Author: Adria J. Cimino
Published: May 2016, Velvet Morning Press
Format: Paperback, 258 pages
The quest for a stolen perfume formula awakens passion, rivalry and family secrets in the fragrant flower fields of the South of France...
Perfumer Zoe Flore travels to Grasse, perfume capital of the world, to collect a formula: her inheritance from the family she never knew existed. The scent matches the one worn by her mother, who passed away when Zoe was a teenager. Zoe, competing to create a new fragrance for a prestigious designer, believes this scent could win the contract—and lead her to the reason her mother fled Grasse for New York City.
Before Zoe can discover the truth, the formula is stolen. And she’s not the only one looking for it. So is Loulou, her rebellious teenage cousin; Philippe, her alluring competitor for the fragrance contract; and a third person who never wanted the formula to slip into the public in the first place.
The pursuit transforms into a journey of self-discovery as each struggles to understand the complexities of love, the force of pride and the meaning of family.
What is Love? My Favorite Love Story Ingredients
By Adria J. Cimino
I’m not a Romance author, but I do write love stories. Love plays a central role in everything I’ve ever written. Sometimes the love is between lovers (or potential lovers). Other times I’m writing a story about the love between mother-daughter, father-son, siblings, friends. So, in my opinion, what makes an unforgettable love story? Some elements that might be surprising…
Passion: OK, so passion itself isn’t surprising in a love story. But it is when used in an unusual way. In my latest novel, A Perfumer’s Secret, the main character is a perfumer passionate about scent, and scent actually defines her life. Zoe is on the quest for a stolen perfume formula—one her mother created—and this formula is an emotional link to her mother. Philippe, a fellow perfumer, is no less passionate about scent. It’s Zoe’s own perfume that ensnares him in a passion that rocks his world.
Sacrifice: This scene will always be with me, will always bring tears to my eyes. In The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, a young mother is forced to leave her babies behind—for their survival—in the middle of an excruciating journey. There are plenty of other touching scenes throughout the book (making it one of my all-time favorites) but this particular one demonstrates truly what love is all about.
Danger: When danger arises, we often find out pretty quickly who our real friends are! And this is the case in Entanglement by Katie Rose Guest Pryal (Full disclosure: I’m co-founder of Velvet Morning Press, publisher of this book.) Best friends Greta and Daphne move to Hollywood from North Carolina—lost in the glitz and glitter, Daphne doesn’t realize that she has put her friend in danger. And that danger shows us just how strong their friendship is.
Longing: Another one of my favorites… What is more romantic than Jay Gatsby’s longing for Daisy in The Great Gatsby? The languid descriptions, the brief encounters, and all that is implied through Fitzgerald’s words. It is enough to make me swoon even after having read the novel countless times. Unrequited love is definitely where it’s at when it comes to writing a good, classic love story.
Pride: My novel, The Creepshow, is about Wanda, a woman who faces discrimination in the workplace and puts up a fight. Thankfully, Wanda has some love in her life, an ex who comes back and wants to support her through the turmoil. But as much as she wants to lean on Max, Wanda has her pride. She wants to get through the troubles on her own. As Wanda’s pride grows, so does her self-worth. And the possibility of true love with Max seems brighter.
So there you have it, some of my favorite ingredients for a story of true love. What do you like to see in a love story?
About the author: Adria J. Cimino is the author of Amazon Best-Selling novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs and Close to Destiny, as well as The Creepshow and A Perfumer’s Secret. She also co-founded boutique publishing house Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. Adria is a member of Tall Poppy Writers, which unites bright authors with smart readers. She lives in Paris with her husband, Didier, and daughter, Phèdre. When she isn’t writing, you can find Adria at her neighborhood café watching the world go by.