Guest blogger: Marilyn Forsyth
Pearls. Lustrous little spheres of light, like tiny shimmering moons. A symbol of purity and perfection. I just love them! It’s one of the reasons I chose a pearl farm as the setting for my outback romance, The Farmer’s Perfect Match. The rugged Kimberley coastline, the sands of which still harbour the skeletons of ships, sailors and pearl divers taken by cyclones that constantly ravage this remote landscape, was the perfect setting for my lonely, tortured, pearl farmer hero, Adam Armstrong.
In researching for this novel I spent time in and around Broome and visited a pearl farm. Wow! The intricacies of creating a cultured pearl. Such an eye-opener!
For those who may not know, let me briefly explain the difference between a natural pearl and a cultured pearl. A natural pearl is created when an oyster forms a defensive crystalline sack around an irritant such as a grain of sand. Coat after coat of this ‘nacre’ serves to ease the irritation and, at the same time, forms a pearl. A cultured pearl is identical to a natural one except that the 2-3-year process is activated by trained ‘seeding’ technicians who actually provide a bead of mussel shell for the pearl to form around.
At Adam’s Paradise Pearl Farm, while there’s not a lot of outward action on a day-to-day basis, the job is extremely time-intensive for a small operator. Tending oysters is a continuous process of cleaning the shells in order to keep the pearls developing smooth layers of nacre to minimise flaws caused by trauma. (Yes, oysters can suffer from stress! You want stress? Try writing a book. *Grin*)
Adam knows that the best pearls are the product of happy, healthy oysters. A nutrient-rich environment of pollution-free water with a high tidal range is a must. They also require, in continuing rotation, regular removal of marine parasites and algae. High-pressure water can dislodge the seaweed but organisms have to be removed manually; it’s a tedious, repetitive, time-consuming job, which makes it difficult for Adam to leave the farm for any length of time. That’s why he agrees to participate in the on-location dating show, Perfect Mate.
Adam wants someone to share his lonely life, someone who will love the farm as much as he does. Someone whose goodness, like a pearl, comes from the inside. So, who to choose? Vivacious Meg or sexy Chrissy? And, as if that choice wasn’t hard enough, why can’t he stop thinking about Evie, the show’s production assistant?
He’s about to find out that, as with reality TV, love can’t be scripted.
The Farmer’s Perfect Match
Gorgeous farmer Adam Armstrong loves his life – he owns and runs his own piece of heaven, a successful pearl farm, and spends his days outdoors in Australia’s stunning Kimberley. There’s just one thing missing: someone to share it with. But when you live in one of the most uninhabited places on Earth, it’s not easy to meet the perfect woman.
Enter Evangeline Sinclair, PA for hot new reality show Perfect Mate – smart, funny, passionate and determined to help him find his ideal partner. What could go wrong, right?
Adam has signed a contract to pursue a relationship with one of the contestants and he’s a man of integrity, but Evie, with her very personal interview questions, is opening him up in unexpected ways. Can he stay true to his agreement to find love in front of the cameras rather than behind?
For Evie, a year in professional wasteland after an on-air debacle has left her desperate to salvage her career and Perfect Mate’s success will ensure this. But can she stand by while the man she’s falling in love with is ruthlessly exploited?
You can buy The Farmer’s Perfect Match on special at Booktopia for $16.50.