Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Post with Victoria Foyt

Looking for love in Revealing Eden

We all want to be loved, right? Not for how we look, or who we know, or how much money we make. Deep down, we really hope someone will see us exactly for who we are, and love us anyway. Isn’t that why a great romance book tugs at our heartstrings? It reminds us not to lose hope.

But is true love still possible in this age of speed dating and Match.com?

Honestly, I wasn’t so sure if I would have answered yes to that question when I set out to write Revealing Eden (Save The Pearls Part One), my latest young adult novel, which happens to be a fantasy, adventure romance. Maybe I was hoping it would lead me to the answer. I would either let go of my lifelong search for “the one,” or finally resolve to settle.

When I started writing, Eden Newman, the 17-year-old protagonist, sounded a lot like me, despite our differences. In her post-apocalyptic world, love is dead, evolutionary climbing all that matters. Due to the overheated environment forces, most of the white race has died. The survivors, called Pearls, suffer from the oppression of Coals, dark-skinned people who have more melanin in their skin and therefore, survive in greater numbers. Blond and blue-eyed, Eden is branded a Pearl, doomed unless she soon finds a mate.

But who will want her when she’s ugly, powerless, the bottom of the heap?

Okay, I live in the beautiful coastal town of Santa Monica. I’m hardly ugly; film critics have often praised my looks in films in which I’ve starred. So how could Eden and I possibly have anything in common?

The sad fact is that we are all judged by our appearance. Day in, day out, an onslaught of ads shows airbrushed images that hardly resemble how people really look. And so we never measure up, never seem like enough, at least in our own minds.

And how will anyone ever love us for who we are if we don’t?

Eden Newman tries hard to be enough. She coats her skin with Midnight Luster, a product that darkens her skin, hoping to appear more like a Coal. She tries to keep her mouth shut, though she often fails. She knows that if she ruffles her superiors’ feathers, she will only lose.

And when a good-looking guy with a lot to offer begins secretly dating her, she is desperate to win him over. She’ll do anything to be his mate, to be saved. Even betray her father.

You see, Eden has a powerful secret, one that could get not only get her killed, but also could destroy mankind’s one chance for survival. Will she divulge it to this guy, in order to win his affection and appear more worthy of him?

I admit that, in the past, my insecurities sometimes led me to make foolish mistakes in relationships. Despite having a college degree and a slew of accomplishments, I didn’t always feel like I was enough. Like Eden, I wasn’t sure I could find real love.

When Eden is thrust into the last patch of rainforest, as well as the arms of a powerful beastly man she believes in her enemy, despite an overwhelming attraction, she must fight to survive. But only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love.

Slowly, she learns to accept herself, beginning with her natural skin color. She begins to value herself, and in the process, opens her heart.

Luckily, in writing Eden’s story, I also learned what Eden comes to believe. Along the way, she takes to heart a few lines of poetry written by her “adopted aunt” Emily Dickinson: “That Love is all there is, / Is all we know of Love.”

I hope that in this New Year you will resolve to accept yourself for who you are and let go of adopted ideas of so-called perfection. Embrace your unique beauty! And I bet you will find love.

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