Rita Fitzgerald is a beautiful, impulsive and intelligent young woman who shoots to small-town stardom after winning a local beauty contest. Her family is poor and her father has a dark past. Rita carries emotional scars from that past. She falls in love with Alan, a smart rich kid, but believes that nothing will ever come of it. So, she marries someone else.
Alan James Lincoln is a highly intelligent snob, who falls for Rita in their senior year in high school. She excites him and baffles him. Her beauty awakens a young passion that engulfs him. Through his persistent and loyal love for her, he grows both as a boy and a man.
How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?
The title was a natural outcome of Alan’s passionate and persistent love for Rita.
The cover design is from an oil painting by Elyse’s mother, Monique Parmentier. It hangs in our living room. We realized that it depicts a scene in the last part of Section One, when Alan James is watching Rita, painfully aware that he has lost her and she is going to marry someone else. Since we self-published, we were able to choose this design.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?
The following is an unabashedly romantic scene, but it is one of our favorites. Alan and Rita are 17 years old and this is the first time that Alan is finally alone with Rita.
I couldn’t speak. Rita took me in for a moment, searchingly, and smiled. When she kissed me, her lips damp and soft, I shivered. My heart throbbed with the first wildness of true love, and suddenly and unexpectedly, I cried. All my defenses were breached and my senses were stung by a sweet and wicked bliss. My eyes were fully open and Rita saw the tears. She touched them in wonder and surprise, and kissed them, as the shadows danced around us. Feeling hopeless and ashamed, I looked away.