MEET POPPY PARKER, a recent widow who knows she must move forward but has no idea which direction to take. To start fresh, Poppy moves from her idyllic home in Georgia to the grimy glamour of New York City to open up her own boutique and find a way to live and love without her husband.
Austin Bandy has been in love with Poppy since the moment he laid eyes on her years ago, right before her wedding. Now she is back, grieving and broken hearted by her nearly-perfect husband’s death—not Austin’s ideal romantic situation. He needs to wait for her to recover but not so long that someone else has the chance to move in and sweep his dream girl off her feet and keep him as a “good friend” forever.
Poignant, hopeful and fresh, Faerl Marie’s enchanting debut novel will have you hooked and ready to pursue your own hopes and dreams the moment you turn the final page. The Golden Apple is a charming and fashionable novel about loss, love and moving on without betraying your self, your past or those you love.
“Yes. You settled in sounds very good to me.” Decided, he set his menu down. “Are you gonna’ stay over more?”
“I’d like to, yes.” She looked down at her fingernail and picked at a spot where her polish had chipped. “Is that okay?”
“It’s perfect,” he said and looked at her until she looked at her menu. He kept looking. He took in the slight way she bent her head forward and to the side as she read, the way her blush along her cheeks was slightly iridescent, picking up the light when she moved her head, the inconsistency of her curls and the different shades of gold that ran like rivulets through her hair.
“Austin,” she looked up suddenly. “Please don’t tell anyone about Pop-in-Tacos. Vivian knows and I think Lucy has a good idea but that’s pretty much it. I like the anonymity I have here and I don’t need one more thing that makes people weird or unsure about how to be around me. Widow is bad enough. Millionaire widow might push people over the edge.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” He took one of her hands from the table and raised it to his lips. He looked straight into her eyes as he kissed it with a smile. She blushed and rolled her eyes playfully. He wondered what her eye roll meant as the feel of her skin burned on his lips and filled his mind.
After lunch they walked around the neighborhood for several hours, stopping in when they saw window displays they liked or food that was too delicious to pass up. They went into a gelato shop and ordered cappuccinos, spumoni and pistachio gelato. At one point Austin noticed a little smile that had crept onto her face. He asked what had prompted it.
“Josh loved pistachio ice cream.” Poppy thought for a moment before continuing, “Did I tell you that today is the first anniversary of his death?” she asked and answered before he could wrap his head around that fact. “Actually, I know I didn’t. Everything that happened with the store this morning and then spending the day with you completely took my mind off of it until just now.” Tears, like little dewdrops had formed at the corners of her eyes, refracting the blue. Austin had no idea how to respond to that so he didn’t try. Sincere silence, he thought, was worth more than asinine filler. After a few moments she changed the subject and the grief left her face as completely as if she had taken off a mask.
By the time they had turned up the street, back towards his place, they were laden with four shopping bags, had shared three different desserts and made plans to visit half a dozen new restaurants. Austin liked that she loved eating, most of the girls he had been with in the past were obsessed with their weight and hardly ate, much less enjoyed it. Poppy enjoyed food and ate with abandon. She would be back to her old size quickly, he guessed, imagining what she would look like once she filled out again.
Faerl Marie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minors in English and Social Welfare. She has worked as a style consultant, personal shopper and wardrobe curator, among other things. Faerl Marie spends her days writing, dreaming about new stories and characters, walking her dog and adoring her husband. She lives in the idyllic mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico. “The Golden Apple” is her first novel.
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