The Rose Ring
by Lucie Ulrich
Please give Lucie Ulrich a warm welcome!
1 - How did you come up with the idea for "The Rose Ring"?When I first wrote The Rose Ring, I had a marriage in-name-only in mind. The original story took place in New York City, and the ring showed up early in the story. After my first book was finished, I decided on a more laid-back setting, so I moved the characters to Montana and gave them new names. The biggest difference was that I added a brother, and struggled as to whether I wanted the female lead, Sky, end up with Micah or Noah. Made for some fun writing.
2 - I'm jealous - traveling through the US. Asking you the impossible - what's been your favourite spot so far?I’m currently on a road trip with my husband (for the month of October). When we return home, we will have visited all 50 states. We’ve also traveled abroad, so choosing a favorite place is next to impossible. Overseas, I’d have to say spending time in Israel touched me deeply, but Paris is definitely a favorite spot. As for the U.S. if there are mountains, I’m there. Glacier National Park in Montana will always bring back special memories, which is why I set The Rose Ring in Montana.
3 - Tell us about your current project.I’m about halfway through a sequel to The Rose Ring, which I’m calling Finding Hope. I did set it aside for a while so that I could work on something a little more lighthearted. I’ve titled my romantic comedy Diamonds or Donuts. This story revolves around Sarah Alexander, an elementary school teacher who is engaged to an archeologist from a wealthy family. When a chance meeting with a handsome policeman has her questioning everything she thought was written in stone, Sarah has a huge decision to make. I really love the fun and quirky characters in this one. .
Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.
When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?
Author:Lucie Ulrich took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to her--until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else's was so strong, that once she started, she couldn't seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.
Lucie's first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for "Broken Vessels," her first published work.
No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.
Excerpt:Micah took Sky’s hand and they hurried across the street, stopping in front of the double wooden doors. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny gold ring. “Here, it’s a bit big for me, but it’ll do for today.”
She held out her hand and he dropped it into her palm. They’d gone shopping a few days ago and he’d bought her a thin gold band, but not one for himself. The fact that he only planned on wearing the ring for the ceremony solidified her in-name-only status. “Your dad’s?”
Sky fingered the ring. “Other than this nick, it looks brand new.”
“That nick nearly cost Dad his finger. He got it hooked on a piece of farm equipment shortly after he and Mom married. He made Noah and me swear never to wear any jewelry while working.”
“Did he ever wear it again?”
“And your mom didn’t mind?”
“Not that I was aware of. Then again, I was just a kid.”
At least she’d have a good excuse for why her husband didn’t wear a wedding band. She, on the other hand, would wear hers proudly. He might be a lug, but for the next two years he’d be her lug. “We’d better go. Don’t want to keep the judge waiting.”
The judge’s secretary ushered them into the office. His Honor stood when they entered and greeted them with a firm hand and warm smile. “Robe or no robe?” he asked.
She looked at Micah. “What do you think?”
He smiled. “Your call.”
“In that case, I vote for the robe.”
While the judge put on his robe, Sky took in her surroundings. The walls were painted standard office-beige, but the large mahogany desk, and photographs of Montana’s mountain ranges and plains that lined the walls added some warmth to the room. What she especially appreciated were the live Ficus trees that flanked the tall window behind the desk. It was no church, but at least it wasn’t the cold, barren room she had envisioned.
The ceremony was short, with only the court clerk and judge’s secretary in attendance. But that didn’t bother Sky. Nothing else mattered at the moment. This was her wedding day, perhaps the only one she would ever have. For that reason alone she chose to absorb every detail and print them on her heart.
Micah stood ramrod still until the judge had him place the ring on her finger. His hand shook a little, but his tender smile was one Sky would forever remember.
Her next memory would be their first kiss. She knew it was purely out of obligation. After all, what would the three people staring at them think if a newly married couple didn’t seal the deal with a kiss?
When Micah leaned in, one side of his mouth lifted in a smile causing her stomach to flip. Assuming the kiss would be short, she was taken by surprise when his warm lips lingered longer than she’d expected. The scent of his spicy cologne tickled her nose. The feel of his hand on her cheek sent her heart rate soaring. She couldn’t even imagine what her reaction would be if he ever kissed her for real.