Thank you for having me here today on your blog, Ali! I’m trying to remain calm as my latest novel A Treasure of Gold is released. I’m looking forward to letting it out there in the world, because I think romance needs more diverse historical romance, and more 20th century historical stories.
Guys and Dolls was a major influence for A Treasure of Gold, my 1923 story of a buttoned-up pious country girl who meets the big city numbers kingpin in Pittsburgh and she’s forced to question her entire world. I remember seeing the live musical at a high school first and then watching the movie of Guys and Dolls when I was a teenager. I always loved the whirlwind romance between gambler Skye Masterson, who knows the Bible thoroughly since the only book he has access to is the Gideon Bible, and Sister Sarah Simpson, the prim mission “doll” who ends up being changed by the so-called “bad boy.” She’s convinced she can convert him to a better way of life, and he’s unexpectedly impacted by her wholesome nature, ironic since what got them together was a bet—something Skye cannot resist.
The movie musical features Marlon Brando as Skye Masterson. Who could resist hottie Marlon Brando in his sharp cut suits? Guys and Dolls is known as the one and only movie where Brando sings. I don’t care what anyone else says, I like it. I think that Jean Simmons’s Sarah liked it a whole lot too, since she falls hard and fast for her gambling man.
In Treasure, Nettie grew up in the country in the middle of a whirlwind family of girls, and her place in the family was always made special because her family thought of her as sickly and close to death, so she has a very close relationship with God. Jay, who wants nothing to do with religion, lost his wife two years before. He vows never to fall in love again because the pain of losing his deceased wife is more than he can bear. He has a problem. He can’t keep nannies for his precocious little girl. When they come across one another by accident, Nettie’s belief systems are challenged as she sees what the little girl needs, in the questionable profession of the child’s father. Once Nettie is with them, she cannot help but be drawn in and love happens.
If you’ve never seen the Guys and Dolls, rent it and try not to swoon at Marlon Brando. The short stories that Guys and Dolls is based on are by Damon Runyon. These short stories about street life in the 1920’s and 1930’s are real treats for readers as well. In A Treasure of Gold, I hope readers will enjoy my different take on the good girl, bad boy romance. I believe my story is all about how the power of love transforms us and make us feel renewed all over again.
Named in 2015 as a top ten historical romance novelist in Publisher’s Weekly, Piper Huguley is the author of the Reconstruction era “Home to Milford College” series. She is a 2013 & 2014 Golden Heart finalist for two novels in the “Migrations of the Heart” series about the Bledsoe sisters and set in the early twentieth century.