpacked the
next morning. Only when she put down the last box did she realise she was
Meeting Jack Tremayne again had catapulted all her feelings
into total disarray.
I’m currently editing/revising Fragrance of Violets for re-publication. Hopefully, it will be
available again later this year.
The title comes from a quote by Mark Twain: Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet
sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
Abbey Seton distrusts men, especially Jack Tremayne who
destroyed their friendship when they were teenagers. Ten years later, they meet
again. Can they put the past behind them?
Abbey has to forgive not only Jack, but also her father who
deserted his family when she was young. Jack can't forgive himself for being responsible for his
fiancée’s death. He’s also hiding another secret which threatens the fragile
resumption of his relationship with Abbey.
Will Abbey ever forgive him when she finds out the truth?